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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:10 pm 
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Lifting the Siege
Date: March 9th, 1776
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Time: late morning

Now that General Howe’s position in Boston has become untenable, he issues orders for his staff to begin the evacuation of the city. Therefore, a message is sent to Admiral Shuldham to prepare his ships to receive large numbers of passengers and their belongings. Additionally, public notices are posted all over the city that any colonists who wish to leave with the British are free to do so.

Over the next several days, word gets around and the loyalists in Boston gathered their belongings and prepared to leave. On April 10th, General Howe sought to deprive the Colonial Army of needed supplies by ordering the inhabitants of the city to give up all linen clothing and other woolen goods. These items were collected by a prominent loyalist by the name of Crean Bush and taken aboard the brig ’Elizabeth’ at anchor off of Dock Street. In return for the goods, Bush issued certificates which could be redeemed at a future date.

Date: March 15th, 1776
Time: 4:00 AM

The troops of the British garrison were roused from their quarters very early in the morning and formed up for the march to Boston’s waterfront. By 9:00 AM, the last troops had boarded their ships and all vessels are now underway. Outside Boston, General Washington orders his officers to reclaim Boston and Charleston. Owing to the possibility of smallpox in those two cities, Washington orders that only those troops who have been inoculated with General Garrity’s vaccines be allowed to participate in reclamation operations.

General Howe and his officers think that they are safe, but it is not to be. Unknown to them, several British ships bound for Boston (carrying replacement troops and additional supplies) were seized by a small squadron commanded by Captain John Manley aboard USS Lee; vessels of the squadron included USS Warren, USS Lynch, USS Hancock and USS Lee. The operations of the squadron were aided by General Garrity’s ship armed merchant ship ‘Columbia; among the more notable prizes taken was the brig ‘Elizabeth’, which was carrying Crean Bush, his plunder and a number of Loyalist refugees. Bush and the Loyalists were taken aboard USS Lee, while the loyalist leaders were transferred to USS Hancock; the crew of the ’Elizabeth’ were taken aboard USS Lynch. Under the hands of a prize crew, ’Elizabeth’ was sailed back to Boston.

When Admiral Shuldham’s ships were well out to sea, General Howe ordered that the fleet was to set sail for Halifax; having previously received a message from the Admiralty that a fleet of 40 ships carrying 9,000 troops under the command of General John Burgoyne was being sent to relieve Quebec City, it is Howe’s intention to rest and resupply his troops in Halifax, then plan to launch an attack on New York.

Location: the colonial works outside of Boston
Time: 2:00 PM

Upon receiving word that the British troops have evacuated Boston, General Washington exclaims to his officers “praise be to the Lord of Hosts, who has seen fit to grant us this victory.” To General Garrity, Washington turns and says “sir, the service of you and your men during the late siege has been exemplary; rest assured that the Congress shall hear of it.”

“Thank you, sir; we only did what was necessary.”

Just then, a staff officer approaches General Artemas Ward, hands him a document and then departs. General Washington pauses, raises a questioning eyebrow at General Ward and says “is there some matter of concern, sir?” Ward replies “sir, my scouts report that the British may not have completely evacuated after all. Apparently, there are numbers of British troops still in possession of the works on Bunker Hill….”

“Is that so? Well, we’ll soon discover the truth of what is happening and act accordingly. General Garrity, I want you to send forward a party of your excellent cavalry. Have them proceed to Bunker Hill with the greatest dispatch, survey the works there and report back to me.”

So ordered, General Garrity salutes crisply and replies “immediately, sir.” He leaves the room to get in touch with the Black Horse Cavalry’s commanding officer to relay Washington’s order, then returns 15 minutes later and says “General Washington, gentlemen, my cavalrymen are on the way as we speak. We should expect to here back from them within two hours.”

“Very well, sir.”

While the Black Horse Cavalry is off on its scouting mission, General Washington directs his command staff back to the council table and says “gentlemen, now that military operations in Boston have concluded, I judge it both necessary and expedient to withdraw from these environs and betake ourselves to New York City; it is very likely that General Howe will sail there directly from Boston and seek to reestablish his base of operations. You will all please recall that I dispatched General Charles Lee to New York City with orders to take command and prepare the city’s defenses against a possible assault from the British. General Putnam?”

“Yes, sir?”

“You will send a dispatch to General Lee and inform him of Howe’s departure. Give him my compliments and say that reinforcements are presently being sent. Once the dispatch is on the way, you will select a force equal to one-fourth of the army’s collected strength and personally go with it to New York City to assist General Lee’s operations. I and the rest of the army will follow along as soon as we are able.”

“At your command, sir.”

“General Garrity?”

“Yes, sir?”

“The remainder of your regiment will be part of the force going with General Putnam; you, your cavalry and your artillery will come along with me when the rest of the army marches. Additionally, I want the new troops of your brigade to join us in New York City as soon as they are available.”

General Garrity doesn’t hesitate as he nods his understanding and replies “it will be my pleasure, sir.” Inside his mind, Garrity considers that General Charles Lee (the man the rest of his regiment is going to reinforce) is an uncouth, uncivilized slob with the manners and deportment of a deckhand from the lowest stratum of society. He remembers Lee’s grasping ambition in being appointed commanding officer of the Continental Army, and how not getting the appointment rankled him. In General Garrity’s eyes, what merits Lee getting killed is not his backstabbing of General Washington, but his actions in the original history after he’s captured by a patrol led by Banastre Tarleton in late 1776. During his captivity (which lasted until 1778), Lee committed treason by actually drafting a plan for military operations by the British against the colonials.

Lees’ treason remained unknown to General Washington and the officers of the Continental Army, and he was paroled by the British in 1778. In June of that year, Washignton appointed Charles Lee to be the commander of the Continental Army’s advance guard as it moved to engage British forces in Monmouth County, New Jersey on June 28th, 1778. Owing to Lee‘s bungling mismanagement, he conducted a disorganized attack against the British rear guard which turned into a withdrawl. When the British counterattacked, Lees’ flanks crumbled and he was forced to order a general retreat. On July 2nd, Lee was court-martialed and found guilty on charges of misbehavior before the enemy, failing to carry out this orders and disrespect to the commander-in-chief. This effectively ended his military career, though Lee actually didn’t leave the service until 1780.

Garrity excuses himself on the pretext of seeing to the secondment of his troops to General Putnam’s command, then goes to see his chief-of-staff Jim Ferguson. The two men shake hands and Mr. Ferguson says “hello, Mike. From the expression on your face, you look to have quite a burr under your saddle. What gives?”

“Jim, General Washington is detaching the rest of my infantry and sending them with a force under the command of General Putnam to New York City the intent is to aid General Charles Lee in defense of the city. It seems that Washington thinks that General Howe might be sailing towards New York, and that the city is in danger. You and I both know that Howe sailed for Halifax. What really, really lights my fuse isn’t Lee’s political scheming to get himself appointed as commander of the Continental Army; instead, it is his treasonable conduct during his captivity and his malfeasance during the upcoming Battle of Monmouth. You remember that he was court-martialed and found guilty on charges of misconduct, failure to obey orders and disrespect to the commander-in chief. What makes Lee’s conduct even more offensive in my eyes is that after he failed to get Congress to override the judgment of the court-martial, he resorted to making open, personal attacks on General Washington’s character.”

“Mike, what are you going to do about the Lee situation? You can’t just waste him right now…”

“There are two possible solutions which suggest themselves at this time. The first is that Lee is due to be captured by a patrol led by Banastre Tarleton on the morning of December 13th, 1776. It so happened that Lee’s troops had been ordered to join General Washington and the rest of the Continental Army; Lee (for some reason unknown to history) and twelve of his guards stopped at White’s Tavern in Basking Ridge, New Jersey on the evening of December 12th. Tarleton’s patrol of 24 men captured Lee and his men without a fight. What I could do here is to wait until Tarleton and his men are away from the tavern with their captives, then make as if there is going to be a rescue by continental cavalrymen. In the ensuing firefight, Lee and Tarleton would be killed.”

“What’s the second solution?”

“Jim, I could wait until 1780 when Lee finally leaves the army. The historical record states that Lee’s conduct towards General Washington was found to be so offensive that he was challenged to a number of duels. In one particular duel, Lee was challenged by Colonel John Laurens on December 23rd. Shots were exchanged and Lee was wounded in the side by Laurens’ fire. Here, I will challenge Lee before Colonel Laurens has a chance to; of course, I’ll make an example of that miserable SOB and kill him. As the challenged party, he’ll have the right to select the weapons; I (as the challenger) will have the right to select the ground, and will suggest that the duel will be on horseback.”

“I see.”

Garrity chuckles malignantly and says “this is when my true plan for Lee’s death will com einto play; you see, when Lee refuses to fight on horseback, I will publicly accuse him of being a coward and demand that the fight be with swords. He’ll use his own sword and I’ll use that bastard sword that Mr. Smith gave to me when we started this project; Lee won’t stand a chance because I’m far-stronger than he is and have a longer reach and faster reflexes. There’s also that little bit about my sword being unbreakable and having a diamond core with an edge that’s just 100 angstroms thick.”

“Let me guess; you’re planning to hack him up like a side of beef…”

“You’ve got it. I’m going to take a lesson from classical Japanese swordsmanship and deliver a cut from Lee’s left shoulder down to his right waist. Before the two pieces of Lee’s body have a chance to fall apart, I’ll execute the ’Cut of the Carriage Wheels’ and cut the lower part of the body in half through the hip bones. Historically, samurai regarded this cut as the most difficult; with my strength and my sword’s cutting power, it will be like sending a hot knife through butter.”

General Garrity reports back to the command staff meeting and continues to assist in planning the move of the Continental Army’s main body to New York City. At 4:00 PM, Garrity’s cavalry commander Captain William Hodgkins rides up and dismounts. He comes inside, knocks on the door to the conference room and says “General Washington, General Garrity, I beg to report that the Black Horse Cavalry has thoroughly scouted the works on Bunker Hill. No British troops in evidence; all that was found was a number of dummies made from cast-off uniforms stuffed with straw.”

A look of mild surprise crosses Washington’s face as he says “very well, Captain. You are dismissed; give your troopers my compliments and says that they have done well.” Captain Hodgkins salutes with a touch of the hand to the brim of his tricorn hat and says “your servant, sir.”

After Hodgkins leaves, General Washington looks to General Garrity and says “well sir, that was entirely unexpected. What do you make of it?”

“Sir, unless I miss my guess, I believe that General Howe wanted you to think that his troops were still present. Perhaps, he wanted you to delay your operations until the ships carrying his troops had departed from Boston Harbor. In any case, it matters not. What is important is that the Continental Army has regained control of the city; this might be a deciding factor if and when the French decide to come to the aid of the Colonies.”

“Well-said, sir; well said.”


