The atmosphere was filled with the excitement and anxiety of enlisting into the Continental Army. Men from all walks of life had Patriot Fever and were more than ready to fight for their home land. Unbeknownst to them, though, was that their serving time in the Continental Army would be the most brutal experience they would ever have to endure.
Astonishingly, the majority of the soldiers in the Continental Army were merely farmers, with no military training except for hunting wild animals. The army consisted of boys from the innocent and young age of fifteen to the bristly age of sixty-five. Through the course of the Revolutionary War, nearly every man, one hundred and fifty thousand, fought in the Continental Army, and one out of five of those men lost their lives. Wearing only what they brought from home, these men trudged miles and miles through dense, frigid snow and suffocating heat. Some even had no shoes, marching on their quest like a “hobbit”.
In addition, most of the soldiers were on the brink of starvation. The fatigue they experienced made the struggle to fight off diseases even more difficult. Consequently, the stressful situations they faced only led to death. In fact, there were more deaths in the Revolutionary War caused by disease and starvation than from combat. Stories were told of how soldiers had to carry the dead, or close to dead, home to their families. Many men say that the only reason they stayed in the Continental Army through those harsh conditions was because of the profound leadership of General George Washington.
In spite of those torturous situations, these spirited men courageously fought for something that, at the time, would be as terrifying as taming a dragon would be. They endured agonizing situations because they believed in freedom. Americans are forever in their debt, for the Continental Army soldiers truly were the ones who made the bells of freedom ring.