On May 22 at noon, Andrew O’Shaughnessy will deliver a Banner Lecture entitled "The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire."
The loss of America was an unexpected defeat for the British Empire. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders must have been to blame. Weaving together the personal stories of ten prominent men who directed the British dimension of the war, historian Andrew O’Shaughnessy dispels the incompetence myth and uncovers the real reasons that rebellious colonials were able to achieve their surprising victory. British victories were frequent throughout the war. Yet roiling political complexities at home, combined with the fervency of the fighting Americans, proved fatal to the British war effort.
Capt. John Chilton's diary and several of his letters are in the manuscript collection of the Virginia Historical Society. They offer a fascinating glimpse of one Virginian's thoughts and experiences during the Revolutionary War.