Read the Revolution

May 6, 2014

Fighting Infection

During the War of Independence, soldiers in the Continental Army and state militias were far more likely to succumb to disease than to the bullets or bayonets of their foes. Over the course of eight years, deadly scourges regularly threatened the lives of General Washington's men. In Jeanne E. Abrams' book, Revolutionary Medicine, we learn how Washington's efforts to prevent a smallpox outbreak amongst his troops early in the conflict represent one of the first successful American public health initiatives.

Read more
April 22, 2014

Following the Drum

The image of Revolutionary War soldiers suffering in winter encampments remains strong in our national consciousness. Largely forgotten in these accounts and images are "camp followers"—the civilians who accompanied General Washington's army and shared in its struggles. In Nancy K. Loane's book, Following the Drum, she focuses on female camp followers during the American Revolution: among them nurses, cooks, laundresses, and even ladies of privilege, like Lucy Knox.

Read more
April 8, 2014

A Sincere Passion for Liberty

In April 1775 news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord spread across the colonies, reaching Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, a confederation of local militias Allen commanded. Their subsequent capture of Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point became the stuff of legend, as did the life of its enigmatic leader. In William Sterne Randall’s biography, Ethan Allen: His Life and Times, the author sheds new light on this lesser-known hero, beginning with the launch of his critical mission.

Read more