Mr. David Hales, a social studies teacher from RESA, recently spoke to eighth grade social studies students at West Middle School. Mr. Hales spoke to the students about the life of a Revolutionary War soldier from the British perspective.
Mr. Hales’ approach to the subject was very different. He used historical reproductions to deliver his information.
During colonial times, England was a world empire. This was accomplished in part by a very strong army. Mr. Hales brought with him historical reproductions of a British soldier’s red coat, hat, cartridge box, bayonet, shirt, breeches and gators (leg protectors).
Each of these historical reproductions tell part of the story. For example, the red coat contains the same colors as the British flag. Hearts on the coat denote loyalty. The over 60 coat buttons were stamped with the regiment number.
The tall soldiers hat was made of bear fur for the purpose of intimidation. The cartridge box held the musket cartridges filled with gunpowder. Due to the lack of technology at the time, soldiers needed to bunch up and get in close proximity to the colonists to level any damage. But a misfire could lead to an unexpected explosion of the cartridge box in which the results would be disastrous. Many casualties for the English army occurred because of this. The triangular prism of the bayonet was designed specifically for maximum injury to the colonists.
Another interesting fact that Mr. Hales relayed was that unlike American armies, British soldiers had to pay rent for their uniform and weapons. They were also charged for their food and healthcare. Americans do not charge our soldiers, because we believe we must pay our soldiers for their service to America.
West Middle School, especially Ms. Collins and Ms. Kline, wish to thank Mr. Hales for his very informative presentation. We appreciate that Mr. Hales spoke of the Revolutionary War from a very different perspective. Mr. Hales set a great example for all of us by bringing to light an important part of our history by examining the topic from another perspective.
Submitted by Sara Bochenek