J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Don Hagist on Redcoats at Fort Montgomery, 13 Sept.

Don Hagist of the British Soldiers, American Revolution blog will speak at Fort Montgomery, New York, on Thursday, 13 September. He’ll track the career of one soldier in the 57th Regiment of Foot who participated in the British attack on that location in 1777.

The lecture description says about Pvt. James Simpson:
From the time he enlisted to the time he left the army over ten years later, he participated in military campaigns all over the eastern seaboard. The audience will hear some remarkable information about him that turned up years later.
Seating is limited to the first fifty people to make reservations. Call 845-446-2134 and leave your name, phone number, and number of people in your party if you want to attend.

For those who can’t make it, Don just posted a profile of another British soldier involved in the same operation, Cpl. John Russell. In 1781 the New York Gazette ran this advertisement:
John Russell, some time a corporal in the grenadier company of his Majesty’s late 26th regiment of foot, is desired to apply as soon as possible to James Inglis, vendue master, in New York, who has letters and instructions for him respecting a valuable freehold, and other estate fallen to him by the death of his father Mr. — Russell, of West Craigs, between Glasgow and Falkirk, in Scotland. . . .
Cpl. Russell had been a prisoner of the Americans early in the war and later a corporal in two different companies. But in 1781 the army evidently didn’t know where to find him. Might probate records from Scotland offer information on who actually inherited the late Mr. Russell’s estate? Or were there too many Russells living between Glasgow and Falkirk (which are by no means neighboring cities)?

The photo above comes courtesy of New York History’s description of the reenactment of the battle at Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton in 2010, and must show an earlier reenactment.

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