Most of us are familiar with the role that North and South Carolina played in the American Civil War: if nothing else, every grade-schooler knows the significance of the 1861 bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. But to popular historian John Buchanan
, "that tragedy is of far less interest than the American Revolution. The Revolution was the most important event in American history. The Civil War was unfinished business." And the Carolinas, Buchanan convincingly argues, were the most critical theater in that conflict, with their wild Back Country seeing "a little-known but savage civil war far exceeding anything in the North."
The Road to Guilford Courthouse is no less than a tour de force of pop military scholarship, an exhaustive battle-by-battle account of the Crown's grinding march to wrest the Carolinas from the resourceful Rebels. Beginning with Colonel William Moultrie's valiant defense atop the palmetto ramparts of Fort Sullivan against an outnumbering force of British men-of-war to the final "long, obstinate, and bloody" exchange at Guilford Courthouse, Buchanan meticulously recounts each skirmish, battle, and shift of strategy in the campaign. Relying on copious primary and secondary sources, he brings the combatants to life, from the worthy but somewhat obscure, such as Nathanael Greene, whom George Washington considered to be his successor should he fall, to soon-to-be legends such as Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. --Paul Hughes
This outstanding popular military history covers the American Revolution in North and South Carolina. More divided than any other region between patriot and Tory, the Carolinas were the scene of a two-year British campaign (1780^-81) to raise the country for the crown. Lord Cornwallis began well by taking Charleston but subsequently found himself facing an assortment of American generals who could not win but refused to submit. Cornwallis was also hindered as much as helped by the Tories, whose militia efforts were never as successful as those of their patriot counterparts. Eventually, lack of supplies rather than actual defeat drove Cornwallis into Virginia and on the road to Yorktown. Buchanan writes with superlative clarity and considerable wit, providing character sketches better than many novelists', while maintaining balance in judgment and thoroughness in research (the annotated bibliography is valuable to beginning and entrenched students of the Revolution alike). Altogether, an accomplishment of the same high order as Robinson's Good Year to Die
(1995) and McPherson's Civil War historiography. Roland Green
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.