Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Burgoyne's invasion
 Back Cover

Group Title: Decisive events in American history--
Title: Burgoyne's invasion of 1777
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065439/00001
 Material Information
Title: Burgoyne's invasion of 1777 with an outline sketch of the American invasion of Canada, 1775-76
Series Title: Decisive events in American history--
Physical Description: 146 p. : ill., ports, maps. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Drake, Samuel Adams, 1833-1905
Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: c1889
Subject: Burgoyne's Invasion, 1777 -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Canadian Invasion, 1775-1776 -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
War -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Soldiers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile literature -- Canada   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile literature -- United States   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1889
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Statement of Responsibility: by Samuel Adams Drake.
General Note: Includes index.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065439
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002225521
notis - ALG5796
oclc - 08835721

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        The invasion of Canada
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
        The invasion of Canada
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
    Burgoyne's invasion
        Page 27
        The plan of campaign
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
        Burgoyne's army
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
        The fall of Ticonderoga
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
        Facing disaster
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
        The march to Fort Edward
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 67
        Before Bennington
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
        Battle of Bennington
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
        After Bennington
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
        St. Leger's expedition
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
        Our army advances
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
        Battle of Bemis' heights
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
        Lincoln's raid in Burgoyne's rear
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
        Second battle of Freeman's farm
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
        Retreat and surrender
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
        Seventeenth of October 1777
            Page 137
            Page 138
        Consequences of defeat
            Page 139
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text

The Baldwin Library
q ,"/Uru.rsoly

.. .. .. .

iDecisie Q~vcnts in 2merican fiistorq


OF 1777

OF CANADA, 1775-76







II. BURGOYNE'S ARMY. .......... 33
IV. HUBBARDTON. . . ... .. 45
V. FACING DISASTER ........... 56
XI. OUR ARMY ADVANCES ......... 95

Soe L

q o CheLWt1L~

I pTf EavywC--rL -



AMONG the decisive events of the Revolutionary strug-
gle,,Burgoyne's campaign deservedly holds the foremost
place, as well for what it led to, as for what it was in
inception and execution at once the most daring, most
quixotic, and most disastrous effort of the whole war.
Burgoyne was himself, in some respects, so remark-
able a man that any picture of his exploits, must needs
be more or less tinted with his personality. And this
was unusually picturesque and imposing. He acquired
prestige, at a time when other generals were losing it,
through his participation in Carleton's successful cam-
paign. But Burgoyne was something more than the
professional soldier. His nature was poetic; his
temperament imaginative. He did nothing in a com-
monplace way. Even his orders are far more schol-
arly than soldier-like. At one time he tells his soldiers
that occasions may occur, when nor difficulty, nor
labor, nor life are to be regarded "- as if soldiers, in
general, expected anything else than to be shot at!-
at another, we find him preaching humanity to Indians,
repentance to rebels, or better manners to his adver-
sary, with all the superb self-consciousness that was
Burgoyne's most prominent characteristic.
To the military critic, Burgoyne's campaign is instruc-


tive, because it embodies, in itself, about all the opera-
tions known to active warfare. It was destined to
great things, but collapsed, like a bubble, with the first
shock of an adverse fortune.
This campaign is remarkable in yet another way. It
has given us the most voluminous literature extant,
that treats of any single episode of the Revolutionary
War. In general, it takes many more words to explain
a defeat than to describe a victory. Hence this ful-
ness is much more conspicuous upon the British than
upon the American side of the history of this campaign.
Not only the general, who had his reputation to defend,
but high officials, whose guiding hand was seen behind
the curtain, were called to the bar of public opinion.
The ministers endeavored to make a scapegoat of the
general; the general, to fix the responsibility for defeat
upon the ministers. His demand for a court-martial
was denied. His sovereign refused to hear him. It
was thus meanly attempted to turn the torrent of popu-
lar indignation, arising from the ill success of the ex-
pedition, wholly upon the unlucky general's head.
Burgoyne's heroic persistency at length brought the
British nation face to face with the unwelcome fact,
which the ministers were so desirous of concealing, -
that somebody besides the general had blundered; and
if the inquiry that Burgoyne obtained from Parliament
failed to vindicate him as a captain, it nevertheless did
good service by exposing both the shortcomings of his
accusers; and the motives which had guided their con-
duct with respect to himself.


Besides the official examination by the House of Com-
mons, we have several excellent narratives, written by
officers who served with Burgoyne, all of which materi-
ally contribute to an intelligent study of the campaign,
from a purely military point of view. These narratives
are really histories of the several corps to which the
writers belonged, rather than capable surveys of the
whole situation; but they give us the current gossip of
the camp-fire and mess-table, spiced with anecdote, and
enlivened with the daily experiences through which the
writers were passing. And this is much.
In his defence, General Burgoyne vigorously ad-
dresses himself to the four principal charges brought
forward by his accusers: namely, first, of encumbering
himself with a needless amount of artillery; secondly,
of taking the Fort Anne route, rather than the one by
way of Lake George; thirdly, of sending off an expedi-
tion to Bennington, under conditions inviting defeat;
and, lastly, of crossing the Hudson after the disasters
of Bennington and Fort Stanwix had taken place.
The real criticism upon Burgoyne's conduct, so far
as it relates to the movement of his forces only, seems
to be that from the moment when the march was actu-
ally to begin, he found himself in want of everything
necessary to a rapid advance. Thus, we find him
scarcely arrived at Skenesborough before he is ask-
ing Sir Guy Carleton for reinforcements to garrison
Ticonderoga and Fort George with, to the end that his
own force might not be weakened by the detachments
required to hold those fortresses against the Ameri-


cans, when he should move on. It would seem that
this contingency, at least, might have been foreseen
before it forced itself upon Burgoyne's attention. Yet
it was of so serious a nature, in this general's eyes, that
he expresses a doubt whether his army would be found
equal to the task before it, unless Carleton would as-
sume the defence of the forts referred to above.
At this time, too, the inadequacy of his transporta-
tion service became so painfully evident, that the
expedition to Bennington offered the only practicable
solution to Burgoyne's mind.
These circumstances stamp the purposed invasion
with a certain haphazard character at the outset, which
boded no good to it in the future.
Carleton having declined to use his troops in the
manner suggested, Burgoyne was compelled to leave a
thousand men behind him when he marched for Albany.
Carleton, the saviour of Canada, was justly chagrined
at finding himself superseded in the conduct of this
campaign, by an officer who had served under his
orders in the preceding one; and, though he seems to
have acted with loyalty toward Burgoyne, this is by no.
means the only instance known in which one general
has refused to go beyond the strict letter of his instruc-
tions for the purpose of rescuing a rival from a dilemma
into which he had plunged with his eyes wide open.
The Prelude with which our narrative opens, under-
takes first, to briefly outline the history of the Northern
Army, which finally brought victory out of defeat; and
next, to render familiar the names, location, and strate-


gic value of the frontier fortresses, before beginning the
story of the campaign itself.
Few armies have ever suffered more, or more nobly
redeemed an apparently lost cause, than the one which
was defeated at Quebec and victorious at Saratoga.
The train of misfortunes which brought Burgoyne's
erratic course to so untimely an end was nothing by
comparison. And the quickness with which raw
yeomanry were formed into armies capable of fighting
veteran troops, affords the strongest proof that the
Americans are a nation of soldiers.
So many specific causes have been assigned for
Burgoyne's failure, that it is hardly practicable to discuss
all of them within reasonable limits. The simplest
statement of the whole case is that he allowed himself
to be beaten in detail. It seems plain enough that any
plan, which exposed his forces to this result, was neces-
sarily vicious in itself. Moreover, Burgoyne wofully
misestimated the resources, spirit, and fighting capacity
of his adversary. With our forces strongly posted on
the Mohawk, St. Leger's advance down the valley was
clearly impracticable. Yet such a combination of
movements as would bring about a junction of the two
invading columns, at this point, was all essential to the
success of Burgoyne's campaign. To have effected
this in season, Burgoyne should have made a rapid
march to the Mohawk, intrenched himself there, and
operated in conjunction with St. Leger. His delays,
attributable, first, to his unwise choice of the Fort Anne
route, next, to Schuyler's activity in obstructing it, and


lastly, to his defeat at Bennington, gave time to render
our army so greatly superior to his own, that the condi-
tions were wholly altered when the final trial of strength
came to be made.
What might have happened if Sir W. Howe had
moved his large army and fleet up the Hudson, in due
season, is quite another matter. The writer does not
care to discuss futilities. In the first place, he thinks
that Burgoyne's campaign should stand or fall on its
own merits. In the next, such a movement by Howe
would have left Washington free to act in the enemy's
rear, or upon his flanks, with a fair prospect of cutting
him off from his base at New York. Of the two com-
manders-in-chief, Washington acted most effectively in
reinforcing Gates's army from his own. Howe could
not and Carleton would not do this. From the moment
that Burgoyne crossed the Hudson, he seems to have
pinned his faith to chance; but if chance has sometimes
saved poor generalship, the general who commits himself
to its guidance, does so with full knowledge that he is cast-
ing his reputation on the hazard of a die. As Burgoyne
did just this, he must be set down, we think, notwithstand-
ing his chivalrous defence of himself, as the conspicuous
failure of the war. And we assume that the importance
which his campaign implied to Europe and America,
more than any high order of ability in the general him-
self, has lifted Burgoyne into undeserved prominence.




ENGLAND took Canada from France in 1759, and
soon after annexed it to her own dominions. Twelve
years later, her despotic acts drove her Amer- Canada's
ican colonies into open rebellion. England attitude.
feared, and the .colonies hoped, Canada would join in
the revolt against her. But, though they did not love
their new masters, prudence counselled the Cana-
dians to stand aloof, at least till the Americans had
proved their ability to make head against the might of
That England would be much distressed by Canada's
taking sides with the Americans was plain enough to
all men, for the whole continent would then be one in
purpose, and the conflict more equal; but the Ameri-
cans also greatly wished it because all New England
and New York lay open to invasion from Canada.
Nature had created a great highway, stretching
southward from the St. Lawrence to the Hudson,
over which rival armies had often passed to victory or
defeat in the old wars. Open water offered an easy
transit for nearly the whole way. A chain of forts ex-




