The Quaker and the Gamecock

Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter, and the Revolutionary War for the Soul of the South

Andrew Waters

A joint biography of Nathanael Greene and Thomas Sumter and the Southern campaign of the American Revolution.
Date Published :
September 2019
Publisher :
Illustration :
8 images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612007816
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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A joint biography of Nathanael Greene and Thomas Sumter and the Southern campaign of the American Revolution.

As the newly appointed commander of the Southern Continental Army in December 1780, Nathanael Greene quickly realized victory would not only require defeating the British Army, but also subduing the region's brutal civil war. "The division among the people is much greater than I imagined, and the Whigs and the Tories persecute each other, with little less than savage fury,” wrote Greene.

Part of Greene’s challenge involved managing South Carolina's determined but unreliable Patriot militia, led by Thomas Sumter, the famed "Gamecock." Though Sumter would go on to a long political career, it was as a defiant partisan that he first earned the respect of his fellow backcountry settlers, a command that would compete with Greene for status and stature in the Revolutionary War's "Southern Campaign."

Despite these challenges, Greene was undaunted. Born to a devout Quaker family, and influenced by the faith's tenets, Greene instinctively understood the war's Southern theater involved complex political, personal, and socioeconomic challenges, not just military ones. Though never a master of the battlefield, Greene's mindful leadership style established his historic legacy.

The Quaker and the Gameccock tells the story of these two wildly divergent leaders against the backdrop of the American Revolution's last gasp, the effort to extricate a British occupation force from the wild and lawless South Carolina frontier. For Greene, the campaign meant a last chance to prove his capabilities as a general, not just a talented administrator. For Sumter, it was a quest of personal revenge that showcased his innate understanding of the backcountry character. Both men needed the other to defeat the British, yet their forceful personalities, divergent leadership styles, and opposing objectives would clash again and again, a fascinating story of our nation's bloody birth that still influences our political culture.

About The Author

Andrew Waters is a writer, editor, and conservationist residing in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is the editor of three slave narrative collections. As a land conservationist, he has facilitated the preservation of over 20,000 acres in the Carolinas. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in parks and recreation management at Clemson University.


Prolog: On Hobkirk's Hill
1: Gamecock
2: Quaker General
3: Winter of Discontent
4: Sumter's Rounds
5: War of Posts
6: Fight, Get Beat, Rise, Fight Again
7: Partisan Games
8: Ninety Six
9: Dog Days
10: Eutaw Springs
11: Bitter Ends
12: The People Versus Nathanael Greene


"Scholars will find it illuminating, as it provides detail that is necessarily missing from broader studies. For general readers and those who simply enjoy military history, the book provides an easy-to-follow narrative of the major events while making a cogent, scholarly argument. The sources are both appropriate and illustrative."

- History: Reviews of New Books

"Meticulously researched and exceptionally well written, organized and presented."

- Midwest Book Review

"A brilliant account of the military campaigns and collaborations between Greene and Sumter"

- The Colonial Review

"Waters has ably mined the Papers of Nathanael Greene to author a very readable narrative of the southern campaign that will certainly appeal to Revolutionary War enthusiasts... Waters is an able writer with a keen eye for historical detail."

- Journal of Southern History

"...narrow focus in time and geography provides the opportunity to examine several battles that rarely rate more than a brief mention in books that take a larger view, among them the battles of Hobkirk’s Hill, Ninety-Six, and other, smaller conflicts."

- Journal of the American Revolution

"An engaging biography of Nathanael Greene and Thomas Sumter"


"Andrew Waters has written an interesting case study of the interplay between two very different personalities working toward the same goal, but seldom in harmony or even in a spirit of friendship."

- The Journal of America's Military Past

"Waters’s text provides a detailed overview of the Southern Campaign and presents interesting portraits of these two military leaders."

- Journal of Early American History

"...offers the reader an important understanding of the brutality of war and the reasons for the veneration of both Greene and Sumter in the South..."

- Quaker History

"...a very easy read that is great for anyone teaching leadership either for the military or business executives."

- Military Review

‘’In The Quaker and the Gamecock, Andrew Waters tells an engaging story, though one familiar to many readers of the American Revolution. His focus on command relations, however, provides an interesting angle. He also nimbly juggles his historical characters without creating confusion, an easy mistake he could have made with such strong personalities. His unnecessary and jarring passing references to President Trump and modern terrorism aside, this is a well-written and useful book for understanding the war in the South. 8/10.’’

- Wargames Illustrated

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