Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Fort by Bernard Cornwell

The FortThe Fort by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In June of 1779 a force of seven hundred British soldiers and marines, transported by a handful of Royal Navy vessels, were dispatched to the town of Majabigwaduce on the Penobscot river to establish a fortification and take control of the surrounding area. Under the command of the veteran General Francis McLean they began to construct their defenses, but they had barely had time to construct simple earthworks no higher than a man's waist before the American revolutionaries in Boston raised a force of over a thousand men and forty ships against them with orders to 'Captivate, kill and destroy' the occupying forces.

Despite some initial successes, the American forces fell into disarray with neither the militia forces under Brigadier General Solomon Lovell nor the naval force of Commodore Dudley Saltonstall being willing to risk pressing home the attack. Will the British be able to survive a prolonged siege under the bombardment of the American guns, or will the Americans find a way of making use of their superior numbers?

Cornwell tells the story from both sides of the conflict, interspersed with letters, orders and contemporary accounts of the battle. Notable characters from history are featured, including the first taste of battle for the Lt. John Moore who was to rise to the rank of Lieutenant-General in the Peninsular war thirty years later, and Paul Revere who proves not to be the paragon of revolutionary fervor of popular belief.

Another excellent historical work, from the creator of Sharpe.

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