The founding of the United States was my favorite period of history when I was a school boy.
Growing up in Philadelphia, in the shadow of the Founding Fathers, history was all around me - I literally walked in the footsteps of giants. The Liberty Bell. Independence Hall. The Betsy Ross House. Valley Forge.
But while the political and social aspects of the revolutionary period were taught in school, there was little focus on the actual battles themselves. The horrors of Civil War battles, especially Gettysburg, were discussed in great detail. The battles of Brandywine, Paoli, Trenton and Germantown were mere footnotes - if mentioned at all.
I am guessing the prevailing sentiments amongst grammar school academics in the 1970's and 1980's played no small role in downplaying the battles. Perhaps teachers feared the pomp and circumstance of those battles were too alluring to impressionable youth, the fife and drum serving as pied piper toward war.
The gruesome details of the Civil War battlefields certainly better served as a reminder of the horrors of war. And, in fairness, history tends to overly focus on wars, rather than the every-day lives of ordinary people - so I'm sure there was a general spirit amongst teachers to balance things out.
In any event, as an adult, and wargamer, I am now getting to explore history on my own terms. The American War of Independence had more than a few great battles worth revisiting. I hope to literally revisit some of those battlefields in person. But for now, the table will do.
I start with the Battle of Germantown.
More to follow.