A narrative of the captivity and sufferings of Mr. Ebenezer Fletcher, of Newipswich, who was wounded at Hubbarston [sic], in the year 1777, and taken prisoner by the British, and, after recovering a little from his wounds, made his escape from them, and returned back to Newipswich.
Fletcher, Ebenezer, 1761-1831.
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NARRATIVE OF THE CAPTIVITY AND SUFFERINGS OF Mr. EBENEZER FLETCHER, OF NEWIPSWICH, Who was 〈◊〉 at Hubbarston, in the year 1777, and taken prisoner by the British, and, after recov|ering a little from his wounds, made his escape from them, and returned back to Newipswich.



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I, EBENEZER FLETCHER, listed into the Continental Army, in Capt. Carr's Company, in Colonel Nathan Hale's Regiment, as a fifer, and joined the Army at Ticonderoga under the command of General Saint Clair, in the Spring of 1777, at which place I was stationed till the retreat of the Army which was the 6th of July following.

Early on the morning of the same day, or|ders came to strike our tents and swing our packs. It was generally conjectured that we were going to battle; but orders came immedi|ately to march. We marched some distance before light. By sunrise the enemy had land|ed from their boats, and pursued us so closely as to fire on our rear. A large body of the en|emy followed us all day but kept so far behind as not to be wholly discovered. Their aim was to attack us suddenly the next morning, as they did.

Having just recovered from the measles, and not being able to march with the main body, I fell in the rear. The morning after our re|treat, orders came very early for the troops to refresh and be ready for marching. Some were eating, some were cooking, and all in a Page  4 very unfit posture for battle. Just as the sun rose, there was a cry "the enemy are upon us."—Looking round, I saw the enemy in line of bat|tle. Orders came to lay down our packs and be ready for action. The fire instantly began. We were but few in number compared to the enemy. At the commencement of the battle, many of our party retreated back into the woods. Capt. Carr came up and says, "My lads, advance, we shall beat them yet." A few of us followed him in view of the enemy. Ev|ery man was trying to secure himself behind girdled trees, which were standing on the place of action. I made shelter for myself and dis|charged my piece. Having loaded again and taken aim, my piece missed fire. I brought the same a second time to my face; but before I had time to discharge it, I received a musket ball in the small of my back and fell with my gun cocked. My uncle Daniel Foster standing but little distance from me, I make out to crawl to him and spoke to him. He and another man lifted me and carried me back some distance and laid me down behind a large tree, where was another man crying out most bitterly with a grievous wound. By this time I had bled so freely, I was very weak and faint. I observed the enemy were likely to gain the ground. Our men began to retreat and the enemy to advance. Having no friend to afford me any relief, eve|ry one taking care of himself, all things looked very shocking to me; to remain where I was and fall into the hands of the enemy, especially in the condition I was in, expecting to receive Page  5 no mercy. It came into my mind to conceal myself from them if possible. I made use of my hands and knees, as well as I could, and crawled about two rods among some small brush and got under a log. Here I lay con|cealed from the enemy, who came instantly to the place I lay wounded at. What became of my distressed partner I know not. The enemy pursued our men in great haste. Some of them came over the log where I lay. Some came so near I could almost touch them. I was not discovered by the enemy till the battle was over. When they were picking up the dead and wounded among the brush and logs, I heard them coming towards me. I began to be much terrified, least I should be found. I flattered myself that our men would come back after the battle was over and take me off; but to my great surprise, two of the enemy came so nigh, I heard one of them say, "Here is one of the rebels." I lay flat on my face across my hands, rolled in my blood. I dared not stir, being a|fraid they meant me by saying, "Here is one of the rebels." They soon came to me and pulled off my shoes, supposing me to be dead. I looked up and spoke, telling them I was their prisoner, and begged to be used well. "Damn you, says one, you deserve to be used well don't you? What's such a young rebel as you fighting for?" One of these men was an offi|cer, who appeared to be a pretty sort of a man. He spoke to the soldier, who had taken my shoes, and says, "Give back the shoes and help the man into camp." My shoes were given Page  6 back by the soldier according to order. The soldier then raised me on to my feet and con|ducted to the British camp. Here I found a number of my brother soldiers in the same situ|ation of myself. I was laid on the ground and remained in this posture till the afternoon, be|fore my wound was dressed. Two Doctors came to my assistance. They raised me up and examined my back. One of them says, "My lad, you stood a narrow chance; had the ball gone in or out half its bigness, you must have been killed instantly." I asked him if he thought there was any prospect of my getting well again. He answered, "There is some prospect." I concluded by his reply, he consid|ered my case hazardous. The Doctors appear|ed to be very kind and faithful. They pulled several pieces of my clothes from my wound, which were forced in by the ball I received.

