The Liberty Boys' forced march, or, Caught in a terrible trap

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The Liberty Boys' forced march, or, Caught in a terrible trap

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The Liberty Boys' forced march, or, Caught in a terrible trap
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Moore, Harry
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
History -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783 ( lcsh )
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.
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025745119 ( ALEPH )
72801842 ( OCLC )
L20-00272 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.272 ( USFLDC Handle )

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..: } 'RANK TOVSEY, P VHJ, J S H E U , 1 68 W t : S T 2311 STnEF.T, NEW YOltK :No. 1076 NEW YOkK, AU GU S T 12, 19 2 1. Price 7 Cents The Liberty Boys. to the shore and. wade d out of the water. Suddenly a number of redcoats rushed from behind the rocks. "We are caught in a terrible trap! " cried Dick, raising bis band. Up went Harry'.s h ands, too.


The Liberty Boys of '76 laened Weekly-Subscription pric e. $3 . 50 p e r y ear; Cana d a, $ 4. 00 ; Foreig n, $4.llO . Frank Tousey, Publ11her, 168 Weit 23d Street , New York, N. Y . E nter e d as S econd-Class Matter January 31 , 1 9 13, at the Po1t-O ffice at New York, N . Y., unde r the Act of M a r c h S. 1879. No. 1076 NEW Y ORK, AUGUST 12, 1 92 1. P r i c e 7 Cents. The Liberty Boys' Force

2 THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED . MARCH Bob, "but we might have b een upset if you hadn't obeyed orders. " . The boy in the other boat winked at Bob and laughed, but the girl with him said: "Well, my dear, you can t e ll me how it all came about, but first we mus t get you some dry clothe s . Will you come into our boat, or will you l e t the captain bring you up to the hou se? It is not far." "I would not have gone at all in this plight, Sylvia, if you had not come along, but now I suppo s e I cannot help it." The two boats were now going up the creek, side by side, the t w o girls talking together and entirely oblivious of the talk of the boys . They presently arrived before a wide m eadow,, in which , approached by a Q.rive as well as by a shaded walk, stood a spacious dwelling built i n the fashion then i n . vogue in the South, with large pillar s in front and galleries on two s tories extending all around the house, s o that one co u ld always find a shady spot wherein to sit. "Will you come u p to the house, Captain?" asked Sylvia, as the two boats glided up to the little jetty. "We shall be pl-ea se d to have you." "If you will excuse us at. present, Miss," D ick returned, "we shall be glad to do so at another time; but just now we wish to see what progress the en e m y has made. " "Oh, of co u r s e , if you have important bus iness we cannot think of detaining you . Do you think that the enemy will come up the river soon, Captain?" "That i s what I wish to find out. " "I have not thanked you fo r what y o u d i d for m e," said Grace. "I do not know what I s hould have done if you h a d not come to my r esc u e . " , "Then I am glad that we were there," said D ick, including Bob. "My name i s Grace Goodenou g h, and I live in New York, but I am on a vi sit to som e old friends. I can handle a canoe, but I don't know anything about alligators." "I am Sylvia Patton," said the Southern girl. "This is my brother, Rufus . We shall b e pleased to have you come and see u s at any time, when you return, perhaps." "Thank y ou, we may do s o , " s a i d the young captain, tipping his hat, and then he and Bob went down the creek and were soon out of s i ght. Once u 'pon the river, the two boys went on rapidly, Dick rowi n g a s well a s Bob, and tide and current bein g with them. They passed the blu ffs o n which Savannah was built and went on dow n toward the har and Tybee Island, w h i ch was where the British flee t had anchored till s u ch time as they cou l d cro s s the bar and get up the r iver. The fleet was commanded by Commodor e H yde Parker, and the land forces, amounting to two thousand troops , w ere u nder the di' rec t ion o f Lie utenant Camp.bell, an efficient and r eliable officer. With this force and that of Gen e ral Prevost, who was reported to b e marching up from St. Augustine, suppo sing the t w o should effect a junction, great d amage could be done, and it was . even doubtful if General Robert Howe, with his small forc e, could c ope successfully with Parker and Campbell alone . There w a s no wonder, therefore, that every o n e fel t apprehens ive, and that D ick Slater ajiou l d want to learn a ll he could about the en-emy . Going on at a good rate, the boys suddenl y saw that there was some c hange in the ap-pearance of the enemy' s fleet. • " Jove !" exclaimed Bob E stabrook, who was o f an impetuous nature, "I believe the s hips have crossed the bar, Dick." -"It certainly looks like it, Bob," Dick returned. "But let us go on. They may not a!l have don e so . " The bo ys went on, presently discovering that one of the smaller ships was well beyond the bar, and in moment a boat came out from behind her, m anne d by a dozen sturdy tars and officered by a s elf-important-looking midshipman. The middy s a w the boy s and at once gave orders to pursue and capture t h e two young rebels, a s he called them. CHAPTER 11.-A Very Clever Trick. "They are afte r us, Dick," said Bob. "Yes, I se e that they are," terse ly. "Pull strong and steady, Bob. We shall have to g e t . away from them." On went the bo ys straight for a little cove on the vi s ible s ide of the i s land, the middy wonder ing what they were going to do. Into the little cove shot the boat, the two boys landing and str ai g h taway di sappearing among the trees , mostly palmettos . The mi ddy set up a shout, for h e thoug h t h e h a d the boys sure l y . " Well, if tha t i s n ' t the stupidest t hi n g I ever heard of!" h e laug h e d. " T l1ey're a coup le of s ill ies , if e v e r there we r e any!" The long boat s h o t. a head and soon l ande d in the s a m e co v e tha t the boys had run into. There w a s the b oat, and t h e boys must be n o t far away . "Go a shore and g-et the young r e b e l s !" said the with a lordly manner. "We' ll teach 'em to defy his majesty' s navy like that!" The m e n all went ash o r e , leaving the middy in the Ion&" boat. It seemed eas y to find the but it was not. There were quagmires and mudholes, there were stretches of long grass, h igher than one's head, and there were thorny bu shes , cactus, and all sorts of sharp things to run against. \ The m e n did not scatter o ver the i slet, but kept togethe r, and the boys could easily avoid them. And then, all of a su d den, a s the middy was sitting in the boat, like a king on his thr. one, expecting the two prisoners to be shortly brought before him for condemnation, the two boys sud d enly appeared, just when he least expected them. Before he could say a word, they were upon him. In a moment they had seized every one of the oars and sent them scurrying out upon the water in a doze n different directions . Then they gave the boat a shove, upsetting the into the bottom just as he was letting out a cry of alarm. The impetus that the boys gave the boat sen t it fifty feet out, and then the current caught it and carried it farther. Then the boys got in their own boat and s hoved out. " 'Good-b y , Admiral!" laughed Bob, who could not help making game o f the self-important young fellow.


THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH 3 As Dick and Bob rowed away the middy picked himself up and gave a loud yell. "Helle! To the boat, hello! The saucy young rebels have escaped!" The sailors made their way back with some difficulty, the middy all the time roaring out and telling them to make haste, with a g-0od

4 THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH farther down the river and near a rice swamp and a causeway. As yet the ships had not come v .ery far up the river, the leaders evidently waiting for a more fitting occasion. Some little time was spent 1in arranging the camp, and then Dick and Bob and half a dozen of the boys set out in a good-sized boat to reconnoiter and see what progress the enemy had made. They went down the river till in sight of the ships, one or two more having come up a little farther than where Dick and Bob had encountered the boat earlier in the day. Then, much to their surprise, two of the enemy's boats suddenly shot out from a point of land behind which they had been hidden, and came toward them. CHAPTER !IL-Trapped. One of the boats was the very long boat with the same middy and bluejackets manning it that Dick and Bob had met in the morning. The middy recognized the boys and ordered the men to pull heartily and overtake them. Both boats obeyed the command, and it looke '1 as if the boys might be captured this time for sure. There were more in the boat, and they could make better headway than the two boys could in the morning. The boat was quickly put about and went up the river fiying. Still the others gained upon them. Then a boat shot out from a little creek which Dick had noticed, and a shot went flying over the water. Crack! The shot hit the .stroke oarsman of the leading boat in the shoulder 'and tumbled him over backward upon the man behind him. Be missed his stroke and caused the man next behind to "crab" his oar and throw the whole crew into confusion. The boat behim;l came on rapidly, and before the men in it could prevent it, they had run into the other. All this gave the boys a chance to pull ahead and increase the lead, which was growing very small. All of the boys were not rowing, and now Dick ordered them to fire at the oars of the rowers. Four or five shots rang out. Two or three of the rowers dropped their oars, which had been hit by flying bullets. Then the boy in the st):ange boat fired another shot, increasing the confusion in the pursuing boats. • "That is Rufus Patton,'' said Dick. "He i s a good patriot and will do all he can to help us." The boy now rowed rapidly and began to catch up on tae boys. "Pull ahead, Liberty Boys!" he shouted. "I am all right. They cannot catch me. They'v e got to go through just so much ceremony before they can pull ahead." The boys were rowing all the time, but gave the Georgia boy a cheer when they how he had helped them. "That's all right, boys, but save your breaths to help you pull , " he said, with a laugh. Then one of the ships, seeing the boat about to escape fired a shot at it. In the boat besides Dick and Bob, were Ben, Sam and the two Harrys, Jack Warren and Will Freeman. The shot went crashing through the boat without hurting a single boy, and di;opped to the bottom of the river. The boys were thrown out in a moment, Dick and Harry Thurber, coming up close to each other. _ The other boys ar:,se, one after another, and began swimming toward the land. Then, of a sudden, the boat with Rufus Patton in was seen to have disappeared. "Where is our friend?" asked Harry, who was swimming alongside Dick. "I don't see him,'' said Dick. The other Harry and Ben were not far behind, and Bob and the rest v:ere still farther out. The boys' only safety seemed to be to reach the shore and make their escape in the woods and swamps of the neighborhood. The boats were not near them and this seemed to be the only thing to be done. The Liberty Boys swam to the shore, and waded out of the water. Suddenly a number of redcoats rushed from behind the rocks. "We are caught in a terrible trap!" cried Dick, raising his hand. Up went Harry's 1'and, too. "Surrender, you miserable rebels!" snarled the leading redcoat. Their muskets were leveled at the boys and it seemed as if they were about to violate all the rules of war and fire upon the imperilled boys, now coming out of the water. "Come out, boys," said Dick. "It is yoor only chance." Nearly all the boys were out of the water by this time and the rest now came out. "Surrender, you miserable rebels!" stormed the British officer. "We are making no resistance,'' said Dick. "What can we do, when our pistols are all soaked with salt water?" One of the redcoats ran at Dick with fixed bayonet. "No impertinence, you rebel!" he hissed. It seemed as if Dick must be transfixed with the knifelike blade as the man ran at him. He sprang quickly to une side, however, when the weapon was within an inch of his breast. The force of the charge carried the brutal redcoat forward, and in a moment he ha-d plunged into the water. The other redcoats surrounded Dick and the boys, covering them with their muskets, but offering them no violence. The furious redcoat was obliged to get out of the watef by himself, for no one would help him. His rage was greatly dampened, for he offered no further vio\ Jenee to any of the boys, left his musket in the water and seeming thoroughly cowed. The boats now came ashore, and the middy from whom Dick had so cleverly escaped in the morning, said loftily: " I claim the captain and lieutenant as my prisoners. You can have the rest yourself." "Take them all, you young upstart!" snapped the o fficer. "I have no time to waste on either you or the rebels ." The sailor made no reply, and the boats proceeded , presently reaching the ship to which they belonged and being taken up. Dick and Harry were taken before the commander, the middy claiming the honor of their capture. "Why didn't you bring them all, sir?" the captain asked. "There were enough of you, weren't there?"


/ THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH 5 "I did not think you would care for more than the rebel captain, sir. I meant to bring the lieutenant, but there was a misunderstanding.""Very good. I will examine the prisoners." The middy, thus dismissed, left the cabin. "What is your name, you r.ebel ?" snarled the officer. "Dick Slater, and I am no rebel. I am an American patriot, fighting for independence. We know no rebels." "H'm! You command those young rebels, the Liberty Boys ? " "I am the captain of the Liberty Bo ys, but we are not rebels." "You are an obstinate young rebel!" with a snarl, "and ought to be hanged at the yard-arm!" "Is that your way of treating prisoners?" scornfully. The captain glared at the two boys , and then had them taken to the brig, or ship's prison, below the main deck. "vVe are in a bad fix, Captain," said Harry. "Yes, but you don't think we won't get out, do you ? " asked Dick. "Not if you say we wilJ.,"' smiling. "vVe must, Harry." "Then we will!" with a tone of determination. No one had come to see them by sunset and it shortly grew dark. Then some one came and put a light in the passage outside, but did not enter the brig. "They think we have light enough," said Harry, "or e lse they don't }<:now that we are here." "Perhaps not. At any rate, they are not going to visit u s now," for the footsteps went away. It grew darker, and then Dick heard a r i pple outside, the after-port being op e n. SomE' one was approaching in a boat. ' CHAPTER IV.-Trying to Help the Boys. Dick went to the open port and looked out. There were no bars to it, but Dick knew the danger of swimming in these waters and had not attempted to escape that way. "Who is that?" he whispered. "That you, Captain?" "Yes, and one of the boys." "Good!" and the boat came right under the port. "I thought you would come, Rufus." "Oh, I had to! Can you get through the port?" -"I think so," shortly. "Try it, Harry." "Had you not better go first, Captain?" "No, I will wait." Harry made no protest, being accustomed to <>beying without question, and Dick h elped him to get through the port and then helped him into the boat with the aid of Rufus Patton. "Now you come, Captain," whispered the boy. There was no sound but the lapping of the waves against the side of the ship, and the boys knew that no. alarm had as yet been given. Dick was getting out of the port when he heard footsteps in the passage outside. He quickly made his way out into the boat, helped by the two bo ys. "Pull away quickly." he said. "Some one is c<>ming." Then Dick heard the door of the brig unbarred, as Rufus rowed away in the darkness. "Hello!" they heard some one say. "You are wanted in the cabin." "They will have to want!" muttered Harry. Rufus rowed away silently in the darkness, taking care .to make no noise which would alarm those on deck. The farther they could get :from the ship before the boys' absence was discovered, the better. Dkk's ears were sharp and he could hear sounds before the rest could. "Hello! Why don't you say something?" he heard some one say from the vessel. "Where are you hiding ? " All this time the hoat was gliding farther and farther away in the darkness, the shadows lying heavy on the water alongs hore. The ship itselt had screened them to begin with, and then, a,s they neared the shore, the deep shadows there hid them. "Hello! They're gone!" Dick heard the sailor say, the voice sounding more clearly in the si le nce that hung all over them. "They have learned of our escape," whispered Dick, "but the sailor will have to get on deck and report it, and that will take a littl

6 THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH "I know that, Rufus. You have helped us greatly, as it is." For a short time there was a lot of noise on the ship and along the shore at a little distance. Bob and the other boys, in one of the wretched cabins back from the shore, heard it. "Dick and Harry have escaped in some man ner," said Bob to Harry Judson . "You could trust Dick for that." "I think they have had help," said Harry. "That Georgia boy was around, and, from what Dick said to him, I think he would be likely to do something. " "So he would. He may have done something. Dick would not wait for him, however." "No, of course not." At length the noise on the ship and along shore ceased and all was dark and still again. "Will you stay here, Harry, till we return?" asked Dick. "Certainly." "I think we will try and do something for the boys, Rufus,'' Dick continued. "All right, Captain. I am under your orders." 'Ths reason why I go along is that the boys know all my signals and I can communicate with them without the enemy being any the wiser." "That's prime!" "f<'irst we can look for a boat t o get them :away in. That w ill be the part for you." "All right!" "Then we will fmd where the boys are and let them know that we are doing something for \:hem." "I see. I couldn't do that, of course, and it's better tf> have you along." They pulled out of the creek and along shore, and presently Rufus said: "I reckon I know where there is a punt now, and we can go and get it. It ii in the reeds not far from the cabins." "So much the better," said Dick. Rufus could manage the boat better than Dick, as he knew every little tum and twist of the shore and just where to nm in, the darkness being no bar to him. He had hunted and fished all along this part of the shore and knew every bit of i t . "There's where the cabins are,'' he whispered at length. "All right!" "The creek is beyond them a bit." "Very good!" Nothin"' more was said for some minutes. Then Dick knew they were gliding up a creek with tall, rank grass on both sides of them. "It ought to be here," said the boy. "The stars will heip me some, but my knowledge of the place still more." "It is just ahead of us,'' said Dick, a few moments later . "How do you know? Do you see it?" "No. but I hear the water lapping against the sides.' ' "H'm! I reckon you're right, Captain." The boy pulled along cautiously for a short distance and said, with an air of .exultation: "Here it i s !" "All right! Any oars in it?" "No; but we have two pair here.'' "Goodl" "If those big 11egroes were not the lazy fellows they aTe, they'd have stolen the thing long ago; but it is too heavy for them to n rn off with and so here it is." ' "Very good. and now we will make use of it" answered Dick. ' The punt was tied up to the bank, but the got. it out and then went out upon the river, t o.wrng. 1t them. They went al-0ng shl)re with little noise to the point where the cabins were, and then Dick made the sound of a night bird. repeating it a few times. "That is to let the boys know that we are about," he whispered. They pulled close to the place where Dick and the other boys had come ashore, and Dick listened. There were lights in the cabins, and theY' could hear the redcoats m2king merry in some of them. They also heard the boys singing, one of redcoats presently going to the door and saymg: "Here, here, you young rebe!s. vou must not make so much noise with rebel ! Sing'G?d Save the and you can make al! t h e n01se you want to." Then Dick gave his signal. CHAPTER V.-Fooling a Tory Spy . Dick gave the sound of a nighthawk, slll'ill and clear. At once there was an answering cry from the cabin where l3ob and the boys \Vere prison,,__ ers. They had heard Dick's signal s and knew that he was at work for them. When they heard the fina l signal, they answered it, gave a shout, and dashed out of the cabin.' The redcoat was suddenly upset and went sprawling upon hi,:; back on the ground. Then they went hurryincr down to th-e water, and Dick gave another to let them know where he was. The redcoat let out a yell and scrambled to his feet. Bang! A tremendous report rang out as the redcoat discharged his musket, and there was a sudden si len ce in the cabins. Then there was a shout, and some of the redcoats came running out. . "The rebels are escaping!" yelled the sentry. "Nonsense! Where can they go ?" "Well, they are!" Then lights were brought, and the bovs were seen in two boats, pulling out upon the "There they are! Shoot the young :rebels! FiTe!" Crack-crack-crack! The boys had fired first, for Rufus had brought some pistols along which he had rapidly distributed among the rest. The torches showed them just where to aim while they did not aid the redcoats very much. The boys' shots were effective, and the redcoats, when they did fire, were confused, two or three of them had been hit, droppingtheir t orches. and the boys were rapidly in the dark ness. They picked up Harry, who w a s ver y glad to SPe them again, and they went up the river. the ships beginning to notice the trouble on shore. There were loud shouts, shrill sounds of the boatswain's pipe, and then the beatinir of drums.


THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH 7 The captains did not knoF but that an attack on the fleet was being and there was great excitement. The boys were not noticed, and they went on up the river to their camp, the young Georgian returning home, much pleased at having been of service to them. The boys all thanked him, and he went on, promising to see them again the next day and wishing them good luck. The Liberty Boys had known nothing of the danger of Dick and Bob and the rest, and were glad to know that they had so fortunately es-caped. ' In the early morning, as Dic k and a few of the boys were making the rounds of the camp, they saw a roughly dressed man in a work-ing along the edge of it. "Hello! " he said. "Getting ready to meet the redcoats in case the fellows make a landing, are you?" "Something like that," returned Dick, not knowing the man and not wishing to say too much to a stranger. "That's all right . . How many boys do you calculate you have about?" "We dori't calculate; we know," quietly. "Huh! Yes, I suspect you do. How many you .got?" "Enough to make a pretty good impression on the enemy if they attack the place." Just then Dick saw Rufus Patton coming along in a boat. "Hello! Do you know this man, Rufus?" he shouted. The stranger turned, saw the Georgia boy, gave a grunt, and rowed off in great haste. "What are yob doing around this camp, Jule Cracken ?" asked Rufus. "No good, I'll war raant." The man went away in a hurry, and the boy, coming up rapidly, safd to Dick: "That's Julius Cracken, one of the worst Tories in the neighborhood. I h ope you did not tell him anything, for he would be sure to tell the enemy all about it." "We never tell strangers anything, Rufus," quietly. "Well, it is a good thing you did not, in this case. He's a sneaking Tory, and he'd repeat everything to the British." "Well, I suspected him, and made up my mind to tell him nothing and to order him off if he aske morn in is?" "No, I have not. All the ships and transports have not crossed the bar, have they?" "No, I believe not, but I have not been all the way down yet." "If you want to go, I will take a small boat and go down with one of the boys." "I can accommodate or two in this, if they want to go." "Very well, although it will be as well not to have too many. Ben and Sam can go with you, and Mark can go with me." Dick and Mark went in one boat, therefore, and the two Liberty Boys, who were on hand, got into the boat with Rufus. The others returned to the camp to tell Bob that Dick had gone off down the river, and then the boys set out. They went down till t hey could see the ships, but found that no more of them had com e up than there had the day before. "They_ won't land any troops till all the vessels are over the bar, and that won't be right away," declared Dick. "Your friend, the middy, would be glad to see you again, I don't doubt, Captain," said Mark, with a laugh. "Yes if he could get the best of me." "And that would not be so easy. He has not done it yet. " " No, , he has not; but the redcoats did, for a time." Then Rufus ran into a tiny creek, where they were hidden in a short time from any one who might pass even close to the mouth. "The fellow will pass this way," said Rufus. "I kno w where h e lives. He has a hut not far away and he may stop there. I think I know t he man with him, although it was pl'etty far ofl' to make him out." The boys waited, till at length they heard the sound of oars and a man's voice, saying: "Yes, Bill, we ought to get 'em out, but how are we going to do it, I'd like to know?" "Do you suppose we can raise men enough to fall on 'em and drive 'em out, Jule?" "Mebby so, but I dunno how many o' the yoll'1g skunks they are," said the other, whom Dic k recognized as the man who had questioned him. "Can't you find out?" "I done tried to this morning, but the young rebel was too peart for me, and then another fellow what knowed me come along and I had to skin out in a hurry. " "Well, mebby I can do it. How many can we get to go there to-night and drive 'em out? When do yo u s u spec t the redcoats will land?" "To-night or to-morrow, I reckon." Then the men went on and the boy s heard no more. "Let them come," said Dick. "We wjll be ready for them." CHAPTER VI.-Trouble With the Tories. The boys waited in the creek for a little time and then came out upon the river. "Do you know the man who was with Cracken ?" a sked Dick of the Georgia boy, whe n they came out. "Yes; he is Bill Dunks, as big a Tory and a greater thief than Jule Cracken himse lf." "How many Tories can they raise, to make a descent upon the camp?" "I don't know. There were a number of Tories in town and around, but they were mostly driven out, and J don't believe they have all come back. I don't think tht!y could scare up a hundred, all told, and it would need all that, wouldn't it?" "Yes, and more, e s pecially if we knew they were coming. These fellows would run if we met them determinedly." The boys went on to the town; for Dick wanted to see Geueral Howe at the fort and report what he had seen. They all went into the town, but Dick and Mark only went to. the fort, Be n and Sam going off by themselves and promisinl!." to


8 THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH meet Dick at the landing later. Rufus went home Dick's boat being big enough to hold the four boys on a squeeze, an

THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH 9 in the camp and the apparent absence of sentries deceived them, and they came on with less caution. Harry Thurber, hurrying beyond the outskirts of the camp, with one or two others, presently saw torches gleaming in the darkness, and then heard some one say: "They're all asleep, Jule. It'll be the biggest kind of a surprise. And they caU themselves soldiers! Huh! They don't know the fust thing about it." "They hain't got a single picket sot and all we gotter do is to dash right in and scatter 'em 'em all over!" Then a frog croaked. "Goshi What's that?" "Nothin' but a frog. You ain't skeered at a frog, are you?" The Tories were coming on , getting more torches and making mote and more noise. Harry and the others hurried back without being seen. Then the Tories suddenly dashed forward, expecting to burst right into the camp. All of a sudden, however, fires blazed up as if by magic all along the line, and half a hundred sturdy boys were seen with their muskets leveled. "Attention!" cried Dick. The Tories suddenly halted, irresolute. "Take aim!" shouted Dick. The very deliberation of it all unnerved the T ories, and made them think that they had fallen into a trap, which they would if they persisted in advancing. Many of them fell back and some threw down their torches, fearing that they would make them all the more visible to the young patriots. Then more fell back, a few firing as they ran. "Fire!" shouted Dick. Crash-roar! A tremendous volley echoed the In a moment another squad was seen to take the place of those who had just fired . This decided the .Tories, and they broke and fled in many directions, no more shots being fired by them. 'They threw down their torches, and then o[ a sudden the fires went out and all was dark, adding greatly to their terror and co_nfusion. For some time they could be heard hurrymg along the road and through the wood, calling to each other. Some lost their way, accustomed as they were to the region, and many got in the swamp or in the tangle and had to be helped out. The boys did not pursue them, for there was no danger of their returning after getting the fright that they had, and many of the Llberty Boys laughed at the plight they were in. The pickets were set again and the boys wen t back to their tents, the camp resuming its wonted aspect. As Dick had predicted, the Tories did not return and the passed without further alarm. By daybreak D1ck was at the river with a number of the boys to reconnoiter. The enemy had landed and were advancing toward the causeway, the only means by "-hich they could gain access to the town. At once Dick fired three rapid shots and sent one of the boys back to bring up Bob and the Liberty Boys. The shots had aroused the m and they we

10 THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH in check. Crack-crack-crack! Rattle-rattle -bang! There was a continuous discharge of muskets and pistols, and the boys fairly yelled as they bore down upon the Highlanders. "Liberty forever! Down with the redcoats!" shouted the boys. "Charge!" roared Dkk. "Back with the enemy, sweep them into the swamp!" "Hurroo! Awa_ wid them!" cried Patsy, with a wild Irish whoop. "Let the raging foreigners have it, byes!" The boys gave a roar of laughter and dashed forward, firing and using their sabers valiantly. "We may be only boys,'' cried Bob, "but we are American boys, fighting for our homes, and no bare-legged Scotchmen are going to invade them!" Furiously the boys attacked the enemy, and the attempt to force the front failed. The line was broken in other parts, however, despite des perate fighting, and Dick saw that it must all go and that the capture of the town was certain. He determined to fight as long as he could, however, and to watch for an opportunity to escape at the same time, resolving not to leave till it became absolutely nece ssary. The boys discharged their-pistols and muskets, and then wielded their sabers with great dexterity, holding back the Highlanders and thereby greatly increasing their wrath. "Well, you'll have to get ova your mad fit, my men,'' laughed Mark, "for we are not going to give way. I am Scotch myself and know all about it." The boys nearest Mark roared with delight and the attack became even more furious. CHAPTER VIII.-On the March. The American line was broken in many parts and the enemy were fast advancing, threatening to surround the brave men and boys who had so vigorously, yet hopelessly, opposed them. Dick Slater saw that he would soon have to beat a retreat, but he determined to strike one vigorous blow before he fell back, so as to give the redcoats something to remember the boys by, as Bob exressed it. He had perceived a way out over the causeway and through Musgrove's swamp to the west of the town, and he watched for a favorable opportunity to fall back. "Give it to them, boys!" he fairly screamed. "Drive them back into the bog, into the riveranywhere; away with them!" Then, with a louder cheer than ever, the brave fellows fairly hurled themselves upon the enemy, who, dogged men and fierce fighters as were, could not stand against the impetuosity of a charge like that. Dick did not mean to keep it up, but merely made it as a means of deceiving the enemy as to his real intentions. The time had come to make a retreat, and he meant to do so as soon as the enemy fell back. They did so, resolving to punish the "saucy young reb els" for their temerity in daring to attack them as they came on. The plucky fellows did not come on, however, Dick well knowing what would have been the result. "This is the time we fool the redcoats," he said to Bob. Then at a '!;ignal from Dick, the boys suddenly wheeled, and before the redcoats were well aware what had happened, and while they were about to fall on the boys and crush them, the boy s themselves were dashing away in a cloud of dust. A11 they rode away they gave a cheer, and the redcoa bi realized too late how they had been tricked. Colonel Roberts, of the patriots, was already at the swamp with some pieces of artillery to cover the r.etreat of the main body. The redcoats were there as weil, ready to dispute the passage and surround the patriots. The center gained the causeway and got across without loss. Others were less fortunate, and were obliged to take to the swamp, where many were drowned and as many more taken prisoners. The Liberty Boy s , being mounted, 'had the advantage, and Dick had reckoned this at the start. Owing to the delay in attacking the redcoats, the causeway was closed to them, but the rice fields were open, and they took this way out. There was high water in the creek at the time, but that was no hindrance to the gallant fellows and they got away in safety. Their baggage and tents were well to the rear, and these they secured and then set out to follow Howe, who had retreated along the river toward the north. The boys were riding on at a good pace, not knowing when the enemy might come up on them, when they came to two roads, both of which seemed to be well traveled. Dick was at a loss to know which to take, or whether one was good as another, when a man came out of a tumble-down cabin almost hidde,n in the trees, and said: "I reckon you want "to know which road to take, don't ye?" "Yes, we do," Dick: replied. "Waal, you take this one," pointing to the left. "That's the way the other felMrs went, and it's right." The boys were about to turn into the road indicated, when they heard the sound of wheels and also the clatter of hoofs behind them. "_flello I Wait a minute!" they heard some one shout, and then Dick turned and saw Rufus Patton riding .,jj.head of a lumbering old coach driven by an old negro. The boys took the side of the road and Dick went back to meet the Georgia boy. "You were not going to take that road, were you, Captain?" he asked. "Yes, I was told it was the one to take." "Well, it is if you want to have to llurn back again to keep from riding into an impassable swamp and then being overtaken by the enemy." "We don't want to do that, of course," with a laugh, "and we are very much obliged to you for showing us the right road." Then Dick saw in the coach the two girls and a middle-aged lady who looked much like the boy. "I am taking the girls and my mother out of the way of the redcoats and the rascally Tories of the neighborhood," said Rufus, as he rode on alongside Dick. "\Ve are making a forced march ourselves," Dick replied, "and will be glad to escort you." "Who told you to take the other road, Captain?"


THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH "The man of the little cabin back there among the trees." "As rascally an old Tory as you'll find in a day's search." "Then I am very glad that you came up in time, for I could not see any difference in the roads here." Dick and Bob and the Georgia boy rode ahead of the coach, Mark and the main body of the Liberty Boys following. The coach could 'not go very fast, being lumbering and heavy, but, as night was coming on, it was not likely that the redcoats would come up with them before dark and they would be safe. It was not certain that the enemy would pursue them, but they might, and it was better to hurry on, therefore. At any rate, they could not remain in their old camp. and so it was better to make a forced march and get out of the way of all possible danger. Mark Morrison commanded the main body, Di c k reposing great trust in him, and he sent back half a dozn of the boys toact as a rear guard and scouting party to look out for the enemy when it neared sunset. Ben Spurlock, Sam Sanderson, the two Harrys, Will Freeman and Phil Waters composed this party, all being reliable . boys and thoroughly trustworthy. They hung back three or four hundred yards, keeping an eye on the road and listening for any suspicious. sounds. The sun had just set and in a short time it would be dark, as there was very little twilight in these regions, when Ben, who was in the rear, suddenly said: "There i s some one coming on at a gallop. It sounds like a lot of men." "Redcoats?" asked Sam. "Perhaps. It cannot be our men, because they would all have gone on by this time." "Very true." "We will go on, keeping a watch upon them," said Ben. "It will be dark soon and they will stoo, if they do not catch up with us." They galloped on, hearing the clatter of hoofs behind them, caught up with the main body and told Dick what they feared. The boys got into the bushes at the side of the road and only their heads could be seen as a large party of redcoats came in sight. "Hello! 'Nhere are you going?" asked Ben, seeming to be astonished. "Who are ye, anyhow-more rebels?" "Hello, boy!" said the leader of the redcoats. "Have you seen a party of rebels go through here lately?" "I reckon we just have." "Which way did they go?" "I reckon you better take this here road," said Ben, pointing out the rO'ad which the boys had not taken. "Is that the way they went?" "That's the way you want to take, Mister," with a drawl. The officer understood that it was the roap taken by the Liberty Boys, a"nd the redcoats galloped away in the gathering gloom, while Ben and the rest went on. "That was the road for them to take, of course," laughed Sam. "We did not want them to catch the boys. " "I told them it was their road, and so it was from our point of view. I did not say they would find the boys, but that was the road they El1ould take." It was d k when they caught up with the Liberty Boys, who were going on less rapidly. "Where does the other road lead to ?4 ' asked Ben of Rufus. "Into a swamp. You can get through it if you know the way," with a laugh. "But not in the dark?" "Well, I could, but not many could unless they knew the way perfectly." "Then I don ' t think they will follow us to night," said Dick. "It is dark now, and by the time they get back on the other road they will not be in the mood to go anywhere except back to Savannah." "No, they won't," laughed Rufus. "But there is another crossroads farther on and I . think we might go beyond that, and then if the redcoats do come along, we can mislead them again.'' "Unless they get tired of the task by that time," answe1ed Dick. They all went on beyond the next crossroad, by which time it was darker than ever, the moon not having yet arisen, and the stars being hidden by the trees over-arching the road. For some time they heard nothing, and then Dick deciJed that there was nothing to be feared and tl:tey began to make a camp and prepare to spend the night. Fires were lighted, pickets were set, and a rear gi1ard sent to 'Natch the intersect;on of the roads. The boys performing this latter duty heard no suspicious sounds, however, and at length came to the conclusion that the enemy would not appear again that night. "We are safe for to-night1 and we really need a rest," said Dick, "but it is likely that Campbell will follow up his victory by marching into the interior to establish British posts at various points, so that we shall have to resume our forced march early in the morning." CHAPTER IX.-Unwelcome Visitors Not till the camp was made and the boys had their suppers did the young captain of the Liberty Boys take time to speak to the girls and the mother of Rufus. "I must ask pardon for not speaking to you before, madam," he said, "but I felt as if the boys deserved all my care, and I felt sure that you would pardon any seeming neglect." "It was quite right for you to think of the Liberty Boys first," said the lady. "We are very glad to be under your protection and could not claim too much of your time where there were so many things to be thought of." "We were very glad when we saw you ahead of us in the road," declared Sylvia. "I am glad you did," Dick returned, "for if you had not, we would have taken the wiong o!le and would have fallen into the trap which that rascally old Tory set for us.'' The girls were very much interested in going a1>ut the camp and seeing the boys va1 iously employed, the boys being glad to talk wi,,th them, on the other hand. "But suppose the enemy should come up?' asked Grace. "How would you know it?"


1 12 THE LIBERTY BOY S ' FO RCED MARCH "I have pickets down the road as well as a:bout the camp. No enemy could approach in any direction without our knowing •" "That reassures me, for I was afraid that they might follow and approach before you knew it." "No, the boys below would warn us in time." Jus t then Harry Thurber came riding up 'lnd said: , "There are some men below, Captain, who are coming this way. We do not know if thPy are Tories or what they are. They are not in uni f orm." "The bo ys did not stop them?" "Yes; but they said they were all right and that they were getting out of Savannah o n account of the redcoats. We did not like their looks altogether, but they might not be enemies, for all that." -"No, that is very true, and it was just as well to be cautious also. We do .not know who may be about." Dick went to the edge of the camp and took Rufus with him, the two being together when the three men came along. "Those men are Tories," said Rufus, in a low t o ne. "Are they dangerous?" "Not especially so. They are great thieves and regues, but they are big cowards and can easily be frightened off. I think they ran away for fear that they might have to serve in the army, for they are three of the laziest vagabonds y o u ever saw." "Where are you three men going?" asked Dick, as the men came along. "We're looking for work, Captain." said T\le. "There's a mill farther along the river and we reckon we kin get something to do there, so if yo u will give us our s uppers we will go on in the early morning." "Go and cut some wood for the fire and I will give you something to eat," Dick replied. "If you trust either one of them with :m ax you will have to watch them, for they'll be sure to run away with it," laughed Rufus, "and not do any work, either." • "We never work after dark," said the man. "It isn't healthy." "If you can't work, you can't eat," said Dick, "so go on; but if we catch you in any mischief we will take a switch to you . " The three vagabonds went on, evidently fearing that Dick would carry out his threat before they got lnto mischief. When it grew later Dick cau tioned the boys on picket to be on the loo!rout for sneaks and stragglers, as he thought it likely that even if the men he had seen did not return, they might tell others and some one mi ght attempt to run away with some of the horses. He did not think that the redcoats would come up that night, as they would want to tri,ve l by daylight, not knowing the roads, but some of the evil men of the neighborhood might attempt to steal either horses or other valuable things. The boys were always on t h e watch, and they w oul d n<:>w keep a lookout for men like those they had met. It was growing. late a11d the c amp was dark and silent when Will Freeman, on guard near where the h orses were tethered, heard some one in the woods not far off say to some one else: "Where are they, Dave?" "Around here somewheres, I think. Are the young rebels asleep?" "It looks so. I don't see none on 'em, an' I reckon they're all in their tents." "Y

THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH 13 you may get into trouble. We shoot thieves who try to steal our horses." -The fire threw its light well into the woods, but in a few minutes not one of the men could be seen. "They found us more wide awake than they thought," laughed Bob. "That is what usually happens when men like that try to take us by surprise," added Mark. "Did you recognize any of the men, Rufus?" asked Dic;k. "Yes; there were the three whom we met this afternoon, and Bill Dunks, Jule Cracken, Steve Woppsley, and some others." "Then they must have left Savannah before we did." They saw nc! more of the Tories, although they kept as careful a watch as if they had expected them, being most vigilant at all times. If one of the enemy did not come, another might, and for that reason they never relaxed in their vigi lance. In the early morning they set out on the march again, not knowing when the redcoats might follow and being on their guard against every danger. The coach went ahead with an escort of Lib erty Boys, and then the main body followed, there being a detachment some little distance in the rear to keep a lookout for the enemy. Ru!us expected to go a few miles only into the inte rior and settle on a place back from the river which his mothei: owned. Grace went with them because the father of the friend with whom she had been staying had been killed in the fight, and she felt that at such a time they wou ld not want to see any strangers. Then, too, Dick could see that there was a dis tinct understanding between her and Rufus, and he could readily see why the girl wished to be with the Pattons. In about an 'hour after setting out, Rufus said he would turn off to go to the house, where -they would stay for a time. "I will send some of the boys with you," said Dick, "for you do not know what dangers you may encounter." "What dangers would there be, Captain?" ask ed the Georgia boy. "There seem to be many lawless characters in the region,'' Dick returned, "and some of these may have squatted on the place, thinking there would be no one to occupy it." • "To be sure. I had not thought of that. There was a family left in charge of it, but I don't know what they might have done." Dick sent Mark and half a dozen of the boys with the coach, while he went en at an easy gait with the rest of the boys. They had not been long on the road, however, before the 9.oys in the rear came riding up in haste and reported that there was a considerable party of redcoats coming up. _ "Then we will take another road"and let them go by,'' said Dick. There was a road leading in the direction that Rufus had taken, and the boys turned off into this. When all the Liberty Boys were well off the road and in no danger of being seen by the redcoats, Dick was about to halt when he heard the sound of shots in the direction taken by the coach with its escort of boys. "Hello! There is some trouble there!" he said. "I am afra id they have met with just the sort of men I was apprehensive they would." Then he dashed off in the direction of the sounds with a dozen of the boys, the others coming on less rapidly, but still at a good speed. The road was not a good one, and it wound about and so, knowing the general direction, Dick took a short cut and hurried on, at length arrivin g in sight of a house where there were twenty or more rough-looking men trying to enter, while the little party of Liberty Boys were just open ing fire upon them with the intention of k eepinir them out. "Forward!" shouted Dick. CHAPTER X.-A Clever Capt u re. The coach had reached the house, and Rufus was out to assist his mother and the girls to alight when two fierce dogs came suddenly flving out, barking furiously. "Get out, you brutes!" cried the driver, down hastily and lashing at the dogs with his whip. They came on with greater fury, however, and the boy was obliged to close the coach door in f hurry. Then Mark ordered the boys to fire at the dogs, and in a moment they were stretched dead on the ground. "Dq you know these dogs, Rufus?" Mark! asked. "No; we never had any here." At that moment two men came from around the s ide of the house and one of them said angrily: "I'd like to know what call you've got to shoots my dogs, you pesky rebels?" "What business have you to have them here?" asked 11.ufus. "You are not the caretaker/' "Well, I reckon I am. This here is my house, and you all had 'better get out or you' ll have trouble." "Your house?" echoed Rufus. "Why, you miserable scoundrels, the h -ouse belongs to our family, and always has. " Mark now rode forward, and said in a deter mined tone: "You men are trespas!!ers, squatters, and if you do not leave at once, it is you who will get into trouble." The men went away with a snarl, and the boys found a door open at the rear, and went th:(ough and opened the front door. The lady and' the girls entered, finding things ln great disorder, as if the house had been occupied by some one who had let everything go to ruin and had ill treateil it as well. The boys remained outside, and pres ently Mark said to Rufus at the window: "They are returning, and there a1e more of them. I think they mean mischief." Then he sent one of the boys to see what con dition the barn was in, and whether it was fit for the reception of the horses. It had been kept better than the house, and Harry said that he thought the horses must have lived in t':le house while the men lived in the barn. 'The horses were quickly put there, and while Lilf the boys remained to look after them, the rest, with Mark, went into the house. In a short


