On 9 July 1755 amid the wilderness of North America, Britain suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in her history. General Braddock's army, a mixture of British regulars and American militia, was shattered, losing over 900 men from a force of 1,300. Braddock was killed and the remnants of his army rescued by his aide, Colonel George Washington. The origins of this defeat can be traced back to the death of a junior French officer little more than a year before in a relatively minor skirmish with a party of Virginian militia commanded by the same George Washington. René Chartrand examines the subsequent chain of events that ultimately sparked a world war.
Fort William Henry, 1755-57: A Battle, Two Sieges and Bloody Massacre
After the British garrison of Fort William Henry in the colony of New York surrendered to the besieging army of the French commander Marquis de Montcalm in August 1757, it appeared that this particular episode of the French and Indian War was over. What happened next became the most infamous incident of the war - and one which forms an integral part of James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel The Last of the Mohicans - the ‘massacre' of Fort William Henry. As the garrison prepared to march for Fort Edward a flood of enraged Native Americans swept over the column, unleashing an unstoppable tide of slaughter. Cooper's version has coloured our view of the incident, so what really happened? Ian Castle details new research on the campaign, including some fascinating archaeological work that has taken place over the last 20 years, updating the view put forward by The Last of the Mohicans.
Louisbourg 1758: Wolfe's first siege
Louisbourg represented a major threat to Anglo-American plans to invade Canada. Bypassing it would leave an immensely powerful enemy base astride the Anglo-American lines of communication - Louisbourg had to be taken. Faced with strong beach defences and rough weather, it took six days to land the troops, and it was only due to a stroke of daring on the part of a young brigadier named James Wolfe, who managed to turn the French beach position, that this was achieved. The story is largely based on firsthand accounts from the journals of several participants, including French Governor Drucour's, whose excellent account has never been published.
Ticonderoga, 1758: Montcalm's Victory Against All Odds
On 5 July 1758 General Abercromby's expedition against Fort Carillon set off from its camp. Within hours, tragedy struck. Some rangers ran into a French scouting party and in the fierce skirmish that followed Lord Howe, the darling of the army, was shot through the heart. The army was shattered at the loss, but Abercromby went to pieces. He decided to attack Montcalm's completed breastworks head-on. Battalion after battalion was sacrificed, the most famous of these hopeless assaults being that of the Black Watch. With the failure of his plan and the exhaustion of his army Abercromby retreated to the foot of Lake George - Montcalm had saved Canada, with Abercromby's help.
Quebec 1759: The battle that won Canada
What a scene!' wrote Horace Walpole. 'An army in the night dragging itself up a precipice by stumps of trees to assault a town and attack an enemy strongly entrenched and double in numbers!' In one short sharp exchange of fire Major-General James Wolfe's men tumbled the Marquis de Montcalm's French army into bloody ruin. Sir John Fortescue famously described it as the 'most perfect volley ever fired on a battlefield'. In this book Stuart Reid details how one of the British Army's consummate professionals literally beat the King's enemies before breakfast and in so doing decided the fate of a continent.
Despite his lack of formal military training, George Washington may be one of history's must underrated commanders. Building an army virtually from scratch, he defeated the pre-eminent military power of his day. Although, he made mistakes, especially early in the war when he composed over-complicated plans that proved beyond the ability of his army to fulfill, he learned from them. He learned how to utilize the strength of his army and strike where the British were weakest, most notably in his famous surprise attacks on Trenton and Princeton after crossing the Delaware River on Christmas night. However, Washington's true legacy comes from his actions at the end of the war. His ability to walk away from the battlefield, sheath his sword and willingly relinquish the reigns of power made him truly great.
British Colours & Standards 1747–1881 (1)
In this first of a two-part sequence a respected vexillologist describes, explains and illustrates a wide variety of the standards and guidons carried during the 18th and 19th centuries by British Household, Regular, Yeomanry and Volunteer cavalry units. The successive regulations between 1747 and 1868 are supported by tables of 'ancient badges' and battle honours; by many examples of non-regulation practice (in the cavalier tradition of the British cavalry); and by ten dazzling plates by Richard Hook, detailing some 35 flags in full colour.
