Philadelphia Winn Chapter NSDAR Hosts Historian, Author Robert M. Millingham, Jr.
In honor of Georgia Day on February 12, Historian, Author Robert M. ("Skeet") Willingham, Jr., spoke on the topic, "The Southern Strategy in the Revolutionary War," at the February meeting of the Philadelphia Winn Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
Willingham began by stating that the British created their “Southern Strategy” during the latter years of the Revolutionary War. During the early period, battles raged in Northern cities – Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Later, though, the British designed a plan to crush and separate the four most Southern colonies from the remaining nine, a strategy fittingly called “Separating the Four from the Nine.”
The British soon learned, however, that Southern Patriots were not easily intimidated. Willingham used the Battle of Kettle Creek as an example. On Valentine’s Day, 1779, a Loyalist militia found itself surrounded by a militia of Patriots on an isolated hill outside Washington, Ga. From the woods, the Patriots sprang and defeated the Loyalists.
Willingham described this method of coming out of nowhere to fight a surprised foe as guerrilla warfare. The British, however, fought in a more traditional way – marching in open formation as if war were a kind of “gentleman’s sport.” Willingham said the movie “The Patriot,” starring Mel Gibson, portrayed the American technique of modern warfare in a correct way.
The Battle of Kettle Creek proved that Southern Patriots would indeed fight and protect their families and neighbors, many of whom were new “upcountry” settlers. Security for them meant the region could expand and grow.
Willingham is a native of Washington, Ga., and has authored more than fifteen books, including “History of Wilkes County, Georgia” and “Deadly Trust: The Mysterious Disappearance of the Nelms Sisters.”
If you would like to join the Philadelphia Winn Chapter NSDAR, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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