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dreammachine

Only Southern State

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The Only Southern State That Did Not Have Troops Fighting For Both Sides Was South Carolina.

All Southern States had troops that formed regiments that fought for the North with exception of the State of South Carolina.  I think that this was due to the fact that the Southern War For Independence was not greatly thought of by the people living in Western NC, Eastern Tenn, North GA, North Alabama and of course West Virginia broke off and became a Union State.  The Southern Soldiers call these soldiers who were their neighbors "Galvanized Yankees" and this is where a lot of unlawful and uncivilized fighting was at it's worst.  Some of the Border States like Maryland/Kentucky and Missouri supplied troop for both Union and Confederate Armies.

North Carolina supplied the most troops to the Southern Armies.

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I do recall that Federal troops parked cannon overlooking Annapolis with the threat to start shooting if Maryland voted to secede.  They were essentially a Southern state but if they seceded DC would have been surrounded by Confederate states.  There was a large amount of pro-confederacy sympathy, with women wearing dresses decorated to look like the stars & bars, for example. 

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While most of the major battles of the Civil War were fought away from SC, the most battles during the Revolutionary War were fought in SC.  The facts back then would have suggested the forces of the Union were significantly weaker than the British Army that SC patriots kicked out of SC during the American Revolution.  Moreover, they were fellow Americans and it would have been easy to believe back then that Union forces would shy away from fratricide.

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Throughout the course of the American Revolutionary War, over 200 battles were fought within South Carolina, more than in any other state. On November 19, 1775, Patriot forces of the Long Cane Militia fought Loyalists in the first battle of Ninety Six, resulting in the death of James Birmingham, the first South Carolinian and southerner of the war. Colonel Richard Richardson led a large party of Whigs into the Upcountry to arrest Loyalists and to assert the power of the revolutionary General Committee over the entire colony.

Britain's strategy was to take advantage of strong Loyalist support in the South, begin a military drive in Charles Town, and perhaps sweep through the Upcountry, North Carolina, and Virginia while gathering men to take on Washington in the North. Under Colonel William Moultrie, the South Carolinians defeated the Royal Navy in the Battle of Sullivan's Island on June 28, 1776, and brought the Patriot Continental Army a major victory. In Philadelphia, the news reached delegates of the Second Continental Congress on July 19, over two weeks after delegates had voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence. The Battle of Sullivan's Island also caused the British to rethink their strategy and leave the South for approximately three years.

SC forces during the Revolution were largely local militias using guerrilla warfare tactics.  The British returned to Charles Town in 1780 and recaptured it.

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General Clinton thought that South Carolina was a Loyalist colony that had been bullied into revolutionary actions by a small minority. His idea was to increase British presence in the entire state and bring back the confidence of moderates in the area so that they would fight for the British. Clinton alienated Loyalists by spending all of the money on extra arms and soldiers rather than doctors.

The second British blunder was Clinton revoking the Carolinians' paroles. He broke his promise that if the Carolinians who surrendered did not actively seek to harass the British government, he would leave them and their paroles alone. On June 3, he proclaimed that all prisoners of war could either take up arms against their fellow Americans or be considered traitors to the Crown. Many soldiers, whose pride had already been bruised, reasoned that if they were going to have to take the chance of getting shot again, they might as well fight on the side they wanted to win.

The third British mistake was burning the Stateburg, South Carolina, home and harassing the incapacitated wife of a then inconsequential colonel named Thomas Sumter. Because of his fury over this, Sumter became one of the fiercest and most devastating guerrilla leaders of the war, becoming known as "The Gamecock". The Lowcountry partisans fighting under Marion and Upcountry partisans fighting under Andrew Pickens (whose home had also been burned) plagued the British by using guerilla warfare in the mountains, woods, and swamps of the state.

Then the South Carolina homeboys proceeded to kick British ass.

