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Colleton home to list of Revolutionary War sites

The Pon Pon Chapel of Ease & Battle of Parkers Ferry. Photo submitted

The nation’s birthday is fast approaching, but if you’re looking to make some Fourth of July plans, you don’t have to look too far: Colleton County is part of the original tapestry in the nation’s battle from England for independence. The county is filled with pre-Revolutionary War sites, many of which are available for the public to visit.

Information and locations about many of the Revolutionary War sites in Colleton County, and in nearby Beaufort and Charleston counties, can be found at www.historicalmarkerproject.com. While there is no booklet about Colleton’s historical sites provided by the Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society, the group’s president, Jeff Grigg, is an avid historian and teller of county and revolutionary history. “The Revolutionary War was very fluid here, so there was no tangible and real markers left here in Colleton County from that time frame, unlike in Charleston,” said Grigg. “Most sites are now on private property, but there are a few on public land for viewing.”

The Pon Pon Chapel of Ease & Battle of Parkers Ferry

The Pon Pon Chapel was a vibrant part of the community’s pre-Revolutionary War era and was used during the war itself. It is currently owned and cared for by the Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society, which monitors the grounds. Visitors can view the historic national site while near another Revolutionary War marvel – Parkers Ferry Road.

The historic Battle of Parkers Ferry between the British and Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion was held on these grounds. The battle site is noted by a historical monument that sits on the edge of the dirt road.

Isaac Haynes Tomb

Haynes was ultimately taken as a prisoner of war by the British and was hanged to death. His love for the War of Independence began when he became a captain of artillery. In 1780, the British invaded and he fought during the final siege of Charleston. He was captured, but paroled on the condition that he would not serve against the British as long as they held control over Charleston. But, one year later, the British demanded that he join the Royal Army or face imprisonment. Haynes believed this request violated his original terms of parole from the British, so he immediately joined a rebel militia and became a Colonel. He was then captured by the British during a battle. Hayne’s tomb is located in Colleton County along Charleston Highway. His tomb and its grounds is being cared for by the state.

 

The Jacksonboro Historic Nature Trail

This nature trail is located off of Highway 17 in Jacksonboro, which acted as the state’s official capital during the War, when the then original General Assembly met away from the turmultous Charles Towne. According to Grigg, this nature trail is situated along original pre-Revolutionary War roadways. It is currently maintained and cared for as a public site by Mead Westvaco.

John Laurens

John Laurens was an American soldier from South Carolina in the Revolutionary War. He was an entrusted member of George Washington’s personal circle, and saved Washington’s life once by taking a bullet for him. With an extensive resume in fighting for the nation’s independence, Laurens is also known for his efforts to recruit slaves, telling them to fight for their freedom as soldiers.

While there is no official site to mark his death, history tells us that Laurens was killed in Colleton County at the end of the Revolutionary War. He is buried at Mepkin Abbey, a monastery in Moncks Corner. A marker once reminding the public of Laurens’ contribution to our nation’s birth was placed alongside U.S. Highway 17 on the edge of Colleton and Beaufort counties. That marker was lost during the widening of U.S. Highway 17 and has not been replaced.

The Steel Bridge and Temple of Sport

The Steel Bridge that sits on the dividing line of Beaufort and Colleton counties along U.S. Highway 17 is the spot where many scrimmages were held during the war. This entire area is scattered with sites and markers, including the nearby Temple of Sport. This sylvan temple was originally located near the Highway 303 and Highway 17 intersection by Col. Barnard Elliott, a Revolutionary patriot and an avid sportsman. It stood as a deer stand and was part of Elliott’s plantation, Belleview. But, this monument was burned during the war. A historical marker now marks the spot where the monument was located. “Highway 17 was also used during the war for the original marches against Charleston,” said Grigg.

 

Heather Walters (547 Posts)