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to all these exertions. If the royal army under Sir Guy Carleton could have forced their way down to, and possessed thenselves of Albany before the severity of the winter set in, the northern states would have been exposed in their most defenceless parts, and have had the communication with the southern cut off, while one between generals Carleton and Howe would have been established; and thus Carleton's army would have had a principal share in the honor of bringing the war to a speedy conclusion.
The Americans had not equal advantages with the British for the construction of vessels. They labored under immense difficulties; and had to bring ship-builders, artillery, and most of the materials for a naval equipment from a great distance. But by an assiduity, perseverance and spirit, which did not fall slioit of what was employed against them, they had by the 18th of August, at Crown-Point, 1 sloop, 3 schooners and 5 gondolas, carrying 55 guns, twelve, nine, six and four pounders, beside 70 swivels, and 395 men; and completely fitted for action. With some or all of these, gen. Arnold sailed down the lake to reconnoitre and gain intelligence. He wrote to gen. Gates, “ This morning (Sept. 16.] at one o'clock, Antonie Gerouse, (his real name was Girard) a Frenchiman, whom I sent to St. John's, returned, and gives the following account, viz.--that at Isle-auxNoix there are three thousand troops encamped, and forty pieces of cannon mounted on their lines--at St. John's three thousand men, one hundred and fifty batteaux, and he was told that two hundred were at Chambleemthat two schooners are completed and manned, one mounting twelve, and the other fourteen brass twelve poundersmasmall vessels on the stocks to carry three guns each-one gondola taken from us, and three new ones built, these to mount three guns each-a number of flat-bottomed boats, to carry one gun each, and a floating battery with two miasts, nearly done, to carry twenty-four eighteen pounders and two mortars. He imagines the whole will be completed in a fortnight. I think him placed as a spy on us; have sent him to you to be disposed of as you think proper. From the accounts of the two mca who have viewed Isle-aux-Noix, the account of this Frenchman must be false, and a story formed for him by the English officers.” 'The poor Frenchman was put in irons, and sent to Albany. The two men never went to the isle, but made up a story to screen their own baseness: a close and separate examination of them might have detected the imposition. When by their unremitting industry the British entered the lake about the time the Frenchman conjectured, the fleet consisted of the ship Inflexible, which had been re-constructed at St. John's, from whence she sailed in twenty-eight days after laving her keel, and mounted with 18 twelve pounders--the Maria schoon. er, mounting 14 six pounders--the Carleton, 12 ditto-thc Thunderer, a flat-bottomed radcau, carrying 6 twenty-four pounders and 6 twelve, beside two howitzers--some gondolas, one have ing 7 nine pounders-twenty gun-boats, carryiag each a brass field-piece, from 9 to 24 pounders, and some with lowitzers-and four long boats, with each a carriage gun, serving as armed tenders. These were all designed for, or appertained to battle, and were attended with a vast number of vessels, batteaux and boats destined for the transportation of the army, with its stores, artillery, baggage and provisions. The armaineat Wüs conducted by capt. Pringle, and the fleet navigated by about 700 prime seamen, of whom 200 were volunteers from the transports, who boldly and freely partook with the others in the danger of the expedition. The guns were worked by detachments from the corps of artillery. The equipment was well appointed and amply furnished with every thing necessary.
The Americans went on with the greatest possible dispatch), and, before any action could commence, had reinforced gen. Arnold with a cutter, 3 gallies and 3 gondolas, carrying from 4 to 18 pounders. The American force was in no degree equal to the British, either as to the goodness of the vessels, the number of guns, the weight of metal, or other furniture of war. Gen. Arnold had only two schooners with him, and so but 15 vessels, when Sir Guy Carleton proceeded up the lake, and found him forming a strong line to defend the passage between ValicourIsland and the western main. A warm action ensued [Oct. 1!.] and was vigorously supported on both sides for some hours; but the wind being unfavorable, the Inflexible, with some other vessels of force, could not be worked up, so that the weight of the action fell upon the schooner Carleton and the gun-boats, whiclı (say the British) they sustained with the greatest firmness, men and officers displaying such extraordinary efforts of resolution as merited and received the highest applause from their commanders. The Americans therefore could not have been deficient in their excrtions, but must be entitled to a proportionable share of praise for having made such a formidable resistance. Gen. Waterbury fought most intrepidly, walking upon the quarter-deck the whole time; all his officers were killed or wounded, excepting a lieutenant, and the captain of the marines, ; The continuance of the impediments which prevented the Carleton and gun-boats being seconded by the loflexible and other vessels, induced capt. Pringle, with the approbation of Sir Guy, to withdraw those that were engaged, from the action. Two of. VOL. II.
their gondolas were sunk, and one blown up with 60 men. The Americans had a schooner burnt, and a gondola sunk. Being now sensible of their inferiority, they took the opportunity of the night for attempting an escape. Gen. Arnold executed his design with ability, and they were out of sight by next morning. But the chace was continued, and one gondola taken on the 12th. The rest were overtaken and brought to action, a few leagues short of Crown-Point, about noon on the 13th. A warm engagement followed. The Washington galley, commanded by gen. Waterbury, had been so shattered, and had so many killed and wounded in the first action, that she struck after receiving a few broad sides. The Congress galley was attacked by the Inflexible and the two schooners, two under her stern and one on her broad-side, within musket shot. The British kept up an incessant fire on the Americans for four hours, with round and grape shot, which was returned as briskly. Gen. Arnold was determined that his people should not become prisoners, nor the vessels a prey to the enemy. He covered the retreat of the few which escaped, at the expence of one-third of his crew; and then with equal resolution and dexterity, ran the Congress galley, in which he was, with four gondolas, on shore in such a manner as to land his men safely and blow up the vessels, in spite of every effort to prevent both. Officers and men behayed with the utinost gallantry. Some vessels, they had lost all their officers, continued fighting, for the crews refused to yield but with their lives. The Americans glory in general Arnold's bravery, though unsuccessful, and much in the dangerous attention he paid to a nice piece of honor, in keeping his flag flying, and not quitting his galley till she was in flames, lest the enemy should have boarded her and struck it. The American fleet consists now of only two gallies, two schooners, one sloop and one gondola, for the 8th is missing.
