Washington Commands the Continental Army – David McCullough

1st Connecticut Regiment (1776-1783)
2nd Connecticut Regiment (1776-1783)
3rd Connecticut Regiment (1776-1783)
4th Connecticut Regiment (1776-1783)
5th Connecticut Regiment (1776-1783)
6th Connecticut Regiment (1776-1781)
7th Connecticut Regiment (1776-1781)
8th Connecticut Regiment (1776-1781)
9th Connecticut Regiment (1776-1781)

198th Signal Battalion in the Delaware National Guard (1775-1783)
1st Delaware Regiment (1776-1783)

1st Georgia Regiment (1775-1783)
2nd Georgia Regiment (1776-1781)
3rd Georgia Regiment (1776-1781)
4th Georgia Regiment (1777-1781)

1st Maryland Regiment (1776-1783)
2nd Maryland Regiment (1776-1783)
3rd Maryland Regiment (1776-1783)
4th Maryland Regiment (1776-1783)
5th Maryland Regiment (1776-1783)
6th Maryland Regiment (1776-1781)
7th Maryland Regiment (1776-1781)

1st Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1783)
2nd Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1783)
3rd Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1783)
4th Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1783)
5th Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1783)
6th Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1783)
7th Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1783)
8th Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1783)
9th Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1777)
10th Massachusetts Regiment (1776-1783)
11th Massachusetts Regiment (1776-1781)
12th Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1781)
13th Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1781)
14th Massachusetts Regiment (1775-1781)
15th Massachusetts Regiment (1776-1781)
16th Massachusetts Regiment (1777-1781)

1st New Hampshire Regiment (1775-1784)
2nd New Hampshire Regiment (1775-1783)
3rd New Hampshire Regiment (1775-1781)

1st New Jersey Regiment (1775-1783)
2nd New Jersey Regiment (1775-1783)
3rd New Jersey Regiment (1776-1781)
4th New Jersey Regiment (1776-1789)

1st New York Regiment (1775-1783)
2nd New York Regiment (1775-1783)
3rd New York Regiment (1775-1780)
4th New York Regiment (1775-1781)
5th New York Regiment (1777-1781)

1st North Carolina Regiment (1775-1783)
2nd North Carolina Regiment (1775-1783)
3rd North Carolina Regiment (1776-1783)
4th North Carolina Regiment (1776-1783)
5th North Carolina Regiment (1776-1783)
6th North Carolina Regiment (1776-1783)
7th North Carolina Regiment (1776-1778)
8th North Carolina Regiment (1776-1778)
9th North Carolina Regiment (1776-1778)

1st Pennsylvania Regiment (1775-1783)
2nd Pennsylvania Regiment (1775-1783)
3rd Pennsylvania Regiment (1775-1783)
4th Pennsylvania Regiment (1775-1783)
5th Pennsylvania Regiment (1775-1783)
6th Pennsylvania Regiment (1775-1783)
7th Pennsylvania Regiment (1776-1781)
8th Pennsylvania Regiment (1776-1781)
9th Pennsylvania Regiment (1776-1781)
10th Pennsylvania Regiment (1776-1781)
11th Pennsylvania Regiment (1776-1778)
12th Pennsylvania Regiment (1776-1778)
13th Pennsylvania Regiment (1776-1778)
Hartley’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1781)

1st Rhode Island Regiment (1775-1783)
2nd Rhode Island Regiment (1775-1781)

1st South Carolina Regiment (1775-1783)
2nd South Carolina Regiment (1775-1783)
3rd South Carolina Regiment (1775-1783)
4th South Carolina Regiment (1775-1783)
5th South Carolina Regiment (1776-1780)
6th South Carolina Regiment (1776-1780)

1st Virginia Regiment (1775-1783)
2nd Virginia Regiment (1775-1783)
3rd Virginia Regiment (1775-1783)
4th Virginia Regiment (1775-1783)
5th Virginia Regiment (1775-1783)
6th Virginia Regiment (1775-1783)
7th Virginia Regiment (1776-1783)
8th Virginia Regiment (1776-1783)
9th Virginia Regiment (1775-1781)
10th Virginia Regiment (1775-1783)
11th Virginia Regiment (1777-1781)
12th Virginia Regiment (1776-1780)
13th Virginia Regiment (1776-1783)
14th Virginia Regiment (1776-1780)
15th Virginia Regiment (1776-1780)

Additional Regiments:
The Continental Army also had many unnumbered infantry regiments. They were raised “at large” and were not a part of any state’s quota.

