Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/99

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
75
OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


ing to catch us between two fires. Our little army, ignorant of the danger of the position, was about to be caught in a trap.

It happened otherwise, however. We had bivouacked and were resting, and waiting for daybreak.

Fortunately, a surgeon had heard,—I do not know how,—of this night march of the garrison of Philadelphia to cut off our retreat and take us in the rear. In the interests of his own safety, most probably, he had searched along the banks of the river and had found a ford where there was only three or four feet of water. I was lying on the ground, near our general, when the Esculapius came up and whispered the information he had found out, and the discovery of the ford, of which we did not suspect the existence. La Fayette, awakened by the sound of our voices, asked what was the matter, and made the surgeon repeat what he had already told me. Our general was admirably cool, and showed that presence of mind so valuable in a commander in a time of