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Full text of "Memoir and official correspondence of Gen. John Stark, with notices of several other officers of the Revolution. Also, a biography of Capt. Phinehas Stevens and of Col. Robert Rogers, with an account of his services in America during the "Seven Years' War.""

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Entered according to an Act of Congress, in the year 1860, 


In the Clerk*8 Office of the District Court of New-Hampshire 





Much of the information contained in this volume was obtained from 
individuals well acquainted with and even related to officers of the ** Seven 
Years* War," and who afterward served with them in the war of the Revo- 
lution, to the principal events of which they were eye witnesses. Their 
narratives of what they had performed and seen have been familiar to us 
from childhood. 

While contemplating the character of the . heroes of the Kevolution, the 
scenes in which an important portion of their lives was engaged, and 
their entire devotion to the cause of their native land, the heart is chilled 
with . the reflection that, of those war-worn veterans — the pioneers of 
American Independence — ^a few only now remain, tottering on the verge 
of the grave, to witness the result of their unparalleled sufferings and vic- 
torious toils. 

Although the ingratitute of the* nation to which their valor gave birth, 
in neglecting to perform what had solemnly been promised to her officers 
and soldiers in the hour of that nation's direst peril, caused the suns of 
many of them to go down in clouds of misfortune, it is imperatively 
incumbent upon those of the present generation to bestow appropriate 
honors upon their memory. 

It is to be hoped that their posterity, cheered by the perusal of the 
annals of the past, and inspired with a due sense of gratitude for their 
national prosperity, will never become objects deserving the insulting 
taunt that the spirit of the Revolution, which, like an adamantine rock, 
withstood the angry billows that dashed against it, has become extinct, 
with the departure of the heroic souls it once animated. 

If, in this feeble attempt to throw light upon that desperate and long 
doubtful struggle, which, under Heaven's favor, founded this now potent 
nation, it shall be our fortune to rescue from oblivion traits of character 
and examples of devoted patriotism worthy of imitation, we shall consider 
our humble labors compensated. 


We acknowlodgo obligations to several gentlemen for information and 
documents furnished: among whom we name with pleasure, Colonel 
Henry Stevens, of Burlington, Vermont, President of the Historical and 
Antiquarian Societies of that State ; Charles C. Shcafe, Esq., of Boston ; 
I. S. Hunt, Esq., of Sudbury, Massachusetts ; and William F.' Goodwin, 
Esq., of Concord, New-Hampshire; to the authors of the Histories of 
Concord and Manchester ; and J. D. Butler, Esq., author of the address 
before the Legislature of Vermont, October 20, 1848. 

Our production, such as it is, wo offer to the consideration of the inde- 
pendent freemen of the United States, who will, we hope, receive it with 
candid indulgence, and cast the mantle of charity over its errors. 

A people who inherit the enviable privilege of occupying the vast 
domains of this mighty and only Republic on earth, will, we confidently 
trust, through future ages, continue to be, what their progenitors of the 
iron days of 76 wero^the undaunted champions and guardians of Liberty. 

Firm u h«r hills, may freedom's spirit stand, • 

Repelling despots A'om her heaven-blest land ; 

And never be her glorious standard Airled, 

Till the dread power who made, shall omsh the world. 












Petition to government of N. H. 109 

Councilor N.H 110 

Commiflgion t« John Stark Ill 

To Hon. Matthew Thornton (Bat- 
tle of Bunker'8 hill).. 112 

From General Gkites 114 

(General Schuyler 115 

Ira Allen to N. H. Committee of 

Safety 118 

Gen. Burgoyne's Proclamation....ll9 
Qea. Schuyler's Proclamation... ..119 

Prom Colonel Seth Warner, 121 

Vermont Council of Safetyl22 

Hon. M. Weare to Ira Allen 123 

Hon. M. Weare to Col. Fol9om,..124 
Gten. Schuyler, to Gen. Lincoln....! 26 

Gen. Lincoln to G^n. Stark 126 

Gen. Stark to N. H. Council 

(battle of Bennington).. ..126 
Gen. Schuyler to President Han- 
cock 129 

Qtm. Stark to Gen. Gates 129 

Handbill (baUle of Bennington)..132 
President Weare to Gen. Stark. ..185 

Gen. Schuyler to Qen. 9tark 186 

Vermont Council to Gen. Stark..l37 
Gov. Chittenden to Gen. Stark....l88 

Commission to Qen. Stark 188 

President Hancock to Gen. Stark 139 

Resolve of Congress 140 

From Gen. Gates 140 

Massachusetts Legislature 140 

Gen. Gates 142 

Orders to Captain Patrick 142 

Qen, Grates to G^n. Conway 143 

Gen. Gates to Gen. Stark 144 

James Deane to Gen. Schuyler... 145 

From Mayor of Albany 146 

G^n. Washington 147 

To Gen. Gates 147 

Col. Safford 148 

Rev. S. Kirkland to Gen. Schuy- 
ler 148 

Qen. Stark to Pres. of Congress. ..150 



To Geo. 0«tM. 161 

Jftmoi Venna lo Gen. Schuyler... 161 
0«n. ^tark to Gov Chittenden.... l&S 

To Gen, Uttte* IM 

Prom Gon. GatiM.. 156 

To Gen. Gates 166 

the Mayor of Albany 157 

Gen. Tenbrocck 157 

Gen. 0«tes- 167 

Sundry people of Cochnawaga to 

Gen. Stark 1S8 

To Gen. GatM 159 

Gen. Washington 160 

rrom Gen. Oate« 161 

To Col. Klock 162 

Gen. Stark to Committee of 

Safety of Tryon Co 168 

From Gon. Gates 168 

Col. E. Allen 164 

To Col. H. Allen I(i6 

Gen. Gatee, 166 

Gen. Pellotra. 167 

the Brigadier of Hampehire 

Go. 168 

Capt Ballard 168 

Gen. Gate* lOU 

From Gfii. tiatt* 170 

To Gen. Gates _170 

Freeident N. H. CongreM...-.172 

Col. Hay. 178 

Prom Gen. Gates 174 

To Gun, Gates 174 

Fros Wiirrant 176 

To Cul. Alden 176 

Col. Alden to Capt. Ballard 176 

Gen. Stark to Gen. Gates 176 

To Col. Warner 177 

Gen. Gates 177 

Gov. Chittenden- 177 

Pfom Gen. Wtihiugton 178 

To Gen. Gates 179 

From Gen. Gate* ISO 

Gen. Gates 181 

To Gen. Washington 182 

Got. Chittenden 184 

Col. Alden- 184 

Ool. Butlar. 185 

Gov. Clinton 187 

To Gen. WAhlngton 187 

Gen. Waahington 188 

Cominisgianen of Albany 189 

Otm. Washington 189 

British CoiLmander at Uroirn 

Point 190 

Got. Chittenden 190 

Col. Aidcn 191 

From Gon. WMhinglon 192 

To President of Congresa. 198 

Ot-ii. Washiagl/in 194 

From Col. Herriek 106 

G>m. Gates 196 

To Pn-sident Weare- 197 

From Gen, Waflhington 199 

Gen. Washington to President 

Wiare, 201 

To Gun. Heuth 208 

Prom Gen. Heath 204 

To Col. Shrieve 205 

Gen. Waehin^n 206 

From Gen. Heath 206 

Gen. Heath 207 

To Gen. Washington 207 

From Gon. Heath 208 

To Gen. Heath 209 

Col. T. Pickering 209 

From Gon. Wftsliini;lnr 210 

To Hon. Mwliech W'-nre 210 

From Gen. Washington -211 

Gen. Washington 218 

To Got. Clinton. -213 

Gen. Washington 216 

Gen. WftshinRlcn 217 

Prom Cell. Wn«hingli>n 218 

Orders to Capt. Lii-ingston -218 

To Gov. Clinton 219 

Gov. Clinton- 220 

Gen. Washington 220 

Prom Gen. Heath t 221 

Gov. Clinton 222 

Col. Willet -222 

To Col. Pickering 226 

Col. Laurens- 226 

Gov. Chittenden 226 

Joseph Pay, Esq., to Gen. Stark. ..227 

From Col. Willet- 227 

Gov. aintoD 228 



To 0«n. H«»th 229 

Got. Clinton- 281 

From Gov. CliDton 288 

Oen. fleatb..^ 234 

Citjr QorernneDt of Albiwy t« 

Gov CliriU-ii . .2:15 

Gen. Stark 10 Guv Hal<liman_...-23fl 

ToCapt. E.Marshall 287 

]?rom Gi-n, "Wji.«!iington to Preai- 
donl of ■Conjirosi — (arrival ot 

Oount de Graue) 239 

From Capt. Hanhall 240 

From Gen. Hwtlli. .242 

H. Glen lo Capt. E. Mursliiill 24.! 

G«ii. Heatb to Gen. .lilark. ..'24", 
Got. Clinton lo Mavorof Alti«j]V*J4:i 
Oi^t, Harshall u> (Ji-n, Slark. ..■24.'i 
G«n. Stark to Gaa. UuaiU. .210 

Hugh Miller, Esq., to (JoiL-Sliirk L! )i; 

From C>ij.|, E. .Mnrslmll 247 

To Ol'Ii- Iloalh 247 

From Got Hctmyler 260 

To Gen. .Schuyler 261 

From Major Lngan„ 261 

Gin. Rchiiylt-T 262 

To G«ii. Schuyler 263 

From Gen. Heath _254 

Capt E. Marshall _256 

To Gen. Heath 266 

G«n. Wasbington. 257 

Oen. Heath 268 

From Gen. Heath „,260 

Gen. Schuyler 261 

To Capt. Hickockfl _262 

From Col. Wit let.. 268 

Capt. E. Marshall 264 

To Gen. Heath 266 

From Gov. Clinton 267 

Gen. Heath 267 

Capt E. Uanhall 268 

Capt E. Uanhall to Major 

C. Stark : 269 

Gen. Schuyler.. iU 

Gen. Heath 271 

Gen. Schuyler- 272 

Col. Willet 278 

Oen. Heath.- 278 

Gen. Heath to Col. Tuppsr 274 

From Gen. Schuyler 27* 

Col. Bobinion 2T« 

Gen. Schuyler- 278 

Col. SaObrd- 277 

Gen Heath 278 

To G-ivePDor George Clinton... -.279 

From Gen, Heath -280 

Gen. Schuyler 281 

Gen. Boger Enoi. 282 

Oen, Schuyler- 288 

Gen. Heath 284 

Gen. Hnos. 284 

To Gov. Chitlwden 286 

From Gov. Chitten4eii- 280 

Lord Stirling ■...288 

To Oen. Heath 289 

General ordera 290 

Prom Lord Sterling.- 291 

Gen, Heath- 292 

To (kii. Ii,..[ilh 298 

Ffwri (;<.it Heuth 296 

To Oen. Heath 298 

From Oen. Heath 296 

To Col. Yates- 800 

Hon. Meahech Weare. 80t 

Prom Gov. Chittenden -SIM 

To Gen. Washington 808 

Oen. Heatb 806 

From Col. George Beid S06 

Oen. Heath 807 

<:ol.Haffi>rd 308 

Thomas Jeffbrson 808 

Anewer 309 

From Committee of Bennington 
• 810-811 

Answer r. 318 

>'rurn Bennington Committee, -814 

Aiiswor... 816 

From James Madison 818 

Answer 316 

From Committw of "Seventy- 
hii Aiisnoiiilion" of South-Car- 
olina -318 

Prora Judge Witberell 316 

Dr. BenUey- 320 

Letters 881-826 


A reference has been made in note (page 822) to a portrait intended for 
this Tolume. Since the work was printed, a new engraving has been pre- 
pared for the frontispiece. 


Page 41, line 14, read one hundred and fifty yards. 
Page 61, note, for eontintnieU read continual. 
Page 888, last paragraph, current read currant. 


Archibald Stark was born at Glasgow, Scotland, in 
1697, and received his education at the University of 
that city. At an early age he removed, with his father 
and family, to Londonderry, Ireland, where he married 
Eleanor Nichols, the daughter of a Scottish emigrant. 

In 1720 he embarked with a company of adventurers 
for New-Hampshire, whither a considerable party of his 
countrymen had previously proceeded, to form a settle- 

After a tedious voyage, during which all his children 
died, the emigrants arrived at Boston late in autumn. 
As many of them were ill with the small-pox they were 
not permitted to land, and were, in consequence, com- 
pelled to depart for the wilds of Maine. At a place called 
Sheepscot, near the site of the present town of Wiscasset, 
they endured their first trial of the horrors of a northern 
winter in the forests of New-England. 

In the course of the year following, after encountering 
and enduring many severe hardships and privations, they 
joined their Scottish friends, who had preceded them, at 
Nutfield, (now Londonderry, N. II.) then a wilderness, 
rendered hideous by the frequent incursions of hostile 
savages, who, at that period, and for many succeeding 
years, harrassed the frontiers. His house in London- 
derry having been burned in 1736, he, in consequence, 

removed to that portion of land on Merrimack river, 


10 3IEM0IR OP 

then known as Harrytown, and settled upon a lot, which 
had been granted to Samuel Tliaxter by the government 
of Massachusetts, a short distance above the Falls of 

There several of his friends soon afterward followed 
him, and the new location received the name of Deny- 
field. Several sons and daughters were born to him, 
after his arrival in America, to whom, at his fireside, he 
gave the best education his own acquirements and the 
circumstances of the times would permit. " His educa- 
tion fitted him for the walks of civil life, yet," says the 
Historian of Manchester, "we find him a volunteer for 
the protection of the frontier against the ravages of the 
Indians in 1745 ; and for the protection of the people 
in his immediate neighborhood, a fort was built at .the 
outlet of Swager's, or Fort brook, which, in compliment 
to his enterprise in erecting and garrisoning the same, 
was called Stark^s Fori.'' 

His sons were William, John, Samuel, and Archibald, 
who all held commissions in the British service during the 
"seven years'" or "French war," and were distinguished 
for good conduct, coolness and bravery. William, the 
eldest, served with reputation on the northern frontiers, 
and, under General Wolfe, in the expeditions to Louis- 
burgh and Quebec, where his courage and address ren- 
dered signal services. He afterward tarnished his well 
earned fame by joining the British army at New- York. 
In 1776 he obtained the rank of colonel of dragoons, 
but was soon afterward killed by a fall from his horse. 

A stone, in the old burial ground at Manchester, bears 
this inscription : 

Here Lyes The Body of Mr. 


Departed This lAfe June 25M, 

1758, Aged 61 Years. 


At thia period huuting was the most agreeable and 
profitable occupation of the young men of New-Hamp- 
shire. They were accustomed, at certain seasons, to 
dwell in forest camps, at great distances from home, and 
thus became inured to hardships, and were early taught 
lessons of self-dependence. They were often, in the pur- 
suit of their vocation, brought in contact with the native 
savages, from whom they obtained a knowledge of their 
language and customs, and became excellent marksmen. 

Their occupation as hunters, in the wild forest, was 
admirably adapted to prepare these hardy woodsmen for 
the arduous services they were soon afterward called upon 
to render their country, in a war which engaged all the 
thoughts, fears and energies of New-England. 

John Stark, the subject of this memoir, was bom 
at Londonderry, in New-Hampshire, August 28th, 1728. 
He resided with his father until March, 1752, when, in 
company with his brother William, David Stinson, and 
Amos Eastman, he proceeded on a hunting expedition 
to Baker's river, in the township of Rumney, (now so 
caljed) but then a forest, without an inhabitant or name. 

They constructed a camp in the woods of hemlock 
boughs and bark, in which they deposited the supplies of 
provision, ammunition, traps and necessaries which had 
been drawn hither on their Indian sleds, and commenced 
their operations. The game was abundant, and prior to 
the 28tli day of April they had collected furs of the 
value of five hundred and sixty pounds sterling. 

On that day they were interrupted by a scout of ten St. 
Francis Indians, commanded by a chief named Francis 
Titigaw. Signs of the enemy had been observed on the 
previous day, and the party had concluded to leave the 
hunting ground. John Stark, being the youngest of the 
party, was directed to collect the traps, and while thus 
engaged, at sunset, fell into the enemy's hands. While 
stooping to the water to take up a trap, the Indians sud- 
denly sprang from their ambuscade. A sharp hissing 


sound, as of a snake, accompanied tlie movement. He 
looked up and found himself a prisoner, surrounded 
by savages, with guns pointed toward him, rendering 
escape impossible. 

When interrogated by his captors in regard to his 
companions, lie pointed in a contrary direction to the true 
position of their camp, and thus induced them to travel 
two miles out of their way. ITis friends, alarmed at his 
long absence, discharged several guns which discovered 
their position to tlie savages, who, proceeding a distance 
down the river, turned their encampment and formed 
an ambush to intercept their canoe. 

The hunters susjjecting what had taken place, were 
proceeding down the river — William Stark and Stinson 
in the canoe, and Eastman on the shore. Soon after 
day break, on the 29th of April, the latter fell into the 
ambuscade and was taken. The Indians then directed 
John to hail the boat, and bid the occupants to come on 
shore. He called to them, stated his own and Eastman's 
situation, and urged them to escape to the opposite shore. 

Perceiving the boat turned from its course, a portion 
of the Indians rose and fired into it. At this critical 
instant. Stark had the daring temeritj^ to strike up their 
guns ; and when the remainder were about lo fire, struck 
all the guns he could reach. One ball, however, pierced 
the canoe paddle in the hands of William Stark, and 
another killed Stinson. John then shouted to his brother 
to escape, as they had fired all their guns. He profited 
by the advice and made good his retreat.* 

* After the return of "William Stark to the settlements, a party from 
Rumford (now Concord, N. H.) started for the scene of the disaster. 
They found the hody of Stinson stri[»ped and scalped, which they buried 
in the woods, near the place where ho fell ; and returned in safety, bring- 
ing home the paddle of the canoe pierced with a ball. 

Baker's river is a small stream flowing into the Peftiigewassety and is so 
called from Captain Thomas Baker, of North-Hampton, Mass., who, in 
1720, with a scouting party of thirty-four men, passed up Connecticut 
river, and crossed the heights of land to the Pemigewasset ; where, at the 
junction of that river with the small stream above named, he destroyed 
a party of Indians, killing their chief, Wattanummon, with his own hand, 
himself and the sachem firing at each other at the same moment. 


Exasperated by this conduct of their prisoner, the 
Indians beat him severely ; made prize of all the furs 
collected by the party, and proceeded to the place now 
occupied by the town of Haverhill, upon Connecticut 
river, where two of their party had been stationed to 
obtain and prepare provisions for the returning scout. 
There they tarried one night, and continued their route 
to the Upper Coos. From thence they dispatched three 
of their party, with Eastman, to St. Francis. The re- 
mainder of the Indians employed themselves, for some 
time, in hunting upon a small stream called John's river. 

The prisoner was liberated during the day, but confined 
at night. While there, they allowed him to try his luck 
as a hunter. lie succeeded in trapping one beaver, and 
shooting another ; and received their skins as a present 
in compliment to his skill. 

The Indians, with their Sftptive, arrived at St. Francis 
on the 9th of June following, where he remained nearly 
five weeks. He was well treated by the tribe, and obtain- 
ed a knowledge of their language and modes of warfare, 
which proved of great service to him in his subsequent 
military career. In July, Mr. Wheelwright, of Boston, 
and Captain Stevens, of Charlestowu, N. H., who were the 
agents employed by Massachusetts to redeem her captives, 
arrived at Montreal. N"ot finding the prisoners they 
expected to find, belonging to Massachusetts, they re- 
deemed Stark and Eastman; and, returning by way of 
Albany, arrived at Derryfield in August following. The 
ransom of Stark was one hundred and three dollars, and 
that of his friend Eastman sixty dollars, f These sums 

He destroyed their wigwams, and the party, loading themselves with as 
much of the fur, collected by the enemy, as they could carry home, 
burned the remainder. — Farmer s Hist. Coll. 

A considerable branch flows int<^> Baker's river, from Stinson's pond, 
and is called Stinson's brook. The pond is four hundred rods long, and 
two hundred and eighty rods wide. Its name is probably derived from 
the circumstance that David Stinson was killed in its vicinity by the 
ravages, April 29th, 1752.* — Hay ward's Gaz. 

*On m Journey to the White Mountains we last year visited the plmee. 
f Eastman was sold to a Frenchman. 


were never repaid by the State. Massachusetts, pursuing a 
more liberal policy, redeemed all her captives. 

It may here be remarked, as a singular fact, that the 
scout which captured these prisoners accompanied the 
returning party to Albany, and there disposed of the 
furs taken from them without molestation. 

When the prisoners arrived at St. Francis, they were 
compelled to undergo the ceremony of running the gant- 
let. The young warriors of the tribe arranged themselves 
in two lines, each armed with a rod or club to strike the 
captive, as he passed them, singing some ditty which had 
been taught him for the occasion, and bearing in his hands 
a pole six or eight feet long, with the skin of some bird 
or animal attached to one end of it. 

Eastman advanced first, singing words which meant, 
" ril beat all your young men." The latter, considering 
themselves insulted, beat hit# so severely witli their rods 
that he fell exhausted as soon as he had passed the lines.* 

Stark followed, singing the words, "Til kiss all your 
women,'* his pole being ornamented with a loon skin. 
After receiving a blow or two, he turned his pole right 
and left, dealing a blow at each turn, and made his way 
without much injury, his enemies making way for him 
to avoid the sweeping blows dealt by his pole. 

This feat pleased the old Indians, who enjoyed the sport 
at their young men's expense. 

The principal portion of the labor and menial drudgery 
of Indians is performed by squaws and captives. They 
directed Stark to hoe corn. He at first carefully hoed 
the weeds, and cut up the corn ; but finding his purpose 
of freeing himself from the labor not answered by this 
process, he boldly threw his hoe into the river, declaring 
that " it was the business of squaws, and not warriors, to 
hoe corn." 

* Stark stated that the first one who struck him was a youth, whom 
he knocked down ; and that he did not see him again while ho remained 
at the village. 


Instead of being enraged at this action, the Indians 
were pleased with his boldness, released him from his 
task, and called him " young chief." He was adopted by 
the sachem, and treated with kindness while he remained 
at the village. In the latter days of his life he often 
related, with much humor, the incidents of his captivity, 
observing that he had experienced more genuine kindness 
from the savages of St. Francis, than he ever knew 
prisoners of war to receive from more civilized nations. 

Not daunted by this unfortunate enterprise, our adven- 
turer repaired the next season to the river Androscoggin 
to pursue his vocation, and raise means to discharge his 
redernptio7i debt. Upon this occasion he was very successful, 
and returned with a valuable lot of fur. 

The reports of these prisoners, concerning the Coos Ter- 
ritory^ induced the authorities of the province to dispatch 
a party to explore this hitherto unknown region. Colonel 
Lovewell, Major Talford and Captain Page were ordered 
to enlist a company for that service. They engaged Mr. 
Stark as their guide, and under his direction, on the 10th 
of March, 1753, their journey was commenced. 

In seven diiys they reached Connecticut river at Pier- 
mont There they passed one night ; and, having made 
such observations as their time would allow, returned, 
reaching Concord on the thirteenth day from the time of 
their departure. An account of the proceedings of this 
surveying party, with the names of the company, is to be 
found in the History of Manchester. 

In 1754 a report was current that the French were 
erecting a fort at the Upper Coos ; and Captain Powers 
was dispatched by Governor Wentworth with thirty men 
and a flag of truce, to demand their authority for so 
doing. He applied to Mr. Stark to accompany him, 
who conducted the party to the Upper Coos, by way of 
the Little Ox-Bow, by the same route he had traveled 
two years before, as a captive to the Indians. Finding 
no French gamson there, the company returned, being, 
we believe, the first party of English adventurers who 


explored the Coos inten^als, where are now located the 
flourishing towns of Haverhill and Newbuiy. 

Mr. Stark had acquired so much reputation by these 
expeditions, that, upon the breaking out of the "seven 
years* war," he was commissioned by the Governor as 
second lieutenant of Rogers' company of rangers, attached 
to Blanchard's regiment. Captain Rogers, possessing a 
bold and adventurous spirit, soon mustered a band of 
rugged foresters, every man of whom, as a hunter, could 
hit the size of a dollar at a hundred yards' distance; could 
follow the trail of man or beast ; endure the fatigues of 
long marches, the pangs of hunger, and the cold of winter 
nights, often passed without tire, shelter, or covering, other 
than their common clothing, a blanket, perhaps a bearskin, 
and the boughs of the pine or hemlock. 

Their knowledge of Indian character, customs and 
manners, was accurate. They were principally recruited 
in the vicinity of Amoskeag Falls ; where Rogers was 
accustomed to meet them at the annual fishing season ; 
whom he knew to be accustomed to traveling in forests, 
and hunting, and upon whose courage and fidelity implicit 
confidence could be placed. They were men who could 
face, with equal resolution, the savage animals of their 
native woods, the mountain tempests, or engage in the 
combat of heroes. 

In the summer of 1755, Rogers, with his command, 
was ordered to Coos to bum the intervals, preparatory 
to the erection of a fort. Before reaching their place 
of destination, a new order directed them to join their 
regiment, at Fort Edward, by way of Number Four. 
They reached headquarters in August, a short time before 
the provincial army, under the command of General 
Johnson, was attacked by the French and Indians, at the 
south end of Lake George, near Bloody pond, so named 
from the slaughter on this occasion. 

The French were defeated with the loss of one thousand 
killed, wounded and prisoners, with all their baggage. 
Their general, the Baron Dieskau, was wounded and 


taken prisoner. General Johnson was created a baronet ; 
but the honors bestowed upon him were earned and 
deserved by General Lyinan, who was the real Jiero of 
the battle of Lake George. 

After the enemy gave way, he urged a pursuit ; but 
JohnsoA, having received a slight wound, became alarmed, 
and would not allow of it. In fact, he never commenced 
the erection of the fort, afterward called William Henry, 
until the rangers returned from a reconnoitering scout, 
with the infonnation that the French were building a 
fortress at Ticonderoga. The campaign passed without 
any other occurrence worthy of notice. In autumn the 
regiment was discharged, and Lieutenant Stark returned 

In the winter of 1756 the British commander at Fort 
Edward resolved to establish a permanent corps of rangers, 
to counteract the operations of the French and Indian 
scouts, which harassed the frontiers, and hung upon the 
wings of the army. Rogers was appointed to enlist and 
command the corps. He selected Stark again for his 
second lieutenant, (his own brother, Richard, being his 
first lieutenant) raised a company, and in April following 
reported himself and soldiers at Fort Edward. 

Although no important military operations were at- 
tempted during this campaign, the rangers were constantly 
on foot, watching the motions of the enemy at Crown 
Point and Ticonderoga, cutting otf their convoys of 
supplies, and often making prisoners of sentinels at their 
posts. One of their parties brought in the scalp of a 
French sentinel, killed near the gate of Crown Point. The 
rangers sometimes used the scalping knife, in retaliation 
for the cruelties of the French and their savage allies. 

"On one of our expeditions," says Rogers, "my lord 
Howe did me the honor to accompany me, being desirous, 
as he expressed himself, of learning our method of 
marching, ambushing, retreating, &c. ; and on our return 
expressed his opinion of us very generously." George, 
Lord Viscount Howe, was at this time second in command 
of the British forces in the north. 


In the autumn of 1756 the corps of rangers was 
reinforced by two companies from Halifax, which raised 
it to the force of three hundred, strong. These hardy 
woodsmen were familiar with all the practices of the 
French and Indian partisans, and, in many a fierce conflict, 
evinced their ability to contend with and defeat them 
upon their own terms, either of force or stratagem. 

In January, 1767, a detachment of rangers marched 
from Fort William Henry to intercept supplies passing 
between Crown Point and Ticonderoga. They passed over 
Lake George, and turned the latter fortress, without being 
observed. They captured several sleds, and destroyed their 
loading. One sled, however, escaped, and was driven back 
to the fort. 

Knowing that the garrison would immediately be noti- 
fied of their presence in the vicinity, the party commenced 
their retreat homeward ; when, at the distance of three 
miles from Ticonderoga, they were, in the afternoon of 
Januarj^ 21st, suddenly attacked by a force of French 
and Indians, springing from concealment in their front. 
The strength of the enemy was in numbers more than 
double that of their own, and a sanguinary action ensued. 
According to the numbers engaged, a more desperate and 
bloody encounter did not occur during the war. Rogers 
was twice wounded, Captain Spikeman killed, and the 
command devolved upon Lieutenant Stark, as senior 
oflBicer; who, by his prudence and fimmess, secured the 
wounded, and drew off the detachment in such order as 
to keep the enemy at bay. By marching all night, they 
reached Lake George at eight o'clock next morning. The 
wounded, who, during the night march, had kept up their 
spirits, were by that time so overcome with cold, fatigue, 
and loss of blood, that tliev could march no farther. It 
became, therefore, necessary to forward a notice to the 
fort, that sleighs might be sent for them. Lieutenant 
Stark volunteered for this purpose, and, by undergoing 
extraordinary fatigues, reached Fort William Henry, dis- 


tant forty miles, the next evening.* Sleighs were imme- 
diately dispatched to bring in the wounded, who arrived 
at the fort on the evening of the 23d of January. 

Qeneral Stark stated, in after times, that he was never 
conscious of taking the life of an individual except in 
this action. While the rangers were defending their 
position on the crest of the hill, he observed that several 
balls struck near him from a certain direction. In a 
moment afterward he discovered an Indian stretched at 
full length upon a rock, behind a large tree. His gun was 
soon ready, and he saw the Indian rising for another shot 
at him. His fusee was instantly leveled, discharged, and 
the savage rolled from the rock into the snow, pierced by 
the bullet through the head, f 

Rogers, after he received his second wound, advised a 
retreat ; but Stark, now having the command, and being 
almost the only officer fit for* duty, declared that he had a 
good position, and would fight the enemy until dark, and 
then retreat; that in such a course consisted their only 
safety ; and that he would shoot the first man who fled. 
While speaking thus, a ball broke the lock of his gun ; 
and, at tlie same moment, observing a Frenchman fall, he 
sprang forward, seized his gun, returned to his place, and 
continued the action. His decision, prudence and courage 
no doubt saved the party in the present instance, and 
afterward contributed much toward the attainment of 
that success and celebrity which distinguished the career 
of the rangers in the campaigns of the "seven years' 
war." So said many of his veteran comrades. 

In the reorganization of the corps, he was promoted 
to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Captain 

* The snow was at this time four feet deep upon a level, and the journey 
was performed on snow-shoes. 

f He was at this period twentv-eight years of age. He had hecn an 
expert and successful hunter, and was well known to he one of the hest 
marksmen of his time ; and the most savage animals of his native forests — 
the catamounts, hears, wolves and wildcats — in numerous instances, feli 
the effects of his unerring aim. ^' 


In March, 1757, while commander of the rangers sta- 
tioned at Fort William Henry, one of his eccentricities 
saved the garrison from surprise and capture. 

At this time Fort Edward, on the Hudson, and Fort 
William Henry, at the south end of Lake George, were 
the two most northerly frontier posts of the British 
dominions in North America. Thev were situated fifteen 
miles apart. The latter fort was at this period occupied 
by an Irish regiment, and about one hundred and fifty 
rangers. The nearest French post was Ticonderoga, forty 
miles northward. 

With the exception of the uneasiness occasioned by the 
small-pox, then among them, the garrison at Fort William 
Henry rested in confident security on the night of March 
17, 1757. 

AMiile going his rounds, on the evening of the 16th, 
Capt'^ln Stark overheard a squad of his men, who were 
of the Scotch-Irish race, planning a celebration in honor 
of St. Patrick, for the next night. He aftenvard said he 
had then no presentiment of approaching danger, but 
disliked these wild Irish demonstrations. He therefore 
called for the ranger sutler, Samuel Blodget, and gave 
him directions to deliver the rangers their regular rations 
of grog until the evening of the 17th ; and after that, no 
more, without a written order from hiniself. On that 
evening he retired to his quarters, directing his orderly 
sergeant to say to all applicants for written orders that he 
was confined to his bunk with a lame right hand, and would 
not be disturbed. The Irish troops received an extra 
supply of rum on the night of the 16th, and commenced 
their carousal, which they carried on with unabated vigor 
through the night and during the ensuing day, in honor 
of St. Patrick, and liis wife Shelah. They drank so freely 
that the oflicer of the day could find none of them fit for 
dutj' as sentinels ; and the rangers, who were sober, 
supplied their places. The rangers, seeing the Irish thus 
enjoying themselves, desired the same privilege. The 
sutler informed them of his orders, and the captain's 


quarters were beset to obtain a written order. The orderly 
refused to disturb his officer, as he wa« confined with a 
painfully lame right hand, and could not write. The 
soldiers felt somewhat cross, but bore their disappointment 
like philosophers. 

At, two o'clock on the morning of the 18th, a ranger 
sentinel on the ramparts o])served a light upon the lake, 
and soon afterward became aware that a large force was 
advancing in the direction of the fortress. 

Notice was instantly conveyed to the ranger captain. 
The lame hand was instantly restored to health, and he 
was among his soldiers. The commander of the post was 
quietly notified, and the rangers silently mustered upon 
the walls. The French army, of more than twenty-five 
hundred men, with a large force of Indians in their rear, 
commanded by General, the Marquis Vaudreuil, advanced 
and halted within about thirty rods of the fort. A deta<ih- 
ment of five hundred men immediately came forward with 
scaling ladders, thinking to carry the place by surprise. 

They planted their ladders, and mounted ; but as the 
foremost men were about placing their feet upon the 
ramparts, a deep, stern voice gave the word "fire." A 
volley of musketry was instantly poured, Vith fatal effect, 
upon the assailants, while the guns of the fortress opened 
with grape and canister upon tlie columns in the rear. 
The enemy were repulsed, and fell back, confused and 

The expedition had been concerted with the hope of 
carrying the fort by surprise, in consecpience of the excesses 
^wrhich the French general knew would be committed by 
the adorers of St. Patrick, upon the anniversary of that 
worthy saint's birth. The roar of the guns dissipated 
the fumes of alcohol from the brains of the regulars; 
and the garrison was soon in condition for a \'igorous 

At day light the French general sent a flag of truce by 
his lieutenant general of artillery, (he brought, however, 
no artillery on this occasion) and formally summoned the 


garrison to surrender. He stated that "they occupied 
territory belonging to his most christian majesty, the 
King of Franco. He offered them their lives, and the 
officers were to be allowed to retain their baggage and 
side arms; the troops were to march out with the honors 
of war. lie suggested, liowcver, that it would be well for 
them to bestow some presents upon the Indians, to keep 
them quiet ; that if these terms were not accepted, a gen- 
eral assault would be made by their whole army, and if 
the fort was taken, no quarter would be given." 

The messenger had been brought in blind-fold, and 
after delivering his message was conducted to another 
apartment, while the council of war considered their an- 
swer. It was gallantly and unanimously resolved, by the 
officers, to bury themselves in its ruins, rather than sur- 
render the fortress. The disastrous defeat of General 
Braddock, two years previously, was fresh in the memory 
of the soldiers. They crowded around the commander's 
quarters, anxiously awaiting the counciFs decision. " Mo- 
nongahcla and revenge," were the words shouted by the 
men. The French officer was again brought before the 
council, where the colonel commanding gave him their 
answer, allowing him twenty minutes to regain the French 

In the course of the day a general attack was made 
upon the fort, with great obstinacy and perseverance, upon 
four different points, but was, at every position assailed, 
gallantly repulsed by its heroic defenders. 

The enemy then burned a vessel on the stocks, set fire 
to the wood-piles and the rangers* summer huts, outside 
of the walls, and after a siege of five days retreated, car- 
rying away most of their wounded. They concealed their 
loss in killed by cutting holes in the ice and throwing into 
the lake the bodies of the slain, after having, as report 
says, scalped them, to obtain the bounty then offered by 
both governments for the scalps of their enemies. Sev- 
eral wounded prisoners, who were brought in after the 
French had retreated, reported that their orders were, if 


the place was carried, to put every man, woman and child 
in it to death. i|p 

On the part of the garrison not a man was killed, and 
but few wounded. Captain Stark was struck by a spent 
ball, which produced a slight contusion, but drew no 
blood. It was not a wound, but was the only injury he 
ever received from an enemy's weapon during the whole 
cours^of his military career. 

Some time after this affair, a few gentlemen from Nan- 
tucket, strangers to him, presented Captain Stark with a 
cane, made from the bone of a whale, headed with ivory, 
as a token of their admiration of his conduct in the de- 
fence of Fort William Henry. The cane is still in the 
possession of his family. 

Thus terminated the first siege of Fort William Henry, 
in March, 1757. In the month of August following, it 
was surrendered t9 the Marquis de Montcalm, after a 
siege of nine days, and entirely destroyed. 

The cause of its capture was as follows : In 1757 the 
Earl of Loudoun was appointed commander-in-chief of 
the British forces in North America. He came to Amer- 
ica with the hope of reaping a harvest of laurels, but 
gained none. 

He drew off most of the forces from the north to Nova 
Scotia, threatened Louisburgh and Quebec, but effected 
nothing except a waste of time and treasure. He left 
a garrison of 4,000 men at Fort Edward, under the com- 
mand of General Webb, an inefficient and imbecile officer, 
who suffered Fort William Henry to be besieged and re- 
duced by the French, without making the slightest effort 
for its relief. General Wolfe, in his position, would 
have acted a bolder part, and no doubt have compelled 
the enemy to retreat. Sir William Johnson came to Fort 
Edward and urged General Webb to make a movement 
for the relief of the besieged fort. The troops were once 
paraded for that purpose ; but Webb's courage failing him, 
they were ordered back to their quarters, and a message 


dispatched to Colonel Monroe, advising him to capitulate 
on the best t^jrnis he could obtain. 

Captain Stark proceeded to New- York to join the east- 
ern expedition, but was there attacked with the small-pox, 
and compelled to remain until the return of the armament. 
After his recovery he rejoined the army at Alji)any, in 
October, and passed the winter at Fort Edward. 

In March, 1758, Lord Loudoun returned to Eugland, 
having added nothing to his military reputation by his 
American campaign. 

The command of the British forces now devolved upon 
Major-General James Abercrombie, who resolved to 
attempt the reduction of Ticonderoga. Preparations were 
accordingly commenced to assemble for that purpose the 
most powerful armament ever mustered in America. In 
addition to a large force of disciplined regulars, numerous 
detachments of provincials were called out, and every 
preparation made to insure success. Of this army. Lord 
Viscount Howe was second in command. 

" On the morning of July 5th the whole army (of 
16,000 men) embarked in bateaux for Ticonderoga (on 
the waters of Lake George.) The order of march afforded 
a splendid military show. The regular troops occupied 
the centre, and the provincials formed the wings. For 
the advanced guard, the light infantry flanked the right, 
and the rangers the left, of Bradstreet's bateau men." 

The services of Captain Stark had long before this 
period attracted the notice of Lord Howe, by whom he 
had been treated with great kindness and respect. His 
lordship had accompanied the rangers on a scout; and 
had, on that occasion, been conducted to the summit of 
Mount Defiance, a mountain eight hundred feet in height, 
overlooking and commanding the works of Ticonderoga. 
He perceived, at that time, the advantage which a few 
pieces of heavy artillerj^ placed there in battery, would 
aftbrd a besieging army over the garrison. But General 
Abercrombie, supposing his force of suflicient strength 
to carry the place by assault, brought no artillery with his 


On the evening before the attack, Captain Stark had a 
long conversation with Lord Howe in his tent, seated with 
him upon the bear-skins which composed his lordship's 
camp-bed, respecting the mode of attack, and the position 
of the fort They supped together, and orders were given 
him for the rangers to carry the bridge, between Lake 
George and the plains of Ticonderoga, at an early hour in 
the morning. 

On the morning of July 6th, they advanced at day-light; 
but on approaching the bridge, Rogers, who was with tlie 
front column, perceiving a body of French and Indians 
prepared to dispute the passage, halted a few moments, 
which caused the rear guard, which was advancing rapidly, 
to press upon the front. Stark, who led the rear column, 
not knowing the cause of the delay and confusion conse- 
quent upon the halting of the front column, rushed for- 
ward, exclaiming, "It is no time for delay;" and calling 
on the troops to follow, pushed boldly on to the bridge, 
where, after a contest of a tew minutes, the enemy broke 
and fled, leaving a clear passage for the army. 

The attacks upon the French lines were made on the 
6th, 7th and 8th of July, and proved unsuccessful, pai*tly 
through the overweening confidence of the commander-in- 
chief, in neglecting to bring up his artillery with the army, 
at the expense of 1,608 regulars, and 334 provincials killed, 
wqpided and prisoners. The French force under Mont- 
calm scarcely amounted to 3000 men, Indians included. 

Of those who fell,, none was more regretted than Lord 
Howe, who was mortally wounded in the action with the 
enemy's advanced guard. He had driven them in, but 
following up his success too closely, received a fatal wound. 
His fell checked the advance of the army, and paralyzed 
their efforts. Other attacks were made, but without suc- 
cess. On the evening of the 8th, the General ordered a 
retreat, directing the " corps of rangers to cover his rear." 
In general orders next day, he thanked the army for their 
good behavior — a compliment which his troops could not 
bestow upon their general. 



The following extract relates to transactions of the after- 
noon and evening of the 7th of July, 1758. 

" Major Rogers held the position with 450 men, while 
Captain Stark, with the remainder of the rangers, (250) 
went with Captain Abercrombie and Colonel Clerk to 
reconnoitre the enemy's works. They returned in the 
evening, Colonel Clerk reporting that the enemy's works 
were of little importance. 

Captain Stark, however, was of a different opinion ; and 
did not hesitate to say that the French had formidable 
preparations for defence. Stark was but a provincial 
woodsman, and Clerk a British engineer. The opinion 
of the former was unheeded, wliilc, most unfortunately, 
the advice of the latter was followed. 

Early on the morning of the 8th, Abercrombie, relying 
upon the report of his engineer, as to the flimsy nature of 
the French defences, determined to commence the attack 
without bringing up his artilleiy." * 

The regret of Captain Stark for the fate of the gallant 
Lord Howe, who thus fell at the age of thirty-three, lasted 
his lifetime. He often remarked, however, during the Rev- 
olution, that he became more reconciled to his fate, since 
his talents, had he lived, might have been employed against 
the United States. He considered him the ablest com- 
mander under whom he ever served. To his military ser- 
vices and private virtues the General Court of Ma88|phu- 
setts paid an honorable tribute, by causing a monument to 
be erected to his memory, in Westmister Abbey. 

Until^ the close of the campaign the rangers were con-' 
stantly employed in excursions to the French forts, and 
in pursuit of their flying parties. 

Returning home on fiirlough. Captain Stark was, on 
the 20th of August, 1758, married to Elizabeth, daughter 
of Captain Caleb Page, one of the original proprietors of 
Dunbarton, N. H. 

* History of Manchester. 


In the spring of 1769, having enlisted a new company, 
he returned to Port Edward, and was present under Gten- 
eral Amherst, at the reduction of Ticonderoga and Crown 
Point. After the surrender of the latter fort, he was 
ordered by that general, with a force of two hundred ran- 
gers, to construct a road through the wilderness from 
Crown Point to Number Pour, on Connecticut river. 

The capitulation of Canada put an end, for the time, to 
military operations in America. This circumstance, to- 
gether with the jealousies of the British officers, induced 
him to leave the service. General Amherst assured him, 
by an official letter, of his protection ; and that, if he 
should be inclined to reenter the service, he should not 
lose his rank by retiring. 

In the campaign of 1759, the name of Captain Stark 
is mentioned several times in general orders, as follows : 

June 13, 1759. " Captain Stark, with his company of 
rangers, will join the detachment from the 'four mile 
post.' " 

June 27. " Captain Stark will have a red flag in his 
bateau ; and every bateau must be near enough to call to 
each other, and ready to follow Captain Stark immedi- 
ately, as he knows where the covering party is posted, and 
will row in at a proper time. The fishermen will take 
their arms, which Captain Loring will deliver ; and great 
care must be taken that they are not too much crowded. 
Captain Stark will receive his orders when the whole is to 
return from Major Campbell." 

According to the above order, a large detachment of 
rangers and other troops were sent out in bateaux, cov- 
ered by a strong force on shore, that fresh-fish might be 
procured for the use of the army, one bateau being allowed 
to each battalion. 

October 10. " Captain Stark is to man three whale 
boats, with seven men each, and to attend such directions 
as he shall receive from Captain Loring." 

After the conquest of Canada had been completed, Cap- 
tain Stark returned home, and directed his attention to the 


cultivation of a large fann, to the care of liifl mills, and 
the settlement of a new township, first called Starkstown, 
and afterwards Dunbarton, from the town and castle in 
Scotland, from the vieinitv of which his ancestors emi- 
grated ; himself, his brother William, and Captain Caleb 
Page being the principal proprietors of the new township. 
From the time he left the army, until 1774, he uniformly 
espoused the cause of his countrj-men ; and from his mili- 
tar}' services and respectable standing, was a person around 
whom could rally the people of his vicinity, and exchange 
ideas upon the then critical situation of the provinces. 

He was appointed one of the committee of safety, and 
discharged the difficult duties devolving upon him with 
firmness and moderation, endeavoring, to the utmost of 
his abilities, to promote union of sentiment and prepara- 
tion for action, should that become necessarv. 

The transactions of April 19, 1775, rendered no longer 
doubtful the course to be pursued by patriots and friends 
of the land that gave them birth. 

The cry of blood from Lexington and Concord had 
sounded the tocsin of alarm, and roused a nation to anns. 
" The sword had been drawn and the scabbard thrown 
away ! ** 

Captain Stark received the report of these events while 
occupied in his saw-mill. He immediately returned to 
his house — a mile distant — changed his dress, mounted 
a horse, and proceeded toward the theatre of action. 
Being w^ell known along the route, he encouraged the 
people to volunteer, telling them that the time had 
arrived when a blow should be struck for the liberties of 
their country, and recommended Medford as a place of 
rendezvous. Thither he was followed by many of his old 
soldiers, and hundreds of citizens, who thus answered his 
appeal to their patriotism. 

His important public services, and uniform attachment 
to the cause of equal rights, were potent inducements in 
the minds of his countrymen who, at his call, had ap- 
peared in arms, to elect him their colonel by an unani- 


mous vote. Isaac Wyman was chosen lieutenant colonel, 
and Andrew McClary major of the regiment. 

The late venerable Jonathan Eastman, senior, informed 
the writer that the election took place at the hall of a 
tavern, in Medford, afterward called the New-Hampshire 
Hall ; that it •was a hand vote, and he held up his hand for 
his friend John Stark. 

A regiment containing thirteen full companies was soon 
organized, and reduced to a tolerable state of discipline. 
As the colonel had left home at ten minutes' notice, he 
returned to arrange his affairs. Having accomplished this 
object, he joined the army for the campaign. 

While examining Noddle's island with a party of offi- 
cers, by request of General Ward, with a view to erect 
batteries against the British shipping, their object having 
been accomplished, on their return, they discovered a 
British party upon the same errand. The latter attempted 
to cut off their retreat by seizing their boat, which, 
after exchanging a few shots, they reached, and returned 
to camp. 

At the battle of Bunker's hill the New- Hampshire reg- 
iments constituted the left wing of the American line, 
and the attacks of the enemy were repulsed in a manner 
worthy of the brightest days of chivalry. 

The regiment opposed to the New-Hampshire line was 
the Welsh fusileers, which had been distinguished at the 
battle of Minden, and was considered the finest light 
inlantry regiment in the British army. 

" The troops advanced, and displayed in front of our 
line," (said an eye witness) " with the coolness and preci- 
sion of troops upon parade. Not a shot was fired until 
they came within eighty yards of our line, when a fire 
opened upon them so rapid and deadly that in a few 
moments they broke and fled in confusion. They were 
immediately rallied, reinforced, again led to the attack, 
and once more gave way before the fatal fire of the New- 
Hampshire marksmen. A third attempt was made to 
turn our left, which was repulsed with great slaughter. 


No farther attempts were made to turn our flank. Our 
men were brought into action with the utmost coolness, 
and without being fatigued. Colonel Stark observed to 
Captain Henry Dearborn, who suggested the propriety of 
hastening the march over Charlestown neck, which was 
enfiladed by the guns of the frigate Lively ^n one side, 
and two floating batteries on the other, that " one fresh 
man in action was worth ten tired ones/* 

The Welsh fusileci-s came into the field more than 700 
strong, and mustered but 83 on parade next morning. In 
the heat of the action some one reported to Colonel Stark 
that his son, a youth under sixteen years of age, who had 
followed him to the field, had just been killed. "If he is," 
said the veteran, " it is no time to talk of private affairs 
while the enemy are advancing in our front. Back to 
your post !** The report i)roved groundless ; the son refer- 
red to was unhurt ; was a staft' oflScer throughout the war, 
and was the youngest survivor of the action who was 
present when the corner stone of the Bunker hill monu^ 
ment was laid in 1825.* 

The position occupied by the New-Hampshire troops 
was at the rail fence, about forty yards in the rear of the 
redoubt, toward Mystic river. The hay had been recently 
mown, and lay in windrows and cocks upon the field. Two 
fences, forming a lane, ran parallel to each other along 
their front. The rails of one were taken up and passed 
through those of the other, while the hay, suspended 
from top to bottom, gave the whole line the appear- 
ance of a breast-work. This arrangement, hastily prepared, 
served to deceive the enemy, and give confidence to the 
men, although it was in reality no defenoive cover. 

Wlien the redoubt was carried, and retreat became una- 
voidable, Colonel Stark drew oft' his troops in such order 
as not to be pursued. The men were umvilling to quit 
their position, having repulsed the enemy so often as to 
consider themselves completely victorious. While the 

* Sec Memoir of Major Caleb Stark, contained in this volume. 


British were storming the redoubt, these troops could 
hardly be prevented from leaving their lines and attacking 
the enemy's rear. Their commander had witnessed such 
scenes before. He foresaw the fate of the redoubt; knew 
that his men had but few bayonets, and but one or two 
rounds of ammunition remaining. He therefore consid- 
ered any attempt to succor the right of the line would be 
an act of madness. 

General Gage, surveying the scene of action from the 
cupola of the Province House, just before the attack, 
remarked to one of his staff, who inquired whether he 
thought the rebels would await the assault of the royal 
troops, "that if one John Stark was with them, they 
would fight ; for he was a brave fellow and had served 
under him, in 1758-9, at Lake George." 

The late General Winslow, of Boston, was on the 
ground at 10 o'clock, the day after the action. (Sunday.) 
Before a wall hastily thrown upon the beach of Mystic 
river, he counted 96 men dead ; he saw no officers among 
them, as they had probably been removed. The company 
of Captain John Moore was posted behind the stone-wall 
at that place. "*" 

* A merchant of Boston, writes to his brother in {Scotland, Juno 24, 
1775: "To the great satisfaction of aU good men, Doctor Warren was 
slain, who was one of their first and greatest leaders." 

" Early next morning I ^^feit over and saw the field of battle, before any 
of the dead were buried, \^nch was the first thing of the sort I ever 
saw; and I pray God I may never have the opportunity of seeing the like 
again. The rebels are employed since that day fortifying all the hills and 
passes within four miles, to prev^cnt the troops from advancing into the 
country. We hourly expect the troops to make a movement against them ; 
but they are too few in numbers, not less than 20,0(K) being equal to the 
task. I cannot help mentioning one thing which serves to show the 
hellish disposition of the accursed rebels : by parcels of ammunition left 
on the fielo, their balls were all found to be poisoned!" About as rational 
as were the British officers, who, mistrusting the buzzing of large flying 
bugs in the evening for something dififerent, wrote to England that the 
rebels fired at them with air guns ! 

It was the intention of the enemy to have occupied Dorchester heights. 
The dispositions for that purpose were made, and the 18th of June was 
the day appointed to carry the design into effect. Fortunately the appear- 
ance of the Americans on Breed's hill, on the morning of the 17th, discon- 
certed the plan ; and the losses sustained in the action of that da}' so 
weakened tne British forces, that the expedition to Dorchester heights was 

postponed, and in due time the position was occupied by the Americans. 

iA battery expelled the British from Boston. 



It is a singular coincidence that the battle of Bunker's 
hill, in 1775, and that of Bennington, in 1777, were fought 
on Saturday, commencing at nearly the same hour. 

The British official report admitted a loss of 1,064 killed 
and wounded; while that of the provincials was about 
334. The ground along the whole line of the feil fenco 
was thickly strewn with dead and wounded. 

We may truly consider that the memorable stand made 
on the heights of Charlestown, by a small force of undisci- 
plined and ill-anned yeomanrj', was, in its moral influence, 
to the American revolution, what the defence at the pass 
of Thermopylfo was to the campaign of Xerxes. 

It partially convinced the armgant invaders of our soil, 
that to conquer American rebels on the floor of parlia- 
ment was a less formidable task than to subdue them 
while with arms in their hands, defending the fair fields of 
their country, their homes, their fire-sides, and the tombs 
of their forefathei's. 

Immediately after the i-etreat, intrenchments were form- 
ed by the New-Hampshire line at Winter hill ; and the 
campaign passed away in a few abortive projects for set- 
tling the rank of general and field officers, and in reenlist- 
ing the troops. 

We have often heard the following incident related, 
which, although no conflict ensued, exhibited traits of 
character of the men who fought at|p}reed*s hill, and who 
composed a portion of the force which held the British 
army for nearly a year in a state of seige at Boston. 

After the batteries on Dorchester heights had opened 
their fire upon the town. Admiral Graves called upon 
General Sir William Howe, and stated that unless the 
rebels were dislodged from those heightij, he could not 
keep a ship in the harbor. Orders were immediately 
issued for a strong force to embark in boats at night, and 
proceed to storm the heights. The troops were accord- 
ingly embarked, but a furious tempest suddenly arising, 
placed the detachment in extreme peril, and compelled 
the abandonment of the enterprise. 


A flag of truce was soon afterward sent to the American 
lines, proposing that if the cannonade was discontinued, the 
British amiy would evacuate Boston on or before a speci- 
fied day in March, (ten days being the limit of the truce.) 
The terms were accepted by General Washington, and the 
firing ceased. 

The proposed time expired, and no notice was received 
from the enemy to signify that they intended to comply 
with the terms of the truce. Washington, supposing he 
had been made a dupe of British treachery and falsehood, 
determined to attack and carry the town by assault. He 
ordered a strong force to enter the town by way of Eox- 
bury neck, while at the same time a force, under the com- 
mand of Colonel Stark, was directed to pass over on rafta 
and carry the battery on Copp's hill. 

The wife of Colonel Stark was at this time in the camp 
on a visit ; and was directed by him to mount on horse- 
back, after the embarkation of the troops, and remain in 
sight to watch the l^esult. K the party were fired upon, 
she was directed to ride into the countrj^, spread the alarm, 
and arouse the people. 

The troops effected their passage over the river unmo- 
lested. She observed them land, advance up the height 
aud take possession of the batter3\ The enemy's rear 
guard were then embarking at the end of Long wharf. 

The troops, on entering the works, found the guns 
loaded, and lighted matches lying beside them, indicating 
that mischief had been intended ; but, for some reason, 
the design had not been carried out. 

General Washington entered by way of the neck, and 
the Americans obtained possesion of a ravaged town, the 
inhabitants of which could hardly realize the fact that 
they were free from the merciless exactions and despotic 
sway of British tyranny. 

The wife of General Stark has often related this inci- 


After the evacuation of Boston, Colonel Stark was 
ordered, with two regiments — the fifth and twenty-fifth — 
under his command, to proceed to New- York and assist 
in arranging the defences of that city, where he remained 
until May, 1776, when his regiment, with five others, was 
ordered to march by way of Albany to Canada. 

He joined the army at St. John's, and advanced to the 
mouth of the Sorelle. There he niet the army retreating 
from Quebec, commanded by General Thomas. While 
there, the latter died of the small-pox, and the command 
devolved upon General Arnold, who employed himself 
in plundering the merchants of Montreal, for his private 
emoltiment, making use of his official station to cover his 
exactions. He boldly seized upon property as he pleased, 
threatening and sometimes using force. A large amount 
of goods was conveyed to Albany, and sold for his benefit.* 

He was soon, however, superseded in his command by 
General Sullivan. The latter was persuaded to detach an 
expedition against Trois Riviferes. This movement was 
strongly opposed by Colonel Stark, as being imprudent 
and hazardous. It was formed in the face of the enemy, 
and on the opposite side of the St. Lawrence, or Lake St 
Pierre, nearly ten miles broad, at a time when the enemy 
had a strong naval force on the river, and the Americans 
none. The expedition proved a failure, as Stark had 
predicted, and its commander, General Thompson, was 
made prisoner. 

Upon their return, the remains of this ill-fated enterprise 
suffered severe losses by the small-pox, which quickly 
spread through the army. A retreat now became necessary. 
It was ably conducted by General Sullivan, before the 
close pursuit of a superior force, which continued until 
the troops reached St. John's. Not a boat or piece of 
artillery was lost The troops, after setting fire to all the 
public buildings and barracks at St. John's, embarked in 
boats for the Isle aux Noix. Colonel Stark, with his staft*, 
was in the last boat that left the shore. They were in 

* Eor farther particulars, see Wilkinson's Memoirs. 


sight when the advanced guard of the enemy arrived 
among the smoking ruins. On the 18th of June the 
army encamped upon the Isle aux Noix, and before the 
enemy could prepare boats to pursue, they had again 
embarked, and safely landed at Crown Point. 

Colonel Stark's regiment was quartered at Chimney 
Point, directly opposite Crown Point, on the eastern shore 
of Lake Champlain, at that place about a hundred and 
sixteen rods wide. The army remained in this position 
until ordered to evacuate Crown Point, and fall back 
upon Ticonderoga. 

Against this removal Colonel Stark and other field 
oflGlcers presented a remonstrance to General Schuyler, 
then in command, showing that their present position 
ought not to be abandoned, as it commanded the lake, 
and could be rendered more capable of defence ^an 
Ticonderoga. General Schuyler being of a different 
opinion, the removal took place. After events proved 
that the memorialists were correct. (See the answer of 
General Schuyler, and General Washington's letter to 
Congress upon the subject, in another part of this work.) 

On the 6th and 7th of July the army reached Ticon- 
deroga, and, on the morning following, the Declaration 
of Independence was read to the army. It was received 
with shouts of applause. Powder was too precious an 
article to be aiforded upon the occasion. 

General Gates, soon after this, assumed the command ; 
and assigned to Colonel Stark the command of a brigade, 
with orders to clea,r and fortify Mount Independence, (so 
named on the above occasion) and then a wilderness — in 
clearing which the soldiers destroyed a large number of 

In the autumn of this year Congress promoted several 
junior colonels to the rank of brigadiers; against which 
Colonel Stark protested, on the ground of insecurity of 
rank, and that such proceedings would plant the seeds of 
discord among the officers of the army. 


When it was ascertained that the British army, under 
Sir Guy Carleton, * had retired to winter quarters in 
Canada, Colonel Stark's regiment, with several others, 
were detiiched from the northern army to reinforce General 
Washington at Newtown, Penn., where he arrived a few 
days before the battle of Trenton, where, leading the van 
of Sullivan's division, he contributed his share in tliat 
bloodless and fortunate eoup-dc-main. 

* The fnllowiiii: anecdote furnished to the writer by the late C-aptain 
Jonuthun Eastman, (senior) refers to the late General Badger, of Gilman- 
ton, y. H. 

While th«« American army, after the retreat from Canada in 1776, lay 
at Crown Point, th«» British f<»rcc8 being at St. John'8, the Amerioan gen- 
eral was di-'fiirons of obtaining information relative to their anticipated 

Lieutonunt Badger volunteered for th(^ purpose. He selected thriKs men 
who had been rangers in the French war, and who knew the country well, 
for his c(»mpunions. They embarked in a boat and landed near St. John's 
at dark. 

On that night a l)all was given by the British officers, of which they 
obtiiincil information from a Canadian, whom they made a prisoner. 

L<»aviiig him at tlie boat in charge of two of his men, Badger proceodod 
with the other into the town, intending to make prisoner, an officer. 

His attendant was well acquainted with the locality, and while in the 
dark watching near a house occupitrd for officers quarters, they observed a 
young officer come out in full ball-dress. They sprang upon him ore he 
was aware of their presence, and with presented pistols, compelled him to 
go with them in silence. 

"When they reached the boat, a new and bolder idea was conceived by 
Badger ; being of the same size of his prisoner, he ordered the latter to 
change dresses with him, determined, under the mask of a British uniform, 
to attend the ball, and gather what information he could from the conver- 
sation of th(»6e present. 

The circumstance that many of the officers who were present had lately 
arrived, and were strangers to each other, favored his enterprise. 

He obtained from their conversation such intelligence as no desired ; the 
most important item of which was that Sir Guy Carleton did not intend 
to advance toward Crown Point the present season, but intended to retire 
to winter quarters in Canada. 

Lieutenant Badger danced as long as he pleased, and when tired of that 
amusement, returned to his boat, released tne Canadian, and with hismili- 
tarj' ]>ris(>ner returned to camp. This news thus acquired, enabU^ the 
general of the northern army to detach several regiments to reinforce 
(General WjLshington at Newtown, Penn., and contributed their aid at 
Trenton and Princeton. 

Tlie officiT thus captured would give no information ; but Badger had 
learned sufficient for all purposes. VVhen the captive army of Burgoyne 
marched for Cambridge, Mass., Lieut Badger was attached to the troops 
who acted a? their escort. On the second day's march, Badger came acci- 
dentally in the vicinity of his former prisoner; the latter having previ- 
ously seen none but hostile faces in tne ranks of the escort, embraced 
Badger with the affection of a brother. 


K the invasion of Canada in 1775-6 had concluded 
with no result commensurate with the losses incurred, the 
attempt to defend Long Island and New-York with inade- 
quate forces, and without a fleet, against a superior veteran 
force, supported by a powerful naval armament, was still 
more unfortunate. 

The Americans were driven from one breast-work to 
another, leaving at each retreat prisoners to fill the British 
hulks — there to perish by thousands — until a considerable 
army was reduced to scarcely more than a brigadier's com- 
mand. It then retreated through New-Jersey to New- 
town, Penn., and there waited until reinforcements could 
be spared from the northern army to aid in retrieving its 

The timely arrival of several half-filled regiments from 
Ticonderoga, who had marched more than 200 miles, ill- 
supplied, ill-clothed, and so poorly shod that their march 
could be traced by their tracks in blood, mainly contrib- 
uted toward gaining two victories, which revived the des- 
ponding hopes of the country. Had these last efforts 
failed, who can not anticipate the melancholy result ? 

In the council of war, preceding the affair at Trenton, 
in giving his opinion. Stark observed to General Washing- 
ton : " Your men have too long been accustomed to place 
their dependence for safety upon spades and j)ick-axe8. K 
you ever effect to establish the independence of these 
States, you must teach them to place dependence upon 
their fire-arms and their courage." 

Here it may be proper to introduce a circumstance, the 
particulars of which were related at the funeral of General 
Stark, by a veteran comrade in arms there present. Pre- 
vious to the important action of Trenton, the American 
army was upon the point of being broken up by suffering, 
desertion, and the expiration of the term of enlistment of 
a great portion of the troops. A few days previous the 
term of the New-Hampshire regiments expired. The 
most gloomy period of the war had arrived. Every hope 
of the country was concentrated in the action of the 


ill-supplied, ill clothed, ill-shod, and unpaid troops, then 
assembled under the orders of Washington, on the banks 
of the Delaware. Their only chance of striking a blow 
was at some of the detached posts of the enemy by 
surprise. Trenton was the nearest practicable point of 
attack, and Princeton, twelve miles distant, the next. An 
army of British veterans, (4,000 strong) well supplied, 
commanded by Earl Cornwallis, was approaching to crush 
this "forlorn hope*' of America. Had these last efforts 
failed, heaven only knows the result. 

In this trj-ing emergency, while officers of other lines 
did the same. Colonel Stark, aware that the fate of the 
country depended upon the retention of the troops then 
in the field, appealed to the patriotism of the men of the 
Granite hills, who composed the New-Hampshire regi- 
ments. He told them that if they left the army all was 
lost ; reminded them of their deeds at Bunker's hill, and 
other occasions in the Canada campaign ; assured them! 
that if Congress did not pay their arrears, his own private 
property should make it up to them. He proposed a re- 
enlistment for six weeks ; and such was his influence and 
popularity, that not a man refused. Thus two half-filled, 
but veteran regiments, of tried valor and fidelity, were 
retained for the approaching crisis, and nobly they sus- 
tained the efforts of their leader. 

The Hessians were attacked, at opposite points of the 
town, by the division of Sullivan, and that led by 
Washington, in person. Colonel Stark led Sullivan's 
advanced guard, and General Greene that of Washington. 

" General Sullivan's division halted near Howell's ferry, 
to enable the division led by General Washington to make 
a circuit to attack the enemy in an opposite direction. 
Here it was discovered by Captain John Glover, of the 
Marblchead regiment, that the best secured arms of the 
officers and men were wet, and not in firing condition. 
The communication was made to General Sullivan, in 
presence of General St. Clair. Sullivan cast a look at 
St Clair, and observed, ^What is to be done?' who 


instantly replied, ' You have nothing for it but to push on 
and charge.* 

We soon marched (Colonel Stark in command of 
the advanced guard) the troops, with orders to clear their 
muskets as they moved on, in the best manner in their 
power, which occasioned a good deal of squibbing. In 
the meantime an officer was dispatched to apprise the 
General (W.) of the state of our arms, who returned for 
answer, by his aid-de-camp, Colonel Samuel Webb, that 
*we must advance and charge.' 

It was now broad day, and the storm beat violently in 
our faces. The attack had commenced on the left, and 
was immediately answered by Colonel Stark in front, 
who forced the enemy's picket, and pressed it into the 
town, our column being close at his heels. The enemy 
made a momentary show of resistance, by a wild and 
ill-directed fire from the windows of their quarters, which 
they abandoned as we advanced ; and made an attempt 
to form in the main street, which might have suc- 
ceeded, but for a six-gun battery opened by Captain T. 
Forest, under the immediate orders of General Washing- 
ton, at the head of King street, which annoyed the enemy 
in various directions ; and the decision of Captain Wil- 
liam Washington, who, seconded by Lieutenant James 
Monroe, * led the advanced guard of the left column, per- 

* James Monroe was afterward President of the United States. Colonel 
'William Washington was the gallant commander of the cavnlry at the 
route of Tarleton's legion, in Morgan's buttle at the Cowpons, which action 
was in effect, as regards the fate of Lord Cornwallis and his army, in 1781, 
wliat the victory of Bennington, in 1777, was to the invading army of 
General Burgoyne. 

After the defeat at Cowpens, Colonel Tarleton retreated in the rear of 
his flying troops, pursued by the dragoons of Colonel Washington. He 
fiaccd about once, and confronted the leader of the dragoons. A blow 
from the sabre of the latter wounded two of his fingers. The goodness of 
his horse prevented his capture. Afterward, speaking to a patriotic 
i^uthern lady of Colonel Washington, he remarked that he had under- 
stood the ** fellow was so illiterate that he could not write his name, and 
he should like to see his face." The lady replied, **he can make his 
mark ; and you might, by facing about on your retreat from the Cowpens, 
have seen his face." 

It is but justice to say of the gallant General Tarleton, ^a brave man he 
undoubtedly was) that in after days, in the British parliament, he de- 


ceiving that the enemy were about to form a battery, 
rushed forward, drove the artillerists from their guns, and 
took two pieces in the act of firing. 

These officers were both wounded : the captain in the 
wrist, and the lieutenant through the fleshy part of the 
shoulder. These particular acts of gallantry have never 
been noticed, and yet they could not have been too highly 
appreciated ; for, if the enemy had got his artillery into 
operation in a narrow street, it might have checked our 
movement and given him time to reflect ; and if he had 
retired across the bridge in his rear, and taken post, he 
would have placed a defile between us, which, in our half- 
naked and halt-frozen condition, he ought to have defended 
against our utmost eftbrts ; and we, in turn, might have 
been compelled to retreat, which would have been fatal 
to us. But while I render justice to the ser\'ice8 of Forest, 
"Washington, and Monroe, I must not withhold due praise 
to the ' dauntless Stark, who dealt death wherever he 
found resistance, and broke down all opposition before 

The 2d of January was a critical day for the American 
cause. Their advanced guard had been driven across the 
Assampink by Lord Cornwallis ; and had he followed up 
his success and crossed the river, thirty minutes would 
have brought on an engagement, and thirty more would 
have decided the contest; and then, covered with woe, 
Columbia might have wept the loss of her beloved chief, 
and most valorous sous. 

In this awful moment, the guardian genius of our coun- 
try admonished Lord Cornwallis that his troops were 

fended the character of the Americans for courage and conduct, saying to 
a certain non-flghting member who, in a tirading speech, was denouncing 
the cowardly yankees, •* if you had fought with them as often as I have, 
you would perhaps entertain a different opinion." 

Colonel Ackland, who commanded the grenadiers under General Bur- 
goyne, at hearing the courage of the Americans defamed at a public 
dinner in London, contradicted the assertion in unequivocal terms. A 
duel ensued, in which the gallant colonel was slain. 

His widow, Lady Harriet, afterward married a chaplain, Mr. Brudenel, 
who had accompanied the expedition of General Burgoyne in America. 


&tigued, and that the Americans were without retreat. 
Under this impression, he addressed his general officers : 
*The men had been under arms all day; they were lan- 
guid and required rest ; he had the enemy safe enough, 
and could dispose of them next morning. For these rea- 
sons, he proposed that the troops should make fires, refresh 
themselves, and take repose.' 

General Grant, his second, acquiesced, and others fol- 
lowed; but Sir William Erskine exclaimed, 'My lord, if 
you trust those people to-night, you will see nothing of 
them in the morning.' 

This admonition was not regarded ; the enemy made 
their fires and went to supper, as we did also, our ad- 
vanced sentries being posted within one hundred and 
yards of each other. 

The American guards at the watch-fires were doubled, 
the neighboring fences supplying fuel. The army, in de- 
tachments, was so noiselessly drawn oft' as to escape the« 
notice of the enemy. The night was cold and dark ; the 
guards kept up the wajx^h-fires until nearly day-light, when 
the remaining fuel was thrown upon them, and the men 
followed the army's track. 

Next morning Lord Cornwallis, with chagrin and disap- 
pointment at having lost what he supposed an opportunity 
of finishing the war, discovered that the enemy had 
retired ; and soon after, the roar of artillery at Princeton 
indicated the direction of his march. 

On the 5th of January, soon after the action, an aid-de- 
camp of Washington bore a flag of truce to Brunswick. 
The British officers spoke freely of the trick Washington 
had played them, and the race they had run ; having made 
a forced march from Trenton to Brunswick, being alarmed 
for the safety of their magazines. 

The aid-de-camp. Colonel Fitzgerald, conveyed to Gen- 
eral Leslie the information of the fall of his son. Captain 
Leslie. The veteran was much affected by the recital of 
the respect which had been shown to his remains, and 
retiring to a window shed tears. When Colonel Fitzgerald 



returned, he sent his acknowledgments to General Wash- 

Colonel Stark was with Washington when he re-crossed 
the Delaware, was engaged at Princeton, and remained 
with him until his winter quarters were established on the 
heights of Morristown. The term of his men's enlistment 
having then expired, he returned to New-Hampshire to 
recruit another regiment. 

In March, 1777, the new regiment was completed, 
and he repaired to Exeter to receive instructions for the 
campaign. There he was informed that a new list of 
promotions had been made out by Congress, and his 
name omitted. The cause of this flagrant injustice was 
easily traced to the malignant influence of several officers 
of high rank, and members of Congress, who were dis- 
pleased with his unbending character. 

He waited upon Generals Sullivan and Poor, wished 
them all possible success, and resigned his commission. 
They endeavored to dissuade him from this course ; 4)ut 
he replied, " that an officer who would not maintain his 
rank, was unworthy to serve his country." He warned 
them of the dangerous situation of the army at Ticonder- 
oga, and the necessity of immediate relief. He declared 
his readiness again to take the field, whenever his country 
required his services, and retired to his estate. His letter 
of resignation is as follows : 

'* To ihe Honorable the Council and House of RepreAentaiivea for the State 
of Neyf-Hatnpehiref in General Court assemhled : 

Gentlxmzv — 

Ever since hostilities commenced, I have, so far as in me lay, endeavored 
to prevent my country from being ravaged and enslaved by our cruel and 
unnatural enemy. I have undergone the hardships and fatigues of two 
campaigns with cheerfulness and alacrity, ever enjoying the pleasing 
satisfaction that I was doing my Gk>d and country the greatest service 
my abilities would admit of; and it was with the utmost gratitude that 
I accepted the important command to which this State appointed me. 
I should have served with the greatest pleasure, more especially at this 

•Wilkinson's Memoir. 


important crisis, when our country calls for the utmost exertions of every 
American ; but am extremely grieved that I am in honor bound to leave 
the service, Congress having thought proper to promote junior officers 
over my head : so that, lest I should show myself unworthy of the honor 
conferred on me, and a want of that spirit which ought to glow in the 
breast of every officer appointed by this Honorable House, in not suitably 
resenting an indignity, I must (though grieved to leave the service of my 
country) beg leave to resign my commission ; hoping that you will make 
choice of some gentleman, who may honor the cause and his country, to 

Tour most obliged, humble servant. 



His zeal for the cause continuing as ardent as ever, he 
fitted out all his family and servants, capable of bearing 
arms, and dispatched them to the army. 

Upon receiving his letter of resignation, the council 
and house of delegates of New-Hampshire, on the 21st 
of March, 1777, passed the following resolve : 

" Voted^ That the thanks of both Houses, in convention, 
be given to Colonel Stark, for his good services in the 
present war ; and that, from his early and steadfast 
attachment to the cause of his country, they make not 
the least doubt that his fiiture conduct, in whatever state 
of life providence may place him, will manifest the same 
noble disposition of mind." 

" Thereupon the thanks of both Houses were presented 
to Colonel Stark by the honorable president.*' Colonel 
Stark was called before the assembly, and received their 

The cause of American Independence was never ex- 
posed to a more doubtful crisis than in the eventful cam- 
paign of 1777. 

That of the preceding year had been extremely disas- 
trous ; but when the affairs of the States appeared to be 
irretrievably ruined, two brilliant actions, toward its close, 
threw a sudden ray of light upon the surrounding gloom. 

The winter was passed in raising men and means for 
another and more desperate struggle. The edicts of royal 
indignation had gone forth, denouncing vengeance on the 


devoted heads of the leaders of this unnatnral rebellion ; 
and new armies of veteran troops were organizing to exe- 
cute their mandates. 

Ticonderoga was at this period occupied by the whole 
force of the United States* army in the north. It was the 
key stone of that region, and deemed of sufficient strength 
to oppose an effectual barrier to any advance of the enemy 
from Canada. The victorious career of the invader soon 
dispelled the delusion. He made himself master of the 
heights of Mount Defiance with the utmost secrecy, and 
drew up several pieces of heavy ordnance. These being 
placed in battery, and discharged at a vessel on the lake, 
gave notice to the American general that his post was no 
longer tenable. 

Nothing now could save the army but a precipitate 
retreat, and preparations were immediately commenced 
for that purpose. The baggage was embarked in boats, 
and the retreat commenced on the night of the 5th of 
July. On the same night the stores in the fortress and 
those on Mount Independence were improvidently set on 
fire, the light of which informed the enemy of the move- 

The retreating army was immediately pursued by Fra- 
zer's light infantry brigade and Reidesers Yagers, on 
land and water, with such diligence that the rear guard of 
1000 men, under Colonel "Warner, was overtaken next day 
at Hubbardton, and brought to action. 

♦ "Whicli of our historians might not profitably copy the following 
account of the evacuation of Ticonderoga, albeit it fell from the lips of a 
negro? "About 11 o'clock on Saturday night, orders were given oy our 
colonel to parade. "We immediately obeyed. He then ordered our tents 
to be struck and carried to the battery. On doin? this, 'the orders were to 
take up our packs and march, which we also md ; passed the general's 
house on fire; marched twenty miles without a halt, and then had a 
brush with the enemy." — Butler, 

Near the scene of a bloody hand-to-hand contest, during the attacks 
upon Ticonderoga in 1758, is a fine spring. We were informed by a vet- 
eran soldier of the first New-Hampshire regiment, Mr. William Beard, of 
Dunbarton, N. H., that the soldiers found a skull near it, which th«y 
cleansed and used for a drinking-cup, and that one of his comrades said he 
intended to carry it home. In the haste of the retreat on the night of 
July 5, it was left behind. 


The contest was well fought, if we may rely upon An- 
bury's statement, that Earl Balcairas, second in command 
of the light infantry, received nearly thirty balls through 
his jacket and trowsers, only one of which wounded him 
slightly in the hip. The assailants would have been 
repulsed by Warner, but Reidesel's Germans came up in 
season to save them ; and the gallant Warner, after per- 
forming all that an intelligent and fearless soldier could do, 
was compelled to give way before superior numbers. 
Colonel Francis, a brave and valuable officer, (father of 
the late eminent financier of Boston) with others of less 
note, fell upon this occasion. 

One of the most unfortunate results of this affair was 
felt by the Americans in the loss of all their baggage, few 
of the officers and men having any clothing except that 
upon their persons. 

The army continued its disorderly retreat toward the 
Hudson, breaking down bridges, and blocking up the 
streams with timber-trees. 

The news of the fall of Ticonderoga * spread rapidly 
through the country, giving rise to the most fearful fore- 
bodings. The people in general appeared to be paralyzed 
with terror and astonishment. All was considered as lost. 
But there were men whose nei^ves had not been unstrung 
by the misfortunes of two disastrous campaigns ; whose 
warrior spirits arose with the dangers that surrounded 
them ; who could look upon this dreary night of disaster 
aa the harbinger of a more glorious day ; who could 
foresee that the invader, notwithstanding his hitherto 
triumphant advance, would not be able to retrace his 
steps, should he be so inclined. Around such men the 
hopes and strength of the country gathered. 

