Revolution 250 Podcast

The Grand Forage 1778 and the Royal Provincials with Todd Braisted

July 18, 2023 Todd Braisted Season 4 Episode 29
Revolution 250 Podcast
The Grand Forage 1778 and the Royal Provincials with Todd Braisted
Show Notes Transcript

New Jersey was the "Crossroads of the American Revolution."  Historian Todd Braisted's book  The Grand Forage 1778  gives us insight into the events in New Jersey as both armies sought provisions and advantage.  Todd Braisted also maintains the website Royal Provincial telling the stories of the New Jerseyans and others who fought for the Crown. 

WEBVTT
 
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 Hello, everyone.
 
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 Welcome to the Revolution 250 podcast.
 
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 I'm Bob Allison.
 
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 I chair the Revolution 250 Advisory Group.
 
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 Rev 250 is a collaboration among 70 or so groups in Massachusetts looking at ways to commemorate the beginnings of American independence.
 
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 And our guest today is Todd Brasted.
 
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 Todd, thanks for joining us.
 
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 Thank you so much for having me.
 
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 A pleasure to be here.
 
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 And Todd joins us from the Garden State, where he's very much involved in New Jersey's planning for the 250th.
 
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 And you're the author of a couple of really interesting books.
 
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 We're mainly going to be talking about your Grand Forage 1778 book, which is on when New Jersey, the area around New York, where you are living now,
 
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 was really a battleground between General Clinton's forces and the Continental troops and the New Jersey troops, as well as you've also written about Bergen County voices.
 
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 And you've also done a lot with loyalists.
 
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 So a lot of things we can talk about.
 
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 So thanks for joining us.
 
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 Oh, a pleasure.
 
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 It's something I really enjoy talking about.
 
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 I mean, growing up here in Bergen County, I've been a
 
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 Bergen County resident all my life.
 
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 You're just surrounded by history.
 
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 You can't help it.
 
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 I grew up in a town called Dumont.
 
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 Thankfully, it was called Dumont when I grew up there because its original name was Squallinburg.
 
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 I'm not sure I would have been able to spell that as an eight-year-old.
 
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 But it's just a fantastic area to study history and to be a part of it, really.
 
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 That's great.
 
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 Since I am involved with the Massachusetts 250th, and I've been a Boston historian now for 30 years, I don't tell many people this, but I grew up in Essex County.
 
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 Our southern neighborhood.
 
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 Yeah, yeah.
 
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 So grant the grant forage.
 
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 So this is a fascinating campaign.
 
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 General Clinton is occupying New York with the British Army.
 
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 But of course, New Jersey being the Garden State, that's where New York would go for provision.
 
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 So can you tell us a bit about the forage war?
 
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 absolutely um charging you know logistics at the heart of all this is logistics i mean people love to there's so many facets of the american revolution the study the material culture of course is very popular folks love to talk about the uniforms and the clothing and the muskets and whatnot but the real nitty gritty the feeding
 
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 of both people and horses, that's overlooked part of so much of the revolution.
 
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 And that's a universal concept.
 
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 Feeding and eating, that knows no political boundaries.
 
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 Everyone has to do that.
 
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 So, I mean, England obviously sent over supplies to the British army in America, but
 
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 it was expected that the army in america would also supplement that with locally obtained food and especially the forage the hay needed for the horses the british army 1778 had thousands of horses you think about they had two regiments of cavalry so you have 700 men there you have provincial cavalry
 
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 You have all the horses that pull the wagons.
 
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 You have all the horses that pull the artillery.
 
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 You have all the horses that officers ride.
 
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 You're talking thousands of horses.
 
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 Each one of those horses eats or should eat 14 pounds of hay per day.
 
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 Wow.
 
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 Plus oats.
 
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 That number stunned me.
 
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 I'm not the worst person.
 
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 I haven't been on a horse since the 80s.
 
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 And I certainly didn't feed them at the places we'd go to ride them.
 
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 It's incredible the amount of hay that they would consume.
 
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 And the British had to get that from somewhere.
 
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 Right.
 
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 Right.
 
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 So New Jersey is the place.
 
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 Yes.
 
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 New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island.
 
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 Long Island, of course, was occupied by the British.
 
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 So coming from Long Island, it was easy enough to get there.
 
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 Westchester and New Jersey, however, were not occupied by the British.
 
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 Bergen County had been foraged by Sir Henry Clinton before.
 
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 Also, your hometown of Essex had been the scene of a forage in September of 1777.
 
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 So Clinton was very familiar with the territory and particularly the breadbasket that it provided.
 
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 Bergen County during the time of the American Revolution was primarily loyalist.
 
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 Two counties in New Jersey, Bergen and Monmouth, had the highest concentration of loyalists in the state.
 
