At the house1 in Pleasantville then occupied by Sylvanus Brundage, and now by
his grandson, William H. Brundage, on this road, he stopped to water his horse
at the spring opposite the house. Brundage, himself a soldier, of the Second—or
Middle—regiment of Westchester militia (Colonel Thomas) was then at home.8
Some words were exchanged between them, and the traveller went on. Con-
tinuing on he reached the old Bedford road, and passed down it to Rossell's—now
Mekeel's—Corners.3 Here he turned to the left. At a point about a mile
further, the road descends to the little valley where the Nepperhan4 river, here a
mere brook, is crossed, and feeds the pond for the sawmill still existing and known
as Hammond's. To his left, on a slight eminence, stood the dwelling of Staats
Hammond,5 the miller. Here, for the second time that morning, the fugitive
unwittingly met a patriot soldier. Hammond was a sergeant in the First West-
chester, and had been wounded through the left leg in an encounter near Sing
Sing, June 17, 1779.6 The unhealed wound still disabled him and he was lying
on the floor in his house.7
It was a beautiful September day when I visited the scene. Hammond's
house disappeared long ago, but that lately occupied by Floyd Powell stands on
the same site.
Riding quite close to the well, where stood David and Sally Hammond,
fourteen and twelve years old, the stranger asked for a drink. Sally filled a cup
or bowl and handed it to him, while David held the horse and noticed the hand-
some double-snaffle bridle, and the mane full of burrs. Andre remarked on the
excellence of the water,8 gave Sally a sixpence, which was treasured for many
years afterwards, and then asked David9 about the distance to Tarrytown and the
likelihood of meeting a Whig force at Young's tavern, about a mile further on.
The boy told him there was a party of scouts there. Alarmed at this, he turned
his horse and retraced his journey as far as Mekeel's Corners. Here he continued
over the old Bedford road, on to Tarrytown Heights to the old Albany Post road,
which he followed to Tarrytown.
Here Fate awaited him, and the consequences of the night's delay at
Miller's house, and his fear of the party at Young's tavern were to deliver him
into the hands of his enemies. Had he gone on, towards Dobbs' Ferry, past
1 Marked 9 on the map.
2 The term of service of many of the militia had expired the previous June.
3 Marked 10 on the map. John Mekeel was a first lieutenant in the Third Westchester militia.
* Spelled also Nepperau, but generally known by the barbaric name of Sawmill.
5 Marked 11 on the map.
<i Howe was there in July — possibly "June " should be July.
% Through the window he had a glimpse of the rider, and afterwards expressed distrust of him on account of his
being muffled to the chin in his cloak.—David Hammond in 184J.
8 The " Andre well" still furnishes excellent water. In the illustration it is not shown, but is directly on a line
with the left end of the house.
9 Mrs. Hammond, according to Campbell.
David lived until 1853, and to the end clearly recalled the scene.
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