Sunday, March 19, 2023

ARP268 King’s Mountain

In our last episode, the Overmountain men had assembled a force of about 1400 patriot militia who were moving in early October 1780 to confront the loyalist militia under British Major Patrick Ferguson near Gilbert Town, North Carolina.

King's Mountain - Death of Ferguson
Despite having gathered a large number of militia, there were many reasons to think that the fight would go badly for the patriots.  These were largely untested militia.  Most of these men were not from the immediate region and were not familiar with the locality.  Some were from Virginia, some from South Carolina, and many from the frontier area that is now Tennessee. They also had no food or supplies, except what they carried on themselves.  Any campaign that lasted more than a few days was going to make the lack of supplies a real problem.

The obvious apparent commander of this army should have been General Thomas Sumter.  But Sumter had left his army to go find South Carolina Governor, who had fled into North Carolina and had granted someone else overall command of the militia.  Sumter could not command this army until he got Sumter’s permission, and had ridden off to get that resolved.  Instead, there was no single commander.  Various militia colonels including Benjamin Cleveland, James Johnson, William Campbell, John Sevier, Joseph McDowell, John Williams and Isaac Shelby operated more as a committee, trying to decide by consensus how to attack the enemy.

Meanwhile, the British commander Ferguson heard about the enemy’s approach.  Fearing that the patriots might have large numbers, he opted to move east where he could link up with General Cornwallis’s army occupying Charlotte.  When the enemy got too close, however, Ferguson moved to some high ground at a place called King's Mountain.  From there, he expected he could defend against any attack.  Even if outnumbered, the loyalists could hold out until General Cornwallis sent reinforcements from Charlotte, which was about a day’s march away.

Approaching King's Mountain

On October 4, the patriot militia reached Gilbert Town, where Ferguson and the loyalists had their headquarters a few days earlier.  The column continued marching to Cowpens two days later.  They learned that Ferguson was only a few miles to the east, and that his men were trying to link up with Cornwallis before they could catch him.  The patriots began a night march trying to catch up with their foe before the enemy could link up with the main British army.

Gathering at Sycamore Shoals
The night march did not go well.  Local guides did not seem to know where they were going. The men got lost all through the woods. Many wandered off the small winding paths and found themselves in the middle of a dark woods.  On top of all that they endured a pouring rain.  The men struggled to keep their rifles and powder dry for the expected battle.  The column had planned to ford a river, but found it too swollen, and had to march miles out of their way to find another route.  Shortly before dawn on October 7, the army stopped its march to reassess, and to send out scouts to figure out where the enemy was.

Enoch Gilmer volunteered to scout out the enemy while the army caught a few hours of rest out in the open in the miserable rain.  After some time, he returned to inform the leaders that they were still about 15 miles from the enemy at King's Mountain.  The army began moving again, stopping only for breakfast which consisted of raiding a local cornfield and eating raw ears of corn.  Most of the locals in this area seemed to lean Tory, so they were little help.  The commanders seized two local Tories and ordered them to guide the army to King's Mountain or be hanged.

As they got within a few miles, Colonel Williams of the Virginia militia spotted the scout, Enoch Gilmer’s horse, in front of a Tory home.  Gilmer had been pretending to be a loyalist looking to join up with Ferguson, so Williams played into that lie.  He entered the home with several of his soldiers, holding a noose and threatening to hang Gilmer as a loyalist.  Gilmer was enjoying a breakfast with the two women of the home. He played along and begged for mercy.

Isaac Shelby

The men removed Gilmer from the home and took him far enough away to give his report without blowing his cover.  The loyalist women had sold some chickens to Ferguson personally the day before at his camp on King's Mountain, so their information was pretty accurate and up to date.  

As they approached, they captured a few more loyalist scouts who were forced to give the locations of their pickets.  They also captured a 14 year old courier who Ferguson had sent with a message for Cornwallis to send reinforcements immediately.  The boy informed his interrogators that Ferguson was wearing a checkered shirt over his red officer’s coat.  

The officers decided on a simple plan.  They were going to surround Kings Mountain, which was really more of a wooded hill, and move toward the enemy from all sides at once.

The Battle

By the afternoon of October 7, the patriot militia had surrounded King’s Mountain. The attackers numbered about 900.  They were facing about 1100 loyalists who maintained the high ground.  Again, there was no single American commander coordinating the attack.  The attackers divided into eight separate units of a little over 100 men each.  They took different positions around the mountain and agreed they would all advance at the same time.

The top of the mountain, which was only about 1000 feet at its highest point, was clear cut, but the approaches contained a thick covering of trees and rocks.

In the loyalist camp on top of the hill Major Ferguson had not bothered to build any entrenchments or other defenses.  He planned to rely on his trained militia and their use of bayonets to take out any attackers.  Ferguson knew that the patriot militia had no bayonets and could not take a massed force of soldiers standing in line with bayonets.  In any direct confrontation, the patriots would be compelled to give way.

Ferguson saw the enemy approaching and organized his men into defensive positions around the camp.  According to one account, he told his men:

Unless you wish to be eat up by an inundation of barbarians, I say, if you wish to be pinioned, robbed, and murdered and see your wives and daughters in four days abused by the dregs of mankind, in short, if you wish or deserve to live and better the name of men, grasp your arms in a moment and run to camp.  The backwater men have crossed the mountains. If you choose to be pissed upon forever and ever by a set of mongrels, say so at once and let your women turn their backs upon you and look out for real men to protect them.

By this time in the war, there was no sympathy for those on the other side. There had been too many massacres, executions of prisoners, destroying people’s homes and crops, and attacks on families, for either side to accept trying to live together.  One side had to die.  The countersign, the patriots used that day was “Buford” a reference to Colonel Abraham Buford, the commanding Continental officer whose men had been massacred by the loyalists after trying to surrender.  It was a reminder to all that this was not about taking prisoners.  It was about killing the enemy.

The advance up the mountain began about 2:00 PM.  The attackers let out a blood curdling high-pitched war whoop similar to those used by native warriors going into battle.  It was also a forerunner of the so-called rebel yell used by southerners during the Civil War.  The yells unnerved the loyalist defenders, but they held their lines.

As William Campbell’s Virginia militia advanced toward the summit, Ferguson ordered his loyalists to charge them with bayonets.  The attackers, who only had rifles without bayonets, withdrew back to the bottom of the mountain with the loyalists chasing them.  Then the loyalists had to pull back up the mountain because of advances led by Isaac Shelby coming from the other side of the mountain.  Ferguson’s loyalists then ran a bayonet charge against Shelby’s men, forcing them to retreat back down the mountain as well.

Ferguson had hoped that once his loyalists had chased the enemy down the mountain, that the men would continue to run away, as they had a Camden.  That did not happen. As soon as the loyalists withdrew from the attack on Campbell’s patriots, they reassembled and advanced again.  When the loyalists went after another group of attackers, they could chase them away, but only temporarily.  They could not chase the men too far or the attackers would become isolated from the main force of defenders and leave themselves vulnerable.

For most of the next hour or so of fighting was loyalists pushing one group of patriots down the mountain, then returning to push another group, only to have the first group reform and start back up the mountain.

Ferguson was correct that the Americans would not fight the loyalists in a straight up hand to hand battle.  They would get close enough to use their rifles to pick off loyalists from a distance, pull back when attacked, then return, taking cover behind rocks and trees to resume their shots at the enemy.

Militia Advance on King's Mountain
The men fighting one another had been friends, neighbors, even family before the war.  They knew each other well. If anything that only seemed to increase the bitterness they felt for one another.  One patriot soldier, Thomas Robertson, reported hearing someone calling his name.  When he poked out from behind a tree, a rifle bullet nearly hit him.  He saw that his neighbor had called to him from the loyalist lines in an attempt to get him to expose himself and be killed.  Instead, Robertson returned the shot, mortally wounding his neighbor.

Isaac Shelby recalled seeing two brothers take aim at each other from opposite sides of the fighting.  Both fired at the same time and both fell, presumably killing each other.  There were numerous stories of brothers shooting at their brothers, or men targeting those they knew on the other side.  Although the patriots tried to avoid hand to hand combat, there were times when it was inevitable, and the fighting grew fierce.  Many patriot riflemen got close enough to fire on the loyalist camp, decimating their ranks.  They also killed a number of civilians in the camp.  Ferguson had a woman with him named Virginia Sal.  She was killed by a rifle bullet while in the camp.

After about an hour of fighting, the loyalists realized that they could not chase off the rebels and that they were increasingly becoming sitting ducks for the patriot riflemen surrounding their camp.  Several units tried to surrender, only to have Major Ferguson knock down their flags and order them to continue fighting.  Eventually, Ferguson realized that the battle was not going to go in his favor, and he had no interest in trying to surrender.  Instead, he and a few of his officers mounted horses and tried to rush through the enemy lines to make their escape.

Militia shoot Ferguson
Instead, numerous patriot rifles targeted him and shot him off his horse.  He was later found to have been hit at least seven times, then after falling from his horse, his body was caught in the stirrup and dragged by his horse for some distance.

After Ferguson’s death, the defenders did not last long.  A few minutes later, the second in command, Captain Abraham De Peyster agreed to surrender.  Some of the attacking patriots were not ready to accept a surrender and continued to fire on the enemy anyway. Several patriot officers reported having to ride up and knock the guns out of the hands of their own men to force them to stop firing on the surrendering enemy.

Just as things were getting under control a loyalist foraging party that had been away from camp during the battle returned and opened fire on the Americans. They killed Colonel Williams.  Many patriot soldiers thought the prisoners were trying to rise up and opened fire on their prisoners.  Once again, the officers had to stop the men from killing.


Once the killing stopped, there was still the need to deal with the surviving loyalists.  About 150 had been killed, with another 163 wounded and the majority 668 taken prisoner.  The patriots had lost only 28 killed and 60 wounded. Many loyalists, both dead and living, had their property taken from them including their clothing.  Many were handled roughly and even beaten.  Many of the dead were buried in shallow mass graves.  

Many of the wounded loyalists were simply left where they lay, dying slowly from blood loss or lack of water.  Over the coming nights, wolves and wild dogs feasted on the corpses and the badly wounded men who were left on the field.  For months afterward, many locals refused to eat hogs from the area because it was believed they had also feasted on the corpses of the men left on King’s Mountain.

For the prisoners still able to travel, many did not fare much better. After having their shoes and coats taken, they were marched over forty miles without any food. The lack of food was a problem for both the prisoners and the victors, many of whom had not eaten for several days.  During the march, the patriots continued to assault, abuse, and even kill some of the prisoners. The Americans managed to capture a cache of muskets on King’s Mountain.  They forced each prisoner to carry two muskets (with the firelocks removed of course) during the march to prison.

Marker where militia hanged prisoners.

A week after the battle, during the march away from King’s Mountain, the patriots decided to hold trials for some of the prisoners, accusing them of treason, deserting from patriot militia to join the enemy, or other crimes.  The court martial found thirty-six prisoners, mostly loyalist officers, guilty and began hanging them, three at a time.  After the executions of nine of the prisoners, other patriot officers put a stop to the executions, in part because they needed to get moving again after rumors that Colone lTarleton’s cavalry was on its way to intercept them.  

The march continued up to Salem, North Carolina.  Along the way more than 100 of the prisoners escaped.  Many made their way to Charleston or Fort Ninety-six where they rejoined loyalist units.  A few unlucky prisoners attempted to escape, but were captured and then executed.  Eventually, the force reached Salem by early November where the remaining prisoners were held.

Cornwallis Retreats

Following the destruction of the Loyalist Army under Ferguson, General Cornwallis determined that his position in Charlotte, North Carolina was simply untenable.  The hostility that his occupation army continued to face when it ventured outside of town, and the inability to recruit any new loyalist militia in North Carolina after the loss at King’s Mountain, meant that the presence of the British in North Carolina only subjected them to attack.

British Wagon
The British evacuated Charlotte and began a seventy mile march to the small town of Winnsboro in South Carolina. During the march, through a cold and near-constant rain, Cornwallis himself took ill and had to be carried in a wagon full of straw.  He and six other officers had grown deathly ill and were in there with him.  Within a few days, five of them were dead.  Cornwallis, however, managed to regain his health and resume command.

Instead of continuing his advance into North Carolina, Cornwallis opted to secure his position in South Carolina for the rest of the winter.  Even though there was no longer an organized Continental Army in North Carolina, the local hostility had proven too difficult to overcome.

Concerned that even a defensive position in South Carolina would prove too tempting for an attack, to help bolster his position, Cornwallis ordered General Alexander Leslie, who was engaged in a series of raids in southern Virginia, to stop his raids and to sail down to Charleston, South Carolina to support British control of the colony.  Leslie did not want to end his successful raids in the Chesapeake, which had only begun.  But after confirming with General Clinton that he needed to follow Cornwallis’ orders, Leslie complied.   However, given delays in communications and Leslie’s initial reluctance, he did not reach Charleston until mid-December.

Alexander Leslie

Back in New York, British General Henry Clinton did not receive word of the loss at King’s Mountain until November.  Clinton later criticized Cornwallis for moving into North Carolina without proper support, and for giving the rebels a victory that would bolster their morale and damage efforts to recruit more loyalist militia.

For the Americans, the victory at King’s Mountain put an end to any immediate threat of further British offensives into North Carolina.  General Thomas Sumter returned to the militia army with orders from Governor Rutherford giving him undisputed command over the South Carolina militia.  But since his chief rival, Colonel Williams, had been killed at King’s Mountain, the pre-battle dispute had been rendered moot anyway.  

Most of the Overmountain men returned to their homes on the frontier.  Indeed, many of them had left even before the army got their prisoners to Salem.  The men had marched and fought without food and supplies.  Many were sick and on the verge of starvation.  Despite the victory, they were eager to return home for the winter.

Once again, neither side had much of an army in North Carolina.  It would be several more months before the Continentals could send a new commander to replace Horatio Gates.  General Nathanael Greene would not take command until December.

Next time: we head back to update New York, where the loyalists and Iroquois continue to fight for control of the Hudson Valley.

- - -

Next Episode 269 Stone Arabia (Available April 2, 2023)

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Further Reading


Kings Mountain:

Battle of King’s Mountain:

King’s Mountain

Battle of King’s Mountain:

James Williams:

Lynch, Wayne Death of a Patriot at King’s Mountain” Journal of the American Revolution, Jan. 14, 2014:

Free eBooks
(from unless noted)

Battle at King's Mountain October 7, 1780, King's Mountain Centennial Association, 1880. 

Army War College Historical Statements Concerning the Battle of Kings Mountain and the Battle of the Cowpens, GPO, 1928. 

Henderson, W. Kings Mountain and its Campaign, Greensboro, N.C., The Guilford battleground company, 1903. 

Draper, Lyman C. King's Mountain and its Heroes: History of the Battle of King's Mountain, October 7th, 1780, and the Events Which Led to It, Cincinnati: P.G.Thomson, 1881. 

Lathan, Robert Historical Sketch of the Battle of King's Mountain: Fought Between the American and British Troops, at King's Mountain, York Co., S.C. October 7, 1780, Yorkville, SC: Office of the Enquirer, 1880. 

National Park Service Rifles and Riflemen at the Battle of Kings Mountain, 1941. 

White, Katherine Keogh The King's Mountain Men, The Story of the Battle, with Sketches of the American Soldiers Who Took Part, Dayton, VA: Joseph K. Ruebush company, 1924. 

Books Worth Buying
(links to unless otherwise noted)*

Alderman, Pat The Overmountain Men, Overmountain Press, 1986 (borrow on 

Brown, Robert W. Jr. Kings Mountain and Cowpens: Our Victory Was Complete, History Press 2009. 

Dameron, Dave &  J. David Dameron Kings Mountain: The Defeat of the Loyalists October 7, 1780,  Da Capo Press, 2003.  

Dunkerly, Robert M. The Battle of Kings Mountain: Eyewitness Accounts, History Press, 2007

Dykeman, Wilma The Battle of Kings Mountain, 1780: With Fire and Sword, NPS 1978 (borrow on 

Epley, Joe A Passel of Hate, Tryon, NC: Foxwood Press, 2011 (borrow on  

Messick, Hank King's Mountain: The epic of the Blue Ridge "mountain men" in the American Revolution, Little Brown, 1976 (borrow on 

Tucker, Phillip Thomas Kings Mountain: America's Most Forgotten Battle That Changed the Course of the American Revolution, Skyhorse, 2023 (June release).

* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

AR267 Battle of Charlotte

For the last few weeks, I’ve been covering the defection of Benedict Arnold in New York.  This week we are headed back to the Carolinas where the war is raging in the fall of 1780.  After the British captured Charleston, South Carolina, the British commander Henry Clinton returned to New York City.  He left General Charles Cornwallis in charge of the southern army, with Major Patrick Ferguson in charge of raising local militia.  

Since Britain was, by this time, fighting a world war with France and Spain, the North American theater could not have nearly as many British soldiers as they did at the beginning of the war.  Any successful strategy had to rely on local loyalist to supplement their ranks. The British managed to raise seven battalions of loyalists in the south in the months following the fall of Charleston.  Clinton was confident that the stronger loyalist base in the south would be enough to secure the region with a minimum of regulars.

Despite recruiting efforts though, loyalist numbers began to fall.  Partisan activity grew, while loyalists became concerned that a British victory was not a certainty.  General Cornwallis thought he had secured South Carolina after his victory at Camden, and wanted to move into North Carolina.  This left South Carolina in an even more precarious position.

Leslie’s Raids

Cornwallis sent increasingly plaintive notes to General Clinton in New York, asking for more reinforcements.  But Clinton was short of men himself, and thought Cornwallis needed to rely on the loyalist regiments that he had raised.   To take some of the pressure off of Cornwallis, Clinton ordered Major General Alexander Leslie to engage in a series of raids in Virginia.

Alexander Leslie

General Leslie was an experienced veteran of the war.  You may recall very early in this series, Lieutenant Colonel Leslie led a raid on Salem, Massachusetts to capture some rebel cannons a few months before Lexington.  Leslie had been an officer in the regular arm in America since 1768.

In 1776, as the British prepared to invade New York, Leslie received a promotion to brigadier, and commanded regiments at the battles of Brooklyn and White Plains and under Cornwallis at Trenton.  By 1779, Leslie rose to the rank of major general and participated in the capture of Charleston.  After that, Leslie had returned to New York, along with General Clinton and most of the army.

Since Clinton took command, he was concerned that a French fleet would deny Britain control of the seas off the Atlantic coast.  But by late 1780, the British had the small French fleet in America bottled up at Newport, Rhode Island, and the larger French fleet trapped in Brest back in France.  Clinton felt reasonably comfortable sending Leslie to Virginia aboard navy ships where his men could raid plantations as the British had done briefly the year before.  Clinton felt that this would presumably relieve pressure on Cornwallis’ army as it moved into North Carolina.

General Clinton’s orders specified that Leslie’s raids in the Chesapeake Bay were to “pursue such measures as you shall judge most likely to answer the purposes of this expedition, the principle object of which is to make a diversion in favor of Lieutenant General Earl Cornwallis.”  

Leslie would establish a base in Portsmouth, Virginia and plan a series of attacks into not only Virginia, but also into North Carolina from the north, as well as move soldiers up river to inland areas around the Chesapeake that served as ammunition and supply depots for the rebels in the south.  A fleet brought about two thousand British forces under Leslie, which occupied Portsmouth and Hampton Roads.  While this caused some panic in Richmond, the occupation did not last long and did not really amount to anything.  It did, however, give Cornwallis more confidence of support as he marched northward.

British Enter North Carolina

Following the British victory at Camden, South Carolina in mid-August, General Cornwallis took a pause.  Later, General Clinton would criticize this delay since there was no real organized resistance to the British in North Carolina in the weeks following Camden.  Continental General Horatio Gates had fled to Hillsboro.  Most of his Continentals were killed or captured at Camden.  The militia who fled the field largely returned home, meaning there was no army to contest the British under Cornwallis.

But Cornwallis had his own difficulties.  In order to win Camden, he had to engage in a rapid march followed immediately by a battle, which completely exhausted his men.  The South Carolina summer was brutally hot.  The men needed time to recover.  There were also still partisans in South Carolina which threatened British supply lines.  Cornwallis had deployed forces to disperse them, before he stretched his lines even further. Another concern was that one of his top field officers, Colonel Banastre Tarleton was struck by the most relentless enemy of the war, disease.  Tarleton had to take to his bed for several weeks with a bad case of yellow fever.

So it was not until September 8, that Cornwallis began to march his army into North Carolina, toward Charlotte, and with the eventual goal of reaching Hillsboro.  Because he had to leave a garrison at Camden, Cornwallis commanded a force of only about 2200 men, about 1500 regulars and 700 loyalists.  

Even after resting his army at Camden for weeks, the fifty mile march to Charlotte proved frustratingly slow.  Disease spread through the British ranks, requiring Cornwallis to pause just south of Charlotte for several more weeks.  It was not until September 26, that he felt his men were ready to take the town.

Major George Hanger
Cornwallis ordered Major George Hanger to lead an advance force into the town.  Hanger has an interesting history in his own right.  Born in Britain to a Baron, Hanger trained for the military from an early age.  He was not the first born son, so he could not expect to inherit his father’s title.  Instead, he looked to a career in the British Army.  

He had attended Eaton, then went to the University of Göttingen in what is today Germany.  It was common for British officers to serve alongside Prussians, who were a traditional ally of Britain, but I find it odd for a teenager to start his military career in this foreign army.  It did not last long because by age 19, he purchased an ensign’s commission in the British Army.  Five years later, in 1776, he purchased a promotion to lieutenant.  However, after a more junior officer purchased a commission above him, Hanger resigned and returned to Europe.  There, he joined a Hessian regiment that was headed to America.  So this former British officer, was now a Hessian captain, who would serve under British commanders while leading a Hessian cavalry company.

By 1780, now Major Hanger was serving as a major in Banastre Tarleton’s legion.  With Colonel Tarleton still sick with yellow fever, Hanger was the man who led the cavalry into Charlotte.

Battle of Charlotte

Like Colonel Tarleton, Hanger hoped that speed would give him an advantage. He rushed his 150 cavalrymen into the town ahead of the advancing infantry.  The Americans, however, were aware for weeks that the British planned to attack the town and were waiting.

Although the Americans did not have enough forces to defend the town, they did leave a force to contest the British entry.  The American defenses fell to the command of Colonel William Davie.  

Despite his rank Colonel Davie was only 24 years old.  He had been a law student in the early part of the war and had never served until 1778.  Even then, it was only a brief militia force that never saw combat, and after which he returned to his studies.  In the spring of 1779 though, after the British had captured Georgia, Davie helped form a new cavalry company in Salisbury, North Carolina.  He started service as a lieutenant in 1779, but rose quickly in rank.

In May, 1779 Davie served under the command of General Pulaski who promoted the young officer at Charleston.  Davie led a charge at the Battle of Stono Ferry where he suffered a serious wound and narrowly avoided capture.  He left active service to recuperate, and found time to pass the bar in November 1779.

By the summer of 1780, Davie had recuperated from his wounds and formed a new independent cavalry company.  Some time over the summer, Davie also received his promotion to colonel in the South Carolina Cavalry.  His company had hoped to catch up with the army under General Gates at Camden, but arrived too late to participate.  Instead of retreating with Gates and the remnants of the army, Davie continued south to recover supply wagons and scout enemy movements.

Colonel Davie received orders to cover the American withdrawal from Charlotte, North Carolina as the British Army approached.  Davie’s 150 mounted militia formed the defense of Charlotte behind various stone walls near the center of town.  Only a portion of his men held the center, with others, some still mounted, guarding the flanks or held in reserve.  Davie was facing Cornwallis’ full army of 2200 men, so there was no expectation that the defenses would hold for long.

When British Major Hanger entered Charlotte with his 150 members of Tarleton’s cavalry on September 26, they ran straight into Davie’s South Carolina militia, who held the high ground behind stone walls.  The British cavalry was used to rushing the enemy with enthusiasm in hopes of unnerving the defenders and breaking their lines.  Instead, the British ran into a volley of fire and were forced to withdraw.

Resistance to British in Charlotte
A firefight ensued from a distance as the British cavalry waited for their infantry to catch up with them. Once the infantry arrived, the British could use their superior numbers to advance forward, taking cover behind houses and walls.  

The Americans realized that if they continued to hold their position, they might be encircled and captured.  Instead, Davie ordered a disciplined withdrawal.  The British pursued and began a second firefight about a mile outside of town.  The Americans fired back but continued to retreat, resulting in a running firefight over the next five miles.

The fighting eventually reached the camp of General Jethro Sumner, who had a much larger force of Americans.  Even so, the British cavalry pushed in Sumter’s pickets and continued to press forward before finally being driven back by superior numbers.

By this time, it was getting dark, so the British legion returned to Charlotte for the night.  The Americans then withdrew about sixteen miles away to avoid another battle that might involve the entire British army under Cornwallis.

The British took the town, but suffered 44 casualties.  The Americans suffered only eleven.

The British occupied Charlotte but would continue to face harassing fire for weeks following the occupation.  Any foraging parties would regularly come under attack from American militia.  It got so bad that Cornwallis had to send half his force, about one thousand men, with the foraging parties to provide cover.  The thick woods surrounding the town provided effective cover and made pursuit particularly difficult.

Cornwallis also found himself nearly cut off.  Attempts to send messengers back to South Carolina, almost always resulted in their capture.

A week after taking Charlotte, General Cornwallis in a letter to another officer commented “This County of Mecklenburg is the most rebellious and inveterate that I have met with in this country, not excepting any part of the Jerseys.”

Given the violent reaction to the British Army’s presence, Cornwallis, once again, delayed any plans to march further north and take Hillsboro, which was still 140 miles away.  Instead, his army hunkered down and awaited loyalist reinforcements under the command of Major Patrick Ferguson.

Ferguson Moves North

About the same time that Cornwallis had begun his march into North Carolina, Major Ferguson had also begun his own advance.  Ferguson planned to move from western South Carolina, into western North Carolina.  This would protect Cornwallis’ flank and also give Ferguson an opportunity to recruit loyalists in that region.  A few months earlier, North Carolina loyalists had begun to form on their own, only to get shut down by the patriots at the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill.  So while this was hostile territory for the British, they also had good reason to believe that a fair portion of the population was ready to join them.

Patrick Ferguson

In some ways, this was a dangerous maneuver.  Cornwallis was dividing his forces in hostile territory.  Ferguson started out with only 300 men, most of them local militia, when he began his march.  The British believe the risk was a reasonably small one because the American resistance had appeared to fall apart after Camden.  Only small bands of rebels still roamed around.  Ferguson believed that his small brigade could handle whatever they would confront.

As Ferguson moved north, the plan seemed to work pretty well.  He managed to recruit another 900 loyalists as he moved into western North Carolina, bringing his total force to around 1200 men, about half of what Cornwallis commanded.  If Ferguson had just marched with Cornwallis, he never would have had the opportunity to recruit these new reinforcements.

In early September, weeks before Cornwallis was able to take Charlotte, Ferguson’s men moved to Gilbert Town, NC, a small town about 55 miles west of Charlotte. They engaged in some skirmishing but found many of the locals inclined to cooperate.  Many locals came in to take oaths of allegiance.  What the British did not know was that American officers had told them to do this in order to protect their herds of cattle.  If they had refused to take an oath, the British would have seized or slaughtered their herds.  The Americans wanted these herds protected for when they took back control of the region.

Believing he had the advantage, on September 10, Ferguson released one of his prisoners with a message.  He ordered the man to ride west from Gilbert Town and find American Colonel Isaac Shelby and deliver a message to all the people living in the west, known as the “Over Mountain Men”.  Ferguson informed them that if they did not end all resistance, that he would march his loyalist army over the mountains, “hang their leaders, and lay their country waste with fire and sword.” 

Patriots Assemble

Shelby, who we last discussed in Episode 260, led a group of patriot militia who had fought some particularly brutal fighting, including Musgrove’s Mill, before retreating further west to the frontier settlements.  Colonel Shelby began coordinating with other militia leaders to get a large enough force to challenge Ferguson’s loyalist army.  Over the next two weeks, the patriots assembled an army led by men such as John Sevier, Charles McDowell, and William Campbell.  

