GARDEN'S ANECDOTES, GORDON'S LETTERS,
NEW HAKPSHIlE HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS, MA88ACHUSBET
HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS, NEW YORK HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS
AMERICAN ANECDOTES, HISTORICAL ANECDOTES,
OT R WOK ON TOY AND BIO APY.
OTHER WORKS ON HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY.
PUBLISHED BY C. M. WELLES.
tEterd, according to Act of Congres, in the year 1844, by
ALEXANDER V. BLAKE,
la the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern Disti
of New York.
uCHArD C. VAL rNTIN,
4 Gold Stt. New YT.
Preface, . 7
Madame Shatswell and the Whig Committee, 15
Spirit of the Yankee Boys, . .17
Generosity of John Hancock, . 19
Sergeant Smith and his White Horse, 19
Escape of Plunket from the British, . . 21
The Surgeon and the Ghost, . 24
Sympathy of Washington, . 26
A Mistake turned to a good Account, 27
Gallantry of a Young Boy, . . 28
The Wounded British Officer, . . 29
Lamenting the loss of a Hat, . . 30
The Stuttering Colonel, 31
Fighting on my own hook, 33
Honesty of Livingston. . . 34
An Uninvited Guest, . . 35
Good Feelings of Washington,. .... 36
Sir Guy Carlton, . . 36
Inhumanity of Tarleton, 37
Yankee Captain, 38
American Air-guns, . . 38
La Fayette and Corwallis, 39
Wit of a Negro, . . 41
Civility of Washington, . . . 42
Maternal Tenderness, . . . 43
A Mistake on Sunday, . . 44
Dr. Franklin in Congress, 45
Magnanimity of Baron De Steuben, ...46
Patriotic School Boys, .. . 48
An Unnecessary Alarm, . . . 50
A Nobly Reply, . 51
Washington at Prayer, . . . 52
The End of a Farce, 54
Attention to Orders, . . . 54
Prose Better than Poetry, 55
Ordinary Fare of Marion, .
Mr. John Edwards and Admiral Arbuthnot, 57
The Poor Fisherman and his Schooner, 59
Patriotism of Bishop White, . 61
Bishop White a Chaplain of Congress, 63
Dr. Franklin's Almanac, 64
General Prescott and the Connecticut Succotash, 65
Providential Interpositions, . 67
Death of the Baron De Kalb, 71
Execution of Col. Haynes, . 74
General Morgan, .78
Powder and Balls, 79
How to save a Dinner, 79
No Bayonets here, 80
Poverty of the American Army, . .81
Mr. Robert Morris, 82
General Gadsden at St. Augustine, . .84
The Amputation of a Limb, . 87
First Prayer in Congress, . .88
Lord Stirling and the British Spy, . 90
Military Courtesy, .91
The Brave Little Yankee, 93
An Inconvenient Wound, 94
The British Lion, .95
The Stuttering Soldier, . . 95
The American Sharp-shooters, . .96
The Rebel Flower, .. 98
Rare Presence of Mind, 98
The Chevalier Duplessis Mauduit, . 101
Defending an Enemy, 103
Mrs. Isaac Holmes, 105
The Frenchman and the Negro,. 106
Female Wit, 106
Mrs. Jacob Motte, 107
Mrs. Thomas Heyward, 108
A Rare Act of Public Munificence, . 109
Courageous Young Woman, 111
Governor Clinton, 112
Remarkable Incident, .112
The Tables Turned, 113
Gallantry of the Gloucester Militia, 113
Hickory Clubs, 115
Col. Stark and the Clerical Soldier, . .
Sagacity and Courage of Col. Stark, 118
How to cheat a Highway Robber, . .. 191
Anecdotes of Sergeant Jasper, .. 123
Washington's Retaliation, 128
The Gun that could fire all day, . . .130
Barbarity of the Loyalists, . 131
Female Patriotism, .132
The Home-made Soldier, 133
The British Officer and the Miller, . .136
A Son of Erin preferring a Razor to his Rations, 137
Lord Cornwallis' opinion of Sumter, . .139
St. Leger and the Indians frightened, 140
An Incident of the Revolution, .143
Col. Brown and General Arnold, 150
Yankee Mistake, .152
The Mysterious Stranger, 152
George Roberts, .154
Yankee Sea Captain in London, . 158
Acknowledging a Fault, the mark of a great Mind, .159
A Specimen of Hard Fighting, .160
Morgan at the Battle of the Cowpens, 164
Humor of Patrick Henry, 166
Effects of Tea, . 168
Death of Major Andre, . 169
Nancy Hart, . 171
Harriet Ackland, . .173
Running the Gauntlet for Stealing Tea, 176
Major Pitcairn at Lexington, . . 178
Mrs. Burr and the burning of Fairfiel, 180
Eloquence of Patrick Henry, 184
Emily Geiger, .186
Captain Roes, 188
Samuel Adams and American Independence, 190
Baron Steuben's Wit, 193
The British Parliament and the Stamp Act, 194
Repeal of the Stamp Act, 198
Royal Commission Torn to Pieces, . 200
The First Martyr of Bunker Hill, . 202
General Putnam Fighting a Duel, . 203
You can spare one Man better than two, 205
American General, .
Looking forward to the Gallows, .
Patriotism of Gen. Nelson, 09
Benedict Arnold, a Traitor, 211
Generosity of an American Lietenant, 212
Colonel Small, 2.. . 13
Benevolence of Colonel Wm. Washington, 214
Fidelity to an Enemy, 214
Patriotism of Benjamin West, .. 215
The Runaways become Captors, .. 216
The British afraid of a Log of Wood, 217
An Example of Fortitude, 217
Deception of Tarleton, .218
Col. Owen Roberts, 219
Mr. John Adams, 220
Situation of the American Army, .23
Meeting an Emergency, 223
Religious Feeling of the Revolution, . 225
General Putnam's Entrance into the Army, 229
A Fable, by Samuel Adams, 230
Noble conduct of the Earl of Effingham, 231
De Kalb's account of his Family, 232
General Marion's Address to his Soldiers, 235
Rev. Thomas Allen, .. 237
An American Soldier, 238
Benedict Arnold, the Traitor, 239
Gen. Andrew Pickens, 240
General Stuart, 43
La Fayette and an old Soldier, 244
Red Jacket, .. 245
The Retort Courteous, 246
The Best Road in America, 246
British Ingratitude, . 247
Mrs. McKay and Colonel Brown, 250
Yankee Indignation, 251
Magnanimityof M. De Bouille, 252
THz following Anecdotes were principally selected by
a youth of twelve years of age. Having had constant ac-
cess to k library well supplied with books on History and
Biography, he early acquired a taste for reading such
works; and the present small volume is one of the results
of such an attention to this species of literature. The
selection was made at intervals between hours of devotion
to elementary and classical study; and may hence be
viewed as having been rather an amusement, than a labol
of painful toil and research.
The utility of compilations like the present is too well
known to require particular commendation. They are
always read with avidity, if well made; being usually
preferred to the most fascinating kinds of fiction; and
what is far more important, they are among the most
beneficial books to be found. They almost invariably cre-
ate a taste for reading history and biography. Good an-
ecdotes in these literary regions are analogous to the pre-
cious stones found in the bosom of the earth; which,
though sparsely scattered, will long be sought with the
most cheerful and untiring assiduity. A single case of
success may cheer on the fond and enthusiastic votary of
these deeply hid treasures, even for months, amidst north
iag but the mere rubbish that contains them.
So it is with persons in reading history and biography
they press forward, without apparent wearisomenes,
through the more dull and uninteresting details, that they
may here and there gather up these choice fragments.
Nor is this all; by successive gleanings of such frag-
ments, a desire will be created to examine the frames in
which the pictures are enclosed; in other words, to
know more of the characters of the individuals-and of
the times-and of the historical events with which they
are connected. It is believed, that the reading of a work
like the present, will usually lead young persons espe-
cially, to the study of larger and more systematic pro-
ductions on all kindred subjects.
And, it may be added, that the brief and sententious re-
mark, which commonly characterizes a good anecdote,
will furnish a better index to the distinctive peculiarities
of the individual that utters it, than a whole essay of dull
and didactic description; it will cast a gleam of light on
all his mental delineations not to be found otherwise, save
in familiar personal acquaintance. This of itself would
give value to the present effort to benefit the public, suffi-
cient to balance all the labor it occasioned.
J. L. BLAKE.
Naw You, May 1, 1844.
THs American Revolution should always be contem.
plated in reference to the great moral interests of the civil-
ized world. There are important analogies between the
physical and the social organizations of our globe. These
analogies may not at once be apparent, in all their relac
tions, to the superficial observer. But to the eye of the
philosopher, their delineations are deeply and distinctly
marked. They cannot be misapprehended; and they
give a satisfactory solution to phenomena, that woulv
otherwise remain inexplicable mysteries.
The remark has a thousand times been made, that to
human apprehension, the organizations of the world, both
physical and social, embrace a compound of good and
evil. The proportions appear to vary under different cir-
cumstances, and to the ken of different individuals, as
they may be severally constituted or predisposed. In
each, after a due course of operation, certain develop-
ments are the necessary result. From these develop-
ments the philosopher becomes confirmed in a faith that
he adopted as a matter of hypothesis; and from them
likewise the Christian becomes confirmed in his faith,
which had been received from Divine Revelation.
These observations are suggested as preliminary to a
very brief exposition of the moral results of the American
Revolution. Human warfare, especially in its more bar.
barous forms, is terrifying, even to the imagination. It
can be justified only by the necessity for it, and the con-
sequences flowing from its existence. We look upon it
in the abstract, as we do upon the most frightful convul-
sions of nature. Here the elements are thrown into vio-
lent agitation; the earth inwardly moves as if in agony;
the winds howl; the clouds blacken: the tempest rages;
the lightning darts its flashes through the regions of
space; we shrink back in terror at the threatening danger
and the overwhelming grandeur of the scene; but how
soon does all become quiet and beautiful! How soon
does the whole become an impressive lesson in making
known to us the wisdom and goodness of the Deity, be-
yond what could be known from the ordinary course of
How illustrative is this of what we witness in the dis-
orders of society! We cannot reflect upon human suf-
fering with an unmoved heart. The view of a slaughtered
army; the dying groans of the wounded; the tears and
distress of the wife made a widow, and the mother made
childless, in the progress of a civil war like that to which
we are alluding, does verily overpower the stoutest minds,
and cause a kind of paralysis to come over the social af-
fections. But we know, after all, these desolations are
usually succeeded by exhibitions of kindness and social
virtue, and general prosperity, that would not otherwise
have come into existence. Observation will satisfy every
one that such is the fact. And philosophy may teach us,
that amid all these evils a redeeming spirit will introduce
us to a more enlarged and exalted state of enjoyment.
This appears to be the governing law of the world.
Nor is this all. A more familiar, and still more strik-
ing, illustration of the principle suggested, may be stated.
The tender mother may nurture her daughters in the most
delicate manner; may shudder at the idea of their becom-
ing removed from the maternal roof, and from maternal
assiduity and kindness, to encounter the frowns of adver-
sity which may lurk in their path; and especially to en-
dure the pains and the trials incident to womanhood. In
her paroxysms of fearful anxiety she may even be dis-
posed to restrain them within the reach of her affectionate
protection, thereby securing them against the liabilities
to personal suffering, and care, and anguish, which she has
herself experienced. This is a case of no rare occurrence.
There is no fiction in the picture. We have seen the
reality hundreds of times.
But how ignorant is such a mother of the laws that
govern human existence! Her love is ardent and sincere;
but her philosophy is unsound. Were her fond imagin-
ings, and her half-formed wishes to prevail, how imper-
fectly would these tender daughters subserve the great
purpose of their being!-society would lose many of its
most delightful charms; and the world itself could
scarcely maintain its accustomed routine of beneficent
existence. On the other hand, let them embark on the
broad theatre of life ; let them become mothers ; let them
exert their controlling and powerful influences upon the
other sex; let generation thus succeed generation, and
how much good is produced, compared with what would
be seen, were she, in her mistaken kindness, to have
thwarted the intentions of nature!
The indulgent father, too, may shudder at the idea of
permitting his favorite inexperienced boys to become the
victims of disappointment, and knavery, and insult, which
may befall them, should they plunge into the whirlpool of
business without his protection. But were his feelings,
and not his reason, to regulate their destiny, in vain
would he look for the enterprise and the rigorous capa-
bilities in business that would crown them with success
and honorable reputation, and to which the man of the
world bends all his efforts. Without this training and
these hazards, that are generally the lot of young men
in the arena of the world's turmoils, and which make
the kind father almost shudder, who would become pow-
erful by the exertions of his intellect Who would ac-
cumulate wealth, and give employment and sustenance to
the laboring classes of the community 1 Who would
have the means to endow public institutions, and to make
glad the unfortunate poor by uncounted benefactions ?
Analogous to this is the case of our country, as con-
nected with the revolution. The capabilities of a coun-
try in a colonial state can no more be developed, than
physical and intellectual capabilities in man, while under
the restraints of parental tutelage, to which allusion has
been made. Had the American states remained in alle-
giance to the British government without resistance,
thousands and thousands of violent deaths might have
been prevented; floods of tears might have had no occa-
sion to flow; countless numbers of bleeding and aching
hearts might never have been pierced; and there might
have been none of that general desolation now recorded
in the history of that memorable crisis. Yet, these were
the perils, and the agonies, that gave sinew, and strength
and greatness, and manhood to the country.
