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Ford the Pacholet by Richard C. Meehan, Jr. is a stirring and historically accurate fiction novel about Lem Farnandis, a Colonial American teenager in the pivotal Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781.


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  • Ford the Pacholet is a historically accurate tale set during the American Revolution about Lem Farnandis, a troubled teenager from Grindall Shoals, South Carolina. His family was constantly nagging him about his chores. Divided politically, sometimes violently, into Whigs (Patriot sympathizers) and Tories (Loyalists to the King), his community struggled to survive. His father, Henry, a successful local merchant, tried to remain neutral. Still, King George III’s taxes on molasses, sugar, iron, tea, paper money, and more were eroding Henry’s profits. From what Lem had seen, the whole world revolved around power and control. At the age of thirteen, he had neither.

    Lem’s plight worsened when a Loyalist spy calling himself “Tyger” ambushed Lem and locked him in the local tavern’s cellar. His fellow prisoners were two Continental Army scouts and a native Catawba Indian girl about his age. From them, Lem discovered his family was in jeopardy. While traveling the Lower Cherokee Trader’s Path to visit mountain relatives, the Indian girl’s family fled from a Tory raiding party. She did not escape. The four devised an escape plan. If it succeeded, Lem could help prevent hundreds of Patriot deaths and hopefully save his family and the Catawbas from the clutches of British Commander “Bloody Ban” Tarleton.

    Caught between the hammer and anvil of two opposing armies, the Grindall community could not escape the horrors. Together the captives implemented a successful escape. Lem and Amadahy ran for the Continental Army camp to warn General Morgan of the impending surprise attack. Meanwhile, McJunkin and Park lead the Tories on a divisionary chase through the backwoods. Both groups succeeded, making the Battle of Cowpens a resounding defeat of Tarleton’s forces. It was a pivotal battle of the American Revolution. Lem reached manhood amid the chaos of war and learned the ramifications of having power and control.
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