[p. 43] Colonel Brooks
, went to Valley Forge
wrote in January, 1777: ‘I hope, sir, if my family should stand in need of your assistance you will be ready to afford it. It has been out of my power to do anything for them even so much as to send home any money.
I was obliged to give half a dollar for one pint of bread and milk.
Sweetening, butter, or cheese I have not had for over three months. We have hard trials to meet yet.’
Afraid of causing anxiety at home, he refrains from telling the pitiful story of privation.
The huts on the hillsides of Valley Forge
were fourteen feet by sixteen, with side-walls six and a half feet high.
A hut was allowed to the commissioned officers of two companies.
The huts assigned to non-commissioned officers and privates sheltered twelve men—a space three feet by six to each man.
Clothing was so scarce that those on guard borrowed from those off duty.
For weeks in succession men were on half allowance—for four or five days being without bread, and then as many more without meat.
The unusually severe winter which made Burgoyne
's army shiver and complain of ill-treatment at Winter Hill
made the condition of the Continentals at Valley Forge
In February, 1778, Rev. Edward Brooks
came home from captivity at Halifax
He had been chaplain of the frigate Hancock,
built at Newburyport
by order of Congress in December, 1775.
She had been taken by the British man-of-war Rainbow
renamed the ‘Iris
,’ and attached to the British fleet. Mr. Brooks
was ‘exchanged for Parson Lewis
,’ a British chaplain, and left Halifax
on the ‘Favorite,’ Jan. 29, 1778.
While in Nova Scotia
he had the small-pox.
He was not strong when commissioned; he returned with health hopelessly shattered.
It is said that a large proportion of the graduates of Harvard became Tories.
David Osgood and Edward Brooks were exceptions.