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GUNS OF INDEPENDENCE: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781 [Hardcover]

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Item description for GUNS OF INDEPENDENCE: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781 by Jerome A. Greene...

The siege of Yorktown in the fall of 1781 was the single most decisive engagement of the American Revolution. The campaign has all the drama any historian or student could want: the war's top generals and admirals pitted against one another; decisive naval engagements; cavalry fighting; siege warfare; night bayonet attacks; and much more. Until now, however, no modern scholarly treatment of the entire campaign has been produced.

By the summer of 1781, America had been at war with England for six years. No one believed in 1775 that the colonists would put up such a long and credible struggle. France sided with the colonies as early as 1778, but it was the dispatch of 5,500 infantry under Comte de Rochambeau in the summer of 1780 that shifted the tide of war against the British.

In early 1781, after his victories in the Southern Colonies, Lord Cornwallis marched his army north into Virginia. Cornwallis believed the Americans could be decisively defeated in Virginia and the war brought to an end. George Washington believed Cornwallis's move was a strategic blunder, and he moved vigorously to exploit it. Feinting against General Clinton and the British stronghold of New York, Washington marched his army quickly south. With the assistance of Rochambeau's infantry and a key French naval victory at the Battle off the Capes in September, Washington trapped Cornwallis on the tip of a narrow Virginia peninsula at a place called Yorktown. And so it began.

Operating on the belief that Clinton was about to arrive with reinforcements, Cornwallis confidently remained within Yorktown's inadequate defenses. Determined that nothing short of outright surrender would suffice, his opponent labored day and night to achieve that end. Washington's brilliance was on display as he skillfully constricted Cornwallis's position by digging entrenchments, erecting redoubts and artillery batteries, and launching well-timed attacks to capture key enemy positions. The nearly flawless Allied campaign sealed Cornwallis's fate. Trapped inside crumbling defenses, he surrendered on October 19, 1781, effectively ending the war in North America.

Penned by historian Jerome A. Greene, The Guns of Independence: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781 offers a complete and balanced examination of the siege and the participants involved. Greene's study is based upon extensive archival research and firsthand archaeological investigation of the battlefield. This fresh and invigorating study will satisfy everyone interested in American Revolutionary history, artillery, siege tactics, and brilliant leadership.

About the Author: Jerome A. Greene is a historian with the National Park Service. He is the author or editor of many books, including Morning Star Dawn: The Powder River Expedition and the Northern Cheyenne, 1876, and his most recent effort, Washita: The U.S. Army and the Southern Cheyennes, 1867-1869. He lives in Colorado.



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Item Specifications...


Pages   360
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 6.75" Height: 9.75"
Weight:   1.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 15, 2005
Publisher   Savas Beatie LLC
ISBN  1932714057  
ISBN13  9781932714050  


Availability  0 units.


More About Jerome A. Greene


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jerome A. Greene is a historian with the National Park Service stationed in Denver and is the author/editor of several books and articles about frontier and Indian Wars history, including Morning Star Dawn: The Powder River Expedition and the Northern Cheyennes, 1876.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Revolution & Founding > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
3Books > Subjects > History > World > General



Reviews - What do customers think about GUNS OF INDEPENDENCE: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781?

A great book!  Dec 8, 2007
On any level you choose, this book is a winner. It is extensively researched (witness its 5 appendixes covering a whopping 50 pages, endnotes covering 90 pages more, followed by a 21 page bibliography), but is as readable and enjoyable as a novel.

The author is scrupulously fair toward both sides in the struggle, and blends both the down-to-earth happenings in the siege with the higher-level strategic ramifications for both sides of the events at Yorktown before, during and after the shots were flying.

Unlike so many accounts of siege warfare, "The Guns of Yorktown" not only addresses cleaarly why the particular aspects of the siege happened as they did, but "how" these events took place, their advantages and disadvantages, and illustrate the finer points of literally the "pick and shovel" aspects of the battle, all the while never losing the reader's attention with tedious over-description.

This fine book is replete with maps and diagrams which supplement the text, and all are quite easily readable.

Mr. Greene's counterpoint anecdotes and tales from a cross-section of participants on either side of the struggle was quite humanizing and interesting, and their stories were carried into their later lives in the seven-page Postscript immediately following the book's final chapter.

I recommend this fine work to anyone who enjoys the study of the Revolutionary War, siege warfare, or military history in general. This book is a sure-fire hit.
 
The Guns of Independence  Apr 22, 2006
Highly regarded scholar of the Western Frontier Indian Wars, Jerome A. Greene has applied his wealth of knowledge in military operations, his impeccable research skills, and his fluid prose style to this excellent book on the siege of Yorktown, 1781. I recommend reading the extensive and informative appendix which covers the archeology of the Yorktown Battlefield as well as the equipment and stategies necessary to operate an effective siege and military victory.
 
More than you want to know  Mar 8, 2006
This year marks the 225th anniversary of the siege of Yorktown, the action that efectively ended the Revolutionary War, and this book takes you through the entire scenario. Unfortunately, I found that the book, though informative, was perhaps too much of a good thing! While I'm a history buff, I didn't feel it necessary for my understanding of this engagement to know who was the Officer of the Watch on a particular day, or exactly how the redoubts measured, or the order of the various regiments, or which group was in which revetment at what time on a paticular day. The book just gave the reader too much info, and that really tended to bog down the exciting story that is Yorktown. I've walked over thesse fields, and find the whole thing fascinating, but could have done with a lot less nonessential info, so that the narrative could have flowed much better than it did!
 
An informed and informative examination of the siege and the participants involved on both sides of the conflict  Dec 5, 2005
Most scholars of the American Revolution concur that the single most decisive engagement for General George Washington and his troops was the siege of the British forces at Yorktown , Virginia, in the fall of 1781. America had been at war with England for six years when Washington was able to trap Cornwallis on the tip of the narrow peninsula, resulting in a military action that would result in Cornwallis' surrender on October 19, 1781 and effectively end the war in North America, thereby securing American national independence. The Guns Of Independence: The Siege Of Yorktown 1781 by historian Jerome A. Greene provides the reader with an informed and informative examination of the siege and the participants involved on both sides of the conflict. Drawing upon extensive archival research and a personal archaeological study of the battlefield, Greene has written the definitive study of the Yorktown siege, making a seminal and very strongly recommended contribution to American history. No academic or community library American Revolutionary History reference section can be considered complete without the inclusion of The Guns Of Independence.
 
An informed and informative examination of the siege and the participants involved on both sides of the conflict  Dec 5, 2005
Most scholars of the American Revolution concur that the single most decisive engagement for General George Washington and his troops was the siege of the British forces at Yorktown , Virginia, in the fall of 1781. America had been at war with England for six years when Washington was able to trap Cornwallis on the tip of the narrow peninsula, resulting in a military action that would result in Cornwallis' surrender on October 19, 1781 and effectively end the war in North America, thereby securing American national independence. The Guns Of Independence: The Siege Of Yorktown 1781 by historian Jerome A. Greene provides the reader with an informed and informative examination of the siege and the participants involved on both sides of the conflict. Drawing upon extensive archival research and a personal archaeological study of the battlefield, Greene has written the definitive study of the Yorktown siege, making a seminal and very strongly recommended contribution to American history. No academic or community library American Revolutionary History reference section can be considered complete without the inclusion of The Guns Of Independence.
 

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