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[189] of the troops, and on the hills which overhung the
chap. VIII.} 1755.
right flank, invisible, yet making the woods re-echo their war-whoop, fired irregularly, but with deadly aim, at ‘the fair mark’ offered by the ‘compact body of men beneath them.’ None of the English that were engaged would say they saw a hundred of the enemy,1 and ‘many of the officers, who were in the heat of the action the whole time, would not assert that they saw one.’2

The combat was obstinate, and continued for two hours with scarcely any change in the disposition of either side.3 Had the regulars shown courage, the issue would not have been doubtful; but terrified by the yells of the Indians, and dispirited by a manner of fighting such as they had never imagined, they would not long obey the voice of their officers, but fired in platoons almost as fast as they could load, aiming among the trees, or firing into the air. In the midst of the strange scene, nothing was so sublime as the persevering gallantry of the officers. They used the utmost art to encourage the men to move upon the enemy; they told them off into small parties of which they took the lead; they bravely formed the front; they advanced sometimes at the head of small bodies, sometimes separately, to recover the cannon, or to get possession of the hill; but were sacrificed by the soldiers who declined to follow them, and even fired upon them from the rear.4 Of eighty-six officers,

1 H. Sharpe to Baltimore. Aug. 1755.

2 H. Sharpe to Secretary Calvert, 11 August, 1755.

3 Memorandum. On the Sketch of the Field of Battle, No. 2.

4 Letter of Wm. Smith, of New-York, of 27 July, 1755. Account sent to Lord Albemarle,—in particular, the Report of the Court of Inquiry. So too, Sharpe to Lord Baltimore, August, 1755.

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