Even though I went to West Point, which is just south of Storm King Mountain from Newburgh where Washington the Continental Army was encamped in the winter of 1783, I had never heard of this. We studied the battles of the Revolution but perhaps we should have also studied the politics. After all, as Clausewitz notes, war is an extension of politics by other means.
The war was essentially over since Yorktown the previous year. The Continentals wintered at Newburgh and the British in New York City. The peace negotiators were in Paris hammering things out.
But the officers and troops hadn’t been paid in months while Congress dithered in Philadelphia. Resentment grew during a harsh upstate winter. I can testify to the cold wind coming off the Hudson having stood in formation on the Plain at West Point.
A group of officers determined to march on Philadelphia and toss Congress out. Essentially upending the country even before it became a country. Washington became aware of this. He gathered his officers on the Ides of March, 15 March, 1783, and made an epic speech.
When I wrote Ides of March (Time Patrol) I knew this had to be one of the six key events. I thought if the Shadow could foil Washington and the officers marched that would be a time ripple; combine it with five other time ripples on the same day across the ages and you’ve got a time tsunami and our timeline ceases to exist.
But, as I started writing that part of the book, I realized that misdirection is the key to effective operations. The real goal of the Shadow that day was something that involved Washington but in a different direction.
Here’s some more about this event and book: