Cover image for Encyclopedia of battles in North America, 1517 to 1916
Encyclopedia of battles in North America, 1517 to 1916
Purcell, L. Edward.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts On File, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvi, 383 pages : maps ; 29 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
E46.5 .P87 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
E46.5 .P87 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Maps supplement descriptive narratives of more than 350 battles, from battles over Spanish conquest in 1517 to Mexican border raids in 1916, providing information on each battle's context, important leaders, and outcome.

Author Notes

L. Edward Purcell, a historian, is the author, coauthor, or editor of fourteen books, including "Who Was Who in the American Revolution" & "Encyclopedia of Battles in North America: 1517 to 1916" for Facts on File. He has taught history at several colleges & universities & his journalism has been nationally syndicated. He lives in Lexington, KY.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

There have been numerous attempts to catalog and analyze important battles, including Dictionary of Battles: The World's Key Battles from 405 B.C. to Today (Holt, 1987) and Decisive Battles of the U.S.A. (Da Capo, 1993). This one is similar in format and approach, but it covers a more limited time period (1517^-1916). The authors define a battle as "an armed, violent conflict between two opposing forces of appreciable size, the outcome of which was seen at the time, or has been by historians since, to be significant." And they acknowledge that there have been "thousands of battles between Indian groups since prehistoric times in North America, but we can discover little about most of them." The table of contents is actually an A^-Z list of entries, from Adobe Walls (1874, Texas, Buffalo War) to Yorktown (1781, Virginia, American Revolution). Most of the more than 350 entries are several paragraphs long (the longest, such as Gettysburg and Tenochtitlan, are two or three pages), providing narrative descriptions of the battles within the context of their wars. Many are accompanied by black-and-white line maps. The appendixes include an "Alphabetical List of Battles" (noting date, place, and war), a "Chronological List of Battles," a "List of Battles by War," "Battlefield Sites in Alphabetical Order" (listing those currently open to the public), and "Battlefield Sites by Region" (showing contact addresses and phone numbers). The authors have written this source for the nonspecialist, and the glossary helps with terms like abatis (a log-strewn obstacle guarding a fortification), cottonclads (wooden gunboats of the Confederate navy whose decks were heavily barricaded with cotton bales), and redan (a two-sided, V-shaped projection from the wall of a fortification, often used to enclose an artillery battery), as well as the more familiar battalion, cavalry, and regiment. In addition to the "Further Reading" portions of each entry, there is an 18-page bibliography, arranged by war. The index denotes page numbers for main entries in bold type. Libraries already owning the older works mentioned above or similar items might not need this volume for its information, but its readability and reasonable price make it worth considering.

