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Oliver Lawrence and Col. Delancey

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

In the late excursion, which General Parsons made to Morrisania, Major Oliver Lawrence being detached with a reconnoitring party under the command of Colonel Grey, accidentally met with Colonel James Delancey, who taking the major for one of his officers, abruptly accosted him: “D——n you, -what are you doing there? don’t you see the rebels just on your back?Major Lawrence, in order to decoy him, replied: “My dear colonel, pray give me your assistance; my men are in the greatest confusion, and I can’t rally them.” Upon which Delancey innocently rode up until he came within a few rods of the major; when unfortunately one of the major’s party, having G. W. on his cap, rising from behind a stone fence, where they were secreted, discovered to the colonel his mistake; upon which he immediately wheeled about, put spurs to his horse, and preferring the danger of a broken neck to the fire of his enemy, leaped down a craggy precipice, exclaiming, when he first perceived his error— “Damn you, Oliver Lawrence, I know you.”1


1 New York Packet, February 1.