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LOSS OF TICONDEROGA.
place, and anxious at the same time to avoid the necessity of surrendering his troops prisoners of war, abandoned the works, when he was nearly surrounded, and retreated to Skeensborough. Previous to his departure, he had ordered the baggage and military stores to be sent by water to the same place; but the vessels which were employed for that purpose, were attacked by the English ships, and either destroyed or rendered unfit for service; and in consequence of this disaster, the Americans set fire to their boats and fortifications at Skeensborough, and retreated towards Fort Ann. On land the royalists were not less successful. Colonel Francis, and a body of provincial troops, were defeated with great slaughter by General Reidesel; and by the skilful manoeuvring of Burgoyne, St. Clair was prevented from reaching Fort Ann. An engagement then took place in the woods, in which the Americans were defeated, and compelled to retire to Fort Edward, on the Hudson, where St. Clair joined General Schuyler on the 12th of July.
The loss of Ticonderoga was one for which the United States were not prepared. Neither the strength of the invading army, nor the weakness of the garrison appears to have been understood. It was universally believed that the whole force of Canada did not exceed 6,000 men; and therefore no adequate measures were taken to enable St. Clair to maintain his position. Washington complained of this indistinct information and its fatal consequences in a letter addressed to General Schuyler, the commander of the northern army, and at the same time expressed a hope that the confidence, which Burgoyne derived from success, would hurry him into measures, which in their consequences might be favourable to the Americans. In this expectation he was not disappointed.
The army of General Schuyler did not exceed 4,400 men. With that force he could not face the British army; and in order to gain time, he sent detachments of his men, who broke down the bridges; cut down trees so as to fall across the roads, and intermingled their branches, and threw every possible obstacle in the way of Burgoyne's advance. He also solicited reinforcements of regular troops; called on the militia of New England to join the regular army, and used
How did St. Clair escape?
What was done by General Reidesel?
What was the result of the engage-
What is said of the loss of Ticonderoga?
ADVANCE OF BURGOYNE.
all his personal influence in the surrounding country, to inspire the people with military ardour and patriotic enthusiasm. The militia of New England were not willing to serve under General Schuyler; and General Lincoln was appointed to raise and command them. Arnold was directed to join the northern army; Colonel Morgan and his riflemen were also attached to it; and tents, artillery, and other muni tions of war, were diligently provided.
Meantime Burgoyne, who had been obliged to halt at Skeensborough, to rest his troops and bring forward his artillery, baggage and military stores, was commencing his march. towards the Hudson, greatly elated with his past success. His progress was so effectually retarded by the obstructions which General Schuyler's men had thrown in his way, that he was frequently occupied a whole day in advancing with the army a single mile. It was not till the 30th of July, that he reached Fort Edward, which General Schuyler had quitted a short time before retreating to Saratoga. Burgoyne might have much more easily reached Fort Edward by the way of Lake George; but he had been led up the South river in pursuit of the retreating Americans; and he persevered in that difficult route, lest he should discourage his troops by a retrograde movement.
At Fort Edward, Burgoyne found it necessary to pause in his career. He was greatly in want of provisions and draught horses; and his carriages had been broken and needed repairs. It was not till the 15th of August that he succeeded in transporting a quantity of supplies from Fort George.
In order to obtain a further supply, he had detached Colonel Baum, a German fficer with 500 men, partly cavalry, two pieces of artillery and 100 Indians to surprise Bennington, in Vermont, and seize a large deposit of carriages, corn, flour and other necessaries which had been collected by the Americans in that place.
General Starke, with the New Hampshire militia, 400 strong, happened to be in that vicinity, on his way to join General Schuyler. He heard first of the approach of the Indians, and soon afterwards of the regular force. He col
Of the militia of New England?
What difficulties had he to encoun-
When did he reach Fort Edward?
How did he attempt to obtain sup
BATTLE OF BENNINGTON.
lected his brigade, sent expresses to the neighbouring militia to join him, and also to Colonel Warner's regiment at Manchester. On the morning of the 14th of August, he marched against the enemy, at the head of 700 men; and sent Colonel Gregg, with a party of 200, to skirmish in their front, and retard their progress. He drew up his men in order of battle; but, on coming in sight of him, Baum halted on advantageous ground; sent an express to Burgoyne informing him of his situation; and fortified himself as well as circumstances would permit.
After some skirmishing, on the morning of the 16th, Starke commenced a furious attack on the royal forces. Baum made a brave defence. The battle lasted two hours, during which he was assailed on every side by an incessant discharge of musketry. He was mortally wounded; his troops were overpowered; a few of them escaped into the woods and fled, pursued by the Americans; the rest were killed or taken prisoners. Thus,' says a British historian, in whose language we have chosen to record some of these events, 'without artillery, with old rusty firelocks, and with scarcely a bayonet, their militia entirely defeated 500 veterans, well armed, provided with two pieces of artillery, and defended by breastworks.' This was not the only subject of astonishment with which the Americans furnished their enemies during this campaign.
After the victory, the greater part of the militia dispersed in quest of booty; and this imprudence nearly proved fatal to them, for, on receiving Baum's express, General Burgoyne had sent Colonel Breyman, with 500 men, to his assistance; and if Colonel Warner's regiment of continentals had not arrived just as he me up and was attacking the scattered militia, they would have fared but indifferently. Breyman maintained the conflict till dark; when, abandoning his artillery and baggage, he retreated, and, escaping under cover of the night, with a shattered remnant of his detachment regained the camp.
Thus the victory at Bennington was complete. The Americans took 4 brass fieldpieces, 1,000 muskets (a very seasonable supply for the ill-armed militia), 900 swords, and 4
Who intercepted Baum ?
How did Baum prepare for action?
What does a British historian say of it?
Of what imprudence were the Americans guilty?
How were they saved from its conscquences?
What supplies were obtained at Bennington?
Siege of Fort Schuyler.
The British lost 700, in killed, wounded, and prisoners; and the Americans 100, in killed and wounded.
This was Burgoyne's first check; and it was a serious one. Its moral effect, in raising the depressed spirits of the Americans, was of immense importance to their cause. Previous to this, dejection and alarm pervaded the northern states; but success now infused spirit and vigour into the militia, and gave a new aspect to affairs on the Hudson.
But the defeat at Bennington was not Burgoyne's only misfortune. He had sent General St. Leger, with a detachment of regular troops, Canadians, Tories, and Indians, to take Fort Schuyler, on the Mohawk river, which was garrisoned by about 600 continentals, under Colonel Gansevoort. St. Leger arrived there on the 2d of August, invested the place with an army 1,600 strong, and summoned the garrison to surrender. Gansevoort replied that he would defend the place to the last.
Meantime General Herkimer with 700 militia was sent to his support. This party fell into an ambuscade of British and Indians, and, after a vigorous defence, was compelled to retreat. Herkimer lost 400 men and fell himself in the battle. General Schuyler then despatched Arnold, with a body of regular troops, to Fort Schuyler; but, before he reached the fort, St. Leger, being foiled in his attempts on the works, and deserted by his Indian allies, who had been very
What were the effects of the battle? | What befell him and his detachment? What fort was invested by General Who was then sent to relieve the fort?
Who defended it?
Who was first sent to its relief?
What made his assistance unneces. sary?
MURDER OF MISS MACREA.
roughly handled in the late engagements, raised the siege and retired. Arnold, finding no occasion for his assistance, soon returned to camp.
It was at this period that a circumstance transpired, which, although it involved only a case of individual suffering, is of importance on account of the degree to which it exasperated the feelings of the Americans and incited them to an active prosecution of the war. Mr. Jones, an officer of the British army, had gained the affections of Miss Macrea, a lovely young lady, of amiable character and spotless reputation, daughter of a gentleman attached to the royal cause, residing near Fort Edward; and they were engaged to be married. In the course of the service, the officer was removed to some distance from his intended bride; and became anxious for her safety and desirous of her company. He engaged some Indians, of two different tribes, to bring her to camp, and promised a keg of rum to the person who should deliver her safely to him. She dressed to meet her bridegroom, and accompanied her Indian conductors; but, on the way, the two chiefs, each being desirous of receiving the promised reward, disputed which of them should deliver her to her lover. The dispute rose to a quarrel; and, according to their usual method of disposing of a disputed prisoner, one of them instantly cleft the head of the lady with his tomahawk. This being one of the legitimate consequences of the British employing Indian allies, was laid hold of by the Americans, and recited in the newspapers with such circumstances of pathos and warmth of colouring, as to set the people in a complete ferment of rage and indignation against their enemies. The militia rose in great numbers, and, repairing to the scene of action, augmented the army opposed to Burgoyne to a most formidable array.
Burgoyne still flattered himself with being able to effect a junction with the British at New York, and thus separate the New England states from the middle and southern portions of the union, so that they might be over-run and conquered at leisure. But he was encompassed with difficulties. He was obliged to bring supplies from Fort George; an undertaking of considerable difficulty; and then having constructed a bridge of boats over the Hudson, he crossed the river on the 13th and 14th of September, and encamped on the heights
ive an account of the murder of Miss Macrea.
What was the effect of this affair on the Americans?
What did Burgoyne still expect?
What was his situation?