♦Five days after the evacuation of Ticonderoga, in a letter from 
Stockbridse, Mass., it was written : ** We are greatly burdened with peo- 
ple who nave fled from the * Hampshire Grants.*" It was feared that 
Manchester must be^bandoned. In a letter dated there, July 15, it is 
said : ** We learn tl4lpk large scout of the enemy are disposed to take a 
tour to this post. The inhabitants, with their families, can not be quieted 
without the assurance of the arrival of troops directly." 


The people of New-Hampshire had perfonned all that it 
was supposed they could do. Public credit was at a low 
ebb ; and the ability to support a single extra regiment 
was doubted, even if one could be raised. 

The State council had been notified, by the authorities 
of Vermont, that unless speedy assistance was sent them, 
they must yield to circumstances, and accept the protection 
of the enemy, which would leave New-Hampshire a frontier 
State.* In this emergency shone forth the spirit and 
patriotism of that man of his country, John Langdon. 
Ever honored be his memory ! 

He was then presiding ofiicer of the assembly and, upon 
the receipt of the news from the north, thus addressed 
that body : 

"I have three thousand dollars in hard money; my 
plate I will pledge for as much more. I have seventy 
hogsheads of Tobago rum, which shall be sold for the 
most they will bring. These are at the service of the 
State. If we succeed, I shall be remunerated ; if not, 
they will be of no use to me. We can raise a brigade ; 
and our friend Stark, who so nobly sustained the honor 
of our arms at Bunker's hill, may safely be entrusted 
with the command, and we will check Burgoyne." f 

* Soe letter of Ira Allen, Secretary of Vermont 

f The following anecdote is a sample of many others which might be 
cited, to exhibit the zeal manifested in consequence of Mr. Langdon's 
proposition, t#^lbrnish means for the Bennington enterprise. 

As soon as it was decided to raise volunteer companies, and place them 
under the command of General Stark, Colonel Gordon Hutchins (member 
of the assembly from Concord) mounted his horse, and traveling all 
night with all possible haste, reached Concord on the Sabbath afternoon, 
before the close of public service. 

Dismounting at tne meeting-house door, he walked up the aisle of the 
old North Church, while Mr. Walker was preaching. Mr. Walker paused 
in his sermon, and said : ** Colonel Hutchins, are you the bearer of any 
message?" "Yes," replied the colonel, "General Burgoyne with his 
army is on his march to Albany. General Stark has offered to take the 
command of the Net^Hampshire men, and if we all turn out we can cut 
off Burgoyne's march." Whereupon, the Rev. Mr. Walker said : ** My 
hearers, those of you who are willing to go, had better leave at once.** At 
which all the men in the meeting-house rose and ^Hk out ; many imme- 
diately enlisted. The whole night was spent in preparation, ana a com- 
pany was ready to march next day. Fhinehas Eastman said, '* I can't go, 


This noble proposal infused new life into the assembly, 
and arrangements were immediately commenced for carry- 
ing it out 

A messenger was dispatched to Colonel Stark who, 
stung with the injustice of Congress in promoting junior 
officers over him, had resigned his commission, and retired 
to private life. He had left the army three months before, 
and was now living upon his estate on the banks of the 

He returned with the messenger, and waited upon the 
council. He listened to their proposal. They assured him 
that his former patriotic services were duly remembered 
and appreciated, and urged him to forget the past, and 
assume the command of their troops. 

He informed them that he had no confidence in the 
commander of the northern army ; but if they would 
organize a brigade to be by him commanded, to hang 
upon the left wing and rear of the enemy, with full 
authority to direct their operations according to his own 
judgment, without responsibility to any other authority 
than their own body, he would again take the field. The 
council closed with the terms, and issued a commission, 
investing him with as ample powers as he could have 

Eecruiting officers were immediately employed under 
his orders, in beating up for volunteers. His popularity, 
military reputation and previous successes (for he had 
seen more actual service than most of thie continental 
officers) were strong inducements with the yeomanry of 
New-Hampshire to volunteer under his command. 

More men than his orders called for were soon engaged, 
and marched to Charlestown, on Connecticut river, as a 
place of general rendezvous. From thence they were 

for I have no shoes," to which Samuel Thompson, a shoe-maker, replied, 
** Don't be troubled about that, for you shall have a pair before morning," 
which was done. The late Jonathan Eastman, senior, esq., was in similar 
want of shoes, and a new pair was alao^jpade for him before morning. 
Rev. N. Bouion's History of Concord. 



ordered to Bennington, Vt, oa fast ss they could be 
equipped with arms, aniinuuition and supplies. 

On the 30tl» of July tlie General wrote from Charlestown 
to the New-Hampshire Council ; "I am informed that the 
enemy have left Castieton, with an intent to march to 
Bennington. We are detained by the want of bullet 
molds. There is but one pair in town, and the few balls 
, sent by the council go but little way." 

One pair of bullet molds for an army ! In many other 
particulars the troops were equally deficient. The address 
of J. D. Butler, Esq., betbro the Legislature of Vermont, 
on the reception of the Bennington cannon, contains many 
interesting particulars in regard to the expedition. 

General ^tark crossed the mountains to Manchester, in 
Vermont, where, after reinforcing and consulting with 
Colonel Warner, he proceeded to assume the command of 
his brigade, then mustering at Bennington, where he 
arrived on the 9th of August. 

Soon afterward an officer of the northern army arrived, 
with instructions to conduct the New-IIanipshire levies to 
the main army, then at Stillwater. To these orders 
General Stark declined to submit, declaring himself to be 
only responsible to the authorities of New-Hampslure, 
who had invested him with an independent command, and 
promptly refused to permit the troops to march to join the 
army commanded by General Schuyler. • 

The officer reported the result of his mission to head 
quarters, and General Schuyler complained to Congress, 
urging the necessity of reinforcements of men and supplies. 

Congress resolved "That the council of New-Hamp- 

*To the remark of the officer, tbat he om agsuminf; a fearAil retpoiui- 
bitity, he replied, that he had " often asaumcd reapunaibilitioi for the good 
of bis country, and abould do so again." 

It may here be observed that the New-Hampahire brigade mustered on 
Thursday, the 14tb: although noininallj conaJBting of 1,332 prtvatee, it 
wa», in real strength, but little more than half that number, us one company 
bad been left at Number Four, two on the mountains, and others else- 
where, or weakened by sickness and desertion. Tbo strength of Stark'» force 
was, by General Schuyler, estimated at 7U0 or 800 men. He was joined by 
Captain Robinson, with the Bnpington militia, and by many volunteers 
in the Ticiuity. V 


shire be informed that the instructions which General 
Stark says he has received from them, are destructive of 
military subordination, and highly prejudicial to the com- 
mon cause at this crisis ; and that, therefore, they be de- 
sired to instruct General Stark to conform himself to the 
same rules which other general officers of the militia are 
subject to, whenever they are called out at the expense of 
the TJnited States/* 

This vote of censure neither the council nor their 
general considered of much account. He knew no other 
authority than the State council ; and had he submitted to 
the demand of General Schuyler, the campaign would 
have terminated with the ruin of the northern army; and 
General Burgoyne would have reached Albany, from 
whence he could cooperate with Howe and Clinton, and 
find the task an easy one to crush the other American 

General Stark now proceeded with all diligence to 
organize and discipline his forces, collect supplies, and 
prepare for active duty as soon as occasion should require. 

The commander of the northern army soon opened a 
correspondence with him, and he detailed to him his plan 
of operations; which was to intercept and cut off the 
enemy's supplies, remove beyond his reach all the cattle 
and stores of the country, harrass his rear, and attack any 
of his detachments which should afford him an opportu- 
nity. The plan was approved by General Schuyler, and 
while arrangements were making to carry it out. General 
Burgoyne himself furnished the desired opportunity. 

That general had heard of the arrival of the militia at 
Bennington. He also knew that large magazines of flour 
and other supplies were to be found in the vicinity ; and 
while waiting to hear of the success of Colonel St. Leger, 
who had been ordered to march by a different route from 
that pursued by his main army, and reduce Fort Stanwix 
on his way, he resolved to detach a force sufficient, as he 
supposed, to look down all opposition, to disperse the 
enemy on his left, and secure the stores of provisions col- 


lected in the vicinity, which the necessities of his army 
already required. 

The force consisted of 500 German regulars, a detach- 
ment of British light infantry and dismounted dragoons, 
a party of tories, 200 Indians, with two pieces of light 
brass field artillery, commanded by Lieut. Colonel Baum, 
a brave and intelligent officer, who was attended by the 
veteran Colonel Philip Skene, who well knew the country 
and the inhabitants, as an assistant and adviser. 

Another detachment of 600 Germans, with a similar 
accompanying force of tories and Indians, with two heavier 
brass field pieces, were also ordered to be in readiness to 
march at a moment's warning to support Colonel Baam, 
if he had occasion to call for assistance. 

While encamped at Battenkill, awaiting orders. Colonel 
Baum addressed the following note to General Burgoyne : 

" Battenkill, 12 August, 1777. 

Sir — ^I had the honor of acquainting your Excellency, 
by a man sent yesterday by Col. Skene, to head quarters, 
of the several corps under my command being encamped 
at Saratoga, as well as my intention to proceed neict 
morning at five o'clock. The corps moved at that time, 
and marched a mile, when I received a letter from Brig. 
Gen. Frazer, signifying your Excellency's order to post 
the corps advantageously on Battenkill, until I should 
receive fresh instructions. The corps is now encamped 
at that place, and waits your order. 

I will not trouble you with the various reports, which 
are spread, as they seem rather to be founded on the 
different feelings of the people who occasion them. 

I have the honor to'be, &c., 


The reinforcement of fifty chasseurs, which your Excel- 
lency was pleased to order, joined me last night." 



" The object of your expedition is to try the affections of 
the country, to disconcert the councils of the enemy, to 
mount Reidesel's dragoons, to complete Peters' corps, and 
to obtain large supplies of cattle, horses and carriages. 

The several corps of which the inclosed is a list, are to 
be under your command. The troops must take no tents ; 
and what little baggage is carried by officers, must be on 
their own bat-horses. 

You are to proceed by the route from Battenkill to 
Arlington, and take. post there, so as to secure the pass to 
Manchester. You are to remain at Arlington until the 
detachment of provincials, under Capt. Sherwood, shall 
join you from the southward. 

You are then to proceed to Manchester, where you 
will take post, so as to secure the pass of the mountains, 
on the road from Manchester to Rockingham ; from 
thence you will detach the Indians and light troops to 
the northward, toward Otter creek. On their return, and 
also receiving intelligence that no enemy is in force in 
the neighborhood of Rockingham, (on Connecticut river) 
you will proceed by the road over the mountains to 
Rockingham, where you will take post. This will be 
the most distant point of the expedition ; and must be 
proceeded upon with caution, as you will have the defile 
of the mountains behind you, which might make a return 
difficult. You must therefore endeavor to be well informed 
of the force of the enemy's militia in the neighboring 

You are to remain there as long as may be necessary 
to fulfill the intention of the expedition from thence, while 
the Indians and light troops are detached up the river; 
and you are afterward to descend by the Connecticut 
river to Brattleborough ; and from that place, by the 
quickest march, you are to return by the great road to 


During your whole progress, your detachments are to 
have orders to bring in all horses fit to mount the dragoons, 
under your command, or to serve as bat-horses to the 
troops, together with as many saddles and bridles as can 
be found. The number of horses requisite, besides those 
necessary for mounting the regiment of dragoons, ought 
to be thirteen hundred. If you can bring more for the 
army, it will be better. 

Your parties are likewise to bring in wagons and other 
convenient carriages, with as many draft oxen as will be 
necessary to draw them, and all cattle fit for slaughter, 
(milch cows excepted) which are to be left for the use of 
the inhal)itants. Regular receipts, in the form hereto 
subjoined, are to be given in all places where any of the 
above named articles are tiiken, to such persons as have 
remained in their habitations, and other>vise complied 
with the terms of General Burgoyne's manifesto ; but no 
receipts are to be given to such as are known to be acting 
in the service of the rebels. 

As you will have with you persons perfectly acquainted 
with the abilities of the country, it may, perhaps, be 
advisable to tax the several districts with their portion 
of the articles, and limit the hours for their delivery ; 
should you find it necessary to move before such delivery 
can be made, hostages of the most respectable people 
should be taken to secure their following you the next 
day. All possible means are to be used to prevent plun- 

As it is probable Capt. Sherwood, who is already to the 
southward, and will join you at Arlington, will drive in a 
considerable quantity of horses and cattle to you; you 
will therefore send in the cattle to the army with a proper 
detachment from Peters* corps, to cover them, in order to 
disincumber yourself. You must always keep the regi- 
ment of dragoons compact. 

The dragoons themselves must ride and take care of 
the horses of the regiment. Those horses which are 
destined for the use of the army, should be tied together 


in strings of ten each, so that one man may lead ten 
horses. Ton will give directions to the unarmed men of 
Peters' corps to conduct them, and inhabitants whom 
you can trust. You must always take your camps in 
good positions ; but at the same time where there is 
pasture. You must have a chain of sentinels around your 
cattle and horses while grazing. 

Col. Skene will be with you as much as possible, in 
order to assist you with his advice ; to help you distinguish 
the good subjects from the bad ; to procure the best 
intelligence of the enemy ; and to choose those people who 
are to bring the accounts of your progress and success. 

When you find it necessrfry to halt for a day or two, 
you must always entrench the camp of the regiment of 
dragoons, in order never to risk an attack or affront from 
the enemy. As you will return with the regiment of 
dragoons, mounted, you must always have a detachment 
of Capt. Frazer's or Peters' corps in front of the column, 
and the same in the rear, to prevent your falling into an 
ambuscade when you march through the woods. 

You will use all possible means to make the country 
believe that you are the advanced corps of the army, and 
that it is intended to pass the Connecticut river on the 
route to Boston. You will, likewise insinuate that the 
main army from Albany will be joined at Springfield by 
a corps of troops from Rhode-Island. You will send off, 
occasionally, cattle or carriages to prevent being too much 
incumbered; and give me as frequent intelligence of your 
situation as possible. 

It is highly probable that the corps under Mr. Warner, 
now supposed to be at Manchester, will retreat before you ; 
but should they, contrary to expectation, be able to collect 
in great force, and post themselves advantageously, it is 
left to your discretion to attack them or not, always bear- 
ing in mind that your corps is too valuable to let any con- 
siderable loss be hazarded on this occasion. 

Should any corps be moved from Mr. Arnold's main 
army in order to intercept your retreat, you are to take as 


strong a post as the country will afford, and send the 
quickest intelligence to me ; and you may depend on mj 
making such a movement as shall put the enemy between 
two fires, or otherwise eflfectually sustain you. It is imag- 
ined the progress of the whole of the expedition can be 
effected in about a fortnight ; but every movement of i1 
must depend upon your success in obtaining such a supplj 
of provisions as will enable you to subsist for your return 
to the army, in case you get no more ; and should not the 
army reach Albany before your expedition should be com- 
pleted, I will find means to send you notice of it, and give 
your route another direction. All persons acting in com- 
mittees, or any officers acting under the direction of Con- 
gress, either civil or military, are to be made prisoners. 


The above instructions, and the following letters, arc 
copied from Burgoyne's defence before Parliament. 



" Sir — I request the favor of you to proceed with Lieut. 
Col. Baum upon an expedition of which ho has the com- 
mand, and which will march this evening or to-morrow 
morning. The object of his orders is to try the affectionc 
of the country to disconcert the councils of the enemy, 
to mount the regiment of Reidesel's dragoons, to com- 
plete Lieut. Col. Peters* corps (tories,) and to procure a 
large supply of horses for the use of the troops, togethei 
with cattle and carriages. 

The route marked out for this expedition is to Arling- 
ton and Manchester ; and in case it should be found thai 
the enemy is not in too great force upon the Connecticut, 
it is intended to pass the mountains to Rockingham, and 
descend the river from thence to Brattleborough. Borne 
hours before the corps march for Arlington, Colonel 
Peters, with all his men, is to set forward for Bennington, 
and afterward are to join you at Arlington. 


Receipts are to be given for all horses and cattle taken 
firom the country. Lieut. Col. Baum is directed to com- 
municate the rest of his instructions, and to consult with 
you upon all matters of intelligence, negotiation with the 
inhabitants, roads and other means, depending upon a 
knowledge of the country, for carrying his instructions 
into execution. 

I rely upon your zeal and activity for the fullest assist- 
ance, particularly in having it understood in all the coun- 
try through which you pass, that the corps of Colonel 
Baum is the first detachment of the advanced guard ; and 
that the whole army is proceeding to Boston, expecting to 
be joined on the route by the army from Rhode-Island. 

I need not recommend to you to continue the requisites 
of the service with every principle of humanity in the 
mode of obtaining them ; and it may be proper to inform 
the country that the means to prevent their cattle and 
horses being taken for the future, will be to resist the 
enemy when they shall presume to force them, and drive 
them voluntarily to my camp. 

I have the honor to be, &c., 


The following letters of Colonel Baum give an account 
of his progress up to the 14th of August, 1777, at 9 
o'clock P. M. 

Cambridge, 13 August, 1777. 

Sir — ^In consequence of your Excellency's order, I 
moved this morning at 4 o'clock with the corps under my 
command ; and after a march of sixteen miles, arrived at 
Cambridge at four in the evening. On the road I received 
intelligence of forty or fifty rebels being left to guard some 
cattle. I ordered thirty provincials and fifty savages to 
quicken their march in hopes to surprise them. They took 
five prisoners in arms, who declared themselves to be in 
the service of Congress ; yet the enemy received advice 



of our approach, and abandoned the house in which they 
were posted. The provincials and savages continued their 
march about a mile, when they fell in with a party of fif- 
teen men, who fired upon our people and took to the woods 
with great precipitation. The fire was quick on our side, 
but I can not learn if the enemy sustained any loss. A 
private of Captain Sherwood's company was the only one 
who was slightly wounded in the thigh. 

From the many people who came from Bennington, 
they agree that the number of the enemy amounted to 
1,800. I will be particularly careful, on my approach to 
that place, to be fully informed of their strength and situa- 
tion, and take the precaution necessary to fulfill both the 
orders and instructions of your Excellency. 

I cannot ascertain the number of cattle, carts and 
wagons taken here, as they have not as yet been collected. 
A few horses have been also brought in ; but I am sorry 
to acquaint you that the savages either destroy or drive 
away what is not paid for with ready money. If your 
Excellency would allow me to purchase the horses, stipu- 
lating the price, I think they might be procured cheap ; 
otherwise, they ruin all they meet with. Your Excel- 
lency may depend on hearing how I proceed at Benning- 
ton, and of my success there. 

Paying my respectful compliments to Gteneral Reidesel, 

I am, &c., 

F. BAUM.* 

P. S. The names of the men taken in arms are George 
Duncan, David Starrow, Samuel Bell and Matthew Bell. 
Hugh Moore, a noted rebel, surrendered himself yester- 
day evening. 

The express left Cambridge at 4 o'clock on the morning 
of the 14th of August. 

* Frederick Baam. 


Sancoick, 14 August^ 9 o'clock P. M. 

Sir : — ^I have the honor to inform your Excellency that 
I arrived here at eight in the morning, having had intelli- 
gence of a party of the enemy being in possession of a 
mill^ which they abandoned at our approach, but in their 
usual way, fired from the bushes ; and, took their road 
to Bennington; a savage was slightly wounded. They 
broke down a bridge which has retarded our march above 
an hour. They left in the mill about seventy-eight barrels 
of fine flour, one thousand bushels of wheat, twenty bushels 

of salt, and about one thousand dollars' worth of pearl 
and potashes. 

I have ordered twenty provincials and an officer to guard 
the provisions and pass of the bridge. By the five pris- 
oners taken here, they agree that from 1,500 to 1,800 
men are in Bennington, but are supposed to leave at our 
approach. I will proceed so far to-day as to fall on the 
enemy to-morrow early, and make such disposition as I 
think necessary from the intelligence I may receive. 
People are flocking in hourly, but want to be armed ; the 
savages can not be ruled. They ruin, and take everything 
they please. 

I am, &c., F. BAUM. 

I beg your Excellency to pardon the hurry of this letter, 
it is wrote on the head of a barrel.*** 

On perceiving the brigade, the enemy halted ; selected 
an advantageous position upon elevated ground, and 
commenced intrenching their camp, by felling timber- 
trees and forming log breast-works for their several corps ; 
for, according to the British plan of their works which, 
together with the orders of General Burgoyne, fell into 
the hands of General Stark, several redoubts were thrown 
up. In fact, the enemy tore down all the houses of hewn 
limber in the vicinity, and used the materials thus obtained 
for that purpose. 

*Burgoyne'8 Defence. 


As the ground was not suitable for a general and 
immediate action, the American commander concluded 
to fall back one mile, and prepare his troops for battle. 

The whole day of the 16th proving stormy, nothing 
farther took place than a skirmish on the enemy's front 
A chosen body of men, several of whom had served in 
the ranger corps of the "seven years' war," were ordered 
to try the enemy's temper, and harass their operations 
while forming intrenchments. In this expedition thirty 
of the enemy were killed and wounded ; among them 
two Indian chiefs were slain, whose silver ornaments were 
brought to camp by the victorious rangers, who returned 
without losing a man, or one of the scout receiving a 
wound. This success was hailed by the troops in camp 
as an omen of farther good fortune. The rain poured 
down in torrents during the whole night ; and the situa- 
tion of the Americans, in their bush huts, and the enemy 
in their intrenchments, was uncomfortable. 

At one o'clock on the morning of August 16th, 
the camp was aroused by the arrival of the Berkshire 
volunteers, led by Colonel Spnonds — those from Pittsfield 
being conducted and commanded by their pastor. Rev. 
Thomas Allen. This worthy, patriotic and exemplary 
descendant of one of Cromwell's Ironsides, proceeded at 
once to the general's quarters, (a log house) and addressed 
him in substance, as follows : 

"The people of Berkshire have often turned out to 
fight the enemy, but have not been permitted to do so. 
We have resolved that if you do not let us fight now, 
never to come again." "Would you go now," observed 
the general, " in this dark and rainy night ? No ; go to 
your people ; tell them to take rest if they can ; and if 
God sends us sunshine to-morrow, and I do not give you 
fighting enough, I will never call upon you to come again." 

The storm continued until nearly noon on Saturday, 
the' 16th of August. When the rain ceased, the clouds 
suddenly broke away, and the sun came out in full 


We have reason to believe its appearance was welcome 
and cheering to the martial husbandmen who had assem- 
bled in arms for the defence of their soil and firesides, 
and that they obeyed the order to march to battle with 
alacrity, and the spirits of men resolved to "live free 
or die." 

An order had been dispatched to Colonel Warner, who 
was at Manchester with one hundred and fifty continental 
troops, to hasten his march to the scene of action, which 
order he promptly obeyed. 

During the retreat from Ticonderoga, Hale's regiment 
surrendered to a force of British and tories, who, not 
being able to carry away their arms, had left them stacked 
in the woods. General Stark being apprised of this fact 
had, a short time previously, directed Colonel Warner to 
secure them for the use of his corps. He had just returned, 
when the order to march arrived. He reached Benning- 
ton in season to use them, in the second action, with glori- 
ous effect. 

Colonel Baum took advantgage of the delay occa- 
sioned by the storm of the 15th, to inform General Bur- 
goyne of his situation, and call for Colonel Breyman's 
corps, who immediately maiTched to his support. 

Their preparations being completed, the Americans left 
iheir camp and marched in quest of the enemy. They 
were found in the position they had fortified, with .their 
artillery properly posted, and prepared to receive the 

The German commander harangued his men, stating 
that the countrymen opposed to them were the owners of 
the soil, and would probably fight well to defend it ; but 
that they could have no chance of success against their 
superior discipline and favorable position, surrounded by 
breast-works and supported by artillery, of which their 
opponents possessed not a single piece ; and the arrival 
of Colonel Breyman, with a reinforcement superior to 
their present force, with two heavier pieces of artillery, 
was hourly expected. 


Common report has attributed a brief address io the 
American general, such as : " There, my boys, are your 
enemies, the red-coats and tories; you must beat them, 
or my wife sleeps a widow to-night." We will here, 
however, introduce the address, with a quotation from 
the graphic pen of New- York's talented bard, Fitz-Greene 
Halleck. Speaking of the traits of Kew-England character, 
he writes : 

*♦ And minds have there been nurtured whose control 

Is felt e'en in their nation's destiny ; — 
Men who swayed senates with a statesman's soul. 

And looked on armies with a leader's eye ; 
Names which adorn and dignify the scroll 

Whose leaves contain their country's history ; 
And tales of love and war — now list to one, 
Of the White Mountaineer — the Stark of Bennington. 

When on that field his band the Hessians fought, 

Briefly he spoke before the fight began : 
* Soldiers, those German gentlemen were bought 

For four pounds eight and seven pence, per man, 
By England's King : a bargain, it is thought. 

Are we worth more ? let's prove it while wo can : 
For we must beat them, boys, ere set of sun. 
Or my wife sleeps a widow.* — It vfoa done."* 

* ** The tories, who had joined the king's troops, confident that in these 
last days the time of recompense for all their maltreatment had come, 
were intrenched in front of the German battery. They braved the battle 
fire, that they might, if by any means possible, turn their castle in the air 
into a castle on the earth. 

On the other h4nd, the assailants saw before them a band of mercena- 
ries, bought at thirty crowns a head, and of whose speech they could not 
understand a syllable. They saw a horde whose orders were to make spoil 
of every horse, every ox, every wheel-carriage, every saddle, everv bridle, 
leaving only milch cows as special clemency ; to carry off all provisions, to 
tax every village as much as it could pay — tories being judges ; to take 
hostages for payment of the tax, to let loose Indians and tories to do what 
they pleased with the refractory vanquished. They knew that they 
were Ine last hope of New-England ; that if they were repelled, there was 
no reserve to fall back on ; that the dragoons, now dismounted before them, 
on the morrow would be cavalry, a winged army pouncing upon the fugi- 
tives in every valley, while Jnaians would set fire to every hill-side ham- 
let and scalp its inmates. Stark was full of high disdain from a sense of 
injured merit; rivals had been promoted over his head, and he left a 
subaltern. • 

That never set a muadron in the field, 
Nor the division of a battle knew, 
More than a spinster, except the bookish theoriok." 


The enemy occupied elevated ground, with a gradual 
slope on the north and west. At some short distance on 
his right flowed the river Hoosac, and along his front the 
little river WaUoomsac to its junction with the former 

His position was reconnoitered at a mile's distance, and 
the plan of attack arranged. Two detachments were 
ordered to diverge to the right and left, passing through 
the woods and corn-fields, and by circuitous routes turn 
the enemy's flanks, unite their force, and attack his rear. 
Colonel Nichols, on their left, and Colonel Herrick, on 
their right, had the command of these attacks. HeiTick's 
force was three hundred, that of Nichols two hundred ; 
but a reinforcement of one hundred men was sent him, at 
his own demand, before his attack commenced. 

Colonels Hubbard and Stickney, with two hundred 
men, were posted on the enemy's right, to attack the 
tory breast-wt)rk ; and one hundred men were stationed 
in front to attract the enemy's attention to that quarter. 

The General took his position with the reserve. The 
attack on the flanks and rear of the enemy was to be the 
signal for a general assault. 

Colonel Baum with his glass observed the movements 
of the flanking parties, and supposed they were running 

He had insisted upon having a separate command and independent 
authority. Had he taken his position only to expose his weakness, like 
one who plunges into deep water though he can not swim ? He was tried ; 
and to be found wanting, or not wanting? It was for him in these mo- 
ments a fearful question. Was he to prove a mere partizan, a scout, or 
was he to prove a general? 

" expert 
When to advaiice, or stand, or tarn the swaj 

Of battle : open when, and when to close 
The ridges of grim war." 

He heard the warwhoop of the savages, who had captivated him in his 
vouth, and forced him to run the gauntlet. Is it any wonder his words to 
his men were:' " There are your enemies, the red-coats and tories ; we must 
have them in half an hour, or this night my wife sleeps a widow!" No 
wonder the engagement was the hottest he had ever witnessed, resembling 
a continental dap of thunder." — Butler* s Address. 

* So said his servant and waiter, Henry Archelaus, who died at "Woare, 
N. H., many years ago. 


The flanking parties were soon concealed from his 
view by the woods. In the meantime the reserve slowly 
advanced. The General ordered frequent halts, and was 
observed often to look at his watch, saying to himself, " It 
is time they were there.*' 

The artillery of the enemy soon commenced playing 
upon the reserve, which advanced slowly as at first. At 
three o'clock in the afternoon. Colonel Xichols opened his 
fire upon their left, which was immediately answered by 
Colonel Ilerrick on their right. The troops in front pressed 
forward, and the action became general. 

The enemy were, after a sharp contest^ forced from 
their works,* and driven upon the reserve, which soon 
decided the action. The Indians in the enemy's rear fired 
on the right and left, and fled on the appearance of the 
flanking detachments, as they approached each other to 
form a junction. 

The prisoners were speedily collected, and hurried from 
the field, escorted by a force sufficient to secure them. 
The remainder of these undisciplined volunteers, exulting 
in their success, could not be prevented from dispersing 
in quest of refreshment and plunder, not anticipating more 
fighting that day. 

The drums and bugles of the German reinforcement, 
under the orders of Colonel Breyman, were, in the space 
of an hour, heard in the distance, announcing to the 
victors that another and more desperate conflict was at 

Colonel Warner's drums at the same time gave notice 
of his approach in an opposite direction. The men of 
the New-Hampshire brigade who were near were rallied, 
and a second action commenced. 

* In regard to the attack of the redoubts, Butler says : " On a sud- 
den a solitary wagon, containing all the Germans' spare ammunition, 
exploded in the midst of the reooubt. You would have thought that 
explosion to have been an order given for every American to charge with 
railroad speed ; for the redoubt was instantly stormed, and carried on 
every side." — Butler* a Address, 


Colonel "Warner was directed to divide hie force, and 
attack the right and left flanks of the enemy ; which 
service he performed with his accustomed gallantry, and 
Bucceeded in checking the Germans until the scattered 
troops of New-Hampshire could be again formed, and 
brought up to his support. 

The action continued, and was obstinately fought on 
both sides until dark, the enemy fighting on a retreat for 
two miles. They then gave way at all points. They were 
pursued some distance, and many more prisoners taken. 
The remainder escaped under cover of the night, while 
the conquerors, worn down by the fatigues of the day, 
returned to camp. With one hour more of daylight, the 
whole detachment would have been captured. 

The fruits of this signal and almost unexpected victory, 
thus obtained by raw militia over European veterans, 
tories and savages, were four pieces of brass artillery, 
eight brass-barreled drums, eight loads of baggage, one 
thousand stand of arms, many Hessian dragoon swords, 
and seven hundred and fifty prisoners ; t\i'o hundred and 
seven of the enemy fell upon the field of battle. The 
loss of the Americans was about thirty killed and forty 
wounded. But the most important result of this victory 
was the restoration of confidence to the desponding armies 
of America, while it gave a death blow to the hopes of 
the invader. 

Lieut. Colonel Baum, who was mortally wounded, died 
soon after the action, and was buried with military honors. 

The Hessians and English were treated as prisoners of 
war, and marched from the field in their ranks ; but the 
tories,* 152 in number, were tied in pairs ; to each pair a 

* The most unique punishment to which thoy (the tories and spies) were 
labjected, was decreed by the Council of Bennington, in January, 1778, 
after this fashion : 

•• Let the overseer of the tories detach ton of them, with proper officers 
to take the charge, and march them in two distinct files from this place 
through the Green Mountains, for breaking a path through the snow. Let 
each man be provided with three days' provisions ; let them march and 
tread the snow in said road of suitable width for a sleigh and span of 
horses ; order them to return, marching in the same manner, with all con- 
venient speed. Let them march at C o'clock to-morrow morning." Early 
ruing. — Builer*9 Address before the Vermo7U Antiquarian Society. 


horse was attached by traces with, in some cases, a negro 
for his rider; they were led away amid the jeers and 
scofis of the victors — the good house-wives of Bennington 
taking down beds to furnish cords for the occasion. Many 
of their neighbors had gone over to the enemy the day 
before the battle. Collections of trophies of this victory 
were presented to the States of New-Hampshire, Massa- 
chusetts and Vermont. 

"This success," says an eloquent writer, "was the first 
link in the chain of events, which opened a new scene to 
America. It raised her from the depths of despair to the 
summit of hope, and added unfading laurels to the brow 
of the veteran who commanded." 

The question of American Independence was no longer 
considered doubtful. France, in due time, engaged in the 
contest with zeal and vigor, joyously embracing the oppor- 
tunity thus afforded of humbling her most ancient and 
most hated foe. 

Immediately after the action at Bennington, troops were 
detached, under the command of active officers, in every 
direction, to secure all cattle and stores of provisions 
within the enemy's reach, and to disconcert his foraging 
parties. The march of General Burgoyne's army was in 
consequence checked for nearly a mouth, during which 
period the Americans found time to muster a force suffi- 
cient to put an end to his progress. Madam Reidesel, in 
her memoir, speaking of the Bennington expedition, says 
" This unfortunate event paralyzed at once all our opera- 

A Hessian officer's journtj describes the combat in the 
intrenchment, occupied by the Germans, as follows : 

" Then for a few moments, the bayonet, the butt of the 
rifle, the sabre and the pike were in full play, and men 
fell, as they rarely have fallen in modern warfare, under the 

Symsbury mines furnished a subterranean prison for a portion of the 
spies and tories condemned by the Council of Bennington ; others were 
held in duress, under the supervision of overseers who, in the above de- 
scribed instance, employed them for the benefit of the traveling public. 


direct blows of their adversaries. Colonel Baum, sword in 
hand, led the remainder of his men, but soon sank mor- 
tally wounded ; and save a few, who darted here and there 
between the surrounding assailants, his whole corps, with 
the loyalists who had joined them, were disabled or taken 

Butler's discourse before the Vermont Legislature, on 
the reception of the Bennington cannon,, contains the fol- 
lowing passages : 

If Burgoyne was thunderstruck when an antagonist, 
he had never heard of, * came cranking in and cut him 
from the best of his troops, a huge half-moon, a monstrous 
cantleout,' what would he have thought had he known 
that antagonist's history? How twenty-five years before 
Stark had been led along as a ransomed captive, over the 
very ground where the British army lay encamped ? How 
he had been given up by his savage masters for one Indian 
pony? I copy the following from the original journal of 
the officer who redeemed the captive : 

"July 12, 1752. 

This day John Stark was brought to Montreal by his 
Indian master. He was taken a hunting this spring. He 
is given up for an Indian pony, for which we paid five 
hundred and fifteen livres ($103). The boy, sold for a 
French horse, in little more than a score of years had be- 
come a man, more precious than the wedges of Ophir." 
Mr. Butler continues : Ascertaining that a veteran of 
Bennington was still living, (1848) some eight miles from 
my house at Wells River, I paid him a visit about a week 
ago. His name is Thomas Mellen, and though upward 
of ninety-two years of age, he is so far from being bald or 
bowed down, that you would think him in the Indian 
summer of life. His dress was all of gray homespun, and 
he sat on a couch, the covering of which was sheep-skins, 
with the wool on. I will repeat his statements so far as 
possible, in his own words : 


" I enlisted," said he, " at Francestown, N. H., in Colonel 
Stickney*8 regiment and Captain Clark's company, as soon 
as I learned that Stark would accept the command of the 
State troops; six or seven others from the same town 
joined the army at the same time. We marched forth- 
with to Number Four, and stayed there a week. Mean- 
time I received a horn of powder and run two or three 
hundred bullets ; I had brought my own gun. Then my 
company went on to Manchester ; soon after I went, with 
a hundred others, under Colonel Emerson, down the valley 
of Otter Creek ; on this excursion we lived like lords, on 
pigs and chickens, in the houses of tories who had fled. 
When we returned to Manchester, bringing two hogsheads 
of West India rum, we heard that the Hessians were on 
their way to invade Vermont. Late in the afternoon of 
rainy Friday, we were ordered oft' for Bennington in spite 
of rain, mud and darkness. We pushed on all night, 
making the best progress we could ; about day-break I, 
with Lieut. Miltiuiore, came near Bennington, and slept a 
little while on a hay-mow, when the barn-yard fowls waked 
us ; we went for bread and milk to the sign of the * wolf,' 
and then hun*ied three miles west to Stark*s main body. 

Stark and ****** rode up near the enemy to 
reconnoitre ; were fired at by the cannon, and came gallop- 
ing back. Stark rode with shoulders bent forward, and 
cried out to his men : ' Those rascals .know that I am an 
officer ; don't you see they honor me with a big gun as a 
salute.' We were marched round and round a circular 
hill till we were tired. Stark said it was to amuse the 
Germans. All the while a cannonade was kept up upon 
us from their breast-works ; it hurt no body, and it lessened 
our fear of the great guns. After a while I was sent, with 
twelve others, to lie in ambush, on a knoll a little north, 
and watch for tories on their way to join Baum. Pres- 
ently we saw six coming toward us who, mistrusting us 
for tories, came too near us to escape. We disarmed 
and sent them, under a guard of three, to Stark. While 
I sat on the hillock, I espied one Lidian whom I thought 


I could kill, and more than once cocked my gun, but the 
orders were not to fire. He was cooking his dinner, and 
now and then shot at some of our people. 

Between two and three o'clock the battle began. The 
Germans fired by platoons, and were soon hidden by the 
smoke. Our men fired each on his own hook, aiming 
wherever he saw a flash ; few on pur side had either bay- 
onets or cartridges. At last I stole away from my post 
and ran down to the battle. The first time I fired I put 
three balls in my gun ; before I had time to fire many 
rounds our men rushed over the breast-works, but I and 
many others chased straggling Ilessians in the woods ; we 
pursued until we met Breyman with 800 fresh troops and 
larger cannon, which opened a fire of grape shot; some of 
the grape shot riddled a Virginia fence near me ; one shot 
struck a small white oak behind which I stood; though it 
hit higher than my head I fled from the tree, thinking it 
might be aimed at again. We skirmishers ran back till 
we met a large body of Stark's men and then faced about. 
I soon started for a brook I saw a few rods behind, for I 
hail drank nothing all day, and should have died of thirst 
if I had not chewed a bullet all the time. I had not gone 
a rod when I was stopped by an oflicer, sword in hand, 
ready to cut me down as a runaway, who, on my com- 
plaining of thirst, handed me his canteen, which was full 
of rum ; I drank and forgot my thirst. But the enemy 
outflanked us, and I said to a comrade, ^ we must run, or 
they will have us.' He said: * I will have one fire first.* 
At that moment, a major, on a black horse, rode along be- 
hind us, shouting ' fight on boys, reinforcements close by.' 
While he was yet speaking, a grape shot went through his 
horse's head ; it bled a good deal, but the major kept his 
seat, and rode on to encourage others. In a few minutes 
we saw Warner's men hurrying to help us ; they opened 
right and left of us, and one half of them attacked each 
flank of the enemy, and beat back those who were just 
closing round us. Stark's men now took heart and stood 
their ground. My gun barrel was at this time too hot to 



hold, 80 I seized the mnsket of a dead Hessian, in which 
my hullets went down easier than in my own. Right in 
front were the cannon, and seeing an officer on horse-back 
waving his sword to the artillerj', I fired at him twice ; his 
horse fell; he cut the traces of an artillery horse, mounted 
him and rode off. I afterward heard that the officer was 
Major Skene. Soon the Germans ran, and we followed ; 
many of them threw down their guns on the ground, or 
offered them to us, or kneeled, some in puddles of water. 
One said to me, ' Wir sind ein bruder!* I pushed him be- 
hind me and rushed on. The enemy beat a parley, 
minded to give up, but our men did not understand it. I 
came to one wounded man flat on the ground, crying water 
or quarter. I snatched the sword out of his scabbard, and 
while I ran on and fired, carried it in my mouth, thinking 
I might need it. The Germans fled by the road and in a 
wood each side of it ; many of their scabbards caught in 
the brush and held the fugitives till we seized them. We 
chased them till dark ; Colonel Johnston, of Haverhill, 
wanted to chase them all night. We might have mastered 
them all, as they stopped within three miles of the battle 
field ; but Stark, saying ' he would run no risk of spoiling 
a good day's work,' ordered a halt, and return to quarters. 
I was coming back, when I was ordered by Stark him- 
self, who knew me, as I had been one of his body guards 
in Canada, to help draw oft* a field-piece. I told him * I 
was worn out* Ilis answer was, 'don't seem to disobey ; 
take hold, and if you can't hold out, slip away in the dark.' 
Before we had dragged the gun far, Warner rode near 
us. Some one pointing to a dead man by the road-side, 
said, *Your brother is killed,' 'Is it Jesse?' asked 
Warner. And when the answer was 'yes,' he jumped off 
his horse, stooped and gazed in the dead man's face, and 
then rode away without saying a word. On my way back 
I got the belt of the Hessian whose sword I had taken in 
the pursuit. I also found a barber's pack, but was obliged 
to give up all my findings till the booty was divided. To 
the best of my remembrance, my share was four dollars 



and some odd cents. One tory, witli his left eye shot out, 
was led in, mounted on a horse, who had also lost his left 
eye. It seems to me cruel now — it did not then. 

My company lay down and slept in a corn-field, near 
where we had fought — each man having a hill of corn 
for a pillow. When I waked next morning, I was so 
beaten out that I could not get up till I had rolled about 
a good while. 

After breakfast I went to see them bury the dead. I 
saw thirteen tories, mostly shot through the head, buried 
in one hole. Not more than a rod from where I fought, 
we found Captain McClary dead and stripped naked. We 
scraped a hole with sticks, and just covered him with 
earth. We saw many of the wounded who had lain out 
all night. Afterward we went to Bennington, and saw 
the prisoners paraded. They were drawn up in one long 
line ; the British foremost, then the Waldeckers, next the 
Indians, and hindmost the tories. 

A letter is still preserved, written by Secretary Fay, of 
Bennington, at six o'clock on the afternoon of the battle, 
and sent hither and thither as a circular. It says : ' Stark 
is now in an action which has been for some time very 
severe. The enemy were driven ; but, being reinforced, 
made a second stand, and still continue the conflict. But 
we have taken their cannon ; and prisoners, said to number 
four or five hundred, are now arriving.* 

When the smoke cleared away, those who had van- 
quished the tories beheld, among the captives, among 
the wounded, among the killed, their neighbors, and in 
some cases their kinsmen. My own mother's father was 
in the battle under Stark. My step-mother's father, but 
for an accident, might have fought in the same engage- 
ment under Baum ; and these, my > two grand-fathers, 
were cousins.' " 

The following incident, resting upon good authority, wo 
have never seen published. 

All the men of Bennington, capable of bearing arms, 
were acting as volunteers in the American battalions, leav- 


ing in the town old men, and the wives, daughters, and 
sisters of the brave men who had advanced to repel the 
British, German and Indian force, which had invaded 
their soil. 

A runaway from the field, who fled at the first fire, 
circulated a rumor in the town that General Stark was 
killed, and his forces routed, which spread consternation 
through the place. 

One lady, the wife of an opulent inhabitant, then with 
his command engaged in the action — a lady who had not 
even boon accustomed to perform household labor — ^went 
alone to tlie barn-yard, yoked a pair of oxen, attached 
them to a hay-cart ; with her own hands, unaided, loaded 
the cart with her most valuable articles, and drove the 
team into the woods, where she sunk down exhausted with 
her uncommon exertions. 

When the victors returned, search was made for her, 
and by lantern-light she was found by her friends, instead 
of the savages of whose approach a false rumor had given 

" Who of us can figure to himself the tortures of sus- 
pense by which the women and helpless ones all around 
about Bennington were excruciated during the hour of 
battle ? In my boyhood, my grand-mother often related 
to me how, on that day she, with many other women of 
Williamstown, and their minister, resorted to the meeting- 
house and continued in prayer for their kinsmen who 
were on the field of blood, till late at night, when a courier 
came, announcing glad tidings. She could never refrain 
from tears when she spoke of hearing the cannon peals 
again and again booming over the hills, and knew not but 
each peal spoke defeat and death to those she held most 
dear, and threatened her home with outrage, pillage and 


" One more such stroke," said Washington, on learning 
the tidings, " and we shall have no great cause for anxiety 
as to the future designs of Britain." * 

In the second engagement, after the arrival of Colonel 
Warner with one hundred and fifty men, the advance of 
the enemy was ohecked. Mr. Butler says : " Stark's bat- 
talion, you would have said, arose out of the earth at a 
stamp of his foot. lie ordered a hogshead of rum, and 
it was ready for distribution among his men ; but they, 
refusing to taste while the victory was doubtftil, and 
flushed with success an hour before, rushed to meet the 
fresh troops of Breyman. The field pieces which we to- 
night * begin to possess, were turned against those who 
came to Baum's rescue. Breyman's cannon, of large cali- 
bre, were taken and retaken more than twice ; but at last 
remained in the hands of Americans. The cannon were 
an emblem of victory on that eventful day.' 

4( * ♦ * ♦ ♦ * 

*But what could overcome the men who fought for 
theiF fire-sides and freedom, and who,' in the words of 
Stark, * had every man b#en an Alexander, or a Charles 
of Sweden, they could not have behaved more gallantly.' 

* One of the soldiers who went into battle bare-foot, or 
nearly so, seeing a good pair of shoes on one of the slain, 
transferred them to his own feet, but found the dead man's 
shoes a fleeting inheritance — being killed in the course of 
the action.' 

* The whole expense of Stark's brigade, for mustering, 
mileage, rations, wages, and contingent charges, waa 
£16,492 125. lOrf. of continental money, which was paid 
by the United States, according to such a scale of depre- 
ciation that every single dollar of hard money paid for 
thirty-three dollars of the account. So that £491 and Id, 
or less than $2,000, paid for the two-fold and ever memora- 
ble victory.' " 

♦The retreat of St. Lcger from Fort Stanwix, and the surrender of 
Bargoyne, amply supplied the *<one more stroke" hoped for by Washing- 


It irt the testimony of cotemporaiy journals that w< 
read of the victories at Bennington as " sowing the seet 
of all the laurels that Gates reaped during the campaign/ 

Soon after the battle of Bennington, General Burgoym 
wrote to Lord George Germaine: " The Hampshire grant 
in particuhxr, unpeopled and almost unljpown in the las 
war, now abound with the most active and rebellious rac< 
upon the continent; and hang like a gathering atom 
upon my loft. In all parts, their industry and manage 
ment in driving cattle and removing corn are indefatigible 
and it becomes impracticable to move without a portabh 

Another most embarrassing circumstance is the wan' 
of communication with Sir William Howe. Of the mes 
sengers I have sent, I know of two being hanged, and an 
ignorant whether any of the rest arrived. The same fet( 
has probably attended those dispatched by Sir William, 
for only one letter has come to hand, informing me thai 
his intention is for Pennsylvania ; that Washington hac 
detached Sullivan with 2,500 men to Albany, and. thai 
Putnam is in the highlands witli 4,000 men. No opera- 
tion has yet been undertaken in my favor." 

The situation of General Burgoyne became every daj 
more critical and desperate. The defeat of Baum and 
Breyman, and the failure of Colonel St. Leger's expedi- 
tion, came upon him in rapid succession. Colonel St Legei 
had defeated General Herkimer, (slain in the action) and 
invested Fort Stanwix on the second of August. The 
fort was bravely defended by Colonel Peter Ganesvoort, ol 
the New- York line, until August 22, when the siege was 
raised by a forced march of General Arnold. The eaemy 
heard of his approach, which was the signal for the 
Indians, of whom Colonel St. Leger had a large party, to 
desert. He therefore raised the seige and retreated to 
Canada, while Arnold was thirty miles distant from the 

General Burgoyne was thus deprived of the support ol 
1,500 good troops. By these several disasters he lost the 


support of more than 2,500 men ; and as the scouts of tlie 
victorious Americans carried beyond his reach all the sup- 
plies of the country, and disturbed his foraging parties, he 
was obliged to obtain his subsistance from Canada. As 
he had invaded the country with so much of the '* pomp 
and circumstance of war," and sounding proclamations, 
declaring that "Britons never 'retrograde,'* his British 
pride prompted him to try his fortune in an engagement 
Tvith an army, of nearly twice his numbers, more than half 
of which had volunteered since the victory of Bennington. 
IBut for that, to him, fatal expedition, he would probably 
liave reached Albany and effected a junction with Sir 
Benry Clinton, who advanced some distance up Hudson 
river for that purpose. Ilappily, for the cause of Ameri- 
can liberty, that junction never took place. 

The aftairs consequent upon the battle of Bennington 
laving been arranged. General Stark, with his volunteers, 
approached the main army, and entered the camp on the 
18th of September. 

General Gates, sensible that an engagement must soon 
take place, was desirous of adding these victorious troops 
to his army. They were drawn up and addressed by him ; 
"but to no purpose. " Their time had expired, they had 
performed their part, and must return to their farms, as 
their harvests now* waited for them.*' Thus thev reasoned 
among themselves, and commenced their route homeward. 

Their general Jt)eing then without a command, proceeded 

to New-Hampshire to make his report to the council. His 

return was a triumphal march. He was waited upon by 

committees of congratulation wherever he came, and was 

received with the warmest demonstration of the people's 

gratitude. His triumph over his enemies in and out of 

Congress was complete. Their malignant acts of injustice 

had given him an independent command ; and his good 

fortune had confounded their machinations, by a victory 

which had turned in its favor the doubtful tide upon 

which floated the forlorn hope of American independence. 



General Stark was soon afterward at the head of a more 
formidable command of New-Hampshire volunteers, and 
again advanced, by order of the council of that Stat^, to 
the theatre of action.* 

After capturing Fort Edward, and securing the garrison 
left at that post by General Burgoyne, and leaving .there 
a detachment of his own troops, he descended the Hudson 
river and disposed of his forces in such a manner as to 
enable him to check any attempt of General .Bui^oyne to 
retreat. * 

After his defeat, on the 7th of October, that general 
concluded to abandon his artillery, his wounded men, and 
heavy baggage, and with his remaining troops, lightly 
equipped, cross the Hudson, force his way back to Fort 
Edward, and retreat from thence to Canada. 

He was not then aware that the garrison he had sta- 
tioned at Fort Edward were prisoners, and that General 
Stark, with a force of 2,500 men, had arrived in the evening, 
and then occupied the opposite shore of the river fronting 
his camp, f 

* In this second expedition of New-Ham psfiire troops, impressed with 
the certainty that Burgoyne must be captured, volunteers flocked to hU 
standard from all quarters, mustering nearly 8,000 men. 

The militia turned out with the understanding that they were to serve 
under General Stark. This argument induced the men to march and the 
general to remain on the field. — Famtier's Ed. Belknap. 

f By this movement Burgoyne became completely surrounded ; and 
General Stark earnestly advised General Gates to attack his camp and 
thus compel an unconditional surrender. A capitulation, however, was 
the most prudent, and perhaps equally advantageous mode of ending the 
military career of Lieutenant General Burgoyne. He never afterward 
commanded an army. He in later days made no ordinary figure as a 
member of parliament, and was distinguished as an elegant miscellaneoui 
writer. General Burgoyne was the natural son of Lord Bingly. His 
wife, clandestinely married, was the Lady Charlotte Stanley, daughter of 
the Earl of Derby, who died at Kensington palace, during his ab^nce in 
America, in 1776. Her memory was embalmed in the fond regrets of the 
general, in the following verses : 

** EooompsMed In an angel's frame, 

An anj^ePe virtues lay ; 
Too soon did heaven assert its claim, 

And call its own away. 

Mv Anna's worth, my Annans charms, 

Most never more return — 
What now can flU these widowed arms ; 

Ah me ! my Anna's urn." 


In the course of the night he ordered a sergeant, with a 
party, to cross the river and ascertain whether the passage 
was practicable. He returned with a report that an army 
occupied the opposite shore, and had watch-fires burning. 
Disbelieving this report, the general dispatched one of 
his staff to ascertain the truth. His boat was hailed, and, 
no answer being returned, was fired upon by the Ameri- 
can sentinel. 

Soon afterward a flag of truce was dispatched to the 
head quarters of General Gates, which caused a cessation 
of hostilities, and eventually resulted in the surrender of 
the British army at Saratoga. 

Thus ended with glory the campaign of 1777 in the 
tiorth, which had so inauspiciously commenced with the 
retreat from Ticonderoga. 

Colonel Breyman was killed, when the British lines were 
stormed, on the 7th of October, 1777 ; and General Frazer, 
one of Burgoyne's ablest oflicers, fell on the same day. In 
a small house, near the battle ground, he died. We vis- 
ited the house a few years ago, and were shown the stain 
made by the hero's life-blood upon the floor. His last words, 
says Baroness de Reidesel, who was by his side, were : 
" Oh fatal ambition ! Poor General Burgoyne ! Oh my 
poor wife ! " 

Speaking of the heroes of Bennington, General Stark 
stated, in his oflicial dispatch to the New- Hampshire coun- 
cil, " Too much honor can not be given to our brave officers 
and soldiers, for their gallant behavior in advancing 
through fire and smoke, and mounting breastworks sap- 
ported by cannon. Had every mau been an Alexander, or 
a Charles XII., they could not have behaved more gal- 
lantly. I can not particularize any officer, as they all be- 
haved with the greatest spirit. 

Colonels Warner and Herrick, by their superior intelli- 
gence and experience, were of great service to me. I de- 
sire they may be recommended to Congress.'* 

The general was an enthusiastic admirer of Charles XII., 
king of Sweden. 


Five days after the battle of Benniugton, a reaolution 
was offered in Congress, censuring General Stark for not 
submitting to the army regulations. 

" Thereupon a member from Xew-IIampshire rose and 
said ' that he had not the least doubt but the first battle 
they heard of from the north would be fought by Stark 
and the troops under his conmiand, notwithstanding some 
gentlemen, in their warmth, had spoken disrespectfully of 
them ; and that he should not be afraid to risk his honor 
or his life on a wager, that tStark's men would do as much 
as any equal number of troops toward the defence of the 
country/ ** 

In a letter home, that speaker says: *' Judge my feelings, 
when the very next day I bad a confirmation of all I had 
asserted, by an express, from General Schuyler, detailing 
the defeats of Baum and Breyman."* 

Upon the receipt of this news, Congress, on motion of 
Mr. Bland, of Virginia, Resolved, that the thanks of Con- 
gress be presented to General Stark, of the Xew-IIamp- 
shire militia, and the officers and troops under his com- 
mand, for their brave and successful attack upon, and sig- 
nal victory over the enemy in their lines at Bennington; 
and that Brigadier Stark be appointed a brigadier in the 
army of the United States. 

By order of Congress — 

JOHN HANCOCK, Pi^esidaxtr 

One member of Congress voted against the passage of 
the foregoing resolutiom, who, as Mr. Everett states in his 
biography of Stark, was Hon. Samuel Chase, of Maryland. 

The war being now over in the north, the general re- 
turned to New-Ifampshire to obtain recruits and supplies. 
In December he received orders from Congress to repair to 
Albany, and prepare for a winter expedition to Canada, 
according to the following resolves : 

* Butler's Address. 


" In Congress, Dec. 3d, 1777. 

Whereas, the surprise and destroying of the enemy's 
shipping at St. John's and elsewhere, on Lake Champlain, 
during the winter, is an expedition of the utmost impor- 
tance, and of which there is the greatest prrospect of 
success, provided it can be conducted with prudence, 
resolution and secrecy — 

Resolved^ That the Hon'ble James Duane, Esq., be 
authorized and directed, in a personal conference, to 
communicate the enterprise to Brigadier General Stark, 
who is appointed to the command, and to consider with 
him the best and most practicable means for its accom- 
plishment ; 

That Brig'r Gen. Stark be authorized, with the utmost 
secrecy, to select or raise a competent number of volun- 
teers for this service, and to receive, from the commanding 
officer of the northern department, a sufficient quantity 
of military stores, carriages and provision (or, if more 
convenient, to hire carriages and purchase provisions) ; 
and that the sum of five thousand dollars, for those and 
other contingent expenses be advanced, out of the military 
chest in the said department, to him or his order, for the 
expenditure whereof he is to be accountable ; 

That, if the expedition should be successful, the sum 
of $20,000 shall be paid to the said Gen. Stark and his 
officers and men, to be divided among them in proportion 
as the pay of continental officers and privates bears to 
each other, as a reward for their service, and in full 
satisfaction of all wages and claims, or in such proportion, 
more advantageous to the privates, as the general and his 
officers shall ascertain. 

But, if stipulated wages should be preferred to the 
chance of such reward, the general shall be at liberty 
to retain the officers and men, at double continental pay 
and rations, during the expedition, in consequence of the 
inclemency of the season and the importance of the service ; 


That General Stark be enjoined to keep secret the said 
enterprise, and not to communicate it until the nature of 
thet)peration shall render it necessary ; 

That a warrant, in the words following and subscribed 
by the president, shall be transmitted to Gen. Stark : 

' In Congress, York Town, 3d Dec, 1777. 

Whereas, Brigadier General Stark is appointed to 
command and direct a secret expedition during the 
winter season, you are therefore dii'ected and required, 
upon his order, to supply him with such sum of money, 
not exceeding five thousand dollars, and such carriages, 
military stores and provisions as he may require, taking 
his vouchers for the same, and for which he will be 

By order of Congress — 


To the Commanding Officer, Pay Master General, Quarter 
Master General, and Commissioner of Stores and Previa^ 
ions in the Northern Department: 

That if, from any unforeseen accident, Geneml Stark 
should be unable or unwilling to engage in the said 
enterjirise, the commanding officer in the northern 
department be in such case directed and authorized to 
appoint some other brave and diligent officer to the said 
command ; and that the officer so commanding shall have 
the same rewards and pay as before proposed ; 

That all officers in the service of the United States, and 
all civil officers and others, be requested to give every aid 
and assistance in their power for forwarding and securing 
the success of the said enterprise. * 

CHAS. THOMPSON, Secretary. 

* Extract from the Minutes. 


Manour Livingston, 16th Dec, 1777. 

Shr — Congress, from a high sense of your patriotism, 
activity and valor, have conferred upon you the chief com- 
mand of an important enterprise, which they have very 
much at heart, as, under divine providence, its success 
entirely depends upon expedition and secrecy. 

I am enjoined hy Congress to meet you, as soon as pos- 
eible, at Albany, and there deliver your commission and 
instructions ; and, in a personal conference, fully explain 
their views. The time you will be pleased to fix ; and 
you may be assured, if health permits, of my punctual 
attendance. When you are apprised that not a moment is 
to be lost, and that the security of the United States, and 
your own in particular, now call for your exertions, I am 
persuaded all farther arguments must be unnecessary. 

I left your friend, General Folsom, in good health and 
spirits, the 5th instant. He desired me to present you with 
his respectful compliments. 

It is with singular pleasure I congratulate you and your 
brave militia on the honor which you have acquired at the 
important battle of Bennington. I feel it the more grate- 
fully, as it has eminently contributed to rescue this de- 
voted State (Ifew-York) from the dangers with which it 
was surrounded. 

"Waiting for your speedy answer, by the return of the 
express, whom you will order to take the shortest route to 
this place, 

I have the honor to be, &c., 

Briqadier Gbneral Stark. 

Albany, 14th Jan'y, 1778. 

Sir — ^This evening I had the honor of your favor of 
yesterday, by the express, and shall communicate its con- 
tents to Congress, as soon as an opportunity offers on 
which I can securely rely. Indeed, without the most 
urgent necessity, I would not commit any thing on this 


important subject to paper, well knowing that, by declar- 
ing it nuseartonably, the enterpride ninst in all probability 
be blasted. I observe that you make your election of the 
wages, instead of the bounty. I have no doubt but that 
you may safely trust to the liberality of Congress in caso 
of success. But this yon will be pleased to consider as 
the opinion of an individual having no authority beyond 
the instructions I communicated to vou at the conference. 
With a high sense of your merit, and the greatest personal 

I am, sir, &c., &c., 

JAMES dua^t;.* 

Brigadikr General Stark/ " 

In consequence of this order of Congress, prepanUions 
were made for carrying it into execution, with every pros- 
pect of success. TIad the undertaking been crowned with 
good fortune, it would have contributed much to insure 
the safety of the northern frontiers during the remainder 
of the war. Supplies were obtained of i>rovisions, enow- 
shoes, conveyances, and every thing required for a \Wnter 
campaign. The troops were engaged, equipped and ready 
to march, and their leader was confident of a successful issue 
— when Congress thought projier to abandon the design. 

Early in 1778 he w^as ordered to assume the command 
of the northern department at Albany. For this service 
he had very few reliable troops, and was obliged to depend 
for sup}K)rt, at times, upon the militia, lie had two large 
frontier rivers to guard, and was surrounded by tories, 
spies, peculators, and public defaulters. In regulating 
these abuses, he succeeded like most reformers. Those 
detected cureed him, while their friends complained ; and 
in Xovember he gladly received notice from General 
"Washington that General Gates desired his assistance in 

* Jami^ Duano whs a iinMnl>or from Xcw-York, of the first c«>ngro*8, in 
1774. and tho tireit mnvor vf Now- York, after tho ovaciiation of that citv 
by the British army. Ho was appointiil Unitt^l Statos district judi^e, for 
tlio di:«trict of Now- York, in October, 1789, and died at AU>aiiy in 1707. — 
A lien 'a Biotjniph ical Diction a ry. 


Rhode-Island, with orders to proceed thither. General 
Hand succeeded him at Albany, but shortly afterward left 
the command with equal pleasure. 

On joining General Gates at Providence, he was direct- 
ed to take post at East Greenwich, on account of his pop- 
ularity with the militia, and with a view to ascertain and 
counteract the designs of the enemy from Rhode-Island. 
When the season for action was over he returned, by way 
of Boston, to New-Hampshire, to urge the necessity of 
recruits and supplies. 

In the spring of 1779 he joined the army at Providence, 
and, by direction of General Gates, examined the coast 
from Pro\'idence to Point Judith, as well as the east side 
of the bay, as far as Mount Hope. Few troops were em- 
ployed on this station ; and more than ordinary vigilance 
was required to prevent inroads, and establish a regular 
system of espionage. In autumn, indications of a descent 
from the enemy being discovered, he removed his head 
quarters to Point Judith, seldom resting more than one 
night in a place. 

Late in October the enemy were in motion, and his 
command were for some days upon constant duty. About 
the 10th of November the British army decamped from 
Rhode-Island, and at day light next morning General 
Stark took possession of Newport, and placed guards in 
the streets to prevent plunder, and preserve order. 

At this time General Washington, fearful that on th^ 
arrival of the Newport reinforcement at New- York, an 
attack might be made upon his army, ordered Generals 
Gates and Stark, with the troops who had blockaded New- 
port, excepting a small garrison, to join him in New- 
Jersey, whence, soon afterward, he directed the latter to 
proceed to New-Hampshire to make requisitions of troops 
and supplies. 

Having performed this service, he returned to the army 
at Morristown in May, 1780, and was present at the battle 
of Springfield, on Short hills, in June following. The 
aflair at Springfield appears to have been as follows : 


General Knyphauscu, with a force of 5,000 Uessians, made 
a marauding incursion into New-Jersey, and advanced to 
Springfield June 23, 1780. The American army was 
ordered under arms, to oppose them. MaxweU's brigade 
engaged their advanced guard, but was forced to fall back 
before superior numbers, until reinforced by Stark's brig- 
ade, when a stand was made on high ground near Spring* 
field. AVhile this contest continued, a detachment of the 
British forced the bridge, after a gallant defence of forty 
minutes, and burned the village. The enemy then drew 
oft' his forces, and commenced his retreat, in which, by 
order of General Greene, Stark's and Maxwell's brigades 
closely pursued, and harrassed him for several miles. The 
pursuers brought back several prisoners, and a quantity of 
baggage abandoned by the enemy. 

Immediately after this General Stark was dispatched to 
New-England, with orders to collect a body of militia and 
volunteers, and conduct them to West-Point He arrived 
with the troops at West-Point while General Washington 
was absent to meet Count de Rochambeau at Hartford, 
Connecticut, shortly before Arnold's desertion. Upon 
delivering up the reinforcement, he joined his division at 
Liberty Pole, New-Jersey. 

In September he was ordered to relieve the Pennsylva- 
nia line, under General St. Clair, which had occupied 
West-Point after Arnold's treason. General St. Clair 
marched next day to Liberty Pole. 

While at West-Point he was called upon to participate 
in the melancholy duty of deciding the fate of Major 
Andrfe.* He was one of the tliirteen generals who com- 



The Board, having considered the letter of His Excellency, General 
Washington, respecting Major Andrd, adjutant general to the British 
army, the confession of Major Andre, and the papers produced to them : 

Report, to His Excellency, the commander-in-chief, the following facts 
which appear to them relative to Major Andrd : 

First. — That ho ctxme on ehorc from the Yulturo, sloop-of-war, in the 
night of the 2l8t of September instant, on an interview with General 
Arnold, in a private and secret manner. 


posed the military tribunal. He was duly sensible of the 
hardship of the case ; but, with his brother officers, was 
also aware that the liberty of his country was at stake, 
and that the safety of her army depended upon the exam- 
ple. Their decision, stern and unfeeling as it has since 
been termed by those who have lived in less dangerous 
times, had undoubtedly an eftect, throughout the war, of 
preventing a recurrence of the same necessity. An almost 
universal distrust of each other, at this time, prevailed in 
the army. Indeed, to such an extent did this feeling 
increase, that it was deemed unsafe to trust the custody of 
the prisoner to the guard of soldiers alone. Officera * were 
present, relieving each other by turns ; and, by every atten- 
tion in their power, they endeavored to alleviate the painful 

Secondly. — ^That he changed his dress within our lines, and, under a 
feigned name, and in disguised habit, passed our works at Stoney and Ver- 
plank's Points, on the evening of the twenty-second of September instant, 
and was taken the morning of the twenty-third of September instant, at 
Tarry Town, in a disguised habit, being then on his way to New- York ; 
and when taken, he had in his possession several papers whicli contained 
intelligence for the enemy. 

The Board, having maturely considered these facts, do also report to 
His Excellency, General Washington, That Major Andrd, adjutant gen- 
eral to the British army, ought to be considered as a spy from the enemy ; 
and that, agreeably to the law and usage of nations, it is their opinion he 
ought to suffer death. 

NATH. GREENE, M. Gen'l., President. 

Sterling, M. G. 

Ar. St. Clair, M. G. 

La. Fatettk, M. G. 

R. Howe, M. G. 

Steuben, M. G. 

Samuel H. Parsons, B. Gen'l. 

Jameh Clinton, B. Gen'l. 

H. Knox, Brigr. Gen'l. Artillery. 

Jno. Glover, B. Gen'l. ' 

John Patterson, B. Gen'l. 

Edward Hand, B. Gen'l. 

J. Huntington, B. Gen'l. 

John Stark, B. Gen'l. 

John Lawrence, J. A. Genl. 

In regard to the execution of Major Andre, six members wore in favor 
of his being shot ; six others were of opinion that he ought to be hung as 
a spy. General Greene, the president, decided the question in favor of the 

* The late Major C. Stark, and his brother, Lieutenant Archibald 
Stark, were among those who were frequently in his place of confinement, 
and were present at his execution. 


situation of a high-minded soldier who, in an evil honr, 
became the dupe of a traitor wlioso name has gone down 
to posterity with scareely a ray of honor to lighten the 
darkness of his niemorv. 

At this time General Washington formed the design of 
snrprising Staten island. To mask his intention, General 
Stark was detached, with 2,o00 of the best troops of the 
army, with a suitable i)r()poi1:ion of cavaliy and iicld artil- 
lery, accfnnpanied by a large train of wagons, teamsters, 
and cattle-drivers, with orders to advance near Manhattan 
island; bring away all the cattle, grain and forage to be 
found, and hover about the vicinitvof Xew-York until far- 
ther orders ; if attacked by the enemy, to collect his force 
ui>on advantageous ground, and trust to his own conduct 
and the goodness of his trooi)s for the result. The enemy, 
susjjccting some design from another quarter, sutferedthis 
detachment to pillage the country, (principally peopled by 
the disaffected) as far as Morrisania and King's bridge, for 
several days, and then quietly return with tlieir booty. 
Colonel Humphreys, aid-de-camp to General Washington, 
crossed the Hudson on a stormy night, informed that 
the Staten island project was abandoned, and directed the 
forac^ers to retire. The armv soon afterward went into 
winter quarters- at AVest-Point, New Windsor and Fishkill. 
General Stark was there visited with a severe illness, and 
returned home on furlough, with the standing order for 
men and supplies. 

In the spring of 1781 he was ordered once more to as- 
sume the command of the northern department, and fix 
his head quarters at Sarat(^ga. Some feeble detachments 
of militia from New- York, Massachussetts and New- 
Hampshire constituted all the disposable force for the 
protection of this extensive frontier. K the country was 
in a sad condition in 1778, it was ten fold more so in 1781, 
It w-as overrun with spies and traitors. Robberies were 
frequent, and many inhabitants (non-combatants) carried 
prisoners to Canada. 


General Schuyler's house, at Albany, was robbed, and 
two of his servants carried away. The general saved 
himself by retreating to his chamber, barricading the door, 
and firing through it upon the marauders. The reports 
of his pistols roused the city military ; but the plunderers 

' Soon after the establishment of the military post at Sar- 
atoga, a party of these brigands was discovered within 
the lines, unarmed, and a British commission found upon 
their leader, a refugee from the States. A board of offi- 
cers examined the case, pronounced him a spy, and con- 
demned him to be hanged ; which sentence was executed 
on the next day.* 

One of the prisoners, upon promise of quarter, informed 
that he belonged to a party of fifteen, who had come down 
from Canada as spies; that bis companions were then 
variously disguised and scattered through the country to 
ascertain its defensive condition, for the benefit of the 
British officers in Canada, who were planning an inroad ; 
and that their boats had been concealed on the shore of 
Lake George. A lieutenant, with a sufficient force, with 
the prisoner for a guide, was dispatched to the place, with 

* Deatu Warrant of Thomas Lovelace. By John Stark, Esq., Brig- 
euiier General in the army of the United States^ and Commander of the 
Northern Depart mentt ^c* 

At a general court-martial, held at Saratoga, October second, 1781, 
▼hereof Colonel WeissenfeU was president, Thomas Lovelace, of the tory 
forces in the British array, was nroiiglit before the court, charged witn 
being a spy ; and the court, after hearing the examinations, and other tes- 
timony, have pronounced their opinion that he was a spy, and, by the 
usages of war, ne be hanged by the neck until he be dead ; which sen- 
tence being approved by me, you will remove him from the main guard 
to-morrow, the 8th instant, at "half past ten o'clock A. M., and exactly at 
eleven o'clock cause him him to be hanged by the neck until lie be dead — 
for which this is your sufficient warrant. 

Given under my hand and seal, at my head quarters, at Saratoga, this 
7tb day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and eighty-one. 

By tho General's command — 

JOHN STAKK, ^^ ^ , 

Brig. General Commanding. ^ ' '-• 

Caleb Stark, Brigade Major. 

To the Adjutant of the day. 


orders " to wait five days for the return of the party." He 
found the boats, and remained there one day. The pris- 
oner escaped in tlie night, and, becoming alarmed for hia 
safety, he disobeyed his orders and returned to Saratoga. 

Ten days wouhl have elapsed before a force could have 
been brought against him from the infonnation of the 
escaped spy, and soon after the ofiicer's retreat, the facts 
were ascertained that the tones returned to their boats two 
days afterward, and escaped. The officer was censured 
for not capturing the whole part}', as he might and ought 
to have done. The relatives of the spy, residing in the 
vicinity, complained to the commander-in-chief, and said 
much about retaliation. Genefal AVashington demanded 
a copy of the proceedings, which were forwarded to him ; 
and no farther notice was taken of the matter. The cure 
of the body politic was radical. No other parties* of a 
similar character appeared in the northern department dur- 
ing the war. 

After the surrender of Earl Comwallis, and the appre- 
hension of inroads from Canada had disappeared, General 
Stark dismissed the militia, with thanks for their good 
conduct ; and, after securing the public stores, w^as ordered 
to retire, by way of Albany, to New-England, to recruit 
men and collect supplies for the next campaign. 

During the year of 1782 he was afflicted with rheuma- 
tism, and did not return to the army until ordered to head 
quarters by General Washington, in April, 1783. He was 
there present at the appointed time, and received the 
warm and hearty thanks of the commander-in-chief for his 


♦ A party of tho same character was captured at Bennington, soon after 
G<;ncral Stark assumed tho command of tho troops there concentrated. 
On this occasion all his address was necessarily employed to prevent the 
sovereign people from exercising summarv justice upon tho culprits. They 
were sentenced to Symmsbury mines. Lynch law was often the most 
potent authority in those days. 

During the years 1778 and 1781, many such persons, arrested as spies op 
traitors to the" continent, were condemned bv courts-martial, ordered by 
General Stark, and sentenced to be conlined in prison, or bo compeUed to 
serve on board public American ships for tho remainder of the war. 


The celebrated Newburg letters* were then operating 
upon the minds of the officers as well as soldiers. His 
influence was exerted, with that of other general officers, 
in allaying the feelings of distrust and discontent then 
manifested, and to induce the troops to disband without 
confusion, or suffering their victorious laurels to be tar- 
nished by acts of hostile violence against their country. 

Several officers at this time retained a partiality for 
orders of aristocracy. The establishment of the Cincin- 
nati Society was the result. He made several objections 
to the formation of this order : one of which was that its 
principles had no affinity with the character and conduct 
of the illustrious Roman general, whose name had been 

"To imitate that great man,'' he observed, "we should 
return to the occupations we have temporarily abandoned, 
without ostentation, holding ourselves ever in readiness to 
obey the call of our country." This course he strictly 
observed during the remainder of his life. 

The independence of the United States having been 
acknowledged by England, her army, on the 26th of No- 
vember, 1783, evacuated New- York. During the follow- 
ing month most of the continental troops returned to their 
homes, many of them having a journey, on foot, of six 
hundred miles to perform, bearing in their arms, " as 
presents," their muskets and bayonets, with their certificate 
of service, their honorable discharges, and a few " carica- 
tures" of money, in the shape of depreciated continental 
paper, in their pockets.f 

♦ The Newburg letters were written by General John Armstrong, who, 
in 1818, was chief of the war department. The predictions contained in 
those letters, in regard to the officers and soldiers of the revolution, and 
the neglcft of the United States government to satisfy the just demands 
promiMd to secure their fidelity and valor in the hour of trial, have since 
Deen more than verified. 

f One soldier informed the writer that during his journey home (two 
hundred miles) he called at a farm house for a drink of milk, for whicn he 
offered to pay ** silver money.** The good housewife was indignant ; said 
" he was either an Englishman or a tory," for no honest, true American 
could have " silver money." 


After this concluding scene of the revolutionary drama, 
General Stark, bidding adieu to his friends of the army, 
and to the cares of public life, retired to his estate. He 
there devoted the remainder of his days to the various du- 
ties incumbent upon a patriot — an extensive agriculturist, 
and the father of a numerous family. 

His long, useful, and active career terminated on the 8th 
day of May, 1822, in the ninety-fourth year of his age. 
His funeral was attended by a numerous concourse of 
his countrymen, at his late residence on the banks of the 
Merrimack ; the Rev. Dr. Dana, of Londonderry, oiBiciat- 
ing as chaplain. Ilis remains were interred with militaiy 
honors in a cemetery upon his own estate, which had been 
inclosed, by his order, several years previous to his de- 
cease. The well disciplined company of light infantry, 
from Goltstown, performed, in satisfactory manner, the 
duties of military escort, and tired three volleys over the 
grave of the last American general of the revolutionary 
army, who surrendered his arms to his God. 

The cemetery occupies elevated ground, and may be 
seen for a considerable distance up and down the river. 
On the KJtli of August, 1829, (the anniversary of Ben- 
nington victory) a block of granite, emblematic of his 
republican firmness of character, hewn in the form of an 
obelisk, upon which his name was inscribed, was, by his 
family, erected to his memory. 

Such is an imperfect outline of the life and services of 
a soldier of New-IIampshire, who was a bold and firm de- 
fender of his country's rights in the "times that tried 
men's souls ;'' and who contributed as much as anv other 
individual toward the successful result of the long and 

Huving, by the exhibition of his honorable discharge, convinced her of 
his true character, ho was made welcome to a lodging, and the best refresh- 
ments the house afforded. In the morning a substantial breakfast was 
furnished him, after partaking of which, the good people placed a plenti- 
ful luncheon in his knapsack ; and having thanked his kind entertainers, 
the veteran went on his way rejoicing. 


hard-fouglit contest which established the independence of 
the United States of America. 

In the path of duty no man was more stern and unbend- 
ing ; yet no one better knew how to win the affections of 
his soldiers. Fearless, cool and intrepid in the midst of 
danger, his manner and presence inspired conrage and con- 
fidence in those he commanded. 

When visited by the writer, in 1819, he was the last sur- 
vivor of the American revolutionary generals— ^the only 
relic of that glorious band of patriots who were his com- 
peers, to read thB history of their sufferings and triumphs. 
He was then more than 91 years of age. 

As the proud oak that hravee the pelting stonn, 
Unbroke, unbent, tho' lightnings play sublime ; 

Tho* ninety years have marked thy war-worn form, 
Thou stand 'st alone amid the march of Time. 

First in the lists where warring champions stood, 

Whose free born spirits brooked no sceptered lord ; 
Thy deeds of fame were writ in t^ant's blood. 

And freedom blessed thy ever conquering sword. 

Although broken down with age and infirmities, his 
memory was clear and distinct, in regard to the military 
events of the French war, particularly as to the actions of 
Lord Howe, and several others under whom he served. 

The events of the revolution, being of later date, had 
mostly escaped him. To a question respecting Bunker's 
hill action, he answered, " all I know about it is, that we 
gained the victory." 

The events of the war of 1812 were regarded by him 
with attention and great interest. When he learned that 
the Bennington cannon had been surrendered at Detroit, 
he was highly incensed at the loss of " his guns,** as he 
termed them, and regretted that the weakness, incident to 
old age, prevented him froip again taking the field for his 

The pieces surrendered were inscribed, " taken at Ben- 
nington, August 16, 1777." An officer of HulUs army 

mentioned the following incident respecting them : 



He was standing near the field artillery, when the British 
officer of the day directed the evening salutes to be fired 
from the captured cannon ; at tlie same time observing 
the inscription, he said ho would cause another line to be 
added to the verse ; ^' retaken at Detroit, August 16, 1812." 

The guns w^ere recovered at the capture of Fort George, 
and transferred to Sackctt's Harbor; and with them, said 
our informant, we fired salutes in honor of the victory 
gained over General Proctor and Tecumseh in 1813, at 
the river Thames, U. C. The two lightest pieces were 
presented by Congress to the State of Vermont a few 
years since. 

One of the heavier pieces, marked with many sword 
cuts, is supposed to be in the possession of the company 
of New-Boston artillery belonging to the ninth regiment 
of K H. Militia. 

Tradition reports that the gun was presented to that reg- 
iment by General Stark ; as such it is still regarded and 
retained, although tha legislature of New-Hampshire, a 
few years ago, .passed a resolve that it should be placed in 
the State Capitol, at Concord. 

Of the trophies presented to New-Hampshire, by Gen- 
eral Stark, the brass barreled drum, and a Hessian ammu- 
nition bag, have found their way to the State Capitol. 
The musket, sword and grenadier's cap are yet missing. 

The cannon granted to Vermont might long ago have 
adorned the State House of New-Hampshire, had her leg- 
islature ever considered them worthy of an application to 
Congress. They could easily have been obtained while 
our State was represented in the national councils by a 
Woodbury, an Atherton, a Hubbard, or a Pierce, to sup- 
port her claim. 

We will not, however, complain ; they are in good 
hands. The highlanders of Vermont were ever true to 
the cause of liberty ; and the achievements of their Allen, 
Warner, Herrick, Baker, and others, during the war of 
independence, entitle their names to be handed down with 
undying honors to future ages. 


May these trophies be preserved, by our Vermont fnends, 
I lasting mementos of the patriotism and bravery o^the 
Hiite and Green mountaineers in the trial days of 1777. 
It may here be remarked, that while Congress liberally 
38towed appn other distinguished actors, in the great 
•ama of the revolution, swords and medals, in approba- 
on of their services, the total defeat of a veteran enemy, 
le capture or destruction of one thousand men, and a 
3ath blow dealt to the invader's hopes, was complimented 
^ a generous vote of thanks bestowed upon General 
tark and his brave officers and soldiers. 

The general received from Congress the following com- 
imeut in 1786 : 

" In pursuance of an act of Congress, of the thirtieth 
ly of September, A. D. 1783, 

JOHN STAItE, EsQuiBE, is to bane as Major Grn- 
lAL BY Brevet, in the army op the United States of 


Given under my hand, at ISTew-York, the ninth day of 
one, 1786. 

[l. s.] NATHAiraEL GORHAM, President. 

ntered in the war office — 

Henry Knox, Secretary of War.* 

The writer was informed by an ojd lady in Kentucky, 
^rjnerly a resident of Boston, and intimately acquainted 
ith General Stark and Dr. Belknap, that in May, 1798, 
16 bore a message froiin the general to the doctor, inviting 
im to come to his residence and spend a fortnight, to re- 
Ave from him an account of the campaign in Canada in 
r76, as no correct history of it had then appeared. She de- 
vered the message, and the historian was preparing to ac- 
jpt the invitation, when a sudden paralytic attack put an 
ad to his life, June 20, 1798. Thus tiie opportunity of 

* Copied from the original commiMioa. 


obtainiDg information upon the subject, from a living, in- 
telligent, and prominent actor in the scene, was lost. 

His character was as unexceptionable in his private as 
in his public life. His manners were frank and open. He 
spake his thoughts boldly, and without concealment of his 
meaning, on all occasions. He was a man of kindness 
and hospitality, which, through life, he extended to all his 
comrades in arms, and others who sought his assistance. 
He ever sustained a reputation for honor and integrity — 
friendly to the industrious and enterprising, but severe to 
the idle and unworthy. 

Society may venerate his memory as that of an hpnest 
and useful citizen ; while his conduct, as an intrepid and 
faithful soldier, occupies a distinguished and honorable 
position in the history of his country. 

He lived about forty-five years after the battle of Ben- 
nington, and proved the Nestor of the revolution, for 
he survived all his comrades in arms, of equal rank, in 

He lived to see the fruits of his toils endured, and dan- 
gers braved, in the establishment of his nation's inde- 
pendence, the prosperity of her institutions, and the hap- 
piness of his countrymen. 

On the eighth day of May, 1822, he received marehing 
orders fix)m the only Power he ever feared, and " took up 
his line of march** for tbe Soldier's Home. 

BeBide bis native silverj stream, , 

The hero's relics low are laid ; 
Of battle's deeds no more he '11 dream, 

Fame claims no more— her debt is paid ; 
But o'er him still her laurels bloom, * 

And crown with brightest wreaths his tomb. 


In person, the General was of middle sfature, well pro- 
portioned for strength and activity. Constant exercise 
prevented his ever becoming corpulent. He always trav- 
eled on horseback, even if aocompanied by his family in 
a carriage ; and at an advanced age, mounted his horse 
with ease, without other aid than the stirrup. 

His features were bold and prominent ; the nose was 
well formed; the eyes, light*blue, keen and piercing, 
deeply sunk under projecting brows. His lips were gen- 
erally closely compressed. He was not bald ; but his hair 
became white, and covered his head. His whole appear- 
ance indicated courage, coolness, activity, and confidence 
in himself, whether called upon to perform the duties of 
an enterprising partizan, or a calculating and considerate 

At a public dinner, given at Concord, N. H., in honor of 
Hon. Richard M. Johnson, a gentleman present gave the 
following sentiment : 

Oolond Richard M. Johnson — ^From the shoulders up, 
the image of General John Stark ! 

The general's children were eleven in number: five 
sons and six daughters, and all, excepting one, reached the 
age of maturity. Three of his sons were officers of the 
United States army. A notice of Caleb, the eldest, is 
contained in this volume. 

Archibald attended his &ther during his command of 
the northern department in 1778, and during the cam- 
paign in Bhode-Island. As a lieutenant, he accompanied « 
General Sullivan's expedition against the Six ITations. He 
was present at their defeat, and witnessed the destruction 
of their settlements as far as the Geunessee river. He 
served through the war. He died September 11, 1791. 


Benjamin Fr^klin was commissioned as a lieutenant in 
1799, when, during the administration of President John 
Adams, war '*' was declared against the French Republic 
He died July 25, 1806. 

[Copied ft>om one of General Stark's memorandiim bo«lc8.] 

John Stark, son of Archibald Stark, was born August 28, 1728. 

Elizabeth Pago, alias Elizabeth Stark, daughter of Caleb and Elizabeth 
Page, was born February 16, 1737-8. Died 29th June, 1814. 

Married August 20, 1758. * 

Caleb Stark, bom December 8, 1759. Died August 26, 1888. 

Archibald Stark, born May 28, 1701. Diod September 11, 1791. 

John Stark, born April 17, 1763. Deceased. 

Eleanor Stark, born May 4, 1765. Died August 20, 1767. 

Eleanor Stark, Jun*r, born Juno 80, 1767. Deceased. 

Sarah Stark, born June 11, 1769. Died January 29, 1801. 

Elizabeth Stark, born August 10, 1771. Died May 14, 1818. 

Mary Stark, born September 19, 1773. Deceased. 

Charles Stark, born December 2, 1775. (He sailed from Boston in the 
brig Sipsburgh, Benjamin Wheelwright, Master, November, 1776, and 
was heard of no more.f 

Benjamin Franklin Stark, born January 16, 1777. Died July 25, ISOGw 

Sophia Stark, born January 21, 1782. 

The above and foregoing children were born of the above Elizabeth 

The Stark family is supposed to have originated in Ger- 
many. Tradition reports that persons of that name came 
to Scotland, with a hody of Germans, sent over by the 
Duchess of Burgundy, (widow of Charles the Bold) under 
the orders of General Martin Swart, to support the claim 
of Parkin Warbeck (the pretended son of Edward IV) to 
the crown of England, jn the reign of Henry Vli. They 

♦ The only events of this war, worthy of notice, were the two brilliant 
victories obtained by the United States frigate Constellation, rated at 86 
guns, over the French frigates Insurgente, {February 9, 1799) and Ven- 
geance (February 1, 1800J. The French frigates mounted fifty or more 
guns each. For the capture of the former, the merchants of Lloyd*! 
coffee-house presented Commodore Truxtun a silver pitcher, with an appro- 
priate inscription ; and Congress voted him a gold medal for his triumpJi 
over the Vengeance. The pitcher we have seen in the possession of hia 
daughter, Mrs. Sarah Benbridge, of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

f The vessel was owned by Major Stark. His brother-in-law, Thomas 
McEinstry, and one of his clerks, Mr. Heath, were also lost in her. 


were defeated on the plain of Stoke, and the fiigitives 
escaped to Scotland. 

The book of heraldry contains a legend that one of the 
name saved the life of a king of Scotland, by slayiijg a 
wild bull, which attacked his majesty while hunting. For 
this exploit he was created a baronet. The following is 
copied from the book. 

** stark — Scotland and America ; 
A bull's head erased, ar, 
(distilling blood, p. p. r.) 

Fortiorum fortia uucUl** 

In 1840 a communication was received by the secretary 
of State, at Washington, from the government of Hesse 
Cassel, requesting inquiries to be made to ascortain the &ct 
" whether or not the oflSicer who commanded the Amer- 
icans, at the battle of Bennington, was bom in Germany; 
stating that, upon the answer of that question, depended 
the decision of a law suit which had been for several years 
pending, in which a large estate was involved. Inquiry 
was also to be made as to his heirs; and if any were dead, 
who were their representatives." The answers were fur- 
nished, by the vmter, to Honorable John Forsyth, then 
Secretary of State, and nothing farther has been received 
upon the subject. . 







John Allen, 
Bichard ABpinwall, 
Daniel Abbot, 
Keuben Allen, 
Jasper Baglej, 
Tristram Barnard, 
George Berry, 
James Broderick, 
Andrew Boynton, 
Daniel Blair, 
James Bannerty, 
John BabsoB, 
Jamea Colbey, 
James Chase, 
James Crmyton, 
Jacob Colbey, 
James Gratstoo, 
Jedediah Grain,. 
Caleb Dalton, 
Abner Dane, 
Samuel Doherty, 
Adam Dickey, 
Bobert Dickey, 
John Evans, 
Joseph Farwell, 
James Fling, 
John Fram, 
William Gamble^ 
Joseph QeoTge, 
'William Oarrals, 
Andrew Oilman, 
Edward Gordon, 
John George, 
James McGlachan, 
Jonathan Hobbs> 
Ezra Heath, 
John Hall, 

Joseph Hall, 
Thomas Hall, 
Elisha Hutchins, 
Bobert Hard, 
James Humphrey, 
Bobert Humphrey, 
Jonathan Hobbs, 
Sargent Jewell, 
Bichard Kinneston, 
William Einneston, 
Lt. Joshua Hartin, 
KathU Martin, 
John Hartin, 
James McMullen, 
Josiah Molan, 
Jasper Needham, 
Samuel Mackers, 
Alexander McNeil, 
Nehemiah McNeil, 
Daniel McNeil, 
Daniel Newell, 
James Peters, * 
William Peters, 
James Eimmbey, 
Bimsley Pottle, 
John Peney, 
John BobinsoB, 
Layers Bowe, 
James Boose, 
James Buss, 
Joseph Sewall, 
Bobert Stuart, 
Bobert Starret, 
Isibule Sterling, 
Josiah Swott, 
Edward Webber, 
George Whalley. 

The general orders in 1759 reqtlired the ranger compa- 
nies to consist of one hundred privates each. Where a 
full company could not be obtained by enlistment, the 
number deficient was made up by volunteers, or men 
drafted from the provincial regiments then in the royal 




These hardy soldiers, with their veteran comrades of the 
" seven years' war," constituted the nucleus around which, 
in 1775, assembled the army of the revolution. 


James Neflmith, 
Samuel ThompsoD, 
Eben Mcllvain, 
Hogh Alexander, 
John Neflmith, 
Hugh Gonnel, 
Nehemiah Lockhart, 
Eben'r Eitstman, 
John McFhersen, 
Stilman Coner, 
John Young, 
James Orr, 
Ri9hard Straw, 
Simeon Mudget, 
Thomas Morril, 
Hugh Campbell, 
John Peterson, 
Samuel Morris, 
James Caldwell, 
Joseph Harris, 
James Folsom, 
Wells Davis, 
James Colamer, 
John LitUe, 
Peter Butterfield, 
James Wier, 
Robert Adams, 
Amount of appraised articles, £78, 17«., lOd, 

Winter JEfiH, January 11, 1776. A true return of the 
guns and cartouch boxes * delivered in camp, from the 
soldiers discharged from Colonel Stark's regiment, being 
the sixth, agreeably to general orders, appraised by us, 
the subscribers, appointed by Brig'r Gen'l Sullivan for 
that purpose. Joseph Cillby, M^or. 

Ezra Folsom, Captain. 

Ahos Morril, Lieut 

* The arms, &c., and their value, are, in the original return, placed 
against each name. 





James Stone, 



Solomon €all, 



John Palmer, 



William Perkins, 



Stephen Flanders, 



John Burns, 



Ahiel Austin, 



John Polsom, 



Jonathan BeU, 



William Oamhle, 



Stephen Dudley, 



Gapt Henry Dearborn, <' 


Bobert McDonnel, 



Andrew Bobinson, 



William Prazer, 



Joeiah Bachelder, 



David Abbot, 



Daniel Ladd, 



William Graves,. 



John Page, 



Samuel Lakeman, 



Bobert Page, 



James Colamer, 



James Noyes, 



Andrew Silkens, 



Jonathan Bobey, 





All or the larger portion of the men before named 
were in the action at Bunker's hill. 

We copy, from the '* Siege of Boston," a list of the 
officers of the New-Hampshire regiments who were in 
the action at Bunker's hill. * 


Isaac Baldwin, 
Elisha Woodbury, 
Samuel Richards, 
John Moore, 
Joehua Abbot, 
Gordon Hutchins, 
Aaron Kinsman, 
Henry Dearborn, 
Daniel Moore, 
Qeorge Reid, 



John Hale, 
Thomas Hardy, 
Moses Little, 
Jonas McLaughlin, 
Samuel Atkinson, 
Joseph Soper, 
Ebenezer Eastman, 
Amos Morril, 
Ebenezer Frye, 
Abraham Reid, 


Stephen Hoyt. 
Jona. Gorliii. 
Jesse Garr. 
Nath'l Boyd. 
Abiel Ghandler. 
Daniel Li-vermore. 
Samuel Dearborn. 
Michael McClary. 
John Moore. 
James Anderson. 

The regiment contained thirteen companies; and* but 
ten captains, lieutenants and ensigns, are named in the 
above list. An old manuscript contains charges, by 
Colonel Stark, to his officers, for advances. We find as 
captains, charged with sundries, Captain Chandler, STo- 
vember 19, 1775 ; Captain James McCurdy, June 1776 ; 
Captain Morril, March 14, 1776 ; Captain Walker, March 
14, 1776 ; Captaiu Noah Cook, November 20, 1775 ; Dr. 
Obadiah Williams, June 10, 1775; Lieutenant Amos Mor- 
ril, November 20, 1775. 



John Marcy, 
Benjamin Mann, 
Josiah Crosby, 
William Walker, 
Philip Thomas, 
Ezra Towne, 
Jona. Whitcomh, 
Jacob Hinds, 
Levi Spuulding, 
Hezckiah Hutchins, 


Isaac Far well, 
Benjamin Brewer, 
Daniel Wilkins, 
James Brown, 
John Harper, 
Josiah Brown, 
Elijah Clayes, 
Isaac Stone, 
Joseph Bradford, 
Amos Emerson, 


James Taggart, 48. 
Samuel Pettengill, 49. 
Thomas Maxwell, 44. 
William Roby, 46. 
Ezokiel Rand, 46. 
John Hackness, 52. 
Stephen Carter, 59. 
George Aldrich, 54w 
Thomas Buff, 44. 
John Marsh, 44. 

* Colonel James Reed was not in the action. He was struck with blind- 
ness, and left the service in 177C. 



Camp on Isle aux NoiXf June 20, 1776. 

£ 8, d. 

Lieutenant Carr, to cash lent, lawAil money, 18 
Chimney Point 

Jonatnan Carr, to cash lent, lawfUl money, 4 

Paid August 20, 1776. 

Mesa bUL Cash laid out by Colonel Stark, 

£ 8. d. 

To \ case gin, bought at Crown Point, 1 18 9 

To 1 case gin, bought of Mr. Tucker, 8 12 9 

To 1 do. bought of Mr. Avery, 8 9 9 

To cash paid for brewing a barrel of beer, 2 

Extract from the speech of Colonel Potter, at the anniver- 
sary dinner of the Amoskeag Veterans, February 22, 1859 : 

" Stark, at Lake George, when a shot from the enemy 
broke the lock of his gun, deliberately running over to 
the enemy's line, and seizing the gun of a prostrate 
Frenchman, to use instead of his own, shew his individ- 

It was the same quality that, at the news of Lexington 
battle, led him to throw down his crow-bar, shut down 
the gate of his saw-mill, seize his arms, mount his horse, 
and ride to the post of danger. It was his striking indi- 
vidualism that induced fourteen fiill companies to flock to 
his standard in less than as many days. 

It was individualism that stamped the heights of 
Bunker's hill with the impress of American valor. Each 
battalion seemed to be actuated by individualism. The 
battle was fought by individualism. Each commander of 
a battalion or regiment, seemed to fight in his own way, 
and * on his own hook.' 

Prescott fought at his redoubt ; Warren, with a major 
generals commission in his pocket, fought as a volunteer. 
Stark came up to the rail fence breast-work, (itself an in- 
dividualism) continued it down to the beach, and, in a 
a moment as it were, built a wall to the water's edge of 
the stones upon the beach. Then was displayed that indi- 
vidpalism so often spoken of by Washington, to his honor. 


Taking a stake in his hand, he deliberately walked in 
front of his line, the distance of thirty or forty yards, 
where, setting up the stake in the ground, he shouted: 
* Boys, the red coats are coming up the hill. If one of 
you fire a gun till they reach that stake, I '11 shoot him/ 

It was the saipe individualism that, at Bennington, dic- 
tated the memorable speech : ' There are the enemy, boys, 
the red coats and tories ; you must beat them, or Betty 
Stark sleeps a widow to-night.' '* 

The speaker obtained the anecdote of the stake from 
George TV. Park Custis, who said he ha4 often heard 
General Washington relate it, to show the cool courage of 
General Stark. In his speech, at the tomb of Washing- 
ton, before the Amoskeag Veterans, General Custis alluded 
to the fact of the stake, and stated his authority. , 

The following relates to statements contained in Powers' 
History of Coos : 

In Stark's Memoir, page 15, the exploring expeditions 
to Coos are noticed. 

Mr. Powers disbelieves that any party, acting under the 
orders of government, did in reality visit that region in 
1752, or prior to 1754. 

Belknap (vol. 2, p. 215) states that a ^^ party was sent 
up in the spring of 1752, to view the meadows and lay 
out the townships." 

Stark and Eastman passed, in 1752, as captives to tlie 
Indians, through the Coos country. The former, as pilot, 
attended the expedition of Colonel Lovewell, in 1763, and 
in 1754, in the same capacity, that conducted by Captain 
Peter Powers. 

The following extract, from the History of Manchester, 
(p. 279—281) relates to the subject : 

" About the time Stark was taken, Sebattis and Plaus- 
awa, Indians living at St. Francis, but who had formerly 
lived in the Merrimack valley, came to Canterbury, and 
having been kindly treated by Messrs. Miles and Lindsay, 
with whom they had formerly been acquainted, they left the 


place, having seized upon and captured two negroes, be- 
longing to* the men who had treated them with so much 
hospitality. One of the negroes escaped and informed of 
his captors, while the other was sold at Crown Boint. 

This conduct of the Indians produced the greatest con- 
sternation and alarm, and the project of taking armed 
possession of the Coos country was prosecuted with re- 
newed vigor. 

The assembly of New-Hampshire, in answer to the me- 
morial of those engaged in the project, so far complied 
with the wishes of the memorialists as to assume the ex- 
pense of cutting and making a road from the settlements 
upon the Merrimack, to the * Coos meadows ; ' and ap- 
pointed a committee to survey and mark the road. This 
active preparation to seize their lands did not escape the 
notice of the Indians ; and in January, 1753, they sent six 
Indians, with a flag of truce, to the fort at Number Four, 
to remonstrate against the proceedings of the English. 
They took strong grounds upon the subject, and it is 
highly propable that the whole procedift'e was at the in- 
stance and under the direction of the French. 

They told Captain Stevens that they were displeased * at 
our people going to take a view of the Coos meadows last 
spring* (spring of 1752) ; * and that for the English to set- 
tle Oowos was what they could not agree to ; and as the 
English had no need of that land, but had enough without 
it, they must think the English had a mind for war if they 
would go there, and that they should have a strong war.' * 

Meantime, about the 10th of March, 1753, the commit- 
t€e, appointed by the assembly to survey and rtiark the 
road to Coos, commenced the performance of their duty. 
The committee consisted of Zacheus Lovewell, of Duns- 

* The Rev. Mr. Powers, in his History of the Coos Country, undertakes 
to show that Dr. Belknap has misconstrued this extract from Colonel Wil- 
liams' letter, and that no such persons visited the Cods country in the 
spring of 1752. But in this matter Dr. Belknap is right and Mr. Powers 
wrong. Mr. Powers does not qaote the extract correctly. As given 
ahove (from the original letter of Colonel 'Williams, of March 19, 1768) 
no one can douht, were other proofs wanting, that our people went into 
the Cods country in the spring of 1762. 



table, John Talford, of Chester, and Caleb Page of Star 
town. They hired Bixteen men at Amoskeag and Fen 
cook to aeeiBt in the expedition ; and John Stadc, of Xi 
ryfield, a$ pilot, he having passed through the tl< 
country, as a captive, the spring previona. Caleb Pi 
was the surveyor. 

The committee performed the duties asmgned them 
twenty days, returning to Concord on the Slst of Mar 
As most of the men engaged in this expedition were & 
Amoskeag, the following account is added, giving ' 
names, time, and capacity in which each one was ( 

March, 1753. Meun. ZACHitrn Lovbvell, Johh Talfobd, tnd G^ 
Paqe. charge je Provinco of New-Usmp'r, Dr. For thenuelTca 
men, here named, hirod to eurvey and m^e the road to Cod«, id Ua 

Zacheiu Lovewell, 

John Tklford, 

Caleb Page, 

Nath'l Smith, 

John EveDjr, 

Beubcn Kimb«ll, . 

BeuJ. Laikin, 

Enoch Webster, 

Eben. Copp, 

Jon a. Burbank, 

John Johnion, 

Benj. Eastmaii, 

Peter Bo wen, 

Nath') Ingalk, 

Eobert Rogera, 

John Combs, 

Wm. McUluer, 

John Stark, pilot, 

Abraham Perrj, 

Caleb Page, surveyc . 

Zach. LoTewell, John Talford, Caleb 

Page, each one day attendance to 

appoint the day's and prepare for 

yo march, 
Caleb Page, jumey to Rumford, to 

biro men, four days, 81 

Old tenor. 
Dated 31st of March, 1768. 





*See flies in Seoratary'i office. 


The author of the History of Manchester has collected 
other information in regard to Ihe expeditions to Coos, 
which will probably appear in the edition of Belknap's 
History of New- Hampshire, which he is now preparing 
for publication. We have a recollection of seeing, in boy- 
hood, a journal of the above survey, written by our ances- 
tor, Captain Caleb Page, surveyor of the expedition, but 
thought no more of it, until a letter was received from 
John Farmer, Esq., maMng imquiries concerning such a 
paper. He was then preparing his edition of Belknap's 
History. Search was made for the manuscript, but with- 


THK BATTIJB OF BBlfiriNCrTOir, ▲vffmt 16* ITTT. 


Copied from the Rhode-Island Book, 

Uptiirough a cloudy sky, the sun 

Was buffeting his way 
On such a mom as ushers in 

A sultry August day. 
Hot was the air— and hotter yet, • 

Hen's thoughts within them grew ; 
T^hev, Britone, Hessians, Tories, saw, 

Tney saw their honfesteads too ! 

They thought of all their country's wrongs ; 

They thought of noble liyes. 
Poured out in battle with their foes ; — 

They thought upon their wiyes, 
Their children and their aged sires, 

Their firesides, churches, God ! 
And these deep thoughts made hallowed ground 

Sach foot of soil,£ey trod. 

Their leader was a yeteran man — 

A man of earnest will ; — 
His yery presence was a host ; 

He'd fought at Bunker's hill ! 
A living monument he stood, 

Of stirring deeds of fame ; 
Of deeds that shed a fadeless light / 

On his own deathless name ! 

Of Charlestown's flames, of Warren's blood, 

His presence told the tale ; * 
It made each patriot's heart beat quick. 

Though lip and cheek srew pale ; 
It spoke of Princeton, Morristown ; — • 

Told Trenton's thrilling story ; 
It lit futurity with hope. 

And on the past shed glory. 

Who were those men ? their leader, who t 

Where stood they on that morn ? 
The men were northern yeomanry, — 

Braye men as e'er were born ; 
Who, in the reaper's merry row. 

Or warrior's rank could stand ; 
Bight worthy such a noble troop — 

John Stark led on the band^ 

Walloomsac wanders by the spot 

Where ihey, that poming, stood ; 
Then rolled the war-cloud aer the stream. 

The wayos were tinged with blood ; 
# And the near hills that dark cloud girt, 

And fires like lightning fiashed ; 
And shrieks and groans, like howling blasts, 

Bose as the bayonets clashed. 


The night hefore, the yankee host 

Game gathering from afar, 
And in each belted bosom glowed 

The spirit of the war ! ^ 

All full of fight, through rainy storm, 

Night cloudy, starless, dark — 
They came, and gathered as they came, • 

Around the yaliant Stark 1 

There was a Berkshire Parson — ^he 

And all his fiock were there, 
And like true churchmen militant, 

The arm of flesh made bare. 
Out spoke the Dominie, and said : — 

" For battle have we come, 
'' These many times ; and after this, 

<* We mean to stay at home, 

<* If now we come in vain." Said Stark : — 

«* "What I would you go to-night, 
"To battle it with yonder troops T 

" Ood send us morning light, 
** And we will give you woA enough ; 

Let but the morning come, 
" And if ye hear no voice of war, 

" Qto back and stay at home." 

The morning came— there stood the foe ; — 

Stark eyed them as they stood ; 
Pew words he spoke— 'twas not a time 

For moralizing mood ; 
"See there, the enemy, my boys — 

Now, strong in valor's might, 
** Beat them, or Betty ♦ Stark will sleep 

" In widowhood to-night ! " 

Each soldier there had left at home, 

A sweetheart, wife or mother ; 
A blooming sister, or perchance, 

A fair-haired, blue-eyed brother ; 
Each from a fireside came, and thoughts 

These simple words awoke, 
That nerved up every warrior's arm, 

And guided every stroke. 

Fireside and woman ! — mighty words ! 

How wond'rous is the spell 
They work upon the manly heart, 

Who knoweth not full well ? 
And than the toomen of this land, 

That never land hath known 
A truer, nobler-hearted race, 

Each yankee boy must own. 

* General Stark's wife's name wm Elizabeth Pagt. 



Brief eloquence was SUirk't — ^nor Tain ; 

Scarce uttered he the words. 
When burst the musket's rattling peal ;-<- 

Out leaped the flashing swords ; — 
And when l^ave Stark in after time, 

Told the proud tale of wonder, 
He said **the battle din was one 

Continual clap of thunder.*' 

Two hours thejr strove, when victory crowned 

The valiant yankee boys ; 
Nought but the memory of the dead 

Bammed their glorious ioys! 
Aye— there 's the rub ; the hour of strifis. 

Though follow years of fame, 
Is still in mournful memory linked 

With some death-hallowed name. 

The cypress with the laurel twines— 

The PiKAK sounds a knell — 
The trophied column marks the spot 

Where friends and brothers fell 1 
Fame's mantle, a funeral pall 

Seems to the grief-dimmed eye ; 
For ever where the bravest fall, 

The best-beloved die ! 



No trappings of State their bright honors unfolding, 
No gorgeous display mark the place of thy rest ; 

Yet the eranite points out where ihj relics lie mouldering. 
And the wild rose is shedding its sweets o'er thy breast. 

The zephyrs of evening shall sport with the willow, 
And play through the grass where the sweet flow'rets creep. 

Where the thoughts of the brave as they bend o'er thy pillow. 
Shall hallow &e spot of the hero's last sleep. 

As frop glory and honor to death thou descendedst, 
It was mete thou shouldst lie by the Merrimack's wave ; 

It was well thou shouldst sleep 'mongst the hills thou defendedst 
And take thy last rest in so simple a grave. 

There for ever thou 'It sleep, and tho' ages roll o'er thee, 
And crumble the stone o'er thine ashes to earth, 

The sons of the free shall with reverence adore the&— 
The pride of the moimtains that gave thee thy birth. 


Ik regard to the following correspondence, we will here state that the 
letters from General Stark are copies of the original draughts, a few 
of which are in his own hand writing ; all subsequent to the campaign 
of 1777 were written by his brigade major, and aid-de-camp. The 
letters addressed to him are copied from the originals now in the pos- 
session of the writer of the foregoing memoir. 

Copy of a Petition to the Qovernment of New-Hampshire, in 1754, as on 
file in the office of the Secretary of State. 

Alios Eastman, of Pennacook (Concord), and John 
Stark, of Starkstown (Dunbarton), both in the province of 
New-Hampshire, of lawful age, testify and say " that on 
the 28th day of April, 1752, they were in company with 
William Stark, of Starkstown, and David Stinson, of Lon- 
donderry, on one of the branches of the Permigwasset 
river, about eighteen miles from Stevenstown (Salisbury) ; 
that on the same day, toward night, the Indians captivated 
the said John, and the next morning, soon after day 
break, captivated the said Amos ; and fired upon David 
Stinson and William Stark; they killed. and scalped the 
said David (the said William made his escape), and car- 
ried the deponents both to Canada ; 

That the stuff the Indians took from the deponents and 
their company was of the value of five hundred and sixty 
pounds at least, old tenor, for which they have no restitu- 


That the said Amos was sold to the French, and for his 
redemption paid sixty dollars to his master, besides all his 
expenses of getting home ; that the said John purchased 
his redemption of the Indians, for which he paid one hun- 
dred and three dollars, besides his -expenses in getting 
home; that there were ten Indians in the company who cap- 
tivated the deponents, and lived at St Francis. They 
often told the deponents it wds not peace. One Francis 
Titigaw was the chief of the scout There was in the 
scout one named Peer, a young sagamore, who belonged 
to St Francis. 

The deponents made oath to the preceding. May 23, 
1754, before Joseph Blanchard, one of his majesty's jus- 
tices of the peace. 

In a memorial presented by John and William Stark to 
Governor Wentworth, in 1754, they say that they gave no 
oftence to the Indians ; that they had it in their power to 
destroy them, or defeat their enterprise ; but esteeming it 
a time of peace with all the Indians who own themselves 
subjects of the French king, free from any expectation of. 
any hostilities to be committed against them, they peace- 
ably applied themselves to their own business, till am- 
bushed by the Indians. They killed, scalped and stripped 
David Stinson, one of their company, captivated the afore- 
said John and Amos, and shot at the said William, who ' 
escaped ; that they carried the said captives to Canada, 
and, at the same time, took the goods and effects of your 
memorialists and said David Stinson, in company, of the 
value of five hundred and sixty pounds at least, old tenor." 

The government never refunded any portion of the 
above. In this respect Massachusetts adopted a more lib- 
eral policy, and redeemed all her captives from the Indians. 


iferf/orrf, IfoylS, 1775. 

Gentlemen — ^About the 29th of April last, a committee, 
sent from the provincial Congress of the province of New- 
Hampshire, to the provincial Congress of the Prov. of 
Mass. Bay, having discretionary instructions from said 
Congress, advised to raise a regiment from the province 
of New-Hampshire as soon as possible, under the constitu- 
tion or establishment of the Massachusetts Bay, but to 
be deemed as part of the quota of men from the province 
of New-Hampshire, and that the New-Hampshire Congress 
would establish said measures. . In consequence of which 
a number of officers from the province of New-Hampshire 
convened and made- choice of their field officers for said 
regiment, who have raised the same — 584 of whom are 
now present at Medford, exclusive of drummers and fifers, 
and the remainder are hereby expected. And, as a great 
number of those already here (who expected, when they 
enlisted, to draw arms from the provincial stock) are desti- 
tute of the same, and can not be furnished (as no arms are 
to be procured here, at present), must inevitably return 
from whence they came, unless they are supplied from 
some quarter speedily, I humbly pray that you would 
maturely consider our defenceless situation, and adopt 
some measure or measures whereby they may be equipped. 
In confidence of your immediate compliance with the 
above request, 

I am, in the country's common cause, 

Your most obedient, humble serv't, 


N. B. The gentlemen who present this to the conven- 
tion can give you particular information as to our present 

Superscribed " the Chairman of Prov'l Congress, for the 
province of New-Hampshire, now sitting at Exeter.'* 

♦ Vol. 1, State paper?, p. 149. 


To the Hon. Council of New-Hamp§hire. 

Mtdfwd, May 29, 177& 

Gentlemen — ^Yours of the 20th inst I have recrived, 
and note the contents ; and as to fire-arms for the re^ 
ment under my command, the greater part who were 
destitute when I wrote you, are since furnished ; and I 
am informed from the officers of the several companies, 
that the remainder will be equipped very shortly, so that I 
.flatter myself this difficulty will be speedily removed as to 
my regiment ; but as to the manner of procuring them, 
whether by the respective towns to which they belong, or 
by individuals, I can not at present inform you, as no ac- 
count thereof has as yet come to hand. But I would b^ 
leave still to entreat you to take a little farther notice of 
\x^ ; and, in the first place, consider that a considerable part 
of the regiment are destitute of blankets (and can not be 
supplied by their towns), and are very much exposed ; some 
of whom, for want thereof, by reason of colds, are veiy 
much indisposed, and thereby rendered unfit for duly ; 
and, secondly, that we are in great want of money ; and 
that neither the officers or soldiers can subsist without it, 
much longer, by any means. And this I am well assured 
of from daily complaints which are made to me, that un- 
less you, by some means or other, advance some money to 
the army directly (as there is no room in my mind to 
doubt but there is a very considerable sum in the provincei 
belonging thereto), their courage will fail, and they will 
return ; and by that means, we shall work our own de- 
struction. Again, I would recommend a sutler or supplier 
for the army ; and if it should be necessary that there 
should be a sutler or sutlers, and you can not find one in 
that province who will undertake it on reasonable terms, 
I know of a gentleman in this province who will, if ap- 
plied to. I would likewise be glad if a chest of medicine 
might be procured for the use of the regiment, and tools 
for the armorer to repair arms with. According to your 
request, I have inclosed and transmitted to the committee 
of safety a return of the men who have enlisted in the 


service of the province of New-Hampshire (now under my 
command), and who expect to be paid therefrom. Your 
speedy compliance with the above will greatly oblige 

' YourSy in the common cause, 


The Congress of the Colony of New-Hampshire, 

To John Stark, Esq., Greeting. 

We, reposing especial trust and» confidence in your 
courage and good conduct, do, by these presents, consti- 
tute and appoint you, the said John Stark, to be colonel of 
the first regiment of foot, raised by the Congress afore- 
said, for the defence of the American colonies. 

You are, therefore, carefiiUy and diligently to discharge 
the duty of a colonel, in leading, ordering, and exercis- 
ing the said regiment in arms, both inferior oflicers and 
soldiers, and to keep them in good order and discipline. 
And they are hereby commanded to obey you as their 
colonel ; and you afe yourself to observe and follow such 
orders and instructions as you shall, from time to time, 
receive from the general and commander-in-chief of the 
forces raised in the colony, aforesaid, or any other your 
superior officers, according to such military rules and dis- 
cipline of war as have been, or hereafter shall be, ordered 
by the Congress of said colony, in pursuance of the trust 
reposed in you. 

By order of the Congress — 


Exeter, the third day of June, A. D. 1775. 

E. Thompson, Secretary. 


Colonel Stark to Hon. Matthew Thornton, President of the New-Hamp- 
shire Provincial Congress. 

Medford, June 19, 1776. 

Sir — ^I embrace this opportunity, by Colonel Holland, 
to give you some particulars of an engagement in battle, 
which was fought on the 17th inst, between the British 
troops and the Americans. 

On the 16th, at evening, a detachment of the Massa- 
chusetts line marched, by the gcnerars order, (General 
Ward) to make intrenchment upon a hill in Charlestown, 
called Charlestown hill, near Boston, where they in- 
trenched that night,! without interruption, but were at- 
tacked, on the morntng of the 17th, very warmly by the 
ships of war in Charlestown river, and the batteries in 
Boston. Upon this, I was ordered by the general to send 
a detachment of two hundred men, with proper officers, 
to their assistance ; which order I promptly obeyed, and 
appointed Lieutenant Colonel "Wyman to command the 
same. At two o'clock P. M. an express arrived with 
orders for my whole regiment to proceed to Charlestown, 
to oppose the British who were landing on Charlestown 
point; accordingly we proceeded, and the battle soon 
came on, in which a number of officers and men of my 
regiment were killed and wounded. The officers killed 
were Major McClury, by a cannon ball ; Captain Baldwin 
and Lieutenant Scott, by small arms. 

The whole number, including officers, killed 

and missing, 15 

"Wounded, 45 

Total, killed, wounded and missing, 60 

By Colonel Reed's desire, I transmit the account of 
those who suffered belonging to that portion of his regi- 
ment who were engaged : 

Killed, 3 ; wounded, 29 ; missing, 1. 
Total, in both regiments, 93. 

JOHN 8TABK. 113 

But we remain in good spirits, being well satisfied that 
where we have lost one, the enemy have lost three. I 
should consider it a favor if the committee of safety should 
recommend to the several towns and parishes of N'ew- 
Hampshire the necessity of detaining and sending back 
all the soldiers belonging to the New-Hampshire line, sta- 
tioned at Medford, whom they may find atU distance from 
the army, without a furlough from the commanding officer. 

I am, sir, with great respect, 

Tours and the country's, 

To serve in the good cause, 


Notes by Editor. Colonel Stephen Holland, of Lon- 
donderry, afterward went to New- York and joined the 
enemy. He received a grant of land in Ireland, as a re- 
muneration for his est^ite confiscated in America. 

General "Ward ordered this party to intrench up6n 
Bunker's hill, but by mistake they proceeded a mile far- 
ther, to Breed's hill, a lesser eminence, and nearer to Bos- 
ton. The attempt of the eneny^ to dislodge them pro- 
duced the action called the battle of Bunker's hill. This 
affia^ir gave the enemy direct evidence that the yankees 
could fight, and the latter confidence in themselves. The 
enemy intended to possess and fortify Dorchester heights, 
on the 18th of June, but the operations of the Americans, 
on the night of the 16th, directed their attention in an- 
other direction ; very fortunate for the. Americans, as 
they were enabled to fortify the heights themselves, and 
force the enemy to evacuate Boston. 


lurching Orders for Colonel John SUrk, oommanding the 5th aad 25th 

Begiments of Foot. 

Tou are forthwith to march, with the regimeutg tinder 
your command, to Xorwich, in Connecticut, according to 
the route indicated ; and in case of extreme bad weath^ 
or other unforeseen accidents you are obliged to halt a 
day or more, between this and Norwich, you will acquaint 
Brigadier General Heath, who is appointed to the com* 
mand of the brit^ade, now under marching orders, and 
receive and follow his directions. You will immediately 
apply to Commissary General Trumbull, and to Quarter 
Master General, Col. Miffin, for an order for carriages 
and provisions for your march to Norwich. Upon your 
arrival there, Brio^adier General Heath has his excellency, 
the commander-in-chief's directions for the ferther dispo- 
sal of the brigade. 

His excellency expects you to preserve good order and 
exact discipline ui)on your march, carefully preventing all 
pillage and marauding, and every kind of ill-usage, or in- 
sult to the inhabitants of the country. As the motions of 
the enemy, and the advanced season of the year make it 
of the utmost consequence that not a moment should be 
lost that can possibly be made use of on your march, 
the general, depending on your zeal, experience and good 
conduct, is satisfied that, on your part, ^no vigilance will 
be wanting. 

Given at head quarters, this 16th day of March, 1776, 


Route from Cambridge to 







Mort Lake, 




In all, 97 



Colonel Stark, and other colonels, presented a remon- 
strance to General Schuyler against the removal of the 
army from Crown Point to Ticonderoga. 


Ticcmderoga, July 9, 1776, 9 P. M. 

Gentlemen — ^Your remonstrance, of yesterday's date, was 
delivered to me at eight o'clock this evening, by General 
Sullivan. Previous to any observations on it, give me 
leave to remind you of a mistake you have made in sup- 
posing that I informed you " that Congress had directed 
that the army was to be removed to Ticonderoga." My 
expression was exactly in these words : " That it be recom- 
mended to General Schuyler to form a strong camp in the 
vicinity of Ticonderoga or Crown Point." I observed 
that, as I quoted from memory, and had not the resolution 
with me, I could not repeat the very words of it. I rather 
wish to impute your mistake to misapprehension than to 
any intentional false repetition of what I said, which I 
can not suppose any gentleman can be guilty of. 

The reasons which induced the council of general oflS- 
cers unanimously to give their opinion to move the main 
body of the arfny from Crown Point, I can not conceive 
myself at liberty to give without their consent ; for myself, 
I declare with that frankness which I wish always to char- 
acterize me, that the measure seemed not only prudent, 
but, in my opinion, indispensably necessary for a variety 
of reasons, against which those you have given do not, in 
my opinion, bear a sufficient weight to alter it; some of 
which are evidently nugatory, and all of which might be 
contrasted with more cogent ones in support of the resolu- 
tion. I assure you, at the same time, that if I were con- 
vinced of the impropriety of the measure, I should not 
be in the least tenacious of supporting my opinion, but 
immediately give way to conviction, and rescind the reso- 
lution so far as depended on me to do it, 

I am happy, gentlemen, that you declare your readiness 
to obey the resolution of the general officers, although it 


does not meet your approbation — a sentiment that every 
good officer ought not only to entertain, but to inculcate 
on others as a principle on which the preservation of every 
army in a great measure depends. Such a sentiment will 
always induce me, and I dare say every other general offi- 
cer, to receive with patience and pleasure the advice of 
his officers, and act accordingly, where I or they are con- 

I am, gentlemen, with great respect, 

Your most obedient, humble serv't, 


Note by Editor. After events proved that the memo- 
rialists were correct. The following extract expresses the 
opinion of the commander-in-chief to Congress. 

In consequence of the evacuation of Crown Point, Gen- 
eral Schuyler lost for a time the confidence of many of 
the northern officers, and many of the people of the north. 

Extract from a letter of General Washington to Congress, July 19, 1776. 

" I confess the determination of the council of general 
officers, on the 7th, to retreat from Crown Point, sur- 
prised me much ; and the more I consider it, the more 
striking does the impropriety appear. The reasons as- 
signed against it by the field officers, in their remonstrance, 
coincide greatly with my own ideas, and those of the 
other general officers I have had an opportunity of con- 
versing with, and seem to be of considerable weight, I may 
add, conclusive. I am not so fully acquainted with the 
geography of that country, and the situation of the differ- 
ent posts, as to pronounce a peremptory judgment upon 
the matter ; but if my ideas are right, the possession of 
Crown Point is essential to give us the superiority and 
mastery of the lake. * 

That the enemy will possess it, as soon as abandoned by 
us, there can be no doubt ; and if they do, whatever gallies 


or force we keep upon the lake, will be unquestionably in 
their rear. How they are to be supported there, or what 
succor can be drawn from them, is beyond my comprehen- 
sion. Perhaps it is only meant that they shall be em- 
ployed on the communication between that and Ticonder- 
oga. If this is the case, I fear the views of Congress will 
not be answered, nor the salutary effects derived from 
them that were intended. 
(^ I have mentioned my surprise to General Schuyler, and 
would, by the advice of the general officers, have directed 
that post should be maintained, had it not been for two 
causes : an apprehension that the works had been de- 
stroyed, and that if the army should be ordered from 
Ticonderoga, or the post opposite to it (where I presume 
they are), to repossess it, they would have neither one 
place or another secure, and in a defensible state; the 
other, lest it might increase the jealousy and diversity of 
opinions which seem already too prevalent in the army, 
and establish a precedent for the inferior officers to set up 
their judgment whenever they would, in opposition to 
their superiors — a matter of great delicacy, and that might 
lead to fatal consequences if countenanced, though in the 
present instance I could have wished their reasoning had 

General Gates and Schuyler took fire at the implied 
censure of the general officers who had given their opin- 
ions to General "Washington, against the abandonment of 
Crown Point, and the preference of Ticonderoga. They 
made common cause, and in spirited terms vindicated 
their judgment to the commander-in-chief; reprehended in 
strong language the general officers to whom General 
Washington alluded, and carried their complaints to Con- 
gress. The steady, temperate course, however, of the 
commander-in-chief, prevented serious consequences.* 

♦Wilkinson, vol. 1, page 68. 


Ira Allen to Ncw-Hampthire Committee of Safety. * 

Onion River, Jul^ 10, 1776. 

Gcnilenien — ^I learn you are alarmed at the retreat of our 
army out of Canada. I can assure you the savages have 
killed and scalped a number of men by the river La Cole, 
on the west side of Lake Champlain. When they will 
visit us or you, is uncertain ; I advise you to look sharp, 
keep scouts out, but not to move, except some j&milies 
much remote from the main inhabitants. Last Saturday 
I was at Crown Point with General Sullivan. He assured 
me he would do all in his power to protect the frontier 

I proposed a line of forts by this river to Cohos. He 
said he believed that to be the best place, and made no 
doubt but it would be done. He immediately ordered 
Colonel Waite and two hundred men to this place, here to 
remain, and grant all protection in his power to the inhab- 
itants. Before I left there, Generals Schuyler, Gates and 
Arnold arrived. I conclude there is a determination, be- 
fore this time, in regard to all the frontiers. I make no 
doubt but a line of block forts is agreed on by all, from 
this river to yours, and so round your frontiers. I had in- 
telligence from St. Johns about twelve days ago. Our 
enemy had but one hundred tents, which at most could 
not be more than six hundred men. They did not appear 
to be in much preparation for war. At Chambly there 
were but few men. It is thought by some that the enemy 
are busy in sending provisions and clothing to all the 
garrisons near the head of the river St. Lawrence, and in 
supplying the Indians with all necessaries. The small-pox 
has almost gone through our army; they are in mudi 
better health than they were. Gondolas are building; 
the vessels are preparing for war. I hope, in a short 
time, they will be able to beat all the powers of Britidn 
on this lake. Crown Point is proposed for head quarters. 

In haste, IRA ALLEM".* 

* Vol. 1, fifth series, American Archives, pag^ 177. 

JOHN 8TABK. 119 


By Lieat. Qeneral John Burgoyno, commandlDg an army and fleet against 
tlie revolted Provinces of America. 

To the inhabitants of Castleton, Hubbardton, Rutland, 
Tinmouth, Pawlet, Wells and Granville, with the neigh- 
boring districts; also the districts bordering pn White 
Creek, Cambden, Cambridge, 4;c. 

You are hereby directed to send, from your several town- 
ships, deputies, consisting of ten persons or more, from 
each township, to meet Colonel Skene, at Castleton, on 
Monday, July 15, at 10 o'clock in the morning, who will 
have instructions not only to give farther encouragement 
to those who complied with my late manifesto, but also to 
communicate conditions upon which the persons and 
property of the disobedient may yet be spared. This fail 
not to obey, under pain of military execution. 

Head Quarters, at Skenesborough House, July 10, 1777. 


By order of His Excellency, the Lieutenant General — 

B. KiMPTON, Secretary. 


By Philip Schuyler, Esq., Major General in the Anny of the United States 
of America, and Commander-in-chief of the Northern Department. 

To the inhabitants of Castleton, Hubbardton, Rutland, 
Tinmouth, Paulet, "Wells, Granville, with the neighboring 
districts bordering on White .creek, Cambden, Cambridge, 
&c., &c. 

Whereas, Lieutenant General John Burgoygne, com- 
jnanding an army of the British troops, did, by a written 
pi^r, by him subscribed, bearing date at Skenesborough 
House, on the 10th day of July, instant, require you to 
send from jour several townships, deputations consist- 


ing of ten persons or more from each township, to meet 
Colonel Skene at Castleton, on Wednesday, July 16th, at 
ten in the morning, for sundry purposes in said paper 
mentioned ; and that you were not to fail in paying obedi- 
ence thereto, under pain of military execution. 

Whatever, my countrymen, may be the ostensible rea- 
sons for sftch meeting, it is evidently intended by the ene- 
my, then to prevail on you, by threats and promises, to 
forsake the cause of your injured country ; to assist them 
in forcing on the United States of America, and under the 
specious pretext of affording you protection, to bring on 
you that misery which their promises of protection drew 
on such of the deluded inhabitants of New-Jersey who 
were weak enough to confide in them, but who expe- 
rienced their fallacy by being treated indiscriminately with 
those virtuous citizens, who came forth in defence of their 
country, with the most wanton barbarity, and such as 
hitherto hath not even disgraced barbarism. They cruelly 
butchered, without distinction to age or sex ; ravished 
children from ten, to women of eighty years of age ; they 
burnt, pillaged and destroyed whatever came into their 
power. Nor did those edifices dedicated to the worship of 
Almighty God escape their sacrilegeous fury. Such were 
the deeds — such they were incontestibly proved to ' be 
which have marked the British arms with the most indeli- 
ble stains. 

But they having, by the blessing of divine providence 
on our arms, been obliged totally to abandon that State, 
they left those who were weak or wicked enough to take 
protection under them, to bemoan their credulity, and to 
cast themselves on the mercy of their injured countrymen. 
Such will bo your fate, if you lend a willing ear to their 
promises, which I trust none of you will do. But lest any 
of you should so far forget the duty you owe to your coun- 
try as to join with, or in any manner assist or give com- 
fort to, or hold correspondence with, or take protection 
from the enemy : be it known to each and every one of 
you, the inhabitants of said townships, or aojr other, the 


inhabitants of the united States, that you will be consid- 
ered and dealt with as traitor^ to said states ; and that the 
laws thereof will be put in execution against every person, 
so offending, with the utmost rigor ; and do hereby strictly 
enjoin and command all officers, civil and military, to ap- 
prehend or cause to be apprehended, all such offenders. 
And I do strictly enjoin and command such of the militia 
of said townships as have not yet marched, to do so with- 
out delay, to join the army under my command or some 
detachment thereof. 

Given under my hand and seal, at head quarters. 


Fort Edward, July 13, 1777. 

By the general's command — 

Henry B. Livingston. 

Manchester, 24M July^ 1111. 

Dear Sir — ^I learn, by express, from the council of safety 
and assembly of your State, dated the 19th instant, and 
directed to the council of this State, that it is expected 
that one fourth part of twelve regiments are to be imme- 
diately drafted, formed into three battalions, and put under 
your immediate command, and sent forthwith into this 

_ • 

State, to oppose the ravages and coming forward of the 
enemy ; and also to desire the convention of this State to 
send some person or persons to wait on you, at No. 4, this 
day, to advise with you, relative to the route and disposi- 
tion your troops are to take, as also the present disposition 
and mancBuvres of the enemy. 

By Major Tyler and Captain Fitch I send you an 
extract of a letter from General Schuyler, relative to the 
situation of the enemy. And from what intelligence I 
have been able to collect since that date, I judge there is 
not less in number than 2,000, at different places in Cas- 
tleton and Rutland, and a large number at Skenesbor- 

ough; part of which are (by their motion) making 



preparations for a very speedy movement toward this 
camp, which is at present sb thinly inhabited that I can 
by no means be Able to make a stand without assistance. 
It is, therefore, of the most pressing importance that your 
troops be forwarded to this place with as much expedition 
as possible. Provision will be made here for their sub- 
sistence, on their arrival. The council of safety of this 
State are present, and join me in urging the necessity of 
your speedy assistance. 

I am, sir, your very humble servant, 


Brigadier General Stark. 

Address of the Council of Safety of Vermont to the Councils of Safety of 
Massachusetts and New-Hampshire. 

In Council of Safety. State of Vermont, \ 
Munchcstor, July 15, 1777. / 

Gentlemen — This State, in particular, seems to be at pres- 
ent the object of destruction. By the surrender of the 
fortress of Ticonderoga, a communication is opened to the 
defenceless inhabitants on the frontier, who, having little 
more in store at present than sufficient for the maintenance 
of their respective families, and not ability immediately 
to remove their effects, are therefore induced to accept 
such protections as are oftered them by the enemy. 

By this means, those towns who are most contiguous to 
them are under the necessity of taking such protection, 
by which the next town or towns become equally a fron- 
tier as the former towns before such protection ; and un- 
less we can have the assistance of our friends^ so as to put 
it immediately in our power to make a sufficient stand 
against such strength as they may send, it appears that it 
will soon be out of the power of this State to maintain its 

This country, notwithstanding its in&ncy, seems to be 
aa well supplied with provisions for victualing an army 


any on the continent ; so that, on that account, we can not 
see why a stand may not as well be made in this State as 
in Massachusetts ; and more especially, as the inhabitants 
are heartily disposed to defend their liberties. 

You, gentlemen, will be at once sensible that every 
such town as accepts protection is rendered, at that in- 
stant, incapable of affording any farther assistance ; and 
what is infinitely worse, as some disaffected persons eter- 
nally lurk in almost every inhabited town, such become 
doubly fortified to injure their country, our good disposi- 
tion to defend ourselves and make a frontier for your 
State, with our own, which can not be carried into execu- 
tion without your assistance. 

Should you send immediate assistance, we can help you ; 
and should you neglect till we are put to the necessity of 
taking protection, you know it is in a moment out of our 
power to assist you. 

Your laying these circumstances together will, I hope, 
induce your honors to take the same into considera- 
tion, and immediately send us your determination in the 

I have the satisfaction to be your honors' most obedient 

and very humble servant. By order of the council, 

IRA ALLEN, Secretary. 

Letter from Meehech Weare, President of New-Hampsbire, to Ira 
Allen, Secretary of the State of Vermont. 

Exeter, July 19, 1777. 

Sir — ^I was favored with yours of the 15th instant yes- 
terday, by express, and laid the same before our general 
court, who are sitting. We had, previous thereto, deter- 
mined to send assistance to your State. They have now 
determined that a quarter part of the militia of twelve 
regiments shall be immediately drafted, formed into 
three battalions, under the command of Brigadier General 
John Staik, and forthwith sent into your State, to oppose 



the ravages and coming forward of the enemy ; and orders 
are now issning, and will go out in a few hours, to the sev- 
eral colonels for that purpose. 

Dependence is made that they will be supplied with pro- 
visions in your State ; and I am to desire your convention 
will send some proper person or persons to S'umber Four, 
by Thursday next, to meet General Stark there, and ad- 
vise with him relative to the route and disposition of our 
troops ; and to give him such information as you may 
then have relative to the manoiuvres of the enemy. 

In behalf of the council and assembly, I am, sir, your 
most obedient humble servant, 


State op New-Haufshibk. \ 
In Committee of Safety/, July 80, 1777. / 

To Colonel Samuel Folsom — 

You are desired to proceed to No. 4, and if General 
Stark has marched from there before you arrive, to fol- 
low him until you overtake him, and endeavor to find 
out ^vhat circumstances his men are in ; how they are sup- 
plied, and what they are likely to want that can be sup- 
plied from hence. 

The State of Vermont having assured us that they 
would supply them with provisions, dependence is made 
on them therefor. 

You are to inform General Stark that it is expected that 
he, with the advice of his field officers, will appoint such 
officers as are wanting in his army. 

Beside the ammunition lately sent to No. 4, there is 
now on the way forty-three bushels of salt, a thousand 
weight of musket-balls, of different sizes, four hundred 
flints, and a small cask of medicines, of which you will 
inform General Stark. If it had been possible to procure 
tin kettles, they w^ould have been sent, but they were not 
to be had ; and we fear the men will be put to great diffi- 


culty for want of them. You will endeavor to be informed 
what magazine of ammunition there is at Bennington, and 
whether our men can.depend on a supply from thence in 
case of necessity. 

You will inquire of Mr. Grant and Col. Hunt what 
ammunition they have delivered to Gen. Stark's men, and 
what is now on hand, as well as stores. On the whole, 
you are to advise with all persons in the service of this 
State on such things as you think needful to forward the 
business we are engaged in, and make report, on your 
return, of what shall appear to you necessary to be farther 
done for supplying the troops under Gen. Stark. 

The j£200 (pounds) delivered to your care you are to 
deliver to Gen. Stark, if he thinks he shall need it, for 
contingencies, taking his receipt to account therefor. 

MESIIE(5H WEARE, President 

General Schuyler to General Lincoln. 

Albany, August S, 1777. 

Dear General — ^Your favor of the 6th instant was de- 
livered me last night. I could not wish you to remain 
too long at Bennington for the Massachusetts militia, as 
the enemy point their force down Hudson river ; and we 
can not know how soon we may want your assistance. 
Please to leave orders for them to follow you, and do the 
same in respect to those from New-Hampshire, who are 
yet expected. 

I inclose you a copy of a letter from General Washing- 
ton to General Putnam, which was transmitted me by the 
latter, and came to hand last evening. You will please to 
promulgate it as extensively as possible. 

I am, with great regard and esteem. 

Dear General, your mo. obt. hbl. servt., 

Major General Lincoln. 


Half Moon, August 14, 1777. 

Ikar General — Your favor of yesterday's date, per ex- 
press, I received on the road to this place. As the troops 
were not on the march, I am glad you detained them in 
Bennington. Our plan is adopted. I will bring with me 
camp-kettles, axes, ammunition and flints. I expect fi*om 
Albany a surgeon, with a case of capital instruments, band- 
ages, dressing, medicines, &c., &c. YoiT will please to 
meet us, as proposed, on the morning of the 18th. If the 
enemy shall have possession of that place, and in your 
opinion it becomes improper for us to rendezvous there, 
you will be so good as to appoint another, and advise me 
of the place. You will give me leave to recommend that 
all the troops march as light as possible, bringing only 
their blankets, a second shirt, and a pair of stockings, be- 
side what they have on. • 

I am, sir, your most obcd't humble serv't. 

Brigadier General Stark. 

To the Council of New-Hampshire. 

Bennington, August 18, 1777. 

Gentlemen — ^I congratulate you on the late success of 
your troops under my command, by express. I propose to 
give you a brief account of my proceedings since I wrote 
to you last. 

I left Manchester, Vt., on the 8th instant, and arrived 
here on the 9th. The 13th I was informed that a party of 
Indians were at Cambridge, which is twelve miles distant 
from this place, on their march thither. I detached Col. 
Gregg, with two hundred men under his command, to stop 
their march. 

In the evening I had information, by express, that there 
was a large body of the enemy on their way, with field 
pieces, in order to march through the country, command- 
ed by Governor Skene. The 14th I marched with my 


brigade, and a portion of the State militiar, to oppose them, 
and cover Gregg's retreat, who found himself unable to 
withstand their superior numbers. • About four miles from 
this town I accordingly met him on his return, and the 
enemy in close pursuit of him, within a half mile of his 
rear ; but when they discovered me, they presently halted 
on a very advantageous piece of ground. 

I drew up my little army on an eminence in view of 
their encampment, — ^but could not bring them to an en- 
gagement. I marched back about a mile, and there en- 
camped. I sent a few men to skirmish with them, who 
killed thirty of them, with two Indian chiefs. The 15th it 
rained all day ; I sent out parties to harrass them. 

The 16th I was joined by this State's (Vt.) militia, and 
those of Berkshire county. I divided my army into three 
divisions, and sent Lieut. Col. Nichols with two hundred 
and fifty men on the rear of their left wing. Colonel Herrick 
on the rear of their right, ordered, when joined, to attack 
the same. In the meantime I sent three hundred men to 
oppose the enemy's front, to draw their attention that way. 
Soon after I detached Colonels Hubbard and Stickney on 
their right wing, with two hundred men, to attack that part ; 
all which plans had their desired eftect. Colonel Nichols 
sent me word that he stood in need of a reinforcement, 
which I readily granted, consisting of one hundred men ; 
at which time he commenced the attack precisely at three 
o'clock in the afternoon, which was followed by all the 
rest. I pushed forward the remainder with all speed. 

Our people behaved with the greatest spirit and bravery 
imaginable. Had ^they been Alexanders, or Charleses of 
Sweden, .they could not have behaved better. 

The action lasted two hours ; at the expiration of which 
time we forced their breastworks, at the muzzle of their 
guns ; took two pieces of brass cannon, with a number of 
prisoners ; but before J could get them into proper form 
again, I received intelligence that there was a large rein- 
forcement within two miles of us, on their march, which 
occasioned us to renew our attack ; but, luckily for us, 


Colonel Warner's regiment came up, which put a stop to 
their career. We soon rallied, and in a few minutes the 
action began very warm • and desperate, which lasted until 
night. We used their cannon against them, which proved 
of great se^'vice to us. 

At sunset we obliged them to retreat a second time ; we 
pursued them till dark, when I was obliged to halt for 
fear of killing our men. 

We recovered two pieces more of their cannon, together 
with all their baggage, a number of horses, carriages, &c. ; 
killed upward of two hundred of the enemy in the field of 

The number of wounded is not yet known, as they are 
scattered about in many places. I have one lieutenant 
colonel, since dead (Colonel Baum), one major, seven 
captains, fourteen lieutenants, four ensigns, two cornets, 
one judge advocate, one baron, two Canadian officers, six 
sergeants, one aide-de-camp, one Hessian chaplain, three 
Hessian surgeons, and seven hundred prisoners. 

I inclose you a copy of General Burgoyne's instruc- 
tions to Colonel Baum, who commanded the detachment 
that engaged us. Our wounded are forty-two — ^ten privates 
and four officers, belonging to my brigade ; one dead. 
The dead and wounded in the other corps I do not know, 
as they have not brought in their returns yet. 

I am. Gentlemen, with the greatest regard, your most 
obedient and humble servant, 


Brigadier General Commanding. 

P. S. I think in this action we have returned the 
enemy a proper compliment for their Hubbardston engage- 

* Historical Collections and Monthly Literary Journal. 


Van Schaik*8 Island, Atigust 18, 1777. 

Sir — ^I have the honor to congratulate Congress on a 
signal victory obtained by General Stark, an account 
whereof is contained in the following letter from General 
Lincoln, which I have this moment had the happiness to 
receive; together with General Burgoyne's instructions 
to Lieut. Col. Baum, a copy whereof is inclosed. 

I am in hopes Congress will very soon have the satisfac- 
tion to hear that Gen. Arnold has raised the siege of Fort 
Schuyler. If that takes place, I believe it will be possible 
to engage two or three hundred Indians to join the army, 
and Congress may rest assured that my best endeavors 
shall not be wanting to accomplish it. 

I am informed that General Gates arrived at Albany 
yesterday. Major Livingston, one of my aids, will have 
the honor to deliver this dispatch. 

I am, with every sentiment of respect, 

Your obedient servant, 


Hon. John Hancock, Pres't of Congress. 

The following private letter to General Qntes, is copied from General 
Stark's first draft. He would not write to Congress ; but wrote to his 
old friend, General Gates. 

Bennington., Attffust 23, 1777. 

Dear General — ^Yours of the 19th was received with 
pleasure, and I should have answered it sooner, but I have 
been very unwell since. General Lincoln has written you 
upon the subject, with whom I most cordially concur in 

I will now give you a short account of the action near 
this place. On the 13th of August, being informed that 
a party of Lidians were at Cambridge, on their way to 
this place, I detached Lieutenant Colonel Gregg to stop 


their march, and, in the night, was informed that a large 
body of the enemy were advancing in their rear. 

I rallied my brigade, sent orders to Colonel Warner, 
whose regiment lay at Manchester, and also expresses to 
the militia to come in with all speed to our assistance ; 
which orders were all promptly obeyed. We then marched 
with our collected force in quest of the enemy, and, after 
proceeding five miles, we met Colonel Gregg in full re- 
treat, the enemy being within a mile of him. 

Our little army was immediately drawn up in order of 
battle ; upon which the enemy halted, and commenced 
intrenching upon very advantageous ground. A party of 
8kirmishei*8, sent out upon their front, had a good efiect, 
and killed thirty of them, without loss on our side. The 
ground where I then was not being fit for a general ac- 
tion, we retired one mile, encamped, and called a council 
of war, where it was determined to send two detachments 
to the rear, while the remainder attacked in front. The 
15tli, proving rainy, aftbrded the enemy an opportunity to 
surround his camp with a log breast work, inform General 
Burgoyne of his situation, and request a reinforcement. 

On the morning of the 16th, Colonel Symonds joined 
us, with a party of Berkshire militia. In pursuance of 
our plan, I detached Colonel Nichols, with two hundred 
men, to the left ; and Colonel Herrick, with three hundred 
men, to the right, with orders to turn the enemy's flanks, 
and attack his rear. Colonels Ilubbard and Stickney, 
with two hundred men, were posted upon his right, and 
one hundred men stationed in front, to attract their atten- 
tion in that quarter. 

About three o'clock P. M., Colonel Nichols began the 
attack, which was followed up by the remainder of my little 
army. I pushed up in front ; and, in a few minutes, the 
action became general. It lasted about two hours, and 
was the hottest engagement I have ever witnessed, resem- 
bling a continual clap of thunder. 

The enemy were at last compelled to abandon their 
field pieces and baggage, and surrender themselves prison- 


ers of war. They were well inclosed by breast works, with 
artillery ; but the superior courage and conduct of our 
people was too much for them. 

In a few moments we were informed that a large rein- 
forcement of the enemy were on their march, and within 
two miles of us. At this lucky moment, Col. Warner's reg- 
iment (one hundred and fifty men) came up fresh, who was 
directed to advance and commence the attack. I pushed 
up as many men as could be collected to his support, and 
the action continued obstinately on both sides until sunset, 
when the enemy gave way, and was pursued until dark. 
With one hour more of daylight, we should have captured 
the whole detachment. 

We obtained four pieces of brass cannon, one thousand 
stand of arms, several Hessian swords, eight brass drums, 
and seven hundred and fifty prisoners. Two hundred and 
seven were killed on the spot ; wounded unknown. The 
enemy eflfected his escape by marching all night, and we 
returned to camp. 

Too much honor can not be awarded to our brave officers 
and soldiers, for their gallant behavior in advancing 
through fire and smoke, and mounting breast works sup- 
ported by cannon. Had every man been an Alexander or 
Charles XII.,* they could not have behaved more gallant- 
ly. I can not particularize any officer, as they all behaved 
with the greatest spirit. Colonel's Warner and Herrick, 
by their superior intelligence and experience, were of great 
service to me ; and I desire they may be recommended to 

As I promised, in my orders, that the soldiers should 
have all the plunder taken in the British camp, I pray you 
to inform me of the value of the cannon and other artil- 
lery stores. 

♦ The general was an enthusiastic aamirer of Charles XII. The memoir 
of that intrepid warrior was the companion of all his campaigns ; and, 
eren to the last of his life, he dwelt with pleasure upon the daring exploits 
of that Alexander of the north. 


I lost my horse in the action, and was glad to come off 
80 well. Our loss is inconsiderable— about thirty killed 
and forty wounded. 

Very respectfully, 

Yours, in the common cause, 


Hon. Major General Gates. 

N*. B. In this action, I think we have returned the 
enemy a projier compliment for their Hubbardston afl&ir. 

Note by Editor. This letter differs in a few particu- 
lars, of no importxmce, from the dispatch to the Jfew- 
Hampshire council. Xot considering himself as acting 
under the orders of Congress, he forwarded them no ac- 
count of the action. General Schuyler, however, dis- 
patched an aid-de-camp to that body, with the intelligence 
of his success. 

Copy of a handbiU issued at Boston, August 22, 1777. 

Boston, (12 o*eloek) Friday, August 22, 1777. 

The following letter from Hon. MaJ. Gen. Lincoln to the honorable 
council is just received by express. 

BenningiorL, August 18, 1777. 

Gentlemen — I most sincerely congratulate you on the 
late very signal success gained over the enemy, near this 
place, by a few continental troops, the rangers from the 
grants, some of the militia from the State of Massachu- 
setts, and those from New-Hampshire and the Grants, 
under the command of Brigadier General Stark. Officers 
and men, stimulated by the most laudable motives, behaved 
with the greatest spirit and bravery ; entered the enemy's 
several intrenchments with fortitude and alacrity, amid 
the incessant fire from their field-pieces and musketry. 
Our loss, killed, is supposed to be between twenty and 
thirty — ^wounded in common proportion. The enemy 


were totally defeated. The number of their slain has not 
yet been ascertained, as they fought on a retreat, several 
miles, in a wood ; but is supposed to be about 200. A 
large number of the wounded have fallen into our hands. 

We have taken one lieutenant colonel, mortally wound- 
ed ; one major, five captains, twelve lieutenants, four 
ensigns, two comets, one judge advocate, one baron, two 
Canadian officers, and three surgeons. Beside the above 
officers and wounded, there are in our hands thirty-seven 
British soldiers, three hundred and ninely-eight Hessians, 
thirty-eight Canadians, and one hundred and fifty-five 
Tories ; four brass field-pieces, with a considerable quan- 
tity of baggage. The number the enemy had in the field 
can not be ascertained — ^perhaps one thousand five hun- 

It is very unhappy for the wounded, and painful to us, 
that such is our situation that we can not afford them all 
that speedy relief which their distresses demand of us. 
We were under a necessity to forward the prisoners to the 
State of Massachusetts. They are now under the care of 
General Fellows. He will wait the order of the council 
with respect to them. 

I was ordered by General Schuyler, a few days since, 
from this place, to join the army at Stillwater, and was on 
my return when the action happened. This is the best 
account I can obtain of matters at present. It appears, 
by one of the enemy's journals, that the day before the 
general action they had thirty killed, and two Indian 
chiefs, and some wounded. 

I am, gentlemen. 

With sentiments of esteem and regard. 

Your very humble servant, 


Published by order of council — 

John Avery, Dep. Sec. 


Captain Barnes, who brought the above letter, was in 
those gallant actions, the following particulars of which 
were taken from his own mouth : viz., that on Saturday, 
the 16th instant, about one thousand six hundred militia 
from New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, and the Grants, un- 
der the command of Brigadier General Stark, about five 
miles west of Bennington, at a place called Loomschork, 
attacked a body of the enemy, consisting of about one 
thousand five himdred, in their intrenchments ; and, after 
an obstinate engagement, dislodged them from their strong- 
holds, making prisoners of upward of three hundred men, 
and taking two field-pieces. 

General Stark, having been reinforced with one hundred 
and fifty continental troops, under Colonel Warner, took 
advantage of the confusion of the enemy's retreat, and 
pursued them, with great slaughter, about two miles and a 
half, where the enemy were reinforced with one thousand 
men and two field-pieces. A second and very severe en- 
gagement ensued, and after continuing about two hour8,the 
enemy beat a retreat. The militia rushed on with a uni- 
versal shout, which put the enemy into such confusion, that 
they left their wounded behind, and General Stark com- 
plete master of the field. 

In the second onset, two more field-pieces, together with 
three hundred more of the enemy were taken; among 
whom was a lieutenant colonel, a major, the general's aid- 
de-camp, and thirty other officers. The prisoners arrived 
at Lanesborough last Tuesday night. The enemy left 
nearly two hundred dead on the field. Our loss was twenty- 
five killed, and a number wounded. Among the prisoners 
were one hundred and forty-seven tories, belonging to this 
and other States ; that the parties sent out by General 
Stark, the day after the engagement, brought in about one 
hundred more prisoners. In the whole, the prisoners 
amounted to more than seven hundred. 

The number of the enemy, in the lines first attacked by 
the militia only, were, as Capt. Barnes was informed by the 
aid-de-camp of the general commanding, fifteen hundred ; 


and that tfaeir reinforcement consisted of one thousand. 
About one thousand stand of arms, and eight loads of 
baggage was also taken, and twenty horses, supposed to 
belong to the dragoons. 

The lieutenant colonel, who was taken, is since dead of 
his wounds. 

General Stark is the same person who commalided a 
regiment at the famous battle of Bunker's hill, and be- 
haved there with great intrepidity and courage. 

Captain Barnes says that, after the first action, General 
Stark ordered a hogshead of rum for the refreshment of 
the militia ; but so eager were they to attack the enemy, 
upon their being reinforced, that they tarried not to taste 
it, but rushed on the enemy with an ardor perhaps unpar- 

state of New-Hampshire, In Committee of Safety. 

Dear Sir — The committee received yours, of the 18th 
instant, with the greatest pleasure, and have directed me 
to present their very sincere thanks to you, the officers 
and soldiers under your command, for their brave and 
spirited conduct manifested in the late battle, and for the 
very essential service done to the country at this critical 
period. I hope, sir, that this success may be a prelude to 
greater things of the same kind ; and that heaven will yet 
bestow many blessings upon our country, through your 

Fervantly praying that the God of armies may protect 
you in the day of battle, and be a shield and buckler to 
our countrymen under your command, and that he may 
give success and victory to all your undertakings, I do, in 
behalf of the committee, subscribe myself 

Tour most obedient 

And very humble servant, 

M. WEARE, Chairman. 
Hon. General Stark. 


A collection of tropliies, similar to those presented to 
Vermont and Massachusetts, were sent to New-Hampshire. 
The drum and one or two other articles have, after being 
missing more than forty years, found their way to the 
State Capitol at Conconl. The cannon might also have 
been there, had the legislature of New-Hampshire ever 
considered them worth the trouble of application to Con- 
gress. Vennont applied, and obtained two of them in 

To Brigndicr General Stark. 

Vanahaik, August 19, 1777. 

Dear Sir — I do myself the pleasure to congratulate you 
on the signal victory you have gained. Please accept my 
best thanks. The consequence of the severe stroke the 
enemy have received can not fail of producing the most 
salutary results. I have dispatched one of my aids-de- 
camp to announce your victory to Congress, and the com- 

Governor Clinton is coming up the river with a body of 
militia : and I trust that, after what the enemy have re- 
ceived from you, their progress will be retarded, and that 
we shall yet see them driven out of the country.* General 
Gates is at Albany, and will this day resume the command. 

I am, dear general, your most obedient serv't, 


* Better still — they were driven to Boston. — Editor. 


JOHN 6TABK. 187 

To Brigadier General Stark. 

State of Vkrmokt, in Council of Safety, \ 
Bennington, September d, 1777. j 

The coancirs compliments most cordially wait on his 
honor, Brigadier Gen. Stark, witb their sincere thanks for 
the honor the general has been pleased to do them, by 
presenting a Hessian broad-sword, taken by a number of 
troops from the State of New-Hampshire and elsewhere, 
under his immediate command, in the ever memorable 
battle fought at Walloomschaik, near this place, on the 
sixteenth day of August last ; and also for the honor the 
general has been pleased to do them in applauding their 
exertions as a council. 

In the House of Representatives, \ 
September 18, 1777. / 

^^ Voted, To choose a committee of three, to join such as 
the honorable board shall appoint, to take into considera- 
tion a letter from Congress respecting General Stark, and 
to draft an answer thereto, and lay the same before this 
house; and that Col. Peabody, Capt. Martin and John 
Dudley, Esq., be the committee of this house for that 
purpose. Sent up by Col. McClary." 

September 23, 1777. " Sent the copy of a letter from 
Gten. Stark, to Col. Evans, and another copy of the same 
to Col. Drake, with a letter from this house to each of 
them." - 

In Congress, September 18, 1777. 

" Vote for a committee to draw an answer to a letter 
just received from Congress, respecting the conduct of 
Brig. General Stark, brought up and read, and concurred, 
and Mr. Bartlett, Mr. King and Mr. Thompson added." 

"We have not been able to obtain the report of the com- 
mittee above named upon the subject. But the Benning- 
ton success probably superseded all farther action upon 
the case. And the vote of thanks of Congress, and the 
pj^iotion of General Stark concluded the matter. 



From the President of the Council of Safety of the State of Vermont. 

Bennington, Sept 20<A, 1777. 

The council beg leave to return their sincere thanks to 
the Hon. Brig. Gen. John Stark for the infinite service he 
has been pleased to do them, in defending them and their 
constituents from the cruelty and bloody rage of our un- 
natural enemy, who sought our destruction on the 16th of 
August last. 

They also return their grateful acknowledgements for 
the honor the general has been pleased to do the council, 
by presenting them with one Hessian gun, with a bayo- 
net ; one broad-sword, one brass barreled drum, and a 
grenadier's cap, taken on the memorable 16th of August, 
for the use of the State. 

The general may rely upon it they will be reserved for 
the use they were designed.* 

I remain, dear general, 

With sentiments of esteem. 

Your most ob't serv't, 


Hon. Brigadier General Stark. 

In Congress. The Delegates of the United States of New-Hampthire, 
Massachusetts Bay, Ehode-Island, Connecticut, New- York, New-Jeney, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South- 
Carolina, and Georgia, 

To John Stark, Esquire. 

