This is the ideal handbook for recreating the frontier scout or
spy, including details of the dress, equipment and material culture
of these frontiersmen. The author focuses narrowly on the Pennsylvania
and Virginia frontier during the time of the American Revolution.
In keeping his focus narrow, Rundorff paints a picture that is as
accurate as possible, primarily utilizing Revolutionary War pension
records and the Draper Manuscripts. Defending the Backcountry includes
many quotations from these sources, and others, as the author fleshes
out the details of the dress, equipment and material culture of
Beginning with a concise historical background, Rundorff then discusses
official military operations. He also defines the terms used in
this book as he differentiates between scouts, spies, rangers and
the like. Other chapters discuss people and places that are intimately
connected to frontier scouts and spies. Of special interest is the
chapter on the hunting shirt, a topic of much debate over the years.
Rundorff presents a clear and accurate portrayal of the evolution
of the hunting shirt in 18th century America. Defending the Backcountry
includes an excellent bibliography, should one wish to do further
research, as well as twenty-two pension applications of men serving
as scouts and spies on the frontier during the Revolution. While
no book can answer all of the questions we have, Defending the Backcountry
is a valuable addition to our modern-day efforts to understand and
recreate this era and the hardy frontiersmen who lead the way.
Paperback, 6" x 9", 132 pages, photographs, maps, biblio., $16.00