Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXVI: The Battle >> Page 303

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 303

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN303
"Ha! Cunningham! You must see to that quickly. It is by that
path that they can most easily gain our rear, and cut us off from all
retreat. Take a sufficient squadron of your troopers, and meet them
before they reach the `Hollow.' How many troopers did you see,
Phillips?"
"There might have been fifty or sixty, sir."
"Good! Leave me fifty or sixty of your fellows, Cunningham, and
take the rest. Take what you please."
Cunningham dashed off for the threatened quarter, leading some
seventy-five of his cavalry.
Meanwhile, the forces of Richardson appeared, crowning the hills
on several sides, and, from their elevations, using their rifles with
considerable effect. Browne's skirmishers, among the hills, and under
cover of rocks and trees, still kept up their fire; but, as both parties
fought in Indian fashion, either squat upon the ground, or from
behind some shelter, whether of trees or rocks, the casualties were
not great on either side. Browne knew that the grand. issue would
only take place after the assailants should be massed for a charge,
seeking, by mere pressure of numbers, to force their way into the
encampment.
Suddenly, a wild yell was sent up from the whole line of Richard-
son's army, in front and along the flanks. Simultaneously, a merry
blast of bugles blazed out from the rear, and, looking around him,
Browne saw the squadrons of Cunningham in full retreat, down from
the "Stony Hollow," with a strong corps of the assailing cavalry
following close at their heels. He had been overpowered, but fought
with a Parthean skill and spirit even as he fled, turning ever and
anon upon,.his enemy, and showing a fearless front.
Brone's trumpets sounded for the rally. He now drew his sabre,
and put himself at the head of his remaining cavalry.
It was time to do so, for the assailants were now pressing down
from the heights, on three sides, driving his skirmishers before them.
These, it was soon seen, were no longer to be rallied. Driven in
several quarters, scattered in several directions, each sought his sev-
eral shelter, and possibly, from heights and hollows tolerably secure,
they looked down upon the conflict in which they were no longer
willing or able to share. The rest of the battle remained to the
cavalry.