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RETREAT FROM CANADA.
NAVAL FORCES OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN.
The American army in Canada was so sembled at Skenesborough. On the sixth much inferior to the British, that nothing of August, six hundred men arrived from remained for them but to make the best re- New Hampshire, and re-enforcements treat in their power. On the 14th of June, were daily arriving from other quarters. they abandoned their post at Sorel, which The army was also all the time improving a few hours afterwards was in possession in health and discipline, and was active of the British army. Gen. Burgoyne was and vigorous in preparations for defence. immediately detached with one column in As it was of the greatest importance to pursuit of the Americans, but with orders the Americans to preserve the command not to hazard an engagement until he of the lake, by constructing upon it a nashould receive a re-enforcement. On the val force superior to that of the British, 15th of June, Arnold withdrew with his they engaged with their usual activity in troops from Montreal and marched to accomplishing this object. But in the Chamblee, where the American forces prosecution of it they had innumerable were assembled, and were engaged with difficulties to encounter. Their timber much spirit and resolution in dragging was to be cut in the woods and dragged their artillery and stores up the rapids. by hand to the place where it was wanted
This service was attended with much for use; the materials for naval equipdifficulty and danger; but they succeed. ments were to be brought from a great ed in drawing up more than one hundred distance over roads almost impassable ; batteaux, heavily laden, and having set and the ship-carpenters were so well emfire to the mills and the shipping which ployed in the sea ports that it was with they could not bring off, they left the vil- extreme difficulty that any could be prolage of Chamblee at the very time the cured. Yet, notwithstanding these obBritish were entering it on the other side. stacles, by perseverance and industry, On the 18th of June,Gen.Burgoyne reach they had, on the 18th of August, comed St. Johns in the evening, but the Am- pleted and equipped three schooners and ericans had taken away every thing of five gondolas, carrying in the whole 55 value and set fire to the fort and barracks. cannon, consisting of twelve, nine, six Major Bigelow, with about 40 men re- and four pounders, and seventy swivels. mained at St. Johns till the works were This armament was, manned by three all destroyed, and left that place the same hundred and ninety-five men, and was evening that Burgoyne arrived there, and completely fitted for action. joined the American army which had In the mean time the British were emhalted at the Isle-aux-Noix.
ployed in preparing a fleet at St. Johns. The British were unable to get any of Six armed vessels had been built in Engtheir vessels over the rapids at Chamblee, land and sent over for the express purpose and were, consequently, unable to con. of being employed on lake Champlain; tinue the pursuit of the American army, but it was found impossible to get them which now proceeded in safety to Crown over the falls at Chamblee without taking Point. This retreat was conducted by them in pieces, transporting them in that Sullivan, with such consummate skill and form, and then put them together again prudence, as to retrive his character from above the rapids. They succeeded in the imputations brought upon it by the dragging up a large number of boats enrash and unsuccessful expedition against tire, and having re-built their vessels, Three Rivers, and to merit the thanks of they were ready by the first of October, Congress, and of the whole army. to enter the lake with their fleet. This
On the 12th of July, Gen. Sullivan was fleet consisted of the Inflexible, carrying succeeded by Gen. Gates, in the com- eighteen twelve pounders, the Maria, of mand of the northern army. The first fourteen six pounders, the Carleton, of business of Gates was to restore to health twelve six pounders, the Thunderer, a and soundness the sick and wounded, and flat bottomed radeau, or raft, with six to increase his force by new recruits. He twenty pounders, six twelves and two assembled a council of war, by which it howitzers, some gondolas, carrying seven was resolved to abandon Crown Point, nine pounders, twenty gun boats, carry. and concentrate all their strength and ing each one brass field piece from nine make a vigorous stand at Ticonderoga, to twenty four pounders, and some with and on Mount Independence, which is howitzers, and four long boats, with each situated on the opposite side of the lake. a carriage gun, serving as tenders. These, A general hospital was established at fort amounting to thirty-one in number, were George, to which those who were sick all designed and prepared for attack and with the small pox, were sent forward, battle ; and were to be followed by a sufand to avoid this contagious and loath- ficient number of vessels and boats for some disease, the new recruits were as- the transportation of the royal army, with
XAVIL ENGAGEMENT ON THE LAKE.
