Clemson’s Tillman Hall was likely the site of Fort Rutledge, according to sources at the Library of Congress. Fort Rutledge was a frontier Revolutionary War fort garrisoned in 1776 by about 300 patriot troops under the command of Andrew Williamson and Andrew Pickens. It was named in honor of the first governor of South Carolina and played a key role in our state's fight for American independence.
This garrison prevented planned British-supported attacks from the west to coordinate with the attempted invasion at Charleston to squash the “rebellion.” It was sort of “The Fort Moultrie of the Upstate.” Shortly after completion, the patriot troops stationed at the fort were notified of the Declaration of Independence.
Also, the present clock tower may have been inspired by the fort's commanding watch tower. If right-naming of the building constructed on this historic site occurs, “Rutledge Hall” may be the appropriate name to honor those brave men who enabled our state, nation and Clemson to come into existence.
That’s something we can all be proud of.
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