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DEFORE we enter upon a relation of the expeditions D against Penobscot and the Mohawks, let me mention, that in the beginning of August, General Washington, to secure himself the more effectually from an attack by the enemy, while weakened through the absence of the detachment under General Suilivan, gave to a double spy, in order to be communicated, the following exaggerated account of his strength
" Fit for duty 17010, exclusive of the troops under Sullivan, General Gates to the eastward, and Colonel Hazens
the total number much greater-besides these, the new levies, 2000 from Massachusetts--those from Connecticut and other states coming in daily--a plan fixed, by which the whole strength can be drawn together in a few hours upon any great emergency. .
Colonel Francis M'Lean was sent from Halifax to establish a post at Penobscot, in the easternmost part of the Massachu. setts state. His arrival (June 16.] gave an aların to the government at Boston, and vigorous measures were agreed upon for preventing its establishment. The state was to have the whole honor of the expected success; and therefore Gates, who was at Providence, was neither consulted not applied to for continental troops. General Lovel was to command the militia, with a small number of state regulars, destined for the service ; while captain Saltonstail, who commanded the Ware ren continental frigate, acted as commodore to the whole fleet, VOL. III.
[July 28.9m, artillerythan 3 feet delen
consisting of near twenty sail, including armned state vessels and privateers, besides 24 transports. An embargo for 40 days was laid by the general court on all shipping, that a full sup. ply of seamen might be the more easily procured. . When the armament was ready for sailing, it lay wind-bound in Nantasket road for some days. By the 25th of July, it appeared off Penobscot, Colonel M'Lean had gained information of its sailing from Boston four days before. His intended fort was incapable of affording any good defence. Two of the bastions were untouched; the remaining two with the curtains, were in no part above 4 or 5 feet high and 12 thick; the ditch in most parts not more than 3 feet deep ; there was no platforın laid nor any artillery mounted. When the troops had landed, [July 28.] instead of being put upon vigorous services, the general contented himself with summoning the colonel to surrender, which being refused, they were employed two days in erecting a battery at about 750 yard distance from the fort. The colonel improved this opportunity, and what followed dur. ing an ineffectual cannonading, for finishing and strengthening his works, till he was out of all apprehension from being stormed; which he was informed by a deserter, on the 12th of August, was to be in a day or two. Colonel M’Lean, with his garrison, to their astonishment, discovered that the Americans had totally abandoned the camp and works in the night, [August 14.] and had reimbarked. The cause of this mysterious event was soon evident by the appearance of Sir George Collier in the Raisonable, attended with five frigates. While Sir George lay at Şandy-Hook, he gained information, on or before the 28th of July, from a Boston paper, as it is confidently asserted of the expedition against Penobscot. He sailed for the relief of the place on the 3d of August. It was not, the intention of the Massachusetts government, that General Lovel should spend much time against it ; on the contrary, the speedy reduction of the place was expected. The business being lengthened out, application was made to General Gates for a continental regiment; but before it could reach half way to Penobscot, Sir George Collier entered and proceeded up the bay. By eleven o'clock in the morning, the Anierican fleet presenta ed themselves to his view, drawn up seemingly with the design of disputing the passage ; their resolution however soon failed, and an ignominious Right took place. Sir George destroyed and took, including two which were captured on his passage, 19 armed vessels ; beside the transports, and some proyision vese
sets. The expedition against the fort was so wretchedly conducted, as to do no credit either to the general or coinmodore. The ariny and sailors had to explore a great part of their wayan back by land through thick woods and desert' wastes: '. :
The Oneidas, and a few other of the six confederated India an nations, frequentiy called the Mohawks, were friendly to the Americans ; the rest through the power' of presents with the influence of Sir John Johnston and some others, who had interest' among them, departed from the neutrality they had en. gaged to observe, and distinguished themselves in that cruel and destructive war, which was carried on against the back settle-. ments. Their conduct gave rise to that plan of an expedition into their country, which has been already mentioned. · When it was to be carried into execution, there were to be only two divisions, the main one under general Sullivan, and the other under general James Clinton, which was to go by the Moħawk river. When Sullivan was preparing to proceed, he presented to congress a most expensive and extravagant list of enumerated articles, in which was a large nuinber of eggs. He inade his detachment equal to 7000 rations per day. Congress were so disgusted with the great demand, and some of the spe cified articles, that for some time they would not order him 'any. The quantity of rifle power required, was more than could on any calculation be necessary. The commander in ehief inculcated it upon him, that the success and efficacy of the expedition depended absolutely on the celerity of his trovements, and might be defeated, if he did not proceed as-light as possible. The quarter-master-generali supplied him with 1400 horses. When he reached Wyoming, he wrotem Of.the salt: ed meat an hand, there is not a single pound fit to.be eaten.'' The next day, July 22.] the return of the troops, rink and file, was 2312. Here he waited several weeks, for more men, and
for provisions to supply the loss of what had been spoiled through "the villany or carelessness of the commissaries. When general Clinton, who came by the Mohawk river without mecting with any opposition, joined hiin on the 21st of Aug." with a bout 1600 men of every kind, the whole arity with its at: (tendants, battoemen, waggoners, &c. amounted to 5000. Clin. -ton's division, would of itself, have been sufficient for the ex:
petition, as thein Indians, against whom they marched were only 550, accompanied by about 250 tories, making no more than 800 in all, headed by colonel Johnston, major Butler; and Brandt. They were greatly worn down by their long wait.
