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landed his troops on the 15th of July, advanced regularly on both sides of the lake, while his fleet kept the centre. Ticonderoga and Mount Independence were both invested, and in a few days nearly surrounded by the enemy's works. They had also established themselves at Sugar-loaf hill, or Mount Defiance, as it was also called, an eminence which overlooked both posts, but which the Americans had not been able to fortify or man for their defence. All the American works were now fully exposed to the fire of the enemy, and a bombardment from all points simultaneously, was to be hourly expected, when General St. Clair called a council of war to
e | determine whether it would be better to withdraw July 5th.
me all the troops within Mount Independence, and defend that post to the last extremity, or abandon the whole. It was unanimously recommended to him to retreat, as soon as possible, which was accordingly undertaken with promptitude and secrecy, that same night. The garrison, divided into two bodies, the first under St. Clair, and the second commanded by Colonel Francis, took up their route for Castleton, by the way of Hubbardstown, along the right bank of the lake. The baggage, stores, and sick, were embarked in batteaux, and despatched under the convoy of five galleys, and escorted by a detachment, commanded by Colonel Long, to Skenesborough, or Whitehall, on Lake George. A storm which rose towards morning embarrassed the movements of all these parties, and the accidental firing of a house, gave notice to the enemy of what was going on. The land detachments had pushed forward with rapidity, before the pursuit was fully commenced, and it was found necessary to clear the obstructions in the channel before the British fleet could get into motion, to follow Colonel Long and his convoy. Burgoyne himself accompanied the fleet, which, favored by winds and superior sailing, overtook the Americans near the Škenesborough falls, and soon overpowered them. Two of the batteaux were captured and several destroyed in the battle, upon which Colonel Long destroyed the others, with all the stores, provisions, and baggage, together with the works and mills, of the place, and hastily retreated to Fort Anne.
The divisions which left the fort by the land route, were pursued by a corps of British troops under General Frazer,
and one of German under General Reidesel. On the 1. seventh, they overtook the American forces commanded by Colonel Francis, at Hubbardstown, and after an
obstinately contested action, routed them with considerable OSS. Among the killed was Colonel Francis, and the killed, wounded, and missing, many of whom perished for want in the woods, were not far from one thousand in number. The British lost one hundred and eighty. General St. Clair, with his own division, learning these several disasters, instead of proceeding, as had been his design, to Fort Anne, where Colonel Long with his corps had taken refuge, turned off into the woods, and having collected as many as possible of the fugitives from the defeat at Hubbardstown, proceeded across the country to Fort Edward on the Hudson, to unite with General Schuyler, whose head-quarters were there. Colonel Long after resisting gallantly the attack of several British regiments sent against his post, set it on fire, and withdrew to Fort Edward.
St. Clair joined General Schuyler on the 12th July. After' his arrival, the whole American force, including the fugitives that came in, and the recruits that had been collected at Fort Edward, was about 4400 men, including the militia, without supplies, arms, or ammunition. The Americans had lost in the late reverses, one hundred and ninety-eight pieces of artillery, and a vast amount of warlike stores and provisions, especially flour, that had been necessarily abandoned in their flight. They had, moreover, lost confidence, and a general terror fell upon the country. The power and successes of the enemy were portrayed in exaggerated terms. Indeed, a comparison of the scanty remnants of a northern army assembled at Fort Edward, with the victorious troops of Burgoyne, gave but too strong causes for gloomy apprehensions. The popular discontent vented itself in loud censures of the conduct of General St. Clair, in abandoning Ticonderoga, and of General Schuyler, for the whole arrangement of the campaign. An inquiry into their conduct subsequently ordered by Congress, terminated after a long delay in their acquittal of all misconduct; but the confidence of the army and the people, was withdrawn from them, at the most critical period. It is evident, from a review of the whole case, that the actual condition of the garrison was not sufficiently kuown to Congress, and its strength very much overrated. If blame is to be attached to St. Clair at all, it is now agreed, that it should be not for abandoning the fort at last, but for holding out so long. But at the time murmurs were loud against the whole direction of the army, and this distrust in the
officers retarded very much the progress of the recruiting service. Fort George, which had remained in possession of the Americans, was evacuated, and shortly after, it was found im- 5 possible to retain Fort Edward. On the 22d, the whole army retired to Moses' creek, and on the 30th, retreated still further to Saratoga, and still unable to make an efficient stand,
continued their retreat to Stillwater, at which place a
they finally encamped on the 20th of August. Burgoyne, in the interim had employed his army in a laborious effort to open a direct communication across the country, from Whitehall to Fort Edward on the Hudson, through the woods. The distance is comparatively small, ? but the nature of the country was such, as to make the
passage almost impracticable to a large body of men, and Gene. ral Schuyler had been active in increasing the difficulties by every means in his power. The bridges over the streams, of which there had been a great number, were broken up, and the defiles through which the paths usually ran, were obstructed by large trees, which he had caused to be cut I down, so as to fall
, across the way and lengthwise, and thus hy interlock their branches to present an almost insurmountable : barrier. In this toilsome undertaking the British were com
H pelled to construct not less than forty bridges, one of which was a log-work two miles long, across a morass. A party a which had been left at Ticonderoga was equally active in conveying gunboats, provisions, and batteaux over land to a Lake George. On the advance of the British towards Fort Edward, by this route, which place they reached on the 30th of July, and the consequent abandonment of Fort George, and the retreat of the army of the Americans, the route from Ticonderoga was left open, and the rest of the transportation required for the army, was carried on from Fort George to the navigable waters of the Hudson, a distance of eighteen miles across the country. So difficult was even * this route, though preferable to that by Whitehall, that a fortnight had elapsed-from the thirtieth of July to the fif teenth of August-before provisions for only four days consumption had been collected; and not ten batteaux had been afloat on the river. Heavy rains obstructed the works, and it was found impossible to procure supplies for daily use, except what were brought from Ticonderoga. The effect of the progress of the army, triumphant thus far, began to be weakened. The joy with which the possession of the Hud
son was hailed, was succeeded by embarrassment and anx iety-even without an opposing force; and the delay gave the Americans time to rally.
Proclamations had been issued by both sides. Burgoyne announced, in the language of a conqueror, the victories of the English, and the approaching subjugation of all America, and called upon the inhabitants to send deputations to give in their adhesion to the regal cause. Schuyler reiterated the determination of the States to hold out to the last, invoking the perseverance of the people in the good cause, by every consideration of duty, interest, and patriotism.
He availed himself skilfully of every day's delay to abate the panic which had at first overwhelmed the people, to rekindle their courage, and rouse them to arms. In this he was most effectually aided, by the conduct of the British and their allies, Germans and Indians. The barbarities practised in New Jersey arose fresh in their recollections, and the cruelties committed by the Indians in Burgoyne's army, whom he found it impossible to restrain, contributed to make the royal cause odious, and inflame the resentment of Americans. When the republican army began to retreat down the Hudson, the spirit of the country began to rise again. A new army seemed to spring out of the woods and moun. tains. All around the march of the enemy, parties of militia poured from every hill and valley to harass them with partizan attacks, and cut off their supplies. As the regular force of Schuyler, wasted by toils and defeats, diminished, it was recruited by increased numbers of fresh and spirited yeomanry. Washington reinforced them with several regiments from Peekskill, commanded by Arnold, and, without waiting the order of Congress, called out the militia of New England, and placed them under the command of General Lincoln. Morgan, with his riflemen, was detached for the land service, so that, by the middle of August, the army amounted to about thirteen thousand men, and the militia were ripe every where for co-operation. The Polish hero, Kosciusko, was in the army, as chief engineer.
The second division of Burgoyne's forces, under Colonel St. Leger, had been, as stated above, appointed to ascend the St Lawrence, from Quebec, and penetrating through the Mohawk country, to intercept the Americans at the junction of the Mohawk and Hudson, and unite with the main army there. He had succeeded in reaching Fort Schuyler, to which he laid
siege, with his regular force, and a large party of Indians, commanded by Sir John Johnson, the whole amounting to about 2,000 men. General Herkimer raised a party of the neigh
boring militia, and pushed on to the relief of the Aug. 6th.
garrison, but unfortunately allowed himself to be led into an English ambuscade, in which he was defeated and slain, with the loss of one hundred and sixty of his men, killed. The militia defended themselves with great resolution and ob stinacy. Few of them would have escaped, but for a vigorous and gallant sortie from the fort, led by Colonel Willett, which suddenly attacked the camp of the besiegers, killed a great many, drove numbers into the woods, and, having seized a . large quantity of baggage, and besieging tools, returned to the fort in triumph, and without loss. This diversion enabled the remainder of Herkimer's detachment to save themselves by retreat. In these combats the Indians behaved with such ferocity and insubordination, as to alarm the Brit:sh officers, not only for the reputation of their arms, but for the fidelity of their savage allies. Distrust grew up between them, and acts of violence against each other shortly after occurred, to increase the mutual dislike. St. Leger availed nimself of the immediate terror produced by this defeat to demand the surrender of the fortress from Colonel Gansevoort, the commander. He employed every art of intimidation to increase the impression produced by the violence and cruelty of the Indians, and represented himself as unable to restrain them, if the defence should be continued longer. The immediate massacre of the garrison, and of every man, woman, and child in the Mohawk country, was set forth as the unavoidable consequence of opposition to the Indians. The answer of Colonel Gansevoort was simple. The United States had entrusted him with the charge of the garrison, and he was determined to defend it to the last extremity against all enemies whatsoever, without any concern for the consequences of doing his duty." Colonel Willett, who had led the successful sortie, performed, in company with another officer, another daring feat, in order to obtain succor for the beleagured fortress. They passed, by night, through the midst of the British camp, escaped the sagacity even of the Indians, and made their way, for a distance of fifty miles, through pathless woods and morasses, to give notice of the danger of the garrison. Information reached General Schuyler on the 27th July, and Arnold was immediately despatched