Charles Morris’s story
Charles Morris. Volunteered for the war and left his wife, Shannon Morris, and his four year old son, William Morris. He thought he would fear for his life while battling Great Britain. Although, what he didn’t know was that he would fear to his life being a prisoner of war.
Charles Morris was at the battle of Trenton. He was running for his life to not be captured after the British soldiers started rallying against them. All of a sudden dragoons started surrounding him and a couple other patriots. His heart dropped to the floor. He realized there was no hope. Charles Morris was about to become a prisoner of war.
When Charles was captured he was forced to walk all the way to a British prison in Philadelphia. It wasn’t terribly long because Trenton wasn’t so far away from it, but it still wasn’t pleasant. But what kept him hopeful was the thought that his family was near. They lived in Philadelphia for the past few years. They settled down there when Shannon was pregnant with William. All the buildings were brick and large and hadn’t changed since they moved there. The only thing that changed was the British occupying the city, that before the war, he used to call home. Before the British had captured Philadelphia on September 26, 1777, following General George Washington’s defeats at the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of the Clouds.
He entered the prison. Hopeless, sadness, and fear was a mutual feeling among the prisoners. If you did not have money you were bound to starve. You had only small portions of tasteless and unsanitary food and water. You only had a small, thin blanket to keep you warm at night. Not only that, but there were usually 10-15 soldiers per small cell. The dirt floors gave him an idea. The idea was something that could reunite him and all the other soldiers in his cell with their families. He just had to tell them how.
His idea was to dig a tunnel out of the prison. He knew it sounded crazy, but it might just work. The other soldiers were skeptical. They had lots of questions and I tried my best to answer them. After I did they seemed convinced. Any chance of freedom they had, they would take no matter the cost. So they started digging. The guards weren’t that much of a problem. They only came to give them their daily cup of water and stale bread or any other flavorless unfilling food. The real challenge was however, the disposal of the excess dirt for when the guards did eventually come around. They patted it down and stuffed it in their shirts. The hole was also very small. Once a soldier tried to fit down it to work on it but got stuck halfway. Although after a lot of trial and error, the hole was finally ready. They would leave at midnight when the guards were sound asleep.
He and the others were excited, but extremely nervous. Not only because they were traveling through the hole, but when they escaped how they were ever going to pass the British soldiers who were occupying the area. They would throw them right back in jail if they were even caught after curfew, but escaped soldiers? They wouldn’t stand a chance. Even though it was risky, it was better at night than day because the camouflage outfits the soldiers wore from their past uses of gorilla warfare would blend in nicely. In the day they would stick out like a sore thumb in the city like that. They all went through the narrow hole one by one, Charles leading the way. As they came out of the hole they felt liberated and free, but they weren’t out of the clear yet. They had to get home. We all split apart to go to our desired destinations. Some were leaving to their families nearby like I. Some would leave to look for work. Also, some would leave to go back into war. Charles has had enough ‘war’ for a lifetime. He was more than ready to see his family once again.
Charles Morris walked with a man named James. He only lived 20 more minutes away from Charles’s home. James and Charles wanted to see their families once again. Charles parted from James as Charles went to his house. He knocked on the door and his wife frantically hurried to the door. She probably thought it was a British soldier or neighbor telling her to flee from her home, as that was a common thing happened across the nation where Britain occupied. Instead she fell to the floor in tears, happy tears, as she saw her husbands face who she thought she would never see again. She had so many questions. So many hours of sadness and hopelessness. So much time spent wondering if she would ever see him once more. Although, all that had to wait. She and her husband were in a state of pure bliss. He thought it couldn’t get any better until he saw his son William running down the stairs shouting “Daddy’s home! He was fighting the bad guys and now he’s home! I told you mommy that he would come home one day! See!” Charles picks up William and swings him around. All three people could not be happier.