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.That caused a great deal of excitement and everyone had little else to talk about that day.It made a change from wondering when General Howe would move from Staten Island where he’d set up camp for all his soldiers after the voyage from Nova Scotia.Casca knew there was no going back from that moment; it now was a fight to the bitter end.Up to that moment most people were fighting to have a bigger say in their lives, but it seemed the small group of radicals had their way and now wanted to break from the mother country.An interesting part of the declaration was the right to revolution.Much of the paper was a list of abuses by King George III and in a fit of patriotism, the citizens went to the statue of George at Bowling Green and tore it down, stating the statue would be melted down for lead balls to shoot back at his subjects.Casca thought that a good touch.His thoughts now turned to more practical issues.When and where would the British – as he realized he should call them now as opposed to the Americans – land to try to wrest New York back for the King? Staten Island sat south of New York City, and they could go anywhere by ship that they chose.The Americans had no ships to speak of and they had tried to sink hulks in the waters to block any Royal Navy moves up to the city, but a couple of them had recently sailed past many fortified places and exchanged shots.It was clear they could land anywhere; New Jersey, Manhattan or Long Island, or even behind Manhattan near the White Plains, but Casca thought that too far and they’d be surrounded by enemy territory there.If he were Howe, he’d seek to push in from the edges so as to have friendly territory behind him as he pushed on.Long Island seemed the best place because it was so big and there were plenty of bays and inlets to land troops.So he sent out more patrols on a daily basis to scour the area, to check that nobody had landed anywhere in the vicinity.Not that they wouldn’t notice; it seemed that the entire Royal Navy was anchored off Staten Island and it would be hard not to notice a landing somewhere along the coast.No, they would come at night.Casca got fed up with waiting at the company headquarters and went out on patrol himself a few times.It was always the same; the trees, fields and hills were empty of enemy forces.What was Howe doing, sitting there on Staten Island? The longer he waited the more organized the American army got.Washington was constantly battering away at Congress, insisting they send munitions, supplies and money to build up the army.If they were to have a chance in defeating the British they had to have a large professional army, and at the moment they were still beset with the problem of men leaving at the end of their period of signing on.The summer had come and the fields and woods were full of life.It seemed really strange that men would soon be killing each other in these very areas, but such had been the way of things for as long as Casca could remember.He idly cut aside some long grass with his officer’s sword, an item of equipment he’d recently acquired.Major Harper had tried to get Casca to part with his musket but Casca refused, saying he would have both; the sword was a old friend, the familiar feeling of a hilt in his hand bringing a smile to his lips, but he was practical enough to know these days death was dished out at range as well as at face to face, and he had no intention of getting into a fight and not being able to shoot at someone.Major Harper in fact was having a problem with his captain.The man was an enigma; he knew soldiering and sometimes said things that no man ought to know.Tactics, strategy and just basic warfare he knew almost without thinking.Harper could see Lonnergan come out with a correct solution to a problem almost without thinking.He was an encyclopedia on war, and spoke of it sometimes as if he were an eyewitness of past battles.Lonnergan had smiled and explained he’d studied war in Prussia when staying in Berlin but Harper couldn’t see how anyone could amass such knowledge in even a man’s lifetime.But Lonnergan spoke fluent German, and this was useful for the few Germans in the unit who’d recently immigrated.Who was Lonnergan really? He said he had been born in Ireland but Harper, a Scot by birth, knew plenty of Irishmen and none looked or spoke like Lonnergan.He looked Italian, in fact.Yes, an enigma, but a damned good man to have.Harper just had the impression Lonnergan could dispense with all those above him and fight the war single handed – and probably win – and was only tolerating him and the other officers out of a sense of good manners.Harper had read the report from Lord Stirling about Lonnergan which reinforced his thoughts about the man.Lonnergan did his own thing no matter what superior officers said, and the maddening thing was that Lonnergan was always right, damn his eyes [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]