First I gouged my thigh with an ice pick. It hurt like the dickens but there wasn't much blood. In fact the exit wound was worse than the entry. I tore my own shirt to use as a makeshift tourniquet.
Once the sun had set, I limped out into the back yard, and I lay face down in the weeds. Thankfully, it rained enough to be muddy and I was able to find a shallow puddle for my head. The mud soaked into my hair.
The wound in my leg throbbed, but I knew it wouldn't likely kill me. Yet, if I moved, I imagined one of the Red Coats would get me for sure. As the fireworks exploded in the neighborhood, they quickly became artillery shells of a different kind. Some were small arms fire while others were British cannon. They exploded all around me, in every direction, filling my ears with their popping and booming. I could smell the gun powder, and I eyes stung with the smoke of battle.
For an hour I lay on the battlefield. I forced myself to lie there, expecting for it to end, praying for mercy, begging for it to end, so I could hobble away, find a nearby farmhouse, and beg for quarter, but the shooting would not stop. The ground held the heat of the day, and the throbbing from my leg radiated throughout, all the way into my head.
My thoughts swam - back to my childhood - back to the days of hunting with my father, using our rifles for a different purpose: to provide food for our family. Dare I move? Were the Tories and their British friends far enough away that I could at least roll over? I needed to see the sky. I wanted to look at the stars - to make sure they still shone.
After a while, the explosions were farther apart, farther away. The skirmish was rolling away, and I risked stumbling from the field. I stepped carefully over lawn ornaments and children's toys - my fellow soldiers, my new friends who had fallen to musket fire or cannonballs - and I went back inside.
Try it yourself, the next time July 4 rolls around. You'll gain a much better appreciation for the reality of the revolutionary battles fought by farmers and merchants to win the freedoms we enjoy in this nation. Just a word of caution: get that wound taken care of before infection sets in (You don't want to face revolutionary surgery.).