The British fort at Stony Point, NY was “one of the most heavily-defended fortresses in North America.” The attackers had to somehow make it through the “abatis — pointed, blade-like, wooden stakes that were waiting for them, poised to tear into the flesh and lacerate the limbs of any man who attempted to penetrate the British defenses. Until the abatis was removed, the rest of the assault force would be unable to enter the fort.”
The force Washington sent to accomplish this task consisted of twenty men. The name of the group was “Forlorn Hope.” The Forlorn Hope “would use the axes to slowly hack their way through the timbers while under constant fire from the enemy. If they made it through alive, they would have to begin the process again and chop through yet another row of thick abatis, which guarded a fortification bristling with guns.” The leader of this group was a Marylander, Major Jack Steward.
This book is absolutely enthralling. Which is why she’s reading at such a crawl. (She wonders why they chose ‘Forlorn Hope’ as the group’s name? She would have given the group a name with more positive vibes: ‘Forever Hope’ or ‘Always Hope’)