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  • Mordecai Who? An Unknown Colonial Hero

    When the British attacked Savannah, Mordecai Sheftall was captured in a skirmish when he refused to abandon his son. Marion Levy Mendel, a Sheftall ancestor, Professor Harvey Jackson, and John Sheftall, Esq., another ancestor, recall the costs and high price of waging war.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Why is Mordecai Shefthall considered a Revolutionary hero?

    2. How practical was it to require officers to pay for the maintenance of their troops during the Revolutionary War?

    Expansion

    1. Write a short paragraph that supports this statement: Mordecai Sheftall gave his all for the cause of the American Revolution and earned the title of colonial hero.

    2. With the help of the Georgia Studies digital textbook, make a list of all the heroes of the American Revolution they can find. Beside each name, write their heroic action during this time. This can be an individual or group activity.

    Vocabulary

    bayonet: a swordlike stabbing blade that may be fixed to the front of a rifle for use in hand-to-hand fighting
    skiver: to use a bayonet to cut into a body and cut out the insides, often as torture
    continentals: paper money issued by the Continental Congress during the American Revolution
    mercantile: relating to trade or commerce; commercial

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Why is Mordecai Shefthall considered a Revolutionary hero?
    He was willing to sacrifice his life and his fortune for the cause of Independence. He was captured by the British, escaped and captured again, and he even spent his own money to furnish what was needed by the troops.

    2. How practical was it to require officers to pay for the maintenance of their troops during the Revolutionary War?
    The Revolutionary War was fought on a shoestring – literally. The richest colonists were the only ones who had enough money to pay for ammunition, guns, uniforms, and the other materiel of war. All other supplies were taken care of by the labor of the colonists who could only supply what they could make themselves: bread, clothing, furniture, tents, shoes, etc. In fact, in Georgia, the Liberty Boys took over the Royal Armory in order to get the ammunition needed to defend the colony against the British. They were literally fighting the enemy with the enemy’s bullets! In order to fight this war, the Continental Congress had to rely on the pocketbooks of those who had the most money in the colonies, and they promoted these people to be the higher ranking officers. It was these officers who kept their own troops in uniforms, food, shelter, and munitions. Without these men, they would have succeeded.

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