I am lucky to have a wife with a talent for doing interviews, and to have fallen in with the Written by Veterans program founded by Andreas Kossak.  They collaborated to produce this interview in the Written by Veterans Magazine.

It is also available in CultScoop Magazine.

It was a great opportunity for me to supply some of the background and motivation that would never have fit on the back cover.




Wilton Meetinghouse Tragedy

Wilton Meetinghouse and surrounding town today. The festive raising of the Wilton meetinghouse turned to tragedy in 1773 when a worm-eaten support post gave way. All 53 of the men working on the roof beams fell 27 feet among axes, planks, hammers and crowbars. The Essex Gazette of Salem called it ‘the most melancholy Accident…that perhaps […]

via The Wilton Meetinghouse Collapse of 1773 — New England Historical Society

There is also an excellent book on this topic, The Meetinghouse Tragedy by Charles E. Clark, with Illustrations by John Hatch.  It gets into the details–worth a read; I have a copy, and learned Isaac Frye was one of the men who was injured.



6 Dollars a Month

“Voted, to raise as minute men 25 privates, two commissioned officers, two sergeants, twenty nine in all. Voted, 6 dollars a month to each officer and soldier after they are called to an expedition, till they have proper time to return after they are dismissed.”

From the minutes of the town of Wilton, New Hampshire, April 4, 1775

This was the contract. No language specifying when the militia would be paid or any limit of time beyond an “expedition”. By May 19, 1775, I imagine a few of the New Hampshire men besieging Boston might have begun to have concerns about being paid. The New Hampshire Provincial Congress was working to determine the ways and means to support three regiments, which implied they would be paying, rather than the towns that raised the militia. By the middle of July, three months had slipped past with none of the New Hampshire militiamen paid. Read more

On the James McGregore Affair

First, it is good to be back to writing after a very busy few weeks at work. While I was away, I realized the calendars from The War has Begun and the current year have aligned, so I have made it my goal to keep this blog in step with the book’s calendar. Thus, Chapter 6, A Lesson in Patience, which featured an unexpected addition to the 3rd Regiment’s staff, in the person of James McGregore. McGregore arrived in the American Army’s camp shortly after the Battle of Breed’s Hill, and shortly thereafter obtained a letter from the provincial congress appointing him as the adjutant of Colonel James Reed’s 3rd NH Regiment.  Read more

When I first began to think about writing a book on the experiences of Isaac Frye and his family during the American Revolution, I felt naked in spite of wearing my twenty-first century clothes. A great deal about life in the eighteenth century was different. Since then I’ve sent quite a few days in these clothes, thinking about what it meant to have lived during the American Revolution.

It was a hard life, and war made it much more difficult. I have no delusions of time travel, and am thankful for all the surviving records I’ve had access to while piecing together Isaac and Elizabeth’s Frye’s story during these times.



Avenging Francis Bradley, the Mecklenburg Marksman: A Family Story — Journal of the American Revolution

As I summarized in The ‘Battle at McIntire’s Farm’, on October 3, 1780 Lord Cornwallis sent Maj. John Doyle on a foraging party north… The post Avenging Francis Bradley, the Mecklenburg Marksman: A Family Story appeared first on Journal of the American Revolution.

via Avenging Francis Bradley, the Mecklenburg Marksman: A Family Story — Journal of the American Revolution

A slain patriot, a historic letter and the push to preserve a NJ battlefield – Jerry Carino, App.com

In the title, “A slain patriot, a historic letter and the push to preserve a NJ battlefield” of an article by Jerry Carino for Asbury Park Press, the words “historic letter” caught my eye.  The image of the letter got me to read, but about half-way down, there is a line about this being the only surviving record of what an American soldier carried on his person into battle. In this case, the Battle of Princeton, and for three days I have not been able to recall seeing such a letter in all my research.

Very interesting, Enjoy,


How Tall was the Average Eighteenth-Century Soldier? — Kabinettskriege

Photo Credit: Tom George Davison PhotographyDear Reader,One of the most pernicious and hard to eradicate myths about the eighteenth-century is that people were quite short, roughly 3/4ths the size of Americans today. Visitors to historic sites and reenactments frequently offer it as an example of their knowledge of the period, or inquiry regarding soldiers’ height. In…

via How Tall was the Average Eighteenth-Century Soldier? — Kabinettskriege

A Break in the Action

The Americans and British around and in Boston in the last weeks of June and early July of 1775 needed some time to take stock, bury the dead, heal the wounded, and determine what to do next. During the aftermath of the Battle of Breeds Hill, there was no other place on Earth where sorrow and grief was greater.

Add a healthy layer of frustration:  the Americans were critically short of gunpowder, and the British learned they could not just punch through. In fact, the British knew they were outnumbered and learned the Americans had the upper hand in the Siege of Boston.

For the next few weeks I will be taking some time away from the blog while putting my efforts toward my day job. The busiest time of year is at hand, and there is no escaping it.

However, I will endeavor to re-post some blog postings that I see and like here during these next weeks.