Category Archive 'American Revolution'

19 Apr 2018

19 April 1775

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“Stand your ground; don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”Captain John Parker.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

21 Nov 2017

Painting of Washington’s Tent by L’Enfant Discovered

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Washington Post:

Philip Mead was online late one night in May, looking for possible artifacts from the American Revolution, when a painting up for auction caught his eye and got his heart racing.

The chief historian at the American Revolution Museum had spied an unsigned watercolor from 1782. It was a panorama of an army encampment, and to his expert eye seemed to feature the only known wartime depiction of the tent George Washington used as his command center during the Revolutionary War.

The tent is the marquee exhibit at the museum, which opened in April. And, thanks to Mead’s sharp eye, the museum now owns the painting that will anchor an exhibition next year.

Mead said the discovery seemed almost “too good to be true.”

“I’ve had this level of excitement only a handful of times in my 30 years of looking for this stuff,” Mead said.

When Mead saw the painting, he immediately emailed the image to Scott Stephenson, the museum’s vice president of collections, exhibitions and programming.

“My heart leapt into my throat when I realized what this painting was,” Stephenson said.

They had to quickly line up donors to bid on the piece, which was going up for auction just days after they spotted it. They were concerned maybe they weren’t the only people to spot the rare work, and they weren’t 100 percent sure the painting was exactly what they had hoped.

“Our motto is you must kiss every frog in case it is a prince,” Stephenson said.

In this case, it was a prince.

With only one other bidder, they landed the painting easily, for $12,000. Once in hand, the museum’s curatorial team was able to conclude the painting shows the Continental Army’s fall encampment at Verplanck’s Point, New York, and was created by Pierre L’Enfant, the French-born engineer best known for laying out the nation’s capital.

Before he created the blueprint for Washington, D.C., L’Enfant served in the Continental Army. He was wounded at the Siege of Savannah, taken prisoner at the surrender of Charleston and upon his release went back to serve George Washington for the remainder of the war.

The painting depicts hundreds of military tents arrayed across a rolling Hudson Valley landscape. Perched on a hilltop rising about the scene on the painting’s left side is Washington’s field headquarters, including the telltale tent.

RTWT

23 May 2017

Shrapnel From Monmouth Battlefield Tests Positive for Human Blood

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Asbury Park Press:

It’s a hexagonal piece of lead, maybe the size of a fingertip. Canister shot, it was called, and the Continental Army used it to shred British lines at the Battle of Monmouth in June of 1778.

When his team of volunteer archaeologists found this and other pieces of ordnance in the ground at Monmouth Battlefield State Park last summer, Dan Sivilich suspected they were not your typical artifacts.

“Two appeared to have fabric impressions on them which suggested they might have hit a uniform,” Sivilich said.

He sent them to PaleoResarch Inc. in Colorado for testing. Nine months later his hunch was proven correct — and then some. One of the pieces tested positive for human blood protein.

“In other words, it hit a soldier,” Sivilich said. “This is the only piece of Revolutionary War canister shot ever found that’s been positively tested for human blood.”

That’s not all. Based on where they were discovered, Sivilich believes the pieces probably were fired by Proctor’s Pennsylvania artillery. One of its cannon is associated with the legendary heroine Molly Pitcher, whose real name likely was Mary Hays.

“It could have been a round that Molly Pitcher handled,” Sivilich said. “We can’t say for sure, but it makes for interesting speculation.”

RTWT

24 Aug 2013

Damned Extremists

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Extremists

Daily Caller reports that the US Defense Department recently identified another unsavory group of dangerous extremists: our founding fathers.

A Department of Defense teaching guide meant to fight extremism advises students that rather than “dressing in sheets” modern-day radicals “will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place,” and describes 18th-century American patriots seeking freedom from the British as belonging to “extremist ideologies.”

The guide comes from documents obtained by Judicial Watch and is authored by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, a DoD-funded diversity training center.

Under a section titled “extremist ideologies,” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

26 Nov 2012

One of the Last Revolutionary War Veterans

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Lemuel Cook (September 10, 1759 – May 20, 1866)

Lemuel Cook was born in Litchfield County, Connecticut, enlisted in Sheldon’s Horse, the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons, fought in Westchester County, at the Battle of Brandywine, in the Virginia Campaign, and was present at Cornwallis’s surrender. He received a discharge, with George Washington’s signature, in 1784. He lived long enough to survive the Civil War and was one of seven Revolutionary War veterans who survived long enough to be photographed.

He was profiled and some of his recollections were published here.

28 Nov 2010

If Twitter Had Been Around in 1776

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17 Jan 2009

“A Devil of a Licking”

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William Ranney, Battle of Cowpens, 1845, oil, South Carolina State House

Colonel William Washington’s servant, “a waiter, too small to wield a sword,” saved his master’s life by wounding a British officer about to cut him down.

On this day in history, my neighbor, Brigadier-General Daniel Morgan with 800 men gave Colonel Banstre Tarleton’s Legion, 1100 men, what Morgan described in a post-battle letter as “a devil of a licking” at Cowpens, South Carolina, January 17, 1781.

They have a statue of Morgan over in Winchester, whose base bears the motto: “Fought everywhere, defeated nowhere.”

22 Dec 2007

Banastre Tarleton’s Captured Flags

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The regimental flag of the Continental Army 2nd Light Dragoons, also known as Sheldon’s Horse, captured at the Battle of Pound Ridge, July 2, 1779.

One of the brighter flames in Hell undoubtedly surrounds the spirit of the late Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833), brave but merciless commander of the Loyalist British Legion during the American Revolution.

Tarleton’s spirit is doubtless also feeling a trifle vexed these days, knowing that the depredations of numerous Labour Governments caused his descendant last year to sell his war trophies at Sotheby’s.

The battle flag of Connecticut cavalry regiment Colonel Elisha Sheldon’s Continental Light Dragoons (pictured above), captured by Tarleton at the Battle of Pound Ridge, July 2, 1779, estimated to change hands for $1.5 to $3.5 million dollars, sold for $12.36 million dollars.

The three regimental and divisional flags of the Third Virginia Detachment, commanded by Abraham Buford, captured May 29, 1780 at the Waxhaw Massacre, in which Tarleton’s Legion slaughtered Americans after they had surrendered, estimated at $2.5 to $6.5 million dollars, possibly had their price depressed by the circumstances surrounding their capture, and sold below the high estimate at $5.056 million dollars.

Tarleton’s trophies, recaptured by the American dollars of an anonymous purchaser, will be displayed at Williamsburg, Virginia’s Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, at an exhibition titled Captured Colors: Four Battleflags of the American Revolution starting today through January 9, 2009.

Rare Revolutionary War battle flags returning to U.S.

Flags of our forefathers with 2:21 video

13 Dec 2007

Rejecting Libertarianism (and the American Revolution)

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Mencius Moldbug had too much coffee again this morning, and has produced another of his incredibly lengthy, rambling and discursive, yet very clever postings, ranging happily over the intellectual landscape of libertarian theory and the history of the American Revolution this time.

Hat tip to Tim of Angle.


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