its stores, artillery, baggage and provis- served, and to be entirely out of sight of ions.
the British the next morning. As soon This fleet was navigated by seven hun- as it was discovered that the Americans dred experienced seamen, commanded by had fled, the British, anxious to obtain a Captain Pringle, and the guns were serv- decisive victory, commenced a pursuit, ed by a detachment of men and officers and during the day an American gondola from the corps of artillery, and far exceed was overtaken and captured. On the ed any thing the Americans were able to 13th of October, the wind being favorable provide. On the 11th of October, the to the British, they renewed the chase, British fleet and army proceeded up the and about noon overtook the American lake. The American armament, which feet a few leagues from Crown Point. A amounted to 15 vessels of different sizes, warm engagement ensued, which was was put under the command of General supported with great resolution and galArnold, who had taken a very advan- lantry on both sides for nearly four hours. tageous position between Valcour island The Washington galley, commanded by and the western main. There they form-Gen. Waterbury, had been so shattered ed a strong line of defence, and hoped to in the action of the 11th, as to be useless be able to check the progress of the ene- in this engagement, and was surrendered my.
after receiving a few broadsides. The British were sensible of their su- Arnold was on board the Congress galperior strength, and moved forward boldly ley, which vessel was attacked by the Into attack the Americans. A severe en flexible and two shooners, all within musgagement ensued, which was maintained ket shot. After sustaining this unequal for several hours with much spirit and combat for nearly four hours, Arnold beresolution. The wind being unfavorable, came satisfied that no exertion of courage the British were unable to bring the In- or skill, could enable him much longer to flexible and some of their other vessels withstand the superior force of the enemy. into action, which was principally sus- He was, however, determined that neitained by the Carleton and the gun boats; ther his vessels nor his men should beand as the wind continued adverse, the come the trophies of their victory. HavBritish, notwithstanding the result had ing by his obstinate resistance given sevthus far been in their favor, judged iteral of his vessels an opportunity to esprudent to withdraw from the engage cape to Ticonderoga, he now run the ment; but as night approached, they Congress galley and five other vessels on again advanced and anchored in a line as shore, in such manner as to land his men near the Americans as possible, to pre- in safety and blow up the vessels in devent their escape.
fiance of every effort which the British This engagement was sustained on both could make to prevent it. This action sides with a courage and firmness which took place at no great distance from the are seldom witnessed. Among the Ameri- mouth of Otter Creek, and the remains of cans, Gen. Waterbury, of the Washing- Arnold's vessels were to be seen there ton galley, was in the severest part of the upon the beach for many years. action. Excepting one lieutenant and a The British, under Gen. Carlton, havcaptain of marines, his officers were all ing now recovered the command of lake either killed or wounded. He himself Champlain, it was supposed they would fought on the quarter deck during the next attempt the reduction of Ticondewhole action, and at the close brought off roga; and, had Carleton moved forward his vessel though shattered and almost immediately, it was supposed that he torn in pieces. The result of this action might have possessed himself of that imwas favorable to the British, but less so portant fortress without much difficulty, than they had anticipated, knowing their as it was illy prepared for defence. But own force to be double that of the Ameri. the wind blowing from the south, Çarlecans. They had one of their gondolas ton landed his army at Crown Point, the sunk, and one blown up with 60 men. Americans having a few days before disThe Americans had one of their schoon- mantled the fort and destroyed what they ers barnt, a gondola sunk, and several could not carry away, and joined the of their vessels much injured.
main army at Ticonderoga. The AmeriArnold was now convinced that he cans applied themselves with vigor in could not withstand the superior force of strengthening their entrenchments at Tithe enemy, and under cover of the night, conderoga, and by the daily arrival of rewhich was dark and foggy, resolved to enforcements, and the recovery of the attempt a retreat to Ticonderoga. In this sick and wounded, Gates soon found himmeasure he so far succeeded as to pass self at the head of 12,000 effective men. directly through the enemy's line unob. In this situation he was not unwilling
EVENTS AT TICONDEROGA.
