Saturday, February 2, 2008

Guns of Ticonderoga

Continuing my recent hobby of reading about American history, I started on David McCullough's 1776 last week, and have completed three of the seven chapters so far.

The highlight of the first part of the book - to me - has been the story of the Guns of Ticonderoga. The wikipedia entry for Fort Ticonderoga has only one statement about this story:
The colonies obtained a large supply of cannons and powder, much of which was hauled 300 km by Henry Knox during the winter of 1775-1776, to Boston, to support the Siege of Boston.
Well, that doesn't really suffice for this amazing feat of sheer daring & perseverance - which proved instrumental in turning the tide of the events during the American Revolution. Trying to imagine the scene when Henry Knox and others were carrying the heavy guns and cannons - on oxen and horses - across from Fort Ticonderoga to Albany to Boston in the dead of winter, crossing the Hudson river multiple times and the many hills of the Berkshire mountains, I was blown away by how much of a physical effort it must have been!

In a matter of two months Henry Knox concocted this idea, got Washington's blessings in Cambridge, rode to New York City to arrange for supplies to be sent to Boston, traveled to Fort Ticonderoga, hauled these guns and cannons over to Boston and proved instrumental in shaping the course of the war!

I wonder how many times an average guy have given up in this effort. I wonder if such an endeavor (of equivalent difficulty) will have any takers in today's world.


Margaret said...

I just finished listening to 1776 on tape and was also intrigued by that story. They even got one of the big cannons back up off the floor of the Hudson River at one point! I can hardly imagine how that was accomplished....

I found your comment because I was searching for any books written about Henry and William Knox' astonishing feat. Have you found anything more out about this? IS there such a book?

prakash murthy said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for your comments. I did find a book which gives more details about this amazing feat.

Check out the book - Guns for General Washington: A Story of the American Revolution

The reviews on Amazon are good; I am planning to read it later.