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Turning History on Its Side

Along the east coast of the United States history lovers like myself can follow the path and sites of wars like the American Revolutionary War. In Boston I visited Paul Revere's house, and, of course, I had to see the Old North Church. I sat in one of these narrow pews of the church and imagined all that transpired. Here was the man who warned the citizens the British were coming: "One if by land, two if by sea." As a child I had read my school textbooks and learned the story, heard about the start of the war against the British in the late 1700s. The textbooks made the British to be the enemy yet we were a colony started by the British. Looking back at the history I see there are many sides to the war.

The French were helping the colonists by giving supplies and arms, and the British had the backing of Hessian soldiers. My childhood textbooks portrayed the Hessian soldiers as fierce, and explained they were from Germany. If you search online there's a disagreement as to whether the Hessian soldiers were mercenaries or auxiliary soldiers. Back then a country's government could allow some of their soldiers to help other countries. According to the American Revolutionary Museum, it seems these German soldiers were very disciplined and followed a merit system, and they had an assignment to help the British win the American Revolutionary War. From the description it sounds like they were auxiliary soldiers.

The more I explore the more I have to turn the story on its side.


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