Morristown: The Darkest Winter of the Revolutionary War and the Plot to Kidnap George Washington

Morristown: The Darkest Winter of the Revolutionary War and the Plot to Kidnap George Washington

by William Hazelgrove


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In the fall of 1779 George Washington took his 10,000 men into winter camp at Morristown, New Jersey after six long years of fighting. It would be a brutal winter of suffering, depression, starvation, betrayal, mutiny, treason and an attempt to kidnap George Washington by the British. By the spring only 8,000 men would be left in Morristown with less than two thirds fit for service. Books have cemented Valley Forge as one with Omaha Beach, the Death March of Bataan, and Washington crossing the Delaware. But the winter of Valley Forge was mild in comparison to other winters. Temperatures did not plummet to unheard levels and snowfall was normal. And the men were not starving on the scale that would later follow at Morristown. The winter of 1779 to 1780 was the worst in a century and would mark Washington’s darkest hour where he contemplated the army coming apart from lack of food and, money, six years of war, desertions, mutiny, the threat of a devastating attack by the British, and incredibly, a plot to kidnap him. And yet Morristown would mark a turning point. After a long winter of suffering, he was joined by Lafayette in May who promised Washington a second fleet of French support, leading to the final defeat of the British in 1783.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493056620
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2021
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 716,785
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

William Elliott Hazelgrove has a Masters in History and is the best-selling author of ten novels and five narrative nonfiction books: Madame President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson, Forging a President: How the West Created Teddy Roosevelt (Regnery Publishing), Al Capone and the 1933 World’s Fair (Rowman and Littlefield). He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Road to Morristown ix

Part 1 Winter

Chapter 1 On the Frozen Hudson River 2

Chapter 2 General in Winter 7

Chapter 3 General Simcoe's Affront 18

Chapter 4 Scott and Zelda 23

Chapter 5 Log House City 28

Chapter 6 The Plot 37

Chapter 7 Sacricide 42

Chapter 8 The Pent-Up General 53

Chapter 9 The Hail Mary General 59

Chapter 10 James Benedict Bond 63

Chapter 11 The Most Daring Exploit 69

Chapter 12 The Seeds of Mutiny 74

Chapter 13 The Trial of Benedict Arnold 81

Chapter 14 Valley Forge 87

Chapter 15 The Manic-Depressive 95

Chapter 16 Preparing to Kidnap George Washington 99

Chapter 17 Mr. Moore's Unspeakable Treason 103

Chapter 18 He Was but a Man 106

Chapter 19 The Diversion 112

Chapter 20 Desperate Measures 118

Chapter 21 The Coldest Night 121

Chapter 22 The Indispensable Man 124

Chapter 23 The Black Hussars 136

Chapter 24 The Insomniac General 139

Chapter 25 The Second Diversion 143

Chapter 26 Simcoe's Payback 145

Chapter 27 George Washington's Fate 148

Interlude 153

Part 2 Spring and Summer

Chapter 28 The Circumspect General 155

Chapter 29 The Stressed-Out Family Man 159

Chapter 30 Some Violent Convulsion 162

Chapter 31 The Volcano Explodes 166

Chapter 32 Bonnie and Clyde 171

Chapter 33 The Darkest Hour 174

Chapter 34 The French Component 178

Chapter 35 Americans Fight Like Bulldogs 182

Chapter 36 The Neurotic Returns 186

Chapter 37 Benedict Arnold's Final Play 192

Chapter 38 The Kidnapping of Benedict Arnold 206

Chapter 39 Morristown 209

Epilogue 214

Endnotes 216

Bibliography 229

Index 234

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