Library Journal Review

L. Edward Purcell (Who Was Who in the American Revolution) and Sarah Purcell (The Vice Presidents: A Biographical Dictionary) succinctly describe nearly all the military and naval battles that have taken place on the North American continent. Entries are in alphabetical order by battle name, from Adobe Walls to Yorktown, each one with bibliographic references. Many were from wars that are vaguely remembered today, if at all (e.g., the Pequot War of 1637 or the Russian-Indian War of 1804 in Alaska). There are cross references to alternate names, a comprehensive bibliography, a glossary, 50 maps, and indexes by war, year, and geographic area. Each battle is placed in context, while the authors describe opposing forces, commanders, casualties, and outcomes. Specialists may occasionally find fault, yet excellent writing and composition make the book appropriate for casual readers and students. Similar information is available in other sources but without the up-to-date references and other guides. This well-conceived reference resource is suitable for all libraries."Edward Gibson, Lincoln Univ. Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The Purcells' useful reference describes more than 350 battles that took place during the four centuries between the first Spanish hostilities with the Maya at Champoton and a small fight between the US Army and some Mexican civilians at Parral in 1916. Although not every skirmish is covered, all but highly specialized readers should be pleased by the scope, which includes Canada and Central America, as well as naval engagements taking place with 250 miles of the coasts. Battles between Native Americans are also treated, at least insofar as information is available. Since the authors themselves have written all entries, there is a consistency often missing in works produced by diverse contributors. The style is clear, avoiding military jargon, and analysis is even-handed, without the hidden arguments and agendas sometimes encountered, making the book easy to read for nonspecialists. Uncluttered and intelligible maps accompany many entries and there are extensive cross-references. Finally, appendixes listing battles by chronology, by war, and by geographical region, as well as a brief but excellent bibliography, round out the work. A model of its kind, useful for undergraduates and general readers alike. P. L. Holmer; Southern Connecticut State University



Encyclopedia of Battles in North America is the only one-volume resource to offer comprehensive coverage of battles from all wars and conflicts in North America from the first European landings to the twentieth century. In an authoritative yet lively manner, the authors provide brief descriptions of 400 individual battles that explain: The context of the engagement The opposing forces and commanders The narrative of the fighting The outcome and cost in casualties. Suggestions for further reading accompany each entry. Detailed appendixes list battles chronologically, alphabetically, and by war, and list historic battlefield sites, alphabetically and by region. A general bibliography and a complete index are included. Meticulously researched and unmatched in its