Aug 132019
 

In the summer of 1775, a Virginia gentleman-planter was given command of a New England army laying siege to British-occupied Boston. With his appointment, the Continental Army was born. Yet the cultural differences between those serving in the army and their new commander-in-chief led to conflicts from the very beginning that threatened to end the Revolution before it could start. The key challenge for General George Washington was establishing the standards by which the soldiers would be led by their officers. What kind of man deserved to be an officer? Under what conditions would soldiers agree to serve? And how far could the army and its leaders go to discipline soldiers who violated those enlistment conditions?

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Join us on Monday, April 27, 2020 as we welcome author and historian Seanegan P. Sculley who will be talking about his book Contest for Liberty: Military Leadership in the Continental Army, 1775–1783. Our meeting place is at Scoogi’s Italian Restaurant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in FlourtownFeel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15 pm. The presentation will start at 7:30 pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $30.  Don’t forget our book raffle too.  Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books.  You can purchase tickets for the book raffle; $1 per ticket, or $5 for 6 tickets.  The money raised goes to pay the room fee and speaker expenses.

As historian Seanegan P. Sculley reveals in Contest for Liberty: Military Leadership in the Continental Army, 1775–1783, these questions could not be determined by Washington alone. His junior officers and soldiers believed that they too had a part to play in determining how and to what degree their superior officers exercised military authority and how the army would operate during the war. A cultural negotiation concerning the use of and limits to military authority was worked out between the officers and soldiers of the Continental Army; although an unknown concept at the time, it is what we call leadership today. How this army was led and how the interactions between officers and soldiers from the various states of the new nation changed their understandings of the proper exercise of military authority was finally codified in General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben’s The Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, first published in 1779. The result was a form of military leadership that recognized the autonomy of the individual soldiers, a changing concept of honor, and a new American tradition of military service.

LTC Seanegan Sculley enlisted in the US Army in January 1995 as an airborne infantryman and served in Vicenza, IT until attending Officer Candidate School in the summer of 1999. He was commissioned as an Armor officer and became a tank platoon leader in 1-12 Cavalry at Fort Hood, TX before completing his BA in History at Texas State University in December 2002. LTC Sculley then deployed to Camp Garry Owen at Munsan, Republic of Korea from 2003-2005 and then earned his MA in History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2007. From 2007-2012, he served as both an instructor and assistant professor of History at the United States Military Academy during which time he deployed to Mosul, Iraq from 2009-2010. Following his assignment to West Point, LTC Sculley attended the Command and General Staff College in 2012-2013 and then served as the Battalion Executive Officer for 4-10 Infantry Regiment and the Brigade Operations Officer for the 71st Infantry Brigade at Fort Jackson, SC. He earned his PhD in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in May 2015 and he currently serves as an Academy Professor and the Division Chief for the American Division in the Department of History at West Point.

Jul 032017
 

Presentation Date: Monday September 25, 2017

Most images depicting the American Revolution are historically inaccurate nineteenth- and twentieth-century recreations. Historian Arthur S. Lefkowitz is working to change this. Lefkowitz gathered images from artists who were eyewitnesses to the events of our War for Independence. His research in museums and private collections in the United States, Canada, and Europe spanned years and brought together both professional and amateur artist renditions, including those from British officers. With over one hundred examples of “eyewitness” artwork, Lefkowitz draws readers into our nation’s fight for independence, appealing to those interested in American history and art history alike.

Join us on Monday, September 25, 2017 as we welcome Arthur S. Lefkowitz as he talks about his book “Eyewitness Images from the American Revolution“.   Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s  Italian Resturant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in FlourtownFeel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

Mr Lefkowitz will not be bringing books to this event, but will be more than happy to autograph any prebought books.

While some of the artwork presented may look familiar, Mr. Lefkowitz offers historical information on each piece, and new insight about the artists who created them. Pictures have been gathered from a variety of museum collections and, using high quality images, interesting details (frequently lost when the pictures are reproduced in books) come to life. Central to the presentation are portraits of George Washington, shown as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

Military historian and author Arthur S. Lefkowitz has dedicated his research to the most important event in United States history: the Revolutionary War. His expertise in the field has given him the opportunity to lecture for various organizations, including the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the Washington Association of New Jersey, for whom he was a keynote speaker. Lefkowitz’s scholarly expertise has even been showcased in several appearances on New Jersey Public Television.

Arthur S. Lefkowitz is an award-winning author and lecturer. He is also a member of the board of governors of the American Revolution Round Table. His books include:The Long Retreat (Rutgers University Press, 1999); George Washington’s Indispensable Men (Stackpole Books, 2003); The American Turtle Submarine, The Best Kept Secret of the American Revolution (Pelican Publishing, 2012; originally published by Scholastic, Inc. as Bushnell’s Submarine); Benedict Arnold’s Army, The 1775 American Invasion of Canada (Savas Beatie, 2008) and Benedict Arnold in the Company of Heroes(Savas Beatie, 2012).

Jul 162016
 

Presentation Date: Monday June 26, 2017

After two years of defeats and reverses, 1778 had been a year of success for George Washington and the Continental Army. France had entered the war as the ally of the United States, the British had evacuated Philadelphia, and the redcoats had been fought to a standstill at the Battle of Monmouth. While the combined French-American effort to capture Newport was unsuccessful, it lead to intelligence from British-held New York that indicated a massive troop movement was imminent.

Join us on Monday, June 26, 2017 as we welcome back Todd W. Braisted as he talks about his book “Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City”.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

British officers were selling their horses and laying in supplies for their men. Scores of empty naval transports were arriving in the city. British commissioners from London were offering peace, Grand Forge granting a redress of every grievance expressed in 1775. Spies repeatedly reported conversations of officers talking of leaving. To George Washington, and many others, it appeared the British would evacuate New York City, and the Revolutionary War might be nearing a successful conclusion. Then, on September 23, 1778, six thousand British troops erupted into neighboring Bergen County, New Jersey, followed the next day by three thousand others surging northward into Westchester County, New York. Washington now faced a British Army stronger than Burgoyne’s at Saratoga the previous year. What, in the face of all intelligence to the contrary, had changed with the British?
Through period letters, reports, newspapers, journals, pension applications, and other manuscripts from archives in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Germany, the complete picture of Britain’s last great push around New York City can now be told. The strategic situation of Britain’s tenuous hold in America is intermixed with the tactical views of the soldiers in the field and the local inhabitants, who only saw events through their narrow vantage points. This is the first publication to properly narrate the events of this period as one campaign. Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City by historian Todd W. Braisted explores the battles, skirmishes, and maneuvers that left George Washington and Sir Henry Clinton playing a deadly game of chess in the lower Hudson Valley as a prelude to the British invasion of the Southern colonies.

Author Todd W. Braisted

Author Todd W. Braisted

Todd Braisted is a life-long resident of Bergen County, New Jersey. An acknowledged expert in the field of Loyalist studies and local Revolutionary War History, he serves as Honorary Vice President of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada and a past president of the Bergen County Historical Society. He is likewise a Fellow in the Company of Military Historians and has served as chairman of their West Point Chapter. Todd’s studies have taken him across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom researching the American Revolution. Using mostly little known or obscure primary research, his work is known for bringing new information to light, and heavily relying on the people of their time telling their stories in their own words. This is heavily reflected in his latest work, “Bergen County Voices from the American Revolution” (History Press, 2012.) In addition to books and journal articles, Todd lectures frequently across North America and appears as a guest historian on such shows as “Who Do You Think You Are” and “History Detectives.” Todd currently lives in Mahwah, New Jersey, with his wife Susan.