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tv   Patrick O Donnell The Indispensables  CSPAN  July 6, 2021 12:59pm-2:00pm EDT

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hosting a person. >> okay. i look for to do that as well. i thank you once again for having me. >> tonight on booktv on c-span2 we look at policing starting at 8 p.m. eastern. >> tv on c-span2 tonight starting at 8 p.m. eastern. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> good evening. i'm kevin butterfield, executive director of the washington library at george washington's mount vernon and coming to you from the library for an exciting evening book talk with patrick o'donnell. .. this exciting book the indispensable's. i want to mention one upcoming book, the >> tonight program to live
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here in mount vernon is the official book launch of patrick o'donnell's new book indispensable's with the subtitle the divers soldier marines who shaped the country, the navy and road washington across the delaware gtpublished by atlantic monthly press today. we have a number of autographed copies going out to people who submitted questions. we've got excitingquestions lined up . during tonight's talk submit questions. let us know what you want to know from patrick and we can ask those questions tonight. i couldn't put this book down over the last week. it was reviewed just today in the wall street journal. they called it in half unlike any story you're aboutto hear about from patrick . it really moves very quickly. you learn more about gunpowder than you think you might . there's a lot to hear from
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this great account of the indispensable's . he's a best-selling military historian, this is his second book on the revolutionary war period. the first one washington immortal, the story of the elite regiment which changed the course of the revolution got him down the path and then he came to washington library to work on this book 'rthat you're about to hear about. he's received an award for his book life beyond valor which covers the second world war. this is his 12th book across the generations. his important historical work with american soldiers in combat in iraq and he has done consulting work or projects like band of brothers, for dozens of documentaries on different aspects of military history and he worked on his book here mount vernon as a fellow
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at the washingtonlibrary . i'm so excited for this talk to introduce you to patrick o'donnell. >> thank you kevin for the introduction. it's good to come home. so much of my research for the indispensable's was here at this library where i literally rebuilt the marblehead regiment from the ground up using their pension files, diaries, letters, etc. to create this regiment and story which is truly extraordinary . every book i've ever written has been a journey. each one of these books found me in one way or another and this is no exception. but before i embark upon a book i always ask the basic rest in . who cares, why does it matter ?
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this library, our country wouldn't be here at it not been for these individuals that i wrote about. men and women in the indispensable's. they saved our country multiple times. they formed the navy save washington's army naon numerous occasions which i'm going to talk about tonight. the book is also a window into current events in many ways. it's a virus that divides americans politically, cancel culture, it's about misinformation and disarmament. there's things in this book that resonates with people but let me sort of thinking back right now into one of the most crucial period in the american revolution. the american dunkirk. the battle of brooklyn had just been waged and america had lost badly . washington's army was defeated. the marylanders will wrote a
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book called washington's immortals and bought us and our more precious in our history than any other where washington with a different rearguard action washington's army would be able to retreat to fortifications brooklyn heights. the british army which had surrounded the american army there was about to come up the east river and also siege lines were creeping forward. it was a careless time. it was a time in our history when all could be lost. washington had a decision to make, retreat for quite washington wisely decided to retreat. this is a time when all could be lost. the entire army could be surrounded and destroyed. everything rested upon the shoulders of the men in the book that i've written about, themarblehead men . washington decided to retreat and he had to cross a mile-long river, the east river and this is, let me
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sort of take you back in time to august 30. there have been a massive nor'easter that helps both armies for two daysstraight after the of brooklyn . siege lines including former into the american physicians brooklyn heights and lord howells army was closer and closer to annihilatingthe american army . washington decides to escape. it's john glover and enthe marblehead men, they gathered all the votes in manhattan and they man" and they carry the army across the east river. this is not an easy task. the east river at the time is swirling. the wind isn't cooperating and on top of that tha loyalist sees what's happening and sends an enslaved individual within her household to the british lines to try and inform lord how theamericans are escaping .
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this individual wanders upon some hessian soldiers who speak german and they're not able to understand what he's trying to say, fortunately. but the americans are evacuating. who glover doesn't know it until a couple hours before the evaluation that he had to pull off oeone of the greatest retreats in american history and in world history and name" and as a man votes, the wind doesn't cooperate and the tides are horrendous but there's something very special about these men. they worked together or years at the grand banks, fishing the grand banks, the most treacherous waters in the world . what makes them unique is there also arguably the first diverse regiment in theunited states army . here, it's african-americans, native americans, hispanic americans all working together they work together grand banks.
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it's a situation where ttrace didn't matter. where literally the weather changed, could kill people and they had to rely upon one another they were relying upon one another to pull off one of the greatest retreats in history. as they rode across theriver , the wind wasn't working. but the entire evacuation was about to be called off. but the person that was delivering the message to washington couldn't find washington. they still went and glover's men push them across and against all odds they conducted the retreat. at that time, the wind changed in the favor of americans. and glover's men were able to transport the army across the east river. in one case remarked almost a dozen times against all odds.
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and as dawn was coming, a miraculous fog appeared. it screamed, continued to screen the movements of the army as it was crossing . and john glover and his marblehead men from massachusetts delivered the army to safety. nearly 10,000 men were delivered to safety . this is one reason makes them indispensable. they saved enthe army time but it would be one of many situations. literally two weeks later the british land again at kips bay. and it's the marbleheaders make a stand. washington is even catatonic and as the british are attacking his horse, he and his horse are frozen in time.
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only has to come and bring them out of the battle of the british are advancing towards him literally hundreds of yards away. the marbleheaders make the stand as the army melts away. the army melts away and the marbleheaders make this desperate rearguard stand there able to reform at the battle of harlem heights and there's a smallvictory . and it's the marbleheaders that are involved in interesting operations where they conduct raids against the british line. the marbleheaders are a precursor to special operations units we know today . they are doing things that are really special and extraordinary. they launched fire ships against the british writers of the battle of brooklyn where they nearlytake out what's equivalent to a british battleship . they launch raids and also form what's known as the guard. the commander-in-chief's guard d or the lifeguard and the lifeguard is an
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extraordinary gimmick. it's a precursor to the secret service. it's washington's hand-picked men that garden and it's not a small group of men. mushrooms up to 200 men and these men are involved in operations , in battles but they also guard his excellency's papers. they are, they act as his aides to camp in many ways. it's the marbleheaders that lead this unit and shapes it and forms it. it's quite an extraordinary story in and of itself. but not only do they save and protect the unit but there's a little of history involved. writer to the battle of brooklyn there are several members of the guard that have leanings towards british royalty if you will. they are lord into a plot to assassinate washington.
