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Tory Refugees during the Revolution 

by American artist Howard Pyle

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The "Minute-Men” of The Revolution 

by Currier & Ives, 1876 

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Historic Old North Bridge, Where The First Shots of the American Revolution Were Fired - Concord, Massachusetts.

Image via Shutterstock
"Samuel Downing, aged 102, one of the survivors of the Revolution”

Image via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
"Another heroine of martial fame was Deborah Sampson, of Plymouth (County), Massachusetts, a child of poverty-stricken parents. When a very small girl, she was put out to work in a respectable farmer's household and was kindly treated, but the poor little maid had no chance of an education, though she was eager for knowledge. She taught herself to read, however, by borrowing books from the children who passed their house to and from school. 

When she was eighteen, her apprenticeship was at an end, and she then set to work to get an education. She hired out to a farmer's family, receiving in payment her board and lodging, and then she went daily to the district school in the neighborhood. She there made such strides that in a few months she had accomplished more than her schoolmates had done in years. Meantime she had grown to be a tall, strong girl, with very much the build and muscle of a boy, and, when the cannons were booming around Boston until their thunderous echoes could be heard afar, a resolution to serve her country as a soldier sprang up within her. She was alone in the world, and no one would miss her or care about her fate. 

In the summer of 1778, she earned twelve dollars by teaching in the district school, and with this sum she fitted herself out in a man's suit of fustian, making an attractive youth with the most winning manners. Then she disappeared from the farmer's house, and presented herself as a recruit in the American army, enlisting for the whole term of the war. She was enrolled as one of the first volunteers, in the company of Captain Nathan Thayer, of Medway, Massachusetts, under the name of Robert Shirtliffe, and she lived in the Captain's family until the company was ready to join the main army. 

Her sturdy frame and unusual strength deceived everyone, and she was able to stand the greatest fatigue with the courage of a man. Some uniforms were given to the recruits and they had to draw for them by lot; the one which fell to the so-called Robert did not fit, but by the aid of his needle and scissors he soon altered it, much to the astonishment of Mrs. Thayer. But he explained that his mother had no girl, and so he was often obliged to act as seamstress. 

Several pretty girls fell in love with the dashing 
young "soldier boy," but she always managed 
to keep out of scrapes, and was in good standing 
in the company, where she served faithfully for 
three years — years full of the most wonderful 
adventures, in which she was wounded twice, 
and through everything she was suspected by 
none. The soldiers, with whom she was a great 
favorite, often called her "Molly," because she had 
no beard, but no suspicion crossed their minds. 

When wounded, her one fear was that she might be discovered, but, strange as it may seem, she escaped detection. Finally an attack of brain fever laid her low; she was carried to a hospital in a dying condition. It was here that the doctor in charge discovered she was a woman, but he was very kind, and when poor "Robert" crept slowly back to life he had her removed to his own home where she could receive better care. Here she had the misfortune to win the love of the Doctor's niece, a very charming young girl, and suffered many pangs of remorse, though, it seems, not even this induced her to disclose her identity. She had a feeling that the Doctor suspected her, though he never hinted at such a thing by word or look. 

When she was well enough to go back to her company, she was ordered to carry a letter to General Washington. Then she was sure the truth had come to light, and was more frightened when she came into the presence of the great man than she had been before the enemy's fire. She was dismissed with an attendant while the General read the letter, and, when she was recalled, he handed her in silence her discharge from the service, at the same time giving her a note with a few kinds word of advice, and money to pay her expenses to some place where she could find a home. After the war, she married Benjamin Gannett, of Sharon, and when Washington was President she was invited to visit the Capital. During her stay, Congress passed a bill, granting her a pension and certain lands, as an acknowledgment of her services to the country, and while in the city she was invited to prominent houses and entertained as a much-honored guest.”

From:  Heroes of the American revolution
by Oliver Clay, published in 1916.
Source says not in copyright 

Image Deborah Sampson statue in Sharon, Massachusetts by Mlc CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“That memorable Sunday, the 28th of June, 1778, was the hottest day of the year. The heat was so great that the soldiers were ordered to take off their coats, yet through the heat and dust and smoke and blood, Molly, the gunner's wife, carried water to her husband and the soldiers on the field, all day. The little spring from which she fetched the water was at the bottom of the hill, and, instead of a pail, she brought it in a pitcher. This, most probably, was the origin of her name, "Molly Pitcher," among the soldiers, a name that from that day has become historic. 

There had been a fierce charge of the enemy's 
cavalry on Hays' gun, and just as she was returning 
with a refreshing draught for the almost perishing 
men, she saw her husband fall mortally wounded. 
Rushing forward she heard an officer say, "Wheel 
back the gun; there's no one here to serve it." 

Checking the blinding rush of tears, Molly threw 
down her pitcher and seized the rammer of the gun. “I'll fire it," she said, and taking her place beside the dead gunner's cannon she filled his place during the rest of the day. The story of the brave deed has been told in verse: 

"Wheel back the gun!” the gunner said, 
When like a flash before him stood 
A figure dashed with smoke and blood, 
With streaming hair, with eyes aflame, 
With lips that falter the gunner's name, 

“Wheel back his gun that never yet, 
His fighting duty did forget? 
His voice shall speak though he be dead, 
“I’ll serve my husband's gun! ' she said. 
Oh, Molly, Molly, with eyes so blue, 
Oh, Molly, Molly, here's to you! 
Sweet Honor's roll will aye be richer. 
To hold the name of Molly Pitcher!”

From: American heroes and heroines
by Pauline Carrington Rust Bouvé, published in 1905

*while some of the details in the account above are considered folklore and a combination of different women in American history, the story does provide perspective of the great obstacles that our young nation faced to gain Liberty during the time of the Revolution. Yes, the Battle of Monmouth (New Jersey) did take place on today’s date June 28th, 1778.

Image: Molly Pitcher firing cannon at Battle of Monmouth by E. Percy Moran
via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Last words of Captain Nathan Hale, the Hero-Martyr of The American Revolution

“My only regret is that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Engraving by Alexander Hay Ritchie via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"He engraved billheads for taverns, and designed bookplates for book-lovers and in 1774 he illustrated two volumes, entitled: "A New Voyage Round the World. In the years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771: Undertaken by order of his Present Majesty, Performed by Captain James Cooke." 

One of his most notable engravings is a view of 
Harvard College, but only half of it is in existence 
and that is safely treasured in the State House. 
The back of the other half was used in 1775, by the patriot artist, for engraving the design for Provincial money in three different sizes, six, four-teen, and twenty shillings. Indeed, there were so few mechanics who understood the art of engraving that it seems quite probable that many of the unsigned pieces came also from the hand of Paul Revere, although it is very evident he never 
placed the proper value upon his really excellent 

It was in August, 1774, that Paul Revere, and twenty-one other men on the same list, refused to serve as grand jurors, giving as their principal reason the fact that the presiding judge was a man of bad character. This was the last grand jury under the Crown.”

From: Paul Revere, the torch bearer of the revolution by Belle Moses, published in 1916.
Source says not in copyright.

Image: Paul Revere by J. S. Copley, 1768 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"DYCKMAN HOUSE” - The oldest farmhouse that is still standing in Manhattan, N.Y.

204th Street and Broadway. 

Built in the 1780s

"The tract of land on which this house stands originally belonged to Jan Dyckman, who came from Bentheim, Westphalia, Germany, and was one of the original patentees of Harlem. Here he settled in 1666, and built a house on Sherman Creek, about 210th Street, near the Harlem River. Here, when the Indians were not troublesome, he farmed, and brought up a large family. His grandson William Dyckman, who was born in 1725, was a stanch patriot, and, soon after the British in 1776 invaded the Bronx part of New York, was forced to flee with his numerous sons and daughters. His home was burned by the invaders, and his sons became active in the patriot cause, becoming members of the "Westchester Guides," who were so useful in imparting information and scouting for the Colonial army. Dyckman was an exile for seven years, and immediately after the close of the Revolution built the present farm-house, which he occupied until his death, when the property was divided among his heirs. The house is substantially as it was when Dyckman built it.”

From: Historic buildings now standing in New York, which were erected prior to eighteen hundred
by Bank of the Manhattan Company; Walton Advertising and Printing Company (Boston, Mass.), published in 1914
No known restrictions
Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys in council 

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
"In less than a month after Brandywine, namely: on the 4th of October, 1777, the battle of Germantown was fought, in which Nash led the North Carolina troops. They behaved splendidly and won great praise from Washington. They were in the reserve force under Major Gen. Stirling, and were thrown into the attack on the right. Gen. Nash was leading them into action down the main street of Germantown, when a round shot shattered his thigh, killing his horse and throwing him heavily to the ground. He tried to conceal the extent of his hurt by covering the terrible wound with his hands, and cheered on his men, saying: "Never mind me. I had a devil of a tumble; rush on, my boys; rush on the enemy; I'll be after you presently.'" But he was mortally wounded, and was carried to a private residence, where after lingering in greatest agony for three days, he died on the 7th of October, 1777. His last words were; "From the first dawn of the Revolution I have been ever on the side of liberty and my country." He was buried in the Mennonist graveyard at Kulpsville, with military honors, and General Washington issued the following order for the funeral: 

"Head Quarters, Toamensing, October 9, 1777. 

Brigadier General Nash will be interred at 10 o'clock this forenoon, with miltary honors, at the place where the road where the troops marched on yesterday comes into the great road. All officers, whose circumstances will admit of it, will attend and pay this respect to a brave man who died in defence of his country.”


The city of Nashville, Tennessee is named in Francis Nash’s honor. 

From: General Francis Nash by Alfred M. Waddell, published in 1906
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Francis Nash historical marker near Hillsborough, North Carolina by Lesley Looper CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The Battle of Germantown - Attack on Judge Chew's house” (Philadelphia, PA) 

- October 4th, 1777

"That flash of musquetry! What a light it gives the scene! Above, clouds of white mist and lurid smoke; around, all hurry, and tramp, and motion, faces darkened by all the passions of a demon, glaring madly in the light, blood red hands upraised, meeting foemen grappling in contest, swords rising and falling, glaring and glitteringy the forms of the wounded, with their faces buried in the earth, the ghastly dead, all heaped up in positions of ludicrous mockery of death, along the roadside! 

That flash of musquetry! 

The form of Washington is in the centre of the mellay, the battle glare lighting up his face of majesty; the stalwart form of Wayne is seen riding hither and thither, waving a dripping sword in his good right hand; the figure of Pulaski, dark as the form of an earth riven spirit of some German story, breaks on your eye, as, enveloped in mist, he seems rushing everywhere at the same moment, fighting in all points of the contest, hurrying his men onward, and driving the affrighted British before him, with the terror of his charge. 

'To Chew’s House - Away’

And Col. Musgrave — where is he? 

He shouts the charge to his men, he hurries hither and thither, he shouts till he is hoarse, he fights till his person is red with the blood of his own men, slain before his very eyes, but all in vain! 