Some of the enemy were very kind; while others were very spiteful and malicious. One of them came and took my silver shoe buckles and left me an old pair of brass ones, and said, exchange was no robbery; but I thought it robbe|ry at a high rate. Another came and took off my neck handkerchief. An old negro came and took my fife, which I considered as the greatest insult I had received while with the enemy. The Indians often came and abused us with their language; calling us Yankees and rebels; but they were not allowed to injure us. I was stripped of every thing valuable about me.

Page  7 The enemy soon marched back to Ticonde|roga, and left only a few to take care of the wounded. I was treated as well as I could ex|pect. Doctor Haze was the head Doctor, and he took true care that the prisoners were well treated. Doctor Blocksom, an under surgeon, appeared to be very kind indeed: he was the one, who had the care of me: he never gave me any insulting or abusive language: he some|times would say, "Well, my lad, think you'll be willing to list in the King's service, if you should get well? My answer was always no. The officers would flatter me to list in their ser|vice; telling me they were very sure to con|quer the country, since they had got our strong|est post. I told them I should not list.

But among all the troubles I met with, I re|ceived particular favors from two of the Brit|ish. This conduct appeared to me very remark|able; why or wherefore it should be, I knew not; but he, who hath the hearts of all men in his hands, gave me favor in their sight. They would often visit me, and ask me if I wanted any thing to eat or drink. If I did, I had it. The first time one of these friends came to me, was soon after I was brought to camp. As I lay on the ground, he asked me if I did not want a bed to lie on I told him I did: he goes and gets a large hemlock bark, and finding many old coats and overalls, taken from the dead and wounded, and putting them in the bark, made me a bed, and laid me into it. He built a shelter over me with barks, to keep the rain from me, which was a great kindness as it Page  8 rained exceedingly hard the next night. He went to a spring and brought me water as often as I wanted, which was very often, being very dry; my loss of blood occasioning much thirst. He asked me, also, if I wanted to eat. I an|swered yes; for having eat very little that day, I was very faint and hungry. He told me, he did not know as it was in his power to procure any thing for me, but would go and try. After an absence of considerable time (certainly the time seemed long) he returned with a piece of boiled pork and broiled liver, telling me this was all the food he could get. I thanked him and told him it was very good.

The next day he came and told me he had orders to march and must therefore leave me; was very sorry he could stay no longer with me; but hoped somebody would take good care of me; taking me by the hand he wished me well and left me.

The loss of so good a friend grieved me ex|tremely; but I soon heard that my other friend was ordered to stay behind to help take care of the wounded. My spirits, which before were very much depressed, when I heard of this, were much exhilarated; and once more I felt tolerably happy. The difference in mankind never struck me more sensibly than while a prisoner. Some would do every thing in their power to make me comfortable and cheerful; while others abused me with the vilest of lan|guage; telling me that the prisoners would all be hanged; that they would drive all the damn|ed rebels into the sea, and that their next win|ter Page  9 quarters would be in Boston. They cer|tainly wintered in Boston; but to their great disappointment and chagrin, as prisoners of war.

