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Dunmore's War (Hardback)

The Last Conflict of America's Colonial Era

All Westholme

By Glenn Williams
Imprint: Westholme
Pages: 393
ISBN: 9781594161667
Published: 5th June 2017

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Known to history as “Dunmore's War,” the 1774 campaign against a Shawnee-led Indian confederacy in the Ohio Country marked the final time an American colonial militia took to the field in his Majesty's service and under royal command. Led by John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore, and royal governor of Virginia, a force of colonials including George Rogers Clark, William Russell, and Andrew Lewis successfully drove the Indians from the territory south of the Ohio River in parts of present-day West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Although it proved to be the last Indian conflict of America's colonial era, it is often neglected in histories, despite its major influence on the conduct of the Revolutionary War that followed. In Dunmore's War: The Last Conflict of America's Colonial Era, award-winning historian Glenn F. Williams explains the course and importance of this fascinating event. Supported by primary source research, the author describes each military operation and illustrates the transition of the Virginia militia from a loyal instrument of the king to a weapon of revolution; in the process, he corrects much of the folklore concerning the war and frontier fighting in general, demonstrating that the Americans did not adopt Indian tactics for wilderness fighting as is popularly thought, but rather adapted European techniques to the woods.

As an immediate result of Dunmore's War, the frontier remained quiet for two years, giving the colonies the critical time to debate and declare independence before Britain convinced its Indian allies to resume attacks on colonial settlements. Ironically, at the same time Virginia militiamen fought the biggest battle of Dunmore's War for British interests, the delegates to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia decided on a united resistance to the crown. The Virginia loyalty did not begin to falter, however, until after Parliament imposed the heavy-handed Coercive, or “Intolerable” Acts that threatened representative government in all the colonies. Before another nine months passed, Virginia became one of the leading colonies in the move toward American independence. Although hailed as a hero at the end of the war, Lord Dunmore's attempt to maintain royal authority put him in direct opposition to many of the subordinates who followed him on the frontier. In 1776, he was driven from Virginia, where he notably created “Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment” composed of slaves who were granted freedom in exchange for military service to the crown.

As featured in

History Scotland, July 2017

As featured 'on the shelf' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, June 2017

About Glenn Williams

GLENN F. WILLIAMS is a historian at the US Army Center of Military History in Washington, DC. He is author of the award-winning Year of the Hangman, about the 1778 Sullivan-Clinton campaign against the Iroquois, also available from Westholme Publishing.

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