In This Chapter

A Dual Strategy

Conventional and Unconventional Warfare

Authored by: Kristalyn Marie Shefveland

The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415533805
eBook ISBN: 9781315817347
Adobe ISBN: 9781317813354


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American General George Washington faced the challenge of creating the citizen-soldier army while hoping that the rage militaire of 1776 would maintain support for the long war ahead. Initially opposed to any guerrilla war tactics, Washington said “To place any dependence upon militia is assuredly resting upon a broken staff.” 1 Yet the Southern Campaign provided the opportunity for the militia and irregular forces to define the war and develop an American army. The South Carolina campaign was an unconventional war characterized by guerrilla tactics that broke the traditions of conventional war and at times led to lawlessness, brutality, and a breakdown of authority and civility. 2

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