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"P" is for Provincials

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Provincials. During the Revolution, in addition to regular British soldiers and German mercenaries, British officials organized loyal Americans into conventional fighting units commonly referred to as provincials. A provincial soldier was a volunteer subject to the same control, benefits, and hardships of a British soldier. Among the provincial units fighting in South Carolina were the South Carolina Royalists (consisting primarily of loyalists from Ninety Six District), the King’s American Legion, the British Legion, and the South Carolina Rangers (raised in the Pee Dee region). Beset by decentralized leadership, unreliable support, and the determination of the patriots, provincials were not utilized to their full potential in the conflict. With the end of hostilities, the officers and men of the various provincial units chose to relocate to Canada, Britain, or the West Indies.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.