Affiliate Link

The Connecticut Fifer Boy

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

When Colonel Webb, with some others, were taken in a late expedition to Long Island, a little fifer of the smallest size, belonging to the State of Connecticut, was made prisoner with them, and carried into Rhode Island. The colonel being called before the British general, the little fifer fondly followed close at his heels, as anxious to know his fate. Says the general to him, “Who are you?” “I am,” answered the boy, “one of King Hancock’s men.” The general asks, “Can you fight?” The boy replies, “Yes, sir; I can.” Upon this the general calls in one of his fifers, and asks our stripling whether he dare fight him? He answers, “Yes, sir.” The general orders his fifer to strip and give him battle. The boy stripped as fast, and fell on with such fury that in a few moments the British fifer was so beaten that it was thought our little hero would soon have finished him, had he not been rescued. The British general, with a generosity natural to great minds, but seldom displayed by modern Britons, ordered him to be set at liberty for his valor, and he is since returned home.1


1 New Jersey Gazette, January 21.

Leave a Reply