Terry Brighton visits the island of Madeira to explore how the wine that fueled the British Empire became the wine of the American Revolution.
On September 14, 1787, George Washington - along with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison - celebrated signing the United States Constitution with tankards of Madeira wine. In January 1950, Winston Churchill took refuge on the island of Madeira as the British Empire collapsed. He consoled himself with a bottle of vintage Madeira wine produced when Washington was President of the United States.
The British Empire was fueled by Madeira wine. A single Royal Navy ship could take on 24,000 pints for use of the crew during a long patrol. The British Army in Bengal consumed 5,461,280 pints in a single year. But Madeira became the wine of the American Revolution. Drinking it was seen as an act of resistance to British rule. And when Washington became the first President of the United States in 1789, he made Madeira the First Wine.
Battles and skirmishes of the Revolutionary War fought from the saddle - how Britain's elite Light Dragoons clashed with George Washington's army.
The 16th and 17th Light Dragoons were the only regular British cavalry regiments to fight in the Revolutionary War. Redcoat Cavalry is a blow-by-blow account of their battle against George Washington's army. In 1776 the men of these elite regiments caused such trouble that Washington put a bounty on their heads: "The General observing that the Army seems unacquainted with the enemy's Light Horse, and does not oppose them with alacrity ... as an encouragement the General offers 100 Dollars for every Trooper, with his horse, which shall be brought in."
Terry Brighton uses original regimental sources to reveal the role of the 16th and 17th Light Dragoons in the Revolutionary War, from the British considering the Americans to be "the worst soldiers in the world," through acknowledging them as "a formidable enemy," to final defeat.
The arrest and embarrassment of the Confederate President
On May 10, 1865, one mile north of Irwinville, Georgia, Jefferson Davis was arrested by Union troops. But, as The New York Times trumpeted, this was neither a fight to the end nor a dignified surrender: DAVIS TAKEN - He Puts on His Wife's Petticoats and Tries to Sneak into the Woods.
In the weeks that followed, broadsheet cartoons portrayed Davis wearing female clothing - a dress and petticoats - and the final months of the Confederacy were dogged by Northern hilarity and Southern denials. In Petticoat President, Terry Brighton takes the reader back to 1865 to view the arrest through the eyes of Union and Confederate witnesses, and reveals what really happened when Union troops stormed the Davis camp near Irwinville.