A Student of History

February 19, 2013

Personalities and Pivotal moments in the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812

Filed under: Wars — John Maass @ 7:06 am

Call for papers: ‘Game changers – Personalities and Pivotal moments in the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812’

International Conference, Rostrevor, County Down, Northern Ireland.
Weekend conference around the end of September 2013 (date to be finalised)
Call for Papers
Seeking to bridge these two interlinked wars by examining some of the key characters and moments in each.
Whether on the plains of Maida in 1806, when his famous 20th Regiment played a key role in defeating Napoleon’s ‘Invincibles’, or in his amphibious assault on Washington which promised for a time to be of game changing importance (only for his death at Baltimore to be a pivotal moment in the War of 1812) Robert Ross proved to be a key military figure.
Rostrevor, or Rosstrevor, as it was called in the days of Major General Robert Ross, was once owned by his family and is the location of two monuments erected to his memory, a 100ft imposing obelisk on the shores of Carlingford Lough, almost on the exact spot where he intended to build his retirement home had he made it back from the USA. The other was erected in Kilbroney Parish Church in the village, by the officers and men of the 20th Regiment which he had commanded with such distinction in the Napoleonic Wars. Mrs Ross later called her home in Rosstrevor ‘Bladensburg’ in memory of her husband, while her near neighbour, across the road was a sister of none other than Ned Pakenham who was killed at the Battle of New Orleans.
The conference not only represents an opportunity for scholars to come together to discuss the key personalities and pivotal moments of these two wars, (many on the British side fought in both), but to do so in a location rich with historical heritage and natural beauty. The stunning beauty of Rostrevor inspired William Makepeace Thackeray to claim that it would be a ‘world wonder if it lay upon England’s shore’ while C.S.Lewis acknowledged it as the inspiration for Narnia.
Organisers of the conference have lined up Peter Snow (a highly distinguished BBC journalist and author of To War with Wellington) and Steve Vogel (Washington Post) as key speakers at the conference. Their books on the British raid on Washington and Baltimore in 1814 are due to be published this year.

For more details, contact John McCavitt

Visit Soldiers and Soldiering in Britain 1750-1815 at: http://redcoats.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

February 8, 2013

The War that Made Canada

Filed under: The past that is still with us,Wars — John Maass @ 10:51 am

This is an interesting column in Canada’s “National Post,” on “The war that made Canada.”

“Will the Canadian government celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war that really made Canada?

Except for a brief, small exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, it’s not likely.”


The Death of General Wolfe

The Death of General Wolfe



Women and the British General Hospital in North America 1754-1763

Filed under: Early America,Wars — John Maass @ 10:34 am


The current issue of Early American Studies, Fall 2012 Vol. 10.3, has an article titled:


“Tending the Army: Women and the British General Hospital in North America 1754-1763,” by Sarah Fatherly


This essay argues that the British Army’s North American general hospital and an increasingly large and diverse group of army women became not only connected but dependent on one another during the Seven Years’ War. This relationship derived from the Army’s reorganization of its medical services in a way that intentionally predicated the hospital’s operation and success on army women working for it, particularly as nurses. Both the medical staff and women attached to regular and provincial regiments realized benefits from this linkage; the hospital was able to cope with an increasingly large numbers of patients and women found that serving as nurses provided them with reliable access to regimental provisioning and security. Yet hospital personnel also increasingly had to regulate army women on behalf of the regiments, while women working for the hospital faced heightened dangers of illness, military attack, enemy capture, and death.


To obtain a copy of the issue, go to: http://eas.pennpress.org/strands/eas/abstracts.htm;jsessionid=A6C86CB4F4F519218F87FFBA3C063569

February 6, 2013

2nd Annual Conference on the American Revolution – March 22-24, 2013

Filed under: Early America,Wars — John Maass @ 12:37 pm


Friday, March 22, 7pm-Sunday, March 24, Noon
Williamsburg Hospitality House
Williamsburg, Virginia

Edward G. Lengel, Head of Faculty: “Revolutionary Rivals: Horatio Gates and George Washington”

Douglas Cubbison: “Man on a Mission: John Burgoyne and the Campaign of 1777”

Joshua Howard: “The Swamp Fox: Francis Marion, Revolutionary War Hero of South Carolina”

James Kirby Martin: “Benedict Arnold: Revolutionary America’s Heroic General”

Andrew O’Shaughnessy: “Fighting with Friends and Enemies Simultaneously: Sir Henry Clinton”

Jim Piecuch: “Frustrated Ambitions: “Light Horse Harry Lee’s Conflicts On and Off the Battlefield”

John V. Quarstein: “Closing the Door on Cornwallis: The Battle of the Capes September 1781”

Glenn F. Williams: “Lord Dunmore’s War: Training Ground for Continental Officers”

Two Panel Discussions:

  1. “The Best and Worst Military Commanders of the Revolutionary War”
  2. “A Revolutionary War Bookshelf: What You Should Own and What Books will be Published Soon”

Optional Friday Bus Tour to Petersburg, Green Spring and Spencer’s Ordinary (includes lunch) led by William Welsch.

For more info click here.

January 7, 2013

General Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution in the South

Filed under: Early America,New books,Wars — John Maass @ 11:43 am


Please note upcoming program in April in Washington, DC:

April 8: Free program with Dennis Conrad, John Maass and Jim Piecuch on “General Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution in the South,” the subject of a recent book from Univ. of South Carolina Press, in which each of these three historians have a chapter.

The speakers offer new perspectives on the character and military leadership of George Washington’s most trusted general, whose brilliance as a strategist and tactician reversed the course of the Southern Campaign.


The Society of the Cincinnati, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC  20008

Telephone: 202 785-2040

Time:  6:00 PM


Greene book


December 31, 2012

Preservation Opportunity at Fleetwood Hill on Brandy Station Battlefield

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 10:22 pm


The Civil War Trust, America’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation group, today announced the that it has secured a contract with a Culpeper County landowner to acquire 61 acres of core battlefield land at Fleetwood Hill on the Brandy Station Battlefield.  This is the first step in what is anticipated to be a national fundraising campaign to ultimately preserve this site and open it to the public.  This opportunity comes just a few months before 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle, fought on June 9, 1863.

“The Civil War Trust is pleased to confirm that we have reached an agreement with a local landowner to place under contract his 61-acre property on Fleetwood Hill,” noted Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer in a statement released earlier today.  “Protection of this property at the epicenter of the Brandy Station battlefield has been a goal of the preservation community for more than three decades.”Although pleased with the agreement, Lighthizer cautioned that “several steps remain before the transaction is completed and the property can be considered preserved — chief among them raising the $3.6 million necessary to formally purchase the land.”  He noted the Civil War Trust’s intention “to launch a national fundraising campaign next year with the aim of raising the money in time for the 150th anniversary of the battle in June 2013.  Further details of this exciting opportunity — including mechanisms for public involvement and donations — will be announced in the new year, once additional groundwork for the project is laid.

Brandy Station, with nearly 20,000 troopers in blue and gray engaged in the struggle, was the largest cavalry battle ever fought on American soil.  More than 1,000 men became casualties as a result of the battle.  Although a Confederate victory, Brandy Station is often referred to as the battle where the Union cavalry came into its own after years of being dominated by Southern horse soldiers.  The epicenter of fighting at Brandy Station took place on the slopes of Fleetwood Hill, described by historian Clark B. “Bud” Hall, as “without question the most fought over, camped upon and marched over real estate in the entire United States.”

“I truly believe that this acquisition, if successful, will be the most important battlefield preservation achievement not just at Brandy Station, but in all of Virginia’s Piedmont, a region that was of immense military and strategic significance during the Civil War,” remarked Hall.  “Although it most closely associated with the climactic fighting of June 9, 1863, there were, in fact, 21 separate military actions on Fleetwood Hill during the Civil War—far more than any other battle venue in this country.”

The Civil War Trust has long been committed to ensuring the protection and appreciation of the battlefields in Culpeper County, Virginia.  To date, we have helped protect nearly 1,800 acres at Brandy Station — more land than at any other individual battlefield in the nation.

In the 1990s, Brandy Station was also the scene of a high-profile preservation battle. At one point, 1,500 acres of the battlefield were rezoned to allow for light industrial development. Later, a 515-acre Formula One auto racetrack was proposed for the site. However, due to the persistence of preservationists throughout the country, plans to develop the battlefield were thwarted.  Today, the Civil War Trust owns 878 acres of the Brandy Station Battlefield that are open to the public; interpretation of the site includes educational signage, walking trails and a driving tour.

The Civil War Trust has been also been actively involved in preserving land at other battlefields in Culpeper County.  This summer, on its 150th anniversary, the Trust announced an effort to preserve an additional 10 acres on the Cedar Mountain Battlefield.  More recently, the Trust completed a national fundraising campaign to place a perpetual conservation easement on 964 acres at Kelly’s Ford, site of the war’s first large-scale cavalry engagement.  These transactions were made possible through the generosity of Trust members and the financial support of matching grants from the American Battlefield Protection Program, administered by the National Park Service, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Learn more about the Battle of Brandy Station at www.civilwar.org/brandystation.

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 34,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, and nearly 3,000 on important Culpeper County battlefields like Brandy Station, Cedar Mountain, and Kelly’s Ford. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the sesquicentennial.


December 19, 2012

Conflict-Resolution-Conflict (A conference in 2013)

Filed under: The Academy,Wars — John Maass @ 9:02 am
Battle of Bushy Run

Battle of Bushy Run

The British Group in Early American History will hold its 2013 meeting at the University of East Anglia, UK, between the 5th and the 7th of September. The year 2013 marks the anniversary of several efforts to resolve conflict in North America, including the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which purported to draw a line between the territories of the French and British Empires and proposed a framework for resolving the status of the continent’s native peoples, and the 1763 Peace of Paris, which superficially represented an even simpler resolution, ceding to Britain virtually all the territory east of the Mississippi. Of course that resolution only led to more trouble. With these anniversaries in mind, the theme of our conference will be “Conflict—Resolution—Conflict.”

There were many other moments of conflict, resolution, and recurrent trouble in households, plantations, courts, and borderlands. Such dramatic confrontations between all kinds of early Americans provide rich material for possible papers and panels. Our keynote speakers include Professor Stephen Conway, University College London. The programme committee welcomes complete panel and individual proposals on any aspect of early American history before 1820. Please email proposals to Geoffrey Plank at G.Plank@uea.ac.uk. Proposals should be sent as an attachment and individual submissions should include a one page description of the paper and a brief CV. Submissions for complete panels should include a brief CV for each of the participants and a one paragraph overview of the panel in addition to the individual paper outlines. The deadline for proposals is February 15, 2013.

December 13, 2012

The “Paxton Boys” and the Conestoga Massacre 1763

Filed under: Early America,Wars — John Maass @ 3:27 pm

The “Paxton Boys” and the Conestoga Massacre–250 Years Later

December 13-14, 2013, Lancaster, PA

Paper proposals are invited for a mini-conference commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Conestoga Massacre, to be held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, December 13-14, 2013. Cosponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and LancasterHistory.org, the conference will provide a scholarly component for a broader program of public events at the newly renovated and expanded Lancaster Campus of History at the Lancaster County Historical Society and at related sites in the city of Lancaster.

The conference organizers seek proposals for papers of approximately 15 pages in length from scholars whose work explores the causes, immediate consequences, and long-term legacy of the events of December 1763. We are particularly interested in papers that focus on the Conestoga Indians, local Lancaster history, Native American relations with Pennsylvania, and the broader political implications of the massacre. Interdisciplinary work from historical, archaeological, and literary perspectives is particularly welcome.

Please submit proposals of approximately 500 words, along with curriculum vitae, to mceas@ccat.sas.upenn.edu no later than Friday, February 1, 2013. Accepted panelists will be notified by March 15. Papers will be due for pre-circulation no later than November 1, 2013.

Paxton Massacre

Paxton Massacre

November 16, 2012

War College of the Seven Years’ War

Filed under: Early America,Historic Places,Wars — John Maass @ 1:26 pm
Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga

May 17, 2013 to May 19, 2013

Fort Ticonderoga hosts the Eighteenth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 17-19, 2013, in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. Since 1996, the War College has become a top venue for historians on subjects relating to the French & Indian War, drawing speakers and participants from across North America. An enthusiastic audience of nearly 200 people represents all levels of interest, from general lovers of history to scholars. The War College offers a unique, informal setting that promotes interaction between speakers and attendees. Our speakers include both established and new scholars studying the French & Indian War in North America. Pre-registration is required.

Learn more about the Eighteenth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War.

Upcoming Lectures on War of 1812 at Univ. of MD

Filed under: Canada,Early America,Historic Places,Wars — John Maass @ 10:25 am

Prof. Don E. Gravesis an authority on the War of 1812 from the Canadian perspective. He has taught military history and served as a staff historian for the Canadian Directorate of History and Heritage. He has also published extensively on the major battles of the War of 1812, including Crylser’s Farm, Lundy’s Lane and Chippawa. His book on the Battle of Plattsburgh is forthcoming. Graves will offer a spirited explanation of why and how the Canadians won the War of 1812.

“Free Trade and Sailors’ Rights: The Odyssey of the Essex–Captain David Porter’s Invasion of the Pacific in the War of 1812″
Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 7:30 p.m., tentatively scheduled for the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore

Prof. Paul Gilje, a George Lynn Cross Research Professor at the University of Oklahoma, has written extensively on early American history and has also served as the president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. He is currently researching the question of sailors’ rights and memory in the War of 1812, and his lecture will be based on his forthcoming book of the same title.

“The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies”
Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 7:30 p.m., Langsdale Library Auditorium

Alan Taylor
, professor of history at the University of California, Davis, where he specializes in early American history and Canadian history, will expound on the effect of the War of 1812 on common people and on families whose members lived on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border. His latest book, which has the same title as his lecture, was published in 2010 and received rave reviews.

Further information about the series is available from the Division of Legal, Ethical & Historical Studies, at 410.837.5323.

October 19, 2012

SC’s Benedict Arnold

Filed under: Early America,The strange place called the South,Wars — John Maass @ 10:45 am

There is an article in the new JBS on The “Benedict Arnold of South Carolina” and America’s First Major Double Agent.

Here’s the link: http://libjournal.uncg.edu/ojs/index.php/jbc/

The Journal of Backcountry Studies is a refereed scholarly journal on the Internet focused on the colonial history of the Backcountry – the rural corridor that stretches from southern Pennsylvania to Augusta, Ga.

September 5, 2012

NPS Battlefield Grants for 2012

Filed under: Early America,Historic Places,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 7:17 am

The American Battlefield Protection Program announces the awarding of 27 grants totaling $1.3 million to assist in the preservation and protection of America’s significant battlefield lands. The funds will support a variety of projects at battle sites in 17 states or territories.

St. Clair’s Defeat, 1791

Included:Ball State University

On November 4, 1791, at the Battle of Wabash, American forces suffered their worst defeat ever at the hands of American Indians. In 1773 General Anthony Wayne build Fort Recovery on the site of the battle. On June 30, 1794, 2,000 American Indians attacked the fort but were repulsed after a two day battle. Ball State University and its partners intend to hold a series of public consensus meetings in support of Fort Recovery. This project will also amend the National Register nomination to include more of the landscape.


County of Chester

The Battle of the Clouds on September 16, 1777 was fought between General George Washington and Sir William Howe as the British were marching on Philadelphia. The battle was called off prematurely due to a large storm which destroyed most of Washington’s ammunition and forced him to withdraw. This project builds upon the County of Chester’s work with both Brandywine and Paoli and is intended to identify the threatened landscape on this sparsely documented battlefield. These findings, along with those from Brandywine and Paoli, will eventually be used in a comprehensive Preservation Plan for the entire Philadelphia Campaign in the County of Chester.


The Research Foundation of State University of New York
New York
One of only two major engagements of the Revolutionary War’s Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, the Battle of Chemung was fought two weeks before the better known Battle of Newtown. This ambush on Continental forces by American Indians produced more casualties than Newtown, and the burning of New Chemung became a case study of Continental strategy and tactics for the frontier Campaign. An archeological survey will be used to help better determine the battlefields’ defining features as well as to assess their condition. This information will be entered into an existing GIS in support of a future preservation plan and National Register nomination.


Saratoga P.L.A.N.
New York
The Battles of Saratoga culminated in 1777 with the surrender of British forces under General Burgoyne. This American victory reinvigorated the war effort and is seen as a turning point in the Revolutionary War. This project will interpret the fighting at the battle of Fish Creek, one of the battles of Saratoga, with several interpretive kiosks and an interpretive trail. Working with the nearby Saratoga National Historical Park, the interpretive trail will also be integrated into other interpretive trails in the area.


University of Southern Indiana

Following the American Revolution, the former colonies were determined to demonstrate their authority over the territory known as the Old Northwest and to deter Indian attacks against American settlers. In 1791 the Charles-Scott Campaign was launched to deter the American Indians along the Wabash River. This project will use a magnetometer survey to determine subsurface deposits and the potential location of one of the Indian villages along the Wabash. This baseline data will aid future preservation efforts.

Full list: http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/abpp/grants/battlefieldgrants/2012grantawards.htm

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