About Joseph Plum Martin

Dear Editor:

The purpose of this letter is to reply to the criticisms leveled by councilman Frugal against the magnificent Joseph Plumb Martin Memorial Project.   Martin is quite worthy of artistic commemoration.   Understanding the common soldier’s experience is fundamental to the understanding of any war.   Martin’s account provides us with a comprehension of the American Revolution which would be impossible to obtain from accounts that focus on generals alone.   Although Mr. Frugal is correct when he says that Milford has no legal obligation to complete the project, Milford has the duty to honor its patriot sons.   Moreover, the community has a moral obligation to complete this memorial in which so many firms, including my own, have invested large amounts of time, money, and artistic talents.
First of all, Joseph Plumb Martin undeniably merits artistic commemoration.   While the civilians were enjoying the course of their normal life, fifteen-year old Martin who should have been in school, was enduring the hardships of war.   After being enlisted for only six months, he returned home after one year, having suffered privations that could have given him the disgust of war.   However, he enlisted again and remained in the continental army for the duration of the war.   Only a profound sense of patriotism can explain Martin’s long commitment.   Here is how he told us himself, “We were unwilling to desert the cause of our country, when in distress; that we knew her cause involved our own.” (Martin, 125)
Also, saying that Martin wasn’t a hero or a high-ranked officer is not the point.   We are talking about a person so young at the revolutionary period that he was flattered to be called a man, “I felt a little elevated to be styled a man.” (Martin, 16).   The point, at the opposite of Mr. Frugal’s argument is that Martin, so young, so spontaneous, is representative of all those young soldiers, his comrades, and has become their voice, a symbol of all of them.   In honoring...