Over the years I have grown disheartened that Americans tend to know so little about the American Revolution. For example, did you know that more American soldiers succumbed to sickness and disease than died from battlefield fatalities? In order to help eradicate this problem Gen. George Washington, largely at his own expense, had the entire Continental Army inoculated against small pox. He did this despite orders from Congress forbidding this supposedly “dangerous procedure.”
Did you know the British starved to death approximately 11,000 American prisoners and then threw their remains on the shores of New York harbor? Furthermore, there were battles in which hundreds of patriots surrendered to their British and German adversaries, only to be bayoneted to death.
Many of Washington’s soldiers were mere teenagers. Did you know the youngest, according to Congressional records, was only 8 years old, moreover, in many clashes, Americans were frequently barefoot and in rags. Did you know soldiers often went as long as a year without pay, and when they were paid it was with worthless Continental dollars?
Did you know George Washington served 8 1/2 years as commander-in-chief with no remittance? This extraordinary man’s birthday is Feb. 22. We own him and his army our everlasting gratitude.
Buddy Davis, Modesto