Skip to main content

tv   Lectures in History The American Revolution 1775-76  CSPAN  August 30, 2021 6:44pm-7:52pm EDT

6:44 pm
up next on american history tv on c-span3, a college class about military engagements during the american revolution. we'll hear about the battle of bunker hill, the american invasion of canada, and the eventual bring dish evacuation of boston. >> okay. everybody, so last class we were talking about the outbreak of the american revolution. we say all of this, tension is building in the spring of 1775 in april, general thomas gauge sends troops in the countryside, and as nightfalls, about 20,000
6:45 pm
americans descend on boston, lay siege to the city, and this war that nobody really wants but has been brewing probably for 12, or 13 years, has started. so, today, we are going to talk with what is called rog militaire. does anybody speak french? am i pronouncing it right? >> probably. >> okay. close enough. this is april 1775, so right after lexington and concord, through the declaration of independence. this is sometimes called the popular uprising phase. okay. and this is the year of the revolution that probably more people supported the war than any other one. why do you suppose that there's so much support for the war this year? any ideas. go ahead, isabel? >> they had not started fighting yet. >> so they had not started fighting yet, and so they don't know what war is going to mean. anybody else, any ideas?
6:46 pm
some of this, this is like fury. i've got some images to show you guys. kind of a neat quote. there's a historian at lsu, and he's the guy who coined this phrase, r rage military. it's philadelphia, not boston, and the sentence says the this phrase rage millitaire as the french call a passion for arms has taken control of the whole continent and the americans are literally fighting mad. they are literally fighting mad. okay. and that why there is so much support for the war. it is like this wild passion, and even the word, rage. and what is rage? what is rage? go ahead, ivan. >> anger. >> so intense anger, and the americans are just angry and all of this stuff is building up and boiling out. and what is sort of interesting during this rage millitaire phase is that the americans are
6:47 pm
on the offensive, the americans are actively taking the war to the british, and what we're going to look at is raj millitaire in the north, the south and specifically in boston. and what we're going to see is what's actually going on here is partly about the war, it's partly about what is the american war aims. okay. and different people have different ideas of what those war aims are. and the final thing that i would say here is, okay, it starts april 1775, lexington and concord, and what is july 1776? what happens in july of 1776? go ahead. >> declaration of independence. >> that is what ends the rage millitaire and the popularity of the war begins to decline. that emotional edge doesn't last. the horrors or war kind of take the edge off that.
6:48 pm
it's hard to maintain a really high emotional peak for extended periods. maybe a bad analogy, but when you meet somebody and fall in love, you are in love with them and you can't stop thinking of them and stuff like that. and at the 20th wedding anniversary, i love you, me too, could you pass the assault. it is not the same thing, okay. the intensity of this first year fades away, and also not all americans support independence. we are going to be looking at somebody today who kind of fits that model. okay. so we're going to start with the north. okay. fighting breaks out at lexington/concord in april, and we talked about that, okay. well, what's significant is fighting spreads to upstate new york. if we look at this map, we can see that this is lake champlain, and at the southern end of lake champlain. there's a large british tomorrow and on may 10th, 1775, a group of
6:49 pm
american militia led by ethan allen, and benedict arnold seizes fort cuyahoga, because it loaded with cannons, loaded with military equipment. this attack on the fort is not authorized by congress. congress is actually just meeting for the first time this day. we'll pick that up later. it's authorized by the massachusetts committee of safety and a bunch of angry guys in vermont. they're taking the war to the english. there's no reason this should happen, but it does, and over the next couple of days, and we'll see a map in a minute that expands on this, the american sees a second fort called crown point, which we really don't need to worry about, and benedict arnold actually raids canada, okay, the americans are taking the war to the champlain valley, they're taking the war to the british. okay. that's rage millitaire. the second place you see is boston, what's going on in boston, we said these 20,000
6:50 pm
americans descend on the city of boston, and the city is under siege. well, this is the governor of massachusetts, and he is also british commander in north america, and his name is thomas gage. gage is an interesting guy, gauge is married to an american. his wife is an american, maybe even an american spy, those of you who are doing female spies. gage's wife is somebody maybe to look at. gage has been in america since the french and indian war. he is somewhat sympathizes with the americans and he believes in liberty but not in the american sense of what liberty is. and throughout the fall of '74 and the spring of 1775, gage keeps asking for reinforcements, and he keeps sending letters to england, and the situation is pretty bad, and we should send more reinforcements. instead of sending gage, yeah, gage reinforcements, the british send three more generals.
6:51 pm
a guy by the name of william howe, and we will talk about howe later today. howe is going to feature prominently in the book "washington's crossing." the guy by the name of henry clinton and a guy named john bourgoin. all of these guys we're going to talk about later in this course. what do crow suppose the significance is that gage asks for reinforcements and britain sends three generals? what's the ramification of that? any ideas? yeah. >> a lot of conflicting views as to what they should do. anybody else? >> emily. >> the british don't think that the manpower is necessary at this point. >> they may not think that the manpower is necessary. >> they may not have a lot of faith in thomas gage. >> right. when you are asking for reinforcements and they send three more generals, that is not a huge vote of support. kind of interestingly,
6:52 pm
the british ship that brings them is "h.m.cerebus," and cerebus is the three-headed monster that guards gates of hell, and some say that is one for each of the generals. so this is boston. you can see boston is on this peninsula sticking out here. you can see this very narrow, called the boston neck, and the americans are here at roxbury, and cambridge, and they've got the british bottled up in boston, and here you can see boston harbor. and here is castle william, and remember that we read that document about the boston riots and the governor was writing from castle william. he has fled. that is where castle williams is. but what is interesting here, and this is going to show the american anger after lexington and concord, and the americans don't just sit here, they don't just try to storm the city, and they could never getting across the boston neck, what the americans do is fortify the peninsula here. this is called the charlestown
6:53 pm
peninsula, and the theory here is that if the americans control the high ground, they could put the artillery up here and potentially shell the city, and make boston harbor untenable. and the americans occupy this land on the night of june 16th. they are supposed to go to hill called bunker hill. bunker hill is the back hill. there is actually two hills. bunker hill is about 40 feet taller than breeds hill, but in the darkness, the men get confused. and they actually go to this forward hill called breeds hill. it's closer to boston. in some ways that's good. in some ways it's bad. over the course of the night, they dig a fortification. okay. and when the british wake up on the morning of june 17th, they could hear some shoveling, and they don't know what is going on, and when they hear the shoveling, they go to find somewhere in the neighborhood 2 to 3,000 americans have dug
6:54 pm
fortifications on bunker hill, on breed's hill technically, and are overlooking the city of boston. okay. and thomas gage decides that this is a threat. you can't let those troops stay overlooking the city, and you have to drive them back. and the man who gage puts in tactical command and the guy who is going to command on the battlefield is sir william howe. so gage in this overall command, and william howe is the tactical command, and he is is the commander on the ground, okay. now, if you are the british and you see these americans up here on the hill, what would you guys do? how would you attack them? would you leave them there? would you attack them? what would you do, any ideas? >> i would swing around to the left and go to bunker hill because it's 40 feet higher. >> okay, so here or here.
6:55 pm
>> and since you control the water, it's very doable, and also cut off retreat route. anybody else? >> use the british navy to encircle the whole peninsula. >> yes, and you could encircle the whole peninsula, and shell the heck out of those guys that would be a pretty good strategy. anybody else? those are all pretty good. that's not what britain decides to do. that's not what sir william howe decides to do. instead, he lines up 2200 british soldiers shoulder to shoulder and sends them straight up the hill. okay. now, it's kind of interesting, british soldiers -- and you can see this here. this is a relatively accurate painting. this is probably the second assault. we can see dead guys here, and i explain why we know this is not the third. they wear belts that crisscross and natural target points. british officers wear a shiny metal disk around the throats called a gorget.
6:56 pm
a gorges is a symbol of authority, they rub them so it would shine in the sun. any bad things about having a shiny metal thing around your throat. >> people's guns know where to shoot. >> yeah, they know where to shoot. same with the crisscrossing belts, and the famous quote from bunker hill is don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes. that's probably actually said. the british march up bunker hill, and the americans fire their first volley at under 150 feet. and the british go down in waves. they're literally blasted down the hill. and they reform, william howe puts them in line and sends them back up a hill a second time. >> would you say this has a very like hacksaw ridgesque effect, like every time they crawl up the ridge, they just get wiped out? >> oh, yeah, and they're crawling over their own guys who
6:57 pm
went down in the first wave. why do you suppose howe adopted this tactic? why not swing around with the navy, why not isolate them, why not shell them, why line up guys and go straight up the hill? yeah. >> because it's always how they have been fighting. >> who are they fighting? >> militia. >> the americans. >> yeah, they're not going to stand up against british regulars. they're way under estimating american ability. they're way overestimating british abilities and the british march up the hill the second time and they get blasted down the hill a second time. the way we know this is this third assault is the third assault howe calls for reinforcements, they bring more soldiers from boston, the third assault he lets them take off their backpacks, the third time howe says main we don't need to carry the equipment up the hill, and the third time, the americans run out of gun powder,
6:58 pm
and the british capture bunker hill. bunker hill is technically a british victory. they seize the charlestown. >> are they going up breeds hill or bunker. >> it's technically the battle of breed's hill, but bunker hill is the hill the americans meant to be on and in the darkness they picked the wrong hill so the british win the battle of breeds hill or bunker hill, and they have occupied the charlestown peninsula. okay. but bunker hill is tremendously important because it has lots of ramifications, and it feeds in with this idea of rage milltaire, we're going to pick that up in a minute. one of the legacies of bunker hill is the casualties. british soldiers take horrible losses at bunker hill, 268 british soldiers are killed, 828 are wounded, out of about 22 or 2,400. casualty rate of somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 to 50%.
