Defeated at every point and with great loss, the British columns had retired into the bed of the ravine, where, shielded from the fire of the Americans, they lay several hours shivering with cold and ankle deep in mud and water; yet consoling themselves with the hope that the renewal of the assault, under cover of the coming darkness, would he attended with a happier issue. But the gallant General, who appeared in the outset to have intended they should make picks of their bayonets, and scaling-ladders of each others bodies, now that a mound sufficient for the latter purpose could be raised of the slain, had altered his mind, and alarmed, and mayhap conscience stricken at the profuse and unnecessary sacrifice of human life which had resulted from the first wanton attack, adopted the resolution of withdrawing his troops. This was at length finally effected, and without further loss.
Fully impressed with the belief that the assailants would not be permitted to forego the advantage they still possessed in their near contiguity to the works, without another attempt at escalade, the Americans had continued calmly at their posts; with what confidence in the nature of their defences, and what positive freedom from danger, may be inferred from the fact of their having lost but one man throughout the whole affair, and that one killed immediately through the loop-hole by the shot that avenged the death of poor Middlemore. When at a late hour they found that the columns were again in movement, they could scarcely persuade themselves they were not changing their points of attack. A very few minutes however sufficed to show their error, for in the indistinct light of a new moon, the British troops were to be seen ascending the opposite face of the ravine and in full retreat. Too well satisfied with the successful nature of their defence, the Americans made no attempt to follow, but contented themselves with pouring in a parting volley, which however the obscurity rendered ineffectual. Soon afterwards the sally-port was again opened, and such of the unfortunates as yet lingered alive in the trenches were brought in, and every attention the place could afford paid to their necessities.