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on the top of a hill on the right to prevent being surrounded. No sooner had it taken post, than they made a vigorous attack, which continued for upward of two hours, and would certainly have carried their point, had it not been for some Indians, who arrived and gave the Indian war-whoop, which was answered by the regiment with three cheers, after which the Americans soon gave way.” They then fired the fort, and retreated to Fort Edward. The artillery lost by the evacuation of the northern posts. and taken or destroyed in the armed vessels at Skeensborough, was prodigious, amounting to no less than 128 pieces serviceable and unserviceable. The loss of flour, biscuit, pork and beef was also very considerable. Gen. St. Clair joined gen. Scuyler at Fort Edward on the twelfth, after a fatiguing march, in which the army suffered much from bad weather and want of provisions. Three days after, their whole strengh did not exceed 4400 men, including militia. The day following the affair at Fort Anne, Scuyler ordered a brigade of militia to begin, as near the fort as possible, to fall trees; to take up the bridges, and burn the covering and timber; and to make the utmost obstructions. [July 16..] A continental brigade was directed to assist in destrying and completely stopping the roads. The same day gea. Scuyler took out of a canteen with a false bottom, a letter written by Mr. Levius to gen. Sullivan. 'Scuyler prepared an answer designedly wonded so as to deceive and perplex Burgoyne; which he signed Canteen, communicated to several gentlemen, and then forwarded. The British general when it was received, could not tell what to make of it. He was puzzled for two or three days, and at a loss whether to proceed or retreat ; the latter was so completely enigmatical.” -- Happily for the Americans, the British general continued for several days, with the army partly at Skeensborough, and partly spread in the adjoining country, waiting the arrival of tents, baggage and provision. In which time no labor was spared in opening roads for advancing toward Scuyler, and in clearing Wood. Creek of all impediments laid in the way, in order to open a passage for the batteaux. Like exertions were used at Ty, in carrying gun-boats, provision vessels and batteaux over land into Lake George. By reason of the route which the general took, he did not arrive at Hudson's-River, and fix his head-quarters.
ijear Fort Edward, till the 30th of July. Fort Edward is no more than the ruins of" a former fort,, and of no consequence to any party. It could afford no cover to general Scuyler, and only gave a name to the place where it was situated. The general "left it several' days, before Burgoyne gained its neighborhood. He gave this state of his army on the 21th, at Moses' Creek, in an. official letter—" It consists of about 27.00 continental troops ——of militia from the state of Connecticut—one major—one capital ri-—two lieutenants—two ensigns—one adjutant—one quarter-master—six sergeants—one drummer—six sick-—and three rank and file fit for duty—the rest*after remaining three or four days, -deserted us—Of those from, the county of Berkshire (in the Massachusetts) who consisted of upward of) 200, half of which "were to have remained., somewhat more than 200 are left, the remainder having also deserted—Of colonel Mosely's regiment, from the county of Hampshire (Massachusetts) about ten or twelve arc left, the; rest having deserted—Of colonel Porter's "regiment, of the county of Hampshire, about 200 left—Of the militia of the county of Albany, 1050 are left, being forty-six ''more than half of what were upon the ground when it was resolved to let half return to their habitations." He added, "That _torporr criminal indifference and want of spirit which so generally prevails, is more dangerous than all the efforts of the enemy. Nor is that jealousy and spirit of detraction which so unhappily prevails, of small detriment to our cause." The next ^ay he wrote from Saratoga, twenty miles below Fort Edward - and thirty-seven above-Albany,. " Every effort of the enemy would be in vain, if our exertions equalled our abilities, if our virtue was not sinking under that infamous venality which pervades throughout, and threatens us with ruin.."'
The desertions- above mentioned,, were not to the enemy, hut to their own homes; Scuyler was, for some reasons, a very unacceptable commander to the New-England militia. They were in general disgusted with, and would not serve unde/ him. There were no desertions to the royal army worth, noticing, which argues there were no lurking seeds of disaffection to • the American cause.
Had the British commander returned immediately to Ty, .and advanced from thence in the most expeditious manner, with a few light field-pieces, instead of suffering any delay, in order to his dragging along with him a heavy train of artillery, he might have been at Albany by the time hegotto Hudson's-River.* Your ... '.correspondent, the fifth of October, the l«8t year, breakfasted
* Central Gate* ba» repeatedly laid a» much io my hearingr- - With with general Gates, at Ty; sailed in company up Lake George : (about 35 miles long) with their horses in batteaux; landed, ; stayed a while, and reached Fort Edward (about 9 miles from: Fort George) at night, a little after eight. From Ty to Lake a George is rather more than two miles. The two small schooners. on the lake, could have made no long resistance against a bri– : gade of gun-boats. Fort George was well adapted to keep offIndians and small parties, but not to stop the royal army. The Americans there, instead of defending the fort or opposing the landing of the army, would undoubtedly have retreated to gen: Scuyler, at Fort Edward. The latter felt himself so weak, that by the first of August he drew back from Saratoga to Stillwater (25 miles north of Albany) from whence he wrote on the 4th, “We have not above 4000 continental troops; if men, one's third of which are negros, boys and men too aged for the field. or indeed any other service, can be called troops. The states: from whence these troops came, can determine why such boys, . negroes and aged men were sent. A great part of the armyo took the field in a manner naked, without blankets, ill armed, and very deficient in accoutrements. Too many of our officers; would be a disgrace to the most contemptible troops that were: ever collected; and have so little sense of honor that cashiering: them seems no punishment. They have stood by and .# the most scandalous depredations to be committed on the poor, . distressed, ruined and flying inhabitants.” He had also about: fifteen hundred militia. - - - - , The evacuation of Tyconderoga and Mount Independence, surprised gen. Washington, and spread astonishment and terror: through the New-England states. The general was led to believe: that the garrison was much stronger. The Massachusetts gene-z ral court were faulty in not having seasonably forwarded their quota of troops, agreeable to the requisition of congress. The . apprehensions of the Massachusetts people were the greater, as their military friends with gen. Washington’s army, informed them that the expedition which Sir William Howe had undertaken, and for which he was embarking his troops from Staten- ; Island, was meant against Boston. But amid all the disasters : which had happened, and the consequent terrors, no sort of dis-position to comply with British propositions, appeared in any quarter. Notwithstanding the success that had attended the northern army, and the military storm that was gathering at SandyHook, and no one state knowing where it would fall, yet each. discovered a determination to remain independent. The American commander in chief received information that the com. mon report among the sailors and soldiers was, that the fleet was:
going to the Delaware; but as Howe's conduct was to him puzziing beyond measure, so were the informations he obtained. One time the ships were standing up toward the North-River. In a little while they were going up the Sound ; and in an hour after, they were sailing out of the Hook. Before their sailing, a spirited adventure took place on the side of Rhode-Island,
which not only fully retaliated the surprisal of general Lee, but .
procured an indemnification of his person. Lieutenant colonel Barton, of a militia regiment belonging to that state, with several other officers and volunteers, to the number of forty, passed by night [July 10.] from Warwick Neck to Rhode-Island, and though they had a passage of tea miles by water, eluded the watchfulness of the ships of war and guard-boats which surfounded the island. They conducted their enterprize with such silence and dexterity, that they surprised general Prescot in his quarters, about one mile from the water side, and five from . Newport, and brought him, with one of his aids-de-camp, safe . to the continent, which they had nearly reached before there was any alarm among the enemy. This adventure, which with impartial judges must outweigh col. Harcourt’s capture of gen. Lee, produced much exultation on the one side, and much regret on the other, from the influence it would necessarily have on Lee's destination. But more than a month before, congress had received information that Lee was treated by gen. Howe with kindness, generosity and tenderness, which had led them to desire that col. Campbell and the five Hessian officers should be treated in a similar manner, consistent with the confinement and safe custody of their persons. They resolved, within a few days after hearing of Prescot's being taken, that an elegant sword should be provided and presented to colonel Barton. . . The British fleet and army which lay at Sandy-Hook, were destined for the reduction of Pennsylvania, particularly of Philadelphia, in pursuance of a plan which had been settled between Sir William Howe and lord George Germain ; but did not sai! . till the 23d of July. The land force consisted of thirty-six Bri- . tish and Hessian battalions, including the o and grenadiers, with a powerful artillery, a New-York corps called the queen’s rangers, and a regiment of light-horse, estimated altogether, at about 16,000. The fleet consisted of 267 sail. Generai Washington, upon the fleet's sailing, marched his army toward Pennsylvania, and halted it at Corriel’s ferry, Howei's ferry, and Trenton. He wrote from Corriel’s ferry on the 30th— “Howe's (in a manner) abandoning Burgoyne, is so unaccountable a matter, that till I am fully assured it is so, I cannot help Casting my eyes continually behind me.” He mentioned his * halting
halting the army till the fleet should appear in the Delaware, and put the matter out of doubt; and that he had ordered gen, Sullivan's division to halt at Morristown, that it might march southward or northward, upon the first advice of the enemy's throwing any force up the North-River. . . . General Washington's perplexity for some days, cannot be so well conceived of as by extracts from his own letters; read then, and judge for yourself. “July 3+. The enemy’s fleet arrived at the Capes of Delaware yesterday, therefore order the two brigades thrown over the river, to march immediately.” “Chester, August 1. I had proceeded thus far to look out for a proper place to arrange the army, when I received the provoking account, that the enemy's fleet left the Capes yesterday, and steered eastward. I shall return with the utmost cxpedition to the North-River; a sudden stroke is certainly intended by this manoeuvre. Call in every man of the militia to strengthen the highland posts.” “August 1. The enemy’s flect put to sea yesterday morning at eight o’clock, and were out of sight three hours when the express came away. It appears gen. Howe has been practising a deep feint to draw our whole force to this point. Counter-march your division, and proceed with all possible expedition to Peek's-kill.” “August 3. The conduct of the engmy is difficult and distressing to be understood.” “August 11. On the seventh the enemy was off Sinepuxent snlet, about 16 Jeagues to the southward of the Capes of Delaware, on which I have halted for further intelligence.” “August 22. The enemy's fleet have entered Chesapeake. There is not now the least danger of Howe's going to New-England; forward this account to governor Trumbull, to be by him sent on to the eastward.”. Sir William Howe, while off the Capes, received that införmation which led him to judge it most advisable to proceed to Chesapeake-Bay instead of going up the Delaware. Such information could not relate to the measures taken for rendering the navigation of the river impracticable. These measures were matters of so great notoriety, that he must have been strangely deficient in procuring intelligence, if he did not know them before he left the Hook. Beside, the obstructions in the river did not reach so low down as either Newcasle or Wilmington; as high as either of which places the fleet might have come wi safety; and had he landed at the first of them, he would have been within 36 miles of Philadelphia, and fourteen miles nearer than the Head of Elk. The information most probably related to gen. Washington's having marched the continental arm within a certain distance of Philadelphia; and perhaps, to a ‘prospect of his beingjoined by a number of disaffected Americans