History From America's Most Famous Valleys
STORIES OF THE REVOLUTION
With an account of the lost child of the Delaware: Wheaton and the Panther, &c.
Thanks to Willis Barshied Jr. for the donation.
Printed by Hoffman and White,
No. 71 State Street 1836.
STORY OF AN HESSIAN WOMAN IN THE CAMP OF BURGOYNE, WHILE LYING AT FISH CREEK IN SARATOGA, WHICH TRANSPIRED A DAY OR TWO BEFORE HIS CAPTURE.
The want of provision in the camp of Burgoyne, had now began to be severely felt; the Americans had seized their last supply, which some boats contained ; all resort to the country lying round, where tory friends were to be found, was totally cut off.
The insulted Americans had fenced them in as with a wall of vengeance, which could not be passed ; famine had commenced its unnerving power, sickness was multiplied among the soldiery, fever attended with its deliriums, raved from couch to couch. Water, water, was the incessant cry.
And although the Hudson on the one side of the camp, poured along its silent waters, and the rapid stream of Fish-Creek roared sweetly in the ears of the sick and desponding forces, yet it was impossible to snatch a drop from these dreadfully guarded waters, an hundred bullets were sure to pierce whoever made the attempt, soon as they stooped to touch the silver current.
But such was the cries for water, of the sick and dying, that their women, moved by pity, were made superior to the dreadful crisis, (imagining that the Americans would not from gallantry of feeling, shoot a female,) snatched hastily their pails, and ran to the shores to try what the event might be.
Their opinion of the enemy, as it proved, with respect to their persons, was correctly formed, but their pails were doomed to a harder fate, for while they could not find it in their hearts to spill the blood of defenceless females, they were sure to riddle their pails as they hung from their hands, so that little or no water in this way could be procured.
In this dilemma, a faithful wife, who had left her native country for love of her husband, who was one of the unfortunate Hessians, sold by his government to the King of England for a certain sum a head, to fight in a cause, the merits or demerits of which he knew nothing ; this woman, as she moved from couch to couch, listening to the moans of the sick for water, suddenly resolved ; I too will try, perhaps I may succeed to bring a little.
Her husband tried to dissuade her, but she persisted, her sympathies were strong, for as a kind and comforting angel, she had made it her business to hover over the diseased, and wounded of her countrymen, (the Hessians,) all the while she had been in the army.
She sprang along the adventurous path that led to the dreaded shore, her husband following close as far as he dare-already she stood at the brink in full view of the guns on the other side, for a moment she cast an imploring glance that way, and then to heaven, for protection ; her right hand had dashed the vessel deep among the humid waters ; a struggle to clear the open shore, and reach the deeply shaded bank, had marked her agitated demeanour, when a ball aimed at her pail, struck as she had stooped over the vessel too low, her angel bosom-the blood spouted and dyed the ground, before her quivering frame fell crimsoned in the gore of her faithful heart.
Her husband who had waited but at a short distance for her return, had not moved his constant eye from his all of earth, while within, his soul vibrated between the vast extremes of hope and despair, her screach struck his ear her realing frame showed him that the shaft of death had cleft her heart asunder.
She had but touched the ground where she fell, when his arms enclosed her, dyed in blood spouting from her bosom ; frantic with grief, he dreaded not the flash of the deadly rifle, but bore her to the camp, struggling in the pangs of dissolution, while he impressed on her fading forehead, the last kiss of fervent affection.
The grief of this man was respected, not a gun moved its trigger,
hushed were the vollies of the sympathising, yet brave Vermonters ; her pail,
not her person, had been the aim of the distressed marksman, the green mountain
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