George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) led four victorious campaigns against the Indians and British in the Ohio Valley during the American Revolution, but his most astonishing coup was recapturing Fort Sackville in 1779 when he was only 26. For 18 days, in the dead of winter, Clark and his troops marched through bone-chilling nights to reach the fort. With a deft mix of guile and violence, Clark led his men to triumph without losing a single soldier. William R. Nester resurrects the story of Clark's triumphs and his downfall in this, the first full biography of the man in more than 50 years. Nester attributes Clark's successes to his drive and daring, good luck, charisma, and intellect. Born of a distinguished Virginia family, Clark wielded an acute understanding of human nature, both as a commander and as a diplomat. His interest in the natural world was an inspiration to lifelong friend Thomas Jefferson, who asked him in 1784 to lead a cross-country expedition to the Pacific and back. Clark turned Jefferson down. Two decades later, his youngest brother, William, would become the Clark celebrated as a member of the Corps of Discovery. After the revolution, he raged against the government and pledged fealty to other nations, leading to his arrest under the Sedition Act. He died at the age of 65, bitter, crippled, and alcoholic.
Army Historical Foundation, Excellence in US Army History Writing. The book is published by University of Oklahoma Press.
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Great American hero.
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History of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and MO.
- Robert J. Wagner