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 There were 134 property confiscations in Bergen County alone.
 
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 This is by the patriots confiscating loyalist property.
 
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 Right.
 
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 The state of New Jersey, one of the ways it funded the war effort, as did all the states, was to confiscate Loyalist property, auction it off to the patriot neighbors, and take that money to fund their own needs.
 
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 Sure.
 
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 So let's just back up a minute, because this is one of the...
 
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 ideas the British had was New Jersey would be loyal in 1775 and six.
 
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 And it's kind of a fight there in New Jersey to, you know, which side is it going to be on?
 
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 And so what's happening with, do all of the loyalists leave or are the loyalists say in Bergen County still there?
 
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 Have they all been forced out and had their property sold?
 
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 When the British entered Bergen County in November of 1776, they immediately raised an entire battalion for British service.
 
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 It was one of the six battalions of New Jersey Volunteers raised for British service.
 
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 New Jersey Volunteers was what they called a provincial regiment, a regiment of American regulars fighting for the British.
 
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 And Bergen raised an entire battalion, which is to say about 500 men.
 
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 So that took a lot of the military age loyalists out of the county to go with the British, because they weren't going to stay in Burton County.
 
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 They were going to go wherever the army needed them.
 
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 Where do their families do?
 
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 What do their families do if the men are off?
 
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 That's an excellent question.
 
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 A lot of their families stayed at home initially.
 
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 Because when the British entered Bergen County in November 76, you know, this is the time when Washington's, you know, writing home that he fears the game is pretty near.
 
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 Right.
 
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 Yeah.
 
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 They're chasing him across New Jersey and his army is disappearing.
 
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 So nobody thinks the war is going to last that much longer.
 
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 So these people who were joining up with the British they're doing so with the expectation that they're going to be home soon It's not going to last for very long When they're enlisting they're not enlisting for life.
 
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 They're simply enlisting for the duration of the war Which everyone's thinking is going to be months more.
 
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 Yeah, so
 
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 The families now, the war's been going on by this time, by the time of the Grand Fards of 78, that's been going on for a couple years.
 
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 Yeah.
 
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 Or two years later on.
 
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 And a lot of these folks are now starting to be uprooted from their homes because the state's starting to come around with confiscations.
 
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 It'll get a lot worse for them.
 
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 Right.
 
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 starting in 79 and 80, but they're going to be forced into the British lines and they're going to join their husbands with regiments.
 
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 Now, all British regiments, regular British army regiments and continental regiments as well, are allowed so many women and children per regiment to do the chores that need to be done by them.
 
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 For a lot of women, they...
 
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 were laundresses they didn't do it for free they would get paid by the soldiers right they did nursing duties again uh for money having settlers all that sort of stuff so they would and their armies were supposed to feed them well so many women and children were turned out of doors by the states that in some cases there were as many women and children or in some cases more
 
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 than men serving in the ranks.
 
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 It was certainly not what the British had envisioned, but it also served the patriot needs because it was an enormous strain on British logistics.
 
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 Since they had to feed all these women and children,
 
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 it took up more of a limited resource.
 
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 Right.
 
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 So back to Sir Henry Clinton.
 
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 And you make this point that there are 10,000 British troops in Bergen County and Westchester County, which is more than we're fighting at Saratoga or some of these other big battles we know very well.
 
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 And yet here they are in these two counties in New York and New Jersey trying to gather hay and oats, which doesn't seem that interesting, but it's really, as you say, essential to...
 
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 making the army go, feeding the horses.
 
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 It's true.
 
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 People tend to
 
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 Look at the big battles and remember those.
 
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 In the Grand Forge, there was no great big battle.
 
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 Washington never led troops into action against Clinton.
 
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 Clinton never led British troops into action against Washington.
 
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 What you had was a series of small, unrelated, disjointed skirmishes before and during and after the forage.
 
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 that what i tried to do was tie them all together into one campaign right um you look at it that way and from the period before the actual ford started on september 23rd i saw it at the end of august of 78 there's a number of interesting skirmishes in westchester between the british light corps and the continental light corps and that leads right into the forage itself now growing up here in bergen county
 
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 you can't live in bergen county and not have heard of the baylor massacre so on september 28 1778 that's when the third white dragoons of the continental army under george baylor um were in what's now the town of rivervale and they were attacked in the middle of the night
 
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 by 1 550 british troops under general charles gray six uh you know six troops of cavalry in barnes um is no match for british light infantry and it um it was they call it a massacre the the americans lost 21 men killed baylor was
 
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 severely wounded.
 
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 His major was killed.
 
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 The bodies were tossed into tanning vats along the Hackensack River.
 
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 The British lost one soldier from
 
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 But growing up here, you hear about the Baylor Massacre, but it's as an isolated incident.
 
