Review: Yankee Doodle Boy: A Young Soldier's Adventures in the American Revolution
Yankee Doodle Boy: A Young Soldier's Adventures in the American Revolution by Joseph Plumb Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One of my sons is reading this as he studies American Revolution history.
I picked it up to see what he was reading, and was pleasantly surprised. This is a FIRST PERSON account of the entire war from the average soldier's perspective. Not all the troop movements you usually get in history, but how the normal recruit on the ground saw it. 95% walking, waiting, camping, starving and digging, 5% shooting at the enemy. He got paid once in 6 years, and that was funded by the French. You get camp stories and shenanigans, but also run-ins with General Washington. It ends at Yorktown, with him taking a redoubt (small, fortified seigework area), which is 10 minutes from my house - great story every American should know.
On firing on the enemy for the first time:
"What became of him I know not... one thing I know, that is, I took as deliberate aim at him as ever I did at any game in my life. But after all, I hope I did not kill him, although I intended to at the time."
On hunger, and his sense of humor:
"The period of the Revolution has repeatedly been styled 'the times that tried men's souls.' I often found that those times not only tried men's souls, but their bodies too; I know they did mine."
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