1781: The Decisive Year of the Revolutionary War

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9781612000633: 1781: The Decisive Year of the Revolutionary War

The Treaty of Paris in 1783 formally ended the American Revolutionary War, but it was the pivotal campaigns and battles of 1781 that decided the final outcome. 1781 was one of those rare years in American history when the future of the nation hung by a thread, and only the fortitude, determination, and sacrifice of its leaders and citizenry ensured its survival. By 1781, America had been at war with the world's strongest empire for six years with no end in sight. British troops occupied key coastal cities, from New York to Savannah, and the Royal Navy prowled the waters off the American coast. The remaining Patriot forces hunkered down in the hinterland, giving battle only at opportunities when British columns ventured near. But after several harsh winters, and the failure of the nascent government to adequately supply the troops, the American army was fast approaching the breaking point. The number of Continental soldiers had shrunk to less than 10,000, and the three-year enlistments of many of those remaining were about to expire. Mutinies began to emerge in the Continental Army's ranks, and it was only the arrival of French troops that provided a ray of hope for the American cause.
In a shift of strategy given the stalemate between New York and Philadelphia, the British began to prioritize the south. After shattering the American army under Horatio Gates at Camden, South Carolina, the British army under Lord Cornwallis appeared unstoppable, and was poised to regain the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia for the Crown. However, when General Nathaniel Greene arrived to take command of Patriot forces in the south, he was able to gradually turn the tables. By dividing his own forces, he forced the British to divide theirs, dissipating their juggernaut and forcing Cornwallis to confront a veritable hydra of resistance.
1781 was a year of battles, as the Patriot Morgan defeated the notorious Tarleton and his Loyal legion at Cowpens. Then Greene suffered defeat at Guilford Courthouse, only to rally his forces and continue to fight on in the Carolinas and Georgia, assisted by such luminaries as Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," and "Light Horse Harry" Lee. Rather than continuing his campaign in the Carolinas,  Cornwallis marched his exhausted army to Yorktown on the Peninsula, upon which the combined American and French armies under the command of General Washington, and Admiral De Grasse's French fleet  all converged. On October 19, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered his weary and bloodied army.
In this book, Robert Tonsetic provides a detailed analysis of the key battles and campaigns of 1781, supported by numerous eyewitness accounts from privates to generals in the American, French, and British armies. He also describes the diplomatic efforts underway in Europe during 1781, as well as the Continental Congress's actions to resolve the immense financial, supply, and personnel problems involved in maintaining an effective fighting army in the field. With its focus on the climactic year of the war, 1781 is a valuable addition to the literature on the American Revolution, providing readers with a clearer understanding of how America, just barely, with fortitude and courage, retrieved its independence in the face of great odds.

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About the Author:

Robert Tonsetic graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964. He entered the Army the same year, and spent 27 years as an infantry officer retiring at the rank of Colonel. He was subsequently employed at the University of Central Florida, where he also eared a Doctorate in Education. He is the author of three previous books, Warriors, An Infantryman's Memoir of Vietnam, Days of Valor, An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months of the Vietnam War, andForsaken Warriors, The Story of an American Advisor with the South Vietnamese Rangers and Airborne, 1970-71.

Review:

"...Rather than deal with one culminating victory at Yorktown, the author explains the actions in the major theaters leading up to that most decisive victory. This book provides a panorama of the war...  - Edward M. Coffman - The History Book Club

"In 1781, Robert Tonsetic charts the course of this pivotal year in a full-blooded look at how America, just barely, with fortitude and courage, retrieved its independence in the face of overwhelming odds."  Military Book Club

"... the principal strength of Tonsetic's book is that he never takes the victory at Yorktown for granted as so many writers do ..., nor should he: Americans need periodic reminders that they could just as easily have lost." Steve Donoghue - Open Letters Monthly an Arts and Literature Review

"...Tonsetic has a really clear, vivid writing style...he brings just the right amount of human interest into the manoeuvring of armies and the machinations of generals by picking out individuals, and timely quotes from the times. ...I intend to seek out Mr. Tonsetic's earlier books on Vietnam." Paul Robinson, Staff Writer, The War Gamer.

