Sunday, December 6, 2015

the last book I ever read (Sarah Vowell's Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, excerpt nine)

from Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell:

On July 6, more than four thousand forces of the French Royal Army arrived from Rhode Island at Washington’s camp on the Hudson, poised to help the Americans invade some still-to-be-determined British stronghold.

As if stepping out of a Tchaikovsky ballet directed by Wes Anderson, the French soldiers wore plumed black hats and white on white, brightening their snowy leggings and jackets with pops of color on their lapels—their sometimes pink lapels. As opposed to their earthier allies, who were dressed, if they were dressed, in ripped and rotting homespun like zombie Tom Joads. Baron Ludwig von Closen, one of Rochambeau’s staff officers, pitied the Continentals: “It is really painful to see these brave men, almost naked.”

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