The Campaign That Won America Author:Burke Davis The story of the campaign that won American independence is fully told in this splendidly dramatic book. Though it moves swiftly and easily, with the vitality and suspense of good fiction, the narrative is based upon hundreds of eye-witness accounts-diaries, letters, journals and memoirs-as well as official records. — It is the story of how the r... more »agged Continental Army, in despair after almost six years of hunger and defeat, joined with its new French allies in a lightning stroke that brought victory within two months. We witness: Washington's cunning as he slips away from the British in fortified New York, and his march 500 miles southward with Rochambeau and the combined army to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown, Va.; Lafayette, together with a brilliant if undisciplined complement of American backwoods militia, holding Cornwallis at bay; and the coming of a huge French fleet to take command of the sea, drive off the English fleet in a remarkable battle, and make American triumph inevitable.
The narrative is richly detailed, alive with vivid personalities: Washington as the French and his own troops saw him in moments of candor-now despairing, now raging, playing ball with his officers, dancing with joy at good news from the French fleet, pardoning prisoners but hanging deserters after his victory; Papa Rochambeau, the gracious veteran where Washington was concerned, but to his officers an irritable and officious bear; the incredible Lafayette, a Major General at 23, unsure of his own capacities, but mature beyond his years,
a key factor in the victory; the neurotic, hesitant, bumbling Sir Henry Clinton, busy with his pretty mistress in New York, blind to the corruption of his staff, squabbling with Cornwallis while the Colonies are frittered away; and the proud, stubborn, short-sighted Cornwallis, politically powerful, dealing directly with London headquarters rather than with Clinton.
By turns humorous and tragic, always gripping, this brilliant account captures the spirit and sensations of the decisive months of our violent birth as a nation.« less