Friday, September 20, 2013

"Remember Paoli!"

Spoiler Alert:  The following pertains to information mentioned in "An Echo in the Bone."

"One of Howe's commanders, Major General Lord Charles Grey--a distant cousin of Grey's--attacked the Americans at Paoli at night, with orders to his troops to remove the flints from their muskets.  This prevented discovery from the accidental discharge of a weapon, but also obliged the men to use bayonets.  A number of Americans wire bayoneted in their beds, their tents burned, a hundred or so made captive--and Howe marched into the city of Philadelphia, triumphant, on September 21."  ~Diana Gabaldon,  "An Echo In The Bone"

Today marks the 236th anniversary of the Paoli Massacre at the Paoli Battlefield which was mentioned in An Echo in the Bone.  

"Just after midnight on September 21, the British led by Lord Grey launched a devastating strike into Wayne's unprepared American camp. Grey had ordered his men to remove the flints from their rifles before the attack began. Bayonets, — a weapon Americans considered barbaric — would be the weapon of choice.
53 Americans were killed and over 100 wounded in Grey's lightning raid. The use of the bayonet coupled with the notion that the British stabbed or burned the Americans who tried to surrender, made martyrs of those maimed and killed at Paoli. For the rest of the war, the British lived in fear that Wayne's troops would try to avenge the affair that came to be know as the Paoli Massacre."   (ushistory.org

Every year I commemorate the occasion with a special blog post, as Tracey (my Outlander mentor) and I grew up in Paoli, Pennsylvania.  

Reading about a battle so close to where you grew up - in the Outlander series - is truly a magical experience.  

When I googled "Battle of Paoli" + "Diana Gabaldon" a few minutes ago, many links came up from the MOBY daily lines.  I, being the spoiler freak I am, did NOT look - nor will I - until Written in My Own Heart's Blood comes out in March (Lorddddddddd the release date.)  But how excited am I to think Paoli may be mentioned AGAIN???  Chills, y'all.  Chills.  

And...if Herself mentions the burning down of the Union Salt Works by British loyalists in April 1778 in the upcoming Written in My Own Heart's Blood, which happened in the little Jersey Shore town I live in currently, I'll fall right the hell over and they'll have to run and fetch the smelling salts.  

All kidding aside, please take a moment today and remember those who were killed or viciously wounded by British soldiers at Paoli...and also the United States Army battle cry that was used well into the 19th century.

"Rest well, Paoli's heroes brave. 
You did your part this land to save. 
And as the centuries roll by, 
Ever we'll sound your battle cry 

REMEMBER PAOLI!!"

~Henry Pleasants Jr.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you have Patriot Ancestors?

Anonymous said...

I lived in Paoli too, so it's cool think of the history of the place. -- Dawn

Purgatory Carol said...

Right, Dawn?? I can't believe we never went there on a field trip when I was a kid.

Purgatory Carol said...

No. I wish! That would be neat. My family came over from Ireland and Italy in the late 1800s.

Unknown said...

Paoli, represent! I grew up in Malvern, right next door. :-)