In a rack atop the 19th-century, glass-front bookcase in the Varnum Commander’s Office is a rare English Carbine, a scaled-down version of the British Land Pattern Musket, commonly known as the “Brown Bess”. From 1722 to 1838, the British Army used the Land Pattern worldwide and some were used by colonists as well.
While American women today serve in front-line duties in the armed forces, this wasn’t a common or accepted practice in the past. This article tells the stories of Deborah Sampson of the American Revolution and Kady Brownell in the U.S. Civil War. Click the link to read more about these American military heroes.
It’s been a while since we sat down with Varnum Continentals Vice President and Varnum House Museum Curator Barbara Weaver. A lot has happened at the historic house on the hill. Thanks to an extensive series of renovations funded through both individual donations and the generosity of charitable foundations, the home of General James Mitchell […]
Seventy-seven years ago this month, sixteen Mitchell B-25 (Model B) medium bombers were launched from the USS Hornet to attack the Japanese mainland: specifically, the capital city of Tokyo and other locations on the island of Honshu. The daring raid, coming just barely four months after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor was not only […]
There are few military exercises as thrilling as the charge of a cavalry unit, sabers flashing as they face off against the enemy. Of course, with today’s advanced military weaponry, the saber has been relegated to ceremonial use. However, as recently as the early days of World War II, you could have witnessed a cavalry […]
In August 2015, we shared the story of the first North Kingstowner to fall in combat in the American Civil War during the March 14, 1862 Battle of New Bern (also spelled as New Berne) in North Carolina. With the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum’s recent acquisition of artifacts relating to that battle, it seems like […]
The Great War had raged in Europe since 1914. President Woodrow Wilson, following the will of the majority of Americans, had valiantly sought to keep the United States neutral. But, Great Britain was a staunch ally of this country and there was a desire to help but not to become embroiled in the bitter battles […]
The story of one of Rhode Island’s best-kept World War II wartime secrets is briefly recounted in our book “World War Two Rhode Island” (The History Press; 2017). The material was drawn from a story written for these pages back in 2016. Now and then, I’ve been asked for more details about this tale, so […]
Three years ago, we shared this story about Albert Martin at the Alamo with you in Varnum News. Now, there is a new piece of information that may have come about as a result of Rhode Island calling the attention of our friends in Texas to an error in their memorial to the fallen heroes […]
Sitting on a display case in the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum’s “World Wars Room” is a Model M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). Introduced late in World War I and now known by infantrymen around the globe, the “BAR” was the product of the fertile mind of John Moses Browning. He is considered to be one […]