HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

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HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

VIII. - BURGOYNE'S SPEECH TO THE IROQUOIS.

On the 17th of June, Burgoyne encamped at the mouth of the Bouquet river, where for several days his army foraged on the deserted fields of Gilliland's manor of Willsboro'.

On the twenty-first he made his speech to the Indians, couched in their own flowery style, as follows:

"CHIEFS AND WARRIORS. - The great king, our common father, and the patron of all who seek and deserve his protection, has considered with satisfaction the general conduct of the Indian tribes from the beginning of the troubles in America."

"Too sagacious and too faithful to be deluded or corrupted, they have observed the violated rights of the parental power they love, and burned to vindicate them."

"A few individuals alone, the refuse of a small tribe, at the first were led astray; and the misrepresentations, the precious allurements, the insidious promises and diversified plots in which the rebels are exercised, and all of which they employed for that effect, have served only in the end to enhance the honor of the tribes in general, by demonstrating to the world how few and how contemptible are the apostates."

"It is a truth known to you all that, these pitiful examples excepted (and they probably have before this day hid their faces in shame), the collective voices and hands of the Indian tribes over this vast continent are on the side of justice, of law, and of the king."

"The restraint you have put upon your resentment in waiting the king, your father's, call to arms, the hardest proof, I am persuaded, to which your affection could have been put, is another manifest and affecting mark of your adherence to that principle of connection to which you were always fond to allude, and which it is mutually the joy and the duty of the parent to cherish."

"The clemency of your father has been abused, the offers of his mercy have been despised, and his further patience would, in his eyes, become culpable, inasmuch as it would withhold redress from the most grievous oppressions in the province that ever disgraced the history of mankind."

"It therefore remains for me, the general of one of His Majesty's armies, and in this council his representative, to release you from those bonds which your obedience imposed."

"Warriors, you are free!"

"Go forth in might of your valor and your cause!"

"Strike at the common enemies of Great Britain and America, disturbers of public order, peace, and happiness; destroyers of commerce; parricides of the state."

"The circle round you, the chiefs of His Majesty's European forces, and of the prince, his allies, esteem you as brothers in the war."

"Emulous in glory and in friendship, we will endeavor reciprocally to give and to receive examples."

"We know how to value, and we will strive to imitate, your perseverance in enterprise and your constancy to resist hunger, weariness, and pain."

"Be it our task, from the dictates of our religion, the laws of our welfare, and the principal and interest of our policy, to regulate your passions when they overbear, to point out where it is nobler to spare than to revenge, to discriminate degrees of guilt, to suspend the uplifted stroke, to chastise and not to destroy."

"This war to you, my friends, is new."

"Upon former occasions, in taking the field, you held yourselves authorized to destroy wherever you came, because everywhere you found an enemy."

"The case is now very different."

"The king has many faithful subjects dispersed in the provinces; consequently you have many brothers there; and these people are the more to be pitied, that they are persecuted or imprisoned wherever they are discovered or suspected; and to dissemble is, to a generous mind, a yet more grievous punishment."

"Persuaded that your magnanimity of character, joined to your principles of affection to the king, will give me fuller control over your minds than the military rank with which I am invested, I enjoin your most serious attention to the rules which I hereby proclaim for your invariable observation during the campaign."

"I positively forbid bloodshed, when you are not opposed in arms."

"Aged men, women, children, and prisoners must be held sacred from the knife or hatchet, even in the time of actual conflict."

"You shall receive compensation for the prisoners you take, but you shall be called to account for scalps."

"In conformity and indulgence of your customs, which have affixed an idea of honor to such badges of victory, you shall be allowed to take scalps of the dead when killed by your fire, and in fair opposition; but, on no account, or pretense, or sublety, or prevarication, are they to be taken from the wounded, or even dying; and still less pardonable, if possible, will it be held to kill men in that condition on purpose, and upon a supposition that this protection of the wounded would be thereby evaded."

"Base lurking assassins, incendiaries, ravagers, and plunderers of the country, to whatever army they may belong, shall be treated with less reserve; but the latitude must be given you by order, and I must be the judge of the occasion."

"Should the enemy on their part dare to countenance acts of barbarity towards those who may fall into their hands, it shall be yours also to retaliate; but till severity be thus compelled, bear immovable in your hearts this solid maxim (it cannot be too deeply impressed) that the great essential reward, worthy service of your alliance, the sincerity of your zeal to the king, your father and never-failing protector, will be examined and judged upon the test only of your steady and uniform adherence to the orders and counsels of those to whom His Majesty has intrusted the direction and the honor of his arms."

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

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HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

IX. - ANSWER FROM AN OLD CHIEF OF THE IROQUOIS.

"I stand up in the name of all the nations present to assure our father that we have attentively listened to his discourse."

"We have received you as our father; because, when you speak, we hear the voice of our great father beyond the great lake."

"We rejoice in the approbation you have expressed of our behavior."

"We have been tried and tempted by the Bostonians; but we have loved our father, and our hatchets have been sharpened upon our affections."

"In proof of professions, our whole villages, able to go to war, came forth."

"The old and infirm, our infants and wives, alone remained at home.

"With one common assent we promise a constant obedience to all you have ordered, and all you shall order; and may the Father of days give you many and success."

From June 21 to June 25, Burgoyne's camp was at the mouth of the river Bouquet, where he threw up intrenchments.

While there he took occasion to compliment some of his corps on having learned the art "of making flour-cakes without ovens, which," he adds, "are equally wholesome and relishing with the best bread."

On the evening of the 25th his army left their camp at the mouth of the river Bouquet, under command of Maj.-Gen. Riedesel, and on the day following were quartered at Crown Point, on both sides of Putnam creek, where general orders appropriate to the change in position were issued.

The few Americans in garrison there abandoned the fort and retreated to Ticonderoga.

The British quietly took possession, and after establishing magazines and a hospital, and having succeeded in bringing up the rear of the army, and obtaining intelligence of the movements of the Americans, moved forward on the 1st of July.

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

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HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

X. - BURGOYNE'S PROCLAMATION.

But before leaving Putnam creek, Gen. Burgoyne issued his famous and high-sounding proclamation.

In his zeal for sustaining the cause of his royal master, he made use of this extraordinary language: "To the eyes and ears of the temperate part of the public, and to the breasts of suffering thousands in the provinces, be the melancholy appeal, whether the present unnatural rebellion has not been made a foundation for the completest system of tyranny that ever God in his displeasure suffered for a time to be exercised over a froward and stubborn generation."

"Arbitrary imprisonment, confiscation of property, persecution and torture unprecedented in the inquisitions of the Romish church, are among the palpable enormities which verify the affirmative."

"These are inflicted by assemblies and committees who dare to profess themselves friends to liberty, upon the most quiet subjects, without distinction of age or sex, for the sole crime, often for the sole suspicion, of having adhered in principle to the government under which they were born, and to which, by every tie, divine and human, they owe allegiance."

"To consummate these shocking proceedings, the profanation of religion is added to the most profligate prostitution of common reason; the consciences of men are set at naught, and multitudes are compelled not only to bear arms, but also to swear subjection to an usurpation they abhor."

After exhorting all through whose territory he should pass to remain loyal, and offering to them employment should they join him, and solid coin "for every species of provision at an equitable rate," he concluded as follows: "I have but to give stretch to the Indian forces under my direction, and they amount to thousands, to overtake the hardened enemies of Great Britain and America, I consider them the same, wherever they may lurk."

"If, notwithstanding these endeavors and sincere inclination to effect them, the frenzy of hostility should remain, I trust I shall stand acquitted, in the eyes of God and man, in denouncing and executing the vengeance of the state against the willful outcasts."

"The messengers of justice and wrath await them in the field; and devastation, famine, and every concomitant horror that a reluctant but indispensable prosecution of military duty must occasion, will bar the way to their retreat."

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

XI. - MARCH ON TICONDEROGA.

On the 30th of June, Burgoyne prepared to attack Ticonderoga.

Before advancing, in a general order promulgated to his troops, he used the following language, which was the key-note of the campaign:

"The army embarks to-morrow to approach the enemy."

"We are to contend for the king and the constitution of Great Britain, to vindicate the law and to relieve the oppressed, a cause in which His Majesty's troops and those of the princes, his allies, will feel equal excitement."

"The services required of this particular expedition are critical and conspicuous."

"During our progress occasions may occur in which no difficulty, nor labor, nor life, are to be regarded."

"THIS ARMY MUST NOT RETREAT."

