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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 6:51 pm 
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Colonel Garrity doesn't need a Q-ship when his other vessel 'Juggernaut' is waiting to come out and play (think HMS Warrior, but with steel armor and breech-loading guns that fire high-explosive shells).

Juggernaut's armament consists of 26 6.4"/100-pdr rifled breechloaders on the gun deck, plus two 8"/200-pdr breechloaders as chasers (one each on the bow and the stern). Secondary armament (on the weather deck) consists of 24 4.2"/30-pdr rifled breechloaders; these are the same guns that serve as bow & stern chasers on the Columbia...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:40 pm 
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On to Canada
Date: September 11th, 1775
Location: Swampscott, Massachusetts
Time: early evening

Captain Terrell and the crew of the Columbia take charge of HMS Symmetry and HMS Spitfire and escort them back to the town of Swampscott. Once the two captured vessels have been safely moored, their officers and crews are turned over to the town’s authorities to be held in captivity pending the results of a Prize Court’s enquiry into how much the ships should be valued for the awarding of prize money. Once this is done, Terrell takes the Columbia back out to sea and rejoins Colonel Arnold’s flotilla.

No further British opposition is encountered, so the rest of the voyage takes place without incident. At 9:00 AM the next morning, the flotilla arrives in the waters off the mouth of the Kennebec River. Captain Terrell orders Columbia’s crew to drop anchor; Colonel Arnold & Major Richardson’s combined command will conduct landing operations under the protection of Columbia’s guns, should such protection be necessary.

Date: September 12th, 1775
Location: the mouth of the Kennebec River, Massachusetts
Time: 10:00 AM

Landing operations begin. Out of an abundance of caution, Colonel Arnold orders that the first men to go ashore will be one company of Major Richardson’s men; their purpose will be to set up watch on the perimeter of the landing site near Bath, Massachusetts and to give warning of any advancing enemy troops. Once the perimeter has been set up and the site is secure, the landings begin.

Colonel Arnold and Major Richardson are among the first troops to come ashore. Immediately, they begin to direct the rest of the landing operations. While their orders are being carried out, Arnold turns to Richardson and says “Major, we’ll be occupied here for at least the next eight hours or so By that time, it will be too late to begin the march; therefore, I am minded to camp here for tonight and all of tomorrow so that the troops can rest. Aftewards, we’ll set out for Quebec on the morning of September 14th.” Major Richardson nods his head in agreement and replies “an excellent suggestion, sir. Many of the men have never been on a boat before, and they’re looking a little green around the gills even though the passage was very smooth.”

Colonel Arnold nods, then issues orders for this staff to set up the command tent. As soon as this is done, a command conference is held in order to plan the advance on Quebec. The first order of business is to have a proper command hierarchy in place. As soon as the rest of Colonel Arnold’s officers are present, he says “gentlemen, there needs to be a second-in-command, to take charge of the expedition should anything happen to me. Major Richardson?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Your superior officer Colonel Garrity spoke very highly of you. As you command the largest single contingent of troops in this operation, I think it only fitting that I make you my executive officer. What say you?” Major Richards thinks for a moment, then replies “sir, I’m honored by the trust and confidence you have in me; I hope that I will prove worthy of it.”

Colonel Arnold turns to the rest of his officers and says “gentlemen, this matter concerns you directly. What say you all in regards to my decision? All in favor raise your right hands and say ‘aye’.” Immediately, Arnold’s officers raise their hands in unison and shout loudly ‘AYE!!’; there isn’t a single hand or voice raised in opposition. Afterwards, Arnold says “thank you for your support, gentlemen. Major Richardson is now my second-in-command, you are to regard any orders he gives as coming directly from me. Now that the command question has been settled, let’s discuss the route we’ll be taking. Major, let’s have those maps of yours if you please.”

Major Richardson opens his leather document case and takes out several rolled maps and a sheaf of other documents. The main map is laid out on the table and Richardson points at it and begins to speak.

“Colonel Arnold, gentlemen, we are outside the town of Bath, Massachusetts. From here, it is just under forty miles to the town of Augusta. I presume that a stop will be made at Fort Western so that smaller boats can be built to continue our journey upriver.” Arnold nods and replies “you are correct, major. I anticipate being at Fort Western for about a week while the bateaux we need are constructed. After this, the next stop will be at Fort Halifax in Winslow, Massachusetts; nineteen miles upriver from there.” Major Richardson replies “yes, sir. After Fort Halifax, the route gets a little rougher, as we’ll have to portage the boats around the falls of Takonet and Wesserunsett.”

Major Richardson pauses to point out the route on the maps he provided, then goes onto say “beyond Wesserunsett Falls, the route takes us across Lake Norridgewook and back onto the Kennebec River; there’s a section of the Kennebec which local residents call ‘Dead River’; it’s un-navigable, so the locals and the Indian tribes in the area call this location the Great Carrying Place. This area is some twelve miles in extent, so the only way across is by portaging the boats.”

Colonel Arnold leans close to the map and traces the route with his finger. He says “gentlemen, once we are passed around Dead River, we’ll proceed through the Chain of Ponds, across the Height of Land between Massachusetts and Quebec and on into Lake Amaguntic. This lake forms the headwaters of the Chaudiere River and, from here, it’s just over 38 leagues until the Chaudiere joins the St. Lawrence River above Quebec City. If the weather holds out, we should be on Lake Amaguntic by October 19th. Major Richardson, your maps are far more detailed than I ever thought possible; with their aid, we’ll be able to make excellent progress.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Colonel Arnold goes onto say “I had given some thought to sending dispatch riders while we are en-route so that General Washing can be kept aware of our progress. On further consideration, I think this would be unwise because there’s always the chance that the riders could be intercepted by the British; I certainly don’t want General Carleton and his troops in Quebec to know that we are coming. Now gentlemen, let us look to the future.”

On to Canada, Part 2
Date: October 19th, 1775
Location: Lake Amaguntic, Canada
Time: afternoon

After truly heroic amounts of effort on the journey, Colonel Arnold’s force arrives in good order on the shores of Lake Amaguntic. Arnold elects to rest his troops for the day, then to make forth on the Chaudiere River on the morrow. The success thus far has been due to careful planning of the route by Major Richardson, plus the carefully-stored supplies provided by Colonel Garrity. Additionally, the boats were kept in constant repair by the efforts of Major Reuben Colburn and his men from the town of Gardnerston Plantation (who were all shipbuilders by trade). Amazingly enough, Colonel Arnold’s entire force is intact, with not a man lost to hunger or disease.

At this same time, troops under the command of Brigadier-General Richard Montgomery were well into their march into Canada. Montgomery’s troops had just taken Fort Chambly and captured the 7th Regiment of Foot. Along with the regimental colors, a full six tons of gunpowder in barrels was taken along with the full contents of the fort’s storehouses. After Ft. Chambly fell, Montgomery turned his troops towards Fort St. Johns, erected several batteries and laid siege to it.

Date: October 30th, 1775
Location: along the Chaudiere River, Quebec

Colonel Arnold established contact with the local residents, whereupon he distributed copies of a letter written by General Washington which asked for them to help Arnold’s expedition. To this, Colonel Arnold added promises that the people would be secure in their persons, property and religion. Some of the people were well-paid for their assistance (thanks to the stock of coins brought along by Major Richardson), while others did so out of the goodness of their hearts. An example of this was seen in the activities of one Jacques Parent (a resident of Pointe-Levi) , who said that Lt. Governor Cramahe had carried out the destruction of all boats on the southern banks of the St. Lawrence River under orders from General Carleton; this was done to forestall a possible advance by the Continental Army.

Colonel Arnold thanked Parent, then summoned his officers for a brief meeting. He said “gentlemen, I have received intelligence that the British have destroyed all the boats on the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River in anticipation of an assault into Quebec. The British couldn’t know that, so I surmise that this was done simply as a precaution.” Major Richardson speaks up and says “sir, we’re fortunate to still have our bateaux, are we not? This way, we can just sail down the Chaudiere to Point-Levi and move against Quebec City. Not only will Carleton not know we’re coming, he’ll never expect us to have artillery support.” Arnold replies “indeed, sir. Thanks to Colonel Garrity’s foresight, we have his guns and mortars plus ample supplies to see us through the rest of the operation.”

