Songs & Ballads Of the American Revolution

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218                           BATTLE OF THE KEGS.
a Connecticut regiment was selected for the business. Having such instructions as time would allow, late at night, he went under thf ship, and attempted to fix the wooden screw into her bottom, bu< struck a bar of iron, which passes from the rudder-hinge, and is spiked under the ship's quarter. Had he moved a few inches, there is no doubt he would have found wood where he might have fixed the screw, but not being wrell skilled in the management of the ves­sel, in attempting to move to another place, he lost the ship. After seeking her in vain some time, he rowed off, and rose to the surface of the water, but found daylight had advanced so far, that he dnre not renew the attempt. In his return from the ship to New York, he passed near Governor's Island, and thought he was discovered by the enemy. Being in haste to avoid the danger he feared, lie cast off the magazine, as he thought it retarded his progress, and in a short time it blew up with great violence, leaving the enemy to conjecture whether the stupendous noise was produced by a bomb, a meteor, a water-spout, or an earthquake. Several other attempts were made in Hudson's River, but no one succeeded."
" In the year 1777, Mr. Bushnell made an attempt from a whale boat against the Cerberus frigate, by drawing a machine against her side by means of a line. This machine was different from the tor­pedo. It was constructed with wTheels, furnished with irons, sharp­ened at the end and projecting about an inch, in order to strike the sides of the vessel when hauling it up, thereby setting the wheels in motion, which in five minutes caused the explosion. Commodore Simmons, being on board the Cerberus, wrote an official letter to Sir Peter Parker, describing the disaster occasioned by Buslmell's attempt on his ship. ' Being at anchor to the westward of New London with a schooner lie had taken, discovered about eleven o'clock at night, a line towing astern from the bows. He believed that some person had veered away by it, and immediately began to haul in. A sailor belonging to the schooner, taking it for a fishing-death. He died at Lyme, Connecticut, on the twenty-ninth of November, 1821, aged 72.

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