Thursday, June 6, 2013

Local Volunteers

During the American Revolutionary War, General George Washington had to recruit a group of local volunteers to cross the Delaware river and help fight the British.  Thirty-three men volunteered in all; however, each had little training in warfare.

It was late at night, pitch black, and a storm was brewing  causing the river water to toss the boats about something fierce.  To ensure all the boats carrying the volunteers would stay together during the river crossing, General Washington asked Corporal John Peters to stand on the bow of the lead boat and swing a lantern back and forth high in the air.  General Washington thought the swinging lantern would give all the other boats a clear direction to follow. 

Ever so slowly, General Washington and his group of local volunteers started to cross the raging Delaware River.  Unfortunately, just before they reached the other side, a large swell hit against the side of the lead boat and Corporal Peters fell off the bow into the icy Delaware River.  All the boats gathered around and began a search but, alas, there was no sight of Corporal Peters and General Washington was forced to call off the search and head for shore.

When all the boats full of local volunteers made it safely to the other side, one of the men noticed a light flickering in the distance.  From what they could tell, it appeared to be a farmhouse of some type.  Needing to get his men shelter and out of the storm, General Washington marched everyone up to the farmhouse.  Once at the farm, General Washington knocked on the door.  A farmer, his wife and their three beautiful daughters greeted him and then they saw the large gaggle of men in their yard. 
General Washington asked the farmer if he and his men could come inside to warm up and rest; he insisted his men needed to get out of the storm.  The farmer looked at his wife and then his three daughters, all beaming large smiles.  Reluctantly, the farmer asked General Washington, "How many men do you have in your party?"
Washington responded, "Thirty-two without Peters."
"Well, heck yeah, General.  You can bring your men in, warm up, and make yourself at home."

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