Author: James P. Collins

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As a young soldier of 17, Private James P. Collins (1763–1843) served in the South Carolina militia under the command of General Thomas Sumter. Collins’ first-person account of the Battle of Cowpens in 1781, following the fall of Charleston to the British, describes the hardships and destruction of war. He writes about the scarcity of food and the impact it had on the daily lives of soldiers, who often marched into battle on empty stomachs or having eaten little more than raw turnips or parched corn picked along the way. Collins chronicled his dramatic experience on the battlefield in Autobiography of a Revolutionary Soldier (1859).