Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

For Virginia and for Independence: Twenty-Eight Revolutionary War Soldiers from the Old Dominion

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

For Virginia and for Independence: Twenty-Eight Revolutionary War Soldiers from the Old Dominion

Article excerpt

For Virginia and for Independence: Twenty-Eight Revolutionary War Soldiers from the Old Dominion. By Harry M. Ward. (Jefferson, N.C., and London: McFarland and Company, 2011. Pp. [vi], 219. Paper, $35.00, ISBN 978-0-7864-6130-1.) How do we define heroism? For Harry M. Ward, heroism in the American Revolution was mostly reserved for the officer corps, even though enlisted men "were most expected to sacrifice their lives" (p. 1). In this volume, Ward narrates the Revolutionary War stories of twenty-seven men and one woman whom he defines as heroes. For Ward, "The heroes are not glory hunters, although it must be admitted that members of the 18th century officer fraternity had that as a primary goal" (p. 2). Ward's decision, then, to focus twenty-four of his biographies on officers and only four on enlisted people seems at odds with his definition of heroism. This reviewer was hoping for more stories of the common people who fought in the American Revolution, as Ward's introduction teases that most of his subjects "have not received proper attention" (p. …

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