Saturday, January 12, 2013

French and Indian War Reading

I've had several people ask me what I would recommend for reading on the French and Indian War (from a wargamers perspective).  I've managed to pull together a decent collection of books that cover everything from troops, battles, raids, and the conflict as a whole.  See below for some great reading.

The Siege of Fort William Henry
The Siege of Fort William Henry
A great read.  This book covers the units involved, how they came to not only be involved in the siege but how they came to North America.  From a wargaming perspective, this book was a very nice surprise as in gives excellent accounts of many key raids and skirmishes that occurred over the many years in the vicinity of Lake George.  Given my current project surrounding this siege I've been filled with a ton of scenarios and ideas for wargames for Muskets and Tomahawks just from this one book.

The "Rogers Rangers" Collection.
 The "Rogers Rangers" Collection
These fours books ("The History of Rogers Rangers Vol.1 - The Beginnings, Vol.2 - The First Green Berets, Vol.3 - Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers, and Vol.4 - The St. Francis Raid) are a collection that many like.  It was out of print and then reprinted on a limited run so you should be able to track them down at the moment.  These books are essentially the original notes, manuals, and such that was written "back in the day" ... so they give a complete account of the thinking of the time, orders, engagements, etc.

General Conflict and Campaign.
General Conflict and Campaign
Osprey offers four titles at the moment around the key battles/campaigns (Monongahela 1754-55, Ticonderoga 1758, Louisburg 1758, and Quebec 1759). All of these offer beautifully illustrated (as one expects from Osprey) pictures and detailed accounts of the engagements.  An excellent overall conflict book is "Empires Collide - The French and Indian War 1754-63" is an easy read and breaks the phases of the conflict down well.

All about Indians.
 About Indians
Again, Osprey delivers here with four titles: Indian Tribes of the New England Frontier, North American Indian Tribes of the Great Lakes, American Woodland Indians, and Tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy. Lots of pictures, body paint, scalps and background in all four of these books.  If I was to pick one from a wargamer perspective I would start with American Woodland Indians since it gives a good general account of the various tribes involved.

Rangers and American Colonial Troops.
Rangers and American Colonial Troops
The Osprey book American Colonial Ranger is a good wargamer level book that covers the introduction and development of the Rangers in the FIW.  Lots of pictures and reference information.  The three Osprey books, Colonial American Troops 1610-1774: 1, 2 and 3, cover the various troops contributed by the colonies over the several wars (King George's War, Queen Anne's War, French and Indian War, and so on).  Great pictures and information on the "provincials" that fought throughout the war in great numbers.

Fortifications and Specialist Troops.
Fortifications and Specialist Troops
Excellent details and pictures covering the many forts build by both the French and the British are available in the Osprey books "The Forts of Colonial North America" and "The Forts of New France" ... I for one got information from these for my Fort William Henry project.  Highlanders are ever so popular and the book to have on this topic is the Osprey book Highlanders in the French and Indian War.  Lastly is the Osprey book entitled "British Light Infantryman of the Seven Years' War - North America 1757-63" which gives a great account that topic.

Armies and Raids
Armies and Raids
The Osprey "RAID" series of books has provided me several great reads.  The best of these has been the "Tomahawk and Musket - French and Indian Raids in the Ohio Valley 1758" which is a great place to start for some larger games of Muskets and Tomahawks (these are the big raids that occurred, not small skirmishes).  The Osprey book "Louis XV's Army (5) Colonial and Naval Troops" gives account of the Compagnies Franches de la Marine and colonial regular units.  Lastly, for the famous General Wolfe you can get "Wolfe's Army" to cover the later adoptions made by the regulars in North America during the campaign to take Louisburg and Quebec.  "Montcalm's Army" covers the French units commanded by the famous French general who was there from the start and straight through until he died at Quebec.

That's all I have --- happy reading!


  1. Nice list. Allan Eckert's (heavily factually based) novels set on the western frontier (Wilderness Empire, The Frontiersman) provide some great descriptions of small actions in the F&I war as well as the AWI.

  2. A great selection - very useful recommendations - thanks!