The smaller bands converged at Sycamore Shoals, in what is today eastern Tennessee.  These were all militiamen.  Some were refugees from the battles in South Carolina.  A good portion of them were Virginia militia who had been fighting in the Carolinas for some time.  Still others were the Overmountain men who lived in what is today Tennessee.  These men were motivated to prevent Ferguson from carrying the war to them, where Ferguson might raise Indian allies to wipe out the frontier settlements, that would all the men, women, and children.

The Overmountain men were able to negotiate at least a temporary truce with the local Cherokee. This allowed them to take their forces east, leave their homes relatively unprotected, and challenge Ferguson near his headquarters at Gilbert Town.

This force of about 1100 men crossed over the mountains, moving east.  By September 30, they arrived in Quaker Meadows, where they met up with the Wilkes County Militia, which had turned out under the command of Colonel Benjamin Cleveland.  By this the total force was close to 1400 men.

Thomas Sumter

One important commander who was not with the army was General Thomas Sumter.  As you may recall, Sumter was a South Carolina officer who had dropped out of the war, only to join after British cavalry attempted to arrest him and burned his plantation.  Sumter had gathered a small army of militia under his command, and with no real legal authority, assumed the rank of general to command them.

While Sumter was still fighting in the backcountry, another officer Colonel James Williams carried several dozen British prisoners to Hillsboro, North Carolina, where South Carolina Governor John Rutledge had set up his government in exile.  Rutledge commissioned Williams as general of militia.

With his commission in hand, Williams rode into Sumter's camp along the Catawba River sometime in September, and informed all of Sumter’s men that they were now under his command.  The men refused, saying that they would only serve under Sumter.  They voted to send a delegation to Hillsboro to get this sorted out with Governor Rutledge. The delegation, including Sumter and most of his top officers, left for Hillsboro on September 30th, at the same time the Overmountain men were assembling to attack Ferguson.  While they were away, the bulk of his force remained where they were with two of Sumter’s aides in command.

After they reached Governor Rutledge a few days later, he acceded to their requests, and granted Sumter a formal commission as brigadier general and as commander of all South Carolina militia.

With his formal commission, Sumter returned to his men.  But events had overtaken him. While he was away, the assembled force of Overmountain men had moved east to confront Major Ferguson’s loyalists at Gilbert Town.

Aware that an enemy force was approaching, Ferguson moved to some high ground in the area, a hill known as King’s Mountain.  It was there that he would hold out until General Cornwallis could send a relief force.  And we’ll have to discuss the results of that battle next week, when we finally reach the Battle of King’s Mountain.

- - -

Next Episode 268 King's Mountain (Available March 19, 2023)

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Further Reading


Pieczynski, Christopher The Maritime War: The Revolutionary War in Princess Anne County: 

Anderson, William L. Where Did Cornwallis’s Army Invade North Carolina?

Saberton, Ian “George Hanger - His Adventures in the American Revolutionary War End” Journal of the American Revolution, Feb. 17, 2017.

Saberton, Ian “The British Entry into, and Occupation of Charleston” Journal of the American Revolution, Oct. 11, 2022.

Free eBooks
(from unless noted)

Coleraine, George (ed) The life, adventures, and opinions of Col. George Hanger London: J. Debbit, 1801.

Crow, Jeffrey (ed) The Southern Experience in the American Revolution, Univ. of NC Press, 1978. 

Millspaugh, Arthur C. Loyalism in North Carolina during the American Revolution, Univ. of Illinois Thesis, 1910. 

Rankin, Hugh North Carolina in the American Revolution , Raleigh: State Dept. of Archives & History, 1965.

Books Worth Buying
(links to unless otherwise noted)*

Buchanan, John The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas, Wiley, 1999. 

DeMond, Robert O. The Loyalists in North Carolina During the Revolution, Duke Univ. Press, 1940 (borrow on

Edgar, Walter B. Partisans and Redcoats: The southern conflict that turned the tide of the American Revolution, New York: Morrow, 2001 (borrow on

Ferling, John Winning Independence: The Decisive Years of the Revolutionary War, 1778-1781, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021. 

Lumpkin, Henry From Savannah to Yorktown: the American Revolution in the South, Univ of SC Press, 1981 (borrow on 

Russell, David Lee. The American Revolution in the Southern Colonies. McFarland & Company, 2000 (borrow on

Swisher, James K., The Revolutionary War in the Southern Back Country, Pelican Publishing, 2008 (borrow on 

Wickwire, Franklin B. Cornwallis and the War of Independence, Houghton Mifflin, 1971 (borrow on 

* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

AR-SP18 Nathanael Greene, with Salina Baker

Salina Baker
Salina Baker is the author of several Revolutionary War novels.  She is currently working on a new historically accurate novel regarding the life of Major General Nathanael Greene called The Line of Splendor.  I spoke with Ms. Baker about her upcoming book and the life of General Greene.

I had the opportunity to sit down with author Salina Baker, who's authored a number of books related to the American Revolution. She has a whole Angels and Patriots series, as well as a number of other novels. She's currently working on a novel that. Focuses on the life of Nathanael Greene, so we took the opportunity to talk about the life of Nathanael Greene.

Please forgive any errors in the transcript.  In the past, I spent days laboriously editing these transcripts for special episodes.  I debated not adding one at all, but decided to use an automated transcription service.  I made some corrections, but did not spend days proofing and correcting the transcript. I figured that a transcript with errors was better than none at all.

 Please enjoy our discussion.  

Michael Troy (MJT) Salina Baker, welcome to the American Revolution Podcast. 

Salina Baker (SBB) Thank you, Michael. Thank you for having me. 

MJT: So we're here to talk about. Nathanael Greene, one of the top major generals of the Continental Army. Why specifically did you decide to write a book about General Greene? 

SBB:  He was an important character in my 4 book series, Angels and Patriots. As I wrote about him and discovered more about him, I just became more and more fascinated with the man that he was and the man that he became. I just thought that he deserved a new book on him and it is a novel but it's historically accurate. That's pretty much where I went with that. Was just to get his name out there. Not that there isn't plenty of information on him because there is, but just wanted to write some. 

MJT: I think that's true. I've seen a lot of polls which call him the most underrated person from the American Revolution because he obviously was critical to the ultimate victory. But he doesn't get a lot of credit for a lot of reasons that we'll probably get into later in the talk. Nathanael Greene came from a Quaker family from Rhode Island. Is that right? 

SBB: Yes, he did. He was the 4th son of a Quaker preacher and businessman. 

MJT: It will strike many of us as odd as a Quaker and coming from a Quaker family becoming a military general. So I guess he wasn't the ideal son that his father wanted, let's say. 

SBB: Yes, that's true. His father limited his son's education and math reading and writing because he believed education beyond that led to temptation and sin. And so, Nathanael, as a boy, couldn't really. He began to not be able to tolerate that kind of a thing, and he wanted to learn more things. And he was already kind of a rebellious young man. He would sneak out of his window at night to go to dances and then come back, and his father would punish him for doing it. But he kept doing it anyway. He and his cousin Griffin went to a place in Connecticut that the friends disproved. And they called them on the floor and said. What are you? Guys doing and neither one of them. Talk so the Quaker said, well, you're banned from the meetings. They didn't ban him from the society, just from the meetings. So we kind of started out by rebellious guy. 

MJT: I think he never really fitted well with the Quaker lifestyle and was probably just as happy to be separated from them as they. Were from him. What did he do in his early life? Before the war for a career. 

SBB: The sons worked their father's business. He had a ship. He had a Wharf. He had a farm and an iron forge. When he was about 28, his father sent him to Coventry, RI. From their hometown of Polyoma to Coventry, which wasn't that far away, Nathanael built a house there and an iron forge was already there. And so he was the owner, operator of the Iron Forge. So he actually pounded these, smelted into anchors. They also owned the ship. Called Fortune, he and his brothers owned it together after their father died in 1770. They kind of were rebellious at that point because at this point the British were taxing. And they would run the fortune out away from Newport to avoid paying the taxes on the cargo and their ship got confiscated. So this kind of launched him into the rebellion, obviously for obvious reasons. 

MJT: Was not a big fan of British officials after that. 

SBB: No, not at all. In fact, he sued the guys name was William Duddingston, and he sued Duddingston. He did win his case, but I couldn't find anything that said whether he ever actually got the money that he had won. And this actually led directly to the burning of the Gaspee in June of that same year, 1772 Nathanael was accused of being part of it, but that was never proven. 

MJT:  Right. The Gaspee was Duddington's ship. It was a world naval ship that was burned to the ground by local patriots who were kind of sick of things he was doing the story I'd heard actually. Was that the reason that they went out to the Gaspee that night, that they ended up destroying it was for the sheriff to serve a warrant? For Greene's lawsuit. 

SBB: And they were tired of the whole business, so. Right. 

MJT: So Greene got very active in the Patriot cause and the Gaspee was in 1772. So this is a few years before the war really got going. But he began to become a lot more active. Things really heated up in 1774 after the British reaction to the Boston Tea Party, which happened in late 1773. The British locked down Boston, essentially closed the port, put a lot of restrictions on the state, and this is where a lot of people throughout the colonies decided it was time to step up their resistance. And my understanding is. Greene was a part of that, especially in Rhode Island. 

