10 September 1776
On 10 September 1776, Nathan Hale volunteered when George Washington asked for a spy to gather information on the British in Long Island, New York. Hale, a former teacher, was captain of the Continental Army’s 19th Regiment, though he’d yet to experience battle. Disguised as a schoolmaster, Hale was behind British lines during the invasion of Manhattan. On 21 September, Hale was captured while trying to return to safety and was found with documents that proved him a spy. He was hanged by the British on 22 September. His supposed last words, now famous, were "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Hale was 21 years old.