Hike through the Blackstock Battlefield in Enoree, South Carolina
Have you checked out Blackstock Battlefield in Enoree, SC? One of the perks of living in South Carolina is the ability to bring history to life by visiting the hundreds of historic sites in the state. We have visited Musgrove Mill State Historic Site a number of times as it covers all the basics for my kids: the Revolutionary War battlefield to explore, the Tyger River Trail to hike, and the falls. Horseshoe to cool off. But did you know that Musgrove Mill runs a second battlefield?
Located just 7 miles north, Blackstock Battlefield preserves the site of the War of Independence battle where the infamous British Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton was foiled in his attempt to defeat Patriot Brig. General Sumter in 1780. We recently received a tour of the Blackstock battlefield on the South Carolina Seven Wonders Expedition, and we wanted to learn more about this little-known historic site just 40 minutes from Spartanburg. !
Revolutionary war action
A few months after the Battle of Kings Mountain, Sumter had gathered troops to attack the British post of Ninety Six. The British summoned Tarleton from his pursuit of the “Swamp Fox” Marion near the coast to intercept Sumter, and the British Lt. Col. managed to secretly cross the Broad with his feared Dragoons before a defector informed Sumter that he was being pursued. Sumter chose to take up position at Blackstock’s Plantation on the River Tyger as Tarleton rushed to his position with his cavalry and mounted infantry.
When the British caught up with Sumter, they were at a disadvantage; they had outstripped their infantry and artillery in hopes of surprising Sumter, and instead were themselves caught in the open under heavy fire from the heights. After suffering heavy casualties and regrouping, Tarleton retreated to rejoin his infantry and artillery, but without half of his men, who had been lost in the battle. Sumter was seriously injured and was evacuated overnight. Tarleton pursues the Patriots for another two days, and although he claims a victory for dispersing Sumter’s militia, it was a costly defeat for the British as they lost many officers, horses and equipment. The Battle of Blackstock was a precursor to later action at Cowpens.
During your visit to the Blackstock Battlefield
Directions: From Exit 44 on I-26, head east on SC Hwy 49 approximately 5.5 miles to Blackstock’s Historical Marker. Turn left on Blackstock’s Road, then travel approximately 2 km and turn right on Monument Road. Continue to the end of the sidewalk and park in the parking lot before the barrier.
For the best view of the battlefield, continue on the gravel road to Monument Hill. Standing with your back to the monument, the ford of the River Tyger from Blackstock is down the hill to the right. The open prairie was much larger when the Blackstock family lived there, and the British reportedly came to charge the hill to meet the forces lined up along the summit. At the end of the meadow was the house and the barn.
To take a walk
The parking area is also the starting point for the Blackstock Battlefield Passage of the Palmetto Trail. This 1.6 mile loop descends to the Tyger River, then follows the river for approximately ½ mile before climbing up to the battlefield. Along the edge of the open field, the path enters the woods and returns to the parking lot.
The SC Park Service asks you to stay on the marked roads and trails when visiting the battlefield. Going off the trail can be dangerous, especially for children, as there are many deep holes from the time the area was mined and the stumps were buried. During our visit we also saw fire ants, bees and snakes. Highlights of our hike included the sight of an Eastern box turtle, the view from Monument Hill, and experiencing another piece of the War of Independence puzzle that we pieced together during our trips to the southeast.
Things to do near Blackstock Battlefield
After hiking the Palmetto Trail Passage, my kids were more than happy to make the 15-minute drive to Horseshoe Falls, a small waterfall on a tributary of the Enoree River, located in the State Historic Site of Musgrove Mill, next to Battlefield Trail. Right across from the Enoree is the main part of the state park, including a visitor center and a British camp trail. A little further east is another state historic site, Rose Hill.
Just to the southeast is the Enoree Ranger District of the Sumter National Forest. In addition to camping, cycling, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding and hunting, the Enoree is home to the Enoree Passage of the Palmetto Trail, with 36 continuous miles of trails connecting Newberry, Laurens and Union counties .
If you head north towards Spartanburg on the way back, you’ll pass Glenn Springs, a small community with a lot of history, as well as Croft State Park.
Blackstock Battlefield Passage from the Palmetto Trail
Blackstock Battlefield is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
Admission to Musgrove Mill is $ 3 for adults; $ 1.50 SC seniors; $ 1 for children aged 6 to 15; 5 years and under free.
Musgrove Mill is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.