About 65 miles from Columbia, outside Clinton, S.C, is the Musgrove Mill Historic Site, part of the South Carolina State Park System. It is where a revolutionary war battle took place on August 19, 1780. Coming three days after the Patriot defeat at the Battle of Camden, this victory was a welcome "shot in the arm" to the Patriot forces.
Today, the site has an interpretive center, two hiking trails and offers fishing, hiking and other recreational opportunities. It is about seven miles from exit 52 off I-26.
The centerpiece of the site are the hiking trails. One interprets the Musgrove home and mill site and goes close to the Enoree River. It has a fairly easy grade and is well marked and has several interpretive signs. There is also a monument to Mary Musgrove who actually lived on the property. She also appeared as a character in a novel as a patriot spy. The novel Horse-Shoe Robinson: A Tale of South Carolina in 1780, was published in 1835. It was written by John Pendleton Kennedy. The trail takes about 45 minutes.
The other trail, about a 5 or 10 minute drive from the Interpretive Center, leads to Horseshoe Falls and on to the battlefield itself. While the trail to the falls is paved and easy, the same cannot be said of the trail to the battlefield. It has some steep spots. There are several benches along the way as well as interpretive signage. This trail takes about an hour.
There is no food available at the site. Just off exit 52 is a wide variety of fast food options. There are picnic facilities available. Also, be aware that the Interpretive Center is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
South Carolina was the site of more Revolutionary War battles than any other state. While Musgrove Mill is not as well known as some (Charleston or Camden), or as pivotal as others (Kings Mountain), it opens a window on what was essentially a civil war. Of all the combatants in this battle, only one was born in Britain.
Admission to South Carolina's newest historic site is free. There is a drop box for contributions. It is worth the trip!
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