Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Kidnapping The Enemy: The Special Operations To Capture Generals Charles Lee And Richard Prescott
Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review in the Washington Times of Christen M. McBurney's Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee & Richard Prescott.
A confident British army felt that it was on the brink of subduing the ragtag Colonialist military in December 1776.
In the early months of the American Revolution, Gen. George Washington had fared poorly in encounters in and around New York City, and many military critics dismissed him as a backwoods bungler who was no match for forces trained in continental warfare. Indeed, the only revolutionary general whom they respected was Maj. Gen. Charles Lee, second-in-command to Washington — and formerly one of their comrades-in-arms.
English-born and the son of a colonel, Lee entered the British army at age 14 and developed a reputation both as a good soldier and as a vain man who viewed his superiors with scorn. (He called one commander “a stupid blunderer” and a “damn’d beastly poltroon.”)
Frequently court-martialed and so volatile, he became known as “Mad Lee” In 1773, he embarked for America, eager for greater liberties. He aimed a parting blast at persons subservient “to the fantastical prerogative of a foolish perverted head because it wears a crown” — i.e., King George III.
You can read the rest of the review via the below link: