Stories of American Life and Adventure - Edward Eggleston

A Brave Girl

In the time of the Revolution, a regiment of Hessian soldiers hired to fight on the British side were camped in South Carolina. They took possession of the lower part of the house of a farmer named Gibbes. The family were forced to retire to the upper story.

Two American boats came up the Stono River, and attacked these Hessians. Cannon balls were soon falling all about the house. Mr. Gibbes, who was so ill that he could hardly walk, got leave to move his family to another place. To do this, the whole family had to cross a field where the cannon balls were flying thick. At last they got out of reach of the cannons. Then they remembered that a little baby had been left behind. Neither Mr. Gibbes nor his wife was able to travel back to the house again. The negroes were too much frightened to go. All the rest were children.

Little Mary Anne Gibbes was only thirteen years old. The baby that had been left was her cousin.

"I will go and get him," she said.

It was a dark and stormy night. She went back into the heat of the battle. When she reached the house, the soldier who stood at the door would not let her go in. But, with tears in her eyes, she begged so hard that he let her pass. In the third story of the house she found the baby.

Then downstairs, and out into the darkness and the crash of battle, she went. The cannon balls scattered dust over her and the baby when they struck near her, but she got back to her family at last, carrying the baby safe in her arms.