Brit And Patriot Soldiers Essay, Research Paper
Red Dawn at Lexington is a book that tries to present different points of view of the Revolutionary War. Even though it is non-fiction, the book reads like a novel and that is how Birnbaum intended it to be.
Red Dawn…. begins by describing a British soldier’s journey with his family by ship to Boston, in the American colony of Massachusetts. It goes on to describe the hardships the British soldiers endured during their stay in Boston. This was because many of the colonists were no longer supporters of Britain being in control of the colonies. They didn’t like that the British soldiers were there to keep an eye on them, and they made this very obvious.
The book talks about the mounting tensions between the whigs and the soldiers, and how some members of the British parliament were trying to help the colonies. Birnbaum goes on to describe how General Gage chose to attack the towns of Lexington and Concord. Gage sent out spies to check out different areas around Boston. These spies were to survey the towns or villages and make up maps. Although there was usually trouble concerning the expeditions of the spies,(townspeople frequently spotted them entering the homes of loyalists, etc..) many of the spies’ missions were successful.
There is also a chapter concerning the states of the British and colonial armies in Concord preparing for the fight there. This chapter describes the events leading up to Paul Revere’s famous ride, and William Dawe’s role in the ride. The book also gives new evidence and testimonies as to who fired “the shot heard ’round the world.” The excerpts of testimonies given by many witnesses lead to the conclusion that it was the militia-men who fired the first shot, but that is still being debated over to this day.
Even though the colonial army suffered more losses at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the unwounded men quickly regrouped. More and more militias began sending troops to support the colonial army. The book then goes on to describe other small fights between the Brits and the colonists, the disorganized state of the minutemen,( filthy living conditions, disease, disorder, etc..), anti-British riots in New York, and the arrival of British General Burgoyne.
Soon after Gen. Burgoyne arrived, the Battle of Bunker Hill took place. During the first three minutes of the Battle of Bunker Hill, nearly every British officer and sergeant was either killed or wounded. The colonial army had come up with ideas that helped them to load and reload their rifles faster. That night, many British soldiers were massacred by the colonists; although the British did make a comeback, and later took possesion of both Bunker and Breed’s Hills.
The next chapters go on to describe how General George Washington, the headstrong, aggresive and determined Virginian, was chosen to become the commander-in-chief of the colonial army. Soon, Washington had come up with a plan to drive the British out of Boston.
The wives and children of the British soldiers, as well as many loyalists evacuated Boston as the day of the “battle” crept up. As the days went by, more and more British soldiers were evacuating Boston. Washington’s men made a move and came to occupy Boston. Washington had forced Britain, who were considered to be the world’s best army, to sail off in defeat. 109 days after the British evacuation, Congress adopted a Declaration of Independence.(July 4, 1776.)
This is where the book stops. It gave a very detailed and interesting account of the “story” and also provided many quotes, maps, paintings, etc that contributed to the information relayed. I very much enjoyed the book Red Dawn at Lexington by Louis Birnbaum.
AUTHOR’S FRAME OF REFERENCE.
I believe Louis Birnbaum’s frame of reference in writing this book was to tell a detailed but interesting story of the Revolutionary War. He turned a potentially boring book into a very fun book by adding paintings of artist’s interpretations of Lexington and Concord, The Battle of Bunker Hill, etc. He also included diary and journal entries and letters from soldiers, generals, wives, witnesses, etc. It is also evident that Birnbaum wanted to give the reader an idea of what was going on for both armies. He stayed on the sidelines, basically, not showing more or less pity, etc, for either the British of the colonists. I like that he did that, because I was so used to hearing just the colonist’s side of the story. These are the things I think Birnbaum intended to do, and I think he did a very good job of them.
NEW IDEAS GAINED FROM THE READING.
From reading Red Dawn.. I no longer have a one-sided account of the Revolutionary War in my head. For such a long time, in school and other places, all I’ve heard have been the injustices of the British to the colonists, and how they were such scoudrels, how all we were trying to do was gain our independence from tyrannical England. That has really been drilled into my head since probably the second grade. It was very refreshing to read a book that gave a detailed account of all the horrible things the Sons of Liberty did. The British, in most cases, really wern’t as bad as most people made them out to be. It almost made me lose respect for the colonists, but then I thought about it, and where would I be now if it wern’t for them? I just enjoyed how Birnbaum put the whole story together, going back and forth between the colonists and the British, describing their actions and reasonings. I’m happy that I was able to read this book.
YOUR EVALUATION OF THE BOOK AND ITS WORTH AS A HISTORICAL REFERENCE.
I think this book is great. It gave me a new outlook on the Revolutionary War. I’m happy that it was so descriptive and gave so much information. Instead of just reading about what was going on from the perspective of the colonists, I could read about what the different generals and soldiers from the British army were doing. I know that many teenagers have the one-sided view that I had before reading this book, and I think that if others read Red Dawn… they would stop and think. As I’ve said before, even though its non-fiction(which I usually can’t stand) this book seems like fiction. The reader actually gets to know the different “characters” through the book. As for its worth as a historical reference: I can remember most of the whole book, whereas when I read things out of a text book, I forget it soon after. I think it would be beneficial to students that instead of learning from text books, which are usually very boring, and just state the facts, we should learn more from books like this. Personally, I learned a lot more from this book than I have from any text that I’ve “read” in school. In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed Red Dawn at Lexington and I encourage others to read it.