GAMECOCK by Robert D. Bass


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Succeeding Francis Marion's biography in the earlier Swamp Fox, Bass now writes of another Carolins, hero, the hard-hitting, elusive and difficult General Thomas Sumter. Sumter is today remembered less for his achievements in battle than for the fort named for him in Charleston harbor. Virginia born, having later served with Washington against the French, Sumter settled in South Carolina, married a rich widow, owned a country store, and at the start of the Revolution was given command of a regiment of South Carolina riflemen. Named ""Gamecock"" from his dashing methods of fighting, he flitted through the confusion of the war in the South, into battle and out of it, ignoring orders, paying his men- who adored him- with captured slaves, a method he tagged ""Sumter's Law"". A brilliant fighter and a sullen individualist, a headache to his own superiors as well as the enemy, he was called a gloryfighter by Nathanael Greene, the finest general in the South, and was often at odds with Marion. At the end of the war, the severely wounded Sumter retired to his wife's plantation, was elected to Congress and the Senate, went bankrupt in his old age, and died at the age of 98....Suffering at times from a confusion similar to that of the war in which its hero fought, this careful and definitive biography of a neglected American fighter belongs in public and historical libraries for students, historians, and more loyal native sons.

Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston