|Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge|
There are definitely liberties being taken with history. For example, the last episode totally screwed up the two battles of Trenton and the battle of Princeton by conflating them, changing raging a nor’easter and an ice-choked river into fog and calm water, and then not showing any part of any of the three battles. What a disappointment! The attack was the point of the whole exercise, and leaving it out certainly didn’t give viewers any feel for the magnitude of what Washington and his soldiers accomplished. Instead the story focused on more fictitious personal drama—Tallmadge’s illness due to an accidental dunk into the river. Seriously?
Here’s a link to the History Channel’s minimalist account of the two battles. Indeed, first-hand reports from American soldiers in the first battle decisively debunk the myth that the Hessians were surprised by the attack because they were drunk from celebrating Christmas. In fact, they were on high alert after numerous militia probes over the preceding days. It was the monster nor’easter that concealed the movement of Washington’s corps and allowed them to overrun the Hessians’ defenses before they could mount an effective defense, not dereliction of duty by soldiers who happened to be seasoned professionals!
While you’re on the History Channel site, be sure to check out the page on the Culper Spy Ring and the videos they offer. They’re simplistic, but the one on the winter at Valley Forge is actually pretty good. Ignore the fact that the description about Washington escaping Brooklyn states: General Washington fleas across the East River under cover of darkness. Um…..
If you haven’t watched or need to catch up with the series, be aware that there was a close call between Abe and Anna in this episode as they gave into temptation, only to be interrupted by a British soldier who, in a delicious bit of irony, reminded them of their better natures. Adultery happens, even among Christians, and I can accept its being in a series as long as it’s not explicit and the consequences for both parties are honestly shown, as here. All of us have been tempted in one form or another, and we’ve all given in to it at some point. Let’s not glory in sin, however, and let’s be honest about the damage it does. In this case, neither Abe nor Anna looked too happy when they were confronted by an enemy soldier who humbly called them to account.
We don’t see too many TV shows or movies on the Revolution. What’s your take on this series? Are you enjoying it? Do you feel they’re doing a good job? Are you learning anything about this period and the founding of our country? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts!