Special Programs from the Lehigh Valley American Revolution Round Table
The Lehigh Valley American Revolution Round Table is pleased to announce two special events for 2019. On Wednesday Evening, January 16, 6:30pm (weather permitting), Historian Jeffrey E. Finnegan Sr. will speak in his newest young adult work: My Dear General-The Extraordinary Relationship Between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. This work is a third in Finegan’s “I Knew George Washington Series.” The work divulges the wonderful father & son relationship that developed between Washington and the young French aristocrat during the American Revolution and beyond. The book will be available for sale and to be signed by the author.
For Women’s History Month, the Lehigh Valley American Revolution Round Table is pleased to have the noted historian, author and American Revolutionary War scholar Don N. Hagist deliver a program entitled: “Sober Industrious Women-Wives of British Soldiers and Their Role in the Army” on Wednesday Evening, March 20th, 6:30pm. Using his vast personally researched materials on America’s War for Independence, Hagist, the managing editor of the Journal of the American Revolution, will discuss the topic of when British regiments were deployed in 18th century North America. This talk will explain the rationale for having family members accompany the army, the many diverse roles they played, and the challenges they faced.
Both programs will be held at Easton, Pennsylvania’s Lafayette College’s Center for Global Education located at 53 S. College Drive, First Floor. Free parking is available across from the building. The programs are open to all; free for current members of the LVARRT and a requested $6 donation by others (admission is free if an individual joins at the event(s) where a special premium gift will be presented). Seating is limited.
General George Washington’s army crossed the icy Delaware on Christmas Day 1776 and, over the course of the next 10 days, won two crucial battles of the American Revolution. In the Battle of Trenton, Washington defeated a formidable garrison of Hessian mercenaries before withdrawing. A week later he returned to Trenton to lure British forces south, then executed a daring night march to capture Princeton on January 3. The victories reasserted American control of much of New Jersey and greatly improved the morale and unity of the colonial army and militias.
Washington’s men marched to Morristown, in northern New Jersey, where they established winter quarters, safe from British incursions. The Continental Army basked in its achievements—at Princeton they had defeated a regular British army in the field. Moreover, Washington had shown that he could unite soldiers from all the colonies into an effective national force.
The following year proved difficult. On September 11, 1777, Howe’s army mounted a two-prong attack that successfully outflanked Washington’s troops on the banks of the Brandywine Creek at the Battle of Brandywine. On September 16, the next encounter of the two armies took place at the Battle of the Clouds, which was largely curtailed due to a nor’easter and resulted in General Washington’s northwest movement toward Reading Furnace to protect critical iron works and munitions needed for the revolution. September 21 saw a third encounter at the brutal Paoli Massacre, and a day later the Continental Powder Works and Gun Factory at French Creek were destroyed. Howe outmaneuvered Washington’s army along the Schuylkill River and captured Philadelphia on September 26. After an October 4 battle at Germantown, Washington and his army spent the winter camped at Valley Forge, while Howe and his army occupied Philadelphia.
Despite brutal conditions, Valley Forge marked a milestone in the army’s military experience. In February, 1778, Baron Friedrich von Steuben arrived at Valley Forge, where Washington appointed him unofficial Inspector General of the camp shortly thereafter. Baron von Steuben worked to bring uniformity to the continental soldiers, who had seen combat, but lacked the martial training to pose an effective threat to the British. He developed a system of drill for the entire army and taught the men combat maneuvers that equipped them to rival the well-trained British regulars. Steuben’s previous experience in the Prussian army during the Seven Years’ War prepared him to oversee the military training Washington’s men so desperately needed, and by the end of the encampment at Valley Forge, the army had undergone a significant transformation, from ragtag and wearied recruits to an ordered and disciplined fighting force.
News of a French alliance with the Americans came in May, 1778, a few weeks before the army’s departure from camp in June of the same year. Revitalized, reorganized, and uniformly trained, the army would forge ahead and display their newfound professionalism and discipline at the Battle of Monmouth in June, 1778.
Speakers will include authors, historians, park site representatives such as:
Trenton Larry Kidder Princeton Roger Williams Brandywine Andrew Outton Crossroads of the Kate Knowles Brindle American Revolution Paoli Jim Christ Germantown Carolyn Wallace Ft Mifflin & Ft Mercer Beth Beatty Valley Forge Nancy Loane Monmouth Mike Timpanaro
Save the date – November 14, 2018
Major General Israel Putnam-
Hero of the Revolution
A colorful figure of 18th century America, Israel Putnam (1718-1790) played a key role in both the French & Indian War and the American Revolution. In 1758, he barely escaped from being burned alive by Mohawk warriors. He later commanded a force of 500 men who were shipwrecked off the coast of Cuba. It was Putnam who reportedly gave the command; “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” at the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. This talk will cover Putnam’s personal life and military career, including his service in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Robert Ernest Hubbard is a retired professor from Albertus College in New Haven, Connecticut and an adjunct faculty member in the college’s Master of Fine Arts Writing Program. In addition to this work on Putnam, he is the author of seven books including The Last Servivors and A History of Connecticut’s Deadliest Tornadoes. Professor Hubbard will have copies of his book on Putnam on sale following the program and will sign each copy.
Meeting begins at 6:30 PM with the program to begin at 7 PM.