Monday, December 19, 2016

Hero of the Revolution

Image result for Henry Knox

An ordinary man who rose to face extraordinary circumstances. Our hero’s life begins on July 25, 1750 in Boston, Massachusetts where Henry Knox was born. Growing up, the odds were stacked against him, six of his siblings didn’t survive to adulthood and his father abandoned the family. This forced Henry to drop out of school to make ends meet for his family. Despite these setbacks, Henry still managed to give himself an education by working at a Boston bookbindery, and eventually he was even able to save up enough money to open his own bookstore, "The London Book Shop". 

His passion for military tactics pushed him to read extensively on artillery and ordnance; he even taught himself to speak and read French to read books that hadn’t been translated on these subjects. Henry’s love for the military eventually led him to join the local militia, which gave him valuable experience before the Revolution.

Life, interrupted. On the heels of the battles at Lexington and Concord that formally ignited the colonists rebellion against the crown, twenty five year old Henry Knox abandoned his thriving Boston book shop to looters, and rode off to join the “rabble in arms,” spontaneously mobilizing just across the Charles River in Cambridge. 

At the same time, in Philadelphia, Continental Congress delegates were selecting Virginia representative George Washington to lead the newly forming forces. From the ranks of the 14,000 yahoos gathered in Cambridge that summer, 
Washington picked out the best two he could find to help him lead the new army: a Quaker with a limp named Nathanael Greene, and a “big, fat, garrulous, keenly intelligent man,” Henry Knox.

He earned the respect and lifelong friendship of George Washington, was his right-hand man throughout the war, stood beside him crossing the Delaware, served in his cabinet. 
Henry may not have signed the Declaration of Independence, but he sure did risk his neck to make it possible. 
According to author Jack Kelly, "Knox was really responsible for the patriots’ first victory when they forced the British out of Boston".
Tasked with transporting cannons from the recently captured Fort Ticonderoga, Knox managed to move the heavy artillery over 300 miles of winter terrain using enormous ox-drawn sleds until they pointed at the British from Dorchester Heights and forced their evacuation.
Knox was at Bunker Hill, Trenton, Yorktown, Brandywine and Valley Forge. Henry Knox was there. 

Knox served Washington well, first as Chief Artillery Officer in the Continental Army; then as General in the United States Army; and finally, as the first Secretary of War in President Washington’s cabinet in the newly minted United States of America.


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