Tag Archives: Revolutionary War

Inglis Fletcher. Toil of the Brave. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1946

The unrest of the Regulators and the fight for American independence are of little interest to many of the residents of River Plantation in Chowan County. The beautiful Angela Ferrier busies herself with romances even as her step-father, who sits on the Governor’s Council, fears for North Carolina and his family.  Only when Angela finds herself torn between a dashing British spy and a handsome American army captain does she realize the perils of her times. Although essentially a romance, the last quarter of the book gives a good account of the fighting in North and South Carolina in the fall of 1780.

This is one of the books in Fletcher’s series of novels about North Carolina in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1940-1949, 1946, Chowan, Coast, Fletcher, Inglis, Historical, Novels in Series, Romance/Relationship

Sara Beaumont Kennedy. Joscelyn Cheshire. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1902.

In Hillsboro’town a private battle wages between the spirited Royalist Joscelyn Cheshire and the equally strong-willed Patriot Richard Clevering.  Richard leaves to join the Continental Line, and he is captured by the British and consigned to a prison ship.  He escapes and makes his way back to the Piedmont where Joscelyn, her loyalty divided, hides him.  As the tide of war turns in the Patriots’ favor, Joscelyn is reviled by her neighbors.  Richard, knowing her bravery, defends her.  In her gratitude, Joscelyn comes to see that Richard is the man for her.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1900-1909, 1902, Historical, Kennedy, Sara Beaumont, Novels to Read Online, Orange, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Bruce Lancaster. Phantom Fortress. Garden City, NY: Permabooks, 1952.

In this novel, set as the Revolutionary War is drawing to a close, follows Ross Pembroke, a patriot who has just escaped from the British in Charleston.  Pembroke began his service in the North, but the war has taken him south and for most of the novel he shuttles between the bases of patriot officers in North and South Carolina. He also finds time to pursue and protect the tempestuous Dorande van Kortenaer, a beautiful refugee from the island of St. Eusebius.  Historical figures such as Nathanael Greene and Francis Marion figure in the narrative, but this novel is very much in the tradition of the historical romance.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1950-1959, 1952, Coast, Historical, Lancaster, Bruce, Romance/Relationship

T.C. Harbaugh. Under Greene’s Banner, or, The Boy Heroes of 1781. Philadelphia: David McKay, 1904.

The struggle between the Tories and the Patriots in Piedmont Carolina during the Revolution forms the background for this spy story, which is part of the Boys of Liberty Library series.  The prose style is typical of the early twentieth century, but the novel contains enough action scenes to hold a young reader’s attention. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse is vividly depicted.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1900-1909, 1904, Children & Young Adults, Guilford, Harbaugh, T. C., Historical, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont

James Boyd. Drums. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925.

This book can lay claim to being the classic Revolutionary War novel for North Carolina.  At the start of the novel the main character, John Fraser, is a young everyman from the pine woods.  After he is given the opportunity for an education in Edenton, he becomes a gentleman, loyal to the Crown and a bit of a ladies’ man.  Johnny hears the complaints of the colonists and sees the English exercise their authority with arrogance, but he feels only confusion, not a real change in his loyalties.  Only when he crosses the ocean to live in London does his political allegiance shift.  Fraser does a favor for John Paul Jones and later joins Jones aboard the Bonhomme Richard.  When he returns to North Carolina, Johnny is a strong Patriot and ready to settle down with his first and truest love.

A later edition of the book has illustrations by N.C. Wyeth.

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Filed under 1920-1929, 1925, Boyd, James, Chowan, Coast, Historical

Calvin Wiley. Alamance, or, The Great and Final Experiment. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847.

This is the first North Carolina novel written by a native of the state.  It is a tale of the Revolutionary Era in which the conflicts between the local Whigs and Tories are seen through the eyes of a schoolteacher, Hector M’Bride.  Despite the title, most of the action takes place in Guilford County; the Battle of Guilford Courthouse figures in the novel, as does the Battle of Camden.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1840-1849, 1847, Guilford, Historical, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Wiley, Calvin

Francis Lynde. The Master of Appleby. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1902.

The subtitle sums up the book: “A Novel Tale Concerning Itself in Part With the Great Struggle in the Two Carolinas; but Chiefly With the Adventures Therein of Two Gentlemen Who Loved One and the Same Lady.” Set along the Catawba River, the novel gives a good sense of the changing allegiances of North Carolinians in the back country during the 1770s and early 1780s.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1900-1909, 1902, Historical, Lynde, Francis, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont

Diana Gabaldon. The Fiery Cross. New York: Delacorte Press, 2001.

The second book in the second Outlander trilogy, The Fiery Cross starts with a Gathering of the Clans in 1770 North Carolina. It chronicles the next two years in the lives of time-traveler Claire Fraser, her Highland-born husband Jamie, her daughter Brianna, and her son-in-law Roger as the American Revolution draws nearer. Much of the story’s action takes place in the mountains of North Carolina, but as troubles in the colonies increase, some of the characters’ militia obligations take them around the state and others travel in search of safety. The title is not a reference to the Ku Klux Klan, but rather a reference to the Scottish tradition of burning a cross to rally clansmen during times of war.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2001, Gabaldon, Diana, Historical, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Donna Campbell Smith. An Independent Spirit: The Tale of Betsy Dowdy and Black Bess. Buford, GA: Faithful Publishing, 2006.

An Independent Spirit is based on the Revolutionary War-era story of Betsy Dowdy, who rode to warn a North Carolina general about the approach of British soldiers from Virginia. This book presents the year leading up to her famous ride, with fourteen year-old Betsy living on Currituck Island, riding her wild pony Black Bess, and traveling to Edenton. Betsy’s quiet life is interrupted when Virginia’s Lord Dunmore threatens her community and her beloved wild ponies. Her all-night ride from Currituck to Hertford brings news of troop movements and leads to a patriot victory at the Battle of Great Bridge. This edition of the book includes a bibliography and teacher’s guide.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Children & Young Adults, Chowan, Coast, Currituck, Docufiction, Historical, Smith, Donna Campbell

Cyrus Townsend Brady. When Blades Are Out and Love’s Afield. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1901.

This romance, set in North Carolina during the later years of the American Revolution, follows the fortunes of two officers. Francis Duane, a lieutenant-colonel on Lord Cornwallis’ staff, and Curtis Baird, a captain in the Continental Army, contend on and off the field. Duane is betrothed to Isabel Burton, daughter of a prominent Salisbury Loyalist, but the actions of Isabel’s plucky cousin Sarah touch Duane’s heart. Baird suspects that Isabel does not agree with her father’s politics, nor with his plans for her future. This book works better as an historical novel than as a romance. General Nathanael Greene and Lord Cornwallis appear throughout the book, and the novel includes a detailed account of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1900-1909, 1901, Brady, Cyrus Townsend, Guilford, Historical, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Rowan