William Shepherd’s article [Hallowed Ground, May 2020] on the 1777 Battle of Paoli in Pennsylvania, in which 53 American Patriots were killed in what may or may not have been improper conduct by the British, reminds me of the short memory of Scots fighting for the British. Hadn’t the Scottish Highlanders had their rear ends kicked just 31 years before at the April 16, 1746, Battle of Culloden? The British killed and stole land from the Scots, yet the latter were still willing to war against Americans fighting for freedom? Wow! It reminds me of how French Canadians were badly beaten in the French and Indian War yet still fought on the British side in the American Revolution. The English mistreated the Scots and Irish for hundreds of years, yet those countries gave the Brits their best fighters. There is something wrong with this picture.
Oh, and by the way, after reading this article, I won’t be buying any more Earl Grey tea.
Tom R. Kovach
Under no circumstances could Washington have crossed the Delaware from Valley Forge, as it lies more than 20 miles from the river and 35 miles from the 1776 crossing site
An interesting article on the Paoli massacre. However, the following sentence contains an error:
After additional failed operations, Washington went into winter quarters at Valley Forge, from which a year earlier he’d made his masterful stroke across the Delaware to victory in Trenton.
After the British invasion of Long Island and New York City in late summer/fall of 1776, George Washington retreated westward into New Jersey with the British following him. He and his troops did eventually cross the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, but they encamped in Bucks County near McConkey’s Ferry (the present-day village of Washington Crossing). On Christmas evening the general and his men crossed the Delaware into New Jersey, attacking Hessian troops in Trenton the next morning.
Washington did winter at Valley Forge in December 1777, after losing Philadelphia to the British that fall.
Editor responds: A pox upon us for that egregious error, introduced during production and not by writer William Shepherd. Under no circumstances could Washington have crossed from Valley Forge, as it lies more than 20 miles from the river and 35 miles from the 1776 crossing site.
In your January 2020 article on Nova Scotia during the American Revolution [“The Fight for the 14th Colony,” by Dana Benner] you feature a picture [at left] purportedly of Jonathan Eddy, a transplanted New Englander who resettled in Nova Scotia and was openly supportive of the Patriot cause. He was a contemporary of such Patriot luminaries as George Washington, above whose picture he appears in your article, but his clothing and hairstyle seem anachronistic by several decades at least. I did some research, and this is the same image that appears in all my searches, but is it really Eddy? He could have lived long enough for that fashion to come into style, but he’d be far older than the man in that picture.
Editor responds: Good eye! Our source for the image was the 1882 History of Penobscot County, Maine. Eddy settled in Penobscot after the war, and the book features a biography of him opposite this portrait, captioned “Colonel Jonathan Eddy.” On receiving your letter, though, we did our own research and stumbled across an article about the portrait, which is in the collection of the Bangor Public Library. Your instincts were correct. The Jonathan Eddy in the portrait is the namesake great-grandson of the Patriot hero and founder of Eddington, Maine. Adding to the confusion, the portrait subject resembled his ancestor so much that contemporaries took to calling him “Colonel Eddy.”
Send letters via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Editor, Military History, HistoryNet, 1919 Gallows Road, Suite 400, Vienna, VA 22182-4038. Please include name, address and phone number.