The Battles along the Rivers, Mountains, and in the Deep Woods of the South that Changed the Fate of Nations
The American Revolution marked a dramatic change in the struggle for land along the southern frontier. In the colonial era, American Indian leaders and British offi cials attempted to accommodate the westward expansion of Anglo-Americans through land cessions designed to have the least impact on Indian societies. The region remained generally peaceful, but with the onset of the Revolution, the British no longer exercised sole authority to curb the settlements appearing within territory claimed by the Creeks, Shawnee, and most importantly, the Cherokee. Whether it was to escape the economic uncertainty of the east, the rigors of the confl ict, or the depredations of troops and militias on both sides, settlers fl ooded west. Under these conditions, the war in the south took on a savage character as Indians, Loyalists, and Whigs all desperately fought to defend their communities and maintain control of their own destinies. Taking advantage of the political turmoil in the east, the Cherokee Nation launched a coordinated offensive in 1776 against illegal frontier settlements. The Whigs responded with a series of expeditions from each of the Southern colonies that razed Cherokee towns and their food supplies. All the while, both British and Whig leaders walked a fi ne line: If the Indians attacked settlers without distinguishing between Loyalists and Whigs, those groups could unite and thwart both British and Indian interests; if the Indians attacked the western frontier with Loyalist and British support, the Whigs would face a two-front war—an event that ended up happening.
In Dark and Bloody Ground: The American Revolution Along the Southern Frontier, Richard Blackmon uses a wealth of primary source material to recount the confl ict between American Indians and Anglo-Americans in the colonial South during one of the most turbulent periods of North American history. He explains the complex points of contact in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia between native groups and settlers, while revealing the political gamesmanship between rival British and Whig traders and offi cials to secure Indian loyalty. The author also explains the critical role of the southern frontier to the American victory, a victory achieved long after the decision at Yorktown. Before the war, clashes between Cherokee and Shawnee hunters in Kentucky had become so commonplace that it was known as a “dark and bloody ground.” With the rise in Anglo-American settlements there, led by Daniel Boone and others, the dark and bloody ground became a metaphor for the entire struggle for the Southern frontier.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Reference Maps vi
1 Early Interrelations 1
2 Mounting Tensions 15
3 The Breaking Point 35
4 Cherokee Offensive 51
5 Whig Expeditions 75
6 The End of a Very Violent Year 94
7 An Uneasy Peace 107
8 Peace and War 129
9 The Calm before the Storm 150
10 The Two-Front War 164
11 The Changing Tides of War 177
12 Winning Battles 192
13 Keeping Up the Pressure 215
14 The Beginning of the End 232
15 1783 and Beyond 251
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Usually a book on the Revolution has very little at all on the frontier, and American Indians are barely mentioned. Here they are front and center. It was astonishing to read what an extensive role American Indians had in the South during the Revolution. It's like an entirely separate war was going on. A fascinating story told in an easy to read style.
I did not realize how complicated this subject is, and the author does a deft job of handling it in one volume. The volume is well researched. He includes some detailed and insightful analysis while filling in some sorely needed information into gaps about our history that are far too often neglected. I enjoyed this read, and recommend it to anyone more interested in a slightly different perspective on this topic than what we typically get in popular fiction, media, and the classroom.