quill Washington at Brandywine
Captain Ferguson, 70th Foot

September 1777

We had not lain long when a rebel officer, remarkable by a Hussar dress, passed towards our army, within 100 yards of my right flank, not perceiving us. He was followed by another, dressed in dark green or blue, mounted on a bay horse, with a remarkable large cocked hat. I ordered three good shots to steal near to them and fire at them; but the idea disgusted me. I recalled the order. The Hussar, in returning, made a circuit, but the other passed again within 100 yards of us, upon which I advanced from the wood towards him. On my calling, he stopped; but, after looking at me, proceeded. I again drew his attention, and made signs to him to stop, but he slowly continued his way. As I was within that distance at which, in the quickest firing, I could have lodged half-a-dozen of balls in or about him before he was out of my reach - I had only to determine; but it was not pleasant to fire at the back of an unoffending individual, who was acquitting himself very coolly of his duty; so I let him alone.

The day after I had been telling this story to some wounded officers who lay in the same room with me, when one of our surgeons, who had been dressing the wounded rebel officers, came in and told us they had been informing him that General Washington was all the morning with the light troops, and only attended by a French officer in a Hussar dress, he himself dressed and mounted in every point as above described. I am not sorry that I did not know at the time who it was.

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