Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Campaign of Lieut. Gen. John Burgoyne
and The Expedition of Lieut. Col. Barry St. Leger.
by William L. Stone.
Albany, NY, Joel Munsell. 1877.

The beleaguered army was now constantly under fire both in its flanks and rear and in the front. The out-posts were continually engaged with those of the Americans ; and many of the patrols, detached to keep up communication between the centre and right wing, were taken prisoners. The captured bateaux were of great use to the Americans who were now enabled to transport troops across the river at pleasure and reinforce the posts on the road to Fort Edward. Every hour the position of the British grew more desperate, and the prospect of escape less. There was no place of safety for the baggage, and the ground was covered with dead horses that had been killed by the enemy's round shot and bullets, or by exhaustion, as there had been no forage for four days. Even for the wounded there was no spot that could afford a safe shelter, while the surgeon was binding up their wounds. The whole camp became a scene of constant fighting. The soldier dare not lay aside his arms night or day, except to exchange his gun for the spade, when new entrenchments were to be thrown up. He was also debarred of water although close to Fish creek and the river, it being at the hazard of his life in the day time to get any, from the number of sharpshooters Morgan had posted in trees; and at night he was sure to be taken prisoner if he attempted it. All the water accessible was from a muddy spring, and what could be obtained out of the holes the cattle made with their feet, while by way of luxury, when it rained hard, the men used to catch it in their caps to mix with their flour. Without tents to shelter them from the heavy and incessant rains, the sick and wounded would drag themselves along into a quiet corner of the woods and lie down and die upon the damp ground. Nor were they safe even here, since, every little while, a ball would come crashing down among the trees. The few houses that were at the foot of the heights were nearest to the fire from Fellows's batteries, notwithstanding which the wounded officers and men crawled hither, seeking protection in the cellars. In one of these cellars the Baroness Riedesel ministered to the sufferers like an angel of light and comfort. She made them broth, dressed their wounds, purified the atmosphere by sprinkling vinegar on hot coals, and was ever ready to perform any friendly service, even such from which the sensitive nature of a woman will recoil. Once, while thus engaged, a furious cannonade was opened upon the house under the impression that it was the headquarters of the English commander.' " Alas," says Mrs. Riedesel, " it harbored none but wounded men and women." Eleven cannon balls went through the house, and those in the cellar could plainly hear them crashing through the walls over head. One poor fellow, by the name of Jones, a British surgeon whose leg they were about to amputate in the room above, had his other leg taken oft by one of these cannon balls in the very midst of the operation. Often General Riedesel wished to withdraw his wife from danger by sending her to the American camp, but the latter remonstrated with him on the ground that to be with people whom she would be obliged to treat with courtesy, while, perhaps, he was being killed, would be even yet more painful than all she was then forced to suffer. The greatest suffering was experienced by the wounded from thirst, which was not relieved until a soldier's wife volunteered to bring water from the river. This she continued to do with safety, the Americans gallantly withholding their fire whenever she appeared.

Meanwhile, order grew more and more lax, and the greatest misery prevailed throughout the entire army. The commissaries neglected to distribute provisions among the troops, and although there were cattle still left, not one had been killed. More than thirty officers came to the baroness for food, forced to this step from sheer starvation, one of them a Canadian, being so weak as to be unable to stand. She divided among them all the provisions at hand ; and having exhausted her store without satisfying them, in an agony of despair, she called to Adjutant General Petersham, one of Burgoyne's aides, who chanced to be passing at the time, and said to him passionately, " Come and see for yourself these officers who have been wounded in the common cause, and are now in want of everything that is due them. It is your duty to make a representation of this to the general." A quarter of an hour afterward, Burgoyne, himself, came to Mrs. Riedesel, and thanked her for reminding him of his duty. In reply, she apologized for meddling with things, she well knew, were out of a woman's province, still, it was impossible, she said, for her to keep silent, when she saw so many brave men in want of food, and had nothing more to give them. " There-upon," says the baroness, " he thanked me once more (though I believe in his heart, he has never forgiven me the lashing I gave him), and went from me to the officers, and said to them that he was" very sorry for what had happened and that he had now, through an order, remedied everything, but why had they not come to him, as his cook was always at their service ? " They replied, that English officers were not accustomed to visit the kitchen of their general, and that they had " gratefully received every morsel from Mrs. Riedesel as they felt that she gave it to them directly from her heart."

On the afternoon of the 12th, Burgoyne held a consultation with Riedesel, Phillips, and the two brigadiers, Hamilton and Gall, to whom he submitted the choice of one of the following courses :

" 1. To wait in the present position an attack from the enemy, or the chance of favorable events.

" 2. To attack the enemy.

" 3. To retreat, repairing the bridges as the army moves, for the artillery, in order to force the passage of the ford.

"4. To retreat by night, leaving the artillery and the baggage ; and should it be found impracticable to force the passage with musketry, to attempt the upper ford or the passage round Lake George.

"5. In case the enemy, by extending to their left, leave their rear open, to march rapidly upon Albany."

The want of provisions rendered the first proposition inadmissible ; while to break through the superior numbers of an enemy strongly posted and entrenched in every point was desperate and hopeless. In view of this, Riedesel strongly urged the adoption of the fourth proposition, and suggested, that the baggage should be left and a retreat begun on the west side of the Hudson; and, as Fort Edward had been reinforced by a strong detachment of the Americans, he further proposed to cross the river four miles above that fort and continue the march to Ticonderoga through the woods, leaving Lake George on the right - a plan which was then feasible, as the road on the west bank of the river had not yet been occupied by the enemy. This proposition was approved, and an order was issued that the retreat should be begun by ten o'clock that night. But when everything was in readiness for the march, Burgoyne, with his usual indecision, suddenly changed his mind and postponed the movement until the next day, when an unexpected maneuver of the Americans made it impossible. During the night, the latter, crossing the river on rafts near the Batten kil,1 erected a heavy battery on an eminence opposite the mouth of that stream and on the left flank of the army, thus making the investment complete.2

Burgoyne was now entirely surrounded; the desertion

1 The Dutch word kil, meaning a channel, is often used for creek, and always erroneously printed kill. It is not unusual to meet in American works with such an anomaly for instance as Batten kill creek.

2 The fact of the erection of this battery seems to have escaped the notice of almost every writer upon the subject. The planting of it, however, was as is shown in the text, of vital importance to the complete success of the Americans.

of his German, Indian and Canadian allies,1 and the losses in killed and wounded had reduced his army one-half; there was not food sufficient for five days; and not a word had been received from Clinton. Accordingly, on the 13th, he again called a general council of all his officers including the captains of companies. The council were not long in deciding, unanimously, that a treaty should be at once opened with General Gates for an honorable surrender-their deliberations being doubtless

1 In justice to Burgoyne it should be stated, that the chief cause of the desertion of his Indian allies was the fact, that they were checked by him in their scalping and plundering of the unarmed. Indeed, the conduct of the English general was in this respect most humane. He said with truth in parliament, that in threatening to let loose his Indians " he spoke daggers but used none ; " and yet with strange inconsistency, he was among the first strenuously to urge the employment of the Indians against the colonists. See Fonblanque's work, p. 178.

The desertion of the Canadians, however, had a different cause. In this connection, and to show the everlasting jealousy of professional soldiers towards volunteers, however deserving, consult Edward De Lancey in his address before the N. Y. His. Soc., Jan. id, 1877, and note how Burgoyne had to allow his provincial officers and men to escape to avoid penalties they incurred if captured, because not commissioned, although they should have been commissioned, according to agreement, before they entered upon the campaign.

Many of the Germans, also, availed themselves of this opportunity to desert, and settle good farms in the northern portion of New York. There is yet standing (1877) near Hon. John B. Haskin's place on Friend's lake, at Chestertown, Warren Co., N. Y., the cabin of a German deserter from Burgoyne's army, who settled there in the fall of 1777. The cabin was built in 1783, as the figures cut into the stone lintel above the fire-place attest. Mr. Charles H. Faxon, of Chestertown, a gentleman whose patriotic tastes are well known, did his best to have this cabin bought by the state and preserved as an heirloom for the country.

hastened by rifle balls, perforating the tent in which they were assembled, and an eighteen pound cannon ball sweeping across the table at which Burgoyne and his generals were seated.

