Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.
It’s February 23, 1779. I’m with Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark and his Rangers as we approach Fort Vincennes in Southwestern Indiana.
JG: “Mr. Clark, what is your objective?”
GRC: “Mr. Gillespie, we will capture this British-controlled fort and open up the Indiana Territory west of the Mississippi and north of the Great Lakes.”
Parks Rangers did capture the fort and this victory helped secure the western flank of the American colonies, opening the door for westward expansion.
Near Carlisle, Indiana, the Westernmost Naval Battle of the Revolution historical marker reads, “On 25 February, 1779, Col. George Rogers Clark captured Ft. Sackville at Vincennes from the British. About 6 miles west, at Pointe Coupee on the Wabash River, on 2 March, 1779, Capt. Leonard Helm, commanding 3 boats and 50 volunteers from Vincennes, captured a reinforcement fleet of 7 boats, carrying 40 soldiers, valuable supplies, and Indian trade goods. This small naval battle completed destruction of British military strength in the Wabash Valley.”
John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.