Ohio History Journal

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Anthony Wayne: Trouble Shooter of the American Revolution.

By Harry Emerson Wildes. (New York, Harcourt, Brace

and Co., 1941. 514p. Illus. and maps. $3.75.)

This volume is a biography written by one who knows inti-

mately the Pennsylvania background of the famous Revolutionary

hero. The author was born in the neighboring state of Delaware,

holds a degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and has

served as literary editor of the Philadelphia Public Ledger. He,

moreover, has lived for many years at Valley Forge in the heart

of the country which Wayne called home during most of his life-

time and he has written volumes on Valley Forge and the Dela-

ware (in the Rivers of America Series).

The present volume is not a hasty, journalistic production.

Rather, the author has, in painstaking fashion, consulted practi-

cally all significant material which exists in printed form and many

manuscript collections, especially the Wayne Papers belonging to

the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and about five thousand

personal letters (which were commonly believed to have been de-

stroyed) in the possession of the Wayne family at the ancestral

home. He has, moreover, consulted many persons who have a

specialized knowledge of certain aspects of Wayne's life and has

personally visited practically every spot with which Wayne's ca-

reer was connected.

He points out (p. 236) how during the winter of 1781 an

eccentric friend, who was denied a favor, mumbled that Wayne

apparently was "mad" or he would have acted otherwise. The

nickname clung to Wayne, and later generations have often jumped

at the conclusion that he was rash and impetuous rather than the

bold but careful military strategist that he actually was.

The military career of the "trouble-shooter" is painstakingly

presented as he served the patriot cause in the ill-fated invasion

of Canada, at Ticonderoga during the long winter of 1776-77,