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tv   Patrick O Donnell The Indispensables  CSPAN  July 3, 2021 7:01am-8:02am EDT

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continental congress remain. he was going to give the americans greater autonomy and on and on that the first continental congress had asked for, so certainly even right up to the pinnacle of power in england, there were people who were willing to accept and negotiate the settlement. >> thank you. your answers have been thoughtful. the book is extensively researched. it's absolutely enlightening. and i do encourage the audience to pick it up and read it because it has a different perspective and a look at the >> c-span shop is c-span's online store. there's a collection of products. browse to see what's new. your purchase will sport our nonprofit operations, and you still have time to order the
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congressional directly with contact information for members of congress and the biden administration. go to >> good evening. i'm kevin butterfield, executive director of the washington library at george washingtons' mount vernon, and i'm coming to you from that library for an exciting evening book talk with patrick o'donnell. i want to thank the ford motor company for sponsoring not just this talk, but many, many talks over the years, a great series where we have authors come and talk about their new works. and it doesn't get any newer than this, because this is the book release for "the indispensables." i want to mention one upcoming program in just two nights. richard bernstein and his new book, "the education of john adams." tickets are still the available fo this exciting event. please consider join us on wednesday night. tonight's exciting program
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filmed live from the reading room here inin mount very nonis the official book launch -- mount vernon is the book launch of "the indispensables." officially released by atlantic monthly press today. i want to let you know that we have a number of autographed copies that are going out as gifts for people who submitted questions to this event. please leapt us know what you want -- let us know what you want to know from patrick, and we can ask those questions here tonight. this is a great book. i couldn't put it down over the last week.s it was reviewed just today in the "wall street journal." they called it a novel-like account of this fascinating tour that you're about to hear about from patrick. fast-paced writing, it really moves very quickly. you learn more about gun powder than you think you might. it's an exciting story, and there's a lot to hear this from
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this great account. tell you a little bit more about patrick o'donnell because he won't tell you these things himself. he's an expert on elite units, this is actually his second book on the revolutionary war periodn the first one, washington's immortal: the untold story ofth the elite regiment who changed the course of the are revolution, got him down this path. then he ca came to the washington library as a research fellow to work on this book that you're about to hear about. he also has received awards for his book beyond valor which covers the second world war. this is actually his 12th book, exciting work done across the years, across thehe generations. he's done important historical work with american soldiers in combat in iraq. he has worked on projects like band of brothers and most important of all a, like i've already suggested, he works on his books here at mount vernon as a fellow here at the washington library.
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i'm so excited to welcome you to this talk and to introduce you to patrick o'donnell. >> thank you so much, kevin, for that introduction. and can really -- and it's really good to come home. so much of my if research for the indispensables was here at s this library where i literally rebuilt the marblehead regiment from ground up using their files, diaries, letters, etc. to recreate this rebellingment -- regiment's story which is really, truly extraordinary. every book that i've ever written has been a journey.ey each one of these books has found me in one way or another, and this is no exception. but before i embark upon a book, i always ask a very basic question, who cares? why does it matter? literally, this library, our country wouldn't be here had it
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not been for these individuals that i wrote about, men and women, in "the indispensables." the navy saved washington's army on numerous occasions which i'm going to talk about tonight . the book is also a window into current events in many ways. it's about a virus that divides americans politically , cancel culture and it's about misinformation and it's about disarmament. there are things in this book that resonate with people but let me take you back right now into one of the most crucial period in the american revolution, the american dunkirk. the battle of brooklyn had just been waged in america had lost badly. washington's army was defeated. the marylanders who i drew a book called washington's immortals had bought us an
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hour more precious in our history than any other where washington with a rearguard action washington's army was able to retreat into fortifications at brooklyn heights. the british army which had surrounded the american army there was about to come up with the east river and also siege lines were creeping forward. it was a perilous time. it was a time in our history when all could be lost. washington had a decision to make. was he going to retreat or fight and washington decided to retreat. this is the time when all could be lost. the entire army could be surrounded and destroyed and everything rested upon the shoulders of the men in the book that i've written about, the marblehead men. washington decided to retreat and he had to cross a mile long river, the east river and this is -- let me take you back in time to august 30
