An Analysis of American and British Ordnance from the 1781 Siege of Star Fort at Ninety Six, South Carolina

Author(s): James B. Legg; Steven D. Smith

Year: 2020

Summary

This is a paper/report submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

From May 22 to June 18, 1781, the American Continental Army under the command of General Nathanael Greene laid siege to a Loyalist detachment occupying the fortified village of Ninety Six in the backcountry of South Carolina. The Loyalist defenses included an eight-pointed, star-shaped earthwork fort that was the focus of the American siege, including a desperate and unsuccessful direct attack on the last day. The known American artillery consisted of six-pounder cannon, while the Loyalists defended with three-pounders. Excavations at the still extant Star Fort in 2018 and 2019 recovered a diverse array of ordnance fired by both sides, including material that is not otherwise documented. This paper presents an analysis of that ammunition, revealing differences in manufacturing techniques and quality, and which has significance for future work on battlefields of the Southern Campaign.

Cite this Record

An Analysis of American and British Ordnance from the 1781 Siege of Star Fort at Ninety Six, South Carolina. James B. Legg, Steven D. Smith. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Meeting, Boston, MA. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457247) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8457247

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Steven D Smith

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 245

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Star-Fort-Ordnance-SHA-revised-August-2020.pdf 35.44mb Sep 15, 2020 Sep 15, 2020 8:36:16 AM Public
Power Point Presentation
Star-Fort-SHA-text-revised-August-2020.pdf 129.98kb Sep 15, 2020 Sep 15, 2020 8:36:16 AM Public
Text of Star Fort Presentation
Star-Fort-Artillery-Artifacts-Analysis.pdf 97.63kb Sep 15, 2020 Sep 15, 2020 8:36:16 AM Public
Detailed artifact descriptions