scope, the encyclopedia is an invaluable reference for high school students, military history buffs, and general readers. Among the battles profiled are: Champoton: Mexico, Spanish Conquest (1517) Mystic River: Connecticut, Pequot War (1637) Jamestown: Virginia, Bacon's Rebellion (1676) Fort Beausejour: Canada, French and Indian War (1755) Fort Lee (Fort Constitution): New Jersey, American Revolution (1776) Sitka: Alaska, Russian-Indian War (1804) U.S.S. Constitution vs. H.M.S. Guerriere: Off Nova Scotia, Canada (War of 1812) Alamo: Texas, Texas War of Independence (1836) Monterrey: Mexico, Mexican-American War (1846) Antietam: Maryland, American Civil War (1862) Gettysburg: Pennsylvania, American Civil War (1863) Killdeer Mountain: North Dakota, Sioux Wars (1864) Adobe Walls: Texas, Buffalo War (1874) Celaya: Mexico, Mexican Revolution (1915). Excerpted from Encyclopedia of Battles in North America: 1517 to 1916 by L. Edward Purcell, Sarah J. Purcell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xv
A to Z Entriesp. 1
Adobe Wallsp. 3
Agua Prietap. 4
Alamancep. 4
Alamop. 5
U.S.S. Alfred v. H.M.S. Glasgowp. 6
Allatoona Passp. 6
Annapolis Royal (Port Royal)p. 6
Antietam (Sharpsburg)p. 7
Ash Hollow (Blue Lake)p. 10
Atlantap. 10
Augusta (1780)p. 12
Augusta (1781)p. 12
Bad Axe Riverp. 14
Ball's Bluffp. 15
Batochep. 15
Baton Rougep. 16
Bear Paw Mountainsp. 17
Bear Riverp. 17
Beaufort (Port Royal Island)p. 18
Beaver Damsp. 18
Beecher's Islandp. 19
Belmontp. 19
Benningtonp. 20
Bentonvillep. 21
Big Bethelp. 22
Big Black Riverp. 22
Big Hole Basinp. 23
Big Meadowsp. 24
Billingsportp. 24
Black Mingo Creekp. 24
Blackstocksp. 25
Bladensburgp. 25
Bloody Brook (Pocumtuck, Deerfield)p. 26
Bloody Swamp (Bloody Marsh, St. Simon's Island)p. 27
Blue Licksp. 28
Blue Savannahp. 28
Bound Brookp. 28
Brandy Station (Fleetwood Hill, Beverley's Ford)p. 29
Brandywinep. 30
Briar Creekp. 31
Brice's Cross Roads (Brice's Creek Roads, Guntown, Tishomingo Creek)p. 32
Bristoe Stationp. 32
Buena Vistap. 33
Bull Run, First (Manassas)p. 35
Bull Run, Second (Manassas)p. 37
Bull's Ferryp. 39
Bunker Hill (Breed's Hill)p. 39
Bushy Run (Edge Hill)p. 41
Calderon Bridge (Puente de Calderon)p. 42
Camdenp. 42
Cameronep. 45
Camp Texas (Fort Texas)p. 46
Cedar Creekp. 46
Cedar Mountainp. 47
Cedarsp. 48
Celayap. 48
Cempoallanp. 49
Cerro Gordop. 50
Chamblyp. 52
Champion's Hillp. 52
Champotonp. 53
Chancellorsvillep. 54
Chantilly (Ox Hill)p. 55
Chapultepecp. 56
Charleston (Sullivan's Island)p. 57
Charlestonp. 59
Charlottep. 60
Chateaugay (Chateauguay River)p. 60
Chattanooga (Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge)p. 61
Cheat Mountain (Elkwater)p. 63
Cherry Valleyp. 63
U.S.S. Chesapeake v. H.M.S. Shannonp. 64
Chesapeake Bayp. 64
Chesapeake Capesp. 65
Chickamaugap. 66
Chickasaw Bluffs (Chickasaw Bayou)p. 67
Chippewap. 67
Chrysler's Farmp. 69
Churubuscop. 70
Cloyd's Mountainp. 71
Cold Harborp. 71
Columbusp. 72
Combahee Ferryp. 73
U.S.S. Congress v. H.M.S. Savagep. 73
U.S.S. Constitution v. H.M.S. Guerrierep. 74
Contreras (Padieras)p. 74
Cooch's Bridge (Iron Hill)p. 75
Corinthp. 76
Cowan's Fordp. 76
Cowpensp. 77
Crampton's Gapp. 79
The Crater (Petersburg Mine Assault)p. 79
Cross Keys (Union Church)p. 80
Dade's Battlep. 82
Danbury Raidp. 82
Drewry's Bluffp. 83
Emuckfau Creekp. 85
