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Beware the Man with One Gun

On the 5th of July. On a hill overlooking New Haven. One man. One gun. Facing the British in defense of his students and his sacred honor. Reverend Daggett's black robes wave in the breeze as he loads and shoots. He is the former president of Yale College, founded in 1701 "As an Act of Liberty". 100 students from Yale fire into the British leading elements. The British are forced back until the students top the ridge and look down the barrels of 2,000 British regulars. The students turn and run, but the Reverend will not run. He loads and shoots, loads and shoots. A British patrol finally locates the Reverend on the hill. [1]

They shout, "Old man! What are you doing firing on His Majesty's troops?"
Reverend Daggett replies, "I am exercising my rights of war." [2] [3]

The Reverend is marched through town, beaten and bloody from bayonet wounds until a Crown loyalist takes responsibility for him. The British push forward, terrorizing the countryside into submission. [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
What we consider an atrocity today was standard operating procedure in those days. There was a lot of disfiguring of bodies. Taring and feathering. Severe beatings and hangings. Frankly, bayoneting and force-marching an old man through town seems fairly outrageous. Those were the times that tried men's souls, and some of those souls came up on the minus side. That happens a lot in war. That is why the military is so fussy about rules of engagement and why chaplains are so important for the military. The clergy used to be out in the field with the troops, carrying a weapon and demonstrating when one should shoot and when one should not. Now we seclude the clergy from war as if their only function was to pray for victory. Well... there are actually a few religious people in Israel who are set aside for that function, but the rest pick up a weapon and take a watch. [5]

Peggy Marries Benedict Arnold... not HITLER!

Peggy is a teenager and the daughter of Judge Shippen, who had remained neutral, but neutrality in Philadelphia was as good as being a traitor in 1777. He was threatened and placed under house arrest until the British took Philadelphia late that year. John Andre was the head of British Intelligence at the time. He started courting Peggy, the hottest babe in town. She was delighted. Her family was no longer in danger from the patriots. But as the British pulled out of Philadelphia, General Benedict Arnold was appointed military governor and given the thankless task of cleaning up the mess left behind. He became enchanted with young Peggy Shippen and one thing led to another. They are married this year April. An American Major General is married to a Crown Loyalist who was dating the head of British Intelligence only a few months ago. What could possibly go wrong? [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Look. Peggy actually knew George Washington. Her father had him over for dinner, so she was not exactly a Crown loyalist in principle. She just got caught up with all the drama. A similar thing happened in Nazi Germany to the daughter of the American Ambassador. Martha Dodd was not much older than Peggy. Her father took the family to Germany. Martha fell in love with Rudolf Diels, the head of the Gestapo before Himmler. And she fell in love with a local Russian spy. Even Hitler made a pass at her. In those early days Martha saw nothing wrong with the Nazis. They were exciting. She was young and the parades were beautiful. I suggest reading her story in the book, In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larsen. Seeing into the future is a difficult task and it took a long time before people realized where Hitler was leading them. By that time it was too late. (FYI, this is NOT a thinly veiled attempt to call ANY current or past Presidential candidate Hitler. I promise.) [8] [9]

And a Little Bit More

  • Benedict Arnold is court-martialed for possibly cooking the books during his Quebec campaign. He will later be absolved from all but two minor charges, but he begins negotiations with the British to sell out the Continental Army for 10,000 pounds... a fortune. His new wife, Peggy, is expensive to keep. [10]
  • John Paul Jones has not yet begun to fight! He takes HMS Serapis as his prize. The man is a winner, and maybe insane. [11]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1779, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Beware the Man with One Gun. Field & Stream (November 9, 2011). Retrieved on 3 May 2016. “The saying goes 'Beware the man with one gun, he knows how to use it.'”
  2. Stand-Alone Courage (5 minutes into video) (Video, requires subscription). The Glenn Beck Show (July 6, 2015). “"I am exercising my rights of war." -- Naphtali Daggett, former president of Yale University and a member of the Black Robe Regiment”
  3. Naphtali Daggett - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 15 July 2015. “When the British attacked New Haven, Connecticut in 1779, Rev. Daggett took up arms in defense but was taken prisoner, and was forced to serve as a guide. He was bayoneted by his captors.”
  4. Parole - definition of parole (2016). Retrieved on 4 May 2016. “French, promise, word, from Vulgar Latin paraula, from Latin parabola, discourse;”
  5. Torato Omanuto (Torah study is his vocation) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 May 2016. “Haredi Jews maintain that the Torah studying practice (or reciting), when practiced by great Torah scholars or their disciples, is crucial in defending the state of Israel and its people, as if it was an additional 'praying division' of the Israeli army. In practice, the Torato Omanuto arrangement provides a legal route whereby Haredi Rabbis and their disciples can either enroll for a shortened service period (4 months), or be exempted altogether from compulsory military service.”
  6. Sheinkin, Steve. Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, and Bravery, The. Roaring Brook Press. “He spotted a quiet young woman standing to the side, a pretty, shy-looking blonde. He asked an officer who she was. The man told Arnold her name--Peggy Shippen. Arnold asked to be introduced. She was led over and they chatted. He was smitten.” 
  7. Major John Andre. USHistory.org (2013). Retrieved on 4 May 2016. “During his nearly nine months in Philadelphia, Andre lived in Benjamin Franklin's house. While the British were preparing to evacuate the city, Andre shocked his friend Du Simitiere (a Swiss-born citizen of Philadelphia) by looting Franklin's house. Arriving to say good-bye, Du Simitiere found the young officer -- known for his courtesy -- packing books, musical instruments, scientific apparatus, and a portrait of Franklin. Andre did not respond to Du Simitiere's protests. Long afterwards, the portrait of Franklin was returned to the America by the descendants of General Grey, and today it hangs in the White House. It now seems clear that Andre looted Franklin's house under orders from Grey, explaining Andre's inability to offer his friend an explanation.”
  8. Larson, Erik. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. Crown. ISBN 9780307408846. “With the help of Sigrid Schultz and Quentin Reynolds, Martha inserted herself readily into the social fabric of Berlin. Smart, flirtatious, and good-looking, she became a favorite among the younger officers of the foreign diplomatic corps and a sought-after guest at the informal parties, the so-called bean parties and beer evenings, held after the obligatory functions of the day had concluded.” 
  9. Rudolf Diels - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 May 2016. “Rudolf Diels (16 December 1900 – 18 November 1957) was a German civil servant and head of the Gestapo in 1933–34.[2] He obtained the rank of SS-Oberführer and was a protégé of Hermann Göring.”
  10. Benedict Arnold - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 May 2016. “By July 1779, Arnold was providing the British with troop locations and strengths, as well as the locations of supply depots, all the while negotiating over compensation. At first, he asked for indemnification of his losses and £10,000, an amount that the Continental Congress had given Charles Lee for his services in the Continental Army.”
  11. Penobscot Expedition - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 May 2016. “The Penobscot Expedition was a 44-ship American naval task force mounted during the Revolutionary War by the Provincial Congress of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The flotilla of 19 warships and 25 smaller support vessels sailed from Boston on July 19, 1779 for the upper Penobscot Bay in the District of Maine carrying a ground expeditionary force of more than 1,000 colonial Marines and militiamen.”

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