6:59 pm
william howe is personally on the field, almost all of william howe's staff is killed. howe miraculously is unhurt, bullets are whizzing around him, they kill everybody around him but never hit him. okay. two british regiments are completely wrecked and the british in boston are horrified by this. you have to think about how small boston is, and boston is filled with wounded guys, dying men, there's no place to set them. it's summer time. it's hot. the british army is horrified by what exactly has happened here, and what's striking and we'll pick this up a little bit later today, the british army in boston is largely inert for the next nine months, they don't try anything again after this. they have just been pommelled by bunker hill, okay. american losses at bunker hill are 115 dead and 305 wounded. okay. a second result of bunker hill is even though the americans
7:00 pm
have lost this hill, the americans are greatly encouraged by this. it shows americans will fight. americans will fight like crazy. as the british ultimately seized the hill and enter this american earth works, american soldiers stay and fight them with rocks, butts of guns, they don't have bayonets, and british officers comment they have never seen soldiers stand up like that. normal european troops would run, these angry americans don't do that. another legacy of bunker hill is tremendously heavy officer casualties. very hard to put precise numbers on anything in any war, especially the american revolution, but it's estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of about 12, 13% of all british officers killed in the american revolutionary war are killed at bunker hill. the revolutionary war are killed bunker hill. americans are targeting these guys, they are shooting them down like crazy. what is interesting, is william
7:01 pm
howe response but actually sorry thomas gauges response he says the americans are now spirited up by a rage and and and suzie as i'm. as great as ever people were possessed of. and you must proceed in earnest, or give the business up. let's look at that quote. the americans are now spirited up by a rage, and an enthusiasm as great as ever people were possessed of. so what's that mean? what is he saying here? >> yes. >> yes he says i never in my entire career, seen anybody so angry, the americans are like unbelievably angry. this next quote is very interesting, you must proceed in earnest or give the business up. what does that mean?
7:02 pm
proceed in earnest or give the business up. >> yes he's telling basically the british that you need to send the whole army, this is full blown war. it's not a full rebellion it is a full rebellion. and if you're not just in the entire empire don't bother. this is wildly out of control. then you go back to that quote the rage militaire has swept the continent. and there's something we are going to be talking about richard montgomery, he's in new york city. we have philadelphia, boston new york city. but this is what richard montgomery says about bunker hill, he says with the enthusiasm of liberty, as capable of doing, the enthusiasm, yes tremendous anger okay. he says every friend of old england witnesses this contest concluded, if last many months she is gone from us forever. what is that last part of the line? every friend of old england
7:03 pm
wished this contest was speedily ended. so what does that mean? what is richard montgomery saying here? >> anybody? ahead >> isabelle. >> but everyone is a supporter of england, and they want to be over fast if not they just gonna give up as. >> okay this war is wildly violent, and at this last long there's never going to be reconciliation, that would be too much blood spilled and it shows you that some people are still hoping for reconciliation. richard montgomery is one of them. so this is rage militaire. the final thing to say here, the final battle of bunker hill, as and they see that thomas gauge has failed. one of the things we're going to see and we talked about how the coming of the revolution, once the work breaks out as
7:04 pm
britain keeps going throughout commanders in america. when you keep changing commanders, it's like you can't pick someone to states means awards are going well. so thomas gauge is sent back to england. and the new commander is william howe. the guy who fought at bunker hill. he's going to show up prominently, and some historians have argued and i don't want to give away too much of that book, that one of the problems with william howe is he is sympathetic to the americans. he's a member of parliament, as and as the other fact is some historians have argued, william how is traumatized by bunker hill. he's gun shy. and after that he will never commit his men into dangerous assault. as probably today we would say he is ptsd. he is scarred by seeing so much
7:05 pm
of his command shut down around him. >> so why is thomas gauge,. >> he's an overall command. the guy in charge is the guy who's messing up. and of those three generals around basically howe is now the commander in north america. makes no sense but that's what happened. so that is as rage militaire. so we've got another man at the stage of rage militaire and this is the invasion of canada. we talked a bit about canada, canada's new to the british empire. treaty of paris, as these 70,000 french canadians there. okay. and we said, parliament has just passed the quebec act to try to appease the french canadians. and the quebec act extended the province of quebec to the ohio river.
7:06 pm
as quebec act, allowed for an appointed assembly and use of french law in the province of quebec. what is interesting, is the americans think the french canadians might want to join them. and maybe the americans would be welcome in canada. what do you think they felt that? and it is? >> yes. >> they're still sour from the french indian war. >> yes maybe the canadians have not you know assimilated into the empire. is there any downside to that thinking? >> yes. >> they might be more interested in france taking them back then you know the uk. >> do you suppose the canadians have great love for americans? you're shaking your head know why? >> i'm suing the french and the
7:07 pm
french and indian more. >> yes the mercantile british. >> the americans pretty much started the war to begin with. >> yes that is part of it. the americans aren't noted for being fond of catholicism. they call the quebec act the intolerable act. so why are the americans going to be welcoming canada, that's an open question, but congress thinks they might be. one of the things that congress is thinking about, and this is where the whole situation in canada gets complicated. there's like 70,000 french canadians here, and these people are called the new subjects. because they are new to england. but after the british conquered canada about 3000 american and english merchants settled in canada. and these people are called the old subjects. their traditional english. and it turns out the old subjects don't like the quebec act. because they don't like that there's no elected assembly, they don't like french law.
