Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Event: Francis Marion Symposium, October 21-22, 2022, Manning, SC

The 20th annual Francis Marion Symposium will be held October 21-22, 2022 in Manning, SC. Click the following link for more information and registration:

www.francismarionsymposium.com

Next Meeting: September 21, 2022

William L. Kidder will be speaking on Jacob Francis, the subject of his latest book The Revolutionary World of a Free Black Man, Jacob Francis 1754 - 1836.  Larry is the author of six other books on revolutionary and rural New Jersey, including outstanding studies of the Ten Crucial Days.  They are available from the Fort Plain Bookstore, your best source for Revolutionary War volumes.  https://fortplainmuseum.square.site/s/search?q=kidder

We will be returning to the Westhampton Room in the Heilman Dining Center. Regular dining service will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m.

University of Richmond campus map:

THIS IS NOT A ZOOM MEETING, BUT IN-PERSON ONLY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Meeting Notes: July 20, 2022

 


Dr. John L. Seidel presented "'In Quarters Comfortable & Clever': The Continental Artillery in Winter Cantonment, 1778-79." John was originally scheduled for 2020, but Covid interfered. He has just retired as Director, Center for Environment & Society and Lammot du Pont Copeland Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Washington College in Maryland.

In the 1970s, Dr. Seidel, as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, led the archaeological work at Knox's encampment and academy in Pluckemin, NJ. Dr. Seidel conducted the first systematic survey of the site in 1979 and prepared a detailed map of surface features. Later work led to his 1987 PhD dissertation. His presentation described the archaeological methods and findings evidencing an innovative and well-campaigned operation, led by Henry Knox, that protected the Continental Army’s artillery. Wikipedia’s article “Pluckemin Continental Artillery Cantonment Site” reference several of Dr. Seidel’s articles.

Dr. Seidel presented many facts about Knox, a former book seller from Boston and a self-taught pupil of military history, who rose to a general during the American Revolution to become thought of, today, as the father of American artillery, including the industries and logistics needed for support.

Knox recognized the Continental Army’s need for heavy artillery and was responsible for transporting fifty-five cannons, howitzers and mortars and over a ton of lead captured at Fort Ticonderoga to Boston. The newly acquired guns were then moved into position atop Dorchester Heights, forcing the British garrison to evacuate Boston in mid-March and resulted in Knox earning the rank of colonel of the Continental Artillery Regiment.

Dr. Seidel spoke to archaeology as the tool used to develop theories of Pluckemin’s historical reality, as the crossroads location in Somerset County NJ, that Knox chose as the winter hub for training of artillerymen, resupply, and workshops for artisans and armorers. The digs provided artifacts evidencing housing and workshop construction, daily lifestyles (including wine glasses, Chinese export china, and glazing points for glass windows), and manufacturing capabilities supporting the war effort.

Discovery of independent evidence supporting theory is particularly satisfying to archaeological researchers. At the Pluckemin Cantonment dig, Dr. Seibel heard rumors of diagram of Knox's Academy. He was able to track down, and recover, a drawing, made by Continental Army Captain John Lillie in in late 1778 or early 1779, which had been pilfered from the historical records held by the National Parks Service. The drawing confirmed the veracity of the dig's theoretically developed locations, and construction details, of the camp's barracks, Academy, workshops, hospital and materiel storage buildings and was exceptionally important for the project's future interpretations. Of particular interest were discovery of rings sawn from the bases of British bayonets and their modification to fit locking sockets on French-made muskets used by the American and French soldiers.

The facts and perspectives shared by Dr. Seidel were very much appreciated by those in attendance.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Next Meeting: July 20, 2022

Please join us at our next meeting on July 20, 2022 at the University of Richmond. Dr. John L. Seidel will present "'In Quarters Comfortable & Clever': The Continental Artillery in Winter Cantonment, 1778-79." John was originally scheduled for 2020, but Covid interfered.  He has just retired as Director, Center for Environment & Society and Lammot du Pont Copeland Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studieat Washington College in Maryland.  In the 1970s, Dr Seidel led the archaeological work at Knox's encampment and academy in Pluckemin, NJ.  This is a fascinating tale of history and modern technology.

We will again meet at the University of Richmond. This will continue to be an in-person meeting ONLY.

The university will be renovating the Heilman Dining Center during the summer.  So we will have dinner (beginning at 5:30) in the regular dining area, not in the Westhampton room.  Look for tables marked reserved for ARRT-Richmond.

At 6:30, we will move to the Gottwald Center for the Sciences, adjacent to Heilman, meeting in the lecture hall on the lower level.

If you can't join us for dinner, then join us at 6:30 for the meeting.

University of Richmond campus map: 
http://www.richmond.edu/visit/maps/print/campus.pdf

Meeting Notes: May 18, 2022



After a long absence, the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond was able to return to the University of Richmond for the May 18, 2022 in-person meeting. Those in attendance were happy to be back to the fine meeting facilities offered by the University and the opportunity to socialize over dinner before the meeting and program presentation.

Bill Welsch reminded attendees that the newly revised "Revolutionary Richmond" brochure is available for distribution by those wishing to do so. He canvassed attendees about a possible Fall trip to the Town of Yorktown. Arthur Wm. Ritter presented the Treasurer’s Report. Mark Lender (head of the Harry M. Ward American Revolution Round Table of Richmond Book Award Committee) spoke about Westholme Publishing's new military history series, "Small Battles: Military History as Local History" being published in collaboration with distinguished historians. “The series offers a fresh and important new perspective on the story of America’s early conflicts.” The Dan River Chapter of Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution presented the ARRT-R with a commendation certificate from the Order of the Riverboat Flotilla for its continuing education programs.

Al Zambone (DPhil) was the featured speaker. Al is the author of Daniel Morgan, A Revolutionary Life published by Westholme Publishing, a new biography. His presentation focused on placing Morgan in the context of his life experiences, his presence and his ambitions, and how they contributed to his rise from a young penniless wanderer arriving near Winchester in Virginia, to Brigadier General, and Virginia politician. Zambone’s presentation evidenced his deep research into Morgan’s ordinary life, the history of his place in times, and the experiences his life presented him. Zambone explained how Morgan’s ambitions constantly lifted him within colonial society from ruffian, to farmer, to waggoner, to rifleman, to soldier, to military leader, and major general, and how the rifle influenced his life. Morgan is most known for his tactics used to engage Lieutenant-colonel Banastre Tarleton, who was leading a mixed force of cavalry and light infantry known as the British Legion, in pursuit of American patriots as Morgan retreated to an area between present day Charlotte, NC and Greenville, SC following the surrender of Charleston. The retreat was halted near Cowpens, SC because Morgan recognized the battle field advantages of a cow pasture’s topography and support logistics to stand and battle Tarleton. Morgan arranged his riflemen skirmishers, militia, and Continentals into succeeding lines of fire with devastating results. With heavy losses, Tarleton abandoned the battlefield to rejoin Cornwallis's army near Wilmington, NC. Morgan was a hard man who learned throughout his life. He was in his thirties before learning to read and write. His stature and voice enabled him to lead other men. He listened to the counsel of his subordinate officers and he was just plain lucky (if you consider his getting shot in the face, surviving and still being able to lead the many years afterward). Zambone’s book is not only a biography but a trove of facts concerning life in America’s colonial times—a good read.

Next meeting is July 20 with presentation by Dr. John L. Seidel, "'In Quarters Comfortable & Clever': The Continental Artillery in Winter Cantonment, 1778-79"

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

May 18 Meeting Details

Yes, we are returning to the University of Richmond!  This is an in-person meeting and will not be zoomed.

BUT PLEASE NOTE:

The university will be renovating the Heilman Dining Center during the summer.  So we will have dinner (beginning at 5:30) in the regular dining area, not in the Westhampton room.  Look for tables marked reserved for ARRT-Richmond.

At 6:30, we will move to the Gottwald Center for the Sciences, adjacent to Heilman.  We will meet on the lower level.

If you can't join us for dinner, then join us at 6:30 for the meeting.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Next Meeting: May 18, 2022


Please join us at our next meeting on May 18, 2022 at the University of Richmond. Al Zambone will present "Daniel Morgan, A Revolutionary Life."

Yes, you read that correctly--We are returning to the University of Richmond!

Meetings are held in the Westhampton Room, Heilman Dining Center (dining hall--building 410 on the campus map), University of Richmond, at 6:30 p.m. with dinner available for purchase beginning at 5:30 p.m.

University of Richmond campus map: 
http://www.richmond.edu/visit/maps/print/campus.pdf



[The following is from amazon.com]

On January 17, 17
81, at Cowpens, South Carolina, the notorious British cavalry officer Banastre Tarleton and his legion had been destroyed along with the cream of Lord Cornwallis’s troops. The man who planned and executed this stunning American victory was Daniel Morgan. Once a barely literate backcountry laborer, Morgan now stood at the pinnacle of American martial success.

Born in New Jersey in 1736, he left home at seventeen and found himself in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. There he worked in mills and as a teamster, and was recruited for Braddock’s disas­trous expedition to take Fort Duquesne from the French in 1755. When George Washington called for troops to join him at the siege of Boston in 1775, Morgan organized a select group of riflemen and headed north. From that moment on, Morgan’s presence made an immediate impact on the battlefield and on his superiors. Washington soon recognized Morgan’s leadership and tactical abilities. When Morgan’s troops blocked the British retreat at Saratoga in 1777, ensuring an American victory, he received accolades from across the colonies.

In Daniel Morgan: A Revolutionary Life, the first biogra­phy of this iconic figure in forty years, historian Albert Louis Zambone presents Morgan as the quintessential American everyman, who rose through his own dogged determination from poverty and obscurity to become one of the great battlefield commanders in American history. Using social history and other advances in the discipline that had not been available to earlier biographers, the author provides an engrossing portrait of this storied per­sonality of America’s founding era—a common man in uncommon times. 

Please plan on joining us!