In this fast-paced, action-packed, historical novel on the early campaigns of the American Revolution, history buff and Revolutionary War re-enactor John Koopman tells the stories of the Siege of Boston and the Battle of Harlem Heights from the soldier’s point of view. Koopman skillfully portrays the crucial maneuvers of the battles while providing insight into the thoughts and emotions of the participants, from the foot soldier to General George Washington himself.
An avid horseman, George Washington would have recieved a gold medal in eventing if there had been an Olympics. Thomas Jefferson once referred to George Washington as "the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback.""Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Walter Jones, 2 January 1814," quoted in William Alfred Bryan, George Washington in American Literature, 1775-1865 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952), 49.
The weather being fair, on the 26th, I got on horseback, after breakfasting with the General. He was so attentive as to give me the horse he rode on the day of my arrival, which I had greatly commended. I found him as good as he is handsome, but above all, perfectly well broke and well trained having a good mouth, easy in hand, and stopping short in a gallop without bearing the bit. I mention these minute particulars, because it is the General himself who breaks all his own horses, and he is a very excellent and bold horseman. Leaping the highest fences, and going extremely quick, without standing in his stirrups, bearing the bridle, or letting his horse run wild. Marquis de Chastellux, Travels in North America in the Years 1780, 1781 and 1782, Vol. 1, ed. Howard C. Rice, Jr. (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 1963), 111.
The book gives readers a close look at George Washington’s character and his skills as a military strategist, battlefield general, and equestrian. The Washington portrayed here is not the gray-haired figure so familiar to many Americans but a vital, athletic man at the height of his powers. Readers will also learn of Washington’s great affection for horses — his favorite warhorse, Nelson, in particular — and the crucial role horses and horsemanship played in the war.
The exploits of three groups of Continental soldiers in Washington’s Army are also featured. The Abbot brothers of Andover, Massachusetts, joined the fight to avenge the death of their older brother, who was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill. Sergeant Justus Bellamy of Cheshire, Connecticut, shows bold leadership to the men of his company and also suffers a great personal loss. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Knowlton of Ashford, Connecticut, leads his Rangers on dangerous missions. The men who made up the Continental army were not the professional equivalent of their British counterparts, who often referred to the Patriots as Rabble. As Koopman’s story shows, however, they honed their own unique fighting style as they became soldiers.
Although George Washington at War — 1776 does not read like a history book, its contents are authenticated by the author’s careful, clearly documented research. Extensive footnotes are provided for those wishing to dig deeper into the period. The book will be an engaging, informative read for both general readers and history buffs.
“John Koopman III’s George Washington at War – 1776 kept me on the edge of my seat. I was quickly drawn in by the man many Americans still view as a mythical figure. George Washington commanded respect because he was the man in his time who outshone everyone else in the room, and Koopman deftly illustrates that fact. A great read!”
— Rob Child, author and Emmy-nominated producer and director
“In George Washington at War – 1776, John Koopman brings his love of horsemanship and history to a little known period in the Revolutionary War, weaving an enjoyable and informative tale. Rather than presenting a static historical figure, John portrays George Washington as the dynamic and courageous military officer he really was in the service of his country.”
— Stuart Lilie, Senior Director of Interpretation at Fort Ticonderoga and expert on 18th-century equestrianism
“George Washington at War — 1776 is one of these rare products that mixes sound, thoroughly researched history into historical fiction to provide the human facets of the American War of Independence that all too often get lost in traditional accounts of that conflict.”
— Robert A. Selig, Ph.D., historian, scholar, lecturer, consultant, editor, and writer
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as paperback and eBook.
For more information visit johnkoopmaniii.com/book.