Sep 21, 2012

The Revolutionary War (B810)

The View-Master packet The Revolutionary War (B810), from the 4-part Bicentennial series covering 200 years of American history.


ViewMaster The Revolutionary War B810 packet cover

Packet cover


From the 16-page booklet:

(This is the first of a series of four View-Master packets covering 200 years of U.S. history.  The other three packets are entitled Forging a Nation, Westward Expansion, and The Twentieth Century.)

ViewMaster The Revolutionary War B810 Illustration 1

The fact that America won the Revolutionary War is amazing.  Untrained farmers and merchants fought against the best professional soldiers in the world.  The colonists’ very love of independence and distrust of authority hindered them in fighting a war.  The 13 colonies behaved like 13 separate nations.  The Continental Congress had no power to tax; the paper money it issued was “not worth a continental.”  Most troops were short-term militiamen who, when their time was up, simply went home.  And many colonists did not want freedom from England.

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), illustration: Patrick Henry's impassioined speech against the Stamp Act in 1765 encouraged the colonists.

Pushing aside the veil of romanticism and legend that has blurred too much of the story, we can appreciate the ordinary folks—saints, sinners, heroes, bunglers—who won, in the face of overwhelming odds, liberty for us today.


Scene A1

The Boston Tea Party, 1773

View-Master The Revolutionary War B810 Scene A1 The Boston Tea Party 1773

Boston Tea Party dramatized resentment toward tax


From the 16-page booklet:


Occupied by British soldiers since 1768, Boston by 1773 had become a hotbed of unrest. The colonists especially resented the British tax on tea.

When three British tea ships anchored in Boston harbor late that year, the patriots took action. On the night of Dec. 16, 150 war-whooping men disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded the ships. In a few swift minutes, they seized 342 chests of tea, smashed them open with hatchets, and dumped them into the harbor.


Scene A2

Paul Revere’s Ride, 1775

View-Master The Revolutionary War B810 Scene A2 Paul Reveres Ride 1775

Paul Revere’s midnight ride warned of British march


From the 16-page booklet:


Infuriated, the British closed the port of Boston, threatening the city with starvation. This only made the colonists more determined. By 1775 they had stored arms and ammunition at Concord for use in a possible war.

Learning that some of the British troops occupying Boston would march to Concord on the night of April 18 to try to seize the patriot munitions, Paul Revere and William Dawes of Boston volunteered to ride to Concord that night to spread the alarm.

Between Lexington and Concord they were joined by a Concord patriot, Dr. Samuel Prescott. Shortly afterward, a British patrol stopped the three. Revere was captured; Dawes fled; but Prescott jumped his horse over a stone fence and galloped on to alert Concord.


Scene A3

Battle of Lexington, 1775

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene A3: Battle of Lexington, 1775

First shots of war were fired at Lexington Green


From the 16-page booklet:


The British reached Lexington at daybreak to find 75 Minutemen waiting for them on Lexington Green. According to tradition, Lexington’s Capt. John Parker told his men: “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” Suddenly a shot rang out. Who fired? No one knows—but it was enough to start a war. British muskets crackled, and eight Minutemen lay dead.


Scene A4

Battle of Concord Bridge, 1775

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene A4: Battle of Concord Bridge, 1775

Concord patriots fired “shot heard around the world.”


From the 16-page booklet:


By the time the British marched into Concord, Minutemen from other nearby towns were pouring in. They met the redcoats at North Bridge. Both sides fired; the British broke and ran, leaving three dead.

The redcoats began a nightmarish, 16-mile retreat back toward Boston. Minutemen swarmed the roadside all the way; they fired from behind every wall and tree.

On that day the Americans took over a saucy tune the British had played as an insult: “Yankee Doodle.”


Scene A5

Capture of Ticonderoga, 1775

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene A5: Capture of Ticonderoga, 1775

In night raid, Ethan Allen seized Fort Ticonderoga


From the 16-page booklet:


British Fort Ticonderoga commanded the water route between New York and Canada. Tall, swaggering Ethan Allen, leader of the Green Mountain Boys, determined to seize the fort by surprise.

The Americans slipped into the sleeping fort before dawn on May 10, 1775. Yelling wildly, they rushed the barracks. British Capt. William Delaplace, half-dressed, opened the door to face Allen, who roared out a demand for the surrender of the fort “in the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!” In 10 minutes the Americans had Ticonderoga and all its cannon.


Scene A6

Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene A6: Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775

Col. Prescott encouraged Yank defenders on Breed’s Hill


From the 16-page booklet:


The Americans set up a siege around British-occupied Boston. On the night of June 16, 1775, a force of 1,100 patriots was sent to the Charlestown peninsula to dig an earthwork fort atop Bunker Hill. Instead, they went to nearby Breed’s Hill, lower in elevation. At dawn the British were startled to see the fortification.

Gen. William Howe, vowing to throw the rebels off Breed’s Hill, led a force of 2,250 scarlet-coated regulars up the slope in battle formation.

“Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” Col. William Prescott told the defenders. The redcoats were almost upon the fort when the Americans fired—and red uniforms toppled like bowling pins. The British turned and fled.

Twice again the British closed ranks and attacked. Not until the Americans’ ammunition was exhausted did the patriots finally yield the hill. The British had won what history calls the Battle of Bunker Hill—but at the shocking cost of 1,054 casualties, nearly half their number.


Scene A7

Henry Knox Brings Cannon from Ticonderoga, 1776

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene A7: Henry Knox Brings Cannon from Ticonderoga, 1776

Henry Knox brought cannon of Ticonderoga to Boston


From the 16-page booklet:


The American forces had a commander-in-chief at last on July 3, 1775—Gen. George Washington.  Taking command at Cambridge, Mass., he saw a need to fortify Dorchester Heights, highest point overlooking Boston harbor. This might drive the British out of Boston.

The following winter Henry Knox, leading a 42-sled ox train, dragged 59 pieces of artillery from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston through a wilderness of heavy snow.


Scene B1

Washington Fortifies Dorchester Heights, 1776

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene B1: Washington Fortifies Dorchester Heights, 1776

Fortification of Dorchester Heights freed Boston


From the 16-page booklet:


Washington acted swiftly. All night March 4-5, 1776, a force of 1,200 men labored, and the next morning Dorchester Heights bristled with Ticonderoga’s cannon. The British evacuated Boston March 17.


Scene B2

Independence Hall, 1776

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene B2: Independence Hall, 1976

Independence Hall was site of 2nd Continental Congress


From the 16-page booklet:


The Second Continental Congress had been meeting in Philadelphia since May 10, 1775. On June 7, 1776, delegate Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution that “These United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” Four days later Congress named a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Jefferson was given the task of writing the first draft. He often conferred with the wise Dr. Franklin and sought his advice.


Scene B3

Signing Declaration, 1776

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene B3: Signing Declaration, 1776

Ben Franklin was one of 51 signers of the Declaration


From the 16-page booklet:


Congress approved the Lee resolution July 2, 1776. On July 4, it adopted the final draft of Jefferson’s Declaration; and on Aug. 2, a formal copy, inscribed on parchment, was signed by 51 members of Congress. The State House in which they met has been known as Independence Hall ever since.


Scene B4

Death of Nathan Hale, 1776

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene B4: Death of Nathan Hale, 1776

Nathan Hale, hanged as spy, died heroically


From the 16-page booklet:


Capt. Nathan Hale, only 21 years old, had volunteered for a spying mission to British-held New York City. Posing as a school teacher, Hale succeeded in crossing the British lines but was captured Sept. 22, 1776, and sentenced to be hanged.

Hale’s last words have been an inspiration to Americans: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”


Scene B5

Washington Crosses the Delaware, 1776

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene B5: Washington Crosses the Delaware, 1776

Washington crossed Delaware to surprise Hessians


From the 16-page booklet:


American morale was never lower than in December, 1776. Defeated in New York, Washington had led his tattered army in retreat across New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. Many felt that the cause was lost.

Washington decided on a daring stroke. Trenton, New Jersey, was held by a small band of Hessians—German soldiers hired by the British. The Hessians would probably celebrate Christmas by drinking. Early the next morning, while they slept, Washington would attack!

Christmas night was bitterly cold. The Delaware River was in flood, carrying great chunks of ice. Yet, in a fleet of 40-foot boats, 2,400 men and 18 cannon were ferried across to the New Jersey shore by 3 a.m., Dec. 26.


Scene B6

Battle of Trenton, 1776

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene B6: Battle of Trenton, 1776

His victory at Trenton revived sagging hopes of patriots


From the 16-page booklet:


At daybreak the Americans attacked. Germans, groggy with hangovers, stumbled out of their barracks.

Washington’s men had the town surrounded. Henry Knox's cannon raked the narrow streets and mowed down the Hessians; American infantry cut off their escape. The Hessian commander, Col. Johann Rall, was shot from his horse, fatally wounded.

In 45 minutes it was all over. The brilliant victory revived the hopes of the infant nation.


Scene B7

Battle of Saratoga, 1776

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene B7: Battle of Saratoga, 1776

American victory at Saratoga convinced French U.S. could win


From the 16-page booklet:


The turning point of the war was the American victory over British Gen. John Burgoyne at Saratoga, N.Y., Oct. 7, 1777. This triumph convinced England’s old enemy, France, that the colonists could win, and France entered the war on the American side in 1778.

The stereo picture shows formal 18th-century warfare: opposing armies lined up in rows facing each other. This was done to get maximum firepower from the wildly inaccurate muskets. A volley fired all at once was sure to hit some of the enemy.


Scene C1

Winter at Valley Forge, 1777-78

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene C1: Winter at Valley Forge, 1777

Washington’s army suffered terribly at Valley Forge


From the 16-page booklet:


On Dec. 17, 1777, Washington marched his tired, ragtag army into the hills at Valley Forge, 20 miles from Philadelphia. There they built 900 log cabins as winter quarters.

There was no money for food or clothing; the men were starving. Shoeless feet left bloody tracks in the snow. Washington had to watch sick men die because they had no protection from the damp, cold ground.


Scene C2

Von Steuben Drills Troops at Valley Forge, 1778

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene C2: Von Steuben Drills Troops at Valley Forge, 1778

Von Steuben’s drilling gave men new skills and pride


From the 16-page booklet:


A new volunteer showed up at Valley Forge in February of 1778: Baron Frederick von Steuben, a blunt German professional soldier. He set to work at once to turn the ragged Americans into an efficient, well-drilled army. He taught them the correct way to march, to load their muskets more rapidly, to use the bayonet. He swore at them in three languages—but, by spring, the men had a new professional pride.


Scene C3

Molly Pitcher at Monmouth

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene C3: Molly Pitcher at Monmouth

“Molly Pitcher” was heroine of Battle of Monmouth


From the 16-page booklet:


On a stifling hot June 28, 1778, Washington’s army caught up with British Gen. Sir Henry Clinton’s forces at Monmouth Courthouse, near Freehold, N.J. Under the inept leadership of Gen. Charles Lee, the Americans were fleeing in defeat when Washington took command and turned retreat into attack.

Mary Hayes, wife of one of the American soldiers, carried water to thirsty men and even helped fire a cannon. Grateful fighters called her “Molly Pitcher.”


Scene C4

Clark’s March on Vincennes

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene C4: Clark's March on Vincennes

Clark waded through flood to take Vincennes


From the 16-page booklet:


One of the most daring exploits of the war was George Rogers Clark’s march on Vincennes, a wilderness trading post held by the British, in February, 1779.

In the dead of winter, 127 frontiersmen led by Clark slogged 180 miles. Thaws and floods had turned most of the area they crossed into one vast, ice-cold lake.

When they reached Vincennes, their attack was so completely unexpected that the British surrendered.


Scene C5

John Paul Jones’ Sea Battle

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene C5: John Paul Jones' Sea Battle

John Paul Jones won famous sea battle against the Serapis


From the 16-page booklet:


Jones, boldest of American Navy captains, took the war to England’s doorstep with raids along the British coast. At sunset, Sept. 23, 1779, off Flamborough Head in the North Sea, British Capt. Sir Richard Pearson, commanding the frigate Serapis, sighted Jones’ ship, the Bonhomme Richard.

Both ships opened fire. Outgunned, Jones saw that his only hope was to ram his ship into the Serapis. When asked by Pearson if he was surrendering, Jones shouted defiantly, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

After a desperate, three-hour moonlight battle, the Serapis struck her colors.


Scene C6

Battle of Yorktown, 1781

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene C6: Battle of Yorktown, 1781

Yorktown, 1781, was decisive battle for Independence


From the 16-page booklet:


By the summer of 1781, British Lord Charles Cornwallis and his army of 6,000 were at Yorktown, Va., at the mouth of the York River. France had actively entered the war, and Washington saw an opportunity to bottle up Cornwallis with the aid of the French.

A French fleet under Admiral de Grasse sealed Chesapeake Bay against Cornwallis’ escape by sea, and a combined American and French army of nearly 17,000 surrounded and bombarded Yorktown.

American troops led by young Alexander Hamilton stormed and took a British redoubt on Oct. 14.

Five days later Cornwallis surrendered. His defeat made final victory for the American cause inevitable.


Scene C7

Washington’s Homecoming, 1783

View-Master The Revolutionary War (B810), Scene C7: Washington's Homecoming, 1783

With victory won, Washington returned to Mount Vernon


From the 16-page booklet:


The war dragged on almost two more years. Finally, Sept. 3, 1783, a peace treaty was signed at Paris.

Washington bade his officers an affectionate farewell at Fraunces Tavern, New York, Dec. 4. He resigned his commission and started homeward. By Christmas Eve he had reached the place he loved best—Mount Vernon—to enjoy the blessings of liberty he had helped to win.


F.C.N. said...

Wow! Wonderful set, I never seen it before.
I want it!

Anonymous said...