Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and all but one or two had fled. But this event probably prevented the capture of Quebec. When he fell, Montgomery was in a narrow passage, and his body rolled upon the ice, which formed by the side of the river. After it was found the next morning among the slain, it was buried by a few soldiers, without any marks of distinction. He was thirty-eight years of age. He was a man of great military talents, whose measures were taken with judgment, and executed with vigor. With undisciplined troops, who were jealous of him in the extreme, he yet inspired them with his own enthusiasm, He shared with them in all their hardships, and thus prevented their complaints. His industry could not be wearied, nor his vigilance imposed upon, nor his courage intimidated. To express the high sense entertained by his country, of his services, Congress directed a monument of white marble, with the following inscription on it, and which was placed in front of St. Paul's church, New York. THIS MONUMENT Was erected by order of Congress, 29th January, 1776, To transmit to posterity A grateful remembrance of the Patriotism, conduct, enterprize, and Perseverance - OF MAJOR GENERAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY ; Who, after a series of success, Fell in the attack On Quebec, 31st December, 1775, Aged 39 years. The remains of general Montgomery, after resting 42 years at Quebec, by a resolve of the state of New York, were brought to the city of New York, on the 8th of July, 1818, and deposited with am. ple form and grateful ceremonies, near the aforesaid monument in St. Paul’s church. The remains were deposited in a most splendid mahogany coffin, with the following inscription, elegantly engraved upon a silver plate placed on the lid :

THE STATE OF NEW YORK,

IN HONOUR OF
GENERAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY ;
Who fell gloriously fighting for the
INDEPENDENCE AND LIBERTY OF THE UNITED STATES,
Before the walls of Quebec, the 31st day of
December, 1775, caused these remains
Of this distinguished Hero to
Re conveyed from Quebec,

And deposited on the eighth day of July, 1818,
In St. Paul's Church, in the city of
New York, near the monument
Erected to his memory
BY THE UNITED STATES,

MAJOR GENERAL PHILIP SCHUYLER.

Philip Schuyler, a major general in the revolutionary war, received this appointment from congress, June 19, 1775. He was directed to proceed immediately from New York to Ticonderoga, to secure the lakes, and to make preparations for entering Canada. Being taken sick, in September, the command devolved upon Montgomery. On his recovery, he devoted himself zealously to the management of the affairs in the northern department. The superintendence of the Indian concerns claimed much of his attention. On the approach of Burgoyne, in 1777, he made every exertion to obstruct his progress; but the evacuation of Ticonderoga by St. Clair, occasioning unreasonable jealousies in regard to Schuyler, in New England, he was superseded by Gates, in August, and congress directed an inquiry to be made into his conduct. It was a matter of extreme chagrin to him, to be recalled at the moment when he was about to take ground and face the enemy. He afterwards, though not in the regular service, rendered important services to his country, in the military transactions of New York. He was a member of the old congress, and when the present government of the United States commenced its operation, in 1789, he was appointed with Rufus King a senator from his native state. In 1797 he was again appointed a senator, in the place of Aaron Burr. He died at Albany, November 18, 1804, in the seventy third year of his age. Distinguished by strength of intellect, and upright intentions, he was wise in the contrivance, and enterprising and persevering in the execution of plans of public utility. In private life he was dignified, but courteous, a pleasing and instructive companion, affectionate in his domestic relations, and just in all his dealings. General Hamilton married his daughter.

MAJOR GENERAL BENJAMIN LINCOLN.

Benjamin Lincoln was born at Hingham, Mass. O. S. 1733, and holds a high rank in the fraternity of American Heroes. His early years, and until he was more than forty, were spent upon the farm. He early espoused the cause of his country, as a determined whig, and in 1776 was appointed major general by the Massachusetts committee of safety. In 1777, upon the recommendation of Washington, congress created him a major general on the continental establishment. In July, 1777, gen. Washington selected him to join the northern army, under command of gen. Gates, to oppose Burgoyne's advance. By his enterprize and vigilance while in this command, he contributed essentially to the glorious results which followed. In the sanguinary battle of the 7th of October, gen. Lincoln, while courageously leading on his division to relieve the troops that had been engaged, received a wound which disabled him, and compelled him to leave the field. The bones of his leg were badly fractured, and by the loss of the bone the limb was shortened, which occasioned lameness during the remainder of his life. By this unfortunate cir. cumstance, he was prevented from participating in the capture of the whole British army, which followed soon after. From the display of his talents as a military commander, congress designated him to the chief command in the southern department. In this command, notwithstanding its unfortunate termination at Charleston, so established was the spotless reputation of the vanquished general, that he continued to enjoy the undiminished respect of congress, the army, and the commander in chief. The following anecdote is related of him at this time. While at Purysburgh, on the Savannah river, a soldier named Fickling, having been detected in frequent attempts to desert, was tried and sentenced to be hanged. The general ordered the execu. tion. The rope broke, a second was procured, which broke also; the case was reported to the general for directions. ‘Let him run,' said the general, ‘I thought he looked like a scape gallows.” In the campaign of 1781, general Lincoln commanded a division under Washington, and at the siege of Yorktown he had his full share of the honor of that brilliant and auspicious event. The articles of capitulation stipulated for the same honor in favor of the surrendering army, as had been granted to the garrison of Charleston. General Lincoln was appointed to conduct them to the field, where their arms were deposited, and received the customary submission. In the general order of the commander in chief, the day after the capitulation, gen. Lincoln was among the general officers whose services were particularly mentioned. In October, 1781, he was chosen by congress secretary at war, retaining his rank in the army. . In this office he continued, till October, 1783, when his proffered resignation was accepted by congress. In the summer of 1789, president Washington appointed him col. lector of the port of Boston, which office he held until about two years before his death. Admonished by the infirmities of age, he resigned his office. On the 9th of May, 1810, his valuable life was terminated, at the age of 77 years. The following tribute is on the records of the society of Cincinnati. “At the annual meeting, in July, 1819, maj. gen. John Brooks was chosen president of the society, to supply the place of our venerable and much lamented president, gen. Benjamin Lincoln, who had pre: sided over the society from the organization thereof, in 1783, to the 9th of May, 1810, the day of his decease, with the entire approbation of every member, and the grateful tribute of his surviving.com: rades, for his happy guidance and affectionate attentions during ** long a period.”

