Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the American Revolution

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9780380977604: Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the American Revolution

In 1779, the British set in motion a war strategy designed to finally subdue the rebellious American colonies with a minimum of additional time, effort, and blood. Setting sail from New York harbor with an army Of 8,500 ground troops, a powerful British fleet swung south toward Seabrook Island, thirty miles below Charleston, South Carolina. One year later, Charleston had fallen. And as King George's forces pushed relentlessly inland and upward, it appeared certain the six-year-old colonial rebellion was doomed to defeat.

In a stunning work of forgotten history, acclaimed historian Walter Edgar takes the American Revolution far beyond Lexington and Concord to re-create the pivotal months in a nations savage struggle for freedom. Gripping, fascinating, and meticulously researched, Edgar's masterful history captures the heat, the fury, and the intense human drama of the ruthless South Carolina campaign. It is a story of military brilliance and devastating blunders -- and the courage of an impossibly outnumbered force of demoralized patriots who suffered terribly at the hands of a merciless enemy, yet slowly gained confidence through a series of small triumphs that convinced them their war could be won.

Alive with incident and color, Partisans and Redcoats presents unforgettable portraits of real-life heroes and villains, Britons and Americans alike, as it chronicles two remarkable years in the fiery birth of a nation. It is the story of an enemy invasion of the Carolina backcountry that sparked nothing less than the first American civil war-when neighbor battled neighbor, Tory fought Rebel, and families were sundered from within.

Rich with tales of bravery and personal sacrifice, this monumental work casts a brilliant light on one of the most important yet unsung eras in U.S. history Walter Edgar confirms his standing as one of the Souths most distinguished historians by bringing a truly epic conflict out of the shadows, celebrating the fortitude and great deeds of ordinary men and women, and illuminating the dark nature of war itself.

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Review:

Though sometimes underestimated in standard histories, the American South was of critical importance as a theater of battle in the Revolutionary War. When the revolution broke out, historian Walter Edgar writes, South Carolina was far and away the richest of the American colonies. Charleston's wealth was more than six times that of Philadelphia, and its sparsely settled interior was a seemingly inexhaustible source of timber, cotton, and other prized goods. The war came early to this valuable terrain, first in the form of open combat between Whigs and Tories, then with the arrival of a large British task force that seized Charleston and other ports. As Edgar writes, the British and their loyalist allies then set about trying to tame the rebellious backcountry through a campaign of terror and atrocity so severe that, he maintains, leaders such as Lord Cornwallis and Banastre Tarleton deserve to be considered war criminals in the modern sense. Under their orders, civilians were assassinated and military prisoners summarily executed, farms and villages put to the torch, crops destroyed, and livestock slaughtered.

That campaign was ultimately unsuccessful, for instead of terrorizing the Scots- Irish settlers into submission, it galvanized resistance against British rule. That resistance, Walter Edgar concludes in this useful study, helped assure colonial independence. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Walter Edgar has authored or edited nine books on the American South, including South Carolina: A History. He is the George Washington Distinguished Professor of History at the University of South Carolina.

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Edgar, Walter B.
Editore: William Morrow (2001)
ISBN 10: 0380977605 ISBN 13: 9780380977604
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Edgar, Walter B.
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