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Patrick K. O’Donnell on ‘Washington’s Immortals’: ‘Mass Grave of the Men Who Saved America Is Still Unknown’

“The mass grave of these men is still unknown … the men that saved America. And that is what inspired me to write this book,” combat historian and bestselling author Patrick K. O’Donnell told Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon while discussing his book, Washington’s Immortals: The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution.

O’Donnell’s book tells the story of the “Immortal 400,” who can rightly claim to have saved the American Republic at its beginning with their lives:

In August 1776, little over a month after the Continental Congress had formally declared independence from Britain, the revolution was on the verge of a sudden and disastrous end. General George Washington found his troops outmanned and outmaneuvered at the Battle of Brooklyn, and it looked like there was no escape. But thanks to a series of desperate rear guard attacks by a single heroic regiment, famously known as the “Immortal 400,” Washington was able to evacuate his men and the nascent Continental Army lived to fight another day.

Today, only a modest, rusted and scarred metal sign near a dilapidated auto garage marks the mass grave where the bodies of the “Maryland Heroes” lie—256 men “who fell in the Battle of Brooklyn.” In Washington’s Immortals, best-selling military historian Patrick K. O’Donnell brings to life the forgotten story of this remarkable band of brothers. Known as “gentlemen of honour, family, and fortune,” they fought not just in Brooklyn, but in key battles including Trenton, Princeton, Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, and Yorktown, where their heroism changed the course of the war.

Drawing on extensive original sources, from letters to diaries to pension applications, O’Donnell pieces together the stories of these brave men—their friendships, loves, defeats, and triumphs. He explores their arms and tactics, their struggles with hostile loyalists and shortages of clothing and food, their development into an elite unit, and their dogged opponents, including British General Lord Cornwallis. And through the prism of this one group, O’Donnell tells the larger story of the Revolutionary War. Washington’s Immortals is gripping and inspiring boots-on-the-ground history, sure to appeal to a wide readership.

The book was extremely well received, and there’s more available on O’Donnell’s work here. The unit is also chronicled here as The Maryland 400:

WASHINGTON’S IMMORTALS has received sterling reviews from leading scholars of the American Revolution:

“Perhaps no war in American history has been more difficult to see through soldiers’ eyes than the Revolutionary War. Patrick O’Donnell brings their experiences to life for twenty-first century readers in a way that no other historian has managed to do, accomplishing for the Revolutionary War what Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers did for World War II. The 1st Maryland Regiment participated in some of the most important battles of the war, gradually progressing from ordinary to elite status. Its story is the story of how the people of the United States became free.”—Edward G. Lengel, editor in chief of The Papers of George Washington and author of General George Washington.

Breitbart News Daily airs from 6 AM to 9 AM Eastern weekdays on SiriusXM Patriot 125.

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