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. there had been a massive nor'easter that had pelted both armies for two days straight after the battle of brooklyn . each lines and then creeping forward into the american position at brooklyn heights and lord howells army was closer and closer to annihilatingthe american army . washington decides to escape john glover and the marblehead men they basically gather all the goats that are in manhattan and they man those votes and they very army across the east river. this is not an easy task. the east river at the time is swirling. the wind isn't cooperating and on top of that the loyalists sees what's happening and sends an enslaved individual with in her household to the british line to try to inform lord howell that theamericans are escaping . this individual wonders upon
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hessian soldiers to speak your german and they're not able to understand what he's trying to say, fortunately. but the americans are evacuating. glover doesn't even know it until a couple hours after the evacuation he had to pull off, one of the greatest retreats in american history and world history and they man the boat and as a man the boots, the wind doesn't cooperate and the tides are horrendous. but there's something very special about these men. they have worked together for years as a grand base, fishing the grand banks, the most treacherous waters in the world and what makes them unique is they are also arguably the first diverse regiment in theunited states army . here are african-americans, nativeamericans, white is americans , and they work together in grand bay. it's a situation where race didn'tmatter .
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it was a life and death situation where literally the weather changed, could kill people and they had to rely upon one another and they were relying upon one another that night to pull off one of the greatestretreats in history . as they rode across the river , tides weren't working. the wind wasn't working. but the entire evacuationwas about to be called off . but the person that was delivering the message to washington couldn't find washington that night. they still went. and glover's men pushed them across and against all odds they conducted the retreat. at that time, the wind changed in the favor of americans. and glover's men were able to transport the army across the east river and in one case almost a dozen times against all odds. and as dawn was coming, a
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miraculous fog appeared. and screen, continued to scream themovements of the army as it was crossing . and john glover, the marblehead men from massachusetts delivered the army safely, nearly 10,000 men were delivered to safety. this is one reason which makes them indispensable. they saved the army that time but it was one of many situations. and literally two weeks later , the british land again at kips bay. if the marblehead is that make a stand while the rest of the army retreats and it's here that washington is even catatonic as the british are attacking. his horse, he and his horse are frozen practically in time. somebody has to bring him out of the battle as the british are advancing towards him literally as of yards away.
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marble headers make the stand as the army melts away . the army melts away, the marbleheaders make a rearguard stand and they're able to reform at the battle harlem heights and there's a small victory . it's the marbleheaders that are involved and it's an interesting operation during this time period where they conduct raids against the british line. the marbleheaders or a precursor to special operations units that we know today . they are doing things that are really special and extraordinary. they launch fire ships against the british. prior to the battle of brooklyn they nearly take out what's the equivalent of british battleships. they launch raids and also for what's known as the guard . the commander-in-chief guard or the lifeguard and the lifeguard is an extraordinary unit. it's a precursor to the
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secret service. it's washington's hand-picked men that guard him. and it's not a small group of men. it mushrooms up to 200 men and these men are involved in operations, in battles but they also guard his papers. they act as his aide-de-camp in many ways and it's marbleheaders that leads this unit and shapes it. it's quite an extraordinary story in and of itself but not only do they say and protect the unit but there's a little bit of mystery involved. prior to the battle of brooklyn there are several members of the guard that have leanings towards the british. loyalties if you will they are lured into a plot to assassinate washington. that relatively humble untold
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story is told in the indispensable's as well. they uncover the plot and the guard protects washington and they take out their own. the first first americans to be executed is a member of the guard but it's a fascinating story. as the book moves forward it's the indispensable's that are washington's elite force in many of the battles in new york. and the british once again land up in northern part of manhattan. at a place called throngs point and it's here that the marbleheaders how an amphibious invasion from the greatest navy in the world at
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the time, the royal navy which is an extraordinary feat in and of itself. they land a little bit further up the coast at pelham bay or helen!. it's here that glover's army or i'm sorry, the lovers rigging which includes the marblehead regiment save thearmy . they fight initially close to the landing point of a fire back and it's a collapsible defense. it's kind of an emerging part of the american way of war which is unique and ever-changing and it's still ever-changing to this day but we were not using conventional tactics of european armies. we were falling back from a fixed position. in this case they were falling back behind stonewalls and allowing the british to advance but still taking down many many of their numbers and it's here
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that the indispensable's help really save washington's army once again. from this point on, you enter for washington where many many americans are captured, nearly 3000 americans including some marbleheaders that were captured early on during the -- they were basically wounded but recovering in fort washington and are capturedby the british . so much of this book consists of tension application files that are in many ways the unknown oral histories of the american revolution. if you were lucky enough to survive the american revolution , you could apply for a pension application in 1820.
