A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier Analysis

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A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier was written by Joseph Plumb Martin and was originally published in 1830. Martin’s book famously acts as a primary source for events that occurred during the Revolutionary War and are told through the eyes of a soldier that participated in it. This was unlike other Revolutionary War stories at that time. He talks in-depth about his experiences of joining the army, hardships, battles, and day-to-day struggles. Martin's narrative displays the gritty, uncompromising reality of the war, which contrasts the glamorized version that the war was made out to be. Martin successfully gets this point across throughout the book. A main issue the soldiers went through the duration of their service was starvation and cold temperatures. Martin writes, “We were absolutely and literally starved … If this was not ‘suffering’ I request to be informed what can pass under that name”. This was a common occurrence for him and the soldiers. They went days without having anything to eat which was accompanied by having to walk miles in the freezing winter. Martin describes the conditions as: “…fatiguing, almost beyond belief, to those that never experienced it, to be obliged to march twenty-four hours or forty-eight hours and often more…”. Instead of focusing on the battles and conflicts the soldiers went through, Martin describes in detail the every-day lifestyle and personal struggles they experienced. He often writes through famous battles fairly quickly and will drag out the rest. Most of the time, they weren’t in combat, but were trying to survive from their hunger and the unforgiving environment. Martin even sheds light on how the Continental Congress treated the Revolutionary Army and how they overlooked many of the soldiers’ issues and needs especially when it came to food and clothing. This was never really talked about before this book. The
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