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that relatively unknown story is told in the indispensable's as well. they uncover the plot luckily and the guard actuallyprotect washington and take out their own . the first american to be executed is a member of the bar. but that's quite a fascinating story. as the book moves forward it's the indispensable are washington elite force in many of the battles in new york. and the british once again land up in the northern part of manhattan at a place called throngs point and it's here that the marbleheaders along with other units repel
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an amphibious invasion from the greatest navy of the world at the time, the aoroyal navy which is an extraordinary feat in and of itself . they land further up the coast at pelham monday or pelham! and it's here that glover's army or i'm sorry, that the brigade which includes the marblehead regiment once again saves the army. and they fight initially close to the landing point but they fall back and it's a collapsible defense. it's kind of an emerging part of the american way of war which is unique h and ever-changing and it's still ever-changing to this day. but we were not using conventional tactics of european armies. we are falling back from a fixed position. in this case they were calling back behind stonewall's and allowing the british to advance still taking down many of their
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numbers. and it's here that the indispensable's helped really save thewashington's army once again . from this point on, fort washington where many many americans are captured, nearly 3000 americans including some marbleheaders that were captured early on during the, they are basically wounded but are recovering in fort washington. there captured by the british and so much of this book consists of pension application files that are in many ways the unknown oral histories of the american revolution. it you were lucky enough to survive the american revolution, you could apply for a pension application in
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1820. and you go down to the local courthouse and swear under oath what you saw and did and here are some of the great oral history accounts of what happened during the war that are untapped and in their own words. the indispensable's is filled with these unknown stories from unknown americans. it's a boots on the ground and of brothers, very much a cinematic telling of the war. and it also has 1000 endnotes. all of it, all of the words in the book from these americans are true statements from their accounts. not something that i made up. but within this, within these accounts, within the story it's what happened and what
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they saw and did and it's very compelling inmany cases . and as we enter november and december this is the darkest days, some of the darkestdays of america . things are politically collapsing. the military victories army has obtained from brooklyn and fort washington, from the other victories has caused a swing within the united states where peopleare abandoning the cost new jersey , people are signing oath of allegiance to the crown. congressmen, people that have signed the declaration of independence are jumping sides . our changing. the enlistments within the regiments are all set to expire and they are expiring. washington's army literally melting away within his eyes. and he decides that he must
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do something. it's a very desperate situation and he decides to attack the hessian outpost in trenton. and it's here that the marbleheaders have perhaps their finest hour. it's a situation where everything changes. everything is on the line. everything is about to collapse. and it's on the shoulders of the marbleheaders once again. washington has an elaborate plan. he always has often elaborate plans. there are four problems that are going to attack trenton. the marbleheaders are basically taking the army across the delaware river on the main problem but the other three are also going forward. all of them fail except the marbleheaders. only the marbleheaders have
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the skill to cross the delaware river which isfilled with ice , which is fast flowing. there's a nor'easter that -gnight. nothing is going according to plan. all of the other prongs to washington'soffensive fail . let's the marbleheaders are able to get the army across intact. at least one portion of it, the other three fail. and that night, there behind schedule. there are about 12 miles 12 above trenton and they have to march through sleet and snow into trenton. much of the army at this time isbarefoot . there are literally, their no tracks are filled with blood in the snow . but they push forward. the marbleheaders are leading part of the element. they pushed down towards the southern portion of trenton.
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and this is a very very important point. without borders they attack a key bridge. it was the absentee bridge. they capture the bridge along with the guard and then they set up a series of cannons on the high ground. meanwhile the rest of washington's army is attacking johan roll and during most 18th-century engagements, both armies or both sides battle it out and one side is not doing well, theyretreat . johan had no avenue of retreat thanks to john glover and the indispensable's. they capture the bridge, they sealed the retreat and seal the fate of johan rawls entire regiment which changed the course of history. and from there, the army
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sales back across the delaware thanks to the wamarblehead men and it's unfortunately a little bit worse than the trip over because the men had captured the rum supply. and it was a drunken cruise over and several men fell over but they captured most of rawls regiment. they capture a large of arms and many cannons and then sets up a week later, roughly a week later about, the secondbattle of trenton . where washington doesn't necessarily want to fight, but his hand is force by a militia group, philadelphia associated which go over a little bitearly without borders . washington decides to reinforce them and they hold a key bridge against all odds . half the marblehead regiment,
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maybe half or a little bit more days with washington. the other group is exhausted and they go back to marblehead but that group stays fight at the battle of princeton and they change the course of history. the 10 crucial days that changed the course of history in each battle. and it's the marbleheaders that are in the four that make a difference, but the story doesn't end there. and what i mean by that is it's a marbleheader that once again saves the army area i'll get to that in a bit but i want to go through several of the characters in the book so that you get a feel for what this book is about. the first character if you will or individual that i like to o highlight is john glover. he's the central character of
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the indispensable. and john glover is a self-made man. he fights during the french and indian war. he's a cobbler. he's also a bartender. and with the money he makes from bartending and cobbling shoes, he's able to buy a ship. and then he's able to buy more ships. and he builds a fleet of ships and becomes a wealthy man within marblehead itself through training and marblehead, fortunes are made on fish. is the commodity in marblehead third of the economy in massachusetts in 1774. a fish grand banks and the grand banks are some of the most treacherous waters in the world at the time. it's icy and it's thousands
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of miles away from boston but theysail up there and they fish .they gather fish and it's on life and death situation anytime against these giant waves against storms but they're s,working together and marblehead is a diverse community. it has needed americans. it has three africanamericans . it has hispanic americans. these individuals are ahead of their time in many ways. a progressive talent for its time. many of the men in the indispensable's are ardent abolitionists. they are the forefront of america's civil rights before there were civil rights and they were ardently pushing for the abolition of slavery including john glover. these crews that are diverse, they're working together but it's also a situation where the crown is interfering with their lives and their
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interfering with their lives constantly. there are present, john glover and cruzare impressed by the british navy . literally they come alongside e the ship, board the ship and say you're going to be a member of the royal navy. you're effectively a slavefor life . that individual is taken aboard the royal navy ship made a member of the royal navy for life and there's no freeing that individual unless they escaped which some did. but this is a factor that causes a break from great britain. it's one of the factors. regulation, excessive regulation . glover's enterprises were regulated by the crown we thousand miles away. in 1775 some people the fisheries act would be established where the crown would literally not allow
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marbleheaders to fish the grand banks effectively putting out of work the entire town which caused a great deal of resentment. their judges were taken away from them and installed with royalofficials. their government .change . all these issues fomented a political change within the colonies, within marblehead. marblehead would become the spearhead along the boston of the revolution. it would also be an mainspring of the revolution. it was the marbleheaders that would play a critical role in this. but in 1773 and 74, the ships also brought home with it a virus. that changed america and changed the town. the town would be divided politically. the virus was smallpox and people within the town were being infected but the patriots within the town came up with a novel plan to
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create an inoculation hospital to try to publicly deal with the virus itself which was causing these political fissures and causing massive debts and if you're familiar with smallpox, it cost pustules across the face and back and it would start people and kill you in many cases. test houses to sort of contain the virus but the inoculation hospital which was cutting edge for the time was set up by john glover, eldridge gary, and many of the other main characters in this book. the loyalists were on board the and at the hospital started to produce results, it's also produced or revised some of the infections which the loyalists use to their advantage to incite the mob. and dozens of men rode on
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boats to island where the inoculation hospitals would insulate and they burned to the ground with people inside, remarkably nobody was killed but the loss of the hospital cost john glover and the other anpatriots in the town over 002000 pounds in damages. so they put out a writ for the sheriff to get the men that had done that. they sees those individuals and they were brought to jail for trial. the loyalists in the town use the situation of a virus to incite the mob and they attack the jail with hundreds of individuals. they broke into the doors of the jail with axes and crowbars and freed the twomen . and at that point , the main characters of the book, their houses are surrounded by the angry mob. which areheld in on potentially killing themall .
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and john glover came up with a very novel solution to deal with the problem. his version was to wheel the canon inside the foyer of his house and i recall finding the original papers on his family. i'll fix them was his quote. and as the mob circled the house, hundreds of men ready to kill him he ordered the doors rdmust open and the cannon was there in the foyer oyfacing the mob. he had his fortunate hand and hetold them to disperse . and they did. he made his stand and it was as emblematic of what, how john glover would conduct himself through therest of the war . and it's here that, it's john glover and eldridge gary bringing in the main supplies
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of gunpowder through their contacts spain , prior to the revolutionary war and as the war moves forward, john glover is involved in lexington and concorde. he's involved in many of the other battles and he also has the job of guarding general washington prior to the battle of bunker hill and it's here that john glover forges a special relationship p with the commander-in-chief. he informs a level of trust and his trust, it's general washington that looks upon john glover to solve a problem for him. gunpowder is the crucial necessary as john adams says. the colonists said your guns, they had no gunpowder and the british knew it and they tried to disarm us through gunpowder but it would be the contacts that will marbleheaders had with
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spain that brought in that gunpowder but it would also be on the whole way that washington would try to capture more gunpowder attacking the british stores halifax. but he needed a ship orships to do that operation . so he turned to john glover to create a navy and the navy which is really kind of preposterous is to take basically a fishing boat that john glover had, the hannah which was about 74 times and somehow take on the greatest navy of the world at the time in the royal navy but that's exactly what they did. and they attacked british ships. it's the story of the navy is t extraordinary. some of the most colorful captains in american history. captain coin, the red dragon, the head of the giant red n cloak that he had an incredible sense of humor.
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cyan martindale who decides to fit his six guns, spent a lavish amount of money as soon as the ship gets out of work is immediately captured by the british. cyan martindale sells up his crew to the british at trial. cyan martindale is a really amazing story.. they put his crew in irons. they put many of them pressed into royal navy vessels and he is free with some of his officers and he makes his way to maine where he's imprisoned as well by the british navy. somehow escapes on foot and makes his way down the east coast all the way to washington . spinning tales of grand tales of his heroics in the process and cei'll let that, he goes on to fight again but is lost at sea. there are so many amazing stories within the navy itself.
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they attack canada without authorization.there's a mutiny, one of the first in united states history. but they also capture critical partnerships at the right time and the right place. >> another individual i'd like to talk about is nathaniel bond . the harvard trained resurrection. the resurrection is is abody snatcher . doctor bond, there was a critical shortage of cadavers at the time and people would literally, doctors would raid graveyards to snatch bodies to work on them to find out their anatomy . but doctor bond is really an extraordinary hero. he's on island working the inoculation g and it's here that he saves many
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marbleheaders. he's at the forefront of smallpox. it's his guilty. it's his expertise. doctor bond is a member of the regiment. and trained with them, drills with them. he participates in the battle of lexington and concorde but according to his radical which he follows very seriously, he treats the british soldiers that are wounded at lexington and concorde. through it, he's canceled. the patriots of the town believe he is now a loyalist. and his house is surrounded. and he writes an extraordinary letter which i have here in my hand, the original parchment. he begs for his life for eldridge gary saying there are thousands of peoplethat will kill him at any moment . please send a detail of men to bring me to a
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court-martial so i can reveal the true facts of what happened . and he confides in his true friend joseph warren as well as eldridge gary and they have a court-martial and the facts are revealed. doctor bond is exonerated from state crimes that he didn't do anything wrong, he pejusthelped people which is what it is supposed to do but instead of melting away , and not being happy with the situation he decides to fight . and he joined the marblehead regiment as their surgeon and doctor bond goes on to be a company commander and fights through all the major battles of the americanrevolution . i mean, y ndextraordinary in and of itself. and that's the battle of trenton when about half the regiment goes back to marblehead. they have to read before going back. marblehead at the time is
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economically devastated. many of their wives are starving. they go back to protect their wives and loved ones and families. doctor bond stayed on along with many of the other men and washington himself asks doctor bond to inoculate the army. at the time the virus was killing nearly 20 percent of the army. it was beingdevastated by it . doctor bond sets up all the inoculations. he supervises and manages the entire process and inoculates the army. one historian claims it's washington's greatest decision to inoculate the army. then there able to fight but for it, the man that was initially canceled, the man was labeled a loyalist dies
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and perishes from basically inoculate in the army. those are some of the characters in the book along with eldridge gary, forgotten founder. my favorite word for gary is grumletarian. it was birdlike, skinny. he was the intellectual mainspring in y many ways of the earlyrevolution . it's eldridge gary that believes in republicanism for small arms. it's service to country over self. and he takes abstract concepts and makes them a reality. but he also takes one of the largest trading week in the county which he and his family own and converts them into supply lines. as i mentioned earlier the
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unum neccessarium was gunpowder. all the operations written was taking was to disarm americans and take our vital supply of gunpowder. without gunpowder no revolution could be fought but it's gerry that comes up with the concept and he's one of thefirst in writing to talk about foreign alliances . another marbleheaders forged the alliance with spain. and it's through his contacts that last 30 to 40 and you gone on for 20 or 30 years before his this vital relationship and they bring in the powder tothe caliphate . he's also a future vice president. these are future congressmen, gerrymander is named afterhim . the bill of rights, the electoral college, all these
