Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

History

Sub-Department

College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Allison Marsh

Abstract

The Battle of Camden was the largest pitched battle fought in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War, yet until the late twentieth century the battlefield itself was largely forgotten. For over two hundred years, the ground on which so many men fought and died was used for timber, only visited by relic hunters wishing to collect a piece of its relatively hidden history. Then, beginning in 1996, local organizations around South Carolina began to recognize the value of the site. Using federal funds, but without the close assistance of national bodies, this group of local preservationists bought the site, saving Camden battlefield from possible destruction, and reinterpretation the history of the site using modern archaeological evidence. Looking at the archaeology, politics, organizations and people that were involved in the process, this thesis shows the successes and limitations of the grassroots preservation movement that rediscovered Camden battlefield for future generations.

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