Songs & Ballads Of the American Revolution

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216                          BATTLE OF THE KEGS.
most unparalleled skill and bravery on the occasion, whilst the citi­zens stood gazing as solemn witnesses of their prowess. From the Roebuck, and other ships of war, whole broadsides were poured into the Delaware. In short, not a wandering chip, stick, or drift log, but felt the vigor of the British arms. The action began about sun­rise, and would have been completed with great success by noon, had not an old market-woman, coming down the river with provis­ions, unfortunately let a small keg of butter fall overboard, which, as it was then ebb tide, floated down to the scene of action. At the sight of this unexpected reinforcement of the enemy, the battle was renewed with fresh fury, and the firing was incessant till evening closed the affair. The kegs were either totally demolished, or obliged to fly, as none of them have shown their heads since. It is said that his Excellency Lord Howe has despatched a swift-sailing packet, with an account of this victory, to the court at London. In a word, Monday, the fifth of January, seventeen hundred and seventy-eight, must ever be distinguished in history for the memorable battle of the kegs."
2  Sir William he, snug as a flea. Sir William Howe commanded the British army, which entered Philadelphia on the 27th of Sep­tember, 1777.
3  In bed with--------------. The wife of Joshua Loring, a refugee
from Boston, made commissary of prisoners by General Howe. " The consummate* cruelties practised on the American prisoners under his administration, almost exceed the ordinary powers of hu­man invention. The conduct of the Turks, in putting all prisoners to death, is certainly much more rational and humane than that of the British army for the first three years of the American war, or till after the capture of Burgoyne."
4  Sir ErsMne at command. Sir William Frskine, a General in the British army. He attended the expedition against Danbury, Con­necticut, in 1777.
6 Of rebel staves and hoops. David Bushnell was a native of Say-brook, Connecticut. The particulars of li's early life are unknown. Early in the autumn of 1776, he submitted to General Washington

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