Fort Ninety-Six was the crossroads of western South Carolina. Twelve roads passed through the settlement from Savannah and Charleston to the back country and the Indian villages. In July 1775 Patriots had suspected that Loyalists were supplying the Cherokee and initiated a siege and battle for control of the town that ended in a truce. The Revolutionary War in the South had arrived.
After the British Southern Strategy of 1778 was initiated, a savage civil war broke out in the back country as the British Troops poured into the region. In March, Cornwallis moved into Virginia and American General Nathanial Greene launched a new campaign to retake the Carolinas. He laid siege to Fort Ninety-Six on May 22nd and it was defended by British Regulars. The siege lasted until June 18th, the longest siege in the Southern Campaign ended with Greene withdrawing his troops north after several bloody encounters. He had suffered 147 casualties to the British 85. His efforts, though, would hasten the end of the war.
The Crossroads Event commemorates that siege and the Sons of the American Revolution took the opportunity to place wreaths at the grave of the first patriot to die there, James Birmingham, at the first siege in 1775 where all the participants were militia with no regulars in the battle.