Gavin K. Watt is the author of eleven books about loyalist military history, including Burning of the Valleys and Rebellion in the Mohawk Valley. He lives in King City, Ontario.
The Burning of the Valleys
In the fifth year of the War of Independence, while the Americans focused on the British thrust against the Carolinas, the Canadian Department waged a decisive campaign against the northern frontier of New York. Their primary target was the Mohawk River region, known to be the "grainbowl" that fed Washingtonâ€™s armies. The Burning of the Valleys details the actions of both sides in this exciting and incredibly effective British campaign.
General Frederick Haldimand of Canada possessed a potent force, formed by the deadly alliance of toughened, embittered Tories, who had abandoned their families and farms in New York and Pennsylvania to join the Kingâ€™s Provincial regiments in Canada, and the enraged Six Nations Iroquois, whose towns and farmlands had been utterly devastated by Continentals in 1779. The Governor augmented this highly motivated force with British and German regulars and Canadian Iroquois.
In October, without benefit of modern transportation, communications or navigational aids, four coordinated raids, each thoroughly examined in this book, penetrated deeply into American territory. The raiders fought skirmishes and battles, took hundreds of prisoners, burned forts, farms, and mills and destroyed one of the finest grain harvests in living memory.
"[Watt's] descriptions of the raids are clear, concise. And easy to follow. What emerges from them is the combination of luck, wilderness skilss, and expert leadership which characterized the raids."