Book Trailer The Noble Train

Monday, March 9, 2020

The Expedition That Saved America

Henry Knox was a a twenty five year old bookseller with no military experience. George Washington had just taken over the American Army at Boston and had no artillery to force the British out of the city. The two meet outside of Boston on a road and Washington is immediately taken with the fatuous heavyset young man who had just fled Boston with his wife. He soon makes Knox the head of his artillery. Washington had a habit of promoting young men with little experience based on his feeling of future potential. Knox is really the head of nothing as George Washington has no cannons.

But 300 miles away is Fort Ticonderoga which the Americans had captured along with 60 tons of cannons. Knox immediately proposes he goes and drags the cannon back to the army outside of Boston to use on the British. He heads off with his brother and a small contingent of soldiers in November 1775 in the dead of winter to retrieve the cannons. This begins a two month journey over frozen lakes, rivers, and mountains using oxen and sleds to bring back the cannons to Washington. The trip is fraught with cannons plunging though the ice, blizzards, breakdowns, frozen men and beasts, and a mutiny by the men in the Berkshire mountains that almost derails the expedition .

Finally on January 27 1776 Knox returns with the cannons which Washington loses no time in putting up on Dorchester Heights to shell the British in Boston and also the British ships in the harbor. General Howe can scarcely believe the Americans were able to haul the cannons up to the cliffs of Dorchester in one night and abandons Boston, giving the Americans their first victory.

Books by William Hazelgrove