But I considerate myself fortunate to be serving the cause of Liberty. And though I fear death, each day in prayer I reaffirm my willingness, if necessary, to give my life in its service. Pray for me, but above all, pray for the cause. (from a letter written to his brother Thomas)
Half the men in this church, including you, father... and you reverend, are as ardent patriots as I. Will you now, when you are needed most, stop at only words?. Is that the sort of men you are?. I ask only that you act upon the beliefs of which you have so strongly spoken, and in which you so strongly believe. [after men were asked to join the militia, but no one initially seemed to be interested]
Benjamin Martin: In the future, full quarter will be given to British wounded and any who surrender.
Major Jean Villeneuve: The British men of war gave no such quarter when they fired on a ship carrying my wife and daughters. I watched from 200 yards off as they were burned alive.
Benjamin Martin: You have my sympathy, but my order stands.
Major Jean Villeneuve: Damn your sympathy!. Who are you to give such an order?. I know what you and your men did to my countrymen at Fort Wilderness.
Benjamin Martin: We are militia. This is not regular army. Every man here is free to come and go as he pleases, but while you are here, you will obey my command or I will have you shot.
Benjamin Martin: I've just read into the mind of a genius. Cornwallis knows more about war then any of us could ever hope to learn in a dozen lifetimes. His victories at Camden and Charleston were perfect, perfect. The thing is, he knows that... and perhaps that's his weakness.
Gabriel Martin: Sir?
Benjamin Martin: Pride. Pride's a weakness.
Major Jean Villeneuve: Personally, I would prefer stupidity.
Benjamin Martin: Pride will do.
Gabriel Martin: If we win this war, a lot of things will change.
Soldier Occam: What will change?
Gabriel Martin: They call this the New World. It's not. It's the same as the old. But we have the chance to build a new world. A world where all men are created equal under God.
Soldier Occam: Equal... sounds good.
Lieutenant General Cornwallis: Now we come to the matter of specific targeting of officers during engagements. You must know that in civilized warfare, officers in the field must not be accorded inappropriate levels of hostile attention.
Benjamin Martin: To your opinion, what are appropriate levels of hostile attention?
Lord General Cornwallis: Colonel, imagine the utter chaos that would follow from leaderless armies having at each other. There must be gentlemen to command, lead, and, and, where necessary, restrain their men.
Benjamin Martin: Restrain them from, say, targeting civilians. Women, children and such.
Lord General Cornwallis: That's a separate issue.
Benjamin Martin: No, no. I consider them linked. And as long as your soldiers attack civilians, I will order the shooting of officers at every engagement. And my men are excellent marksmen.
Lieutenant General Cornwallis: Very well. Let us move on to...
Benjamin Martin: Prisoner exchange.
Lieutenant General Cornwallis: Sir?
Benjamin Martin: You have eighteen of my men. I want them back.
[Visibly confused, General Cornwallis turns to General O'Hara, who whispers to him.]
Lieutenant General Cornwallis: I-I hold eighteen criminals under sentence of death, but I hold no prisoners of war.
Benjamin Martin: If that's your position, eighteen of your officers will have to die. Nineteen, if you hang me with them.
Lieutenant General Cornwallis: My officers?
[Martin gets up, taking a field telescope off the General's desk. He looks out the window behind him, and hands the device to Cornwallis.]
Benjamin Martin: Top of the ridge, to your left. Just below the tree line.
[General Cornwallis looks, and locates what appears to be a group of British officers held at gunpoint by Colonial militia.]
Lieutenant General Cornwallis: Their names and ranks?
Benjamin Martin: They refuse to give me their names, but the ranks are nine lieutenants, five captains, three majors, and one very fat colonel who called me a "cheeky fellow."
Lieutenant General Cornwallis: You know this is not the conduct of a gentleman.
Benjamin Martin: If the conduct of your officers is the measure of a gentleman, I'll take that as a compliment. (pauses) Get my men.
Lieutenant General Cornwallis: Arrange the exchange.
Brigadier General O'Hara: My lord.
Colonel William Tavington: Colonel, what is this?
Brigadier General O'Hara: Prisoner exchange. He has eighteen of our officers.
Colonel William Tavington: Who is he? I recognize him.
Brigadier General O'Hara: He is the commander of the militia. Your "Ghost". [Tavington draws his sword and advances on Martin.] Stay that sword, Colonel! He rode in under a white flag under formal parley. If you harm him, you condemn our officers.
Colonel William Tavington: This is madness. General, with respect, he's killed as many officers in the last two months.
Brigadier General O'Hara: He has shown no aggression here. Hence he cannot be touched.
Colonel William Tavington: You! So you're the Ghost, are you? I remember you! On that farm, and that stupid little boy! [Martin turns around] Did he die? Hm? [Martin walks up to him.] You know, it's an ugly business, doing one's duty. But just occasionally... it's a real pleasure.
Benjamin Martin: Before this war is over, I'm going to kill you.
Colonel William Tavington: Why wait?
Benjamin Martin: Soon.
Gabriel Martin: I've come to call on Anne.
[Anne's father puts an ear piece in his ear to hear. Gabriel leans in and tries again louder]
Gabriel Martin: I've come to call on Anne.
Peter Howard: Well of course you call yourself a man!
Anne Howard Martin: Father stop it! You heard him!
Peter Howard: Well, call on her!
Colonel William Tavington: This town has given aid to Benjamin Martin and his rebels. I wish to know his whereabouts. So, anyone who comes forward may be forgiven their treason. [silence] Very well, you had your chance.
Hardwick: Wait! This man gives Martin and his men supplies!
Hardwick: He brings them to Black Swamp!
Woman: He's a liar!
Man: You damn fool!
Hardwick: In the marsh, by the old Spanish mission!
Colonel William Tavington: This man here?
Colonel William Tavington: The Black Swamp, you say? By the old Spanish mission. Thank you very much. Shut the doors!
Hardwick: But you said... we'd be forgiven!
Colonel William Tavington: And indeed you may! But that's between you and God.
[British soldiers shut and seal the church doors. Captain Wilkins approaches Tavington.]
Captain Wilkins: Ready to fire the town on your orders, sir.
Colonel William Tavington: The town? Burn the church.
Captain Wilkins: [Realizing] There's no honour in this.
Colonel William Tavington: Didn't you say that all who stand against England deserve to die a traitor's death? Burn the church, Captain.
Col. Harry Burwell: [referring to Gabriel, who was just killed by Tavington] I'll help you bury him.
Benjamin Martin: I'll bury him.
Col. Harry Burwell: My wife Alexandria is with child, my first. I fight for that child... Benjamin nothing will replace your sons, but if you come with us you can justify their sacrifice.
Benjamin Martin: Why?... Why do men feel they can justify death? Is it arrogance or... [voice trails off] I have long feared, that my sins would return to visit me. And the cost is more than I can bear.
Col. Harry Burwell: Benjamin, we have a chance. Green and Dan Morgen are down from Virginia. If we win this next battle victory in the war is within our grasp.
Benjamin Martin: Go then, seek your victory. I'm a small issue to it.
Col. Harry Burwell: You're wrong Benjamin, you matter to your men, and to others as well. Your victories and... and your losses, are shared by more than you know. Stay with us. Stay the course!
Benjamin Martin: I have run my course.
[Martin and Villeneuve march on the battlefield to the final battle]
Benjamin Martin: How old were your daughters?
Major Jean Villeneuve: Juliette was 12. And Pauline, 10. They had green eyes.
Benjamin Martin: I'm sure they were lovely.
Major Jean Villeneuve: Yes...they were.
[Tavington has Benjamin wounded and on his knees]
Colonel William Tavington: Kill me before the war is over, will you? It appears you are not the better man.
[he swings his sword, but Benjamin dodges it, grabs a rifle and impales him with its bayonet]
Benjamin Martin: You're right. My sons were better men.
[he takes a loose bayonet and stabs Tavington in the throat]