Honor and Valor – Historical Insights

Does your book provide any new contributions to our understanding of history? In Honor and Valor, I divide the contributions to historical understanding into two categories:

Here's a great article, following up on the intersection of Joseph Gray's narrative and the Van Veghton family's accounts of the New Hampshire Continental troops assisting in the evacuation of Schaghticoke, NY in August of 1777. I am re-writing that part of Book 2 in Duty in the Cause of Liberty for the third time…

Schaghticoke in the American Revolution, Major VanVeghten scalped

Got to love the Internet for providing the basis to connect the threads of history! See my comment proposing the connecting the thread at the end.

History of the Town of Schaghticoke

          In the last post, I related a Knickerbocker family legend that the fort near the Mansion was occupied by Hessian soldiers at the time of the battle of Saratoga. Though I doubt very much that that was true, there is no doubt that there were bands of Tories, Indians, and perhaps Hessians and British roaming through the area during the summer of 1777 before the battle of Saratoga. Major Dirck VanVeghten of the  local militia unit, the 14th Albany County, was killed by one band when he came from Saratoga just before the battle to check on his home in Schaghticoke. One source states that VanVeghten came home on “an intelligence gathering mission.” In either event,  he was accompanied only by Solomon Acker, one of  the soldiers in his company of the 14th Albany County Militia.

            The story of Major VanVeghten really illustrates the great variety…

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Nathan Weare’s 1777 Ticonderoga Diary was Actually Sullivan’s Expedition in 1779!

As I've been writing "Honor and Valor", book two of Duty in the Cause of Liberty, I have had to get back into research mode. I always look for journals written by the men who were there--these journals have an authenticity historians cannot replicate.

A recent posting on the George Washington's Mount Vernon site, Committees of Correspondence, got me thinking about how much I've depended on the records of such committees for my research.

Iroquois Network has Complete Coverage

In an earlier post, I described using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to facilitate my research to trace Isaac Frye's path through the American Revolutionary War. Occasionally using GIS produced more than just a map; it produced new historical insight. One such instance occurred while researching Sullivan's Expedition, or as it is sometimes called, the Iroquois…

Using GIS to Research Isaac Frye

When I started learning about Isaac Frye, one my earliest goals was to put a pencil on the map, so to speak, and trace where he went during the American Revolution. Geographic Information Systems software, commonly called GIS, turned out to be the perfect solution.

New Letters Uncovered

In The War has Begun, I include transcripts from the two letters my family has preserved. One is from Isaac to his wife, Elizabeth, in 1775, and the other from Elizabeth late in 1776. I spent hours thinking about the story between the lines of these letters, and am grateful my cousin found these in the attic of Isaac's house in the 1990s. Fast forward to this past Monday evening. I was having dinner in North Hampton with my uncle and cousin, celebrating getting the book published. My uncle asked to get scans of the two letters so he could share with others in the family. Last night we learned the steamer trunk where the two letters were found also had five more documents!