Santee Indian Mound in Summerton, SC

Indian mounds in SC are quite rare.  Typically the mound building groups were further west and north.  However, South Carolina does have one that is quite remarkable and probably many more that are unrecognizable today.

The Santee Indian Mound is around 1,000 years old and served as a prehistoric ceremonial and subsequent burial site for the Santee Indians. This area served as the center for the confederation of agricultural villages all along the Santee River for thousands of years.  The Santee River was a major trade route.  The Santee Mound is the largest ceremonial center found on the coastal plain.

Perhaps the mound’s greatest notoriety comes from its use as a British fort during the American Revolution. This outpost was built by the British and was at least 30 feet high. Gen. Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, and Light Horse Harry Lee laid siege to the post April 15-23, 1781, by erecting a tower of logs under the cover of night enabling them to fire into the British stockade. This brought about the surrender of the fort cutting off the main British supply line to Camden, forcing Lord Rawdon to withdraw from that position. The Battle of Fort Watson is one of the murals featured on the Swamp Fox Murals Trail in Summerton, Paxville, Manning & Turbeville, I-95, Exit 108 to Exit 135. From an observation point at the top of Indian mound, visitors can get a panoramic view of Santee Cooper and the countryside.

Santee Indian Mound and Santee National Wildlife Refuge make a historic and adventurous place to visit for photography, nature study, hiking, biking and birding.

Mike Stroud’s site has some nice photos of the Wildlife refuge and the mound today, as well as a concept drawing of what the mound might have looked like previously.

While we need to know more about these mounds, and these people, archaeology and preservation much be dually weighed in that equation.  There is a nice article in the Post and Courier about the needs of both.

Hat tip to Stevie for sending info about this mound.

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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1 Response to Santee Indian Mound in Summerton, SC

  1. Craig Vann says:

    to Roberta Estes :::: im a santee indian and my family came out of that band of people who are historically dakota… our people followed the wood bison whos migration stretched as far as canada to the south eastern most part of present day south carolina .. aside from that i was looking for your help here with my own census . it is a 1910 census for adam singleton and rachel singleton ( nee davis ) it was rachel who was santee , and her husband adam was from a dif tribe ( unknown) their ancestry was never recorded properly . between them were nineteen children with rachel being born in 1865 ( she had a sister named pleasant living next door in 1910 who married a holling ) after doing my own research and having a slew of ” spiritual experiences ” i find that those santee are or were in fact considered eastern dakota . there is much dispute over it still in south dakota as they were remnant of dakota that were seperated by way of time and migration from the core of the seven council fires . ” There were fevered dreams of a relative who would come from across the lake with the power to kill us without touching us ………” that was passed down to me a long time ago ( i take t to mean guns and plague _) i have visited with the santee near spartanburg sc .. i really dont get along with them.. as far as theyre concerned if a person is white and native ” cool “” if theyre black and native well ?? theyre apprehensive all of a sudden and its something thats left a bad taste in my mouth and there isnt time for it ..ive reached out to steven pony hill author of ” strangers in their own land ” he flat out told me hed never heard the names of Davis or Singleton ever . but yet i found an excerpt from his book with a list of surnames of families who were known to be native american and there it was
    DAVIS : PRIVATEER TOWNSHIP SUMTER ” which is where my great grands lived in 1910 friendship parish… so i do not deal with any of the tribes of south carolina at all…. neither do i speak to the south carolina commission of minority affairs for proof. would u pls be so kind as to email me back so i can send u a copy and paste of my grandparents 1910 census record.. i am not asking u to commit time to any research on my behalf… all id like is ” its possible adam may have been from this tribe or that due to his name “”

    thank you

    Craig Vann

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