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Southern theater
Part of the American Revolutionary War
Cowpens.jpg
The Battle of Cowpens
Date 1775–1782
Location Virginia,North and South Carolina, Georgia, British East Florida
Result Decisive Franco/American victory, Surrender of British army at Yorktown
Belligerents
United KingdomGreat Britain United StatesUnited States
FranceFrance
Commanders
Lord Charles Cornwallis #
Sir Henry Clinton
Nathanael Greene
Horatio Gates
Benjamin Lincoln #
Strength
Approximately 8,000 regulars and militia Approximately 18,000 regulars and militia

The Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War was the central area of operations in North America in the second half of the American Revolutionary War. During the first three years of the conflict, the primary military encounters had been in the north, focused on campaigns around the cities of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. After the failure of the Saratoga campaign, the British largely abandoned operations in the Middle Colonies and pursued a strategy of pacification in the Southern Colonies.[1]

Before 1778, the southern colonies were largely dominated by Patriot-controlled governments and militias, although there was also a Continental Army presence that played a role in the defense of Charleston in 1776, suppression of Loyalist militia, and attempts to drive the British from East Florida, which remained strongly Loyalist.

The British "southern strategy" began in late 1778 with the capture of Savannah, Georgia, which was followed in 1780 by operations in South Carolina that included the defeat of two Continental Armies at Charleston and Camden. General Nathanael Greene, who took over as Continental Army commander after Camden, engaged in a strategy of avoidance and attrition against the British. The two forces fought a string of battles, most of which were tactical victories for the British. In almost all cases, however, the "victories" strategically weakened the British army by the high cost in casualties, while leaving the Continental Army intact to continue fighting. This was best exemplified by the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Several American victories, such as the Battle of Cowpens and the Battle of King's Mountain also served to weaken the overall British military strength. The culminating engagement, the Siege of Yorktown, ended with the British army's surrender, and essentially marked the end of British power in the Colonies.[2]

Contents

Early operations, 1775–1778

In Virginia, an event now known as the Gunpowder Incident took place on April 20, 1775, one day after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, an event with some parallels. Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, attempted to remove gunpowder stored in Williamsburg to an armed British ship in the James River. Dunmore saw rising unrest in the colony and was trying to deprive Virginia militia of supplies needed for insurrection. Patriot militia led by Patrick Henry forced Dunmore to pay for the gunpowder. Dunmore continued to hunt for caches of military equipment and supplies in the following months, acts that were sometimes anticipated by Patriot militia, who would move supplies before his arrival.

After the war began, Dunmore issued an emancipation proclamation in November 1775, promising freedom to runaway slaves who fought for the British. After an incident at Kemp's Landing in November where Dunmore's troops killed and captured Patriot militiamen, Patriot forces defeated Loyalist troops (which included runaway slaves) at the Battle of Great Bridge on December 9. After the defeat, Dunmore and his troops took refuge on British ships anchored off Norfolk; Dunmore bombarded and burned the town on January 1, 1776. He was driven from an island in Chesapeake Bay that summer, and never returned to Virginia.

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First attack on Charleston

Sir Henry Clinton, British commander in chief for the duration of the campaign

Crucial in any operation in retaking the South would be the possession of a port to bring in supplies and men. To this end, in June 1776, Sir Henry Clinton led an assault on Fort Sullivan at Charleston, South Carolina. Uncharacteristically, Clinton failed to order a complete reconnaissance of the area. His 2,200 men force was on Long Island (adjacent to Sullivan's Island on which the fort was positioned). He found that the channel dividing the two islands was too deep for his troops to ford.[3] Instead of re-embarking on his boats, he instead relied on the Royal Navy commander, Sir Peter Parker to reduce the fort, which became known after the war as Fort Moultrie, after its commander during this engagement, William Moultrie. However, the firepower of the British ships was unable to make an impression on the spongy palmetto logs which formed the majority of the defences of the fort, and the bombardment failed to achieve its aim.[4] It was a humiliating failure, and Clinton's campaign in the Carolinas was called off.[5] The two men argued after the engagement, each blaming the other for the failure of the assault.[5] It is argued that the South was lost by the failure to take Charleston in 1776, as it left the Loyalists unsupported for three years, while allowing the port of Charleston to serve the American cause until 1780.[6]

