The Liberty Boys on picket duty, or, Facing the worst of dangers


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The Liberty Boys on picket duty, or, Facing the worst of dangers

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Title:
The Liberty Boys on picket duty, or, Facing the worst of dangers
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Creator:
Moore, Harry
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
History -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783 ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
025745119 ( ALEPH )
72801842 ( OCLC )
L20-00241 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.241 ( USFLDC Handle )

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., •, ' lfs'Ued W ukly-S11bscripfion p1iee, .00 per year; Canada, .50; Fo eig $4.00. Frank To Usher, 168 West 29d St., New York, N. Y. Entereq, as second class January 31, 1[)13, ike ui f\cw 1'ork, N. Y., ... ' dazed conUi tion. the boys da:.hed toward t h e other t ' scoi,mdrels. t the au1e time two or t ree tr).ore J;Uen came out o log t a bin not far distf.nl, carryi g bundles. "Reiea. that old man." ried I.lob. Dick nothin , but g;1i c one of .tJte men a remendc; 1s blow on ig g ray. Just behind him wa a dashing-looking boy, a fo bay mare. This was Jack Warren, as one would often . meet. Behi11d him were two young fell ows riding a 1.mi. r

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LIBERT_l.' BOYS OF 'JG. ' They were Harry Thurbe r and Harr y Judson, fast friends and ir>t-eparab l e companions, being known as the two Harrys. \\Tith the m were Ben Spurlock a n d Sam Sander son, two j olly lookin g boys, a lso well mou,n t ed. The s ix now raced fo r ward with a cheer, and then two more boys appeared . The Tories , seeing the odds again s t the m, fl e d i n all di rections . Three of them got into the boat and p u lled rap id l y out upon the river. One mau attempting to get int o the boat fell ioto the water and S c t up a trc.mendous shout. T:. e others took to the woods at oue side and speedily disappeared. The man in the rh-er swam speed"ly down stream .md was soon out of sight. " \\'ell, Dick, what was it all about?" asked Mark. "\Ve hear.cl the girl calling," added Jack, "and kne w that was wrong." 'AH' the Dootch;non an' wqr the lasht av a ll.' said a rosy-faced Irish boy, one of the pair who had. last arrived. was Patsy Brannigan, the company cook, one o f the funmakers of the camp and as brave as a lion. '"Ya, 'Jut Jot don\1 was our fault," an"wered h is c o m panion, a fat German boy. His name was Carl Gookenspieler a n d he a n d Pat s y >ere fas t friends. ' The old man, seemi ng greatly exhausted was now sitting a bench alongside the cabin door . ' lhe bo_Ys dismounted and the girl , c oming forward, d to Dick: "I am greatl y oblige d t o you fo r yiour timely assi stance , "We a r e always ready t o go to the aid o f those i n distress" 'Was Dick's r ep l y. ' "Those men woul d have robbed,_ and perhaps murdered my gi;andfather and car ri e d me o ff, b u t or your inter ference." "\\'ho are they?" "Tod Bluff and a part o f his Tory gan g. He is leagued ith Bill Cunningham, of whom y o u may have heard." ' "Yes, but not of Bluff.'"' "He was the man with the beard, the first man to g e t away when the boys c ame u p . " • 'He is a coward, as well as a bull y and scoundre l then?" . "Yes. But are you, boys soldiers? You seem young for , hat. " ''We are some o f the L ibert y Boys," and Dick rapidl y introduced the differen t boys. "My name is Mary Nesbit t1 " the gi rl s a id. "This i s m y r a . .:father. My fat her is i n the army. My brother Jim 's working a m ile o r two away. " "Does Tod Bluff l ive in the n e i ghborhood?" He used to live in Ninety-si x village, but h e isn't there ' ery often. H e roams over the district with h is gang, and , goes with Bi ll Cun11ingham." "\Ve will have ,to k c e watch on him," shortly. "He a lways attacks defenseless people, o r wher e the men have gone.away fo r a time." "There are many like him, and not a ll Tor ies, I am sorry to say." "Yes. I know of some. S t i ll . I am glad t o k now that there a r e plenty o f r e . a l patriots. You boys are such I )!:now." '\ \. l\t