Patrick O'Donnell

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O’Donnell: ‘You Only Live Once’ — The Man of Forlorn Hope

You might think the phrase “you only live once,” is a modern sentiment, but it was actually also the personal motto of one of the true unsung heroes of the American Revolution — Jack Steward. A tall, handsome, charismatic Maryland officer known for his sizable ego, Steward fought fearlessly in battle for a cause he ardently believed in – the United States.

Father’s Day in the Trenches

235 years ago this Father’s Day week, another generation of Americans fought for our nation’s future in a place called Ninety Six, South Carolina. This forgotten siege and desperate assault on a British-held fort, at a moment when the outcome of the Revolution was far from certain, captures the essence of who we are as Americans.

A Flag for General Washington

The saga of Fort Washington is one of tragedy, courage, and triumph – a tiny victory recorded in personal accounts of several intrepid Americans who possessed a profound devotion to a newly formed country and one of its flags.

The American Way of War: The Battle of Cowpens – Leadership and Adaptability

Casting an imposing shadow, General Daniel Morgan strode with confidence and determination beside the rows of blazing campfires at Cowpens — a cow pasture, near present-day Spartanburg, South Carolina. It was the eve of one of the most decisive battles of the Revolution, one that was won through a combination of leadership and adaptability that is typical of a unique American way of war.

Assunpink Bridge

The Bridge that Saved America: The Epic, Yet Forgotten, 2nd Battle of Trenton

“Defend the bridge to the last extremity!” Washington shouted to his officers and men, as he stared at the massive British army coiling in front of the stone arched bridge that stood between his men and their destruction. “To the last man, Excellency,” one of Washington’s officers responded to his commander in chief, as a phalanx of Cornwallis’s army readied to charge the bridge.