On September 22, 1780, one of the most startling and the saddest event of the Revolution occurred. Benedict Arnold, Washington's trusted friend, commander at West Point, had turned traitor. The discovery was made through the arrest of Andre, a British spy by whom Arnold attempted to send a plan of the fort to the British commander at New York. "We took him into the bushes" said Williams, "and ordered him to pull off his clothes, which he did; but, on searching him narrowly, we could not find any sort of writings. We told him to pull of his boots, which he seemed to be indifferent about; but we got one boot off, and searched in that boot, and could find nothing. But we found there were some papers in the bottom of his stocking next to his foot; on which we made him pull his stocking off, and found three papers wrapped up. Mr. Paulding looked at the contents, and said he was a spy. We then made him pull off his other boot, and there we found three more papers at the bottom of his foot within his stocking."
Lieutenant Tilgham, one of Washington's aids-de-camp, rode express to Philadelphia to carry the dispatches of the chief announcing the joyful tidings to Congress of Cornwallis's surrender. It was midnight when he entered the city. Thomas M'Kean was then president of the Continential Congress and resided in High Street near Second. Tilgham knocked at his door so vehemently, that a watchman was disposed to arrest him as a disturber of the peace. M'Kean arose, and presently the glad tidings were made known. The watchmen throughout the city proclaimed the hour, adding "and Cornwallis is taken!" That annunciation, ringing out upon the frosty night air, aroused thousands from their beds. Lights were seen moving in almost every house, and soon the streets were thronged with men and women all eager to hear the details.
The officer who came to treat respecting prisoners was led blind-folded to the camp of Marion. There he first saw the small form of the general and around him under trees in groups were his followers. When their business was concluded, Marion invited the young Briton to dine with him. He remained, and to his utter astonishment he saw some roasted potatoes brought forward on a piece of bark, of which the general partook freely, and invited his guest to do the same. "Surely, general," said the officer, "this can not be your ordinary fare!" "Indeed it is", replied Marion, "and we are fortunate, on this occassion, entertaining company, to have more than our usual allowance". (Read the fascinating stories about Marion or "The Swamp Fox" as he was called, and William Cullen Bryant's poem "The Song of Marion's Men.)