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ly performed, did entitle his prayer to success. The objections at first apprehended, now to be combated, were extended to a consequence which had not suggested itself. Lee candidly admitted that he had expected the first objection made, and that only; which had been imparted to the general, who gave it full consideration, and concluded by declaring, that the crime of desertion was not incurred; as no act done by the soldier at the request of the commander in chief could be considered as desertion; and that an action, so manifestly praiseworthy as that to be performed, when known, would dissipate by its own force the reflections excited by appearance, which no doubt would be acrimonious, leaving the actor in full enjoyment of the future rich rewards of his virtue. That the reflecting mind ought not to balance between the achievement of so much good, and the doing wrong in semblance only: to which major Lee subjoined, that in consequence of the general's call upon him for a soldier capable and willing to execute a project, so tempting to the brave, he considered himself and corps highly honored; and that he should consider himself reduced to a mortifying condition, if the resistance to the undertaking compelled him to inform the general that he must recur to some other corps to provide an agent to execute this necessary and bold enterprize.

“He entreated the sergeant to ask himself what must be the sensations of his comrades, if a soldier from some other corps should execute the enterprize, when they should be told that the glory transferred to the regiment, of which he was one, might have been enjoyed by the legion, had not sergeant Champe shrunk from the overture made to him by his general, rather than reject scruples too narrow and confined to be permitted to interfere with grand and virtuous deeds. The esprit du corps could not be resisted, and united to his inclination, it subdued his prejudices, and he declared his willingness to conform to the wishes of the general; relying, as he confidently did, that his reputation would be protected by those who had induced him to undertake the enterprize, should he be unfortunate in the attempt.

“The instructions were read to him, and every distinct object présented plainly to his view, of which he took notes se

No. 1. Vol. III.

He was par

disguised as to be understood only by himself. ticularly cautioned to use the utmost circumspection in delivering his letters, and to take care to withhold from the two individuals, addressed under feigned names, knowledge of each other; for although both had long been in the confidence of the general, yet it was not known by one that the other was so engaged.

“He was further urged, to bear in constant recollection the solemn injunction so pointedly expressed in the instructions to major Lee, of forbearing to kill Arnold in any condition of things.

“This part of the business being finished, the major and sergeant's deliberation was turned to the manner of the latter's desertion; for it was well known to both that to pass the numerous patroles of horse and foot crossing from the stationary guards, was itself difficult, which was now rendered more so by parties thrown occasionally beyond the place called Liberty Pole, as well as by swarms of irregulars, induced sometimes to venture down to the very point at Paulus Hook with the hope of picking up booty. Evidently discernible as were the difficulties in the way, no relief could be administered by major Lee, lest it might induce a belief that he was privy to the desertion, which opinion getting to the enemy would involve the life of Champe. The sergeant was left to his own resources and to his own management, with the declared determination, that in case his departure should be discovered before morning, Lee would take care to delay pursuit as long as was practicable.

“Giving to the sergeant three guineas, and presenting his best wishes, he recommended him to start without delay, and enjoined him to communicate his arrival in New York as soon thereafter as might be practicable, Champe pulling out his watch compared it with the major's, reminding the latter of the importance of holding back pursuit, which he was convinced would take place in the course of the night, and which might be fatal; as he knew that he should be obliged to zigzag in order to avoid the patroles, which would consume time. It was now nearly eleven. The sergeant returned to camp, and taking his

cloak, valice, and orderly book, he drew his horse from the picket, and mounting him put himself upon fortune. Lee, charmed with his expeditious consummation of the first part of the enterprize, retired to rest. Useless attempt! The past scene could not be obliterated; and, indeed, had that been practicable, the interruption which ensued would have stopped repose.

“Within half an hour captain Carnes, officer of the day, waited upon the major, and with considerable emotion told him that one of the patrole had fallen in with a dragoon, who, being challenged, put spur to his horse and escaped, though instantly pursued. Lee complaining of the interruption, and pretending to be extremely fatigued by his ride to and from headquarters, answered as if he did not understand what had been said, which compelled the captain to repeat it. Who can the fellow that was pursued be? inquired the major; adding, a countryman, probably. No, replied the captain, the patrole sufficiently distinguished him as to know that he was a dragoon; probably one from the army, if not certainly one of our own. This idea was ridiculed from its improbability, as during the whole war but a single dragoon had deserted from the legion. This did not convince Carnes, so much stress was it now the fashion to lay on the desertion of Arnold, and the probable effect of his example. The captain withdrew to examine the squadron of horse, whom he had ordered to assemble in pursuance of established usage on similar occasions. Very quickly he returned, stating that the scoundrel was known, and was no less a person than the sergeant-major, who had gone off with his · horse, baggage, arms, and orderly book-50 presumed, as neither the one nor the other could be found. Sensibly affected at the supposed baseness of a soldier extremely respected, the captain added that he had ordered a party to make ready for pursuit, and begged the major's written orders.

“Occasionally this discourse was interrupted, and every idea suggested which the excellent character of the sergeant warranted, to induce the suspicion that he had not deserted, but had taken the liberty to leave camp with a view to personal * pleasure; an example, said Lee, too often set by the officers

themselves, destructive as it was of discipline, opposed as it was to orders, and disastrous as it might prove to corps in the course of service,

“Some little delay was thus interposed; but it being now announced that the pursuing party was ready, major Lee directed a change in the officer, saying that he had a particular service in view, which he had determined to entrust to the lieuten, ant ready for duty, and which probably must be performed in the morning He therefore directed him to summon cornet Middleton for the present command. Lee was induced thus to act, first to add to the delay, and next from his knowledge of the tenderness of Middleton's disposition, which he hoped would lead to the protection of Champe, should he be taken. Within ten minutes Middleton appeared to receive his orders, which were delivered to him, made out in the customary form, and signed by the major. “Pursue, so far as you can with safety, sergeant Champe, who is suspected of deserting to the enemy, and has taken the road leading to Paulus Hook. Bring him alive, that he may suffer in the presence of the army; but kill him if he resists, or escapes after being taken.'

“Detaining the cornet a few minutes longer in advising him what course to pursue urging him to take care of the horse and accoutrements, if recovered—and enjoining him to be on his guard, lest he might, by his eager pursuit, improvidently fall into the hands of the enemy-the major dismissed Middleton, wishing him success. A shower of rain fell soon after Champe's departure, which enabled the pursuing dragoons to take the trail of his horse; knowing, as officer and trooper did, the make of their shoes, whose impression was an unerring

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guide. *

“When Middleton departed, it was a few minutes past twelve; so that Champe had only the start of rather more than an hour -by no means as long as was desired.

Lee became very un, happy, not only because the estimable and gallant Champe

* "The horses being all shod by our own farriers, the shoes were made in the same form; which, with a private mark annexed to the fore shoes, and known to the troopers, pointed out the trail of our dragoons to each other, which was often very useful."

might be injured, but lest the enterprise might be delayed; and he spent a sleepless night. The pursuing party during the night, was, on their part, delayed by the necessary halts to examine occasionally the road, as the impression of the horse's shoes directed their course; this was unfortunately too evident, no other horse having passed along the road since the shower. When the day broke, Middleton was no longer forced to halt, and he pressed on with rapidity. Ascending an eminence before he reached the Three Pidgeons, some miles on the north of the village of Bergen, as the pursuing party reached its summit, Champe was descried not more than half a mile in front. Resembling an Indian in his vigilance, the sergeant at the same moment discovered the party, (whose object he was no stran, ger to,) and giving spur to his horse, he determined to outstrip his pursuers.

Middleton at the same instant put his horses to the top of their speed; and being (as the legion all were) well acquainted with the country, he recollected a short route through the woods to the bridge below Bergen, which diverged from the great 'road just after you gain the Three Pidgeons. Reaching the point of separation, he halted; and dividing his party, directed a sergeant with a few dragoons to take the near cut, and possess with all possible despatch the bridge, while he with the residue followed Champe; not doubting but that Champe must deliver himself up, as he would be closed between himself and his sergeant. Champe did not fora get the short cut, and would have taken it himself, but he knew it was the usual route of our parties when returning in the day from the neighborhood of the enemy, properly preferring the woods to the road. He consequently avoided it; and persuaded that Middleton would avail himself of it, wisely resolved to relinquish his intention of getting to Paulus Hook, and to seek refuge from two British galleys, lying a few miles to the west of Bergen,

“This was a station always occupied by one or two galleys, and which it was known now lay there. Entering the village of Bergen, Champe turned to his right, and disguising his change of course as much as he could by taking the beaten streets, turning as they turned, he passed through the village

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