front cover of The Battle of Gloucester, 1777
The Battle of Gloucester, 1777
Garry Wheeler Stone
Westholme Publishing, 2022
The Marquis de Lafayette, a nineteen-year-old French youth, arrived in Philadelphia at the end of July 1777. He was a rich aristocrat, but he was unpretentious, charming, and eager to learn. Introduced to George Washington, he joined the commander-in-chief at the Battle of Brandywine in September, where he proved that he was courageous. Soon after, the British occupied Philadelphia and prepared to control the Delaware River, vital as a supply route. In November, the marquis volunteered to go to New Jersey with Major General Nathanael Greene and a detachment sent to defend Fort Mercer, a Delaware River fort controlling shipping access to Philadelphia. Mercer was threatened by an approaching enemy column led by Lord Charles Cornwallis. The Continentals were unable to reach Fort Mercer in time to save it, but Lafayette had ridden ahead of Greene to reconnoiter. He discovered a 350-man picket of German riflemen (jägers) guarding Cornwallis’s camp, and with ten light dragoons, 150 riflemen from Daniel Morgan’s Rifle Corps, and perhaps 200 New Jersey militia, he attacked. In forty-five minutes, Lafayette’s little band drove the jägers back two and a half miles, almost to Cornwallis’s camp. When the news of Lafayette’s small victory reached the Continental Congress at York, Pennsylvania, the delegates were elated—this was the only good news amid the gloom over the loss of Philadelphia and control of the Delaware River. Massachusetts delegate James Lovell relayed a glowing account of the skirmish to John Adams, concluding with “Genl. Greene says the Marquis seems determined to court Danger. I wish more were so determined.” 
In The Battle of Gloucester, 1777, archaeological historian Garry Wheeler Stone, with the assistance of historian Paul W. Schopp, recreates this minor but important clash during the Philadelphia campaign. Relying on both primary source documents and the latest archaeological interpretations, the authors have determined the course of this fascinating “battle,” as Benjamin Franklin later proclaimed it to be. As a result of this action, when Washington requested that Lafayette be given a division, Congress agreed. On December 4, 1777, the marquis, promoted to major-general, took command of the brigades of Generals Woodford and Scott to begin what would be a glorious career in American service.

Small Battles: Military History as Local History
Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, Series Editors
Small Battles offers a fresh and important new perspective on the story of America’s early conflicts. It was the small battles, not the clash of major armies, that truly defined the fighting during the colonial wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the hostilities on the frontiers. This is dramatic military history as seen through the prism of local history—history with a depth of detail, a feeling for place, people, and the impact of battle and its consequences that the story of major battles often cannot convey. The Small Battles series focuses on America’s military conflicts at their most intimate and revealing level.

front cover of Parish Communities and Religious Conflict in the Vale of Gloucester, 1590–1690
Parish Communities and Religious Conflict in the Vale of Gloucester, 1590–1690
Daniel C. Beaver
Harvard University Press, 1998

Many historians have attempted to understand the violent religious conflicts of the seventeenth century from viewpoints dominated by concepts of class, gender, and demography. But few studies have explored the cultural process whereby religious symbolism created social cohesion and political allegiance. This book examines religious conflict in the parish communities of early modern England using an interdisciplinary approach that includes all these perspectives.

Daniel Beaver studies the urban parish of Tewkesbury and six rural parishes in its hinterland over a period of one hundred years, drawing on local ecclesiastical court records, sermons, parish records, corporate minutes and charity books, and probate documents. He discusses the centrality of religious symbols and ceremonies in the ordering of local societies, particularly in local conceptions of place, personal identity, and the life cycle. Four phases in the transformation of parish communities emerge and are examined in this book.

This exploration of the interrelationship of religion, politics, and society, and the transformation of local communities in civil war, has a value beyond the particular history of early modern England, contributing to a broader understanding of religious revivals, fundamentalisms, and the persistent link between religion, nationalism, and ethnic identity in the modern world.


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An Anthropologist's Dialogue with an Italian-American Festival
Richard M. Swiderski
University of Wisconsin Press, 1987
This is a study of the St. Peter's Fiesta celebrated annually by the Italian, or better, Sicilian-American community of Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA. The study deals specifically with the fiesta that took place 25–28 June 1970.

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