Skip to comments.21-year-old patriot Nathan Hale "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country"
Posted on 12/10/2019 9:56:04 AM PST by Perseverando
"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country" were the last words of 21-year-old American patriot Nathan Hale, who was hanged by the British without a trial on SEPTEMBER 22, 1776.
A Yale graduate, 1773, Nathan Hale almost became a Christian minister, as his brother Enoch did, but instead became a teacher at Union Grammar School.
When the Revolutionary War began in 1775, Nathan Hale joined a Connecticut militia and served in the siege of Boston.
On July 4, 1775, Hale received a letter from his Yale classmate, Benjamin Tallmadge, who became General Washington's chief intelligence officer:
"Was I in your condition ... I think the more extensive service would be my choice. Our holy Religion, the honour of our God, a glorious country, & a happy constitution is what we have to defend."
Nathan Hale accepted a commission as first lieutenant in the 7th Connecticut Regiment under Colonel Charles Webb of Stamford.
Nathan Hale was a pious as he was courageous.
American Heritage Magazine's article, "The Last Days and Valiant Death of Nathan Hale" (April 1964), gave fellow soldier Lieutenant Elisha Bostwick's description of Nathan Hale:
"He was undoubtedly pious; for it was remark'd that when any of the soldiers of his company were sick he always visited them & usually prayed for & with them in their sickness."
Tradition has it that Nathan Hale was part of daring band of patriots who captured an English sloop filled with provisions from right under the guns of British man-of-war.
Following the Battle of Brooklyn Heights, August 27, 1776, the British went from Staten Island across Long Island and were intent on capturing New York City.
Native born of the town where I grew up.
I wonder how many current high school students or college students even though the name Nathan Hale.
I doubt that I was even out of grade school before I learned of this great man and his valor.
I clearly recall in grade school being taught about another hero of the Revolution, Francis Marion AKA The Swamp Fox.
Truly, there were so many heroes of the revolution that it almost seems a little unfair to single out a few of the more well-known ones.
There is a Nathan Hale high school in Seattle, unless the libs have changed it to fidel or mao or something.
A back story I heard at an SAR meeting from a historian: Washington wrote Howe to ask him not the hang Hale. Howe blew him off. Four years later when Washington had Major Andre and Andre was asking to be shot as gentlemen of that time were in such situations, Washington took great pleasure in saying, “NO!You will hang like the common criminal you are.” There was never any chance that Andre would be traded or face a firing squad.
I am wondering if the Nathan Hale of yesteryear would even recognize ‘his’ country today and if he would still be willing to give his life for it?
Just wondering. No real way to know.
I simply know that in my 7th decade I don’t recognize our country very much compared to during my formative years.
As I recall it, the issue was that Washington stated that he would hang a British officer in response to Hales hanging. A very young British officer (cant recall his name) was slated to be the one, and Washington spared him after the mans mother wrote to him personally it was something of a sensation at the time. So having relented once, he couldnt very well relent again, even for the sake of an officer who was admired by both British and Americans. Even so, Washington informed Howe that he would exchange Andre for Benedict Arnold, but only Benedict Arnold. That of course did not happen.
“I only regret that I have but one * for my country.”
I don’t know who thought that up, but it’s funny.
I’m not sure where you got the idea that Washington thought Andre was a fine man: but I don’t believe that to be the case.
At least one HS in East Texas doesn’t teach history prior to the Clintons.
We forget how young many of our Revolution heroes and founding fathers were.
One of my heroes.
Thank you, brother Dawg.
And what they fought and died for.
Nathan Hale is an icon in Coventry, CT. His home is a state park, the elementary school is named for him (and Coventry High is the Patriots) and there’s a monument near Coventry Lake. Coventry, CT is a wonderful town.
Coventry, CT...? We used to waterski on the lake.
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