But to return. My wound being now a lit|tle better, I began to think of making my es|cape from the enemy. Two of my fellow pris|oners agreed to accompany me; one of them being well acquainted with the way to Otter|creek. This plan, however, failed; for, before we had an opportunity for making our escape, Doctor Haze called upon my companions to be ready to march for Ticonderoga; telling them that the next morning they must leave this place. Thus I found, that as soon as the prisoners were able to ride, they were ordered to Ticondero|ga. Being thus disappointed I begged of the Doctor to let me go with them. Says he, "You are very dangerously wounded, and it is im|proper for you to ride so far yet; but as soon as you are able you shall go." Being thus de|feated I again resolved to run away, even if I went alone, and it was not long before I had an opportunity. As all the prisoners were sent off except us, who were badly wounded, they thought it unnecessary to guard us very closely. I soon was able to go to the spring, which was at a little distance from camp. Thither I often went for water for myself and the Hessians, who, by the way, appeared to be pleased with me, for I often waited upon them; brought them water, made their beds. &c. and I found I fared the better for it. I often walked out into the woods where we had the battle; went to the tree where I was shot down; observed Page  10 the trees that were very much marked with the balls. One day as I was looking around, I found a few leaves of a bible; these I carried into the camp and diverted myself by reading them; for I felt much more contented when I had something to read. My friend, whom I have before mentioned, one day brought me a very good book, which he told me to keep as a present from him. This I heartily thanked him for, and whenever I was tired by walking, would lay down and read.

On the 22d of July, a number of men came down from Ticonderoga, with horses and litters sufficient to carry off the remainder of the wounded. Doctor Haze came to us and told us, that tomorrow we should all be carried where we should have better care taken of us. Says he, "I will send the orderly sergeant, who will see that your bloody clothes are well washed." This, he thought, would be very agreeable news to us. I pretended to be very much pleased, though I was determined never to go. I told the person, who lay next to me, that I intended to run away; desired him to make them believe I had taken the north road, if they inclined to pursue me, for I should take the south. Says he, "I will do all in my power to assist you, and wish it was possible for me to go with you."

I made it my business that day to procure provision sufficient for my journey. I had spared a little bread from my daily allowance, and although dry and mouldy, yet it was the best to he had. I had left, a large jack-knife the enemy had not robbed me of; I sold this Page  11 for a pint of wine, thinking it would do me more good on my march than the knife, as I found afterwards it did. The wine I put in a bottle and carefully stowed it in my pocket. I was hard put to it to get my shirt washed and dried before evening. However, agreeing with some to make their beds if they would dry my shirt, it was ready to put on by dark. I then went to my tent, took of my coat and jacket, and put on my clean shirt over my dirty one, and hav|ing filled my pockets with the little provision I had saved, I began my march homeward shoe|less; reflecting what I should do for so material part of my cloathing. It came into my mind that one Jonathan Lambart a day or two before had died of his wounds and left a good pair of shoes. Supposing my right to them equal to a|ny other person, I took them and put them on, hereby reversing the old proverd, He that waits for dead men's shoes will go barefoot.

It being dark I went out undiscovered and steered into the woods. After going a little way, I turned into the road and made a halt. Now was the trying scene! The night being very dark, every thing before me appeared gloomy and discouraging; my wound was far from be|ing healed; my strength much reduced by the loss of blood, pain, and poor living: thus situ|ated to travel alone, I knew not where, having no knowledge of the way, I thought it would be highly presumptuous. How far I should have to travel before I could reach any inhab|itants, I could not tell: Indians, I supposed, were lurking about, and probably I might be Page  12 beset by them and murdered or carried back; and if I avoid them, perhaps perrish in the wil|derness. Reflecting upon these things, my res|olution began to flag, and I thought it most pru|dent to return and take my fate. I turned a|bout and went back a few rods, when the fol|lowing words struck me as if whispered in my ear: Put not your hand to the plough and look back. I immediately turned about again, fully resolved to pursue my journey through the woods; but before morning, had I been possessed of millions of gold, I would freely have given the whole to have been once more with the enemy. The road in which I had to travel, was one newly opened, leading from Hubbartston to Otter|creek. The night being dark and the road ve|ry crooked, I found it very difficult to keep it; often running against trees and rocks, before I knew I was out of it; and then it was with much trouble that I found it again, which sometimes I was obliged to do upon my hands and knees and often up to my knees in mire.

