On January 13, 1781, Lieutenant Colonel Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee Jr. and his legion of cavalry of troops reported to Major General Nathaneal Greene, commander of the Continental Army’s southern department then encamped at South Carolina’s Pee Dee River.
Known today as the father of General Robert E. Lee, the intrepid Virginian had deservedly earned his reputation as one of the Revolution’s finest cavalry commanders. The only officer of the war below the rank general to be awarded a gold medal by Congress in 1779, Lee is still considered one of America’s finest cavalry commanders.
Greene, the fighting Quaker from Rhode Island, brilliant strategist and field commander, soon gained confidence in Lee’s service on and off the battlefield as they fought against the British. At the Battle of Eutaw Springs in September 1781, however, Lee’s penchant for independent action contributed to Greene’s blistering defeat. A bitter dispute erupted that would lead to Lee’s resignation from the Continental Army.
On Sunday, from 3 - 5 p.m., noted historian Jim Piecuch will present a free Lyceum Series program, "The Rallies and Rifts of Nathaneal Greene and ‘Light Horse Harry’ Lee," at the Kershaw-Cornwallis House at Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site. Drawing from his two recently published books on Greene and Lee, Piecuch will discuss the complex, successful and sometimes contentious relationship between these prominent Revolutionary War warriors as the brutal Southern campaign swirled around them.
Piecuch was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he served 13 years as a city firefighter. He also worked as a freelance writer, publishing hundreds of articles in local, regional and national newspapers and magazines. In 1994, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of New Hampshire-Manchester and went on to earn his Masters of Arts from the University of New Hampshire and his Doctorate in history from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Piecuch is now a professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia and the author of several acclaimed books and articles on the history of Colonial and Revolutionary America. He resides in Camden with his wife, Laurie.
Light refreshments will be served at Sunday’s program following the presentation. Available for purchase and autographing will be books by Piecuch, including the recently published "Light Horse Harry Lee" in the War for Independence, co-authored by John Beakes, an ardent history buff from Maryland who unearthed some of the book’s primary documentation.
Also of interest will be General Nathaneal Greene and the American Revolution in the South, an excellent assessment of Greene’s military career, edited by Gregory D. Massey and Piecuch. Earlier published works will include The Battle of Camden: A Documentary, as well as Cool Deliberate Courage: John Eager Howard in the American Revolution: Three Peoples, One King: Loyalists, Indians and Slavers in the Revolutionary South, 1775-1782; and Piecuch’s The Blood Be Upon Your Head, Tarleton and the Myth of Byford’s Massacre.
This Lyceum program helps underscore the museum’s mission to discover, protect and interpret things pertaining to early Camden, with emphasis on Camden during the American Revolution. Historic Camden annually receives some funding from the city of Camden and Kershaw County.
Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site is located at 222 Broad St., in Camden. For additional information, please call 432 - 9841 or email his email@example.com or visit www.historic-cam den.net.