by Craig Symonds
El Dorado Hills, Ca.: Savas Beatie, 2018. Pp. viii, 116.
Illus., maps, biblio., index. . $18.95. ISBN: 1611214424
A Reissue of a Classic
Originally published in 1986 primarily as an aid for his students, this rather slender volume by Prof. Symonds (Naval War College) has proven to be perhaps the best short overview of military events during the War for Independence.
Aside from an introduction, some “bridging” essays that fill in political and military developments not well illustrated by maps, and a conclusion, Symonds tells the story of the war using 41 maps, some of which are actually two or even three maps. There are all well drawn, by the well known graphic artist William J. Clipson, who has contributed to scores of works over the years.
Each map is accompanied by about 800 words of explanatory text about the operations pictured. These explanations often include little profiles of many of the commanders or comments on the military practice and equipment of the day. The coverage is impressively comprehensive. Symonds not only includes the more famous campaigns and battles, from Lexington and Conrod through Yorktown, but also many smaller events, such as the Battle of Paulus Hook, although oddly he omits operations on the Gulf Coast between the British and Spanish.
A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution remains a valuable work, particularly so for anyone in need of an introduction to the Revolutionary War.
Note: A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution is also available in several e-editions.