Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Providence and a Book

A few years ago, our family went to a large used book sale held in a mall.  While there, I acquired one book: American Historical Documents.  This was a compilation of treaties and other important documents of our nation's history.  I also debated about picking up a copy of Augustine's Confessions, but ultimately decided against it.

Not long after, I read Augustine's classic The City of God and enjoyed his writing style and excellent points (if you have not read The City of God, I would highly recommend it).  Only then did I realize that I should have acquired Augustine's Confessions when I saw it at the book sale.

Two or three years passed, and our family went to our local library's book sale.  On one of the tables was a copy of the same book I had passed up--Augustine's Confessions.

God had indeed blessed me with a copy of a book written by one of the finest Christian authors of his time, perhaps of all time--as well as a story of his providence and goodness even in little things.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Strategic Lessons from Bunker Hill

The battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775) was the first full-scale battle between British troops and rebel colonists.  The rebels had fortified Breed's Hill, which overlooked Boston.  If cannons could be placed on the hill, they could shell Boston and drive the British out.  General Howe formulated a plan to drive the colonists from their fortifications.

Some of the British were to feint (that is, to pretend to attack) the redoubts, while the elite grenadiers and light infantry were to push through a rail fence and outflank the redoubts.  Unfortunately, Howe's plan bogged down when the grenadiers and light infantry attacked the fence.  Colonel John Stark's militia fired on them, and instead of pushing on, the British stopped to open fire.  When this happened, Stark's men inflicted heavy casualties on the British.

With the grenadiers and light infantry decimated, and the outflanking maneuver a failure, Howe had to force the redoubts front-on.  He succeeded, but at an immense cost to the British army.

From this battle, the rebels believed that the British would attack earthworks head-on.  This cost them dearly at Long Island, where the same General Howe outflanked them and drove them away from New York.

As for the British, they used outflanking maneuvers in many battles, and generally won.  At Long Island, Brandywine, and Camden, the British successfully outflanked their enemy.