British Colours & Standards 1747–1881 (2)
In this second of a two-part sequence a respected vexillologist describes, explains and illustrates a wide variety of the King's and Regimental colours carried during the 18th and 19th centuries by British Household, Regular, Militia and Volunteer infantry regiments. The successive regulations between 1747 and 1881 - when the carrying of colours in the field ceased - are supported by comprehensive tables of 'ancient badges' and battle honours; many careful drawings; and by ten dazzling plates by Richard Hook, detailing some 35 flags in full colour, as well as a number of famous colour-bearers.
French Fortresses in North America 1535–1763
Following the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492, European colonists brought their system of fortification to the New World in an attempt to ensure their safety and consolidate their conquests. French and British explorers came later to North America, and thus the establishment of their sizeable settlements only got under way during the 17th century. The inhabitants of New France built elaborate fortifications to protect their towns and cities. This book provides a detailed examination of the defenses of four of them: Québec, Montréal and Louisbourg in Canada, and New Orleans in Louisiana.
The Forts of New France in Northeast America 1600–1763
'New France' consisted of the area colonized and ruled by France in North America. This title takes a look at the lengthy chain of forts built by the French to guard the frontier in the American northeast, including Sorel, Chambly, St Jean, Carillon (Ticonderoga), Duquesne (Pittsburgh, PA), and Vincennes. These forts were of two types: the major stone forts, and other forts made of wood and earth, all of which varied widely in style from Vauban-type elements to cabins surrounded by a stockade. Some forts, such as Chambly, looked more like medieval castles in their earliest incarnations. René Chartrand examines the different types of forts built by the French, describing the strategic vision that led to their construction, their impact upon the British colonies and the Indian nations of the interior, and the French military technology that went into their construction.
The Forts of New France
"New France” consisted of the area colonized and ruled by France in North America from the 16th to the 18th centuries. This title, which follows on from Fortress 27: French Fortresses in North America 1534-1763: Québec, Montréal, Louisbourg and New Orleans and Fortress 75: The Forts of New France in Northeast America 1600-1763, takes a look at the forts guarding the frontier defenses of New France from the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Among the sites examined are forts Crèvecoeur (Ilinois), Biloxi (on the Mississippi), St Jean-Baptiste (Louisiana), Natchitoches (Louisiana), de Chartres (on the Mississippi), Condé (Alabama), and Toulouse (Alabama).
Colonial American Troops 1610–1774 (1)
From the earliest English settlements the survival of the infant colonies in North America depended upon local militias. Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries the burden of successive wars with the American Indians, and with the regular troops and militias of Britain's colonial rivals France and Spain, fell mainly upon locally raised volunteers. This first of a fascinating three-part study includes a general introduction and chronology, and chapters on Crown troops in North America; and begins a colony-by-colony review of militias and provincial units. The text is illustrated with rare early images and with eight specially commissioned full colour plates.
Colonial American Troops 1610–1774 (2)
From the earliest English settlements the survival of the infant colonies in North America depended upon local militias. Throughout the 17th and most of the 18th century royal troops were seldom shipped out from Britain, and the main burden of successive wars with the American Indians, and with the regular troops and militias of Britain's colonial rivals France and Spain, usually fell upon locally raised soldiers. These units also fought alongside the Crown forces during major operations such as the French-Indian War of the 1750s. This second of a fascinating three-part study covers the militias and provincial troops raised in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, New York and New Jersey.
Colonial American Troops 1610–1774 (3)
From the earliest English settlements the survival of the infant colonies in North America depended upon local militias. Before the mid-18th century royal troops were seldom shipped out from Britain, and the main burden of successive wars with the American Indians, and with Britain's colonial rivals France and Spain, fell upon locally raised units, which also fought alongside the Crown forces during the major operations of the French-Indian War of the 1750s. This final book of a fascinating three-part study covers the militias and provincial troops raised in the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Georgia, Nova Scotia, Hudson's Bay and Quebec Province; and also Rangers, and colors and standards.