Failed attempts at British East Florida

Following Georgia's ouster of its royal governor in early 1776 (one consequence of which was that a small British fleet was driven off the Savannah River by Patriot militiamen from Georgia and South Carolina in the Battle of the Rice Boats), several attempts were made to defeat the British garrison that was based at Saint Augustine in British East Florida. This garrison actively supported the activities of Loyalists who fled there from Georgia and other southern states, and were responsible for raiding cattle and other supplies in southern Georgia. The first attempt was organized by Charles Lee after he took command of the Continental Army's Southern Department, but sputtered out when he was recalled to the main army. The second attempt was organized by Georgia Governor Button Gwinnett with minimal help from the new commander of the Southern Department, Robert Howe in 1777. This expedition also failed, because Gwinnett and his militia commander, Lachlan McIntosh, could not agree on anything. Some Georgia militia companies actually made it into East Florida, but they were checked in the May Battle of Thomas Creek. The last expedition was in early 1778. More than 2,000 Continentals and state militia were raised for the effort, but it also fizzled over issues of command between Howe and Georgia governor John Houstoun.[7] (There was a brief skirmish at Alligator Bridge in late June between the British and Patriot units that left Florida firmly in British hands.)

British campaign in the South

The Loyalist question

In 1778, the British once again turned their attention to the South, where they hoped to regain control by recruiting thousands of Loyalists. This assumption of support was based on the accounts of Loyalist exiles in London who had direct access to the American Secretary, George Germain.[8] Keen to recover their lands and be rewarded for their loyalty to the crown, these men realised that the best way in which to convince the British to undertake a major operation in the South would be to exaggerate the level of potential Loyalist support—as a group, they had great influence on the British ministers in London.[9] The British operated under the expectation that they would find substantial support for their actions, if only they liberated the right areas, until almost the end of the war. While in South Carolina, Cornwallis wrote in a letter to Clinton that "Our assurances of attachment from our poor distressed friends in North Carolina are as strong as ever."[10] For the most part, this assumption was incorrect, as Cornwallis began to realise as the campaign progressed.[11]

Early moves in the South

On December 29, 1778, a British expeditionary corps of 3,500 men from New York under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell captured Savannah, Georgia. He was joined in mid-January 1779 by Brigadier General Augustine Prevost, leading troops that marched up from Saint Augustine, taking over outposts along the way. Prevost assumed command of the forces in Georgia, and dispatched Campbell with 1,000 men toward Augusta with the goals of gaining control of that town and the recruitment of Loyalists.[12]

The remnants of the defense of Savannah had retreated to Purrysburg, South Carolina, about 12 miles (19 km) upriver from Savannah, where they were met by Major General Benjamin Lincoln, commander of Continental Army forces in the South. He marched most of the army from Charleston, South Carolina in a move intended to monitor and oppose Prevost. Early in February Prevost sent a few hundred men to occupy Beaufort in a move probably intended to divert Lincoln's attention from Campbell's movements; Lincoln responded by sending General Moultrie and 300 men to drive them out. The Battle of Beaufort was largely indecisive, and both contingents eventually returned to their bases.

In the meantime, Campbell had taken control of Augusta without much resistance, and Loyalists were beginning to turn out. While he enrolled more than 1,000 men over a two week period, he was powerless to prevent the defeat of a sizable number of Loyalists by Patriot militia under Andrew Pickens in the February 14 Battle of Kettle Creek, only 50 miles (80 km) from Augusta. This demonstrated to everyone in the area the limits of the British Army's ability to protect Loyalists. Campbell then quite suddenly left Augusta, apparently in response to the arrival of John Ashe and more than 1,000 North Carolina militia Lincoln sent to add to the 1,000 militia that were already across the river from Augusta in South Carolina. On the way back to Savannah Campbell turned command of his men to Augustine Prevost's brother Mark. The younger Prevost turned the tables on Ashe, who was following him south, surprising and very nearly destroying his force of 1,300 in the March 3 Battle of Brier Creek.[13]

