The Indispensables: The Diverse Soldier-Mariners Who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware

Patrick K. O’Donnell. Atlantic Monthly, $28 (432p) ISBN 978-0-8021-5689-1
Historian O’Donnell (Washington’s Immortals) offers a comprehensive look at the “indispensable” role of the Marblehead Regiment in the Revolutionary War. Made up of veteran seafarers from the region around Marblehead, Mass., the unit included free African Americans as well as Native Americans. Sketching the buildup to the war, O’Donnell profiles lesser-known historical figures including the regiment’s commander, John Glover, and Elbridge Gerry, signer of the Declaration of Independence and eponym for the term “gerrymandering,” and details how England’s “Intolerable Acts,” designed as punishment for the Boston Tea Party, led to the formation of militia companies and the stockpiling of military supplies. He delves into the origins of the Continental Navy and the Commander-in-Chief’s Life Guard, an early version of the secret service, and recounts how Marbleheaders ferried troops across the Delaware River for the Battle of Trenton and evacuated Continental Army soldiers from the earlier Battle of Brooklyn, an operation later known as “America’s Dunkirk.” O’Donnell also offers fresh insights into obscure yet crucial engagements at New York’s Throgs Neck and White Plains, and New Jersey’s Assunpink Creek. Revolutionary War buffs will delight in the copious details and vivid battle scenes. Agent: Eve Attermann, WME. (May)
Reviewed on : 01/22/2021
Release date: 07/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-8021-5691-4
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