The French Cavalryman

   “Colonel Armand’s dragoons and militia displayed a good countenance, but were soon borne down by the rapid charge of the legion. The chase again commenced…” So wrote British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton in his work, “A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781, in the Southern Provinces of North America” regarding his pursuit of retreating American militiamen from the disastrous battlefield at Camden, SC in August 1780, and the gallant effort of one Patriot cavalry commander, a foreign officer, who sought desperately to reform the panicked militia and make a stand. He was Lieutenant Colonel Charles Armand Tuffin, Marquis de la Rouerie.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Armand

   French by birth, Armand was one of many European soldiers to come to America in the 1770’s with hopes of obtaining high ranking commissions in the fledgling Continental Army during the Revolution. Arriving in 1776, Armand’s service in the war would generally become overshadowed by that of his more famous countryman, the younger Marquis de Lafayette, who would arrive a year later.

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Prelude to Guilford Courthouse: Weitzel’s Mill

This March brings the 241st Anniversary of the pivotal battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC. While this battle is of immense importance to the Southern Campaign, several smaller battles leading up to it have been largely overlooked. Through February and early March of 1781, detachments of the American and British armies maneuvered across the modern-day counties of Alamance, Guilford, Orange, Chatham, and Caswell. The is the third in a series of three articles.  

            The last of the skirmishes occurred at Weitzel’s Mill, also spelled as Wetzel’s, and Wiley’s. Cornwallis was becoming more determined to strike at the Americans to either force a general battle, which he felt his veteran army could win, or destroy the isolated detachments operating near him. 

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Prelude to Guilford Courthouse: Clapp’s Mill

This March brings the 241st Anniversary of the pivotal battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC. While this battle is of immense importance to the Southern Campaign, several smaller battles leading up to it have been largely overlooked. Through February and early March of 1781, detachments of the American and British armies maneuvered across the modern-day counties of Alamance, Guilford, Orange, Chatham, and Caswell. The is the second in a series of three articles.  

            Pyle’s Defeat on February 25, 1781 was a public relations disaster for the British. The next skirmish fought between the opposing forces was at Clapp’s Mill on March 2nd and has also been called the Battle of Alamance. On February 27th, Cornwallis’ army moved from Hillsborough to the Haw River, camping on the south side of Alamance Creek at an important crossroads.

Continue reading “Prelude to Guilford Courthouse: Clapp’s Mill”

Prelude to Guilford Courthouse: Pyle’s Defeat

This March brings the 241st Anniversary of the pivotal battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC. While this battle is of immense importance to the Southern Campaign, several smaller battles leading up to it have been largely overlooked. Through February and early March of 1781, detachments of the American and British armies maneuvered across the modern-day counties of Alamance, Guilford, Orange, Chatham, and Caswell. This is the first of a series of three articles.

Having unsuccessfully chased General Nathaniel Greene’s small, ragged army across North Carolina, British forces under Lord Charles Cornwallis moved to the state capital at Hillsborough to announce their liberation of the state and call Loyalists to come forward and support them. Greene’s army retreated across the Dan River into Virginia, where he awaited supplies and reinforcements.

Continue reading “Prelude to Guilford Courthouse: Pyle’s Defeat”

“Rev War Revelry” Stays in South Carolina…

After last week’s riveting discussion on the pivotal battle of Kings Mountain, Emerging Revolutionary War decided to stay in the Palmetto State again this week. We have two special guests and historians joining “Rev War Revelry” so set a reminder to tune in on this Sunday, on our Facebook page, at 7pm EST.

From the American Battlefield Trust Catherine Noyas will join the revelry and discuss land acquisition in regards to the American Revolution around Camden, including the new visitor center that will open in spring 2021. She will give highlights on the work being done and the history behind the various initiatives.

From the South Carolina Battlefield Preservation Trust comes historian Doug Bostick. Their mission coalesces with the American Battlefield Trust with the shared goal of preserving the hallowed ground of the Palmetto State. Along with promoting the military history of the state as well.

There will also be mention of the Liberty Trail, so tune in to learn more about that program as well!

We hope you can join us for a chat on preservation, interpretation, and military history on Sunday evening.

