24JAN1781: “Lighthorse” Harry Lee and Marion’s Amphibious Assault on British at Georgetown, SC

22JAN1781 finds Lt. Col. “Lighthorse” Henry Lee arriving in Marion’s camp on Snows Island giving the militia a boost in spirits. The very next day, Lee has tow companies of his men depart down the Pee Dee River in flatboats guided by some of Marion’s men. Destination is Georgetown, a primary source of salt, rice and if lucky, some guns, horses and ammunition as well. These two leaders were about to bring their forces to bear on Georgetown in a coordinated amphibious assault (by land and sea).

By dawn on 24JAN1781 these flatboats reach the mouth of the Pee Dee River and Lee’s men hide on a small island in Winyah Bay (that leads to the Atlantic Ocean) to await the arrival of their companions coming via land. Brig. Gen. Francis Marion gathers his Militia at Kingstree on 24JAN1781,
then he and Lt. Col. Henry Lee ride hard, arriving near Georgetown at dark.

Delays in the land portion led to a premature attack from the sea the morning of the 25th. During the early morning hours, Lt. Col. Lee’s men in the flatboats slip undetected from their hiding place in Winyah Bay and
land on Georgetown’s undefended waterfront at Mitchell’s Landing. Continental office Capt. Carnes leads one party to seize Lt. Col. George Campbell in his headquarters near the parade ground.

With the Georgetown British garrison’s commander and four others  captured, and eventually paroled, the element of surprise was gone and the taking of Georgetown would not be that day. Had the Patriots really assaulted the redoubt, Lt. Col. Lee and Brig. Gen. Marion might then have taken the cannons there and used them on the houses. However, they do not want to risk unnecessary losses, and they quickly depart the small town. Both commanders erred appropriately toward preserving their men’s live than achieving a bloody victory.

The psychological impact was there as the British held back resources to protect Georgetown which as a supplier of salt in the region as well as a transportation crossroads.

-SF1

JAN1781: A New Year on Paper, A New Title for Marion .. However – Same Mission

While it always looks good on paper, a new title and all, the men of principle stay the course and so not let promotions distract from their mission.

In January of 1781, Marion’s mission was intact. This was not an easy thing to do as we will see this month unfold. When the militia asks for resources (like having more than the typical 3-4 rounds of ammo these men had on them at any one time), the larger Continental force would ask for horses.

Nathaniel Green’s appetite for horses almost harmed this regular / militia partnership. Greene realized that the fight in the south meant traversing deep rivers (horses swim better than most men, so horses helped) and and moving in and around impassible creeks/swamps. Greene was a quick study using maps to understand the geography and in weeks he knew more than Cornwallis did in half a year. Marion would sometimes not reply directly to the request for horses since he had none to spare as his own men, who routinely had little ammo needed the horses in their hit-n-run style. His men were also farmers, and horses were essential to a good working farm. Greene would remind Marion and would drop the exiled SC governor’s name (Rutledge) to force the issue and even ask how many Marion had and how many he could spare. Marion’s men, unpaid volunteers, giving their horses to an army that was supplied by the Continental Congress? Some of Marion’s men deserted him when they learned of this, and rightly so.

The fact of the matter was, Marion’s cavalry tactic meant that the British could never force a decisive action on the militia. Even with bird shot, effective at only 20-30 yards, Marion’s men could effectively harass the British. In time Greene admitted that taking horses from the militia was like robbing Peter to pay Paul, so eventually he got the message.

By 14JAN1781 Marion thanked Greene for a shipment of ammo and also addressed the need for some reinforcements as the Tories near the North Carolina border were joining forces with other Tories around Georgetown. Within about a week (delayed because of difficulty in finding the Swamp Fox) a detachment of 250 men (mix of cavalry and infantry) led by Lt. Col. “Light-Horse” Harry Lee age 25 (father of Robert E. Lee) arrived at Snow’s Island.

So with a new year arrives a new partner in this mission with a different style than Marion’s. “Light-horse” Harry was different in being a highly educated Virginia gentleman who dressed elegantly and had his men in full uniform with short green coats (similar to Tarleton’s on the British side). This color accent hampered his ability to find Marion as the locals were very suspect of the green!

