Friday, December 28, 2012

“Spirit of the Revolution” and Our Amazing American Rangers...

Cover Art by Angela Anderson - The Wild Rose Press Graphic Artist

Only divine intervention could have guided Jolena Leigh Michaelsson to the doorstep of a ramshackle manor in Pennsylvania, bringing her face-to-face with the man she has waited her whole life to find. There is just one problem. Mathias McGregor died two centuries ago…

Mathias, Revolutionary War ranger and spy, battles his conscience and his heart when he finds himself falling for the beautiful violinist invading his home. Jolena is mortal and deserves far more than what he as a spirit can offer her.

When Jolena’s family motto leads them to unearth a valuable coded message—the very message Mathias died trying to deliver to General Washington—Jolena vows to unravel the mystery surrounding the cryptic document. But someone else wants the message, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it, not even murder.

Divine intervention brought them together—will it also allow them to find forever?


You know, until I wrote this book, I didn’t know that Rangers existed during the Revolutionary war. I thought they were far more contemporary. For me, Army Rangers conjured images from the movies. In Private Ryan, Tom Hanks led a group of Rangers to save—well—Private Ryan. In The Longest Day, Rangers fought their way up the cliff to destroy the German coastal artillery, only to find the guns had never been installed in the bunkers.  And of course, we have our real-life Rangers (heroes every one) during the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

During his mortality, Mathias McGregor, my handsome, ghostly hero in Spirit of the Revolution was a member of the elite Morgan’s Rangers. (He also involved himself in highly secretive missions of reconnaissance, facilitating espionage and conducting other covert missions for Major John Clark but that’s another blog altogether.) In my novel, Mathias served under the leadership of Daniel Morgan from the unit’s inception. Yet, the Rangers in the Americas have a long history even before the Revolutionary War began.

Colonel Daniel Morgan




During the 17th century, the governors of the newly established English colonies contended with attacks from hostile tribes that lurked just beyond their borders. The frontier settlements were especially venerable to such surprise raids. In response, the governors authorized the formation of professional full time ‘Ranger’ units. These men, recruited from trappers, hunters and woodsmen, were comfortable in roaming the frontier border regions and were familiar with the surrounding tribal groups, both friendly and unfriendly. In patrolling the border regions, they provided reconnaissance and intelligence concerning Indian activities and gave early warnings of pending attack from hostile groups.

During the French and Indian War, the Rangers were key in giving the English the ability to conduct defensive and offensive operations in the wilderness. The typical British soldier was unfamiliar and inexperienced in wilderness warfare. In this setting, with the assistance of Ranger forces, they were able to conduct laudable operations against the French and their Indian allies. Rangers were familiar with the tactics of the both their European and Native American foes. In turn special tactics were developed to allow them to counter many of the tactics used by both the French and Indians.
 
Colonel Benjamin Church (c. 1639-1718), captained the first Ranger force in America (1676) and is considered the father of the American Rangers. He fought during the King Philip’s War, King William’s War and Queen Anne’s War (apparently war and royalty go together.) Church’s forces were a mixture of colonist frontiersmen and friendly native tribes and utilized much of the tactics practiced by their Native American allies.

Gorham’s Rangers fought in the area of Acadia and Nova Scotia against the French.

Major Robert Rogers was commissioned to raise nine Ranger companies in 1751. This colonial militia conducted reconnaissance missions as well as special operations against distant targets. Because of the great effectiveness and boldness of these men, they became the chief scouting unit for British forces in the late 1750s. To this day, Roger’s “Twenty-eight rules of Ranging” are still issued to graduating rangers. 

With all of that, how could I not see Mathias McGregor as anything other than a handsome, Revolutionary War, mountain man, Ranger?


Happy New Year Everyone!




4 comments:

  1. I can't wait to get the book! This is going to be awesome! Thanks for sharing the blog and giving us a sneak preview of your next book! So excited!

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  2. I enjoyed the blurb and the bit of history. Sounds intriguing. Will definitely put on my TBR list once its out.

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    1. Thank you for the comment Debra! I'm happy you enjoyed the post!

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