The Saga of a British Redcoat Regiment in the American Revolution
by Mark Urban
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From Lexington Green in 1775 to Yorktown in 1781, one British regiment marched thousands of miles and fought a dozen battles to uphold British rule in America: the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Their story, and that of all the soldiers England sent across the Atlantic, is one of the few untold sagas of the American Revolution, one that sheds light on the war itself and offers surprising, at times unsettling, insights into the way the war was conducted on both sides.
Drawing on a wealth of previously unused primary accounts, and with compelling narrative flair, Mark Urban reveals the inner life of the 23rd Regiment, the Fusiliers-and through it, of the British army as a whole-as it fought one of the pivotal campaigns of world history. Describing how British troops adopted new tactics and promoted new leaders, Urban shows how the foundations were laid for the redcoats' subsequent heroic performance against Napoleon. Fighting the climactic battles of the Revolution in the American south, the Fusiliers became one of the crack regiments of the army, never believing themselves to have been defeated.
But the letters from members of the 23rd and other archival accounts reveal much more than battle details. Living the Revolution day-to-day, the Fusiliers witnessed acts of kindness and atrocity on both sides unrecorded in histories of the war. Their observations bring the conflict down to human scale and provide a unique insight into soldiering in the late eighteenth century. Fusiliers will challenge the prevailing stereotypes of the enemy redcoats and offer an invaluable new perspective on a defining period in American history.
- Bloomsbury Publishing, November 2012
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