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 It's not put into any context of why the British were here in the first place.
 
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 All of a sudden, there were just 1,550 British troops in the American Cavalry Regiment, and this happened.
 
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 What's interesting is that another British force under Cornwallis himself, a larger force, was going northward.
 
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 but more towards the Hudson River.
 
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 And they were going to attack three to 400 militia who were in Japan, just over the border in New York, only three and a half miles down the road from Baylor's regiment.
 
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 Well, fortunately for them, two British deserters from that column
 
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 went to the militia and told them, you need to get out of here very quickly because there's 2,500 British troops coming to kill you.
 
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 And those militias skedaddled.
 
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 What they didn't do is send anyone to Warren Baylor.
 
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 There was some bad blood between the militia and the Continental Cavalry.
 
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 In fact, the day that the British went into Bergen County, the
 
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 Bergen County Sheriff, along with the Colonel of the Militia, were confronting Baylor with an arrest warrant for his quartermaster because they had turned their cavalry horses into all the farmer's fields and were not paying for all the forage that their cavalry were eating.
 
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 And...
 
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 Just at that moment, before the writ was turned over, a fleeing militiaman came running in saying British cavalry had just wiped out a militia outpost further to the east of 610.
 
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 And that, according to Baylor, sent the colonel and the sheriff fleeing, and he had no doubt that he would not be seeing them again anytime soon.
 
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 So each side is looking for forage.
 
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 Washington's army, is there in Morristown at this point?
 
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 Washington is with the Continental Army in Westchester.
 
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 Westchester, okay.
 
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 He was at White Plains for a while, then moved north to Fredericksburg.
 
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 But he's left light troops further south.
 
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 The bulk of his 20,000-man army is in Westchester.
 
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 So they're also looking for provisions.
 
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 And I'm guessing in each case, then, they will seize it from the other side, but try to buy it from their own side.
 
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 But here where Baylor's horses were just eating indiscriminately in Bergen County.
 
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 Correct.
 
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 And in fact, Washington had sent
 
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 another cavalry regiment to forage in Bergen County in July of 1778.
 
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 He started it first.
 
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 And that cavalry commander wrote to Washington about the very disagreeable duty that he was being subjected to by the women who were taunting and insulting him for taking away their milk cows and whatnot.
 
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 How can you deprive patriots of milk and all this?
 
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 And the cavalry's officer was like, I'm really not having a good time here.
 
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 Well, so we're talking with Todd Brasted, who is the author of Grand Forage 1778, the battleground around New York City, and about this extraordinary campaign to get hay and oats in New Jersey, in Westchester County.
 
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 And one of the things you mentioned, the Baylor Massacre, as we'll call it in deference to the local custom, happened at night.
 
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 And a lot of the other battles you mentioned happened at night, which also seems like an
 
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 different from many of the other Revolutionary War encounters we know about.
 
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 You mentioned Old Tap-Tap-Han, Kingsbridge, Egg Harbor.
 
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 I mean, you have these other actions happening after dark.
 
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 Is that because that was a good time for foraging, or is that... Those actions had nothing to do with foraging.
 
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 Those actions were to attack.
 
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 The British were...
 
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 very good at night actions.
 
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 Look at the commanders of these light corps, which are mostly loyalists.
 
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 The regiments like the Queen's Rangers and the British Legion and the Emirate Chasseurs are commanded by professional officers.
 
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 The Queen's Rangers is commanded by John Graves Simcoe, who's a regular British officer.
 
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 The British Legion is commanded by Bannister Tarleton, a regular British officer.
 
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 The expedition down to Egg Harbor is commanded by Patrick Ferguson, who was one of the best light corps there.
 
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 He was a captain of the 70th Regiment of Foot's light infantry company.
 
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 And so these were all young men, too.
 
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 These were all men in their 20s were using the system of.
 
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 going through provincial regiments to get elevated in rank, because they'd never be able, in their own British regiments, to obtain a higher rank than what they mostly were, which were captains.
 
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 But in the provincial forces, now all of a sudden they're mostly lieutenant colonels.
 
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 And so they can command whole regiments or groups of regiments together.
 
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 And that's what they're doing.
 
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 And
 
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 Simcoe and Carleton and Emmerich are going about Westchester, and they're playing off against Washington's light troops who are commanded by General Charles Scott.
 
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 Washington's got a corps of light infantry under Scott of about 2,300 men, infantry and cavalry.
 
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 People like Henry Lee are in this corps.
 
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 The most famous Revolutionary War soldier is in this corps, Joseph Plum Martin.
 
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 And so it's a polyglot group of militia, light infantry, cavalry, levies, that sort of thing.
 