The effect produced by the proclamation was, in some quarters, directly contrary to that intended by its author.

In many minds its statements gave rise to sentiments of indignation and contempt.

Gov. Livingston, of New Jersey, made it an object of general derision by paraphrasing it in Hudibrastic verse.

John Holt, of New York, an old and respectable printer, published it in his newspaper at Poughkeepsie with this motto: "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

In his "State of the Expedition," published several years later, Gen. Burgoyne fails to record this ill-judged document.

"It is remarkable," observes Dr. Timothy Dwight, "that the four most haughty proclamations issued by military commanders in modern times have prefaced their ruin: this of Gen. Burgoyne; that of the Duke of Brunswick, when he was entering France; that of Bonaparte in Egypt; and that of Gen. Le Clerc at his arrival in St. Domingo."

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

TICONDEROGA AND MOUNT INDEPENDENCE.

On the 1st of July the whole of Burgoyne's army moved forward and took positions near Ticonderoga.

Brig.-Gen. Fraser's corps occupied a strong post at Three-Mile creek, on the west or New York shore of Lake Champlain; the German Reserve, under Riedesel, took a position on the east or Vermont shore, opposite Putnam creek, while the main army encamped in two lines, the right wing at a place called Four-Mile Point, on the west shore, and the left wing nearly opposite, on the east shore.

The frigates the "Royal George" and "Inflexible," with the gunboats, were anchored just without the reach of the batteries of the Americans, and covered the lake from the west to the east shore.

Meantime, St. Clair, to whom the command of Ticonderoga, on the New York shore, and Mount Independence, in the town of Orwell, on the Vermont shore, had been intrusted by Schuyler on the 5th of June, 1777, had reached his post on the 12th of that month.

Upon the table-land summit of Mount Independence was a star fort, strongly picketed, in the centre of which was a convenient square of barracks.

The fort was well supplied with artillery, and its approaches guarded with batteries.

The foot of the hill, towards Lake Champlain, was protected by a breastwork, which had been strengthened by an abatis and by a strong battery standing on the shore of the lake, near the mouth of East creek.

A floating bridge connected the works of Mount Independence with those of Ticonderoga, on the other side of the lake, and served as an obstruction to the passage of vessels up the lake.

The battery at the foot of Mount Independence covered and protected the east end of the bridge.

The bridge itself was supported on twenty-two sunken piers, formed of very large timber, the spaces between the piers being filled with floats, each about fifty feet long and twelve feet wide, strongly fastened together with iron chains and rivets.

A boom, made of large pieces of timber, well secured together by riveted bolts, was placed on the north side of the bridge, and by the side of this was a double iron chain, the links of which were one inch and a half of an inch square.

The other end of the bridge was covered by the "Grenadier's Battery," a strong redoubt built of earth and stone, which was originally constructed by the French and subsequently enlarged by the English.

On the New York side, at the time of Burgoyne's approach, a small detachment of Americans occupied the old French lines on the height to the north of Fort Ticonderoga.

These lines were in good repair, and had several intrenchments behind them, chiefly calculated to guard the northwest flank, and were also sustained by a block-house.

Farther to the left of the Americans was an outpost at the saw-mills, now the village of Ticonderoga.

There was also a block-house upon an eminence above the mills, and a blockhouse and hospital at the entrance of Lake George.

Upon the right of the American lines, and between them and the old fort, there were two new block-houses, and the Grenadier's battery, close to the water's edge, was manned.

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

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HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

MOUNT HOPE AND SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN.

On the west side of the outlet of Lake George, near the lower falls, rises Mount Hope, an abrupt and rocky elevation, and especially rugged and precipitous on the northeast side.

On the south side of the mouth of the outlet of Lake George, and separated from Fort Ticonderoga (which is situated north of the outlet), and opposite Mount Independence, is the lofty eminence of Mount Defiance, then known as Sugar Loaf mountain, which rises abruptly from the water to the height of about seven hundred and fifty feet.

Through the vigilance of his scouts, Burgoyne soon learned that St. Clair had neglected to fortify these two important and commanding elevations, and instead of making a direct assault upon the fortress of Ticonderoga, he determined to take possession first of these valuable positions.

THE FORCES.

The American works formed an extensive crescent of which Mount Independence was the centre.

The entire line required at least ten thousand men and one hundred pieces of artillery for its defense.

But now when such a force was necessary, St. Clair's whole army consisted of only two thousand five hundred and forty-six Continental troops and nine hundred militia.

Of the latter, not one-tenth had bayonets.

Besides the lack of men, the food, clothing, arms, and ammunition were insufficient.

Congress had been led to believe that Burgoyne was preparing an expedition against the coast towns, and influenced by this belief had turned its exertions in other directions and had left the posts on Lake Champlain almost undefended.

The army of Burgoyne, on the contrary, amounted on the 1st of July to six thousand seven hundred and forty men, of whom three thousand seven hundred and twenty-four were British and three thousand and sixteen German troops.

In addition to this there were five hundred and eleven men in the artillery service, besides Canadians, Tories, and Indians.

THE FIRST SUCCESS.

On the morning of the second the British observed a smoke in the direction of Lake George, and soon after the Indians reported that the Americans had set fire to the farther block-house and had abandoned the saw-mills, and that a considerable body was advancing from the lines towards a bridge upon the road which led from the saw-mills towards the right of the British camp.

A detachment of the advanced corps under Brig.-Gen. Fraser, with other troops and some light artillery under Maj.-Gen. Phillips, were immediately sent out, with orders to proceed to Mount Hope, not only to reconnoitre, but to seize any post the Americans might abandon.

The Indians, under Capt. Fraser, with his company of marksmen, were directed to make a circuit to the left of Brig.-Gen. Fraser's line of march, and strive to keep the Americans from reaching their lines; but this undertaking failed by reason of the impetuosity of the Indians, who made the attack too soon and in front, thus giving the Americans an opportunity to return; they having lost, however, one officer and a few men killed and one officer wounded.

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

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HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

ST. CLAIR'S LETTER.

St. Clair was an officer of acknowledged bravery, yet he was far from being an expert and skillful military leader.

His self-reliance and his confidence in the courage of his men led him often to be less vigilant than necessity demanded.

Even with the knowledge of the great disparity in numbers between his force and that of the British, and in spite of the events of the 2d of July which had already occurred in his immediate vicinity, he was enabled to write the following cheerful yet urgent letter to Col. John Williams, of Salem, then White Creek, Washington county, to Col. Moses Robinson, of Bennington, and to Col. Seth Warner.

This letter is now published for the first time:

TICONDEROGA, July 2, 1777.

"GENTLEMEN, About two hours ago I received your letter of this day, and am very happy to hear that the people turn out so well, though it is not more than I expected from them."

"The enemy have been lying looking at us for a day or two, and we have had a little firing, not a great deal."

"But I believe they will in earnest try what we can do, perhaps this night."

"I rather think it is their intention, though I may, perhaps, be mistaken; but be that as it will, at all events push on your people with the utmost expedition, and let the cattle remain where they are."

"Order Col. Lymans and Col. Billany to follow with all expedition."

"Everything depends upon a spirited push, and I can assure you that the men here are as determined as you can possibly wish them."

"We took a prisoner and have had Hessian deserters to-day, but I have not yet time to examine them."

"If you and Col. Warner can bring on six hundred men, or even less, I would wish you to march, part by the new road and part by the old road, to a certain distance."

"Of that distance you and he can judge much better than me."

"The party that march on the old road will then turn to the left and fall in upon the new road."

"These motions will distract the enemy, and induce them to believe that your numbers are treble what they really are, and if you are attacked on either road by an even number, make directly for Mount Independence and you will find a party out to support you, and fall upon the enemy's flanks or front, as they may happen to present themselves."

"If I had only your people here I would laugh at all the enemy could do."

"But do not forget to have a proper guard for the cattle, and then we can bring in as we want in spite of them."

"We will want all the men that we can get for all this."

"I am, gentlemen, your very humble servant,"

"A. ST. CLAIR."

"COL. WILLIAMS, COL. ROBINSON, and COL. WARNER."

This letter, doubtless, had the effect of hastening forward the promised aid.

Cols. Warner and Robinson reached Ticonderoga in time to take part in its evacuation, and the former did gallant service in the battle of Hubbardton on the 7th of July.

It is also believed that Col. Williams reached the fort, but whether with or without a command, is not positively known.

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

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HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

THE EVACUATION OF TICONDEROGA.

On the night of the 2d, Maj.-Gen. Phillips took possession of Mount Hope, and by this movement the Americans were entirely cut off from all communication with Lake George.

On the following day, Mount Hope was occupied in force by Fraser's corps.

Maj.-Gen. Phillips now held the ground west of Mount Hope, and Fraser's camp at Three-Mile creek was occupied by a body of men drawn from the opposite side of the lake.

Riedesel's column was pushed forward as far as East creek on the Vermont side, from which it could easily stretch behind Mount Independence.

"During all these movements the American troops kept up a warm fire against Mount Hope and against Riedesel's column, but without effect."

"On the 4th the British were employed in bringing up their artillery, tents, baggage, and provisions, while the Americans, at intervals, continued the cannonade."

"The same evening the radeau or raft 'Thunderer' arrived from Crown Point with the battering train."

"The British line now encircled the American works on the north, east, and west."

The possession of Mount Defiance would complete the investment, and effectually control the water communication in the direction of Skenesborough.

Burgoyne's attention had, from the first, been attracted towards this eminence, and he had directed Lieut. Twiss, his chief engineer, to ascertain whether its summit was accessible.

On the 4th, Lieut. Twiss reported that Mount Defiance held the entire command of Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, at the distance of about fourteen hundred yards from the former, and fifteen hundred yards from the latter, and that a practicable road could be made to the summit in twenty-four hours.

On receiving this report Burgoyne ordered the road opened and a battery constructed for light twenty-four-pounders, medium twelves, and eight-inch howitzers.

This arduous task was pushed with such activity, that during the succeeding night the road was completed, and eight pieces of cannon were dragged to the top of the hill.

"On the morning of the 5th the summit of Mount Defiance glowed with scarlet uniforms, and the guns of its batteries stood threateningly over the American forts."

'It is with astonishment,' says Dr. Thacher, in his Military Journal, 'that we find the enemy have taken possession of an eminence called Sugar Loaf hill, or Mount Defiance, which, from its height and proximity, completely overlooks and commands all our works.'

'The situation of our garrison is viewed as critical and alarming; a few days will decide our fate.'

'We have reason to apprehend the most fatal effects from their battery on Sugar Loaf hill.'

"Gen. St. Clair immediately called a council of war, by whom it was decided to evacuate the works before Riedesel should block up the narrow passage south of East creek, which, with the lake to Skenesborough, presented the only possible way of escape."

As every movement o£ the Americans could be seen through the day from Mount Defiance, no visible preparations for leaving the fort were made until after dark on the evening of the 5th, and the purpose of the council was concealed from the troops until the evening order was given.

About midnight directions were issued to place the sick and wounded, and the women, the baggage, and such ammunition and stores as might be expedient, on board two hundred bateaux, to be dispatched at three o'clock in the morning under a convoy of five armed galleys and a guard of six hundred men, under the command of Col. Long, of the New Hampshire troops, up the lake to Skenesborough, while the main body was to proceed by land to the same destination, by way of Castleton.

The cannons that could not be moved were to be spiked; previous to striking the tents every light was to be extinguished; each soldier was to provide himself with several days' provisions; and to allay any suspicion on the part of the enemy of such a movement, a continued cannonade was to be kept up from one of the batteries in the direction of Mount Hope, until the moment of departure.

These directions as to the mode of leaving were strictly obeyed except in one instance.

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

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HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

THE PURSUIT.

The boats reached Skenesborough about three o'clock on the afternoon of the same day, where the fugitives landed to enjoy, as they fancied, a temporary repose; but in less than two hours they were startled by the reports of the cannon of the British gunboats, which were firing at the galleys lying at the wharf.

By uncommon effort and industry, Burgoyne had broken through the chain, boom, and bridge at Ticonderoga, and had followed in pursuit with the 'Royal George' and 'Inflexible,' and a detachment of the gunboats under Capt. Carter.

The pursuit had been pressed with such vigor that, at the very moment when the Americans were landing at Skenesborough, three regiments disembarked at the head of South bay, with the intention of occupying the road to Fort Edward.

Had Burgoyne delayed the attack upon the galleys until these regiments had reached the Fort Edward road, the whole party at Skenesborough would have been taken prisoners.

Alarmed, however, by the approach of the gunboats, the latter blew up three of the galleys, set fire to the fort, mill, and storehouse, and retired in great confusion towards Fort Ann.

Occasionally the overburdened party would falter on their retreat, when the startling cry of 'March on, the Indians are at our heels,' would revive their drooping energies and give new strength to their weakened limbs.

At five o'clock in the morning they reached Fort Ann, where they were joined by many of the invalids who had been carried up Wood creek in boats.

A number of the sick, with the cannon, provisions, and most of the baggage, were left behind at Skenesborough.

On the 7th a small reinforcement, sent from Fort Edward by Schuyler, arrived at Fort Ann.

About the same time a detachment of British troops approached within sight of the fort.

This detachment was attacked from the fort, and repulsed with some loss; a surgeon, a wounded captain, and twelve privates were taken prisoners by the Americans.

The next day Fort Ann was burned, and the garrison retreated to Fort Edward, which was then occupied by Gen. Schuyler.

The fate of the remainder of those who left Ticonderoga now demands our attention.

Although every precaution possible was taken, yet so sudden was the departure and so short the notice, that much confusion ensued.

The garrison of Ticonderoga crossed the bridge to Mount Independence at about three o'clock in the morning, the enemy all the while unconscious of the escape of their prey.

The moon was shining brightly, yet her pale light was insufficient to betray the toiling Americans in their preparations and flight, and they felt certain that, before daylight should discover their withdrawal, they would be too far advanced to invite pursuit.

But Gen. De Fermoy, who commanded on Mount Independence, regardless of express orders, set fire to the house he had occupied, as his troops left to join in the retreat with those who had passed over from Ticonderoga.

The light of the conflagration revealed the whole scene to the astonished forces of the British, and throughout their extended camp sounded the notes of preparation for hot and determined pursuit.

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Re: HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY

Post by thelivyjr »

HISTORY OF SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK, continued ...

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN OF 1777
, continued ...

THE FLIGHT OF ST. CLAIR.

Thus on Sunday morning, July 6, 1777, the unfortunate Americans commenced their overland flight.

St. Clair, with the main army, directed his course through the Vermont towns of Orwell, Sudbury, and Hubbardton, and encamped at evening at Castleton, about twenty-six miles from Ticonderoga.

The rear-guard, under the command of Col. Ebenezer Francis, of the Eleventh Massachusetts Regiment, left Mount Independence at about four o'clock in the morning, taking the same route as had been taken by St. Clair, and passing onward in irregular order, after a most fatiguing march, rested at Hubbardton, about twenty-two miles from Ticonderoga, and encamped in the woods.

These, together with stragglers from the main army, picked up by the way, were left in the command of Cols. Warner and Francis, and there remained during the night, not only for rest but also to be joined by some who had been left behind on the march.

The place of encampment was in the northeast part of Hubbardton, near the Pittsford line, upon the farm then owned by John Selleck, not far from the place where the Baptist meeting-house now stands.

As soon as the British perceived the movements of the Americans, Brig.-Gen. Simon Fraser took possession of Ticonderoga, unfurled the British flag over that fortress at daylight, and before sunrise had passed the bridge and Mount Independence, and was in close pursuit of the flying Americans, at the head of a little more than half the advanced corps, and without artillery, which, with the utmost endeavors, it was impossible to get up.

Ticonderoga was placed in charge of the regiment of Prince Frederick, under Lieut.-Col. Prätorious, and the Sixty-second British Regiment were ordered to Mount Independence, both regiments being under the command of Brig.-Gen. Hamilton, who was directed to place guards for the preservation of all buildings from fire, and to collect all the powder and other stores and secure them.

Without intermission Brig.-Gen. Fraser continued the pursuit of the flying Americans till one o'clock in the afternoon, having marched in a very hot day since four o'clock in the morning.

From some stragglers from the American force whom he picked up, he learned that their rear-guard was composed of chosen men and commanded by Col. Francis, "one of their best officers."

From some Tory scouts he also learned that the Americans were not far in advance.

While his men were refreshing themselves, Maj.-Gen. Riedesel came up with his Brunswickers, and arrangements for continuing the pursuit having been concerted, Brig.-Gen. Fraser moved forward again, leaving Riedesel and his corps behind, and during the night of Sunday, the 6th, lay upon his arms in an advantageous situation, three miles in advance of Riedesel and three miles nearer the rear-guard of the Americans.

TO BE CONTINUED ...
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