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HHS grad's book profiles Natty Greene and Sumter, the fighting Gamecock

Andrew Waters, a Hendersonville native and a 1992 graduate of Hendersonville High School, has written an account of how two Revolutionary War leaders overcame stark differences to lead the crucial Southern Campaign.

America’s first civil war was fought in South Carolina in 1780 and 1781. Ignited by the British capture of Charleston in May 1780, the wild and lawless South Carolina backcountry soon burned with unprecedented slaughter and terror between Patriot and Loyalist.
“The division among the people is much greater than I imagined, and the Whigs and the Tories persecute each other, with little less than savage fury,” Continental Army general Nathanael Greene wrote to Alexander Hamilton upon arriving in the region in December 1780 to command its southern forces. “There is nothing but murders and devastations in every quarter.”
Part of Greene’s challenge involved managing South Carolina’s determined but unreliable Patriot militia, led by the volatile Thomas Sumter, the famed South Carolina “Gamecock.” Though Sumter would go on to a long political career, it was as a defiant South Carolina partisan general that he first earned the respect of his fellow backcountry settlers, and formed the basis for a command that would compete with Greene for status and stature in the American Revolution’s “Southern Campaign.”
Andrew WatersAndrew WatersThe Quaker and the Gamecock: Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter, and the Revolutionary War for the Soul of the South tells the story of these two wildly divergent leaders against the backdrop of the American Revolution’s last gasp, the effort to extricate a British occupation force from the South Carolina frontier.
For Greene, the campaign meant a last effort to prove his capabilities as a general, not just a talented administrator. Born to a devout Quaker family, and influenced by the faith’s tenets of discernment, Greene instinctively understood the Revolutionary War’s Southern theater involved complex political, personal, and socioeconomic challenges, not just military ones.
For Sumter, a quest of personal revenge showcased his innate understanding of the backcountry character in both positive and negative light. Both men needed the other to defeat the British, yet throughout the Southern Campaign, their forceful personalities, divergent leadership styles, and opposing objectives would clash again and again, a fascinating story of America’s bloody birth that still influences the national culture, and to this point, has received no book treatment of its own.
A writer, editor and conservationist, Waters is the editor of Battle of Cowpens: Primary & Contemporary Accounts and three slave narrative collections. Selections from The Quaker and the Gamecock have been published in the Journal of the American Revolution, the premier online journal of the Revolutionary War. Waters’ work has been published in Wake Forest University Magazine, North Carolina Literary Review, Emry’s Journal, Pembroke Magazine, and numerous online journals. He lives and writes in Spartanburg, South Carolina, an epicenter of the American Revolution. For more information visit

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Waters’ father, the longtime Hendersonville attorney Charles Waters, is hosting a reception and book signing from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Center for Arts and Inspiration, 125 S. Main St.