ENGLAND took Canada from France in 1759, and
soon after annexed it to her own dominions. Twelve
years later, her despotic acts drove her Amer- Canada's
ican colonies into open rebellion. England attitude.
feared, and the .colonies hoped, Canada would join in
the revolt against her. But, though they did not love
their new masters, prudence counselled the Cana-
dians to stand aloof, at least till the Americans had
proved their ability to make head against the might of
That England would be much distressed by Canada's
taking sides with the Americans was plain enough to
all men, for the whole continent would then be one in
purpose, and the conflict more equal; but the Ameri-
cans also greatly wished it because all New England
and New York lay open to invasion from Canada.
Nature had created a great highway, stretching
southward from the St. Lawrence to the Hudson,
over which rival armies had often passed to victory or
defeat in the old wars. Open water offered an easy
transit for nearly the whole way. A chain of forts ex-


tended throughout its whole length. Chambly and
St. John's defended the passage of the Richelieu,
through which the waters of Lake Champlain flow to
the St. Lawrence. Crown Point and Ticonderoga2
blocked the passage of this lake in its narrowest part.
Ticonderoga, indeed, is placed just where the outlet of
Lake George falls down a mountain gorge into Lake
Champlain. Its cannon, therefore, commanded that
outlet also. Fort George stood at the head of Lake
George, within sixteen miles of Fort Edward, on the
Hudson. These were the gates through which a hostile
army might sally forth upon our naked frontier. Much,
therefore, depended on whether they were to be kept
by friend or foe.
In natural and artificial strength, Ticonderoga was.
by far the most important of these fortresses. At this
Ticon- place the opposite shores of New York and
deroga. Vermont are pushed out into the lake toward
each other, thus forming two peninsulas, with the lake
contracted to a width of half a mile, or point-blank
cannon range, between them: one is Ticonderoga;
the other, Mount Independence. Thus, together, they
command the passage of the two lakes.
Ticonderoga itself is a tongue-shaped projection of
quite uneven land, broad and high at the base, or
where it joins the hills behind it, but growing narrower
as it descends over intervening hollows or swells to its
farthest point in the lake. That part next the main-
land is a wooded height, having a broad plateau on
the brow- large enough to encamp an army corps


upon but cut down abruptly on the sides washed by
the lake. This height, therefore, commanded the whole
peninsula lying before it, and underneath it, as well as
the approach from Lake George, opening behind it in
a rugged mountain pass, since it must be either crossed
or turned before access to the peninsula could be
gained. Except for the higher hills surrounding it,
this one is, in every respect, an admirable military
The French, who built the first fortress here, had cov-
ered all the low ground next the lake with batteries and
intrenchments, but had left the heights rising behind it
unguarded, until Abercromby attacked on that side in
1758. They then hastily threw up a rude intrench-
ment of .logs, extending quite across the crest in its
broadest part. Yet, in spite of the victory he then
obtained, Montcalm was so fully convinced that Ticon-
deroga could not stand a siege, that he made no secret
of calling it a trap, for some honest man to disgrace
himself in.8
Ticonderoga, however, was henceforth looked upon
as a sort of Gibraltar. People, therefore, were filled
with wonder when they heard how Ethan Allen had
surprised and taken it on the 9th of May, 1775, with
only a handful of men; how Seth Warner had also
taken Crown Point; and how Skenesborough 4 and Fort
George, being thus cut off from Canada, had also
fallen into our hands without firing a shot.6
Thus, in the very beginning of the war for independ-
ence, and at one bold stroke, we regained possession of


this gateway of the north; or in military phrase, we
now held all the strategic points by which an advance
from Lower Canada upon the United Colonies was

1 CROWN POINT, built by the French in 1731, greatly strength-
ened by the British, who took it in 1759.
2 TICONDEROGA, familiarly called Ty because the early spell-
ing of the name was Tyconderoga. Built 1755-56 by the French,
taken 1759 by the British, under Amherst. Three weeks before
the battle of Lexington, an agent of Massachusetts was sent to
ascertain the feelings of the people of Canada. His first advice
was that "Ty" should be seized as quickly as possible.
8 MONTCALM'S PROPHECY came true in St. Clair's case in 1777.
4 SKENESBOROUGH, now Whitehall, named for Philip Skene, a
retired British officer, who settled on lands granted him after the
French War. He had about fifty tenants, and a few negro slaves.
5 THE CAPTURED ARTILLERY was taken to Cambridge- on
sleds in midwinter, by Colonel Knox. It enabled Washington
to bring the siege of Boston to a favorable conclusion.



THE prompt seizure of the lake fortresses had a
marked effect upon the wavering Canadians.1 Many
joined us. More stood ready to do so whenever the
signal for revolt should be given. Success begets con-
fidence. The Americans were now led to
believe that by throwing an army into Can- Invasion of
ada at once, the people would no longer
hesitate to free themselves from the British yoke. The
time seemed the riper for it, because it was known that
the strong places of Canada were but weakly guarded.
Could Quebec and Montreal be taken, British power in
Canada would be at an end.
With such promise held out before it, Congress re-
solved to make the attempt. Forces were ordered to
both places. One body, under General Montgomery,2
mustered at Ticonderoga. Ethan Allen went before
it to rouse the Canadians, who were expected to receive
the Americans with open arms. This army moved down
the lake in October, taking St. John's and Chambly in
its way, and Montreal a little later. The other, led by
Colonel Arnold,8 ascended the Kennebec to its head,
crossed over to the Chaudibre, which was followed to
the St. Lawrence, and came before Quebec at about the


same time Montgomery entered Montreal. Montgomery
hastened to Arnold with a handful of men. Together
they assaulted Quebec on the morning of December 31.
The attack fail,'., and Montgomery fell. The Ameri-
our army cans lay before Quebec till spring,, when the
retreats, arrival of fresh troops, for the enemy, forced
ours to retreat to Montreal. This, too, was abandoned.
Our army then fell back toward Lake Champlain, set-
ting fire to Chambly, and St. John's behind it. The
enemy followed close, recapturing these places as our
troops left them. Very little fighting took place, but
the Americans were greatly disheartened by having con-
stantly to retreat, and by the loss of many brave
officers and men, who fell sick and died of the small-
pox. July i the army finally reached Crown
Point, ragged, sickly, and destitute of every-
thing. Weakened by the loss of five thousand men
and three commanders, it was no longer able to keep
the field. Instead of conquering Canada, it had been
driven out at the point of the bayonet. The great
question now was, whether this army could hold its own
against a victorious and advancing enemy.
General Gates took command of the army at this
critical time. Convinced that he could never hope to
hold both Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and knowing
Ticonderoga to be much the stronger, in a military
view, he decided to remove the army to that place at
once. This was promptly done.5 The soldiers were
set to work strengthening the old, or building new,
works, under the direction of skilful engineers. Of


these new works the strongest, as well as most im-
portant, because they commanded Ticonderoga itself,
were those raised on the peninsula opposite the fortress
on the Vermont side, which was christened Mount In-
dependence on the day the army heard that the colonies
had declared themselves free and independent.
Having thrown a bridge across the strait, between
Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, the Americans
waited for the enemy to come and attack them, for
with such leaders as Gates and Stark they felt confi-
dent of gaining the victory.
The British were equally active on their side. After
driving the Americans from Canada, they next deter-
mined to make themselves masters of Lake Champlain,
recover the forts they had lost, and so gain a foothold
for striking a blow at our northern colonies.
For this purpose they set about building a fleet at
St. John's. Vessels were sent out from England, for
the purpose, which were taken to pieces below the.
Chambly rapids, brought across the portage, and put
together again at St. John's. By working diligently, the
British got their fleet ready to sail early in October.
Well knowing the importance of keeping possession
of the lake, the Americans turned Skenesborough into
a dockyard, and were straining every nerve to get
ready a fleet strong enough to cope with the British.
As everything needed for equipping it had to be
brought from the sea-coast, the British had much the
advantage in this respect, yet all labored with so much
zeal, that our fleet was first ready for action. Gates


gave the command of it to Arnold, who had once been
a sailor, and whose courage had been tried so signally
under the walls of Quebec.
By the middle of August, Ticonderoga was in fight-
ing trim. The enemy's delays had given time to make
the defences so strong that an attack was rather hoped
for than feared. Ignorant of the great preparations
making at St. John's, the Americans also believed
themselves strongest on the lake. Our fleet, .therefore,
went forward with confidence to the battle.
On the IIth of October the British flotilla was seen
coming up the lake. The rival forces met at Valcour
Island, and the battle began. From noon till night the
combatants hurled broadsides at each other without
Naval ceasing. The British then drew off to repair
battle, damages, meaning to renew the fight in the
October-n. morning. This gave Arnold a chance to slip
through them unperceived, for his vessels were so
badly shattered that all hope of gaining the victory
was given over. He was pursued and overtaken.
Near Crown Point the battle began again, but the
enemy's superior forces soon decided it in his favor.
Rather than surrender, Arnold ran his disabled vessels
on shore, set fire to them, and with his men escaped to
the woods.
Having thus cleared the lake, the British commander,
Guy Carleton,6 sailed back to St. John's, leaving Ticon-
deroga unmolested behind him, to the great astonish-
ment of our soldiers, who said Carleton deserved to be
hanged for not following up his victory over Arnold.


C '
\t IC ',

A, American flotilla. B-C, British. D, Line of Retreat, when the British
were forced back to E.


1 THE WAVERING CANADIANS. The Massachusetts revolution-
ary authority had been at work upon the wavering Canadians
since 1774, with only partial success. (See note 2, preceding
chapter.) The Americans thought the Canadians would seize the
opportunity of freeing themselves, but events proved this opinion
ill-grounded. A political connection between the Protestants of
New England and the Catholics of Canada, except for mutual de-
fence, could hardly be lasting, nor did the priests favor it. The
military advantages were equally questionable, though great stress
was laid upon them by Washington and Schuyler, even after the
allegiance of the Canadians had been confirmed to the British
side by the reverses our arms sustained. If we had conquered
Canada, it would doubtless have been handed over to France again
at the close of the war.
2 GENERAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY, of Irish birth, had served
under Amherst at the taking of Crown Point and Ticonderoga in
1759, settled in New York, been one of eight brigadiers created by
Congress in June, 1775; General Schuyler's illness threw the chief
command, for which he proved himself eminently fitted, on Mont-
gomery. His having served on this line was much in his favor.
8 COLONEL BENEDICT ARNOLD had once been a soldier at Ticon-
deroga. He went there again with a commission from Massachu-
setts, when the fortress was taken by Allen. He had also spent
some time in Quebec. These facts had influence in procuring for
him a command in the invading expedition.
4 GENERAL HORATIO GATES, a retired British major, settled in
Virginia, was made adjutant-general of the army, June, 1775.
5 THE REMOVAL OF THE ARMY from Crown Point to Ticon-
deroga was strongly opposed by Stark and others, and disap-
proved by Washington.
6 GUY CARLETON, British governor of Canada, though driven
from Montreal by Montgomery, had successfully defended Quebec
against him. He reconnoitred Ticonderoga, but seems to have
thought. it too strong to be attacked with his force.




AFTER the British had gone back to Canada, it was
thought they would return as soon as the lake should be
frozen hard enough to bear artillery. But when it was
found that they had gone into winter quarters, and the
danger was past, part of the garrison of Ticonderoga
was hurried off to Washington, who was then fighting
against great odds in the Jerseys. This winter was the
dark hour of the Revolution, upon which the victory at
Trenton 1 shed the first ray of light. So low had the
American cause fallen at this time, that, but for this
unlooked-for success, it is doubtful if another army
could have been brought into the field.
The British were really planning to invade New
York as soon as the lakes should be open again, in the
spring. For this campaign great preparations were
making, both in Canada and England. Quiet, there-
fore, reigned at Ticonderoga throughout the winter of
1776 and 1777.
General Burgoyne sailed for England in November,
to lay before the king a plan for subduing the colonies
in a single campaign. Burgoyne was a good soldier,




AFTER the British had gone back to Canada, it was
thought they would return as soon as the lake should be
frozen hard enough to bear artillery. But when it was
found that they had gone into winter quarters, and the
danger was past, part of the garrison of Ticonderoga
was hurried off to Washington, who was then fighting
against great odds in the Jerseys. This winter was the
dark hour of the Revolution, upon which the victory at
Trenton 1 shed the first ray of light. So low had the
American cause fallen at this time, that, but for this
unlooked-for success, it is doubtful if another army
could have been brought into the field.
The British were really planning to invade New
York as soon as the lakes should be open again, in the
spring. For this campaign great preparations were
making, both in Canada and England. Quiet, there-
fore, reigned at Ticonderoga throughout the winter of
1776 and 1777.
General Burgoyne sailed for England in November,
to lay before the king a plan for subduing the colonies
in a single campaign. Burgoyne was a good soldier,


popular with the army and government, brave to rash.
ness, but vain and headstrong. He knew the Ameri-
cans were not to be despised, for he had seen them
fight at Bunker Hill, as well as in the campaign just
closed, in which he himself had taken part; yet an
easy confidence in his own abilities led Burgoyne into
committing many grave errors, not the least of which
was underestimating this very enemy.2
Any plan that promised to put down the Americans,
was sure of gaining the king's ear. Justice was never
tempered with mercy in this monarch's treatment of
his rebellious subjects. His heart was hardened, his
hand ever ready to strike them the fatal blow. More-
over, the Americans had just now declared themselves
independent of Great Britain. They had crossed their
Rubicon. To crush them with iron hand was now the
George II. king's one thought and purpose. No half
wants the measures would do for him. He told his
war ministers, in so many words, that every means
pushed. of distressing the Americans would meet with
his approval. Mercenaries, savages, refugees all who
could fire a shot, or burn a dwelling, were to be enrolled
under the proud old banner of the isles. No more effect-
ual means could have been devised to arouse the spirit
of resistance to the highest pitch.
Burgoyne's ambition was kindled by the hope of
making himself the hero of the war. He combined the
qualities of general and statesman without being great
as either. He wrote and talked well, was eloquent
and persuasive, had friends at court, and knew how to


make the most of his opportunity. On his part, the
king wanted a general badly. He had been grievously
disappointed in Sir William Howe, whose victories
seemed never bringing the war any nearer to an end.
Burgoyne brought forward his plan at the right mo-
ment, shrewdly touched the keynote of the king's
discontent by declaring for aggressive war, smoothed
every obstacle away with easy assurance, and so im-
pressed the ministers with his capacity, that they
believed they had found the very man the king wanted
for the work in hand.
The plan proposed for making short work of the war
was briefly this: The American colonies were to be
divided in two parts, by seizing the line of the Hudson
River; just as in later times, the Union armies aimed
to split the Southern Confederacy in two by getting
possession of the Mississippi. To effect this, two
armies were to act together. With one, Burgoyne was
to come down the lakes from Canada, and force his
way to Albany, while the other was coming up the
Hudson to join him. Once these armies were united,
with full control of the Hudson in their hands, New
England would be cut off from the other colonies by
forts and fleets, and the way laid open to crush out
rebellion in what was admitted to be its cradle and
Ever since Sir William Howe had been driven from
Boston, in the spring of 1776, the opinion prevailed
among American generals that, sooner or later, New
England would become the battle-ground.8 This view


was sustained by the enemy's seizure of Newport, in
December of the same year, so that the Americans
were perplexed at finding themselves threatened from
this quarter, until the enemy's plans were fully de-
There was yet another part to the plan concerted
between Burgoyne and the British cabinet. It was
seen that in proportion as Burgoyne moved down
toward Albany, he would have the fertile Mohawk
valley on his right. This valley was the great
thoroughfare between the Hudson and Lake Ontario,
Niagara, and Detroit. In it were many prosperous
settlements, inhabited by a vigorous yeomanry, who
were the mainstay of the patriot cause in this quarter.
The passage to and fro was guarded by Fort Stanwix,
which stood where Rome now is, and Fort Oswego,
which was situated at the lake. Fort Stanwix was held
by the Americans, and Oswego, by the British. Perceiv-
ing its value to the Americans not only as a granary,
st. Leger's but as a recruiting station, and in view of the
part. danger of leaving it on his flank, Burgoyne de-
cided to march a force through this valley, clear it of ene-
mies, and so effectively bring about a timely cooperation
between the two branches of the expedition. Freed
of fear for himself, he could materially aid in the work
intrusted to his auxiliary. It followed that the Ameri-
cans, with whom Burgoyne himself might be contend-
ing, would, of necessity, be greatly distressed by their
inability to draw either men or supplies from the Mo-
hawk Valley, no less than by the appearance of this


force upon their own flank. The command of it was
given to Colonel St. Leger, who was ordered to pro-
ceed up the St. Lawrence to Oswego, and from thence
to Fort Stanwix and Albany.
It must be allowed that this plan was well conceived;
yet its success depended so much upon all the parts
working in harmony together, that to have set it in
motion, without consultation or clear understanding
between the generals who were to execute it, is incon-
ceivable. At a distance of three thousand miles from
the scene of war, the British cabinet undertook to
direct complicated military operations, in which widely
separated armies were to take part. General Burgoyne
received his orders on the spot. General Howe did
not receive his until the i6th of August; his army
was then entering Chesapeake Bay. Burgoyne was
being defeated at Bennington, at the time Howe was
reading his despatch, and learning from it what he
had not known before; namely, that he was expected
to cooperate with the army of Burgoyne. These facts
will so sufficiently illustrate the course that events were
taking, as to foreshadow their conclusion to the feeblest
In order to make the war more terrible to the Amer-
icans, the British cabinet decided to use the Indians of
Canada, and the Great Lakes, against them. Not even
the plea of military necessity could reconcile some
Englishmen to letting loose these barbarians upon the
colonists. Though enemies, they were men. Lord
Chatham, the noblest Englishman of them all, cried


out against it in Parliament. "Who is the man," he
indignantly asked, "who has dared to associate to our
arms the tomahawk and scalping-knife of the savage ? "
All knew he meant the prime minister, and, behind him,
the king himself. Had not King George just said that
any means of distressing the Americans must meet
with his approval?

1 VICTORY AT TRENTON. After being driven from the Jerseys,
Washington suddenly turned on his pursuers, and by the two fine
combats of Trenton and Princeton, compelled much superior forces
everywhere to retreat before him, thus breaking up all the enemy's
plans for the ensuing campaign, saving Philadelphia, and putting
new life into the American cause.
2 UNDERESTIMATING HIS ENEMY. Burgoyne candidly admits
as much in his letter to Lord G. Germaine. State of the Expedi-
tion, Appendix, xcii.
did propose, at first, operating against Boston from Rhode Island,
with ten thousand men, while an equal force should effect a junc-
tion with the army of Canada, by way of the Hudson. This pur-
pose he subsequently deferred for an advance into Pennsylvania,
but Burgoyne asserts that he was not informed of the change of
plan when he sailed for Canada in April; and, though Sir William
Howe afterward wrote him to the same effect (July 17th) a letter
which was received early in August, Burgoyne, nevertheless, per-
sisted in his intention of passing the Hudson, notwithstanding he
knew, and says (August zoth), that no operation had yet been
undertaken in his favor. State of the Expedition, 188, 189; Appen-
dix, xlvii.



HAVING thus outlined the plan of invasion, let us now
look at the means allotted for its execution. There
were in Canada ten thousand British soldiers; in New
York, thirty thousand. Burgoyne was to take with him
seven thousand, of whom three thousand were Germans
in the pay of England.' In discipline, spirit, and equip-
ment, this was by far the best little army that had yet
taken the field in America.
Good judges said that England might be searched
through and through before such battalions could be
raised. Forty cannon, splendidly served and equipped,
formed its artillery train. All the generals, and most
of the soldiers, were veterans. In short, nothing that
experience could suggest, or unlimited means provide,
was omitted to make this army invincible. It was one
with which Burgoyne felt he could do anything, and
dare everything.
Besides these regular troops, we have said the gov-
ernment had authorized and even attempted to justify
to the world, the employment of Indians. Four hun-
dred warriors joined the army when it marched, and as
many more when it reached Lake Champlain. They
were to scour the woods, hang like a storm cloud about


the enemy's camps, and discover his every movement.
For this service they had no equals. In the woods
they could steal upon an enemy unawares, or lie in
wait for his approach. In the field they were of little
use. Much of the terror they inspired came from the
suddenness of their onset, their hideous looks and
unearthly war-cries, and their cruel practice of scalping
the wounded.
To these were added about an equal number of
Canadians, and American refugees, who were designed
to act as scouts, skirmishers, or foragers, as the occa-
sion might require. Being well skilled in bush-fighting,
they were mostly attached to Frazer's corps, for the
purpose of clearing the woods in his front, getting
information, or driving in cattle. With his Indians and
irregulars,2 Burgoyne's whole force could hardly have
numbered less than ten thousand men.
Taken as a whole, this army was justly thought the
equal of twice its own number of raw yeomanry, sud-
denly called to the field from the anvil, the workshop,
or the plough. Its strongest arm was its artillery; its
weakest, its Indian allies.
Burgoyne divided his force into three corps, com-
manded by Generals Frazer, Phillips, and Riedesel,-
all excellent officers. Frazer's corps was mostly made
up of picked companies, taken from other battalions
and joined with the 24th regiment of the line. As its
duty was of the hardest, so its material was of the best
the army could afford. Next to Burgoyne, Frazer was,
beyond all question, the officer most looked up to by


the soldiers; in every sense of the word, he was a
thorough soldier. His corps was, therefore, Burgoyne's
right arm. Phillips commanded the artillery; and
Riedesel, the Germans.
In the middle of June this army embarked on Lake
Champlain. Of many warlike pageants the aged
mountains had looked down upon, perhaps this was the
most splendid and imposing. From the general to the
private soldier, all were filled with high hopes of a
successful campaign. In front, the Indians, painted and
decked out for war, skimmed the lake in their light
canoes. Next came the barges containing Frazer's
corps, marshalled in one regular line, with gun-boats
flanking it on each side; next, the Royal George
and Inflexible frigates, with other armed vessels form-
ing the fleet. Behind this strong escort, the main
body, with the generals, followed in close order; and,
last of all, came the camp followers, of whom there
were far too many for the nature of the service in
In the distance the American watch-boats saw this
gallant array bearing. down upon them, in the confi-
dence of its power. Hastening back to Ticonderoga,
the word was passed along the lines to prepare for
For the Mohawk Valley expedition, St. Leger, who
led it, took with him about seven hundred regular troops,
two hundred loyalists, and eight guns. At Oswego,
seven hundred Indians of the Six Nations joined him.
With these, St. Leger started in July for Fort Stanwix,


which barred hisway to the Hudson, just as Ticonde-
roga blocked Burgoyne's advance on the side of Lake

1 SOLDIERS WERE HIRED from the petty German princes for
the American war. The Americans called them all Hessians,
because some came from the principality of Hesse. George III.
also tried to hire twenty thousand Russians of Empress Catharine,
but she gave him to understand that her soldiers would be better
employed. There was good material among the Germans, many
of whom had served with credit under the Great Frederick; but
the British showed them little favor as comrades, while the Ameri-
cans looked upon them as paid assassins. Not one in twenty
knew any English, so that misconception of orders was not unfre-
quent, though orders were usually transmitted from headquarters
in French. A jealousy also grew up out of the belief that Bur-
goyne gave the Germans the hardest duty, and the British the most
praise. At Hubbardton, and on the x9th of September, the
Germans saved him from defeat, yet he ungenerously, we think,
lays the disaster of October 7th chiefly at their door.
2 INDIANS AND IRREGULARS. It is impossible to give the
number of these accurately, as it was constantly fluctuating.
Though Burgoyne started with only four hundred Indians, the
number was increased by five hundred at Skenesborough, and he
was later joined by some of the Mohawks from St. Leger's force.
In like manner, his two hundred and fifty Canadians and Provin-
cials had grown to more than six hundred of the latter before he
left Skenesborough. Most of these recruits came from the Ver-
mont settlements. They were put to work clearing the roads,
scouting, getting forward the supplies, collecting cattle, etc. Their
knowledge of the country was greatly serviceable to Burgoyne.
In the returns given of Burgoyne's regular troops, only the rank and
file are accounted for. Staff and line officers would swell the
number considerably.



(July 5, 1777.)
A HUNDRED years ago, the shores of Lake Champlain
were for the most part a wilderness. What few settle-
ments did exist were mostly grouped about the south-
east corner of the lake, into which emigration had
naturally flowed from the older New England States.
And even these were but feeble plantations,1 separated
from the Connecticut valley by lofty mountains, over
which one rough road led the way.
Burgoyne's companions in arms have told us of the
herds of red deer seen quietly browsing on the hill-
sides; of the flocks of pigeons, darkening the air in
their flight; and of the store of pike, bass, and maske-
longe with which the waters of the lake abounded. At
one encampment the soldiers lived a whole day on the
pigeons they had knocked off the trees with poles. So
the passage of the lake must have seemed more like a
pleasure trip to them than the prelude to a warlike
In his way up the lake, Burgoyne landed at the
River Bouquet, on the west shore, where for some days
the army rested.
To this rendezvous, large numbers of Indians had


come to join the expedition. It was indispensable to
observe the customs which had always prevailed among
these peoples when going to war. So Burgoyne made
them a speech, gave them a feast, and witnessed the
wild antics of their war dance.
He forbade their scalping the wounded, or destroying
women and children. They listened attentively to his
words, and promised obedience; but these commands
were so flatly opposed to all their philosophy of war,
which required the extinction of every human feeling,
that Burgoyne might as well have bidden the waters of
the lake flow backward, as expect an Indian not to use
his scalping-knife whenever an enemy lay at his mercy.
Still, it is to Burgoyne's credit that he tried to check
the ferocity of these savages, and we would also chari-
tably believe him at least half ashamed of having to
employ them at all, when he saw them brandishing
their tomahawks over the heads of imaginary victims;
beheld them twisting their bodies about in hideous con-
tortions, in mimicry of tortured prisoners; or heard
them howling, like wild beasts, their cry of triumph
when the scalp is torn from an enemy's head.
While thus drawing the sword with one hand,
Burgoyne took his pen in the other. He drew up a
paper which his Tory agents were directed to scatter
,mong the people of Vermont, many of whom, he was
assured, were at heart loyal to the king. These he in-
vited to join his standard, or offered its protection to
all who should remain neutral. All were warned against
driving off their cattle, hiding their corn, or breaking


down the bridges in his way. Should they dare dis-
obey, he threatened to let loose his horde of savages
upon them. Such a departure from the rules of honor-
able warfare would have justified the Americans in
declaring no quarter to the invaders.
Well aware that he would not conquer the Americans
with threats, Burgoyne now gave the order to his army
to go forward. His view of what lay before him might
be thus expressed: The enemy will, probably, fight at
Ticonderoga. Of course I shall beat them. I will
give them no time to rally. When they hear St. Leger
is in the valley, their panic will be completed. We
shall have a little promenade of eight days, to Albany.
On June 29 the army was near Ticonderoga. This
day Burgoyne made a stirring address to his soldiers,
in which he gave out the memorable watchword, This
army must not retreat."
The next day, Frazer's corps landed in full view of
the fortress. The rest of the army was posted on both
sides of the lake, which is nowhere wider than a river
as the fortress is approached. The fleet kept the middle
of the channel. With drums beating and bugles sound-
ing, the different battalions took up their allotted
stations in the woods bordering upon the lake. When
night fell, the watch-fires of the besiegers' camps made
red the waters that flowed past them. But as yet no
hostile gun boomed from the ramparts of Ticonderoga.
What was going on behind those grim walls which
frowned defiance upon the invaders ? General Gates
was no longer there to direct. General St. Clair2 was


now in command of perhaps four thousand effective
men, with whom, nevertheless, he hoped to defend his
miles of intrenchments against the assaults of twice his
own numbers.. His real weakness lay in not knowing
what point Burgoyne would choose for attack, and he
had been strangely delinquent in not calling for reen-
forcements until the enemy was almost at the gates of
the fortress itself.
Burgoyne knew better than to heedlessly rush upon
the lines that had proved Abercromby's destruction.8
He knew they were too strong to be carried without
great bloodshed, and meant first to invest the fortress,
and after cutting off access to it on all sides, then lay
siege to it in regular form.
To this end, Frazer's corps was moved up to within
cannon-shot of the works. His scouts soon found a
way leading through old paths,4 quite round the rear
July f the fortress, to the outlet of Lake George.
MountHope This was promptly seized. After a little
seized, skirmishing, the enemy planted themselves
firmly, on some high ground rising behind the old
French lines, on this side; thus making themselves
masters of the communication with Lake George, and
enclosing the fortress on the rear or land side. While
this was going on, on the west shore, Riedesel's Ger-
mans were moved up still nearer Mount Independence,
on the Vermont shore, thus investing Ticonderoga on
three sides.
A more enterprising general would never have per-
mitted his enemy to seize his communications with


ro" \3 f .

[Pen and ink skele by a BritiA offer.]
A-B, Ticonderoga. C-D-E, Mount Independence. F, Barracks. G, Mount
Defiance. H, Bridge joining the fortress proper with Mount Independence.
I, American Fleet. K, Outlet of Lake George. O, British Fleet. P, Three-
Mile Point. Q, First Landing Place of Burgoyne. R, The Germans. T-U, Posi-
tion taken on Mount Hope. W, Second Position of same Troops at U. Z, Portage
to Lake George.
Gi -)o

z! for y/'' .

(Pen and ink sketcA by a British officer.]
A-B, Ticonderoga. C-D-E, Mount Independence. F, Barracks. G, Mount
Defiance. H, Bridge joining the fortress proper with Mount Independence.
I, American Fleet. K, Outlet of Lake George. 0, British Fleet. P, Three-
Mile Point. Q, First Landing Place of Burgoyne. R, The Germans. T-U, Posi-
tion taken on Mount Hope. W, Second Position of same Troops at U. Z, Portage
to Lake George.


Lake George, without making a struggle for their pos-
session, but St. Clair appears to have thought his forces
unequal to the attempt, and it was not made. The
disaster which followed was but the natural result.
Just across the basin formed by the widening of the
outlet of Lake George, a steep-sided mountain rises
high above all the surrounding region. Its Mount
summit not only looks down upon the fortress, Defiance
in every part, but over all its approaches by occupied.
land or water. Not a man could march without being
distinctly seen from this mountain. Yet, to-day, the
eye measures its forest-shagged sides, in doubt if they
can be scaled by human feet. Indeed, its ascent was
so difficult that the Americans had neglected to occupy
it at all. This is Mount Defiance, the most command-
ing object for miles around.
Burgoyne's engineers could not help seeing that if
artillery could be got to the top of this mountain,
Ticonderoga was doomed. They reconnoitred it.
Though difficult, they said it might be done. St. Clair's
timidity having given them the way to it, the
July 5.
British instantly began moving men and guns
round the rear of the fortress, and cutting a road up the
mountain-side. The work was pushed forward day and
night. It took most of the oxen belonging to the army
to drag two twelve-pounders up the steep ascent, but
when they were once planted on the summit, Ticonde-
roga lay at the mercy of the besiegers.
When St. Clair saw the enemy getting ready to can-
nonade him from Mount Defiance, he at once gave


orders to evacuate the fortress 5 under cover of the night.
Most of the garrison retreated over the bridge leading
to Mount Independence, and thence by the road to
Hubbardton. What could be saved of the baggage and
army stores was sent off to Skenesborough, by water.
Hurry and confusion were everywhere, for it was not
doubted that the enemy would be upon them as soon.as
daylight should discover the fortress abandoned. This
happened at an early hour of the morning.
The British instantly marched into the deserted
works, without meeting with the least resistance. Ticon-
deroga's hundred cannon were silent under the menace
of two. Burgoyne was now free to march his victorious
battalions to the east, the west, or the south, whenever
he should give the order.

1 FEEBLE PLANTATIONS. No permanent settlements were
begun west of the Green Mountains till after the conquest of
Canada. After that, the report of soldiers who had passed over
the military road from Charlestown on the Connecticut River, to
Crown Point, brought a swarm of settlers into what is now Ben-
nington County. Settlement began in Rutland County in 1771.
2 GENERAL ARTHUR ST. CLAIR, of Scotch birth, had been a
lieutenant with Wolfe at Quebec; he resigned and settled in
Pennsylvania; served with our army in Canada; made brigadier,
August, 1776; major-general, February, 1777.
8 ABERCROMBY lost two thousand men in assaulting these lines
in 1758. Since then they had been greatly strengthened.
4 THROUGH OLD PATHS. The Indians had passed this way
centuries before the fortress was thought of.
5 ST. CLAIR seems to have waited just long enough for the
defence to become difficult, to admit its impossibility. He chose
the part of safety rather than that of glory.



(July 7, 1777.)
NOT doubting he would find Skenesborough still in
our possession, St. Clair was pushing for that place
with all possible speed. He expected to get there by
land, before the enemy could do so by water; then,
after gathering up the men and stores saved from Ticon-
deroga, St. Clair meant to fall back toward Fort
Edward, where General Schuyler,' his superior offi-
cer, lay with two thousand men.
This was plainly St Clair's true course. Indeed,
there was nothing else for him to do, unless he decided
to abandon the direct route to Albany altogether. So
St. Clair did what a good general should. He resolved
to throw himself between Burgoyne and Schuyler, whose
force, joined to his own, would thus be able, even if
not strong enough to risk a battle, at least to keep up a
bold front toward the enemy.
Though Burgoyne really knew nothing about Schuy-
ler's force, he was keenly alive to the importance of
cutting off the garrison of Ticonderoga from its line of
retreat, and, if possible, of striking it a disabling blow
before it could take up a new position. St. Clair
counted on stealing a march before his retreat could


be interfered with. He also depended on the strength
of the obstructions at the bridge 2 of Ticonderoga to
delay the enemy's fleet until his own could get safely to
Skenesborough. In both expectations, St. Clair was
In the first place, Burgoyne had sent Frazer out in
pursuit of him, as soon as the evacuation was discov-
ered; in the second, Burgoyne's gunboats
had hewed their way through the obstruc-
tions by nine in the morning, and were presently
crowding all sail after the American flotilla, under
command of Burgoyne himself.
Riedesel's camp, we remember, lay on the Vermont
side, and so nearest to Mount Independence, and St.
Clair's line of retreat. Burgoyne, therefore, ordered
Riedesel to fall in behind Frazer, who had just
marched, and give that officer any support he might
be in want of.
Thus, most of the hostile forces were in active move-
ment, either by land or water, at an early hour of the
sixth. Let us first follow Frazer, in his effort to
strike the American rear.
Frazer had with him eight hundred and fifty men of
his own corps. He pushed on so eagerly that the slow-
moving Germans were far in the rear when the British
halted for the night, near Hubbardton. The day had
been sultry, the march fatiguing. Frazer's men threw
themselves on the ground, and slept on their arms.
St. Clair had reached Hubbardton the same after-
noon, in great disorder. He halted only long enough


for the rearguard to come up, and then hastened on,
six miles farther, to Castleton, leaving Warner,8 with
three regiments, to cover his retreat. Instead of
keeping within supporting distance of the main body,
Warner foolishly decided to halt for the night where
he was, because his men were tired, thus putting a gap
of six miles between his commander and himself.
Warner did not neglect, however, to fell some trees
in front of his camp, and this simple precaution, per-
haps, proved the salvation of his command the next
At five in the morning, Frazer's scouts fell upon
Warner's pickets while they were cooking their break-
fasts, unsuspicious of danger. The surprise
was complete. With their usual dash, Frazer's uly .
men rushed on to the assault, but soon found themselves
entangled among the felled trees and brushwood, be-
hind which the Americans were hurriedly endeavoring
to form. At the moment of attack, one regiment made
a shameful retreat. The rest were rallied by Warner
and Francis,4 behind trees, in copses, or wherever a
vantage-ground could be had. As the combat took
place in the woods, the British were forced to adopt
the same tactics. Musket and rifle were soon doing
deadly work in their ranks, every foot of ground was
obstinately disputed, and when they thought the battle
already won they found the Americans had only just
begun to fight..
For three hours, eight hundred men maintained a
gallant and stubborn fight against the picked soldiers


of Burgoyne's army, each side being repeatedly driven
from its ground without gaining decided advantage
over the other. Nor would Frazer have gained the
day, as he at length did, but for the timely arrival
of the Germans. Indeed, at the moment when the
British were really beaten and ready to give way, the
sound of many voices, singing aloud, rose above the
din of battle, and near at hand. At first neither of
the combatants knew what such strange sounds could
mean. It was Riedesel's Germans advancing to the
attack, chanting battle hymns to the fierce refrain of
the musketry and the loud shouts of the combatants.
Fifty fresh men would have turned the scale to either
side. This reEnforcement, therefore, decided the day.
Being now greatly outnumbered, the Americans scat-
tered in the woods around them.
Although a defeat, this spirited little battle was
every way honorable to the Americans, who fought on
until all hope of relief had vanished. A single com-
pany would have turned defeat into victory, when to
the British, defeat in the woods, thirty miles from help,
meant destruction. Even as it was, they did not know
what to do with the victory they had just won, with the
loss of two hundred men, killed and wounded, seven-
teen of whom were officers. They had neither shelter
nor medicines for the wounded, nor provisions for them-
selves. The battle had exhausted their ammunition,
and every moment was expected to bring another swarm
of foes about their ears.
The Americans had three hundred men killed and

Ticondeva .1

SHob ardton

/f o 18c Ruffan

fti.George 0 e

e1 1
Ft. Edward' Pi

ac Dueys ,

*b e I i

Soava1-oga /



wounded, and many taken. The brave Colonel Francis,
who had so admirably conducted the retreat from
Ticonderoga, was killed while rallying his men. Sel-
dom has a battle shown more determined obstinacy in
the combatants, seldom has one been more bloody for
the numbers engaged.
While Frazer was thus driving St. Clair's rearguard
before him on the left, the British were giving chase to
the American flotilla on the lake. This had hardly
reached Skenesborough, encumbered with the sick,
the baggage, and the stores, when the British gun-
boats came up with, and furiously attacked, it. Our
vessels could not be cleared for action or make effec-
tive resistance. After making what defence they could,
they were abandoned, and blown up by their crews.
Skenesborough was then set on fire, the Americans
making good their retreat to Fort Anne,5 with the loss
of all their stores.
St. Clair heard of Warner's defeat and of the
taking of Skenesborough almost at the same hour.
His first plan had wholly miscarried. His soldiers
were angry and insubordinate, half his available force
had been scattered at Hubbardton, his supplies were
gone, his. line of retreat in the enemy's hands. Finding
himself thus cut off from the direct route to Fort
Edward, he now marched to join Schuyler by way of
Rutland, Manchester, and Bennington. This he suc-
ceeded in doing on the twelfth, with about half the men
he had led from Ticonderoga. Warner, too, brought off
the shattered remnant of his command to Bennington.


On his part, Schuyler had promptly sent a reEnforce-
ment to Fort Anne, to protect St. Clair's retreat, as
soon as he knew of it. These troops soon found other
work on their hands than that cut out for them.
Burgoyne was determined to give the Americans no
time either to rally, or again unite their scattered
bands in his front. Without delay, one regi-
July 7.
ment was pushed forward to Fort Anne, on
the heels of the fugitives who had just left Skenes-
borough in flames. When this battalion reached the
fort, instead of waiting to be attacked, the Americans
sallied out upon it with spirit, and were driving it
before them in full retreat, when the yells of some
Indians, who were lurking in the neighboring woods,
spread such a panic among the victors that they gave
up the fight, set fire to Fort Anne, and retreated to Fort
Edward with no enemy pursuing them. The defeated
British then fell back to Skenesborough, so that each de-
tachment may be said to have run away from the other.
General Burgoyne had much reason to be elated
with his success thus far. In one short week he had
taken Ticonderoga, with more than one hundred can-
non; had scattered the garrison right and left; had
captured or destroyed a prodigious quantity of warlike
stores, the loss of which distressed the Americans long
after: had annihilated their naval armament on the
lake, and had sown dismay among the neighboring colo-
nies broadcast. It was even a question whether there
was any longer a force in his front capable of offering
the least resistance to his march.



With these exploits, the first stage of the invasion
may be said to have ended. If aver a man had been
favored by fortune, Burgoyne was that man. The next
stage must show him in a very different light, as the
fool of fortune, whose favors he neither knew how to
deserve when offered him, nor how to compel when

1 GENERAL PHILIP SCHUYLER, one of the four major-generals
first created by Congress, June, 1775. Had seen some service in
the French War; was given command of the Northern Depart.
ment, including Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Fort Stanwix, etc.,
February, 1777, as the one man who could unite the people of New
York against the enemy. Gates declined to serve under him.
stretched a boom of logs, strongly chained together, across the
8 SETH WARNER was on the way to Ticonderoga when he met
St. Clair retreating. The rearguard, which Colonel Francis had
previously commanded, was then increased, and put under War-
ner's orders.
4 COLONEL EBENEZER FRANCIS Of Newton, Mass., colonel, Irth
Massachusetts Regiment. His bravery was so conspicuous that
the British thought he was in chief command of the Americans.
6 FORT ANNE, one of the minor posts built during the French
War to protect the route from Albany to Lake Champlain. It
consisted of a log blockhouse surrounded by a palisade. Boat
navigation of Lake Champlain began here, fourteen miles from
Skenesborough, by Wood Creek flowing into it.



ONE of Washington's most trusted generals said, and
said truly, that it was only through misfortune that the
Americans would rise to the character of a great peo-
ple. Perhaps no event of the Revolution more signally
verified the truth of this saying, than the fall of
Let us see how this disaster was affecting the North-
ern States. In that section, stragglers and deserters
were spreading exaggerated accounts of it on every side.
In Vermont, the settlers living west of the mountains
were now practically defenceless. Burgoyne's agents
were undermining their loyalty; the fall of Ticonde-
roga had shaken it still more. Rather than abandon
their farms, many no longer hesitated to put themselves
under British protection. Hundreds, who were too
patriotic to do this, fled over the mountains, spreading
consternation as they went. From Lake Champlain to
the New England coast, there was not a village which
did not believe itself to be the especial object of
Burgoyne's vengeance. Indeed, his name became a
bugbear, to frighten unruly children with.
Of those who had been with the army, many believed
it their first duty to protect their families, and so went


home. Numbers, who were on the way to Ticonderoga,
turned back, on hearing that it was taken. To Bur-
goyne, these results were equal to a battle gained, since
he was weakening the Americans, just as surely, in this
way, with entire safety to himself.
In despair, those settlers who stood faithful among
the faithless, turned to their New Hampshire brethren.
"If we are driven back, the invader will soon be at
your doors,", they said. "We are your buckler and
shield. Our humble cabins are the bulwark of your
happy firesides. But our hearts fail us. Help us or
we perish!"
Could Schuyler do nothing for these suffering peo-
ple ? To let them be ruined and driven out was not
only bad policy, but worse strategy. He knew that
Burgoyne must regard these settlements with foreboding,
as the home of a hostile and brave yeomanry, whose
presence was a constant threat to him. To maintain
them, then, was an act of simplest wisdom. Schuyler
could ill spare a single soldier, yet it was necessary to
do something, and that quickly, for all New England
was in a tumult, and Burgoyne said to be marching
all ways at once. What wonder, since Washington
himself believed New England to be the threatened
Warner's regiment had been recruited among the
Green Mountain Boys of this very section. Schuyler
posted what was left of it at Manchester, to be at once a
rallying-point for the settlers, a menace to the loyalists,
and a defence against Burgoyne's predatory bands,


who were already spreading themselves out over the
surrounding region. It was not much, but it was
From New Hampshire, the panic quickly spread into
Massachusetts, and throughout all New England. As
usually happens, the loss of Ticonderoga was laid at
the door of the generals in chief command. Many
accused St. Clair of treacherous dealing. Everywhere,
people were filled with wrath and astonishment. "The
fortress has been sold!" they cried. Some of the
officers, who had been present, wrote home that the
place could have held out against Burgoyne for weeks,
or until help could have arrived. This was sure to find
ready believers, and so added to the volume of denun-
ciation cast upon the head of the unlucky St. Clair.
But these passionate outbursts of feeling were soon
quenched by the necessity all saw for prompt action.
Once passion and prejudice had burned out, our people
nobly rose to the demands of the situation. But con-
fidence in the generals of the Northern army was gone
forever. The men of New England would not sit long
in the shadow of defeat, but they said they would no
more be sacrificed to the incompetency of leaders who
had been tried and found wanting. Congress had to
pay heed to this feeling. Washington had to admit the
force of it, because he knew that New England must
be chiefly looked to in this crisis, to make head against
Burgoyne. If she failed, all else would fail.
If we turn now to New York, what do we see ? Five
counties in the enemy's hands. Three more, so. divided


against themselves as to be without order or govern-
ment. Of the remaining six, the resources of Orange,
Ulster, and Dutchess were already heavily P. an
taxed with the duty of defending the passes Cortlandt's
of the Hudson; Westchester was being over- letters.
run by the enemy, at will; only Tryon and Albany'
remained, and in Tryon, every able-bodied citizen, not a
loyalist, was arming to repel the invasion of St. Leger,
now imminent.
We have thus briefly glanced at the dangers resulting
from the fall of Ticonderoga, at the resources of the sec-
tions which Burgoyne was now threatening to lay waste
with fire and sword, and at the attitude of the people
toward those generals who had so grievously disap-
pointed them in the conduct of the campaign, up to
this time.
In the words of one distinguished writer, The evacua-
tion of Ticonderoga was a shock for which no part of
the United States was prepared." In the lan- John
guage of another, "No event throughout the Marshall.
whole war produced such consternation, nothing could
have been more unexpected."
It was not so much the loss of the fortress itself,
- as costly as it was to the impoverished colonies, that
could have been borne, but the people had been led to
believe, and did believe, it was next to impregnable;
nor could they understand why those who had been
intrusted with its defence should have fled without
striking a blow, or calling for assistance until too late.
Congress immediately ordered all the generals of the


Northern army2 to Philadelphia, in order that their
conduct might be looked into. John Adams hotly
declared that they would never be able to defend a
post until they shot a general. But Washington, always
greatest in defeat, hastened to show how such a step
was doubly dangerous to an army when fronting its
enemy, and wisely procured its suspension for the
present. He first set himself to work to soothe Schuy-
ler's wounded pride, while stimulating him to greater
activity. "We should never despair," he nobly said.
And again : "If new difficulties arise, we must only put
forth new exertions. I yet look forward to a happy
change." It was indeed fortunate that one so stout of
heart, with so steady a hand, so firm in the belief of
final triumph, so calm in the hour of greatest danger,
should have guided the destinies of the infant nation at
this trying hour.

1 THE THREATENED POINT. Baffled in his purpose of taking
Philadelphia by Washington's success at Trenton, Sir William
Howe had decided on making another attempt; but his manoeuvres
led Washington to believe Howe was going to Newport, R.I., with
the view of overrunning Massachusetts. See Note 3, Plan of
Campaign" (p. 32).
Clair were chiefly inculpated. Brigadiers Poor, Patterson, and
De Fermoy, who were with St. Clair at Ticonderoga, were included
in the order. All had agreed in the necessity for the evacuation,
and all came in for a share of the public censure. Poor and
Patterson nobly redeemed themselves in the later operations
against Burgoyne.



IT is a well-known maxim of war, that the general
who makes the fewest mistakes will come off conqueror.
In his haste to crush the Americans before they
could combine against him, Burgoyne had overshot his
mark. His troops were now so widely scattered that
he could not stir until they were again collected. By
the combats of Hubbardton and Fort Anne, nothing
material had been gained, since St. Clair was at Fort
Edward by the time Frazer got to Skenesborough, and
the Americans had returned to Fort Anne as soon as
the British left the neighborhood.
After the battle of Hubbardton, Riedesel was posted
at Castleton, in order to create the impression that the
British army was moving into New England. By this
bit of strategy, Burgoyne expected to keep back re6n-
forcements from Schuyler. Riedesel's presence also
gave much encouragement to the loyalists, who now
joined Burgoyne in such numbers as to persuade him
that a majority of the inhabitants were for the king.
The information they gave, proved of vital consequence
in determining Burgoyne's operations in the near future.
Two routes were now open to Burgoyne. Contrary
to sound judgment, he decided on marching to Fort


Edward, by way of Fort Anne, instead of going back
to Ticonderoga, making that his dipbt, and proceed-
ing thence up Lake George to Fort Edward and the
Hudson. Unquestionably, the latter route would
have taken him to Albany, by the time he actually
reached Fort Edward, and in much better condition to
Burgoyne had said he was afraid that going back to
Ticonderoga would dispirit his soldiers. It could have
been done in half the time required for bringing the
supplies up to it at Skenesborough, to say nothing of
the long and fatiguing marches saved by water carriage
across Lake George.
Be that as it may, from the moment Burgoyne de-
cided in favor of the Fort Anne route, that moment the
possession of Fort Anne became a necessity to him.
Had he first attacked it with fifteen hundred men, in-
stead of five hundred, he would have taken it; but even
if he had occupied it after the fight of the eighth, the
Americans would have been prevented from blocking
his way, as they subsequently did with so much effect.
In Burgoyne's case, delays were most dangerous. It
seems only too plain, that he was the sort of gen-
eral who would rather commit two errors than retract
Let us see what Burgoyne's chosen route offered of
advantage or disadvantage. The distance by it to Fort
Edward is only twenty-six miles. By a good road, in
easy marches, an army should be there in two days;
in an exigency, in one. It was mostly a wilderness

Hudson R.,

A. Magazine. B, Barracks. C, Storehouse. D, Hospital.


country, and, though generally level, much of it was a
bog, which could only be made passable by laying down
a corduroy road. There were miles of such road to be
repaired or built before wagons or artillery could be
dragged over it. Indeed, a worse country to march
through can hardly be imagined. On the other hand,
of this twenty-six miles, Wood Creek, a tributary of
Lake Champlain, afforded boat navigation for nine or
ten, or as far as Fort Anne, for the artillery, stores,
and baggage.
But while Burgoyne was getting his scattered forces
again in hand, and was bringing everything up the lake
to Skenesborough, the garrison of Fort Edward had
been spreading themselves out over the road he meant
to take, and were putting every obstacle in his way that
ingenuity could devise or experience suggest. Hun-
dreds of trees were felled across the road. The navi-
gation of Wood Creek was similarly interrupted. Those
trees growing on its banks were dexterously dropped
so as to interlock their branches in mid-stream. Farms
were deserted. All the live-stock was driven out of
reach, to the end that the country itself might offer the
most effectual resistance to Burgoyne's march.
Burgoyne could not move until his working parties
had cleared the way, in whole or in part. From this
cause alone, he was detained more than a week at
Skenesborough. This delay was as precious to the
Americans as it was vexatious to Burgoyne, since it
gave them time to bring up reinforcements, form
magazines, and prepare for the approaching struggle,


while the enemy's difficulties multiplied with every mile
he advanced.
At length the British army left Skenesborough. It
took two days to reach Fort Anne, and five to arrive
at Fort Edward, where it halted to allow the
July a5.
heavy artillery, sent by way of Lake George,
to join it; give time to bring up its supplies of food and
ammunition, without which the army was helpless to
move farther on; and, meanwhile, permit the general
to put in execution a scheme by which he expected to
get a supply of cattle, horses, carts, and forage, of all of
which he was in pressing want.
Still another body of savages joined Burgoyne at
Fort Edward. Better for him had they staid in their
native wilds, for he presently found himself equally
powerless to control their thirst for blood, or greed for
Not yet feeling himself strong enough to risk a
battle, Schuyler decided to evacuate Fort Edward on
the enemy's approach. He first called in to him the
ul garrison at Fort George. Nixon's brigade,
which had just been obstructing the road
from Fort Anne, was also called back. All told,
Schuyler now had only about four thousand men.
With these he fell back; first, to Moses's Creek, then
to Saratoga, then to Stillwater.

1 FORT EDWARD, a link in the chain of forts extending between
Canada and the Hudson,--first called Fort Lyman, for Colonel
Phineas Lyman, who built it in 1755,-stood at the elbow of the
Hudson, where the river turns west, after approaching within six-


teen miles of Lake George, to which point there was a good mili-
tary road. The fort itself was only a redoubt of timber and earth,
surrounded by a stockade, and having a casern, or barrack, inside,
capable of accommodating two hundred soldiers. It was an im-
portant military position, because this was the old portage, or
carrying-place, from the Hudson to Lake George, though the fort
was no great matter.



ON the 9th of August, Frazer's corps moved down to
Duer's house, seven miles from Fort Edward, and
Frazer seven from Saratoga. This was done to
advances, cover the expedition Burgoyne had planned;
first, to confirm the belief that he was about to fall on
New England, and, next, for supplying his army. with
horses, cattle, carts, provisions, forage everything, in
short, of which he stood in want. Both objects would
be gained at once, since fear of the first would make
easy the second.
Burgoyne ached to strike a blow at New England.
The successes he had just met with tempted him on
Realobject toward his wishes; yet he dared not go too
of the far, because the king's orders forbade his turn-
Bennington ing aside from his main object, to march into
New England, as he himself had asked for
discretionary power to do, when laying his plan before
the ministers. Still, as New England was to be the
final object of the campaign, Burgoyne was impatient
to set about humbling her in good earnest. Events
were working so favorably for him, that he now saw his
chance to go at least half way toward his desires. So
the expedition to Bennington was certainly far from


being the effect of any sudden decision on Burgoyne's
part, or wholly due to the pressing want of supplies.
It would, we think, have been undertaken in any
On the other hand, the victualling of his army was the
one obstacle to Burgoyne's advance to Albany. So long
as every pound of bread and meat had to be brought
from Quebec to Skenesborough, and from Skenesbor-
ough to his camp, the farther the army marched, the
greater the difficulty of feeding it became. It was
now living from hand to mouth, so to speak. Nobody
but Tories would sell it a pound of beef or an ear of
corn. What gold could not buy, Burgoyne determined
to take by force. If enough could be gleaned, in this
way, from the country round, he could march on; if
not, he must halt where he was, until sufficient could be
brought up over a road every day growing longer and
more dangerous. Burgoyne would never submit to the
last alternative without trying the first.
For the moment then, the problem, how to feed his
army so as to put it in motion with the least possible
delay, was all-important with General Burgoyne. The
oldest, and most populous, of the Vermont settlements
lay within striking distance on his left. He knew that
rebel flour was stored in Bennington. He had been
told that half the farmers were loyal at heart, and that
the other half would never wait for the coming of Brit-
ish veterans. Burgoyne was puffed up with the notion
that he was going to conjure the demon of rebellion
with the magic of his name. Already he saw himself


not only a conqueror, but lawgiver to the conquered.
On the whole, the plan seemed easy of accomplishment.
Burgoyne was like a man starving in the midst of
plenty. Supplies he must have. If they could be
wrung from the enemy, so much the better.
An expedition chiefly designed to rob barnyards,
corn-cribs, and henroosts promised little glory to those
engaged in it. This may have been the reason why
Burgoyne chose to employ his Germans, who were
always excellent foragers, rather than his British sol-
diers. Perhaps he thought the Germans would inspire
most fear. Be that as it may, never did a general
make a more costly mistake.1
The command was given to Colonel Baum, who, with
about a thousand Germans, Indians, Canadians, and
Baum refugee loyalists, started out from camp on
marches for his maraud, on the eleventh, halted at Batten-
Bennington. Kill on the twelfth, and reached Cambridge
on the thirteenth.. He was furnished with Tory guides,.
who knew the country well, and with instructions look-
ing to a long absence from the army.
Burgoyne then began manoeuvring so as to mask
Baum's movements from Schuyler.
Frazer was marched down to Batten-Kill, with his
own and Breyman's corps. Leaving Breyman here to
Frazer support either Baum or himself, in case of
crosses the need, Frazer crossed the Hudson on the four-
Hudson. teenth, and encamped on the heights of Sara-
toga that night. The rest of the army moved on to
Duer's, the same day. By thus threatening Schuyler

Duers House

Fraser c=iBreyman Manchester
o 0 /7 warnero

Srin rton

1ooo ,a

oo-s^ ( Battle,
T I BS Sta.k



with an advance in force, of which Frazer's crossing
was conclusive proof, Burgoyne supposed Baum would
be left to plunder at his leisure, but he seems to have
thought little of the opposition which Baum, on his side,
might meet with from the settlers themselves; though
this too was provided against in Baum's orders, and by
posting Breyman on Baum's line of march.
If Baum succeeded to his wishes, Burgoyne meant to
throw the whole army across the Hudson immediately.
Already Frazer was intrenching at Saratoga, with the
view of protecting the crossing. Having now so placed
his troops as to take instant advantage of Baum's
success, of which he felt no manner of doubt, Bur-
goyne could only sit still till Baum should be heard
Meanwhile, the New England militia were flocking
to Manchester in squads, companies, or regiments.
Washington had said they were the best yeomanry in
the world, and they were about to prove their right to
this title more decisively than ever. Ministers dis-
missed their congregations with the exhortation, He
that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy
one." Some clergymen even took a musket and went
into the ranks. Apathy and the numbness that suc-
ceeds defeat were dissipated by these appeals and
these examples.
It was Washington's policy to keep a force on Bur-
goyne's flank, which might be used to break up his
communications, cut off his provision trains, or other-
wise so harass him as to delay his march. In General


Lincoln 2 he found an officer, at once capable and brave,
who had the confidence of the New England people.
Lincoln was, therefore, sent to take command of the
militia now mustering at Manchester.
At the same time, New Hampshire called upon the
veteran Stark" to lead her forces into the field. Stark
had left the army in disgust, because Congress had
promoted other officers over his head, not more worthy
than himself. He was still smarting under the sense
of wrong, when this command was offered him. He
was like Achilles, sulking in his tent.
Stark said that he asked nothing better than to
fight, but insisted that he would do; so only upon
condition that the State troops should be exclu-
sively under his orders. To agree to this would be
practically an exercise of State sovereignty., .But time
pressed, Stark's name was a host in itself: it was
thought best to give his wounded vanity this sop;
for, by general consent, he was the only man for the
Lincoln found six hundred men assembled at Man-
chester, most of whom belonged to Stark's brigade.
On the seventh, Stark himself arrived with
"Aug. 6.
eight hundred more. By Schuyler's order,
Lincoln desired Stark to march them to the main army
at once. Stark replied that, being in an independent
command, he would take orders from nobody as to how
or where he should move his troops.
Though plainly subversive of all military rules, Stark's
obstinacy proved Burgoyne's destruction; for if Schuyler


had prevailed, there would never have been a battle of
Though undoubtedly perplexed by the situation. in
which he found himself placed, of antagonism to the
regularly constituted military authority of the nation,
Stark's future operations show excellent military judg-
ment on his part. He was not going to abandon
Schuyler, or leave Vermont uncovered; still less was
he disposed to throw away the chance of striking
Burgoyne by hanging on his flank, and of thus achiev-
ing something on his own account. Stark's sagacity
was soon justified to the world.
He determined to march with part of his force to
Bennington, twenty-five miles south of Manchester,
and about the same distance from Stillwater.
In this position he would easily be able to Aug.
carry out either of the objects he had in view, assist
Schuyler, cover Bennington, or get in a telling blow
somewhere, when least expected.
Burgoyne's expectation of surprising Bennington was
thus completely frustrated.
Baum learned at Cambridge that the Americans were
at Bennington, to the number of eighteen hundred.
He immediately wrote Burgoyne to this effect. On
the next day, he marched to Sancoic, a mill-
stream falling into the Walloomsac River in Aug.
North Hoosac, and after again writing Burgoyne, con-
firming the account he had previously sent about the
force in his front, moved on toward Bennington, under
the impression that the Americans would not wait to
be attacked.


