Daily Inspiration for November 8: Feeling Fed Up With Humanity





Feeling Fed Up With Humanity


It is natural to feel let down when we see our fellow humans behaving badly, return the focus to your own life.

From time to time, we may all feel fed up with humanity, whether it’s from learning about what’s going on around the world, or what’s going on next door. There are always situations that leave us feeling as if people are simply not capable of behaving in a way that is coming from a place of awareness. Often it seems as if people are actually geared to handle things in the worst possible way, repeatedly. At the same time, none of us wants to linger in a judgmental mood about our own species. As a result, we might tend to repress the feelings coming up as we take in the news from the world and the neighborhood.

It is natural to feel let down and disappointed when we see our fellow humans behaving in ways that are greedy, selfish, violent, or uncaring, but there are also ways to process that disappointment without sinking into despondency. As with any emotional response, we honor our feelings by feeling them fully, without judging or acting on them. Once we’ve done that – and we may need to do it every day, as part of our daily self-care – we can begin to consider ways that we might help the situation in which humanity finds itself.

As always, we start with ourselves, utilizing our awareness of the failings of others to renew our own commitment to be more conscious human beings. We are all capable of the best and the worst that humanity has to offer, and remembering this keeps us in check, as well as allowing us to find compassion for others. We may find ourselves feeling compelled to serve people who are suffering injustices at the hands of other people, or we may begin to speak out when we see something that we don’t think is right. Whatever the case, the only thing we can do is pledge to serve the best, rather than the worst, of what humanity has to offer, both in the world, and in ourselves.



Daily OM


The Old Farmer’s Almanac: Full Moon for November 2018





The full Moon crests on Friday, November 23 at 12:39 A.M. EST, which means that you will see the full Moon on Thursday night (November 22) in most time zones of North America. This also means that the full Moon occurs on Thanksgiving night!

Below are the Moon phase times (Eastern Time). .

New Moon: November 7, 11:02 A.M. EST
First Quarter: November 15, 9:54 A.M. EST
Full Moon: November 23, 12:39 A.M. EST
Last Quarter: November 26, 7:19 P.M. EST



November’s full Moon was called the Beaver Moon by both the Algonquin tribes and colonial Americans. The Native Americans used the monthly Moons and nature’s signs as a sort of calendar to track the seasons.

Why this name? Back then, this was the month to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.

The November full Moon was also called the Full Frost Moon by other Native American tribes.



Below are the best days for certain activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase.

Activity Best Days
begin diet to gain weight Nov 17Nov 22Dec 15Dec 19
begin diet to lose weight Nov 30Dec 5Dec 28
begin logging Nov 11Nov 12Dec 8Dec 9Dec 10
breed animals Dec 4Dec 5Dec 31
can, pickle, or make sauerkraut Nov 25Nov 26Dec 4Dec 5Dec 31
castrate animals Nov 13Nov 14Nov 15Dec 11Dec 12
cut hair to discourage growth Dec 1Dec 2Dec 3Dec 29Dec 30
cut hair to encourage growth Nov 16Nov 17Dec 13Dec 14Dec 15
cut hay Nov 18Nov 19Nov 20Dec 16Dec 17
destroy pests and weeds Nov 18Nov 19Nov 20Dec 16Dec 17
end projects Dec 6
go camping Nov 9Nov 10Dec 6Dec 7
graft or pollinate Nov 25Nov 26Dec 22Dec 23Dec 24
harvest aboveground crops Nov 11Nov 12Dec 18Dec 19
harvest belowground crops Nov 29Nov 30Dec 27Dec 28
have dental care Nov 29Nov 30Dec 27Dec 28
plant aboveground crops Nov 16Nov 17Dec 8Dec 14Dec 15
plant belowground crops Nov 25Nov 26Dec 4Dec 5Dec 31
prune to discourage growth Nov 27Nov 28Dec 25Dec 26
prune to encourage growth Nov 18Nov 19Nov 20Dec 16Dec 17
quit smoking Nov 30Dec 5Dec 28
set posts or pour concrete Nov 11Nov 12Dec 8Dec 9Dec 10
slaughter livestock Dec 4Dec 5Dec 31
start projects Dec 8
wean animals or children Nov 30Dec 5Dec 28


  • Did you know: The spin-time of the Moon on its own axis is identical to the time it takes the Moon to revolve around Earth, which is why the Moon always keeps almost exactly the same face toward us.
  • How much would you weigh on the Moon? Just multiply your weight (it doesn’t matter if it’s in pounds or kilograms) by 0.165. You’d weigh about 80 percent less!



The Old Farmer’s Almanac




Catherine Boeckmann
What happens in November 2018? Here at the Almanac, we think of November as the month of food, when the best of cooks can shine and the best of eaters will surely get their fill. Here’s what November brings—from weather forecasts to folklore!

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither …

–Robert Frost (1874-1963)


November, the 11th month of the year, has 30 days and marks the beginning of the winter holiday season for most folks, even if the winter solstice doesn’t occur until late December.

We’ve made this month, named for the old ninth (novem) month in the Roman calendar, into a social time of community suppers, feasts of thanksgiving, and general elections.


According to weather folklore, a heavy November snow will last until April, but for most regions, The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts a warmer-than-average month.

]This winter is looking to have above-normal temperatures, on average, and November is no exception. The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts northern Alaska will see the highest temperature change, with an average temperature of 10°F; that’s 8 degrees above normal. Many regions, including the Atlantic Corridor, Southeast, High Plains, Deep South, Lower Lakes, Heartland, Ohio Valley, Texas–Oklahoma, and Upper Midwest, are predicted to see a 4° to 6°F increase in temperature. Only the Desert Southwest, Pacific Southwest, southern Alaska, and eastern parts of Hawaii are predicted to see lower-than-average temperatures, by a range of 1 to 2 degrees.


November’s full Moon was called the Beaver Moon by both the Algonquin tribes and colonial Americans. The Native Americans used the monthly Moons and nature’s signs as a sort of calendar to track the seasons. Why this name? Back then, this was the month to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. The November full Moon was also called the Full Frost Moon by other Native Americans.

In 2018, November’s full Moon occurs on the Friday the 23rd, at 12:39 A.M. ET.


Use small stakes or markers where you’ve planted bulbs or late-starting plants in the perennial garden to avoid disturbing them when you begin spring soil preparation.

Check trees around your house for weak branches that should be removed by you now, rather than by snow and ice later.

Did You Know: Autumn is the best time to prepare your yard properly for a healthy spring growth. It’s much easier to handle these tasks now!


November’s traditional birthstone is the topaz, usually a yellow to amber color. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz could make a wearer invisible. A symbol of honor and strength, topaz was also believed to bring longevity and wisdom.


November’s birth flower is the chrysanthemum. Generally, chrysanthemums represent cheerfulness. A red one conveys “I love you.” White symbolizes truth or pure love. A yellow one indicates slighted love.


The holiday season is now upon us!

It’s also the start of cold and flu season.

Stay warm with a cozy fire.


Based on the Moon’s sign and phases in November, the best time to harvest is on the 11th and 12th for aboveground crops and on the 2nd, 3rd, 29th, and 30th for those below ground.

Additionally, it’s helpful to know that during a waxing Moon, pruning encourages growth; during a waning Moon, it discourages growth.

How about dates to start dieting or quit smoking or cut hair?


Get ready! In 2018, Mercury will be retrograde during November 17–December 6.


November’s Zodiac Signs are:

  • Scorpio: October 23 to November 22
  • Sagittarius: November 23 to December 21



  • If there’s ice in November that will bear a duck, There’ll be nothing after but sludge and muck.
  • November take flail; let ships no more sail.
  • If trees show buds in November, the winter will last until May.
  • There is no better month in the year to cut wood than November.
  • Ice in November brings mud in December.
  • A heavy November snow will last until April.


The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Favorite Sports by Zodiac Sign

See which sports appeal to every zodiac sign

Sports aren’t just games, as anyone who lives and breathes for their favorite teams will enthusiastically attest. The sports we love tell the stories of our personalities because they describe what we enjoy — which means they’re also one of the ways we identify ourselves.

If you’re looking for a good place to take Dad (or a date) who’s a sports fan, or if you’re trying to get in shape for summer or find something to chat about with a new friend, ask them for their zodiac sign and see which sports appeal most to them below!

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

When it comes to these fiery creatures, one-on-one sports are their favorites — hands down — for one very good reason. Their planet is Mars, the ancient God of War, who inspired gladiators and caesars alike. Think Mars, think red, and then think boxing, a true test of strength and warrior ability — and the “modernized” version of gladiator sports, wrestling! If there’s anything that raises the level of adrenaline in a body, it’s wrestling — and if there’s anything an Aries loves, it’s adrenaline!


Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

American football! It’s a team composed of large, heavy-set men who look and act a lot like Bulls — Taurus’ symbol — and when it comes to holding their ground and being firm, stoic, and rock-solid … well, that’s Taurus. Oh, and since Taurus is the sign that’s a notorious money-magnet, do we really need to bring up what pro players make? At any rate, this is a match made in heaven.


Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

These cerebral creatures may enjoy the sports that many of us do when it comes to simply being a spectator, especially since they’re famous for their love of television. Their favorites, though? Anything that shows off the intelligence and agile skills of their patron planet, Mercury — like discus throwing, gymnastics, skating, and skiing. When it comes to actual participation, things are different. If they’re the active types, they’ll enjoy “loner sports” like the ones above. Otherwise … chess!


Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Cancers love team sports for two main reasons: teams are like families, (which, after all, is their business), and teams cause their fans to act like families. Of course, most of them especially love baseball, since it’s the sport most closely associated with the biggest family of them all — the United States of America. Yes, it’s baseball, apple pie, and hot dogs for these sentimental types.


Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22)

American’s Got Talent. Dancing With the Stars. Does anyone really think of these television shows as sports? Aren’t they just television shows? Not to all of us. Leos most certainly do think of them as sports — and if you think about it, they’re right. The contestants may not be wearing numbers on their t-shirts, but what they’re doing does involve one-on-one competition, which, as a Fire sign, Leos adore. It also involves entertainment, which, as Leos, they adore even more. Remember, if there are footlights and audiences involved, they’re in.


Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22)

Virgos share their ruling planet, Mercury, with Gemini, so both signs love accuracy and meticulousness … and it only makes sense that they both also love sports that reflect those qualities. Virgos, however, love sports that require players to perfect their craft. Take golf, for example, the perfect Virgo activity. You can almost hear their hearts pounding when their favorite player is going for “The Putt.” Other than that, there’s figure skating — and the agility and precision that go along with it — and, like their Gemini cousins, the absolute accuracy required of gymnasts.


Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)

If it involves a team — especially if it’s a team of two — it’s right up Libra’s alley. It can be anything from a square dancing competition to figure skating to volleyball. It won’t matter to a Libra. It just has to be something that’s shared with at least one partner. They do seem to lean most especially toward pairs, of course, but as long as they don’t ever have to do anything alone (or watch anyone do anything alone) they’ll enjoy it.


Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)

Scorpios love the focus and attention it takes to achieve perfection, but their favorite emotion is bravery of the life-or-death variety. So you’ll most likely find this dark, intense sign either watching or participating in something that follows those natural tendencies. If they’re young, they’ll start with something like paintball or realistic, life-and-death video games. The the older they get, the more they’ll want the real thing: bungee-jumping, skydiving, parasailing — anything they can do alone to prove their mettle.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)

Hiking, backpacking, or anything that involves spending extended periods of times in the outdoors … that’s what Sagittarians live for. They love being away from the crowds — camping out, fishing, cleaning, and cooking their catch. Hunting also appeals to some, but since they’re fond of animals, if they do hunt, they have an entirely different attitude about it than some. Remember, there’s a strong spiritual/philosophical side to Sagittarius, a part of them (the bottom half, in fact, as their mascot is a Centaur) that believes the animal sacrifices itself to the hunter as a sacred gift.


Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)

Capricorn’s astrological animal is the Goat — the Mountain Goat — so naturally, anything that involves climbing or exploring is right up their alley: mountain climbing, spelunking … boldly or bravely venturing wherever no one else has gone, especially outdoors. These are the sports that appeal to Capricorns. They also tend to gravitate toward cold-weather sports. They’re as tough and agile as the goats that teeter on those ledges, and as drawn to sports that require equal tenacity and agility.


Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)

Born during cold, clear, and frosty-skied winter, most Aquarians, like their astrological next-door neighbors, Capricorns, are drawn toward cold-weather sports. But then, since their sign is also as drawn to groups as Libras are to pairs, they’re more likely than most to take on a team’s colors — especially large teams, like football or basketball. Oh, and regardless of which sport(s) they call their own, they’ll do their very best to talk anyone and everyone into joining their team.

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20)


The sign of the Fish — that’s what Pisces are famous for. It’s a given, then, that swimming, diving, water-skiing, surfing, and boating in general are sports that they just love, whether they’re watching or participating. Of course, sport fishing is also quite popular with them. And since expansive, large-minded Jupiter shares rulership of their sign, catching “the big one” (really catching it, or at least telling a story good enough to make everyone believe they did) isn’t just important — it’s primary.


Tarot.com is Part of the Daily Insight Group ©2018

Born Under the Zodiac Sign, Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)


(Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)

Intense and powerful


Intense and powerful, Scorpio’s gaze can penetrate one’s soul

There is little doubt that, with their intense and powerful demeanors, Scorpios come across as forceful personalities with deep-rooted passions. They carry around them an aura of mystery and intrigue, which others find compellingly attractive.

Yet, no matter how much they try, it is unlikely that anyone will succeed in completely penetrating a Scorpio’s mysterious and puzzling soul, for members of this Sign are secretive individuals, who are fiercely protective of their own privacy. Whether at home, work or in love, Scorpios need to be the one in control.

They despise any shallowness, insincerity, weakness of character, and, above all else, betrayal. With their penetrating gaze and great insight, they have the power to read between the lines and see into the heart of the matter in an instant.

At work and play, whatever they take on, Scorpios involve themselves one hundred percent. Their powers of concentration, and ability to focus on the job in hand are unequalled. They have an urgent ‘need to know’, which drives many of them into investigative or forensic operations. Some are drawn to psychology and psychoanalysis, others to scientific research. Surgery and dentistry also attract, but so too, do the mystical arts and occult.

In love and relationships, Scorpios are passionate and intense, and have the reputation of being the sexiest Sign of the Zodiac. Certainly, when they fall in love, these people give their all. However, they do expect their love and devotion to be returned in the same depth and quantity.

Woe betide a partner who is disloyal, or, worse still, one who cheats – for a Scorpio never forgives!

In health matters, Scorpio rules the reproductive system and sexual organs. Problems in these areas are common, and may range from menstrual complications in women, to hernia or urological complaints in men.

Although Scorpios have been described as having lean but strong constitutions, when ill, they can make difficult and demanding patients, rebelling against medical advice which can complicate treatment. Fortunately however, they are blessed with good powers of recovery.

Where wealth is concerned, when it comes to savings and making investments, following whatever their intuition tells them to do, usually pays off handsomely for members of this Sign.

This inborn savvy, combined with their astute business sense, will ensure that money stockpiles nicely for them in the bank. But remember, Scorpios are secretive individuals and they like to keep their financial affairs under wraps – even from those they consider to be their nearest and dearest.

Personality Keynotes

* Deep * Sexy * Passionate * Strong * Discerning * Intense * Magnetic *
* Committed * Determined * Protective * Supportive * Penetrative *
* Forceful * Possessive * Supersensitive * Obsessive * Jealous *
* Envious * Secretive * Suspicious * Ruthless *


* Symbol – Scorpion
* Ruling Planet – Pluto
* Element – Water
* Colour – Magenta, Claret
* Flower – Chrysanthamum
* Stone – Topaz, Jasper
* Lucky Number – 8
* Lucky Day – Tuesday

Scorpions Should

* Learn to be less jealous
* Trust their partners

Scorpions Shouldn’t

* Be so suspicious
* Become so vindictive when hurt in love



The Daily Horoscopes for Thursday, November 8


The Daily Horoscopes for Thursday, November 8

Claire Petulengro, Astrologer


ARIES (March 21st-April 20th)
Your ruling planet Mars is going to be providing you with very little patience. Try to think before you speak and try to count to ten if you think you may say something you are going to have to take back at a later date.

TAURUS (April 21st-May 21st)
Family prove difficult to deal with and you may have to tell a white lie in order to get out of something you don’t want to do. Career options are before you, which if you set your sights on, can change your income dramatically.

GEMINI (May 22nd-June 21st)
Someone you have been blaming could not be the actual source of your problem and you would be wise not to throw around accusations which may not actually have any basis. New friends prove to you how much you had outgrown the old friends you associated with.

CANCER (June 22nd-July 23rd)
There are several new paths which have opened to you and I see that they all have their pros and cons. Don’t be afraid to take your time. The stars tell me that the real deal will be found when the crowds have cleared and not before.

LEO (July 24th-August 23rd)
Why are you allowing the stress of the past to affect the wonderful new things before you in the present? I think you are remembering a certain someone as a stronger character than they were.

VIRGO (August 24th-September 23rd)
Try not to get involved in dramas that don’t involve you today, or you could be cast as an interfering gossip to the new faces gathering around. Technical problems could ruin your day, so back up or send yourself important documents or work.

LIBRA (September 24th-October 23rd)
Take time out of your day today to tell close ones how much they mean to you. You may not realise it, but certain professional commitments of late have made it easy for close ones to feel they have lost contact with you.

SCORPIO (October 24th-November 22nd)
Mixed signals have led to you feeling nervous and unsure. You don’t know what the right thing to do is, but you would if you stopped listening to others and trusted more in your own instincts.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23rd-December 21st)
There are things you need to complete, but you just seem to keep meeting yourself coming around in circles. Joy can be found in arranging to see the person you can’t get off your mind.

CAPRICORN (December 22nd-January 20th)
I can see you need to blow off some steam and that a situation has led to you being forced to take a step back. Money you invest into education or your long term security, is money well spent.

AQUARIUS (January 21st-February 19th)
Try not to be so frantic about the worries on your mind. Stop and take a breath and do things one step at a time. Don’t you think it’s about time you contacted those who said they would help you? Pride is a good thing at the right time, but will make a fool of you at the wrong time.

PISCES (February 20th-March 20th)
Success is a state of mind. If you want success, then start thinking of yourself as a success. The way you dress comes to mind with the places you will have to visit shortly. Choose what you know represents the new you Pisces.



For Claire’s in-depth horoscope for this week, call 0905 072 0237
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This Day in History for November 8th: The Beer Hall Putsch (1923)

Beer Hall Putsch

The Beer Hall Putsch, also known as the Munich Putsch,[1] and, in German, as the HitlerputschHitler-Ludendorff-PutschBürgerbräu-Putsch or Marsch auf die Feldherrnhalle (“March on the Feldherrnhalle”), was a failed coup d’état by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) leader Adolf Hitler—along with Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff and other Kampfbund leaders—to seize power in Munich, Bavaria, on 8–9 November 1923. Approximately two thousand Nazis were marching to the Feldherrnhalle, in the city center, when they were confronted by a police cordon, which resulted in the death of 16 Nazis and four police officers. Hitler, who was wounded during the clash, escaped immediate arrest and was spirited off to safety in the countryside. After two days, he was arrested and charged with treason.[2]

The putsch brought Hitler to the attention of the German nation and generated front page headlines in newspapers around the world. His arrest was followed by a 24-day trial, which was widely publicized and gave him a platform to publicize his nationalist sentiment to the nation. Hitler was found guilty of treason and sentenced to five years in Landsberg Prison,[3] where he dictated Mein Kampf to his fellow prisoners Emil Maurice and Rudolf Hess. On 20 December 1924, having served only nine months, Hitler was released.[4][5] Hitler now saw that the path to power was through legal means rather than revolution or force, and accordingly changed his tactics, further developing Nazi propaganda.[6]


In the early 20th century, many of the larger cities of southern Germany had beer halls where hundreds or even thousands of people would socialize in the evenings, drink beer and participate in political and social debates. Such beer halls also became the host of occasional political rallies. One of Munich’s largest beer halls was the Bürgerbräukeller. This was the location of the famous Beer Hall Putsch.

The Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, sounded the death knell of German power and prestige. Like many Germans of the period, Hitler (who still held Austrian citizenship at the time) believed that the treaty was a betrayal, with the country having been “stabbed in the back” by its own government, particularly as the German Army was popularly thought to have been undefeated in the field. Germany, it was felt, had been betrayed by civilian leaders and Marxists, who were later called the “November Criminals”.[7]

Hitler remained in the army, in Munich, after World War I. He participated in various “national thinking” courses. These had been organized by the Education and Propaganda Department of the Bavarian Army, under Captain Karl Mayr,[8] of which Hitler became an agent. Captain Mayr ordered Hitler, then an army lance corporal, to infiltrate the tiny Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated DAP (German Workers’ Party).[9] Hitler joined the DAP on 12 September 1919.[10] He soon realized that he was in agreement with many of the underlying tenets of the DAP, and he rose to its top post in the ensuing chaotic political atmosphere of postwar Munich.[11] By agreement, Hitler assumed the political leadership of a number of Bavarian “patriotic associations” (revanchist), called the Kampfbund.[12] This political base extended to include about 15,000 Sturmabteilung (SA, lit. “Storm Detachment”), the paramilitary wing of the NSDAP.

On 26 September 1923, following a period of turmoil and political violence, Bavarian Prime Minister Eugen von Knilling declared a state of emergency, and Gustav von Kahrwas appointed Staatskomissar, or state commissioner, with dictatorial powers to govern the state. In addition to von Kahr, Bavarian state police chief Colonel Hans Ritter von Seisser and Reichswehr General Otto von Lossow formed a ruling triumvirate.[13] Hitler announced that he would hold 14 mass meetings beginning on 27 September 1923. Afraid of the potential disruption, one of Kahr’s first actions was to ban the announced meetings.[14] Hitler was under pressure to act. The Nazis, with other leaders in the Kampfbund, felt they had to march upon Berlin and seize power or their followers would turn to the Communists.[15] Hitler enlisted the help of World War I general Erich Ludendorff in an attempt to gain the support of Kahr and his triumvirate. However, Kahr had his own plan with Seisser and Lossow to install a nationalist dictatorship without Hitler.[15]

The Putsch

The attempted putsch was inspired by Benito Mussolini’s successful March on Rome, from 22 to 29 October 1922. Hitler and his associates planned to use Munich as a base for a march against Germany’s Weimar Republic government. But the circumstances were different from those in Italy. Hitler came to the realization that Kahr sought to control him and was not ready to act against the government in Berlin. Hitler wanted to seize a critical moment for successful popular agitation and support.[16] He decided to take matters into his own hands. Hitler, along with a large detachment of SA, marched on the Bürgerbräukeller, where Kahr was making a speech in front of 3,000 people.[17]

In the cold, dark evening, 603 SA surrounded the beer hall and a machine gun was set up in the auditorium. Hitler, surrounded by his associates Hermann Göring, Alfred Rosenberg, Rudolf Hess, Ernst Hanfstaengl, Ulrich Graf, Johann Aigner, Adolf Lenk, Max Amann, Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, Wilhelm Adam, and others (some 20 in all), advanced through the crowded auditorium. Unable to be heard above the crowd, Hitler fired a shot into the ceiling and jumped on a chair yelling: “The national revolution has broken out! The hall is filled with six hundred men. Nobody is allowed to leave.” He went on to state the Bavarian government was deposed and declared the formation of a new government with Ludendorff.[18]

Hitler, accompanied by Hess, Lenk and Graf, ordered the triumvirate of Kahr, Seisser, and Lossow into an adjoining room at gunpoint and demanded they support the putsch.[19] Hitler demanded they accept government positions he assigned them.[20] Hitler had promised Lossow a few days earlier that he would not attempt a coup,[21] but now thought that he would get an immediate response of affirmation from them, imploring Kahr to accept the position of Regent of Bavaria. Kahr replied that he could not be expected to collaborate, especially as he had been taken out of the auditorium under heavy guard.[22]

Heinz Pernet, Johann Aigne and Scheubner-Richter were dispatched to pick up Ludendorff, whose personal prestige was being harnessed to give the Nazis credibility. A telephone call was made from the kitchen by Hermann Kriebel to Ernst Röhm, who was waiting with his Bund Reichskriegsflagge in the Löwenbräukeller, another beer hall, and he was ordered to seize key buildings throughout the city. At the same time, co-conspirators under Gerhard Rossbach mobilized the students of a nearby Officers Infantry school to seize other objectives.

Hitler became irritated by Kahr and summoned Ernst Pöhner, Friedrich Weber and Hermann Kriebel to stand in for him while he returned to the auditorium flanked by Rudolf Hess and Adolf Lenk. He followed up on Göring’s speech and stated that the action was not directed at the police and Reichswehr, but against “…the Berlin Jew government and the November criminals of 1918”.[18] Dr. Karl Alexander von Mueller, a professor of modern history and political science at the University of Munich and a supporter of Kahr, was an eyewitness. He reported:

I cannot remember in my entire life such a change in the attitude of a crowd in a few minutes, almost a few seconds … Hitler had turned them inside out, as one turns a glove inside out, with a few sentences. It had almost something of hocus-pocus, or magic about it.

Hitler ended his speech with: “Outside are Kahr, Lossow and Seisser. They are struggling hard to reach a decision. May I say to them that you will stand behind them?”[2]

The crowd in the hall backed Hitler with a roar of approval.[23] He finished triumphantly:

You can see that what motivates us is neither self-conceit or self-interest, but only a burning desire to join the battle in this grave eleventh hour for our German Fatherland … One last thing I can tell you. Either the German revolution begins tonight or we will all be dead by dawn![23]

Hitler returned to the anteroom, where the triumvirs remained, to ear-shattering acclaim, which the triumvirs could not have failed to notice. On his way back, Hitler ordered Göring and Hess to take Eugen von Knilling and seven other members of the Bavarian government into custody.

During Hitler’s speech, Pöhner, Weber, and Kriebel had been trying in a conciliatory fashion to bring the triumvirate round to their point of view. The atmosphere in the room had become lighter but Kahr continued to dig in his heels. Ludendorff showed up a little before 9 p.m. and, being shown into the ante-room, concentrated on Lossow and Seisser, appealing to their sense of duty. Eventually the triumvirate reluctantly gave in.

Hitler, Ludendorff et al. returned to the main hall’s podium, where they gave speeches and shook hands. The crowd was then allowed to leave the hall.[23] In a tactical mistake, Hitler decided to leave the Bürgerbräukeller shortly thereafter to deal with a crisis elsewhere. Around 10:30 p.m., Ludendorff released Kahr and his associates.

The night was marked by confusion and unrest among government officials, armed forces, police units, and individuals deciding where their loyalties lay. Units of the Kampfbund were scurrying around to arm themselves from secret caches, and seizing buildings. At around 3 am, the first casualties of the putsch occurred when the local garrison of the Reichswehr spotted Röhm’s men coming out of the beer hall. They were ambushed while trying to reach the Reichswehr barracks by soldiers and state police; shots were fired, but there were no fatalities on either side. Encountering heavy resistance, Röhm and his men were forced to fall back. In the meantime, the Reichswehr officers put the whole garrison on alert and called for reinforcements. Foreign attachés were seized in their hotel rooms and put under house arrest.

In the early morning, Hitler ordered the seizure of the Munich city council as hostages. He further sent the communications officer of the Kampfbund, Max Neunzert, to enlist the aid of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria to mediate between Kahr and the putschists. Neunzert failed in the mission.

By midmorning on 9 November, Hitler realized that the putsch was going nowhere. The Putschists did not know what to do and were about to give up. At this moment, Ludendorff cried out, “Wir marschieren!” (We will march!). Röhm’s force together with Hitler’s (a total of approximately 2000 men) marched out—but with no specific plan of where to go. On the spur of the moment, Ludendorff led them to the Bavarian Defence Ministry. However, at the Odeonsplatz in front of the Feldherrnhalle, they met a force of 130 soldiers blocking the way under the command of State Police Senior Lieutenant Baron Michael von Godin. The two groups exchanged fire, killing four state police officers and 16 Nazis.[24]

This was the origin of the Blutfahne (blood-flag), which became stained with the blood of two SA members who were shot: the flagbearer Heinrich Trambauer, who was badly wounded, and Andreas Bauriedl, who fell dead onto the fallen flag.[25] A bullet killed Scheubner-Richter.[26] Göring was shot in the leg, but escaped.[27] The rest of the Nazis scattered or were arrested. Hitler was arrested two days later.

In a description of Ludendorff’s funeral at the Feldherrnhalle in 1937 (which Hitler attended but without speaking) William L. Shirer wrote: “The World War [One] hero [Ludendorff] had refused to have anything to do with him [Hitler] ever since he had fled from in front of the Feldherrnhalle after the volley of bullets during the Beer Hall Putsch.” However, when a consignment of papers relating to Landsberg prison (including the visitor book) were later sold at auction, it was noted that Ludendorff had visited Hitler a number of times. The case of the resurfacing papers was reported in Der Spiegel (“The Mirror”, German news magazine) on 23 June 2006; the new information (which came out more than 30 years after Shirer wrote his book, and which Shirer did not have access to) nullifies Shirer’s statement.[28][29]


State Police and Police units were first notified of trouble by three police detectives stationed at the Löwenbräukeller. These reports reached Major Sigmund von Imhoff of the State police. He immediately called all his green police units and had them seize the central telegraph office and the telephone exchange, although his most important act was to notify Major-General Jakob von Danner, the Reichswehr city commandant of Munich. As a staunch aristocrat, Danner loathed the “little corporal” and those “Freikorps bands of rowdies”. He also did not much like his commanding officer, Generalleutnant Otto von Lossow, “a sorry figure of a man”. He was determined to put down the putsch with or without Lossow. Danner set up a command post at the 19th Infantry Regiment barracks and alerted all military units.[30]

Meanwhile, Captain Karl Wild, learning of the putsch from marchers, mobilized his command to guard Kahr’s government building, the Commissariat, with orders to shoot.[30]

Around 11 p.m., Major-General von Danner, along with fellow generals Adolf Ritter von Ruith and Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, compelled Lossow to repudiate the putsch.[30]

There was one member of the cabinet who was not at the Bürgerbräukeller: Franz Matt, the vice-premier and minister of education and culture. A staunchly conservative Roman Catholic, he was having dinner with the Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber and with the Nuncio to Bavaria, Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli (who would later become Pope Pius XII), when he learned of the putsch. He immediately telephoned Kahr. When he found the man vacillating and unsure, Matt decisively began plans to set up a rump government-in-exile in Regensburg and composed a proclamation calling upon all police officers, members of the armed forces, and civil servants to remain loyal to the government. The action of these few men spelled doom for those attempting the putsch.[30]

On Wednesday, 3,000 students from the University of Munich rioted and marched to the Feldherrnhalle to lay wreaths. They continued to riot until Friday, when they learned of Hitler’s arrest. Kahr and Lossow were called Judases and traitors.[30]

Trial and prison

Two days after the putsch, Hitler was arrested and charged with high treason in the special People’s Court.[2] Some of his fellow conspirators, including Rudolf Hess, were also arrested, while others, including Hermann Göring and Ernst Hanfstaengl, escaped to Austria.[31] The Nazi Party’s headquarters was raided, and its newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter (“The People’s Observer”), was banned. In January 1924, the Emminger Reform, an emergency decree, abolished the jury as trier of fact and replaced it with a mixed system of judges and lay judges in Germany’s judiciary, which still exists.[32][33][34]

This was not the first time Hitler had been in trouble with the law. In an incident in September 1921, he and some men of the SA had disrupted a meeting of the Bayernbund (“Bavaria Union”) which Otto Ballerstedt, a Bavarian federalist, was to have addressed, and the Nazis who had gone there to cause trouble were arrested as a result. Hitler ended up serving a little over a month of a three-month jail sentence.[35] Judge Georg Neithardt (de) was the presiding judge at both of Hitler’s trials.[4]

Hitler’s trial began on 26 February 1924 and lasted until 1 April 1924.[5] Lossow acted as chief witness for the prosecution.[21] Hitler moderated his tone for the trial, centering his defense on his selfless devotion to the good of the people and the need for bold action to save them; dropping his usual anti-Semitism.[36] He claimed the putsch had been his sole responsibility, inspiring the title “Führer” or “Leader”.[37] The lay judges were fanatically pro-Nazi and had to be dissuaded by the presiding Judge, Georg Neithardt (de), from acquitting Hitler.[38] Hitler and Hess were both sentenced to five years in Festungshaft (literally fortress confinement) for treason. Festungshaftwas the mildest of the three types of jail sentence available in German law at the time; it excluded forced labour, provided reasonably comfortable cells, and allowed the prisoner to receive visitors almost daily for many hours. This was the customary sentence for those whom the judge believed to have had honourable but misguided motives, and it did not carry the stigma of a sentence of Gefängnis or Zuchthaus. In the end, Hitler served only a little over eight months of this sentence before his early release for good behaviour.[39]

However, Hitler used the trial as an opportunity to spread his ideas. The event was extensively covered in the newspapers the next day. The judges were impressed (Presiding Judge Neithardt was inclined to favouritism towards the defendants prior to the trial), and as a result Hitler served a little over eight months and was fined 500 Reichsmark.[4] Due to his story that he was present by accident, an explanation he had also used in the Kapp Putsch, along with his war service and connections, Ludendorff was acquitted. Both Röhm and Wilhelm Frick, though found guilty, were released. Göring, meanwhile, had fled after suffering a bullet wound to his leg,[27] which led him to become increasingly dependent on morphine and other painkilling drugs. This addiction continued throughout his life.

One of Hitler’s greatest worries at the trial was that he was at risk of being deported back to his native Austria by the Bavarian government.[40] The trial judge, Neithardt, was very sympathetic towards Hitler and held that the relevant laws of the Weimar Republic could not be applied to a man “who thinks and feels like a German, as Hitler does.” The result was that the Nazi leader remained in Germany.[41][note 1]

Though Hitler failed to achieve his immediate stated goal, the putsch did give the Nazis their first exposure to national attention and a propaganda victory.[6] While serving their “fortress confinement” sentences at Landsberg am Lech, Hitler, Emil Maurice and Rudolf Hess wrote Mein Kampf. Also, the putsch changed Hitler’s outlook on violent revolution to effect change. From then on he thought that, in order to win the German heart, he must do everything by the book, “strictly legal”.[citation needed]

The process of combination, where the conservative-nationalist-monarchist group thought that its members could piggyback onto, and control, the National Socialist movement to garner the seats of power, was to repeat itself ten years later in 1933 when Franz von Papen would legally ask Hitler to form a coalition government.


Bavarian police

  • Friedrich Fink
  • Nikolaus Hollweg
  • Max Schobert
  • Rudolf Schraut

National Socialists

  • Felix Allfarth, merchant, born 5 July 1901 in Leipzig. Alfarth had studied merchandising at the Siemens-Schuckert Works and moved to Munich in 1923 to begin his career.[43]
  • Andreas Bauriedl, hatter, born 4 May 1879 in Aschaffenburg. Bauriedl was hit in the abdomen, killing him and causing him to fall on the Nazi flag, which had fallen to the ground when its flagbearer, Heinrich Trambauer, was severely wounded. Bauriedl’s blood soaked the flag, which later became the Nazi relic known as the Blutfahne.[44]
  • Theodor Casella, bank clerk, born 8 August 1900.
  • Wilhelm Ehrlich, bank clerk, born 8 August 1894.
  • Martin Faust, bank clerk, born 4 January 1901.
  • Anton Hechenberger, locksmith, born 28 September 1902.
  • Oskar Körner, businessman, born 4 January 1875 in Ober-Peilau
  • Karl Kuhn, head waiter in a restaurant, born 7 July 1875.
  • Karl Laforce, engineering student, born 28 October 1904; the youngest to die in the putsch.
  • Kurt Neubauer, valet, born 27 March 1899 in Hopfengarten, Kreis Bernberg.
  • Klaus von Pape, businessman, born 16 August 1904 in Oschatz.
  • Theodor von der Pfordten, county court counsel, who had fought in World War I; born 14 May 1873 in Bayreuth; the eldest to die in the putsch.[citation needed]
  • Johann Rickmers, retired cavalry captain who had fought in World War I; born 7 May 1881 in Bremen.
  • Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, Nazi leader, born 21 January 1884 in Riga.
  • Lorenz Ritter von Stransky-Griffenfeld, engineer, born 14 March 1889.
  • Wilhelm Wolf, businessman, born 19 October 1898.

Scheubner-Richter was walking arm-in-arm with Hitler during the putsch; he was shot in the lungs and died instantly.[45] He brought Hitler down and dislocated Hitler’s shoulder when he fell. He was the only first-tier Nazi leader to die during the Putsch. Of all the party members who died in the Putsch, Hitler claimed Scheubner-Richter to be the only “irreplaceable loss”.[46]

According to Ernst Röhm, Martin Faust and Theodor Casella, both members of the armed militia organisation Reichskriegsflagge, were shot down accidentally in a burst of machine gun fire during the occupation of the War Ministry as the result of a misunderstanding with II/Inf.Regt 19.[47]


The 16 fallen were regarded as the first “blood martyrs” of the NSDAP and were remembered by Hitler in the foreword of Mein Kampf. The Nazi flag they carried, which in the course of events had been stained with blood, came to be known as the Blutfahne (blood flag) and was brought out for the swearing-in of new recruits in front of the Feldherrnhalle when Hitler was in power.

Shortly after he came to power, a memorial was placed at the south side of the Feldherrnhalle crowned with a swastika. The back of the memorial read Und ihr habt doch gesiegt! (And you triumphed nevertheless!). Behind it flowers were laid, and either policemen or the SS stood guard in between a lower plaque. Passers-by were required to give the Hitler salute. The putsch was also commemorated on three sets of stamps. Mein Kampf was dedicated to the fallen and, in the book Ich Kämpfe (given to those joining the party circa 1943), they are listed first even though the book lists hundreds of other dead. The header text in the book read “Though they are dead for their acts they will live on forever.” The army had a division named the Feldherrnhalle regiment, and there was also an SA Feldherrnhalle division.

Der neunte Elfte (9/11, literally the Ninth of the Eleventh) became one of the most important dates on the Nazi calendar, especially following the seizure of power in 1933. Annually until the fall of Nazi Germany, the putsch would be commemorated nationwide, with the major events taking place in Munich. On the night of 8 November, Hitler would address the Alte Kämpfer (Old Fighters) in the Bürgerbräukeller (after 1939, the Löwenbräu, in 1944, the Circus Krone Building), followed the next day by a re-enactment of the march through the streets of Munich. The event would climax with a ceremony recalling the 16 dead marchers on the Königsplatz.

The anniversary could be a time of tension in Nazi Germany. The ceremony was cancelled in 1934, coming as it did after the so-called Night of the Long Knives. In 1938, it coincided with the Kristallnacht, and in 1939 with the attempted assassination of Hitler by Johann Georg Elser. With the outbreak of war in 1939, security concerns caused the re-enactment of the march to be suspended, never to be resumed. However, Hitler continued to deliver his 8 November speech through 1943. In 1944, Hitler skipped the event and Heinrich Himmler spoke in his place. As the war went on, residents of Munich came increasingly to dread the approach of the anniversary, concerned that the presence of the top Nazi leaders in their city would act as a magnet for Allied bombers.

Every Gau (administrative region of Germany) was also expected to hold a small remembrance ceremony. As material given to propagandists said, the 16 fallen were the first losses and the ceremony was an occasion to commemorate everyone who had died for the movement.[48]

On 9 November 1935, the dead were taken from their graves and to the Feldherrnhalle. The SA and SS carried them down to the Königplatz, where two Ehrentempel (Honour Temples) had been constructed. In each of the structures eight of the martyrs were interred in a sarcophagus bearing their name.

In June 1945 the Allied Commission removed the bodies from the Ehrentempels and contacted their families. They were given the option of having their loved ones buried in Munich cemeteries in unmarked graves or having them cremated, common practice in Germany for unclaimed bodies. On 9 January 1947, the upper parts of the structures were blown up.

Since 1994, a commemorative plaque in the pavement in front of the Feldherrnhalle contains the names of the four Bavarian policemen who died in the fight against the Nazis. The plaque reads:

Den Mitgliedern der Bayerischen Landespolizei, die beim Einsatz gegen die Nationalsozialistischen Putschisten am 9.11.1923 Ihr Leben ließen. (“To the members of the Bavarian Police, who gave their lives opposing the National Socialist coup on 9 November 1923”)

Supporters of the Putsch

Key supporters

Other notable supporters

At the front of the march

In the vanguard were four flag bearers followed by Adolf Lenk and Kurt Neubauer, Ludendorff’s servant. Behind those two came more flag bearers, then the leadership in two rows.

Hitler was in the centre, slouch hat in hand, the collar of his trenchcoat turned up against the cold. To his left, in civilian clothes, a green felt hat, and a loose loden coat, was Ludendorff. To Hitler’s right was Scheubner-Richter. To his right came Alfred Rosenberg. On either side of these men were Ulrich Graf, Hermann Kriebel, Friedrich Weber, Julius Streicher, Hermann Göring, and Wilhelm Brückner.

Behind these came the second string of Heinz Pernet, Johann Aigner (Scheubner-Richter’s servant), Gottfried Feder, Theodor von der Pfordten, Wilhelm Kolb, Rolf Reiner, Hans Streck, and Heinrich Bennecke, Brückner’s adjutant.

Behind this row marched the Stoßtrupp-Hitler, the SA, the Infantry School, and the Oberländer.

Chief defendants in the “Ludendorff–Hitler” trial


  1. Jump up^ The court explained why it rejected the deportation of Hitler under the terms of the Protection of the Republic Act: “Hitler is a German-Austrian. He considered himself to be a German. In the opinion of the court, the meaning and the terms of section 9, para II of the Law for the Protection of the Republic cannot apply to a man who thinks and feels as German as Hitler, who voluntarily served for four and a half years in the German army at war, who attained high military honours through outstanding bravery in the face of the enemy, was wounded, suffered other damage to his health, and was released from the military into the control of the district Command Munich I.”[42]


  1. Jump up^ Dan Moorhouse, ed. The Munich Putsch. schoolshistory.org.uk, accessed 2008-05-31.
  2. Jump up to:a b Hitler, Adolf (1924). Der Hitler-Prozeß vor dem Volksgericht in München [The Hitler Trial Before the People’s Court in Munich]. Munich: Knorr & Hirth. OCLC 638670803.
  3. Jump up^ Hitler’s Festungshaft (“fortress-way”). Hitler’s sentence was to be served in the mildest form of incarceration under German law.
  4. Jump up to:a b c Harold J. Gordon Jr., The Hitler Trial Before the People’s Court in Munich(Arlington, VA: University Publications of America 1976)
  5. Jump up to:a b Fulda, Bernhard (2009). Press and politics in the Weimar Republic. Oxford University Press. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-0-19-954778-4.
  6. Jump up to:a b Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p. 24, ISBN 0-674-01172-4.
  7. Jump up^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 61–63.
  8. Jump up^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 72–74.
  9. Jump up^ Kershaw 2008, p. 75.
  10. Jump up^ Stackelberg, Roderick (2007), The Routledge Companion to Nazi Germany, New York: Routledge, p. 9, ISBN 978-0-415-30860-1
  11. Jump up^ Sayers, Michael and Kahnn, Albert E. (1945), The Plot Against the Peace. Dial Press.
  12. Jump up^ Kershaw 2008, p. 124.
  13. Jump up^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 125–126.
  14. Jump up^ Kershaw 2008, p. 125.
  15. Jump up to:a b Kershaw 2008, p. 126.
  16. Jump up^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 125–127.
  17. Jump up^ Piers BrendonThe Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s, p. 36 ISBN 0-375-40881-9
  18. Jump up to:a b Kershaw 2008, p. 128.
  19. Jump up^ Piers BrendonThe Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s, pp. 36–37 ISBN 0-375-40881-9
  20. Jump up^ Shirer, William (2011). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (Fiftieth Anniversary ed.). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-4516-4259-9.
  21. Jump up to:a b Knickerbocker, H. R. (1941). Is Tomorrow Hitler’s? 200 Questions on the Battle of Mankind. Reynal & Hitchcock. p. 12.
  22. Jump up^ Bear 2016, p. PT20.
  23. Jump up to:a b c d Kershaw 2008, p. 129.
  24. Jump up^ Shirer 1960, pp. 73–76.
  25. Jump up^ Hilmar HoffmannThe Triumph of Propaganda: Film and National Socialism, 1933–1945, Volume 1, pp. 20–22.
  26. Jump up^ [1] Hitler Sites by Steven Lehrer. McFarland & Co, Publishers, ISBN 0-7864-1045-0.
  27. Jump up to:a b Kershaw 2008, p. 131.
  28. Jump up^ Der Spiegel, 23 June 2006.
  29. Jump up^ Shirer 1960, p. 312.
  30. Jump up to:a b c d e Bear 2016, p. PT22.
  31. Jump up^ “Hermann Goring (German minister) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia”. Britannica.com. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
  32. Jump up^ Kahn-Freund, Otto (January 1974). “On Uses and Misuses of Comparative Law”. Modern Law Review. footnote 73, p. 18. 37 (1). JSTOR 1094713.
  33. Jump up^ Wolff, Hans Julius (June 1944). “Criminal Justice in Germany”. Michigan Law Review. footnote 7, pp. 1069–1070. 42 (6). JSTOR 1283584.
  34. Jump up^ Casper, GerhardZeisel, Hans (January 1972). “Lay Judges in the German Criminal Courts”. The Journal of Legal Studies1 (1): 135. doi:10.1086/467481JSTOR 724014.
  35. Jump up^ Richard J Evans: The Coming of the Third Reich. A History, 2004, S. 181; Joachim Fest: Hitler, 2002, S. 160 und 225.
  36. Jump up^ Claudia KoonzThe Nazi Conscience, p. 21
  37. Jump up^ Piers BrendonThe Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s, p. 38
  38. Jump up^ Landauer, Carl (September 1944). “The Bavarian Problem in the Weimar Republic: Part II”. The Journal of Modern History16 (3): 222. doi:10.1086/236826JSTOR 1871460.
  39. Jump up^ Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p. 22
  40. Jump up^ Kershaw 1999, p. 238.
  41. Jump up^ Revoking the Fuehrer’s Passport at spiegel.de
  42. Jump up^ Ian Kershaw. Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris. Penguin Books. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-14-192579-0.
  43. Jump up^ Christian Zentner, Friedemann Bedürftig (1991). The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. Macmillan, New York. ISBN 0-02-897502-2
  44. Jump up^ Bear 2016, p. PT21.
  45. Jump up^ Toland, JohnAdolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography. New York: Anchor Books, 1976 p. 170 ISBN 0-385-42053-6
  46. Jump up^ Balakian, PeterThe Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response. New York, HarperCollins, 2003 p. 407 ISBN 0-06-055870-9
  47. Jump up^ “Ernst Röhm, Die Geschichte eines Hochverräters, Franz Eher Verlag, Munich 1928.
  48. Jump up^ Bytwerk, Randall (2000). “Nazi ceremonies for 9 November 1942”. German Propaganda Archive. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-26.

American Revolution: Winning Independence: 1777-1783 ( Part 3)

Nadir of the American Cause:  In the summer of 1780 the American cause seemed to be at as low an ebb as it had been after the New York campaign in 1776 or after the defeats at Ticonderoga and Brandywine in 1777. Defeat in the south was not the only discouraging aspect of patriot affairs. In the north a creeping paralysis had set in as the patriotic enthusiasm of the early war years waned. The Continental currency had virtually depreciated out of existence, and Congress was impotent to pay the soldiers or purchase supplies. At Morristown, New Jersey, in the winter of 1779-8O the army suffered worse hardships than at Valley Forge. Congress could do little but attempt to shift its responsibilities onto the states, giving each the task of providing clothing for its own troops and furnishing certain quotas of specific supplies for the entire Army. The system of “specific supplies” worked not at all. Not only were the states laggard in furnishing supplies, but when they did it was seldom at the time or place they were needed. This breakdown in the supply system was more than even General Greene, as Quartermaster General, could cope with, and in early 1780, under heavy criticism in Congress, he resigned his position.

Under such difficulties, Washington had to struggle to hold even a small Army together. Recruiting of Continentals, difficult to begin with, became almost impossible when the troops could neither be paid nor supplied adequately and had to suffer such winters as those at Morristown. Enlistments and drafts from the militia in 1780 produced not quite half as many men for one year’s service as had enlisted in 1775 for three years or the duration. While recruiting lagged, morale among those men who had enlisted for the longer terms naturally fell. Mutinies in 1780 and 1781 were suppressed only by measures of great severity.

Germain could write confidently to Clinton: “so very contemptible is the rebel force now … that no resistance . . . is to be apprehended that can materially obstruct . . . the speedy suppression of the rebellion . . . the American levies in the King’s service are more in number than the whole of the enlisted troops in the service of the Congress.” The French were unhappy. In the summer of 1780 they occupied the vacated British base at Newport, moving in a naval squadron and 4,000 troops under the command of Lieutenant General the Comte de Rochambeau. Rochambeau immediately warned his government: “Send us troops, ships and money, but do not count on these people nor on their resources, they have neither money nor credit, their forces exist only momentarily, and when they are about to be attacked in their own homes they assemble . . . to defend themselves.” Another French commander thought only one highly placed American traitor was needed to decide the campaign.

Clinton had, in fact, already found his “highly placed traitor” in Benedict Arnold, the hero of the march to Quebec, the naval battle on the lakes, Stanwix, and Saratoga. “Money is this man’s God,” one of his enemies had said of Arnold earlier, and evidently he was correct. Lucrative rewards promised by the British led to Arnold’s treason, though he evidently resented the slights Congress had dealt him, and he justified his act by claiming that the Americans were now fighting for the interests of Catholic France and not their own. Arnold wangled an appointment as commander at West Point and then entered into a plot to deliver this key post to the British. Washington discovered the plot on September 21, 1780, just in time to foil it, though Arnold himself escaped to become a British brigadier.

Arnold’s treason in September 1780 marked the nadir of the patriot cause. In the closing months of 1780, the Americans somehow put together the ingredients for a final and decisive burst of energy in 1781. Congress persuaded Robert Morris, a wealthy Philadelphia merchant, to accept a post as Superintendent of Finance, and Colonel Timothy Pickering, an able administrator, to replace Greene as Quartermaster General. Greene, as Washington’s choice, was then named to succeed Gates in command of the Southern Army. General Lincoln, exchanged after Charleston, was appointed Secretary at War and the old board was abolished. Morris took over many of the functions previously performed by unwieldy committees. Working closely with Pickering, he abandoned the old paper money entirely and introduced a new policy of supplying the army by private contracts, using his personal credit as eventual guarantee for payment in gold or silver. It-was an expedient but, for a time at least, it worked.

Greene’s Southern Campaign: It was the frontier militia assembling “when they were about to be attacked in their own homes” who struck the blow that actually marked the turning point in the south. Late in 1780, with Clinton’s reluctant consent, Cornwallis set out on the invasion of North Carolina. He sent Major Patrick Ferguson, who had successfully organized the Tories in the upcountry of South Carolina, to move north simultaneously with his “American Volunteers,” spread the Tory gospel in the North Carolina back country, and join the main army at Charlotte with a maximum number of recruits. Ferguson’s advance northward alarmed the “ova-mountain men” in western North Carolina, southwest Virginia, and what is now east Tennessee. A picked force of mounted militia riflemen gathered on the Catawba River in western North Carolina, set out to find Ferguson, and brought him to bay at King’s Mountain near the border of the two Carolinas on October 7. In a battle of patriot against Tory (Ferguson was the only British soldier present), the patriots’ triumph was complete. Ferguson himself was killed and few of his command escaped death or capture. Some got the same “quarter” Tarleton had given Buford’s men at the Waxhaws.

King’s Mountain was as fatal to Cornwallis’ plans as Bennington had been to those of Burgoyne. The North Carolina Tories, cowed by the fate of their compatriots, gave him lime support. The British commander on October In 1780, began a wretched retreat in the rain back to Winnsboro, South Carolina, with militia harassing his progress. Clinton was forced to divert an expedition of 2,500 men sent to establish a base in Virginia to reinforce Cornwallis.

The frontier militia had turned the tide, but having done so, they returned to their homes. To keep it moving against the British was the task of the new commander, General Greene. When Greene arrived at Charlotte, North Carolina, early in December 1780, he found a command that consisted of 1,500 men fit for duty, only 949 of them Continentals. The army lacked clothing and provisions and had little systematic means of procuring them. Greene decided that he must not engage Cornwallis’ army in battle until he had built up his strength, that he must instead pursue delaying tactics to wear down his stronger opponent. The first thing he did was to take the unorthodox step of dividing his army in the face of a superior force, moving part under his personal command to Cheraw Hill, and sending the rest undo Brigadier General Daniel Morgan west across the Catawba over 100 miles away. It was an intentional violation of the principle of mass. Greene wrote: I am well satisfied with the movement….It makes the most of my inferior force, for it compels my adversary to divide his, and holds him in doubt as to his own line of conduct. He cannot leave Morgan behind him to come at me, or his posts at Ninety-Six and Augusta would be exposed. And he cannot chase Morgan far, or prosecute his views upon Virginia, while I am here with the whole country open before me. I am as near to Charleston as he is, and as near Hillsborough as I was at Charlotte; so that I am in no danger of being cut off from my reinforcements.

Left unsaid was the fact that divided forces could live off the land much easier than one large force and constitute two rallying points for local militia instead of one Greene was, in effect, sacrificing mass to enhance maneuver.

Cornwallis, an aggressive commander, had determined to gamble everything on a renewed invasion of North Carolina. Ignoring Clinton’s warnings, he depleted his Charleston base by bringing almost all his supplies forward. In the face of Greene’s dispositions, Cornwallis divided his army into not two but three parts. He sent a holding force to Camden to contain Green, directed Tarleton with a fast-moving contingent of 1,100 infantry and cavalry to find and crush Morgan, and with the remainder of his army moved cautiously up into North Carolina to cut off any of Morgan’s force that escaped Tarleton.

Tarleton caught up with Morgan on January 17, 1781, west of King’s Mountain at a place called the Cowpens, an open, sparsely forested area six miles from the Broad River. Morgan chose this site to make his stand less by design than necessity, for he had intended to get across the Broad. Nevertheless, on ground seemingly better suited to the action of Regulars, he achieved a little tactical masterpiece, making the most effective use of his heterogeneous force, numerically equal to that of Tarleton but composed of three-fourths militia. Selecting a hill as the center of his position, he placed his Continental infantry on it, deliberately leaving his flanks open. Well out in front of the main line he posted militia riflemen in two lines, instructing the first line to fire two volleys and then fall back on the second, the combined line to fire until the British pressed them, then to fall back to the rear of the Continentals and re-form as a reserve. Behind the hill he placed Lieutenant Colonel William Washington’s cavalry detachment, ready to charge the attacking enemy at the critical moment. Every man in the ranks was informed of the plan of battle and the part he was expected to play in it.

On finding Morgan, Tarleton ordered an immediate attack. His men moved forward in regular formation, were momentarily checked by the militia rifles, but, taking the retreat of the first two lines to be the beginning of a rout, rushed headlong into the steady fire of the Continentals on the hill. When the British were well advanced, the American cavalry struck them on the right flank and the militia, having re-formed, charged out from behind the hill to hit the British left. Caught in a clever double envelopment, the British surrendered after suffering heavy losses. Tarleton managed to escape with only a small force of cavalry he had held in reserve. It was on a small scale, and with certain significant differences, a repetition of the classic double envelopment of the Romans by a Carthaginian army under Hannibal at Cannae in 216 B.C., an event of which Morgan, no reader of books, probably had not the foggiest notion.

Having struck his fatal blow against Tarleton, Morgan still had to move fast to escape Cornwallis. Covering 100 miles and crossing two rivers in five days, he rejoined Greene early in February. Cornwallis by now was too heavily committed to the campaign in North Carolina to withdraw. Hoping to match the swift movement of the Americans, he destroyed all his superfluous supplies, baggage, and wagons and set forth in pursuit of Greene’s army. The American general retreated, through North Carolina, up into southern Virginia, then back into North Carolina again, keeping just far enough in front of his adversary to avoid battle with Cornwallis’ superior force. Finally on March 15, 1781, at Guilford Court House in North Carolina, on ground he had himself chosen, Greene halted and gave battle. By this time he had collected 1,500 Continentals and 3,000 militia to the 1,900 Regulars the British could muster. The British held the field after a hard-fought battle, but suffered casualties of about one-fourth of the force engaged. It was, like Bunker Hill, a Pyrrhic victory. His ranks depleted and his supplies exhausted, Cornwallis withdrew to Wilmington on the coast, and then decided to move northward to join the British forces General Clinton had sent to Virginia.

Greene, his army in better condition than six months earlier, pushed quickly into South Carolina to reduce the British posts in the interior. He fought two battles at Hobkirk’s Hill on April 25, and at Eutaw Springs on September 8–losing both but with approximately the same results as at Guilford Court House. One by one the British interior posts fell to Greene’s army, or to militia and partisans. By October 1781 the British had been forced to withdraw to their port strongholds along the coasts Charleston and Savannah. Greene had lost battles, but won a campaign. In so doing, he paved the way for the greater victory to follow at Yorktown.

Yorktown: The Final Act:  As Howe and Burgoyne went their separate ways in 1777, seemingly determined to satisfy only their personal ambitions, so Clinton and Cornwallis in 1781 paved the road to Yorktown by their disagreements and lack of coordination. Clinton was Cornwallis’ superior in this case, but the latter enjoyed the confidence of Germain to an extent that Clinton did not. Clinton, believing that without large reinforcements the British could not operate far from coastal bases, had opposed Cornwallis’ ventures in the interior of the Carolinas, and when Cornwallis came to Virginia he did so without even informing his superior of his intention.

