Military Professionalism, Seminole Wars, Indian Removal, and Annexation of Texas

Lots to cover in this early 19th century era! Some useful links and resources:

“Fighters to the End,” about the bitter rivalry between Sylvanus Thayer and Alden Partridge.

Ships of Sail (US Navy. Explore frigates, brigs, and sloops). The only remaining US Navy sailing ship in commission is the USS Constitution. See for example, the USS Constitution‘s Battle Record (our source for last time’s letters describing battle with HMS Java, Dec 1812)

1821 Army Regulation Manual, authored by Gen. Winfield Scott

Seminole Nation’s perspective on the Seminole Wars

Video: “The Seminole War” (Historical Society of Palm Beach County)

Maj Gen Scott’s Military Order No. 25 regarding Cherokee removal, 1838

A Soldier Recalls the Cherokee Trail of Tears (1838, written in 1890)

Critical Period + War of 1812

Useful links:

Battle of Fallen Timbers (Army Historical Foundation)

The War of 1812 (American Battlefield Trust)

Smithsonian Magazine, “Your Guide to the Three Weeks of 1814 that We Today Call the War of 1812

USS Constitution Museum website — why “Old Ironsides” was the ship to beat in 1812

More about the bombardment of Fort McHenry, Baltimore, in September 1814 and Key’s poem that became today’s national anthem

The actual flag that Key wrote about is in the Smithsonian’s collection, btw

Battle of New Orleans: A Closer Look (28-minute video of a 2015 panel, featuring the governor of Louisiana and panel of historical experts, Louisiana Public Broadcasting)

American Revolution – Links and Resources

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

Flintlock musket demo (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, FYI)

American Battlefield Trust – Bunker Hill (this organization has created many such 4-minute explainers, they’re all quite good)

Revolutionary War Battles, interactive maps and other resources from American Battlefield Trust

Mount Vernon, Yorktown Battle Animation (there’s also a Winter Patriot film covering the winter of 1776-1777 and the battles of Trenton and Princeton)

Origins, pre-1760s

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 to consider:

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

Links to Explore:

Use (or Mis-Use) of the Trebuchet by Cortez at Tenochtitlan, 1521 (present-day Mexico City)
Jamestown Fort 1607 (Virginia)
Anglo-Powhatan Wars, 1610s-1640s (Virginia)
Pequot War, 1636-1637 (Connecticut)
Overview of Iroquois Wars (“Beaver Wars”) 1640-1701 (Great Lakes Region / Eastern Canada)
Pueblo Revolt 1680, a firsthand account from the Spanish (present-day New Mexico)
Narrative of Mary Rowlandson, a New England Puritan captive during King Philips’ War 1675 (Lancaster, MA)

Course Welcome, Spring 2024

Hello and welcome to the course! Learn about your instructor here.

Our first class meeting will take place Tues, Jan 16 in Sullivan Academic Center, Room 326.

Please make sure you do the following in Week 1.

  • Read the syllabus. Several times.
  • 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 in this website’s sidebar or under “Getting Started” on Blackboard.
  • Contribute to the Hello discussion board by 11:59 pm on Jan 19.
  • Read the assigned chapters for Jan 16 and 18. 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 19 at 11:59 pm.
  • Got questions? Put them on the Questions and Answers discussion board, message me from Blackboard, or text / email me using the contact information in the syllabus

Finally, yes — this class has a GIGANTIC reading load. I’ve identified key terms within 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 and class note-taking starting next week will also help make sense of the readings. I’ll have more to say about how to read the textbooks in our early days together — don’t let the length of these books concern you too much at this point.