Saturday, February 16, 2013

Major John Clark...Spies...and “Spirit of the Revolution”

In my novel, “Spirit of the Revolution,” Colonel Daniel Morgan assigned Mathias McGregor, and his small team of valiant Rangers, to assist Major John Clark with his intelligence operations during the siege of our nation’s capital in Pennsylvania.

Referred to as the Philadelphia Campaign, General Sir William Howe captured the city and then occupied it from September 1777 through June of 1778. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to anyone that while quartered at Valley Forge during the winter months of those years, General George Washington craved reliable intelligence from Philadelphia in order to plan his summer campaign. 

In response to this great need, General George Washington assigned Major John Clark, suffering from a serious shoulder injury, to oversee intelligence operations against the British. The major immediately established a proficient group of informants and couriers to make up his spy ring. Together, they succeeded in sending over thirty reports to Washington, informing him of British activities. He even set up an operation wherein Clark offered to give Howe information concerning Patriot activities. Posing as a Quaker Loyalist under an assumed name, Howe bought into the charade. Washington seized the opportunity and fabricated a number of false reports concerning the Continental Army, their strength and planned deployments, thus aiding and furthering the American cause.

A year, later still suffering from his injury and not having seen his family in over a year, Clark asked Washington for his release. Grateful for his service, Washington put him in contact with Henry Laurens, the man assigned to audit Army expenses. Clark never released the names of his couriers or informants, and they sank into respectable obscurity. In later years, John Clark served as governor of Georgia, as a state representative, a U.S. Indian agent, and “Keeper of the Public Forests,” under President Andrew Jackson.

In the novel, my handsome, intrepid hero, Mathias McGregor, alongside his equally valiant companions, conducted covert surveillance and peripheral reconnaissance missions for Major John Clark. They also formed a portion of the courier system outside of Philadelphia. One such mission cost these men their lives. But in “Spiritof the Revolution,” their mission doesn't end there...

Want to know a little bit more?  Well then, here's the blurb:

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?


By the way...  Did you know that George Washington had a code name during the Revolutionary War? Do you know what it is?


  1. Love the blog!!! Keep them coming! :D

    1. You know what Candice? I am so HAPPY that you enjoy my blogs and I will keep writing them even if you're the only one who reads them!

      Thanks for the Visit... I look forward to them!

  2. You've got me very curious about Washington's code name. I have a feeling I might know it if I hear it but right now I'm drawing a blank. I can't wait to learn more about Mathias and Jolena in Spirit of the Revolution. I just bought my Kindle copy from Amazon.

    BTW, my husband I used to ride bikes through the Valley Forge park every year, and the statue of Washington kneeling in prayer (not far from the park) is stunning!

  3. I've only seen pictures, but it gets to me every time, as does the painting...

    AND... I hope you enjoy reading the book just as much as I did writing it!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. This wouldn't be the mysterious Agent 711 in "Spirit of the Revolution" would it?
    Its fascinating to see the difference in spy operations over the centuries! I cant even imagine how exciting it would be and scary at the same time to be a spy and be able to pull it of soooo convincingly! What a talent one must possess to be able to accomplish such a feat!!

    I just love all the mystery that surrounds Mathias and his boys in their mortal lives- and after!

  5. Thanks for the comments and for dropping by Nicole!

  6. Enjoyed your blog, Debbie. I'm also curious about George Washington's code name. My daughter graduated with a degree in history, I'm going to see if she knows.

  7. Thanks Debra! I'm SO glad you stopped in for a visit!

  8. Yes it is 711..Your book was so much fun the only thing that disappointed me was it ended...Just wish you would continue their story everyday with your blog...Ya you could tell me what they were up to every day sweet...Keep writing...Makes my day :))

  9. Well aren't you just the cutest thing there is!