Synopses & Reviews
"In this novelistic treatment of the Revolutionary War, Chadwick (George Washington's War, Brother Against Brother) uses the experiences of eight men to give the reader a 'bottom up' look at the war. Drawing on their letters and diaries, he follows them through their years in and out of the war, from the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 to the American victory at Yorktown in 1781. Although the horrors of battle are a main focus of their writings, everyday activities and concerns-romance, food, clothing, leisure and friendship-reveal much about these early Americans' lives. Readers will find little academic analysis of the subjects; except for a few expansive chapter introductions, Chadwick keeps standard history writing to a minimum. Instead, he focuses on these men's day-to-day and writes in lively prose, although some accounts push the limits of reconstruction and read like fiction. Readers unfamiliar with the history of the revolutionary war may find themselves lost in the rapid shuffling between campaigns, battles and locations, but the stories of individual soldiers, doctors and ministers are strong enough to carry casual readers as well as those accustomed to academic histories." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This is the first book that offers a you-are-there look at the American Revolution through the eyes of the enlisted men. Through searing portraits of individual soldiers, Bruce Chadwick, author of George Washington's War, brings alive what it was like to serve then in the American army.
With interlocking stories of ordinary Americans, he evokes what it meant to face brutal winters, starvation, terrible homesickness and to go into battle against the much-vaunted British regulars and their deadly Hessian mercenaries.
The reader lives through the experiences of those terrible and heroic times when a fifteen-year-old fifer survived the Battle of Bunker Hill, when Private Josiah Atkins escaped unscathed from the bloody battles in New York and when a doctor and a minister shared the misery of the wounded and dying. These intertwining stories are drawn from their letters and never-before-quoted journals found in the libraries belonging to the camps where Washington quartered his troops during those desperate years.