An Introduction to the The General’s Blog by Bruce Venter

Bruce Venter

Welcome to the first edition of America’s History, LLC’s blog. We’re calling it The General’s Blog because many of my close friends affectionately, and sometimes sarcastically, call me General (you know who you are and what description fits you.)

The purpose of the blog is to provide current information, either about our tours or about something of a historical nature that I found interesting and wanted to pass on to our subscribers. I promise you the blog will not be used to tell you when I had a headache or when I walked the dog. Some bloggers use the medium as a personal history but I think you’re better served if there is some good, useful information on the blog about American history. Of course, since many of you know our cute little beagle, Sally, if she does something really unusual, it may be highlighted on the blog. I hope this will be an interactive experience and that you’ll feel free to comment on the content and views expressed on the blog. You should also feel free to contribute. If you know of a worthwhile event, a preservation project that needs publicity or if you’ve come across something in your research or reading that you think would be of interest to other history enthusiasts, please send it to us.

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The Gamecock vs The Swamp Fox – October 26-29, 2011

Wednesday, October 26 (7:30 PM) thru Saturday, October 29 (5 PM)
Headquartered in Columbia, SC
Led by Joshua Howard, David Reuwer and Bruce Venter

In 2009 our former tour company, Stars & Stripes Events offered its first Revolutionary War tour in South Carolina entitled The Swamp Fox: Francis Marion, Revolutionary War Hero of South Carolina. It was our most popular tour. This year we’re returning to the Palmetto State to explore the military career of another fearless South Carolinian, Thomas Sumter. Popularly known as the “Fighting Gamecock,” Sumter sometimes knocked heads with Francis Marion by his unconventional style. However, he also prompted his British adversary, Lt. Gen. Charles Lord Cornwallis to write to Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton, claiming Sumter “certainly has been our greatest plague in this country.” While Marion was made a popular hero by Walt Disney’s “Swamp Fox” TV series of the 1950’s, Sumter’s contribution to the War for Independence has remained in the shadows, except perhaps for South Carolinians. Our “Gamecock” tour seeks to remedy this perception.

Our first day will start with a visit to Williamson’s Plantation or Huck’s Defeat where contingents from General Sumter’s command defeated troops under Captain Christian Huck of Tarleton’s Legion. Then it’s on to Hanging Rock where Sumter successfully attacked Loyalists under Maj. John Carden, despite the fact that Sumter lost control of his men when they stumbled into a store of British liquor. A future U.S. president, Andrew Jackson served as a 13-year old courier for the Patriots. Next we’ll stop at Fishdam Ford where British Maj. James Weymss sought to trap the “Gamecock,” but his plans fell apart when the Redcoat commander suffered debilitating wound. The Rebels were again successful but Sumter barely missed being captured in the attack. We plan to end the day at Blackstock’s Plantation, a pristine battlefield where Tarleton switched from chasing the Swamp Fox to pursuing the Gamecock. Sumter turned the tables on “Bloody Ban” but was wounded in the fight. We’ll descend into the wooded ravine where Tarleton initiated his attack and trace the fight uphill to the site of Blackstock’s outbuildings where the British were stopped.

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