By April, Lincoln had been reinforced by large numbers of South Carolina militia and received additional military supplies through Dutch shipments to Charleston, and decided to move toward Augusta. Leaving 1,000 men under the command of General Moultrie at Purrysburg to monitor Augustine Prevost, he began the march north on April 23. Prevost's reaction to this move was to lead 2,500 men from Savannah toward Purrysburg on April 29. Moultrie fell back toward Charleston rather than engaging, and Prevost was within 10 miles (16 km) on May 10 before he began to see resistance. Two days later he intercepted a message indicating that Lincoln, alerted to Prevost's advance, was hurrying back from Augusta to assist in the defense of Charleston. Prevost retreated to the islands southwest of Charleston, leaving an entrenched guard at Stono Ferry (near present-day Rantowles, South Carolina) to cover his retreat. When Lincoln got back to Charleston he led about 1,200 men, mostly untried militia, out after Prevost. These forces were repulsed by the British on June 20 in the Battle of Stono Ferry. The rear guard, having succeeded in its objective, abandoned that post a few days later.[14]

Defense of Savannah

In October 1779, an attempt by French and Revolutionary forces to retake Savannah was made. Under the leadership of General Lincoln with the assistance of a French naval squadron commanded by Comte d'Estaing, it was a spectacular failure, with the combined French-American forces suffering as many as 901 casualties, to the British 54.[15] The French Navy found the fortifications of Savannah possessed similar qualities to those which had defied Admiral Peter Parker at Charleston in 1776. The artillery bombardment had little effect on the defences, but unlike at Charleston where Clinton had decided against attacking Fort Moultrie by land, Estaing decided to press the assault after the naval bombardment had failed.[16] In this assault, Count Kazimierz Pułaski, the Polish commander of American cavalry, was fatally wounded.[17] With Savannah secured, Clinton could now launch a new assault on Charleston, South Carolina, where he had failed in 1776. Lincoln moved his remaining troops to Charleston to assist in the construction of its defences.[18]

Second attack on Charleston

Clinton finally moved against Charleston in 1780, blockading the harbour in March and building up about 10,000 troops in the area. His advance on the city was uncontested; the American naval commander, Commodore Abraham Whipple, scuttled five of his eight frigates in the harbour to make a boom for its defence.[19] Inside the city, General Lincoln commanded about 2,650 Continentals and 2,500 militiamen. When British Colonel Banastre Tarleton cut off the city's supply lines in victories at Moncks Corner in April and Lenud's Ferry in early May,[20] Charleston was surrounded.[21]Clinton began constructing siege lines on March 11 and commenced the bombardment of the town.[22]

On May 12, 1780, General Lincoln surrendered his 5,000 men—the largest surrender of U.S. troops until the American Civil War.[23] With relatively few casualties, Clinton had seized the South’s biggest city and seaport, winning perhaps the greatest British victory of the war and leaving the American military structure in the South in ruins. It was only when Nathanael Greene slipped past Cornwallis after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781 that the British finally lost this advantage in the South.[24]

Lord Cornwallis, who took command when Sir Henry Clinton sailed for New York

The remnants of the southern Continental Army began to withdraw toward North Carolina but were pursued by Colonel Tarleton, who defeated them at the Battle of Waxhaws on May 29. A story spread after the battle that Tarleton had massacred many Patriots after they had surrendered, whose veracity (but not consequences) are still debated among historians. “Bloody Tarleton” or "Bloody Ban" became a hated name, and “Tarleton’s quarters”—referring to his reputed lack of mercy (or “quarter”)—soon became a rallying cry. Whether or not the battle was the massacre that it was claimed, its ramifications were felt throughout the campaign. When a Loyalist militia surrendered at the end of the Battle of Kings Mountain, many of them were killed when Patriot marksmen continued to fire while shouting "Tarleton's Quarters!".[25] Tarleton later published an account of the war in which he glossed over accusations of misconduct towards American prisoners, and portrayed himself in an unabashedly positive light.[26]

Cornwallis takes command

Consequently, organized American military activity in the South collapsed. The states, however, carried on their functions, and the war was carried on by partisans such as Francis Marion. General Clinton turned over British operations in the South to Lord Cornwallis. The Continental Congress dispatched General Horatio Gates, the victor of Saratoga, to the South with a new army, but Gates promptly suffered one of the worst defeats in U.S. military history at the Battle of Camden on August 16, 1780, setting the stage for Cornwallis to invade North Carolina. At this stage in the war in the South, the American cause was at an extremely low ebb.

The tables were quickly turned on Cornwallis, however. Attempts to raise Loyalists in large numbers in North Carolina were effectively crushed when Patriot militia defeated a large force of Loyalists in the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780. The British plan to raise large Loyalist armies failed; not enough Loyalists enlisted, and those who did were at risk once the British army moved on. Kings Mountain and continuing harassment of his communications and supply lines by militia forces in South Carolina forced Cornwallis to winter in South Carolina.

