Revolutionary War Veteran Narratives.pdf - National...

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National Humanities Center Resource ToolboxMaking the Revolution: America, 1763-1791*“This I can well remember”Amos Doolittle,A View of the South Part of Lexington, 1775 (detail)print #4 of seriesBattles of Lexington and Concord, colored etchings/engravings, 1775 [New York Public Library]__Narratives of Revolutionary War Veterans, 1830s__In 1832 Congress passed the last and most extensive pension act for Revolutionary War veteransit granted partial or full pay toevery man who had served in the war for at least six months. Over 80,000 veterans submitted applications, often accompanied withdictated narratives and handwritten accounts of their wartime experiences. From these records, housed in the National Archives,historian John C. Dann publishedThe Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence(University ofChicago Press, 1980), from which these selections provide a glimpse of the Revolutionary War soldier’s experience.A minuteman at Lexington Green on19 April 1775, Wood may have cap-tured the first British prisoner of theRevolutionary War.SYLVANUSWOODwe concluded that trouble was near”. . . I, Sylvanus Wood, was born in Woburn, but in that part now called Burlington, MiddlesexCounty, Massachusetts, twelve miles from Boston, and there I learned to make boots and shoes. There Ijoined a minute company, disciplined with activity by a man who was in the fight on Abrahams Plains1with the brave General Wolfe, and in fifteen months hostilities commenced.I was then established at my trade two miles east of Lexington meetinghouse, on west border ofWoburn, and on the nineteenth morn of April 1775, Robert Douglass and myself heard Lexington bellabout one hour before day. We concluded that trouble was near.We waited for no man but hastened and joined Captain Parker’s company at the breaking of the day.Douglass and myself stood together in the center of said company when the enemy first fired. The Englishsoon were on their march for Concord. I helped carry six dead into the meetinghouse and then set outafter the enemy and had not an armed man to go with me, but before I arrived at Concord I see one of thegrenadiers standing sentinel. I cocked my piece and run up to him, seized his gun with my left hand. Hesurrendered his armor, one gun and bayonet, a large cutlash [cutlass] and brass fender, one box over theshoulder with twenty-two rounds, one box round the waist with eighteen rounds. This was the firstprisoner that was known to be taken that day.*National Humanities Center, 2010: nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/. John C. Dann, ed.,The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of theWar for Independence,©1980 by The University of Chicago Press; reproduced by permission. Some punctuation modernized and paragraphingadded by NHC for clarity. Complete image credits at nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/makingrev/imagecredits.htm.

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Term
Spring
Professor
Larsen B. Plyler
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National Humanities Center

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