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Revolution on the River
The Hudson River Ramblers
- YANKEE DOODLE (2:45)
The first verse and chorus of this well-known song are believed to have been written by a Dr. Richard Shuckburgh, a British military surgeon, while stationed at Fort Crailo, across the river from Albany, during the French and Indian War. It eventually went on to become one of the most often sung and parodied songs by BOTH sides during the Revolutionary War.
- SYBILS REVERED RIDE [APRIL 26-27, 1777] (7:52)
Paul Revere made his famous 16 mile ride at age 40. Sybil Luddington, age 16, rode 40 miles around the vicinity of Mahopac, New York, rounding up hundreds of militia men, who helped turn back a major British attack on Danbury, Connecticut.
- SOLDIER, SOLDIER, WILL YOU MARRY ME (1:58)
At the outbreak of the war, many colonists went off to battle with just their ordinary, everday clothes. This is a humorous song about how one soldier deviously solved the problem of obtaining some much needed clothing to fight for freedom!
- THE SCOURGE OF THE HIGHLANDS [January 22, 1777] (5:12)
Throughout the valley there roamed "cow boys," who stole cattle from local farms and sold them to the British. This is the story of Claudius Smith, the nastiest of this kind of "exploiter" of the conflict, who terrorized farmers of the lower Hudson Valley, marauding over the hills from Mahwah, New Jersey, to Monroe, New York.
- THE RIFLEMEN OF BENNINGTON [August 16, 1777] (1:54)
As Burgoynes army moved south from Canada into the upper Hudson Valley, he found he needed a more local source of supplies. He sent a detachment of some 800 German and loyalist soldiers under Lt.. Colonel Baum (he spoke no English!) to raid the rebel warehouses in Bennington, Vermont. They were routed by General Stark and his New York, Vermont and New Hampshire militia near Hoosick Falls, New York, about 15 miles east of the river.
- REMEMBER JANE McCREA! [July 27, 1777] (4:48)
The murder of this young woman in Ft. Edward, New York, by Indians sympathetic to the British and fighting under Burgoyne, caused many to join the war on the side of the "rebels."
- THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA [September 19 & October 7, 1777] (6:20)
Fought along the heights above the Hudson River in Stillwater, New York, the two battles won by General Gates American army (Freemans Farm and Bemis Heights) led to Burgoynes surrender, considered the "turning point" of the war. Not only was it the first great decisive victory won by the colonists (Burgoyne surrendered his entire army of some 5,000 men), it also convinced King Louis XVI to actively support the rebel colonists (and strike a blow against their old enemy, England) with French soldiers, ships, weapons, and money.
- THE BITTER PILL [October 6, 1777] (3:45)
The British, sailing north from New York City, broke the "Yankee Pumpkin Vine," a huge iron chain stretched across the river from Anthonys Nose to Popolopen Creek, and captured Fort Clinton and Montgomery near Bear Mountain. But a message of the victory never reached beleaguered General Burgoyne, who was counting on their help at Saratoga.
- THE BATTLE OF STONY POINT [July 15 & 16, 1779] (1:58)
General "Mad" Anthony Wayne led a daring and successful midnight attack on this strategic fort, considered "impregnable" by the British. It was the closest spot to New York City where men and supplies could be transported safely across the river.
- THE SPY [September 1776 - April 1780] (4:59)
Enoch Crosby, a dour cobbler, exposed "Tory Nests," Loyalist recruiting operations, active from the Hudson Highlands to Vermont. James Fenimore Coopers play, "The Spy," is based on his deeds.
- TREASON OF THE DARKEST DYE [September 22 - October 2, 1780] (7:25)
The most serious threat to the security of the river occurred when General Benedict Arnold, then commander at West Point, conspired to betray the fortifications to the British Major John Andre. If this strategic location, where a new and stronger chain had been placed, had fallen into British hands, control of the river would have been lost to the British, and the war might well have had a far different outcome.
- THE GATHERNING STORM [March-April, 1783] (6:30)
After the final defeat of the British at Yorktown, Washington set up his headquarters in Newburgh, just north of West Point, while the Continental Army settled in at nearby New Windsor. Some of the officers, who had many justifiable grievances, plotted to defy General Washington and march to Philadelphia, where they planned to take Congress at gunpoint. Washingtons words, actions, and example inspired them to patience and patriotism.
- FOLLOW WASHINGTON/A TOAST (1:45)
These two songs, praising and honoring the highly regarded Commander-in-Chief, show how much he was loved and respected by his soldiers, who would do anything for him and follow him anywhere.
- DOODLE DANDY (1:44)
One of the songs sung by the Continental soldiers as they marched victoriously from New Windsor to New York City at the conclusion of the war in late 1783. Their final task was to accompany Washington and help oversee the evacuation of the British from the last occupied city in the newly-formed United States.
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