By Edwin G. Burrows

Among 1775 and 1783, a few 200,000 american citizens took up fingers opposed to the British Crown. simply over 6,800 of these males died in conflict. approximately 25,000 grew to become prisoners of conflict, such a lot of them constrained in manhattan urban below stipulations so atrocious that they perished via the hundreds of thousands. facts means that at the least 17,500 americans can have died in those prisons—more than two times the quantity to die at the battlefield. It used to be in big apple, no longer Boston or Philadelphia, the place such a lot americans gave their lives for the reason for independence. long island urban grew to become the jailhouse of the yankee Revolution since it was once the primary base of the Crown’s army operations. starting with the bumper crop of yankee captives taken in the course of the 1776 invasion of recent York, captured american citizens have been crammed right into a swiftly assembled number of public constructions, sugar homes, and legal ships. The prisoners have been shockingly overcrowded and chronically underfed—those who escaped alive advised of colleagues so hungry they ate their very own outfits and footwear. regardless of the extreme variety of lives misplaced, Forgotten Patriots is the first-ever account of what happened in those hell-holes. the result's a distinct viewpoint at the innovative conflict in addition to a sobering statement on how american citizens have remembered our fight for independence—and how a lot we have now forgotten.

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Extra resources for Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War

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20 Inasmuch as the propertied classes throughout eighteenth-century Europe fussed and fretted endlessly over honor, officers naturally grew to see themselves as members of an exclusive international fraternity, or guild, of warriors. Though divided by language and allegiance, they shared a code that prescribed the honorable way to negotiate truces, lay sieges, offer parlay, accept surrender, and forage for supplies. ”) Importantly, the code enjoined officers to behave with “complaisance” toward prisoners.

Qxd 9/2/08 10:18 AM Page 33 DESTINED TO THE CORD 33 the stage for the clashes that followed at Lexington and Concord— Lord North’s government instructed General Thomas Gage, Howe’s predecessor as commander-in-chief, to round up the principal troublemakers in Massachusetts. Doctor Samuel Johnson fanned the flames with Taxation No Tyranny, a famously successful warning against leniency. ” In August 1775, responding to the outbreak of a shooting war between colonists and redcoats in New England, he issued a belligerent Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition.

Qxd 9/2/08 10:18 AM Page 37 DESTINED TO THE CORD 37 The thousand-odd Americans who surrendered during the Battle of Brooklyn thus faced a future fraught with unusual peril. Unprotected by international agreements or by the code of honor that regulated the conduct of officers and gentlemen, they were at the complete mercy of their enraged captors. As Captain Mackenzie of the Royal Welch Fusiliers wrote soon after the battle, captured Americans should not really be considered prisoners of war at all.

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