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“P” is for partisans

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“P” is for partisans. After the fall of Charleston in May 1780, bands of partisans, or irregular soldiers, sprang up to fight royal control of South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. Under the leadership of commanders such as Thomas Sumter and Francis Marion, partisan forces began to make significant gains against the enemy. One of the key factors in the partisans’ success was their mobility as they were by and large inseparable from their horses and were able to ride swiftly into and out of conflict and harass the enemy whenever and wherever possible. Primarily frontiersmen, they were well trained with the weapons and tactics required for unconventional warfare. By the end of 1780 practically all of the resources of the British army in South Carolina were engaged in fighting partisan forces in portions of the state.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson 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.