We, reposing especial trust and confidence in yonr pat- 
riotism, valor, conduct, and fidelity, do, by these presents, 
constitute and appoint you to be brigadier general in the 
army of the United States, raised for the defence of 
American liberty, and for repelling every hostile invasion 
thereof. You are, therefore, carefully and diligently to 
discharge the duty of brigadier general by doing and per- 

r. Butler, in his address, inquires where are they now ? Lost. ^ 


forming all manner of things thereunto belonging ; and we 
do strictly enjoin, charge, and require all officers and sol- 
diers under your command to be obedient to your orders, 
as brigadier general And you are to observe and follow 
such orders and directions, from time to time, as you shall 
receive from this or a future Congress of the United States, 
or committee of Congress, for that purpose appointed, or 
the coiimander-in-chief, for the time being, of the army of 
the United States, or any other, your superior officers, ac- 
cording to the rules and discipline of war, in pursuance of 
the trust reposed in you. This commission to continue in 
force until revoked by this or a future Congress. Dated 
October 4, 1777. 

By order of the Congress — 

JOHN HANCOCK, President 

Attest Chas. Thompson, Secretary. 

To Cfeneral Stark, fW>m President Hancock. 

Forktown, Pa,, October 6, 1777. 

Sir — ^It is with the greatest pleasure I transmit the in- 
closed resolve of Congress, expressing the thanks of that 
body to you, and to the officers and troops under your 
command, for the signal victory you obtained over the 
enemy in the late battle of Bennington. 

In consideration of your distinguished conduct on that 
occasion, and the service you rendered the cause of firee- 
dom and your country, the Congress have been pleased to 
appoint you a brigadier in the army of the United States. 
Be pleased to communicate to the officers and troops, un- 
der your command, this mark of the approbation of their 
country for their exertions in defence of American liberty. 

I inclose your commission, and have the honor to be, 
with the greatest esteem and respect, sir, your most obe- 
dient and very humbly servant, 

JOHN HANCOCK, President. 


In CongresSj October 4, 1777. 

Resolved, That the thanks of Congress be presented to 
General Stark, of the New-Hampshire militia, and the of- 
ficers and troops under his command, for their brave and 
successful attack upon, and signal victory over the enemy, 
in their lines at Bennington ; and that Brigadier Stark be 
appointed a brigadier in the army of the United States. 

By order of Congress — 

JOHN HANCOCK, President. 

Camp at Saratoga^ October 18, 1777. 

Dear Sir — Inclosed, I send you an exact copy of the 
Convention, signed by Gen. Burgoyne, and ratified by me, 
I will forward every thing necessary for your assistance. 
Colonel Warner had my verbal instructions last evening. 
Let me very frequently hear from you by express, and be 
sure to keep a sharp look out upon Lake George and Soath 
Bay, and between Fort Ann and Fort Edward. 

I am, dear general. 

Tour affectionate 

Humble servant, 


The Hon'ble Brig. Gen'l Stark. 

Procoedings in the Legislature of Massachusetts in regard to the Ben- 
nington trophies. 

To General Stark. ' 

Sir — The general aasembly of this State take the earliest 
opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of your accepta- 
ble present — ^the tokens of victory gained at the memora- 
ble battle of Bennington. The events of that day strong- 
ly mark the bravery of the men who, unsldlled in war, 
forced from their intrenchments a chosen number of vet- 


eran troops of boasted Britons, as well as the address and 
valor of the general who directed their movements, and 
led them on to conquest. This signal exploit opened the 
way to a rapid succession of advantages most important to 
America. These trophies shall be safely deposited in the 
archives of the State, and there remind posterity of the 
irresistable power of the God of armies, and the honors 
due to the memory of the brave. Still attended with like 
success, may you long enjoy the just reward of your 
grateful country. 

I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 


President of the Council. 

In OouncU. Read and concurred, and ordered that the 
above letter be taken into a fair draft, and the president 
of the council be directed to sign the same ; and that it be 
transmitted to the Hon. General Stark. 

Consented to by fifteen of the Council. ' 

Thursday, December 4, 1777. 

In the House of BepreseniaHves. 

Besolvedy unanimously^ That the board of war of this 
State be, and hereby are directed, in the name of this 
court, to present to the Hon. Brigadier General Stark, a 
complete suit of clothes becoming his rank, together with 
a piece of linen, as a testimony of the high sense this 
court has of the great and important services rendered by 
that brave officer, to the United States of America. 

In OouTicU. Read and concurred, and consented to by 
fifteen of the Council. 

Friday, December 5, 1777. 

KoTB BY Editob. The trophies consisted of a musket, 
sword, brass barreled drum, and a Hessian helmet They 
are suspended in the senate chamber of Massachuseto. 


War Office, 2iih January, 1778. 

.Dear General — The honorable Congress having thought 
proper to direct an irruption to be immediately made into 
Canada, and their design being in part communicated to 
you by Hon. James Duane, Esq., I am directed by that 
honorable body to acquaint you that, for wise and praden« 
tial reasons, they have appointed Major General the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette, first in command, and M^jor Oeneral 
Conway, second in command, who will act in concert with 
you in promoting the interest and political views of the 
United States in Canada. 

I am confident, from my knowledge of your attachment 
to the freedom of America, that you will cordially coope- 
rate with them in every measure and move to the public 
service. My experience convinces me, and the opinion I 
entertain of you and your associates, the general ofiicers, 
upon this important service, induces me to believe that 
the expectations of Congress will be fully answered by 
your hearty agreement with, and oflicer-like assistance to 
the gentlemen above mentioned. There is not any thing 
that will more recommend your many and great services 
to Congress than your implicit compliance with their 
wishes upon this occasion. 

I am, dear general. 

Your most obed't humble serv't, 


Hon. Brigadier General Stark. 

Instructions for Captain Patrick, Commanding ofBccr at Scbobarie. 

Sir — ^You will keep continual scouting parties in the 
adjacent country to where you are posted, to discover the 
motions and movements of our internal enemies. If any 
of them should be found under arms, aiding, assisting, or 
holding correspondence with our enemies, you will forth- 
with detect them (if in your power), and with their crimes 


send tbem to me or to the commanding officer at this place. 
You will -do the utmost in your power to find out if any 
British officers should come into that country, as it is 
highly probable they will do, because they have there so 
many friends ; and let no pains be spared in detecting and 
securing them, making report of your proceedings, from 
time to time, to me or the commanding officer at this 
place. Putting great trust in your vigilance, valor, and 
good conduct, I subscribe myself 

Your very humble ser't, 


Given at Head Quarters, at Albany, this 20th day of 
April, Anno Domini 1778. 

FishkiU, May 18M, 1778 

Dear General — ^Your letters of the 3d, 7th and 13th of 
this month are just now put into my hands by General 
McDougal. Being detained some days at a council of 
war, held at Valley Forge, I did not arrive here until this 
morning. I Dciust therefore beg you will, with all conven- 
ient expedition, embark Colonel Greaton's and Colonel 
Allen's regiments, with the artillery under Lieut. Col. 
Stevens, as directed in my last letter from the war office, 
of the 17th ult, and command them to proceed immedi- 
ately to Fishkill. This being executed, you will, as 
speedily as may be, repair to the army in this department. 

Please acquaint Col. Stevens that the military stores and 
fixed ammunition are to be removed down the river, 
agreeably to my former orders. 

I am, sir, your most obedient 

And humble servant, 


The Hon'ble Major General Conway. 


To Brigadier General Stark. 

FUhkiU, Ifoy 18, 177a 

Dear Sir — This instant I received your favor of the 19th 
of April last. I hope that this letter will find you in Al- 
bany, from whence I have desired General Conway to re- 
move, the moment he has embarked the troops and stores 
to be sent down the river. As the committee at Benning- 
ton have offered to recruit Colonel Warner's regiment with 
three hundred men, I desire you will immediately trans- 
mit them the inclosed requisition for that number. I wHl 
write to Congress for the commission for your son,* and 
shall, the instant I receive it, transmit it to your hand. 

I am, dear sir, your affectionate humble serv*t, 


To Brigadier Qeneral Stark. 

Albany^ May 18, 177S. 

Sir — We have raised a few rangers to apprehend and 
secure such persons whose going at large may be danger- 
ous to the liberties of America. We want now to send 
them out, and would be glad if you would give an order 
that they may be supplied with ammunition. They are 
fifteen in number. 

We are, with great respect, 

Your most obedient serv'ts, 





* Archibald Stark, then a youth of eighteen. — Editor. 


Oneida, May 19, 1778. 

jSSr — ^Yonr favors of 12th and 16th inst., together with 
the inclosed speech, this day, came safe to hand. I be- 
lieve it most prudent to defer communicating jour answer 
to the Senecas until I have had an opportunity of consult- 
ing the Oneida chief upon the subject. The meeting at 
Onondaga is this day dissolved. Not one of the Quigogas 
attended ; nor any of the Seneca chie&, but a number of 
their warriors. 

They have not yet taken up the aftair of the commis- 
sioner's speech at Johnstown. The whole concern tf the 
Senecas has been to fall upon some plan to recover their 
prisoners out of our hands. Some friends of ours returned 
from Onondaga this evening, and inform that three consid- 
erable parties of Senecas and Quigogas — one consisting of 
one hundred and twenty-four men — have some time since 
gone to war upon the frontiers of Virginia, and that an- 
other party set out yesterday for Quigoga to ravage the 
frontiers of Pennsylvania, and that Butler is now at £an- 
adasega, with a large quantity of arms and ammunition 
for the Indians, where the remaining part of his friends 
are to meet him. I shall give you a fisulher account, as 
soon as the saphems, who are now on their way, return. 
I am informed that another council is summoned to meet 
at Onondaga, when the commissioner's speech at Johns- 
town is to be taken into consideration. But from present 
appearances, I think there islittle reason to expect such 
an answer as will, or can be accepted. From the character 
of my informer, and from several concurring circum- 
stances, I have reason to think the above articles of intel- 
ligence are too true, and that we shall soon receive a dis- 
agreeable confirmation. 

I am, sir, your most obedient , / 

/ / / 

And very humble servant, / i / 

General Schuyler. 


To the Hon. General Stark. 

Albany, QOih May, 177a 

Sir — The mayor, aldermen and commonality of the city 
of Albany being convened in common council, in conse- 
quence of your honor's letter to General Ten Broeck, of 
this date, informing him that the troops are ordered to 
Fishkill, and requesting him to relieve the guards in the 

The common council beg leave to observe that they 
consifler themselves in duty bound to inform yon that^ 
from the weakness of the militia in this city (owing to the 
number in public service) it will not be safe to leave the 
stores, provisions, hospital, sloops and vessels, the regular 
and other prisoners (the latter exceeding one hundred), be- 
side the disaffected in and about the city, to so small a 
number as one hundred and fifty, being the whole number 
of the militia that are subject to military duty ; for should 
any accident happen, by means of the disaffected, either 
in destroying the stores or in discharging the prisoners 
(ten whereof are now under sentence of death), it would 
distress not only this city, but the service of the continent 
generally. . 

The common council farther beg leave to observe that 
about six weeks ago the troops were also ordered down, 
but upon the committee's representing to the Hon. Major 
General Conway the above matters, and the necessity of 
having a body of troops in this city, to succour the north- 
em and western frontiers in case of an attack, General 
Conway, then commanding at this post, wrote upon the 
subject to Major General McDougal, and his excellency, the 
Governor, who thereupon ordered the troops to remain 
here. The common council farther beg leave to observe 
that in case your honor can not detain one of the regi- 
ments stationed here, that at least one hundred and fifty 
men ought to be detained, and they doubt not that your 
honor will concur with them in sentiment 

JOHN 8TABK. 147 

The bearers hereof, Mr. Recorder and Aldermen, mem- 
bers of this boardj can inform your honor of many other 
reasons for the detention of part of the troops. 

We are your honor's obedient servants, 


By order of Common Council. 

To Brigadier General Stark. 

Head Qua«^r9, VaUey Forge^ 2(Hh May, 1778. 

Sir — ^In a letter from Maj. Gen. Sullivan of the 1st 
instant, he complains of wanting assistance in his com- 
mand, and begs that you may be desired to take post with 
him this campaign. You will therefore be pleased to join 
him as soon as possible. 

I am, sir, your most obed't • 

And very humble serv't, 


To Hon. Major (General Qaies. 

Albany, May 21, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^In consequence of the remonstrance from the 
mayor and aldermen of this city, in committee assembled, 
which I inclose you, I have detained a regiment of troops 
destined for Fishkill, and think it highly necessary for the 
security of the citizens and commonality. 

Murders and robberies are daily committed in the adja- 
cent counties by our intemal enemies. The militia, it is 
possible, could be raised, but you know that there is no 
dependence to be pat in them ; and by letting the^e iuSbt 
mous villains at large, we should greatly endanger our 
most viduable friends. 

I am sensible, after mature consideration, you will ap- 
prove of my conduct, sir ; waiting with impatience for 
your answer, I subscribe myself 

Your affectionate and most humble serv't, 

Hon. Major General Gates. 


To Colonel Safford. 

Albany, May 21, 1778. 

Sir — ^Doctor Smith complains that the troops at Fort 
Edward are turning out the inhabitants and destroying 
the buildings at that place. I should be glad that such 
disorders should be suppressed, and the inhabitants* prop- 
erty secured. 

I received a letter from you, directed to General Con- 
way, informing him that you expected that the ctfnnon 
would be at Fort Ann. I should be glad to know where 
they are now. You mentioned teams to be sent from this 
place. Col. Lewis not being here, I can give no informa- 
tion in that matter. I expect him soon, when I can give 
you an account. Keep a good look out for the enemy, so 
that they do not come upon you unawares. 

•Tour most ob't humble serv't, 


To Major General Schuyler. 

Fort Schuyler, May 28, 177a 

Sir — Your favor of the 10th instant came safe to hand, 
and I have now the happiness to acquaint your honor that 
things have taken a very difterent turn from what they 
promised when I did myself the honor to write you last 
I left the Oneidas yesterday. Your agent, Mr. Deane, re- 
quested me to inform you that the reason of his not writ- 
ing now, was the uncertainty which attended the result of 
the meeting at Onondaga. However, in his opinion, from 
what ho could collect, there remained very little prospect 
of a reconciliation with the Senecas ; that the Oneidas 
would soon stand in need of your protection ; that the 
German Plats, and Cherry Valley would soon be attacked 
by the Indians, in scouting parties, some time next month. 
Mr. Butler is on his way down through the Six Nations. 
He was left at Kanadasega (the first Seneca village west 
of Cayuga) six days ago, where, by the way, he was met 
by his son, ensign Butler, and a number of tories. 


Mr. Butler's address to the Indian's, and professed design, 
will be transmitted to your honor, by your agent, the 
moment the Oneidas determine what course to take. I left 
them yesterday, full of resentment against the Cayugas 
and Senecas. They were then upon the point of giving 
them up to deserved punishment, and immediately call 
upon your honor for a sufficient force to crush them. 
The Oneidas now find they have been very much imposed 
on by their brothers, the Cayugas, who had the impudence 
to frame a great part of that speech sent you with four 
strings of wampum. "When the Oneida sachems left 
Onondaga they could not determine what effect their dec- 
larations and advice would have upon the minds of the 
Seneca warriors there convened ; whether they would re- 
turn jfrom thence to meet Mr. Butler, or proceed with their 
prisoners down to Albany. Mr. Butler strictly enjoined 
them to go no ferther than Onondaga, or Oneida at far- 
thest, and then, by the hands of the Oneidas, demand of 
General Schuyler their prisoner, "Atskeara," to be de- 
livered up at one of those places for an exchange ; but 
this the Oneidas peremptorily refused. 

This morning two runners came from Oneida, with a 
letter from Tj/Lt. Deane, informing that three Senecas had 
arrived there, and the others were on their way with their 
prisoner. This, said Mr. Deane, changed the face of 

I am ftilly of your opinion that a conference with the 
Six Nations, at Fort Schuyler, if attainable, would be at- 
tended with good consequences ; but at present it appears 
to me impracticable, unless you had such a force at this 
garrison as would strike terror through those haughty, in- 
solent Senecas, and a speech sent them of a like import, 
closing with some words of clemency ; and then, it is my 
opinion, you might effect it. I propose going down, the 
beginning of next week, by which time I expect Mr. Deane 
will be able to transmit to you something decisive as to 
afiairs in this quarter. You can hardly conceive what ar- 
tifices and barefaced lies the enemy make use of to evade 


the force of argument, and misrepresent eveiy thing you 
say to the Indians, particularly among the Senecas. 

I have the honor to be 

Your obedient and humble serv't, 


P. S. Mr. Butler has said, as related by the Indiana, 
that Sir John Johnson t is repairing to Oswego, to take 
post there, and Mr. Butler is collecting the Indians for a 
conference at that place. 

To Honorable President of Congreas. 

Albany, 2iih May, 1778. 

Dear Sir — I received your favor of April 18th, for which 
I am greatly obliged to you and my country, for the hon- 
ors bestowed upon me. The cause of my country appears 
the noblest for which man ever contended ; and no meas- 
ures should be neglected, or sacrifices withheld, which will 
support it to a favorable result. In such a cause we may 
despise even death itself. You may assure Congress that 
I am most happy when I can do my country the greatest 

Some time ago Congress appointed me to raise a force 
to destroy the British shipping at St. Johas. For this 
purpose I raised a number of soldiers, but as the expedi- 
tion was abandoned, they were dismissed. 

I hope Congress will allow them some recompense for 
their zeal in volunteering at so unpleasant a season of the 
year. • 

I ask this favor, inasmuch as Congi;pss made no provi- 
sion for them in case they did not succeed. To grant this 
favor might prove an encouragement to others to engage 
in similar cases. 

I am, sir, &c., &c., 


* Kev. S. Kirkland was the father of the late Bev. John Thornton 
Kirkland, President of Harvard College. He was, in 1778, a missionary 
among the Indians of the western part of New- York. 

f Son of Sir William Johnson. He joined the enemy in 1776. — ^Sditob. 

JOHN 8TABK. 161 

Albany, Uih May, 1778. 

Dear GenercUr^I received a letter from Governor Chit- 
tenden, of Yermont, of the 2lBt inst, informing me that 
you had written to that State for three hundred men to be 
sent to Albany. I think it will be an injury to have them 
leave that section, except they can be replaced by the like 
number from some other quarter. We expect an invasion, 
for the enemy's ve^els are now at Crown Point, cruising 
along the lake, which lies sixty miles on the frontier of 
that State. I have ordered Colonel Bedel to keep scouts 
at Onion river and St. Johns, and make report to me of 
any movements of the enemy in those parts. 

You wrote, «ome time since, that General Fellows was 
to command on the Grants. He has not yet arrived. I 
should like to know if he is to take that command, and 
likewise how far eastward my command extends, that I 
may govern myself accordingly. Colonel Safibrd informs 
me that he has brought all the cannon as far as Fort Ann. 

As I have a great deal of writing, I should be much 
obliged to your honor to allow me a clerk ; or if I employ 
one, to inform me what I shall promise him. 

I am, &c., JOHN STARK. 


Hon. General Gates. 

To the Hon. Major (General Schuyler. 

Oneida, May 25, 1778. 

Sir — ^I have deferred writing for several days, after the 
return of the Indians from Onondaga, in hopes of being 
able to give you a just account of the situation of affiiirs 
among the Six Ifations. But the intelligence I receive is 
so various and contradictory, that it is impossible to de- 
termine«what are their real intentions. 

It is, however, now publicly known that three different 
parties of Quigogas are already gone to war upon the 
frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania. It is also said 
that Joseph Brandt is at the head of a fourth, and that he 


is to collect his friends upon the Susquehanna, and attack 
Cherry Valley. The party of one hundred and twenty- 
four Senecas, mentioned in my last, are since returned 
from war. They have taken thirteen scalps and two piis- 
oners, with the loss of several of their party. 

From the best accounts I have been able to collect, it 
appears that the Onondagas are much divided in senti- 
ment ; and that a party of the Senecas have observed a 
neutrality since the beginning of the war, and still wish to 
live in friendship with the United States. Upward of 
twenty, mostly of this party, arrived here yesterday, on 
their way to Albany, to procure an exchange of prisoners. 
I expect them to leave here to-morrow. They are deter- 
mined to proceed to whatever part of the States you shall 
direct them, to effect their purpose. 

They were ordered by their sachems to go no fiEuiher 
than the boundary line, and procure an exchange thj&re; 
but the Oneidas, presuming upon their influence with the 
commissioners, encouraged them (at the late council at 
Onondaga), with assurance of personal safety, to proceed 
to Albany, or whatever place the prisoners they are in 
quest of, may be confined. 

The other part of the Senecas, which is by far the most 
considerable, seem resolved to make no terms with us, 
though I believe there is no danger of their attacking 
Tryon county, while so large a party of their people are 
down in our country. 

The Onondagas have sent three runners successively to 
the Quigogas and Senecas, to call them to the intended 
meeting ; but, hitherto, to no purpose. They have there- 
fore declared their final resolution not to address them 
again upon the subject, but return the commissioner 
belts, at Albany. All the Quigogas, not gone out to war, 
are now attending a conference with Mn Butler, at Kana- 

Upon the whole, there appears but very little prospect 
that any considerable council will be held to deliberate 
upon the commissioner's speech. Or should such an event 


-finally take place, I do not expect they will make such 
satis&ction, for their repeated violation of treaties, as can 
be accepted. Your speech, of the 11th instant, I have 
commnnicated to the Oneidas and Tascaroras, to their 
great satisfaction, and yesterday repeated the same to the 
Senecas, now here. 

The Oneidas have of late been nnder great apprehen- 
sions of danger. Not long since two of their young men 
were fired upon by a party of the enemy, not far from this 
village ; but as it was in the dark of the evening, they 
both fortunately made their escape unhurt. 

They are much concerned that there are no troops near 
iheir country to march to their assistance, in case of a 
sudden invasion. I have just received an intimation from 
the sachems that they determine to address a speech to 
the commissioners, as soon as they can find leisure and 
opportunity, from whence you will be able to collect their 
sentiments upon the present situation of aftairs here. I 
have not been able to procure any more warriors to join 
Gteneral Washington's army. Their apprehensions of dan- 
ger are such that they think it their duty to stay and pro- 
tect their women and children. 

I am, sir. 

Your obedient humble serv't, 


To Governor Chittenden. 

Albany, May 25, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^I have received yours of the 22d inst., and 
noted the contents. You state that General Gates wrote 
to you to raise three hundred men to recruit Colonel War- 
ner's regim€j|t, and for their being removed to this place. 
I have written to the general against it, setting forth the 
necessity of their remaining on that station ; but have re- 
ceived no answer yet. I have likewise written concerning 

the. quarter master's want of money, and of the necessity 



of his being so paid ; also to know how &r my command 
extends to the eastward. When I receive the answers, I 
will give you farther intelligence. In the meantime, I 
should be glad if the three hundred men should be made 
up the general mentioned. 

Your most obed't serv't, 


Albany, May 25, 1778. 

Dear General — This morning a letter came to hand from 
the governor and council of the State of Vermont, which 
I inclose to you, and recommend to your consideration. 

I am, dear sir, 

Tour humble serv't, 

Hon. Major General Gates. 

To G^eral Gates. 

Albany y {Sunday) 81«f May, 1778. 

Dear Sir — I this instant received an express from Scho- 
harie (a copy I enclose), informing that a party of the 
enemy have made a descent at Cobuskill, and destroyed 
a great part of that place. I have ordered out the militia 
to put a stop to farther proceedings, which I hope will 
have the desired effect for the present. But they can not 
prevent it effectually ; for, as soon as they return, the 
enemy will make farther descents, and get away before 
the militia are collected. I think it highly necessary that 
a party should be raised for some certain time, and equip- 
ped, to march at the shortest notice to any quarter where 
the enemy may happen to be in force. Without some 
such method, I fear they will lay waste a great part of our, 
frontiers. I leave it to your wise consideration. 

I remain yours, &c., 


JOHK 8TABK. 155 

To Geaerfd Stark. 

HeadquarUrB^ Robiruon^a House, \ 
May 80th, 1778. / 

Sir — ^I have received your favor of the 2l8t inst. My 
reason for demanding three hundred men from the com- 
mittee at Bennington, was in consequence of their having 
offered to supply that reinforcement to protect Albany, 
and the upper part of Hudson river, from the tones and 
scouting parties of the enemy. 

Col. Bedel's regiment was thought sufficient to cover 
the north-western frontiers of the Grants, and all Gen. 
Nixon's brigade was to come to Fishkill. In case Col. 
Warner's regiment can not be supplied with the drafts 
requested from Bennington, you will apply, in my name, 
to the generals commanding the militia in Hampshire, 
and Berkshire, State of Massachusetts, for the purpose 
above recited, 

I must desire you will immediately apply to the deputy 
quarter master general to provide a sloop to carry the 
convalescent British prisoners of war, now at Albany, to 
Fishkill, from whence they are, by his excellency, Gen- 
eral Washington's command, to be sent in the same vessel 
to New- York, where a like number of our soldiers, pris- 
oners with the enemy, are to be returned. 

As the artillery stores, hospital and prisoners of war are 
now removed, or removing from Albany, I think Alden's 
regiment should be without delay sent from thence, as I 
can not conceive but the inhabitants of Albany can at 
least protect the town until the militia from the Grants, or 
Massachusetts, arrive to defend it, especially as Warner's 
regiment to the northward, Gansevoort's to the westward, 
and the militia of the whole country in the immediate 
space, cover that city. 

As to the extent of your command under me, it was 
intended that it should be confined to the State of New- 
York, northward and westward of Albany ; and as far as 
the manor of Livingston, inclusively, to the south ; and on 
both sides of Hudson river. The governments of the 


adjoining States will no doubt provide for their own de- 
fence respectively. But this, as circumstances require, 
will be altered hereafter. If your brigade m^jor can not 
do all your writing business, you must doubtless employ a 
clerk. His wages must be what is at present customary 
for such services. 

I am, sir, your affectionate 

Humble servant, 


To Major Gkneral Gates. 

Albany, Zlst of May, 1778. 

Sir — ^I inclose you copies of two letters received Ifrom 
Schoharie. The tragical scheme has been some days 
brewing. I shall send them all the relief in my power ; 
but, I assure you, it will be a slender reinforcement. I 
have applied to Gen. Ten Broeck for his militia, and he 
has promised to assist me as soon as church is over. He 
can not do any business before, for fear of finghtening the 
town into fits. I should be glad of some few field pieces 
for the protection of this quarter, as we are weak in men 
and weaker in artilleiy. If you could spare me one regi- 
ment more, I think it would be highly necessary for the 
benefit of the United States. 

I am, in a great hurry. 

Your affl humble serv't, 


P. S. I wrote you about moving the British hospital 
to New-England. I must desire you would immediately 
order it to be removed. 



To the Mayor and Common Council of Albany. 

Albany, June 1, 1778. 

Gentlemen — ^As I am ordered by the Hon. Major General 
Gates to send to Fishkill all the continental troops from 
this place, with the British hospital, I must beg the favor 
of you to mount the guards for the security of the city 
and the stores in it. Tour compliance will much oblige 
your friend, and very humble servant, 


To General Ten Broeck. 

Albany, June 1, 1778. 

Dear General — ^I have this instant received orders from 
General Gates to call upon you to send, without loss of 
time, one hundred men from your brigade to garrison this 
city, and protect the stores in it, as the militia can not be 
depended upon. 

The Indians and tories have made a descent upon a 
place called Cobuskill, about forty miles from this place, 
and destroyed some part of it. A party of continentals, 
posted not far ofi^ attacked them ; while a company of 
these militia poltroons looked on, excepting six, who be- 
haved well. This is all the news. I have written to the 
brigadier of Hampshire county for the like number. 

I am, sir, &;c., 


Albany, June 2, 1778. 

Dear General — ^I received yours of May 80th, informing 
of the British hospital's removal, which gives me pleasure. 
Your orders for sending down Alden's regiment shall be 
obeyed as soon as the wind will admit. No news could 
give the troops here more pleasure than to bear of their 
being removed,*a8 they have lost all confidence in the 
militia since the affair at Cobuskill. I wrote you some 


time since concerning Bedel's regiment being mustered 
by a continental muster master, but you have given no 
answer to that part of my letter. I think it highly neces- 
sary that they, having been all this time at home doing 
nothing, should be employed some where; I think on 
Otter creek or at this place. If on Otter creek, Warner's 
corps could be moved this way. I have sent orders to the 
brigadiers of Hampshire and Berkshire counties to send 
me two hundred men to garrison the city and the places 
hereabouts. I likewise send you a copy of a journal I 
received this day, informing of the situation of the ene- 
my's shipping on the lake. 

Tours, &c., 

Hon. Gen. Gates. 


Hon. Brigadier General Stark. 

(hhnaufo^, Zd of June^ 1778b 

Sir — ^We were this day at the fort at Johnstown, with a 
few invalids, and about six o'clock of said evening, one 
Philip Pellet, an old servant of Major Fonda, who is a 
worthy man, came and informed us that about half way 
between Sagondawa and Johnstown he saw about one 
hundred Indians, painted, in the woods, near his house. 
He also says he knew some tones who were there, who 
took George Cook and his son prisoners, together with 
Charles Maresius and several others ; and as we were busy 
swearing to this purpose, two other expresses arrived at 
• the fort, who said the Indians were busy destroying all 
before them in that part of the country, and were then 
near Johnstown ; upon which we thought proper to go 
home and bring our families into Cohnawaga church, hav- 
ing only seven armed men to defend that fort All our 
militia ha^ gone to the relief of those at Cobuskill and 
Cherry Valley, on the German flats. W% are only about 
ten men strong in the church, with about one hundred 


women and children, and expect to be attacked this night 
by the best accounts we can get. For God's sake, send 
reinforcements, or I am afraid we shall fall an easy prey 
to the enemy ; and we are also much afraid that some of 
our neighbors will act against us. 

We are, your most obed't serv'ts, 

C. F. M. ADAMS, 

Received at Albany, June 4th, 1778. 

NoTB BY Editor. A party was dispatched to their relief 
by General Stark, and the besiegers were themselves sur- 
prised and defeated ; and some of them, brought in as pris- 
oners, proved to be tories,. aud hanged. 

Qenertd Stark to General Gkitee. 

Albany, June 4, 177S. 

Dear General — ^By the inclosed, you will find how de* 
plorable my condition is ; and I do not in the least doubt 
an immediate assistance will be granted. 

Colonel Herrick has been here this day, applying for 
pay for part of a regiment he raised *to go to Canada last 
winter. Among my inclosures, is a letter from Colonel 
Bedel, who says his regiment is full, and ready for the 
field, waiting for nothing but provisions. 

I should be glad to have Colonel Ethan Allen command 
. in the Grants, as he is a very suitable man to deal with 
tories, and such like villains. 

Colonel Herrick, whose bravery and good conduct is a 
sufficient recommendation to him, I look upon, would be 
a very suitable man to be in this western quarter to 


scourge these tories and Indians. Your sentiments on the 
above will add greatly to the former favor conferred on 

Your affect, humb. serv't, 

Hon. Major General Gates. 

Albany, June 5, 1778. 

Honored Sir — ^I last night received your kind favor, of 
20th ult, informing that General Sullivan desires me 
to join him this campaign. Had it been the pleasure 
of Congress to have ordered me to that station, I should 
have thought myself very happy to have served a cam- 
paign wifh that worthy officer ; and would still be glad to 
join him, if it could be for the public good. 

I look upon myself in a disagreeable situation here, 
with nothing to do but guard the frontier ; with no troops 
but militia, who are engaged but for a month at a time. 
I can not obtain any great advantages to the public, nor 
honor to myself. 

But I shall cheerfully obey any orders that are entrusted 
to me, and proceed wherever Congress * shall think I may 
be of most service. I have no will of my own ; the good 
of the common cause is all my ambition. 

I remain, dear sir, your 

Devoted and very humble servant, 

His Excellency, General Washington. 

* Congress ordered him to the command of the northern department. 

JOHN STARK. . 161 

To the Hon. General Stark. 

Highlands, Sth June, 1778. 

Sir — I have received your letters of the 18th and 20th 
instant, and now inclose two to Colonel Ethan Allen, and 
one for Colonel Bedel, both of which yom will please to 
forward immediately by express. I have ordered Colonel 
Bedel to send you one hundred of his regiment, properly 
officered, without delay, to Albany; which, with the 
militia from Hampshire and Berkshire counties, will be a 
good reinforcement. The governor farther assures me 
you have all the support he can furnish. 

Mr. Winship, when he was here, said that there were 
only twenty men at Fort Edward, and that Warner's reg- 
iment was at Saratoga ; of course the issuing commissaiy 
might from thence have supplied the few men at the up- 
per post. If it is absolutely necessary that an issuing 
commissary should reside at both places, you will order 
Mr. Winship to place them accordingly. 

You will please to acquaint Colonel Varick with my 
orders to send one of his deputies immediately to Coos, 
to muster Colonel Bedel's regiment ; and direct the colonel 
himself to set out directly for Fishkill to muster the east- 
ern reinforcements that are daily expected. As to the 
employment of Colonel Bedel's regiment, I am satisfied 
with whatever you may determine ; but it may not be 
amiss to take Colonel Ethan Allen's opinion upop the sub- 
ject, with whom I wish you to open a correspondence. I 
I have no doubt but an issuing commissary is employed 
with Bedel's regiment; if not, one must be appointed. 
Colonel Bedel has my orders to obey your commands. 

I am, sir, your affectionate, humble servant, 



To Colonel Klock. 

Albany, June 14, 1778. 

Sir — I am desired by his excellency, Governor Clinton, 
to order you to fill op the two companies of rangers that 
were proposed* to be raised in Tryon county, at the last 
session of the assembly. He is much surprised that it has 
been delayed so long, since your all is at stake. Your ex- 
ertions in this affair will do you honor, and your neglect 
will l5e your disgrace and your country's ruin. You can 
not expect that the people of this State and the neighbo^ 
ing States will leave thoir farms and families to relieve 
you, when you will do nothing for yourselves. If you 
expect relief, you must first exert yourselves ; and then, 
I make no doubt but your neighbors will cheerfully assist 
you. I give this order first for your own safety, and next 
for the public good. 

Your obed't serv't, 


N. B. By having such a number of alert men (and 
no others are fit for such a service) on your frontier, you 
will not only disconcert the plans of the enemy, but oblige 
them to wateh their own frontiers, and leave yours in 
peace. You complain from that quarter that you can not 
carry on your business ; but if there are a number in the 
service, there will remain less to be provided for, and the 
country made safe. Were such men to be found as could 
go into the enemy's country, and serve them as they have 
served you, it would put a stop to their progress, and ren- 
der you entirely secure ; and without such measures are 
taken, you may depend upon it you will be harrassed to 
the last degree. J. S. 


To the Committee of Safety of TryoB County. 

June l^ih, 1778. 

Gentlemen — ^I received yours, of 14th, wherein you com- 
plain that you are in bad circumstances* I am of the 
same opinion with you ; but you may blame yourselves for 
it in a great measure. The governor ordered the officers 
in your county to raise two companies of rangers for the 
defence of your frontiers, and exempted you from making 
up your proportion of the continental troops. Had that 
order been complied with, you might have been safe ; but 
it was neglected, and you suffer. The reason for your not 
having the men proposed for that place, is on that account. 
They say that they are obliged to raise their proportion 
for the army, while you were exempted, and now you 
want them to guard your frontier. « 



To Brigadier General Stark. 

PeekskiU, 17ih June, 1778. 

Sir — ^I am favored with the receipt of your letter, of the 
18th instant, from Albany. I am much pleased that the 
counties of Hampshire and Berkshire have so readily com* 
plied with my request for the two hundred militia to be 
sent to Albany. These, with what Colonel Allen will 
do for you, the reinforcements from Bedel's regiment, will, 
with the State militia, secure the frontier. 

From my conversation with the Senaca chiefs, and the 
complexion of affairs here, I am inclined to think you 
will not have many real alarms in your district. 

I have for some time been dissatisfied with these mat- 
ters (as you emphatically call them). Let me know, as 
soon as possible, the names and officers of those you think 
necessary to be continued in the service, and I will lay it 
before Congress ; and I wish you to recommend the dis- 
mission of the rest ; but I desire that the armory may re- 
main as it now stands. 


Issuing commissaries are only to be placed at the mag- 
azines where you think proper to post troops. Lieut. CoL 
Safford was yesterday furnished with my orders upon the 
agents for the clothing, etc., so much wanted for Colonel 
"Warner's regiment, and dispatched immediately therewith 
to Boston. 

Please to acquaint Colonel Wynkoop, that when he has 
worked up his materials, and finished the ten gun boats 
he mentions, I would not have him build any more, or 
collect any more materials. As the boats are finished 
they should be sent to Fishkill landing, to be rigged and 
equipped. If Colonel AVynkoop is able, I should be glad 
if he would come to me, when the boats come down, and 
bring the abstract of the pay due to Captain Low's com- 
pany of carpenters, that their demands may be satisfied. 

I am, sir, 

Tour most ob't humble servant, 


Hon. G^eral Stark. 

BennmgUmy June IS^ 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^I have lately received a letter troxa Gen. Gates, 
requesting me to furnish you assistance in defending the 
northern frontier. I shall be happy to render any aid in 
my power for that service. Your reputation, and the 
hatred and fear with which you are regarded by the tones, 
those infernal enemies of American liberty, induce me to 
propose a visit to your head quarters in Albany, so soon 
as our aflTairs are in a little better way. The tories, and 
the firiends of tories, give us some trouble yet Their 
management in a great measure keeps alive the anarchy 
which has heretofore disturbed the peace of Vermont. 

I am of opinion that we shall never be at peace while 
one of the traitors is suffered to remain in the country. I 


hear you are doing well with some of them.* I hope, in a 
few days, to pay my respects to a man for whose republi- 
can character and important services I have the highest 
veneration and respect. 

I am, sir, 

Your fcost ob't serv't, 


To Ck>l. Ethan Allen. 

Albany, June 20M, 1778. 

Dear fiir— Your favor of the 18th has just come to 
hand, wherein you promise me a visit. You may be sure 
that I shall be happy in receiving one from a man whose 
&mnia8 been so extensive, and whom I never have had 
the pleasure of seeing. As for the political matters you 
now have in hand, I cordially agree with you in senti- 
ment. You may rely upon my cooperating with you in 
purging the land of freedom from such most infamous 
and diabolical villains. 

As for Bedel's regiment, if any iniquity has been prac- 
ticed upon the public, I hope in a few days to discover it. 
I shall be obliged to you for using your best endeavors to 
ascertain their numbers, employments, &c. 

Please accept my best wishes for your success and happy 
settlement of the business now on hand. 

I am, sir. 

Your obedient serv't, 


* Doing well, here, means hanging; several toriea this time having 
heen hanged at Albany. — Editor. 


To Major General Gkites. 

Albany, June 2fHh, 1778. 

Dear General — ^I wrote to you some time ago to send me 
a few small field pieces, with a proper quantity of ammuni- 
tion for them, but they have not yet arrived. I would 
be much obliged to you for theja. We have here two iron 
three-pounders, which I intended to send to Cherry Val- 
ley, but find there is not one shot for them. And as that 
is a place very much exposed, I think that they might be 
of great service, as that post covers all the Mohawk river, 
and stops all passages from Unadilla to that place. I 
herewith inclose you a return from the commissary of 
issues, which surprises me. There you will find seven 
hundred and fifty rations, delivered out in a day, upon an 
average, in the month of May, without any to the troops 
or hospital. What these men are doing I do not layw ; 
but if there are as many at every post, according to the 
number of troops, I think it is no wonder that provisions 
are scarce and dear. I should be glad to have the matter 
inquired into, as also the state of BedeUs regiment. It is 
much doubted whether he has half the number enlisted 
which he returns. Agreeably to your order, I have sent 
for one hundred of them to come to this place ; but I 
think it would be best to send for them all, wid then we 
shall find out the iniquity, if any there be. He has drawn 
for a regiment last winter, to go to St. John's, double pay 
and rations (and none of them ever left their homes ; and 
whether any of them were enlisted or not is uncertain), to 
the amount of $1,400 ; and now he is uneasy because he is 
not paid for his regiment, of which no man knows where 
it is. I think it the duty of every lover of his country to 
endeavor to find out such people, which, without ordering 
them some where else, is impossible ; for he can muster aU 
the inhabitants, and as soon as they are mustered, they go 
to their own business again, and cheat the continent of 
their wages and provisions. 

I should be glad of your opinion on this subject, and 
as you order I will do. 


A nest of villains are lurking about XJnadilla, sixty miles 

from Cherry Valley, and have given us all this uneasiness. 

I have thoughts of trying to remove it if practicable. I 

have sent scouts to ascertain the strength and situation of 

th« country. I should be glad of your opinion on this 


Your most ob't serv't, 


* Albany, 2Ut of June, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^I received yours of the 11th, as to the expe- 
dition to Unadilla. I have ordered scouts to be sent from 
Cherry Valley to reconnoitre that part of the country, and 
find out the enemy's strength, and the situation of the 
country. When they return, I shall be able to give you a 
more particular account ; but, till that time, I must rest 
content. I expect the scouts back in a week. I should 
be obliged if you would forward the letter, by express, to 
Gten. Gates. 

I am, your ob't serv't, 


To (General Fellows. 

Albany, 22d June, 1778. 

Dear General — I received your favors, for which I am 
obliged. You wrote that you would send one hundred 
men, to guard the frontiers, which have arrived, and inform 
me that they are raised for one month. I should be glad 
to have them replaced by that time, as they will not tarry 
any longer. Your compliance with this request, will much 

Your friend and obedient servant, 

JOHN stabe:. 


To the Brigadier of Hampshire County, Mass. 

Albany, June 22d, 1778. 

Dear General — I received orders, some time ago from 
Geu. Gates, to call on the militia of Hampshire and Berk- 
shire, to assist in securing the frontiers against the ravages 
of the enemy. In pursuance of said orders, I wrote to 
you and Gen. Fellows for one hundred men each, properly 
officered, to be stationed on the frontiers, where it was 
thought necessary. Gen. Fellows sent his proportion. 
But I have not heard from you since. I wish that yon 
would make up your proportion, and send tbem as soon as 
possible. Gen. Fellows proposes to relieve his men every 
month. If you should be put upon the same footing, it 
would perhaps be not amiss. You can best judge of that 
matter. The western frontiers are in great distress, and 
unless speedily relieved, the settlement must be broken 
up, which will be a great injury to the United States. As 
it is the best country for bread in America, which is much 
wanted for the use of the army, I hope you will succeed 
in sending the men, so that I shall rest assured of your 
vigilance and good wishes toward the welfare of your 
country and the common cause. 

Your ob*t serv't, 


To Captain Ballard. 

Albany, 2Sd of June^ 1778. 

Sir — ^You are to proceed with the party, under your 
command, to Cacknawaga, there, or as near Hiat place as 
you shall, with the advice of your colonel, and other offi- 
cers in that quarter, judge most convenient to defend, and 
stop the progress of Brandt (the Indian commandant). 
Nevertheless, you are not to begin an engagement, but to 
suffer the militia from this quarter to make the first attack, 
and you are to support them as you may think most 


If you should find that Brandt has crossed the Mohawk 
river on his way to Crown Point, you will then return 
with the detachment "Wishing you a happy and success- 
ful voyage, 

I am, sir, your obed't serv't, 


To CapUin WiUiam H. BaUard. 

If you should stand in need of any horses or carriages, 
you are to apply to the quarter master ; and all officers, 
both civil and military, are ordered to supply you with 
any thing you may want. 

Given under my hand and seal. 


To General Gkites. 

Albany y June 25, 1778. 

Dear General — This morning came to hand a letter, the 
copy of which I inclose. Since that, another from Scho- 
harie brings much to the same purport. I must beg your 
immediate answer and instructions. There are here a 
number of bateau men, and no employment for them. 
Please instruct me in regard to them. Here are a num- 
ber of British prisoners. I should advise to send them to 
some part of New-England, as the scarcity and deamess of 
provisions here renders them very costly ; and, likewise, 
the number of disaifected make it dangerous. Upon the 
above matters I should be glad of your immediate advice. 

I am, &c., 




To General Stark. 

PeekskiU, 2^th June, 1778. 

Sir — ^Having received no letter from you since that 
dated the 14th inst., I conclude all is calm .and serene 
in your quarter. Inclosed is a letter for Colonel Bedel, 
which the bearer is charged to deliver to him at Coos. 
You will, after perusal, seal and forward it as directed. 

I have no account from General Washington later than 
the 2l8t instant, when his army was on the east side of the 
Delaware, at CorgeFs ferry, and the head of the enemy's 
column at Mount Holly, moving slowly through the Jer- 

As General Washington declares in his letter, Philadel- 
phia was evacuated the 18th inst., at sunrise. Our parties 
who entered the city that day, took Cunningham, provost 
marshal, and seven of the enemy's officers, prisoners. I 
hope soon to give you joy of some capital stroke in our 

I am, dear sir, &c., 


To Major General Gbites. 

Albany, 26th June, 1778. 

Dear General — I received yours of the 17th, and it gives 
me great pleasure to learn that you agree with me in sen- 
timent in regard to those supernumeraries, or rather cor- 
morants, that " devour the childrens' bread." I inclose 
you a list, as you desired. 

You will find one colonel; one major, twelve captains, 
four clerks, and fourteen other officers ; but they can not 
be in lower stations than that of captains in the battalions, 
as I am informed their pay is a great deal more. 

I think two assistant quarter masters sufficient to be sta- 
tioned at Albany for all the. business to be done there ; 
one at Schenectady, one at Fort Schuyler ; and, as all the 
timber is obtained at Coeyman's, there is no more to be 


done there than one barrack master, one forage master, 
and clerk, and one wagon master can do. 

We have not more than five or six wagons in the public 
works. There are many carpenters at work here, build- 
ing store-houses, which I think of no service at present ; 
and Qod forbid they should go on, if there is any business 
for them elsewhere. K they could not be better employed, 
I think they had better be discharged, as we have now 
more store-room than provisions. 

As to the names of those to be retained in service, I 
can not give them, as all are strangers to me. I have 
been informed by some country people that the scheme 
which the purchasing commissaries pursue is a great dam- 
age to the public. The more they give for any article, 
the more profit they have ; which seems to be the drift of 
every body here, come of the public what will. 

I understand that people have taken men out of the 
regiments for clerks to them, giving to them sixty dollars 
per month, which puts them above all officers of the reg- 
iments, the colonel excepted ; which makes the troops very 
uneasy. And I think they are not far from right, since the 
soldier, who is despised, must run all the risks for nothing, 
while these others ai^ devouring the fat of the land. 

I think that these things should be remonstrated against 
to Congress, as they must be deceived in the manner these 
people in their pay are spending the public money. I 
leave them to your farther consideration, and conclude by 
subscribing myself 

Your obedient serv't, 


NoTB BY Editob. This letter caused much commotion 
in the hive. Those who disliked the prospect of losing 
profitable sinecure offices, were particularly indignant. 


To the Preeident of the New-Hampshire Congress. 

Albany, 2Sih of June, 1778. 

Dear Sir—1 take this opportunity, by express, to inform 
you of my situation at this place. I arrived on the 18th 
of May, and found the greatest irregularity in the army. 
There were then two regiments here, and both ordered 
away. I detained one of them for the security of this 
city, and the stores, as I could place no dependence upon 
the militia ; such a set of poltroons is not to be found on 
the face of the earth. When their all is at stake, they 
rather choose to see it destroyed than to hazard any thing 
in its defence. On the 13th of May, a party of continental 
troops, who were stationed at a place called Schoharie, 
about thirty or forty miles from this place, being informed 
that a party of the enemy were advancing to destroy it, 
marched out, but could not induce the militia to follow 
them, except seven or eight ; and in a short time were 
engaged with a party of the enemy, in which action the 
captain, and the lieutenant, and fifteen men were killed, 
while the militia coldly looked on, but did not go to thedr 
assistance. Such is their conduct ; and when I applied to 
them for a guard for their State prisoners, they told me 
there were so many tories among theji that they could uot 
be depended upon. 

The Indians and tories are making depredations daily at 
the westward. They have burned many houses, and killed 
and driven away a great number of cattle. 

The enemy have been very still at the northward, but I 
expect they will break out soon, as they visit Crown Point 
sometimes. If they should appear in that quarter, none 
can be depended upon for the security of that country but 

Gen. Bayley informs me that he has sent one Major 
Wright, of Peters* corps, to Number Four, but could not 
get the people of that place to take him into custody, 
which is similar to their conduct last year. I wish their 
conduct to be inquired into. He was obliged to send him 
to you. I would take it kind if he were secured, as he is 
an arrant poltroon. 


It is reported here that General Howe has left Philadel- 
phia, aud Qen. Washington is on his march for New- York. 
How that may be, I do not pretend to say ; but it is cer- 
tain they have put their baggage on board some time ago. 
Gen. Gates is on his march for New- York. They (the 
people) do very well in the hanging way. They hanged 
nine on the 16th of May ; on the 5th of June, nine ; and 
have one hundred and twenty in jail, of which, I believe, 
more than one half will go the same way. Murder and 
robberies are committed every day in this neighborhood. 
So you may judge of my situation, with the enemy on my 
front, aud the devil in my rear. 

I am your obedient humble servant, 


To Colonel Hay. 

Albany, June 80, 1778. 

Dear Sir — I received yours of the 26th inst., and have 
noted the contents. As for sending Mrs. Chesley and 
Mrs. Cooper to Canada, I can not see any damage they 
can do us by their going ; and there is one other, ****** 
and his wife, had best go along with them. If you send 
your letter, I will lay them under an obligation to convey 
it safe. You wrote for some large cannon that were 
brought from Ticonderoga, to put on board the gun-boats. 
They are not mounted. I have ordered them to be put in 
order ; But I believe they will not do, as they are very 
long. The two eighteen-pounders are twelve feef, and the 
twelve-pounders nine feet long ; but, if they will answer, 
I will send them as soon as they can be put in order. 

There are a few anchors here ; but I can not obtain them 
any other way than by pressing them, as it grieves the 
inhabitants to the soul to think that they can not help the 
enemy. For all the disappointments the enemy have met 
with, they are still in hopes they may recover, and then it 
will be out of their power to grant them any relief. 

I am, sir, &c., JOHN STARK. 


To General Stark. 

'June 80, 1778. 

Sir — I received yours of the 27th instant, and much ap- 
prove of your plan. I shall do every thing in my power 
to have it put in execution. The field pieces you men- 
tioned, I will «end for, and I think there will be no obsta- 
cle in the way, but the want of men, who I hope will be 
got out. Should it meet with success, it would in all 
probability put a stop to the ravages of the enemy in your 
quarter, and chastise the pride and insolence of that aban- 
doned savage crew. And unless such measures are taken, 
you will be kept in a continual alarm, and your country 

I am, sir, &c., 


To the Hon. General Gates. 

July 1st 1778. 

Dear General — ^I have some thoughts of sending a party 
to TJnadilla, to try to break up a nest of tories — ^which 
nests give us all our trouble in this quarter. To promote 
my plan, I beg you would be so good as to send me the 
field pieces I wrote you about some time since. This 
TJnadilla is about sixty miles from Cherry Valley. It is 
concluded that the expedition can be made in a month. 
Should the party meet with success, they will secure all 
our western frontiers, and give such a check to the toriee 
in these parts that they will never dare to lift up their 
heads again. I have received no answers to my three last 
letters. We live in a suspense about the transactions of the 
southern army. I wish to learn the truth. 

I am, dear sir. 

Tour sincere friend, 

And humble servant, 



[Press Warrant) 

Albany, 2d of July, 1778. 

Sir — The general finds that the inhabitants of this place 
are so lost to all sense of their duty to the continent, that 
they will not assist him in any thing they can help, which 
pats him to the disagreeable necessity to order you to take 
snch a number of bateau men as shall be necessary to 
assist you in pressing one anchor from Martin G. Van 
Burgan, one from William Winne, and from one Lucas, 
into the public service, and one from Dow ; the one from 
Dow, yon will pay for. The other three you will give your 
receipt for, they being all for the service of the continent ; 
and this shall be your sufficient order for so doing. 

Given the day and date above mentioned. 


[Supposed to Colonel Alden.] 

Albany, ith of July, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^I received yours of the 1st instant ; and con- 
cerning those disaffected persons, if they will not come 
within the lines, and swallow the oaths of allegiance with 
a good stomach, you must take the trouble to bring them 
in, and use your utmost endeavors (by usage becoming 
such villains) to make them (after a season) valuable sub- 

I send you three quires of paper by the bearer. The 
ammunition you write for shall be sent by the first safe 
opportunity. I shall make inquiry about the salt provi- 
sions and rum ; if to be spared, they shall be sent to 
you. The militia from Berkshire county must be sent 
down ; but you are to stay until farther orders. 

I am, sir, your obedienj serv't, 



To CapUin William H. Ballard. 

Sir — ^You will proceed immediately with a number of 
tones (whom yon brought to this place prisoners), to Al- 
bany, You are to take a guard sufficient for you from the 
militia. When yon arrive at Albany, you will deliver the 
prisoners unto General Stark. Then you will return and 
join your regiment. 


If GTE BY EnrroR. Colonel Alden commanded the post 
at Cherry Valley, and was surprised by the Indians under 
Brandt and Walter Butler, in the autumn of 1778, and 
slain. The fort was not taken, but the houses of the set- 
tlement were mostly burnt, and the inhabitants nearly all 
massacred. Colonel A., very imprudently, was accus- 
tomed to sleep outside of his fort. He was in a house 
outside on the night of the surprise. 

Albany f 9th July, 177S. 

Honored Sir — ^I received a letter from Col. Gkinesvoort, 
informing that he has received intelligence the enemy are 
making preparations against Fort Schuyler ; on which I 
ordered Colonel Alden's regiment to reinforce him, which 
leaves me without any troops but a few militia, and with- 
out a field officer. I should be glad of a few continental 
troops, if not more than one company, as there is not one 
officer here that can parade a guard. As to the aifair of 
Fort Schuyler, I refer you to Colonel Ganesvoort's letter, 
of which you have a copy. 

Yours, &c., JOHN STAEK. 

General Gates. 


To Colonel Warner. 

Albania, July 9, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^An alarm jQrom Fort Schuyler has put me 
under the necessity of sending Colonel Alden's regiment 
to reinforce that post, which has left me without a field 
officer to command the militia. . I should be obliged, if 
your health will permit you to come and take command 
of them, and assist me in the farther operations of the 
campaign. Your compliance with this request will much 
oblige your friend and 

Humble servt., 


To General Gates. 

Albany, \Uh July, 1778. 

Dear General — I send you by the bearer, Captain Clark, 
eight of those people, called tories, who have been found 
so inimical to their country that the council of our good 
friends at Bennington have thought proper to send them 
as a present to their friends, to obey their laws and wor- 
ship their gods in future. I would to God every State on 
the continent would follow their example. If this meets 
your approbation, you will send them to the enemy's lines, 
where they will be received. The good people of Ver- 
mont have suffered too much from them already to per- 
mit them any longer to be their neighbors. 

I am, &c., JOHN STARK. 

To His Ezcellencj, Gk>Y. Chittenden. 

Albany, July 5th, 1778. 

Sir — ^I received yours of the 22nd instant, with the pris- 
oners, and have given orders for them to be sent to the 
enemy's lines ; all except one Minors, whom I have exam- 
ined before the officers who brought him in, and can find 


no crime against him worthy of banishment. The only 
crime is that his wife told him ^^ that she saw one Simoi^, 
and that he did not tell it again.'* 

I hope your committee do not banish every body on so 
slight an accusation, for if every one should be banished 
for such slight crimes, I am afraid that there would be but 
few left. I shall detain him here until I have your answer 
on the subject, and beg the proofs may be sent. 

I am, sir, 

Your most obedient 


To Brigadier General Stark. 

Headquartebs Havebstraw, \ 

July 18, 1778. / 

Dear Sir — ^I this day received your letter of the 14th 
instant, and am sorry to find you so circumstanced as to 
render a reinforcement necessary, which I can hardly spare 
in the present critical and interesting state of things. I 
have, however, ordered Colonel Butler, with the fourth 
Pennsylvania regiment, and a part of Morgan's rifle corps, 
to march to the village Mawarsink, in Ulster county, from 
whence they may be called either to Albany or ferther to 
to the westward, as the exigencies of affairs will point out. 
These, with the troops which General Gates informs me 
are to march to your assistance, will, I expect, prove suf- 
ficient to repel any attack which may be made upon yon ; 
and I hope, in a little time, to be in a situation that I can 
give you every necessary support 

I am, dear sir. 

Your very humble servant, 



Albany, 1th July, 1778. 

Dear General — ^I received yours of June 26. The letter 
to Colonel Bedel I have sent as directed. Colonel Whit- 
lock arrived yesterday, and informs me that about sixty 
of Colonel BedeVs regiment vrill be in this day, but it will 
be difficult to get the remainder. I believe my prediction 
will turn out true that those men have never been raised 
for any service but to stay at home. I have sent to Col. 
Bedel to march the remainder agreeably to your orders, 
which will discover the truth of that matter. I beg he 
may have no orders to the contrary, until he arrives. I 
send you a return of Colonel Alden's regiment for the 
month of June. 

We have need of a paymaster at this place, as a part of 
Bedel's men are expected in this day, and they want 
money of course ; likewise the militia, whose time is out, 
complain that it will cost them more to go down to you 
than their pay will come to. If they can not be paid 
when their time is out, it will discourage others from 
coming, which may be a damage to the service. I should 
be pleased to affi^rd them no opportunity of complaint. 

I have met with some difficulty in getting down the 
gun boats. When I applied to the quarter master for 
pilots, and inquired if they had not a number of assistants 
that were pilots, Mr. Van Vonter told me they had, and 
he would send them. When they heard it, they com- 
plained that it was degrading their rank to take charge of 
these boats, and employed others. Four boats have gone, 
and the other two are left, I suppose, for the above reason. 
I sent you a list of these gentlemen's names in a former 
letter, with their employ. I will not trouble you farther 
in this matter. Your wisdom is sufficient to settle the case. 
We have had no alarm lately, though duly threatened. 

Ypur humb. serv't, 


To General Gates. 


White Plains, nth July, 1778. 

Sir — ^Yesterday I received your last favor, with the intel- 
ligence from Colonel Ganesvoort inclosed. The two pieces 
of hrass artillery, &c., must be at Albany by this time, 
where Col. Stevens acquaints me you have some good iron 
guns mounting ; so your demands on that head are satis- 
fied. Should the intelligence from Oswagathie continue to 
obtain credit, and the alarm from that quarter increase, 
you will immediately apply in my name to Hampshire and 
Berkshire for more militia, and acquaint Col. Ethan Allen 
it is my request that he immediately march out all the 
militia he can, without delay collect, to Albany. 

It may not be amiss, at the same time, to intimate to 
the council at Bennington that I desire their assistance 
and concurrence in every measure you think indispensably 
necessary for the public service. Bedel's regiment has my 
orders to be at Albany the first day of next month, where 
they are to receive pay and clothing. I will immediately 
send a deputy paymaster to Albany with fifty thousand 
dollars for the payment of the troops, continental and mi- 
litia, but I shall command him not to advance one penny 
either to the quarter master general or to the commissary 
of purchases, as Gen. Greene has directions to take care 
for them. As to the sending you more continental troops, 
that is not in my power ; but Gen. "Washington, who is 
just at hand, has received your last letter with the in- 
closure, and will himself determine upon that subject. 

I am, &c., 


Hon. Brigadier General Stark. 


White Plains, July 14, 1778. 

Dear Sir — This instant your favor, dated the 10th, from 
Albany, is put into my hand by the express. All accounts 
and reports received from you, General Schuyler, and the 
Indian commissioners, have been regularly transmitted to 
Congress, and his excellency. General Washington, and 
every means in my power constantly supplied for the de- 
fence of both the northern and western frontiers, as my 
letter to you of yesterday's date, by Lieutenant Trow- 
bridge, will evince. The money sets out this morning for 

You need be under no manner of concern of another 
Canada expedition being heedlessly undertaken. The 
period is not fi^ distant when that province must join the 
great confederation, without any force being raised to 
effect it ; or if any, such only as is merely necessary to 
take possession. 

Colonel Alden's behavior is exactly what it was last year. 
Be assured that. he shall be made to answer for his conduct. 
I have this moment ordered General Nixon to ransack the 
State stores, and send the shoes and stockings so much 
wanted by that regiment. The paymaster, who is now 
here, has received the subsistance due to the corps, to the 
1st June ; shall have charge of what shoes, &c., can be pro- 
cured for them. 

Colonel Trumbull says Ganesvoort's regiment is paid 
up to April ; Warner's and Whitcomb's rangers, the same. 
So the continentals with you are full as well paid as any 
this way. 

Inclosed, I send you all the late glorious news. It is so 
positively asserted, from all quarters, that the French fleet 
are off New- York, that I have the utmost belief in the 
news. You may depend upon my sending you all the 
good news that arrives. 

I am, air, &c., &c., 


To Hon. Brigadier General Stark. 


To General Washington. 

Albania, 2iih July, 1778. 

Dear Sir — The Pennsylvania regiment, and a detach- 
ment of the second rifle corps arrived here the 27th inst, 
but in a very miserable condition for want of clothing. I 
inclose a return of what is wanted by them at present, 
without which they will not be fit for scouting, which ap- 
pears the only business on hand. I shall send them im- 
mediately to the frontiers to protect the affrighted inhab- 
itants, whose fears are but too well grounded. I think 
the western frontiers will never be at peace until we- 
march an army into the Indian country, and drive these 
nefarious wretches from their habitations, burn their towns, 
destroy their crops, and make proclamation that if ever 
they return they shall be served in the san^e manner.* 

I hear of nothing from Fort Schuyler of late, worthy 
of notice. An oflScer of Colonel Butler's regiment will 
wait for the clothing and answer. 

With due respect, &c., 


His Excellency, General Washington. 

To Governor Chittenden. 

Albany, 29ih July, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^I received yours of the 27th, and noted the 
contents. But finding some difficulty in sending the pris- 
oners to New-York, I would advise that they be sent back 
to Bennington, and left in the public works, for several 

1st. If they are sent to New- York, they will be the best 
spies that can be let in to them ; and if sent into Canada, 
can give information of the defenceless state of our fron- 
tiers, and send a sufficient force to destroy them this sea- 

* This plan was carried into effect by General Sullivan in 1779, who de- 
feated the Indians under Brandt, the tory Butlers, and the sons of Sir 
William Johnson, John and Guy — ^laying waste all th^ hostile Indian set- 
tlements from the Susquehannah to the Genessee. 


2d. K I detain them here, I must put them into the city 
hall, which, if I do, will bring them under the inspection 
of the committee of this place, who do not love you so 
well as to wish you any peace ; but, in my opinion, would 
be glad to have your settlement broken up. Therefore, 
putting all these reasons together, I think it best to keep 
them until the end of the campaign, when, if you find you 
can not trust them any longer, you can send them to Can- 
ada, or any other place which you think proper. 

* I am, sir, &c., 

Hon. Thomas Chittenden. 

To General Washington. 

Albany^ Zlst July, 1778. 

Dmr Genercd — ^I received orders- last January to raise a 
number of volunteers to bum the shipping at St* Johns, 
a copy of which I inclose. I proceeded to raise a party 
for that purpose, and had them ready to march, when the 
expedition was abandoned ; which put both me and the 
officers to considerable expense, and the men I raised are 
troubling me every day for wages. 

I should be glad if your Excellency would be so good 
as to put me in a way to obtain some remuneration for my 
extra expenses, and those of the officers and soldiers whom 
I engaged for that service.. 

We have a number of State prisoners in this jail, who 
draw provisions ; who I think ought not to draw them from 
the continent, as they are prisoners belonging to this State. 
Your orders on this head will much oblige 

Tour friend and hbl serv% 


N. B. Besides these, a number of soldier's wives in 
this city are starving, with no person to help them. I 
have applied to the corporation to take care of them, but 
was denied any help. Would likewise be much obliged 
by your order on this head. * Nothing new since I wrote. 

J. S. 


To HiB Excellency, General Washington. 

Albany, August 10, 1778. 

Dear General — ^Your letter of the 5tli instant has come 
to hand by express. I am very happy to hear that the dis- 
position of the troops in this department will so well agree 
with your sentiments. 

The posts of Schoharie and Cherry Valley I look upon as 
exposed to equal danger. For that reason I have stationed 
Colonel Butler at one, and Colonel Alden at the other. 

By the inclosed letters, you will perceive the progress 
Colonel Butler has made, since he took the command at 
Schoharie ; and if he should be removed, and form a junc- 
tion with Colonel Alden's regiment, I shall find some 
method to remove Colonel Alden, so that Butler may have 
the command, and Alden be satisfied. Concerning the 
provisions, that have been issued to the State prisoners, 
upon inquiry, I find it to be by some general order a year 
ago ; but I shall stop it until farther orders. We are in 
daily expectation of some important news from you. 

I am, sir, 


Your humble servant, 


To Colonel Alden. 

Albany, 15^A August, 177S. 

Sir — I received yours of the 12th, and am happy to hear 
of the success of your scout. A few such strokes will 
teach the enemy to watch their own frontiers, and give us 
peace on ours. As to the tories you sent, I shall take care 
that they be properly treated. 

As for the plunder Captain Ballard's scouts have taken, 
you will order it to be divided among the people who took 
it. If any has fallen into their hands belonging to the 
honest inhabitants, you will please to deliver it up to the 
proper owners. Captain Ballard and his party are to 
choose such person to make division, as they think will do 
the most justice to the party. 

JOHN STARK. • 186 

You will order a court of inquiry to examine the mat- 
ter, and see what part ought to be condemned and what 
returned to the owners, and make report. 

You write that you have been obliged to employ some 
of the inhabitants to assist in building your fort. The 
accounts must be sent down, properly attested, and I make 
no doubt will be allowed ; but I can not send you any 
money before I receive orders for so doing. If your scouts 
should be fortunate enough to fall in with any more of 
those painted scoundrels,* I think it not worth while to 
trouble themselves to send them to me. Your wisdom 
and your sccyits may direct you in that matter.f 

I am, sir, &c., 


To Colonel Butler. 

Albany, IQih of August, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^I received yours of the 14th instant, and am 
glad to hear that you have got the enemy and tories in so 
good a way. I am in hopes, in a few weeks, that they will 
all be coiwinced that it is neither through fear nor want of 
strength that we have spared them so long. 

As for the cattle your scouts have brought in, such of 
them as do actually belong to friends of the country, I 
would be glad might be given up to the proper owners ; 
the others, which belong to the tories who have taken up 
arms against us, I think ought to be sold for the use of 
the party that brought them in. As to that portion of the 
inhabitants who have been disaffected, but have not taken 
up arms, I think it would be well to^dmit them to their 
oath ; but the others keep on suspense at present, inform- 
ing them that their future behavior must determine their 
fate, anfl that the blood they have been instrumental in 

* Tories painted like Indians for disguise. 

f Meaning, in other words, << knock them on the head." 



shedding, calls aloud for vengeance on their guilty heads. 
As to advancing on the enemy at present, I am of your 
opinion it would be impolitic, before we first find out 
their strength and situation. I would be glad that it should 
be done. 

I have sent a small scout from Cherry Valley for that 
purpose, and if they bring in any intelligence worth com- 
municating, I will send it to you. Lest they fitil, I would 
be glad if you could send a small scout of good woods- 
men, with a good pilot, for the same purpose. As for the 
pack-horses and saddles you mention, I have not had an 
opportunity to learn what number could b% provided ; I 
shall make enquiry, and let you know. 

As to the number of continental troops with you and at 
Cherry Valley, I believe they will amount to the number 
you mention ; but cannot tell you what the militia will 
amount to at present. 

If the enemy should attempt to attack your post^ yon 
will find it out, before they can come, long enough to send 
away the women and children. 

Of the shot you mention, I have not one here, or else 
I would send them to you. I have written to General 
Washington on the subject, but have received bo answer. 
If he sends them, I vrill forward them to you. Captain 
Seoul, whom you recommend to me, answers the desired 
recommendation. I think him a very intelligent young 
gentleman, and worthy of acquaintance. 

I am, sir, 

Your most obedient serv't, 


N. B. My best rispects to Majors Posey and Church, 
with all the other brave officers of your corps. 


Albany, August 18, 1778. 

x)ear*iSSr — ^An exchange is proposed from Canada of 
Captain Brunson, of Warner's regiment, now a prisoner 
there, for one Smith, son of Doctor Smith, a State prisoner 
in the City Hall. 

I can not hut consider the exchange a good one. Bran- 
son has given most nndeniahle proofs of his soldiership 
and firm attachment to his country's cause. 

He has heen in service ever since the commencement of 
the war, and discharged his daty most satisfactorily. Such 
men are ornaments to their country, and through the ex- 
ertions of such men may we hope to see the liberties of 
this country established by an honorable peace. The 
other proposal for exchange is but a youth, who can not 
render any essennal service to the king ; and any injury 
he may do this nation we may look upon with contempt. 
H there is nothing in the case of Smith more than I have 
heard, I have no reason to doubt your excellency's con- 
sent to an exchange, every way in our favor. 

I have the honor, &c., &c., 

ffis Excellency, Governor Clinton. 

His Excellency, General Washington. 

Albany, 19^A August, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^I yesterday wrote you concerning clothing 
for Major Whitcomb's cprps of rangers, and sent a re- 
turn of the said corps. The bearer hereof waits on you 
for clothing, and cAi inform you of the sad condition of 
the men. 

I understand that Colonel Winship, deputy commissary 
general, has resigned. I know of no person so attentive 
to his business as Bethuel "Washburn, assistant deputy 
commissary general at this place. I hope he may be ap- 
pointed, as his fidelity may be relied on. 


Inclosed is the report of Lieutenant Colonel Wheelo<i,* 
who has been upon a scout to Unadilla, which will inform 
you of the situation of the enemy. If an expedition 
should be made to that quarter, a number of pack-saddles 
will be necessary. Colonel Wheelock's information may 
be depended on, as he is a gentleman of undoubted char- 

I am, sir, your ob't serv't, 


To General Washington. 

Albany, August 21, 1778. 

Dear Sir — I am under the disagreeable necessity of com- 
plaining of the quarter master general of this department, 
although I could wish never to be under such a necessity. 
Not only myself, but almost every other person who has 
any business to transact with him, have reason to com- 
plain, as he seems very unwilling to oblige any person 

He has no tents, nor can I learn that he has tried to get 
any ; by which neglect, Colonel Alden's regiment is in a 
suflfering condition, with no probability of their wants 
being supplied. 

I have, after several applications for some kind of grain 
for my horses, been informed that I can have none unless 
I advance hard money for the same. I think it a very 
surprising afiair if the continental money will not purchase 
a little grain for some horses ; but I am fully of the opin- 
ion that such gentlemen, by demanding hard money, have 
been very influential in reducing the continental money to 

* He was afterward president of Dartmouth College. Several rears 
after the war, General 8tark, having business to transact in the vicinity of 
Hanover, called upon President Wheelock, at whose house, on a pressing 
invitation, he passed the night. In the evening a large party of hvt fellow* 
citizens called on the president, to whom he said he was happy to have 
an opportunity of presenting them to his veteran commander. 

An escort of citizens on horse-back attended him a few miles on Us 
return, President Wheelock riding in the escort. — Editor. 


its present low state. I must beg, if he can not be 
removed or reformed, that I and some other officers may 
be recalled. 

I am, sir, &c., 


To the Comminioners of Albany. 

Albany, August 22, 1778. 

Gentlemen — ^I received yours of yesterday, informing me 
of your desire to have the tories Captain Ballard brought 
here the other day. 

I assure you I have no intention to keep them. You 
write for twelve, as being inhabitants of this State, one of 
whom I look upon as a prisoner of war, and shall detain 
him as such. The other eleven I have given orders to be 
delivered up to you. 

As to the cattle and sheep brought in by Captain Bal- 
lard, I have directed Colonel Alden to have a court of in- 
quiry sit upon them, and make report to me, as I thought 
the owners had not been concerned in any conspiracy 
against the United States. 

I am, &c., 


Albany, September 15M, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^I beg to be excused for not writing to you 
sooner ; but, not having any thing worth communicating, I 
deferred it The enemy at the northward have given us 
no trouble as yet. Major "Whitcomb is daily watching 
their motions, and often bringing in their sailors. Four 
came in the other day, with two deserters, who agree that 
they have but three or four vessels on the lake. 

Three prisoners brought from Unadilla inform that 
Brandt is mustering his forces in order to pay us a visit. 
Whether he is in earnest or in jest, is uncertain ; but if he 


should be fool enough to attempt it, I hope to be able to 
give a good account of him. 

Colonel Blair informs me that a small scout of his 
militia found two brass howitzers in the river by Saratoga^ 
after the army left that place, and turned them into the 
stores and took a receipt. 

I would beg your honor to make them some allowance 
for the same. He farther informs me that one hundred 
dollars has been paid for such pieces found before. 

The quarter master general is building a large store house 
at this place, which is putting the continent to an amazing 
expense, to little or no purpose, as I can not see the most 
distant prospect of so extravagant a building ever being 
wanted in this department. * I should be much qbliged to 
you to let me know whether it was by your order, or that 
of any other general officer, or not. 

I have the honor, &c., 

His Excellency, General Washington. 

To the British Commander at Crown Point. 

Albany, 2iih September, 1778. 

Sir — ^I am not a little surprised to think of the conduct 
of the master of your vessels on the lake at Crown Pointy 
who says that, by your order, he has detained Captain 
* * *, whom I sent with a flag of truce, in order to carry 
over to you a number of people in your interest. If that 
was not the case, you must be sensible that it is contrary 
to the law of nations to detain such a flag ; but also the 
laws of humanity forbid it ; and as I have a number of 
prisoners in my custody, it is in my power to make retali- 
ation. You may depend uppn it I shall not let that piece 
of broken faith pass unnoticed. 

I am, sir, your most humble servant, 


JOHN 8TABK. 191 

To His Excellency, Gk)veriior Chittenden. 

Albany^ 2Uh Septemher^ 1778. 

Sir — ^I received yours of the 22d instant, informing me 
that some of the inhabitants are detained on board the 
enemy's vessels at Crown Point, whom you wish to re- 
deem. I send four French prisoners, who were taken at 
Ticonderoga last year, for that purpose, whom you will 
keep until you have a like number in return. I have in- 
formation that the enemy is forming a design against you 
this Fall. I should think it advisable for you to send a 
strong reinforcement to your frontiers ; as the time is 
short, and the season so far advanced, it can not put you 
to much trouble ; otherwise, your frontiers may share the 
fate of German flats. A few days will decide the matter ; 
and as I have nothing more at heart than your welfare, I 
give you this advice. I know that you have enemies here, 
which induces me to give it, as your own exertions must 
be your salvation. 

Your humble serv't, 


To Colonel Alden. 

Albany, M of October, 1778. 

. Sir — ^Yours of the 30th of September has come to 
hand. I highly approve of your proceedings concerning 
the tory eflfects. I should advise you to keep the money 
in your own hands at present. 

I shall reserve the prisoners in my hands, for the pur- 
pose of exchanging yours with Brandt. 

The French king has. published a declaration that his 
army and navy are to seize, take and destroy all the prop- 
erty of the king of Great Britain, wherever they can find 
it, either by sea or land. This order was sent to Mons le 
Compte Durbarfe, supposed to his prime Minister ot State. 

I am, your humble serv% 



Brigadier General Stark. 

FisMdU, %ih of October, 1778. 

Dear <$&• — ^I have been fevored with yours of the Slat of 
August, and 7th, 15th and 28th of September. The sub- 
ject of Mrs. McNeirs petition comes under the notice of 
the quarter master general. General Mifflin, who was in 
that office at the time the grievance complained of was 
committed. He has lately had one million of dollars put 
into his hands for the purpose of discharging all demands ; 
and I see that Col. Hughes is appointed to a^ust and set- 
tle all those in the State of New- York. To him, therefore, 
Mrs. McNeil must apply. 

The proceedings of the court martial, had at Schoharie, 
never came to hand. The inclosed paper, which appears 
by the endorsement to have contained the proceedings, 
was all that you sent. 

The quarter master should make a reasonable compen* 
sation to those persons who take up shot or any stores 
from the North river and deliver them to him. I have 
laid your several complaints against Col. Lewis before the 
quarter master general. Col. Lewis has sent down a vin- 
dication of his conduct, and desires a proper enquiry, 
which the quarter master general must make. 

1 would not have you build barracks at Fort Edward. 
The troops now there may winter at Saratoga, where are 
good barracks for three hundred men. 

If there should be a necessity of keeping a small com- 
mand at Fort Edward, a hut or two may be easily erected 
for that purpose. 

If Col. Butler undertakes the Unadilla expedition, I 
hope he may have success. I am glad to hear of the blow 
struck by the Oneida Indians upon the rear of Brandt's 

I am, sir. 

Your most obedient servant, 



Albany, 9M OeiobeTy 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^Being employed the last winter to prepare an 
expedition to the northward, I enlisted a number of men 
f&r that purpose, who are demanding pay, and give for 
reason that Bedel's regiment received their pay for like 
service. I should be glad if you would lay the affidr 
before Congress, and see if they will not make some allow- 
ance for the extra expenses of the voyage. 

I likewise understand that a major general, when on a 
separate command is, by order of Congress, entitled to 
extra allowance for his support ; but can find no resolve 
where a brigadier is allowed any more than his bare wages, 
which, at this time, are very inconsiderable for a mainte- 
nance, more especially on a separate command ; and being 
willing, for the honor of my country and the noble cause 
we are engaged in, to live up to my station, I desire you 
will let me know whether I can not be allowed my table 
expenses, &c. 

I am in hopes, in a few days, to be able to give you a 
good account of the enemy at the westward. Colonel 
Butler, with his detachment, has marched to Unadilla. 
His success will probably finish the campaign in this de- 
partment. I inclose a return of the garrison of Port 

I am, sir, 

With great respect and esteem, 

Your most obedient 

And very hbl. serv't, 

Hon. President of Congress. 

