Even the children saw and heard so much of the war that was going on that they played at war, and fought battles with red and white corn,—red for the British and white for the Americans. At the battle of Cowpens Colonel William Washington fought on the American side, and Tarleton got badly whipped and had to run. Not long afterward he happened to see some boys squatting on the ground, with a lot of corn instead of marbles. They were playing the battle of Cowpens. A red kernel stood for Tarleton, and a white one for Colonel Washington. The boys shoved the corn this way and that; sometimes the red would win, sometimes the white. At last the white kernel gained the victory, and the boys shouted, "Hurrah for Washington—Tarleton runs!" Tarleton had been quietly looking on without their knowing it. When he saw how the game ended, he turned angrily away. He had seen enough of "the little rebels," as he called them.
Not long after our victory at Cowpens, Andrew Jackson was taken prisoner by the British. The officer in command of the soldiers had just taken off his boots, splashed with mud. Pointing to them, he said to Andrew, Here, boy, clean those boots. Andrew replied, Sir, I am a prisoner of war, and it is not my place to clean boots. The officer, in a great passion, whipped out his sword and struck a blow at the boy. It cut a gash on his head and another on his hand. Andrew Jackson lived to be an old man, but the marks of that blow never disappeared: he carried the scars to his grave.
Andrew was sent with other prisoners to Camden, South Carolina,and shut up in the jail-yard. There many fell sick and died of small-pox. One day some of the prisoners heard that General Greene—the greatest American general in the Revolution, next to Washington—was coming to fight the British at Camden. Andrew's heart leaped for joy, for he knew that if General Greene should win he would set all the prisoners at liberty. General Greene, with his little army, was on a hill in sight Of the jail, but there was a high, tight board fence round the jail-yard, and the prisoners could not see them. With the help of an old razor Andrew managed to dig out a knot from one of the boards. Through that knot-hole he watched the battle. Our men were beaten in the fight, and Andrew saw their horses, with empty saddles, running wildly about. Then the boy turned away, sick at heart. Soon after that he was seized with the small-pox, and would have died of it if his mother had not succeeded in getting him set free.
In the summer Mrs. Jackson made a journey on horseback to Charleston, a hundred and sixty miles away. She went to carry some little comforts to the poor American prisoners, who were starving and dying of disease in the crowded and filthy British prison-ships in the harbor. While visiting these unfortunate men she caught the fever which raged among them. Two weeks later she was in her grave, and Andrew, then a lad of fourteen, stood alone in the world. Years afterward, when he had risen to be a noted man, people would sometimes praise him because he was never afraid to say and do what he believed to be right; then Jackson would answer, "That I learned from my good old mother."
Directions: Answer the following multiple choice questions. Also, answer the following questions on a sheet of paper: