Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/183

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
159
OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


when my good fortune caused me again to cross the ocean and revisit North America ten years later. That visit was not the least curious of my experiences, but I must not anticipate events.

All the cleverest, coolest, and most thoughtful men in the army which entered France, had calculated that the campaign would be over in a fortnight. Many peasants had emigrated with the gentlemen of their province, or the officers of their regiment. With the exception of the engineers, every branch of the services was well represented, for a great part of the artillery, nearly the whole of the naval, and a large majority of the infantry and cavalry officers, had responded to the appeal of the King's brothers, the Prince de Conde, and Marshals de Broglie and de Castries.

The retreat, which almost resembled a rout, had undeceived even the most confident of us. In France, all emigres were proscribed under pain of death, so everyone who had a family to protect or support sought for a haven of safety and rest. My brother and I reached Switzerland, and