Had it not been for them, the population of the now
confederate states of the American Republic might not
have been one third what it now is. Had it not been
for them, the American Union would have been without
that national character which now commands respect and
reverence in every quarter of the globe. Had it not been
for them, that spirit of American enterprise that now
places the country, in national rank, and in fair competi-
tion for whatever is great and honorable and good, with
the mother country, would never have existed. The
American Revolution, therefore, may be considered one
of the great agencies of Providence for renovating the
condition of the world.
MADAME SIIATSWELL AND TIE WlIG COMMITTEE.
AT the time of the war of the revolution, the
lady of the manor, Ipswich, Massachusetts,
was a descendant of Simon Bradstreet, one of
the early governors of the province, whom
Mather calls the "Nestor of New England."
Her husband was a stanch whig, a leader of
one of the classes into which the town was
divided; and though the good lady coincided
fully in his political sentiments, she did not
much like the infringement upon domestic lux-
uries which many of the patriotic resolutions
of the meetings contemplated.
In short, Madame Shatswell loved her cup
of tea, and as a large store had been provided
for family use before the tax, she saw no harm
in using it as usual upon the table. There
were in those days, as there are now, certain
busybodies who kindly take upon themselves
the oversight of their neighbors' affairs, and
through them the news of the treason spread
over the town. A committee from the people
immediately called at the house to protest
16 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
against the drinking of tea. Somemonths pass.
ed away, and one sabbath, Madame Shats-
well's daughter, a bright-eyed, coquettish dam-
sel, appeared at church in a new bonnet.
This was a new cause of excitement, and the
committee came again to administer reproof.
The lady satisfied them again, however!
and they, finding that the hat contained no
treason to the people's cause, again departed.
Two years of the war had now passed away,
and meanwhile the daughter, Jeanette, had
found a lover. It was the beginning of win-
ter; the army had just gone into winter quar-
ters; and the young suitor was daily expect-
ed home. Wishing to appear well in his eyes,
the maiden had spun and woven with her
own hands a new linen dress, from flax raised
upon the homestead; and some old ribands
long laid aside, having been washed and iron-
ed to trim it withal, the damsel appeared in it
at church the Sunday after her lover's arrival.
Here was fresh cause of alarm, and forthwith
on Monday morning came the officious com-
mittee, to remonstrate against the extrava-
The old lady's spirit was now aroused, and
she could contain herself no longer. "Do
you come here," was her well-remembered
reply-" do you come here to take me to task
because my daughter wore a gown she spun
and wove with her own hands ? Three times
have you interfered with my family affai r
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
Three times have you come to tell me that my
husband would be turned out of his office.
Now mark me I There is the door As you
came in, so you may go out! But if you ever
cross my threshold again, you shall find that
calling Hannah Bradstreet a tory, will not
make her a coward !" Jt is needless to add
that Madame Shatswell's family affairs were
thereafter left to her own guidance.
SPIRIT OF THE YANKEE BOYS.
The British troops which were sent to Bos-
ton, to keep that rebellious town in order, were
everywhere received with the most unequiv-
ocal marks of anger and detestation. During
their stay "the very air seemed filled with
suppressed breathing of indignation."
"The insolence and indiscretion of some
subaltern officers increased the ill-will of the
citizens; and vexations and quarrels multi-
plied daily." At this period of public exaspera-
tion, the boys were much in the habit of build-
ing hills of snow, and sliding from them to the
pond in the Common. The English troops,
from the mere love of tantalizing, destroyed
all their labors. They complained of the in-
jury, and industriously set about repairs.
However, when they returned from school,
they found the snow-hills again levelled.
18 ANCDOTZ8 OF THB REVOLUTION.
Several of them now waited upon the Brit-
ish captain to inform him of the misconduct
of his soldiers. No notice was taken of their
complaint, and the soldiers every day grew
more provokingly insolent. At last, they re-
solved to call a meeting of all the largest
boys in town, and wait upon General Gage,
commander-in-chief of the British forces.
When shown into his presence, he asked, with
some surprise, why so many children had call-
ed to see him. We come, sir," said the fore-
most of them, "to claim a redress of griev-
"What, have your fathers been teaching
you rebellion, and sent you here to utter it ?"
"Nobody sent us, sir," replied the speaker,
while his cheek reddened, and his dark eye
flashed: "we have never injured or insulted
your troops; but they have trodden down our
snow-hills, and broken the ice on our skating
ground. We complained, and they called us
young rebels,and told us to help ourselves, if
we could. We told the captain of this, and
he laughed at us.
Yesterday our works were a third time de.
stroyed; and now we will bear it no longer."
General Gage looked at them with undisguis-
ed admiration, and turning to an officer who
stood near him, he exclaimed, Good heavens I
the very children draw in a love of liberty
with the air they breathe"-and added, "You
may go, my brave boys; and be assured that
AUNDOTM 0O THE REVOLUTION.
if any of my troops hereafter molest you, they
shall be severely punished."
GENEROSITY OF JOHN HANCOCK.
During the siege at Boston, General Wash-
ington consulted Congress upon the propriety
of bombarding the town of Boston. Mr. Han-
cock was then President of Congress. After
General Washington's letter was read, a sol-
emn silence ensued. This was broken by a
member making a motion that the House
should resolve itself into a committee of the
whole, in order that Mr. Hancock might give
his opinion upon the important subject, as he
was deeply interested from having all his es-
tate in Boston. After he left the chair, he
addressed the chairman of the committee of
the whole, in the following word. "It is
true, sir, nearly all the prop I have in the
world is in houses and other in the
town of Boston; but if the e.o rof the
British army from it, and the libeies f our
country require their being burnt to ashes-is-
sue the order for that purpose immediately !"
SERGEANT SMITH AND HIS WHITE HOSE.
At the very first exhibition of American
courage, which proved so fatal to the Britist
20 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTIOf,
troops in their excursion to Lexington and
Concord, Sergeant Smith showed himself a
skilful marksman. Learning from rumor,
which seemed to have spread that night with
a speed almost miraculous, the destination of
the detachment, he arose from his bed, equip-
ped himself with cartridges and a famous rifle
he had used at Lovell's fight at Fryeburg, sad-
dled his horse, and started for Lexington meet-
ing-house. Meeting with a variety of hin-
derances, and twice escaping narrowly from
some straggling parties of the red-coats, it
was late when he arrived on the ground, and
the troops were already on their rapid retreat
Learning that the people were all abroad,
lining the fences and the woods to keep up
the fire upon the enemy, he started in pursuit,
and in the course of a few miles, on riding up
a hill, he found the detachment just before
him. Throwi.le reins upon his horse, and
starting hin ull speed, he rode within a
close rifle&h and fired at one of the leading
officers. The officer fell; and the sergeant,
retreating to a safe distance, loaded his rifle
again, and again rode up and fired, with equal
success. He pursued the same course a third
time, when the leader of the retreating body
ordered a platoon to fire at him.
It was unavailing, however; and a fourth,
fifth, and sixth time, the old rifle had picked off
its man, while its owner retreated m safety,
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION. 21
SD-n the man I" exclaimed the officer, give
me a musket, and Fn see if he bears a charm-
ed life, if he comes in sight again." It was
but a moment, and again the old white horse
came over the brow of a hill. The officer
fired, but in vain; before the smoke of his
charge had cleared away, he too had fallen
before the unerring marksman, and was left
behind by his flying troops.
When the day had closed, the wounded
were collected by the neighbors upon the
road, and every kindness rendered to them.
The officer was not dead, and on being laid
upon a bed where his wounds could be exam-
ined, his first question, even under the appre-
hension of immediate death, was, Who was
that old fellow on the white horse !"
ESCAPE OF PLUNKETT FROM B&BRrIH.
Captain Plunkett, a high-spirited Irishman,
whose attachment to the cause of liberty had
led him to seek a commission in the continen-
tal army, had, by the chances of war, been
compelled to give up his sword, and to sur-
render himself a prisoner to the enemy. Pre-
viously to this untoward event, by the suavity
of his manners, and uniformly correct conduct,
he had rendered himself an acceptable guest
22 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
in many families in Philadelphia, and particu-
larly so, to one of the Society of Friends, who,
however averse to warfare, were not insensi-
ble of the claims of those to their regard, who,
by the exercise of manly and generous feel-
ings, delighted to soften its asperities.
There was among them a female, mild and
gentle as a dove, yet, in firmness of mind, a
heroine, and in personal charms, an angel.
She saw the sufferings of the captive soldier,
and under the influence of pity, or perhaps a
more powerful passion, resolved, at all haz-
ards, to relieve him. It accidentally happen-
ed that the uniform of Captain Plunkett's
regiment bore a striking resemblance to that
of a British corps, which was frequently set
as a guard over the prison in which he was
confined. A new suit of regimentals was
in consequence procured and conveyed, with-
out suspicion of sinister design, to the Cap-
On the judiqpus use of these rested the
hopes of the &Fir Friend to give him freedom.
It frequently happened that officers of inferior
grade, while their superiors affected to shun
all intercourse with rebels, would enter the
apartments of the prisoners, and converse
with them with kindness and familiarity, and
then at their pleasure retire. Two sentinels
constantly walked the rounds without, and
the practice of seeing their officers walking
in and out of the interior prison, became so
ArSCDOTUE OF THE REVOLUTION. 23
familiar, as scarcely to attract notice, and
constantly caused them to give way without
hesitation, as often as an officer showed a dis-
position to retire.
Captain Plunkett took advantage of this
circumstance, and putting on his new coat,
at the moment that the relief of the guard
was taking place, sallied forth, twirling a
switch carelessly about, and ordering the ex-
terior door of the prison to be opened, walked
without opposition into the street. Repairing
without delay to the habitation of his fair
friend, he was received with kindness, and
for some days secreted and cherished with
every manifestation of affectionate regard.
To elude the vigilance of the British guards,
if he attempted to pass into the country
in his present dress, was deemed impossi-
Woman's wit, however, is never at a loss
for contrivances, while swayed by the influ-
ences of love or benevolence. Both, in this
instance, may have aided invention. Plunkett
had three strong claims in his favor: he was
a handsome man-a soldier-and an Irish-
man. The general propensity of the Qua-
kers in favor of the royal cause, exempted
the sect in a great measure from suspicion; in
so great a degree indeed, that the barriers of
the city were generally intrusted to the care
of their members, as the best judges of the
characters of those persons that might be al-
24 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
lowed to pass them, without injury to the
A female Friend, of low origin, officiating
as a servant on a farm near the city, was in
the family, on a visit to a relative. A pretext
was formed to present her with a new suit of
clothes, in order to possess that which she
wore when she entered the city. Captain
Plunkett was immediately disguised as a wo-
man, and appeared at the barrier accompanied
by his anxious deliverer. Friend Roberts,"
said the enterprising enthusiast, "may this
damsel and myself pass to visit a friend at a
neighboring farm?' "Certainly," said Rob-
erts, "go forward." The city was speedily
left behind, and Capt. Plunkett found himself
safe, under the protection of Colonel Allen
M'Lean, his particular friend.
THE SURGEON AND THE GHOST.
A circumstance occurred during the encamp-
ment of General Lincoln at Perrysburg, that
from its singularity deserves to be recorded.
A soldier named Fickling, by the irregularity
of his conduct, long excited the indignation of
his comrades, and, at length, from repeated
efforts to escape to the enemy, had been
brought to trial, and condemned to death. It
happened that, as he was led to execution, the
ANECDOTUS OF THE REVOLUTION.
surgeon-general of the army passed accident.
ally on his, way to his quarters, which were at
some distance off. On being tied up to the
fatal tree, the removal of the ladder caused
the rope to break, and the culprit fell to the
This circumstance, to a man of better char-
acter, might have proved of advantage; but,
being universally considered as a miscreant,
from whom no good could ever be expected
a new rope was sought for, which Lieuten-
ant Hamilton, the adjutant of the First Regi-
ment, a stout and heavy man, essayed by
every means, but without effect, to break.
Fickling was then altered, and again turned
off, when, to the astonishment of the bystand-
ers, the rope untwisted, and he fell a second
time, uninjured, to the ground. A cry for
mercy was now general throughout the ranks,
which occasioned Major Ladson, aid-de-camp
to General Lincoln, to gallop to head-quar-
ters, to make a representation of facts, which
no sooner were stated, than an immediate par-
don was granted, accompanied with the order
that he should instantaneously be drummed,
with every mark of infamy, out of camp, and
threatened with instant death if ever he
should, at any future time, be found attempt.
ing to approach it.
In the interim, the surgeon-general had es-
tablished himself at his quarters, in a distant
barn, little doubting but that the catastrophe
26 AiBCDOTE8 OF THE REVOLUTION.
was at an end, and that Fickling was quietly
resting in the grave. Midnight was at hand,
and he was busily engaged in writing, when,
hearing the approach of a footstep, he raised
his eyes, and saw with astonishment the figure
of the man who had, in his opinion, been ex-
ecuted, slowly and with haggard countenance
approaching towards him.
