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The Maryland 400 in the Battle of Long Island, 1776 Paperback – 28 Feb 2014

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About the Author

Linda Davis Reno is a retired federal executive. In 2007 Ms. Reno was awarded the Martha Washington Medal by the Maryland Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. She lives in Charlotte Hall, Maryland.

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
NOT a reliable source 26 July 2008
By A reader in Washington, D.C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately, despite the author's honorable intentions, this book is completely inaccurate and should not be taken as a reliable account of the "Maryland 400." It appears to be based entirely on sources found online rather than on original 18th-century documents.

Reno's list of the officers, men, and companies of the Maryland Battalion is all wrong - she relies mostly on a single muster roll she found in the Internet that reflects the composition of the regiment in early 1776, *not* in the late summer when it was at New York and had undergone major reorganization. She misidentifies 3 out of the 5 companies that formed the "400," as well as most of the officer corps. She also gets the casualties wrong (repeatedly), as well as the important details of the battle.

There are many, many original documents in the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore, etc. that give an accurate picture, but apparently Ms. Reno did not consult them, relying instead on a few incomplete and misleading sources that she found online.

In fact, if you read the book carefully, you will find that it is full of internal contradictions caused by this misunderstanding of the sources. A few weeks of actual archival research would have set the record straight.

Overall, this book is an example of the kind of history that can result when an author relies on "Google" research rather than hard work in the actual archives. It is sad to think that it may end up on the shelves of reputable libraries to mislead students, historians, and genealogists for generations to come. Rather than illuminating the true history of the "Maryland 400," as the author intended to do, she has succeeded only in obscuring it still further.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is a fascinating and well-written history. I highly recommend it. 6 Aug 2008
By Joyce L. Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In The Maryland 400 in the Battle of Long Island, 1776, author Linda Reno calls much needed attention to the important role her native Maryland played in the American Revolution. Too long ignored as an unremarkable little state, Maryland is, to the contrary, a little state with a giant history. But few Americans know that history, and too many transplant revisionists with political axes to grind, in addition to having culturally cleansed Maryland, have reduced her tumultuous past to a dull fiction. The Marylanders who fought at the Battle of Long Island in the summer of 1776, as Walt Whitman once observed, were "the flower of some of the finest families of the South." Beautifully attired in scarlet and buff uniforms or robust hunting shirts, their courage unmatched, they, as one participant in the battle wrote, "shamed" the Northern troops, many of whom displayed cowardice and fled the British and their barbarous hirelings, the Hessians. The Marylanders valiantly held their ground against superior numbers who, in the main, fully intended to give no quarter to the Americans.

In this lively account of the battle that almost cost the colonies their freedom, Ms. Reno emphasizes that "much work remains to be done" to determine just who the Maryland 400 were. Presenting, company by company, her findings to date, she offers the caveat that "the search continues." What is certain is that a group of young Marylanders un-wavering in the face of unspeakable butchery took their stand at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, New York on August 27, 1776, winning the affection and gratitude of General George Washington and a nascent American Republic that would have died aborning were it not for their heart-breaking sacrifice.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Rehash of Various Sources, Personal Bios on Participants, Small Value 5 July 2009
By David M. Dougherty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For those readers who want to read about what Colonel Smallwood's Maryland Regiment did at the Battle of Long Island/Brooklyn, the book is ten pages long (pages 20-29), and most of that is made up of quotations from other sources. The majority of the book consists of muster rolls from the formation of the regiment and very brief identifications or biographies of the personnel, both officers and enlisted men.

The stated goal of the author in providing a list with biographies of the men of Smallwood's Regiment, particularly those that gave their lives for their country, is laudable and she is to be commended for her efforts. Unfortunately, I felt the work missed its mark and fell far short of the goal. Even the coverage of officers like Smallwood and Gist could have been greatly expanded and provided something of true interest to historians. For example, exactly what did Gist do at the Battle of Camden?

With respect to the battle itself and the sacrifice of the "Maryland 400", the accounts are conflicting and the author does little to resolve the issues. She repeats many times that 256 men were killed, then were killed, wounded or captured, but out of Gist's command of 357 men, 213 survived. So where did the number "400" come from, and if 256 killed is correct, which commands did they come from? No doubt these answers will always remain a mystery due to the lack of contemporaneous sources, but a more thorough examination of the sources could have made this work better.

In addition there is the inclusion of obviously false information, even when given as quotations from earlier sources. The paragraph on Morgan's riflemen and hunting shirts on pages 45-46 is a case in point. Morgan's men were paroled by the British at Elizabethtown Point, New Jersey, into American control on September 24, 1776, and there were NO British garrisons to pass by as they marched south. Nor were they dressed in much other than rags, having worn out their clothing on the march to Quebec (journals state they were nearly naked before Quebec), re-clothed themselves from captured clothing from British prisoners and local Canadians, and then received a linen shirt from General Carleton shortly before being paroled. The costume depicted is sheer fantasy and the riflemen were not armed with tomahawks and knives when paroled. Nor did they march south over the roads in Indian file. Etc. etc.

There is much scholarship to be performed here and much critical analysis. The book is a reasonable starting point for much further work, but by itself does not make the grade.

I wish I could have given it a higher rating as I believe this type of effort should be recognized and rewarded.
Great Book to Promote Maryland History 7 April 2014
By Team 99 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a historian and genealogist, I found Reno’s book to be very interesting, easy to read, and it promotes ones thinking to learn more of the MD 400. Although in this world of internet revolution, there are many views related to various subjects. She lives in MD, is a noted genealogist as evidence by her Martha Washington Award and a frequent speaker to historical organizations. Her notes and references are numerous. The overall theme is the sacrifice this group of Patriots played in defending New York during the Rev War. Few if any people in America would have any knowledge of this event in Brooklyn today. It is just amazing. So if you are looking for and easy read, focused, related to a group of individuals not well known to others and their major contribution to America…..put it in your chart. Thanks Linda for a GREAT book!! ....
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An Interesting Read 5 Dec 2008
By Daniel M. Hayward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a relatively new resident of Maryland, there is much I do not know about the history of this great state. But I now have a new appreciation of the significant role that Marylanders played in establishing this nation. I found Ms. Reno's approach to presenting this fascinating topic to be both easy to follow and entertaining enough to hold my interest.

I highly recommend it.
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