Here is a compelling portrait of the Revolutionary War general whose skills as an engineer and artilleryman played a key role in all of George Washington's battles including the Siege of Boston (where his use of cannons at Dorchester Heights won back the city) and the Battle of Trenton (where he was in charge of Washington's crossing of the Delaware River). Knox became an major advocate of the U.S. Constitution and served as the nation's first Secretary of War. He was co-founder of the U.S. Navy, laid the foundations for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and negotiated treaties and set policy with Native Americans.With nail-biting battle scenes, patriotism and deep understanding of his subject, Mark Puls breathes new life into the American Revolution and firmly assigns Knox to his deserved place in history.
In this brisk, informative biography, journalist and author Puls (Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution) celebrates Gen. Henry Knox, "a remarkably ubiquitous presence during America's founding generation," who has been "curiously overlooked by historians." At age 18, Knox (1750 1806) joined the local Boston militia and became a self-taught "skilled engineer and military tactician." Once the American Revolution began, General Washington appointed Knox to build and lead the army's artillery corps. Knox remained at Washington's side and supervised the 1776 Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware. He went on to command the Yorktown artillery in 1781. The then "youngest major general in the American army" retired to become secretary at war and to lay the basis for a visionary citizen army. Knox later sanctioned the American navy and promoted the creation of a military academy at West Point. His private life was burdened by years of separation from his wife and the untimely deaths of nine of their 12 children. In 1806 Knox died unexpectedly from an infection caused by a chicken bone lodged in his throat. Puls's authoritative and absorbing account of Knox's life is a fitting tribute to General Washington's "indispensable man."
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Read this when first released and again now. Amazing portrait of a bookstore owner turned invaluable revolutionary war hero. Knox was one of the few true set of shoulders Washington leaned on during the war. The book tells the Knox story in an entertaining way that makes you feel like you're there, watching all the action in person.