7:08 pm
so throughout the spring of 1775, americans are sending spies into canada and canada is sending spies out. saying the new subjects are indifferent. the old subjects would welcome an american invasion. and they believe there is going to be a support for innovation in canada. and they want canada, because if they could take canada they would get the british off their back basically off their back door. this right down champ lane like trump, lane that's why that's the entry port. that's why they have seized the americans tyke on the rogue. congress also believes, and this is an interesting idea, if they could take canada they would show parliament they were serious. maybe parliament would negotiate. and there was some thought that you could use canada as a bargaining chip. we will give you canada back, if you give -- back. something like that.
7:09 pm
once again, the americans invade and while they capture tyke on the road in may, so the time to take candidate would have been june or july or maybe august. but congress doesn't do it. they don't know what to do. congress actually for a while considers inventorying all the captured cannons of tech entourage and then moving them to a safe place so they can give them back to england when the war is over because congress still believes reconciliation is going to happen. but throughout the summer of 75, congress starts to believe that maybe reconciliation won't happen and congress authorizes an invasion of canada, but they don't do it till the end of june. that is late. they're going to take a couple of months for the army to get ready, which means american armies are not going to enter canada until september in october. why is that problematic? logically? as >> canada's bad late fall.
7:10 pm
>> why is that bad? >> it's cold right. winter campaign is not a good decision. but that's what congress does. congress doesn't know what's going on and they can't make up its mind of what to do so they ultimately look at an invasion of canada, but it's interesting they say if the canadian inhabitants don't mind. well you know? you can ask them yes we have a we don't invade? so congress auger authorizes a renovation. and there's gonna be two-pronged to this invasion. one prong led by benedict arnold. who captured tech and rogue a. it's going to lead a army through the wilderness. mainly new england years. and the theory was they would attack quebec city directly. they would emerge out of the wilderness and attack quebec city. this is benedict arnold, this is quebec city in the
7:11 pm
background. and arnold marched quebec turns out to be a night where. winter sets in earlier than they planned. he has about 1100 men. the final 400 have mostly supplies, they turned back. and the rest are trapped without food. part of the problem for arnold, is the americans have a map for the coast of maine in quebec. you're quebec. and the map says this route is about 160 miles. the map is off by about a factor of two to three. it's three or 400 miles. so these guys get caught up here in the rivers of northern maine and parts of southern quebec and winter. and these men starve. these men are like walking scarecrows. this account is heavily
7:12 pm
recorded. lots of arnold men leave diaries. and new england there's have high literacy rate. so you read about these guys accounts that they're eating squirrel tails, they're eating their shoes, cardboard boxes. so people have dogs, and dogs disappear quickly because there is no food. and they are like walking scarecrows. but arnold and 600 men take it and they make it to a place called port levy. and they call upon the city of quebec to surrender. the british laugh at them. the 600 scarecrows, you know they tell the city to surrender they don't do it. but arnold does make it to quebec. historians at the time, or writers at the time, compare this to high-levels march with elephants. >> this is well-documented and it's benedict arnold, and
7:13 pm
benedict arnold was an interesting figure he's a hero in a trader at the same time. but the guy i want to focus on is the man who actually leads the main army in canada and nobody remembers him today and his name is richard montgomery. and montgomery's job was to take the city of montreal. he was supposed to proceed up lake trump lane, he was forced to face the british army. and the theory was if montgomery attack montreal, the british would put all their force against him and quebec would fall without resistance. they thought there was nothing left in quebec. they were going to get the two major cities in canada simultaneously. what's interesting about montgomery, and i need a dissertation on him. i told you guys earlier, i told my wife if we ever had a son we would name him richard montgomery gabriel. but that never happened. but montgomery is an
7:14 pm
interesting guy. he shows us something about the coming of the revolution. he shows us something about conspiracy. and also he shall say something about rage militaire. he is 37 years old, born in ireland, and he's a former british hire the british officer. it's kind of interesting, three very high ranking american general officers from the revolution, our former british soldiers. and they all know each other seemingly so. once a guy named charles lee, talk about him later. but richard montgomery enters the army when he is 18 years old. he sees extensive service in north america. he's it tyke entourage. he's at havana in the caribbean, and he catches a very bad case of yellow fever or malaria in the caribbean. as charles lee, we'll talk about him later.
