Page images
PDF
EPUB

CAPTURE OF BURGOYNE.

229

CHAPTER CVII.

PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.-Capture of Burgoyne.

1. AFTER the second battle of Stillwater, Burgoyne, with his troops,

SURRENDER OF BURGOYNE.

retreated to Saratoga. His army was exceedingly crippled, having lost, in both engagements, from twelve to fifteen hundred men, and at least one valuable officer, General Frazer. The Americans too had suffered, but not so severely; among others, General Arnold was wounded.

[graphic]

2. The British general had now abandoned his haughty designs of conquest, and thought only of escape. Perceiving his object, General Gates posted several strong detachments of his ariny in situations to cut off his retreat.

3. Burgoyne's first attempt was to reach Fort George, by way of Fort Edward. Finding his path unexpectedly obstructed, he caused his army to march by night; still he found his retreat intercepted. About this time, moreover, the news came that Fort Edward had fallen into the hands of the Americans.

4. Every door of escape now seemed closed, and every hope filed. Incessant toil and sickness, with much severe fighting, had worn down his army to three thousand five hundred effective men, and even these were almost destitute of provisions; while the American army was daily increasing in numbers and courage. It is said that Burgoyne had two thousand five hundred on the sick list.

CHAP. CVII.-1. What was the loss sustained by the British and American forces? 2How was Burgoyne's plan of escape disconcerted by General Gates? 2. What attenip's did Burgoyne make at escape? 4. State of his army?

5. In these circumstances he called a council of war, at which it was decided to surrender the army to General Gates. The preliminaries were soon settled, and the whole army, amounting to five thousand seven hundred and fifty-two men, with five thousand stand of arms, was given up to the Americans on the 17th of October, 1777.

6. The capture of an entire army was, of course, a matter of much exultation with the American people, as it more than compensated for the reverses at and near Philadelphia. The thanks of Congress were voted to General Gates, and a gold medal was struck and presented to him by the president, in the name of the United States.

7. The surrender of Burgoyne was followed by the reduction of several British posts in the north. Mount Defiance and Mount Hope had even surrendered to General Lincoln as early as September 13, and Mount Independence and Ticonderoga gave up soon afterward. An armed sloop was also taken, and two hundred and ninety prisoners. 8. Although Sir Henry Clinton, with his troops, had not been able to proceed up the Hudson, to meet Burgoyne, yet he had done that which might have encouraged the latter, had it been in time. He had taken several forts on and near the Hudson River above New York, among which were Forts Clinton and Montgomery.

CHAPTER CVIII.

PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.-The War on the Ocean.

1. BEFORE the war of the Revolution, the colonies had no navy except a few vessels fitted out to cruise for pirates or to transport troops. But as soon as the war was fairly begun, this subject engaged the attention of public men.

2. In October, 1775, Congress ordered one vessel of ten guns and another of fourteen to be equipped as national cruisers, and to be sent to the eastward on a cruise of three months, to intercept supplies designed for the royal troops. On the 30th of the same month, two more vessels, one of thirty-six and the other of twenty guns, werc ordered. 3. In October, 1776, the Americans had five frigates of thirty-two guns, five vessels of twenty-eight guns, and three of twenty-four, in

5. Describe the surrender of Burgoyne. 6. What was the effect on the Americans? What of General Gates? 7. What followed these events? 8. What had been done by Clinton?

CHAP. CVIII-1. What of the American navy before the Revolution? 2. What did Congress order in October, 1775?

THE WAR ON THE OCEAN.

231

course of building, and several were ready for sea. One twenty-four,

[merged small][graphic]

FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES-THE STARS AND STRIPES. this vessel, Dudley Sal

tonstall was captain, and ensign ever shown by a

John Paul Jones first-lieutenant. The first regular American man-of-war was hoisted on board the Alfred, by Lieutenant Jones, in December, 1775..

5. What this ensign was is not now known with certainty. It is said, however, to have been a device representing a pine-tree, with a rattlesnake coiled at its root, and about to strike, with the motto, "Don't tread on me." The present national colors were not adopted by Congress till the year 1777.

6. The first regular cruisers ever got to sea under the new government, were the Hornet of ten guns, and the Wasp of eight. The first battle fought was off the Bermudas, April 6, 1776, between the Alfred and Cabot on the American side, and the British ship Glasgow, of twenty guns. The Americans fought well, but the enemy escaped them.

