Page images
PDF
EPUB

48 WANT OF COOPERATION AMONG BRITISH BRINGS DEFEAT.

[ocr errors]

en

When the British army left Ticon- who had possession of the forts on the deroga, it numbered about 10,000 men, lakes, learned of Burgoyne's surexclusive of Indians, but through the render, they destroyed everything in casualties of war, desertion, etc., it the vicinity, threw their artillery into had been reduced at the time of sur- the lake, and retreated toward the render to less than 6,000, including north. This was the culmination of among the soldiers six members of the British attempt to divide the coloParliament. At this time the army nies.* At the outset its successes under General Gates amounted to seemed to presage ultimate victory, more than 9,000 regular troops and but the obstacles were too great to be 4,000 militia. Upon the surrender, the overcome, and the British, who exAmericans secured a fine train of pected such brilliant results, fell vicbrass artillery, consisting of 40 pieces tims. Undoubtedly the campaign had of various sizes and descriptions, and been planned with great ability, but all the arms and baggage of the its execution had been in the hands of British troops.* When the British, those who could not force matters to

their own liking. Throughout the enceeded to headquarters on horseback, General Burgoyne in front, with his Adjutant-general

tire campaign, the British generals Kingston, and his aids-de-camp, Captain Lord seemed to have been working at oppoPetersham and Lieutenant Wilford behind him;

sites. Instead of moving in concert, then followed Major-general Philips, the Baron Riedesel, and the other general officers, and their

when one advanced, the other resuites, according to rank, General Gates, advised treated. When Carleton had obtained of Burgoyne's approach, met him at the head of his camp, Burgoyne, in a rich royal uniform, and

command of the lakes, Howe, instead Gates, in a plain blue frock. When they ap- of going up the Hudson toward Alproached nearly within sword's length, they reined

bany, made a movement into Jersey up and halted. I then named the gentlemen, and General Burgoyne, raising his hat most gracefully, and advanced toward the Delaware. said, “The fortune of war, General Gates, has Again, when Burgoyne began his made me your prisoner;' to which the conqueror, returning a courtly salute. promptly replied. I triumphant march toward the south. shall always be ready to bear testimony, that it Howe began his expedition against has not been through any fault of your excellency.'

Philadelphia, thus depriving the Major-general Philips then advanced, and he and General Gates saluted, and shook hands with the northern army of the aid to be exfamiliarity of old acquaintances. The Baron

pected from that of the south. To Riedesel and other officers were introduced in their turn." Doctor Ramsey, also, in his History of

this want of coöperation may possiAmerican Revolution, p. 368, says, that “ the con bly be attributed the ruin of the whole duct of General Burgoyne in his interview with

enterprise. General Gates, was truly dignified, and the his. torian is at a loss whether to admire most, the Immediately after the surrender, magnanimity of the victorious, or the fortitude Gates, instead of reporting the victory of the vanquished general.” See also Hildreth, vol. iii., pp. 211-215; Thacher, Military Journal,

to the commander-in-chief, as was his p. 107; Lossing, pp. 80–81.

* Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., * Botta, History of the War of Independence, pp. 81-82.

vol. ii., p. 328.

TREATMENT OF BRITISH PRISONERS.

49

duty, sent his aide, Wilkinson, with ler’s generosity, and said to him, “You show me

great kindness, though I have done you great the news directly to Congress, thereby

injury.' 'That was the fate of war,' replied the slighting Washington. When Wilkin- brave man, let us say no more about it.'”* son was introduced into the Hall of

After the army reached Boston, Congress, he said “The whole British

however, it was not long before army has laid down arms at Saratoga;

trouble arose. Congress was suspiour own, full of vigor and courage,

cious that the British would not hesiexpect your orders; it is for your wisdom to decide where the country

tate to reinlist the paroled soldiers immay still have need of their services."

į, mediately upon their arrival in Eng

land, and the committee of Congress Congress thereupon passed a vote of thanks to Gates and his army, and Wil

having this in charge sought a pretext kinson was brevetted brigadier-gen

upon which they might hold the troops eral; a gold medal was also ordered to

in this country. The British commit

ted a number of minor disturbances in be struck in commemoration of the event and to be presented to Gates * Boston, as is only natural when a The victorious Americans treated

large body of men are congregated totheir vanquished foes with every de

gether, and Congress seized upon this gree of kindness and consideration.

and some similar pretexts as justify

ing them in refusing to allow the emThe sick and wounded were carefully

barkation of the troops at all.t Connursed, and in every way the officers

sequently, the troops were long deand troops were made to feel that the

tained in Massachusetts and were conquerors were as generous as they

afterward sent to the back woods of were brave. Baroness Riedesel particularly mentions General Schuyler's

Virginia, none of them being released courtesy and politeness to herself and

except through exchange. It was obothers who accompanied the army.

viously the intention of Congress to She says:

keep 5,000 men out of the field, and

by some it is considered that the "Some days after this we arrived at Albany, means employed by Congress to acwhere we so often wished ourselves; but we did not enter it as we expected we should — victors! complish their ends were dishonorWe were received by the good General Schuyler, able and lost them more in character his wife, and daughters, not as enemies, but kind friends, and they treated us with the most marked

than they gained in strength. Some attention and politeness, as they did General claim that the allegations by which Burgoyne, who had caused General Schuyler's

Congress attempted to justify their beautifully finished house to be burned. In fact, they behaved like persons of exalted minds, who actions in affecting to distrust the determined to bury all recollection of their own British faith and honor, were false injuries in the contemplation of our misfortunes. General Burgoyne was struck with General Schuy.