SBB:  Yes, he joined a militia company called the Kentish Guards out of East Greenwich. Actually, his friend, James Varnum, who went on to become an American Revolutionary War general. James was the captain of the Kentish Guards and that they you know. Applied for a. A Lieutenant position and they denied him. And publicly humiliated him by telling him that his limp was embarrassing because he had a limp that they couldn't have an officer limping about. 

MJT: Couldn't march so well on the field. 

SBB: It wasn't. Yeah, it wasn't soldierly like. He had other problems, physical challenges too. He had asthma and he had a smallpox scar on his right eye that caused eye infections. I'm sure them turning him down for that limp was the first public humiliation he probably suffered. 

MJT: And he had actually played a key role in establishing the Kentish Guards in the 1st place. So it was kind of doubly insulting to him because he had put a lot of his own time and money into establishing this, this militia group in Rhode Island. But yeah there. Were a number of reasons, I guess the limp was one, but in reality he had no military experience. He hadn't fought in the French and Indian War, whereas Varnum had and things like that. So we're looking at it after seeing all of his greatness. They're looking at it is this is this is some guy with. A limp and no military experience. 

SBB: Right and right, he had to go to Boston to buy a musket because he didn't even have a musket, so. 

MJT: Yeah, he bought an illegal musket from a British deserter. 

SBB: Then he asked the guy to help come train the the guards. I think he did. 

MJT: Yeah, I don't know if it was the same British deserter, but he did have a British deserter to come and trained the Kentish Guards and British military drill. After he was denied his lieutenancy in the in the guard, he actually ended up serving as. A private right? 

SBB: Yes, he stayed. He was going to leave and he decided to go ahead and stay. 

MJT: So then we have Lexington and Concord. 

SBB:  Well, Nathanael got married in July on July 20th, 1774, to his wife, Katie Littlefield Greene, when the first shots were fired in Massachusetts that on April 19th, 1775, the Kentish Guards were called out. But they got to the Massachusetts border and were called back by the Governor of Rhode Island. So supposedly Nathanael and. A couple of. Other guys went ahead and wrote in closer to Boston to see what was happening and they came back and right after that, the Rhode Island Assembly. Really formed an army of observation and for some reason they chose Nathanael to be their general after all of this business with the Kentish Guards. 

MJT: Yeah, he wasn't a good lieutenant, but. Hey, why not general? 

SBB: Yeah, right. It and why he was chosen. I don't know. Maybe his family was well off. I mean, not they weren't rich. But they were. Well off and they were influential in the community. And he did have managerial experience. If you want to put it that way, you know with the the Iron Ford. Wanting that. But why they actually plucked him out of the ranks? 

MJT: Well, everyone's found that strange - everything I've read about it. And all the experts saying how on earth they came up with Greene to be lead. The Army of Observation is a bizarre one. He was by this time he was in his early 30s and he actually was a member of the Colonial Assembly, I believe so. But the men knew him. The people deciding who were going. To be this the. The military leader knew him and it may have been, you know, a bit like George Washington was with the Continental Congress in that they wanted one of their own, somebody that they knew and trusted at the head of this army, that they were sending off. 

SBB: No, I think that that that probably did have a lot too that his distant relative William Greene was involved with the Assembly, as you said, and he eventually became Governor of Rhode Island. So he had some connections. 

MJT: He came from a prominent family, but I mean, there was a I mean, there was a militia general in Rhode Island at the time, and he got. Passed right over. So yeah, so Greene takes an army of observation up to Boston, which at this time the British Army is under siege in Boston, being surrounded by this. For me of all sorts of volunteers for various New England colonies that have joined this siege of the British Army, how did Greene stand out at the Siege of Boston? 

SBB: He was a real strict disciplinarian with his troops. They encamped on the hill in Roxbury, and he tried to keep them all clean and neat and behave. A lot of the Patriots that were. There at the time were. You know, they were kind of messy and undisciplined and so. And Nathanael was a bit more controlling and he cared very much about his men, but they were raw recruits and a lot of the things that they did shocked him. So I think he stood out. Mostly because he tried so hard to make. His little army. Uh, you know, a good disciplined unit. 

MJT: Yeah, I think that's right. I mean, I've heard the Siege of Boston described as as a frat house meets Woodstock. 

SBB: It was, pretty much. 

MJT:  It was thousands and thousands of untrained militiamen.  Militia at the time just meant you were some guy in a colony and you showed up four times a year for a little bit of drill. See have all these young men? Going out and. Camping around Boston and there was really no. So strong officer corps or anything and said the men pretty much did whatever they wanted. You know how 20 year old men are? If they're left to their own devices  

SBB: Right. 

MJT: Greene was particularly strict with his men and he had all of his tents and very neat rose and was. Very strict about them not going out into the field and just. Relieving themselves wherever they wanted and everything. 

SBB: Right, exactly. No card playing. Yeah, he didn't like. Yeah, exactly. 

MJT: So I think that really caught the eye of General Washington when he arrived on the scene in July of 1775. And I think that, as they say in the movies, was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Greene and Washington. They seemed to hit it off right away. 

SBB: Yes, they did. Nathanael sent a letter of introduction to Washington and they meant. But I can't find anything that said what exactly Washington and that then agreed talked about. I've read a lot of his letters and he doesn't really talk about that kind of the personal that hard. When he first met Washington. But something about the two hit off for sure. 

MJT: Washington was kind of getting to know all of the officers that Congress had appointed and Congress had appointed Greene to become a Brigadier, the youngest Brigadier in the Continental Army at the time. So yeah, they. They were getting to know each other. Washington famously was not a big fan of most New England men, but he did seem to get along well with Nathanael Greene. 

SBB: They had a few things in common. Neither one of them had a formal education, and Washington also was worked. His mother's farm, when he was a young man or a boy, just like Nathanael had to do with his father. So, you know, maybe some building blocks. 

MJT: From a historical perspective, it doesn't seem like Greene's role in this early year of the war was that impressive, at least as far as the battles go. He was absent for Bunker Hill. He was back in Rhode Island recruiting at the time. He did not play a big role in the efforts of Henry Knox to bring the cannons. I believe he was sick at the time and. 

SBB: He did. He had jaundice. 

MJT: Right. So at the time they were, you know, getting all the cannons up on on the hill to force the British to leave Greene really wasn't a part of any. Of that. But he did stay there for the whole throughout the winter, a lot of men wanted to go home at the end of the year. Greene I know, was struggling. One of the reasons he was absent at Bunker Hill was that he was back in Rhode Island trying to recruit more recruits. They had. They had built send an army of observation from Rhode Island of 1500 men and I don't think they ever got. Much above 1000. 

SBB: Yes, that's where he was when he and they called him back right away that night. Well, on June 18th, he got the message. That Bunker Hill. And the really the only role he played with the whole Dorchester Heights was, I believe him. And John Sullivan, General John Sullivan. We're supposed to be ready with, I'm going to say it wrong. Are toll boats in case the British decided to make some kind of invidious type, you know, landing there around around there somewhere. I can't remember exactly where they were, but he was definitely not on on the height. 

MJT: This is Washington's crazy plan, which thankfully he matured overtime. But. His plan was that they were going to put all these cannons up on Dorchester Heights, and the British would come out with. This is to the. South of Boston and probably try to take those heights. And while they were doing that, there was another team which I think Greene was a part of north of Boston, which was going to take. Ships and row across Boston Harbor in the face of British. Artillery land and then attack Boston proper. While the British were supposedly involved in the South Boston thing, it would have been. A bloodbath if it ever. 

SBB: Yes, it would have been a bloodbath, for sure. 

MJT: I mean, fortunately, the British never actually launched their attack on Dorchester, so Washington launched this horrible counterattack, which probably would have been the end of. 

SBB: Right. 

MJT: Greene he probably would have been killed with what happened next, so this was rough. 

SBB: He was doing what he's told. 

MJT: But the British did retreat and the army moved down to New York and a lot of New England officers ended up. Staying in New England. The second in command of the Army armies ward never left New England, but Greene did. Greene had kind of tied himself to General Washington and really stuck with him for the next few years. 

SBB: When Washington's army moved to New York, Nathanael was given command of the string of forts on Brooklyn Heights on Long Island across. East River, or the harbor from Manhattan these originally, I think were started by General Charles Lee, who was Nathanael's direct commander during the Siege of Boston. So Nathanael was given the string of these forts and he worked really hard to make sure they were. Fortify and whatnot. And then the British start sailing into New York Harbor. They just keep coming and coming and coming. William Howe and his brother, Admiral Richard Howe, just shipped after ship. Nothing Daniel has spent a lot of time with his troops. He's disciplined them, he's told him not to plunder the citizens and whatnot, and also some of them were running around swimming naked. Which he said was not acceptable anyway. 

MJT: There are a bunch of frat boys, I'm telling you. 

SBB:  They're exactly a bunch of frat boys. I imagine he probably chuckled over the. Complaint but whatever. Just when the British were dropping all these anchors, Nathanael gets sick. I'm not sure where he had typhoid or dysentery, but it was every his troops were sick and a lot of the army was sick. It was prevalent all the way up to Kings Bridge. They had to take him off a Long Island. And take him to Manhattan to. A sick house? He. Was so ill he. Was in and out of delirium. There's just no way he was. Going to be able to. So they sent General John Sullivan over there to take command. Washington did. Well, then you know how and and his British troops and the Hessians and everybody launched an attack on Long Island. And Putnam takes over General Putnam, and of course, we know what happened there. The whole thing was a disaster in in Washington's army was beat. 

