Hey. Hey

You know, sometimes, when I'm sad, I think about how a fighting quaker logistician from Rhode Island totally skunked an entire British army

And then, much like Julie Andrews & her favorite things,I don't feel so sad

Get in, fools, we're taking a history drunkscursion
Look, ya gotta realize that this story, like all good ones, begins with a villain. And that villain is Horatio Gates, one of the most over-promoted officers of all time whose claim to fame is being in charge of a battle which he refused to direct. By doing nothing he was promoted
Oh, uh, yeah, we're in the American Revolution, forgot to throw that one out there. So here's the sitch. It's 1780 and Gates has just colossally forked up the entire southern theater, basically throwing away every advantage to get a big old L on the books at Camden
The Continental congress is in a tizzy. Fit to be tied. So out of sorts that when Washington is like, "can I assign the next dept cdr or whatever?" they let it happen, which is a minor miracle. GW, he knows just who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, and trounce Brit ass
That dude is none other than Nate Greene, the dude who managed to actually get the Continental Army's supply situation sorted out, which stands in the canon of miracles as one of the more major ones. Like, biblical af.
Natty Greene, he's a Rhode island dude who was a quaker until he started doing the army thing and then wasn't a quaker anymore. Cause of the whole violence thing. Anyways, he turns out to be pretty doggone smart and so now GW tells him to go south and fix things
Greene gets into SC and is like "ew" but that's just what every New Englander says their first time getting into SC. He's got like barely 2000 troops, which makes Earl Cornwallis, his Brit counterpart, think that he's pretty much caput. But Natty has some tricks up his sleeve
The first is a really angry gay German dude named von Steuben who takes over management of the department HQ and streamlines the f outta it. Then there's the crazy Polish engineer, Tadeusz Kosciusko, who's half cavalry commander, half theater engineer. Best of all worlds
Then there's the OG himself, Daniel "you british pricks still owe me a lash, ya lazy sods" Morgan, who basically refuses to ever die and threatens retirement so much that it's just sort of a cute joke now. Morgan's a light infantry genius and crochety af. Greene sets him loose
While Morgan goes all French and Indian War PTSD on the Brits, Greene takes a good hard look at his new theater of operatikns. And notes that holy shiznit, it's all cut up by rivers. Sure, he's out outnumbered 4-1, but if he can control river crossings, he can even the odds
So he straight up commandeers, requisitions, impounds, and steals all the boats in the AO. And has some built, too. And gets wagons to haul boats. He goes boat crazy.
Coz Greene realizes that if he and Morgan harass Corny, he's gonna have to come out of his base on the coast to do something, in which case they go ape on his flanks. And if Corny tries to ignore them, well, then Greene can just build up his force. Win-win, Natty thinks
Plus, if Cornwallis comes at him for real, Greene knows he can just cross a river and wave at Cornwallis from the other side, while the Brits have to build boats or bring them with them from the coast, which also takes time. Greene basically hacks the war in the south right off
Cornwallis, meanwhile, is v annoyed with all this nonsense and sends his light force off to deal with Morgan. This force is led by Banastre Tarleton, who is not so vile as he's painted, but let's just pretend he looks like Jason Isaacs. For funsies. Tarleton races after Morgan
Morgan like three things best of all in life: taunting the British, fighting, and threatening to retire. At Cowpens on Jan 17, 1781, he gets to do 2/3 which ain't too shabby. Tarleton gets overexcited at seeing militia and charges them. They give a volley and then dutifully run
Ok, 2 volleys to be accurate, whatever. Then the Brits suddenly hit Continentals SURPRISE who give em some lovely volleys, while Morgan's rifle bois pepper them from a hill. Morgan's been learning a LOT and has set a nice lil trap & kicks Tarleton's ass

Then threatens to retire
The win is big for continental morale, but it's also big because it cripples Corny's recon abilities. So Cornwallis decides to do what he's always done: be bold and impetuous to save South Carolina by... invading North Carolina

Greene is like
Cornwallis has his army destroy all non essentials to march faster, INCLUDING THEIR RUM RATION

The horror. The horror.

The rum is gone FOR MILITARY NECESSITY and this is also when British desertions spike
But hold up, hold up we didn't marvel at the masterpiece that is cowpens. Like. It's like the Mona Lisa. Without the creepy vibes. Morgan makes Tarleton commit his infantry, has the militia reform on his flank, has Washington's nephew's cavalry on the other flank and then attacks
Hit on the front and both flanks, Tarleton barely gets away with his life, and about 200 troops

Utter genius on Morgan's part. Anyhoo. Back to Cornwallis who's deciding to pursue Greene. Meanwhile, Greene just keeps falling back. With his boats. Forcing Cornwallis to find fords
Tarleton's still a dangerous boy, even after getting triple teamed. Err. Yeah, whatever. banny and corny keep slowly hopping rivers, getting further and further from their supply lines, as Greene crosses another river

Meanwhile, Morgan takes a leave of absence. Because dysentery
Morgan keeps imitating a frog hopping across lilly pads while Cornwallis plods on, getting so far from his base of supplies that he finally halts and realizes that he's gotta gtfo otherwise he's gonna do a Burgoyne and lose his army