“...careful historical writing, very careful, and readers will be informed far more often than they’ll be delighted ...there’s a reassuring solidity to battlefield analyses made by a historian who’s seen actual battlefields. 1781 saw the effective end of large-scale British warring in America, but the principal strength of Tonsetic’s book is that he never takes the victory at Yorktown for granted as so many Revolution writers do; he never writes ‘backward’ from the surrender of Cornwallis, nor should he: Americans need periodic reminders that they could just as easily have lost” (Open Letters Monthly)

“...really clear, vivid writing style...brings just the right amount of human interest into the maneuvering of armies and the machinations of generals by picking out individuals and their actions (sometimes just simple soldiers, not just the great and the good) and timely quotes from accounts of the time. Also, in the manner of a classic Tom Clancy novel (well almost) he knows just when to leave the action in one location to bring the reader up to speed with what is happening elsewhere. ...a very easy to read but did not think that any of the detail or feel of the action was lost. “ (Wargamer.com)

“...strong account of how the young United States went from the brink of disaster to victory in the course of a year.” (ON POINT- The Journal of Army History)

Few books cover the last year of the war, and those that do usually focus on just Yorktown. Tonsetic uses a broad approach, showing how events fit together in the Carolinas, New York, and Virginia. He not only covers military events, but diplomacy as well. Key negotiations were underway in Europe that affected strategy and actions in America. The epilogue reviews what happened later to the major players, and shows connections to later events.... It was a year filled with highs and lows for both sides, and none could have predicted the dramatic ending in Virginia, a state without a single British soldier on its soil when the year began. Readers who want to learn how events in the various theaters tied together during this crucial year will enjoy the book. (Journal of America's Military Past)

"Robert L. Tonsetic brings his extensive military experience and his academic training to the task. He is at his best when he delves into the battles themselves. Tonsetic thoroughly details the maneuvers of individual units and carefully goes over other factors such as terrain. . . This material will definitely be of interest to military historians and buffs . . ."―The Journal of Southern History (Journal of Southern History)

“...a good story and Tonsetic tells it well...There is always tension in a survey like this about the ratio between the generalities and details. Similarly, in a book about one year of a long war, there is also tension between providing or assuming background knowledge about the historical and strategic setting. Authors grapple with what needs explanation and what the audience should already know. Tonsetic handles these tensions ably. He moves the reader nimbly from broad brush to detailed descriptions...covers matters that full histories of the war ignore or mention only in passing.” (Parameters)

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Robert L. Tonsetic
Editorial: Casemate Books, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 1612000630 ISBN 13: 9781612000633
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Descripción Casemate Books, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Praise for Robert L. Tonsetic s previous publications: .takes an unflinching look at both the adventure and trauma of war while aiming to fill the gaps in the record for Vietnam. -Metro College Magazine Of special interest is the way in which he recounts the dynamics of personalities and their effect on the indigenous commanders and units. A must read for any soldiers likely to conduct partnering activities in the future. -Soldier Magazine The Treaty of Paris in 1783 formally ended the American Revolutionary War, but it was the pivotal campaigns and battles of 1781 that decided the final outcome. 1781 was one of those rare years in American history when the future of the nation hung by a thread, and only the fortitude determination, and sacrifice of its leaders and citizenry ensured its survival. By 1781, America had been at war with the world s strongest empire for six years with no end in sight. British troops occupied key coastal cities, from New York to Savannah, and the Royal Navy prowled the waters off the coast. After several harsh winters, and the failure of the government to adequately supply the troops, the American army was fast approaching the breaking point.It was only the arrival of French troops that provided a ray of hope for the American cause. In this book, Robert Tonsetic provides a detailed analysis of the key battles and campaigns of 1781, supported by numerous eyewitness accounts from privates to generals in the American, French, and British armies. He also describes the diplomatic efforts underway in Europe during 1781, as well as the Continental Congress s actions to resolve the immense financial, supply, and personnel problems involved in maintaining an effective fighting army. Nº de ref. de la librería AAJ9781612000633

