Fort Watson

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“Site of Fort Watson."—Lossing, 1851

The Siege of Fort Watson was an American Revolutionary War confrontation in South Carolina that began on April 15, 1781 and lasted until April 23, 1781. Continental Army forces under Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee and South Carolina militia under Francis Marion besieged Fort Watson, a fortified British outpost that formed part of the communication and supply chain between Charleston and other British outposts further inland.

The attackers, lacking artillery, were unable to make a dent in the fortified works, and failed in attempts to deny the garrison of a water supply. They then devised a plan to build a tower from which sharpshooters could fire into the fort’s walls. Fort Watson was once again attacked by the Americans on April 23, with the British forces unable to control the walls due to musket fire from the tower. They surrendered shortly afterwards.


Benson J. Lossing, The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851)II:706


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