Wednesday, May 26, 2004

What bad really looks like during a war.

CNN, Reuters and the NYT would do well to study a little history.
Unfortunately, 1776 was also the year in which the nation—and its revolution—was very nearly stillborn.

Notwithstanding the brave words of July 4, during the five months that followed the Declaration of Independence, American forces lost every battle they fought. They were driven from Long Island to Westchester, and then successively across the Hudson and Delaware Rivers into Pennsylvania. Manhattan became a Loyalist enclave, hosting British regimental balls. New England was under threat as a British fleet conquered Rhode Island and occupied the city of Newport without firing a shot. New Jersey was overrun by British and Hessian forces in a horrific campaign of rapine and pillage; many of its dispirited inhabitants—including one signer of the Declaration—gave up the patriot cause and swore oaths of allegiance to the Crown.

As the losses piled on, the American army suffered staggering casualties. At the battle of Fort Washington in upper Manhattan alone, 2,800 men were lost—some of them put to the sword after they surrendered—as General Washington watched helplessly from a vantage point across the Hudson on the New Jersey Palisades. By winter, the army was reduced to 10 percent of its original size...

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