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things are part of eldridge gerry. the other thing i'm going to talk about his the diverse members of this unit. in many cases we only know them by their first name. in some cases a roman name for a greek name. these are extraordinary individuals that are unsung and forgotten. the importance of the marblehead regiment their strength their diverse city but their greatest strength was their unit as these men working together as a team. there are incredible members of this regiment such ascesar glover , manwell soto, chuck would that i looked up their pension files and these men died penniless . but they fought through the
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entire war in the most epic and great operation of thewar . bringing the army to safety multiple times. these are the forgotten members of the revolution . they are all extraordinary in what they did and it's a diverse city and model that we wouldn't see tragically for over 170 years in america's armed forces. but these are the men, men and women. the book covers incredible women aswell . that did extraordinary things . they were at the right place at the right time. and in many cases there's the sacrifice that they made. marblehead alone had over 600 widows .and it's that story,
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it's that sacrifice that's the reason why i wrote the indispensable's. i think most americans didn't necessarily appreciate. our founding story is our greatest story. and it's the marbleheaders that change the course of history. thank you very much. >> i'm excited for people to have a chance to read it which they can now do well. there's a question that i'd like for michelle about cothe cohesiveness of this unit. she asks how does a diverse group become a cohesive unit and it's something you said inanother context as well . soldiers acting as one, did not happen here and how were they successful, how do they make that happen?
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>> a lot of it has to do with what happened prior to the revolution . in many cases, many of these men on fishing boats. where life and death decisions had to be made within seconds. the color of your skin or race is irrelevant. it was about trust and this trust and teamwork was forged over years of time and many of them had forged those bonds, they forged bonds of friendship. there were bonds of family to where they literally many of the men in this unit were interconnected through familial ties. i researched this extensively. there was no desertion. i found a couple examples is unheard of for the 18th century americans where desertion was right but it
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was those close connections with family and communities that tie them together. >> another question, i like this one as well. after the trenton campaign, did colonel glover and the marbleheaders return home after mark you mentioned eldridge but can you tell us more about the afterlife? >> it's a complicated story. half the unit, maybe less than half the unit stays with washington. this is an extraordinary moment. after or right before the battle, washington uses is great oratory abilities to plead the army to stay. and then he stepped forward. and served.
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and many of them are marbleheaders and many of them die as a result of that service . including doctorbond . john glover along with other omembers of the marblehead regimens return home to marblehead and fate form a new, glover is made general. they form, he's part of, he commands a new brigade and they form a new regiment but many of the men take to the sea. in many cases many of the captains, the great captains have become part of the continental navy on family and their some of the greatest fighting captains of bo the revolutionary war and the book is filled with an incredible scene of ship to ship fighting, also ships that are in some cases rotting tubs and these men have to make repairs on the
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fly they have to make their way to a small co- and there's hardly anybody there and they have to drag logs out of there to makemasks and everything else. it's quite an extraordinary story of american ingenuity . many of them become privateers. unlike washington's navy where they were members of the army that were really at sea. these are individuals that are private, that are also earning a commission, slightly different but they're working in the employ of the massachusetts government in many cases . many of them die including glover's son. and many of them are never seen again. >> another question that come in that's a little specific but there's a great story here. justin cherry is another fellow at the washington library talk about the average age of the marblehead regimens. are they young, are they old and is there a rain west and mark.