Enitachopco Creekp. 86
Eutaw Springsp. 86
Fair Oaks (Seven Pines)p. 88
Fallen Timbersp. 89
Falling Watersp. 90
Farmville and Highbridgep. 90
Fetterman Fightp. 91
Fishdam Fordp. 91
Fisher's Hillp. 92
Fishing Creek (Catawba Ford)p. 92
Five Forksp. 93
Fort Annep. 94
Fort Beausejourp. 94
Fort Carolinep. 95
Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomeryp. 95
Fort Cumberlandp. 96
Fort Donelsonp. 97
Fort Erie, Firstp. 98
Fort Erie, Secondp. 99
Fort Fisher (Terry's Expedition)p. 99
Fort Frontenacp. 100
Fort Georgep. 101
Fort Henryp. 101
Fort Keyserp. 102
Fort Lee (Fort Constitution)p. 102
Fort McHenryp. 102
Fort Mercer (Red Bank)p. 103
Fort Mifflinp. 104
Fort Mimsp. 105
Fort Mottep. 105
Fort Necessity (Great Meadows)p. 106
Fort Niagarap. 106
Fort Pillowp. 107
Fort Pulaskip. 108
Fort Ridgelyp. 109
Fort Stanwixp. 109
Fort Stedmanp. 110
Fort Stephensonp. 111
Fort Sumterp. 111
Fort Ticonderoga (Fort Carillon)p. 112
Fort Ticonderoga (1775)p. 113
Fort Ticonderoga (July 1777)p. 113
Fort Ticonderoga (September 1777)p. 115
Fort Wagner (Battery Wagner)p. 115
Fort Washingtonp. 116
Fort Watsonp. 117
Fort William Henryp. 117
Franklinp. 118
Franklin's Crossing (Deep Run)p. 119
Fredericksburgp. 119
Frenchtown (River Raisin)p. 121
Front Royalp. 122
Gaines's Millp. 124
Galvestonp. 125
Garnett's and Golding's Farmp. 125
Germantownp. 126
Gettysburgp. 128
Globe Tavern (Weldon Railroad, Six Mile House)p. 131
Glorieta Passp. 131
Gloucesterp. 132
Goliadp. 133
Great Bridgep. 133
Great Savannahp. 134
Great Swampp. 134
Green Springp. 135
Guilford Courthousep. 136
Gwynn Islandp. 137
Hanging Rockp. 139
Hanover Courthousep. 140
Harlem Heightsp. 140
Harmar's Defeatp. 141
Harpers Ferryp. 142
Haw River (Pyle's Defeat)p. 143
Helenap. 144
Hillsborough Raidp. 144
Hobkirk's Hillp. 145
Holly Springsp. 145
Horseshoe Bendp. 146
Hubbardtonp. 147
Irish Bend (Bayou Teche)p. 148
Island Number 10p. 149
Iukap. 149
Jamestown (1622)p. 150
Jamestown (1676)p. 151
Johnstownp. 152
Julesburgp. 152
Kernstown, Firstp. 153
Kernstown, Secondp. 154
Kettle Creekp. 154
Killdeer Mountainp. 155
King's Mountainp. 155
Kip's Bayp. 157
Klock's Fieldp. 157
Knoxville (Fort Sanders)p. 157
Lake Erie (Put-in-Bay)p. 159
Lake George (Bloody Pond)p. 160
Lake Okeechobeep. 161
Lazarop. 162
Lenud's Ferryp. 162
Lexington and Concordp. 163
Lexingtonp. 164
Little Bighorn (Custer's Last Stand, Greasy Grass)p. 165
Lochry's Defeatp. 167
Long Islandp. 168
Long Saultp. 169
Louisbourg (1745)p. 169
Louisbourg (1758)p. 170
Lundy's Lanep. 171
Lynchburgp. 172
Mackinac Island (Fort Michilimackinac)p. 173
Malvern Hillp. 174
McDowellp. 174
Mechanicsville (Ellison's Mill)p. 175
Memphisp. 176
Mesa (La Mesa)p. 176
Milk Creekp. 176
Mill Springs (Logan Cross Road)p. 177
Minisinkp. 178
Mobile Bayp. 178
Molino del Reyp. 179
Monck's Cornerp. 180
U.S.S. Monitor v. C.S.S. Virginia (Monitor v. Merrimack)p. 180
Monmouthp. 181
Monocacyp. 183
Monongahela (Braddock's Defeat)p. 184
Monterreyp. 185
Montrealp. 186
Moore's Creek Bridgep. 187
Munfordvillep. 187
Mystic Riverp. 188
Nashvillep. 190
New London Raidp. 191
New Marketp. 191
New Orleans (1815)p. 192
New Orleans (1862)p. 194
New Ulmp. 195
Newportp. 195
Newtownp. 196
Ninety Sixp. 197
La Noche Triste (Tenochtitlan)p. 198
North Anna River (Hanover Junction, Jericho Mills, Taylor's Bridge)p. 199