|

THE MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE, MAJOR GENERAL.

The name and character of this illustrious French nobleman, will occupy a conspicuous place in our Revolutionary annals, and be honored by posterity no less for his enthusiastic love of liberty, than for his heroism and military renown. There is something truly romantic in the history of this celebrated personage. In the year 1776, at the immature age of nineteen, he espoused the cause of the Americans, and nobly resolved to afford our country all possible assistance by his personal services and influence. At this era, the af. fairs of America were bordering on despair, and were represented in France as so deplorable that it might be supposed sufficient to repress the most determined zeal. Reports were propagated in that country that our army, reduced to a mere rabble, was flying before an army of thirty thousand regulars, nor was this very wide from the reality. In consequence of this, our commissioners found it impossible to procure a vessel to convey the marquis and their own despatches to Congress ; they could not therefore feel justified in encouraging his bold contemplated enterprize. This embarrassment however, had the effect of increasing rather than of restraining his youthful ardor and heroism. He imparted to the commissioners his determination to purchase and fit out a vessel to convey himself and their despatches to America. This project was deemed so extraordinary and important, that it did not fail to engage universal attention. The French court had not then declared even a friendly intention towards America, but on the contrary was extremely cautious of giving offence to the British government. Orders were therefore given prohibiting the departure of this nobleman, and vessels were even despatched to the West Indies to intercept him, in case he should take that route. The marquis was well apprized that he exposed himself to the loss of his fortune by the laws of France; and that, should he fall into the hands of the English, on his passage, he would be liable to a confinement of uncertain duration, and without a prospect of being exchanged. These considerations however, did not deter him from the attempt, and bidding adieu to his amiable consort and numerous endeared connexions, and trusting to good fortune to favor his elopement, he embarked, and in due time arrived safe in Charleston, in the summer of 1776. He landed soon after the noble defence made by general Moultrie at the Fort on Sullivan's Island. Charmed with the gallantry displayed by that general and his brave troops, the marquis presented him with clothing, arms and accoutrements for one hundred men. He met with a cordial reception from our Congress, and they immediately accepted his proffered services. He insisted that he would receive no compensation, and that he would commence his services as a volunteer. This noble hilanthropist was received into the family of the Commander in Fo where a strong mutual attachment was contracted, and he has I)

often been called “The Adopted son of Washington.” July 31, 1777, Congress resolved, that, “Whereas the marquis de la Fayette out of his great zeal to the cause of liberty in which the United States are engaged, has left his family and connexions, and at his own ex. pense come over to offer his services to the United States without pension or particular allowance, and is anxious to risk his life in Our cause,_Resolved that his service be accepted, and that in consider. ation of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of MAJon GENERAL in the Army of the United States.” At the battle of Brandywine, September, 1777, the mat. quis exhibited full proof of his undaunted bravery and military char. acter, and received a wound in his leg. In November of the same year, about one hundred and fifty men of Morgan's rifle corps under lieutenant colonel Butler, and an equal number of militia under the marquis de la Fayette, who still served as a volunteer, attacked with great gallantry a picket of the enemy, consisting also of about three hundred men, and drove them with the loss of twenty or thirty killed and a greater number wounded, quite into their camp ; after which, they retired without being pursued. The marquis, who was said by general Greene to search for dan: ger was charmed with the conduct of this small detachment. “I found the riflemen,” said that nobleman in a letter to general Wash. ington, “above even their reputation, and the militia above all expectations I could have formed of them.” In May, 1778, to cover the country effectually on the north ofthe Schuylkill, and restrain as much as possible the parties detached in various directions from Philadelphia, who most generally effected their object, and returned before they could be opposed by the army lying at Valley Forge ; to form an advance guard for the security of the main army, and to be in readiness to annoy, if practicable, the rear of the enemy, should they evacuate Philadelphia, an event which a great variety of circumstances combined to prove was in contem: plation, the marquis de la Fayette, was detached with somewhat more than two thousand choice troops, and a few pieces of cannon, to take post near the lines. With this detachment, the marquis crossed the Schuylkill, and took post at Barren hill, about eight or ten miles in front of the army at Valley Forge. Immediate notice of his arrival was given to sir William Howe, who reconnoitered his position, and formed a plan to surprise and cut him off. In execution of this plan, on the night of the 19th, general Grant with five thousand select troops, took the road which leads up the Delaware, and consequently diverges from Barren hill. After marching along this road some distance, he inclined to the left, and passing by White marsh, where several roads unite, took one leading to the position he was directed to occupy, something more than a mile in the rear of the marquis, between him and Valley Forge. He

« ZurückWeiter »