Union County was named for the old Union Church, which served both the Presbyterian and Episcopal congregations in the area. The church was erected in 1765 near the present day town of Union, the county seat. Union County was created as a part of Ninety Six District in 1785. It was part of Pinckney District from 1791 to 1800 and became a separate district when Pinckney was dissolved in 1800. The upper part of the county later went to form Cherokee County in 1897. The early settlers in this area were mainly Scotch-Irish from Virginia and Pennsylvania, who began immigrating to the South Carolina upcountry in the 1750s. Much fighting took place here during the Revolutionary War, including the battles of Musgrove's Mill (August 18, 1780) and Blackstocks (November 20, 1780). Revolutionary leaders Thomas Brandon (1741-1802) and Joseph McJunkin (1755-1846) were from Union County, as were Confederate generals States Rights Gist (1831-1864) and William Henry Wallace (1827-1905). Secession governor William Henry Gist (1807-1874) made his home at Rose Hill Plantation in Union County, now a state park.
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