These events took place on Saturday, the twenty-third, probably at about six in the evening. Andre, who had now been in the saddle almost continuously since five in the morning, was at once hurried off for Arnold's headquarters,1 to his own secret satisfaction. Nothing but the arrival a little later of one whose
reminiscences of the period are among the most readable of such, prevented him
from safely arriving there.
This person was Benjamin Tallmadge, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, an
active and intelligent young officer, the Major of Sheldon's regiment. Being on
duty below White Plains, he did not return to headquarters until some time after
the Allen party had left. His suspicions of Arnold, remonstrances against Jameson's action, and the consequent sending of a messenger to overtake Allen,2 are all familiar incidents of history, as is also Jameson's obstinate determination that the letter to Arnold should be forwarded notwithstanding. Andre 6 was now well on his way towards Arnold—and freedom. The recalling order came almost too late. Not until Allen and his squad were upon
the hill north of Peekskill, close to the ancient St. Peter's Church, were they
overtaken by the messenger,31 bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste."4
Once more the unfortunate prisoner was turned back 8 to danger, when little more than an hour would have saved him. It was his last chance, and he was now to progress steadily towards the inevitable end. The return to Sands'
Mills was about eight or nine o'clock Sunday morning,6 the twenty-fourth.
6 Solomon Allen was born in Northampton, Mass., February 23, 1751, and died in New York January 28, 1821.
He had three brothers in the army, one the Rev. Thomas Allen, first pastor of the Congregational Church of Pittsfield, Mass., who was present at the battles of Bennington and Saratoga. Solomon served several
short enlistments, and, after the close of the war served also in suppressing Shays' rebellion. Afterwards he studied theology, was ordained, and became distinguished as a Methodist pastor, chiefly in Western New York. Finally settling in New York City, he died there in 1821. See Alien-Witter Genealogy, and J. N. Danforth's Sketch of Last Days of Solomon Allen.
For his portrait and autograph I am indebted to his great grandson, Mr. Theodore L. Allen, of Pittsfield.
1 From the quick time made, all the party must have been mounted. The Allen-Witter Genealogy says Andre's arms were bound behind him by a strap, a soldier holding the end, and orders given the squad to shoot him if he attempted to escape. Lieutenant Allen rode in lie rear. The compiler of the genealogy does not give his authority for any statements, and the papers of Rev. Solomon Allen, though supposed to
be somewhere in New York City (if anywhere) have never been discovered by his descendants.
2 The order recalling Allen reads:
'' From some circumstances which I have just discovered, I have reason to fear that a party of the enemy is above; and as I would not have Anderson re-taken or get away, I desire that you will proceed to Lower Salem with him, and deliver him to Captain Hoogland You will leave the guard with Captain Hoogland also, except one man whom you may take along. You may proceed to West Point to deliver the letter to General Arnold. You may also show him this, that he may know the reason why the prisoner is not sent on."
8 Allen's route was to New Castle Corners—really the North Castle of the Revolution—thence over Crow Hill to Pine's Bridge. Thence by the same road Andre1 had travelled in the morning—past Strang's tavern and Miller's house to the present Locust Avenue, thence to Cortlandville, near the Hollman house, and towards Continental Village.
* The Allen Genealogy, which is somewhat diffuse on this point, and in other particulars is at variance with general history, says the escort were almost mutinous at the recall, and that Andr6 encouraged them, so that it required all Allen's authority to compel them to return.
6 Why did Allen return to Sands' Mills, instead of going to Lower (now South) Salem, as ordered? This has
never been explained. 8 Authorities differ, page 38.
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