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Washington's Flying Camp Book Review

”Villainy and Maddness”, Washington’s Flying Camp is an exciting riveting new book written by Richard Lee Baker about a group formed during the American Revolution. I really like a statement he gives in his acknowledgement of this book, “A greater recognition of those who strive to hold onto the history of our nation in the form of documents, photographs, and artifacts is due”. It is with these historical tools that he writes this book paying tribute to Washington’s Flying Camp. I really enjoyed learning about this and wanted to share it with you.

Why was Flying Camp created? Wiki gives the following definition, “After the British evacuation of Boston in March 1776, General George Washington met with members of the Continental Congress to determine future military strategy. Faced with defending a huge amount of territory from potential British operations, Washington recommended forming a "flying camp", which in the military terminology of the day referred to a mobile, strategic reserve of troops. Congress agreed and on June 3, 1776, passed a resolution "that a flying camp be immediately established in the middle colonies and that it consist of 10,000 men ....The men recruited for the Flying Camp were to be militiamen from three colonies: 6000 from Pennsylvania, 3400 from Maryland, and 600 from Delaware. They were to serve until December 1, 1776, unless discharged sooner by Congress, and to be paid and fed in the same manner as regular soldiers of the Continental Army. Brigadier-General Hugh Mercer of Virginia was commissioned as its commandant.”

In Baker's introduction we read, “Some see it as being only an effort to develop a mobile reserve of troops for General Washington’s Army. A deeper examination reveals the General’s far broader strategic ideas. Washington saw the force in New Jersey as an essential component in his plans for the campaigns in New York.” He goes further to state the story of Flying Camp “reflects the results of perseverance in the face of disaster. It provides a reminder of our own journey as a nation, composed of many minor steps forward and some major steps backwards, but always a continued march ahead into history.

While I will not give away all of this awesome informative book, here are some of the chapter’s highlights: At the end of the book, Richard Lee Baker, lists the main leaders involved in the Flying Camp and the Regimental Commanders and Officers of each state - New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. He also gives several pages of sources that he used in his book and can help you research more about this amazing group, Washington’s Flying Camp!

Disclaimer - I received a free copy of this book for review by the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for my opinion and review. It was a book I enjoyed reading and wanted to share with my audience.

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