Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

adhere to such an arrangement of the military CHAP. V.
force of the nation, as entirely to exclude all 1777.
provision against an event so very possible.
This consideration added to the decisive influ-
ence which being able to defeat general Howe,
and to destroy the army under his command
before the arrival of re-enforcements from
Europe, or Canada, would have on the war,
an event which would be very practicable
should the regiments ordered by congress be
nearly complete and be brought to bear on
the same point, induced him to change his
original determination of ordering all the regi-
ments of Massachussetts to Ticonderoga, and
to direct eight of them to rendezvous at Peck's-
Kill. That was a position from whence they
might re-enforce either army, as the move-
ments of the enemy might render it necessary.
Unfortunately, the recruiting service progressed
so slowly, and such unexpected delays attended
bringing the new raised troops into the field,
that this change in the destination of some of
the regiments of Massachussetts, was of no
essential consequence. The army in Jersey
could neither be re-enforced in time, nor with
sufficient numbers to effect the great objects
which had been contemplated, nor could the
regiments which marched to Peck's-Kill have
reached Ticonderoga in time for the opening
of the campaign, had they taken the most
direct route to that place.

CHAP. V.

The services of Schuyler in the northern 1777. department had been much more solid than

brilliant. Frequently dissatisfied with his situation, and disgusted with the injustice,* he supposed himself to experience, he had for some time contemplated a resignation and had only been restrained from leaving the army by the deep interest he felt in the struggle of his country for independence. When his fears of a sudden attack on Ticonderoga during the

winter had been removed by the situation of An inquiry lake Champlain, he waited in person on con

gress for the purpose of having his complicated which termi. accounts adjusted, of having his conduct in

quired into, and of supporting by the representations he should make before quitting the service, those necessary measures of defence in the north, which were suggested by his perfect knowledge of the country. At his request, a committee, consisting of a member from each state, was appointed to inquire into his conduct from the time he had held a command in the army. When the arduous services

into the conduct of general

ates to his honour.

* On the sixth of March 1776, when the command of the army was given to general Thomas, the head quarters of general Schuyler had been fixed, by a resolution of congress, at Albany, and that resolution had not yet been repealed. General Gates was now directed to repair to Ticonderoga to take command of the army, and major general St. Clair was ordered to the same place to serve under him.

1777.

performed by this meritorious officer came to CHAP. V. be investigated, they were found so greatly to have exceeded any estimate which had been made of them, that congress deemed it essential to the public interests, to prevail on him to retain his commission. Repealing the resolution of the sixth of March 1776, which fixed May 22. his head quarters at Albany, they directed him to proceed forthwith to the northern department, * in which he was ordered to take the command.

On his arrival, he found the army of the north, like that in the middle department, not only too weak for the objects intrusted to it, but also very badly supplied with arms, clothes, and provisions. From a spy who had been discovered, and seized about Onion river, he obtained information that general Burgoynehad arrived at Quebec, and was to command the army so soon as it had marched out of Canada. That while Ticonderoga was to be attacked by the main army, and the communication between mount Independence and Skeensborough cut off, sir John Johnson, with a body of British, Canadians, and Indians, was to penetrate to the Mohawk by Oswego, and place himself between fort Stanwix and fort Edward.

* Consisting of Albany, Ticonderoga, fort Stanwix, and their dependencies.

CHAP, V.

[ocr errors]

The spy further stated that he had heard 1777. nothing of the arrival of any troops from Europe

with general Burgoyne.

This information was immediately communi. cated to general Washington, and was received by him about the time sir William Howe made his movement from Brunswick with a show of marching to Philadelphia through Jersey: a movement which had induced the general to order to his assistance all the troops which could be spared from Peck’s-Kill.

If no re-enforcement had been received from Europe, he conceived that the invading army under Burgoyne could not amount to more than five thousand men; a force by no means competent to the reduction of Ticonderoga; and therefore he still doubted the reality of the design to invest it. Orders, however, were immediately given to general Putnam to hold four of the strongest regiments from Massachussetts, to be commanded by general Nixon, in constant readiness to move on the shortest notice, and to have a sufficient number of vessels prepared to transport them without delay to Albany.

A very few days removed the doubts which had existed respecting the intentions of Burgoyne. It was understood that his army was advancing towards the lakes; and, about the same time, sir William Howe, crossed over from Jersey to Staten island, where he was apparently ma

1777.

king preparations for an embarkation. General CHAP. V. Washington was now persuaded that the movements of the two armies had been made in concert, and that they would co-operate with each other on the Hudson. Immediate orders were given to embark Nixon's brigade for Albany, which was to sail the instant the troops which had been called from Peck's-Kill into Jersey, and which on the evacuation of that state had immediately been directed to return, should be near enough to that post to reach it in time to defend it against any sudden attempt by a movement up the river.

General Schuyler was sensible of the danger which threatened his department, and made every exertion to meet it. He visited in person the different posts, used the utmost activity in obtaining supplies of provision to enable them to hold out in the event of a siege, and had proceeded to Albany both for the

purpose

of attending to the supplies, and of expediting the march of Nixon's brigade whose arrival was expected; when he received intelligence from general St. Clair, who was intrusted with Burgoyne the defence of Ticonderoga. that Burgoyne had before appeared before that place.

In the course of the preceding winter, a plan for penetrating to the Hudson from Canada by the way of the lakes, was completely digested, and its most minute parts arranged in the cabinet of St. James's. General Burgoyne

appears

Ticonderoga.

[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »