From 1776 by David McCulough. Page 174.
In the turmoil and confusion, Sullivan struggled to hold control and keep his men from panicking. Their situation was desperate; retreat was the only alternative, and in stages of “fight and flight,” he lead them as rapidly as possible in the direction of the Brooklyn lines.Those left to hold the ridge had by now been overrun by the Hessians. Green-coated jaegers (literally, huntsmen) and the blue-coated grenadiers with their seventeen-inch bayonets had moved up through the steep woods of the ridge—the “terrible hills”—as swiftly and expertly as any Virginia rifleman. So suddenly did they appear that the Americans had time to get off only a shot or two, or none at all. Some fought back, wielding their muskets and rifles like clubs, before being run through with bayonets. Some pleaded for mercy. “Their fear of the Hessian troops was…indescribable,” wrote General von Heister. At the very sight of a blue coat, he said, “they surrendered immediately and begged on their knees for their lives.” Those who could get away fled back down through the trees and out into the open, only to run headlong into a hail of British fire.At the same time, the whole left side of the American line collapsed. Thousands of men were on the run, hundreds were captured. Sullivan held back, in an effort to see as many as possible to safety, and amazingly most of the men succeeded in reaching the Brooklyn lines.Sullivan, however, was captured. An American soldier named Lewis Morris, who himself barely escaped, wrote of Sullivan in a letter home. “The last I heard of him, he was in a cornfield close by our lines, with a pistol in each hand, and the enemy had formed a line each side of him, and he was going directly between them. I like to have been taken prisoner myself.”