About 12 o'clock I heard something coming towards me, what it could be I knew not, I, how|ever, halted and looked back; it was so dark, I was at a loss to determine what it was; but thought it looked like a dog. That a dog should be so far from inhabitants, I thought very strange. I at once concluded that he belonged to the Indians, and that they were not far off. I how|ever ventured to speak to him, and he immedi|ately came to me; I stroked him and gave him a piece of my mouldy bread, which he eat and soon appeared to be fond of me. At first I Page  13 was afraid he would betray me to the Indians; but soon found him of much service to me; for, after he came to me, I had not gone far, be|fore, I heard the noise of some wild beast. What it was, I dould not tell. I had just set down to rest me, with my back against a tree, my wound being very painful. As the beast came towards me, my dog appeared very much frightened; lay close down by me and trem|bled as if he expected to be torn in pieces. I now began to be much terrified; I however set very still, knowing it would do no good to run. He came within two rods of me, and stop|ped. I was unable to determine what it was, but supposed it was a wolf. I soon found I was not mistaken. After looking at me some|time, he turned about and went off; but before long returned with a large reinforcement. In his absence I exerted myself to the utmost to get forward, fearing he would be after me a|gain. After travelling about half an hour, I was alarmed with a most horrid howling, which I supposed to be near the tree which I rested by. Judge what my feelings were, when I found these beasts of prey were pursuing me, and expecting every minute to be devoured by them. But in the midst of this trouble, to my infinite joy, I discovered fires but a little way before me, which, from several circumstances, I was sure were not built by Indians; I there|fore at once concluded they were the fires of some scouting party of Americans, and I made great haste to get to them, lest I should be be o|vertaken by the wolves, which were now but a Page  14 little behind. I approached so near the fires as to hear men talk, when I immediately discov|ered them to be enemies. Thus disappointed, I knew not what course to take: If I continu|ed in the woods, I should be devoured by wild beasts; for having eat of the bodies which were left on the field of battle, they continued lurk|ing for more. If I gave myself up to the ene|my, I should certainly be carried back to Ti|conderoga, and from there to Canada, and pro|bably fare none the better for attempting to run away. Which way to escape I knew not; I turned a little out of the path and lay down on the ground to hear what was said by the en|emy, expecting every minute they would dis|cover me; the darkness of the night, however, prevented. These howling beasts approached as near the fires as they dared, when they halted and continued their horrid yell for some time, being afraid to come so nigh as I was. After the howling had ceased, I began to think of get|ting round the enemy's camp; being pretty certain, that as yet, I was not discovered. I a|rose from the ground and took a course, which I thought would carry me round the enemy. After travelling a little way, I came to the foot of a high mountain; to go round it I thought would carry me too much out of my course; I resolved therefore to ascend it; with much dif|ficulty I arrived at the top, then took a tack to the right; travelling that course sometime, I found I was bewildered and lost, and which way to go to find the road again I knew not, having neither moon nor stars to direct me; so I wan|dered Page  15 about in this wilderness till almost day, when I became so fatigued and worried, that I was obliged to lay down again: Judge what a persons feelings must be in such a situation.

I now repented of my ever leaving the ene|my. Here I was lost in the woods with but a very little provision, my wounds extremely painful, and, to sum all, little or no prospect of ever seeing human beings again. Thus I lay and reflected, my dog walking round me like a faithful sentinel, till at length I fell asleep; but was soon alarmed with the noise of cannon, which I concluded by the direction must be at Ticonderoga. Never was sound more grateful to my ears than this cannon. I thought I might possibly live to reach the place, and though an enemy's camp, I would have given any thing to be with them again.

Soon after the morning gun was sired, I heard the drums beat in the camp which I had visited in the night; this noise was still more grateful, for I was now sure they were not at a great dis|tance. With much difficulty I got on to my legs again, with a determination to go to their camp. I found however I could scarcely stand, for having laid down when I was very sweaty, I had taken cold, and was so stiff and sore, could hardly move. I now had recourse to my little bottle of wine, which relieved me very much, and then began to march towards the drums, which still continued beating.