He shouts the word of retreat along his line— 
"Away, my men, away to Chew's House — 

The retreat commences, and then, indeed, the 
hunt of death is up in good earnest. 

The British wheel down the Germantown road,
they turn their backs to their foes, they flee wildly toward Germantown, leaving their dead and dying in their wake, man and horse, they flee, some scattering their arms by the roadside, others weakened by loss of blood, feebly endeavoring to join the retreat, and then falling dead in the path of the pursuers, who with one bold front, with one firm step rush after the British in their flight, ride down the fleeing ranks, and scatter death along the hurrying columns. 

The fever of bloodshed grows hotter, the chase 
grows fearful in interest, the hounds who so often 
have worried down the starved Americans, are 
now hunted in their turn. And in the very van of pursuit, his tall form seen by every soldier, rode George Washington, his mind strained to a pitch of agony, as the crisis of the contest approached, and by his side rode Mad Anthony Wayne, now Mad Anthony indeed, for his whole appearance was changed, his eye seemed turned to a thing of living flame, his face was begrimed with soot, his sword was red with blood and his battle-shout rung fiercer on the air — 

"Over them boys — upon them — over them, and 
Remember Paoli!”

"Now, Wayne, "now" — shouted Washington — 
"one charge more and we have them!" 

"Forwarts — brudern (brothers) — forwarts!" shouted Pulaski, as his iron band came thundering on — "Forwarts — for Washington — Forwarts!" 

From Original revolutionary chronicle: the battle-day of Germantown
by George Lippard, published in 1843, source says no known restrictions

Image: The Attack Upon the Chew House by Howard Pyle via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
“While still a collegian he (Alexander Hamilton) joined the military of the province of New York, and began as the captain of its first company of artillery employed in the continental service. To qualify himself for such a position he had, under the immediate instruction of an experienced soldier and officer, not only studied the theoretic art of war, but engaged with others in receiving daily for several months practical lessons in the field-drill. He was active with his company of artillerists at the battle on Long Island, at Harlem Plains, at Chatterton's Hill, New Brunswick, Trenton, and Princeton. At Harlem Heights he first attracted the attention of Washington, and again at New Brunswick excited the commander's admiration by the courage and skill with which he held in check the advance of the British forces, while the American army was retreating toward the Delaware. When the army went, in January, 1777, into winter quarters at Morristown, Hamilton, now grown in the friendship and confidence of Washington, resigned his command, became Washington's private secretary, and was raised to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Hamilton remained on the staff until April, 1781, when an unusual and hasty warmth of temper on both sides led to the severance of this particular connection, but their mutual friendship remained and even increased. He was married in 1780 to Elizabeth, second daughter of General Philip Schuyler, a distinguished soldier and statesman of the Revolution. For a brief space Hamilton occupied his time in exposing the inherent defects of the existing confederation by a series of excellent papers known as The Continentalist. But the country once more needed his more active aid; he returned to the army, led one most brilliant attack, and was present with a command at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. 

The war to maintain the declaration of independence was fought, but it did not make nor leave the United Colonies a nation. A new system of government and “a coercive union" were insisted upon by Hamilton and other foremost men as necessary. But many obstacles stood in the way. Historical prejudice and the selfishness of local interests were against concessions to a union of the States. Traditional dread of centralized government, traditional dread of an hereditary aristocracy, dread that a national legislature, if allowed full authority, might assert and act upon the repudiated doctrine of an omnipotence of parliament, dread that a supreme general government might absorb, or even usurp, under the plea of care for the public welfare, those local interests which the States were now able to maintain, and which the Confederation was meant to protect — the concurrence of these several causes contributed to bring out opposition whenever a more perfect union was proposed.”

From: Alexander Hamilton by George Shea, published in 1880
Source says no known restrictions 

Image: “First Meeting of Washington & Hamilton”
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Alexander Hamilton" The New York Public Library Digital Collections.
No known restrictions
The Battle of Princeton 
by American artist James Peale

- painted c. 1782

Notice General George Washington’s personal or "Headquarters” flag in blue with white stars. It was used during the American Revolution to mark his position. 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Enlistment Broadside from the Revolutionary War period - Watertown, Massachusetts 

- January 4th, 1776

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
On today's date April 5th, 1761: American heroine and legendary night-riding Revolutionary War messenger Sybil Ludington was born in Kent, NY.

Photo: Ludington statue in Carmel, New York, by Anthony22 at the Wikipedia [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
American Revolutionary War Heroine Molly Pitcher (Mary Ludwig) was born on October 13th, 1744 in Trenton, New Jersey.

"Wheel back the gun,” the gunner said, 
When like a flash before him stood 
A figure dashed with smoke and blood, 
With streaming hair, with eyes aflame, 
With lips that falter the gunner's name, 

Wheel back his gun that never yet, 
His fighting duty did forget? 
His voice shall speak though he be dead, 
"I’ll serve my husband's gun!” she said. 
Oh, Molly, Molly, with eyes so blue, 
Oh, Molly, Molly, here's to you! 
Sweet Honor's roll will aye be richer. 
To hold the name of Molly Pitcher!" 

From: American heroes and heroines by Pauline Bouvé, published in 1905
Source says not in copyright 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Thomas Hughes, a gallant Rhode Island soldier, was of Irish descent. He was the only son of Joseph and Mary Hughes and was born May 30, 1752. He was a captain in the Revolution, and a major in the War of 1812. He was a sincere patriot, an accomplished officer and a credit to his Irish ancestry. 

In the Rhode Island Colonial Records he is mentioned as of Freetown, Mass. His name first appears in the Revolutionary Records of Rhode Island in October, 1776, when he is mentioned as second lieutenant in Col. Israel Angell's battalion. In February, 1777, Hughes was chosen to be first lieutenant, and at some time between August and October, 1777, he was raised to the rank of captain. He served with Col. Israel Angell's regiment throughout the war. He was, therefore, present at the brilliant defense of Fort Mercer at Red Bank when the Hessians under Count Donop were repulsed by Captain Hughes's future father-in-law and commanding officer. Col. Christopher Greene. Hughes was with the Rhode Island troops at the battle of Rhode Island, Aug. 29, 1778, and also in May, 1781, when Col. Christopher Greene was murdered by De Lancey's Loyalists in Westchester county, N.Y. Captain Hughes was at that time paymaster. 

In 1791 the Rhode Island General Assembly appointed Col. Jeremiah Olney and Capt. Thomas Hughes agents for the proprietors of the Anaquacut farm in Tiverton, R.I., which was set off to the officers and soldiers of the late Continental battalion commanded by Colonel Angell. 
These agents successfully petitioned the General Assembly to make up a considerable deficiency demanded of them by the purchasers to whom they sold the land, and a resurvey was consequently ordered. 

Thomas Hughes was one of the original members of the Rhode Island Society of the Cincinnati, and appears on that society's record thus: "Capt. Thomas Hughes 1st R.I. Continental Infantry." His Revolutionary record, as compiled by Heitman, in his volume, Officers of the Continental Army is as follows:

"Hughes, Thomas, (R.I.) 2nd Lieutenant 11th Continental Infantry 1st January to 31st December, 1776; 1st Lieutenant 2nd Rhode Island, 1st January 1777; Captain, 23rd June 1777; transferred to 1st Rhode Island 1st January 1781, and served to close of war." 

Thomas Hughes also served throughout the War of 
1812, with the rank of major, and his widow drew a pension till her death in 1844. He died Dec. 10, 1821, at his home at Centreville, R.I., in the northwestern part of the town of Warwick, R.I., and was buried in a family burying ground near by and later transferred. In April, 1896, his second burial place was abandoned and the bodies were removed to Greenwood cemetery, Phenix, R.I., including the remains of Major Hughes, his wife and maiden daughter Sally. A marker of the Sons of the American Revolution has been placed at his grave, his being among the first fifty names drawn by lot by the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.”

From: Irish Rhode Islanders in the American Revolution: with some mention of those serving in the regiments of Elliott, Lippitt, Topham, Crary, Angell, Olney, Greene, and other noted commanders
by Thomas Hamilton Murray, published in 1903
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Uniform of a Rhode Island infantry regiment soldier of the Continental Army c. 1779
by Charles M. Lefferts via Wikimedia public domain in The United States
On September 22nd, 1776 Nathan Hale made the ultimate sacrifice.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
“He was born in the County of Wexford, in Ireland. But America was the object of his patriotism and the theater of his usefulness. In the Revolutionary War, which established the independence of the United States, he bore an early and active part as a captain in their navy, and afterward became its commander-in-chief. He fought often, and once bled in the cause of freedom. His habits of war did not lessen his virtues as a man, nor his piety as a Christian. He was gentle, kind, and just in private life, and was not less beloved by his family and friends than by his grateful country. The number and objects of his charities will be known only at the time when his dust shall be reanimated and when He who sees in secret shall reward. In full belief in the doctrines of the Gospel, he peacefully resigned his soul into the arms of his Redeemer on September 13, 1803, in the 59th year of his age...”

From the epitaph of Commodore John Barry written by Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia. Source: Commodore John Barry, the Father of the American Navy by William Barry Meany, published in 1911
No known restrictions 

Image: Irish Stamp of John Barry, public domain via Wikimedia Commons
“Listen my children and you shall hear:
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,—
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,—
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.”

“Paul Revere's Ride” poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Image from “Paul Revere, the torch bearer of the revolution”, published in 1916
Delegate to The Continental Congress and signer of The Articles of Confederation, Joseph Reed was born on August 27th, 1741 in Trenton, New Jersey.
He married Revolutionary War heroine and American patriot Esther de Berdt.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Image: The Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier in Washington Square, Philadelphia, PA
by Ken Thomas via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Washington's headquarters, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Photograph taken c. 1885-1914

Image: Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, The New York Public Library. "Washington's headquarters, Brooklyn, N.Y." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1885 - 1914.
No known restrictions
"While for many years after the close of the Last 
French War this modest, home-loving man was living the life of a high-bred Virginia gentleman, the exciting events which finally brought on the Revolution were stirring men's souls to heroic action. It was natural, in these trying days, that his countrymen should look for guidance and inspiration to George Washington, who had been so conspicuous a leader in the Last French War. 

He represented Virginia at the first meeting of the 
Continental Congress in 1774, going to Philadelphia in company with Patrick Henry and others. He was also a delegate from his colony at the second meeting of the Continental Congress in May, 1775. On being elected by this body Commander-in-Chief of the American army, he at once thanked the members for the election, and added, "I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with." He also refused to receive any salary for his services, "but said he would keep an account of the expenses he might Incur, In order that these might be paid back to him. 

On the 21st of June Washington set out on horse- 
back from Philadelphia, in company with a small body of horsemen, to take command of the American army around Boston. Not long after starting they met a messenger bringing in haste the news of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Washington eagerly asked, "Did the Americans stand the fire of the regular troops?" "Yes," was the proud answer. "Then," cried Washington, gladly, "the liberties of the country are safe!" 

