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John U. Rees Thomas J. McGuire, Battle of Paoli (Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2000). Hardcover.

Forward, introduction, 284 pp. with appendices, index, and endnotes; 15 color maps, illustrations, and photographs, 14 black and white maps (incl. 4 manuscript maps) and photos. ISBN: 0-8117-0198-0. Reviewed by John U. Rees.

Detail from Battle of Paoli by Xavier della Gatta (1782) (Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, Pa.)

On 21 September 1777 Pennsylvania Colonel Thomas Hartley wrote, Fortune has not been sublime to our Division The Enemy last Night at twelve oClock, attacked our little Force with about 4000 Men Horse and Foot accompanied with all the Noise and Yells of Hell Confusion followed the Carnage was very great this is a bloody Month. Though succinct, Hartleys is an apt description of both the just-fought Paoli battle and the first month of the campaign for Philadelphia. Thomas J. McGuires Battle of Paoli expertly expands on the story, telling the events that led to the American defeat and ensuing repercussions. Along the way the author provides a wonderful microcosm of our War for Independence, helping the reader understand the impact of local and regional politics, command and control, terrain, logistics, and soldiers training Telling the story from both sides, Mr. McGuire sets out to rectify the Paoli story, and show the action and campaign with all its hardship and complexity. The author begins with descriptions of the rival armies as they parade through Philadelphia, one month apart. He then provides an overview of the military situation, logistics, local influences,

and the personalities and units involved. The actual campaign narrative begins just after the 11 September Brandywine battle, describing in-depth the abortive Battle of the Clouds, and then detailing troop movements that resulted in the September 20th Massacre. Following the battle scenes, both armies movements are recounted as they maneuver for position in the Pennsylvania countryside, with Philadelphia as the eventual Crown forces prize. The campaign narrative concludes with a description of the Battle of Germantown, where advance elements of the Continental Army attacked British light troops with the chilling cry, Have at the Bloodhounds! Revenge Waynes affair! The books closing chapters range from the account of American Brigadier General Anthony Waynes court martial (based on the newly discovered proceedings), to a discussion of Paoli in memory and memorial, and the mythology that sprung up and clouded the truth in later years. The narrative is compelling, the account of the battle and its aftermath riveting. Skillfully weaving together first-hand accounts, many published for the first time, Mr. McGuire gives life to the individual experiences of both soldiers and civilians. And, important to a complete understanding of occurrences, Mr. McGuire is intimately familiar with the armies inner workings, practical aspects and difficulties of maneuvering troops, as well as the local landscape in both its modern and 18th century forms. Contemporary and modern maps are spread throughout the text, providing the reader with a visual context supporting troop movement and battle descriptions. Participants portraits are also included, as are photographs of landmark buildings (some no longer standing), and a full-page, color reproduction of Xavier della Gattas 1782 painting The Battle of Paoli. A minor flaw is the lack of a map and plate listing, This omission is noteworthy because of their value in supporting the narrative account, and that they further illustrate the depth of the authors research. With that single, minor, caveat, I highly recommend Thomas J. McGuires Battle of Paoli to anyone interested in an informative and lively narrative, backed by fully annotated, serious scholarship. The work is a must-have for devotees of the history of our War for Independence or American military history. For those interested in the period, Thomas McGuires first book, The Surprise of Germantown, October 4th 1777, is also highly recommended, though likely out of print. Like his Paoli book this is the only scholarly treatment of an important battle in our countrys early history. ______________________________

Thomas J. McGuire, Battle of Paoli List of Illustrations Maps: (b&w) pages 15, 52, 75, 90, 98, 117, 136. Photographs: (b&w) pages 34, 42, 85, 97, 134, 143, 153 Color plates between pages 110-111 Page 15 (map) The Seat of War, September 1777 34 The White Horse Tavern (ca. 1886) 42 Reading Furnace Mansion (1999) 52 (map) Position of the Army at Truduffrin the 19th Septr. 1777 (Capt. John Andre) 75 (map) Positions of the Armies, September 19-20, 1777 85 The Paoli Tavern (ca. 1886) 90 Anthony Wayne Court of Inquiry map of Paoli battle (October 1777) 97 The Warren Tavern (ca. 1886) 98 (map) Surprize of a Rebel Corps in Great Valley (Capt. John Andre) Color plates between pages 110-111: The Paoli Massacre, by Xavier Della Gatta (1782) Don Troiani paintings: Private, 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment Private, 3rd Continental Light Dragoons Grenadier private, 42nd or Royal Highland Regiment Dismounted Trooper, 16th or Queens Own Light Dragoons Portraits: Anthony Wayne Thomas Hartley William Smallwood Mordecai Gist Charles Grey Thomas Musgrave Map: British Camp at Trudruffrin, published by William Faden Painting: A View of Cheeves [Chews] House, near Philadelphia, under siege by Washingtons army, 3rd [4th] October 1777 (ca. 1785) Postcard image: Paoli Monument (ca. 1910) Photograph: British and American soldiers graves, Anglican Church of St. Peter-in-theValley 117 (map) Battle of Paoli 134 The Church of St. Peter-in-the-Great Valley (1999) 136 (map) Position of the Army at Charlestown the 21st September 1778 [1777] (Capt. John Andre) 143 Uwchlan Friends Meeting House (1999) 153 Jones Tavern (ca. 1910)

Battle of Paoli by Xavier della Gatta (1782) (Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, Pa.)