Accordingly, the following day, the 14th. General Burgoyne sent Lieut. Col. Kingston to the headquarters of General Gates with a proposition for " a cessation of arms, during the time necessary to communicate the preliminary terms ; by which in any extremity he and the army mean to abide." Lieut. Col. Kingston was met by Adj. Gen. Wilkinson on the banks of Fish creek, and conducted blindfolded to the American headquarters.1

1 " At the hour appointed I repaired to the advanced post, accompanied by Mr. Henry Livingston, of the Upper Manor on the Hudson's river. The bridge across the Fish kil had been destroyed, but the sleepers remained. We did not wait many minutes before the chamade was beat at the advanced guard of the enemy, and an officer descending the hill, stepped across the creek on one of the sleepers of the late bridge, it was 'Major Kingston, with a message from Lieutenant General Burgoyne to Major General Gates.' I named to him 'Colonel Wilkinson, on the part of General Gates, to receive the message.' He paused a moment, pulled out a paper, looked at it, and observed, ' my orders direct me to Major-General Gates.' 'It is to save time and trouble that I am authorized to receive the message you bear.' He then took General Gates's note to General Burgoyne from his pocket, read it, and said ' General Gates has agreed to receive the message, and I am not authorized to deliver it to any other person.' ' Well then, sir, you must submit to be hood-winked.' He affected to start at the proposition, and objected, on the ground of its being an indignity : I could but smile at the expression, and observed, that ' I had understood there was nothing more common, than to blindfold military messengers, when they were admitted within the walls of a place, or the guards of a camp.' He replied, ' Well, sir, I will submit to it, but under the express stipulation, that no indignity is intended to the British arms.' I then carefully bound up his eyes with his own handkerchief; he took my arm, and in this way we walked upwards of a mile to head-quarters. Major Kingston appeared to be about forty, he was a well formed, ruddy, handsome man, and expatiated with taste and eloquence on the beautiful scenery of the Hudson's river, and the charms of the season : when I introduced him into General Gates's tent, and named him, the gentlemen saluted each other familiarly, with ( General Gates, your servant,'-'Ah! Kingston, how do you do ? ' and a shake of the hand. Being seated a few minutes, he arose and observed he had certain communications to make Major General Gates from Lieutenant General Burgoyne, and to guard against inaccuracy of memory, he had committed them to paper, and with permission would read them. The general consented, and the major took from his pocket and read."

General Gates, upon the reception of this communication, authorized a cessation of arms until sunset, and having already prepared a schedule of the terms upon which he was prepared to treat, forwarded them by Kingston to Burgoyne. This schedule evinced that the American general was well acquainted with the distresses of the British, and was drawn up in terms of extreme liberality. It did not, however, satisfy Burgoyne, who returned it with the following answers annexed - Lieut. Col. Kingston, who delivered it, adding the following verbal message.

" If General Gates does not mean to recede from the 6th article, the treaty ends at once. The army will, to a man, proceed to any act of desperation rather than submit to that article."

Major General Gates's Proposals, Together with Lieutenant General Burgoyne's Answers.

1. Proposition

1. General Burgoyne's army being reduced by repeated defeats, by desertion, sickness, etc., their provisions exhausted, their military horses, tents and baggage taken or destroyed, their retreat cut off, and their camp invested, they can only be allowed to surrender as prisoners of war.

2. The officers and soldiers may keep the baggage belonging to them. The generals of the United States never permit individuals to be pillaged.

3. The troops, under his Excellency General Burgoyne will be conducted by the most convenient route to New England, marching by easy marches, and sufficiently provided for by the way.

4. The officers will be admitted on parole, and will be treated with the liberality customary in such cases, so long as they, by proper behavior, continue to deserve it, but those who are apprehended having broke their parole, as some British officers have done, must expect to be close confined.

5. All public stores, artillery, arms, ammunition, carriages, horses, etc., etc., must be delivered to commissaries appointed to receive them.

6. These terms being agreed to and signed, the troops under his Excellency's, General Burgoyne's command, may be drawn up in their encampments, where they will be ordered to ground their arms, and may thereupon be marched to the river side on their way to Bennington.


Lieut. General Burgoyne's army, however reduced, will never admit that their retreat is cut off while they have arms in their hands.



There being no officer in this army under, or capable of being under, the description of breaking parole, this article needs no answer.

All public stores may be delivered, arms excepted.

This article is inadmissible in any extremity. Sooner than this army will consent to ground their arms in their encampments, they will rush on the enemy determined to take no quarter.

Accompanying the document were counter-proposals from Burgoyne, which Gates returned with the following answers affixed:

The annexed answers being given to Major General Gates's proposals, it remains for Lieutenant General Burgoyne, and the army under his command, to state the following preliminary articles on their part.

1. The troops to march out of their camp with the honors of war, and the artillery of the intrenchments, which will be left as hereafter, may be regulated.

2. A free passage to be granted to this army to Great Britain upon condition of not serving again in North America during the present contest, and a proper post to be assigned for the entry of transports to receive the troops, whenever General Howe shall so order.

