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In the spring and summer of 1776 there were many Englishmen who earnestly hoped that the mutual abrasions of the colonies and the mother country might be healed without further violence. Among them were the famous Howe brothers—Sir William, commander m chief of the British army m America, and Lord Richard, topadmiral of the corresponding naval forces. When Lord Howe reached America in June, 1776, he brought with him a royal commission to grant pardons, and thereby to attempt a reconciliation.Read more »

England’s Vietnam: The American Revolution

A domino theory, distant wilderness warfare, the notion of “defensive enclaves,” hawks, doves, hired mercenaries, possible intervention by hostile powers, a Little trouble telling friendly natives from unfriendly—George III went through the whole routine

If it is true that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, America’s last three Presidents might have profited by examining the ghostly footsteps of America’s last king before pursuing their adventure in Vietnam. As the United States concludes a decade of war in Southeast Asia, it is worth recalling the time, two centuries ago, when Britain faced the same agonizing problems in America that we have met in Vietnam.Read more »

“A Melancholy Case”

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In reprisal for a Tory atrocity, Washington ordered the hanging of a captive British officer chosen by lot. He was nineteen.

The Trumpet Sounds Again

WASHINGTON AFTER THE REVOLUTION: II

Washington had, during 1775, attended the Second Continental Congress as a delegate from what he then regarded as “my country,” Virginia. Virginia was considering a military alliance with the other twelve colonies, but to achieve this was no easy matter. During their long histories the colonies had been jealous of each other, with practically no political connection other than that which was now dissolving: their allegiance to the crown.

 
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A “New And Strange Order Of Men”

Just what moved those Revolutionary War officers to form the Society of the Cincinnati, America’s first veterans’ organization? Some said it was treason

 

On the morning of May 13, 1783, a group of officers of the Continental Army gathered at Verplanck House near the Hudson River village of Fishkill, New York. The house, built of stone in the Dutch style, was headquarters for General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, the Prussian professional who had done so much to train and reorganize Washington’s Revolutionary army. As the senior officer present, Baron von Steuben presided.

 
 
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Firebrand Of The Revolution

For ten tumultuous years Sam Adams burned with a single desire: American independence from Great Britain.

Members of the British Parliament who voted approval of the Stamp Act late one night in 1765 and went yawning off to bed had never heard, it would seem, of Boston’s “Man of the Town Meeting,” Samuel Adams. It was a fatal lapse. From that moment until the Declaration of Independence, Sam Adams pounced on Britain every time she moved to impose her will on the colonies. He made politics his only profession and rebellion his only business. He drove two royal governors out of Massachusetts and goaded the British government into open war.

The “Horrid And Unnatural Rebellion” Of Daniel Shays

The battle smoke of the Revolution had scarcely cleared when desperate economic conditions in Massachusetts led former patriots to rise against the government they had created. The fear this event aroused played an important part in shaping the new Constitution of the United States

OCTOBER, 1786: “Are your people … mad?” thundered the usually calm George Washington to a Massachusetts correspondent. Recent events in the Bay State had convinced the General, who was living the life of a country squire at Mount Vernon, that the United States was “last verging to anarchy and confusion!” Would the nation that had so recently humbled the British Empire now succumb to internal dissension and die in its infancy?

 
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“the Decisive Day Is Come”

The battle between rebels and redcoats that should have taken place at Bunker Hill was fought at Breed’s instead. It was the first of many costly mistakes for both sides

The port of Boston in June, 1775, resembled a medieval castle under siege. Since the engagements at Lexington and Concord on April 19, General Thomas Gage and some 5,000 British regulars had been bottled up in the town by a force of rebellious colonials that numbered between 8,000 and 12,000 men.

 
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With Cornwallis At Yorktown

While the French fleet was preventing the evacuation of Cornwallis by sea, French and American troops laid siege to his land positions. Some idea of the rigors of that siege has come down to us in the diary of a German corporal named Stephan Popp. The document, recently found in the library of the Historical Society in Bayreuth, Germany, Stephan’s native town, has been translated by the Reverend Reinhart J. Pope of Racine, Wisconsin, the corporal’s great-great-great grandson, and edited by Merle Sinclair of Milwaukee.

 

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The Revolution’s Caine Mutiny

In Pierre Landais the Continental Navy had its own real-life Commander Queeg. His tour as master of the Alliance was a nightmare wilder than any a novelist could invent

In a prefatory note to The Caine Mutiny Herman Wouk makes the point of informing the reader that “the records of thirty years show no instance of a court-martial resulting from the relief of a captain at sea under Article 184, 185, and 186 of the Naval Regulations,” and that both persons and events in his novel are imaginary.

 
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