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[298] But the proposal of a change in the colonial
chap. XIII.} 1758.
administration, cherished by Halifax from his first entrance into office and never abandoned, was reserved till the peace should offer the seemingly safe ‘occasion’ for interposition.

Meantime nine thousand and twenty-four provincials, from New England, New York, and New Jersey, assembled on the shore of Lake George. There were the six hundred New England rangers, dressed like woodmen; armed with a firelock and a hatchet; under their right arm a powder-horn; a leather bag for bullets at their waist; and to each officer a pocket compass as a guide in the forests. There was Stark, of New Hampshire, now promoted to be a captain. There was the generous, openhearted Israel Putnam, a Connecticut major, leaving his good farm round which his own hands had helped to build the walls; of a gentle disposition, brave, and artless. There were the chaplains, who preached to the regiments of citizen soldiers a renewal of the days when Moses with the rod of God in his hand sent Joshua against Amalek. By the side of the provincials rose the tents of the regular army, six thousand three hundred and sixty-seven in number; of the whole force Abercrombie was commander-in-chief; but the general confidence rested solely on Howe.

Early in the spring, Bradstreet, of New York, had proposed an attempt upon Fort Frontenac; Lord Howe overruled objections; and the gallant provincial was to undertake it, as soon as the army should have established itself on the north side of the lake.

On the fifth day of July, the armament of more than fifteen thousand men, the largest body, of European

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