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determined to move towards the enemy : For this purpose he sent a body of one thousand five hundred men to re, cotmottre their left wing; intending if posstble 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 hud with the most desperate efforts regained their camp, it was furiously assaulted by general Arnold; who notwithstautU ing 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 baggage. ♦
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 contmued 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 river; 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 Fort,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 workman being left exposed, could not proceed.
The boats which conveyed provisions down the Hudson river, were exposed to the continual fire of the American marksmen} who captured many; so that it became Rec.es, Bd2 /
sary to convey them over land. General Burgoyne finding it impossible to stay here, with any safety to Ins armyv jresolved 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 negociation 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 eye^t,.
The number of those who surrendered at Saratoga, amounted to live thousand seven-hundred and fifty. According to the American accounts, the list of the sick and wounded left in the camp when the army retreated to Saratoga, amounted to five hundred and twenty-eight, and 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 Bui goyne, 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 tvere 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 James 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 1773, 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 ol.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. Thfc. articles were in, substance as followsa
I. If Great Britain should, in consequence of this treaty, proceed to hostiIitiesagainstFrance,thetwona,tionsshould mutually assist one another.
• 2. The main end of the treaty was, in an effectual manner to maintain the independency of America.
3. Should those places in North America, still subject to Great Britain, be reduced by the colonies, they should be confederated with them, or subjected to their jurisdiction.
4. Should any of the West India islands, be reduced by France, theyshould be deemed its property.
5. No formal treaty with Great Britain should be con, eluded, either by France or America, without the consent of each other; and it was mutually engaged, that they should not lay down their arms, till the independency of the States had been formally acknowledged.
6. The contracting parties mutually agree to invite those powers who had received injuries from Great Britain, to join the common cause. e
7. The United States guaranteed to France all the possessions in the West Indies, which she should conquer; and France guaranteed the absolute independence of the United States, and their supreme authority over every country they possessed, or might acquire, during the war.
The house of commons looked upon this treaty as a declaration of war; and the members were unanimous in an address to his majesty, promising to stand by him to the utmost, in the present emergency; but it was warmly contended by the members of the opposition, that the present ministry should be removed, on account of their numerous blunders and miscarriages in every instance. Many were of opinion, that the only way to extricate the nation from its trouble, was to acknowledge at once, the independency of America, that so they might do with a good grace, what they would inevitably have to do at last. Instigated with zeal for the national honour, the minis? tcrial party was determined to resent the arrogance of France, and prosecute the war in America, with increased vigour, should the terms about to be offered them be rejected.
The agents of the Americans, in the mean time, were assiduously employed at' the. courts of Spain * Vienna) Prussia, and Tuscany, in order, if possible, to conclude alliances with them; or, at least to procure un acknow Iedgment of their independency. As it had been report* ed that Great Britain had applied for assistance to Russia, the American commissioners were enjoined to use their utmost endeavours with the German princes, to prevent such auxiliaries from marching through their territories j. and also, to prevail with them to recal the German troops already sent to America.
To the Spanish court they proposed, that in case they should think proper to espouse their cause, the American States should assist in reducing Pensacola under the dominion of Spain; provided the citizens of the United States, were allowed the free navigation of the river Mississippi, and the use of the harbour of Pensacola.: and they further offered, that if agreeable to Spain, they would declare war against Portugal, should that power expel the American ships from their ports.
The troops of general Burgoyne, in the mean time, were preparing to embark, agreeably to the convention of Saratoga ; but Congress having received information that articles of ammunition and accoutrements, had not been surrendered as stipulated; and alledging also, some other cause, as that they apprehended sinister designs were harboured by Great Britain, to convey these troops to join the army at Philadelphia, or New York, positively refused to let them embark without an explicit ratification of the tonvention, properly notified by the British court.
The season for action approaching, Congress was indefatigable in making preparations for a new campaign j which, it was confidently affirmed, would be the last. General Washington, at the same time, to remove all unnecessary incumbrances from the army, lightened the baggage as much as possible, by substituting sacks and' portmanteaus, in place of chests and boxes; and using pack.horses instead of waggons. The British army on the other hand, expecting to be reinforced by twenty thousand men, thought of nothing but concluding the war according to their wishes, before the end of another campaign.
Lord North's conciliatory bill, therefore, was received by them, with the utmost concern and indignation; they considered it as a national disgrace; and some even tote