White Devil

White Devil

by Stephen Brumwell
     
 

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In North America's first major conflict, known today as the French and Indian War, France and England-both in alliance with Native American tribes-fought each other in a series of bloody battles and terrifying raids. No confrontation was more brutal and notorious than the massacre of the British garrison of Fort William Henry--an incident memorably depicted in

Overview


In North America's first major conflict, known today as the French and Indian War, France and England-both in alliance with Native American tribes-fought each other in a series of bloody battles and terrifying raids. No confrontation was more brutal and notorious than the massacre of the British garrison of Fort William Henry--an incident memorably depicted in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. That atrocity stoked calls for revenge, and the tough young Major Robert Rogers and his "Rangers" were ordered north into enemy territory to take it. On the morning of October 4, 1759, they surprised the Abenaki Indian village of St. Francis, slaughtering its sleeping inhabitants without mercy. When the raiders returned to safety, they were hailed as heroes by the colonists, and their leader was immortalized as "the brave Major Rogers." But the Abenakis remembered Rogers differently: To them he was Wobomagonda--"White Devil."

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
The war referred to here is the French and Indian War, and the White Devil is none other than Major Robert Rogers, leader of the legendary Rogers' Rangers. Although he is traditionally accepted without question as one of the genuine heroes of Colonial history, Rogers's Abenaki and French foes quite naturally regarded him and his backwoods commandos in quite a different light. Although this book certainly doesn't lionize Rogers and his actions, it is much more balanced than its title might suggest. The isolated French and British settlements and forts were terribly vulnerable to surprise attack, and everyone dreaded the "savage" Indians used by both sides. Ambush and raid, pursuit and terror, were common enough and there was plenty of brutality to share all around. The book provides an impressive insight into an important historical period usually given short shrift in the classroom. Like any good popular history, it puts the reader squarely in the action, planning thrust and defense amid tangled woodlands and swamps, with families to protect and a wily foe to outwit. The scenes are straight out of James Fenimore Cooper, who first described them in The Last of the Mohicans. This is an exciting read, a fine account of just how difficult it was to trek across--never mind fight in--the primeval wilderness of upstate New York in the 1700s. Better yet, the reader learns just how difficult it is to judge which side is "right" and which is "wrong" in a war long past. KLIATT Codes: SA*--Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Da Capo Press, 335p. maps. notes. index., $17.95.. Ages 15 to adult.
—Raymond Puffer
Library Journal
Brumwell (Redcoats: The British Soldier and War in the Americas, 1755-1763) tells the real story of Maj. Robert Rogers and his famous band of Rangers, who marched into French territory to exact ruthless retribution on the Abenaki Indians for their massacre of settlers at Fort William Henry, memorably depicted in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. Brumwell dramatically depicts the stealth involved in reaching the Abenaki at the St. Francis River Basin, the details of the brutal slaughter, and the harrowing retreat to final safety, offering different perspectives based on scant narratives from the Abenaki and accounts from survivors. Brumwell also relied on more than 250 years of North American, British, and French archived documents to explore the truth behind this controversial episode from America's aggressive past. This is an excellent update to John R. Cuneo's Robert Rogers of the Rangers and complements Fred Anderson's Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. Highly recommended for all Colonial American history collections.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306814730
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
02/21/2006
Edition description:
ANN
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
604,469
Product dimensions:
0.75(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Meet the Author


Stephen Brumwell has scoured numerous archives to unearth eyewitness accounts that lay bare the remarkable facts behind the legend of this controversial episode from America's violent frontier past. In White Devil, he tells a powerful true story of hardship and courage, savagery and humanity, vengeance and survival.Stephen Brumwell is a well-known expert on the British army in eighteenth-century America, and the author of Redcoats. He lives in the Netherlands.

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