Siphoning revolutionary energy

March 31, 2017

Twas a summer night in May 1775. The Washingtons were celebrating a new shipment of supplies for the war. I felt special. Being that I was a free black man celebrating with General Washington himself. Though,we had been quite close since we were six years of age, I still always felt secure in his presence. “ Might everyone grab a large goblet of ale? So we may toast to a hopeful upcoming victory.” George yelled over the large raucous. He swiftly lifted his large mug “ To not only victory over Britain, but, to prosperity as well!” “ Here, here” Everybody shouted.

          I woke up In an unsettled fashion quite quickly. I sighed. “ Tis but a dream in remembery of a week ago.” I heard the bustling around the house of about 13 slaves and servants. I got dressed and quickly ran downstairs. I saw George in his captain’s uniform. A sure sign that he was preparing to leave, along with the fact of people hurrying around to get him prepared. “ Ah, Terelle, my good friend I was just about to fetch for you.” He exclaimed happily. “ Leaving so soon?” I asked. “ Unfortunately, Yes. I have to help plan an attack strategy. The british are at Boston harbor surrounded by water on all sides. Our perfect chance to strike. They’ll only be there for another week at best. Time is of the essence.”

         I sighed in dread. What a drag. How did I get myself dragged into military affairs? “Please, Terelle, come with me. We could use a brain like yours. You have no wife, no children. It won’t hurt you to close down your blacksmithing shop for a few days.” George’s plea rang on in my head like a church bell during a time of disease. Now look where I am. Mixed up in military planning measures. A slacker like me. I like to take the easiest route to prosperity. Maintaining a marriage is a lot of work. So are children. Which is why I decide I don’t need them. But this, this is so much work and responsibility. I should have said no. It’s already too late for that. If I were to leave now it’d make general Washington look like a poor fool. I strolled into the officer's tent where George told me to report by noon. I saw men all crowded around a map arguing and, I knew immediately that I had made a grave mistake. All eyes were on my figure. Staring intently. Studying me. “Good day” I said. “I was told to come here to assist with the planning of an attack.” A short, fat man piped up saying “ You must be at the wrong tent. Negroes don’t speak commonly with officers and generals. I would strongly advise you to politely excuse yourself elsewhere.”

         At that moment many things were flying through my head. It’s not like me to respond out of emotion without thinking but, at that moment, I did. “I may not be in the army, but I’d be willing to venture an educated guess that I’m much more intelligent than your sorry behind. You cow-headed fool. If you think that I’m any less capable of planning a battle than you, simply based off the pigmentation of my skin, you are sadly mistaken. I could easily take you in a battle of wits, or strength.” My voice was filled with rage, antipathy, and pure disgust from his blissful ignorance. “I shall have you flogged for speaking to me in that manner!” I responded saying “I’ll see to it that I snap your neck first!” And lunged at him. The man had no time to react in the face of an imminent death, but George did. He hopped over the table and caught me in his right arm before I got my hands on the idiotic man. “Nobody ill be causing any harm to each other. We’re all on the same side. We should not be at odds within our own ranks. Now, please, Brock this is my dear friend Terelle. Terelle, this is commanding officer of regiment 7a Brock.” George yelled.

         As the evening went on I sat quietly listening to the stupid ideas each person was yelling out about where to attack from. “East” “No, west” “South is clearly the better option” It was clearly not that. But, from ALL directions. East, West, and South. The cannons could be placed on each side of the surrounding water. But I said nothing and waited for somebody else to realise. But as day drew on longer I began to realise that they were getting nowhere.

         “Oh, good lord, there’s a simple solution to all of this. You have sixteen cannons, correct? Attack from all three directions and take out all ships that go north. Since it’s the biggest gap the british will have no way to leave but south. We position ? of our troops there ready to fire and four of the sixteen cannons as well then place more cannons and troops on the other sides prepared for them to flee. The plan can’t fail and we’ll take out over a thousand of them.” Everyone was looking at me in awe as I sat back down with my arms crossed.  Brock was the first to break the silence. “ W-w- what a brilliant plan. I uh don’t know what to say. How long have you had that Idea?” He  stammered. “ I would like to know as well.” George said. “ As soon as I saw the maps and troop composition.” I responded “You’ve had that plan all day and you neglected to share?!” Brock yelled. “ I did. For, I thought I was nothing but a lowly negro.” “It appears I was wrong about you. I apologize” Brock said. I nodded and headed back to my tent for, I was tired.

       The very next day, my plan was executed. It was an easy success and almost no casualties on our side. I was glad to be able to get back home and to normal life. I was congratulated and given a large sum of money so I was content.

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