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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare Through the Ages > The Colonial Era and Asia

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The Colonial Era and Asia Discussion of European Empires in India, Africa, South America, and other places as well as military history of the Far East!

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  #46  
Old 20 May 07, 20:50
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Originally Posted by Admiral View Post
RN, could you possibly provide the text of that speech & a general description to that event? I'd like it added to the Reference: Great Speeches thread, if you could...

Thanx, my good friend!

I extracted that quote years ago from "Washington: The Indispensable Man" by James Thomas Flexner. He wrote a narrative history, so I do not have even a citation for the speech text. His book does develop background to the address.

Parenthetically, the speech must not have been very good; it was his personal action to compensate for the poor speech that is dramatic.

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  #47  
Old 20 May 07, 20:54
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Thanx, RN! I remember reading the text of the speech & a description of it somewhere... I'll see if I can dig it up. Let me know if you should run across it, would ya?

Cheers, mate!

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  #48  
Old 21 May 07, 05:12
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Another favorite moment from this period is the prelude to the Battle of Isandhlwana.

"For a time all was quiet. Then a group of Raw's men saw a few Zulus herding a small group of cattle up a slope some distance ahead. Kicking up their horses, they gave chase. The slope was a full four miles from the head of the spur, and they were soon out of sight of Cavaye's men and most of their companions. The Zulu herders ran over the crest of the slope and disappeared, and the cattle slowed on the rise and stopped. One of the pursuers cantered up beside them, and in sudden alarm pulled his horse up just in time to prevent a tumble over the edge of a wide, deep ravine that lay just beyond the rise. Then, in astonishment, he stared into the ravine itself. Closely packed and sitting in utter silence, covering the floor of the ravine and perched on the steep rising sides, stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions, were over 20,000 Zulu warriors. The main impi had finally been located."


Captured in "The Washing of the Spears: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation," by Donald R. Morris
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  #49  
Old 21 May 07, 07:29
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Originally Posted by holly6 View Post
You SOLD it to the French????? You should have picked up some rocks and sharpened a few sticks. You probably would have gotten Quebec in the Treaty!

I'm aware of the liberation of the Deleware. The locals still call the brief period of Dutch presence their "Age of Enlightenment".
Well you could of taken all of France we all know how terrible they are in self defence all you would need is 50 men with sharpened sticks and you would have paris by lunch time
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  #50  
Old 21 May 07, 07:49
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We're speaking of the Colonial Era.

As for "we all know"... speak for yourself, mate!

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  #51  
Old 28 Sep 07, 18:24
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I'd also throw in the savage American bayonet assault on British Redoubt Number 9 during the Siege of Yorktown. Once those key redoubts were overun by American and French troops, the British General Cornwallis undoubtedly knew that the jig was up and that his army would soon pass into captivity.
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  #52  
Old 03 Oct 07, 23:29
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Thumbs up Washington's Crossing!

Although I can't disagree with any of the postings that I've read thus far in this thread, to my mind Washington's Crossing that was made on Christmas Night of 1776 still ranks as one of the greatest and most daring episodes of modern military history.

For while facing this tremendous Nor'easter and these ferocious gales Washington ordered that his men, with him in the lead, cross the Delaware River from Pennsylvannia to Trenton, New Jersey, while under the protective cover of darkness.

So that force of 2400 patriotic soldiers (of many nationalities, though mainly Scots-Irish, Scottish, English and German!) who were fighting for the American cause, embarked on this very short journey straight across the icy and treacherous River in order to sneak up on and surprise this small army of 1500 Hessians. And surprise em they did!

Contrary to popular myth, though, those Hessians were not as distracted nor as negligent as they have been depicted as being, for their very tough and rough commander, this Col. Rall, ordered that several out-posts on the outskirts of Trenton be manned with sentries to keep an eye on the surrounding countryside. So in a sense the Hessians were somewhat prepared and ready to spring into action if the need arose, which it well enough did!

Though because of the heavy, blinding snow and terrible wind gusts it was very difficult for those fearsome, superbly trained Hessian sentries---(who when properly led were some of the finest soldiers in the World!)---to determine until it was too late that they were under attack.

For by the time they did raise the alarm the Americans and their foreign allies were already passing the initial outposts and beginning to swarm into the town in considerable numbers.

So the Hessians did spring into ferocious action, and so did eventually engage the Americans in this brtual and fierce exchange of musket fire before somewhat retreating in this excellent order.

Though with the death of their beloved Commander, Col. Ral (who was shot in the stomach!), the Hessians, after putting up this outstanding and vicious little fight, lost their stomach for battle and began surrendering to the advancing Americans. Yet for that brief amount of time those Hessians fought like Hell and stood their ground very well, displaying much proficiency and tenacity in the process. Though yield they did!

Yet in the end over 900 Hessians finally surrendered, almost en masse, and the Americans finally had this reason to celebrate, for what the Battle of Trenton did to their morale and sense of purpose is almost beyond words, and they had finally proven their worth and mettle as soldiers, despite the fact that in some ways they did get a little lucky.

So in essence the victory at Trenton had this very profound psychological impact upon the faltering and until-then-demoralized American Army, as it helped to restore much in the way of morale and confidence to this fighting force that had just previously been on the verge of breaking apart and fully capitulating to the mighty British and Hessian Armies.

Though the Crossing and the subsequent Battle of Trenton changed all of that, as each exploit breathed new life into the American cause and precipitated this resurgence of patriotism and this sense of duty that was almost universally shared throughout the colonies by those that really desired to separate from Britian.

Another reason to celebrate is that American force for the first time really defeated their very formidable adversaries---in this case the hard-fighting, fierce and exceptionally well disciplined Hessians (some of the best troops in the World!)---and therefore their confidence in themselves as professional soldiers must have deepened and proliferated by leaps and bounds!

So suffice it to say the Crossing of the Delaware and the subsequent Battle of Trenton is my favorite moment during the Colonial Era!
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  #53  
Old 05 Oct 07, 09:37
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I'd also throw in the savage American bayonet assault on British Redoubt Number 9 during the Siege of Yorktown. Once those key redoubts were overun by American and French troops, the British General Cornwallis undoubtedly knew that the jig was up and that his army would soon pass into captivity.
...and of course, it provided Major General the Marquis de Lafayette his first military experience! :flag:
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Old 05 Nov 07, 22:08
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I think that the evolution of the tradition of representative government in the 13 English Colonies was an important process and series of moments in the Colonial Era...From the House of Burgesses, to the signing of the Mayflower Compact...to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut to the Act of Toleration etc..., these events in the Colonial Era evolved into the government we know and love today, and helped plant the seeds of resistance that flourished into the Revolution.
On a different note...Perhaps my favorite colony during this time was William Penn's colony of Pennsylvania. William Penn was a model of equality, fairness, and toleration...a great leader who perhaps is under-appreciated. "William Penn was the first great hero of American liberty. During the late seventeenth century, when Protestants persecuted Catholics, Catholics persecuted Protestants, and both persecuted Quakers and Jews, Penn established an American sanctuary which protected freedom of conscience. Almost everywhere else, colonists stole land from the Indians, but Penn traveled unarmed among the Indians and negotiated peaceful purchases. He insisted that women deserved equal rights with men. He gave Pennsylvania a written constitution which limited the power of government, provided a humane penal code, and guaranteed many fundamental liberties."
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Old 06 Nov 07, 18:15
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...and of course, it provided Major General the Marquis de Lafayette his first military experience! :flag:
I'm sure that for the British, the old "pucker-factor" was working overtime..
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Old 14 Nov 07, 10:23
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I'm sure that for the British, the old "pucker-factor" was working overtime..
Probably, but so was sickness and exhaustion. Cornwallis had every disadvantage you can get, I think -- he should never have allowed himself to get in that situation.
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Old 27 Nov 07, 02:18
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The early period of the American Revolution that was so desperate.

I've visited Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown and really enjoyed it.
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Old 27 Nov 07, 20:43
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Probably, but so was sickness and exhaustion. Cornwallis had every disadvantage you can get, I think -- he should never have allowed himself to get in that situation.
Cornwallis was a gifted, military genius and his reasoning was sound. He depended on the Royal Navy to extricate both he and his army from Yorktown and take them back to New York to rebuild and await better days. They were his "ace in the hole." How could he know that for once, the French Navy under DeGrasse would actually fight savagely and successfully against the RN?

Even after the Royal Navy had been driven off, he still planned to evacuate his forces to the other side of the James River, then under Tarleton's occupation and resume his march North. A severe storm that night destroyed a number of his boats and kept the evacuation from ever taking place and so, his army went into captivity.
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Old 20 Feb 08, 13:52
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Indian Mutiny-Sepoy Rebellion-1st war of Indian Independence

Whatever you'd like to call it, I think the most interesting period of colonial (British colonial) history would be the thirty or so years surrounding the Indian Mutiny of 1857. I'm especially interested in the exploits of the Hounourable East India Company's European troops, as my great grandfather was in their artillery. (see my thread in this forum)
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Old 05 Mar 08, 08:35
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May sound corny, but I just finished, David McCollough's 1776 AGAIN. Its has sparked a good interest in the American Revolution. Not only the military side, but the political and social aspects as well. Its weird, that the high muckey mucks of society were allowed access to the general's HQ. But that is what has my attention at the moment.
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