Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

John André

Custom User Avatar
More by this author

I am John André, a honorable British soldier. I feel glad devoting myself to my great country.
I was born in London in a wealth family. Raised in upper class, I was well educated and proud of myself and my great country—Britain.
At age 20, fulfilling my responsibility as a British, I joined the British Army. I was assigned to the colonial society over sea far in America. During my years in Philadelphia and New York, I worked hard to make myself a better man. Despite my lively and pleasant manner, people favored me for my intelligent and varied skills—I could draw, paint and design, as well as sing and write verse. As a writer, I  was especially impressed by the great General Henry Clinton’s work and inspired profoundly by his patriotism.
It was in April of 1775 as we were about to return to England where the Battle of Lexington and Concord broke out all of a sudden. Meanwhile, military force gathered around and swept rapidly along the colonial society. Unfortunately, I was captured at Fort Saint-Jean by the Continental General Richard Montgomery in November of 1775 and held prisoner at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Openly, I gave my word not to escape and earned a chance to enjoy my freedom within my town. Privately, my patriotism inspired and led me to search for secret information about the Continental Army and a chance to escape. Luck came and I was freed in a prisoner exchange. Eager to devote myself into this war, I gathered up my courage and recommended myself to Henry Clinton, the great British commander, proclaiming “Sir, please give me a chance to fight for my country at the front of the war!” After an evaluation, I was promoted to captain in the “26th Foot” in 1777, and to major in 1778. In 1779, honorably, I became Adjutant General of the British Army in America with the rank of Major. By April, I was responsible for taking charge of British Secret Service and took part in Commander Clinton’s invasion of the South.
During the invasion, General Clinton conferred with me, and, with his great trust, gave me broad authority to pursue Arnold’s offer, which was to abet him to assist British Army. American General Benedict Arnold, who commanded the fortifications at West Point-an important military affair for both the Continental Army and the British Army-was the my main target. I certainly respected my commander’s order, and, knew deeply in my heart, it was a great responsibility; I could not disappoint the expectations. In order to approach to him, I secretly snuck in with a feigned name and a disguised appearance and spied on Arnold during his wedding to Peggy Shippen. Successfully, I chatted with Shippen and became a close friend of hers, hence, she played as a go-between role in the correspondence between me and Arnold. Later I was introduced with my true identity, British spy chief, to Arnold. Expectedly, he claimed his change of sides, and this was the beginning of a secret correspondence between Arnold and me.
  I drafted an initial letter written in both code and invisible ink, opened a discussion on the types of assistance and intelligence that were hoped to be provided, and gave instructions for how to communicate in the future. As expected, Benedict Arnold provided essential information about troop locations and strength, as well as the locations of supply depots, while asking for indemnification of his losses and £10,000. It was total worthy and successful. Owing to the military intelligence, under General Clinton’s command, the great army successfully gained main control of the Hudson River Valley.
After a face-to-face meeting with Arnold on the shore near Haverstraw, NY, he gave me papers about West Point which revealed the placement of troops and other compromising information. When I was ready to return to Britain, however, the Vulture had moved up the river, having been fired upon by the Americans. As a result, I was stranded. Even though I was loathing to go back to the British by American-held land, in this extreme case, knowing of the danger, I had to. To help out, Arnold wrote paper passes, using the disguised name of “John Anderson”. Holding the passes and hiding the papers in boot, I changed my uniform into an American on and decided to move as fast as I could. Day after day, I became tired and exhausted. More seriously, the Continental Army seemed to realize the leakage of military intelligence and conducted scouring for Loyalists.
While I was passing the forest, three soldiers, dressed British uniform, were lingering around the forest. Carelessly, I shouted blissfully “my name is John André, British army! Nice to see my fellows after days’ traveling.” Confusion emerged on their face. Suddenly, I realized I had made a huge mistake. “I am American General John Anderson,” showing off my passes, “ I was just testing whether you guys are loyalists.” I awkwardly smiled while I
John André(the one on the horse)was captured by the American soldiers turned around and was about to leave. “Hey, stop right there or I’ll shoot!” shouted by one of them. My heart beat more rapidly. As the soldiers were walking towards me, I took out my fake passes, pretended confident and showed them the passes. Questioned by the men, I got that they were American soldiers who were on mission. But it was already too late. When they found the papers in my boot, they suspected my identity and required me to go with them to George Washington’s camp.
“Sure…” I replied while feeling my life was frozen.
Days later, I was put in prison and convicted as a British spy. Death penalty would come in the following days. I was desperate and disappointed, not for my coming death but for my failing mission, my failing responsibility.
Hours before the death penalty, I unintentionally heard that Arnold had escaped successfully to London. A feeling of release spread in my mind that I could die without anything to regret—I devoted my life to my beloved country, the great Britain.

According to an eyewitness’ depiction, on the guillotine, John André bravely stood with his back straight and his head erect, and placed the noose around his own neck, declaring with great dignity, “my name is John André. I love my country!”






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback