The Yankee Tea-party eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about The Yankee Tea-party.

“While the British troops were spreading havoc and desolation all around them, by their plundering and burnings in Virginia, in 1781, Peter Francisco had been reconnoitring, and whilst stopping at the house of a Mr. Wand, in Amelia county, nine of Tarleton’s cavalry coming up with three negroes, told him he was a prisoner.  Seeing himself overpowered by numbers, he made no resistance; and believing him to be very peaceable they all went into the house, leaving the paymaster and Francisco together.  He demanded his watch, money, &c., which being delivered to him, in order to secure his plunder, he put his sword under his arm, with the hilt behind him.  While in the act of putting a silver buckle into his pocket, Francisco, finding so favourable an opportunity to recover his liberty, stepped one pace in his rear, drew the sword with force under his arm and instantly gave him a blow across the skull.  His enemy was brave, and though severely wounded, drew a pistol, and, in the same moment that he pulled the trigger, Francisco cut his hand nearly off.  The bullet grazed his side.  Ben Wand (the man of the house) very ungenerously brought out a musket, and gave it to one of the British soldiers, and told him to make use of that.  He mounted the only horse they could get, and presented it at his breast.  It missed fire.  Francisco rushed on the muzzle of the gun.  A short struggle ensued, in which the British soldier was disarmed and wounded.  Tarleton’s troop of four hundred men were in sight.  All was hurry and confusion, which Francisco increased by repeatedly hallooing, as loud as he could, ’Come on, my brave boys! now’s your time! we will soon despatch these few, and then attack the main body!’ The wounded man flew to the troop; the others were panic-struck, and fled.  Francisco seized Wand, and would have despatched him, but the poor wretch begged for his life; he was not only an object of contempt, but pity.  The eight horses that were left behind, he gave him to conceal.  Discovering Tarleton had despatched ten more in pursuit of him, Francisco then made off, and evaded their vigilance.  They stopped to refresh themselves, and he, like an old fox, doubled, and fell on their rear.  He went the next day to Wand for his horses; Wand demanded two for his trouble and generous intentions.  Finding his situation dangerous, and surrounded by enemies where he ought to have found friends, Francisco went off with his six horses.  He intended to have avenged himself on Wand at a future day, but Providence ordained he should not be his executioner, for he broke his neck by a fall from of the very horses.”

“Francisco displayed great courage, daring and presence of mind in that scrape,” observed Kinnison.  “But I have heard of several encounters quite equal to it.”

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The Yankee Tea-party from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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