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the door, and laid his pistols under his pillow, he gathered his cloak around him, and threw himself on the bed. From a light slumber he was waked by a low murmur of voices in the apartment below, to which the precariousness of his situation induced him to listen with an intense and thrilling interest. Then a footstep was heard upon the stairs ascending slowly towards his apartment, and in a moment afterwards the latch was cautiously raised. He
arms, and walked across the floor; the footsteps retired, the voices ceased below, and all was silent. Our officer loved his life as dearly as other men, but it will only be attributing to him on this occasion the feelings of his profession, to suppose that he felt more anxiety for his honour, and the success of his enterprise. His broken slumbers yielded but little refreshment during the remainder of the night; and before the first gray streak illumined the eastern horizon, he arose, and stole forth with noiseless steps, passed the snoring boarders, and in a moment breathed the free fresh air. His horse was soon equipped, and mounting, he rode to the door, and summoned his host, who was the first to hear his loud hallo. Surprised to find his guest in the saddle, he made no reply to his repeated demand to know his fare; but stepping forward, laid his hand upon the bridle. “ Hands off, my friend,” said the soldier, “my horse is ticklish about the head." Light, sir, light!” said the host, " and take a dram before you go, it's a raw morning," -and still held the rein. At this moment other faces appeared at the door; the officer liked neither their company nor their looks, and dropping a piece of money at the landlord's feet, he struck the spurs into the side of his steed, and dashed off in a gallop, leaving all danger behind.
BY THOMAS GODFREY.
High in the midst, rais'd on her rolling throne,
RETREAT OF THE AMERICANS FROM LONG
BY ALEXANDER GRAYDON.
EARLY in the forenoon, we were transported to Long Island ; marched down to the entrenchments at Brooklyn, and posted on their left extremity, extending to the Wallabout. The arrival of our two battalions (Shee's and Magaw's which always acted together) with that of Glover, had the effect, I have always found to be produced, by a body of men under arms, having the appearance of discipline. Although, owing to the dysentery which had prevailed in our camp, our number was so reduced, that the two regiments could not have amounted to more than eight hundred men, making in the whole, when joined with Glover's about twelve or thirteen hundred ; yet it was evident that this small reinforcement, inspired no inconsiderable degree of confidence. The faces that had been saddened by the disasters of yesterday, assumed a gleam of animation, on our approach ; accompanied with a murmur of approbation in the spectators, occasionally greeting each other with the remark, that these were the lads that might do something. Why it should be so, I know not, but the mind instinctively attaches an idea of prowess, to the silence, steadiness, and regularity of a military assemblage ; and an hundred well dressed, well armed, and well disciplined grenadiers, are more formidable in appearance, than a disjointed, disorderly multitude of a thousand. Our regiments, to be sure, could not ar
rogate such perfection; but that they were distinguished in our young army, may be inferred, from an official letter from General Washington, wherein he states that « they had been trained with more than common attention.” To sustain the duty now imposed upon us, required strength both of body and of mind. The spot at which we were posted, was low and unfavourable for defence. There was a fraised ditch in its front, but it gave little promise of security, as it was evidently commanded by the ground occupied by the enemy, who entirely enclosed the whole of our position, at the distance of but a few hundred paces. It was evident, also, that they were constructing batteries, which would have rendered our particular situation extremely ineligible, to say the least of it. In addition to this discomfort, we were annoyed by a continual rain, which, though never very heavy, was never less than a searching drizzle, and often what might, with propriety, be called a smart show
We had no tents to screen us from its pitiless pelting; nor, if we had had them, would it have comported with the incessant vigilance required, to have availed ourselves of them, as, in fact, it might be said, that we lay upon our arms during the whole ‘of our stay upon the island. In the article.of food, we were little better off. We had, indeed, drawn provisions, whose quality was not to be complained of. Our pickled pork, at least, was good; but how were we to cook it? As this could not be done, it was either to be eaten as it was, or not eaten at all; and we found upon trial, that boiling it, although desirable, was not absolutely necessary; and that the article was esculent without culinary preparation. I remember, however, on one of the days we were in this joyless place, getting a slice of a barbacued pig, which some of our soldiers had dressed at a deserted house which bounded our lines.
There was an incessant skirmishing kept up in the day time between our riflemen and the enemy's irregulars; and the firing was sometimes so brisk, as to indicate an approaching general engagement. This was judiciously encouraged by General Washington, as it tended to restore confidence to our men, and was, besides, showing a good countenance to the foe.
On the morning after our first night's watch, Colonel Shee took me aside, and asked me what I thought of our situation. I could not but say, I thought it a very discouraging one. He viewed it in the same light, he said; and added, that if we were not soon withdrawn from it, we should inevitably be cut to pieces. So impressed was he with this conviction, that he desired me to go to the quarters of General Reed, and to request him to ride down to the lines, that he might urge him to propose a retreat without loss of time. I went, but could not find him at his quarters, or at any of the other places where it was likely he might be. It was not long, however, before he came to our station, and
the colonel an opportunity of conferring with him. This day passed off like the last, in unabating skirmishing and rain. After dark, orders were received and communicated to us regimentally, to hold ourselves in readiness for an attack upon the enemy; to take place in the course of the night. This excited much speculation among the officers, by whom it was considered a truly daring undertaking, rendered doubly so from the bad condition of our arms, so long exposed to the rain : and although we had bayonets, this was not the case with the whole of our force, upon whom we must depend for support. It was not for us, however, to object to the measure : we were soldiers, and bound to obey. Several nuncupative wills