Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War

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Basic Books, Nov 11, 2008 - History - 360 pages
2 Reviews
Between 1775 and 1783, some 200,000 Americans took up arms against the British Crown. Just over 6,800 of those men died in battle. About 25,000 became prisoners of war, most of them confined in New York City under conditions so atrocious that they perished by the thousands. Evidence suggests that at least 17,500 Americans may have died in these prisons—more than twice the number to die on the battlefield. It was in New York, not Boston or Philadelphia, where most Americans gave their lives for the cause of independence.

New York City became the jailhouse of the American Revolution because it was the principal base of the Crown’s military operations. Beginning with the bumper crop of American captives taken during the 1776 invasion of New York, captured Americans were stuffed into a hastily assembled collection of public buildings, sugar houses, and prison ships. The prisoners were shockingly overcrowded and chronically underfed—those who escaped alive told of comrades so hungry they ate their own clothes and shoes.

Despite the extraordinary number of lives lost, Forgotten Patriots is the first-ever account of what took place in these hell-holes. The result is a unique perspective on the Revolutionary War as well as a sobering commentary on how Americans have remembered our struggle for independence—and how much we have forgotten.

 

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Review: Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War

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I appreciated knowing about these American Revolutionary soldiers that were captured by the British. I didn't know about the awful and inhumane treatment they had to suffer. I like learning about something that I didn't know about, but had a hard time getting through this book. Read full review

Review: Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War

User Review  - Goodreads

Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War by Edwin Burrows (2008) Read full review

Contents

Brooklyn
1
Destined to the Cord
15
The Stool of Repentance
43
A Cry of Barbarity Cruelty
69
Sweet Liberty
105
War ad Terrorem
141
The War of Words
161
Dead Reckonings
195
Forgotten Patriots
205
Forgotten Again
241
Acknowledgments
249
Cunninghams Confession
255
List of Abbreviations and Note on Sources
261
Works Cited
329
Index
349
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Edwin G. Burrows is Distinguished Professor of History at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He is the co-author of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, which won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for History, and has received awards also from the Municipal Art Society, the St. Nicholas Society, and the New York Society Library, among others. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani named him a “Centennial Historian of New York.” For the past five years Burrows has been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and he serves on the board of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in Manhattan. He lives in Northport, New York.

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