* * * * During the whole affair the Rebels attacked us in a very scattered, irregular manner, but with perseverance and resolution, nor did they ever dare to form into any regular body.
Indeed they knew too well what was proper, to do so.
Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob will find himself much mistaken.
They have men amongst them who know very well what they are about, having been employed as Rangers against the Indians and Canadians; and this country, being much covered with wood, and hilly, is very advantageous for their method of fighting.
Nor are several of their men void of a spirit of enthusiasm, as we experienced yesterday, for many of them concealed themselves in houses and advanced within 10 yards to fire at me and other officers, though they were morally certain of being put to death themselves in an instant.
You may depend upon it that as the Rebels have now had time to prepare, they are determined to go through with it, nor will the insurrection turn out so despicable as it is perhaps imagined at home.
For my part, I never believed, I confess, that they would have attacked the King's troops, or have had the perseverance I found in them yesterday.
I have myself, fortunately, escaped very well, having only had a horse shot.
Poor Lt. Col.'s Smith and Barnard are both wounded, but not badly. * * * *
Among the unnamed losses on the 19th, Mr. Cooke
may have lost his canonicals, if the appended story is correct:
In Wisner's History of the Old South, Boston, p. 108, is an anecdote relative to the British desecration of the Old South Meeting House, quoted from the ‘Recollections of a Bostonian,’ in the Columbian Centinel of Nov. 17, 1821. ‘I was told that a ludicrous scene took place in the course of the preceding winter.
A good old woman that frequently passed the church, was in the habit of stopping at the door, and with loud lamentations (amidst the hootings of the soldiery) bewailed the desolation of the house of prayer.
She denounced on them the vengeance of Heaven, and assured them that good old Doctor Sewall, the former Parson of the Church, would rise from his grave and carry them off. A Scotch sentinel was one night alarmed by an appearance of what he thought was an apparition of the Doctor.
He screamed most violently, and alarmed the guard of grenadiers, who were always stationed at the Province house, then occupied by General Howe.
There was no pacifying him, until some one asked how the Doctor was dressed, and he answered, with a large wig and gown.
One of the inhabitants, who had been drawn there from curiosity, assured him it could not have been Doctor Sewall, because he never wore a wig, which restored the poor fellow to his senses.
It was generally supposed to be a trick of one of the English soldiers, who wished to frighten a superstitious Scotchman, and for that purpose had ’