Page:A New England Tale.djvu/288

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They probably expected a parley, and that the parties would separate without bloodshed. This had sometimes happened before, from the great reluctance which all felt to proceed to extremities against their neighbours and acquaintances. But Colonel Ashley was a man of determined spirit, and fully convinced that energetic measures had become necessary, he ordered his men to fire. They knew their friends, and remonstrated. The Colonel exclaimed, "God have marcy on their souls, but pour in your fire!" They did so, and after an engagement of about six minutes, the rebels fled. Their loss was two men killed, and about thirty, including their captain, wounded. The loss of the government party was two men killed, and one wounded. Of the former number, one was a prisoner who had been forced into the front of the rebel line.

If the remembrance of this commotion had not been preserved by the classical pen of Minot, its tradition would, probably, expire in one or two generations.

This is the only civil war which has ever been waged in our country, unless the war of the revolution can be so called.