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Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary War Adventures Essay

The narration depicts the adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin’s as a patriot in Washington army, giving the unusual contributions of soldiers to American history. Joseph Plumb was at first recruited in the Continental Army in 1776 at 15 years of age and was deployed to serve as a rank and file solder for eight operation seasons. It was during this time when Martin suffered the horrors of war including killer illness, brutal weather, virtual starvation and dangerous attacks. In the process, Joseph assisted in making a new American nation.

In the last part of the book, Martin claims that the 1818, Revolutionary Pension War Act, was a long behind time payment for the war veterans for the services they provided. He maintains that the Continental Army was not adequately supplied with clothes, rations, or shelter and their monthly pay was even too low. As a war veteran Martin believed that the contribution of the Continental Army even their final conquest was not appreciated and recognized to be backbone of revolution (Martin, 1999).

Martin maintained that discipline of the Continental Army was very critical for their success and victory. In his first enlistment, the regiment -5th Connecticut that was commanded to defend New York City in 1776, the regiment was defeated due to lack of experience and training for the soldiers. Martin faulted his regiment for lack of leadership and proper command resulting to complete disorder. In addition, Martin asserts that the cause of defeat for the Connecticut Army was as a result of deployment of untrained soldiers.

During the Monmouth campaign, Martin was received the necessary training after he was transferred to a light troop and was in charge of maintaining close contact with British Army in inspect and harass them. Fear was a major them in the experience of the America Army. Fear was demonstrated in several forms and for a soldier in the war field there was the possibility of being killed in the battle. This fear was common to the soldiers and the military people since they did not want to be perceived as letting their fellow soldiers down.

The soldier feared to dying before they had left a legacy of what they were to be remembered for by their comrades. Martin was first struck by fear like any of the other soldiers when he first went to his first war in which New York was attacked by General Howe. The reports about Howe’s attack and the smell of sulfur in the air gave Martin a disagreeable mood and his nervousness increased when he saw smoke from a bomb at a distance. Solidarity was a vital constituent of the experiences of the American Army. The theme was portrayed in the army experiences of Joseph Martin and the men of Grace Hopper.

Companionship was developed through hardships and challenges faced. If there was no comradely soldiers like Joseph Martin and Grace Hopper could have nobody to turn to for support. Martin demonstrated a remarkable sense of companionship when the Americans moved back from Kip’s bay, he found a friend who was sick as he made efforts to meet with his regiment and with persuasion Martin assisted him back. The man was prepared to die but when Martin found him he carried his friend on his shoulder and guided him back to the regiment.

Alcohol was also an ordinary theme in the American army experiences together with their everyday lives. The soldiers wanted alcohol in order to forget the suffering and pressures of military life. In addition, taking of alcohol was essential in creating associations between the army personnel. Moreover, alcohol had an important place in celebrations and social military events. Martin and his comrades enjoyed spirits in their recruitment in the Continental Army. When no spirits were provided by the authorities, they could normally go to get them out and in some occasions a fight could ensue over having a drink.

In the course of his service period, Martin came to have a high regard for people around him. Martin liked the attacking skills and expertise of his regiment officers together with his commanders including other commanders of the continental army. However, there were some conflicts between superior army officers and the juniors during wartime. Such disagreements arose due to misunderstandings in communication and arose from differences in communication. There was misunderstanding between Martin and an army officer which led to Martin and many of his comrades being separated from their regiment.

In conclusion, Martin objectives for tolerating the long years of war and suffering were patriotism and loyalty to his comrades and the fight against American enemy. Martin emphasizes that the cause was revolution of America and incase the army had disintegrated the cause of their fight would have been lost. Martin asserts that in spite of the army’s commitment to fight the enemy in the Revolution of America, their effort was not appreciated by the America leaders of that time. References Martin, J. P. (1999). Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary War Adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin. New York: Brandywine Press.


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