In September, 1778, some prisoners brought information 
that Brandt was mustering a force of tones and Indians 
at Unadilla, on the Susquehannah, with an intention of 
laying waste the western frontiers of New- York. Upon 


this information being received at head quarters. Colonel 
William Butler, "*" of the Pennsylvania line, was detached 
with a force of continentals and militia to divert the 
threatened danger* Of the success of this expedition, 
General Stark gives the following account in a letter to 
General Washington. 

Albanjf, Oct. 28, 1778. 

Dear Sir — I have just returned from Schoharie, and find 
that the enemy have been driven too far from the firontier 
for me to overtake them this season, as it is so far advanc- 
ed. Too much honor can not be given to Colonel Butler 
and his brave officers and soldiers, for their spirited ezer* 
tions in this expedition against the Indians. They have 
put it entirely out of the power of the enemy to do our 
frontier any serious injury for the remainder of the cam- 
paign. I beg of your excellency that they may be reliev- 
ed, as soon as the nature of the service will admit, as both 
officers and men are much fatigued. 

I must beg also that clothing may be sent them, for 
want of which they are neither fit for duty where they 
are, nor in a condition to be removed. It grieves me to 
the soul to see such brave troops in so miserable a con- 
dition. « 

I am, sir, &c., 

His Excellency, General Washington. 

* Colonel Butler inarched ft>om Schoharie and penetrated into the In- 
dian country in October, with great difficultr crossing hieh mountains 
and deep waters, and destroyed uio towns of Unadilla and Anaguaga, the 
latter being the head quarters of Brandt, lying on both sides of tbA Bus- 
quehanah where it is two hundred and fifty yards wide. Many farm 
houses and about four thousand bushels of grain were destroyed. — Allkit. 


Benningion, I9th May, 1779. 

Dear General — The men I Bent into Canada (by your 
orders) m the last part of 1777, or beginning of 78, as 
spies, and who were made prisoners, have all returned 
safe, and have made repeated applications to me for the 
reward promised them. I have it not in my power to dis- 
charge these demands, as my expense, as well as that of 
several other officers (by endeavoring to carry your orders 
into execution), is very coqaiderable to us. I therefore 
desire your advice in the premises ; and beg leave to pro- 
pose whether it would not be advisable for you to inclose 
to me a letter to the commanding officer at Albany, pur- 
porting the nature of your orders to me, which occasioned 
the expense, and desire me to wait on him for an adjust- 
ment, or to direct to any other measures in the affair that 
you may judge proper. I could wish you to write me, by 
the bearer, on this subject (should you see this person), as 
the men are poor, and are under real necessity for their 
pay. Your endeavors to serve them will much oblige 
them, as well as, dear general. 

Your most obedient humble servant, 


Brigadier General Stark, Derryfield, N. H. 

Archibald Stark, a young lieutenant of 18, who accom- 
panied Gen. Sullivan against the Six Nations in 1779, 
^wrote the following minutes : 

^^ Dance at head quarters ; the Oneida sachem was mas- 
ter of ceremonies." 

" September 3d. The army is preparing to march for 

" 4th. The army marched fifteen miles down the river." 

* Colonel Herrick, as also Colonel Seth Warner, were good penmen, as 
appears by their original letters to General Stark. 


" 6th. The whole army embarked on board boats, except 
what were necessary to drive the pack-horses and cattle; 
and on the 7th arrived at "Wyoming, in high spirits. Dur- 
ing the whole of this severe campaign, our loss in killed, 
died of wounds, and sickness, did not exceed sixty men/' 

^^ 8th. General Sullivan received an express this evening 
from General Washington, informing him that Count de 
Estaiuge is on the coast near New- York, with a French 
fleet and army ; in consequence of which. General Sulli- 
van's army is ordered to march the 10th inst. for head 

" 10th. The army march for Easton, and the 16th arrived 
there. This army has marched from Tioga to Easton 
(one hundred and fifty miles through a mountainous, 
rough wilderness) in eight days, with their artillery and 
baggage. A most extraordinary march indeed." 

^'16th, 17th, 18th. Remain at Easton. We are informed 
that Count de Estainge has taken several ships-of-war, 
with all the transports and troops the enemy had at and 
near Georgia. He is expected daily at New- York." 

^' 25th. Our army is to march the 27th inst. towards 
head quarters." 

To General Stark. 

Bristol, R, /., llSih of October, 1779. 

Sir — This morning I received a dispatch from his excel- 
lency. Gen. Washington, dated the 2d instant. He in- 
forms me that the evening of the preceding day the enemy 
burnt and destroyed the works at Stoney and Verplanck's 
Points, and retreated down the North river. His excel- 
lency also sent me the copy of the inclosed intelligence 
from the southward which he says, came from such men 
and such authority as induces him to believe it substan- 
tially true. I give you joy of this extraordinary flow of 
good news.* 

I am, sir, your aff. humb. serv't, 


* The arrival of the French fleet under Count de Estainge. 


West Points December 14, 1779. 

Dear /Sw**— Since the death of the late worthy General 
Poor, I am led to suppose you have had no regular corres- 
pondent from the army. The fluctuating state of our 
afiairs, since that tiipe, has prevented my writing ; but 
now, since all hopes of active operations for this campaign 
are laid aside, I can write with more propriety than before. 

Representations in regard to this impbkant fortress must 
have been made you before this ; but still, it can be no in- 
juiy farther to show the absolute necessity of its being 
well supplied the ensuing winter ; and still farther, to urge 
the importance of the place. It is beyond a doubt the 
keystone of America. The enemy, possessing it, would 
infallibly cut off all communication between the northern 
and southern States. 

You may be assured that every supply within the power 
of the army will b^ attended to with the greatest alacrity; 
but their endeavors, without your assistance, must be al- 
together useless. While, on the other hand, their industry, 
with your care and assistance, will effectually secure the 
garrison, and place matters upon a proper footing for the 
opening of another campaign. 

To relate the difficulties of last winter at Morristown, 
with the unequalled sufferings of the troops at that place, 
would wound the feelings of every one who had the mis- 
fortune to hear them. That period having passed (though 
by no means forgotten), I shall not enlarge upon the cir- 
cumstances, but leave you to judge what must have been 
their calamity to be for six or seven days destitute of 
flour, and with very little meat, and sometimes several 
days without either. 

It was then supposed to be owing to the indigence of 
the States at large. Upon the present system of supply- 
ing the army, it would be an insult to the judgment of any 
man to suppose they could not be procured, when every 
one acknowledges that there is more provision by far in 
the country than when the war was commenced. 


Every one knows how liberally a much larger army was 
supplied at that time. The next thing that occurs to me, 
is in regard to the next campaign. We ought to exert 
every nerve to procure soldiers to fill up our battalions, 
agreeably to the establishment now %n foot in Congress, of 
which you will probably soon receive notice. Although 
this new arrangement may occasion a diffidence in officers, 
and a negligence o'f the service, still, if Congress thinks it 
just, it is not our business to find fault. I have been told 
that a number of soldiers and some officers, belonging to 
the sixteen additional regiments, have made application 
to their respective States for their depreciation money. 
I can not see the propriety of its being paid, for they were 
not considered as belonging to any State in particular, nor 
were their vacancies filled by any particular State. As 
for their services, I don't think ten more soldiers enlisted 
on account of their appointment than would otherwise 
have done. It was only creating a multiplicity of officers, 
which the public would now willingly be rid of. How- 
ever, as that matter more particularly concerns you than 
me, the farther progress of it rests solely with you. 
I am, sir, your obedient humble servant, 

To Hon. Meshech Weare. 


January, 6, 1780. / 

Sir — As it will contribute in some degree to relieve our 
distress on the subject of provisions, I am to desire that 
you will discharge all the men in the brigade under your 
command whose enlistments and terms of service will 
clearly expire by the last of this month. 

In conducting the matter, you will call upon the com- 
manding officers of regiments to prevent the discharge 
of any not coming within the above description. 
I am, sir, your most obedient serv't, 

Brigadier General. 


To the Commiaiioner of Indian Affain and the Commander-in-Chief, 

Albany, June 26, 1778. 

Pursuant to orders received from Colonel Bedel, by di- 
rection of the commanding officer at Albany, I set off 
with my party ye 28th of March last, and with a design 
to visit the Penobscot tribe of Indians. 

On our arrival at Penobscot we found they were princi- 
pally absent, which detained us nearly ten days. On their 
return, the chiefs being called together, we delivered them 
the belts and found them very friendly disposed. They 
appointed three of their chiefs to wait on the commander- 
in-chief of the northern department, who will inform him 
of the particular condition, disposition, and intention of 
the tribe. Before we came away, they had sent off the 
belts, ordering them to be transmitted to the Indians at 
Machiasj St. Johns, &c. We returned to Colonel Bedel's 

on the 22d instant. 

L0TJI8 VENCENT, Interpreter. 

To General Stark. 

Headquarters. Kamaporuhf \ 
Jane 80th, 1780. / 

Dear Sir — ^You will be pleased to repair immediately to 
the State of New- Hampshire, in order to receive and for- 
ward to the army the levies required of the State, by the 
honorable the committee of Congress, for filling their 
three battalions. I have not heard from the State upon 
the subject, and therefore can not inform you of the place 
which may have been appointed for their rendezvous ; but 
this you will learn, and, if you do not already find the 
levies assembled at it, you will exert every degree of in- 
dustry in your power to effect it. 

You know how precious moments are to us ; and I am 
pursuaded your efforts, both to collect and forward the 
levies, vnll correspond with the exigency. That the busi- 
ness may be more facilitated, you will take vnth you four 
officers from General Poor's brigade, to whom I wrote on 
the subject, if this number should not be already in the 


State, and with whom you will forward the levies, either 
in a body or in detachments of from one hundred and fifly 
to two hundred men, as circumstances best suit, with all 
possible expedition. If there are more officers in the 
State than this number, you may retain them for this ser- 

In receiving the men, you will pay particular attention 
to their being sound and healthy, and in every respect fit 
for service ; and none but such as answer this description 
must be taken, as they would otherwise prove an in- 
cumbrance and a great expense, without being of the 
least advantage. 

Besides the levies for filling the three battalions, it has 
been deemed essential, to render the success of our opera- 
tions the more certain, to call upon the State for between 
nine hundred and a thousand militia to join the army in 
service for three months from the time of their arriving at 
Claverack, on the North River — ^the place assigned for their 
rendezvous — ^by the 25th of next month. 

It is much my wish that you should have the direction 
and command of those. You will therefore use your best 
endeavors to have them assembled, armed and equipped 
in every respect in the best manner circumstances will ad- 
mit, for taking the field, and march with them so as to 
arrive with certainty at Claverack by the time I have men- 

I shall only add that I shall be happy to hear from you 
very frequently on the subject of this important and inter- 
esting business, both as it respects the levies for the bat- 
talions, and the militia ; and, entirely confiding in your 
greatest address and assiduity in promoting it, 

I am, dear sir, 

With much regard and esteem. 

Tour most ob't serv't, 

Brigadier Gen. Stark. 


To President Weare. 

Ramapough, June 80, 1780. 

Shr — I send Brigadier General Stark to your State to 
ooUect and forwai:d the drafts for your battalions, and the 
levies for three months to the appointed place of rendez- 
vous. The zeal which the State of New-Hampshire has 
always manifested, gives me the fullest confidence that 
they have complied with the requisitions of the committee 
of Congress in all their extent, though we have not yet 
heard from thence what measures have been taken. 

This is the time for America, by one great exertion, to 
put an end to the war ; but, for that purpose, the necessary 
means must be furnished. The basis of everj' thing else 
is the completion of the continental battalions to their full 
establishment. If this is not done, I think it my duty to 
forewarn every State that nothing decisive can be attempt- 
ed ; and that this campaign, like all the former, must be 
chiefly deiensive. I am sorry to observe that some of the 
States have taken up the business on a less extensive 
scale. The consequences have been represented with can- 
dor and plainness; and I hope, for the honor and safely of 
America, the representation may have the weight it de- 
serves. The drafts can not be forwarded with too much 
expedition ; but as to the militia, under present appearan- 
ces, I think it advisable to suspend the time fixed for their 
rendezvousing to the 25th of next month, at which period I 
shall be glad they may be without fail at the place appoint- 
ed ; and it would be my wish that they should come out 
under the command of General Stark. 

I entreat your excellency to employ all your influence 
to give activity and vigor to the measures of your State. 
Every thing depends on the proper improvement of the 
present conjuncture. We have every thing to hope on one 
side, and eveiy thing to fear on the other. 

With perfect respect, I have the honor to be 

Your Excellency's most obed't humble serv't, 




P. S. The suspension of the period for the assembling 
of the militia is founded on the French fleet's not being 
arrived ; if this event shall have taken place before this 
reaches your excellency, the suspension is not to have 
effect. The militia can not be too soon at the place of 
rendezvous after the fleet arrives. 

[Opinion sent to a Council of War held near Tappan, New- Jersey, 1780.] 

Agreeably to your excellency's request, I send you my 
opinion of what we ought to do for the safety of the coun- 
try this fell and winter. 

Question 1. To wliat object our attention ought to be 
directed this fell and winter ? 

Answer. To try to reenter as many of the soldiers now 
in the field as can be engaged, either for the war or for 
one year from the first of January next, and in case the 
second division of the French fleet should arrive, to push 
with all our force against New- York ; should that not be 
the case, to keep as near to the enemy as our circumstances 
will admit of, so as to prevent their obtaining any supplies 
from the country. 

Question 2. Whether we ought to send any part of the 
army to the southward ? 

Answer. As the army at present does not. amount to 
many more than that of the enemy, and is in expectation 
of the second division of the French fleet, I do not think 
it advisable to detach any part of it. 



[Resolve of the State of New- York.] 

In Senate, October 10, 1780. 

A message of the honorable, the House of Assembly, 
was received with the following resolution for concurrence : 

Besolved^ unanimously. That the delegates from this 
State be instructed to declare in Congress, that it is the 
earnest wish of this State that Congress should, during 
the war, or until a perpetual confederation should be com- 
pleted, exercise every power which they may deem neces- 
sary for an effectual prosecution of the war; and that, 
whenever it shall appear to them that any State is deficient 
in furnishing ihe quota of men, money, provisions, or 
other supplies required of each State, that Congress direct 
the commander-in-chief, without delay, to march the army, 
or such parts of it as may be requisite, into such State, and 
\}j military force compel it to furnish its deficiency. 

Jiesolved, That his excellency, the governor, be requested 
tx> transmit a copy of the foregoing resolution to the dele- 
gates fix)m this State in Congress. 

Hesolvedy That this Senate do concur with the honor- 
able, the House of Assembly, in this said resolution. 

Extract from the minutes. 


Crk of the Senate. 

*To Major General Heath. 

November 28, 1780. 

Dear Sir — ^Yours of this date was received by Major 
Pisk, but previous to the receipt I had ordered the troops 
to march ; those of the centre column I halted, and gave 
the necessary directions to the right and left columns. 

I hope the forage will turn out according to your wishes, 
but it does not equal my expectations. The country 
below White Plains is almost desolate on account of the 
ravages of both armies. Scarcely a fitrmer has more than 


one cow, and many who were once in affluent circomstan- 
ces are now reduced to indiscriminate poverty. 

I sent Col. Sheldon's light dragoons to Fort Clinton 
yesterday, and moved with the troops within eight miles 
of King's bridge, to cover them in case of necessity. But 
the caution, however prudent it may appear, was needless, 
for the enemy either did not know of our approach, or did 
not choose to meet us. 

Twenty militia light horse, who proceeded in front of 
the cavalry, took prisoners two of DeLancy's men : one 
Bumour, cousin of the fiimous Major Bnmour, and one 
Ferrett, a noted cow-boy, and of course a villain ; he has 
once been condemned to be hanged, but made his escape. 
I have sent them to you under a guards 

While the cavalry were foi^ned upon a hill in our ad- 
vance, one of them left the line and proceeded a few rods 
to the rear to water his horse. Curiosity led him to a 
house near by, when a cow-boy came up, dismounted him, 
and rode away his horse in triumph. 

If my instructions would have permitted, Morrisania, 
that noted nest of tories, might have been plundered and 
burnt, but I think it too late now. 

I am, sir, 

Your obedient humble servant, 


To General Stark. 

HXADQUABTEES. Wut jPotflf, \ 

Kovpmber 28, 1780. j 

Dear Sir — ^Your favor of yesterday came to hand this 
morning. I am glad to hear that everything goes on well 
with you. The weather is disagreeable, but your troops 
will endure anything. I apprehend that some rum and 
bread will have reached you before this does. 

I am anxious to hear from you to-day, and hope an ex- 
press is now on the way with an account of something 



very interesting. Heaven grant that it may be equal to 
ottr most sanguine expectations. Please give me notice 
when you are on your return, and the time you will prob- 
ably reach this place, that provisions may be in readihess 
for the troops. I have sent you a few sheets of paper. 
I am, with great regard, 

Dear sir, your obed't serv't, 


P. 8. Please give the inclosed to Major Cartwright, if 
he is not gone ; if he is, please send it back to me. 

W. H. 

Oeneral Stark. 

About sight milks fbom Kinoes Bridos, \ 
November 28, *80— 6 o'clock P, M / 

Dear Sir — ^Yours of 12 o'clock is •received, and I am 
very happy to hear of your success ; and am in hopes mine 
will be equal. I believe the enemy are surprised to find 
us so near them. We have taken three prisoners, but can 
learn nothing of consequence from them ; one of them 
is a cousin of the famous Maj. Bumour. Col. Cilley, 
with the left, is now, I suppose, at Maroneck ; he marched 
from White Plains at about 1 o'clock. I have not heard 
from him since. 

As to your movement, I approve of the hour of 10 
o'clock for the march to commence. You will move very 
slowly until 1 ; and then, in case you hear of no alarm, you 
will, by proper marches, retire. But in case of alarm, you 
will have recourse to the copy of Gen. Heath's instruc- 
tions. I beg that the greatest vigilance may be observed 
in loading and forwarding the teams. I expect you will 
hear from me before 10 o'clock in the morning ; if not, the 
preceding instructions will be your guide, together with 
your own prudence. 

Wishing you success, I am. 

Dear sir, your most obed't serv't, 

To Colonel Shrieve. 


To HiB Excellency, General Washington. 

PeekakiU Hollow, November 80, 1780. 

Dear Sir — ^The impaired state of my health, and the 
unsettled state of my accounts with the State of New- 
Hampshire, renders my presence in that State the ensuing 
winter highly necessary. I have never as yet settled my 
depreciation, or received any cash from that source. 
Without an arrangement of these matters, it is impossible 
for me to subsist in the army. 

The many favors I have received from you, and the zeal 
you have manifested for the interest of the officers under 
your command, induces me to ask leave of absence until 

The brigade I have the honor to command is now 
under orders to join its several States ; therefore it is not 
probable it will be in my power to render the country any 
essential service until the next campaign. 

I have the honor to be, sir, 

Your most obed't serv't, 


To the Officer commanding the New-Hampshire Line. 

Gabrrison. Weai Point, \ 
December 12, 1780. / 

Dear Sir — ^I apprehend some of the officers will wish to 
go on a furlough during the winter. They may be in- 
dulged, the following order being strictly observed : Each 
brigade, which has not a brigadier, is* to be commanded 
by a colonel. Each regiment at all times to have one field 
officer with it. The colonel commanding a brigade not 
to be considered as answering for the regiment to which 
he belongs. Two commissioned officers to be with each 
company, if convenient ; but one is indispensable. The 
officers will agree who shall go first, and divide the time, 
so that those who go fii'st may return in season to give a 
reasonable time to those who remain, if they choose it — 


always bearing in mind that all officers are to join their 
respective corps by the first of April next. The brigadier 
or officer commanding the brigade wiU certify which of 
th^ field officers are to go first, and that others are satisfied 
as to the length of the furlough ; this, on being shown 
here, will be approved. The colonel or commanding offi- 
cer of each regiment will certify the same, respecting the 
commissioned officers, which is to be shown and approved 
by the brigadier or officer commanding the brigade. 

I am, with great regard, your ob't serv't, 


Gabrisok. West Pointy \ 
December 19, 1780. / 

Dear Sir — ^I have just received a letter of this date from 
Major Maxwell, at Crom pond, informing me that the 
enemy are in motion at Morrisania ; and it is supposed 
that Crom pond is their object, and that they will be up 
this evening or early in the morning. I therefore request 
you would order about one hundred and fifty or two hun- 
dred men from the New-Hampshire line to move down 
towards Crom pond immediately. Let them take one 
day's provisions with them. Perhaps Colonel Delancy 
may be cleverly handled. 

I am, with great regard, dear sir, 

^ Your obed*t serv't, 

General Stark. 

Peekskill Hollow^ Jan. 1, 1781. 

Sir — Your letter of the Slst ult. I have been honored 
with, together with the resolution of Congress. If my 
health permits, I shall endeavor to pursue my journey by 
the last of this week. But my finances are exhausted ; 
neither do I know where they can be replenished, unless 


by application to your excellency. I believe five thousand 
dollars may answer my purpose. If you can grant me 
that sum, it will be considered as an infinite obligation. 
I beg your excellency to consider that I have not drawn a 
single farthing of cash since the last of December, 1778 ; 
and only four thousand dollars, on account^ since then. 
Therefore, as my demands have not been great, and my 
present necessity is very urgent, I flatter myself your ex- 
cellency will furnish me with the cash. As to the term of 
my absence, it is a matter of indifference to me whether 
your excellency or Congress limit it. But, either way, I 
shall return as soon as my health will permit. 

"Wishing your excellency a happy new year, and an 
agreeable winter, 

I have the honor to be 

Your most obed't serv't, 

His Excellency, Gen. Washington. 

Garrison. West Point, \ 
January 1, 1781. j 

Dear Sir — ^I am just honored with yours of the last eve- 
ning ; am happy to hear, and much approve of the meas- 
ures you have taken to support Col. Hull, and hope they 
will be crowned with deserved success. Wishing that Jjie 
new year may be productive of honor, peace and happi- 
ness to our country, to you and your family, 

I am, with great regard, dear sir. 

Affectionately yours, 


General Stark. 

P. S. A few boards arrived last evening ; three or four 
of them are at your service, agreeable to your former 

N ▼ 



To Major General Heath. 

Peekakill HoUow, Jan. 2, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Your favor of the 3l8t was delivered by ex- 
press, with the letter from his excellency. You apologize 
for breaking the seal of the letter superscribed to me, but, 
convinced that it was a mistake, you are excusable. 

Yours of the Ist instant was received, and I am very 
happy that my conduct has met with your approbation. 
Major "Waite, who was sent with the party, has returned. 
He went to Pines bridge, found Colonel Hull, and that the 
enemy had retired. I can not learn that they did any thing 
of consequence. 

I have the honor to be 

Your obedient humble servant, 


To Colonel Pickering, Quarter Master Qeneral. 

Peekskill HoUovOj 2d January^ 1781. 

Sxr — ^Having received his excellency's approbation for 
leave of absence for the recovery of my health, I propose 
setting out the last of the week ; but am absolutely desti- 
tute of cash to perform my intended journey, or for the 
transportation of my baggage. If you can furnish me 
with a sum sufficient for the purpose, I shall be very glad. 
I have certificates from the quarter master and forage de- 
partment for nearly ten thousand dollars, but I suppose 
you do not take them ; therefore, I must solicit to have 
some cash advanced on account. I wish you to let me 
know as soon as possible what assistance you can afford 

I am, sir, your obedient humble serv't, 





General Washington to General Stark. 

Hbai>quabteb&. New- WiruUor, \ 

' Jan. 8, 1781. f 

Dear Sir — ^I am favored with yours of the Ist ins taut, 
and wish it was in my power to gratify you in your request. 
But as there is not a single farthing in the military chest, 
it will be absolutely impossible to furnish any part of the 
sum solicited. 

I am, dear, sir, with very great regard. 

Your most obed't hble. servant, 


P. S. I have not been able to obtain any money, for 
my own expenses or table, for more than three months. 

General Stark. 

To the Hon. Mcshech Weare. 

Derryfield, ISth March, 1781. 

Sir — I have received two letters from Lieutenant Howe. 
The one informs that he shall be able to muster forty re- 
cruits to-morrow, and the other gave intelligence of some 
persons tracked from Long-Island to Amherst, who were 
supposed to belong to the Dunbarton tory club. I sent 
Lieutenant Stark to examine the suspected houses, which, 
I suppose, was executed this morning at day-break. 

The furloughs of the officers are almost expired, and 
they can not tarry unless business requires it. If yon 
should think proper to have them detained to conduct 
parties of recruits, the measure could not fail to meet with 
universal approbation. 

I was, day before yesterday, taken suddenly unwell, and 
am not able to go out yet ; but, aa soon as I am able, I 
shall come to Exeter. In the meantime I should be glad 
of a list of officers in the western district, and the number 
of troops that Brigadier General Nichols is to muster, that 
they may be equally divided and officered according to 
our circumstances. 

JOHN stabk: 211 

If you should think proper to place some money in my 
hands, to give to the officers with their instructions, I 
should be accountable for it by their receipts, by your let- 
ting me know the quantity each is to have. I have writ- 
ten to Lieutenant Colonel Dearborn to receive, and with 
your approbation to forward, those from Exeter. 

Your most obedient servant, 


General Washington to Oeneral Stark, appointing hini Commander of the 

Northern Department. 

Hkadqvabtebs. New- Windsor, \ 

June 26, 1781. / 

Dear jSir-^Upon finding it necessary, for the operations 
of the campaign, to recall the continental troops from the 
north, I have ordered six hundred militia from the coun- 
ties of Berkshire to that quarter, in addition to the militia 
and State troops of New- York ; and I have now to request 
that you will assume the general command of all the 
troops in that department, as soon as conveniently may 
be. I am induced to appoint you to this command on 
account of your knowledge and influence among the in- 
habitants of that country. 

You will be pleased, therefore, to repair to Saratoga, 
and establish your head quarters at that place, retaining 
with you four hundred of the troops from Massachusetts, 
and sending the other two hundred to Col. Willet, who 
will remain in command upon the Mohawk river, as his 
popularity in that country will enable him to render essen- 
tial services there. 

In case of an incursion from the enemy, you will make 
such dispositions, as you shall judge most advantageous, 
for opposing them and protecting the frontier, not with- 
drawing the troops from the Mohawk river. I rely upon 
it you will use your utmost exertions to draw forth the 


force of tho country from the Green mountains and all 
the contiguous territory. And I doubt not your requisi- 
tions will be attended with success, as your personal influ- 
ence must be unlimited among those people, at whose 
head you have formerly fought and conquered with so 
much reputation and glory. ^ 

I request you will be particular in keeping up proper 
discipline, and preventing the troops fronl committing 
depredations upon the inhabitants. 

Be pleased to let me hear from you from time to time, 
and, believe me, dear sir. 

Your most obedient humble servant, 


Note by Editor. — The expedition against Lord Corn- 
wallis, in Virginia, was now in secret contemplation, *The 
movement was only known to Congress, to General "Wash- 
ington, Robert Morris, Count de Rochambeau, {he French 
agent, the Chevalier de La Lucerne, and General Lafay- 
ette. Previous reports had been circulated, that, on the 
arrival of the French army, an attempt would be made 
upon New- York. The British general in New- York, 
therefore, when too late to remedy the matter, received 
with astonishment the information that the American 
army was in Virginia, and soon afterward, that Lord Com- 
wallis was shut up at Yorktown by a French fleet on one 
quarter, and a superior American and French force on the 

JOHN stabs:. 213 

Ueadquartxbs. Peekskill, \ 
Juno 28, 1781. / 

Sir — On your arrival to take the command of the north- 
em frontier, you will be pleased to advise with General 
Schuyler with respect to the disposition of the troops des- 
tined for the defence of that quarter. As that gentleman's 
knowledge of every part of that exposed country is very 
good, his assistance and counsel may be very useful to you. 
From this motive, I am induced to give you this direction. 
You will also consult with him with respect to furnishing 
the means of subsistence to the troops under your com- 
mand, should you at any time find the public stores to be 

With much regard, 

I am, sir, your most obed't 

Humble serv't, 

Brigadier General Stark. 

To QovernoT Clinton. 

Albany, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^An instance, which I think is unusually 
alarming, has lately transpired in this department, and 
which I think is a design of no less consequence ttian 
the dissolution of the army. The plan seems to be to try 
the superior force of the civil government over that of the 
military, in seizing, imprisoning and detaining soldiers 
from their duty, at a time when the public are under the 
necessity of giving such enormous prices to induce men 
to enter the service, and the demand is so pressing. This 
instance happened in this city on the body of one Hoar, a 
soldier in the Massachusetts line, but detained here in the 
useful works of the armory. He was seized on a pretended 
debt of about six pounds, that it was said he owed a 
tavern-keeper as a tavern bill. The tavern-keeper took 
the advice of a young fubble of a lawyer who, ready to 


undertake anything that would make him popular in 
knavery, and perhaps possessed of some glimmering hopes 
of future favors from the tory*s sovereign for the bold 
and daring attempt, readily engaged in the design, and 
grauted a writ, by force of which he now lies in jail. 

I need not relate to your excellency the fatal conse- 
quences resulting from such a procedure ; they are too 
plain to need a moment's animadversion. However, I am 
not apprehensive of any imminent danger from the loss of 
a single soldier, though a very useful man ; but the pre- 
cedent, I must own, alarms me. What shall hinder a 
body of the enemies to the country (of which, to my sor- 
row, I must own that I think this city is replete)," to either 
trust, or pretend to trust soldiers, and then commence 
actions against them ? The answer must be, they must be 
immediately laid in jail, and by the same authority that 
puts one in can a brigade be put in ; and, if a brigade goes, 
I know nothing to prevent the whole army from sharing 
the same fate. And farther, sir, I am fully confident that 
George the III., of Great Britain, has many subjects in this 
city who would willingly lay. down half, nay, even the whole 
of their estates in this service, and trust in his royal clem- 
ency for the repayment of the money so profitably laid out 
for his great advantage. But it is unnecessary to enlarge 
upon a subject so explicit, and I shall only beg leave to be 
considered yours, and my country's sincere friend. 

I am, sir, your faithful friend 

And obedient servant, 


JOHN 8TABE. 216 

To His Excellency, General Washington. 

Albany^ 9th of August, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^In compliance with your orders, I arrived at 
Bennington on Friday last, and on Saturday made a visit 
to their governor, who, together with the leading mei^ of 
the country, have promised me every assistance in their 
power to repel the common enemy. I have reason to be- 
lieve, from their conduct, that their promises are not falla-" 
cious ; for, before I came to Bennington, Major McKinstry, 
who has command of the troops at Saratoga, sent an ex- 
press to apprise them of the enemy's advance for his post* 
The alarm, was spread, and in a few hours one hundred 
and fifty men, on horseback, marched to his assistance. 
The alarm proved false, and next day they returned, but 
not till they had visited Saratoga. 

On Monday last, at sunrise, a party of eleven was dis- 
covered in the south-east part of Bennington, supposed to 
be a party of tories from Hoosac, passing to Canada. The 
people were instantly in arms, pursued them until 1 
o'clock, when three of the pursuers came up and made 
them prisoners. They were instantly marched to Ben- 
nington. Upon examination, I find them to be a party 
from Canada, which first consisted of six. They made 
prisoners of Esquire Bleeker ^d two servants, when they 
were joined by other tories, making up the eleven. I in- 
close you their instructions. For my part, I think they 
ought to be considered as spies, and beg your excellency's 
opinion on the subject 

Perhaps you will be surprised when I inform you that 
the militia from Berkshire and Hampshire counties have 
not yet arrived at Saratoga. Upon being apprised of it at 
Bennington, I wrote to Gen. Fellows by express, begging 
that they might be hastened without loss of time. I like, 
wise wrote Major McKinstry to send me a return of the 
garrison at Saratoga, and find it to consist of but ninety 
men, including officers ; for which reason, I thought it 
most prudent for me to return to Albany and wait until a 
lareer number can be collected ; but be assured that when 


a number arrives that will render my presence necessaiy, 
I shall lose no time in repairing to my post 

I should be remiss in my duty not to inform your ex- 
cellency that it was with the greatest diflSiculty I procured 
an express to go to Saratoga, for want of something to pay 
his expenses ; and in a department that requires so much 
intelligence to be communicated, if possible, some pro- 
• vision ought to be made. Knowing that your excellency 
will do all in your power for the public good, your direc- 
tions on this, and every other subject, shall be my invari- 
able and certain guide. 

Your letter, of the 28th of June, is just placed in my 
hand. I will show it to General Schuyler, who is polite 
enough to promise me every assistance in his power, either 
in advice, or knowledge of the country and property, if 

I congratulate your excellency on his fortunate escape, 
the night before last. He writes by this conveyance, other- 
wise I should give you the particulars. 

There is not a drop of public rum in the department 
I wish that a quantity may be ordered this way, as large as 
would amount to our proportion. Your excellency must 
know that, if I do my duty, I must keep scouts continually 
in the woods, and men on that service ought to have a 
little grog in addition to their fresh beef and water. 

Every intelligence worthy of your excellency's notice 
shall be regularly communicated, if in my power. 

Wishing your operations against our enemies all the 
success that the virtue of our cause deserves, 

I have the honor to be, 

Your excellency's most ob't. 

And very humble servant, 



To His Excellency, Qeneral Washington. 

Albany, Auguai 15, 1778. 

Dear General — The deputy paymaster of this department 
informs me that he is recalled, and that your excellency 
is of opinion that we have no occasion for one. Your 
excellency must be deceived as to the distances of our 
detachments from head quarters. 

One body is stationed at Otter creek, one hundred and 
thirty miles nonlj^-east of this place ; one at Fort Edward, 
fifty miles ; one at Fort Schuyler, one hundred and twen- 
ty miles ; and Alden's and Butler's regiments are posted 
on two other stations. Beside these, the militia are 
employed for short terms, and the wages they earn will not 
justify the expense of sending to you. Under these cir- 
cumstances, a deputy paymaster is often of the greatest 
importance at this place. I leave the matter, however, for 
your judgment. 

As Congress has been pleased to make provision for the 
battalion officers, but not any as I have heard for the gen- 
erals or staff, I should be glad of your opinion in what 
manner I shall make up my accounts, as I am in a separate 
command, which makes my expenses much greater than 
if I acted with the army. I wish to be able to live up to 
my station, which can not be done by the bare allowance 
of a brigadier, as I am obliged to purchase everything at 
a high price : for instance, for a gallon of rum, $14 ; a 
pound of sugar, $2.50 ; and every thing in prpportion. 

Capt. McKean is with me, and informs that he can raise 
a company of g09d rangers to scour the woods on the 
western frontier, if he can have proper encouragement 
He served with me in the ranging service during most of 
the last war. 

I have ordered him to raise them, which I hope you will 
approve, as I think one company of such men can do 
more than a regiment of militia. 

I am, sir, your ob't serv't, 





AngoBi 16, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — ^I have received your favor of the 9th, and 
am very well pleased with the account you give of the dis- 
position and behavior of the people of Yermont The 
party you mention to have been captured by them, I think 
must be considered as prisoners of war, and ought to be 
closely confined, to prevent all possibility of escape until 
they are exchanged. 

I hope the militia have arrived befoA this time, as I 
have been obliged to order the remainder of the conti- 
nental troops to join the maii^ army. 

I am fully sensible of the embarrassments the several 
departments labor under for the want of money, especially 
to pay the expenses of expresses and persons employed to 
carry intelligence ; and after informing the quarter master 
general of your situation in this respect, shall be verji 
happy if he can devise ways to remedy the evil in future. 
The commissary will have directions to send a proportion 
of whatever rum we may receive for the use of your de- 

I am, dear sir, with great regard, 

Your most obed't serv't, 

Brigadier Qeu. Stark. 

Instructions to Captain Liringston. 

Headquariar$^ Albam^. 

By John Stark, Esq., Brigadier General in the Army of the United 

States, and Commander of the Troops in the Northern Department. 

You will proceed, with the party under your command, 
to Schoharie. On your arrival at that place, you will 
establish your post on the most convenient and advanta- 
geous piece of ground in your power, to act either ofibn- 
sively or defensively, as circumstances may require — 
immediately detaching and keeping out such scouts as 
may be necessary to give you intelligence of the advance 
of an enemy, and save you from a surprise. 

JOHK 8TABK. 219 

In case, on your arrival, the militia of that place should 
join you, they are to be allowed provisions in the same 
manner as the other troops under your command. 

Tou will take particular care that no wanton mischief 
is committed either upon the persons or property of the 
inhabitants by your soldiers. 

The commissary has my orders to send some cattle 
along with you. Flour, I presume, can be got upon the 
ground ; if it appears otherwise, I shall take care that you 
shall be equally supplied with the other troops in the 
department Should any public teams come to Schoharie 
during your stay, you will lend them what aid you can' 
with safety, to assist in loading. 

Placing full confidence in your address, activity and 
experience as an officer, I shall omit particulars not essen- 
tially interesting, in regard to which your prudence must 
be your guide — ^and wish you every success and honor due 
to military glory. 

Done at Albany, this 16th of August, 1781. 


Albany, IBth August, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Application has been made to me by several 
gentlemen of reputation, for permission to send a flag of 
truce to Canada for the exchange of persons, inhabitants 
of this State, who are now there in captivity. If you 
should think proper to signify your approbation to such 
exchange, I will furnish them with a flag. The bearer 
will give you the names of those proposed for the purpose. 

As the command of this department may require me 
upon occasion to impress wagons for the transportation of 
provisions, &;c., I must request your excellency to grant me 
a warrant for that purpose. 

I have the honor to be, &;c., 

.Your Excellency's most obed't serv't, 

ffis Excellency, Governor Clinton. 


HXADQU1.RTEBS. Albany, \ 
22d August, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — ^I am informed that a large quantity of grain 

is at Schoharie, and that the inhabitants would willingly 

part with it upon terms highly beneficial to the United 

States ; and, as so large a granary as that of Schoharie 

may be a considerable object to induce the enemy to 

destroy it, I have had it in contemplation to remove it to 

Schenectady. To do this will be impossible unless a large 

number of teams can be collected, which I am told can 

not be done without your- warrant to impress them. If 

you should judge the matter worthy of attention, it will 

be then necessary to give a press warrant to me, or some 

person whom you shall think more proper, to execute the 


I am, sir, &c., 


To His Excellency, Governor Clinton. 

Albany, 2td August, 1778. 

Dear Sir — ^I have ventured to detain three armorers in 
this department until your pleasure shall be known, two 
of whom I determine to send to the westward under the 
direction of Col. Willet, and the other is to go to Saratoga 
with me. Your excellency will be pleased to consider 
that when a gun is out of repair (though perhaps a trifle 
would put it in order), a soldier is rendered unfit for duty ; 
and it is very improbable that any man can be found with 
the militia capable of performing the service. But, never- 
theless, if your excellency should disapprove of the meas- 
ure, and think they can be of more service any where 
else, I shall send them immediately. 

Two hundred of the militia have arrived. I hope the 
remainder will come in soon. I am just told that seventy 
will be in to-morrow. 

I have likewise detained one, of Col. Vanschaik's regi- 
ment, to serve as a pilot on the frontiers. Gen. Schuyler 

JOHN STARK. . 221 

can inform you of the necessity of hit tarrying. He is 
a man that he enlisted on purpose for a guide. 

I am, dear sir, &c., 

His Excellency, Gen. Washington. 

Brigadier Greneral Stark. 

HBADQU1.RTEBS. PeekskiU, 1 

AugUBt 24, 1781. 

My Dear Sir — ^His excellency, the commander-in-chief^ 
having crossed the Hudson river, the command of all the 
troops, posts, etc., in this department, have devolved on 
me. By his special instructions he has been pleased to 
enjoin on me attention to the security of the northern and 
western fix)ntiers of this State. I have, therefore, to re- 
quest of you stated reports and returns of the state of 
things, and of the troops in your district, and of all im- 
portant intelligence or occurrences that may come to your 
knowledge. Please to endeavor to obtain the earliest and 
best intelligence of any motions or designs of the enemy, 
and advise me from time to time how your troops are sup- 
plied with provisions, etc., etc. A quantity of rum is on 
its way from Springfield to Claverack, as the nearest point 
of embarkation on the Hudson, and designed for the use 
of the army. About one tenth part of the rum which 
goes to Claverack is designed for the troops under your 
command. Please direct Mr. Commissary Gamble not to 
detain a larger proportion. The remainder must be for- 
warded to West Point for the use of the garrison and this 
army. The latter now consists of eighteen regiments of 
regular troops, without a single drop of rum iir the hands 
of the commissaries. Please let me hear from you as 
often as opportunity offers. 

I am, with great regard, dear sir. 

Your most obe*t serv't, 

M. General. 


Poughkeepne, AuguH 2M^ 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^I am &vored with your letter of the 23d inst 
Although I fully agree with you in the importance of 
removing the grain from Schoharie, as it is yet the prop- 
erty of individuals, I am not authorized to grant warrants 
of impress for the purpose. 

If the commissary general or State agent should pur- 
chase the whole or any part of the grain in that quarter, 
for the use of the army, I shall then be authorized and 
will cheerfully grant him my warrant for impressing as 
many teams as may be necessary to remove the quantity 
they shall certify to be so purchased. Should they decline 
selling in the first instance, I hope your influence with the 
inhabitants, and their own safety, will induce them to 
remove their crops to the interior parts of the State, and 
not leave it as an incitement to the enemy to repeat their 
ravages against that place. 

I am informed that Captain Dunbar and Lieutenant 
Grant, of the levies of this State, are apprehended and sent 
to Albany on a charge of deserting to the enemy. As these 
troops are subject to the command of the commander^ 
in-chief, and, as a sufficient number of officers to consti- 
tute a court for the trial of these officers may not con- 
veniently be convened at Albany, I submit it to you 
whether it would not be more expedient to order them, 
with the evidence, to "West Point, to be tried there. 

With greatest respect, &c., 

Brigadier General Stark. 

To General SUrk. 

Fori JUnsaeUur, 2bth Aug,^ 1781. 

Dear General — ^Your favor of the 23d instant has come 
safe to hand. The arrival of only part of the rum is a 
disappointment ; yet^ it is a true old saying that " half a 
loaf is better than no bread." This disappointment, how- 

JOHN 8TABK. 223 

ever, for the present does not affect me bo much as the 
backwardness of the troops designed for this quarter. The 
want of mm is quite a small evil in proportion to what 
the want of men would be, in case of a visit from the 
enemy, which we have continual reason to apprehend in 
these parts ; for our situation is vulnerable for a large ex- 
tent on both sides of the river ; and this is the most con- 
venient frontier we have for the enemy to approach, either 
from Niagara, Buck's island, or Oswegotchie (from all 
which places we have been visited this campaign) ; nor 
would it be a new thing for the enemy to move this way 
through Lake Champlain. 

But the immediate painful part of my business here, is 
the daily applications that are made to me by numbers of 
suffering inhabitants (whom I class among the best of 
whigs, being always ready to turn out in case of alarm), 
for guards to enable them to save their grain — a considera- 
ble quantity of which is still in their fields, in great dan- 
ger of being spoiled — and it is not in my power to help 
them. Very considerable quantities of grain may be had 
in these parts for public use, if we are fortunate enough 
to have the grain all secured. But, in order to procure 
grain for the public use, the quarter master should furnish 
us with bags ; indeed, this appears to me to be an object 
of such importance that it ought to spur the quarter 
master to make large exertions, in order to procure bags. 
I should be glad if you would urge him to attend to this 
business. At present I have a large guard at Turloch, 
with a number of hands at work endeavoring to secure as 
much of the harvest of that place as possible. This 
makes my force, which was otherwise very scant, bare 

The whole force now at this place, including ten who 
are sick, is fifty one ; and most of the posts above and 
below are entirely destitute. I am -not a little desirous of 
removing a part of the stores from Fort Herkimer, agree- 
ably to an order I received some time ago from his 
excellency, Q-en. Washington, which the want of strength 


has hitherto prevented. I can not therefore help thinking 
it strange that one hundred men, beside the two compa- 
nies stationed at Schoharie, and which is the fall propor- 
tion for that place, should be sent for and detidned there, 
while this more exposed and extensive country remains 
so exceedingly bare. Of this I imagined Gov. Clinton 
was well apprised. By his letter to me of the 13th inst, 
immediately after the disaster at Haversink, in which, after 
continuing to guard against a possible appearance of that 
party of the enemy in this quarter, he lets me know that 
he had ordered reinforcements for Schoharie fh>m General 
Ganesvoort's brigade of militia, until the entire departure 
of the enemy should be ascertained. Yet after this, his 
reinforcing that place with part of the quota of troops 
intended for this river, which is more exposed than that 
place, is what I could not -have expected. There 19 no 
doubt, however, that if it is with you to have this matter 
rectified, it will be done without loss of time ; but, should 
it be still necessary to wait for directions from the gov- 
ernor upon this head, I shall be much obliged to you to 
mention the difficulties I labor under to him, yourself, as 
well as make me acquainted with it, that I may likewise 
write upon this business as soon as possible, as much 
may depend upon it, I am in danger of having a fsimine 
of paper. I shall therefore be much obliged to you, sir, to 
order some this way. 

I am, sir. 

Your most obed't serv't, 


P. S. Flour we shall be able to ftimish ourselves with 
if we have no assistance, but beef I must request you to 
order this way, or we shall soon be meat less. 

JOHN 8TABK. 225 

To Colonel Pickering. 

HxAi>Qni.BTBRS. Albany^ \ 
August 26th, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — My situation in this department is the most 
disagreeable I was ever in. There is no forage for horses ; 
no horses to transport any kind of provisions in this 
extensive department ; there are no camp-kettles for the 
ase of the troops. And unless some of the above men- 
tioned grievances are redressed, and very speedily^ I shall 
expect the troops on the frontiers will disperse* and go to 
their homes. 

I can not say it is the fault of the quarter master, for I 
do not know his authority ; but, unless he can or will do 
something more than he has since I have been here, he is 
entirely useless here. 

I applied to him a fortnight ago for a wagon to trans- 
port my baggage to Bennington ; I have not got it yet, 
nor do I see any probability of it. 

I must beg an answer from you on the subject; and do 
let me know what I am to expect from the quarter master's 
department — ^whether assistance or not. 

I am, sir, your most obedient serv't, 


To Colonel Henxy Laurens. 

Albany, Auyuet 21ih, 1781. 

Dear Sir — By a spy, who has been on board the enemy's 
ships at Crown Point, we learn that their intention is to 
make a push upon this place, to alarm the If ew-Hampshire 
Grants by way of Castleton, and gather all the tories in 
this quarter, who are to be met by General Howe's army 
near this place. Therefore I should advise you to keep 
your men in readiness. 

Your obed't serv't, 



To Goyernor Chittenden. 

Albany, 27th August, 1781. 

JUy Dear Sir — ^I only waited the prudent and happy 
determination of Congress, to congratulate yon upon the 
interesting and important decision in yoar fi&vor. Be 
assured, sir, that no intervening circumstance on the grand 
political system of America, since the war began, has gir* 
en me more real pleasure than to hear of your acceptance 
into the Union* — a measure that I do now, and always did 
think, was highly compatible with the real interest of the 
country. It is with difficulty that I can determine in my 
own mind why it has been postponed to this late honr ; 
but perhaps Congress had motives that we are strangers 
to. The best and wisest mortals are liable to error. 

I am very happy to acquaint you that the people in this 
city show very much of the highest solicitude upon the 
matter, fully convinced that to be separate will be more 
for the interest of both States than to be united. In my 
opinion, nothing can wound a generous mind more than 
the mortifying thought of making a large country misera- 
ble ; and the people of your State, by their utter dete8ta> 
tion of the management of New- York, must have been 
wretched under their government. 

To have been connected with New-Hampshire is what 
many in the State would have been very sorry for, as very 
inconvenient and expensive for both bodies of people, and 
no real good resulting from such a connection ; therefore 
I am of the opinion that every man, who consulted the 
public interest, must be an advocate for a separation. For, 
had they been connected, there would ever have been a 
jealousy between the two States, which would have been 
infallibly dangerous to both ; but that jealousy, by the 
separation, must entirely subside, and New-Hampshire 
and Vermont live in perfect friendship as sister States. 

That Vermont, in its government, may be happy, and a 
stranger to internal jars, is the ardent wish, my dear sir, of 
your most obed't serv't, 


*Thif was premsture : Congress offered, but Yermont would not aooept 


Bennington, 2Sih August, 1781. 

Sir — ^From the slight acquaintance I have made with 
yon, and your known humanity, I am induced, in behali 
of my good friend. Captain Brownson, to ask the favor ot 
you to use your good influence to procure the release ot 
Doctor Smith's son, who is confined in Albany gaol ; and 
for whom, by my request, application has been made to 
you before. Capt. Brownson's exchange can be effected 
for him, and a servant, McFall, taken at the battle of Ben- 
nington ; and, as there is no probability of any farther 
exchange taking place, I must earnestly entreat your kind 
interposition in this case. 

General Safford, who will deliver this, will consult you 
more fully on the subject, to whom I beg leave to refer 
you. I have the honor to be, sir. 

With respect and esteem. 

Your most obed*t and most 

Humble servant, 

Hon. General Stark. 

Fart Rensselaer, 2%tk August, 1781. 

Dear General — ^Yours, of the 26th inst, is come to hand. 
The prospect of a supply of beef relieves me from a con- 
siderable deal of anxiety. Yesterday, just at dusk, I was 
advised of the enemy's having been early the day before 
at Cobuskill, where it is said they have burned several 
houses and barns. How it came to pass that I did not re- 
ceive this account sooner, I am unable to devise, as the 
distance is little more than twenty miles from this place^ 
and only eight miles from Turloch, where I have a large 
party at work procuring the grain of that settlement 
Had I have known it at the time, I think the chance 
would have been in my favor of falling in with them 
before they could have reached the Susquehanna, as I had 
a paartf out that night as far as Cherry Valley, in conse- 


quence of having discovered ten or twelve Indians at 
Bowman's creek. I shall endeavor to find out the reason 
of this delay in sending this account this way. 

No people can be more alert and ready to turn out on 
news of the approach of an enemy than the militia of this 
quarter ; consequently none deserve more attention. We 
shall, therefore, look to you for our quota of men, and 
every thing else that may be necessary to make our situa- 
tion as comfortable and agreeable as possible. 

I am, sir, your most obedient humble serv't, 

Hon. Qeneral Stark. 

To Brigadier General Stark. 

Pouffhkeepaie, 2Sih Auffust, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Your letter of the 11th instant is this mo- 
ment received. I can have no objections against your 
sending a flag to Canada, to negotiate an exchange of the 
inhabitants who are prisoners with the enemy, fB their 
liberation is an object I have frequently attempted, although 
in vain, and most ardently wish. 

I need not mention to you, sir, the great care that ought 
to be taken, especially in our present situation, in the 
appointment of an officer to conduct this business, as your 
own good sense will dictate that he ought to be a man of 
address and firmness ; and no person should be permitted 
to accompany him but such as merit the most perfect con* 

I inclose you a list of the persons transmitted to me by 
the commissioners of Albany, to be oflTered in exchange, 
and against which I have no objection, provided that 
those that are marked as inhabitants make their applica- 
tion to me, for the purpose, in writing, agreeable to law, to 
be filed in the Secretary's office of the State. 

If the enemy should consent to an exchange, due atten- 
tion must be paid to give preference to those of our fidends 


who have been longest in captivity, as this is consonant 
with justice, and the contrary would occasion discontent. 

Agreeable to your request, I transmit your inclosed war- 
rant of impress for forty wagons for ten days. You will 
please to observe that you may, by the letter of the war- 
rant, in the first instance, employ the whole number of 
wagons for ten days, to transmit provisions or public stores, 
and the warrant would expire. But I conceive the public 
service would be advanced by employing a small number 
of them only at a time ; and that in this way they will be 
sufficient, with what the quarter master may furnish, to 
transmit provisions for your troops during the season. It 
is justice to make the disaffected, who in other respects 
bear least of the common burthen, the objects of the im- 
press, which I am sure will not be disagreeable to you. 

I am, with great respect and esteem. 

Dear sir, your most obed*t serv't, 


Albany, 2^th August, 1781. 

My Dear Sir — ^Your letter of the 24th was delivered me 
last evening. I am very sorry it will be impossible for me 
to transmit a regular return of the state of the district, in 
my present circumstances. Paper, that necessary article 
for the transaction of business, we are wholly destitute of; 
and the troops in the department are so scattered that it 
would be a work *of considerable time (under the best 
circumstances), to collect and digest the state of the depart- 
ment into a single return. Much more must be the diffi- 
culties in the present, which are very far from coming 
within that description. I desired Col. Willet to send me 
a return twenty days ago, but it has not come yet, nor can 
I guess when it will. He has nothing to make it on. 

I shall regularly communicate every intelligence that 
comes to my knowledge, worthy of attention ; and shall 


begin with the common, bat ever disagreeable news of 
twelve houses and fourteen bams being burnt, by a party 
of the enemy, at Cobnskill, and three men and five bojs 
taken prisoners ; and a number of cattle and horses driven 
away. I can not learn who had the command, nor their 
exact number ; but they bent their course towards Cheny 
Valley, where it is very probable we shall hear of some 
other instances of their unparalleled clemency. 

I shall strictly adhere to your directions with respect to 
the commissary ; and, at the same time, must beg you 
would attend to the indispensable wants of this depart- 
ment It is not in my power to send an express forty 
miles, for want of cash, be the emergency ever so press- 
ing. There is not a camp-kettle for all the militia, and 
not half enough for the three years' men ; and you are too 
well acquainted with those gentry to think they will rest 
easy under such circumstances. There is no forage in the 
department, nor means to provide any. 

The commissioners of accounts and the quarter masters 
draw provisions from the department, which I think 
directly contrary to a positive resolution of Congress ; but 
I shall suspend directing to the commissary not to deliver 
it until your pleasure shall be known. 

There are a number of prisoners of war and convention 
in this department : some under bonds for their appearance 
on certain days ; and others at large. I have ventured to 
give orders for the seizing of all that can be found. A 
number are already collected, and I expect to get a number 
more. I could wish that they could be exchanged for 
some of Alden*s or Warner's regiments that were taken 
in this quarter. But, at all events, they are veiy improper 
persons to be at large, especially in this country. 

I am, dear sir, 

With much respect and esteem, 

Your ob't serv't, 

Major General Heath. 


To his Ezcelleney, GoTernor Clinton. 

Albany^ Zlst August, 1781. 

Dear Sir — My embarrassments in this department are 
almost intolerable. I have not a single grain of forage, 
nor can 1 procure any. When I apply to the quarter mas- 
ter, he says, "what can I do ? " and this is all I can get 
from him. It is all that he does, and almost all that he 
says. You must be sensible that it will be impossible to 
transact the business without some magazine of forage is 
laid up, or at least some for immediate consumption. 

It is a month since I have been on the ground, and I 
have received nothing from the quarter master except a 
little swamp hay, and none of that for these ten days. 

I have almost daily calls from the frontier for provisions, 
but am not able to send them any assistance, as the quar- 
ter master has no money to hire teams, and no authority 
to impress them ; and as you promised me every assist- 
ance in your power, to facilitate my command and the 
public business, I must now claim the benefit of your 
promise, and beg your assistance at this critical period. 
Major ShurtlifF, who will have the honor of delivering 
this, can enumerate many difficulties I have not men- 
tioned, and which, if mentioned, would stretch this letter 
beyond its designed length. I shall be very happy to be 
favored with your advice, and shall apprise you of all 
intelligence that shall appear to affect the State. 

Your most obedient servant, 


To the Honorable PreBident of Congress. 

Albany, September Itt, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Perhaps the topic that I take the liberty to- 
address you upon, is so common that it is no longer 
noticed ; if that be the case, my labor is lost. However, the 
high opinion I have formed of the rectitude, virtue and 
justice of the august body over whom you preside, leads 
me to hope that my request, which I think reasonable, 
may be taken into consideration and granted. 


I must inform you that it is going on the third year 
since I have received any cash from the public as pay, or 
on account (except two thousand dollars at Providence, 
R. L, in 1779), which you must know is very incompetent 
to the expenses of a general officer since that time. How- 
ever, I have tamely waited the liberality of Congress, with- 
out asking what was my due, until my means as well as 
my credit are entirely exhausted. 

Necessity now induces me to ask that from you which 
I endeavored to keep off as long as possible. I do not 
indeed recollect ever troubling your excellency with a 
request of this kind before, nor should I now, were there 
any other method within the compass of my knowledge. 

It may be necessary to inform your excellency that I 
applied to New-Hampshire last winter for a settlement of 
accounts. They returned for answer that " Congress had 
not recommended it to them to take up the matter with 
respect to the general officers ; and without that recom- 
mendation, they did not conceive that it was in their pow- 
er, as Congress might determine to do it themselves, as 
they had their sole appointment.'* But they advanced me 
a little paper money upon my own credit, which I hold 
myself bound for the payment of; and a little of it still 
remains in my hands. There it must remain, for I can get 
nothing for it. 

I could, I own, when I procured the paper, have 
exchanged some of it for hard cash, but the precedent I 
did then, and still do, despise ; and I trust you will not 
permit me to be a sufferer by that. 

I have no doubt but that Congress are too much 
troubled with requisitions of this kind ; but, at the same 
time, I must, among others, request a little cash — not that 
I expect or wish all that is my due, but something that 
shall be equal to what Congress shall think a general 
officer ought to have, on a separate command. 

I have the honor to be 

Tour most obedient humble servant, 

JOHN stake:. 

JOHN 8TAKK. 233 

To Brigadier General Stark. 

PcughkeepsUy lit Sept, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^When in Albany last winter, I addressed 
a letter to Governor Haldiman, respecting the exchange 
and liberation of a number of women and children, 
captured by the enemy on the frontiers of this State, 
which was to be forwarded by a flag.« Brig. Gen. Clinton 
intended sending to Canada to eftect the exchange of Dr. 
Smith and others, but it seems the situation of our affairs, 
while he had the command, rendered such communication 
inexpedient, and he has returned me the letter and papers ; 
but the forwarding of them at this late day might be 
deemed improper. 

I now take the liberty of inclosing them to you, and to 
request that the letter be forwarded by the first flag. 

As the letter is sealed, I inclose you a copy of it. to 
which, and the other inclosed papers, I beg leave to refer 
you for information. It is only necessary for me to ob- 
serve, that I am possessed of the obligation of Mr. Stuart, 
executed by himself and two freeholders, for complying 
with the conditions expressed in the papers, signifying my 
consent to his being exchanged, and for the liberation of 
an inhabitant of this State, a prisoner with the enemy, for 
a negro man he is to take with him ; and also Dr. Smith's 
obligation, subscribed by t^o other persons, for the 
exchange of Captains Wood and Drake, agreeable to the 
State commissary's certificate. 

You will find, among the papers now transmitted, a peti- 
tion from Margaret McKenny, supported by one in favor 
of her request by a number of the most respectable inhab- 
itants of Schenectady. 

I should be happy if I were at liberty to grant her the 
indulgence she asks, as I believe her case (and it is an ex- 
tremely hard one), is truly represented by the gentlemen 
of Schenectady, who have interfered in her behalf 

But, however insignificant the character, I do not con- 
ceive myself authorized to permit subjects of this State to 
change their allegiance without their compliance with 



a law of this State, which empowers me to exchange them 
on making proper application for the purpose, as men- 
tioned in my certificate at the foot of the petition. 

Mr. McFarland's character, as a zealous whig, induced 
me to consent to his accompanying the flag, and I believe 
he may be confided in. You will please to return me the 
papers respecting Mrs« McKenny, when you have perused 
them. I transmit them to you, under the idea of her 
applying to you on the subject, and perhaps she may 
conceive herself able to comply with the law, to facilitate 
which I will agree to take the most insignificant chara^ 
ters in exchange for her family, on her engagement to 
return when required, if she can not effect any. 

I am, with great respect, dear sir, 

Your most obed't serv't, 


To Brigadier General Stark. 

September 8d, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — I addressed you a few days since, but, as the 
conveyance was not direct, am uncertain whether my 
letter reached you. I wish ygu to write me vcrjr frequently, 
and give me a particular state of affairs in your district — 
the number of troops, and where stationed ; what works 
are in the district, in what condition, and how garriscmed ; 
what supplies of ammunition, provisions, &c., you have. 

Whenever you can obtain any intelligence of the mo 
tives or designs of the enemy, please give me the earliest 
notice of them. Please, also, to direct the person who is 
directed to do the duty of deputy adjutant general, to 
make accurate monthly returns of all the troops in your 
district, in continental pay, to Lieutenant Colonel Groeve- 
nor, the deputy adjutant general of the department at this 
place, or wherever this army may be at the time of making 
such return. 


Such return should be made punctually by the first of 
each month, that the general return may be made to Con- 
gress. Please, by the first opportunity, to order a return 
of your present strength to be sent, that, if there is any 
deficiency in the militia levies, the States may be called 
upon to complete them. 

A British fleet, of fourteen sail-of-the-line, under the 
command of Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, arrived at Sandy 
Hook last Tuesday, from the Wes-Indies : one ship of 
90 guns ; thirteen, of 74 ; three, of 44 ; one sloop and one 
fire-ship. It is said three old British regiments came in the 
fleet: viz., 1st battalion of royals, 13th and 69th; but 
these must have been much reduced by sickness in the 

I congratulate you on the safe return of Colonel Laurens 
from France, and the success of his embassy. A large 
sum of specie, and a quantity of clothing of all sorts, are 
safely arrived at Boston. 

I am, with great regard. 

Dear sir, your most obedient serv't, 

W. HEATH, Major General 

City Gorernment of Albany to Qovemor Clinton. 

Albany, ith September, 17S1. 

/S&"— We have received undoubted information that a 
party of the enemy from Canada intend to burn and 
destroy this city. 

The corporation and field officers of this city have had 
a meeting on the subject, and conceive it absolutely nec- 
esBary that some troops be stationed in town to protect the 
city, and the public buildings, stores and magazines in it. 

We conceive the city guards and night watches to be 
insufficient to ward off the impending danger. An undis- 
ciplined militia, whose city duty is frequent, are inade- 
quate to the task. We have requested General Stark to 



detain in town a sufficient guard or company for the pur- 
pose, and to be held in readiness to assist the city guards 
and patrols ; but, though willing, he does not conceive 
himself authorized to grant this request without orders 
for the purpose from the commander-in-chief of the 

"We therefore beg your excellency to write to General 
Heath on the subject, and endeavor to prevail on him to 
send a company (or two if possible) of troops, of at least 
sixty men each, or to order General Stark to send a com- 
pany of the troops now at Saratoga, to be stationed in this 
city for the above purposes. 

We are, &c. 

His Excellency, Governor Clinton. 

To His Excellency, Frederick Haldiman, Esq., Governor-in-Chief of Can- 
ada, aud Commander of the Britannic Majesty^s forces in the same. 

Headquarters. Saratoga, 1 
September, 1781. j 

Sir — The British military prisoners in this department 
are as anxious to be released from captivity as I suppose 
are the Americans in your power. Wishing to alleviate, 
as far as in me lies, the calamities incident on captivity, I 
have to propose to your excellency the exchange of all 
prisoners within my power, either agreeably to the mode 
settled between his excellency. General Washington, and 
his excellency. General Sir Henry Clinton, or on any other 
we can agree upon. Should you prefer the former, you 
will please to advise me thereof as soon as may be ; to 
transmit me a list of the numbers and rank of the pris- 
oners in. your power, and to signify at what place you 
would wish to deliver and receive such as may be ex- 

Should your excellency deem it more eligible to settle 
the terms of exchange between us, I conceive it would 


tend to expedite the business, if commissioners were 
appointed on both sides, to meet either on this or the 
other side of lake George, and settle the terms. 

Captain is the bearer of this, attended by , one 

non-commissioned officer and — privates, and, having 
orders to return as soon as he has delivered this, as a flag 
he is entitled to, and will doubtless be treated according 
to the laws of war. I am, with due respect. 

Your Excellency's most obedient servant, 

JOHN STARK, Brigadier General, 

Commanding the Northern Department. 

To Captain E. Manball. 

Albany J September 4, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Finding it necessary, for the good of the ser- 
vice in expediting public stores to the frontiers, to have 
an officer in whom I can confide stationed in this city — 
firom your long service in the army, and, consequently, 
knowledge of your duty — I am induced to appoint you to 
this command ; and, from and after my leaving the city, 
you are to consider yourself commanding officer on this 
ground, unless relieved by me, the commanding officer of 
the northern department, or the commanding officer of 
the main army, either of whose orders you are to obey. 

As I have reason to think there will be several militia 
men who will arrive after this date, to go either to the 
westward or northward, those you will victual and send to 
their regiments, in such a manner as you shall think 
proper, reserving in the city twenty men, who are to be 
a constant guard until farther orders. 

I must request you to employ some of your leisure 
moments in inspecting the public works of all kinds, as I 
have every reason to think that the most flagrant abuses 
are committed^ and the most wanton dissipation of public 


238 00RRE8F0NDSN0E OF 

property too familiar in them. In case you meet with 
any instances of the kind (which I think that yoa caa 
hardly fail of), you will take the earliest opportunity of 
reporting them to me. You will do all in your power to 
facilitate the public business of all kinds in the depart- 
ment, and strenuously urge on supplies while it is practi- 
cable. I shall leave you power to impress teams, but that 
power is not to be made use of when it can be well 
avoided, and then is to be to the reputed friends of the 
country ; and the carriages of persons of suspicious char- 
acter are to be taken. 

You will give no orders for provisions except to the 
quarter master's department, and then agreeably to the 
return and list he shall make out, in compliance with my 
orders of the 3d instant : one ration per day to Mrs. 
Orson, Lieutenant Lee's regular allowance, and to all 
officers on command (they producing their instructions), 
and to the Indians of the Oneida tribe, upon the order of 
John Bleeker, Esq., of this city. 

You will see that my orders of the 8d instant are dis- 
tributed, and when the returns and reports are delivered to 
you, forward them by the 4rst conveyance to my head- 

You will not allow Mr. Commissary to repay any rum 
which he has borrowed heretofore, unless the supply of 
that article will justify it. 

Should any of the Massachusetts levies come on with* 
out arms, you will furnish them, and endeavor to obtain 
receipts from their officers for the same, making them 
accountable to the commissary of military stores. 

I am, &c., JOHN STAKK 


[Copy of an extract from General WashiDgton's Letter to the President 
of Congress.] « 

Philadelphia, September 6, 1781. 

" With the highest pleasure I do myself the honor to 
transmit to your excellency a copy of a letter from Gen* 
Gist, which announces the safe arrival of Admiral De 
Grasse in the Chesapeake, with twenty-eight ship«-of-the- 
line. On this happy event, I heg your excellency to 
accept my warmest congratulations." 

Baltimore, September 4, 1781. 

Sir — ^I have the pleasure to inform you that the Serpent, 
(cutter of eighteen guns), Captain Arme de Luane, has 
this moment arrived here with dispatches to your excel- 
lency from Count de Grasse, who arrived in the Chesa- 
peake, with twenty-eight ships-of-the-line, the 26th ult. 
The next day he landed three thousand troops on the south 
side of James river, in order to fqrm a junction with the 
Marquis de la Payette. The fleet, on their passsage, took 
a packet from Charleston, with Lord Bawdon onboard, 
bound for Europe. 

The grand fleet has taken its station from the middle 
ground to Cape Henry, from whence have been detached 
three ships-of-the-line and one frigate to York river, where 
one twenty-six-gun-ship fell into their hands. Captain De 
Luane informs me that he left the fleet the day before 
yesterday, and that he had particular directions from the 
admiral to forward these dispatches to you by one of his 
oflicers ; but, as this gentleman can not be in readiness to 
pl-oceed immediately, I have thought it expedient to for- 
ward the intelligence by express, to assist your excellency 
ij the government of. such movements as it may be judged 
necessary to adopt on this occasion. 

I do myself the honor to inclose a list of the fleet, deliv- 
ered to me by the cutter, which will wait here for your 
orders. I have ordered all the vessels to sail immediately 
for the troops at the head of the Elk. 

I am, &c., M. GIST. 


Note. The above fleet is exclusive of that under the 
command of Count Barras. N«w-York news, which may 
he depended on, states that two frigates, conveying three 
transports from that place, having on hoard three Hessian 
regiments, were captured ; only one frigate returned, 
which brings the news. 

Albany, September 12, 17SI. 

Dear General — I this moment received a letter from 
Colonel Willet, dated Fort Plain, 10th inst. The follow- 
ing is an extract : 

*' I am just returned to this place. The party that 
Lieutenant Woodworth fell in with, which occasioned the 
late alarm, was not so strong as was represented to me. 
They were too far gonS before I got to Fort Herkimer. 

Poor Woodworth was taken in by their ambuscade, and 
was unfortunately killed the second fire. It cost us dear; 
only fifteen men out of Ihirty-nine, and two officers, have 
escaped ; eleven of our men, including Woodworth, were 
found dead. The remainder, with Lieutenant Wilson, we 
have no account of. Wilson, no doubt, did all in his 
power. The enemy were too heavy for him ; and I fear 
some of his men left him in the lurch. It has been an 
unfortunate affair. We must hope for better luck here- 
after. Please communicate this to the governor and 
General Stark. Want of paper and time prevented me 
from doing it myself." 

Inclosed you have a copy of a hand-bill from below. I 
give you my warmest congratulations on the flatteriif|g 
aspect and prospect of our affairs. 

I am, &c., dear sir, 

Your obed't serv*t, 

Hon. General Stark. 


[Extract from Rivington's New- York paper, dated September 5, 1781.] 

By a letter from the Chesapeake, dated the Slst ult., 
the French fleet or squadron, consisting of twenty- 
three sail, including frigates and inferior vessels, were 
arrived at Lynn Haven bay, in Virginia, from whence a 
sixty-four and two frigates were detached up York river, 
and- had taken a station oft* Yorktown. Every prepara- 
tion was making by our noble general to defend the im- 
portant posts his lordship there possesses ; and, as a very 
formidable and truly well appointed squadron of the 
British line, commanded by Admiral Graves, is, through 
much exertion, supposed to be now in the vicinity of our 
combined enemies, we may conclude the present to be the 
most interesting and critical era since the commencement 
of the American rebellion — for an expected action at 
sea is likely to become decisive of the inadmissible idol, 

We have at present the satisfaction to perceive a great 
part of the French navy in a more peculiar, and, perhaps, 
a more dangerous position than they were ever yet reduced 
to. Granting that the French West-India and Rhode 
Island fleets should have both reached the Chesapeake 
before Admiral Graves, we trust the following statement, 
as accurate as we can present it of the British navy when 
arrived in the bay, may inspire every true Briton with 
a firm confidence of its fair pretensions to brilliant success. 

A list of the British fleet, commanded by Thomas 
Graves, Esq., rear admiral of the Red : " One of 98 guns, 
twelve of 74 do., one of 70 do., four of 64 do., two of 50 
do., four of 44 do., three of 32 do., five of 28 do., one of 
24 do." 

♦During the month of October, 1781, poor Mr. Rivington had the morti- 
fying opportunity of dressing his paper in mourninflr for the capitulation 
of a second British army to the American rebels, which settled the ques- 
tion of the admissibility of the ** idol, Independence.*' 


[Extract of a Letter from Virginia, dated Torktown^ August 81.] 

I now inform you that we are blocked up by a French 
fleet of twenty-three sail ; one of sixty-four, and two 
frigates lie in sight of us. 

Yesterday came up two victuallers, committed to the 
protection of his majesty's frigate, Pegasus, and dispatched 
by Rear Admiral, Sir Samuel Hood, to New- York, *The 
Pegasus and her convoy, on their passage, fell in with a 
French squadron of line-of-battle-ships, supposed to be 
Mons. Barras. It was apprehended that the whole, consist- 
ing of six victuallers, and a vessel with the 40th regiment 
on board, had fallen into the hands of the enemy, until 
happily these two eflfected a safe arrival in our harbor. 

Hbadquarters. Peekskill^ \ 
September 7, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — 'By a letter from General Ganesvoort, and the 
mayor of the city of Albany, to his excellency. Governor 
Clinton, with a copy of which I have been honored, it 
appears they are apprehensive that a party of the enemy 
have a design to burn and destroy that city ; that they had 
requested of you a company of the troops under your 
command for its protection, which you would gladly grant, 
but was doubtful of doing it without my sanction. 

I wish you immediately to afibrd the protection request- 
ed, if the state of the troops under your command, and 
the safety of the other posts will admit it ; or, if not in 
your power to grant eftectual support, you would do it as 
far as circumstances will allow, and give me notice, if you 
apprehend it necessary, what farther aid may be requisite. 

I am, with great regard. 

Dear sir, your most obed*t serv't, 

W. HEATH, Major General 
Brigadier General Stark. 

JOHN stars:. 243 

* Seheneetady, Sih September^ 1781. 

Dear Sir — As the inclosed is so wet by the rain, I am 
afraid you will not be able to read the whole. By the let- 
ter of Lieutenant Fonda, it appears that Lieutenants 
"Woodworth and Wilson, with a party of forty, including 
themselves, went from Fort Plain yesterday in the fore- 
noon, and were attacked between thei Indian castle and 
Fall hill; both lieutenants are killed, and tweny-six pri- 
vates, and four wounded. I can not learn the enemy's 
strength, nor what number are killed on either side. 

Captain V , and the small party, with some pork, 

beef, salt, &c., &c., are gone ofi*. 

Yours, sincerely, in haste, 

To Captain E. Marshall. 

Headquarters. Peekakill, \ 
September 8, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — Apprehending that the city of Albany may 
be in some immediate danger, and that it is not in your 
power to afford the aid requested, without too much weak- 
ening your other posts, I have ordered two companies of 
Colonel Weisenfers regiment, under the command of 
the Major, immediately to Albany. This detachment, 
while in the northern district, will be subject to your 
orders ; but I wish not to have it removed beyond the city, 
unless some particular occasion shall require it. Li conse- 
quence of this measure, you will not call any of your 
troops from Saratoga to cover Albany. 

I am, with great regard, &c., 

W. HEATH, Major General. 

Brigadier General Stark. 


To the Worshipful Abraham Ten Broeck, Mayor of Afbany, and Briga- 
dier General Ganesvoort. 

Pleasant Vallky, Duchess County, \ 

September 8, 1781. J 

Gentlemen — I have the honor of inclosing a letter from 
Major General Heath, commanding the department, to 
Brigadier General Stark, (which you will please to have 
delivered), authorizing him to afford the city of Albany 
the protection you request, and directing him, in case the 
state of the troops under his command will not admit of 
effectual support, to give the general notice what farther 
aid may be requisite. You will readily perceive the pro- 
priety, on this occasion, of not only transmitting the 
substance of any intelligence you may receive of the 
designs of the enemy, but also of giving the manner of 
acquiring it, and every circumstance attending it, to ena- 
ble me to form a proper judgment of the credit it may 
merit, and back your application with confidence. 

I have the pleasure, also, of transmitting the inclosed 
extracts from Rivington*s New- York paper, of the 5th 
instant, announcing the arrival of twenty-three sail-of-the- 
line, belonging to our illustrious ally, in Lynn Haven 
bay (Chesapeake), and that Lord Cornwallis is completely 
blocked up, &c., &c., which you will please to communi- 
cate to your fellow-citizens in such manner as you may 
deem proper. 

On Mons*r Barras* junction, which, from the inclosed 
account, must long since have taken place, our fleet will 
consist of thirty-one sail-of-the-line, besides frigates, etc., 
from which, when compared with the enemy's lists, you 
will be able to judge of the event of an action. 

I am, with great respect, gentlemen. 

Your obed*t serv't, 



Albany, September 9ih, 1781. 

Dear General — The letter, per bearer, came to hand 
yesterday, about an hour after the express went off for 
you. In expectation, then and now, of farther intelligence 
from the westward, I retained, and still do, the only 
express horse here, or I should have sent them forward 
immediately. You may depend upon the earliest notice. 

The same slothfulness, too prevalent here, h^ prevented 
ine from sending the rum and other stores this day. They 
will, at all events, go off to-morrow morning, and will 
be at Stillwater on Tuesday morning. The commis- 
sary here, says wagons generally came from Saratoga 
to receive them at that poet. I believe you may venture 
to send some men on that day. There came but two 
hogsheads of rum from Claverack. I have ventured to 
let the commissary repay Mr. Glen sixty gallons, of whom 
Mr. Gamble had borrowed one hundred and eighty, two 
months ago, and entered into a private obligation to repay 
the same in ten days, or pay for the rum in specie ; this 
both parties mutually did for the benefit of the public. 
The rum Mr. Glen was selling for a merchant in Boston, 
whom he expects every moment will call for the money ; 
but he said if I would let him have two barrels he would 
wait for the other. I hope these considerations will justify 


I am, sir, &c.. 

Your obed*t serv't, 

Hon. General Stark. 

Saratoga f 9th September, 1781. 

Dear Sir — This will be handed you by Captain Brady, 
who has suffered a long and tedious imprisonment in Can- 
ada ; but, by good fortune, made his escape from Montreal, 
on the — of August. He is now nearly two thousand 
miles from his place of residence, and no friends or money 
to assist him. The public finances in this department not 


enabling me to grant him any aid, I have taken the liberty 
to recommend him to you. He can give you a tolerable 
account of affairs in Canada. 

My letters of yesterday, from Albany and Schenectady, 
give an account of a body of the enemy being on the Mo- 
hawk river ; and that they had killed two lieutenants and 
twenty-five privates, and wounded four more. I can not 
learn the particulars of this sad disaster, but hope to be 
able to inform you in my next, together with their capture 
by the brave and intrepid Colonel Willet, who is collecting 
in force to oppose them. 

I must beg you to send me a supply of ammunition as 
soon as possible, as the department has not sufficient for a 
single action ; which, by the accounts I can learn from 
Canada, we may daily expect. 

I am, sir, &c., JOHN STABK. 

