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Author Topic: George Washington's Battles and his troops  (Read 1782 times)

Offline vtsaogames

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2021, 12:08:27 PM »
Very interesting. I must say the AWI is not a subject I am too well versed in. Im familiar with the received narrative but I just also read Valiant Ambition (im a big fan of Nathaniel Philibrick) and was hoping people could point me in the direction of some other thought provoking reads on the subject. Both the history of the war itself and some more detailed commentary on the battles themselves. Sorry for going off topic!

Atkinson has published the first volume of his intended trilogy on the war, The British are Coming. My brief review can be found here. http://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/2020/11/book-review-british-are-coming.html

I forget the authors' name, but for the later Southern campaign, "The Road to Guilford Courthouse". These battles cry out to the wargamer since 2-3,000 per side is often the case.

Edit: plus the Southern battles have small numbers of cavalry, rather the minute amounts further north.

Osprey has a number of titles on battles of this war, including some by Brendan Morrisey, who may be posting on this thread.  ;)
He wrote Monmouth Courthouse, among others.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 12:28:54 PM by vtsaogames »
And the glorious general led the advance
With a glorious swish of his sword and his lance
And a glorious clank of his tin-plated pants. - Dr. Seuss


My blog: http://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2021, 02:51:51 PM »
Osprey has a number of titles on battles of this war, including some by Brendan Morrissey, who may be posting on this thread.  ;)
He wrote Monmouth Courthouse, among others.

Boston 1775, Quebec 1775, Saratoga 1777, and Yorktown 1781, to be precise.  :D
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

Offline Sir_Theo

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2021, 07:05:21 AM »
Atkinson has published the first volume of his intended trilogy on the war, The British are Coming. My brief review can be found here. http://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/2020/11/book-review-british-are-coming.html

I forget the authors' name, but for the later Southern campaign, "The Road to Guilford Courthouse". These battles cry out to the wargamer since 2-3,000 per side is often the case.

Edit: plus the Southern battles have small numbers of cavalry, rather the minute amounts further north.

Osprey has a number of titles on battles of this war, including some by Brendan Morrisey, who may be posting on this thread.  ;)
He wrote Monmouth Courthouse, among others.
Ah excellent! Turns out I actually put the Atkinson book on my wishlist after reading your review originally, looks like just the sort of thing I'm looking for. I also found I have a book called 'The Long Fuse' by Don Cook on my bookshelf, which I seem to remember picking up from a charity shop.

Offline Sparrow

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2021, 08:16:46 AM »
What a great thread - reading and learning as I go. Thanks for starting it!
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry!

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2021, 08:34:49 AM »
I forget the authors' name, but for the later Southern campaign, "The Road to Guilford Courthouse".

This one, John Buchanan.  I've read it and it's quite good, although Babits' "Long, Obstinate and Bloody" has replaced it as the cutting edge in terms of research.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-Guilford-Courthouse-Revolution-Carolinas/dp/0471327166

"From Savannah to Yorktown" by Lumpkin is very useful as a one-volume work on the Southern campaigns, with handy orbats; although that too, has since been surpassed by O'Kelley's four-volume "Nothing but blood and slaughter" which is THE last word on all the fighting in the South, from just pre-AWI through to the end (ie post-Yorktown).

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2021, 04:09:30 PM »
I would recommend Ferling's "Almost a Miracle" as a very readable one volume narrative for the AWI to start with.

Along with "Long, Obstinate and Bloody" I would also recommend Babits "A Devil of a Whipping" on the Battle of Cowpens"

I am particularly interested in the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse. BM/BvW's Osprey book is very good but as stated in the Further Reading section at the back "The confused nature of the battle is reflected in the writings of both participants and historians, and may explain why so few books have been published on the subject." I have got hold of "The Battle of Monmouth" book by W. Stryker mentioned in this section but I would welcome a Babits style more detailed and up to date account of the battle. Any chances Brendan?  :)

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2021, 04:38:48 PM »
Well, that's nice of you to put me forward(!), but I feel I've already done my bit - aided and abetted by a proof read by Dr Garry Stone, no less.  He was also kind enough to review it as "the best account of the action yet published" when Osprey released it in 2004.  However, he himself has since produced "Fatal Sunday" which, given his (former?) status as curator of the battlefield park, must be the final word on the subject, IMO, and which I would thoroughly recommend.  Stryker's book is such a mucking fuddle because he died before it was completed and it was put together for publication by his editor, who obviously got lost in Stryker's extensive notes - different incidents are melded together, whilst accounts that are clearly describing the same event are misinterpreted as separate occurrences.

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2021, 04:48:43 PM »
Well, that's nice of you to put me forward(!), but I feel I've already done my bit - aided and abetted by a proof read by Dr Garry Stone, no less.  He was also kind enough to review it as "the best account of the action yet published" when Osprey released it in 2004.  However, he himself has since produced "Fatal Sunday" which, given his (former?) status as curator of the battlefield park, must be the final word on the subject, IMO, and which I would thoroughly recommend. 

Ah yes apologies, I had forgotten about "Fatal Sunday". I have it as an ebook which is maybe why.

