Joseph Plum Martin, age 15, enlisted for 6 months service in the 5th Connecticut Regiment on July 6, 1776 and served the Continental cause until freedom was secured. During his 7 years of service he participated in the campaigns of the mid-Atlantic and the Southern departments. He was routed by the enemy in New York, trained at Valley Forge, endured hunger and suffered exposure in the rain and foul weather, shielding his musket with his body. He helped forge the traditions of Honor, Loyalty, Duty and Selfless Service that forge the basis for our Army's values. On the evening of October 14, 1781, as a Non-commissioned officer in the handpicked Corps of Sappers and Miners, he participated with French forces in the decisive assault on Redoubts 9 and 10 of the British line at Yorktown. Although the French, once long time enemies to the English speaking colonies, had just become allies, this victory of coalition warfare added another value to the Army tradition....Respect.
"Our watchword was "Rochambeau", the commander of the French forces' name, a good watchword, for being pronounced Ro-sham-bow, it sounded, when pronounced quick, like rush-on-boys.... As soon as the firing began, our people began to cry, "The fort's our own!" and it was Rush on boys".
Sergeant Joseph Plum Martin
Sappers and Miners
Assault on Redoubt #10, Yorktown
October 14th, 1781