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Augmented reality app will show history of Marion Square during Revolutionary War

Plaque on remnant of Horn Work in modern Marion Square. (S.C. Battleground Trust)
Plaque on remnant of Horn Work in modern Marion Square. (S.C. Battleground Trust)

An app launching in late February or early March called Liberty Trail will feature a spot right here in the Lowcountry: Marion Square.

"A big piece of the Revolutionary War story is right here in Charleston," said Doug Bostick, the CEO of SC Battleground Trust.

In the mid 1700s, Marion Square was a part of the Horn Work, a fort that was used as the main defense for Charleston during the Revolutionary War.

"(Horn Work) was 700-feet wide, straddling King Street, where the gate to the city was located. It covered eight to 10 acres," said Bostick.

The fort had a 30-foot wall in the front, and was filled with around 5,000 troops.

There were cannons surrounding the area to protect the fort.

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The Horn Work is where the Patriot Army surrendered to the British, but that's not the end of it's history.

"Then the horn work is the scene again where the British surrender Charleston back to the American Army led by General Nathaniel Greene," said Bostick.

Now, some historians want the history to come to life via technology.

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"We are trying to bring that 18th century history to life using 21st century technology," said David Duncan, the President of American Battlefield Trust.

The goal is to provide people with an immersive experience, while enjoying the current day site of Marion Square.

"Someone would be able to come to Marion Square, hold up their smartphone or tablet and go through an augmented reality. Then moving around the square they would be able to see Horn Work," said Duncan.

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Duncan said it's an opportunity to tell people how the land we regularly see and use helped build our country.

"Essentially we can go back into history and stand in the exact spot where that feature (like the Horn Work) was. It just really brings the past to life," said Duncan.

Marion Square is just one of many sites to the Liberty Trail app. They will be featuring around 86 battleground sites in South Carolina.

The goal of both organizations is to ultimately preserve the history of the Revolutionary War though land, but if not through land then through technology and education.