A Short History Lesson by Bob Owens

The Forage War, 1777, via Project White Horse.

Petite guerre

History is a fascinating subject not because of dates and events but because of the personalities and causes that drive them.

At the moment, I’m almost halfway through Fischer’s Washington’s Crossing, at a point after the Continental Army had won battles at Trenton and Princeton through brilliant leadership, and then went into winter quarters, as Washington was busy with the business of politicking, provisioning, and recruiting for the upcoming campaign season. What my history books in high school never taught was the petite guerre that was waged on Washington’s behalf in late winter on his behalf by Jersey militiamen.

Yes, those damned, troublesome militiamen.

“Small war” on the British, German, and their Loyalist allies in New Jersey and elsewhere showed a constant theme that haunted the British throughout the Revolutionary War; America is too large to be pacified by any standing army if there are enough citizens willing to take up arms in her defense.


h/t WRSA

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