Like most book geeks I have a wish list on Amazon for the benefit of those wishing to bless me with books.
So, this year I received two books from the list plus a third not on the list. All three dealt with the Revolutionary War.
Two deal with the British side of the American Revolution. The first book, With Zeal and Bayonets Only by Matthew H. Spring illustrates the challenges the British Army faced in trying to put down a colonial rebellion.
The numbers are interesting. At no time did the British and German Regulars in North America number more than 35,000 soldiers spread out over a rather large area. Approximately 250,000 Americans took part in fighting these Regulars although most of them served in short term enlistments.
The war which was a civil war as well as a rebellion was fought over terrain quite unlike Central Europe. The British adopted their methods quite effectively and Spring’s book puts to death the myth of the stealthy American rifleman picking off mindless Redcoats as they plodded along in an unimaginative way.
I’m about 1/2 of the way through and find it interesting to see aspects of the Revolutionary War through the eyes of the British. Yes Britain lost but it sure was not for lack of commitment or bravery from the Redcoated Regulars.
The second book, Fusiliers by Mark Urban (also a British author) details the Revolutionary War experiences of the 23rd Regiment of Foot otherwise known as the Royal Welch Fusliers.
The Regiment is unique having been at Lexington and Concord and ending the war at Yorktown. According to the author he selected the 23rd because it served throughout the conflict and there is abundant information regarding it’s service. There are not many regimental histories from the period so this should be interesting.
The last book is David McCullough’s 1776. It was a 2005 national best seller and McCullough won a Pulitzer for it. For some inexplicable reason I did not purchase the title when it was hot but always kept it in the back of mind. Fortunately, my son’s mother-in-law picked it up at a used book sale and it became my third Revolutionary War read for 2015.
This is assuming that I do not get side-tracked by other books for other periods of history.