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General Horatio Gates : a biography

Nelson, Paul David

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ISBN 10: 0807101591 / ISBN 13: 9780807101599
Published by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1976
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Owl & Company Bookshop (Calvello Books) (Oakland, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Medium octavo in tan cloth; xiii, 319 p. : ill., index, bib., ; 24 cm. Uncommon. Biography of a British soldier who fought on the side of the American in the American Revolution. || Contents: Service in colonial America -- Frustration, then a new life -- Controversy over command -- Control of the northern department -- Victory at Saratoga -- Gates, Washington, and the Conway Cabal -- Command in the highlands -- Defeat in the South -- Picking up the pieces -- Newburgh, the last cantonment. Near Fine with owner signature and very minimal external wear and a few small red spots to front board. No DJ (as issued?). Bookseller Inventory # 17484

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Bibliographic Details

Title: General Horatio Gates : a biography

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge

Publication Date: 1976

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title


The career of Horatio Gates presents a paradox in American history. Although he led the patriot army that forced the surrender of British troops under General John Burgoyne at Saratoga in 1777, Gates has been remembered primarily as a schemer against George Washington and a man of little military talent. Gates's frequent clashes with his colleagues-especially Washington-and his intense personal ambition are the reasons most often given for this negative assessment of his career. But, says historian Paul David Nelson, there is little evidence that Gates was involved in an attempt to supplant Washington, and much evidence to suggest that he deserves a better place in American history. Gates was, says the author, a competent and trustworthy military commander but showed greater talent as an organizer and administrator. In the first two years of American strife with England, he helped create one patriot army and almost single-handedly reorganized two others. Although his success in compelling the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga catapulted him to fame, his decline was just as precipitous after his defeat by Cornwallis in the battle at Camden, South Carolina. As Allan Nevins has pointed out, Gates became the "whipping boy for the generals and statesmen of the Revolution, his triumphs forgotten, only his mistakes recalled, the verdict of history rendered only on ex parte evidence." In politics, Gates was one of the earliest and move avid proponents of armed resistance to British "tyranny," and he was at the forefront of those who sought American independence. And he never wavered in his support of the Revolution, even when Britain held out alluring blandishments that caused a few patriots to yield. Based on extensive archival research, General Horatio Gates presents the life of a sometimes paradoxical man, a leader in the struggle for American independence whose life produced a record of contradictions and whose death was marked by obscurity.

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