Heritage Park and the Battle of Rhode Island

A mixed-unit of African Americans, American Indians, and white colonists fended off wave after wave of British infantry in this little-known Revolutionary War battle.

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The Battle of Rhode Island was fought on August 29, 1778 between American and French forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene and Brig. Gen. John Glover, and British and Hessian forces commanded by Sir Robert Pigot, Maj. Gen. Francis Smith, and Friedrich Wilhelm von Lossberg on Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island during the American Revolutionary War. The battle was a tactical draw, but ultimately ended in British victory when the Americans withdrew, failing to retake the island

In the winter of 1776, British troops seized control of the strategic town of Newport, Rhode Island and fortified Aquidneck Island. In the spring of 1778, as France entered the war on the American side, Maj. Gen. John Sullivan was appointed overall command of American troops in Rhode Island. He hatched a plan for a joint Franco-American land and sea invasion to retake Newport.

While American militia were mustering and organizing for the fight, Sir Robert Pigot withdrew his men from their fort on Butts Hill into the island’s interior. As the Americans moved into position, French commander Comte d’Estaing informed them his fleet would be unable to assist due to damage from storms and skirmishing. Without French support, hundreds of American militiamen went home. The remaining units arrayed themselves across the island to block the British from retaking the high ground.

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J.E.B. Stuart’s Audacious Catlett Station Raid

How a Victorian notion of chivalry led to the Civil War’s most consequential raid.

James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart (1833-1864) was an audacious Confederate commander who rose rapidly through the ranks from lieutenant colonel to major general. He emerged as one of the most legendary and well-known cavalry commanders of the Civil War, especially for the South. Wearing a dashing uniform complete with cape and plumed hat, he imagined himself as a chivalric knight adhering to a code of honor. It was his code of honor that led to his famous raid on Catlett Station.

Early in the morning on August 18, 1862, near Verdiersville, Virginia, Union cavalry caught Stuart and his aides off guard. Stuart rode off so quickly that he left behind a hat and cloak sent to him days earlier by Union Brig. Gen. Samuel Crawford. During a parley after the Battle of Cedar Mountain, Stuart bet Crawford that Northern newspapers would portray the Union defeat as a victory. Crawford, true to his word, sent a copy of the New York Herald along with the plumed hat.

Stuart’s ego was stung by the ‘loss’ at Verdiersville. “I intend to make the Yankees pay for that hat,” he promised his wife, Flora. On August 21st, after Union Maj. Gen. John Pope moved his army north behind the Rappahannock River, Stuart proposed to General Robert E. Lee an ambitious plan to ride around Pope’s flank and cut his supply line along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. The next morning, Stuart rode off with 1,500 troopers.

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Now He Belongs to the Ages

Abraham Lincoln’s tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument Avenue in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln (1809-1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States and led the country through four years of civil war, before being assassinated while watching a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. Born in Kentucky, Lincoln spent most of his adult life in Illinois. He was a self-educated lawyer and the first U.S. president from the Republican Party. Oak Ridge Cemetery is the second-most visited cemetery in the United States, and its 365 acres are the final resting place for over 75,000 dead.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
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For Tippecanoe and Tyler Too

Monument to John Tyler in Hollywood Cemetery, 412 S. Cherry Street in Richmond, Virginia. Tyler (1790-1862) was 10th president of the United States, from 1841 to 1845. He was born into a family of Virginia gentry and, as vice president, became president after President William Henry Harrison died after a few months in office. President Tyler’s most notable accomplishment was the annexation of Texas in 1845.

John Tyler (1790-1862)

Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site

This unassuming state park at the New York-Vermont border was the scene of an American military victory that contributed to the surrender of a British army and eventual American Independence.

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The Battle of Bennington was fought on August 16, 1777 between American forces commanded by Colonel John Stark and British and Hessian forces commanded by Lt. Col. Friedrich Baum west of Bennington, Vermont (in what would become New York State) during the American Revolutionary War. The battle ended in American victory when all British and Hessian forces fled the field.

In June 1777, British Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne desperately needed supplies to continue moving south in his bid to control the Hudson Valley and sever New England from the rest of the colonies. He sent Hessian Col. Friedrich Baum and 375 Hessian dragoons, 50 British infantry, and 375 Iroquois and Loyalist militia to gather supplies in nearby farming communities.

Baum learned there was a force of militiamen camped in nearby Bennington, Vermont and moved to investigate. After a brief skirmish around Sancoick Mill, Col. Baum sent for reinforcements and decided to fortify a hill and wait for their arrival.

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