And nobody wants to do a Burgoyne
By March of 1781, Greene and Cornwallis have been dancing around north Carolina for a few months

Not anything too crazy

Maybe some waltzing or a foxtrot

Never a tango

Then Greene decides it's time and grinds all up on Cornwallis at Guilford Courthouse
Greene tries to pull a Morgan at Cowpens but it doesn't quite work out. Everyone just ends up shooting at each other and refusing to back down, which is sorta the worst case scenario for 18th century battles. Greene's like "eff this, man" and bails. Corny claims a W.
With his "win" Cornwallis withdraws to Fayetteville, then realizing that's not a win either, he retreats from there, too

Fayettenam, man

Meanwhile, Greene keeps bobbing and weaving around the Carolinas, trying to keep his weird coalition of regulars and crazies together
By the summer of 1781, Greene has, thru a mixture of losing battles and marching - and pure new England cussedness - pushed the Brits back to basically small areas around savannah and Charleston

Yes, I said losing battles. He loses, but his enemies are worse off. They withdraw
Meanwhile, Cornwallis has the BRILLIANT idea to defeat Greene: outflank him and go to Yorktown, VA, to destroy Greene's base of supplies

I mean, it briefs well

Corny just has the bad luck to go to VA the one time in the war that the Americans & French coordinate their shit
This of course leads to GW leaving his NY fires burning, slipping outta there like it was a bad booty call, and scooting down the coast just in time to meet Rochambeau and the French while the French Navy does navy stuff to the Royal Navy
This is where Corny realizes that he's possibly actually pulled a Burgoyne

Which you never wanna do
Sooooo, uh, yeah, what was the original question.

Oh there wasn't a question, I just drank too much and started tweeting, didn't I. Woops. Occupational hazard.

But yeah, that's Nathaniel fuckin greene for ya. Just winning by losing. All over the damn place.
Lesson being, that uh, well the lesson

The lesson is

The lesson is that if you're gonna drink on a school night, drink water, too, which is a lesson that I regrettably arrived at too late. Just like Cornwallis

That's a wrap on your #drunjhistory, tip yer wait staff etc

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More from @pptsapper

12 Sep
But seriously, if you feel that strongly about Army leadership, yeah, leaving is the right choice

Using your resignation as a partisan political statement is *a* way, for sure

Maybe not the best way since you're still serving, but *a* way
"If X happens, I'll leave the military" isn't the threat some people think it is

It's called "changing professions"

Many people do it frequently

With very little fanfare
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might house a burrito and drink too much while trolling JSTOR for scholarly articles

could happen
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It is the height of American snobbery to say that the Chauchat was a piece of shit, but that the trench shotgun won the war

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Also gtfo with that NRA nonsense that there are no photos of shotguns in action because of "censorship"

I spent 3 years researching one of the most active units of the AEF in the war, and lemme tell ya, censorship was, uh, nonexistent. They wrote about and photographed ERRYTHING
Brah, if these dudes had been wasting Germans with a shotgun all day, they'd have written about it. A LOT. With consummate pride. But nah. Because at the end of the day, a .45 and a grenade do the trick for trench raiding, with a chauchat as support by fire if things get sticky
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I love this photo so much. Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Troops.

The facial expressions are so incredibly eloquent.

Namely, fuck around and find out.

Three men of the regiment earned the Medal of Honor at fighting at Chaffin's Farm in Virginia in 1864
Alfred Hilton was carrying the national colors as the regiment attacked. As the man carrying the regimental colors was shot down, Hilton grabbed it up, too, but was soon wounded. "Boys, save the colors!" he cried. Sgt Maj Christian Fleetwood and Pvt Charles Veale leapt forward
Carrying the national colors, Fleetwood - an editor of a Black newspaper before the war - advanced to lead the regiment until severe fire forced him and Veale back. They used their ensigns to rally the remainder of the regiment and conduct an orderly withdrawal, under heavy fire
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29 Aug
Presented without comment

Ok, actually, there are some comments

Do we all have questions about how the wars have been run and accountability at the top ranks


Is there a right way to air those thoughts?


Was the LTC choosing the right way?

Oh hell no
I don't comment on the evacuation of an entire theater of war because I'm not qualified to do so. I've never run joint airlift ops moving thousands of Afghans a day out of a friction-filled environment

I'm roughly sure that O-5 hasn't either (am willing to be proven wrong)
When I saw the headline of the video I was like "ok, I can maybe see his point"

Because yeah, we're all feeling a LOT these days. All the emotions.

But then he spoke, and ruined any fellow feelings I might have had.

Like, dude, this isn't about YOU.
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I'm reminded that Pres Truman made the incredibly difficult decision to prolonge the already unpopular Korean War in 1951 in order to get the Chinese and North Koreans to comply with "voluntary repatriation" - permitting North Korean and Chinese POWs to decide their own fate
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So, the war lasted another 2 years

In the end, the Communists agreed to voluntary repatriation and 50,000 Chinese & North Koreans found new homes

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