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and you go down to the local courthouse and swear under oath what you saw and did and here are some of the great oral history accounts of what happened during the war that areuntapped and it's in their own words . "the indispensables" is filled with these unknown stories unknown americans. it's a boots on the ground band ofbrothers , very much a cinematic telling of the war. but it also has 1000 and notes. all of it, all the words in the book come from americans are true statements from their accounts, not something that i made up . but it's within these accounts within the story is what happened and what they
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saw and did and it's very compelling in manycases . and as we enter november and december, this is the darkest days, some of the darkest days of america. things are politically collapsing. the military victories of the british army has obtained from brooklyn, from fort washington, from the other victories have caused a swing within the united states where you are abandoning the cause. new jersey, people are signing oath of allegiance to the ground. congressmen, people that have died the declaration of independence are now jumping sides . things are changing. the investments within the regiments are all set to expire and they are expiring. washington's army is literally melting away within his eyes. and he's not, he decides that
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he must do something. it's a very desperate situation. and he decides to attack the hessian outpost in trenton. and it's here that the marble headers have perhaps their finest hour. it's a situation where everything changes. everything is on the line. everything is about to collapse. and it's on the shoulders of themarble headers once again . the washington has an elaborate plan. he always has often elaborate plans . there were wrongs that are going to attack trenton. marbleheaders are basically taking the army across the delaware river on the main prong but the other three are also going forward . all of them fail and accept the marble headers. only they had the skill to cross the delaware river
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which is filled with ice, which is fast-growing. there's a nor'easter that night and luckily it's going accordingto plan . all of the other prongs to washington's offenses fail. but the marble headers are able to get the army across intact. at least one portion of it. the other three fail. and that night, there behind schedule. there are about 12 miles above trenton and they have to march through sleet and snow into trenton. much of the army at this time is barefoot. there are literally, their tracks are filled with blood in the snow. but they push forward. they are leading part of the elements. they pushed down towards the southern portion of trenton.