Forman’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1779)
Gist’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1781)
Grayson’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1779)
Hartley’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1781)
Henley’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1779)
Lee’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1779)
Malcolm’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1779)
Patton’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1779)
Sheppard’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1778)
Sherburne’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1781)
Spencer’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1781)
Thurston’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1779)
Webb’s Additional Continental Regiment (1777-1781)

Extra Infantry Units:
Certain permanent infantry units existed in the Continental Army throughout the war that were not part of the infantry authorized by Congress and have been designated the “extra” regiments and corps of the Continental Army.

1st Canadian Regiment (1775-1781)
Elmore’s Regiment (1776-1777)
2nd Canadian Regiment (1776-1783)
Commander in Chief’s Guard (1776-1783)
Long’s Regiment (1776-1777)
Ward’s Regiment (1776-1777)
German Battalion (1776-1781)
Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment (1776-1781)
Westmoreland Independent Companies (1776-1781)
New Hampshire Rangers, aka Whitcomb’s Rangers, (1776-1781)

Continental Light Dragoons:
The Continental Corps of Light Dragoons was created in 1777 as an element of of the third establishment of the Continental Army.

1st Continental Light Dragoons (1777-1779)
2nd Continental Light Dragoons (1776-close of war)
3rd Continental Light Dragoons (1777-1778)
4th Continental Light Dragoons (1777-1783)
Corps of North Carolina Light Dragoons (1776-1779)
Georgia Regiment of Horse Rangers (1780-1781)

1st Continental Artillery Regiment (1776-1783)
2nd Continental Artillery Regiment (1777-1783)
3rd Continental Artillery Regiment (1777-1783)
4th Continental Artillery Regiment ( 1777-1781)
North Carolina Continental Artillery Company (1777-1780)

Partisan Corps units of mounted and infantry troops that were mainly intended to engage in guerrilla warfare.

Armand’s Legion (1778-1783)
Ottendorf’s Corps (1776-1778)
Pulaski’s Legion (1778-1780)
Lee’s Legion (1776-1783)

Invalid Corps:
The Corps of Invalids was a separate branch of the Continental Army that consisted of veterans who were unfit for duty but could still serve as guards for magazines, hospitals and etc.

Corps of Invalids (1777-1783)

“Regiments.” Valley Forge Legacy: The Muster Roll Project, Valley Forge Park Alliance,
“Army Birthdays.” U.S. Army Center of Military History,
Fleming, Thomas. “Militia and Continentals.” Journal of the American Revolution, 30 Dec. 2013,
“Continental Army.” George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association,
Wright, Robert Jr. The Continental Army. 1983
Heitman, Francis Bernard. Officers of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, April 1775, to December, 1783. 1892.

More Comments:

Seth Cable Tubman - 11/6/2006

One of the problems in the battle between popular and academic history is that many people's last exposure to it is in high school. There we've been given the sweeping " God Bless America" history which the popular historians cater to. Since that is all most of us know, we expect to recieve the same myths in college. Also psychologically we have a need right now to be soothed, not rattled. And we should use our history as a strength, because while it's not as simple as the McCulloughs and Ambroses would have us believe, it is NOT entirely myth. And part of the reason that journalists wind up in scholarly journals and footnotes is because they know how to write and write well. When you're under pressure to deliver a clear and coherent story every day, you learn how to deliver a clear, vapid, and detailed narrative that explains the issue at hand.

Mark safranski - 5/29/2005

First, I'd like to thank Dr. Greenberg for this interesting and analytical take on the division between academic and popular historians. It was a thoughtful article that I've come back to read this week several times.

Part of the problem academics have with popular or amateur historians is really one that is self-referential.

First, academic historians, even those used to teaching freshmen year survey courses have a misleadingly skewed view of the level of basic historical knowledge among the general public. University profs tend to deal most often with other experts or aspiring experts ( grad students) in their own field. Recall that college students are usually in the top two deciles of the Bell Curve in terms of intelligence and their knowledge and analytical prowess in terms of history is often exceptionally spotty.

