Group Title: Uncle Sam series for American children
Title: Putnam the brave
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Putnam the brave
Physical Description: 1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 27 cm
Language: English
Creator: Ticknor and Fields ( Publisher )
Bobbett, Hooper & Co ( Engraver )
Publisher: Ticknor & Fields
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1880
Copyright Date: 1880
Subject: Children's poetry -- 1880   ( lcsh )
Biographies -- 1880   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1880
Genre: Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Biographies   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: Story in verse.
General Note: Some illustrations engraved and printed in color by Bobbett, Hooper & Co., N.Y.
General Note: Uncle Sam series for American children
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026023
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAB8875
notis - AJV4144
oclc - 29394108
alephbibnum - 001879071

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The Baldwin Library




OF all our great commanders,
The soldiers of renown
Who stoutly fought for freedom
Against the British Crown,
Was none like General Putnam,
Of whom you now shall hear: -
Where all were brave, the bravest,
A man that knew not fear!
His father was a farmer,-
One of the common kind,
Who till their scanty acres
And leave no name behind.
The childish years of Israel,
Which were in Salem spent,
Were just like other children's
Not much on learning bent.
A merry lad, however,
And sturdy from his birth,
He grew like the oaks around him,
Whose roots were deep in earth.
He could outrun the swiftest,
And wrestle with the best,
And threshing with his brothers,
Do more than all the rest.
No braver, better fellow
In all New England then;
And something seemed to mark him
As not of common men !

When one and twenty summers
Had passed o'er Putnam's head,
He knew he loved a woman,,
And soon the pair were wed.
Behold them now at Pomfret, -
A farmer and his wife,
Contented with each other
And with the country life.
She was a famous housewife,
Who could both bake arid brew:
Knew how to spin, knit stockings, -
And how to darn them, too.
There was no better farmer
In all the land than he ;

From dawn till after sundown,
As long as. he could see,
He ploughed his stony acres,
He sowed his rye and wheat,
He mowed his patch of meadow
Where the clover was so sweet; -
Gathered his russet apples,
And reaped and threshed his grain, -
Tanned berry-brown with sunshine,
And wet with sweat and rain.
Homeward, behind his oxen,
When he could work no more,
He trudged,- his good wife met him
With a cheery smile at the door!
While Putnam lived at Pomfret,
As you have just been told,
He dfd a deed which showed him
The boldest of the bold.
There wvas a wolfish monster,
But seldom seen of men,
The terror of the county,
That somewhere had a den,
From which it used to sally
When all were fast asleep,
To harry the poor watch-dogs,
And kill the helpless sheep.
One night this monstrous creature,
That only lived to kill,
Stole to the farm of Putnam,
And worked its bloody will.
When Putnam saw the havoc,
He said, "The beast must die:"
And his eye was like a tempest
That darkens all the sky!
From far and near the neighbors
Came flocking to the place,
Armed with their trusty muskets,
And mounted for the chase.
Then after the great she-wolf
They followed the swift hounds,
Past woods, through pastures, cornfields,
And over marshy grounds, -
Till, reaching the broad river,


It turned upon its track,
And when they thought to kill it
It baffled the whole pack:
Back-back to Pomfret, madly
Went wolf and dogs and men,
Until they neared a cavern -
Which was not known till then:-
Up, in among the bushes
It scrambled, vanished where ?
At last they found the cavern,
And guessed the wolf was there.
"Go fetch me ropes," said Putnam,
And while they ran for these,
He twisted into torches
The bark of birchen trees, -
Threw off his coat and waistcoat,
Impatient till they came.
Then, with a rope around him,
And a birchen torch aflame,
He crept into the cavern,
And warily looked about; -
A sudden kick, the signal, -
And they hurriedly dragged him out!
He rose up, bruised and bleeding,
But, smiling down his pain,
He snatched and cocked a musket,-
Was in the cave again, -
In further, further, creeping,
Till drawing nigher, nigher,
Was something in the darkness
Like two great balls of fire!
He fired! -before the thunder,
The smoke, had cleared away,
He stood among his comrades
And saw the light of day.
Once more, with burning torches,
He crept within the cave :
No great eyes in the darkness, -
The silence of the grave
Had fallen with the monster,
That never stirred a limb ;
So by the ears he grabbed it,
And they dragged it out with him, -
A gaunt and grisly creature,
Grim, ghastly, awful red!
What shouts went up in Pomfret
Because the wolf was dead!

And Putnam bore it proudly,
As if he were a king ?
Not so, he took it simply,
As 't were a common thing:
Yet there was that about him, -
A look within his eye, -
Which said, "When danger threatens,
This man will do or die "

Ten happy years at Pomfret
Like summer birds have flown:
The earth puts forth its harvests,
And seed again is sown.
Suddenly peace is over,
And dreadful war is come;
Throughout the startled Colonies
Is heard the rolling drum:
The British troops are gathering
With all the speed they may,
To fight the French and Indians.
In Massachusetts Bay,
And the green hills of New Hampshire,
The raw Provincials arm, -
And the valley of Connecticut,
And Putnam leaves his farm;
For a company of Rangers,
Who know his might and skill,
Have chosen him their Captain,
To lead them where he will.
They march and help the British
In many a bloody fray:
To-day tney storm a fortress,
To-night they steal away; -
Are skulking in the forest,
Are drifting down the lake,
To fall upon the Indians,
As when the thunders break!
By fatal William Henry,
Where the earth is heaped with slain;
By old Ticonderoga,
And the waters of Champlain : -
In the forefront of the battle,
Where thickest lie the dead,
Are Captain Putnam's Rangers
With Putnam at their head!
They marched one summer morning
From where they camped at night,

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And through a brushwood thicket
They struggled as they might;
At length they reached the forest,
Not dreaming of the foe, -
Then burst a blaze of musketry
Which laid the foremost low!
They answered it like soldiers,
And each man took a tree,
To pour, unseen, his volleys
On foes he could not see.
The battle raged and shifted,
Up, down the gloomy wood,
Till where at first were Indians
At last the Rangers stood; -
Here, somehow, Major Putnam,
Who found himself apart,
With the muzzle of his musket
At a grim old warrior's heart,
Was suddenly made captive,
Or ever he could flee,
And, bound with thongs of leather,
Was fastened to a tree.
The battle raged and maddened,
The bullets sped and sped;
And now the Indians wavered,
And now the British fled :
Between the two was Putnam,
With not a Ranger nigh
To risk his life to save him,
Or by his side to die!
His clothes were riddled, riddled
The tree above his head :
And deadlier screamed the bullets,
And yet he was not dead!
The Indians were routed,
But the British were so few,
Though they knew their foes were beaten,
They did not dare pursue.
So sullenly with Putnam
,The red-skins stole away,
Feeling for such a captive-
Not wholly lost the day!
They tied his hands behind him,
Till his sinews seemed to crack,
And the packs of wounded Indians
Were piled upon his back.
Through miles and miles of forest,

Where light and shade were one,
Across a rugged country,
Beneath the burning sun,
They wandered slowly northward,
Till, bloody in the west,
Day died- when, worn and weary,
They stopped, at last to rest;
And holding now a council
Their savage wrath to slake,
They stripped poor Putnam naked,
And bound him to a stake ;
And piling fagots round him, -
Dry boughs, that kindled well, -
They danced their hideous war-dance,
With many a whoop and yell.
Just as the flame was rising,
A heavy tempest came,
Whose gusts of sheety water
Put out the feeble flame.
More fagots soon were gathered,
And the fire was built again:
The flames rose higher, nigher,
And fierce was Putnam's pain.
But not a word escaped him,
No sign of coward fear,
Though they taunted him and mocked him,
And death he knew was near.
So unconcerned he met it,
Such scorn was in his eye,
It almost seemed a pity
So great a brave should die!
"He shall not," cried a Frenchman,
Who waved a bloody sword,
And, dashing through the Indians
To Putnam, cut the cord
Which bound him and enwound him,
And kicked the fire away.
"I 'm spared to-night," thought Putnam,
"To fight another day."
And he was, though sworn to burn him,
Where there were none to see,
Each hand and foot the Indians
Now tethered to a tree,
And over him spread branches
Upon whose ends they slept, -
While he in grimly silence
His watch till morning kept:


