16 May 2013

Book Review: The Burgoyne Expedition

Title: The British Campaign of 1777, Volume Two - The Burgoyne Expedition: Burgoyne's Native and Loyalist Auxiliaries
Author:  Gavin Watt.
368 Pages
8.5" x 11"
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2013
ISBN 978-1-926797-70-0 (Hardcover) at $67.95, also available as a CD at $19.95

This is the second volume in what is planned to be a three part work on the war between the newly declared United States of America and the British with their allies. The first volume, published in 2005, was on the St. Leger Expedition. The Forces of Crown and Congress, Second Edition.
The book is divided in four parts. Part one, Burgoyne's Expedition, puts it in context, introduces the main events of the actions which occurred between lake Champlain and Albany, NY, gives a timeline and cast of important characters.
Part two, The Americian Provincial (Loyalists), 286 pages, starts with 37 pages of background. Then for each of Jessup's King's Loyal Americans, Adams's Independent Ranging Company, Peters's Queen's Loyal Rangers, Hawley's Bateaux Company, Pfister's, Mackay's & Leake's "Loyal Volunteers", McAlpin's "American Volunteers", Munro's Bateaux Company and others there are listings of the soldiers by rank, surname, given name and residence. For each there is a reference to more detail, sometimes including year of birth.
Private John Smith served with Jessup's King's Loyal Americans. From his listing we learn details of his service:

Parts three, "The Canadians" and four "The Natives" are shorter with much less of genealogical significance.

Genealogists whose first reaction in picking up this type of book is to turn to the back seeking a name index will find 22 pages filled with small type. That follows a bibliography listing the resources consulted.

I have no known relationship to the five Reid entries included; if I did I'd certainly welcome the detail and context provide. Wouldn't you welcome a book like this summarizing the experience of your WW1 fighting ancestors? Those with Loyalist and other ancestors included are fortunate to have such a detailed reference.

This review is based on a review copy supplied by Global Heritage Press.

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