Category Archives: Western Frontier

Review: Russell Mahan, The Kentucky Kidnappings and Death March: The Revolutionary War at Ruddell’s Fort and Martin’s Station, Kindle ed. (West Haven, UT: Historical Enterprises, 2020).

In the summer of 1780, Captain Henry Bird crossed the Ohio River with some 800 Native Americans from various British-allied tribes and two companies of soldiers from Detroit (roughly 50 Canadians and Tories and a mixed group of regulars from … Continue reading

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Poet in a Patriot Prison

CONFINEMENT hail! in honour’s justest cause. True to our King, our Country, and our Laws; Opposing anarchy, sedition, strife, And every other bane of social life. These Colonies of British freedom tir’d, Are by the frenzy of distraction fir’d; Rushing … Continue reading

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Augustin Mottin De La Balme’s Disastrous Detroit Campaign, Autumn 1780

The Revolutionary War has more than its share of adventurers, rogues, soldiers-of-fortune, and risk-takers.  Augustin Mottin De La Balme combined all these characteristics in his person.  In November 1780, they brought the Frenchman and his soldiers to a horrible end outside the … Continue reading

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Stumbling Upon Daniel Boone

Recently I had the chance to travel through Lexington, Kentucky en route to western Kentucky and to see the sites associated with the Fort Donelson campaign in the American Civil War. In Frankfurt, Kentucky, Simon Bolivar Buckner, the Confederate general … Continue reading

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“Rev War Roundtable with ERW” Looks West….

The majority of the study of the American Revolution centers on the main theaters of the war, chiefly east of the Appalachian Mountains and on the high seas. Obviously. Yet, what is considered today the Midwest or Great Lakes region … Continue reading

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Captain James Willing’s Mississippi Raid, Part 2

Willing’s next target was the town of Manchack upon which he descended “so rapidly that they reached the Settlements without being discovered.”[1]  On the 23rd, Willing’s advance parties captured the 250-ton British sloop Rebecca, with sixteen 4-pounders and six swivels.[2]  … Continue reading

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Captain James Willing’s Mississippi Raid, Part 1

  In 1778, Captain James Willing and his crew sailed and rowed the bateaux Rattletrap down the Ohio River to the Mississippi.   A “left” turn of sorts then took them down the Mississippi all the way to the Gulf of … Continue reading

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The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell, Part 2

An Englishman on the Frontier Part 1 click here. Nicholas Cresswell left Alexandria for the Illinois Country on March 16, 1775, his correspondence as yet unknown to the local Committee of Safety.  The Ohio River served as a highway to … Continue reading

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ERW Weekender: Wheeling

Emerging Revolutionary War welcomes guest historian Jon-Erik Gilot. A short bio is attached at the bottom of this post. Though perhaps more widely known as the birthplace of West Virginia during the Civil War, Wheeling and its environs retains several … Continue reading

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Groundhog Day and the Legend of Ponks Uteney

Before Americans began relying on a local groundhog to predict the weather, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania had a legend attached to it. In 1772, Native Americans converted to Christianity under the tutelage of missionaries from the Church of the United Brethren (known … Continue reading

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