Patrick K. O'Donnell

Articles by Patrick K. O'Donnell

Exclusive–O’Donnell: Victory or Death: America’s First Christmas

On Christmas Eve, General George Washington sat in his tent on the banks of the Delaware River and methodically wrote the same three words over and over on several small pieces of paper. He had decided on a daring plan: crossing the ice-choked Delaware River and mounting a surprise attack on the Hessian garrison at Trenton.

George Washington Crossing the Delaware

Exclusive–O’Donnell: American Thermopylae 1776

This elite unit of Marylanders, known as “Washington’s Immortals” or the “Bayonets of the Revolution” for their Thermopylae-like charge against a British stronghold, bought with their blood “an hour, more precious to American liberty than any other in its history.”

Battle of Long Island, 1858 Alonzo Chappel/Public Domain

Exclusive–O’Donnell: The Forgotten Bridge that Saved America

“Defend the bridge to the last extremity!” Washington shouted to his officers and men 245 years ago as he stared at the massive British army coiling in front of the stone arched bridge that stood between his men and their destruction.

The Seccond Battle of Trenton

Exclusive–O’Donnell: The American Crisis

In the fall of 1776, the United States faced complete collapse. In those dark days, Americans reached deep within, through their agency, to change the course of history.

The March to Valley Forge by William Trego

Exclusive–O’Donnell: How 25 Americans Stopped an Army

Two hundred and forty-five years ago, in a forgotten battle that saved Washington’s Army, a handful of American soldiers accomplished a feat exceptionally rare in history. They successfully prevented an amphibious landing by thousands of British soldiers.

The Battle of Long Island by Domenick D'Andrea for the state of Delaware and Maryland, 1776. Note: The Delaware Regiment at the Battle of Long Island.

Exclusive–O’Donnell: Bunker Hill: The Man Worth 500 Men

Two hundred and forty-six years ago this week, in one of America’s most sacred battles, hundreds of American patriots fought and died for their yet-to-be-born country. America suffered many losses in the Battle of Bunker Hill, but one of the greatest was the life of Patriot leader, Doctor Joseph Warren. 

Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull

Exclusive–Patrick K. O’Donnell: General Gage’s Gun Grab

Americans in 1775 faced an ammunition crisis—specifically a crucial shortage of gunpowder. “On Courage I know we have in abundance, conduct I hope we shall not want, but powder—where shall we get a sufficient supply?” John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife, Abigail.

The Battle of Lexington and Concord