Major General Heath. 

Schenectadyt September 9, 1781. 

5Sfr — ^I wrote to his excellency, the Governor, relative to 
those womea whose husbands are with the enemy, and in 
his answer, which I have just received, he approves of 
sending them off; but directs that a list of their names 
should first be sent to him (which I shall do without 
delay), and then he will signify his approbation to you 
of sending them oft' as soon as you think it expedient. 
As you may not have seen the law relative to this matter, 
I here inclose you a copy of it. 

Mr. Ellis informs me that he is going to wait on you 
on business relative to Mrs. Constable's going to Canada. 
I have only to observe that she had the necessary leave 
when she had obtained yours. 

Before your arrival at Albany, to take the command, I 
.applied to Colonel Willet to station twelve or fifteen of 
his men in this town, to assist us in the commissionary 
business, in apprehending disaffected persons, and small 


parties of the enemy, who came in a private manner, in 
order to enlist soldiers amongst ns, and get intelligence. 
He promised to comply with my request ; but, I suppose, 
from the multiplicity of business, and scarcity of men, he 
has neglected it. I should be glad if you would order us 
a few men here for those purposes, for the militia will not 

With respect, your most ob't serv't, 

Brigadier General Stark. 

Albany, September 10, 1781. 

Dear General — ^Yours of yesterday came to hand last 
evening. I believe you may dispel your fearful apprehen- 
sions of Colonel Willet's suflfering for want of cartridges. 
When I came from that quarter, his men were supplied, 
and he had nine thousand on hand (and the artillery mak- 
ing more), and a large quantity of loose powder. The 
whole, fixed and unfixed, amounted, by the artillery offi- 
cer's calculation, to nearly three tons. I send per bearer 
the things you demanded of the surgeon of the hospital. 
Major's Stark's horse is recovering. No news from either 

I am, &c., E. MARSHALL. 

To Major General Heath. 

Saratoga, llth September, 1781. 

Dear Sir — Yours of the 3d and 7th inst. are now before 
me ; the former was received last night, and the latter 
this day. By your not acknowledging the receipt of my 
former letters, I am. led to believe you never received 
them, for certainly they must have reached you long 
before this. In them you will find the reason of my not 
sending you a return ; and the same difficulty that then 
existed is not yet removed. Therefore, you must not 


expect a return until the materials are supplied to make it 
with. However, I can tell the number in this garrison, 
which consists of two majors, seven captains, eleven lieu- 
tenants, twenty-seven sergeants, and three hundred and 
sixty rank and file. We have about ten rounds of car- 
tridges per man, and no more ammunition in store. I 
wrote to General Enox for a supply some time ago, but 
have neither received the ammunition, nor any answer ; 
but hope for them every hour. I have no deputy adju- 
tant general, nor have I one that I can appoint, capable of 
the business, who is willing to undertake it. Be assured, 
sir, whenever you shall think proper to order a supply of 
paper, and appoint a deputy adjutant general, either from 
your army, or some one that you know in this district, the 
business shall then be done with regularity, and, I hope, to 
your satisfaction ; but till then, I can not tell how it will 
be transacted. You will perceive, by the number of men 
in this garrison, that it would be very imprudent to detach 
any of them to Albany ; but I expect a few more in every 
day. ^Notwithstanding this, I can not think myself justi- 
fiable in sparing any men from this, or any of the frontiers, 
without your positive orders, until we are stronger than 
we are now. 

And, indeed, was I ever so strong, Albany is a very 
dangerous place to put men into ; for, were I to send a com- 
pany there, I should expect they would have one half of 
them in jail, and the other half to keep them there, in a 
month. For I can inform you, sir, that they have had 
more than one continental soldier in jail, for debts, or pre- 
tended debts ; now they are calling for more, for perhaps 
the same purpose. It appears, sir, that some villains have 
determined to try whether they can detain a soldier in jail 
for debt or not; and, by the assistance these patriotic 
gentlemen have had from the magistrates of Albany, they 
have been enabled to carry their nefarious plans into exe- 

Farther, sir, Albany is able to turn out five hundred 
men for its own defence ; and a larger body than fifty can 

y JOHN STARK. '249 

not well come against them ; and, if ten virtuous citizens 
are not able to defend themselves against the assaults of 
one sculking rascal of a tory or an Indian, it is very 
remarkable, as they have got forts and walls to cover them, 
almost beyond the power of human force to shake. But, 
my dear sir, if you have men to spare from the army, I 
expect they will be soon wanted at this place, as I have 
this day almost certain intelligence of there being a large 
detachment of the enemy at St. Johns, destined for this 
quarter. Perhaps they may come before you can possibly 
send me any assistance ; but I hope not 

I am sorry that, among the rest of my calamities, it is 
not in my power to send an express forty miles, unless by 
detaching a soldier on foot, with his provisions on his back ; 
and, in case the enemy shall approach, I shall be under the 
necessity of sending expresses to Hampshire and Berk- 
shire counties, to Albany, and to the Grants. This, sir, 
requires good horses and horsemen. Neither of them are 
to be had here ; and, were there any horses, there is no 
money to pay their expenses, nor forage to keep them on ; ' 
nor any of either can I get. 

I have applied to the governor for forage, but he says 
that Congress has never required it of the State, and, witii- 
ont that requisition, he can not give a warrant to impress 
it ; and that he supposes Congress has lodged the money 
in the hands of the proper officers, to procure it. 
I am, sir, your obedient 

Humble servant, 




To General Stark. 

Albany, September 11, 1781. 

Dear General — ^Your favor of this day's date has just now 
come to hand. You may rely that every intelligence I can 
procure, from Canada or elsewhere, worthy of your atten- 
tion, will be immediately communicated. I have now 
the pleasure .to inclose a farther communication of the 
account I wrote you in my last, with some agreeable 
additions, to which I add, as may be relied on, that the 
British fleet, which Rivington, in a paper of the 5th inst., 
declared was gone in quest of the French fleet, has return- 
ed to New- York, where it remains ; and will perhaps 
remain, as it can not face the formidable fleet of our illos- 
ritous ally. 

Governor Clinton writes that all our prisoners who were 
at New- York, have been sent out on exchange and parole ; 
and that, from the best, nay, certain accounts, the greatest 
consternation prevails in that place among the British and 
their infamous fiiends. God increase their apprehensions. 
It was this morning reported that the infamous Arnold 
had made a descent at New-London, in Connecticut, and 
burnt that town, * but it has since been contradicted, and 
will, I hope, prove without foundation. 

With my compliments, please advise Major Stark that I 
feel with pleasure his polite attentions, both as it endears 
him to me, and that such a line of conduct is ever attended 
with happy results in a young gentleman. I should have 
written him, but the express waits. 

I am, sir, your most ob't serv't, 


* This report proved true. The fort on Grot<m heights surrendered Sep- 
tember 6, 1781, and Colonel Ledyard was slain with nis own sword af^r 
he had delivered it up as a token of submission. A large portion of New* 
London was at the same time laid in ashes by the traitor, Arnold. 


Saratoga, September 13, 1781. 

Dear Sir — I am honored with yours of the 11th instant. 
The extra flood of good news it contains difiuses a joy 
through my senses little short of delirium, and makes me 
almost forget my declining years, and wish for health and 
vigor, and an opportunity of distinguishing myself in the 
presence of our illustrious general, in aiding to humble the 
haughty, arrogant, and ostentatious Earl Cornwallis, I 
should be very happy to have a share in his defeat and 
capture — two events which either already have occurred 
or infallibly must take place in a few days. 

Poor Rivington must now be in a wretched dilemma. 
What excuse can he make ? ' How extricate the British 
from their present difficulties ? If he, or any other power 
short of omnipotence can, they must be adepts indeed. 

I am so pleased with the good news you send me, as 
almost to forget to thank you for your generous offer of 
sending me intelligence. Be assured, sir, that I feel 
exceedingly grateful for this and every other expression of 
your favor. 

I have no doubt of the willingness of that infamous 
traitor, Arnold, to do his country all possible injury, but 
hope he has not been able, in the case you mention, to 
give us fresh evidence of his hateful disposition. 

With esteem, sir, your friend. 

And most humble servant, 

Hon. General Schuyler. 

Albany f Ibth September, 1781. 

Sir — ^Agreeably to your orders, which I received yester- 
day, I marched on my men this morning for Saratoga ; but 
the corporation of Albany, conceiving this place to be in 
danger, sent me a note, the copy of which your honor has 
inclosed, requesting me to halt till they could write to 
you upon the subject 


If your honor reconsider my orders from Qeneral Heath, 
you will find that Albany is the post I am at present to 
command, and to consider myself under your command 
while here. Notwithstanding, sir, I can assure you there 
shall be nothing lacking in my power to serve the common 
cause of America. 

I am, with proper respect, 

Your most obed't hbl. serv't, 

Brigadier General Stark. 

Albany, September 15, 1781. 

Sir — ^We are just now informed that you have ordered 
one company of your detachment to march to Saratoga, 
in consequence of orders received for that purpose from 
General Stark. As we conceive, from your orders from 
General Heath, that you was sent here for the purpose of 
affording protection to this city, and conceiving that 
General Stark has not adverted to your orders from 
General Heath, we wish you to halt the company on the 
march, and to wait yourself until we receive an answer to 
the letter directed to General Heath, herewith delivered, 
which we beg may be forwarded on by express. 

We are, sir, your very humble servants, 

To Major Logan. 

Albany, September 16, 1781. 

Dear Sir — The mayor informed me just now that Major 
Logan, with the troops under his command, were ordered 
from hence, and wished me to write you on the subject. 
As those troops were expressly sent for the protection of 


the city, the citizens are much alarmed that they should 
be removed at a time when parties of the enemy are lurk- 
ing about with the express intent of burning the city. 

You doubtless have your reasons for the disposition, but 
if they are not of a very pressing nature, I would advise 
you to dispense with their going up, as they can be drawn 
to your assistance on the shortest notice, should there be 
occasion, and I may also hasten on the militia, should you 
find it necessary to call for them. 

General Washington embarked at and sailed fix)m the 
head of Elk, with five thousand and five hundred of his 
troops, on the 8th instant. The remaining two thousand 
and five hundred were expected there on that day, and 
would immediately follow. Both French fleets are now 
in the Chesapeake. 

An account is current in Philadelphia that the French, 
Datch, and Spanish fleets had formed a junction, and 
flailed on an expedition with a large army of land forces, 
under convoy, their destination not known. 

I am, with great respect, 

Dear general, your obed't serv't, 

Hon. General Stark. 

To Major General Schuyler. 

Saratoga f 16M September, 1781. 

Dear Sir — Yours, of yesterday, was delivered to me last 
night by express. I only ordered Major Logan, with half 
of his troops, to this post. The remainder, with the 
united efforts and spirited exertions of the citizens of 
Albany, must, in all human probability, be competent to 
its defence. 

You must be sensible, Kr, that no party of more than 
fifty or sixty could get there undiscovered ; and even of 
these, ten parties would be discovered where one would 
miss. On the other hand, Albany may for a few days 


turn out one hundred and fifty men for guards, eveiy 
night. These, sir, with the regular guards of troops 
which will he left, will be an infallible bar against any 
descent upon the city. 

In case of an attack here (which I am in daily expec- 
tation of), I can assure you, sir, that I have no hopes of 
any assistance from Albany ; and, should I receive any, it 
will exceed my expectations ; as the delays that attended 
their late march to Schoharie, at a time when we had 
every reason to expect they would be hourly wanted, are 
still fresh in my memory, and affords convincing proof 
that it is not their inclination to fight away from their own 

I think, by this time, my Lord Comwallis has his hands 
full of business, and I fancy, if the truth was known, 
would rather be arguing the cause of America in the 
British Commons (however irksome that task might be), 
than in his present situation. Pray, sir, continue to give 
me the news, as you are the only gentleman from whom 
I can expect it authentically. That God may prosper the 
alliance, and render us a happy peace, is the most ardent 
wish of, 

Dear sir, yours, with respect and esteem, 


To Brigadier General Stark. 

Headquarters. Continental Village, 1 

September 17, 17S1. 

Dear Sir — ^I have received repeated information that the 
enemy have been building canoes and small bateaux for 
some time, at St. Johns, and sending hard bread from 
Montreal to that place ; and it is now said that a number 
of troops have arrived there. Whether their design is to 
cross the lakes and advance toward you, or toward the 
towns on the Connecticut river, for which the light craft 
seem rather calculated, is uncertain. 


You will please to keep a sharp look out, and be in 
readiness to oppose them, should they advance. I have 
ordered Colonel Weisenfels to move to Albany imme- 
diately. The troops he will take with him, with those 
lately sent under the command of Major Logan, will 
make about three hundred and fifty men. They are an 
exceedingly fine corps, and generally oflicered with old 
continental oflicers. 

I would have one company left at Albany for the secu- 
rity of the city. The remainder you will dispose of in 
such manner as you may judge most conducive to the pub- 
lic service and security of the frontiers. 

From the high opinion I have of Colonel Willet, and 
his knowledge of the cou^itry, I would have him con- 
tinued in command in the quarter where he has been. 
Colonel Weisenfels is a brave and good oflicer; will 
answer your expectations whenever employed* Let me 
hear from you often. I have not yet received a return of 
the troops in your district, which leaves me in uncertainty 
whether your force is sufficient, or that reinforcements are 

Some soldiers have deserted from the troops gone to 
the southward — several Canadians from Colonel Hazen's 
regiment; probably they will steer for Albany. Please 
direct your guards to examine such as appear suspicious, 
and, if any are detected, send them down. 

With great regard, etc., 

WM. HEATH, J!f. General. 

Albany y September 19M, 1781. 

Dear General — Some prisoners came to town last eve- 
ning from Montreal. They had the liberty of that town, 
and say that, two days before they left that city, a J:)ody of 
two hundred and fifty men crossed for St. Johns ; it was 
said they were to be joined by a body of whites and 


Indians at that place, and, in conjunction with a body firom 
Buck's island, were to fall upon and destroy the remainder 
of the country on the Mohawk river. I have no news 
from below. 

I am, #ith esteem, sir, yours, &c., 

Hon. General Stark. 

To Major General Heath. 

Saratoga, September 20, 17S1. 

Dear Sir — I am somewhat alarmed that no answers 
have been received to my several letters addressed to you. 
I think it improbable that all should have miscarried; 
and have considered some of them of sufficient conse- 
quence as to have required an answer. By them you will 
ascertain that this department is destitute of ammunition, 
there not being ten pounds to a man at his post ; and none 
at Albany, subject to my order. There are no horses for 
expresses, or to convey provisions to the several posts, and 
if there were, they would starve for want of forage. We 
have not even paper to transact our business with, nor 
can we obtain it. 

Now, sir, if you will cast up the account, you will find 
the public much in our debt, and unless these debts are 
paid, or more regular provision made for supplies, I hardly 
know what consequences may follow — no good ones can 
come, unless miracles interpose in our behalf. 

Intelligence from Canada, through sound sources, leads 
us to conclude that an attack is designed, either upon 
^is post or the Mohawk riv^ From the situation of 
the country I think the attempt will be made upon this 
post, as the enemy can come here with twenty-five miles 
land carriage ; while, on the other quarter, the distance is 
six times that number. However, if ammunition is sup- 
plied me, I hope to give any that may come such a recep- 
tion as will make them glad to return if they have an 

JOHN 8TABK. 257 

The people of Albany are greatly alarmed for their city. 
They require all the troops of this district, or a major part 
of them, to prevent about fifty tories from burning them, 
their sloops, wives and houses ; for it appears these tur- 
bulent sons of rapine have given out most fearful threats 
against that sacred place. However, sir, unless you order 
to the contrary, I shall venture, in case I feel confident of 
the enemy's approach, to order all the troops now at 
Albany to this post, or to the Mohawk. 

The resolutions of Congress, allowed to every general 
officer, I have not seen for nine months. I wish they may 
be sent me. 

With respect, I am, dear sir , 

Your obed't humble serv't, 


Dear General — Since my last, nothing extraordinary has 
turned up in this department, except seven deserters, who 
shall be sent to you as soon as possible ; and a few tories 
that have been taken on the frontiers. I inclose you 
a copy of a letter found with one of them, and am in 
hopes, by this time, that the writer is a prisoner likewise. 

I am informed that forty-seven of the enemy's Indians 

are coming down here to make a treaty with us, while 

their young men are cutting our throats. I^ think, until 

their insolence is chastised in a severe manner, we never 

can expect peace in this quarter. The bearer of this, 

Major Guather, has found fifty-five shells, twelve boxes 

musket balls, one vise, and one pair hand-screws in the 

river near Saratoga. It is reported that the enemy sunk 

some cannon in the river. I should think a farther search 

would be necessary, but, by reason of the scarcity of men, 

it has been neglected. 

I am, sir, &c., &;c., 

His Excellency, General Washington. 

258 00BBB8P0KDBNG1 OF 

Saratoga, 2ith September, 1781. 

j)ear Sir— Your letters of 24th August, 3d, 7th, 8th, 
and 17th of September, came safely to hand ; to all of 
which, except the latter, I have written particular and 
descriptive answers, and given you an account of the 
department as near as was in my power ; and, by what 
unfortunate accident they are kept from you, I can not 
imagine ; but perhaps some of them may have reached 
you before this, and will clear up the mystery ; but, lest 
they should not, it will be necessary to be particular in this. 

Your suggestions in your last, with respect to a visit 
from Canada, I think very probable ; for it is no longer 
a doubt that the enemy have put eighty or a hundred 
bateaux in repair for some purpose ; and, as they are 
boats well calculated for making a descent upon this post, 
or some part of this frontier, it is very likely that we are 
the object of their design ; and to my sorrow I must 
inform you that, should they make an attempt now, we 
should be able to make but a faint resistance. Ammuni- 
tion, that life of an army, we are scant of; the troops 
have not ten rounds per man, and none can I get from 
Albany ; but, lest you should think I have been remiss in 
not giving you this intelligence earlier, I have written 
three times to you, and once to General Knox, for a 
supply ; but have received neither answers nor ammuni- 
tion in return for any of them, for which reasons I must 
suppose they never came to your hands. 

I have written particularly for some horses and forage 
to be procured for this quarter ; for at present I have no 
other method of keeping up a line of correspondence 
with the frontiers, but by sending soldiers on foot with 
their provisions on their backs ; and, in case the enemy 
should come in force, that, sir, would be but a sorry 
method for the commander of a district to communicate 
his orders, and call in the country to his assistance. 

Thus, sir, you will see the necessity of sending some 
cash to enable me to send expresses, and some provision 
for horses for the purpose, and pointing out some method 


of procuring forage and other necessaries for the use of 
the district, and which are absolutely necessary to facili- 
tate the public business. 

There are in this neighborhood about thirty persons, 
who lately came from Canada, as I suppose to bring 
dispatches to Albany, and to find out the situation of the 
country. I have taken every possible method to trepan 
them, and hope to succeed ; but, at the same time, the 
slowness of my dispatches gives me some reason to fear 
that I shall not. One of the parties, employed for the 
purpose, shot one man through the arm, aa he was 
endeavoring to pass them last evening. He is likely to 
suffer amputation. 

You must not expect any regular returns from this 
quarter, unless you supply paper ; for there is none here 
to transact any kind of public business. This, sir, has 
been, and still is, my apology for not sending you a return. 

The people of Albany seem in a mighty fright about 
their devoted city, and would willingly, if they could, call 
all the troops in the district to its protection, but, for my 
part, I have not penetration enough to see any impending 
danger ; for they have five hundred citizens able to bear 
arms, and nothing else to do but to protect themselves, 
and the most that can ever come against them (unless I 
am withdrawn from this place, which shall not be if I can 
help it) can not be more than fifty. Now consider the 
odds, and you will find it to be infinitely in their favor. 

Captain King, of the Massachusetts militia, will have 
the honor of delivering this. He has offered his service 
to perform the business, which I was glad to accept, as 
the only sure method of conveying a letter to you. His 
conduct in this and every other branch of his duty appears 
uniformly good, and merits my highest approbation. 

September 25th.. This moment are brought in five of 
the party I mentioned, supposed to be in this neighbor- 
hood, but they will give no satisfactory account of the 
remainder of the party. They were taken by Captain 
Dunham and two more persons this morning. Too much 


honor or praise can not be bestowed on these three brave 
militia men, for this special and meritorious condnct. 

I am, sir, your obedient, humble servant, 

To Major General Heath. 

To Brigadier General Stark. 

Hkadquartkbs. Oontinenial VUlage, 1 

September 24, 1781. 

Dear Sir — Your favors of the 9th and 11th did not 
come to hand until last evening. I have received but one 
other letter from you, since my return from the eastward. 
That letter I inclosed to Congress, with a general repre- 
sentation of the situation of. the army, and I believe 
omitted writing you an answer at that time. 

I was surprised, by yours of the 9th, to find your district 
so short of ammunition, and last night sent an express to 
Colonel Crane, at West Point, to forward immediately to 
Albany thirty thousand musket cartridges, four barrels of 
powder, fifteen hundred flints, some cartridge paper, thread, 
etc., subject to your orders. I apprehend the ammunition 
is by this time on the water. Paper was some time since 
sent to Albany, and must have arrived. I must again 
request a return of the several corps of troops as soon as 
possible. I assured Congress, in my last, that yours should 
be in the next, which must be made the 1st of October. 

Weisenfers regiment will have joined you before this 
reaches you. I request you to dispose of it in such a 
manner as to cover the country and promote the public 
service. A company, or part of a company, I would have 
stationed at Albany. Ballstown is, I am told, a pass 
through which the enemy will probably advance ; but, as 
you are on the spot, you are the best judge. Endeavor 
to have every thing arranged in the best manner for 
immediate defence. Your brigade major or inspector is, 
of course, to do the duty of deputy adjutant general. If 
you have not a brigade major or inspector appointed, it 


belongs to the eldest majors. K thej decline, a capable 
captain is commonly appointed. 

We are equally embarrassed with you in our finances, 
sending expresses, etc. I have represented your situation, 
and will do it again. 

Every account we receive from below announces that 
the British have had a very severe drubbing from the 
French. The last occasion says two British seventy-four 
gun ships were sunk, three ships driven on shore, four or 
five taken, five or six missing ; the remainder returned to 
New- York ; the admiral's ship so much damaged that he 
would not return in her ; the inhabitants of New- York in 
the greatest consternation, packing up their effects. 
I am, with equal regard. 

Dear sir, your obedient servant, 

WM. HEATH, Major General 

Albany, September 24, 1781—1 o'clock, A. M. 

Dear Sir — ^Your favor of yesterday's date was this 
moment delivered. This morning I had intelligence of a 
party's having crossed the Mohawk river, and of their 
being discovered near Canastighuma ; a party is gone out 
after them. We have not had any farther accounts jfrom 
the southward than what I have already transmitted. I 
have letters from Philadelphia, but they contain nothing 
but very great hopes that Cornwallis will soon be in our 
power. Indeed, it seems almost impossible for him to 
escape, as both our naval and land force is so infinitely 
superior to the British. 

General Heath informs me that the enemy are embark- 
ing their stores at New- York ; what their object may be 
he cannot learn ; but is under no apprehensions for West 
Point, as his force is equal to that of the enemy at least. 
With compliments to the major, 

I am, dear sir, very sincerely, 

Your obedient servant, 


Hon. Brigadier Q^neral Stark. 


[Instructions for Captain Hickoks, with a Flag of Truce.] 

By John Stark, Brigadier General in the army of the United States, and 
commander of the Northern Department, &c. 
Done at head quarters, Saratoga, 26th September, 1781. 

Sir — ^You will proceed with the flag under your direc- 
tion to the British shipping on Lake' Champlain. On 
your arrival, you will tarry until you find out whether 

Captain will have it in his power to negotiate his 

business there ; if so, I have no objection to your tarrying 
a few days, until that can be transacted ; but, should he 
be under the necessity of going to Canada, it is by no 
means probable that you will be permitted to attend him, 
for which reason you will return by the route you go, and 
make report of your proceedings. 

It will be necessary for you to keep up your flag ever 
after you leave Skenesborough, and frequently order your 
drums to beat a parley, especially should you discover any 
boat or party. Wishing you a pleasant voyage, 

I am, dear sir. 

Your most obed't serv't, 

To Captain Hickoks. 

To Brigadier General Stark. 

Headquarters. Continental Village, 1 

October Ist, 1781. 

Ml/ Dear Sir — Since Captain King came here, M^or 
Villefranche has returned from the Mohawk river, from 
whom I learn that your district is very far from being 
short of ammunition. Indeed, I think the quantity is 
much too large for the places where it is at present depos- 
ited. I learn that there is not less than twenty odd casks 
of powder, each containing two hundred pounds, beside 
a large quantity of fixed ammunition on the Mohawk 
river, and that a great part of it is at Fort Herkimer, 
which is one of the most advanced posts. There are also 
at the same place a number of spare cannon. The powder 


ought to be divided to the different posts in such quanti- 
ties as, from the particular situation end the importance of 
the posts, may be necessary. After each post is properly 
supplied, your reserve ought to be at some safe post in 
the rear, from which each advanced post may draw sup- 
plies, when they are wanted. The spare cannon should be 
deposited in the same manner. I request you to write 
G!oL Willet immediately upon the subject; and have such 
arrangements made as may appear most eligible, with- 
out risking more ammunition than is necessary, at the 
advanced posts. 

I am informed that paper was sent to Albany for the 
use of your district, as early as the beginning of the last 
month. As I observed in my other letter, you must call 
on Mr. Quackenbush, at Albany, for what you want. I 
must renew my request for a speedy return to be made of 
the troops, etc., in your district. I hope Col. Weisenfers 
regiment will give you a force adequate to any occasion 
you may have for it. 

I am, with great regard, etc., 

WM. HEATH, M. General. 

To Brigadier General Stark. 

Fori Bensaelaer, ^th October , 1781. 

Dear General — The inurder of Mr. Werner Taygert, and 
the captivity of one of his sons, two days ago, at their 
uninhabited house upon Fall hill, by three or four rascals, 
nobody knows who, comprehends the substance of our 
present intelligence in this quarter, and it is disagreeable. 

I have, for the present, fixed Major Logan, with hie 
detachment, at Johnstown, and directed him to keep 
guards at Fort Hunter, and at Veeder's mills, in Caghna- 
waga. Johnstown is the best place to cover Caghnawaga, 
and is an additional protection to Stony [not legible]. I 
have sent Captain Marshall's company from Johnstown to 


relieve Captain White at Ballstown; and ordered Cap- 
tain White to this place with his company. I could wish 
to know from you when you conceive the service of the 
Massachusetts troops to expire. 

This department is badly furnished with surgeons. The 
surgeon of my regiment is at the German flats, and can not 
attend any other place. My surgeon's mate is at Saratoga. 
At this place we have a mate from the general hospital, 
and this quarter is all that he can attend. Major Logan 
has requested me to supply him with a doctor at Johns- 
town. You can easily perceive that this is not in my 
power. I shall be glad if you can order him one fix>m 
Saratoga, or any other place you please. 


Albany, October 7, 1781. 

Dear General — ^When Major Logan took the command 
at this post with two companies, he told me it was at the 
particular request of this city, from which, I concluded he 
might continue some time. I therefore sent the twenty 
men I had retained by your order, to their several corps, 
knowing they were much wanted. The remaining part 
of Shepherd's company consists of about twenty-seven 
men, from which, I am so often obliged to detach small 
parties, that I have not relieves for a guard of six men. 
K you could think it convenient to station a small gaard 
at the Half-Moon, it would ease me much, for, whenever 
flour goes on for your quarters, I am under the necessity 
of sending men to press teams to carry it into Stillwater. 

Twenty head of cattle, out of forty-eight just arrived, 
go to Saratoga ; part of the remainder I shall send west- 
ward. I see but faint hopes of any more rum. 

Letters from the south mention only that De Grasse 
drove the British fleet from the Vir^nia coast, without 


captnring any capital ship. Rivington tells us they had 
two or three sunk after the action. Admiral Bigby has 
arrived at New- York with three ships only. This is 
nearly the state of affairs. 

I am, with highest respect, 

Tour obed't serv't, 

Brigadier General Stark. 

To Major General Heath. 

Saratoga, Sth October, 17S1. 

Dear Sir — ^Yours of the 24th and 25th ult, and the Ist 
inst., are now before me, and the ammunition mentioned 
has come to hand. What quantity of that article has been 
received on the Mohawk river, I am ignorant of ; but it is 
certain that Colonel Willet, some time in the beginning of 
August last, took a quantity from Albany for the use of 
that quarter, and I have never been able to procure a 
return of the stores, &c., for want of paper. 

Tou are pleased to observe that paper was sent as early 
as the beginning of last month. That might be the case, 
but the portion allotted to this post never arrived until 
yesterday, and then we got but ten quires, part of which 
being for the use of the garrison, and a part for my office, 
which you must be sensible is a very inadequate supply, 
and can not last but a few days. 

By every appearance, it is plain that the enemy in 
Canada are either meditating an attack on this place, or 
that they are very anxious for intelligence from the west- 
ward. Their small parties are continually among us. Last 
night I sent a party who took two more of them prisoners, 
who are now safe in my guard-house. They say that they 
came over the lake with three more in company, who 
parted with them about five miles abov6 my garrison ; I 
am in hopes to take them, but can not insure success. 



I shall instantly dispatch orders to Colonel Willet to 
send the spare ammunition now at his post to Schenec- 
tady, where I presume it will be secure. 

This day Thomas Lovelace, the commander o£ the 
party whose instructions I sent you, was hanged, in 
pursuance of the sentence pronounced, against him by 
a court-martial. The remaining four taken with him are 
sentenced to imprisonment during the war. They are 
already sent to Albany, and under close confinement. 

You will perceive by the returns that go with this 
conveyance, our strength, and then, if you think a rein- 
forcement necessary, you can act your opinion. I would 
only observe, that in case any men are to be sent, no 
time should be lost, as the season is far advanced, and, 
should the enemy come, it will be impossible for me to 
give you notice early enough to reap any advantage from 
a reinforcement that could come afterward. I have prom- 
ises, in case of an attack, that the Yermonters shall once 
more come to my assistance. I am in hopes to give you 
an account of a small acquisition in the course of a few 
days. Any thing extra you must not expect, as I am only 
prepared to act on the defensive. 

You can not think how disappointed I was when Capt. 
King returned, without bringing any official account of 
the French fleet, or our southern army. I hope, before 
this comes to your band, that I shall have a confirmation 
of the great events that our country seems now to be 
pregnant with. Pray omit no intelligence, as the least 
gives great pleasure to me in this obscure and melancholy 
quarter. I have no accounts from the Mohawk river of a 
late date. "When any thing occurs worthy of notice, you 
may depend upon the earliest intelligence which my cir- 
cumstances will permit me to furnish. 

I am, sir, with respect and esteem. 

Your most obed't serv't, 



To Brigadier General Stark. 

PoughkeepsUf October 8, 1781. 

Sir — ^By some unaccountable delay, your letter of the 
4th ult. (which appeared by a mark on the back to have 
been in the post-office) did not come to my hand until 
this evening. I have had frequent representations of the 
abuse you complain of, in the arresting and confining 
soldiers for tavern debts, and thereby depriving the public 
of their servioes ; and I am so fully impressed with its 
destructive consequences, that it is my intention to apply 
to the Legislature, who are now convened at this place, 
to make provision, as far as possible, to prevent such 
abuses in future. 

I am, with the greatest respect. 

Your most obedient servant, 


P. S. I am happy in transmitting you the inclosed 
account of an action between General Greene and the 
enemy, and congratulate you on the occasion. I hope to 
receive a confirmation of it 

To Brigadier General Stark. 

Hbadquabtibs. ^Continental Village, \ 

October 10th, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Your fiivor of the 7th and 8th have just 
come to hand. I have ordered the 2d New-Hampshire 
regiment immediately to embark and proceed to Albany, 
with a detachment of artillery, and one field-piece. I 
have sent the 2d regiment, because it has more field officers 
than the first, and will admit of some companies of levies 
being incorporated into it, if necessary ; for, of itself, it is 
but weak in numbers, but excellent troops. 

A few days since I directed Colonel Reynolds, who is 
at l^umber Four, to detach his major and two hundred men 
to join you. He will have two hundred left to move to 
your aid, or to the upper settlements on Connecticut river, 


should the enemy attempt them. These, I hope, will be a 
force sufficient to repel any that may come against you. 
Keep a sharp look out, and endeavor to develope the 
designs of the enemy, and keep me frequently advised of 
what passes, if possible. 

We have as yet no official accounts of the naval engage- 
ment between the two fleets. The British were severely 
mauled, and have ever since been refitting. It is said 
they intend again to try their fortune. It will probably be 
their ruin. 

It is said General Oreene has had a bloody action with 
the British in Carolina, and that the advantage was in his 
favor ; many are said to have been killed and wounded 
on both sides. The particulars are not yet come to baud. 

By the last accounts from General Washington, every 
thing was in a prosperous way, and I hope soon to give 
you some important news from that quarter. 

I am, with much regard. 

Dear sir, your obed't serv't, 

WM. HEATH, Mcgor General 

To Oeneral SUrk. 

, Albany, October 11, 17S1. 

Dear General — My knowledge of the scantiness of your 
present supplies makes me intensely uneasy. I have met 
with a number of inhabitants of this town who appear 
determined to give every aid in their power, but as we can 
not expect a quantity of flour, equal to what we have un- 
doubted reason to believe you will soon want, I have re^ 
quested the bearer, Bethuel Washburn, Esq., to assist m 
procuring whatever supply of flour he possibly can in your 
neighborhood, and desired him (provided you will aecer^ 
tain the necessity of and furnish him with men for the 
purpose), even to use force, especially with those he can 
find possessed of any considerable quantity, and are disaf«> 
fected to the general cause in the districts of Baratoga, 

JOHN 8TABK. 269 

Schoharie, or Half Moon — ^these districts being most con- 
tiguous to you. 

Be BO good as to let me know your real situation, both 
as to beef and flour, the first convenient opportunity, di- 
rected to Major Shurtleff, at this place. General Schuyler 
has been kind enough to desire I would request you to 
take whatever beef he has fit for the knife, ordering the 
issuing commissaries to give receipts for the same, as re- 
ceived from me, mentioning the weight of each ; and to 
have all the wheat he has at that place threshed out and 
ground immediately, should you find it necessary, the 
commissary giving receipts for the quantity of flour pro- 
duced therefrom, in the same manner. 

I am, sir, your most ob't serv't, 


From Captain Marshall, commanding at Albany, to Major C. Stark, aid- 
de-eamp to General Stark. 

Albany f October 15, 1781. 

Dear /Sirr— A very curious, sublime, and masterly per- 
formance. The penman must have been much exercised 
with indignation, or he never could have written with 
such force and energy. Then the grammar and consis- 
tency oatshine all pieces of the kind I ever perused ; 
although there are some few lies in it, yet I don't mind 
trifles. I never denied him subsistence. Am I obliged to 
become an historiologist ? 

The Seven Wise Masters, the Arabian Nights entertain- 
ments, Tom Thumb, &c., were always beyond my capacity. 
Your Bohemian kings may be hippo-centaurs for aught 
I know. This I know, I will never divulge the secret. He 
might have eat the tavern keeper's family, horses, barns, 
wood-piles, and all the mynheers in the city — ^he never 
asked me for an ox or barrel of flour. 

I suppose you are under no great apprehensions while 
the Albanians and the contiguous militia are at your 
backs. Their patriotic spirit never shone more brilliantly 


than at this juncture. And then, their resolution and 
firmness, I am sure you cannot doubt ; for larger numbers 
of them have been severely handled heretofore by the 
Governor (Clinton), for their in activity on sim- 
ilar occasions, notwithstanding they now, like a firm cour- 
aged horse, will stand the second spur, and even wait a 
third before they will kick. ****** if he had asked 
me, had it been for no more than a day's allowance, 
humanity would have urged me to have given it to him. 

Great spirit and determination is evinced by their 
officers — swearing death and vengeance against the delin- 
quents. Of some companies two, and of some three 
have already marched. I heard a certain general swear, 
" God d — m him, if he did not make them smart." 

So the next account, after the alarm subsides, will be 
bloodshed and slaughter among our friends in this quar- 
ter; shrieks, cries, and deadly agonizing groans already 
vibrate on the drums of my ears. 

But you have not told me how the general treated the 
sensibly feeling injured men on the presentation of their 
learned remonstrance. Where, or how is Ford? Have 
you given any charge against him ? If not, and you 
think the following one will answer, exhibit it: 

"Sir, you are confined for unofficer-Iike behavior in 
combining with, and aiding and assisting Captain Dun- 
ham in making his escape, when he was under sentence of 
a court-martial for treasonable practices, in holding corres- 
pondence with the enemy when he was under your 

Do as you think best on the occasion ; this, or some- 
thing similar, I wish might be presented against him. 
Why don't you tell me what you are about? The 2d 
New-Hampshire regiment and a six-pounder, with a 
detachment of artillery, arrived this morning. They will 
go on as soon as wc can procure wagons. Your intelli- 
gence will oblige me. 

Yours, &c., 


Major C. Stark. 


To Brigadier General Stark. 

Albany, October 12, 1781—1 o'clock, P. M. 

Dear Sii' — At 6 o'clock this morning I was favored with 
yours, announcing the arrival of the enemy on the south 
end of Lake George. I immediately called on General 
Ganesvoort, and have already sent two expresses to every 
,..„„ of *, county, to hLten on .he "mimi. 8«.l 
will move from hence to-day. I have also wrote two 
letters to Generals Rositer and Fellows ; and, as the officer 
whom you had sent there, requested me to call on General 
Rositer to march, if I thought it necessaiy, I have ven- 
tured to request him in your name to proceed. 

The night before last I intercepted a letter going to the 
enemy. It acknowledges the receipt of dispatches from 
Canada, and clearly points that this place is their object, 

the disaffected districts of N Helleburgh, and others 

in the vicinity. The writer says we are ready to execute 
the business as soon as the party that is to conduct it 
arrives. This business a former intercepted letter affords 
me the means of knowing : and it is to bum the city. I 
'have ordered a scout of Indians to join the militia, and 
try to discover the party before it arrives. The remainder 
of the Indians are ordered to join you. If I was to leave 
this before the militia arrive, I fear the consequences 
would be disagreeable. I shall tarry at least a day longer 
to put matters in a good train. 

I am, &c.. Dear General, your ob*t serv't, 

Brigadier General Stark. 

HEAixiUARTERS. Coniinentol Village, \ 

October 12, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — ^I wrote you the 10th, which I hope you have 
received before this time ; and that the second New-Hamp- 
shire regiment will join you, before this reaches you, as 
they embarked and sailed the night before last. I have 
ordered a chain of expresses to be immediately established 


between this place and your army, for the immediate con- 
veyance of intelligence. Please to improve them, and 
give the earliest intimations of whatever occurs. 

Please carefully to watch the motions and advances of 
the enemy, and endeavor to ascertain their force, and who 
commands. A gentleman, not long since from Canada, 
gave it as his opinion that, from the size of the batteaux, 
he apprehended they had a design to pass by the riyers 
toward the head of Connecticut river. While they remain 
at Point Ofer it remains uncertain which way they will 
proceed, and they will probably display much deception. 
I early gave notice to the State of New-Hampshire, and 
north-western parts of M^^^^husetts, to keep a look out 
in that quarter. Please advise me of every movement the 
enemy make ; it will reach me in about thirty hours. 

I am, with great regard, &c., 

W. HEATH, M. Gm'L 
Brigadier General Stark. 

Albany, October 18M» 1781. 

Dear Sir — Too much indisposed from yesterday's 
fatigue, I have not been in town to-day, but believe a con- 
siderable body of militia has marched, as I have seen 
many come across the ferry. 

By letters from Virginia of the 29th ult., I learn that 
our army have begun their approaches, and that they hoped 
in a little while to send us accounts that he* is captured- 
General Greene, it is said, has defeated a very considerable 
body of the enemy at Monks corner. I expect letters by 
this day's post, and if any thing interesting occurs, shall 
send an express. "With best wishes to the major, I am, 
Dear General, with 

Great regard, your most obed't serv't, 

Hon. General Stark. 

* Lord Cornwallis. 

JOHN 8TABK. 273 

Fort Rensselaer, Wth October, 1781. 

Dear General — ^By the best advices jfrom Montreal, it 
appears that eight hundred men went up the St. Lawrence 
early in September. The report was, that they were 
intended to relieve their western garrisons ; but it is by no 
means improbable, even if they were intended as a relief, 
that, while they have such an augmentation of their force 
to the westward, they will make an incursion into this 

I beg leave to submit whether it is eligible to draw any 
of the troops from this quarter, as our situation is so 
advanced from the thickly inhabited parts of the country, 
as will not admit of our receiving speedy succors from 
any other place. I can only promise, if they come, that 
everything in my power shall be done to cause them to 
regret their enterprise. 

I am, sir, your very humble serv't, 

General Stark. 

HiADQUARTSBS. Continental Village, \ 

October 14th, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — ^^A copy of yours of the 4th, to General Ganes- 
voort, announcing the advance of the enemy to this 
side of Lake George, was handed me last evening. The 
first New-Hampshire and tenth Massachusetts regiments, 
with a detachment of artillery, are ordered to march to 
your support immediately. I hope they will arrive, to 
enable you to defeat the enemy, if you are not fortunate 
enough to do it before. The moment these regiments are 
no longer necessary in your quartei*, order them to return. 

I am, with great regard, &c., 

W. HEATH, M. Gen'l. 
Brigadier General Stark. 


To Ck>lonel Tupper. 

Headquarters. ConiineHtal VUla^, \ 

October 14, 1781. / 

Sir — ^Tou will immediately select the best clothed men 
of the brigade under your command, with them a detach- 
ment of artillery, and one field-piece from the company 
under Captain Vose, and march for Albany. If the wind 
should be favorable when you get to Fishkill, you may 
embark on board vessels for your greater dispatch ; but if 
the wind should continue to blow down the river, proceed 
with all possible dispatch by land. On your arrival at 
Albany, send off an express to General Stark, informing 
him of your arrival, and then continue your march to 
Saratoga, or wherever General Stark may be, or you 
receive his orders to march. If the enemy should have 
gone back before you reach General Stark, on certain 
accounts of it, halt your troops ; and, upon your receiving 
notice from General Stark that your aid is not necessary, 
return to this place with the troops that march with you, 
except such as belong to the 2d New-Hampshire regiment, 
who are to join their regiment Take three days' pro- 
visions with you, and draw what may be necessary at 
Fishkill to support you to Albany. 

Beside the ammunition in the men's boxes, take about 
fifteen thousand spare musket cartridges with you. 
Advise me frequently of your situation, and all occur- 
rences of consequence. 

I am, sir, with great regard, 

Tour ob't serv't, 

W. HEATH, M. General. 

Albany, October 15, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Your favor of yesterday's date was delivered 
me in the course of the night. I am much obliged, and 
pleased by your attention to the ladies. 

Yesterday morning I y(Qs advised that you had written 
to General Ganesvoort for some of the militia, and also to 


the Massachusetts. I went to the general and urged him 
to be pointed in his orders, and to point the necessity 
there was for General Rensselaer to march up his brigade. 
He had wrote, but not so fully as I wished. I therefore 
addressed myself to General Rensselaer, and doubt not 
but we shall have a respectable body to oppose the enemy, 
should they venture down. I have ordered the Indians 
to hold themselves in readiness, and some to scout between 
Schoharie and Batts' hill. I think it will be right in you 
to renew your request to Ganesvoort, and to press him to 
hasten up the militia. In no season of the year can they 
leave home with so little inconvenience, especially as this 
will be the last occasion during the campaign. 

My disorder has taken a favorable turn, and I hope in 
a few days to join you, and shall take the advantage of an 
escort from the militia. I forgot to mention, in mine of 
the 4th inst, that I had advised Colonel "Willet of the 
intelligence contained therein. With best wishes for 
your health and happiness, 

I am, Dear General, 

• Your obed't serv't, 

Hon. General Starlc 

Bennington, October 16M, 1781. 

Dear General — ^I am surprised to learn that the militia 
of Albany county have no other business upon their hands, 
at this time of general alarm and danger, than to distress 
the inhabitants of Vermont, as if they considered the 
British from Canada not sufficient for our destruction, at 
a time when all our militia are under marching orders, 
and most of them have already marched. This they 
think a proper time to manifest their spite and malice. 

Part of my regiment has marched to Castleton. I shall 
this morning follow with the remainder. If your honor 


can not find the militia of Albany some other employment^ 
I shall march my regiment to that quarter, and try pow- 
der and ball with them, which I have as well as they. I 
pray your honor to check them if possible. 

I am. Dear General, your very humble servant, 

Hon. General Stark, Saratoga. 

Honorable Oeneral Stark. 

Albany, October 16, 1781. 

My Dear Sir — The inclosed was delivered to me an^ 
opened before I discovered that it was directed to you. 

General Heath advises me that the second New-Hamp- 
shire regiment, and some artillery, are on the way up ; 
I will press the quarter master to expedite them to you. 
General Heath also informs me that General Greene has 
defeated the enemy in Carolina, and obtained a complete 
victory, though dearly bought, as it has cost .us many 
valuable officers and three hundred men. The enemy's 
loss trebles ours. 

Mrs. Schuyler arrived last evening, and has detailed 
the various attentions you and your worthy son have paid 
to herself and her daughters.* 

I feel it with pleasure and with gratitude, and hope to 
return you personal thanks &a soon as the severe fit of the 
gravel, which now confines me, will permit. 

I am, dear sir, 

Your most obedient humble serv't, 


* In 1781 the headquarters of the northern department was est*b- 
lUhed at Saratoga, on or near one of the estates of G^eral Schuyler, 
whose lady and daughters came to the farm in the autumn to prepare their 
winter stores. At this time General Stark, with his son, Major Caleb 
Stark, frequently called upon them, and detached a sergeant, with a party 
of soldiers, for tneir protection, and to assist their seryants in securing the 
winter supplies. The foregoing letter refers to these attentiona. 


To Brig^ier General Stark. 

Bennington, October 17, 1781. 

Sir — ^In consequence of your request to me of the 11th, 
I sent orders to the militia, now considered in this State, 
in the neighborhood of the New City. Lieutenant Colo- 
nel Fairbanks is present with me, and informs that, in 
obedience to my orders, he had mustered a number of men 
to march to your assistance on Sunday morning. Satur- 
day evening. Colonel Van Rensselaer came with a party 
of men from Albany, and its vicinity, and took them pris- 
oners, broke open their houses, and much distressed their 

Such conduct appears very extraordinary at this time, 
when every man ought to be rather employed in the 
defence of his country, than in destroying his neighbors' 
property. What Colonel Van Rensselaer designs, is best 
known to himself; but it has the appearance of preventing 
men going to defend the frontier at this critical moment. 
I have ordered one half of our militia to the north, and 
the remainder I expect must shortly follow. The inhab- 
itants of this western territory are willing to do their duty 
under Vermont, but are prevented by York. And now, 
sir, if you judge it lies within your province to quiet those 
disorders, I must entreat you to do it. That we may be 
united, is my sincere desire. The dispute of jurisdiction 
must be settled between the States ; but if such conduct 
is persisted in before, I must repel force by force, and the 
hardship fend off. 

I am, with sentiments of esteem, 

Your obed*t serv't, 



Brigadier General Stark. 

Hkadquarters. Continental Village, \ 

October 20tli, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — ^Your favor of the 15th came to hand the 
la8t niglit, by which I learn that the report of the advance 
of the enemy to the south end of Lake Greorge was pre- 
mature. If there is a doubt whether the enemy will 
advance, I advise you not to detain the militia. They are 
wanted at home to gather tlieir harvest, and the state of 
our provisions will not allow us to feed them, unless abso- 
lutely wanted. The New-Hampshire brigade, Col. Wil- 
let's regiment, Weisenfers, McKinstry's, Sear's, and that 
part of Reynolds* ordered from Number Four is a very 
respectable force; and, with such part of the militia as are 
at hand, and can be collected on the shortest notice, supe- 
rior to any force that will come out against you. If you, 
on such intelligence as you can depend upon, are of the 
same opinion, I advise that the militia be permitted to 
return home immediately. I have requested Lord Stirling 
to go as far as Albany, to advise on the present occasion. 
We are at present exceedingly shqrt of flour, and have 
not the best prospect of a supply speedily. Please let 
me hear from you frequently. 

I am, your obedient humble serv!t, 

W. HEATH, M. General 

P. S. October 21. Upon farther consideration on the 
state of our provisions, and some other circumstances, I 
am fully of opinion that unless something has turned up 
since you wrote to convince you that a contrary measure 
is expedient, that, on receipt of this, it will be for the 
good of the service to dismiss all the militia called out on 
the late alarm ; and that the New-Hampshire brigade 
remain with you for the present, with such levies and mili- 
tia as were with you before. Please present my thanks 
to the militia, for the spirit with which they have turned 
out on this occasion, and my assurance of their doing it 
again, should it be necessary. . 

I am, as before, WM. HEATH. 

JOHN 8TABK. 279 

To Goyernor Clinton. 

Headquartkrs. Saratoga, \ 
26th of October, 1781. J 

-Dear /Sir — ^For the protection of the northern frontier, 
it becomes absolutely necessary (in my opinion) that a 
post be established at or near this place. Barracks are 
already built here, and other advantageous circumstances 
point out this as the most proper place ; and I have it 
now in contemplation to establish a garrison for the 
winter. But, unless my design is seconded by some 
authority, who have it in their power either to procure 
supplies, or advance money for those necessaries — that the 
troops can not exist without — among which, I may name 
wood and forage, I can not succeed. The former, the troops 
can not live without ; and the latter is absolutely neces- 
sary to keep up a communication with the country, and 
remove and transport supplies for the use of the garrison. 
My patience is already exhausted in making fruitless 
applications to the officers, acting by the authority of Con- 
gress, to procure supplies. They either will not, or can 
not, grant them. I have now no other recourse than to 
make application to you, who seem to be more interested 
in the protection of this frontier than any other man — 
being the father and guardian of the people. Now, sir, 
I have told you my wants, and it remains next to inform 
you of the consequences, if they are not supplied : viz., 
that the northern and western frontiers must be evacuated 
as far as Albany ; and, indeed, Albany itself, unless some 
speedy xneasoreB are fallen upo^ to lay in ma^zinea for the 
consumption of a garrison. The season is now so far 
advanced that measures must be taken speedily, or they 
will prove ineffiactual. However, I am convinced that the 
State will see the absolute necessity of interfering, and 
will do all in their power, which I hope will be sufficient, 
to save this unhappy frontier from impending ruin, which 
will probably be its fate, unless these garrisons are con- 
tinued for its protection. 

I have the honor to be your obed't serv't, 



To Brigadier General Stark. 

Hkadquabtxbs. Continental VUla^ \ 

October 26, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — ^Your favor of the 18th, with its inclosores, 
come to hand this evening. I think it yet rather doubtful 
whether the enemy will advance — they possible may ; but 
I would not call out many militia until it is pretty certain. 
Our scantiness of provisions will not admit of it, unless 
indispensably necessary ; and your regular troops and 
levies, and the three months' militia, are a very respectable 
force. The conduct of the Berkshire militia does them 
much honor. 

When matters looked very threatening, and the troops 
to the northward were greatly increasing, I desired Major 
General Lord Stirling to repair toward Albany, and even 
to take the command during the emergency, should it be 
necessary. You will find great relief and support from 
his lordship, should the enemy advance in force. If they 
should not come in force, he will not interrupt you in your 

I would have the tenth Massachusetts regiment, and the 
detachment of artillery, with the six-pounders which went 
with the New-Hampshire brigade, return as soon as they 
can be safely spared ; that is, after you are pretty certain 
the enemy are not in considerable force, or are turned 
back, or do not advance. Some troops will be necessary 
in your district during the winter. Colonel Weisenfel's 
regiment, I believe, is engaged only to the beginning of 
December; Colonel Willet's to the first of January. I 
have, therefore, determined that the two New-Hampshire 
regiments shall be assigned to you. The detachments 
absent from them shall be ordered up, when the army 
moves to winter quarters, to join their corps. I would 
have you consult with Lord Stirling, and also take the 
advice of General Schuyler, where it may be best to station 
the troops, and in what numbers, during the winter. You 
must take into view the Mohawk river, as well as the other 
parts of the frontiers ; and the best preparations in your 


power should be seasonably made of provisions, fiiel and 
forage, as well as covering for the troops. K any of the 
posts are difficult of access, when the cold season sets in, 
provisions, etc., sufficient for the subsistence of the troops 
designed for such posts, should be previously deposited. 
These several matters will claim your immediate atten- 

Assure those regiments who are to remain with you, 
that they may depend on equal justice being done them 
in the distribution of clothing, or any public stores. 

Advise me often of your situation, and all remarkable 
occurrences, that I may advise or direct as may be neces- 

I am, with great regard, 

Your obedient serv*t, 

W. HEATH, Major General 

P. 8. We have*a report that Lord Cornwallis, with his 
army, surrendered on the 17th instant. We impatiently 
wait a confirmation. 

Albany, Octboer 22, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Tour favor of yesterday's date, covering 
letters for General Heath and Lord Stirling, I received . 
about 7 o'clock last evening : the former I shall forward, 
and the lafter detain, as Colonel Tupper informs me his 
lordship is on the way to this place. But I believe your 
conclusion is not very just, that you will be relieved from 
the fatigue and trouble .you undergo, as I believe his lord- 
ship wUl return from hence. 

The conduct of the Berkshire militia is one of those 
events which place human nature in an amiable and digni- 
fied light How ridiculous is the idea of conquering a 
country whose inhabitants, with so much alacrity, abandon 
the sweets of domestic ease and private concerns, when 



put in competition with their country. This is the trae 
spirit of patriotism, which I earnestly hope will pervade 
every quarter of the United States. My thanks are smaD 
matters, but as they are gratefully bestowed, they acquire 
some value on that account. I have endured the moet 


severe torment for forfy-eight hours past, from a fit of the 
gravel ; about two hours ago voided a considerable qoan- 
tity, and am now much relieved. The moment I am able, 
will do myself the pleasure of a visit. Nothing new now. 

I am. Dear General, with great respect, esteem, and 
every friendly wish, your obed't servant, 

Hon. General Stark. 

General Enos to Gkneral Stark. 

Headquabtekb. CasHeion, \ 
October 26, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — Captain Salisbury this instant returned as a 
scout from the Mount, which he left last evening. He lay 
in sight of the enemy's works the chief part of the day. 
They are repairing the fortification at (Ticonderoga), and 
have covered the long barracks. Nearly two hundred 
cattle were employed in drawing cannon, &c., from their 

Behind the old French lines appeared a largp number of 
smokes, where it is supposed the chief part of their army 
is quartered. Colonel Walbridge informs me, by express, 
that he has not as vet made anv discovery from Lake 
George and that quarter. He has my directions, in case 
of any important discoveries, to make immediate returns 
to you. 

T am, sir, your most obed't hh'bl serv't, 

Hon. Brigadier General Stark. 

JOHN 8TABK. 283 

Albany t October 15, 1781. 

Dear Sir — General Rositer, with a few of his brigade, 
arrived yesterday afternoon ; the remainder, to the amount 
of eight or nine hundred, will be in this evening. As 
Colonel Reid, with the second battalion of New-Hampshire 
continental troops, has arrived here, subject to your com- 
mand, I advised General Ro&iter to tarry here, until we 
received ferther advices from you, as perhaps you might 
think it unnecessary for him to proceed. You will be so 
good as to dispatch your orders to the general, with as 
much speed as circumstances will permit. Should he not 
be wanted, it will save provision to the public to permit 
him to return the soonest possible. Governor Clinton has 
ordered up all the militia from below, and the whole, we 
understand, are on the move. Colonel Willet, in a let- 
ter of 13th, advises that all is well in the west quarter, Ac. 

I am, Dear General, with sentiments of great esteem, 

your obedient servant, 


Hon. General Stark. 

Albany, 29th October, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Your fevor of yesterday's date, covering a 
copy of a letter from General Enos, was delivered me last 
evening. As it seems impossible that the reconnoitering 
ofELcer can be mistaken, I conclude the enemy intend a 
permanent post at Ticonderoga. Perhaps it may prove a . 
cage in which we shall secure them. 

To-morrow, if the weather be good, I shall set out on a 
vigit to you. We have as yet no official account of the 
surrender of Lord Comwallis; but the intelligence we 
have bears such strong marks of veracity, that I have not 
a doubt but we shall receive authentic advices in a day or 
two. Please to make my sincere and best wishes to the 
major, and to thank him. 

I am, Dear General, with great esteem and regard, 

your most obedient servant, 


Hon. General Stark. 


HXADQUARTKBS. Chntinentol ViUa^,\ 

October 80, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — Please to forward the inclosed to Colonel 
Willet. It contains the appointment of Major Hitchcock 
to muster and inspect his regiment, as the dispersed 
situation of it will prevent an inspector attending that 
duty. I trust you will direct Captain Rohinson, inspector 
of the New-Hampshire brigade, to muster and inspect 
Colonel WeisenfePs regiment, and other regiments of 
levies, if any are with you, except Colonel Willet's. 

I am impatiently waiting to hear some thing very 
interesting from your quarter. 

I am, with great regard, dear sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

W. HEATH, M. General. 
Brigadier General Stark. 

Fori AnHf November 2, 1781. 

Dear Sir — I arrived at this place last evening with the 
number of men as mentioned in my last, with five days' 
provisions of beef, and one of bread ; was disappointed 
in every way of procuring the latter article, of which I 
am now destitute. 

I am extremely sorry and much disappointed that you 
did not furnish me with the number of cartridges required. 
As the Hampshire forces are destitute of ammunition, I 
judge it improper to proceed to Fort Edward, unless there 
shall be absolute occasion. I have this instant heard a 
firing of cannon and small arms at Fort Edward, and 
shall immediatdy send a scout to that place, for intelli- 
gence. K no discovery of the enemy be made, I shall be 
under the necessity of returning to Castleton. 

I am, dear sir, your obedient servant, 

Hon. Brigadier General Stark. 

JOHN 8TABK. 285 

To Governor Chittenden. 

Saratoga, November bthf 17S1. 

Sir — Ordered by his excellency, the commander-in-chiefi 
to assume the command of the northern department, and 
to call if necessary upon the militia of this State and 
those of Vermont, for protecting the frontiers of both 
States, I have observed, with great satisfaction, the alac- 
rity with which both have taken the field on every requi- 
sition ; but, accountable as I am to superiors, and inexcu- 
sable as I should be if I neglected to advise them of any 
circumstances which carry the aspect of iniquity, I wish 
to receive the most authentic information respecting the 
sergeant of the Vermont militia who was slain, and his 
party captured by the enemy. 

I expect your excellency will enable me to furnish a 
minute detail of it to Congress, by affording me a perusal 
of the original letter, which the British commanding 
officer is said to have written to you upon the occasion. 
This will be returned you by a safe hand, and a copy 
transmitted to Congress. 

The report, as brought to me, is that, upon the party's 
arrival at Ticonderoga, the British officer expressed great 
displeasure that the citizens of Vermont had been dis- 
turbed; that he sent for the corpse of the deceased 
sergeant, caused it to be interred with military honors, 
and then dismissed the captured party with what liquor 
and provisions they chose to carry away, and delivered 
them a letter of apology to your excellency. If this be 
true, it indicates a deep stroke of policy on the part of 
the enemy, to raise a suspicion in the minds of all Ameri- 
cans that the Vermonters are friendly to them or that they 
have really some encouragement from some people in 

That the principal portion of the people of Vermont 
are zealously attached to the American cause, no honest 
man can doubt ; but, that like every other State, it con- 
tains its proportion of lurking traitors, is a reasonable 
supposition; and if these, by their machinations, have 


brought upon the people injurious suspicions, there is no 
doubt but the latter will severely punish the miscreants 
as soon as their misdeeds are fully developed. 

No exertion on my part shall be wanted to eradicate 
every suspicion injurious to the people of Vermont. 
Your compliance with my request will probably afford me 
one of the means ; and I pray most earnestly your acqui- 
escence, that I may detail the whole business in its true 

I congratulate you, with the most heartfelt satisfaction, 
on the glorious event which has placed another British 
army in our power, which was announced on the third 
instant by a discharge of fourteen cannon,* and yesterday 
by that of a like number of platoons, in honor of the 
United States of America. 

I am, sir, respectfnlly. 

Your humble servant, 


Gk>Ternor Chittenden to General Stark. 

Arlingtxmy November \ith^ 1781. 

Dear General — ^Your kind favor of the 6th inst. was 
received on the 10th, but through the extreme hurry of 
business, and for a want of a proper conveyance, I hare 
neglected the answer till now. 

The particular/account you have requested me to send 
you in regard to the slain sergeant of the Vermont militia, 
and the return of the party with him, who were discharged 
by the British officer commanding, I have thought it my 
duty to transmit to his excellency. General Washington, 
together with every other public movement in this vicin- 
ity, that in any manner relates to the welfare of the inde- 

^Yermont was not at this time a State. The fourteenth cannon wa» 
however fired, as a compliment to her good services in the war, and a 
hope that she might soon become a state of the Union. — Ediiot* 


pendent States of America. This I doubt not will be 

I take this opportunity to return my thanks for the 
honor done this State, by your directing the discharge of 
the fourteenth cannon, on your late public day of rejoic- 
ing, occasioned by the capture of Lord Cornwallis and his 
army. A like day will probably be observed in this State 
on the same occasion. 

I am, Dear General, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

Brigadier General Stark. 

'<*' In a communication to General Washin^n this matter waa explained. 

Vermont not having been acknowledged by Congress as a State, her 
people contended for independence, and were threatened by the enemy in 
Canada. Some little management was necessary. 

A correspondence was opened with the enemy, who were flattered for 
two or three years with the expectation that the people of Vermont were 
about to become subjects of the king. Thus a meditated invasion waa 
ayerted, and the Vermont prisoners returned. At the same time, the pos- 
sibility that Vermont would desert the American cauae, was held up to 
Congress ; and, in consequence, the settlers were not compelled to submit 
to the claims of New- York. Such was the political course Governor 

Chittenden thought necessary to pursue. — Alien Biog. Diet, 


We quote the following from Butler's Address : 

*' Our truce with Canada was rather a help than a hindrance to the last 
great struggle of the war — the operations against Cornwallis. It was 
either unknown to Washington, or understood by him to be a political 
mapoeuvre. In the midst of the armistice, he wrote to Stark, commander 
of the northern department : * I doubt not that your requisitions to call 
forth the force of the Green Mountains will be attended with success.' 
Bequisitions remember — to defend New-Ydfk, their bitterest foe. Stark's 
reply was that his requisitions were attended with success; that upon 
a sudden alarm, five hundred and fifty mounted men from Vermont joined 
his troops in a few hours. Near the beginning of the armistice, Schuyler 
had written to Washington : * It is believed that large offers have been 
made the Hampshire Grants, but that nothing will induce the bulk of 
them to desert the common cause.' 

** Washington was privy to the secret policy of Vermont for some time — 
probably a month before the surrender of Cornwallis. This fact, stated 
by one of our historians, seems to have been discredited by all the rest. It 
ia established by a letter long given up for lost (but recently discovered), 
and so alluded to by our historians as to excite suspicions that they had 
never seen it. Washington does not appear to have been perplexed by 
a British officer's apology for killing a Vermonter in a sKirmish — ^an 
apology which enraged General Stark, and filled Vermont from side to 
side with indignation." 

Bv this policy of Governor Chittenden, an army, equal in force to that • 
of iSurgoyne, was kept inactive in Canada — amused by the finesse of the 
governor, and his able coadjutors, till the war was virtually ended by the 
surrender at York town. 


To Goneral Stark. 

Hkadquabtebs. AUniny^ \ 
November 6, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — Since my leaving Saratoga I have received 
a letter from Colonel Willet, giving a particular account 
of the action near Johnstown, and his pursuit afterward. 
The enemy were very precipitate in their retreat, leaving 
behind their packs, blankets, &c., which were found 
strewed through the woods. He pursued them eight miles 
beyond Canada creek. Before his arrival at that place, he 
fell in with about forty who were left in the rear to pro- 
cure provisions. He instantly dispersed them. 

At the creek he came up with their rear, when an 
action commenced, in which Major Walter Butler fell 
with a number of others. Finding his own provisions 
were very short, and the probability of coming up with 
their main force not very great, he wisely gave ov^r the 
pursuit, leaving them in a situation promising little less 
than certain death. Cold, and the excruciating pains of 
hunger, will, in my opinion, produce a death more becom- 
ing such a plundering pack of murderers, than the bayo- 
net or ball ; and as they mus); have been, at his quitting 
them, at least eight days' march from any place where they 
•ould procure provisions, the purpose of an entire defeat 
must be very well answered. Inclosed is an order which 
I have received from General Heath. The returns I wish 
may be forwarded as soq^ as possible. 

I am, sir, &c., 

STIRLING, Maj. General. 
Brigadier General Stark. 


To Major General Heath. 

Saratoga, November Qth^ 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^I am honored with your letter of the 30th 
ult., and have -directed Captain Robinson to inspect the 
troops you mentioned ; but it will be very difficult to per- 
form the business without paper, and I do not think there 
is at present enough in the garrison to make the rolls 
proper for inspection. 

I have ordered all the teams I can possibly collect, to 
draw timber for two block-houses that Lord Stirling has 
directed to be built on this ground. I hope to get them 
finished in the course of a fortnight. 

I have engaged with Colonel Sears that, in case his 
regiment will cut and collect the timber for one of them, 
they shall receive a discharge. I think this a very good 
bargain, and they have fallen to work with unremitted 
vigor. But, sir, remember the poor continental soldiers. 
They are now half naked and many of them unfit for 
duty,4nerely for want of clothing. If any can be sent to 
them, I beg no time may be lost, as the doctor tells me 
that inflammatory disorders are very epidemical in camp, 
and fifcrther says the want of comfortable clothing is the 

In case the regiments now here are destined to tarry 
the winter, I beg you to order the detachments to join 
them, as you must be sensible how inconvenient it is to 
have regiments mutilated as these are. 

I beg, sir, you will accept my warmest congratulations 
on the late important event, that has crowned our wishes 
with another British general and his army. This event. 
I hope, will convince that infatuated nation how chimer- 
ical is the attempt of subjecting these States to her lawless 
will ; and open their eyes to their true interest, which is 
Peace to themselves, and* Freedom to America — the latter 
of which they cannot hope to enjoy. 

I beg leave to suggest whether it would not be for the 
interest of the public to discharge Col. Reynold' regiment 
immediately, as this frontier can be in no danger of an 



invasion between now and the 20th of January ; and they 
are in reality using public provisions, and doing no service 
to the States, especially if continued on this frontier. If 
your opinion should coincide^with mine, I teg you would 
let me know it as soon as possible. 

I am, sir, your obed*t serv't, 


[(Jeneral Orders.] 

HxADQUARTERS. Continental Village, \ 

November 9, 1781. / 

The general has the pleasure of acquainting the army 
that the enemy have been completely disappointed in their 
designs on the northern frontiers of this State, in conse- 
quence of the measures adopted to receive them in the 
vicinity of the lakes, in which the general is much 
indebted to Major General Lord Stirling, Brigadie^ G^n- 
eralStark, and the officers and soldiers both of the regular 
troops and militia, who, with great zeal and alertnees, 
pressed forward to meet the enemy. 

That part of their force which was coming by way of 
the lakes not having dared to land on this side of then^ 
Major Ross, who had advanced from the westward as fiir 
as Johnstown, with a body of six or seven hundred. troops, 
regulars, Yaugers, and Indians, was met by Col. Willet, 
defeated and pursued into the wilderness, where many of 
them probably must perish. The number of the enemy 
killed is not known. 

Major Butler, who has so frequently distressed the firqn- 
tiers, is among the slain. A number of prisoners, chiefly 
British, have been taken and sent in. 

The general presents his thanks to Colonel Willet, 
whose address, gallantry, and persevering activity on this 
occasion, do him the highest honor ; and w^hile the con- 
duct of th#officer8 and soldiers in general who were with 
Colonel Willet, deserves high commendation, the general 


expresses particular approbation of the behavior of Major 
Rowley, and the brave levies and militia under his imme- 
diate command, who, at a critical moment, not only did 
themselves honor, but rendered essential service to their 

W. HEATH, Maj. General. 

Extract from general orders. 

THOMAS T. JACKSON, Aidrde^Gamp. 

Hkadquabters. Atbany, \ 
November 10, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — ^Your letter of the 7th came to htod yesterday 
evening. I think, by the accounts of Captains Emerson 
and Sent^r, it is reduced to a certainty that the enemy to 
the northward are returned to Canada, yet I could wish 
to hear from Captain Carr soon ; as, if the enemy do not 
accept of my proposals, I would send the prisoners of war 
now here down the river before the winter sets in, and let 
them take New-York in their way to Canada. Their 
number is increased to fifty odd. I have ordered some 
very good German steel to be sent you ; paper and wafers 
shall follow as soon as they can be procured. I will 
inquire into the state of the iron cannon, and send you 
two of the best of them. What you propose in regard to 
Colonel Reynolds* men, I will communicate to General 
Heath, and you shall have his answer in a very few days. 
I shall request him to send up the carpenters belonging 
to your brigade, who are now with the quartermaster 
general's department. I send you inclosed a copy of 
Colonel Willet's loss in his late encounter with the enemy. 
I do not doubt but this will be the destructi6n of their 
whole party. 

I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

STIRLING, Major General. 
General Stark. 


To Brigadier General Stark. 

HxADQUABTEiu?. Continental ViUage,\ 

November 14, 1781. j 

Dear Sir — Your favor of the 6th instant came to hand 
last evening. I am sorry to liear you continue so short of 
paper. We sufter here equally with you ; however, if 
possible, let the monthly returns be sent down in season. 

I would have Colonel Reynolds' regiment discharged 
immediately, and the Massachusetts militia as soon as you 
can spare them. All camp utensils, ammunition, etc., 
drawn from the public, must be returned previous to their 

I am happy in the prospect of the army's receiving a 
competent supply of clothing this year. A part of it is 
now in the Store made up, and a large quantity of mate- 
rials are near at hand. These must be made up by the 
regimental tailors. Every regiment, whether present or 
not, will have strict justice done it. I think the pay- 
masters of the two New-Hampshire regiments had best 
come down immediately with their returns, made out and 
signed, conformable to the ordinance of clothing and late 
order, that they may be present at the distribution. I 
trust the tenth Massachusetts regiment and detachment of 
artillery are now on their way to this army. 

It was my intention that the two New-Hampshire regi- 
ments should winter in the northern district. It is now 
rather uncertain, but the circumstances whether they 
will or will not are so nicely divided, that I can not now 
determine which will take place. They must, therefore, 
make every preparation as if* to stay. I shall reserve their 
last year's huts for them, until the matter is determined. 
The artificers of the two regiments are ordered to join 
them. The detachments will do it also, as soon as it is 
known where the regiments take winter quarters, and 
they obtain some clothing. At present they a^e nearly 
naked. Please to forward the inclosed as speedily as 
possible to Colonel Reynolds. 

With much regard, I am your obedient servant, 

W. HEATH, M. General. 


To Major General Heath. 

Saratoga^ 29th November^ 1781. 

My Dear Sir — ^Your two letters of the 14th and 2l8t 
inst. came safe to hand. I have discharged Col. Beynolds' 
regiment. The militia and levies at this post were dis- 
missed previous to the arrival of your letters. The two 
block-houses mentioned in my last are nearly completed. 
The barracks are repairing by the soldiers, as well as they 
can be done without materials, but I can not hope that the 
soldiers can be rendered very comfortable without consider- 
able alterations in clothing, fuel, &c. With respect to the 
latter, you observe that I have it "at command." In that 
suggestion you are certainly mistaken, for it can not be 
got without going a mile and a half for it. In your obser- 
vations on the clothing, you mention that the materials 
are to be sent, and the clothes to be made by the regi- 
mental tailors. I must observe that there is but one tailor 
in the New-Hampshire line, and he a drunken rascal, that 
could be hardly compelled to make three coats in a winter. 

You observe that few horses should be kept with the 
troops, and that the remainder should be sent to places 
where forage can be obtained. This argument I think 
very reasonable ; but I can not find a man in this district 
who knows where that place is. But I suppose it is 
romantic to issue any more complaints, when experience 
has taught me that they are of so little value. 

I can not suflBciently admire the magnanimous conduct 
of our soldiers. They certainly put knight errantry out 
of countenance ; and all those whimsical tales which are 
generally supposed to have existed no where but in the 
brains of chimerical authors, seem realized in them. 

But I fear that this virtue will not last forever j and, 
indeed, it is my opinion that nothing but their too wretched 
situation prevents an insurrection. However, I have not 
heard a syllable of the kind yet, and shall take every 
imaginable precaution to hinder it ; and I hope that their 
firmness and my endeavors will prove efficacious. 


Colonel Willet writes me that he has between eighty 
and one hundred men in his regiment, engaged for three 
years, and he is of opinion that two hundred men ought 
to be kept on the Mohawk river for its protection. This 
number, I believe, would be suflicient ; a less number, I 
think, would be dangerous. But until the men are 
clothed, they can not be sent. Indeed they can hardly 
leave their barracks ; and their distress is so great that it 
is difficult to keep the necessary guards. 

When I have finished the block-houses, and got the 
barracks repaired, as well as our circumstances will admit, 
I shall retire to Albany, after which, as there can be little 
business for a general officer in this district, and the num- 
ber of men will be so greatly diminished, and those scat- 
tered on the frontiers, I must beg leave to make a visit to 
New-Hampshire. I hope this request will meet your 
approbation, and that you will be pleased to signify it as 
soon as convenient. 

I shall be ready to take the field whenever my services 
are required, but at present my domestic affiiirs strongly 
press my attendance. I have the honor to be, with the 
greatest respect and esteem. 

Tour most obed't serv't, 


To Brigadier General Stark. 


December 5, 17S1. 

Dear Sir — ^Tour favor of the 22d ult., came to hand yes- 
terday by Captain Carr. Upon having recourse to my 
files, I find my letters to you are two to one received from 
you ; so that either you do not give me credit for all, or 
else part of yours to me, and mine to you, miscany. 

I most sincerely condole with you under our wants and 
embarrassments, for we experience every one of them 
equally with you, and some which you do not. In Octo- 

JOHK 8TABE. 295 

ber the troops were ten days without bread — the last 
month more. We are equally naked and destitute of pay. 

Materials are collecting for clothing — ^the whole army 
and every man will be clothed ; but it will be late before 
it can be effected. It is said Mr. Morris is in hopes of 
making the army three months pay, at least in the course 
of this winter. You may assure the regiments with you 
that they shall have equal justice done them. My heart 
bleeds for their distresses, but the means of relief are not 
in my power^ 

The pay-masters of the 1st and 2d regiments will wait 
and receive the clothing for the regiment. The Honorable 
Mr. Morris, our financier, I hope will be able to put mat- 
ters in a good way, but he must have time. 

The time for which Colonel Willefs regiment is engaged 
expires the last of this month. If you have not already 
made a distribution of the regular troops to all the posts 
and places necessary, I would recommend to you to do it 
immediately. Please send Colonel Reid's regiment toward 
the Mohawk river, and let them seasonably relieve Col- 
onel Willet's. Probably you may think it best to station 
a part of the regiment at Schenectady, and send detach- 
ments to the principal posts above, some of which are 
important Fort Herkimer, in particular, has a consider- 
able quantity of ordnance and military stores, which must 
be pAserved, and the country protected as much as 

Please, therefore, to have such disposition made as will 
best effect the preservation of the public property, curb 
the enemy, and afford protection to the country. As soon 
as these arrangements are made, which should not be 
delayed a moment, please take effectual measures to have 
a supply of provisions sent up at the best season, sufficient 
to subsist the troops until the season arrives when they 
may obtain supplies again. 

I have been informed that, in the late alarm, a number 
of public arms were delivered the militia, which have not 
been returned. I request you to inquire of Mr. Rensselaer, 


and find to what regiments they were issued, and let 
measures be taken to call them all in immediately. Col- 
onel Dearborn, D. Q. M., has just arrived from the south- 
ward ; he informs me he shall be able soon to send yon 
some paper, etc. I am sorry to hear of your indisporition. 
I hope that you will soon recover your health. 

I have the honor to be 

Your obedient humble serv% 

W. HEATH, Mqj. General 

To Major General Heath. 

Saratoga, I2th December, 1781. 

Dear Sir — I am honored by your favor of the 6th inst 
I should have written an answer before, but I have sent 
to Bennington to gain the particulars of a riot raised 
some time ago, and which still continues at St. Coicks. 
The particulars are as follows : Men, under the direction 
of a Captain Abbot, assaulted a public house at Hoosac ; 
seized upon Colonel Rensselaer and some others, who 
considered themselves under the government of New- 
York, and abused them in a most outrageous manner. 
After which they carried them to Bennington, and called 
upon the magistrates acting under the authority of Ver- 
mont for warrants to arrest them in (as they teifti it) a 
legal manner ; but, upon the magistrates refusing to 
interfere in the matter, they were dismissed. Rensselaer, 
upon his liberation, represented the matter to General 
Ganesvoort, and invited his neighbors to join him and 
protect him from a second abuse, with which he was 
severely threatened. Ganesvoort approved his conduct, 
and ordered the militia on both sides of the North river 
above Albany to join them. Those persons called Ver- 
monters discovered the motions of the Yorkers, and 
immediately collected their force within half a mile of 
the quarters of the Yorkers ; and in this position the two 
detachments have continued nearly a week. 


Yesterday, about twelve o'clock, the Yorkers w.ere 
about two hundred strong, and the Vermonters about two 
hundred do. What I mean bj Vermonters is those acting 
under Vermont within the twenty-mile line ; for I can 
not learn that any have joined them belonging to old 

What the result of these two armies will be, I can not 
say, but hope they will compromise the matter without 
bloodshed. I think Congress would do well to interfere 
in the matter, pass some severe and decisive edictis, and 
see that they are put in execution before spring ; other- 
wise, t^e consequences may be exceedingly serious, and 
perhaps dangerous. 

