Rogers’ Rangers

If he had fought with the patriots instead of against them in the American Revolution, I have small doubt that today Robert Rogers would still be remembered as one of America’s great heroes.  Instead, he wavered at the beginning of the Revolution before eventually supporting the British.  Now he is largely forgotten except by Army Rangers.  The movie Northwest Passage (1940), based on the novel of the same name by Kenneth Roberts, is one of the few times since his death that the figure of Robert Rogers has emerged briefly from obscurity.

Rogers developed during the French and Indian war the concept of long-range attacks  behind enemy lines that has remained an element of American military operations since.  He and the rangers he led specialized in daring raids through trackless wilderness against enemy positions.   The film Northwest Passage depicted the immensely successful raid on Saint Francis in 1759 that broke the power of the Abenaki who, under French guidance, had been raiding New England and upstate New York for four generations.

Several members of the Rangers played prominent roles fighting for American independence, most notably John Stark of New Hampshire, the victor at the battle of Bennington, and the originator of the New Hampshire state motto Live Free or Die. (more…)

Published in: on May 28, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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