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The Day It Rained Militia
The Day It Rained Militia
Huck's Defeat and the Revolution in the South Carolina Backcountry
May-July 1780

by Michael C. Scoggins
Published by History Press
July 2005

Book Review from
Michael Scoggins' The Day It Rained Militia has a foreword from author Walter Edgar. Having already read Edgar's well-publicized Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the American Revolution which covers much of the same material, this reviewer finds it appropriate to compare the two books. Unlike Partisans and Redcoats, which just seemed ro retread over the same material and sources found in Dr. Dan Morrill's Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution and John Buchanan's The Road to Guilford Courthouse, The Day It Rained Militia incorporates some entirely different primary and secondary sources. The book sets itself apart by spending little time with the Continentals. The Siege of Charleston is brief. The Battle of Waxhaws is more about the fallout, than the skimish itself and General Horatio Gates' disasterous Battle of Camden is barely mentioned. Instead, "minor" actions such as Hanging Rock and Rocky Mount which involved only patriot militia are delved into. This leads the book having it's own identity and style.

The Day It Rained Militia probably benefits by focusing on a tighter timeframe than the other three books previously mentioned. As a result, Scoggins is able to delve into detail with each skirmish and even the intermediary events. He even does so in a way that is far from tedious. Frequently drawing from and often quoting first-hand (and occasionaly) pensioner accounts lends to his narrative style. Scoggins spends much of the book methodically setting the table for Huck's Defeat. In fact, Christian Huck himself is just one of many supporting characters that fill the roles of patriots, loyalists and a a few Redcoats. Huck's Defeat is actually the focus of the extensive appendices, which include the aforementioned pensioner accounts and battlefield details.

The Day It Rained Militia is a great supplement for those already familiar with the overall events of the Southern Theatre and are looking for for further depth of knowledge concerning partisan events following the fall of Charleston, South Carolina in May 1780. The appendices and lengthy notes also make this book worth adding to one's collection for future reference.

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