Fort Prince George (1753-1768) was named for the Prince of Wales (later to become King George III of England) and served as the principal Carolina outpost in the Cherokee Lower Towns. Situated in present-day Pickens County on the Keowee River and opposite the town of Keowee (both sites now inundated by Lake Keowee), the fort was a significant factor in the frontier policies of Carolinians, British, and Cherokee alike.
Fort Prince George (left and top of page) was approximately 100 feet square, surrounded by a five-foot deep ditch, having earthen walls topped by a palisade of yellow pine logs. In later years, the fort would include a barracks, storehouse, commanderís house, kitchen, magazine, and guardhouse. Because of the soil and building materials, the fort sustained frequent renovations during its fourteen-year existence.
Fort Loudoun (1756-1760) was built in 1756-57. Located on the Little Tennessee River in the immediate vicinity of the Overhills towns of Toskegee and Tommotley (approximately 35 miles southeast of present-day Knoxville), Fort Loudoun stood as the high-water mark of colonial South Carolinaís frontier policy with the Cherokee. At a distance of 400 miles from Charles Town and 150 miles from Fort Prince George, this outpost could never be effectively provisioned.
Fort Loudoun (right) was an earthwork consisting of four defensive strong points, or bastions. The walls were topped by a palisade of 15-foot sharpened logs inclined outward about 10 degrees from vertical. A ditch in which was planted a hedge of honey locust with 2-inch thorns surrounded the fort. The fortís armament included 12 light cannon, or swivel guns, which were mounted in the bastions.
South Carolina Independent Companies
Soldiers of the South Carolina Independent Companies (pictured left) garrisoned both Fort Prince George and Fort Loudoun. The Independents were formed after the disbanding of General James Oglethorpeís Regiment (42nd Foot) in 1749. Replacements were recruited locally in South Carolina. Contemporary British officers scorned the Independents as second-rate troops, unfit for offensive operations.
South Carolina Provincial Regiment
Established by the General Assembly in July 1757, the South Carolina Provincial Regiment was to consist of seven companies of 100 men each, although enlistments never reached this projection. To fill the ranks, the legislature passed a law in May 1758 directing magistrates to enlist "all idle, lewd, disorderly men who have no visible means of support and all sturdy beggars." The Provincial Regiment was reduced to three companies in 1759, and the following year, they were included in a new regiment (pictured at right) raised for the Cherokee War. Among the field officers in this regiment were William Moultrie and Francis Marion.
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