Valley Forge Documentary

244 years ago this week is when the Continental army, under the command of George Washington, marched into what would become their winter encampment as the year turned from 1777-1778. Recently, Phillip S. Greenwalt, one of the Emerging Revolutionary War historians was a “talking head” on a documentary about the Valley Forge encampment and what the soldiers and civilians faced during the ensuing six-month cantonment.

The documentary which features historians and park rangers is airing on Fox News Nation, the streaming service that is part of the Fox News network. Below is a screen shot of Phillip, who is also the author of Winter that Won the War, the Winter Encampment at Valley Forge, 1777-1778, which is part of the Emerging Revolutionary War Series published by Savas Beatie LLC.

So, if you need a break from the holiday specials that are airing, tune in for your history fix and learn more about the history at Valley Forge. If you want to dive even deeper into this period of the American Revolution, check out the link above labeled “2022 Bus Tour” and secure your tickets to join ERW at our second annual bus tour next November, which will include Valley Forge.

“Rev War Revelry” The Winter that Won the War, Valley Forge

In June 1778, the Continental army marched out of their winter encampment in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and headed toward New Jersey in pursuit of the retreating British army. The past six months, from December 1777 to June 1778, ushered in a period of suffering, renewal, and change.

Valley Forge is imprinted into the psyche of Americans as the the toughest winter of the entire American Revolution. In fairness, it was one of many tough winters that the Continental army survived. However, the reasons why this winter stands out will be part of the discussion of this Sunday evening’s “Rev War Revelry” which can be found on Emerging Revolutionary War’s Facebook page at 7 pm. EDT.

This week’s historian happy hour includes a discussion with Philip S. Greenwalt author of the recently released Emerging Revolutionary War Series title, The Winter that Won the War. This is the fourth volume in the series, with previous ones covering Lexington and Concord, Trenton and Princeton, and Monmouth.

Greenwalt will discuss how the Valley Forge winter was the intersection of various issues and how the decisions made and the determination of survival by the army made this the winter that won the war.

Tune in as well to hear how you can purchase a copy of this book to take with you as you plan that summer trip to Valley Forge and the Philadelphia area!

Marching Out of Valley Forge

On this date, in 1778, the Continental army, under the command of General George Washington broke winter camp and began the spring campaign. Their objective was to catch the British army, under Sir Henry Clinton, retreating across New Jersey to the safety of New York City.

Nine days later, in the last major action in the northern theater, Washington’s forces would engage their adversary in the Battle of Monmouth. The army that fought this engagement in one of the hottest recorded days of any battle in American history, was a much improved military organization. Not perfect but much improved from the force that marched into Valley Forge six months prior.

During that half-year, from December 19 to June 19, the army saw an improved quartermaster department, the formation of a military handbook and tactical training, and the news that a powerful European nation had agreed to become allies in the quest for American independence.

Much is made of turning points or the critical importance of an event so I do not want to retread that argument here. However, what happened at Valley Forge was significant in the path to eventual American victory and the formation of the United States of America.

There is an old saying that even the greatest fiction writers cannot envision a story that is unbelievable as actual events can be. Or to sum it up more succinctly, a coincidence. After delays due to the pandemic, the latest volume of the Emerging Revolutionary War Series was released, in time for the 243rd anniversary of the end of the winter cantonment at Valley Forge.

The book is authored by yours truly and can be found via the publisher’s website by clicking here or through your favorite bookseller or by emailing Emerging Revolutionary War.

Then follow in the footsteps of Washington’s forces to Monmouth.

Inspiration

Merriam-Webster’s two two definitions of inspiration are “an aspiring agent or influence” and “the quality or state of being influenced.” Being a military historian that has spent a portion of his graduate school and adult life studying the American Revolution, there are a multiple examples of people, events, or circumstances that would fit that Merriam-Webster definition.

The 56-men who affixed a signature to the Declaration of Independence in the summer of 1776 and the gravity of what that meant.

Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis comes to mind during the bleak December 1776 days as George Washington’s army hurriedly moved through New Jersey.

George Washington’s personal heroics, at Princeton in January of 1777 and Monmouth Court House in June 1778, defying his own personal demise to rally the troops he led.

The tales of suffering, at Valley Forge, Morristown, and through the heat of a Carolinas campaign by the common soldier, many whose names are lost to history.

Recently, I have been looking for inspiration, I think most of us are, with how 2020 ended and the beginning of 2021, but this post is not about straying into current politics, viewpoints, or stances on the pandemic. This is more personal.

The pandemic has afforded me the opportunity to read more, as I am sure my fellow history enthusiasts and bookophiles can relate to. Those readings reawakened a question I tried to tackle as a graduate student a decade ago at George Mason University.

What inspired the men from Maryland to fight for American independence?

Or more accurately:

What did not inspire the men from Maryland to fight for American independence?

I ruled out pay, patriotism (at the start), and other tangible benefits. I gleaned from some of the primary sources that have survived, the chance to create a new life, for the soldiers themselves or their loved ones at home was a major motivator to serve. Family was the spark of inspiration.

On this date, that is something I can really relate to. My father, who will be celebrating his 71st trip around the sun, is battling dementia. He will know that this date, February 8, is his birthday, but will struggle to remember anything else. Yet, he was surprised to see his name in a book recently, one that I sent to him, one that I had helped in the editorial process. To see him reading it, cherishing it, and tearing up with happiness at the simple recognition of his name and mine, is an inspiration to myself.

So, he was and is an inspiration, half the duo of sparking my passion of American history (any guesses on the other half)?

What or who is your inspiration as we enter the second month of 2021?

Happy Birthday Dad, from the history enthusiast you helped create.

If curious, he is reading A Handsome Flogging: The Battle of Monmouth, June 28,1778 by William R. Griffith IV

“Rev War Roundtable with ERW” Author Interview: William “Billy” Griffith

This Sunday, at 7 p.m. join Emerging Revolutionary War on our Facebook page as we interview William “Billy” Griffith, author of the latest volume in the Emerging Revolutionary War Series.

His book, A Handsome Flogging, The Battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778 was just released by Savas Beatie, LLC this month. The book is so new that Amazon still has it listed for pre-sale, but don’t worry, you can purchase the book directly from Savas Beatie by clicking here.

Billy Griffith is a full-time contributor to ERW and is also the author of The Battle of Lake George: England’s First Triumph in the French and Indian War, which was released in 2016 by HistoryPress. A native of Branchburg, New Jersey, he has a family connection to the the Monmouth area; he graduated with a degree in history from Shepherd University and holds a graduate degree in military history from Norwich University. He currently works as a full-time Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide. We would be remiss if we did not include his other passion, besides American military history, the New York Yankees. Feel free to join the Facebook Live to disparage his love of the Evil Empire!

ERW looks forward to seeing you, hearing your questions, comments, and what personalized message you want inscribed on your copy of Billy’s latest publication. Although this happy hour historian discussion centers on an author interview, it is still a “happy hour” so bring your favorite brew; we can guarantee the two historians on the program will be imbibing theirs!

“Rev War Roundtable with ERW” All Things Independence Day

As this posting goes live today, July 2, there is a link to the American Revolutionary War era. This was the day that John Adams, future president of the United States, believed would be the date Americans would celebrate as their independence day.

Yet, the day reserved for that celebration would fall two days later, on July 4, the date that John Hancock affixed his signature as president of the Continental Congress.

However, join Emerging Revolutionary War historians and three guest historians this Sunday, July 5, at 7 pm EST, on our Facebook page, as another date to talk “All Things Independence Day” including John Adams and Independence Hall.

Joining ERW to discuss John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, which will be the volume in the Emerging Revolutionary War Series, is Emerging Civil War co-founder and Stevenson Ridge historian-in-residence, Dr. Chris Mackowski.

Savannah Rose, a National Park Service ranger at Independence National Historical Park and the new layout coordinator for the Emerging Revolutionary War Series. You can see her work with the upcoming A Handsome Flogging, on the engagement at Monmouth Course House, which just shipped from the printer this week.

Rounding out the triumvirate of guest historians will be Dan Welch, who you may remember from his dramatic reading of “A Midnight Ride” the poem about Paul Revere’s Ride. Dan is also a seasonal historian with the National Park Service at Gettysburg National Military Park.

As you round out your holiday weekend, we hope that you include “Rev War Revelry” as one of the events you attend to commemorate Independence Day weekend. We look forward to toasting you as we enjoy our favorite brews and discuss “All Things Independence.”

Emerging Revolutionary War Series 2019 Releases

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In 2018, the inaugural two volumes, of the Emerging Revolutionary War Series published by Savas Beatie, LLC. Those first two volumes were; A Single Blow, The Battles of Lexington and Concord and The Beginning of the American Revolution and Victory or Death, The Battles of Trenton and Princeton.

In 2019, the series is set to release the next two volumes. The Winter that Won the War, The Winter Encampment at Valley Forge, 1777-1778 and A Handsome Flogging, The Battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778. This past week, the covers of both were released by Savas Beatie so get a sneak peak below.

Both titles are scheduled for a release later this year. Stay tuned for updates!

Inspiring Books of the American Revolutionary War Era

The start of a new year seems to be coupled with new resolutions and fresh beginnings, naturally. If your list includes looking for that one book to start 2019 with or looking to dive into the American Revolutionary Era with a reading list or you were casting around to settle on a new interest to begin the year with, Emerging Revolutionary War has you covered!

With 2018 coming to a close, Emerging Revolutionary War asked its cadre of historians to share their answers to the following question;

“What was the one book that most influenced you and sparked your interest in this time period of history?”

Their answers are below! Continue reading “Inspiring Books of the American Revolutionary War Era”

Visiting the Scene of Action: Battle of Camden

A reflection on the previous month’s exploration in South Carolina.

IMG_1905 (1)August 16, 1780 would prove to be a devastating day for the American Army in the south, known as the “Grand Army” by its commander, Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates, the Hero of Saratoga. The battle between this army and that of Lt. Gen. Charles, Earl Cornwallis, in the Pine Barrens near the South Carolina town of Camden, would end in the total rout of the Americans and the destruction of the reputation of its commander. It would also temporarily leave the southern colonies without a central army to oppose the British.

On November 1, members of the Emerging Revolutionary War Era staff took a road trip to Camden, SC to research the battle, walk the battlefield and meet with local historians in preparation for an upcoming addition to our book series, on the Battle of Camden.  On the way down, we took the opportunity of visiting other sites of combat, actions that occurred prior to and after the fight at Camden. Continue reading “Visiting the Scene of Action: Battle of Camden”