Battle of Fort Watson / Santee Indian Mound

Located off I-95, and Hwys. 301/15 on Secondary Road 803 – 9 miles SW of Summerton – Fort Watson was originally constructed by local Indians as a burial mound for one of the more renowned of its chiefs.  The mound, because of its strategic location, was used by the British during the Revolution to control movement on the Santee River as well as the main road between Charleston and Camden.  This was the first post in S.C. retaken from the British.  On April 15, 1781, General Francis Marion and Lt. Col. Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee encircled the fort and after 8 days of futile small arms fire, Major Hezekiah Maham constructed a pine tower of sufficient height to overlook the defenders’ stockade.  On April 23, 1781, the Americans mounted an attach from the tower and from the ground which lasted only a short time.  Lt. McKay surrendered the fort, its garrison and supplies to General Marion.