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 But it works for the Americans, but they're losing a lot of these skirmishes to the more experienced British.
 
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 But the British you're mentioning actually are also provincial.
 
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 They're also Americans who are fighting in these provincial regiments, which is interesting.
 
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 Another interesting facet.
 
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 I mean, you have a really interesting article about Americans versus Americans at Fort Lee, where you have these provincials.
 
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 Might they have, I mean, the New Jersey troops, you already mentioned the fact that, you know, Washington's, the sheriff in Bergen County is arresting this guy.
 
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 Had there been bad blood before among some of these people as individuals?
 
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 Do you get any sense of that?
 
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 It's really fascinating if you think about it.
 
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 how people who live together all their lives as friends and neighbors, all of a sudden, within a year or so time, can now be shooting at each other without a second thought about it.
 
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 You know, to the point of calling people by name as they're shooting at them.
 
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 And, you know, not around here, but places like Kings Mountain, you have relatives shooting at each other.
 
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 Yeah.
 
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 And I can't even conceive of that.
 
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 Plus, the other dynamic, which is a lot of folks don't consider, is we tend to think of people very set in their ways.
 
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 Once you're a patriot, you're always a patriot.
 
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 Once you're a loyalist, you're always a loyalist.
 
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 No, not the case.
 
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 People's
 
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 Moods, people, desires swayed back and forth all the time.
 
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 And you had deserters going back and forth from one side to the other, and not just to go within the lines and sit out the ward, to actually join the other's army and shoot at the other side, people they had just served with.
 
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 One of my favorite quotes from a letter of Colonel Francis, Lord Warden,
 
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 a young Irishman, again in his 20s, who was raising a provincial corps with the rank of, yeah, the rank of colonel.
 
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 He had only been a captain of the British Army
 
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 But he came up with the idea of raising a regiment of Irishmen called the Volunteers of Ireland to be drawn entirely from the Irish serving in Washington's army.
 
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 The British were very good at doing studies of prisoners taken and deserters and found that a lot of them were Irish.
 
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 How do you utilize that?
 
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 Well, you raise a regiment of Irishmen on your own from your enemy.
 
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 And so he gets this regiment, virtually all of whom
 
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 had come from Washington's army.
 
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 So he's writing home to his father in Ireland saying, you know, I have a fine regiment now, as good as any.
 
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 And I dare say there's not a soldier among them who has not at one time or another taken a shot at their colonel.
 
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 We're talking with Todd Braystead, who is the author of Grand Forage 1778.
 
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 And one of your other projects, speaking of the provincials, is the loyalprovincial.com, which is a website focused, well, it's the Online Institute for Advanced Study, Advanced Loyalist Studies.
 
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 And it's a tremendous introduction as well as much more on who these guys were who were fighting
 
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 uh, Americans who are fighting for the British.
 
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 So what drew you into looking at that side of the revolutions?
 
 21:04.391 --> 21:05.792
 Ah, excellent question.
 
 21:06.632 --> 21:23.283
 Um, at the age of, at the advanced age of 12, um, 1976, the bicentennial, um, my cousin and I, um, and my father and his father and our best friend and everybody decided to one day join a reenactment group.
 
 21:24.144 --> 21:26.245
 And, you know, it was a, um,
 
 21:27.122 --> 21:28.342
 a rebel artillery group.
 
 21:29.283 --> 21:33.584
 And it was a really bad rebel artillery group, as we discovered as the year went on.
 
 21:33.724 --> 21:36.605
 And we really wanted nothing to do with this group anymore.
 
 21:37.206 --> 21:43.548
 And we figured the easiest way to get away from them was to shoot at them.
 
 21:43.588 --> 21:45.148
 Similar to those Irishmen, right?
 
 21:45.188 --> 21:46.049
 Yeah, absolutely.
 
 21:46.149 --> 21:46.789
 Absolutely.
 
 21:47.469 --> 21:50.630
 And so we decided to form a loyalist group.
 
 21:51.731 --> 21:52.371
 And, well...
 
 21:53.271 --> 21:57.913
 We recognized we needed somebody to sew and to do leather work.
 
 21:58.513 --> 22:02.555
 We needed somebody else to tell that person what to make based on research.
 
 22:04.475 --> 22:05.556
 And I can't sew.
 
 22:06.357 --> 22:08.019
 I couldn't sew in 1977.
 
 22:08.119 --> 22:09.160
 I can't sew now.
 
 22:10.501 --> 22:19.530
 But my cousin was actually a student at Bergen County Vocational Technical High School and was doing machine shop and everything else.
 
 22:19.570 --> 22:20.111
 He could sew.
 
 22:20.151 --> 22:20.932
 He still can sew.
 
 22:21.993 --> 22:23.955
 And all this great stuff.
 
