Tag: South Carolina

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Thomas Sumter’s Dog Days Expedition

As Nathanael Greene retreated from Ninety Six in late June 1781, following his unsuccessful siege there, Thomas Sumter was eager to campaign in lower South Carolina. This was a stratagem the Gamecock had employed before.  Following Greene’s defeat at Hobkirk’s Hill on April 25, 1781, Sumter quickly opened a campaign against the British supply depots […]

by Andrew Waters
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The Battle of Beaufort

South Carolina, by several measures, was the most affluent and economically important pre-revolutionary British colony in North America. Largely agrarian and sparsely settled, it contained plantations that used slave labor to grow the valuable cash crops of indigo and rice for European, Caribbean, and American markets. Indigo, used to make blue dye, was one of […]

by Louis Arthur Norton
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We Have Sacrificed Our All

“We Have Sacrificed Our All.” Thus, stated eleven loyalist officers from Ninety-Six and Camden Districts of South Carolina in a petition intended for the King of England. What happened to them, and the three hundred more named in the petition, is part of the equation leading to the question of how many families lost husbands […]

by Conner Runyan
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The South Carolina backcountry in mid 1780

Its occupation by the British, the character of its inhabitants, and its flora, fauna and terrain Overall, I am of opinion that militarily the broad picture of the Revolutionary War has not markedly altered since the 1970s, but almost all interpretive works are written from an American perspective that does not always coincide with my […]

by Ian Saberton
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The Loyalist Exodus of 1778

In March 1778, several hundred South Carolina Loyalists began a march to the British province of East Florida to seek refuge from persecution and assist the British. Their successful effort threw the Whigs of South Carolina and Georgia into a panic and provided a valuable accession of military manpower to East Florida. The Loyalists’ actions […]

by Jim Piecuch
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Paddy Carr, “a honey of a Patriot”

Known primarily through a mix of fact and legend as the most notorious Patriot of the southern campaigns, Paddy Carr was also claimed to have an “amiable and benevolent” nature. As if that contradiction were not enough to create complexity of character, Carr, a stone cold killer of Tories, never swore or uttered blasphemy. Instead, […]

by Wayne Lynch
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Major James Dunlap: Was He Murdered Twice?

In January of 1781, Loyalist Maj. James Dunlap raided the Long Cane settlement in South Carolina that included the homes of notorious rebel leaders James McCall and Andrew Pickens. Among the most respected of all the Whig military men, Pickens had only renounced his parole the month before. Lord Cornwallis’s response was to send Dunlap […]

by Wayne Lynch
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Musgrove Mill State Historic Site

If early American history is your beat, a trip to Musgrove Mill State Historic Site outside of Clinton, S.C., will likely give you a fresh, first-hand perspective on the Revolutionary War and the upper South Carolina militia forces that fought in it. The Battle of Musgrove Mill, which took place on August 19, 1780, was […]

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The Monument That Never Was

Everything we know about Brig. Gen. Andrew Williamson leads to one question: Did he become a traitor to the Patriot cause—the “Arnold of the South,” or is he a scapegoat, a victim of powerful men seeking to avoid blame and censure? This is a look at a two week period following the death of Williamson. […]

by Conner Runyan
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John McClure Rallies the South

Had he made it through the war, John McClure’s name would likely draw equal fame and respect as the nation’s most celebrated southern patriots. Indeed, not only can John be considered the first officer in the field against British occupation after the disaster at Charleston in June 1780 but, without his courage and leadership, the […]

by Wayne Lynch
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Drayton’s Secret Committee and The Effigy

Eighteenth century politics remain an incredibly interesting topic. The history of the American Revolution provides a number of good examples. For instance, following the recommendations of the 1st Continental Congress in January 1775, the Provincial Congress of South Carolina decided to form a Secret Committee that would work to promote the Patriot Cause in South […]

by Wayne Lynch
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Unlucky or Inept? Gates at Camden

At the battle of Camden in August of 1780, Lord Cornwallis dealt the Americans under General Horatio Gates a shocking defeat.  Also known as the Hero of Saratoga, General Gates had recently proven a serious competitor to George Washington’s command of the Continental Army.  Because of the debate over command, the defeat drew all sorts […]

by Wayne Lynch
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Death of a Patriot at King’s Mountain

Rebuffed in his attempt to command the South Carolina militia, newly commissioned General James Williams returned to North Carolina with his small Regiment.  While there, he requested permission to recruit men for his regiment and a return to the south.  On September 8, Governor Nash of North Carolina provided him with written orders to recruit […]

by Wayne Lynch
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How General Leslie Really Died

British Lt. Gen. Alexander Leslie, 50, was burned out, ill, missed his daughter, and wanted to go home. He had arrived in South Carolina in late 1781 to command the Southern colonies. Leslie needed to ensure the security of the few enclaves the British still controlled. He had to feed not just his own army, […]

by Don Glickstein
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Loyalist Leadership in the Revolutionary South

The historical debate concerning the Loyalists in the Revolutionary South has generally focused on matters such as the Loyalists’ numbers and motivations. While these are issues deserve study, one aspect of the Loyalists’ role in the southern campaign has received far less attention: that of leadership. The British government’s “Southern Strategy” depended to a great […]

by Jim Piecuch
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Francis Marion at the Battle of Eutaw Springs

September 8, 1781 Francis Marion is best known for his leadership in the partisan war of 1780-1781, during which he and his volunteer militia harassed British troops and the Loyalist militia in South Carolina, first disrupting the British occupation of the state and later helping to clear royal forces from a considerable area. Once this […]

by Jim Piecuch
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Spring Break Road Trip – Days 5 to 7 (NC, SC, GA)

Our spring break road trip concludes the same way as the major fighting of the Revolutionary War did — in the south. The first stop is New Bern, North Carolina, to stroll the garden paths and grounds of Tryon Palace, “the place where governors ruled, legislators debated, patriots gathered and George Washington danced.” Ninety minutes […]

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