3. Should any cartel take place by which this army or any part of it may be exchanged, the foregoing article to be void as far as such exchange shall be made.

4. All officers to retain their carriages, battle-horses and other cattle, and no baggage to be molested or searched, the lieutenant general giving his honor that there are no public stores secreted therein. Major General Gates will of course take the necessary measures for the security of this article.

5. Upon the march the officers are not to be separated from their men, and in quarters the officers are to be lodged according to rank, and are not to be hindered from assembling their men for roll callings, and other necessary purposes of regularity.

6. There are various corps in the army composed of sailors, bateauxmen, artificers, drivers, independent companies, and followers of the army, and it is expected that those person of whatever country, shall be included in the fullest sense and utmost extent of the above articles, and comprehended in every respect as British subjects.

7. All Canadians and persons belonging to the establishment in Canada, to be permitted to return there.

8. Passports to be immediately granted for three officers, not exceeding the rank of captain, who shall be appointed by General Burgoyne to carry despatches to Sir William Howe, Sir Guy Carleton, and to Great Britain by the way of New York, and the public faith to be engaged that these despatches are not to be opened.

9. The foregoing articles are to be considered only as preliminaries for framing a treat, in the course of which others may arise to be considered by both parties, for which purpose it is proposed, that two officers of each army shall meet and report their deliberation to their respective generals.

10. Lieutenant General Burgoyne will send his deputy adjutant-general to receive Major General Gates's answer, tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

1.- The troops to march out of their camp, with the honors of war, and the artillery of the intrenchments to the verge of the river, where the old fort stood, where their arms and the artillery must be left.

2.- Agreed to, for the port of Boston.

3. - Agreed.

4. Agreed.

5.- Agreed to as far as circumstances will admit.

6. - Agreed to in the fullest extent.

7. - Agreed.

8. - Agreed.

9. The capitulation to be finished by 2 o'clock this day, and the troops march from their encampment at five, and be in readiness to move towards Boston tomorrow morning.

10. - Complied with.

These preliminary articles and their answers, being carried back to General Burgoyne, produced an immediate return of his messenger with the following note:
" The first preliminary articles of Lieutenant General Burgoyne's proposals, and the 2d and the 3d, and 4th of those of Major General Gates, of yesterday, being agreed to, the formation of the proposed treaty is out of dispute : but the several subordinate articles and regulations necessarily springing from these preliminaries, and requiring explanation, and precision, between the parties, before a definite treaty can be safely executed, a longer time than that mentioned by General Gates in his answer to the ninth article, becomes indispensably necessary. Lieutenant General Burgoyne is willing to appoint two officers immediately, to meet two others from Major General Gates, to propound, discuss, and settle those subordinate articles, in order that the treaty in due form may be executed as soon as possible."

This meeting took place on the afternoon of the 15th, and the parties mutually signed articles of capitulation, or Convention, as Burgoyne wished to have it designated. A copy of the Convention was to be formally signed by the English general and delivered the next morning. Meanwhile, during the night, a provincial arrived from below, who stated that he had heard through a third party that Clinton had captured the forts on the Hudson highlands, and arrived at AEsopus eight days previously , and further, that by this time he was very likely at Albany. Burgoyne was so encouraged by this news, that he once more called together a council of war and laid before it the following questions:

1 st. Whether a treaty, which was about being completed by his deputies, and which he himself had promised to sign, could be broken ? Fourteen votes against eight decided this question in the negative.

2d. Whether the report of a man whom nobody knew was sufficient in our present situation to justify our refusal of so advantageous a treaty ? The same number of votes decided this also in the negative.

3d. Whether the common soldiers possessed sufficient spirit to defend the present position of the army to the last man ? All the officers of the left wing answered this in the affirmative. Those of the centre and right wings gave a similar answer, provided the enemy were attacked; but the men were too well acquainted with their defective positions to display the same bravery in case they were themselves attacked."

But notwithstanding these votes, Burgoyne was resolved, as the articles of capitulation were not yet signed, to repudiate the informal arrangement with Gates ; and in order to gain time he informed him by letter that he had been told by deserters and other reliable persons that he had sent a considerable corps of his army toward Albany, and that this being contrary to all faith, he (Burgoyne) could not give his signature without being convinced that the American army outnumbered his own by at least three or four to one , Gates should therefore name an officer of his army who might see for himself the number of the enemy; and should Burgoyne, after hearing this officer's report, be convinced of the superior numbers of the Americans, he would at once sign the treaty. General Gates received this letter with considerable nonchalance, but replied that he would give his word of honor that his army was just as strong now as it was previous to the treaty, and that having since then been reinforced by a few brigades, it certainly did outnumber the English four to one, and this, too, without counting those troops that were on the other side of the Hudson and at Half Moon. He also gave Burgoyne to understand what it meant to break his word of honor, and offered to show his whole army to him after the latter had signed the treaty, when he would find that everything he had stated was true. Being, moreover, in no mood for temporizing, he drew up his troops in order of battle at early dawn of the next day, the 17th, and informed Burgoyne in plain terms, that he must either sign the treaty, or prepare for immediate battle. Riedesel and Phillips added their persuasions, representing to him that the news just received was mere hearsay, but even if it were true, to recede now would be in the highest degree dishonorable. Burgoyne thereupon yielded a reluctant assent, and the articles of capitulation were signed at nine o'clock the same morning.1

These articles were as follows :


1st. " The troops under Lieutenant General Burgoyne, to march out of their camp with the honors of war, and the artillery of entrenchments, to the verge of the river where the old fort stood, where the arms and artillery are to be left, the arms to be piled by word of command from their own officers.

2d. A free passage to be granted to the army under Lieutenant-General Burgoyne to Great Britain, on condition of not serving again in North America during the present contest; and the port of Boston is assigned for the entry of transports to receive the troops, whenever General Howe shall so order.

3d. Should any cartel take place, by which the army under General Burgoyne, or any part of it, may be exchanged, the foregoing articles to be void as far as such exchange should be made.

1 The army of General Gates, which was on the west side of the Hudson, was formed in three lines. Three officers of the royal army (among them Captain Twiss of the engineers), having received orders from Burgoyne to count the troops of the enemy, found them to number between 13,000-and 14,000 men. Subsequently, Gates handed Burgoyne the official list of the men in his army. The American troops on the other side of the Hudson were not counted. These consisted chiefly of militia from the surrounding townships of New Hampshire and Connecticut.

This estimate includes only the number contained in the immediate camp and lines of Gates as seen by the three officers in passing through them. The exact number of Gates's army - not counting the troops on the other side of the Hudson-was 22,350 men. This appears by the official list sent by Gates himself to Burgoyne. Counting those on the other or east side of the river, the American army must have been at least 15,000.

4th. The army under Lieutenant General Burgoyne, to march to Massachusetts bay, by the easiest, most expeditious, and convenient route, and be quartered in, near, or as convenient as possible to Boston, that the march of the troops may not be delayed, when the transports shall arrive to receive them.

5th. The troops to be supplied on their march, and during their being in quarters, with provisions by Gen. Gates's orders, at the same rate of rations as the troops of his own army; and if possible, the officers' horses and cattle are to be supplied with forage at the usual rates.

6th. All officers to retain their carriages, battle-horses, and other cattle, and no baggage to be molested or searched ; Lieutenant General Burgoyne giving his honor that there are no public stores secreted therein. Major General Gates will of course take the necessary measures for the due performance of this article. Should any carriages be wanted during the march for the transportation of officers' baggage, they are, if possible, to be supplied.

7th. Upon the march, and during the time the army shall remain in quarters in Massachusetts bay, the officers are not, as far as circumstances will admit, to be separated from their men. The officers are to be quartered according to rank, and are not to be hindered from assembling their men for roll-call, and the necessary purposes of regularity.

8th. All corps whatever of General Burgoyne's army whether composed of sailors, bateaux men, artificers, drivers, independent companies, and followers of the army of whatever country, shall be included in every respect as British subjects.

9th. All Canadians, and persons belonging to the Canadian establishment consisting of sailors, bateaux men, artificers, drivers, independent companies, and many other followers of the army, who come under no particular description, are to be permitted to return there , they are to be conducted, immediately by the shortest route to the first British post on Lake George, are to be supplied with provisions in the same manner as the other troops, are to be bound by the same condition of not serving during the present contest in North America.

10th. Passports to be immediately granted for three officers not exceeding the rank of captains, who shall be appointed by Lieutenant General Burgoyne, to carry despatches to Sir William Howe, Sir Guy Carleton, and to Great Britain by the way of New York , and Maj. General Gates engages the public faith, that these despatches shall not be opened. These officers are to set out immediately after receiving their despatches, and are to travel the shortest route, and in the most expeditious manner.

11th. During the stay of the troops in Massachusetts bay, the officers are to be admitted on parole, and are to be allowed to wear their side arms.

