Throughout the American Revolution, whether it would be the gallows or liberty was never a sure thing for most participants. Those who actively participated risked everything along with their families, their property, their name and standing in the community. Most people simply sat it out and just survived the hardships that occurred with any war on home territory, hoping to avoid personal catastrophe by incurring the wrath of British occupying troops, who in many cases were foreign non-English speaking mercenaries imported from various European monarchies. The interaction between British “Redcoats” and the civil population was often marked by open hostility and was a reflection of the brutality and coarseness of military life in the lower ranks.
Any American colonialist “crossing a line” risked incurring the wrath of a brutal occupying force indifferent to age or gender, with the latter risking unchallenged assault in the absence of a commissioned officer.For the complete article see the 07-09-2014 issue.
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