Since 1779 Clinton had sought to paralyze the state of Virginia by conducting raids up its great rivers, arousing the Tories, and establishing a base in the Chesapeake Bay region. He thought this base might eventually be used as a starting point for one arm of a pincers movement against Pennsylvania for which his own idle force in New York would provide the other. A raid conducted in the Hampton Roads area in 1779 was highly successful, but when Clinton sought to follow it up in 1780 the force sent for the purpose had to be diverted to Charleston to bail Cornwallis out after King’s Mountain. Finally in 1781 he got an expedition into Virginia, a contingent of 1,600 under the American traitor, Benedict Arnold. In January Arnold conducted a destructive raid up the James River all the way to Richmond. His presence soon proved to be a magnet drawing forces of both sides to Virginia.

In an effort to trap Arnold, Washington dispatched Lafayette to Virginia with 1,200 of his scarce Continentals and persuaded the French to send a naval squadron from Newport to block Arnold’s escape by sea. The plan went awry when a British fleet drove the French squadron back to Newport and Clinton sent another 600 men to Virginia along with a new commander, Major General William Phillips. Phillips and Arnold continued their devastating raids, which Lafayette was too weak to prevent. Then on May no Cornwallis arrived from Wilmington and took over from Phillips. With additional reinforcements sent by Clinton he was able to field a force of about 7,000 men, approximately a quarter of the British strength in America. Washington sent down an additional reinforcement of 800 Continental, under General Wayne, but even with Virginia militia Lafayette’s force remained greatly outnumbered.

Cornwallis and Clinton were soon working at cross-purposes. Cornwallis proposed to carry out major operations in the interior of Virginia, but Clinton saw as little practical value in this tactic as Cornwallis did in Clinton’s plan to establish a base in Virginia for a pincers movement against Pennsylvania. Cornwallis at first turned to the interior and engaged in a fruitless pursuit of Lafayette north of Richmond. Than, on receiving Clinton’s positive order to return to the coax, establish a base, and return part of his force to New York, Cornwallis moved back down the Virginia peninsula to take up station at Yorktown, a small tobacco port on the York River just off Chesapeake Bay. In the face of

Cornwallis’ insistence that he must keep all his troops with him, Clinton vacillated, reversing his own orders several times and in the end granting Cornwallis’ request. Lafayette and Wayne followed Cornwallis cautiously down the peninsula, lost a skirmish with him at Green Spring near Williamsburg on July 6, and finally took up a position of watchful waiting near Yorktown.

Meanwhile, Washington had been trying to persuade the French to co-operate in a combined land and naval assault on New York in the summer of 1781. Rochambeau brought his 4,000 troops down from Newport in April and placed them under Washington’s command. The prospects were still bleak since the combined Franco-American force numbered but 10,000 against Clinton’s 17,000 in well-fortified positions. Then on August 14 Washington learned that the French Fleet in the West Indies, commanded by Admiral Francois de Grasse, would not come to New York but would arrive in the Chesapeake later in the month and remain there until October 15. He saw immediately that if he could achieve a superior concentration of force on the land side while de Grasse still held the bay he could destroy the British army at Yorktown before Clinton had a chance to relieve it.

The movements that followed illustrate most effectively a successful application of the principles of the offensive, surprise, objective, mass, and maneuver. Even without unified command of Army and Navy forces, Franco-American co-operation this time was excellent. Admiral Louis, Comte de Barras, immediately put out to sea from Newport to join de Grasse. Washington sent orders to Lafayette to contain Cornwallis at Yorktown and then, after making a feint in the direction of New York to deceive Clinton, on August 21 started the major portion of the Franco-American Army on a rapid secret movement to Virginia, via Chesapeake Bay, leaving only 2,000 Americans behind to watch Clinton.

On August 30, while Washington was on the move southward, de Grasse arrived in the Chesapeake with his entire fleet of twenty-four ships of the line and a few days later debarked 3,000 French troops to join Lafayette. Admiral Thomas Graves, the British naval commander in New York, meanwhile had put out to sea in late August with nineteen ships of the line, hoping either to intercept Barras’ squadron or to block de Grasse’s entry into the Chesapeake. He failed to find Barras, and when he arrived off Hampton Roads on September 5 he found de Grasse already in the bay. The French admiral sallied forth to meet Graves and the two fleets fought an indecisive action off the Virginia capes. Yet for all practical purposes the victory lay with the French for, while the fleets maneuvered at sea for days following the battle, Barras’ squadron slipped into the Chesapeake and the French and American troops got past into the James River. Then de Grasse got back into the bay and joined Barras, con

SURRENDER OF CORNWALLIS: fronting Graves with so superior a naval force that he decided to return to New York to refit. When Washington’s army arrived on September 26, the French Fleet was in firm control of the bay, blocking Cornwallis’ sea route of escape. A decisive concentration had been achieved. Counting 3,000 Virginia militia, Washington had a force of about 9,000 Americans and 6,000 French troops with which to conduct the siege. It proceeded in the best traditions of Vauban under the direction of French engineers. Cornwallis obligingly abandoned his forward position on September 30, and on October 6 the first parallel was begun 600 yards from the main British position. Artillery placed along the trench began its destructive work on October 9. By October 11 the zigzag connecting trench had been dug zoo yards forward, and work on the second parallel had begun. Two British redoubts had to be reduced in order to extend the line to the York River. This accomplished, Cornwallis’ only recourse was escape across the river to Gloucester Point where the American line was thinly held. A storm on the night of October 16 frustrated his attempt to do so, leaving him with no hope but relief from New York. Clinton had been considering such relief for days, but he acted too late. On the very day, October 17, that Admiral Graves set sail from New York with a reinforced fleet and 7,000 troops for the relief of Yorktown, Cornwallis began negotiations on terms of surrender. On October 19 his entire army marched out to lay down its arms, the British band playing an old tune called “The World Turned Upside Down.”

So far as active campaigning was concerned, Yorktown ended the war. Both Greene and Washington maintained their armies in position near New York and Charleston for nearly two years more, but the only fighting that occurred was some minor skirmishing in the South. Cornwallis’ defeat led to the overthrow of the British cabinet and the formation of a new government that decided the war in America was lost. With some success, Britain devoted its energies to trying to salvage what it could in the West Indies and in India. The independence for which Americans had fought thus virtually became a reality when Cornwallis’ command marched out of its breached defenses at Yorktown.

The Summing Up: Reasons, Lessons, and Meaning: The American victory in the War of the Revolution was a product of many factors, no one of which can be positively assigned first importance. Washington, looking back on the vicissitudes of eight years, could only explain it as the intervention of “Divine Providence.” American historians in the nineteenth century saw that “Divine Providence” as having been manifested primarily in the character and genius of the modest Commander in Chief himself. Washington’s leadership was clearly one of the principal factors in American success; it seems fair to say that the Revolution could hardly have succeeded without him. Yet in many of the events that led to victory. Bennington, Saratoga, King’s Mountain, and Cowpens, to name but a few of his personal influence was remote.

Today many scholars stress not the astonishment that Washington felt at the victory of a weak and divided confederation of American states over the greatest power of the age, but the practical difficulties the British faced in suppressing the revolt These were indeed great but they do not appear to have been insuperable if one considers military victory alone and not its political consequences. The British forfeited several chances for military victory in 1776-77, and again in 1780 they might have won had they been able to throw 10,000 fresh troops into the American war. American military leaders were more resourceful and imaginative than the British commanders, and they proved quite capable of profiting from British blunders. In addition to Washington, Nathanael Greene, Henry Knox, Daniel Morgan, and Benedict Arnold showed remarkable military abilities, and of the foreign volunteers Steuben and the young Lafayette were outstanding. The resourcefulness of this extraordinary group of leaders was matched by the dedication of the Continental rank and file to the cause. Only men so dedicated could have endured the hardships of the march to Quebec, the crossing of the Delaware, Valley Forge, Morristown, and Greene’s forced marches in the southern campaign. British and Hessian professionals never showed the same spirit; their virtues were exhibited principally in situations where discipline and training counted most.

The militia, the men who fought battles and then went home, also exhibited this spirit on many occasions. The militiamen have been generally maligned as useless by one school of thought, and glorified by another as the true victors in the war. In any balanced view it must be recognized that their contributions were great, though they would have counted for little without a Continental Army to give the American cause that continued sustenance that only a permanent force in being could give it. It was the ubiquity of the militia that made British victories over the Continentals in the field so meaningless. And the success with which the militia did operate derived from the firm political control the patriots had established over the countryside long before the British were in any position to challenge it if the situation that made the British task so difficult in the first place.

For all these American virtues and British difficulties and mistakes, the Americans still required French aid, money, supplies, and in the last phase military forces to win a decisive and clear-cut military victory. Most of the muskets, bayonets, and cannon used by the Continental Army came from France. The French contested the control of the seas that was so vital to the British, and compelled them to divert forces from the American mainland to other areas. The final stroke at Yorktown, though a product of Washington’s strategic conception, was possible only because of the temporary predominance of French naval power off the American coast and the presence of a French army.

French aid was doubly necessary because the American war effort lacked strong national direction. The Revolution showed conclusively the need for a central government with power to harness the nation’s resources for war. It is not surprising that in 1787 nearly all those who had struggled so long and hard as leaders in the Continental Army or in administrative positions under the Congress were to be found in the ranks of the supporters of a new constitution creating such a central government with a strong executive and the power to “raise armies and navies,” call out the militia, and levy taxes directly to support itself.

