“[p. 12] go out and see what is the matter?” General Gates made no reply, but, on being pressed, said, “I am afraid to trust you, Arnold.” To which Arnold answered, “ Pray let me go; I will be careful, and if our advance does not need support I will promise not to commit you.” Gates then told him he might go and see what the firing meant. Arnold lost no time in advancing with his brigade, and finding that the attack was serious, engaged the left of the enemy's right, where, meeting with great obstacles, he ordered me (I was then commanding the Eighth, or Jackson's Regiment, as it was commonly called) to get a position on the enemy's right flank. This was protected by Breyman's Fort, mounting several brass pieces, and was rather a breastwork, or redoubt, with guns mounted on three sides, than a fort. I advanced under cover of the woods, and as the regiment deployed out of them in front of the fort, the enemy, surprised at our sudden appearance, fired a volley of musketry at us. Seeing what they were about to do, as their heads rose above the parapet, the company on the left flank of the regiment, which was most exposed, immediately covered themselves from the discharge by dropping down behind a partridge log. I thought the volley had shot them all down, and rode to them in great haste to ascertain what was the matter. I was greatly agitated, and met Captain Bancroft, who commanded the left wing. He, also, had quit his place to see what disaster had occurred. At this moment the company all rose up and we were relieved from our apprehension. I was still, however, greatly agitated, and speaking sharply to Captain Bancroft I said, “What business have you here, sir?” The captain said, “I came to see what had happened to the company on the left.” I said, “You are out of place, sir.” With the submissive spirit of a good soldier he replied, “ I am ready to obey your orders, Colonel.” With great perturbation I responded, “My orders are that you advance and enter those lines, sir.” The captain, smarting under the reproof, quickly gave the word, “ Come on, my boys, and enter that fort.” Then,
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