Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The July 4th St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an editorial that was a history lesson, describing the depths of deprivation and uncertainty that Yankee soldiers suffered during the Revolutionary War. My husband, Connie, who is as suspicious of military glory as he is about the religious right (see July 1st blog), wrote the Post-Dispatch, presenting another point of view:
Dear Editor,
After reading the July 4th editorial in Monday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch extolling the courage of George Washington and his commanders, I could almost hear the fife playing and the roll of the drum. I was about to reach for my combat boots and pre Vietnam M-1 rifle when I remembered how some of Washington's troops were treated after the Revolutionary War. Troops expecting to be rewarded for their efforts in the War for Independence instead found themselves hauled into debtor's courts. Because they had not been paid regularly during the war, many of them were unable to pay their property taxes and were forced to sell their belongings for a pittance of what they were worth. At first they tried to reason with the new government but found no ally in their Commander in Chief. Instead they faced the new government's militia. With these thoughts in mind, I found the martial music waning. I dropped my rusty rifle and slumped back into my easy chair. Besides, I thought, Canada and Australia achieved independence without warfare.

Cornelius P. Alwood


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