Also, Light-horse Harry was an egotist, a self-promoter ,unlike Marion BUT similar to Francis with being small in stature as well. Both were believers in discipline, agility and speed.

Light-horse Harry would eventually tout his own achievements in his memoirs while settling scores with his enemies including Thomas Jefferson. But in the end, Harry would speak fondly of Francis Marion even though in his reports he used “I” where he should have used “we”.

By the last week of January 1781 there would emerge a target that both Marion and Lee would need to engage. Little did they know, until after this next battle near Georgetown, South Carolina (alternative seaport that the British used to keep it inland forces supplied) that there was a huge patriot victory at Cowpens, South Carolina on January 17th where Daniel Morgan achieved a double pincer movement that utilized militia in the front lines to supply 2-3 volleys and then retreat which then brought Tarleton’s dragoons into a trap (remember that from the movie ‘The Patriot’?) and resulting of 85% loss in the dragoon’s 1050 man force (100 dead, 230 wounded and 600 captured). Also captured was two field cannon, 800 muskets and 100 horses.

On the heels of this action at Cowpens, Cornwallis chose the offensive and even after having lost 25% of his force, proceeded to chase Morgan and Greene. These two commanders headed towards VA (called later “The Race for the Dan (River)”) for supplies and reinforcements. Cornwallis with Gen Alexander Leslie’s 1500 men would burn their own supply train, including the rum, and chase Greene throughout NC.

That pretty much covers up the January 1781 action with Marion and his militia except for the “amphibious” landing in Georgetown, the source of most of the salt in the region which is critical for the preservation of meat. This action will be covered in my next post in this series that follows the calendar year events of Francis Marion during his two year effort to keep the British Empire from prevailing in their attempt to retain control of the American Colonies.

-SF1

1775 Snapshot of South Carolina: What Triggered SoCaroxit?

Post French-Indian War – Proclamation 1763

We are all very familiar to Brexit, and other exit movements with the EU here in 2019. Back in the 1770s, there had been seeds of an effort toward self government in South Carolina for well over a decade. The book ‘South Carolina and the American Revolution‘ by John W. Gordon does a good job at painting the social, military and economic climate in this colony that pitted the success of this colony due to Mother England against a very typical desire for autonomy of the political class present at this point in time.

This post represents the first of several in which I hope to capture the overarching issues at play when people, families and communities risked their own lively-hood for the dream of self-governance and self-determination that liberty minded people rightfully act on out of love for themselves, their children and generations to come.

We should know that the roots of political conflicts, known as wars, usually run back in time to previous wars and their treaties and compromises. Such is the case of setting the state for 1775 in South Carolina. The 1763 Treaty of Paris (not to be confused with the 1783 version that settled the American Revolutionary War) was the culmination of seven years of fighting not just in North America, but among the three global powers in the world at the time, Spain, France and England. While the English technically won the conflict and received various territories as a result, this empire also took on much debt toward that result.

England gained Florida from Spain and Canada from the French but were restricted from settling areas beyond the ridge of the Appalachian Mountains as seen in the map at the top of this post:

“We do therefore, with the Advice of our Privy Council, declare it to be our Royal Will and Pleasure, that no Governor or Commander in Chief in any of our Colonies of Quebec, East Florida, or West Florida, do presume, upon any Pretence whatever, to grant Warrants of Survey, or pass any Patents for Lands beyond the Bounds of their respective Governments, as described in their Commissions: as also that no Governor or Commander in Chief in any of our other Colonies or Plantations in America do presume for the present, and until our further Pleasure be known, to grant Warrants of Survey, or pass Patents for any Lands beyond the Heads or Sources of any of the Rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from the West and North West, or upon any Lands whatever, which, not having been ceded to or purchased by Us as aforesaid, are reserved to the said Indians, or any of them.”

Since the British empire had a large navy and a rather small army, and was most interested in sail trade, the priority of lands far removed from the oceans were just not high enough on their list. With the war over, it was now time to settle the war debt which included imposing new taxes on the thirteen American colonies as they had benefited from the protection from the French and the Indians.