1 A COSTLY MISTAKE to give the command to an officer who
could not speak English; still another, to intrust an expedition in
which celerity of movement was all-important, to soldiers loaded
down with their equipment, as the Germans were, instead of to
light troops. Colonel Skene went with Baum. See note 4, p. 18.
2 GENERAL BENJAMIN LINCOLN, born at Hingham, Mass., 1733.
Made a major-general, February, 1777. Joined Schuyler, July 29,
at Fort Miller, while our army was retreating; sent thence to Man-
chester. One of those captains who, while seldom successful, are
yet considered brave and skilful commanders.
3 GENERAL JOHN STARK, born at Londonderry, N.H., 1728,
had seen more active service than most officers of his time. He
had fought with Abercromby at Ticonderoga, against Howe at
Bunker Hill, and with Washington at Trenton. Notwithstanding
this, he was passed over in making promotions, perhaps because
he had less education than some others, who lacked his natu-
ral capacity for a military life. Congress first censured him for
insubordination, and then voted him thanks, and promotion to a
brigadiership for his victory over Baum.



BURGOYNE'S movements convinced Schuyler that he
would shortly be attacked by the whole British army, as
Burgoyne had intended and foreseen. Schuyler there-
fore again urged Stark to come to his assistance with-
out more delay, if he would not have the burden of
defeat lie at his own door. This appeal took present
Nothing happened till the thirteenth. Meantime,
Stark had decided to go to Schuyler's assistance. His
brigade was under arms, ready to march, when a woman
rode up in haste with the news that hostile Indians were
running up and down the next town, spreading terror
in their path. She had come herself, because the road
was no longer safe for men to travel it. Stark quickly
ordered out two hundred men to stop the supposed
marauders, and gain further intelligence.
This detachment soon sent back word that the Indians
were only clearing the way for a larger force, which was
marching toward Bennington. Swift couriers were
instantly despatched to Manchester, to hurry forward
the troops there to Stark's aid.
The next day Stark moved out toward the enemy, in


order to look for his detachment. He soon fell in with
it, fighting in retreat, with the enemy following close
behind. Stark halted, formed his line, and
Aug.4. gathered in his scouts. This defiance brought
the enemy to a stand also.
Seeing before him a force as strong as, or stronger
than, his own, Baum was now looking about him for
ground suitable to receive an attack upon; making one
himself was farthest from his thoughts, as Burgoyne had
given him express orders not to risk an engagement,
if opposed by a superior force, but to intrench, and
send back for help at once. This was precisely
Baum's present situation. He therefore lost no time
in sending a courier to headquarters.
On his part, Stark did not wish to fight till Warner
could come up, or delay fighting long enough for the
enemy to be reinforced. Baum's evident desire to avoid
an action made Stark all the more anxious to attack
him, and he resolved to do so not later than the next
morning, by which time he confidently reckoned -on
having Warner's regiment with him. Though small, it
had fought bravely at Hubbardton, and Stark felt that
his raw militia would be greatly strengthened by the
presence of such veterans among them.
Rain frustrated Stark's plan for attacking the next
day, so there was only a little skirmishing, in which the
Americans had the advantage. Baum im-
Aug.. 15,
proved the delay by throwing up a redoubt of
logs and earth on a rather high, flat-topped hill, rising
behind the little Walloomsac River. In this he placed

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Vt. State Line

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August x6, 1777.


his two field-pieces. His Canadians and loyalists took
up a position across and lower down the stream, in his
front, the better to cover the road by which his reenforce-
ments must come, or the Americans attempt to cut off
his retreat. These dispositions were all that time, the
size of his force, and the nature of the ground, would
Rain also kept back the reinforcements that each
side was so impatiently expecting. Stark chafed at
the delay, Baum grew more hopeful of holding out
until help could reach him. Burgoyne had, indeed,
despatched Breyman to Baum's assistance at eight
o'clock in the morning, with eight hundred and fifty
men and two guns. This corps was toiling on, through
mud and rain, at the rate of only a mile an hour, when
an hour, more or less, was to decide the fate of the
expedition itself. The fatigue was so great, that when
urged on to the relief of their comrades, the weary
Germans would grumble out, Oh, let us give them time
to get warm !"
Warner's regiment could not leave Manchester till
the morning of the fifteenth, but by marching till
midnight, it was near Bennington on the morning of
the sixteenth. Breyman put so little energy into his
movements that he was nowhere near Baum at that
hour. Stark, however, was strengthened by the arrival
of several hundred militia from Massachusetts, who
came full of fight, and demanding to be led against the
enemy without delay. Stark's reply was characteristic:
"Do you want to go out now, while it is dark and


rainy ?" he asked. No," the spokesman rejoined.
"Then," continued Stark, "if the Lord should give us
sunshine once more, and I do not give you fighting
enough, I will never ask you to turn out again."
The day broke clear and pleasant. Both parties
prepared for the coming battle. Stark had
Aug. 46.
the most men, but Baum the advantage of
fighting behind intrenchments, and of having artillery,
while Stark had none.
At midday, Stark formed his men for the attack.
All were yeomanry, in homespun, rudely equipped with
pouches and powder-horns, and armed with the old
brown firelocks, without bayonets, they had brought
from their homes. Some had served in the preceding
campaign, but not one in fifty had ever fired a shot in
anger; while many were mere lads, in whom enthusiasm
for their leader and cause supplied the want of expe-
rience. The work now required of them was such as
only veterans were thought capable of doing. They.
were to storm intrenchments, defended by the trained
soldiers of Europe; yet not a man flinched when Stark,
with a soldier's bluntness and fire, pointed his sword
toward the enemy's redoubt and exclaimed, "There,
my lads, are the Hessians! To-night our flag floats
over yonder hill, or Molly Stark is a widow "
His men answered with loud cheers, grasped their
weapons, and demanded to be led against the enemy.
Stark then gave the wished-for order to march.
Meanwhile, dismay reigned in Bennington. Every
man who could load a musket had gone out to fight


with Stark. Their household goods had been loaded
upon wagons, ready to move off in case the day
went against them. Their wives and little ones stood
hand in hand along the village street, throughout that
long summer afternoon, listening to the peal of cannon
and musketry, in fear for those who had gone forth to
the battle, and expecting the moment that was to make
them homeless wanderers.
The story of the battle is soon told. Stark so
divided his force as to attack the enemy in front,
flank, and rear, at once. The nature of the ground
was such as to hide the march of the several detach-
ments from Baum's view, but he had no other idea than
to keep close in his intrenchments.
At three in the afternoon, firing began in Baum's
rear. This was the signal that the several attacking
columns had reached their allotted stations. All the
Americans then rushed on to the assault. Baum found
himself everywhere assailed with unlooked-for vigor.
Never had he expected to see raw rustics charging up
to the muzzles of his guns. In vain he plied them
with grape and musketry. The encircling line grew
tighter and tighter; the fire, hotter and hotter. For an
hour he defended himself valiantly, hoping for night or
Breyman to come. At last his fire slackened. The
Americans clambered over the breastworks, and poured
into the redoubt. For a few moments there was sharp
hand-to-hand fighting. The Germans threw down their
muskets, drew their broadswords, and desperately at-
tempted to cut their way out. Most of them were


beaten back or taken. A few only escaped. The
Tories and Canadians fared no better. The victory
was complete and decisive.
Now, at the eleventh hour, Breyman was marching
on the field to the sound of the firing. He had taken
thirty-two hours to get over twenty-four miles. Sup-
posing the day won, Stark's men were scattered about
in disorder. Not even Stark himself seems to have
thought of a rescuing force. Some were guarding the
prisoners, some caring for the wounded, and some
gathering up the booty. All had yielded to the de-
moralization of victory, or to the temptation to plun-
der. Most opportunely, Warner's men now came fresh
into the fight. This gallant little band flung itself
boldly in the path of the advancing foe, thus giving
Stark the time to rally those nearest him, and lead
them into action again.
At first Breyman gained ground. With steady tread
his veterans fired and moved on, pushing the Ameri-
cans back, toward the scene of the first encounter; but
Baum was no longer there to assist, the scattered mili-
tiamen were fast closing in round Breyman's flanks,
and Stark had now brought one of Baum's cannon to
bear, with destructive effect, upon the head of the
enemy's advancing column.
In no long time the deadly fire, poured in on all
sides, began to tell upon Breyman's solid battalions.
Our marksmen harassed his flanks. His front was
hard pressed, and there were no signs of Baum. En-
raged by the thought of having victory torn from their


grasp, the Americans gave ground foot by foot, and
inch by inch. At last the combatants were firing in
each other's faces; so close was the encounter, so deadly
the strife, that Breyman's men were falling round him
by scores, under the close and accurate aim of their
assailants. Darkness was closing in. His artillery
horses were shot down in their traces, his flanks driven
in, his advance stopped.
As soon as they perceived their advantage, the
Americans redoubled their efforts. The firing grew
tremendous. It was now Breyman who was forced
back. Soon all order was lost. Favored by the
darkness, he began a disorderly retreat. In an instant
his guns were taken. Exhausted by fighting two bat-
tles in one afternoon, no longer able in the darkness to
tell friend from foe, the Americans soon gave over the
pursuit. But, for the second time, they stood victors on
the hard-fought field. All felt it to be a narrow escape
from defeat, for if Breyman had loitered by the way,
he had fought like a lion in the toils of the hunter.
Thus Washington's sagacity had been vindicated,
Stark's insubordination nobly atoned for, Schuyler's
worst fears set at rest, by the fortunes of a single
Four cannon, one thousand stand of arms, and seven
hundred prisoners, were the trophies of this victory.
The enemy left two hundred of his dead on the field.
Baum's corps was virtually destroyed, Breyman's badly
cut up, Burgoyne's well-laid plans scattered to the


1 BATTLE OF BENNINGTON. Both actions actually occurred in
the town of Hoosic, N.Y. (we cannot be held responsible for the
absurd variations in spelling this name), though the troops were
formed for the attack within the limits of Bennington, and Stark's
despatch announcing his victory is dated at this place. A battle
monument, designed to be three hundred and one feet high, is now
being built on a commanding site at Bennington Centre, which is
the old village. No more beautiful spot than this hill-environed
valley, overlooked by Mount Anthony, could possibly commemo-
rate to future centuries one of the decisive conflicts of the War
for Independence.



STARK had, indeed, dealt Burgoyne a stunning blow.
In a moment all his combinations were overthrown.
Efforts were made to keep the disaster a secret from
the army, but the movements made in consequence of
it told the story but too plainly.
In the first place, the whole army was hurried up to
Batten-Kill in order to cover Breyman's and Frazer's
retreat,1 for Frazer had been ordered to re-
Aug. 17.
cross the Hudson at once. Frazer's position
was most critical; his bridge had been broken by a
freshet, and for one whole day he was cut off from the
main army.
As soon as Breyman's worn-out men had straggled
into camp, Burgoyne's fell back to Duer's again. Mean-
time, Frazer had repaired his bridge and hastily re-
crossed the Hudson. Riedesel's corps was sent back
to Fort Edward. The whole army had thus
Aug. 18.
made a retrograde movement in consequence
of the defeat at Bennington, and now lay in echelon 2
from Fort Edward to Batten-Kill, in the camps it had
occupied before the advance was begun; it had re-
treated upon its communications; it was put on the


Burgoyne had now no choice left but to hold fast his
communication with the lakes, and these could not be
called safe while a victorious enemy was threatening
his flank. From this time forward, he grew wary and
circumspect. His councils began to be divided. The
prestige of the army was lowered, confidence in its
leaders visibly shaken. Even the soldiers began to
grumble, criticise, and reflect. Burgoyne's vain boast
that this army would not retreat, no longer met the
conditions in which it stood. It had retreated.
As if to prove the truth of the adage that misfortunes
never come singly, most of Burgoyne's Indians now
deserted him. So far from intimidating, their atrocities
had served to arouse the Americans as nothing else
could. As soldiers, they had usually run away at the
first fire. As scouts, their minds were wholly fixed upon
plundering. Burgoyne had sharply rebuked them for
it. Ever sullen and intractable under restraint, their
answer was at least explicit, No plunder, no Indians; "
and they were as good as their word.
We find, then, that the battle of Bennington had
cost Burgoyne not far from two thousand men, whether
soldiers or Indians. More than this, it had thrown him
back upon his second alternative, which, we remember,
was to halt until supplies could be brought from Can-
ada. This was easily equivalent to a month's delay.
Thirty days of inaction were thus forced upon Burgoyne
at a time when every one of them was worth five hun-
dred men to the Americans. Such were some of the
substantial results of the victory at Bennington.