Gates was replaced by George Washington's most dependable subordinate, General Nathanael Greene. Greene assigned about 1,000 men to General Daniel Morgan, a superb tactician who crushed Tarleton’s troops at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781. As he was after Kings Mountain, Cornwallis was later criticised for detaching part of his army without adequate support.[27] Greene proceeded to wear down his opponents in a series of skirmishes and military movements referred to as the "Race to the Dan" (so named because the Dan River flows close to the border between North Carolina and Virginia), where each encounter resulted in a tactical victory for the British but gave them no strategic advantage. Cornwallis, who knew that Greene had divided his forces and wanted to face either Morgan's or Greene's contingent before they could rejoin, stripped his army of all excess baggage in an effort to keep up with the fast-moving Patriots. When Greene learned of this decision, his gleeful response was "Then, he is ours!"[28] Cornwallis' lack of provisions as a consequence played a role in his later difficulties.

General Greene first engaged Cornwallis at Cowan's Ford, where he sent William Lee Davidson with 900 men. The battle was near an end when Davidson was killed in the river, after which the Americans retreated. Greene was weakened but he continued his delaying tactics, fighting a dozen more skirmishes in North and South Carolina against Cornwallis and his officers. About 2,000 British troops died in these engagements. Greene summed up his approach in a motto that would become famous: "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." His tactics have been likened to the Fabian strategy of Fabius Maximus, the Roman general who wore down the superior forces of the Carthaginian Hannibal by a slow war of attrition.[29] Greene eventually felt strong enough to face Cornwallis directly at Greensboro, North Carolina. Although Cornwallis was the tactical victor in the Battle of Guilford Court House, the casualties suffered forced him to retreat to Wilmington for resupply and reinforcement.

While Cornwallis was unable to completely destroy Greene, he recognised that most of the supplies that the American forces were relying on were coming from Virginia, a state that up to this point in the war had been relatively untouched. Against the wishes of Sir Henry Clinton, Cornwallis resolved to invade Virginia in the hopes that cutting the supply lines to the Carolinas would make American resistance there impossible.[30] This theory was supported by Lord George Germain in a series of letters that left Clinton out of the decision-making procedure for the Southern Army, despite his nominally being its overall commander.[31] Without informing Clinton, Cornwallis marched north from Wilmington into Virginia to engage in raiding operations,[32] where he eventually met the army commanded by William Phillips and Benedict Arnold that had engaged in raiding activities there.

When Cornwallis left Greensboro for Wilmington, he left the road open for Greene to begin the American reconquest of South Carolina. This he achieved by the end of June, in spite of a reverse sustained at Lord Rawdon's hands at Hobkirk's Hill (2 miles north of Camden) on April 25. From May 22 to June 19, 1781 Greene led the Siege of Ninety-Six, which he was forced to abandon when word arrived that Rawdon was bringing troops to relieve the siege. However, the actions of Greene and militia commanders like Francis Marion drove Rawdon to eventually abandon Ninety Six and Camden, effectively reducing the British presence in South Carolina to the port of Charleston. The town of Augusta, Georgia was also besieged on May 22, and fell to Patriot forces under Andrew Pickens and Harry "Light Horse" Lee on June 6, reducing the British presence in that state to the port of Savannah.

Greene then gave his forces a six weeks' rest on the High Hills of the Santee River. On September 8, with 2,600 men, he engaged British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Stewart at Eutaw Springs. Americans who fell in this battle were immortalized by American author Philip Freneau in his 1781 poem "To the Memory of Brave Americans." The battle, although tactically a draw, so weakened the British that they withdrew to Charleston, where Greene penned them during the remaining months of the war.[33]

Yorktown

Washington receives Cornwallis' sword from Charles O'Hara, from the Capitol Building in Washington

On arrival in Virginia, Cornwallis took command of the existing British forces in the region, which had been commanded first by turncoat Benedict Arnold and then by Major General William Phillips. Phillips, a good personal friend of Cornwallis, died two days before Cornwallis reached his position at Petersburg.[34] Having marched without informing Clinton of his movements (communications between the two British commanders was by sea and extremely slow, sometimes up to three weeks),[35] Cornwallis sent word of his northward march and engaged in destroying American supplies in the Chesapeake region.