* See Thacher, Military Journal, pp. 112, 360;

Tuckerman, Life of Schuyler, pp. 238–241. * Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i.. † See Marshall, Life of Washington, vol. i., pp. p. 83, where a facsimile of the medal is given. 230-232; Clinton Papers, vol. ii., pp. 660-665.

50

BURGOYNE'S PROCLAMATION.

and frivolous. Probably this was en- stain as well from blaming the imtirely uncalled for and the British prudence of Burgoyne, as from praiswere perfectly honorable in their in- ing the wisdom, or condemning the tentions. At any rate, these were the distrust of Congress. It is but too terms made by the American com- certain, that in these civil dissensions mander, and for the honor of America and animosities, appearances become they should have been carried out to realities and probabilities demonstrathe letter. An historian says, “ We tion. Accordingly, at that time, the shall not undertake to decide whether Americans complained bitterly of the fears manifested by Congress had British perfidy, and the English of a real foundation, and we shall ab- American want of faith.” *

APPENDIX TO CHAPTER XVI.

BURGOYNE'S PROCLAMATION.

By JOHN BURGOYNE, Esq., lieutenant-general of his majesty's armies in America, colonel of the queen's reg

iment of light dragoons, governor of Fort William, in North Britain, one of the representatives of the Commons of Great Britain, and commanding an army and fleet employed on an expedition from Canada, etc., etc.

tinction of age or sex, for the sole crime, often for the sole suspicion, of having adhered in principle to the government under which they were born, and to which, by every tie, divine and human, they owe allegiance. To consummate these shocking proceedings, the profanation of religion is added to the most profligate prostitution of common reason; the consciences of men are set at naught; and multitudes are compelled not only to bear arms, but also to swear subjection to an usurpation they abhor.

Animated by these considerations; at the head of troops in the full powers of health, discipline, and valor; determined to strike where necessary,

The forces entrusted to my command, are designed to act in concert, and upon a common principle, with the numerous armies and fleets which already display in every quarter of America, the power, the justice, and, when properly sought, the mercy of the king.

The cause in which the British arms is thus exerted, applies to the most affecting interests of the human heart; and the military servants of the crown, at first called forth for the sole pur pose of restoring the rights of the Constitution, now combine with love of their country, and duty to their sovereign, the other extensive incitements, which form a due sense of the general privileges of mankind. To the eyes and ears of the temperate part of the public, and the breasts of suf fering thousands, in the provinces, be the melan. choly appeal, whether the present unnatural rebellion has not been made a foundation for the completest system of tyranny that ever God, in his displeasure, suffered for a time to be exercised over a froward and stubborn generation.

Arbitrary imprisonment, confiscation of prop. erty, persecution, and torture, unprecedented in the inquisition of the Romish church, are among the palpable enormities that verify the affirma. tive. These are inflicted, by assemblies and committees, who dare to profess themselves friends to liberty, upon the most quiet subjects, without dis

* See also Fiske, American Revolution, vol. i., pp. 339–344; Jones, New York in the Revolution, vol. i., pp. 210-214, 698; Ford's ed. of Washing. ton's Writings, vol. vi., pp. 175, 190, 225, 234, 246–247, 283, 293, 369, vol. vii., pp. 222, 276; Gordon, American Revolution, vol. iii., pp. 44-49, 117 (ed. 1788); Wilkinson's Memoirs, vol. i., chap. viii.; Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. iv., p. 202 et seq.; Lamb, Journal of the American War, chap. X.; De Fonblanque, Life of Burgoyne; Heath's Memoirs, p. 129 et seq. (Abbatt's ed.); Lowell, Hessians in the Revolution, p. 180 et seq.; Ford's ed. of Jefferson's Writings, vol. ii., pp. 167–180.

BURGOYNE'S PROCLAMATION.

51

and anxious to spare where possible, I, by these presents, invite and exhort all persons, in all places where the progress of this army may point, - and by the blessing of God, I will extend it far - to maintain such a conduct as may justify me in protecting their lands, habitations, and families, The intention of this address is to hold forth security, not depredation to the country. To those whom spirit and principle may induce to partake the glorious task of redeeming their countrymen from dungeons, and re-establishing the blessings of legal government, I offer encouragement and employment; and, upon the first intelligence of their association, I will find means to assist their undertakings. The domestic, the industrious, the infirm, and even the timid inhabitants, I am desirous to protect, provided they remain quietly at their houses; that they do not suffer their cattle to be removed, nor their corn or forage to be secreted or destroyed; that they do not break up their bridges or roads; nor by any other act, directly or indirectly, endeavor to obstruct the operations of the king's troops, or supply or assist those of the enemy.

Every species of provision, brought to my camp will be paid for at an equitable rate, and in solid coin.

In consciousness of Christianity, my ter's clemency, and the honor of soldiership, I have dwelt upon this invitation, and wished for more persuasive terms to give it impression. And let not people be led to disregard it, by considering their distance from the immediate situation of my camp. I have but to give stretch to the Indian forces under my direction — and they amount to thousands — to overtake the hardened enemies of Great Britain and America. I consider them the same, wherever they may lurk.

If, notwithstanding these endeavors, and sincere inclinations to effect them, the frenzy of hostility should remain, I trust I shall stand acquitted in the eyes of God and men, in denouncing and executing the vengeance of the state against the wilful outcasts. The messengers of justice and of wrath await them in the field: and devas. tation, famine, and every concomitant horror, that a reluctant, but indispensable prosecution of military duty must occasion, will bar the way to their return.

JOHN BURGOYNE.
Camp, at l'iconderoga, July 2, 1777.
By order of his Excellency, the lieut.-general.

ROBERT KINGSTON, Secretary.

CHAPTER XVII.

1777,

HOWE'S CAMPAIGN AGAINST PHILADELPHIA.

The plan of campaign — Washington perplexed as to Howe's movements — Arrival of Marquis de Lafayette

Other foreign officers — Howe lands at head of Elk River — Battle of the Brandywine — Retreat of the American Army - Battle near White Horse Tavern -- Congress abandons Philadelphia — Navigation on the Delaware obstructed - Battle of Germantown - Attack on Forts Mifflin and Mercer — Final reduction of the Delaware fortifications - Washington retires to White Marsh — Howe's attempt to draw him into battle - Washington goes to winter quarters at Valley Forge.

Undoubtedly, had Howe carried time to recruit his army so as to be out the plans he had formulated with better able to sustain the contest. But promptitude and vigor, and had he he was unable to penetrate the dereceived sufficient reinforcements of signs of Howe and was exceedingly troops, he would have been able to perplexed as to the direction in which conduct the campaign with a greater the British commander intended to degree of success. But reinforcements strike the first blow. He was theredid not arrive and he remained singu fore under the necessity of distributlarly inactive until late in the spring ing his forces over a large territory, This inactivity allowed Washington so as to be better able to meet any

52

WASHINGTON'S PLAN OF CAMPAIGN; HOWE MARCHES.

[ocr errors]

es

Tve

emergency that might arise. This he was exceedingly important that the did rather than concentrate all his city of Philadelphia should continue forces in one place, for it would be far in the power of the United States, as easier to move a small body rapidly its loss would operate powerfully to than a large one. Accordingly, such change the sentiment in America as troops as he could raise in the North to the chances of success of the Conern provinces were stationed partly at tinental forces. Therefore, Congress Ticonderoga and partly at Peekskill. ordered a camp to be formed on the Those from the Middle and Southern western bank of the Delaware, with provinces were stationed in New Jer- the double object of receiving such

nd a few corps were sent for the troops as might arrive from the South protection of the most Western prov- and West, and of serving in case of inces. Thus, if Howe moved in the need as a reserve. Recruits from direction of Philadelphia, he would be Pennsylvania were also to assemble opposed by the forces in New Jersey, here together with several regiments while the troops toward the North of Continental troops, the camp being could be sent against his right flank. placed in command of Arnold, who at If, on the other hand, he should move that time was in Philadelphia. toward the North, the troops at Fortunately, before Howe began

skill would be able to dispute his active operations Washington repassage, while the Southern forces in ceived from France a much needed New Jersey would attack his left supply of 25,000 muskets.* He then flank. Again, if the forces in Canada left Morristown, and toward the end should come by sea to join General of May took a strong position at MidHowe upon the shores of New Jersey, dlebrook, nine miles from New Brunsthe troops in the North could immedi- wick.t On June 13, 1777, Howe ately unite with those in Jersey and marched out of New Brunswick, evi thus present a united front against dently with the purpose of attacking the combined British armies. Again, Philadelphia, but undoubtedly the if the British troops in Canada should real object was to draw Washington make a descent upon Ticonderoga, from his defences and to bring on a the forces at Peekskill could be im- general engagement. Washington, mediately rushed to the aid of the however, was determined to avoid American troops at the former posi- this and Howe was forced to make a tion. Thus the American commander movement in another direction. After seems to have laid his plans to oppose Howe with the greatest number of

* Fisher, Struggle for American Independence,

vol. ii., p. 10. troops, no matter what direction the † Ford's ed. of Washington's Writings, vol. v., English commander might take. At pp. 444, 450; Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol.

iv., p. 58 et seq.; Irving, Life of Washington, the same time Congress felt that it vol. iii., p. 78.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »