JULY 4TH; MORE THAN A COOKOUT Andy Hollifield 7-4-19
On this day in 1776, 56 brave men risking their property, wealth, and even their life; signed their name to a document that, if their mission failed to succeed would likely cost them all three. They were printers, inventors, lawyers, a sheriff, an orphan, school dropouts, college graduates, wealthy businessmen, surveyors, doctors, writers, teachers, an ironmaster (blacksmiths), a tax collector, a banker, sailors, judges, a surgeon, farmers, soldiers, merchants, prisoners, a carpenter, ministers, a cobbler, and all eventually became not only politicians but statesmen. Many had amassed great wealth that they had already lost during the British occupation and some were even financiers of the war effort.
For years, since 1607, what is now the United States of America was known as British America and the British West Indies. On April 19, 1775, British troops marched into Lexington, Massachusetts to seize a store of weapons that the colonists had collected and to capture John Hancock and Samuel Adams. After being ordered by British Major John Pitcairn to disperse, as the Patriots began to drift away because of being outnumbered, a shot was fired by someone and the Revolutionary War had begun. The Patriots suffered eight casualties and ten injuries while the British only had one injury. Upon arrival at Concord to complete their mission, they were surrounded by hundreds of armed patriots. The British failed to destroy the weapons arsenal and were attacked for 16 miles on the way back to Boston. In all of this fighting, the British lost nearly 300 soldiers either killed, wounded or MIA. This was due to Samuel Prescott actually reaching Concord to warn of the pending arrival of British troops. The Patriots suffered less than one hundred casualties. The war would last another eight years, even becoming a world war of sorts, before the Americans emerged victorious.
After suffering through years of British occupation and taxation without representation in parliament, the Patriots began to revolt. There was the tax on tea which brought about the famed Boston Tea Party, and also the Stamp Act which taxed all newspapers, legal, and commercial documents. The Quartering Acts which required local governments as well as individuals to provide food, lodging, and any other needed items to British soldiers. That made it legal for soldiers to commandeer private property and residences for their use as long as they needed it.
That was what led up to this day. This is the 243rd anniversary of the day the signers met in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence which declared the United States of America to be a sovereign nation. The signing itself was a bold move by the signers because had the war been lost, they would have all likely been executed.
One event that preserved the war was on Christmas night in 1775 when Washington was surrounded by British troops with no way of escape. He knew an attack would come at sunrise the next day. He successfully ordered his men and equipment into boats at eleven that night. They lit fires to keep the British thinking they were still in their camps. Just before dawn, while still crossing the river, accounts have stated that a heavy fog rolled in that was so thick it concealed the movements of Washington’s army. If not for the General praying on Christmas for wisdom and God’s deliverance, he would have been captured and the war would have ended before it got started good. After the crossing, he marched his troops to Trenton, New Jersey and attacked and defeated the Hessian army capturing nearly 1000 while only losing four soldiers. The Hessians, or Germans, were fighting with the British. They were drunk from the previous night’s celebration when the colonists attacked. In the end, France sent their Navy to our shores to aid the patriots in defeating Brittain. That help made the difference in whether or not we were victorious.
So as you are enjoying good times and good food today, take time to remember those that laid everything they had on the line to deliver themselves from oppression and establish our country as a free nation. If it weren’t for the French Navy, Washington’s Secret Six spy ring in New York, and God’s divine providence, instead of hotdogs, hamburgers, apple pie, and watermelon; we might all be eating crumpets and sipping hot tea. Happy Independence Day and GOD BLESS AMERICA! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!