He was reprieved until the 2d (October). His guard was then relieved by Captain
John------1 of the Congress regiment. * * * We relieved Captain Allen2 of Rhode Island,
by whom we were all introduced to Major Andr6. He requested Captain Hughes and
myself to remain with him, to which we consented. * * * Not
a murmur escaped during the time I was with him; but on
the contrary he expressed himself in the warmest terms for
the indulgence he received from the court before whom he
was tried and from all the officers under whose care he had
been placed, particularly Major Tallmadge. On the morning of the fatal day he early
put on his morning-gown, and appeared very sociable, conversed on different subjects,
never mentioning his own situation, but when he saw us dull would take a glass, saying,
"Come, let us take a glass of wine. It only makes me feel the worse to see your
feelings hurt." Then he would commence some other conversation evidently with
intention to take our thoughts from the situation. * * * He took his hat, put it on
the table, and said, "Gentlemen, I am now ready to obey your call," with as much
composure as if he had dressed for a party of pleasure. I said I was sorry we had
to separate so soon, and he said it would be the sooner over. * * * When we came in
sight of the gallows, I had never before seen him disturbed, but there was now evidently
excitement, asking us earnestly whether we knew the mode of death. We told him we
did not, and seeing you (Tallmadge) at some distance he asked if that were you. I
answered him it was. He requested (leave) to speak to you, and you can recollect the
observation, " I have borne everything with fortitude," etc.
Van Dyk says no reply was made, but other accounts represent the officer
as saying: "It is unavoidable, Sir." " How hard is rny fate!" replied the
prisoner. He paused an instant, and added: "It will soon be over"3—the
march was resumed, and the gallows reached. This had been made by setting up
two forked trees, with a third laid across. It was unusually high, and under it
stood the cart, or two-horse army baggage-wagon,4 in which was the coffin.
Andre waited a moment, " betraying some emotion, putting one foot on a small
stone, and rolling it over and choking in his throat as if attempting to swallow.5
He bowed his head and looked at himself from the feet upward, for an instant,
before attempting to get on the wagon by the tail-board. His first attempt
failing, he said a few words to his servant, who was standing by overcome with
1 This must be Hughes.
2 William Allen. He was born at Rehoboth, Mass., March 27, 1752, and died at Providence, R. I., August 17, 1815.
He was Ensign of the Second Rhode Island, June 28, 1775; Captain, January 1, 1777; was transferred
to the First, January I, 1781, and was honorably discharged, December 25, 1783. In 1786 he was
appointed Major of me Third U. S. Infantry, and was Brigadier General of the Rhode Island militia,
1799-1801. His son, William Henry Allen, was a naval officer, and was mortaUy wounded in the action
between the Argus and the British brig Pelican, August 14, 1813.
3 Tallmadge. His behaviour was becoming an officer and a gentleman, and such in his last moments as drew
tears from many eyes.—Heath.
* Even this has its history. Such were then rare in the county, and the local Committee of Safety had the duty
of procuring them—sometimes forcibly—when needed by the army. A farmer—Van Ostrand — hid his
under the hay in his barn. Hendrick Oblenis, president of the Committee, found and seized it. At the
close of the war, the owner refused to send for it, sued Oblenis for its value, was defeated, and then left it
to decay under a tree behind the Oblenis homestead in Clarkstown.—C. M. Oblenis, Nyack.
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