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With Musket & Tomahawk  Volume I The Saratoga Campaign and the Wilderness War of 1777 by Michael O. Logusz ...

With Musket & Tomahawk Volume I by Michael O. Logusz With Musket & Tomahawk Volume I by Michael O. Logusz

With Musket & Tomahawk Volume I by Michael O. Logusz

With Musket & Tomahawk Volume I by Michael O. Logusz

With Musket & Tomahawk  Volume I

The Saratoga Campaign and the Wilderness War of 1777


Michael O. Logusz

  Some campaigns just grab the military history reader. Whether it be because of content, or perhaps it is a geographical pull, meaning the area of the campaign is close to home. The Saratoga Campaign of the American Revolution hits both cylinders on my military history scale. Not only that, but it is really the turning point of the Revolution. After Saratoga, there was no way that the British were going to win. Before Saratoga, all of the large battles of the war were won by the British (Trenton actually had very few troops involved). The British had been able to cuff the American forces about the head and defeat them, albeit sometimes at great cost, at every turn. This was the first battle/campaign where an entire British army was defeated and almost all of it captured by the Americans. The shockwave of this victory cannot be underplayed. This is the reason that France entered the war, and without France there would be no Yorktown. So, needless to say, there are many books on the subject. Is this book just a rehash of everything that has been written or a great example of written military history? Let us see.

 One of the best parts of the book is that it explains in detail the British planning for 1777. Starting as a much smaller envisioned attack from Canada, it was turned into a war winning strike designed to separate New England from the rest of the rebelling colonies. The book goes into the fact that this idea did not spring out of 'Gentleman Johnny's' brain by any means. Many officers had been discussing the need of an attack from Canada. The biggest historical question about the campaign is answered unequivocally by the author, complete with written facts and not conjecture. Was General Howe ordered or even pushed to attack Albany to meet up and help Burgoyne with his attacks through New York? The author shows us that the answer is no. Even before Burgoyne had started his campaign, Howe had written to the British Crown and gotten approval for his campaign in Pennsylvania. Was this the best strategy? Absolutely not. There is more than a chance that had Howe struck toward Albany, the Colonials would have been unable to deal with both forces and Burgoyne would have been successful. Howe has been vilified for leaving Burgoyne in the lurch for many years. The book shows us that the British authorities made no attempt to try and concentrate both armies in central New York. This one point is enough to raise the book above the rest of the crowd.

 This book is what military history should be. It is factual without being too dry, and the pace goes along almost like a novel. The author has chosen to add a number of maps. The difference compared to some other books is also plain. Other than having maps that look like they came off a mimeograph machine that needed ink forty years ago, they are clear and concise, and allow the reader an excellent bird's eye view of the campaign and battles. The book also comes with the obligatory several pages of pictures. Some are sketches and the others are photos of re-enactors. Strangely there are no pictures of the main combatants such as Burgoyne, etc. These are not really needed, so no real loss there. 

 One of the biggest reasons to read about the campaign is to see in actuality what Benedict Arnold really was to the Revolution. Most Americans only associate him with treason and have no idea that if not for him, it is possible that 'Granny' Gates might have lost at Saratoga. So strange to say, our most vilified traitor is one of the main reasons we have our freedom now. It is a story that more Americans need to know.

 Thank you Casemate for allowing me to read this excellent first volume on the War in the North during the Revolution. I cannot wait to read the next volumes in the series.


Book: With Musket & Tomahawk: Volume I The Saratoga and the Wilderness War of 1777
Author: Michael O. Lugosz
Publisher: Casemate Publishers