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BRITISH ATTACKS ON PEEKSKILL AND DANBURY.
deeds.* Washington's forces were degree successful.* In April of the now reduced to the lowest point, and same year, a similar expedition was it was a matter of much concern with despatched to the borders of Conhim as to how he could meet Howe in necticut. Governor Tryon, with 2,000 the next campaign. The system of men, marched to Danbury for the purenlisting troops for short terms was pose of destroying the stores collected beginning to produce disastrous re- there for the use of the American sults, and Congress had met with army. The Connecticut militia failure in their attempt to raise the bravely resisted, but were unable to army according to their late resolves. save the stores, among which were There was considerable jealousy about 1,000 tents, at that time espeamong the officers as to rank, and in cially valuable to the American army. addition the troops were exposed to Among those lost during these all manner of hardships.— to hunger. operations was General David Wooscold, and nakedness, which rendered ter who, though an old man, had enit extremely difficult to fill up the gaged in the conflict with great spirit, ranks.f Washington, however, re
but who fell mortally wounded. Benepeatedly urged the various States to
dict Arnold, then in the vicinity, t send forward their enlistment of
took post at Ridgefield in the hope of
defeating the British, but after a troops with all possible speed, so that he could make his plans for the fol
sharp conflict he was compelled to lowing campaign in accordance with "Jones, New York in the Revolution, vol. ii.,
p. 177 ; Stedman, American War, vol. i., p. 278; the strength of his army.
Gordon, American Revolution, vol. ii., p. 423 (ed. Howe, on the other hand, was quite 1788). See also Sparks' edition of Washington's active in the spring of this year. He
Writings, vol. iv., p. 369; Lossing, Field-Book of
the Revolution, vol. i., pp. 740-742. inaugurated a movement to capture † Shortly after his return from Canada, Arnold the American stores at Peekskill. Be
u po had been sent to the New England States to co-
öperate with General Heath in rallying the militia cause of the smallness of the Ameri- to repel the British forces in Rhode Island, and can force stationed at that point and
while in this service, Congress, February 19, 1777,
elected five major-generals. Four of these were the suddenness with which Howe at Arnold's juniors in rank and one was raised from tacked, the movement was to a great the militia, and as none had done anything to
justify promotions over Arnold, the action nat
urally astonished and provoked him. Washington * See Irving, Life of Washington, vol. ii., pp. was equally astonished, and his indignation 554-555; Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, aroused, ag is evinced by his various letters to p. 292; Heath's Memoirs, pp. 99-105 (Abbatt's Congress regarding the action. While on his way ed.); Ford's ed. of Washington's Writings, vol. from Providence to Philadelphia to ask an investi. v., pp. 178, 191, 206, 214, 217; Gordon, American gation of his conduct by Congress, Arnold stopped Revolution, pp. 419-420; Heath's letters to Wash at New Haven and there heard of the British inington, in Sparks, Correspondence of the Revolu- vasion of Connecticut. He immediately joined tion, vol. i., pp. 328–329, 333-334, 336–340.
Wooster and set out in pursuit of the British. † Fiske, American Revolution, vol. i., p. 242 Arnold, Life of Arnold, pp. 126-130; Irving, Life et seg.
of Washington, vol. iii., pp. 50–51.
AMERICANS ATTACK SAG HARBOR; PRESCOTT CAPTURED.
give way, and he himself was destroyed everything on shore,* withwounded. After destroying every- out losing a single man. He then rething upon which they could lay their turned to Guilford, Connecticut, hands, the British retreated to New bringing with him a large number of York.*
prisoners. In this enterprise, the In order to offset these expeditions, Americans refrained from seizing
mericans conceived a plan to re- private property and allowed the taliate upon the British at Sag Har prisoners to retain whatever belonged bor, Long Island. There the British to them. For his services in this exwere supposed to have collected pedition, Meigs was presented with a large stores of forage, grain, and sword by Congress, and he and the other necessities for the troops, and men under him were publicly to guard these stores had left only a thanked.t Another bold step was small detachment of infantry and a taken shortly after this, when on sloop of 12 guns. They believed July 10 General Richard Prescott, themselves sufficiently protected who commanded the British troops against surprise because of the in Rhode Island, was captured. He armed vessels in the Sound, and con
had become almost as careless as sequently had not thought of an at
General Lee. Finding himself on an tack by the Americans. But being in
island surrounded by ships, and with no way intimidated by these obsta
a force vastly superior to any the
Americans could assemble in that cles, the latter determined to strike a blow at Sag Harbor. Colonel Re
quarter, he became extremely negli
gent of his guard. Upon learning turn Jonathan Meigs crossed the
this, the Americans determined to Sound, and before daybreak fired on
offset the capture of Lee by surpristhe place where the magazines were
ing Prescott in his quarters and situated. Notwithstanding that the
bringing him off as a prisoner. Lieugarrison and the crews of the vessels strongly resisted, he succeeded in
tenant-Colonel William Barton, at
the head of 40 country militia, after a burning a dozen sloops and brigs
long journey succeeded in landing on which lay at the wharf, and entirely
the western coast of Rhode Island, * Fiske, American Revolution, vol. i., p. 259;
between Newport and Bristol Ferry. Gordon, American Revolution, vol. ii., p. 463 (ed. After landing, they went to Prescott's 1788); Arnold, Life of Arnold, pp. 130–133; Hildreth, vol. iii., p. 188; Bancroft, vol. v., p. 151; Stedman, American War, vol. i., p. 279; Jones, * Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, p. 297; New York in the Revolution, vol. i., p. 178; Jones, New York in the Revolution, vol. i., pp. Heath's Memoirs, p. 109 (Abbatt's ed.); Lossing, 180–184; Gordon, American Revolution, vol. ii., p. Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., pp. 401- 468 (ed. 1788); Stedman, American War, p. 282; 410; Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. iv., p. Lamb, City of New York, vol. ii., pp. 160–161. 116 et seq.
† Bancroft, vol. v., p. 152.
BURGOYNE APPOINTED COMMANDER OF FORCES IN CANADA.
lodging, seized the sentinels who publicly thanked by Congress and guarded the door, and making their presented with a sword. Upon hearway to the room of the general, ar- ing of Prescott's capture, Howe, who rested him without even allowing him had hitherto refused to exchange Gentime to put on his clothes. He was eral Lee, now viewed the matter in a then carried to the American encamp- different light, and the exchange of ment. For this service, Barton was the two officers was soon effected.*
BURGOYNE'S INVASION. Burgoyne appointed to command the British forces in Canada - Other officers sent with him - Employment
of Indians determined upon — Burgoyne's speech to the Indians — His proclamation — Situation of Ticonderoga — St. Clair unable to check British progress — Ticonderoga abandoned — St. Clair pursued by the British - Battle near Hubbardton — Schuyler's measures to hinder Burgoyne's progress — Inquiry into Schuyler's conduct - Washington sends reinforcements — Fort George evacuated — Burgoyne halts at Fort Edward — Alarm in New England States — Battle of Bennington - St. Leger sent to the Mohawk Valley — Battle of Oriskany — The Death of General Herkimer - Siege of Fort Stanwix - Arnold goes to Relief His stratagem - British retreat from Fort Stanwix - Dispute 'between Schuyler and Gates — Gates supersedes Schuyler — Correspondence between Gates and Burgoyne - The Jane M'Crea incident Gates occupies Behmus’s Heights — First Battle of Saratoga — Sugar Loaf Hill — Ticonderoga recaptured by Americans — Clinton attempts to relieve Burgoyne — Attack on Forts Clinton and Montgomery – Correspondence with Gates and General Vaughan regarding British outrages — Second Battle of Saratoga — Burgoyne defeated — British Army surrenders — Terms of the surrender — Gates honored by Congress Kindness of General Schuyler - Treatment of British prisoners. Appendix to Chapter XVI.- Burgoyne's Proclamation.
While Washington was conducting Arnold; and as the season was too operations against the British in New far advanced for further operations, Jersey and Pennsylvania, an impor- Carleton had abandoned the pursuit tant campaign was in progress in the and gone into camp. At the beNorth. It will be remembered that ginning of 1777 General John Burthe American army had been driven goyne had been placed in command of out of Canada by the British under the British forces in Canada, in spite Carleton, who planned to open a pas- of the fact that Carleton had consage by way of the Hudson to New ducted the campaign with much abilYork and thus sever the Eastern
* J. L. Diman, The Capture of General Richard States from the rest of the confed- Prescott, in Rider's Historical Tracts, no. i.; E. eracy. After having driven the Field, The Militia in War Time, in Rhode Island
at the End of the Century, vol. i., chap. xxiii.; Americans out of Canada, Carleton
Richman, Rhode Island, pp. 223-226; Lossing. attempted to advance southwardly, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., pp. 642-645; but met with obstinate resistance on
Hildreth, vol. iii., pp. 188–189; Bancroft, vol. v.,
p. 155; Heath's Memoirs, pp. 112-113 (Abbatt's the part of the Americans under ed.).
BURGOYNE'S FORCES; BRITISH EMPLOY INDIANS.