ADVANCE OF GEN. BURGOYNE.
that Carleton should make an an attempt | New York. Here he was joined by four to get possession of the place. But that or five hundred Indians, who were to asjudicious commander did not see fit to sist in the expedition. After making for hazard an assault; and, after spending the Indians a war feast according to their about a month in reconnoitering the custom, Burgoyne addressed a speech to American works, he re-embarked his ar- the chiefs and warriors, calculated to exmy at Crown Point, and returned to Can- cite their savage ardor in the British ada, and thus terminated the military en cause, and to give such directions to their terprises on lake Champlain for the year fierceness and cruelty as should best sub1776.
serve his designs against the Americans.*
General Schuyler, being supposed most fully to possess the confidence of the in
habitants of this part of the country, had SECTION III.
been appointed to the command of the Events of 1777. Advance of Gen. Bur- northern department of the American ar
goyne-Ticonderoga abandoned by the my, but he arrived at Ticonderoga only Americans–Battle at Hubburdton --Re- with the Indians at the river Boquet
four days previous to Burgoyne's council treat from fort Edward/Battle at Ben, inspecting the works, Schuyler found nington—- At Stillwater -- Surrender of them in many parts unfinished, and the Burgoyne.
whole in a very bad condition. He likeBefore the opening of the campaign of wise found that very few of the recruits 1777, Sir Guy Carleton was superseded which had been ordered to that post, had in the command of the British forces, de- arrived, and that the militia of the neighsigned to enter the United States from borhood could not be safely called in, lest Canada, by Lieut. Gen. Burgoyne, who the provisions of the garrison should be was a great favorite of the ministry, and exhausted before the arrival of supplies. an officer of some reputation. He was, Leaving the command of this post to however, unacquainted with the Ameri- Gen. St. Clair, Schuyler returned to fort can character and service, and was by no Edward, for the purpose of hastening formeans so well fitted to plan and execute ward re-enforcements and provisions. the operations in this quarter as the Gen
On the 30th of June, the enemy aderal whom he supplanted. The regular vanced towards Ticonderoga upon both force allotted to Burgoyne amounted to sides of the lake, and encamped for the 7,173 men, exclusive of the corps of artil- night about four miles from the American lery. Of these, 3,217 were Germans and lines. The next day their whole army the remainder British troops. This force and fleet proceeded forward and took was expected to be increased on its arri- their position just without the reach of the val in America by a large number of Ca- | American cannon; the fleet anchoring in nadians and Indians, for whom arms and a line between the divisions on the east accoutrements were forwarded from Eng- and west shore of the lake. On the 2d of land.* Burgoyne was also provided with July a party of 500 of the enemy under an excellent train of brass artillery, and Capt. Fraser attacked a picket of 60 men, was assisted in the command by Generals within 200 yards of the American battePhilips, Fraser, Powel, Hamilton, Riede- ries, and, forcing them to retire, advanced sel and Specht, all of them able and expe- within 60 yards of the works, scattering rienced officers.
themselves along the whole front of the Gen. Burgoyne arrived at Quebec on American lines; the right wing of the the 6th of May, and took the command of British army moved up from their posithe army designed for the expedition. tion on the lake at the same time, and On the 12th, he proceeded to Montreal, took possession of Mount Hope. using every possible exertion to collect St. Clair, supposing that an assault was and forward the troops and stores to Lake intended, ordered his men
to conceal Champlain. Between the 17th and 20th themselves behind the parapets and reof June, his whole army was assembled serve their fire. Fraser's party, probably at Cumberland Head, at which place it deceived as to the real position of the embarked and proceeded up the Lake American works, which were in a measwithout opposition. June 21st, Burgoyne ure concealed by bushes, continued to landed his army on the west side of the advance till an American soldier disLake at the mouth of the river Boquet, charged his musket, which seemed to be in the present township of Willsborough, understood as a signal, and the whole line
arose and fired a volley ;-the artillery * See Lord Germain's Letter to Gen. Carleton, dated March 26, 1777, in Burgoyne's State of the * For this Speech and the Reply, see Williams' Expedition, p. 7. Appendix.
