Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Sept. 20.

The next day, intelligence was received CHAP. V. from the north, which tended still further to 1977. raise the spirits of the troops.

It has been already stated that general Lin. coln was detached to form the militia, as they came up from the northwestern parts of New England, in the rear of the enemy; and that Ticonderoga was comprehended in his plan of operations. He had assembled a considerable force at Manchester, from whence he marched to Pawlet, a small village on a river of that name, which runs into Wood creek.

Here he divided his troops into three parties of about five hundred men each, and detached colonel Brown, at the head of one of them, to the north end of lake George, principally to relieve a number of prisoners who were confined there, but with orders to push his success if he should be fortunate, as far as prudence would admit. Colonel Johnson, at the head of another party, marched towards mount Indepen. dence; and colonel Woodbury, with a third, was detached to Skeensborough, to cover the retreat of both the others. With the residue of the militia, Lincoln proceeded to join Gates.

After marching all night, colonel Brown arrived about break of day on the north end of the lake, where he fell in with a small post which he carried without opposition. The enemy were completely surprised, and he took possession of mount Defiance, mount Hope,

CHAP. V. the old French lines, the landing, and about 1777. two hundred batteaus.' One hundred Ameri.

can prisoners were liberated, and two hundred and ninety-three of the enemy captured, with the loss of only three killed, and five wounded. This success was joyfully proclaimed through all the northern country. It was believed 'con. fidently, that Ticonderoga and mount Indepen. dence were recovered, and the militia were exhorted by joining their brethren in the army, to ensure that event if it had not already happened.

The attempt on those places, however, failed. The garrison refused to surrender, and, when attacked, repulsed the assailants. After employing a few days ineffectually in endeavouring to take them, the militia gave over the attempt, and returning through lake George in the vessels they had captured, made an attack on Diamond island, which Burgoyne on crossing the Hudson, had made the depot of all the stores collected at the south end of the lake, that being a place of greater security than fort George.' Here they were repulsed with some loss, after which they abandoned and destroyed the vessels they had taken, and returned to their former station.

The day after the battle near Stillwater, ge. neral Burgoyne, who took a position almost

* Remem.

an camp, for- CHAP. V.

Sept. 21.

within cannon shot of the American camp, for. CHAP. V. tified his right, and extended his left to the 1777. extremity of the river hills, so as to cover the meadow through which the river runs, in which his batteaux and hospital were placed. For greater security, two European regiments, and a corps of provincials were encamped in the Sept. 21. meadow. Directly after taking this ground, he received a letter of the 10th, from sir Henry Clinton, informing him that about the 20th of September he should attack forț Montgomery. . This messenger was sent back to sir Henry Clinton by Burgoyne, with information of the pressing necessity of the army for aid, and that he should endeavour to wait for it until the 12th of October.

General Gates, whose numbers increased daily, remained on his old ground. His right which extended to the river had been rendered unassailable, and he used great industry to strengthen his left.

Both armies retained their position until the seventh of October: Burgoyne in the hope of being relieved by sir Henry Clinton; and Gates in the confidence of growing stronger every day, and of rendering the destruction of his enemy more certain.

Having received no further intelligence from sir Henry Clinton, and having found it necessary

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

October 7.

CHAP. V. for four days past to diminish the ration issued
1777. to his soldiers, the British general determined

to make one more trial of strength with his
adversary. A victory might enable him to
advance rapidly down the river; even partial
success might remove the American army to a
greater distance, so as to favour his retreat,
and cover a foraging party sent out to obtain

supplies for his wants, which were daily beOctober 7. coming more urgent.m

· In order to execute this determination, he
drew out on his right, fifteen hundred regular
troops, with two twelve pounders, two how-
itzers, and six six pounders. This body, with
which he designed to commence tlie action, he
commanded in person, assisted by generals
Philips, Reidisel, and Frazer. The defence
of the camp on the heights was committed to
brigadiers Hamilton, and Speicht, and that of
the redoubts in the plain to brigadier Gall." :

The right wing was formed within three
quarters of a mile of the left of the American
camp; and a corps of rangers, Indians, and
provincials, was pushed on through secret
paths to appear in their rear, in order to check
and einbarrass their operations.

., These movements were perceived by general Gates, who immediately determined on attacking the British left, and endeavouring to separate it from the right wing of their army.

m Letter of Burgoyne.

n Ibid.

Ibid.

AP. V

CI

On e

The attack was made suddenly, and in great CHAP. V. force. At first, the principal weight of fire 1777. was directed against the left flank where the British grenadiers were posted, but soon ex tended all along the front, so as to prevent the Germans from aiding them.

At the same time, three regiments from the left, where major general Arnold commanded, came out to attack the front of the enemy's right, and a second division endeavoured to intercept its return to the camp. The British light infantry under general Frazer, with part of the 24th regiment, were ordered to form a second line, in order to cover the light infantry of the right, and secure a retreat. While this movement was in process, the left of the right of the enemy was compelled to give way, and the light infantry was ordered to make a rapid movement to their assistance. In making it, .' they fell in with the rifle corps, which attacked' them with great effect, and Frazer was mortally wounded. In the mean-time, Arnold pressed hard on the right under Burgoyne, which, with great difficulty, and with the loss of the field pieces and great part of the artillery corps, made good its retreat to the camp. The Americans followed close in their rear, and, under a tremendous fire of grape shot and musketry, assaulted the works throughout their whole extent from right to left. Towards the close of the day, a part of the left forced the intrench.

« ZurückWeiter »