In a discussion about Turn, a fellow history blogger commented, “If I was king, I would create a series similar to HBO’s Band of Brothers based off John Buchanan’s The Road to Guilford Courthouse.”
As a Southern Campaign guy, I would love to see something like this happen. The expansive canvas of a cable miniseries is perfectly suited to tell the story of the war in the Carolinas.
For the past week, I’ve been wondering which actors could play the major roles. The only one I could come up with is James McAvoy for Patrick Ferguson. McAvoy is Scottish, he’s close to the age Ferguson was in 1780, and I think he could convey something of Ferguson’s intelligence and determination.
Other than that, I’m stumped. I tried to come up with a suitable Greene, Cornwallis, Morgan, Tarleton, Sumter, and Marion, but I’ve got nothing.
I thought especially hard about who might play Isaac Shelby and John Sevier. There aren’t many thirty-something American actors working today who could sell me on the notion that a regiment of unruly frontiersmen would follow them across the mountains and into a hail of musket balls. Something tells me the Overmountain Men wouldn’t have been too impressed with Channing Tatum or Hayden Christensen.
Help us out here, Gordon: Who could really bring Nolichucky Jack to life?
From a North Carolina militiaman’s pension declaration:
Not long after & all during said eighteen months service he and others of said Company of Minute Men, captured old Solomon Sparks a celebrated Tory. They employed a Whig from a distant neighborhood and a stranger to said old Tory to decoy him out of his house without his gun under the pretense of being a traveler & inquiring the Road. They succeeded admirably. He fought bravely without arms and considerably injured this Applicant by kicking him. He was sent down the Yadkin in a Canoe. After tied hand and foot on his back he repeatedly hollowed “hurra for King George.”
Watched the premiere last night, and it was pretty good. It didn’t grab me by the lapels and yank me off my feet, but I’ll definitely be tuning in again. I like the fact that it conveys the uncertainties and disruptions the war presented to civilians caught between the two armies. The impact of the armies’ behavior on civilians’ attitudes and allegiance in the Revolution has long been an interest of mine.
My main criticism at this point is probably the portrayal of British officers. The haughty, snotty Redcoat officer is something of a stock character in films about the Rev War. One of the great things about cable drama is the room to develop full, three-dimensional characters. In Game of Thrones, just about everybody wears a gray hat instead of a white or black one. Of course, any show which features American spies as its protagonists is bound to have British officers as bad guys, but it would be nice to see a little more subtlety and complexity in the way they’re depicted. But we’re only one episode in, so we’ll see where things go from here. So far it’s not bad.
The guy who plays Captain America can claim patriotic ancestors going all the way back to the Revolutionary War, according to Ancestry.com. Morgan Cryer, a South Carolinian whose pension application you can read here, was his fifth great-granduncle.
Hey, maybe Robert Downey, Jr. is descended from John Ericsson.
Remember when we looked at the tradition that Patrick Ferguson was keeping two mistresses called “Virginia” in his camp at King’s Mountain, and that one of them died in in the battle and was buried with him?
Well, it seems that George Hofstalar, a veteran of the battle, referred to her in his pension application: “There was also a woman killed & lay by his side & said to [be] his kept mistress.”
So there’s an eyewitness account corroborating the archaeological evidence of a second burial in Ferguson’s grave. Pretty neat!
If you were planning to watch some reenactors do their thing at Minute Man National Historical Park this year, you’re out of luck.
A few days ago, some idiot drove through Battlefield Memorial Park in Savannah, GA and did $25,000 worth of damage to the Soldiers Stone Monument, which commemorates one of the Revolutionary War’s bloodiest engagements. The Coastal Heritage Society is offering $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of whoever’s responsible, so if you know something and you’d like to pocket a grand, give them a call.