This Week's Story

General Washington refuses to surrender or allow his troops to commit sure suicide. How can they escape?

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Hope in a Trench and a Small Boat, part two

“If I get out of this lousy trench, I am going home! Yesterday we fought and lost. Since then I have been rotting here! Am I getting used to my new home? Not when I am hungry, cold, and wind is driving the rain into me!”

“Bud, our stakes in this Revolutionary War are life and liberty for however long it takes to win. Yesterday we fought to protect New York City and we lost, but we are alive. It’s tough that we are trapped and waiting for the enemy’s final attack.”

“I do not want to die now.”

“Bud, I heard an officer say that yesterday at least 300 Americans were killed and over 1000 were captured. We are out-numbered, low on gun powder, and unprepared to fight experienced British and German soldiers. Some of us ran from the battle yesterday, but many of us fought with bayonets coming at us.

“We have known freedom in America, despite Britain’s attempts to control us. Regardless of the risks, we must fight to defeat the British, and may God help us.”

“Jack, I hear you. I want the freedom you talk about. I have my own cabin, land to clear, and a wife and kids. I would not have that in England.

“The only land I would live on would belong to someone else. The only hunting I could do would be poaching on some high and mighty squire’s land. Yes, I will stay in this God-forsaken trench.”

As the men stayed in their trench waiting for the British to attack, General Washington, the American Commander-in-Chief, met with his senior officers.

“Men, tonight we will rescue our army by moving our soldiers off Brooklyn in small boats. We will cross the East River and rejoin our forces at Manhattan Island.”

“General, it is a mile across the East River. If the British spot our boats, we will be destroyed.”

“I think we have no choice. We will not surrender and fighting would be suicide.”

Among the soldiers were many expert oarsmen, who began finding small boats.

That night the boats and oarsmen moved thousands of men across the river. Wind was strong and the water choppy, but after midnight the wind stopped. It was urgent that no noise catch the attention of the nearby British.

About 2:00 A.M. an order was misunderstood and soldiers who were decoys in front positions on land, began going to the boats. General Washington, who had been checking the forces all night, ordered the soldiers back into position.

The sun began rising. Three more hours were needed to get all the soldiers safely across the river. Soon light would expose them to the enemy. Then, strangely and unexpectedly, a dense fog seemed to come from the ground and settled over the British and the Americans. It remained until the last boat left shore. The British started firing. Too late! Not one soldier died in the crossing.

Major Ben Tallmadge recorded watching the fog come and later lift. He, as well as many other soldiers who kept diaries, gave God the credit for the fog.

This is Barbara Steiner with a record of remarkable escape.The names of Bud and Jack were fictitious. Enjoy thisweeksstory.com.

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