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Washington At Yorktown

from Good Stories For Great Holidays - RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)





BY HENRY CABOT LODGE

During the assault Washington stood in an embrasure of the grand
battery, watching the advance of the men. He was always given to
exposing himself recklessly when there was fighting to be done, but not
when he was only an observer.

This night, however, he was much exposed to the enemy's fire. One of his
aides, anxious and disturbed for his safety, told him that the place was
perilous.

"If you think so," was the quiet answer, "you are at liberty to step
back."

The moment was too exciting, too fraught with meaning, to think of
peril. The old fighting spirit of Braddock's field was unchained for the
last time. He would have liked to head the American assault, sword in
hand, and as he could not do that, he stood as near his troops as he
could, utterly regardless of the bullets whistling in the air about him.
Who can wonder at his intense excitement at that moment?

Others saw a brilliant storming of two out-works, but to Washington the
whole Revolution and all the labor and thought and conflict of six years
were culminating in the smoke and din on those redoubts, while out of
the dust and heat of the sharp, quick fight success was coming.

He had waited long, and worked hard, and his whole soul went out as he
watched the troops cross the abatis and scale the works. He could have
no thought of danger then, and when all was over, he turned to Knox and
said:--

"The work is done, and well done. Bring me my horse."





Next: A Lesson Of Faith

Previous: Washington's Modesty



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