Friday, July 03, 2009

Celebrating Independence Day

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Tomorrow we celebrate that most American of holidays. It was 233-years ago that forward-thinking men threw off the shackles of tyranny and declared themselves and our new nation free. A few more years of war would settle the deal but this was a shot in the arm for the colonial army at a time it needed it. The Declaration of Independence solidified our reasoning and put us on a path of no return.

It was great men who fought for our freedom; George Washington being the most famous. But other men deserve recognition and I wish to provide that this morning.

Daniel Morgan:
Born in New Jersey and raised in Virginia, Morgan was a frontiersman and lifelong warrior. He gained some measure of renown in the French & Indian War before showing how good of a commander he was during the revolutionary war. He saved "Granny" Gates at the 2nd Battle of Saratoga and forced a surrender by British leader Burgoyne.

He showed his true ability to lead an army at the battle at Cowpens. He implemented a battle strategy so brilliant he beat the hated British Lt. Col. Tarleton. The battle was won and the course of the war was changed forever.

Nathaneal Greene:
Greene was a self-taught military man and effective leader. He knew who to promote, who to trust and how to keep British General Cornwallis chasing shadows throughout the South.

It was a bold move for Washington to promote and give Greene the responsibilities he did. He was repaid with a good General and an even better confidante.

Henry Knox:
Knox, from Boston scored the single-greatest coup in my opinion of the war. He led a group of men to Fort Ticonderoga and slogged through rough weather and tough paths to Boston with an arsenal of British weapons that the continentals had captured. This move forced the Brits to quit Boston and gave the city back to the Americans--a significant victory and one that bolstered early hopes.

I recommend several books if you want to read more about these great men and others who fought for the cause.

-Jeff Shaara's The Glorious Cause is my favorite and well worth your time this summer.

-David McCullough's 1776 id another good read although I was more intrigued by Shaara's character development.

-A Short History of the American Revolution by James Stokebury is an excellent book that covers the important events in a terse yet surprisingly entertaining manner.

Text of the Declaration of Independence can be found here along with names and states of those who had the guts to sign it.

Enjoy the holiday.

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