MJT: Yeah, it did not go well, but yeah. And Greene had actually been responsible for setting up the defenses online before he got sick. So even though he wasn't there to take the fall when the British ended up succeeding, it again did not look impressive for this. This young general who's in his early 30s, and I guess just before the battle. Had been promoted to Major General. 

SBB: Yes, just before exactly. 

MJT: So he is by far, I think the youngest Major General in the army at this point. He's in, I think he's about 32 years old at this time. 

SBB: Yeah, yes. And he has no battlefield experience whatsoever at this point. 

MJT: So Washington still sees something in him, and he puts him in command of Forts Washington and Lee, which Fort Washington was in Upper Manhattan and Fort Lee was across the river in in New Jersey. 

SBB: Just back up a little bit. They did have a there was a battle at Harlem Heights in September, and it was actually more of a skirmish, I guess. And at the end it was actually there and. That was his first battle. Washington was dividing his army up and moving them here and there, and so he sent nothing. And I don't know why he sent Nathanael there to command the two forts. Again, he's a new general. He's headquartered at Fort Lee, Fort Washington, on the New York side of the Hudson, is in the direct command of Colonel Robert Magaw. They were supposed the two forts were supposed to be able to stop British ships from coming up the Hudson, and that didn't happen. They sailed by in November, and both forts opened fire, but the ship just kept going, and so Washington was saying they had lost the battle of White Plains. Greene was not at the Battle of White Plains, but. Washington had just lost half. And Washington was like, well, if you know, these forts can't stop these ships, then they're not defensible. Greene said no. He believes they are defensible. And assures Washington that they can get the men. Off if the. Forts are attacked. That's not what happened. How launches A3 pronged attack in Fort Washington falls? 

MJT:  Right. And this is the largest American battle losses in the entire war up until Charleston in 1780. They lost two or three thousand men. 

SBB:  Yes, 2000 or 3000. 

MJT: And yeah, all taken prisoner, most of whom died in British prison ships over the next couple of years. So it really was a devastating loss. One could have seen this as possibly being the end of Greene's military career that Washington had actually ordered him to remove the soldiers from Fort Washington, but then said. But you have discretion because you're on the ground and can see what's going on. If you think differently, that's fine. So it kind of gave him an out there. But Greene used his discretion to maintain the Fort, which led to the loss of all these men. And you could argue Washington did much the same thing in Brooklyn, where he almost had his entire army trapped and managed to get them across the river in a in a miracle retreat. 

SBB: Right. 

MJT: I think maybe Greene thought he could do the same thing across the. Hudson, but he didn't have Washington's luck, I guess. 

SBB: Yeah, he and Israel Putnam did go back right before Fort Washington was attacked. Him and General Putnam and General Mercer went across back to Fort Washington to see it was happen. And they didn't see the danger. Washington went on and came across the Hudson with troops, and they all went back to Fort Lee. And then that's when Howe attacked Fort Washington. 

MJT: Washington and the other officers, I think was Knox and Greene and Mercer were actually. On the New York shore, when the British attacked and they were very close danger of being captured themselves, and they all kept saying to General Washington that he needed to leave and they would stay. And but he didn't want to leave without them. And he finally convinced all of them to get out of there before they became the most valuable POW's of the war. 

SBB: Exactly that's probably would have ended the war. You know. You talked on these generals. I believe Henry Knox was not with them. I think he was trying to get cannon across at the time. 

MJT: Oh, OK. 

SBB: Because and Nathanael wrote him and said - That's a famous line. I was mad that sick and sorry over the whole fort falling and he needed to hear a good word from his friend which was Henry Knox. He wanted to know what the other generals were saying about him. And they were saying some very bad things about and that they know Greene that he didn't deserve to be a general, that his Rhode Islanders didn't deserve to be in the army. They were very vicious at him. But Washington stood by his side. 

MJT: He did, and Greene didn't have too much time for self reflection because then the very next thing he had to do was evacuate for leave before he had another disaster there. 

SBB: Exactly yeah, they were taken by surprise with that one, too. He was asleep when he got the news that Cornwallis had gotten up on the Palisades. I guess about 6 miles away or so. 

MJT: Cornwallis had done a pretty amazing pre dawn raid to get across the river and they were on top of the Americans before the Americans knew what was happening. 

SBB: Right. Even though Washington had already said we need to evacuate, they had an and they know had sent stores through new. Jersey, in case the army had to retreat through New Jersey, he had done that previously. So there was a little preparation, but they pretty much just left everything and ran. 

MJT: The next few weeks are the Continentals essentially running across New Jersey, and the British chasing them until they get back across to Pennsylvania, and this time it's almost the end of 1776. And the British go into winter quarters. And of course, we all know what happens on Christmas 1776. What was Greene's role? In all of that. 

SBB: He led one of the columns they when they all got across, they marched for a while together and then they separated. I can't remember where it was on Burlington Road or somewhere, and he took a call him off and John Sullivan took a call him off. John Sullivan went down the River Road and then he went on the pen Pendleton Road or Pennington. Or something in any way. So they converged on Trenton. The two columns came around and converged on Trenton in the morning. So that was basically. 

MJT: Washington was still leaving Greene as one of his division commanders in this main attack. He he was still holding a very important position which shows Washington still very much had confidence in this young man despite challenges he faced so far. So yeah, they succeeded in, of course, capturing the the Hessians at Trenton and then going on to take Princeton where? One of Greene's closest friends in the Army, General Mercer, is killed. But throughout all of this, Greene is pretty much staying by Washington's side. I think it around this time his wife, 80, joins them. Is that right? 

SBB: Well, she joined them with the siege of Boston, and then she went home and had a baby and came back to take care of him when he had jaundice. And then she arrived in the camp at Morristown, which was in the winter of 1777. After Trenton and Princeton, when the army winter in Morristown, NJ, she came to visit him there as well. 

MJT: Katie Greene was a very young woman. She was, I think, 12 years younger than Nathanael, who was pretty young himself. I think she was 19 when they got married just before the war. But she kind of became the life of the party at the camp. I understand. General Washington was very taken with her. 

SBB: Very much so. She could speak French. You know she liked dance. The men just loved her. They were all just smitten over her. She's very convivial and and beautiful. Yeah, she was a bright ray of sunshine in camp and Nathanael didn't really show any jealousy over it. I think he was just really proud of her. He loved her very, very much. 

MJT: And I don't think anything untoward was going on, she. Was just a popular. 

SBB: No, no.

MJT: Person that everybody liked to see at the party. And of course, to note Greene's relationship with George Washington at the time she brought their first child with them, who was named. 

SBB: George Washington Greene. 

MJT: George Washington Greene. So the admiration between both men certainly went both ways. The following year we get into the Philadelphia Campaign and Greene is still one of General Washington's top division commanders as General Howe takes his troops to Maryland and marches up toward Philadelphia. 

SBB:  They were doing a lot of running back and forth trying to figure out where Howe was going to land. Once he did land at head about Maryland, Nathanael did a lot of reconnoitering with his aides. With Washington, he knew Lafayette by then, of course, the big thing he did was a lot of scouting to see what was going on in the countryside, and that was his biggest role, pre Brandywine battle. But during the Battle of Brandywine, he was basically held in reserve. He had a 1200 Virginian regiment under his command, and he was basically held in reserve. And during that battle, which lasted all day, Washington's right flank was turned. All the men, John Sullivan and all his guys were up on Birmingham Hill and they started to retreat. So Nathanael came riding to the rescue at the last minute with his Virginia regiment. Cornwallis was chasing the army. These guys were just running and it was just, you know, crazy. And at the end of road to the rescue and his Virginia Regiment stopped Cornwall's pursuit. That saved a lot of lives there. Because otherwise who would have known what would have happened when if Cornwallis had actually caught up with these fleeing patriots. 

MJT: Right. I mean, nobody really gets credit for a loss, but Greene's role at holding the line was very important - keeping the army together to fight another day in this holding action to allow the rest of the army to retreat was critical to that. 

// //

MJT: Of course, the British, after winning Brandywine, go on a few weeks later to take Philadelphia and the Continental Army wants to stay nearby, so they move out to a place called Valley Forge, and that's as an understatement, a tough winter for them. 

SBB: In the beginning, after all the snow and everything where they could actually get some supplies in, he was actually in charge of forging operations. There were some, a lot of like Connecticut regiments out in the field. That was his basic responsibility. Besides, you know, taking care of his brigades there, his men. At the time, the Quartermaster General of the Army, the Continental Army, Thomas Smith win, quit. This was during the Conway Cabal when they were trying to bring Washington down. And they were trying to bring the thing of. Greene down with. Him saying that they know Greene was was holding Washington's ear and. It was just. This big finger pointing thing going on there. And so and that kind of settled down, they needed a new quartermaster general and the committee from Congress came to. Camp to see you know about the the state of the. Army during this time Nathanael was in charge of this Grand Forge. He was given specific. Instructions from Washington where to forge? He went out there. He established headquarters. He checked out to see what was going on. Sent Anthony Wayne here and there. And so when he got back to camp, they pressed him to become the Quartermaster general of the army. He did not want this. At all. He didn't want to be taken from the line, miss. He didn't want to be chained to a desk with the drudgery of paperwork, but he took the position because of the army and because of Washington. He want he wanted to do his duty to what he thought was right. 

