William Roach at Valley Forge

As William Roach at Valley Forge begins we hear wind blowing in the darkness and the light comes up on two soldiers, William Roach and his friend Cobby, huddled before a fire as snow falls.  William tells Cobby that he was sent to America to bring back a cousin, Mary Clark, who ran off rather than marry a man she had been promised to.  Cobby says he has heard the story many times and doesn’t want to hear it again.  He complains about being cold and hungry and miserable and wonders why they are marching back and forth on snow and frozen mud until their feet bleed.  William says they are fighting for freedom and that the war began over taxes.  He tells Cobby to avoid being negative, drinks from a flask, and, after some discussion, passes the flask to Cobby.  We learn that William married Mary Clark and Cobby thinks she must be insane to think that the Duke of York is her uncle.  The men talk about watching a performance of Addison’s Cato, and William tells Cobby that they will win the war by outlasting the English and then everybody will be free.  He says he doesn’t understand why Mary agreed to marry him but tells Cobby that he can meet her when the revolution is over.  He starts to give a cheer for the revolution, expecting Cobby to join him, but Cobby sits frozen, eyes open, as the snow falls on them and the lights go to black.

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