History, Vol. II. p. 437.
AMERICANS ABANDON TICONDEROGA.
following the example without orders. I to the American officers, and they had a This fire was made at random, and the consultation for the express purpose of effect of it was to produce so much smoke considering the propriety of fortifying this that the enemy could not be seen till they mountain ; but it was declined, because were beyond the reach of the American they believed the British would not think guns; and consequently every individual it practicable to plant cannon upon it, except one escaped.
and because their works were already so On the 4th of July, Gen. Burgoyne extensive, that they could not be properly issued a proclamation designed to spread manned, the whole garrison consisting of terror among the Americans, and per. only 2,546 continental troops, and 900 suade them to come and humble them- militia; the latter very badly armed and selves before him, and through him, sup- equipped. plicate the mercy of their offended king. St. Clair was sensible that he could not The number and ferocity of the Indians, sustain a regular siege ; still he hoped their eagerness to be let loose upon the that the confidence of Burgoyne would defenceless settlements, the greatness induce him to attempt to carry the Amerof the British power, and the utter inabil. can works by assault, against which he ity of the rebellious colonies to resist it, was resolved to defend himself to the last were all set forth in bold relief. His gra- extremity. But to the surprise and concious protection was promised to all those sternation of the Americans, on the 5th who should join his standard, or remain of July, the enemy appeared upon Mount quietly at their homes; but utter destruc- Defiance, and immediately commenced tion was denounced upon all such as should the construction of a battery. This batdare to oppose him. This proclamation tery, when completed, would effectually was couched in terms the most pompous command all the American works on both and bombastic; but upon the Americans sides of the lake, and the line of commuit produced no other emotions than those nication between them; and, as there of derision and contempt. Its threaten- was no prospect of being able to dislodge ings and its promises were alike disre- the enemy from this post, a council of garded-none were terrified by the for- war was called, by which it was unanimer, and none were won by the latter." mously agreed that a retreat should be
Although every possible exertion had attempted that very night, as the only been made by St. Clair and his men, the means of saving the army. state of the American works and of the
Accordingly, about two o'clock in the garrison was not such as to insure a morning of the 6th of July, Gen. St. long and vigorous defence. The old Clair, with the garrison, left Ticonderoga, French fort had been strengthened by and at about three o'clock the troops on some additional works, several block Mount Independence were put in motion. houses had been erected, and some new The baggage, provisions and stores were, batteries had been constructed on the as far as practicable, embarked on board side towards lake George. The Ameri- 200 batteaux, and despatched, under concans had also fortified a high circular hill roy of five armed gallies, to Skenesboron the east side of the lake opposite to ough, while the main body of the army Ticonderoga, to which they had given the proceeded by land on the route through name of Mount Independence. These Hubbardton and Castleton. These affairs two posts were connected by a floating were conducted with secrecy and silence, bridge twelve feet wide and one thousand and unobserved by the enemy, till a feet long, which was supported by twenty French officer, imprudently and contrary two sunken piers of large timber. This to orders, set fire to his house. The bridge was to have been defended by a fames immediately illuminated the whole boom strongly fastened together by bólts of Mount Independence, and revealed to and chains; but this boom was not com- the enemy at once the movements and pleted when Burgoyne advanced against designs of the Americans. It at the same the works.
time impressed the Americans with such Notwithstanding the apparent strength an idea of discovery and danger, as to of the posts occupied by the Americans, throw them into the utmost disorder and their works were all effectually overlook- confusion. ed and commanded by a neighboring emi- About four o'clock, the rear guard of nence called Sugar Hill, or Mount Defi- the Americans left Mount Independence, ance. This circumstance was well known and were brought off by Col. Francis in * This pompous proclamation, together with an had preceded him, were soon recovered
good order; and the regiments which young officer and designed for the soldiors of the from their confusion. When the troops American army, may be found in Williams' History, arrived at Hubbardton, they were halted volume 2, page 430.