this moment t h e tramp of horses was heard, a n d a . o zen mor e Liberty Boys come i n sight. O ne of the se, a hand some boy on a w hite horse, di s ounted. "From General G r e e ne," h e sai d. ,Dick read the -iispatch and said: l"\Ve are to go on picket duty around N i n ety-si x . Come. e must b e off!" C HAPTER II. SPYING UPON THE ENEMY . Old District Ninety-six was so called because it wu ninety-six miles from the frontier fort, Prince George. I t was i n the easter n part of Abbeville district, near the borders of E d g efi e ld, and within six mVes of the Saluda N o portion of the State suffered more during the war, as it was a neutral ground and was roamed over by Whigs and Tories alike and contests between them were most fre q uent. The little village of Ninety-six was stockaded to de f end i t fro m the i nvasion s of the hostile Cherokees, and, after the fall o f Charleston the British made it one of their:, po5ts. It was in a posit io n to maintain communication with the In-iians, \ , h igs i n che c k and protect the Loyalists, ann i t afforded an c.xc ell en t recruiting station for the collec.ti o n of Tory material i n tha t quarte r. A t the t i m e of our s t ory it was garrisoned by something over five hundred Loya lists from N e w York, New Jersey and South Caolina, commanded by LieutL .. a nt-Colonel Cru ger of New York. Lear. t iat. G r e e!le was approaching, Cruger began streni;theumg fortt c a tions. ' Ile had a l ready b ui l t a stockaded fort on the borders o( the v illage with the a ddition of a ;;t a r redoubt. This a p a rapet was raised, a ditch was dug around i t , and a co vered way communicating with the village was prepa red. B l o c k h o u s es, fo rmed of notched logs, were erected on t he side of the village, and by the time ot s arriv al seemed to be utterly impregnable to the patriot army. Gree n e h a d one thousand men, and was aided by Count Kosciusko, who at o n ce began the construction of a series o f,' parallels by which. to approach the enemy's works. I he ca m p o f the Liberty Boys was in the woods a mile o r t w o from Ninety-six. ' R e a c hin g this , Dick sprang upon a splendid, coal-black h o rse of pure Arabian blood and rode off to see General Greene . The general's in structions were that the Liberty Boys wer e t o act as a picket guard around Ninety-six and ob tain all the information concerning the enemy that they cuuld. Th y were to drive bac k rallying and scouting parties, p r event a n y one Lorn g o in g in or out, inter c epting sup p 1 ies and h a rass the e n e m y all they could. "'Yo u w ill have t o face the worst of dangers," said the gene. r a t ; " " but I know tha t you are reliable and that I can tru s t you. " . "We are ready to go wherever duty calls, General, .. sai d Dick. "And the worst of the dangers have no terrors for u s ." T hey would be exposed to attacks from the enemy, f'rom the h ostile Indian s and from the predatory bands of Tori es , a n d they would have to exerc ise constant vigil ance Men like Bill Cunnir.gham would try to find and break u p their camp. and the enemy would lose no opportUIUty ot cu t t ing off their pickets. . The Indians, restless at times , could easily be incited again s t t h e m , and t hey would be exposed constantly to of a ll sor t s . They were hardy, young fellows, however, and there was not one who was not thoroughly devoted to the cause . Not only that, but they had long seen active service a.M w e r e u se d t o b eing-undtlll" fiJM. D i c k S l ater himseii was thoronghly Bob, Mark, Jack, Ben, the two Hurys and a llQ>w were brav e to rashness and rearea notning. 1 D ick . had perfec t confidence in all the boys, and they wer throughly de\ o l e d t o h im. Leavin g t he general, Dick set out for his own camp. Ou the w a y he determined to have a look at the enemy, and i f possi b le to see if Tod Bluff and his Tories had their quarters in the neighborhood. Somet i me s these bands were quite large and had extensive camps. Boys took a hasty leaye of l\1ary and her Again they then rode off toward' District Ninetysix, •made sudd e n hung a bout the wciods or swamps and sallie s upon the patriots, never being long distant. in one. plac e.

