The Battle of Fort Prince (12 of 12)

Image Credit: Kennedy Room, Spartanburg County Public Libraries

Sketch of Fort Prince from the bicentennial celebration of the Battle of Fort Prince in 1976.

Driving Instructions 

Sign GPS: 34.964185, -82.050390 (on right just past and across from Ft. Prince Memorial Gardens)
Site GPS: 34.968940, -82.048913 (Off Ft. Prince Rd in a copse of oaks behind 2 private homes, 350 block of Ft. Prince Rd, Wellford 29385)

Directions from 11 to 12 (~11 miles)

  • Turn left onto Gap Creek Rd for about 2 miles
  • Turn left onto Hwy 29 N (Wade Hampton Blvd) for about 2 miles
  • Turn left onto Hwy 129 (Charlotte Hwy; becomes Ft. Prince Blvd)
  • In about 5 miles, turn left onto Ft. Prince Rd just before I-85
  • In about a mile, the copse of trees on the right was the Ft. Prince location
  • It is behind the private homes at 350 & 356 Ft. Prince Rd

Directions to downtown Spartanburg (~4 miles)

  • Continue on Ft. Prince Rd
  • Turn right onto Mt. Zion Rd
  • In about a mile, turn right onto N. Blackstock Rd
  • Turn right to stay on N. Blackstock Rd after about 1.5 miles
  • Turn left onto Hwy 29 through Spartanburg's west side with numerous restaurants and stores
  • Hwy 29 becomes Main Street and passes through Daniel Morgan Square in a couple of miles

Google Maps has been provided as a resource.

[ Google Driving Directions ]

Location Information 

The Battle of Fort Prince

Ft. Prince was one of several pre-Revolutionary forts built near the Indian Boundary Line, the present day boundary between Spartanburg and Greenville Counties.

There is a monument placed in a copse of oak trees near the fort’s site.

Off Ft Prince Rd vicinity of 350 block, Wellford, SC 29385

More History 

Forts in the South Carolina Backcountry

Ft. Prince was one of many forts built in the region before the American Revolution that saw action during the conflict. Originally built as a place of refuge for settlers on the frontier, many of them, including Ft. Prince, were used against them by the British and their Loyalist allies in their attempt to suppress the Revolution.

Tensions between European settlers and the native peoples of South Carolina began as soon as the earliest settlers arrived in the 17th century. As settlement spread away from the coastal areas and further inland these tensions sometimes grew into confrontations. During this time, the area that became Spartanburg was on South Carolina's western frontier and was very involved in these conflicts. As settlement in the region increased, so did the tensions, often leading to raids by Cherokees against settlements. In order to protect themselves, settlers constructed forts like Ft. Prince along the frontier as places of refuge during attacks.

Like other forts in the region, Ft. Prince was privately owned and operated. It was built at the owner's expense, with the owner expecting something in return for allowing use of the fort. In some cases fort owners were able to collect relief aid and supplies raised by the Provincial government while in other instances trade agreements with local settlers may have been established. Because forts were private enterprises, they often changed owners and, accordingly, names. Ft. Prince, for example, was also known as Criner's Fort. Ft. Thicketty in modern-day Cherokee County was once known as Ft. Anderson.

Ft. Prince was described as round in shape, built with heavy timbers 12' to 15' tall. The area around the fort was cleared of trees to deny cover or concealment to attacking forces. On the immediate exterior of the fort there was a perimeter ditch and beyond that an abatis, an outward leaning log fence with sharpened ends to impale attackers. There were large doors acting as gates that could be locked in times of need to protect settlers who gathered in the fort.

Whether or not Ft. Prince was ever utilized in this capacity against attacks by Native Americans is unknown. By the time the Revolution made it to the region, Ft. Prince and many others like it made excellent forward outposts for both sides. As such, many Revolutionary War battles took place at or near these forts. It is somewhat ironic that forts built as a safe-haven for settlers were used against some of the people they were meant to protect.

Additional Images 

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