“WEDDED TO MY SWORD”

Henry Lee in his Lee’s Legion uniform as depicted by artist Thomas Kelly Pauley.  www.pauleyportraits.com

The Life and Times of

 Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee

April 26-28, 3013 – Greensboro, NC – Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution with the Sons of the Revolution in the State of North Carolina presents their dynamic, fun, and scholarly symposium on the Life and Times of Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee.  The importance of the cavalry and light troops in the Southern war led General Nathanael Greene to put Lee’s Legion “upon as good a footing as possible.”  Now you can walk the grounds where Lee rode, fought and sealed his reputation on the battlefield.  Hear and interact with presentations by prominent scholars and authors to include Lee’s controversial life and contributions to American Liberty as a soldier, politician and early Southern Campaigns historian, and his roles in family and business.

April 26, 2013 – Friday – our Lee sites bus tour will feature the posturing of the Southern Department armies commanded by Lord Charles Cornwallis and Gen. Nathanael Greene in early March 1781 leading up to their final clash at Guilford Courthouse.  Included are Harry Lee’s battle sites in the Burlington, NC area: the skirmishes at Dunn’s Bridge, Clapp’s Mill, the Rocky Ford at Weitzel’s Mill, and the latest scholarship on Pyle’s Hacking Match.  Also go to the armys’ camps at the Alamance Regulators battlefield, High Rock Ford and Speedwell Iron Works on Troublesome Creek.  Tour led by David Reuwer and featuring local guides: historians Bob Carter, Stewart Dunaway and Jeff Bright.  Chat with our presenters while we see some of North Carolina’s best Revolutionary War sites.  Tour by preregistration only.

Lee's Legion, Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Greensboro, NC, March 16, 2013April 27-28, 2013 – Saturday & Sunday – “Wedded to my Sword” The Life and Times of Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee will include the latest scholarly research on the interesting and, sometimes, controversial life of Harry Lee with boots-on-the-ground tours of Lee battle sites along the 18th c. road from the New Garden Meeting House to General Nathanael Greene’s awaiting army deployed at Guilford Courthouse with your guide Charles B. Baxley, Greene expert Dennis Conrad, 18th c. cavalry expert Dan Murphy and others.  Dynamic presentations on Lee’s life, contributions to the Revolutionary War, as a Virginia politician, Southern Campaigns historian, and his controversies will be made by world-class scholars including Jim Piecuch, Ben Huggins, John Hutchins, Mike Cecere, Jim Mc Intyre, Ben Rubin, John Beakes, Steve Rauch, Dan Murphy, Dave Neilan, and Stewart Dunaway.  Our keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Dennis M. Conrad, editor in chief of the southern campaigns volumes of the Papers of General Nathanael Greene, Harry Lee’s boss during the Southern Campaigns.  On Sunday’s included battlefield tour, we will see the New Garden Meeting House and road to Guilford Courthouse – sites of Harry Lee’s initial battles with the British commander, the infamous “Bloody Ban” Tarleton, prior to the general engagement at Guilford Courthouse – and walk the Guilford Courthouse Battlefield.  Lee’s climatic clash at Guilford did not happen within the federal park; we will go to the site.

Call (803) 549-6710 to preregister for the Symposium or email Charles B. Baxley at cbbaxley@truvista.net or David P. Reuwer at davidreuwer3@aol.com for other event details.  Please preregister as it helps us plan for catering and handouts and gives you a discount.  Symposium SchedulePresenters’ Biographies — RegistrationHotel Reservation Information.

Lee's Legion 1781“I believe few Officers either in America or Europe are held in so high a point of estimation as you are…”  Gen. Nathanael Greene to “Light Horse” Harry Lee, January 27, 1782

The sentiment above, expressed by General Nathanael Greene, commander of the American southern army, captured the opinion of many Americans regarding Light Horse Harry Lee, the dashing cavalry commander from Virginia.  In early 1782, twenty-six year old Lieutenant Colonel Lee commanded a legion of mounted and dismounted dragoons that had just completed a spectacular year of military service in the South. Lee’s efforts in 1781, in conjunction with General Greene and the American southern army, resulted in the British loss of most of South Carolina and Georgia.  Over the course of 1781, Lee and his legion, often detached from Greene’s army, helped screen Greene’s desperate retreat to Virginia in the Race to the Dan River, captured or destroyed numerous enemy outposts and detachments in South Carolina and Georgia, and played a crucial role in the bloody battles of Guilford Courthouse and Eutaw Springs and the sieges of Forts Watson, Motte, Granby, Augusta, and Ninety Six.

The extraordinary service of Lee and his men in 1781 capped what had already been five years of distinguished military service for Lee.  He had reported to General Washington’s army at Morristown as a twenty year old cavalry captain in 1777 and his daring exploits at Valley Forge (1778) Powles Hook (1779) and Springfield (1780) earned him a reputation as a bold commander.  Lee’s extraordinary military service on both the northern and southern battlefields of the Revolutionary War confirm that the young officer made the right decision when he declined the opportunity in 1778 to join General Washington’s staff as an aide-de-camp.  Lee preferred to remain in the field and explained to General Washington that “I am wedded to my sword.”  The American army and cause benefited from that decision.   Mike Cecere, Wedded to My Sword: The Revolutionary War Service of Light Horse Harry Lee

Updated on April 21, 2013.

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