Clips from American Revolution Class, Jan 21

Links used or mentioned in class today –

Seven Years’ War – Battle scene (Barry Lyndon, 1975)

British tactics – volley fire (The Patriot, 2000)

Flintlock musket demo (we didn’t watch this in class, but it shows a British reenactor demonstrating top speed for re-loading a “British Brown Bess”-style flintlock musket & getting 3 shots off in 46 seconds)

Flintlock Loading (slower motion)

Yorktown Animation from Mount Vernon — really well done to learn about the closing battle of the Revolutionary War and the surrender of Cornwallis in fall 1781; there are 10 chapters, navigate by opening the chapter menu in the lower right corner. About 15 minutes total.

European Warfare, circa 17th century

In preparation for Tuesday’s class, watch and take notes on this 5-minute clip from the 2006 Spanish film Alatriste, depicting Spanish tercio (“pike and shot”) formations against French forces during the Battle of Rocroi in 1643, during the Thirty Years’ War. Rocroi was fought in the Ardennes region of northern France.

Questions we will discuss in class:

What equipment are the soldiers using?
What tactics does each side employ?
How do forces communicate on the battlefield?
How does this depiction differ from paintings made of the battle? For example …

In the late 1600s by Savuer Le Conte

Or in 1834 by Francois Joseph Heim

Course Welcome Spring 2020

Hello and welcome to the course!

Important announcement: the first week of our class (Jan 14 and 16) will happen ONLINE, as I will be attending an Army training course that certifies me to teach this as a military history course fulfilling the ROTC history requirement (even though I know that requirement may not apply to everyone taking the class this semester). 

Our first in-class meeting will take place Tues, Jan 21 in Sullivan 308.

Please make sure you do the following in Week 1, before we meet in person.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Blackboard set-up and bookmark the course website.
  • Obtain the textbook by Glatthaar, The American Military: A Concise History — from campus bookstore or rent/buy online.
  • Download the 2-volume textbook, American Military History as free PDFs — see links for this below or under “Getting Started” on Blackboard.
  • Contribute to the Day 1 introduction discussion board by 11:59 pm on Jan 14.
  • Read the assigned chapters for Jan 14 and 16. Take notes and define the syllabus terms as you read.
  • Sign up to present 2 different chapters, on the Google spreadsheet linked on Blackboard and the course website, by Jan 16 at 11:59 pm.
  • Got questions? Put them on the Troubleshooting discussion board, or email me at

Links to download the American Military History textbook
Volume 1

Finally, yes — this class has a significant reading load. I’ve identified key terms in each chapter on the syllabus for each day, which should help you know what to look for as you read, and the peer chapter presentations starting Jan 23 will also help make sense of the readings. I’ll have more to say about how to read the textbooks once we meet in person — don’t let the length of these books concern you too much at this point.