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.
Join us on Monday, June 29, 2020 as we welcome author Andrew Waters who will be talking about his book The Quaker and the Gamecock. Our meeting place is at Scoogi’s Italian Restaurant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown. Feel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held. A short business meeting will start around 7:15 pm. The presentation will start at 7:30 pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $30. Don’t forget our book raffle too. Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books. You can purchase tickets for the book raffle; $1 per ticket, or $5 for 6 tickets. The money raised goes to pay the room fee and speaker expenses.
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.”
Despite these challenges, Greene was undaunted. Born to a devout Quaker family, and influenced by the faith’s tenets, Greene instinctively understood the war’s Southern theater involved complex political, personal, and socioeconomic challenges, not just military ones. Though never a master of the battlefield, Greene’s mindful leadership style established his historic legacy.
The Quaker and the Gameccock 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. For Greene, the campaign meant a last chance to prove his capabilities as a general, not just a talented administrator. For Sumter, it was a quest of personal revenge that showcased his innate understanding of the backcountry character. Both men needed the other to defeat the British, yet their forceful personalities, divergent leadership styles, and opposing objectives would clash again and again, a fascinating story of our nation’s bloody birth that still influences our political culture.
Andrew Waters is an author, editor, and conservationist residing in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
He is the author of The Quaker and the Gamecock: Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter, and the Revolutionary War for the Soul of the South. His original writing on the American Revolution frequently appears in the Journal of the American Revolution (https://allthingsliberty.com/). He is also the editor of Battle of Cowpens: Primary & Contemporary Accounts, a readers edition of first-person analysis and contemporary histories of the Battle of Cowpens.
He is also the editor of three slave narrative collections: Prayin’ To Be Set Free (Mississippi), I Was Born in Slavery (Texas), and On Jordan’s Stormy Banks (Georgia). His fiction and articles have appeared in Emrys Journal, Pembroke Magazine, the Winston-Salem Journal, Spartanburg Herald Journal, and more.
“As a native Southerner I am fascinated by the topics that still inform our Southern culture, like the American Revolution and slavery,” says Waters. “I love bringing these historical figures to life for today’s audiences in an accessible way.”