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“F” is for Fort Motte

Fort Motte was the plantation home of Rebecca Motte that was fortified by the British during the Revolutionary War. Located on a high prominence overlooking the Congaree River, the fort served as a depot for supply convoys between Charleston, Ninety Six, and Camden. The fort consisted of the Motte house surrounded by a ditch and parapet. In the fort were 140 British regulars and a small detachment of dragoons. In May 1781 patriot forces, led by Francis Marion, began a siege. With British reinforcements not far away, the Americans set fire to the roof of the Motte house and Marion’s men kept the British from putting it out. The British were forced too surrender. The fire was extinguished, and Rebecca Motte entertained both British and American officers in Fort Motte.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.