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News of that vote reached London in December. The Americans had neither a standing army nor a navy; few among them were experienced officers. Furthermore, the colonists had virtually no history of cooperating with one another, even in the face of danger. In addition, many in the cabinet were swayed by disparaging assessments of American soldiers leveled by British officers in earlier wars. For instance, during the French and Indian War , Brig. Could the Royal Navy blockade the 1,mile-long American coast? Might not an American army of this size replace its losses more easily than Britain?

Was it possible to supply an army operating 3, miles from home? Could Britain subdue a rebellion across 13 colonies in an area some six times the size of England? Would a protracted war bankrupt Britain? Was Britain risking starting a broader war? To back down, the ministers believed, would be to lose the colonies.

To be sure, the initial rally to arms was impressive. When the British Army marched out of Boston on April 19, , messengers on horseback, including Boston silversmith Paul Revere, fanned out across New England to raise the alarm. Summoned by the feverish pealing of church bells, militiamen from countless hamlets hurried toward Concord, Massachusetts, where the British regulars planned to destroy a rebel arsenal. Thousands of militiamen arrived in time to fight; 89 men from 23 towns in Massachusetts were killed or wounded on that first day of war, April 19, By the next morning, Massachusetts had 12 regiments in the field.

Connecticut soon mobilized a force of 6,, one-quarter of its military-age men. Within a week, 16, men from the four New England colonies formed a siege army outside British-occupied Boston. Thereafter, men throughout America took up arms. It seemed to the British regulars that every able-bodied American male had become a soldier. But as the colonists discovered how difficult and dangerous military service could be, enthusiasm waned. Many men preferred to remain home, in the safety of what Gen.

As progressed, many colonies were compelled to entice soldiers with offers of cash bounties, clothing, blankets and extended furloughs or enlistments shorter than the one-year term of service established by Congress. The following year, when Congress mandated that men who enlisted must sign on for three years or the duration of the conflict, whichever came first, offers of cash and land bounties became an absolute necessity. The states and the army also turned to slick-tongued recruiters to round up volunteers.

Moreover, beginning in , the New England states, and eventually all Northern states, enlisted African-Americans, a practice that Congress had initially forbidden. Ultimately, some 5, blacks bore arms for the United States, approximately 5 percent of the total number of men who served in the Continental Army. Longer enlistments radically changed the composition of the Army. But few who owned farms were willing to serve for the duration, fearing loss of their property if years passed without producing revenue from which to pay taxes. After , the average Continental soldier was young, single, propertyless, poor and in many cases an outright pauper.

In some states, such as Pennsylvania, up to one in four soldiers was an impoverished recent immigrant. Patriotism aside, cash and land bounties offered an unprecedented chance for economic mobility for these men. Later, he would recollect the calculation he had made at the time: Accounts of shoeless continental army soldiers leaving bloody footprints in the snow or going hungry in a land of abundance are all too accurate. Albigence Waldo, a Continental Army surgeon, later reported that many men survived largely on what were known as fire cakes flour and water baked over coals.

But that was not always the case. So much heavy clothing arrived from France at the beginning of the winter in that Washington was compelled to locate storage facilities for his surplus. In a long war during which American soldiers were posted from upper New York to lower Georgia, conditions faced by the troops varied widely. While one soldier in seven was dying from hunger and disease at Valley Forge, young Private Martin, stationed only a few miles away in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, was assigned to patrols that foraged daily for army provisions.

Some , men served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Probably twice that number soldiered as militiamen, for the most part defending the home front, functioning as a police force and occasionally engaging in enemy surveillance. If a militia company was summoned to active duty and sent to the front lines to augment the Continentals, it usually remained mobilized for no more than 90 days.

Some Americans emerged from the war convinced that the militia had been largely ineffective.

A noted historian debunks the conventional wisdom about America’s War of Independence

Militiamen were older, on average, than the Continental soldiers and received only perfunctory training; few had experienced combat. At Camden, South Carolina, in August , militiamen panicked in the face of advancing redcoats.

Throwing down their weapons and running for safety, they were responsible for one of the worst defeats of the war. Yet in , militiamen had fought with surpassing bravery along the Concord Road and at Bunker Hill. Nearly 40 percent of soldiers serving under Washington in his crucial Christmas night victory at Trenton in were militiamen. In New York state, half the American force in the vital Saratoga campaign of consisted of militiamen. In March , Gen. Nathanael Greene adroitly deployed his militiamen in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse fought near present-day Greensboro, North Carolina.