Trying to then go out and write a history book that can be enjoyed and understood by the remaining 80 % of the population after spending time in that narrow, rarified, campus environment is hard. Academic historians often wildly underestimate the degree to which the fundamentals must be coherently explained before the public can grasp the point the historian would really like to make. Good storytelling is important because it is the " hook" for the reader to follow the subsequent analysis. We're mentally " wired" for narrative structures, not expository writing, which is why no one likes to read their computer software instruction manuals.

The second point of self-referentiality is, I'm sorry to say, whether anyone likes to hear it or not, political. Holding even a " mainstream" or " centrist" position in the historical profession puts you very far to the Left of the general public, in terms of the mean on critical issues of public policy. And no, it isn't always greater amounts of knowledge that lead historians to the " correct" conclusions -it's a difference of values.

Eric Foner's political desire to substitute Social-Democracy for the currently influential libertarian definition of " Freedom" in American culture is a result of personal philosophy and preference for socialist politics - not an inarguable conclusion drawn from his research on intellectual and political history. I can agree with Dr. Foner the presentation of his evidence without accepting his normative judgement in his conclusion.

The combination of poorly prefaced writing, esoteric Left positions, use of jargon and the media's preference for sound bites makes academic historians look more than a little nuts to the public when something radical pops into their USA Today front page article. The media's editing style is not the fault of the historian but it is a reality to be considered when making an argument in the popular press.

Jason Nelson - 5/29/2005

By definition a "blockbuster" is a book that many consumers have bought. According to the above, many of these consumers who have bought “blockbusters”, have bought conservative leaning books. Perhaps this is yet more evidence that America is a center-right leaning nation and that it should not be surprising to anyone that historians who are advocating a left to leftist view of history will not be viable in the marketplace. Reality vrs. Ideology. The dollars will always follow reality in a market. Historians on the left should continue to attempt to persuade. Just don’t be surprised when the sales for your books are not scintillating.

Grant W Jones - 5/28/2005

Horrors! Depicting Washington in a "heroic" way!

Could it be that McCullough has a moral prespective different from the rancid cynicism that dominates academic "analysis," particularly when the subject is the USA?

Does patriotism automatically mean shallowness? McCullough knows the issues, don't doubt that:

Perhaps his criticism has touched a nerve.

Steve Rossiter - 5/27/2005

He seems to know the counterpoints but prefers to relate the big theme with a big story.

Derek Charles Catsam - 5/25/2005

Is this even a worthwhile generalization? I can think of dozens of academics who write beautifully. Your assertion implies that all academics write badly. This is simply nonsense: James McPherson, James Patterson, David Kennedy, Jackie Jones, David Hackett Fischer, Joseph Ellis, David Levering Lewis, Leon Litwack, Charles van Onselen, Donna Gabaccia, Pat Sullivan . . . . I could go on, but why waste the time addressing such a colossally stupid argument?

Derek Charles Catsam - 5/25/2005

Is this even a worthwhile generalization? I can think of dozens of academics who write beautifully. Your assertion implies that all academics write badly. This is simply nonsense: James McPherson, James Patterson, David Kennedy, Jackie Jones, David Hackett Fischer, Joseph Ellis, David Levering Lewis, Leon Litwack, Charles van Onselen, Donna Gabaccia, Pat Sullivan . . . . I could go on, but why waste the time addressing such a colossally stupid argument?

John Locke - 5/25/2005

You didn't touch on how badly academics write. Isn't that part of the problem -- rather a large one?

Van L. Hayhow - 5/24/2005

I think that is my answer to the question posed by the headline. I don't have my copy of the book readily handy, but I believe it was Prof. Barzun in his book Clio and the Doctors who wrote something to the effect that the first obligation of an historian is to tell a story. Analysis and other matters, in his view come second. DM tells a story and does so better than any other historian I have read. And yes, if you look, you can see insight into characters and motivation and so forth. He went on to say that if you don't tell a story, your book may be very good and important, but you are doing something else, not history. I imagine some historians will choke over this but I always agreed with this. That isn't to say that academic books can't be terrific to read for the general reader such as me. Katz's book on the Mexican Revolution would be a desert island book as would Womack's biography of Zapata. But there is nothing wrong with Johnson's Heroic Mexico which is a narrative account of the revolution. In fact, that is a book, if it were still in print, would be a good place to start for someone who just wanted to get into the subject. If I were to take a "Mexican Studies" approach, I might also recommend the novel The Lightning of August.

