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Revolutionary War: Ezral Johnson, his diary as a
(A Revolutionary War Diary)
Dr. Johnson, a native of Newark, New Jersey, began his military service as a Patriot. But not long thereafter he changed sides over the issue of independence for the American colonies. Later in the war, Johnson was chosen by Major Patrick Ferguson to become a member of The American Volunteers and to accompany this new Provincial Loyalist organization to the Southern colonies.
This portion of Johnson's diary, the only part known to exist, details his service and experiences in the Carolinas from 5 March 1780 to 2 March 1781. During this time frame, he gives day by day accounts of the movements of Ferguson's unit. For the first time it is possible to trace the complete route of the march of Ferguson's force from the time it entered South Carolina at Ebenezer, Georgia, to the destruction of The American Volunteers in the Battle of Kings Mountain. In addition, while recording the almost daily campsites, Johnson identifies many heretofore unknown Loyalists and identifies the various Patriots upon whose land Ferguson encamped.
Johnson provides a rare look at the military events within South Carolina during 1780 from the viewpoint of a loyal subject to the monarchy. He adds interesting details to the excursions of Ferguson's command in the Carolinas and gives some clarifying details about the Battle of Kings Mountain. As a prisoner of war on the march from Kings Mountain to the Moravian towns in North Carolina and during his time as a doctor, as well as prisoner, at Hillsborough (the state capital of North Carolina during the war), he records for posterity facts and impressions which increase our knowledge of the war in the Carolinas.
The introduction to the book gives the reader a solid foundation for understanding the military movements of one of the British units in the South, while the footnotes and contributory notes identify almost every individual, place and event Johnson mentions. The results of this inter-twining of Johnson's diary entries and the scholarly research by the editor is a lively and entertaining eyewitness account of the British invasion of the Carolinas.
This book is required reading for anyone interested in the Revolutionary War in the South.
Moss, Bobby Gilmer, Dr. Uzal Johnson,
- A Revolutionary War Diary.
Paperback, $24.95; Hardback, $35. 00
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The Habitat Publishers
Waynesboro, Virginia 22980