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"Revolutionary Fever: Disease and War in the Lower" Topic

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18th Century

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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2019 8:19 p.m. PST

…South, 17761783*.

"From the outset of the American War for Independence, military leaders on both sides recognized the perils of warm weather campaigning in the feverish lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia. Yet that knowledge did not stop them from doing so. American military leaders mounted several costly and fruitless summer campaigns against British forces in Florida and Georgia. It was the British that suffered the most significant losses from the region's fevers, however, particularly during the campaign of 1780. It began well, with Sir Henry Clinton's capture of Charleston in May. Yet Clinton's southern strategy seriously undermined the health of his forces, and may have cost the British the war. To secure control over the Lower South required keeping thousands of their soldiers in what was then the unhealthiest region of British North America. Despite winning another key victory at Camden, British forces in the region sustained heavy casualties from disease in the summer and fall of 1780. In April 1781 Lord Cornwallis (Figure 1) cited saving his army from another Carolina fever season as one of the main reasons for his decision to move north to Virginia and his fateful encounter at Yorktown that October…"
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