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Book Review: Invaded on All Sides
Starts with A Great Set Up
Before you read a good book, doesn't it help to have some background information to create a greater understanding of the story? Ralph Naveaux does just that in this outstanding novel about a few days in a January winter in 1813. This historical book is entitled "Invaded on All Sides: The story of Michigan's Greatest Battlefield Scene of the Engagments at Frenchtown and the River Raisin in the War of 1812." The book was copyrighted in 2008, printed by Walsworth Publishing Company, Marceline, MO.
The Fascinating Story Puzzle
The battles take place in the southeast corner of Michigan near where the River Raisin flows into Lake Erie. The young United States was attempting to win back its asserted claim to the Northwest Territory from British Canada and its allied Indian tribes. The two sides collide in the Frenchtown settlement of small farmers and fur traders that had been surrendered, along with the rest of the Michigan Territory, back to King George.
The military movements, the confusion of the battles, the individual stories of those who lived and died are explained so well that you'll think the author was reporting live from the scene. Where memories differed, Mr. Naveaux, pieces the puzzle together and sometimes must offer more than one point of view.
The facts are brutal on many pages and are not for the faint of heart, as war and massacres are serious scenes. The battle descriptions follow many of the participants and shares the events from all sides. The aftermath and conclusion wraps up the stories of many of the characters and explains the rallying cry of the United States, "Remember the Raisin".
...no people who are indifferent to their Past need hope to make their Future great
Mr. Naveaux's expertise shows in his style of explaining the facts in a way that is both intriguing and unbiased. His references are extensive and the characters are as accurately portrayed as possible. The author touches all sides of the struggle: Native American Indians, Frenchtown inhabitants, Kentucky militiamen, British military, and the land and freedoms being fought over. The insights into the community life and the people involved are riveting to anyone with the slightest interest in drama or history, as well as, with aficionados of military maneuvers.
With maps, pictures, quotations, and narrative, he retells the story of Frenchtown and lets you as the reader decide who, if anyone, was right or wrong. The book has almost 100 pages of Endnotes that I found are full of even more interesting reading, such as 582 "The Kentucky flag captured at the Raisin was displayed in the Chelsea Hospital in England. It no longer exists, but a drawing was made." Also, 576: "Major Madison would survive the war and captivity in Quebec, but his health would be broken. He was elected Governor o the State of Kentucky in August of 1816, but died of consumption two months later."
Invaded On All Sides also describes how the current community of Monroe, Michigan, worked to reclaim the property that these battles were fought on for sharing the historical significance with others. Mr. Naveaux does express his fervor for this project by quoting from the 3rd Biennial Report of the Department of Archives and History of the State of West Virignia: "A people who have not the pride to record their History will not long have the virtues to make History worth recording; and no people who are indifferent to their Past need hope to make their Future great."
The land is now a part of the National Park System - The River Raisin National Battlefield Park.
How To Get A Copy of the Book
How to Purchase
at National Park Visitor Center
or online at website below: