Often hailed as the godfather of today’s elite special forces, Robert Rogers trained and led an unorthodox unit of green provincials, raw woodsmen, farmers, and Indian scouts on “impossible” missions in colonial America that are still the stuff of soldiers’ legend. The child of marginalized Scots-Irish immigrants, Rogers learned to survive in New England’s dark and deadly forests, grasping, as did few others, that a new world required new forms of warfare. John F. Ross not only re-creates Rogers’s life and his spectacular battles with breathtaking immediacy and meticulous accuracy, but brings a new and provocative perspective on Rogers’s unique vision of a unified continent, one that would influence Thomas Jefferson and inspire the Lewis and Clark expedition. Rogers’s principles of unconventional war-making would lay the groundwork for the colonial strategy later used in the War of Independence—and prove so compelling that army rangers still study them today. Robert Rogers, a backwoods founding father, was heroic, admirable, brutal, canny, ambitious, duplicitous, visionary, and much more—like America itself.
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|Title of eBook: War on the Run|
|Release Date: 05-19-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Bantam Books|
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|Parent title||War on the Run|
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War on the Run
Into the Wilderness
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.—
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline
Early one spring morning in 1739 James Rogers cinched the knots securing his family's belongings to an oxcart. Several sacks of corn kernels, some to be used for food, others for seed, huddled among well-worn tools and implements: an ax, a hoe, an iron pot, and a skillet. On the wagon's sill he propped his heavy smoothbore, loaded and primed with powder and shot. The New Hampshire air still carried the lingering bite of winter. Nearby the Spicket River gurgled more quietly than usual, denied its usual springtime roar by two years of drought.
The fir-shaded clearing in front of the small log cabin bustled with even more activity than usual for this characteristically large frontier family. His wife, Mary, brought out the last belongings, while their 13-year old daughter, Martha, looked after her mother's two-year-old namesake. Their five sons—Daniel, 16, Samuel, 14, James, 11, Robert, 7, Richard, 5—dashed around. In November James the elder had bought a one-sixth interest in 2,190 acres of tallgrass meadow and evergreen forest 35 miles northwest of their present 44-acre homestead in Methuen.
During the long winter evenings James had read to the children from his small but choice library, wh...