How I how is this ?" exclaimed the doctor,
in great terror. Whence come you? What
do you want with me ? Were you not hanged
this morning 1" "Yes, sir," replied the resusci-
tated man, "I am the wretch you saw going
to the gallows, and who was hanged." "Keep
your distance," said the doctor, "approach
me not till you say why you come here?"
"Simply, sir, to solicit food. I am no ghost,
doctor. The rope broke twice while the
executioner was doing his office, and the
general thought proper to pardon me." If
that be the case," rejoined the doctor, "eat
and welcome; but I beg of you, in future, to
have a little more consideration, and not in-
trude so unceremoniously into the apartment
of one who had every reason to suppose that
you were an inhabitant of the tomb."
SYMPATHY OF WASHINGTON.
General Washington one day stopping for
refreshment at a house in New Jersey, in
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
which a wounded officer lay, who was sensi-
bly agitated by the slightest noise, constantly
spoke in an under tone of voice, and at the
table, in every movement, evinced marked
consideration for the sufferer. Retiring to
another apartment at the conclusion of the
meal, the gentlemen of his family, unrestrain-
ed by his presence, were less particular.
They spoke in higher tones; when the gener-
al, who heard them with uneasiness, immedi-
ately returning, opened the door with great
caution, and walking on tip-toe to the extrem-
ity of the apartment, took a book from the
mantel-piece, and, without uttering a word. ,
The gentlemen took the hint, so respectfully
given, and silence ensued. This anecdote
serves to relate, not only in this particular in-
cident, but in every case, the sympathy mani-
fested by the Father of his country when any
individual was suffering from pain. He was
considerate, affectionate, and kind, to the poor
man as well as to the rich; his purse was ever
open to the needy; forgiving, but firm, and a
lover of justice; such was Washington.
A MISTAKE TURNED TO A GOOD ACCOUNT.
Some time previous to the evacuation of
Charlestown, Colonel Menzies, of the Penn
28 ANaCDOTu OF THE REVOLUTION.
sylvania line, received a letter from a Hes-
sian officer within the garrison, who had once
been a prisoner, and treated by him with
kindness, expressing an earnest desire to show
his gratitude, by executing any commission
with which he would please to honor him.
Colonel Menzies replied to it, requesting him
to send him twelve dozen cigars; but, being a
German by birth, and little accustomed to ex-
press himself in English, he was not very ac.
curate in his orthography, and wrote sizars.
"'Twas no sooner said than done;" twelve
dozen pairs of scissors were accordingly sent
him, which, for a time, occasioned much mer.
riment in the camp, at the expense of the
Colonel, but no man knew better how to profit
from the mistake. Money was not at the
period in circulation; and by the aid of his
runner, distributing his scissors over the coun.
try, in exchange for poultry, Menzies lived
luxuriously, while the fare of his brother offi.
cers was a scanty pittance of famished beef
bull-frogs from ponds, and cray-fish from the
GALLANTRY OF A YOUNG BOY.
When Captain Falls, at the battle of Ram.
souAw mill, received a mortal wound and fell,
his son, a youth of fourteen, rushed to the I
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
body, as the man who had shot him was pre-
paring to plunder it; regardless of his oppo-
nent's strength, the intrepid youth, snatching
up his father's sword, plunged it into the
breast of the soldier, and laid him dead at his
THE WOUNDED BRITIBH OFFICER.
During the action at Stono, Lieutenant
Parham, the adjutant of the light infantry, was
stationed by Major Pinckney in the rear of
the continentals, purposely to keep the men
in their stations, and prevent the possibility
of skulkers falling behind. As he passed
over the field of battle, a British officer, des-
perately wounded, pressed him so earnestly
to afford. him a drink of water, to slake con-
suming thirst, that to refuse was deemed im-
possible, and the request was complied with.
The British officer now presenting an ele-
gant watch, said,-" Take it, sir, 'tis yours by
conquest; your generous procedure, too, gives
you still greater title to it." "I came into
the field," said Parham, "to fight, and not to
plunder; it gives me pleasure to have render-
ed you service: I ask no other recompense."
"Keep it for me then, in trust," rejoined the
officer, "till we meet again, for if left in my
hands, it may be wrested from me by some
30 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION(.
marauder, who, to secure silence, may inflict
death." "I will accede to your wishes, and
take charge of it," said Parham, but, as soon
as an opportunity occurs, I will consider it a
sacred duty to return it."
A very considerable period elapsed before a
second meeting took place; but, in strict con.
formity to his honorable feeling and volun-
tary promise, Parham no sooner found himself
within reach of the man to whom he had
pledged the restitution of his property, than
he waited upon him, presented the watch,
and was greeted with an expression of grate-
ful commendation, that amply rewarded his
correct and liberal conduct.
LAMENTING THE LOSS OF A BAT.
At the battle of Eutaw, when General
Marion's brigade was displaying in face of
the enemy, Captain Gee, who commanded the
front platoon, was shot down, and supposed
to be mortally wounded. The ball passed
through the cock of a handsome hat that he
had recently procured, tearing the crown very
-much, and, in its progress, the head also. He
lay for a considerable time insensible; the
greater part of the day had passed without a
favorable symptom; when, suddenly reviving,
his first inquiry was after his beaver, which
ANUBDOTS OF TEl MOLUTOIOW.
being brought him, a friend at the same time
lamenting the mangled state of his head, he
exclaimed-" 0 never think of the head; time
and the doctor will put that to rights; but it
grieves me to think that the rascals have
ruined my hat forever."
THE BTUTTERING COLONEL.
Colonel Peter Horry was a descendant of
one of the many Protestant families who re-
moved to Carolina from France, after the
revocation of the edict of Nantz. He early
took up arms in defence of his country, and
through all the trials of peril and privation,
experienced by Marion's brigade, gave ample
proof of his strict integrity and undaunted
courage. The fame which he acquired, as one
of the band of heroes who defended the post
at Sullivan's Island, was never tarnished.
For, although in a moment of despondency he
once said to his general-" I fear our happy
days are all gone by ;" it was not the conse-
quences that might accrue to himself, but the
miseries apprehended for his country, that
caused the exclamation, for never were his
principles shaken-never, even for a moment,
did the thought of submission enter his bo-
No man more eagerly sought the foe; none
32 ANECDOTES OF THE EVOLUTION.
braved danger with greater intrepidity, or
more strenuously endeavored to sustain the
military reputation of his country. A ludi-
crous story is told of him, that, thougL prob-
ably varied in the narration, has its founda-
tion in truth. Colonel Horry was once or-
dered to wait the approach of a British de-
tachment in ambuscade; a service he per-
formed with such skill, that he had them
completely within his power; when, from a
dreadful impediment in his speech, by which
he was afflicted, he could not articulate the
word-"fire." In vain he made the attempt
-it was, "A, fi, fi, fi,"-but he could get no
further. At length, irritated almost to mad-
ness, he exelaimed-"Shoot, d-n you-shoot,
-you know very well what I would say,-
shoot, shoot-;" accompanying the words with
He was present in every engagement of
consequence, and on all occasions increased
his reputation. At Quimby, Colonel Baxter,
a gallant soldier, possessed of great coolness,
and still greater simplicity of character, call-
ing out, "I am wounded, colonel I" Horry re-
plied-" Think no more of it, Baxter, but
stand to your post." "But I can't stand,
colonel-I am wounded a second time "
"Then lie down, Baxter, but quit not your
post." "Colonel," cried the wounded man,
"they have shot me again, and if I remain
any longer here, I shall be shot to pieces."
AcSODOTU OF T UVOrUTII. ai
*Be it so, Baxter, but stir not." He obeyed
the order, and actually received a fourth
wound before the engagement ended.
FIGHTING O MY OWN HOOK."
At the battle of Yorktown, while the aids
of the American chief were issuing his orders
along the line, a man was discovered a short
distance from it, who presented rather a gro-
tesque appearance, being dressed in the coarse
common cloth worn at the time by the lower
orders in the back country, with an otter-cap,
the shape of which very much resembled the
steeple of a meeting-house, and a broad lea-
ther apron. His equipment consisted of a
small woodchuck's skin, sewed together in the
form of a bag, and partly filled with powder,
and an old rusty gun, which measured about
seven feet eight inches from the muzzle to
the end of the breech, and which had probably
lain in the smoke ever since the landing of
One of the aids passing him in the course
of his rounds, inquired of him to what regi-
ment he belonged. "I belong to no regi-
ment," said the fellow, after he bad fired his
"long carbine." A few moments after the
officer rode by again; but seeing the fellow
very busy, and sweating with exertion, he
84 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
once more inquired to what regiment he be-
longed. "To no regiment," was the answer;
the speaker at the same time levelled his piece
at a "red-coat," who was preparing to fire,
but who dropped dead before he had half rais-
ed his gun. "To what company do you be-
long?"-" To no company."-" To what bat-
talion do you belong ?"-" To no battalion."-
"Then where the d-- do you belong, or
whom are you fighting for ?"-" Dang ye," said
the fellow, "I don't belong anywhere, I am
fighting on my own hook !"
HON~eTY OF LEVINGSTONE.
A soldier of General Marion's brigade,
named Levingstone, an Irishman by birth,
meeting with an armed party, on a night
profoundly dark, suddenly found a horseman's
pistol applied to his breast, and heard the im-
perious command-" Declare, instantaneous-
ly, to what party you belong, or you are a
dead man." The situation being such as to
render it highly probable that it might be a
British party, he very calmly replied," I think,
sir, it would be a little more in the way'of
civility if you were to drop a hint, just to let
me know which side of the question you are
pleased to favor." No jesting," replied the
speaker, "declare your principles, or die."
ANECDOTE OF TBE REVOLUTION.
" Then rejoined Levingstone," I will not
die with a lie in my mouth. American, to
extremity, you spalpeen; so do your worst,
and to you." You are an honest -fel-
low," said the inquirer: "we are friends, and
I rejoice to meet a man faithful as you are
to the cause of our country.".
AN UNINVITED GUEST.
During the siege of Yorktown, Baron de
Steuben, giving a breakfast to several of the
field-officers of the army, in the course of the
entertainment, while festivity was at its
height, and in anticipation of the honors
which awaited them, mirth and good-humor
abounded, a shell from the enemy fell into the
centre of the circle formed by his guests.
There was no time for retreat; to fall pros-
trate on the earth afforded the only chance
of escape. Every individual stretched himself
at his length. The shell burst with tremendous
explosion, covering the whole party with mud
and dirt, which proved rather a source of
merriment than serious concern, since none
of the party sustained any further inconveni-
i6 ANECDOTEB OF THE REVOLUTION.
GOOD rFELINGs OF WABRINGTON.
Washington was never known to injure
intentionally the feelings of any person, no
matter whether his friend or his most hostile
enemy. In illustration of this trait, an inci.
dent may be related, referring to the surren-
der at Yorktown. While the continental
troops were preparing to receive the British,
who were to march forth from the garrison, and
deliver up their arms, Washington was heard
to remark to the troops-" My brave fellows,
let no sensation of satisfaction for the tri-
umphs you have gained, induce you to insult
your fallen enemy-let no shouting, no clam-
orous huzzaing increase their,mortification.
It is sufficient satisfaction to us, that we wit-
ness their humiliation. Posterity will huzza
SIR GUY CARLETON.
While the gallant defence of Quebec, by
General Carleton, evinced the excellence of
his military talents, and his liberal treatment
of the vanquished did honor to his humanity,
particular credit is due to him, for his skilful
management even of the prejudices of the
trool s under his command. Apprehending,
ASAD orI OF TrB BXVOUTMIO. WV
during the protracted siege, that the return of
St. Patrick's Day would occasion the soldiers
of the garrison, chiefly Irishmen, to indulge
too freely in generous libations to the memory
of the patron saint of Erin; and that his vigi-
lant adversary would profit by their intemper-
ance to attack the town; in orders, issued on
the 16th of March, he invited all true Irish-
men to meet him on the following day, at 12
o'clock, on parade, to drink the health of the
king, St. Patrick's Day being, for that year
only, put off till the 4th of June." An Irish.
man himself, and highly honored by all who
served under him, his proposition was applaud-
ed, and perfect sobriety reigned where, ac-
cording to all former experience, riot and dis-
order alone were to be looked for.
INHUMANITY OF TARLETON.
From the vicinity of Rocky Mount, an al-
most beardless youth, of the name of Wade,
was seduced to enrol himself in the ranks of
Tarleton's Legion. Repentance quickly fol-
lowed his departure from duty; and he de-
serted with the hope of rejoining his family
and friends. Fate forbade it. He was taken,
tried, and sentenced to receive A THaoUsan
LASHES. It is scarcely necessary to relate the
sequel. He expired under the infliction of the
38 ANCDOTES OF THE RUVOLUION.
Till the last hour that the British kept posses.
sion of New York, independent of custom-house
forms, they obliged the captains of American
vessels, bringing in articles for sale, to dance
attendance, in many instances, for days toge-
ther, seeking passports, to prevent detention
by the guard-ships. An unfortunate Yankee
who had sold his notions, and was impatient
to depart, having been repeatedly put off
with frivolous excuses, and bid to call again,"
indignantlyexclaimed, "Well, I vow, for a beat-
en people, you are the most saucy that I ever
met with." "Make out that fellow's passport
immediately," said the superintendent to an
officiating clerk, and get rid of him."
