Episode 066: The British Take Bunker Hill

October 14, 2018
After ferrying thousands of regulars across Boston Harbor, General William Howe begins his attack on Bunker and Breed's Hills late afternoon on the afternoon of June 17, 1775. The regulars launch three bloody assaults to dislodge the provincial troops before the British break the American lines.
 
The provincials retreat only after running out of ammunition. They lose nearly 450 soldiers, including General Joseph Warren.  The British take more than twice that number in casualties, far more than they ever thought the militia could inflict on them. It is the bloodiest day of the war for the British army. The carnage prevents the British from taking any further major offensive operations from Boston.
 
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Episode 065: The Provincials Occupy Bunker Hill

October 7, 2018

When the Provincials get word that the British plan to occupy the no man's land at Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights, they send Massachusetts and Connecticut militia to build defenses on Bunker Hill.  The soldiers instead build the defenses on Breed's Hill, a smaller hill just next to Bunker Hill.  

The British take most of the following day moving regulars across Boston Harbor to attack the defenses with overwhelming force.  The provincials use the extra time to reinforce and extend their defenses, but get no significant reinforcements all day.  

A cannon duel over the day accomplishes little except to show how amateurish and incompetent the provincial artillery really is.  By late afternoon, British General William Howe is prepared to take the hill with overwhelming force.

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Episode 064: The Second Continental Congress Begins

September 30, 2018

In May 1775, the Second Continental Congress begins after the war has already started.  Delegates must play catchup.  They have to decide whether they will support the war and what their goals are. 

Delegates agree to send one more petition to the King in hopes of pulling out a peace deal. Most delegates though, realize this is pointless. 

Congress supports the war.  The only debate is whether victory means full independence, or simply a better guarantee of colonial rights. Congress creates a Continental Army and selects Virginia Delegate George Washington to lead it.

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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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