Lt. Jesse Adair of the British Marines was one of the officers who was on the march out to Concord on 18-19 Apr 1775, stopping provincial horsemen along the way.
He was also one of the last British military officers to leave Boston during the evacuation on 17 Mar 1776, as Martin Hunter (then a lieutenant, later a general) described in his memoir:
Lieutenant Adair of the Marines, an acting engineer, was ordered to strew crow-feet in front of the lines to impeded the march of the enemy, as it was supposed they should attack our rear. Being an Irishman, he began scattering the crowfeet about from the gate towards the enemy, and, of course, had to walk over them on his return, which detained him so long that he was nearly taken prisoner.The photograph above from Britain’s National Army Museum shows a crow’s foot or caltrop from the seventeenth century. They were developed to stop cavalry charges as well as slow down infantry. Minuteman Treasures shows another type.
I don’t think any American source describes Continental soldiers trying to capture Lt. Adair, so I suspect that part of Hunter’s story is jocular exaggeration. After all, what’s an ethnic joke without wild exaggeration?