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Re: 4th of July - What Does It Mean To You?

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>Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the
>Declaration of Independence?
Just so you'll know, much of this post isn't true or exaggerated beyond 
reason. It apparently got started around 1956 by (who else) Paul Harvey. 
Check <http://home.nycap.rr.com/elbrecht/signers/signerindex.html> for a 
little background. Carter Braxton, for example, didn't die in rags, and 
in fact was pretty well off and died around 1815 at his large estate. 
Button Gwinnett did die from gunfire, but it occurred in the course of a 
duel following an argument on military strategy.

Of the five supposedly captured by the British and tortured, only one, 
Richard Stockton, was captured because he signed. Stockton was arrested 
by Loyalists and handed over to the British. The other four were 
prisoners of war--the prisons on both sides were hell-holes, and 
privation enough without making anything up.

If you want to read a seriously good book about a real patriot, try 
'Private Yankee Doodle' by Joseph Plumb Martin. Martin served in the 
Connecticut Militia and later in the Continental Army for most of the 
war. He fought under Washington's command, from the early battles in New 
York and New Jersey all the way through to Yorktown. He went cold and 
hungry, rarely got paid, had soldiers shot on both sides of him, suffered 
a saber cut, ran like hell when the situation demanded, faced the British 
army when the situation was otherwise. Sgt Martin heard Washington lose 
his temper at Charles Lee at the Battle of Monmouth, passed a few moments 
with that same Virginian before an attack on one of the Yorktown redoubts 
and watched the British stack arms when they surrendered. The real story 
of the people who fought the Revolution doesn't need embellishing by Paul 
Harvey. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw


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