Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

E

Peter Schuyler a Major of the Militia offered himself CHAP to go with what Force could be got ready for their

Alistance. He went himself immediately to Schei nettady, and sent out to discover the Enemy: His

Scouts brought him Intelligence, first, that the French were in Possession of the two smallest Forts, afterwards, that they had heard great Firing at the largest Fort; and at last, that it was taken. Having received 200 Men, partly regular Troops, but most of the Militia, he began his March on the 12th in Quest of the Enemy; but hearing soon after, that fix hundred Men of the upper Castles were on their March, 'tis probable he did not endeavour to be up with the French so soon as he might; for I find by his Journal, that he was nearer them on the fourteenth, than he was two Days after. He had not sufficient Force to fight them: He sent therefore to the upper Indians, to haften their March. On the 15th he was joined by these Indians, in all two hundred and ninety Men and Boys, very ill armed. His Body then consisted of two hundred and fifty Christians, and two hundred and ninety Indians, armed fighting Men. They had no other Provision but some Biscuit every Man had in his Pocket. On the 16th he was informed by an Indian, who pretended to be a Deferter, that the French had built a Fort, where they designed to wait for him, and fight him; whereupon he sent an Express to Coll. Ingoldesby, then Commandant at Albany, to haften more Men to join him, with sufficient Provision for the whole. He found afterwards, that this Indian was sent by the French, on purpose to persuade the Indians to give over the Pursuit. Major Schuyler came up to the Enemy on the 17th; when he came near them he did not go on streight towards them, for Fear of Ambuscades, but marched round.

As

foon as he came in Sight, he was faluted with three loud Shouts, which were answered with as much Noise. The Indians began in their Manner to se

L

[ocr errors]

cure

Chap.cure themselves, by felling the Trees between them, IX. and the Enemy fallied out to prevent them, but

were soon beat back. The Indians fell to Work again, and defired the Christians to assist them, which was done, but in fuch Confusion, that they themselves were in Danger from the falling Trees. The French fallied a second Time with all their Force, crying out, They run, we'll cut them off, and get their Provisions, but they were warmly received, and beat back into their Fort. They fallied a third Time, and were beat back with considerable Loss, the Indians bringing in several Heads and Scalps. As soon as the Skirmishing was over, the Major sent back an Express, to halten' the Men that were to reinforce him, and were to bring Provision, some of the Men having had no Provision for two Days. The Major then fecured himself, under the Cover of the fallen Trees, and kept out Watches to observe the French,

The 18th proving a cold stormy Day, with Snow, he was informed, by a Deserter, that the French were upon their March, it not being easy to follow their Tracks, or to discover them in such Weather. The Officers were commanded to pursue and retard their March, till the Reinforcement should come up, but the Men refused to march without Provision. The Officers, with about 60 Men, and a Body of Indians, followed the Enemy till Night, when they began to secure themselves, by fortifying their Camp. The Officers wanting a sufficient Number to secure themselves in like Manner, or to fight the Enemy, returned, leaving a. bout forty Christians, and one hundred Indians, to observe them. On the 19th the Provisions, with about 8o Men, arrived, under the Command of Captain Sims of the regular Troops. Every Man, as he was served with Provision, marched towards the Enemy. The Van was commanded by Captain Peter Matthews of the regular Troops, who coming

up

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

up with the Enemy's Rear, would have attacked CH A P. them, to retard their March, but the Mohawks were IX. averse to fighting. The French dropt on purpose several of their Prisoners, who told the Mohawks,

that the French were resolved to put all the PrisonT

ers to the Sword, if they should be attacked. The Por

Enemy passed the North Branch of Hudson's River upon a Cake of Ice, which, very opportunely for then, stuck there in one place, while it was open by a late Thaw, both above and below. The Weather continuing very cold, and the Indians averse to fighting, Major Schuyler gave over the

Pursuit on the 20th, having loft only four private 4 Men, and as many Indians, two Officers and twelve

Men Christians and Indians were wounded. The
LE

French lost thirty three Men (the Bodies of twenty
seven were found) of whom four were Officers, and
twenty-fix wounded, as the Deserters told him. Be-
tween forty and fifty Prisoners were recovered. I
have been told, that Captain Matthews desired
Coll

. Schuyler, when he came first up with the French, to summon them to surrender ; he said, the French are in great Distress, and this will give them an Opinion of our Strength; but Coll. Schuyler refused, tho' he was brave, he was no Soldier; and it is very probable, that the French observing the want of Conduct and Discipline, were encouraged. It is true, the English were in great Want of Provifions at that Time. The Indians eat the Bodies of

the French that they found. Coll. Schuyler ( as he I told me himself) going among the Indians at that

Time, was invited to eat Broth with them, which some of them had ready boiled, which he did, till they, putting the Ladle into the Kettle to take out more, brought out a French Man's Hand, which put an End to his Appetite.

The French went home as fast as they could carry their wounded Men with them; but coming to a Place, where they had hid Provisions for their Sup

L 2

ply

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1

CHAP. ply in their return, they found it all spoiled. This IX.

put them in great Distress, so that they were forced to eat their Shoes; they sent some of the nimblest Men forward to Montreal, that Provision might meet them. As soon as they came near the Settlements they dispersed, every Man running home to eat, so that they returned to Canada like an Army routed. The French own they loft eighty Men, and had thirty three wounded in this Expedition.

One may wonder how it is poslible for Men to march several hundred Miles in the Wilderness, while the Ground is every where covered with Snow, two or three Feet deep at least ; but the foremost march on Snow Shoes, which beat a firm Track for those that follow. At Night, when they rest, they dig a Hole in the Snow, throwing the Snow

up

all round, but highest towards that Side from whence the Wind blows, so large, as to contain as many Men as can lye round a Fire: They make the Fire in the Middle, and cover the frozen Ground round it with the small Branches of the Fir-Trees, Thus they tell me a Man lyes much warmer, than one imagines that never tried it.

When the Information of the French came to Schene Etady, an Express was sent to New York to Coll. Fletcher then Governor there; the Express reached New-York, an hundred and fifty Miles from Albany, the 12th at ten in the Night. The Governor got the City Regiment under Arms by eight the next Morning,

He called out to know who were willing to go with him to the Frontiers, they all immediately threw

up

their Hats, and answered one and all. Indeed the People of this Province have, upon all' Occasions, shewn their Courage and Resolution in Defence of their Country; but the Misfortune is, they are under no D scipline, and have been seldom led by Men that knew their D.:tyThe Governor or

der

dered an hundred and fifty Voluntiers for this Ser-CH A P. vice, and as many more from Long-Island. The IX. River then happened to be open by a sudden Thaw, which does not, at that Time of the Year, happen once in twenty Years. He embarked three hundred Men in five Sloops, by four in the Afternoon of the 14th, and arrived at Albany the 17th at nine in the Morning. The same Day the Governor went to Schene{tady, and ordered the Men to follow, but before they could get every Thing ready for their March into the Woods, they had an Account, that Major Schuyler was upon his Return. Several Gentlemen of Albany, particularly Mr. Lanfear, 'a Gentleman of the best Eltate there, went out Vo. luntiers under Major Schuyler, which I ought not to have forgot.

Coll. Fletcher made a Speech to the Mohawks at Albany, he blamed their supine Negligence, in suffering themselves to be surprised in the Manner they were in Time of War. He told them that they had Reason to be convinced, that the English were their Friends heartily, by the Number of Men he had marched to their Amistance in a very little Time, upon

the first Notice. He promised to wipe away their Tears in the Spring, by considerable Presents; and that he would, in the mean while, take Care of their Subsistence, by providing Houses and Vi&tuals for them. He told them, he doubted they had some false Brethren among them, that gave the French Information, and favoured their Designs; and in the last Place, advised them to convince the French, that they had not loft their Courage with this Misfortune.

The Mobawks, in their Answer, called Coll. Fletcher by the Name of Cayenguirago ; and he was called so by the Indians always after this. It signifies a great swift Arrow, as an Acknowledgement of the Speed he made to their Aflistance. But they appeared, in their Answer, to be quite disheartned'; they had not, in the Memory of any Man, re

L 3

ceived

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »