• A Preview of History Camp America 2021A Preview of History Camp America 2021
    Via Vimeo, here’s a preview of my video presentation “Washington in Cambridge and the Siege of Boston” prepared for History Camp America 2021, an online event coming up on 10 July. I’ve presented at History Camp Boston since its beginning and at a couple of Pioneer Valley History Camps as… Read more »
  • The Regimental Goat and “Memory Creep”The Regimental Goat and “Memory Creep”
    The stories of the Royal Welch Fusiliers’ goat and the Battle of Bunker Hill are a good example of what I call “memory creep.”As one writer picks up a story from another, he or she can change it slightly—either through error or through wishfully reading sources in a more dramatic… Read more »
  • “A poor drum-boy, killed by the goat on St David’s Day”“A poor drum-boy, killed by the goat on St David’s Day”
    In 1832 the United Service Journal, and Naval and Military Magazine ran an unsigned article titled “Record of the Services of the Twenty-Third Regiment, or Royal Welsh Fusileers." In describing that regiment’s losses at the Battle of Bunker Hill, the writer said: If it may be permitted to quote a… Read more »
  • “Hardly men left enough to saddle their goat!”“Hardly men left enough to saddle their goat!”
    Francis Grose (1731-1791, shown here) had a short career in the British army, filling the lowest officer’s rank of cornet during the 1740s. He later became a militia captain and adjutant. But his heart was in historical research. Grose, a hard-working if not particularly talented draftsman, published four volumes of… Read more »
  • “Mounted on the goat richly caparisoned for the occasion”“Mounted on the goat richly caparisoned for the occasion”
    Robert Donkin was born in 1727 and by the eventful year of 1745 was an officer in the British army. In the Seven Years’ War he served as an aide to Gen. Thomas Fowke and Gen. William Rufane. In 1772 Capt. Donkin married Mary Collins, daughter of a clergyman. They… Read more »
  • “St. David, mounted on a Goat”“St. David, mounted on a Goat”
    In investigating the myths and realities of goat mascots in the 23rd Regiment of Foot, or Royal Welch Fusiliers, I’ll start with a fine inside source on that unit in the Revolutionary War, the diary of Lt. Frederick Mackenzie (c. 1731-1824, shown here later in life courtesy of the Royal… Read more »
  • A Goat from Bunker Hill?A Goat from Bunker Hill?
    Because today is the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, I’m stepping away from the topics of medical diagnosis and post-traumatic stress in the Revolutionary War to address a different burning question:Was there a goat at the Battle of Bunker Hill?In the first decade of this century the Royal… Read more »
  • A British Soldier Debilitated by Nostalgia in 1781A British Soldier Debilitated by Nostalgia in 1781
    In 1786, the British journal Medical Commentaries included an article from Dr. Robert Hamilton (1749-1830) of Ipswich titled “History of a remarkable Case of Nostalgia affecting a native of Wales and occurring in Britain.” In July 1780 Hamilton, a weaver’s son just out of medical school, was commissioned a surgeon’s… Read more »
  • Nostalgia “a frequent disease in the American army”Nostalgia “a frequent disease in the American army”
    The words “nostalgia” and “nostalgic” don’t appear in any of the letters and other sources available at Founders Online. But of course most of those writers weren’t physicians. American doctors did use the diagnosis of nostalgia, learning it from European medical authorities. Their uses reflected the original meaning of the… Read more »
  • A Mistaken Idea of Nostalgia’s OriginA Mistaken Idea of Nostalgia’s Origin
    As I discussed yesterday, in 1688 the medical school graduate Johannes Hofer (1669-1752) published a dissertation proposing a new diagnostic term: nostalgia. The symptoms of this condition, Hofer wrote, included: continued sadness, meditation only of the Fatherland, disturbed sleep either wakeful or continuous, decrease of strength, hunger, thirst, senses diminished,… Read more »
  • 1933: Democracy Destroyed1933: Democracy Destroyed
    by Frank McDonough In the following excerpt from The Hitler Years: Triumph, 1933-1939, Frank McDonough discusses the political environment in Germany in 1933 as Adolf Hitler sets his plans in motion to become Germany’s next Chancellor. Portrait of Adolf… Read the article The post 1933: Democracy Destroyed appeared first on… Read more »
  • For Juneteenth: Inspiring Reads by Black AuthorsFor Juneteenth: Inspiring Reads by Black Authors
    By The History Reader As of January 1, 1863, all enslaved people in the United States were declared legally free by President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. However, as Union law could not be implemented in the Confederate-held south, slaves were not … Read the article The post For Juneteenth: Inspiring Reads… Read more »
  • The Untold Story of the Expedition to Find the Legendary Ark of the CovenantThe Untold Story of the Expedition to Find the Legendary Ark of the Covenant
    by Brad Ricca When I first learned that Raiders of the Lost Ark, my favorite movie, might have been based on an actual archaeological expedition, I felt like my face was melting off. No way, I thought, as I … Read the article The post The Untold Story of the… Read more »
  • The Sound of America in 1914The Sound of America in 1914
    by Mariah Fredericks In 1914, the hot ticket on Broadway was On Trial, a play that employed the daring film technique of the “flashback.” You could catch the moody John Barrymore in Kick In, Douglas Fairbanks in He Comes Up … Read the article The post The Sound of America… Read more »
  • Celebrating Father’s Day: 7 Books That Are Perfect For DadCelebrating Father’s Day: 7 Books That Are Perfect For Dad
    By The History Reader The United States first celebrated Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. 111 years later, the holiday has evolved but the sentiment remains the same. As Father’s Day approaches this year, we’ve rounded up some of our … Read the article The post Celebrating Father’s Day: 7… Read more »
  • Get Down and Get With ItGet Down and Get With It
    by David Hepworth The book behind the Apple TV+ docu-series, Never a Dull Moment offers a rollicking look at 1971, rock’s golden year, the year that saw the release of the indelible recordings of Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, the Who, … Read the article The post Get Down and Get… Read more »
  • True Raiders: Charles WarrenTrue Raiders: Charles Warren
    by Brad Ricca True Raiders: The Untold Story of the 1909 Expedition to Find the Legendary Ark of the Covenant tells the story of Monty Parker, a British rogue nobleman who, after being dared to do so by Ava Astor, … Read the article The post True Raiders: Charles Warren… Read more »
  • Dillinger’s Daring EscapeDillinger’s Daring Escape
    by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard In Killing the Mob, Bill O’Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard trace the brutal history of 20th Century organized crime in the United States, and expertly plumb the history of this nation’s most notorious … Read the article The post Dillinger’s Daring Escape appeared first… Read more »
  • The History Behind the Mystery: Safecracking 101The History Behind the Mystery: Safecracking 101
    by Ashley Weaver One of my favorite parts of writing historical fiction is the new things I get to learn along the way. It’s important, of course, to go into writing a book with a base knowledge of the historical … Read the article The post The History Behind the… Read more »
  • The Two Faces of Benedict ArnoldThe Two Faces of Benedict Arnold
    by Jack Kelly Benedict Arnold was one of the Revolutionary War’s most aggressive and courageous soldiers. It’s possible that without him, American patriots would have lost the Revolutionary War. Colonel Benedict Arnold who commanded the Provincial Troops sent against Quebec, through… Read the article The post The Two Faces of Benedict Arnold… Read more »