Sunday, January 21, 2007

Read: "1776" by David McCullough

Read: 1776 by David McCullough, 2005, 0743226712.

I had wanted to read 1776 and several of the other Revolutionary War/Founding Fathers books that were popping up left and right over the past several years. 1776 is the first book I've gotten to.

This a short history of, roughly, the first year of the Revolutionary War. McCullough concentrates on Washington and the main Continental Army with little coverage of political matters except how they relate to Washington's command. McCullough mentions the campaigns in Canada, Northern New York and the South only in how they affected the work of the Continental Army in Massachusetts and New York.

The Continental Army was very fortunate to survive the year. Poor finances, limited enlistments, multiple setbacks and defeats, poor supplies, and on, and on and on. Washington made several blunders that the British exploited, but he learned from each one and improved his command. After being in retreat for several months the defeat of the Hessians mercenaries at Trenton on December 26th was a much needed boost after the defeats of the summer and fall. Trenton was dismissed by the British as a skirmish not a battle. But, the shocking victory against the Hessians by a ragtag army was a tremendous morale boost to the soldiers and their supporters.

I'd like to read some of the other books McCullough lists in his extensive bib. but I probably will not get to them for a while.

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