Oak Grove (King's Schoolhouse)p. 201
Ocean Pond (Olustee)p. 202
Okolonap. 202
Oriskanyp. 203
Otumbap. 203
Palo Altop. 205
Paolip. 207
Parker's Cross Roadsp. 207
Parker's Ferryp. 207
Parralp. 208
Paulus Hookp. 208
Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern)p. 209
U.S.S. Peacock v. H.M.S. Epervierp. 210
Pell's Pointp. 210
Pensacolap. 211
Perryvillep. 211
Petersburg (1781)p. 212
Petersburg (1864-1865)p. 213
Philippip. 213
Pilot Knob (Fort Davidson)p. 214
Plattsburg Bay (Lake Champlain, Plattsburg)p. 214
Pleasant Hill Landing (Blair's Landing)p. 216
Point Pleasantp. 217
Port Gibsonp. 217
Port Hudsonp. 218
Port Republicp. 219
Port Royal (Annapolis Royal)p. 220
Port Royal Sound (Forts Beauregard and Walker)p. 220
Potonchanp. 221
Prairie Grovep. 221
Princetonp. 222
Pueblap. 223
Puebla (Cinco de Mayo)p. 224
Quebec (Plains of Abraham)p. 226
Quebecp. 227
Queenstonp. 228
Quinby Bridgep. 230
Quintan's Bridgep. 230
Ramseur's Millp. 231
Raymondp. 232
Resaca de la Palma (Resaca de Guerrero)p. 232
Rich Mountainp. 233
Richmondp. 233
Ridgewayp. 234
Roanoke Islandp. 234
Rocky Mountp. 235
Rosebud Creekp. 235
Rush Springs (Rush Creek)p. 236
Sabine Crossroads (Mansfield)p. 237
Sabine Pass (Fort Griffin)p. 238
Sackets Harborp. 238
Sacramento Riverp. 239
St. Augustine (1702)p. 240
St. Augustine (1740)p. 241
St. Charlesp. 242
St. Clair's Defeatp. 242
St. Denisp. 243
St. Eustachep. 244
St. John's (St. Jean's) (May 17, 1775)p. 244
St. John's (St. Jean's) (September 5-November 2, 1775)p. 245
San Gabrielp. 245
San Jacintop. 246
San Pascualp. 247
Sand Creekp. 248
Sandusky (Crawford's Defeat)p. 248
Santa Fep. 249
Saratoga, First (Freeman's Farm)p. 249
Saratoga, Second (Bemis Heights)p. 251
Savage's Station (Allen's Farm, Peach Orchard)p. 253
Savannah (1778)p. 254
Savannah (1779)p. 254
Sayler's Creekp. 256
Shiloh (Pittsburgh Landing)p. 257
Sitkap. 259
Slim Buttesp. 260
South Mountainp. 260
Spencer's Tavernp. 261
Spotsylvaniap. 261
Springfieldp. 262
Springfield Arsenalp. 263
Stones River (Murfreesboro)p. 264
Stono Ferryp. 266
Stony Creek (Stoney Creek)p. 266
Stony Pointp. 267
Strongholdp. 267
Summit Springsp. 268
Talladegap. 269
Tallashatcheep. 270
Tarrant's Tavernp. 270
Tenochtitlanp. 270
Thames (Moraviantown)p. 273
Three Rivers (Trois Rivieres)p. 274
Throg's Neck (Throg's Point)p. 274
Tippecanoep. 275
Tlaxcalap. 276
Trentonp. 277
Trevilian Stationp. 278
U.S.S. Trumbull v. Wattp. 279
U.S.S. Trumbull v. H.M.S. Irisp. 279
Tupelo (Harrisburg)p. 279
Valcour Islandp. 282
Veracruzp. 283
Vicksburgp. 285
Vincennesp. 287
Wahab's Plantationp. 289
Washitap. 289
Waxhawsp. 290
Waynesborop. 291
Wetzell's Fordp. 291
White Oak Swamp (Glendale)p. 292
White Plainsp. 292
Whitemarshp. 293
The Wildernessp. 293
Williamsburgp. 294
Williamson's Plantationp. 295
Wilson's Creek (Oak Hill)p. 295
Winchester, Firstp. 296
Winchester, Secondp. 296
Winchester, Third (Opequon Creek)p. 297
Wolf Mountainp. 298
Wood Lake (Lone Tree Lake)p. 298
Wounded Kneep. 299
Wyoming Valleyp. 299
Yellow Tavernp. 301
Yorktownp. 302
Glossaryp. 305
Appendix 1 Alphabetical List of Battlesp. 313
Appendix 2 Chronological List of Battlesp. 321
Appendix 3 List of Battles by Warp. 329
Appendix 4 Battlefield Sites in Alphabetical Orderp. 335
Appendix 5 Battlefield Sites Listed by Regionp. 337
Bibliographyp. 345
Indexp. 363