Surviving the Winters: New Directions in Military History
Join Dr. Steven Elliott for a discussion of his new book Surviving the Winters: Housing’s Army during the American Revolution. Register at https://go.rutgers.edu/Elliott to receive the Zoom invitation.
Surviving the Winters explores the intersections between war and shelter through a close study of the Revolutionary War Continental Army’s quarters. As much as food, weapons, or ammunition, access to clean and comfortable housing determined the army’s ultimate success in the War of Independence.
George’s troops spent only a few days a year in combat. The rest of the time, especially in the winter months, they were engaged in a different sort of battle—against the elements, unfriendly terrain, disease, and hunger. Victory in that more sustained struggle depended on a mastery of camp construction, logistics, and hygiene. Surviving the Winters the book demonstrates that the winter encampments at Forge, Morristown, and New Windsor stand alongside more famous battlefields as sites where American independence was won. Moreover, it points the way forward in new directions in military research by fusing environmental, administrative, and operational perspectives into a unique study of military housing.
Steven Elliott holds a Ph.D. in American Military from Temple. His research, which broadly focuses on the social and administrative of the Continental Army, has been recognized by awards and fellowships from the David of the American Revolution, The Fred W. Smith at Mount Vernon, the Society of the North Jersey Heritage Trail, and the New Jersey Historical Commission. Steven currently teaches courses on national, local, and military at Rutgers. In addition, he has also worked as a guide and volunteer for the National Service at Morristown National Historical since 2009.