Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Podcast Episode 59 - Remember The Ladies

There's an awful lot of testosterone on History's Trainwrecks. 

I tend to think it's because men are far more likely than women to self-sabotage in a big way. But as Abigail Adams told her husband John, we should always "remember the ladies." 

Samantha Wilcoxson, author of the phenomenal Women of the American Revolution, joins me to talk about her book and see how the stories we've always been told about the women of the founding generation are really just the beginning. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Podcast Episode 58 - Great Mind In History - George Washington

It occurred to me that we’ve been doing quite a lot of talking about George Washington in this series—or more accurately, talking AROUND George, so I thought it would be a good time to stop and focus on the man himself, and delve into what made him so darn indispensable.

I didn’t exactly HAVE a George Washington episode, but I knew someone who did.

If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of the Drinks With Great Minds in History Podcast. The show is not only lots of fun to listen to, but the host, Mr. DGMH, otherwise known as Zach Debacco, has a historical insight that I truly admire. His approach to his great minds in history is unique, and he comes up with brilliant revelations about these historical figures that I had never before considered.

It's a great show, and if you aren’t already subscribed to it, you should be. If it helps, I can tell you that Drinks With Great Minds in History is the only history podcast that Mrs. History’s Trainwrecks listens to.

With all that that implies.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Podcast Episode 57 - The Men Who Would Be Washington, Part VIII

Here I thought things would get better for General Charles Lee once he got loose from British captivity before the Battle of Monmouth Court House.

Nope. Because Charles just couldn't help himself. 

We wrap up our story of Charles Lee, and talk about why he's such a great historical trainwreck. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Podcast Episode 56 - The Men Who Would Be Washington, Part VII

Christmas 1776 wasn't such a great time for two American generals. George Washington was wrapping a Christmas present for the Hessian garrison at Trenton, New Jersey. He was going to cross the Delaware and drop it down their metaphorical chimney like some kind of badass Santa Claus.

Second in command Charles Lee had checked into a tavern and sent his dogs and his army down the road a ways. With only a few guards and a dirty shirt, he was cooling his heels while waiting to decide to follow Washington's orders to join up with him.

In the meantime, British General Cornwallis, who was way more scared of Lee than Washington, sent Charles's old regiment of dragoons to find him and capture him.

Which they did. Merry Christmas, Charles...

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Podcast Episode 55 - The Men Who Would Be Washington, Part VI

As Christmas, 1776 approached, it sure looked like the cause of American liberty was going to find a lump of coal under the tree.

The British had taken New York and had George Washington's army on the run. They had a massive force pointed right at Philadelphia, the American capital. The Continental Congress had placed their hopes in one man to swoop in and save them.

And it was NOT George Washington.

This gave General Charles Lee the idea that he could be the man of the hour, and then take George Washington's job away from him.


Ellis, Joseph J. “His Excellency: George Washington.” Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. 

George Washington’s Mount Vernon. “The ‘Indispensible Man’: Would the Revolution Have Succeeded Without George Washington?” Retrieved September 23, 2022 from 

McBurney, Christian M. “Kidnapping The Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott.” Westholme Publishing, 2014. 

Papas, Phillip. “Renegade Revolutionary: The Life of General Charles Lee.” New York University Press, 2014.


Monday, October 24, 2022

Podcast Episode 54 - The Men Who Would Be Washington, Part V

1776 was a great year for Charles Lee. He had overseen the defensive preparations in New York, Virginia, and North Carolina. The British didn't attack those places, which Charles called a win. He successfully led the defense of Charleston, South Carolina against a British assault, which he also put in his win column. 

Then he was ordered to New York, which was under serious threat from the British, and where he would be, for the first time in his Revolutionary War service, under the command of someone else. 

This wasn't one of Charles's strong suits. But his luck was holding, and he was greeted in New York as the savior of the cause. 

George Washington's luck, on the other hand, was pretty bad. The British had him trapped between a massive army and navy, and the Continentals were suffering major setbacks. Plus, he had to listen to the cheers of his men when the most battle-tested general in the army showed up. 

But George's luck was going to change come December. He was going to have a great Christmas. 

Charles Lee, on the other hand, was not. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Podcast Episode 53 - The Men Who Would Be Washington, Part IV

Brand new Major General Charles Lee was looking pretty darn indispensable in the early days of the American Revolution.

After the British abandoned Boston, their next move was unclear. The Continentals believed that the next attack would either hit Canada, New York City, or the Southern colonies.

It is worth noting that new General Charles Lee was appointed to each of these commands. He became the early Revolution's troubleshooter.

And there was a lot of trouble to shoot.

There were British Loyalists, runaway slaves, poorly equipped and trained Continental militia, and civilian governments who didn't seem to realize that the British were about to rain hell and damnation down on them.