The Shot Heard in Youngstown?

Emerging Revolutionary War welcomes historian Dan Welch

As we commemorate the 244th anniversary of the engagements at Lexington and Concord, it is an opportunity to reflect upon this moment’s importance in American history. The results of what happened in April 1775 were truly “heard around the world.” The importance of those events are commemorated and remembered in various forms across the fabric our country. This holds true, even in Youngstown, Ohio.

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The Road to Remembrance Memorial on the southside of Youngstown, Ohio. (Image courtesy of the author)

As the country grappled with the effects of the Great Depression, numerous civic organizations in the state of Ohio sought to construct a “Road of Remembrance” in honor of the servicemen from the country’s previous conflict. On June 17, 1930, the state legislature designated a portion of Route 193 from Lake Erie to 422 in Youngstown as a memorial roadway in honor of those soldiers who gave their last full measure of devotion during the Great War. Many towns planted memorial trees along the route, some erected monuments, while other organizations held ceremonies marking the occasion. This special route was to be just a small portion of remembrance that was to span from Montreal, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading

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Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Emerging Revolutionary War, Memory, Monuments, Northern Theater, Photography, Preservation, Revolutionary War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Peckuwe 1780, by John F. Winkler

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John F. Winkler, Peckuwe 1780: The Revolutionary War on the Ohio River Frontier, (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2018).   $24.00

I once read a review comparing Osprey Publishing’s monographs on particular battles, weapons, uniforms, or campaigns to “flash cards,” which made me smile.  As a kid, I somehow acquired stacks of flashcards laying out the technical specs of various military aircraft or ships and thought they were the greatest things since sliced bread.  Those were the days before Amazon or Barnes & Noble, when a kid had to depend on the local library and Waldenbooks for books about history, which they didn’t have in large numbers.  The Osprey monographs were a windfall of sorts when the local library started carrying them.  They’re not intended for an academic audience by any stretch, but can play a useful role in interesting popular audiences in places, people, and events that might otherwise prove too obscure or too intimidating for a young or casual reader.  So, when I came across John F. Winkler’s new monograph for Osprey, Peckuwe 1780, I snapped it up as much for sentimental reasons as for my interest in the American Revolution on the western frontier.

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From the Preservation Front: “Liberty Trailblazers – American Battlefield Trust”

ABTFrom our friends at American Battlefield Trust (ABT) comes the following announcement and call for assistance. 

The first line of the announcement sums up the importance of this new initiative of the American Battlefield Trust:

“They secured our liberty. It’s time for us to honor their legacy.” 

In a collaboration between the ABT, the National Park Service, and the South Carolina Battleground Trust, the joint initiative is to highlight the “tremendous significance of these places to American independence.” Their combined goal is to preserve 2,500 acres of American Revolutionary War battle lands in the Palmetto State.

As of the middle of this month, 308 acres of hallowed ground has been saved. The land protected are part of the battlefields of Camden and Eutaw Springs, which “bookend a period of incredible consequence to the American Revolution.”

This is a great start, but as that means, it is a beginning and the ABT will need all our help to make it happen. This new direction will bring preservation, education, and technology together into one investment and keep the effort going, until this land is saved for the present and future generations.

For those readers of ours that are already members, thank you. For those that are interested in learning  more, click here.

To check out the various sites and history associated with the Liberty Trail, click here.

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Campaigns, Emerging Revolutionary War, National Park Service, Preservation, Revolutionary War, Southern Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Women’s History Month: The Story of Anna Maria Lane

Emerging Revolutionary War welcomes guest historian Paige Backus. 

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Aron, Paul. “Fighting as a Common Soldier”. Colonial Williamsburg: Trends and Traditions (Spring 2017). Accessed March 12, 2019. Click here for URL.

Women’s History Month is dedicated to celebrating extraordinary women and encouraging the women of today to be the same.  Throughout American history, there are multitudes of women who certainly were put into extraordinary situations and rose to the challenge to make their place in history. Throughout the American Revolution, women were generally not allowed to serve in the armies so they accompanied their husbands to war as camp followers assisting with the cooking, cleaning, nursing and other domestic tasks needed by the army. This is no small feat considering that women were exposed to the hardships and challenges of war, working without the modern technology we take for granted today, and doing it all in skirts. However, one woman named Anna Maria Lane not only followed her husband into war, but she joined him in battle becoming the only known woman in Virginia to serve as a soldier during the American Revolution. Continue reading

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An Irish Catholic Hero of the Revolution

One of the great unsung heroes of the American Revolution was an Irish Catholic colonel in the Continental Army who called Alexandria, Virginia home.  His name was John Fitzgerald and he would be by George Washington’s side during some of the most dramatic moments of the Revolutionary War.  Unfortunately, today in his adopted hometown, people are working to erase his gallant memory.

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George Washington conferring with an aide-de-camp. (U.S. Army Center of Military History)

In 1769 John Fitzgerald sailed from the emerald green fields of County Wicklow, Ireland to the southern British colonial town of Alexandria, Virginia.  Fitzgerald left a country that was firmly under the domination of British and Protestant rule.  Despite making up a majority of the residents of the country, Irish Catholics were treated as second class subjects in Ireland.  What Fitzgerald would find in colonial Virginia would not have been that much different as many British colonists had anti-Catholic sentiments.  Fitzgerald would find it illegal for him to openly worship in Virginia.  He would be forced to celebrate Catholic mass in his private home.

Despite the prejudices he faced, Fitzgerald became a merchant in Alexandria and would soon become good friends with the prominent local citizen, George Washington.  As tensions began to build between Great Britain and the American colonies, Fitzgerald would become an early proponent of the patriot cause.  As early as 1774, Fitzgerald had joined the local patriot militia, the Fairfax Independent Company, as an officer.

In early 1776, Fitzgerald became a captain in the 3rd Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line, and was promoted to major that fall.  In November, Fitzgerald was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and joined Washington’s headquarters as an aide-de-camp.  Fitzgerald joined his staff at one of the darkest moments of the entire war.  Fitzgerald joined as what was left of Washington’s army was retreating across the state of New Jersey.  Washington’s army was dissolving before his very eyes. From 24,000 men that August, by December Washington only counted about 3,000 men.  In this trying time, Fitzgerald would be by Washington’s side as the revolution seemed near an end.  He would then join Washington and his men as they crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night and took part in the pivotal battles at Trenton and Princeton. (Read about these important battles in my book “Victory or Death: The Battles of Trenton and Princeton”)

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ERW Weekender: The George Washington House

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In September 1751, a 19-year old, tall, strapping, young Virginian accompanied an ailing older half-brother on a journey to Barbados, in the West Indies. Unbeknownst to this teenager, the journey to the Caribbean Island would be his last venture out of the colonies and/or country that inhabited the east coast of North America.

This young man’s name? George Washington.

The island he visited? Barbados.

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