cards, and then proceeded to the spot where the business of the day might be
looked for—the two roads leading to New York. Here they separated into two
squads. Paulding, David Williams and Van Wart were posted on what was
known as the old Post Road, near where stood an enormous white-wood or tulip
tree,1 just south of the little stream then known as Clark's Kill, but ever since as
Andre Brook, Just opposite was afterwards built St. Mark's Episcopal Church.
(The old Bedford road at that time came into the Post road at that point.) The
other five were to watch the old Bedford road on Davis' Hill.2 The two were
not far apart, and it was agreed that either party needing aid should fire a gun,
and that any plunder taken should be shared equally by all. While they are
waiting, we may consider the epithets of "marauders," "banditti," etc., after-
wards applied to them, and the irregularity which some have insisted attended
their action and nullified their patriotism. Certainly they were not an organized
body, detached by superior authority for a definite military expedition. But all
were militia accustomed to active service—Dean, David Williams and Paulding
particularly so. Paulding had been twice a prisoner in British hands8 in New
York. The party was actually under the direction of one of their number who
was a veteran, not only of militia service, but of the Canada expedition of 1775.
There he had endured great hardships, and left behind him an elder soldier-
brother, entombed in the tremendous snowdrifts of the Plains of Abraham. He
alone of the party was not a private, being at the time a sergeant in the First
Westchester, and was later promoted and commissioned as ensign. I refer to
John Dean,4 to whose methodical disposition of the party
^-7/ Cf)c>a/n ^s success was probably largely due, yet whose modesty
0/ prevented his receiving a just share of the praise bestowed
on the three known to history.6 To return to our story—
they, whom Fortune was to favor that day, had the pack of cards, and drew lots to
see who should watch while the others played. Van Wart lost, and took his place
by the roadside,6 at about eight o'clock. None but persons whom he knew passed
until about half-past nine, when the sound of horse hoofs was heard on the bridge
1 Liriodcndron. It was 112- feet high, and stood, a noted landmark, until July 31, 1801, when destroyed by
lightning, A coincidence was that on the same day the news reached Tarrytown of Arnold's death in
London. The spot is marked 12 on the map.
- It is a curious fact that on Tarrytown Heights Andrfi rode past those who were watching the Bedford road
from Davis' Hill, without being seen by them.—Judge J. 0. Dykman, in a note to the author.
s He says the first time he was confined in the Sugar House, and the second in the North Dutch Church.
* That he was recognized as the leader appears from Jameson's question. See post,
B John Dean was born September is, 1755, and died in Tarrytown April 4, 1817. After his service in Canada,
as noticed, he was in the militia almost constantly until the end of the Revolution. In most of the
encounters between the patriots and their enemies, whether British regulars, their Tory allies, or the
Cowboys, he bore a prominent part, and his death was directly due to an injury received in a skirmish at
, _ King's Bridge in 1781.
His entire life after the close of hostilities was spent in Tarrytown, where his descendants still reside, and
where his name appears amongst those of his companions in arms of the Neutral Ground, on the monument
erected in 1894 to the memory of the soldiers of the Revolution.
* Williams says all sat down.
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