Francis Marion, Swamp Fox II

Lead: After the British victory at the Battle of Camden in August 1780, the Revolutionary cause in the South was kept alive by Partisan guerrilla groups, the most notorious of which was led by Francis Marion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After Camden the Patriots for a time could not field an Army that was able to defeat the British, therefore the cause was maintained by militia groups organized by Carolinians Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter, and Andrew Pickens, and a small unit from Virginia led by Light Horse Harry Lee. Marion was the most successful and best remembered. Before the war he was a plantation owner, of Huguenot descent, serving in the state legislature. He rose to command his own unit. At times his racial mixed band numbered in the hundreds, at others his forces dwindled to only a few dozen. They lived in the swamps of the Pee Dee River in northeastern South Carolina, sniped at the Redcoats and their Loyalist allies, attacked baggage trains, and harassed patrols.

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Francis Marion, Swamp Fox I

Lead: In 1780 the fleeting hopes of American Independence were kept alive by in the South by partisan guerrillas.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: From the opening of hostilities at Lexington and Concord in 1775 until signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the Revolution was America's longest war until the Vietnam conflict. While tension between Loyalist and Patriot sympathizers continued throughout the former colonies, active fighting for the most part had shifted to the South after 1779. First Savannah then Charleston fell and British forces under Lord Cornwallis began a series of raids into the interior culminating in the Battle of Camden, South Carolina in August, 1780. Patriot forces under the command of General Horatio Gates suffered a disastrous defeat. After that there appeared almost nothing standing in the way of ultimate victory for the British commanders.

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Benedict Arnold – II

Lead: Embittered by what he considered lack of recognition of his clearly superior leadership and bravery in battle, Benedict Arnold embarked on a course that made him the most famous traitor in American history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the fall of 1777, Connecticut native Benedict Arnold was recuperating from a serious leg injury received at the Battle of Saratoga. In that most decisive American victory in the Revolution, Arnold’s leadership had been critical, but his commander Horatio Gates and the Continental Congress were tardy in according him proper recognition. This was not the first time Arnold had felt passed over for promotion and slighted by his superiors. Nevertheless, he had earned the great admiration of George Washington and eventually Congress recognized him for his role at Saratoga and restored his rank.

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King’s Mountain III

Lead: Fleeing aroused bands of Patriot backwater men from Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina in late 1780, Major Ferguson took refuge on King’s Mountain.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Patrick Ferguson commanded the left flank of General Charles Cornwallis’ army. After defeating Patriot forces at Camden and Waxhaws, Cornwallis was attempting to eradicate resistance to the British Army in the Piedmont and mountain of North and South Carolina. Having strayed too far west of the main army, Ferguson foolishly issued a public warning against the Backwater Men, fierce and devout Scot-Irish settlers in the river valleys of Eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. The Backwater immigrants raised 2000 men and began pursuing Ferguson and his regiment of 1100 Tories. Ferguson chose to make his stand on the summit of King’s Mountain, a rocky spur of the Blue Ridge in South Carolina not far from Charlotte. The mountain rises 150 feet above its surroundings. Its slopes were forested; it was sliced with ravines leading to a summit that in 1780 was nearly treeless.

 

King’s Mountain II

Lead: The turning point of the Revolution in the American south is considered by many to be King’s Mountain. The key to the battle were the so-called “backwater men.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the late 1770s the British rightly suspected there were many loyalists in the South willing to bolster the regular army’s attempts to put down the rebellion there. What they did not reckon was there were also many who were deeply committed to the Patriot cause or at least willing to resist the British invasion. Since the outbreak of hostilities in 1775 bitter low-grade partisan warfare had divided neighbors and families throughout the Carolinas particularly in the eastern counties.

 

 

King’s Mountain I

Lead: It wasn’t a great battle, but many scholars believe the encounter at King’s Mountain marked the turning point of the American Revolution in the South.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Beginning in 1779, the main strategic thrust of the British Army shifted to the Carolinas. The Brits believed there was a rich vein of loyalist sentiment in the South that could be profitably mined. This conviction had a solid foundation. For years North and South Carolina had been ripped by low-level partisan conflict and guerilla warfare. A good number, perhaps a majority, of southern colonists, were either indifferent or openly hostile to the patriot cause. Regional, religious and political divisions, already in place by 1776, were intensified by the revolutionary shedding of blood. Partisan bands on both sides took after each other with a savage fury. The coming of British regulars made matters ever worse.

 

 

British Supporters of the American Revolution – II

Lead: During the American Revolution there was substantial and ever increasing opposition to the Crown’s efforts to bring the colonials to heel. Important leaders in that resistance were Wilkes, Rockingham and Burke.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Antagonism to the war effort tended to follow fault lines already present in British politics. On the far left, radical politician John Wilkes had for two decades sought an expansion of the rights of ordinary citizens. A MP from Aylesbury and later Middlesex, in a long career he was on occasion, forced into exile, imprisoned for libel, and condemned by Parliament, but continued to enjoy wide-spread popular support. Elected Lord Mayor of London in 1774, he used that position and membership in Parliament to advocate complete religious toleration and support for the American colonial cause.

British Supporters of the American Revolution – I

Lead: Most Americans forget that the colonies were seriously divided over the Revolution. As a matter of fact, so was Great Britain.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Some scholars have rightly called the American Revolution the second English Civil War.  While there were large British and Continental armies campaigning up and down the eastern seaboard of North America, the most intense and sometimes brutal conflict during the war years was between partisan groups. Tories and Patriots, operating out in the countryside, burned and pillaged their neighbors’ homes and farms if they were closely identified with or insufficiently supportive of one side or another. Only about half the colonists vigorously backed the cause of independence. The rest were ambivalent about the Revolution or bitterly opposed.