Joseph Plumb Martin Essay

824 WordsNov 2, 20114 Pages
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…show more content…
He goes on to explain the living conditions he had to endure and his lack of sleep. “It was utterly impossible to lie down and to get any rest or sleep on account of the mud” Martin recalls, “and can say in sincerity that I never lay down to sleep a minute in all that time” (Martin 77). The fighting at Fort Mifflin allowed Washington and his troops to withdraw to winter quarters at Valley Forge. It was too late in the season for the British to follow them. After arriving at Valley Forge Martin and his fellow soldiers were about to go through the famously long cold winter that awaited them. Martin wrote, “Our prospect was indeed dreary. In our miserable condition, to go into the wild woods and build us habitations to stay (not to live) in, in such a weak, starved and naked condition, was appalling in the highest degree” (Martin 89). He talks about lying there “two nights and one day, and had not a morsel of any thing to eat all the time” (Martin 90). Martin describes the travel and the toll it took on men. “I had now to travel the rest of the day, after marching all the day and night before and fighting all the morning. I had eaten nothing since the noon of the preceding day, nor did I eat a morsel til the forenoon of the next day, and I needed rest as much as victuals. After the army had collected again and recovered from their panic, we were kept marching and countermarching, starving and freezing” (Martin
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