A Well-executed Failure: The Sullivan Campaign Against the Iroquois, July - September 1779
By: Joseph R. Fischer (author)Paperback
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This is an analysis of one campaign to illustrate the evolution of the Colonial Army at the Revolution's midpoint. Joseph R. Fischer reassesses the historical value of the first of the 'Indian Wars', a campaign generally regarded as one of the Continental Army's strategic fiascoes. Major General John Sullivan's expedition, intended to punish the Iroquois Confederacy for raids in western New York and Pennsylvania, ultimately did not remove the Iroquois from the conflict despite the successful destruction of their lands. Instead the crusade increased the dependency of the Iroquois remnant on its British supporters and galvanized raiding activities. Fischer suggests that the historical focus on the campaign's failure has overshadowed its importance as a vehicle for understanding the Continental Army at a turning point in the war. He demonstrates that this expedition provides exceptional insight into the growing professionalism of George Washington's military. While Fischer uses the Sullivan campaign to enumerate the logistical inadequacies that plagued the Continental Army, he also uses it to highlight the significant progress Washington had achieved by 1779.
Fischer contends that improvements in operational planning, intelligence, tactics, and leadership exhibited during the Sullivan campaign transformed the army into a force capable of victory against British forces.
Joseph R. Fischer is an associate professor of military history at the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Fischer taught military history at the United States Military Academy from 1987 to 1990.
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- ID: 9781570038372
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