“Rev War Roundtable with ERW” Heads to South Carolina (Virtually)

Join Emerging Revolutionary War this Sunday, at 7p.m. EST on our Facebook page as we head, virtually, down to South Carolina to discuss the importance of that colony/state in the American Revolution.

Most are familiar with the larger engagements, such as Cowpens and Kings Mountain or maybe the massacre at the Waxhaws. How about the Siege of Charleston, or the battles of Ninety-Six, or the countless other engagements that made the Palmetto State (which got its nickname from this era) one of the most hotly contested areas of the entire conflict.

Joining the “Rev War Revelry” will be ERW historians Vanessa Smiley, former Chief of Interpretation and Education at the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution National Park Group, which includes Cowpens, Kings Mountain, and Ninety-Six and Bert Dunkerly, former park ranger at Kings Mountain and author of a few histories on South Carolina in the Revolutionary War topics.

We look forward to seeing you for our sojourn into the Southern Theater this Sunday. Oh, and remember to grab your favorite brew for the trip!

The Southern Theater of the American Revolution | American ...
Battle of Cowpens
(courtesy of ABT)

“Judiciously Designed and Vigorously Executed”: The March to the Dan River

Emerging Revolutionary War welcomes back guest historian Daniel T. Davis. 

Last month, I heard Emerging Revolutionary War co-founder Phill Greenwalt remark “when you think about retreats, victory is a word that doesn’t come to mind.” The period of January 18 to February 14, 1781 is the exception to the rule. During this time frame, the American army under Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene and the British under Charles, Lord Cornwallis, marched across the backcountry of the Carolinas. Known as the “Race to the Dan”, this episode between the engagements at Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse, is a largely forgotten but consequential even in the Southern Campaign of 1781.

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The Dan River (courtesy of Rob Orrison)

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Rise and Fight Again for Southern Revolutionary History

From our friends at American Battlefield Trust (ABT). To learn more about the ABT, click here.

ABT

At stake are 31 acres associated with two Southern Campaign Revolutionary War battlefields, Hanging Rock in South Carolina and Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina.

At Hanging Rock, generous battlefield preservationists like you have already secured 141 acres. These 30 acres in the part of the battlefield where the initial Patriot attack began will add significantly to the land we have saved there already.

At Guilford Courthouse, the half-acre tract at stake may be small, but it’s part of a larger strategy to deal with the modern development crowding in on this battlefield from all points of the compass. Our plan is to buy up plots of battlefield land – including small ones and those with non-historic structures on them like this one – remove all non-historic structures and restore the battlefield. The Guilford Courthouse National Military Park has generously agreed to take responsibility for demolishing and removing the house on this plot, a considerable cost that we would typically need to cover. Continue reading “Rise and Fight Again for Southern Revolutionary History”

Announcement: Tours of Camden Battlefield and Hobkirk’s Hill

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From our friends at the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution comes this announcement of a Corps of Discovery tour that will cover the battles mentioned above. Led by historians David P. Reuwer and Charles B. Baxley, this comprehensive tour will be held on May 4, 2019.

Joining Reuwer and Baxley will be Dr. Tray Dunaway who will talk about the restoration forestry that has taken place at Camden Battlefield that has returned the field to the approximate look it did during the battle in August 1780. Also part of the day will be the historians guiding the tour of Hobkirk’s Hill, which includes Bill Denton, Rick Wise, Tom Oblak, and Guy Wallace.

Updates on the Historic Camden Foundation and the Liberty Trail will be part of the day as well which will start at 10:00 a.m. at the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site and conclude at around 4:00 p.m. after the touring of Hobkirk’s Hill.

The tours are free and more information about the day can be found here.

Hope you can join our friends and fellow historians in South Carolina on May 4th!

 

Upcoming Lectures, Talks, and/or Events

With autumn just around the corner, cooler weather on the horizon, and the holidays quickly approaching. Some stores in the local area have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations all for sale currently, Emerging Revolutionary War wanted to bring your attention to a few different Revolutionary War Era happenings to mark on your calendars.  Continue reading “Upcoming Lectures, Talks, and/or Events”