Gates, Horatio

SC — 16 August 1780.
NY — 19 September; 17 October 1777.
Camden, SC — The 107-acre site includes the town of 18th century Camden, the Joseph Kershaw mansion — headquarters for Lord Cornwallis — and more. Fourteen battles of the Revolution were fought in the area.
Vails Gate, NY — Used by General Knox several times during the war, this 1754 Georgian-style house has been restored and “carefully furnished in period style.”
Stillwater, NY — Covering more than 3,500 acres, the park includes the 1777 battlefield, the Saratoga Monument, and the Schuyler House; includes a visitor center.
New York, NY — The Anglican parish of Trinity Church was founded in 1698 in lower Manhattan; the first church building was constructed facing Wall Street the same year. The magnificent neo-gothic structure that one sees today is the congregation’s third church; the graveyard is the burial ground for several patriots, including Alexander Hamilton.

As students of Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau are always reminding us, the age of reason was really an age of sentiment. In this too, Washington was a man of his age. When he established the first general decoration in the American Army, the Purple Heart, it was not (as it became in the twentieth century) an award available to all soldiers wounded in the line of duty. Only privates and noncomissioned officers could win the original Badge of Military Merit, a cloth-shaped heart sewn over the man’s actual heart, which allowed him to pass all guards and sentinels which officers are permitted to do. The symbol was not of heart’s blood shed, but of virtue proceeding from the heart. Limiting the award to nonofficers was meant to indicate that great virtue can be shown regardless of rank — that in Washington’s words, the road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus open to all.

Garry Wills
Cincinnatus: George Washington & the Enlightenment (1984)