Offline vtsaogames

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2021, 08:29:22 PM »
My take on Babits "Devil of a Whipping" is the research he did on American pension applications was wonderful. It shows that Morgan had more troops than usually credited with and also his losses were higher than the usual number reported, although still a small fraction of Tarleton's losses. I do take issue with some of his battle reconstruction based on his own impressive prowess with black powder weapons. He claims 6 aimed shots in a minute with a smoothbore musket. While perhaps a few among the American ranks could match that, most would likely be in the 2-3 shots per minute group. And that always degrades when the target shoots back, or rushes you in a group with cold steel.

Fatal Sunday is excellent, get a copy. Dissing George Washington was a dengerous thing to do. The group of young officers associated with him were prone to challenge to duels.

George lost a number of battles against the British but in the long run, none against army rivals.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 02:24:49 AM by vtsaogames »

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2021, 11:15:18 PM »
On one level, it speaks well of Washington that his officers were so loyal to him; on another, it's not difficult to see how that loyalty could be extremely intimidating to those who felt that GW was not always right.

It's worth noting that all the French officers in the Continental Army, bar La Fayette and his coterie (who had their own pro-GW agenda), felt that Lee had been badly mistreated by his C-in-C when he was so abruptly replaced, and let down by both him, and his subordinates in terms of the overall plan.  Of course, Lee didn't help himself by his thinly-concealed pique at La Fayette being given command of the advance guard initially; or that he himself had originally suggested that the Crown forces be allowed to withdraw to NYC in peace, as it was what the Continentals wanted (he had also unwittingly taken Morgan's independent corps out of the game by not looking at his clock before writing the word "tomorrow" as the time for Morgan's attack).  I also suspect that, if Lee was alive today, he would most likely be on a sex offenders' register somewhere.  That said, I do think he was unfairly treated in being blamed for the debacle with the advance guard, a big part of which was Washington's fault in not supporting Lee closely enough to achieve the aims of initially pinning the Crown rear guard and then overwhelming it with the main body of the Continental Army.

Offline vtsaogames

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2021, 02:29:09 AM »
I think Lee's problem at Monmouth was being in bad odor with most of the officers in the Continental army, starting with Washington. They were up for ditching him if he made any kind of mistake. Kind of like McClernand in Grant's army. He was just out of synch.

Offline Paul @ Empress Miniatures

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2021, 10:42:21 AM »
My take on Babits "Devil of a Whipping" is the research he did on American pension applications was wonderful. It shows that Morgan had more troops than usually credited with and also his losses were higher than the usual number reported, although still a small fraction of Tarleton's losses. I do take issue with some of his battle reconstruction based on his own impressive prowess with black powder weapons. He claims 6 aimed shots in a minute with a smoothbore musket. While perhaps a few among the American ranks could match that, most would likely be in the 2-3 shots per minute group. And that always degrades when the target shoots back, or rushes you in a group with cold steel.


Automatic musket fire was possible. See the attached  ;);

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUWrU8dEIaA

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2021, 03:16:35 PM »
Automatic musket fire was possible. See the attached  ;);

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUWrU8dEIaA

So that’s how they won!  lol

Seriously though, what I found interesting from reading “A Devil of a Whipping” is according to Babits, the Americans were able to reload while falling back to refuse their flank and so, on turning round in their new position were able to deliver a point blank range volley into the opposing highlanders who, thinking they were retreating, had gone into an uncontrolled charge. Then to be hit in the flank by Washington’s cavalry! No wonder they surrendered. Perfect timing though I am not sure how much credit for it can be given to Morgan.

Although it isn’t difficult to find fault with GW as a man, tactician and strategist, I still feel his legend status is warranted for his sheer tenacity and stamina in keeping the cause going and holding the army together for the duration of the war, particularly when it often it seemed so bleak.

Offline vtsaogames

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2021, 11:02:13 PM »
So that’s how they won!  lol

Seriously though, what I found interesting from reading “A Devil of a Whipping” is according to Babits, the Americans were able to reload while falling back to refuse their flank and so, on turning round in their new position were able to deliver a point blank range volley into the opposing highlanders who, thinking they were retreating, had gone into an uncontrolled charge. Then to be hit in the flank by Washington’s cavalry! No wonder they surrendered. Perfect timing though I am not sure how much credit for it can be given to Morgan.

Although it isn’t difficult to find fault with GW as a man, tactician and strategist, I still feel his legend status is warranted for his sheer tenacity and stamina in keeping the cause going and holding the army together for the duration of the war, particularly when it often it seemed so bleak.

Morgan was lucky, but he had taken Tarleton's measure and had the right plan. His guys were rested and ready, Tarleton's were hungry and tired. And came on right up the middle, like Morgan prepared for.

George Washington had learned from Forbes' campaign against Fort Duquesne (French & Indian War) that the force remaining in the field wins, regardless of how many whippings they took.
For me, his truly legendary status is earned by his suppressing the Newburgh Conspiracy near the end of the war, demobilizing his army after the end, turning down suggestions of a throne and standing down after two terms as president. There were a lot of opportunities for the US to start life as a banana republic.
 

Offline RichBliss

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Re: George Washington's Battles and his troops
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2021, 05:22:24 PM »
For me, his truly legendary status is earned by his suppressing the Newburgh Conspiracy near the end of the war, demobilizing his army after the end, turning down suggestions of a throne and standing down after two terms as president. There were a lot of opportunities for the US to start life as a banana republic.

Completely agree, we’re here today because of Washington.  Not what he did, but what he didn’t do.

 

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