Disease was a major part of everyday life in the American colonies, especially during the American Revolution. In my lecture, given at the Society of the Cincinnati in Washington, DC on June 16, 2022, you’ll find out what it was like to be a doctor back then, what the treatments were for diseases and injuries, and who were the leading doctors—both great and not so great—of the Continental Army.
“Terrain and Tactics, British War Plan of 1776,” new article by Ronald Gibbs, Courtney Spikes and Thomas Paper. British General William Howe’s “War Plan illustrates the dichotomy of…[his]…tactical brilliance and his characteristic delays that thwarted his ultimate success. In contrast, General Washington was able to maintain the integrity of his army and keep the cause of the American independence alive despite his initial defeats” (excerpt from the article). The article was published on-line in Journal of the American Revolution on October 12, 2021.
(Images: top, Alonzo Chappel’s 1858 painting,“The Battle of Long Island", bottom, Detail from Howe's War Plan.)
To read the article, click on the button directly below.
Read about a dramatic turn of events: General George Washington’s biggest disaster of the American Revolution (the loss of Fort Washington in November 1776) followed just six weeks later by his two daring, surprise victories ( at Trenton, NJ and Princeton, NJ ) that saved the cause of independence! This article, entitled “The Fortunes of War: British Battle Maps of 1776,” was first published in Calafia, the Journal of the California Map Society in September 2021 and is reproduced by permission. It was written by Ron (President of The California Map Society, CMS) and Courtney Spikes and Tom Paper (both Vice Presidents of CMS).
To read the article, click the button.
Catch Ron’s lecture, “George Washington and The American Revolution, 1775-1776,” which was given on February 22, 2021 to the Washington, California, New York, Boston, and Rocky Mountain Map Societies. See and hear about the iconic paintings and historic maps that chronicle these critical months.
Released August 26, 2020, a special edition of The American Revolution Podcast, with an informative and entertaining interview with The Long Shot author Ronald Gibbs and host Michael Troy.
(Photo of Surgeon's 18th Century Instruments to left.)
"Paralyzed by indecision, the American command simply ran out of time. [British General] Howe's attack on the isolated fort began early on Friday, November 15th. A British colonel approached the fort and threatened to annihilate its entire garrison unless they surrendered. The American commander boasted, "I'll defend my fort to the last man!"...Howe marched his best units onto the field that day attacking the pentagonal-shaped fort from south, north and east...Through their spyglasses from Fort Lee in New Jersey, [the American] Generals...watched the attack in horrified dismay...Fort Washington indeed did prove to be a trap." (excerpt from The Long Shot, p. 259-60)
(Image: Cpt. Thos Davies, Attack on Fort Washington, 1776, NY Public Library and Wikimedia)
"On a brilliant autumn morning...the King's army at last met face to face with the American forces now well-fortified on the steep hills directly above White Plains village. In a show of might, Howe marched his fourteen thousand troops to the plains below the hills. Their drums beat, their colors flapped, and their steel armaments reflected in the bright sunshine. A roughly equal number of American troops looked down at the awesome British and Hessian spectacle..." (excerpt from The Long Shot. p. 249
(Image from angel fire.com)
General Howe (below) outflanks Washington by landing at Throg's Neck, Westchester County. "At sunrise...the first to disembark were the 10th Dragoons...With any luck, the dragoon captain thought they'd capture the rebel commander in chief while he was still asleep." (Excerpt from "The Long Shot," p.222-3,
On September 15, the awesome British Army attacked the Americans at Kip's Bay (see map, lower left).Washington tried to rally his "terrified and beaten men, but it was all in vain...At the edge of a wood, two British Light Infantrymen [saw] a rebel officer wearing epaulettes...They aimed at the Continental general officer and squeezed their triggers." In an instant, "Washington slumped forward in his saddle." (Excerpt "The Long Shot," p. 64-5,
(Johnston map, courtesy of Wikepedia and Geographicus)
"The Battle...was a disastrous rout of the Americans, representing even more than the capture of two Continental generals and the loss of a huge number of men. Morale plummeted among the shocked American troops...Following the defeat ...subsequent developments--startling yet not previously known to history--brought to the forefront two central figures. One was...Dr. Alexander Grant...in whose hands hung the fate of...perhaps the entire American Revolution" (Excerpt , The Long Shot, p.22-23,https://amzn.com/B085K12HD3) (Painting: Battle of Long Island, Wikimedia Commons)
"In the summer of 1776...the American Revolution came precariously close to a calamitous end. In late July, a British fleet--the largest expedition ever sent to American waters--sailed into New York harbor. The four hundred ships carried thirty-two thousand soldiers...General William Howe, a wily and seasoned veteran...commanded the British Army...The British mission was direct: qwell the American Rebellion by overwhelming force. [Howe] had every reason to think [he] would make quick work of it." (Image from Mariner's Museum, Newport News, VA, printed in McCullough D, "1776." Simon and Schuster, NY, 2005)
Ronald Gibbs’ article, “On the Brink of Disaster : George Washington and the American Revolution, 1775-1776,” published in Journal of the International Map Collectors’ Society (IMCOS) in 2016 is directly below.