Memoir of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge

Written by Benjamin Tallmadge

In 1776, at the age of twenty-one, Benjamin Tallmadge joined the Continental Army as an officer in American Revolutionary War.

By the end of that conflict he had risen to become one of George Washington’s chief intelligence officers, organizing the Culper Spy Ring out of New York City and Long Island.

This is his remarkable account of that period.

Tallmadge gives a year by year account of his experiences during the conflict from his joining the army and meeting English troops for the first time in 1776 through to Washington’s leaving the army and emotional final farewell to his officers at Fraunces’ Tavern.

He was trusted greatly by Washington and other generals, rising through the ranks and given command of large numbers of troops.

Tallmadge’s memoirs cover many of the important events that he personally witnessed during the seven years of conflict, including battles like Short Hills and Monmouth, expeditions against the British on Long Island that led to the Battle of Fort St. George as well as numerous skirmishes.

This edition sheds more light upon his espionage activities than what is given in the original memoirs. Henry Phelps Johnston, a Professor of History at the College of the City of New York, draws upon Tallmadge’s own correspondence with Washington, Heath, Gates, Clinton and other officers to further explain the Colonel’s position in the American Revolutionary Wars.

Of particular interest in the additional materials are those that relate to Tallmadge’s service between 1778 and 1783 as a spy master, the capture and trial of Major Andre and the betrayal of Arnold.

After the war Tallmadge was elected as a member of the Federalist Party to the House of Representatives. This edition of his memoirs was published with the assistance of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution. He died in 1835 in Litchfield, Connecticut.

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