The Peg-Legged Patriot, Part II
Jeremiah did not hesitate,
he drew one up into his sights.
His Kentucky fired in dawn’s glow
caught a redcoat, dead-to-rights.
The others charged, sabers drawn,
so Jerermiah fled into the near forest.
Hiding and quickly reloading his gun,
the British charged leaving him no rest.
The redcoat horses found themselves slowed
by the thick press of woody brush
that came with broad eastern forests,
a woody nightmare, alarming lush.
Jeremiah took aim and fired again,
knocking their commander from his mount.
The man pitched off and slammed down,
dead before he hit the ground.
The four others leapt from their steads,
and charged towards Jeremiah on foot.
He fled back into the deeper forest,
where it was hard to even get a look.
He waited behind a corpse of birch,
drawing his father’s old pistol.
A redcoat drew near, not seeing him,
so he put a ball through the man’s skull.
The others heard, but saw just smoke,
charging blindly to their comrade.
Jeremiah slipped left, behind a bolder,
quickly reloading under a crag.
The redcoats saw their newest slain,
and turned with muskets wide.
They scanned the forest anxiously,
then a shot came from the side!
Another jerked and then slumped low,
and a bellowing roar went up.
Jeremiah charged with tomahawk,
and a panicked fire did erupt!
But muskets are not accurate guns,
and in the chaos both shots went wide.
Jeremiah threw his tomahawk,
And it cleaved a redcoat’s thigh.
The man collapsed, moaning loud
The other turned and ran away.
Jeremiah clomped up the injured one,
and he had this to say:
“Surrender now, and I promise you
no further harm is going to come.
But press your luck and this here leg
will kill you quickly as any gun!”
He raised his iron leg just then,
to drive his point on home.
The wounded redcoat raised his hands,
said,”I’ve had enough. I’m done.”
It was several weeks later
when Colonel Wright returned.
His troops still mostly unblooded,
no glory in combat earned.
When he heard the tale of Jeremiah,
of his crazy, desperate fight,
he nodded firmly and said to all,
“It seems I was not right.
“It seems that I didn’t understand,
Just what this young man could do.
I thought him brave but still a cripple,
I suppose I made myself a fool.”
He enlisted Jeremiah that same night,
It was the talk of the whole town.
And two years later they both watched
beaten redcoats yield at Yorktown.
Few remember this tale now,
houses now stand in the field.
But to this day a peg-legged man
stands proudly on the town seal.
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2017