Ten days later on November 9th, Colonel Arnold’s troops successfully completed their run down the Chaudiere River to Pointe-Levi on the bank of the St. Lawrence. A halt was called so that the force could consolidate itself before crossing the river. Then after three days of bad weather, Colonel Arnold decided that it was time to cross the St. Lawrence. In this, Arnold was aided by Jacques Parent (a resident of Pointe-Levi), who said that two British warships (HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter) were on station in the middle of the St. Lawrence in order to prevent any crossing by enemy troops.

The crossing was made on the night of November 13th, and was so skillfully done that the crews of the two British warships never knew what had happened. The men of Arnold’s command reached the Plains of Abraham on October 14th; Colonel Arnold was surprised to receive a courier from Brigadier-General Montgomery who said that Montgomery’s troops had just captured Montreal and were on the way here to join the assault on Quebec City. Rather than laying siege to the city right away, Colonel Arnold elected to have his troops encamp at Point-aux-Trembles in order to wait for General Montgomery’s arrival.

Date: December 3rd, 1775
Location: Point-aux-Trembles, Quebec

Brigadier-General Montgomery’s troops arrive at Point-aux-Trembles in good order on the afternoon of December 3rd. The two commanders immediately hold a council of war, after which it was decided to sent a messenger to carry a message Quebec City under the protection of a white flag; the substance of the message was that the city’s surrender was requested. During the latter stages of the meeting, Colonel Arnold says “General Montgomery, may I please introduce Major Robert Richardson? He is my second-in-command and his assistance on our journey here has been absolutely invaluable.”

BG Montgomery shakes hands with Major Richardson and says “it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Richardson replies “the pleasure is all mine, sir. May I enquire as to the general’s intentions towards Quebec City?”

“Colonel Arnold, Major Richardson, we’ll wait upon the messenger’s return. If the powers-that-be in the city decide not to surrender peacefully, we’ll have to force the issue.” Just then, Colonel Arnold interjects and says “sir, I’m please to tell you that we have a measure of artillery support. I have six light 12-pdr howitzers and six 24-pdr mortars attached to my force, provided by Major Richardson’s superior Colonel Michael Garrity.” BG Montgomery grins widely and replies “excellent; we’ll also not be short of gunpowder because I brought along six tons that I took from Fort Chambly. As for the plan of operations, Daniel Morgan and his riflemen from Virginia and Pennsylvania are spoiling for a fight. When it comes to assaulting the city, I’ll divide Morgan’s men into two equal bodies and place them on the right & left of our lines. This way, they can use the superior accuracy of their longrifles to guard against flanking attacks by the British garrison. I don’t exactly know the strength of the opposition, however.”

Colonel Arnold responds “I can provide you that information, sir. My man Jacques Parent says that Quebec City is defended by 150 men from the 84th Regiment of Foot; this force has been augmented by 400 Royal Marines from aboard HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter. Additionally, there are some 500 local militia who are poorly-organized, trained and equipped. I have 1,500 men and, in addition to your own 300 troops, there will be a total of 1,800 men with which to conduct the attack; the local militia that I mentioned isn’t likely to be of much consequence. Therefore, the odds against the defenders are our 3 ¼ to their one.”

Major Richardson speaks up and says “sir, all of my troops are riflemen. I also have Colonel Garrity’s light artillery at my disposal, which consists of six light 12-pdr howitzers and six 24-pdr mortars. May I enquire if you have artillery of your own? General Montgomery replies “yes, I do. After I captured the city of Montreal, I took some of the artillery emplaced therein and brought it with me. Specifically, the pieces I have are six 8” mortars and four 18-pdr guns. Now that I know you have your own artillery, I propose we combine our pieces into two grand batteries; one for the guns and one for the mortars. My 18-pdr heavies and your 12-pdr howitzers will be emplaced and sighted against Quebec’s gates, with the mortars will be positioned so as to rain down fire on the city’s ramparts. Just then Colonel Arnold interjects and says “sir, I respectfully suggest that the 18-pdrs be sited so they can shift their fire to cover the St. Lawrence River; in the nighttime crossing that my men and I made, we had to bypass those two British warships. When word reaches them that Quebec City is under siege, they will undoubtedly move to support Guy Carleton…”

“It is so noted and approved, colonel. Gentlemen, it is twenty miles from here to Quebec City; so, it is too late in the day to begin our march. Therefore, we’ll stay here for the night and set out at first light tomorrow morning.”

A problem of money and supplies
Date: December 3rd, 1775
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Time: early afternoon

While operations in Canada are proceeding apace, the situation is much the same in the siege of Boston. Henry Knox (having been previously tasked by General Washington with the task of retrieving the artillery from Fort Ticonderoga) is in New York City gathering supplies for his expedition. The supply situation for the Continental Army has been addressed, first with rations contributed by Colonel Garrity from his stores in Westfield and then on November 29th by Captain John Manley, commanding officer of the armed schooner USS Lee. On that day, Captain Manley and his crew captured the 250-ton brig ‘Nancy’ (loaded with supplies worth an estimated 50,000 pounds sterling). Afterwards, Captain Manley’s vessel went on to capture the 200-ton ship ‘Concord’ on December 1st, which ship’s holds were stuffed to the brim with military supplies (including drygoods) and bags of coal.

Financially-speaking however, Washington’s army is on much less secure ground. Except for Colonel Garrity’s troops, many of Washington’s troops have gone unpaid for two months. Further compounding the situation is the fact that, for many of the troops, their terms of enlistment expire on December 31st. In order to address this situation, General Washington calls for a meeting of his senior staff; those present are General Henry Lee, Colonel Garrity, Artemas Ward, Israel Putnam, William Prescott and others.

General Washington pauses for a moment to gather his thoughts, then says “gentlemen, thank you all for coming on such short notice. I’ll begin by saying that the finances of the army are in a very parlous state; there is also the matter of the enlistments which are due to expire on the 31st instant; I would seek your advice on how best to proceed.”

General Lee speaks up and says “sir, why not send to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia for the purposes of an emergency appropriation? After all, it is that body’s responsibility to see to the maintenance and continuation of the army.”

“That was my first thought. As for the enlistments, I haven’t the authority to keep troops past the date when they expire.” Colonel Garrity joins the discussion and says “sir, why not offer re-enlistment bonuses for those who decide to stay on? Such bonuses would be ‘Pro Rata’ according to the length of the enlistment; the longer a soldier decides to stay in, the larger the bonus will be. Under this plan, the highest bonuses would go to those soldiers who decide to stay in for the duration.”

“An excellent idea, Colonel. General Ward, General Putnam, what say you?”

General Ward replies “sir, Colonel Garrity’s suggestion is worthy of consideration. Perhaps it might be amended to further increase the bonus based on what job the soldier does; ie; cavalry, artillery engineer, etc…” General Putnam likewise says “sir, I lend my sanction to Colonel Garrity’s plan and urge that you support it.”

General Washington leans back in his chair to carefully consider what has just heard. A few minutes later, he comes to a decision and says “I have decided to adopt Colonel Garrity’s plan and will undertake to write a letter to the Congress requesting an appropriation to implement it. I will also request funds to satisfy that portion of the Army’s pay that is in arrears.”

Colonel Garrity says “sir, there is the matter of time to consider. The Congress sits in Philadelphia, and travel in winter is never certain, even under the best of circumstances. Even if you send your letter to Congress this very day, there is a distinct possibility that Congress’ response will not arrive in time. In order to avoid the army’s losing troops because of expired enlistments, I will assume the costs of paying the reenlistment bonuses and making good the arrears in pay.”

Colonel Garrity’s words have all the effect of the proverbial bolt from the blue. General Washington’s officers are stunned into near-silence, while he struggles to maintain the reserve for which he is noted. A moent or two later, Washington collects himself and says “Colonel Garrity, that is the most amazing offer that I have ever heard of. Are you quite aware of just how much money is involved? Why, the bonuses and arrears in pay amount to nearly $750,000; if not more.” A resolute look crosses Colonel Garrity’s face as he replies “sir, I think that I have already proved my devotion to the cause by providing that 300 tons of gunpowder. Just to show you that I mean what I say, I will provide that sum and more out of my personal funds; up to and including a total of one million dollars; such monies to be in the form of Spanish milled dollars. Consider the overage to be a sign of good faith, until Congress can get into the practice of making regular appropriations for paying the army.”

General Washington stands from his chair and draws himself up to his full height of 6’3”. He fixes Colonel Garrity with a look that would wither lesser men and says “I will take you at your word, sir. How long will it take for the funds to arrive?” Garrity responds with a look that is just as firm and resolute as the one he received form General Washington and says “sir, I anticipated that just such an eventuality might come about; so, I had the funds withdrawn from my bank in Westfield and placed aboard my ship ‘Columbia’. Now that she has returned from the task of escorting Colonel Arnold’s troops on the first stage of their journey, she lies at anchor in the waters off Nahant Point. I would consider it an honor if you and such officers as you can spare would come aboard the ship with me and take custody of the funds in person.”

General Washington thoughtfully strokes his chin, then says “General Lee, I, General Ward and General Ward will go with Colonel Garrity to visit his ship. While we are away, you will be in charge, with Colonel Prescott as your deputy. Choose a suitable escort of cavalry, as we will ride within the hour.”

“Yes, sir.”


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:49 pm 
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Valley Forge washed away, I hope.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:41 pm 
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jemhouston wrote:
Valley Forge washed away, I hope.

Valley Forge will still be the winter encampment of the Continental Army. However, the troops won't have to face he hardships and privations that they did IOTL, because this is when Colonel Garrity will open the floodgates of his warehouses in Westfield; he's got enough rations and equipment stockpiled there to keep an army of 15,000 men going for six months; this from Garrity's knowledge of coming events and four years of preparation.....

IOTL, the Continental Army heavily relied upon supplies of equipment, powder and shot from France; the cost of which was one of the several direct causes of the French Revolution. Garrity's intervention may either delay the revolution or butterfly it out of existence.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:44 pm 
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Welcome Aboard
Date: December 4th, 1775
Location: the waters just east of Nahant Point
Time: late afternoon

After returning from the mission to escort Colonel Arnold’s troops on the first part of their expedition to Quebec, Columbia took up station in the waters off Nahant Point and made occasional forays for the purpose of harassing and interdicting British naval traffic in and out of Boston harbor. Today, however, the ship is being used for a much-more peaceful purpose. Having been apprised by radio transmission from Colonel Garrity that General Washington and a party of his officers are coming aboard to inspect the ship, Captain Terrell and his officers spare no effort in getting their vessel ready to receive such distinguished visitors.

At eight bells of the afternoon watch, three small boats come alongside, The first of these is a longboat carrying General Washington, General Lee, General Ward, Colonel Prescott and Colonel Garrity himself; the other two are a pair of cutters with Washington’s escort of 50 men. Captain Terrell and his officers are manning the rails as Washington and the others are piped aboard by Columbia’s master chief petty officer.

As soon as General Washington comes on deck, Captain Terrell and his officers salute smartly and Terrell says “welcome aboard the Columbia, sir; it’s an honor to have you.” Washington replies “the honor is all mine, sir. Colonel Garrity has told me much about what this ship has done for the Patriot cause, and I am glad of the opportunity to pay a visit.”

“Very good, sir.”

Colonel Garrity joins the conversation and says “General Washington, I originally had this vessel constructed to my own design in order to give safe transport to valuable cargoes. When I realized that war with Britain was inevitable, I had her withdrawn from service and had her fitted out as a warship. Columbia’s first combat action took place just after dawn on September 11th of this year. It so happened that she was escorting Colonel Arnold’s men as they were sailing to the mouth of the Kennebec River; four British warships (HMS Cat, HMS Canceaux, HMS Halifax , HMS Spitfire) and the supply ship HMS Symmetry attempted to interfere. This, of course, could not be allowed. Therefore, Captain Terrell interposed his ship between the British vessels and Colonel Arnold’s boats. The following action lasted less than half-an-hour, during which HMS Cat and HMS Spitfire were sunk; HMS Halifax and HMS Canceaux struck their colors and were captured along with HMS Symmetry.”

“A famous victory then, sir. At what range did Columbia’s guns open fire?” Colonel Garrity replies “sir, I’ll let Captain Terrell answer that.”
Terrel comes forward and says “sir, Columbia has but twenty guns. Eighteen of these are 20-pdrs, mounted nine each to port and starboard; the other two are 30-pdrs, singly-mounted on the quarterdeck and the foredeck as chasers. These guns were designed by Colonel Garrity and are quite unlike any other naval artillery in the world; their rate of fire is more than twice as fast as a muzzleloading gun. The effective range is far greater, at 4,400 yards. Columbia hung back at the distance of one nautical mile and pounded those two British warships to pieces; no return fire came anywhere close.”

As Captain Terrel describes the guns and what they can do, the eyes of General Washington and his officers go wide with surprise. Washing strokes his chin thoughtfully and says “very well. I will be pleased if you would be so kind as to show me one of these guns and demonstrate how it works.”

“Yes, sir; in fact, you’re standing next to one of them right now.” With this, Captain Terrell pulls off the canvas tarpaulin covering the weapon and displays it to the curious eyes of General Washington and his officers. He says “sir, please direct your attention to the breech of the gun and take note of the two handles on the end of the breechblock.”

Captain Terrell gives the handles a short twist to the left and pulls the breechblock open. This piece is mounted on a hinge on the left side of the breech and swings easily open. As General Washington and his officers gather around to more-closely examine the gun. Captain Terrell says “the breech of this cannon is closed by what is called an ‘interrupted thread’. Instead of having to rotate the breechblock many times to open it (like a bolt from a nut), the several grooves on the interior surface of the breech allow the breechblock to slide easily into and out of position. All that needs to be done to close the breech is to give the handles a quarter-turn to the right.”

“A most-fascinating design, sir. Colonel Garrity, what kind of ammunition do these guns fire?”

“Sir, the projectiles aren’t round balls. Instead, they are elongated shells; think of them as steel cylinders with pointed noses. The shell bodies have studs affixed to their external surfaces that are designed to fit directly into the barrel’s rifling grooves. The shells themselves are propelled by bagged charges of black powder, while they are filled with a new and far more powerful type of explosive; just one shell from the aft chaser blew a hole though the hull of HMS Cat that measured seven feet across and five feet high. Not surprisingly, that ship sank like a stone.”

“I see.”

Colonel Garrity interjects and says “Captain Terrell, perhaps you might describe some of Columbia’s design features; I think General Washington will find them to be most interesting.”

“Yes, sir. Gentlemen, Columbia is frigate-built, with three masts of white pine and a ship-rig to her sails. The hull’s planking and framing is of white oak, reinforced with diagonal braces that greatly-strengthen the hull and greatly reduce the possibility of hogging. All-told, the ship’s hull thickness is 24” inches; at any range beyond point-blank, the Columbia is immune to the heaviest guns in use by the Royal Navy. There are also certain other design features which serve to increase the strength of the hull. For example, the decking, knees and the ship’s keelson are all of Rock Elm; the knees were shaped by first steaming the wood in a large oven, then bending them into shape. As to Columbia’s measurements, she displaces 2,200 tons at full load and measures 207’ from the billet head to the taffrail and 175’ between her perpendiculars. She’s also 43’6” in the beam and is exceedingly fast for a ship of her size.”

“Most interesting, Captain. Colonel Garrity, aside from simply visiting your ship, my purpose in coming here is to accept those funds which you promised but yesterday. Are you ready to make delivery?”

“Yes sir, I am. If you and your officers will please follow me below decks, you will see that I am al man of my word.” Garrity and Captain Terrell escort the visiting party below to the forward part of the berth deck. Here, there are a number of heavy cloth bags awaiting inspection. Colonel Garrity effortlessly picks on up and drops it on a nearby tabletop with a loud ‘thunk’. He undoes the ties which old the bag closed and spills the contents out on the table for all to see.

“General Washington, there are 1,000 bags here, each of which holds one thousand Spanish milled dollars. Each bag weighs 55 lbs, and the total weight of coin here is 27.5 tons. Of course, such a quantity will take quite some time to off-load; therefore, I am prepared to have Captain Terrell sail the Columbia back to Nahant in order to facilitate this process. Perhaps, you and your officers will remain aboard as we sail, Captain Terrell sets an excellent table. I wouldn’t want to alarm the men in your escort. So, they can come aboard also.”

“Very well, sir. I and my officers will be pleased to accept your gracious hospitality.” General Washington nods at Colonel Prescott, who immediately walks to Columbia’s starboard rail and calls for the men of the escort to come aboard. The two cutters are made fast, and the troops climb the ship’s ladder one after the other. On deck, the Columbia’s sailing master bellows out ‘HANDS ALOFT AND MAKE SAIL’. While the ship’s crew is climbing the rigging, General Washington and his officers accompany Captain Terrell and Colonel Garrity aft to the Captain’s cabin.

Very soon thereafter, the sails are unfurled and catch a steady afternoon breeze. The ship surges forward through the cool, blue waters of the Atlantic back to Nahant’s port. The trip takes barely an hour, after which, General Washington, Colonel Garrity and the other officers come up on deck and re-board the longboat; the men of Washington’s escort do likewise on the cutters. While the longboat is bearing towards Nahant’s docks, General Washington says “Colonel Garrity, as soon as we are back ashore, whatever wagons are needed will be hired from among those available in the town. I think it only right and proper that we make forth back to Cambridge as soon as possible. The longer we remain here with such monies in our possession, the more likely it is that the British will get word of what is going on and act to prevent the shipment.”

“Indeed, sir.” Colonel Garrity makes a show of drawing his huge revolvers from their holsters. He sets them to half-cock in order to check the priming on each chamber, then re-holsters the weapons. A malignant grin crosses Garrity’s face as he chuckles and says “sir, I can but hope that the Redcoats are that stupid….”


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:15 pm 
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decoy convoy with a gun wagons perhaps?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:42 pm 
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jemhouston wrote:
decoy convoy with a gun wagons perhaps?

Exactly.

As an aside, this is one of Colonel Garrity's Walker Dragoon revolvers; 4 lbs 9-oz unloaded, has a 9" barrel and a cylinder the size of a small fist....
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:15 pm 
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Cash and Carry
Date: December 4th, 1775
Location: Nahant, Massachusetts
Time: late afternoon

Columbia comes into Nahant’s port, furls her fails and is warped dockside. As soon as the ship is fast in her moorings, the gangplank is laid over the side and the unloading process begins. Having come ashore beforehand, General Washington, Colonel Garrity and the others are on hand to observe. There is a total of 27.5 tons of coins to be unloaded; at two tons per wagon, 14 wagons will be required.

The wagon drivers are standing by with their vehicles lined up at the foot of the Columbia’s gangplank. As soon as one wagon is loaded, it is driven off to remain under guard until such time as the full wagon train is ready to move out to Cambridge. While the bags of coins continue to be carried off the ship, General Washington turns to Colonel Garrity and says “I am pleased to see that you are a man of your word, sir; the Patriot cause is well-served by such as you. In view of the importance of these funds, I must ask what arrangements you have in place for security.”

Colonel Garrity replies “sir, I will be personally escorting the wagon train back to Cambridge. I made previous arrangements to have my own bodyguard of twenty men on hand, along with the Black Horse cavalry. With the wagons so protected, I feel confident that we could stand against ten times our numbers; that is, if the British were so foolish as to make an attempt to interfere.”

“Very well, Colonel; I will leave the matter in your hands. I and my staff must now return to Cambridge. When do you intend to leave?”

“Sir, the unloading process will take the rest of the afternoon and on into the evening. I don’t judge it expedient to travel in darkness; therefore, we’ll move out at first light tomorrow morning. It is but five leagues from here to Cambridge, so the trip shouldn’t take any more than five or six hours.” General Washington nods, then he, his staff and their escort take to horse and ride out of town. Two hours later, they arrive back in the Continental Army’s camp outside of Cambridge. The first order of business is to hold an officer’s call, during which time General Washington tells his commanders that the army’s immediate financial problems have been solved. The officers are also directed to tell their men that all arrears in pay will be made good in full on the morrow, and that all who are desirous of re-enlisting will be paid a bonus in cash.”

Date: December 5th, 1775
Location: Nahant, Massachusetts
Time: 7:00 AM

Colonel Garrity and his men rouse themselves at daybreak and are ready to go by 7:00 AM. Garrity rides to the head of the column, stands tall in his saddle and calls out loudly “MOVE OUT”. His personal bodyguard is riding next him, disposed in two squads of ten men each (one on either side of the column); the Black Horse cavalry is deployed in three separate bodies. The largest of these numbers forty men and forms the column’s rear guard. The other two bodies number thirty men each, deployed on the flanks behind Garrity’s escort.

As Colonel Garrity predicted, the journey takes six hours. On the way, every man keeps his weapon ready to hand just in case the British decide to crash the party. Fortunately, no enemy cavalry are sighted and the convoy rolls into camp at 3:00 PM; General Washington and his command staff greet Colonel Garrity as he rides in.”

“Hail and well-met, Colonel; I trust that the British didn’t give you any trouble on the road.” Garrity grins widely and replies “I didn’t see so much as a single redcoat on the way. Perhaps they had better things to do that to be killed to no purpose. I presume that you have some secure place to store the funds until they can be paid out…”

“I do, sir.” General Washington motions for General James Warren and Colonel Thomas Mifflin (paymaster-general and quartermaster of the Continental Army, respectively) to come forward with their staff and take charge of the money. Already, word has spread throughout camp that all troops who are owed money will be paid in full, and that anyone who wants to re-enlist will be paid a bonus commensurate with the duration of their new term-of-service.

A Tragic Loss
Date: December 11th, 1775
Location: before the walls of Quebec City
Time: mid-morning

Ever since Brigadier-General Montgomery’s troops arrived at Point-aux-trembles on December 3rd, operations against the British force defending Quebec City have been undertaken. Two grand batteries of artillery were set up (the first with Montgomery’s 18-pdrs and Major Richardson’s 12-pdr howitzers and the second with Montgomery’s 8” mortars and Richardson’s 24-pdr mortars). Per Colonel Arnold’s recommendation, the 18-pdr guns were emplaced so that they can sweep the St. Lawrence River and prevent the approach of HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter.

For security, Daniel Morgan deployed his riflemen in two equal bodies on the flanks of the combined force. Their orders being to guard against any forays by the British garrison and to engage any targets of opportunity that present themselves. Offensive operations began in earnest on December 6th, with a preliminary bombardment by both grand batteries. Just as was predicted, HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter’s captains became aware of what was happening and sought to move their ships in support of Carleton’s troops in Quebec City. Unfortunately for them, the fire form Montgomery’s 18-pdrs proved to be disagreeably accurate; HMS Lizard lost her foremast, HMS Hunter’s mainmast was snapped off at the mid-level of the main topsail. Prudently, both ships soon withdrew out of range.

Though greatly outnumbered, Guy Carleton’s troops put up a spirited defense. His troops and those of the Royal Marine contingent assigned to him took up their positions on the city’s ramparts and commenced to pouring fire at the attackers. A number of spoiling attacks were made, but were driven off by Morgan’s riflemen. On the morning of December 9th, a temporary cease-fire was called so that General Montgomery could send a party forward under a flag-of-truce to request that Carleton surrender the city. The party was led by Colonel Arnold and courteously received at Carleton’s headquarters. After some discussion between the two parties, General Montgomery’s request for surrender was politely refused, as Carleton’s duty to his king and his gentlemanly honor required him to fight on.

The fighting resumed in the early afternoon of December 9th and continued on to the morning of December 11th. During this period of time, a number of British officers were picked off by Morgan’s riflemen and Richardson’s troops; the most serious losses were that of Carleton himself (shot by Major Richardson at a distance of 800 yards) and Carleton’s second-in-command Lt. Colonel Allan Maclean (killed by one of Morgan’s riflemen).

The Siege of Quebec City reached its climax on December 11th, when General Montgomery and Colonel Arnold led troops forward to attack the city’s defenses at two separate points. Montgomery and his men went against St. John’s gate, while Colonel Arnold proceeded against the barricades which defended the lower town. The attacks were supported by fire from the two grand batteries, and were responded to in kind by the British defenders. A group of Royal Marines in a blockhouse adjacent to St. John’s gate stood to the last, but were overwhelmed by Motgomery’s attack. However, the breach was not without cost. One blast of grapeshot killed Aaron Burr (who was serving under General Montgomery’s command), while an errant musket ball grazed Montgomery’s scalp.

Colonel Arnold’s attack against the barricades at Sault-aux-Matelot was similarly successful, except that he was killed by an exploding mortar shell. In the aftermath of Arnold’s death, Major Richardson assumed command of Arnold’s troops and led them through the barricades. The remaining Canadian militia in this area were quickly overwhelmed, while the Royal Marines were forced to surrender.

General Montgomery was brought to a field hospital and his injury was seen to by one of Major Richardson’s physicians. When the Sault-aux-Matelot area was secured in late afternoon, Richardson came to see Montgomery and said “sir, I beg to report that the lower city is in our hands. However, I regret to inform you that Colonel Arnold was killed in the assault; he died with his face to the enemy and never did there live a more marvelous and valorous gentleman than he. Accordingly, I have assumed command of the late Colonel’s men and I humbly request instructions.”

General Montgomery leans back in his chair and says “Colonel Arnold’s death is most regrettable. By my authority as senior officer on this expedition, I hereby promote you to the rank of Colonel. Your first orders are to send to the city fathers and request their honorable surrender. Tell them that Quebec City is no longer defensible and that further resistance on their part would be of no use.”

Colonel Richardson salutes crisply, responds “sir, yes sir” and immediately goes to carry out his orders. Three hours later, the Union Jack flying over the citadel is lowered; the siege is now over. At a command conference that evening, General Montgomery gathers his officers and says “gentlemen, the record will show that I consider your conduct during the late siege to be very gallant; yours especially, Colonel Richardson. Once we have taken up residence in the city, send to General Washington back in Cambridge and say that “Fort St. Jean, Montreal and Quebec City are taken and the province is ours. Further instructions are requested.”

“Very good, sir.”

In the aftermath of the siege of Quebec City, the surviving British troops were allowed to leave the city with their colors flying high and their muskets at the shoulder. Under a flag of truce, Colonel Richardson escorted them to the east bank of the St. Lawrence three miles downstream from the city, where they were allowed to board HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter. The two ships then sailed down the river and out into the Atlantic Ocean with the intent of conveying word of the defeat to General Thomas Gage and Vice-Admiral Samuel Graves.

With the city firmly in hand, General Montgomery and Colonel Richardson waste no time in establishing the new order of things. After conferring at length with Colonel Richardson, General Montgomery secured his administration of the city by issuing a proclamation that all residents of the city and its surroundings (whether French Catholic or English Protestant) were to be secure in their persons, places and effects, and that no restrictions were to be placed on the free exercise of religion by either community.

Mindful that the British fleet under Vice-Admiral Graves would make an attempt to eject the Americans from the province, Colonel Richardson waited until he was alone before sending a radio message to Colonel Garrity requesting that his ship ‘Juggernaut’ be tasked with fending off an advance by Graves’ ships. In the original history, the Battle of Quebec was lost by the Continentals, and the British position in the province was reinforced by 40 ships which arrived in the St. Lawrence between May 6th and June 1st, 1776; which ships were carrying some 9,000 troops under the command of General Sir John Burgoyne.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:47 pm 
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News of Victory
Date: December 24th, 1775
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Time: early afternoon

General Washignton, Colonel Garrity and the other members of his staff are conferring at the headquarters of the Continental Army about further moves in the coming campaign when a horseman suddenly rides up, hurriedly dismounts and speaks to the Officer of the Day. A moment later, the officer knocks on the door of the room where the meeting is taking place; General Washington looks up from his desk and says “yes, lieutenant?”

“Sir, please excuse this interruption, but a courier has just arrived from General Montgomery with word of the campaign in Quebec.”

“Very well, show the man in.”

“Immediately, sir” The lieutenant salutes, leaves the room and returns a minute or two later with the courier.” The courier salutes General Washington and says “sir, I am Captain James Hobart, of Brigadier-General Montgomery’s command. I have been on the road for two weeks and I beg to report.”

“Proceed, Captain. What news do you have for me?”

“Sir, General Montgomery has entrusted me to tell you that Fort St. Jean, Montreal and Quebec City are taken and that the province is ours. Though, the victory was not without cost…”

“How say you, sir?”

“Sir, I am grieved to report that Colonel Benedict Arnold fell at the head of his troops while leading an assault against the defensive works in the lower part of the city of Quebec; Colonel Arnold died with his face to the enemy, and let no man dispute that he gave his life for his country. Another notable casualty was Major Aaron Burr, who was killed by a blast of grapeshot fire when he and his troops were assaulting another part of Quebec City’s defensive works. General Montgomery himself suffered a wound to the head when he was grazed in the scalp by a musket ball; the wound was slight and he remains in command.”

General Washington nods his head gravely and says “the losses are most regrettable, as both Colonel Arnold and Major Burr were capable officers. I am pleased to hear that General Montgomery’s wound is not serious. Do you have further news for me, Captain?”

“Aye, sir; that I do. When Colonel Arnold’s expedition reached the mouth of the Kennebec River, he saw fit to appoint Major Richardson as his second-in-command. After the Colonel was killed in the assault on Quebec City, the Major assumed command of Arnold’s men and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Colonel by General Richardson.”

“Very well, Captain Hobart; you are dismissed.”

The officer salutes and leaves the room, then General Washington speaks up and says “well, gentlemen, that was welcome news; though, I regret to hear of the deaths of Colonel Arnold and Major Burr.” Aside from Colonel Garrity, the other officers present include General Harry Lee, General Artemas Ward, General Israel Putnam, General Thomas Mifflin and Colonel James Warren. General Lee is the first to speak up.

“Sir, that was welcome news, indeed. If anything, you should issue orders to General Montgomery and Colonel Garrity to prepare for a possible counterattack by the British. Unless I miss my guess, General John Burgoyne isn’t going to take this loss lying down.”

“Indeed. Had the British continued in their possession of Montreal and Quebec City, it would have directly affected the conduct of the war. Colonel Garrity, I’ll have your thoughts on this.”

“Sir, the only base of strength that the British have left in eastern Canada is the port city of Halifax. It would be from here that General Burgoyne would stage his effort to retake Quebec City.” Upon hearing this, General Washington spends a few moments in thought, then says “Colonel, you are directed to have your ship ‘Juggernaut’ patrol the waters leading into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. If her captain should happen to come upon any ships of the Royal Navy, he is to do what he can to interfere with their operations.”

“Very good, sir. I’ll dispatch a messenger immediately.”

General Washington looks to his quartermaster-general and says “General Mifflin, your report on the state of the Army’s enlistments if you please.”

“Yes, sir. Colonel Garrity’s financial assistance was very fortuitous; the Army’s arrears in pay have all been made good, and the offer of bonuses has induced all troops who would have otherwise left the army to re-enlist.”

“God be praised; I was not looking forward to facing the British with anything less that our full strength. Colonel Garrity, in view of your continuing efforts to support the army, I hereby exercise the authority granted to me as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and promote you to the grade of brigadier general; to rank as such from this day forward. You are also directed to raise such troops as are necessary to raise your regiment to the status of a full brigade.”

General Garrity immediately snaps to attention and replies “thank you for your confidence in me, sir. Know that I will always do the utmost to carry out the duties of the grade to which I have been promoted.” The two men shake hands cordially, then General Washington’s staff applaud their fellow officer’s good fortune.

The Oncoming Storm
Date: December 26th, 1775
Location: the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, due east of the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence
Time: early afternoon

Acting upon the request from Colonel Richardson on December 11th, General Garrity issued orders via radio to the captain of the ‘Juggernaut’ to make his command ready for duty and to expedite the ship’s departure from her secret moorings on the eastern end of Long Island. Accordingly, the ship’s consumables were replenished, as was her supply of coal (both of which came from the supplies on hand at Juggernaut’s base. The sailing distance between Long Island and the waters off Halifax is 540 nautical miles; in order to conserve fuel, the Juggernaut’s captain elects to make the entire voyage under sail.

Juggernaut’s crew slipped the ship’s moorings on the morning of December 24th; the winds and currents were favorable and, with an average speed of 10 knots, the ship arrived on station just after the first bell of the afternoon watch. The ship’s patrols will encompass an area reaching from southeast of Halifax to immediately south of the city of Port aux Basques. If circumstances warrant it, the ship’s captain has the discretion to extend his patrol area towards the entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle.

Back in Westfield, General Garrity’s staff receives a message from him telling of his promotion, and of the directive from General Washington authorizing the recruitment of additional troops. Accordingly, recruiting broadsides are printed up and distributed all throughout Hampden County, Hampshire County, plus the southern part of Franklin County, the western part of Worcester County, the eastern part of Berkshire County and the northern part of Hartford County, Connecticut. Over the past several years, Garrity’s reputation has spread throughout the area, so it is anticipated that there will be no problems in getting up the necessary manpower. As with Garrity’s original recruiting drive, the rolls are open to all men regardless of race or status; whites, freedmen and native Americans; in regards to pay and allowances, they will be the same also.

It will be a simple matter to equip the new troops, as there is a great deal of arms, equipment and other materiel stockpiled in Garrity’s warehouses. The same can’t be said for the artillery, as a facility to manufacture new guns will have to be built. When the new facility is complete, the 24-pdr field howitzers will be poured solid and bored out. In order to save manufacturing time with the 20-pdr rifled muzzle loaders, the tubes will be forged of wrought iron and have a rifled steel barrel liner inserted.

The Noble Train of Artillery
Date: December 26th, 1775
Location: Albany, New York
Time: late afternoon

On November 16th, 1775, General Washington issued orders to Colonel Henry Knox (Chief of Artillery for the Continental Army) to mount an expedition in order to retrieve the artillery from Fort Ticonderoga (previously taken by Colonel Benedict Arnold on May 10th). The expedition began on November 17th, with Colonel Knox and his men going to New York City to gather supplies. Knox then reached Fort Ticonderoga on December 5th; once there, he began to gather up the fort’s artillery (along with the ordnance from Fort Crown Point) and prepare it for shipment.

In a letter dated December 17th, Colonel Knox wrote to General Washington that he had built “…42 exceeding strong sleds, and have provided 80 yoke of oxen to drag them as far as Springfield. I hope in 16 or 17 days to present to your excellency a noble train of artillery”. For Knox, saying this and actually doing it are two entirely different things. The ‘Noble Train of Artillery’ consisted of 60 tons of ordnance, including 5.62” & 8” mortars, 5” & 6” howitzers and a number of 24-pdr long guns. These 24-pdrs were particularly difficult to move, as the barrels alone weighed 5,000 lbs each.

Even so, Colonel Knox got it done. The ordnance was taken by land to the northern end of Lake George and loaded aboard a type of cargo vessel called a ‘gundalow’. From here, the weapons were shipped to the southern end of Lake George (overcoming an incident where the ship foundered on a submerged rock near Sabbath Day Pont) and had to be raised), offloaded on December 8th and moved overland towards Albany, New York. The weather wasn’t the least bit cooperative, as the temperatures were well-below freezing, with two feet of snow falling on Christmas Day. Knox’ expedition reached Albany late in the afternoon of December 26th, in the midst of another heavy snowfall.

After arriving, Knox immediately sought out General Phillip Schuyler (who was in command of Continental Army troops in the area). Salutes were exchanged, and Colonel Knox said “I give you good day, sir.”
“Hail and well-met, Colonel. I trust that your journey thus far has gone well.”

“For the most part it has, sir. The only complication occurred on December 6th when the boat carrying the artillery foundered on a rock in Lake George. It had to be bailed out and refloated; God be thanked than none of the artillery was lost. Of course, there is all of this snow that we have had to deal with.”

“Indeed, sir. Will you need any assistance from me?”

“Yes, sir. I will need additional men and equipment to get the artillery across the Hudson River and into Massachusetts. Plus, we will need to confer about the best and most advantageous route to take.”

“Very well, Colonel. I invite you and your officers to guest with me while the planning is going on. In the meantime, my adjutant will see to the re-provisioning of your men.” Knox replies “that will be most welcome, sir. We’ve been subsisting on naught but salt beef and hard bread for the last week or so.”


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:36 pm 
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Just asking about Arnold and Burr, which way was the fatal fire coming from?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:42 pm 
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The relevant passages regarding the deaths of Burr and Arnold are as follows:

Quote:
The Siege of Quebec City reached its climax on December 11th, when General Montgomery and Colonel Arnold led troops forward to attack the city’s defenses at two separate points. Montgomery and his men went against St. John’s gate, while Colonel Arnold proceeded against the barricades which defended the lower town. The attacks were supported by fire from the two grand batteries, and were responded to in kind by the British defenders. A group of Royal Marines in a blockhouse adjacent to St. John’s gate stood to the last, but were overwhelmed by Motgomery’s attack. However, the breach was not without cost. One blast of grapeshot killed Aaron Burr (who was serving under General Montgomery’s command), while an errant musket ball grazed Montgomery’s scalp.

Colonel Arnold’s attack against the barricades at Sault-aux-Matelot was similarly successful, except that he was killed by an exploding mortar shell. In the aftermath of Arnold’s death, Major Richardson assumed command of Arnold’s troops and led them through the barricades. The remaining Canadian militia in this area were quickly overwhelmed, while the Royal Marines were forced to surrender.


As you can see, Burr got it from a blast of grapeshot (nasty stuff, rather like getting hit with a bunch of high-velocity iron golf balls) and Arnold got it from an exploding mortar shell; probably something in the neighborhood of 8" or so.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:59 pm 
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How hard would it have been to get someone disguised as a Redcoat artillery spotter and point out where to shoot?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:23 pm 
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The deaths of Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr are purely due to happenstance, the 'Fog of War', as it were. If I wanted to have my alternate self assassinate both men, I would have written it that way.

Two men I do plan to have killed are General Richard Lee and one Banastre Tarleton; the circumstances will be that General Garrity will kill Lee in a duel, and that Tarleton will get it through the head from 800 yards or so from Garrity's Sharps percussion breechloader.

Patrick Ferguson will never make it to King's Mountain, because he's going to get capped at the Battle of Brandywine. General Garrity will do it himself, as Ferguson's target that day was either General Washington or Count Casimir Pulaski. The historical record relates that Ferguson was shot through the elbow later that day, and it isn't too much a stretch of the imagination to adjust the circumstances so that shot goes through the body.

Afterwards, General Garrity is going to have some of his badboys steal all 100 of Ferguson's rifles from the depot in New York City where they were stored after the Battle of Brandywine.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:49 pm 
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Thanks for the info

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:26 pm 
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As always, mighty good!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:38 pm 
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One person that General Garrity does not RPT not intend to kill is Andrew Jackson. As of the present date ITTL, he's only 9 1/2 years old. it will be better if Garrity takes Jackson under his wing and keeps him out of politics.

Thus, the entirety of the dick move known as the Trail of Tears will never happen.


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Continuing Efforts
Date: January 9th, 1776
Location: Claverack, New York
Time: late morning

With assistance from General Phillip Schuyler and after much effort by his officers and men, Colonel Knox got his artillery train across the Hudson River and headed east towards Massachusetts. The expedition reached the town of Claverack, New York on the morning of January 9th, surmounted the Berkshire Hills and reached the town of Blandford in western Hampden County on the afternoon of January 12th. Knox’ men rested in Blandford and set out again on the morning of January 13th,

Date: January 16th, 1776
Location: Westfield, Massachusetts

Due to its size, the artillery train has become the object of much public interest. As it passed through the towns and villages on its way east, people came out of their houses to watch it go by. The public interest continued when the Knox expedition reached Westfield on the afternoon of January 16th; here, they were met by Mayor Noble and other officials of the town council and hosted by Allan Trent (who had secretly been apprised by General Garrity of Knox’ impending arrival).

Once the expedition reached Westfield, those of Knox’ men from New York chose to return home with their oxen. Allan Trent saw to it that the shortage in manpower and animals was made up by hiring teams of oxen and their drivers from among the people of the town and the nearby villages. While this was going on, Colonel Knox met with Trent and said “I and my officers thank you for your efforts on our behalf.”

Trent replies “no thanks are necessary, sir. As the new teams and drivers are hired, I will further see to it than your men are resupplied for the trip to Cambridge. For now, would you care to assay General Garrity’s works here in Westfield?”

“I’d be delighted to, Mr. Trent.”

The tour begins with a description of how Garrity ‘succeeded’ in the overseas trade and came to Westfield to begin anew. Each of the facilities (lumber mill, iron works, powder works, arms manufactory, etc) is visited in turn and their operations described in detail. Lastly, Colonel Knox is showed Garrity’s warehouses on the outskirts of town and the sheer amount of material on hand takes him by surprise.”

“Where did all of this come from? Just how much does General Garrity have on hand?”

“Sir, when General Garrity arrived in Westfield in June, 1770, he realized that war between Great Britain and the Colonies was coming and that nothing could be done to avoid it. He judged it both necessary and expedient to prepare for the coming war; so, he set himself and his men to work. The end results of this activity are what you have just seen. As to your question of how much in the way of materiel is on hand, General Garrity’s warehouses have sufficient rations, clothing and equipment to supply a army of 12,000 men for six months. I’ll also have you know that, in July of last year, General Garrity supplied 600 cases of buck & ball, plus 12,000 barrels of powder and 600 tons of bar lead to the Continental Army. Plus, he made good the Army’s arrears in pay out of his own personal funds.”

“So I have heard; would that all were so dedicated to the cause as General Garrity. With such men as he on the side of Liberty, the path to victory will certainly be shorter. In other matters, there is yet another question I would ask of you, sir; before my men and I crossed the bridge over the Westfield River, we passed near to a large camp just north of the town. Be this another one of General Garrity’s enterprises?”

“It is, sir. The camp is called Camp Bartlett, and it is there that I and others of General Garrity’s staff helped to train the men of his regiment. I take it that you noticed all of the activity going on there? Well, after General Garrity was promoted to his present rank, he was authorized by General Washington to recruit and train additional troops to expand his regiment into a full brigade; this is what is happening. You mentioned crossing the bridge over the Westfield River? That bridge (along with the one over the Little River) was built under General Garrity’s direction to replace an older, wooden construction that was no longer suitable. Both bridges are so solidly constructed as to be abel to resist any conceivable flood; I dare say that both will be still in service one thousand years from now.”

Colonel Knox nods his head by way of understanding. Later that evening, he and the men of his command are feasted by the citizens of Westfield in and around Fowler’s Tavern. After which, he has one of the 24-pdr long guns brought up and a half-dozen blank charges fired from it; each discharge is accompanied by an enthusiastic round of applause from the spectators. Early the next morning, Knox and his men are back on the road towards Cambridge. They cross the Little River Bridge, take up their line of march on the Post Road and proceed towards Springfield. Ten hours later, the men of the Knox Expedition cross the Long Bridge over the Connecticut River and are greeted by those of General Garrity’s men who have been detailed to guard it.

The rest of the journey passes without incident; in his private journal, John Adams will later write that he saw the artillery train pass through the town of Framingham on January 25th. At long last, the Knox Expedition arrives in Cambridge on the afternoon of January 27th. Colonel Knox immediately seeks out General Washington and says “sir, I beg to report that I have accomplished the task to which your excellency assigned me in Mid-December. I would also like to commend the services of General Garrity’s man Mr. Allen Trent in Westfield. Mr. Trent was instrumental in supplying men and ox teams after the ones I hired in New York elected to go home and take their animals with them.”

General Washington claps his hands with enthusiasm and says “your arrival is thrice-welcome, sir. Now that you and the artillery are here, I have the upper hand against the British garrison in Boston. Accordingly, you and I will confer with my staff on how best to emplace and employ the artillery.” Colonel Knox replies “I am at your convenience, sir.”

Date: January 28th, 1776
Location: Camp Liberty, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Over the last couple of weeks, General Garrity has been heavily involved in the administrative tasks of running his regiment; he has also been coordinating with is staff back in Westfield in the matter of training and equipping the brigade that General Washington authorized him to raise. On the morning of January 17th, he pauses his other business to read a document prepared for him by his bank director back in Westfield. The information in this document is an assessment of the current financial state of the Thirteen Colonies; there is also a attached table which lists the amount of currency issued by each colony, as follows:

Colonial Currency Issue

Colony Issue Value in Spanish Dollars
Connecticut 15,000 pounds sterling 50,000
Delaware 30,000 pounds sterling 100,000
Georgia 150,000 pounds sterling 500,000
Maryland $318,000 318,000
Massachusetts 50,000 pounds sterling 167,000
New Hampshire $145,000 145,000
New Jersey 100,000 pounds sterling 334,000
New York 2,500 pounds sterling 8,334
North Carolina 40,000 pounds sterling 133,600
Pennsylvania 15,000 pounds sterling 50,000
Rhode Island 39,000 pounds sterling 130,000
South Carolina $1,000,000 1,000,000
Virginia 36,384 pounds sterling 121,280
Total: $3,057,214

After reading the file, General Garrity calls for his chief-of-staff Mr. Ferguson and says “Jim, I have a mind to head off the coming financial crisis in the colonies. I want you to send three-man teams to each of the 13 colonies and have them meet with their governors and responsible financial authorities. The team leaders will say that they are acting under my authority and are here to fully and completely-redeem each colony’s issue of currency; in gold or silver. Have them begin with Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York. After General Washington forces the British out of Boston and marches the army to New York, send teams to New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia to do likewise.”

“What’s your game plan, Mike?”

“Among the several reasons why colonial currency became virtually worthless is that each colony issued its own currency, independently of each other and without much in the way of backing with real, tangible assets. The British sought (or will seek) to exploit this by large-scale counterfeiting of each colony’s notes. By redeeming these notes in specie and getting them out of circulation, I’ll pull the plug on the British plan before it ever has a chance to get started.”

“That’s pretty damned slick, if you ask me. Do you have the same plan in regards to the paper currency that will be issued by Congress?”

“Affirmative. In other matters, there are two particular men in the Continental Army that I want to keep an eye on.” The look on General Garrity’s face raises Ferguson’s interest and so he asks “anyone in particular, Mike?”

“The first one is none other than James Wilkinson, this future boil-on-the-ass of humanity is currently on General Nathaniel Greene’s staff. He’ll be given command of a company of infantry when the army moves to defend New York City in April, 1776; then rise to the level of his own incompetence at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. It so happened that he was given dispatches by General Horatio Gates and ordered to carry them to Congress in Philadelphia. When he got there, Wilkinson decided that his own personal business was more important and delayed giving his messages to Congress. To further complicate matters, he used this opportunity to exaggerate his service at Saratoga. Not knowing the truth of the situation, Congress saw fit to brevet Wilkinson to the rank of Brigadier-General for his supposed ‘service’, despite his only being 20 years old at the time. Not surprisingly, this angered quite a few colonels (all of whom were senior to him in age and experience).”

“Mike, that can’t be the only reason why you want to keep an eye on this Wilkinson character.”

“It most certainly isn’t the only reason. In our original history, Wilkinson will join a group of senior army officers known as the ‘Conway Cabal’; this group was dissatisfied with General Washington’s leadership and sought to have him removed from his post as commander-in-chief.”

Garrity pauses for a few moments to collect his thoughts, then continues by saying “Wilkinson is grasping, ambitious and has a complete and utter lack of moral character. This will be displayed in later year as early as 1785, when he became a paid agent for the Spanish government. In this capacity, Wilkinson will be known as ‘Agent 13’. In later years, his treasonous activities will come to light and no less an individual than Theodore Roosevelt will condemn him by saying ‘in all our history, there is no more despicable character.’ Roosevelt’s judgment will be confirmed by the historian Frederick Jackson Turner, who called Wilkinson ‘the most consummate artist in treason that the nation ever possessed.’

“Mike, as I recall, two of the central figures in Wilkinson’s story were Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr. It will be kind of hard for them to do the same this time around because they are both dead in the action before Quebec City.” Garrity replies “Jim, I know that; I’m just being pro-active (rather than reactive). Wilkinson offends my sensibilities just by being alive, so have a couple of the boys keep an eye on him. After Saratoga, I want him followed to Philadelphia; just before he gets there, make him disappear. After all, the job of being a dispatch rider is very hazardous; perhaps he’ll run into a British patrol and get killed for his trouble. In any case, I leave the manner of Wilkinson’s demise up to your own best judgment.”

“Copy that. Who’s the second guy?”

“A kid, actually. I want you to find where Andrew Jackson is and let me know. The kid’s got a truckload of moxie on the ball, and that kind of talent shouldn’t be wasted. I’ll put in a request to General Washington to have Jackson transferred so I can put him on my staff; this way, I’ll mold Jackson to my liking and in so doing, pre-empt all of the male bovine excrement that he was responsible for in later years (like the Trail of Tears, among other things).”

“Gotcha. I see you like to play the long game, just like Mr. Smith, right?”

“You know it, Jim. Of course, if Operation: Holdfast was taking place later on (say in the early 1830’s or so), I wouldn’t hesitate to have Jackson killed.”


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:32 pm 
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The End of the Beginning
Date: January 5th, 1776
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Time: late morning

Now that Colonel Knox and the ‘Noble Train of Artillery’ are on the scene, General Washington confers with his senior officers on order to formulate a plan by which the British can be drawn out of Boston. Accordingly, the first part of the plan involves distributing some of the 24-pdr long guns and 8” mortars from Fort Ticonderoga to new Continental batteries set up facing the city; these pieces are of such a size that there is no place in Boston that is safe from their fire. Orders were issue late on the morning of January 5th, and between that day and March 1st, batteries were set up on Lechmere’s Point and Cobble Hill in Cambridge, and also on Lamb’s Dam in Roxbury.

Date: March 2nd, 1776
Time: early morning

Under the direction of Colonel Knox, the Continental Army’s opened fire on Boston just after sunrise on March 2nd. At this same time, General Washington made preparations to carry out the second part of his plan; this involved constructing fortifications on Dorchester Heights and emplacing his heaviest artillery there. From this position, not only was the entire city under threat, but also the British fleet’s anchorage in Boston Harbor. Unlike in General Garrity’s original history, the Continental artillery wasn’t restricted to occasional harassment & interdiction fire. Due to Garrity’s having provided a great deal of excellent powder, Knox’ guns and mortars are able to keep firing on a continual basis; the only time each piece stops firing is to allow it to cool down. Knox’ talent for artillery operations is displayed when he cleverly schedules the cooling-off periods for his artillery on a rotating basis.

Date: March 4th, 1776
Time: late evening

The several Colonial artillery batteries emplaced on Lechmere’s Point and elsewhere opened fire in order to provide cover for the work to be done on Dorchester Heights. Under cover of darkness and the firing of Knox’ artillery, General John Thomas took 2,000 of his men and quietly moved up to the heights. The troops are carrying all manner of entrenching tools and other equipment to set up artillery batteries; in a brilliant piece of improvisation, General Thomas ordered that his troops place bales of hay between their line of march and Boston. The idea is to muffle the sounds of the activity taking place.

Upon gaining the heights, Thomas’ met set to work with a will. Artillery positions were laid out, and trenches between them were excavated. The trenches were further protected with emplacements of abbatis and chevaux-de-frise; additionally, wooden barrels filled with rocks were placed at several positions in order that they could be rolled down on the heads of any attacking troops. Lastly, the fieldworks were disguised with brush and trees so that the British wouldn’t be able to detect their presence until it was too late.

Date: March 5th, 1776
Time: 4:00 AM

After a truly herculean amount of effort, the gun batteries and other emplacements on Dorchester Heights are complete. General Washington, General Garrity and other staff officers personally inspect the works; Washington is immensely-pleased with what he sees and commends General Thomas for the hard work that her and his men put in. General Garrity speaks up and says “General Washington, when the British find out what just went on up here, they’re going to be buzzing like a kicked-over beehive. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that we’ve got them between a rock and a hard place.”

“An interesting turn-of-phrase, sir. The only two choices that General Howe has will be to attack us here, or evacuate the city; in either case, we should be ready. Bring up the men of your regiment and place them in position on the left flank; additionally, I want you to deploy your artillery to support the batteries on the Heights.”

“Very good, sir.”

Date: March 5th, 1776
Location: Dock Square, Boston
Time: 11:00 AM

In his headquarters on Dock Square adjacent to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, General William Howe is meeting with his staff officers in order to plan a proper response to the Colonials’ activities. The most senior member of Howe’s staff is General Henry Clinton, who says “sir, I think it goes without saying that the activities of those damnable colonials have right-seriously endangered our position here in Boston. My scouts report activity on Dorchester Heights, and if Washington is allowed to emplace artillery thereon, we might as well give up the game and evacuate.”

Just then, the urgency of the situation is brought home by a messenger from Admiral Shuldham, commanding officer of the fleet anchored in Boston Harbor. The messenger hands General Howe a sealed document, which Howe opens and reads. The document says ‘sir, I have the honor to report that if the Colonials are able to place batteries on Dorchester Heights, I’ll not be able to answer for the safety of the ships and men under my command.’

General Howe nods his head in agreement, then replies “General Clinton, I fear you are right; the message I just received from Admiral Shuldham has convinced me. Send word to all of my regimental commanders that they are to gather themselves and hold their officers and men in readiness for an assault on the heights on March 7th.” Once the meeting is over, General Clinton and his own staff move to carry out General Howe’s orders.

Stormy Weather
Date: March 5th, 1776
Location: the vicinity of Boston, Massachusetts
Time: 6:00 PM

Unfortunately for General Howe, the weather in New England decides to throw a wrench into his plans. Just one hour after the staff meeting, the temperatures start to drop and the sky is quickly filled with low clouds. Snow flurries start to fall around 3:00 PM and, at 6:00 PM, snow is falling with such intensity that it is difficult to see more than twenty yards in any direction. From the window of his headquarters, General Howe sees what is happening outside and remarks to an orderly “I should have expected weather like this in this part of the colonies.”

“Indeed, sir. Will this change your plans for the assault on Dorchester Heights?”

“Not for the time being, leftenant. Send my compliments to General Clinton and tell him that he is to carry on as we discussed earlier today.”

“Very good, sir.”

At that very same moment on Dorchester Heights, General Garrity is seeing to the placement of his men and artillery when he happens to pause to take in the scene. He holds out his gloved right hand and sees heavy soft, snowflakes fall in it. To himself, Garrity recalls an episode from his childhood in Rhode Island and remarks wistfully ‘I haven’t seen snow like this since the Blizzard of 1978.’ Just then, one of Garrity’s staff comes up and says “Mike, the boys and the toys are all in place.”

“Understood.”

Unfortunately for General Howe, the line from the yet-to-be-written poem ‘To a Mouse’ (by Robert Burns) “the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley” is never moré true than it is today. Rather than being a brief snow squall (as sometimes occurs in the northeast), the storm continues for the next twenty-four hours. Sometimes the snowfall slows down and seems as if it is going to stop and, at other times, it comes down at the rate of 3”-4” per hour. By the time that the snow finally stops early on the morning of March 7th, there is 27” on the ground; wind gusts coming off Boston Harbor have caused drifts to pile up in places until they are as tall as houses.

Date: March 7th, 1776
Location: General Howe’s Headquarters, Dock Square, Boston
Time: early afternoon

Rather than being able to take the offensive against the Colonial artillery batteries threatening Boston from atop Dorchester heights, General Howe looks out of his headquarters window with disgust. He turns back to his staff and says “gentlemen, I fear the game is up. There’s no way on God’s green earth that we’ll be able to carry the heights now. In any case, I judge it both necessary and expedient to preserve the troops under my command for employment elsewhere.”

General Clinton replies “what are your orders, sir?”

“Send word throughout the entire command that they are to prepare themselves for evacuation. Also, give my compliments to Admiral Shuldham and say that he should make his ships ready. Lastly, there are significant numbers of people here in Boston who still hold dear their allegiance to King and Country; these loyalists are unlikely to be regarded well by the Colonials so, any who would are welcome to join us.”

“Very good, sir.”

Date: March 8th, 1776
Location: General Thomas’ headquarters, Dorchester Heights
Time: mid-morning

Under flag of truce, a British courier makes his way through the Continental Army’s works to General Thomas’ headquarters where he delivers a note from General Howe. The note reads:

‘To the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army

Sir:

The weather and the strength of your works upon Dorchester Heights have rendered my position in Boston untenable. Therefore, I will issue orders to begin an evacuation starting on the 9th instant. Provided that my troops are unmolested during the evacuation, I give you my word as a British officer that the city will remain unharmed; should my troops be fired upon or hindered in the least, I will not be answerable for the consequences.’

Very respectfully yours:

Howe
General, Commanding’

General Thomas claps his hands with great enthusiasm as he finishes reading the letter. He dismisses the courier and calls for an orderly.

“Lieutenant, take this letter and deliver it immediately to General Washington’s headquarters with my compliments.”

“At once, sir.”


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:16 pm 
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Sounds like a fair trade. It's always nice when everyone acts with fair play in mind during war.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:38 pm 
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jemhouston wrote:
Sounds like a fair trade. It's always nice when everyone acts with fair play in mind during war.


The evacuation of Boston will take place just as it did IOTL; the British fleet (of 110 warships & transports) will safely exit Boston Harbor and head towards Halifax.

Instead of getting harassed by Colonial privateers, the fleet will run into General Garrity's ship 'Juggernaut'. The Big 'J' will go for the warships only; those that strike their colors and heave to will be spared. Those that don't will be sunk. The transports will be allowed to sail to Halifax and put the passengers and their property safely ashore.

Of course, this means that the Juggernaut won't be in a position to intercept and destroy the fleet sent to reinforce Quebec; not that it matters, because the city and the province are firmly in Colonial hands..


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