Thursday, June 11, 2009

The third surgery this month was a complete success and the patient is snoozing away, with ice wrapped around his head so that he looks like Princess Leia, sleeping off the anesthesia. It is quite remarkable what an experienced surgeon can do.

So I am looking about the internet to find discussions about surgery. I came across this MARVELOUS book about the southern campaign. I am distracted to read it before I write anymore, but let me share this information about the importance of horses for travel.

* “The horse is our greatest safeguard,” said Greene, “and without them the militia could not keep the field in this country.”33 Generally speaking, the mounts of the Continental cavalry, often being derived from Virginia
thoroughbreds, were faster and heartier than those of the British; who had effectively lost (just about) all their horses in the storms at sea sailing south to Charleston in the early weeks of 1780.34 The quality of horses made a
significant difference both on the march and in combat. On campaign, the American cavalry could usually move longer distances and more quickly without showing strain too early. In a charge in combat, their stronger and
heavier horses added additional power to the force of the attack. Lee speaks on this topic a few times in his memoirs. On the other hand, by the time Cornwallis invaded Virginia in the spring of 1781, it was essentially impossible for Greene to obtain new horses for his army from there; as well, an act by the Virginia legislature about the same time further prohibited their impressment and seizure by his agents.35

* With respect to movement rates we have the following examples to compare and consider:
~ Joseph Plumb Martin, a Continental soldier from Massachusetts reports walking a squad under his command 50 miles in 12 hours, and 90 miles in 24 hours.
~In pursuit to Waxhaws, Tarleton’s troops rode 105 miles in 54 hours (while losing horses on the march; which were replaced en route.)
~After Musgrove’s Mill, Isaac Shelby immediately retreated with a mounted forced, encumbered with prisoners, some 60 miles; such that in course of 48 hours his men had rode 160 miles, i.e. 100 to get to
Musgrove’s and 60 in retreat back toward the over-mountain settlements.
~ Joseph McDowell (of Quaker Meadows) and his militia marched 31 miles in one day, while other forces gathering for the King’s Mountain engagement did above 23 miles per day. On October 1st, the entire force left Quaker Meadows and did 18 miles in one day, but there was rain; which forced them to halt for the entire next day. On the actual day of battle, and despite some drizzle and light rain, Shelby and Campbell’s rode 40 miles to reach Kings Mountain.
~ An army moving at 10-15 miles a day considered to be moving at a very slow rate. As one example of this, in late January 1781, it took Cornwallis, 3 days to move 36 miles from his camp on Little Broad River to Ramseur’s Mill.
~ Prisoners taken by Morgan at Cowpens (16 January 1781) amounted to two thirds of his force. Slowed by captured prisoners and munitions (muskets, artillery and ammunition), he did not reach the north fork or main stream of the Catawba until the 23rd of January (having moved a distance of approximately 50 plus miles in
7 days.)
~ Kirkwood’s Delaware troops would typically move 60 miles a week on (mathematical) average, sometimes up to 70 or 80. An ordinary days march was 20 to 30 miles, or less depending on the strategy of the moment Greene was employing.
~ During his pursuit of Greene to the Dan River, Cornwallis managed a march of nearly 180 miles in the short space of ten days. Greene and his army, for their part, had moved on average 20 to 30 miles a day in the
same period.
~ On the retreat from the battle at Guilford, Cornwallis’s sore, weary, and many shoeless men, and encumbered with sick and wounded, did 90 miles in six days.

We forget how these people could move about relatively quickly and that they did it.

I was wondering about that question a few days ago myself. It only takes a few searches to come across someone who has already prepared the research. And, the exciting thing to me is to realize how much more information may be buried in pension statements or papers in archives all over the south.

Speaking of transportation, this just came across my email:

For those that were not able to attend the May 27th ElectrifyingTransportation conference in Raleigh but are interested in this exciting arena of transportation technologies: The PowerPoint presentations from the May 27th Electrifying Transportation Conference are now posted here:

In addition there will be a the road-mapping meeting for NC Get Ready July28th - Charting the Course for Electric Transportation. The meeting willtake place on RTI's MCNC campus at 3021 Cornwallis Rd., Durham NC from 1pm-4pm.

Remote participation will be available; please specify when you RSVP if you prefer this.

RSVP to Charting the Course for Electric Transportation Meeting Announcement

Who: All interested in making North Carolina a leader in electrictransportation

What: A road mapping meeting to further NC Get Ready by planning,prioritizing and implementing the steps involved in expanding use ofelectric vehicles in North Carolina

Where: RTI's MCNC campus; 3021 Cornwallis Rd, Durham, NC When: July 28, 2009 1:00-4:00RSVP :

Vik Rao, Research TriangleEnergy Consortium, 919-541-7438;
Anne Tazewell, NC Solar Center,919-513-7831;
Jeff Barghout, Advanced Energy 919-857-9006

Anne Tazewell
Transportation Program Manager
NC Solar Center/NC State University
Campus Box 7401
Raleigh, NC 27695-7409
phone: 919-513-7831
fax: 919-513-4523

For the latest in alt fuel news & events sign up for the NC Mobile CAREListserve by sending 'subscribe ncmobilecare' to

This was the wonderful conference I told you about. The powerpoints should be enlightening.

See my note this is on Cornwallis Road in Durham. And as far as I know, Durham County is not on the current map for the NHA. So somebody out there discover why there is a Cornwallis Road in Durham county. He is bound to have been there too.
So look what is found in the Marvelous book!

Emily Geiger became a little folk-tale in the hands of Benson Lossing with the story of how she was captured by the British, while attempting to deliver an important message from General Greene. Through a bit of slyness she
succeeded in destroying the message before it could be found.53

Another oft recounted story is concerns Greene’s evening’s sojourn at an inn at Salisbury, N.C. in early February 1781. Without a dollar to the army
chest, he was feeling especially overwrought with the responsibilities and cares that fell under his charge when Elizabeth Maxwell Gillespie Steele (or as she was named at the time of the occurrence, Elizabeth Maxwell Gillespie), wife of the innkeeper, handed him a bag of money that represented a substantial part of her savings. Greene, touched by her generosity, wrote on the back of a portrait of King George in the inn, “Oh George, hide thy face and mourn!”

He then left the picture facing the wall. What is claimed to be the portrait (which happens to be a print by the way) still exists in the hands of Thyatira Presbyterian Church in Millbridge, Rowan County.54

I wrote about the Thyatira Presbyterian Church in an earlier post. Now, I must go there to see if General Greene's handwriting is on the back!!! I think the print of King George was on the website.

However, here is another version of the story concerning the genealogy of Rev. Capt. John Steel’s Parents . It's possible the picture is in Raleigh!?

Patient is still snoozing.

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