Louis XV's Army (2)
In Louis XV's army the classification of 'French' infantry denoted troops recruited from men born and raised in France. These regiments were called, naturally enough, infanterie francaise as opposed to the mercenary 'foreign' infantry recruited elsewhere. Making up the bulk of the army, all officers and men were to be of the Roman Catholic faith, the official state religion. Regimental recruiting parties went to towns and villages looking for likely young volunteers, inducing them to enlist with the usual promises - quick money, fast women, good wines and great glory.
Louis XV's Army (3)
On account of long-standing tradition as well as sheer numbers, the importance of foreign regiments in the French army had become considerable by the time of Louis XV. Since the Middle Ages, the rulers of France had called upon mercenaries from various neighbouring nations to form units which were often among the finest in the army. In this third of five volumes covering the army of Louis XV [Men-at-Arms 296, 302, 304, 308 & 313], René Chartrand examines the organisation and uniforms of the foreign infantry and artillery troops in a text containing a wealth of illustrations including eight full page colour plates by Eugène Lelièpvre.
Louis XV's Army (4)
The emergence of light troops at the time of Louis XV's reign is a sign of the search for better intelligence of the enemy and rapid tactical moves on battlefields. This fourth instalment of René Chartrand's review of Louis XV's army reveals an extraordinary variety of units, most now long forgotten, who had a dazzling assortment of uniforms, equipment and weapons, as is revealed by this interesting text and its numerous accompanying illustrations, which include eight full page colour plates by Eugène Lelièpvre.
Louis XV's Army (5)
In 1715 France had a sizeable overseas empire in America, Africa and Asia, its colonies garrisoned by thousands of regular officers and soldiers who belonged to the Navy's colonial establishment or by the French East India Company's troops. Though these troops are not usually covered in histories of the French forces, since the end of the 17th century, they saw considerable action against the enemy overseas. This last volume in a series of five (Men-at-Arms 296, 302, 304, 308 and 313) details the uniforms, arms and accoutrements of Louis XV's colonial and naval troops. The text is accompanied by numerous photographs and illustrations, including eight full colour plates.
King George's Army 1740–93 (1)
To most contemporary politicians the 18th century British Army was no more than an unwelcome necessity in wartime and an unjustifiable extravagance in peacetime. Nevertheless, the overall impression which is to be gained from a close study of the Army's own records, and from the surviving letters, diaries and memoirs, is that the British Army of the 18th century was very little different in character or in spirit from today's British Army. It was, above all, a force which was led, not driven, into battle. This book looks at the uniforms and organisation of the infantry of King George's Army.
King George's Army 1740–93 (2)
The 18th century was marked by a steady growth in central control of the British Army and a corresponding decrease in the influence enjoyed by individual commanding officers. The most obvious sign of this process was the increasing uniformity of the clothing issued each year to the soldiers. Nevertheless, as far as those who devised the Clothing Regulations were concerned, it was a constant, and invariably quite uphill struggle to enforce compliance. This companion volume to Men-at-Arms 285 takes a further look at the infantry uniforms of the mid-18th century British Army, also covering the various auxiliary infantry formations, such as the Militia, Volunteers, Marines and the troops of the East India Company. Men-at-Arms 273, 285, 289, 290 and 292 are also available in a single volume special edition as 'Soldiers of the Revolutionary War'.
King George’s Army 1740 - 93 (3)
The 18th century was marked by a steady growth in central control of the British Army and a corresponding decrease in the influence enjoyed by individual commanding officers. The most obvious sign of this process was the increasing uniformity of the clothing issued each year to the soldiers. Nevertheless, as far as those who devised the Clothing Regulations were concerned, it was a constant, and invariably quite uphill struggle to enforce compliance. This companion volume to Men-at-Arms 285 and Men-at-Arms 289 examines the organization and uniforms of King George's cavalry and artillery together with those of the Board of Ordnance.
The British victory at Quebec in 1759 was a landmark in the history of North America. In this 'year of miracles', according to Horace Walpole, one could 'never afford to miss a single copy of a newspaper for fear of missing a British victory somewhere'. Of all the pivotal figures in the Seven Years' War, a cast which included George Washington, Sir William Johnson, Lord Howe and Montcalm, Major-General Wolfe remains etched most deeply in Americans' memories for his heroic leadership at Quebec. Enhanced by illustrations and photographs, this book focuses on the British forces throughout their disastrous and triumphant wilderness campaigns which ultimately ensured the birth of the English-speaking United States of America.
American Woodland Indians
The Woodland cultural areas of the eastern half of America has been the most important in shaping its history. This volume details the history, culture and conflicts of the 'Woodland' Indians, a name assigned to all the tribes living east of the Mississippi River between the Gulf of Mexico and James Bay, including the Siouans, Iroquians, and Algonkians. In at least three major battles between Indian and Euro-American military forces more soldiers were killed than at the battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, when George Custer lost his command. With the aid of numerous illustrations and photographs, including eight full page colour plates by Richard Hook, this title explores the history and culture of the American Woodland Indians.
Tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy
The Five (later Six) Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy were central to the story of the white colonization of the American Northeast. The European fur trade transformed their world, and the struggles between English and French colonists forced the tribes to take sides. Sir William Johnson's efforts in the Mohawk Valley ensured that the Iroquois Nations were allies of the British crown; and the loyalty of his kinsman Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) during the American Revolution forced the Mohawks into Canadian exile. This richly illustrated book introduces Iroquois history, social organization, religion and material culture.
North American Indian Tribes of the Great Lakes
This book details the growth of the European Fur trade in North America and how it drew the Native Americans who lived in the Great Lakes region, notably the Huron, Dakota, Sauk and Fox, Miami and Shawnee tribes into the colonial European Wars. During the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812, these tribes took sides and became important allies of the warring nations. However, slowly the Indians were pushed westward by the encroachment of more settlers. This tension finally culminated in the 1832 Black Hawk's War, which ended with the deportation of many tribes to distant reservations.
Indian Tribes of the New England Frontier
This book offers a detailed introduction to the tribes of the New England region - the first native American peoples affected by contact with the French and English colonists. By 1700 several tribes had already been virtually destroyed, and many others were soon reduced and driven from their lands by disease, war or treachery. The tribes were also drawn into the savage frontier wars between the French and the British. The final defeat of French Canada and the subsequent unchecked expansion of the British colonies resulted in the virtual extinction of the region's Indian culture, which is only now being revived by small descendant communities.
Montcalm’s Crushing Blow
The year 1755 saw the rivalry between Britain and France in North America escalate into open warfare as both sides sought to overcome the other's forts and trading posts. Lord Loudoun and the Marquis de Montcalm were sent out to lead their forces and Montcalm was soon tasked with capturing the formidable Anglo-American post at Oswego. Montcalm's 3,000-strong force surrounded the forts at Oswego and soon forced the defenders to surrender - an outstanding French success. Featuring specially commissioned full colour artwork, expert analysis, and lively narrative, this engaging study casts light on a daring feat of arms at the height of the French and Indian War.
Tomahawk and Musket
In 1758, at the height of the French and Indian War, British Brigadier General John Forbes led his army on a methodical advance against Fort Duquesene, French headquarters in the Ohio valley. As his army closed in upon the fort, he sent Major Grant of the 77th Highlanders and 850 men on a reconnaissance in force against the fort. The French, alerted to this move, launched their own counter-raid. 500 French and Canadians, backed by 500 Indian allies, ambushed the highlanders and sent them fleeing back to the main army. With the success of that operation, the French planed their own raid against the English encampment at Fort Ligonier under less than fifty miles away. With only 600 men, against an enemy strength of 4,000, he ordered a daring night attack on the heart of the enemy encampment. This book tells the complete story of these ambitious raids and counter-raids, giving in-depth detail on the forces, terrain, and tactics.
