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Thomas Allen

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

AUGUST 17 – Among the many brave militia who were in the action yesterday, at Bennington, the Reverend Mr. Allen, of Pittsfield, ought not to be omitted. At the commencement of the action, he marched up within a few yards of the enemy’s breastworks, and demanded a surrender of the same in the name of the Congress, on which he received a shower of balls, accompanied with the epithet of a “damn’d bold Yankee.” Mr. Allen, however, soon returned at the head of the Pittsfield militia, and was one of the first over the breastwork.

[The above account reminds the printer of another he received from a private gentleman immediately after the battle of Bennington, which places Mr. Allen’s conduct in a different point of view, and shows it to have arisen solely from a sudden impulse of humanity, which hurried him, contrary to the opinion and advice of his friends, into a total disregard of his own personal safety. On finding the superiority of our troops, and that the enemy had no probable means of escape, just before the onset he threw himself between the two armies, called to the enemy, reminded them of their situation, pathetically exhorted them, from a regard to justice to their country, and to their own safety, to surrender, and prevent the effusion of blood. While he was speaking, with his hat in his hand, a number of balls were fired at him, several of which went through his hat; on which he retired, joined in the attack of the enemy, and was among the foremost to enter their intrenchments.]1


1 New York Journal, September 22.

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