Volume 5 covers the preliminary phase of the New York campaign, the period from mid-June to mid-August 1776 when the stage was set for Washington's greatest challenge yet as commander in chief of the Continental army. As the summer weeks passed, the British concentrated a massive military force in New York Harbor, bringing in thousands of Redcoats and German mercenaries backed by the guns of a large fleet. ""The Powers of Despotism,"" Washington wrote in August, ""are all combined against [America], and ready to strike their most decisive Stroke."" Not knowing exactly where the stroke would fall, Washington wrote urgently to Congress and the states seeking reinforcements for the extensive lines that he was obliged to defend, while vigorously pushing forward construction of fortifcations and efforts to obstruct the Hudson River. At every opportunity he sought and read any piece of intelligence regarding the enemy force and its intentions.
Publisher: University of Virginia Press