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On October 8, 1780, at Kings Mountain, American Colonel Isaac Shelby led a body of North and South Carolinians and attacked British Major Patrick Ferguson and his body of American loyalists on a hilltop. America's first major poet, William Cullen Bryant, described the homefield advantage that led to the Patriot victory in one of his poems. This was a major victory for the Patriots, especially because it was won by militiamen and not trained Continentals. It provided a great swing of momentum for the moderate "Overmountain Men" who had grown tired of British brutality. Kings Mountain is considered to be the turning point of the revolution in the South, because it squashed any significant further recruitment of Loyalists, and compelled Cornwallis to temporarily abandon North Carolina.

That December, General Nathanael Greene arrived with an army of Continental troops. When Greene heard of Tarleton's approach, he sent Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and his backwoodsmen over the Appalachian Mountains to stop him. On January 17, 1781, the two forces met at a grassy field with widespread hardwoods, reeds, and marsh in a well-known cattle grazing area called Cowpens.  Pickens and his guerrilla soldiers joined Morgan directly before the battle. Morgan still felt they were not strong enough to take on Tarleton's trained troops and wanted to cross a river that would separate them from the British and secure them a chance to retreat. Pickens convinced Morgan that staying on the British side of the river would force his men to fight it out in what some historians consider the best-planned battle of the entire war. The Patriots defeated the British and later battles at Hobkirk's Hill and Eutaw Springs would further weaken the British.

Success during the Revolutionary War created a culture of confident military prowess long before the Civil War began.  If you already knew you beat the British Army, why would South Carolinians heading into would become a civil war believe they would lose?

South Carolina also had a history of successful reconciliation with the British Loyalists they defeated during the Revolution.

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South Carolina had one of the strongest Loyalists factions of any state. About 5000 men took up arms against the Patriot government during revolution, and thousands more were supporters who avoided taxes, sold supplies to the British, and who had avoided conscription. Nearly all had emigrated to the province after 1765, as only about one in six was native-born. About 45% of the Loyalists were small farmers, 30% were merchants, artisans or shopkeepers; 15% were large farmers or plantation owners; and 10% were royal officials. Geographically, they were strongest in the back-country, where most settlers before the revolution had opposed the coastal aristocracy[3][4]

South Carolina had endured bitter internal strife between Patriots and Loyalists during the war (esp. 1780-82). Nevertheless, it adopted a policy of reconciliation that proved more moderate than any other state. About 4500 white Loyalists left when the war ended, but the majority remained behind. The state government successfully and quickly reincorporated the vast majority. During the war, pardons were offered to Loyalists who switched sides and joined the Patriot forces. Others were required to pay a 10% fine of the value of their property. The legislature named 232 Loyalists liable for confiscation of their property, but most appealed and were forgiven.

South Carolina already possessed well-earned pride at defeating the British Empire.

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In December 1782, the British evacuated Charles Town. The overjoyed residents changed the name to "Charleston" because it sounded "less British."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Carolina_in_the_American_Revolution

From a strictly military standpoint, why would South Carolinians, going into what would become a devastating civil war, have believed they wouldn't win and keep moving forward?

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4 hours ago, kingofnerf said:

While most of the major battles of the Civil War were fought away from SC, the most battles during the Revolutionary War were fought in SC.  The facts back then would have suggested the forces of the Union were significantly weaker than the British Army that SC patriots kicked out of SC during the American Revolution.  Moreover, they were fellow Americans and it would have been easy to believe back then that Union forces would shy away from fratricide.

SC forces during the Revolution were largely local militias using guerrilla warfare tactics.  The British returned to Charles Town in 1780 and recaptured it.

Then the South Carolina homeboys proceeded to kick British ass.

Success during the Revolutionary War created a culture of confident military prowess long before the Civil War began.  If you already knew you beat the British Army, why would South Carolinians heading into would become a civil war believe they would lose?

South Carolina also had a history of successful reconciliation with the British Loyalists they defeated during the Revolution.

