A photograph of Fort Johnson in Charleston County, S.C.

Fort Johnson, Charleston County, S.C.

Matt Brant

For Sale: Three Battlefield Tracts Spanning Three Wars

The Opportunity

Three parcels of land totaling almost seven acres — with history spanning the French & Indian War, the Revolutionary War, and the beginning shots of the Civil War — must be preserved and we must act fast to save it.

Together, their transaction value is more than $2.7 million, but we can secure this land for only $62,000 — an astounding $45-to-$1 match. Each of these transactions will allow us to add to existing protected lands and preserve them for future generations, while making progress toward our ambitious goal of saving 2,500 acres of Revolutionary War battlefields to mark the conflict’s 250th anniversary. 

Help Save Three Tracts in South Carolina and New York

Nearly Two Acres at Fort Johnson, South Carolina

The property at Fort Johnson has relevance for its part in the Revolutionary War as well being the location where the first mortar shots were fired signaling the beginning of the Civil War. Near Charleston, South Carolina, the property overlooks Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter. This location makes it a developer’s dream.

These nearly two acres have a high purchase price, as prices around Charleston have doubled in the last ten years and increased a whopping 17% in the past year alone! With its view, it’s only a matter of time before someone with no appreciation of its historic significance buys it and obscures its importance from the public forever.

Four Acres at Eutaw Springs, South Carolina

Thanks to our members, we have already saved more than 14 acres at the Eutaw Springs Battlefield, including portions of the site of the last major Revolutionary War battle in the Carolinas. Now, four additional acres are available where, for two years between 1779 to 1781, war raged between the British and American Patriots across the Carolinas.

Any time we have an opportunity to add another piece of property to an existing historic place, we aim to do so. With your support today, we’ll be able to do just that.

One Acre at Fort Ticonderoga, New York

This is an exciting opportunity to not only connect existing preserved land with the acre at Fort Ticonderoga that is available but to make connections to the history of the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War. As the site of an American victory against the British in 1775 and a loss to them two years later in 1777, the stories of these battles are important preservation tales.

Reviews of historical records have revealed archaeological sites that relate to the Battle of Carillon outside of Fort Ticonderoga proper, too, including fortified camps and a temporary field hospital site. There is also a potential burial site near these locations.

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The History

Fort Johnson, South Carolina

In September of 1775, William Moultrie, commander of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment, was ordered to seize Fort Johnson by the Council of Safety. Moultrie assigned Colonel Isaac Motte to command three 50-man companies led by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Barnard Elliott, and Francis Marion to attack the fort. Motte took possession of the fort with little resistance. The capture of Fort Johnson was the first time that the new South Carolina flag was raised over a property previously controlled by the Crown, an important symbolic victory over the Carolinas.

More than 80 years later, on April 12, 1861, at 4:30 a.m., a flaming mortar shot arced into the air and exploded over Fort Sumter. That shot was fired from Fort Johnson. The attack on Fort Sumter marked the official beginning of the American Civil War — a war that lasted four years, cost the lives of more than 620,000 Americans, and freed 3.9 million enslaved people from bondage.

Eutaw Springs, South Carolina

From 1779 to 1781, bitter war raged across the Carolinas. But in the spring of 1781, British General Lord Charles Cornwallis moved into Virginia, intent on destroying Patriot supply centers. American General Nathanael Greene took advantage of Cornwallis’s absence and entered the Carolinas with 2,200 regulars and militia, leading them toward Charleston.

In September of that year, General Greene and his men were met by British Colonel Alexander Stewart on a patch of hills along the Santee River near the city. Colonel Stewart’s men were low on supplies, but he could not pass up a chance to smash the Patriots’ best hope in the South. While this battle is remembered as a British victory, the American militia turned in a creditable performance with British casualties outnumbering American ones. Greene’s army remained a force to be reckoned with and showed the British that the Americans would continue to contest them for control of the Carolinas.

Fort Ticonderoga, New York

Land around Fort Ticonderoga has been associated with the French & Indian War and Revolutionary War —the scene of an American victory over the British in 1775, and a British victory in 1777. The 1775 victory included military leadership by two of the most famous military figures from the era: Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, at that time still loyal to the American cause. The fort remained in Patriot hands until 1777.

In that year, the Patriot commander of the fort, Arthur St. Clair, was confronted by the British army under the command of General John Burgoyne, who planned a siege to regain control of the fort. At the confluence of Lake George and Lake Champlain, the fort was well-positioned to both Canada and the Hudson Valley. Although the Americans had improved the fort's defenses, it was still vulnerable. General Burgoyne took a position on Mount Defiance, where he had a strategic advantage. St. Clair gathered his men for an escape before they could be captured and the British regained control of the fort.

Our review of the historical records has revealed potential archaeological sites related to the Battle of Carillon that lie outside of Fort Ticonderoga proper, including fortified camps and a temporary hospital site.

Your Gift Matched $45-to-$1!

Thanks to generous local grants, as well as commitments from a major donor and private landowners, the amount we need to raise for these three parcels is just $62,000 of the total $2.7 million.

Your $1 contribution is worth $45 with these matching grants. Securing these properties is well within reach with your help. Please make a donation today.

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“When we permit private development to encroach on battlefields over decades and even centuries, the market value of those hallowed acres escalates dramatically. If this continues, by the time we reach the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026, it might literally be impossible for us to buy any of these sacred parcels!”
David N. Duncan, President

Your gift can be matched $45-to-$1!

Acres Targeted