12th. Should the army under Lieutenant General Burgoyne find it necessary to send for their clothing and other baggage to Canada, they are to be permitted to do it in the most convenient manner, and the necessary passports granted for that purpose.

13th. These articles are to be mutually signed and exchanged to-morrow morning, at nine o'clock, and the troops under Lieutenant General Burgoyne, are to march out of their entrenchments at three o'clock in the afternoon.
(Signed) HORATIO GATES, Maj. Gen.
(Signed) J. BURGOYNE, Lieut. Gen.
Saratoga, Oct. 16, 1777.

To prevent any doubts that might arise from Lieutenant General Burgoyne's name not being mentioned in the above treaty, Major General Gates hereby declares that he is understood to be comprehended in it, as fully at if his name had been specifically mentioned.

The second clause of this agreement was not carried out by congress ; and most of the captured army, with the exception of Burgoyne, Riedesel, Philips and Hamilton were retained as prisoners while the war lasted.

The excuses given by congress for this lack of faith were most paltry and unworthy of a body representing a great cause. The remonstrances to General Gates and congress remained unnoticed ; and although Washington himself, earnestly urged a fulfillment of the pledge in which the honor of congress and of the country was involved "the most unworthy counsels prevailed. When, for instance, it was proposed that the embarkation of the troops should take place at Newport, R. I., an intention (perfectly absurd) was imputed to General Howe of breaking faith by causing Burgoyne's army to join him in New York. Again, when the transports were despatched to Boston, the port agreed upon, orders were given that the embarkation should be delayed until all accounts for the subsistence of the captured army had been settled; and on a settlement being offered, it was refused unless payment were made in gold, which, at the time, it was notoriously impossible to procure; and once more congress, driven from both of these positions, gravely stated that all the small arms had not been delivered up at the time of "the surrender. Finally, in the beginning of January, 1778, congress passed a resolution indefinitely suspending the embarkation. The true reason for this course was, undoubtedly, the unworthy one that many of the troops might be brought over to the American cause by desertion; which, however, was unsuccessful, as - although it has been thought otherwise not more than eighty Germans deserted from their colors after the surrender. Washington felt this keenly, and seems to have been greatly mortified at the decision of congress. In a letter to Burgoyne, dated at Headquarters, Penn., March 11th, 1778," he writes : "I take pleasure In the opportunity you have afforded me of assuring you that, far from suffering the views of national opposition to be embittered and debased by personal animosity, I am ever ready to do justice to the gentleman and the soldiers, and to esteem where esteem is due, however the idea of a public enemy may interpose."1 By this action of congress, the Riedesels, Phillips and many other worthy officers as well as

1 See Life of Madame Riedesel, also Fonblanque's Life of Burgoyne, for the correspondence in full between Washington and Burgoyne.

privates suffered great privation and misery for several years.

The Americans obtained by this victory, at a very critical period, an excellent train of brass artillery, consisting of forty-two guns of various calibre, four thousand six hundred and forty-seven muskets, four hundred set of harness, and a large supply of ammunition. The prisoners numbered five thousand, eight hundred and four, and the entire American force at the time of the surrender, including regulars (Continentals) and militia, was twenty thousand eight hundred and seventeen effective men. 1

1 During the time of the cessation of arms, while the articles of capitulation were preparing, the soldiers of the two armies often saluted, and discoursed with each other from the opposite banks of the river. Among the British was a soldier of the 9th regiment, named Maguire, who came down to the river side, with a number of his companions, and engaged in conversation with a party of Americans on the further shore. In a short time something was observed very forcibly to strike the mind of the honest Hibernian. He suddenly darted like lightning from his companions, and plunged into the stream. At the very same moment, one of the American soldiers, seized with a similar impulse, resolutely dashed into the water. The wondering soldiers on both sides beheld them eagerly swim toward the middle of the river, where they met. They hung on each other's necks and wept: and the loud cries of " my brother! my dear brother ! ! " which accompanied the transaction, soon cleared up the mystery to the astonished spectators. They were, it seems, both brothers, one had emigrated to America, and the other had entered the army ; and both were totally Ignorant until that hour that they were engaged in hostile combat against each other's life.

Copyright 1998, -- 2003. Berry Enterprises. All rights reserved. All items on the site are copyrighted. While we welcome you to use the information provided on this web site by copying it, or downloading it; this information is copyrighted and not to be reproduced for distribution, sale, or profit.

Contents Introduction Links Home