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"The Invasion of Virginia 1781 (Hardback)" Topic

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474 hits since 13 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 8:14 p.m. PST

"The American War for Independence was fought in nearly every colony, but some colonies witnessed far more conflict than others. In the first half of the war, the bulk of military operations were concentrated in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. A shift in British strategy southward after the Battle of Monmouth in 1778 triggered numerous military engagements in 1779 and 1780 in Georgia and the Carolinas.

Surprisingly, Virginia, the largest of the original thirteen colonies, saw relatively little fighting for the first six years of the Revolutionary War. This changed in 1781 when British and American forces converged on Virginia. The war's arrival did not result from one particular decision or event, but rather, a series of incidents and battles beginning in the fall of 1780 at Kings Mountain.

Benedict Arnold's sudden appearance in Virginia in early 1781 with 1,600 seasoned British troops and his successful raid up the James River to Richmond and subsequent occupation of Portsmouth, demonstrated Virginia's vulnerability to attack and the possibility that the colonies could be divided and subdued piecemeal, a strategy Britain had attempted to deploy several times earlier in the war.

British General Henry Clinton's decision to reinforce Arnold in Virginia expanded Britain's hold on the colony while events in North Carolina, including the battle of Guilford Court House, led British General Charles Cornwallis to conclude that Virginia was the key to subduing the entire South. As a result, Cornwallis marched his army north in May 1781 to assume command of what was now a very powerful British force of over 7,000 troops. The war had returned to Virginia with a vengeance, and how it did so and what happened as a result is the focus of the lat- est volume in the Journal of the American Revolution Books series, The Invasion of Virginia 1781"


See here



historygamer14 Nov 2017 10:08 a.m. PST

My friend Mike wrote a good book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bill N14 Nov 2017 8:15 p.m. PST

I am hoping this comment is directed towards the reviewer rather than the author. Benedict Arnold's appearance was not sudden. In 1779 Matthews raided Virginia around Hampton Roads. Leslie did the same in 1780. Arnold's invasion differed from these because he penetrated into central Virginia and because he didn't leave once the raid was done, but instead was reinforced with Phillips and then Cornwallis.

historygamer15 Nov 2017 5:01 a.m. PST

What comment?

I think the above is a blurb, and not from the book. I do believe Arnold's appearance surprised the state of VA, who was clearly not ready for him and his raid.

I enjoyed reading this book, and yes, Mike is a friend.

Bill N15 Nov 2017 7:43 a.m. PST

There is a difference between being "unprepared" and being surprised. Having waded through late war correspondence it is my belief that Virginia understood the risk of another invasion. They just lacked the resources to prepare for an invasion and still meet other commitments.

Charleston and Waxhaws saw Virginia's continental line captured or destroyed. Camden saw the destruction of much of Virginia's state troops. Substantial numbers of Virginia militia had been called up in 1779 and 1780 for service in either Virginia or the Carolinas. Virginia was fighting on the western frontier. It was becoming harder to raise and equip troops. Virginia's economy was severely impacted by the 1779 raid. At the same time that Arnold was preparing to attack Virginia, Steuben was trying to raise a force of Virginia continentals to reinforce Greene in the Carolina's. As I recall Steuben even pushed for Virginia to demobilize militia in Tidewater right before Arnold arrived to free up resources that could be used to raise continentals.

historygamer15 Nov 2017 8:40 a.m. PST

I think you'll enjoy the book then. :-)

Bill N15 Nov 2017 2:37 p.m. PST

I hope so.

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