7. On the 17th of the same month, the Lexington, of sixteen guns, commanded by Captain Barry, fell in with the Edward, an armed tender of the ship Liverpool, and, after a close and spirited action of near an hour, captured her. The Lexington had four men killed and wounded, while the Edward was nearly cut to pieces. These battles gave the people great encouragement.

3 What increase was there in 1776? 4. What of the Alfred? Her commanders? What of the first flag? 5. What was the device? When was the present national flag adopted? 6. What of the Hornet and Wasp? What was the first naval battle? The result? 7 What of the next engagement?

CHAPTER CIX.

PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.--Exploits of Paul Jones.

1. JOHN PAUL JONES, or as he was commonly called, Paul Jones,*

PAUL JONES.

was transferred, in May, 1776, from the Alfred to the command of the Providence, a vessel mounting twelve guns, and having on board seventy men. In this, he made sixteen prizes in little more than three weeks. He was also twice chased by British menof-war, but escaped by stratagem and superior sailing.

2. In 1777, while the British were taking possession of Philadelphia, and Gates was spreading a net for Burgoyne, Paul Jones was in France, endeavoring, through the influ

ence of the American commissioners, Franklin, Deane, and Lee, to get the command of a larger and better vessel than any the Americans had in the service.

3. Unwilling, however, to be long idle, he sailed on a cruise in April, 1778, in the Ranger, of eighteen guns. With this single little vessel he kept the whole coast of Scotland, and part of that of England, for some time in a state of alarm. He even made a descent, in one instance, upon Whitehaven, and surprised and took two forts with thirty pieces of cannon, and set fire to the shipping.

4. In the vicinity of Whitehaven, an act was committed by his men which Jones very much regretted, and did all he could afterward to atone for. The house of the Earl of Selkirk, in whose service Jones's father had been gardener, was robbed of its family plate. It was re

CHAP. CIX.-1. Where was Paul Jones born? When? What ship did he now command? What did he accomplish? 2. What did he do in 1777? 3. What did he do in the Ranger? 4. Describe the attack upon Whitehaven.

*Paul Jones was a native of Scotland, born in 1736 He early settled in America, and devoted himself with ardor to the cause of the country of his adoption.

EXPLOITS OF PAUL JONES.

233

turned after a time to Lady Selkirk, with a letter of apology and re gret.

5. In May, not long after the descent on Whitehaven, Jones was engaged with the British sloop-of-war Drake, a vessel equal in size and strength and the number of its men to the Ranger, which, after a smart action of about an hour, was captured. Soon after this event, he sailed for Brest, in France, carrying in with him, it is said, two hundred prisoners.

6. But the most remarkable exploit of Jones remains to be mentioned. In the spring of 1779, with the aid of Dr. Franklin, who was then in France, he obtained the command of a little squadron of five vessels, of which the Bon Homme Richard, his own vessel of forty-two guns, was the largest.

7. With this little fleet, he set sail, June 19, and after a cruise of a few weeks returned. Two more small vessels were now added to his squadron, and he sailed again on the 14th of August. On the 23d of September, after a most desperate battle, he captured off Flamborough, on the north-east coast of England, the British ship of war Se-ra'-pis, of forty-four guns and a full complement of men.

8. The circumstances of this engagement were most extraordinary. The fight commenced at evening, and continued into the night. The two frigates coming in contact, Jones lashed them together, and for two hours the dreadful conflict was carried on in this situation. At last both ships took fire. In this awful state of things, the American frigate Alliance came up, and in the darkness discharged a broadside into the Richard.

9. Soon perceiving her mistake, she turned with fury upon the Serapis, which very soon surrendered. Of three hundred and fifty men on board the Richard, three hundred were either killed or wounded. The vessel was also so shattered that she soon sank, the Americans being transferred to the captured vessel.

10. Another British frigate, the consort of the Serapis-these two ships being engaged in convoying a fleet of merchant vessels returning from the Baltic-surrendered to the Americans during the capture of the Serapis. With great difficulty Jones brought his shattered prizes into a port of Holland.

11. This victory was considered as one of the most remarkable feats of the revolutionary war. It raised the reputation of Jones as a naval commander to the highest pitch, both in Europe and America. The

5. What of the engagement with the Drake ? How many prisoners had Jones made? 6. With how many vessels did he sail June 19? 7. What did he capture? 8, 9. Describe the capture of the Serapis. 10. What of her consort? 11. What was thought of this victory?

« PreviousContinue »