PLAN OF THE BATTLE GROUND.
for nearly two hours. Ilere the rear Gen. Riedesel arrived, which was immeguard was put under the command of diately led into action, and the fortune of Col. Seth Warner, with orders to follow the day was soon decided. The Amerithe army, as soon as those, who had been cans, overpowered by numbers, and exleft behind, came up, and to halt about a hausted by fatigue, fied from the field in mile and a half in the rear of the main every direction. body. St. Clair then proceeded to Cas- The loss of the Americans in this entleton, about six miles further, leaving counter was very considerable. Hale Warner, with the rear guard and strag- was overtaken by a party of the British, glers, at Hubbardton.
and surrendered himself and a number of The retreat of the Americans from Ti- his men, prisoners of war. The whole conderoga was no sooner perceived by American loss in killed, wounded and the British than an eager pursuit was be- prisoners, was 324, of whom about 30 were gun by Gen. Fraser with the light troops, killed. The loss of the enemy in killed who was soon followed by Gen. Riedesel and wounded, was 183.* with the greater part of the Brunswick Gen. St. Clair, with the main body of regiments. Fraser continued the pursuit the American army, was at Castleton, during the day, and having learned that only six miles distant, during this enthe rear of the American army was not gagement, but sent no assistance to Warfar off, ordered his men to lie that night ner. After the battle, Warner, with his upon their arms. Early on the morning usual perseverance and intrepidity, colof the 7th, he renewed the pursuit, and lected his scattered troops and conducted about 7 o'clock, commenced an attack them safely to Fort Edward, to which upon the
Americans under Warner. Warner's force consisted of his own regi
* This number is given on the authority of Gorment, and the regiments of Cols. Francis Narrative, page 140, Walpole edition, says that,
Ethan Allen in his
don, Williams and others. and Hale. Hale, fearful of the result, by the confession of their own officers to him while retired with his regiment, leaving War- a prisoner, the British lost 300 killed, and com ner and Francis, with only seven or eight plained that the Green Mountain Boys took sight. hundred men, to dispute the progress of killed and wounded in Fraser's division, See State the enemy.*
of the Expedition, pago 27. The conflict was fierce and bloody. Ground is copied on a much smaller scale from the
T'ho following plan of the Hubbardton Bautis Francis fell at the head of his regiment, one drawn by P. Gerlach, Deputy Quarter Master fighting with great resolution and brave- General in the British army and published in Burry. Warner, well supported by his offi- goyne's State of the Expedition. cers and men, charged the enemy with such impetuosity that they were thrown into disorder, and at first gave way; They, however, soon recovered, formed anew, and advanced upon the Americans, who, in their turn, fell back. At this critical moment, a re-enforcement under
* This statement is made upon the authority of Dr. Williams' History of Vt. volume 2, page 106, and of Ethan Allen's Narrativo, page 139, Walpole edition, and may seem to imply a want of courage in that young officer. Reports were circulated uofavorable to the reputation of Col. Hale, immediately after bis surrender, but whether they were well founded, or originated, as many bave supposed, in the envy of some of his inferior officers, who wished bim cashiered to make room for their own promotion, it is difficult now to decide. When Col. Hale heard these reports, ho addressed a letter to General Washington, requesting that he might be exchanged and have an opportunity to vindicate his character before a court martial, but before this could be effected he died, while a prisoner upon the parallel lines, unconnected at the end, the
The parallelograms denote the AmericansAs Col. Hale and many of his men are known to enemy-A, the point on the road from Ticondehave been in a feeble state of health and conse-roga to Castleton where Fraser's division formed quently unfit for military service, and as the his- and attacked the Americans at B-0, the position torians generally of that period attach no blame to his conduct, and especially, as his character is said of the Americans, when Riedesel with the re-ento have been irreproachable in other respects, wo forcement took the position E, who thereupon feli should certainly be doing wrong in allowing an back to D, and the enemy advanced 10 C, where imputation so injurious 10 his reputation and so the baille was continued till the Americans fied mortifying to his highly respectable descendants in this state, to rest upon his name witbout more
across the brook into the woods--F, the position conclusive proof of its having been deserved. of the enemy afier she action.