James Birmingham

Gray stone monument to James Birmingham.
James Birmingham Monument


James Birmingham, of the Long Cane Militia, is considered to have been the first Patriot killed in the South during the American Revolution. Not much is known about him other than he might have lived on Penny's Creek off of Long Cane Creek in present Abbeville County. Birmingham was the only patriot soldier killed during the Battle of Ninety Six at Williamson's Fort, November 19-21, 1775. The loyalist forces lost a soldier known as Captain Luper.

In 1972, human remains were uncovered within the outline of the 1775 Williamson's Fort during an archeological project led by Stanley South of the University of South Carolina's Institute of Archeology and Anthropology. Are the remains those of James Birmingham? The mystery will remain until conclusive evidence proves his identification beyond doubt.

Today, a granite memorial stands in Birmingham's honor located near the entrance to the stockade fort and is surrounded by an iron fence. The memorial reads:

Sacred to the memory
James Birmingham
Long Cane Militia
Killed at this site
in the battle of
November 19 - 21, 1775
The first South Carolinian
to give his life in the
cause of freedom
Erected by
The American Legion
Star Fort Post 103
Ninety Six, South Carolina
November 19, 1975


Last updated: July 2, 2021

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Ninety Six National Historic Site
1103 Hwy 248

Ninety Six, SC 29666


864 543-4068

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