Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas (Real Voices, Real History)
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On February 11, 1780, a British army led by General Sir Henry Clinton came ashore on Johns Island, South Carolina. By the end of March, the British had laid siege to Charleston, the most important city south of Philadelphia. By the middle of May, they had taken the city and the American army defending it.
On March 15, 1781, that same British army left the field at Guilford Courthouse exhausted, decimated, stripped of supplies and rations, and victorious in name only. Its march away from Guilford Courthouse would end only a few months later at Yorktown, Virginia, where it would surrender.
How did this happen?
Although historians have debated the causes for centuries, they have often ignored how it felt to live, fight, and survive. What was it like to be British or American, Tory or Whig, regular soldier or militia, partisan, outlaw, or would-be bystander as the two sides (and those who drifted from side to side) went at each other with a fury across the Carolina countryside?
Through the eyewitness accounts of those who fought the battles and skirmishes Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas provides the reader with firsthand looks at how it felt. The entries in this volume are taken from first-person narratives by those on the scene, from officers such as Henry Lee and Banastre Tarleton to teenaged scouts such as Thomas Young and James Collins. Some narratives, like Daniel Morgan's report of the Battle of Cowpens, were written immediately or soon after the action; others, like Young's, were written when the boy soldiers had become old men. Some were written (and sometimes embellished) specifically for publication, while others were written as private correspondence or official reports. Some express a great deal of emotion and describe the authors' immediate experiences of war, while others concentrate on logistics, strategy, tactics, and the practical realities of an army battle; some, like Lee's, manage to do both.
The American Revolution in the Carolinas was nasty, brutish, and relatively short, though it must not have felt short to those who lived through it. It moved with a furious swiftness, the center of action shifting from Charleston to Camden, from Charlotte to King's Mountain, and from Cowpens to Guilford Courthouse in a matter of months, weeks, or sometimes days. Accounts that describe what it was actually like at all of these hot spots as well as the events that lead up to the actual fighting are included in this book. Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas gives the reader some idea of what it was like to be part of a war when two states were ripped apart but a nation was made.
95-100. The Making of a Tory Partisan From The Narrative of Colonel David Fanning1 While the Reverend William Tennent preached and exhorted in the back country, William Henry Drayton alternated attempts at persuasion with threats of force. These eventually resulted in the Treaty of Ninety-Six, in which the Provincial Congress agreed to leave back-country loyalists alone, as long as they remained neutral in the event of armed conflict. Drayton broke the treaty before he even left the back
second-in-command, Lieutenant General Charles, Earl Cornwallis, and seven regiments of British regulars. (Among these troops was unknown 22-year-old cavalry officer Banastre Tarleton.) Clinton’s target was the wealthy harbor of Charleston, not the poor backwater of North Carolina, but Royal Governor Josiah Martin—now an exile from the colonial capital and governor in title only—convinced Clinton’s superiors that North Carolina could easily be taken along the way. The plan put forward by Martin
our division came up to the northern base of the mountain, we dismounted, and Colonel Roebuck drew us a little to the left and commenced the attack. I well remember how I behaved. Ben Hollingsworth and I took right up the side of the mountain, and fought our way, from tree to tree, up to the summit. I recollect I stood behind one tree and fired till the bark was nearly all knocked off, and my eyes pretty well filled with it. One fellow shaved me pretty close, for his bullet took a piece out of
had no horsemen to follow me, and that Davidson’s army would be down at the river, and a battle would take place. Whereupon I loaded my gun, and went opposite to the Ford, and chose a large tree, sat down by it, and fired about 50 yards at the British. They fired several guns toward the place where I was; but their lead did not come nearer to me than about two rods. I will now account for the great difference between the number of the British killed and those wounded.… The water at the Ford was
retreating and the advancing army, to hover round the skirts of the latter, to seize every opportunity of striking in detail, and to retard the enemy by vigilance and judicious positions: while Greene, with the main body, hastened toward the Dan, the boundary of his present toils and dangers. The command of the light corps was offered to Brigadier Morgan, whose fitness for such service was universally acknowledged, and whose splendid success had commanded the high confidence of the general and