7:15 pm
richard montgomery enters the army when he's 18 years old. he's a ticondaroga. catches yellow fever in the caribbean. he fights in pontiac's rebellion. and on the way to fight pontiac's indians, richard montgomery's ship runs aground on the hudson river and meets a family called the livingstons. meets their eldest daughter. she remembers when his regiment comes back, he's not there and he's going to marry her at a future point. following service in america, montgomery goes back to england and seemingly sympathizes with the american position. he seems to be a political liberal for his time and montgomery grows disillusioned partly because he can't get promoted. this is something to bring up a little bit. at this point in history,
7:16 pm
british officers are promoted by a purchase service. if you have enough money, you can buy yourself a commission. a second lieutenant is 500 pounds, the first lieutenant is 800 pounds. a majority is 2,600 pounds. montgomery's dad buys him a commission and he earns his way up and he serves as a captain. but multiple times after the french and indian war, montgomery gets passed over. he never can get promoted and he gets disgusted and he comes to america. he writes a very interesting letter to his cousin and he says i cast my eyes on america where my pride and poverty will be much more acceptable. he's pretty wealthy. but by british standards, he's pretty poor. he settles near new york city. in 1772, he marries the eldest daughter of this wealthy american family called the
7:17 pm
livingstons. montgomery sees the coming of the american revolution. he sees the boston tea party. the thing that seems to politicize him is the -- they cause him to enter the american service. he's a member of the new york provincial congress. and in june 1775 because of his military background, congress makes him a general. congress picks him to be a general. and montgomery's comments are pretty interesting. listen to the last line and think about what we talked about in this class. the congress having done me the honor of electing me a brigadier general in their service is an event which must put an end for a while, perhaps forever, to the
7:18 pm
quiet scheme of life i have prescribed for myself. listen to this line, he says, for though entirely unexpected and undesired by me, the will of an oppressed people compelled to choose between liberty and slavery must be obeyed. the will of an oppressed people pressed to choose between liberty and slavery, must be obeyed. freedom. he believes in the conspiracy. and montgomery is put in command of the invasion of canada. he's the number two officer, the number one officer gets ill and montgomery takes over. and montgomery leads the army into canada.
7:19 pm
just north of the current day american border, there's a british fort at a place called st. john's. and they lay siege for 43 days. if you look at this map, this is a map drawn by the british commander of st. john's. look at what he calls, thick swampy woods. not a great place you would want to spend 43 days in october. it rains incessantly and he becomes more and more depressed. he calls his army drowned rats crawling through the swamp. but after 43 days, st. john surrenders. and they capture almost the entire british army and he's just destroyed it. montgomery proceeds on and occupies montreal. montreal surrenders without firing a shot. montgomery has taken the eastern part of -- the western part of
7:20 pm
canada and he's destroyed the british army in canada. the other thing that is left is québec city and about 70 regulars. the guys holed up in québec city facing arnold. and montgomery, throughout this entire period writes letters to his wife and talks about being home stick and how he has moral qualms against fighting the british army because he was a british officer for 15 years. and his great fear is he's going to have to fight his old regiment. he hears word that his regiment is being deployed to america and writes something like, heaven save me from having to fight my old regiment. i feel more closer to the people of the 17th regimen than i do with my own family. i hope i don't have to fight
7:21 pm
these guys. and montgomery, horribly home sick advances to québec city. he meets arnold outside of québec and the americans lay siege to québec. the americans have about 900 men. montgomery left about 500 behind in montreal. he works his way down to québec city. montgomery lays siege to québec for about a month. he tries to shell the city. québec is a walled city. the american artillery is so light, the cannonballs bounce off of them.
7:22 pm
montgomery sends letters telling the british governor he should surrender. he sends the messages back unopened. montgomery who outranks arnold faces a huge problem and that's on january 1st, most of arnold's arm enlistments expires and are going to go home on january 1st. richard montgomery decides on the night of december 31st, 1775, to try to storm the city of québec. the midst of a roaring blizzard, wild blizzard, the american army is demolished. richard montgomery is killed almost immediately. benedict arnold is seriously wounded and the american army in canada is shattered. what's interesting here, this is where we're going to take a quick aside, is montgomery becomes the great -- yes.
