JUNE 1778, VALLEY FORGE
this morn att two oClock we slung our packs / advanc’d towards the enemy about 3 milds from ware we lay / part of the militia & light hores that was on the wright engag’d the enemy / then our Division advanced towards the enemy / thay form’d in a Sollid Collom then fir’d a voley att us / thay being so much Superier to our Number we retreated / they begun a very heavy Cannading / kil’d a few of our Rijmt. then we form’d again under a fence ware the light horse advanced on us / we began a fire on them very heavy / then the footmen rushed on us / after firing a Number of rounds we was obliged to retreat. a Number of our men died with heat a retreating. a Number of troops form’d in the rear of us and sum artilira which cover’d our retreat. thay began a fire on the enemy, then thay (the British) retreat’d / Left the Ground with about a thousand kil’d & wounded. on our Side about two hunderd kil’d & wounded & died with heat / after We retreated we went back to the ground ware we left in the morning att English town ware we buried sum of our officers. here rec’d a ball in my left thy.
excerpt from the diary of Jeremiah Greenman, soldier (1758-1828)
He learnt that it’s real, real important to have money. More is better.
And to obey the people with authority.
What is authority? They are bigger than you, or they have guns. They might be wearing uniforms.
And when he got lost—it could happen, it happens all the time—if he got lost he should go up to someone in a uniform and ask for help. Of course, bus drivers wear uniforms. Prisoners wear uniforms. But when a boy is lost, he has to take his chances. Most of the time, he was told, you could trust a person in a uniform.
She learnt that pain is part of everyday life for a girl. In fact, why bother calling it pain, pain is a judgment word, a qualifier. Think of some new word for that spike of self-rejection that dissolves into a shrug. She was riding this feeling before she was old enough to pierce her ears.
She found that she could just reach out and hold someone’s hand. Just grab the hand of someone nearby and hold on to it. Always have a person near, a person with a hand. The hand is replaceable, interchangeable. Nothing magical about the person it’s attached to. The hand is the thing.
And if there’s no one around with a uniform, talk to an adult with small children. Adults with small children are usually parents. Parents are usually safe.