Historic Markers Across South Carolina

The Mine

Marker ID: NPS 
Location: At the Ninety Six National Historic Site on South Cambridge Street (State Highway 248), Ninety Six, SC
County: Greenwood
Coordinates: N 34° 8.778    W 082° 1.143
  34.1463    -82.01905


The Mine
Begun June 9, 1781

"We shall be in the ditch of the enemies works by tomorrow night or early morning; and the powder is wanting to blow up the works. I beg you will send the powder the moment this reaches you."
General Nathanael Greene to General Andrew Pickens, June 11, 1781

Now that the Patriots were in striking distance of the fort walls, Kosciuszko decided to use another classic siege tactic -- a mine. The plan was simple. Gunpowder packed in the mine's primary tunnel would be detonated, causing a breach, which would allow Greene's men to rush into the fort from nearby approach trenches.

Using picks and shovels to carve out the hard earth, laborers began to dig the main shaft on June 9. Progress in the late spring heat and under constant Loyalist fire was painfully slow.

The Star Fort siege ended before Kosciuszko's mine could prove its worth. Learning that the Loyalists were getting reinforcements, Greene called off the effort, and digging stopped short of the fort's ditch.

The cone-shaped earthen passage with no beams ot supports, ran 125 feet from end to end, and is a unique example of Revolutionary War-era mine construction. The mine is one of the few remaining earthworks of the Revolutionary War. It is not accessible to visitors.

Erected 2009 by National Park Service.


More information:
NPS - Ninety Six National Historic Site
Wikipedia - Ninety Six National Historic Site
The American Revolution in South Carolina - The Seige of Ninety-Six, May 21 - June 19, 1781
Wikipedia - Nathanael Greene
Wikipedia - American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)
SCIWAY - American Revolutionary War in SC
Wikipedia - Star fort
Wikipedia - Siege
Wikipedia - Continental Army
Wikipedia - British Army during the American War of Independence
Wikipedia - Ninety Six, South Carolina