On February 12, 2022, I walked where British, Provincials and Patriot militiamen had walked and fought 242 years ago north of the Enoree River in the backcountry of South Carolina. British and Provincials had forcefully camped there on land owned by Edward Musgrove. Mr. Musgrove who remained neutral in the war, had built a house and a gristmill on the bank of the Enoree River in 1774.
On August 18 1780, a detachment of 200 militiamen under the command of Colonels Isaac Shelby, Elijah Clarke, and James Williams traveled 40 miles to attack the British encampment at Musgrove Mill. They had expected to be fighting an equal force but were surprised to find that the enemy had been reinforced with 300 additional soldiers having recently arrived from Ninety Six under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Innes.
Though outnumbered, the American militiamen won the battle of Musgrove Mill thanks to their trademark hit-and-run tactics. Casualties were 137 Loyalists vs. 16 Patriots (Dead, wounded and captured). This win following recent defeats in Camden and Fishing Creek, gave the Patriots hope and increased their drive before the major turning point battle of the Revolutionary war at Kings Mountain.
The Historic site located in Laurens County, is a South Carolina State Park. My mother and I hiked the two easy, short and well-marked trails at the park: The British Camp trail (1 mile) and The Battlefield trail (1.3 miles). The park has done a wonderful job interpreting the historical events that took place there with informative signs throughout the trails. Additionally, we enjoyed beautiful Horseshoe falls at the beginning of Battlefield trail.
Other Revolutionary War blogs:
- Kings Mountain Military Park and battleground
- Hanging Rock Battleground
- Ninety Six National Historic Site
- Historic Brattonsville
- Old Sheldon Church Ruins