The Forlorn Hope

The Forlorn Hope (HMM1S)

Location: Ninety Six, SC 29666 Greenwood County
Country: United States of America

N 34° 8.764', W 82° 1.129'

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June 18, 1781

Having established the third parallel and dug a mine, the Patriot troops were exhausted. Promised reinforcements from the Virginia militia failed to arrive. A frustrated Greene wrote to Congress: "...our poor Fellows are worne out with fatigue, being constantly on duty every other Day and sometimes every Day."

Circumstances forced Greene to make a difficult choice. News arrived that Lord Rawdon's 2,000 troops were headed to Ninety Six to relieve Cruger. The construction of the siegeworks did not go as quickly as Greene had hoped. He was not yet in a position to breach the Star Fort and his tired troops would be no match for Rawdon's. Spurred by his officers and men to storm the fort before Rawdon's arrival rather than give up the siege, a reluctant Greene agreed to an assault. Fifty men volunteered to lead the charge. This brave group — called the Forlorn Hope — surged from the trenches at noon on June 18, 1781.

Armed with axes these Patriots tried to cut through the outer defenses along the fort perimeter so that soldiers following with hooks could pull down the sandbags and breach the walls. They were quickly pinned in the ditch around the Loyalist earthwork, caught in the crossfire of marksmen in the star-shaped fort and surprised by 60 Loyalists, who ran out the fort entrance and came at them from each side. Of the 50 Patriots assaulting the Star Fort, 30 were killed or wounded.
HM NumberHMM1S
Year Placed2009
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 11:29pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 406073 N 3778820
Decimal Degrees34.14606667, -82.01881667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 8.764', W 82° 1.129'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 8' 45.84" N, 82° 1' 7.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)864
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3442-3504 Star Fort, Ninety Six SC 29666, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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Nearby Markersshow on map
The Attack
0 miles
The Mine
0.02 miles
The Star Fort
0.02 miles
Covered Way
0.03 miles
The Rifle Tower
0.03 miles
The Well
0.04 miles
Second Approach Trench
0.05 miles
Second Parallel
0.06 miles
Approach Trench
0.07 miles
Ninety Six
0.08 miles
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