Some British officers, soon after Gage's arri-
val in Boston, walking on Beacon Hill after
sunset, were affrighted by noises in the air,
(supposed to be flying bugs and beetles,)
which they took to be the sound of bullets.
They left the hill with great precipitation,
spread the alarm in their encampment, and
wrote terrible accounts to England of being
shot at with air-guns, as appeP>-d by their
ANCDOTBF OF THE EVOLUTION.
letters, extracts of which were soon after pub-
lished in London papers. Indeed, for some
time they really believed that the Americans
possessed a kind of magic white powder,
which exploded and killed without a report.
In that much celebrated and admirable
poem of the day, M'Fingal, the circumstance
is thus satirized:
No more the British colonel runs
From whizzing beetles as air guns;
Thinks horn-bugs, bullets, or thro' fears
Moschetoes takes for musketeers:
Nor 'scapes, as if you'd gained supplies
From Beelzebub's whole host of flies.
No bug these warlike hearts appeals;
They better know the sound of balls.
LA FAYETTE AND CORNWALLIS.
For some months previous to the capture
of Cornwallis, and while his army were tra-
versing the Carolinas and Virginia, he was
opposed by the Marquis de La Fayette, with
an inferior force. So confident was he of suc-
cess, and so much did he despise the extreme
youth of La Fayette, that he unguardedly
wrote, in a letter, which was afterwards in-
tercepted, The boy cannot escape me."
He once formed the plan of surprising the
Marquis, who was on the same side of James
river with himself; but was prevented by the
fUJ wing incident. General La Fayette, wish.
40 ANXCDOTZB OF THE REVOLUTION.
ing to ascertain the particular situation of hiL
opponent, contrived to send a spy into hii
camp to obtain intelligence. Having reached
the British camp, the spy was soon introduced
to his lordship, who inquired the reason of
his deserting the American army. Charles
Morgan artfully replied, I have been in the
continental service from the beginning; and
while under Washington, I was well satis.
fled; but being now commanded by a French.
man, I am dissatisfied, and have quitted their
Lord Cornwallis commended his conduct;
and Charley, without suspicion, entered upon
the double duties of an English soldier and an
American spy. While in conversation with
his officers, Lord Cornwallis asked Charley
how long it would take the Marquis to cross
James river. Pausing a moment, he replied,
"Three hours, my lord." "Three hours I
exclaimed his lordship-" it will take three
days." "No, my lord," said Charley, "the
Marquis has such a number of boats, and
each boat will carry so many men. If you
will please to calculate, you will find that he
can cross in three hours." His lordship
turning to his officers, said, The scheme will
After obtaining the necessary information,
Morgan prepared to return to the American
camp; and he prevailed on seven British sol*
diers to desert with him.
ANUCDOTEB OF THE REVOLUTION.
Well, Charley, have you got back ?" said
the Marquis, when he returned to head-quar-
Yes, please your Excellency; and I have
brought seven men with me."
The Major-general offered to reward him,
but he refused money; and when it was pro-
posed to promote him to the rank of sergeant,
or corporal, he replied, "I have ability to dis-
charge the duties of a common soldier, and
my character stands fair; but should I be pro-
moted, I may fail and lose my reputation."
He, however, requested that his destitute
comrades, who came with him, might be fur-
nished with shoes and clothing; which was
very readily complied with.
WIT OF A NEGRO.
When the Count D'Estaing's fleet appeared
near the British batteries, in the harbor of
Rhode Island, a severe cannonade was com-
menced, and several shot passed through the
houses in town, and occasioned great conster-
nation among the inhabitants. A shot passed
through the door of Mrs. Mason's house just
above the floor. The family were alarmed,
not knowing where to flee for safety. A ne-
gro man ran and sat himself down very com-
posedly, with his back against the shot-hole
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
in the door; and being asked by young Mr.
Mason why he chose that situation, he replied,
" Massa, you never know two bullet go in one
CIVILITY OF WASHINGTOW.
At the commencement of the revolutionary
war, there lived at East Windsor a farmer of
the name of Jacob Munsell, aged forty-five
years. After the communication by water be-
tween that part of the country and Boston was
interrupted, by the possession of Boston harbor
by the British fleet, Munsell was often employ-
ed to transport provisions by land, to our army
lying in the neighborhood of Boston. In the
summer of 1775, while thus employed, he ar-
rived within a few miles of the camp, at Cam-
bridge, with a large load, drawn by a stout ox
team. In a part of the road which was
somewhat rough, and where the travelled
pathway was narrow, he met two carriages,
in each of which was an American general
officer. The officer in the forward carriage,
when near to Munsell, put hiPhead out of the
window, and called to him in an authoritative
tone-" D-n you, get out of the path." Mun-
sell immediately retorted-" D--n you, I wont
get out of the path-get out yourself." After
some vain attempts to prevail on Munsell to
AUNCDOTUI OF THR RZVOLUTION.
turn out, th& officer's carriage turned out, and
Munsell kept the path. The other carriage
immediately came up, having been within
hearing distance of what had passed; and the
officer within it put his head out of the win-
dow, and said to Munsell-" My friend, the
road is bad, and it is very difficult for me to
turn out; will you be so good as to turn out
and let me pass ?" With all my heart, sir,"
said Munsell; "but I wont be d-d out of the
path by man." This last officer was General
The superiority to all selfish consideration
which characterizes maternal tenderness, has
often elevated the conduct of women in low
life, and perhaps never appeared more admi-
rable than in the wife of a soldier of the 55th
regiment, in America, during the campaign
of 1777. Sitting in a tent with her husband
at breakfast, a bomb entered, and fell between
them and a bed where their infant lay asleep.
The mother begged her spouse would go
around the bomb, before it exploded, and take
away the child, as his dress would allow him
to pass the narrow space between the dread-
ful messenger of destruction and the bed.
He refused, and left the tent, calling to his
44 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
wife to hasten away, as in less than a min.
ute the fuse would communicate to the great
combustibles. The poor woman, absorbing
all care in anxiety to save her child, tucked
up her garments to guard against touching
the bomb, snatched the unconscious innocent,
and was hardly out of reach, when all the
murderous materials were scattered around.
Major C-, of the 55th regiment, hearing
of this action, distinguished the heroine with
every mark of favor. She survived many
years to lament his fate at Fort Montgomery,
in the following month of October.
A MISTAKE ON SUNDAY.
The Rev. Mr. Parker, of Provincetown, had
been for years in the habit of praying for the
British government; but at the eventful peri-
od of the American revolutiofl, he, together
with most other clergymen of that time, was
zealously opposed to the oppressive measures
of England; however, by a strange absence
of mind, he, one Sabbath, long after America
had been declared independent, continued his
usual prayer, We beseech thee to bless the
king, the queen, and all the royal family,"
-then pausing, with evident embarrassment
and vexation, he added, "Pshaw I pshaw I it
was the continental congress I meant."
ANUBODOTR 0O THU M VOLUTION.
DL fnANKLIN IN CONGRIS8.
When the Declaration of Independence was
under the consideration of Congress, there
were two or three unlucky expressions in it,
which gave offence to some members. The
words Scotch and other auxiliaries," excited
the ire of a gentleman or two of that country.
Severe strictures on the conduct of the British
king, in negativing our repeated repeals of
the law which permitted the importation of
slaves, were disapproved by some southern
gentlemen, whose reflections were not yet ma-
tured to the full abhorrence of that traffic.
Although the offensive expressions were im-
mediately yielded, those gentlemen continued
their depredations on other parts of the in-
strument. I was sitting by Dr. Franklin,
who perceived that I was not insensible to
I have made it a rule," said he, "when-
ever it is in my power, to avoid becoming the
draughtsman of papers to be reviewed by a
public body. I took my lesson from an inci-
dent which I will relate to you. When I was
a journeyman printer, one of my companions,
an apprentice hatter, having served his time,
was about to open shop for himself. His first
concern was to have a handsome signboard,
with a proper inscription. He composed it
in these words:-' John Thompson, Hatter,
46 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
makes and sells hatsfor ready money,' with the
figure of a hat subjoined. But he thought he
would submit it to his friends for their amend
ments. The first he showed it to, thought the
word hatter' tautologous, because followed by
the words makes hats,' which showed he was
a hatter.-It was struck out. The next observ.
ed that the word makes' might as well be
omitted, because his customers would not care
who made the hats;-if good and to their
mind, they would buy, by whomsoever made.
He struck it out. A third said he thought the
words 'for ready money' were useless, as it
was not the custom of the place to sell on
credit-every one who purchased expected to
pay. They were parted with, and the inscrip-
tion now stood, 'John Thompson sells hats.'
Sells hats ? says his next friend; why, nobody
will expect you to give them away. What
then is the use of that word ? It was stricken
out, and hats' followed it, the rather as there
was one painted on the board; so his inscrip-
tion was reduced ultimately to' John Thomp-
son,' with the figure of a hat subjoined."
MAGNANIMITY OF BARON DE STEUBEN.
After the capture at Yorktown, the superi-
or officers of the American army, together with
their allies, vied with each other in acts of
ANICDOTM OF THE REVOLUTION.
civility and attention to the captive Britons.
Entertainments were given by all the major-
generals, except Baron Steuben. He was
above prejudice or meanness; but poverty
prevented him from displaying that liberality
towards them, which had been shown by
others. Such was his situation, when. calling
on Colonel Stewart, and informing him of his
intention to entertain Lord Cornwallis, he re-
quested that he would advance him a sum of
money as the price of his favorite charger.
"'Tis a good beast," said the Baron, "and has
proved a faithful servant through all the dan-
gers of the war; but, though painful to my
heart, we must part." Colonel Stewart im-
mediately tendered his purse, recommending
the sale or pledge of his watch, should the
sum it contained prove insufficient. "My
dear friend," replied the Baron, "'tis already
sold. Poor North was sick, and wanted ne-
cessaries. He is a brave fellow, and pos-
sesses the best of hearts. The trifle it
brought is set apart for his use. My horse
must go; so no more, I beseech you, to turn
me from my purpose. I am a major-general
in the service of the United States; and my
private convenience must not be put in a
scale with the duty which my rank imperious-
ly calls upon me to perform."
48 ANECDOTES OF THE RtVOLUTIOW.
PATRIOTIC SCHOOL BOYS.
In November, 1776, the General Court or.
dered four brass cannon to be purchased for
the use of the artillery companies in Boston.
Two of these guns were kept in a gun-house
that stood opposite the Mall, at the corner of
West-street. A school-house was the next
building, and a yard enclosed with a high
fence was common to both. Major Paddock,
who then commanded the company, having
been heard to express his intention of surren-
dering these guns to the British army, a few
individuals resolved to secure for the country
a property which belonged to it, and which,
in the emergency of the times, had an impor-
tance very disproportionate to its intrinsic
Having concerted their plan, the party
passed through the school-house into the gun-
house, and were able to open the doors which
were upon the yard, by a small crevice,
through which they raised the bar that se-
cured them. The moment for the execution
of the project was that of the roll-call, when
the sentinel, who was stationed at one door
of the building, would be less likely to hear
The guns were taken off their carriages,
carried into the school-room, and placed in a
large box, under the master's desk, in which
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
wood was kept. Immediately after the roll-
call, a lieutenant and sergeant came into the
gun-house to look at the cannon, previously
to removing them. A young man, who had
assisted in their removal, remained by the
building, and followed the officer in, as an in-
nocent spectator. When the carriages were
found without the guns, the sergeant exclaim-
ed, with an oath, in true soldier phraseology,
" These fellows would steal the teeth out of
your head, while you're keeping guard." They
then began to search the building for them,
and afterwards the yard ; and when they came
to the gate that opened into the street, the of-
ficers observed that they could not have pass-
ed that way, because a cobweb across the
opening was not broken. They next went
into the school-house, which they examined
all over, except the box, on which the master
placed his foot, which was lame; and the offi-
cer, with true courtesy, on that account ex-
cused him from rising. Several boys were
present, but not one lisped a word. The Brit-
ish officers soon went back to the gun-house,
and gave up the pursuit in vexation. The
guns remained in that box for a fortnight, and
many of the boys were acquainted with the
fact, but not one of they betrayed the secret.
At the end of that time, the person who had
withdrawn them, came in the evening with a
large trunk on a wheelbarrow; the guns
were put into it and carried up to a black-
50 ANECDOTrE OF TIlH RBVOLOTION.
smith's shop at the South-end, and there de-
posited under the coal. After lying there for
a while, they were put into a boat in the
night, and safely transported within the Ameri-
AN UNNECESSARY ALARM.
A sentinel on the banks of Ashley River, op-
posite to Dorchester, perceiving a "red-coat"
moving through the brush-wood on the other
shore, gave the alarm that the enemy were
without their lines. This being communica-
ted to Lieut. Colonel Laurens, a troop of dra-
goons, and a company of infantry of the le.
gion, were ordered to cross the river and
reconnoitre. But the rapidity of the stream
determined Captain O'Neil, who commanded,
to wait until a boat which had been sent for
In the interim, Laurens galloped up, and
demanded, with warmth, "Why this halt,
captain ?-were not orders given to cross ?"
