Download Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners by Edwin G. Burrows PDF

By Edwin G. Burrows

Among 1775 and 1783, a few 200,000 american citizens took up fingers opposed to the British Crown. simply over 6,800 of these males died in conflict. approximately 25,000 grew to become prisoners of conflict, such a lot of them limited in big apple urban lower than stipulations so atrocious that they perished via the hundreds of thousands. proof means that at the least 17,500 americans can have died in those prisons—more than two times the quantity to die at the battlefield. It was once in big apple, now not Boston or Philadelphia, the place so much american citizens gave their lives for the reason for independence. big apple urban turned the jailhouse of the yankee Revolution since it was once the critical base of the Crown’s army operations. starting with the bumper crop of yank captives taken through the 1776 invasion of latest York, captured americans have been crammed right into a swiftly assembled selection of public structures, sugar homes, and legal ships. The prisoners have been shockingly overcrowded and chronically underfed—those who escaped alive advised of co-workers so hungry they ate their very own outfits and sneakers. regardless of the extreme variety of lives misplaced, Forgotten Patriots is the first-ever account of what came about in those hell-holes. the result's a special point of view at the innovative battle in addition to a sobering remark on how americans have remembered our fight for independence—and how a lot we've got forgotten.

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Additional info for Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War

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They were nonpersons, to be used in any way that would most effectively put an end to the insurrection: Rebels taken in arms forfeit their lives by the laws of all Countries. The keeping all the Rebel prisoners taken in arms, without any immediate hope of release, and in a state of uncertainty with respect to their fate, would certainly strike great terror into their army; whereas now, captivity has nothing dreadful in it; and it rather encourages them to continue their opposition to the utmost extremity, when they find, contrary to every expectation, that capital punishment has not been inflicted on any of those who have fallen into our hands.

Despite the creation of the Royal Naval Academy in 1732 and the Royal Military Academy in 1741— both evidence of an emerging post-feudal professionalism—military rank in Britain remained intimately connected to inherited property and privilege. Only someone entitled by birth to the deference of others was believed capable of leading men in war: gentility, not expertise, constituted the foundation of an officer’s authority. ”18 This was no theoretical abstraction. In Britain, army officers purchased their commissions, typically at prices so steep—£1,500 for a captain, £3,500 for a lieutenant-colonel, £5,000 for a full colonel— that the service essentially belonged to the few hundred wealthy families who ran the country.

There was, in any event, no change whatsoever in the attitude of Allen’s captors, who spoke openly of their wish to see him dead, whether Germain wanted to bring him up on charges or not. qxd 9/2/08 10:18 AM Page 43 3 h THE STOOL OF Repentance T h e m o n t h o f O c t o b e r 1776 found Washington and the American army hunkered down on the rocky escarpments of upper Manhattan, waiting for General Howe to march up from New York City and drive them off, if he could. But Howe had other ideas. On the morning of October 12, he and his brother, Admiral Lord Richard Howe, orchestrated their third amphibious landing in as many months—this one depositing some 4,000 redcoats and Hessians on Throg’s Neck, a narrow peninsula poking down into Long Island Sound from the mainland.

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