True to the Old Flag by G. A. Henty
MY DEAR LADS:
You have probably been accustomed to regard the war between England and her colonies in America as one in which we were not only beaten but, to some extent, humiliated. Owing to the war having been an unsuccessful one for our arms, British writers have avoided the subject, and it has been left for American historians to describe. These, writing for their own countrymen, and drawing for their facts upon gazettes, letters, and other documents emanating from one side only, have, naturally, and no doubt insensibly, given a very strong color to their own views of the events, and English writers have been too much inclined to accept their account implicitly. There is, however, another and very different side to the story, and this I have endeavored to show you. The whole of the facts and details connected with the war can be relied upon as accurate. They are drawn from the valuable account of the struggle written by Major Steadman, who served under Howe, Clinton, and Cornwallis, and from other authentic contemporary sources. You will see that, although unsuccessful,--and success was, under the circumstances, a sheer impossibility,--the British troops fought with a bravery which was never exceeded, and that their victories in actual conflict vastly outnumbered their defeats. Indeed, it may be doubted whether in any war in which this country has been engaged have our soldiers exhibited the qualities of endurance and courage to a higher degree.
Yours very sincerely,
G. A. HENTY.