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[305] English, they fell upon a regiment at the Half-way
chap XIII.} 1758.
Brook between Fort Edward and Lake George. A fortnight later, they seized a convoy of wagoners at the same place. To intercept the French on their return, some hundred rangers scoured the forests near Woodcreek, marching in Indian file, Putnam in the rear, in front the commander Rogers, who, with a British officer, beguiled the way by firing at marks. The noise attracted hostile Indians to an ambuscade. A skirmish ensued, and Putnam, with twelve or fourteen more, was separated from the party. His comrades were scalped; in after-life he used to relate how one of the savages gashed his cheek with a tomahawk, bound him to a forest-tree, and kindled about him a crackling fire; how his thoughts glanced aside to the wife of his youth and the group of children that gambolled in his fields; when the brave French officer, Marin, happening to descry his danger, rescued him from death, to be exchanged in the autumn.

Better success awaited Bradstreet. From the majority in a council of war, he extorted a reluctant leave to proceed against Fort Frontenac. At the Oneida carrying-place, Brigadier Stanwix placed under his command twenty-seven hundred men, all Americans, more than eleven hundred of them New Yorkers, nearly seven hundred from Massachusetts. There, too, were assembled one hundred and fifty warriors of the Six Nations; among them Red Head, the renowned war-chief of Onondaga. Inspired by his eloquence in council, two-and-forty of them took Bradstreet for their friend and grasped the hatchet as his companions. At Oswego, towards which they moved with celerity, there remained scarce a vestige of the English fort; of the French there was no memorial

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