Washington At Yorktown





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."





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