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proceeded from a comparison of the military talents of the two gentlemen; for though the reputation of General Burgoyne stood high, that of Carleton was unim. peached, and he had maintained his stand in Canada against some of the most vigorous efforts of the Republican army. On the 24th of June, some of Burgoyne's troops arrived at Crown Point; General Schuyler had returned to his Head Quarters at Albany, and the task of defence remained with St. Clair. He was wholly ignorant of the views of the enemy, while on the contrary he had every reason to believe that they possessed the most correct information of his weakness. In this situation, all he could do, was to make the wisest arrangement of his means, and await the result.' On the 30th, a part of the enemy's vessels made their appearance before Ticonderoga, and the troops landed in three divisions, at a few miles distance from the Fort-the advanced corps on the west side of the Lake, another detachment on the east side, and a par*y of Indians and Canadians in front of our lines ; and the whole army followed from Crown Point on the next day, the British and German troops in separate divisions.
On the approach of Burgoyne to the American lines, he issued a proclamation, threatening those who resisted with all the terrours of relentless war, and promising certain conditions to such as would either join his forces, or remain quietly at home. His promises and threats, which were couched in the most pompous terms, were alike disregarded, for not a man was either terrified by his threats or won by his promises of protection. The British General certainly entered upon this campaign under every favourable circumstance--with every reasonable prospect of adding to the fame he had already won in other countries. He had the finest train of artillery that had ever been brought into the field : his troops were in the best possible condition, well disciplined, in full health, and commanded by officers of great reputation and experience—the British, by Generals Philips, Frazer, Powell, and Hamilton, and the auxiliaries by the Baron Reidesel, and General Specht.--On the 2d of July a party of the enemy consisting of Captain Fraser's marksmen, and Indians, to the number of 500 men, either through ignorance or bravado, attacked a picket of 60 men within two hundred yards of one of the American batteries, and forcing them to retire, advanced within sixty yards, scattering themselves along the whole front of the American works. In the mean time, the right wing of the British army moved up, from their position on the west side of the Lake, and took possession of Mount Hope ; and General St. Clair, supposing that an assault was intended, and that Frazer had been sent forward to throw the garrison into confusion, ordered the troops to conceal themselves behind the parapets and reserve their fire. Frazer's party, still perhaps deceived as to the real situation of the American works, which were in a great measure hid by brushwood, continued to advance, until one of the American soldiers fired a musket-this seemed to be understood as a signal, and the whole line rose and fired a volley, the artillery following the example, without orders. The consequence of this mistake was, that every man of the enemy but one escaped; for the first fire was made without aim, and this produced so great a smoke, that the enemy could not be seen, until they had fled to too great a distance to be reached by the shot. General Burgoyne remained quietly in his position, and but for the solitary wounded prisoner, who had fallen into our hands, General St. Clair would have remained ignorant of his strength or intentions. A ruse was resorted to, to obtain information of the prisoner, which fortunately succeeded, and his intelligence turned out to be perfectly accurate. But St. Clair still hoped that an assault would be made, against which he was determined to defend the post to the last extremity. He was unwilling to hazard his reputation for bravery by aban, doning the place; though every dictate of prudence must have taught him that there could be no safety for his army but in a retreat. On the 5th, however, the enemy appeared on Sugar Loaf Hill, or Mount Defiance as it was called, from which as there could be no prospect of dislodging him, and as the American camp were much exposed to their fire on that side, and liable to be enfiladed on all quarters; and as there was every reason to expect an attack upon Ticonderoga and Mount Independence at the same time, between which places the American troops were divided ; a council of the officers was called to decide whether it would be most adviseable to remove to the less exposed low grounds to wait for the attack, or remove the whole of the troops to Mount Independence and defend that post. The council were unanimously of opinion that neither of these alternatives would be safe, and that a retreat should be undertaken as soon as possible. It was effected that night, with as little loss as could be expected from the great vigilance and activity of Burgoyne; who, perceiving the movements of the Americans, divided his force and ordered pursuit, both by land and water--the elite corps under Brigadier General Frazer, and the German troops un
der Baron Reidesel, were detached after the main body which retired through the wilderness to Hubbartown; while Burgoyne himself, after taking possession of the abandoned post, at which he left the 62d regiment and the German regiment of Prince Frederick, pursued our sick, convalescent, baggage and stores, which had been sent by water to Skeenesborough, or Whitehall. The first party arrived at Hubbartown, a distance of twenty four miles, abont one o'clock the next day, where they halted for the rear guard until five and then pursued their march to Castletown, where they arrived at dusk, having marched a distance of thirty miles. Colonel Long and his regiment who had accompanied the flotilla with the sick and baggage, was overtaken by the enemy at Whitehall: two of our armed vessels were captured, and Colonel Long found himself compelled to destroy the others, together with all the stores, baggage, and provisions, and to make a rapid retreat to Fort Ann, about ten miles distant, leaving Burgoyne in possession of Whitehall.
Colonel Warner, with about 150 men, had been teft at Hubbartown to wait until the rear guard came up, with positive orders immediately to follow with them, to a position within one mile and a half of the main body at Castletown, and to encamp there for the night. But upon the arrival of the rear guard under Colonel Francis, instead of advancing as he had been ordered, they both determined to remain where they were, until the next morning ; the consequence of' which was, that Brigadier General Frazer came up with them just as they were preparing to move. A skirmish immediately ensued, in which both Warner and Francis discovered great bravery, but being overpow
ered by numbers, they were compelled to give up the ground, after an obstinate resistance of forty minutes. The Americans lost, in this affair, about two hundred, killed, wounded, and missing. Colonel Francis was among the killed.
The enemy's loss was reported at 222. Both sides fought with the most vigorous courage; and the contest would have terminated in the defeat and capture of the pursuers, who were the flower of Burgoyne's army, but for the cowardly and disorderly conduct of the militia who composed the chief of the main body under General St. Clair, who could by no efforts be brought to retrace their steps to the aid of Warner. The firing was distinctly heard at Castletown; and St. Clair, than whom there never was a more brave or more unfortunate officer, instantly determined to send off two regiments to the support of the disobedient colonels, but before it was possible to persuade or force them into any thing like a feeling of sympathy with their engaged fellow citizens, the skirmish was over, and Warner on the retreat.
A party, in the mean time had been sent by Burgoyne, in pursuit of Colonel Long, who finding himself hard pressed, turned upon his pursuers, and with his small corps of one hundred and fifty men, (all the others who accompanied him being sick and convalescent) made it necessary for Colonel Hill, the pursuing officer, to change his position,” according to the phraseology of General Burgoyne, or in other words to make a rapid retrograde movement, in which he would have been certainly made prisoner, had not Colonel Long's ammunition unfortunately given out.
General St. Clair, having been diverted from his original intention by the hostile occupation of Skeens.