Sunday, January 11, 2015

Potter's Raid

When the name "Potter" comes up in the context of the Civil War, most readers probably assume the reference is to Robert Brown Potter, the NY lawyer who earned his stripes by working his way up from private to major general in the Union army's IX Corps. While never mentioned in the same breath as other prominent political generals, he seems to have had a solid career and his story worth telling but this isn't who we're talking about here.

Another New York Potter, Brigadier General Edward E. Potter, led a cavalry raid in eastern North Carolina, a wide ranging July 1863 operation that struck Greenville, Rocky Mount, and Tarboro. There's even a pretty good book written about it. This is our guy but a different "Potter's Raid."

The upcoming Potter's Raid book in question here covers a mounted operation conducted in the closing moments of the war, one that began on the South Carolina coast and ranged into the interior adding some final touches (and torches!) to the Confederacy's already tapped out means of defending itself. Articles exist here and there but Tom Elmore's Potter's Raid Through South Carolina: The Final Days of the Confederacy will be the first book length treatment of the subject.

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