Note – there are some spoilers in this review, I could not do it justice without them! I apologize in advance! I do my best to keep most spoilers out, but there are times I just cannot bypass them.
THE BRITISH ARE COMING!!
Michael O. Logusz brings to the forefront a little followed section of the American Revolution. When we think of the American Revolution, we think George Washington and his amazing and daring tactics in bringing the British to their end in the American colonies. However, there is much more to this war than many are familiar with.
As we move through the many facets of the Wilderness Campaign, it can get really easy to get bogged down with some of the details. If you are looking for a novel read, this book is NOT for you. But if you want to get a deeper understanding of the Wilderness Campaign of 1777, the major players AND the mistakes that plagued both sides, then this is a MUST READ!! Logusz breaks down the campaign by days, not just notable markers. You get to know the mindset of not only the American Continental Army, but the British Officers as well. Taking the day by day approach, readers are treated to not only to maps and details from correspondence between the leaders, but to the fears and the doubts that plagued both sides. As the troop movements commenced and the Wilderness Campaign heated up, the Northern Army operated as well as they could. Supplies and moral were in place. However, on the British side, things were much different. Lack of supplies, risky intelligence, lack of knowing the area, and loyalist advisors who were in it for themselves, a reader can almost feel as though they are marching through these forests themselves.
Michael Logusz brings readers not only the big picture of how the Wilderness Campaign was lost, but the smaller and finer details that often escape other writers. From some of the first snipers in American history to the murder of Jane McCrea by Native Americans fighting for the British, the nitty-gritty details are brought to the front.
As General John Burgoyne began to prepare for his foray into the war, he studied the maps and what little intelligence that they had concerning the wilderness areas of the colonies. What they did not realize was that their maps were completely out of date and what they were being told from some of the loyalists that were still residing in the areas was not always completely true. According to the maps, what should have been a straight and narrow shot through the countryside was in fact, full of ravines and other obstacles that had not been noted. The British considered the American Patriots weak, and thought the war was won before they even started. As they moved into their first battles with the patriots, they were shocked at the tactics that they employed. To this point, British regulars had only been faced with pitched battles where each side would come out and meet each other head on. Instead, the patriots borrowed from their Native American counterparts, and began to use more guerilla tactics. They hid, they jumped up and fired, then ran. General Burgoyne kept waiting for the many loyalists that he had been told were waiting for the British before they would join but those loyalists never fully materialized. As for the American Patriots who were opposing the British, they were entrenched and more determined than they were given credit for. Even though they lost Fort Ticonderoga early, they managed to not give up much more.
As you read through there are several details that will catch you and make you thumb back a few pages. This is not a bad thing! The facts are such that you have to almost view British and American thought side by side, and Logusz does just that!
Grab the book and join the Wilderness Campaign today! From triumph to hesitation, “With Musket and Tomahawk” will take you on a journey that will have you wanting to dive deeper in.