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ATTACK ON DANBURY.

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CHAPTER CII.

PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.--Attack on Danbury.

1. In the spring of 1777, the British commander in New York amused himself by sending out detachments of troops to ravage the country. One of these was sent against some military stores ai Peekskill, on the east side of the Hudson, about fifty miles above New York. On its approach, the Americans fired the storehouses and retired.

2. On the 26th of April, General Tryon, with a detachment of two thousand men, made an expedition to Connecticut for a similar purpose. He landed near Fairfield, and marched through the country, with the greatest possible speed, and almost without opposition, to Danbury.

3. The few militia who were at Danbury fled to a neighboring height, and waited for a reinforcement. The British, in the mean time, destroyed eighteen houses, eight hundred barrels of pork and beef, eight hundred barrels of flour, and two thousand bushels of grain. Seventeen hundred tents were also either destroyed or carried away. Nothing was spared but the houses of the tories.

4. On their return through Ridgefield, they found the road blocked up by General Arnold with five hundred men. They also soon found themselves attacked in the rear by Generals Wooster and Silliman, with a force of three hundred. A skirmish ensued, in which General Wooster was mortally wounded and his troops driven back. They then proceeded and were met by General Arnold.

5. A sharp conflict ensued. A whole platoon fired at Arnold, when he was not over thirty yards distant, but they only killed his horse. A soldier advanced toward him with his bayonet, but Arnold shot him dead with his pistol, and escaped. But two thousand regular troops were too strong for eight hundred raw militia, and the latte were dispersed.

6. Arnold, however, returned to the attack next day at eleven o'clock, and opposed the British till five in the afternoon, when they reached their ships. Even here the Americans charged upon them, but were repulsed. The British now embarked for New York; not, however, without the loss of nearly three hundred of their men.

CHAP. CII.-1. What can you say of the conduct of the British in 1777? What of Peekskill? 2. General Tryon? 3. What destruction did the British make at Danbury? 4. What occurred at Ridgefield?. What of General Arnold? 6. What did Arnold de the next day? Result of the conflict?

7. Arnold behaved, on this occasion, with great bravery; as, indeed, up to this hour, he always had done. On account of his good conduct, Congress presented him with a fine, nobly caparisoned war-horse. To the memory of General Wooster, they ordered a monument to be erected. This, however, was not executed, but in 1854, a suitable monument was completed, and consecrated at Danbury, by the citizens of the state.

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PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.-Battle of the Brandywine.

1. DURING the spring of this year, 1777, Washington remained entrenched among the hills of New Jersey-the army daily and hourly gaining strength by new recruits. His forces at length amounted to fifteen thousand men, and the British were becoming afraid of him. In the latter part of the spring, his camp was at Middlebrook.

2. News was received about this time that General Burgoyne, with a large force, was approaching Ticonderoga, from Canada; and

7. What was Arnold's conduct on this occasion? What was done by Congress? CHAP. CIII.-1 What of the American forces during the spring of 1777 ?

BATTLE OF THE BRANDYWINE.

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there was room for suspicion that he aimed at New England. It was thought that the British were likely to pass up the Hudson to meet and join him, instead of making the long-threatened attack or Philadelphia.

3. All doubt was, however, dissipated by the arrival in the Chesapeake,* in the month of July, of the British fleet from New York, with sixteen thousand men, under General Howe. By the 3d of September they were rapidly approaching Philadelphia. Washington, who had kept his eye on all their movements, was on the road to meet them. The two armies met at a place called Chad's Ford, on the river Brandy wine, about twenty-five miles south-west from Philadelphia.

4. Here, on the 11th of September, a severe battle took place, which lasted nearly all day. The Americans were at length defeated with very great loss. They then made the best of their way to Chester, where they arrived that night, and the next day they proceeded to Philadelphia. ·

5. Among the wounded of the American army, were General Woodford and the Marquis de La Fay-ette'. The latter had only just arrived from France; his commission in the army was dated July 31st. He fought for the Americans, except when absent on their account in France, till the end of the war; and always without pay. The Count Pu-las'-ki,† who had arrived with La Fayette, also fought for our country, for the first time, in this battle.

6. Washington was very much chagrined at this defeat. But neither the public mind nor Congress itself would have been satisfied, without at least an attempt to prevent the British from entering Philadelphia. Indeed, Congress advised him to hazard a second battle, and he was on the 16th of September, about to do so; but an unexpected shower wet the powder in the cartridge-boxes of the troops, and he was obliged to give it up.

2. What news was received of General Burgoyne? What was thought likely to be done by the British? 3. What general was at their head? Where did Washington meet him? 4. What was the result of the battle? 5. What officers were wounded? What of Marquis La Fayette? Count Pulaski? Kosciusko? 6. What greatly chagrined Washington? What of Congress?

They went up the Chesapeake because they had heard that the Delaware was ok structed.

