ALL FOR LIBERTY is based on the true story of Captain Henry Felder whose determination to resist tyranny led to his long bitter fight against the British Empire during America’s War for Independence. Long lost from historical record, Felder’s stand along with other militia leaders in the backcountry of South Carolina from 1776-1780 was instrumental in diverting British troops and energies while George Washington’s army lay nearly defeated far to the north.
The film stars Felder’s direct descendent Clarence Felder, a veteran Hollywood, television and Broadway leading actor who rediscovered his ancestor’s long forgotten heroism. Backed by a supporting cast of hundreds, this vivid story focuses on the price that Captain Felder, his family and his community had to pay for their convictions.
Chris Weatherhead and Ron Mangravite have created a realistic, unsentimental portrait of America torn by a vicious civil conflict. Unlike the prettified versions of legend, the American Revolution was no simple chess match of bluecoats versus redcoats. The reality was something closer to the Spanish Civil War, where bitter enmity between neighbors and friends destroyed communities and families. Our free nation rose from the sacrifices of those who valued liberty and were willing to fight for it.
ALL FOR LIBERTY was shot on location in South Carolina and Georgia, using the actual historical sites wherever possible. The project has inspired renewed historical interest in Captain Felder, prompting a rediscovery of his gravesite and farmstead.
The StoryIn the early 1770s, Henry Felder lives a life of quiet contentment with his wife Catherine and a large brood of children on their back country farm in the British colony of South Carolina. Felder was a “Switzer” - a German-Swiss son of a mercenary brought to America in 1735 to be a buffer against the Cherokee for the South Carolina planters in Charlestown. Orphaned in his teens, Felder stayed on to keep the two-hundred acres on the frontier given by the planters. Over the three decades he helped push the tribes back to the mountains and became a respected local leader. Known for his fairness, Felder tried hard to work with the British courts but massive taxation and unpunished crimes against his neighbors became more than he could take. Urged on by the new patriot governor of the colony, John Rutledge, Felder writes the Articles of Separation from the English King, in 1776, months before Thomas Jefferson will write his renowned Declaration of Independence.
Many colonists greet the news of independence with celebration but others, Tory loyalists, bitterly resent what they consider treason. Among these is Felder’s old Indian fighting comrade, Bill Jenkins who forms a Tory militia to assist the Crown in the coming struggle for power. Soon after Felder writes his Articles he is tapped by Rutledge to raise a militia to help defend the capital city, Charlestowne, against an impending attack from the vengeful British and their Tory allies. Felder rallies his sons, resourceful Henry Junior and his hotheaded younger brother, John. Felder’s friends and neighbors also rally to the cause, including a tavern owner, Alice Golightly, who gathers a patriot spy ring.
The Americans' prospects turn deadly with the British invasion and conquest of Charlestown. The patriots' Continental Army in the South had been captured at Charlestown along with much of the militia. The British commander, Lord Cornwallis, plans to conquer the southern colonies as he moves north. The conquored territory would be occupied and controlled by Tories. But pestered by Felder's militia and other backcountry fighters, the British decide to take care of him first. They send fresh provisions and ammunition to Jenkins and the Tory backcountry leaders, giving them permission to destroy and plunder. Jenkins burns Felder out - house, barns and all. Felder rebuilds and continues to fight, using every weapon possible. In the ensuing struggles Felder finds out what the cost of liberty will be for him and his community.