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White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery…
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White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery And Vengeance in Colonial… (edição 2006)

por Stephen Brumwell (Autor)

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1302164,475 (4.27)1
"A fast-moving tale of courage, cruelty, hardship, and savagery."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette In North America's first major conflict, known today as the French and Indian War, France and England--both in alliance with Native American tribes--fought each other in a series of bloody battles and terrifying raids. No confrontation was more brutal and notorious than the massacre of the British garrison of Fort William Henry--an incident memorably depicted in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. That atrocity stoked calls for revenge, and the tough young Major Robert Rogers and his "Rangers" were ordered north into enemy territory to exact it. On the morning of October 4, 1759, Rogers and his men surprised the Abenaki Indian village of St. Francis, slaughtering its sleeping inhabitants without mercy. A nightmarish retreat followed. When, after terrible hardships, the raiders finally returned to safety, they were hailed as heroes by the colonists, and their leader was immortalized as "the brave Major Rogers." But the Abenakis remembered Rogers differently: To them he was Wobomagonda--"White Devil."… (mais)
Membro:croushlaw
Título:White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery And Vengeance in Colonial America
Autores:Stephen Brumwell (Autor)
Informação:Da Capo Press (2006), Edition: Annotated, 336 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery and Vengeance in Colonial America por Stephen Brumwell

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When I think of the American “frontier” what usually comes to mind is the “Wild West”; during the mid-18th century the “frontier” included Connecticut and upstate New York. The seacoast held English colonists but the entire interior of the continent belonged to the French and Native Americans. In the North American conflicts that spilled over from European wars, it took English commanders a long time – sometimes never – to realize that the linear tactics, disciplined volley fire, and bayonet charges that worked so well in Europe were completely ineffective in the deep woods. After some bloody defeats the more perceptive English commanders realized that they needed light infantry that could operate there; with some class-conscious reluctance a colonial officer, Robert Rogers, was allowed to organize a company of eponymous Rangers that could take the war to the enemy – or at least figure out where the enemy was.

After achieving renown in the French and Indian War, Roger’s fame diminished – likely because he picked the wrong (Loyalist) side in the American Revolutionary War. He came back to public attention with the 1937 fictionalized biography Northwest Passage, later made into a movie (with Spencer Tracy as Rogers) and a TV series (with Buddy Ebsen). The actual fighting was considerably sanitized for Hollywood, of course. Which finally brings us to the book review – Stephen Brumwell’s White Devil. Brumwell is not politically correct in his treatment of Native Americans – they pillage, rape, murder, and torture. However, he makes it clear that the white people they were fighting also pillaged, raped, murdered and tortured; we just got to write that out of the histories.

Although Brumwell extensively covers Rogers Rangers earlier actions, the centerpiece of the book is Roger’s October 1759 raid on the Abenaki village of St. Francis, in what’s now Quebec. The Rangers reached the town after a boat journey up Lake Champlain and an overland trek; the attack was carefully planned to take place at dawn, with sharpshooters posted at exit routes and the main body sweeping through the town to burn, kill, and loot. The Abenaki seem to have received some warning that the attack was coming but if so were tragically unprepared; the warriors were elsewhere and Roger’s men – despite orders – killed the elderly, the women, and the children that remained in St. Francis. The subsequent retreat was even more heroic/antiheroic than the attack. Rogers feared a pursuing force was close behind – this wasn’t correct, but his boats had been discovered where he had left them at Lake Champlain and an ambush was waiting there. He therefore made the right decision for the wrong reasons – to take another, much longer route back to friendly territory. This turned into an epic; the retreating raiders divided into small parties and some of them were caught and slaughtered. The others suffered grimly from starvation and exposure – and in one case killed and ate one of their Abenaki captives (She was described as “plump”). To compound the misery, a relief party that was supposed to cache supplies gave up and abandoned their mission just two hours before the Rangers would have reached them. The surviving Rangers eventually reached Connecticut; despite the decimation of the Ranger force the raid was hailed as a great victory. Brumwell notes that the Abenaki still call Rogers “Wobomagonda” – White Devil.

Rogers’ subsequent career was anticlimactic; unlike many of his Ranger compatriots – notably John Stark, hero of the Battle of Bennington – Rogers stayed Loyalist during the American Revolution but didn’t perform any notable service. After the war he went to England but was unable to obtain any preferment, and sunk into gambling and drink, eventually dying, deeply in debt, in 1795.

Brumwell’s book is fascinating, an easy read and full of details about life on the frontier and in the military. There are extensive endnotes – but they are not indexed by page. No bibliography, but the relevant works are all referenced in the endnotes. Maps show the general colonial situation, and details of the advance and retreat from St. Francis. There’s a handy appendix with the names of all the principal actors, and another appendix with Rogers’ Rules to be observed in the ranging service (still in use by the US Army Rangers). ( )
2 vote setnahkt | Jan 3, 2020 |
Excellent history of the French Indian Wars and the role that Robert Rogers played in the fight. Also a look at the Abenaki Indians which inhabited New England during the wars. ( )
  BobVTReader | Mar 4, 2013 |
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"A fast-moving tale of courage, cruelty, hardship, and savagery."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette In North America's first major conflict, known today as the French and Indian War, France and England--both in alliance with Native American tribes--fought each other in a series of bloody battles and terrifying raids. No confrontation was more brutal and notorious than the massacre of the British garrison of Fort William Henry--an incident memorably depicted in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. That atrocity stoked calls for revenge, and the tough young Major Robert Rogers and his "Rangers" were ordered north into enemy territory to exact it. On the morning of October 4, 1759, Rogers and his men surprised the Abenaki Indian village of St. Francis, slaughtering its sleeping inhabitants without mercy. A nightmarish retreat followed. When, after terrible hardships, the raiders finally returned to safety, they were hailed as heroes by the colonists, and their leader was immortalized as "the brave Major Rogers." But the Abenakis remembered Rogers differently: To them he was Wobomagonda--"White Devil."

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