If you look closely at the map at the top of the post, you can see where Indian lands are in 1763 South Carolina in the upstate region. The Cherokee, which inhabited much of the state in previous decades, had sided with the British during the 1758-1761 French & Indian Wars and were rewarded with protection by the British empire with this Proclamation of 1763. This is what upset the pioneer spirited settlers of South Carolina as they moved west as more people came to the colonies in the decade to follow. This “penned in” action helped the settlers to decide rather quickly if they wanted to stick with the British Empire, or to risk the path to independence.

By 1775, with similar rumblings in the northern British Colonies in America, South Carolina decided that they had what it took to manage their own affairs, even if it meant they no longer had the naval protection the British Navy offered from overseas forces that could threaten their independence.

Obviously, this independent spirit for liberty lingered on through the generations all the way to December 1860 when once again, South Carolina would attempt another “SoCaroxit”

A Rebel, or Just a Seeker of Truth and a Humble and Honorable View of Life

Over half a century ago, as my parents purchased World Book Encyclopedia set that came with Childcraft books for kids, I started my own quest of what the Abbeville Institute calls, as its mission, to:

preserve and present what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition

I did not know this at the time. The only reason I chose researching the “Southern tradition” when I was a young child was the fact that I was born in Columbus, GA back when they still had white drinking fountains, and black drinking fountains. I know just being born on land that happens to be south of the Mason-Dixon line does not make one a “Southerner”, just the fact I was born in Muscogee County within a few miles of the Chattahoochee River made me want to learn all I could of that region, its people and their history..

So starting when I was 6 or 7 and continuing into high school when I could go to the library and read all about the South, its culture, its quest for independence in 1775 and again in 1860 and the predominant aspect that set it apart from the rest of the nation, its connection with the land, and with kin. As the Internet developed, Amazon Kindles were manufactured, I have continued this research in the last couple decades.

Today’s installment of the Abbeville Institute daily educational e-mail brought me to a new place in my research journey. You see, for all these years I thought it was just because I am a rebel at heart, or sometimes being able to see ahead with a prophetic eye (not foretelling, but forth-telling) or maybe the fact that I tend to align myself with the underdogs in life, that these were the reasons I stayed in touch with my “southern research” and seeing value in much of the Southern traditions. But today, I saw something that I don’t think I understood before, it was the agrarian view of life that attracted me at my core to stay attached to how the South responded to the world around them through the centuries since a ship first landed at Jamestown in 1608.

Here is the paragraph that made the light bulb turn on:

In 1787, Patrick Henry warned Virginia and the South about the danger of forming a union with the people of New England. Patrick Henry predicted that the North, being the numerical majority, would control the Federal Government and use the Federal Government to extract tribute (taxes in the form of tariffs) from the South. Patrick Henry was joined by other Southerners, such as George Mason and Rawlins Lowndes who warned of the danger of a union with the North.[2] From its very beginning, the United States has been a nation divided. The division was not one of slave states vs. non-slave states but a division between a commercial society vs. an agrarian society.

Agrarian societies, in my humble opinion, know intimately well the realities of nature in this world and how broken it really is. One could plant a crop one year with the timing perfect and yet see the crops be decimated before harvest time. Alternatively, one could sow a crop in all the wrong ways and reap a bountiful harvest. Being agrarian, in my own opinion, keeps one humble, and keeps one from thinking that one could improve on nature to the point of perfection.

I look around today at the progressives, left-collectivists (as well as those on the other side of the aisle, so-called conservatives, neo-cons, right-collectivists) and know that they probably have never farmed a day in their life. These people, born into an urban or suburban setting only know how to idealize how everything can be fixed, in their utopian view for “free” based on their own shallow notion of where security and wealth come from. Government tends to be their god.

Alternatively, those who can tell the difference between capitalism and crony capitalism, between creating value honorably verses buying a monopoly via lobbyist actions in DC, know that there is a difference between labor, fiat money and wealth, values and a generational legacy to hand down.

