Alan Cate’s Book About the Founding Fighters (Part Two): “Carolina Gamecock” Thomas Sumter

One of the early military leaders profiled in Colonel Alan Cate’s book, Founding Fighters: The Battlefield Leaders Who Made American Independence, is Thomas Sumter, who was born a Virginia frontiersman and became a South Carolina land owner by the start of the Revolutionary War.

Assembling a militia company in 1775, Thomas Sumter helped lead the “Snow Campaign,” one of the initial Southern military operations of the war. With Colonel Richard Richardson and 35,000 soldiers, he concentrated his efforts against Tory resistance in the backcountry of the Appalachian Piedmont. Thomas Sumter’s 2nd Regiment subsequently aided the Continental Army in campaigns along the Carolina coast under Major General Robert Howe. Known for his fierce fighting and leadership style, the “Carolina Gamecock” gained particular distinction for exacting revenge against British forces after they burned down his home. After the War of Independence, Thomas Sumter successfully served for more than two decades as a United States Congressman and Senator representing the state of South Carolina.

About Alan Cate: Colonel Alan Cate serves as Chair of the History Department at University School, where he teaches courses on the history of Western civilization and the politics and government of the United States.