MJT: I forget who it was now, but Congress wanted to appoint someone else's quartermaster. It was somebody that Washington absolutely did not. One and he basically begged Greene to take the job because he couldn't come up with anybody else that Congress might find acceptable to fill the role. Basically, this was during the whole Conway cabal, as you said, and a lot of people in Congress were trying to replace Washington with the Hero of Saratoga, Horatio Gates. Greene, as you said, was very closely tied with Washington. So a lot of people in Congress are saying, well, Gates won these all these great battles. Washington's losing all these battles. Why don't we replace the loser with a winner and bring it, you know, let Gates bring in his team and and take over the army. And that was the whole struggle. Over the course of the winter that Washington and. I mean, we're fighting and as I said, they were trying to make other appointments and and push Washington into a corner. And one of the things Washington did was he wanted somebody he could trust in the quartermaster role, and that's why he turned to Greene. Then of course, going from quartermaster to a line officer is kind of a reduction. I mean quarter masters don't make history line officers. 

SBB: That's exactly what he said too. Nobody ever heard of a quartermaster in history? He did tell the committee at Congress that he wanted to retain his major generalship and his field command, if it was. Applicable so they. Read that. 

MJT: Not only is quartermaster kind of a thankless job, in good times, there were soldiers literally starving to death at Valley Forge, because they just didn't have enough food, and Congress had no money to buy food. And so you you were basically asked to be a miracle worker, and if you pulled off the miracle. So people had dinner. So what? That's not a very exciting. Thing as opposed to winning a battle? 

SBB:  Right. But yes, like you said, is is necessary evil. I mean, they had to be clothed and they they needed a. It wasn't just the men either. It was the the horses. It also needed to be fed and cared for, so there was a lot to it. The Quartermaster also established campsites and things, so it was a huge job. And of course he had deputies and whatnot. 

MJT: Leadership had been lacking up until that point. Mifflin, who had had the job, was kind of pushed out because they thought he was incompetent. So Greene becomes quartermaster. How long did he have that job? 

SBB: Two years - he tried to resign several times out of frustration in Congress. For them, Congress started changing their policies. They took away a lot of his deputies. They took away a lot of his money and they were pressing the states to supply provisions and the states, of course, balked at that. And that they don't just speak, he said. Basically said it's impossible to do business. This is just impossible. And he finally read another other letter of resignation July 17. He made Congress extremely mad. It was a tough letter and he did tell them though, because they had accused him and his deputies of misappropriation of their commissions and he basically told Congress you've hurt my feelings, he wrote this in the letter. It was part of it, but then he turned around and pulled rank and said. I'm a high-ranking general in this army, but Washington supported him. He went to Washington and said this is what I'm going to do and Washington said you have my blessing. You can do whatever you need to do because he knew bring was unhappy. 

MJT:  Very few of the generals were ever happy with Congress, but Greene, especially, was always bumping heads with them. He had gotten in trouble before when he joined in a petition with several other top officers about the appointment of so many French office. Years and yeah, he was constantly complaining about the quartermaster and I’ve got to side with Greene on this one. Congress was expecting this entire army to be fed and not giving them any money. They were giving them some worthless Continental dollars which nobody wanted to accept, and so they always had to pay inflated prices for everything because. I guess if you won't take one Continental dollar, maybe you'll take three. But Congress was seeing all this money burn away and not really as it was their own incompetence and their lack of a fiscal policy and effective fiscal policy that was making it happen. So of course their line is well, the problem must be waste, fraud and abuse in the Quartermaster Corps. And that's what happened to poor old Greene, they're saying. All right, well. He gave you all this money? Where's all the food? And he's like you didn't give me money. You gave me paper and I'm not stealing it. Nobody even wants your paper. 

SBB: That's why his letter was so horrendously blunt, and they threatened to throw him out of the army, too. 

MJT: The Continental Congress was going to take his letter as a resignation from the Continental Army. He was resigning quartermaster, but they were like, well, we don't want you anymore then. And it was really Washington's intervention that kept them from going that. 

SBB: Yes, and he had already irritated. He and Henry Knox and a few other generals like you said about the French officers had threatened to resign. That was in 1777, and John Adams demanded an apology and Knox and Greene and Sullivan said we're not apologizing. Because they said we can't pick up with this. So he already had, like you. Said rubs with Congress. 

MJT: Right. I mean, Congress is big concerned and all that is we're the civilian control of the government and if we're letting officers dictate to us how we're running our government, then we're losing civilian control of the government. 

SBB: Right, exactly. 

MJT: So that was the argument on the other side of things, whereas the officers were just saying, hey, you guys are complete bumbling fools. We need to do something. Same here. Yeah, so it was more of a practical versus ideological issue. So this is 1780 by this time where Greene is almost kicked out of the army, but not but he is no longer the quartermaster. And at this time, we see the greatest loss of the war for the Americans. General Benjamin Lincoln is captured with an army of 5000 in Charleston, SC. And Congress needs to send a new leader to the South, and Washington wants Greene to be that leader. Congress is not so sure. So what do they do? 

SBB: They sent Horatio Gates. 

MJT: The man that Washington absolutely hates by this time is going to go down to South Carolina, and it's going to repeat his great victory at Saratoga by defeating the British and the South. And he gets as far as Camden and things don't go so well. Yeah, there's a there's a huge British victory at Camden. Gates's army virtually disintegrates the the men who weren't captured just escape. Run away, throw away their guns. They literally just run into the swamps and don't stop until they get home - hundreds of miles away. 

SBB: Right. 

MJT: And Gates is no different. He gets on his horse. Which is actually a a racehorse that somebody had lent him. And he rides hundreds of miles in a couple of days just running from the field as fast as he possibly can. And that kind of ends his military. Because you don't get a good reputation as a general if you just run. Away from all your men in the middle. 

SBB: Yeah, for whatever reason, you know, he kind of claimed, well, I was going to go get reinforcements. Well, that's ridiculous. And then the battle’s lost. And your second in command is dying and yeah. 

MJT: Yeah, it was a huge disaster. So at that point, Congress still doesn't want to appoint Greene because they still don't like him, so they just basically give Washington authorization to do whatever he wants as a part. As far as appointing a southern commander. Probably knowing full well who he's going to pick at this point. 

SBB: Hmm, probably yes. 

MJT: So Greene becomes the third Southern well, probably the 4th or 5th southern. 

SBB: Fourth, yeah. 

MJT: Commander, there were a few before General Lincoln. But we've had two commanders in a row now, major very important major generals, Benjamin Lincoln and Horatio Gates take large armies to the South and have them utterly decimated. And Greene is now up for strike. #3. He's taking a large army to the South, and actually not so large anymore to see what he can do. 

SBB:  Yeah, he accepts the command and he breaks it to Katie that he's going South and. Of course, she hates that. And he takes General Baron von Steuben with him as his second in command, and they go down there, get to Virginia. He leaves Steuben in Virginia to try to raise, you know, militia and provisions. They tried to raise it along the way, and they didn't do a very good job because the states were uncooperative. And so, Nathanael, leave Steven there and he goes and searches for the army and he finds him in Charlotte, NC and they are like you said. They're starving. They're sick. The Colonel of the Hall and Williams is kind of holding them together. And Horatio Gates is there and they have a civil change of command. Not nothing formal, but a civil change of command and gate sleeves. So now Greene has this alarming. 

MJT: Right. 

SBB: He's in charge of. 

MJT: It's mostly militia at this point. It's not even a whole lot of Continental soldiers that have any kind of experience. One thing he does pick up that benefits him is there was an important Colonel from Virginia who had resigned his Commission. 

SBB: I think Edgar Carrington. 

MJT: No, I'm actually thinking of Morgan. Sorry I was failing on his name. 

SBB: Oh yeah, that's right. 

MJT: Daniel Morgan, Congress actually promotes Morgan to brigadier at this point as part of the way of encouraging him to come back to the army. 

SBB: Daniel Morgan. It does. All right. 

MJT: Morgan had been critical at several key northern battles, including. Saratoga with his riflemen. He was kind of overlooked for promotion. And had a number of ailments, so he just decided to hang it up and retire. And Gates had actually begged Morgan to join him on his way down to Camden. And Morgan said no, I'm done. Greene finally did convince Morgan to join him, and they headed South, and Morgan famously fought the Battle of Cowpens. Which military? Try to still teach to their students to this day because it was just such an amazing battle and Greene actually repeats the same strategy a few weeks later at another. Well, salmon. But Greene does not do particularly well on the battlefield as far as winning battles and taking ground. 

SBB:  He does terrible job of it. What he did do was he after captains. Cornwallis was furious. He's in command of the Southern Army, the British Southern Army. And he chased his Greene’s little army all over the place across the Dan River. The rest of the Dan. And then they finally meet at Guilford Courthouse. And that's where Nathanael tried to imitate what Morgan had done. Cornwallis's army was decimated even though they were the victors at Guilford Courthouse. 

MJT: They were technically. The victors in that they held the field, but I think Guilford was the one where Cornwallis ended up firing on his own men because the two men were so intermingled. And he thought that the Americans were going to win. 

SBB: I've read that in a lot of places where they he supposedly turned the cannon on them and I always wondered if that really happened, but I don't know. 

MJT: But I mean the bottom line. Was the British and Cornwallis held the field? So technically they're the victors, but at a great cost of men that he could not afford to lose. He his army is slowly dwindling, whereas Greene is slowly raising more and more militia and getting more and more men to join him. Cornwallis's army is shrinking and Greene's army is grown. 

SBB: And it's also when he's chasing Greene around South Carolina and North Carolina, they're getting farther and farther away from their supply lines. So when he, when Cornwallis retreats down to Wilmington, NC, after Guilford Courthouse, that's closer to supply lines and kind of leaves South Carolina open. 

