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Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia) Paperback – July 23, 1979

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Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia) + A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens + The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas
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Editorial Reviews

Review

An informative, and readable, life-and-times study of Daniel Morgan, frontier Indian fighter, Revolutionary War general, gentleman farmer and United States congressman.--Richmond Times-Dispatch

About the Author

Don Higginbotham is Dowd Professor of History and Peace, War, and Defense at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His books include The War of American Independence, George Washington and the American Military Tradition, and War and Society in Revolutionary America.

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Product Details

  • Series: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (July 23, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807813869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807813867
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Wayne A. Smith VINE VOICE on July 2, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dan Morgan epitomizes the rough-and-ready individualist who made America.
A frontiersman from the Shennandoah Valley, Morgan knew a hard early life that steeled him for the physical challenges of his Revolutionary War service. A wagoneer in Gen. Braddock's Expedition, Morgan endured 400 lashes after tangling with a British soldier (he claimed only 399 and loved to regale listeners with the fact that he still owed the British one miscounted lash).
His physical endurance and prowess was combined with the ability to lead men and a superior ability to plan and manage battlefield tactics. He has been described as one of the Revolution's best battlefield commanders and this book gives plenty of examples to support that claim.
Morgan's service to our Republic was remarkable. Although a failure, his part in the Quebec expedition helped make possible one of the most grueling campaigns military history. Traveling overland through the spine of backwoods Maine, Morgan helped lead outnumbered American forces to a wintry showdown that could have produced a fourteenth colony in revolt against the Crown. In fact, Morgan stood at the moment of victory; had his desire to keep driving into the city after breaching its under-defended backside been followed, the city could have been captured. As it was, hesitancy on the part of other American commanders led to defeat and Morgan's capture. He had to endure a period of imprisonment until paroled.
That parole was a costly one for the British. It allowed Morgan, when exchanged, to play his decisive roles at Saratoga and Cowpens.
Morgan's ability to lead riflemen and read the battlefield was crucial to Gate's success at Saratoga (which led to French recognition, support and the resources to chance complete independence).
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Zeb on January 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Daniel Morgan, barring Benedict Arnold and Washington himself, was the most important U.S. officer of the Revolution. His riflemen were crucial in the victories at Saratoga, Bemis Heights, and Cowpens, and very nearly won at Quebec. This biography of Morgan details his life from his beginnings as a wagoner to his death in 1802 at his mansion, "Saratoga." Don Higgenbotham's work is readable and never boring, and countless primary sources are cited.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on June 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One can hardly pick up a book that has anything to do with the Revolutionary War without reading something ranging from a tidbit to several chapters on General Daniel Morgan. The significance Morgan played in the war for American independence cannot be overstated. And yet, only two biographies have been published on this heroic figure that played such an integral part in American history. This book DANIEL MORGAN: REVOLUTIONARY RIFLEMAN, by Don Higginbotham, being one of them.

It borders on travesty that General Morgan is a virtual unknown in American society and certainly unknown among anyone lacking basic knowledge of American history. Higginbotham accurately portrays Morgan as a man among men; a portrait of the rugged individualism that characterized so many of our founding generation.

Morgan, perhaps as much as Washington himself, I believe, had as much to do with winning the war for independence as any single individual. Many might disagree with that statement, but consider the outcome if Cornwallis' southern campaign had been successful. Consider the consequences if the southern revolutionary army had been annihilated. It is more than likely that there would have been a different outcome at Yorktown had it not been for the commanding leadership and battle tactics of the "Old Wagoner". It can certainly be argued that Morgan's actions at Cowpens, where he soundly gave Tarleton's light infantry a `Devil of a Whoopin', turned the tide in the south. And though he missed action at Guilford Courthouse due to illness, his same battle tactics were employed with success.

This is not one of the best books you will ever read, but considering the lack of choices on Morgan, this is a must read for knowledge on the General's life and accomplishments.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Corybant on September 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Higginbotham does a credible job of revealing Morgan's personality, character and genius as a military leader, particularly since there is little if anything known about Morgan before he appears in Winschester VA at the age of 18. The book reads fairly easily and describes the elements of the Revolution's Southern Campaign in which Morgan participated, but Higganbotham seems to have a penchant for defending Horatio Gates in a positive light I have not seen before. He seems to gloss over most of Gates's personality flaws and military errors to render him more effective than he probably was. This treatment of Gates raises the issue that face many biographers; i.e. they take a liking (or disliking)to a character and sometimes use literary license to make their points. This is the first biography I've read on Daniel Morgan, who is portrayed as a classic American hero, rising from nowhere to have a major impact on history. My interpretation of Higginbotham's characterization has me believing that without Morgan the Revolution may have been lost because Morgan's victory at the Cowpens effectively set the stage for Nathaneal Greene to later drive Cornwallis from South Carolina to Yorktown where Washington and the French conducted the final battle of the war. Stuff I love to read and talk about: unheralded heroes and certainly Morgan appears to be one of the most important in America's fight for freedom. But I have to wonder whether Higginbotham has skewed the facts about Morgan as he seemed to do with Gates. I hope not.
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Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia)
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