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Unconventional Warriors: The Fantasy of the American Resistance Fighter in Television and Film
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1 Since the earliest phases of the European colonization of North America, small-unit irregular warfare—against native Americans and against other colonial powers—was a fact of life in the New World. War was endemic, unavoidable, and vicious in the early American experience, framing many of the day-to-day concerns of the colonists and their leaders. John Ferling writes that “military realities were seldom absent from the thoughts of new village planners” in the New World, and that war was “a life-and-death struggle, not just for the soldiers in the fi eld but for the civilian population who often found itself living in a war zone.” 1 Similarly, Robert Asprey writes of the period in his expansive history of guerilla warfare, War in the Shadows , that: In Virginia and New England, settlers encountered hostile Indians almost immediately, and for many decades has to rely for survival on ready militia forces. Th e eff ectiveness of these varied considerably. In general, the 1 The Indian Fighters on Screen