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A Revolutionary Veteran Describes His Experience

Massachusetts shoemaker Sylvanus Wood served the Patriot cause in the American Revolution in a variety of ways. He fought as a Minuteman at the battle of Lexington and Concord, served three tours of duty in the Continental army, and made shoes for Continental soldiers. After the Revolution Wood became a farmer, and in 1830 he submitted an application (excerpted below) for a government pension based on his military service.

On the morning of April 18, 1775, Robert Douglass and myself heard the Lexington bell about one hour before day. We concluded that trouble was near. We waited for no man but [hurried] and joined Captain Parker’s company at [dawn]. Douglass and myself stood together in the center of the company when the enemy first fired. . . . I helped carry six dead into the meetinghouse and then set out after the enemy . . . 

I was in the [troop] reinforcement on Long Island when we evacuated the island. . . . We marched on and came to a place called Frog’s Point. There we had a small brush with the enemy. I received a [bullet] through my left shoulder . . . 

[H]aving a chance to make shoes for the army, I bought leather, hired [workers], made shoes, and delivered them for the soldiers. . . . 

I sent an application [for a pension] eight or nine years ago to Congress. . . . . If I am [ever going to receive money] for service done in the army, I need it now [and so do] my fellow soldiers who have done no more than I have. I think I have been neglected.

Source | John C. Dann, ed., The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1980), 6-9.
Creator | Sylvanus Wood
Item Type | Government Document
Cite This document | Sylvanus Wood, “A Revolutionary Veteran Describes His Experience,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed November 29, 2021,

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