To the Americans, the moral and material gains were
no less striking or important. At once confidence was
restored. Men no longer hesitated to turn out, or feared
for the result. A most hopeful sign was the alacrity
with which the well-to-do farmers went into the ranks.
There was general appreciation of the fact that Bur-
goyne had seriously compromised himself by advancing
as far as he had; in short, the re-action was quite as
decisive as that which had followed the victory at

1 BREYMAN'S RETREAT. The express from Baum arrived at
headquarters at 5 A.M. of the fifteenth. Orders were immedi-
ately given Breyman to march. News of Baum's defeat reached
Burgoyne during the night of the sixteenth. The 2oth regiment,
British, was immediately marched to Breyman's support. Bur-
goyne's anxiety was so great, that he followed it until Breyman's
corps was met on the road.
2 ECHELON, the French word for step-ladder, by adoption a
universal military term, well describes the posting of troops, be-
longing to one army, at stated intervals apart, so as to be moved
forward or backward step by step, always keeping the same rela-
tive distances between the separate bodies. In marking out such
positions on the map, the columns would look like the rounds of
a ladder, hence the term.



BURGOYNE'S hopes now chiefly turned upon the prom-
ised cooperation of St. Leger from Oswego, and of
Sir William Howe from New York.
Convinced that the enemy would shortly invade the
Refer to Mohawk Valley, Schuyler had sent Colonel
"Plan of Gansevoort1 to put Fort Stanwix,2 the key to
Campaign." this valley, in a state of defence, before it
should be attacked.

v ^ oswe^go

Fort Oswego
St. Leger's force was the counterpart of Burgoyne's,
in that it consisted of regular troops, loyalists, and
Indians. Many of the loyalists, and most of the In-
dians, had lived in this valley, so that St. Leger had no


want of guides, who knew every foot of ground, or of
spies acquainted with the sentiments of every settler.
A scanty supply of provisions had just been brought
into the fort when St. Leger's scouts opened fire upon
it. The garrison shut the gates and returned
the fire. Instead of finding Fort Stanwix Aug.
defenceless, St. Leger was compelled to lay siege
to it.
The news of St. Leger's appearance in the valley
roused the settlers in arms. Near a thousand men, all
brave, but without discipline, promptly marched, under
General Herkimer,8 to the relief of Fort Stanwix.
Gansevoort was notified, and was to aid the movement
by making a sortie from the fort, at the proper moment.
St. Leger's spies soon discovered Herkimer's men
coming. All the rangers, and most of the Indians, went
out to waylay them in the thick forests. Not far from
Oriskany, Brant,4 the Mohawk chief, and Johnson,5 the
loyalist leader, hid their men in a ravine, through which
the Americans would have to pass, in a thin line, over
a causeway of logs.
Meantime, the Americans were heedlessly pressing
on, without order, to the rescue of their comrades. In
their impatience, even ordinary precautions Aug.
were neglected. When the van entered the
ravine, a terrible fire mowed down the front ranks by
scores; those in the rear fled in a panic from the field.
It was downright butchery.
After the firing had continued some time, those
Americans whom panic had not seized, threw them-


selves into a posture of defence, and resolved to sell
their lives dearly. Herkimer, their leader, had been
struck down by a bullet, among the first; but, notwith-
standing his wound was a disabling one, he continued
to direct his men, and encourage them by his firm
demeanor to fight on. In the face of overwhelming
odds they gallantly stood their ground, until the enemy
was alarmed by hearing firing in its rear, and drew off,
leaving Herkimer's little band of heroes to retire
unmolested from the field.
The firing had been heard at Fort Stanwix, and the
cause easily guessed. While the battle was raging at
Oriskany, the garrison of the fort sallied out upon the
besiegers' camps. They met with little opposition, as
most of the defenders had gone out to fight Herkimer.
The firing, however, had called off the savages from
Herkimer, to the defence of their own camps. The
sortie was gallantly made, and entirely successful; but
the attack on Herkimer rendered it of so little avail,
that the battle of Oriskany left Gansevoort hardly better
off than before.
Two hundred of Herkimer's men were killed. He,
too, soon died of his wounds.
Though this attempt to relieve Fort Stanwix had so
signally failed, Schuyler was much too sensible of the
importance of holding it, not to make another effort to
raise the siege. He could ill afford to spare the troops
necessary for the undertaking, since Burgoyne was now
manoeuvring in his front; but the gravity of the situa-
tion could not be overlooked. He therefore sent


Arnold, with Learned's brigade, to retrieve Herkimer's
disaster in the valley.
Gansevoort was still holding out against St. Leger as
stubbornly as ever. His situation was, however, grow-
ing desperate, when, one day, without appar-
Aug. 22.
ent cause, the besiegers suddenly decamped
in headlong haste, leaving their tents standing, their
baggage in their tents, and their artillery in the trenches.
This inglorious and unlooked-for flight was brought
about by emissaries from Arnold, who spread the report
among St. Leger's Indians, that the Americans were
coming with forces as numerous as leaves on the trees.
Arnold, whom no one will accuse of want of courage,
was really undecided about advancing farther with
his small force. His stratagem, however, took effect.
Grown weary of the siege, the Indians now made no
scruple of deserting their allies on the spot. In vain
St. Leger stormed and entreated by turns; stay they
would not. He therefore had no choice but to follow
them, in mortification and disgust, back to Oswego.
In the belief that Arnold was close upon them, every-
thing was left behind that could impede the march.
The siege was abandoned in disgrace, and Fort Stan-
wix saved by a simple stratagem.
Six days later, Burgoyne was informed of St. Leger's
retreat. He had now no other resource than in the
promised advance up the Hudson, and in
Aug. 28.
the strength of his artillery. By acting in
detachments, his immediate force had been so seriously
weakened that a forward movement on his part, with-


out full assurance of active support from New York,
savored far more of recklessness than sound military

1 COLONEL PETER GANSEVOORT, born at Albany, 1749, had
fought with Montgomery at Quebec.
2 FORT STANWIX, also called Schuyler, built by General Stan-
wix of Abercromby's army in 1758.
8 GENERAL NICHOLAS HERKIMER, a leading settler of the
Mohawk Valley.
SJOSEPH BRANT, or Thayandanega, sometime pupil of Dr.
Wheelock's school (since Dartmouth College), was by all odds
the most active, intelligent, and implacable enemy to the Americans
that the war produced among his people. With Johnson, he held
most of the Six Nations at enmity with us during the Revolution.
(See Note 5.)
6 SIR JOHN JOHNSON was the son of Sir William, who gained
wealth and a title by his victory over Dieskau at Lake George,
1755. He was also the king's superintendent over the Six Nations,
and had his residence at Caughnawaga, since called Johnstown in
his honor. Sir John succeeded to his father's title and estates.
He took sides with the Royalists, raised a body of Tory followers,
and with them fled to Canada. Out of these refugees, he raised a
corps of rangers called Royal Greens, with whom he joined St.
Leger, in the hope of crushing out his enemies in the valley.



WE remember that the united voice of the army
and people had demanded the recall of those generals
whose want of foresight or energy, or both, Refer to
had caused the disasters with which the chapter V.,
campaign had opened. Congress chose Gen- "Facing
eral Gates 1 to command in room of Schuyler,
who, with St. Clair, was ordered to report at head-
quarters. With the methods of travel then in use,
Gates was nearly two weeks in getting from
Philadelphia to Albany. This fact will suffi- Aug. 4
ciently illustrate the difficulties which attended the
movement of reinforcements from one army to another,
before the day of railways and steamboats.
All that lay in the power of man to do, Washington
had done for the Northern army. Though fronting an
enemy greatly superior to himself, he had still found
time to so direct operations in the North, that his hand
may almost be said to have guided the course of events
in that quarter. He had soothed Schuyler's wounded
self-love, commended his efforts, strengthened his hands
in the field, and nobly stood between him and his
detractors in Congress. When Congress had sus-
pended all the generals of the Northern army from


command, it was Washington who interposed to save
them and the army from the consequences of such
blindness and folly. To Schuyler he had said, "Bur-
goyne is doing just what we could wish; let him but
continue to scatter his army about, and his ruin is only
a question of time." Schuyler urgently called for more
troops. Brigade after brigade had gone from Wash-
ington's own army to swell Schuyler's ranks. I care
not where the victory is won, so we do but gain it,"
Washington said. Schuyler again pleaded his want
of general officers. Washington sent him Arnold, the
dare-devil of the army, and Lincoln, a man of sound
head, steady hand, and even temper, as a counterpoise
to Arnold's over-confident and impetuous nature.
Thanks to these efforts, we had created a new army on
the ruins of the old.
Schuyler's deportment toward the Massachusetts
authorities at this time was neither conciliatory nor
conducive to the interests of the service. He knew
their feelings of distrust toward him, and in making
application to them for reinforcements showed his
resentment in a way that called forth an acrimonious
response. He upbraided them for their shortcomings;
they entreated him to look nearer home. Thus we
find General Schuyler and the Massachusetts Council
engaged in an exchange of sarcasms at a time when the
exigency called for something besides a war of words
between the commander of an army and the executive
head of a powerful State.
Gates took command just after the Battle of Ben-


nington was won. He found the army in much dis-
order, but pleased with the change of commanders.
Gates was a thorough disciplinarian and organ- Aug.
izer. In his hands, the efficiency of the army
daily increased. Old jealousies were silenced, and
confidence restored. Letters from the soldiers show
the change in temper and spirit to have been instant
and marked. One of them says, "When we came to
Albany, things looked very dark for our side, for there
were officers in town who had left camp, and would
not go back as long as Schuyler had the command.
Both officers and soldiers were determined not to fight
under him, and would tell him so to his head. But
General Gates came to town, and then the tune was
turned, and every face showed a merry heart."
The hostile armies now lay, quietly gathering up
their strength for the decisive struggle, within sound
of each other's evening guns.
Gates was the first to act. Having been joined by
Morgan's rifle corps,2 and by large numbers of militia,
the whole army now moved up to Stillwater,
within a dozen miles of the enemy, who stillept.
remained intrenched behind the Batten-Kill. This
movement put new life into our soldiers, and was not
without its effect upon the enemy, whose spirit was
aroused at finding the antagonist it had been pursu-
ing suddenly become the aggressor. The Americans
had a well-served though not numerous artillery, but
the presence of Morgan's corps more than made good
any deficiency in this respect. The great drawback


to the efficiency of the army was the want of cordial-
ity between Gates and Arnold. The breach between
them was daily widening that was presently to become
an impassable gulf.
Gates purposed taking up a strong position, and
awaiting Burgoyne's attack behind his intrenchments.
Either Burgoyne must risk an assault, under conditions
most favorable to the Americans, or retire discomfited
under conditions highly unfavorable to a successful
The country between Saratoga and Stillwater, cov-
ered with woods and intersected by ravines, was wholly
unsuited to the free movement of troops. All the shore
of the Hudson is high ground, rising to a nearly uniform
level next the river, but gradually ascending, as the
river is left, to the summit of the streams falling into it.
Long slopes or terraces are thus formed, furrowed here
and there by the ravines, which serve to drain off the
water from above into the river below. Puny rivulets
where they begin, these watercourses cut deeper as
they run on, until, at the river, they become impassable
gulches. The old military road skirts the foot of the
heights, which sometimes abut closely upon the river,
and sometimes draw back far enough to leave a strip of
meadow between it and them.
Kosciusko,8 Gates's engineer, chose the ground on
which to receive Burgoyne's attack, at one
Sept. 12.
of these places where the heights crowd upon
the river, thus forming a narrow defile, which a hand-
ful of men could easily defend against an army. At

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