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men, and in forcing the assailants in their turn to a precipitate retreat.
On the 27th August, General Schuyler, receiving intelligence that Fort Schuyler or Stanwix, situated at the head of the Mohawk, was invested by a British force under Colonel St. Leger, consisting of upwards of five hundred regulars, and three hundred provincials with a large body of Indians under Sir John Johnson, ordered General Arnold to its relief. General Herkimer, with about eight hundred militia, had already marched to the succour of Colonel Gansevoort, who commanded the post; but having unfortunately none of the attributes of a soldier but bravery and patriotism, he fell into an ambuscade of Indians and provincials under Sir John, and was compelled to fight under many disadvantages. His mil. itia, however, maintained a contest of two hours, in which they displayed the coolness and courage of disciplined veterans. The General himself was mortally wounded in the onset, but refused to be carried off the field, continuing to the last to animate and encourage his brave followers. Both parties ceased firing as if by mutual consent, neither having yielded an inch. Sir John, however, claimed a victory, though the Americans made a regular and deliberate retreat, in which they carried off all their wounded, without pursuit. The vigour of the contest may be readily conceived, when it is known that of General Herkimer's party of eight hundred, one hundred and sixty were killed and wounded. The loss of the enemy is not known, but there can be little doubt that it was at least equally great; thirtythree of the Indians were killed, and twenty-nine wounded, among whom were many of their Chiefs.
While this action was going on, Colonel Gansevoort, an officer of great gallantry, ordered a sortie of two hundred and fifty men under Lieutenant Col. Willet, against the rear of the enemy's encampment, in which that officer succeeded in destroying a large quantity of their camp equipage and provisions, and in carrying off a quantity of their baggage, without losing a
General Arnold in the mean time proceeded with about eight hundred continentals to the German flats, at which place he was directed to collect sucha militia force as could be induced to join him, and then move to the relief of Colonel Gansevoort. Finding however that all his efforts to draw the militia to him in any sufficient number were ineffectual, and learning that the strength of the besiegers was much greater than his own, he resorted to a stratagem which proved completely successful. A young man by the name of Cuyler, nephew to the brave but unfortunate Herkimer, had been brought in by the troops on suspicion of being a spy-he was told, that his own safety and the security of his property, which was large, depended on the fidelity with which he should execute the trust that would be reposed in him. He was in. structed to present himself before St. Leger, as having narrowly escaped from capture by the Americans, and to represent the force of Arnold as being three times its real amount--with such further exaggeration of the danger that threatened the British forces, as might induce St. Leger to seek for safety in a retreat. His tale was artfully assisted by some friendly Indians, and had its proper effect upon the tories, provincials, and Indians under St. Leger, who had no choice left him; for both officers and men
protested they would abandon him if he did not consent to an immediate retreat. They were made to believe, that Arnold was within a few miles of them with upwards of three thousand men, and such was their eagerness to escape, that St. Leger was not even allowed time to save his tents, artillery and baggage, a great part of which fell into the hands of Colonel Gansevoort. Thus was this siege which had been closely continued for eighteen days precipitately raised without a blow. The two commanding officers blamed each other for their discomfiture; and their frequent altercations would at length have terminated in a personal contest but for the interference of some of their Indian Chiefs.
The progress of Burgoyne, after leaving the Lake, was, as has been said, extremely slow,GeneralSchuyler having taken care to leave as many obstructions in the road as possible. Arrived at Fort Edward, he found himself in a great measure destitute of provisions, and learning that the Americans had a considerable store of them at Bennington, he determined, by the advice of the tory Skeene, to send off a detachment to gain possession of them. He had other objects also in view, to which he had been excited by the misrepresentations of Skeene, with regard to the loyalty of the country about Bennington. The officer chosen for this expedition was Lieutenant Colonel Baume of the German troops, than whom no man could be worse fitted to accomplish the objects intended, which were (according to the instructions which afterwards fell into the hands of General Stark,) “ to try the affections of the country, to disconcert the councils of the enemy, to mount Reidesel's dragoons, to complete Peter's corps, and to obtain large supplies of cattle, horses and carriages" the latter of which his army stood much in need of, in consequence of the failure of his Canada contractors. Lieutenant Colonel Baume's corps consisted of about five hundred Germans and one hundred Indians, all ignorant of the language and topography of the country, in which they were expected to work such important events : Lieutenant Colonel Breymens's corps of Brunswickers were posted at Battenkill for the purpose of aiding Baume, if it should be necessary. By the time of bis arrival at Cambridge, General Stark bad received information of his approach, and lost no time in preparing to stop his progress. For this purpose he despatched Colonel Grey with two hundred men, and prepared to follow himself with the remainder of his men under Colonels Warner, Williams, Herrick and Brush. He had scarcely advanced piore than five miles when he met Colonel Greg in full retreat, and the enemy, in much larger force than he had expected, in close pursuit, He drew up his forces in order of battle, which when the enemy perceived, they halted on an advantageous rising ground, and General Stark not deeming it prudent to attack them there, sent out some small skirmishing parties, and in the confusion which this created, retired to a better position about a mile in the rear, where he encamped. Here he remained the whole of the following day, the 15th, a heavy rain all day preventing his attempting any thing more than a few trifling skirmishes. On the 16th, in the morning, he was joined by Colonel Simmons with a few militia from Berkshire county, and Colonels Nicolls, Hubbard and Stickney, from the neighbouring country with other small parties. He then detached
Colonels Herrick and Nicolls with five hundred men, to attack the enemy in their rear; and Colonels Hubbard and Stickney with three hundred others to attack them on the right and front. The attack was commenced by Colonel Nicolls about three o'clock in the afternoon, and soon became general, the remainder of the army under Stark himself moving up in the front. In his official account of the affair, Ge. neral Stark (who had been a Captain under Wolfe, on the Plains of Abraham,) thus writes—“ It lasted two hours, the hottest I ever saw in my life : it represented one continued clap of thunder; however the enemy were obliged to give way, and leave their field pieces and all their baggage behind them; they were all environed within two breast-works with artillery, but our martial courage proved too hard for them. I then gave orders to rally again, in order to secure the victory, but in a few minutes was informed, that there was a large reinforcement on their march within two miles. Colonel Warner's regiment luckily coming up at the moment renewed the attack with fresh vigour. I pushed forward as many of the men as I could to their assistance : the battle continued obstinate on both sides till sunset; the enemy was oblig. ed to retreat; we pursued them till dark, and had day lasted an hour longer, should have taken the whole body of them. We recovered four pieces of brass cannon, some hundred stands of arms, and brass barrelled drums, several Hessian swords, about 700 prisoners, 207 dead on the spot.”—General Stark speaks in deservedly high terms of the conduct of his men and officers, particularly of Colonel Warner, " whose superiour skill in the action, was of extraordinary ser-vice.” Indeed it was impossible for troops to have be