Page images

ed hastily towards Montreal, to escape total destruction from the British, who were reinforced by the arrival of a fleet, and armament from England. General Carleton pursued, with about 800 men; but General Sullivan made good his retreat, with the loss of about 100 men, together with his whole camp, artillery, stores, &c. May, 1776.

Pending the operations of the siege of Quebec, Colonel Arnold had been appointed a Brigadier, and stationed at Montreal, where he effected an exchange of prisoners with a Captain Foster, who at the head of a detachment of the 8th British regiment, supported by Canadians, and Indians, had taken the American fort at the Cedars, about 40 miles above Montreal.

About the same time, the British army was again reinforced from England, and had become about 13,000 strong. With this force General Carleton, supported by Generals Burgoyne, Philips, and Reidesel, moved on in divisions in pursuit of General Sullivan, to support the advance guard under the command of General Frazer, who had taken post at Troies Rivieres.

General Sullivan detached General Thompson with about 1800 men, to surprise General Frazer in his camp, and thus cut off the advance guard of the British army; not knowing the arrival of the last reinforcements; but the attempt was discovered, and defeated, and the Americans were routed, and pursued, and fled with precipitation, leaving their general, &c. in the hands of the British. General Carleton pursued the Americans, with all his forces, to the River Sorel, and from thence to Lake Champlain, where they arrived under the most perilous circumstances, being hard pressed, and severly harassed by the advance guard of the British army, under General Burgoyne. Here General Sullivan was joined by General Arnold, who had abandoned Montreal, at the critical

moment, when the enemy were ready to cut off his retreat by their armed vessels. Generals Sullivan, and Arnold embarked their forces, with their cannon, and baggage, and retired to the Isle Aux-Noix, and from thence to Crown-Point, where they made a stand, June 15th, 1776.

On the 12th of July, General Sullivan retired from the command, and carried with him the affectious, and gratitude of the army, and was succeeded by General Gates. The army was now diminished more than five thousand, exclusive of 300 sick, who were removed to Fort George. The distresses of this army, arising from the ravages of the small-pox, exceed all description.

General Gates ordered a body of militia to be assembled at Skeensborough; retired with his troops to Ticonderoga, and made all possible exertions to strengthen his fleet, to resist the enemy.-August.-Sir Guy Carleton exerted himself to prepare a fleet that should enable him to command the lake, and transport his army, that he might carry the war into the state of New-York, and co-operate with Gen. Howe at New-York, by the way of North River, and plant the British standard at Albany.

In October Gen. Carleton had prepared his fleet, embarked his troops; proceeded up the lake, and discovered the American fleet near Valicour Island, when a severe action commenced, which was supported upon both sides with great bravery; both fleets distinguished themselves by their ardent zeal, and intrepid valour; but the Americans were overpowered, and dispersed, taken, or destroyed, and thus an opening was made for the enemy to ap proach Fort Ti, October 11.

General Gates strengthened his position at Ticonderoga, and his army had how become about 12,000 strong; but their supplies of provisions were short, and their flour entirely gone for several days. At this critical moment,

Sir Guy Carleton abandoned all further operations for the season, and returned into Canada. Gen. Gates dismissed

the militia upon the first certain intelligence of this fact, and this relieved the distresses of the army. Thus the northern campaign closed.

The humanity of Sir Guy Carleton in clothing the naked American prisoners in Canada, and dismissing them with kindness, as well as such supplies as were necessary to carry them home comfortably to their friends, is deserving of perpetual remembrance, and ought to be recorded to his eternal honor.

Another expedition forming under Gen. Howe now cliams our attention.






EARLY in July, 1777, Gen. Howe embarked about 1600 troops on board his fleet, (consisting of about 260 sail,) and on the 23d he put to sea.

General Washington made a movement with his army towards the Delaware, to be in readiness to cover Philadelphia; and at the same time expressed the strongest surprise that Gen. Howe should thus abandon Gen. Burgoyne.

General Howe caused a report to be circulated, that he was destined for Boston, and at the same time manoeuvered upon the coast with his fleet, to distract the motions of Gen. Washington, that he might make his descent upon Philadelphia, without being obstructed. When he concluded that he had gained his purpose, he entered the Chesapeake Bay, and landed his troops at the ferry of Elk.

General Washington penetrated his designs, as soon as he had entered the Chesapeake, and advanced to meet him. An action was fought at Chad's Ford, in which Gen. Howe was successful, and Gen. Washington retired to the high grounds to collect his forces, and renew the combat; but Gen. Howe, by his movements, eluded the combat, and moved on to Philadelphia, September 26th. Congress upon his first landing removed to Lancaster.

Pending these operations the Marquis La Fayette arrived in America, and tendered his services to Congress, as a volunteer in the American service, and Congress conferred upon him a commission of brigadier general in the army of the United States. The marquis joined the army,

and served at his own expence, and became not only a member of the family, but the intimate companion of the commander in chief. On the 31st of July, 1777, he made the first display of his zeal and talents as a soldier, at the battle of Chad's-Ford, and acquitted himself with great honour.

The Count Pulaski, a Polish nobleman, distinguished himself also in this action, and was honoured with the commission of a major general.

When General Howe had entered Philadelphia, and thus secured the object of the expedition, he ordered his fleet to move round into the Delaware, and thus secured his communication with the sea. He next detached a division of his army to co-operate with the fleet in dislodging the Americans from their forts on the Delaware, that they might clear the river and move up to Philadelphia.

During these operations, Genéral Washington concerted an attack upon the main body of the British army, which was encamped at Germantown. This attack was well planned, and promptly executed; the British were com pletely surprised in their camp, at break of day, October 3d; about sunrise the action became warm, and the Americans were successful at all points, until they attempted to dislodge a battalion of the British, who in their flight, had thrown themselves into a stone house; this occasioned a delay that broke the pursuit, and gave the enemy time to recover from their surprise, and rally to the charge; and the action became, warm and bloody. A thick fog arose that covered the combatants, and caused some confusion; the British took advantage of this, and the Americans retired, and thus abandoned the victory they had so fairly gained. October 4th, 1777.

The losses of the parties were about equally balanced ; but it proved a lesson of caution to General Howe; he collected his army at Philadelphia, and took up his winter

« PreviousContinue »