Jasper by Edward Eggleston
"Marion'S Men" were famous in the Revolution for their bold
adventures. The best known of all these bold men was Sergeant Jasper.
At the battle of Fort Moultrie, when the flag of the fort was shot
away, Jasper jumped down outside of the works, and picked it up. The
balls were raining round him all the time he was outside, but he
coolly fastened the flag to a rod which was used to wipe out the
cannon, and then stuck it up in the sand of the breastworks.
When General Moultrie saw what he had done, he took off his own sword
and gave it to Sergeant Jasper.
When Moultrie and his men were hiding in the swamps of South Carolina,
Moultrie would send Jasper to find out what the British were doing.
Jasper could change his looks so that nobody would know him. He often
went into the British camp, pretending to be on that side.
Once he took a friend with him, and paid a visit to the British
soldiers. While he was there, a small party of American prisoners were
brought in. The wife of one of the prisoners had come with her
husband, carrying her child. As these men had once fought on the
English side, they were all likely to be put to death. Jasper felt
sorry for them, and resolved to deliver them if he could.
The prisoners were sent to Savannah for trial. Jasper and his friend
left the British camp soon afterward, but they went in the opposite
direction. When they got far enough away, they turned about and
followed the party with the prisoners. But what could they do for
these poor fellows? There were ten men with muskets to guard the
prisoners. Neither Jasper nor his friend had a gun.
But they knew that near Savannah there was a famous spring of water.
They thought the party would stop there to eat and drink. So Jasper
and his friend went on swiftly, by a path little known. When they came
near the spring, they hid in the bushes.
When the soldiers with their prisoners came to the spring, they
halted. The prisoners sat down on the ground. The woman sat down near
her husband. Her baby fell asleep in her lap. Six of the soldiers laid
down their arms, and four stood guard.
Two of these went to the spring to get water, and, in doing this, they
were obliged to put down their guns. In an instant Jasper and his
friend leaped out of the bushes and seized the two guns. They killed
the two guards who had guns, before the latter could shoot them. Then
they knocked down every man who resisted them, and got possession of
all the rest of the guns of the British. With these they took the
eight soldiers prisoners. They now gave guns to the American
prisoners, and marched away with the eight British soldiers in
Jasper was one of the boldest of men. He did many brave things, but at
last he lost his life in saving the flag of his company in battle.