In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, George Washington's army lay idle for want of supplies, food, and money. All hope seemed lost until a powerful French force landed at Newport in July. Then, under Washington's directives, Nathanael Greene began a series of hit-and-run operations against the British. The damage the guerrilla fighters inflicted would help drive the enemy to Yorktown, where Greene and Lafayette would trap them before Washington and Rochambeau, supported by the French fleet, arrived to deliver the coup de grâce.
Richard M. Ketchum illuminates, for the first time, the strategies and heroic personalities--American and French--that led to the surprise victory, only the second major battle the Americans would win in almost seven horrific years. Relying on good fortune, daring, and sheer determination never to give up, American and French fighters--many of whom walked from Newport and New York to Virginia--brought about that rarest of military operations: a race against time and distance, on land and at sea. Ketchum brings to life the gripping and inspirational story of how the rebels defeated the world's finest army against all odds.
No part of the country was more contested during the American Revolution than New York City, the Hudson River, and the surrounding counties. Political and military leaders on both sides viewed the Hudson River Valley as the American jugular, which, if cut, would quickly bleed the rebellion to death.
So in 1776, King George III sent the largest amphibious force ever assembled to seize Manhattan and use it as a base from which to push up the Hudson River Valley for a grand rendezvous at Albany with an impressive army driving down from Canada. George Washington and every other patriot leader shared the king’s fixation with the Hudson. Generations of American and British historians have held the same view. In fact, one of the few things that scholars have agreed upon is that the British strategy, though disastrously executed, should have been swift and effective. Until now, no one has argued that this plan of action was lunacy from the beginning.
Revolution on the Hudson makes the bold new argument that Britain’s attempt to cut off New England never would have worked, and that doggedly pursuing dominance of the Hudson ultimately cost the crown her colonies. It unpacks intricate military maneuvers on land and sea, introduces the personalities presiding over each side’s strategy, and reinterprets the vagaries of colonial politics to offer a thrilling response to one of our most vexing historical questions: How could a fledgling nation have defeated the most powerful war machine of the era?
George C. Daughan—winner of the prestigious Samuel Eliot Morrison Award for Naval Literature—integrates the war’s naval elements with its political, military, economic, and social dimensions to create a major new study of the American Revolution. Revolution on the Hudson offers a much clearer understanding of our founding conflict, and how it transformed a rebellion that Britain should have crushed into a war they could never win.
From the rebellion against "taxation without representation" to the beginnings of American self-government, readers will learn how this unlikely group of colonists shaped a new nation. This book features all readers need to know about this exciting time:The beginnings of colonial unrest and rebellionThe drafting and signing of the Declaration of IndependenceMajor battles, including Lexington and Concord, Trenton, Saratoga, Valley Forge, and YorktownDaily life for soldiers and ordinary colonists on both sides of the warThe birth of the United StatesThis easy-to-read book covers all the key players and major events—from King George III and George Washington to the Boston Tea Party and the launch of a new government. The interesting facts and vivid details inside will turn any history-phobe into an enthusiastic history buff!
The American Revolution, the Bicentennial of which we are celebrating in 1975 and 1976, was an event of utmost significance in the history of both this country and the world. It brought into being a nation, dedicated to the ideals of liberty and justice, that was destined to become, in less than two centuries, the leader of the western world. And it marked the beginning of vast changes that would sweep that western world in the century following, thrusting aside old monarchical institutions in favor of representative government and free economic institutions. Albeit fought on the battlefields much like other eighteenth century wars, it also carried within it the seeds of change in the military sphere that were to sprout and grow in the French Revolution less than two decades later. It was, in this sense, a war of transition between the epoch of limited wars fought by professional armies and people’s wars fought by the “nation in arms.”
Our first national army, the Continental Army, was created to fight the Revolution. As the forebear of the United States Army of today, the Continental Army established many of the traditions and practices still honored in our service. The War of the American Revolution was, until Vietnam at least, the Army’s longest war. It is altogether fitting and proper then that the United States Army should pay particular attention to the study of its origins during the bicentennial years and commemorate the events of the Revolution in which the Continental Army and its adjunct, the militia, participated.
The purpose of this small volume is to provide a ready reference for such study and observance. The American Revolution has been intensively studied and written about in the two hundred years that have elapsed since 1775. There is much good scholarship as well as popular writing, both old and new, covering all aspects of the conflict and the political and social changes that accompanied it.