Author: Thomas Verenna

Thomas Verenna is a member of the Valley Forge Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, an Associate Board Member of the Moore Township Historical Commission, and a History student at Columbia College, MO. He is an alumnus of Valley Forge Military Academy—about five miles away from the site of 1777-1778 encampment—which he attended in 1998. Thomas' research focuses on Pennsylvania's military and political role in the War for American Independence.

The War Years (1775-1783) Posted on

Murder Along the Creek: Taking a Closer Look at the Sugarloaf Massacre

On September 11, 1780, a detachment of forty-one Northampton County, Pennsylvania, militiamen was surprised by a force consisting of thirty Seneca warriors and Tories. When the fighting was over, fifteen American patriots lay dead on the ground.”[1] “As the summer of 1780 began to wane, a detachment of forty-one of the veteran Van Etten’s Company […]

by Thomas Verenna
The War Years (1775-1783) Posted on

The Follies of General John Lacey and the Pennsylvania Militia in 1778

I’ve written before about the darker side of the militia, but what hasn’t yet been detailed is the general incompetence of the Pennsylvania militia. Look no further than the year 1778. While the militia might generally have been untrustworthy throughout the war, especially in Pennsylvania, 1778 stands out among the rest. This is partly because […]

by Thomas Verenna
Reviews Posted on

Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency

Book Review: Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency by Logan Beirne (Encounter Books, 2013) On a May morning in 1754, a young George Washington commanding a handful of Virginia militia and some barely-clothed native allies fell upon some French troops in the Pennsylvania wilderness. An inexperienced Washington, keen on bending […]

by Thomas Verenna
People Posted on

The Spartans of Long Island

According to some local sources, “Long island was the Thermopylae of the Revolution and the Pennsylvania Germans were its Spartans.”[1] While laden with hyperbole and bias, this is the claim made about the Northampton County Flying Camp battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Peter Kichline.[2] Kichline’s battalion, made up of four companies—two of which […]

by Thomas Verenna
Techniques & Tech Posted on

Easton’s Missing Dead

When it comes to Pennsylvania military hospitals during the Revolution apart from Philadelphia, Bethlehem has received a great deal of (appropriate) attention by scholars mainly because (1) it became the new Headquarters of the Hospital Department under Dr. Shippen, and (2) shortly after wounded arrived, the town began to see a very high mortality rate. […]

by Thomas Verenna