In that engagement, he inflicted such devastating losses on the British that they gave up the fight for North Carolina. In , Hall moved north to Silvercreek, New York, just west of It went on to become one of the most commercially successful singles of all time, and Although most Christians celebrate December 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ, few in the first two Christian centuries claimed any knowledge of the exact day or year in which he was born.

The oldest existing record of a Christmas celebration is found in a Roman almanac that Just after midnight on Christmas morning, the majority of German troops engaged in World War I cease firing their guns and artillery and commence to sing Christmas carols. At certain points along the eastern and western fronts, the soldiers of Russia, France, and Britain even On and around Christmas Day , the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding fade in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

Starting on Christmas Eve, many German and British After a hour respite for Christmas, the U. The extensive bombing campaign was resumed because, according to U. On December 13, North Vietnamese negotiators walked out Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. They were already heading that way, and wanted to explore around the lake, so they could have just found the boat naturally, without Katie losing the marshmallows, and then jumping in the boat, and them having to go and save her.

It propels them back in time, on the Delaware River, during the winter, so it was covered in ice. Katie suddenly stands up in the boat on the icy river. Falls out on the ice. Never answers the boys' calls, then she's suddenly just standing there on the ice yelling for help.


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She was so annoying. I didn't like it when Matthew got separated from the group, and that captain thought he was a rebel solider. If he had been on the boat with George and the kids, how did he not know who Matt was? Or was this captain already on the shore, and therefore hadn't seen the kids yet? It was so shocking and confusing how all of a sudden Adam Hibbs had befallen an accident, and lay bleeding in Hooter's lap, after falling on his bayonet in the boat.

Why had they left without Matt? They were supposed to wait and take all the kids to Adam's farm. Why did they take off across the river without Matt? I didn't like that the death took place off-page, and we're only told about it after. I found Israel getting sick and peeing himself too graphic for a kid's book. Henry the drummer gave Matt strips of cloth so he could tie them around his fingers.

Instead of giving them to Israel, he lays them over his wet pants. What a waste of cloth. Then when he hands him the beads, Israel's fingers are blistered and purple. So you should have wrapped them around his fingers like they were intended for. It was nice of Henry, the drummer, to tell the farmer to look for Matt and Israel, but if they were going to be rescued, why not have Israel make it to the rescue?

What was the point? He died shortly before Matt was rescued. Not to mention he only had like two weeks to go until his enlistment and he would go home and be with his siblings. So the whole thing was just tragic and unecessary. He met up with his friends again, who'd been with Indians. They tell their tale of Adam Hibbs dying. It was sad some men died because they weren't used to having bayonets on their guns.

George Washington's Socks by Elvira Woodruff

Their boat started to go under and a flat boat saved them, but had to let some horses off for them to fit. We're told it was horrible watching them trying to swim. I was so sick of the graphic, sad nature of this book. I wondered how Adam Hibbs could be the same age, and it turned out it was his grandson.


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  8. You don't mess with time and leave modern items there. Tennis shoes, a video game and batteries. I was so upset any time they kept bringing modern items out like that. And when they didn't even try to speak even slightly more historical so they didn't stand out. It's always annoying to me in books when animals have human reaction.

    Matt is talking to the mule, and it nods patiently and then appears to be smiling. They planned to hold the Hessians at gunpoint and rescue Q and Katie. I thought it was cute when Matt stepped forward and did the one thing he was hoping he wouldn't. He closed his eyes and didn't move, which is what he does when he's scared. Like when he's watching a scary movie, and he has Katie tell him what's happening.

    The Germans see the dollar bill with George Washington on it and know that the kids are rebels. Would the Hessians all have known what George looked like? I don't know if that's wrong on my part, but unless newspapers or something were going around with his image on them, I don't know how everyone would immediately know who he was.

    I was surprised and it added even more complexity that wasn't explained when Adam Hibbs had traveled through many different time periods in the rowboat before he found that one. That was told off page, with Adam telling Q, so we only got a short rundown of the others' time there while Matt was away.

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    I found it ridiculous that Adam up and decided to stay there because he saw a pretty girl. He left his parents, family, and friends behind for a girl from a different era? This just boggles the mind. I didn't buy that. It was just so wrong to me, and I didn't like it. Of course when Adam was getting to the part of how to control the boat and which time period you go to--he said something about the mind--but then died.

    So the kids are left to just sort of piece together how the boat works, and we don't even get the particulars on the magic in here. It's like it was too tricky to think about, so the author didn't even try. I liked the nice German soldier who stood up for Katie, and tried to say their names, who Hooter gave a Bandaid to.

    Katie was such an irritating character. She had no purpose other than to get in trouble and need to be rescued. She sees ducks on the ice and goes walking out onto the river. You have ducks where you're from. What is so fascinating that you'd go walking out on an icy river that you've already been on when you fell out of the boat because you stupidly stood up on it, got stuck on the ice and cried for help? Gustav rushes to save her, bravely stepping on the ice.

    What does he get for his trouble?

    Myths of the American Revolution

    Shot in the back by the rebels. I was surprised they would call Washington Your Excellency, making him sound like a king, when he was just a captain. Then the rebels take the Hessians as prisoners. Gustav could have went with them, if the author hadn't killed him. It was very mature of them to realize that there are good and bad on both sides, that it isn't so clear as good guys and bad guys. That they were fighting for the same things. They were waiting by the river, and there was another moment when they thought Katie was lost.

    I was thinking if she's dumb enough to get herself in trouble again, just leave her there. Get in the boat and leave her in the s. It was such a cool surprise how the boat Emit Levart spelled time travel backwards. I love surprises and things that connect like that in books. I wish there had been more of stuff like that. The ending was too easy; the boat just vanishes right from the bank. They didn't even travel on the river. I didn't think it was right that a soldier saw the boat spinning and them disappear. He tries to tell Washington the kids disappeared but it's explained away by his unruly appearance and whiskey breath.

    Why have him see it happen at all? Because it was magic, I felt it should have been invisible to other people. What was the point in that? There were several sentences missing a period where one should be. I was surprised the word damn was put in a kid's book. Katie acted too childish, more like a toddler than someone in the second grade, and then says "and he gave them to me.

    Besides, my jeans are all wet and this sock is so big it goes all the way up my leg. He also promised to protect Matt. I thought the author was going to have Matt, Israel, and his friends travel to his house and deliver the beads to his sister and meet his family. That's discarded by the author, and at the end Washington ends up with the beads and promises to have them sent to Abby.

    REVOLUTIONARY WAR SITES IN TRENTON, NEW JERSEY

    We don't even get to meet Abby. Once they all got separated, I thought that the POVs would change, so we could read what was going on with the others while Matt was gone. This could have used other POVs. It ended cute but we didn't even get the reaction of them finding the peas in the sugar bowl. For me the plot was picked up, dropped. Picked up, dropped again. I just don't understand the author's choices. I don't understand the deaths in here, each one of them was unnecessary and didn't do anything for the plot, and of course they were characters I liked.

    This was too graphic for a kid's book. I'm 25 and I don't like reading scenes that are too graphic, so I definitely don't think kids would like that. I don't know why the author would have them all go back in time, and then separate them shortly after, with Matt all by himself and having moments with George Washington that the others didn't get.

    The Indians were just random, rushed, and didn't add anything. It was like she included them just because they were there then, but didn't know exactly what they were doing then. There's two random Indian kids that are just alone in the woods. Where do they live? Where's the rest of their tribe? When Matt mimes his red-headed sister, they show recognition, meaning they saw Katie, and also who took her, which means they already knew the Hessians were there. They paint war paint on their faces, sneak up to their campsite, actually lay eyes on the Hessians, and then they just leave.

    I thought they were going to have a cool escape scene where they help get Katie and Q back. So why write it in the first place? I expected so much more from this. It was much better in the beginning. Then it got random, the plot sort of meandered along, going in different, unexpected directions. Nothing important happened, nothing about the time period. I thought this would be cute, funny, great insight and moments with George Washington and the Revolutionary War. Washington was barely in here. We didn't even get to see the battles and the rebels winning. This was a waste of a time travel book.

    Nov 20, Delaney rated it it was amazing. The summary of this book is, matthew matt is eating dinner with his family. He is excited because his adventure club is having their first meeting! But his sister has to come. Apparently, there is this old rowboat that makes people disappear. Thing is, matt and his friends find the row boat and they get on it and they timetravel! Where is Matt and and his frien The summary of this book is, matthew matt is eating dinner with his family. Where is Matt and and his friends, well there in december 25, , during the crossing of the Delaware River.