Date of Award

Fall 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Johnathan S. Phillips

Committee Member

Jane Merritt

Committee Member

Michael Carhart

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47 R445 2008


This thesis examines both the military and political aspects of the genesis and application of militia violence in South Carolina immediately prior to and throughout the Revolution. It assesses the affects of violence on the part of both Patriots and Loyalists in controlling the support provided by the colonists to either army in South Carolina. Warfare in the Southern Colonies transformed, for the patriots, from the accepted European style of battle to the more successful employment of the frontier militia in the role of partisans.

Hearts and Minds argues that the use of violence by the rebel militia was an essential part of winning the war of popular support. Hearts and Minds assesses the development of militia forces and the changes to the tactics, techniques and procedures of militia in South Carolina. It outlines the factors of partisan warfare in South Carolina and how they differed from the other colonies. It uses the Battle of King's Mountain as a case study in the employment of militia forces during the Southern Campaign, highlighting the violence and cruelty associated with this form of warfare. It focuses on the effects of violence and intimidation to mold public opinion and support in the colonies; demonstrating that the use of militia as partisans on both sides and the subsequent effects, retribution and retaliation, had a significant impact on the escalation of violence during the Revolution.


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