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War and Conflict

American Revolution

Were all the battles of the American Revolution waged in the Northeast?

No, there was also fighting in the southern colonies. But the struggle between the American colonists and the British was further complicated in the South by the presence of slaves. Landowners feared that any fighting in the vicinity would inspire slaves to revolt against them. Knowing this, the British believed they could regain control of the southern colonies more readily than those in the north. In November 1775 the British governor of Virginia offered to free any slaves who would fight for the British. As many as 2,000 black slaves accepted the offer and took up arms. But there were also patriots in the South: It was Virginian Patrick Henry (1736–1799) who uttered the famous words, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

In late February 1776 patriot forces confronted and defeated pro-British colonists near Wilmington, North Carolina. The British troops who were sailing from Boston, Massachusetts, to North Carolina to join the loyal colonists arrived too late to help. They instead sailed on to Charleston, South Carolina, which was also the scene of fighting that summer.



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