Songs & Ballads Of the American Revolution

90+ Songs With Notes & Illustrations - online book.

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1778.
Early in January, 1778, David Bushnell, the inventor of the American Torpedo, and other suhmarine machinery, prepared a number of " infernals," as the British termed them, and set them afloat in the Delaware River, a few miles above Philadelphia, in or­der to annoy the royal shipping, which at that time lay off that place. These machines were constructed of kegs, charged with pow­der, and so arranged as to explode on coming in contact with any thing while floating along with the tide. On their appearance, the British seamen and troops became alarmed, and, manning the ship­ping and wharves, discharged their small arms and cannon at every thing they could see floating in the river during the ebb tide. Upon this incident the following song was composed by Francis Hopkin-son, one of the happiest writers of his time. It soon became popu­lar with Washington's army, and is mentioned by Surgeon Thacher






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