I am sorry to hear that any troops suffer more than 
those in -this quarter, (our enemy excepted) ; but, since 
some are more wretched, we must submit to our fate 
like good soldiers. I. am sure it is not practicable for 
the troops that are here to go to the Mohawk river until 
they are clothed. Indeed, I am obliged to detain the six 
n^onths' men to do the necessary camp duty, on account of 
the nakedness of the continental troops. In the last duty 
report, only thirty-six " three years" and " during the 
war" men, including sergeants, were fit for duty in the 
two regiments. The remainder are so naked that they 
can not procure fuel for their own use. 

If there is any possibility of sending some blankets, 
shirts, overalls, stockings, and shoes, they might afford a 
temporary relief, and I dare say would prove satisfactory. 

My predictions in my last were realized on the evening 
of the 10th instant. The troops mutinied ; but, by the 
seasonable interposition of the officers, it was quelled very 
easily. But, sir, this may be but a prelude to an insurrec- 
tion of a more serious nature. 

Some of the most forward of the mutineers are in 
custody, and are to be tried by a court-martial. Mutiny 
is certainly a crime that deserves the severest punishment, 
but to punish one soldier for it, is unjust and cruel to the 
last degree. Whenever it is possible, I shall send the 




second regiment to the posts on the Mohawk river ; bat 
yon must not expect impossibilities. However, Colonel 
Willet has between eighty and one hundred men engaged 
for three years. Those can garrison the posts until the 
continental troops are clothed. 

I shall make inquiry of Mr. Rensselaer what arms were 
delivered out to the militia, and shall endeavor to have 
them returned. I never knew of any being delivered 
until your letter informed me. 

You complain that my letters to you are not so frequent 
as yours to me. I have not received a single letter from 
you that I have not acknowledged ; but I have been 
apprehensive that some of mine to you have miMuuned, 
and am convinced that some of yours to me have never 
come to hand, but I am not able to determine the reasoni 
for their miscarriage. 

I am, dear sir, with regard and esteem. 

Your obed't serv't, 


P. S. I never saw a thanksgiving before that was so 
melancholy. I may, I believe with safety, affirm that 
there will not be a thankful heart in this garrison, nor one 
that has cause to be satisfied with his circumstances. It 
may be argued that it is a blessing to have trials ; but lifi9 
witiiout enjoyment, and replete with misery, is rather (in 
my opinion) a curse than a blessing. 


To Brigadier General Stark. 

HKADQUARTXB8. Highlands^ \ 
December 12th, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — Your favor of 29th ult. came to hand last 
week. The soldiers will receive ample supplies .of cloth- 
ing, but it will be late before it is all ready. The paymas- 
ters of the New-Hampshire regiments have drawn shoes, 
hose, some overalls, shirts, &c., for the most necessitous men. 
These will be conveyed to Albany in a few days, when all 
the detachments will join their corps. The paymasters of 
the regiments think that the clothing can soon be made 
up for the men of your line. 

Mr. Morris, the financier, wrote me yesterday that he 
had settled the arrangements of the forage with the quar- 
ter master general ^ so that, as soon as matters can oper- 
ate, we shall have a supply. Colonel Pickering was 
expected at New- Windsor night before last. A quantity 
of paper, etc., is on the road from Philadelphia, and Col- 
onel Dearborn, the deputy quarter master, assures me a 
supply shall be sent you. The good temper and patience 
of the troops, exhibited on all occasions, does them honor. 
I am happy in having the evidence of a prospect of their 
being well fed and well clothed ; and I hope they will 
receive some pay. 

I have not yet fully ascertained whether Colonel Wil- 
let's men, engaged for three years, will remain where they 
are this winter, or not. I have written Governor Clinton 
respecting them, but have not received his answer ; I 
expect it hourly. I believe the postfl usually occupied in 
the winter, and probably the best calculated to cover the 
country, are Saratoga, to the northward (from whence 
detachments can be made to Ballstown aud White creek) ; 
and Fort Herkimer, Port Rensselaer, and Johnstown, on 
the Mohawk river, from which detachments can also be 
occasionally made to other small posts, in their respective 
vicinities, and Schoharie, about thirty miles west of 


I am not so intimately acquainted with the importance 
of these different places, relatively considered, as to be 
able to determine what proportion of the troops each 
ought to have ; but I think Colonel Reid's regiment oaght 
to be destined to the western posts above mentioned, and 
not to be diminished by any detachments which may be 
necessary to leave at Albany or Schenectady for the secur- 
ity of the public stores. The northern frontier is not so 
extensive as the western, and can be easier supported by 
the militia. Let each post be properly and seasonably 
supplied with provisions. I wish to gratify your inclina- 
tion in visiting your family, but wish you to remain a few 
days, as I hourly expect General Hazen in this quarter. 
As it may be equally agreeable to him to spend the winter 
at Albany, and as I should prefer having a general officer 
in the northern district, I will request him to repair there ; 
if he declines it, Colonel Reid must exercise the command. 

The light infentry have returned frora the southward. 
No news in this quarter. 

I have the honor to be, with great regard, 

Dear sir, your obedient serv't, 

W. HEATH, M. General. 

To Colonel Yates. 

14th December, 1781. j 

Sir — ^Upon anxiously examining the nature of the dis- 
putes between New- York and Vermont, I am of opinion 
that violent measures at present would be attended with 
very evil consequences. K, therefore, Col. Rensselaer can 
be assured of protection of his person and property, 
together with positive assurances that his adherents shall 
remain in peaceable and quiet possession of their estates, 
and that their persons shall be preserved from indignities 
or insults until Congress shall determine the jurisdictional 
boundaries — ^till then^ I say, I should think hostilities very 


Now, sir, considering the inconveniences of keeping 
men in the field at this season of the year, I imagine, if 
the above mentioned preliminaries are agreed to and 
ratified by responsible men on the part of Vermont, it 
would be prudent for you to withdraw your men ; but, if 
your orders are to continue in your present station, you 
must obey. In that case, it would be advisable to apply 
to General Ganesvoort, or the officer who gave the orders, 
that they might be remanded. 

I am, sir, your most obedient servant, 


Hon. Mesbech Weare. 

Saratoga^ 14^A Deeember, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^Notwithstanding my letters to you seem to 
be treated with silent contempt, yet, when any thing inter- 
venes where I think my country or the State of New- 
Hampshire in a particular manner deeply interested, I 
conceive it my duty, apart from common politeness, to 
inform you of it. Such I deem the late riotous conduct 
of the State of Vermont, in extending their pretended 
claim to the westward, and threatening to support it by a 
military force; and, indeed, those within the twenty-mile 
line are actually in arms, in open defiance and violation 
of the rules of Congress ; and are actually opposing them- 
selves to the troops raised' by the State of New- York to 
put their constitution and laws into execution. Two 
detachments, one acting under the authority of Vermont, 
and the other under officers owing allegiance to the State 
of New- York, are assembled now at St. Coick, in opposi- 
tion. For farther particulars I refer you to Captain Fogg, 
who will have'the honor of delivering this. 

I have been fiivored with a perusal of the proceedings 
of the legislature of Vermont State, on the subject of 
their being received into the Union of the United States, 
and find that they have not only rejected the resolutions of 
Congress, but in reality have disavowed their authority ; 


and I farther perceive that, in their great wisdom, ihey 
have thought proper to appoint a committee to determine 
whether New-Hampshire shall exercise jurisdiction to 
Connecticut river or not. This proceeding appears too 
weak and frivolous. For men of sense to suppose that 
New-Hampshire would ever consent to an indignity so 
flagrant, and an abuse so pointed as this seems to be, is 
what I own surprises me. However, I hope, and indeed 
have no doubt, that New-Hampshire will be more politic 
than to take notice of this daring insolence. What I 
mean by notice, is to think of treating with them upon 
this or any other subject until Congress shall come to 
a final determination with respect to these people. 

I am, sir, with high respect. 

Your most obedient serv't, 


Arlington, December 16, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^I have consulted my council on the perplexed 
situation of this State, and have resolved to call the Legis- 
lature thereof to meet at Bennington, as soon as may be ; 
at which time they will doubtless consult such measures as 
may tend to the peace and tranquility of this State and 
the United States. 

In the meantime I earnestly request that you write to 
the officers of New-York, that are daily making depreda- 
tions to the west, to suspend any farther operations of that 
kind until the assembly meet ; and that, if they do not 
comply, you will not interfere with your troops. And I 
do assure you that if they comply with said request, and 
liberate the prisoners they have taken, I will suspend the 
exercise of jurisdiction or law over any person or persons 
who profess themselves subjects of New- York, during that 

I am, sir, with sentiments of esteem. 

Your most obed't and most hbl. serv't, 



To General Washington. 

Albany, 21«< Deember, 1781. 

My Dear Sir — Although I am not the first that has 
addressed a congratulatory letter to you on account of 
your late glorious and unequalled success in Virginia, yet 
be assured that I am not behind the others in respect, or 
in the high opinion I entertain of the important and very 
essential service rendered my country by your capital 
acquisition. British standards will no more be the dread 
of neighboring nations, nor will her armies in future be 
deemed invincible. You have taught them the road to 
submission, and have manifested to the world that they 
are vulnerable ; and no doubt the warlike nations with 
whom they are at variance, stimulated by your noble 
example, will give them farther proofs of their inability 
to trample on the laws of equity, justice and liberty with 
impunity. I hope that this may be the case, and that 
they may shortly be brought to a sense of their duty, and 
relinquish to us the invaluable blessings that the power of 
Omnipotence has placed in our view, and leave our coun- 
try once more to taste the sweets of tranquil peace. 

My exile has not been attended with any very interest- 
ing events. The enemy, to be sure, came as far as Ticon- 
deroga ; but when they learned the alacrity with which 
the militia turned opt to defend their country, they 
returned, with shame and disgrace, without striking a 
blow at the northern frontiers. But the Mohawk river 
felt some of the effects of their inveterate malice. How- 
ever, by the timely interposition of Colonel Willet, they 
were driven from that country with indignity. As the par- 
ticulars must have come to your knowledge before now, 
I will not give you the trouble of reading them here. 

During the time the enemy were hovering about Ticon- 
deroga, a sergeant and a scout of the Vermont militia 
were attacked by a scout of the enemy. They killed the 
sergeant and took his party prisoners. When the party 
was brought to Ticonderoga, the commanding officer 
showed great dissatisfaction at the acoideBt, treated the 


men with all imaginable tenderness, sent for the sergeant, 
and had him buried with the honors of war ; after which 
he released the prisoners, with what provisions they chose 
to take, and they returned home with a letter from Lt Col. 
St Leger to Gov. Chittenden (as it was said), apologizing 
for the accident. Upon this coming to my knowledge, I 
addressed a letter to the governor, of which I inclose a 
copy, as likewise a copy of his answer. You will per- 
ceive, by his letter, he gives his reason for not sending to 
me, by affirming that he has sent the account of it to you. 
If so, I should be much obliged for a copy of the letter. 
I shall be farther obliged if you let me know whether he 
sent you the original or a copy. If he sent you the origi- 
nal, it must be satisfactory ; otherwise, the case will still 
be doubtful in my opinion. I shall think that they dare 
not produce the original. 

The proceedings of the Vermonters have been very mys- 
terious, until about ten days ago, when they in a manner 
threw off the mask, and publicly avowed their dctermina^ 
tion to continue their claim of jurisdiction to the Xorth 
river on the part of New- York, and to Mason's patent on 
the part of New-Hampshire, and did actually send an 
armed force, with a piece of artillery, to protect and 
defend their adherents on the west side of the twenty- 
mile line ; and indeed have done little less than to wage 
war with the United States, who, I conceive, are bound, 
by every tie of justice and policy, to defend all its mem- 
bers from the insults of any enemy, internal or external. 

I believe, sir, that I may venture to predict that unless 
something decisive is done in the course of this winter, 
with respect to these people, we may have every thing to 
fear from them that they are capable of, in case we are 
under the disagreeable necessity of making another cam* 

This may be considered as strange language from me, 
who have ever been considered as a friend to Vermont ; 
and, indeed, I ever was their friend, until their conduct 
convinced me that they were not friendly to the United 

JOHN 8TABK. 306 

States. "Were I to judge by their professions, they are 
more mine and the State's fiiend now than ever ; but their 
actions and their words appear to carry a very different 
meaning. During my command, I have been promised 
everything from their government and their leading men 
that I could wish for ; but they have taken particular care 
to perform nothing, while, on the other hand, the militia 
of New- York, and those of Berkshire, attended to my 
requisitions with alacrity and uncommon spirit ; and I 
believe the northern and western frontiers are in a great 
measure indebted to them for the protection of their 
houses, etc. I most sincerely wish that matters may turn 
out better than I expect, and am, with my best wishes for 
your health and happiness, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 


Albany, 22d December, 1781. 

Dear Sir — ^I have received your favor of the 12th inst, 
and am under infinite obligations for the indulgence you 
are pleased to grant me. However, I shall not hasten 
from the district until matters are duly arranged, and I 
hope not till General Hazen arrives to take the command. 
If he is not already on the road, I should take it as a sin- 
gular favor if he might be directed to proceed as soon as 

Colonel Reid addresses a letter by this conveyance. 
His domestic affairs are in a very fluctuating state, and 
render his presence very essential to his interest. It must 
be unnecessary to mention 'the difficulties officers and 
soldiers labor under for want of proper supplies, wages, 
&c. When all these difficulties are enumerated, you will 
easily perceive that the indulgences become almost neces- 
sity ; and, without them, no officer, with a large family 
and in common circumstances, can continue in service. 
If, therefore, it is compatible with the public interest, it 
would certainly be a great favor if he could be permitted 
to visit his fomily in the course of the winter. 


Your letter of the 17th has just come to my hand. I 
shall order the return you require to be made, and hope to 
be able to transmit it in a few days. 

I am, dear sir, your obed't serv't, 


Major General Heath. 

To General Stark. 

Saratoga^ 22d December, 1781. 

Dear General — ^Here I am, alone, not a soul to speak 
a word to me but bruin and Mony. A dismal gloom 
overspreads this quarter at present. However, two d — ^m'd 
Indians favored me with their company this afternoon, 
and gave me a piece of venison, on which I intend to 

dine to-morrow. No but what the cursed Irishman 

asks too dear for. I am invited to keep Christmas with 
Mr. Ensign. I think that man must be a christian. 

How did you get down to Albany ? I hope you have 
good quarters. Pray let me hear, from you every oppor- 
tunity ; in particular, I wish to have your directions with 
respect to the leather at Dickerson's. If you have not 
already wrote to General Heath, I pray you to write as 
soon as possible, representing my situation, and the pres- 
sing necessity of my being at home, and also please to 
forward any letters. 

My kind compliments to Major Caleb. I wish to hear 
how my book comes on. No more writing — this is the 
last inch of paper I have. 

Your prediction was right. I am informed, by a man 
from Peterborough, that your cousin Nathan and my 
cousin Abraham are really in the horse-stealing way. 

I am, with esteem. 

Your most obed*t humble serv't, 


General Stark. 

* Afterwards general of State militia, and fatber-in-law of lato Qovemor 
Samuel Dinsmoor, Senior. 


To Generml Stark. 

Hmadquartebs. Highlands, \ 
December 25, 1781. / 

Dear Sir — ^Your favors of the 2d and 12th instants have 
come to hand; that of the 2d, by Major Villefranche, 
not until yesterday. The attention and abilities of that 
officer deserve commendation in every quarter where his 
services have been experienfed. 

I am very sorry to hear of the conduct of the Vermont- 
ers and Yorkers with you. I fear that there will, sooner 
or later, be serious consequences produced by their dis- 
putes. I transmitted your intelligence to Congress, and I 
request you will be pleased from time to time to commu- 
nicate to me such other circumstances as may come to 
your knowledge. 

The paymasters of the New-Hampshire regiments have 
drawn clothing of every kind, and will convey it up as 
soon as possible. The naked condition of those regiments 
led me to direct that they should be first served. 

I hope that the time will soon arrive when the army 
will be relieved from many if not all of those distressing 
wants which they have long experienced. I trust the 
quarter master has relieved your wants of forage and paper. 
Please direct the returns to be made with as much punc- 
tuality as possible. 

Congress has called upon the States to complete their 
respective quotas of troops by the first of March, deter- 
mined to improve the late successes, and with the blessing 
of heaven bring the war to a speedy and honorable con- 

I have the honor to be. 

With great regard, your obed't selrv't, 

WM. HEATH, M. General. 


To Honorable General Stark. 

Bennington, I2th September, 1786. 

Dear Sir — This opportunity of presenting gratitude 
demands a few lines from me. I have had health in 
general since we saw each other, hut have understood 
your health was much impaired before you left the camp; 
and since have learned it is much recovered, and wish you 
that blessing for a long time to come. 

It is doubtless yet in your mind what I have mentioned 
concerning a right of land granted you in this State, for 
which I paid the fees. If you choose to hold the land, it 
is agreeable to me ; but, when you wrote me last, you pro- 
posed quitting your right to me, and that without any 
pay. I send you a deed ; if it is your choice to execute 
it, then I am secured for the money I have paid ; and if 
you will take the ten dollars which I heretofore proposed, 
on your letting me know by a line, it shall be conveyed 
to you by the first safe opportunity ; or if Mr. McGinnis 
satisfies you there, I will repay him here. 

I am, sir, with respect. 

Your obedient ser\'ant, 


N. B. Mine and Mrs. Saftbrd's best compliments to 
the General, Mrs. Stark, and the Major. 

To General Stark. 

Monticello, Auguei 19<A, 1805. 

Respected General — ^I have lately learned, through the 
channel of the newspapers, with pleasure, that you are still 
in life, and enjoy health and spirits. The victories of 
Bennington — the first link in the chain of successes which 
issued in the surrender at Saratoga — are still fresh in the 
memory of every American, and the name of him who 
achieved them dear to his heart. 


Permit me, therefore, as a stranger who knows you only 
by the services you have rendered, to express to you the 
sincere emotions of pleasure and attachment which he 
felt on learning that your days had been prolonged — ^his 
fervent prayer that they still may be continued in comfort, 
and the conviction that whenever they end, your memory 
will be cherished by those who come after you, as one who 
has not lived in vain for his country. 

I salute you, venerable patriot and general, 

With affection and reverence, 



Derryfieldt October, 1S06. 

Respected Sir — Your friendly letter of August 19th came 
to hand a few days since ; but, owing to the imbecility 
inseparably connected with the wane of life, I have not 
been able to acknowledge it until now. 

I have been in my 77th year since the 28th of August 
last ; and, since the close of the revolutionary war, have 
devoted my time entirely to domestic employments, and 
in the vale of obscurity and retirement, have tasted that 
tranquility which the hurry and bustle of a busy world 
can seldom afford. I thank you for the compliment you 
are pleased to make me, nor will I conceal the satisfaction 
I feel in receiving it from a man who possesses so large a 
share of my confidence. 

I will confess to you, sir, that I once began to think 
that the labors of the revolution were in vain, and that I 
should live to see the system restored which I had assisted 
in destroying. 

But my fears are at an end ; and I am now calmly pre- 
paring to meet the unerring fate of men, with, however, 
the satisfactory reflection that I leave a numerous progeny, 
in a country highly favored by nature, atid under a gov- 


emment whose principles and views I believe to be cor- 
rect and just. 

With the highest considerations of respect and esteem, I 
have the honor to be, sir, your most obed't serv't, 


To the Hod. Maj. Gen'l John Stark. 

Bennington, 16M August, 1806. 

Respected Sir — ^By direction of a numerous and respect- 
able body of Republican citizens of this and the adjoining 
towns, convened for the purpose of commemorating the 
glorious battle fought on the 16th of August, 1777, com- 
monly called the Bennington action, the undersigned, in 
their behalf, are instructed to inform you of the grateful 
feelings they entertain for your person ; that they duly 
appreciate the important and eminent services you ren- 
dered your country, and more especially the people of this 
vicinity, on this auspicious day. 

They ever have and still consider your fortunate success 
on that day, achieved by the wisdom of your plans and 
the promptness of their execution, to have been a fiital 
check to the success of General Burgoyne, and which 
shortly after produced the surrender of his whole army to 
the American troops. 

The few officers and soldiers yet living, who were imme- 
diately under your command, still hail you as their fortu- 
nate and brave general ; while those who were their chil- 
dren or unborn, hail you as the patriot of your country, 
and acknowledge the blessings they enjoy from the pros- 
perity of your arms. 

The citizens, composing this meeting, are highly grati- 
fied when they learn, through the channel of the news- 
papers, that you still retain your affection and first love 
for your country, while many of your compatriots, in their 
opinion, have apostatized, and forgotten the important 
object of the American Revolution. 


You have their fervant prayers that your days may be 
prolonged ; not doubting (when they shall end) that pos- 
terity will hold you in honorable remembrance for the 
noble deeds you have done. 

We tender you, venerable General, 

Our warmest affection and esteem, 






To Qeneral Stark. 

Benningiorit July 22, 1809. 

Honored and Respected Sir — ^You can never forget that, 
on the memorable 16th of August, 1777, you commanded 
the American troops in the action called Bennington 
battle, and that, under divine providence, astonishing 
success attended our arms. Our enemy was defeated 
and captured, and this town and its vicinity saved from 
impending ruin. It has been usual to hold the day in 
grateful remembrance, by a public celebration. 

On Thursday last, a large and respectable number of 
leading characters in this and the neighboring towns, met 
to choose a committee of arrangements for a celebration 
on the 16th of August next. More than sixty of those 
who met were with you in the action. They recollect 
you, sir, with peculiar pleasure, and have directed us to 
write and request you, if your health and age will permit^ 
to honor them with your presence on that day. All your 
expenses shall be remunerated. 

No event could so animate the brave " sons of liberty," 
as to see their venerable leader and preserver once more 
in Bennington ; that their young men may once have the 
pleasure of seeing the man who so gallantly fought to 
defend their sacred rights, their fathers and mothers, and 
protected them while lisping in infancy. 



Should this request be inconsistent with your health, we 
should be happy in receiving a letter from you, on that 
subject, that we may read it to them ♦on that day. Senti- 
ments from the aged, and from those who have hazarded 
their lives to rescue us from the shackles of tyranny, will 
be read by them with peculiar pleasure, and remembered 
long after their fathers have retired to the silent tomb. 

Accept, sir, our warmest wishes for your health and 
happiness, and permit us, dear general, to assure you that 
we are, with great esteem, 

Your cordial and affectionate friends, 




At mt Quarters. Derrj(fieH \ 
81st of July, 1809. / 

* My Friends and Fellow Soldiers-^l received yours, of the 
22d instant, containing your fervent expressions of fnend: 
ship, and your very polite invitation to meet with you to 
celebrate the 16th of August in Bennington. 

As you say, I can never forget that I commanded 
"American troops on that day at Bennington. They were 
men who had not learned the art of submission, nor had 
they been trained to the arts of war ; but our " astonishing 
success'* taught the enemies of liberty that undisciplined 
freemen are superior to veteran slaves. 

Nothing could afford me greater pleasure than to meet 
your brave "sons of liberty" on the fortunate spot; but, 
as you justly anticipate, the infirmities of old age will not 
permit it, for I am now more than fourscore and one 
years old, and the lamp of life is almost spent I have of 
late had many such invitations, but was not ready, for 
there was not oil in the lamp. 

You say you wish your young men to see me ; but you 
who have seen me can tell them I never was worth much 
for a show, and certainly can not be worth their seeing now. 


In case of my not being able to attend, you wish my 
sentiments. These you shall have, as free as the air we 
breathe. As I was then, I am now, the friend of the equal 
rights of men, of representative democracy, of republi- 
canism, and the declaration of independence— the great 
charter of our national rights — and of course a friend to 
the indissoluble union of these States. I am the enemy 
of all foreign influence, for all foreign influence is the 
influence of tyranny. This is the only chosen spot of 
liberty — ^this the only republic on earth. 

You well know, gentlemen, that at the time of the 
event you celebrate, there was & powerful British faction 
in the country (called tories), a material part of the force 
we contended with. This faction was rankling in our 
councils, until it had laid a foundation for the subversion 
of our liberties ; but, by having good sentinels at our out- 
posts, we were apprised of the danger. The sons of free- 
dom beat the alarm, and, as at Bennington, they came, 
they saw, they conquered. * 

These are my orders now, and will be my last orders to 
all my volunteers, to look to their sentries ; for there is a 
dangerous British party in the country, lurking in their 
hiding places, more dangerous than all our foreign 
enemies ; and whenever they shall appear, let them ren- 
der the same account of them as was given at Benning- 
ton, let them assume what name they will. 

I shall rtoiember, gentlemen, the respect you and the 
inhabitants of Bennington and its neighborhood have 
shown me, until I go to the " country from whence no 
ta»veller returns.'* I must soon receive marching orders. 


Hon. Gideon Olin, ^ 

Jonathan Robinson, Esq., > Committee. 
David Fay, Esq., j 

Note. The general forwarded in this letter, as his vol- 
unteer sentiment: ^'Live freej or die — ^Death is not the 
worst of evils," 


To the Hon. General John Stark. 

Bennington, July 26th, 1810, 

Once more the season has arrived for the celebration of 
that auspicious day, when you sir, at the head of our 
brave yeomanry, under the benevolent hand of a superin- 
tending providence, led our troops to victory on the mem- 
orable hill of Walloomsack. The people of the adjacent 
counties have resolved to celebrate the day on the conse- 
crated ground. For this purpose they have chosen a large 
and respectable committee from the surrounding towns. 
The governors of the States of New- York and Vermont 
will be invited, and probably attend ; hundreds of your fel- 
low-citizens, who fought by your side, and thousands of 
otlier republicans, will be present on the pleasing occasion. 
Nothing can be wanting, to make our joys complete, but the 
presence of our venerable friend and commander, whom, 
with American pride, we style " the hero of Bennington." 

In your patriotic address to us last year, we regret that 
you tell us that the oil is almost extinguished in the lamp, 
and that age has rendered it impossible for you to attend, 
although we are again pressed by our fellow-citizens to 
give you an invitation to come and join in the festivities 
of the day. The toast, sir, which you sent us in 1809, 
will continue to vibrate with unceasing pleasure in our 
ears : " Live free^ or die — ^Death is not the worst of evils." 

Never, never, sir, shall we cease to recollect, with the 
most ardent affection, the man who made the arrange- 
ment, and who, at the hazard of his life, executed the 
plan with such decision and success. And while your 
sword was waving on the high places of the field, the 
cries of thousands of our oppressed fellow citizens, like a 
cloud, rolled before the Eternal. Heaven heard, and led 
you and your brave fellow-citizens to glory and victory. 

Accept, Dear General, the expression of our warmest 
gratitude, and of our highest esteem, and believe us to be 

Tour cordial friends, 



JOHN 8TABK. 315 


Derryfield, 20<A September, 1810. 

My Friends — ^Yours, of the 25th of July, is but just 
received, inviting me to partake of your festival. Had 
not your letter been stopped in its passage to me, its con- 
tents could have made no difference, for it is now eighty 
two years since I have been in wear, and I am worn 
beyond all hope of repairs. The disease and pain, attend- 
ing the last stage of life, render many of the surrounding 
objects that I once delighted in indifferent to me. But if 
any thing could have given me pleasure, it would to have 
been with you on the 16th of August. 

A scene like that must have brought to my recollection 
the principal events of my life. I could remember how 
British tyranny arose, and how it yielded to the untutored 
bravery of democracy, and particularly, as being on that 
fortunate spot, with so many of the brave men who taught 
the tyrant's tools the hard lesson. 

In your letter, you praise me extremely for being the 
fortunate commander of valiant men. To merit the praise 
of my country, has been a leading motive of my life. 
Unmerited praise is satire ; therefore we should be careful 
not to bestow too much praise, unless we mean to satirize. 
You mention being pleased with the toast I gave you last 
year. I have the best evidence that the people of your 
rugged country do sincerely accord with such sentiments, 
for in '77 you displayed evidence by practice. And I 
have no doubt if we had a Congress now, who had the 
resolution to express the will of the nation, you would be 
found as ready as you were then. 

Be assured of my friendship for yourselves and the 
other inhabitants of the Green mountains, and accept my 
thanks for their respect. 


Hon. Jonathan Robinson, 
Elsazbb Hawes, 
David Fay. 


President Madison to General Stark. 

Waahinffion, December 26, 1809. 

Sir — ^A very particular friend of yonrs, who has been 
much recommeuded to my esteem, has lately mentioned 
you to me in a manner of which I avail myself to oflfer 
this expression of the sense I have always entertained of 
your character, and of the part you bore as a hero and a 
patriot in establishing the independence of our country. 

I can not better render this tribute, th^ by congrato- 
lating you on the happiness you can not fail to derive from 
the motives which made you a champion in so glorious a 
cause ; from the gratitude shown by your fellow-citizeni 
for your distinguished services, and especially from the 
opportunity which a protracted life has given you of fi- 
nessing the triumphs of republican institutions, so dear 
to you, in the unrivalled prosperity flowing from tbem, 
during a trial of more than a fourth of a century. 

May your life be continued as long as it can be a bless- 
ing, and may the example it will bequeath never be lost 
upon those who live afler you. 

Gen. John Stark. 

To James Hadison, Esqr., President of the United States. 

Derryfieldy January 21, 1810. 

Sir — ^I had yesterday the pleasure of receiving an address 
from the first magistrate of the only republic on earth. 
The letter compliments me highly upon my services as a 
soldier, and praises my patriotism. It is true, I love the 
country of my birth, for it is not only the land which I 
would choose before all others, but it is the only spot 
where I could wear out the remnant of my days with any 

Twice has my country been invaded by foreign enemies, 
and twice I went out with her citizens to obtain a peace. 


When tha objectt was attained, I returned to my farm 
and my original occupation. I have ever valued peace bo 
highly that I would not sacrifice it for any thing but free- 
dom ; yet submission to insult I never thought the way 
to obtain or support either. 

I was pleased with your dismissal of the man* sent by 
England to insult us : because she will ascertain by the 
experiment, that we are the same nation we were in '76, 
grown stronger by age, and having gained wisdom by 

If the enmity of the British is to be feared, their alli- 
ance is still more dangerous. I have fought by their side, 
as well as against them, and have found them to be 
treacherous and ungenerous as friends, and dishonorable 
as enemies. I have also tried the French : first as ene- 
mies, and since as friends ; and, although all the strong 
prejudices of my youth were against them, still I have 
formed a more favorable opinion of them than of the 
English. Let us watch even them. 

But of all the dangers from which I apprehend the most 
serious evil to my country, and our republican institutions, 
none requires a more watchful eye than our internal Brit- 
ish faction. 

K the communication of the result of my experience 
can be qf any service in the approaching storm, or if any 
benefit can arise from any example of mine, my strongest 
wish will be gratified. 

The few days or weeks of the remainder of my life will 
be in friendship with James Madison. 


♦The British envoy. 


Chxblsbtok, South Carolina,\ 
August 29th, 1811. / 

Sir — In conformity to a reBolution of the " Seventy 
Association" of this State, we, their standing comniitte^j 
hereby transmit for your perasal a copy of an oratioim< 
delivered on the Fourth of July, by Benjamin A. Marl^- 
ley, Esq., a member of that institution. 

We remain, sir, with great respect and esteem, joxlw 
obedient humble servants, 

JOS. jomrs oN, 


To General Stark. 

[From the Farmer's Monthly ViBitor. ] 

We received the following letter from that indefatigable 
antiquarian, Henry Stevens, Esq., of Barnet, Vt. We 
most cheerfully comply with his request, and give it a 
place in our columns. We presume the cannon, spoken 
of by Judge Witherell, is one of the two afterward sur- 
rendered by General Hull, which were subsequently recov- 
ered by our army at Fort George, and is probably one of 
the two now at Montpelier, as trophies, having oeen by 
act of Congress presented to Vermont. We hope the 
remaining two cannon, of the^our taken at Bennington, 
which the venerable Stark was wont to call " my guns," 
may be recovered, and placed by permission of Congress 
in the State House at Concord, as trophies won by her 
worthy sons. 

Detroit, 2Qth May, 1811. 

Venerable General — On examining the fort of this place, 
a few days past, I perceived in one of the embrasures a 
handsome brass cannon, with this inscription on it : "John 
Stark. Taken at Bennington, the 16th of August, 1777." 
This, together with the situation in which I found it. 


forcibly drew my mind not only to a retrospect of the 
revolutionary war, but still farther back, to the records of 
transactions too remote for my observation ; and I could 
not but view the fortuitous circumstance of its being 
placed on these walls, as a sort of pledge for the future 
safety of this place, as well against those from whose mar- 
tial hands we wrested it, on the embattled plains of 
Walloomsack, as the descendants of those savages who felt 
the chastisement of your arms, near this fort, in the mem- 
orable ambuscade of the 31st of July, 1763. I have often 
contemplated the spot with horror, where fell by your side 
the brave Captains Dalyell and Campbell; where the 
bridge, from the blood of two hundred and thirty out of 
three hundred British troops, and that of one hundred 
out of two hundred provincials, is to this day emphatically 
called '* Bloody bridge." 

I wa« much gratified with the feeling narration of this 
transaction, by a man of the name of Maxwell, who 
served under you in that campaign, who, while he related 
the events, frequently attempted to wipe away the encrust- 
ed tear from his furrowed cheeks, often exclaiming : " Ah, 
is my old Captain Stark still living?" 

But, though death is a severe muster master, you have 
parried his stroke until he has arrived at the very Zed of 
the revolutionary alphabet, by which you have been 
enabled to view and contemplate vast portions of your 
native country freed from the savage knife, and from civil 
tyranny ; in effecting which, to have borne so conspicu- 
ous a part, must remain a fruitftil source of consolation, 
even to the very last fragment of your furlough ; at the 
end of which, when summoned to head quarters, to join 
the main body of patriots and heroes who have long since 
marched for that station, that you may pass a good 
muster, and finally receive a pension which will support 
you through the war of elements, is the sincere wish of 

Dear General, your most obed't serv*t, 


The Venerable John Stark, Esq. 


Dr. Bentlby was bom at Boston in 1758 ; graduated at 
Harvard College in 1777 ; and was (September 24, 1783) 
ordained as pastor of the second church at Boston. He 
afterward removed to Salem, where he resided until Us 
death, which occurred suddenly December 29, 1819, at the 
age of 61 years. 

For nearly twenty years he edited the Essex Begbter, 
a paper which supported the political principles of the 
democratic republican party. 

He collected, in the course of his life, a large library of 
rare and valuable books, as also a cabinet of curiosities 
and minerals. He was well versed in ancient literature. 

His benevolence was well known, and expenenced by 
all whose necessities demanded his assistance. 

Masters of vessels, and even seamen, in requital of his 
kind actions and friendship, wheh visiting foreign coun- 
tries remembered him, by bringing home some rare or 
curious article to add to his collection. 

We have been informed of one instance where a party 
of American seamen, from Salem, who were in Italy 
during the victorious career of General Bonaparte, observ- 
ing the French soldiers taking from churches and palaces 
the valuable paintings of ancient masters, to be forwarded 
to Paris to grace the triumph of the conqueror of Italy, 
during the confusion, secured one of them, which was 
in due time presented to Dr. Bentley. 

His valuable library and cabinet were bequeathed prin- 
cipally to Meadville College, in Pennsylvania, and the 
American Antiquarian Society, of Worcester. 

Harvard College probably expected the donation, having 
conferred upon him the degree of D. D. some short time 
before his death; but the honor was perhaps too long 

His library was more needed, and may probably be 
more useful at Meadville. His eulogy was pronounced 
by Hon. Edward Everett. 


He published a sermon on Matthew 7 : 21, in 1790 ; on 
the death of J. Gardner, 1791 ; of General Fiske, 1797 ; 
of B. Hodges, 1804 ; a collection of psalms and hymns, 
1795 ; three masonic addresses ; and a masonic charge, 
1797-99 ; at the artillery election in 1796 ; on the death 
of J. Richardson, 1806 ; before the female charitable 
society, at the election of 1807 ; a history of Salem, con- 
tained in vol. 6 Mass. Hist. Collections. 

Dr. Bentley was a warm friend and admirer of General 
Stark, whom he several times visited at his residence on 
the banks of the Merrimack, and with him kept up a 
friendly intercourse until his own decease. 

On one occasion he informed the general that he 
intended to deliver his eulogy on the occasion of his 
demise, and had prepared his notes. "Suppose, my 
chaplain,"* replied the veteran, "your call should come 
first ? " The general survived his friend nearly thfee 
years, and all the American generals of the Revolution, 
thus making good the saying formerly applied to him, 
"First in the field, and last out of it.'' 

Major (General John Stark. 

Salem ^ Masa.^ August 80, 1806. 

My Dear General — ^I have just received, with the greatest 
pleasure, a letter from the President of the United States, 
inclosed to me but directed to you. In his letter to me 
the President writes : " Forward the expressions of my 
respect and esteem for the venerable General Stark, whose 
Efame, lately mentioned in the newspapers, excited in me 
at the same time the sensations which the recollections of 
his services were calculated to inspire. Disinterested 
esteem and approbation can not be unacceptable to any 
one. I therefore solicit your delivery of the inclosed 
letter to him, &c." 

*Tlie general frequently addressed Dr. B. aa <<my chaplain." 


I doubt not this best attention from the man most 
deserving of the highest honors of his country, so freely 
expressed, will be welcome to the hero who gave the first 
serious check to the military power of Britain, when 
employed against his country. 

I am preparing to obey all your commands. Be pleased 
to assure the major* and his family of Hay affection, and 
ask him to inform me of the receipt of this letter ; and 
believe me, with the greatest veneration, and with the 
highest sense of your personal merit and public services, 

Your devoted servant, 


ScUem, M€U8,f June 18» 1810. 

'My Dear General — The likeness my young pupil. Miss 
Hannah Crowninshield, took, proved to be a good one.t 
All your friends knew it instantly. The inclosed is a 
copy. The original is as large as life. She is taking a 
copy for President Madison ; and then I intend to get it 
engraved, and painted in oil colors. Any corrections will 
be accepted, as she had only one sitting. 

With veneration and respect. 

Your sincere friend, 


General John Stark, Derryfield. 

* Major Caleb Stark. 

f The likeness taken by Miss Crowninshield was the one from which, 
with alterations, was engraved the portrait at the head of this yolame. 
We have been informed that the above named lady married Captain 
Armstrong, of the United States Nav^. In the portrait, the artist who 
prepared Miss Crowninshield's painting for the lithographer, g^ve too 
much length to the neck and face. The forehead is also too narrow. He 
was about five feet nine inches in height. The portrait of Higor Stark 
by S. F. B. Morse resembles the general more than that at the head of 
this volume. A person came to obtain a likeness of G^eral Stark 
immediately after his decease. Major S. was there ; and the artist, in 
completing his work, frequently looked from the &ce of the dead to the 
living resemblance there present 


Salem, December 1, 1810. 

Ml/ Oood Qmeral — ^My packets of papers will prove that 
I have not forgotten you. One friend after another has 
promised to convey them to you from Salem, without going 
the circuitous route, by your worthy son at Boston ; but 
after repeated disappointments, I return to my old route. 

Your southern friends all inquire after, and delight to 
honor you. 

Believe me, that I never am more happy than in every 
expression of my veneration of General Stark, and every 
opportunity of evincing my readiness to serve him. 

With the highest respect. 

Your devoted servant, 

General John Stark. 

Salem, May Zl, 1811. 

My Father — ^I long to pay another visit to Manchester. 
All your fr?ends inquire for you. An officer told me 
lately, that, on a public occasion, he drank as a toast: 
" General Stark," and a British officer present remarked, 
" that is the hero who tflok me." We have a deep interest 
in your welfare. If any thing in my power can give you 
pleasure, command. 

With duty and affection, 


To General John Stark, Manchester, N. H. 

P. S. I send you papers by every opportunity ; I would 
send them daily if I could. Please ask your son, when he 
sees my friend Stickney, to beg of him a few specimens of 
such fossils, stones, minerals, earths, &c., as are within his 
reach, and much oblige one who will reward him to his 
ftdl satisfaction. 

W. B. 


Salem, August 13, 1811. 

My Worthy General — ^I have inclosed you eight packets 
of newspapers, &c., which I had no opportunity of forward- 
ing, and now send by your son at Boston. 

I am obliged to inform you that your old Mend, Captain 
Addison Richardson, left us last Wednesday, as firm as at 
the first. The great and the good inquire after, and 
remember you. 

With all my heart, and the highest respect, 

Your obedient friend, 

Hon. General Stark. 

Salem, December 2, 1811. 

My Good General — The communication between Salem 
and Manchester is so indirect that I have few opportunities 
of sending to you, save by the circuitous route of Boston. 
If you will charge your neighbors, who visit Salem, to call 
on me, I should have the pleasure oftener of discovering 
that I remember you. I sent fiye packets by your son, 
who lately honored me with a visit. 

With thQ papers, I send you a book which has in it this 
value : it treats of our Indian aflairs, which threaten seri- 
ous trouble. 

Believe me most rich, when I imagine I can afford a 
momentary pleasure to the man to whom my country owes 
its salvation. 

In all duty, 


Gen. John Stark. 


Copy of a letter from David Pierce, Esq., of Gloucester, Mass., to Rev. 
William Bentley, of Salem, dated 19th February, 1814, on the subject 
of the " Qeneral Stark" armed ship, in 1780, which captured three large 
ships from London for Quebec, valued, with their cargoes, at $400,000. 

Sir — The " General Stark" was built under my direc- 
tion. In one cruise, in three weeks, she sent me $300,000, 
I having sold some part of her. 

She was a ship of 350 tons ; twenty guns on her lower 
deck, eight guns on her half deck, and two on her fore- 
castle — a very fast sailer and very stiff. I named her in 
honor of General Stark. 

This copy was sent to the general by Dr. Bentley, 
accompanied by a drawing of the ship by Miss Crownin- 



The grand-father of General Bayley, of " French war" 
and revolutionary notoriety, was the son of Joshua, who 
was the son of John Bayley, who emigrated from Chip- 
pingham (England) in 1636, and settled in Newburyport, 
Massachusetts. The general wa»s bom at Hampstead, 
N. H., in 1728. 

He was well known on both sides of the Connecticut 
river, from 1759 until his death in February, 1815, and 
rendered valuable services in the " seven years' war." He 
afterward served with ability and reputation during the 

In 1755-^ he held the rank of colonel, and in August, 
1757, was at Fort William Henry, which, after a siege of 
nine days, capitulated to the Marquis de Montcalm. On 
this occasion he is said to have escaped the ensuing mas- 
sacre, by running bare-ifooted seven miles, to Halfway 
brook, outstripping a party of Indian runners, and reach- 
ed Fort Edward in safety. 

He was present in Montreal, at the capitulation of Can- 
ada, September 8, 1760; after which, having obtained 
leave of absence on furlough, he visited his home. Being 
of an adventurous spirit, rather than pass down the Ben-- 
nington road, he took a point of compass intending to 
strike' the head waters of the Merrimack, but happening to 
arrive at the Connecticut, in the northern part of New- 
bury, (now so called, and named by him) he discovered 
that most beautiful of all the valleys of New-England, 
comprising the Great Ox Bow aud olJier intervals* 


He selected this interesting location for his future resi- 
dence, and, after the close of the war, emigrated thither 
through a wilderness, from the residence of Colonel "Web- 
ster, in Plymouth — his being the last dwelling-house on 
the route from the English settlements to Canada. 

At the commencement of the revolution he joined tiie 
noble spirits of the time — was appointecf commissary gen- 
eral of the northern division, and served throughout the 

His fireside narratives, in after life, were full of interest 
" Many thrilling incidents and hairbreadth escapes," says 
his grand-son, " I have heard from his lips, which have 
now escaped my memory. He once run the gantlet, 
after capitulation (probably at Fort William Henry). He 
was once taken by two Indians from his home, to be con- 
veyed to Canada, where a reward had been offered for his 
capture. He managed to escape by extending his feet, 
tripping up both of them, and running for his life." 

" Many incidents of his history have escaped my recol- 
lection. One of much consequence at the time, and of 
important interest to himself and his posterity, I will 
state. He furnished and became responsible for supplies^ 
of which the army was in the utmost need. He conse- 
quently became involved, mortgaged his property, and 
finally disposed of it all to discharge his obligations in an 
honorable manner. I well recollect sefeing' him writing 
petitions to Congress for relief; but he never obtained 
any, nor have his heirs, although the claims were ascer- 
tained after his decease to have amounted to about 
sixty thousand dollars. Republican gratitude— or rather 
American ingratitude, was in this, as in thousands of 
other cases, strongly exemplified." 

The following anecdote we heard fix)m a revolutionary 
veteran many years ago : 

In the year 1784, an elderly gentleman, in a plain dress, 
travelling on horse back, stopped for the night at a tavern, 
near King's bridge, about fifteen miles fipom New- York 
city, as it then was. He was conducted to the only spare 


room in the house, in which he had hardly been comforta- 
bly established, when a party of young "roaring blades," 
the sons of wealthy citizens, arrived at the tavern, " to make 
a night of it." They called for a private room, but were 
informed by the landlord that his last spare chamber had 
jnst been taken possession of by a' respectable appearing 
elderly gentleman, apparently from the country. 

" Try the old fellow," said one of them, " perhaps you 
can coax him to let us into his room for our spree, and 
we'll soon smoke him out." 

The host applied to his guest, who readily assented. 
He observed, " he was alone, and would be happy to meet 
a pleasant company of young gentlemen to help him spend 
the evening." The party soon assembled ; liquors were 
produced, and an excellent supper brought forward, at 
which the good natured old gentleman played his part as 
well as the best of them. 

After this, one of the youngsters proposed an agreement 
that who ever of the company should refuse to perform 
or submit to any proposal made by either of the others, 
the recusant or recusants should forfeit the whole bill, and 
the damages of all the others. To the astonishment of 
the young gentlemen, the stranger agreed to the terms. 

The first proposed to burn their hats, and each threw his 
hat into the fire ; coats, vests, and watches followed, the 
old gentleman throwing into the fire his old fashioned 
silver turnip, as a companion to the gold watches of the 
young rowdies. 

When his turn came, he called the landlord and request- 
ed him to send for a doctor, and his tooth instruments. 
The doctor soon appeared. The old gentleman then 
seated himself in a chair, and said : " I propose that the 
doctor shall draw out every tooth in the heads of this com- 
pany. Doctor begin with me." The latter found but one, 
which he extracted, "Now, gentlemen," said the vete- 
ran, " submit to my proposal, and ascertain whether yon 
have turned the flanks of an old soldier." 



The young men perceived that they were ont-generaled; 
and learned that General Bayley was the person with 
whom they had attempted to trifle, and to their cost. 
They apologized — ^paid liberally his bill and damages, 
having learned a valuable lesson for their future govern- 
ment The general, newly equipped with a better outfit 
than when he left home, proceeded on the next day to 
New- York, to settle his army accounts. 


Extract from a letter written by General Bayley, at 
Newbury, many years after the close of the war : 

"I could not with safety leave the frontier, where I 
was settled, and join the army. I thought I could be of 
more service to our cause by securing an extensive fron- 
tier from the depredations of the Indians, which, by mak- 
ing friendship with them, I effected for at least two hun- 
dred miles. My exertions were such that I was watched 
and waylaid night * and day, by the enemy from Canada 
— my house rifled, papers destroyed, son carried captive, 
and maltreated only because he was my son, and would 
not discover to them how his father obtained intelligence 
of their movements. To the close of the war I was em- 
ployed by "Washington to keep friendship with the Indians, 
and gain intelligence of the enemy in Canada." 

It has lately transpired that President Wheelock inter- 
ceded with his former pupil, Brandt, the Indian chie^ 
and not without success. Moreover, proof is not wanting 
that the British colonel, Johnson, was taken prisoner by 
John Warner, but released on condition of the Indians 
being restrained from Vermont. But our frontier settle- 
ments, however safe, were by no means secure — rather out 
of danger, than free from apprehensions. One of our his- 

♦Gen. Bayley was so closely watched by the tories in his vicinity, employed 
by the authorities of Canada, whose scouts often attempted his capture, that 
his friends dared only to warn him secretly of the approach of toe enemy. 
To have given him notice openly, would have ensured their own captivity, 
and the <&struction of their dwellings. When a friend desired to put him 
on his guard against tory liers-in-wait, he dropped in his path a pap«r 
on which were written these words: "The ^Philistines bo upon thee, 


torians narrates a panic in Windham county — ^he might 
have spoken of another in Windsor county — ^when the 
inhabitants along the White river fled, many of them by 
night, lighted by brands of fire, down the river to Leba- 
non, "when,-' says an eye witness, " families are this mo- 
ment rushing into Newbury ; and for sixty miles they are 
upon a doubt whether to remove or not. 

Women yet live who can testify of such days; when they 
lived in fear of the fafte of Miss McRea, the bride of Fort 
Edward — ^that Gertrude of Wyoming in real life ; when 
every rustle of a shaken leaf seemed an Indian tread, every 
tree an Indian covert, every window a mark for his rifle, 
and every hamlet fully assured that it was singled out, 
abov.e all others, as the victim of the savage." * 

Extract from Powers' History of Coos. 

"I have already stated how desirable an object it was 
with the British to get possession of Gen. Jacob Bayley. 
A bold and determined eflFort to effect this was made on 
the 17th of June, 1782, while Col. Johnson was at home 
on parole. (He was a prisoner of war). 

" Gen. Bayley lived at the Johnson village, in a house 
where now stands the brick house of Josiah Little. Capt. 
Prichard (British) and his scout, to the number of eighteen 
men, lay upon the heights west of the Dx-Bow, and made 
a signal for Johnson to visit them.f Johnson went, as he 
was bound to do by the terms of his parole, and learned 
that they had come to capture Gen. Bayley that evening. 
Johnson was now in a great strait. Bayley was his neigh- 
bor, and a host against the enemy, and Johnson could not 
have him go into captivity; and yet, he must seem to con- 

* Butler. 

f Johnson was bound by the terms of his parole, to present himself at 
all times before the enemy's scouts, upon certain signals being made from 
their places of concealment, and to convey no information of their pres- 
ence to his friends. 


form to the wishes of Prichard, or he would be recalled 
to Canada himself, and in all probability have his buildings 
laid in ashes. 

" Johnson returned to his house, and resolved to inform 
Bayley of his danger, at the ha7:ard of every thing to him- 
self. But how was this to be done ? Bayley, with two of 
his sons, was plowing on the Ox-Bow. Prichard's eleva- 
ted situation on the hill enabled him to look down upon 
the Ox-Bow, as on a map. The secret was entrusted to 
Dudley Carleton, Esq., the brother of Col. Johnson's wife. 
Johnson wrote on a slip of paper this laconic sentence: 
* The Philistines be upon thee, Sampson !' He gave it to 
Carleton, and instructed him to go on to the meadow, pass 
directly by Bayley, without stopping or speaking, but drop 
the paper in his view, and return home by a circuitous 
route. Carleton performed the duty assigned him well 
Gen. Bayley, when he came to the paper, carelessly took it ' 
up and read it ; and as soon as he could, without exciting 
suspicion in the minds of lookers-on, proposed to turn out 
the team, and said to his sons : ^ Boys, take care of your- 
selves V and went himself to the bank of the river. The 
sons went up to the house to carry the tidings to the 
guard who were stationed there. The guard consisted of 
Captain Frye Bayley, commandant; Ezra Gates, Jacob 
Bayley, Jun., Joshua Bayley ; Sergeant Samuel Torrey, a 
hired man of Gen. Bayley ; three boys, John Bayley, 
Isaac Bayley, Thomas Mctcalf ; and a hired maid, Sarah 

"Although the guard wits apprised of the general's 
apprehensions, yet, it would seem, they thought his fears 
were groundless, for they were taken by surprise at early 
twilight, while they were taking their evening grog ; or, 
we might more significantly say, perhaps they were taking 
in a freight of prowess, to be tested at a later hour of the 
night. The enemy were not discovered until they were 
within a few rods of the front-door. Sergeant Torrey met 
them at the door, and presented his piece at them ; but 
Prichard knocked aside the gun, made Torrey prisoner, 


and the enemy mshed in. The guard dispersed in all direc- 
tions ; Ezra Qates was woanded in the arm by a ball, as 
he ran from the south front-door, and a gun was discharged 
at John Bayley, as he was jumping the fence to run for 
the Ox-Bow, and two balls lodged in the fence close to 
him. Thomas Metcalf reached the meadow, where he 
tarried all night Gkites was brought in and laid on the 
bed, where he lay bleeding and groaning, while the enemy 
were searching the house for prisoners and papers. * But 
there was one belonging to the house who displayed great 
presence of mind and intrepidity. It was a woman ! — 
woman; who in ten thousand instances has risen superior 
to danger, and performed . astonishing deeds of heroism, 
when man, her lord by constitution, has forfeited his claim 
to superiority, by timidity and flight.' 

" Sarah Fowler, the servant-maid spoken of, remained 
upon the ground, with a babe of Mrs. Bayley in her arms, 
undismayed at the sight of loaded muskets and bristling 
bayonets, and repeatedly extinguished a candle which had 
been lighted for the purpose of searching the house. Not 
succeeding with a candle, one of the parties took a fire 
brand and attempted to renew the search ; the dauntless 
maid struck it from his hand, and strewed the coals 
around the room. This was too much for British blood, 
and one of the soldiers swore, by a tremendous oath, that 
if she annoyed them any more he would blow out her 
brains, showing at the same time how he would do it. 
She then desisted, as she had good reason to believe he 
would execute his threat. 

" Mrs. Bayley had, at the outset, escaped through an 
eastern window, and lay concealed in current-bushes in 
the garden. The enemy having destroyed one gun, and 
taken what papers they could find, commenced their 
retreat, greatly disappointed in respect to the main object 
of their pursuit, for the general was resting securely on 
Haverhill side. They took with them prisoners Gates 
and Pike, the hired man of General Bayley, and proceeded 
south. An alarm was given, but not in time to arrest the 

334 MEMOIR. 

enemy. About half a mile south, they met James Bayley, 
son of General Bayley, whom they took prisoner, and 
kept until the close of the war. ******** 
" This failure of the British, in the main object of their 
expedition, brought fresh trouble upon Colonel Thomas 
Johnson. The tories in the vicinity, who had laid the 
plan for taking General Bayley, learning that he was not 
at home that night, and knowing that he was not in the 
habit of being absent from his family over night, unless 
on business out of town, said at once, Johnson was a 
traitor to their cause, for he must have given Bayley infor- 
mation of his danger. ******* The dispo- 
sition to peace in the mother country, and the actual 
treaty before the year came about, saved Johnson from 
the calamities threatened. 



Joseph Cillby was bom at Nottingham, in New-Hamp- 
shire, in 1735, of which town his father, Captain Joseph 
► Cilley, was one of the earliest and principal settlers. With 
few advantages of education', he became a self-taught law- 
yer in consequence of his residence in the midst of a law- 
seeking community. Before the revolutionary war com- 
menced, he was one of those ardent patriots who seized 
and brought away the cannon and military stores from the 
fort at Portsmouth. 

Immediately after the commencement of actual hostil- 
ity, on the plains of Lexington and Concord, he marched, 
at the head of one hundred volunteers, to the theatre of 

He was by Congress appointed a major, and in July, 
1777, was colonel of a regiment in the army then occupy- 
ing Ticonderoga. With his gallant regiment he performed 
a chivalrous part in the actions with General Burgoyne's 
invading army, near Behmus' heights, at Saratoga. 

On the 19th of September his regiment first encountered 
the enemy,, and suffered a more severe loss than any other 
regiment engaged. 

He heard the British colonel give the order to fix bayo- 
nets, and charge those d — d rebels ; and retorted, loudly 
enough for the enemy to hear his words : " that is a game 
two can play at. Charge, and we will try it." 

His regiment advanced, delivered their fire, and, under 
cover of the smoke, closed with the bayonet. The enemy 


gave way, leaving on the field sixty killed and wounded. 
On the 7th of October his regiment captured a portion of 
the enemy's field artillery ; and with the eleventh regiment 
of the Massachusetts line, forced their way with the bayo- 
net into the British camp. In this encounter, Colonel 
Breyman, of the German grenadiers, was killed ; and the 
British troops separated from their German allies. 

At Monmouth, when General Lee ordered a retreat of 
his division. Colonel Cilley ordered his regiment to ad- 
vance. They boldly attacked the advanced guard of the 
enemy and drove them back. By this timely check, the 
fortune of the day was retrieved. Washington arrived 
with the remainder of the army, and the action recom- 
menced. Pleased with the gallant stand made by Cilley, 
the general inquired, "What troops are these?" **Tnie 
blooded Yankees, sir," was the colonel's emphatic reply. 
"I see," said General Washington — " they are my brave 
New-Hampshire boys." 

When the army retreated from Ticonderoga, in 1776, a 
son of Colonel Cilley (Jonathan) was left behind. He ww 
but a boy, and his captors, learning who he was, brought 
him to General Burgoyne. The latter treated him kindly, 
and set him at liberty, with permission to select any article 
he pleased from the captured* baggage of the Americans. 
He selected the best regimental coat he could find, which 
proved that of Major Hull (afterwards General Hull). He 
was also ftirnished with an old horse, and a pair of saddle- 
bags, filled with Burgoyne's proclamations, to convey to 
his father. He found him in front of his regiment on 
parade. The colonel seized one of the hand-bills, which, 

* After the evacuation of Ticonderoga, many reams of continental paper 
feU into the hands of the enemy. It was divided in due proportions among 
the British officers. The younger ones, in derision of tiie ^ankee money, 
used it for lighting their pipes, while the veterans stowed it away among 
their effects. 

After the surrender of Burgoyne's army, this paper was discovered to be 
of value, and would purchase for the holders as many necessaries as would 
British gold. 

Jonathan Cilley might, under the privilege granted by Burgoyne, have 
demanded a few quires of these paper apologies for money, and perhapi 
they would have been given him. 


after reading, he tore into pieces, and scattered them to 
the winds, saying, "thus shall his army be scattered.'* 

He served throughout the war with reputation. On the 
22d of June, 1786, he was appointed first major general 
of the New-Hampshire militia, and served the State in 
various civil capacities. From this time, he advised the 
people to compromise their lawsuits. He died in August, 
1799, aged 64 years. He was a man of temperance, econ- 
omy, great industry, decision of character and sound judg- 
ment His passions were strong and impetuous ; his deter- 
minations prompt, and his disposition frank and humane. 
He was a decided republican in politics. 

Portions of this notice have been gathered from Allen's 
Biographical Dictionary, and the remainder from the con- 
versations of the late Major Caleb Stark, who, in 1776 and 
1777, was adjutant of the first New-Hampshire regiment, 
commanded by Col. Cilley. 

During the confused night retreat from Ticonderoga, 
General Kosciusko, not finding his own, took the first 
saddled horse that came in his way. It belonged to the 
adjutant of Colonel Cilley's regiment, who, not finding his 
horse where he left it, proceeded on foot until daylight, 
when he discovered the Polish general mounted upon his 
horse, and demanded his property, which the other reftised 
to give up. High words ensued, and the adjutant de- 
manded satisfaction. The general replied that " a subal- 
tern is not of suflicient rank to meet a brigadier general." 
" K he is not," said a third person, coming up on foot, "I 
am. This officer, general, is my adjutant; the horse is 
his property, and his demand is a proper one." 

"Ah, Colonel Cilley," replied the general, "if that is 
the case, I will give up the horse." The adjutant recov- 
ered his horse, but, in half an hour afterward. Colonel 
Cilley, who had also lost his horse, said: "Stark, I am 
tired ;• you must lend me your horse " — ^which request was 
of course complied with. 

During the armistice, prior to the peace of 1783, several 
American officers visited New- York. Eivington, the 

338 MEMOIR. 

king's printer, kept a book-store, which was a lounging 
place for British officers. At this time an American officer 
entered the store, purchased several books, which he 
directed to be sent to his lodgings; and, calling for a pen, 
wrote his name and address. "What," said a British 
colonel, half reclining on a sofa, "an American officer 
write his name !" " If I can not," was the prompt answer 
of Colonel Cilley, "I can make my mark;'* and suiting 
the action to the word, drew his sword, and applied the 
flat of it to the British officer's face. The latter departed, 
saying that he "would hear from him." The intrepid 
colonel, however, heard no more of him. 



Colonel Willet was one of the bravest, most vigilant, 
and enterprising officers of the New-York line. He was 
at Fort Stanwix when that post was invested by Colonel 
St. Leger, with a force of more than 2,500 regulars, tories, 
and Indians, on the 3d of August, 1777. On the 6th, he 
sallied out with a party from the fort, and bravely attacked 
the enemy, to favor the approach of General Herkimer 
with aid to the garrison. The latter was unfortunately 
defeated and slain. 

In a few days. Colonel Willet and another officer eflfected 
a march through the wilderness, to the German flats, to 
raise a force to succor the besieged fort, which, however, 
under the command of Colonel Peter Ganesvoort, held 
out against St Leger, until a rapid march of General 
Arnold, with a strong force, and the consequent desertion 
of his Indians (who learned the fact of the approach of 
Arnold, when he was thirty miles distant), compelled him 
to raise the seige and retreat to Canada, thus depriving 
Burgoyne of the support of 1,500 good troops. 

In the years 1780-81, Colonel Willet commanded Fort 
Rensselaer, on the western frontier. He was charged with 
the defence of the Mohawk river, and the western settle- 
ments, where his prudence, foresight, and decision of 
character rendered important services. On the 25th of 
October, 1781, he defeated the enemy at the battle of 
Johnstown. He died at New- York, honored and respected, 
in August, 1880, aged ninety years. 


. In several letters of Generals Washington, Heath, Stark 
and others, contained in this volume, his services are 
highly complimented. The latter general, who in 1781 
commanded the northern department, often in afi^r years 
spoke with approbation of the efficient support he received 
during his command from the gallant Colonel Willet. 

[Account of the Battle of Johnstown.] 

To Higor Bowley. 

Fort Ein88XLAeb, 2Ath October, 17S1, \ 

9 o'clock, P. M. / 

Dear Sir — ^I am this moment informed by Mr. Lewis, of 
Correytown, that the enemy in considerable force passed 
through the lower part of that town about sunset, making 
toward the river. I am collecting all the forces in this 
quarter, and shall advance toward them as quickly as pos- 
sible. As they are in your quarter, I have no doubt of 
your exertions in collecting as many of the men of your 
regiment as possible. I wish you to have them all collected 
in a body, without any loss of time. And as it is likely 
you may be somewhat acquainted with the particular 
route of the enemy, sooner than I shall, I wish you to 
take such a position as you may think best, and make me 
acquainted with it, together with the whole of your situ- 
ation, and every information you can procure, as fast as 

I am, sir, your obed*t serv't, 


P. 8. I think it will be best for you to forward this let- 
ter to Schenectady as soon as possible, that the people be- 
low may be acquainted with this intelligence, that such 
measures may be taken as the officer there commanding 

shall see fit. 

M. W. 


To Lord Stirling. 

ScHKNBCTADT, 26<A October, 1781, \ 

6 o'clock, P. M. J 

My Lord — ^Last night, about 10 o'clock, I sent Mr. Van 
Ingen, a young gentleman who is my clerk, to Colonel 
Willet, in order to bring the particulars, who this moment 
returned. The colonel had no time to write. He has 
made a statement of what has happened, as near as he can 
recollect (he has been on the spot where the action was), 
which I herewith inclose. 

Colonel Wiipp, with the greatest part of his regiment, 
and the Albany militia, with about thirty Indian warriors 
of the Oneidas, left this place in the morning for Colonel 
Willet. Colonel Schuyler's regiment went on this after- 
noon. I look out for the ammunition, which will be for- 
warded the moment it arrives. Please excuse my bad 
writing. I am in a great hurry. 

I am your Lordship's most obed't serv't, 


Major Ross, commanding officer at Buck's island, with 
about 550 men, left that place in bateaux, and proceeded 
to Oneida lake, where they left their boats, some pro- 
visions, and about twenty lame men to take care of them. 
They proceeded from thence by way of Cherry valley, to 
the Mohawk river, and made their first appearance at a 
place opposite Anthony's nose. They then proceeded to 
Warren bush, and in its vicinity destroyed upward of 
twenty farm houses, with out-houses containing large 
quantities of grain, and killed two persons. 

After this they crossed the Mohawk river at a ford about 
twenty miles above this place, and proceeded in order to 
Sir William's hall, where they arrived about a quarter of 
an hour before Colonel Willet and his detachment, who 
had crossed the river six miles higher, and marched, also, 
for the same place. 

Colonel Willet commenced an action with the British, 
which was much in his favor, when part of his troops, 


who covered a field piece, gave way, which occasioned the 
loss of the piece and ammunition cart,* but which, a short 
time after, he bravely recovered. The enemy, however, 
had stripped the cart of all the ammunition. The eve- 
ning coming on put an end to the action. 

Part of Colonel Willet's men, however, possessed the 
hall all night. The enemy retreated about six miles 
into the woods, where the last accounts, just now come in, 
leave them. About thirty British have been taken during 
the action and the morning before. 

The action commenced yesterday in the afternoon, and 
Colonel Willet went in pursuit this morning, with a force 
about equal to the enemy's. An account has also come 
to hand (although not official), that a party sent from Fort 
Herkimer took their boats and provisions. Seven of the 
enemy's dead and three of ours were found on the field of 
action this morning. Between thirty and forty were killed 
and wounded on both sides. 

6 o'clock, P. M. For Major General Lord Stirling. 

This party of five hundred and fifty were so roughly 
handled by the intrepid Colonel Willet, that they returned 
to Canada with but two hundred men. Many perished in 
the wilderness of hunger, their boats and provisions having 
been cut off, and their retreat greatly harrassed. Colonel 
"Walter Butler, notorious for his cruelties at Wyoming and 
Cherry valley, was slain. 

Colonel Willet had with him a party of Oneida Indians, 
who, he said, furnished the best cavalry for wood service. 
The enemy made a precipitate retreat, leaving behind 
their packs, blankets, &c., which were found strewn 
through the woods. Colonel Willet pursued them eight 
miles beyond Canada creek. Before his arrival there, he 
fell in with a party of forty, who had been left in the rear 
to procure provisions, whom he instantly dispersed. At 
the creek he came up with their rear, when an action com- 

♦ At this juncture Major Rowley, of Mafisachusetts, arrrived with a party 
of Colonel Willet's men, and attacked the enemy with great bravery. 



menced, in which Walter Butler and a number of others 
fell. Butler attempted to escape by swimming the creek, 
but was fired at and wounded by an Oneida. He turned 
and called for quarter, but the Indian, throwing down his 
gun and blanket, dashed into the stream and soon came 
up with Butler, still earnestly begging for quarter. The 
Oneida answered, " Cherry valley,'* buried a tomahawk 
in his brain, took his scalp, and rejoined his party. 

In passing through the region of western New- York at 
this period, it was easy to ascertain, at a glance, who were 
whi^ and who were disaffected (tories in all else but 
taking up arms), the houses and estates of the latter being 
respected by the marauders from Canada, while those of 
the former were plundered or destroyed. 



On the 20th of August, 1758, Captain John Stark, of 
his Britannic majesty's corps of American rangers, while 
on a furlough from the army, was married to Elizabeth, 
daughter of Caleb Page, Esquire, who also held his 
majesty's commission as captain of provincial militia, and 
was one of the original grantees of ** Starkstown," now 
known as Dunbarton, New-IIampshire. 

In the spring of 1759, his furlough having expired, and 
a new company having been enlisted, the hardy soldier 
returned to his post at Fort Edward, prepared to perform 
his part in the next campaign, which, under the vigorous 
direction of the Earl of Chatham, was destined to reduce 
Louisburg and Quebec, and open the way to the entire 
conquest of Canada. 

His wife was left at home, with her father, one of the 
most prominent and wealthy pioneers of the settlement, 
under whose hospitable roof the subject of this notice was 
born, December 3, 1759, during the absence of his father. 
The capitulation of Canada, in 1760, terminated the war 
in the north, and the provincial troops returned to their 

Soon after these events, there being no immediate pros- 
pect of active service. Captain Stark resigned his commis- 
sion in the army, and withdrew, with his wife, to his pa- 
ternal acres, at Derryfield, now Manchester, New-Hamp- 


The good Captain Page, entertaining a strong aflfection 
for the child who had been bom under his roof, and had 
received his christian name, was desirous of retaining and 
adopting him. To this proposition his father made no 
objection, and he remained .under the indulgent care of 
his maternal grand-father until the 16th of June, 1775.* 

The best works of the time were procured for his im- 
provement, and he obtained a good education for that 
period. The two principal books were Fenning's Diction- 
aiy and Salmon's Historical Grammar, which are still pre- 
served in the family. 

The tragedy enacted at Lexington, on the nineteenth of 
April, 1775, having arousied the martial spirit of New- 
England, Captain Stark abandoned his domestic occupa- 
tions, and hastened to the theatre of action, in the vicinity 
of Boston, followed by most of the old corps of." ran- 
gers" who had served under his orders during the previ- 
ous war, and others from the province, who were eager to 
prove their devotion to the cause of liberty. 

The daring acts of valor, which had so frequently dis- 
tinguished the career of the veteran Stark, combined with 
his military experience and success, left him no competitor 
in the minds of his countrymen in arms, by whom he was 
unanimously elected colonel, and in a few hours a regi- 
ment of nearly nine hundred men was enlisted for one 

These proceedings were soon known in the northern set- 
tlements, and his son, then under sixteen years of age, 
.whose memoir we are writing, made an earnest application 
to his grand-parent for permission to repair to the camp 
at Medford. The latter remonstrated with him, on account 
of his extreme youth, saying that although his father was 
familiar with scenes of strife and carnage, the camp was 
not a fit place for one of his years ; and there the matter 
for a short time rested. 

* This interest in the child of his adoption continued unabated until the 
close of his life ; and in the division of nis large estate, his favorite grand- 
ion was assigned an equal portion with his own children. 



Not, however, dissuaded by these representations, the 
young man resolved to go at all events ; and having secret- 
ly collected his clothing in a valise, without the knowl- 
edge of the family, and before day-light on the morning 
of June 16, 1775, he mounted a horse which had been 
given him by his grand-father, and with a musket on his 
shoulder, started for the American camp. 

After travelling a few miles he was joined by another 
horseman. The stranger was a tall, well-formed, fine 
looking person, wearing the undress uniform of a British 
officer. He inquired politely of our young adventurer 
who he was, and where he was going ; and upon being 
informed that he was proceeding to the camp at Medford, 
to join his father. Colonel Stark, the stranger said : " You 
are, then, the son of my old comrade. Your &ther and I 
were fellow-soldiers for more than five years. I am travel- 
ling in the same direction, and we will keep company." 

The stranger was the celebrated Major Robert Rogers, 
of "French war** notoriety. As they journeyed on, -the 
major insisted on defraying all the road expenses, and 
toward evening took his leave, transmitting to his old 
associate in arms. Colonel Stark, a message, soliciting an 
interview at a tavern in Medford.* Upon the arrival of 
our youthful patriot at the regimental head quarters, his 
father's first greeting was : " Well, son, what are you here 
for? You should have remained at home." The answer 
was: "I can handle a musket, and have come to try my 
fortune as a volunteer!" "Very well," said the colonel; 
and addressing Captain George Reid, he continued: "Take 
him to your quarters ; to-morrow may be a busy day. After 
that we will see what can be done with him." 

* We have reason to suppose that the object of Major Bogers' viiit to 
America, in 1776, was to sound public opinion and ascertain the rela- 
tive strength of the opposing parties, to enable him, in the choice of ser- 
vice, to make the best personal arrangement which circumstanees would 
permit. At this interview, as we have been informed, Ck)lon6l Stark 
assured him that no proffers of rank or wealth could induce him to 
abandon the cause of his oppressed country. " I have,*' he said, '* taken 
up arms in her defence, and, God willing, I will never lay them down 
until she has become a free and independent nation." The veteran lived 
nearly forty years after this object of his most fervent wishes and labori- 
ous toils in the field of honor had been aooomplishod. 


The morrow, in truth, was a "busy day." A force, 
composed of detachments from the Massachusetts and 
Connecticut lines, under the command of Colonel William 
Prescott, moved, on the evening of the 16th of June, 
with instructions to fortify "Bunker's hill,*' but misap- 
prehending their orders, proceeded about one mile farther, 
and commenced an intrenchment on "Breed's hill," a lesser 
eminence, which was commanded by the guns of the oppo- 
site battery on Copp's hill, in Boston, as well as exposed 
to the fire of the ships of war at anchor in the harbor. 

At daylight, on the 17th, a furious cannonade opened 
upon the half-finished " redoubt," and soon after, in com- 
pliance with an order from General Ward, two hundred 
men were detached by Colonel Stark to support the par- 
ties employed on that rude field-work. Later in the day 
(about 2 P. M.), another order was received, directing him 
to march with his whole regiment, to oppose the enemy 
who were landing in great force at "Morton's point." 

As previously stated in the preceding pages, the New- 
Hampshire line, under Colonel Stark, formed the left 
wing of the American force on this ever memorable occa- 
sion, and gallantly repelled the reiterated attacks of some 
of the choicest battalions of the British light infantry. 

Our young "volunteer" proceeded, with the company 
under Captain George Reid (to whose care he had been 
so summarily assigned by his father the previous evening), 
to the position occupied by the regiment at the rail-fence, 
extending from the redoubt to the beach of Mystic river, 
where an opportunity was soon afforded for testing the 
skill and facility with which he could " handle a musket" 
in his country's cause. Side by side with some of the 
veteran rangers of the "old French war," he stood at his 
post on that eventful afternoon ; and when their ammu- 
nition was nearly expended, and the occupation of the 
redoubt by the British marines and grenadiers had decided 
the fiate of the day, he returned unharmed* to Winter 
hill, where the regiment was subsequently intrenched. 

* Daring the action a man was killed at his side, and it was reported to 
Ids ikther that lie had fiOlen. 


On this pleasant eminence, a few miles from the cifjr, 
were located the handsome residences of several wealthy 
loyalists, whose opinions having rendered them obnoxious 
to the American party, on the commencement of hostili- 
ties, had abandoned their dwellings, and taken refuge in 
Boston. Among them was a gentleman named " Royal," 
who, on retiring to the city, had left his lady, with a femily 
of beautiful and accomplished daughters, in possession of 
his abode. The mansion being conveniently situated for 
his "headquarters," Colonel Stark called upon the family/ 
and proposed, if agreeable to them, his occupancy of a few 
rooms for that purpose ; to which Madame Royal most 
cheerfiilly assented, being well aware that the presence of 
an officer of his rank would aflford her family and premises 
the best protection against any possible insult or encroach- 
ment, not only from those under his immediate command, 
but also from other detachments of the patriot forces. 

His proposal was made, not with the tone of authority, 
but rather as the request of a private individual ; and it is 
almost unnecessary to add, that during the intercourse 
which ensued, the family were always treated by Colonel 
Stark and his officers with the utmost consideration and 

During the remainder of this campaign our young 
soldier was acquiring, as a cadet in Captain Reid's com- 
pany, the principles and practice of the military discipline 
of the day ; and, when not actually engaged with his new 
duties, many of his leisure hours were naturally passed at 
the "head quarters" of his father, where his association 
with the refined and well educated ladies of the bouse 
could not but exert, at his age, the most favorable influ- 
ence over the formation of his habits and manners. And 
when referring, in after years, to this period of his life, 
the subject of this memoir has frequently acknowledged 
the advantages derived from the intercourse it was then 
his privilege to hold with this amiable and interesting 

On the re-organization of the army, early in the succeed- 
ing year (1776), young Stark received his first commisaion 



as "ensign" in Captain George Eeid's company, and pro- 
ceeded with the regiment, which constituted a portion of 
Sullivan's brigade, to New- York, and thence, in May, to 
Canada, where our New-Hampshire troops, under that 
able and resolute general, rendered important service in 
checking the advance of Sir Guy Carleton, and covering 
the retreat of the forces which had invaded that province 
the preceding season under Montgomery and Arnold. 

The retrogade movement of the army, always dis- 
couraging to the young soldier, was rendered more so on 
this occasion by the accompaniment of a dangerous and 
loathsome malady, the small-pox, which, as innoculation 
was not in general use in those days, rapidljr spread among 
the officers and men, converting the camp into a vast hos- 
pital. Among the victims of this contagious disease was 
the adjutant of the first New-Hampshire regiment, who 
died at Chimney point, in July. And Ensign Stark, who 
had been previously performing, during a portion of the 
campaign, the duties of quarter master, although then 
under seventeen years of age, was deemed qualified to 
succeed to the vacancy, being already distinguished for his 
energy of character and promptness of action, as well as 
for the proficiency attained in all the details of military 
discipline and duty. Promotion to the grade of lieutenant 
accompanied this appointment. 

After the retirement of Sir Guy Carleton to winter 
quarters in Canada, the regiment, with others from the 
northern department, marched to reinforce the dispirited 
remnant of the main army, under General Washington, in 
Pennsylvania. Cheerfully sharing all the hardships and 
privations which were endured by the army, at this 
gloomiest period of our revolutionary struggle, A(^jutant 
Stark was also an active participator in the brilliant opera- 
tions at Trenton and Princeton, with which the campaign 
was so successfully closed in New-Jersey. 

In January, 1777, the army being cantoned on the high 
lands about Morristown, the first New-Hampshire regi- 
ment was dismissed, the term of enlistment of the men 


having expired. In company with his father, young Stark 
was now enabled to revisit his native State, where the 
next few months were employed cooperating with the 
other officers of the regiment in raising recraits for the 
ensuing campaign. 

