The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The British Campaign to Regain the Carolinas, 1780-81

Overview

A brilliant account of the proud and ferocious American fighters who stood up to the British forces in savage battles crucial in deciding both the fate of the Carolina colonies and the outcome of the war.

"A tense, exciting historical account of a little known chapter of the Revolution, displaying history writing at its best."—Kirkus Reviews

"His compelling narrative brings readers closer than ever before to the reality of Revolutionary warfare in the Carolinas."—Raleigh News & Observer.

"Buchanan makes the ...

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Overview

A brilliant account of the proud and ferocious American fighters who stood up to the British forces in savage battles crucial in deciding both the fate of the Carolina colonies and the outcome of the war.

"A tense, exciting historical account of a little known chapter of the Revolution, displaying history writing at its best."—Kirkus Reviews

"His compelling narrative brings readers closer than ever before to the reality of Revolutionary warfare in the Carolinas."—Raleigh News & Observer.

"Buchanan makes the subject come alive like few others I have seen." —Dennis Conrad, Editor, The Nathanael Greene Papers.

"John Buchanan offers us a lively, accurate account of a critical period in the War of Independence in the South. Based on numerous printed primary and secondary sources, it deserves a large reading audience." —Don Higginbotham, Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A sweeping yet richly detailed history of the American Revolution in the Carolinas, chronicling the 178081 campaign of British forces to reclaim those two colonies.

Buchanan (former archivist at Cornell and the Metropolitan Museum of Art) reminds us that the war for the southern colonies, a struggle "long, bloody, and obstinate," was of crucial importance to the revolution's outcome, yet it has received less attention than some of the northern campaigns. Determined to regain the rich Carolina farmland, the British, under Lord Cornwallis, combined their forces with considerable numbers of local Tories. They eventually captured Charleston and destroyed the American forces at the battle of Camden (largely because of the inept leadership of General Horatio Gates). Tarleton's hated British Legion rode roughshod over the countryside, launching repeated swift, brutal attacks against civilians and militias, burning homes, confiscating livestock, and hanging some who resisted. The violence only rekindled opposition among Carolinians, who flocked to such ingenious guerrilla chiefs as Thomas Sumter, Dan Morgan, and Francis (the "Swamp Fox") Marion. Their groups constantly harassed both the crack British regulars and the Tory militia. Buchanan vigorously describes the nature of guerrilla warfare in the South, and traces the series of skirmishes waged by rejuvenated American forces, culminating in the great American victory at Kings Mountain.The battles of Cowpens and Guilford Court House, although technically victories for the British, proved to be the last gasp for the Crown's badly damaged forces. Buchanan provides fine sketches of the many remarkable men who fought on both sides during the campaign, and vivid descriptions of 18th-century warfare.

A tense, exciting historical account of a little-known chapter of the Revolution, displaying history writing at its best.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471164029
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.47 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN BUCHANAN is a popular historian who was an archivist at Cornell University and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. During his nearly three decades on the staff of the museum, he was, for twenty-two years, chief registrar in charge of worldwide art movements. He lives with his wife in New York City.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Prologue: Charleston 1
1 The Battle of Sullivan's Island 3
2 The Rice Kings 17
3 Southern Strategy 25
4 The Approach March 34
5 Charleston Besieged 44
6 The Rise of Banastre Tarleton 58
7 Into the Back Country 73
8 Hearts and Minds 90
9 Trouble in the Back Country 104
10 More Trouble in the Back Country 122
11 A Hero Takes Charge 142
12 The Battle of Camden 157
13 The Partisans Fight On 173
14 The Rise of Patrick Ferguson 194
15 To Catch Ferguson 208
16 King's Mountain 225
17 Retreat and Turmoil 242
18 A General from Rhode Island 260
19 The Stage is Set 276
20 Tarleton Pursues Morgan 296
21 Cowpens 319
22 Bayonets and Zeal 334
23 Patience and Finesse 359
24 Guilford Courthouse: "Long, Obstinate, and Bloody" 372
The Major Characters in Order of Appearance and What Happened to Them 384
Notes 402
A Select and Annotated Bibliography 429
Index 437
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