General Washington’s Commando

Benjamin Tallmadge in the Revolutionary War


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About the Book

The multi-faceted Revolutionary War career of Benjamin Tallmadge included operations as a dragoon commander, intelligence and counter-intelligence officer, and master of combined land-sea operations. Tallmadge fought in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, and Germantown, and defended the Patriot population in the no-man’s-land of Westchester County against British and Tory raiders. After Washington rewarded him with his own legion, he unleashed bold raids on British-occupied Long Island from his bases in Connecticut. All the while, he ran Washington’s most active espionage ring in New York and Long Island. Reversing roles, he played a key role in foiling Benedict Arnold’s plot to betray the American stronghold of West Point to the British.
Tallmadge’s Revolutionary service graphically illuminates the struggle in the region that witnessed the most continuous, relentless, often pitiless, fighting of the struggle. In particular, this book describes the internecine quality of the fighting in politically-divided Long Island and Westchester, and details how the struggle continued without let-up even after Yorktown. Though Tallmadge’s fascinating post-war career receives careful attention, the book focuses on his Revolutionary War service.

About the Author(s)

Richard F. Welch teaches American and military history at Farmingdale State College, in Farmingdale, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Richard F. Welch
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 17 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7963-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1536-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
1. The Young Whig 5
2. First Blood 10
3. Philadelphia and New York 22
4. Spymaster 34
5. The Oppressed Island 46
6. Slash and Parry in the Neutral Ground 63
7. Spycatcher 78
8. Raider 90
9. Yorktown, Slongo, and Huntington 103
10. Enterprises, Financial and Military 119
11. Endings and Beginnings 131
12. A New World 140
13. Senior Statesman 157
14. An Accomplished Man 171
Chapter Notes 175
Bibliography 189
Index 191

Book Reviews & Awards

“highly readable and often lively book”—Strategy Page; “Welch’s highly readable and often lively book, the first life of Tallmadge in nearly 70 years, helps rescue this very interesting office from obscurity”—The NYMAS Review.