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[209] boats for the troops that were listlessly whiling away
chap. IX.} 1755.
the season. The enemy was more adventurous.

‘Boldness wins,’ was Dieskau's maxim.1 Abandoning the well-concerted plan of an attack on Oswego,2 Vaudreuil sent him to oppose the army of Johnson. For the defence of the crumbling fortress at Crown Point, seven hundred regulars, sixteen hundred Canadians, and seven hundred savages had assembled. Of these, three hundred or more were emigrants from the Six Nations, domiciliated in Canada. Eager for distinction, Dieskau, taking with him six hundred savages, as many Canadians, and two hundred regular troops, ascended Lake Champlain to its head, and, after a three days march, designed, at nightfall on the fourth, to attack Fort Edward. The guides took a false route; and, as evening came on, the party found itself four miles from the fort, on the road to Lake George. The red men, who never obey implicitly, but insist upon deliberating with the commander and sharing his secrets, refused to attack the fort, but were willing to go against the army at the lake, which was thought to have neither artillery nor intrenchments.

Late in the night following the seventh of September, it was told in the camp at Lake George, that a large party of men had landed at the head of South Bay, and were travelling from Wood Creek to the Hudson. On the next morning, after a council of war, Ephraim Williams, a Massachusetts colonel, the same who, in passing through Albany, had made a bequest of his estate by will to found a free school, was sent

1 Doreil to the Minister, 28 Oct. 1755.

2 Vaudreuil to the Minister, 24 July, 1755.

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