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made against Haldimand of having continually opened letters. Although utterly at variance with truth, it has been accepted by a class of writers and without investigation repeated.
During these trying events, Haldimand had by no means remained quiescent and without enterprise, and he had taken every possible precaution, with his limited resources, to make the province defensible. He sent out expeditions to destroy the forts which had been established at the head of lake George and on the route from the Hudson to lake Champlain, which were beginning to take a threatening position. Major Carleton, in charge of the expedition, left Ticonderoga on the 8th of October, 1780, and advanced to South Bay, at the south of lake Champlain. At the same time, a party of the 53rd, consisting of fifty men, ascended lake George with two boats conveying cohorns. Carleton landed at two in the morning. He sent forward as scouts a party of Indians, sustained by a provincial company. The main body consisted of British troops, flank guards of provincials being thrown out, who also furnished the rear guard. The force came within three miles of fort Anne about four in the afternoon. The men were much fatigued, the march by the route they had followed having been eighteen miles. Scouts were detached to learn if the movement was known. Carleton resolved to remain at this spot for the night. No fires were made and profound silence was observed. At nine the next morning he sent to the house of a known loyalist to gain some intelligence, when he learned that his presence had been discovered by a scout of three men having come upon his track, and that a despatch had been sent to fort Edward asking for support.
As the surprise of fort Anne was not possible, Carleton determined to advance openly against it and demand a surrender. At three in the early morning he sent a detachment of thirty regulars to cut off communication with fort Edward. The main body marched at four; a sergeant with twenty men was sent to take possession of the saw-mill and destroy it. By seven the post was surrounded. Within an hour the small
EXPEDITION TO FORT ANNE.
garrison surrendered ; it consisted of a captain, two lieutenants and seventy-two privates. The troops were to deliver up their arms and surrender themselves prisoners of war, the women and children to return to their homes unmolested. The men were new levies, and supplied with but little ammunition. The fort contained some flour and some live stock; it was a square enclosure with a face of sixty feet, having a picket fence of from fourteen feet to sixteen feet high of twelve inches in diameter, the barrack being in the centre. The fort was burned, and the provisions which could
. not be carried away destroyed.
Carleton, not deeming fort Edward sufficiently important to delay his attack on fort George, at nine o'clock started on his march to the lake. At five in the evening he had arrived within nine miles of fort George, where he halted for the night. He detached a party of twelve provincials down the Hudson to burn the mills, and to forage as far as fort Miller; to act similarly on the western side of the stream ; to remain in concealment, and then to make a push and if possible burn the mills and barracks at Saratoga. He likewise sent a party directly across the river to burn some mills in operation there.
His party did not rejoin him until seven o'clock; he then proceeded in his advance against fort George. They had arrived within a mile and a half of the fort when his presence was discovered by two men passing along the road ; they managed to escape and carry the information to the garrison. Scouts sent out by Carleton reported that fifty of the garrison were coming along the road. They had been sent out to attack the Indians who had been seen, on the supposition that they were the only enemy present. Carleton moved forward with fifty of the 34th and twenty-five provincials. The Indians had placed themselves between the detachment and the fort, and had begun an unequal fight. The arrival of Carleton soon decided the matter ; in half an hour all was over. Twenty-three men were killed and scalped by the Indians, and seven prisoners were taken. Carleton's loss was a private of the 34th and a provincial killed ; a sergeant and a private of the 34th wounded. Of the Indians two were killed, one wounded. Carleton summoned the fort. The garrison surrendered as prisoners of war, the women and children to be permitted to return to their homes with two waggons and baggage. No Indian to enter the fort until the British took possession, Carleton giving his word of honour that no one in the fort should be molested and that no life should be taken. Each soldier to carry away his knapsack. An officer to be permitted on parole to return home with his family and regimental books. The garrison consisted of a captain, two ensigns, forty-three rank and file, with three six-pounders and some ammunition. The fort was destroyed. Carleton and his detachment returned to Crown Point.
In November of this year an unfortunate event occurred in the loss of the snow “Ontario" on lake Ontario. She was looked upon as a fine vessel, having been built the previous year to carry sixteen guns. She sailed from Niagara on the 31st of October, and was seen on several occasions near the north shore. The following day it blew very hard, and she foundered. A few days later, the ship's boats, the binnacle, gratings, and some hats, were found on the south shore by lieutenant-colonel Butler, on his way from Oswego. All were lost. The captain, Andrews, holding the naval command of the lakes, was an excellent officer. The crew consisted of forty men.
Lieutenant-colonel Bolton, of the King's regiment, who was proceeding to England, was a passenger on board : he had been in command at Niagara, and had admirably performed his duty. Likewise a party to reinforce the garrison at Carleton-island, consisting of a lieutenant of artillery, and a subaltern, and thirty men of the 34th. Haldimand, while dwelling upon the great loss of colonel Bolton, “one of the most useful and reliable officers in the service," with that of the other troops, pointed out the difficulty arising from the foundering of the vessel. The design had been that, on her return trip, she would have carried provisions for Niagara and Detroit, the lateness of 1780]
MAJOR ROSS OF THE 34TH.
the season making it difficult to supply the place of the "Ontario." No record, however, remains that inconvenience in this respect was experienced.*
Towards the end of 1781, a force had been organized in the west, under an officer named Clark, to destroy the settlements of the Indians favourable to the British, and, after this design had been successfully carried out, to advance upon Detroit and compel its surrender. Brant, with a strong party of Indians, hearing that the column was on the march, surprised a division on the Ohio, under colonel Lockery. In the attack, 100 of Lockery's men were killed, with the colonel and five officers. The consequence was the entire dispersion of Clark's force.
With a well equipped force St. Leger advanced from lake Champlain to the Hudson. The design appears rather to have been to divert the attention of the congress troops from the more important expedition of major Ross from Oswego. In order to oppose St. Leger, a large force was collected at Albany and Saratoga to operate against him, and it was thus kept inactive during the expedition undertaken by major Ross.
This officer, a captain of the 34th, having attracted the attention of Haldimand by his zeal and capacity, had been appointed major of the 2nd battalion of Sir John Johnson's regiment, and placed in command at Carleton-island In April he was transferred to Oswego. On leaving Carletonisland in April he had to force his way through the ice, until he reached the open lake. His bateaux, with stores, arrived at Oswego on the 17th; the troops on the 20th. The fort was immediately placed in defensible condition, and preparations were made so that he might undertake any expedition held to be expedient.
As it was evident that the designs of congress were directed to the possession of the western posts and stores were being gathered on the Mohawk, it was determined to destroy the supplies by which the expedition could be sustained. Ross
[Can. Arch., B. 55, p. 19. Haldimand to Germain, 20th November, 1780.]
left Oswego on the 11th of October. His force consisted of detachments of the 8th, 34th, 84th and some companies of the rangers, numbering 434 of all arms. But few Indians were present, and they shewed but little activity. Ross makes some reflections on Sir Guy Johnson for having failed “to provide useful Indians; that he might well have done, as they were numerous in the neighbourhood at Niagara.” On arriving at lake Oneida he left some old bateaux and provisions at Canaserago creek, and after a march of eight days during bad weather he reached the Mohawk. Two prisoners were brought in. The upper part of the Mohawk had been attacked on a former expedition ; indeed, fort Stanwix had been abandoned and destroyed. Ross consequently determined to move upon Warrensborough, situated between fort Hunter, on Schoharie creek, and Schenectady. There was much activity shewn in Warrensborough ; the bulk of the population were strong adherents of congress, and had vigorously proceeded against the royalists, preventing them from leaving when they so desired, and had acted towards them with extreme severity. On the 24th, in the afternoon, he came among the scattered inhabitants near Corrystown. Immediately alarm guns were fired to notify his arrival, and Ross obtained information that 2,000 militia had been called together to oppose him. No time was to be lost, and a forced march during the night was undertaken. The distance was
. fourteen miles, and the heavy rains had made the roads, bad even in the best weather, extremely difficult to travel. The tax upon the endurance of the troops was very great, and many, unable to keep up with the column, were left behind. Arrived at Warrensborough, the troops remained under arms until daybreak, when the attack was made. The inhabitants had fled. Before twelve o'clock the whole settlement was in flames.
Ross had now to think of his retreat, for it was plain to him that he would be attacked from every quarter.
He resolved, consequently, not to return to Oswego, but to take the trail to Carleton-island. He generally knew the char