Gambar halaman
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Northern Department.--General Carleton superseded.

General Burgoyne vested with the Command for Operations in Canada.--Ticonderoga abandoned by General St. Clair.-Affair of Fort Stanwix-Of Bennington, and various other important Movements of the two Armies, until the Convention of Saratoga.-General Burgoyne repairs to England on Parole--His Reception there.-Reflections and Observations on the Event of the Northern Campaign.



FROM the time that Quebec was invested by Montgomery and Arnold, at the close of the year one thousand seven hundred and seventyfive, until the termination of general Burgoyne's campaign, in the autumn of one thouland seven hundred and seventy-seven, the succefles, the expectations, and the disappointments from that quarter, had been continually varying.





Sir Guy Carleton, the governor of Canada, and who for a number of years had been commander in chief of all the British forces through that province, was an officer of approved fidelity, courage, and ability. He had successfully resisted the storm carried into that country by order of congress; he had triumphed in the premature fall of the intrepid, but unfortunate Montgomery; he had driven back the impetuous Arnold to the verge of the lakes; he had defeated the operations of general Thomson, in a bold and successless attempt to surprise the British poft at Trois Rivieres : general Thomson was there made a prisoner, with all of his party who escaped the sword. This happened about the time a detachment was marched northward, under the command of general Thomas. He died of the small-pox, as related above, when most of his army was destroyed by the sword, sickness, or flight.

Though general Carleton had occasionally employed some of the Indian allies of Great Britain, he had by his address kept back the numerous tribes of favages, near and beyond the diftant lakes. He rather chose to hold them in expectation of being called to action, than to encourage their ferocious inclination for war, which they ever prosecute in those horrid forms, that shock humanity too much for description. Whether his checking the barbarity of the favages, or whether his lenity

to the unfortunate Americans that had fallen CH4P. XI. into his hands, operated to his disadvantage, or

1777. whether from other political motives, is yet uncertain ; however, he was superseded in his military capacity, and the command given to general Burgoyne, who had re-embarked from England early in the spring, and arrived at Quebec in the month of May, one thousand feven hundred and seventy-seven, with a large and chosen armament.

General Carleton felt the affront as a brave officer, conscious of having discharged his trust with a degree of humanity on one side, and the strictest fidelity to his master on the other. He immediately requested leave to quit the government, and repair to England. Yet he did not at once desert the service of his king : his influence was too great among the Canadians, and over all the Indian tribes, to hazard his absence at this critical conjuncture. His return to Europe was therefore postponed : he encouraged the provincials to aid his successes, and exerted himself much more than heretofore, to bring on the innumerable hordes of the wilderness. In consequence of this, they poured down from the forests in such multitudes, as to awaken apprehensions iņ his own breast of a very disagreeable nature; but he cajoled them to some terms of restraint ; acted for a time in conjunction with Burgoyne, and made his ar. rangements in such a manner, as greatly to

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

General Burgoyne was a gentleman of polite manners, literary abilities, and tried bravery; but haughty in his deportment, fanguine in opinion, and an inveterate foe to America from the beginning of the contest with Britain : this he had discovered as a member of the house of commons, as well as in the field. On his arrival in Canada he lost no time, but left a fufficient force for the protection of Quebec, and proceeded immediately across the lakes, at the head of eight or ten thousand men, including Canadians, and reached the neighbourhood of Crown Point before the last of June.

There, according to the barbarous system of policy adopted by his employers, though execrated by a minority in parliament, he summoned the numerous tribes of favages to slaughter and bloodshed. A congress of Indians was convened, who met on the western side of Lake Champlain. He gave them a war-feast, and though his delicacy might not suffer him to comply with their usual custom, and taste the goblet of gore by which they bind themselves to every ferocious deed, he made them a speech calculated to excite them to plunder and carnage, though it was fpeciously covered by. some injunctions of pity towards the aged and infirm, who might experience the wretched

fate of becoming their prisoners. Yet, he fo chap. XI. far regarded the laws of humanity, as to ad.

1777 vise the favages to tomahawk only such as were found in arms for the defence of their country, and

gave some encouragement to their bringing in prisoners alive, instead of exercising that general massacre usual in all their conflicts; nor would he promise a reward for the scalps of those who were killed merely to obtain the bounty.

and war,

Having thus as he supposed, secured the fidel ity of favages, whom no laws of civilization can bind, when in competition with their appetite for revenge

he published a pompous and ridiculous proclamation. In this he exhorted the inhabitants of the country, wherever he should march, immediately to submit to the clemency of his royal master. To quicken their obedience, he ostentatiously boasted, that he had but to lift his arm, and beckon by a stretch thereof,the innumerable bordes of the wilderness, who stood ready to execute his will, and pour vengeance on any who should yet have the temerity to counteract the authority of the king of England. He concluded his proclamation with these memorable threats : -" I trust I shall stand acquitted " in the eyes of God and man, in denouncing “and executing the vengeance of the state “ against the wilful outcasts : the messengers of justice and of wrath await them in the field,

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »