General Daniel Morgan of Washington’s Flying Army

The mission of the Flying Army was to conduct raids all across the south. Pursued by the British in South Carolina, General Morgan decided to make a stand in Georgia, near present-day Spartanburg. Patrick K. O’Donnell describes the man he calls “Washington’s greatest general.”

His personal battle history was etched deeply across his body. On his left cheek, he bore an angry scar from a ball that entered his neck, passed through his mouth, took out most of his rear teeth, and exited his upper lip. It was at that moment, the night of January 16, 1780, according to legend, one of Morgan’s aides lifted the general’s shirt, exposing the leather-like scars on his back.

Washington’s Immortals, p. 279

Morgan’s strategy in Spartanburg: “defense in depth.”

The general’s first line consisted of skirmishers, handpicked from men who were crack shots. They would position themselves about 150 yards in front of the militia. He told the riflemen to aim for the officers to soften up the British as they came forward: “Aim for the men with the epaulets.”

Washington’s Immortals, p. 284

General Morgan told his militia men, the second line of defense, 150 yards behind the skirmishers, that he needed them to fire just three shots and then withdraw behind the Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia Continentals, the third and final line of defense.

This plan, as it turned out, worked beautifully. It led the British to think the Colonials were being routed, and they gave chase, straight into the waiting arms of the Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia Continentals.

Really an incredible experience to be reading about the American Revolution while Ukraine gets crushed.

Stay tuned.


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