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Thirteen a Rebel Number

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

Thirteen is a number peculiarly belonging to the rebels. A party of naval prisoners lately returned from Jersey, say, that the rations among the rebels, are thirteen dried clams per day; that the titular Lord Stirling takes thirteen glasses of grog every morning, has thirteen enormous rum-bunches on his nose, and that (when duly impregnated) he always makes thirteen attempts before he can walk; that Mr. Washington has thirteen toes on his feet, (the extra ones having grown since the Declaration of Independence,) and the same number of teeth in each jaw; that the Sachem Schuyler has a top-knot of thirteen stiff hairs, which erect themselves on the crown of his head when he grows mad; that Old Putnam had thirteen pounds of his posteriors bit off in an encounter with a Connecticut bear, (’twas then he lost the balance of his mind;) that it takes thirteen Congress paper dollars to equal one penny sterling; that Polly Wayne was just thirteen hours in subduing Stony Point, and as many seconds in leaving it; that a well-organized rebel household has thirteen children, all of whom expect to be generals and members of the High and Mighty Congress of the “thirteen United States” when they attain thirteen years; that Mrs. Washington has a mottled tom-cat, (which she calls, in a complimentary way, ‘Hamilton,’) with thirteen yellow rings around his tail, and that his flaunting it suggested to the Congress the adoption of the same number of stripes for the rebel flag.1


1 Smythe’s Journal, 98.