« ZurückWeiter »
enemy to our cause. It is literally the contrast between virtue and vice. The final result shows that Providence in permitting the occupation of Philadelphia by the British army was really promoting the cause of human liberty.
Stedman's statement of the numbers of Washington's army is erroneous, even if it refers only to effective men, and his schemes for annihilating Washington's army would probably not have been so easily executed as he imagined. Still the army was very weak. Marshall says that although the total of the army exceeded 17,000 men (February, 1778), the present effective rank and file amounted to only 5,012. This statement alone suggests volumes of misery, sickness, destitution, and suffering.
We must now call the reader's attention to the northern campaign of 1777 which, remote as it was from Washington's immediate scene of action, was not conducted without his aid and direction.
BURGOYNE'S INVASION OF NEW YORK PUNISHED BY
SCHUYLER AND GATES.
X E have already had occasion to refer to what was VV passing in the North during the time when
Washington was conducting the arduous campaign in Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. General Schuyler had held the chief command of the army operating against Canada since the opening of the war in 1775. Under his direction the force of Montgomery was sent to Quebec in the disastrous expedition of which we have already related the history, and Arnold was acting in a subordinate capacity to Schuyler when he so bravely resisted the descent of Carleton on the lakes. Schuyler also performed the best part of the service of resisting the invasion of New York from Canada, and nearly completed the campaign which terminated in the surrender of Burgoyne to Gates. To the events of this campaign we now call the reader's attention.
At the commencement of the campaign of 1777 the American army on the frontier of Canada having been composed chiefly of soldiers enlisted for a short period only, had been greatly reduced in numbers by the expiration of their term of service.
The cantonments of the British northern army, extending from Isle aux Noix and Montreal to Quebec. were so
distant from each other that they could not readily have afforded mutual support in case of an attack, but the Americans were in no condition to avail themselves of this circumstance. They could scarcely keep up even the appearance of garrisons in their forts and were apprehensive of an attack on Ticonderoga as soon as the ice was strong enough to afford an easy passage to troops over the lakes. At the close of the preceding campaign General Gates had joined the army under Washington, and the command of the army in the northern department, comprehending Albany, Ticonderoga, Fort Stanwix, and their dependencies, remained in the hands of General Schuyler. The services of that meritorious officer were more solid than brilliant, and had not been duly valued by Congress, which, like other popular assemblies, was slow in discerning real and unostentatious merit. Disgusted at the injustice which he had experienced he was restrained from leaving the army merely by the deep interest which he took in the arduous struggle in which his country was engaged, but after a full investigation of his conduct during the whole of his command, Congress was at length convinced of the value of his services and requested him to continue at the head of the army of the northern department. That army he found too weak for the services which it was expected to perform and ill-supplied with arms, clothes, and provisions. He made every exertion to organize and place it on a respectable footing for the ensuing campaign, but his means were scanty and the new levies arrived slowly. General St. Clair, who had served under Gates, commanded at Ticonderoga, and, including militia, had nearly 2,000 men under him, but the works were extensive and would have required 10,000 men to man them fully.*
* The weakness of St. Clair's garrison was partly owing to its having contributed detachments to the support of Washington's army in New Jersey.