"A splendid work of social, military, and political history."--Carolyn E. Fick, Concordia University
"A fascinating portrait gallery of the British army's experiences in the Caribbean during the Napoleonic wars."--Edward Cox, Rice University
This social and political history depicts a military community being shaped and defined in an era of revolutionary change: the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars at the end of the 18th century. Within the framework of war and society, Roger Buckley gives us a detailed picture of the British West Indies army in the Caribbean theater, especially the manner in which the garrison affected, and was itself affected by, the Caribbean social, political, and economic landscape.
This first examination of the community of the British Army in the West Indies draws on archives in Europe, North America, and the West Indies, archaeological evidence from West Indian military sites, and previously unpublished contemporary drawings of garrison life. Buckley expands the scope of military history to encompass the complex linkages of the diverse military population to the surrounding environment and society. He draws comparisons with French, Dutch, and Danish colonial military experiences and surveys a broad range of hitherto little-studied aspects of garrison life--from the topographical and ecological bases of colonial warfare, to military justice, to army women and children, to deviant sexual behavior, to the military as an agent of social reform.
With an expanded focus and rich archival resources, Buckley builds a detailed, sophisticated, and colorful picture of an imperial military community in a hostile colonial environment defending Britain's vital Atlantic economy in the late 18th century.
Roger Norman Buckley, professor of history at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, is the author of Slaves in Red Coats and the editor of Haitian Journal of Lieutenant Howard; York Hussars, 1796-1798; Napoleonic War Journal of Captain Thomas Henry Browne, 1807-1816 (all nonfiction); Congo Jack: A Novel; and numerous articles and essays dealing with the military in the Caribbean.