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March to Independence: The Revolutionary War in the Southern Colonies, 1775–1776
by Michael Cecere
Westholme Publishing, 2021
eISBN: 978-1-59416-684-6 | Cloth: 978-1-59416-368-5


The American Revolutionary War began when Massachusetts militiamen and British troops clashed at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Two months later, a much larger engagement occurred at Bunker Hill in Boston. The conflict then expanded into a continent-wide war for independence from Great Britain. Or so we are taught. A closer look at events in the South in the eighteen months following Lexington and Concord tells different story. The practice of teaching the Revolutionary War as one generalized conflict between the American colonies and Great Britain assumes the South’s support for the Revolutionary War was a foregone conclusion. However, once shots were fired, it was not certain that the southern colonies would support the independence movement. What is clear is that both the fledgling American republic and the British knew that the southern colonies were critical to any successful prosecution of the war by either side.
In March to Independence: The American Revolution in the Southern Colonies, 1775–1776, historian Michael Cecere, consulting primary source documents, examines how Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia ended up supporting the colonies to the north, while East Florida remained within the British sphere. South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida all retained their royal governors through the summer of 1775, and no military engagements occurred in any of the southern colonies in the six months following the battles in Massachusetts. The situation changed significantly in the fall, however, with armed clashes in Virginia and South Carolina; by early 1776 the war had spread to all of the southern colonies except East Florida. Although their march to independence did not follow the exact route as the colonies to the north, events in the South pulled the southern colonists in the same direction, culminating with a united Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This book explores the crucial events in the southern colonies that led all but East Florida to support the American cause.

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