Songs & Ballads Of the American Revolution

90+ Songs With Notes & Illustrations - online book.

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The particulars known, concerning the capture, trial, and execu­tion of this gallant, and much lamented young officer, are few. Washington, after the retreat of his army from Long Island, in 1776, wishing to obtain information relative to the true situation, and in­tended operations, of the royal troops, applied to one of his officers, for a " discreet and enterprising person to penetrate the enemy's camp." This request was communicated to Nathan Hale,1 a cap­tain in Colonel Knowlton's regiment. " Animated by a sense of his duty," Hale undertook the dangerous service, and passed into the British lines in disguise. He obtained the desired information; but on his return, was apprehended and carried before Sir William Howe, to whom he frankly acknowledged the object of his visit. Howe immediately gave an order to the provost marshal, and Hale was executed in the early part of the next day. " The execution was carried on in a most unfeeling manner, and by as great a savage as ever disgraced humanity. A clergyman, whose attendance he desired, was refused him ; a bible for a moment's devotion was not procured, though he requested it. Letters, which on the morning of his execution, he wrote to his mother, and other friends, were

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III