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>> i was able to take the muster roles that existed and it's fragmentary. the average age was around 24. for many of the men but it very. there were obviously older men and younger men. the book also captures the story caof boy soldiers and in many cases they were drummer boys. music was an important part of being able to communicate on 18th-century battle. youneeded drums to fight and really orders . and many of the younger members were musicians from the papers and they went to war with their fathers. and we have some really extraordinary stories of father and son teams in the book. >> another question coming in
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. she asks a good question about the recognition of obviously your book is a great example of how centuries later we can still discover and recognize the service. what kind of recognition to these people receivedduring their lifetime ? >> most of these men and women received zero recognition. most of them were bankrupt after the war. and what you see in the pension file applications after, they were lucky enough to make it that long. there penniless and this is especially true for the soldier mariners of color. they're extremely impoverished. and glover himself is wracked with capacity, we can define that from his letters to washington where he's notable to sleep . most of the night and marblehead was a source of
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great wealth to massachusetts prior to the war. it's really reduced to llmichelle after the war and individual families are greatly impoverished. the book itself in 1777, lake 76 they bring out the women of the town, the town of beverly and marblehead and beverly is an important part of this as well. one of the companies led by captain brown is from beverly and they have their base their area they literally buy it. the women of the town take up muskets and raid the food stores of the town. >> this is a gritty, gritty an civil war where americans are pitted against americans . the impoverished, be different wars than most people have read in their history books.
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>> another question coming from the audience. i'm excited to hear your thoughts on this one from pamela about how did glover manage to bring so many diverse people in. you talk about the efforts to integrate. are they thoughtful and deliberate and is there something he needed to do or did it come out of the community in which he came? >> i think it comes out of the community. there was no overt effort to coerce people to serve and i think that's animportant element of this book . they willingly served and in many cases it's the poorest members of the community and as well as the elite members. all serving together side-by-side. and i mean, you've got u' literally glover and eldridge gerry and jeremiah lee.
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these are exceptionally and jeremiah lee in particular was one of the wealthiest men in the colonyarea is initially there colonel . serving with the other members of the community which are not well off at all . and they're not doing it under coercion. they're doing it because they feel it's their duty and what i find extraordinary is the amount of sacrifice as the war progresses and the community itself is bankrupt. there's been tremendous amount of pressure to return home . to give up the war but most of these men or many of these men continue theirservice. against all odds . which i find just extraordinary. >> obviously we are here at mount vernon and it's a great opportunity to ask george washington question. what was the connection like between glover andwashington
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? did they have a candid and frank relationship with one another as denmark. >> duthey did. >> i want to acknowledge a mount vernon insider asked us that. >> that relationship is an important one and it's why these marbleheaders are the indispensable's. that relationship is forged in early 1775 in cambridge. it's a mansion that washington takes over as his headquarters and it's the marbleheaders that are in some ways the first to garden these headquarters. he requests them as time goes on because he forms a very intimate relationship of trust with john glover and with the adjutants of that unit. at the time, caleb gibbs. he later becomes in charge of
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the lifeguard or commander-in-chief guard. and this relationship is incredibly important. washington can trust these men at the most crucial inflection point of the war. it's at the american dunkirk he places his entire trust on the shoulders of the marblehead men. pelham bay and its later trenton where washington asks lover can you bring us across the river? it's a story about that. my boys have got it. and they had it. he had that confidence in his, glover have the confidence in his men and washington had confidence in the marbleheaders. as i said earlier if washington was the
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indispensable man of the revolution it's the marbleheaders were the indispensable men of the revolution . >> margo has a great question that we should hear your thoughts on about the training. shaping the ability of this wonderful regiment . was it life experience? was it fishing? the experience they had coming in before the war broke out? how were they taught if there was more to it to be the regiment they became? >> the men had undergone training as a militia unit prior to the war where they would train in the ground in and around gmarblehead. and it was you know, not necessarily taken very seriously because they go right to the tavern afterwards and drink punchdsand grog after the training . but it was really what forged
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these men as what and l'engle said is arguably the greatest fighting unit ever to take arms for the united states is there experience prior to the war fishing in the grand banks and as merchants where they had to battle not only the royal navy but also mother nature, some of the greatest seas at the time. the grand banks were unforgiving, were literally every year hundreds of men would die from the sea. >> this bread hard men that were very very tough americans. and also pretty hard drinkers to but that'sanother story . were very tough individuals. >> there's another question i like coming in from frank.
