Local history celebrated at Fort Watson

by | April 27, 2018 10:17 am

Last Updated: April 27, 2018 at 9:22 am

Those who attended the 236th Commemoration of the Battle of Fort Watson.

Frank Brown, president of the Matthew Singleton Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), welcomed a small group to the 236th Commemoration of the Battle of Fort Watson at 11 a.m. on April 22 at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge in Summerton.

While the fort is no longer there, a monument has been erected in honor of those who fought in the Battle of Fort Watson during the Revolutionary War. Each SAR chapter is responsible for taking care of a South Carolina Revolutionary War monument, and the Matthew Singleton Chapter takes care of the Fort Watson memorial. They accept volunteer help in upkeeping the monument, which Brown currently feels needs a bit of TLC.

Glenn Givens spoke about the battle. “We are here today at Fort Watson and the National Wildlife Refuge to remember a battle of our Revolutionary War that was fought on these grounds by our early patriots. No state made a greater contribution to the winning of independence and the founding of this great nation than South Carolina. Her sons served ably and well and laid down their lives on the altar of freedom so that liberty and independence could be achieved.”

Over 150 battles were fought in South Carolina, making it the state with the most battles fought in the Revolutionary War.

During the Battle of Fort Watson, General Francis Marion overcame extreme difficulties to retake the fort, succeeding on April 23, 1781. It was the first post in South Carolina retaken from the British.

“General Francis Marion, Colonel ‘Light Horse Harry’ Lee, Major Hezikiah Maham and all their men were some of our first and finest patriots. Their unselfish actions truly demonstrate our country’s foundation of patriotism, courage, sacrifice and triumph,” said Givens.

Wreaths from the Matthew Singleton Chapter of the SAR and the Elizabeth Peyre Richardson Manning DAR were presented at the monument.

The commemoration ended when Frank Holloway, who is awaiting full membership in the SAR, fired a mortar salute to those who fought and died at Fort Watson 237 years ago. “Battery! One round! In salute to those who fought and died during the American Revolution in this spot!” Holloway shouted before lighting the fuse.

For membership inquiries with the SAR or to volunteer to help with the monument at the Fort Watson site, please contact Frank Brown at 803-968-1086.

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