Fusiliers: Eight Years with the Redcoats in America

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Fusiliers: Eight Years with the Redcoats in America

Author: Mark Urban
Publisher: Faber and Faber Limited
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 384

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A unique perspective on the American Revolution, seen through the eyes of a redcoat regiment. From Lexington Green in 1775 to Yorktown in 1781, one British regiment marched thousands of miles and fought a dozen battles to uphold British rule in America: the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Their story, and that of all the soldiers England sent across the Atlantic, is one of the few untold sagas of the American Revolution, one that sheds light on the war itself and offers surprising, at times unsettling, insights into the way the conflict was conducted on both sides.

Drawing on a wealth of previously unused primary accounts, Mark Urban describes how British troops adopted new tactics and promoted new leaders, showing how the foundations were laid for the redcoats’ subsequent heroic performance against Napoleon. But the letters from members of the 23rd and other archival accounts reveal much more than battle details. Living the revolution day-to-day, the Fusiliers witnessed acts of kindness and atrocity on both sides unrecorded in histories of the war. Their observations bring the conflict down to human scale and provide a unique insight into the inner life of the soldier in the late eighteenth century.

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Background Information

The battles of Lexington and Concord, fought on April 19, 1775 near Boston, were the first military engagements of the American Revolution. The Yorktown campaign allowed the French and American forces to combat the British on land and sea and eventually force the surrender of General Cornwallis in 1781.