Ebenezer Denny's Journal

Ebenezer Denny's Journal

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Ebenezer Denny was a native of the rural suburban area of Pennsylvania called Carlisle. He gives no mention of a family before entrance into the war at the age of twenty. It's assumed he came from a middle class family and

achieved enough education, both from serving in the army and schooling prior to his entrance, to be a proficient writer and later a notable political figure. Ebenezer Denny had motivation to fight the war for many reason, but the most significant reason was to fulfill personal ambitions that would develop him and later carry him through life.

A major reason for many of the troops to join the army during the American Revolution was to know they were doing something to better the future lives of their family. Although there is no mention of a family by Denny, it's assumed he had a future wife and children. Because of a lack of children and a wife, he differed from many of the other, older troops that were serving around him. This is shown on page 700B "The company were almost all old soldiers." Many of which were fighting to protect their

interests in their family and homes, which were in constant danger with British soldiers looting and pillaging.

Another reason Denny joined the army was because of his provincial duty. Like others of his time it was important that the men step up in times of crisis and fight for their land and general area. Since Denny was from Pennsylvania, he joined the state militia or army. On page 679 troops were being drawn together. Their name even reflects their provincial state, "The Pennsylvania Line." Even though they were formed from Pennsylvanians, it was late enough into the war that provincial troops worked together and moved to different areas, such as Virginia, without the feeling of betraying your own personal area. Liberty and Freedom are other motivations for Denny to fight the war against England. Just like many other people living in America at the time of the American Revolution, he felt pride in his fight for freedom. It is every man's dream to be ruled by no one and to do as he pleases. He shows extreme pride as men who showed disobedience or practiced mutiny was executed on page 679. Also, on page 724 you can see an immediate change in attitude when the enemy drummer starts to play.

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This not only marked a great victory, but he also knows that he is one step closer to gaining liberty and his freedom. He calls it "the most delightful music to us all."

Finally, the most obvious and meaningful ambition for Denny to fight the American Revolution was his personal ambition. He talks of becoming a leader on page 700. It states, "the charge of the company devolved on me; young and inexperienced." Even though he's young, he steps up and past the other, older soldiers, never faltering to the point of failure. This personal ambition also probably came because of his late entrance into the war. He had probably seen the rise through the ranks of many men and saw this as a chance for him to receive personal gain and credibility later on in life. Even though he had ambition to better himself, he never became cruel. He seemed to always show compassion towards others, a trait that he knew would carry him far. This compassion is best shown on page 773 when he talks of a family trying to leave Charleston but are not allowed to pass. He calls this an "unnecessary cruelty." Because of this personal ambition Denny was later able to become a major part of other campaigns. This war record later served him well as he became the first mayor of Pittsburgh.

As you can see, there are many reasons that Denny joined the army and served past the end of the war. The most important driving force behind his decision was his personal ambition to make something more of his life.

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