“…make no Doubt we shall carry this post…”: The History and Archaeology of Fort Motte

The South Carolina State Museum is offering a new exhibit through their Traveling Exhibit Program titled “…make no Doubt we shall carry this post…”: The History and Archaeology of Fort Motte. The exhibit examines the 1781 siege of Fort Motte, as well as the excavation of the site and the artifacts uncovered. The exhibit is scheduled to travel to several communities in South Carolina in 2018, including Sumter, Greenwood, St. Matthews, and Camden. SC Humanities supported the creation of the traveling exhibit with a Major Grant.

Fort Motte, in present Calhoun County, South Carolina, was a Revolutionary War British outpost. The fort consisted of the Rebecca Motte plantation house, surrounded by a heavy, palisaded earthwork parapet and ditch. In May, 1781, an American force under Francis Marion and Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee lay siege to the fort, and the British garrison of 184 men surrendered after resisting for seven days.

This traveling exhibit features 13 panels, including several large maps; 12 reproduction objects, including an American 6 pounder solid shot cannon ball and a wrought iron arrow head; and 14 reproduction objects to use for hands-on educational programming such as American and British musket balls.

The exhibit will be traveling around the state in 2018:

January 25 – March 24, 2018 – Sumter County Museum (122 N. Washington Street, Sumter, SC  29150)

April – May 2018 – The Museum, Greenwood

June – July 2018 – Calhoun County Museum, St. Matthews

 August 2018- January 2019 – Camden Museum and Archives

“…make no Doubt we shall carry this post…”: The History and Archaeology of Fort Motte was curated by James B. Legg and Steven D. Smith. Legg is an historical archaeologist specializing in military sites and has been with the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology since 1988. Smith is the Director of the SC Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, and a Research Associate Professor. James and Steven have been conducting archaeological investigations at Fort Motte since 2004.

For more information about this exhibit or the Traveling Exhibit Program of the South Carolina State Museum, please visit the website.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image: Original painting by Mort Künstler, The Capture of Fort Motte © 1976 Mort Künstler, Inc.