The Patriot Resource - American Revolution

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Benedict Arnolds Navy
Benedict Arnold's Navy:
The Ragtag Fleet That Lost the Battle of Lake Champlain But Won the American Revolution

by James L. Nelson
Published by International Marine
May 2006

Description from International Marine:
The story of America's fight for independence has been dominated by accounts from the battlefields where George Washington fought the British, but one of the most critical and least remembered battles of 1776 was a bloody, lopsided fight on a wilderness lake hundreds of miles north. In a war marked by imporbable turning points, that one naval battle would, in the end, prove the key to America's ultimate victory.

Award-winning historian James L. Nelson weaves a thrilling narrative around the Battle of Valcour Island, in which a cobbled-together American fleet, led by the bold and resourceful Arnold, stood up to the might of the British Navy, only to be destroyed in the end by overwhelming odds. Setting the desperate battle in its context, Benedict Arnold's Navy describes the strategic importance of the Hudson River and Lake Champlain, the ambitious and largely successful American invasion of Quebec in 1775, and the bloody retreat of the following year. The one-year delay of the subsequent British invasion from Canada won by Arnold's gallant, overmatched fleet made possible an American triumph in the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, the first significant victory of the Revolution. This success finally convinced France to join America in arms and turned the tide of war.

Using storytelling skills honed by a dozen novels, including the popular Revolution at Sea Saga and the W. Y. Boyd Award-winning Glory in the Name, Nelson brings to life a new image of Benedict Arnold. he is not the vainglorious traitor of popular imagination but a fearless and talented officer, a favorite of George Washington, and a man who, in thirty months of fighting, led troops into hell and back.

This suspenseful drama is a salutary reminder that the American Revolution between 1775 and 1778 was a two-front war.Benedict Arnold's Navy is a much needed look at the less-celebrated front to the north, where armies clashed in the wilderness and on the cold waters of Lake Champlain in battles that would determine the outcome of the war as surely as the fighting at Trenton and Yorktown.





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