"Yes, colonel, but look at the current, and
judge if it be practicable." This is no time
for argument," rejoined Laurens. "You who
are brave men, follow, me." Saying this, he
plunged into the river, but was instantaneous-
ly obliged to quit his horse, and it was with
extreme difficulty that he was enabled to
reach the opposite shore.
ANB3DOT3 Or TUB MZOLUTI#.
O'Neil, than whom a braver man did not
exist, highly indignant at the speech of Lau-
rens, replied, "You shall see, sir, that there
are men here as courageous as yourself,"
and at the head of his troop entered the river.
Now, all was tumult and confusion, for al-
though no lives were lost, several of the men
were so nearly drowned, that it became ne-
cessary to use every means to make them
disgorge the water they had swallowed; and
all were so much exhausted, that a temporary
halt was indispensably needful.
The infantry, by the aid of a plank, and large
doors torn from a neighboring warehouse,
passed over with less difficulty. During the
mean time, Laurens, attended by Messrs. Ralph
and Walter Izard, and Mr. Wainwright, who
ever accompanied him as aids, hastened to
the spot, where the British regimental had
been seen. It was then found that a military
coat had been hung up in a tree by a soldier
who had been whipped and drummed out
of the 64th regiment, for drunkenness, and
whose lacerated back could admit of no cov-
A NOBLE REPLY.
At the retreat of the British troops from
Lexington, General Warren came near being
killed by a musket ball, which took off a lock
52 AnECDOTMB OF THE EVOLUTION.
of hair, curled close to his head, in accordance
with the custom of the times. His mother,
being very much affected by the occurrence,
entreated him not to risk his life again, which
was so precious to her, and of so much value
to his country.
His answer was,-" Wherever danger is,
dear mother, there will your son be. Now is
no time for one of America's children to
shrink from the most hazardous duty; I will ei-
ther see my country free, or shed my last drop of
blood to make her so." And he did; he fell
on the same field, and at the same time, as
did Putnam; both fighting for the rights and
liberties of their country.
WASHINGTON AT PRAYER.
After the unsatisfactory engagement at Ger-
mantown, the American troops were quarter-
ed for the winter at Valley Forge, where their
sufferings were extreme. It happened, during
their sojourn, that a very pious Quaker by the
name of Potts had occasion to pass through a
large grove, which was not a great distance
from the head-quarters. Proceeding along, he
thought he heard a noise. He stopped a min-
ute, and listened attentively.
He did hear the sound of a human voice at
some distance, but quite indistinctly. As it
AiA3OTINS OF ThE JuVOLUTIONs
was in the direct course he was pursuing, he
went on, but with considerable caution. At
length he came within sight of a man whose
back was turned towards him, on his knees, in
the attitude of prayer. Potts now stopped,
and soon perceived Gen. Washington, the com-
mander of the American army, returning from
bending before the God of hosts above.
Potts was a pious man, and no sooner had
he reached his home, than he broke forth to
"All's well --all's well! Yes-George
Washington is sure to beat the British-
What's the matter with thee, Isaac ?" re-
plied the startled Sarah. Thee seems to be
much moved about something."
"Well I what if I am moved? Who would
not be moved at such a sight as I have seen
"And what hast thou seen, Isaac 1"
"Seen! I've seen a man at prayer !-in the
woods !-George Washington himself! And
now I say-just what I said before-All's
well! George Washington is sure to beat the
British! I URE"
This is one of the anecdotes, that tend to
establish the decided Christian character of
Washington. Much also might be adduced
from a memoir of his life of the same descrip-
tion. He was indeed a pious, as well as a
54 ANMCDOT?.5 0F THE KEvOLUTIOM.
THE END OF A FARCE.
While the British held possession of Boston,
there were various amusements got up, to
while away their time. Among these was a
small theatre, and in the evening of Feb. 8th,
1776, the officers were acting a farce, entitled
"The Blockade of Boston." .One character,
intended to ridicule Washington, was dressed
up with a large wig, and a long rusty sword.
Another was an American sergeant, in his
country dress, with an old gun on his shoul-
der, eight feet long.
At the same moment this grotesque-looking
figure appeared, one of the British sergeants
came running on the stage, and cried out,
" The Yankees are attacking our works on
Bunker Hill." The audience took it as a part
of the play, but General Howe knew that it
was no joke, and cried out to the officers, To
ATTENTION TO ORDERS.
At the siege of York, the young Baron de
Carendeffez, about the age of fifteen, was sent
into the magazine to distribute ammunition
for the use of the French artillery, and while
seated on a barrel of powder, saw a shell from
ANWDOWD OF THE REVOLUTION.
the enemy fall within two feet of his position.
The soldiers who were in the battery, expect-
ing immediate explosion, ran off in every di-
The expected catastrophe, however, did not
follow; the fuse of the shell was in its flight
extinguished. This being perceived by the
fugitives, the battery was as quickly reoccu-
pied, when Captain Lemery, the commanding
officer, addressing himself to the youth, who
still retained his seat, said-" You young
rogue, why did you not fly the impending dan-
ger ? why not embrace a chance for life ?"
"Because, captain," he heroically answered,
"my duty required that I should make a dis-
tribution of ammunition, and not desert my
post, and fly like a poltroon."
PROSE BETTER THAN POETRY.
A colonel in the army, who was much in-
clined to be poetical in his prose, telling Ma-
jor Edwards that he had heard a report con-
cerning him by which he had been greatly
amused, the major assured him that it was al-
together without any foundation. no,"
said the colonel, "deny it not-it must be
true, and I will circulate and give it curren-
cy." "Thank you, thank you, kind sir," re-
joined Edwards, "by your doing so, much
5 ANMWPOTr8 OF THE REVOLUTION.
time will be saved, which otherwise would
have been spent in contradicting the story."
ORDINARY FARE OF MARION.
A British officer was sent from the garrison
at Georgetown, to negotiate a business inter-
esting to both armies; when this was conclu-
ded, and the officer about to return, General
Marion said, If it suits your convenience, sir,
to remain for a short period, I shall be glad of
your company to dinner." The mild and dig-
nified simplicity of Marion's manners had al-
ready produced their effect; and to prolong
so interesting an interview, the invitation was
accepted. The entertainment was served up
on pieces of bark, and consisted entirely of
roasted potatoes, of which the general ate
heartily, requesting his guest to profit by his
example, repeating the old adage, that hun-
ger was an excellent sauce."
But surely, general," said the officer, this
cannot be your ordinary fare." Indeed it is,
sir," he replied; and we are more fortunate
on this occasion, entertaining company, than
usual, to have more than our accustomed
quantity." It is said that this officer, on his
return to Georgetown, immediately declared
his conviction, that men who could without a
murmur endure the difficulties and dangers of
ANECDOTEI OF THR REVOLUTION.
the field, and contentedly relish such simple
and scanty fare, were not to be subdued; and
resigning his commission, immediately retired
from the service.
MR. JOHN EDWARDB AND ADMIRAL ARBUTHNOT.
It must appear both injudicious and unjust
that Mr. John Edwards has been so little no-
ticed. His name has been scarcely mentioned
in the records of our revolution; yet there
was no citizen of the republic, in whose bo-
som the love of liberty glowed with more gen-
erous enthusiasm. Possessing wealth beyond
any other mercantile man of the day, he was
the first individual in Carolina who tendered
his fortunes in support of the American cause.
His friend, the venerable Josiah Smith, was
no less liberal in his loans to government; and
it cannot be doubted but that their example
must, in a great degree, have contributed to
give stability to public credit, and to induce
many of less sanguine hopes to risk their for-
tunes for the public good.
Warned by his more prudential friends that
he placed too much at hazard; that the suc-
cess of America, opposed to the power of
Britain, could scarcely be expected; and that
the total loss of his possessions would follow;
with a feeling of patriotism that cannot be
68 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
too highly appreciated, he replied-" Be it so I
I would rather lose my all than retain it sub.
ject to British authority." His subsequent
conduct proved that this was no vain boasting.
Shortly after the fall of Charleston, invited
to a conference by Admiral Arbuthnot, who
was quartered on him, and occupied the prin-
cipal apartments of his house, a conversation
took place, the purport of which, immediately
after the conclusion, was communicated by
him to his son-in-law, Mr. John Bee Holmes,
from whom I received it. Nothing, Mr. Ed-
wards," said the admiral, has appeared more
extraordinary to Sir Henry Clinton and my-
self, than that you, a native of Great Britain,
should have taken part with the rebels, and
appeared throughout the contest a strenuous
and decided advocate of revolutionary princi-
ples. How, sir, is it to be accounted for ?"
"Because," replied Mr. Edwards, "I con-
scientiously approved, and have pledged my-
self to support them." But, Mr. Edwards,"
rejoined the admiral," as a man of sense, you
may have been heretofore deluded-your eyes
must now be opened to the futility of resist-
ance; and as a man of honor, you are bound
by every means in your power to aid in promo-
ting the submission of the people, by a recon-
ciliation with the merciful government that
would obliterate every recollection of past
offences, and again receive them with favor
ANECDOTES OF THL RIVOITIMON.
The admiral proceeded for a considerable
length of time, in pretty much the same strain
of language; trying to persuade Mr. Edwards,
with the neighbors, to implore pardon from
the British for past misdeeds, as they consid-
ered them. Mr. Edwards made an eloquent
reply, ending with the words-" And if you
were to say to me-Your fate depends upon
your resolve-take protection orperish-I would
without a moment's hesitation--nE."
THE POOR FISHERMAN AND HIS SCHOONER.
After the evacuation of Boston, by the Brit-
ish troops under Gen. Gage, Capt. Nelson
was left in command of a frigate, with direc-
tions to cruise off the outer harbor, and to
give notice to British vessels of the evacua-
During one of his cruises, he captured a
fishing schooner of about sixty tons, belonging
to Capt. Davis, of Plymouth, Mass. It was
his whole property, and he supported a wife
and six children by selling the fish that were
taken on board of her.
In about a fortnight after the capture, the
owner (instead of resigning himself to his
fate, and abandoning all hope of regaining
his vessel) determined to go on board the
frigate and see the captain. He procured a
60 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
boat with this view, and having put on board
of her two dozen fowls, some cabbages and
other vegetables, that he thought would be
acceptable to Capt. Nelson, he ventured out,
was admitted on board the frigate, requested
to see the captain alone, and was taken down
into the cabin.
"Captain," said he, I understand that you
have taken my schooner; she is the whole
support of myself, my wife, and six children.
Now, sir, the great men of your country, and
of my country, have made this war, and the
poor people are obliged to submit, and I did
not know but what Capt. Nelson might give
me back my schooner."
Nelson being astonished at the request, re-
plied, This is not a common war; you are
rebels, you have rebelled against your king
and country, and besides, my men are entitled
to their prize money." Soon after, he left
him in the cabin, and went on deck to talk
with his officers and men; he then returned
to the cabin. Should you know your vessel
if you were to see her again ?" "I guess I
should," said the captain, and soon after the
schooner came up, with all her sails set, and
completely fitted up in man-of-war style. "Is
this your vessel ?" said Capt. Nelson. "0
dear, sir, no," replied Capt. Davis. "I don't
wonder that you don't know her," replied Nel-
son, "as I have laid out about one hundred
and fifty pounds upon her as my tender."
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
After some further conversation, Capt. Nel-
son consented that Capt. Davis should have
his vessel again, and told him to go on shore
and bring with him a sufficient number of
hands to take charge of her. He did so, and
after Capt. Davis had thanked Capt Nelson,
with tears in his eyes, and blessed him, and
was about pushing off in his boat, "Stop,
stop," cried Nelson, "you are not paid yet for
"O for mercy's sake, Capt. Nelson, say
nothing about that." "Either receive pay-
ment or else no vessel," said Nelson, and threw
him two guineas. "I cannot receive pay,"
said Capt. Davis, and this is twice as much
as they would come to." "Either take the
money, or no vessel," said Nelson; the rebels
will say that you have been bribing me."
And Capt. Davis went off, deeply impressed
with gratitude for the noble and generous con-
duct of Horatio Nelson.
PATRIOTISM OF BISHOP WHITE.
The distinguished reputation of the late
Bishop White is well known. Early in the
revolution he was invited to preach before a
battalion, but declined, and mentioned to the
commanding officer that he had objections
to the making of the ministry instrumental to
62 AMICDOTES OF THE EVOLUTIO .
the war. And he continued, in the service of
the Protestant Episcopal Church as required,
to pray for the king till the Sunday before the
4th of July, 1776. Shortly after that he took
the oath of allegiance to the United States,
and ever subsequent thereto remained faith-
ful. It was evident to all that he acted un-
der a high sense of duty, and with that sound
judgment which characterized him through
At the time of taking the oath of allegiance,
the following incident is said to have occur-
red. When he went to the courthouse for the
purpose, a gentleman of his acquaintance
standing there, observing his design, intima-
ted to him, by a gesture, the danger to which
he would expose himself. After taking the
oath, he remarked, before leaving the court-
house, to the gentleman alluded to-" I per-
ceive, by your gesture, that you thought I was
exposing my neck to great danger by the step
which I have taken. But I have not taken it
without full deliberation. I know my danger,
and that it is the greater on account of my
being a clergyman of the Church of England.
