On the morning of March 15, 1783, George Washington strode into the “New Building” or “Temple” as the structure was referred as, to address the assembled officers of the Continental Army. He asked General Horatio Gates if he could have the floor to say a few words and when he unfolded his pieces of paper on the podium, the words lost their importance.
Why? Continue reading
Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Continental Congress, Memory, Monuments, Personalities, Revolutionary War
Tagged 1783, American Revolution, American Revolutionary War, Emerging Revolutionary War, George Washington, Henry Knox, Horatio Gates, Mount Vernon, New Windsor Cantonment, New York
Sketch of the Wabash River Made During Hamilton’s 1778 Campaign (Wikimedia Commons)
In the summer of 1778, Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark of the Virginia militia launched one of the most daring American military operations of the Revolutionary War when he invaded the “Illinois country” and captured Cahokia and Kaskaskia in modern-day Illinois and Vincennes in southern Indiana, effectively neutralizing British power on the Illinois, Wabash, and Mississippi Rivers. Henry Hamilton, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec and Britain’s Superintendent for Indian Affairs in Detroit, could not allow such audacity to succeed, lest Britain’s influence with the western Indian nations wane. Learning of Fort Sackville’s fall at Vincennes on the Wabash River, he set out to recapture it.
Posted in British Leadership, Campaigns, Militia (Loyalist) Leadership, Personalities, Revolutionary War, Uncategorized
Tagged Detroit, Fort Sackville, Frontier, George Rogers Clark, Henry Hamilton, Illinois Country, Indiana, Indians, Native Americans, Norman MacLeod, Northwest Campaigns, Ohio, Vincennes, Wabash
This past spring I was able to visit a fascinating historic site, one that is largely overlooked in the larger story of the Revolution. Many of us know that in 1777 the British planned to use the Hudson River to cut off New England from the other states.
With General William Howe in New York City, and General John Burgoyne moving south from Canada, the plan seemed destined for success. Yet Howe decided to move his army by water to the Chesapeake and advance on Philadelphia.
It is commonly assumed that his lack of cooperation with Burgoyne was one major reason for the latter’s failure, and surrender, at Saratoga. In fact, a force of British troops did ascend the Hudson, hoping to cooperate with Burgoyne. I was able to follow and retrace the little known expedition.
Emerging Revolutionary War recently had the pleasure, via e-mail, to interview historian Michael Troy who is the man behind the popular American Revolution Podcast site. A link to his page follows this interview.
- What was the reasoning behind starting American Revolution Podcast?
I have been a big fan of American history my whole life. The American Revolution has always held a fascination for me. I had originally planned to produce a blog on the topic, simply out of my love of reading and writing about it. I decided to turn the project into a podcast because I’ve enjoyed listening to other history podcasts myself. I figured others might appreciate a thorough podcast that covered this topic.
- Where did your personal interest in this time period of American History begin?
I’m old enough to remember the bicentennial celebrations as a boy. I also grew up in the Philadelphia area, where there are so many locations with memories of the era. I always felt an attachment particularly to that time in our history. Beyond that, the Revolution was more than American independence. It was about creating a new country based on the ideals of representative democracy, at a time of the world was still ruled by hereditary monarchies. It was a bold experiment that really changed the world in which we live today. Continue reading
This past July I had the pleasure to attend and present at the American Battlefield Trust Teacher Institute. One of the keynote speakers was David O. Steward, the author of Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution. During his talk, there were a few points that stuck out to me and I share them with you.
- 72 elected, 55 attended, and 35 delegates were probably there all summer.
- Out of the 55 that attended, 39 affixed their signatures to the document
In reference to George Washington, Stewart candidly remarked he had “more influence by keeping his mouth shut” almost as if by his calm, quiet demeanor, he was displaying that “I trust in you and I’ll try and make it work” with whatever the delegates designed in that hot and stuffy room in Philadelphia. Continue reading
Posted in Book Review, Constitutional Convention, Emerging Revolutionary War, Memory, Personalities
Tagged American Battlefield Trust, Constitution, David O. Stewart, George Washington, Gouverneur Morris, James Wilson, John Rutledge, Philadelphia, Signers of the U.S. Constitution, Summer of 1787, U.S. Constitution
Captain John Ashby and his fellow Virginians would face their greatest test of the war on the afternoon of September 11th, 1777 at the Battle of Brandywine. Following a wide flank march the bulk of the Crown forces emerged on Washington’s right flank, ready to trap and smash the Continental Army. Washington reorganized his line, drawing men north in a desperate attempt to meet the new threat. The Third Virginia was ordered into position far in advance of the American lines – their objective was to hold a wooded hill near the Birmingham Friends Meeting House in order to buy time for the rest of the American troops to take up position. Ashby and his fellow officers arranged their men among the buildings and woodlot of the Samuel Jones farm and awaited the attack that was certain to come.
The Battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777 (American Battlefield Trust)
Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Common Soldier, Emerging Revolutionary War, Memory, Monuments, Northern Theater, Personalities, Preservation, Revolutionary War
Tagged American Battlefield Trust, American Revolution, Battle of Brandywine, Birmingham Meeting House, Captain John Ashby, Delaplane, Emerging Revolutionary War, George Washington, Johann Ewald, Marquis de Lafayette, Third Virginia Regiment, Travis Shaw, Turner Ashby, Virginia, Virginians, War of 1812, Warren Green Hotel
Over the summer, I took a family excursion to several Revolutionary War sites in Ohio, some of which I recently wrote about. In particular, I wanted to trace the experience of several Moravian missionaries and their congregations in the no-man’s land of the frontier. Traveling a back road along the Tuscarawas River between the villages of Gnadenhutten and New Schoenbrunn, we stumbled across the graves of David Zeisberger (1721-1808) and several notable missionaries at the crossroads of Goshen.
Moravian Cemetery at Goshen, Ohio. (Author Photo)
Posted in Civilian, Emerging Revolutionary War, Personalities, Uncategorized
Tagged Christianity, Frontier, Gnadenhutten, Goshen, Gravesites, Indians, Missionaries, Moravians, Muskingum River, Native Americans, Ohio