My mother recently showed me a snippet from 1493 Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann. The snippet talks about the British southern campaign.
After the taking of Charleston, Cornwallis marches his troops inland, where desease “nearly ruined” his army. So many were sick that his men could barely fight. Almost two thirds of the British forces were from Malaria free Scotland, and therefore much more susceptible to the desease than the southern revolutionaries. Cornwallis himself lay bedridden during the patriot-loyalist battle of King’s Mountain.
Eventually Cornwallis’ desease ridden troops march to Chesapeake Bay where they were cornered by the French Navy and the combined French American forces at Yorktown. Only 3,800 of his 7,700 men were fit for battle.
How important was the malaria equipped mosquito? Historian John Robert McNeill wryly puts it, the “revolutionary Mosquitos….stand tall among the Founding Fathers”