Three days later, about four o'clock on Sunday afternoon, he reached New York, where he met with a royal welcome. Riding in an open carriage drawn by two white horses, he passed through the streets, escorted by nine companies of soldiers on foot. Along the route the people, old and young, received him with enthusiasm. At New Haven the Yale College students came out in a body, keeping step to the music of a band of which Noah Webster, the future lexicographer, then a freshman, was the leader. On July 2d, after arriving at the camp in Cambridge, Washington received an equally enthusiastic welcome from the soldiers. 

Next day General Washington rode out on horseback and, under the famous elm still standing near Harvard University, drew his sword and took command of the American army. He was then forty-three years old, with a tall, manly form and a noble face. He was good to look at as he sat there, a perfect picture of manly strength and dignity, wearing an epaulet on each shoulder, a broad band of blue silk across his breast, and a three-cornered hat with the cockade of liberty in it.”

From: American leaders and heroes by Wilbur Fisk Gordy, published in 1909
Source says no known restrictions 

Image: Equestrian Portrait of George Washington by Ary Scheffer, painted in 1825 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17th, 1775...

"A raking fire soon drove the Americans out of this exposed place into the enclosure. Much damage, too, was done in the latter by balls which entered the sallyport. 

The troops were now led on to assail the works; those who flinched were, as before, goaded on by the swords of the officers. The Americans again reserved their fire until their assailants were close at hand, and then made a murderous volley, by which several officers were laid low, and General Howe himself was wounded in the foot. The British soldiery this time likewise reserved their fire and rushed on with fixed bayonet. Clinton and Pigot had reached the southern and eastern sides of the redoubt, and it was now assailed on three sides at once. Prescott ordered those who had no bayonets to retire to the back part of the redoubt and fire 
on the enemy as they showed themselves on the parapet. The first who mounted exclaimed in triumph, "The day is ours!" He was instantly shot down, and so were several others who mounted about the same time. The Americans, however, had fired their last round, their ammunition was exhausted; and now succeeded a desperate and deadly struggle, hand to hand, with bayonets, stones, and the stocks of their muskets. At length, as the British continued to pour in, Prescott gave the order to retreat. His men had to cut their way through two divisions of the enemy who were getting in rear of the redoubt, and they received a destructive volley from those who had formed on the captured works. By that volley fell the patriot Warren, who had distinguished himself throughout the action. He was among the last to leave the redoubt, and had scarce done so when he was shot through the head with a musket-ball, and fell dead on the spot. 

While the Americans were thus slowly dislodged from the redoubt, Stark, Read and Knowlton maintained their ground at the fortified fence; which, indeed, had been nobly defended throughout the action. Pomeroy distinguished himself here by his sharp-shooting until his musket was shattered by a ball. The resistance at this hastily constructed work was kept up after the troops in the redoubt had given way, and until Colonel Prescott had left the hill; thus defeating General Howe's design of cutting off the retreat of the main body; which would have produced a scene of direful confusion and slaughter. Having effected their purpose, the brave associates at the fence abandoned their weak outpost, retiring slowly, and disputing the ground inch by inch, with a regularity remarkable in troops many of whom had never before been in action. 

The main retreat was across Bunker's Hill, where Putnam had endeavored to throw up a breastwork. The veteran, sword in hand, rode to the rear of the retreating troops, regardless of the balls whistling about him. His only thought was to rally them at the unfinished works, "Halt! make a stand here!" cried he, "we can check them yet. In God's name, form and give them one shot more." 

From: Life of George Washington by Washington Irving, published c. 1855
Source says not in copyright
"Washington wished to engage the retreating enemy. He reached Hopewell, which is about five miles from Princeton, on the 24th of June. He at once called a council of war, to determine whether it would be advisable to hazard a general engagement. Six generals, under the leadership of Lee, advised against it. Six others, among whom were Paterson and Lafayette, voted for it. Paterson wished to have 2500 to 3000 men sent forward at once. Washington himself believed that this was a most favorable time to force a general engagement, and that the danger from the effect on the public mind, of allowing an army with twelve miles of baggage train, to cross New Jersey unmolested, was far greater than any defeat which was feared owing to the superior equipment of the enemy. Notwithstanding the great heat and the fatigue of the army, who had been almost starved on their march, he determined to force an engagement. He ordered a detachment under Lafayette and another under Lee to worry the rear-guard of the enemy and to reinforce that part of the main army which was nearest to the British, and sent Steuben to reconnoiter. Washington was moving faster than Clinton, and on a line nearly parallel to him, and was getting ahead of the British on the line of their retreat. Clinton had nothing to gain by fighting, and hoped to avoid it. He only wished to get safely to New York, with as little delay as possible. He was moving east toward Monmonth, and hoped to reach Sandy Hook safely, as from there he could embark his troops, under the cover of the British fleet, to New York. His right wing took the advance and convoyed his baggage train. His left wing, composed of about 8000 men, followed in the rear, and was exposed to attack.”

American Revolutionary War General John Paterson was in his early 60s when he died on July 19th in 1808.

From: The life of John Paterson, major-general in the Revolutionary Army by Egleston by Thomas Egleston, published in 1898.
Source says no known restrictions 

Image: Sculpture of George Washington's Council of War showing John Paterson among the group via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On November 1st, 1765 the Stamp Act was enforced in the American colonies by the British Government. The act, which was approved in March of that year, basically put a tax on almost every printed product.

Image: Bostonians reading the Stamp Act via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
By Christmas all was ready, and when the Christian world was rejoicing and feasting, and the British officers in New York and in the New Jersey towns were reveling and laughing, Washington prepared to strike. His whole force, broken into various detachments, was less than six thousand men. To each division was assigned, with provident forethought, its exact part. Nothing was overlooked, nothing omitted; and then every division commander failed, for good reason or bad, to do his duty. Gates was to march from Bristol with two thousand men, Ewing was to cross at Trenton, Putnam was to come up from Philadelphia, Griffin was to make a diversion against Donop. When the moment came, Gates, disapproving the scheme, was on his way to Congress, and Wilkinson, with his message, found his way to headquarters by following the bloody tracks of the barefooted soldiers. Griffin abandoned New Jersey and fled before Donop. Putnam would not even attempt to leave Philadelphia, and Ewing made no effort to cross at Trenton. Cadwalader, indeed, came down from Bristol, but after looking at the river and the floating ice, gave it up as desperate. 

But there was one man who did not hesitate nor give up, nor halt on account of floating ice. With twenty-four hundred hardy veterans, Washington crossed the Delaware. The night was bitter cold and the passage difficult. When they landed, and began their march of nine miles to Trenton, a fierce storm of sleet drove in their faces. Sullivan, marching by the river, sent word that the arms of his men were wet. "Then tell your general," said Washington, "to use the bayonet, for the town must be taken."

From George Washington by Henry Cabot Lodge, published in 1898
"Cornwallis' plan of escape from Yorktown was to attack the French and Americans at Gloucester Point before day-break ; mounts his Infantry on the captured cavalry and other horses, and force his way through Maryland and Pennsylvania to New York, but a violent storm arose that night and drove his boats down the river and put a stop to his wild daring scheme. His hopes were now at an end, as his fortifications were tumbling in ruins around him, and unwilling to expose the residue of his brave men who had been so faithful in all dangers, he sent a flag of truce to Washington to suspend hostilities. 

Colonel Laurens was appointed first commissioner to negotiate the surrender; he was the son of Hon. Henry Laurens, who had been sent as ambassador to Holland, but was captured and was then in the tower of London. 

The terms of surrender were similar to those granted to General Lincoln a year before at Charleston, and he (General Lincoln,) arranged the surrender and received the British army. 

The French and American armies formed two lines of over a mile in length, and the British army marched between the two, surrendering their arms which they threw in a pile with such force as to break them, such was the mortification of the men, and they were checked in the same. It was a bright and glorious day, but a day of bitter dissapointment to the English. The captured troops marched out with colors folded and drums beating a slow march. The officers were allowed their side arms and private property, and all the military and artillery were delivered to the American forces, and the marines and seamen to the French navy. The French army with Count de Rochambeau in complete uniform, and with their bands presented a splendid appearance. The Americans though not all in uniform, presented a fine soldiery air with joy beaming from their countenances. 

Every degree of confidence and harmony existed between the American and French, and the only spirit to excel were in exploits of bravery against the common enemy. 

The British army made many brilliant exploits and victories under Cornwallis, and they almost adored him, but he should have cheerfully shared in their 
humiliation and disgrace, but it is said he gave himself up to vexation and remorse. 

The Commander-in-chief of the allied forces expressed himself in an order of the day, — "thanks due the brave officers and soldiers of the French and American armies!" 

It was a sad sight to see Yorktown after the siege, with bodies of men and horses half covered with earth, and the fine houses riddled with cannon balls, and the rich furniture and books scattered over the ruins. The loss of men of the French army was double that of the Americans. There were eleven thousand in the British army at the commencement of the siege, and our forces in all amounted about twelve thousand six hundred. 

Col. Tarlton after the surrender was mounted on a splendid horse remarkable for his fine appearance, and while riding with several French officers with whom he was to dine, he was met by a Virginia gentleman who recognized and demanded his horse, but Tarleton was reluctant to give it up; General O'Hara who was present advised him to give it up at once, which he did, and had to remount a miserable old plough horse to finish his ride, as it appears that this horse had been captured in the following manner: — At Hanover Court House there were a number of Virginia gentlemen who were there to hear the news and talk over the events of the day, a servant man came at full speed to inform them that Colonel Tarlton and his British troops were not three miles off, and in their alarm and sudden confusion to get away, each one mounted the first horse he could put his hands on, thereby returned home on horses not their own. They all escaped but one gentleman who hid himself in the chimney-way, and Colonel Tarlton helped himself to his splendid charger then in the stable. 

Col. Tarlton who had done much injury to the citizens in his raids through the country, heard a Virginia lady speak in high terms of Colonel Washington, a relative of General Washington. Colonel Tarleton remarked that he would like to see Colonel Washington, she replied curtly "that he could have had that pleasure if he had looked behind him in his retreat at the battle of the cowpens." 

Next to our great American General' Washington, much is due to the patriot General Lafayette by his skill for the success in capturing the British army at 
Yorktown. Lafayette was born near Paris, and the inheritor of a princely fortune. At eight years of age he entered the College of Louis the Great, and he was in a few years rewarded for his success in his studies. Here the lovely but ill fated Queen of France, Maria Antoinette, who was beheaded with the King during the reign of terror in France, encouraged him in his progress at College and had him promoted as an officer in the King's guard, and also aided him in obtaining money to help the Americans. He met Dr. Franklin in Paris and offered his services before he was twenty-one years old, and equiped a vessel at his own expense, arrived at Philadelphia and presented himself to Congress, "I have come!" he said, 'to request two favors of this assemb'age of patriots, on^is that I may serve in your army!" "the other, that I receive no pay." His services were accepted and he was commissioned as Major-General.”




Will be Appropriately Celebrated on the Field of Yorktown, Va., in October, 1881. 

