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This is the first book-length study of one of the Revolutionary War's most important battles. On March 15, 1781, the armies of Nathanael Greene and Lord Charles Cornwallis fought one of the bloodiest and most intense engagements of the American Revolution at the Guilford Courthouse in piedmont North Carolina. Although victorious, Cornwallis declared the conquest of the Carolinas impossible. He made the fateful decision to march into Virginia, eventually leading his army to the Yorktown surrender and clearing the way for American independence.In the first book-length examination of the Guilford Courthouse engagement, Lawrence Babits and Joshua Howard - drawing from hundreds of previously underutilized pension documents, muster rolls, and personal accounts - piece together what really happened on the wooded plateau in what is today Greensboro, North Carolina. They painstakingly identify where individuals stood on the battlefield, when they were there, and what they could have seen, thus producing a bottom-up story of the engagement. The authors explain or discount several myths surrounding this battle while giving proper place to long-forgotten heroic actions. They elucidate the actions of the Continentals, British regulars, North Carolina and Virginia militiamen, and the role of American cavalry. Their detailed and comprehensive narrative extends into individual combatants' lives before and after the Revolution.
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[A] masterful microhistory of the engagement . . . employing a truly impressive array of primary sources. Babits and Howard have cleared away two hundred years of conjecture and brought the battle of Guilford Courthouse closer to historical reality.--Journal of Southern History The definitive, unbiased account of this important and largely ignored battle of the Revolution. . . . This book is one of the best ever written on the American Revolution.--The North Carolina Historical Review Detailed and comprehensive.--McCormick Messenger This book will clearly have value to historians trying to understand the critical Southern campaign. And there will be readers--serious military history buffs, battlefield re-enactors--who will treasure the detail.--journalnow.com The authors have discovered new pieces to the puzzle and have achieved perhaps the best synthesis to date. . . . A masterful job. . . . A major addition to the scholarship, and for students of the American Revolution, particularly the Southern Campaign, it is a must-read.--Journal of America's Military Past Babits and Howard admirably demonstrate how meticulous research in under-utilized primary sources yields new insights and substantive corrections on long-accepted accounts of the past.--Military History of the West Provides an unprecedented level of research and detail. . . . This account of Guilford Courthouse is a welcome and much-needed addition to the body of Revolutionary War military history, and will be the foundation upon which all future research into this engagement is based.--The Journal of Military History A fine, professional account. . . . A remarkable story . . . Babits and Howard do an excellent job of summing [the battle] up.--Wilmington Star News Illustrations and maps enhance the work. . . . A welcome addition to the library of any serious student of the American Revolution.--On Point A compelling read. . . . Great details from unexpected sources. . . . Another step forward in giving the Revolutionary War its due.--Greensboro News & Record A read through this work will bring an understanding of the events of the day, how they relate to the larger events of the [Revolutionary War], and a sense of what the world was like at that time.--Southern Pines Pilot THE most definitive description of any engagement of the American Revolution. . . . Will prove to be one of the most thorough works of the 21st century dealing with the American Revolution. . . . Superbly written, edited, and researched, and . . . sets a comprehensive standard that will change the expectations of analysis, source materials, and writing of military history.--Northwest Ohio History This book will give you a clearer understanding of this battle than you will find anywhere else. . . . Extremely readable. . . . Maps are crystal clear and very well done.--1776mag.com Babits's and Howard's most excellent work will be invaluable to any reader interested in the long playing out of Cornwallis's contest with Greene, or in the relationship between battles, campaigns, and the overall strategy by which the American Revolution was decided." --Georgia Historical Quarterly The battle's only full-length monograph. . . . Professional history written in an approachable manner.--Library Journal An extraordinarily detailed narrative. It also fills a gap in literature on the war by showcasing a consequential but comparatively understudied Carolina battle.--Raleigh News & ObserverAbout the Author:
LAWRENCE E. BABITS is George Washington Professor of History and director of the Program in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University. He is author of Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens (UNC Press). JOSHUA B. HOWARD is research historian at the North Carolina Office of Archives and History. Babits and Howard previously collaborated on Fortitude and Forbearance: The North Carolina Continental Line in the Revolutionary War, 1775-1783.
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Book Description The University of North Carolina Press, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0807832669