Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Eutaw Springs: The Final Battle of the American Revolution's Southern Campaign

Eutaw Springs: The Final Battle of the American Revolution's Southern Campaign
by Robert M. Dunkerly

  This hard fought battle has been over shadowed by the victory at Yorktown.  When written about it had usually been dismissed as a near victory by Nathaniel Greene who lost only when his troops dissolved into a mob after looting the British camp.  The battlefield itself has long thought to be submerged under flooded lake Marion.  But no more. Robert Dunkerly  in this new book has rescued the Battle from obscurity and given us a excellent account of one of the  hardest fought actions of the war.

Fought between American General Nathaniel Greene's Southern Army of Continental and local militia and State forces and British General Alexander Stewart's mix regular and loyalist force on 8 September 1781 outside Charleston South Carolina.  The Americans had an slight advantage in numbers (about 2,000 to 1300) and especially cavalry ((200 to 60).  The battle started with the Americans capturing a unarmed  foraging party of about three hundred men.  Greene used his militia and State regiments to engage the British line first, and  then his continental went in and broke the British.  As the British fell back, the New York Volunteers created a Chew house type defense in a barricaded building, while the flank companies under Major Marjabanks held the flank giving the British a chance to rally.  Greene's exhausted veterans fell back and the Battle was over.  Stewart later said if he had had more cavalry he could have routed the Americans.

   Controversy plagued its history and myth making  distorted the fighting.  Friends and enemies attacked and defended Henry "Light Horse" Lee's actions that day.  Did Greene's army dissolve into a mob while over running the British camp? Or was that an excuse?  And what of the battlefield ?  Was it really submerged under lake Marion?

  The author has researched the battle and located numerous primary accounts.  He reconstructed the Battle based on topography, first person accounts and archeological finds.  There are very good maps and excellent order of battles.  In short a great find for miniature gamers wanting to re fight this battle.  I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.

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