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Victory at Yorktown > Ch 4 - Beware the Back Water Men

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message 1: by Steve (new)

Steve Boothe (Smoothe_1) | 49 comments Mod
Please post discussion for Ch 4 here.

message 2: by Harold (new)

Harold Titus (haroldtitus) | 25 comments On the back of the "Victory at Yorktown" jacket are glowing testimonials. "Because he has a near-magical ability to bring to life the men and women of the generation that lived through it, Ketchum manages to retrieve the urgency of long-ago events with color and suspense." And "Magnificent ... Ketchum puts a human face on the conflict." And "No novelist could create characters more memorable."

From what I've read so far, I have to disagree. Richard Ketchum is no Bruce Catton. I find the author's narration workmanlike but not engaging. I had to force myself to get through this chapter. Perhaps part of the problem is Ketchum was trying to cover too much territory in one chapter. What did gain my interest was Washington's plan to capture Clinton at Clinton's residence, a line on page 89 regarding the sorry state of the rebel army -- "the shocking indifference of civilians to the plight of those who were doing the fighting for them" -- and the "take no quarter" attitude of the "over-mountain" rebels because of Tarleton's massacre of surrendered Virginia Continentals. I felt that Ketchum needed to expand upon the civilians' "shocking indifference," specifically that there was a large segment of the American population that sided neither with the rebels nor with the British, finding fault with both.

message 3: by Steve (last edited Mar 30, 2012 05:53PM) (new)

Steve Boothe (Smoothe_1) | 49 comments Mod
One thing that struck me reading this chapter is that I'm glad that I was already familiar with the Battle of Kings Mountain. Although a bit dated, I really enjoyed Draper's account of that key engagement:

Kings Mountain and Its Heroes History of the Battle of King's Mountain, October 7, 1780, and the Events Which Led to It by Lyman C. Draper

Kings Mountain and Its Heroes: History of the Battle of King's Mountain, October 7, 1780, and the Events Which Led to It

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