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and this is a very very important point. without borders they attack a key bridge. known as the acid the bridge. they capture the bridge along with the guard. and then they set up a series ofcannons on high ground . meanwhile the rest of washington's army is attacking johan roll reedit during most 18th-century engagements, both armies are for both sides battle it out and when one side is not doing well, they retreat. johan had no avenue of retreat thanks to john glover and the indispensable. they captured the bridge, they sealed the retreat and sealed the fate of johan and his entire regiment which changed the course of history . and from there, the army sales back across the
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delaware thanks to the marblehead men . and it's unfortunately a little bit worse than the trip over because the men had captured the wrong supply and it was a drunken cruise back over and it's some of the men felt over but they captured most of theregiments . they captured a large fan of arms and many cannons and then it sets up a week later, roughly a week later the second battle of trenton. where washington doesn't necessarily want to fight but his hand is forced by a militia group, philadelphia associate others which go over a little bit early without borders and washington decides to reinforce them and they hold a key bridge against all odds . half the marblehead regiment,
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maybe a little bit more, it's hard to tell stays with washington. the other group is exhausted and they go back to marblehead but that group stays and fights at the battle of princeton and they change the course of history. the 10 crucial days that changed the course of history in these three battles and it's the marbleheaders that are in the four that make a difference but the story doesn't end there. and what i mean by that is it's a marbleheader that once again saves the army. i'll get to that story in a minute but first i want to go through several of the characters of the book so that you get a feel for what this book is about. the first character if you will or individual that i like to highlight is john glover. he's the central character of "the indispensables" and john
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glover is a self-made man. fights during the french and indian war. these are cobbler. he's also a bartender with the money that he makes from bartending andcalling shoes , he's able to buy a ship. then he's able to buy more ships and he builds a fleet of ships and becomes a wealthy man within marblehead itself through trading and marblehead's fortunes are made on fish. cod is a commodity in marblehead. and it's a third of the economy in massachusetts in 1774. they fish the grand banks. and the grand banks are some of the most treacherous waters in the world at the time. it's icy, it's thousands of miles away from boston but
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it's a lot there and they fish. they gather fish and they, it's a life and death situation many times against these giant waves, against forms but they're working together . and marblehead is a diverse community. it has native americans. it has three african-americans. it has hispanic americans. these individuals are ahead of their time. in many ways, they progress before it's time. many of the men in the indispensable's are ardent abolitionists. there at the forefront of american civil rights the four there werecivil rights . they were ardently pushing the abolition of slavery. including john glover. and it's these cruise that are diverse, that are working together. but it's also a situation where the ground is interfering with their lives. and they'reinterfering with
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their lives constantly . there a pressing -- john glover's crews are under threat by the british navy. comes alongside ship, boards ship and says you're going to be a member of the royal navy . you're essentially a slave for life. that individual is taken aboard a royal navy ship and made a member of the royal navy for life. there's no freeing that individual and once they escape, some did. but this is a factor that causes a break from great britain. it's one of the factors. regulation, excessive regulation. lovers enterprises were regulated by the crown3000 miles away . in 1975 something called a fisheries act would be established where the crown would literally not allow them to fish the grand banks.
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effectively putting them out of work the entire town. which caused a great deal of resentment. their judges were taken away from them and installed with royal officials. their governmentwas changed . all these issues phone and a political change within the colonies, within marblehead. marblehead would become the spearhead along withboston of the revolution . it would also be an idea mainspring of the revolution. and it was the marbleheaders that would play a critical role in this. but in 717 three and 74 that ships from marblehead also brought with it a virus. it changed america. it changed the town. thetown would be divided politically . the virus was smallpox. and people within the town forbeing infected . but the patriots in the town came up with a novel plan to create an inoculation hospital to try to publicly
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deal with the virus itself. which was causing these political fissures and causing massive death and if you're familiar with mohawks, with pustules across the face and the back it would start people and itwould kill you in many cases . a set of test houses to contain the virus but the inoculation hospital which was cutting edge for the time was set up by eldridge gary, nathaniel braun and many of the other main characters in this book. the loyalists weren't on board no. and as the hospital started to produce results, and also produced them and revise some of the infections which the loyalists used to their advantage to incite the mob. and dozens of men rode on boats to island where the
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inoculation hospitals were in place and they burned to the groundwith the people inside ,remarkably nobody was killed . the loss of the hospital caused john glover and the other patriots in the town over 2000 pounds of damage so they put out the risk a writ to for the sheriff to get the men that had done that. they sees those individuals. and they were brought to jail for trial. the loyalists in the town used the situation of a virus to incite the law and they attacked the jail with hundreds of individuals, they broke into the doors of the jail with crowbars and freed the two men. and at that point, the main characters of the book, their houses are surrounded by the angry mob. which are hell-bent on potentially killing them all.
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and john glover came up with a very novel solution to deal with the problem. in his version itself it stands with the wheel as a cannon inside the foyerof the town . and i recall finding an original paper from his family, i'll fix them was his quote and as the mob circled the house, he ordered the doors opened and the cannon was there in the foyer facing the mob and he had a torch in hand and he told them to disperse. and they did. he made a stand and it was emblematic of what, how john glover was would conduct himself through the rest of the war. and it's here that, it's john glover and eldridge gary are bringing in the main supplies of gunpowder through their contact with spain prior to
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the revolutionary war. as the war moves forward glover is involved in lexington and concorde. he's involved in many of the other battles. he also has the job of guarding general washington prior to the battle of bunker hill and here john glover forges a very special relationship with the commander-in-chief. he forms a level of trust and his trust, it's general washington that looks upon john glover to solve a problem for him. gunpowder is the crucial necessary as john adams says. the colonists had 28 guns, they had no gunpowder and the british knew it and theytried to disarm us through gunpowder . it would be the contact that
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the marble headers had with spain that brought in that crucial gunpowder but it would also be a novel way that washington would try to capture more gunpowder by attacking the british stores at halifax. so he needed a ship or ships to do that operate john glover to create a navy. and the navy which is really kind of preposterous is to take basically afishing boat that john glover had, the hannah which was about 74 tons . and somehow take on the greatest be the will of the world at the time , butthat's what they did . and they attacked the british ships. and the story of the navy is extraordinary. it's some of the most colorful captains in american history. captain roy, the red dragon that has the giant cloak of a red cloak that has an incredible sense of humor . cyan martindale who decides to oust six guns, elaborate
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amount of money but as soon as the ship immediately captured by the british . diane martindale filled up his group for the british area to trial. cyan martindale is a really amazing story. they put his crew in irons, they put many of them royal navy vessels. he is free with some of his officers area he makes his way to the main where he's in present as well by the british navy. but somehow escaped on foot and makes his way downthe east coast all the way . spinning fails grand tales of his heroics in the process. and i'll let that, he goes on to fight again but is lost at sea. and there are so many amazing stories within the navy itself.
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they attacked canada without authorization. there's mutiny, one of the first in united states history. they also capture critical power ships at the right time right place. another individual that i like to talk about is doctor nathaniel bought. the harvard trained resurrection is. our resurrection is is a body snatcher. after bond who there was a criticalshortage of cadavers at the time . people would literally, doctors would rate graveyards to snatchbodies to work on them to find out their anatomy . but doctor bond is really an extraordinary hero. he's on island, working on the inoculation. and it's here that he saves many marbleheaders. he's at the forefront of smallpox.
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it's his specialty, it's his expertise. doctor bond is also a member of the marblehead regiment and trains with them, drills withthem . he participates in the battle of lexington and concorde according to his epic radical which he follows very seriously, he treats the british soldiers that are wounded as lexington and concorde. he's canceled. the patriots in the town believe that he is now a loyalist. his house is surrounded. and he writes an extraordinary letter which i have here in my hand. it's an original parchment. he begs for his life, eldridge gary saying there are thousands of people that will kill him at. please send a detailed of men to bring me to a court-martial so that i can reveal the true facts of what happened.
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he confides in his true friend joseph warren as well as eldridge gary and they have a court-martial and the facts are revealed in doctor bond is exonerated. from fake crimes that he didn't do anything wrong, he just help people which is what he supposed to do . butinstead of melting away , and being not being happy with the situation he decides to fight. he joins the marblehead regiment as their surgeon. doctor bond then goes on by our company commander. and he fights to all of the major battles of the american revolution. which is really i mean, extraordinary in and of itself. and that's the battle of trenton. when about half the regiment goes back tomarblehead . they have a reason for going back to the marblehead at the time is economically devastated. there wife's are starting.
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they go back to protect their wives and loved ones and their family. along with many of the others. they continue to stay on and washington himself asks doctor bond to inoculate the army. at the time, the virus was killing nearly 20 percent of the army. it was devastated by area but doctor bond set up all the inoculations facilities and he supervisors and managers the entire process. inoculate the army. one historian claims that washington's greatest strategic decision to inoculate the army. then there able to fight and continue the battle. before his the man that was initially was the man that was initially labeled a loyalist dies. he perishes from his own,
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from basically inoculating the army. those are some of the characters in the book. along with eldridge gary, forgotten founder. my favorite word for eldridge gary rumble terry. he's kind of an ornery guy that was birth. he was the and intellectual mainspring in many ways of the early revolution. eldridge gary that believed in republicanism for small arms. it's service to country over self. and he takes abstract concepts and really makes them reality. he also takes one of the largest trading fleets in the colony which he and his family own and converts them into supply line. as i mentioned earlier, the
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necessary and was gunpowder. all of the major operations at the british were conducting at the early part of the war were to take and disarm americans. and take our idle supply of gunpowder. without gunpowder, no revolution could be fought. but it's gary that comes up with the concept. he's one of the first in writing to talk about foreign alliances. and other marble headers forged the alliance with spain. and it's through his contacts last 30 to 40 that he said had gone on for 20 or 30 years that he forges his vital relationship and they bring in a powder tothe colony . he's also a future vice president, he's the future congressman gerrymandering his named after him. the bill of rights, the electoral college, all these
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things are part of eldridge gary. the last thing i'm going to talk about quickly is the diverse members of this union. in many cases we only know them by their first names. in some cases roman name or a greek name . these are extraordinary individuals. they are unsung and forgotten . the importance of the marblehead regiment is not necessarily, their strength is their diversity their greatest strength was there unity. and these men working together as a team. and there are incredible members of the regiment such as beazer glover, manwell soto. cottonwood, cato prince that i looked up their pension files and these men died penniless. but they fought through the entire war in the most epic and great operation of the
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war. bringing the marblehead regiment, bringing army to safety multiple times. these are the forgotten members of the revolution and they are all extraordinary in what they did and it's, it's a diverse city and model that we wouldn't see tragically for over 170 years. american armed forces. but these are the men were in , men and women, we will cover some incredible women in this book as well. that did extraordinarythings. they were at the right place at the right time . and in many cases there's the sacrifice that they made is epic. marblehead alone had over 600 widows at the end of the american revolution. and it's that story, if that
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sacrifice is the reason why i wrote the indispensable's. it's for what death that most americans don't appreciate. our founding story is our greatest majority. and it's the marbleheaders that changed the course of history. thank you very much. i'm happy to take questions this has been a great introduction to this book. i'm so excited people have a chance to read it. i also have questions coming in and it's a question i like michelle about the cohesiveness of this unit. she asked how does a diverse group become a cohesive unit and it's something you studied in other contexts as well. modern soldiers acting as one, did that happen here and how did they make that happen?
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>> a lot of it has to do with what happened prior to the revolution. in many cases many of these men were on fishing boats . where life and death decisions had to bemade within seconds . and the color of your skin or your race was irrelevant. it was about trust. at this trust and teamwork was forged over years of time. many of them had forged those bonds. they forged bonds of friendship. there were bonds of family to where they literally many of the men in this unit were interconnected through familial ties as best friends . i researched this unit extensively. there was no desertion. i found a couple examples which is unheard of for the 18th century where desertion was often but it was those
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close connections with family and community that tied them together. >> another question is from elizabeth, i like this one as well. after the campaign did colonel glover and the marbleheaders return home? you mentioned eldridge gerry but can you tell us about the aftermath? >> it's a complicated story. half the unit, less than half the unit stays with washington. this is an extraordinary moment. after or right before the battle of chesapeake creek, washington uses his great oratory abilities to say, pleads for the army to stay and then he steps forth. and many of them are
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marbleheaders and many of them die as a result of that service including doctor bond . john glover along with other members of the marblehead regiment return home to marblehead. and they form a new -- glover is made a general. he commands a new brigade, they form a new regiment. but many of the men take to the sea and they take to the sea in many cases, many of the captains, the great captains, the marblehead captains had become part of the continental navy such as john manley and tucker and their some of the greatest fighting captains of the revolutionary war and the book is filled with incredible scenes of ship to ship fighting. but also ships that are in some cases rotting tops and these men have to make repairs on the fly or they have to make their way to a small cove.
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there's hardly anybody there. have to drag logs out of there to make masks and everything else . it's quite extraordinary story of american ingenuity. any of them become privateers . unlike washington's navy where they were members of the army that were literally at sea area these are individuals that are private that are also earning a commission. slightly different but they are working in the employ of the massachusetts government in many cases. many of them die. glover's son had died and many of them are neverseen again . >> another question that's come in that's a little specific but i think there's a great story here . dustin jerry at the washington library talks about the average age of the members of the marblehead regiment, can you tell us about that and are the young, are the old and is there a wide range? >> i was able to take the
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muster rules that existed and it's fragmentary. the average age was around 24. for many of the men. but it very. there were some obviously older men and younger men. some, the book also captures the story of boy soldiers. and in many cases they were drummer boys. music was a very important part of being able to communicate on 18 century battle. you needed a drum to fight and really orders and many of the younger members were musicians, drums or papers and they went to war with their fathers. and we have some really extraordinary stories of father and son teams at work. >> another question coming in, she asks a good question
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about the recognition of obviously your book is a great example of how centuries later will we still discover and recognize service. what kindof recognition did these people received during their lifetime ? >> most of these men and women received zero recognition. in fact most of them were bankrupt after the war . and what you see in the pension file applications after the war, if they were lucky enough to even make it that long their penniless. this is especially true for the soldier mariners of color . they are extremely impoverished. and glover himself is wracked with ptsd. we can define that through his letters to washington where he's not able to sleep. most of the time and he's,
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marblehead was a source of great wealth in massachusetts prior to the war. it was the second largest eddie and it's really reduced to michelle after the war. and individual families are greatly impoverished. in the book itself, in 1777, late 76 they bring out the women of the town. the town of beverly and of marblehead. beverly is an important part of this book as well. what is led by captain brown is from beverly and they literally buy it and the women of the town take up muskets. and they read the food stores of the town because they are starting . but this is a gritty, gritty war where americans are pitted against americans. there impoverished. it's a different war than most people have read in their grade school history books . >> another question coming up
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from the audience and i'm excited to hear your thoughts on this one about how did glover manage to bring together so many different people for his regiment? can you talk about the efforts and are there thoughtful and deliberate things that people like glover need to do to make this happen or do they come out of a community ? >> i think it comes out of the community. there was no effort to coerce people to serve and i think that's an important elementof this book . they willingly served . and in many cases it's the poorest members of the community as well as the elite members. they're all serving together side-by-side. and i mean, you've got literally glover and eldridge gary and jeremiah lee for instance. these are exceptionally, jeremiah lee in particular
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was one of the wealthiest men in the colony. he is initially there colonel. serving with the other members of the community which are not well off at all. they're not doing it under coercion. they're doing it because they feelit's their duty . what i find extraordinary is the amount of sacrifice as the war progresses. and the community itself is bankrupt. there's a tremendous amount of pressure to return home. to give up the war but most of these men or many of these men continue their service. against all odds area which i find just extraordinary. >> one obviously we're here at mount vernon and it's a great opportunity to ask the george washington question, what was the connection like glover and washington. they share an intimacy?
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did they have a candid and frank relationship with one another dustin mark. >> they did. >> did you want to acknowledge someone mount vernon insiders know well. >> that relationship is an important one and it's why the marblehead are the indispensable's. that relationship is forged in early 1775 at the vassal house in cambridge so giant mention that washington takes over as his headquarters and he, it's the marble headers that are in some ways the first guard and he requests them. as time goes on because he forms a very intimate relationship of trust with john glover and with the adjutants of that unit. at the time, caleb did later becomes in charge of the lifeguard or the
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commander-in-chief's guard. and this relationship is incredibly important. washington can trust these men at the most crucial inflection points of the war. and so it's the american dunkirk that he places his entire trust on the shoulders of the marblehead men. with pelham bay, it's later a trend where john glover or washington asks glover can you bring us across the river? this story about that. they had. he knew, he had the confidence in his, glover had the confidence in his men and washington had confidence in the marbleheaders. if washington was the indispensable man of the revolution it's the marble
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headers which were the indispensable men of the revolution . >> margo asked a great question which i'd like to hear your thoughts on about the training. when it comes into shaping the ability of this wonderful regiment . was it life experience, was it the experience they had coming in long before the war broke out? how were they taught if there was more to it to effectively see be the regiment make it became. >> the men were had undergone training as a militia unit. prior to the war where they would train in the ground and around marblehead. not necessarily taken very seriously because they go right to the tavern afterwards and drank punch and grog after the training. but it was really what forged these men as what and l'engle
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said is arguably the greatest fighting unit ever to take arms for the united states is there experience prior to the war fishing in the grant they as merchants where they had to battle not only the royal navy but also mother nature, some of the greatest scenes at the time, the grand banks were unforgiving. work literally and i mean, every year hundreds of men would die at sea. so this bread hard men that were very very tough americans. and also harddrinkers to but that's another story. but they were very tough individuals . >> there's another question i like coming in from frank. you asked about the marbleheaders involved elsewhere. i see the cover of your book,
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were any marbleheaders involved in other campaigns including in the southern campaigns of the war? >> not directly. after the trenton campaign glover would operate in the north primarily rid there's a handful of individuals that may have effectively served in the south in other units because they had traveled that way in one way oranother but for the most part they had not . they did not operate in the south but the story of the marblehead men is unique in terms of the special operations unit, the operations that they had conducted where for instance they conducted raids against the british. and they had even launched a series of fire ships against the british in a couple of weeks before the battle of brooklyn where several men had died or perished and they drove their ships, flaming
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ships directly into what effectively were british battleships . and one of the marbleheaders perished in the process but that's anextraordinary story of heroism . >> another question and this might be my last opportunity because we're running out of time but justin posted a question earlier on that i'm excited to hear your thoughts about about leadership and he asked about leadership qualities that washington had. let me ask you, not just about washington but other key figures including glover. is there a leadership trait that you see as key to the success of this regiment? >> absolutely. this book is filled with leadership examples of individuals that were willing to sacrifice their very lives and fortunes for their cause,
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for their country. which i can't even, it's mind-boggling in manyways. to try to describe this . where at the end of the war, they would be done, many of these individuals were penniless they were broken men. physically, as well as emotionally area it would continue with, but one of the leadership traits that they had was they were willing to, they would never ask somebody else to do something they wouldn't be willing to do. in many cases they lead from the very front. and were willing to sacrifice their lives. and that leadership is really essential. it's something that is a lesson that we can understand and learn from today. >> this is a remarkable opportunity patrick.
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let me talk to you from here, thank you so much. let me ask you, any closing words you want to say about your research project butalso what comes next . >> i do want to say thank you to everybody that has stayed this evening and sacrificed their time for my presentation. i really want to thank the ladies of mount vernon for sponsoring me and allowing me to really conduct research area and i think one of the finest facilities in america and is one of the greatest. i've never found a better place to write . here at the house. it's a special place. and i'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here and to conduct the research and to write this book. >> the book everyone is "the
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indispensables". the first soldier mariners who formed the navy and road washington across the delaware. this is the official book release and we're thrilled to have patrick here to talk about this book. buy it now, we have it available at the mount vernon ♪ if. >> booktv on c-span2, every weekend with the latest nonfiction books and authors. funding for booktv comes from these television companies and more including charter communications. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that's why charter has invested billions building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications along with these television companies supports booktv on c-span2 as a public service. ♪ ..
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here are some programs to look out for. former xerox ceo the first black female ceo of fortune 500 company shares her insights on american business. tomorrow we are live at harvard university professor and historian annette gordon reed, she will answer questions about american presidents, slavery and emancipation protocol into her in-depth program or submit your questions via e-mail, but or be social media @booktv. then on monday it's an extra day book tv some of the authors you see historian patricia sullivan and robert kennedy and the civil rights movement, wall street journal columnist jason riley on the life of economist thomas olin alex marlow of breitbart


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