Young Patriot The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy
Many books on the Revolutionary War are told by virtue of heroic deeds, incredible individuals, and events so far-reaching that individuals and their injurious trials are lost entirely. This book takes a slightly different approach. It documents the life of Joseph Plumb Martin, a 15-year-old farm hand from Connecticut who enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776. Beginning with the initial rumblings of rebellion"including the Stamp Act and the Boston Massacre"the book follows Joseph through his seven-year tenure in the Continental Army. Quotes and writings from Joseph and other figures fill out the book, providing humor, wit, and a rather sobering look at the war. While the book does detail the significant events of the American Revolution, it pays equal service to the plight of Joseph, his comrades, and their individual struggles as underpaid, underfed, and ill-equipped militiamen. Aiding in this picture of a desperate war are the numerous captioned illustrations"each provides exceptional context to the discussed events, and some even poke fun at the idealized perspective of later illustrations (such as Washington crossing the Delaware). All in all, the book is a remarkable look at many aspects of the Revolutionary War, covering the grand and the minute details from the revealing perspective of an actual soldier. ~ Stephen
In the summer of 1776, Joseph Plumb Martin was a fifteen-year-old Connecticut farm boy who considered himself "as warm a patriot as the best of them." He enlisted that July and stayed in the revolutionary army until hostilities ended in 1783. Martin fought under Washington, Lafayette, and Steuben. He took part in major battles in New York, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He wintered at Valley Forge and then at Morristown, considered even more severe. He wrote of his war years in a memoir that brings the American Revolution alive with telling details, drama, and a country boy's humor. Jim Murphy lets Joseph Plumb Martin speak for himself throughout the text, weaving in historical background details wherever necessary, giving voice to a teenager who was an eyewitness to the fight that set America free from the British Empire.