» » The Southern Strategy
The Southern Strategy by David K. Wilson
ISBN: 1570035733
ISBN13: 978-1570035739
Author: David K. Wilson
Book title: The Southern Strategy
Other Formats: lit doc lrf azw
Pages: 341 pages
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (May 30, 2005)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1106 kb
Size ePub version: 1412 kb
Size fb2 version: 1452 kb
Category: Americas

America's popular memory of the Revolutionary War casts New England minutemen facing off against redcoats at Concord Bridge and George Washington's frostbitten soldiers huddled together at Valley Forge, but David K. Wilson's new study challenges the generally accepted notion that the war was fought primarily in the North. Recalling that the ramparts of Savannah were no less bloodstained than Bunker Hill and the siege of Charleston no less important than the battle for New York, Wilson considers the waging of war in the southern colonies during the critical and often overlooked period from 1775 to the spring of 1780. He suggests that the paradox of the British defeat in 1781 - after Crown armies had crushed all organized resistance in South Carolina and Georgia - makes sense only if one understands the fundamental flaws in what modern historians label Britain's "Southern Strategy." Wilson closely examines battles and skirmishes in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia to coristruct a comprehensive military history of the American Revolution in the South through May 1780. A cartographer and student of geography, Wilson includes detailed, original battle maps and orders of battle for each engagement. Appraising the strategy and tactics of the most significant conflicts, he tests the thesis that the British could raise the manpower they needed to win the war in the South by tapping a vast reservoir of southern Loyalists. According to Wilson, the policy was flawed in both its conception and execution. The sheer amount of empirical data Wilson has amassed here distinguishes this work and makes Wilson's recounting an invaluable guide to the war in the South.

Books reviews
Pretty good account.
Enjoyed. Very good book. Will reread.
In my humble opinion, "The Southern Strategy" is one of the best American Revolutionary books I have read in some time. The narrative flows smoothly and is scholarly without being a dry read.

Among the engagements covered in the book include:

1. Great Bridge VA
2. Moore's Creek Bridge NC
3. Charleston SC
4. Savannah GA
5. Briar Creek GA
6. Stono Ferry SC
7. Waxhaws SC

In addition to the engagements listed above, Wilson also studies the British strategy of hopefully enlisting several Loyalists in the South to help win the Revolution. While the British did have some success, they ultimately failed.

I enjoyed reading about some Revolutionary War battles in the South other than the ones you can normally read about in other books: Guilford Courthouse, Cowpens, Kings Mountain, and Yorktown.

There were plenty of well-detailed maps and great casualty summaries for each battle.

Whether you are an historian or just interested in American history, I highly recommend the book. Read and enjoy!
The Southern Strategy is a thorough and refreshing depiction of Britain's attempt to conquer the southern colonies between 1775 and 1780. The author explores the false assumptions of wide-spread loyalist support in the south that dictated British strategy. The book traces the combat operations that were undertaken from the early days of the Revolution through the controversial Battle at Waxhaws. Other authors have covered these events in superficial detail with most attention being paid to the latter campaigns that include Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse. Wilson's narrative ties these early engagements together to illustrate Britain's continuing failure to develop a sound and effective strategy in the south.

The author's research is impressive and the engagements are examined in great detail. One example is the Battle for the Great Bridge in 1775. Wilson provides an excellent map and remarkable order of battle. This event has received scant attention in other works. Likewise, the Battle of Sullivan's Island in 1776 is presented with exceptional detail. The reader can clearly deduce that this early American victory was not achieved through tactical skill, the strength of the island fort or superior patriot strategy but due to poor British planning and coordination. Such a perspective is difficult to grasp in other depictions due to shallow research. Wilson portrays the other engagements with similar exceptional depth.

The Southern Strategy is a serious historical work that begs for a sequel. The author should bring his talents to the latter portions of the war which completes the story in the south from 1780 to 1781. I heartily recommend this book to any serious student of the American Revolution.
Sadly I found little new here that has not been written beforehand. Although the title could lead a person to believe that this book is about the British and their strategy in the Revolutionary War in the South, this is a collection of battle histories strung together without a lot of analysis of strategy. Author's description of the NC Regulation is actually of the SC regulation--he did not do his homework. He misses the disaffected in the war almost completely.
There are also many statements made by the author which either do not hold up based on evidence, or are just wrong, such as "the battle at Moore's Creek Bridge established the permanent ascendancy of Patriot military and political power in North Carolina." (p. 33) Author constantly refers to "Charlestown." Until 1783 it was Charles Town, then Charleston, but NOT Charlestown. Author notes the battle of "Alamance Courthouse," but there was NO courthouse there; it is merely called the Battle of Alamance," named after the creek nearby.
On the plus side, his maps are very good, orders of battle are helpful, and his actual descriptions of the battles flow well.
John Buchanan's THE ROAD TO GUILFORD COURTHOUSE is better than this one.
One more note: why does the subtitle say "South Carolina and Georgia" when he writes of battles in VA & NC too?
This is an excellent piece written on the American Revolution in the southern colonies. And it begs a sequel.

The book is very well written and includes details from some in-depth, original research. I also enjoyed the descriptions and maps of engagements that other books only mention in passing.

If you have an interest in the fighting in the south during this war, don't miss this book.
I appreciate the excellent primary source research that Mr. Wilson has done and his re-writing of the accounts of several key battles. This book does a fine job of being readable without straying from the academic tree as some history authors are want to do.
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