George Washington's Westchester Gamble, Richard Borkow

George Washington's Westchester Gamble, Richard Borkow

This book looks at the events of the American War of Independence in Westchester County, in the area due north of New York. During the War of Independence it was a largely rural area. The southern part of the county is now part of New York's suburbia, but there are still large rural areas, and the area is one of the wealthiest in the USA.

The county came to prominence when the British regains control of New York from the American rebels in 1776. The city stayed in British hands for the rest of the war, and for much of that time Westchester was either the front line or no-man's land. In 1781 Washington and the main Franco-American army camped in the county before marching off to victory at Yorktown.

The area thus saw two very different types of activity. For long periods it was subjected to the small scale raiding and lawlessness that blighted many areas during the war, while at other times large armies operated in the area. The area was also a hotbed of spying, and part of Benedict Arnold's story was played out in the county.

The author has done a good job of coping with these changes of scale – when required he traces events well beyond the borders of Westchester County, not something that is always done in books of local history. The county's part in wider events makes the book more interesting than purely local studies, giving a variety that is sometimes lacking. This is an interesting approach to the topic and well worth a read.

Chapters
1 - The American Revolution and Its Early French Connections
2 - Turning Point on the Hudson: Victory at Saratoga Leads to the French Alliance
3 - Rochambeau's Arrival and Arnold's Treason
4 - Episodes from the War in Westchester
5 - Now or Never Our Deliverance Must Come
6 - To New York or to Virginia?
7 - The Encampment by the Hudson
8 - George Washington's Westchester Gamble

Author: Richard Borkow
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 189
Publisher: History Press
Year: 2011


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