But I trust in Providence. The cause is a
just one, and I am persuaded will be protect.
ANED)OTas OF TU azvoLLuTIow.
BISHOP WHITE A CHAPLAIN OF CONGRESS.
In September, 1777, while the British were
advancing to Philadelphia, of which they
took possession soon afterwards, Congress
having just fled to Yorktown, he was chosen
chaplain. He had, for safety, removed his
family to Hartford county, in Maryland.
While on a journey between that place and
Philadelphia, he stopped at a small village,
where he was met by a courier from York-
town, who informed him of his being appoint-
ed by Congress their chaplain, and requested
his immediate attendance. Nothing, he said,
could have induced him to accept the appoint-
ment, at such a time, even had the emolu-
ment been an object, which it was not, but
the determination to be consistent in his prin-
ciples in the part he had taken.
This was one of the gloomiest periods in
the history of the revolution; General Bur-
goyne was marching, without having yet re-
ceived a serious check, so far as was then
known, through the northern parts of New
York. He thought of it for a short time, and
then, instead of proceeding on his journey,
turned his horses' heads, travelled immediate-
ly to Yorktown, and entered on the duties of
While officiating as chaplain, he had oppor-
tunities of observing some tokens of the diffi-
64 ANECDOTE OF THE REVOLUTION.
culties under which Congress labored in pro-
curing the means of carrying on the war, and
the very reduced state of their finances at
some periods. The two following facts, re-
lated by himself, are striking proofs of their
destitution of funds, and the very low state of
their credit. On one occasion, going into the
chamber of Congress to perform his duty as
chaplain, he remarked to one of the members,
"You have been treating yourselves, I per-
ceive, to new inkstands."-" Yes," was the re-
ply, and private credit had to be pledged for
the payment." At another time, observing
that the clerks had removed from their usual
room, and inquiring the cause, he was told
that there was no wood to make a fire there,
nor money to buy it. These incidents must
have occurred after Congress returned to Phil-
DR. FRANKLIN'S ALMANAC.
The late Capt. John Paul Jones, at the time
he was attempting to fit out a little squadron
during the revolutionary war, in one of the
ports of France, to cruise on the coast of Eng-
land, was much delayed by neglects and dis-
appointments from the court, that had nearly
frustrated his plan. Chance one day threw
into his hands an old almanac, containing
ANDODOTBs OF THE iBVOLUTION.
Poor Richard's Maxims, by Dr. Franklin. In
that curious assemblage of useful instructions,
a man is advised, If he wishes to have any
business faithfully and expeditiously performed,
to go and do it himself ;--otherwise to send."
Jones was immediately struck, upon reading
this maxim, with the impropriety of his past
conduct, in only. sending letters and messages
to court, when he ought to have gone in per-
son. He instantly set out, and, by dint of per-
sonal representations, procured the immediate
equipment of the squadron, which afterwards
spread terror along the eastern coasts of Eng-
land, and with which he so gloriously captured
the Serapis, and the British ships of war re-
turning from the Baltic. In gratitude to Dr.
Franklin's maxim, he named the principal
ship of his squadron after the name of the
pretended almanac maker, Le Bon Homme
Richard, Father Richard.
GENERAL PRESCOTT AND THE CONNECTICUT SUCCO-
The British general, Prescott, who was cap-
tured at his quarters on Rhode Island by Col-
onel Barton, being on his route through the
state of Connecticut, called at a tavern to dine.
The landlady furnished the table with a dish
of succotash, boiled corn and beans. The gen-
eral being unaccustomed to such kind of food,
66 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
exclaimed, with warmth, What, do you treat
us with the food of hogs?" and taking the
dish from the table, strewed the contents over
the floor. The landlord being informed of
this, soon entered, and with his horse-whip
gave the general a severe chastisement. The
sequel of this story has recently been com-
municated by a gentleman at Nantucket, who
retains a perfect recollection of all the cir-
cumstances. After Gen. Prescott was ex-
changed, and restored to his command on the
island, the inhabitants of Nantucket deputed
Wm. Rotch, Dr. Tupper, and Timothy Folger
to negotiate some concerns with him in behalf
of the town. They were for some time rb-
fused admittance to his presence, but the doc-
tor and Folger overcame the opposition and
ushered themselves into the room. Prescott
raged and stormed with-great vehemence, until
Folger was compelled to withdraw. After
the doctor announced his business, and the gen-
eral had become a little calm, he said, "Was
not my treatment to Folger very uncivil?"
The doctor said yes. Then said Prescott, "I
will tell you the reason: he looked so much
like the Connecticut rascal that horse-whip-
ped me, I could not endure his presence."
ANUODOTUS OF TEO 2NVOLUTION.
After the defeat of our army on Long Island,
in 1776, the residue of our troops were re-
duced to a situation of extreme hazard, and
by many it was supposed that a few hours
would seal their fate. They were fatigued
and discouraged by defeat, a superior ene-
my in their front, and a powerful fleet about
to enter the East river, with the view of
effectually cutting off their retreat, and leav-
ing them no alternative but to surrender.
The commander-in-chief resolved to attempt
to extricate his army from the impending ca-
tastrophe, by evacuating the post, and cross-
ing the river to New York. The passage
was found at first to be impracticable, by rea-
son of a violent wind from the northeast and
a strong ebbing tide.
But providentially the wind grew more
moderate, and veered to the northwest, which
rendered the passage perfectly safe. But a
circumstance still more remarkable was, that
about two o'clock in the morning a thick fog
enveloped the whole of Long Island in obscu-
rity, concealing the retreat of the Americans,
while on the side of New York the atmosphere
was perfectly clear.
Thus, by the favor of an unusual fog, our
army, consisting of nine thousand men, in one
night, under great disadvantages, embarked
a sImwDOTZS OF THl 3UVOLUTIOR.
with their baggage, provisions, stores, horses,
and the munitions of war, crossed a rapid riv-
er, a mile or more wide, and landed at New
York undiscovered, and without material loss.
The enemy were so near that they were heard
at work with their pick-axes, and in about
half an hour after the fog cleared off, the
enemy were seen taking possession of the
American lines, and they were astonished
that our troops had got beyond the reach of
Garden, in his Anecdotes, says that a cleri-
cal friend, on this occasion, observed that,
" But for the interposition of a cloud of dark-
ness, the Egyptians would have overwhelmed
the Israelites upon the sea-shore. And but
for the providential intervention of afog upon
Long Island, which was a cloud resting on the
earth, the American army would have been
destroyed, and the hopes of every patriot bo-
som extinguished, perhaps forever."
On the retreat of our army from New York,
Major-general Putnam, at the head of three
thousand five hundred continental troops, was
in the rear, and the last that left the city. In
order to avoid any of the enemy that might
be advancing in the direct road to the city,
he made choice of a different road till he
could arrive at a certain angle, whence a
cross-road would conduct him in such a di-
rection as that he might form a junction with
our main army. It so happened that a body
AXR0DOT= Or TUN REVOLUTION.
of about eight thousand British and Hessians
were at the same moment advancing on the
road, which would have brought them in im-
mediate contact with Putnas before he could
have reached the cross-road.
Most fortunately, the British generals halt-
ed their troops, and repaired to the house of
Mr. R, Murray, a Quaker and friend to our
cause. Mrs. M. treated the British officers
with cake and wine, and they were induced
to tarry two hours or more. By this happy in-
cident, Putnam, by continuing his march, es-
caped a encounter with a greatly superior
force, which must have proved fatal to his
whole party. I have recently been informed
by the son and aid-de-camp of Gen. Putnam,
that had the enemy, instead of a halt, marched
ten minutes longer, they would have reached
the cross-road, and entirely cut off the retreat
of our troops, and they must inevitably have
been captured or destroyed. It was a common
saying among our officers, that, under Provi-
dence, Mrs. Murray saved this part of our
When, in the year 1777, Gen. Burgoyne's
army was reduced to a condition of extreme
embarrassment and danger, Gen. Gates re-
ceived what he supposed certain intelligence
that the main body of the British army had
marched off for Fort Edward, and that a rear-
guard only was left in the camp situated on
the opposite side of Saratoga creek. He do
70 ANBCDOTB 01 THR REVOLUTION.
termined, therefore, to advance with his entire
force to attack the enemy in their encamp-
ment, in half an hour. For this purpose, Gen.
Nixon with his brigade crossed the creek in
Gen. Glover was on the point of following,
but just as he entered the water he perceived
a British soldier crossing near him, whom he
called and examined. By this British desert-
er, the fact was ascertained, that the detach-
ment for Fort Edward had returned, and that
the whole British army was now encamped
behind a thick brush-wood, which concealed
them from our view. This information being
instantly communicated to Gen. Gates, the or-
der for attack was immediately countermand-
ed, and the troops were ordered to retreat r but
before they could recross the creek, the enemy's
artillery opened on their rear, and some loss
This was a most critical moment, and a
quarter of an hour longer might have caused
the ruin of the two brigades, and effected such
a favorable turn of affairs as to have enabled
Burgoyne to progress in his route to Albany, or
make a safe retreat into Canada. In his nar-
rative of the expedition under his command,
Burgoyne laments the accident which occa-
sioned the failure of his stratagem, as one of
the most adverse strokes of fortune during the
campaign. But Americans ought never to
forget the remarkable providential escape.
AIU3DOTU OF TE REVOLUTION.
DIATH or THU BdARO D= KALa.
Among the enthusiastic foreigners who
generously espoused our cause, and at an
early period of the revolution resorted to the
American army, I will name some, whose
meritorious services entitle them to the grate-
ful recollection of the present and future gen-
erations. Baron de Kalb was by birth a
German. He had attained a high reputation
in military service, and was a knight of the
order of merit, and a brigadier-general in
the armies of France. He accompanied the
Marquis de La Fayette to this country, and
having proffered his services to our Congress,
he was, in September, 1777, appointed to the
office of major-general. In the summer of
1780, he was second in command in our south-
ern army, under Major-general Gates.
When arrangements were making for the
battle at Camden, which proved so disastrous
to our arms, in August, 1780, this heroic offi-
cer, it was said, cautioned Gen. Gates against
a general action under present circumstances.
But that unfortunate commander was heard
to say, that Lord Cornwallis would not dare
to look him in the face." And in the evening
preceding the battle, 'an officer in the pres-
ence of Gen. Gates said, "I wonder where
we shall dine to-morrow ?"
"Dine, sir," replied the confident general,
72 AJZCDOTU OF THE RrVOLVTION.
"why at Camden, to be sure. I would not give
a pinch of snuff, sir, to be insured a beef-steak
to-morrow in Camden, and Lord Cornwallis
at my table." Baron de Kalb was decidedly
opposed to the proceedings of Gen. Gates, and
frequently foretold the ruin that would ensue,
and expressed a presentiment that it would be
his fate to fall in that battle. In a council
of war, while the enemy was approaching,
the baron advised that the army should fall
back and take a good position, and wait to
be attacked; but this was rejected by Gen.
Gates, who insinuated that it originated from
De Kalb, instantly leaping from his horse,
placed himself at the head of his command on
foot, and with some warmth retorted, Well,
sir, a few hours, perhaps, will prove who are
the brave." It was the intention of Gen.
Gates to surprise the enemy in their encamp-
ment, while at the same time Cornwallis had
commenced his march to surprise his antago-
nist. The contending armies had scarcely en-
gaged in the conflict, when our militia broke,
and leaving their guns and bayonets behind,
fled with the greatest precipitation.
- Gen. Gates immediately applied spurs to his
horse and pursued, as he said, "to bring the
rascals back," but he actually continued his
flight till he reached Charlotte, 80 miles from
the field of battle. The Baron de Kalb, at
the head of a few hundred continental troops,
ANECDOTIES OF THE REVOLUTION.
was now left to cope with the whole British
army, and he sustained the dreadful shock for
more than an hour; hundreds of the bravest
men had fallen around this undaunted hero;
he himself in personal conflict was seen to
parry the furious blows and plunge his sword
into many opposing breasts. But alas! the
hero is overpowered, having received eleven
bayonet wounds; he faints and falls to the
Several individuals of both armies were
killed while endeavoring to shield his body.
His aid-de-camp, Chevalier de Buysson, rushed
through the clashing bayonets, and stretching
his arms over the body of the fallen hero, ex-
claimed, Save the Baron de Kalb save the
Baron de Kalb!" The British officers inter-
posed and prevented his immediate destruc-
tion, but he survived the action but a few
To a British officer, who kindly condoled with
him in his misfortune, he replied, "I thank
you for your generous sympathy, but I die the
death I always prayed for; the death of a sol-
dier fighting for the rights of man." His last
moments were spent in dictating a letter con-
cerning the continental troops which support-
ed him in the action, after the militia had fled,
of whom he said he had no words that could
sufficiently express his love and his admiration
of their valor.
Gen. Washington, many years after, on a
74 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
visit to Camden, inquired for the grave of De
Kalb. After looking on it awhile, with a
countenance marked with thought, he breathed
a deep sigh, and exclaimed, So there lies the
brave De Kalb; the generous stranger who
came from a distant land to fight our battles,
and to water with his blood the tree of our
liberty. Would to God he had lived to share
with us its fruits!" His exit was marked
with unfading glory, and his distinguished
merit was gratefully acknowledged by Con-
gress, in ordering a monument to be erected
to his memory.
EXECUTION OF COL. HAYNES.
After the city of Charleston had fallen in-
to the hands of Lord Cornwallis, his lordship
issued a proclamation, requiring of the inhab-
itants of the colony, that they should no long-
er take part in the contest, but continue
peaceably at their homes, and they should be
most sacredly protected in property and per-
son. This was accompanied with an instru-
ment of neutrality, which soon obtained the
signatures of many thousands of the citizens
of South Carolina, among whom was Col.
Haynes, who now conceived that he was en-
titled to peace and security for his family
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
But it was not long before Cornwallis put a
new construction on the instrument of neutrali-
ty, denominating it a bond of allegiance to the
king, and called upon all who had signed it
to take up arms against the Rebels! threat-
ening to treat as deserters those who refused!
This fraudulent proceeding in Lord Cornwallis
roused the indignation of every honorable and
Col. Haynes now being compelled, in viola-
tion of the most solemn compact, to take up
arms, resolved that the invaders of his native
country should be the objects of his vengeance.
He withdrew from the British, and was in-
vested with a command in the continental
service ; but it was soon his hard fortune to be
captured by the enemy and carried into Charles-
ton. Lord Rawdon, the commandant, imme-
diately ordered him to be loaded with irons,
and after a sort of mock trial, he was sen-
tenced to be hung!
This sentence seized all classes of people
with horror and dismay. A petition, headed
by the British Gov. Bull, and signed by a
number of royalists, was presented in his be-
half, but was totally disregarded. The ladies
of Charleston, both whigs and stories, now
united in a petition to Lord Rawdon, couched
in the most eloquent and moving language,
praying that the valuable life of Col. Haynes
might be spared; but this also was treated
with neglect. It was next proposed that Col
76 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
Haynes's children, (the mother had recently
expired with the small-pox,) should in their
mourning habiliments be presented to plead
for the life of their only surviving parent.
Being introduced into his presence, they
fell on their knees, and with clasped hands
and weeping eyes, they lisped their father's
name and plead most earnestly for his life.
(Reader! what is your anticipation-do you
imagine that Lord Rawdon, pitying their mo-
therless condition, tenderly embraced these
afflicted children and restored them to the
fond embrace of their father ? No the un-
feeling man was still inexorable-he suffered
even these little ones to plead in vain !) His
son, a youth of thirteen, was permitted to stay
with his father in prison, who beholding his
only parent loaded with irons and condemn-
ed to die, was overwhelmed in grief and sor-
"Why," said he, "my son, will you thus
break your father's heart with unavailing sor-
row? Have I not often told you that we
came into this world but to prepare for a bet-
ter ? For that better life, my dear boy, your
father is prepared. Instead then of weeping,
rejoice with me, my son, that my troubles are
so near an end. To-morrow I set out for im-
mortality. You will accompany me to the
place of my execution; and when I am dead,
take and bury me by the side of your mother."
The youth here fell on his father's neck cr,-
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
ing, "Oh, my father I my father I will die
with you! I will die with you I" Col. Haynes
would have returned the strong embrace of
his son; but alas! his hands were confined
with irons. "Live," said he, "my son, live
to honor God by a good life; live to serve your
country; and live to take care of your brother
and little sisters!"
The next morning Col. Haynes was con-
ducted to the place of execution. His son
accompanied him. Soon as they came in
sight of the gallows, the father strengthened
himself and said-" Now, my son, show yourself
a man That tree is the boundary of my life
and of all my life's sorrows. Beyond that the
wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are
at rest. Don't lay too much to heart our separa-
tion from you : it will be but short. It was but
lately your dear mother died. To-day I die,
and you, my son, though but young, must short-
ly follow us." Yes, my father," replied the
broken-hearted youth, I shall shortly follow
you; for indeed I feel that I cannot live
On seeing therefore his father in the hands
of the executioner, and then struggling in the
halter, he stood like one transfixed and mo-
tionless with horror. Till then he had wept
incessantly, but soon as he saw that sight, the
fountain of his tears was stanched, and he
never wept more. He died insane, and in his
last moments often called on the name of his
78 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
father in terms that brought tears from the
This distinguished officer commenced his
military career under General Braddock, but
in so inferior a station as to have been subject-
ed to corporal punishment for some unguard-
ed expressions towards a superior. It is pain-
ful to mention such a circumstance; and it
would not have been done had it not been re-
corded to his honor, that, incapable of enter-
taining lasting resentments, he had been dis-
tinguished, during the revolutionary war, by
generous attention to every British officer
who became his prisoner. Commanding a
rifle company before Quebec, he was directed,
under Arnold, to attack the lower town; and
on the retirement of that officer, when wound-
ed, taking the van of the assailing column,
he carried the first and second barriers.
He even penetrated into the upper town,
and was in possession of the main-guard,
giving paroles to the officers who surrendered,
when every prospect of success being baffled
by the fall of Montgomery, and the enemy en-
abled to turn their entire force against him,
he was surrounded and captured. His bravery
well known, and his activity justly apprecia-
AMECDOTEB OF THE REVOLUTION.
ted, an attempt was made by an officer of
rank in the British service to induce him, by
the tender of wealth and promotion, to join
the royal standard; but, with the spirit of
true republican virtue, he rejected the pro-
position, and requested the tempter, "never
again to insult him by an offer which plainly
inplied that he thought him a villain."
POWDER AND BALL.
Let ancient or modern history be produced,
they will not afford a more heroic display than
the reply of Yankee Stonington to the British
commanders. The people were piling the
balls which the enemy had wasted, when the
foe applied to them. "We want balls; will you
sell them They answered: We want pow-
der; send us powder, and we'll return your
HOW TO SAVE A DINNER.
General Charles Lee, while at White Plains,
in 1776, had his quarters in a small house
near the road by which Gen. Washington
had to pass when reconnoitring. Returning
with his suite, they called in and took a din-
80 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
ner. They were no sooner gone, than Lee
told his aids, "You must look me out another
place, for I shall have Washington and his
puppies continually calling on me, and they
will eat me up." The next day Lee, seeing
Washington out on the like business, and ex-
pecting that he should have another visit, or-
dered his servant to write with chalk upon
the door, No victuals dressed here to-day."
When the company approached and saw the
writing, they pushed off with much good hu-
mor for their own table, without being offend-
ed at the habitual eccentricity of the man.
NO BAYONETS HERE."
At the surprise of Georgetown, Sergeant
Ord, an extremely brave soldier, being, with a
small party of the legion-infantry, in posses-
sion of an enclosure surrounding a house
from which they had expelled the enemy, the
recovery of the position was sought by a
British force, whose leader, approaching the
gate of entrance, exclaimed-" Rush on, my
brave boys, they are only worthless militia,
and have no bayonets." Ord immediately
placed himself in front of the gate, and as
they attempted to enter, laid six of his ene-
mies in succession dead at his feet, crying out,
at every thrust-" No bayonets here-none at
ANECDOTES OF THB REVOLUTION.
all, to be sure P' following up his strokes with
such rapidity, that the British party could
make no impression, and were compelled to
In every instance where this heroic soldier
was engaged in action, he not only increased
his own reputation, but animated those around
him by his lively courage. In camp, on a
march, and in every situation, he performed
all his duties with the utmost cheerfulness and
vivacity, preserving always the most orderly
conduct, and keeping his arms, accoutrements,
and clothing in the neatest possible condition.
He might, indeed, be considered a perfect sol-
POVERTY OF THE AMERICAN ARMY.
The following incident is only a representa-
tion of many similar cases of distress for cloth-
ing in the American camp. During the severity
of the winter campaign in North Carolina, Gen.
Greene, passing a sentinel who was barefoot,
said, "I fear, my good fellow, you must suffer
from cold." "Pretty much so," was the reply;
"but I do not complain, because I know that
I should fare better had our general power to
procure supplies. They say, however, that in
a few days we shall have a fight, and then,
by the blessing of God, I shall take care to se-
cure a pair of shoes."
82 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
ML. ROBERT MORRIS.
At the most distressful period of the war,
General Washington wrote to Congress, that
he was surrounded by secret foes, destitute of
the means of detecting them, or of getting in-
telligence of the enemy's movements and de-
signs. The army was in rags, had few or no
blankets, and military stores were in the dregs.
The troops, reduced in numbers, must retreat
without the means of defence if attacked, and
would probably disperse from the want of
subsistence and clothing in an inclement sea-
son, too severe for nature to support. In a
word, we have lived upon expedients till we
can live no longer; and it may be truly said
that the history of this war is a history of
false hopes and .temporary devices, instead of
system and economy which result from it."
All business was in consequence suspended in
Congress, and dismay was universal, since no
supplies of the requisitions demanded could
Mr. Robert Morris-to whose liberality the
United States is indebted, for the generous
manner in which he loosened his purse-strings
and gave, for the purpose of assisting the Union
in any way, when the treasury department
was low in funds-on this occasion quitted
the hall with a mind completely depressed,
without a present hope or cheering expecta-
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
tion of future prosperity. On entering his
counting-house he received the welcome in-
telligence, that a ship which he had despaired
of, had at that moment arrived at the wharf,
with a full cargo of all the munitions of war,
and of soldiers' clothing. He returned to Con-
gress almost breathless with joy, and announ-
ced the exhilarating good news. Nor did pro-
pitious fortune make an ending at this point.
Accidentally meeting with a worthy Qua-
ker, who had wealth at command, and a hearty
well-wisher to the American cause, although
from his religious principles averse to war
and fighting, he thought it no departure from
the strict rule of propriety, to endeavor, by
every exertion, to awaken his sympathetic
feelings and obtain assistance. Assuming
therefore an expression of countenance indic-
ative of the most poignant anguish and deep
despair, he was passing him in silence, when
the benevolent Quaker, who had critically
observed him, and marked the agitation of his
mind, feelingly said, "Robert, I fear there is
The answer was, Yes, very bad; I am un-
der the most helpless embarrassment for the
need of some hard money;" meaning silver.
"Hofv much would relieve thy difficulties,
Robert ?" The sum was mentioned. "But I
could only give my private engagement in a
note, which I would sacredly pledge myself
and my honor to repay," rejoined Mr. Morris.
84 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
" Cease thy sorrows then, Robert; thou shalt
have the money in confidence of thy silence
on the subject, as it regards me." The specie
was procured, immediately remitted to Wash-
ington, and saved the army.
GENERAL GADSEN AT ST. AUGUSTINE.
The conduct of the British commanders to-
wards this venerable patriot, in the strongest
manner evinced their determination rather to
crush the spirit of opposition, than by concil-
iation to subdue it. The man did not exist to
whose delicate sense of honor, even a shadow
of duplicity would have appeared more abhor-
rent than to General Gadsen. Transported by
an arbitrary decree, with many of the most
resolute and influential citizens of the Repub-
lic, to St. Augustine, attendance on parade
was peremptorily demanded, when a British
officer, stepping forward, said, "Expediency,
and a series of political occurrences, have
rendered it necessary to remove you from
Charleston to this place; but, gentlemen, we
have no wish to increase your sufferings; to
all, therefore, who are willing to give their
paroles, and not to go beyond the limits pre-
scribed to them, the liberty of the town will
be allowed; a dungeon will be the destiny of
such as refuse to accept the indulgence."
The proposition was generally acceded to.
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
But when General Gadsen was called to give
this new pledge of faith, he indignantly ex-
claimed-" With men who have once deceived
me, I can enter into no new contract. Had
the British commanders regarded the terms
of the capitulation of Charleston, I might now,
although a prisoner under my own roof, have
enjoyed the smiles and consolations of my
surrounding family; but even without a shad-
ow of accusation proffered against me, for any
act inconsistent with my plighted faith, I am
torn from them, and here in a distant land in-
vited to enter into new engagements. I will
give no parole." "Think better of it, sir,"
said the officer; a second refusal of it will fix
your destiny-a dungeon will be your future
habitation." "Prepare it, then," said the in-
flexible patriot, "I will give no parole, so help
An opposition to the mandate of the prevail-
ing authorities, was esteemed as a crime too
flagrant to pass unpunished. The rectitude of
his character, the respectability of his age,
afforded no plea in his favor; he was immedi-
ately separated from the rest of his compan-
ions in misfortunes, and for the remaining pe-
riod of his captivity condemned to pass his days
in solitary confinement. It was not, however,
for persecution to daunt and overcome a mind
as firm in patriotic virtue as his. Patient under
every insult, he felt the pressure of tyranny,
but bent not beneath its weight.
86 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
Sensible that activity of mind would in-
crease its energies, and better enable him to
support oppression, he diligently engaged in
the study of the Hebrew language, and was
hourly increasing his reputation as a scholar,
while his enemies vainly hoped that he was
writhing under the penalties of his political
offences. When first shut up in the castle at
St. Augustine, the comfort of a light was de-
nied him by the commandant of the fortress.
A generous subaltern offered to supply him
with a candle, but he declined it, lest the of-
ficer should expose himself to the censure of
After Andre's arrest, Colonel Glazier, the
governor of the castle, sent to advise General
Gadsen for the worst-intimating that, as
General Washington had been assured of re-
taliation if Andr6 was executed, it was not
unlikely that General Gadsen would be the
person selected. To this message he replied,
"that he was always prepared to die for
his country; and though he knew it was im-
possible for Washington to yield the right of
an independent state, by the law of war, to
fear or affection, yet he would not shrink from
the sacrifice, and would rather ascend the
scaffold than purchase with his life the dis-
honor of his country."
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
THE AMPUTATION OF A LIMB.
Lieutenant Samuel Seldon, of Virginia,
commanded one of the advance parties, when
General Greene, after having invested the
post at Ninety-six for several weeks, deter-
mined to attempt its reduction by assault.
At the signal appointed to attack, Seldon en-
tered the ditch of the principal work; and
while his right arm was raised, with the
intention of drawing down a sand-bag from
the top of the parapet, a ball entering his
wrist, shattered the bone of the limb nearly to
the shoulder. For so severe a wound, the
only remedy was amputation.
It is well known that on such occasions the
operating surgeon requires the assistance of
several persons to hold the patient's limb, and
to support him. To this regulation Seldon
would not submit. It was his right arm he
was about to lose. He sustained it with the
left during the operation, his eyes fixed stead-
ily on it; uttered not a word, till the saw
reached the marrow, when, in composed tone
and manner, he said, I pray you, doctor, be
When the business was completed, he feel-
ingly exclaimed, "I am sorry that it is my
right arm; if it had been my left, the occa-
sion would have caused me to glory in the
loss." He recovered and lived many years
88 ANrCDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
afterwards, the object of affection and esteem
to all who had the good fortune to know him.
FIrST PRAYER IN CONGRESS.
The following beautiful reminiscence of
the first Congress in Philadelphia is from the
pen of old John Adams :-
When the Congress met, Mr. Cushing made
a motion that it should be opened with pray-
er. It was opposed by Mr. Jay of New York,
and Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina, because
we were divided in religious sentiments, some
Episcopalians, some Quakers, some Anabap-
tists, some Presbyterians, and some Congre-
gationalists, so that we could not join in the
same act of worship. Mr. Samuel Adams
rose and said, that he was no bigot, and
could hear a prayer from any gentleman of
piety and virtue, and at the same time a
friend to his country. He was a stranger in
Philadelphia, but had heard that Mr. Duch6
(Dushay they pronounce it) deserved that
character, and therefore he moved that Mr.
Duche, an Episcopal clergyman, might be de-
sired to read prayer to Congress to-morrow
morning. The motion was carried in the af-
firmative. Mr. Randolph, our President, wait-
ed on Mr. D., and received for answer that if
his health would permit he most certainly
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
would. Accordingly he appeared with his
clerk, and in his pontificals, and read several
prayers in the established form, and then read
the Collect for the 7th day of September,
which was the 35th Psalm. You must re-
member this was the next morning after we
had heard the rumor of the horrible cannon-
ade of Boston. It seemed as if Heaven had
ordained that Psalm to be read on that morn-
After this, Mr. Duche, unexpectedly to every-
body, struck out into extemporary prayer,
which filled the bosom of every man present.
I must confess I never heard a better prayer,
or one so well pronounced-Episcopalian as
he is. Dr. Cooper himself never prayed with
such fervor, such ardor, such correctness and
pathos, and in language so elegant and sub-
lime, for America, for Congress, for the pro-
vince of the Massachusetts Bay, especially the
town of Boston. It had excellent effect upon
everybody here. I must beg you to read the
psalm. If there is any faith in the sortes
irgilianse, or Homerice, or especially the
sortes Biblise, it would have been thought
Here was a scene worthy of the painter's
art. It was in Carpenter's Hall, in Philadel-
phia, a building which we learn by a recent
article still survives in its original condition,
though sacrilegiously converted, we believe, in-
to an auction mart for the sale of chairs and
90 ANECDOTES Or THB REVOLUTION.
tables, that the forty-four individuals met to
whom the services were read.
Washington was kneeling there, and Henry,
and Randolph, and Rutledge, and Lee, and
Jay; and by them stood, bowed in reverence,
the Puritan patriots of New England, who, at
that moment, had reason to believe that an
armed soldiery was wasting their humble
households. It was believed that Boston had
been bombarded and destroyed. They prayed
fervently for America, for the Congress, for
the province of Massachusetts Bay, and es-
pecially for the town of Boston; and who can
realize the emotions which they turned im-
ploringly to Heaven for divine interposition
and aid ? It was enough," says Mr. Adams,
" to melt the heart of stone. I saw the tears
gush into the eyes of the old, grave, pacific
Quakers of Philadelphia."
LORD STIRLING AND THE BRITISH SPY.
Lord Stirling, who was a major-general in
the army of the United States during the war
for independence, having detected a spy from
the British in his camp, and the crime being
fully proved upon him, he was ordered for ex-
ecution. Being under the gallows, the awful
scene before him filled his soul with fear and
devotion, when he thus addressed the Deity;
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
-" O Lord, have pity on me I extend thy mer-
cy to a wretched sinner O Lord, forgive me,
and save me from the torments of hell I"-
The general, thinking that the address was to
him, replied, "Don't talk to me-I'll have no
mercy on you-hangman, do your duty, turn
In September, 1776, a piquet of 450 men
from Gen. Heath's division, constantly mount-
ed guard, by relief, at Morrisania, near New
York. from which a chain of sentinels within
half gun-shot of each other were planted.
The water passage between Morrisania and
Montresor's Island being in some places very
narrow, the sentinels on the American side
were ordered not to fire on those of the Brit-
ish, unless they began; but the latter were so
fond of beginning, that there was frequent
firing between them.
This being the case one day, and a British
officer walking along the Montresor's side, an
American sentinel who had been exchanging
shots with one of the British, seeing the offi-
cer, and concluding him to be better game,
gave him a shot and wounded him. He was
carried to the house on the island. An offi-
cer with a flag came immediately down to
92 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
the creek, and calling for the American officer
of the piquet, informed him, that if the Ameri-
can sentinel fired any more, the commanding
officer on the island would cannonade Col.
Morris's house, in which the officers of the
piquet were quartered.
The American officer immediately sent to
Gen. Heath, to know what answer should be
returned. He was directed to inform the flag
officer, that the American sentinels had been
instructed not to fire on sentinels, unless they
were first fired upon-then to return the fire;
and that such should be their conduct: as to
the cannonading of Col. Morris's house, they
might act their pleasure. The firing ceased
for some time, until one day a raw Scotch
sentinel having been placed, he soon after dis-
charged his piece at an American sentinel,
which was immediately returned; upon which
a British officer came down, and calling to the
American officer, observed, that he thought
there was to be no firing between the senti-
nels. He was answered, that their ownbegan;
upon which he replied, "He shall then pay
for it;" the sentinel was directly after re-
lieved, and there was no more firing between
them at that place; but they were so civil to
each other on their posts, that one day at a
part of the creek where it was practicable, the
British sentinel asked the American, who was
nearly opposite to him, if he could give him a
chew of tobacco; the latter having in his
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
pocket a piece of a thick twisted roll, tossed
it across the creek to the other, who after
biting off a quid sent the remainder back.
THE BRAVE LITTLE YANKEE.
It happened, in 1776, that the garden of a
widow, which lay between the American and
British camps, in the neighborhood of New
York, was frequently robbed at night. Her
son, a mere boy, and small for his age, having
obtained his mother's permission to find out
and secure the thief, in case he should return,
concealed himself with a gun among the
weeds. A strapping Highlander, belonging to
the British grenadiers, came, and having filled
a large bag, threw it over his shoulder; the
boy then left his covert, went softly behind
him, cocked his gun, and called out to the
fellow, You are my prisoner: if you attempt
to put your bag down, I will shoot you dead;
go forward in that road."
The boy kept close behind him, threatened,
and was constantly prepared to execute his
threats. Thus the boy drove him into the
American camp, where he was secured.
When the grenadier was at liberty to throw
down his bag, and saw who had made him
prisoner, he was extremely mortified, and ex-
claimed, A British grenadier made prisoner
94 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
by such a brat-by such a brat I" The Amer-
ican officers were highly entertained with the
adventure, made a collection for the boy, and
gave him several pounds. He returned fully
satisfied for the losses his mother sustained.
The soldier had side-arms, but they were of
no use, as he could not get rid of his bag.
As INCONVENIENT WOUND.
While pursuing the enemy, during an action
at Saratoga, previous to the surrender of Bur-
goyne, in October, 1777, I heard, says General
Wilkinson, in his memoirs, some one exclaim,
"Protect me, sir, against this boy;" when,
turning my eyes, it was my fortune to arrest
the purpose of a lad thirteen or fourteen years
old, in the act of taking aim at a wounded of-
ficer, who lay in the angle of a worm fence.
Inquiring his rank, he answered, "I had the
honor to command the grenadiers;" of course
I knew him to be Major Ackland, who had
been brought from the field to this place on
the back of a Captain Shrimpton, of his own
corps, under a heavy fire.
I dismounted, took him by the hand, and ex-
pressed hopes that he was not badly wounded:
Not badly," he replied, "but very inconve-
niently; I am shot through both legs; will
you have the goodness, sir, to have me con-
ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
veyed to your camp ?" I directed my servant
to alight, and we lifted Ackland into his seat,
and then ordered him to be conducted to head-
THE BRITISH LION.
In the commencement of the American rev-
olution, when one of the British king's thun-
dering proclamations made its appearance,
the subject was mentioned in a company in
Philadelphia; a member of congress who was
present, turning to Miss Levingstone, said,
" Well, Miss, are you greatly terrified at the
roaring of the British lion ?" "Not at all,
sir, for I have learned from natural history,
that beast roars loudest when he is most fright-
THE STUTTERING SOLDIER.
During the revolutionary war, when drafts
were made from the militia to recruit the con-
tinental army, a certain captain gave liberty to
the men who were drafted from his company, to
make their objections, if they had any, against
going into the service; accordingly, one of
them, who had an impediment in his speech,
96 ANECDOTES OF THE REVOLUTION.
came forward and made his bow: "What is
your objection said the captain. "I ca-ca-
cant go," answers the man, because I st-st-
st-stutter."-" Stutter!" says the captain, "you
don't go there to talk, but to fight." "Ay,
but they'll p-p-put me on g-g-g-guard, and a
man may go ha-ha-half a mile before I can
say wh-wh-wh-who goes there ?" 0 that is no
objection, for they will place some other sen-
try with you; he can challenge, and you can
fire." "Well, b-b-but I may be ta-ta-taken and
run through the g-g-guts before I can cry qu-qu-
qu-quarters." This last plea prevailed; and
the captain, laughing heartily, dismissed him.
THE AMERICAN BHARP-SHOOTERS.
Colonel Forsyth, so celebrated in the last
war as the commander of a band of sharp-
shooters which harassed the enemy so much,
happened, in a scouting party, to capture a
British officer. He brought him to his camp,
and treated him with every respect due to his
rank. Happening to enter into conversation
on the subject of sharp-shooters, the British
officer observed that Col. Forsyth's men were
a terror to the British camp-that as far as
they could see they could select the officer
from the private, who of course fell a sacri-
fice to their precise shooting. He wished
AIaUDOTM OF THE RKVOLUTIOW.
very much to see a specimen of their shoot-
Forsyth gave the wink to one of his officers,
then at hand, who departed, and instructed
two of the best marksmen belonging to the
corps, to pass by the commanding officer's
quarters at stated intervals. This being ar-
ranged, Col. Forsyth informed the British offi-
cer that his wish should be gratified, and ob-
served he would step in front of his tent to
see whether any of his men were near at
hand. According to the arrangement made,
one of the best marksmen appeared. The
colonel ordered him to come forward, and in-
quired whether his rifle was in good order.
"Yes, sir," replied the man.
He then stuck a table knife in a tree about
fifty paces distant, and ordered the man to
split his ball He fired, and the ball was
completely divided by the knife, perforating the
tree on each side. This astonished the Brit-
ish officer. Apropos, another soldier appear-
ed in sight. He was called, and ordered, at
the same distance, to shoot an ace of clubs out
of the card. This was actually done. The
British officer was confounded and amazed-
still more so when the colonel informed him
that four weeks before, those men were'at
work in the capacity of husbandmen.
B ANECDOTES OF THE sBVOLUTION.
THE REBEL FLOWER.
An officer, distinguished by his inhumanity
and constant oppression of the unfortunate,
meeting Mrs. Charles Elliot in a garden
adorned with a great variety of flowers, asked
the name of the Camomile, which appeared
to flourish with peculiar luxuriance. "The
Rebel Flower," she replied. Why was that
name given to it?" said the officer. "Be-
cause," rejoined the lady, it thrives most
when most trampled upon."
RARE PRESENCE OF MIND.
At the battle of Eutaw Springs, after the
British line had been broken, and the Old
Buffs, a regiment that had boasted of the ex-
traordinary feats that they were to perform,
were running from the field, Lieutenant Man-
ning, in the enthusiasm of that valor for which
he was so eminently distinguished, sprang for-
ward in pursuit, directing the platoon which
he commanded to follow him. Hq did not
cast an eye behind him, until he found himself
near a large brick housein to which the York
volunteers, commanded by Cruger, were re-
The British were on all sides of him, and