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10 Dec 2019 6:59 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Captives of Liberty Prisoners of War and the Politics of" to "Captives of Liberty: Prisoners of War and the Politics of..."

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2019 12:59 p.m. PST

…. Vengeance in the American Revolution

""Captives of Liberty shines brilliant new light on the question of just how brutal the American Revolutionary War really was. Based on extensive archival research, T. Cole Jones presents overwhelming evidence that prisoners of war regularly endured retaliatory privation, horrible suffering, and death. Along the way, Jones helps shatter longstanding images of a restrained, almost civilized military conflict. Beautifully written, Captives of Liberty is a magisterial work."óJames Kirby Martin, author of Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered…"


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rmaker10 Dec 2019 2:19 p.m. PST

Jones helps shatter longstanding images of a restrained, almost civilized military conflict.

Longstanding only among those who knew nothing. Once again, some desperate academic attempts to make his reputation by simply ignoring everything that has ever been published on the subject and trumpeting "new discoveries".

Pan Marek10 Dec 2019 2:52 p.m. PST

Authors do not write their publisher's marketing blurbs.
As far as what's in the book, I think you need to read it
before you condemn it.

doc mcb10 Dec 2019 4:29 p.m. PST

Well, the largest concentration of prisoners was the convention army kept at the Albemarle barracks. A number of them, especially the Brunswickers, took work in the civilian economy and married local girls. And Baron and Baroness Reidesal became friends with the Jeffersons. So I don't think they were poorly treated.

doc mcb10 Dec 2019 4:31 p.m. PST

In November 1778, the Convention Army began marching south 700 miles (1,100 km) to Charlottesville, Virginia, arriving in uncharacteristically snowy weather in January 1779. Approximately 600 men escaped during the march.[3] They were held at the hastily and poorly constructed Albemarle Barracks until 1781.
During the army's years in Virginia it had an important economic impact on the Blue Ridge area of Virginia. The Virginia troops assigned to guard duty were generally better fed and equipped than any other forces, so that prisoner letters would reflect a strong Continental Army. Money sent by the prisoner's families in Britain and Germany provided a lot of hard currency and coin for the back-country area. The presence of the POWs created new demands for food and other goods – items for which they had to pay steep prices. Thomas Jefferson estimated that the presence of the prisoners increased the area's circulating currency by at least $30,000 USD a week.
High-ranking officers, and sometimes their wives, such as the Major General Riedesel and his wife and Major General William Phillips were sought as guests on the social scene. The rank-and-file, however, dealt with miserable living conditions as the small amount of money appropriated to build the barracks proved inadequate. "Each barrack," observed Lieutenant August Wilhelm Du Roi, "is 24 feet long, and 14 feet wide, big enough to shelter 18 men. The construction is so miserable that it surpasses all that you can imagine in Germany of a very poorly built log house. It is something like the following: Each side is put up of 8 to 9 round fir trees, which are laid one on top the other, but so far apart that it is almost possible for a man to crawl through … The roof is made of round trees covered with split fir trees…" And then, "a great number of our men preferred to camp out in the woods, where they could protect themselves better against the cold than in the barracks."[4]

42flanker11 Dec 2019 11:17 a.m. PST

Even in the Second World War, British POWs in Germany were malnourished, living in cold and cramped conditions, even in an underground fortress, and enlisted men were not only put to work in the fields but also put down salt mines. (Obviously circumstances were far worse for prisoners of the Japanese- and North Koreans while we are about it).

It is worth considering by what standards we are judging the situation in America during the RW, which was nonetheless a unique situation for which neither side had a precedent to provide a template, let alone adequate resources.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2019 11:35 a.m. PST



Virginia Tory12 Dec 2019 10:12 a.m. PST

Complete with inaccurate book cover art.

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