7:23 pm
go ahead, brook. >> did they really only go in because all of their -- it was all going to expire? >> they were going to go home. yeah, that's why they attack. because if we wait until january 1st, half the army is going home? >> do you think they had any chance -- >> that's a debatable question. montgomery believes he has a fighting shot because he thinks the blizzard is going to hide them. i didn't work. and there's very wild accounts. montgomery is literally leading the attack. there's these barricades. montgomery grabs an ax and hacking his way through. he's the first guy killed. he really wants to go home. he really does. montgomery becomes the first martyr of the revolution, or at least the first major martyr. richard montgomery is the first and highest ranking american
7:24 pm
officer killed in the revolution. highest american officer killed in the revolution, highest ranked. and kind of an odd irony on the day richard montgomery is killed, his overall commander who is back in albany writes him a letter and says, there's a rumor you've been killed. i hope that's not true. and congress just made you a major general. congratulations. as he's writing that letter, montgomery is being killed. what's interesting, if you would take the early republic class next semester, we'll talk about this a little more, he becomes a major hero. this is a famous painting done
7:25 pm
in 1786. if you would look, you could put up all of these other paintings, montgomery -- if you compare it to a lot of renaissance paintings it looks like christ being taken down from the cross. richard montgomery is like almost a deity. the first monument that was paid for was of richard montgomery in new york city at a place called st. paul's chapel. 43 years later, they dig his body up to new york city and bury him in new york city. this is richard montgomery. thomas payne will write for an appeal of independence using montgomery's ghost to argue for independence. montgomery becomes this great hero. what is interesting is he doesn't want independence. we saw that one letter he wrote where he said we hope, you know,
7:26 pm
this thing ends quickly or england is through with us quickly. about two weeks before richard montgomery is killed, he writes a letter to his brother-in-law who is a member of congress and he says, has the americans approached any foreign powers and have they set a date beyond which reconciliation is impossible? he never gets answered because he gets killed. and he has an inte melancholyre necessity. i hope we never have to adopt a position of independence. i hope they don't force us to do. that, so richard montgomery dies from neglect. they want to get the rights back and be left alone. and the american army persists in canada until the spring, but the american army in canada's finish. we will talk about that a little bit more next week. horrible epidemic. it destroys what is left of it. but the invasion of canada fails. canada will become the 14th colony, not a bargaining chip. they try like crazy. but it does not happen. now i ask you guys to read a document. this translation of this
7:27 pm
british report on who collaborated. if anybody had the time to do that, throughout the documents called the journal of francois gabriel and jenkin williams, it keeps talking about these people called the boston a. who's the boston a? does anybody know? yeah. anybody? you are basically right. >> i think it's americans in -- americans in general. >> yes, americans in general. it's funny because people think all americans are from boston. -- because of the nasal accent, it's not be oh, it's be a, boston. who are the habitats? anybody pick that up? >> there are the french. >> yeah they're the french canadians. the common people and the farmers.
7:28 pm
those are the people if you don't know will help the americans are not. that is what everything will ultimately ride on. from that document, the francois baby journal, did you see anyways the french canadians helped americans? did anybody see it? that's questionable to that i passed on. >> they protect -- from what i read, there were three spies that stayed. there was a notice sent to have them removed, and then the general that was supposed to remove them told a friend of his that they needed to get them out. >> so they had american spies coming out of canada. anything else? >> they smuggled -- >> they armed then. they provided them food. anybody else? anything they did? stand guard? some of them build signal fires. some of them fight with the
7:29 pm
americans? did anybody see anything why the americans aren't welcome in canada? one or two things? you have to read it fairly carefully? nobody? it says the americans by provisions. they don't give them cash. they give them iowa use. what's the matter with doing that? why? >> you can't pay someone if they're dead. anything else? what's bad about ious? >> they don't get it. they never get. it >> they don't get it. they assume the army will stay in canada -- would if that doesn't happen? those ious are worthless. why do you suppose the americans in canada don't just pay for cash? why not just give the french canadians gold coins and stuff? might give them paper ious? >> they don't have any hard
7:30 pm
currency. >> they don't have any. they can barely feed themselves. as the american army stays in canada begin to requisition supplies, they begin to take things because they're starving to death. but that does not build a lot of confidence among the french canadians. the british keep saying if these guys can't see themselves and they're taking your food, what do you suppose the odds aren't they're going to protect you or treat you well if they become part of the united states? so the american invasion in canada is doomed. probably always was doomed, but it is definitely over. but there is a silver lining, like poor richard montgomery in all these other guys who got smallpox. they don't die in vain, because this is a major diversion from the british. for the rest of the war british will be forced to send somewhere in the neighborhood of as many as 12,000 troops to canada. to pre-conquer it. they're going to have to permanently keep four to 6000 troops to keep canada loyal. or at least under control. and by diverting troops to
7:31 pm
