Colonel Walter B. Edgar, USA (ret.)
“received his A.B. degree from Davidson College and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina.
After serving two years in the US Army—including a tour with an advisory team in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam—he
returned to USC as a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the National Historical Publications Commission. In 1972, at the conclusion of
the fellowship, he joined the History Department at USC and by 1982 was a full professor. He was the founder and first director
of the History Department’s acclaimed Public History Program.”
Colonel Walter B. Edgar, is the
author of South Carolina: A History; Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the
American Revolution; South Carolina in the Modern Age; and, Columbia Portrait of a City.
Publisher’s Weekly said of
Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the American Revolution, “Violence,
endemic in a frontier society, was even more deadly in the Carolina back country. University of South Carolina historian Edgar,
who has produced the well-regarded South Carolina: A History among eight other books, presents a quickly reconstructed account
of the fratricidal civil war that took place in South Carolina during the American Revolution. Years before the Revolution,
writes Edgar, patterns of terrible violence had already been set, as white settlers tried to maintain their hold on their
lands, fighting among themselves and with the Indians they had displaced. But when the British captured Charleston in 1780
and set out on a policy of subduing the southern colonies, their efforts were doomed by the colonists' siege mentality.
Lord Cornwallis, the British commander, misjudged the situation and tried to intimidate the population by repressive measures.
His policy failed miserably and only enraged the rebels even more, Edgar shows. Partisan bands such as those led by Thomas
Sumter and Francis Marion kept the enemy guessing, while Tories and rebels alike battled each other, killed family members,
dispersed slaves, burned crops and houses, and generally kept South Carolina in a state of anarchy. Edgar's lucid, unflinching
account shows the American Revolution in the south was truly the nation's first civil war.
According to the book description of
South Carolina: A History, “A comprehensive history which chronicles 475 years of recorded
history in the Palmetto state. In readable presentation, Edgar uses letters, diaries, and other writings to let voices from
the past take part in telling the state's fascinating story.”