Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/290

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Southern Historical Society Payers.

beat, we proceeded to slip on him. as he went from us, at an angle of about thirty degree. Just before he made the turning point we lay flat on the ground till he made the round and started back. Proceeding in this way for about one hour and a half, we at last made the distance of about 150 yards. We had then crossed the canal, and were quietly lying at the bottom of the levee, with our sentinel marching back and forth, passing within five feet of us.

Finally, as he passed, we raised our ladder on top of levee, not more than fifteen or twenty feet behind him, and gently slipped down in the bay. Sinking our bodies under the water, we pushed the ladder far out into the bay. When Marable mounted, unlashed our paddle, and announced everything ready for me to mount, up I went and down went the ladder. Just as we feared, it failed to bear us up. However, I slid off behind and held to the back round of the ladder, while Marable paddled all night long, and till about 8 o'clock in the morning. One vessel passed us in the night, and when off at some distance we were a little uneasy for fear that it might run us down, but we only felt the waves as it passed. We landed, turned our ladder adrift, and after wandering around awhile found that we were on a small island, from which we soon crossed to the mainland of New Jersey by means of a plank.

Here we remained that day and the next, resting up. But we got little rest or sleep for the mosquitoes. So on the second night we appropriated some farmer's little boat and recrossed the Delaware bay.

I should have stated that when we landed in New Jersey we could see nothing of the fort, and concluded that we must have travelled at least twelve or fifteen miles.


Once on Delaware soil, we made for the Chesapeake Bay. On the fifth day after leaving the fort, in an almost starving condition, we came to a house where the old folk had gone to a harvesting, so the children gave us all the loaf-bread and buttermilk we could consume. This occurred about 10 o'clock A. M. After