canada, there's less troops to fight in the lower 13 colonies. incense the invasion of candidate works out okay for the americans but it's a high loss. so that is rage militaire in the north. fighting is also spreading to the south talk about rage militaire boston new york in canada so virginia virginia is a royal colony. largest royal colony and the royal governor of virginia is a man by the name of lord doug moore. as early as may 1775, right after lexington concord, he seizes all the gunpowder held at the capitol in colonial williamsburg. has anybody have been there? see that powder magazine they see is all the gunpowder there because he doesn't want the american rebels to get it. throughout the summer of 75 he
7:32 pm
fights these skirmishes with america militia. partly led by a guy named patrick henry. give me liberty or give me death. the other thing that done more does, i will pick this up later in the class, in november, he issues a proclamation and he tells slaves any slave who enters british area and takes up arms will be set free. so what's done more is doing, he's creating a force made up of a handful of british regulars, loyalists and slaves. and by the fall of 1775, he has about 1200 of these people in the area around norfolk virginia. done more flees to a british warship. and we saw a british authority collapsed in new jersey in the benjamin franklin book. british authority in new york collapses. done more is on a british
7:33 pm
warship, so in december done more land his combined force of about 1200 people in a place called great bridge. and they try to defeat and american militia force their. and the americans defeat doug moore's force at great bridge. so the battle of great bridge is an american victory that secures virginia for the columnists cause. that's in the same time when montgomery is in canada, they are fighting in virginia. just wrapped and more up, he hangs around us off the coast, and he burned the city of norfolk to the ground. some will argue that very much alienates british sympathies in virginia, because if he will burn a city will be burned other cities? will the british foreign anything? talk about how do you win this war? how do you make civilians like
7:34 pm
you. how do you promote the loyalist population. maybe burning cities is not the answer. very soon after burning norfolk, disease breaks out on done more ships, the ships gather, and done more goes to florida. leader he'll go to stanton island. but what is tragic, the slaves the slaves who had fled their taken to the west indies and sold a slaves. the british did not freedom, they just move them from virginia to barbados. so virginia has been secured. the same situation is happening in north carolina. there is a royal governor in north carolina who has fled to a worship. this is a man by the name of josé martin. and he issues a very bombastic old proclamation, and i want to read you part of this and he
7:35 pm
issues this proclamation in january of 1776. he says a most airing hoard in an unnatural's province is wide based and insidious artifice's of certain treacherous and wicked designing men. then they called on all males to join the british cause. he says, all such rebels who will not join the royal banners, rebels and traders their lives and properties will be forfeited. if you don't join we will kill you and we will take your property. done more's but not done more but sorry martin's proclamation, very much resonates in north carolina. we talked about north carolina and the regulator movement. there is lots of different ethnic groups in rural north
7:36 pm
carolina. there's scotts, scotts an irish german highland. and there are 1500 scotts who are hall oil lists, and they begin to march towards the coast. there is news that a british naval squadron is going to north carolina. and if they could beat these columnist, maybe they could take north carolina. on february 27 1776, another battle is fought. this one is called the battle of wars creek bridge. that's february 27th, 1776. this is this bridge it's over what the americans did is they took clanking off the bridge and they grease them so the americans are on this side of the bridge with guns, and there's about 1500 loyalists on the other side.
7:37 pm
and they are carrying broadsword's with bagpipes. they are crying out ching king george, and they tried to run across the bridge under fire so what do you think their odds are? bad that's an understatement. they got slaughtered. the americans laid the blanking down, counterattack and within a couple of days about 40 of these people have been killed and over 800 were captured. that's in north carolina is now secured for the patriot cause. virginia has been secured at great bridge, and north carolina is secured at moore's creek bridge. the patriots are taking over. we've got a final case, this one in south carolina. they have another royal governor, a man by the name of william campbell. what and he flees to a british warship. that's what british governors do they'll flee.
7:38 pm
campbell has heard, that a naval force eventually will come to charleston, because charleston is a major southern city. so the best port it's a best port south of york. it's a rich area. lots of slays, rice, indigo. in early june, this british naval squadron arrives off the coast of charleston. this naval squadron was supposed to go to north carolina but they were delayed by storms. by the time they arrive at north carolina in march, they find out about moore's creek bridge. north carolina has been lost legal to south carolina. on june 28th, 1776 the british navy attacks charleston in what is called the battle of sullivan's island. that's what this would be. anybody ever been to charleston? what do you think of charleston?
7:39 pm
>> it's very old, very historic okay. a pretty nice place actually. the british navy has a disaster. the americans are firing very very accurately they shoot the heck out of two british warships. a third one gets stuck and they are forced to burn it, because they are afraid that the americans will capture it. and the british are repelled at charleston. south carolina is now secured for the columnist cause. the three major southern colonies have all been secured. the royal governor of georgia fleas. george is now secured. and the americans have secured the deep south. this is a very famous painting of the battle of sullivan's island. this man is a very famous soldier for a very famous story, this is called this forte is made out of paul mental logs, and they are filled with sand.