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THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76. Dick had seen Bluff. for a short time only . . but would know the fellow again, as he never forgot a face or a voice . Riding on where the woods bordered the road on both sides, Dick at length met two or three evil-looking rr.en on foot. Dick looked sharply at them, but did not recognize any of them. "Do yer think yer'll know us again when yer see us, rebel? " asked one. "Yes, I certainly shall," was Dick's reply. "Wull, yer may see us sooner'n yer expect. " "Perhaps; but I am not counting' on enjoying the pleasure of y our a cquaintance. " "Don't yer git too sassy, yer rebel! Et don't hurt ter be civil." " Y o u are none too civil yourself. You started calling me a rebel in the beginning." " v Y all , ain' t yer one?" "No." "What yer got on thet there uniform fur then, cf yer ain't?'' " I am a patrio t. We do not know any rebels." "Huh! Ye' r e mighty purtic'lar, I reckon. Every one calls yer rebels, an so yer be." ''Do y o u three belong to Tod Bluffs gang of Tories?" Dick a s k ed. ' "Dunno what ye're talkin' erbout, " coloring. "Dunno enny sech pus s o n." • "Take ca re that you don't, then, for he's a scoundrel and we mean lo run him out of the district." "Huh! l ' ll t ell hif!! ef I see him," grunted the man, and be >Vent on w it h hi s companions. "If I a m not mi stake n , they do belong to the gang," was Dick's t ho u ght, "and they will tell Bluff what I said. " Dick was n o t a fr a id of letting the Tories know of his intentions, h ow ever; and, in fact, he was just as well satisfied that they d i d . Dismounti n g, he left Major, his black Arabian, under trees and s t o l e throug h the woods after the three men. "Hu!:>.! Them young rebels is gettin' right pert, seems ter me, Joshwa y ," s a i d o ne . "Recko n they b e, Eli. Tod'll feel glad to hear what they think o n hi m. " "Shou l d n't w onder ef he did. He allus did like ter have folks thi11k highly of him." " Shouldn't wonder ef thet was ther young feller what made trouble fur Tod this mornin'." "Reckon it was." Dick followed the men, saw them turn down a little lane and then trailed them to a camp in .a deep wood. Here he saw Tod Bluff and a number of the men he had seen in the morning. "They have a camp, then," he said to himself. "The 59oner we break it up, then, the better." He noticed the size of the camp and its position and the number of men it would hold, and then began to steal away . He suddenly stepped upon a dry twig, which brQke with a fired on him. that?" cried several of the Tories, springing to their feet. Dick made off rapidly, but was seen. "There's ther puky rebel now!" cried' one. "That' s Dick .:cs:ter! Ketch him!" shouted Bluff . .A num.}.;r set off in pursuit of Dick, and some of them on imn. Dick returned the fire of the Tories and caused several ;-J them to jump. ' 'Juttll him!" l'oared B1aff. '"There' s er reward out for w "::1!e '"'.:'"'ries came swarming after him in ma'fiy dit:ections, 11fying t o overtake him or to head him off. ' Dick took a short cut through the woods, reached Major and, springing into the saddle, he l'ode off. A numbe r of shots flew after him, but all went wild. "I know where their camp is , at any rate," thought Dick, "and if they do not move we will drive them out."' Then he rode on, and before IQng was reconnoitering the enemy's works from the shelter of a wood. Climbing a tree, he looked down upon some of the block hOllses and saw mc1:1 working. inside the-stocka. iles. He might have been a mark for some sharpshooter's, had there been any around. 1: Descending the tree he'mounted Major and rode rapidly to another part of the defences, getting a look at these from the top of another treetop. "They look strong," he said; "but we may be able to carry them for all that," and then he rode back to the camp. CHAPTER III. LURKING ENEMIES. That afternoon Dick had his camp moved nearer to the enemy's lines, the better tn enable the Liberty Boys to act as a picket guard. It was probable that he would change its location again if the enemy discovered where it was, . Dick's idea was to keep moving and to watch the enemy from different points. By this means they would never be! certain of his position, and he could keep a better watch upon them. He saw Tod Bluff..and the 'Tories, upon which he meant to make a descent, all in good time. There were other things to be seen to first , and the Tories might leave uf their own accord. Directly the boys moved the camp all got bus y and put things in shape. Then Patsy said to Carl: "Corne on out wid me, Cookys pil!er, an ' we'll get some thin' to ate." ''Was you been hungry?" asked Carl, who was sitting in the tent, mending a pair of breeches. HNo, Oi'm not; but the byes will be, an' Oi want to have somethin' ready for thim. " 'Dot was different. Will you waited to I put on mein b,recches . " "Ye have thim on already. How many do yer wear at a toime?" "I was meant dese what I was mendt." "Sure an' phwat soort av talk is that? " laughed Patsy. "What der madder was mit dot?" snapped Carl, who was peppery at times. ' ''Yez said ye meant what yez meant. Av coorse ye do an' aon'y fool wud know that." J "J sayed 1 was meaned dose breeches what I was mended alretty. Don"t dot was plain enough?" . a "Yiz now it is; but hurry up. I can't wait Jill day." j' Cart' fixed up his old breeches and set out with Patsy, car rying a musket on his shoulder. "Maybe we was met ein bear or somedings, und we go ein shoot at him," he remarked. 1 "Yis but Oi'd rather see a rasher av bacon "Dot bakon don'd was runed arouind legs. " .-0 "Sure it does. Did yez niver see a pig, Cookyspiller? "Humbug! Dot don'd was been bacon to it was deadt Picks is picks, und bacon---" "Is very foine to ate wid pitaties or a bit av corn phwin it is noiceiy froied." cl "Ya I bet me; but dot was bunged up by der iimokehouse;; dQ.t don' d went aroundt mit legs, I toldt. you.'".. "Sure it does. but niver moind, I'll get glad .av ann thing." . 1 1 I ! !.iH!f. 1 On went the boys into the woods, and presently Ca . heard the fluttering 6f wings among the trees. 11 He raised !:Us musket, fired and brought down a which he coulo put in his waistcoat pocket. "Sure dat's murtherr1 laughed Patsy. "Phwy did ye0 kill a bird !oike that?" , "Well, I don'd was saw him. How I was knowed thau him wasn't more bigger? " "Sure don't yez lm1>w it's not the saison for birruds no anyhow0?" ' "Well, I was shooted some
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/ r.rHE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76. "Looking for something to feed the boys on, I sup 'ose ?" "Wa'al, you go on down the ro;,id about haffer mile an' carry." "Will they, now?" asked Patsy, with an innoc.eo.t look, but with his eyes open for all that. "Suttinly. We're all rebels 'round here an' yer'll get all yer want." "Sure, that's foine," said Patsy. "Come on, Cookyspiller!' ' and then he set off in a1;1 entirely different direction from the one indicated. He had been suspicious of the men in the beginning, but now he was certain that they were Tories. N o patriot would call himself a '1rebel," Patsy well knew. "Hi! That's not ther wny!" the man cried. "It's the way Oi'm goin' thin. Don' t yez knQW that's the longest way 'round is the .shortest way home?"' "Here! Come back here, yer rebels!" shoutec;I the man, " Go sa v e yer breath to cool yer porridge!! retorted Patsy, "It's' goin' this way Oi am. " Other rou&tb-looking men had joined the first and' they now came hurrying through the woods after the two Liberty Boys . "Have ye z got yer musket loaded?" asked Patsy, "Ya , I was had dot ein long time alretty loaded, I bet' me.,, ' "Thin don't g o so fasht." Patsy suddenly stopped, turned abruptly and whipped out a couple o f pistols. The boys showed such a '-determined front that the Tories decided to let them alone and withdrew. Then the two plucky fellows returned to the camp. The fires were lighted, and the boys sat around, talking. . laughing and s in ging and enj9ying themselves, as a lot of 'healthy, vigorous boys might. "There was a fl!ll moon, the woods beyond the camp were dark, affordmg good h1dmg places for enemies, both man and beast. The pickets were set and the boys kept a tareful w;i.tch upon the camp and saw that no one approached it. I Beyond the ca _ll?P lurked1 evil men, however, spying upon the boys and wa1tmg for some of them to come out. ' Jack Warren, his musket on his shoulder was parading bi s beat when Dick came along, ' • In the woods, not f.ar away, lurked Tod Bluff <1nd some pf the Tories. i , They 't\'.ere with stout club$, which would be quite . as effective as pistols at short r ange and would make . )ittle o r no noise. . "It's a fine night, Jack," said Dick, walking alongside the J:lashing fellow. "Yes, but there might be enemies about, for all that," was Jack's reply. 1 "Very true," said Dick. " Ap.d there is a camp of them 1,hot far away."' it "Say Y.OU so, Dick?" . • "Yes; come this way a little.'' c They walked across the open space {oward the edge of l fhe woods, everything being bright where they stood and . ark and silent beyond. "There i s the camp of the Tories over in that direction, ack,'' said Dick, pointing. E;v e n at that moment Blff and his party of ruffians came neakiqg out of the bushes, ready to spring upon Dick and is companio n. 'r One or two quick blows with those cruel clubs and the 1 oys would be past giving an alarm. In another moment the Tories would have been upon hem. At that moment, however, Dick's quick ear caught a spicious sound i n the bushes. e CHAPTER IV. HOT WORK WITB THE TORRIES. )() As Dick stopped to point out to Jack the location of he Tory camp, the ruffians were within a few feet of When Dick ceased speaking heard a rustling among m e bushes. With the rapidity of lightning, he turned and whipped, out a brace of pisto ls . "On guard, Jack!" he hissed. "Take aim!" Jack's musket was in a positio n in a m oment. Both the boys fell back as the Tories made a.. rnsh, bran .. dishing their clubs. , They thought that they might even yet have time to deal one or two deadly blows at the boys. They did not count upon Dick Slater's ' quickness, how-ever. Crack-crack-crack! "Fire, Jack!" Dick fired two or three shots with great rapidity, and Jack blazed away with hi s trusty musket at the advancing Tories. A bullet struck Bluff' s cl ub and s e n t it flyin f out of his hands. Another carried' away hi s round hat, and a third passed through the sleeve of his coat . Then Jack threw his muske t over hi s shoulder, wh'ippeci out his pistols and be gan p epperin g the Tor ies in the liveliest fai;hion . At the first shot the Liberty Boys were arous ed. Following the direction of the sounds, they arrived upon the scene as Jack began to discharg e his pistols , The Tories were making off \Vith great rapidity, th
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• THE LIBERTY: BOYS OF '76. "Nein, und der next dime you doh'd was so sthoopid been, I bet me," added Carl. . "Go'n wid yez, or Oi'll give yez a bat in the hid," muttered Patsy. "Catch him, Bill!" yelled Bluff, and Dick recQgnized t leader of the other party as the infamous Bill Cunninghanj chief of a band of. Tory desperadoes, known as the "Blood Scout." '&Humbug!" cried Carl, going away, laughing, and Patsy joined him. "We'll rout them out in the morning, Bob," said Dick, as he went back to the camp. , The boys returned to the fires or their tents, the pickets continued their march and in a short time all was still. ,"Not this time,'' he said, as he raced on like the wind. CHAP'I'ER V . ON THE WATCH. The Tories