The cause of the Americans, struggling for their independence, brought to their aid a number of Europeans who sympathized with them, and generously exerted themselves in their behalf. Among these was La Fayette, whose name is almost as dear and as familiar to the Americans as that of Washington. Another was Pulaski, a Polish nobleman, who had distinguished himself in his own country, and became a brigadier-general in our army. He fought bravely in several engagements, and finally fell in an assault on Savannah, in 1779. There is a monument erected to his memory in that place. Kosciusko, a Polish refugee, and one of the noblest characters in history, also came over to Americe and did good service in our cause.

7. The British also gained some other advantages about this time; among which may be mentioned the surprise and defeat of General Wayne. He had been sent with fifteen hundred men to harass the British army, and cut off straggling parties. The enemy, having found out his position, came suddenly upon him, and killed and wounded about three hundred of his men.

8. It was at length concluded to quit the city and neighborhood of Philadelphia, and repair to a strong position on the Schuylkill, twenty miles northward. The British, on the 26th of September, entered Philadelphia, and posted the main body of their forces at Germantown, seven miles to the north.

CHAPTER CIV.

PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.-Capture of General Prescott, in Rhode Island.

1. AMONG the many daring exploits which took place during the war, one of the most remarkable was the capture of General Prescott. On the 10th of July, of this year, 1777, while the British, under this officer, had complete possession of the island of Rhode Island, and lay encamped on the western side of it, one Barton, a militia colonel, of Warwick, having learned, from a deserter, their exact position, planned and executed an attack upon them as singular as it was successful.

2. He first collected together his regiment, and then asked which of them would hazard their lives in an expedition he was about to undertake. Such, he said, as were willing, might signify it by stepping two paces forward. As he was known to be worthy of their confidence, every man of them stepped forward.

3. Having made a selection of forty of the boldest and stoutest of them, and procured five whale-boats, they started off at nine o'clock in the evening. He directed them to sit perfectly still, like statues, and merely attend to and obey his orders. His own boat went forward, and to distinguish it, had a long pole extended from the fore part, with a handkerchief tied to it.

4. As they rowed by Prudence Island, they heard the English

7. What of General Wayne? 8. What was at length concluded upon by the Americans? Where did the British post themselves?

What did

CHAP. CIV.-1. Where were some British troops encamped in July, 1777? Colonel Barton undertake? 2. How did he select men for his enterprise? 8. How did they proceed in their expedition? How was Barton's boat signalized?

CAPTURE OF GENERAL PRESCOTT.

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guard cry, "All's well." A noise was heard on the mainland, like the trampling of horses, but, as it was very dark, nothing could be seen, and not a whisper was uttered. At length they landed, and set off for General Prescott's lodgings, about a mile from the shore.

5. In going along, they were obliged to pass a house occupied by a company of cavalry. "Who comes there?" said the sentinel. They said nothing and moved on. "Who comes there?" said the sentinel again. "Friends," said Barton. "Advance, friends, and give the countersign," said the sentinel. "We have none," said Barton; "but have you seen any deserters to-night?"

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6. In an instant, the sentinel found himself seized, his musket wrested from him, and himself pinioned. Say not a single word," said Barton, on penalty of instant death.". Terribly frightened, and unable to make any resistance, he yielded to the command, and they took him along with them.

7. They soon reached a house, burst the door, and rushed in. A British soldier, in his shirt, ran to awake and rouse the cavalry; but the men would not believe a word he said, and only laughed at him. He confessed that the creature he had seen, who it happened was Colonel Barton, was dressed in white, which only increased the laugh, and so it ended.

8. "Is General Prescott here?" said Barton, in a resolute tone, to the master of the house. "No, sir," said the poor fellow, frightened almost to death. Having secured him as a prisoner, they proceeded to search, but could not find Prescott. At this instant, Barton, from the head of the stairs, called to his men to fire the house at the four corners, as he would have General Prescott, either dead or alive. 9. Firebrands were already in motion, when somebody in the next room asked, “What is the matter?" Barton burst open the door, and found an elderly gentleman sitting up in bed. "Are you General Prescott?" said he. Yes, sir," was the reply. "You are my prisoner, then," said Barton, clapping him on the shoulder. Не begged the favor of putting on his clothes, but they only wrapped a cloak about him, and a stout negro man carried him to the boats.

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10. Major Barrington had leaped from the window while they were seizing General Prescott, but he too was taken and hurried away to the boats. They had scarcely rowed through the British fleet, when a discharge of cannon convinced them that they were discovered, and fifty boats were on the pursuit.

4. What did they hear among the British? 5. Describe the meeting with the sentinel. 6. What did Barton do with the sentinel? 7. What did the British soldier do? 8. What means were taken to secure Prescott? 9. Describe the meeting between Barton and Prescott. 10. What other officer was taken?

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