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Militias, Loyalist and Patriot

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  • Patrick J OKelley
    Howdy, ... The South was about the closest thing to a modern day guerilla war. It would fit in nicely with the way they fought in Viet Nam. Militias are the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2002
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      >They didn't receive their beating orders as a unit until
      >Sept. of 1777. That is a good two years or more than when Rebel units
      >were officially active.

      The South was about the closest thing to a modern day guerilla
      war. It would fit in nicely with the way they fought in Viet Nam.
      Militias are the citizen soldiers. Depending on the area, that
      would mean a Loyalist soldier or a Patriot soldier. There were places in
      the two Carolinas that you did not go into if you were from the wrong
      political persuasion, just like in a modern war. Where I am sitting
      right now (Barbecue, North Carolina), was a heavy Loyalist area. You
      didn't go through here speaking of the King's Tyranny, and not get shot
      at. (Fanning lived right down the road).
      The British adopted something very similiar to our strategic
      hamlet program from Viet Nam. They moved into the countryside and found
      the Loyalist militias. They then organized them into a force, and moved
      them closer to the posts if they needed to. The Loyalist militias would
      live off the people in their area, however if he went through a Patriot
      area they would end up stealing, or bullying his way into supplies.
      These militias were in place from the first shots fired. They
      had been in place since their formation in the 1760s to fight in the
      Cherokee Indian War.
      Your situation is different. I take it you are from New York or
      Massachussetts. There you were surrounded by a sea of Patriots and had
      to wait for the Regulars to show up before you could act (1777 or so).
      Down here it was ripe for the picking. This is why the first British
      strategy, after getting kicked out of Boston, was to move into the South
      and link up with all the Loyalists down here. They tried to take
      Wilmington, NC by using the Loyalists on the land side, and the British
      Navy from the sea side (and the Indians keeping the frontiersmen
      occupied). However the Loyalists moved to quick. The Patriot militia
      was able to devote their entire force against them at Moore's Creek
      Bridge. When the British showed up there was no Loyalist support. The
      Brits then tried to go into Charleston. However Charleston was about the
      most fortified place in North America at that point in time. Their
      intelligence didn't let them know that.
      After losing at Fort Sullivan they then decided to devote their
      energy into taking New York. Left us alone for about 3 years too.
      When they came South the second time in 1780 they didn't do much
      better. Capturing the cities was easy. The hard part was subduing the
      people. Not possible with the manpower they had. Its kind of like
      Hitler trying to subdue the Yugoslavians, or the Soviet Union trying to
      subdue the Afghans. Its easy to capture the cities. However the
      guerillas just vanish into the mountains (or swamps) and you have to
      devote an incredible amount of manpower to search them out.
      I often wonder why the Brits didn't pull out of America by 1780.
      It must have been obvious that it was all but impossible to win in North
      America (with France, Spain, and Netherlands making it a global war). I
      figure it was another ego thing. They couldn't back down, and they
      couldn't win either (kind of like modern day Ireland).
      Well, enough rambling.

      Patrick O'Kelley
      2nd Regiment of the North Carolina Line

      >Honour the King

      Which one?
      Richard or Elvis?

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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