Question: Are there similarities between the description of forts in the Book of Mormon and Gilbert Hunt's ''The Late War''?

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Question: Are there similarities between the description of forts in the Book of Mormon and Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: Ditches, fortifications and strongholds

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  • Book of Mormon, Alma 49:20-25: [men] were prepared, with their swords and their slings, to smite ... with an immense slaughter ... ditches ...filled up in a measure with their dead and wounded.
  • The Late War 29:20-23: [men] were prepared ... and they let loose their weapons of war ... and smote ... with great slaughter. And the deep ditch that surrounded the fort was strewed with their slain and their wounded.

And

  • Book of Mormon, Alma 49,52: it came to pass ... on the tenth day of the month ... the Nephites had dug a ridge of earth ... so high [...] round about ... the city ... And ... built a strong hold ...
  • The Late War 51: it came to pass ... on the tenth day of the eighth month ... the people began to fortify ... and entrench the high places round about the city. And ... build their strong holds ...

One critic states that both books talk about "Fortifications: 'the people began to fortify themselves and entrench the high Places round about the city.'"[1]

Full context comparison of Alma 49:20-22 with The Late War 29:20-21

Alma 49:20-22

20 Thus they were prepared, yea, a body of their strongest men, with their swords and their slings, to smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of security by the place of entrance; and thus were they prepared to defend themselves against the Lamanites.

21 And it came to pass that the captains of the Lamanites brought up their armies before the place of entrance, and began to contend with the Nephites, to get into their place of security; but behold, they were driven back from time to time, insomuch that they were slain with an immense slaughter.

22 Now when they found that they could not obtain power over the Nephites by the pass, they began to dig down their banks of earth that they might obtain a pass to their armies, that they might have an equal chance to fight; but behold, in these attempts they were swept off by the stones and arrows which were thrown at them; and instead of filling up their ditches by pulling down the banks of earth, they were filled up in a measure with their dead and wounded bodies.

The Late War Chapter 29 (p. 104) off-site:

20 But the men of Croghan were prepared for them; and they let loose their weapons of war upon them, and set their destroying engine to work, and smote the men of Britain, hip and thigh, with great slaughter.

21 And the deep ditch that surrounded the fort was strewed with their slain and their wounded.

Alma 49: talks of the Nephites digging a "ridge of earth" to prevent stones and arrows from reaching them

1 And now it came to pass in the eleventh month of the nineteenth year, on the tenth day of the month, the armies of the Lamanites were seen approaching towards the land of Ammonihah.

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4 But behold, how great was their disappointment; for behold, the Nephites had dug up a ridge of earth round about them, which was so high that the Lamanites could not cast their stones and their arrows at them that they might take effect, neither could they come upon them save it was by their place of entrance.

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10 Now, if king Amalickiah had come down out of the land of Nephi, at the head of his army, perhaps he would have caused the Lamanites to have attacked the Nephites at the city of Ammonihah; for behold, he did care not for the blood of his people.

11 But behold, Amalickiah did not come down himself to battle. And behold, his chief captains durst not attack the Nephites at the city of Ammonihah, for Moroni had altered the management of affairs among the Nephites, insomuch that the Lamanites were disappointed in their places of retreat and they could not come upon them.

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Alma 53:6 talks of the Nephites building a "stronghold" to keep prisoners

6 And it came to pass that Moroni had thus gained a victory over one of the greatest of the armies of the Lamanites, and had obtained possession of the city of Mulek, which was one of the strongest holds of the Lamanites in the land of Nephi; and thus he had also built a stronghold to retain his prisoners.

The Late War 51 (p. 199-201) talks of "entrenching" the "high places" around the city and building "strong holds" off-site

3 So it came to pass, that the husbandmen from the surrounding country gathered together, and pitched their tents hard by the city.

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8 Moreover, on the tenth day of the eighth month, in the eighteen hundred and fourteenth year, the inhabitants assembled together in the midst of the city, even in a place called the Park, where the Federal Hall, a superb edifice, rears its majestic front; within the walls of which the wise men, the expounders of the law, preside, and deliberate for the benefit of the people.

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14 So the people began to fortify themselves and entrench the high places round about the city.

15 And when they went out in its defence, to build their strong holds and to raise up their battlements; lo! the steam-boats of Fulton conveyed them thither, about a thousand at a time, even towards the heights of Brooklyn in the east, and the heights of Haerlem in the north.

Gilbert Hunt's The Late War, pages 199-201


Notes

  1. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision)