Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Front Matter >> Introduction

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Introduction

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription INTRODUCTIONxiii

should be read in this sequence in order to follow Simms'
narrative of the conflict: Joscelyn; The Partisan; Mellichampe;
Katharine Walton; The Scout; The Forayers; Eutaw; and
Woodcraft.
Joscelyn portrays the civil war in the back country in the
late summer and fall of 1775. This was the first open warfare
of the Revolution in the South, involving the citizens of
South Carolina and Georgia who took either the whig
(American) or loyalist (British) side. The next three volumes
of the series are closely linked and can be considered a
trilogy. With the first of them, The Partisan, the action of the
series skips to June 1780, immediately after the fall of
Charleston in May. Simms uses several representative though
fictionalized characters to show the development of partisan
resistance to British occupation. The main historical event of
this novel is the Battle of Camden (August 1780) in which
the crushing defeat of the Southern Continental Army threw
the entire responsibility of resistance on the irregular volun-
teer forces under Francis Marion and other partisan com-
manders. Mellichampe, the second volume of the trilogy,
centers its narrative around a different set of fictional charac-
ters in following the activities of Marion's band in its struggle
with loyalist and British forces in the Santee River area in the
fall of 1780. The third novel in the trilogy, Katharine Walton,
picks up the narrative involving the fictional characters of
The Partisan in September 1780 and describes the impact of
the war on their family fortunes over a period of several
months. Much of the novel portrays the social life of the
British garrison in Charleston and the participation of various
civilians in the American war effort. The Scout opens in May
1781 not long after the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill and ends in
June after the British abandonment of the star-fort at Ninety
Six. This novel concentrates on the struggle between partisan
forces and the outlaw bands that operated under British
authority in plundering the central portion of the state
around the Congaree and Wateree River areas. The retreat of
British forces toward Orangeburg and from there to