Author: Arthur Loughry
Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc. (2014)
Binding: Paperback, 282 pages
Reading “Buckskin Scots” reminds me of Herman Wouk’s epic “Winds of War” where the principal characters are participants in the major events that shaped the war.This historical book is an epic story of the American Revolution, complete with cunning conspiracy, suspenseful espionage, hot combat action and heart-warming romance.
Art Loughry skillfully writes a saga about a Scottish family immersed in the American Revolutionary War.The patriarch, John McKenzie, joins the British Army to command a unit in Canada in 1762.His action is not that of loyalty to the king, but a ruse to escape poverty and the king’s tyranny in Scotland.
John retires from the British Army shortly after the war in America begins and relocates to Philadelphia where he is commissioned a Brigadier General in the Continental Army.Although his oldest son is a British naval officer, his youngest son joins him as a Ranger company commander and his daughter Mary organizes an effective spy network in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The historical characters with whom John McKenzie interrelates include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Lafayette, Nathaniel Greene, Alexander Hamilton, and a host of other American leaders. As the book moves to and from macro and micro looks at the war, one gets a true feel for the difficulties faced in a vast territory of sparsely settled colonies waging war for America’s Independence.
John’s military experience and insights are valued by Washington who dispatches him to various flashpoints in the war from northern New York in 1777, to the defense of Philadelphia in 1777-78, to the Carolinas in 1780, to the critical victory at Yorktown in 1781. His skill and leadership on the battlefield, despite losing an arm fighting the British in the highlands of Scotland, is an inspiration to his men and a pivotal factor in besting his adversaries.
Much of the well written story focuses on the home front, from the daily life of the era to cajoling Congress to release back pay for troops in the field , to the uncertainty of how much to trust a neighbor.
Stories of a warrior for liberty and a family’s struggle to survive wartime hardships combine to make “Buckskin Scots” an exciting and enjoyable read.
Reviewed by: Joe Epley (2014)
The Scottish Mackenzie's escape from poverty and an oppressive King by joining the English army in Canada. They go to America, and fight for independence. They are patriots, learning the price is high in blood, separation, and distrust of friends. Along with victories come defeats and people trying to live out of harm's way. The English stall their withdrawal until a patriot offers a solution, sending the English army and loyalists from American soil.