An Intimate History of the American Revolution in Pittsylvania County, Virginia
by Frances Hallam Hurt

An Intimate History of the American Revolution in Pittsylvania County, Virginia

Pittsylvania Historical Society second republication of the 1976 original, with index by Lucille C. Payne. 58 black-and-white illustrations. 260pp. (including 32pp. index). 5.875 x 8.875 inches. Soft cover. Mitchells Publications Catalog #PHS005.

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About the Book

With this small book the American Revolution comes alive. It is scaled down from the grandeur of its goal to the everyday people who fought it. There were those, of course, who fought against it.

A letter from Governor Thomas Jefferson to Virginia delegates at the Continental Congress in 1780 reads, “A very dangerous insurrection in Pittsylvania was prevented a few days ago by being discovered three days before it was to take place. The Ringleaders were seized in their beds.”

This is the kind of obscure footnotes to history that dramatizes the Revolution, especially the bloody division between Patriots and Tories throughout the colonies.

The intimate details which juice history are thick in the Pittsylvania court records on which this book is based. The quirky nature of the militia — or shirtmen — who could shoot like wizards but then might take a notion to go home, gives insight into the near insuperable obstacles to foiling the British. But foiled they were.

A long-overlooked key to the victory emerges from these pages in all his brilliance and sweetness, humility and intransigence — General Nathanael Greene, the Quaker from Rhode Island. He pulled off the Race to the Dan, immortal in the eyes of military men. It was this maneuver of Greene's that outwitted all-conquering Lord Cornwallis. A few months afterwards Greene challenged Cornwallis at Guilford Courthouse, N. C., maiming the British army before he left the field. Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown followed soon after.

Anyone who reads this book will add a new name to the pantheon of American heroes — General Nathanael Greene.

About the Author

Frances Hallam Hurt

Frances Hallam Hurt has always been a writer. Very early she edited the campus newspaper at Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she grew up. Drawn to New York City, she worked on Glamour Magazine, married and moved 50 years ago with her late husband, Henry, to Chatham where he had long had family. After that she wrote freelance.

Historical dramas based on Pittsylvania County history, all bright with period music, celebrated bicentennials — Land of the Bright Leaf in 1967, The Shirtmen and the Quaker in 1976, and All Men Shall Be Free to celebrate the Constitutional Bicentennial in 1987.

With Madelene Fitzgerald she wrote Eighteenth Century Landmarks of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, also in its second printing.

Occasionally she emerges from the 18th century to write for a variety of newspapers and magazines. She has received a number of prizes from the Virginia Press Association Women.

Vice president of Keep Virginia Beautiful, she heads the local Bottoms Uppers who plant and weed in beautiful Chatham. She is also a literacy tutor in the state program.

Her interest in the past is hands-on, so she works with the Pittsylvania Historical Society to make history attractive to other people through the Callands Festival each October, centered around the 1767-1772 court bulidings, and a Christmas gala each December in historic Chatham.

Her son Henry is editor-at-large of Reader's Digest and her daughter Hallam is chairman of neonatology at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelpia.

This website is sponsored by Mitchells Publications, Chatham, Virginia.