Category Archives: Military History

Black Soldiers of New York State Lecture In Schenectady


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black soldiers of ny stateAfrican Americans have a long, and often overlooked record of serving in NYS armed forces. Join the Schenectady County Historical Society on Saturday, April 1 at 2 pm, as author Anthony Gero explores the contributions of New York’s African Americans prior to the military’s integration.

African American solders – in spite of many obstacles – served courageously and valiantly, winning many commendations and earning the respect of friend and foe alike. This talk is presented as part of the “Together Until the End: Schenectady in the First World War” series. Continue reading

Joseph Brant’s 1780 Attack On Canajoharie


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joseph brantThe American Revolution Round Table (ARRT) of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys will host Wayne Lenig, who will give a presentation entitled Joseph Brant’s 1780 Attack on Canajohary.

Original accounts of the August 2nd raid began appearing in major newspapers about two weeks after the attack. A newspaper account dated September 9, 1780 stated the following: “At the fort now called fort Ransalaer (Fort Plain), Sir John Johnson and Captain Brant have burnt 51 houses, 42 barns, 17 killed, and 52 prisoners.”

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Crown Point’s Overlooked Role in Freeing Boston, 1776


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A few weeks ago in this space appeared the story of Gershom Beach’s remarkable 24-hour recruiting hike in Vermont, rounding up Green Mountain Boys to join their leader, Ethan Allen, in capturing Fort Ticonderoga on the New York side of Lake Champlain. In the end, their combined efforts played a critical role in George Washington’s American troops driving the British from Boston, for the armaments he used came from Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Men serving under Colonel Henry Knox completed the delivery, carrying them south to Albany and east to Boston.

Typically shortchanged in that famous story is the fort at Crown Point, which was captured two days after Ticonderoga fell. Seth Warner, a name very familiar to historians in connection with other military campaigns, commanded the troops that executed the takeover, which met with little resistance. Continue reading

Revolution: The Men Who Lost America


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ben_franklins_worldDid the Americans win the War for Independence? Or did the British simply lose the war?

The history of the American War for Independence is complicated. And history books tell many different versions of the event, which is why we need an expert to guide us through the intricacies of whether we should look at the war as an American victory, a British defeat, or in some other light.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Andrew O’Shaughnessy, author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (Yale University Press, 2013) joins us to explore British viewpoints of the American War for Independence. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/122

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Comments On Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument Sought


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prison-ship-martyrs-memorialThe National Park Service will hold a public meeting to discuss a special resource study for the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in Brooklyn.

The study, requested by Representative Hakeem Jeffries and authorized by the United States Congress as part of Public Law 113-291, will help determine whether the resources related to the Monument would meet criteria for congressional designation as a unit of the national park system.

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A Cattaraugus County Man’s Account of World War 1


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somewhere in france book coverThe United States entered World War I in April 1917, and by the end of the conflict two million American soldiers were fighting on French soil.  One of them was Private Frederick A. Kittleman. In Somewhere in France: The World War I Letters and Journal of Private Frederick A. Kittleman (Excelsior Editions, 2017), Thomas J. Schaeper transcribes journal entries and letters, showing a young man proud to join the army and excited about his adventures.

The letters are contrasted with Kittleman’s journal, which recounts the gritty details of battle that he shielded from his family in their correspondence. Schaeper provides detailed annotations of the journal and letters, which, together with a number of illustrations, paint a picture of the experiences of a private in WWI, his opinion on America’s participation in the final, bloody campaigns of the war, and the psychological and physical effects that the war had on him. Continue reading