OTHER WAR BOOKS
CAMPAIGNS & BATTLES
I have "
" rated each book using the following scale:
- Great! Run out and buy it!
- Good! Recommended!
- Flawed! Some redeeming features. Get it from the library.
- Gawd-awful! Avoid this one!
- Don't Ask!
- Not Rated!
These are, of course, only our opinions. Your comments or rebuttals to the Webmaster are always welcome.
The Revolutionary War Memoirs of General Henry Lee
--- Edited by Robert E. Lee
Probably one of the best books written about the Revolutionary War. Light-Horse Harry Lee was every bit the "JEB Stuart" of his time. He made a name for himself with "Lee's Legion" in battles at Haw River, Guilford Courthouse, Eutaw Springs, and the seige of Yorktown.
Lee's Memoirs concentrate on the Southern war and therefor makes a great companion book to the Northern War described so well in "Saratoga" (See Below).
"Memoirs" as contrasted to the Civil War, illustrates how well an out-numbered army can do when it has supplies, morale, and the time to fight a defensive campaign. Of course, having the French on their side, and British supply lines stretching across the Atlantic, didn't hurt either.
Robert E. Lee edited this edition, after the Civil War, and added numerous clarifying and/or correcting notes to his father's work. However, it makes one wish that he had spent the time writing his own memoirs, which would have been vastly more important than the footnotes to his father's book.
I really enjoyed this book. It is well-written and brings the reader into the Revoluntionary war as well as any of the Civil War books do for that later engagement.
Saratoga - Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War --- By Richard M. Ketchum
What a great book! I lost a lot of sleep because I couldn't put it down! At last, a writer who has thoroughly researched and brilliantly presented a Revolutionary War campaign.
The campaign is, of course, Burgoyne's attempt in 1777 to conquer the Hudson River and split the American colonies in half. Success by him and his overwhelming army would all but assure a victory by the British. The book details inter-personal relationships between the various commanders (on both sides) using their correspondence and those of their troops. It highlights the frictions that drove wedges between the officers who were suppose to be fighting on the same side. In some cases, these sour relationships directly impacted the war.
Ketchum, carefully and clearly, takes us down the Hudson as the rag-tag American Army continually retreats and the British become more confident. The savagery of the battles is not omitted, but it is not used to sell the point that "war is hell". We already know that. Especially brutal are the indians "allied" with the British. They only stayed around as long as there were scalps and booty to take. This was the first place that I learned that the Mohawks were cannibals. From the book, page 266, "The very word 'Mohawk' came from the Algonquian root meaning man-eater or cannibal..."
The circumstances and fortunes of war that led to the British surrender are infinitely fascinating and doubly so when told by a writer who knows how to write and has thoroughly researched his work.
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