William Gordon included this anecdote of the war:
It happened, that a garden of a widow woman, which lay between the two camps, was robbed at night. Her son, a mere boy and little of his age, asked leave for finding out and securing the pilferer, in case he should return; which being granted, he concealed himself with a gun among the weeds.In a footnote Gordon added, “Mr. Vanbrugh Livingston of New York told me, he had this from major Ross of Lancaster in Pennsylvania, who saw the soldier brought in.” That was presumably James Ross (1753-1808), son of Declaration of Independence signer George Ross.
A British grenadier, a strapping highlander, came and filled his large bag; when he had it on his shoulder, the boy left his covers came softly behind him, cocked his gun, and called out to the fellow, “You are my prisoner; if you attempt to throw your bag down I will shoot you dead: go forward in that road.” The boy kept close to him, threatened, and was alway prepared to execute his threatening. Thus the boy drove him into the American camp, where he was secured.
When the grenadier was at liberty to throw down his bag, and saw who had made him prisoner, he was most horridly mortified, and exclaimed—“A British grenadier made prisoner by such a d——d brat—by such a d——d brat.”
The American officers were highly entertained with the adventure; made a collection for the boy, and gave him some pounds. He returned fully satisfied with the losses his mother had sustained.
The soldier had side arms, but they were of no use, as he could not get rid of his bag.