Strictly military lessons of the Revolution were more equivocal. Tactical innovations were not radical but they did represent a culmination of the trend, which started during the French and Indian War, toward employment of light troops as skirmishers in conjunction with traditional linear formations. By the end of the war both armies were fighting in this fashion. The Americans strove to develop the same proficiency as the British in regular line-of-battle tactics, while the British adapted to the American terrain and tactics by themselves employing skirmishers and fighting when possible from behind cover. Washington was himself a military conservative, and Steuben’s training program was designed to equip American troops to fight in European fashion with modifications to provide for the increased use of light infantry. The guerrilla tactics that characterized many actions, principally those of the militia, were no product of the design of Washington or his leading subordinates but of circumstances over which they had little control. The American rifle, most useful in guerrilla actions or in the hands of skirmishers, played no decisive role in the Revolution. It was of great value in wooded areas, as at Saratoga and King’s Mountain, but for open-field fighting its slow rate of fire and lack of a bayonet made it inferior to the musket.

Since both militia and Continentals played roles in winning the war, the Revolutionary experience provided ammunition for two diametrically opposed schools of thought on American military policy: the one advocating a large Regular Army, the other reliance on the militia as the bulwark of national defense. The real issue, as Washington fully recognized, was less militia versus Regulars, for he never believed the infant republic needed a large standing army, than the extent to which militia could be trained and organized to form a reliable national reserve. The lesson Washington drew from the Revolution was that the militia should be “well regulated,” that is, trained and organized under uniform national system in all the states and subject to call into national service in war or emergency.

The lesson had far greater implications for the future than any of the tactical changes wrought by the American Revolution. It balanced the rights of freedom and equality, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, with a corresponding obligation of all citizens for military service to the nation. This concept, which was to find explicit expression in the “nation in arms” during the French Revolution, was also implicit in the American, and it portended the end of eighteenth century limited war, fought by professional armies officered by an aristocratic class. As Steuben so well recognized, American Continentals were not professional soldiers in the European sense, and militia even less so. They were, instead, a people’s army fighting for a cause. In this sense then, the American Revolution began the “democratization of war,” a process that was eventually to lead to national conscription and a new concept of total war for total victory.

The Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States, recognized American independence and established borders for the new nation. After the British defeat at Yorktown, peace talks in Paris began in April 1782 between Richard Oswarld representing Great Britain and the American Peace Commissioners Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and John Adams. The American negotiators were joined by Henry Laurens two days before the preliminary articles of peace were signed on November 30, 1782. The Treaty of Paris, formally ending the war, was not signed until September 3, 1783. The Continental Congress, which was temporarily situated in Annapolis, Maryland, at the time, ratified the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784.


SOURCE: American Military History (United States Army Center of Military History)
CONTRIBUTOR: Frances Thompson

American Revolution: Continental Marines; Birth

The story began on the seacoast–Americans have been an amphibious people from the beginning. The Revolutionary War started when the colonists gathered to throw the British army out of Boston seaport. It was ended when Major General Charles Cornwallis, hoping to be resupplied by the British Navy, retreated to the sea at Yorktown, Virginia, and was cut off by the French Fleet. Rather than starve, the British army marched out and laid down their arms. Between those two events, the story of American independence was repeatedly shaped by the sea and the wilderness waterways.

In the fall of 1775, seven months after the first gunfire at Lexington and Concord, George Washington commanded the Colonial Army and although desperately short of guns and gunpowder, ringed Major General Thomas Gage’s Boston troops in an uneasy siege. At Philadelphia, the new-born Continental Navy was organizing its first excursion to sea. The Thirteen Colonies were fighting for their liberty, and young Americans were making up their minds about entering the fight.

In this crisis, John Trevett stepped ashore at Philadelphia from the 75-ton sloop Katy with a number of other volunteers. Trevett was twenty-eight, a Rhode Islander of a seafaring family–with courage, level headed intelligence and a quiet New England sense of humor. He believed earnestly in the revolution: “We are engaged in a good cause,” he wrote later in his journal, “and are fighting the Lord’s battles.”

John Trevett was one of the first men to serve as an American Marine. On November 10, shortly before he reached Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress, in session there, had resolved that two battalions of American Marines “be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies.” The two battalions, intended as part of an expedition to bring Nova Scotia into the revolution, were never raised; General Washington did not want men taken from his army. But on November 28, the Congress commissioned Captain Samuel Nicholas, a Quaker and blacksmith’s son, as the first Marine officer. The American Marines were born.

The Congress had already begun to pull together a Continental Navy and appointed a longtime merchant sea captain, Esek Hopkins of Rhode Island, as commander-in-chief of the fleet. “Though antiquated in figure,” General Henry Knox wrote his wife of Hopkins, “he is shrewd and sensible.” Commodore Hopkins promptly recruited a hundred men in his home state. Abraham Whipple brought some of them to Philadelphia in Katy, which then joined the Continental Navy as the 12-gun Providence. John Trevett was one of these volunteers, arriving in Philadelphia on December 5. It is possible that Trevett was signed up in Robert Mullan’s Tun Tavern on the east side of King (now South Water) street at the corner of Tun (now Wilco’s) Alley, which led down to the Delaware River. As Trevett wrote in his diary, “I went aboard the Ship Columbus as a First Lieutenant of Marines.” His formal commission was dated February 13, 1776, by which time he was already on board.

While the winter ice imprisoned Hopkin’s eight ships in Delaware Bay, he prepared his fleet and his officers enlisted 234 men to serve as Marines. Captain Nicolas was aboard the 24-gun flagship Alfred with Lieutenant Matthew Parke, son of prominent British family, and Lieutenant John Fitzpatrick. Also on Alfred was a young naval officer, John Paul Jones. John Trevett was lieutenant of Marines on the next largest ship, the 20-gun Columbus, with Marine Captain Joseph Shoemaker and Captain Whipple in command. Isaac Craig, an Irish-born carpenter, was lieutenant of Marines on the Brig Andrea Doria. Captain John Welsh, also Irish-born, led the Marines on the Brig Cabot. Lieutenant Henry Dayton commanded the 20 Marines on Providence. On February 17, the ice freed the squadron.

Hopkins’ orders were to tackle the British men-of-war off the Virginia and Carolina coasts. He decided to use his discretion; he had a better idea. Knowing General Washington was practically out of gunpowder; Hopkins planned to seize a supply of it from the enemy’s naval depot in the Bahamas.

On March 1, the little American fleet rendezvoused of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Hopkins organized a landing force of Marines under Captain Nicholas and 50 sailors led by Lieutenant Thomas Weaver of Cabot. Hopkins ordered them to sail, in Providence and two small captured sloops, to Nassau on the island of New Providence, where, he had heard; they would find 600 barrels of gunpowder.

Speeding ahead to surprise the British, the sloops with the landing force were spotted from the shore. The fort fired an alarm signal. Lieutenant John Paul Jones described the landing: “ We then ran in and anchored at a small key three leagues to windward of the town, and form thence the Commodore dispatched the Marines, with the sloop Providence and schooner Wasp to cover their landing, They landed without opposition.” They went ashore in whaleboats two miles east of Fort Montagu.

At 2 P.M. on Sunday, March 3 1778, American Marines had landed for the first time.

Lieutenant Trevett played a key role in the events that followed: “I took command of one of the companies and marched to the first fort (he wrote in his Journal.) They fired a few 18 pound shot, but did no damage. We saw an officer coming and I went up to know what he wanted. He informed me that Governor [Montfort] Brown[e] would wish to know who we were, and what our business was. We soon gave him his answer and the first fort [Fort Montagu] stopped firing, and that night we lodged in the fort.”

At daybreak, Nicholas marched the mile to the edge of town. There he demanded the keys to the second fort, Fort Nassau, and hauled down the British colors. It was as simple as that. But Nicholas’ decision to spend the night at Fort Montagu–and Hopkins failure to block the harbor–had been fatal to the success of the expedition. During the night, Governor Browne had sent off the bulk of the gunpowder–162 casks–to safety in Florida by two ships that sailed past Hopkins’ squadron.

With the landing force in possession of the forts, Hopkins brought Alfred into the harbor and came ashore. Trevett was assigned to take a detachment of 32 Marines and guard the governor in his house on the hill until they could back to the mainland as a prisoner.

The Americans found only 24 cask of gunpowder. They also took 46 cannon from Fort Nassau, 12 smaller guns from Fort Montagu, and 15 mortars. After loading this booty and assorted ammunition, they set sail on March 17, bringing with them three ships captured from the British and Governor Browne and two other officials as prisoners.

On the return cruise, Hopkins’ fleet met the 20-gun Glasgow off Block Island. At 2 A.M. on April 6, his flagship engaged the long frigate in a battle that opened when a Marine of Cabot tossed a grenade down on Glasgow’s deck. The fight raged for one and a half hours. Among the 11 Americans dead were 2nd Marine Lieutenant John Hood Wilson and two enlisted Marines of Cabot, which met the enemy first, and 2nd Lieutenant Fitzpatrick of Alfred. Fitzpatrick was standing next to Captain Nicholas on the quarter-deck when he was struck in the head by a musket ball. The damaged Glasgow high tailed it to Newport, Rhode Island; and Hopkins’ ships put in at New London. There were only one dead and three wounded on the British ships, all shot by the Marines musket fire.

News of the expedition stirred excitement in the colonies. Commodore Hopkins was congratulated by John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress; and on April 23 General Washington, on his way from Cambridge to New York, stopped at New London and honored Alfred with a visit. But later Hopkins was dismissed from the service on charges brought by a group of officers led by Marine Captain John Grannis.

Historians call the gunpowder expedition “the first fight in the records of the Regular Navy.” John Trevett was paid off in Continental Dollars–which, he noted, would pay him the equivalent of one pair of shoes for five months work–but he did not complain. He wrote cheerfully, “A grand cruise and I am glad it ended so well.”


SOURCE: U.S. Marine Corps Story; BY: J. Robert Moskin
CONTRIBUTOR: Cade Pommeraan