his only regret

He was only 21 and had been teaching school for two years when the war began. And now he was involved in the Long Island campaign which was just this side of disastrous. We were facing the enemy across the East River not knowing what their plans might be. Fearing surprised more than anything General Washington wanted someone to sneak over the lines to get information. Spying is a dirty job no one wanted. So Nate volunteered. He was sent through the enemy lines dressed as a Dutch school master. He got what he went after and was on his way back when the British found the information on him. He admitted he was a spy and they hanged him the next morning. He wrote some letters home, but the British destroyed them. In his last moment, they let him say what he wanted to. He was just a young American who had no time to do anything memorable but die. So, he stood there, with the noose around his neck and told them his rank, captain, and his name, Nathan Hale. And then added, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”