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all the country between fort Stanwix and Albany. Atany rate, a junction with St. Leger, wa3 likely to produce the most huppy consequences. The only difficulty was, the want of provisions; and this it was proposed to remedy, by seizing the magazines of the provincials.
For this purpose, colonel Baum, a German officer of great bravery, was chosen with a body of five hundred troops. The magazines lay at Bennington, about twenty miles eastward of Hudson's river: in order to support colonel Baum's party, the whole army marched up the bank of the river, and encamped almost opposite to Saratoga, with the river between it and that place. An advanced party was posted at Batten-kill, between the camp and Bennington, in order to support colonel Baum. In their way the royal detachment seized a large supply of cattle and provisions, which were immediately sent to the camp; but the badness of the roads retarded their march so much, that intelligence of their design was sent to Bennington. Colonel Baum, understanding that the American force at that place, was much superior to his own, acquainted the general; who immediately sent colonel Breyman, with a party to his assistance: but the same causes which retarded the march of colonel Baum, also impeded the march of colonel Breyman, who could not arrive in time. General Starke, in the mean time, who commanded at Bennington, determined to attack the two parties separately; and advanced against colonel Baum, whom he surrounded on all sides, and attacked with the utmost violence. The German troops defended themselves with great valour, but were to a man either killed or taken. Colonel Breyman, after a desperate engagement, had the good fortune to effect a retreat, through the darkness of the night; Which otherwise, he could not have done, as his men had expended all their ammunition.
Disappointed in his attempt on Bennington, general Burgoyne applied himself with indefatigable diligence, to procure provisions from fort George l and having at length procured a sufficient quantity, to last for a month, he threw a bridge of boats over the river Hudson, which he crossed about the middle of September, encamping on the hills and plains of Saratoga.
As soon as he approached the provincial army, which was encamped al Sail Water under general Gates, he determined to make an attack; he placed himself at the head of the centre, having general Fraser and colonel Breyman on his right, and generals Reidesel and Phillips, with the artillery on the left. In this position the 19th of September he advanced towards the enemy. But the Americans confident in their numbers, did not now wait to be engaged: but attacked the central division with great impetuosity, and it was not till general Phillips with the artillery came up, and at eleven o'clock at night, that they could be induced to retire to their camp. In this action the British lost five hundred in killed and wounded, and the Americans three hundred and nineteen.
The resolution manifested by the Americans upon this occasion, surprized and alarmed the British forces. But this did not prevent them from advancing towards the enemy, and posting themselves within cannon shot of their lines the next day. But their Indian allies now began to desert in great numbers; and at the same time the general was exceedingly mortified by having no intelligence from Sir Henry Clinton, who was to have assisted him, as had been stipulated.
He now received a letter from him, by which he was informed that Sir Henry intended to make a diversion on the North River in his favour. This afforded but little comfort: and he returned an answer by several trusty persous who took different routes, stating his distressed situation; at the same time informing him, that his provisions and other necessaries would only enable him to hold out till the 12th of October.
The Americans in the mean time, that they might effectually cut off the retreat of the British, undertook an expedition to Ticonderoga; but failed in the attempt, notwithstanding they surprized all the out posts, and took a great number of boats, and some armed vessels, and a few prisoners.
The army under general Burgoyne, however, continued to labour under various distresses; his provisions fell short, so that in the beginning of October he diminished the soldiers allowance. On the seventh of that month he
determined to move towards the enemy: for this purpose he sent a body of one thousand five hundred men to reconnoitre their left wing; intending if possible to break through it, and effect a retreat. The detachment had not proceeded far, when a dreadful attack was made by the Americans on the left wing of the British army, which was with great difficulty preserved from being entirely broken, by a reinforcement brought up by general Fraser, who was killed in the attack. After the troops had with the most desperate efforts regained their camp, it was furiously assaulted by general Arnold; who notwithstanding all opposition, would have forced the entrenchments, had he not received a dangerous wound, which obliged him to retire. Thus the attack failed, but on the right the German reserve was forced, colonel Breyman killed, and his countrymen defeated with great slaughter, and with the loss of all their artillery and brggage.
This was by far the greatest loss the British sustained since the battle of Bunker's hill: the list of the killed and wounded amounted to near twelve hundred exclusive of the Germans; but the greatest misfortune was, that the Americans had now an opening on the right, and rear of the British forces, so that the army was threatened with entire destruction. This obliged general Burgoyne once more to shift his position, that the enemy might also be obliged to alter theirs. This was accomplished on the night of the seventh without any loss, and all the next day he continued to offer the enemy battle. The enemy now advanced on the right that they might enclose him entirely, which obliged general Burgoyne to direct a retreat to Saratoga. But the Americans had stationed a strong force at the ford on Hudson's iiver, so that the only possibility of retreat was by securing a passage to Lake-George; and to effect this, workmen were dispatched with a strong guard, to repair the roads, and bridges that led to tort-Edward. As soon as they were gone, the enemy seemed to prepare for an attack; which rendered it necessary to recal the guard, and the workmen being left exposed, could not proceed.
The boats which conveyed provisions down the Hudson river, were exposed to the continual fire of the American rnark1smen, who captured many; so that it became necesD d a
sary to convey them over land. General Burgoyne finding it impossible to stay here, with any safety to his army, resolved to attempt a march to Fort Edward in the night, and force the passages at the fords either above or below. That he might effect this the more easily, it was resolved that the soldiers should carry their provisions on their backs, and leave behind them their baggage and every other incumbrance. But intelligence being received that the enemy had raised strong intrenchments opposite the fords, well provided with cannon, and that they had also taken possession of the rising ground between fort George and fort Edward, it was judged impossible to succeed in the attempt.
The American army was still increasing in numbers; and reinforcements flocked in from all quarters, elated with the certain prospect of capturing the whole British army. Small parties extended all along the opposite bank of Hudson's river, and some had passed it, that they might the more exactly observe every movement of the enemy. The forces under general Gates were computed at sixteen thousand men, while the army under general Burgoyne amounted to about six thousand.
Every part of the British camp was reached by the rifle and grape shot of the Americans. In this state of extreme distress and imminent danger, the army continued with the greatest constancy and perseverance, till the evening of the thirteenth of October, when an inventory of provisions being taken, it was found that no more remained than was sufficient to last three days; a council of war being called, it was unanimously determined that there was no other alternative but to treat with the enemy. In consequence of this, a negotiation was opened the next day, which terminated in a capitulation of the whole British army; the principal article of which was, "That the troops were to have a free passage to Britain, on condition of not serving against America during the war." On this occasion general Gates generously ordered his army to keep within their camp, while the British soldiers went to a place appointed to lay down their arms, that the latter might not have the additional mortification of being made spectacles on so melancholy an event.
The number of those who surrendered at Saratoga, amounted to five thousand seven hundred and fifty. According to the American accounts, the list of sick and wounded left in the camp when the army retreated to Saratoga, amounted to five hundred and twenty-eight, a,nd the number of those by other accounts, since the taking of Ticonderoga, to near three thousand. Thirty-five brass field pieces, seven thousand stands of arms, clothing for an equal number of soldiers, with tents, military chest, kc. constituted the booty on this occasion.
Sir Henry Clinton in the mean time, instead of taking effectual measures for the immediate relief of general Burgoyne, of whose situation he had been informed, amused himself with destroying the two forts called Montgomery and Clinton, with fort Constitution, and another place called .continental Village, where there were barracks for two thousand men; he also carried away seventy large cannon, a number of smaller ones, and a quantity of stores and ammunition. Another attack was made by Sir J .ines 'Wallace with some frigates, and a body of land forces, under general Vaughan, upon Esopus, a small flourishing town on the river. But these successes only tended to irritate the Americans, and injure the royal cause.
On the sixteenth of March, 1778, lord North informed the house of commons, that a paper had been laid before the king, by the French ambassador, intimating the conclusion of an alliance between the court of France, and the United States of America. It was on the sixth of February, 1778, that the articles were formally signed, to the great satisfaction of France; by which it was hoped, that the pride of her formidable rival would be humbled, and her power lessened. For this purpose and her own aggrandizement, did France enter into an alliance with the revolted subjects of Great Britain; but not till after the capture of Burgoyne's army, when the Americans had made it manifest, that they were able to defend themselves, without the interference of any foreign power. How far that interference has been beneficial to France, the dreadful features of her own revolution must decide; and to which the American revolution, undoubtedly gave birth. The articles were in substance, as follow*.