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:30 pm 
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Next Steps
Date: March 16th, 1776
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Time: 7:00 PM

On the night of March, General Garrity calls his senior staff together for a meeting in order to decide what to do next. Aside from Garrity, those present are Jim Ferguson, Richard Jordan, Jim Wilson, Sam Roberts and William Hodgkins. General Garrity calls the meeting to order and says “gentlemen, I have been ordered to detach my remaining infantry and send them along with General Putnam other troops of the Continental Army on an expedition to New York City. The purpose is to assist General Charles Lee with his defense of the city against an attack by the British.”

Jim Ferguson speaks up and says “Mike, Washington’s order to help Lee has really got to bug you. Do you intend to move up your plans to waste him?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. You’ll all recall what I said at our meeting yesterday afternoon about how I want to wait until 1780 until issuing a challenge to Lee and killing him in a duel; well, I have reconsidered. Under the Code of the Duel, both participants have to use equal weapons. This means that my plan to hack him to pieces with my broadsword isn’t going to work. So, I’m going to go with my original plan of killing Lee after he gets captured by Banastre Tarleton later this year. This way, I can kill two birds with one stone. Jim”

“Yeah, Mike?”

“As with General Wilkinson, have some of the boys keep an eye on General Lee. In the original history, Tarleton captured him at White’s Tavern on December 12th, 1776. Due to my activities here in the past, the timeline has already started to change; however, I do believe that the capture will still take place. As soon as Lee gets grabbed, I want him and Tarleton wasted.”

“Copy that.”

“Richard?”

“Yes, Mike?”

“I want you to take command of the rest of the infantry that’s going with General Putnam. You’ll be under his orders while on the expedition, but I want to be kept apprised of what happens.”

“You got it, boss-man.”

“I’ve called for the brigade to come from Camp Bartlett and join us. They’ll be marching with us and the rest of the army as we move to New York City. Now, to a matter of immediate importance. You all know that General Howe and his troops sailed for Halifax after they evacuated Boston. Once Howe rests and refits his army, he’ll be sailing for New York City. In the north, General John Burgoyne is due to arrive with a fleet of some 40 ships and 9,000 men (including 4,000 Hessians under the command of Baron Friedrich Adolf Riedesel).”

Jim Wilson speaks up and asks “what are you going to do about them, Mike? As I recall, Burgoyne and his men were major participants in the Saratoga Campaign. Winning the Battle of Saratoga in the original history got France to come in on the side of the colonies. If the battle doesn’t take place, France’s participation might be delayed or it might not take place at all.”

“That’s a good point, Jim; the Juggernaut is in position to intercept and destroy Burgoyne’s fleet when it arrives in the Gulf of St, Lawrence. However, I will permit the landings to take place because Juggernaut will be ordered to make forth into the North Atlantic and harass British merchant shipping there; if anything, this will give those stuffy bastards at Lloyds conniptions. As regards Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne, he and his men will find that Montreal and Quebec City are much too strongly held by General Montgomery and Colonel Richardson and will therefore seek to bypass those two cities and advance towards upstate New York. As for the Columbia, she‘ll be on hand to harass Howe’s fleet of 120 ships when they sail for New York.”

Date: March 18th, 1776
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Time: late morning

The last of General Howe’s ships has hove to just off the entrance of Halifax Harbor. By Howe’s order, the loyalists who came along with him from Boston are to go ashore with their families and belongings first. Afterwards, they will be followed by his troops. All throughout the fleet (from Admiral Shuldham to the lowest matelots on the gun decks and from General Howe to the newest private soldiers), there is a deep and abiding sense of disappointment over being forced out of Boston. This disappointment is shared by the loyalist evacuees, who have also lost their homes and shops. To these people, the disappointment borders on fear; for themselves, their children and what the future has in store.

As commanding general, Howe elects to remain on board ship along with his senior staff until the last of his troops have gone ashore. Due to the large numbers of passengers (plus their baggage and equipment), the offloading process is expected to take the next two days. While observing the proceedings from the quarterdeck of HMS Royal Oak along with Admiral Shuldham, General Howe turns to his second-in-command General Clinton and says “Henry, as soon as the men are in quarters ashore, all officers at or above the rank of major are to come to see in my headquarters in Government House.”
“Very good, sir. I regret that I was unable to meet General Cornwallis and Admiral Parker; their fleet was supposed to arrive off the coast of the Carolinas in February. I know not what has happened to them; mayhap they were delayed by the weather.”

“Let us hope to god that bad weather is the only thing that General Cornwallis and Admiral Parker have had to deal with. Now sir, let us look to getting out men ashore and re-supplied.”

Date: March 20th, 1776
Location: General Howe’s headquarters, Government House, Halifax

Now that all of General Howe’s troops are ashore and in barracks, the time for the staff meeting has arrived. When all of the officers above the rank of Major are present, Howe begins the meeting by saying “gentlemen, there’s no two ways about it; we were soundly beaten. Rather than attempt to force Boston out of the hands of those damned colonials, I propose that we send for additional reinforcements. Once they are here, we’ll sail against New York City. I have it on good authority that the city is defended by General Charles Lee and six under strength regiments. If we move fast, we’ll be able to strike the colonials a most-heavy blow before they are in position to respond.” General Clinton replies “a capital idea, sir. If anything, New York City is an eve better port than Boston.”

The rest of the meeting passes with a series of discussions on how the upcoming campaign can best be effected. Afterwards, the officers disperse themselves back to their respective commands in order to begin the necessary preparations.

In other matters, the troops dispatched by General Washington under the command of General Israel Putnam on March 15th are nearly one-third of the way to New York City. Presently, the force comprises a total of 4,000 troops (which includes the remainder of General Garrity’s regiment). The expedition is now west-southwest of Worcester, Massachusetts and is about to cross over the line into northern Connecticut. Ahead of them, Putnam’s dispatch riders have safely arrived in New York City and informed General Lee that help is on the way.

Having previously received word via radio from General Garrity, Allan Trent and the rest of the cadre in Westfield had the rest of Garrity’s brigade equipped, supplied and ready to march. within the hour. The 2,400 troops (and two new batteries of artillery) set out on the road with their baggage train, made a good pace of ten miles per day and arrived at Hartford, Connecticut on the afternoon of March 19th.Knowing that General Putnam’s reinforcements have to pass through Hartford while on their way to New York City, Allan Trent chooses to have Garrity’s brigade bivouac and await Putnam’s arrival (which should take place some time on March 21st).

Hail and Well-Met
Date: March 21st, 1776
Location: the outskirts of Hartford, Connecticut
Time: later afternoon

General Putnam’s advance guard are the first to arrive in Hartford; to their great surprise they are met by Colonel Trent of Garrity’s Brigade who says “greetings, Gentlemen. I am Colonel Allan Trent and I have the honor to command this part of Garrity’s brigade. We arrived here from our encampment in Westfield only yesterday, and I judged it both necessary and expedient to wait here for General Putnam instead of pressing on to New York City. Dare I assume that he is nearby?”

Captain Ezekiel Collins of Putnam’s staff salutes crisply and responds “aye that he is, sir. General Putnam is at the head of the main body of his troops and should be here within the hour.”

“Excellent news, Captain. I look forward to receiving him at that time. For now, would you and your men care to refresh yourselves? By General Garrity’s direction, the brigade’s baggage train is carrying a goodly amount of extra provisions; we’ll begin with some pots of good hot coffee…”

“Hot coffee, you say? I an my men will accept that right willingly.”


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:08 pm 
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Good coffee and a hot meal makes most things better

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:40 pm 
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jemhouston wrote:
Good coffee and a hot meal makes most things better

Indeed. Coffee was something of a luxury drink in the 1770s, so anyone who could provide it would be much-appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:11 pm 
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Welcome News
Date: March 28th, 1776
Location: Stamford, Connecticut
Time: early afternoon

The force of troops commanded by General Israel Putnam has made good progress on the march from Hartford, Connecticut (when they met up and were amalgamated with the new troops from General Garrity’s brigade under the command of Colonel Allan Trent) to New York City. The Continental Army (camped in and around Cambridge, Massachusetts) is making preparations for its own march to New York City, with an anticipated departure date of April 4th.

On the afternoon of March 28th, a courier from New York arrived in General Putnam’s camp and conveyed the message that General Charles Lee was no longer in command of the defenses of New York City; the situation was that Lee had been ordered by Congress to take over the Southern Department in Charleston, South Carolina. In the wake of Lee’s departure, the defense of New York City has been taken up by General William Alexander (also known as Lord Stirling).

Upon receiving the message, Colonel Trent took council with Major Jordan & Major Ferguson and said “boys, I think that Mike will be pleased to hear what happened; he despises Charles Lee and would just as soon kill him, as look at him.” Richard Jordan replies “you’ve got that right, Al. Now that General Alexander is in charge, what are our plans?”

“Rick, if the original history is our guide, General Alexander will be seconded from the New Jersey Militia to the Maryland Line, where he’ll take command of the 1st Maryland Regiment. In this capacity, his actions in defending the Old Stone House in Brooklyn during the Battle of Long Island will be instrumental in allowing General Washington to evacuate the Continental Army’s main body from its position on the Brooklyn Heights. In this engagement, the 1st Maryland was virtually destroyed and Stirling himself was captured; this will not repeat NOT happen this time around. When we get to New York City, I will ask General Alexander that our troops be tasked with reinforcing Major Mordecai Gist and the men of the Maryland Line; this way, when Howe’s troops attack the Old Stone House under the command of General James Grant, they’ll run into more than equal numbers. The technological superiority of our rifle-muskets compared to the smoothbores used by the British will certainly make the difference, as will our artillery.”

Back in the Continental Army’s camp in Cambridge, General Washington calls his senior staff together for a meeting and says “gentlemen, we’ll be presently marching to New York City to take up its defense against an anticipated assault by General Howe’s troops. General Garrity??”

“Yes, sir?”

“I believe you were right when you previously said that the British will make an attempt to re-take Quebec. With this in mind, I will detach General John Sullivan and a force of six regiments and send them north to join General Montgomery and your Colonel Richardson and aid in the defense of the surrounding territory. What say you?”

“A sound strategy, sir. My ship ’Juggernaut’ is currently patrolling the waters off the Gulf of St. Lawrence; she and her crew will do all they can to oppose General Burgoyne’s fleet. Even so, it is highly likely that Burgoyne will still be able to land a considerable force. There is also the matter of General Howe sailing to New York; in all likelihood, this will take place in June. When this happens, my other ship ’Columbia’ will be tasked with harassing the advance of Howe’s fleet.”

