South Carolina and the American Revolution: A Battlefield History Hardcover – 30 Nov 2002
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"Gordon has provided historians and American Revolution enthusiasts with a wonderful guide to the battles fought in South Carolina. His prose is clear and concise, and his arguments are well-defined and supported." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
John W. Gordon is a professor of national security affairs at the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico. Virginia, Formerly a professor of history and clean of undergraduate studies at The Citadel, he is the author of The Other Desert War: British Special Forces in North Africa, 1940-1943. Gordon lives in northern Virginia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Even in the southern campaign, knowledge is often limited to the major events such as Cowpens and the siege of Charleston. Gordon lends meticulous insight and detail to countless lesser known events of the south. Closely examined here are details concerning the three fronts of attack in South Carolina; British Naval forces in the east, Cherokee Indians in the west, and Tory loyalists throughout the state.
If you are a southern campaign enthusiast, I believe this book gives the best overall insight to the South Carolina battles of all the endless array of books previously written on the subject. Gordon writes with a fluidity often missing from battlefield narratives. The book flows extremely well and even learned students of the southern campaign will gain an abundance of information from this fine work.
This is far more than simply a reference guide to South Carolina battles, though it serves that purpose well also. Gordon goes on to present his arguments in rich detail and substantiate those arguments with well defined critical factual elements. As you would expect from a book of this magnitude, there is also a wonderful bibliography and footnotes for enhanced further study.
He covers all major and many smaller battles that occurred from 1775-1783. He also mentions loyalists and shows that they were more than a small force in the state. Which is gratifying for us who study Loyalists as the main focus.
If you like good military history, but do not mind several minor errors, this is a fine book for you. This book does not get much into the politics and stays on course with the soldiers who fought for and against Independence.
Of course none of this would be particularly relevant if this book were the poorly written "breezy account" that a previous reviewer suggested it was. As a military officer I've read more than my fair share of military histories over the past few decades, and I can tell you this is one of the better books I've read.
I found Dr. Gordon's assertions that "South Carolina was more a civil war than the one formally called that eighty years later" and "it was fought also to settle old scores or to best rivals" to be of particular interest given our current involvement abroad (every generation likes to think it is facing unprecedented challenges.)
Dr. Gordon's account of the Cherokee involvement on the British side and the long term damage it did to the loyalist cause was especially informative. It showed the dangers of making common cause with the wrong allies and the importance of perception when waging a counter-insurgency.
My advice - if you are looking for an interesting book on the part played by South Carolina during the revolution...don't skip it.