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Some thirty years since, the Village Record, at West Chester, published the annexed interesting anecdotes upon the battle of Brandywine, from the pen
of J. J. Lewis, Esq.: “ 'Squire Cheyney first gave information to Washington of the near approach of Corn. wallis. He had been within a short distance of the enemy, and with difficulty escaped their grasp. Washington at first could scarcely credit the account of the squire, and directed hiin to alight, and draw in the sand a draft of the roads. This was done promptly. Washington still appearing to doubt, Cheyney, who was a strenuous whig, exclaimed, “Take my life, general, if I deceive you." Washington was at length convinced.
Major Ferguson, commander of a small corps of riflemen attached to the British army, mentions an incident which he says took place while his corps was concealed in a skirt of a wood in front of Knyphausen's division. In a letter to Dr. Ferguson, he writes : “We had not lain long when a rebel officer, remarkable for a hussar dress, passed toward our army within one hundred yards of my right flank, not perceiving us. He was followed by another dressed in dark green and blue, mounted on a good bay horse, with a remarkably large high cocked hat. I ordered three good shots to steal near to them, and to fire at them; but the idea disgusted me,I recalled the order. The hussar, in returning, made a circuit, but the other passed within a hundred yards of us-upon which I advanced from the wood toward him. Upon my calling he stopped, but after looking at me proceeded. I again crew his attention, and made signs to him to stop ; but he slowly continued his way. As I was within that distance at which, in the quickest firing, I could have lodged half a dozen balls in or about him before he was out of my reach, I had only to determine ; but it was not pleasant to fire at the back of an unoffending individual who was acquitting himself very coolly of his duty, so I let him alone. The day after, I had been telling this story to some wounded officers who lay in the same room with me, when one of our surgeons, who had been dressing the wounded rebel officers, came in and told me that Gen. Washington was all the morning with the light troops, and only attended by a French officer in a hussar dress, he himself dressed and mounted in every respect as above described. I am not sorry that I did not know at the time who it was."
An interesting anecdote is told of Lord Percy, which I have never seen in history, but which I believe is very generally known and accredited. When he arrived, with the regi. ment he accompanied, in sight of the Americans ranged in order of battle, upon the hights near Birmingham meeting house, he surveyed the field around him for a moment, and then turning to his servant handed him his purse and gold watch to take charge of, remarking, “This place I saw in a dream before I lejt England, and I know that I shall fall here.” The coincidence was striking. The event verified the prediction. His name is not reported among the slain in the British official account, because he held no commission in the army. He was merely a volunteer.
“The Massacre of Paoli,” as it has been called, took place in this vicinity, on the night of the 20th of Sept., 1777, on the Lancaster turnpike, about two miles south-west from the Paoli tavern. The annexed account is from Lossing's Field Book:
Wayne encamped two or three miles south-west of the British lines, in a secluded spot, away from the public roads, near the place where the monument now stands. The vigilance of British sentinels did not discover him, but the treachery of Tories revealed his numbers and place of encampment to the commander of the enemy. Howe determined to surprise Wayne, and for that purpose dispatched General Grey to steal upon the patriot camp at night and destroy them. Wayne had intimations of this intended movement, and, though doubting its truth, he neglected no precaution. It was a dark and stormy night Wayne ordered his men to sleep on their arms, with their ammunition under their coats. With two reg. iments and a body of light infantry, Grey marched stealthily, in two divisions, toward midnight, through the woods and up a narrow defile below the Paoli, and gained Wayne's left at about one o'clock in the morning. The divisions conjoined in the Lancaster road, near Wayne's encampment. The "no-flint general" had given his usual order to rush upon the patriots with fixed bayonets, without firing il shot, and to give no quarters ? Several of the American pickets near the highway were silently massacred in the gloom. These being missed by the patroling officer, his suspicions that an enemy was near, were awakened, and he hastened to the tent of Wayne. The general immediately paraded his men. Unfortunately,
he made the movement in the light of his own camp-fires, instead of forming them in the dark, back of the encampment. By the light of these fires Grey was directed where to attack with the best chance of success.* In silence, but with the fierceness of tigers, the enemy leapt from the thick gloom upon the Americans, who knew not from what point to expect an attack. The patriots discharged several volleys, but so sudden
and violent was the attack that their column was at once broken into fragments. They fled in confusion in the direction of Chester. One hundred and fifty Americans were killed and wounded in this onslaught, some of whom it is said were cruelly butchered after ceasing to resist, and while begging for quarter; and þut for the sagacity of Wayne, his whole command must have been killed or taken prisoners. He promptly rallied a few companies, ordered Col. Humpton to wheel the line, and with the cavalry and a portion of the infantry, he gallantly covered a successful retreat. Grey swept the American camp, captured between seventy and eighty men, including several subordinate officers, a great number of small arms, two pieces of cannon, and eight wagons loaded with bag. gage and stores. The loss of the British was inconsiderable; only one captain of light infantry and three privates were killed, and four men wounded. Gen. Smallwood was only a mile distant at the time of the engagement, and made an unsuccessful attempt to march to the relief of Wayne. His raw militia were too deficient in discipline to make a sudden movement, and, before he could reach the scene of conflict, Grey had completed his achievement, and was on his way toward the British camp. Falling in with a party of the enemy retiring from the pursuit of Wayne, Smallwood's militia instantly fled in great confusion, and were not rallied until a late hour the next day.