George Washington and the American Military Tradition

Washington’s training, between 1753 and 1755, included frontier command in the Virginia militia, adjunct service to the British regulars during the French and Indian War, and increasing civil service in the Virginia House of Burgesses and Continental Congress. The result of this combination of pursuits was Washington’s concern for the citizen behind the soldier, his appreciation of both frontier tactics and professional discipline, and his sensitivity to political conflict and consensus in thirteen colonies in forming a new, united nation. When, in 1775, Washington accepted command of the Continental Army from the Continental Congress, he possessed political and military experience that enabled him, by 1783, to translate the Declaration of Independence into victory over the British.

Yet, Higginbotham notes, the legacy of Washington’s success has sometimes been overlooked by generals concerned with professional training and a permanent military establishment, and therefore apt to revere foreign heros such as Jomini, Napoleon, and Bismarck more than Washington. Other leaders, most notably the World War II chief of staff, George Marshall, have recognized and implemented Washington’s unique understanding of civil and military coordination. In times almost wholly dominated by a military agenda, Washington’s and Marshall’s steady subordination of soldier to citizen, of strategy to legislation, recalls the careful consensus of thirteen colonies in 1776.

Tag: David McCullough

On March 17, 1776, the 11-month colonists’ Siege of Boston ended when the British troops and their dependants evacuated the town of Boston. A fleet of 120 British ships set sail for a British military base in Halifax, Nova Scotia with nearly 10,000 British troops and over 1,000 dependants. This was discussed in a prior post.

Both sides’ attention next turned to New York City, which then was a town of 25,000 at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan (then known as York Island). This post will review what is known as the Campaign for New York and New Jersey, March 18, 1776, through January 1777.[1]

For the British, the City was an obvious strategic target. It had a large harbor from which the vastly superior British navy could easily command the area and be a base to conquer the middle colonies to the south and west. The terminus of the Hudson (or North) River into that harbor would provide the British with a route north to connect with British forces in what is now Canada and thereby potentially separate New England from the other colonies. Moreover, many British Loyalists lived in the City and thus made it a friendlier host for British troops than Boston had been.

The strategic importance of the City also was obvious to General George Washington. Not knowing that the British troops were going from Boston to Nova Scotia, he was worried that they would instead be sent directly to New York. Therefore, Washington immediately after the British evacuation of Boston sent some colonial regiments from Boston to New York to join the colonial forces already there under the command of General Charles Lee. Thereafter other colonial troops were sent from Boston, including my 5th maternal great-grandfather, Perley Brown, and his brothers William and Benjamin. Perley and his comrades arrived in New York City in late July on a ship from New Haven, Connecticut.[2]

These transfers of troops from Boston were not easy. The men first had to march 100 to 120 miles over five to seven days to the Connecticut ports of New Haven or New London, where they boarded sailing ships to take them via Long Island Sound to New York City.

General Washington himself arrived in the City on April 13th and established his headquarters in the Archibald Kennedy Mansion at No. 1 Broadway.[3]

Washington soon discovered that much work still needed to be done to finish the construction of fortifications in Brooklyn on Long Island and on York Island. He was kept busy supervising their continued construction, inspecting the troops and deciding on command assignments and troop deployments.

Another problem faced Washington in the City. The soldiers were growing sickly. Smallpox appeared causing the deaths of several of the men. In the summer heat, “camp fever” became epidemic, and poor sanitation caused dysentery. At least 3,000 to 6,000 men were ill at one time or another, and many died. One of the victims of these illnesses was William Brown (Perley’s brother), who died in a City hospital on August 27th after being sick for eight days. Also sick at this time was brother Benjamin, but his health improved so he could return to active duty.[4]

The long anticipated arrival in New York of the British troops began on June 29th when 120 British ships arrived at Sandy Hook, a barrier spit jutting northward into Lower New York Bay from the New Jersey shore. Three days later (July 2nd) 9,000 British troops from their Nova Scotia base left these ships to establish their new base on the unguarded Staten Island southwest across the harbor from York Island and directly west of the present-day southern part of Brooklyn.

And the British ships kept coming with another 15,000 British and Hessian soldiers soon thereafter. On August 13th 96 more ships entered the harbor plus 20 more the next day. That summer more than 400 British ships with 1,200 cannon and 10,000 sailors under the command of Admiral Lord Richard Howe were anchored in the harbor, and more than 32,000 British and Hessian troops under the command of his brother, General Sir William Howe, were on the nearby land. This turned out to be the largest expeditionary force of the 18th century.

The British, however, did not launch an immediate attack.

Instead General Howe, on July 14th sent a messenger from Staten Island to York Island with a letter addressed to “George Washington, Esq.” conveying an offer to meet and discuss ending the rebellion. Washington’s assistant rejected the letter because it was not addressed to “General George Washington” and because there was no one there by the letter’s simple title. Three days later (July 17th) a second letter was sent this one was addressed to “George Washington, Esq., etc.,” which also was rejected for the same reason. The next day (July 18th) the British returned to York Island to ask if General Washington would meet with Adjutant General Patterson, and Washington said “yes.”

On July 20th such a peace conference was held at the Kennedy Mansion on York Island. In the midst of polite formalities Washington said he understood that General Howe only had authority to grant pardons, but that those who had committed no wrongs wanted no pardons. This ended these British peace efforts.

In the meantime, General Washington had 19,000 colonial troops in the area, but did not know where the British planned to attack. Therefore, Washington split the Continental Army into fortified positions in Brooklyn on Long Island and in Manhattan with some held in a reserve so-called “Flying Camp” in northern New Jersey to be deployed when they knew where the British were going to attack.

The fighting phase of the campaign for New York and New Jersey began on August 22nd when the British troops invaded Long Island. Thus began what turned out to be the largest battle of the War (the Battle of Long Island or the Battle of Brooklyn) that lasted until August 30th with a British victory.

Soon thereafter– on September 11th (an ironic date in light of its 225th anniversary falling on the day of the 9/11 attacks of 2001)–another attempt was made to end the rebellion peacefully at the Staten Island Peace Conference.

The Conference participants were Admiral Lord Howe and Continental Congressmen John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Edward Rutledge. The Americans insisted on British recognition of their recently declared independence. Admiral Lord Howe said he could not do that. Howe was also pressed to repeal the Prohibitory Act that authorized a blockade of the colonies, but he said he could not do that either. Instead, Howe offered to suspend execution of the blockade if the Americans agreed to end hostilities and make fixed financial contributions to Britain. This offer was rejected by the Americans. There was no peace agreement. The War continued.

With the exception of an American victory at Harlem Heights on York Island, the British won all the military encounters of this campaign through Christmas Eve Day (December 24, 1776) and forced General Washington and the Continental Army to retreat from New York into New Jersey and then from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. Future posts will review the Battles of Long Island (Brooklyn), Harlem Heights and White Plains.

The British victory in this campaign looked secure at that time. But on Christmas Day (December 25th) Washington and 2,400 of his troops made their now famous “crossing the Delaware River” maneuver. They crossed the partially frozen river from Pennsylvania to return to New Jersey to make their successful surprise attack on British and Hessian troops at Trenton, New Jersey. This was followed on January 3rd with another successful colonial attack at Princeton, New Jersey and Washington’s establishing his winter headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey.

Fighting essentially ceased in January 1777 due to winter conditions.

Nevertheless, it has to be said that the British won the Campaign for New York and New Jersey and that the British occupied New York City for the duration of the War.

[1] In addition to the hyperlinked sources in this post, it also draws from David McCullough, 1776 at 110-154 (New York Simon & Schuster 2005). See also, e.g., T. Harry Williams, Richard N. Current & Frenk Freidel, A History of the United States [To 1876] , at 151 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1959) Henry Steele Commager & Richard B. Morris, The Spirit of ‘Seventy-Six: The Story of the American Revolution as Told by Participants , Ch. Eleven (New York: Harper & Row, 1967). From July 1966 through March 1970, I worked for a New York City law firm with offices in the Wall Street district at the southern end of Manhattan.As a result, I frequently walked around the area where General Washington and the Continental Army troops lived and worked 190 years earlier, but unfortunately I did not scout out where things happened in the Revolutionary War.

[2] Carol Willits Brown, William Brown–English Immigrant of Hatfield and Leicester, Massachusetts, and His Descendants c. 1669-1994 at 18-19 (Gateway Press Baltimore, MD 1994) (letter, Perley Brown to his wife Elizabeth Brown (Aug. 1, 1776)).

[3] By July 1776, Washington moved his abode and headquarters to City Hall because it was deemed to be more secure. By the way, No. 1 Broadway now is the location of an office building known as 𔄙 Broadway.” Facing Battery Park, it was built in 1884 and extensively remodeled in 1921.

[4] Carol Willits Brown, William Brown–English Immigrant of Hatfield and Leicester, Massachusetts, and His Descendants c. 1669-1994 at 7, 20-21, 24-25, 31-32, 210-11 (Gateway Press Baltimore, MD 1994) (letters, Perley Brown to his wife Elizabeth Brown (Aug. 1, 1776 Sept. 9, 1776 Oct. 4, 1776).

Friend Reviews

Washington Commands the Continental Army – David McCullough - HISTORY

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best history sites on the web

John Adams
by David McCullough

This is the paperback edition. The hardcover is also available.

Book Description


In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as "out of his senses" and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.

This is history on a grand scale -- a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Winner of The American Academy of Diplomacy Award
Winner of the Christopher Award
Winner of the Revolutionary War Roundtable Prize

About the Author

David McCullough was born in 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, educated there and at Yale. Author of Truman, Brave Companions, Mornings on Horseback, The Path Between the Seas, The Great Bridge, and The Johnstown Flood, he has received the Pulitzer Prize (in 1993, for Truman), the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and is twice winner of the National Book Award, for history and for biography.

Editorial Reviews's Best of 2001
Left to his own devices, John Adams might have lived out his days as a Massachusetts country lawyer, devoted to his family and friends.

As it was, events swiftly overtook him, and Adams--who, David McCullough writes, was "not a man of the world" and not fond of politics--came to greatness as the second president of the United States, and one of the most distinguished of a generation of revolutionary leaders. He found reason to dislike sectarian wrangling even more in the aftermath of war, when Federalist and anti-Federalist factions vied bitterly for power, introducing scandal into an administration beset by other difficulties--including pirates on the high seas, conflict with France and England, and all the public controversy attendant in building a nation.

Overshadowed by the lustrous presidents Washington and Jefferson, who bracketed his tenure in office, Adams emerges from McCullough's brilliant biography as a truly heroic figure--not only for his significant role in the American Revolution but also for maintaining his personal integrity in its strife-filled aftermath.

McCullough spends much of his narrative examining the troubled friendship between Adams and Jefferson, who had in common a love for books and ideas but differed on almost every other imaginable point. Reading his pages, it is easy to imagine the two as alter egos. (Strangely, both died on the same day, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.) But McCullough also considers Adams in his own light, and the portrait that emerges is altogether fascinating. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly
Here a preeminent master of narrative history takes on the most fascinating of our founders to create a benchmark for all Adams biographers. With a keen eye for telling detail and a master storyteller's instinct for human interest, McCullough (Truman Mornings on Horseback) resurrects the great Federalist (1735-1826), revealing in particular his restrained, sometimes off-putting disposition, as well as his political guile. The events McCullough recounts are well-known, but with his astute marshaling of facts, the author surpasses previous biographers in depicting Adams's years at Harvard, his early public life in Boston and his role in the first Continental Congress, where he helped shape the philosophical basis for the Revolution. McCullough also makes vivid Adams's actions in the second Congress, during which he was the first to propose George Washington to command the new Continental Army. Later on, we see Adams bickering with Tom Paine's plan for government as suggested in Common Sense, helping push through the draft for the Declaration of Independence penned by his longtime friend and frequent rival, Thomas Jefferson, and serving as commissioner to France and envoy to the Court of St. James's. The author is likewise brilliant in portraying Adams's complex relationship with Jefferson, who ousted him from the White House in 1800 and with whom he would share a remarkable death date 26 years later: July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration. (June) Forecast: Joseph Ellis has shown us the Founding Fathers can be bestsellers, and S&S knows it has a winner: first printing is 350,000 copies, and McCullough will go on a 15-city tour both Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club have taken this book as a selection. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
This life of Adams is an extraordinary portrait of an extraordinary man who has not received his due in America's early political history but whose life work significantly affected his country's future. McCullough is here following his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Truman, and his subjects have much in common as leaders who struggled to establish their own presidential identities as they emerged from the shadows of their revered predecessors. The author paints a portrait of Adams, the patriot, in the fullest sense of the word. The reader is treated to engaging descriptions and accounts of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin, among others, as well as the significant figures in the Adams family: Abigail, John's love and full partner, and son John Quincy. In tracing Adams's life from childhood through his many critical, heroic, and selfless acts during the Revolution, his vice presidency under Washington, and his own term as president, the full measure of Adams a man widely regarded in his time as the equal of Jefferson, Hamilton, and all of the other Founding Fathers is revealed. This excellent biography deserves a wide audience. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --

From AudioFile
As president, John Adams was sandwiched between two Virginians of wide renown, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. But as historian and writer David McCullough shows, Adams was able to stand his own ground, and any neglect of his contribution is our fault, not his. McCullough, the author of the widely acclaimed and eminently listenable biography Truman, writes to be heard as well as read. This makes his books a joy to listen to. While the distinctive-voiced McCullough isn't heard on John Adams, he is replaced by Edward Herrmann, a veteran reader. His New England accent adds just the right flavor, and his excellent diction makes the material easy to understand. Adams left a diary, journal, and thousands of letters. McCullough quotes from them to great effect, and Herrmann reads them as if he had written them himself. R.C.G. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist
John Adams and George H. W. Bush share a unique place in American history: both were presidents themselves, and both fathered presidents. McCullough's masterpiece of biography--his first book since the equally distinguished Truman (1992)--brings John Adams pere out from the shadow of his predecessor in the presidency, the Founding Father George Washington. Of hardy New England stock and blessed with a happy upbringing, Adams led an adult life that paralleled the American colonies' movement toward independence and the establishment of the American republic, a long but inspiring process in which Adams was heavily involved. Adams' historical reputation is that of a cold, cranky person who couldn't get along with other people McCullough sees him as blunt and thin-skinned--and consequently not good at taking criticism--but also as a person of great intelligence, compassion, and even warmth. According to McCullough, Adams' drive to succeed influenced nearly every move he made. He was a lawyer by profession, but when rumblings of self-governance began to stir, Adams' inherent love of personal liberty inevitably drew him into an important role in what was to come. Interestingly, McCullough avers that Adams did not view his election to the presidency as the crowning achievement of his career, for he "was inclined to look back upon the long struggle for independence as the proud defining chapter." But Adams' greatest accomplishment as president, so he himself believed, was the peace his administration brought to the land. This is a wonderfully stirring biography to read it is to feel as if you are witnessing the birth of a country firsthand. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Michiko Kakutani The New York Times Lucid and compelling. [Written] in a fluent narrative style that combines a novelist's sense of drama with a scholar's meticulous attention to the historical record.

Excerpt from John Adams - this is copyrighted material

Chapter 1: The Road to Philadelphia

You cannot be, I know, nor do I wish to see you, an inactive spectator. We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.
— Abigail Adams

In the cold, nearly colorless light of a New England winter, two men on horseback traveled the coast road below Boston, heading north. A foot or more of snow covered the landscape, the remnants of a Christmas storm that had blanketed Massachusetts from one end of the province to the other. Beneath the snow, after weeks of severe cold, the ground was frozen solid to a depth of two feet. Packed ice in the road, ruts as hard as iron, made the going hazardous, and the riders, mindful of the horses, kept at a walk.

Nothing about the harsh landscape differed from other winters. Nor was there anything to distinguish the two riders, no signs of rank or title, no liveried retinue bringing up the rear. It might have been any year and they could have been anybody braving the weather for any number of reasons. Dressed as they were in heavy cloaks, their hats pulled low against the wind, they were barely distinguishable even from each other, except that the older, stouter of the two did most of the talking.

He was John Adams of Braintree and he loved to talk. He was a known talker. There were some, even among his admirers, who wished he talked less. He himself wished he talked less, and he had particular regard for those, like General Washington, who somehow managed great reserve under almost any circumstance.

