Dunmore's War: The Last Conflict of America's Colonial Era

Dunmore's War: The Last Conflict of America's Colonial Era

by Glenn F. Williams


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Known to history as “Dunmore’s War,” the 1774 campaign against a Shawnee-led Indian confederacy in the Ohio Country marked the final time an American colonial militia took to the field in His Majesty’s service and under royal command. Led by John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore and royal governor of Virginia, a force of colonials including George Rogers Clark, Daniel Morgan, Michael Cresap, Adam Stephen, and Andrew Lewis successfully enforced the western border established by treaties in parts of present-day West Virginia and Kentucky. The campaign is often neglected in histories, despite its major influence on the conduct of the Revolutionary War that followed. In Dunmore’s War: The Last Conflict of America’s Colonial Era, award-winning historian Glenn F. Williams describes the course and importance of this campaign. Supported by extensive primary source research, the author corrects much of the folklore concerning the war and frontier fighting in general, demonstrating that the Americans did not adopt Indian tactics for wilderness fighting as is often supposed, but rather used British methods developed for fighting irregulars in the woods of Europe, while incorporating certain techniques learned from the Indians and experience gained from earlier colonial wars.
            As an immediate result of Dunmore’s War, the frontier remained quiet for two years, giving the colonies the critical time to debate and declare independence before Britain convinced its Indian allies to resume attacks on American settlements. Ironically, at the same time Virginia militiamen were fighting under command of a king’s officer, the colony was becoming one of the leaders in the move toward American independence. Although he was hailed as a hero at the end of the war, Lord Dunmore’s attempt to maintain royal authority put him in direct opposition to many of the subordinates who followed him on the frontier, and in 1776 he was driven from Virginia and returned to England. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594163173
Publisher: Westholme Publishing
Publication date: 09/06/2018
Edition description: 1
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 542,898
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Glenn F. Williams is a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair, Washington, DC. He has served as the historian of the National Museum of the U.S. Army Project, the Army Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration, and the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. He is the author of a number of books and articles, including the award-winning Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign against the Iroquois. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Maryland. 

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction xi

1 Our Customs Differing from Yours: Cultural Friction and Conflict on the Frontier 1

2 Extraordinary Occurrences: Intercolonial Boundaries and Indian Relations 29

3 A War Is Every Moment Expected: Increasing Frontier Violence 54

4 Trained to Martial Exercise: Escalating Violence and the Militia Law 83

5 The Present Exigence: Military Mobilization 112

6 The Warlike Nation of the Cherokee: One Conflict Avoided 132

7 The Drums Beat Up Again: Partial Mobilization Becomes General 156

8 On His Majesty's Service: The Militia Prepares 183

9 Equal to Any Troops: The Militia Accepts the Challenge 213

10 To Hold Themselves in Readiness: The Militia Marches 237

11 A Hard Fought Battle: Point Pleasant 267

12 The Treaty of Camp Charlotte and Beyond 294

Conclusion 308

Appendix A Wakatomika Expedition, July 26-August 2, 1774 Order of Battle 316

Appendix B Battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774 Order of Battle 317

Notes 319

Bibliography 368

Acknowledgments 381

Index 385

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