You are here

The Papers of George Washington

Revolutionary War Series, Volume 23
22 October–31 December 1779
George Washington. Edited by William M. Ferraro

BUY Cloth · 904 pp. · 6.125 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813936956 · $95.00 · Oct 2015

As October 1779 became November, George Washington realized that autumn had advanced too far for a combined Franco-American assault against the British forces in New York City that year, and he curtailed preparations. After a large British expedition departed New York in late December, Washington concentrated on settling his Army for the winter, which already had become unusually snowy and brutally cold. Troubles confronting the army and the incipient nation did not erode Washington's sense of humanity. When Elizabeth Burgin, a widow who had assisted American prisoners in New York City, called upon him for assistance, Washington ordered the commissary at Philadelphia to provide her with provisions and successfully urged Congress to extend additional relief. He also took careful measures to facilitate his wife Martha's travels fro Mount Vernon to join him at winter camp at Morristown. As British persistence, physical suffering among the troops, financial difficulties, and widespread disgruntlement eclipsed the optimism emanating from the enemy's evacuation of Rhode Island that October, Washington's personal fortitude and steadiness at this daunting time was crucial to the revolutionary cause.


[T]his is a volume about military men and matters. Covering activity from Canada to Georgia and west to Detroit, it closes at the end of 1779 with reports that the British have evacuated New York City. The editors’ meticulous explanatory notes provide needed context to understand the documents and often include the full text or copious extracts of enclosures mentioned therein. Nine maps and a 63-page index round out the volume, a strong addition to the series.

H-Net Reviews

Interested in this topic?
Stay updated with our newsletters:

Related Books