Challenge Words

Challenge Words for The 14th Colony:

George Washington’s Planned Invasions of East Florida

Chapter Two: Why St. Augustine was so important to Great Britain

Page 2

Rebellion: Rebellion, revolution – they seem like the same thing but they’re really very different. When disagreements between colonists and their mother country took some form of action, such as the mob violence by the Sons of Liberty in Boston or the fighting at Lexington and Concord, it was called a rebellion. Even after the full-scale battle of Bunker Hill (Breed’s Hill), King George III read to Parliament a “Proclamation of Rebellion” against the American colonies. It would not become a revolution until the Continental Congress declared that full and complete independence was their goal.

Empire: A group of nations or peoples ruled by an emperor, empress, or other powerful sovereign (a person who has supreme power or authority) or government. Typically an empire is a territory of much greater size than a kingdom, such as the British Empire or the Roman Empires, both of which dominated a good portion of the world as it was known in their times.

Peninsula: An area of land that is almost completely surrounded by water but is still connected to the main body of land. The state of Florida is a peninsula.

Page 5

Counterstrikes: In this case, the British government had been under political, and sometimes, military attack by the colonists. In the fall of 1775, the British military planned to counter, or reverse the situation, by ordering the British army and navy to strike at the colonial armies. These counterstrikes were responses to earlier colonial strikes at the British military.

Allies: Those who are in alliance with you or your side. In WWII, for example, the Allied armies were those of Great Britain, France, the U.S.S.R., and the United States, which acted basically as one large army with a common enemy.

Page 6

Unified: To make or become a single unit; in this case, to unite 13 colonies into one nation.

Mythological: Imaginary or fictitious.

Three Card Monte: In this game of chance a player is shown three cards and must select one. The dealer then places all three cards face down and moves them very quickly around the table to confuse the player. The player then has to guess which of the three cards is theirs. Also mentioned in this same sentence is “shell game.” This is the same game as Three Card Monte only played with three hollow walnut shells, under one of which is hiding a pea or small marble.

Page 8

Fortified: To protect or strengthen against attack. In this case, it would mean to add strong walls with cannons for protection.

Fortress: a large fortified place, which often included entire towns either existing inside the walls of the fortress or were near enough and large enough for the people to seek protection there.

Earthworks: Defensive mounds of dirt and rubble that soldiers can hide behind while they fight. They are often built up in a long line so that an entire army can crouch behind them for protection while they re-load their muskets.

Erected: To build up and construct.

Ramshackled: A building, in this case, that is about to fall down and not completely safe to live in.

Page 9

Hinder: To be an obstacle; to prevent.

Insert: Invading East Florida was no easy task

Page 10

Fatiguing: Exhausting.

Page 12

Muck: The kind of mud and slime so thick and deep that it can suck the boots right off of your feet.

Bogs: Another way to describe a swamp and/or swampy conditions – “boggy.”

Revamped: To take something that is old or run-down and repair it so that it can be used again.

Terrain: The physical characteristics of a piece of land, especially in reference to its military use: “The terrain was mountainous and difficult for the soldiers to defend.”

Insert: Lt. Colonel Thomas Brown and the East Florida Rangers

Page 14

Scolded: To verbally reprimand a group or individual harshly.

Brandishing: To make it obvious to everyone around that you have a weapon. In this case, Brown made it visible for all to see when he cocked his pistols and wore no coat so not to conceal the fact that he had a sword at his side.

Scalped: To remove a sizable portion of the skin on someone’s skull so that their hair comes off still attached to the skin.

Scalded: To be burned with a boiling or melted liquid; in this case, pine tar. Pine tar melts at around 130–140 degrees, but in order for a large amount of pine tar to be poured over a man’s head it would have to be much hotter.

Mockingly: To tease or make fun of someone verbally or by an exaggerated action.

Page 15

Rigors: In this case, the harsh conditions associated with living off of the land and fighting brutal battles – often in hand-to-hand combat.

Tactics: The art of placing troops in the proper location to gain the best military advantage.

Distinction: In this case, to fight honorably and bravely.

Chapter Three: The Invasion of 1776
Page 16

Stockpiling: To build up a large reserve of something valuable to be used later; in this case, gun powder and weapons.

Elites: In this case, people who were very wealthy, often born into the best social circumstances, and were politically powerful.

Page 19

Skirmishes: Fighting between groups of soldiers that are typically small in numbers. During the Revolutionary era, a skirmish usually lasted for only a short amount of time because it wasn’t uncommon for a skirmish to take place when soldiers from each army accidentally ran into each other.

About-face: This is a military term that simply means to turn about and move in the opposite direction.


Chapter Four: The Invasion of 1777
Page 20
Amply: Sufficiently or enough. The Castillo could hold enough supplies to keep the townsfolk safe for three–five months.

Susceptible: In this case, easily affected by fire and dry rot. Plus, wooden forts weren’t as strong as stone fortresses.

Quarried: To remove stone, slate, or in this case coquina, from large deposits in the earth. Typically a quarry is a large, open pit where the stone is exposed and cut out in blocks, as opposed to a mine where large tunnels are dug deep into the earth to retrieve metals and stones.

Porousness: To be porous; full of pores or tiny holes. Since coquina is made from millions of tiny sea shells being compressed together it is not a solid type of stone like granite or field stones. This means that the coquina blocks will expand when the weather is hot, allowing hot air to escape, and contract when the weather is cold, keeping warm air in and cold air out. That’s why coquina is said to “breathe.”

Kinetic: Energy created by motion. In this case, it’s the energy created from the motion of a fast-moving, heavy cannon ball. When a cannonball hits a solid wall, something has to give because the energy of that cannonball wants to continue straight through the wall, but it can’t so the wall is hit with all of the force of the cannonball. Even if the wall remains standing it’s a little weaker than the time before. Eventually it will fall if the other side has enough cannonballs. But because coquina is porous much of the kinetic energy can pass through the stone, “absorbing” the shock of the striking cannonball.

Artillerymen: The science of firing large explosive shells is known as artillery. Soldiers who were assigned to fire rockets, missiles, and cannons were called artillerymen.

Confounded: confused.

Page 21

Duel: A prearranged fight between two people that was usually brought on by an insult or some other quarrel over honor. Deadly weapons were chosen and a formal procedure for the fight was accepted, such as standing back-to-back and then stepping off ten paces before turning to fire. Sometimes they would agree to fight with swords or even knives. Typically, the fight would continue until someone was killed or wounded.

Page 23
Retaliation: To avenge what is believed to be a wrong. In this case, to teach the Loyalists a lesson for killing one of his officers, Lt. Colonel Elbert burned many of their homes and killed their cattle.

Outlying: This word typically means something that is outside of the main region or area. In this case, it’s referring to the buildings that were on Governor Tonyn’s property, but far away from the main house and stables.

Naught: In this case, all for nothing.

Page 24

Truce: An agreement between both sides to temporarily stop fighting and discuss how to settle matters peacefully.

Page 25
Conspiracy: In this case, an unlawful and disloyal plot against the governor by those he accused of being traitors to the Crown.

Prominent: Prominent means to stand out. In this case, these men stood out in East Florida society because they were wealthy, well known, and politically powerful.

Wrath: Strong, fierce anger; deeply resentful.


Chapter Five: The First Invasion of 1778
Page 27

Notorious: Widely and unfavorably known for a particular trait. In this case, the entrance to the harbor of St. Augustine was widely known for being dangerously shallow.

Page 28
: To become accustomed to something that very was difficult at first; in this case, the swampy conditions and climate of East Florida.

Chapter Six: The Second Invasion of 1778
Page 30
Dismal: In this case, the results of General Howe’s efforts were extremely disappointing.

Disembarked: To get off of a ship.


Chapter Seven: The Invasion of 1780
Page 31
Deploy: When troops are sent to a specific destination. In this case, General Rochambeau felt that their troops were being sent to too many destinations that were all very far apart – spreading the army “thin” – when they should be focused in larger numbers on a much smaller region.

Pacified: To pacify is to bring peace and calm. In this case, Lord Cornwallis was to pacify the southern colonies by conquering the rebel armies he faced and then leave Loyalist militia in control of the defeated area to act as a police force and maintain the peace.