The Revolutionary Detective Is Here

Learn about author and historian Bob Mayers, his speaking events, and most of all about his insightful books and publications.

Middlebrook- The Revolutionary War Encampment That Saved America – Order online, at bookstores or from American History Press

The Revolutionary War encampments of George Washington’s Continental Army at Middlebrook and nearby Pluckemin, New Jersey, have been neglected in history. These places were critical to the American struggle during the Middle Atlantic campaigns. The highlands and surrounding valleys of this natural fortress was the location of two major encampments of Washington’s Continental Army. A harrowing seven weeks during the early summer of 1777, and during the entire winter of 1778-1779. What is astonishing is the American Army spent close to nine months here, yet this hub of the American Revolution languished in obscurity and virtually disappeared from national awareness for over 200 years. Unlike Valley Forge and Jockey Hollow, that have been so eulogized that they are familiar to most school children, this sacred land, where decisive events occurred that changed the course of the war, is now built over by suburban creep, rarely marked and fading from the collective American memory.

Historic Tales of 

These tales begin with the town’ s first residents – the native Americans and  span four centuries. They tell of Indian legends, colonial days, the American Revolution and the town’s industries, old homes and misfortunes. The little borough is nestled in a valley between the first and second ridges of the Watchung Mountains. Described by an early author as “the greenest place in New Jersey,” Watchung stretches from the crest of the First Watchung Mountain across fertile farmland, two lakes and creeks feeding into them Washington Valley to the Green Brook.

Historic Tales of Watchung from New Jersey Bayshore on Vimeo.

You might believe that everything fascinating, unusual and shocking is already known about the Revolutionary War in New Jersey. Butmany dreadful realities of warfare in the Garden State have been forgotten. Join Bob on Comcast TV as he rediscovers NJ battle and encampment sites, lost or neglected by history in Revolutionary New Jersey-Forgotten Towns and Crossroads of the American Revolution. 

Places where patriots fought and died are unmarked, shrouded in mystery and clouded in mythology. Some have entirely disappeared while others languish unnoticed.  Walk in the footsteps of Revolutionary War soldiers to feel, see and hear the action that occurred over 200 years ago. Learn the impact of topography. Familiar mountains, waterways, hills, rivers, roads, cities, forests and coastlines determined troop movements, battle sites, supply routes and created natural defenses.

Searching for Yankee Doodle-Washington’s Soldiers in the American Revolution  What inspired George Washington’s common soldiers, to endure appalling hardships during the most critical time in American history? This work, published by The American History Press, is one of few dedicated studies ever written that unravels the lives of the “grunts,”  “doughboys” and “GIs” of our most important war. The image of the common soldier was sanitized for more than 200 years as Americans cherished the golden myth of the patriotic citizen soldier. This book reveals that the Yankee Doodles were  largely driven by economics and many other non nationalistic motives. The lives of the soldiers, before, during and after the war are analyzed in original military records and personal documents.

The Forgotten Revolution, (Heritage Books, 2014) Battlefields, encampments and sites of many critical events of the Revolution have been lost or neglected by history. Man-made changes to terrain have been enormous since that time.  This work revives these forsaken locations with fresh research from original military records and on-site visits. Analysis of obscure documents ignored by earlier writers yielded many surprises. At each of these places “witnesses” people with special local knowledge were sought out.

The War Man, (Westholme Publishing, 2009) chronicles the life of patriot soldier, Corporal John Allison, a New York farm boy who joined the Continental Army in 1775 and who fought during the entire eight years of the war. Bob Mayers reconstructs  his  life in combat using letters, muster rolls, orderly books, service records, and oral family history. This soldier’s life before and after the war are equally fascinating.

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