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you asked about the marbleheaders elsewhere. wetalk about the water cropping's, i see one on the cover of your book . were any marbleheaders involved in other campaigns including in the south southern campaigns in the war weston mark class not directly. after the trenton campaign, glover would operate in the north primarily. there's a handful of individuals that may have effectively served in the south in other units because they had traveled that way in one way or another but for the most part they had not operated, did not operate in the south. but the story of the marblehead men is unique in terms of the special operations units, operations that they had conducted where they for instance conducted raids against the british and they had even launched a series of fire ships against the british in a couple of weeks before the battle of brooklyn where several men had died or perished as they
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drove their ships, flaming ships directly into what effectively were british battleships . and one of the marbleheaders perished in the process but it's really a story of heroism. >> another question i'm curious about and this might be my last opportunity because we're running out of time but just as we posed the question earlier on i'm excited to hear your thoughts about about leadership and they asked about leadership qualities that washington had . let me ask you to expand that a bit. not just washington but inalso other key figures including glover. is there a leadership trait that you see as key to the success of this regiment? >> absolutely. this book is filled with leadership examples of individuals that were willing to sacrifice their lives and
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their fortunes for their cause, for their country which i can't even -- it's mind-boggling to describe this, where at the end of the war many of these individuals were penniless and they were broken men. physically as well as emotionally. the scars of war would continue but one of the leadership traits that they had was they were rewilling to, they would never ask somebody else to be something that they would be willing to do. in many cases they lead from the very front. and were willing to sacrifice their lives. and that leadership is really essential. it's something that is a lesson that we can understand and learn from today.
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>> this has been a remarkable opportunity, patrick. let me talk to you from here where i'm standing at my podium. let me ask you, any closing words you want to say about your research project here but also coming up? >> i do want to say thank you. everybody that stayed this evening and sacrificed their time for my presentation. i really want to thank the ladies of mount vernon who are sponsoring me and allowing me to really conduct research into i think one of the finest facilities in america and it's one of the greatest. i've never found a better place to write one tehere at the house. it's a special place and i'm just extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here and to conduct the research and to write this book.
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>> the book everyone is the indispensable's, the first soldier mariners who formed crthe navy and roadwashington across the delaware . so glad to have patrick here to talk about this book. picking up now, by now. we have available at the mount vernon shop and thank you for being with us to. >> it was an honor kevin, thank you. >> tonight on book tv. we look at policing starting at 8 pm eastern, conversation with former new york city police commissioner bill bratton. then author of the book america on fire. the untold history of police violence and black rebellion since the 1960s. and a conversation with rosa brooks, a law professor who became a police officer in her 40s. tv on c-span2, tonight starting at 8 pm eastern. >> wednesday on book tv on
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trend.áuntran21á space travel. we start with virgin galactic and the making of a modern astronaut. then author of woodstock, elon must and the desperate early days that launched a sex. and the conversation on the book troubled houston, my life in the center seat of mission control. book tv starts wednesday at 8 pm eastern on c-span2. >> you for joining us. my name is andrew, i'm the former director of the robert h smith international center for jefferson studies a month at monticello reedit it's my pleasure to introduce kevin wessel who will be discussing his new book the complete victory, saratoga the american revolution. published by university press and it's a splendid addition with color, illustrations and excellence maps. it's very useful


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