14 THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH time, at least twenty men came back and tried to break into the house, opening fire upon the boys. The boys in the house, and in the barn also, returned the fire, and there were lively times there. Then Dick and his boys came up, .opened a rattling fire upon the ruffians and sent them scattering in a trice. More of the Liberty Boys came up, and the men fell farther back, evidently considering that the place was no longer safe for them. "These men are not likely to return," declared Dick, "but the redcoats, hearing the firing, may come up to find out what it means, and we will be in a worse fix." "If the barn would hold all our horses," sug gested Mark, "I might defend both it and the horses against them." "Perhaps,'' answered Dick. "The barn will hold them,'' said Rufus, "and it 's well built, better than the house, in fact, and not so old." Dick rode to the barn and examined it, and then the rest of the boys came up and said that the redcoats were coming. Harry Judson was with the last party, and Dick asked: "How many are there of the redcoats? Could you tell?" "I did not see as many as there are of u s, but ';here may be more behind." "And they are coming this way?" "Yes, Captain. They heard the firing and want to know what it was all about." Dick then hurried the horses into the barn, and as many of the boys as it would conven.iently hold. The others went into the house, d1stnb uting themselves about, some on the lower floor and some above. There were none of them in sight, when a party of redcoats came riding up and halted. "What was the firing about?" asked the lead er, seeing Rufus and the girls. "Some squatters were in my mother's house," the boy answered, and set dogs on us. We shot them." "There was more firing than would be needed to kill a couple of dogs." "They fired on us, and we returned their shots . " "Who were the squatters?" "Some evil fellows of the neighborhood. The house has been empty for a time, except for a caretaker, but she has been driven out and these rascals have taken her place." "Are you rebels?" sharply. "No, we are not," for the Pattens called themselve s patriots, and would neve1 admit that they were rebels. The officer appeared to be satisfied, and was about to go away, when some of the ruffians came back, and Jule Cracken said, with a snarl: "They are rebels, and there's a barn full of the Liberty Boys, and a lot of Liberty Boy s in the house besides." "ls thi s the truth?" in some surprise. "Yes, it is, and if you don't believe it, go to the barn and have a look for yourself." "You are not one of the Liberty Boys?" "No, I am not." "And are there Liberty Boys in the house and the barn?" "You will have to look for yourself," said the boy firmly. "I tell you there are," sputtered the man. "( saw them-a whole lot of them. Go and look if you don't believe me. The young rebel won't tell on 'em, but they're here all the same." "Is this true?" asked the officer of the boy. "Go and look, I tell shortly. "H'm! and be made a target of, as this ruffian says!" "Well, that is your own lookout," tersely. The officer seemed to be thinking. "Seize the young rebel and make him show you where the other rebels are!" he said suddenly, turning to his men. The boy was looking for just SJlCh a move on the part of the redcoat. His mother had already gone in with the girls, and now he ran in and slammed the door in the face of the redcoat who tried to catch him. "Go to the barn!" said the officer, "and see if there are any of the rebels there. Be careful that the young villains do not fire upon you." Three or four of the redcoats dismounted and went to the barn. When they tried to open the door, ho\\'ever, they found it closed. "Open the door!" they shouted. "Open the door, you young rebels !" Then Mark appeared at the window and said: "There are no rebels here. Go away or we will fire upon you. You have no business here. Go away. If you are not away by the time I've counted six, we will fire upon you." Then Mark began to count. He had not counted three before the redcoats were hurrying away as if they expected an entire battery to be dis charged upon them. "There arc rebels in the barn,'' one of them said to the officer. "How many?" "I don't know. I saw only one, but there must be more." "Go and see!" sternh. "Force the door." "With three of us, against a hundred, per haps?" the man. "Yes!" savagely. "There are not a hundred of them. The Liberty Boys are all scattered. There are not a hundred!" The three men started to obey, and the officer sent half a d ozen more with them. -when thev reached the b'arn door, it was suddenly opened a11

THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH 15 gre atly chagrined to fin d that h e had b ee n mis taken. "Go a n d bring up t h e rest ef the men," h e said . "We will smoke---" Then he met with a startling interruption. From i.round the side of the house !a1t hest from him came dashing a ban d of daring boys, led by Dick Sl_ater himsel f. Dick heard the .conversation, and had resolved to prevent the of red

16 THE LIBERTY BOYS' FORCED MARCH away with his gallant boys, safe from pursuit. When the enemy were in full flight and scattered over acres of wild land, Dick halted the boys, called them together, and returned to the house. He had not seen any of the Tories after meeting the redcoats but, as he neared the house, he saw half a dozen of them trying to force the front door. At sight of the boys they fled and were not seen ag-ain. Dick then had the redcoats brought out and said to the officer: "We have no further use for you, sir. You will find your comrades at Savannah when you get there, and I would advise you to lose no time in getting the-re yourselves." "You must have taken them by surprise," said the redcoat, who halted to admit that the "young rebels," as he called them, had won a victory. "Of course we did!" laughed Bob. "Would you have had us send a lackey forward with the information that we were coming, and that we would be very pleased to let them allow us to thrash them ? Of course, we surprised them. Do talk sense!" Bob's impetuous manner amused the boys, but greatly puzzled the redcoat, who was not certain if the young lieutenant were making game of him or not. He did understand that he and the men with him were free, however, and he lost no time in getting away. He did not even thank Dick for being released, his chagrin at having been captured so cleverly preventing him from making an acknowledgment of the favor don e him. The redcoats were allowed to retain their arms, but had to go afoot, as Dick had use for the horses. "There will be no need of our gqing at once," declared Dick, when the redcoats had departed. "There will be an expedition into the interior, no doubt, but not at once, I fancy, and we shall have time to rest before going on." The boys made a tempo1ary camp only, as they did not expect to stay long, and some of them helped to put the house in order for the family. It had to be swept and cleaned, but the boy s wei-e all handy at that sort of work, and they set at it with a will, and the effect of their labors was soon apparent. The Tories who had lived in the house had not only taken no care of it, but ha

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