ity and was entitled to remain in com- no time in taking such steps as may mand of the British forces.* But induce the Six Nations to take up the Burgoyne, having been in England hatchet against his majesty's rebelduring the winter, gained the ear of lious subjects in America, and engage the ministry and consequently se- them in his Majesty's service upon cured the chief post of honor. When such plan as shall be suggested to you in England, he had laid all his plans by General. Gage, to whom this letter for a vigorous campaign, giving the is sent, accompanied with a large asministry an estimate of the forces sortment of goods for presents to necessary successfully to carry out them upon this important occasion." * his schemes. Among the generals The British generals placed a large accompanying him were Simon amount of dependence upon the InFraser, William Phillips, James dian allies, whom General Carleton Hamilton, Johann Friedrich Specht, was directed to use all his influence Friedrich Adolph von Riedesel, and to bring into the field. In this John Powell. In addition, he had a project he was quite successful. fine train of artillery with well- Before starting to the southward, trained artillerymen, and an army of Burgoyne detached Lieutenant-colomore than 7,000 veteran troops, well nel Barry St. Leger, with a body of equipped, highly disciplined and in 800 light troops and Indians, to the excellent spirits. He had, besides, Mohawk Valley, ordering him to go a large number of Canadians and by the way of Lake Oswego and the savages, and as he approached Mohawk River, so as to make a diAlbany, hundreds of Loyalists joined version in that quarter, after which his forces.ll
he was to join Burgoyne on the HudThat the British government delib- son. Early in June, 1777, Burgoyne, erately decided to employ Indians with an army consisting of about against the American troops is 4,000 British regulars, 3,000 German proved by the letters of Lord Dart- troops and 650 Canadians and In. mouth to Colonel Johnson, dated dians, f left St. John's, and, preceded July 5 and 24, 1775.9 In one of these
* See Judge Campbell's interesting paper, read letters Dartmouth says: “It is his
before the New York Historical Society, October Majesty's pleasure that you do lose 7, 1845, in relation to “ the direct agency of the
British Government in the employment of the In. * Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., dians in the Revolutionary War.” Appendix to pp. 37–38.
The Border Warfare of New York, pp. 321† Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. iv., p. 338. See also S. A. Drake, Burgoyne's Invasion 70 et seq.
of 1777, pp. 31–32; Trevelyan, American Revolu. See the tables in Carrington, Battles of the tion, vol. iv., p. 81 et seq. Revolution, pp. 304–305, 307.
† Fiske says there were 4,135 regulars, 3,116 || Flick, Loyalism in New York, p. 102 et seq. German troops, 148 Canadian militia. and 503 In
See also Chatham's speech regarding this in dians — total 7,902.-American Revolution, vol. i., Harrison, Chatham, pp. 231-233.
p. 268. Carrington, p. 307, makes the total 7,863,
BURGOYNE'S SPEECH TO INDIANS; HIS PROCLAMATION.
by his naval armament, sailed up subtlety, or prevarication, are they to be taken
from the wounded, or even the dying; and still Lake Champlain, in a few days land
less pardonable, if possible, will it be held to kill ing and camping near Crown Point. men in that condition on purpose, and upon a. While at this place, Burgoyne gave
supposition that this protection to the wounded
would thereby be evaded.” * the Indians a war-feast and spoke long and earnestly to them. Among The Indians accordingly promised others things, he said: “Go forth in to accede to his wishes, but no relithe might of your valor; strike at the ance could be placed on their promcommon enemies of Great Britain and ises, and the English name, by letting America, disturbers of public order, loose upon the Americans the savage peace, and happiness, destroyers of fury of their Indian confederates, re. commerce, parricides of the state.” * ceived a stain which was not erased He praised the Indians for their con- for many years. stancy and perseverance, and patient On July 2, upon his arrival at endurance of privation, and artfully Ticonderoga, Burgoyne issued a flattered them by saying that in these proclamation addressed to the people respects the British army could well of the country in which he held out imitate them. He also entreated promises of protection to those who them to adopt a more civilized mode would submit to the British authority. of warfare, such as was used by the and threatening condign punishment whites. He then added:
to those who refused. This procla“I positively forbid bloodshed when you are not mation, however, was ill-judged, for opposed in arms. Aged men, women, children and Burgoyne could neither frighten nor prisoners must be held sacred from the knife and hatchet even in the time of actual conflict. You
cajole the Americans into submitting shall receive compensation for the prisoners you to the royal authority. At this time a take, but you shall be called to account for scalps.
o account for scalps. large number of the northern troops
large number of the northern In conformity and indulgence of your customs, which have affixed an idea of honor to such badges
had been sent southward to join of victory, you shall be allowed to take the scalps Washington, and Ticonderoga conof the dead when killed by your fire and in fair opposition; but on no account, or pretense, or
tained a garrison of only about 2,000
men under the command of General Lowell in his Hessians in the Revolution, pp. 137– Arthur St. Clair, though the works 138, says 3,891 German troops accompanied Bur. goyne, in addition to the Hanau Chasseurs * Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., attached to St. Leger's expedition. Roberts p. 99, note. See also Trevelyan, American Revolu(New York, vol. ii., p. 418 following Irving, Life tion, vol. iv., pp. 85–86; Tuckerman, Life of Schuy. of Washington, vol. iii., p. 98) divides the forces ler, pp. 179–180. as follows: 3,724 British rank and file; . 3,016 † Bancroft, vol. v., pp. 158–159. German auxiliaries; 400 Indians; 473 artillery. See Niles, Principles and Acts of the Revoltmen; 250 Canadians; total 7,863. The exact num- tion, pp. 262–264. On Hopkinson's burlesque of bers in themselves are immaterial, save that the Burgoyne's proclamation, see Tyler, Literary Hisvarious figures show the difficulty in procuring tory of the American Revolution, vol. ii., pp. 143accurate data.
146; W. L. Stone, Ballads and Poems relating to * Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., the Burgoyne Campaign, App. iii. See also Ap pp. 159-160.
pendix at the end of the present chapter.