The Peg-Legged Patriot, Part I
Jeremiah Brown limped a lot
ever since the age of five,
When a horse trampled his left shin,
The boy was given up to die.
But her pulled through amazingly,
Thought the leg had met the saw,
So he was fitted for a new peg leg,
At this insistence of his pa.
It didn’t look like most peg-legs,
It was not a solid shaft of wood,
But rather a thick bar of iron,
With a sleeve that fit quite good.
He never let it slow him much
He even learned how to run,
With a slight limp-gait he went,
Along with other boys having fun.
And when it came to working fields
Jeremiah, he was no slouch.
He was always ready when pa called,
Up early so he could be on help.
He wasn’t just skilled at the labor
But was always taken on hunts,
With his Kentucky rifle he had no equal,
And every shooting contest he won.
In the year seventeen seventy-nine
The revolution was in full swing.
A call went up through the Hudson Vale
For militia to press forth the thing.
Jeremiah walked into the tavern
Fully intending to sign himself on,
But old Colonel Wright, town commander
Said “Sorry Brown, you can’t come along.”
“It isn’t that we doubt your heart,
Nobody here could say ill of that,
It’s just that to fight we must move at one,
And that leg would cause you to lag.
“It does not seem fair, but war rarely is,
And I’m sorry it had to be this way.
But an army is as strong as its weakest
So it looks like you will have to stay.”
Jeremiah was stunned at first,
He just nodded and slowly walked out.
Then his anger manifested,
And he drank himself into a black-out.
When it cleared he returned to farm,
Where he soon was by townsfolk told
That a village guard was being formed,
Made up mostly of men quite old.
With the militia gone for Washington’s force
There was nobody else left behind,
So Jeremiah took up his rotating watch,
Doing his part to ‘hold the line.’
For long weeks nothing happened
No redcoats strayed near the town,
They had Washington’s army to fight,
And had little care for such remote grounds.
They one day not long after
Washington’s men took Stony Point,
While Jeremiah slept a cry went up,
Redcoat patrol by Bill Hoyt’s!
The five other guards went out to see,
While Jeremiah struggled to wake,
In a crash of bullets the guards died,
Sending but one redcoat to his fate…
When Jeremiah got up, and road near
He found the old men dead in a field,
And on the far side were six mounted men,
And one redcoat already killed...
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2017