Well over 200 years after George Washington and the Continental Army shockingly defeated the British to gain America’s independence, Washington rubs salt in the wound just one more time. The National Army Museum organized a contest to decide who was the greatest commander to face Britain in battle.
Washington was up against Irishman Michael Collins, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte, Germany’s Erwin Rommel and Turkey’s Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The criteria included that each commander had to lead and army against the British in battle, and that is why Hitler is left off the list.
Washington won because he was a courageous and inspirational battlefield commander who also possessed enough political whits to deal with his political counterparts in Congress and their French allies.
Washington’s army was constantly undermanned, under supplied, under fed, and counted out, but Washington never showed his men any weakness and therefore led them to victory over the highly superior British professional Army.
While Washington was far from a perfect human being, he owned slaves, and didn’t stop the genocide of the Native Americans, his commanding of troops and is fearless leadership has earned the title of Britain’s greatest enemy commander!
Read more on the contest at George Washington voted Britain’s greatest enemy commander
During the American Revolutionary War, it is said that the Saratoga campaign was the turning point of the war in favor of the American Continental Army. Would the Continental Army have been victorious if British General John Burgoyne’s forces entered into the fighting? Burgoyne progress through New York state was slowed down thanks to the efforts of about 200 men under the command of Captain James Gray. Was it thanks to Gray’s men, who did everything they could to stop Burgoyne that the tides turned in the war? Jamie Munks of the Post-Star writes about this little known skirmish.
More than two centuries ago, places like Saratoga and Ticonderoga played host to well-known Revolutionary War battles and contributed to the birth of this nation.
But it was in a small area north of the village of Fort Ann where, according to local historians, a lesser-known battle helped turn the tides in the Americans’ favor.
Called Battle Hill, the site is located west of Route 4 and marked today only by a plaque set in a rock face. And it’s in that vicinity that a local mining company, Troy Topsoil Co., has proposed a rock quarry, causing concern among some residents.
Battle Hill isn’t currently on the National Register of Historic Places and, as a result, isn’t afforded the protection of many other historically significant sites. But historians argue there is much historical significance to protect at the site, including buried bodies and artifacts.
In the summer of 1777, British General John Burgoyne’s forces were traveling south, with plans to unite in Albany with other British forces coming from different directions. They were on their way from Ticonderoga to Saratoga when they met Continental troops in Fort Ann on July 8, 1777. The ensuing battle delayed the British in their trek to Saratoga, allowing American forces to fortify themselves to fight in Saratoga, known as the turning point in the war, Fort Ann Town Historian Virginia Parrott said.
Read the rest of the article at Battle Hill’s history lesser-known.
African Americans have fought for the United States in every war the US has been. However as Van Gosse points out in his opinion column for The New York Times, the US Civil War film, Glory leads viewers to conclude that this was the first military action African Americans participated in. In January 1776, George Washington lifted the ban on black enlistment in the Continental Army and all-black units were formed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Mention black soldiers in the Civil War today, and most people will immediately think of the 1989 film “Glory,” in which relatively enlightened Union officers train and then lead an all-black infantry regiment into battle. Part of the film’s power comes from the way that it gives the impression that employing black Americans as soldiers was a radically new idea.
But that wasn’t the case at all: the role of black men fighting for the United States had been a source of intense controversy since the Revolution. Indeed, to understand the politics behind the 1863 decision to finally enlist them, as well as Lincoln’s refusal even to consider it up to that point, requires an understanding of the long, fraught history of black soldiers in early America.
Read the rest of the article at Beyond ‘Glory’ – NYTimes.com.
Jeff Canning of the Peekskill-Cortlandt Patch delves into the details of the French and American relationship during the American Revolutionary War and how the Hudson River Valley played such a critical role in the success of the war.
Verplanck was an extremely busy place for several days in August 1781 as 7,000 American and French soldiers crossed the Hudson River to Stony Point via the King’s Ferry. Two months later those soldiers, with the aid of a French fleet, would deliver a decisive blow against the British in Yorktown, VA, during the fight for the independence of the United States.
The massive river crossing underscored what historians of the Revolutionary War have repeatedly emphasized – that the Hudson Valley was the key to the conflict and that the King’s Ferry was the key crossing point for people, arms and supplies, the vital link between New England and the states farther south.
A French army commanded by the Comte de Rochambeau arrived in Westchester County on July 6, 1781, although the history of its journey to Verplanck’s Point began years earlier. The British victory in the French and Indian War in 1763 had upset the global balance of power, and since then France and other European powers had been seeking an opportunity to restore that balance. The American uprising offered an opportunity, and the U.S. victory at upstate Saratoga in October 1777 convinced France that the rebellion was viable. Material aid was soon forthcoming, followed by the arrival of Rochambeau’s army at Newport, RI, in late 1780.
Read the more of the story at March to Victory: the 1781 Crossing at King’s Ferry – Peekskill-Cortlandt, NY Patch.
Women were not allowed to engage in politics or enlist in the military at the time of the American Revolution, but that didn’t stop them — then or now — from being an integral part of history.
During the fight for freedom, women raised money for the cause, boycotted British goods, made warm shirts for the troops, nursed the wounded, delivered messages across battle lines and provided food and shelter to soldiers at Valley Forge.
Today, service continues to be a cornerstone of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. DAR is based on preserving American history, promoting education and supporting patriotic endeavors. The organization was incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1896, and today has 3,000 active chapters in the United States and internationally. The DAR preserves local landmarks and historic structures across the country.
Story by Joan Broz – The Daily Herald; Photo by Leo Reynolds