Top 10 Articles of August 2015


August 31, 2015
by Editors Also by this Author


Journal of the American Revolution is the leading source of knowledge about the American Revolution and Founding Era. We feature smart, groundbreaking research and well-written narratives from expert writers. Our work has been featured by the New York Times, TIME magazine, History Channel, Discovery Channel, Smithsonian, Mental Floss, NPR, and more. Journal of the American Revolution also produces annual hardcover volumes, a branded book series, and the podcast, Dispatches

In August, Journal of the American Revolution welcomed five new writers: Ken Daigler, Rich Wood, Travis Martin, Janet Wedge and Erin Weinman. Since our launch in January 2013, we’ve published more than 635 articles by 101 expert authors. That’s easily more than 1.5 million words about the American Revolution! Another impressive stat: The site,, has had 1.4 million unique readers during that time. Looking forward, we have several fascinating articles in the hopper and will start compiling the 2016 annual volume soon. Earlier this year, we announced the launch of our book series, an imprint of Westholme Publishing. The first two manuscripts, authored by acclaimed historians J. L. Bell and Todd Braisted, are nearing completion and early drafts have given the editors goose bumps. We can’t wait to share the amazing new works of Bell and Braisted. As a reminder, here are the summaries of the forthcoming books:

The first book, The Road to Concord: How Four Small Cannons Set Off the American Revolution, is authored by J. L. Bell. It’s a new look at the first battle of the Revolutionary War, tracing the genesis of the fateful British march in April 1775 to little-known events of the preceding September. Back in that month, a militia uprising in the Massachusetts countryside set off an “arms race” for artillery between provincial activists and Crown officials. Men on each side grabbed any cannons they could find in shore batteries, ships, and merchants’ stores. In the most daring and consequential operation of that autumn, Bostonians stole four small cannons from militia armories under redcoat guard, hid them in a public school, smuggled them into the countryside, and eventually moved them to Concord—where a spy located them for the royal governor, Gen. Thomas Gage. The Road to Concord will be the first book to tell the full story of those cannons.

The second title, Grand Forage 1778: The Revolutionary War’s Forgotten Campaign, is authored by Todd W. Braisted. The volume explores a crucial campaign of the Revolutionary War that has long been overlooked in history books. A sweep of the New York and New Jersey countryside by 8,000 British troops looking for fresh provisions triggered several major skirmishes that left scores dead, wounded and captured. An entire regiment of Continental cavalry would be surprised and bayoneted, with the remains of some of the slain discovered by accident nearly 200 years later. Braisted masterfully weaves together primary source research from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany to tell a riveting, complete story of Britain’s last great push around New York City.

Now, without further ado, we present the top 10 most popular articles of August 2015:

  1. Domestic Disputes: Public Announcements of Private Affairs by Don N. Hagist
  2. Oliver Reed Letters of an American Soldier by Erin Weinman
  3. Thomas Jefferson, Scientist by Travis Martin
  4. A Melancholy Accident: The Disastrous Explosion at Charleston by Joshua Shepherd
  5. Top 10 Events at Kings Ferry by Michael J. F. Sheehan
  6. George Washington or John Hanson: Who Was the First President by Ray Raphael
  7. The Shakers and the American Revolution by Joseph Manca
  8. General Washington’s Appeal for a Federal Government by T. J. Johnson
  9. Hannah Caldwell’s Death: Accident or Murder by John L. Smith, Jr.
  10. George Washington’s Agent Z: The Curious Case of Lt. Lewis J. Costigin by Ken Daigler

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