The Board of General Officers appointed to examine into the case of Major
ist. That he came on shore from the Vulture sloop of war in the night of the
21st September last, on an enterprise with General Arnold, in a private
and secret manner.
2d. That he changed his dress within our lines, and under a feigned name and in
a disguised habit passed our works at Stony and Verplank's Points the
evening of the 22d September last, and was taken the morning of the 23d
September last, at Tarrytown, in a disguised habit, being then on his way
to New York, and when taken he had in his possession several papers
which contained Intelligence for the Enemy.
The Board having maturely considered these facts, do also report to his Excellency
General Washington, That Major Andre" ought to be considered as a spy from the enemy,
and that agreeably to the law and usage of nations, it is their opinion he ought to suffer death.
The report and finding were thus approved:
Headquarters, Tappan, Sept. 30, 1780.
The Commander in Chief approves of the opinion of the Board of general officers
respecting Major Andre, and orders that the execution of Major Andre take place
to-morrow at five o'clock P. M.1
1 Captain Ebenezer Smith, of the Thirteenth Massachusetts, commanded the execution guard for this day, and
has left on record a graphic picture which shows Andre not to have been unmoved by the sentence : " The
agony of his mind as he walked the room was most distressing, and it seemed to me that his very flesh
crawled upon his bones."
The order postponing the execution arrived before five, to the Captain's great relief. The next morning he
was a witness to the tears of Laune, Andrews servant.—Sparks, Am. Whig Review, Vol. V.
From Judge Dykman I have received the following interesting item, the authority for which he is unable to
name, hut which it may be legitimately surmised from Captain Smith's statement, must have been himself,
or one of the other officers on guard that night: During the night previous to his death, Andre" said : " I
am in a deplorable state : just about to be launched into the presence of my God."
Ebenezer Smith was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, January —, 1764,
and died in New Marlborough, Massachusetts, September —, 1816.
In 1775 he was living in New Marlborough. When the " Lexington Alarm "
was sounded, within two hours of the news, his company of Minute Men
assembled, and the next day they marched for Boston and fought at
Bunker Hill. He was commissioned Ensign, and soon after Captain. From that time on he was in service,
only retiring when peace was established in 1783, when he was the oldest captain of the Massachusetts Line.
During his whole service — eight years, eight months and nine days—he was on furlough only six months.
At Ticonderoga, Monmouth, Long Island, Saratoga, Valley Forge, in Rhode Island, his regiments (Thir-
teenth and Sixth Massachusetts) were in the front rank. They froze at Valley Forge (where for two days
his sole food was an old beef-bone, pounded and boiled) and parched at Monmouth, where, nearly dying of
heat and thirst, he bore off the field one of his wounded sergeants, and where his own life was saved from a
British dragoon by a comrade. His witness to the fearful heat of that day was his description to his son,
David, (himself a soldier at sixteen,) of counting nine British soldiers, lying close beside a spring, without
a wound on any of them, all dead from the heat. He was stationed at West Point when Andre" was brought
there, and his son'is the authority for the positive statement received from the Captain, that Andre" was
under his charge in old Fort Putnam. He went to Tappan, and being an especial favorite with Washington
(at whose request he thrice withdrew his offered resignation from the army), was again his guard there.
Neither he, his widow nor any of his children ever asked or received a pension, nor were any of the
family repaid the losses he sustained by the depreciation of Continental money in which he was paid.
A proof of Washington's confidence in him appears from this incident, told by his son to his grandson, the
late E. Goodrich Smith, of Washington: The evening of October ist the Chief sent for Captain Smith, and
warned him that he was fearful lest the food or drink which might be offered him that night, be drugged,
in order to make Andre's escape possible; adding, "Treachery is all around me, and I hardly know whom
to trust, but I know I can trust you—you must mount guard over him to-night." "My life shall answer
for his safety," was Smith's reply, and he did not leave Andre" that night. After hostilities ended, Captain
Smith was a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, and one of the original members of the Cincinnati.
He was a man of exemplary religious life, and universally honored by all who knew him.
(Though I have given more space to the record of this officer, and to those of some others, than their com-
paratively slight connection with Andre" might seem to require, they present such remarkable instances of
endurance and patriotic service that nothing less extensive could pretend to do them justice. It was by
the devotion of such men that our Republic was made a possibility.)
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