John Adams was a lawyer and a farmer, a graduate of Harvard College, the husband of Abigail Smith Adams, the father of four children. He was forty years old and he was a revolutionary.

1776 : The Illustrated Edition

With a new introduction by David McCullough, 1776: The Illustrated Edition brings 140 powerful images and thirty-seven removable replicas of source documents to this remarkable drama.

In 1776, David McCullough’s bestselling account of a pivotal year in our nation’s struggle, readers learned of the greatest defeats, providential fortune, and courageous triumphs of George Washington and his bedraggled army. Now, in 1776: The Illustrated Edition, the efforts of the Continental Army are made even more personal, as an excerpted version of the original book is paired with letters, maps, and seminal artwork. More than three dozen source documents—including a personal letter George Washington penned to Martha about his commission, a note informing the mother of a Continental soldier that her son has been taken prisoner, and a petition signed by Loyalists pledging their allegiance to the King—are re-created in uniquely designed envelopes throughout the book and secured with the congressional seal.

Both a distinctive art book and a collectible archive, 1776: The Illustrated Edition combines a treasury of eighteenth-century paintings, sketches, documents, and maps with storytelling by our nation’s preeminent historian to tell the story of 1776 as never before.

This is What Life was Like for Soldiers of the Continental Army during the American Revolution

Nathaniel Greene stabilized Patriot fortunes in the south at the expense of several engagements and forced marches. Wikimedia

16. The Continental troops in the south faced almost daily forced marches

After Washington sent General Nathaniel Greene to command the southern contingent of the Continental Army, Greene in turn split his forces, sending a wing under Daniel Morgan to deal with the raiding British under Banastre Tarleton. Tarleton&rsquos wing was crushed by the American force of Continentals and militia at the Battle of Cowpens in early 1781. The southern campaign became one of speed, with the British under Earl Cornwallis attempting to engage one or other of the wings of the American army before they could reunite. Failing in that after being checked by Greene at Guildford Court House, the campaign became a race to Virginia, from where the American units were supplied.

Both before and after the Battle of Guildford Courthouse the campaign was one of forced marches, battle, withdrawal, and another forced march to a defensible position. &ldquoWe fight, get beat, rise, and fight again&rdquo, Greene wrote to Washington. Washington sent additional troops who faced the same daily conditions as Greene, forced marches in the blazing heat of the Carolinas in summer, cold, damp nights and days in the winter, the enduring problems with lack of food. The terrain was swamps, or thick woods with entangled underbrush, and poor roads, made worse by clouds of mosquitos and other pestilence biting exposed flesh. The British regulars endured the same conditions, with their morale steadily declining as they approached Virginia.

1776 David Mccullough Summary

May 12, 16
Alice Lin
Bibliography: McCullough, David G. 1776. New York: Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, 2005. Print.
Book Review of 1776
1776 is one of the most famous historical books written by David McCullough, a very prominent historian. 1776 was the year that the Declaration of Independence was written, Americans were independent from British in the real sense, and the United States of America was established. The book 1776 talks about the American Revolution period in history, and McCullough merely focuses on conveying the facts of the American Revolution in the year 1776
The book 1776 starts with the speech of the King Gorge III of England and ends with the battle of Princeton. The book is divided into three parts that.

It tells the causes of the revolution, how the British tried to control the revolution, and how the Americans achieved success eventually. McCullough does not hold bias when telling about actual historical personages or events, and also, this kind of unbiased depiction leaves room for audiences to give their own opinions. For example, he uses a very courteous tone to describe King George III, who is generally regarded as the villain of impeding the pace of American independence. Also, unlike any other academically historical books, there is no abstruse language, and discusses things beyond the pure historical facts. McCullough uses very easy words to tell a series of historical events in which American people are fighting for their independence. McCullough even tells funny stories about the characters that involved in this time period. When he describes a person, for example, the description of King George III of England, instead of saying he was king and listing his accomplishments, McCullough describes him like a character in a story, just like how a novelist depicts a major character in a book. Besides, as mentioned previously, there are many primary and secondary historical sources (quote, maps, and pictures, etc.) used in the book, which are truly helpful for understanding the events. In addition, this book helps the readers realize.

Watch the video: Washington Commands the Continental Army. History (January 2022).