House of Thunder Preview

    Lexington and Concord. Bunker Hill and Yorktown. Saratoga. They are battles so deeply rooted in the American experience, there’s no need to name the war. And yet, there is another important battle of the American Revolutionary War that drew very little notice at the time, and even less today. It’s known as The Battle of St. Louis. There is nothing remaining, other than a small church bell, a few plaques, and a small exhibit at the Gateway Arch National Park, by which to remember the battle. By 1880, the story had been dropped from most textbooks. In the early twentieth century, with few artifacts to see, or documents to review, scholars declared the battle a myth. Now, however, newly compiled evidence discovered by a team of researchers and military historians working on two continents has shed new light on important details about this critical moment in American history. The Battle of St. Louis, also known as the Battle of Fort San Carlos, was the biggest of only two Revolutionary War battles fought west of the Mississippi River, and it was by far the most important. At stake was control of the river. Two rivers really, since St. Louis sits just below the Mississippi’s confluence with the Missouri, which was a vital trade route. Ultimately, the outcome of the Battle of St. Louis also determined control of the land west of the Mississippi, all the way to the Pacific Ocean. While some may characterize the battle as just a skirmish, from a geographic point of view, The Battle of St. Louis was the centerpiece of Britain’s largest campaign of the war. And it all happened on one day, May 26, 1780, in just two hours.

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