Friday, August 31, 2007

On this day in History...

The Powder House
Powder House Square
Somerville, Mass.

On September 1, 1774 a hand-picked force of Regulars, led by Lt-Colonel George Maddison of the King's Own 4th Regiment, left Boston on a special mission for British Commander General Gage. Loaded into Navy longboats they were first rowed up the Mystic River and then marched inland. Their objective was the Powder House (magazine) in what was then part of Charlestown.

Having been given the keys by the Middlesex Sheriff, the soldiers removed 250 half-barrels of gunpowder and then made their way back to Boston. A small detachment went into Cambridge and carried off two brass cannon. General Gage's preemptive strike at the arms and munitions of the Militia companies of the Bay Colony had succeeded.

But this action was viewed with great alarm by the populace and resulted in the calling out of the militia and mass demonstrations. British troops continued to mount similar operations into the countryside, culminating in the events of April 19 , 1775, which instigated the hostilities that led to America's War for Independence.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The British Redcoat

Barrel's Regiment
(King's Own)

Beginning in the mid-17th century and ending only in the late 19th century the wearing of the "Redcoat" was synonymous with the British Army. What the British Army lacked in size it made up for in its fighting prowess and built a enviable reputation on the battlefields of Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Over the course of the years, Britain defeated and superseded the empires of the Dutch, Spanish and the French, creating an empire upon which the "sun never set". An Empire that like its predecessor the Roman Empire, shaped the world in its image and set the course of history.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

British Army departs Boston

March 17, 2006, St. Patricks Day, (or Evacuation Day as it is officially known on the State calender) was the two hundred and thirtieth anniversary of the British Army's (and Navy) departure from Boston - never to return as an occupying force. Under the guns emplaced on Dorchester Heights the British forces, along with several hundred Loyalists, sailed out of Boston Harbor and headed for Nova Scotia. A stubborn King with a plurality of the Parliament had failed in their attempts to bring the citizens of Boston and the surrounding communities to heel. They had only succeeded in precipitating a bloody war that would drag on for eight years and end in their defeat.