Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier in Martin's Book Review

Excerpt from Book Review :

Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier

In Martin's (2001) narrative, he addresses many aspects of soldiering in the Revolutionary War. There were many deserters during that time, but Martin chose to stay. That makes him somewhat unusual, but he had a different outlook about American officers, British regulars, soldier morale, and the physical discomforts that came with soldiering. He talks of how he could have easily killed Benedict Arnold, but did not realize at the time the significance that would have come along with that act (Martin, 2001). He was fiercely loyal to his cause, even though many of the American officers under whom he fought were not well-liked. According to Martin (2001), the largest risk that the American officers were taking in battle was from being killed by their own men. The conditions were bad and many of the men were mistreated by the officers, but most of the men would not retaliate because they knew that it would not solve anything. Most likely it would just get them killed, and there was nothing to gain if that happened. It was better to simply put up with the conditions and fight for the American side until the war was over or a person's enlistment period was up and he or she could leave the military for greener pastures.

Martin (2001) also held an opinion of the British regulars. They were the enemy. Still, one cannot deny that they were fighting for what they believed in, just as Martin and his fellow soldiers were doing. The plight of the prisoners of the Revolutionary War was often deplorable, and British regulars who were captured were not treated with any kind of decency or respect. Because Martin was a "regular soldier" and not a high-ranking individual, it is easy to see that he could sympathize with what the British regulars were going through at the same time that he was fighting against them because he had to stand up for what he believed in and remain true to the American ideals for which he was fighting.

Martin (2001) talks at length, all throughout the book about soldier morale and the physical discomfort…

Sources Used in Documents:


Martin, Joseph Plumb. A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier. New York: Signet Classics, 2001.

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