Joseph Plumb Martin

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Joseph Plumb Martin was born “upon the twenty-first of November, in the year of 1760” (Martin 6). His grandparents raised him on their Connecticut farm. Inspired by the Battles of Lexington and Concord he decided to enlist into the army. He was eager to help for the patriotic cause. In June of 1776, at the age of 15, Martin was able to enlist but didn’t want to sign up for a long enlistment. Soldiers at the time were enlisting for a year’s service but he did not like that and thought it was too long a time for him for the first trial, “I wished only to take a priming before I took upon me the whole coat of paint for a soldier” (Martin 16). Orders soon came allowing men to enlist for six months so Martin enrolled in the Connecticut state militia. After serving in the Battles of Brooklyn, Kip’s Bay, and White Plains in New York Martin decided not to reenlist when his stint ended. In 1777 Martin decided to reenlist after a long and dull winter at his grandparents Connecticut farm. This time he served under George Washington’s Continental Army and seen action in a number of major battles until the duration of the war. The life for a common soldier during the American Revolution was a difficult one. Continental soldiers faced many discomforts like food and supply shortages. Soldiers were away from home for long periods of time. The company of men would have sinking morale and there was always the constant threat of death waiting for every man. In the fall of 1777, Martins division was called to Pennsylvania to fight the British forces that had taken Philadelphia. At Fort Mifflin, located on the Delaware River, Martin and his fellow soldiers withstood several bombardments from the British. Martin writes, “Here I endured hardships sufficient to kill half a dozen horses. Let the reader only consider for a moment and he will still be satisfied if not sickened. In the cold month of November, without provisions, without clothing, not a scrap of either shoes...
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