By Jeannette Holland Austin
A trading post was established in 1730 named Ninety Six. It was named for the estimated ninety-six miles separating the site and the Cherokee trading post at Keowee at the end of the Cherokee Path. A town developed around this region in 1769 and became a Loyalist stronghold. The location is at the southeast of Ninety Six on Route 248. The fort was the strongest inland fort in South Carolina. The first battle of the Amerian Revolution was fought here in 1775 and represented the longest siege of the Continental Army. During the summer of 1780, Major Patrick Ferguson mustered a force of some 4,000 Loyalists and built a stockade fence around Ninety Six. Loyalist Colonel John Harris Cruger was the commanding officer when General Nathanael Greene led 1,000 Patriots against the Loyalist stronghold for 28-days. Afterwards, the British abandoned this old fort of the back country.