British Soldiers, American War: Voices of the American Revolution
Nine Rare and Fascinating First-Person Profiles of Soldiers Who Fought for the British Crown.
Much has been written about the colonists who took up arms during the American Revolution and the army they created. Far less literature, however, has been devoted to their adversaries. The professional soldiers that composed the British army are seldom considered on a personal level, instead of being either overlooked or inaccurately characterized as conscripts and criminals. Most of the British Redcoats sent to America in defense of their government’s policies were career soldiers who enlisted voluntarily in their late teens or early twenties. They came from all walks of British life, including those with nowhere else to turn, those aspiring to improve their social standing, and all others in between. Statistics show that most were simply hardworking men with various amounts of education who had chosen the military in preference to other occupations. Very few of these soldiers left writings from which we can learn their private motives and experiences.
British Soldiers, American War: Voices of the American Revolution is the first collection of personal narratives by British common soldiers ever assembled and published. Author Don N. Hagist has located first-hand accounts of nine soldiers who served in America in the 1770s and 1780s. In their own words, we learn of the diverse population—among them a former weaver, a boy who quarreled with his family, and a man with wanderlust—who joined the army and served tirelessly and dutifully, sometimes faithfully and sometimes irresolutely, in the uniform of their nation. To accompany each narrative, the author provides a contextualizing essay based on archival research giving background on the soldier and his military service. Taken as a whole these true stories reveal much about the individuals who composed what was, at the time, the most formidable fighting force in the world.
By Don N. Hagist
Paperback: 352 pages