From: An address read before the Maryland historical society on the centennial of the siege of Yorktown, Va by William James Chamberlin Du Hamel, published in 1880

Image: Surrender at Yorktown.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Surrender at Yorktown." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1879 - 1881.
No known restrictions
As the British invaded Long Island in 1776, Washington addressed his Continental Army with the following:

"The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die."

Image: Passage of thousands of British invaders toward the beaches of New York during the Summer of 1776
A photo from 1937 of the oldest lighthouse structure that is still standing in America, Sandy Hook Light in New Jersey.

On June 1st, 1776 American Revolutionaries attempted to extinguish the light with cannon when it was under British control.  

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Old North Church or Christ Church in Boston 

"Beneath the church is an ancient cemetery containing thirty-three tombs. It is said that (the British) Major John Pitcairn, who was mortally wounded at the battle of Bunker Hill, was buried in one of the vaults.”

Image from sometime between 1850-1930

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"The winter was severe, the roads unbroken, and the snows deep. Oxen in large numbers were necessary for the hauling of the cannon and these animals were secured at considerable trouble in the thinly inhabited regions through which Knox traveled. 

He reached Ticonderoga on the 5th of December, 
and, at once collecting the coveted ordnance, began his homeward journey. His inventory of the arms shows that he took away eight brass mortars, six iron mortars, one howitzer, thirteen brass cannon, thirty iron cannon, a barrel of flints, and a quantity of lead. The heaviest of the artillery were brass 18- and 24-pounders, and iron 12- and 18- pounders; truly a noble acquisition for the expectant besiegers of Boston. A letter from Knox to Washington, dated at Fort George, December 17th, gives us a vivid picture of some of the difficulties encountered on the homeward trip. He says: 

"I returned to this place on the 15th, and brought with me the cannon, it being nearly the time I computed it would take us to transport them here. It is not easy to conceive the difficulties we have had in transporting them across the lake, owing to the advanced season of the year and contrary winds; but the danger is now past. Three days ago it was very uncertain whether we should have gotten them until next spring, but now, please God, they must go. I have had made 42 exceeding strong sleds, and have provided 80 yoke of oxen to drag them as far as Springfield, where I shall get fresh cattle to carry them to camp. The route will be from here to Kinderhook [New York], from thence to Great Barrington [Mass.], and down to Springfield. I have sent for the sleds and teams to come here, and expect to move them to Saratoga on Wednesday or Thursday next, trusting that between this and then we shall have a fine fall of snow, which will enable us to proceed farther, and make the carriage easy. If that shall be the case, I hope in sixteen or seventeen days time to be able to present to your Excellency a noble train of artillery." 

One of the difficulties encountered on the way to Albany from Fort Ticonderoga was the necessity of ferrying the heavy cannon across pieces of open water. This was accomplished by means of "gondolas," as the flat-bottomed scows then in use were called. The modern "gundalow" of the New England coast is the scow that has derived its name from the sweep-propelled craft of Venice. Knox’s hindrances are further hinted at in a letter which he wrote to Washington from Albany, January 5, 1776, as follows: 

"I was in hopes that we should have been able to have the cannon at Cambridge by this time. The want of snow detained us for some days, and now a cruel thaw hinders from crossing the Hudson River, which we are obliged to do four times from Lake George to this town. The first severe night will make the ice sufficiently strong; till that happens, the cannon and mortars must remain where they are. These inevitable delays pain me exceedingly, as my mind is fully sensible of the importance of the greatest expedition in this case.”

The route of this novel expedition, it will be seen, lay over the Green Mountains and the wild passes of that range and down through the hill country of New England, by "roads that never bore a cannon before and have never borne one since." On his way up to Ticonderoga from Albany, Knox passed a stormy night sleeping on the floor of a rude log-cabin which served as a wayside inn for chance travelers through that sparsely populated region. His bedfellow was Lieut. John Andre, who had been taken prisoner by Gen. Richard Montgomery at St. Johns, and was now on his way to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to await an exchange.”

From: Henry Knox, a soldier of the Revolution; major-general in the Continental Army, Washington's chief of artillery, first secretary of war under the Constitution, founder of the Society of the Cincinnati; 1750-1806 by Noah Brooks, published in 1900
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Hauling guns by ox teams from Fort Ticonderoga for the siege of Boston, 1775 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
How old was Paul Revere when he made his famous midnight ride?

40 years old 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"A parade in honor of the adoption of the Federal Constitution, 1788”

On September 13th, 1788 Confederation Congress established the date for the first U.S. Presidential Election.

Image via New York Public Library Digital Collections, public domain.
Colonial Governor of Massachusetts Thomas Hutchinson was born on September 9th, 1711 in Boston.

His loyalist views in favor of paying taxes to the crown and political decisions led to his house being burned and his exile to England.  

Historians note that his actions accelerated early events of The American Revolution.

Image: New York Public Library Digital Collections. No known restrictions
On today's date October 19th, 1781: Cornwallis surrendered over 7,000 troops to George Washington and French forces at Yorktown, Va. It was the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War.

Photo: British Public Library - Public Domain
An image of the Washington Elm tree in Cambridge, Massachusetts (fell in 1923) where according to legend, Washington took command of his Continental Army under the tree in 1775.

While historians nearly a century and a half later discredited the authenticity of the legend, the tree did stand as a symbol of America’s fight for freedom. 

Image c. late 1800s - early 1900s 
via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
A photo of a Revolutionary War historical marker located at 147th Street and Broadway in New York City

- 1950s

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
God Bless America!🇺🇸

The Minute Man statue in Concord, Massachusetts
"Paul Revere house - lived here 1777-1800”
Boston, Massachusetts

- Image dated August 20th, 1931 

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
"The reasons for a book on Silas Deane are in 
the following facts: he was prominent and influential in the movements leading to the Revolution; he was on important committees in the First and Second Continental Congresses; he was our first agent to France for the Insurgents; he forwarded military supplies, indispensable at Saratoga; he commissioned Lafayette, De Kalb, and Steuben; he served as Commissioner with Franklin and Arthur Lee, with whom he arranged and signed the treaties with France; unjustly recalled, he suffered for years from false and malicious charges; reduced to poverty and misery, he died when embarking on a new enterprise; fifty years later, Congress vindicated his memory from the charge of embezzlement; his life was woven in with critical events; his career was checkered; the mistake of his life was serious, the sufferings extreme, the fate — a dramatic close of the career of one of the most efficient of the men of the Revolution.”

From: Silas Deane by George Larkin Clark published in 1913
Source says no known restrictions 

Image: Baron de Kalb introducing Lafayette to Silas Deane via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga, N.Y. on October 17, 1777.

"He had now only five days rations for his army, and not a spot where he could hold a council of officers in safety. On the 13th he called them together to consider their desperate condition, and there " General Burgoyne solemnly declared, that no one but himself should answer for the 
situation in which the army found itself." Three questions were then submitted for their consideration. "1st. Whether military history furnished any example of an army having capitulated under similar circumstances. 2d. Whether the capitulation of an army placed in such a situation would be disgraceful. 3d. Whether the army was actually in such a situation as to be obliged to capitulate." These were answered in the affirmative, and there was an unanimous declaration in favor of capitulation. The terms of surrender were then discussed. A messenger was sent to Gen. Gates, who agreed to an immediate armistice. A meeting of officers to represent the commanders of the respective armies, was arranged to take place on the spot where Gen. Schuyler's house had stood. 

There seemed a poetic justice in this, considering the magnanimous spirit of Schuyler, the relentless destruction of Burgoyne, and the humiliation of the destroyer on the site of the ruin he had wrought. 

The terms proposed by Burgoyne required that his army, upon its surrender, should be marched to Boston, and from there be shipped to England. Gates refused this proposition, and demanded an unconditional surrender as prisoners of war, Burgoyne rejected these terms indignantly. 

The armistice ceased. Burgoyne prepared for the worst. 

Gates now heard of Sir Henry Clinton at the Highlands. His fears were aroused; he despatched a message to Burgoyne, in which he agreed to almost every article of the first proposition. Burgoyne gave his assent to these terms. Some further negotiations were in progress in regard to points of minor importance. News of Sir Henry Clinton's expedition now reached Burgoyne. Again delusive hopes awoke in his heart. He hurriedly called his officers together to consider whether they could honorably withdraw from the agreement to surrender. It was decided that honor held them fast, although the papers were not signed. On the 17th of October the capitulation, or convention, as Burgoyne stipulated it should be called, received the signatures of the two commanders, Gates and Burgoyne. 

The British army were now marched out of their camps, under their own officers, to a plain near old Fort Hardy, where the Fish kill empties into the Hudson. Here, in the presence of only one American, an aid-de-camp of Gates, they laid down their arms. Generals Burgoyne, Riedesel and Phillips now passed over the Fish kill to the headquarters of Gates, who rode out to meet them, accompanied by his aids. When they met, Burgoyne said, " The fortunes of war, General, have made me your prisoner," to which Gates replied, "I shall ever be ready to bear testimony that it has not been through any fault of your excellency." 

The American army were drawn up in ranks on either side of the road. The whole army of British prisoners, preceded by a guard bearing the stars and stripes, and a band playing Yankee Doodle, were marched between the files of their victors. 

Gates and Burgoyne stood contemplating the scene. In the presence of both armies, General Burgoyne stepped out, and drawing his sword 
from its scabbard, presented it to General Gates; he received it, and silently returned it to the vanquished General.”

From: Saratoga, the battle-- battle ground-- visitors' guide, with maps by Ellen H. Walworth, source says no known restrictions
Published in 1877

Image via NYPL, no known restrictions
"The light in the window of "The Cedars" attracted 
him. It was necessary that he should have refreshments and lodgings. He felt perfectly safe now, considering that he was far away from the danger zone, and besides felt that his simple attire would protect him from prying eyes. Accordingly he strolled into the tavern and secured a room for the night. After that he went to the main room and ordered supper. The place was fairly crowded and the entrance of Hale apparently attracted no attention. 

He took his ease, supping leisurely and listening with interest to the gossip of the loungers about the room. "The Cedars" was notoriously a resort for Tories and the young American was forced to listen to some conversation which he surely did not relish. But he had a sense of humor as well as a philosophy of his own and the blatant talk of the so-called Royalists did not disturb the serenity of his disposition. Indeed, there is reason to believe that the romantic side of the young man was attracted by the novelty of the situation. "The Cedars" was a quaint old inn. The customary shingle, offering refreshments for "man and beast" swung outside in the wind; mine host with a long white apron served beer in great stone mugs, and the patrons of the place sprawled about the tables smoking long stemmed pipes. They talked of war and they talked of spies, little thinking that an American officer who was just linishing- an important mission was listening to all they had to say. 

In the midst of the hub-bub a stranger entered the 
room. He caught one glance of Nathan Hale and then turned his face with the suddenness of one who has made a startling discovery. The next moment Hale had looked up, but too late to get a good view of the man's face. He caught the merest glance of the guilty countenance, and from that moment his mind was haunted with a resemblance which it was impossible to fix with any certainty. The newcomer was in civilian's dress. He wore his hair long and was square-shouldered. He spoke to no one and disappeared as silently as he had entered. 

There can be no doubt that he is the man who 
betrayed Hale to the British. But there has always 
been real doubt concerning his identity. It is hinted 
that Hale himself said that the fellow resembled a distant cousin. But there is nothing on record to prove this disagreeable suspicion. Indeed, from that moment, there seems to have been an attempt to conceal all of the facts concerning Hale's dramatic arrest and tragic death. Can this have been part of the plan to protect the informer? Over one hundred and forty years have passed since then and history still asks the name of the man who entered "The Cedars" on that fateful night in September, 1775. 

Nathan Hale spent the night at this tavern, and at 
daylight the next morning he went out to search for the boat that was to convey him to the other side of the Sound. To his immense satisfaction he saw a craft moving towards the shore with several men in it. He had not the least doubt but that they were his friends and he hastened to the beach in order to meet it. As the boat touched the shore a half dozen British marines jumped out and surrounded him. He turned as if to run when a harsh voice exclaimed: 

"Surrender instantly, or you die!" 

Too late he realized that he had walked into a trap. He saw six men standing there erect with muskets leveled at his heart. It was folly to struggle. He was seized, taken into the barge and conveyed to the British guardship Halifax. His captors stripped and searched him and found the evidence of his mission concealed between the soles of his shoes. The unfortunate American was taken in one of the boats of the Halifax to General Howe's headquarters, which were then in the mansion of James Beekman at Mount Pleasant. This place contained among other things a great greenhouse filled with shrubbery and plants. In this greenhouse Hale was confined under a strong guard on the night of September 21. The following morning he was taken before Howe, who, without the formality of a trial, condemned him to be hung. He was delivered into the custody of William Cunningham with orders that he should be executed before sunrise the following day. 

History informs us that when Hale was taken before 
Howe he frankly acknowledged the purpose of his 

"I was present at the interview," wrote a British 
officer, "and I observed that the frankness, the manly bearing and the evident disinterested patriotism of the young prisoner touched a tender cord in General Howe's nature; but the stern rules of war concerning such offenses would not allow him to exercise even pity." 

It was on a Sunday morning that Nathan Hale was marched to the place of execution, which was in the vicinity of what is now East Broadway and Market Street He was escorted by a file of soldiers and was permitted to sit in a tent while waiting for the necessary preparations for his death. The young patriot asked for a chaplain but his request was brutally denied. He asked for a Bible, but this also was refused. It was only at the solicitation of a young officer in whose tent Hale sat that he was allowed to write brief letters to his mother, sisters and the young girl to whom he was betrothed. She was Alice Adams, a native of Canterbury, Connecticut, and distinguished both for her intelligence and personal beauty. Who could imagine the feelings that filled the young patriot as he penned his final words to the girl who was pledged to be his wife. 

But imagine the scene a moment later when these tender epistles were handed to Cunningham. That officer read them with growing anger. He became furious as he realized the noble spirit which breathed in every word. He resolved that they should not be given to the world, and with an oath tore them into bits before the face of his victim. It was twilight on that beautiful September morning when Hale was led to his execution. The gallows was the limb of an apple tree in Colonel Rutger's orchard. The young martyr was asked if he had anything to say. He turned to his executioner and in a calm clear voice said: 

"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for 
my country." 

His body was buried near the spot where he died 
and a British officer was sent to acquaint Washington with the fate of his young messenger. A rude stone placed by the side of the grave of his father in the burial ground of the Congregational Church in his native town for many years revealed to passersby the fact that it was:
 "In Commemoration of Nathan Hale, Esquire, a Captain in the Army of the United States, who was Born June Sixth, 1755, and Received the First Honors of Yale College, September 17, 1773, and Resigned His Life a Sacrifice to His Country's Liberty at New York, September 22, 1776, Age Twenty-two." 

Sixty years ago, long before there was a monument 
to the memory of Hale, George Gibbs, librarian of the New York Historical Society, wrote this epitaph, 
which is worthy of preservation: 









The simple narrative of Nathan Hale's life and death effectively disposes of the tradition that he undertook his perilous mission reluctantly or that he had any scruples about essaying the role of a spy. He regarded that task as part of the day's work — an unpleasant part to be sure, but one of the things that had to be cheerfully undertaken in the line of duty. 

But there is one phase of the tragic business that is shrouded in mystery and it is the story of his betrayal. Who was the strange man in "The Cedars?” Was he a cousin? Was he a Tory? Do the descendants of that man still live in New York City and what must their feelings be when they read the inscription upon the monument to the young patriot and martyr? 

Until these questions have been answered and until this mystery has been made clear the story of Nathan Hale will be incomplete.”

From: The world's greatest military spies and secret service agents by George Barton, published in 1917
Source says not in copyright 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"These verses appeared in a broadside, a short time after the massacre of the fifth of March, 1770, as a "new song much in vogue among the friends to arbitrary power, and the soldiery at Castle Island, where it was composed, since the troops have evacuated the town of Boston." 


You simple Bostonians, I'd have you beware, 
Of your Liberty Tree, I would have you take care, 
For if that we chance to return to the town, 
Your houses and stores will come tumbling down. 
Derry down, down, hey derry down. 

If you will not agree to Old England's laws, 
I fear that King Hancock will soon get the yaws : 
But he need not fear, for I swear we will, 
For the want of a doctor give him a hard pill. 

A brave reinforcement, we soon think to get ; 
Then we will make you poor pumpkins to sweat : 
Our drums they'll rattle, and then you will run 
To the devil himself, from the sight of a gun. 

Our fleet and our army, they soon will arrive, 
Then to a bleak island, you shall not us drive. 
In every house, you shall have three or four, 
And if that will not please you, you shall have half a score. 
Derry down, down, hey derry down. 

...Massacre of the fifth of March, Two regiments of British troops under command of Colonels Dalrymple and Carr, arrived at Boston in the month of September, 1768. The people of Boston desired that they should be stationed at the Castle, but "they landed with all the appearance of hostility! They marched through the town with all the ensigns of triumph, evidently designed to subject the inhabitants to the severe discipline of a garrison, and continued their enormities by abusing the people." On the second day of March, 1770, a quarrel arose between two soldiers of the 29th regiment, and the workmen at a rope walk not far distant from the barracks. The soldiers being repulsed, soon made another attack, having increased their number to ten or twelve, but these were also successfully resisted. In consequence of these quarrels the soldiery declared they would be avenged. The following account of their proceedings is taken from the Boston Chronicle of March 8, 1770. " Last Monday about 9 o'clock -at night a most unfortunate affair happened in King Street. The sentinel posted at the Custom House, being surrounded by a number of people, called to the main-guard, upon which Captain Preston, with a party, went to his assistance, soon after which some of the party fired, by which the following persons were killed. Samuel Gray, rope maker, a mulatto man, named Attucks, and Mr. James Caldwell. Early the next morning Captain Preston was committed to jail, and the same day eight soldiers. A meeting of the inhabitants was called at Faneuil Hall that forenoon, and the lieutenant-governor and council met at the council chamber, where the Colonel, Dalrymple and Carr, were desired to attend, when it was concluded upon, that both regiments should go down to the barracks at Castle William, as soon as they were ready to receive them." 

The funeral of the victims of the massacre was attended the 8th of March. On this occasion the shops of the town were closed, and all the bells were ordered to be tolled, as were those of the neighboring towns. The procession began to move between 4 and 5 o'clock, P. M., the bodies of the two strangers, Caldwell and Attacks, being borne from Faneuil Hall, and those of the other victims, from the residence of their families, the hearses meeting in King Street, near the scene of the tragedy, and passing through the main street, to the burial ground, where the bodies were all deposited in one vault. Patrick Carr, who was wounded in the affair, died on the 14th, and was buried on the 17th, in the same vault with his murdered associates. Shortly after the occurrence Paul Revere, of Boston, engraved and printed a large handbill, giving a sketch of the scene, and accompanied it with the following lines : 

"Unhappy Boston ! see thy sons deplore 
Thy hallowed walks besmear'd with guiltless gore. 
While faithless Preston and his savage bands, 
With murderous rancor stretch their bloody hands; 
Like fierce barbarians grinning o'er their prey, 
Approve the carnage and enjoy the day. 
If scalding drops, from rage, from anguish wrung, 
If speechless sorrows laboring for a tongue . 
Or if a weeping world can aught appease 
The plaintive ghosts of victims such as theso; 
The patriot's copious tears for each are shed, 
A glorious tribute which embalms the dead. 
But know, Fate summons to that awful goal, 
Where justice Strips the murderer of his soul: 
Should venal C-ts, the scandal of the land, 
Snatch the relentless villain from her hand, 
Keen execrations on this plate inscrib'd 
Shall reach a judge who never can be bribed." 

Castle Island: Castle William was situated on this island. In 1798, the fortress was ceded to the United States, and in the following year was named by President Adams, Fort Independence. 

From: Songs and ballads of the American revolution by Frank Moore, published in 1856
Source says not in copyright 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way.”

- John Paul Jones 

Captain of the Continental Navy John Paul Jones was born on July 6th, 1747
John Nixon reading The Declaration of Independence in the state-house yard on July 8th, 1776.

Image from 1876, public domain
"At night we stopped at a large elegant brick house, to which the owner bid us welcome. He told me that his house was lord Cornwallis' quarters, during part of the time he was in the Jerseys, in '76 and 77. He said, that Cornwallis was a morose, cross man, always quarrelling with and beating his servants; that he was glad his pride was humbled, but had much rather have heard that he was killed than taken. Here we again regaled ourselves on thanksgiving viands, which was nearly, or quite, the last; however, we had fared something better than I did at the rice and vinegar thanksgiving, in Pennsylvania, in the year 1777. We took breakfast here and went on.

​We this forenoon passed through a pretty village, called Maidenhead; (don't stare, dear reader, I did not name it,) an hour or two before we came to this place, I saw a pretty young lady standing in the door of a house, just by the road side. I very innocently inquired of her how far it was to Maidenhead; she answered, "five miles." One of my men, who, though young, did not stand in very imminent danger of being hanged for his beauty, observed to the young lady, "that he thought the commodity scarce in the market, since he had to go so far to seek it." "Don't trouble yourself," said she, "about that, there is no danger of its being more scarce on your account." The fellow leered, and, I believe, wished he had held his tongue.”

From: The Adventures Of A Revolutionary Soldier by Joseph Plumb Martin, published in 1830
public domain
This painting in the U.S. Capitol (Cox Corridors) shows the British laying down their arms to the Continental Army in 1781 at Yorktown.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary.”

American spy Nathan Hale was born on June 6th, 1755 in Coventry, Connecticut.
"A Continental force from Virginia of four hundred men, under Col. Beaufort, had been dispatched to the relief of Charleston. Beaufort had reached Camden before he was apprised of the surrender of that city. This event properly determined him to retreat. Earl Cornwallis, meanwhile, had taken the field with a force of twenty-five hundred men, and was then in rapid progress for the Santee. Hearing of the advance of Beaufort, he dispatched Tarleton in quest of him, with a select body of infantry and cavalry, in all, seven hundred men. Beaufort was overtaken near the Warsaw settlements, and summoned to surrender. This person does not seem to have been designed by nature for military operations. He halted at the summons, hesitated 
awhile, sent his wagons ahead, consulted with his officers, and did little or nothing farther, either for flight or conflict. While thus halting and hesitating he was attacked by the impetuous Tarleton, offered a feeble resistance unmarked by conduct or spirit, suffered the enemy to gain his rear, and finally grounded his arms. He either did this too soon or too late. His flag was disregarded in the flush of battle, the bearer of it cut down by the hand of Tarleton, and the British infantry, with fixed bayonets, rushed upon the Americans. Some of Beaufort's men, seeing that their application for quarter was disregarded, resolved to die like men, and resumed their arms. Their renewed fire provoked the massacre of the unresisting. A terrible butchery followed. The British gave no quarter. From that day, "Tarleton’s Quarters," implying the merciless cutting down of the suppliant, grew into a proverbial phrase, which, 
in the hour of victory, seemed to embitter the hostility with which the American strove to avenge his slaughtered comrades. 

The defeat of Beaufort, with the only regular force remaining in the State, following so close upon the fall of Charleston, paralyzed the hopes of the patriots. The country seemed everywhere subdued. An unnatural and painful apathy dispirited opposition. The presence of a British force, sufficient to overawe the neighborhood, at conspicuous points, and the awakened activity of the Tories in all quarters, no longer restrained by the presence in arms of their more patriotic countrymen, seemed to settle the question of supremacy. There was not only no head against the enemy, but the State, on a sudden, appeared to 
have been deprived of all her distinguished men. Moultrie and others who might have led, were prisoners of war. Governor Rutledge, a noble spirit and famous orator — the Patrick Henry of Carolina, — had withdrawn to the North State, to stimulate the energies of the people in that quarter and gain recruits. His example was followed by Sumter, Horry and others, — by all, in fact, who, escaping captivity, were in condition to fly. The progress of Cornwallis and Tarleton left mere distinction, unsupported by men, with few places of security. Marion, meanwhile, incapable of present flight, was compelled to take refuge in the swamp and forest. He was too conspicuous a person had made too great a figure in previous campaigns, and his military talents were too well known and too highly esteemed, not to render him an object of some anxiety as well to friends as foes. Still suffering from the hurts received in Charleston, with bloody and malignant enemies all around him, his safety depended on his secrecy and obscurity alone. Fortunately he had "won golden opinions from all sorts of people." He had friends among all classes, who did not permit themselves to sleep while he was in danger. Their activity supplied the loss of his own, They watched while he slept. They assisted his feebleness. In the moment of alarm, he was sped from house to house, from tree to thicket, from the thicket to the swamp. His "hair-breadth 'scapes" under these frequent exigencies, were, no doubt, among the most interesting adventures of his life, furnishing rare material, could they be procured, for the poet and romancer.”

From: The Life of Francis Marion by William Gilmore Simms, published in 1844
Source says not in copyright

Image: General Francis Marion - The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Scenes in his life" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 7, 2020.
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On June 13th, 1777 The Marquis de Lafayette arrives in South Carolina to assist America in our fight for Independence.

Image: Lafayette's Baptism by Fire 
by E. Percy Moran via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A carriage in which LaFayette rode
"Mr. Millener was at the battles of White Plains, 
Brandywine, Saratoga, Monmouth, Yorktown, and some others. The first of these he describes as "a nasty battle." At Monmouth, he received a flesh wound in his thigh. "One of the officers came along, and, looking at me, said, 'What's the matter with you, boy? 'Nothing,’ I answered. 'Poor fellow,' exclaimed he, 'you are bleeding to death.' I looked down; the blood was gushing out of me. The day was very warm. Lee did well; but Washington wasn't very well pleased with him." General Lee he describes as a large man. He had a most enormous nose. One day a man met him and turned his nose away. 'What do you do that for, you d——d rascal?exclaimed he. 'I was afraid our noses would meet,' was his reply. He had a very large nose himself. Lee laughed and gave him a dollar." 

Of Burgoyne's surrender he says, "The British soldiers looked down-hearted. When the order came to 'ground arms,' one of them exclaimed, with an oath, 'You are not going to have my gun!' and threw it violently on the ground, and smashed it. Arnold was a smart man; they didn't sarve him quite straight." He was at the encampment at Valley Forge. "Lady Washington visited the army. She used thorns instead of pins on her clothes. The poor soldiers had bloody feet." At Yorktown he shook hands with Cornwallis. He describes him as "a fine looking man; very mild. The day after the surrender, the Life Guard came up, Cornwallis sat on an old bench. 'Halt!' he ordered; then looked at us— viewed us." 

From: The last men of the Revolution: a photograph of each from life, together with views of their homes printed in colors: accompanied by brief biographical sketches of the men.
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Alexander Millener in 1864, aged 104, one of the survivors of the Revolution via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A portrait of Christopher Gadsden who was the designer of the famous Gadsden Flag or “Don’t Tread on Me” Flag 

The coiled snake was painted on the drums of the early Marines.

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"It was while General Putnam was thus engaged, that Washington boldly moved forward and struck two decisive blows, at Trenton, and then at Princeton, which suddenly electrified and energized the whole army and country. It was a part of the plan to have Putnam cooperate in these brilliant exploits of the Commander-in-chief, both with a portion of his Philadelphia troops and a body of Pennsylvania militia; but the fear of a sudden rising among the loyalists of the city made such a design impracticable. Two letters from Washington to Putnam, one just on the eve of these bold enterprises, indicate very plainly what were the feelings of the Commander-in-chief at that time. In the first, he advises General Putnam to remove the public stores to a place of greater safety, as the enemy had said they would enter the town within twenty days; but in the other, written some days afterwards, he expresses the opinion that the British are seized with a panic, and that he will 
yet be able to drive them out of the Jerseys altogether. Finding that affairs were thus taking a favorable turn, he ordered Putnam into the field again. He was directed, on the 5th of January, 1777, to march the troops under his command to Crosswick, a few miles southeast of Trenton, where he might be able both to keep a strict watch on the enemy and to obtain any advantage that offered. Washington's plan was to harass the British army by every method within the reach of his ingenuity. Putnam was ordered to keep spies out continually, so that he might not be taken by surprise; and also to make it appear to the enemy, by such means as he could, that his force was a great deal stronger than it really was. Inasmuch as the British seemed inclined to make no demonstration against them, but rather concentrated for the remainder of the winter in New Brunswick and Amboy, Putnam was soon after ordered into winter quarters at Princeton, which was some fifteen miles distant. He had but a handful of troops with him at the most; and had he been attacked in his position at any time, would have been forced to retreat without offering battle.”

From: The life of Israel Putnam by George Hill, published in 1903
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Israel Putnam, public domain via NYPL Digital Collections
On January 21st, 1738 (New Style Date) Revolutionary War Hero Ethan Allen was born in Litchfield, Connecticut. 

"When he was two years old the family moved into Cornwall. There his brothers and sisters were born, there his father died, there Ethan lived until he was twenty-four years old. When seventeen he was fitting for college with the Rev. Mr. Lee, of Salisbury. His father’s death put an end to his studies. This was in 1755, when the French and Indian war was raging along Lakes George and Champlain, a war which lasted until Allen’s twenty-third year. Some of the early settlers of Vermont, Samuel Robinson, Joseph Bowker, and others, took part in this war. Not so Allen. There is no intimation that he hungered for a soldier’s life in his youth. His usual means of earning a livelihood for himself and his widowed mother s family is supposed to have been agriculture. 

William Cothrens, in his "History of Ancient Woodbury," tells us that in January, 1762,  Allen, with three others, entered into the iron business in Salisbury, Connecticut, and built a furnace. In June of that year he returned to Roxbury, and married Mary Brownson, a maiden five years older than himself. The marriage fee was four shillings, or sixty -seven cents. By this wife he had five children: one son, who died at the age of eleven, while Ethan was a captive, and four daughters. Two died unmarried ; one married Eleazer W. Keyes, of Burlington; the other married the Hon. Samuel Hitchcock, of Burlington, and was the mother of General Ethan Allen Hitchcock, U.S.A.”

From: Ethan Allen, the Robin Hood of Vermont, by Henry Hall, published in the late 1800s
Source says not in copyright 

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Revolutionary War Veteran Colonel Timothy Pickering served as U.S. Postmaster General (for over 3 years), the U.S. Secretary of War (about a year) and served as U.S. Secretary of State for a time when George Washington was President and for a period of time when John Adams was President.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Interior of the old Jersey prison ship...

Thousands of American patriots were captured and held as POWs on ships like this one during the War for Independence.
Conditions as one prisoner wrote were "ghastly” and “wretched” and filled with “sickness and death.”

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Miscellaneous Organizations, Continental Army, 1776-1779

via New York Public Library Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Paul Revere at Lexington 

via New York Public Library Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Now through Valentine’s Day –  Buy 3 Books, Get 33% OFF your book order at Heartfelt History Gift Shoppe Premium
“General Ward lay ill in bed when the express 
rider galloped through Shrewsbury with news of 
the clash at Lexington. But next morning at daybreak he mounted his horse and set out toward Boston, joining and passing company after company of the militiamen filling the roads as they also hurried eastward to the capital. 

From Shrewsbury to Cambridge is now a pleasant motor trip, but on horseback over the rough highway of the year 1775 it could have been no holiday jaunt for a middle-aged man afflicted with bladder-stone. Yet Ward unhesitatingly journeyed it to direct the dangerous enterprise of rebellion against the world-famed power of Great Britain.

Those men of New England who thus unflinchingly accepted duty's call to leadership, and, leading, dared, arms in hand, to oppose the authority of the King and Parliament of England, risked a fate far more bitter than death on the battlefield. They dared also the hangman's gallows — and, beyond, perchance the horrors of the severed head and limbs rotting by the roadside. Such things have been impossible in England for a century or more — but they were not impossible then. Nor did they seem so to Ward and his associates, for they had been young men grown at the time of the Jacobite hangings and beheadings of 1746. 

The risk of punishment for treason was much greater when Ward assumed the leadership than when Washington took hold. Behind Ward, and the other early leaders of the Revolution, were only the forces of New England — indeed, at the first challenge, only the forces of Massachusetts. When Washington was appointed, he had the patriot element of thirteen colonies at his back. 

On Ward's arrival at Cambridge he took command of the besieging forces and called a council of war — the first Revolutionary council of war. Three general officers were present — Ward himself, William Heath, and John Whitcomb; six colonels, including William Prescott of Pepperell — later "of Bunker Hill";  and six lieutenant-colonels. Samuel Osgood acted as aide-de-camp to General Ward and Joseph Ward as secretary.”

