Monday, July 4, 2016

"Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues." (

Happy 240th Birthday to the United States of America!  I send you these greetings here on this Monday, July 4, 2016. The war of American Independence, called the Revolutionary War took place from 1775 to 1783. It is estimated that 25,000 of those Americans fighting for the cause of liberty died and another 25,000 suffered injury. Today we pause to remember their sacrifice and to be reminded of the providence of God in birthing our nation. I'm posting a letter with some description to remind us once again that freedom comes at a cost. It cost those willing to put their lives on the line for a cause greater than themselves. The letter is not easy to read because it has been captured as it was written. However, it does paint a picture from a wounded soldier's perspective. May it be a reminder to us all as we enjoy the fruits of those who have labored throughout our history. Amen.

Revolutionary War (Source:

Personal letters by common soldiers from the revolution are particularly rare. Writing paper was scarce, there was no reliable postal service, and many of the troops were barely literate. A private from New Jersey named Henry Johnson was, however, able to send the following to his parents on June 13, 1780, from the Basking Ridge Hospital after being wounded in May 1780. (The letter is transcribed as written with only minor commentary. The word “Etacted” is believed to mean “attacked.”)

Bascon Ridge Ospitreal (Hospital)

Honoured parents

I have taken this opertunyty to let you know what misfortue I met with on the seventh Ult A party of the Enemy Came to Elisebeth town [and] ma[r]ched to the Conecticut Farms We lay at Newark Mountain A Bout twelve oclock at Night we was Alarmed and Marched to the farms and about Sun Rise We Etacted them the Jersey Berguade and there was a Bout five thousand of them we kept up a hot fire about fore hours and in the atact was wounded Col Ogden of the forth Regt and a number of Soldiers kild and wounded and I got a Wound in the head very Bad But I am in hopes With the Assistance of god that I Shall git wel again.…

Sonomore at preseant
But Remain your Loving Son
Henery Johnson But I desir to Be Remembered to all Enquirering friends

Johnson survived the war and eventually became a shoemaker.

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