Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Emerging Revolutionary War

As we prepare to celebrate the Holiday season, we want to thank everyone who has followed us this past year. We had a very successful year with nearly 30 Rev War Revelries, our Third Annual Rev War Symposium, two books published, various blog posts and a very successful bus tour to Valley Forge and Monmouth.

2023 will be another very busy year for us. We will have two more books released in our book series (Battles for Charleston by Mark Maloy and Battle of Camden by Mark Wilcox and Rob Orrison). We will continue our Rev War Revelry every other Sunday (check our Facebook page for our line up) and our Third Annual Bus Tour will take place on Nov 10-12, 2023 in Charleston, SC. Also, stay tuned for some very exciting news about our annual Revolutionary War Symposium (hint, a change of venue and location!) and we will continue our partnership with Historic Alexandria on a new 18th century style tavern program.

We will not have a Rev War Revelry this Sunday, but we will be resharing our video from last year of ERW historian Mark Maloy narrating the movie The Crossing to honor the anniversary of the Battle of Trenton. We will be back live on January 8, 2023 with historian Andrew Outten, Historical Programs Manager for the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati who will discuss his research on British cartographer William Faden’s maps of the Battle of Brandywine. In the meantime, check out our You Tube Channel to catch all of our nearly 200 videos and our podcast channel as well (every Rev War Revelry now is a podcast). We look forward to seeing you then and we hope Santa brings you history books!

“Fort Ticonderoga, the Last Campaigns” with Dr. Mark Edward Lender

During the War for Independence, Fort Ticonderoga’s guns, sited critically between Lakes Champlain and George, dominated north-south communications in upstate New York that were vital to both the British and American war efforts. In the public mind Ticonderoga was the “American Gibraltar” or the “Key to the Continent,” and patriots considered holding the fort essential to the success of the Revolutionary cause. Join us for this Sunday at 7 p.m. for the latest installment of our Rev War Revelry series as we welcome back award-winning historian, Dr. Mark Edward Lender, to discuss his newest book and the importance of Fort Ticonderoga in the oft-forgotten latter years of the Revolutionary War in Upstate New York.

The discussion will be held via Facebook Live on our page,, and will be available afterwards on YouTube and Spotify.

Rev War Revelry: 2023 Bus Tour Reveal

We have A LOT to be thankful for in 2022! We had a great year in releasing new Emerging Revolutionary War book titles, blog posts, 26 Rev War Revelries, many partnerships with the American Battlefield Trust, Americana Corner & many others. Most of all, we are thankful for a successful Second Annual ERW Bus Tour. We are now all recovered & ready for 2023’s bus tour! This Sunday’s Rev War Revelry focus is to reveal the topic and location of our Third Annual Bus Tour.

We will recap our 2022 bus tour, share some fun stories from this year’s tour and set the scene for 2023. We will discuss the sites we will visit, the personalities, battles and stories that our tour will focus on.

We hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving & as you think of gifts for friends and family that love history, be sure to check out our books & the 2023 bus tour.

You can tune in live to the discussion on our Facebook page on Sunday, November 27 at 7:00 p.m. EST. Can’t make it for the live viewing? Check out the recording later on our Facebook page, our YouTube page, or our podcast!

“Rev War Revelry” Book Chat with Bert Dunkerly

 “The Importance of the North River (the Hudson), and the sanguine wishes of all to prevent the enemy from possessing it, have been the causes of this unhappy catastrophe.” So wrote General George Washington in 1776 as the British invaded New Jersey. Worse was to come, as the British overran the state, and the Americans suffered one unhappy catastrophe after another.

 Central New Jersey witnessed many small battles and important events during the American Revolution. This area saw it all: from spies and espionage, to military encampments like Morristown and Middlebrook, to mutinies, raids, and full-blown engagements like Bound Brook, Short Hills, and Springfield. The British had their own catastrophes too. So did civilians caught in the middle.

Continue reading ““Rev War Revelry” Book Chat with Bert Dunkerly”

Discovery of Human Remains at Red Bank Battlefield

In the summer of 2022, archaeologists discovered the remains of 13 Hessians who had been killed during the Battle of Red Bank in New Jersey. The Battle of Red Bank was fought on October 22, 1777 and resulted in the deaths of dozens of Hessian soldiers. Join Emerging Revolutionary War as we welcome one of the archaeologists who worked on the project, Wade Catts, to discuss the battle, the surprising discovery that occurred this summer, and what we can learn from archaeology about the men who fought the battle 245 years ago.

You can tune in live to the discussion on our Facebook page on Sunday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m. EST. Can’t make it for the live viewing? Check out the recording later on our Facebook page, our YouTube page, or our podcast!

Tippecanoe Battlefield

During a recent trip following VA Militia Colonel George Rogers Clark and his Illinois Campaign, my brother and I stopped off at the Tippecanoe Battlefield Interpretive Center in the appropriately-named Battlefield, Indiana, not far from Lafayette.  The battlefield park encompasses the site of a clash between American soldiers and a multinational coalition of Native Americans led by Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa, more widely known as “The Prophet.”  It is a gem of a battlefield from America’s founding era.  The Treaty of Paris ceded British “authority” over the Northwest Territory to the new United States.  Of course, it did so without consulting the Native Americans who actually lived there.  That imposition of a European concept naturally led to resistance and involved the United States in some of its earliest wars as a country, notably the War for the Northwest Territory during the Washington Administration and then Tecumseh’s resistance movement and the War of 1812, in which Native Americans in the area primarily sided with the British.  Like St. Clair’s Defeat (1791), the Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794), and the Battle on the Thames (1813), Tippecanoe (1811) became a milestone among those conflicts.  

