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Wayne went
forward while his men were resting and made a careful reconnaissance.
Rejoining his troops, he divided them into two columns, and, to prevent
any mistake as to their identity, a piece of white paper was pinned to
each hat. All the superfluous clothing was flung aside. He impressed
upon his men that the bayonet alone was to be used, and, to prevent the
discharge of a gun by some nervous soldier, he ordered his officers to
cut down the first man who took his musket from his shoulder without the
order to do so.

The two divisions approaching from opposite sides were to attack the
fort at the same moment. Before it was reached, the pickets discovered
them and opened fire. The garrison was aroused, and, hurrying to their
posts, cried out tauntingly:

"Come on, you rebels! we're waiting for you!"

"We'll be there," was the reply; and the patriots kept their word,
carrying matters with such a rush that the flag was speedily lowered.
While leading his men, Wayne was struck in the forehead by a musket-ball
and fell to the ground. Believing himself mortally wounded, he asked to
be carried forward that he might die within the fort. While his men were
assisting him, it was found that he had only been stunned. He recovered
a moment later and was among the first to enter the defenses.

The American loss was slight, and they secured nearly six hundred
prisoners, with a lot of valuable stores. The fort was destroyed before
they left, the ruins being occupied some days later by a British force.


Thus far we have had nothing to tell about the infant American navy. At
the beginning of the war, in 1775, Washington sent several privateers to
cruise along the New England coast, and Congress established a naval
department. Thirteen ships were fitted out and two battalions of seamen
enlisted. The opportunity of capturing prizes from the enemy was very
alluring to the skillful American seamen, and so many dashing privateers
started forth in quest of them that in the course of three years fully
five hundred ships, sailing under the English flag, were captured. Some
of the daring cruisers did not hesitate to enter British waters in
search of the enemy.


No braver man than John Paul Jones ever trod the quarter-deck. On the
first chance he displayed so much courage and skill that he was made a
captain. He was cruising off Solway Firth near his birthplace one night,
when he rowed ashore on the coast of Cumberland, with only thirty-one
volunteers, and burned three vessels in the harbor of Whitehaven and
spiked a number of cannon in the guard-room of the fort. England was
alarmed, declared him a pirate, and put forth every effort to capture

In 1779, Paul Jones, as he is more generally known, put to sea in
command of the _Bon Homme Richard_, and accompanied by two consorts, the
_Alliance_ and the _Pallas_. The _Richard_ was an old East Indiaman,
given him by the king of France and named in compliment to Franklin, who
had published "Poor Richard's Almanac" for so many years that he was
often identified with the publication.

When Jones was off Scarborough, he sighted the Baltic fleet of
merchantmen homeward bound, and escorted by the frigates _Countess of
Scarborough_ and the _Serapis_. The latter carried fifty guns and the
former twenty-two, while Jones had forty-four guns and three hundred and
seventy-five men, two-thirds of whom were prisoners of war, since he had
greatly weakened his crew in order to send home the many prizes

[Illustration: PAUL JONES]

The moment Jones identified the enemy, he signaled to his consorts to
join him in pursuit. Night had closed in and the moon was shining, when
the captain of the _Serapis_ hailed Jones, who answered by opening fire.
The enemy was equally prompt, and thus one of the most famous fights in
naval history began. It is almost past comprehension how Jones fought so
terrifically when the disadvantages under which he labored are known.
Firing had scarcely begun when one of the guns on the lower deck
exploded, killing several men. The survivors ran above, and the piece
was not used again during the fight.

Jones tried to close with the _Serapis_, but, finding he could not bring
his guns to bear, he allowed his ship to fall off. The prisoners, who
outnumbered his crew, were kept busy extinguishing the fires that
continually broke out, by being told that it was the only way to save
themselves from death by burning. In the midst of the terrific fighting,
when the _Richard_ seemed doomed, Captain Pearson of the _Serapis_

"Have you struck?"

"Struck!" replied Jones; "I am just beginning to fight."


While the ships were lurching, one of the enemy's anchors caught the
quarter of the _Richard_ and the two held fast, thenceforward fighting
side by side. They were so close indeed that the _Serapis_ could not
open her starboard ports, and the cannon were fired through the
port-lids, which were blown off; but the main deck of the _Richard_ was
so high that the broadsides of the enemy injured no one, though they did
great damage to the vessel. This tremendous battle lasted for two hours,
the muzzles of the guns scraping one another, and the cannon being
discharged as fast as they could be loaded. The _Richard_ was soon
shattered to that extent that she began sinking. Fire broke out
repeatedly on both vessels, and finally Jones was able to work only
three of his guns. At this crisis, he found that his consort, the
_Alliance_, Captain Landais, was firing into him as well as the
_Serapis_; but not heeding him, he continued his battle with the
_Serapis_, whose sailors fought as bravely as his own.

The fearful struggle was decided by a sailor in the rigging of the
_Richard_, who was engaged in throwing hand-grenades on the deck of the
_Serapis_. One of these dropped into the hatchway and exploded a mass of
eighteen-pound cartridges, which killed twenty and wounded twice as many
more. Captain Pearson placed himself at the head of his boarders and
made a rush for the deck of the _Richard_. Jones, leading his own men,
drove them back. The explosion of the grenades silenced the main battery
of the _Serapis_, and Captain Pearson himself hauled down his colors,
both crews in the awful confusion believing for some minutes that it was
the _Richard_ that had surrendered.

When day dawned, the riddled _Richard_ was settling fast, and Jones had
barely time to remove his crew to the _Serapis_ when his own vessel went
down. Four-fifths of his men had been killed or wounded.


Investigation of the conduct of Captain Landais in firing into the
_Richard_ led to the conclusion that he was insane, and he was deprived
of his command. Jones did no more special service for the Americans. For
his unsurpassable achievement he received the thanks of Congress, and
the king of France presented him with a gold sword. After the war he
became a rear-admiral in the Russian navy, and died in Paris in 1792.

One of the saddest and most shocking events of the Revolution was the
treason of Benedict Arnold, who had won a brilliant reputation for his
bravery and generalship. He was quick-tempered, treacherous, and
extravagant, and disliked by most of his men, despite his extraordinary
daring. His first resentment against Congress was the failure of that
body to make him one of the first five major-generals, in the face, too,
of Washington's urgent recommendation for such promotion, which was made
after Arnold's splendid services at Saratoga.

He was placed in command at Philadelphia, while recovering from the
wounds received at Saratoga. He married a Tory lady, and his misconduct
caused his trial by court-martial, which sentenced him to be reprimanded
by the commander-in-chief. Washington performed the unpleasant duty with
delicacy, but its memory rankled and was increased by his anger against
Congress for its refusal to allow his claims for expenses in the
Canadian expedition. Influenced also, no doubt, by the Tory sentiments
of his wife, he determined to take the step which has covered his name
with everlasting infamy.

On the plea that his wounds were not yet healed, he induced Washington
to place him in command at West Point, the most important post in the
country and the principal depot of supplies. He opened a correspondence
with Sir Henry Clinton at New York, and agreed for a stated sum of money
and an appointment in the British army to surrender the post to a force
which Clinton was to send against it. When a point in the negotiations
was reached where it was necessary to send a trusted agent to meet
Arnold, Clinton dispatched Major John André, who went up the Hudson in a
sloop, and, September 22, 1780, met Arnold at the foot of Long Clove
Mountain. Everything being agreed upon, André started to return to the
sloop, but found that, owing to its having been fired upon by a party of
Americans, it had dropped down stream. Obliged to make his way to New
York by land, he assumed the dress of a civilian, and, furnished with a
pass by Arnold, he set out on horseback.


Much sympathy was felt in America for André, but the justice of his
being hung as a spy was never questioned. His three captors, Paulding,
Van Wart and Williams, were honored with medals and $200.00 a year each
for life, and monuments were erected to their memories by our

When near Tarrytown, he was stopped by three Americans, Isaac Van Wart,
John Paulding, and David Williams, who demanded his identity and
business. One of the three happened to be wearing a British coat, which
he had exchanged for one of his own while a prisoner of war, and the
fact led André to think they were friends. Before he discovered his
mistake, he had made known that he was a British officer, and he was
ordered to dismount and submit to a search. The fatal papers were found
on him, and, seeing his business was known, he offered everything he
had, besides the promise of a large sum of money from Sir Henry Clinton,
to be allowed to go.

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