J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

“He had taken a Cold and became sick”

From the memoir of Pvt. Daniel Granger of Andover, published in the Mississippi Valley Historical Review in 1930:
My first services in the Revolution were on Winter Hill in the Fall and Winter of 1775. I at the age of 13 years. In the Month of December, News came up, that my Brother was sick and unable to do Duty, he was very thinly clad, as most of the Soldiers were at the time; he had taken a Cold and became sick. My parents said that I must take the Horse and go down and bring him home. But if the Officers would receive me in his sted, (and he being able to ride alone) I might stay in his room: I went down, & found him, he went with me to the Officers, to offer my services and to obtain a Furlow for himself: they questioned me a little and finally said that I might stay in his room if I thought that I could do the duty of a Soldier, & I gave my Consent, my Brother took the Horse & went home, & I took his Accoutrements and went in his Mess. The Barracks were then building, but were not finished. The Weather was extremely cold.
It looks like Daniel’s older brother was named Jacob and born about 1758. (All the other brothers whom that genealogy site lists were even younger than Daniel.) According to Sarah Loring Bailey’s Historical Sketches of Andover, in late 1777 Jacob marched north with a town militia company to defend against Gen. John Burgoyne’s thrust from Canada. The following spring Daniel, still only a teenager, served three months as a militia drummer at West Point.

My sinuses are feeling a bit like Jacob’s today, but—alas—I don’t have a thirteen-year-old brother to stand in for me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just have to say these blogs invariably are fascinating. Thank you, Mr. Bell. -- Joe Bauman