ing for Sullivan's approach, at Newtown, where they had cones structed strong breast works. The general lived well as he marched, having taken a number of casks of tongues with him, beside live cattle to supply him with fresh provision. He kept a most extravagant table, and entertained all the officers, upon. the plea of securing his influence among them, while he was making extremely free, in their presence, with the characters of the Congress and the Board of War. He carried six light field-pieces and two howitzers along with him ; and would have the morning and evening gun fired constantly. At length he arrived [August 29.] at Newtown; and vaunted in the morning what great things he would do with and against the Indians. He began to engage them, by firing his field-pieces at their breast works, which he continued while he detached general Poor to the right, round the mountain, to fall upon their left flank. Poor had to march a mile and a half in full view of the Indians and their associates, who penetrated his design. They waited, however, for his approach: but obsery ing (that when his firing announced his being engaged) other: movements were made toward them, they quitted their works, and betook themselves to a sudden and precipitate fight, To. the left of Sullivan there was a river, and a plain on the right. side of it, along which, had a force been sent early, they could have marched round undiscovered, and have fallen in nearly upon the centre of the Indians, by the time Poor came upon their left flank - A number of riflemen desired to take thatroute, but were not permitted. At night Sullivan was not a little mortified upon finding how completely the enemy had escaped. He had 7 men killed and 14 wounded in the course of the day. The army marched on the 31st for Catherine's town, lying on the Seneca' lake. They had to traverse a swanıp several miles long ; to pass through dangerous defiles, with steep hills on each side ; and to ford a river, emptying it self into the lake, considerably broad in many places, with a strong current, and up to the middle of the men ; its course was so serpentine, that they had to pass through it seven or eight times. Sullivan was advised not to enter the swamp till the next day, but in vain. Clinton who brought up the rear, · was sufficiently fatigued by the time he reached the entrance, and being assured, that it would kill the horses and cattle to proceed, desisted from marching forward.
Notwithstanding Sullivan kept out flanking parties as he advanced, such was the steepness of the hills the narrowness
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and difficulty of the defiles, that twenty or thirty Indians might have thrown his troops into the utmost confusion. The night was so exceeding dark, that the men could see but a little way before them. They were wearied out, scattered and broken, Jost all their spirits, lay down here and there, and wished to die. · Had a body of the enemy fallen on them in this situa. tion, it might have produced the most fatal consequences. Now was the general's mind racked and tortured. It was twelve at night before his. troops reached the town. The Indian scouts had watched them while it was light; but had no thought of their continuing to march in so dark a night and to so late an hour. Before they got to the first house there was a: most dangerous defile, so formed by nature, that had it been possessed by the five and twenty Indians, who were in the town roasting corn, they might have shot down, while ammunition lasted, what Americans they pleased, when within reach of their guns and the sight of their eyes, without risking their own persons, When the troops had safely finished their march Suillivan declared, he would not have such another night for abł his command. The men were obliged to halt all the next' day to recruit ; and suffered more in the preceding, than they would have done in a month's regular march. ..in ..
General Sullivan continued in the Indian country, spreading desolation and destruction among the towns and plantations of the enemy, without sparing the orchards of apple and peach-trees, which had been raised from pips and stones, and in some places properly planted by the advice of the missiona-ry who had lived anong them. The heat of the climate, and richness of the soil, wijl raise good fruit in a few years from kernals that are produced by suitable trees. Several officers thought it a degradation of the army to be employed in * destroyed apple and peach-trees, when the very Indians in their excursions spared them, and wished the general to retract his orders for it. He was told that the trees would in a little time, be worth to the continent at least many thousand hard dollars. He continued relentless, and said " The Indians shall see, that there is malice enough in our hearts to destroy every thing that contributes toward their support.” Some of the officers, however, who were sent out with parties to lay waste the Indian territory, would see no apple or peach-trecs ; so that they were left to blossom and bear, for the refreshment of man or beast, friend or foe, that might chance to pass that way. Thus did General Hand and Colonel Duibin do honor to their own cha