June 23, 2019
The British troops continued to push the colonists further into Springfield, New Jersey. With five Red Coats for every one Patriot, the odds seemed overwhelming. However, the Americans continued to present a powerful defense, giving their opponent a demanding fight. That is until they ran out of wadding, or paper, to wrap their gunpowder in before placing it in their muskets. Without that wadding, they were virtually unarmed.
As the fight continued, Reverend James Caldwell rallied the soldiers as he rode among the troops. Upon hearing the men yelling for more wadding. Caldwell quickly raced his horse to the church and grabbed a stack of hymn books written by the prominent hymn-writer of the time, Isaac Watts. Hurrying back to the fight, Caldwell tossed the hymn books to the soldiers. As the men started ripping the pages out to use as wadding, Caldwell shouted, “Give ‘em Watts, boys! Put Watts into ‘em.”
With the necessary supply of paper, the colonists beat back the Red Coats and won the Battle of Springfield on June 23, 1780. Following the defeat, British General Henry Clinton decided to focus on the South, never entering New Jersey or the North again. However, on their way out of Springfield, the British set fire to the buildings, destroying all but four of them, including the Presbyterian Church Caldwell retrieved the hymnals from. However, the good reverend's words to the soldiers would live on through history even until today.
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