A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier

Written by Joseph Plumb Martin

‘One of the best firsthand accounts of war as seen by a private soldier.’ — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Joseph Plumb Martin’s captivating memoir brings to life his experiences as a soldier during the American Revolution.

Martin invites us on an intense literary journey to each of his eight campaigns during the revolution, providing a vividly detailed narrative of his adventures, dangers, sufferings and anecdotes as a soldier.

His first hand, personal account is both fascinating and harrowing.

Through remarkable detail, Martin recreates the constant and excruciating hunger that leads the soldiers to eat old shoes, tree bark and beehives, and their sleep-deprivation from tossing and turning on cold, hard ground in the midst of extreme weather conditions.

We follow Martin as he buries the bodies of fellow soldiers, enjoys the safety and freedom of brief visits home, suffers gruesome injuries and illnesses, trudges through storms without shoes or sufficient clothing, and takes British soldiers prisoner.

From wandering around the decrepit ruins and murdered inhabitants of a town mercilessly seized by the British to attempting to physically gouge the smallpox from his fellow soldiers’ bodies, Martin’s journey is a haunting and memorable one.

His honest account preserves and recreates his memories as a soldier, offering a uniquely personal, vivid and detailed commentary on a crucial moment in American history.

Joseph Plumb Martin (November 21, 1760 – May 2, 1850) was a soldier in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, holding the rank of private for most of the war. His published narrative of his experiences has become a valuable resource for historians in understanding the conditions of a common soldier of that era, as well as the battles in which Martin participated.

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