In March 1781, in response to the threat of Arnold and Phillips, General Washington had dispatched the Marquis de Lafayette to defend Virginia. The young Frenchman had 3,200 men at his command, but British troops in the state totalled 7,200.[36] Lafayette skirmished with Cornwallis, avoiding a decisive battle while gathering reinforcements. It was during this period that Cornwallis received orders from Clinton to choose a position on the Virginia Peninsula—referred to in contemporary letters as the "Williamsburg Neck"—and construct a fortified naval post to shelter ships of the line.[37] In complying with this order, Cornwallis put himself in a position to become trapped. With the arrival of the French fleet under the Comte de Grasse and General George Washington's combined French-American army, Cornwallis found himself cut off. After the Royal Navy fleet under Admiral Thomas Graves was defeated by the French at the Battle of the Chesapeake, and the French siege train arrived from Newport, Rhode Island, his position became untenable. He surrendered to General Washington and the French commander the Comte de Rochambeau on October 19, 1781.

Cornwallis reported this disaster to Clinton in a letter which opened:

I have the mortification to inform Your Excellency that I have been forced to give up the posts of York and Gloucester and to surrender the troops under my command by capitulation, on the 19th instant, as prisoners of war to the combined forces of America.[38]

Consequences

With the surrender at Yorktown, the full participation of French forces in that battle, and the resulting loss of Cornwallis' army, the British war effort ground to a halt. The sole remaining British army of any size remaining in America was that under Sir Henry Clinton in New York. Clinton, paralysed by the defeat, made no further action until his eventual replacement by Carleton in 1782.[39] Such a shocking reversal in fortune, coming as it had on the back of a rare naval defeat, served to increase the shift in British popular opinion against the war. The North Ministry collapsed, and no further major operation on the American continent occurred for the rest of the war. Many historians contend that while Saratoga started the decline of British fortunes in the Revolution, Yorktown was its death knell.

Notes

  1. ^ Hibbert, C, Rebels and Redcoats, p. 235
  2. ^ Roberts, The New Penguin History of the World, p. 723
  3. ^ Bicheno, H: Rebels and Redcoats, p.158
  4. ^ Hibbert, C: Rebels and Redcoats, p.106
  5. ^ Bicheno, H: Rebels and Redcoats, p.154, 158
  6. ^ Coleman, K: A History of Georgia, pp.77-78
  7. ^ Germain letters, Clements Library, University of Michigan
  8. ^ Ritcheson, C, "Loyalist Influence on British Policy Toward the United States After the American Revolution", Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1. (Autumn, 1973), p. 6, Jstor link
  9. ^ Letter from Cornwallis to Clinton, August 6th 1780, Clinton Papers, Clements Library, University of Michigan
  10. ^ Wickwire, Cornwallis, the American Adventure, p.315
  11. ^ Morrill (1993), pp. 46–47
  12. ^ Morrill (1993), pp. 48–50
  13. ^ Morrill (1993), pp. 53–54
  14. ^ Hibbert, C, Rebels and Redcoats, p.246
  15. ^ Hibbert, C, Rebels and Redcoats, p.245
  16. ^ Rodgers, T, "Siege of Savannah During the American Revolutionary War", Military History, March 1997, p.6 HistoryNet resource
  17. ^ Bicheno, H: Rebels and Redcoats, p.166
  18. ^ Bicheno, H: Rebels and Redcoats, p.171
  19. ^ Wickwire, Cornwallis, the American Adventure, p.131
  20. ^ Hibbert, C, Rebels and Redcoats, p.266
  21. ^ The Siege of Charleston; Journal of Captain Peter Russell, December 25, 1779, to May 2, 1780, The American Historical Review, Vol. 4, No. 3. (Apr., 1899), pp. 490 Jstor link
  22. ^ Boatner, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, p.213
  23. ^ Mackey, The War for America, 1964
  24. ^ Wickwire, Cornwallis, the American Adventure, p.258.
  25. ^ Tarleton, A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America, 1784
  26. ^ Clinton, H, The American Rebellion 1783
  27. ^ Morrill (1993), p. 140
  28. ^ Livy, ad Urbe Cond. xii, xviii
  29. ^ Cornwallis, An Answer to Sir Henry Clinton's Narrative. Cornwallis wrote this pamphlet shortly after the war in explanation of his actions.
  30. ^ Cornwallis Correspondence, Public Record Office
  31. ^ Clinton, H, The American Rebellion. This lack of notification was one of Sir Henry Clinton's main arguments in his own defence in the controversy that followed the surrender at Yorktown.
  32. ^ Bicheno, 2001. Bicheno strongly emphasises that Cornwallis' absence from the South made the American reconquest merely a matter of time.
  33. ^ Wickwire, Cornwallis, The American Adventure, 1970
  34. ^ Cornwallis Papers, Public Record Office the dates of receipt throughout this period of the war are usually two to three weeks after the date of dispatch
  35. ^ Cornwallis, C, An Answer to the Narrative of Sir Henry Clinton, appended table.
  36. ^ Clinton to Cornwallis, June 15th, 1781, Cornwallis Papers, Public Record Office
  37. ^ Cornwallis to Clinton, 20th October, 1781, Cornwallis Papers, Public Record Office
  38. ^ Wientraub, Iron Tears', 2005

