Wedded to My Sword: The Revolutionary War Service of Light Horse Harry Lee

I believe few Officers either in America or Europe are held in so high a point of estimation as you are…——Gen. Nathanael Greene to "Light Horse" Harry Lee, January 27, 1782

The sentiment above, expressed by General Nathanael Greene, an officer whose military contributions to American independence are second only to General George Washington, captures the view of most Americans in 1782 regarding Light Horse Harry Lee. In early 1782, twenty-six year old Lieutenant Colonel Lee commanded a legion of mounted and dismounted dragoons that had just completed a spectacular year of military service in the South. Lee’s efforts in 1781, in conjunction with General Greene and the American southern army, resulted in the British loss of most of South Carolina and Georgia. Over the course of 1781, Lee and his legion, often detached from Greene’s army, helped screen Greene’s desperate retreat to Virginia and then, a few weeks later, captured or destroyed numerous enemy outposts and detachments in South Carolina and Georgia. Lee and his legion played a crucial role in the bloody battles of Guilford Courthouse and Eutaw Springs and the sieges of Augusta and Ninety-Six.

The extraordinary service of Lee and his men in 1781 capped what had already been five years of distinguished military service for Lee. He had reported to General Washington’s army as a twenty year old cavalry captain in 1777 and quickly earned a reputation as a bold commander. Lee’s daring exploits at Valley Forge, Powles Hook and Springfield, like his extraordinary service in the south, are all chronicled within this book.

Readers will undoubtedly conclude that Lee made the right decision when he declined General Washington’s invitation in 1778 to join his staff as an aide-de-camp with the assertion that, “I am wedded to my sword.”

Illustrations, maps, a bibliography and an index to names, places and subjects enhance the text.

Michael Cecere

2012, 5½x8½, paper, index, 310 pp.

ISBN 9780788453915