In the distance Abigail could hear gunfire from muskets and cannons. She did not shudder any more: these noises had become a way of life around the little town. Her father and two older brothers had joined the Continental Army as soon as the British had fired on Lexington. Many of the farmers and their sons from the small town had joined the ranks and left the women, children and elderly men to fend for themselves. But they had to fight for their freedom.
Abigail's father had been a minister, in charge of a secret which he told Abigail one night before he left. Up the long flight of stairs he had taken her to the bell tower atop the assembly hall. Behind the locked door he told her were barrels of gunpowder and boxes of ammunition. Taking her gently in his arms, he told her to keep the secret.
“I'm counting on you to watch it for me,” he said. “I know you are young, but we all must do our part in the war. I and General George Washington are counting on you.”