The November 2004 issue of Armchair General Magazine is focused on elements of the American Revolution, with specific articles on George Washington (Battlefield Leader, pg. 44), the Battle of the Cowpens (You Command, pg. 38), and the Battle of Guilford Courthouse (Walk Where They Fought, pg. 72).
This month the WebWarrior article will expound on these topics by bringing you some of the best websites on these subjects. Read all the great articles in the magazine, then jump online and continue!
Americans know him as our Founding Father, General of the Continental Army that fought for and won America’s independence from the British, and as our nation’s first President. However, above and beyond the well-known facts, Washington was so much more, and these following websites help bring more of his life into ours.
This site is mainly a dedication and virtual tour of the famous 1796 Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington known as the Lansdowne portrait. There a good many other paintings shown also, giving the site a very distinguished look and feel, much like Washington himself was known to be.
The site has sections where visitors can interactively peruse the portrait, learn about its history, see where it will be displayed next, and post comments about the site and its information. The section named Washington’s Life is the one to focus on here, though. In a straightforward yet pleasing tour, the site explains the life of Washington from his early years, through his military career and the Revolutionary War, and on into his Presidency to his death in 14 December 1799.
Although the site is geared more for educators than historians, the facts and presentation make it a site not to miss, and I think you’re certain to learn something new about Washington and his life.
Another well-crafted website presents a virtual tour and tons of information on the pristine former home of George and Martha Washington. It is my belief that if you ever make the trip to America’s capitol, it will be incomplete if you fail to visit Mount Vernon. However, until you make that trip, sit down and spend time at this site, especially the superb virtual tour.
This site is hosted by the Fort Edwards Foundation of Capon Bridge, West Virginia, and does an excellent job of telling the stories of Washington and his early years spent on the Virginia frontier during the time of the French and Indian War.
Of interest to military historians may be the manuscript written by Washington himself detailing the Battle of Fort Necessity & Braddock’s Defeat, which was printed in Scribner’s Magazine (Vol.XIII, No. 5, May 1893). The Jumonville Affair, actions at Fort Necessity and through to the campaigns against Fort Duquesne are all described in first-person accounts, accompanied by photos, pictures and drawings.
THE BATTLE OF THE COWPENS
Having some difficulty with this issue’s Combat Decision Game #5, Fighting ’til the Cows Come Home? Could you use a refresher on the actual history to better help you decide upon a proper couse of action? Well, just click your way to these sites and see if they work for you.
I enjoy reading accounts of the ‘American Rebellion’, as the Revolutionary War is sometimes called by British military historians. This account of the Battle of the Cowpens at the British Battles website is told from the Brit’s viewpoint, and is an excellent introduction to the battle. Maps, photos, and recommended books give the telling a stronger standing, but it’s the American Revolutionary War links that carry visitors on a tour of the entire war as told by our friends across the pond.
Aside from this war, British Battles also has sections covering the Napoleonic Wars, King George’s War (Austrian Succession), The French & Indian War, the Jacobite Rebellion (which was a new one for me), and the Peninsular War. After reading the Revolutionary War sections, there is much more information available here, enough to have one reading an entire day.
This site page is just another historical section in the New River Valley Historical Notes website. The straightforward Cowpens section, as stated on the site, was prepared by the Historical Section of the Army War College, and was published by order of the United States House of Representatives in 1928. The account is four parts long, in easily readable text, and all on one page. Simple, yet very informative, it’s a reading not to be missed.
This website is a page of hyperlinks to other sites across cyberspace concerning the Battle of the Cowpens. Nicely divided into appropriate sections (National Park Service sites, Books, Timelines, Battle Commanders, and Links), this is a great starting point for any websearch about the Battle of the Cowpens.
THE BATTLE OF GUILFORD COURTHOUSE
After completing my training to become a military historian, I cut my teeth into the profession by learning the vast military history of North Carolina. It was a big suprise to me then that I could find only a few websites about this campaign. Most of what I did find was short, encyclopedic accounts that offered nothing more than a date and a few names. There were quite a few other sites designed for schoolkids, again elementary in their provided information. Following are some of my picks from those few excellent sites.
This first site is another page from the New River Valley Historical Notes site, and fits the same format as the Cowpens page. This account, though, is by Francis Kieron, and was originally published in The Journal of American History (Vol. VII, 1913). Just read, scroll, and learn.
This site is a subsection of a much greater site, and it’s plain to see the creator’s appreciation for military history. This section hosts a virtual tour of the Guilford Courthouse battlefield as it looks in our modern time through the use of proficient photography and descriptive cutlines. Included is a great profile of the British Three-Pounder Light Infantry Gun, Model 1776 ‘Grasshopper’. There are a couple of items in the Links section that look like they are no longer there, but overall, it’s a worthy site.
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Stay Alert, Stay Alive!
Jim H. Moreno
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