Henry Knox's Noble Train: The Story of a Boston Bookseller's Heroic Expedition That Saved the American Revolution

Henry Knox's Noble Train: The Story of a Boston Bookseller's Heroic Expedition That Saved the American Revolution

by William Hazelgrove


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The inspiring story of a little-known hero's pivotal role in the American Revolutionary War

During the brutal winter of 1775-1776, an untested Boston bookseller named Henry Knox commandeered an oxen train hauling sixty tons of cannons and other artillery from Fort Ticonderoga near the Canadian border. He and his men journeyed some three hundred miles south and east over frozen, often-treacherous terrain to supply George Washington for his attack of British troops occupying Boston. The result was the British surrender of Boston and the first major victory for the Colonial Army.

This is one of the great stories of the American Revolution, still little known by comparison with the more famous battles of Concord, Lexington, and Bunker Hill. Told with a novelist's feel for narrative, character, and vivid description, The Noble Train brings to life the events and people at a time when the ragtag American rebels were in a desperate situation. Washington's army was withering away from desertion and expiring enlistments. Typhoid fever, typhus, and dysentery were taking a terrible toll. There was little hope of dislodging British General Howe and his 20,000 British troops in Boston—until Henry Knox arrived with his supply convoy of heavy armaments. Firing down on the city from the surrounding Dorchester Heights, these weapons created a decisive turning point. An act of near desperation fueled by courage, daring, and sheer tenacity led to a tremendous victory for the cause of independence.

This exciting tale of daunting odds and undaunted determination highlights a pivotal episode that changed history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633886148
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 05/12/2020
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 214,437
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

William Hazelgrove is a best-selling author whose books include Wright Brothers, Wrong Story; Shots Fired in Terminal 2; Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson; Forging a President: How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt; and Al Capone and the 1933 World's Fair. His books have hit the National Bestseller List, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and have been included in Book of the Month Selections, Literary Guild Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, and ALA Editor's Choice Awards. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR's All Things Considered along with features in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, People, Channel 11, NBC, WBEZ, and WGN. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence and runs a political cultural blog, The View from Hemingway's Attic.

Table of Contents

Note to the Reader vii

Prologue xi

Part I The Bookseller and the General

1 Fort Ticonderoga/Lake George 2

2 Boston on Edge 6

3 His Excellency 15

4 The Rebel Bookseller 27

5 The Frustrated General 38

6 The Bookseller Meets the General 42

7 The Heights of Dorchester 50

Part II The Expedition

8 Starting Out 56

9 On to New York and Albany 62

10 Washington on Ice 69

11 Fort George 74

12 Fort Ticonderoga 81

13 The Hell of Lake George 87

14 The Man Who Started the French and Indian War 94

15 A Noble Train 99

16 The Best Laid Plans 109

17 The Bad General 120

18 Heading Back Down 127

19 Crossing the Ice 132

20 The Life and Times of a Teamster 137

21 Cannon Down, Half Moon 142

22 The Third Column 150

23 The Albany 154

24 All the Kingdoms of the Earth 159

25 Common Sense 164

26 A Sinister Violence of Intention 169

27 The Devil's Staircase 173

28 Cannons in the Mud, Springfield 179

29 Deliverance 183

30 The Final Leg 187

Part III The Heights

31 Colonel of the Artillery 192

32 The Cannons of Ticonderoga 197

33 At Dawn's Light 201

34 The Prodigal Son Returns 207

35 The Unborn Millions 210

Epilogue 213

Acknowledgments 217

Notes 219

Bibliography 241

Index 247

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