The dead bodies of fifty-three Åmericans were found on the field the next morning, and were interred upon the spot, in one grave, by the neighboring farmers. For forty years their resting place was marked by a simple heap of stones, around which the plow of the agriculturist made its furrow nearer and nearer every scason. At length the “Republican Artillerists” of Chester county patriotically resolved to erect a monument to their memory, and on the 20th of September, 1817, the fortieth anniversary of the event, through the aid of their fellow-citizens, they reared an oppropriate memento of marble, with suitable inscriptions.
HARRISBURG, a city, capital of Pennsylvania, and seat of justice for Dauphin county, is on the E. bank of the Susquehanna, a short distance above the mouth of Paxton creek, 100 miles W. by N. from Philadelphia, 200 from Pittsburg, 85 from Baltimore, and 110 N. by E. from Washington City. Population about 10,000. Harrisburg presents many attractions: for it is in the midst of the fertile Kittatinny Valley, and looking out upon magnificent scenery: with superior bridges, spanning the broad river: with railroads, canals and turnpikes radiating from it in every direction.
The public buildings consist of about 12 churches, the state lunatic asylum, the court house, prison, masonic hall, etc., with the state buildings. The state house, or capitol, with the public offices on either side of it, occupies a fine eminence; the main building is 180 feet front by 80 feet deep, having a circular portico in front, supported by six Ionic columns, surmounted by a dome. The latter affords a delightful view of the broad river, with its verdant islands, and spanned by its fine bridges: the undulating fields of the valley, and the lofty barrier of the Kittatinny Mountains. The city is lighted with gas, and supplied with water from a reservoir, into which it is elevated from the Susquehanna, and conveyed by iron pipes. The river, though quite
* A Hessian sergeant, boasting of the exploits of that night, exultingly exclaimed, "What a running about, barefoot, and half clothed, and in the light of their own fires ! These showed us where to chase them, while they could not see us. We killed three hundred of the rebel with the bayonet. I stuck ihem myself, like so many pigs, one after another, until the blood ran out of the touch-hole of my musket.”
wide, is navigable only for rafts, which float with the current. Harrisburg bridge, over the Susquehanna, is a fine covered structure, extending to an
Southern view of Harrisburg. The Railroad and Harrisburg bridges, over the Susquehanna, appear in the central part; the state house in the distance above the bridges; the cotton factory on the left, and the insane asylum back from the city on the right. island, and thence to the opposite side : 2,876 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 50 feet above the river. It was erected in 1817, by Mr. Burr, the distinguished bridge architect, at a cost of $155,000, of which the state subscribed $90,000.
State House, Harrisburg. A short distance below it, is the Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge, a fine and substantial structure, about a mile in length.
John Harris, the first settler at Harrisburg, is said to have been a native of Yorkshire, England. He emigrated to America and first settled in Phil
adelphia; from thence he moved to Chester county, then to the present site of Bainbridge, in Lancaster county, and finally to the present site of Harrisburg. At this place was born, about the year 1726, his son John Harris, the
founder of Harrisburg; and who is said to have been the first white child born in Pennsylvania, west of the Conewago Hills. The Indians who resided in this neighborhood, were of the Six Nations. Harris fixed his habitation on the banks of the river, below the graveyard. He traded extensively with the Indians; and had connected with his house a large range of sheds, which were sometimes literally filled with skins and furs, mostly obtained by him in traffic
with the Indians. These were HARRIS' GRAVE, HARRISBURG.
carried, at an early day, on pack
horses to Philadelphia. His attention, however, was not confined to trading with the Indians: he engaged extensively in agriculture, and it is said "he was the first person who introduced the plow on the Susquehanna.
Au incident in the life of Harris possesses considerable interest. occasion, a band of Indians came to his house and asked for rum: seeing they were already intoxicated, he feared mischief, and refused. They became enraged, and seized and tied him to a mulberry-tree to burn him. While they were proceeding to execute their purpose, he was, after a struggle, released by other Indians of the neighborhood. In remembrance of this event, he afterward directed that on his death he should be buried under the mulberrytree which had been the scene of this adventure. He died in 1748, and his remains still repose, with those of some of his children, at this memorable spot. Part of the trunk of this tree is standing within the iron-railed inclosure around the grave.
John Harris, jr., the founder of Harrisburg, died July 29, 1791, and is buried in the graveyard of Paxton Church. Under the will of his father, and by purchase, he became the owner of 700 acres of land, on a part of which Harrisburg is laid out. In his time, “Harris' Ferry” became a celebrated place. The law erecting Dauphin county, and declaring Harris' Ferry the seat of justice, was passed in 1785. The town of Harrisburg was laid out in the spring of the same year, by William Maclay, the son-in-law of John Harris. It was incorporated a borough in 1808, and became the seat of the state government in 1812.
The following inscriptions are copied from monuments near the Lutheran Church:
In memory of the Rev. GEORGE LOCHMAN, D.D., pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran congregations at Harrisburg, Middletown and Shapps, who departed this life on the 10th of July, 1826, after having labored in the vineyard of his Lord 32 years. Aged 52 years 7 months and 2 days. As a proof of their affection, the Lutheran congregations at Harrisburg, Middletown and Shapps have erected this monument to the memory of their pastor.
Dedicated by sisterly love to the memory of William Lehman, who died on the 29th of March, A. D. 1829, in the 50th year of his age ; and whose remains are those of an exemplary
son and brother, an upright man, a liberal friend, a general seholar, and a most useful citizen. The proofs of his public spirit, intelligence and assiduity, are extant in the noble canals and roads of his native state-Pennsylvania—which he either projected or considerably advanced during twelve years of conspicuous service in her legislature, as one of the favorite representatives of Philadelphia. The splendid results of his enlightened devotion to her internal improvement, will cause his name to survive the stone on which it is here affectionately inscribed, and to shine through all time in the bright annals of his favorite country.
LANCASTER CITY, the fourth in population in the state, is on the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, near the Conestoga creek, 70 miles by railroad W. from Philadelphia, and 37 E. S. E. from Harrisburg. It was for many years the largest inland town in the United States, and was the seat of the state government from 1799 to 1812. It is pleasantly situated, in the center of a rich agricultural region, and carries on considerable trade by means of railroads and the slack navigation of the Conestoga. The streets are generally straight, crossing each other at right angles. The greater part of the town is substantially built of brick, and many of the modern houses are elegant; the new court house is a magnificent structure, in the Grecian style,
Central Square, Lancaster. The engraving shows the appearance of the north of the square at the intersection of King and Queen streets, on market-day morning. The postoffice is in the building on the right, on the north side of which is the market house. erected at an expense of over $100,000, and a new county prison of sandstone, at a cost of $110,000. The city contains about 20 churches, several literary institutions, and a population of about 15,000 inhabitants, mostly of German descent. Numerous manufactures are carried on in the town and city, among which are several steam cotton factories and forges, a steam furpace, rolling mill, etc., and a large variety of mechanic shops.
The following, relative to the appearance of Lancaster in ancient times, is extracted from a communication in the Lancaster Journal, of 1838, purporting to be written by "a bachelor of 80:"
“When I was a boy, our good city of Lancaster was quite a different affair from what it is at present, with its Conestoga navigation, its railway, and improvements