On the Scene
Date: April 2nd, 1776
Location: New York City
Time: mid-afternoon

The force commanded by General Israel Putnam and Colonel Allan Trent finally gets to New York City. Immediately, a meeting was called with General William Alexander to plan operations in anticipation of the later arrival of the Continental Army. During the meeting, Colonel Trent speaks up and says “General Alexander, the troops under my command comprise the majority of General Garrity’s brigade. Of these, 2,400 men arrived from their quarters at Camp Bartlett in the Town of Westfield and joined General Putnam’s force while it was temporarily halted at Hartford, Connecticut.”

”Indeed, sir. If even half of what I have heard of General Garrity’s troops is true, your contribution to the defense of New York City will be greatly appreciated.” Colonel Trent nods his head respectfully and says “thank you, sir. May I respectfully request that my artillery and some of my troops be posted alongside your men of the 1st Maryland Regiment? My feeling is that such reinforcements will be of great use in the coming months.”

“Very well, Colonel; your request is agreed to. General Putnam, how stand your troops?”

“Sir, my force comprises 4,000 men given to me by General Washington, plus the troops commanded by Colonel Trent. In total, there are 6,400 effectives who are healthy, well-fed and spoiling for a fight against the British.” Upon hearing this, General Alexander grins at General Putnam’s enthusiasm and says “then sir, we’ll give the Redcoats a right-proper welcome when they arrive.” The meeting now concludes and the several officers in attendance disperse to see to the deployment of their units.

Date: April 4th, 1776
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Time: Dawn

The troops of Washington’s Continental Army rose before dawn and set themselves to work in breaking camp and preparing to move out. Tents were struck, then they and the army’s other baggage were loaded aboard wagons. The pieces in Colonel Henry Knox’ artillery train were likewise limbered up and, when all was in readiness, the regiments assumed their place in line.

As General Garrity and his officers are assisting in the process, General Washington and his own staff ride up. Salutes are exchanged and Garrity says “a fine morning, is it not, sir?”

“Indeed it is. General Garrity, I have conferred with my staff and I desire that you and your men will have the first position in the Army’s line of march. You will kindly send out advance guards and flankers whose purpose it will be to scout the road ahead and provide security against a possible attack on us by the British.”

General Garrity recognizes the honor he has been given; he snaps to attention and says “you can count on me, sir.” Washington and his staff ride off; once they are gone, Garrity calls to Lt-Colonel Ferguson and says “Jim, General Washington just gave me my marching orders; I’ve got the first position in line. Accordingly, tell Bill Hodgkins that he is to divide the Black Horse Cavalry into two bodies. The first half will be the army’s advance guard, while the second half will be further divided into two equal parts and deployed as flankers. As for us, you’ll be riding along with me and the boys in my personal, just ahead of the Sons of Thunder artillery battery.”

“Copy that, Mike. Where do you want the two Hotchkiss mountain guns?” Garrity thinks for a moment, then says “put them in line immediately behind us. If we happen to run into any organized resistance from the British, they’re small and will be able to get into action faster than the Sons of Thunder.”

“Received and understood, boss-man.”

Just as the sun starts to rise in the East, a rider from Washington’s staff comes up and says “General Garrity, the commanding general sends his compliments and says to move out at your discretion.”

“Very well; my respects to General Washington.” The rider moves off, then Garrity stands tall in his saddle and orders his bugler to sound the advance. He thunders forth in a voice that sounds very much like a thunderstorm in the mountains and says ’FORWARD….YO!!!”


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:28 pm 
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The battle is joined.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:59 am 
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jemhouston wrote:
The battle is joined.

Not quite yet, but getting close to it. Certain parts of the British Army are going to be very badly handled when the get to New York City... :twisted:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:14 am 
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On the road to New York
Date: April 9th, 1776
Location: the vicinity of the town of Union, Connecticut
Time: early morning

The column of the Continental Army is making excellent progress on its march from Cambridge to New York City; thus far, they have covered 75 miles in only five days. An hour after dawn, the army has already broken camp and is back on the road when General Washington and some of his staff ride up to the head of the column, whereupon he greets General Garrity and says “I give you a good morning, sir.”

Garrity returns the salutation and says “thank you, sir; your kind words are most gratefully accepted.”

“You are quite welcome. I must compliment you on the most excellent order and discipline of your troops; the standards you keep and the pace you set on the march is an example for the rest of the army to emulate.” General Garrity tips his hat to General Washington and replies “I will convey that to the men on our next halt; I’m quite sure that word of your approval will be well-received.”

“But of course…”

While he and General Washington are riding together, Garrity pauses for a moment to gather his thoughts. A short time later, he says “sir, I have a matter to put before you for your consideration.”

“Very well; pray continue, I say.”

“Sir, the longer this war goes on, the more necessity there will be to create some system of military decorations so that meritorious conduct on the part of the officers and men of the army can be recognized and rewarded accordingly.”

“An excellent suggestion, sir; I presume that you have some ideas in mind.”

“As a matter of fact, I do. The first of these is one I call the ’Purple Heart’; this one would go to any and all men (from the greenest private soldier to the highest-ranking officer) who are wounded in battle. If the individual should happen to be killed, the award would be posthumous and go to that person’s family with the grateful thanks of Congress and the Army.”

“A capital suggestion, sir. Of what form would this decoration be?”

“Sir, a Purple Heart medal would be in the form of a heart-shaped device of bronze with a center of purple enamel and a border of gold. At the top, the device is surmounted by a heraldic eagle between two sprigs of green leaves. In the center of the device, there would be a side portrait of the winged Goddess of Victory. The medal would depend from a ribbon of purple silk and be pinned to the left breast of the uniform below the shoulder. On the dress uniform, the presence of a Purple Heart would be shown by a rectangular service ribbon, also of purple silk and bordered with bronze. In situations where a second award of the Purple Heart is warranted, subsequent awards will be recognized by a small bronze oak leak pinned to the center of the service ribbon.”

“An excellent suggestion, General Garrity. I presume that you have other decorations in mind.”

“I do, sir. The first and highest of all decorations will be called the Medal of Honor, which will be awarded by the commanding general in the name of Congress for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, while in combat with the enemy. The Medal will be in the form of a five-pointed gold star (with one point downwards) surrounded by a wreath of green enamel. The star will depend from a small gold rectangle held in the claws of a heraldic eagle; this rectangle will have one word graven into its surface, ‘VALOR‘. The medal will be worn about the neck by a ribbon of blue silk, which ribbon shall also have a square center with thirteen white stars which symbolize the 13 colonies. As the Medal is such a prestigious decoration, the act for which it is bestowed must be witnessed by no less than three of the awardee‘s fellow soliders. Next, the nomination for the award must be passed on to the individual‘s regimental commander, to the division commander and finally the commanding general. If any of these officers feel that the award of the medal is not warranted, then the individual will receive the next-highest decoration.”

“What decoration would that be, General Garrity?”

“It is one that I call the ‘Distinguished Service Cross’. This medal would be awarded for instances of extreme gallantry while in combat with an enemy force, and be in the form of a square gold cross surmounted by an eagle with spread wings. It would depend from a purple silk ribbon with a border of red on the outside and white on the inside. A nomination for the awarding of this medal would be from the commanding officer of the awardee’s unit, who would would either have witnessed the action for which the DSC is to be awarded or to have received sworn testimony from those who did see it. In any case, the nomination would be confirmed and the award be made by the awardee’s division commander.”

“Those can’t be the only two medals you are thinking of, General.”

“Of course not. The third decoration is a medal that I call the Silver Star, to be awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy that doesn’t rise to a level worthy of either the Distinguished Service Cross or the Medal of Honor. A Silver Star is just that, a five-pointed star of coin silver that depends from a striped silk ribbon of red, white and blue. The next decoration I have in mind is called the ’Bronze Star’, which would be awarded for an act of merit or distinguished heroism in a combat zone. If the award is to be made for valor in combat, the ribbon will have a small bronze device in the shape of a large ’V’ (for valor).”

A look of thoughtful introspection crosses General Washington’s face as he says “what of instances where the same individual is eligible to receive a second award of the same medal?”

“Sir, in all such cases (from the Medal of Honor to the Bronze Star), the awardee would receive a bronze oak-leaf cluster to wear as a device upon the ribbon of their medal. Lastly, I will add something called an Army Commendation Medal. This would be for any enlisted man (or officer below the grade of General) who distinguishes themselves by heroism, meritorious service or meritorious service. A commendation medal can be awarded individually more than once (and thus, will not need an oak leaf cluster), and has the shape of a bronze hexagon depending form a ribbon of green silk. The hexagon features an American eagle with its wings spread.”

“General Garrity, I find your ideas to be full of merit and will mention them in my next dispatch to Congress; I will lend the full prestige of my position to them and recommend that they be adopted without delay.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Taking the Field
Date: April 17th, 1776
Location: New York City
Time: mid-morning

General Washington and the Continental Army arrived safely in New York City on the afternoon of April 14th. Immediately, he and his staff set about on the numerous tasks involved in the defense of the city against an expected attack by the British. This afternoon, after seeing that the city hasn’t come down firmly on the side of independence and that the city’s officials and businessmen are supplying the British ships still in the harbor, he writes a blistering letter to New York City’s Committee of Public Safety in which he asks if the present evidence isn’t sufficient to prove that the former colonies and Great Britain are now at war with each other. He also orders that further such communications cease immediately.

Elsewhere in those colonies south of New York, General Garrity’s three-man delegations have reached the capital cities of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. After arriving at their destinations, the teams meet with the governors and officials of the several colonies and put forth Garrity’s proposal that he redeem each colony’s issue of paper currency in either gold or silver. At first, the proposal is met with no small amount of incredulity; however, when proof-positive of General Garrity’s ability to deliver on his proposal is given, the incredulity on the part of certain colonial officials gives way to enthusiasm. In particular, the colonial legislature of Maryland and Governor Henry Laurens of South Carolina are the most amenable; Maryland’s issue of currency amounts to some $318,000, while South Carolina’s is the largest; at an incredible $1,000,000; a sum which surpasses that of all the other colonies put together.

Governor Laurens says “how long will it take for the funds to arrive and be disbursed?” General Garrity’s team leader Albert Johnson replies “your excellency, once I send word to General Garrity that you have accepted his proposal, the funds will be dispatched immediately. I estimate no more than two or three weeks until they arrive. During this time, I respectfully suggest that you order the publication of broadsides announcing this. General Garrity knows that the total amount of currency issued by South Carolina is one million dollars and that he thinks it possible that the British or their loyalists might try to take advantage of the situation by printing and redeeming counterfeit currency. Therefore, your excellency is urged to be on guard against this…”

“Of course, Mr. Johnson. Such a criminal act would be tantamount to treason and be punished as such.”