But though general Arnold's bravery is highly applauded, he is thought by many to have been guilty of a great oversight, in not having stationed his fleet just above Split Rock,* about thirty-five miles from Ty, so as to have brought the guns of every one of his vessels to have borne upon the British as they should have passed through singly, which they must have done from the narrowness of the channel at that place. . - On Monday morning (Oct. 14.] the wind came about, and blew fresh after the remainder of the fleet got in, and so continued for eight days, and prevented the enemy's coming up the
* It is known in the neighborhood by the name of Split Rock only, though gencrally put down in the maps Cloyen Rock..
lake to Ty. Within that period the Americans made carriages for forty-seven or more pieces of cannon, and mounted them; finished and strengthened their works; surrounded their redoubts with abbetis; received a considerable reinforcement, and acquired a preparedness for defence in every quarter. Could the enemy have proceeded immediately on the Monday to Tyconderoga, they must have succeded. You will be entertained with some sprightly letters written by an officer, at the moment and upon the spot, to the daughter of a next door neighbor; take the copies of them, and judge whoitis thatsaves the Americans from impending ruin. “ Tyconderoga the twentieth of October, six o'clock.The returns of the shattered remains of our fleet soon let us know the worst.--A fine story ! after all the pompous accounts of our naval superiority.--Fine as it is, Jenny, it is true, --However we did all that men could do, in the time and with the advantages we had.-Canourcountry expect more?-Iwould not have you think we are defeated however.- The fleet was strong, but our posts are much stronger.--The enemy may give us another defeat, but it will cost them dear...We expect an attack every moment. I have been up these two hours, and through the guards and posts--to see them alert and vigilant. We will eadeavor not to be surprised. --The attack whenever it comes will be furious, and the defence obstinate, cruelly obstinate. We are busy in making every preparation for the most ef. fectual security of our posts and shall in two or three day more, liave little to fear from an assault.” “ Ty-Oct. 21, 1776. The fear is now past, Jenny, but not the hurry.--Heaven has been pleased to give us a southerly wind for almost the whole week past --this has allowed us time for a very considerable preparation. We would now gladly be attacked-in two orthree more days. The enemy are at Crown-Point, and we expect that they may fancy this ground in a day or two : they must pay a great price for it however, as we value it highly. “Ty-Oct. 27. If we are not attached within six days, gen. Carleton deserves to be hanged. --We expect him indeed every morning.--We have been fávored with a strong southerly wind, almost constantly since the defeat of the fleet, and are now ready.---The enemy have for. saken us am not sorry indeed, Jenny. We should have been much at a loss had they invested us.-An attack.we were prepared for, but they must have been madmen, to risque their all on the event of a-day, when a few weeks perseverance would have given them all they could wish.-How much is gained by chance or as the doctor will call it, Providence. They did not happen to know our situation, but supposed we must be internally, what our external appearance (formidable enough) pronounced us, and
what they, with our advantages, would have been.-Providence indeed, has once more saved us.”
General Gates was about 12,000 strong, when the enemy was at Crown-Point. Most of the men were effective, many of the troups having recovered. For some days after gen. Arnold's defeat, Gates had only two ton of powder, and when he had rear ceived a supply, no more than eight. It has been thought, from information gained since, that the enemy sent one of their engineers, disguised like a countryman, into the American camp, as a spy; and that after two or three hours he returned ; and by his reports might occasion their going off the next day. The day they went off, Mr. Yancey, the commissary general, had no flour in store for the army. Gen. Gates sent him out of the way, that as he had no flour to deliver out, the men might be kept easy, , under a notion of their being enough in the store, and upon the plea that they should be supplied on his speedy return, but that it would not do to break open the doors. The commissary had not even a barrel under his care. The Yorkers, chiefly of Dutch extraction, inhabiting the neighborhood of Lake George, declined crossing it with the suppler, designed for the army, through fear of the Indians. This fear however was needless ; for gen. Carleton, while he allowed them to take prisoners, laid them under strict restraints not to kill and scalp. When he found he could not keep them from scalping, he acted with dignity, and dismissed every one of them, saying, he would rather forego all the advantage of their assistance, than make war in so cruel a manner. This conduct reflects great honor upon his character, as the gentleman and the soldier. The day Sir Guy withdrew from CrownPoint, Gates, upon being assured of the fact, instantly dissniissed the' militia, with thanks for their service, which he wished not to prolong for he had no provision for them. For near a week af. ter, the army had but a daily supply of between 20 and 30 barrels by land from Bennington.
General Carleton, before he commenced his operations on the lake, had prudently shipped off the American officers (made prisoners in Canada) for New-England, supplying them at the same time with every thing requistie to render their voyage comfort.' able. The other prisoners, amounting to about 300, were returned also by a flag, after being obliged to take an oath not to serve during the war, unless exchanged: many of those, being almost naked, Sir Guy clothed, out of compassion. By his tenderness and humanity, he has gained the affections of those Americans, who had fallen into his hands ; and has done more toward subduing the rest than ever could have been effected by the greatest cruelties.