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Page 148


Dear Gineral:—The prisoners are out and no blood spilt
yet. I had prepared to give the British a most terrible battle
if they hadn't let 'em out. I guess I should made 'em think
old Bonapart had got back among 'em again, for a keener set
of fellows than my company is made up of never shouldered a
musket or trod shoe leather. I was pesky sorry they let 'em
out quite so soon, for I really longed to have a brush with 'em;
and how they come to let 'em go I don't know, unless it was
because they heard I was coming. And I expect that was the
case, for the prisoners told me the British Minister at Washington
sent on some kind of word to Governor Campbell, and
I suppose he told him how I had got a commission, and was
coming down upon New Brunswick like a harrycane.

If I could only got down there a little sooner and fit such a
great battle as you did at New Orleans, my fortune would
have been made for this world. I should have stood a good
chance then to be President of the United States one of these
days. And that's as high as ever I should want to get. I
got home to Downingville in little more than a week after I
left you at Washington—for having a pretty good pocketfull


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of money, and knowing that my business was very important,
I rid in the stage most all the way. I spose I needn't stop to
tell you how tickled all my folks were to see me. I didn't
know for awhile but they'd eat me up. But I s'pose that's
neither here nor there in making military reports, so I'll go
on. I found no difficulty in getting volunteers. I believe I
could have got nearly half the State of Maine to march if I
had wanted 'em. But as I only had orders to list one good
stout company, I took 'em all in Downingville, for I rather
trust myself with one hundred genuine Downingville boys
than five hundred of your common run. I took one supernumerary,
however, when I got to Bangor. The editor of the
Bangor Republican was so zealous to go, and said he'd fight
so to the last drop of his blood, that I couldn't help taking
him, so I appointed him supernumerary corporal. Poor fellow,
he was so disappointed when he found the prisoners were out
that he fairly cried for vexation. He's for having me go right
on now and give all New Brunswick a real thrashing.

But I know what belongs to gineralship better than that;
I haven't had my orders yet. Well, after we left Bangor, we
had a dreadful rough and tumble sort of a journey, over rocks,
and mountains, and rivers, and swamps, and bogs, and meadows,
and through long pieces of woods, that I didn't know as
we should find the way out of. But we got through at last,
and arrived here at Madawaska day before yesterday. I
thought I better come this way and make a little stop at
Madawaska to see if the prisoners' wives and little ones were
in want of anything, and then go down to Fredericton and
blow the British sky-high.

When our company first came out in sight in Madawaska,


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they thought it was the British coming to catch some more of
'em; and such a scattering and scampering I guess you never
see. The men flew into the woods like a flock of sheep with
forty dogs after 'em, and the women catched their babies up
in their arms and run from one house to another, screeching
and screaming enough to make the woods ring again. But
when they found out we were United States troops come to
help 'em, you never see anybody so glad. They all cried for
joy then. The women run into the woods and called for
their husbands to come back again, for there was nobody
there that would hurt them, and back they came and treated
us with the best they had in their houses. And while we sot
chatting, before the women hardly got their tears wiped up,
one of 'em looked up toward the woods and screamed out
there comes the prisoners. Some turned pale a little, thinking it
might be their ghosts, but in a minute in they come, as good
flesh and blood as any of us, and then the women had another
good crying spell.

I asked one of the prisoners how they got away, for I
thought you would want to know all about it; and says he,
“we come away on our legs.” “Did you break out of jail,”
said I? “I guess there was no need of that,” said he, “for
we wa'nt locked in half the time.” “Did you knock down the
guard,” said I, “and fight your way out?” “Humph!” said
he, “I guess we might have hunted one while before we
could find a guard to knock down. Nobody seemed to take
any care of us; if we wanted a drop of grog we had to go out
and buy it ourselves.” “Well, but” said I, “if you were left
in such a loose state as that, why did you not run away before?”
“Tut,” said he, shrugging up his shoulders, “I guess


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we knew what we were about; the longer we staid there the
more land the State of Maine would give us to pay us for
being put in jail; but when they turned us out of jail, and
wouldn't keep us any longer, we thought we might as well
come home.”

And now, dear Gineral, since matters are as they are, I
shall take up my headquarters here at Madawaska for the
present, and wait for further orders. I shall take good care
of the people here, and keep everything in good order and not
allow a single New Brunswicker to come anywhere within
gun-shot. As for that Leftenant-Governor, Mr. Archibald
Campbell, he better keep himself scarce; if he shows his
head here again, I shall jest put him into a meal bag and send
him to Washington. I shall expect to hear from you soon;
and as I shall have to be here sometime, I don't know but you
had better send me on a little more money. My uniform got
rather shattered coming through the woods, and it will cost
me something to get it fixt up again.

This, from your old friend and humble servant,