Cover Image: Valcour

Valcour

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When someone thinks about pivotal battles or campaigns in the War of Independence, their minds probably don't got to the sea or lakes first. But important work was done on water too and this book does a good job at covering some of that work.
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Fireworks and cheers for a red, white and blue, star spangled book that brings the Revolutionary War to life. More like a thriller than a non-fiction history book, Valcour: The 1776 Campaign that saved the cause of Liberty is a salute to the Patriots of the Revolutionary War. The book is well-researched and very informative, but this is not dry history. The people, some names known to history, some forgotten, are vivid, the settings and war scenes are life-like, and the ideals of the time shine like gold.

Every war starts with enthusiasm. For the young United States, the ending of the war seemed to be coming too quickly. In 1776, Continental Army Commander George Washington was having a tough time defending New York City, and the woes continued. The Northern Campaign, with it ignominious failure to take Canada, meant that the defense of Lake Champlain in upstate New York was crucial to the cause of the patriots. Three men would be put to the test. General Phillip Schuyler was an expert at logistics, and Horacio Gates was the general best prepared  to lead men and rebuild the northern army. Benedict Arnold, yes “that” Benedict Arnold was a superb seaman  with a larger-than-life personality. How would they far against the best army and navy in the world?

The life and times of the famous presented in this book are uplifting and inspiring, as are the stories of lesser luminaries. During a perilous winter battle near Quebec, one young soldier sat down on the trail and died. His wife had marched with him; she picked up his musket and kept going. A 13 year-old boy kept a diary as he accompanied his father on a boat during the battle at Lake Champlain. 

A fascinating and timely story involved the highly contagious small pox virus, which was a scourge of the army camp. Rumors persisted that the British had sent infected persons into the Continental Army to decimate it! And there were differing views about the use of inoculations!

A memorable part of the book was when a copy of the Declaration of Independence arrived at Fort Ticonderoga and was read to the troops at the Sabbath service. The words were stunning to people raised in a monarchy. Like the author, I salute and give heartfelt thanks to the men and women willing to die for the idea that all are created equal, all endowed with unalienable rights. 

From the battles on Lake Champlain to Washington crossing the Delaware, wit, faith and persistence would win. Farmers had faced soldiers and had done their best. I highly  recommend this book to all who love and respect history, and to anyone who needs to meet again the people of those historic times, when action, skill, boldness and enthusiasm created a new country. 

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance review copy. This is my honest review.
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i really enjoyed reading this book, I liked that I hadn't heard about and I learned about this book. The author did wonderful research and it kept me invested,
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Let's kick this review off with a big thank you to #NetGalley and #StMartinsPress for giving me this chance to read this outstanding book, and thank you to #JackKelly, the brilliant author, for compiling and writing this novel. 

The Battle of Valcour, have you heard of it? Most have not, but it plays a huge role in the Revolutionary War. Jack Kelly takes real letters, real plans, and real people. Taking their stories and giving us a very detailed incredible account of what happened on that 1776 October day. Despite rebels losing most of their fleet, and a good handful of their men, they were able to delay the British just enough from progressing forward to the Hudson River valley. 

Following the plans of three men who planned and fought for what they believed in against the British. The day-long battle on the sea was the first step in the British realizing this would be bigger than what they had imagined it would be; even though they won this small battle, they realized maybe they would not win the war. 

I feel like everyone should read this book, especially if they are naturally drawn to history. They won't be able to put it down. 

This is so intellectually written, so well constructed. It is by far the most exhilarating history book I've ever read. I want more from Jack Kelly. 

