April 1, 1775
My Dearest Sister,
Did you hear of that marvelous speech done by Mr. Patrick Henry on the 23rd? It was so inspiring; I just wanted to go straight into battle and clear those Brits straight off the field! We had traveled to Virginia earlier, so luckily, I was present!! It was so exciting; I am truly now ready to begin my work as a Colonist Soldier! “Give me liberty, or give me death!”, wonderful, just wonderful!!
Last I saw of father was at Patrick Henry’s speech, about a week ago. We separated when our troops left on different patrols. He said he would send a letter soon. I will send you one large letter filled with all my little letters, to save stamps, sometime in the future! Give Bess my love, watch the cows, take care of mother!
Your excited brother,
April 25, 1775
My lovely Olivia,
After reading this, I know Mother will worry for father and I, but tell her we’re fine. We met just before “The Red-Coats are coming!” was shouted on the 18th. I’m sure you’ve heard about this, but an attack from the Brits was planned on the 19th and, luckily, the plan leaked through to our forces on the 18th. The Minutemen (God, the Minutemen!) saved us, and now my troop is on its way out of Massachusetts. Good men died on the 19th, luckily none I knew, but be praying for their families.
Oh, yes, I’m in the Green Mountain Boys troop, led by Mr. Ethan Allen himself! I hope you are proud of me! I plan to work hard enough to become a Minuteman myself sometime soon! Wish me luck!!
Father is almost out of stamps (he must be sending you letters every other day!), so he sends his love. His troop has left to patrol a more southern coastline, while the Green Mountain Boys troop is going to make its way down to a New York-colony post.
Give mother and Bess my love!
Your loving brother,
May 11, 1775
My dear sister,
Yesterday, my troop took Fort Ticonderoga. I was in the front lines. Olivia, it was terrifying. The Brits want our blood, and want it badly. A fellow, Tom, I met was so wonderfully brave and kind. On the front lines, right next to me, his hesitation to kill caused his death, and nearly mine as well. Please don’t tell Mother of it(I don’t want to worry her), but I may be unrecognizable when I return. And I will return soon, as my face is bandaged in such a way that I cannot see half the world. The pain is terrible, and only love for you, Bess, and mother could bring me to hold this quill. I’m sure you can see how wobbly my script is, as I am writing this in my left hand. I have lost an eye, and too much blood. I will return home shortly, if I survive. A bayonet to the face and a bullet to the shoulder will make me almost useless in town and in the barn, but even more so as a soldier. If this is goodbye, I have told a fellow, who is uninjured, to post this ahead of my body. I hope this is not necessary, but I will rest much more peacefully to know you have received my letters. I love you very, very much.
Give Bess and mother my love. If father returns, give my love to him as well.
Love, love, love, love,
May 15, 1775
Dear Mrs. Fields, Olivia Fields, and Bess Fields,
I am terribly sorry to inform you of the death of my good friend, John Fields, who died of blood loss and infection in a bayonet wound. He was a brave, kind man who I loved, and hope, in the name of Sir Washington and our Lord, that he rests in peace. His last request was to send these letters to you women ahead of his body. I have inquired after Mr. Fields, who is, unfortunately, unable to return home for a grieving period. I am very, very sorry for the loss of this man. John saved my life, and I tried my hardest to give him a peaceful death. He died comfortably, in the medical camp. May he rest in peace.