10 Year Anniverary & New Releases Winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' Butterfly Cottage - Melanie B, Dogwood Plantation - Patty H R, Janet Grunst's winner is Connie S., Denise Weimer's Winner is Kay M., Naomi Musch's winner is Chappy Debbie, Angela Couch - Kathleen Maher, Pegg Thomas Beverly D. M. & Gracie Y., Christy Distler - Kailey B., Shannon McNear - Marilyn R.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Waterways of War Reviewed by Pat Iacuzzi

Waterways of War 
The Struggle for Empire 1754 -1763

Authors: Steve Benson & Ron Toelke
Publisher: Seaway Trail Inc.

What a book!
In August of 2012, Deb Marvin and I took a short vacation/research trip to Sacket’s Harbor, N.Y. to glean information, visit museums and see reenactments for the War of 1812, and to brainstorm ideas for books set in that time period. When we stopped into one of the beautiful museum homes in the village, I’d wandered into the gift shop and the cover of this book caught my eye. I don’t know why I’m drawn to this particular time period—but I suspect it has something to do with Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, a book I read as a child, and seeing the movie of the same name with Daniel Day Lewis ;).
I’d always enjoyed reading about the powerful and well-documented American Revolution, but I sought an earlier time; something more rugged and mysterious. The French and Indian War (considered the Seven Years War in Europe) seemed more deeply shrouded in the mists of time, much like the mists rising above the waters on the book’s cover painting, Departure at Daybreak by Robert Griffing (Fort Niagara 1769).
This book takes us down three paths to meet with exciting events in the War. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail, which hi-lights battles, and people of note, by way of Fort de la Presentation, Old Fort Niagara, Fort de la Presque Isle (Pennsylvania) and more. Don’t you love the French names?
From there we swing through central New York along the Revolutionary Byway (a tip of the hat to the American Revolution), to visit Fort Stanwix of the battle of Oriskany fame, near Rome, N.Y., further along, the home of Sir William Johnson, Johnson Hall State Historic site, and finally the beautiful Schenectady Stockade Historic District.
In the Lakes to Locks Passage chapters you’ll discover fascinating details about such places as Fort Edward and Rogers’ Island, where Rogers’ Rangers, the King’s Special Forces, whose guerrilla war tactics are practiced by our military’s special forces today, were stationed. Visit Fort William Henry of Last of the Mohicans fame, the Lake George shipwrecks, Crown Point Historic Site and much more.
Generously illustrated by Don Troiani (an illustrator who accurately depicts people from the early American time period) and other artists, you’ll find prints, maps and paintings of figures wearing authentically detailed period clothing and uniforms.     

I’ve only reviewed non-fiction books I felt deserved between four and five star ratings (five being the best). Hopefully they will take you to places you’d like to visit, and are historically accurate, enjoyable and beneficial for any research you might need. My rating for this book: Five Stars    

New Jersey Blues - Private, 1758 by Don Troiani


  1. More history for NY state history....homeschooling !!!
    Linda Finn

  2. Oh wow, Pat. You know, I'd just about pay the price of a plane ticket to come peruse your library! I'm off to find this book right now. It covers all the ground I've been tromping (and paddling) across in my imagination for the past few years. This post was better than a jolt of coffee this early morning (5:30am in Oregon!).

    1. And done. Thank you, Pat. I'm continuing to write about New York and this book covers all that ground, from Fort Stanwix to Fort William Henry. I'll have it in two days. I'm so excited!

  3. Very kewl! I've found Don Troiani's other works very helpful, so I might have to go hunt this one down as well, just for fun.

  4. Thank you Linda, Lori and Shannon for stopping in!

    I'm a visually-oriented person, so love anything that is generously illustrated. I can' say enough about the detailing in this book especially. Troiani has found his artistic nitch, while educating us all. If you need descriptions of soldiers uniforms for the French, English or colonials you'll find it here. And that's just a teensy amt. of info you'll discover.

    I was especially intrigued by early Schenectady (as far back as the massacre of 1690) and the Lake George shipwrecks.

    But never fear, in coming months, I'm heading south and west for ideas...

    p.s. this is a soft cover book and is reasonably priced on amazon.

  5. I remember it now. Dangerous to go shopping in museums and historic sites. (That shop had great books!)

    It sounds great. I'm fascinated by this period too but I'm trying to control myself and stick with War of 1812 for a few years!

    Some friends of mine are hopping up to Sackett's this weekend.
    Pat, you and I have to hit Fort Niagara soon.

  6. Thanks for the review! The War of 1812 is such a fascinating time period. I am currently finishing "Wispers in the Shadows" by Roseanna White. That is an excellent book.

  7. Fascinating, Pat! It sounds like you and Deb had a great time on your research trip. I can see why this book captured your attention and it sounds wonderful. I love that French and Indian War period.


Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!