Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams regarding the defeat of Washington on Long Island.

I assure you, We are as much at a Loss, about Affairs at New York, as you are. In general, our Generals were out generalled on Long Island, and Sullivan and Stirling with 1000 Men were made Prisoners …

Wherever the Men of War have approached, our Militia have most manfully turned their backs and run away, Officers and Men, like sturdy fellows – and their panicks have sometimes seized the regular Regiments.

You are told that a Regiment of Yorkers behaved ill, and it may be true, but I can tell you that several Regiments of Massachusetts Men have behaved ill, too.

October 8, 1776

John Adams has some wonderfully sarcastic lines in most of his letters and documents. I particularly enjoyed the line “our militia manly turned their backs”, which reminds me a bit of troubadour in Monty Python and the Holy Grail singing “And Sir Robin bravely ran away." 

Holy Grail

Which Knights of the round table would the gang be from Monty Python and The Holy Grail?

Hux: King Arthur (because they are both ginger!).

Phasma: Sir Bedevere the Wise.

Poe: Sir Lancelot the Brave.

Rey: Sir Galahad the Pure.

Finn: Sir Robin the-not-so-brave-as-Sir-Lancelot.

Kylo: The Black knight.

Luke: Sir Not-appearing-in-this-film.

  • Minstrel: Bravely bold Sir Robin Rode forth from Camelot.
  • He was not afraid to die, Oh brave Sir Robin.
  • He was not at all afraid
  • To be killed in nasty ways. Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin.
  • He was not in the least bit scared
  • To be mashed into a pulp.
  • Or to have his eyes gouged out,
  • And his elbows broken.
  • To have his kneecaps split
  • And his body burned away,
  • And his limbs all hacked and mangled
  • Brave Sir Robin.
  • His head smashed in
  • And his heart cut out
  • And his liver removed
  • And his bowels unplugged
  • And his nostrils raped
  • And his bottom burnt off And his pen--
  • Sir Robin: That's... that's enough music for now lads,
  • Minstrel: [singing] Brave Sir Robin ran away...
  • Sir Robin: *No!*
  • Minstrel: [singing] bravely ran away away...
  • Sir Robin: *I didn't!*
  • Minstrel: [singing] When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.
  • Sir Robin: *I never did!*
  • Minstrel: [singing] Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about, and valiantly, he chickened out.
  • Sir Robin: *Oh, you liars!*
  • Minstrel: [singing] Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat. A brave retreat by brave Sir Robin.