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sequence of my being very hungry and nothing in my pocket to supply me with food. Whilst running in this fretting mood, I met an officer, who asked me what was the matter. I told him I was going on to join the army at Valley Forge, and that I had been robbed by a soldier of an eighteen-penny piece, which was all the money I had possessed, and that I was then very hungry, and knew not what to do. He thrust his hand into his pocket and pulled out a five dollar note (I do not recollect whether it was Continental or States-money) and handed it to me. He then bade me to hurry on beyond the first woods and that when I should get down into a bottom I would come to a tavern, and bade me to call there and get something to eat and to drink. His kindness made a deep impression upon me, so much so, that even now at this late day, after a lapse of nearly 67 years, he sits on horseback before me as plainly as he did then, the generous hearted, manly and brave looking soldier, on whose face the lofty frown of indignancy is strongly depicted.
After this officer gave me the money, for which I thanked him, he put spurs to his horse and rode on in pursuit of the soldier, whilst I went on my way rejoicing in a heart overflowing with gratitude to so brave and kind a friend as he was to me in the dark hour of my extremity. I soon arrived at the tavern, and done as the officer had directed me, and soon had victuals served up before me. I told the landlord and his wife how badly the soldier had treated me. After I had made a hearty meal, I offered to pay them for it and some drink, but they would not take any money from me. Perhaps my having told them of the affair or that of my seeking the camp in my boyhood, or both induced them to refuse any remuneration.
I had not been a great while there, and as I was about to start, I espied the same soldier that robbed me advancing towards the house, and was all covered over in front with blood, and being no little afraid at seeing him in this plight, thinking at the same time that he might fall upon me by the way and kill me for having informed the officer of his conduct. I ran back through the house and went out at a back door, and I think that I did not stop running until I arrived at the encampment at Valley Forge. I never knew how it was that he became so bloody, but had good cause to believe that the officer who was so kind to me, had overtaken him and struck and cut him with his sword, for when he left me he was very much exasperated at his dastardly conduct in robbing me (then a boy) of my money.
Upon my arrival at Valley Forge encampment I immediately enquired for the Ilth regiment, it being (as I have before stated) the regiment to which my father and myself were attached. Having found where it laid, I went in search of a Sergeant-major Lawson, an old comrade of my father, whom I soon found. He was very glad to see me, but very sorry to hear of my father's death. I told Sergeant Lawson how ill I had fared through the past winter, how little compensation I had received, and of that little having been taken away from me. I next told him how generously I had been befriended by the officer that I met afterwards. In the course of a day or two Sergeant Lawson made known my case to Colonel Richard Humpton, who took me to be his waiter. With Colonel Humpton I fared very well. The Colonel was an Englishman, and had held a Captain's commission in the old British service in America, but upon the breaking out of the Revolution, he took his stand upon the side of the colonies, and joined the patriotic army in defence of the rights and liberties of the colonies. Colonel Humpton had a young lady with him, whom he called his niece, but who became his wife in marriage shortly after the Revolutionary war was ended. This young lady he was in the habit of placing to home at some distance from the camp and from danger, and with her he placed me to wait somewhat upon her, and to take care of her. Miss Elizabeth, although of high extraction, was quite unassuming and of industrious habits. She differed (as did all our Revolutionary mothers and daughters) from the ladies generally of the present day. She did not think it unbecoming or degrading to understand and do the duties of housewifery. She did her own sewing and washed and done up her own, the Colonel's and my linen, &c.
Relative to her acting the part of washerwoman, I can speak confidently, for upon her wash days I always bore a part in her labors, and washed for her (as the saying is) “like a major.” At one time he homed her in the family of a Dutchman not far from the Lehigh river. The Colonel sometimes joined us. The Dutchman was fond of fowling, and often used an English gun belonging to the Colonel, the touch-hole of which was bushed with gold. There was a large pond (or mill-dam) on or near to his farm, and it was much visited by wild ducks. This Dutchman often rose before day and went out and laid in an ambuscade and waited their approach. He being a good shot, would often kill numbers of them, and generally divided the spoils with the Colonel.
The next place where he placed her to home was near to Somerset Court House, in Jersey. The Colonel had a wagon, four horses and a driver allowed him, and in this he sent his niece, myself and all his baggage to the above named place. The team was again. driven to camp.
Whilst we homed at Somerset Court House, a British officer had been captured and placed in the Court House, which was guarded by American soldiers. One morning after getting out of bed about sun up, I noticed some men coming at a distance, and thought that they were American light horse. I immediately ran down towards a large gate at the road side, in order to see them, supposing at the same time that I might know some of
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them. I had gotten within a rod or two of the road as the front passed me. They were moving very slowly, and some of them looked at me. Casting my eyes towards the rear, I discovered by their regimental coats that they were British dragoons. I at this moment bethought me that I was dressed in a Fifer's regimental coat and cap, with horse or cow tail hanging thereon, and instantly dashed away in an angling direction across the field, and as swiftly as I could, not daring to look at or to stop at the house to awake Lady Elizabeth, but ran until I gained the elevation in the fields, towards the woods. Quickly after I had commenced to take " French leave” of them, I looked around and discovered that they were moving very fast. Whether it was seeing me running at such a speed, that caused them to gallop off so furiously as they did, I know not. They might have thought that I ran to give intelligence to some detachment of soldiers not far off, and that they knew not was stationed in the neighborhood. But if they had thought that I was making an instrument of myself for this purpose, they might have hindered me by shooting me, and there was the gate, at it they might have entered the field and captured or killed ine. When I arrived near to the woods I looked around me, and discovered Somerset Court House all in a blaze. I feel confident that not more than 15 minutes had elapsed from the time they passed me until the Court House was thus enveloped in flames. Before they fired the building, they released the British officer, and sent him off by another route.
Here I must remark that the Giver of all good was merciful to me in preserving me, an unarmed lad, and consequently without the power of selling my life at as dear a rate as I should have liked to have done, had I been attacked under any circumstances that would have enabled me to have fought in self-defence. I acknowledge the interposition of the strong Arna of the Lord of Hosts, for this same marauding band of assassinators killed several unoffending and innocent persons in cold