Monday, June 27, 2016

Jockey Hollow: Where a Forgotten Army Persevered to Win America's Freedom by Rosalie Lauerman

Jockey Hollow was a piece of history I never learned about since I grew up on the west coast.  I lived in Washington, visited Oregon and California and British Columbia and grew to know the history there.  I like show and tell presentations on history and this book is exactly like that.  Ms. Lauerman knows how to get the young folk's attention and she dispenses the facts in a way that makes you cringe.  Not from her writing but because of the words.

The author kindly sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  You can buy a copy on Amazon now.

This is the story of a battle with the weather as well as with the British.  The soldiers were unpaid, had tattered clothing, many had no shoes and they were starving because food couldn't get to them.  They had to build huts out of logs to give them a dry place to sleep.  And it went on for a long time.  Washington got increasingly worried about mutiny, worried about desertion, and pleaded with the government for back wages, better clothes and food.  Unfortunately, the Continental money was useless and even the government was broke.  Despite all these odds, the men fought well and were tough.

It's hard to believe this was worse than Valley Forge, but it was.  The bad weather was persistent, the men were getting ill, and the fighting was getting worse.  It's a good thing the men were hardened or none of them would have survived.  

The author adds little snippets of history in boxes as supporting documents that give life to the story.  She also gives you some biographies at the end that show some of those persecuted soldiers lived a long life afterwards.

We needed the help of the French to win the war but we got it.  This is a piece of ugly history but our citizens made us proud.  OK, Benedict Arnold didn't but he wasn't the normal soldier.

This book gives you photos of how the hollow looks now.  If you're in the area, there are sites to see.  If not, there are references and videos that will show you more.  All in all, it's an invaluable reference source to a piece of war history that is not commonly known.  It's a nice job overall.

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