References

  • Bicheno, H: Rebels and Redcoats: The American Revolutionary War, London, 2003
  • Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. New York: McKay, 1966; revised 1974. ISBN 0-8117-0578-1.
  • Buchanan, John, The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas (1999)
  • Clement, R: “The World Turned Upside down At the Surrender of Yorktown”, Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 92, No. 363 (Jan. - Mar., 1979), pp. 66–67
  • Crow, Jeffrey J. and Larry E. Tise, eds. The Southern Experience in the American Revolution (1978)
  • Evans-Hatch Associates, Southern Campaigns of the Revolutionary War, National Park Service, June 2005
  • Halstead, C: The Loyalists in the American Revolution, Gloucester MA, 1959
  • Harvey, R: A Few Bloody Noses: The American War of Independence, London, 2001
  • Hibbert, C: Rebels and Redcoats: The American Revolution Through British Eyes, London, 2001,
  • Lumpkin, Lumpkin. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South (2000)
  • Mackesy, P: The War for America, London, 1964
  • Morrill, Dan (1993). Southern campaigns of the American Revolution. Nautical & Aviation Publishing. ISBN 1877853216. 
  • Peckham, H: The War for Independence, A Military History, Chicago, 1967
  • Rankin, Hugh F. North C, arolina in the American Revolution (1996)
  • Roberts, H: The Penguin History of the World, Penguin, 2004
  • Sherman, William Thomas: Calendar and Record of the Revolutionary War in the South: 1780-1781, 2008
  • Syrett, D: "The British Armed Forces in the American Revolutionary War: Publications, 1875-1998”, The Journal of Military History, Vol. 63, No. 1. (January, 1999), pp. 147–164,
  • Valentine, A: Lord George Germain, Oxford, 1962,
  • Ward, H: The American Revolution: Nationhood Achieved 1763-1788, New York, 1995,
  • Weintraub, S: Iron Tears, Rebellion in America 1775-1783, London, 2005,
  • Wickwire, F: Cornwallis, The American Adventure, Boston, 1970,
  • Willcox, W: Portrait of a General, Sir Henry Clinton in the War of Independence, New York, 1964,

Further reading

  • Alden, John R. The South in the Revolution, 1763–1789. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1957.
  • Cashin, Edward J. William Bartram and the American Revolution on the Southern Frontier. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2000. ISBN 1-57003-325-0.
  • Chidsey, Donald Barr. The War in the South: the Carolinas and Georgia in the American Revolution, an Informal History. New York: Crown Publishers, 1969.
  • Coker, P. C., III. Charleston's Maritime Heritage, 1670-1865: An Illustrated History. Charleston, S.C.: Coker-Craft, 1987. 314 pp.
  • Crow, Jeffrey J. and Larry E. Tise, eds. The Southern Experience in the American Revolution. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1978. ISBN 0-8078-1313-3.
  • Eckenrode, H. J. The Revolution in Virginia. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1964.
  • Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: the American Revolution in the South. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1981. ISBN 0-87249-408-X.
  • O'Donnell, James H. Southern Indians in the American Revolution. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1973. ISBN 0-87049-131-8.
  • Selby, John E. The Revolution in Virginia, 1775–1783. Williamsburg, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 1988. ISBN 0-87935-075-X.
  • Thayer, Theodore. Nathanael Greene: Strategist of the American Revolution. 1960.

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