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Operation: Holdfast

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  • Operation: Holdfast

    Here follows all that I have written thus far of a scenario called 'Operation: Holdfast', which I began over on shortly before I got shoved off to Coventry.

    Operation: Holdfast
    Date: January 8th, 1936
    Location: The Farm, Monee Township, Illinois
    Time: 1:00 PM

    From his office at the Farm, Otis Needleman places a call to Mr. Smith and says “Jim, I just wanted to update you on the status of the job that Joanne Faulkner and May Day are on. Assets are in position and they have eyes on target. May Day anticipates dropping the hammer tomorrow evening.” Mr. Smith replies “excellent news, Otis. The sooner the pathetic shade of that slimy bastard Senator Bilbo is howling in hell, the better I’ll like it. While you’re still on the line, I have a tasking order for you.”

    “Go ahead, boss.”

    Mr. Smith pauses momentarily on his end of the line, then says “execute Operation: Holdfast at the earliest possible opportunity. Put Mike Garrity in charge of the operation and tell him that he can recruit his operators from among the Organization’s present staff, and that he can call upon my uptime and downtime assets for whatever material support is needed.”

    “Received and understood. I think Mr. Garrity will enjoy this assignment because he spent half his life in New England before you recruited him; he’s also got a special familiarity with Massachusetts.”

    “That’s why the operation is his to command.”

    “Understood, Jim. Needleman out.”

    Over the next several months, Mr. Garrity recruits the necessary personnel from among Mr. Smith’s staff. The Maine Section is given the task of having an exact copy of an 18th-century merchant ship constructed, and then the supplies, equipment, tools and weapons are loaded aboard. Lastly, Garrity and his personnel come aboard and the ship puts out to sea. Once the ‘Columbia’ is out of the sight of land, the ship’s portable time drive is activated. ‘Columbia’ disappears from the here & now of May, 1936 and reappears in the same location on May 5th, 1770.

    As soon as ‘Columbia’ is thoroughly checked for any possible damage from the temporal displacement, Mr. Garrity orders the ship’s helmsman to set course for the mouth of the Connecticut River, east of Saybrook Point on the shore of Long Island Sound. Due to weather conditions that are somewhat adverse, ‘Columbia’ takes a week to make the voyage. When she arrives, the ship is sailed up the Connecticut River to the port town of Hartford. The crew of ‘Columbia’ ties her up dockside on the city’s riverfront, and Garrity goes ashore in company with three of his men to arrange for the purchase of wagons and horse teams.

    Though all of Garrity’s personnel are dressed in period-correct outfits, this is not what causes them to stand out. Rather, it is Garrity’s enormous stature that draws curious onlookers. In an age when most men average 5’8” in height and weigh between 140 and 165 lbs, Mike stands out at 6’4” and 290 lbs. Even so, his money is just as good as anyone else’s. The expedition is very well-supplied with coin (in the form of gold Guinea coins from Britain and silver Eight-Reales from Spain, and so the transaction is completed within two days. The wagons and teams are driven dockside, there to be loaded with the cargo from the ‘Columbia’ and taken in hand by Mike Garrity’s people. The volume of the cargo is such that two round trips are going to have to be made in order to deliver it all.

    On May 14th, Garrity sees that all is in readiness and assumes his position at the head of the column. The objective is Westfield, a small town in the western reaches of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, near the confluence of two rivers which will be later known as the ‘Westfield’ and ‘Little’ rivers, respectively. Due to the size of the column and the primitive state of the roads in this region, the trip is expected to take approximately three weeks.

    The purpose of Operation: Holdfast is to establish a foothold in the New England Colonies prior to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. The expedition’s load-out of equipment and supplies was chosen with this purpose in mind. First, there are eighty crates of rifle-muskets with ten guns per crate. These weapons are patterned after the Enfield P-1861, except that they have flintlock ignition. Other weapons are one hundred rifled flintlock cavalry carbines with 24” barrels (modeled on the P-1861 Artillery carbine; these are contained in ten cases with ten guns in each), sixty flintlock artillery rifles with 30” barrels (modeled after the P-1861 Enfield ‘Naval’ rifle) and 100 cased pairs of flintlock cavalry pistols. These last guns have 12” barrels and are in .58-caliber (just as the long guns are).

    The artillery consists of four 20-pdr rifled guns (patterned after the Model 1861 Ordnance Rifle), two 12-pdr field guns with bronze barrels (patterned on the Model 1857 Napoleon and intended for close-in defense of the battery) and six short-barreled howitzers (copies of the Model 1841 12-pdr Mountain Howitzer). Due to the size and weight of the artillery, they will come in the second shipment (as will the one hundred tons of reagent-grade sulfur in wooden barrels that hold 50 lbs each).

    Four wagons are loaded with various kinds or personal accoutrements and leather gear for issue to infantry, cavalry and artillery troops, four more wagons are loaded with medical supplies, two with personal gear and the remainder with patterns, tooling, dies, molds and gauges necessary to set up a machine shop and gun factory. The machine tools are broken down into their component parts, and all are designed to use water power; the drill bits, milling bits, taps, dies and saw blades are all of the very finest tungsten-alloy tool steel. In order to allay any suspicions, all of these items have had their appearances altered to match the appearance of the same items as they were produced in the mid-to late 18th century.

    On June 6th, Garrity’s column rolls into Westfield on the post road leading from Springfield. While his men concentrate on setting up camp in an open field along the banks of the Westfield River near the road, Garrity walks across the road to Fowler’s Tavern. This building is located on a low rise near the confluence of the Westfield River and the Little River, having been built some 15 years previously in 1755. From this historical record, he knows that the Westfield Town Council holds forth in public session the first week of every month. Unless bad weather forces them inside, the sessions take place under a gigantic elm tree located directly in front of Fowler’s Tavern.

    As luck would have it, the Town Council is in session. The members of this august body couldn’t help but notice the line of wagons coming into town, because the post road from Springfield runs right past the front of Fowler’s Tavern. As Mr. Garrity walks over, he sees a number of men sitting under the elm tree and says “prithee, do I have the honor of addressing the town council of Westfield?”

    A distinguished-looking gentleman of medium years rises from his bench and says “you do, sir. I am Obadiah Noble, and I am the mayor of this fair town. May I have the pleasure of your name, sir?”

    “Mr. Mayor, my name is Michael Garrity. I was born in the Colony of Virginia and I grew up in the Colony of Pennsylvania. I went into business with the aid of Mr. James Smith (also from Pennsylvania). My commercial ventures here in the Americas and overseas were extremely successful. After some few years, I found that the climate of the southern colonies was not to my liking, and so I resolved to remove myself to a more amenable northern climate. I have a particular regard for the people and lands of western Massachusetts. I liquidated my business holdings, purchased a new stock of goods and equipment and so, I am here.”

    “I understand, sir. What is it that you seek from the council?”

    “Your Honor, I seek the council’s approval for the purchase of certain lots and acreage both within and without the town. My purpose in doing so is the establishment of commercial enterprises such as a coalyard, a lumber yard, a grist mill, a powder mill, a machine shop, an iron foundry and an arms manufactory. These businesses will require much effort to set them up, so I will hire any who are willing from among the town’s population and pay them good wages. Afterwards, I will need good workers and these will be likewise hired and paid accordingly. I have substantial financial resources available to me, so I will be able to pay fair prices for the land I need.”

    Mayor Noble thinks for a few moments, then confers with the other members of the town council. Heads are nodded all around, then His Honor replies “Mr. Garrity, your offer is fair to behold. The town council has authorized me to accept it, and it is certain to be well-received of the townspeople. You see, times are rather hard because business has declined of late owing to the unstable political situation between the colonies and England.”

    Garrity replies “I know full-well whereof you speak, Your Honor. When my ship put into port in the town of Hartford, I received late intelligence of the massacre perpetrated upon certain residents of Boston by British troops on the evening of May 5th. Unless I am very much mistaken, I judge it to be highly-likely that the several colonies will come into conflict with England before many more years pass. Should such unfortunate circumstances come about, know that my entire business enterprise will be tasked with the solemn duty of contributing to the safety of Massachusetts. What say you all, Your Honor and honorable members of the town Council?”

    Obadiah Noble and the other members of the council rise to their feet as one man and speak with one voice ‘Aye!!”

    Setting up shop
    Date: June 20th, 1770
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 12:00 Noon

    In the aftermath of Mike Garrity’s arrival in Westfield and upon receiving approval from Mayor Noble and the Town Council, Garrity dispatched teams of his men for the purpose of locating and surveying suitable plots of land for the establishment of his businesses. After two weeks of work, it was decided that the machine shop and iron foundry will be located on the north bank of the Little River (in approximately the same location as the firm of Crane & Company would be in Mr. Smith’s original history). For the sake of efficiency, the sawmill will be co-located on the south bank of Little River (directly across from the machine shop). This particular location was chosen because it is ideal for the construction of a dam; the bedrock over which this section of Little River runs is granite.

    One of Garrity’s most pressing needs is for timber for his building projects. Therefore, the sawmill has been given conditional priority over everything else. The saws and other necessary machinery are moved to the site where they will be stored under temporary canopies made with wooden frames and roofed over with canvas. Production of sawed boards and timber begins almost immediately, but the rate of production will be low until the machines can be set up. Doing so will require a dam for the provision of water power; with this in mind, hired crews of quarrymen are dispatched to East Mountain and Provin Mountain to the east of Westfield in order to begin digging out the quantities of stone required.

    The next major part of Garrity’s building plans is the construction of a powder mill. Due to the danger posed by the mill’s production of black powder and other explosives, it was decided to site the enterprise on a section of the Westfield River 1.5 miles away from Westfield proper. In the history-that-was, this place was known as Powdermill Brook. As with the sawmill and the machine shop, the powder mill will also require a dam to be built. Lastly, the grist mill and the buildings for the arms manufactory will be on the north bank of the Westfield River; the arms manufactory will be located upstream from the grist mill, and both will be powered by water from the same dam.

    Once the sites for all the businesses have been plotted and laid out, Mike Garrity and eight of his people remain behind to guard the camp and supervise the hired work crews. The others return with the wagons to the Port of Hartford to begin shipping the artillery and the rest of the equipment & supplies. Aside from the artillery, artillery ammunition, miscellaneous tools, the one hundred tons of refined sulfur and the reserve supply of gunpowder, there are bags of various kinds of seeds for the planting of crops and the expedition’s personal arms cache. The weaponry consists of forty Sharps Model 1863 percussion carbines, twenty Sharps Model 1863 Infantry rifles and 60 pairs of Remington Model 1858 .44-caliber percussion revolvers (with tools and three extra cylinders each). As it will take some time for the powder works to be up and running, the carbines and rifles were provided with supplies of nitrated paper cartridges for each weapon. Both the rifle and the carbine are .54-caliber, and their cartridges are loaded with 435-grain ‘ring tail’ bullets. The rifle cartridges have 80 grains of powder and the carbine cartridges have 60 grains.

    The expedition’s ‘secret’ weapons are a pair of reproduction Model 1875 Hotchkiss 1.65” mountain guns. Each of these guns is provided with a total of 40 cases of ammunition (30 common shell and 10 case shot). The cartridge cases are all of drawn brass (making them reloadable), while the guns themselves are of the type that use friction primers for ignition. Each cartridge uses a propelling charge of 6 ounces of black powder; the bursting charge for the common shell is four ounces of Octol (instead of black powder), while the case shot projectiles are loaded with thirty hardened lead balls each weighing just over one ounce. For the sake of operational security, this part of the shipment is being kept under wraps.

    While the wagons are on the way back from Hartford, Mike Garrity is taking care to meet and greet the notable citizens of Westfield. In order to make the best impression with them, he’s dressed in a well-tailored coat in reddish-brown wool with a fold-down collar of grayish-green and long, fold-back cuffs on the sleeves. Garrity’s vest matches the color of the coat’s collar, and his long-sleeved shirt has ruffles at the wrists. The outfit concludes with tan knee-breeches, knee-length stockings, brown leather boots and a black tri-corn hat. The only other affectation to fashion is an engraved gold watch carried in the left lower pocket of his vest.

    Among the people that Garrity meets is the Reverend Wilbird Hawkins, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. This gentleman is clad in typical, subdued church attire of the period, and has come to see for himself what works the new visitors to town have brought. Garrity nods his head respectfully and says “I give you good day, Pastor; I trust that all is well with you and yours.”

    Reverend Hawkins returns the greeting and says “all is well with the congregation, my son; thank you for asking. I must confess to some little curiosity at what you and your men are doing, and so I resolved to go out among your men and see with my own eyes. In truth, I have scarce seen men that are more industrious than yours. It is as if each of them seeks to outdo his fellows and be everywhere at once.”

    Garrity touches the brim of his tricorn hat in respect and says “why thank you, Pastor; that was most kind of you to say so. In going out and around the town, I have taken note of all the principal buildings and I observe that the meeting house of your congregation on the Town Green is somewhat in need of repairs. While the brick walls are most stoutly-built, the roof needs work and I see the need to replace the spire before too long.”

    “You are very observant, sir; what you say is the literal truth. There is need for repairs, but the church treasury has been depleted of late.” Garrity smiles and says “Reverend, I have devoted part of my available funds to the purpose of improving public works here in Westfield. With this in mind, I will donate the sum of five hundred guineas in gold and one thousand milled dollars in Spanish silver. I say, let the work be done in grand style so that it will last for the foreseeable future.”

    Garrity’s charitable gesture is so sudden and unexpected that it takes Reverend Hawkins quite by surprise. When he recovers his composure, he says “Bless you, Mr. Garrity. Your generosity is a shining example of all that is good and noble in the hearts of man.”

    “Thank you, sir. You can come by the camp later this afternoon and pick up the funds there; two of my men will assist you in the carrying thereof. In the meantime, will you please escort me to the town’s Burying Ground? There is a particular grave that I wish to pay my respects to.”

    “Of course, sir. Which grave do you want to visit?”

    “That of Abigail Sacket Noble, who died at the age of 19 years on July 3rd 1683, just four days after giving birth to her first child.”

    “Very good, Mr. Garrity; please follow me.”

    While Garrity is out visiting, his men back at camp on the south bank of the Westfield River are rearranging the layout in anticipation of the equipment and materials coming in from Hartford. The headquarters wall tent (which measures 12’ long x 10’ wide x 7’4” high) has been moved upslope from the river, and is now on a gentle rise overlooking the rest of the field. Immediately outside the tent, there is a dining fly (12’ wide x 15’ long) underneath which unit meetings take place. The tents occupied by Garrity’s men are in two neat rows leading away from the headquarters; they are of the ‘A-Frame’ design used during the Civil War, each measuring 9’ long x 8’ wide x 7’ high. Each of the A-frames is occupied by two men, and is spaced six feet away from the next one in line. The ground on which the tents have been set up has been trenched so that rainwater will drain away and not pool up where it isn’t wanted. Lastly, the camp’s firewood supply has been stacked up in two neat piles of ten cords each, one on either side of the headquarters tent.

    When the wagons return from Hartford, the main task after the equipment and supplies have been stored away will be the construction of a water filter using sand, charcoal and limestone gravel. The filter will be large enough to provide the camp with fresh, clean water for drinking, cooking and cleaning; while having enough excess capacity to allow the camp to grow and provide water for the nearby residents of the town. Though no excavation has taken place as yet, the design of the water filtration system has already been plotted and staked out.

    Up and running
    Date: September 18th, 1770
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 10:00 AM

    Today marks a very important day in the development of Mike Garrity’s industrial enterprises, as the last stones in the three dams were set into place. To mark the occasion, Mike stages a grand celebration for his staff and the people of the town; the food and drink being paid for out of his own pocket. Behind the dams, the reservoirs are already beginning to fill and they will shortly be at a level where they can be used to power the machinery for Garrity’s various industrial operations.

    The dams were conservatively designed and built, with an arched shape to better resist the pressure of water from the reservoirs and also to guard against the possibility of flooding. Mike Garrity knows that Westfield is located on an alluvial floodplain, that it is has been subject to several floods in the past and there will be other floods in the future. Each dam is built with a core of basalt faced with granite; the blocks of the core and facing were quarried and cut so that they have tongues and grooves on the edges (so that they could fit together like the pieces of a great puzzle). When they were set into place, they were further secured by the use of mortar.

    Garrity’s sawmill was the first building to be completed after he and his staff arrived in Westfield. The lumber in the building’s walls and framework was all hand-cut; the work took the better part of a month to complete. When the building was finished, the parts for the sawmill’s machinery were moved inside and put together in anticipation of waterpower being available to speed up production. It will take some three days for the reservoir behind the dam to fill up to the point where it can be used to power the sawmill’s machinery. When the water starts flowing, half of the sawmill’s capacity will be used to make lumber to build proper houses for Garrity and his men. The remainder will be divided among the other projects (with priority going to the grist mill), plus making lumber for sale to the people of Westfield.

    In the meantime, the operations of Garrity’s camp continue on as they always have. The water filtration system was completed two months previously, and each tent was relocated to a raised platform built of packed earth and faced with stones from the Westfield River. To store the expedition’s own arms cache, an armory was constructed on the highest point of the field away from the Westfield River; this location is just north of the post road. The armory building has a long, rectangular floor plan, with two floors and a basement. The walls of the building proper are of stone, while the foundation is of brick. For the time being, the expedition’s reserve supply of gunpowder will be stored in the basement, along with the ammunition for small arms and artillery. The first floor is where the stockpiles of rifle muskets, cavalry carbines, artillery rifles and cavalry pistols; the second floor is where spare parts and tools for the expedition’s personal weapons are kept, along with special items such as six flintlock volley guns (based on the Nock pattern), four flintlock grenade guns and four wall guns with rifled barrels. Cases of hand grenades are also kept here.

    The grist mill will be an important part of Garrity’s development plans for the area, as it will provide a revenue stream for the expedition. The fees that will be charged for grinding grain into flour will be one part in twelve by weight, meaning that, if a farmer brings 600 lbs of grain to be ground, 50 lbs will be given to the mill as payment for services rendered. After the grist mill, the next buildings to go up will be the iron works, the machine shop and the arms manufactory on the banks of the Westfield River.

    Mike Garrity will want his arms manufactory running as soon as possible after it is finished. This will require raw materials, so he sends three of his men to contract with the owners of the Northampton lead mines for as much lead as they can supply. Making black powder needs charcoal, and it is known from the historical record that charcoal made from willow wood provides for better powder. With this in mind, Garrity recruits teams of local people to go out and fell some of the willow trees that are common in the area. The trees will be split into pieces of the proper size and burned into charcoal. The charcoal will be ground into powder and stored to be later made into gunpowder. The primary ingredient of black powder is potassium nitrate, or saltpeter. To supply it, Garrity has his men set up several niter beds near the location of his powder mill west of town. These beds will produce potassium nitrate by the action of natural decay on animal manure and other organic wastes; supplying this material will not be a problem, as Westfield is an agricultural town and manure is available in large quantities.

    The most important raw material for the machine shop, iron works and arms manufactory is iron itself. Garrity consults his geological database and identifies several deposits of bog iron and iron ore in Massachusetts that are, as yet, unknown to the people of 1770. Teams of three men each are dispatched to these locations in order to acquire the land and set up iron mines. Prominent among these are the deposits in Davis, West Springfield, West Stockbridge and Lenox. Further industrial development will require a plentiful supply of coal. Another examination of the geological database shows that there is very large deposit of anthracite in the vicinity of Mansfield, Massachusetts that isn’t due to be discovered for another fifty years; this land is also marked for acquisition.

    Aside from his industrial projects, perhaps the most important matter on Mike Garrity’s mind is flood control. Not only is Westfield built on an alluvial floodplain, it is at the confluence of the Westfield River and Little River. The town’s proximity to the Berskshire Hills just to the west means that rainfall is concentrated in this area and easily winds its way down through the Westfield River’s watershed. With this in mind, Garrity seeks out Mayor Noble and arranges a meeting with him and the town council. As before, the council meets in front of Fowler’s Tavern.

    Mike Garrity begins by saying “a fair good day to Your Honor and gentlemen of the Town Council.” Mayor Noble returns Garrity’s greetings and replies “what brings you before us today, sir?”

    “Mr. Mayor and men of the council, I come before you today to discuss the protection of Westfield from the possibility of flooding. It is known to me that this area is subject to floods; the writings of the illustrious Thomas Noble himself describe a great flood which took place in the year 1679. I have considerable time and money invested in Westfield, and I would likewise not see the town’s residents, their homes, farms and businesses put to hazard.”

    Mayor Noble replies “what is it that you propose, Mr. Garrity?”

    “Mr. Mayor, it is my idea that Westfield should take a lesson from the industrious people of the Netherlands and protect the town by constructing a dike on the south bank of the Westfield River. This dike would run from below Powdermill Brook to the confluence with Little River, and be of such a size as to shield the town from future floods. I have a good deal of skill at engineering and architecture, and I will design it. Not only this, I will pay the full cost of construction out of my own pocket. All that the town of Westfield needs come up with is the materials.”

    The generosity of Garrity’s offer catches Mayor Noble and the town council quite by surprise, as they didn’t think that he would contribute more than one-fourth of the cost; one-third at most. The Mayor confers at length with the other members of the town council, then says “Mr. Garrity, once again, your generosity is quite unexpected. Such an undertaking would be mighty indeed; it is of such moment that we must needs put it to a vote before a meeting of the entire town. I trust that you understand this necessity?”

    Mike Garrity nods his understanding and says “Your Honor, I never expected anything else. Please send word to my camp of when the meeting will take place, as I would like to be in attendance.”

    “Of course, sir.”

    Satisfied with the reception of Mayor Noble and the town council to his proposal, Mike returns to his camp and confers with his senior staff. The plan for the dike is outlined, then he says “gentlemen, the Boston Massacre has already taken place, just as it did in our original history. The fuse for the Revolutionary War will be lit by the Boston Tea Party, which is due to take place on December 16th, 1773. After that, the Revolutionary War is a certainty. Unless something drastic takes place, the actions in Lexington and Concord will still take place, just as they did originally.”

    The first of Garrity’s men to speak is Bob Richardson, who says “what do you want us to do about it, Mike? There are only 60 of us, and our technological superiority can only go so far.” Garrity replies “Bob, my plan is to provide logistical support for the Continental Army in the form of powder, improved weapons, rations and medical supplies. This way, the Continentals won’t have their morale kicked in the head at places like Valley Forge. Think of it this way; our support won’t be the sole crutch that George Washington relies on. Instead, it will make victory that much easier to achieve.” Allan Trent speaks next and says “Mike, do you intend to do anything about Benedict Arnold and that slimy bastard Banastre Tarleton?

    “Allan, I am of the opinion that Benedict Arnold was a victim of circumstance. Had he not turned against the patriot cause in our original history, Arnold would have been recognized as one of the Revolution’s greatest heroes. Instead, he turned traitor and we all know how that worked out. What I propose to do is to use my influence at the appropriate time to see that Arnold receives the recognition and promotions that his record deserves. This way, he’ll stay loyal.”

    Trent considers Mike’s proposal for a moment or two, then says “Alright, it’s your play. As a matter of fact, I agree with you. How about Tarleton, what are you going to do about him?”

    “Bloody Ban got his nickname during the Revolutionary War because the troops under his command were notoriously cruel toward Continental soldiers who tried to surrender. I intend to prevent this by killing Tarleton as soon as he steps so much as one foot into the Colonies; specifically by using my Whitworth Rifle to put a bullet into his head from a thousand yards away.”

    Allan nods, then asks “how about all of that fancy hardware we’ve got in storage at the armory? I’m pretty sure that we didn’t bring all of that stuff along for looks.” Garrity replies “you are correct, Mr, Trent. When 1774 rolls around, I will apply to the Massachusetts colonial legislature (known presently as the Great & General Court) for permission to raise a battalion of infantry, two batteries of artillery and a troop of cavalry. These troops will be armed and equipped from the materiel we brought along, and I will train them. As far as the rest of us are concerned, we’ll be a sort of ‘flying company’; mounted on the best and fastest horses, we’ll use our Sharps carbines & rifles, the Remington revolvers and the two Hotchkiss guns to strike first, fastest and hardest. Then, we’ll withdraw before the British have any idea what happened.

    Getting Ready
    Date: October 15th, 1772
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 1:00 PM

    In the two years since Mike Garrity and his crew set up shop in Westfield, Massachusetts, the scope of his industrial operations has greatly expanded. Not only are the sawmill, grist mill, powder mill, ironworks, chemical works, machine shop and arms manufactory up and running at full capacity, Garrity also set up a leatherworks (for the manufacture of boots, shoes and military accoutrements) and a cloth mill (patterned after Slater Mill, which was originally set up in Pawtucket, RI in 1793). Among Garrity’s most-profitable enterprises are the iron works and the cloth mill. These two businesses have critical advantages over their competitors, as the iron works has several nail-making machines; the cloth mill not only produces cloth by the use of water-powered machinery, it also manufactures and sells basic patterns of finished clothing (the production of these items is facilitated because of the several foot-powered sewing machines (copies of the Singer Model 1917) which were brought along on the expedition.

    At the powder mill, production centers on black powder for small arms and artillery. Small quantities of TNT (for filling artillery shells) and nitroglycerine (for the manufacture of dynamite) are also being manufactured. At Garrity’s mill, black powder is made by first wet-mixing the ingredients and grinding them together under pressure from wheels made of tone or bronze. This ‘Mill Cake’ is damp when made, then is it placed in molds that each measure two feet square. Water-powered screw presses squeeze the mill cake until it is just 50% of its former volume. This forces out the water, and the resulting product is called ‘Press Cake’. At this stage in the process, press cake is as hard as slate.

    The slabs of press cake are broken to pieces and the pieces are forced through sieves to produce powder grains of standard sizes (Fg for large-bore rifles & shotguns, FFg for muskets, FFFg for small-bore rifles and pistols and FFFFg for priming flintlocks). Coarse powder (designated as ‘C’ for use in field artillery & small mortars) has grains that measure 5/8” in diameter. Hexagonal powder (designated as ‘C-2’ for use in heavy artillery) is produced by squeezing the mill cake into six-sided grains that measure 1.5” across. These grains are distinguished by a small central channel running down the middle.

    At the arms manufactory, flintlock rifles, pistols and shotguns are produced for sale on the civilian market. Flintlock rifle-muskets are being made and stockpiled for later issue to the Massachusetts Colonial Militia. Instead of casting round balls by hand, balls for civilian weapons are produced are produced in a shot tower. Here, molten lead is poured through a copper plate with holes of varying sizes. The partially-cooled lead balls free fall inside the tower and land in large basins filled with cold water. The balls are gathered, then sorted according to size. Any ball which is out of round is re-melted. Balls which are intended for use in rifles are then sewed into greased cloth patches.

    For the elongated balls fired by rifle-muskets, the bullets are produced by forming lead into wire with a diameter of ½”.This wire is fed into copies of the J.D Custer bullet press and cut to length. These short pieces of lead wire are pressed into shape, with pointed noses, hollow bases and three grooves for the holding of lubricating material (60% beeswax and 40% beef tallow). Finished bullets are fed into the hoppers of cartridge-making machines; these machines cut sheets of cartridge paper to size, roll them into tubes, tie one end of the tubes closed with waxed linen thread, load the tubes with a bullet and a charge of powder, then fold the finished cartridges closed. A second machine folds the cartridges into paper-wrapped packs with ten rounds in each; these packs have printed labels describing the caliber, bullet weight and powder charge of the cartridges inside. For reasons of operational security, these conical bullets will not be released until after the Revolutionary War breaks out.

    At the iron works, the most profitable products are nails and copies of the Rittenhouse stove (an improved version of Benjamin Franklin’s design from the 1750’s), the ‘Rocket’ stove and ‘Chappee’-style stoves for the burning of both coal and wood. Garrity’s nails are very much in demand, because they are machine-made and therefore are very inexpensive when compared to hand-forged nails made by a blacksmith. Compared to a blacksmith, each of Garrity’s nail-making machines can produce nails of any desired size at the rate of 3,600 per hour; a skilled blacksmith can make only 80 mails per hour.

    Three of Garrity’s highest-priority projects at present are the design and construction of a wire-drawing machine, the production of rubber and the re-invention of the process of Pasteurization. In regards to rubber, his chemical base won’t be up to the production of synthetic rubber for many years; therefore, Garrity’s researchers are resorting to the expedient of using the milk from dandelion flowers. Dandelions are known as a source of natural latex and, unlike rubber trees (such as Rubber Fig, Guayle, among others), will grow well in northern climates. Part of the rubber project involves the creation of the process known as ‘Vulcanization’ (originally patented by Charles Goodyear in 1839).

    The prosperity of Westfield has spread throughout the rest of Hampden County, due in large part to the incredible productivity of the various types of seeds provided by Mike Garrity to local farmers. For example, his seeds yield up to three times as much as those planted in the colonial period; 50 bushels/acre (compared to 17 bushels/acre for corn, wheat & rye), 60 bushels/acre for barley & oats (compared to 20 bushels/acre) and 45 bushels/acre for peas & beans (compared to 15 bushels/acre). Other seeds that he offers are those for carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet onions, peanuts, various species of potatoes and sweet potatoes; these also have much-increased yields.

    A meeting with the Governor
    Date: October 19th, 1772
    Location: Massachusetts Town House, State Street, Boston, Massachusetts
    Time: 2:00 PM

    Mike Garrity’s operations in Hampden County have made him well-known and extremely popular in the western half of the colony. With this in mind, he and three of his men ride on horseback to Boston in order to meet with Governor Thomas Hutchinson and petition the Great & General Court of Massachusetts Bay for permission to raise a regiment of foot, a troop of cavalry and a battery of artillery. The ride on horseback to Boston takes the better part of four days; Garrity & his men arrive in Boston on October 18th. After securing lodgings in downtown Boston, preparations are made to meet with Governor Hutchinson the next day.

    At 2:00 PM on October 19th, Mike Garrity rides to the Masschusetts Town House. An enquiry of the locals reveals that the governor’s council chamber is in the west side of the building on the second floor. He enters the building and makes his way up to the second floor, where he seeks out the governor’s secretary and says “pray tell good sir, is Governor Hutchinson present? I have matters of pressing importance to his excellency.” The secretary responds (more than a little overawed by Garrity’s enormous stature) by saying “May I have your name, sir?”

    “My name is Mr. Michael Garrity and I have just come from the town of Westfield in Hampden County for the purpose of asking His Excellency’s permission to go before the Great & General Court and petition for the authorization to raise, equip and train a body of troops for the defense of Westfield.”

    “You are in luck, sir. His Excellency has a policy of setting aside two or three days a month for the purpose of meeting and greeting the citizens of the colony; it so happens that today is one of those days. If you will please wait here for the moment, I will go and see if His Excellency will receive you.” Garrity nods, and settles down on an ornate wooden bench to await his audience with the Governor. The wait isn’t long, as the secretary exits the governor’s office a few minutes later and says “His Excellency will see you now.”

    Mike enters Governor Hutchinson’s office and presents himself before his excellency’s desk. Governor Hutchinson greets him expansively and says “well Mr. Garrity, your reputation precedes you. How can I be of assistance to you today?”

    “Good afternoon, your excellency. I come before you today to seek your permission to approach the Great & General Court for authorization to raise, equip and train a body of troops for the defense of Hampden County. I am a man of considerable means, so all of the expenses involved in this enterprise would be borne out of my own pocket.” Governor Hutchinson replies “your zeal is quite understandable, sir. What size unit do you have in mind?“

    “A regiment of foot, a troop of cavalry and a battery of artillery, sir. These men would be trained to work together, in a sort of ‘combined arms’ approach; each body working to support the other.” Governor Hutchinson considers what Garrity said for a moment, then replies “a novel approach. I see no drawbacks to your proposal, therefore I am pleased to give you my authorization.”

    “Thank you, your excellency. I am somewhat unschooled in the ways of politics, so I would like to know how one goes about approaching the Great & General Court with my proposal.”

    “It would be but a small matter, Mr. Garrity. As it so happens, the Court is sitting in session this very afternoon. They are meeting in the council hall on the first floor of this building, and all that is needed is to accompany my secretary thereto. He will announce you, then the matter will be in the Court’s hands. My words carry much weight with them, so I do but expect that legislative approval for your idea will be only a formality.”

    “Thank you, your excellency. I would like to show my appreciation for your support by inviting your excellency to guest with me at my home in Westfield. While you are there, I can show you around my business enterprises.” Governor Hutchinson nods his head and says “I will be very pleased to accept your kind offer, sir; subject to the duties of my office of course.”

    “Of course, sir.”

    The governor calls for his secretary to escort Mr. Garrity downstairs to the Great & General Court’s council hall. In short order, the governor’s secretary meets with Thomas Cushing, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Garrity outlines his proposal to Speaker Cushing, who agrees to put it on the afternoon agenda.

    Mike Garrity waits in the chamber’s visitors gallery and observes the House’s deliberations. While he waits, he remembers visiting this very same building in 1994 (years before he was recruited by Mr. Smith); the differences in the building and its surroundings are striking, to say the least. While he is lost in thought, another gentleman sits down beside him. This man is none other than Paul Revere, who also has business before the House. Suddenly, Garrity notices who has joined him. He says “ahh, Mr. Revere, forgive me for not recognizing you at first.”

    “That’s quite alright, sir. You must be the estimable Mr. Garrity, of who I have heard much these past twelve months and more. Might I enquire as to why you are here?”

    “Of course, sir. I have come to seek the permission of the Great & General Court to raise a body of troops for the defense of Hampden County.”

    Paul Revere replies “a noble idea, sir. Perhaps you would do me the honor of dining with me tonight at my house over on Clark’s Square.” Before Mike Garrity has a chance to do more than nod his acceptance, Speaker Hutchinson’s voice calls out loudly “will Mr. Garrity please come before this honorable house?”

    Garrity slowly and deliberately walks up to the podium and begins to address the House of Representatives. His proposal takes only ten minutes to make; the next half hour or so is occupied by answering questions from the members of the House. After this, he resumes his seat in the gallery while a vote is taken. From among the fifty or so Representatives, the vote is very lopsided in Garrity’s favor; 45 yea, 3 nay and 2 abstentions.

    First Steps
    Date: October 24th, 1772
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 2:00 PM

    Immediately after Mike Garrity and his three companions returned to Westfield, he set about recruiting men to join the militia unit he is setting up. His first step was to arrange for the printing of recruiting broadsides; Mayor Noble and the town council were notified of the Governor’s permission for Garrity’s activities. The first broadside was placed on the wall of Fowler’s Tavern on Post Road, then others were nailed to trees on the Town Green and still more on several public buildings throughout Westfield. Riders were also dispatched to other towns in Hampden County (such as Springfield, Holyoke, Brimfield and Chester) in order to post broadsides therein.

    The terms of enlistment in Garrity’s regiment, the Black Horse Cavalry and his battery of artillery are that recruits will receive two months of training. Rates of pay during training (or on active service) are one shilling per day (with a bonus of 50% to those in the cavalry troop and artillery battery), paid monthly in the form of Spanish silver dollars and copper pence. Arms, accoutrements, uniforms and rations are issued free-of-charge, except that recruits must maintain their equipment & uniforms or be fined.

    After basic training is completed, Garrity’s regiment will be mustered one a month for a period of three days so they can practice their fieldcraft, marksmanship and tactics. Aside from this, there will be two weeks of training each year, held in the fall after the harvest. The monthly muster drills (not considered to be active service) are paid at the slightly lower rate of ten pence & two half-pennies per day. Garrity’s rates of pay are half-again better than any other militia unit in the colonies (or even the British Army). Not surprisingly, he gets more recruits than he needs over the next two weeks. To make sure only the best recruits are signed to the muster rolls, Garrity requires than anyone who enlists has to be able to read and write. An exception is granted for freed slaves, free blacks and Indians who are illiterate; these are taught their letters by fellow recruits who are given the privilege of seniority over those who they teach (plus a pay bonus). He also devises a series of examinations to test the marksmanship and horsemanship of potential recruits. For the artillery, possible recruits are tested for their mechanical & mathematical aptitude. In both cases, only those men with the highest scores are accepted.

    Date: November 7th, 1772
    Location: Camp Bartlett, Hampden Plains, north of Westfield

    While the recruiting drive was going on, Mike Garrity’s men set up a training camp on the plains north of town. This installation is called Camp Bartlett (so named after the original founded in 1917 to train National Guardsmen for service in the First World War). The recruits begin to arrive on the morning of November 7th, they are given a medical examination and issued their clothing, accoutrements & equipment. In contrast to the brightly-colored uniforms of the British Army and colonial militia regiments, the clothing issued by Garrity’s quartermaster are dyed in a rippling pattern of green, tan, black and brown that duplicates the U.S Army’s woodland camouflage of the late 20th-century. Items of clothing and equipage are as follows:

    4 sets uniforms
    2 pairs insulated leather boots
    1 pair rubber overshoes
    8 pairs wool socks
    2 sets woolen longjohns
    1 set eating utensils (tin plate, 24-oz copper cup, knife, fork, spoon)
    1 tarred leather haversack
    1 rubberized canvas backpack
    1 2-quart tin drum canteen with convex sides, gray jean-wool cover & leather carrying strap
    2 green wool blankets, 72” long x 60” wide
    1 vulcanized rubber ground cloth, 72” long x 48” wide
    1 rubberized canvas poncho, 72” long x 48” wide
    1 double-layered linen sleeping mat (to be stuffed with leaves or straw)
    1 50-round cartridge box w/ leather shoulder strap
    Leather waist belt w/ bayonet & scabbard
    folding shovel
    hammer-backed hatchet
    camp knife

    In camp, the recruits are issued folding canvas cots with wooden frames and sleep under copies of the GP medium tent (at the rate of one squad per tent). When on campaign, the troops will sleep under 4-man tents made of waterproofed canvas (identical to the Civil War ‘A’-tent, but measuring 9’ L x 8’ W x 7’H).

    Late in the afternoon, Mike Garrity arrives at Camp Bartlett to inspect the progress made thus far. The men are summoned to the camp’s parade ground via drum roll, and are called to attention under the watchful eyes of their drill instructors. He climbs on a small wooden platform at the edge of the parade ground and says “good afternoon, gentlemen. I am Colonel Michael Garrity, your commanding officer; I am pleased to see you all here today. Pursuant to authorization granted to me by His Excellency Governor Thomas Hutchinson, you are all hereby accepted into service. Your training begins tomorrow morning with the issue of your weapons, and it will take the next two months. During this time, you will regard all orders from your drill instructors as coming directly from me. Apply yourselves earnestly to the tasks at hand and all will be well; recruits who distinguish themselves will be personally recognized by me. That is all.”


    In a calculated and deliberate strike against the practice of slavery and racism, Garrity opened the recruiting rolls of the regiment to all free-born men of color and Native Americans. Additionally, slaves were given the opportunity to enlist. Those that did were immediately freed from their master or mistress; their former owners receiving compensation equal to the former slave’s market value.**

    To further ensure the loyalty of Garrity’s men and shore up their enthusiasm, he issued a public order that all recruits are to be paid the same wages. Additionally, all men are to receive a recruitment bonus equal to two weeks’ regular wages. When the order was read in camp, a spontaneous shout broke out “THREE CHEERS FOR COLONEL GARRITY; HIP-HIP HUZZAH, HIP-HIP HUZZAH, HIP-HIP HUZZAH!!!”

    Mike Garrity leaves Camp Bartlett and returns to the privacy of his own home. When he is alone, he activates his personal communicator and says “Smith-Actual, Garrity here. I have a status report and a supply request.” Mr. Smith responds “Garrity, Smith-Actual; proceed with your report.”

    “Be advised that Operation: Holdfast is proceeding according to schedule. Industrial infrastructure is in place and producing to specifications. Request the transfer of additional supplies of gold guineas, Spanish dollars and lesser-denominated copper coins to be made as soon as possible. When the Revolutionary War breaks out, I have a plan to back the issue of Continental paper money with hard specie. Therefore, I request that you also transfer the equivalent of three hundred million dollars in gold bullion.”

    “Copy that. Mike. Send your merchant ship out into the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island and the coinage will be time-jumped to the cargo holds. For the bullion, I’ll dispatch SS Glomar Explorer and SS Arcadia to your timeline where they will recover the contents of the wrecks of the Spanish Treasure Fleets of 1708, 1715 and 1733, plus the galleon Las Cinque Chagas in 1594 and the Matanzas Bay Treasure Fleet from 1628. When the contents of these ships are in hand, I will notify you immediately.”

    “Received and understood. Garrity, out.”

    *: adapted from the recruiting scene in the 1989 film ‘Glory’

    **: adapted from the IOTL vote taken by the Rhode Island General Assembly on February 14th, 1778.

    Continuing Operations
    Date: November 27th, 1772
    Location: Camp Bartlett, Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 10:00 AM

    After being schooled in the basics of being a soldier (some of the most important points being to look after one’s fellows and equipment before looking after oneself), Garrity’s recruits are marched out to the firing range by companies in order to learn the complex choreography involved in employing their rifle muskets. First comes familiarity, where the men are taught how to dry-fire their weapons. Next, the same lessons are repeated, except that the recruits are ordered to use blank charges to demonstrate their knowledge of the procedures of loading and firing. Last comes live-firing.

    The live-fire part of the drill consists of each recruit being issued 100 rounds of ammunition; 50 for practice and 50 for record fire. There is only enough space on the firing line for two companies at a time; while two are on line, the other six are waiting. The drill instructors line their men, then they order “Attention, Company. Load in nine times..LOAD!” At this preparatory command, the rifle-musket is brought to the position of port arms and the lock is placed on half-cock with the frizzen opened; the rifle-musket is held in position with the left hand.

    The second step in this process is ‘Handle Catridge’. At this, the recruit reaches behind his back to his cartridge box, withdraws one paper cartridge and holds it securely in the right hand so that the tail of the cartridge can be flipped open with the thumb. The third step is ‘Tear Cartridge’. The cartridge’s tail end is flipped open with the thump and the cartridge is brought up to the mouth when the end is torn off with the teeth.

    The fourth step is ‘Prime’, which involves a small amount of powder being poured from the cartridge into the pan, the frizzen closed, the weapon held with the left hand and grounded with the trigger guard facing away from the body. The fifth step is ‘Charge Cartridge’, which involves the rest of the powder being poured down the barrel, the patched ball being squeezed out of the cartridge tube and seated in the muzzle. The sixth step is ‘Draw Rammer’, where the ramrod is pulled from underneath the barrel and grasped securely in the right hand.

    The seventh step is ‘Ram Cartridge.’ Here, the recruit uses the ramrod to push the patched ball down the barrel and seat it tightly on top of the powder charge. The eighth step is ‘Return Rammer’, where the ramrod is returned to its place below the barrel. The ninth and final step is ‘Shoulder…Arms’. This is done from the position of attention, with the rifle-musket being drawn upwards by the right hand and held at the middle barrel-band with the left hand. Then, the right hand drops to grasp the weapon around the trigger guard and the left hand quickly drops to the side.

    To fire the rifle-musket, the commands aren’t nearly so involved. They are 1) ‘Ready’ (musket butt brought up and shouldered), 2) ‘Aim’ (rifle-musket leveled at the target with the front & rear sights in alignment) and 3) ‘Fire’ (trigger is pulled). After firing, the recruit brings the weapon to the position of ‘Shoulder Arms’ then grounds it. If more firing is in order, the next command is ‘Reload.’ As Mike Garrity and a couple of his staff ride up to observe the firing drills, the instructors are shouting out “YOU RECRUITS WILL NOT BE DISMISSED FROM THIS DRILL UNTILL EACH OF YOU IS ABLE TO LOAD AND FIRE THREE AIMED SHOTS IN THE SPACE OF ONE MINUTE.”

    Garrity and his staff dismount their horses. He walks over to confer with Harry James (the Chief Drill Instructor) and asks “how are the boys doing, Harry?” James replies “the men are shaping up very nicely, Mike. It’s amazing what good food, good clothing, regular pay and proper treatment will do for a man’s morale. Oh, don’t get me wrong; there was plenty of grumbling in the beginning. You know as well as I do that this sort of thing was to be expected.”

    “Good work, Harry. I’ve got something for you that will get the men to work even harder. When they break for lunch, gather them all together and tell them that I am instituting a series of decorations and bonuses. Each recruit who completes weapons training will receive a badge from me based on their level of skill; the design of the badge will display the level of skill. For example, a marksman’s badge will consist of a Maltese cross. A sharpshooter’s badge will have the cross augmented by a small bulls-eye in the center, and the expert badge will have a wreath around the cross. Each badge will have a clasp affixed to the bottom with the words ‘Rifle-Musket’ on it. To further increase the men’s interest, the badges will be made of sterling silver; the wreath on the expert badge will be made of gold.”

    “I like that idea, Mike. When the boys hear about it, they’ll be falling all over themselves to do the best that they can.” Garrity grins when he hears this and replies “I thought that might be the case. Tell the men also that the best overall shooters will be ranked by platoon, company and the regiment. The best shot in each platoon will receive a bonus of one week’s pay; the best shot in each company will receive a bonus of two week’s pay and the best short in the entire regiment will receive a bonus of three week’s pay plus a personal commendation from me.”

    Mike Garrity and his staff stay on to observe the firing drills. When lunch is called, he goes among the troops and greets each man individually; such details as names, where they are from and how their families are doing are discussed. After lunch, the men are called together as Mike ordered and his announcements are read to them. Not surprisingly, Mike is acclaimed with a series of thunderous cheers.

    After leaving the shooting range, Mike continues his tour of inspection throughout the camp. As he watches, the troops of the Black Horse Cavalry company and the artillery battery are continuing their efforts to master the complex disciplines involved in their specialties. For the artillery, each man was assigned to a specific role on a specific gun. For the 20-pdr rifled guns and the 12-pdr smoothbore gun-howitzers, the seven-man crews for each piece are commanded are commanded by a soldier with the rank of sergeant. He is called the ‘Chief of the Piece’ and has seven other men to assist him. Aside from the chief of the piece, there is a corporal who is in charge of the ammunition limber and a gunner who has the task of aiming the weapon and correcting its fire.

    Of each piece’s seven-man crew, the duty of the #1 man was to ram the load and swab the bore after firing. The #2 man inserted the charge and the projectile into the cannon’s muzzle, while the #3 man tended the vent. The #4 man primed and fired the piece at the command of the sergeant, the #5 man carried the round to the #2 man. The #6 man was in charge of the ammunition limber and had the duty of choosing the fuze time (if shell or case shot was called for) based on a table attached to the inside of the lid. The #7 man carried the round from the limber to #5.

    When the round is seated, the #3 man would piece the powder bag with a long bronze or brass pick. The #4 man would then prime and fire the gun. After firing, the #1, #2 and #2 men would roll the piece back into battery and begin the loading and firing sequence all over again. As for the pack howitzers, the crews are only six men (including the chief-of-the-piece). Mike Garrity foresaw the possibility that his artillery crews might have to defend their pieces from close assault, so each man was issued a flintlock carbine and required to go through the same kind of marksmanship training as the infantry.

    Over on the cavalry grounds, the men of the Black Horse are going through their own routines. Each man selected for recruitment into this unit already knows how to ride and care for horses, so training time was much-reduced. Cavalry training began with each trooper learning how to fire his carbine and pistols; first from the dismounted position, then from the mounted & stationary position and finally from the gallop. Each trooper was issued a saber (based on the U.S Model 1860) and receives training in fighting with it against infantry and other cavalrymen, both in the stationary position and at the charge.

    Satisfied with what he sees in camp, Mike Garrity mounts up and returns to Westfield proper to oversee his other business interests; of late, they have been expanded to include a bank, a tavern with an attached inn and a print shop. The bank was set up to give Garrity’s employees and the other citizens of Westfield a safe place to keep their money; the tavern was set up to cater to the needs of people travelling from Springfield and points east, while the print shop was seen as a necessary addition to Garrity’s infrastructure; in the coming conflict with Great Britain, there will be an acute need for maps, pamphlets and propaganda broadsides.

    By now, Mike Garrity is the town’s largest employer. He is very popular with his employees because of the high wages and the decent treatment they receive at his hands; among the citizens at large in Westfield, he is also very popular because of his continuing efforts in supporting the town. This popularity was further reinforced when Garrity detailed the physicians attached to his staff to set up shop and see to the medical needs of the people. Part of the support program includes teaching local physicians improved medical techniques and administering a vaccination program (starting with inoculations against smallpox). Already, Garrity’s efforts are bearing fruit as new cases of smallpox and other infectious diseases are trending sharply downwards (as are cases of childbed fever and surgical infection).

    In the matter of additional financial support from Mr. Smith’s uptime organization, Mike Garrity sends a message via his communicator for the crew of his merchant ship to weigh anchor, slip their moorings and sail down the Connecticut River towards the Atlantic Ocean. Three days later on November 30th, 1772, the Columbia is in position in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island. The ship’s captain has his crew set out sea anchors fore & aft to keep his ship in position and stationary, then he signals Traffic Control at the Alpha Site to begin time-jumping the cargo. Over the next two or three hours, successive loads of coins in chests materialize on the Columbia’s weather deck and are carried below to be stored in the ship’s holds. In total, there are one million guineas in gold and three million Spanish silver dollars.

    The Columbia’s captain and crew aren’t worried about piracy, as there hasn’t been much in the way of raiding in New England waters. Even so, the ship is well-armed for her defense. The battery consists of eighteen 20-lb rifled breechloaders (patterned after the Model 1861 Ordnance Rifle and disguised as muzzleloaders) and a pair of rifled 30-pdr breechloaders (mounted as fore & aft pivot guns). The vessel has a full sailing rig, with three masts (fore, main and mizzen. For emergency use only, there is a small diesel engine concealed deep in the hold.

    The Revolutionary War is expected to break out in early 1775, just as it did in the original history. When this happens, Mike Garrity intends to send a commission to Mr. Smith for a warship to be built. The vessel will be modeled after HMS Warrior, except that the hull will be fully-protected by armor. The central citadel will remain, except that its protection will be composed of a single 4.5” thickness of Krupp-style cemented steel backed with 24” of teak (arranged in two plies of 12”-square timbers. The bow and stern sections are protected with 2” of KCA backed with 12” of teak (two plies of 6”-square timbers); deck armor is 1.75” of KCA backed with 6” of teak (3 plies of 2” square timbers). The ship’s magazines and several bulkheads are also of 4.5” KCA.

    For armament, this ship will have 26 6.4”/100-pdr rifled breechloaders on the gun deck (13 on each broadside). The weather deck will have 24 4.2”/30-pdr rifled breechloaders (12 on each broadside) and a pair of 8”/200-pdr rifled breechloaders as pivot guns (one each on the fore & aft decks in armored barbettes). For propulsion, the ship will have a combination of a full sailing rig and a pair of 6,000-shp steam turbines. These turbines will drive a pair of propeller shafts and be fed by four coal-fired boilers; there will be enough coal in the bunkers to steam 3,000 nautical miles at 12 knots.

    Additional Assets
    Date: December 3rd, 1772
    Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 1:00 PM

    Mike Garrity’s merchant ship returns to its moorings on Hartford’s waterfront. Having previously been notified of the Columbia’s return via his communicator, Garrity arranges to have forty of his wagons standing by dockside to begin the offloading process. Mindful of the cargo’s value (one million guineas in gold coin plus three million Spanish silver dollars; a total weight of 90.5 tons), fifty of Garrity’s uptime operatives are on hand to provide a security escort for the shipments. The first four wagons are loaded with the gold (just under two tons per wagon), while the remaining 36 are loaded with two tons of silver coins each. Each type of coin is contained within cloth bags, each of which is marked with an inscription describing how many coins are in each bag. For the gold coins, there are 4,000 coins per bag; for the Spanish dollars, there are 1,000 per bag. The bags are secured in locked, iron-bound chests with two bags of coins in each chest. The remaining 11 tons of silver coinage will remain onboard ship until such time as additional wagons can be sent to retrieve it.

    When all is in readiness, the escort commander radios Mike Garrity and says “Garrity Actual, be advised that Operation: Coin Drop is a go.” Garrity replies “received and understood; take all due security measures and proceed at your own discretion, out.”

    Bob Richardson stands tall in his saddle and signals for Allan Trent to take up position with his squad at the rear of the column. Richardson has his own squad at his side and the remaining thirty men are deployed to either side of the column in groups of fifteen men each. The distance between Hartford, Connecticut and Westfield, Massachusetts is 45 miles by road. At the rate of nine miles per day, the trip is expected to take five days.

    Richardson calls out loudly “HEAD’EM UP, MOVE’EM OUT!!” He chuckles softly to himself and says “I always wanted to say that…”

    While the wagons are on the way to Westfield, Mike Garrity takes steps to see that the receiving vault in the basement of the armory is in readiness. Satisfied that everything is being done to his standards, Garrity seeks out Mayor Noble in order to gain permission from the town council for the last and greatest of his infrastructure projects. As it so happens, Mayor Noble is in his office just off the town green. Garrity knocks on the door and is bidden to enter by a voice from within.

    “A fair good afternoon to you, Your Honor. I trust that I am not disturbing you this day.”

    Mayor Noble replies “I give you good day, Mr. Garrity. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?”

    “Mr. Mayor, the Town Dike has been completed these many months now and it has proved its worth in several recent episodes of flooding. I dare say that if not for the dike’s presence, Westfield would have suffered severe damage. Even so, the post road bridge at the confluence of the Westfield River and the Little River has been repeatedly damaged by these floods. As this bridge is the only way in and out of town, there have been times when the bridge could not be used due to flood damage. I propose to alleviate this problem by building a new bridge to replace the old; this bridge would be of stone and so designed at to last a thousand years. As part of the project, I also propose the construction of a new bridge. This one would span the Westfield River below Powdermill Brook and be just as strong as the first one; these two bridges would be my gift to the town, as I intend to pay for the cost of the materials and construction entirely out of my own pocket.”

    Mayor Noble’s eyes widen in surprise, stunned at the magnitude of what Garrity is proposing. When he recovers his faculties, he says “Mr. Garrity, of all that you have done for Westfield, this would be your largest project by far. I will bring this matter before the town council at the next meeting. You may rest assured that I will lend your proposal my wholehearted support. Assuming that the council gives it permission, when would you intend to begin construction?”

    “Mr. Mayor, due to the current cold weather, I would not countenance beginning work anytime before the middle of April, 1773. At that time, the weather will be warm enough so that the mortar won’t freeze and crack as it dries and men can work in the river without undue risk of becoming chilled.”

    “Very good, your honor. In other matters, I’d like to compliment those men of Westfield and Hampden County who have enlisted in the regiment I am forming. They are attentive students and are rapidly acquiring the skills necessary to serve on the battlefield, should such a happenstance come about. The men will finish their training before the end of January and will be ready for inspection at that time.”

    Pass in Review
    Date: January 15th, 1773
    Location: Camp Bartlett, Massachusetts
    Time: 12:00 noon

    Mayor Noble and the Town Council of Westfield declare a public holiday so that as many of the citizens of Westfield can be on hand to witness the graduation ceremony for the men of Garrity’s Regiment, the Black Horse Cavalry and the Sons of Thunder artillery battery. There is much anticipation in the air, and a great deal of civic pride; this is shown by the hundreds of people who have come from other towns in Hampden County to see the festivities.

    For the previous several hours, preparations have been made to accommodate the hundreds of anticipated visitors to Camp Bartlett; these include setting up pavilions and benches for the visitors to sit upon, plus the cooking of a substantial meal for the troops and visitors. Colonel Garrity and the men of the training cadre draw up the men by ranks in their separate units, there to await he order to begin the parade.

    The men of the regiment are formed by companies, with their arms and accoutrements cleaned and polished. Full packs are on their backs, and they are clad in their distinctive uniforms. The regimental coats are of wool, lined with linen and are dyed in a dark shade of forest green. The trousers are dyed a shade of woody brown. Together with the dark-green tricorn hats, the uniforms were designed to aid in concealing the troops on the battlefield.

    As for the arms and equipage, there is no brass or polished steel to be seen anywhere; the buttons are covered with black cloth, while the buckle on the waistbelt is covered with subdued black enamel. The barrels of the rifle-muskets and the bayonets are blued to as not to reflect light. In contrast to the brightly-colored uniforms of the day, the appearance of Garrity’s men is so distinctive that it is the subject of much discussion among the visitors to the camp.

    Before the parade begins, there are a series of speeches by Colonel Garrity and the other dignitaries in attendance; these are followed by a benediction delivered by Reverend Wilbird Hawkins of the First Congregational Church. Colonel Garrity mounts the speaker’s podium once again and bellows out the command “PASS IN REVIEW”. The eight companies of the regiment pass by the reviewing stand in alphabetical order, followed by the Black Horse Cavalry astride their great black horses and then by the Sons of Thunder artillery battery.

    As each company of infantry, the cavalry and the artillery battery pass the reviewing stand, the commanding officer of each unit calls out “EYES…..RIGHT!” The men of the units execute ‘Salute Arms’, while the commanding officer brings his sword to the front and sweeps it down low and to the right. The moves of each unit with all the precision of a machine, and are loudly cheered and applauded as they pass by. At the conclusion of the parade, the men are drawn up by units in front of the reviewing stand, whereupon each unit is presented with its stand colors. Lastly, Colonel Garrity publically calls out and recognizes the honor graduates and best shots in each unit. These mean are awarded their medals and bonuses, all to the applause of the assembled witnesses. Following this, the best shot in the regiment and the regimental honor graduate are called forth and decorated. Further marks of distinction are conferred by Colonel Garrity upon the best marksmen and honor graduates when they and their families are invited to dine with him and the other town dignitaries.

    While the dining is going on, various members of the regiment have been detailed to escort parties of visitors around Camp Bartlett and demonstrate the training that they underwent. During the dinner, Colonel Garrity announces that two companies of infantry, one squadron of artillery and the crews for two pieces of artillery will be on duty at Camp Bartlett at all times (as a sort of ‘permanent party’). This duty will be held on a monthly/rotating basis, and the men who have it will be paid as if they are on active duty.

    Arteries of Commerce
    Date: April 17th, 1773
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 10:00 AM

    Now that the weather is warm enough to start construction on the two bridge projects, Mike Garrity and his senior staff undertake to survey the precise locations where the new bridges will be built. The bridge over the mouth of the Little River will be constructed in two stages; preparation will begin by constructing a temporary bridge will be constructed just upstream from the present location so that traffic and commerce on the Post Road will not be hindered, then the old bridge will be demolished and the site of the abutment on each end of the new bridge will be prepared.

    The topsoil in this area is several yards in thickness, and it is Garrity’s intention that the foundations of his bridges be grounded on bedrock. Therefore, open-air caissons will be built in order to protect the foundations of the abutments while they are being worked on. The caissons will be built like the stockade of a fort, with individual timbers driven into the riverbed and lashed together to make them water-tight. Afterwards, the water will be pumped out and the actual process of construction will begin.

    Little River is not very wide, so Garrity’s design calls for the bridge to have one arch that reaches from bank to bank. The abutments themselves will be built from fitted blocks of granite cemented together, as will the voussoirs of the arches themselves. The exterior sides of the bridge will be faced with brick, as will the underside of the arch. To guard against the possibility of damage from ice, floating trees and other debris, the abutments will be so shaped as to deflect the flow of the river and keep such things from building up.

    The roadbed of the Little River Bridge will be four lanes wide, with pedestrian walkways on either side, The walkways will be separated from the roadbed by 4’ high brick walls topped with granite capstones; to keep pedestrians from falling into the river, each walkway will have a decorative railing made of wrought iron.

    As regards the bridge to be built over the Westfield River, the distance to be spanned is much greater than over the Little River. Garrity’s design for this bridge draws inspiration from the Division Street Bridge, which was built in 1876 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in his original history. Here, the abutments will be of similar design to those on the Little River Bridge, but more massively built. The bridge will incorporate five barrel-vaulted arches with voussoirs, three of which will span the river and one on each bank next to the river. All of the bridge’s piers will be built directly on bedrock, and those two in the middle of the river’s channel will have ogive-pointed facings on the upstream and downstream edges to deflect ice and floating debris away from the piers. The piers will be built of granite blocks cemented together and measure 10’ thick. Lastly, the underside of the arches and the upstream/downstream facings of the roadbed will be faced with brick (just as on the Little River Bridge. To ensure the bridge’s long-term stability, the foundations of the two piers in the riverbed will be designed to eliminate the risk of being undermined by the scouring effect of the river’s flow.

    To economize the use of manpower and materials, both bridges will be built at the same time; estimated time to completion will be 18 months.

    The Gathering Storm
    Date: June 15th, 1773
    Location: Various
    Time: Various

    The construction of the Little River Bridge and the Great River Bridge is well underway. The expertise of Garrity and his men in logistics ensures that all construction materials are sourced and delivered with as little delay as possible. Elsewhere in the Colonies, the flames of discontent are beginning to rise. All that is needed is to add yet more tinder to the fire. The discontent of the Colonies began to be felt in the aftermath of the French & Indian War, which plunged the British government deeply into debt. To raise revenue and further apportion the Colonies’ share of the costs of maintaining the Empire, the Stamp Act was passed by Parliament in 1765 and followed by the Townshend Acts of 1767. The Stamp Act required that all documents printed in the colonies be done upon paper produced in England, the validity of such paper being proved by revenue stamps which certified that the tax on the paper had been paid.

    The tax revenue from the Stamp Act was earmarked to pay the salaries of British soldiers and officers posted in the colonies. The colonies considered this tax to be unnecessary and burdensome, as there were no more foreign enemies on American soil and that the threat from the Indian tribes could be dealt with by colonial militia. What irked the colonial legislatures even more is that the tax had been levied without their consent and without colonial representation. Thus, the cry ‘No Taxation without Representation’ began to be heard.

    The Stamp Act was repealed by the Declaratory Act of 1766; this act added more fuel to the fire by stating that Parliament had the right to legislate for the colonies in all cases whatsoever. In 1767, the Townshend Acts were passed by Parliament. These acts were passed to raise revenue in the colonies in order to pay the governors and judges so that they would remain loyal to the king. Other purposes were to punish the Colony of New York for failing to abide by the Quartering Act of 1765 and to establish the precedent that Parliament had the right to tax the colonies. These acts were vigorously resisted in the colonies, which prompted the occupation of the City of Boston by British troops in 1768. A direct result of this was the shooting of five colonists by British troops in Boston on March 5th, 1770, which action now being called the ‘Boston Massacre’.

    On the evening of June 15th, Mike Garrity calls his staff together for a secret meeting and says “gentlemen, affairs in the colonies are standing on the edge of a knife. All that is going to be needed is a little push, then everything is going to collapse like a house of cards. Unless I am very much mistaken, that push will come at night on December 16th of this year in the form of an action that we all know as the Boston Tea Party. After that, events will spiral rapidly out of control and the Revolutionary War will begin. Harry, I want you to pick out three of the boys and go to Boston on the pretext of setting up a business office for me. I want the four of you to be on the scene when the Tea Party breaks out, because I want first-hand information on how things actually went down.”

    Mr. James nods his head and replies “Copy that, Mike.”

    Putting the pieces in play
    Date: July 3rd, 1773
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    Time: 1:30 PM

    While the construction of the two river bridges in Westfield is on-going, Mike Garrity sends Harry James to Boston to set up operations there. He is accompanied by Bob Richardson, Allan Trent, Steve Roberts and an escort of ten men from his personal cavalry detachment. The reason for the extra security is due to the four wagon-loads of trade goods being sent along as operating stock. These goods are examples of everything that Mike Garrity’s factories produce, and it is Harry James’ intention to lease office and shop space in Faneuil Hall on Boston’s waterfront.

    Having Harry James set up a shop in Faneuil Hall dovetails nicely with Mike Garrity’s plan to document the events surrounding the Boston Tea Party as they happen. In a fortunate happenstance, the historical record shows that the Sons of Liberty are due to have a meeting in one of Faneuil Hall’s second floor rooms on December 3rd in regards to the shipment of English tea which will be arriving on the merchant ship Eleanor. Those in attendance at the meeting will be Captain James Bruce, Samuel Adams, Jonathan Williams and other high-ranking members of the Sons.

    Harry James and his party waste no time in driving their wagons directly to Faneuil Hall and parking near the waterfront. While the others wait and secure the wagons, Harry walks to the Hall and seeks out the building’s manager. After some discussion, Harry signs a lease for shop & office space in the northeast corner of the building; the location is rather advantageous as it is immediately to the left of Faneuil Hall’s main entrance. His next tasks are to engage the services of a sign painter to advertise the shop and to direct his men to begin unloading the wagons.

    Harry James leaves the project in the hands of Bob Richardson and rides his horse over to Paul Revere’s silversmithy on North Square next to his house. The convoluted nature of Boston’s streets means that Harry takes about an hour for the trip. Before alighting from his horse, Harry James takes a moment to remember how North Square looked when he last visited it, some fifteen years before being recruited by Mr. Smith. The only building he recognizes is Revere’s house; even so, there are some noticeable differences between the house as it appears now and the house as he remembers in from 1992.

    A short walk has Harry knocking on Paul Revere’s shop door; the knocking is answered by Paul Revere himself, who says “can I help you, sir?” Harry replies “Mr. Revere, my name is Harold James and I am here at the behest of my employer Mr. Michael Garrity; he knows of your skill as a silversmith and wishes to commission a quantity of silverware from your establishment.”

    “Good afternoon, Mr. James. I well-remember meeting Mr. Garrity when he came to Boston in 1774. Since then, his reputation as a businessman and that of the quality of his goods has spread throughout Massachusetts.” Revere pauses for a moment, then says “what commission does Mr. Garrity have in mind?”

    “Mr. Revere, my employer wishes to commission the manufacture of a pair of 24-place table settings for a formal dinner; each place will include a soup bowl, dinner plate, a plate for bread & butter, tea cup, tea saucer, napkin ring, forks for salad, dinner & dessert, plus a dinner knife, teaspoon, soup spoon and goblets for water, white wine and red wine. Additionally, he wants four identical silver tea services, eight chafing dishes, eight covered soup tureens and eight covered serving platters. The entire assemblage is to be made from sterling silver, hallmarked accordingly and chased/engraved in the finest style.”

    The sheer scale of Harry James’ order takes Paul Revere quite by surprise. When Revere has recovered his composure, he says “Mr. James, what your employer proposes is the largest order that I or any other silversmith has ever heard of. What evidence do I have that you and her are being serious with me? There is also the matter of the raw material for the manufacture of the pieces; by my estimate, the project will need nearly five hundred pounds of silver…”

    Harry James grins widely and says “Mr. Revere, if you will please come outside with me to where my horse is tethered; I have the sum of two thousand Spanish silver dollars in my saddlebags as an initial deposit. As for the raw material, my employer will provide the requisite amount of silver bullion; all that needs to be done is to alloy the silver to the sterling standard.”

    “Very well, Mr. James; we have an accord.” Paul Revere calls for two of his apprentices to carry the bags of coins inside his shop, then he and Harry retire to the front parlor to write out the contract. One hour later, the document is done and the two of them take it to a public notary so that it can be copied, signed and sealed. Harry James and Paul Revere each take a copy of the contract; Revere places his copy in his desk and says “Mr. James, this project will take the entire working capacity of my shop for the next four months. Where can you be reached so that I can keep you informed of my progress?”

    “Mr. Revere, I have this day taken shop space under the sing of Garrity & Associates in Faneuil Hall down by the waterfront. If I should happen to be out of the shop when you call, please leave word with my staff.” The two men now shake hands, and Harry James heads back to his shop.

    The Colossus of the Sea
    Date: July 3rd, 1773
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 2:30 PM

    At the same time back in Westfield, Mike Garrity is touring the construction sites of his two dams in order to see what progress has been made. At both sites, open caissons have been constructed and pumped dry where the piers for each bridge are to be located. When the bedrock over which each river flows has been reached, the actual work of preparing the foundations begins. Garrity’s bridges are designed to have a service life of one thousand years, so it is vitally important that the foundations be as solid as possible.

    The exposed bedrock is uneven due to having been eroded over the millennia by the flow of the two rivers. Therefore, the first task of the stonemasons is to chisel smooth and level out the footprints of each pier, Following this, the foundation holes will be carved out and likewise leveled; the purpose here is to ensure that the courses of foundation stone fit into the bedrock like the pieces of a puzzle. Satisfied with the progress thus far, Mike Garrity returns to his house in order to communicate with Mr. Smith.

    The communicator is activated, and he says “Smith-Actual, this is Garrity. I have traffic, over.”

    “Garrity, Smith-Actual; I read you five-by-five. Proceed with your traffic.”

    “Smith-Actual, be advised that the intelligence office has been established in Boston per your previous directive. The office’s cover is that of a shop which publicizes and sells the products I manufacture here in Westfield.”

    “Smith-Actual copies. Do you have further traffic for this station?”

    “Affirmative. Request that you acquire and dispatch to me a total of one thousand tons of pozzolana sand for use in ongoing construction projects. Additionally, this station will need additional Naval assets in order to successfully confront the Royal Navy after the Revolution breaks out; specifications to follow.”

    “Smith-Actual copies. Be advised that your bullion is available and that it will be time-jumped to whatever location you specify. Have the Columbia on station in the Atlantic off Long Island Sound to rendezvous with SS Arcadia; the pozzolana will be transferred then.”

    “Roger that; Garrity out.”

    Back in Timeline: Bravo at his office in the Chicago Merchnadise Mart Building, Mr. Smith receives an additional transmission from Mike Garrity regarding the design specifications for the ship he wants. The vessel is a true warship, rather than an armed merchant ship. She is patterned after HMS Warrior (originally built in 1860), except that the hull will be fully-protected by armor. The central citadel will remain, except that its protection will be composed of a single 4.5” thickness of Krupp-style cemented steel backed with 24” of teak (arranged in two plies of 12”-square timbers. This armor is in the form of slabs each measuring 4’ wide x 12’ long, tongued and grooved so as to support each other; additional support is from the hull, to which the armor is bolted through the thicknesses of teak. The bow and stern sections are protected with 2” of KCA backed with 12” of teak (two plies of 6”-square timbers); deck armor is 1.75” of KCA backed with 6” of teak (3 plies of 2” square timbers). The ship’s magazines and several bulkheads are also protected with 4.5” KCA.

    Structurally-speaking, the ship’s hull is divided into 92 separate watertight compartments by her decks and bulkheads; it has a double bottom throughout its entire length to guard against damage should the ship happen to run aground.

    For armament, this ship will have 26 6.4”/100-pdr rifled breechloaders on the gun deck (13 on each broadside). The weather deck will have 24 4.2”/30-pdr rifled breechloaders (12 on each broadside) and a pair of 8”/200-pdr rifled breechloaders as pivot guns (one each on the fore & aft decks in armored barbettes). For propulsion, the ship will have a combination of a full sailing rig and a pair of 6,000-shp steam turbines. These turbines will drive a pair of propeller shafts and be fed by four coal-fired boilers; there will be enough coal in the bunkers to steam 3,000 nautical miles at 12 knots.

    The ship is well-supplied with ammunition; there are 100 rounds each for the two 8” pivot guns and 200 rounds each for the 6.4” and 4.2” rifled breechloaders. The propelling charges for the guns are bagged inside zinc containers and stored in the magazine in waterproof chests. The charge for the 8” shell has 15 lbs of powder, while the 6.4” and 4.2” charges are 9 lbs and 3 lbs respectively. Instead of black powder, the shells are filled with TNT and fired by impact fuzes.

    Mr. Smith whistles his appreciation at the scale of warship that Mike Garrity wants, He further annotates the design specifications, attaches them to copies of the original Warrior’s plans and sends off the package to the shipyard where Garrity’s merchant ship ‘Columbia’ was constructed. This facility is located in South Portland and was acquired by the Maine Section with an eye towards building ships for the U.S Navy and Merchant Marine during World War II.

    One week later, a reply from the head of the Maine Section is received that states the construction of the warship will take eighteen months. Mr. Smith responds with authorization for the project to proceed.

    Marks of Distinction
    Date: September 9th, 1773
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 2:00 PM

    As of today, the Great River and Little River bridge projects are well in hand. Construction began back on April 17th of this year; presently, the foundations and abutments for both bridges are complete and work has started on the piers. Nothing like these bridges has even been attempted before in the Colony of Massachusetts, and they are the subject of much discussion and interest for the people of Westfield and the surrounding towns.

    Early in the afternoon of September 9th, Mike Garrity receives a message at his home that Mayor Obadiah Noble and the rest of the town council would like to see him at the town hall as soon as possible. Intrigued at the nature of the message, Garrity puts on his coat, saddles his horse and rides into town. When he arrives at the town hall, Garrity is surprised to see that there are more horses and carriages present than would otherwise be indicated by an ordinary session of the town council.

    Garrity dismounts his horse, hitches the reins to a convenient post and walks inside the building. To his surprise, he is greeted by a standing ovation by Mayor Noble, the members of the town council and other notables (including Reverend Wilbird Hawkins and others). Mayor Noble gestures for Garrity to come to the front of the room; he says ‘Colonel Garrity, I am pleased that you could come here at such short notice.”

    “Your Honor, I must confess to be somewhat confused at the applause; what does this all mean?”

    “Colonel Garrity, your ceaseless and tireless efforts on behalf of Westfield have made our fair town the wealthiest in the colony of Massachusetts outside of Boston. By vote of the town council two months ago, it was decided that it would only be fitting to recognize your work. As such, an appropriation was voted upon by the council and passed unanimously in order to fund of certain marks of our esteem.”

    Garrity smiles as he has a feeling for what is coming next. He says “Mr. Mayor, esteemed gentlemen of the town council, I hardly think that what I have done is worthy of such public acclaim. After all, it was my duty to do so.” Mayor Noble takes notice of Colonel Garrity’s ‘modest stillness and humility’, then says “be that as it may, sir, all of us here today have gathered for the express purpose of rewarding you.”

    Mayor Noble gestures for an oblong, cloth-wrapped box to be brought forth. He unwraps the package, opens the box and presents it to Colonel Garrity for his consideration, Mike’s eyes blaze with pleasure at what he sees; an elaborately-worked dress sword, of the type carried as a badge of rank by high-ranking officers. In form, the weapon is a cavalry saber with a single-edge blade that measures 36” long, with a slight curve and a clipped point. The blade itself is forged of watered steel, acid-etched to bring out the contrast in the surface of the blade.

    Of equal magnificence to the blade are the hilt and the scabbard; the former is of elaborately-worked sterling silver, with an ivory pommel wrapped with twisted gold wire. The body of the scabbard is made from fire-blued steel, and the mounts are decorated with gold filigree work. Garrity draws the sword from the scabbard and takes a few experimental swings with it. To his expert eye and hand, the sword has as fine a balance as he has ever felt. Garrity returns the saber to its scabbard, then happens to notice an inscription on a silver plate attached to the scabbard just below the throat; it reads ‘Presented to Colonel Michael Garrity by the Mayor and Town Council of Westfield, September 9th, 1773’.

    “Your Honor, this is one of the most magnificent swords I have ever seen; I am honored that you would think me worthy of such a piece.” Mayor Noble nods and replies “sir, this is but one of the items with which we will recognize your service to the town.” The mayor calls for the next item, a matched pair of cased flintlock pistols. Each of these weapons has a rifled .62-caliber barrel that measures 16” long; the stocks are of highly-figured walnut and the mounts are of elaborately-chased sterling silver. For the present time, Garrity notes that the locks are a mechanical wonder. They are fitted with roller bearings on the frizzen springs (in order to shorten lock time), sliding safeties and waterproof priming pans. A closer examination of the locks shows that the priming pans and touchholes are lined with gold in order to guard against corrosion from burning powder. The pan covers and frizzens are a hinged, two-piece unit held together by a spring catch; this means that the pan can be primed with the frizzen open and the hammer in the down position, and that the priming would be protected.

    The pistols are exactly-matched as to weight, balance and physical appearance. The case which holds them is in the fitted ‘French’ style; it is made of polished walnut and lined with green velvet. The compartments within hold the two pistols, a silver powder flask, an engraved steel bullet mold, extra flints, wads and a set of tools with ivory handles and silver ferrules. Though the pistols are long and heavy, they are extremely well-balanced; Garrity hefts each one in turn and notes that they feel as if they are extensions of his own arm.

    Garrity returns the pistols to their case and says “Mayor Noble, honored members of the town council, you gentlemen do me too much honor. I will be pleased to accept these pistols; know that they will find an honored place in my home.” Mayor Noble and the other members of the town council nods their heads, then the mayor says “Colonel, this is the least we could do to recognize you. If it were possible, we would do far more.”

    “Thank you, Your Honor.”

    The last item to be presented is a magnificent long rifle. This weapon is stocked in cherry wood, with elaborate carving on the wrist and butt. The mounts (front sight, wedge plates, nose cap, ramrod pipes, toe plate, heel plate, wear plate and patch box) are of engraved sterling silver. Additionally, there are pairs of diamond-shaped ivory stock inlays between the wedge plates and an oval ivory plate set into the rifle’s cheekpiece; this inlay is decorated with a scrimshawed eagle.

    The rifle’s browned barrel has seven land and seven grooves. It is .62-caliber, of swamped octagonal section and measures 48” long. The rifle comes with matching powder & priming horns, cleaning tools and an engraved bullet mold. Garrity shoulders the gun and sights down the barrel; the rifle is superbly-balanced, feeling as if it had a life of its own. When Garrity recovers his composure, he says “Your Honor, I have always had an eye for fine firearms. This being said, I don’t think I have ever beheld a more magnificent gun than this one. Without doubt, this weapon is a piece fine art; poetry in steel and wood, as it were.”

    Mayor Noble stands at the speaker’s podium and says “Colonel Garrity, you are a shining example to the people of Westfield and the Colony of Massachusetts.” After the mayor finishes speaking, the sword, pistols and rifle are displayed on a table for the admiration of the other people in attendance. One of these is Reverend Wilbird Hawkins, who comes up to Colonel Garrity and says “my congratulations, sir. Such recognition as you have received this day is certainly well-deserved.”

    “Thank you, Reverend; that was kind of you to say so. May I enquire as to you and the congregation of your church are faring these days?”

    “Of course, my son. The membership of the church is prospering, thanks in no small part to what you are doing. The fabric of the church meeting house is much-improved because of your generous financial support; the tower and steeple are near to being completed, and I must say that the gray granite of the tower well-matches the stone window frames and sets off well against the wall of red brick.”

    “You are very welcome, Reverend Hawkins. I was glad to be able to provide support. Now, if you, Mayor Noble and the town council will permit me, I must depart as there are business matters which require my attention elsewhere.” Reverend Hawkins nods and shakes hands with Colonel Garrity. On the way out of the building, Garrity makes sure to meet, greet and shake hands with everyone else in attendance.

    When Mike Garrity returns home, he receives a radio transmission from Harry James and Bob Richardson in Boston. He picks up the receiver and says “Boston Station, Garrity Actual here; proceed with your report.”

    “Garrity Actual, Boston Station; be advised that business at Garrity & Associates is much better than expected. The order books are full, and we are now taking reservations for future production from your factories.”

    “Boston Station, received and understood. What is the status of the Sons of Liberty?”

    “Garrity Actual, the Sons have begun to hold a series of meetings in a room on the second floor of Faneuil Hall in order to discuss the ongoing problems between the colonies and England. I effected an introduction to one Captain James Bruce. He, in turn, arranged a meeting with Samuel Adams. I started to tell Adams and the rest who you are and what you do; apparently, your reputation has spread far and wide because Mr. Adams and the others have already heard of you. In fact, Adams wants to meet with you to discuss topics of mutual interest.”

    “Received and understood. Tell Adams that I am coming to Boston on business in five days and that I will meet with him whenever and wherever is convenient.”

    “Copy that, Boston Station out.”

    A Meeting of the Minds
    Date: September 14th, 1773
    Location: Faneuil Hall, Boston
    Time: 3:00 PM

    Mike Garrity arrived in Boston earlier today and occupied his time by meeting with Harry James, Bob Richardson and the other members of the Boston Section. Garrity and his staff then retired to a local tavern to have lunch and discuss their plans for the upcoming Tea Party. Afterwards, Garrity rode over to Paul Revere’s house on North Square to enquire about the status of his previous order.

    Paul Revere greets Mike Garrity expansively and welcomes him inside the house by saying “good afternoon, Mr. Garrity and welcome back to my home. It’s a pleasure to see you again. How can I be of service this fine day?”

    “Thank you for your kind reception, sir. I am in Boston on business, so I decided to stop by and see how my order is coming along.”

    “But of course, sir. Your staff at Garrity & Associates saw to it that I received the silver bullion I needed to begin work just a week after I saw you last in July of this year. I am pleased to tell you that the order will be completed by the first week of November.”

    “Excellent news, Mr. Revere. Per our contract, the final payment of five hundred Spanish milled dollars will be made when the silver is ready to be picked up. As for delivery arrangements, members of my staff will come to see you that day.”

    “Very good, Mr. Garrity. It is a pleasure to do business with such men as you.”

    Time: 7:00 PM

    From the time that Mike Garrity leaves Paul Revere’s house, he and two of his men spend the next couple of hours touring Boston on horseback; special attention is paid to locations that will later prove to be significant in the coming Revolutionary War Of these, the most important are the Old North Church, Beacon Hill, the prominence that will later be known as Fort Hill, Breed’s Hill and the cemetery called Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. In Mike Garrity’s original history, the burying ground (second-oldest in the City of Boston) was the location of a battery of British artillery during the Siege of Charlestown.

    A few minutes before 7:00 PM, Garrity arrives back at Faneuil Hall to meet with Samuel Adams. The meeting takes place in a second-floor room, and the other principals of the Sons of Liberty (Captain Bruce, Jonathan Williams among them) are present. Garrity shakes hands with the other men, then he is asked by Samuel Adams to take a seat.

    “Good evening, Mr. Garrity; my name is Samuel Adams. Your man Mr. James spoke very well of you last week, and so I resolved to meet you. From your reputation in Massachusetts and your physical stature, you are quite the man.”

    “Thank you, Mr. Adams. Your success in the malt business and in the publishing of ‘The Independent Advertiser’ are well-known to me. Now that introductions have been made, let us get down to business, shall we? You and your fellows are members of an organization called the Sons of Liberty. You founded the Boston branch of the Sons in August, 1765, and have long been known as an advocate for American liberty and the independence of the Colonies. For this purpose, you and your fellows have been holding meetings here in Faneuil Hall in order to decide how best to react to the Tea Act and other laws passed by Parliament.”

    Samuel Adams fixes Mike Garrity with a steely-eyed glare and says “you are very well-informed, sir. May I ask how you came by this intelligence? After all, the Sons of Liberty is supposed to be a secret organization; secret, at least from Colonial authorities like Governor Hutchinson and his fawning pack of toadies.” Garrity grins slightly and replies “Mr. Adams, a wise man once said ‘Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies’; it is quite sufficient that I do know. I give you my word as a gentleman that I intend no harm to the Patriot cause. Rather, I intend to place my considerable financial and material resources behind the cause.”

    Adams exchanges glances with his fellows; together, they engage in some minutes of discussion among themselves. Afterwards, Adams says “my companions and I are glad to hear of that, Mr. Garrity. You should know that we have received intelligence of our own which says that the British East India Company’s tea ship Dartmouth and two of her fellow vessels are scheduled to arrive in Boston harbor in late November. Let me say that the presence of this tea will be a threat to our business and an affront to our liberties.”

    Mike Garrity nods solemnly and replies “Mr. Adams, your feelings in this matter are completely understandable. Would I be correct in assuming that you and your fellows have a plan in mind to deal with it?”

    “You would be correct, sir. In fact, there will be a grand meeting here on November 29th to decide what our course of action will be.”

    “I thought as much. If you and your fellows have no objection, I would like to attend the meeting and participate in whatever action you intend to take.”

    “Thank you, Mr. Garrity; it would be an honor to have you.”

    “You’re more than welcome, Mr. Adams. In the meantime, the Sons of Liberty can count on me for whatever financial support is needed.”

    “But of course, sir. Where can you be reached should circumstances require a change in plans?”

    “Mr. Adams, I have taken quarters at the nearby Kent Row Tavern. I can be reached at any time through my staff in my office here in Faneuil Hall; before you object, my men have my every confidence.”

    Adams nods his head, then the meeting concludes and the participants go their separate ways. When Mike Garrity returns to his rooms at the tavern, Harry James and Bob Richardson are waiting for him. Mr. James says “how did it go, Mike?” Garrity replies “Bob, I’m in. I met with Sam Adams and the top echelon in the Boston chapter of the Sons of Liberty. They’re fixing to roll out the unwelcome mat for a couple of EIC tea ships, and I’ll be on hand to participate in the festivities. Sam Adams asked how I could be reached, and I said that you, Harry or any of the others could get a message to me at any time.”

    The Road to Revolution
    Date: November 29th, 1773
    Location: Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
    Time: 6:00 PM

    On the evening of November 29th, Samuel Adams and the other principal leaders of the Sons of Liberty held a meeting at Faneuil Hall in order to discuss how best to respond to the affront posed by the three British tea ships ‘Dartmouth’, ‘Eleanor’ and ‘Beaver’ currently moored at Griffin’s Wharf on the Boston. The meeting began at 6:00 PM and, as time wore on, more and more people showed up. Eventually, the crowd grew so large that it was decided to move the proceedings over to the Old South Meeting House.

    Mike Garrity is on hand to listen to Adam’s stirring oratory, in part “the actions by Parliament in taxing those of us here in the colonies without our consent must not be allowed to stand. I move that we send a resolution to the Captain of the ‘Dartmouth’ urging that he not unload his cargo and that he sail back to England without any delay.’ Adams’ motion is greeted with a roar of approval; it is seconded and passed by general acclaim.

    After yet more discussions, the crowd begins to break up and the people go back home. Eventually, there are only a few dozen left (among whom are Adams, Captain James Bruce, and Mike Garrity). Garrity says “that was a fine speech, Mr. Adams; I don’t think I have ever heard someone speak as well as you did. What will you and the Sons of Liberty do now?” Adams replies “thank you, sir; that was very kind of you to say so. As to what we will do, I think it necessary that the ships be watched because it would be just like Governor Hutchinson to try and have the tea unloaded surreptitiously. Therefore, Captain Hutchinson will take command of a small armed detachment; its purpose will be to patrol the docks and prevent the tea from being landed.”

    “Yes, Mr. Adams. I would consider it an honor if you would allow two of my men (a Mr. James and a Mr. Richardson) to join Captain Hutchinson and the others.”

    “Very well, sir. I think that whatever is going to happen will happen soon. British law requires that the cargo of those ships be unloaded and the duties be paid within twenty days of arrival. If not, it will be confiscated by the port authorities; this would serve Governor Hutchinson’s purposes equally well.” Garrity replies “if the Governor should try act in such a high-handed manner, then it would fall to us to see that he does not.”

    “Well-spoken, Mr. Garrity.”

    Date: December 16th, 1773
    Time: 7:00 PM

    On the evening of December 16th (the end of the 20-day period mentioned by Samuel Adams), word was received by the Sons of Liberty that Governor Hutchinson intended to force the confiscation of the tea by refusing to allow the three ships to sail back to England. This display of self-interest on the Governor’s part was further compounded by his nepotism as two of his sons are among the consignees for whom the tea was intended. Word of Governor Hutchinson’s action quickly spread among the citizens of Boston and soon, an outraged crowd that numbered in the thousands gathered at the Old South Meeting House.

    Captain Hutchinson and his men were notified by a special messenger from Samuel Adams that they were to stand by and hold themselves in readiness for further action if necessary. The meeting dispersed at 9:00 PM and 15 minutes later, a group of 120 men stealthily began to approach Griffin’s Wharf; among this group are Paul Revere, William Molineaux and Mike Garrity. In order to conceal their identities, these men symbolically-disguised themselves as Mohawk warriors. Some costumes consisted of no more than face paint, a blanket and a few strings of beads; others were as elaborate as possible (including the one worn by Garrity; his was 100% correct in all respects).

    At the foot of Griffin’s Wharf, the crews of the three tea ships had no reason to suspect that anything was amiss. Almost the entire crew of each vessel was either asleep in their hammocks below deck or away on shore leave. The only exceptions are the anchor watch aboard each ship, which consisted of two hands and a master’s mate.

    Before coming up to the ships, the disguised men were met by Captain Hutchinson and apprised of the situation; after a brief meeting, it was decided that the three ships should be taken simultaneously. The men divided themselves into three equal groups of forty each; Paul Revere and his group headed towards the ‘Dartmouth’, William Molineaux and his group went to the ‘Eleanor’ and, lastly, Mike Garrity and the third group went to the ‘Beaver’. When everyone was in position, a pre-arranged signal was given and the ships were rushed. The anchor watches were overwhelmed and subdued, while those men below decks were kept there by securing the main hatches.

    Realizing that time was of the essence, the raiders aboard each ship set to work with a will. The seals on the cargo holds were broken open and the chests of tea contained therein were first brought up on deck, then pitched over the side into the night-dark waters of Boston harbor. There is a slight wind coming out of the north-northeast, and it causes the floating chests to start to disperse almost as soon as they were thrown overboard. These chests are constructed of thick wood, with their lids sealed with wax and their seams tarred to protect against damage to the contents by salt air and seawater. Each ship had 114 chests of tea in the hold, with each chest holding 250 lbs of ‘Bohea’ tea (the kind most commonly-imported from China). In total, 342 chests were consigned to Boston Harbor.

    Mike Garrity prepared for what he knew was going to happen by arranging to have his merchant ship on station outside the entrance to Boston Harbor. The ship’s boats were lowered over the side and their crews were assigned of entering the harbor under the cover of darkness and retrieving some of the chests that were floating there. The four boats were in position by 11:30 PM and began to take the chests aboard. Aided by night-vision gear, the crew of each boat took ten chests aboard and concealed them under a canvas tarpaulin. Afterwards, the rowers took their seats and sails were raised to speed departure; he boats made their rendezvous with Garrity’s ship by 2:30 AM and proceeded to offload their stolen cargo.

    Back on shore, the Sons of Liberty have all dispersed to their homes; their mood is both somber and jubilant over they blow they just struck for the cause of American liberty. Before departing for their quarters in the Kent Row Tavern, Mike Garrity and his two men shook hands with Samuel Adams and Captain Hutchinson. Garrity says “Mr. Adams, I am deeply honored to have had a hand in tonight’s business. If Parliament is the least bit reasonable, they will see that what we did was a principled protest, not the actions of a lawless mob.”

    “I pray that this be so, sir. Despite the actions of King George and Parliament, all of us here still have some affection for the mother country.” Garrity nods his head solemnly and replies “be that as it may Mr. Adams, know that I stand ready to render whatever aid the Sons of Liberty need in the future.”

    Mike Garrity and his men return to their quarters at the Kent Row Tavern; once they are safe & sound behind closed doors, Garrity activates his communicator and says “Smith Actual, this is Garrity; I have traffic for your station, over.” Mr. Smith responds “Garrity; Smith Actual, you may proceed.”

    “Be advised that that the current date in this timeline is December 20th, 1773 and that I and my men have just participated in the Boston Tea Party. I took it upon myself to retrieve forty chests of tea from Boston Harbor, and I have thirty of them set aside for you.”

    “Received and understood; my compliments on your attention to detail. Have the chests time-jumped to the Alpha Site as soon as it is possible to do so. I’ll alert Pete Kruger’s people to anticipate a shipment from you soon.”

    “Copy that, Garrity out.”

    Lighting the Fuse
    Date: December 20th, 1773
    Location: The Towne House, State Street, Boston
    Time: 9:00 AM

    Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson is in a fine feather this morning. Earlier today, he received a report about what happened on the Boston waterfront last night. The governor immediately summoned his closest advisers for a meeting and brought them into his office. When the last man arrived, Hutchinson angrily pounded his desk and said “I assume that you gentlemen have heard what happened at Griffin’s Wharf last night…”

    Lieutenant-Governor Andrew Oliver responds “aye, your excellency; we have full knowledge of the particulars.” Governor Hutchinson’s face flushes with anger as he says “the members of that rabble disguised themselves as Indians so as to avoid just punishment for their lawless acts. All told, 342 chests containing a total of 45 tons of tea were destroyed. In monetary terms, the loss was 9,000 pounds sterling. This wanton reckless assault on governmental authority cannot and will not be tolerated.”

    “How does Your Excellency intend to respond?”

    “Andrew, I first intend to issue a proclamation that all citizens of Boston are required to lend their aid towards the discovery and arrest of all those responsible for these illegal and disorderly proceedings. Second, I want you to arrange for a fast packet boat to stand by and carry a dispatch that I will be writing for the Prime Minister. In it, I will tell His Lordship just what happened and request that he and parliament take any and all necessary actions.”

    “Very good sir, it will be done as you ask.”

    On the Home Front
    Date: December 24th, 1773
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 11:45 AM

    After Mike Garrity’s business in Boston was concluded, he returned to his home base in Westfield and arrived shortly before noontime. As he got back, there were snow flurries in the air and indications that heavier snow was on the way. All throughout Westfield and its environs, merchants, traders, craftsmen and farmers are ensconced in their homes making preparations for the arrival of Christmas Day. In the households of Garrity and his staff, the people draw upon their memories and experiences of their earlier lives and set up Christmas trees. These are decorated with ornaments of blown glass; obviously, there are no electric lights. Therefore, each tree is fitted with holders for small wax candles; in the interests of fire safety, the candles will not be lit until tomorrow morning (and then only for a short time). While Garrity’s home is buzzing with activity, he is momentarily overcome with an intense wave of nostalgia for the experiences of his childhood holidays at the home of his grandparents on 30 Noble Street; a location (and a street) that will not exist for more than 125 years.

    Elsewhere in Westfield at the construction sites for the Great River and Little River bridges, all work has stopped for the winter. The construction at each bridge is well-above the water level of the two rivers, and all that had to be done was to protect the exposed masonry against freezing and cracking. This was accomplished by the simple expedient of covering the tops of the bridge piers and the exposed beds with a mixture of straw and dung.

    As the afternoon continues, the flurries become a steady snowfall that decorates the bare branches with soft, white tufts and likewise carpets the roofs of houses, barns and other buildings in Westfield. Before the snow becomes too heavy to travel through, Mike Garrity takes it upon himself to pay social calls at the homes of the more notable residents of the town (such as Mayor Noble and the Reverend Wilbird Hawkins); for those houses where he knows that children will be present, he makes sure to fill his pockets with sweets and small presents.

    Command Conference
    Date: January 2nd, 1774
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 1:00 PM

    At 1:00 PM on January 2nd, 1774, Mike Garrity gathers the senior members of his staff in order to plan their actions for the coming year and afterwards. When the last of them arrives, Garrity says “gentlemen, in the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, the Revolutionary War is now inevitable. I, Mr. James and Mr. Robinson directly participated in that action; it unfolded almost exactly as the historical record said it did. I rather think that Governor Hutchinson blew a gasket when he got the news.”

    Bob Richardson speaks up and says “Mike, what is our next step?” Garrity quickly replies “Bob, as soon as Governor Richardson heard what happened at Griffin’s Wharf, he sent word back to England. The ship carrying Richardson’s dispatches is currently en-route and will be arriving later this month. When King George III and Prime Minister North get Governor Richardson’s message, they’re going to have conniptions. All factions in Parliament (even those who are friendly to the Colonies) are going to be united and demand action.”

    Allan Trent speaks next and says “Mike, I studied the historical database; Parliament was so incensed that they passed a series of laws called the ‘Intolerable Acts’. This legislation will be intended to punish the colonists of Massachusetts for what happened. The first of these laws will be the Boston Port Act, which will be given Royal Assent on March 20th and take effect on June 1st. The effect of this act was to have the Royal Navy blockade Boston Harbor and to have British regular troops garrisoned in the city. The second of the Intolerable Acts was the Massachusetts Government Act, assented to by the King on May 20th and taking effect on July 1st: this act was what really pushed the colonists over the edge.”

    Mike Garrity nods his head and says “you got that right, Allan. The Massachusetts Government Act abrogated the colony’s charter; it took away the right of the people to elect members of the governor’s executive council and gave King George III the right to call or dismiss the council whenever it pleased him to do so. Holders of any civil offices in the colony are to be appointed either by the king, the governor or Parliament itself. Lastly, towns could not conduct more than one meeting a year unless the governor called for one. Though the Government Act was specific to Massachusetts, its effects quickly spread to the other colonies; they began to fear that their own governments could be changed by Royal fiat or act of Parliament.”

    Bob Richardson says ‘The Massachusetts Government Act was immediately followed by the Administration of Justice Act, which will be assented to by the King on May 20th and take effect on July 1st. This act will give the Governor the authority to order that trials for colonial officials accused of misdeeds were to be held back in Britain if he thought that the defendant or defendants couldn’t get a fair trial in Massachusetts. Witnesses for both sides of the case will be compelled to attend the trial and they would be reimbursed for their expenses. However, the Act didn’t say that the witnesses were to be reimbursed for any and all lost wages during the time of their attendance at trial. Samuel Adams and many other residents of Massachusetts strongly believed that this act wasn’t needed because the British soldiers accused of complicity in the Boston Massacre did get a fair trial. Lastly, the Quartering Act (which will be assented to and passed on June 2nd) gave the governor the authority to quarter British troops in other buildings if proper quarters weren’t otherwise available; later historical analysis showed that this Act didn’t actually allow for the quartering of British troops in private homes.”

    Mike Garrity stands at the head of the table, leans over it and says “gentlemen, Parliament is going to realize that they made a serious mistake in passing these acts and try to restore the status quo ante by passing the Conciliatory Act in February, 1775. This law ended taxation for any colony which contributed to the imperial defense and the maintenance & upkeep of Royal officials. Unfortunately for Parliament, this was too little and too late. On May 13th of this year, Governor Hutchinson is due to be replaced by General Thomas Gage; he’ll be charged with enforcing the Coercive Acts and it will be he that issues the order for the confiscation and destruction of arms, powder and other military supplies stored at Lexington and Concord.”

    Garrity pauses for a moment in order to collect his thoughts, then says “the historical record says that Gage’s troops marched from Boston on April 18th, 1775 after he received orders from London on April 14th. My activities here in Westfield have made me a known quantity, and I believe that General Gage will attempt to seize the weapons & powder I have stockpiled here and to destroy the powder mill and arms factory. To aid the colonists, our cavalry and the two Hotchkiss mountain guns will be dispatched to Lexington and Concord; they’ll be in position on the night of April 18th. Bob, you’ll have command of the cavalry and Allan will have command of the two mountain guns.”

    Bob Richardson asks “What’s the plan, Mike?”

    “Bob, you and the cavalry will join with the colonial militia at Lexington; when the British troops open up, you will lend your weight of fire to the militia’s defense. When the militia falls back towards Concord, you will follow along.” Allan Trent says “what do you want me to do?”

    “Allan, your two guns will be held back from the action in Lexington. Afterwards, you’ll join our cavalry and the colonial militia at the North Bridge. When the British make their tactical withdrawl back to Boston, you and Bob Trent will fight alongside of the militia and give the redcoats everything you’ve got.”

    “Understood, Mike; you can count on us.”

    “Thanks, Allan; I know I can. When the British march on Westfield, there’s only one way that they can come; this is the Post Road from Boston. You see, most of Massachusetts is still thickly-forested at this time. The ground cover is so thick that it would keep the British from marching though it at any pace other than a slow walk. Therefore, the British commanders will keep their troops on the road. I have consulted copies of contemporary maps, and I see that the Boston Post Road passes through Worcester on its way to Springfield; the total distance is just over 90 miles. If we assume that the rate of advance of the British troops is 12 miles per day, this means that their column will arrive in Springfield 7 ½ days after leaving Boston.”

    “What’s the plan for engaging them, Mike?”

    “Bob, when the British get to Springfield, they’ll have to cross the Connecticut River by boat because there aren’t any bridges. Garrity’s Regiment, the Black Horse Cavalry and the Sons of Thunder artillery battery will previously have been called up and will be waiting in concealment until the British cross the river via boat. We’ll wait until the last troops are across and attack once the British troops pause to dress their lines. I don’t imagine that the British will send any more than three regiments against us because of the need to maintain a proper garrison in Boston.” Mike smiles when he thinks of the mauling that the British troops are going to get and says “Bob, Allan, once the action at Concord is concluded, I want you to withdraw and make for Springfield as quickly as possible My idea is that you should be in position to hammer the British as they retreat back across the Connecticut River; with any luck, we’ll hit them coming and going.”

    Richardson and Trent exchange knowing looks as they realize what Mike intends to do; Bob says “Allan and I will give those damned lobsterbacks a proper New England-style beat-down”.

    “Thank you, gentlemen. In the meantime, we’ll prepare for the coming war by ramping up production at our various installations in Westfield. Bob, I want you to increase the training rotations for the regiment, cavalry and artillery at Camp Bartlett starting on January 15th. These rotations will be on successive weekends, with a company of infantry, a troop of cavalry and a section of artillery in attendance; they will continue everyone has been trained. Then, there’s the two weeks of annual training for the entire force (scheduled to take place in March).”

    And so, it begins
    Date: March 20th-June 2nd, 1774

    At Camp Bartlett, every weekend between January 15th and March 12th was taken up with intensive training and field exercises. The two garrison companies were the first to undergo the weekend training, and their places in camp were taken up by two more companies. In turn, the garrison companies completed their training and were rotated out. The Black Horse Cavalry joined the training rotation on January 22nd and the Sons of Thunder joined on January 29th. The weekend training for all components was completed on March 5th and the entire command turned out on March 12th for the first of their annual two week training sessions. By now, Mike Garrity’s factories are in full swing producing and stockpiling arms, munitions, uniforms, accoutrements, rations and other supplies for the future Continental Army.

    Just as it happened in the original history, the Intolerable Acts were given royal assent by King George III and came into effect. Their passage further enraged an already-restive populace in the colony of Massachusetts Bay. Affairs in the colony were so unsettled that the legislature of Massachusetts sent a petition to the Board of Trade that Governor Hutchinson be recalled. The petition was dismissed by the Board at which hearing Benjamin Franklin (serving both as colonial agent and Postmaster-General of the colonies) was obliged to endure a storm of criticism and subsequently relieved of his duties as Postmaster-General.

    Governor Hutchinson had previously applied for a leave of absence so that he could return to Britain and address Parliament in person. The request was granted and, on May 14th, General Thomas Gage arrived in Boston to assume the post of governor pro tem. Governor Hutchinson believed that he would only be away from Massachusetts for a short time, and he sailed for Britain on June 1st.

    General Gage immediately set about assuming the duties of his office and started enforcing the Coercive Acts (as they were called in Britain). On June 2nd, Gage exercised his authority and dissolved the colonial assembly after he found out that the members of that body were unlawfully sending delegates to the Continental Congress. His call for new elections under the Massachusetts Government Act failed because the members of the assembly refused to cooperate with the newly-appointed Governor’s Council.

    Date: August 31st, 1774

    General Gage issued sealed orders to David Phips (Sheriff of Middlesex County) that he was to proceed to meet with William Brattle (leader of the provincial militia and an appointee of the governor) and secure the supplies of provincial powder stored in the Powder House in Somerville, Massachusetts. It so happened that Sheriff Brattle had sent a letter to General Gage four days previously that said that the local towns had already removed their own powder form the Powder House and that the King’s Powder was all that remained.

    Gage decided to seize the remaining powder supply before the Patriots could get their hand on it. Unfortunately for him, Brattle’s letter of August 27th was stolen and its contents made known throughout the colony. This created a firestorm of public opinion, and was one of the factors that Gage considered when he issued an order on September 1st that the military garrisons of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and those located in Halifax and Newfoundland were to withdraw and regroup in Boston; this action was supported by a large fleet of warships under the command of Admiral Samuel Graves (commander of the Royal Navy’s North American Station).

    Pending the outcome of General Gage’s actions, Mike Garrity issued an order that the two companies on garrison duty at Camp Bartlett were to be rotated out on a monthly basis; this was so that the men of the command could spend time with their families and not feel as if one particular unit was being singled out for duty. Elsewhere, Mike Garrity’s armed merchant ship ‘Columbia’ was at her moorings in Hartford, Connecticut when her commanding officer held a staff meeting with the chiefs of the various divisions aboard ship. It was decided that the ship was to be inspected from the top of the mainmast to the bottom of her keel in order than any fault would be noticed and repaired. After the inspection and any necessary repairs are completed, ‘Columbia’ weighed anchor and set sail down the Connecticut River and out into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean so that the crew could practice their gunnery and damage control skills.

    Advance Preparations
    Date: September 1st, 1774
    Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
    Time: 10:00 AM

    Knowing full-well that the British will send troops to Westfield in order to seize store sof arms, powder, accoutrements and other materiel of war, Mike Garrity confers with his senior staff and decides that the best way to deal with the incursion will be to have as much advance warning as possible. To this end, Garrity orders the construction of a multi-story watchtower on Pochassic Hill just west of the town. The tower will measure one hundred feet tall, and taper in section from the base to the top in order to assure maximum stability.

    The base of the tower will be surrounded by a two-story building built of locally-sourced stone. The first level of the building has no direct access to the outside and will be where supplies are kept; the wooden part of the watchtower will be built in an open area at the center of the stone building and accessed from the second level; it has four large piers made from individual trees stripped of bark and hewn to a uniform diameter of 18” throughout their entire length.

    Above the stone building, the watchtower has eight levels; the topmost of which (at the 100’ level) is roofed over in order to provide shelter from the elements. When the tower is complete, observers will be stationed on the upper levels. They will be equipped with telescopes in order to see the advance of enemy troops from as far away as possible.
    To begin with, Garrity sends a work crew out into the woodlands surrounding Westfield in order to select and fell the timber necessary; a second crew goes to the site of the tower and starts preparation work; this includes laying out the site itself, leveling the ground and starting to dig the foundation of the stone building. After about an hour or so of searching, the first crew locates four enormous willow trees each measuring about 150’ feet tall; based on their size, these giants have been growing for more than 200 years. Once the trees are down, all of their branches are removed and sledges are constructed so the trees can be dragged to the tower’s construction site and prepared for raising.

    Meanwhile, a large crowd of people from Westfield and the surrounding communities gathers at Little River Bridge in order to mark its completion. As part of the festivities, Mike Garrity personally lays the last stone after it is blessed by Reverend Wilbird Hawkins. The last thing to be done is the setting of a large bronze plate into the wall next to the bridge’s roadbed. The plate reads:

    ‘Little River Bridge
    Dedicated July 1st, MDCCLXXIV’

    After the work on Little River Bridge is formally completed and the bridge is opened for traffic, the festivities shift over to the Great River Bridge. Here, Mike Garrity lays the symbolic last stone. After Reverend Hawkins’ invocation, Mayor Noble comes up to Mike Garrity and says “this bridge of yours is truly a work for the ages, Sir. I know not of anything nearly as impressive in Massachusetts or elsewhere in the Colonies; your foresight is most commendable.”

    “Thank you, Mr. Mayor. My main purpose in having the two bridges built was to ensure the future growth prospects for Westfield. Unless I am very much-mistaken, having these bridges in place will attract people to come and settle here.” Mayor Noble nods, then he and Garrity move among the crowd to meet and greet them. At every turn, Mike is greeted with enthusiasm as his enterprises have brought prosperity to the town.

    On a more serious note, Mike Garrity’s staff back at Camp Bartlett is preparing his command for war. All ammunition for small arms has been turns in and replaced with cartridges loaded with elongated ball; each trooper has 50 rounds of ammunition in his cartridge box, with a further 50 rounds in his pack or saddle bags. In the camp’s powder magazine, there is an additional one million rounds stored in wooden crates that hold 1,000 rounds each. For the artillery, there are 2,000 rounds for each piece which are divided as follows:

    Rifled Guns: 100% explosive shell (2,000 rounds each)
    12-lb field guns: 60% explosive shell (1,200 rounds per gun), 15% canister shot (300 rounds per gun), 15% grapeshot (300 rounds per gun), 10% solid shot (200 rounds per gun)
    12-lb howitzers: 60% explosive shell (1,200 rounds per gun), 40% canister shot (800 rounds per gun)

    Lastly, Garrity’s men take stock of the ammunition for their own weapons. This material consists of 200,000 rounds for their Sharps carbines, 100,000 rounds for their Sharps carbines and 90,000 rounds for their Remington percussion revolvers. As an afterthought, the supply of ammunition for the two Model 1875 Hotchkiss mountain guns has been increased from 40 cases per gun (30 of common shell and 10 of case shot) to 100 cases per gun). The hand grenades that Garrity brought along when the expedition came back in time are modern M67 ‘Baseball’ grenades, not the round cast-iron types in use at this time. The grenades are contained in sealed weatherproof cardboard tubes that come in cases of 30 each; the cases are opened and the seals on the cardboard tubes are checked to see if they are still intact; tubes with broken seals are disposed of.

    For the coming Revolutionary War, Mike Garrity and his men realize that logistics and supply will be of critical importance in the opening years of the conflict (particularly at Valley Forge). Therefore, Garrity’s factories have been working around the clock since January, 1773 to produce and stockpile clothing, boots and medical supplies; tools (shovels, axes, saws, hammers, etc) in large quantities have been made at the ironworks and stockpiled for issue when needed.

    Rations are a matter of special concern and, in this, Mike Garrity and his staff are guided by certain historical documents (Hardee’s Rifle & Light Infantry Tactics, plus the Flying Camp Bill of Fare, 1776). Instead of flour, hardtack is baked and stored in crates that hold 50 lbs each). Salt beef, salt pork, salt fish, bacon, ham and sausages are stored in barrels, while dehydrated vegetables, fruit, eggs, pickles, powdered milk and condensed milk are stored in tin cans; the idea is to have sufficient rations on hand to supply 12,000 men (equal to Washington’s army at the beginning of the winter encampment at Valley Forge) for two months.

    Juggernaut Rising
    Date: January 7th, 1775
    Location: Greenport, Long Island
    Time: noon

    At long last, the warship commissioned by Mike Garrity from Mr. Smith’s uptime shipyard in Maine has arrived. In order to support the ship and provide a secure anchorage, two of Garrity’s men previously traveled to the town of Greenport on the North Fork of Long Island in order to purchase acreage for this purpose. A quarter-section was selected (one that lay ½ mile west of town) and a dock was constructed. Garrity’s warship has a draft of 26’ 10”, so the shore in front of the dock was dredged to a depth of 30’ in order to accommodate the vessel.

    Ashore, barracks and storehouses were constructed, along with a coalyard to refill Juggernaut’s bunkers; when fully supplied, the bunkers hold 900 tons of coal. The coalyard is designed to hold 4,500 tons of coal, thus enabling the ship to be refueled five times before the coal stockpile has to be replenished.

    On January 4th, 1775, Juggernaut was time-jumped from the waters off the coast of Maine. She arrives in the same exact geographical position and makes ready to sail to the waters to the east of Long Island. She arrived on January 7th and dropped anchor out of sight of land so as not to unduly alarm the local inhabitants. The ship’s commanding officer John Higgins comes ashore by boat and meets with Mike Garrity; the meeting is held in the headquarters building and Garrity says “welcome to 1775, John. I hope you, your crew and the ship are doing well.”

    “Everything is Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion, Mike; though I’m still having a little difficulty wrapping my brain around the fact that we’re really here in 1775 and that the American Revolution is going to start in a few months.”

    “I know how you feel. Before Mr. Smith recruited me a few years back, I thought that time travel was the stuff of science fiction; yet, here we are. John, I’d like a report on the status of the ship.”

    “Right, Mike. Juggernaut’s design and construction are exactly as you requested, with only one exception. Rather than a pair of steam turbines, Juggernaut is powered by a pair of 6,000-shp triple-expansion steam engines; Mr. Smith made the change because steam engines are much easier to maintain than steam turbines. Bunker capacity remains as before; 900 tons of coal.”

    “How about the ship’s armor and guns?”

    ”Mike, the ship’s armor is constructed from various thicknesses of Krupp-style cemented steel. As for the guns, the main battery is 26 6.4” 100-pdr breechloaders; the secondary battery is 24 4.2”/30-pdr rifled breechloaders (12 on each broadside) and a pair of 8”/200-pdr rifled breechloaders as pivot guns (one each on the fore & aft decks in armored barbettes). For ammunition, I’ve got 100 rounds of HE for each of the pivot guns, plus 200 rounds of HE per gun in the main and secondary batteries. Jim wanted me to point out that your original specifications didn’t call for the ship to have small boats; four of them are included, with pair of mechanical davits on the port and starboard sides of the ship. I used one of these boats to come here, and they’re also intended for use by landing parties. Jim thought that it would be a good idea if the landing parties had their own portable artillery, so the ship’s armory has four reproduction Model 1875 Hotchkiss mountain guns.”

    Mike smiles when he hears this and replies “that was a good idea; I’ve two of those little guns at my place in Westfield, Massachusetts. When the time comes, I’ll be using them to play merry hobb with the Redcoats. How are you fixed for small arms?” Captain Higgins smiles and says ‘The arms lockers are flush with Model 1863 Sharps percussion infantry rifles, double-barrel 10-gauge percussion shotguns with 20” barrels and Remington Model 1858 .44-caliber revolvers. Aside from this, we’ve got an assortment of cutlasses, half-pikes and boarding axes.”

    “I like it. Any British ship that fails to strike her colors and heave to when you put a shell across her bow is infected with a special kind of stupid.”

    “Exactly. Now that we’re talking about weapons, what’s your plan?”

    “John, my operational concept is to hold the Juggernaut back until the war breaks out in April, 1775. Then, you’ll make contact with John Paul Jones and sail for Britain; your objective will be to bombard Portsmouth and the Royal Navy’s fleet anchorage at Spithead. Back here on this side of the pond, my own ship (currently at anchor in Hartford, Connecticut) will aid Jones when he starts to raid British shipping and make his attempt to rescue Americans being held prisoner. After that, Jones’ ship and mine will raid the British colony in the Bahamas for military supplies.”

    “Sounds good, Mike. All things considered, this version of the Revolutionary War is going to be a good deal shorter than it was in our original history. Do you have any ideas for other kinds of weapons?”

    “I actually do. My powder mill in Westfield has the ability to produce quantities of TNT, plus nitroglycerin for making dynamite; the ironworks can roll sheet metal to any thickness desired. What I’m going to do is to steal the design of the Congreve rocket and turn it against the British. The symmetry of using a British-designed weapon against British troops has a certain kind of symmetry, I think.”

    Captain Higgins grins malignantly and says “you know, I almost feel sorry for the Redcoats; one moment they’re thinking and feeling that they’re on top of the world. Next moment, they’re getting shot up from far outside the range of their muskets (or being blown into next week).”

  • #2
    Mighty good, Mike! Mighty good, indeed!


    • #3
      I'm glad you liked it. The Colonies will be on a much more stable financial footing than they were originally, and that bodes well for the future.


      • #4
        Pretty good


        • #5
          The British are coming, the British are coming!!
          Date: April, 1775
          Location: various
          Time: various

          Previously in February, both Houses of Parliament petitioned King George III to declare that the Province of Massachusetts Bay was in open rebellion. The King did so, and word was sent to the royal governor Thomas Gage to disarm the colonists. General Gage, in turn, sent secret orders to Lt. Colonel Francis Smith that he should take the 700 men under his command and seize the arms, powder, shot and other supplies stored in the town of Concord by the Massachusetts militia. Unfortunately for the British, the colonists had a very effective intelligence-gathering apparatus. By April 19th, most of the supplies had been safely moved elsewhere, with only a small amount left in the Concord magazine as a decoy.

          At dawn on the 19th, Captain John Parker led his 80 militiamen out of Buckman Tavern onto Concord’s town green in order to await the arrival of the British regulars. Captain Parker was somewhat surprised to see another sixty men already standing there. Forty of these are armed with carbines and twenty of them with rifles; both sorts of weapons are of unfamiliar make. As Captain Parker disposes his men on the green, a tall man wearing a forest-green coat and wood-brown trousers comes up to him, salutes crisply and says “do I have the honor of addressing Captain John Parker?”

          “You do, sir. May I have the pleasure of your name?”

          “I am Captain Robert Richardson from Westfield. I and the men with me have been sent by my commanding officer Colonel Michael Garrity to aid you in your stand against the British. Colonel Garrity send his regrets that he could not be here in person, and he has authorized me to act in his stead. Captain Parker grins and says “you and your men are thrice-welcome, Captain Richardson.”

          “Thank you, sir. I judge that you are the senior officer on the scene, therefore I and my men are at your disposal.” Captain Parker nods and replies “very well. You and your men will position yourselves to the left of mine and stand ready for whatever happens. I caution you not to fire unless you are fired upon.”

          Captain Richardson acknowledges the order by saluting once again and saying “sir, yes sir.” The strange men in green & brown uniforms move off to Parker’s left and begin to wait. When they are alone, Bob Richardson says “alright, boys. It’s game on. We’re going to follow Parker’s lead and not fire unless we are fired upon. Allan, pass the word for everyone to load up.” Allan Trent nods his head by way of reply and says “copy that, Bob.”
          The order for the detachment to load their weapons is passed quietly; each man’s hand goes to the breech lever of his weapon, cranks it downwards and exposes the breech. The hammers are set to half-cock, then cartridges are extracted from the cartridge boxes and set into the breeches. These cartridges aren’t simply paper tubes containing a bullet and a charge of powder. Instead, the tubes are composed of nitrated linen tied around the base of the bullet. The powder charge for the Sharps rifles is 80 grains, while the charge for the carbines is 60 grains. The usefulness of this type of cartridge comes from the fact that the wrapper is consumed entirely upon firing, and that there is no tail to be cut off by the weapon’s breechblock.

          Next, each weapon’s hammer is brought to half-cock. Winged percussion caps are taken from belt pouches, set onto the nipples and the hammers are gently lowered down. When the loading process is complete, Allan Trent says “Bob, the boys are ready to go. I almost feel sorry for the British, because they’re not going to know what hit them. Captain Parker’s boys have got their dander up, but they’re unprofessional by our standards; when push comes to shove, they’ll be lucky to get off two rounds per minute. The British are professionals, and will be able to fire three rounds per minute; that’s good, but nothing compared to what we can do. With our Sharps carbines and rifles, we’ll be able to pour out ten or twelve rounds a minute each.”

          Bob Richardson chuckles softly and says “you got that right, Allan.”

          Time: 6:00 AM

          Out on Lexington’s town green, the skies are beginning to lighten, but the sun hasn’t yet become visible over the horizon. Captain Parker’s men are in parade-ground formation, standing parallel to the road to Concord but not blocking it. His purpose is not to give the impression that they are going to block the advance of the British regulars. Out in front of the formation, Captain Parker has his musket in his left hand and his sword in the right hand. He paces up and down in front of his men and repeats his earlier order by saying “men, stand your ground and don’t fire unless fired upon. But, if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

          On the far end of the green, things are getting complicated. Lt. Jesse Adair (HM Royal Marines) decided on his own initiative not to proceed to Concord as originally. Instead, he ordered the men under his command (a composite force from the 1st Battalion of HM Royal Marines and the 10th Light Infantry and) to protect the right flank of the advancing British column by coming onto the green and taking up positions there. Major John Pitcairn came up from the rear of the column, saw what was happening and immediately took three companies onto the green and posted them to the left.

          Just then, Lieutenant John Sutherland from the 38th Regiment of Foot rode forward with his sword in hand. He waved it boldly and shouted forth “lay down your arms and disperse, you damned rebels!!” In response, Captain Parker tells his men “disperse and go home, for there will be another day.” Unfortunately, Parker has been suffering from tuberculosis of late and his raspy voice doesn’t carry very far. Some of the militiamen didn’t hear him at all and some began to leave as he ordered, but very slowly. In no case did any of the militiamen lay down their weapons. It now seems that all of this sound and fury will signify nothing; however, that is not the case. Lt. Sutherland sheathed his sword and drew one of his pistols from a pommel holster; in so doing, the weapon was accidentally fired. The ball flew forward across the green and, quite by chance, struck a militiaman by the name of Ebenezer Monroe on the arm. The wound was slight, but it enraged Monroe who said to his kinsman Corporal John Monroe “by God, I’ll give them the guts of my gun!!” Both men lowered their muskets at the main body of British troops and fired. Immediately, other militiamen aimed and fired their muskets before beginning to disperse.

          The return volley from the British struck with great effect. Eight of Captain Parker’s men were killed and ten were wounded. Three of Bob Richardson’s men were also hit, but suffered no wounds beyond bruises on the chest as they were wearing soft Level III-A body armor under their coats. The British troops surged forward with their bayonets fixed and began to fire on the backs of the retreating militiamen. They were met with a deadly-accurate volley from Bob Richardson’s men on the left; the men with carbines were in the kneeling position while those with rifles stood behind them. To the British, the rate of fire from these strangely-garbed men was unbelievable. Lt. Adair had 60 men under his command, while Major Pitcairn had a larger force of 110 men. Superior British numbers meant nothing, as three-quarters of their troops were killed outright in just one minute, and the rest were wounded to one degree or another.

          Thinking that there was a larger force of militia in Lexington than was originally expected, Lt. Colonel Francis Smith immediately ordered the rest of his men forward. By this time, Captain Parker’s men had all dispersed, while Bob Richardson and his men were making a fighting withdrawl. Richardson’s orders were to make for Concord and rally with the colonial militia there. By 6:30 AM, the action in Lexington was over and Lt. Colonel Smith had possession of the field.

          Time: 7:00 AM

          The militiamen of Concord and the nearby town of Lincoln mustered on Corcord’s town green in response to the alarms raised earlier in the morning and the reports of fighting from Lexington. The total force numbered 250 troops, and it was decide to march out and meet the British regulars before they could advance on Concord. They came out to a distance of one and a half miles from Concord, only to find that the British outnumbered them by nearly three to one. Sensibly, battle was not given and the militiamen retreated back to Concord. They subsequently withdrew from the town to a low ridge that lay one mile north; their commander Colonel James Barrett deployed his men and ordered them to keep watch on the British as they advanced into town.

          Down below, Lt. Colonel Smith deployed some of his men to secure the South and North bridges, while Captain took fifty men from the 5th, 23rd, 38th and 52nd Regiments of Foot across the North Bridge to Barrett’s Farm in order to search for military supplies. Finding nothing of consequence there, the British troops proceeded into Concord and acted upon intelligence from loyalist spies by seizing one hundred barrels of flour, fifty barrels of salted meat and 11 casks containing a total of 550 lbs of musket balls. Further success was had at the tavern owned and operated by Ephraim Jones, upon which property three massive 24-pdr cannon were found buried. The barrels were disables by smashing off the trunnions, while the carriages were burned where they lay. Satisfied with what his men had accomplished, Lt. Colonel Smith ordered his men to return whence they came.

          Time: 8:30 AM

          By now, Bob Richardson and the rest of his men are on the scene. They are positioned some 300 yards from the North Bridge, and are able to witness Captain Laurie from the 43rd Regiment of Foot to retreat back across the bridge. Seizing the opportunity, Richardson and the others joined the rest of the colonial militia massing at the bridge and prepared to engage the British. The action that followed began when a panicked soldier from the 43rd Regiment fired a warning shot which happened to wound one Luther Blanchard in the Town of Acton’s militia company. Thinking that the colonial militia was coming under a general assault by the British, Major John Buttrick ordered ‘fire for God’s sake, fellow soldiers, fire!!”

          The militia began to fire volley after volley at the British, who were just fifty yards away on the other side of the Concord River. The volume of colonial fire was lessened because they were densely packed along the river’s edge. The first few ranks were able to fire over the heads of those in front; fifty yards is average engagement range for a smoothbore musket and so, British troops began to fall. Fully half of the eight officers and NCOs on the scene were wounded, while twelve privates were killed or seriously wounded.

          On the right, Bob Richardson’s men assumed prone, supported firing positions and began to pour withering fire across the river. The effective range of their Sharps carbines and rifles (300-500 yards) meant that every round they fired struck home with lethal force. One particular casualty was Lt. Hawkestone from the 52nd Regiment of Foot, who had his brains blown out the back of his head by a bullet from Richardson’s rifle. As the engagement proceeded, Lt. Colonel Smith brought up two companies of grenadiers and went to see what was happening at the bridge. He observed the situation and became concerned for the safety of his remaining troops. In company with the detachment of troops which searched Barrett’s Farm and the Town of Concord, Smith ordered a general withdrawl and deployed light infantry on the flanks to protect his men as they marched east back towards Boston. On the march, Lt. Colonel Smith was opposed by more than 1,000 militiamen, who kept up a galling fire from behind walls, trees and houses along the way.

          General Thomas Gage anticipated that Lt. Colonel Smith might need reinforcements. Accordingly, he ordered Earl Hugh Percy to take command a brigade of 1,000 men with supporting artillery and advance towards Lexington in support of Lt. Colonel Smith. The column left Boston at 8:45 AM and marched towards Lexington; Percy arrived in Lexington at 2:00 PM and deployed his men and artillery into line; he was soon greeted by the sight of Lt. Colonel Smith and the survivors of his command who came running back into town with the colonial militia hot on their heels. Percy’s artillery fired at extreme range to keep the colonials back, then he sought out Lt. Colonel Smith to get his appraisal of the situation.

          “I say Colonel; it looks to me like the colonials have given you more trouble than you know how to deal with.” Smith shakes his head sadly and replies “milord, that is more true than you know. Most of my opposition was militia from local towns; their fire was galling, but bearable. There was one unit however, whose fire was murderously accurate and all out of proportion to their small size. They numbered perhaps sixty men in all, and wore uniforms of forest-green coats and trousers the color of old brown wood. Sir, I tell you that I’ve never seen the like in all my years in the King’s Service.”

          Just then, the peril of the British situation is made more clear when the lieutenant commanding Early Percy’s two artillery pieces and the two gun captains are shot down by Bob Richardson from more than 700 yards. The other members of the gun crews take cover behind their pieces as Earl Percy says “I see what you are saying, Colonel. Between us, we have 1,700 men. What I propose to do is to rest our men, feed them and see to the wounded.”

          “Yes, milord.”

          Time: 3:30 PM

          The men of Early Percy and Lt. Colonel Smith’s combined force have rested, eaten their fill and seen to their wounded as best as they were able to. By 3:30 pm, they are back on the road. Mindful of the tactical situation, Percy has companies of light infantry deployed as skirmishers on the flanks, while the remainder of the 1st Battalion of Royal Marines are sent on ahead as a vanguard. The British take up their line of march towards the town of Menotomy; during this time, they are continually harassed by colonial militiamen (some of whom are firing from their own houses). This continual harassment caused some of Percy’s men to go out of control and loot taverns and other buildings along the way. In one case, two innocent townsmen who happened to be in one of Menotomy’s several taverns were shot down in cold blood just because the sergeant of one squad of British troops believed that they had been involved in the day’s activities. In another instance, the entire silver communion service in one of the local churches was stolen.

          When the British began their march through Menotomy, one of the units was a short company of men from the 47th Regiment of Foot. Local resident Samuel Whittemore decided that he wasn’t about to let such an affront go unmet, even at the advanced age of 80 years So, Whittemore picked up his musket and a pair of pistols. He went outside his house, crouched down behind a stone wall at the front of his property and waited. The wait wasn’t long, as the men of the 47th had just passed in front of Whittemore’s house when he jumped up from behind the wall and started firing. His musket took one British soldier down with a ball straight through the heart, while his brace of pistols accounted for two more.

          Enraged at the actions of this interloper, two full squads charged Whittemore’s position and fired at him. Whittemore was hit in the left cheek by one musket ball, while another one creased his skull. One soldier proceeded to bayonet Whittemore while he was down on the ground. The others came up and were about to finish off the valorous old gentleman with their musket butts when they were shot down by Bob Richardson’s men who were concealed in a copse of bushes and trees some 75 yards away. Seeing this, the remaining two squads from the 47th took to their heels and ran off down the road as fast as their legs could carry them.

          Richardson and his men stealthily withdrew from their position, making sure not to be seen by the British or the local colonists. In their wake, Whittemore’s neighbors saw what had happened to their friend and came out of their houses to care for him. They summoned Doctor Nathaniel Tufts (who had just come from the town of Medford) to Whittemore’s aid. Dr. Tufts did what he could to treat Whittemore’s grievous wounds, even going so far as to attempt to sew up the gaping wound in Whittemore’s left cheek.

          Surprisingly, Samuel Whittemore didn’t die from his injuries. He recovered and lived to be 98 years of age. In later years, his neighbors erected a granite tablet at the scene of the battle which read as follows:

          ‘Here on this spot, Captain Samuel Whittemore killed twenty British soldiers on the afternoon of April 19th, 1775. He was shot, bayoneted and left for dead, but recovered and lived to be 98 years of age.’

          Earl Percy’s force continued on their march back to Boston, harassed every step of the way by colonial militia. When they arrived back in the city, Boston found itself surrounded on the landward side by a huge force of militia that numbered some 15,000. These men were composed of contingents from all throughout New England; and so, the Siege of Boston began. General Gage sent fresh troops from two of his regiments (the 10th and 64th Regiments of Foot) to occupy the heights in Charlestown and begin building fortifications against an anticipated assault by the colonials. Bob Richardson and his men used the general confusion in the area to slip out un-noticed and return back to Westfield. Here, Richardson delivered an after-action report to Mike Garrity.

          Garrity reads the report and says “Bob, you and the boys have my compliments on a job well-done. By my estimate, the British suffered at least five times as many casualties as they did in our original history.” Richardson replies “thanks, Mike. What’s the plan now?”

          “Bob, I’m calling up the men of the regiment (plus the Sons of Thunder and the Black Horse Cavalry) for immediate duty. Two companies of foot will be detailed to stay here and guard Westfield, along with the Black Horse and the heavy guns. The other six companies and the mountain howitzers will come with me when I go to help the colonists in the action at Bunker Hill. If I have anything to say about it, Colonel William Prescott and his staff will follow General Israel Putnam’s orders and fortify Bunker Hill instead of Breed’s Hill (as they did in the original engagement. I’m also going to be bringing along three tons of my reserve gunpowder; if you will recall, the colonists were unable to defend against the third British assault because they ran out of powder. This time, the Redcoats are going to get an even bigger bloody nose.”

          Bob Richardson nods his head and says “that’s a good plan, Mike. What will you want me to do in the meantime?”

          “I’ll put you in charge of the defenses of Westfield. You’ll have full command authority over the two companies of infantry I am leaving behind, plus the Sons of Thunder and the Black Horse Cav. Allan will be your second-in-command, and he’ll put our own badboys in wherever you need them. If the British decide to try and come against Westfield, they’ll get a world-class bloody nose.”

          “Understood, boss. You can rely on the boys and I to do whatever is needed.”


        • #6
          Forward, I say!!
          Date: June 8th, 1775
          Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
          Time: 8:00 AM

          Ever since Bob Richardson and the men placed under his command by Mike Garrity returned to Westfield, all of Garrity’s industrial enterprises have been humming with activity in preparation for the coming campaign against the British. The factories are working three shifts per day (with those employees on the overnight shift being paid at the rate of time-and-a-half. When added to the materiel already on hand in Garrity’s warehouses, this effort resulted in the following types and amounts of supplies being ready for issue when the time comes:

          12,000 barrels wheat flour
          12,000 barrels cornmeal
          250 tons mixed vegetables (dry equivalent)
          60 tons rice
          720 tons salt pork
          540 tons salt beef
          7,200 barrels apple cider
          10,000 gallons milk (powdered equivalent; in glass jars)
          200 tons mixed dry fruit/nuts
          720 tons hardtack (50-lb boxes)

          Guns, Powder & Shot
          4,000 rifle-muskets
          300 tons gunpowder
          600 tons lead
          800 crates .58-caliber elongated ball (for rifle muskets)
          600 crates buck & ball (for smoothbore muskets)
          1,200,000 musket flints (cut agate)

          Tentage & Camping Supplies
          24,000 wool blankets
          3,000 tents w/ liners
          12,000 pairs insulated boots
          24,000 pairs wool gloves
          12,000 wool hats

          After conferring with his senior staff, Mike Garrity decided that the force that was coming with him to Boston should have some indirect fire support to complement the six 12-pdr mountain howitzers from the Sons of Thunder artillery battery. Therefore, an order was passed to the arms manufactory to build six 24-pdr Coehorn mortars. These weapons are the Model 1841 type, produced and used by the Union all throughout the Civil War; Garrity decided on the Model 1841 for its simplicity and ease of construction.

          The Model 1841 mortar’s tube was cast of bronze, measuring 16.3” long and weighing just 165 lbs. The tube is set into a simple wooden bed (weighing 132 lbs) with a fixed elevation of 45 degrees. The weapon’s minimum range is 25 yards, and the maximum range is 1,200 yards; the range of the shell was varied by using lesser or greater powder charges as the situation required. For 25 yards, the powder charge was a minuscule ½ ounce; the maximum range was achieved by loading a full ½ lb of powder into the chamber.

          Though the Model 1841 mortar is called a 24-pdr, it actually isn’t. The weapon is designed to fire hollow iron shells of two types that weigh 17 lbs each (including the bursting charge). The first type is a hollow iron shell (called spherical case shot) packed with lead balls and with a central cavity drilled out to hold a small bursting charge. The second type is exactly identical to the first, except that there are no lead balls and that the entire cavity of the shell is filled with explosives; this type is called ‘common’ shell. The shells fired by the Model 1841 mortars and the 12-lb mountain howitzers are exactly identical, which simplifies the matter of providing ammunition. Unlike the shells fired by the same weapons in the Civil War, those made at Garrity’s arms manufactory are loaded with TNT; the case shot uses four ounces and also carries 80 lead balls inside the shell. For common shell, a larger explosive charge is used; Garrity’s shells are loaded with ½ lb of explosive.

          Spherical case and common shells are detonated by copies of the Bormann time fuze (used extensively by both sides in the Civil War. This fuze consists of a disk made from lead and tin that contains a specially-formulated powder that burns at an exact rate; the surface of the fuze is marked from 1 to 5 ½ seconds in graduations of ¼ second each. After the fuze is installed in the shell, the gunner uses a metal punch to set the time (and the range) at which the shell will explode.

          Other components of a Bormann fuze are the underdisk (made from iron); which supports the fuze disk and the powder magazine. When a shell equipped with a Bormann fuze is fired, the burning powder gases wash over the top of the shell and ignite the delay train inside the fuze. This train burns down to the magazine, which ignites and detonates the shell’s explosive charge. Rather than black powder, the magazine in Garrity’s version of the Bormann fuze contains a device which resembles a modern blasting cap.

          Finally, on the morning of June 8th, 1775, all preparations are complete. Garrity’s entire regiment (plus his cavalry and artillery) are standing to, plus his personal cavalry detachment. Twenty members of the expedition are detailed to go with him as an armed escort. At 8:00 AM, all is in readiness; so Garrity calls Bob Richardson and Allan Trent to him so they can receive last-minute instructions.

          “Bob, you’re in overall command while I am away. Allan, you’ll have command over the two companies of militia who are staying behind to guard Westfield and my industrial infrastructure. For support, you’ll have the two Hotchkiss mountain guns plus all of the boys form the expedition who aren’t coming along with me.”

          “Understood, Mike; you can count on me.”

          “Thanks, Allan. Bob, after I have crossed the Long Bridge over the Connecticut River, you’ll take the other six companies of the regiment, plus the Black Horse Cavalry and the Sons of Thunder’s heavy guns and deploy forward to the western end of the Long Bridge. You and the Sons will take up defensive positions, while the Black Horse Cavalry will proceed across the bridge and patrol the eastern halves of Hampden and Hampshire Counties in order to give warning of any approach by the British”

          “Roger that, Mike. If any of the Redcoats are stupid enough to come against us, the boys and I will go through them like a hot knife through butter.”

          “Thanks, Bob.”

          Mike Garrity rides to the head of the column that he’s taking to Boston, and stands tall in the saddle to see that everyone is in line behind him. Four of his uptime personnel are rising alongside of him, while the other sixteen are deployed on the flanks as outriders. The column consists of two sections; the first section has the wagons which contain supplies for his own men plus three tons of extra powder for the colonials along with the six mortars and their ammunition, while the second section has the 12-pdr mountain howitzers and their crews from the Sons of Thunder. The Sons are wearing Garrity’s standard regimental uniform (forest-green coat, wood-brown trousers and black tricorn hat, while he and his uptime staff are wearing their own uniforms of woodland camouflage, ‘boonie’ hats and campaign boots (black leather with canvas sides and rubber treads.

          Garrity’s uptimers are armed with Sharps percussion carbines and a pair of Remington Model 1858 .44-caliber percussion revolvers, while he’s armed with a Sharps percussion rifle (slung on his back) and his trusty pair of Walker Dragoon revolvers belted at the waist. Purely as an affectation, Garrity has his sword slung from his saddle horn; rather than the one he received as a gift from the Westfield Town Council as a gift some months ago, the one he carries was presented to him by Mr. Smith. The weapon has a two-handed grip and the blade measures 40” long, 2” wide at the ricasso and 7/8” at the tip ogive; it was forged from ‘Persian/Turkish’-pattern Damascus steel with 2,048 separate layers (11 folds); to enhance the blade’s cutting ability, it was given a core of monocrystalline diamond measuring just 100 angstroms thick. Though not as sharp as a monomolecular blade, Garrity’s sword is capable of bisecting a man in half from the shoulder to the waist with little effort.

          The column moves out with the familiar command of “FORWARD….YO!!”. Garrity’s intended rate of advance will be 12 miles per day, which will put him and his men on the approaches to Charleston Neck on the afternoon of June 16th. Once on scene, Garrity intends to confer with General Israel Putnam and deploy his men to best advantage.

          Date: June 16th, 1775
          Location: Charleston Neck
          Time: 1:00 PM

          Colonel Garrity and his column arrive at Charleston Neck at 1:00 PM on the afternoon of June 16th. To save time on the march, he and did not pitch camp at night; instead, they rolled up in their blankets on the ground next to the wagons at night. When they arrived, hundreds of men were already on scene and preparing to fortify the ground against an expected British assault. It so happened that on June 13th, one of Garrity’s men (a member of the staff at Garrity & Company in Boston) happened to overhear that the British were planning to move out in force from Boston and fortify the hills around the city. If successful, the British would have complete control over not only the city, but its excellent harbor. Operating independently, Garrity’s agent approached the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and informed them of the British plans. Accordingly, the Congress put Major General Artemas Ward in charge of the operation and he directed General Israel Putnam to erect suitable fortifications on the Charlestown Peninsula. General Putnam ordered Colonel Prescott to carry out the work. Though General Putnam’s order was for Bunker Hill to be fortified, he elected to construct his works on Breed’s Hill as this prominence was closer to Boston proper and more defensible.

          After standing his men down, Colonel Garrity rode to Colonel Prescott’s headquarters and said “good afternoon, sir. I am Colonel Michael Garrity from Westfield and I have come to support your operations here.” Colonel Putnam looks up from his field desk and says “hail and well-met, Colonel. Be you the one whose men so savaged the British on their retreat from Lexington & Concord?”

          “Aye, sir; the one and the same.”

          “What forces have you brought here today?”

          “Beyond myself and my personal escort, I have brought a battery of six 12-lb mountain howitzers. These small guns are of my own design and will be particularly useful in the fighting that we are likely to see here ere long; they are light, easily maneuverable and can be called upon at a moment’s notice to fly about the field and put fire where needed. To support the howitzers, I have a battery of six 24-pdr Coehoorn mortars. Fear not for matters of supply, for my pieces are well-supplied with powder and shot. I have heard that the militia hereabouts is short of powder, so I have brought three tons in barrels from my own mill back in Westfield.”

          This last pronouncement causes Colonel Prescott’s eyes to widen with surprise. When he recovers his composure, he shakes Colonel Garrity’s hand and excitedly says “this news is thrice-welcome, sir.” Prescott gestures to a map spread out on the table in front of him and says “Colonel Garrity, would you care to essay this map and give me your thoughts on how I plant to deploy the men under my command?” Colonel Garrity nods by way of reply and says “Tahnk you, sir.”

          Garrity examines the map closely and says “sir, I thought that General Putnam’s orders were for Bunker Hill to be fortified….” Colonel Prescott replies “I originally intended to do just that. My men threw up some breastworks on the crest of the hill, then I came to see that Breed’s hill was closer to Boston as well as being more defensible.”

          “I understand, sir. Though you and I be of equal rank, you are in command on this field and that makes you senior to me. May I respectfully suggest that I deploy my howitzers in support of your field artillery? This way, if the Redcoats try to flank their position, my howitzers will rake them fearsomely.”

          “Very well, Colonel. What of your mortars?”

          “Sir, I see that your troops have thrown up some breastworks on the crest of Bunker Hill. I suggest that I be allowed to deploy my mortars thereon. Bunker Hill would be used as a fall-back position in case the British should manage to carry your forward works on Breed’s Hill.”

          Colonel Prescott thinks for a moment or two, then says “your requests are granted, sir. How good are your artillerymen?” Colonel Garrity grins and replies “I trained my men personally. The howitzers are small and light enough so that they can be maneuvered quite easily. As for their rate of fire, my men can get off three rounds per minute; just as fast as a musket. The mortars are light enough so that that the can actually be picked up and carried by no more than four men; from these, my crews can get off four shots per minute. Against that volume of fire, the Redcoats are going to bash their heads until they get tired of hearing the squishy noise.” This last comment is delivered with a hungry, predatory grin on Colonel Garrity’s face; his manner and deportment makes him seem to be like a wolf, sizing up his next meal.

          Colonel Prescott nods solemnly and says “the hand of the Almighty be with us and may the day be ours. Deploy your men and report back to me when they are in position.” Colonel Garrity snaps off a perfect salute and replies “Yes, sir.”

          Over the rest of the afternoon and on into the evening, Colonel Prescott’s men finish the work of entrenching and fortifying the summit of Breed’s Hill. This work doesn’t go unseen by the British; at midnight, a reconnaissance patrol acting under orders from General Sir Henry Clinton discovered what the colonials had done. General Clinton tried to convince Genera Gage and Lord Howe of the urgency of the situation, but they didn’t think it of immediate concern.

          Date: June 17th, 1775
          Time: 4:00 AM

          A sentry aboard the 20-gun post ship named HMS Lively caught sight of the new fortifications. He informed the ship’s captain, who responded by ordering his gun crews to open fire on the colonists’ position. The fusillade temporarily halted work on the fortifications, but the cannon fire was halted by order of Admiral Samuel Graves aboard the flagship HMS Somerset. Apparently, Admiral Graves was angry that the cannon fire had commenced without his direct order. At 6:00 AM, the order was countermanded by General Gage, who was now fully-aware of what the colonial troops had been up to during the night. Gage ordered all 128 British guns stationed aboard ships of the Royal Navy in Boston Harbor (including those batteries in Copp’s Hill Burying Ground) to open fire.

          With the rising of the sun, Colonel Prescott saw that the redoubt on Breeds’ Hill was dangerously exposed and that it could be flanked by a determined assault. Therefore, he ordered his men to construct an additional line of breastworks running down Breed’s Hill and extending to the east. Owing to the urgency of the situation, it was decided not to extend the line to the west.

          Date: June 17th, 1775
          Time: 2:00 PM

          General Howe’s assault force of 1,200 picked men completed an unopposed landing on the shore of Charleston Neck below Breed’s Hill; the slow pace of ferrying men ashore form ships in the harbor meant that the operation had taken some six hours to complete. Behind the Colonial lines Colonel Prescott saw what was happening can called for reinforcements; these came from several regiments from Connecticut and New Hampshire.

          The first British attack came as a feint toward the Colonial redoubt, with the true intention being to make a flanking maneuver to take the colonists by the right. The feint was made by Brigadier-General Sir Robert Pigot, who lead the combined forces of the 5th, 38th, 43rd, 47th and 52nd Regiments of Foot. The true attack was made by companies of light infantry and grenadiers under the command of General Howe. Due to a miscommunication, Howe’s men attacked first and were savaged by concentrated volleys of musket fire from the entrenched colonial troops. Their fire was made all the more accurate because they had some cover, and were able to steady their muskets on fence rails. The five pieces of colonial field artillery compounded the slaughter when the solid shot they fired ploughed furrows through the ranks of the advancing British.

          Colonel Garrity’s 12-pdr howitzers were in position on Breed’s Hill upslope from the colonial artillery battery. They rained down case shot and explosive shell on the British troops. The unheard-of rate of fire from these weapons (and the explosions of the shot and shell) raised mighty cheers from the colonist ranks, while further demoralizing the British. Seizing the opportunity, Colonel Garrity and his escort began to fire on the British troops; Garrity’s escort used their Sharps carbines to shoot down British lieutenants and non-commissioned officers, while Garrity himself went for Captains and above. As luck would have it, Lord Howe was on the field and trying to rally his men when Colonel Garrity used his Sharps rifle to put a bullet through Howe’s right shoulder.

          Rather than press on with his feinting attack, General Pigot saw what was happening to Howe’s force and ordered his men to retreat back to the beach. There, they rallied and General Pigot made forth towards the colonial redoubt, where he intended to carry it by direct assault. This second attack failed when General Howe’s second-in-command led the remains of Howe’s force against Captain Thomas Knowlton’s position at the rail fence behind and to the left of Breed’s Hill. This secondary attack was defeated in large part by the resolute defense of Knowlton’s men and the dozens of explosive shells dropped on the British by Garrity’s mortars on Bunker Hill. An attempt by the Captains of HMS Glasgow and HMS Symmetry to support the attack on the fence line was foiled when Garrity’s mortars shifted their fire at maximum range and started dropping shells around both ships, By luck, HMS Glasgow was hit three times and HMS Symmetry twice. Both ships suffered heavy damage and significant casualties among their deck crews when the explosions of the mortar shells caused ready charges of powder to go off on the weather decks.

          General Pigot’s attack was broken even more thoroughly than the one he made in Colonel Garrity’s original history. Pigot’s regiments of light infantry and grenadiers (plus the men form the 1st Battalion, Royal Marines; commanded by Major Thomas Pitcairn) were torn to pieces. Pigot’s men suffered between 75% and 90% casualties, and there were some companies that had only seven or eight men left out of their original number. The two most significant casualties that the British suffered in the second attack were Major Pitcairn (killed at a distance by Colonel Garrity’s Sharps rifle) and Lt. Colonel James Abercrombie (who was taken down by a charge of buck & ball fired by an African-American soldier by the name of Salem Poor). In Garrity’s original history, the shot fired by Poor was a round ball and Lt. Colonel Abercrombie didn’t die of his wounds until June 23rd.

          Time: 4:00 PM

          General Howe decided to make on last, determined assault to take the colonial’s position. Accordingly, he gathered the remaining 400 health men from his command and formed up another 200 men from among his walking wounded. He also sent for reinforcements from Boston; these were speedily provided by General Sir Henry Clinton, who had watched the first two attacks through his telescope. He acted quickly and dispatched a grand total of 1,600 men; 800 of these were to land on the beach below Breed’s Hill, while the others were to be taken by boat where they will land on Charleston Neck behind Bunker Hill and take the Colonials in a pincer maneuver.

          While Colonel Prescott is directing the colonial defense from the redoubt, Colonel Garrity sees the additional British troops landing on the beach, and also notices the boats heading toward Charlestown Neck. He immediately seeks out Colonel Prescott and says “sir, the British are landing in force on the beach below the hill, and my howitzers are down below 50% of their ammunition supply. I have also observed numbers of boats with British troops aboard; these boats are heading towards Charlestown Neck and I believe that the intention of the enemy is to flank us and come around from behind.”

          An ashen look comes over Colonel Prescott’s face as he replies “what is your counsel in this matter, sir? I want to stay and fight, but my men had taken numerous casualties.” Colonel Garrity nods and replies “sir, I know the character of you and your men is beyond question. However, a wise man once said that discretion is the better part of valor. Therefore, I respectfully suggest that you withdraw your five pieces of artillery towards Bunker Hill. Have your remaining men keep up a good, hot masking fire as your artillery moves out; then, they’ll make a fighting withdrawl. You should also tell them to make sure not to leave their entrenching tools behind.”

          Colonel Prescott nods his head and replies “very well, sir. What will you and your men be doing in the meantime?”

          “Sir, I and my escort along with the howitzers will serve as your rear guard. We’ll keep those damned Redcoats off your tail and we’ll make our own fighting retreat; let us rally together at Bunker Hill. In the meantime, I will send a messenger to my mortar crews and those few men you have on Bunker Hill to hold their positions until relieved. It shouldn’t take more than a half-hour, perhaps 45 minutes at the most.”

          “Very good, sir; may God be with you this day. If I should fall, let it be known for the record that I consider your service to have been invaluable. After all, it was the powder that you provided which enabled our defense to have lasted this long and done such damage to the enemy.”

          “Yes, sir. After the battle, we’ll find a tavern where you and I and our officers will hoist a few tankards together; the first round is on me.

          Time: 5:00 PM

          The 800 men from General Clinton’s reinforcements have landed on the beach below Breed’s Hill and have linked up with the remainder of Howe’s force. After a brief pause to dress their ranks, this force begins to assault up the hill and towards the colonial redoubt. Behind the lines, Colonel Prescott’s artillery has been withdrawn towards Bunker Hill under covering fire from his infantry. True to his word, Colonel Garrity and his men remain behind as a rear guard. When Colonel Prescott and his men begin their fighting retreat, the howitzers begin firing a coordinated volley of case shot and common shell. When all but two rounds of each type have been expended, Garrity’s gunners switch over to canister shot. He orders them to hold their fire until the British are within 250 yards, then the lanyards are pulled and a hellish rain of iron is sent sweeping forth. Each 12-lb canister round is loaded with 37 cast-iron balls measuring 1.5” in diameter and weighing 6.5 ounces.

          While preparations were being made for resisting the third British assault, Garrity’s howitzers were re-deployed into an arc-shaped formation with each piece facing outwards at a slight angle of five degrees from each other. The distance between each piece is ten yards, and the total frontage is 60 yards. At the distance of 250 yards from the muzzle, the iron canister shot from each piece spreads out to a distance of 25 yards. The combined field of effect for the six howitzers s 150 yards and, from the distance of 200 to 250 yards, each howitzer’s area of effect interlaces with the ones on either side.

          The practical effect of all this is that the British troops run into a wall of iron, with two or even three men being hit by the same canister ball. Still, the courage and professionalism of the Redcoats can’t be denied as they continue to advance; whenever men are struck down, the ranks close up and continue the advance with bayonets fixed. During the time when the British advance from 250 to 200 yards, three more volleys of canister shot are fired with similar results.

          When the range gets to 200 yards, Garrity’s howitzer crews switch over to the second type of canister shot in their limber boxes. Each of these is loaded with 142 .680-diameter lead round balls; just one round puts out more lead than a full company of infantry. As the British continue to march forward, Colonel Garrity and his escort start pouring in fire from their own weapons. In the time it takes the Redcoats to close from 200 yards to 100 yards, four rounds of canister have been fired from each howitzer. The cumulative effects of these discharges are horrific, with dead, dying and wounded men lying all over the field.

          The senior surviving British officer on the field is Major Thomas Fitzmorris from the 52nd Regiment of Foot. Rather than continuing to advance without shooting back, Major Fitzmorris pauses his men to dress their ranks once again and orders his men to open fire at 100 yards (if for no other reason than to give those damnable colonial artillerymen something to think about); he knows that his men will be lucky to hit anything or anyone at this distance.

          Colonel Garrity concludes that it is time for he and his men to exit the swelling scene, stage right. His howitzer crews limber up their pieces and begin to withdraw towards Bunker Hill. The artillerymen are covered by Garrity and his escort, whose volume of precise and deadly fire is all out of proportion when compared to their small numbers. The last act in the unfolding drama is provided by Colonel Garrity himself, who contemptuously climbs the parapet and empties his brace of Walker revolvers at the oncoming British. Of the twelve shots fired, ten find their mark. In response, two squads of British infantry level their muskets at the gigantic, strangely-garbed figure standing on the ramparts before them and open fire. Of the twenty rounds so discharged, Garrity is only hit by four of them. The body armor worn under his uniform insures that the only injuries he receives are some bruises to the chest and abdomen.

          Location: Bunker Hill
          Time: 5:30 PM

          Colonel Prescott and his men are in position at the top of Bunker Hill and they are pouring fire into the British troops who are landing below them on the south bank of the Mystic River. Some 800 men have come ashore, and they are rested and fresh. As with the howitzers firing on the beach before Breed’s Hill, Colonel Garrity’s mortar battery adds to the chaos and disorder by lobbing case shot and common shell all over the beach at the astounding rate of four shots per minute from each tube. Some shells hit and explode just beyond the river’s edge, while others land in and among the British troops. Further confounding to the British and their officers are shells which explode in mid-air at varying distances above the ground. Those unfortunates who find themselves below these unwelcome explosions find themselves peppered with cast-iron shell fragments and dozens of lead balls the same size as those fired by muskets.

          Fifteen minutes later, Colonel Garrity, his escort and the howitzers arrive at the fortifications on Bunker Hill and are loudly cheered by Colonel Prescott’s men. Without a moment’s hesitation, the howitzers are deployed in two equal sections on either side of the hill’s summit. As soon as they are in position, they open fire; Colonel Garrity’s escort does likewise with their Sharps carbines.

          Colonel Prescott is observing the unfolding battle with the aid of a small telescope when Colonel Garrity approaches him and says “good afternoon, sir. I’m pleased to see that you were able to start the party without me.” Somewhat startled, Prescott nearly drops his telescope as he replies “good afternoon, Colonel Garrity. How did matters go with you over on Breed’s Hill?” A huge predatory grin crosses Garrity’s face as he says “I don’t think it too great of an exaggeration to say that my men and I smashed the British like so many glass bottles thrown against a brick wall. We caused so many casualties that the survivors are tripping over the bodies of their own dead as they retreat.”

          “Indeed, sir. I must confess that, in all truth, I have never seen weapons, uniforms and equipment quite like yours. Pray tell where did you get them?”

          “They were produced to my own design in my factories back in Westfield. What you see now is only the least of what I can provide. You should know that I have eight full companies in my regiment, plus a full company of cavalry and a battery of field artillery. Presently, two companies of infantry are guarding Westfield while the other six (plus the cavalry and artillery) have secured the Long Bridge over the Connecticut River. I did this because I think the British might make an attempt at my works in Westfield.”

          Colonel Prescott shakes hands enthusiastically with Colonel Garrity and claps him on the back. He says “once again, you are thrice-welcome. Now sir, let us look to the rest of this day.”

          Back at the ruined fortification son the summit of Breed’s Hill, a number of British officers are surveying what was left behind when one of them sees a printed broadside nailed to one of the timbers of the palisade. The sheet is smudged with powder stains and dirt, so the officer brushes it off and begins to read. Though politely worded, the broadside’s meaning is both contemptuous and clear:

          ‘To the officers and men of the British Army:

          You gentlemen are advised that we here in the colonies have riflemen the least of which can place a ball betwtwixt a man’s eyes at the distance of 200 paces. Therefore, you are respectfully advised to have your affairs in order before reporting for duty in America.’

          The document is unsigned, but bears a curious illustration which appears to show a bald-headed man peering over the top of a wall. This picture would instantly be familiar with any American soldier from World War II and onwards as would the caption below it, which reads:

          “KILROY WAS HERE”

          In the aftermath of the engagement, the withdrawl of the colonial forces from their positions on Charlestown Neck was so skillfully executed that not a single man was left behind (including the dead and wounded). Unlike in the original history, Dr. Joseph Warren wasn’t killed in the redoubt on Breed’s Hill; instead, he received a minor head wound in the form of a grazing strike by a musket ball. Now that the British are in possession of Charlestown Neck, the colonial forces and the troops from Garrity’s Regiment have retreated to fortifications in the town of Cambridge (the location of which will later be called Fort Washington).

          The Butcher’s Bill
          Date: June 18th, 1775
          Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
          Time: 9:00 AM

          When the Colonial troops are safely ensconced in their fortifications on the outskirts of Cambridge, there is a meeting of the command staff. In attendance, there is Colonel Garrity, Colonel Prescott, Major-General Joseph Warren (whose commission of June 14th has come into effect as of today), Major-General Artemas Ward and General Israel Putnam.

          MG Ward is the senior officer in command, and so he says “the action of yesterday was both great and terrible. Colonel Garrity, your arrival and support was most timely; how stand your men?” Garrity replies “sir, I regret to inform you my troops have suffered eight men dead and 17 wounded. Five of the wounded are from among my personal escort, while the dead and other wounded are from my artillery; I personally trained my men and have come to regard them as my brothers.”

          “Indeed, sir. General Putnam, what is the tally of the dead and wounded among your men?”

          Putnam unfolds a couple of sheets of paper and begins to read from them “Sir, in the action of yesterday, the troops under my command suffered 95 men killed and 250 men wounded. Of the wounded, there are twenty men whose injuries are so severe that they aren’t expected to see tomorrow.” Colonel Garrity requests permission to speak and says “sirs, I have surgeons among my men who are extremely skilled in their craft. If you will permit it, I will send them among your men to help care for the wounded; perhaps, some of the most-seriously injured casualties might yet be saved. As for the others, I’ll paraphrase the Immortal Bard and say ‘now, do we all holy rites and let the dead, with charity, be enclosed in clay.’

          MG Ward nods his head solemnly and replies “you speak most eloquently, Colonel Garrity. I know not what casualties that the British have suffered, but they are likely to have been very severe.*”

          “Thank you, sir. I see that there is a large tavern which stands off but a little distance down the road from here. My men and I will be holding a memorial service there to remember the fallen, and I would esteem it a great favor if you and your officers would be in attendance.”

          MG Ward exchanges looks with the other officers and says “thank you, colonel. We would be honored.” Garrity withdraws from the meeting and heads off to see to the needs of his command.

          Location: Hedgerow Tavern, Cambridge, Massachusetts
          Time: 11:30 AM

          Colonel Garrity has seen to the care of his wounded and the interment of his dead. Afterwards, he and the men of his command proceed to Hedgerow Tavern where his officers and enlisted men form themselves in two equal ranks to await the arrival of MG Ward and the others. At 11:30 AM, the colonist officers approach the tavern and Colonel Garrity greets them.

          “General Ward, I would like to thank you and your officers for coming here. If you will wait but a moment, the ceremony will begin shortly.”

          “Very well, sir.”

          Colonel Garrity walks across the yard and takes a position at the head of the formation. His officers and men are arranged in two equal ranks on either side of the yard. Garrity’s second-in command calls out loudly “COMPANY…ATTENTION!!” This is acknowledged with a nod, and Colonel Garrity begins to speak.

          “Gentlemen, friends, my brothers-in-arms. We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead; we grieve not for ourselves, but instead for the loss of our comrades who we held most dear. Colonel Garrity falls silent as his second-in-command bellows out loudly “COMPANY, PRESENT….ARMS!!” Garrity and his officers execute a crisp salute, while his enlisted men bring their rifles to the front and salute with them. Just now, one of Garrity’s men begins to play a sorrowful tune on the bagpipes. None of the colonial officers know what is being played, but the melody would be familiar to anyone from the 19th-century and onwards….’Amazing Grace.’

          After the tune finishes playing, the command to “ORDER…ARMS!!” is given. General Ward and his officers come up to Colonel Garrity, whereupon he says “Colonel, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more moving melody than that one.”

          “Thank you, sir. If you gentlemen will please go inside, preparations have been made for a memorial meal; I’ll be along directly”

          “Very well, sir.”

          General Ward, General Putnam, General Warren and the others file into the tavern followed by Colonel Garrity’s men. When they enter the main room, they see that a number of smaller round tables have been arrayed around a larger rectangular one. At the head of the long table, there is an empty seat to memorialize those men who fell on the field of battle. There is a place setting on the table in front of the chair with a plate, utensils and an empty pewter tankard. A black tricorn hat is perched on the back of the chair, and there is a flintlock rifle-musket leaning against the table.

          In back of the chair, Colonel Garrity’s regimental standard is arranged. Instead of a conventional flag, Garrity decided to revive the ancient Roman custom of the ‘Vexillum’; the standard which led the legionaries of Rome into battle. This consists of a vertical staff topped with a gold eagle. From the staff, a horizontal bar depends by two braided silk cords. At each end of the bar, there is a single pendant which exactly resembles one of the straps form the Roman balteus (military belt). The vexillum itself consists of a dark blue field which shows the device of a winged arm wearing an armored gauntlet with three silver lightning bolts in its grasp.

          Just as General Ward and the others pause to admire the flag, Colonel Garrity kicks open the door with a heavy, booted foot and walks into the room with a full 30-gallon keg of foaming brown ale carried effortlessly on his left shoulder. He drops the keg onto the bar with a loud ‘THUMP’ and says “belly up, boys; the drinks are on me. Tavernkeeper, start serving the food and keep it coming until I say otherwise. Make sure you serve the empty chair at the head of the table first.”

          “Right away, sir.”

          Colonel Garrity motions for General Ward and the others to come over and fill their tankards. When the vessels are full, Garrity takes out his own engraved silver tankard, fills it to the brim and says “Gentlemen, I should like to propose a toast; to absent friends.” The tankards are raised in salute and a deep pull is taken from each.

          Colonel Prescott asks “Colonel Garrity, I must say that your flag design is a strange one; what does it mean?”

          “Sir, the silver wing symbolizes speed; the arm represents strength and the lightning bolts represent deadly force. Rather appropriate, given that we are now engaged in a war against Great Britain.” General Putnam interjects and says “what means the empty chair at the head of the table?”

          “That empty chair is for all our men who have fallen or will fall in battle. That place will be served a full meal in remembrance of those who are gone but not forgotten.”

          “Very appropriate, I say.”

          On the other side of the room, Garrity’s men have drained and refilled their tankards. Some of his personal escort begin to sing, while the others keep time by pounding their tankards on the tabletops or by slapping their thighs. One song, sung by Garrity’s second-in-command Richard Jordan is particularly powerful, with the first verse as follows:

          ‘Axes flash, broadswords swing,
          Shining armor's piercing ring
          Horses run with polished shield,
          Fight Those Bastards till They Yield
          Midnight mare and blood red roan,
          Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
          Sound the horn and call the cry…’

          Garrity’s men follow this verse with a thunderous shout: ‘HOW MANY OF THEM CAN WE MAKE DIE!!’


          • Otis R. Needleman
            Otis R. Needleman commented
            Editing a comment
            Mighty good, Mike, as always! The design of the vexillum reminds me of the old Strategic Air Command insignia.

        • #7
          As a matter of fact, I had that very design in mind. The vexillum's device was adapted from the mercenary's ring (which displays a winged arm with a sword in its hand); given the circumstances, it seems appropriate.


          • #8
            In for the Long Haul
            Date: July 2nd, 1775
            Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
            Time: 1:00 PM

            In the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Bunker Hill, the colonial troops under the command of General Putnam and General Ward settled down and continued with the Siege of Boston. On the afternoon of July 2nd, General George Washington arrived in Cambridge in order to take command of the nascent Continental Army. He immediately took up residence in the Benjamin Wadsworth House on the campus of Harvard College and set to work with the assistance of such officers as Henry Lee.

            At 1:00 PM. General Washington’s headquarters is visited by MG Artemas Ward, General Israel Putnam, General Joseph Warren and Colonel Michael Garrity. MG Ward says “good afternoon, sir; we’re glad you see you here.”

            “I give you good day, General Ward.”

            “Thank you, sir.” MG ward motions Colonel Garrity forward and says “General Washington, may I please introduce Colonel Michael Garrity of Westfield? He, his men and the powder he provided were instrumental in allowing us to handle the British as roughly as we did.” Washington nods and motions Garrity to come forward; Garrity braces to attention, snaps off a perfect salute and says “I’m please to meet you sir.”

            General Washington sizes up his visitor and takes note of his massive size and unusual appearance. Not only is this Colonel Garrity taller than he, it is plain to see that he is much more massively built. Then, there is his uniform (dyed in a strange, rippling pattern of greens, browns and black) and his weapons. Garrity’s revolvers are carried in holsters belted at the waist, while a double-barrel flintlock pistol is carried in a shoulder holster under each arm. Lastly, an enormous sword is scabbarded on a baldric slung over the right shoulder.

            Colonel Garrity’s manner and bearing is one of supreme self-confidence, a fact which General Washington takes note of.

            “I am likewise pleased to meet you, Colonel Garrity. Information reached me about your exploits in the late actions at Lexington and Concord, and I wanted to thank you for your assistance therein.” Garrity shrugs his shoulders and replies “thanks really aren’t necessary, sir. I was pleased to be able to contribute. As for what I did, it was only myself and my personal escort; just sixty men in total. In the recent action at Bunker Hill, I was able to provide artillery support in the form of mortars and short-barreled howitzers. There was also the three tons of additional powder that I brought in and provided to Colonel Prescott’s troops.”

            “Indeed, sir. Where did you get all this material?”

            “The powder, weapons and other supplies came from my works in around the Town of Westfield. Two companies of my regiment are on home guard duty in Westfield, while the bulk of my other troops (six companies of infantry, a troop of cavalry and a battery of artillery) are encamped on the far side of the Long Bridge over the Connecticut River outside of Springfield. You see, I judged it both necessary and expedient to guard against a possible advance by the British.”

            “Well-done, Colonel. What sort of men do you have under your command?”

            “Sir, the infantry were recruited from among the population of Hampden and Hampshire counties, plus southern Franklin County, eastern Berkshire County and western Worcester County. I have white men, freed blacks and Indians; I don’t care what color a man’s skin is just so long as he can fight and follow orders. I treat my men equally, pay them well and the loyalty I show them is repaid in kind. In fact, if I were to storm the ramparts of the infernal regions, my men would be there alongside me and I couldn’t ask for better company.”

            “It is so noted, Colonel. I have been commissioned by the Continental Congress and given the task of molding the various regiments of militia into an army capable of taking the field against the British. An officer of your skill would be of invaluable service in so doing; therefore, I would esteem it a great favor if you would help me.”

            Colonel Garrity’s heart swells with pride as he draws himself up to his full height and replies “General Washington, I would be honored to do anything I can to support the cause. Perhaps the first matter that should be looked into is in regards to the supply of ammunition; it is my understanding that the militia is short of powder and shot.” Washington nods his head sorrowfully and says “I regret to inform you that I am in complete agreement. My quartermaster informs me that our store of reserve powder amounts to no more than one pound per man. The supply of prepared cartridges is similarly low, at 100 rounds per man.”

            A slight, knowing smile crosses Colonel Garrity’s face as her replies “sir, I do believe that I can help you remedy the deficiencies in the army’s supply of ammunition.”

            Expecting no more than a few hundred pounds of powder and a couple of tons of lead, General Washington says “Colonel Garrity, whatever assistance you can give will be most welcome.” The smile on Garrity’s face becomes an wide-open grin as he says “how about 600,000 rounds of buck & ball, plus 12,000 barrels of powder and 600 tons of bar lead; will that do?”

            The eyes of General Washington go wide with surprise as the quantities of powder and shot are mentioned. The first question out of General Washington’s mouth (and on the mind of General Lee and the other officers) is “where did you get all of that material, Colonel Garrity? Such an amount would take years and a great deal of money to acquire…”

            Colonel Garrity nods his head and says “sir, you are correct; it did take me years to stockpile those supplies. I arrived in Westfield in the summer of 1770 and immediately began the establishment of my business enterprises; these include (but aren’t limited to) sawmills, an ironworks, an arms manufactory and a powder works. Even at that time, I realized that war between the colonies and Britain was inevitable. Therefore, I and my men diligently applied ourselves to the task at hand and began to manufacture & stockpile supplies. The money for this enterprise came from my own very considerable financial resources, plus that revenue generated by the firm of Garrity & Associates (which I set up in 1773).”

            “I see. The siege of Boston will take some considerable time, as will the reorganization of the army. Therefore, my first order to you is that the cartridges, powder and lead you mentioned are to be brought here as soon as possible.”

            “Yes, sir. As for transportation, I have two hundred wagons (plus horse teams) back in Westfield. With your permission, I will send a rider back with orders that the supplies are to be loaded up and shipped here without delay. If it should prove to be necessary, I’d you’re your authorization to call on the Quartermaster Department for additional wagons and horses.”

            “You have it.”

            “Thank you, sir. Aside from the provision of ammunition, one of an army’s most pressing needs is for proper medical care for its men. I have among my staff in Westfield, a number of physicians who are, perhaps, the most skilled of their profession to be found anywhere in the colonies. My rider will also carry word that some of them are to gather their equipment and supplies, then come here with all deliberate speed.”

            “Very well, Colonel. In another matter, I and my staff will be making a tour of inspection of the militia’s encampments over the next several days. I think it appropriate that the inspection begin with your men.”

            “Yes, sir. My men and I will be looking forward to your arrival.”

            Date: July 4th, 1775
            Location: Camp Liberty, Cambridge, Massachusetts
            Time: 9:00 AM

            General Washington and some of his staff officers (including General Lee) saddle their horses and ride over to where Colonel Garrity and his men are encamped on the outskirts of Cambridge. Instead of a haphazard arrangement of tents and shelters, General Washington is pleased to see that Colonel Garrity’s camp seems to have been laid out with a precision worthy of a professional surveyor; in total, there are 120 men in residence.

            The camp is laid out in the shape of a large square, with the tents for Colonel Garrity and his escort at the top and the artillerymen’s tents on both sides of the square. The mortarmen’s six tents are on the right, while the howitzer crews’ nine tents are on the left. In the middle of the square, the mortars and howitzers are arranged in two rows.

            The tents for the officers and enlisted men are those produced by Garrity’s factories back in Westfield. The enlisted tents are of the wedge design, each measuring 9’ long, 8’ wide and 7’ high; the officers are quartered in wall tents which measure 12’ long, 10’ wide and 7’6” high (including 4’ sidewalls) at the peak. All tents have been made from waterproofed/fireproof canvas, and are set up to that they are 6’ apart.

            General Washington and his officers dismount and hitch their horses to a stand of trees near the head of Colonel Garrity’s camp, then walk over to make their introductions. Garrity is seated under the dining fly outside the headquarters tent attending to various administrative matters when General Washington and the others come up. Colonel Garrity rises from his chair, assumes the position of attention and salutes crisply.

            “Welcome to Camp Liberty, sir.”

            “Camp Liberty, you say? A rather appropriate name, given the circumstances.”

            “Of course, sir. Since we are all fighting for our liberty, I thought the name of my camp should match the cause. Just now, I was writing letters of condolence to the families of those men who I lost in the late engagement at Bunker Hill. I feel their loss as keenly as I would for a member of my own family; after all, they left the comforts of hearth and home to come and fight at under my command. If their families wish it, the bodies will be disinterred and sent back home for proper burial; otherwise, they will lie here for all time. I’ll have you know that it is one of the conditions of service in my regiment that the next-of-kin for any of my men who die in service receive a ‘death benefit’ from me, such benefit amounting to five hundred Spanish milled dollars.”

            “Five hundred dollars in silver? Why, that is certainly a great sum…”

            “But of course, sir. It is the least I can do for me who lose their lives in my service. Now, if you and your officers will please follow me, we can begin the camp inspection.” The assembled party walks up and down the tents and observes Garrity’s troops engaging in their morning activities. When the officers approach, the senior man in the group calls out ‘AT EASE’. Then, he and his fellows assume the position of attention. Colonel Garrity responds by telling them to “Carry On”.

            “General Washington, while in camp, my men sleep on folding canvas cots that have wooden frames. If the men sleep on the ground and the weather happens to turn foul, having them on the ground wouldn’t be healthy. If you will please take notice of the tents, you’ll see that each of them has been trenched so as to keep rainwater from accumulating after it runs off the tent’s sides.”

            Washington thinks to himself for a moment, then says “an excellent idea, sir. General Lee, make a note of that.” Colonel Garrity calls for one of his artillerymen to hand over his weapon for inspection. He takes the weapon, hands it to General Washington and says “sir, this is a typical example of the weapons I issue to my artillerymen and mortar crews. It is a .58-caliber rifle, with the barrel measuring 30” long, By way of comparison, the guns issued to my cavalrymen have 24” barrels and those issued to the infantry have 42” barrels.”

            A slight frown crosses General Washington’s face as he says “Colonel Garrity, do I understand correctly when you say that your troops are armed with rifles? If so, why is that? Though quite accurate, rifles take far too long to load for front-line service…”

            “You are correct, sir; all of my men are armed with rifles. Before you raise some objection, I will tell you that I solved the problem of rate-of-fire by inventing a new kind of bullet that doesn’t need a greased patch wrapped around it. This bullet allows rifles to be loaded and fired at the same rate as a smoothbore musket; I don’t think I need to tell you how much of a tactical advantage this is.” Colonel Garrity hands the rifle back to its owner and says “Private, give me one of the rounds from your cartridge box.”

            “Sir, yes sir.”

            The man does as he is asked, and hands Colonel Garrity one of the rounds from the box carried on his belt. Garrity holds up the cartridge, tears it open and removes the bullet so that General Washington and his officers can take a closer look.

            “Gentlemen, I call this bullet an ‘elongated ball’. Its shape is that of a cylinder with a hollow base and a conical nose. The three grooves around the base hold a lubricating compound made of beef tallow and beeswax; this compound allows the bullets to be easily loaded, even when the barrel is fouled by powder residue. The compound also allows for easier cleaning of the barrel because it softens the powder residue and makes it easy to remove.”

            General Washington hefts the bullet in his right hand and says “this bullet is small than a musket ball, but almost as heavy.” Colonel Garrity responds “an astute observation, sir. This bullet weighs 550 grains, when compared to the average weight of one of your musket balls (which is 598 grains. When this bullet is fired, the hollow base expands into the barrel grooves by the action of the burning powder gases.”

            “What is the effective range of one of your rifles?”

            “My artillery rifles have 30” barrels and have an effective range of between 350 to 400 yards. My artillery carbines have 24” barrels and are good between 300 and 350 yards. The full-size rifle-muskets have 42” barrels and are accurate out to 500 yards.”

            General Washington and General Lee exchange looks of amazement; then, General Lee replies “Colonel, that is the most amazing thing I ever heard. Would it be possible for you to supply such weapons and ammunition to the army that General Washington is forming?”

            “Yes sir, that is my intention. My infantry are already so armed; however, the manufacture of rifles is a long and somewhat-involved process. I wouldn’t have sufficient quantities available for general issue before the winter of 1777. This being said, I will issue orders for my arms manufactory to begin work immediately.” General Washington speaks up and says “Colonel Garrity, if you can arm even one-tenth of my men with your weapons, that would make an enormous difference to the Patriot cause in the upcoming campaigns.”

            General Lee looks to the unfamiliar handguns belted at Colonel Garrity’s waist and says “what of those guns you have, those ’revolvers’? Garrity shakes his head sadly and replies “sir, I wish I could make more of these, but they are quite beyond my ability to have fabricated. The ones that I and my escort carry were made by a gunsmith named Gerhard von Herder from Lower Saxony. Herr von Herder only made these sixty pairs before he died, and never committed the design to paper. They are, without a doubt, the deadliest and most powerful handguns in the world. During the actions on Bunker Hill, I emptied both of my revolvers at the advancing British troops and accounted for ten men out of the twelve shots I fired at ranges between 75 and 100 yards.”

            General Washington’s officers exchange looks of shock and awe with each other, then Washington says “Colonel, it is time for my inspections of the army to continue. Tomorrow, you will please do me the honor of visiting my headquarters. At this time, there will be discussions with the Quartermaster’s Department about the supplies you’ll be providing.”

            “Very good, sir. I will be at your disposal.”


          • #9
            On the Matter of Supplies
            Date: July 5th, 1775
            Location: Wadsworth House, Cambridge, Massachusetts
            Time: 9:00 AM

            Colonel Garrity and the key members of his staff assemble at Washington’s Headquarters along with others from the nascent Continental Army in order to discuss the matter of supply with the army’s quartermaster department. He says “good morning, sir. As I promised you yesterday, I dispatched a rider to my works in Westfield with an order from me to begin loading the ammunition and powder. The 600 cases of buck & ball weigh out at a total of thirty-three tons, and will require 17 wagons to bring them all at once; the 300 tons of powder comes in barrels that hold a half-hundredweight each. As with the ammunition, the powder will be shipped at the rate of 80 barrels per wagon; the total number of wagons needed to ship the powder is 150; of my 200 wagons, the number remaining after loading the ammunition and powder is thirty-three. Therefore, I’ll have them loaded up with rations.”

            General Washington replies “your assistance is thrice-welcome, Colonel Garrity. How long will it take the ammunition, powder and rations to get here?”

            “Sir, my dispatch rider shouldn’t take any more than two or three days to get back to Westfield. As it is some 86 miles from there to here and the wagons won’t be going faster than ten miles per day, the supplies will be here on the morning of July 14th.”

            “Excellent. With those supplies in hand, I’ll be able to effect a proper training regimen for the army as well as conducting the siege of Boston. Can you give me the specifics of what additional troops you have at your disposal?” Colonel Garrity replies “sir, the bulk of my remaining troops are on station at the Long Bridge over the Connecticut River. They consist of 600 infantry, 100 cavalry and six pieces of artillery; I have a further 200 infantry on home-guard duties in Westfield. I have also taken steps to recruit another 400 men, so that I will be able to put a full regiment of 1,000 men into the field. Additionally, I have my personal escort of 60 men”

            “Very well, Colonel. As commander-in-chief, I deem it necessary to have as many troops on hand as possible in order to conduct the siege. Therefore, I require you to bring all of your available men here to join with the army; your troops are needful, because I envision the siege of Boston taking at least six months (perhaps more).”

            “Understood, sir. It may interest you to know that I have two ships at my disposal; one of these is the armed merchant ship Columbia and the second is a purpose-built man-of-war named ‘Juggernaut’. The ‘Columbia’ is berthed at Hartford, Connecticut, while the ‘Juggernaut’ is ensconced at a secret anchorage on the western end of Long Island. If you will give me your permission, I will send orders via courier for the ships to slip their moorings and come here to provide support while the siege is going on. After that, they will be free to harass the British whenever and wherever they can.”

            General Washington nods his head and replies “you have my permission to commence, colonel.”

            “Thank you, sir. Perhaps when my ships arrive, you and your officers might care to go aboard for a tour? This way, you could gain a full appreciation of what they are capable of.”

            “An excellent suggestion. I for one am most certainly looking forward to seeing just what kind of vessels you have.”

            Continuing Operations
            Date: July 14th, 1775
            Location: outskirts of Cambridge, Massachusetts
            Time: 1:30 PM

            General Washington‘s Continental Army is encamped on the outskirts of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The principal defensive work in the area is a pair of three-gun half-moon batteries situated so as to be able to mutually support each other. Though these earthworks haven’t been named as yet, Colonel Garrity knows that they will be called ‘Fort Washington’ in the future. On the afternoon of July 14th, a number of General Washington’s officers (including General Harry Lee) are engaged in the training & incorporation of militia who are beginning to arrive from New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. As is his custom, General Washington rides around camp on his horse (and with a small escort) in order to see how the training is going on.

            At 1:30 PM, camp sentries report that many dozens of wagons are approaching the camp form the west and that they will be there very soon. General Washington pauses in the middle of his tour of inspection and says to one of his staff officers “those must be the supply wagons that Colonel Garrity spoke of; ride immediately to Camp Liberty and give him my compliments. Tell Colonel Garrity that I’ll be pleased to see him immediately.”

            The rider salutes and head off towards Camp Liberty; before he’s out of sight, Colonel Garrity approaches while riding his great black horse (named ‘Midnight’). He salutes General Washington and says “good afternoon, sir. I presume that you sent the officer who just passed me by in order to bring me here. I see that the supply wagons I promised you are almost here…”

            “Good afternoon, Colonel. I am pleased to see that you are a man of your word; the rations, powder and ammunition will be put to good use.” Colonel Garrity replies “you are more than welcome, sir. Not only am I a man of my word, I would gladly endanger myself in order to carry out any and all promises I make.”

            “Indeed.” General Washington gestures for one of the officers riding alongside of him to come up, whereupon introductions are made. “Colonel Garrity, I don’t believe that you have met my aide Colonel Benedict Arnold…” Garrity rides forward and (without the slightest hint of disdain on his face) shakes Arnold by the hand.

            “Good afternoon, sir. I am Colonel Michael Garrity from Westfield, Massachusetts. Though we have never met before, I have heard of your capture of Fort Ticonderoga; your joint action with Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys was a brilliant piece of tactics and strategy. I disagree with how Colonel Benjamin Hinman acted, as it seems to me that your Massachusetts commission made you the senior officer on-scene and were entitled to command the fort as you saw fit; I also commend you for your raid on Fort St. Jean in Quebec. That being said, I believed that you were fully-justified in resigning your Massachusetts commission in protest; you are also to be congratulated on your commission in the Continental Army.”

            Arnold replies “you are most welcome, sir; I have begun to hear stories about what you have done for the Patriot cause thus far. If half of them are to be believed, the British are in for a rough time indeed.” Colonel Garrity replies “thank you, sir. May I also please take this opportunity to extend my deepest and most profound sympathies to you over the passing of your wife Margaret in June?” Colonel Arnold pauses momentarily to collect his thoughts as the loss of his beloved wife still weighs heavily upon him. When Arnold finally speaks, he says “your kind words are most gratefully received, sir. Though I would much rather have been at my wife’s side during her illness, I had my duty to perform. Now sir, is it true what I have heard about the supplies you are sending?”

            “It is. I arrived in Westfield, Massachusetts in the first week of May, 1770. I originally intended to set myself up in business there; but, I realized that the colonies were going to come to blows with Britain sooner or later. Therefore I resolved to do anything I could to aid the Patriot cause. From that day forward, I used the profits from my various business enterprises (and my very considerable personal fortune) to finance the manufacture, acquisition and storage of supplies needed if war did, in fact, break out. That situation has come to pass and so, here I am; the ammunition and powder I am providing is only the first step….”

            Under Siege
            Date: July 16th-July 30th, 1775
            Location: the works around Boston, Massachusetts
            Time: various

            On July 16th, General Washington and his staff moved from Wadsworth House to more spacious quarters in the John Vassall House. Immediately upon taking up residence here, General Washington and his staff officers applied themselves to the work of further-improving the defenses around the outskirts of Boston (the better to resist any possible British forays). To this end, earthworks were set up on Boston Neck, while the previously-existing trenches were improved and extended towards Boston proper. Between July 27th and July 30th, Washington’s forces were augmented by a total of 2,000 riflemen who arrived from the colonies of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia; these new troops were immediately put to work in harassing the British in their outworks.

            By this time, Colonel Garrity’s entire force is concentrated in the camps around Cambridge; this includes the troops he had guarding the Long Bridge and the 400 new men recruited and trained back in Westfield, Massachusetts. In order to maintain a sense of unit cohesion, Colonel Garrity’s men expand and improve Camp Liberty to the point where the commanding officers of the other regiments in Washington’s army come to visit and take notes on how Colonel Garrity is doing things. Aside from the provision of ammunition and powder, nothing Colonel Garrity has done is as significant as a meeting he has with General Washington on the evening of July 30th.

            The meeting takes place at General Washington’s headquarters; aside from Washington himself, General Lee, Dr. John Morgan (chief surgeon of Washington’s army) and Andrew Craigie (apothecary-general) are also present. Colonel Garrity begins by saying “thank you for agreeing to see me, sir. I have a matter to discuss with you, one which relates to the health of the army as a whole.” A look of curiosity crosses General Washington’s face as he replies “do please go on, Colonel.”

            “Yes sir. It occurs to me that with so many men from different places concentrated here in such close quarters, the risk of such diseases as smallpox breaking out among the troops is very high. With your permission and by consultation with Dr. Morgan and Captain Craigie, I would like to have my physicians institute a program of inoculation among the troops. Dr. Morgan, you must surely be familiar with this procedure, as it was extensively documented in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and has been used in England with great success for more than fifty years.”

            Dr. Morgan replies “Colonel Garrity, I am familiar with the procedure of variolation, and I know of its efficacy and its risks.”

            “Thank you, Dr. Morgan. It may interest you to know my physicians have developed method of inoculation which is far-safer and more effective than variolation. Inoculation with particles of Variola Minor has a 3% fatality rate, whereas the method my physicians invented uses killed particles of cowpox and is completely safe; perhaps you might be familiar with stories of how milkmaids seem to be immune to smallpox. It so happens that working in close proximity to their animals, milkmaids develop a very mild form of cowpox and are henceforth immune to smallpox. My physicians investigated these stories, found them to be true and then used their knowledge to develop the procedure. There might be those who doubt the skills of my physicians; I would refute this by saying that their methods and procedures have been used in Westfield, Massachusetts and the surrounding towns since I arrived there in May, 1770; there hasn’t been a single case of childbed fever, gangrene or smallpox in Hampden County in all that time. All of my men have been inoculated, also.”

            General Washington leans back in his chair and says “Captain Craigie, what say you to Colonel Garrity’s idea?” Captain Craigie replies “all I can say is that Colonel Garrity’s physicians are men of surpassing skill. Not only have none of his men become ill while in camp, most of the battlefield casualties they treated have managed to keep their limbs. The only exceptions have been those men whose arms or legs have been mangled by cannon balls or grapeshot. Even in these cases, the wounded men have made a full recovery.” Dr. Morgan speaks up and says “General Washington, I agree with my colleague. I have attended some of those men to see how they are doing, and they recovered just as he said.”

            Colonel Garrity speaks up once again and says “there’s another matter to consider, sir. Now that the British are shut up in Boston with no means of escape or resupply except by sea, they’ll be feeling the effects of smallpox before too much longer. When this happens, the British position in Boston will be that much weaker.” General Washington thinks silently to himself for a few minutes, then says “gentlemen, I have heard enough. Colonel Garrity, you are authorized to have your physicians go out among the ranks of the army and conduct a program of inoculation. Anyone who objects will be told that this project is being carried out under my authority.”

            “Thank you, sir. I’ll have a dispatch rider carry my orders back to Westfield so that my staff there can collect the necessary supplies and equipment. This won’t take very long, because I have all that is needed already in storage. I’m also sending my wagons back so there will be no unnecessary delay.”

            “Very well, Colonel. You may proceed.”

            Date: July 30th-August 30th, 1775
            Time: late evening

            Late in the evening on July 30th, an enterprising British colonel decided to retaliate for sporadic American attacks by making a foray for the purpose of disrupting the Continental Army’s operations. Two companies of British regulars made forth from their lines, turned aside an advance guard from the Continental Army and proceeded to the town of Roxbury, Massachusetts where several houses and barns were put to the torch. Afterwards, they safely returned to their lines. Four days later on August 2nd, there was a minor skirmish in which one of the Colonial riflemen was killed. The body was captured by the British and afterwards, hung by the neck from a tree. Rather than intimidating the others, this only served to infuriate them further. Almost as a body, the riflemen went to the front lines and began to fire on the British; sometimes with a few shots only and, at other times, in fusillades that lasted the better part of a half-hour. Dozens of British soldiers were killed or wounded, for the lost of just one rifleman killed.

            On August 30th, two actions took place which had an important influence on the rest of the siege. Just after 1:00 PM, the British made their most serious attempt to break through the colonial lines; a combined force of 300 men from the 38th, 43rd, 47th, 52nd and 59th regiments of foot was dispatched with orders to achieve a breakthrough on Boston Neck, then to proceed to destroy and lay waste as many houses, barns and taverns as possible; by this action British commanders thought that General Washington would be forced to draw upon other areas of his lines for additional troops. Unfortunately for the British, Colonel Garrity had been expecting just such an attack to be made. Immediately upon the British approach getting discovered, Colonel Garrity sent a runner to inform General Washington. Rather than waiting for reinforcements, Garrity quickly assembled half of his regiment and put them into position across the landward approaches to Boston Neck; these troops were supported by Colonel Garrity’s light artillery.

            When this action was later written of, it was called one of the most complete pieces of battlefield execution done in many years. Colonel Garrity’s men and his artillery poured a withering, destructive fire into the advancing British until the few survivors broke and ran. The contingents from the 38th, 43rd and 47th regiments of foot suffered between 60%-70% casualties, while the men from the 52nd took 90% casualties and the contingent 59th was entirely wiped out.

            Later on in the evening, General Washington decided that it was necessary to interfere with British efforts to supply their troops by sea and ordered the destruction of the lighthouse on Lighthouse Island. The task was given to Colonel Benedict Arnold, who elected to take personal command of the operation. Arnold’s second-in-command was Major Benjamin Tupper, and two companies from the Massachusetts Line were detached to provide the muscle. These troops were further reinforced by a company from Colonel Garrity’s regiment; such men being under the command of Garrity’s man Major Bob Richardson. A command conference was held at which Colonel Arnold outlined his plans for the operation then, at approximately 9:00 PM local time, the 300 troops boarded whaleboats gathered for the purpose and rowed themselves across Boston Harbor.

            Location: Little Brewster Island
            Time: 12:00 midnight

            The whaleboats silently came ashore just before midnight; Colonel Arnold, Major Tupper and Major Richardson silently deployed their men, then the order to attack was given. Presently, there is a full company of British regulars stationed on the island in order to protect the ongoing repair work. Previously on July 20th, a small group of troops under the command of Major Voss came ashore and burned the wooden parts of the lighthouse’s structure; the stone walls and foundations were not harmed.

            At midnight, the colonials came screaming and yelling out of the darkness; the British troops were taken completely by surprise and routed in a short, sharp battle that lasted less than ten minutes. Of the defending British force half were killed, one-quarter were wounded and the rest were taken prisoner. An attempt at pursuit by small British boats was seen off very thoroughly by Colonel Garrity’s armed merchant ship ‘Columbia’ (whose captain and crew had been waiting for just such an opportunity); three boats were sunk, four heavily damaged and the rest retreated in disorder and confusion.


          • #10
            Widening the Theater of Operations
            Date: September 3rd, 1775
            Location: General Washington’s headquarters, Cambridge, Massachusetts
            Time: 9:00 AM

            General Washington summons hs senior officers to a council of war in order to disclose to them a plan to keep the British forces on Boston off-balance; among those present are General Ward, Colonel Garrity and Colonel Arnold. As soon as the men are assembled, General Washington begins by saying “gentlemen, I have received late intelligence from my agents in Boston and by interrogation of British deserters that Lord Howe desires to make some effort towards breaking the siege of Boston, but will not countenance an attack on our positions unless he receives reinforcements. It is my intention to deny those reinforcements by causing the British to divert their attentions elsewhere.”

            General Ward speaks up and says “sir, dare I presume that you have some plan of operations? After all, the British would not divert their attention elsewhere unless the cause was sufficiently great.” A slight smile crosses Washington’s face as he says “Yes, I do. There are more than enough troops around Boston to keep the British bottled up; so, I propose to send a force under Colonel Arnold’s command to take and hold Quebec City. You see, the Canadien residents of the area have been ill-treated by the British and I believe that it would take very little to convince them to come over to our side. Colonel Arnold?”


            “I am giving you 1,100 troops for this task. Your men are to construct such boats as you see fit and be ready to move no later than September 11th.”

            “Yes, sir.”

            Colonel Garrity requests permission to speak and, when it is granted, he says “General Washington, I would like your permission to detach 400 of my own men to join Colonel Arnold’s expedition. Along with them, I’ll send my light artillery; Quebec City is a fortified position, and assaulting it without artillery support would be an exercise in futility. My troops would be led by Major Bob Richardson, who would be seconded under Colonel Arnold’s command. Additionally, I can supply this expedition out of the materiel I have stockpiled at the depot in Westfield. As for the route, I have extremely-accurate maps of the territory; so, it will be easy enough to plan which way we’ll go.”

            General Washington replies “well Colonel Arnold, what say you?” Arnold replies “I’ll be very pleased to have Colonel Garrity’s men and guns along on the expedition.”
            “Very well. Gentlemen, you may commence.”

            General Washington turns his attention to other matters, and the meeting ends. With Washington’s instructions in hand, Colonel Arnold and Colonel Garrity confer among themselves about how best to proceed. Garrity says “Colonel Arnold, I will head back to Camp Liberty and give Major Richardson and the light artillerymen their orders; I will likewise send word to the depot in Westfield to ship the supplies you’ll need for the expedition.”

            “Very good, Colonel Garrity. As soon as the troops under Major Richardson join with mine, I’ll issue orders for boats to be constructed.” Colonel Garrity replies “I just thought of something else that needs to be considered…”

            “What is that, sir?”

            “An expedition such as the one you’ll be undertaking can’t help but attract hostile attention from the British. Specifically, if the boats transporting the men happened to encounter ships from the Royal Navy while en-route, the expedition would be over before it had a chance to fairly begin, wouldn’t you say?” Colonel Arnold thinks for a moment, then replies “a good point, sir. What do you propose?”

            “I have two armed ships at my disposal. The closest one is the Columbia, which is moored on the waterfront at Hartford, Connecticut. I will send word to her commander to rendezvous with your force on September 11th; where would you like this to take place?”

            “Colonel Garrity, my men and yours will march to the town of Swampscott and construct whatever boats I can’t hire from among the locals there. By General Washington’s orders, I intend to make forth before noontime on September 11th.”

            “Very well, sir. The Columbia will rendezvous with your force in the waters east of Swampscott on that date.”

            Date: September 4th, 1775

            Colonel Arnold’s combined force of 1,500 men marches to Swampscott, there to make preparations for the Quebec Expedition. In order to save time, Colonel Garrity returns to his headquarters at Camp Liberty and sends a radio transmission back to his staff in Westfield with orders that that the supplies are to be sent to Swampscott instead of Cambridge. As an afterthought, Garrity realizes that the finances of the Continental Army are in a very depleted state; so. he orders that enough funds (in the form of gold and silver coin) be sent along with the supplies in order to hire what boats are needed and pay for the expedition’s other costs. Due to fortunate circumstances, Colonel Arnold only found it necessary to order the construction of half of the boats he needed; the others were hired from among Swampscott’s fishermen and small merchants. In this, he was quite surprised when Major Richardson approached him and said “sir, Colonel Garrity anticipated that you would need funds to pay for the hiring of boats here in Swampscott; therefore, he sent a goodly stock of coin to be used as you see fit.”

            Colonel Arnold replies “Major Richardson, that is most-welcome news indeed. The owners of the boats I need had set high prices for their craft because I was going to pay them in Continental currency instead of coin. Now that I can pay in specie, I will be able to get the boats for a lower price.”

            Date: September 11th, 1775
            Location: Swampscott, Massachusetts

            Over the previous week, Colonel Arnold’s & Major Richardson’s troops performed a herculean amount of effort in getting ready to move on Quebec. Fifteen boats were constructed (with a single mast and banks of oars on each side), while fifteen others were hired from the people in Swampscott. The shipment from Westfield having arrived on September 5th, rations, medical supplies, powder and shot were loaded aboard. Major Richardson knows that one of the reasons why Colonel Arnold’s original expedition didn’t do so well was due to the poor construction of the boats and poor storage of the provisions and supplies. This time around, Major Richardson took it upon himself to ensure that all seams in the boats were properly-caulked and watertight. Additionally, the supplies from Westfield Depot are contained in waterproof barrels and casks built in accordance with Colonel Garrity’s standards; therefore, spoilage won’t be an issue.

            At dawn on September 11th, Colonel Arnold’s combined force boards the boats and sets sail for the coast of Maine. The objective is the mouth of the Kennebec River, where the expedition will land, transfer to smaller boats and make its way upriver towards the confluence with the Chaudiere River and onto Quebec City. As promised by Colonel Garrity, the Columbia is waiting offshore to escort the improvised fleet of boats on the voyage. All is proceeding normally until the fleet rounds the tip of the Gloucester peninsula, at which time four British vessels are sighted on their way to the coast of Maine.

            These ships are under the command of Captain Henry Mowat, RN; they comprise his flagship (the 16-gun survey vessel HMS Canceaux), the 20-gun sloop HMS Cat, a 12-gun schooner (HMS Halifax), a bomb sloop (HMS Spitfire) and a supply ship (HMS Symmetry). Late in the afternoon, a lookout calls out from HMS Canceaux’ mizzentop and says “Deck there, sail ho.”

            “Captain Mowat replies “where away?” The lookout calls back “TWO POINTS TO PORT; DISTACE IS ONE MILE” Mowat and his executive officer take out their telescopes and observe the ships in the distance, whereupon the captain says “what do you make of them, Number one?”

            “They’re colonial, sir; a merchant ship sailing in company with a number of smaller craft.” Captain Mowat grins widely and says “here I was thinking to carry out Admiral Graves’ instructions by harrying the coast of Massachusetts, then this nice fat mother goose comes along with her goslings waddling behind. I think it’s high time we taught these rebellious colonials a lesson or two don’t you, number one?”

            “Agreed, sir. That big merchantman looks to be loaded down; whatever cargo she’s carrying will be worth a pretty penny in prize money.”

            “So I am thinking, number one. Clear decks for action and signal the other ships to follow us.”

            Aboard the Columbia, Captain Terrell sees the oncoming British ships and examines them through his telescope. He very quickly assesses their offensive capability and orders “Helm, two points to starboard if you please. Interpose us between our charges and the British.” Columbia’s helmsman replies “helm two points to starboard; moving to intercept, aye, sir.” The next order is “Guns, have your crews stand by their pieces. Load all guns, but keep the ports shut until I say otherwise.”

            Columbia’s gunnery officer acknowledges the order by repeating it “stand all gun crews to, load all pieces but keep the gunports shut; aye sir.”

            The distance between Columbia and the British squadron continues to close slowly until the distance is less than half a mile. HMS Canceaux is in the lead, followed on her starboard quarter by HMS Cat and with the other ships in line-abreast. A predatory smile crosses Captain Terrell’s face as he shouts loudly “FORE AND AFT CHASERS, SWIVEL TO STARBOARD; DROP THE STARBOARD SHUTTERS, ALL GUNS OPEN FIRE!!”

            On Columbia’s gun deck, quarterdeck and foredeck, the gun captains take careful aim along the barrels of their pieces. For smoothbore cannons, the targets would be out of range; however, all of Columbia’s guns are rifled; those on the broadside are 20-pdrs, while the forward & aft chasers are 30-pdrs. Aboard HMS Canceaux, Captain Mowat sneers and says “Number one, those thrice-damned colonials think to intimidate us by opening fire while we’re yet out of range….” Mowat’s words go unfinished as Columbia’s first broadside crashes into HMS Canceaux’ foredeck and her forward quarter. Rather than simple iron bolts, these projectiles are steel-cased and loaded with high explosive. Those from the 20-pdrs on the broadside are loaded with 2 lbs of TNT and the shells from the bow & stern chasers are each loaded with 5 lbs of TNT; all shells are fitted with delay-impact fuzes that detonate the explosive payload 0.05 second after impact. The results are predictable and horrific; one moment, the proud HMS Canceaux is bounding across the waves, ready to engage the king’s enemies; the next moment, great gaping craters are blown in the ship’s bow and in the hull on the ship’s port side forward. Two shells (one 20-pdr and one 30-pdr) overshoot the bow and hit the weather deck. The first shell snaps the foremast off at deck level, while the other detonates amidships. Both explosions kill numbers of HMS Canceaux’ deck crews and dismount several of her guns; even worse, some of the ready charges for the ship’s guns go off as fallen sails and tarred rigging catch fire.

            Back aboard the Columbia, Captain Terrel orders “Guns, shift fire from the bow and stern chasers to the next ship in line. Have the starboard battery finish off the target with another broadside, then shift fire to the next ship as well.”

            The crews on the 30-pdr bow and stern chasers swivel their pieces to the next British ship in line, which happens to be HMS Cat. Shells and powder charges are rammed home; the breechblocks are closed and friction primers fitted to the vents. Columbia’s gunnery officer raise his hand and says “ON MY COMMAND…FIRE!!!” Both pieces score direct hits on HMS Cat, with the first round blowing off the ship’s bowsprit and figurehead; the second shell hits just below the waterline and explodes. A combination of the shell’s explosion and hydrostatic pressure (form the shell going off against the hull underwater) opens a breach that measures a full seven feet across and five feet high.

            Immediately, HMS Cat begins to settle by the head as shells from Columbia’s broadside come in for the kill. Of the nine shells thus fired, six hit the target, while two go wide and explode in the water and the last shell explodes against HMS Spitfire’s portside rail. The senior British officer still left alive is Leftenant James Howard, who is in command of HMS Spitfire. After seeing what happened to Captain Mowat’s ship and noting the damage that just one of those damnable colonial shells did to his own vessel, Leftenant Howard has no choice but to order “heave to and strike our colors; signal HMS Symmetry to do likewise.”

            Back aboard the Columbia, Captain Terrell notices the flags coming down on the two surviving British ships. He orders “CEASE FIRE, ALL GUNS!!”, then says “XO, make a note in the ship’s log; this date, time and location. Four British ships engaged; one destroyed, one dead in the water and two surrendering.”

            “Aye, sir.”

            On the boat carrying Colonel Arnold, Major Richardson observes the engagement through his binoculars and says “sir, the British have struck their colors and are surrendering!!” Arnold raises his own telescope to take in the scene and says “I’ll be damned; that was the quickest and surest piece of gunnery I ever saw; I don’t think it lasted more than five minutes or so.” Major Richardson replies “sir, the commanding officer of the Columbia will take those two British ships under her guns and see them back to Swampscott as prizes. Afterwards, she’ll rejoin us and follow us to the mouth of the Kennebec River.”

            “Very good, Major; carry on.”


            • #11
              On to Canada
              Date: September 11th, 1775
              Location: Swampscott, Massachusetts
              Time: early evening

              Captain Terrell and the crew of the Columbia take charge of HMS Symmetry and HMS Spitfire and escort them back to the town of Swampscott. Once the two captured vessels have been safely moored, their officers and crews are turned over to the town’s authorities to be held in captivity pending the results of a Prize Court’s enquiry into how much the ships should be valued for the awarding of prize money. Once this is done, Terrell takes the Columbia back out to sea and rejoins Colonel Arnold’s flotilla.

              No further British opposition is encountered, so the rest of the voyage takes place without incident. At 9:00 AM the next morning, the flotilla arrives in the waters off the mouth of the Kennebec River. Captain Terrell orders Columbia’s crew to drop anchor; Colonel Arnold & Major Richardson’s combined command will conduct landing operations under the protection of Columbia’s guns, should such protection be necessary.

              Date: September 12th, 1775
              Location: the mouth of the Kennebec River, Massachusetts
              Time: 10:00 AM

              Landing operations begin. Out of an abundance of caution, Colonel Arnold orders that the first men to go ashore will be one company of Major Richardson’s men; their purpose will be to set up watch on the perimeter of the landing site near Bath, Massachusetts and to give warning of any advancing enemy troops. Once the perimeter has been set up and the site is secure, the landings begin.

              Colonel Arnold and Major Richardson are among the first troops to come ashore. Immediately, they begin to direct the rest of the landing operations. While their orders are being carried out, Arnold turns to Richardson and says “Major, we’ll be occupied here for at least the next eight hours or so By that time, it will be too late to begin the march; therefore, I am minded to camp here for tonight and all of tomorrow so that the troops can rest. Aftewards, we’ll set out for Quebec on the morning of September 14th.” Major Richardson nods his head in agreement and replies “an excellent suggestion, sir. Many of the men have never been on a boat before, and they’re looking a little green around the gills even though the passage was very smooth.”

              Colonel Arnold nods, then issues orders for this staff to set up the command tent. As soon as this is done, a command conference is held in order to plan the advance on Quebec. The first order of business is to have a proper command hierarchy in place. As soon as the rest of Colonel Arnold’s officers are present, he says “gentlemen, there needs to be a second-in-command, to take charge of the expedition should anything happen to me. Major Richardson?”

              “Yes, sir?”

              “Your superior officer Colonel Garrity spoke very highly of you. As you command the largest single contingent of troops in this operation, I think it only fitting that I make you my executive officer. What say you?” Major Richards thinks for a moment, then replies “sir, I’m honored by the trust and confidence you have in me; I hope that I will prove worthy of it.”

              Colonel Arnold turns to the rest of his officers and says “gentlemen, this matter concerns you directly. What say you all in regards to my decision? All in favor raise your right hands and say ‘aye’.” Immediately, Arnold’s officers raise their hands in unison and shout loudly ‘AYE!!’; there isn’t a single hand or voice raised in opposition. Afterwards, Arnold says “thank you for your support, gentlemen. Major Richardson is now my second-in-command, you are to regard any orders he gives as coming directly from me. Now that the command question has been settled, let’s discuss the route we’ll be taking. Major, let’s have those maps of yours if you please.”

              Major Richardson opens his leather document case and takes out several rolled maps and a sheaf of other documents. The main map is laid out on the table and Richardson points at it and begins to speak.

              “Colonel Arnold, gentlemen, we are outside the town of Bath, Massachusetts. From here, it is just under forty miles to the town of Augusta. I presume that a stop will be made at Fort Western so that smaller boats can be built to continue our journey upriver.” Arnold nods and replies “you are correct, major. I anticipate being at Fort Western for about a week while the bateaux we need are constructed. After this, the next stop will be at Fort Halifax in Winslow, Massachusetts; nineteen miles upriver from there.” Major Richardson replies “yes, sir. After Fort Halifax, the route gets a little rougher, as we’ll have to portage the boats around the falls of Takonet and Wesserunsett.”

              Major Richardson pauses to point out the route on the maps he provided, then goes onto say “beyond Wesserunsett Falls, the route takes us across Lake Norridgewook and back onto the Kennebec River; there’s a section of the Kennebec which local residents call ‘Dead River’; it’s un-navigable, so the locals and the Indian tribes in the area call this location the Great Carrying Place. This area is some twelve miles in extent, so the only way across is by portaging the boats.”

              Colonel Arnold leans close to the map and traces the route with his finger. He says “gentlemen, once we are passed around Dead River, we’ll proceed through the Chain of Ponds, across the Height of Land between Massachusetts and Quebec and on into Lake Amaguntic. This lake forms the headwaters of the Chaudiere River and, from here, it’s just over 38 leagues until the Chaudiere joins the St. Lawrence River above Quebec City. If the weather holds out, we should be on Lake Amaguntic by October 19th. Major Richardson, your maps are far more detailed than I ever thought possible; with their aid, we’ll be able to make excellent progress.”

              “Thank you, sir.”

              Colonel Arnold goes onto say “I had given some thought to sending dispatch riders while we are en-route so that General Washing can be kept aware of our progress. On further consideration, I think this would be unwise because there’s always the chance that the riders could be intercepted by the British; I certainly don’t want General Carleton and his troops in Quebec to know that we are coming. Now gentlemen, let us look to the future.”

              On to Canada, Part 2
              Date: October 19th, 1775
              Location: Lake Amaguntic, Canada
              Time: afternoon

              After truly heroic amounts of effort on the journey, Colonel Arnold’s force arrives in good order on the shores of Lake Amaguntic. Arnold elects to rest his troops for the day, then to make forth on the Chaudiere River on the morrow. The success thus far has been due to careful planning of the route by Major Richardson, plus the carefully-stored supplies provided by Colonel Garrity. Additionally, the boats were kept in constant repair by the efforts of Major Reuben Colburn and his men from the town of Gardnerston Plantation (who were all shipbuilders by trade). Amazingly enough, Colonel Arnold’s entire force is intact, with not a man lost to hunger or disease.

              At this same time, troops under the command of Brigadier-General Richard Montgomery were well into their march into Canada. Montgomery’s troops had just taken Fort Chambly and captured the 7th Regiment of Foot. Along with the regimental colors, a full six tons of gunpowder in barrels was taken along with the full contents of the fort’s storehouses. After Ft. Chambly fell, Montgomery turned his troops towards Fort St. Johns, erected several batteries and laid siege to it.

              Date: October 30th, 1775
              Location: along the Chaudiere River, Quebec

              Colonel Arnold established contact with the local residents, whereupon he distributed copies of a letter written by General Washington which asked for them to help Arnold’s expedition. To this, Colonel Arnold added promises that the people would be secure in their persons, property and religion. Some of the people were well-paid for their assistance (thanks to the stock of coins brought along by Major Richardson), while others did so out of the goodness of their hearts. An example of this was seen in the activities of one Jacques Parent (a resident of Pointe-Levi) , who said that Lt. Governor Cramahe had carried out the destruction of all boats on the southern banks of the St. Lawrence River under orders from General Carleton; this was done to forestall a possible advance by the Continental Army.

              Colonel Arnold thanked Parent, then summoned his officers for a brief meeting. He said “gentlemen, I have received intelligence that the British have destroyed all the boats on the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River in anticipation of an assault into Quebec. The British couldn’t know that, so I surmise that this was done simply as a precaution.” Major Richardson speaks up and says “sir, we’re fortunate to still have our bateaux, are we not? This way, we can just sail down the Chaudiere to Point-Levi and move against Quebec City. Not only will Carleton not know we’re coming, he’ll never expect us to have artillery support.” Arnold replies “indeed, sir. Thanks to Colonel Garrity’s foresight, we have his guns and mortars plus ample supplies to see us through the rest of the operation.”

              Ten days later on November 9th, Colonel Arnold’s troops successfully completed their run down the Chaudiere River to Pointe-Levi on the bank of the St. Lawrence. A halt was called so that the force could consolidate itself before crossing the river. Then after three days of bad weather, Colonel Arnold decided that it was time to cross the St. Lawrence. In this, Arnold was aided by Jacques Parent (a resident of Pointe-Levi), who said that two British warships (HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter) were on station in the middle of the St. Lawrence in order to prevent any crossing by enemy troops.

              The crossing was made on the night of November 13th, and was so skillfully done that the crews of the two British warships never knew what had happened. The men of Arnold’s command reached the Plains of Abraham on October 14th; Colonel Arnold was surprised to receive a courier from Brigadier-General Montgomery who said that Montgomery’s troops had just captured Montreal and were on the way here to join the assault on Quebec City. Rather than laying siege to the city right away, Colonel Arnold elected to have his troops encamp at Point-aux-Trembles in order to wait for General Montgomery’s arrival.

              Date: December 3rd, 1775
              Location: Point-aux-Trembles, Quebec

              Brigadier-General Montgomery’s troops arrive at Point-aux-Trembles in good order on the afternoon of December 3rd. The two commanders immediately hold a council of war, after which it was decided to sent a messenger to carry a message Quebec City under the protection of a white flag; the substance of the message was that the city’s surrender was requested. During the latter stages of the meeting, Colonel Arnold says “General Montgomery, may I please introduce Major Robert Richardson? He is my second-in-command and his assistance on our journey here has been absolutely invaluable.”

              BG Montgomery shakes hands with Major Richardson and says “it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Richardson replies “the pleasure is all mine, sir. May I enquire as to the general’s intentions towards Quebec City?”

              “Colonel Arnold, Major Richardson, we’ll wait upon the messenger’s return. If the powers-that-be in the city decide not to surrender peacefully, we’ll have to force the issue.” Just then, Colonel Arnold interjects and says “sir, I’m please to tell you that we have a measure of artillery support. I have six light 12-pdr howitzers and six 24-pdr mortars attached to my force, provided by Major Richardson’s superior Colonel Michael Garrity.” BG Montgomery grins widely and replies “excellent; we’ll also not be short of gunpowder because I brought along six tons that I took from Fort Chambly. As for the plan of operations, Daniel Morgan and his riflemen from Virginia and Pennsylvania are spoiling for a fight. When it comes to assaulting the city, I’ll divide Morgan’s men into two equal bodies and place them on the right & left of our lines. This way, they can use the superior accuracy of their longrifles to guard against flanking attacks by the British garrison. I don’t exactly know the strength of the opposition, however.”

              Colonel Arnold responds “I can provide you that information, sir. My man Jacques Parent says that Quebec City is defended by 150 men from the 84th Regiment of Foot; this force has been augmented by 400 Royal Marines from aboard HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter. Additionally, there are some 500 local militia who are poorly-organized, trained and equipped. I have 1,500 men and, in addition to your own 300 troops, there will be a total of 1,800 men with which to conduct the attack; the local militia that I mentioned isn’t likely to be of much consequence. Therefore, the odds against the defenders are our 3 ¼ to their one.”

              Major Richardson speaks up and says “sir, all of my troops are riflemen. I also have Colonel Garrity’s light artillery at my disposal, which consists of six light 12-pdr howitzers and six 24-pdr mortars. May I enquire if you have artillery of your own? General Montgomery replies “yes, I do. After I captured the city of Montreal, I took some of the artillery emplaced therein and brought it with me. Specifically, the pieces I have are six 8” mortars and four 18-pdr guns. Now that I know you have your own artillery, I propose we combine our pieces into two grand batteries; one for the guns and one for the mortars. My 18-pdr heavies and your 12-pdr howitzers will be emplaced and sighted against Quebec’s gates, with the mortars will be positioned so as to rain down fire on the city’s ramparts. Just then Colonel Arnold interjects and says “sir, I respectfully suggest that the 18-pdrs be sited so they can shift their fire to cover the St. Lawrence River; in the nighttime crossing that my men and I made, we had to bypass those two British warships. When word reaches them that Quebec City is under siege, they will undoubtedly move to support Guy Carleton…”

              “It is so noted and approved, colonel. Gentlemen, it is twenty miles from here to Quebec City; so, it is too late in the day to begin our march. Therefore, we’ll stay here for the night and set out at first light tomorrow morning.”

              A problem of money and supplies
              Date: December 3rd, 1775
              Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
              Time: early afternoon

              While operations in Canada are proceeding apace, the situation is much the same in the siege of Boston. Henry Knox (having been previously tasked by General Washington with the task of retrieving the artillery from Fort Ticonderoga) is in New York City gathering supplies for his expedition. The supply situation for the Continental Army has been addressed, first with rations contributed by Colonel Garrity from his stores in Westfield and then on November 29th by Captain John Manley, commanding officer of the armed schooner USS Lee. On that day, Captain Manley and his crew captured the 250-ton brig ‘Nancy’ (loaded with supplies worth an estimated 50,000 pounds sterling). Afterwards, Captain Manley’s vessel went on to capture the 200-ton ship ‘Concord’ on December 1st, which ship’s holds were stuffed to the brim with military supplies (including drygoods) and bags of coal.

              Financially-speaking however, Washington’s army is on much less secure ground. Except for Colonel Garrity’s troops, many of Washington’s troops have gone unpaid for two months. Further compounding the situation is the fact that, for many of the troops, their terms of enlistment expire on December 31st. In order to address this situation, General Washington calls for a meeting of his senior staff; those present are General Henry Lee, Colonel Garrity, Artemas Ward, Israel Putnam, William Prescott and others.

              General Washington pauses for a moment to gather his thoughts, then says “gentlemen, thank you all for coming on such short notice. I’ll begin by saying that the finances of the army are in a very parlous state; there is also the matter of the enlistments which are due to expire on the 31st instant; I would seek your advice on how best to proceed.”

              General Lee speaks up and says “sir, why not send to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia for the purposes of an emergency appropriation? After all, it is that body’s responsibility to see to the maintenance and continuation of the army.”

              “That was my first thought. As for the enlistments, I haven’t the authority to keep troops past the date when they expire.” Colonel Garrity joins the discussion and says “sir, why not offer re-enlistment bonuses for those who decide to stay on? Such bonuses would be ‘Pro Rata’ according to the length of the enlistment; the longer a soldier decides to stay in, the larger the bonus will be. Under this plan, the highest bonuses would go to those soldiers who decide to stay in for the duration.”

              “An excellent idea, Colonel. General Ward, General Putnam, what say you?”

              General Ward replies “sir, Colonel Garrity’s suggestion is worthy of consideration. Perhaps it might be amended to further increase the bonus based on what job the soldier does; ie; cavalry, artillery engineer, etc…” General Putnam likewise says “sir, I lend my sanction to Colonel Garrity’s plan and urge that you support it.”

              General Washington leans back in his chair to carefully consider what has just heard. A few minutes later, he comes to a decision and says “I have decided to adopt Colonel Garrity’s plan and will undertake to write a letter to the Congress requesting an appropriation to implement it. I will also request funds to satisfy that portion of the Army’s pay that is in arrears.”

              Colonel Garrity says “sir, there is the matter of time to consider. The Congress sits in Philadelphia, and travel in winter is never certain, even under the best of circumstances. Even if you send your letter to Congress this very day, there is a distinct possibility that Congress’ response will not arrive in time. In order to avoid the army’s losing troops because of expired enlistments, I will assume the costs of paying the reenlistment bonuses and making good the arrears in pay.”

              Colonel Garrity’s words have all the effect of the proverbial bolt from the blue. General Washington’s officers are stunned into near-silence, while he struggles to maintain the reserve for which he is noted. A moent or two later, Washington collects himself and says “Colonel Garrity, that is the most amazing offer that I have ever heard of. Are you quite aware of just how much money is involved? Why, the bonuses and arrears in pay amount to nearly $750,000; if not more.” A resolute look crosses Colonel Garrity’s face as he replies “sir, I think that I have already proved my devotion to the cause by providing that 300 tons of gunpowder. Just to show you that I mean what I say, I will provide that sum and more out of my personal funds; up to and including a total of one million dollars; such monies to be in the form of Spanish milled dollars. Consider the overage to be a sign of good faith, until Congress can get into the practice of making regular appropriations for paying the army.”

              General Washington stands from his chair and draws himself up to his full height of 6’3”. He fixes Colonel Garrity with a look that would wither lesser men and says “I will take you at your word, sir. How long will it take for the funds to arrive?” Garrity responds with a look that is just as firm and resolute as the one he received form General Washington and says “sir, I anticipated that just such an eventuality might come about; so, I had the funds withdrawn from my bank in Westfield and placed aboard my ship ‘Columbia’. Now that she has returned from the task of escorting Colonel Arnold’s troops on the first stage of their journey, she lies at anchor in the waters off Nahant Point. I would consider it an honor if you and such officers as you can spare would come aboard the ship with me and take custody of the funds in person.”

              General Washington thoughtfully strokes his chin, then says “General Lee, I, General Ward and General Ward will go with Colonel Garrity to visit his ship. While we are away, you will be in charge, with Colonel Prescott as your deputy. Choose a suitable escort of cavalry, as we will ride within the hour.”

              “Yes, sir.”


            • #12

              I'm glad you and others like this TL. The Continental Army and the economy of the Colonies will be in far-better shape than they were IOTL; when Washington and his badboys come out of Valley Forge, they're going to make the Redcoats feel like they got their babymakers shoved into a meatgrinder


              • #13
                Welcome Aboard
                Date: December 4th, 1775
                Location: the waters just east of Nahant Point
                Time: late afternoon

                After returning from the mission to escort Colonel Arnold’s troops on the first part of their expedition to Quebec, Columbia took up station in the waters off Nahant Point and made occasional forays for the purpose of harassing and interdicting British naval traffic in and out of Boston harbor. Today, however, the ship is being used for a much-more peaceful purpose. Having been apprised by radio transmission from Colonel Garrity that General Washington and a party of his officers are coming aboard to inspect the ship, Captain Terrell and his officers spare no effort in getting their vessel ready to receive such distinguished visitors.

                At eight bells of the afternoon watch, three small boats come alongside, The first of these is a longboat carrying General Washington, General Lee, General Ward, Colonel Prescott and Colonel Garrity himself; the other two are a pair of cutters with Washington’s escort of 50 men. Captain Terrell and his officers are manning the rails as Washington and the others are piped aboard by Columbia’s master chief petty officer.

                As soon as General Washington comes on deck, Captain Terrell and his officers salute smartly and Terrell says “welcome aboard the Columbia, sir; it’s an honor to have you.” Washington replies “the honor is all mine, sir. Colonel Garrity has told me much about what this ship has done for the Patriot cause, and I am glad of the opportunity to pay a visit.”

                “Very good, sir.”

                Colonel Garrity joins the conversation and says “General Washington, I originally had this vessel constructed to my own design in order to give safe transport to valuable cargoes. When I realized that war with Britain was inevitable, I had her withdrawn from service and had her fitted out as a warship. Columbia’s first combat action took place just after dawn on September 11th of this year. It so happened that she was escorting Colonel Arnold’s men as they were sailing to the mouth of the Kennebec River; four British warships (HMS Cat, HMS Canceaux, HMS Halifax , HMS Spitfire) and the supply ship HMS Symmetry attempted to interfere. This, of course, could not be allowed. Therefore, Captain Terrell interposed his ship between the British vessels and Colonel Arnold’s boats. The following action lasted less than half-an-hour, during which HMS Cat and HMS Spitfire were sunk; HMS Halifax and HMS Canceaux struck their colors and were captured along with HMS Symmetry.”

                “A famous victory then, sir. At what range did Columbia’s guns open fire?” Colonel Garrity replies “sir, I’ll let Captain Terrell answer that.”
                Terrel comes forward and says “sir, Columbia has but twenty guns. Eighteen of these are 20-pdrs, mounted nine each to port and starboard; the other two are 30-pdrs, singly-mounted on the quarterdeck and the foredeck as chasers. These guns were designed by Colonel Garrity and are quite unlike any other naval artillery in the world; their rate of fire is more than twice as fast as a muzzleloading gun. The effective range is far greater, at 4,400 yards. Columbia hung back at the distance of one nautical mile and pounded those two British warships to pieces; no return fire came anywhere close.”

                As Captain Terrel describes the guns and what they can do, the eyes of General Washington and his officers go wide with surprise. Washing strokes his chin thoughtfully and says “very well. I will be pleased if you would be so kind as to show me one of these guns and demonstrate how it works.”

                “Yes, sir; in fact, you’re standing next to one of them right now.” With this, Captain Terrell pulls off the canvas tarpaulin covering the weapon and displays it to the curious eyes of General Washington and his officers. He says “sir, please direct your attention to the breech of the gun and take note of the two handles on the end of the breechblock.”

                Captain Terrell gives the handles a short twist to the left and pulls the breechblock open. This piece is mounted on a hinge on the left side of the breech and swings easily open. As General Washington and his officers gather around to more-closely examine the gun. Captain Terrell says “the breech of this cannon is closed by what is called an ‘interrupted thread’. Instead of having to rotate the breechblock many times to open it (like a bolt from a nut), the several grooves on the interior surface of the breech allow the breechblock to slide easily into and out of position. All that needs to be done to close the breech is to give the handles a quarter-turn to the right.”

                “A most-fascinating design, sir. Colonel Garrity, what kind of ammunition do these guns fire?”

                “Sir, the projectiles aren’t round balls. Instead, they are elongated shells; think of them as steel cylinders with pointed noses. The shell bodies have studs affixed to their external surfaces that are designed to fit directly into the barrel’s rifling grooves. The shells themselves are propelled by bagged charges of black powder, while they are filled with a new and far more powerful type of explosive; just one shell from the aft chaser blew a hole though the hull of HMS Cat that measured seven feet across and five feet high. Not surprisingly, that ship sank like a stone.”

                “I see.”

                Colonel Garrity interjects and says “Captain Terrell, perhaps you might describe some of Columbia’s design features; I think General Washington will find them to be most interesting.”

                “Yes, sir. Gentlemen, Columbia is frigate-built, with three masts of white pine and a ship-rig to her sails. The hull’s planking and framing is of white oak, reinforced with diagonal braces that greatly-strengthen the hull and greatly reduce the possibility of hogging. All-told, the ship’s hull thickness is 24” inches; at any range beyond point-blank, the Columbia is immune to the heaviest guns in use by the Royal Navy. There are also certain other design features which serve to increase the strength of the hull. For example, the decking, knees and the ship’s keelson are all of Rock Elm; the knees were shaped by first steaming the wood in a large oven, then bending them into shape. As to Columbia’s measurements, she displaces 2,200 tons at full load and measures 207’ from the billet head to the taffrail and 175’ between her perpendiculars. She’s also 43’6” in the beam and is exceedingly fast for a ship of her size.”

                “Most interesting, Captain. Colonel Garrity, aside from simply visiting your ship, my purpose in coming here is to accept those funds which you promised but yesterday. Are you ready to make delivery?”

                “Yes sir, I am. If you and your officers will please follow me below decks, you will see that I am al man of my word.” Garrity and Captain Terrell escort the visiting party below to the forward part of the berth deck. Here, there are a number of heavy cloth bags awaiting inspection. Colonel Garrity effortlessly picks on up and drops it on a nearby tabletop with a loud ‘thunk’. He undoes the ties which old the bag closed and spills the contents out on the table for all to see.

                “General Washington, there are 1,000 bags here, each of which holds one thousand Spanish milled dollars. Each bag weighs 55 lbs, and the total weight of coin here is 27.5 tons. Of course, such a quantity will take quite some time to off-load; therefore, I am prepared to have Captain Terrell sail the Columbia back to Nahant in order to facilitate this process. Perhaps, you and your officers will remain aboard as we sail, Captain Terrell sets an excellent table. I wouldn’t want to alarm the men in your escort. So, they can come aboard also.”

                “Very well, sir. I and my officers will be pleased to accept your gracious hospitality.” General Washington nods at Colonel Prescott, who immediately walks to Columbia’s starboard rail and calls for the men of the escort to come aboard. The two cutters are made fast, and the troops climb the ship’s ladder one after the other. On deck, the Columbia’s sailing master bellows out ‘HANDS ALOFT AND MAKE SAIL’. While the ship’s crew is climbing the rigging, General Washington and his officers accompany Captain Terrell and Colonel Garrity aft to the Captain’s cabin.

                Very soon thereafter, the sails are unfurled and catch a steady afternoon breeze. The ship surges forward through the cool, blue waters of the Atlantic back to Nahant’s port. The trip takes barely an hour, after which, General Washington, Colonel Garrity and the other officers come up on deck and re-board the longboat; the men of Washington’s escort do likewise on the cutters. While the longboat is bearing towards Nahant’s docks, General Washington says “Colonel Garrity, as soon as we are back ashore, whatever wagons are needed will be hired from among those available in the town. I think it only right and proper that we make forth back to Cambridge as soon as possible. The longer we remain here with such monies in our possession, the more likely it is that the British will get word of what is going on and act to prevent the shipment.”

                “Indeed, sir.” Colonel Garrity makes a show of drawing his huge revolvers from their holsters. He sets them to half-cock in order to check the priming on each chamber, then re-holsters the weapons. A malignant grin crosses Garrity’s face as he chuckles and says “sir, I can but hope that the Redcoats are that stupid….”


              • #14
                Cash and Carry
                Date: December 4th, 1775
                Location: Nahant, Massachusetts
                Time: late afternoon

                Columbia comes into Nahant’s port, furls her fails and is warped dockside. As soon as the ship is fast in her moorings, the gangplank is laid over the side and the unloading process begins. Having come ashore beforehand, General Washington, Colonel Garrity and the others are on hand to observe. There is a total of 27.5 tons of coins to be unloaded; at two tons per wagon, 14 wagons will be required.

                The wagon drivers are standing by with their vehicles lined up at the foot of the Columbia’s gangplank. As soon as one wagon is loaded, it is driven off to remain under guard until such time as the full wagon train is ready to move out to Cambridge. While the bags of coins continue to be carried off the ship, General Washington turns to Colonel Garrity and says “I am pleased to see that you are a man of your word, sir; the Patriot cause is well-served by such as you. In view of the importance of these funds, I must ask what arrangements you have in place for security.”

                Colonel Garrity replies “sir, I will be personally escorting the wagon train back to Cambridge. I made previous arrangements to have my own bodyguard of twenty men on hand, along with the Black Horse cavalry. With the wagons so protected, I feel confident that we could stand against ten times our numbers; that is, if the British were so foolish as to make an attempt to interfere.”

                “Very well, Colonel; I will leave the matter in your hands. I and my staff must now return to Cambridge. When do you intend to leave?”

                “Sir, the unloading process will take the rest of the afternoon and on into the evening. I don’t judge it expedient to travel in darkness; therefore, we’ll move out at first light tomorrow morning. It is but five leagues from here to Cambridge, so the trip shouldn’t take any more than five or six hours.” General Washington nods, then he, his staff and their escort take to horse and ride out of town. Two hours later, they arrive back in the Continental Army’s camp outside of Cambridge. The first order of business is to hold an officer’s call, during which time General Washington tells his commanders that the army’s immediate financial problems have been solved. The officers are also directed to tell their men that all arrears in pay will be made good in full on the morrow, and that all who are desirous of re-enlisting will be paid a bonus in cash.”

                Date: December 5th, 1775
                Location: Nahant, Massachusetts
                Time: 7:00 AM

                Colonel Garrity and his men rouse themselves at daybreak and are ready to go by 7:00 AM. Garrity rides to the head of the column, stands tall in his saddle and calls out loudly “MOVE OUT”. His personal bodyguard is riding next him, disposed in two squads of ten men each (one on either side of the column); the Black Horse cavalry is deployed in three separate bodies. The largest of these numbers forty men and forms the column’s rear guard. The other two bodies number thirty men each, deployed on the flanks behind Garrity’s escort.

                As Colonel Garrity predicted, the journey takes six hours. On the way, every man keeps his weapon ready to hand just in case the British decide to crash the party. Fortunately, no enemy cavalry are sighted and the convoy rolls into camp at 3:00 PM; General Washington and his command staff greet Colonel Garrity as he rides in.”

                “Hail and well-met, Colonel; I trust that the British didn’t give you any trouble on the road.” Garrity grins widely and replies “I didn’t see so much as a single redcoat on the way. Perhaps they had better things to do that to be killed to no purpose. I presume that you have some secure place to store the funds until they can be paid out…”

                “I do, sir.” General Washington motions for General James Warren and Colonel Thomas Mifflin (paymaster-general and quartermaster of the Continental Army, respectively) to come forward with their staff and take charge of the money. Already, word has spread throughout camp that all troops who are owed money will be paid in full, and that anyone who wants to re-enlist will be paid a bonus commensurate with the duration of their new term-of-service.

                A Tragic Loss
                Date: December 11th, 1775
                Location: before the walls of Quebec City
                Time: mid-morning

                Ever since Brigadier-General Montgomery’s troops arrived at Point-aux-trembles on December 3rd, operations against the British force defending Quebec City have been undertaken. Two grand batteries of artillery were set up (the first with Montgomery’s 18-pdrs and Major Richardson’s 12-pdr howitzers and the second with Montgomery’s 8” mortars and Richardson’s 24-pdr mortars). Per Colonel Arnold’s recommendation, the 18-pdr guns were emplaced so that they can sweep the St. Lawrence River and prevent the approach of HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter.

                For security, Daniel Morgan deployed his riflemen in two equal bodies on the flanks of the combined force. Their orders being to guard against any forays by the British garrison and to engage any targets of opportunity that present themselves. Offensive operations began in earnest on December 6th, with a preliminary bombardment by both grand batteries. Just as was predicted, HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter’s captains became aware of what was happening and sought to move their ships in support of Carleton’s troops in Quebec City. Unfortunately for them, the fire form Montgomery’s 18-pdrs proved to be disagreeably accurate; HMS Lizard lost her foremast, HMS Hunter’s mainmast was snapped off at the mid-level of the main topsail. Prudently, both ships soon withdrew out of range.

                Though greatly outnumbered, Guy Carleton’s troops put up a spirited defense. His troops and those of the Royal Marine contingent assigned to him took up their positions on the city’s ramparts and commenced to pouring fire at the attackers. A number of spoiling attacks were made, but were driven off by Morgan’s riflemen. On the morning of December 9th, a temporary cease-fire was called so that General Montgomery could send a party forward under a flag-of-truce to request that Carleton surrender the city. The party was led by Colonel Arnold and courteously received at Carleton’s headquarters. After some discussion between the two parties, General Montgomery’s request for surrender was politely refused, as Carleton’s duty to his king and his gentlemanly honor required him to fight on.

                The fighting resumed in the early afternoon of December 9th and continued on to the morning of December 11th. During this period of time, a number of British officers were picked off by Morgan’s riflemen and Richardson’s troops; the most serious losses were that of Carleton himself (shot by Major Richardson at a distance of 800 yards) and Carleton’s second-in-command Lt. Colonel Allan Maclean (killed by one of Morgan’s riflemen).

                The Siege of Quebec City reached its climax on December 11th, when General Montgomery and Colonel Arnold led troops forward to attack the city’s defenses at two separate points. Montgomery and his men went against St. John’s gate, while Colonel Arnold proceeded against the barricades which defended the lower town. The attacks were supported by fire from the two grand batteries, and were responded to in kind by the British defenders. A group of Royal Marines in a blockhouse adjacent to St. John’s gate stood to the last, but were overwhelmed by Motgomery’s attack. However, the breach was not without cost. One blast of grapeshot killed Aaron Burr (who was serving under General Montgomery’s command), while an errant musket ball grazed Montgomery’s scalp.

                Colonel Arnold’s attack against the barricades at Sault-aux-Matelot was similarly successful, except that he was killed by an exploding mortar shell. In the aftermath of Arnold’s death, Major Richardson assumed command of Arnold’s troops and led them through the barricades. The remaining Canadian militia in this area were quickly overwhelmed, while the Royal Marines were forced to surrender.

                General Montgomery was brought to a field hospital and his injury was seen to by one of Major Richardson’s physicians. When the Sault-aux-Matelot area was secured in late afternoon, Richardson came to see Montgomery and said “sir, I beg to report that the lower city is in our hands. However, I regret to inform you that Colonel Arnold was killed in the assault; he died with his face to the enemy and never did there live a more marvelous and valorous gentleman than he. Accordingly, I have assumed command of the late Colonel’s men and I humbly request instructions.”

                General Montgomery leans back in his chair and says “Colonel Arnold’s death is most regrettable. By my authority as senior officer on this expedition, I hereby promote you to the rank of Colonel. Your first orders are to send to the city fathers and request their honorable surrender. Tell them that Quebec City is no longer defensible and that further resistance on their part would be of no use.”

                Colonel Richardson salutes crisply, responds “sir, yes sir” and immediately goes to carry out his orders. Three hours later, the Union Jack flying over the citadel is lowered; the siege is now over. At a command conference that evening, General Montgomery gathers his officers and says “gentlemen, the record will show that I consider your conduct during the late siege to be very gallant; yours especially, Colonel Richardson. Once we have taken up residence in the city, send to General Washington back in Cambridge and say that “Fort St. Jean, Montreal and Quebec City are taken and the province is ours. Further instructions are requested.”

                “Very good, sir.”

                In the aftermath of the siege of Quebec City, the surviving British troops were allowed to leave the city with their colors flying high and their muskets at the shoulder. Under a flag of truce, Colonel Richardson escorted them to the east bank of the St. Lawrence three miles downstream from the city, where they were allowed to board HMS Lizard and HMS Hunter. The two ships then sailed down the river and out into the Atlantic Ocean with the intent of conveying word of the defeat to General Thomas Gage and Vice-Admiral Samuel Graves.

                With the city firmly in hand, General Montgomery and Colonel Richardson waste no time in establishing the new order of things. After conferring at length with Colonel Richardson, General Montgomery secured his administration of the city by issuing a proclamation that all residents of the city and its surroundings (whether French Catholic or English Protestant) were to be secure in their persons, places and effects, and that no restrictions were to be placed on the free exercise of religion by either community.

                Mindful that the British fleet under Vice-Admiral Graves would make an attempt to eject the Americans from the province, Colonel Richardson waited until he was alone before sending a radio message to Colonel Garrity requesting that his ship ‘Juggernaut’ be tasked with fending off an advance by Graves’ ships. In the original history, the Battle of Quebec was lost by the Continentals, and the British position in the province was reinforced by 40 ships which arrived in the St. Lawrence between May 6th and June 1st, 1776; which ships were carrying some 9,000 troops under the command of General Sir John Burgoyne.


                • Otis R. Needleman
                  Otis R. Needleman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Mighty good. Interesting way of getting rid of two people who were eventually scoundrels in OTL.

              • #15
                Just finished reading the chapters that have been posted for this TL, and this is an informed take on the ISOT genre. Something that stands out to me, is that you have focused on improving the woeful logistical system faced by the Continentals in OTL, an approach that IMHO seems to get short shrift from so many others TL's within the genre. Further, the suggestions / improvements that you have made are plausible considering the industrial base within the United States at the time.

                All in all, an enjoyable read and I hope you keep it going!