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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about The Yankee Tea-party.

“I happened to be on the spot and see that affair,” said old John Warner.  “I was on a visit to a friend at a farm near Horseneck, when the news of Governor Tryon’s approach, with a large force, reached me.  I hadn’t joined the regular army, for a great many reasons; but I always took advantage of an opportunity to serve the right side.  General Putnam’s picket of one hundred and fifty men, with two field-pieces, was the only force in that neighbourhood; but I knew Old Put. would have a shot at the enemy, no matter how few men he had with him.  So I shouldered my firelock and went and offered my services.  General Putnam planted his cannon on the high ground near the meeting-house, and awaited the approach of the enemy.  Directly, we saw Tryon, with a great force of regulars, coming along the road.  Our cannon blazed away at them and checked their advance for a short time.  But pretty soon, we saw the dragoons and infantry preparing to make a charge, and Old Put. knew there wouldn’t be much chance of our withstanding the shock.  So he ordered us to retire into the swamp just back of our position, where we would be safe from dragoons, at least, and where we would have an even chance with the infantry.  I expected to see the general follow us; but he turned his horse towards the stone steps that led down the rocks from the meeting-house.  As we fell back I had time to observe him.  When he reached the head of the steps, the horse stopped as if afraid of the attempt.  But Old Putnam knew there was no time to lose, as the dragoons were nearly upon him.  So he struck his spurs into the horse’s sides, and they plunged down the steps together.  I lost sight of the horse and rider just then; but saw the red-coat dragoons stop short at the head of the precipice, and fire their pistols after them.  Not one among the red-coats dared to follow, and ten chances to one if they had attempted it, they would have broken their necks; for the precipice was so high and steep as to have one hundred steps cut in it.  Before they could get round the brow of the height by the ordinary road, the General was far beyond their reach.  Tryon didn’t attempt to follow us into the swamp, but soon after commenced his retreat.  We fell back to Stamford, where we met the General with some militia he had collected, and marched back in search of Tryon.  The red-coats had completed their work and were out of our reach.”

“That ride was but one of a whole life of such deeds,” said Kinnison.  “There never was a man who dared more than Putnam.  In the old French War, he astonished the boldest savages and rangers by his feats, often throwing himself into the arms of death, as it were, and escaping without any serious hurt.”

“It was a great pity,” said Colson, “that Putnam was not a younger man when the revolutionary war broke out.  He had spent his best years in fighting for the old country, against the French and Indians.”

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