An Eyewitness Account of the American Revolution and New England Life: The Journal of J. F. Wasmus, German Company Surgeon, 1776-1783

In March of 1776, company surgeon J.F. Wasmus accompanied the regiments of Duke Carl of Braunschweig to America, to fight for the British Crown in the American Revolution. From the time he arrived in Quebec three months later until he was reunited with his family in 1783, Wasmus kept a detailed journal of his activities and observations, providing a firsthand account of the war and of life in New York and New England. This book presents the first English translation of that journal, an important historical, scientific, and cultural record of the Revolutionary era that includes descriptions of Wasmus' medical work and a chronicle of the Battle of Bennington. The journal is reprinted in chronological order on a year-by-year basis. Wasmus describes his own experiences as well as major affairs of the war, including the invasions of New York in 1776 and 1777, the naval actions on Lake Champlain, and the battles at Ticonderoga and Hubbardton. Wasmus accompanies Burgoyne's army south toward Saratoga and along the way scientifically catalogs the natural surroundings, the climate, and the customs of the people. He also gives a detailed account of the Battle of Bennington, at which he was taken prisoner. The journal continues with insights into the daily life and religious habits of the Massachusetts settlers among whom he lived as a paroled prisoner of war, accounts of his medical practice, and translations of articles from the Boston, Hartford, and Worcester newspapers. This work, with its broad range of topics and attention to nonmilitary aspects of the Revolutionary campaign, will be a valuable supplemental source for courses in American History and American Studies, and an important addition to public, academic, and historical society libraries.