The Final Battle of the American Revolution's Southern Campaign
The Battle of Eutaw Springs took place on September 8, 1781, and was among the last in the War of Independence. It was brutal in its combat and reprisals, with Continental and Whig militia fighting British regulars and Loyalist regiments. Although its outcome was seemingly inconclusive, the battle, fought near present-day Eutawville, South Carolina, contained all the elements that defined the war in the South. In Eutaw Springs: The Final Battle of the American Revolution's Southern Campaign, Robert M. Dunkerly and Irene B. Boland tell the story of this lesser known and under-studied battle of the Revolutionary War's Southern Campaign. Shrouded in myth and misconception, the battle has also been overshadowed by the surrender of Yorktown.
Eutaw Springs represented lost opportunities for both armies. The American forces were desperate for a victory in 1781, and Gen. Nathanael Greene finally had the ground of his own choosing. British forces under Col. Alexander Stewart were equally determined to keep a solid grip on the territory they still held in the South Carolina lowcountry.
In one of the bloodiest battles of the war, both armies sustained heavy casualties with each side losing nearly 20 percent of its soldiers. Neither side won the hard-fought battle, and controversies plagued both sides in the aftermath. Dunkerly and Boland analyze the engagement and its significance within the context of the war's closing months, study the area's geology and setting, and recount the action using primary sources, aided by recent archaeology.
About the Authors
Irene Boland (1941–2016), emeritus professor of geology at Winthrop University, held a B.A. in chemistry and biology and an M.A.T. in chemistry from Winthrop University and was a certified medical technologist. Following a rewarding career as a technologist and a medical technology instructor, Boland taught chemistry part time at Winthrop University while earning M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of South Carolina. As a geology professor at Winthrop, Boland received the Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012, and in 2014 she established the Charles A. Boland and Irene Brunson Boland Student Research Assistantship Endowment.
"This is a long-overdue study of the Battle of Eutaw Springs, Nathanael Greene's last main force Southern campaign engagement. Drawing from a wealth of resources including new research, archaeology and pension documents, the authors have created an easy reading account of the 8 September 1781 battle that drove the British to the coast. For students of the Revolutionary War, this is must reading because so much focus has been directed at Yorktown where the British abandoned an army instead of the more mobile war in the South where the war was finally won by wearing down the British."—Lawrence Babits, George Washington Distinguished Professor of History, East Carolina University
"Dunkerly and Boland have produced a solid, well-written account of Eutaw Springs that fills a gap in the history of the southern campaigns and provides a strong foundation for further study of this important battle."—North Carolina Historical Review
"a very good analysis of the political, military, and physical environment, with some profiles of a number of interesting people, most notably Nathanael Greene, after Washington the most important American general of the war, though he never won a battle."—New York Military Affairs Symposium Review
Other Titles in HISTORY / United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)