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[194] half had halted, he ordered the remaining half to retreat slowly in the same way; to pass through the line, and retreat twenty steps behind the front rank. They did so successfully. The cavalry rushed forward, but did not fire. Pritchard's men understood the movement, and were not terrified at superior numbers. They continued to retreat in this unassailable and American fashion for nearly an hour, when the narrow road ended in a broken, rocky pasture. Now their destruction seemed certain. Captain Pritchard saw near him a ledge of rocks and a narrow pass. He resolved to get there if he could. But how could it be done? The enemy had now come out, and nearly surrounded him. He formed his men into a hollow square, and ordered them to retreat sideways towards that narrow pass. They did so, each keeping his place, and presenting his bayonet to the foe. They reached the rock; and there they must stop. With their backs to the precipice, and their face to the enemy, they must now surrender or die. They had resolved to try the chances of battle. The British had now come round them in such overwhelming numbers, that they felt desperate. Just as the British officer had ordered them to surrender, a detachment of American troops came suddenly upon them. The cavalry saw they themselves must be taken; and they turned and fled.

Major Brooks narrated to General Washington every particular of this victorious strategem; and Washington said, “There is nothing in our military history yet that surpasses the ingenuity and fortitude of that manoeuvre.” Captain Pritchard was very young, and a great favorite in the army; and, when it became his turn to watch through the night, it was a common saying among the officers, “We can sleep soundly to-night; Pritchard's out.” He returned to Medford after the war, resumed his trade of cooper, and died, June 8, 1795, aged forty-three.

Colonel Ebenezer Francis, son of Ebenezer Francis, was born in Medford, Dec. 22, 1743, on Thursday, and baptized on Christmas Day, the next Sunday. Living in Medford till his majority, he was studious to gain knowledge, and succeeded beyond most others. He moved to Beverly, and, in 1766, married Miss Judith Wood, by whom he had four daughters and one son. That son he named Ebenezer, who now resides in Boston, is nearly eighty years of age, and one of our most distinguished merchants.

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