Although historians have debated the causes of the American Revolution for centuries, they have often ignored how it felt to live, fight, and survive. What was it like to be British or American, Tory or Whig, regular soldier or militia, partisan, outlaw, or would-be bystander as the two sides went at each other with a fury across the Carolina countryside?
Through eyewitness accounts of those who fought the battles and skirmishes, Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas provides the reader with firsthand looks at how it felt.
The entries in this volume are taken from first-person narratives by those on the scene, from officers such as Henry Lee and Banastre Tarleton to teenage scouts such as Thomas Young and James Collins. Some narratives, like Daniel Morgan's report of the Battle of Cowpens, were written immediately or soon after the action; others, like Young's, were written when the boy soldiers had become old men. Some were written specifically for publication, while others were written as private correspondence or official reports. Some express a great deal of emotion and describe the authors' immediate experiences of war, while others concentrate on logistics, strategy, tactics, and the practical realities of an army in battle; some, like Lee's, manage to do both.
The American Revolution in the Carolinas was nasty, brutish, and relatively short. It moved with a furious swiftness, the center of action shifting from Charleston to Camden, from Charlotte to King's Mountain, and from Cowpens to Guilford Courthouse in a matter of months, weeks, or sometimes days. Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas gives the reader some idea of what it was like to be a part of a war when two states were ripped apart but a nation was made.