And though erelong a prisoner
In Montreal he lay,
He did some good, hard fighting
On many another day.
And among the French and Indians
Was none so dreaded then
As Lieutenant-Colonel Putnam,
Who led his dauntless men
From victory to victory,
And knew defeat no more,
Till seven long years were ended,
And war again was o'er.
As back they came to Pomfret,
There rose the cry, "He comes !
Behold his banners flying,
And hark his rolling drums !
Hurrah for Colonel Putnam I "
"Hurrah, you mean," said he,
"For the Rangers of Connecticut,
Who 've marched and fought with me."
"Hurrah for Put I" they shouted,
His neighbors, soldiers -all:
He hid his battered features,
And tears began to fall I

Ten, twenty years at Pomfret
Has Putnam pushed his plough,
And Time has left, in passing,
Some furrows on his brow.
A grave man, given to thinking,
He went upon his way,
Foreseeing what was coming,
And waiting for the day.
'T was England made the trouble, -
The dear old Motherland,-
Who laid upon her children
A more than mother's hand:
And who, to fill her coffers,
And her proud lords to please,
Put royal stamps on our paper,
And would have taxed our teas:
Passed laws that were unlawful,
And many a foolish thing
Did unto her good Colonies,
When George the Third was King.
One April day, while Putnam
Is ploughing on his farm,

Rides furious by a horseman,
Whose cry is, "Arm/ Arm! Arm/"
"What news ? what news ?" says Putnam.
And he: "The war 's begun,
For yesterday a battle
Was fought at Lexington."
"Who won? who won?" "The British!"
And he rides as if for life.
And now is heard in Pomfret
The noise of drum and fife:
The soldiers of Connecticut
Are armed and on the way; -
Will Colonel Putnam join them?
Can Israel Putnam stay ? .
Who will may skulk the cowards!
But he is ready now:
So, standing in the furrow,
He leaves at once his plough,
And mounting, in his shirt-sleeves,
Is up and away like the wind,
With not a word of parting
For those he left behind!
It was a night in summer
As Putnam's men stole out
Across the Neck to Charlestown,
To throw up a redoubt
On Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill;
They reached the summit soon,
And stacked their guns and knapsacks
" Beneath the stars of June.
They set to work at midnight,
When Putnam gave the word:
Noiselessly dropped the pickaxe,
The shovel was unheard.
Three! Four The dawn was coming;
But, ere it paled a star,
Some sailors on the Lively-
An English man-of-war -
Beheld the long intrenchments
Which were not there before.
The captain called his gunners,
And shot began to pour
On Breed's Hill, and on Bunker's,
And soon the thunderous sound
Woke all the folks in Boston,
And in the towns around.
They swarmed the roofs at sunrise,





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They thronged in every street,
All faces fixed on Charlestown,
And on the English fleet.
They crossed in thirty barges,
Three thousand strong, at noon,-
Artillery and infantry,
And many a bold dragoon.
When Putnam saw them landing,
His hand was first to seize
The pine-flag of New England,
And hoist it to the breeze.
At three the British column
Were ready for the fight.
Along the Mystic River,
That flowed upon their right,
And up the slopes of Breed's Hill,
Upon their left that frowned,
They marched in perfect order,
To pick their battle-ground ;
And all the while their cannon
Were playing on the fort,
And their men-of-war and batteries, -
And not a shot fell short!
"Lay low lay low!" said Prescott,
Whose men were fain to rise,
"Until so close the enemy
That you can see their eyes!
Then aim straight at their waistbands,
And blaze away," he said:
"And pick off their commanders,
Whose place should be ahead : -
In gold and lace bedizened-
You '11 know their rich attire.
Now!"-and his good sword waving,
He stamped and shouted FIRE!"
The volley was so murderous
Whole ranks were swept away
Like grass before the mowers, -
And where they fell they lay,
Tumbled in dreadful windows,
The dying and the dead:
Their bull-dog English courage
Gave way at last they fled !
Meanwhile their right was tramping
To turn our flank and rear.
But Captain Knowlton's Rangers
Had made a breastwork here,

