Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Congaree Creek Earthworks

Marker ID: SCHM 32-40
Location: Next to the Timmerman Trail, west of the 12th Street Extension in Cayce, SC.
County: Lexington
Coordinates: N 33° 56.329    W 081° 02.160
  33.93881666    -81.036
Style: Free Standing **


These earthworks were constructed in early 1865 and were the site of brisk fighting between the Union XV Corps and Confederate forces on Feb. 15, 1865. Approximately 750 enslaved and free African Americans who were impressed into Confederate service were responsible for building much of the defensive line, which ran from Congaree Creek to the Saluda Factory four miles north

The Confederate Congress approved legislation authorized impressment of black laborers in March 1863 because slaveholders were reluctant to provide slaves for service. Still, labor shortages persisted. Maj. John R. Niernsee, S.C. Militia Chief Engineer, complained that he had to begin work at Congaree Creek with only 12 black workers and his request for 2,000 laborers was never met.

Sponsored by S.C. Civil War Sesquicentennial Advisory board and S.C. African Americans Heritage Commission, 2015


It is about a 1/2 mile walk from the parking area.