The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn-by Dr. Robert P. Watson
War is horrific. For prisoners in wars, it’s even worse; they endure hell. I knew that reading this book would be a haunting & disturbing experience. No different than when you first learned about the Andersonville prison or Bataan Death March. You never forget it. But, this subject isn’t mentioned often in books or exhibited in museums. Did you know that twice the number of Americans lost their lives on the prison ships than died in combat!
I grew up on Long Island and only vaguely knew about these vessels of death. Dr. Watson describes in detail the horrors that these men suffered. On some accounts over 11,000, or at its peak 12 men perished per day on the Jersey, the worst of the prison ships. The British goal was to instill fear into the rebels with the hopes they would eventually concede. It actually had the opposite effect.
What surprised me, besides learning about some successful escapes, was that the prisoners had the option to acquiesce just by agreeing to fight for the British. Few did! Most were loyal to the cause. Makes you proud of their fortitude and courage. Read the book!!
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