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DEATH OF FRASER; BURGOYNE RETREATS.
begun the next morning, but during Americans, and all through the night, the night Burgoyne shifted his army in spite of the rain, mud and poor confrom the untenable position he was dition of the roads, the British troops then occupying and established a trudged along. * At six in the mornstrong camp on the heights, extend- ing the army came to a halt, when the ing his right up the river. While this soldiers fell asleep in their wet movement was taking place, General clothes. Such were the general conFraser was fast sinking; he had been ditions that Saratoga, only six miles carried to the house occupied by away, was not reached until evening Baroness Riedesel, arriving there at of the following day. In the meanthe time when the Baroness was pre- while, to cover the retreat, Burgoyne paring to receive Generals Burgoyne, had ordered General Schuyler's Phillips and Fraser at luncheon. house and mills to be set on fire. Hardly had Fraser been brought in Realizing it would be impossible to when other wounded officers began to undertake further offensive operaarrive, until the house was almost tions, Burgoyne put forth all his filled with the wounded and dying. efforts to make good his retreat to Fraser died the next morning, after Fort George, sending forward the having expressed a desire to be buried, artificers connected with the army to at six o'clock in the evening in the repair bridges and open roads so as great redoubt.* Although Burgoyne to make the passage of the army had decided to retreat and delay much easier, but this advance party was dangerous, yet he determined to
was compelled to make a hasty comply with the request of his fellow retreat. officer. The day was occupied with At this time the Americans themskirmishing between the two armies
selves very nearly put their own and in preparations on the part of the heads in a noose. Gates had received British for retreating. At the hour
what was supposed to be trustworthy set by Fraser for his burial, the de
information that a body of Burparted general was brought out and
goyne's army had marched off toward buried in full sight of both armies,
Fort Edward, leaving only a small after impressive burial services had
rear-guard in the camp. This rearbeen read.t
guard was also to push on as fast as Immediately after this duty had
possible, leaving the heavy baggage been discharged, the British army
behind. Gates therefore determined was in motion. The sick and wounded were abandoned to the mercy of the
Baroness Riedesel's Letters and Journals, pp.
102-103; Clinton ers, vol. ii., p. 384. Thacher, Military Journal, pp. 352–353; Loss- † Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., ing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., p. 65. pp. 72–73; Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. | Thacher, Military Journal, pp. 347–349.
iv., pp. 185–186. VOL. III - 4
CRITICAL SITUATION OF BRITISH; BARONESS VON RIEDESEL,
to send a portion of the American exhausted, and there was no means of army to drive out this portion of the replenishing his stock. The soldiers army and take possession of the bore their reverses with great forticamp. General John Nixon's brigade, tude, and the women with the army being the eldest, was the first to cross were equally brave.* According to Saratoga Creek. Unknown to the Baroness Frederika von Riedesel, Americans, General Burgoyne had “A terrible cannonade was commenced by the formed a line in the nearby woods to enemy against the house in which I sought to
obtain shelter for myself and children, under the support the artillery where it was
mistaken idea that all the generals were in it. supposed the Americans would attack. Alas! it contained none but wounded and women. General Glover with his brigade was
We were at last obliged to resort to the cellar
for refuge, and in one corner of this I remained on the point of joining Nixon, but as
the whole day, my children sleeping on the earth he entered the water he captured a with their heads in my lap, and in the same situaBritish officer who told him that the
tion I passed a sleepless night. Eleven cannon
balls passed through the house, and we could diswhole British army was still in camp tinctly hear them roll away. One poor soldier, and had not departed. Expresses
who was lying on a table, for the purpose of hav
ing his leg amputated, was struck by a shot, which were immediately sent forward to
carried away his other; his comrades had left him, Nixon to stop his further advance, and when we went to his assistance, we found and the information was also con
him in a corner of the room, into which he had
crept, more dead than alive, scarcely breathing. veyed to Gates, who thereupon coun- My reflections on the danger to which my husband termanded his orders for the assault was exposed, now agonized me exceedingly, and the
thoughts of my children, and the necessity of and called back his troops. The loss
struggling for their preservation, alone sustained was small.*
me." † Burgoyne's situation was becoming
The cellar was filled with wounded more critical every hour, and he de
officers and terrified women, whom cided to retreat by night to Fort Ed
the Baroness tried in every way to ward, but the information regarding relieve, and such was the condition in his intentions was somehow conveyed
the house that General Phillips said, to the American army, who estab
“I would not for ten thousand lished a strong battery of artillery guineas come again to this place, my there.f Thus Burgoyne was left
heart is almost broken." Conditions without a single avenue of escape.
