Chosen Rifle-Men


That a number of rifle-men had marched from Pennsylvania to the continental camp near Boston. That on the 11th of last month captain Morgan’s company of rifle-men passed through Frederick town , in Maryland, on their way to the American army, and were in a day after followed by the companies under the captains Cresap, Stinson, and Price, all chosen rifle-men, eager to hazard their lives in their country’s cause, and followed the righteous undertaking of their beloved Washington!

And a description of a demonstration by Captain Michael Cresap’s group mentioned above:
The Pennsylvania Gazette
August 16, 1775
Title: PHILADELPHIA, August 16

“Notwithstanding the Urgency of my Business, I have been detained three Days in this Place by an Occurrence truly agreeable. – I have had the Happiness of seeing Captain Michael Cresap, marching at the Head of a formidable Company, of upwards of 130 Men from the Mountains and back Woods, painted like Indians, armed with Tomahawks and Rifles , dressed in hunting Shirts and Mockasons, and tho’ some of them had travelled near 800 Miles from the Banks of the Ohio, they seemed to walk light and easy, and not with less Spirit than in the first Hour of their March. – Health and Vigour, after what they had undergone, declared them to be intimate with Hardship and familiar with Danger – Joy and Satisfaction were visible in the Crowd that met them – Had Lord North been present, and assured that the brave Leader could raise Thousands of such like to defend his Country, what think you, would not the Hatchet and the Block have intruded upon his Mind? I had an Opportunity of attending the Captain during his Stay in Town, and watched the Behaviour of his Men, and the Manner in which he treated them; for it seems that all those who go out to War under him, do not only pay the most willing Obedience to him as their Commander, but in every Instance of Distress look up to him as a Friend or a Father. – A great Part of his Time was spent in listening to and relieving their Wants, without any apparent Sense of Fatigue or Trouble; when Complaints were before him he determined with Kindness and Spirit, and on every Occasion condescended to please without losing his Dignity. –
“Yesterday the Company were supplied with a small Quantity of Powder from the Magazine, which wanted airing, and was not in good Order for Rifles; in the Evening, however, they were drawn out, to shew the Gentlemen of the Town their Dexterity in shooting; a Clapboard with a Mark the Size of a Dollar, was put up; they began to fire off hand, and the Bystanders were surprized, few Shot being made that were not close to or in the Paper; when they shot for a Time in this Way, some lay on their Backs, some on their Breast or Side, others ran 20 or 30 Steps and firing, appeared to be equally certain of their Mark – With this Performance the Company were more than satisfied, when a young Man took up the Board in his Hand, not by the End but the Side, and holding it up, his Brother walked to the Distance and very coolly shot into the white; laying down his Rifle, he took the Board, and holding it as it was held before, the second Brother shot as the former had done. – By this exercise I was more astonished then pleased. But will you believe me when I tell you that one of the Men took the Board and placing it between his Legs, stood with his Back to the Tree, while another drove the Center. What would a regular Army, of considerable Strength in the Forest of America do with 1000 of these Men, who want nothing to preserve their Health and Courage, but Water from the Spring, with a little parched Corn, and what they can easily procure in Hunting; and who, wrapped in their Blankets in the Damp of Night, would choose the Shade of a Tree for their Covering, and the Earth for their Bed”

Provided by: Ken #3

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