As I strive to complete the first draft of Gideon Hawke #4: A Constant Thunder, I am also preparing to visit a few sites to do research for Gideon Hawke #5.
The fifth novel in the Gideon Hawke Series will be set in the first half of 1778. While 1777 was a year of decision, with the fate of the Revolution hanging in the balance, 1778 was a year of rebirth: the Continental Army endured a terrible trial at Valley Forge, but used the time to turn itself into a competent fighting force, finally capable of meeting the British on equal terms. At Monmouth this training would be put to the test as the Continentals went toe-to-toe with the British and exchanged volleys with some of the best troops the Crown could put in the field. While tactically indecisive, at the end of the day the British quit the field. More importantly, after Monmouth both sides well understood that the Continental Army had finally come into its own.
From a strategic perspective 1778 marked a transition in the American War for Independence. No longer would the British attempt to draw Washington into a pitched battle in the Northern States: no longer was a British victory in such a battle assured. Once French troops began arriving in the Americas, the British were at a decided disadvantage. So, they would hunker down in New York, and the focus of the fighting would shift to the south. The British would find some success in the Carolinas, but these were local victories that would not change the strategic balance. Moreover, they were offset by a few incredible American victories. After Monmouth, British prospects would become increasingly bleak.
Before all that could happen though, there would be blood, sweat, and tears; Gideon Hawke will be right in the middle of the action.
So, soon I will be packing up the map case that served me so well in the Army. This time in addition to a compass, binoculars, notebook, pens, and markers, and my map board, it will include maps of Monmouth and Valley Forge. Once again I will walk upon hallowed ground, and try to capture the spirit of the ill-equipped, poorly clothed, determined men and women who made a Nation.
Check for the latest updates on Gideon Hawke #4: A Constant Thunder.
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One thought on “Preparing to Walk the Ground”
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