New Book Provides Details of Invasions and Episodes of Fighting on U.S. Soil, from California to Maine, in Nebraska, Iowa, Washington, D.C. and beyond
Have you ever wondered why some towns in Texas have French names? Or why there’s a statue of a Shawnee chief at the U.S. Naval Academy? Or what coastal wildlife refuges have to do with American fears of invasion? And what the Olive Oil Riot in Montana was really all about?
American Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil by Christopher Kelly and Stuart Laycock (History Invasions Press, August 2017) has the answers to these intriguing questions, and many more.
All are rooted in one often-overlooked fact:
the United States of America, which throughout history has invaded dozens upon dozens of other countries from Normandy in 1944 to Iraq in 2003, has itself also been invaded on countless occasions. Americans are often resistant to this notion. Yet, ever since humans first set foot on the North American continent, they have explored, discovered, established boundaries—and subsequently invaded—all across the territory we now call the United States.
In America Invaded, Kelly and Laycock provide a snapshot of the waves of invasion — qualified as episodes of fighting on U.S. soil — that have touched all fifty American states and Washington D.C. Drawing on years of meticulous research including a drive through 36 states, they chronicle some of the many explorations and invasions that founded or destroyed towns, that set and reset state lines, and that shaped the peoples and culture of this nation.
Readers will learn how:
- Czarist Russia invaded California
- Confederates invaded Vermont from Canada during the Civil War
- Also during the Civil War, Union troops clashed with Copperheads (Democrats who opposed the war) in Charleston, Illinois
- Japan invaded the Aleutian Islands, shelled the California coast, and bombed the forests of Oregon in World War II
- Japanese balloon bombs rained down on at least 15 western states during World War II, including Colorado, Washington, California, Texas, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa
- Six Americans and more than one hundred and twenty Mexicans were killed in a border skirmish known as the Battle of Ambos Nogales in Arizona in 1918
…And much more
Prof. Andrew Roberts, author of Napoleon; A Life, says, “Christopher Kelly and Stuart Laycock have once again pulled off a remarkable feat of fascinating scholarship. What an inspired idea to look at how warfare has touched each state of the Union individually, reminding us simultaneously of the proud American warrior tradition and of the sometimes brutal and bloody birth pangs of the USA.”
Readers of America Invaded will be reminded of the fluidity of political boundaries of the states. New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont were eventually detached from Massachusetts. West Virginia was carved out of Virginia during the Civil War.
The website America Invaded includes essential tourist information about sites connected to American military history in all fifty states and Washington D.C., and all this information can be found also in the book.