The Court-Martial of Paul Revere: A Son of Liberty and America's Forgotten Military Disaster

The Court-Martial of Paul Revere: A Son of Liberty and America's Forgotten Military Disaster

by Michael M. Greenburg

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Overview

At the height of the American Revolution in 1779, Massachusetts launched the Penobscot Expedition, a massive military and naval undertaking designed to force the British from the strategically important coast of Maine. What should have been an easy victory for the larger American force quickly descended into a quagmire of arguing, disobedience, and failed strategy. In the end, not only did the British retain their stronghold, but the entire flotilla of American vessels was lost in what became the worst American naval disaster prior to Pearl Harbor.

In the inevitable finger-pointing that followed the debacle, the already-famous Lieutenant Colonel Paul Revere, commissioned as the expedition’s artillery commander, was shockingly charged by fellow officers with neglect of duty, disobeying orders, and cowardice. Though he was not formally condemned by the court of inquiry, rumors still swirled around Boston concerning his role in the disaster, and so the fiery Revere spent the next several years of his life actively pursuing a court-martial, in an effort to resuscitate the one thing he valued above all—his reputation.

The single event defining Revere to this day is his ride from Charlestown to Lexington on the night of April 18, 1775, made famous by Longfellow’s poem of 1860. Greenburg’s is the first book to give a full account of Revere’s conduct before, during, and after the disastrous Penobscot Expedition, and of his questionable reputation at the time, which only Longfellow’s poem eighty years later could rehabilitate. Thanks to extensive research and a riveting narrative that brings the battles and courtroom drama to life, The Court-Martial of Paul Revere strips away the myths that surround the Sons of Liberty and reveals the humanity beneath. It is a must-read for anyone who yearns to understand the early days of our country.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611685350
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

MICHAEL M. GREENBURG is the author of Peaches and Daddy: A Story of the Roaring 20s, the Birth of Tabloid Media, and the Courtship That Captured the Heart and Imagination of the American Public, and The Mad Bomber of New York: The Extraordinary True Story of the Manhunt That Paralyzed a City. He lives outside Boston.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Castle
“The Pride of New England”
“Messenger of the Revolution”
“Listen, My Children . . .”
Seeds of
New
Captivate, Kill, or Destroy
The Penobscot Expedition
“What’s Become of Colonel Revere?”
“This Terrible Day”
Outrage and Allegations
“Great and Universal Uneasiness
“Dearer to Me Than Life”
Judgment
Monument of Disgrace
The Court-Martial of Paul Revere
Epilogue
Note on Sources
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

What People are Saying About This

John Ferling

“The Court-Martial of Paul Revere is the most fascinating book that I have read in a long while. This is not the Paul Revere that you thought you knew. This Revere is pugnacious, snarky, maybe underhanded, and despite the verdict in his court-martial a poor military officer. I heartily recommend this engagingly written book to anyone who wishes to know more about Revere and the War of Independence.”

Bernard Cornwell

“Michael Greenburg’s account of Paul Revere’s entanglement with the Penobscot Expedition is brilliant! Beautifully written, exhaustively researched, and judiciously fair, the book is an impressive and indispensable addition to literature on the American Revolution.”

George C. Daughan

“Michael M. Greenburg’s deeply researched, riveting account of the Battle of Penobscot Bay is hard to put down. It sheds important new light on a little understood episode of the American Revolution, and on the character of Paul Revere, one of America’s more complex, iconic heroes.”

Gen. George W. Casey

“A fascinating look into the life of an American legend, and a good reminder that even the greatest among us are subject to human foibles and failings.”

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