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Robert L. Tonsetic
Editorial: Casemate Books, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 1612000630 ISBN 13: 9781612000633
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Descripción Casemate Books, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Praise for Robert L. Tonsetic s previous publications: .takes an unflinching look at both the adventure and trauma of war while aiming to fill the gaps in the record for Vietnam. -Metro College Magazine Of special interest is the way in which he recounts the dynamics of personalities and their effect on the indigenous commanders and units. A must read for any soldiers likely to conduct partnering activities in the future. -Soldier Magazine The Treaty of Paris in 1783 formally ended the American Revolutionary War, but it was the pivotal campaigns and battles of 1781 that decided the final outcome. 1781 was one of those rare years in American history when the future of the nation hung by a thread, and only the fortitude determination, and sacrifice of its leaders and citizenry ensured its survival. By 1781, America had been at war with the world s strongest empire for six years with no end in sight. British troops occupied key coastal cities, from New York to Savannah, and the Royal Navy prowled the waters off the coast. After several harsh winters, and the failure of the government to adequately supply the troops, the American army was fast approaching the breaking point. It was only the arrival of French troops that provided a ray of hope for the American cause. In this book, Robert Tonsetic provides a detailed analysis of the key battles and campaigns of 1781, supported by numerous eyewitness accounts from privates to generals in the American, French, and British armies. He also describes the diplomatic efforts underway in Europe during 1781, as well as the Continental Congress s actions to resolve the immense financial, supply, and personnel problems involved in maintaining an effective fighting army. Nº de ref. de la librería AAJ9781612000633

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Descripción Casemate Books. Hardback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, 1781: The Decisive Year of the Revolutionary War, Robert L. Tonsetic, The Treaty of Paris in 1783 formally ended the American Revolutionary War, but it was the pivotal campaigns and battles of 1781 that decided the final outcome. 1781 was one of those rare years in American history when the future of the nation hung by a thread, and only the fortitude determination, and sacrifice of its leaders and citizenry ensured its survival. By 1781, America had been at war with the world's strongest empire for six years with no end in sight. British troops occupied key coastal cities, from New York to Savannah, and the Royal Navy prowled the waters off the coast. After several harsh winters, and the failure of the government to adequately supply the troops, the American army was fast approaching the breaking point. It was only the arrival of French troops that provided a ray of hope for the American cause. In this book, Robert Tonsetic provides a detailed analysis of the key battles and campaigns of 1781, supported by numerous eyewitness accounts from privates to generals in the American, French, and British armies. He also describes the diplomatic efforts underway in Europe during 1781, as well as the Continental Congress's actions to resolve the immense financial, supply, and personnel problems involved in maintaining an effective fighting army. Nº de ref. de la librería B9781612000633

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Descripción Casemate Books, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Praise for Robert L. Tonsetic s previous publications: .takes an unflinching look at both the adventure and trauma of war while aiming to fill the gaps in the record for Vietnam. -Metro College Magazine Of special interest is the way in which he recounts the dynamics of personalities and their effect on the indigenous commanders and units. A must read for any soldiers likely to conduct partnering activities in the future. -Soldier Magazine The Treaty of Paris in 1783 formally ended the American Revolutionary War, but it was the pivotal campaigns and battles of 1781 that decided the final outcome. 1781 was one of those rare years in American history when the future of the nation hung by a thread, and only the fortitude determination, and sacrifice of its leaders and citizenry ensured its survival. By 1781, America had been at war with the world s strongest empire for six years with no end in sight. British troops occupied key coastal cities, from New York to Savannah, and the Royal Navy prowled the waters off the coast. After several harsh winters, and the failure of the government to adequately supply the troops, the American army was fast approaching the breaking point. It was only the arrival of French troops that provided a ray of hope for the American cause. In this book, Robert Tonsetic provides a detailed analysis of the key battles and campaigns of 1781, supported by numerous eyewitness accounts from privates to generals in the American, French, and British armies. He also describes the diplomatic efforts underway in Europe during 1781, as well as the Continental Congress s actions to resolve the immense financial, supply, and personnel problems involved in maintaining an effective fighting army. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9781612000633

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