I am currently reading the book, Washington’s Immortals: The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution. This book was written by Patrick K. O’Donnell, and was published in 2016. The story is about a regiment from Maryland known as the “Immortal 400.” Throughout the course of the Revolutionary War, the regiment distinguished themselves for their bravery and fighting spirit. They fought in a number of key battles throughout the war, and on more than one occasion, they managed to save Washington’s Continental Army from complete destruction.
As I have begun the book, I have already been sucked into the story and the remarkable history. Several key historical points that the author establishes early include:
- The division in the colonies between those who wanted independence and those who wanted to remain loyal to the crown. The author does a good job establishing the divisive nature of the conflict particularly in Maryland as the state divided itself among geographical lines as the Patriots came largely from Baltimore and Annapolis while the Loyalists tended to come from the Eastern Shore.
- The superiority of the British army. In the chapter on the British armada that floated into the Hudson Bay in the summer of 1776, the author explains how the twenty-three thousand of British regular soldiers were exceptionally professional. For example, the British generals averaged thirty years of military experience collectively while the privates in the British army averaged nine years of experience. By contrast, the American generals averaged two years of military experience. Also, as a result of the French-Indian War and the Seven Years War in Europe, the British army had a lot of combat veterans and were familiar with the American terrain. Due to this fact, the British had developed new tactics that had led to the development of light infantry and light cavalry units.
Overall, I am excited to continue reading this book. I have a feeling it will go by quickly as I have found that the material is very accessible and well-written.