Lesson Plan

Greene and the Decision to Lay Siege

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Grade Level:
Eighth Grade-Twelfth Grade
Revolutionary War, Social Studies
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
South Carolina
8-2.5; 11-1.2
Ninety Six, Nathanael Greene, Thaddeus Kosciusko, siege


This lesson uses two excerpts that discuss the issues surrounding Greene and the decision to lay siege to Star Fort. Students will compare and contrast the two excerpts to develop and understanding of Greene’s decision.


1.     Students will develop a fuller understanding of the events leading to the siege of Star Fort.

2.     Students will build historical thinking skills through the use of multiple sources of information and differing interpretations.

Students will use analysis of written information to reach historical conclusions.


The fort at Ninety Six was originally built to protect settlers from Indian attacks in the mid-18th century, and later served as a strategic post during the southern campaign of the American Revolution. The town and fort were captured by the British during their 1780 campaign in South Carolina. The village became an important outpost for British control of the South Carolina interior and Georgia frontier during the southern campaigns. Patriot leaders saw the capture of the village and fort as necessary to liberate the South Carolina interior from British control. The Loyalist commander at Ninety Six in 1781 was Lt Col. John Harris Cruger. He was originally from New York City & had under his command 550 men & only one British officer the rest were American born. The fort underwent a nearly month-long siege in mid-1781 by Patriot forces under General Nathanael Greene.


The materials for this lesson provide the components necessary to complete the lesson activities. The materials include two passages about the siege of Ninety Six and two questioning organizers to help students formally question and analyze the passages.



1.     The type of student responses to the questions and tasks in the lesson and the questions that they pose to the teacher.

2.     The quality of discussion about the various materials in the lesson.

3.  The amount of interaction and quality responses in Steps 5 and 6 that have students synthesize why Greene decided to lay siege to Star Fort and what the ramifications of that decision potentially were.

Park Connections

The village of Ninety Six and the Star Fort were crucial to British control of the South Carolina interior. This lesson plan addresses Greene's decision to lay siege to the fort to retake the surrounding area. The centerpiece of the park is the Star Fort which provides an incredible opportunity to extend the lesson with a visit to the park


After the lesson, the teacher could plan a field trip to Ninety Six National Historic Site where a teacher-led or Ranger-led tour of the park, including Star Fort, stockade, and 18th century house, would develop a visual and physical understanding of the circumstances surrounding Greene's decision to lay siege to Star Fort.

Additional Resources

·         https://www.nps.gov/nisi/historyculture/the-star-fort.htm

·         https://www.nps.gov/nisi/historyculture/people.htm



Last updated: April 14, 2015