 22:24.675 --> 22:26.878
 And so it was a very nice division of labor.
 
 22:28.127 --> 22:48.589
 and i had found a book as when you're when you're 13 years old 14 years old you know what's research you get a book that's right that's what we used to do right exactly and um so i looked at the blog and it was a great i thought it was a great book it had no footnotes whatsoever um so i in 19
 
 22:50.788 --> 22:56.193
 early 1979, late 78, I guess I just started high school.
 
 22:56.773 --> 23:02.558
 I actually found the address of the author and not that easy in the seventies.
 
 23:03.859 --> 23:06.562
 And I wrote to him and I said, you know, the usual accolades.
 
 23:06.622 --> 23:08.623
 Thank you so much for writing this.
 
 23:08.764 --> 23:09.204
 It's great.
 
 23:09.484 --> 23:10.585
 He was also a reenactor.
 
 23:10.645 --> 23:16.690
 So I said, you know, we were doing this group and you had a plate about the regiment we portray.
 
 23:17.551 --> 23:18.112
 We'd like to,
 
 23:19.244 --> 23:23.787
 learn more about this, could you tell us where you got the research for?
 
 23:23.807 --> 23:25.428
 I thought a reasonable question.
 
 23:26.749 --> 23:32.832
 And he replied six months later, little note, I still have it.
 
 23:33.793 --> 23:37.195
 And it said, thank you very much for your inquiry.
 
 23:38.596 --> 23:46.441
 The question you asked would involve many months of research in the archives of Canada and England, which I do not have time to do for you.
 
 23:46.801 --> 23:48.022
 Best of luck in your endeavor.
 
 23:49.955 --> 23:51.776
 So it didn't say where he found it.
 
 23:51.836 --> 23:52.896
 Had he spent those months?
 
 23:53.617 --> 23:56.958
 It was that moment where there's a light bulb over the head.
 
 23:57.799 --> 23:59.359
 Many things came to realize.
 
 23:59.980 --> 24:04.422
 It was like Ralphie, you know, looking at his secret decoder ring from Little Orphanage.
 
 24:04.502 --> 24:05.562
 Yeah, yeah.
 
 24:05.842 --> 24:07.103
 It was that moment.
 
 24:07.643 --> 24:08.944
 And so I'm like, okay.
 
 24:10.224 --> 24:16.447
 And there was also an article from a Bergen County Historical Society quarterly from 1960 before I was born.
 
 24:17.031 --> 24:19.416
 And it was a Bergen County loyalist.
 
 24:19.737 --> 24:26.330
 And the last sentence of the article said, clearly this is a subject that requires further study.
 
 24:27.720 --> 24:54.973
 well as you're more than aware everyone has a specialty you know yeah i've got a bunch of books on george washington even even as a sophomore in high school i realized the world did not need me as yet another author on george washington what was i going to add to that conversation yeah um but the field of loyalist studies seemed wide open and i was lucky
 
 24:56.090 --> 25:07.537
 real lucky to meet some incredible people early on in my endeavors, people like Don Haggis, people like, sadly, the late Don Lawndell Smith.
 
 25:09.755 --> 25:12.856
 who could really steer me in the right direction.
 
 25:13.016 --> 25:16.477
 And this is so much more fun when you can do it with others.
 
 25:16.957 --> 25:17.257
 Oh, yeah.
 
 25:17.457 --> 25:18.258
 Yeah.
 
 25:18.278 --> 25:26.040
 We're talking with Todd Braystead and the loyalprovincial.com is the website for the Online Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies.
 
 25:26.560 --> 25:33.602
 And you're also the co-author of The Loyalist Corps, Americans in Service to the King, which does more with this part of the story.
 
 25:33.622 --> 25:36.063
 And I should also mention that you were a member of the
 
 25:36.781 --> 25:54.385
 a fellow of the Company of Military Historians, and you've actually been president of their West Point chapter, and you're a history advisor both to New Jersey's Crossroads of the Revolution and the Revolution in New Jersey's Advisory Council, as well as South Carolina's Revolution Cester Centennial Commission.
 
 25:55.020 --> 26:22.763
 well as other organizations we're hoping maybe you can become an advisor to rev 250 as well at least a friend of rev 250 because you're doing tremendous work with um these various hats you're wearing which is essentially your hobby i mean you do something else for um your full-time job so um another thing in your book on the grand forage is the british attack or attacking american privateers in new jersey so i wonder if we can talk a little bit about
 
 26:23.264 --> 26:25.543
 New Jersey's privateers in the revolution.
 
 26:27.096 --> 26:32.437
 Privateers, it's a subject that has become more popular over the years.
 
 26:33.277 --> 26:42.320
 I mean, people think of the naval exploits of somebody like John Paul Jones as possibly being emblematic of the Continental Navy.
 