Artemas Ward was born on November 26th, 1727 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

From: The life of Artemas Ward, the first commander-in-chief of the American Revolution, published in 1921 by Charles Martyn
Source says not in copyright
“The advance guard of the British under Tarleton met Lee's legion on the morning of the 15th. The skirmish between these two partisan troopers was brief but severe. Lee had superior horses in weight and strength and bore down his adversary in the charge. Tarleton retreated; Lee followed but had to retire precipitately upon meeting the main force of the British army. 

Greene meanwhile arranged his troops in three lines on both sides of the old Salisbury or New Garden road west of Guilford Court House. The general direction of this road is a little north of east and Cornwallis was approaching from the west. The Continental troops were arranged very much as they had been at the Cowpens. The North Carolina militia under Gen. Eaton were placed in the center and at right angles to the old Salisbury or New Garden road and north of it and Eaton's left rested on the road. Butler's brigade of North Carolina militia was placed on the south side, his right resting on the road. The whole line was protected by a zigzag rail fence which separated the woods in which they were drawn up from the open field in their front. Left of Butler were placed 100 men commanded by Arthur Forbis of Guilford county, one of the bravest officers of the North Carolina troops. These were sturdy, solid, Scotch Irish Presbyterians and Forbis himself was an elder in the church. 

Two six-pounder cannons under the command of Capt. Singleton of Virginia were placed in the road a little in advance of the North Carolina militia. On the right flank of Eaton's brigade, Col. Wm. Washington with Kirkwood's Delawares and Lynch's riflemen numbering altogether 280 men formed a covering party, while Col. William Campbell, of Kings Mountain fame, with 60 men, and Major Joseph Winston's command formed the covering party on the left of Butler's brigade. A short distance to the rear of Campbell was Lee's legion which numbered 75 cavalry and 82 infantry. Three hundred yards in the rear of the North Carolina militia the Virginia militia were formed into line. Gen. Stevens with his brigade occupied the southern side of the old Salisbury road and at right angles to it and immediately in the rear of Butler's militia and Campbell's troopers

On the north side of the old Salisbury road was stationed Lawson's brigade of Virginia militia, which held the same position on the north side that Stevens militia held on the south. 

Five hundred and fifty yards in the rear of the Virginia militia the Continental troops and regulars which included two brigades were drawn up in a semi-circular line in an old field on the north side of the old Salisbury road. The first brigade was composed of two Virginia regiments commanded by Gen. Huger. One of the regiments was led by Col. John Green and the other was led by Lieut.-Col. Samuel Hawes. This brigade was on the right of the line. The second brigade led by Col. Otho Williams who commanded the rear guard in Greene's retreat into Virginia was composed of the first and second Maryland regiments, the first led by Col. Gunby and the second by Col. Benjamin Ford. No finer regiment was in the service than the first Maryland. It had been with Washington in his New Jersey campaigns; it was under DeKalb when he joined Gates; it withstood the shock of the British army at Camden and saved the army from destruction; it did valiant service at Cowpens under Lieutenant-Colonel Howard; and it stripped Tarleton of his laurels. 

The second Maryland regiment had never been in action and was no better than the militia. Its conduct was the main cause of the retreat of the Americans at the Battle of Guilford Court House. Two pieces of artillery were placed at the flanks of these two brigades. 

After the cavalry fight between Lee and Tarleton, Cornwallis moved rapidly forward to attack Greene's main army. At Little Horsepen Creek the head of Cornwallis' forces came in sight of the American troops. Singleton, who, with his two six-pounders, was stationed in the old Salisbury road just in front of the North Carolina militia, opened fire on the British as soon as they appeared. The British with some three pounders responded. For a time there was a sharp artillery duel during which Cornwallis was putting his troops in line of battle. 

The British troops were disposed in the following order: 
On the right were placed Major General Leslie with the Hessian regiment of Bose led by Major du Buy and the 71st British regiment led by Col. Simon Fraser supported by the first battalion of the guards led by Colonel Norton. Leslie was confronted by Butler's militia and Campbell's corps. 
On the left were stationed the 23rd and 33rd regiments led by Col. Webster and supported by the Grenadiers and the second battalion of guards led by Brigadier General O'Hara. The German Jagers, with the light infantry of the guards, occupied a position in the woods on the extreme left of the line. 

These forces on the left were confronted by Eaton's North Carolina militia, Kirkwood's Delawares and Lynch's riflemen. Tarleton with his cavalry was drawn up in the road with orders to act as circumstances might demand. 

Cornwallis felt deeply the awful responsibility that rested upon him. Never did a commander exert himself more industriously, energetically or bravely to win victory. Defeat would be ruin. In that event he felt that the destruction of his army would be inevitable. He was 140 miles from Camden, the only place from which he could reasonably expect reinforcements and almost an equal distance 'from Wilmington, the base of his supplies. He was conscious of the hollowness of the professions of loyalty made by the Tories. He directed the attack to be made on the left wing of the Americans where the woods were more open. His troops moved forward with confidence stirred by martial music and fluttering banners. He knew the spirit, the endurance, and the fortitude of his veterans; he knew also that he was outnumbered nearly two to one and that his enemy was fighting for home, country, and liberty, and stirred by the strongest feelings of hatred and revenge. 

It was on Thursday afternoon, March 15, 1781, about half past one o'clock that the battle began. With great spirit Gen. Leslie moved forward and attacked Butler's North Carolina militia and Campbell's corps. Finding that he was so much outflanked, Leslie ordered the first battalion of the 
guards, which was stationed immediately behind the Hessians, forward into line. It was placed on the right of the Hessian regiment. The British forces on the right then moved forward and, according to the testimony of Capt. Dugald Stuart, a British officer who commanded a company of the 71st regiment of Highlanders, received a deadly fire from the Scotch-Irish line of the American army, which was composed of marksmen lying on the ground behind the rail fence already mentioned. "One-half of the Highlanders," says Capt. Stuart, "dropped on the spot. There ought to be a very large tumulus on the spot where our men lie buried." A part of the militia under Butler received the name Irish, or Scotch-Irish because they came from that portion of North Carolina settled by the Scotch-Irish. 

Campbell's corps withstood the onset bravely but fell back slowly before the English bayonets. After one or two fires however, the North Carolina militia retreated precipitately and in disorder. 

Meanwhile the engagement on the north side of the old Salisbury road between the forces under Col. Webster and the militia under Gen. Eaton was animated and brisk. Col. Webster rode in front of his brigade and ordered a charge. In obedience to this order the British in a sharp run came within firing distance of Eaton's militia. They there observed that the whole force of the militia had their arms presented with rests upon a rail fence, taking the most deliberate aim. This is the testimony of Lamb, an English historian, who was, at the time, an officer of the 33rd regiment. Lamb further says: "At this awful period a general pause took place; both parties surveyed each other for a moment with most anxious suspense. Col. Webster then rode forward in front of the 33rd regiment and said with more than his usual commanding tone, 'Come on my brave fusileers.' This operated like an inspiring voice. They rushed forward amidst the enemy’s fire, and dreadful was the havoc on both sides. At last the Americans gave way and the brigade advanced to the attack of the second line." 

Tarleton, who afterwards wrote a history of his campaigns in America, says: “The order and coolness of that part of Webster's brigade which advanced across the open ground exposed to the enemy's fire can not be sufficiently extolled. The extremities were not less gallant but were more 
protected by the woods in which they moved. The militia allowed the front line to approach within 150 yards before they gave their fire.”

From: The Battle of Guilford Court House, an address before the Tennessee division of the Sons of the American Revolution by Joseph Buckner Killebrew, published in 1902
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Image: Painting of the Battle of Guilford Court House - March 15, 1781 by H. Charles McBarron
via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The American Revolutionary War began 15 months before America declared independence from Great Britain in 1776...

Image: Battle of Lexington engraving, April 1775 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Hale receiving instructions from Washington

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Mordecai Gist 

In his early 30’s Mordecai led a group of Maryland patriots against the British invasion during the Battle of Brooklyn. Most of his Marylanders were killed while holding their position which provided an opportunity for Washington and his Continental Army to escape.

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"Ancient push plow, Lexington Historical Society, Lexington, Mass., from the "farm of Capt. John Parker, Capt. of the Minute Men, 19th of April 1775"

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American Revolutionary War hero Joseph Winston passed away at the age of 68 on April 21st, 1815.

The “Winston” in the merged North Carolina city of Winston-Salem was named in his honor.

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On April 26th, 1777 teenager Sybil Ludington makes her ride to warn of the advancing Redcoats  

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Come all you brave soldiers, both valiant and free, 
It's for Independence we all now agree, 
Let us gird on our swords, and prepare to defend 
Our liberty, property, ourselves and our friends. 

In a cause that's so righteous, come let us agree. 
And from hostile invaders set America free; 
The cause is so glorious we need not to fear 
But from merciless tyrants we'll set ourselves clear. 

Heaven's blessing attending us, no tyrant shall say 
That Americans e'er to such monsters gave way; 
But, fighting, we'll die in America's cause, 
Before we'll submit to tyrannical laws. 

George the Third, of Great Britain, no more shall he 
With unlimited sway o'er these free states again; 
Lord North, nor old Bute, nor none of their clan, 
Shall ever be honor'd by an American.”

From: The spirit of the American revolution as revealed in the poetry of the period; a study of American patriotic verse from 1760 to 1783
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Engraving of Continental soldiers in 18th century via NYPL, no known restrictions
Elias Boudinot, 2nd President of Confederation Congress who served for about a year, was born on May 2nd, 1740 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

During the American Revolution, George Washington requested that Elias have the responsibility of supervising camp of British prisoners of war as well as their exchange for American prisoners.

In May of 1778, Boudinot wrote a letter to Washington asking him where he should be placed to best serve the Army. 

Washington replied about 10 days later with:

"Dear Sir 

I was duly favoured wnth yours of the 13th. I 
am happy to learn, that the appearances with respect to the future treatment of our prisoners are 
now so favourable. It is much to be wished, the 
disposition which at present appears may be persevered in ; though unluckily for the credit of their humanity, it is too evident the change which has taken place, is to be ascribed more to the series of successful events which have lately happened in our Affairs, than to any desire to relieve the sufferings of Captivity. 

By a Resolve of Congress of the 21st, in consequence of a late proposal from General Howe, a general Exchange of prisoners is to be carried into execution ; This renders your immediate presence at Camp necessary which I therefore request.”

From: The life, public services, addresses and letters of Elias Boudinot, published in 1896
Source says not in copyright
The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton in 1776

by John Trumbull 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
American Revolutionary War Veteran and 4th U.S. Attorney General Levi Lincoln Sr. was born on May 15th, 1749 in Hingham, Massachusetts.

Levi was a distant relative of Abraham Lincoln.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
General Anthony Wayne’s handwritten order for a barrel of whiskey for the hospital 

- 1795

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"...the British troops piled their arms according to the capitulation. The prize obtained, consisted of near six thousand prisoners, forty-two pieces of brass ordnance, seven thousand nuiskets, clothing for seven thousand men, and a great quantity of tents, and other military stores. 

General Bnrgoyne was received by his successful antagonist, with every mark of kindness and respect. General Wilkinson, in his account of the affair, says: ''General Gates, advised of Burgoyne's approach, met him at the head of his camp; Burgoyne in a rich, royal unitbrm, and Gates in a plain blue frock. When they had approached nearly within sword's length, they reined up and halted. I then named the gentlemen; and General Burgoyne, raising his hat most gracefully, said: 'The fortune of war, General Gates, has made me your prisoner ;' to 
which the conqueror, returning a courtly salute promptly replied, 'I shall always bear testimony that it has not been through any fault of your excellency.'

The surrender of the army of General Burgoyne, was one of the most important events which transpired during the progress of the war. It taught the British ministry, that they were contending with an enemy whom it was madness to despise, and opened the way for the treaty of alliance which was 
afterwards concluded with France. The American people were in an ecstasy of joy. The name of the hero of Saratoga was on every tongue, and coupled with every expression of gratitude and admiration. The thanks of Congress were voted to General Gates and his army ; and a medal of gold, in commemoration of this great event, was ordered to be struck, to be presented to him by the president, in the name of the United States.”

From: The lives of patriots and heroes distinguished in the battles for American freedom by John S. Jenkins, published in 1847
Source says not in copyright 

Mezzotint of Horatio Gates via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Joseph Warren, American General and physician during the Revolutionary War, was born on June 11th, 1741 in Roxbury, Massachusetts 

He was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill at the age of 34.

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“Many were marksmen, intent on cutting down the British officers ; and when one was in sight, they exclaimed, " There ! see that officer !" “Let us have a shot at him!" — when two or three would fire at the same moment. They used the fence as a rest for their pieces, and the bullets were true to their message. The companies were cut up with terrible severity; and so great was the carnage, that the columns, a few moments before so proud and firm in their array, were disconcerted, partly broken, and then retreated. Many of the Americans were in favor of pursuing them, and some, with exulting huzzas, jumped over the fence for this purpose, but were prevented by the prudence of their officers. "A portion of the company," Captain Mann says, "twice passed the fence huzzaing, supposing, at the time, that we had driven the enemy." 

The British are uniform in bearing testimony to the murderous effect of that fire. One says: “Our light-infantry were served up in companies against the grass fence, without being able to penetrate ; indeed, how could we penetrate? Most of our grenadiers and light-infantry, the moment of presenting themselves, lost three- fourths, and many nine-tenths, of their men. Some had only eight and nine men a company left ; some only three, four, and five." Another says : “It was found to be the strongest post that was ever occupied by any set of men." 

From: The centennial: battle of Bunker Hill by Richard Frothingham, published in 1875
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Engraving of The Battle of Bunker Hill that took place on June 17th, 1775 via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
American Continental Soldier, c. 1775. Engraved by John C. McRae from a painting by Alonzo Chappel 

via Alamy
"As Morgan was posted in the immediate neighborhood of the enemy, he was first apprised of their movements, and thereupon he immediately pushed forward to annoy them. He first encountered a strong picket of Hessians, who were soon driven in upon the main body. The latter were at this moment in full retreat across the bridge, a strong division of their forces being drawn up to cover the movement. Against this body, Morgan immediately directed the fire of his regiment; and after a fierce struggle of a few minutes, the enemy were forced to give way, and to seek the shelter afforded by some redoubts which they had previously constructed on that side of the river. The advantage afforded them by the redoubts subjected Morgan to a momentary check; but 
Gen. Wayne's brigade arriving at this juncture, the contest was renewed with greater spirit than ever. After a short struggle, the British abandoned their redoubts, and retreated precipitately along the Amboy road. 

Morgan, followed by Wayne, kept close to the heels of the enemy; and before he gave up the pursuit, forced their rear guard, on several occasions, to face about, and exchange several sharp fires with his riflemen. For more than an hour, the contest was maintained with severe loss on both sides ; and it was not until Wayne and Morgan had advanced in the pursuit as far as Piscataway, that they ordered a halt. They had reckoned with confidence on the co-operation of Sullivan and Maxwell, in which event they felt assured, that the day would prove a disastrous one to General Howe. But this not being obtained, they paused awhile at Piscataway, to refresh their men, and then returned to New Brunswick. The opinion prevailed in the army after this battle, that had Maxwell arrived at the post assigned him, in time to take a part in the contest, the enemy's rear guard of 1500 men would have been cut off and captured. 

In this action, Morgan greatly distinguished himself. His corps had fought with extraordinary valor ; and, although it suffered severely in its repeated encounters with the enemy during the preceding few days, the loss of the latter was far greater Morgan and Wayne, as well as their officers and men, were made the subject of very commendatory remarks in the letter which Washington addressed to the President of Congress, after the action. Honorable mention was made of "their conduct and bravery on this occasion,” and the fact was specially noted, that "they constantly advanced upon an enemy far superior to them in numbers, and well secured behind strong redoubts."

American General of The Revolutionary War, Daniel Morgan, passed away on July 6th, 1802 in Winchester, Virginia.

Source: The life of General Daniel Morgan, of the Virginia line of the army of the United States, with portions of his correspondence; by James Graham, published in 1859
Not in copyright
On July 9th, 1776 George Washington authorized that The Declaration of Independence be read out loud to the Continental Army. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The Kitchen, Paul Revere House, Boston, Mass.

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
"We want great men, who when fortune frowns will not be discouraged. God will I trust in time give us these men.”

- Henry Knox 

Henry Knox was born on July 25th, 1750 in 
Boston, Massachusetts 

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On July 29th, 1778 the Count d'Estaing arrived in Newport, Rhode Island with his French fleet to support the Americans during the Revolution.

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General James Clinton Veteran of The French & Indian War and The Revolutionary War was born on August 9th, 1736 in Little Britain, New York. 

In addition to serving during the unsuccessful Invasion of Quebec he also fought at The Battle of Newtown in Chemung County, New York in 1779 and at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.

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Benjamin Tallmadge organized the Culper Spy Ring and his father-in-law was a signer of The Declaration of Independence.

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North bridge and statue of the "Minute Man" on old battleground, Concord, Massachusetts 

Image c. 1859 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
by Edward Mason Eggleston

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Birthplace of General Marquis de Lafayette in Chavaniac, France who was born here on September 6th, 1757.

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An officer of the Yale College Reserve Officers' Training Corps placing a memorial wreath at the base of the Nathan Hale statue, New Haven, Connecticut in 1918

In September 1776 Nathan Hale volunteered to be a spy for the Continental Army. He was apprehended by the British and was executed just a few weeks later. He was only 21 years old. 

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An artist’s engraving of Paul Revere’s ride

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John Gray served as a member of the Continental Army at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781 during the American Revolution.

He lived to be 104, long enough to witness the American Civil War. He passed away in 1868, nearly three years after the death of Abraham Lincoln.

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A print of Samuel Osgood who was a Revolutionary War Veteran, the 4th Post Master General of the United States and a member of Continental Congress.

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“Oh, God of truth! What help may stay our doom? 
Our sister ship Alliance, stricken mad. 
Not rebel, not royal, but foul at heart and bad, 
And blundering and skulking in the gloom. 
Rakes us with fire, yet spares the tugging foe. 
Can human hearts hold out 'gainst such a blow? 
Did ever demon out of smoke and fire 
Of black perdition bum with such desire? 
Despite our howls of deep, outraged despair, 
She wheels, and strikes us hard — again — again!
One shot of hers hath slain eleven men. 
Master of right! is this true fight and fair? 
Head, side, and stern, she cuts us through and 
And never a deed to stay her can we do.”

From: Flamborough head and other poems, published in 1899
Source says no known restrictions 

The Battle of Flamborough Head between the USS Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis was fought off the coast of England on September 23rd, 1779

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House built by Oliver Peabody, Eliot Square, Roxbury, Massachusetts 

During the American Revolution Major General John Thomas used his spyglass from the windows on the third floor to monitor British activity in the region.

A chaplain of the Continental Army, Amos Adams, used the home as his living quarters.  

via Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts, no known restrictions
On October 7th, 1783 men who were enslaved who became soldiers and fought for the Continental Army during the Revolution were granted freedom by the Virginia House of Burgesses.

78 years before the American Civil War 

Image: House of Burgesses in the Capitol Williamsburg, James City County, Virginia 
from the 1930s via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Heroes of "76," marching to the fight

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A complete camp chest from The Revolutionary War that was possibly used by George Washington

via National Museum of American History, no known restrictions
“Cornwallis' plan of escape from Yorktown was to attack the French and Americans at Gloucester Point before day-break; mount his Infantry on the captured cavalry and other horses, and force his way through Maryland and Pennsylvania to New York, but a violent storm arose that night and drove his boats down the river and put a stop to his wild and daring scheme. His hopes were now at an end, as his fortifications were crumbling in ruins around him, and unwilling to expose the residue of his brave men who had been so faithful in all dangers, he sent a flag of truce to Washington to suspend 

Colonel Laurens was appointed first commissioner to negotiate the surrender; he was the son of Hon. Henry Laurens, who had been sent as ambassador to Holland, but was captured and was then in the tower of London. 

The terms of surrender were similar to those granted to General Lincoln a year before at Charleston, and he (General Lincoln) arranged the surrender and received the British army.* 

The French and American armies formed two lines of over a mile in length, and the British army marched between the two, surrendering their arms which they threw in a pile with such force as to break them, such was the mortification of the men, and they were checked in the same. It was a bright and glorious day, but a day of bitter disappointment to the English. The captured troops marched out with colors folded and drums beating a slow march. The officers were allowed their side arms and private property, and all the military and artillery were delivered to the American forces, and the marines and seamen to the French navy. The French army with Count de Rochambeau in complete uniform, and with their bands presented a splendid appearance. The Americans though not all in uniform, presented a fine soldierly air with joy beaming from their countenances. 

Every degree of confidence and harmony existed between the American and French, and the only spirit to excel was in exploits of bravery against the common enemy. 

The British army made many brilliant exploits and victories under Cornwallis, and they almost adored him, but he should have cheerfully shared in their humiliation and disgrace; it is said, however, he gave himself up to vexation and remorse.

The Commander-in-chief of the allied forces expressed himself in an order of the day — "thanks due the brave officers and soldiers of the French and American armies!”

It was a sad sight to see Yorktown after the siege, with bodies of men and horses half covered with earth, the fine houses riddled with cannon balls, and the rich furniture and books scattered over the ruins. The loss of men of the French army was double that of the Americans. There were eleven thousand in the British army at the commencement of the siege, and our forces in all amounted to about twelve thousand six hundred.”

From: A history of the surrender of the British forces to the Americans and French, at Yorktown, Va. by William James Chamberlain Du Hamel, published in 1881
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown by John Trumbull via Wikimedia Commons, public domain