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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Ace Basin Tours
A three-hour narrated history and nature tour of the salt marshes of the ACE Basin. Join Cap\'n Stan on this 25-mile round trip excursion aboard the Dixie Lady, a 38-foot,...
African-American History Monument
"The first of its kind on any of the nation\'s state house grounds," this monument was sculptured by Ed Dwight of Colorado and dedicated March 29, 2001. This monument traces...
Aiken County Historical Museum
Housed in a former winter colony mansion, the museum displays items that reflect the county\'s history from the earliest settlers to the present: the Aiken County Room, the Civil War...
Aiken-Rhett House
Built in 1820 and expanded and remodeled by Gov. William Aiken Jr., this palatial town residence showcases city life in antebellum Charleston. Aiken and his wife traveled to Europe and...
Anderson County Museum
The museum offers exhibits which reflect life and achievements of the citizens of Anderson County and the State of South Carolina. The exhibit entitled “Keep the Home Fires Burning” focuses...
Andrew Jackson Museum
The museum tells the story of Jackson\'s boyhood experiences during the Revolutionary War and highlights life in the South Carolina backcountry from Andrew Jackson\'s birth in 1767 until he left...
Andrew Jackson State Park
Andrew Jackson State Park combines history, art and community activities into a setting that has made it one of the S.C. State Park Service’s most popular attractions.

The only park...
Ashtabula Historic House
This large clapboard mansion was built by Lewis Gibbes and his wife, the former Maria Drayton, to enjoy the more healthful climate of the foothills. The house and farm were...
Barnwell County Museum
Exhibits and displays tell the story of Barnwell and its role in the history of South Carolina from the earliest Native American days to the present. Also features traveling art...
Battery & White Point Gardens
Located in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, this prominent landmark provides a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor, where the Ashley and Cooper rivers empty into the...

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