Harrison Monument at Tippecanoe in Battlefield, IN. The hilltop stretches into the distance. Some of the trees visible were present during the battle, but are dying from the afflictions that affect aging trees.

Concerned by growing nativist sentiment and alliances among the Indians from several different tribes, Indiana Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison led nearly 1,000 infantry, militia, and cavalry north from Vincennes to a growing Indian Settlement known as Prophetstown established by the Shawnee leaders Tecumseh and the Prophet.  Expecting a parlay with Tenskwatawa on November 7, Harrison made camp on a hill near Tippecanoe creek the night of November 6, 1811.  Tecumseh, an experienced war captain and diplomat, was away from Prophetstown at the time, leaving his brother nominally in charge, although various war captains and chiefs from tribes interested in The Prophet’s message were at Prophetstown as well.  

Continue reading “Tippecanoe Battlefield”

A Congregation on the Pennsylvania Frontier

In 1729, along the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania, Derry Township was formed. Populated by the numerous Scots-Irish people who had emigrated from Northern Ireland, in 1729 Derry Township, near present-day Hershey, was very much a frontier settlement; part of the gateway to the American West.

Historic Marker in Derry Township

That same year, in a little grove, the Derry Presbyterian Church was officially established. Tradition has it that the Presbyterians were meeting for worship in the grove, near a fresh-water spring, as early as 1724. In 1732, the Congregation called its first pastor, the Scotsman, Reverend William Bertram, who would pastor the churches in both Derry and Paxtang (Paxton) Townships. At this time, the Derry congregation erected its first Session House. This building was a small affair, built of rough, hand-hewn logs. Its sole source of heat in the winter was a stone fireplace situated along one of the walls. The Session House was never used for worship, per se, but, among other things it would serve as a pastor’s study, a place for Sunday School classes, and other types of church meetings. Also, this small, unassuming log building was used as the first schoolhouse in this area of Pennsylvania where the main course of study was reading.  

In 1741, the land on which the current Derry Presbyterian Church building stands was deeded to the church congregation by John, Thomas, and Richard Penn, who were the sons of William Penn, the founder of the Pennsylvania Colony.

In the 1740’s, a new pastor stepped into the pulpits at Derry and Paxton Church, the Reverend John Elder. Like his predecessor, Rev. Bertram, John Elder was likewise educated in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. With the outbreak of what is known in America as the French and Indian War, and increased conflict between the Scots-Irish settlers and local Native Tribes, Rev. Elder organized a company of local militia from Paxton Township, known as the Paxton Boys. Like most men in the area at the time, it is remembered that Rev. Elder brought his rifle, powder horn, and shot pouch to church services and was known as the “Fighting Parson”. The end of the war brought a tenuous peace to the frontier, but it was fleeting. Tensions between the frontiersmen and Native tribesmen were renewed in earnest in 1763 when Pontiac’s Rebellion spread into Pennsylvania, leading to depredations on both sides. Frustrated by what they apparently felt was a lack of action taken by Pennsylvania’s Colonial Government, Rev. Elder’s company, the Paxton Boys, are best remembered as a vigilante force who murdered around 20 peaceful Susquehannock men, women, and children in attacks that are remembered collectively as the Conestoga Massacre.

Derry Presbyterian Church Cemetary

A colonial-era cemetery stands on the property of modern Derry Presbyterian Church. According to the church records, the earliest grave here dates back to 1735. Within the stone wall surrounding this cemetery can be found the graves of at least forty American veterans; soldiers of the frontier and of the American Revolution. Their graves are marked with small American flags and metal plaques denoting their military service.

Revolutionary War Grave Marker

Over the centuries, other buildings have been erected on the property of Derry Presbyterian Church, but ever faithful, the original Session House, the small log building that played such a prominent role in the early days of the frontier congregation, built in the same year of George Washington’s birth, continues to stand watch. In the early 20th Century, the Session House was recognized as the oldest structure in Derry Township. In order to preserve the building, in 1929, chocolate magnate Milton Hershey had it enclosed in a glass structure that protects it to this day.

1732 Session House

267th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake George

Today marks the 267th anniversary of one of the first true “American military victories” during the 18th century: the battle of Lake George, New York. Fought just two months after Braddock’s Defeat along the Monongahela, William Johnson’s army of New Yorkers, New Englanders, and Mohawk warriors successfully halted a French advance that could have opened up the road to Albany. If you are unfamiliar with this key battle of the French and Indian War, check out our interviews below with the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance, and ERW’s own Billy Griffith, the author of The Battle of Lake George: England’s First Triumph in the French and Indian War.

Braddock’s Defeat: An Evening with David L. Preston

On July 9, 1755, British regulars and American colonial troops under the command of General Edward Braddock, commander in chief of His Majesty’s Forces in North America, were attacked by French and Native American warriors shortly after crossing the Monongahela River while making their way to besiege Fort Duquesne in the Ohio Valley near modern-day Pittsburgh. The long line of red-coated troops struggled to maintain cohesion and discipline as Native American warriors quickly outflanked them and used the dense cover of the woods to masterful and lethal effect. Within hours, a powerful British army was routed, its commander mortally wounded, and two-thirds of its forces casualties in one the worst disasters in British military history.

Join us this Sunday evening at 7 p.m. for our latest Rev War Revelry as we sit down with historian David L. Preston to discuss his book and this critical event in America’s colonial history.