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The Quaker and the Gamecock: Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter, and the Revolutionary War in the South

Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter
NY Public Library
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Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter

As the newly appointed commander of the Southern Continental Army in December 1780, Nathanael Greene quickly realized victory would not only require defeating the British Army, but also subduing the region's brutal civil war. "The division among the people is much greater than I imagined, and the Whigs and the Tories persecute each other, with little less than savage fury,” wrote Greene.

Part of Greene’s challenge involved managing South Carolina's determined but unreliable Patriot militia, led by Thomas Sumter, the famed "Gamecock." Though Sumter would go on to a long political career, it was as a defiant partisan that he first earned the respect of his fellow backcountry settlers, a command that would compete with Greene for status and stature in the Revolutionary War's "Southern Campaign."

Andrew Waters, author of The Quaker and the Gamecock: Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter, and the Revolutionary War for the Soul of the South (2018, Casemate), joins Dr. Edgar to tells the story of these two wildly divergent leaders against the backdrop of the American Revolution's last gasp, the effort to extricate a British occupation force from the wild and lawless South Carolina frontier.

All Stations: Fri, Dec 13, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Dec 15, 4 pm

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.