Episode 063 Buzzard’s Bay and Machias

September 23, 2018

With the British army sitting in Boston, the navy needs to provide supplies and prevent supplies from reaching the Provincials.  An attempt to capture a ship at Buzzard's Bay fails as locals overtake the small British task force and take them prisoner. Similarly, when the British send a ship to protect two merchant vessels providing firewood for Boston, locals again capure the ships.  They kill several of the British and take the rest prisoner.

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Episode 062: The Three Headed Cerberus in Boston

September 16, 2018

Even before word of Lexington and Concord reached London, the Ministry decided they would need to up their game in the colonies.  They did not send Gen. Gage all of the reinforcements he wanted, but they did send some soldiers and marines for the start of the 1775 fighting season.  Along with them, the Ministry sent three new Major Generals to support Gage, traveling together aboard the HMS Cerberus.  All three men, William Howe, Henry Clinton, and John Burgoyne would go on to play larger roles in the War.

General Haldimand received orders at the same time and pack his bags to go home. Because he was senior to all three Major Generals, London did not want this foreign born general to assume command should something happen to General Gage.  The Cerberus also carried news that Admiral Graves received a promotion and would have expanded duties in the colonies.

With the arrival of these new soldiers, London expected more aggressive enforcement of its policies.

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Episode 061: The Battle of Chelsea Creek

September 9, 2018

In the first weeks of the Siege of Boston in 1775, the Provincial Army appears to be more of a disorganized mob than an army.  Men do not obey officers.  Units from one colony would not obey orders from another.  No real chain of command exists.  Further, the lack of uniforms, supplies, ammunition, and other logistical problems created their own problems.  Soldiers on both sides begin to die from disease.

The only real fighting at this time is over islands in Boston Harbor that contain food and hay.  The Provincials attempt to remove or destroy items of value on Hog and Noddle Islands.  When the British navy tries to stop them, a small battle leads to several casualties.  The British navy ship Diana gets stuck in the mud during the fight.  Overnight, the Provincials force the crew to abandon ship.  The colonials loot and burn the ship in their first small victory over the navy.

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Episode 060: Securing Lake Champlain

September 2, 2018
 
Following Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen's capture of Fort Ticonderoga, Arnold seizes several ships and attacks Fort St. Jean in Quebec. With the captured ships, he forms his own navy on Lake Champlain. The British nearly capture Allen as he attempts to follow Arnold's raid and secure the fort.
 
As word of the men's exploits get back to officials in New England and Philadelphia, more moderate politicians replace both officers out of fear that their actions will prevent politicians from negotiating a settlement with London.
 

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Episode 059: Taking Fort Ticonderoga

August 26, 2018
Benedict Arnold develops a plan to capture Fort Ticonderoga in New York in order to get cannon for Boston. Before leaving for Massachusetts, he tells several men in his home colony of Connecticut about his plan. These Connecticut men organize a force with Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, who live only a few miles from the fort.
 
Arnold, unaware of this plan, gets approval from the Massachusetts army to raise a force in Western Massachusetts to attack the fort. Upon learning that Allen is assembling an attack, Arnold, by himself, rushes to meet Allen's forces and demands to lead them. They refuse, but allow him to come along.
 
The British do not have the fort guarded well, and do not have a large garrison. The Green Mountain Boys easily enter the fort at dawn and capture the garrison without any deaths. Allen and Arnold then fight over command and who deserves credit for the victory.

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Episode 058: Slavery and Liberty

August 19, 2018

For most of the colonial period, slavery is surprisingly uncontroversial.  As the American Revolution begins, colonists start to question the institution of slavery 

In the north broad acceptance of slavery evaporates quickly after Patriots demand that all men are born basic rights to liberty.  Even in the north, slavery would not end for many more years though. 

In the south, where slave are much more critical to the economy, colonists prove unwilling to bend on the issue.  Many in the deep south support the Patriot movement out of concern that Parliament might someday try to emanciapte slaves in the British colonies.

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Episode 057: Regulars and Provincials

August 12, 2018

As the Siege of Boston opens in 1775, this episode takes a look at the command structure and life as a British Regular, and compares that to the Provincial army of militiamen around Boston.

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Episode 056: The Shot Heard ‘Round the World

August 5, 2018

The Seige of Boston begins as soon as the regulars retreat back to Boston following the battles at Lexington and Concord.  The New England Provinicial army springs up overnight from minutemen and militia units throughout New England.  In the days that follow, Patriots and regulars record their accounts of the battles.  The Patriots rush their accounts across the continent and over to London, spreading their version of events first.  Word of the fighting encourages Patriots across the continent that it was time to take up arms and go to war.

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Episode 055: British Retreat from Lexington and Concord

July 29, 2018

By the afternoon of April 19, 1775, having completed his search and destroy mission to Concord. Lt. Col. Smith finds himself facing a twenty mile gauntlet back to Boston. Thousands of angry militia stand ready to attack.  His men are exhausted and running low on ammunition.  His column barely makes it back to Lexington, where Lord Percy's relief column saves them from surrender.  The combined force then faces its own running battle before finally returning to the safety of Charlestown.  The regulars are impressed by the colonial militia's ability to stand up to them.  Gen. Gage can no longer deploy soldiers from Boston.  His only access in or out is by sea.  The Provincial army grows into the tens of thousands as they lay siege to Boston.

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Episode 054: British Advance on Lexington and Concord

July 22, 2018
On the evening of April 18, 1775, Lt. Col. Smith leaves Boston via Charlestown. His goal is to seize and destroy munitions in Concord. Delays prevent his force from leaving Charlestown before Paul Revere and other riders alert the countryside. At around dawn on April 19, the regulars confront a group of militia on Lexington Green.
 
The regulars at Lexington are an advance company led by a young Lieutenant. They fire on the militia before the main column arrives. When Col. Smith arrives, he stops the shooting and restores order. By then, many lay dead and wounded on the Green. Smith reassembles his column which marches on to Concord.
 
In Concord, the militia get word of the attack at Lexington and pull back out of town to North bridge. The British arrive and search for munitions. Smith sends a force of light infantry across North bridge to Barrett's mill in search at munitions. While three companies hold North bridge, the militia strike, killing several regulars and retaking the bridge. The British at Barrett's mill are cut off, but manage to cross the bridge anyway, right past the militia, and rejoin the main force in Concord.
 
Smith is now faced with having to march back to Boston through a gauntlet of hostile militia bent on payback.

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