American Revolution

Brattonsville: Choosing Sides | The Southern Campaign

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After the crushing defeat at Waxhaws, the people of the South Carolina backcountry had a decision to make.  Were they “Tories”—loyal to the crown; or would they become “Whigs” or “partisans” and fight the British invaders? 

General Thomas Sumter gathered militia troops in South Carolina. Militia units consisted of “civilian” farmers and sometimes included Catawba Indians and slaves. The American militia and partisans couldn’t just line up and take on the British. The British forces were too well-trained and disciplined. The Americans had to whittle away at the enemy, strike their supply lines—fight dozens of little battles, rather than one big battle. This strategy became known as “guerrilla warfare.”

In June 1780, the British had established an "outpost" at Rocky Mount, in the Catawba Valley. Lieutenant Colonel George Turnbull sent troops into what are now York and Chester counties to round up and eliminate the rebels. Captain Christian Huck, a loyalist from Philadelphia, was the leader.

In the community of Brattonsville, Martha Bratton sent a message to warn her husband, Colonel William Bratton, that Captain Huck was on his way. The message was delivered by Watt, the family’s African-American slave.

On July 12, 1780, the Patriot militia, led by Colonel Bratton, defeated the British Legion. This battle became known as the "Battle at Williamson's Plantation" or "Huck's Defeat."

Musgrove Mill: Ray of Hope | The Southern Campaign

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August 19th 1780, three days after the Battle of Camden, another battle was fought. British Provincials from Ninety-Six were camped near Edward Musgrove’s grist mill on the Enoree River (Laurens County), with many recuperating from wounds received at the Battle of Cedar Springs.

Funding and support for the production is provided by The National Park Service, The Self Family Foundation, The George Washington Endowment Fund of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, The South Carolina State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, and a contribution from Dr. Charles B. Hanna.

Liberty or Death: Patrick Henry's Speech

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Patrick Henry's impassioned plea at the Second Virginia Convention in 1775, "Give me liberty or give me death," defined the American Revolution. This one-hour documentary-drama captures this seminal moment in American history by balancing experts' commentary on the events preceding the Second Virginia Convention with dramatic re-enactments of the historic moments that followed.

Independence Day | All About the Holidays

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It's the Fourth of July! Learn about the history of our country's most famous birthday, and discover why we celebrate Independence Day the way we do today.

Guilford Courthouse | The Southern Campaign

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The Battle of Guilford Courthouse was fought on March 15, 1781. This battle decided the outcome for the Carolinas because even though Cornwallis won, technically, he lost 25% of his force.

Benjamin Franklin | Writer, Inventor, and Founding Father Video

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At the height of the Age of Enlightenment, Benjamin Franklin accomplished great works in countless fields, including science, politics, and media, becoming one of America’s most prolific Founding Fathers. Through two primary source activities and a short video, understand how Franklin embodied Enlightenment values, and used his talent in writing and printing to have his opinions heard and help shape the world.

Click here for the Lesson Plan.

Thomas Paine | Writer and Revolutionary Video

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In January 1776, Thomas Paine published a document that sparked the American fight for independence from England. His political pamphlet, called Common Sense, showed the colonists that they could be free from the tyranny of a king by creating an independent nation where they could justly and fairly govern themselves. By watching a biographical video and engaging in two primary source activities, students will encounter the ideas, writings, and impact of Thomas Paine.

Click here for the full lesson plan.

Alexander Hamilton | Lawyer, Writer, and Founding Father Video

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Founding Father Alexander Hamilton fought at General George Washington’s side in the American Revolution, aided in the passage of the Constitution, and helped save the United States from financial ruin. A great leader, writer, soldier, and lawyer, Hamilton did not let his poor birthright stop him from achieving greatness. Through a short video and an analysis of two primary sources, students will examine the life of this important military and political leader.

Ninety Six: End Game | The Southern Campaign

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Ninety Six was a small frontier town near Greenwood, South Carolina—an essential part of the geography of British strongholds designed to seal off Charleston and the low country from French, Spanish, and Indian attack. At the “Star Fort” in Ninety Six, a band of Loyalists held their ground, waiting to see what would happen.  

On May 21, 1781, General Greene and approximately a thousand troops marched south towards Ninety-Six, to lay siege to the Star Fort.  It is was the longest field siege of The American Revolution. It lasted 28 days.

Kings Mountain: The Turn of the Tide of Success | The Southern Campaign

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Kings Mountain is a rocky wooded hill on the border of North and South Carolina. On October 7, 1780, a thousand Patriots surrounded and attacked the British troops and Loyalist soldiers. This battle would become a major victory and turn the tide for the Patriots.

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