Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What men endured

The following day, Thursday, August 29, the storm continued, heavy rains fell. Troops without tents also had little or no food. Fires were nearly impossible to keep going for cooking or warmth. Private Martin got by with biscuits he had had the foresight to stuff into his knapsack before leaving New York, biscuits "hard enough to break the teeth of a rat," as he wrote. Anyone who had a bit of raw pork to gnaw felt privileged. Nearly all were hungry and soaked to the skin. In places in the trenches men stood in water up to their waists. Muskets and cartridges were almost impossible to keep dry. Soldiers, unable to stay awake any longer, feel asleep standing upright in the rain or sitting without cover in the mud.

(from 1776, by David McCullough)

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