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"Dark violence and atrocities of the Revolutionary War" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2019 9:36 p.m. PST

"Holger Hoock's grimly detailed "history of violence" in the conflict between Great Britain and its rebellious colonies across the Atlantic offers a sobering corrective to the sanitized version of the American Revolution passed down through generations by the victorious United States. He paints a disturbing picture of what was in many ways a civil war, with both sides committing atrocities. He also provides a fascinating case study in the power of myth-making and it seems only fitting that even at the birth of their nation, the Americans had a better grasp of the need for good publicity…."
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Piyan Glupak07 Nov 2019 10:41 p.m. PST

Can't see much of the article because I get nag-ware telling me to get a Facebook account. However, some of the books that I got for my Kindle when I started my American War of Independence 6mm armies told me much the same. This includes books written by US patriotic citizens in the 19th Century.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2019 9:28 a.m. PST

All true, but the treatment of American prisoners by the British government has been buried by time and intent.


Ashokmarine08 Nov 2019 7:18 p.m. PST

It's almost as if they thought war was sanitary. It's a very naive article.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2019 12:12 p.m. PST



doc mcb24 Nov 2019 6:22 p.m. PST

In general the war was fought under the recognized rules. (And yes, the British prison hulks were an abomination.) There was relatively little of the politically-inspired violence we associate with revolutionary war.

However, the Loyalists vs Patriot militia fighting was sometimes the exception, especially in the Carolinas late war. Part of the reason is that civil wars pick up pre-existing animosities and intensify them. There were plenty of old feuds and hatreds that might find expression in ambushes and raids and, yes, harsh treatment of captives. Also, by 1782 the south is almost in a Hobbesian state of nature, with a complete breakdown of law and order, and bands of outlaws happily raided anyone under cover of some convenient political label.

Virginia Tory26 Nov 2019 9:49 a.m. PST

As doc mcb notes, the southern theater was the exception. Perhaps because of the Regulator War, there were a lot of people with scores to settle in the Carolinas and they tried to do so during the war.

Pan Marek26 Nov 2019 2:22 p.m. PST

I can never understand how the South got a worse reputation for internecine violence than the war around NYC. The "Guides" by Norman Desmarais list hundreds of incidents in
NJ, Westchester NY, Long Island and CT.

Then there's the Mohawk Valley. Its mostly patriots vs. indians with former neighbors.

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