Explore Revolutionary War History in the Upcountry

See where the American Revolution was won

A group of Revolutionary War reenactors dressed in Revolutionary War clothing standing in a line firing rifles. Photo by Liz Crawley

In South Carolina’s Upcountry, you’re surrounded by history. There were more than 200 Revolutionary War battles and skirmishes that took place in South Carolina, and the Upcountry is home to several of these hallowed places. From sites like Cowpens National Battlefield, Kings Mountain National Military Park and Walnut Grove Plantation, to influential people like Andrew Pickens and Kate Moore Barry, to events like historical reenactments and living history weekends, you’ll find signs of the Revolution at every turn. It's time to fuel up the car, grab a road map, and head back in time in the Upcountry.

A man dressed in a Revolutionary War uniform playing a fife. Photo courtesy of Discover Upcountry

Kings Mountain National Military Park and Cowpens National Battlefield sit at the east and west ends of Cherokee County and were the sites of two critical military victories. At Kings Mountain, patriots fought loyalists in a battle Thomas Jefferson said “[turned] the tide of success” for the war. More than 20 miles of hiking and equestrian trails let you explore the land, and in the fall, costumed reenactors take the field to commemorate the battle with a march on the Overmountain Victory Trail.

Men dressed in Revolutionary War uniforms firing a cannon in a field. Photo courtesy of Discover Upcountry

At Cowpens National Battlefield, reenactors take over the 500-square-yard battlefield in mid-January to set up a living-history encampment and allow park rangers to lead intriguing battlefield tours, but you can visit any time to walk the battlefield trail or explore by bicycle or car. 

South of Spartanburg, near Roebuck, Walnut Grove Plantation served as a meeting point and muster site for patriot militias. Charles and Mary Moore, patriots themselves, lived here with their 10 children, including two sons who joined patriot militias and a daughter, Kate Moore Barry, who acted as a scout and spy for the patriots. The 1767 home still stands, as do several outlying buildings.

Several notable figures made their mark on history here in the Upcountry. Brig. Gen. Andrew Pickens, namesake for Pickens County, commanded a brigade of patriot militia at the Battle of Cowpens before moving on to serve in the state’s General Assembly and eventually the U.S. House; he also built Hopewell Plantation, just south of Clemson. A distant cousin of George Washington, William Washington also fought at Cowpens before serving in Congress. Robert Anderson, another patriot leader, is the namesake of Anderson County. 

There’s more Revolutionary War history to uncover across the Upcountry. Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, Hanover House, the marker and legacy of Fort Rutledge, and the Spartanburg Revolutionary War Trail are only some of what you’ll discover when you head to the Upcountry for a trip back in time.

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