The best histories are the stories of specific people and why they did what they did. In my writing, I strive to revive the stories of several people that many historians might only include as flavoring in their writings rather than a main course. Names like Isaac Frye, Ezekiel Goodale, William Adrian Hawkins, and Will Burton
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:
Do the math: In the Battle of Freeman's Farm, the Americans fired upwards of 60,000 bullets and maybe 1,000 found an enemy soldier. The British fired about the same number and only hit half as many Americans.
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…
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.
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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