The Washington Post

No ‘flimsy people’ in the Revolution


George F. Will may be correct in agreeing with Rick Atkinson that without George Washington as a leader, there would have been no United States [op-ed, June 6]. Mr. Will concluded that our nation was not made “by flimsy people.” However, it is important to note that among those who fought were about 5,000 African Americans in integrated units of the Continenta­l Army, as well as about 1,000 Native Americans. More than 11,000 American prisoners of war died on the disease-ridden prison ships the British maintained in Wallabout Bay off the Brooklyn shore. Almost until the end of the war, the only way out was to escape, die or enlist in the British Army. Very few, if any, American prisoners chose to change sides.

Maybe Washington was indispensa­ble to the cause. But he would not have succeeded without these hardy soldiers committed to our cause, despite lack of pay, uniforms and rations. Not flimsy people indeed.

Martin R. Ganzglass, Washington

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