Prepare to experience the revolutionary adventure of a lifetime! From Bunker Hill through the New York/New Jersey campaigns; Saratoga to Valley Forge; Monmouth to Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Court House and eventually Yorktown you'll endure all the hardships and celebrate ultimate victory through a narrative so engaging that the only way you could experience the revolution more vividly is to have been there in person. But the story doesn't end when the shooting stops -- Charles Royal and his beloved Caitlin must journey from her beautiful Maryland plantation to Boston to discover the fate of Charles's family that was scattered by the war and to fight for the Royal family's fortune and honor. Fast-paced action, hilarious characters and a love that an entire revolution could not deny.
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Muddy roads and cold weather proved a blessing for the disheveled Americans as they retreated through New Jersey - they slowed Cornwallis's pursuit to a near halt. The closest he came to "bagging the fox" came on December 1st at New Brunswick, but Washington's sawyers cut down the timbers supporting the bridge over the Raritan River. As the structure collapsed into the churning, icy waters, Cornwallis could only stand fuming on the other bank while his prey slipped away.
Howe merged his main force with Cornwallis and they pressed ahead. Beyond Trenton, Colonel Glover's seamen once again saved the day, ferrying Washington and all his men and horses across the ice-choked Delaware River to the Pennsylvania shore, leaving no boats behind for the British pursuit.
On December 14th, with the weather turning numbingly cold and snow falling, General Howe broke off the advance and ordered his troops into winter quarters. As he declared in a dispatch to London: No army ever campaigned in the winter. Howe left with the bulk of his command to the comforts of New York City and the waiting arms of his mistress, Mrs. Betsy Loring. General Cornwallis anxiously anticipated his return home to England and the bedside of his beloved and ailing wife.
To the Hessians went the honor of establishing a string of outposts to hold the Americans in check until springtime when a new campaign would quickly and decisively crush the last vestige of resistance to the King's authority.
Washington's situation was even more desperate than Howe imagined. His 3,000 disconsolate, poorly-trained, ill-equiped, unpaid and starving troops began to desert in large numbers. Or froze to death at their posts. And to make matters worse, by December 31st the enlistments of half the men remaining would run out and for all practical purposes the American Army under Washington would dissolve. Then Howe would not even have to launch a springtime offensive - the fight for independence would be lost.
Across the bleak Delaware the enemy's well provisioned force numbered over 10,000 strong.
For the morale of his troops and to keep alive the flickering hope of the people that the Cause could yet be saved, Washington decided to risk all on a surprise attack against the Hessians at Trenton. Not a single one of his staff officers supported the idea. The odds against success were incalculable. But Washington knew what the others failed to grasp; that the fate of the Revolution itself hung in the balance.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
"Colonel Marion, as the officer in charge of the American prisoners I wish to express my heartfelt thanks on behalf of myself and all the men for your courageous raid today. We owe you our freedom, our lives, and our undying gratitude."
"You're welcome, Major," replied Marion, wincing as he gingerly pulled his boot back on.
"And sir, I would request that I be allowed to remain and serve under you. I have no army to return to and I wish with all my heart to continue the fight."
Marion eyed this stranger with the odd accent from top to bottom. He was not generally quick to accept new volunteers. One spy could mean doom for him and his band. But Marion liked what he saw.
"Welcome aboard Major..."
"Charles Royal, sir, late of the Maryland Continentals."
"Royal! Sweet Mother of Jesus!" yelled an excited voice. The man Charles and everyone else had assumed was the leader jumped off his horse and lifted Charles right off the ground, shaking him about helplessly engulfed in a massive bear hug.
Finally dropping the startled Charles to his feet, the man gave the reason for the huge grin that lit up his face. "Charles! It's me! Captain Rake Serling, late of the 12th Maryland Continental Dragoons." Charles's jaw fell open as Rake's beefy arm engulfed his shoulders and he told Marion, "Colonel, this man is my brother!"
At Oakmont Plantation, Caitlin sat alone in her bedroom with the door closed. Outside a cold night wind had crept in, warning of a heavy rain. The curtains blew, but Caitlin did not rise from her writing desk to shutter the windows. By the shadowy light of a single candle she wrote two letters in a shaken hand. They were brief and nearly identical. She folded them slowly and affixed the sealing wax in silence. She addressed them to the last known addresses she had. On one she wrote the name of her husband, Major Charles Royal. On the other, Captain Randolph Serling.
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Book Description Chestnut Hill Pr, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0964666405
Book Description Chestnut Hill Pr, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0964666405