It is said that during the American Revolution, more American’s served in the British forces than in the Continental Army of the United States. This is their story. In this frontier war, there is no Valley Forge, no Saratoga, no Yorktown. It evolves into a struggle that pits brother against brother, and neighbor against neighbor. The heroes and heroines are simple people who believed in their cause as fervently as did those Americans who fought to free themselves from English rule. A Lesser Form of Patriotism tells their story of love, death, courage, loyalty, and defeat as it chronicles the end of a way of life that began when the first English foot stepped ashore in the New World and ended with the closing shots of the American Revolution.
Late in 1780, the publisher of a loyalist magazine in Wilmington, North Carolina offers an amazing assignment to Helen Chiswell, his society page writer. Pose as the widowed, gentlewoman sister of a British officer in the Seventeenth Light Dragoons, travel to the encampment of the British Legion in the Carolina backcountry, and write a feature on Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton. But Helen’s publisher has secret reasons for sending her into danger. And because Helen, a loyalist, has ties to a family the redcoats suspect as patriot spies, she comes under suspicion of a brutal, brilliant British officer. At the bloody Battle of Cowpens, Helen must confront her past to save her life.
In Oliver Wiswell, Kenneth Roberts portrays the view of the Loyalists (those colonists who supported the British monarchy) in the American Revolution. Though branded by U.S. history as cowardly traitors, many of them were people of strong convictions and fierce bravery.