continued in this same state for sevHis troops were worn out by continu
eral days longer, and finally a cessaous fighting, his supplies were almost
tion of hostilities was agreed upon
and the sufferings of the British reSee Thacher, Military Journal, p. 103, note; Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, p. 351; Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., pp. Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. iv., PP 75–76; Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. iv., 189–191.
| Thacher, Military Journal, p. 356; Lossing, † Drake, Burgoyne's Invasion, pp. 130–133; Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., p. 89; Lowell, Lossing, p. 74.
Hessians in the Revolution, p. 172 et seq.
lieved.* Burgoyne realized the futil- render were as follows:* The British ity of any further attempt at escape, were to march out with all the honors and for the sake of the men under him of war, and its camp artillery, to a decided to ask upon what terms he certain place, where they should demight surrender. On October 14 he posit their arms and leave the artilsent the following message to the lery; they were to be given free pasAmerican commander:
sage to England, on condition that “After having fought you twice, Lieutenant- they would not again serve in America General Burgoyne has waited some days in his during the present conflict; the army present position, determined to try a third conflict
was not to be divided, particularly the against any force you could bring against him. He is apprized of your superiority of numbers,
men from the officers; the officers adand the disposition of your troops to impede his mitted on parole and permitted to supplies, and render his retreat a scene of carnage wear their side arms; roll-carrying on both sides. In this situation, he is impelled by humanity, and thinks himself justified by estab. and other regular duties were to be lished principles and precedents of state and war, permitted; private property was to be to spare the lives of brave men upon honorable terms. Should Major-General Gates be inclined
retained; baggage was not to be to treat upon that idea, General Burgoyne would searched nor molested; and the Canapropose a cessation of arms during the time neces
dians were to be sent back to their sary to communicate the preliminary terms, by which in any extremity he and his army mean to country, while all other persons, no abide.” †
matter what their nationality, apper
taining to or following the camp, were In discussing the terms of sur
to be fully comprehended in the terms render, two days were consumed, but
of capitulation.f The total force surfinally on the morning of October 17
rendered was 5,763.8 the terms of capitulation were agreed upon. Gates had desired that the See the resumé in Lossing, Field-Book of the
Revolution, vol. i., pp. 78–79. British army be surrendered as
† Wilkinson, who was adjutant-general, in his prisoners of war, but knowing that Memoirs, gives an account of the first interview
between the conquerer and the conquered: “Gen. Clinton was using every endeavor to
eral Burgoyne proposed to be introduced to Gen. push up the Hudson in the hope of eral Gates, and we crossed the Fishkill, and promeeting Burgoyne, he finally gave way # Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, p. 352. on this point, and the terms of sur
Lowell, in his Hessians in the Revolution, p. 169 makes the number 5,791, as does Lossing. See
also Fisher, Struggle for American Independence, Thacher, Military Journal, p. 358; Lowell, voi. ii., chap. lxii. ; Heath's Memoirs, p. 172 et seq. Hessians in the Revolution, p. 177.
(Abbatt's ed.). On Burgoyne's reception in Eng† Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution vol. 1., land and his efforts to obtain a hearing to settle p. 78; Thacher, p. 106.
the responsibility for his defeat, see Fisher, vol. $ Clinton Papers, vol. ii., pp. 439–448. See also ii., chap. lxiii. and authorities cited. On the entire Burgoyne's defence of his campaign in his A campaign, see also John A. Stevens, The Burgoyne State of the Expedition from Canada as Laid be- Campaign ; John Watts De Peyster, Major-General fore the House of Commons (1780); Lowell, Philip Schuyler and the Burgoyne Campaign; Hessians in the Revolution, pp. 162–169; De Douglas Campbell, Central New York in the Revo. Fonblanque's Burgoyne, p. 306 et seq.
lution; William L. Stone, Burgoyne's Surrender.