« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
the rear guard, which consisted of his own regiment and those of Colonels Francis of Massachusetts and Hale of New Hampshire ; and for the second time was committed to him the covering of a retreat. The main army then went on to Castleton; and Warner was ordered to remain at Hubbardton till all, who, in the disorderly retreat, had strayed away, should come up, and then to follow a mile and a half in the rear of the main army.
The Battle of Hubbardton.—All through the day, Fraser, followed by General Riedesel, kept up a hot pursuit ; and, at nightfall, learning that the Americans were only a short distance in advance, he ordered a halt till morning. At daybreak, July 7, Fraser again pushed forward, and at five o'clock made an attack upon the Americans, who were encamped on a ridge in the east part of Hubbard ton. Colonel Hale, fearful of the result, withdrew at the beginning of the contest, and left Francis and Warner to sustain the attack.
Massachusetts men and Vermont men fought side by side with great bravery. At almost every shot, so sure was their aim, a redcoat fell. At first the advantage was with the Americans ; but when Riedesel with his Hessians came up the tide turned. It was now an uneven contest of 2,000 against 800. The brave Colonel Francis fell mortally wounded. His troops fled to the woods, and finally joined the main army at Fort St. Edward where they had retreated, finding that Skenesboro had become occupied by the enemy before their arrival. Warner, collecting most of his men, retreated to Manchester. Ilale fell in with a detachment of the British and immediately surrendered to them without making any resistance. The arms taken from Hale's men were stacked in the woods, as the British had no means of transportation.
The loss of the Americans was thirty killed and nearly 300 wounded or prisoners; the loss of the British, killed and wounded, 183. This was the only battle of the Revolution fought on Vermont soil. A monument now marks the spot where Colonel Francis fell.
The Effect of the Fall of Ticonderoga on the People of Western Vermont.—The fall of Ticonderoga, naturally enough, created a great panic among the settlers of western Vermont, exposed as they were to the ravages of a hostile army.
Burgoyne had sent out a proclamation inviting all who would to join his standard ; he offered protection to the neutral;
the rebellious he threatened to turn loose his Indian allies. In spite of this warning most of the Vermonters remained true to the patriot cause. A few only took the opportunity offered to go over to the British ; and fewer still sought the protection of the British army. Those who did so were afterward known as “ Protectioners.”
All exposed farms in this section were abandoned. The occupants, loading as many of their goods as possible into carts and upon the backs of their horses, drove their flocks before them to the older settlements at the south of them. By the time Burgoyne had reached the Hudson, very few families were left north of the present County of Bennington.
Hubbardton, whose population consisted of but nine families, was raided by a party of Tories and Indians under the command of Captain Sherwood. Most of the men were taken prisoners, their homes plundered, and their wives and children left to starve or to make their way through the forests to their friends in the older settlements.
The Story of the Churchills.- Mr. Samuel Churchill and family lived about two miles from Warner's camp in
Hubbardton. On the morning of the battle Warner sent a detachment of 300 men to warn Mr. Churchill of his danger and help him get away with his family. Unfortunately the battle began so soon after they learned of their danger that it was impossible for them to escape ; and Mr. Churchill, with three of his sons, was taken prisoner and his home was plundered.
The rest of his family, consisting of four women and four children, were left to look out for themselves. To remain there was to starve, for the enemy had made a clean sweep of all kinds of provisions. They dared not go south to Castleton, for they knew that the Tories and the Indians had gone in that direction ; so taking two horses and what baggage was left them they traveled directly east to Pittsford on the Otter Creek. From there they took the military road to Charlestown and then followed down the Connecticut River to Springfield, Mass. Turning westward they again crossed the Green Mountains and finally arrived at Sheffield in southwestern Massachusetts, having been on the way for about three weeks.
Mr. Churchill was taken to Ticonderoga, where he made his escape after a few weeks and returned to Ilubbardton, to find his family gone, he knew not whither. Hoping for the best, he quickly made his way on foot to Sheffield, where, to his intense relief and happiness, he found his family safe in the care of friends. The danger past, in about a year they returned to Hubbardton to renew that life which had been so unceremoniously broken off.
Burgoyne's Advance.- While Fraser and Riedesel were pursuing the Americans by land, Burgoyne was giving chase to the flotilla on the lake. By nine o'clock on the morning of the evacuation of the forts, the unfinished boom and
floating bridge had been cut asunder. Hardly, had the Americans reached Skenesboro when the British were upon them. Having no effectual means of defense, the Americans quickly abandoned their vessels, after blowing up three of them. They then made their way to Fort Anne, and
thence to Fort Edward on the Hudson, where they joined the main army under Schuyler. Burgoyne had advanced to the head of the lake meeting almost no resistance, but he had well-nigh reached his limit.
Even when all the scattered troops had comein, Schuyler's army did not exceed 4,400 men.
Unable to do any. thing more effec
tual, Schuyler's Map showing the region of Burgoyne's invasion.
army now began
tearing down bridges and felling trees across the roads and creeks to delay the pursuing army as much as possible. On his way to Fort Edward, Burgoyne was obliged to rebuild forty bridges, and had so much difficulty in clearing the way that
it is said he traveled at times but one mile in twenty-four hours.
The Americans now evacuated Fort Edward, retreating in the direction of Albany. Burgoyne established himself on the Hudson on July 30, believing that a safe and easy passage might now be made to Albany; and here we will leave him and see what was at this time going on in the Green Mountain State.