After travelling a little way, I heard a cock crow, which appeared to be near the drums. I thought it of little consequence which object to Page  16 pursue, both being nearly in the same direction. But the noise of the drums pretty soon ceased, and I stared for the other object, which soon brought me into open land and in sight of a house. I got to the door just as the man arose from his bed, who met me. After the usual compliments, I asked him how far it was to the British encampment? He answered about fifty rods. "Do you want to go to them?" says he. I never was more at a stand what reply to make. As none of the enemy were about the house, I thought if I could persuade this man to be|friend me, I possibly might still avoid them; but if he should prove to be a tory, and know from whence I came, he would certainly betray me. I stood perhaps a minute without saying a word. He seeing my confusion spoke again to me; "Come, says he, come into the house." I went in and sat down. I will tell you, says I, what I want, if you will promise not to hurt me. He replied, "I will not injure you, if you do no injury to us." This answer did not satisfy me, for as yet I could not tell whether he would be a friend or foe. I sat and viewed him for some minutes, and at-last resolved to tell him from whence I came and where I wished to go, let the event be what it would. I was a soldier, said I, in the continental army, was dangerous|ly wounded and taken prisoner, had made my escape from the enemy, and, after much fatigue and peril, had got through the woods, being di|rected, to this house by the crowing of a cock. He smiled and said, "You have been rightly directed, for had you gone to either of my Page  17 neighbors, you undoubtedly would have been carried to the enemy again; you have now found a friend who will if possible protect you. It is true they have forced me to take the oath of allegiance to the king; but I sincerely hope the Americans will finally prevail, for I believe their cause to be just and equitable; should they know of my harboring rebels, as they call us, I certainly should suffer for it. Any thing I can do for you without exposing my own life, I will do." I thanked him for his kindness, and desired him not to expose himself on my ac|count.

After giving me something to eat and drink, he concealed me in a chamber, where, he said I might stay till the dew was off, and then must go out into some secret place in the bushes, there to continue till night; this he said was necessary as the enemy were often plundering about his his house, and if I continued in it, would pro|bably be discovered, which would ruin him. A little boy was set as a sentinel at the door, who was to give notice if any of the enemy came near. I had not been in the house half an hour, before a number of them came in, but with no other design than to buy some rum and milk, and to borrow a pot for cooking.

As soon as they were gone, the woman came into the chamber to dress my wound. She washed it with rum, applied dressings, and bound it up as well as she could. She showed every mark of kindness to me; but her husband, whose name was Moulton, in a day or two after I got to his house, was pressed by the enemy to bring Page  18 stores from Skeensborough with his team, and I never saw the good old man any more. His wife was in much trouble, least the enemy should find me in the house and be so enraged as to kill all the family. She permitted her little boy to guide me to the bushes, where I might secrete myself; she gave me a blanket to lie on. The boy went with me to my lurking place, that I might be easily sound, so as to receive refresh|ment. When night came on, I was called by the boy to the house again, and took my old stand in the chamber; the woman fearing I should receive injury by lodging out of doors. She informed me that a man would lodge there that night, who was a tory, and brother-in-law to her husband; one who had actually taken arms against his country. I told her, I appre|hended danger from tarrying in the house; she said there would not be any; I then lay snug in my straw.

In a short time the tory came for some drink; the indiscreet woman told him she had an A|merican in her chamber, who had been taken prisoner by the British and had escaped. He asked her what kind of a man I was: She told him I was a young fellow and wanted much to get home, and begged that I might not be taken back to the enemy or betrayed. His answer was very rough, and I began to think I was gone for it. I expected to be forced back; but the woman interceding so hard for me, softened the ferocity of my tory enemy. Knowing I was discovered, I crawled from my hiding place and began a conversation with the man. He Page  19 asked me if I belonged to the rebel service? I told him I belonged to the continental service. "What is that, says he, but the rebel service." He addressed me in very insolent language, and said he was very sorry to have me leave the king's troops in the manner I had done, and he would have me to know I was in his hands. I was patient and mild in my situation, telling him I was at his disposal. My good mistress often put in a word on my behalf.

After some time spent in this way, the man asked me if he should chance to be taken, and in my power as I was in his, whether I would let him escape? I told him I should. "Then, says he, if you will promise this, I will not de|tain you; also, that if you are retaken before you reach home, you will not inform, that you have seen me, or been at my brothers." I gave him my promise. His advice to me was imme|diately to set out, for if I should stay long I might be picked up by some body or other; "And, says he, I advise you to travel in the night and hide in the day, for many volunteers are reconnoitring up and down the country." I concluded to travel; but my feeling landlady thought it best to stay a few days longer. My friend tory said it was best for me to travel as soon as possible. "If you are determined to go to night, said the woman. I will dress your wound and give you food for your journey." I told her I would go as soon as possible. she then dressed my wound far the last time, and filled my pockets with good provision. After thanking her for her kindness, it being all the Page  20 compensation I could make, and I believe all that she desired, I left her.

But before I proceed on my journey, I must just tell you, that my dog, who had accompan|ied me through many dangers, I was obliged to drive from me; when in the chamber he would commonly lay at the foot of the stairs. Mrs. Moulton often told me, she was afraid he would betray me, for as the enemy were often in, should they see the dog, might suspect that somebody was in the chamber. I told her, with much regret, to drive him away; she with her little boy tried all in their power to get rid of him, but in vain; the dog would stay about the house; at length she called me to drive him a|way; I came down, and after much difficulty effected it.

But to return. After being told the course I must take, I began my journey in the night, which was dark and cloudy, through the woods. I had not travelled more than two hours, before I got lost. I concluded I had missed the road, and having reached the end of the one I was then in, I began to think of going back. My wound began to be very painful, and I was so fore, I could scarcely go. While I was seeking for the road again, there came up a thunder shower, and rained extremely fast. I crawled into an old forsaken novel, which was near, and lay till the shower was over; then went back a|bout half a mile and found the road once more. The road being newly opened through the woods was very bad, and it was with much dif|ficulty I could get along, often tumbling over Page  21 roots and stones, and sometimes up to my knees in mire. I once fell and was obliged to lay several minutes, before I could recover myself.

About twelve o'clock at night, as I was walk|ing in this wilderness, I was surprised by two large wild animals, which lay close by the road, and started up as soon as they saw me, run a sew rods and turned about towards me; wheth|er they were bears or wolves, I could not tell; I was however exceedingly terrified, and would have given any thing for my dog again. One of them followed me for a long time; some|times would come close to me, and at others, kept at a considerable distance. At last, he got discouraged and left me, and certainly I did not regret his absence.

At day light, I came into open land, and dis|covered a house belonging to Col. Meads. I was not a little rejoiced to see his house, as I knew he would be a friend to me; but my joy was of short continuance, for as soon as I look|ed into the door, I saw marks of the enemy; every thing belonging to the house being carri|ed off or destroyed. I thought it not prudent to go into the house left some of the enemy might be within; so I passed on as fast as possi|ble; it now began to grow light, and what to do with myself I could not tell. My friends had advised me to lay concealed in the day time and travel in the night.

When I viewed the depredations the enemy had made on the inhabitants, and finding many of them fled; not knowing how far I must tra|vel to find friends, and my wound being very Page  22 trouble some, I reflected long, whether to tarrg and be made prisoner, or push forward through a dreary wilderness; death seemed to threaten me on all sides; however, I collected resolu|tion sufficient to make to the east; I conceived myself exposed by my uniform and bloody clothes; to prevent a discovery by any who should be an enemy, I took off my shirt and put it over my coat, by which my uniform was covered; in this line I marched: it being the orders of the British for all tories, who came to join them, to appear in this dress; I considered myself protected. I travelled till the middle of the day, before I saw any person; I then met a man driving cattle, as I supposed to the enemy. He examined me closely, and enquir|ed if I was furnished with a pass? I gave him plausible answers to all his questions, and so far satisfied him as to proceed unmolested. I en|quired of him, if he knew one Joshua Priest; he told me he did, and very readily directed me to the place where he lived. Leaving this man, I had not travelled far, before I met a num|ber more, armed; being within about fifty rods of them, I thought to hide myself; but found I could not: I then made towards them, with|out any apparent fear. Coming up to them, I expected a strict examination; but they only asked me how far it was to such a town: I in|formed them as well as I could, and pushed on my way.

Being within a mile and a half of said Priest's, I saw two men making towards me: They came to a sence and stopped I heard them say, "Let's Page  23 examine this fellow, and know what his busi|ness is." One of them asked me where I was going: I told him to Joshua Priest's: He asked me my business there: I answered him, upon no bad errand: He says, "You are a spy:" I told him I was no spy; I did not like the fellow looks, therefore dropped the conversation with him, believing he was one of the enemy. I re|solved not to converse with any one, till I had arrived at Priest's, unless compelled to. Being almost overcome with fatigue, I wished for rest; however, these men seemed determined to stop me or do me some mischief, for when I walked on, they followed me upon the 〈◊〉 and in great rage told me, I should go no farther, until I had made known to them who and what I was; say|ing, they had asked me a civil question, and they required a civil answer. I told them if they would go to Priest's, I would tell them all the truth, and satisfy them entirely, repeating to them I was no spy. They say they did not mean to leave me till they were 〈◊〉 respec|ing me. I then, in short, told them what had besel in the whole, and added, that I was well acquainted with Priest, and intended to tarry with him some time.

We all arrived at Priest's, who at first did not recollect me. After some pause, he told me he was surprized to see me, as my father had in|formed him I was slain at Hubbardston. I told him, I was yet alive; but had received a bad wound. His family soon dressed my wound and made me comfortable. I then in the pre|sence and hearing of my tory followers, told Page  24 Priest the story of my captivity and escape, also repeated the insolent language used by the tories towards our people. When prisoners with the enemy; finding Priest my friend, I said ma|ny severe things against the tories, and fixed my countenance sternly on those fellows, who had pretended to lord it over me and stop me on my way. They bore all without saying a word; but looked as surly as bulls.

I soon found these tory gentry had premed|itated carrying me back, and were seeking help to prosecute their design. My friend Priest loaded his gun, and said he would give them a grist, if they dared come after me; but failing of getting any persons to join them, I was not molested.

I could often hear of my tory follower's threatnings against me, to take me back, saying, I should be able to sight again, and do injury to the enemy. I feated these tories would do hurt; but my fears were quieted by finding the neighbors were my friends, and would afford me their protection. Put I will write no more of tory plans.

After being at Priest's about ten days, there came, one morning, a number of persons to see me, and appeared very friendly and much con|cerned, lest I should be taken by the enemy. They informed me a man had arrived from Bur|goyne's army, and said a party of Indians was to be sent forward to guard the town where I was, and protect the tories and their property; our people coming twice while I was at Priest's to take tory property. These people told me Page  25 an honest story, and advised me to travel imme|diately. Being desirous to get home, I told my friend Priest I would not stay any longer. He says, "Don't be scared, I apprehend no danger from the Indians; tarry yet awhile for your wound is not healed; your are not able to tra|vel through the woods; but do as you think best." These men cried out, "Escape, escape, for your life; the Indians will be upon you be|fore tomorrow night."

Having resolved to go on, my friends fur|nished me with provision sufficient for my jour|ney. Without doubts and fears I went on my way, and, after travelling all day, I arrived at a place called Ludlow. From this town the people all fled and left their habitations: Great was my disappointment! I spent the night in a melancholy manner; having neither fire nor bed to comfort my shivering and impaired bo|dys.

About day, I set out from the dreary house, which had sheltered me in the night. By trav|elling, I found I had taken cold, and that my wound was very painful. Desponding, I thought it best to go back about seven miles to some in|habitants, rather than to proceed homeward. Just before night, I arrived 〈◊〉 the place of the inhabitants, seven miles back, who received me kindly, and took special care of my wound.

Just before sunset of the third day after my departure, I came to my old friend Priest's a|gain, who 〈…〉Page  26 betray them; their reports afterwards proving all false.

At my old friend, I stayed six weeks; in the mean time my wound was almost healed. I was hospitably entertained by him.

Having heard that one Mr. Atwell, who be|longed to New-Marlborough, was in the neigh|borhood with a team to move a family, I agreed with him for a horse to ride. After a journey of a few days I safely arrived at New-Ipswich, and once 〈◊〉 participated the pleasure of seeing 〈…〉 my friends and acquaint|ance having 〈◊〉 enemy to make me afraid.