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Monmouth Court House: The Battle that Made the American Army Hardcover – June 28, 2010

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph Bilby served as lieutenant in the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam and is the author/editor of more than three hundred articles and fourteen books on New Jersey and military history. He is a trustee of the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association, publications editor for its 150th Anniversary Committee and assistant curator of the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey.

James M. Madden, born in Jersey City, New Jersey, has a BS in marketing from Saint Peter's University and is a political consultant and local historian who has contributed to or authored many books and publications. He is a trustee and treasurer of the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association and its 150th Anniversary Committee, a member of the Lincoln Group of NYC, the Association of Professional Genealogists, Hudson County Genealogical and Historical Society and the Company of Military Historians.

Harry Ziegler worked for many years at the Asbury Park Press, New Jersey's second largest newspaper, rising from reporter to bureau chief, editor and managing editor of the paper. He is currently associate principal of Bishop George Ahr High School, Edison, New Jersey, and has co-authored several books on New Jersey history.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing; 1st Edition edition (June 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594161089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594161087
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
In the product description, it read that the author put this battle within the context of the American Revolution. That description was no lie. Most of the book had little or nothing to do with the Battle of Monmouth Court House. Of the 261 pages of narrative, only about 45 pages deal with the battle and it many aspects. In those pages, it not only discussed the battle but all the legends, stories and other tidbits that went with the battle. What the book does discussed is the development of the American Army during the American Revolutionary War and that is more or less, the main subject of the book.

The book is well written and researched but it is rather an introductory level material. Veteran readers of the American Revolution won't learn anything new here. The information level is more or less for beginner readers of the subject. While the Battle of Monmouth Court House is the main battle discussed in this book, once again, it nice if you know nothing about the battle but if you are well familiar with the battle, this book adds nothing more. Its account is more or less, rather generic in nature. But by reading this book, you will probably agreed with the author that Battle of Monmouth Court House finally saw the American Army fighting as equals to the British military in terms of discipline, order and professionalism.

So in conclusion, if you were hoping for a detail, scholarly work on Monmouth Court House, you won't get it here. But if you were looking for some background military history leading up to this battle, this book may fit your bill. I gave this book three stars because when I began to read it, I was hoping that it was a book on the Battle of Monmouth Court House as the main subject. I was bit disappointed that it was not. Osprey's Campaign book on this subject will give you a greater understanding of the battle then this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This battle was the largest fought in the American Revolution. No larger battle has ever been fought in the entire Northeast of the United States. Yet, there is a surprising paucity of books concerning this pivotal event. Why is this so? Monmouth certainly gets mentioned in every history of the Rev War, but in-depth studies are scarce. William Stryker wrote a full length history many years ago, and while its comprehensive, the author's bias is decidedly slanted toward the patriot cause. Stryker does provide a more detailed description of the battle, but with some unfortunate errors. In particular noting that the British attacks upon the Hedgerow and elsewhere were in column! Certainly no such formation was ever employed at this or any other Rev War battle. I credit the current work with not making this mistake again.

The current authors unfortunately have not created the dffinitive study of the battle however. Too much time is wasted covering local New Jersey events during the Rev War. For sure the significant amount of infighting between Loyalist and Rebel was a key element of the conflict in this divided region, but it bears little importance on the Monmouth Campaign and battle itself. The authors would have done better to have written a separate book chronicling the Civil War in Jersey and concentrated instead on Monmouth.

With less than 300 pages too much time is taken up with background events, local history, and descriptions of the armies, leaders and equipment. For sure the book does pick up when the authors discuss the armies and leaders as it is here that we begin to get some idea what the decisive encounter in New Jersey might look like.
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Format: Hardcover
When the Continental Army left Valley Forge in the spring of 1778 George Washington was spoiling for a fight. His force which had been trained by Von Steuben was looking for the chance to prove itself to the British. On a brutally hot June 28th 1778, the Americans struck at Monmouth Courthouse in Central Jersey. The next day after the battle the British marched to the safety of New York City. History records the battle as a draw but the British never returned to N.j. in strength. The battle was one of the largest of the war and many luminaries were there.( Washington, Lafayette, Hamilton,Burr, Wayne, Cornwallis and others.
The battle has long deserved a full length study. Joseph Bilby and Katherine Bilby Jenkins ( father and daughter) has written a very in depth study of the engagement that is long and detailed on the events leading up to the battle but their examination of the battle itself is rather brief. Nevertheless the early chapters are quite interesting. They set a fascinating tone with setting the stage in a revolutionary New Jersey which has a fair amount of loyalists. The authors continue with discussions of the opposing forces,life in the military and examinations of tactics and weapons. The actual focus on the battle is short. This battle deserves more attention for the army that marched on Yorktown acquitted itself well at Monmouth.This book is interesting and the authors have a real grasp on military life but the definitive book on this crucial battle is yet to be written.
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with lordhoot's review. The details on the battle itself are sketchy, and the author does not seem to have used pension applications much. No good map of battlefield is given, and the author's description of the events is muddled.
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