A Student of History

October 10, 2013

The Spreading Flames of War

Filed under: Early America,NC History,New books,Wars — John Maass @ 8:24 am

My new book will have a great cover. It will be available from the History Press in mid-November.

book cover

September 27, 2013

Defending a New Nation, 1783-1811

Filed under: Early America,New books,Wars — John Maass @ 8:16 am

Here is the link to my new publication on the US Army between the Revolutionary War and 1811: 

http://www.history.army.mil/html/books/074/74-1/index.html

Defending

DEFENDING A NEW NATION, 1783-1811

John R. Maass

U.S. Army Campaigns of the War of 1812
CMH Pub 74-1, Paper
2013; 60 pages, maps, illustrations, further readings

GPO S/N: 008-029-00559-0

From the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 to the beginning of the War of 1812, the nascent United States Army encountered significant challenges, both within its own ranks and in the field. The Army faced hostile American Indians in the west, domestic insurrections over taxation, threats of war from European powers, organizational changes, and budgetary constraints. It was also a time of growth and exploration, during which Army officers led expeditions to America’s west coast and founded a military academy. Defending a New Nation, 1783–1811, the first volume of the “U.S. Army Campaigns of the War of 1812” series, tells the story of several military campaigns against Indians in the Northwest Territory, the Army’s role in suppressing the Whiskey Rebellion (1794), the Quasi-War with France and confrontations with Spain, the influence of Jeffersonian politics on the Army’s structure, and the Lewis and Clark expedition.

June 4, 2013

2013 Braddock Road Preservation Society Meeting

Filed under: Early America,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 5:56 am

The Braddock Road Preservation Society has made its plans for their annual Nov. meeting in Western Penn.

To see the program, click here. I attended last year (the bus tour only) and enjoyed it.

French_and_Indian_War_map

July 1914, by Sean McMeekin

Filed under: New books,Wars — John Maass @ 5:53 am

The Washington Times has a double review of 2 new books about the coming of WWI. The centennial of that war is coming up, so we are seeing a rash of titles over the last year or more about this conflict.

The WT includes in its review “July 1914,” by Sean McMeekin. I have a copy and read it one month ago, and must say it is excellent. I am not a European historian so when I try to tackle a title like this, sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed with the names, background, etc., but this book avoided this completely. McMeekin does a great job helping the reader keep names and titles straight, and his style of jumping back and forth between Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Russia and GB was WELL done.

I heartily recommend this title.

The Ney York Times also reviewed both books in early May.

July 1914

July 1914

May 10, 2013

1755 Braddock Campaign Tour in September

Filed under: Early America,Historic Places,Wars — John Maass @ 12:47 pm

See information here about an interesting tour of Braddock’s Campaign during the French and Indian War. The description is:

The astute observer of 18th century events and British Whig politician, Horace Walpole observed, “The volley fired by a young Virginian in the backwoods of America set the world on fire.” Walpole’s words ring true. The Virginian he was referring to was, of course, a 22-year old militia major named George Washington. Washington’s actions in western Pennsylvania are credited with starting the French and Indian War in America. Besides George Washington, Braddock’s Campaign of 1755 will introduce many personalities who became famous during the American Revolution: Daniel Morgan, Daniel Boone, Thomas Gage, Charles Lee, Adam Stephen and Horatio Gates.

 Cost is $495. The guide is Doug Cubbison, “a native of western Pennsylvania, is the author of four books on 18th century military history, including The British Defeat of the French in Pennsylvania in 1758, A Military History of the Forbes Campaign against Fort Duquesne. This will be his third tour for America’s History. Doug is a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, was a historian with the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York and the U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is a popular speaker at Fort Ticonderoga’s War College and an experienced leader of staff rides.”

 

The Virginia Regiment, 1754-62

The Virginia Regiment, 1754-62

 

March 20, 2013

“Light Horse Harry” Lee Symposium in April 2013–Greensboro, NC

Filed under: NC History,Wars — John Maass @ 7:06 am

lighthorse_harry_lee

The Life and Times of  Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee

April 26-28, 2013 – Greensboro, NC – Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution with the Sons of the Revolution in the State of North Carolina presents their dynamic, fun, and scholarly symposium on the Life and Times of Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee.  The importance of the cavalry and light troops in the Southern war led General Nathanael Greene to put Lee’s Legion “upon as good a footing as possible.”  Now you can walk the grounds where Lee rode, fought and sealed his reputation on the battlefield.  Hear and interact with presentations by prominent scholars and authors to include Lee’s controversial life and contributions to American Liberty as a soldier, politician and early Southern Campaigns historian, and his roles in family and business.

 

April 26, 2013 – Friday – our Lee sites bus tour will feature the posturing of the Southern Department armies commanded by Lord Charles Cornwallis and Gen. Nathanael Greene in early March 1781 leading up to their final clash at Guilford Courthouse.  Included are Harry Lee’s battle sites in the Burlington, NC area: the skirmishes at Clapp’s Mill, the Rocky Ford at Weitzel’s Mill, and the latest scholarship on Pyle’s Hacking Match.  Also go to the armys’ camps at the Alamance Regulators battlefield, High Rock Ford and Speedwell Iron Works on Troublesome Creek.  Local guides include historians Bob Carter, Stewart Dunaway and Jeff Bright.  Tour by preregistration only.

 

April 27-28, 2013 – Saturday & Sunday – “Wedded to my Sword” The Life and Times of Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee will include the latest scholarly research on the interesting and, sometimes, controversial life of Harry Lee with boots-on-the-ground tours of Lee battle sites along the 18th c. road from the New Garden Meeting House to General Nathanael Greene’s awaiting army posted at Guilford Courthouse with Greene expert Dennis Conrad, 18th c. cavalry expert Dan Murphy and others.  Dynamic presentations on Lee’s life, contributions to the Revolutionary War, as a Virginia politician, Southern Campaigns historian, and his controversies will be made by world-class scholars including Jim Piecuch, Ben Huggins, John Hutchins, Mike Cecere, Jim Mc Intyre, Ben Rubin, John Beakes, Steve Rauch, Dan Murphy, and Stewart Dunaway.  Our keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Dennis M. Conrad, editor in chief of the southern campaigns volumes of the Papers of General Nathanael Greene, Harry Lee’s boss during the Southern Campaigns.  On Sunday’s included battlefield tour, we will see the New Garden Meeting House and road to Guilford Courthouse – sites of Harry Lee’s initial battles with the British commander, the infamous “Bloody Ban” Tarleton, prior to the general engagement at Guilford Courthouse – and walk the Guilford Courthouse Battlefield.  Lee’s climatic clash at Guilford did not happen within the federal park; we will go to the site.

Call (803) 549-6710 to preregister for the Symposium or email Charles B. Baxley at cbbaxley@truvista.net or David P. Reuwer at davidreuwer3@aol.com for other event details.

March 5, 2013

Central Virginia Battlefields Trust Saves More Land

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 7:40 am

Just got this in an e-mail:

The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust has added an important new acquisition to our existing holdings in the Wilderness. On December 31, we closed on the purchase of 81 acres of property, which we have now designated as “Wilderness Crossroads II.” This land consists of three nearby but noncontiguous parcels, all of which have significant frontage on the historic Orange Turnpike (modern day Route 3). The property, which lies on the north side of the turnpike, near its intersection with the Germanna Plank Road, is directly across from the 93 acre tract that CVBT acquired in 2009. While it is located outside of the National Park Service boundary, the property is of such historical significance that CVBT was committed to acquiring it once the necessary funding became available. Founding CVBT Board members John Mitchell and Enos Richardson were instrumental in acquiring and preserving these key parcels of land.

This land was owned by William M. Simms during the time of the Civil War, and it includes the site of the historic Wilderness Tavern. During and after the Battle of Chancellorsville, which was fought approximately three miles to the east of this ground, the tavern and its appurtenant buildings and surrounding grounds, which came to house many tents, served as the site of the Confederate Second Corps Hospital. Many of the Confederates who were wounded at Chancellorsville were brought to the Wilderness Tavern hospital and other nearby hospitals. At one point, more than 3,000 soldiers were ministered to on this land.

The most famous person to be treated at the Wilderness Tavern Hospital was Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, who was accidently wounded in “friendly fire” by men from Jim Lane’s North Carolina brigade in the darkness on the night of May 2. Several of Jackson’s compatriots were also killed, or had their horses shot from under them.

General Jackson’s left arm was shattered by two musket balls, and he was transported to the Wilderness Tavern hospital, where Dr. Harvey Black had a large tent prepared for his arrival. Dr. Hunter H. McGuire accompanied General Jackson to the hospital and performed surgery on him. However, given the severity of Jackson’s wounds, Dr. McGuire had to amputate his arm. General Jackson was then transported to Guinea Station, where he died several days later. 

During the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5-6, 1864, this land was again the focus of much military activity. The Union Army of the Potomac established its headquarters at this crossroads, and Generals Ulysses S. Grant and George G. Meade were present here. The land today is well preserved, and it appears much as it did during the time of the civil war.

The purchase price for these three parcels was $575,000. CVBT was able to purchase this land using matching grants from both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the American Battlefield Protection Program, along with assistance from our good friends at the Civil War Trust.

Preservation Map: Chancellorsville

Preservation Map: Chancellorsville

February 25, 2013

Road to Revolution State Heritage Trail Announces Major Expansion

Filed under: Early America,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 6:45 am
February 15, 2013
 
Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

The road to American independence was a long one, built on determination and sacrifice. The ideals of the American Revolution — embodied in the Declaration of Independence — continued to evolve even after the nation’s birth.

The foundations of religious liberty were laid early, beginning with the First Great Awakening in the 1720s and stretching to the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786, followed by adoption of the First Amendment five years later. Personal liberties and political equality, both cornerstones of the Revolution, did not spread to all citizens for years. Women and individuals of African descent, for example, did not begin fully benefiting from the promise of the Declaration of Independence until as late as the 20th century. The fight to uphold these ideals resurfaces still today.

The path to political independence — the struggle to separate the colonies from the British Empire — began long before the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. As John Adams later wrote: “The revolution was affected before the War for Independence commenced. The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.” Adams believed the seeds of revolution were planted at least a decade before, as issues of security, taxation, representation, and political authority stirred American opposition. Independence — proclaimed on July 4, 1776, and completed in 1783 — came only after significant sacrifice in blood and suffering.

Thus, the road to the American Revolution — and the accompanying revolution inside the people — was protracted and arduous, extending into the modern era. Please travel this road, and encounter its many signs and footmarks, around Virginia.

For more information about the Road to Revolution State Heritage Trail, visit http://www.roadtorevolution.com/. Its social media addresses are www.facebook.com/roadtorevolutionva and www.twitter.com/rdtorevolution.

February 22, 2013

237th Anniversary of Battle of Moores Creek Bridge (1776)

Filed under: Early America,NC History,Wars — John Maass @ 7:43 am

North Carolina’s first major Revolutionary War battle, fought in 1776, will be celebrating its 237 anniversary this weekend.

Moores Cr

According to the Southport Times:

Living historians will be on the battlefield during the celebration demonstrating the day-to-day life of a colonist along with musket and cannon firing demonstrations throughout the celebration. Family events, including children’s games, candlestick making, and a chance to dress up as a colonist will be available. Learn the significance of The Battle of Moores Creek and the important role North Carolinians played in the fight for freedom. This event is free to the public and promises to be fun for the whole family. BBQ and hot dogs will be provided by the Atkinson Fire Department.

Moores Creek National Battlefield will also be hosting lectures in Patriots Hall starting at 1:00 p.m. with Larry S. Earley, author of, “Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest,” speaking about longleaf pines and the naval stores industry in colonial North Carolina. Special Superior Court Judge and Pender County native Gary E. Trawick, author of, “Born in Reconstruction: The Story of Pender County, 1524-2012,” will entertain the crowd with stories about the area’s impact on colonial North Carolina. These lectures are sure to showcase the rich history this area has to offer.

Moores Creek National Battlefield is located at 40 Patriots Hall Drive Currie, NC 28435. For a schedule of events please visit our website at http://www.nps.gov/mocr/event-schedule-2009-2010.htm.

February 21, 2013

Save Part of the Glendale Battlefield (1862)

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 12:11 pm

The Civil War Trust now has the opportunity to preserve 69 acres at three key Richmond battlefields, Glendale, Malvern Hill, and First Deep Bottom. These tracts—each of which saw significant action during the fighting for the Confederate capital—will be added to the more than 2,300 acres of hallowed ground CWT has saved in the Richmond area, building on previous successes.

Click HERE for more information about the land, and how to help.

 

Glendale

Glendale

February 20, 2013

Dept. of the Army Historical Summary–FY 2007

Filed under: Wars — John Maass @ 6:15 am

My newest publication is on the Army shelves now and also on line. It is the DAHSUM, for FY 2007.

DHASUM

While not a rivetting narrative due to its structure and format there is still some good info in it, as FY 2007 had some important events in it–much to my surprise when writing it!

There was a new Sec. of the Army, Pete Geren, and a new Army Chief of Staff, Gen. William Casey, Jr. The former secretary got fired over the Walter Reid Hospital scandal. “Army Strong” replaced “Army of One” as the recruiting logo. The list goes on.

The on-line version is at the website of my employer, the US Army Center of Military History.

February 19, 2013

Preserving Fort Ann’s 1777 Battlefield in NY

Filed under: Early America,Historic Places,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 4:06 pm

A Connecticut man who wants to use his property on Battle Hill as a mine said he will wait for a potential survey of the area for evidence of exactly where the Revolutionary War battle took place. But Gino Vona remained upset at being denied the opportunity to allow a Troy company to mine his land and suggested there was prejudice against him, because he is from out of town. 

The three-hour battle took place July 7, 1777.

Read more here

besslock

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