Thursday, January 11, 2018

British soldiers blog

In the course of looking up other things, I stumbled across an interesting blog that contains numerous stories about British soldiers who served in America during the War of Independence 1775-1783. It's called British Soldiers, American Revolution.

The blogger, Don Hagist, has done a  remarkable amount of research to find these stories. Many provide some details of the personal lives of the soldiers before and/or after their service and are based on things like court records and correspondences.

Don does a great job telling these stories and you get a very different view of the British soldier in North America than most histories provide. The stories in the blog don't give faces to these men in a literal sense, but it makes them more than the 2-dimensional characters that we often see in movies about the Revolution (e.g., The Patriot).

The "bloodybacks," it turns out, had mothers, fathers, wives, children—even civilian occupations. Hagist relates one story about a Scottish soldier in the 26th Foot who was a comedian in private life and whose own writings narrate the many setbacks he had collecting a pension for his wounds and hard service once he returned to Britain.

It's a dog's life in the British Army

There are also sadder tales, like the account of William Ellis of the 10th Foot, who deserted from Boston in October, 1775. He was later captured in February, 1777 while under arms in company of New Jersey militiamen by men of the 26th Foot. He plead his case, but was hanged in April, 1777.

The blog posts are well written and make great reading for anyone wanted to add to their knowledge of the American Revolution.

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