Year in Review 2015: Emerging Revolutionary War
Today is Wednesday, and for most of 2015, that meant Rev War Wednesdays.
On January 28 of this year, Emerging Civil War launched Rev War Wednesdays in effort to call attention to America’s Revolution-era history. The initiative followed the lead of the Civil War Trust, which launched in November 2014 a new project called “Campaign 1776.” Thanks to newly available funding from Congress, Rev War and War of 1812 battlefields became eligible for protection, and the Trust, as the largest battlefield protection organization in existence, seemed like the natural stewards to help lead the charge to save the patriot-hallowed ground.
Lead by historian Phill Greenwalt, who worked at the time at George Washington Birthplace, Rev War Wednesdays tapped into some of ECW’s existing talent—Bert Dunkerly, Chris Mackowski, Rob Orrison, Eric Wittenberg—and brought into the fold some exciting new talent, too—Drew and Kate Gruber, Mark Maloy, Scott H. Harris, and Michael C. Harris.
By fall, Rev War Wednesday had created enough content and drawn enough attention that we launched Emerging Revolutionary War, which debuted on October 21 with Phill as editor in chief. Posts go up twice weekly, with plans for continued expansion in the new year.
The Rev War-era, as ERW has loosely defined it, begins as early as the French and Indian War and stretches forward to the “Era of Good Feelings.” The Revolution itself contains some of America’s most dramatic—and often overlooked—military stories, and the wider era contains arguably America’s most colorful cast of characters.
The connection between the Civil War-era and the Rev War-era was a natural for Greenwalt. “In the Civil War, the Confederacy espoused that their rebellion was the ‘Second American Revolution,’ so there had to be a ‘first revolution’ to begin with,” he says. “One of the reasons men fought for the Union was to uphold the principles put forth by the Founding Fathers. There was still a handful of American Revolutionary War veterans alive on the cusp of hostilities in 1860 and 1861. The importance of the American Revolution and the questions the peace left unanswered were solved by the American Civil War. The two conflicts bookend each other and so the Revolutionary War and the study of that time frame is crucial to understanding the American Civil War.”
ERW’s mission reflects that of ECW: a public history-oriented approach to connecting readers with the foundational story of America. Six full-time authors are on the staff, with new and familiar guest posters popping up from time to time.
Take a step back to America’s founding, and then take a step onto some of its battlefields (while helping to protect them, too), with Emerging Revolutionary War!