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TBE LIBERTY .BOYS OF '76. A little later, at an entirely different part of the camp, some of Bill Cunningham's men tried to steal in on the pickets. 'l'he clear space about the camp made it necessary to take a long shot, however. Paul listening i"ntently, heard some one coming cautiously through the woods beyond. \\Talking on steadily, he got behind a tree. ''Who is that, one of Bill Cunningham's gang?" he asked. Before he had spoken three words a rifle rang out sharply and a bullet struck the tree. Paul fired in the direction of the flash and there was a howl of rage. "Run in, Bill!'" hissed some one. Paul fired his pistols, and then there was a howl. Then Sam San<;lerson, not far away, fired into the woocls. "Gosh! They're all over, an' I couldn't see one," snli.rled some one. • 'Vill Freeman, hearing steps, fired 'without giving challenge. "If I said, 'Who goes there?" l'd be hit in a second," be said, dryly . :\way ran somebody with a snarl, and there was a rattling fire all alon g the line for a hundred feet. Retreating footsteps were heard, and then in a few minutes all was still again. The boys might have been shot down from the woods but for their vigilance. They knew the danger they ran, however, and every one of them was on his guard. It was Cunningham's habit to steal upon a camp and pick off the sentries, either by shooting them or rushing in s uddenly with a kniie or a club and despatching them. The boys knew this. and were prepared. Later, in the darke.st hour of the night, three or four attempts t o kill the guards were made by Cunningham and BlufL The boys had orders to fire upon any o n e coming to the camp in a suspicious manner, and n o word. were wasted in challenges. The Yery hail would t e ll the secre t ass assin just where the sentry was, and the boys guarded this. One of the boys , standing in the shadow of a tree, heard whispers and stealthy footsteps. At once he fired and th..:n drew hi s pi stols . ''Kill ther rebel, Bill!" hissed a voice. Shots were fired, which the alert Liberty Boys answered rapidly. . . Then Patsy, not far away, began a lively fusillade, crymg: "Crawl away, ye snakes! We h;ive no use for yez intoirely !" From three or four points far apart came simultaneous reports. The Tories had been detected wherever they had attempted to steal in . Knowing the danger they faced, the undaunted youths were ready .and their wily foes w ere foiled in their at" tempts. A.it one point, where a boy named \\'alter Jennings was on picke t, men were heard whispering: ''I can't' see no one. I guess we've went by ther camp." "Reckon we will an' we're slicker'n Tod Bluffs &"ang, enny ter cro down te1 ther :N' e sbitt place."' "Thet's where Tod tried ter do somethin', ain't et?" ' ' Yas; but ef we go there at night time or early in ther morning', we'll do better." ' 'Reckon we will an' we're slicker' n Tod Bluf'fs i"ang, ennyway." Walter did not fire, s o long as the men did not advance. He did not wish the outlaws to know that he had heard them, and h e remained motionless. Presently the men stole away, and before long the shots ceased and everything was still once As soon as he could get away Walter tol Dick what he had heard. "There i s no doubt that an attempt will be made to rob and burn the house ," Bick said, ''and we must prevent it." Before it was light Di<:k took a party of Liberty Boys and set out for the Nesbitt house. Reaching the river, some of the boys, headed by Bob, took boats and went down quietly and cautiously. The rest rode, separating into two or three parties. and going on without noise or confusion., Nearing the cabin, the boys posted themselves here and there under the trees and waited. The. river party, arriving in sight of the house, landed and waited in the shadows. No one had yet come tn plunder or burn, and it might be that they would not. .i, The boys were ready fo1 them, however, and they would have a warm reception if they did come. When the gra1 of the
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