Date: April 19th, 1776
Location: New York City
Time: late afternoon

Mindful of their desire to stay on General Washington’s good side, certain city officials and prominent businessmen cease any and all support for those British ships still remaining in New York Harbor. Additionally, all such ships are ordered to raise anchor and sail at the first opportunity; the unspoken imposition is that if they don’t, they will be regarded as enemy combatants and fired upon. By coincidence, this action takes place on the one-year anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:55 pm 
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you get more results with a big stick and soft words, than with just soft words

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:04 am 
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jemhouston wrote:
you get more results with a big stick and soft words, than with just soft words

Of course. In other words, money talks and male bovine excrement walks.

My alternate self is or will be in a position to have as much influence over the U.S-to-be as George Washington himself. Among the post-war institutions he intends to have a hand in founding are the U. S Military Academy and the Naval Academy. Perhaps also Springfield Armory and the Bank of the United States (and making sure that said bank gets run the right way, this time around).


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:02 pm 
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Here and There
Date: May 5th, 1776
Location: the waters off the Gulf of St. Lawrence
Time: mid-morning

Under special instructions from General Garrity, the officers and men abord ‘Juggernaut’ have been patrolling the North Atlantic ocean east of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in anticipation of the arrival of the fleet commanded by General John Burgoyne. This fleet numbers some 40 ships, these being transports escorted by warships of the Royal Navy. In addition to each ship’s complement, there are a total of 9,000 troops aboard the transports; 5,000 British regulars, plus an additional 4,000 Hessian mercenaries under the command of Baron Friedrich Adolf Riedesel.

Just before noontime on May 5th, one of Juggernaut’s lookouts on duty in the mizzentop crow’s next calls out loudly “DECK THERE, SAIL HO OFF THE LARBOARD BOW” The ship’s officer-of-the-deck Richard Shaeffer replies with his speaking trumpet and says “WHERE AWAY?” The shouted reply is “TWO POINTS TO LARBOARD; THE DISTANCE IS FIVE MILES”

“CAN YOU MAKE THEM OUT?”

The lookout raises his binoculars, observes the oncoming ships for a minute or two and replies “I MAKE TEN SAIL IN ALL; FOUR WARSHIPS IN THE LEAD AND SIX TRANSPORTS FOLLOWING BEHIND.” Satisfied with this information, Mr. Shaeffer calls out “CLEAR DECKS FOR ACTION!!”

This command has every man aboard ship running to his duty station; the gun crews take up station beside their pieces, while all extraneous equipment and other material is stowed out of the way. Captain Stewart now comes on deck and says “report me the situation, Commander.”

Cmdr. Shaffer replies “aye, sir. The mizzentop lookout sighted ten sail, approaching from two points to larboard at the distance of five miles; they’re British, no mistake about that, sir.”

“Very well. Hands aloft and make all plain sail. Pass the word to the ship’s Black Gang and have them fire up the boilers; I want to have a full head of steam before we engage the British.” The orders are by being replied “hands aloft, make all plain sail, Black Gang to fire up the boilers, aye, sir.”

In very short order, the sail handlers are up into the rigging and loosing the sails from where they are tied to the spars. Below deck in the ship’s engine room, the fireboxes for the boilers are lit off, then well-supplied with coal from the fuel bunkers; before very long, the boilers are coming under pressure. Back on the weather deck, the sails are now filling with the late-morning wind, and the ship’s helmsman alters his course so as to intercept the oncoming British ships.

Across the way, General Burgoyne is on the quarterdeck of his command ship planning his operations against the Colonial troops in control of Quebec City. Just then, the ship’s lookouts call out “AHOY THE DECK, UNKNOWN VESSEL APPROACHING DEAD AHEAD. DISTANCE IS THREE NAUTICAL MILES.”

General Burgoyne turns to the the ship’s captain and sailing master and says “well, gentlemen. It seems as if we won’t have to wait until after landing before we engage those damned colonials. I’ll be obliged if you were to pass the word to the other ships and have them clear decks for action.”

“Aye, sir.”

Burgoyne’s orders are passed to the other ships by means of signal flags; aboard all ten ships, the gun crews are standing to and preparing to charge their guns with powder and shot. Back aboard the Juggernaut, Captain Stewart’s gun crews are doing likewise; shells and bagged powder charges are brought up from the ship’s magazines and placed in ready racks by each gun, while the gun captains affix sights to their pieces and check their alignment.

Burgoyne’s warships are in echelon-right formation, with his ship HMS Cerberus on point and HMS Agamemnon to the left; HMS Defiance and HMS Hercules are to the right; behind these four, the six transports have been ordered to stay a mile behind for safety reasons.

Due to the combined closing speed of Juggernaut and the British warships, the distance between them rapidly decreases to less than one mile. Captain Stewart calls to his weapons officer and says ‘Guns, have the crew on the forward pivot piece put a shell into the water in front of the lead British ship; I’d much rather not have to destroy them all unless necessary.”

“Aye sir.”

The order is passed to the foc’sle, and the gun captain of the forward pivot gun has his crew slew the piece a degree or two to starboard. The gun’s breech is opened, and four men take one of its huge 300-pound shells in hand. They raise the shell to the gun’s breech and securely ram it home to the front of the chamber. The shell is followed by a powder bag containing 26 lbs of black powder, then the breechblock is closed and a friction primer is fitted into the vent on top of a booster charge of fine-grained priming powder.

The gun captain and his assistant train the cannon on target, then call for the rest of the crew to stand clear. He takes hold of the lanyard attached to the friction primer, shouts out “READY...FIRE!!!”, then pulls it sharply. The pivot gun’s muzzle blast is almost volcanic in scale as the weapon sends forth its 300-lb high-explosive projectile; just three seconds later, the shell impacts the water in front of the British flagship and explodes.

Aboard HMS Cerberus, General Burgoyne and his staff are anticipating giving battle to the strange vessel when the shell goes off. He exclaims “Mother of God, what as that thing??” Ship’s Captain James Bolton replies “I know not, sir; yon explosion was like several barrels of powder going off at the same time...” Just then, the strange vessel clears through the powder smoke from the cannon shot; Burgoyne’s heart sinks as he can now comprehend the full size of what is coming at him.

Captain Bolton steels his nerve as he says “sir, wherever that ship be from, it is the largest vessel I have ever seen. What are we to do now?” Burgoyne replies “matters naval are outside my field of experience, therefor you may engage at your own discretion, sir.” Bolton nods, then summons his first officer and says “Mr. Bridewell, signal HMS Agamemnon to fall in behind us. HMS Defiance and HMS Hercules are to stand off in line to port at the distance of 500 yards. My plan is that we shall allow that strange ship to pass between us, then we can rake him from port to starboard simultaneously.”

“A capital idea, sir.” Mr. Bridewell orders that the message be passed rto the other three ships and very soon, all is in readiness to meet the stranger interloper. Aboard the Juggernaut, Captain Stewart turns to Cmdr. Shaffer and says “Oho, so the British want to come out and play? Well, we’ll just have to oblige them, won’t we, Commander?”

“Yes, sir. Your orders?”

Captain Stewart thinks for a moment, then says “as we pass between those four ships, tell the weapons officer that I want full broadsides on each of the two leading vessels. After that, we’ll come about and hit the two trailing vessels from the stern. I see six ships behind those four in the front, unless I miss my guess, they’re transports. Once their captains & crews see what we do to the warships, they’ll strike their colors unless they’re terminally stupid; if they are, then we’ll oblige by sending them off to Davey Jones’ locker with General Garrity’s compliments.”

“Very good, sir.”

The combined speed of the two sides means that the distance between them is closing very rapidly. Aboard HMS Cerberus, Captain Bolton passes an order to his master gunner, who bellows out and says “OPEN GUN PORTS, OUT TOMPIONS, CHARGE AND RUN OUT YOUR GUNS”. These orders are passed to the other three ships by means of signal flags and very soon, the port sides of HMS Cerberus & HMS Agamemnon (plus the starboard sides of HMS Defiance and HMS Hercules) are bristling with cannon; all pieces loaded and ready to fire.

Over on the Juggernaut, Captain Stewart’s gun crews are standing to their own pieces; breechblocks are opened, the shells are rammed home and powder bags are seated behind the projectiles. Lastly, the vents are charged with a small amount of fine-grained priming powder before the friction primers are inserted.

The distance closes; ½ mile, 1/4 mile, 1/8 mile....Juggernaut is now between HMS Cerberus and HMS Agamemnon. Captain Bolton nods with satisfaction as he bellows “FIRE BY PIECE, IN SEQUENCE, STEM TO STERN!!!” On the gun deck, lanyards are jerked and the gunlocks cause the 32-pdr long guns to fire one after the other; on HMS Agamemnon, her own port battery lets go as soon as the first shot from HMS Cerberus is heard. Vast quantities of thick, sulfurous smoke belch forth as dozens of round shot fly across the water...all to no effect. British gunnery is as accurate as ever, and the sounds of the shot striking the strange vessel are very much like a hammer striking an immense gong. For all the violence and fury of the British broadsides, all that is done to the target is to scuff up some of the paintwork on the hull.

Aboard the Juggernaut, a grim smile crosses Captain Stewart’s face as he says to Cmdr. Shaffer “open fire, if you please.” On the ship’s gun deck, the order is received and firing lanyards are pulled on both the port & starboard batteries. Unlike with the British shots, the results of Juggernaut’s fire is horriffic. The ship’s main battery is composed of 26 150-pdr rifled breechloaders, each firing a shell made of cast & chilled steel that is loaded with 15 lbs of high explosive. The shells are each fitted with delay-impact fuzes which set off their explosive payloads just 1/10 of a second after hitting their target.

One second, HMS Cerberus and HMS Agamemnon are sailing proudly; symbols of a world-spanning empire. The next second, great gaping holes are blasted in their hulls; dozens of guns are knocked off their carriages and hundreds of casualties are inflicted. On HMS Agamemnon, the situation is worse, as one of the Juggernaut’s shells caused a number of ready charges for the ship’s guns to go off; thus, secondary explosions and fire add themselves to the ship’s woes.

On comes Juggernaut, remorseless, relentless and utterly implacable. The captains of HMS Hercules and HMS Defiance fire valiantly upon the enemy vessel, but with no effect. Juggernaut sails between them, then comes about to present her starboard broadside to their sterns. While the ship is maneuvering into position, the starboard guns are reloaded; once the ship is in position, Captain Stewart again orders “OPEN FIRE!!”

The forward section of the ship’s starboard battery (seven guns) targets the stern quarter of HMS Hercules, while the aft section (six guns) does the same for HMS Hercules. In both cases, stout British oaken timbers (in some places measuring more than two feet thick) do little to the enemy’s fire; then captain’s cabins on both ships are utterly destroyed, as are both ships’ steering gear and a number of the guns in each vessel’s main battery. In the case of HMS Hercules, one shell struck the mizzenmast below the level of the weather deck and caused it to collapse; thus taking much of the ship’s aft rigging down with it.

