At length, obliged to beat a retreat before superior numbers, they formed an intrenchment
behind the large table, which they raised by main force; whilst the two others, arming themselves each with a trestle, and using it like a great sledge-hammer, knocked down at a blow eight sailors upon whose heads they had brought their monstrous catapult in play.
The grenadiers of the two regiments got near enough to the ditches and intrenchments
to launch their grenades, which had but small effect.
Keba Christos, who had marched with incredible expedition to hinder the enemy from making any intrenchments
, would willingly have refreshed his men a few days before the battle, but finding the foe vigilant, thought it not proper to stay till he was attacked, and therefore resolved to make the first onset; then presenting himself before his army without arms and with his head uncovered, assured them that such was his confidence in God's protection of those that engaged in so just a cause, that though he were in that condition and alone, he would attack his enemies.
If there should be no army, whither would the militia, irritated by being called upon to undertake a distant and hopeless expedition, for the purpose of riveting the chains of slavery upon a part of their countrymen, direct their course, but to the seat of the tyrants, who had meditated so foolish as well as so wicked a project, to crush them in their imagined intrenchments
of power, and to make them an example of the just vengeance of an abused and incensed people?
There was but a small quantity of powder and ball, few tools to build intrenchments
with, and a great deficiency of provisions and clothes for the soldiers.
When the regiment was aligned in another position each man's regard for his safety caused another line of small intrenchments
. They ate their noon meal behind a third one.