Major Pitcairn screamed at us “Lay down your arms, you lousy bastards! Disperse, you lousy peasant scum!”….At least those were the words that I seem to remember. Others remembered differently: but the way he screamed, in his strange London accent, with the motion and excitement, with his horse rearing and kicking…with the drums beating again and the fixed bayonets glittering in the sunshine, it’s a wonder that any of his words remain with us…We still stood in our two lines, our guns butt end on the ground or held loosely in our hands. Major Pitcairn spurred his horse and raced between the lines. Somewhere, away from us, a shot sounded. A redcoat soldier raised his musket, leveled it at Father, and fired. My father clutched at his breast, then crumpled to the ground like an empty sack…Then the whole British front burst into a roar of sound and flame and smoke.
Excerpt from the novel April Morning by Howard Fast, published in 1961.