Captain Stewart notes with grim satisfaction the damage done to the British ships. Then, he orders “helm, bring us about and lay me alongside the lead British ship at hailing distance.”

“Aye, sir.”

Juggernaut comes about and, a few minutes later, she is parked fifty yards to starboard of HMS Cerberus. Captain Stewart comes to the rail with a speaking trumpet in hand and says “AHOY THERE. THIS IS CAPTAIN STEWART OF THE JUGGERNAUT; I WISH TO SPEAK TO YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER.” General Burgoyne and Captain Bolton come up to reply, and it is at this time that they are able to comprehend the true size of their opponent. Whereas HMS Cerberus is a 3rd-rate ship-of-the-line and measures 176' on the gun deck, Burgoyne and Bolton are amazed to see that the ship which so casually wrecked four vessels of the Royal Navy in less than ten minutes looks to be more than twice their size and who knows how many times their displacement.

Captain Bolton picks up a speaking trumpet and replies “AHOY THERE. THIS IS CAPTAIN BOLTON OF HIS MAJESTY’S ROYAL NAVY; WITH ME IS GENERAL BURGOYNE IN COMMAND OF HIS MAJESTY’S TROOPS. WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
Captain Stewart replies “I SALUTE YOUR VALOR AND PROFESSIONAL SKILL. HOWEVER, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT YOUR SHIPS ARE NO MATCH FOR ME. I RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT YOU STRIKE YOUR COLORS AND PUT ABOUT FOR THE PORT OF HALIFAX. DO THIS, AND I WILL SPARE YOU AND YOUR TRANSPORTS; DO IT NOT AND EVERY MAN OF YOU HERE WILL DIE TODAY. YOU HAVE THE SPACE OF ONE-QUARTER OF AN HOUR IN WHICH TO DECIDE.”

Captain Bolton flushes angrily as he turns to General Burgoyne and says “it is plain to me that this ship is in league with the Colonials. How dare this so-called ‘Captain Stewart’ dictate such terms to us?; it is an insult, I say!!” Burgoyne nods his head regretfully and says “I fear that we have no choice in this matter. Our heaviest guns had no effect on that ship, and the transports are armed with nothing more than 12-pounders; such fire as they can deliver would be of no more use than throwing rocks against a castle wall. We must swallow our pride and bow to the inevitable....”

Ten minutes later, Captain Stewart sees the flags come down from the mainmasts of the four warships. Satisfied, he orders the ship’s helmsman to come about and put out to sea. Cmdr. Shaffer asks “what’s the plan now, sir?”

“According to General Garrity’s historical files, the relief expedition to Quebec consisted of forty ships and 9,000 troops. Leaving aside the ten ships that we just dealt with, there are thirty more coming. My idea is to make out into the Atlantic, intercept them and punch the tickets of the warships. As with what we just did, the transports will remain unharmed unless my hand is forced.”

“Yes, sir.”

Over the next two weeks, Juggernaut manages to intercept and deal with the other thirty ships in General Burgoyne’s fleet. In every case, British resistance amounts to precisely nothing. The ships are ordered to make for the Port of Halifax and, by the time they arrive, stories (each more fantastic than the other) are beginning to circulate about the immense ship which brought about such calamity.

In one particular grog shop, a matelot from the gun deck of HMS Cerberus trembles slightly as he fills his tankard and says to his companions “ ‘ere now. I tell ye that big black monster come out of the morning mist like it was the devil himself rising against us. We double-shotted our guns, fired at 200 yards an’ there were no effect.’Twas un-natural, I say...”

Lord Howe summons his officers to meet in a council of war. Among those in attendance are General Burgoyne and his staff. The first matter to be discussed is the upcoming campaign against New York. Howe speaks first and says “gentlemen, despite the disaster which befell general Burgoyne, there is a silver lining to this dark cloud. Before now, there were 10,000 troops quartered in Halifax and its environs; General Howe brought his own 9,000, and there will be an additional 15,000 men on the way from England. At last report, General Washington has but 19,000 men under his command; this means that we will outnumber him by nearly two to one.”

General Burgoyne speaks up and says “sir, what of that ship, the ‘Juggernaut’ as it was called? Won’t she be in a position to intercept the ships bringing the rest of your men in supplies?”
“I have considered that, sir. The ‘Juggernaut’ is but one ship, the Atlantic is vast and wide and she can’t be everywhere at once. What I propose to do is to send out fast packet boats to intercept the fleet and order it to disperse. They will sail in a generally-southern direction, then come to north to Halifax along the coast, With luck, that damnable enemy ship won’t be able to take more than one or two.”

General Burgoyne thinks to himself for a minute or two, then responds “a sound plan, milord. You can count on my assistance and that of my officers.”

“Thank you, General; your devotion to duty is most admirable.”


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:11 pm 
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Unless of course someone has an overhead view of matters.

There was nothing wrong with the Bank of the United States that a few whipping couldn't have cured.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:30 pm 
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jemhouston wrote:
Unless of course someone has an overhead view of matters.

There was nothing wrong with the Bank of the United States that a few whipping couldn't have cured.

Precisely. That's why my alternate self is going to be very 'hands-on' when the Bank of the United States gets set up.

In other matters (to paraphrase Deadpool), sh*t for the Royal Navy just went sideways in the most colossal manner... :)

Though, having an extra 9,000 troops on hand might help British operations against New York City considerably.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:43 pm 
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WARNING! TERMINOLOGY NITPICK AHEAD!!!

To "rake" a ship is to fire into its bow or stern allowing your projectiles to travel the length of the ship, wreaking havoc along the way.

When you're going at the side of a ship, its broadside.

Quote:
Captain Bolton steels his nerve as he says “sir, wherever that ship be from, it is the largest vessel I have ever seen. What are we to do now?” Burgoyne replies “matters naval are outside my field of experience, therefor you may engage at your own discretion, sir.” Bolton nods, then summons his first officer and says “Mr. Bridewell, signal HMS Agamemnon to fall in behind us. HMS Defiance and HMS Hercules are to stand off in line to port at the distance of 500 yards. My plan is that we shall allow that strange ship to pass between us, then we can rake him from port to starboard simultaneously.”


Belushi TD


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:43 am 
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Setting up the Dance
Date: early July, 1776
Location: various
Time: various

Ever since General Washington and the Continental Army arrived in New York City in mid-April, he and his command staff have spared no effort in preparing their defenses against an anticipated assault by the British. Washington set up fortified positions on Long Island and Manhattan Island, along with a ‘flying camp’ in New Jersey, from which the Continental Army’s reserves could be sent where needed. General Garrity and his brigade occupied the positions on Long Island, while the rest of the Continental Army (minus the reserves stationed in New Jersey) were deployed at several locations on Manhattan Island.

The British hammerstroke was not long in coming. As General Howe and his staff wanted to take Washington and the Continentals by surprise, it was decided to make a feinting attack on Long Island; the main force would land on Staten Island and, from there, cross over to Long Island, with the objective being to cut off General Washington’s army from retreating over the East River towards Manhattan.

On July 2nd, British troops under the command of General Cornwallis started to come ashore on Long Island; the first 4,000 troops landed at Gravesend Bay by 8:00 AM and were briefly opposed by Colonel Edward Hand’s regiment of riflemen from Pennsylvania. Hand’s men fell back and, as time went on, more and more British troops came ashore; ths time, supported by 40 pieces of artillery. In total, there are 15,000 troops.

General Garrity and his brigade are encamped on the outskirts of the town of Bedford. As soon as Garrity receives word of the landings (from Colonel Hand in person), he orders his men forward to take up positions outside the village of Flatland to the east of Flatbush. The infantry entrenches themselves, while the Sons of Thunder position their guns (two batteries of four 20-pdr rifled muzzleloaders & two 12-pdr field guns) so as to be able to provide mutual fire support; lastly, the Black Horse Cavalry is deployed in equal bodies on the flanks so that they can strike in any direction at a moment’s notice.

Not being one to lead from behind, General Garrity is preparing to take up position with his escort of 40 cavalry and bodyguard of 20 infantry at the center of his lines. Unlike his other troops, these men are all uptimers; the cavalry are armed with .54-caliber Sharps percussion carbines and the infantry with .54-caliber Sharps percussion rifles. In turn, this mixed-force unit is supported by General Garrity’s secret weapons; a pair of Hotchkiss 1.65" rifled breechloaders.

Colonel Edward Hand arrives to confer with General Garrity, and notes with great interest the defensive preparations being made. He says “sir, you are the senior officer on the scene, and my men & I are under our command. What are your orders?” Garrity replies “I salute the valor and professional excellence that you and you men displayed in holding off the British for as long as you did. Now that they are coming, I wish for you and your men to take up positions on the Flatbush Road at the base of Brooklyn Heights; it is a strong position and the Redcoats will not be able to come at you with their full strength. Additionally, your longrifles will be able to do telling damage before they British can come into range with their smoothbore muskets.”

“Very well, sir. May I respectfully enquire as to what you will be doing?”

The main body of my troops will hod here, while my escort and I will go forward in order to harass and otherwise interdict the British advance. Have no fear for me, as my men’s weapons are just as accurate as your longrifles (and with a longer range and higher rate of fire, too). May the Almighty smile upon us this day and give victory to our arms...”

The two officers shake hands, then Colonel Hand rides to carry out Garrity’s orders. General Garrity and his escort likewise mount up and ride out to meet the British. The first clash comes on the road midway between New Utrecht and Flatbush just 90 minutes later. Cornwallis’ men are advancing in columns-of-four as Garrity grins malignantly and says “alright, boys; how about we give those damned lobsterbacks a proper New England-style beatdown?” He is rewarded by similar chuckles for his men as they prepare for battle.

The cavalry dismount and take up prone, supported fighting positions, as do Garrity’s bodyguards. Each man sets the sights on his weapon for 500 yards, takes aim and waits. On either flank, the Hotchkiss guns are wheeled into position and loaded with high-explosive shells. As soon as the British column advances to within 2,500 yards, the guns open fire. The crews keep up a galling fire with explosive shells, sending ten rounds per minute downrange (with predictable results).

One moment, the British are advancing confidently, having every intention of closing to contact and wiping out those damned arrogant Colonials; the next moment, explosive shells rain down all over Lord Cornwallis’ troops. Cornwallis’ adjutant rides up and exclaims “by God sir, I have never seen fire like that before. The Colonials must have several batteries of mortars in place, to deliver such fire upon us...”

“Indeed, Captain Ffoulkes. You and I both know that mortars are best-used at range; when we close with them, it will be the resolve of our men that carries the day (plus their muskets and bayonets of course).”

“Very good, sir. What are your orders?”

“Send word to all of my commanders and give them my compliments. Have them keep up the advance and be ready to deploy from column into line-of-battle when I give the word.” Captain Ffoulkes nods eagerly, salutes then rides off to deliver Cornwallis’ orders. Just twenty minutes later, the fire from General Garrity’s Hotchkiss guns falls silent as each piece has expended its ready load of 72 rounds. Expecting that the fire from the colonial ‘Mortars’ would cease sooner or later, General Cornwallis takes this as a signal and passes the order to go from column into line.

Confidently, resolutely, the British begin to advance by battalion; it is as if some great beast made of men and guns is coming forward, eager and hungry to consume their foes with blasts of gunfire. At 1,000 yards, General Garrity orders his Hotchkiss guns to limber up and fall back to the village of Flatland. Still, the British are advancing, their lines as straight and regular as a sword blade. Their flags are flapping proudly in the breeze; the regimental bands encourage the men in their march by striking up a piece of music that General Garrity recognizes as ‘Fife & Drum’.

When the British advance reaches 500 yards, General Garrity draws his great sword. He gestures defiantly with it at the advancing enemy and says “alright boys; pick your targets and....OPEN FIRE!!” The first five or six volleys are delivered simultaneously with devastating effect; the range is such that not a single round misses. All across the British front, troops begin to fall by the dozens; some are wounded while the majority of those hit are killed.

Volleys continue to be delivered, during which General Garrity takes out his Whitworth rifle and begins to add to the carnage that the British are suffering by shooting any officers that he sees. Thinking that his line of advance is opposed by at least a full regiment of Continental soldiers, Lord Cornwallis brings up artillery support and orders them to open fire. Garrity sees this and orders his men to withdraw before the first batch of ‘incoming mail’ hits.

The fire from Garrity and his men ceases as they mount up and fall back. Hearing this and seeing their own guns bellowing forth gives the British troops much-needed encouragement to continue the advance. Such confidence is only short-lived, as General Garrity and his men take up a new position a further 500 yards down the road. Once again, they stand and fire for two or three minutes before moving out again.

All along the British line of advance, the ground is littered with the bodies of dead and dying men. Still, the British keep coming. An hour-and-a-half later, General Garrity and his personal detachment are back within their lines. The British are still more than 3/4 of a mile distant, not knowing the world of hurt that is about to fall upon them. Garrity now rides to the commander of the Sons of Thunder and says “Harry, bring the rain!!”

“My pleasure, sir.”

Very soon thereafter, eight 20-pdr rifled guns begin to sing their own song of destruction. Every 90 seconds, each gun bellows forth and sends steel-cased shells packed with high explosives flying at the British. Within the first six minutes, a total of 32 shells are fired; with more coming as General Garrity orders “Infantry forward, by column into line...MARCH!!” In a display of disciplined precision, Garrity’s 2,400 men and take up a two-deep line of battle that measures 1.200 yards from end to end.

Across the field, General Cornwallis and his staff see that the Continentals have finally turned to give honest battle, instead of skulking off after firing a few shots. He passes orders to the commanders of his artillery to open fire, and so they do. At the range of one-half of a mile, howitzer shells and solid shot begin to strike at General Garrity’s lines; since the firing is being conducted at long range and all of the British guns are smoothbore, those shots which actually come near Garrity’s troops cause few injuries and even fewer fatalities.

General Garrity takes out his binoculars, sights on where the British artillery is deployed, then orders his battery commanders to take them out. In turn, orders to the captains of each piece are shouted out “COUNTERBATTERY FIRE, SHELL, PERCUSSION, 900 YARDS.” Very quickly, bagged 2-lb powder charges are carried to the muzzles of each gun and rammed home, followed by 20-lb shells fitted with impact fuzes. Each battery is sighted on a different part of the British artillery’s positions; the gun captains stand to their pieces and adjust the elevating screws after members of the gun crews adjust the position of their weapons via the use of handspikes. Lastly, friction primers are fitted to the vents of each piece and lanyards are attached. Satisfied with how their pieces are laid, the gun captains look to their battery commanders and make ready to fire. The command ‘FIRE!!’ is loudly shouted, after which the lanyards are pulled and all eight guns go off at nearly the same time.

900 yards away across the field, the British troops temporarily halt their advance so that their artillery can do its work. The guns are divided into two grand batteries of ten guns each; one each on the right and left. As these pieces are being worked, General Garrity’s counterbattery fire begins to do its work. The un-nerving accuracy of the American fire is disconcerting to the British, as it seems to them that it is being delivered from very close by (rather than from a half-mile away. The main reason for this accuracy is that the guns are rifled; secondly, the gun captains are using tripod-mounted telescopes to see the fall of their shells and adjust fire accordingly.

The artillery duel takes just 15 minutes, during which time more than half of the British artillery is disabled (either by the crews bing killed or the guns being destroyed by close hits). In three cases, the results are more than a little spectacular as Garrity’s shells happen to strike limbers loaded with bagged powder charges. These explode, adding yet more chaos and confusion to what is already becoming a bad day for the British.

Incredibly, the British troops now resume their advance; coming on at the quick-step rate of 110 steps (or, 240') per minute . This begins to eat up the distance between the two forces rather quicker than General Garrity would have liked, so he orders his artillery commanders to open fire on the British. The 20-pdr rifles continue to fire exploding shells, while the 12-pdr smoothbores join in the sowing of a harvest of death by firing iron round shot. The smoothbores are directed to graze their fire, so that their round shot will strike the ground forward of the British and ricochet so as to hit their troops at waist-height. Not surprisingly, the results are horrific as entire files of men are knocked down like so many bowling pins. The more fortunate among those struck escape with only a missing leg or an arm, while most of the rest are hit in the torso and literally dismembered by the force of the impact. In a few cases, some British troops are even beheaded...

Still, the British continue their advance through this storm of iron and steel; 900 yards, 820 yards, 740 yards, 660 yards, 580 yards, 500 yards. At the distance of 500 yards, General Garrity’s troops stand to; the order is passed to ‘FIRE BY BATTALION!!’ Instantly, 2,400 rifle-muskets are lowered at the advancing enemy as their carriers await the command to fire. Soon, it comes ‘MAKE READYYY....FIRE!!!” Garrity’s entire line erupts in a sheet of smoke and flame as the first volley thunders forth.

“RELOAD.”

Here is where the training and discipline that General Garrity installed in his men begins to pay off. The troops are able to maintain a continuous firing rate of three rounds per minute; over the next two minutes, each man fires six shots as the British advance from first 500 yards to 420 yards and then to 340 yards. At 420 yards, the 12-pdr smoothbores switch over to case shot; when the British close to 340 yards, they switch once again; this time, to firing stands of grape (alternating with canister).

Along with his line troops, General Garrity and his escort are adding their fire to the utter chaos on the battlefield before them. One of the most important casualties is General Cornwallis himself, who gets knocked off his horse by a bullet to the left shoulder. As he falls to the ground, Cornwallis summons his second-in-command and says “General Clinton, you have got to turn the flank of those damned colonials or the day is lost to us!! I want you to take two battalions and seek out the Flatbush and Gowanus roads through those heights to our left. Make haste, I say and come around behind the Colonials to their right.”

General Clinton snaps to attention, then he salutes and replies “very good, sir. I’ll make the Colonials sorry that they were ever born.”

Across the battlefield from the British, matters haven’t quite come down to the triarii for General Garrity and his men, but it is getting close. By his estimation, the British have suffered an appalling 40% casualty rate. This means that out of their original 15,000 men, the British have 9,000 men left who are in a condition to fight. Unfortunately, even in such a depleted state, this means that the British still outnumber General Garrity’s men by nearly four to one. Seeing this adverse correlation of forces, Garrity decides to exercise the better part of valor and withdraw back down Bedford Road to his original camp outside the town of Bedford itself.

General Garrity’s orders are not for a general retreat; instead, they are for a fighting withdrawl. His casualties are gathered up and loaded onto ambulance wagons. Then, the artillery keeps up a hot, masking fire while the infantry withdraws by rank of men. After the front rank fires, it withdraws 75-100 yards to the rear while the artillery does likewise. The second rank covers the first; then it too does the same. This ‘leapfrog’ style of withdrawl continues until Garrity’s Brigade enters Brooklyn Heights. Here, one of Garrity’s regiments and one of his artillery batteries fight a rear-guard action in order to allow the rest of his main body to escape.

Fortunately, the pass on Bedford Road through Brooklyn Heights is a rather-narrow defile; in places, it comes down to a width of 75-100 yards or so. General Garrity’s 1st regiment makes skillful use of the terrain and manages to hold off the British until it is time to make their own fighting withdrawl. Over on the American right, General Henry Clinton’s two regiments are slowly and carefully probing down the Gowanus and Flatbush roads as they begin to cross Brooklyn Heights. Them suddenly, Clinton’s first regiment (on the Gowanus Road) is fired upon from all directions at once by the men of Colonel Edward Hand’s regiment of Pennsylvania riflemen (who are positioned behind rocks, trees, stone walls and in roadside ditches. On the Flatbush Road, General Clinton and his officers hear musketry off in the distance to their left and think that the first regiment has engaged more colonials. As soon as the 1st regiment finds that it can proceed no further, the decision is made to retreat and rejoin Clinton. By a strange coincidence, the 1st and 2nd regiments rejoin one another just as the 2nd crosses over Brooklyn Heights; at that same time, Garrity’s Brigade happens to encounter them as he’s moving towards Bedford. In a sharp engagement which lasts little more than half an hour, the shattered remains of General Clinton’s two regiments are forced to retreat and rejoin Cornwallis. Later on in the afternoon, the injured General Cornwallis elects to halt his advance in the village of Flatbush as he knows full-well that the main thrust of the British attack will come on Long Island. Besides, there is the matter of the unprecedented numbers of his own dead and wounded to deal with.

Time: 11:00 PM

Late in the evening, General Washington receives a message from General Garrity saying that he has been attacked in heavy force, but that this attack is only a diversion; the British objective is to land the majority of their forces on Long Island, then to cross over the Narrows and attempt to cut off Washington from retreating over the East River and back into Manhattan. So apprised of this intelligence, Washington sends word back to General Garrity that he and his brigade should re-join the rest of the Continental Army. Rather than coming to Brooklyn Heights in person to view the situation, General Washington elects to stay in Manhattan and order the retreat of the Continental Army’s units on Long Island.

Date: July 3rd
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: Staten Island, New York

General William Howe comes ashore in force on the southern shore of Long Island. Starting at 9:00 AM, the first of some 19,000 troops start to land and over the next five hours, the landings are completed. At this same time, those troops of the Continental Army on Long Island begin their retreat across the East River; among the last to arrive and the last to leave is Garrity’s Brigade. General Garrity knows that Cornwallis’ force will be coming up the road from Flatbush to Bedford; therefore, he orders his men to a location just east of Brooklyn and has them hold in place until the other Continental units are safely across the East River.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:37 pm 
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Round two up next

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:36 am 
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Fighting another day
Date: July 3rd, 1776
Location: Brooklyn Landing
Time: 9:00 PM

Beginning at 9:00 PM, the evacuation of the colonial troops from Brooklyn Heights was a masterpiece of military deception. First, every Brooklyn ferryboat, fishing boat, flat-bottomed barge etc were gathered together at Brooklyn Landing. Then, Colonel Hand’s Regiment and selected units of General Garrity’s Brigade demonstrated in position in order to deceive the British into thinking that the main body was still there; campfires were kept burning and the rear detachment was instructed to be particularly loud; British scouts and skirmishers were kept at a distance by the accuracy of Colonel Hand’s riflemen and the rifle-muskets of Garrity’s Brigade. The hooves of the horses and the wheels of the wagons were muffled by wrapping them with strips of cloth. Those troops immediately involved were instructed not to talk unless necessary and then, only at the level of a whisper. The bulk of Cornwallis’ troops were kept a distance by the simple expedient of a shot or two from General Garrity’s rifled guns; having already come under fire from these weapons; Cornwallis’ officers elect to have their men come no further until daylight.

Over the next several hours, the evacuation goes smoothly and without a hitch; not a single man, horse or wagon is lost. The next morning, smoke from the Continental troops’ campfires is still risign into the dawn sky when General Henry Clinton (Cornwallis’ chief of staff) orders that a reconnaissance-in-force be made of the Colonials’ position. The necessary instructions are conveyed and, within one hour, two regiments of 500 men each are slowly probing forward. To their very great surprise, they find that the positions formerly occupied by the Colonial troops are completely abandoned; the tents are gone and all that is left is the smoking remains of campfires. Outside the camp, what appeared to be strong artillery emplacements proved to be nothing more than arrangements of logs and barrels made to look as if they were real guns. When word reaches General Clinton of what happened, he remarks to his staff “how like those Colonial swine to not stand and give us honest battle. Now that they’re in Manhattan, it will be necessary to drive them out of New York City.” Clinton turns to his adjutant and says “Captain Ffoulkes, send word to Admiral Howe and give him my compliments. Ask that he move his fleet so as to block the East River and to suppress any artillery fire from the Colonials; if I were them, I’d hit us when we were in the process of landing.”

Captain Ffoulkes snaps off a precise salute and replies “very good, sir”; then, he rides off to Brooklyn Landing to board a small boat that will take him out to Admiral Howe’s flagship.

Date: July 4th, 1776
Time: 8:00 AM
Location: General Washington’s Headquarters, New York City
.
After the events of the previous night, General Garrity and Colonel Hand are summoned to a meeting of the Continental Army’s command staff; among those present are General Washington, General Harry Lee, General John Sullivan, General Nathanel Greene, General Hugh Mercer, Colonel Robert Magaw and Colonel Henry Knox. Washington begins by saying “General Garrity, thanks to your timely warning, I did not reinforce Brooklyn Heights as I would otherwise have done. Now, I wish you to give me and the assembled officers an appreciation of what happened with your brigade.”

“Yes, sir. My brigade was encamped outside the town of Bedford when I heard from Colonel Hand that the British had come ashore in force at Gravesend. Accordingly, I deployed my troops outside the village of Flatland to the east of Flatbush. Then, I ordered Colonel Hand to take his regiment and set up a defensive position on Flatbush Road at the base of Brooklyn heights. Not being one to lead from behind, I and my personal escort rode forward to harass and otherwise do what we could to hinder the British advance. The first clash took place midway between New Utrecht and Flatbush, with my flying artillery opening up on the British at the range of 2,500 yards. When they came to within 1,000 yards, I had my flying artillery limber up and go back to my lines outside of Flatbush.”

“What did you do next?”

“Sir, my men and I held our fire until the British were within 500 yards of my position, then we opened up and gave them everything we had. Lord Cornwallis must have thought that he was opposed by at least a regiment, so he brought up artillery support and deployed his men form column into line. I saw this happening and had my men mount up and move back (firing all the way) every time the British advance guard got close to me. This situation continued until I came back into line with the rest of my brigade. For another perspective on what transpired, Colonel Hand will now come forward.”

Colonel Hand steps up and says “thank you, sir. General Washington, acting upon the instructions I had from General Garrity, the men from my Pennsylvania Regiment of Riflemen deployed on Flatbush Road at the base of Brooklyn Heights. This position was a narrow defile and the British could not come against me in great strength. While my regiment was so emplaced, that was when General Garrity’s Brigade went into action.”

“Thank you, Colonel. General Washington, I had my brigade deploy into line of battle with the two batteries from the Sons of Thunder on my flanks. My rifled guns opened up on the British at the range of one-and-a-half miles while Cornwallis began his advance upon me. When they came to within 1,200 yards of my position, my smoothbore guns began to fire shell and case shot. This combined fire was maintained until the British were at the range of 500 yards; at this time, my men lowered their rifle-muskets, took careful aim and presented fire. At this juncture, my brigade was still far-outside the range of British muskets, so Cornwallis brought up part of his artillery in the form of two grand batteries with ten guns in each. It was here that my brigade took its first casualties.” General Garrity pauses for a moment to gather his thoughts, then continues by saying “when the range closed to 400 yards, my smoothbores switched over to firing canister shot and stands of grape. I tell you in all truth that we wreaked a most-dreadful slaughter upon the British.”

General Washington raises a questioning eyebrow and asks “just how many casualties did you take and how many did you inflict in return?” General Garrity removes a folded document from an interior pocket of his uniform coat; he opens and reads it, then replies “sir, my brigade suffered 22 killed in action and 37 wounded; all such casualties were from British artillery fire as the enemy was never able to get within musket range. By way of return, I conservatively estimate that my brigade inflicted 40% losses on the British; of the 15,000 redcoats in Cornwallis’ force, this means that 6,000 were rendered ‘hors de combat’, so to speak. One of these was Cornwalis himself. It so happened that General Cornwallis was riding here and there to see to the disposition of his troops when I shot him off his horse at the range of 450 yards, he was indeed fortunate that my bullet passed through his shoulder. If Cornwallis had been standing still, I would have blown his brains out through the back of his head.” General Garrity concludes by saying “it was fortunate indeed that the British chose not to further press their advance against me at that time, and that I was able to send you that message warning you not to cross over the East River and take up positions on Brooklyn Heights. My artillery expended its ready ammunition, plus half of what I had in the caissons; still, the British (even with their ranks so depleted) outnumbered my brigade by more than four-to-one. If you had come over from Manhattan, you may very well have been caught between Cornwallis’ troops and the true thrust of the British attack.”

A look of surprise crosses General Washington’s face as he says “true thrust? What do you mean, sir?”

‘General Washington, I mean that Cornwallis’ feint was just that, a feint. The overall British commander is Lord Charles Howe. He landed 20,000 troops on the eastern end of Staten Island from a total of 130 ships commanded by his brother Admiral Richard Howe. Even as we speak, General Howe is reinforcing his position and Admiral Howe is moving his ships so as to block the Narrows and prevent New York City from being re-supplied by sea. I believe that General Howe’s intent is to have his troops sailed up the East River and landed at some point along Manhattans’ eastern shore; perhaps at Kip’s Bay or someplace in the vicinity. Sir, I must tell you that the Continental Army has just under 11,500 men fit and available for service; given such casualties as I have inflicted upon the British, this means that they still have 29,000 men under arms. There is also the vast weight of British naval gunfire to be considered.”

“I see. Can your ship ‘Juggernaut’ not provide some measure of support?”

“Unfortunately not, sir. At present, ‘Juggernaut’ is somewhere out in the Atlantic raiding British commercial shipping and doing what she can to interdict British military convoys. Even if it were possible for me to send a message to her captain, Juggernaut would not arrive for several months.”

“Very well. Have you any suggestions as to how the army should proceed from here?”

“Yes, sir. Let us assume for the moment that the British intentions are indeed to land forces at Kip’s Bay; with this in mind, I believe that the best course of action would be to retreat to Harlem Heights and set up defensive positions there.”

General Washington sits in thought for several minutes and considers his options. Eventually, he draws himself up at his desk and says “General Garrity, your service to the Cause has been of inestimable value thus far. For this and other reasons, I am inclined to agree with you. General Putnam, what say you?”

“Sir, I believe that I speak for my fellow officers when I say that General Garrity’s proposal has merit. Should you choose to order the retreat, we will do all that we can to support your decision.” Washington nods with satisfaction when he hears this, then replies “very well. By my authority as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, the order is given. General Garrity, I will now avail myself of the opportunity to review your troops.”

“Thank you, sir; the Brigade will be delighted to have you.”

The Torch of Liberty
Date: July 4th, 1776
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Time: late afternoon

Previously in May of this year, the 2nd Continental Congress convened in the State House for the purpose of debating whether or not to declare independence from Great Britain. Initially, there was some resistance to this idea because many in Congress still hoped for a reconciliation with King George III. Hopes began to be dashed in February when Parliament passed the Prohibitory Act (declaring the blockade of all American ports and the declaration that all American ships were to be considered as being enemy vessels); it certainly didn’t help matters when word reached to colonies that King George III had hired large numbers of Hessian mercenaries to fight for him in the Colonies.

When added to the previous rejection by Parliament of the Olive Branch Petition in July, 1775, this made independence all but certain.

Much debate took place in Congress between May and mid-June. On June 11th, Congress appointed a ‘Committee of Five’ to draft a declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson was given the task of writing it. Over the next 17 days, Jefferson worked tirelessly in his room at a local boarding house. His first draft was submitted to the Committee, and returned to him with suggestions for a second. These were included, and the document was submitted to Congress for approval on June 28th with the title ‘A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America in General Congress assembled’.

The document was debated at length between June 28th and July 2nd; after any long speeches on the afternoon of the 2nd, the final wording was approved. The copy to be signed by Congress was hand-written by Chief Clerk Timothy Matlack. After it was produced, the delegates stepped forward one by one to affix their signatures. The Declaration of Independence is one of the most famous documents ever written, with a preamble and introduction as follows:

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


Date: July 9th, 1776
Location: Harlem Heights, Manhattan
Time: 3:00 PM

While General Washington, General Garrity and the other officers of the Continental Army are seeing to the withdrawl of their troops northwards on Manhattan Island, a special courier arrives from Philadelphia to announce that the Continental Congress has declared independence from Great Britain and has signed a declaration to that effect. Washington orders that the courier read his copy of the declaration to him and his headquarters staff and afterwards, to provide copies to all regimental and company commanders

General Garrity is among those present and, when the document has been read, he says “it’s on now, General Washington. If I know anything about the British mentality, they are not going to respond at all well to this. Still, truer and more noble words have never been spoken before now.”

“Well-spoken, sir. How stand your troops this day?”

“Well enough, General. The wounded of my brigade are being cared for, and remembrance ceremonies have been held for those of my brothers-in-arms who have fallen in the late battle. May I now ask what preparations are being made to resist the British advance?”

“General Garrity, I have consulted with General Putnam and Colonel Knox and determined that the best course of action will be to entrench here and set up fortifications on both sides of the Hudson in order to prevent the British from sailing up-river and cutting us off.”

“Very good, sir. In the meantime, I must send to my works in Westfield for resupply as the Sons of Thunder are running low on ammunition for their artillery (as are my light flying pieces).”

“Very well, sir. You may proceed.”


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:50 pm 
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Correlation of Forces
Date: July 12th, 1776
Location: General Washington’s headquarters; Harlem Heights, New York City
Time:

At a strategy meeting of the Continental Army’s top officers on the afternoon of July 12th, General Washington addresses General Garrity and the other officers. He says “gentlemen, the situation we face with the British is adverse in the extreme. Despite General Garrity’s valiant service in obstructing the advance of General Cornwallis’ troops on Long Island, the correlation of forces between the Continental Army and the British is such that we are on the wrong side of odds of more than three to one; they have the advantage of position, with troops on long Island that are preparing to cross the East River and Admiral Howe’s fleet in command of New York Harbor. I need suggestion on how best to proceed.”

General Putnam speaks up and says “sir, if we allow the British to land troops on Manhattan Island and advance against us in strength, it is very likely that the army will be surrounded and then destroyed in detail. Perhaps it might be proper to plan for a fighting withdrawl; up Manhattan and thence across to New Jersey.” General Harry Lee joins the discussion and says “I agree with General Putnam; what he speaks of must be prepared for. To do otherwise would be foolhardy at best and disastrous at worst.”

“Indeed, sir.”

Just then, General Garrity raises his hand to be heard; Washington acknowledges this by nodding his head and saying “I’d like to have your thoughts on the subject, sir.”

“General Washington, if the army is to effect a safe withdrawl, two things will be eminently necessary; the first of these is to obstruct the advance of Howe’s fleet up the Hudson and East rivers. Part odf this is already under way, with those fortifications being constructed on the northern end of Manhattan Island and across the river in New Jersey. These are reactive; I propose to be proactive.”

“What do you mean, sir?”

“I am familiar with an enterprising gentleman by the name of David Bushnell, Yale Class of 1775. While studying at that institution, he devised a way to explode gunpowder while underwater and further, a clockwork mechanism which can be set to cause gunpowder to go off at some time in the future. Lastly, he designed an entirely new class of vessel, called the ‘submarine.’ This craft is intended to attack enemy vessels by submerging itself until just the very top is visible above water. Bushnell’s submarine is propelled by means of screw propellers turned by its crew. When the craft moves next to its intended target, a charge of explosives will be attached to the hull by means of a screw drill bit and later set off by Mr. Bushnell’s clockwork device. How better to discomfit the crews of Admiral Howe’s ships by causing them to consider the possibility that any one of them might be blown up at any time.”

“A fascinating idea, sir. If I give my permission for such an enterprise to go forward, will you need anything in the way of support from the Quartermaster’s Department?” General Garrity shakes his head and replies “no, sir. The entire costs of the project will be paid for out of my own pocket; all I would need is your authorization to proceed.”

“You have it, General. Now, what is the second thing you said the army needs in order to effect a safe withdrawl?”

“That would be intelligence of where the enemy is and how he is deploying his troops. In times past, military scouts would seek the highest ground available in order to provide a clear field of view for observing the enemy’s movements. I propose to provide the highest observation point imaginable by employing a certain machine that I invented during the course of my works in Westfield, Massachusetts.” A questioning look crosses General Washington’s face as he says “what type of machine is that, sir?”

General Garrity’s face is creased by an enormous, knowing grin as he replies “one that flies, sir.”

This simple pronouncement strike General Washington and the other officers with all the force of a verbal thunderbolt...”what?? Did I hear you correctly when you said that you have a flying machine?”

“You did, sir. The machine is called a ‘balloon’; it rises into the sky by means of the lifting power of a gas called hydrogen. This gas is contained within an envelope made of silk taffeta which has been strengthened and made air-tight, waterproof & fireproof by the application of several coats of varnish. My balloon is designed to carry two men; one to make the observations and the second to report them back to the ground.”

“How is this done?”

“Sir, at lower altitudes (up to 500' or so), messages are written down on paper, then enclosed in message tubes which are dropped to the ground. At higher elevations (1,000' and above), messages are sent via telegraph.”

“What is a telegraph?”

“Sir, a telegraph is a communications instrument capable of sending messages instantaneously over great distances. It works by sending electrical charges over a copper wire; the device is my application of the electrical experiments carried out by Dr. Benjamin Franklin in the 1740s and 1750s.”

General Washington scratches his chin reflectively for a few moments, then says “very well, sir; you have my leave to make whatever preparations you see fit. Of course, I expect to be kept fully-apprised of your progress.”

“Yes, sir.”

Later that afternoon, General Garrity returns to his command tent. When he is certain that he is alone, he takes out his communicator, activates it and says “Smith-Actual, Smith-Actual, this is Garrity. How do you read me, over?”

Mr. Smith replies “I read you five-by-five, Mike. How is Operation: Holdfast proceeding?”

“Boss, the present date is July 12th, 1776. The British are getting ready to cross over the East River in an attempt to cut off the Continental Army from retreating up Manhattan island and into New Jersey. In order to give Washington’s troops the best advantage in the coming weeks, I am requesting a supply drop; with coordinates to follow.”

“Alright, Mike. What do you need?”

“I need sufficient silk taffeta, varnish and cordage to construct three Lowe-style observation balloons. Additionally, I need two Lowe-style hydrogen gas generators with their associated equipment, six telegraph sounders, six telegraph keys, six 5,000' reels of insulated 16-gauge copper wire and three Leclanche cell telegraphic battery arrays. Next, I’d like you to send two dozen pairs of 10- 30 x 60 zoom binoculars, six pairs of tripod-mounted 20-140 x 100 observation binoculars and three Barr & Stroud coincidence rangefinders. Lastly, I need 1,000 lbs of TNT plus det cord and blasting caps.”

Mr. Smith replies “copy that, Mike. Just out of curiosity, what do you need the TNT for?”

“Boss, I’m going to help build an improved version of his ‘Turtle’ submarine so it can be used to attack the British fleet in New York Harbor. The TNT will be used to make the charges that will eb attached to the ships.”

“Gotcha. Given that you and I are operating in different timelines, I can have the supplies and equipment time-jumped to you 24 hours from now.”

“Thanks, boss-man.”

A Glimpse of the Future
Date: July 13th, 1776
Location: New York City
Time: 1:00 PM

At his home at the corner of Church Street & Robinson Street in New York City, David Bushnell is considering what to do in the event of the British taking the city. Just then, Bushnell hears the sounds of horses riding up to his house and a knock on his front door. He answers and is greeted by the sight of a tall, well-dressed officer. The stranger says “do I have the pleasure of addressing Mr. David Bushnell?”

“You do, sir. May I enquire as to what this is all about?”

“Certainly, Mr. Bushnell. My name is General Michael Garrity and I am here with ther authorization of General Washington himself to enlist your aid in the defense of the city against the British. I have heard of your work at Yale, where you devised a way to make gunpowder go off under water, your clockwork device to set off gunpowder at a chosen time in the future and of course, your submarine craft which you call the ‘Turtle’.”

“General Garrity, you are very well-informed. What can I do to help?”

“I propose to undertake the construction of an improved version of your original design. Instead of having just a single crewmember that operates all of the vessel’s functions, my version of your design will be propelled by four men turning a crankshaft. The ballast tanks will be controlled by another individual, while the vessel will be steered by a sixth man. This sixth man will command the vessel and have the task of attaching an explosive charge to the hull of the target vessel. In this, I have yet another improvement to your design.”

“How say you, sir?”

“Mr. Bushnell, the operator of your ‘Turtle’ would have had to attach an explosive charge to the hull of the target by means of an externally-mounted brace & bit. I can tell you with absolute certainty that this won’t work. You see, the hulls of all British warships and transports are sheathed with copper to prevent marine fouling. My idea is to use a harpoon driven by a small charge of gunpowder; this harpoon is mounted on a spar fixed to the front of the vessel and driven against the target. When it hits, the powder charge goes off and drives the head of the harpoon through the copper sheathing and into the timbers beneath.”

“I see; a most-fascinating idea. What happens next?”

“Once the charge is attached, the clockwork mechanism is activated and set to detonate the charge when the submarine has withdrawn to a safe distance. You will be further interested to know that I have invented a new type of explosive, one that is far more powerful than ordinary black powder.”

“What is this explosive called?”

“Tri-Nitro Toluene, or ‘TNT’ for short. 200 lbs of this material will be contained in a waterproof wooden barrel and attached to the target as previously described. This much explosive will blow even the largest ships into so much fireplace kindling.”

“Fascinating. When do we start?”

“Immediately if at all possible. I have a number of skilled artificers, carpenters and metalworkers attached to my brigade. So, constructing the vessel will only take about two weeks. Then, there is the matter of recruiting and training a crew.”

Up, Up and Away…
Date: July 13th, 1776
Location: five miles north of Harlem Heights
Time: 7:00 PM

A working party composed entirely of uptimers from General Garrity’s staff rides out from camp northwards on Manhattan Island to a distance of five miles. Upon arrival, s security perimeter is set up and patrols are sent out to ensure that there is no one who can see what is about to happen. After the area is secure, a message is sent via transtemporal communicator.

“Traffic Control, be advised that the retrieval team is onsite and awaiting delivery.”

“Copy that, Retrieval Team; stand by for delivery.”

A few moments later, the now-familiar Temporal Displacement effect fills the air; several wagons and a number of boxes of supplies begin to materialize. The first are a pair of Lowe-type hydrogen gas generators on wagons followed by six others containing 10-gallon glass carboys of sulfuric acid. Last are three wagons each containing the silk taffeta to make the three balloons and one wagon with the telegraph equipment. The Leclanche battery arrays each consist of an arrangement of 60 glass cells in four rows of 15 cells each, the whole arrangement being set into a stout wooden frame. In regards to the other equipment, the 5,000' rolls of 16-gauge telegraph wire each weigh 85 lbs. In regards to the keys and sounders, rather than being separate units as requested, there are six telegraph key/sounder combined units. Lastly, the boxes containing the binoculars and rangefinders are loaded aboard the wagon with the telegraph equipment.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:26 pm 
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Washington might get suspicious.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:55 am 
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jemhouston wrote:
Washington might get suspicious.

Suspicious of what? There's already a supply convoy coming in from Westfield, Massachusetts with a new supply of ammunition for General Garrity's artillery. a few more wagons in the mix won't make that much of a difference.


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