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Virtual Lecture – The Art and Science of Siege Warfare in the American Revolution

January 30 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The conduct of Siege Warfare in the 18th century is often mentioned with little or no explanation of how and why it was conducted. Armies of the period, including those engaged in the American War for Independence, followed well-established and highly developed tactical doctrines for the attack and defense of fortified places. A successful siege operation enabled the attacker to reduce an enemy stronghold without resorting to a potentially bloody frontal assault. On the other hand, an effective defense forced an attacker to expend time and materiel resources that might be better utilized in operations elsewhere. This presentation explores the intricacies and the technical expertise required to carry out an effective and successful siege operation, such as at Yorktown in 1781. The explanation includes descriptions of 18th-century field fortification design and construction, as well as the methods for successfully reducing them.

Specific topics, such as the purpose and rationale for building parallel and approach trenches, as well as the employment of various classes of artillery, are also covered. At the conclusion, participates will better understand how an attacking army could destroy the combat power of a major enemy field army defending a well-fortified position.

Registration required. Registration closes one half-hour prior to lecture.

Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members, Military, and HA Docents


January 30
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm