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m 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
rice, but would not retire. Two Canadians came to carry him off; one was shot dead by his side; he dismissed the other, and, bidding his servants place his military dress near him, he seated himself on the stump of a tree, exposed to the rattle of the bullets. At last, as the Americans, leaping over their slight defences, drove the enemy to flight, a renegade Frenchman wantonly fired at the unhappy man, and wounded him incurably. Brief was the American career of the fearless Dieskau. In June his eye had first rested on the cliff of Quebec; he had sailed proudly up the stream which was the glory of Canada; had made his way to the highland sources of the Sorel; and now, mangled and helpless, lay a prisoner within the limits of the pretended French dominion. Dieskau to the ministers, 14 September, 1755, and also to Vaudreuil. Letters of Montreuil. Of the Americans there fell on that day about two hundred and sixteen, and ninety-six were wounded; of the French the loss was n
July 15th (search for this): chapter 9
ne years he shall assist in declaring his country's independence; in less than thirty, this master of the town school of Worcester, after a career of danger and effort, shall stand before the king of Great Britain, the acknowledged Envoy of the free and United States of America. The military operations in America might be respectively explained as acts of defence, to be settled by an adjustment of boundaries. The capture of the Alcide and the Lys by Boscawen, known in London on the fifteenth of July, Memoire contenant le Precis des Faits, 54, 55. was an act of open hostility, and it was considered what instructions should be given to the British marine. The princess, mother of George the Third, inveighed most bitterly against not pushing the French every where; the parliament would never bear the suffering the French to bring home their trade and sailors. Dodington's Diary. She wished Hanover in the sea, as the cause of all misfortunes. Newcastle suggested trifles, to dela
very able-bodied man in the district of Montreal into active service for the defence of Crown Point, so that reapers had to be sent up from Three Rivers and Quebec to gather in the harvest. Breard to the Minister, 13 August, 1755. Early in August, the New England men, having Phinehas Lyman for their major-general, were finishing Fort Edward, at the portage between the Hudson chap. IX.} 1755. and the headsprings of the Sorel. The forests were never free from secret danger; American scalps were sought for by the wakeful savage, to be strung together for the adornment of the wigwam. Towards the end of August, the untrained forces, which, with Indians, amounted to thirty-four hundred men, were conducted by William Johnson across the portage of twelve miles, to the southern shore of the Lake, which the French called the Lake of the Holy Sacrament I found, said Johnson, a mere wilderness; never was house or fort erected here before; Johnson to Lords of Trade, 8 Sept. 1755. and
August 21st (search for this): chapter 9
small ditch and a rotten palisade of seven or eight feet high. The garrison was but of thirty men, most of them scarcely provided with muskets. There Shirley, with an effective force of little less than two thousand men, was to welcome the victor of the Ohio. But the news of Braddock's defeat overtook and disheartened the party. The boatmen on the Mohawk were intractable; at the carrying place there were not sledges enough to bear the military stores over the morasses. On the twenty-first of August, Shirley reached Oswego. Weeks passed in building boats; on the eighteenth of September, six hundred men were to embark on Lake Ontario, when a storm prevented; afterwards head winds raged; then a tempest made navigation difficult; then sickness prevailed; then the Indians deserted; and then the season gave him an excuse for retreating. So, on the twenty-fourth of October, having constructed a new fort at Oswego, and placed Mercer in command, with a garrison of seven hundred men, h
September 2nd (search for this): chapter 9
assachusetts colonel, the same who, in passing through Albany, had made a bequest of his estate by will to found a free school, was sent with a thousand men to relieve Fort Edward. Among chap. IX.} 1755. them was Israel Putnam, to whom, at the age of thirty-seven, the Assembly at Connecticut had just given the rank of a second lieutenant. Records at Hartford for 29 Geo. II. Putnam's commission as 2nd Lieut. in the 6th company of the 3rd Regiment of Connecticut, forwarded not before September 2, reached him after the battle. Two hundred warriors of the Six Nations went also, led by Hendrick, the gray-haired chieftain, famed for his clear voice and flashing eye. They marched with rash confidence, a little less than three miles, to a defile, where the French and Indians had posted themselves on both sides of the way, concealed on the left by the thickets in the swamps, on the right by rocks and the forest that covered the continued rising ground. Before the American party were en
September 7th (search for this): chapter 9
, 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 with a thousand men to relieve Fort Edward. Among chap. IX.} 1755. them was Israel Putnam, to whom, at the age of thirty-seven,
October 24th (search for this): chapter 9
able; at the carrying place there were not sledges enough to bear the military stores over the morasses. On the twenty-first of August, Shirley reached Oswego. Weeks passed in building boats; on the eighteenth of September, six hundred men were to embark on Lake Ontario, when a storm prevented; afterwards head winds raged; then a tempest made navigation difficult; then sickness prevailed; then the Indians deserted; and then the season gave him an excuse for retreating. So, on the twenty-fourth of October, having constructed a new fort at Oswego, and placed Mercer in command, with a garrison of seven hundred men, he left the borders of Lake Ontario. At this time a paper by Franklin, published in Boston, and reprinted in London, had drawn the attention of all observers to the rapid increase of the population in the colonies. Paper annexed to William Clarke's Observations on the late and present conduct of the French, 1755. Upon the best inquiry chap. IX.} 1755. I can make, wro
astle sent for Pitt, offered him kind words from his sovereign, influence, preferment, confidence. Expressing devotion to the king, Pitt was inexorable; he would support the Hessian treaty, which was only a waste of money; but not a system of treaties, dangerous to the liberties of Germany and of Europe. Nervous from fright, Newcastle was disposed at once to resign power to Fox. You are not fit to be first minister, was the sneer of Granville; and Newcastle did not recover courage till in November Fox consented to accept the seals and defend the treaties. At the great debate, Walpole's Memoires of George I., i. 418. Pitt taunted the majority, which was as three to one, with corruption and readiness to follow their leader; and, indirectly attacking the subjection of the throne to aristocratic influence, declared that the king owes a supreme service to his people. Pitt was dismissed from office, and George Grenville, with Legge, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Charles Townshe
lies. The treaty was hardly concluded, before the ministry yielded to the impulse given by Pitt; and, after subsidizing Russia to obtain the use of the Russian troops against Frederic, it negotiated an alliance with Frederic himself, not to permit the entrance of Russian or any other foreign troops into Germany. At the head of the American forces this ministry had placed Shirley, a worn-out barrister, who knew nothing of war. In the security of a congress of governors at New York, he in December planned a splendid campaign for the following year. Quebec was to be menaced by way of the Kennebec and the Chaudiere; Frontenac and Toronto and Niagara were to be taken; and then Fort. Duquesne and Detroit and Michilimackinac, deprived of their communications, were of course to surrender. Sharpe, of Maryland, thought all efforts vain, unless parliament should interfere; and this opinion he enforced in many letters to his correspondents. See the Correspondence of Sharpe with his broth
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