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.
Publisher: University Press of New England
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 231 x 152 x 20 mm
"Author Michael M. Greenburg offers both an insightful biography of Revere and a colorful description of the 'worst American naval disaster prior to Pearl Harbor' in this well-crafted history of a dark episode of the American Revolution."-- "Military Officer"
Readers interested in a realist school of history will find Greenburg's effort enlightening."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"It is fair to say that Revere's military and legal troubles are not secrets; if you know to look at Revere's biography beyond his midnight ride, you can find them. Greenburg's book, however, is possibly the best documented account, giving us a fuller picture of a human, not saintly, patriot."-- "The Dispatch (Columbus, MS)"
Four years after the ride that has defined Paul Revere for well over two centuries, he faced a bruising ordeal in the court of public opinion. It arose from the failure of the Penobscot Expedition to force the British from the coast of Maine. America's entire naval fleet of 40 vessels was lost and at least 150 American men were killed or wounded during the battle. Michael M. Greenburg tells the story of this little-known chapter of US history in The Court-Martial of Paul Revere: A Son of Liberty and America's Forgotten Military Disaster.-- "Boston Globe"