Closson Press

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An Ordinary Soldier – Christopher Hite of Bedford, Pennsylvania and the Continental Army

An Ordinary Soldier – Christopher Hite of Bedford, Pennsylvania and the Continental Army Author: Richard Hite
This manuscript traces the Revolutionary War experiences of Christopher Hite of Bedford, Pennsylvania who was, in every sense, an “ordinary” soldier. He was a typical long term Continental Army soldier in that he was from the poorest strata of colonial American society and was illiterate. His experiences are gleaned from the monthly rosters of his regiment and from secondary sources detailing events of the war. The book begins with his early life as the son of an impoverished German immigrant in the frontier town of Bedford. This time in his life is reconstructed from tax records and from the history of the town and the region in general during the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. The primary focus of the book, however, is his experiences during his six and a half years in the Continental Army.

Christopher Hite’s illiteracy and that of most of his comrades-in-arms help explain their “facelessness” in other history texts. Those few rank-and-file troopers that have received attention from historians tended to be of a higher socioeconomic status than most of their peers and more importantly - literate.

Some of these men left their own written accounts for historians to examine. For men like Christopher Hite and most of those he served with, that was not possible - he and many others never learned to read or write. These “ordinary soldiers” formed the backbone of the Continental Army, especially after the initial fervor of the cause of independence lessened after the first two years of fighting. Yes - other books have been written but lack the record of a truly “ordinary” soldier of the Continental Army that this manuscript seeks to fill.

As a side note, the names of John and Matthew Organ (father and son) figure prominently into this book. John was killed at Yorktown. Matthew lived in Washington County, Pennsylvania after the war until the 1820s when he moved to Tuscarawas County, Ohio.

The author is State Records Coordinator at the Rhode Island State Archives and Public Records Administration. Previously he was Assistant State Archivist at the Ohio Historical Society and is also President of the Hite Family Association.

Great gift or read for the historian.

2010, 8.5” x 11”, Softbound, 105 pp
ISBN 9781558565258

Price: $16.95

SKU: CP-615

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