Nathan Hale

Hale, Nathan (1755-1776) Soldier: Hale worked as a schoolteacher in Connecticut until the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. In 1775, he was commissioned a lieutenant in a Connecticut regiment, and fought in the siege of Boston. He was promoted to captain the next year, and served in Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Knowlton's company of rangers. In 1776, Hale was sent to obtain information from behind enemy lines. In the midst of his return to the Continental Army, he was captured by the British and hanged as a spy, without a court martial. His last words are purported to be, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country," although historians feel that he probably did not say anything as memorable as that. Nevertheless, at the time, Hale was viewed as a martyr to the patriot cause, and his sacrifice strengthened the moral conviction of the American people.