I rate this book 5 stars; I'm in love with it. It is set to release April 6th, 2021.
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In Valcour, Jack Kelly gives a detailed, up front account of the little-known battle of Valcour Island, thrusting the reader into the watery oblivion of this three-day naval battle on Lake Champlain. Out-maneuvering the British, Benedict Arnold acts here as a brilliant military leader and patriot. Kelly writes of Gates and Schuyler as well, noting that none of the three were given the distinction that they deserved after their efforts. Important to American history, this novel begs to be read.
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historical-figures, historical-places-events, historical-research, military-history, military-intelligence, american-rev-war

Excellent Publish or Perish history of early northern campaigns in the War for Independence in North America highlighting the Generals and battles involved culminating in the Battle of Valcour. It is finely detailed and obviously meticulously researched, but a bit above my pay grade despite having been involved in the Northwest Territory Alliance re-enacting for a number of years. I highly recommend it for readers of military campaigns and the American Revolution!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. Thank you!
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I do not usually read American history. However I wanted to read this non fictional account of the Revolutionary War battles fought on Lake Champlain. I  have personal connections to this area and am very familiar with the Adirondack region.

This book is very well-researched and intelligently written. The author includes quotes from the people who participated in this conflict as well as an exquisite amount of detail about the battles and the horrible conditions military men had to contend with at this time. The author based this work on research and fact. Opinion and conjecture are kept to a minimum, if included at all. This would be an excellent scholarly read for a university course on American history.

Those who are particularly interested in this historical period will probably enjoy this book more than I did. I read over 60% of the book and found myself skimming the details that others would probably relish. At this point, I read the last chapter and afterward. They provided a concise conclusion.

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Thank you NetGalley, St. Martins Publishing and the author for the opportunity to read an Advance Readers Copy of this book.

For those who do not know, the United States were once colonies of Great Britain. From 1775 to 1783, they fought a war for independence that ended after few military peaks and many valleys. The American Revolution is one my favorite subjects, both in fiction and nonfiction. VALCOUR by author JACK KELLY takes a nonfiction look at one aspect of that war.

During the first year of military engagements, the colonies had some ups and downs. They included a siege of British occupying forces in Boston (Battle of Bunker Hill) eventually forcing the Redcoats to abandon Boston, a successful raid on Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York (by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys) and a disastrous winter attempt to seize Quebec City in Canada. 

Benedict Arnold was one of the men leading the Canadian campaign. In America, his name is synonymous with treason for his attempt to turn over an important fort (West Point, New York, mid-Hudson River Valley) to the British later during the war. Mr. Kelly’s purpose of this book is to help understand Arnold, not as traitor but as a brilliant military leader mistreated by the Continental Congress and by some of his superior officers jealous of his successes.

Arnold took charge of the retreat from Quebec City in the latter months of a cold winter. His troops were suffering from smallpox and dysentery. He led them south into Lake Champlain that lies between the states of Vermont and New York. He took them to Fort Ticonderoga where other leaders had been assembling a fleet of small naval ships to stop the British before they could divide the New England colonies from the rest of the colonies. The British had been putting together a larger naval force at the north end of Lake Champlain. 
The two forces made contact in October 1776 near Valcour Island. A daylong sea battle ensued. On paper, the British won. The American fleet snuck away during the night. However, it had made the British commander realize that this was not going to be an easy campaign.

Benedict Arnold was leader in charge of the rebel forces. He succeeded in delaying the British from moving south to Fort Ticonderoga until 1777. In that year, at nearby Saratoga, New York, American forces defeated a British Army further postponing a British march to New York City and Albany. The Battle of Saratoga directly led to the French decision to come to the aid of the American colonies.

This book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for readers of military campaigns and the American Revolution.

GO! BUY! READ!
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Jack Kelly has written a thoroughly enjoying and exciting book about a conflict that isn't well known or even really talked about. very few knew about a British attack from Canada or that there was a small naval battle played out on Lake Champlain. 

I certainly knew very little about it, I had heard that it. happened and that was about it. Jack Kelly gave me so much new information in a very entertaining fashion. I was instantly drawn in and couldn't wait to read the next page. His descriptions are phenomenal and I really enjoyed learning more about Benedict Arnold and his (frankly) brilliant strategy 

It doesn't feel like a history book, which is a good thing! This book is great for anyone who is interested in history, the American revolution, Benedict Arnold, military history and naval battles. If you have a hard time reading historical books I would still suggest you give this a try, it's so action packed and well written you would think you're reading historical fiction.

5 Stars, well done Mr. Kelly!
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