 26:42.340 --> 26:46.781
 Well, the Continental Navy lost all its ships.
 
 26:47.921 --> 26:53.042
 It was not any sort of force that was ever going to challenge the Royal Navy.
 
 26:53.522 --> 26:56.903
 However, privateers are privately owned ships.
 
 26:56.983 --> 27:03.785
 warships authorized by each state or Congress Legally to go out and be pirates.
 
 27:04.625 --> 27:22.450
 They are allowed to prey upon the merchant shipping of Oh, they can go after one but it's often They're there to make profit and profit is in merchant ships Privateers are not going to look for Royal Navy ships to go in Yeah
 
 27:25.799 --> 27:45.486
 So they're going to go after merchant ships and bring those merchant ships into port and then auction off all the proceeds, all the whatever's in that merchant ship, be it food, material goods, whatever, lumber, it could be anything.
 
 27:46.257 --> 27:53.628
 and take all that money and then divide it among the owners of the ship and the crew in what they call shares.
 
 27:53.949 --> 27:57.755
 You're a captain, you've got so many shares.
 
 27:57.775 --> 27:59.538
 What if you're just a common seaman?
 
 28:02.930 --> 28:13.298
 The Jersey's port of Egg Harbor down in South Jersey, that was the place where most of New Jersey's privateers came out of.
 
 28:14.118 --> 28:20.143
 And the British referred to it as they seem to refer to all those sorts of ports as a nest of pirates.
 
 28:20.343 --> 28:20.483
 Right.
 
 28:22.398 --> 28:26.279
 So they were going to try and wipe out this nest of pirates.
 
 28:26.519 --> 28:36.322
 That's why they sent a force of troops, both British and provincial, to attack Egg Harbor and capture those privateers.
 
 28:37.282 --> 28:42.063
 However, for once during all this, American intelligence was good.
 
 28:42.956 --> 28:44.720
 And they knew they were coming.
 
 28:45.241 --> 28:52.414
 And so all the privateers in port were able to put to sea before the British got down there.
 
 28:52.434 --> 28:53.997
 The British sent down eight ships.
 
 28:56.025 --> 29:00.706
 And they found a few ships on the docks and whatnot, which they burned.
 
 29:01.447 --> 29:05.568
 They burned a lot of the town, most of the storehouses and things like that.
 
 29:06.568 --> 29:08.909
 There really wasn't a whole lot of fighting there.
 
 29:08.969 --> 29:11.089
 There was some American militia.
 
 29:12.049 --> 29:13.530
 The British stormed the works.
 
 29:13.850 --> 29:15.110
 Nobody really got hurt.
 
 29:15.370 --> 29:17.191
 Sort of like a reenactment.
 
 29:17.271 --> 29:20.312
 Yeah, everybody cleaned their muskets at the end of the day.
 
 29:20.372 --> 29:21.732
 And that was about it.
 
 29:22.132 --> 29:22.312
 Yeah.
 
 29:22.492 --> 29:24.673
 Well, the real target was the ships that had left.
 
 29:25.467 --> 29:25.747
 Right.
 
 29:26.207 --> 29:32.630
 And since they were not there, the expedition was almost fruitless.
 
 29:33.691 --> 29:43.376
 Almost because Congress was petitioned very quickly saying that the British are here, they're burning things, please send help.
 
 29:44.096 --> 29:51.379
 Well, Washington's got his army in Westchester and Bergen County and some in Essex County at this point.
 
 29:51.720 --> 29:54.621
 That's not anywhere near Ann Arbor.
 
 29:55.225 --> 30:07.391
 The only corps that's near Ake Harbor is a legion, a cavalry and infantry regiment, commanded by the Polish adventurer Count Casimir Pulaski.
 
 30:07.471 --> 30:15.235
 The only reason they were close to Philadelphia was because Pulaski raised the most expensive regiment in the Continental Army, and Congress wanted...
 
 30:16.730 --> 30:19.371
 I was showing fiscal responsibility.
 
 30:19.912 --> 30:26.094
 I wanted to audit all his books to find out why everything was so expensive.
 
 30:26.895 --> 30:28.595
 And so they kept him around Trenton.
 
 30:29.556 --> 30:34.298
 He was just about to march north to join Washington, or at least the troops of Bergen.
 
 30:35.118 --> 30:37.319
 And he got orders, you know, don't go there.
 
 30:37.439 --> 30:38.380
 Go to Egg Harbor.
 
 30:39.060 --> 30:45.503
 Take the continental artillery with you from Proctor's and go protect our constituents of Egg Harbor.
 
 30:46.198 --> 30:51.979
 Well, the British under Ferguson had already re-embarked on board their ships.
 
 30:52.999 --> 31:00.201
 But there they stayed, not because they wanted to do anything more, but because wind and tide conspired against them.
 
 31:02.181 --> 31:06.142
 So much revolved around wind and tide.
 
 31:06.162 --> 31:09.443
 For granted today, the ships can just go anywhere at any time.
 
 31:10.323 --> 31:11.543
 Not the case back then.
 
 31:12.324 --> 31:14.324
 So Pulaski gets out there.
 
 31:15.430 --> 31:22.492
 And he's issuing all these proclamations and whatnot, chastising the residents for not being more patriotic.
 
 31:22.572 --> 31:32.435
 He sends a detachment of 60 men, 50 men under one of his officers, a second in command, Lieutenant Colonel Momboza.
 
 31:33.495 --> 31:35.436
 All his officers are basically European.
 
 31:35.696 --> 31:35.856
 And
 
 31:38.171 --> 31:46.393
 Ferguson finds out now that there's a small detachment of these guys under von Bosa as a picket that he can go get to.
 
 31:47.193 --> 31:59.475
 And he knows this because of deserters from Pulaski, which include not one, but two of Pulaski's officers, a Frenchman and a German.
 
 31:59.975 --> 32:05.256
 The German is well known, Carl Joliet, a deserter from Rhode Island.
 
 32:05.988 --> 32:09.829
 But the Frenchman de Bromville is not as well known.
 
 32:12.490 --> 32:17.411
 And they tell Ferguson, you know, you got 50 guys sitting there.
 
 32:17.431 --> 32:18.511
 You can go get them.
 
 32:19.511 --> 32:25.353
 Ferguson takes 250 guys in the middle of the night and goes and wipes out.
 
 32:27.415 --> 32:38.393
 von bose's command including von bose himself wow and they make um back to their to their ships with the loss of all three guys wounded and three missing
 
 32:39.341 --> 32:39.741
 That's it.
 
 32:40.241 --> 32:40.461
 Wow.
 
 32:41.342 --> 32:49.825
 Well, we're talking with Todd Braystead, author of Grand Forge 1778, as well as books about Bergen County and the war and the Loyalist Corps.
 
 32:50.005 --> 33:02.810
 And now I think because TURN has gotten a lot of people thinking about spy networks, and you do a lot with, you've talked a lot now about intelligence and how we know things.
 
 33:02.890 --> 33:06.692
 Can we talk a little bit about how this worked in New Jersey?
 
 33:10.566 --> 33:16.055
 Well, in the book, there is a lot of intelligence gathering information.
 
 33:16.716 --> 33:21.905
 To me, that's always been a fun thing to look at these intelligence reports.
 
 33:22.688 --> 33:26.350
 and whatnot, many of which are in the Clements Library and whatnot.
 
 33:26.370 --> 33:30.551
 There's a British intelligence book at the Library of Congress and all this sort of stuff.
 
 33:30.792 --> 33:35.173
 And you're seeing things that very few people knew back then.
 
 33:35.214 --> 33:39.916
 I mean, these intelligence reports went to the commanders-in-chief of the armies.
 
 33:40.276 --> 33:45.378
 They weren't being circulated amongst the regular schlubs in the ranks for very good reason.
 
 33:46.078 --> 33:52.041
 And so all these intelligence reports are all written by Loyalists.
 
 33:53.718 --> 34:06.764
 And what fascinated me was, while most of them were men, one who was the most successful was not operating in Bergen County.
 
 34:06.784 --> 34:08.265
 She was operating in Westchester.
 
 34:09.125 --> 34:14.928
 And in British intelligence reports, she was simply referred to as the woman.
 
 34:16.689 --> 34:19.751
 And I'm like, okay, well, that doesn't tell me a whole lot.
 
 34:20.860 --> 34:39.812
 And my last trip to the National Archives of the UK in Kew over 20 years ago, the last day I was there, the last afternoon, probably the last hour, as it always works out, I came across the best find of two weeks worth of work there.
 
 34:40.912 --> 34:49.958
 And it was a memorial from a woman by the name of Anne Bates, a Philadelphia school teacher,
 
 34:51.446 --> 34:54.208
 Yay teachers, who was a loyalist.
 
 34:54.228 --> 34:58.832
 She was married to someone in one of the civil branches of the Royal Artillery.
 
 35:00.394 --> 35:08.562
 And she was putting in for 100 pounds expenses that was promised her in the fall of 1778 for intelligence gathering.
 
 35:08.582 --> 35:08.662
 Hmm.
 
 35:12.430 --> 35:20.373
 She doesn't mention any other time or any other service, but it was only this outstanding debt that she wanted to collect.
 
 35:20.713 --> 35:22.293
 And this is a memorial from like 1785, 1786, after the war.
 
 35:22.333 --> 35:23.574
 And I'm looking at this.
 
 35:29.221 --> 35:34.104
 And then I'm comparing it to the British Intelligence Memorandum book and some other things.
 
 35:34.564 --> 35:36.925
 I'm like, oh my God, this is the woman.
 
 35:38.186 --> 35:39.427
 This is the woman.
 
 35:40.067 --> 35:45.650
 And she did really incredible things, acts of bravery.
 
 35:46.791 --> 35:52.114
 We generally hear about spies that were less successful than Nathan Hale.
 
 35:53.715 --> 35:54.976
 But Anne...
 
 35:56.247 --> 35:58.568
 and acted the part of a petty settler.
 
 35:59.008 --> 36:10.113
 Her father sent her into Westchester, right into Washington's camp, to meet up with a Pennsylvania Continental Army officer, a captain, who wanted to defect.
 
 36:10.834 --> 36:13.855
 She was going to get intelligence from him and bring him into the British.
 
 36:14.515 --> 36:18.557
 He had actually resigned weeks before and went home.
 
 36:19.037 --> 36:21.799
 So when she got there, he was long gone.
 
 36:22.419 --> 36:24.160
 So she decided, well, plan B.
 
 36:25.311 --> 36:35.102
 And she decided she'd just use her role of selling sewing kits to the soldiers.
 
 36:35.742 --> 36:38.205
 Little things, any reenactor can relate to this.
 
 36:39.426 --> 36:45.993
 Needle, thread, symbols, that sort of thing to the soldiers.
 
 36:46.413 --> 36:47.475
 Well, she took all that.
 
 36:48.417 --> 36:57.104
 And reorganized it so the thimbles and the needles and the thread referred to brigades and regiments and artillery pieces.
 
 36:58.144 --> 37:05.230
 And we bundled things up in that way so if anybody stopped her, they're just going to see sewing kits.
 
 37:05.490 --> 37:05.850
 Right.
 
 37:06.411 --> 37:06.731
 Wow.
 
 37:07.031 --> 37:13.096
 And by that means, she went back to the British and said, this is the strength of Washington's Army of White Plains.
 
 37:13.916 --> 37:15.058
 And they said, that's great.
 
 37:15.198 --> 37:16.760
 Now go back and get more.
 
 37:17.741 --> 37:19.945
 And they sent her back to White Plains.
 
 37:20.025 --> 37:27.736
 And she actually marched with Washington's army from White Plains to Fredericksburg, gathering more intelligence along the way.
 
 37:28.397 --> 37:28.577
 Wow.
 
 37:29.212 --> 37:30.113
 Fascinating story.
 
 37:30.173 --> 37:36.357
 And there are more stories like that in the Grand Forage, 1778, the battleground around New York City.
 
 37:36.777 --> 37:38.458
 So thank you, Todd, for joining us.
 
 37:38.498 --> 37:52.207
 Todd Braystead, who is the author of Grand Forage, as well as the keeper of the loyal provincial dot com and reenactor and involved with New Jersey and South Carolina's preparations for the 250th.
 
 37:52.627 --> 37:53.687
 So thank you for joining us.
 
 37:54.248 --> 37:54.748
 My pleasure.
 
 37:54.788 --> 37:55.929
 Thank you so much for having me.
 
 37:56.610 --> 37:56.810
 Great.
 
 37:57.211 --> 38:01.814
 And so I want to thank Jonathan Lane, our producer, and our many listeners.
 
 38:01.834 --> 38:15.906
 You know, Todd, we initially thought we'd have a handful of folks around Boston tuning in, but we've had close to 40,000 individual downloads just to the podcast and probably about 100,000 or so listeners, viewers on YouTube.
 
 38:15.926 --> 38:23.412
 So I want to thank everyone for being part of this and helping us begin commemorating the 250th and thinking about ways to keep it alive.
 
 38:23.492 --> 38:24.273
 And every week I
 
 38:24.913 --> 38:27.834
 Thank folks in different parts of the country or the world.
 
 38:27.934 --> 38:38.877
 And if you are in one of these places, send Jonathan Lane an email, jlane at revolution250.org, and he'll send you one of our refrigerator magnets with a quote from one of the Boston towns.
 
 38:39.437 --> 38:43.718
 So our friends this week in Eustis, Florida, and in Medina, New York,
 
 38:44.418 --> 38:54.925
 Weymouth, Walpole, Worcester, and Woburn, all in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Mexico City, Madison Heights, Michigan, and either Montclair or Mahwah in the Garden State.
 
 38:54.985 --> 38:57.467
 Thank you all and folks in all places in between.
 
 38:57.947 --> 39:00.369
 And now we'll be piped out on the road to Boston.