This article also points out the heartache all honest businessmen and entrepreneurs  have in the current climate, that was the case even back in the 1800s:

In 1828, Missouri Senator Thomas H. Benton declared that the Federal Government’s tariff policy was forcing Southerners to pay 75% of the Federal revenue used to support the government. He lamented, “This is the reason why wealth disappears from the South and rises up in the North. Federal legislation does all this.” [5]

In an 1828 letter to Daniel Webster, Abbott Lawrence of Massachusetts advocated a proposed tariff bill because “This bill if adopted as amended will keep the South and West in debt to New England the next hundred years.”[6] As Patrick Henry had warned and Senator Benton noted, the agrarian South was being exploited by the commercial North—a Northern commercial and financial crony capitalist society that could not exist without the steady inflow of revenue gained from protective tariffs.

Massachusetts historian Charles Bancroft admitted this harsh fact ten years after the North’s conquest of the South, “While so gigantic a war was an immense evil; to allow the right of peaceable secession would have been ruin to the enterprise and thrift of the industrious laborer, and keen-eyed businessman of the North. It would have been the greatest calamity of the age. War was less to be feared.”[7] Follow the money, and you will discover the real reason for war.

Being exploited for other’s gain is never a good feeling. The ability of parasites both in industry and in government to siphon off one’s wealth and makes it that much more difficult to put profits away for future capital expenditures means that everyone is working harder for less realized credit. It does seem at times that the deck is stacked against the entrepreneur, not just the broken world part, but a government entity and all their regulations (federal, state, local) that sucks life out of …. life.

Here is a final quote from this article, one that shows not unlike those in the South after their attempt for independence failed, we too are in fact these days subjects, not citizens. We are tax slaves on the government plantation:

Confederate President Jefferson Davis explained the motive for Northern invasion of the South, “The lust for empire impelled them [Northerners] to wage against their weaker neighbors [Southerners] a war of subjugation.”[11] Senator Joseph Lane of Oregon in 1861 warned Congress that the Federal Government was becoming an aggressive empire.[12] The London Telegraph in 1866 observed that while the United States “may remain a republic in name, but some eight million of the people [Southerners] are subjects not citizens.”

So yet again there are forces in this land that are ripping people apart. The majority think this is a right or left problem, and that if we get government right, and get the right people elected, all will be well. But at our core, those that are critical thinkers know this all sounds very hollow. We know that it is not the takers that find truth and honor in this broken world, but the givers, those who sacrifice for their kids, grand-kids, family and friends to make this journey a more pleasant one.

Again, the land has a lot to do with this process, and in these days when so many are generations away from the land we tend (myself included) to take nature and the Creator of that nature for granted.

I guess I am coming to the age where I see that more clearly every day, just to watch ducks and geese in a pond for 10, 20 or 30 minutes observing their journey as the weather changes. These days it seems that we have to intentionally carve out time to enjoy this earth, but in my own mind, there are rewards in that that far outweigh that time on social media or in front of a television.

Not sure what the path forward is, but getting back to nature and self-sufficiency seems to be part of the formula. No answers here today, just a lot of questions.

-SF1

Empire Tactics: 1780 Green Dragoons/Hessians to 2019 US Special Ops/Blackwater

The benefit of knowing history is knowing when you are about to be scammed. In the past week we have heard that President Trump suddenly, without the blessing of his neo-con staff personnel, decided to exit Syria in the near-term. What happened next was typical to this empire’s entertainment aspects, people that were against war at some point in their life all of a sudden WANT war in Syria. I mean it was normal to hear most of Congress (who have been lobbied by the Military Industrial Complex – $$$) get upset that we can’t keep our “covert” war there intact since we have invested 7 years there with various rebel groups including ISIS.

It is all indeed a show, and having watched Home Alone over the Christmas break seeing Donald Trump giving advice to Kevin, we can’t be surprised in 2019 to understand that Donald Trump is still acting. All empires need good actors when they approach end of life status, it keeps the masses entertained while what is happening behind the scenes gets more and more desperate.

During the Revolutionary War, the British Empire used 30,000 Hessian mercenaries (30% of the total British force in the American Colonies) towards their attempt to hang on to their empire. Also deployed was their Green Dragoon Legions and the tactics that had local innocent citizens and their property in the cross-hairs of these forces.

During the follow-up of the Iraq invasion in 2003, the US Empire also used mercenaries in their attempt to hang on to the territory in Iraq as part of the US Empire. By 2007 there had been a huge number of incidents where these mercenaries were guilt of massacres throughout Iraq. In fact, trials are still ongoing here in 2019!

A more in depth article is this one by Chuck Baldwin who has been following closely the Trump promises before his election compared to the Trump realities to date. One of the most startling statistics is in the quote that follows:

.. the first two years of Trump’s presidency was a flagrant disavowal of that campaign promise. Not only did Trump not disengage our forces from these illegal and immoral wars, but, as I have documented, he dramatically INCREASED America’s involvement in these wars. In fact, President Trump has dropped more bombs on more people in his first two years of office than President Obama did in his entire last term in office. Plus, he sent thousands of additional ground troops to Afghanistan and Syria and several other countries.

So that leads us to Trump’s latest claim, that the US is “leaving” Syria and also drawing down troops in Afghanistan. Well, it all depends on who is doing the counting and what is being counted. Knowing full well that none of these numbers include deep state CIA operatives throughout the region, if we are talking “official military” personnel in Syria, the US claims that only 2000 are there currently. I highly doubt that. But what is really going on? Chuck says:

This month, in the January/February print issue of the gun and hunting magazine “Recoil,” the former contractor security firm Blackwater USA published a full-page ad, in all black with a simple message: “We are coming.”

Is the war in Afghanistan — and possibly elsewhere ― about to be privatized?

If Blackwater returns, it would be the return of a private security contractor that was banned from Iraq, but re-branded and never really went away.

21st century Hessians! This Empire is outsourcing the dirty work left behind by the 17 year Afghanistan conflict and the 7 year illegal intrusion into the sovereign nation of Syria that Obama pulled the trigger on.

The legacy is trillions spent, that we have a debt for, just to _______? You fill in the blank, is this to keep military contractors employed? Is this to keep the petro-dollar in placed globally? Is this to help Israel out .. perpetually?

And what of the US Empire’s legacy?

Here’s the horrifying part: These “private contractors,” i.e., mercenaries, operate in a manner that is totally unaccountable to the rule of law. Totally! They operate outside the Constitution, outside the Rules of Engagement, outside the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), outside the Law of Nations, outside law period—and also outside public scrutiny. There is virtually no accountability for whatever murders, rapes, plunderings or criminalities of any sort that these mercenaries commit.

More terrorists are home-grown the more the empire’s atrocities are known. This is “job-security” as the US Empire’s last gasp around the globe. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

In summary, Chuck Baldwin concludes:

Combining Special Forces units that are already plagued with rampant abuses of power with mercenaries who are virtually unaccountable to any human authority is a recipe for the worst kind of barbarity and atrocity. This is what the Roman Empire did during its last days of power and what Great Britain did in its failed war against the American colonies. And this is exactly what Donald Trump is preparing to do. In fact, Trump is already setting the table for an unaccountable military force by shutting down military watchdog groups, thus turning off the light of public knowledge and ensuring military unaccountability.

The “swamp” is still intact. The cynic in me points to the root of this nation’s poisonous government. Many, including Chuck claim that if we would just get back to the Constitution … yeah, it was never meant to be “got back to”. As Lysander Spooner said in the 19th century:

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”
Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority

My thinking, thanks to Ben Stone’s efforts and his manual , has evolved to this:

When I first read this a year ago I just laughed. About six months ago I read this and still thought that maybe Thomas Jefferson was blindsided by this whole Constitution coup d’tat that happened while he was Ambassador to France. I understood that George Washington was a Federalist at heart and wanted a mini-British nation on this continent, and that Benjamin Franklin was getting old and nodded his consent. But the likes of George Mason and Patrick Henry saw through all this and rightfully noted the slippery slope that this document created a path for going forward.

I now think that Thomas Jefferson really thought that there would be another revolution inside a generation as what was created was just an “experiment”, a beta-test version 1.0 of a federated republic that would have checks and balances like nullification and secession options that could keep it grounded until another version could be tried.

I do think that the pioneer spirit of that founding generation did not even last a decade before this country fell back into its old ways. Before you know it you have George Washington taking thousands of troops into Pennsylvania to enforce a 25% Whiskey Tax to fund his government. You can not possibly make this stuff up!

Happy 2019 y’all .. I will try to stay more positive in my future posts this year, if the Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise.

-SF1

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun – Ecclesiastes 1:9