We all know the stories of courage displayed by the heroes of the American Revolution.
George Washington and the historic crossing of the frigid Delaware River with his rag tag band of rebels courageously ambushing the enemy. The now fabled courageous ride of warning, with Paul Revere alerting colonists to the impending danger. John Paul Jones and the now famous mantra, “We have yet begun to fight!”
Sometimes great stories of courage slip through the cracks of history.
During the Revolutionary War wives of soldiers often accompanied their husbands to war. They helped attend to the needs of the camp. Margaret Corbin was one of these wives.
On November 16, 1776, Fort Washington, in modern day Manhattan was attacked by the British. John Corbin manned his place firing a cannon with the other 600 American soldiers.
Margaret Corbin watched as her husband John, was killed by cannon fire. Margaret immediately took his place and single handedly fired his cannon. She volleyed cannon fire helping to hold back the 4000 strong British troops, until she was massively injured and could stand no more.
After the battle soldiers commented on Margaret’s bravery and courage in the line of fire. She killed many British soldiers and was complimented on her accuracy. Some even stated she was fierce as a lion.
The story of Margaret Corbin spread causing many men and women to take up arms for the fight for independence.
One hundred fifty years after her death her remains were given a full soldier’s burial, the only revolutionary veteran to receive this honor.
Margaret Corbin, a portrait in courage.
Margaret stared down bullets and risked her life for her dream of independence. The next time you are scared to take action toward a dream, realize you have to fight for what you want. Roll up your sleeves and load your cannon for battle.
Courage is a powerful, yet abstract word. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as:
“Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
while the Oxford dictionary explains it as:
“The ability to do something that frightens one.”
I thought it would be interesting to look at courage as defined by some of history’s fearless heroes...
When he arrived, the men in charge tried to convince him to serve as a commander general. In this position he would remain safe from the harm of musket balls. Joseph Warren refused. He was a doctor, not a general. Despite his friend’s pleas, he insisted that a more experienced soldier be placed in charge. He would fight as an ordinary soldier.
...All night long she rode furiously through the countryside, sounding the alarm and rallying the men. A friendly man stopped her and asked if she would like him to accompany her on her dangerous mission. She refused, sending him the opposite direction so that he could help spread the word farther. All in all, Sybil road 40 miles, more than double the amount Paul Revere rode on his famous night ride. She did not weary. She did not give up...