7:40 pm
and leader the a they recovered cannonballs. about 300 of them. and they're freed their flag was down they might think they've surrendered. so he reattach is the flagpole. it's very famous, if and about 20 different versions of sergeant jasper at sullivan's island. and two years later, he tries this again and he gets killed. i guess he pressed his lock. the whole story here of rage militaire in the south, is the deep south is being secured for the patriot cause. virginia, north carolina, south carolina and georgia. there will be no more fighting until 1778 in the carolinas. that means these colonies contribute, support troops and resources to the fight in the north. it means these governments can coalesce. it means these people can have
7:41 pm
loyalists and keep him in place. >> is there a battle in georgia? >> georgia's only settled in the mid 17 thirties. small population. with everything else falling apart in the south, the governor literally fleece. actually he escapes and goes on a warship. so georgia rolls over they don't even fight. so that is rage militaire in the south. we have one last topic in that's boston. the siege of boston. let's go back to our first pitcher here. boston has been underseas since bunker hill. the americans can't get in, the british can't get out. george washington shows up immediately after bunker hill, he assumes command of this 20,000 men force and he turns it into the continental army. washington meets all these guys who are nailing blunders, he's
7:42 pm
never seen any before. they have black soldiers. but washington doesn't have the strength to get in the city, and the british don't have the strength to get out. for the next nine months boston remains under siege. the british out a tough time provisioning themselves. there's not enough food in boston. it has to be brought in from overseas. there's lots of little battles for livestock, sheep stuff like that. what the americans need is they need cannons. cannons that can last the british of boston. and the americans remember, they have cannons at fort take on the rogue of. there's about 60 very big heavy cannons at tyke on the aga. in the winter of 1776, george washington since a man named
7:43 pm
henry knox who will be the chief of his artillery. and they load these 60 heavy cannons onto sleds, driven by oxen and they drag them from lake sham plane to boston. about 200 miles. takes about eight weeks. one of the forgotten events of the american revolution revolution, but they're getting these big heavy cannons the continental army. and knocks arrives back in boston sometime in late february or early march and that gives washington an idea. so let's go back to our first map. so can't do anything with the charleston peninsula, the british are occupying it. but you've got this place called dorchester heights. it overlooks boston harbour, the city and it's got high ground. it looks a lot like reads hill.
7:44 pm
in early march, 1776 george washington puts his heavy artillery on dorchester heights. making boston untenable. american artillery can sink any ship in the boston harbour, and they can shell the city. so william howe wakes up and finds heavy american cannons overlooking the city. and william howe could fight. he could land troops here, he could like them up and bunker hill all over again. but william howe has lost his stomach for bloody linear combat. and what he does, is on st. patrick's day of 1776, william howe evacuate boston. british army lease boston and goes to halifax nova scotia.
7:45 pm
when the british leave, about 1000 loyalists go with them. and you will see something, every time british people like the british to leave an area the loyalist follow them. they don't want to be left behind. that's not a wonderful prospect. to be left behind. the other thing it's interesting about the evacuation is that, and people don't remember it, is that for all practical purposes the war in new england is over there is almost no major fighting in new england at this point. there's periodic coastal rates. taking newport rhode islands, and americans lay siege. the american revolution in new england has ended. the world -- the war will go on another seven years, but the fighting new england is pretty much over. the other thing that is kind of interesting here that brings it to a close.
7:46 pm
nobody remembers this, but it is factually correct. the british army leaves boston, aside from places in the great lakes, like detroit, 14 i aggregate, there are no more british soldiers in the 13 colonies. the americans have driven the british army out. it looks like the americans when the revolution. there is no more british military presence south of quebec and north of st. augustine, florida. the british are gone. yeah american rebellion seemingly has succeeded. rotash mueller terror has been a very big year. the americans are fighting mad and will not take it anymore. so we will close it here. any questions for anybody? any concerns? >> whenever there are evacuating the city, the americans just let them go? >> yeah, there is some thought of trying to sink them, but they figure it's better to just
7:47 pm
let them be gone. it's interesting when the americans say they find a british trash boston. they beat the heck out of boston. they burn everything in sight for firewood. they take the shingles, the fences are gone. the british have just trashed -- that's not surprising. the british did not like boston. boston is the home of the massacre and the tea party. the british a reliever revenge full of boston. >> i what is the result for the people that were patriots? >> that's a heck of a question. what do you suppose the result would be? >> i think i read somewhere that this meet them distrust britain even more. if they had freed the slaves, would they have been able to reconcile? >> i goes back to the question we ask, it makes lots of sense to free slaves and asked them to fight their masters. it is not going to make slave holders happy, because if you
7:48 pm
free all stays -- if you free some slaves will you free all slaves? what if they don't help you but you are loyal? it creates a lot -- of done more is not thinking big and long term. he needs -- slaves or the way to do it. james? >> the virginia governor. he said he burnt -- a day after he was defeated -- >> it's january 1st. about three weeks later. >> when he retreated, did he burn that city down? >> he loses about 300 men. he's got about 1200. they flee the ships. the ships just say off stay offshore. early on in the morning of january 1st they start to shovel the city. they burn most of the city. then they leave. it is sort of ironic is norfolk has strong trade ties with the
7:49 pm
british empire. but they're loyalists. they burn a loyalist city. they leave about four houses and the americans come in and burn those. literally burned to the ground. norfolk is burned to the ground. anybody else? >> is that when they cut down the liberty trade? >> yes. anyone else here? >> okay, i will see you guys next class, and i hope you've got something out of it. we will see you next time. i will see you guys next class. home you got something out of it.
7:50 pm
7:51 pm
william winds university professor craig bruce smith, gives a lecture on american history tv about the american revolution, and british and continental and military forces and their differences and demographics, organization and the officer selection process. >> welcome, everyone to another exciting adventure in the history of war. today we've gotten to the continental army. welcome to all of you and welcome to many of our new students watching from who knows where. today we're going to focus on the continental army. this is, we are situating very much in the broad history of war and the military, and the continental army in a lot of ways different

22 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on