Dan Snow serves up a solid History Hit documentary on the battle of Camden, South Carolina, in August, 1780. Camden was a strategically important hub on the Great Wagon Road, which ran from Philadelphia south and a little west into the backcountry of the southern colonies.
General Horatio Gates, the victor of Saratoga (thanks to Benedict Arnold) met British General Lord Charles Cornwallis in the Battle of Camden Court House, and got his ass handed to him. Camden marked the end of Gates’ ambitions to become commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The stinging defeated ended up having beneficial strategic consequences for the Americans. General Nathaniel Greene and Rifleman General Daniel Morgan would end up in the key positions of the southern campaign, which turned out to be a Very Good Thing.
Travelling to South Carolina for this special film, Dan Snow investigates some exceptional historic and archaeological discoveries that reveal the course of the battle, meeting key historians, archaeologists and forensics experts. The excavations have uncovered 14 of the fallen – men buried in shallow graves where they died on the battlefield. They have been carefully exhumed, ready for formal memorial. Dan attends the moving services for these men and boys from both sides of the conflict -—many of the dead were just teenagers when they died. We witness them being given military honours on the battlefield where they fell. Dan also finds out about the southern sector of the Revolutionary War, a decisive but often forgotten theatre of that conflict, out of which emerged the United States.
The Revolution will soon be upon us. Outlander Season 7 premiers June 16. Clan Cornelius has cleared the decks and will fire up the bagpipes and unfurl the old Betsy Ross Flag for that Friday night.
Speaking of Revolution…. Look for Episode 1 of the Frontier Partisans Podcast on the Mexican Revolution — The Mexican Game of Thrones — this week. It’s been hard to carve off quiet time to record, but that is finally happening tomorrow. It was more than a little challenging to put together a concise, cogent overview of the chaotic events of the Revolution, but I think I got there. What an extraordinary tale…
All eyes are on Ukraine as the awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive gets underway. But meanwhile, Sudan has is falling into a full-on civil war. The Rapid Support Forces’ origin in the notorious Janjaweed militias is lined out in an interesting article in The Telegraph.
Originally herders, the Janjaweed militias trace their roots to armed nomadic groups in western Sudan. They were first armed and formed into a fighting force in the early 1980s as the government competed to strengthen its influence in neighbouring Chad, which was embroiled in a long-running civil war. The Janjaweed – who called themselves the horsemen – began raiding villages and wreaking havoc, but first attracted international attention after a terrible genocide in 2003.