Big Guns For Washington

How tough Henry Knox hauled a train of cannon over wintry trails to help drive the British away from Boston

Knox was one of those providential characters which spring up in emergencies, as if they were formed by and for the occasion.

—Washington Irving, Life of George Washington .

 
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The Newburgh Conspiracy

Encamped above the Hudson for the last, hard winter of the Revolution, the officers of the Continental Army began to talk mutiny. It would be up to their harried commander to defend the most precious principle of the infant nation—the supremacy of civilian rule .

Sunday, October 27, 1782. Mist and intermittent sheets of cold rain shrouded the granite spine of Butter Hill as it stretched west from the Hudson River above West Point toward the distant Shawangunk mountain range. Farmers, working neat, stonewalled fields, watched the storm without noticing anything unusual along the mountain’s crest. At dusk, however, the rain eased and the mist lifted to reveal something new and strange. High on the mountain hundreds of small lights flickered like fireflies.Read more »

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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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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Soldier In A Longboat

Three times John Glover’s Marblehead fishermen saved Washington’s army; in a final battle, the “amphibious regiment” rowed him to victory across the Delaware

 

Some years after the Revolutionary War, Henry Knox, onctime major general and chief of artillery in the Continental Army, rose before the Massachusetts legislature to speak on a bill in behalf of his former comrades in arms, the Marblehead fishermen. Standing there, his hulking aSo-pound frame commanding every eye, Knox recalled the cold Christmas night in 177(1 when these brave men had ferried Washington’s army across an ice-jammed river to launch the attack against Trenton.

 
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