If you had been reading the July 22, 1776 edition of the Boston Gazette, you would have come across a notice that read:
Deserted from my company, in Col. Craft’s battalion of colony train of artillery, Michael Carrick, 31 years of age, about 5 foot 8 inches high, with a cut over his right eye brow, well set, black hair, and buck skin breeches. He had on a grey out side jacket and striped waist coat, a new cotton shirt, and carried away with him a French musket and bayonet.–Any person who shall stop said deserter and thief, shall have a reward of FOUR DOLLARS... Such notices were by no means uncommon.When soldiers ran away, a designated officer placed an advertisement in the local newspaper describing the deserter in considerable detail and offering a reward for his capture. One expert estimates that 1 out of every 4 soldiers fighting for the Revolution deserted their post, and, in some ways, you couldn’t blame them.
In the close, unsanitary quarters, death from small pox was a real possibility. Lax discipline and a lack of food and clothing discouraged men. Blood on the snow at Valley Forge wasn’t just some dramatic description for the Fourth of July. It really happened because men had no shoes. On top of all this, the soldiers faced the greatest fighting force in the world at that time. They, at least in the early days, lacked confidence and that lack of confidence melted their courage like snow in the warm April sun. And so many deserted.
Now before you judge just know that a lack of confidence can make cowards of us all! Even Christians, or maybe I should say, especially Christians.