“Hardship a ‘Constant Companion,’” from Janis Herbert’s The American Revolution for Kids
With fathers and brothers in the army for so long, women and children shouldered all of the work. They plowed fields, tended animals, and planted and harvested crops. They learned to hunt in order to feed their families. Many civilians suffered greatly from shortages, which became worse as the war went on. Clothing and food were scarce, and money lost its value. Farms were devastated as passing armies foraged for food and seized precious horses and cows. Raiding British soldiers set crops on fire. Some, like General Philip Schuyler’s wife, Catherine, burned their own crops rather than allow the British to feed off them. Their homes were taken over. At times, battles raged on their doorsteps.