Sleds and Cannons

Henry Knox was the son of a ship’s captain who died when the boy was nine.  Henry began working as a bookstore clerk at 12 to support his mother, and later opened his own bookstore.  If Knox’s story ended there, it would be a remarkable tale of trial, strength, survival, and ingenuity.

But, Henry Knox was also a soldier during the American Revolution, commissioned a Colonel by George Washington and tasked with bringing 60 tons of artillery from Crown Point and Ticonderoga in upstate New York to the Seige of Boston, a journey of 300 miles over unimproved terrain.

To make Knox’s mission even worse, snow began covering the ground.  Knox refused to see the heavy snowfall as a hindrance, instead seeking in it some opportunity.  Rather than plowing through the snow, he put the cannon on sleds and slid them over it.

Although it may seem out of place to celebrate a military maneuver as an act of piety, by accomodating providence rather than resisting it Henry Knox exemplified the spirit of “Thy Will Be Done.”  The arrival of these cannon in Boston a mere 56 days after their departure has been described as miraculous, but it was in fact the wise action of Henry Knox that achieved what many believed could not be achieved, by applying his God-given reason to a God-given blessing that others might have seen as a curse.

Today, on the 6th Day of Action, we celebrate Knox’s achievement.