MJT: Right. And Cornwallis is on his way up to Yorktown, which we all know doesn't go well. For him but. Greene does not follow Cornwallis into Virginia. He heads South into a relatively undefended. South Carolina at this point. 

SBB: The British are still in Charleston and Savannah and Wilmington, NC.  Greene decides to do is he's going to wipe out these British supply depots, and that's what they he starts doing. He sends the militia generals Light Horse Harry Lee to go and attack onto these. Forts along the rivers, and he systematically destroys the British supply lines and their lines of communication. And finally brings his army down until they've got them kind of locked into Charleston, but they're not under siege. They're just kind of locked in there. 

MJT:  Right, but this is the successful Continental strategy in a lot of places, in a lot of times is that the British can take a large area because they have a large body of troops to hold it so they can hold a big city. But if they can't hold the area around the city, it really doesn't do them a lot of good because they can't recruit people. They can't collect food. They can't do all the things they need to do to maintain their garrison.  That's what Greene successfully does in South Carolina, which several other officers have tried to do and failed, but he succeeds. And taking out all these outposts and forcing the British into one big city where they really can't do much damage outside of it. 

SBB: Yes, exactly. Even though he's, like you said, he's lost a lot of the battles. He's relentless and he's not going to let South Carolina fall. What he did was unbelievable because he had militia coming and going. His army was starving and he just. He never stopped writing letters. He never let up and he was extremely concerned about reestablishing civil authority in Georgia and South Carolina. Because it had collapsed and the Governor John Rutledge was in exile. He was often in camp with Nathanael Greene. So they had a good relationship and it was, this was really important to get the civil authority up and running again, in Greene's mind. 

MJT: Right. There was a lot of concern, I think that this war seemed to be coming to an end. But, if the British retained control of Georgia and South Carolina, we might have granted independence to 11 states, and two would have remained British colonies as, as did many others like the colonies in what became Canada remained British. South Carolina and Georgia easily could have remained British colonies after the war. Had the Americans not been able to retake it and we mostly have General Greene and his army to thank for that. 

SBB: Yes, that's and that was exactly what Nathanael's concern was. What you just described was that there would be peace and that the British were still holding those two states. 

MJT: I think Greene's really last big hurrah as far as battles go was Eutaw Springs. 

SBB: I love that battle. I've been to that battlefield a lot. Yes, they lost the battle. Well, they both claimed victory, but it was quite an intense battle lasted for four hours and there were huge losses. I think they're both sides lost, like 1400 men. But yeah, that was his last hurrah. He was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor for that battle. 

MJT: And Greene had really realized this was a war of attrition and whether he held a field at the end of the battle or not really didn't matter. What mattered was that the British Army kept losing men that they could not replace and that they were slowly dwindling. And yeah, Eutaw Springs was a big part of that. 

SBB: And if he was, showing strength in the state. The civilian population would also be more apt to be on the patriot side because they were having their own civil war down there. The civilians were, and that was also a great concern. 

MJT: Yeah, I mean, there were certainly lots of people who were hardcore patriots or hardcore loyalists on either side, but there was a huge portion of the population that was mostly: I just want to farm and not have my land seized and all that.  If the British were in control, fine. Let me go farm my fields. And if the Americans were in control, fine, let me go farm my fields. And so maintaining that the appearance to the population that, yes, we the Americans are in control, certainly was a big help to getting those people on their side, at least for them. 

SBB: Right, right. 

MJT: So the war comes to an end. 

SBB: Charleston's evacuated and the war comes soon in, and then he goes home to Rhode Island. Katie, his friend at the house in Newport. So they move in there. In 1782, he was not getting any money from the Continental Congress or the states to clothe his men, and he ended up having to sign a personal $30,000 loan, not loan. It was a guarantee to a merchant who was supposed to provide clothes to his army. And the merchant did some money making schemes and lost his credit and Nathanael had to step up and and do basically signature loans and say here, here's, you know, my guarantee and everything went wrong. He did get the clothing, but everything went wrong. And so he was in horrible, horrible debt. He had to borrow money from Robert Morris, the Marquis, a bunch of his friends. And he was crushed under this debt. 

MJT: See, this is a common complaint of a lot of Continental officers is they put their personal money and credit on. The line to save their troops at a desperate time and they're looking to the Continental Congress to reimburse them as soon as they can. And the Continental Congress just kind of says don't know what you're talking about. Don't really want to. We've got no money. 

SBB: You're right, you're right. A lot of the generals did do this. It wasn't just Greene, but. 

MJT: Greene was hit particularly hard by it. 

SBB: Yes, he was. And they did give him the state of Georgia gave him plantation called Mulberry Grove in South Carolina, gave him a plantation called Boonsberry. And of course, the cost of running that was money he didn't have, but he went home to Rhode Island. Eventually, he and Katie decided that, well, he was trying to clear. His debt. And this wasn't happening, and he had to keep going back S to talk to lawyers. John Banks, the guy that he was supposed to provide the clothing, died during this time. And so Nathanael's hopes of ever clearing his debt with him just dropped to 0. So. So he and Katie finally decided their best bet was to move south to the Mulberry Grove plantation, which they did in October of 1785. And by this time they had five children, so he was very concerned about how he was going to take care of his family. He also had bought land on Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia, which he was trying to start cutting timber and even trying to sell it to France. But he was having trouble getting hiring people capable people to do this. Cut this lumber and timber. 

MJT: Yeah, this was before the the US Constitution was ratified. Says that really the Continental Congress or the Confederation Congress, whatever you want to call. At this point. Just had no money and they made all these promises to officers about what they were going to get after the war. And they were just not coming through with any of them. And these men who had sacrificed, you know, nearly a decade of their lives in, in military service were just bankrupt at this point and just doing anything they could to rebuild their lives. 

SBB: Yes, when they moved down there, Katie got pregnant again, had their sixth child. She fell and the baby was born early and died. And so they they were. Having some tragedy going on. Mulberry Grove was coming along well, but he still had no money. He wrote to Henry Knox and he said that his family was in distress and he had no idea how he was going to get out of it. And he felt embarrassed. He was embarrassed because he was in this situation. And couldn't get him extricate himself from it. And you're right, Congress would not pay him his money. So they were trying to. Develop their rice crop there in Mulberry Grove. He and Katie went to Savannah to meet with their lawyer, Nat Pendleton, and a London firm was demanding the money from Greene. Let me. Back up. I'm sorry I jumped to. He was getting letters from this London firm that was involved with the whole John Banks clothing business and they were demanding money from him and saying we need our money. You need to pay up and he didn't have it. So he finally met one of their representatives in Savannah and went there in June. Of 17, six, they went on June 11, went staying on the way home to Mulberry Grove. They stopped at a neighbor's home at plantation. And and Nathanael walked the field with his neighbor. So they could talk about. You know, he was learning, he was learning how to be a rice planter. And he didn't wear a hat under the sun on the ride home, he complained he had. A headache. He went home and went to bed. Well, things got worse. His head started as well and they called the Doctor. The doctor bled him. You know the usual treatments that did nothing of the day and he was diagnosed with some stroke. And his neighbor was actually General Anthony Wayne, who had gotten a plantation as well from the state of Georgia and Anthony Wayne. Died because he was so sick that Dana was sick and he sat with Katie. In four days, they sent the kids away. So now they are dropped into unconsciousness and he died on the morning of June 19th, 1786 and he's 43. 

MJT: Right. He's only 43 years old at this point. He made it through the whole war and sunstroke did him in. I mean, poor Katie was only what, 30-31 years old time. She's already a widow with six kids and a bankrupt estate. 

SBB: Yeah, Right. Well five because the last baby died. 

MJT:  Right. One of them passed away. 

SBB:  You know, the baby just died two months before Nathanael died. So she's got this. Now she's faced with all this stuff and she's away from home and hasn't lived in Georgia that long. 

MJT: Right. No family around or anything. One of the real shames is, I mean many of our founding fathers. Many of the great generals went on to do amazing things after the war and we probably would have expected the same of Greene. But he didn't get the opportunity because he, as you say, passed away in 1786, only a couple of years after the war ended. So. Yeah, I mean, it's a. Real shame, and of course, well, I guess. Nice extra about this or interesting extra is Katie Greene actually took on an interesting tenant after General Greene passed away. 

SBB: She took on Eli Whitney, then the inventor of the cotton gin. They had a tutor tutoring their children, the Greenes. His name was Phineas Miller. She and Phineas encouraged Eli Whitney to work on his invention. And they actually financially backed him. She ended up marrying Phineas Miller in 1794 or something. I can't remember the exact date, but yes, they were involved in Eli Whitney's cotton gin as you mentioned. 

MJT: Yeah, which really changed the course of the South for decades. Salina, this has been really interesting. Thanks for joining me today. As we said, you have a new book coming out on the life of Nathanael Greene that that's called The Line of Splendor, which as you said, was taken from the quote that he made about not wanting to leave the front lines. 

SBB: Yes, from a letter he wrote to Pennsylvania politician Joseph Reed. He said “they have taken me from the line of splendor.” 

MJT: When can we expect this book to be released? 

SBB: I'm hoping by the end of 2023 it's under edit right now, but these things take a long time so. Hopefully by then and I plan on keeping everybody informed. 

MJT: Well, great. We look forward to it. Salina. Thanks. 

SBB: This has been really a lot of fun. Thank you so much, Michael, for having me. 

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Further Reading

Salina Baker's novel about Nathanael Greene is expected to be published later this year.  She has also written the Angels and Patriots series, as well as  The Shipbuilder and The Trancendent.  For more about Baker and her work, please visit