The Jetmakers | Perry's Saints | Thrilling Incidents In American History | Prev | Next

Thrilling Incidents In American History

• Title
• Preface

Revolutionary War
• Opening Of The Revolution
• The Boston Massacre
• Affair of the Sloop Liberty
• Affair of the Gaspee
• The Tea Riot
• The Boston Port Bill
• The First Continental Congress-Consequent Parliamentary proceedings
• Organization of the Minute-Men
• Patrick Henry-Second Provincial Congress-First Military Enterprise
• Battles of Lexington and Concord
• Battle of Bunker's Hill
• Capture of Ticonderoga
• Second Continental Congress-Washington's Appointment
• Siege of Boston
• Incidents at the Evacuation of Boston
• Burning of Falmouth
• Arnold's Expedition to Quebec
• Siege of Quebec, and Death of Montgomery
• Scenes at Quebec during the Siege
• Expedition against Charleston
• The Declaration of Independence
• The Battle of Long Island
• Washington's Retreat through New Jersey-Capture of General Lee
• Battle of Trenton
• Battle of Princeton
• Capture of General Prescott
• Battle of Brandywine
• Battle of Germantown
• Battle of Red-Bank
• Attack on Fort Mifflin-Retirement of the Army to Valley Forge
• Battle of Bennington
• Murder of Miss M'Crea
• Battle of Stillwater
• Battle of Bemis' Heights, and Retreat of Burgoyne
• Capture of Forts Clinton and Montgomery
• Surrender of Burgoyne
• The Treaty with France
• Attack on Savannah, and Death of Pulaski
• Storming of Stony Point
• General Sullivan's Campaign against the Mohawks
• Tarleton's Quarters
• Battle of Camden, and Death of De Kalb
• Arnold's Treason
• The Loss of the Randolph
• The British Prison-Ships
• Capture of the Serapis
• Putnam's Feat at Horseneck
• Battle of Eutaw Springs
• Wayne's Charge at Green Spring
• Capture of the General Monk
• The Mutinies
• Battle of the Cowpens
• Capture of New London
• Massacre of Wyoming
• Surrender of Cornwallis

War With France
• Capture of L'Insurgente
• The Constellation and Vengeance

War With Tripoli
• Burning of the Philadelphia
• Bombardment of Tripoli
• Loss of the Intrepid
• Expedition of General Eaton

Second War With England
• Battle of Tippecanoe
• Capture of the Guerriere
• Tragical Affair of an Indian Chief
• Battle and Massacre at the River Raisin
• Captain Holmes's Expedition
• Capture of the Caledonia and Detroit
• The Wasp and Frolic
• Gallant Conduct of Lieutenant Allen at the Capture of the Macedonian
• Capture and Destruction of the Java
• Siege of Fort Meigs
• Capture of York, and Death of General Pike
• Defence of Sackett's Harbour
• Defence of Fort Stephenson
• Battle of Lake Erie
• Battle of the Thames
• Gallant Action of Commodore Chauncey under the guns of Kingston Citadel
• The Sacking of Hampton
• Capture of the Peacock
• Massacre at Fort Mimms
• Surrender of Weatherford
• Battle of Niagara
• BattIe of New Orleans

War With Mexico
• Battle of Palo Alto
• Battle of Resaca de la Palma
• Capture of Monterey
• Battle in the Streets of Monterey
• Thrilling Scenes in the Battle of Buena Vista
• Bombardment of Vera Cruz
• Battle of Cerro Gordo
• Battles of Contreras and Churubusco
• Storming of Chapultepec


DURING the invasion of Connecticut by Governor Tryon, General Putnam, with the main body of his force, was stationed at Reading, in that state. On one occasion, while superintending a picket of one hundred and fifty men at Horseneck, he was suddenly surprised by a body of fifteen hundred troops, both cavalry and infantry, led by Tryon himself. His situation was perilous. The picket were on the brow of a hill, so steep that nearly one hundred steps had been cut in its sides for the accommodation of foot passengers. On each side of this steep path was a swamp impervious to cavalry.

Undismayed by the vastly superior force of his opponent, Putnam drew up his little band in front of the morass, and, exhorting them to be cool and fearless, he commenced a cannonade of the enemy with two small field-pieces. Enveloped in flame and smoke, that iron heart bore up against the fearful odds, and moved like a giant spirit amid his faithful followers. For a little while the British were fairly held at bay; while the Americans, elated by success, poured their blasting volleys in quick succession amid the astonished foe.

At length the cavalry prepared for a charge; and, foreseeing the fatal consequences, Putnam ordered his men to conceal themselves in the swamp. They had scarcely time to do this, when the dragoons were within pistol-shot. Every eye was now turned to their commander. He could not follow them, and destruction appeared inevitable. Calm and dignified he sat on his horse, until the last soldier had gained the thicket, and all was safe. Sure of their prize, the dragoons spurred desperately forward, and rose in the stirrup to cut down the warrior with a decisive blow. But Putnam's plan had been formed. Urging his horse to the precipice, he hung one moment on its verge, and in the next was dashing headlong down the steps. Involuntarily the bewildered cavalry discharged their pistols, and reined upon the giddy brink. Not one of that host durst follow where Putnam led. Their prey had slipped from their grasp; and, as they gazed at his furious riding, execrations deep and vengeful were pressed between their teeth. One momentary hope remained - that horse and rider might tumble headlong. Indeed, it appeared inevitable. But the daring horseman fell not. Buoyed above fear, he sat as upright as though on parade; while his steed seemed gifted with supernatural power. The whirl of excitement, the period when none dared breathe, was but for a moment. Putnam gained the plain unharmed; and, after stopping long enough to bestow one meaning smile on the spectators above, hurried forward to his main army. After receiving reinforcements, he faced about and pursued Tryon on his return.