South Carolina Military History

Did you know more Revolutionary War battles and conflicts were fought in South Carolina than any other state? Or that the first shots of the Civil War were fired by South Carolinians on Morris Island near Fort Sumter?

From South Carolina Civil War plantations, battlefields and forts to the Military Heritage Trail, war museums and memorials, discover the rich history of South Carolina’s military history.

The Revolutionary War

As one of the original 13 colonies, South Carolina played a crucial role in the struggle for American independence. In fact, the first British Invasion (and hence, the first American defense) occurred at Charleston in 1776. From that time to the end of the war, more than 214 battles and skirmishes were fought throughout the state.

Today, this Revolutionary War history comes to life in South Carolina's intriguing collection of museums, battlefield memorials, historic sites and living history events.

Travel the trail of Colonial life and revolutionary resistance. Learn about famed partisan fighters such as Francis Marions, a.ka. "the Swamp Fox," whose guerilla tactics exhausted British troops. Find out how the Palmetto tree helped save Charleston, and visit the battlefields where armies fought and America's independence was won.

The Civil War

As the site where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, and as the first Southern state to secede from the Union, South Carolina was a major player in the Civil War.

Tour South Carolina Civil War plantations where contending armies once took refuge. Take a Civil War walking tour of historic Charleston, the site of the first British invasion. Visit Fort Sumter National Monument, where Confederate troops fired the first shots of the Civil War. And explore the battleground where Confederate and Union troops clashed during Sherman’s march through the state.

Military Heritage Trail

South Carolina’s Military Heritage Trail commemorates the role of the Palmetto State and its citizens in all of the United States’ military conflicts. From the shores of Charleston to the Upcountry mountains, visitors can learn more about the important roles South Carolinians had in many of America's major battles.

The new Military Heritage Trail spans 14 counties, has more than 20 sites and covers history from the founding of the colony of Carolina to WWII. The trail celebrates the bravery of South Carolinians who risked their lives to defend their state and union.

Scroll through the listings below to locate South Carolina Revolutionary and Civil War sites, museums, plantation homes, battlefields and more. Click on the name of an attraction for even more detailed information.

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Gen. Thomas Sumter Memorial Park
Burial place for Gen. Thomas Sumter, "The Gamecock," a friend of the Cherokee, a Revolutionary War hero, planter, congressman and senator. A town, county, national forest and a fort in...
Gibbes Museum Of Art
Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905. Located in Charleston’s historic district, the Gibbes houses a...
Grace Episcopal Church
By the mid-19th century, the Anglican Church in South Carolina had evolved into a strong Episcopal Diocese. By 1846, with four Episcopal churches in the city, the growth of the...
Gray Line Tours Of Charleston
A 90 minute tour covering more than 100 points of interest within the city’s historic district. You’ll get an up-close look at old Charleston neighborhoods, pre-revolutionary and antebellum buildings, and...
Greenville Presbyterian Church and Cemetery
This congregation began meeting on this site in 1773. Completed in 1852 the present church is constructed of brick basically in the Greek/Classical Revival style in the meeting house form....
Hampton County Historical Museum
The Hampton County Historical Museum is in an historic 1878 county jail, one of two original county buildings. Two military rooms contain memorabilia and uniforms from the Civil War through...
Hampton Plantation State Historic Site
Tucked away in the remote last vestiges of a colonial-era rice plantation, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site is both bucolic and evocative.

The plantation’s Georgian-style mansion and well-kept grounds serve...
Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock was a British post garrisoned by the Prince of Wales\' American Regiment, part of the British legion, and a large force of Loyalists, all under the command of...
Hanover House
A Colonial French Huguenot family Paul St. Julien built this plantation house in 1716 on what is now the site of the Santee Cooper project. In 1941, when the homesite...
Heyward House Historic Center Tours
This well preserved historic Carolina Farmhouse offers docent-guided tours of the House Museum and grounds, and a guided walking tour of Old Town Bluffton, featuring 19th-century antebellum houses and historic...

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