South Carolina already possessed well-earned pride at defeating the British Empire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Carolina_in_the_American_Revolution

From a strictly military standpoint, why would South Carolinians, going into what would become a devastating civil war, have believed they wouldn't win and keep moving forward?

The British Army decided that it would be much easier for them to take the conquest of the Colonies down to the South where they had an ample supply of "Loyalist Supporters" to help them defeat their neighbors and the Continental Army stationed in Charleston, SC under the command of General Lincoln.  After out-flanking General Lincoln and marching behind his Continental Army defending Charleston, SC - General Lincoln did what he thought was the best thing at the time and surrendered the only large and standing army in the South - about 10,000 men, who were treated very badly by the British as POW's.  After this horrible loss, many partisan raiders or guerilla fighters sprung up  in brave men like General Thomas Sumter and General Francis Marion (Swamp Fox).  They fought the British when they had the numbers on their side and quickly vanished back into the swamps and rural areas of the state.  Fighting groups like this made it very difficult for the British, but the British Army in the South was still a very formidable weapon.  General Gates was send down with a small army to take on the British Army at the Battle of Camden, SC and General Gates and his small army was routed and General Gates sent packing.  General George Washington then sent a much more able soldier to lead the Southern Continental Army under General Greene and he had much more success at the Battle of Kings Mountain and the Battle of Cowpens - with help from soldiers from Virginia and North Carolina.  General Gates then went into a kind of "hit and run tactic against British General Cornwallis" and it succeed very well as General Greene would not commit to a large scale battle where the British Army had the superior numbers and would only fight them when and where it suited him and his Continental Army.  Thus this led to drawing British General Cornwallis all the way to the coast of Virginia at Yorktown - where he desperately needed supplies and then General George Washington slipped his army down from Penn/New Jersey area and the French Fleet finally showed up and blocked the British Fleet from reinforcing the British Army and then it was just a matter of time before General Washington made British General Cornwallis surrender and thus ended the war.  So, it is almost a correct statement to say that the Revolutionary War was pretty much won in the South.

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I was 12 years-old in 1976 when the nation's Bicentennial Celebration was going on.  That was a great time.

The thing I remember reading about the Battle of Cowpens was the intentional retreat of the Patriot musket lines.

Rather than have one big line with reinforcements in the rear to be called forward as needed, there were several smaller lines from the closest point to the Royal Army lines to the rear.

The first line would shoot and then fall back to the next line and kneel or lay down to reload, while the second line fired their muskets.  Then those two lines would eventually fall back to a third line in sequence, not together.  It was brilliant from a tactical standpoint.

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On 10/10/2019 at 3:06 PM, kingofnerf said:

I was 12 years-old in 1976 when the nation's Bicentennial Celebration was going on.  That was a great time.

The thing I remember reading about the Battle of Cowpens was the intentional retreat of the Patriot musket lines.

Rather than have one big line with reinforcements in the rear to be called forward as needed, there were several smaller lines from the closest point to the Royal Army lines to the rear.

The first line would shoot and then fall back to the next line and kneel or lay down to reload, while the second line fired their muskets.  Then those two lines would eventually fall back to a third line in sequence, not together.  It was brilliant from a tactical standpoint.

I bet it was.  I have never been able to spend much time at this National Battlefield.  I would love to have a whole day there and walk over it and try to understand just what was going through the minds of these brave men on both sides.

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On 10/13/2019 at 1:22 PM, dreammachine said:

I bet it was.  I have never been able to spend much time at this National Battlefield.  I would love to have a whole day there and walk over it and try to understand just what was going through the minds of these brave men on both sides.

There are a lot of good day trips here in SC to visit Revolutionary War sites.  Cowpens, Ninety-Six, Camden, Fort Moultrie, etc.  We make day trips of it with eating lunch at local places.  When we went to visit Cowpens we ate at the Beacon on the way home. 

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