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Red Coats & Grey Jackets: The Battle of Chippawa, 5 July 1814 [Paperback]

Donald E. Graves
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 25 1996

"... the definitive analysis of the battle of Chippawa. Donald Graves establishes its historical background, describes the opposing armies, brings them into battle, and assesses the results, without wasting a word yet his account of the battle combines high colour and exact detail. You find yourself alternately in the generals' boots and the privates' brogans, in all the smoke, shock and uproar of a short-range, stand-up fire fight."

- John Elting, author of Swords Around a Throne: Napoleon's Grande Armee


Frequently Bought Together

Red Coats & Grey Jackets: The Battle of Chippawa, 5 July 1814 + Where Right and Glory Lead!: The Battle of Lundy's Lane, 1814 + Field of Glory: The Battle of Crysler's Farm, 1813
Price For All Three: CDN$ 71.14


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Product Description

Review

"Donald Graves appears determined to become a one-man-band on the War of 1812 ... Meticulously documented, cogently argued, this book alone will likely secure his reputation among military historians."

(James Elliott)

"With the aid of Bill Constable's excellent maps, and a number of the participant's own descriptions, Donald Graves furnishes a clear, easy-to-follow account, demonstrating a through understanding of the tactical factors and leadership qualities which affected the outcome."

(Ed Dovey)

"The quality of writing and information is superb."

(Geoffrey Hayes)

"Highly recommended for anyone interested in the British Army's hard fought 1812-15 battles in North America."

(Ian Kemp)

"... the definitive analysis of the battle of Chippawa. Donald Graves establishes its historical background, describes the opposing armies, brings them into battle, and assesses the results, without wasting a word — yet his account of the battle combines high colour and exact detail. You find yourself alternately in the generals' boots and the privates' brogans, in all the smoke, shock and uproar of a short-range, stand-up fire fight."

- John Elting, author of Swords Around a Throne: Napoleon's Grande Armee

About the Author

A military historian with the Department of National Defence, Canada, Donald E. Graves has published many articles and monographs on warfare in the Mapoleonic period, including Sir William Congreve and the Rocket's Red Glare (1989). Red Coats and Grey Jackets is Graves's sixth book. he is the author of The Battle of Lundy's Lane, 1814 (1993) and co-author of Normandy 1944: The Canadian Summer (1994). His current project is to compile a comprehensive anthology of eyewitness accounts of the War of 1812. Donald Graves resides near Almonte, Ontario. when he is not researching or writing, he likes to engage in his two favourite hobbies - emuwatching and viticulture.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Revises Myths of the Battle April 12 2002
Format:Paperback
Mr.Graves does an excellent job descirbing an obscure, yet compelling battle of the War of 1812. Winfield Scott professionally trained and lead his famed brigade at Chippewa where he managed to get the better of the British in a brief, but hard fought firer-fight. The book correctly dispels many of the myths associated with this battle. Contrary to popular opinion, the British did not attack in column, as many histories of the war have asserted. The British were a linear army, they generally deployed and fought in a two rank line. This is how they fought and defeated Napeolean in Spain. It would have been illogical of them to have fought any other way at this battle. Although the British were known to employ the column on occasion, Chippewa was not one of them. Another myth dispelled is that Scott's brigade routed Gen. Riall's command. The British were bested in a fair-firefight, and retired in good order. They did not rout or run off the field as claimed in many works. Also, there is no documented evidence that Gen. Riall exclaimed "By God those are regulars!" when he saw Scott's brigade advancing in a professional manner against him. Graves asserts that this famous quote, found in every history on the War of 1812 was first used by Scott himself in his memoirs written many years later. Scott had a tendency to inflate his own importance and liked to refer to himself in the third person in order to do so! Still another myth associated with this battle is that the grey jackets worn by many of Scott's brigade were adopted by West Point to commemorate the battle. Evidence suggests that the US Military Academy had already adopted the grey jacket at least a year before the event. Scott had no particular preference whether his men wore grey or regualtion blue uniforms. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'Those are Regulars, By God!' Oct. 7 2000
Format:Paperback
So stated the British commander on the field of Chippawa in July 1814 as the American Brigade commanded by Winfield Scott crossed the open field, closing ranks as men fell, and descended on the British battalions like 'gray doom.'
This outstanding volume by War of 1812 authority Donald Graves expertly tells the tale of the first stand up fight during the war where American regulars defeated and routed a British army. Expertly trained by Scott, the American Left Division of Jacob Brown was the best force the Americans fielded during the war. Using the excellent French 1791 Reglement, Scott untiringly trained his regulars in the Buffalo encampment and led them against the British until a wound at Lundy's Lane, after Chippawa, knocked him out of the war.
This rousing tale 'of much fight' is one of the best battle narratives written, and paints in broad strokes the desperate fighting on the Niagara frontier in 1814, where American, Briton, and Canadian fought against each other in some of the most desperate battles of the period.
This excellent volume is indispensable for a realistic view of the period, and the research that went into the book is intense, accurate, and tells a tale of valor, ingenuity, and the terror of the early 19th century battlefield. It is a must to understand the period and belongs on the bookshelf of every historian and enthusiast of the period.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
Donald Graves has become the foremost modern military historian of the War of 1812 with the publication of this book and his previous "The Battle of Lundy's Lane" (Baltimore, 1993). The Battle of Chippawa was an American victory on July 5, 1814 during the early stages of the United States' last attemp to invade Canada. The battle was marked by the emergence of a professional Regular Army that could fight the British Redcoats on their own terms and defeat them in an even fight. The British commander, Major General Phineas Riall, contemptuous of troops he took to be grey-clad American militia, uttered the famous phrase "Why, these are Regulars!" as the Americans successfully maneuvered and defeated his forces. (A modern painting of the battle complete with Riall's quote hangs in most American Army bases and Reserve Centers today.) Graves is a master of the sources and is a talented writer. His book is fully illustrated and contains adequate maps to follow the action along the Niagara River. He applies his knowledge and critical analysis equally to the British, Canadians, and Americans and creates a model of a battle analysis within the context of the larger campaign. His earlier work on the bloodier but inconclusive Battle of Lundy's Lane contains the story of the campaign's outcome: that the Americans lost so many soldiers at Chippawa and Lundy's Lane that they were forced on the defensive, but were able to defeat the British attempt to force them back across the Niagara River at the siege of Fort Erie. With the coming of winter the Americans retreated back into New York state, only to learn that the war had come to an end. Graves is a military historian with the Canadian Department of National Defense and is perhaps the best military historian now working in the field of the War of 1812
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best modern military studies of the 1814 campaign April 16 1999
By ewhoffmn@gateway.net - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Donald Graves has become the foremost modern military historian of the War of 1812 with the publication of this book and his previous "The Battle of Lundy's Lane" (Baltimore, 1993). The Battle of Chippawa was an American victory on July 5, 1814 during the early stages of the United States' last attemp to invade Canada. The battle was marked by the emergence of a professional Regular Army that could fight the British Redcoats on their own terms and defeat them in an even fight. The British commander, Major General Phineas Riall, contemptuous of troops he took to be grey-clad American militia, uttered the famous phrase "Why, these are Regulars!" as the Americans successfully maneuvered and defeated his forces. (A modern painting of the battle complete with Riall's quote hangs in most American Army bases and Reserve Centers today.) Graves is a master of the sources and is a talented writer. His book is fully illustrated and contains adequate maps to follow the action along the Niagara River. He applies his knowledge and critical analysis equally to the British, Canadians, and Americans and creates a model of a battle analysis within the context of the larger campaign. His earlier work on the bloodier but inconclusive Battle of Lundy's Lane contains the story of the campaign's outcome: that the Americans lost so many soldiers at Chippawa and Lundy's Lane that they were forced on the defensive, but were able to defeat the British attempt to force them back across the Niagara River at the siege of Fort Erie. With the coming of winter the Americans retreated back into New York state, only to learn that the war had come to an end. Graves is a military historian with the Canadian Department of National Defense and is perhaps the best military historian now working in the field of the War of 1812
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revises Myths of the Battle April 12 2002
By Roger Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mr.Graves does an excellent job descirbing an obscure, yet compelling battle of the War of 1812. Winfield Scott professionally trained and lead his famed brigade at Chippewa where he managed to get the better of the British in a brief, but hard fought firer-fight. The book correctly dispels many of the myths associated with this battle. Contrary to popular opinion, the British did not attack in column, as many histories of the war have asserted. The British were a linear army, they generally deployed and fought in a two rank line. This is how they fought and defeated Napeolean in Spain. It would have been illogical of them to have fought any other way at this battle. Although the British were known to employ the column on occasion, Chippewa was not one of them. Another myth dispelled is that Scott's brigade routed Gen. Riall's command. The British were bested in a fair-firefight, and retired in good order. They did not rout or run off the field as claimed in many works. Also, there is no documented evidence that Gen. Riall exclaimed "By God those are regulars!" when he saw Scott's brigade advancing in a professional manner against him. Graves asserts that this famous quote, found in every history on the War of 1812 was first used by Scott himself in his memoirs written many years later. Scott had a tendency to inflate his own importance and liked to refer to himself in the third person in order to do so! Still another myth associated with this battle is that the grey jackets worn by many of Scott's brigade were adopted by West Point to commemorate the battle. Evidence suggests that the US Military Academy had already adopted the grey jacket at least a year before the event. Scott had no particular preference whether his men wore grey or regualtion blue uniforms. All he was concerned with was a professional appearence. The grey jackets were sent because that was all that was available. Normally militia wore such uniforms in the US army.
Chippewa created quite a sensation in the States because it was one of the first battles the US regular army actually won against British regulars during the whole war. Up until this point the US regular army had not conducted itself much better than militia! The varied and un-even performance of the American army during the whole War of 1812 was no doubt quite vexing to the British. In a strange way it might have worked to the advantage of the Americans in some cases, although the often poor showing the army made in most engagements did not reflect well upon the young nations honor.
The real winners of this controversial battle was Winfield Scott and co. who would become the doyens of American military culture throughout the 19th century. In many respects the US army was founded on the Niagara Frontier in 1814, and not at Valley Forge in 1778. Chippewa and Lundy's Lane a few weeks later were important landmarks in this development. They deserve to be remembered. Thanks to Graves perhaps now they will be.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Those are Regulars, By God!' Oct. 7 2000
By Kevin F. Kiley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
So stated the British commander on the field of Chippawa in July 1814 as the American Brigade commanded by Winfield Scott crossed the open field, closing ranks as men fell, and descended on the British battalions like 'gray doom.'
This outstanding volume by War of 1812 authority Donald Graves expertly tells the tale of the first stand up fight during the war where American regulars defeated and routed a British army. Expertly trained by Scott, the American Left Division of Jacob Brown was the best force the Americans fielded during the war. Using the excellent French 1791 Reglement, Scott untiringly trained his regulars in the Buffalo encampment and led them against the British until a wound at Lundy's Lane, after Chippawa, knocked him out of the war.
This rousing tale 'of much fight' is one of the best battle narratives written, and paints in broad strokes the desperate fighting on the Niagara frontier in 1814, where American, Briton, and Canadian fought against each other in some of the most desperate battles of the period.
This excellent volume is indispensable for a realistic view of the period, and the research that went into the book is intense, accurate, and tells a tale of valor, ingenuity, and the terror of the early 19th century battlefield. It is a must to understand the period and belongs on the bookshelf of every historian and enthusiast of the period.
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Joseph Henderson, 22nd U.S. Infantry Regiment May 5 2014
By Barbara L. Morey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Never expected to see my great-great-grandfather's name in the book, but his company was mentioned a few times. Liked the detailed information on the battle. Now I know just what he did in the battle.
5.0 out of 5 stars Resource July 27 2013
By Senior Citizen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Two of my Grandfathers fought in this battle. Also, I grew up 6 miles from Fort Ripley Minnesota which was named after one of the Generals involved it his battle. It was a valuable source adding much insight to my Family History project
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