British Light Infantryman of the Seven Years War
The British Light Infantryman of the Seven Years War was proficient at scouting and skirmishing, and more than a match for the French and their Indian allies. Shooting rapids in canoes, traversing swamps and snowshoeing through endless tracts of forest, British redcoats earned a reputation for resilience and resourcefulness as they adapted to the wilderness conditions of North America. Their development was a watershed in the history of irregular warfare, and this book provides a full examination of their fighting methods, covering training, tactics and campaigning from Canada to the Caribbean.
The commissioned officer ranks in the British Army from 1740-1815 were almost entirely composed of the affluent and educated - the sons of the landed gentry, the wealthy, and other professional people. This title looks at the enlistment, training, daily life and combat experiences of the typical British officer in the crucial periods of the North American conflicts, the American Revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars. It compliments the author's previous treatments in Warrior 19 British Redcoat 1740-93 and Warrior 20 British Redcoat (2) 1793-1815, which deal exclusively with the common infantryman, and balances these discussions through a look at the 'fellows in silk stockings'. Particular emphasis is placed on the experiences and activities in North America in the late 18th century.
British Redcoat 1740–93
During this period, the British army earned itself a formidable reputation as a fighting force. However, due to its role as a police force at home, and demonisation by American propaganda, the army was viewed as little removed from a penal institution run by aristocratic dilettantes. This view, still held by many today, is challenged by Stuart Reid, who paints a picture of an increasingly professional force. This was an important time of change and improvement for the British Army, and British Redcoat 1740-1793 fully brings this out in its comprehensive examination of the lives, conditions and experiences of the late 18th-century infantryman.
American Colonial Ranger
This title examines the development of the Colonial Rangers in this period, and shows how they were taught to survive in the woods, to fight hand-to-hand, to scalp a fallen foe, and to fight across all types of terrain and in all weather conditions. Based on previously unpublished source material, it paints a vivid picture of the life, appearance and experiences of an American colonial ranger in the northern colonies. Covering the battle at Lovewell's Pond in 1725, a watershed event in New England's frontier history, through to King George's War (1740-1748), the rangers were prepared for the final imperial contest for control of North America, the French-Indian War (1754-1763).
Highlander in the French-Indian War
Colonial American historian Ian Macpherson McCulloch uses rare sources to bring to life the stirring story of the three Scottish Highland regiments that operated in North America during the French-Indian War. Forbidden to carry arms or wear the kilt unless they served the British King, many former Jacobite rebels joined the new Highland regiments raised in North America. Involved in some of the most bloody and desperate battles fought on the American continent, Highlanders successfully transformed their image from enemies of the crown to Imperial heroes, showing their bravery and determination at major battles like Ticonderoga and Quebec.
Liberty or Death: Wars That Forged a Nation (Essential Histories Specials)
At the beginning of the 18th century, America was a colonised land with European countries squabbling over its many natural resources. In 1754, the French-Indian War broke out as a decisive battle between the French and British for control of North America. Britain's victory led to greater governmental involvement in the American colonies that developed into rebellion in 1775. Following the American Revolution, the USA and Britain shared an uneasy peace that erupted in war again in 1812; the ensuing conflict tore through the American frontier. This book examines the wars in North America from the French-Indian War until the end of the War of 1812, which brought lasting peace between Britain and the United States.
Empires Collide: The French and Indian War 1754-63
The warfare of the French-Indian War was diverse, ranging from savage warfare in the forests and plains of the North American frontier to city sieges and open battles. The British Army struggled with the terrain and the tactics of the opposing American Indians. As the war progressed, the British Army learned from their allies, initiated reforms and eventually triumphed over the French and Canadians. The implications of this conflict reached across the world, contributing to the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in Europe and on the Indian subcontinent. This highly illustrated book charts the campaigns of the war, detailing the different troops raised and involved, the evolving tactics, the fortresses and battles.
Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766
Histories of the American Revolution tend to start in 1763, the end of the Seven Years' War, a worldwide struggle for empire that pitted France against England in North America, Europe, and Asia. Fred Anderson, who teaches history at the University of Colorado, takes the story back a decade and explains the significance of the conflict in American history. Demonstrating that independence was not inevitable or even at first desired by the colonists, he shows how removal of the threat from France was essential before Americans could develop their own concepts of democratic government and defy their imperial British protectors. Of great interest is the importance of Native Americans in the conflict. Both the French and English had Indian allies; France's defeat ended a diplomatic system in which Indian nations, especially the 300-year-old Iroquois League, held the balance between the colonial powers. In a fast-paced narrative, Anderson moves with confidence and ease from the forests of Ohio and battlefields along the St. Lawrence to London's House of Commons and the palaces of Europe. He makes complex economic, social, and diplomatic patterns accessible and easy to understand. Using a vast body of research, he takes the time to paint the players as living personalities, from George III and George Washington to a host of supporting characters. The book's usefulness and clarity are enhanced by a hundred landscapes, portraits, maps, and charts taken from contemporary sources. Crucible of War is political and military history at its best; it never flags and is a pleasure to read. John Stevenson
The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War
Examines how the French and Indian War of the mid-eighteenth century had a definitive impact on history, tracing how it served to overturn the balance of power on two continents and laid the groundwork for the American Revolution.
The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America
In the summer of 1754, deep in the wilderness of western Pennsylvania, a very young George Washington suffered his first military defeat, and a centuries-old feud between Great Britain and France was rekindled. The war that followed would decide the fate of the entire North American continent not just between Great Britain and France, but for the Spanish and Native Americans as well. Fought across virgin wilderness, from Nova Scotia to the forks of the Ohio River, the French and Indian War is best remembered for dogged frontier campaigns to capture such strategic linchpins as Forts Ticonderoga, Duquesne, and Niagara; legendary treks by Rogers' Rangers; and the momentous battle of Quebec on the Plains of Abraham. Here are the stories of Jeffery Amherst, the loyal soldier who did his king's bidding at the expense of his home and family; the marquis de Montcalm, Canada's champion who had to fight his own governor as well as the British; and William Pitt, the man who brashly proclaimed that only he could save England. We also encounter George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, William Shirley, Edward Braddock, and, of course, Major Robert Rogers, a legend misunderstood who stands both revered and damned.
Against the backdrop of Fortress Louisbourg in Nova Scotia, the forests surrounding Lake George in upstate New York, the Caribbean, and the fall of Quebec, Borneman poses interesting what-if questions, examining controversies that continue to this day: Did the dashing Brigadier General James Wolfe frantically wave his hat to signal retreat or to urge his troops onward to victory? What if Spain had come to the aid of France sooner? What if the affable Lord Howe had lived?
The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America presents the triumphs and tragedies of this epic struggle for a continent, placing them in the larger context of France and Great Britain's global conflict what Samuel Eliot Morison called truly the first world war and emphasizes that the seeds of discord sown in its aftermath would give root to the American Revolution
Redcoats: The British Soldier and War in the Americas, 1755-1763
In the last decade, scholarship has highlighted the significance of the Seven Years War for the destiny of Britain's Atlantic empire. This major 2001 study offers an important perspective through a vivid and scholarly account of the regular troops at the sharp end of that conflict's bloody and decisive American campaigns. Sources are employed to challenge enduring stereotypes regarding both the social composition and military prowess of the 'redcoats'. This shows how the humble soldiers who fought from Novia Scotia to Cuba developed a powerful esprit de corps that equipped them to defy savage discipline in defence of their 'rights'. It traces the evolution of Britain's 'American Army' from a feeble, conservative and discredited organisation into a tough, flexible and innovative force whose victories ultimately won the respect of colonial Americans. By providing a voice for these neglected shock-troops of empire, Redcoats adds flesh and blood to Georgian Britain's 'sinews of power'.
Montcalm and Wolfe by Francis Parkman
For 116 years (1884-2000), one book stood alone as the definitive study of the French and Indian War in North America: Montcalm and Wolfe, Francis Parkman's classic study of the war that most Americans have forgotten. Imbued with first-rate scholarship and written in a graceful style favored by nineteenth century historians, Montcalm and Wolfe brings the French and Indian War (1753-1760) to life for modern readers in a particularly appealing manner.
Today, Francis Parkman (1823-1893) is considered by many scholars to be the greatest American historian of all time. He was an 1844 graduate of Harvard University and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was probably the first American scholar able to view our nation's past through a long enough lens to write American history with a completely objective eye. He certainly was a pioneer in doing historical research. He envisioned writing a great history of the conquest of North American continent. His vision became a lifelong project, entitled France and England in North America. Several of his finest books, including Pioneers of France in the New World; The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century; Count Frontenac and New France Under Louis XIV; and The Old Regime in Canada, are all part of Parkman's labor of love. Each volume is based on Parkman's personal visits to historical sites and battlefields and meticulous scholarly research. Despite their lengthy and monotonous sounding titles, all are historical and literary masterpieces.
Montcalm and Wolfe, written in 1884, is the last, best, and climactic volume in the France and England in North America saga. Simply put, it is a magnificent work of history! With tremendous historical and literary skill, Parkman tells the story of the most historically decisive war ever fought on the North American continent. I won't spend time here summarizing the war's historical events; I've already covered that ground in my recent review of Crucible of War, Fred Anderson's equally outstanding contemporary study of the Seven Years' War. Suffice it to say, Parkman recounts those events in Montcalm and Wolfe clearly, objectively, and in great detail. Parkman is far less inclined than Anderson to engage the reader in lengthy discussions of internal Indian, British or French politics. He clearly intended Montcalm and Wolfe to be the "crown jewel" of his France and England in North America project. Hence, this book's sole concern is to convey the history of the French and Indian War as it was fought in North America.
It is indeed a fascinating and well told story! Parkman writes with a precise, graceful, and most eloquent pen. With his richly textured and fast paced narrative, he demonstrates a wonderful flair for dramatizing history. Several chapters stand out for their vividly descriptive narrative. The terror felt by General Edward Braddock and his British troops, as they are about to be ambushed by French regulars and their Indian allies in a Pennsylvania forest, is almost palpable. Parkman takes his readers along as the British expel every Acadian from present-day Nova Scotia; it is an engrossing tale of British cruelty and betrayal, and Acadian heartbreak. Parkman allows readers to experience General James Wolfe's frustration as he searches for a way to conquer Quebec, and Marquis de Montcalm's frustration as he prepares to defend the city.
Parkman's brilliant and detailed battle narratives put the reader squarely "in the line of fire" - at Jumonville's Glen, Fort Duquesne, Fort Ticonderoga, Louisbourg, Quebec, and Montreal. As I read these simmering chapters, I could almost visualize armies engaged in their titanic struggles; smell the gunpowder; and hear the clatter of musketry and the cries of the wounded.
This gifted historian's tremendous knowledge about this vast and complex subject is readily evident. So are his formidable skills as a writer. Parkman writes in the romantic style popular among nineteenth century historians and readers; yet, his prose is of such high quality that it never seems dated. In fact, as I was reading, I found it difficult to remember that Montcalm and Wolfe was written well over a century ago!
Montcalm and Wolfe is a timeless classic of history and literature, capable of holding readers spellbound from beginning to end. Whether you're a student of history, or just someone who occasionally relishes good non-fiction, you'll find this beautifully written book most worthwhile. Read and enjoy!
The Annotated and Illustrated Journals of Major Robert Rogers
This book, reprinted form the rare 1769 Dublin edition, allows Major Rogers to tell portions of his life in his own words. To supplement his account, numerous annotations have added by Timothy Todish to give a broader picture of the events described. Gary Zaboly's original illustrations, along with page-length captions, add an invaluable dimension to this edition. A special contribution is his chapter on the uniforms worn by Robert's Rangers.
Uniforms of the Seven Years War, 1756 - 63 (Blandford Colour Series)