by Michael Schellhammer
Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012. Pp. viii, 226.
Illus., maps, notes, biblio., index. $40.00 paper. ISBN: 0786468076
An account of what might be termed “Washington’s ‘Forgotten Campaign’.
Histories of the Revolutionary War pay little attention to the operations of George Washington and his army in 1779. In this volume, former army officer and journalist Schellhammer, focuses on the events of that year in the Hudson Valley and environs of New York City, the principal British base. He argues, effectively, that this was one of Washington’s most important campaigns of the war, as the British once more made a major attempt to secure control of the Hudson Valley and split New England off from the rest of the colonies. In a campaign characterized by notable Patriot victories at Stoney Point and Paulus Hook, as well as British raids on Connecticut and up the Hudson, and the treason of Benedict Arnold, Washington managed to keep the British pent up in New York, a major victory, in that holding the city tied down considerable enemy resources. This ended the last British effort to win the war in the North, confirming the need for a Southern strategy that would eventually also fail. This is a well written, very readable work. In addition to discussing the strategies and sweep of events, Schellhammer provides interesting detail on the organization, equipment, and tactics of both armies, as well as profiles of numerous soldiers, including not only the famous ones, such as Anthony Wayne or the Marquis de Lafayette, but also many relatively minor figures who played notable roles.
George Washington and the Final British Campaign for the Hudson River
will prove valuable reading for anyone interested the American Revolution.