Of stones and old rail-fences,
With new-mown grass between:
Behind the last was Putnam,
With all his men, unseen!
The bold dragoons were on them,
Lord Howe was at their head; -
"Now, boys!" another volley,
Again the British fled!
Again along the river,
And up the hill again,
They pressed in gloomy silence,
Among their comrades slain.
Against the strong intrenchments
Their cannon thundered still;
And their gondolas and gunboats,
And the mortars on Copp's Hill,
Which belched hot shot on Charlestown,
That soon was wrapped in flame:
The smoke rolled, dense and blinding,
Behind the smoke they came!
But a land breeze blowing seaward,
It crept along the shore :-
Swept by a deadlier volley,
The British fled once more!
Now for the final struggle -
The way to the redoubt
Is between the fence and breastwork, -
Lord Howe has found it out,
For there he leads his bravest,
Who, cooler than before,
Receive our storm of bullets;
And fall -but fly no more, -
But, rallying, charge with bayonets;
Before that bristling wall
Appalled, our weak line wavers-
We break we fly- we fall!
Clubbing our empty muskets,
And fighting man to man,
The sharp thrusts of their bayonets
We parry as we can.
Driven back borne down surrounded-
We hold them still at bay,
And through their staggering columns
We cut our desperate way.
The last to leave was Prescott,
And with him Warren came,
Who was to perish early,


And win a deathless name !
But where is General Putnam,
Who all this time has been
Where dangers are the thickest,
And all the battle seen? .
From Bunker Hill, in fury,
He ran, he rode, he flew, -
To stop his flying soldiers,
And would have done it, too,
Could a spark of his own courage
Have only fired a few:
But where the whole are cowards,
What can the bravest do ?
"Stand here! stand here !" he shouted,
And give them one shot more!"
But, crowding there like cattle,
And with a wild uproar,
They all went rushing past him,
And all the field was strown
With their wounded, and their dying-
And he was left alone -
Alone before the British,
A man of iron will, -
The most unconquered spirit
That fought at Bunker's Hill!

One story more of Putnam,
And what to'him befell,
One winter day at Horseneck,
Is all I have to tell.
It was a wild March morning,
When, looking in the glass
To shave his stubbly whiskers,
He saw some soldiers pass, -
Distant, but coming towards him, -
Redcoats- without a word,
Half shaved, he dropped the razor,,
And, buckling on his sword,
Ran out to call his troopers,
A handful at the best.
There was a hill at Greenwich,
Upon whose rocky crest
He placed them. Two old cannon,-
But less for use than show, -
Across the road he planted,
And waited for the foe,
Who came in solid column,

By Governor Tryon led,
Their errand General Putnam
To take, alive or dead !
A volley from his troopers,
Who dropped their guns and ran,
And he among the British
Was left without a man!
Before they can surround him,
Or think to shoot him down,
He 's spurring up the hill-road,
Away for Stamford town.
They 're after him with curses,
They 're after him with speed,
But still he rides before them,
And spurs his flying steed.
He rides, he flies before them,
For well he knows the need:
Speed, faster speed, my Putnam,
And swifter, swifter steed!
He 's slowly losing, losing,
And they are gaining fast.
Galloping, galloping, galloping,
They '11 have Old Put at last!
But no-his wits befriend him,
And they are baffled still:
For, where the hill is steepest
He plunges down the hill, -
Sheer o'er its rocky ledges,
He plunges headlong down ; -
They rein up sharp, and watch him
Ride off to Stamford town.
When Governor William Tryon
Returned to Rye that night,
It was not like a victor,
But like a man in flight.
For Putnam, and his soldiers,
Whose courage had come back,
Were hurrying him, and harrying him,
And hanging on his track:
And long did he remember
Who followed foremost there,-
The daring, grand old horseman,
Whose old gray head was bare;
Who, grim, and scarred, and wrinkled,
Was so determined then,
He looked the Great Commander,
And was the Man of Men I



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