The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776.
guard that he insisted that he had seen a ghost.  The sentinel, to whom the account of the general’s capture appeared quite as incredible as to his commanding officer, admitted that the messenger was clothed in white; and after submitting to the jokes of his companions, as a punishment for his credulity, he was ordered to resume his station, while the remainder of the guard retired to their quarters.  It was fortunate for Major Barton and his brave followers, that the alarm given by the soldier was considered groundless.  Had the main guard proceeded without delay to the relief of their commanding general, his rescue certainly, and probably the destruction of the party, would have been the consequence.

“The first room Major Barton entered was occupied by Mr. Pering, who positively denied that General Prescott was in the house.  He next entered the room of his son, who was equally obstinate with his father in denying that the general was there.  Major Barton then proceeded to other apartments, but was still disappointed in the object of his search.  Aware that longer delay might defeat the object of his enterprise, Major Barton resorted to stratagem to facilitate his search.  Placing himself at the head of the stairway, and declaring his resolution to secure the general dead or alive, he ordered [Illustration:  CAPTURE OF GENERAL PRESCOTT.] his soldiers to set fire to the house.  The soldiers were preparing to execute his orders, when a voice, which Major Barton at once suspected to be the general’s, demanded ‘What’s the matter?’ Major Barton rushed to the apartment from whence the voice proceeded, and discovered an elderly man just rising from his bed, and clapping his hand upon his shoulder, demanded of him if he was General Prescott.  He answered ‘Yes, sir.’  ’You are my prisoner, then,’ said Major Barton.  ‘I acknowledge that I am,’ replied the general.  In a moment, General Prescott found himself, half dressed, in the arms of the soldiers, who hurried him from the house.  In the meantime, Major Barrington, the aid to General Prescott, discovering that the house was attacked by the rebels, as he termed them, leaped from the window of his bed-chamber, and was immediately secured a prisoner.  General Prescott, supported by Major Barton and one of his officers, and attended by Major Barrington and the sentinel, proceeded, surrounded by the soldiery, to the shore.  Upon seeing the five little boats, General Prescott, who knew the position of the British shipping, appeared much confused, and, turning to Major Barton, inquired if he commanded the party.  On being informed that he did, he expressed a hope that no personal injury was intended him; and Major Barton assured the general of his protection, while he remained under his control.

“The general had travelled from head-quarters to the shore in his waistcoat, small-clothes, and slippers.  A moment was now allowed him to complete his dress, while the party were taking possession of the boats.  The general was placed in the boat with Major Barton, and they proceeded for the main.

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The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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