This brief biography of an unheralded Revolutionary War officer, Colonel Israel Shreve, is based primarily on letters he wrote to his wife during five years of service. It affords the reader a perspective of the conflict with Britain not often enjoyed—that of a Quaker farmer who labored unspectacularly but faithfully in the cause of independence.

 

The volume is instructive because it portrays in realistic detail the social and economic forces that launched many Revolutionary War veterans and their descendants westward.

 

Of special interest is the strained relationship between Shreve and General George Washington which began early in the war and continued until their deaths in 1799.

 

Here then is the story of Israel Shreve, who frequently found himself in the backwaters of the Revolution. He won little glory but in an era of “sunshine patriots” he served better than most.