It is an ever so chilly day in February of 1780.
The hostile conditions will often distract the American soldiers fighting for freedom, though all would not give up hope considering where we stand at the moment.
I am the daughter of honorable, reputable General Washington, the man whose soldiers are lining up to put him on a pedestal, and the man leading our country to glory.
I look up to him very much as his faithful daughter. I glance up from the patient I am currently working on and see him approaching me from the distance.
You see, I joined the revolution to become a soldier, something a woman simply cannot do according to society and law. It is "improper" and "frowned upon.
" therefore, I disguise myself to be a nurse for the revolution instead.
When father happens to be unseen, I slip into my long, buttoned coat made of thick blue fabric and sneakily blend into a crowd of soldiers. When my father is near, I remain an undercover nurse.
He paces closer towards me and I speak.
"Hello, father. Is there anything you would care to ask me?"
"No, however, I would like to inform you that Philip Schuyler will be holding a winter's ball this evening. He has invited everyone fighting in the army-"
My heart stops. How did he figure it out?
"As well as everyone caring for the wounded soldiers, and of course myself and the second in command also."
I exhale in relief as he continues.
"Do you believe you could join us tonight at the ball?" He asks, his eyes pleading for the answer he longs to hear. Perhaps I could go, for I have nothing planned.
"Indeed I do," I reply with a sincere smile.
He grins back at me. I am aware that a smile from my father is a rare sight, so I cherish it for a moment before he responds.
"I knew that would be your answer." He takes my hand and starts walking away from the nurse's tent steadily, I almost trip and fall, not expecting to be dragged along.
I yell to another nurse to tend to the wound of the soldier that I was treating.
My father finally stops near a soldier's tent. Outside the tent appears a familiar looking face. I quickly scan him top to bottom. A thorough feeling of remembrance washes through me.
Hercules Mulligan. Tailor's apprentice. Sly and quickwitted. Met him on the battlefield. He knows.
"Hello, General. Does this happen to be the lovely maiden we were speaking of a few weeks ago?" He points to me and I smile sheepishly. I watch as he slowly recognizes me and gasps a bit.
"Yes, it does. Mulligan, are you alright?" My father questions. I turn back to Hercules and he's giving me a deadly stare.
What I can read from his face is a mix of astonishment, disappointment, and second-hand shame. I respond with a desirous look, pleading for him not to mention the incidents.
"I am splendid, Mister General Sir," He responds in a calm manner.
"Very well then. Would you care to lead my Miss Y/N to her gown?"
A gown? I would be more comfortable in uniform, but if I must.
He takes my hand and leads me inside of his tent.
He lifts a long piece of thin woven cloth to unveil a beautifully put together garment: a pink-tinted bodice with sleeves that got looser the farther down they were and a long flowing skirt.
I was speechless. "This...is....beautiful...How do I ever deserve to wear such a masterpiece?"
"It is quite merited, truly. You've outdone yourself helping this country, you've healed and protected every soldier that has gone into battle," Father comments.
Hercules delivers the elegant attire to me. "Please, try it on!" He requests.
I return to the tent after attempting to clothe myself in such a complicated gown with a bit of help from my father. Hercules glances at me.
"It looks simply stunning. Now, go on, I will see you at the Winter's Ball!" Hercules smiles and waves goodbye.
"The horses await us, Y/N," Father states.
Father leads me to the stable and leaps onto one of the horses, pulling me on along with him.
"We will arrive shortly."
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