Several junior officers having been promoted to the rank 
of " brigadier," over the heads of some of the veteran 
colonels of the army, Colonel Stark could not, consist- 
ently with a decent self-respect,- continue to retain a 
commission which compelled him to serve under officers 
of less experience than his own. On his resignation, the 
command of the regiment was assigned to Colonel Joseph 
Cilley, an officer of undoubted courage and firmness, in 
every respect qualified to succeed him ; and Lieutenant 
Stark, having been re-appointed adjutant, repaired with 
the troops to Ticonderoga, in the spring of 1777. 

Those who are conversant with military afl&irs will 
readily appreciate the important bearing of the adjutant's 
duties on the discipline and efficiency of the regiment. It 
is no disparagement to the individual courage and con- 
duct of the officers and men composing the same, to 
remark that the steadiness and precision with which all 
the evolutions of this regiment were performed, when in 
the presence of the enemy on various occasions dnring 
this campaign, afforded satisfiictory evidence of the &ith- 
fulness with which the duties of his office were discharged 
by the subject of this memoir. 

After the evacuation of Ticonderoga, and the retreat of 
the American army to the North river. General Schuyler 
was superseded in the command of the northern depart- 
ment by General Gates. Young Stark happened to be 
present on duty at the head quarters of that general,* 

* While C^eneral Gates waB rejoicing at the reception . of tidings 
announcing the first success in the north, an aid-de-camp mentioned to 
him that a son of General Stark was awaiting an interview, with a mes- 
sage from Colonel Cilley. ** Is he?" said Gates; •* call him in." When 
he appeared, the general said : ** I am glad to see you, my hoy. Your 
father has opened tne way for us nobly. In less than two months we shall 
capture Burgoyne^s army. Don*t you wish to see your father?" The 
adjutant replied, that "if his regimental duties would permit, he should 


when the intelligence of the Bennington success was 
received by express, and being permitted to accompany a 
small party sent to open a communication with General 
Stark, he was soon enabled to congratulate his father per- 
sonally on that brilliant achievement; and, after a few 
days' absence, rejoined his regiment, which was the first 
to come into action on the 19th of September. 

In the action of October 7, 1777, he was wounded in the 
left arm. Soon after the capitulation of Saratoga, General 
Stark, having received from Congress the commission of 
brigadier general, which had been justly due to him the 
year previous, selected his son for his aid-de-camp. Dur- 
ing the years 1778 and 1781 he discharged the duties of 
aid-de-camp, brigade major, and adjutant general of the 
northern department, then commanded by General Stark. 
He was a good writer for one of his years, and from the 
period of his appointment as aid-de-camp, wrote the let- 
ters of the general's oflBicial correspondence. In the cam- 
paign in Rhode-Island, in 1779, he acted as aid-de-camp to 
his father, in which capacity he was present at the battle 
of Springfield, in 1780. 

After the close of the revolutionary war, his attention 
was directed to mercantile pursuits: first at Haverhill, 
Mas8.| and afterward at Dunbarton, N. H. He was for a 
time concerned in navigation, and owned several vessels. 

be glad to visit him." **I will find an officer/' said Gktos, *'to perform 
year duties, and you may go with the party I shall dispatch to Bennington, 
and convey a message from me to your father. I want the artillery he 
has taken for the brush I soon expect to have with Burgoyne." He pro- 
ceeded with the party. The houses along their route were deserted by 
their owners, but abounded in materials for good cheer. From the resi- 
dences of fugitive tories they obtained ample supplies for themselves 
and horses during their march. 

After the surrender, he accompanied General Stark on a visit to General 
Ghttes, and at his head quarters was introduced to all the British officers 
of rank who were there assembled as the guests of the American general- 
in-chief of the northern army. 

He said that Major Ackland and General Burgoyne were, in pefsonal 
Appearance, two of the best proportioned and handsomest men, of their 
age, he had ever seen. 

General Burgoyne held a long conversation with General Stark, apart 
firom the other company, on the subject of the French war, of which the 
former then stated that he intended to write a history. 


In 1805-6, he became an importing merchant at Boston, 
in the English and East*India trade. In the course of his 
commercial transactions he visited the West-Indies in 
1798, and Great Britain in 1810, where he spent a year 
making purchases for himself and other merchants of 
Boston. While in England he travelled through K large 
portion of the kingdom, and his observations furnished 
an interesting journal. He also kept a journal during his 
residence in the West-Indies. 

After the declaration of war, in 1812, he closed his mer- 
cantile affairs at Boston, and purchased an establishment 
which a company had commenced at Pembroke, N. H., 
which he furnished with machinery for manufacturing 
cotton. To this he devoted his attention until 1830, when, 
having disposed of his interest in the concern, he pro- 
ceeded to Ohio to prosecute his family's claims to lands 
granted for military services, which,- in 1887, after a vex- 
atious course of law- suits, were recovered. He died upon 
his estate in Oxford township, Tuscarawas county, Ohio, 
August 26, 1838, aged 78 years, 8 months and 23 days. 

In 1787 he married Sarah, daughter of Dr. William 
McKinstry, formerly of Taunton, Mass., (who was, in 
1776, appointed surgeon general of the British hospitals 
at Boston). She died September 11, 1839, aged 72. Of 
their eleven children (five sons and six daughters), five are 
now living. Major Stark's remains lie in his family cem- 
etery at Dunbarton. His monument bears the following 
inscnption : 





Under whose command he served his country in the war of Ajnerican 
Independence. He entered the army at the age of 16, as quarter maater 
of Ist N. H. Regiment; was afterward adjutant of the samo, and sub- 
sequently brigade major and aid-de-camp to General Stark. He wa« 
present at the battle of Bunker's hill, in 1775; at Trenton, in 1776; 
at Princeton, and in the actions of September 19th, and October 71h, 
1777, which immediately preceded the surrender of Burgoyne. 

BoRK Decxmbxr 8, 1769: Died August 26, 1888. 


In person, Major Stark was rather above the middle 
height, of a slight, but muscular frame, with strong fea- 
tures, deep-set, keen, blue eyes, and a prominent forehead. 

He much resembled his father in personal appearance. 
His characteristics were indomitable courage and perse- 
verance, united with coolness and self-possession, which 
never deserted him on any emergency.* 

He was the youngest survivor of the action who appear- 
ed to witness the ceremony of la^dng the corner stone of 
the Bunker hill monument, by the Marquis la Fayette, by 
whom he was recognized at once as a fellow-soldier. Dur- 
ing his tour to New-Hampshire, the illustrious guest of 
the nation and his suite were entertained at his mansion 
in Pembroke. 

Major Stark was one of the twelve revolutionary vete- 
rans who stood by General Jackson, at the ceremony of 
his first inauguration as President of the United States, 
and was personally acquainted with all the presidents, 
from General Washington to General Harrison, inclusive. 

[Copied from an Ohio paper of August 81, 1888.] 

" Patriot Departed. Died, on Sunday evening last, at 
his residence near New-Comerstown, in this county. Major 
Caleb Stark, of N'ew-Hamt)8hire. Though confident that 
on this occasion ample justice can not be done to the 
memory of Major Stark, yet entire silence on the subject 
would not be tolerated by that portion of the community 
who know his public services, and his worth. 

* When the pension act of 1820-21 was passed, Major Stark (as former 
brigade major) beingpersonally known to all the ofScers and most of the 
soldiers of the New- Hampshire line, his testimony secured pensions to all 
whose cases he represented at the war department 

Most of the veteran applicants who sought his assistance had some rem- 
iniscence of their military days to relate. One of them, Captain Daniel 
Moore, spoke of the sinking of a flat-boat in the middle of the North 
fiver, in which himself. Major S., their horses, and the oarsman were the 
only passengers. "While I was considering," said the captain, "what 
excuse I should make to the general for losing his boy, the boy's presence 
of mind and activity effected arrangements which enabled us all, with the 
horses, to reach the shore in safety, although in a well-soaked condition." 


*' lie was the son of General Stark, of New-Hampshire, 
the hero of Bennington. At the age of fifteen he entered 
the army of the revolution, and comineneed his career at 
the battle of Bunker's hill, as a volunteer in his father's 
regiment. lie remained in service until the close of the 
war, which found him a brigade major. In the engage- 
ments wliich resulted in the surrender of General Bur- 
goyne, he was adjutant of the regiment commanded by 
the brave Colonel Oil ley, grand-father of him who fell in 
the duel last winter at Washington. 

" At the close of the war he retired to private life. He 
afterward was extensively engaged as an importing mer- 
chant at Boston, and subsequently as a manufacturer of 
cottons at Pembroke, N. H. He owned and cultivated a 
large farm, and contributed the results of many agricul- 
tural experiments to the public journals. 

" lie possessed a highly cultivated and active mind, for 
the improvement of which he sufiered no opportunity to 
pass neglected. 

" His memory was strong, and his stores of information, 
derived from travel or extensive reading, were ever at 
command. He had the reputation of being one of the 
best military critics of the nation ; and was often con- 
sulted, especially during the war of 1812, when our army 
had but few experienced oflBicers. 

" He came to Ohio to prosecute the claims of his family 
to lands granted to General Stark for military services, in 
which, after a tedious litigation, he was successfiil. It was 
his intention, after he had succeeded in recovering this 
valuable estate, to have returned to his family in New- 
Hampshire, but sudden indisposition and death prevented 
its being carried out. 

^' Major Stark, in all his acts and movements, exhibited 
the prompt decision and energy of the soldier. Indeed, 
his whole course appeared to be influenced by the habits 
acquired while fighting the battles of freedom in the war 
of the revolution. At the season of life when habits are 
generally formed, his education was acquired in the tented 


field, in the laborious marches, counter-marches and pri- 
vations of that fearful struggle, devoting his moments of 
leisure to usefiil s^udy ; and, in his-duties abroad, pressing 
forward with indomitable resolution And confidence in 

" From the effects of this habitual perseverance resulted, 
as is supposed, the immediate cause of his death. He 
had attended court at New-Philadelphia on the 16th of 
August ; and on the 17th, which was a very warm day, 
rode a hard travelling horse from Dover to his residence, 
twenty-three miles, in three hours! On the following 
week he was attacked with a disease in the head, and 
suspension of his faculties, which, with some intermis- 
sions, continued until his death, on Sunday evening last, 
at the age of 78 years, 8 months and 23 days." 

The subject of the following article, from the pen of 
Major Stark, has long since been dismissed from public 
attention, by the adjustment of American claims against 
France. As it contains the sentiments of an old soldier, 
of strong mind, as well as an attentive observer of all 
public events from the commencement of the revolution 
until his decease, in 1838, it may perhaps be interesting 
to many yet living, who remember the veteran writer. 

[Copied from the Tuscarawas (Ohio) Advocate, of March 31, 1885.] 

" Mr, Douglass. If you think the following desultory 
remarks will be either instructive or amusing to the pub- 
lic, you may publish them, unless they are in the way of 
more interesting matter. 

A considerable portion of the historical facts are from 
memory, many of which I have never seen published ; but 
I can say as Virgil makes ufineas say : " Many of them I 
saw, and part of them I was." 



This knotty queBtion has called forth the maledictions 
of the president against the French nation. 

The matter has now reached a crisis at which every 
real American should pause and consider. Let them take 
a retrospective view of our own historj^ and see how far we 
have observed good faith, national honor, and integrity, 
as well with our own citizens, as vdth other nations and 
individuals, who patronized us 411 the heart-rending strug- 
gles which were endured when this country was conquered 
from Great Britain. 

To illustrate these intricate subjects, it is necessary to 
treat of them under separate heads. I will commence 
with the French relations. 

Early in the revolution, it was considered an object of 
the first importance to engage, if possible, the French in 
our cause. 

Mr. Silas Deane, and other agents, were sent to France 
to feel the pulse of the king and nation upon the subject 
The French court, smarting under their losses and morti- 
fications incurred in the "seven years war," observed a 
cautious indifference. They neither acknowledged the 
agenta nor directed them to leave the kingdom. 

It was not so with individuals, among whom was M. 
Beaumarchais, who, on his own account and credit^ fur- 
nished the United States with twenty thousand stand of 
arms, and one thousand barrels of powder, of one hun- 
dred pounds weight each. These were immediately hur- 
ried off to America. Ten thousand of the muskets were 
landed at Portsmouth, (N. H.), and the remainder in some 
southern State. 

With those landed at Portsmouth, the army stationed at 
Ticonderoga, for the defence of the northern frontier, was 
immediately equipped, and great exertions made by the 
officers to instruct the soldiers in their use. 

We will pass over the disastrous retreat from Ticon- 
deroga, during which, although the American army lost 


their cannon, and most of their baggage, they preserved 
these precious arms, and reached North river with incon- 
siderable loss. There the same indefatigable exertions 
were continued in disciplining the troops for ulterior 

The first opportunity of testing the qualities of the new 
French muskets occurred September 19, 1777, when the 
Americans left their lines and advanced, without trepida- 
tion, to meet the veterans of Britain in the open field. 
The result of that day belongs to history. The two 
armies, .after this action, lay in their intrenched camps 
(reserved rights) until the 7th of October, when both 
armies simultaneously quitted their camps and met in 
deadly contact on the vacant ground between their lines. 

On that all important day the Beaumarchais arms, fol- 
lowed by their yankee comrades, after forcing the enemy 
from the field with great slaughter, leaped boldly into his 
camp, drove his forces from part of it, capturing a portion 
of his artillery, and discomfiting his whole army. Ten 
days afterward that army were prisoners of war, and the 
comer stone of independence so firmly placed that it could 
not be shaken or removed. The treaty of 1788 confirmed 
its foundation. 

I firmly believe that unless these arms had been thus 
timely ftimished to the Americans, Burgoyne would have 
made an easy march to Albany. These same arms, under 
the direction of the brave and impetuous Colonel Cilley, 
arrested the- British advance at Monmouth, and performed 
many other notable feats in the course of the war. What 
then ? My pen almost refuses to record the fact that these 
arms have never been paid for to this day ! 

"When the war was ended, application was made to 
Congress for payment, which was refused on the frivolous 
pretext that they were a "present froYn the French king." 
Judge Marshall was employed to press the payment, but 
his efforts were unsuccessful. The claim was referred to 
the United States attorney general, who reported in 
substance that he could find no evidence of their ever 


having been paid for, or that they were presented as a 
"gift" by the court of France. 

Congress, skulking behind their sovereignty, still refused 
payment. Fifty-eight years have rolled away since the 
arms were delivered, and forty-eight since the constitution 
was formed ; and, during the latter period, our eyes and 
ears have been charmed by our presidents and govemoPB, 
by incessant reiterations, in their annual messages and 
speeches, of the national health, wealth and unparalleled 
prosperity. Yet, the cries of Beaumarchais' heirs (by the 
French revolution reduced to poverty) have not been 
heeded ! 

Supposing the most favorable plea of Congress to be 
true, that there was an underhanded connivance by France 
to furnish the arms, inasmuch as the king had thought 
proper to deny it, is it just or magnanimous for the United 
States to refuse payment ? Suppose the arms were clearly 
"a gift," bestowed on us in our poverty, ought not a high- 
minded people to restore the value of that "gift;," with 
ten fold interest, when their benevolent ftiend has become 
poor, and they have waxed wealthy and strong ? 

To enumerate the aid we received from France daring 
the revolution, her various gifts, loans, troops furnished, 
battles fought and severe losses incurred in our behalf^ is 
the work of history ; but an honorable remuneration fcom 
our government, and a grateful remembrance from every 
true American, are due to the French nation. 

Who has forgotten that by the treaty of 1788 we guar- 
anteed the French West-India possessions? Who has 
forgotten the proclamation of neutrality crowded upon 
General Washington by the British fiEtction about him, 
when the "practice" of neutrality might have answered 
equally as well, without proclaiming to the world that we 
had so shortly forgotten our obligations, and were willing 
to let them know that we hold treaties in contempt, when 
transient circumstances caused them to operate against 
our temporary interests ? 


By the treaty of 1783 it was mutually stipulated that 
no laws should be enacted to interrupt the collection of 
debts due to the citizens of either of the contracting par- 
ties. Great Britain complied, on her part, with the treaty, 
while in some of the States stop-laws were passed, and the 
doors of justice closed against British claimants. The 
English, in consequence, refused to deliver up the frontier 
posts they held within the United States, which measure 
cost us two or three Indian wars, and the posts were still 

It was not until after the treaty of Pilnitz, formed by 
Great Britain and her allies to put down the revolution- 
ary rebels of France, and the consequent invasion of their 
territory by a Prussian army, that France was supposed to 
be irretrievably ruined, and the epoch arrived to sweep 
republicanism from the earth, that the November order 
was issued by the British cabinet as a step preparatory for 
that important event, and Mr. Jay was dispatched to 
England to form a treaty. 

In the interim, France had aroused from her slumbers.' 
Her gigantic energies had driven the invaders with ruin 
and disgrace from her soil, and followed them to their 
lair. Her masses had become the invaders in their turn ! 

This unexpected turn of affairs rendered the British 
government more pliable. They graciously gave us a 
treaty, by which we might navigate the West-India seas 
with vessels of seventy tons burthen, and pay the debts of 
those States who had violated the treaty of 1783 by their 
stop-laws. These terms being agreed upon, the parties 
opened an account current. The British surrendered the 
posts, and agreed to pay for all illegal captures ; which 
terms, at maturity, were complied with by both parties. 

Even in this matter we were the aggressors, and suf- 
fered severely for#violating the treaty. The United States 
were compelled to pay the damages for the refractory por- 
tion of the States who had arrested the course of justice 
by refusing to pay their debts according to treaty and 
moral obligation. 


How far the license trade was countenanced, it is now 
difficult to determine ; but during the wise experiments of 
the " embargo" and " non-intercourse," to starve Great 
Britain into compliance by withholding tobacco from her 
voracious appetite, licences were very common, very easily 
procured, and probably the cause of many seizures. 

We will now try the honor and good faith of the United 
States on another tack. How have they fulfilled their 
contract with the soldiers of the revolution ? When it 
was necessary to continue the army in 1776, Congress, 
by a resolve of September 16, promised the soldier, in 
addition to his pay, one hundred acres of land in case 
they would join the officers and conquer the country. 
They closed with, these terms, and by unparalleled sufiiBr- 
ings, exertions, and consummate bravery, in eight years 
cleared the country of its enemies, leaviirg the United 
States government in quiet possession of our immense 
public domain. Two years after the peace. May 20, 1785, 
resolves were passed for furnishing the soldiers the prom- 
ised lands ; but especial care was taken to saddle the law 
with a supplement, requiring the lands to be located in 
plats of six miles square, so that if two hundred and thirty 
soldiers could not be collected, and induced to combine in 
the location, they could not obtain their land. 

But Congress, farther to exhibit their love of justice and 
honor, enacted a law that the soldier might assign his 
right to the honorable fraternity of speculators, many of 
whom were members of the honorable Congress. 

After the first harvest had been gathered, a considerable 
number of lots still remained ; and it became necessary to 
enact the law of 1796, reducing locations to five miles 
square, and permitting lands to be located in quarter 
townships, so that forty soldiers, uniting, might locate. 
At the same time, in order to hurry the business, a statute 
of limitation was added, fixing upon the first day of Jan- 
uary, 1800, for the outlawry of the claims. This most 
^^just and salutary" enactment brought many of the 
claims to the speculators' shops. 


The first and second lot of dealers became pretty well 
gorged, when Congress passed the act of March 1, 1800, 
confining locations to the original owners, to be transferred 
according to the laws for the conveyance of real estate. 
These matters clearly exhibit the spirit of justice and 
national equity in those early days of liberty and equality. 

It may be remembered that although the soldier was 
promised pay at the rate of $6.66f per month, even of 
that sum but a small portion was ever paid. 

When the war was over, a certificate was handed to the 
soldier, showing the amount due to him as arrears for past 
services, with a furlough, and the magnanimous present of 
his gun and bayonet. With these resources he was turned 
adrift to wend his way home, distant perhaps from fifty to 
seven hundred miles ; and this was his treatment, after 
conquering for his country millions of acres, secured to 
that country by his privations, faithfulness, courage and 
wounds in the public service. 

These papers, -in process of time, were embraced in the 
funding system, but not until the largest portion of tlicra 
had been swallowed by hawkers and speculators in and out 
of Congress, at the rate of 80 and 90 per cent, discount. 

Those owners who had not parted with their certificates, 
fondly expected that their principal and interest would be 
funded at par value. But no ! A magnanimous Congress 
placed the speculator, who had purchased the papers at 
two shillings and sixpence on the pound, on a par with 
the soldier who, for a nominal value of six dollars, sixty- 
six cents- and two-thirds of a cent per month, actually 
received but eighty-three cents per month for his priva- 
tions, wounds and hardships actually endured in the public 

When those flimsy papers, called "Pierce's notes," were 
generally disposed of, a new dish had to be prepared to 
glut the hungry maw of the buzzards. The soldier's land 
was the next bill of fare, and this new field of operation 
was eagerly entered. Several members of Congress, with 
the aid of smaller outside fry, were engaged to obtain 



ex post facto laws to carry on the operations. . The acts of 
1785 and 1796 eftectually answered the purpose of reducing 
the soldier's claim from the government price — say firom 
two dollars to twenty and ten cents per acre — and opened 
such a field for forgery, fraud and chicanery, that many of 
the soldiers lost the whole. Indeed, if this honorahle 
tribe found the land, they experienced very little trouble 
in making out the title ; and, if made out of whole cloth, 
not one soldier in a thousand could find out the fraud, and 
not one in ten thousand carry a suit to the expensive tribu- 
nals of the United States, if it was discovered.* 

We will now look back to the year 1779. Every Amer- 
ican should be familiar with the account of the destruction 
of that beautiful settlement on the Susqifbhaunah, called 
"Wyoming, and the horrible massacre which ensued. Con- 
gress resolved to send an expedition against the Six 
Nations, to revenge the inhuman murders and savage 
devastations committed during their expedition to 

General Sullivan was appointed to the command. Pro- 
visions and military stores were also forwarded to sustain 
the army. As the march was through an unexplored wil- 
derness, unforeseen obstructions and impediments were 
found in their way ; and before the troops could reach the 
enemy, their provisions were so far exhausted as to require 
a speedy return, or a reduction of rations to half allow- 
ance. An order of General Sullivan made the proposition 
in regard to half allowance, forcibly exhorting the army 
to accept, with a condition that Congress should pay for 
the deficiency. 

The army accepted the terms — ^pressed on, found, and 
totally defeated the enemy ; pursued him to his den, rav- 
aged his com fields, destroyed his villages, and returned 
completely victorious. So effectually was the chastisement 

* Having been engaged in prosecuting the claims of his family to mili- 
tary lands, from the year 1826 until their recovery in 1887, the writer had 
an opportunity of examining all the proceedings of Congress, and of spec- 
ulators in regard to soldiers' lands. 


inflicted, that the States suffered no more from the maraud- 
ing expeditions of these tribes during the war. 

For this signal service, I anticipate the reader's expec- 
tations — votes of thanks, medals, swords, &c., and a lib- 
eral payment of the detained allowance. I wish I could 
stop here ; but justice forbids the concealment of the true 
but 'shameful fact, that Congress even refused to pay for 
the "half rations." General Sullivan considered his 
honor insulted by the refusal, and resigned his commis- 
sion. Thus, by a flagrant act of injustice, the nation was 
deprived of the skill, bravery and intelligence of one of 
the most accomplished officers of the army. 

^p ^^ •^ ^p ^» ^^ ^» 

The above episode affords one specimen of the manner 
in which the United States Government has treated her 
military servants. 

But to return to our obligations to France. No sooner 
had that nation recognized our independence, on the 6th 
of February, 1778, than instant preparations were made to 
render absolute assistance. Early in the summer. Count 
de Estainge arrived on our coast with twelve line-of-battle- 
ships, six frigates, and four thousand troops to aid our cause. 

In the attempt on Newport one ship of the line was 
lost, and the fleet very much shattered by the August 
storm. Not discouraged in well doing, more French 
troops arrived, and powerful fleets constantly hovered 
upon our coast, ready to render assistance (ever attended 
with great danger, loss and expense), until, to cap the 
climax, the French fleet and army united with our own 
force, reduced Cornwallis, and ended the active war upon 
the continent. 

As peace had not yet been agreed upon, to divert the 
British forces from New- York, Count de Grasse, with the 
flower of the French fleet, and a suitable land force, sailed 
for Jamaica, expecting to be joined by the Havana fleet. 
While pursuing his course, he was interrupted off the 
island of Dominica by Admiral Rodney, and his fleet 
nearly annihilated. So decisive was this naval engage- 



ment, that France was unable to appear upon the ocean 
again in any force during the war ; indeed, Lord Howe's 
victory of August, 1794, may fairly be ascribed to the 
result of that battle, fought at our desire, and to secure 
our independence. 

The expense of that war was as much, if not more, to 
France than to the Unitcid States ; and if the latter had 
only paid the purchasers of soldiers' tickets, ^^ quantum 
meruit,** it would probably have been five times as much 
as it cost the United States. 

It is a matter of historical truth that the expenses incur- 
red in this war by France, bankrupted the nation, and 
hurried on the terrible events which convulsed the world 
from the commencement of the French Revolution until 
the battle of Waterloo. 

During all this period of distress and disaster, the 
Americans were chuckling in their sleeves, and wafting 
the treasures of the old world to embellish the half-fledged 
cities of the new world. 

Gratitude is a virtue often spoken of with apparent sin- 
cerity, but not so frequently exhibited in practice. 

It is a notorious fact that the people of the United 
States were jointly and severally rebels, from the 19th of 
April, 1775, until the national recognition in 1788. Of 
course they were guilty of treason, and liable to forfeiture 
of life and estate, according to the well known law of 
nations. Xow, then, who protected them from the rigor 
of that law ? Is it presumption to say, in answer — ^their 
soldiers ? How often was it said in conversation, in those 
days of trial, " if we can only get our liberties secured, 
we will willingly give all our personal property and half 
of our farms." 

This was the language when the soldier was in the field. 
The king of England had pronounced them rebels. The 
soldiers declared them to be freemen. They wiped away 
the stigma of rebellion and nullified the treason. 

" Treason never prospers — ^what is the reason ? When 
it does, none dare call it treason." 


The soldiera redeemed the farms, received very little 
personal property, generously allowed the owners to retain 
their lands, and added uncounted millions to the national 
domain, to which no individual had any pretence of title 
or claim until gained by the. soldiers, by right of conquest, 
from a declared enemy. While the whole was in jeop- 
ardy, the people generously promise^ them one hundred 
acres each (it being understood that they must conquer it). 
Ck)nquer it they did — ^T\'hat then ? Why, they quietly 
laid down their arms, trusting to the magnanimity and 
justice of their country for that petty pittance of one hun- 
dred acres to each soldier. And how was that paid ? An- 
swer — Congress, two or three years after the peace, over- 
flowing with gratitude, liberality and justice, passed a law 
to locate their lands in six- mile square townships, and soon 
afterward in five-mile square townships, as before men- 

If the people should ever look back upon those laws, 
they would doubtless agree that they ought to be headed 
acts of abomination, to defraud the soldiers of the revolu- 
tion of their promised lands, for conquering the boundless 
regions which compose the geographical chart of the 
United States. 

This was the manner in which Congress paid their sol- 
diers. Their fame, their bravery, their privations and 
patriotism have been proclaimed to the world in both 
hemispheres; and this is their reward fi;om an high 
minded and honorable republic. The same republic is 
now about to buckle on her armor, and engage in a war 
with her old patron for a paltry debt of five millions. 

In looking over the report of the Senate, we see a tem- 
perate, long-winded address, a la mode le Senate ; while 
the more chivalrous spirits of the House, as their " ultima 
raUOj'* say that the United States will sustain at all haz- 
ards the faithftil performance of the stipulations of the 
treaty with France ; that is, as much as to say, " pay us, 
or abide the consequences." 


If this laconic paragraph does not give France a fit of 
the ague, that nation must possess strong nerves and 
robust bodies. 

These historical facts ought to be kept in view, in order 
to direct our moral obligations and duties ; and we ought 
occasionally to look over a worm eaten authority, seldom 
used by statesmen excepting upon the eve of elections, 
which, as nearly as I remember, is, " cast the beam out of 
thine own eye, and thou wilt see more clearly to pluck 
the mote out of thy neighbor's eye." 

Americus Vespucius. 

To tho Hon. Senate and House of Kcprcsentatiycs of the United States, in 
Congress assembled : 

Respectfully petitions Caleb Stark, and gives your hon- 
ors to understand that he served in the army of the revo- 
lution during the whole of that glorious war : viz., in 1775, 
as a cadet to learn the active principles of the then mili- 
tary discipline and evolutions, and was present at the ever 
memorable battle of Bunker's hill. 

On the new organization of the army, in 1776, he 
received the appointment of ensign in Captain George 
Reid's company in Col. John Stark's regiment, and 
advanced into Canada, when Gen. Sullivan was ordered 
to sustain the retreating army from before Quebec- In 
July, the adjutant died of small-pox at Chimney Point, 
and he succeeded to the offices of lieutenant and adjutant 
of the regiment, and proceeded to Motint Independence, 
where the campaign was closed in that department. On 
the retreat of tho British army [to winter quarters], the 
regiment was ordered to join General "Washington in 
Pennsylvania. Soon after their arrival, they were ordered 
to enter New-Jersey, and on the morning following wit- 
nessed the capture of the Hessians at Trenton. The reg- 
iment was dismissed in January, 1777, their term of 
enlistment having expired, and the officers returned to 


pr^are new recruits for the next campaign. In the new 
organization, your petitioner was continued in the same 
rank, and on the opening of spring repaired to the ren- 
dezvous at Ticonderoga, in the regiment of Col. Joseph 
Cilley, where he continued until the retreat of th^ awny 
in July, and proceeded with the regiment to the sprouts 
of the Mohawk, where they joined Gen. Gates, the new 
commander, and soon afterward took up the line of march 
to «ieet the enemy. He was found at Behmus' heights 
and Stillwater ; and your petitioner performed the duties 
of adjutant in the action of -September 19th, and that of 
October 7th. In the last action he was so severely 
wounded as to be disqualified to perform the difficult 
duties of his office. 

Colonel Stark having been appointed a general officer, 
requested your petitioner to accept the office of brigade 
major to his brigade. Peculiar circumstances, not neces- 
sary to be explained, induced him to accept the appoint- 
ment, and he repaired to New-Hampshire to prepare for 
the next campaign. 

In the early part of 1778 General Stark was ordered to 
take command of the northern department, and fix his 
head quarters at Albany. It devolved on your petitioner 
to perform not only the duties of brigade major but those 
of adjutant general t# that extensive command. At the 
close of the campaign, orders were received to join- Gen- 
eral Gates at Providence [R. I.], who charged General 
Stark with the command from East-Greenwich to Tower 

The same duties devolved upon your petitioner as at 
Albany. About mid-winter General Gates, by command 
of General Washington, ordered General Stark to repair 
to Massachusetts and New-Hampshire to forward the 
recruiting service, in which your petitioner performed the 
practical duties. 

He repaired early in the spring [1779] to Providence, 
with General Stark, and was commanded to join General 
Cornell, to examine and make remarks on all the points 


liable to attack from Point Judith to Tiverton. About 
the time this new duty was in progress, by a new regula- 
tion of Congress, the duty of brigade major was ordered 
to be performed by a major of the line,, and my office 
devolved upon Major Bradford, of the Rhode-Island 

It was my intention to have retired; but, by the desire 
of General Stark, backed by General Gates, I consented to 
the appointment of aid-de-camp to General Stark, and in 
that capacity passed the campaign. In the same capacity 
I joined General Washington at Morristown, in 1780, and 
was present at the battle of Springfield, and also engaged 
in the great foraging party from West-Point in October 
following, to mask General Washington's plan of surpri- 
sing Staten Island. 

In 1781, General Stark being again ordered to assume 
the command of the northern department, your petitioner 
was called on to perfor.m the same duties which he had 
discharged at Albany in 1778, and passed the campaign 
at Saratoga, where he continued u^til after the reduction 
of Lord Cornwallis, when General Stark was ordered to 
leave a small garrison at Saratoga^ and prepare for the 
campaign of 1782. That year passing without anv active 
service, I pass without further notice ; but by ccynmand of 
General Washington I joined the ajpay at Newburg, April 
10th, .1783. 

The preliminaries of peace suspending military opera- 
tions, I returned home on the separation of the army. 

During all this period, from the close of 1775, 1 received 
pay rations and forage as an ensign and lieutenant ; from 
July, 1776, as an adjutant; and from October, 1777, nomi- 
nally as a major; but was occasionally obliged to draw 
considerable sums from my patrimonial property to sup- 
ply my extra expenses, in consequence of the depreciation 
of paper money, and have received neither half pay, 
commutation, nor land. 

It may appear remarkable that I have not called before. 
The fact is, I never saw the several laws that gave me a 


claim until the present season, nor ever heard of tbem till 
1824. I supposed I was precluded by leaving the line. 
I now perceive a vast train of special acts in favor of the 
army from September 16th, 1776, to the concluding com- 
pliment made to the illustrious la Fayette in 1825. 

In corroboration of the above facts, you have the depo- 
sitions and certificates numbered 1, 2 and 3. 

It will now rest with Congress to determine whether I 
shall perhaps be the only officer in the State not allowed 
to profit by the public arrangements for the labors of eight 
dangerous and difficult campaigns. 



I, Caleb Stark, brigade major, and aid-de-camp to 
the late Gen. John Stark in the revolutionary war, do 
testify and declare that I never received any allowance, as 
half-pay, or commutation, or land, for my revolutionary 
services, other than is described in 'the petition accompa- 
nying this affidavit, nor ever applied -for the same. I 
farther declare that I never heard of the several resolu- 
tions of Congress in favor of officers of my standing until 
1824, and never saw them until the present season. 



To whom it may concern. I certify that I have been 
acquainted with Major Caleb Stark ever since the year 
1775 ; and know that he served 'in the New-Hampshire 
line, as adjutant to Col. Cilley's regiment, in the years 
1776 and 1777 ; and that he was wounded in the battle of 
October 7th, at Stillwater, in 1777 ; and that he served as 
brigade major and aid-de-camp to the late Gen. John 
Stark during the remainder of the revolutionary war. 


Maj. Gen. U. S. Army. 



L Robert B. TVilkins, lieutenant in the K'ew-Hampshire 
line, in the revolutionary army, do testify and declare that 
I knew Major Caleb Stark as early as 1775, when he served 
on Winter hill, and afterward as lieutenant and a(^utant 
to the close of the northern campaign, and reduction of 
Burgoyne ; that he was wounded at the battle of the 7th 
of October, at Behmus' heights ; and that he afterward 
served as brigade major and aid-de-camp to Gen. Stark 
to the end of the war. 


In 1828 the petitioner obtained, by a special act of Con- 
gress, his land and commutation (or five years' full pay), 
but without interest ; and by the pension act of 182S, full 
pay for life. 

To Hon. Samuol Bell, United States Senate. 

Pembroke^ 29ih November^ 1825. 

3Iy Dear Sir — Inclosed you have my petition to Con- 
gress, with such evidence as I suppose will prove sufiicient 
to establish my claim. Should farther testimony be 
deemed necessary, I can produe most of the New-England 
officers now living, as well as all the surviving officers of 
the State of New- York, of which, I presume, there will 
be no necessity. 

I spoke to your colleague, Hon. Mr. "Woodbury, who 
promised me his influence. I must request you also to 
make my case known to the several gentlemen of our del- 
egation, that they may be enabled to render you assistance 
in case it should meet with opposition. 

You will find in the inclosed paper a great variety of 
cases similar to mine, that have been provided for. 

I have perused the laws cursorily through four volumes 
of the digest, but could not find a regular file in the State 
library subsequent to that publication. I intended to 


have seen you before your departure, but was detained at 
Boston longer than I expected. 

If, after examining the papers, any deficiency appears, 
have the goodness to let me know. 

I have the honor to be, 

Your friend and humble servant, 


Hon. Samuel Bell. 

Dear Sir — Since writing the above (petition), a circum- 
stance has occurred to me which has hitherto escaped my 
recollection. It is a fact that the same regiment that first 
arrested the advance of Burgoyne, on the 19th of Septem- 
ber, 1777, and on the 7th of October, in the same year, 
carried victory into his camp, was the same that retrieved 
the battle of Monmouth, when our army was retreating 
under the command of General Lee, and produced the 
well known anecdote, that after the British were checked 
and forced to run on their part, our illustrious Washington 
rode up and inquired of Colonel Cilley : " What troops 
are these?" 

The Colonel, with his usual' promptitude and impetu- 
osity, answered : " True blooded Yankees, sir, by G — d.'** 

In this regiment I served in 1775-6-7, devoting all my 
abilities to form them for action. Any person in the 
least acquainted with military affairs, knows the very im- 
portant duties of an adjutant on such occasions ; and their 
victorious career through the whole of the war, is the 
best commentary on the faithfulness with which the duty 
was performed. 

I send you these texts to be used for arguments, should 
you think them worth relating. 

I am, sir, &c., 


* " I Bee," said General Washington — ** my brave New-Hampshire 


To MOST of the pioneers who sought an abode in the 
wilds of America, the same circumstances will apply. 
Prior to the year 1760, the frontier settlers were at all 
times exposed to the incursions of hostile savages, who 
were continually on the watch for opportunities of laying 
waste their homesteads, and to slay or carry away as cap- 
tives the inhabitants. Necessity, therefore, compelled 
them to become familiar with danger, and acquire a har- 
. dihood of character unknown to their posterity. Whether 
they attended public worship, or cultivated their lands, 
they departed from their fortified garrisons with arms in 
their hands, prepared for instant action, and worshipped 
or labored with sentinels on the alert. 

In their warfare, the Indians preferred prisoners and 
plunder to scalps. Hence, few persons were slain by them, 
excepting those unable to travel, those who attempted to 
escape, and such as appeared too formidable for them to 
encounter with a hope of success. 

Of the latter class was Captain Stevens. He was ath- 
letic, hardy and resolute ; ever ready to cultivate his acres, 
or arm in their defence, aa well as for the protection of his 
countrymen. He was truly a martial husbandman — 

" Who. in the reaper's merry row 
Or warrior rank could stand." 

A man of self-acquired education, possessing deep pene- 
tration and intelligence, he was admirably fitted for the 
important public services, in the performance of which he 
was intrusted by the government. 


He was the father and defender of the early settlements 
on the north-eastern frontiers of New-England, where he, 

<* The pastoral hero, assembled his band, 

To leaa them to war at his monarches command. 


He was the son of Joseph and Prudence Stevens, and 
bom on the 20th of February, 1706, at Sudbury, Massa- 
chusetts, from whence he removed with his father to Rut- 
land, in the same State. 

At the age of sixteen, accompanied by his three younger 
brothers, he was proceeding to a meadow where his father 
was engaged in making hay, when he fell into an Indian 
ambuscade. The enemy made him prisoner, slew two of 
his brothers, and were about to slay the youngest, then 
but four years of age. He succeeded, however, in making 
the savages understand, by signs, that if they would spare 
the life of his little brother, he would carry him on his 
back. He conveyed him in that manner to Canada. 
Such tragic events were not uncommon at that period. 
The captives were soon afterward redeemed. 

He received several commissions from Governor Went- 
worth, of New-Hampshire, and Governor Shirley, of Mas- 
sachusetts, and rendered important service in defending 
the frontiers. 

In 1747, when Number Four was abandoned by its 
inhabitants, he* was ordered to occupy the fort with thirty 
men. On the 4th of April, of that year, the garrison was 
attacked by more than four hundred French and Indians, 
commanded by Monsieur Debeline. The siege continued 
three days. Indian stratagem, French skill, and fire, 
applied to every combustible matter in the vicinity of the 
fort, produced not the desired effect. Its heroic defenders 
were not appalled, and would not capitulate. At length 
the enemy demanded a parley, and the commanders met 
ontside of the fort. The Frenchman declared that he had 
seven hundred men, and depicted the horrid massacre 
which must ensue unless the post was surrendered. 


" My men are not afraid to die," was Captain Stevens' 
noble answer. The attack was renewed, and continned 
with increased fiiry until the third day, when the enemy 
again called for a cessation of arms. They then proposed 
to depart if the garrison would sell them provisions suffi- 
cient to support them on their way back to Canada. Captain 
Stevens replied that he could not sell the supplies of the 
fort for money, but would give them five bushels of com 
for every prisoner they would deliver up to him. Upon 
receiving this answer the enemy discharged four or five 
guns at the fort, and departed. 

This noble defence of a timber fort, by thirty-one per- 
sons, against a force of more than fourteen times their 
number, confirmed the high opinion already entertained 
both by the government and his fellow-citizens of the 
capacity and dauntless valor of our fi*ontier hero. For 
his distinguished gallantry upon this occasion. Commodore 
Sir Charles Knowles presented him an elegant sword. 
From this circumstance the township, when its charter 
was granted by Governor Wentworth to Joseph Wells, 
Phinehas Stevens, and otiers, in 1762, obtained the name 
of Charlestown. 

On two occasions (in 1749 and 1752), if not more, the 
Governor of Massachusetts employed Captain Stevens to 
proceed with flags of truce to Canada to negotiate the 
redemption of captives from the Indians. Of these expe- 
ditions he kept diaries, as we have reason to suppose he 
did of most of his transactions, as well in regard to the 
affairs of his farm, as of his proceedings in the public ser- 
vice. We have seen his journal of 1749, published in the 
New-Hampshire Historical Collections, and also his origi- 
nal journal of 1752, which was several years ago found at 
the bottom of an old churn in a garret in Charlestown. It 
was afterward lost at the burning of the Vermont State 
Capitol. The manuscript was written in a plain, legible 
hand. The language was concise and appropriate. His 
education, however obtained, must therefore have been 
superior to that of most of his New-England cotemporaries. 


The journal of 1752 contained observations relative to 
his crops; mentioned the date when the first barrel of 
rum was brought to number four ; detailed a journey to 
Portsmouth, and another with a flag of truce to Canada. 
It also contained a description of Montreal. Mr. Wheel- 
wright, of Boston, was his colleague in this mission to 

Captain Stevens died at Chenucoto, in Nova Scotia, 
April 6, 1756, while engaged in public service, in the fifty- 
first year of his age. He is the ancestor of many persons 
of high respectability in New-Hampshire and Vermont. 
His son. Colonel Samuel Stevens, w^as the first representa- 
tive of Charlestown to the General Court. He was a 
councillor six years, and afterward register of probate 
until his death, November 17, 1823, at the age of 85 years. 

One daughter of Captain Stevens was bom in the fort 
at Number Four, and married to Hon. John Hubbard, 
father of the late Hon. Henry Hubbard. 

The president of the Vermont Historical and Antiqua- 
rian Societies, Colonel Henry Stevens, is the grandson of 
the hero of Number Four. Those societies are indebted to 
his laborious researches for a large portion, of the valuable 
ancient documents and curiosities in their possession. 
The State of Vermont should also justly appreciate his 
exertions in procuring from Congress two of the most im- 
portant trophies of a victory gained by the valor of the 
White and Green mountain boys, to adorn her capitol — 
the Bennington cannon. 

He formerly resided at Barnet, Vt., but in 1858 removed 
to Burlington. As an industrious and scientific farmer, 
his experiments, his writings and addresses before the 
iState and County agricultural societies, have obtained for 
him an extensive reputation. 

His son, Henry Stevens, junior, was an assistant of Mr. 
Sparks while preparing those voluminous historical works 
which, while they reflect the highest honor upon that dis- 
tinguished gentleman, also cast a brilliant light upon the 
achievements of the American revolution. 


Since the foregoing was written, a communication has 
been received from Colonel H. Stevens, which we insert 
in his o^vn words. 

I find among my grand-father's old papers the following 
commissions : 

" To Phinehas Stevens, of No. Four so called, on ye 
fiast of Connecticut river. You, the said Phinehas 
Stevens to be Lieut, of the foot company of Militia, in the 
regiment whereof Josiah Willard, Esq., is Colonel. 

Dec. 13, A. D. 1743." 

" He was commissioned by Gov. W. Shirley, as Lieut 
in a company of volunteers, raised for the defence of the 
western frontiers, on the 26th day of October, A. D. 

" He was appointed captain of a company of volunteers, 
to be raised for his majesty's service against the French 
and Indians, January 9, 1745, by W. Shirley." 

" He was commissioned first Lieut, of a company of 
soldiers raised for ye defence of ye western frontiers, for 
the protection of the inhabitants, whereof Josiah Willard, 
Jun'r, is Captain, 29th July, A. D. 1745," by W. Shirley. 

The following commission I copy from the original, 
which is all written : 


Province of Massachusetts Bay. 

These are to direct you forthwith to enlist sixty able 
bodied, eflfective volunteers to make up a marching com- 
pany on the western frontiers. Twenty-five of which 
sixty men you may so enlist out of the standing companies 
in those parts ; taking effectual clire, that, that enlistment 
be made with as much equality as may be, so as not much 


to weaken any particular party of those soldiers, and with 
the said company to scout during the summer season in * 
such places where the Indian enemies hunt or dwell, keep- 
ing one half of your company at the garrison called Num- 
ber Pour, to guard and defend the inhabitants there, and 
to repel and destroy the enemy that may assault them ; 
and upon return of the half that go out upon the march, 
the half just mentioned forthwith to march out and scout 
in the manner above said ; and so interchangeably— one 
part to continue to do their duty at Number Four, and the 
other to be upon the march above said. 

And you, the officer that shall command the said march- 
ing party, must keep exact journals of your marches, 
noting down all circumstances, and making such observa* 
tions as may be useful hereafter. You must take care to 
keep an exact discipline among your men, punishing all 
immorality and profaneness, and suppressing all such dis- 
orders in your marches and encampments as may tend to 
disorder and expose you to the enemy. 

Given under my hand, at Boston, the twenty-sixth day of 
April, 1746, in the nineteenth year of his majesty's reign. 

To Captain Phinehas Stevens. 

I iSlnd also one other commission, bearing date at Bos- 
ton, 16th June, A. D. 1746. 

Also, one other commission to Phinehas Stevens, " to be 
commander of the fort called Number Four, and the gar- 
rison there posted, or to be posted there, and to consist of 
the first company of soldiers in the said garrison." Dated 
the 25th of February, A. D. 1747. Wm. Shirley. 

Also, one other commission : " You, the said Phinehas 
Stevens, to be captain of the garrison at the fort called 
Number Four." Dated at Boston, November 10, A. D. 
1747. Wm. Shirley. 

Also, a commission of captain of a company at Charles- 
town. Dated 26th April, 1754. B. Wentworth. 



There were other commissions before and alter the 
above, which I have not been able to recover. 

I have a commission of Simon Stevens, as a lieutenant 
in John Stark's company, dated the 14th of Jannaiy, 
1758, signed " Londoun." . 

Again, I have Simon Stevens' commission, as captain 
of a company of rangers, bearing date at Three Rivers, 
July 9, 1760. Signed, Jeff. Amherst. 

Samuel Stevens was commissioned as a lieutenant by 
Jeffery Amherst, and had command of a party that went 
from Charlestown up Connecticut river to meet Robert 
Rogers with provisions, at the time he went to St. Francis, 
A. D. 1759. 

Again, Enos Stevens (my father), was a lieutenant, 
A. D. 1756. I had his journal of an expedition up West 
river, and so on to Fort Massachusetts. His diary waa 
burnt in the Vermont State House. 


Simon and Willard (twins), born February 4, 1735. 
(Simon died.) 

Simon, 2d, September 8, 1787 ; Enos, October 2, 1789 "-^ 
Mary, March 28, 1742 ; Phinehas, July 81, 1744 ; Cath^-- 
rine, November 20, 1747. (The above named were bor^^^ 
at Butland, Massachusetts.) 

Prudence, November — 1750, Solomon, September 
1753 — ^were bom at Charlestown, N. H. 

Dorothy, born October 31, 1755, at Deerfield, 
Died at Charlestown, September 10, 1758. 

Enos Stevens, my father, married Sophia Grout, Marc::^ 
4, 1791. Of their ten children, only three are now livinj 
viz., Henry Stevens, Willard Stevens, of Bamet, V* 
and Sophia, wife of Jonathan Fitch Skinner, of Barto— ^ ^ 


Our friend, Colonel Henry Stevens, married Oandace 
Salter, March 16, 1815. Of their eleven children, four 
sons and one daughter are now living. 

Enos, the eldest, resides at Boston, Mass. Henry is 
now in London, agent for the trustees of the British 
museum, literary agent for the Smithsonian Institute and 
several other American libraries ; also for several private 
American gentlemen. 

Sophia Candace married her second husband, William 
Page, an artist, celebrated as the greatest colorist since 
the days of Titian, of whom, in that branch of the art, he 
has been a distinguished and successful imitator. He 
resides at Rome, in Italy. 

Simon is a distinguished attorney and counsellor at 
law, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

Benjamin Franklin is now engaged at New- York, 
assisting his brother Henry in purchasing and exchang- 
ing books for the British museum and other libraries. 

Lieutenant George Stevens graduated at West-Point, in 
1843, and was ordered to Fort Jessup. From thence he 
proceeded, with the army of occupation, to Corpus Christi, 
and was there attached to May's corps of dragoons. May, 
with his cavalry, cut their way through the Mexican field 
batteries, but on returning with five of his company, he 
found one battery still in operation. He rode up and 
demanded its surrender, with which demand General la 
Vega complied. Captain May placed him in charge of 
Lieutenant Stevens, who, with a sergeant, conveyed the 
Mexican general of artillery to the rear, and delivered him 
to General Taylor. After General la Vega recovered his 
baggage, he presented Lieutenant Stevens with several 
curiosities, bullets, cigars, &;c., which his father now has 
in possession. / 

Lieutenant Stevens was drowned in passing the Rio 
Grande from Fort Brown to Metamoras. The cavalrj' 
were dismounted, and he proposed to take the lead on 
horseback, although advised by General Twiggs not to 
venture. However, he went on ahead. In passing the 


river the horses conld ford part of the way, and three 
of the mounted dragoons followed to direct the foremost. 
When within sixty yards of the Mexican shore, the 
horses came into a whirlpool. Ahout sixty of them were 
carried round and round, and Lieutenant Stevens became 
unhorsed. He kept above water for about sixty rods. 
Boats were put off from the shore, but could not reach 
him on account of the roughness of the water. He was 
recovered on the third day after, and buried on one side 
of the flag-staff of the fort. Major Brown lying upon its 
other side. 

" How sleep the brave who sink to rest, 
By all their countrjPs winhos bVest I ** 

Both for their country, and in danger's face. 
Won chaplets which time's hand shall not erase ; 
Left her foes' cause, for memory stern and just, 
To live, though valor's urn has claimed their dust. 

Copy of a loiter to Governor William Shirley, from Captain Phineha.^ 
Stevens, Commander of the Fort at Number Four, forty miles above 
Northfield, dated April 7, 1747 : 

" Our dogs being very much disturbed, which gave na 
reason to think the enemy were about, occasioned us not to 
open the gate at the usual time ; but one of our men, being 
desirous to know the certainty, ventured out privately, to 
set on the dogs, about nhie o'clock in the morning, and 
went about twenty rods from the fort, firing off his gun, 
and saying choboy to the dogs. Whereupon the enemy, 
being within a few rods, immediately rose from behind a 
log and fired ; but, through the goodness of Gk)d, the 
man got into the fort with only a slight wound. The 
enemy being then discovered, immediately arose from all 
their ambushments and attacked us on all sides. The 
wind being high, and every thing exceedingly dry, they 
8 et fire to all the old fences, and also to a log house, about 
forty rods distant from the fort, to the windward ; so that, 
within a few minutes, we were entirely surrounded with 


fire — all which was performed with the most hideous 
shouting and firing from all quarters, which they con- 
tinued in a very terrible manner until the next day at 
ten o'clock at night, without intermission, during which 
time we had no opportunity either to eat or sleep. But, 
notwithstanding all their shoutings and threatenings, our 
men seemed not to be in the least daunted, but fought 
with great resolution, which doubtless gave the enemy 
reason to think we had determined to stand it out to the 
last degree. The enemy had provided themselves with a 
sort of fortification, which they had determined to push 
before them, and bring fuel to the side of the fort in order 
to bum it down ; but, instead of performing what they 
threatened, and seemed to be immediately going to under- 
take, they called to us and desired a cessation of arms until 
sunrise the next morning, which was granted ; at which 
time they would come to a parley. Accordingly, the 
French general, Debeline, came with about sixty of his 
men, with a flag of truce, and stuck it down within about 
twenty rods of the fort, in plain sight of the same, and 
said if we would send three men to him, he would send as 
many to us, to which we complied. The general sent in 
a French lieutenant, with a French soldier and an Indian. 
" Upon our men going to the monsieur, he made the fol- 
lowing proposals: viz., that, in case we would imme- 
diately resign up the fort, we should all have our lives, 
and liberty to put on all the clothes we had, and also to 
take a sufficient quantity of provisions to carry us to Mon- 
treal, and bind up our provisions and blankets, lay 
down our arms, and march out of the fort. Upon our 
men returning, he desired that the captain of the fort 
would meet him half way, and give an answer to the above 
proposal, which I did ; and upon meeting the monsieur, he 
did not wait for me to give an answer, but went on in the 
following manner : viz., that, what had been promised he 
was ready to perform ; but, upon refiisal, he would imme- 
diately set the fort on fire, and run over the top, for he 
had seven hundred men with him ; and if we made any 


&rther resistance, or should happen to kill one Indian, we 
might expect all to be put to the sword. *The fort,* 
said he, ' I am resolved to have, or die. Wow, do what 
you please ; for I am as easy to have you fight, as give it 
up.* I told the general that, in case of extremity, his pro- 
posal would do ; but inasmuch as I was sent here by my 
master, the captain general, to defend this fort, it would 
not be consistent with my orders to give it up, unless I 
was better satisfied that he was able to perform what he 
had threatened ; and, farthermore, I told him that it was 
poor encouragement to resign into the hands of an enemy, 
that, upon one of their number being killed, they, would 
put all to the sword, when it was probable we had killed 
some of them already. *Well,' said he, * go into the fort 
and see whether your men dare fight any more or not, 
and give me an answer quick, for my men want to be 

" Whereupon I came into the fort and called all the men 
together, and informed them what the French general 
said, and then put it to vote, which they chose, either to 
fight on or resign ; and they voted to a man, to stand it 
out as long as they had life. Upon this, I returned the 
answer that we were determined to fight it out. Upon 
which they gave a shout, and then fired, and so continued 
firing and shouting until daylight next morning. 

"About noon they called to us and said, good morning; 
and desired a cessation of arms for two hours, that they 
might come to a parley, which was granted. The general 
did not come himself, but sent two Indians, who came 
within about two rods of the fort and stuck down their 
flag, and desired that I would send out two men to them, 
which I did ; and the Indians made the following proposal: 
viz., that, in case we would sell them provisions, they 
would leave, and not fight any more; and desired my 
answer, which was, that selling them provisions for money 
was contrary to the law of nations ; but if they would 
send in a captive for every five bushels of corn, I would 
supply them. Upon the Indians returning the general 


this answer, four or five guns were fired against the fort, 
and they withdrew, as we supposed, for. we heard no more 
of them. 

" In all this time we had scarce opportunity to eat or 
sleep. The cessation of arms gave us no great matter of 
rest, for we suspected they did it to ol)tain an advantage 
against us. I believe men never were known to hold out 
with better resolution, for they did not seem to sit or lay 
still one moment. There were but thirty men in the fort, 
and although we had some thousands of guns fired at us, 
there were but two men slightly wounded : viz.,- John 
Brown and Joseph Earl. 

" By the above account, you may form some idea of the 
distressed circumstances we were under, to have such an 
army of starved creatures around us, whose necessity 
obliged them to be the more earnest. They seemed every 
minute as if they were going to swallow us up, using all 
the threatening language they could invent, with shouting 
and firing, as if the heavens and earth were coming 

" But, notwithstanding all this, our courage held out to 
the last. We were informed by the French that came 
into the fort, that our captives were removed from Quebec 
to Montreal, which they say are three hundred in number, 
by reason of sickness that is at Quebec, and that they were 
well and in good health, except three who were ^left sick, 
and that about three captives had died which were said to 
be Duchinen. They also informed us that John Norton 
had liberty to preach to the captives, and that they have 
some thousands of French and Indians out and coming 
against our frontier. 

"A very beautiful silver-hilted sword has been purchased 
by order and at the expense of the honorable Commodore 
*Sir Charles Knowles, to be presented to Captain Stevens 
for his bravery in defence of the fort above mentioned.** 

The foregoing I copied from a Boston newspaper, with 
the note at 'the bottom in relation to the sword. This 


letter was addressed to His Excellency, Governor Shirley. 
I have to say that Captain Stevens received the sword, 
and it was kept, after grand-father's decease, by Cfolonel 
Samnel Stevens, of Charlestown. I have been told that 
Uncle Samuel took said sword to Northampton, to a gold- 
smith, to have it cleansed. The goldsmith left Northamp- 
ton, and the sword was not returned. 

Your friend, 


To Caleb Stark, Esq. 

Addressed to Honorable Spencer Pbipps, Lieutenant Governor of this 
Province (Massachusetts), and the Council, June 12, 1760. 

The memorial of Phinehas Stevens, of Number Four, 
humbly sheweth : 

That, upon his enlisting himself a volunteer in his 
majesty's service for the then intended expedition against 
Canada, he removed his family, viz. : his wife and six 
children, to Rutland, from Number Four, expecting himself 
soon to set out for Canada, on said expedition ; and that, 
upon the delay of that expedition, he was, by direction 
from his. excellency, the captain general, ordered to the 
frontiers of the province, and was constantly employed on 
the frontiers either in guarding stores to Fort Massachu- 
setts or Number Four, or in keeping the fort at Number 
Four, till the said expedition was laid aside, and tiie 
Canada forces dismissed, in which time he defended the 
said fort, Number Four, from a vigorous attack of the 
enemy ; and his other services, in that term, he humbly 
hopes were acceptable to the province, where he was at 
very great expense in supporting his family at a distance 
from his station ; and as his expenses, so he humbly con- 
ceives, his constant labors and services for the province in 
that term, distinguish his case from that of most if not any 


of the officers who enlisted themselves for the Canada ser- 
vice. He therefore prays your honorable consideration of 
the premises, and that your honors would grant that he 
may be allowed the common allowance for a soldier, for 
subsistence during the said term ; ftnd your memorialist, as 
in duty bound, wiU ever pray. 


In the House of Representatives^ j 

June 13th, 1750. ) 

Read, and orderedthat the memorialist be allowed out 
of the public treasury the sum of ten pounds and eight 
shillings, in full consideration of the above named. 

Sent up for concurrence, 

D. HUBBARD, Speaker. 

In CouncUy June 18, 1750. 
Read and concurred, 

SAM'L HOLBROOK, Dep'ty Sec'y. 

Consented to, 




James Rogers was one of the early settlers of London* 
derry, N. H. He afterward removed to the wilderness of 
the township now known as Dunbarton, where he was 
killed by mistake by a hunter, who was his intimate 
friend. The latter, in the dusk of the evening, perceiving 
a dark object at a distance, supposed it to be a bear, and 
fired through a thicket with fatal effect. The for cap and 
dark clothing of Mr. Rogers occasioned the sad disaster. 
Mr. Hadley, in his notice of Dunbarton, gives the follow- 
ing account of this catastrophe : 

" Mr. Ebenezer Ayer, of Haverhill, Mass., a celebrated 
hunter of those times, came into these parts to pursue his 
usual avocation in quest of bears, deer, and other game. 
He had made a rude camp on Walnut hill, in Bow, near 
to Dunbarton line. He had been hunting all day, and 
came to his camp at evening, and it not being late, was 
still looking out for the approach of a bear. 

" Mr. Rogers was an intimate friend of Ayer, and was 
coming to pay him a visit. He drew near to his camp ; 
he was dressed entirely in black ; and the dusk of the 
evening deceived the eye of the eager hunter. He took 
the fatal aim, and shot the man ! He soon discovered his 
mistake, and with sorrowing heart stood over the bleeding 
form of his friend. Rogers did not long survive. He 
died before he reached his home. Ayer could never after 
relate the story of the sad event without shedding tears.'* 


Robert Rogers, son of the above, was born at London- 
derry, N. H. (or Methuen, Mass.), in 1727. He was from 
his youth inured to the hardships of frontier life, from 
which circumstance he acquired a decision and boldness 
of character which served him in after years. 

He was six feet in stature, well proportioned, and one 
of the most athletic men of his time — ^well known in all 
the trials of strength or activity among the young men of 
his vicinily, and for several miles around. He was endued 
with great presence of mind, intrepidity, perseverance, 
and possessed a plausible address. 

In 1755 he was appointed by Governor Wentworth 
captain of a company of rangers. He afterward com- 
manded that celebrated corps, with the rank of major, in 
the line of the army. With this corps — of which the 
most hardy and resolute young men New-HAnpshire and 
other provinces could produce, constituted the principal 
portion— he rendered important services on the northern 
frontiers, and in the Canadas, until the surrender of those 
provinces, in 1760, to the crown of Great Britain. 

The enemy dreaded him and his daring followers with 
good reason. Th^ rangers under his command were in 
their expeditions limited to no season. Summer or winter 
caused too difference or delay in their arduous duties. 
They made long and fatiguing marches in winter, upon 
snow-shoes, often encamping in the forest, without fire, to 
avoid discovery by the enemy, and with no other food 
than the game they had killed during their march. 

They penetrated into the enemy's country, and destroyed 
French settlements and Indian villages, sometimes at four 
hundred miles' distance. They were in truth the riiost for- 
midable body of men ever employed in the early wars of 
America, and in every regular engagement proved them- 
selves not inferior to British troops. To their savage and 
French foes they were invincible. 

After the year 1760, he served against the Cherokees in 
the south, under the orders of General Grant. 


In 1765 he proceeded to England to prosecute his claimfi 
for services and money advanced during the northern 
campaigns of the "seven years war." 

In 1766 he was appointed governor of Michilimackinac, 
where, sometime.afterward, he was arrested and conveyed 
in irons to Quebec, charged with an intention to plunder 
the fort he commanded, and desert to the French. 

He managed to be acquitted of this charge and pro- 
ceeded, in 1769, a second time to England, where he was 
presented to the king. 

While in England at this time, the following character- 
istic anecdote is related of him. 

A mail-coach, in which he was a passenger, was stopped 
by a highwayman on Hounslow Heath. The robber, 
thrusting a pistol through the coach window, demanded 
the purses eShd watches of the occupants. While others 
were taking out their valuables, the bold American 
ranger suddenly seized the man by the collar, by main 
strength drew him through the coach window, and ordered 
the coachman to drive on. The captive was an old 
offender, for whose apprehension a reward of fifty pounds 
sterling had been offered by the government. 

While at a social party of British officers in England, 
of similar spirits, it was agreed by the company thut who 
ever of them should relate the greatest falsehood, or the 
most improbable story, should have his bill p^d by the 

When his turn came, Kogers stated that ^^ his father was 
shot in the woods of America by a hunter, who mistook 
him for a bear ; that his mother was followed by. a hunter, 
who mistook her tracks in the snow, on a stormy day, for 
those of a wolf ; and that he, when a boy, had carried on 
his back birch brooms for sale to Eumford, ten miles dis- 
tant from his father's house, following a path through the 
woods only marked by spotted trees." The company 
admitted that Rogers had related the greatest falsehood, 
and the most improbable story, when he had narrated 
nothing but the truth. 


Rogers returned to America in 1775, where, had he not 
been suspected of being hostile to the revolutionary move- 
ment, he might perhaps have obtained an important com- 
mand, and rendered signal services. He had seen more 
arduous and difficult service than most of the continental 

He visited New-Hampshire, came to Cambridge and 
Medford, then occupied by continental troops. At the 
latter place he had an interview with Colonel Stark, who 
had been his second in command in the ranger service. 

Washington suspected him to be a British spy, and 
prohibited his entering the American camp. He also vis- 
ited Congress, but his fidelity being considered doubtful, 
received no appointment. 

He obtained, in 1776, the rank of colonel from the Brit- 
tsh general at New- York, and raised a corps known as 
the " Queen's rangers," with which, for a time, he was a 
scourge to the people in the vicinity of Long-Island 

In October, 1776, he made an attack upon an American 
outpost near Maroneck, of which a Hartford, (Conn.) 
paper states the following particulars : 

" On Monday last (October 2l8t) a party of tones (100), 
some of whom came from Long-Island, under the com- 
mand of the infamous Major Rogers, made an attack upon 
an advanced party of our men, when a smart engagement 
ensued, in which the enemy were totally routed. About 
twenty were killed on the spot, and thirty-six taken pris- 
oners, who were safely lodged in the goal at White Plains. 
Their gallant commander, with his usual bravery, left his 
men in time of action, and made his escape." 

He came very near being made prisoner. Soon after 
this afhir, he went to England, and the command of the 
" Queen's rangers" devolved upon the noted Colonel Sim- 
coe. In 1778 he was proscribed by the legislature of 
New-Hampshire, who also granted his wife (a Miss Brown, 
of Portsmouth) a divorce. She afterward married Cap- 
tain John Roach. 


His son, Arthur, resided with his mother, and at her 
decease inherited the property at Concor]^. He died at 
Portsmouth, in August, 1841, leaving two sons and one 
daughter, then occupying respectable positions in the 
West-Indies. His eldest son, Robert, now a respectable 
farmer in Derry, is the only survivor of a family of eight 
children. For other particulars respecting Colonel Rogers, 
see the history of Manchester (pages 488-492), from which 
several of the foregoing statements were obtained. 

The following account of his services during the " seven 
years war'* in North America, contains the substance of 
his journal, published in London in 1765, with informa- 
tion in regard to the same subject obtained from other 


In 1755 an expedition was organized for the purpose of 
reducing Crown Point, a post from which had for several 
years been fitted out most of the Indian scouts which had 
barrassed the English frontier settlements. Troops were 
accordingly raised in New England, New- York, and New- 
Jersey. ' Albany was designated as the place of rendez- 
vous, and Major General Johnson appointed commander. 

Captain Robert Rogers, with a commission from Gov- 
ernor Wentworth, raised a company of rangers in New- 
Hampshire on account of that province, and made several 
excui*sions to the north-western frontiers to prevent 
inroads from the enemy. On the 26th of August, 1755, 
he was employed in escorting provision wagons from 
Albany to the carrying place, since called Fort Edward. 
At this time, he waited upon General Johnson, to whom 
he had been recommended as a person well acquainted 
with the haunts and passes of the enemy, and the Indian 
methods of fighting. He was by him dispatched on sev- 
eral scouts to the French posts. He was on one of these 
up the Hudson, on the 8th of September, when General 
Dieskan was taken prisoner, and his army routed at the 


south end of Lake George. Johnson's anny was com- 
posed principally of the troops raised by the above named 
province for the Crown Point expedition. With the 
exception of those who were with Rogers on his scout, 
the remainder of the rangers were engaged in this action. 

September 24, 1766. General Johnson ordered Eogers 
to reconnoitre Crown Point, and, if practicable, to secure 
a prisoner. He embarked, with four men, and proceed- 
ing down lake George twenty-five miles, landed on the 
west shore. There leaving his boat in charge of two 
men, he proceeded with the other two, and on the 29th 
obtained a view of Crown Point. A large body of In- 
dians were observed about the fort, who, from their irreg- 
ular firing, were supposed to be shooting at marks — ^a 
diversion of which Indians are very fond. At night the 
party crept through the French guards into a small vil- 
lage, south of the fort, and passed through it to an emi- 
nence at the south-west, where it was ascertained that the 
enemy were erecting a battery, having already thrown up 
an intrenchment on that side of the fort. The next day, 
having gained an eminence a short distance from the 
former, an encampment was discovered, extending from 
the fort south-east to a wind-mill, at thirty yards distance, 
containing about five hundred men. Finding no oppor- 
tunity to obtain a captive, and that they had been observed, 
the scout retreated on the first of October. 

On the route homeward they passed within two miles 'of 
Ticonderoga, from which a large smoke was noticed, and 
the discharge of a number of small arms heard ; but, as 
their provisions were expended, they could not remain to 
ascertain the enemy's force. On the second they reached 
the place where their boat had been left in charge of two 
men, who, to their surprise, had departed, leaving no pro- 
visions behind. This hastened their return to camp, where 
they arrived on the fourth, not a little fatigued and dis- 
tressed with hunger and cold. 

October 1th. General Johnson ordered Rogers to em- 


bark with five men to reconnoitre Ticonderoga. He pro- 
ceeded at night to a point of land on the west shore of the 
lake, where he landed, concealed his canoe, and leaving 
two men in charge of it, arrived at Ticonderoga point at 
noon. Here were about two thousand men, who had 
thro>vn up an intrenchraent, and prepared aiarge quantity 
of hewn timber in the adjacent woods. He tarried there 
a second night, and in the morning saw the enemy lay the 
foundation of a fort, on the point which commands the 
pass from Lake George to Lake Champlain, and the 
entrance to South bay or Wood creek. Having made 
what discoveries he could, on his return he found a large 
advanced guard of the enemy posted at the north end of 
Lake George, near the outlet to Lake Champlain. While 
viewing these troops, a bark canoe, containing nine 
Indians and a Frenchman, was observed passing up the 
lake. He kept in sight of them until they passed the 
point where his boat and men had been left. They 
informed him that the party had landed on an island, six 
miles south of them, near the middle of the lake. In a 
short time they put off from the island, and steered directly 
toward their place of concealment. At the distance of 
one hundred yards, the party gave them a salute, which 
reduced their number to four.* The party then took boat 
and pursued them down the lake until they were relieved 
by two other canoes, upon which the rangers retreated 
toward the camp at Lake George, where they arrived on 
the 10th of October. 

October 15. Rogers embarked with forty men, in five 
boats, with orders to ascertain the force of the enemy*s 
advanced guard, and if possible to decoy the whole or 
part of them into an ambush. The exertions of the party 
were indefatigable for several days, but to no purpose, 
and on the 19th they returned to camp. 

October 21. Rogers embarked for Crown Point, with 
four men, in quest of a prisoner ; at night th^ landed on 

* Each marksman hit his man. 


the west shore, twenty-five miles from the English camp, 
and marching the remainder of the way, on the 26th came 
in sight of the fort. In the evening they approached 
nearer, and next morning were within three hundred yards 
of it. The men lay concealed in a thicket of willows, 
while Rogers crept nearer, and concealed himself behind 
a large pine log by holding bushes in • his hand. Soon 
afterward the soldiers came out in such numbers that the 
party could not unite without discovery. About 10 o'clock 
a man came out alone, and advanced toward the ambush. 
Rogers sprang over the log and offered him quarter, 
which he refused, making a pass at him with his dirk. 
This he avoided, and presented his fusee to his breast ; but 
he pressed forward with resolution, which compelled 
Rogers to shoot him. This alarmed the enemy, and the 
party retreated to the mountain. They returned, October 
SOth, in safety to camp. 

November 4. Rogers embarked for the enemy's advanced 
guard, with thirty men in four batteaux, each mounting 
two wall-pieces, and next morning arrived within half a 
mile of their position, where the party landed, and con- 
cealed their boats. Four spies were sent out, who returned 
next evening, reporting that the enemy had no works 
around them, but lay entirely open to assault. Notice was 
immediately sent to the general, requesting a sufficient 
force to attack them ; but, notwithstanding his earnestness 
and activity, the force did not arrive until the party were 
compelled to retreat. On their retreat they met the rein- 
forcement, and turned again toward the French. Two 
men, sent out next evening to see if their sentinels were 
on the alert, were fired upon, and so hotly pursued that 
the whole party was discovered. They obtained the first 
notice of this from two large canoes, containing thirty 
men, which were supposed to have come out at the same 
time with another party by land, to place the English 
between two fired. To prevent this Rogers embarked 
with Lieutenant McCurdy and fourteen men, in two boats, 
leaving the remainder of the party on shore, under the 



command of Captain Putnam.* To decoy the French 
within reach of the wall-pieces, they steered as if intend- 
ing to pass them, which answered the purpose meditated. 
The enemy boldly headed them, and when within one 
hundred yards the guns were discharged, which killed sev- 
eral men, and put the boats to flight. They were pursued, 
and driven so near to the land party that they were again 
galled by the wall-pieces. Several of the enemy were 
thrown overboard, and their canoes rendered very leaky. 
At this time Rogers discovered their land party, and 
notified his men on shore, who immediately embarked 
without receiving much injury from the sharp fire which 
the French for some time kept up in their rear. The 
enemy were pursued upon the water with diligence, and 
the wall-pieces again discharged. They were followed to 
their landing, where they were received, and covered by 
two hundred men, whom a discharge from the wall-pieces 
compelled to retire. They were greatly superior in num- 
bers, and it was deemed most prudent to return to camp, 
which was reached on the 8th of November. 

November 12. Rogers proceeded, with twelve men, to 
ascertain the enemy's strength and condition at Ticonde- 
roga, and on the 14th came in sight of that fort The 
enemy had erected three new barracks, and four store- 
houses in the fort, between which and the water, they had 
eighty batteaux hauled up on the beach. They had fifty 
tents near the fort, and appeared busily employed in 
strengthening their works. Their object being attained, 
the party returned to camp on the 19th of November. 

December 19. After a month's repose, Rogers embarked, 
with two men, once more to reconnoitre the French at 
Ticonderoga. On the way a fire was observed on an 
island near the fort, which was supposed to have been 
kindled by the enemy. This obliged the party to lay by 
and act like fishermen, to deceive the enemy, until night 
came on, when they gained the west shore, fift;een miles 
north of the English camp. Concealing the boat, the 

* Afterward General Putnam. 


march was parsued by land on the 20th, and at noon on 
the 2l8t the party reached the fort. The enemy were 
still engaged in their works, and had mounted fonr pieces 
of cannon on the south-east bastion ; two on the north- 
west, toward the woods ; and two on the south bastion. 
They mustered about five hundred men. Several attempts 
were made to take a prisoner by waylaying their paths, 
but they passed along in too large parties. At night the 
scout approached near the fort, but were driven, by the 
severity of the cold, to seek shelter in one of the enemy's 
evacuated huts. Before day-break, a light snow fell, 
which obliged the rangers to hasten homeward with all 
speed, lest the enemy, discovering their tracks, should 
pursue. They reached their canoe in safety, although 
almost overcome with cold, hunger and fatigue. They 
had the good fortune to kill a deer, with which being 
refreshed, on the 24th they returned to Fort William 
Henry, which during the year had been erected at the 
south end of LalcD George. 

. About this time General Sir "William Johnson pro- 
ceeded to Albany to meet the commissioners from the sev- 
eral governments whose troops he had commanded, (New- 
Hampshire excepted.) These persons were empowered, 
with the consent of a council of war, to garrison Forts 
William Henry and Edward, for the winter, with the 
troops then in service. A regiment was therefore organ- 
ized, to which Massachusetts furnished a colonel, Connec- 
ticut a lieutenant colonel, and New- York a major. The 
general and the commissioners judged it most prudent to 
leave one company of rangers under the command of 
Captain Rogers, to make excursions to the enemy's forts 
during the winter. 

January 14, 1756. Rogers marched, with sixteen men, 
toward the French forts. They proceeded down the lake 
on skates until they halted, for refreshments, near the falls 
between Lakes George and Champlain. At night the 
march was renewed, and at day-break on the 16th an 
ambush was formed on the east shore of Lake Cham- 


plaia, within gunshot of the path by which the enemy 
passed from one fort to the other. At sunrise two sledges, 
laden with fresh beef, were intercepted, with their drivers. 
Their loading was destroyed ; and on the 17th, with their 
prisoners, the party returned to Fort William Henry. 

January 26. Colonel Glasier ordered Rogers, with a 
party of fifty men, to discover the strength of the enemy 
at Crown Point. On the 2d of February they arrived 
within a mile of the fortress, and ascended a steep moun- 
tain, the summit of which afforded a full prospect, and an 
opportunity for taking a plan of the works. In the eve- 
ning they retired to a small village, half a mile south of 
the fort, and formed an ambush on each side of the road 
from that to the village. Next morning a Frenchman fell 
into their hands, and soon after two more men appeared, 
but took alarm before they could be seized, and fled to the 
fort. Finding themselves discovered by this accident, 
they set fire to the houses and barns of the village, con- 
taining large quantities of grain, and killed fifty head of 
cattle. They then retired, leaving the whole village in 
flames, and with their prisoner reached head quarters on 
the 6th of February. 

Febriuxry 29. By order of Colonel Glasier, Rogers 
marched, with fifty-six men, down the west side of Lake 
George, proceeding northward until the 6th of March, 
when he steered east to Lake Champlain, about six miles 
north of Crown Point, where, from intelligence received 
from the Indians, he expected to find inhabited villages. 
There he attempted to cross the lake, but the ice was too 
weak. On the 7th he returned, and passing round the 
bay west of Crown Point, at night entered the cleared 
land, among the houses and barns of the French. Here 
the party lay in ambush, expecting laborers to attend the 
cattle, and clean the grain with which the bams were filled. 
They remained there all night, and the next day until 
dark, when they set fire to the village and retired. Return- 
ing, they reconnoitred Ticonderoga, and the advanced 
guard on Lake George, approaching so near to the fort as 


to see the sentinels on the ramparts ; and, afler obtaining 
all the information desired of their works, strength and 
situation, on the 14th of March they returned to camp. 

The next day Captain Rogers received a letter from 
Mr. William Alexander,* secretary of Governor Shirley, 
who last year commanded at Oswego, and who, upon the 
decease of General Braddock, had succeeded to the chief 
command of his majesty's forces in North America, stating 
that, upon General Johnson's recommendation, he was 
invited to wait upon the governor at Boston, where he 
was preparing for the next campaign. Thither he repaired, 
leaving his company in command of Ensign Noah Johnson. 

On the 23d the general gave Captain Rogers a friendly 
reception, and a commission to recruit an independent 
corps of rangers. It was ordered that it should consist of 
sixty privates, at Ss. (York currency) per day; an ensign, 
at 5$.; a lieutenant, at 7^. ; and a captain, at 10s, Each 
man was to be allowed ten Spanish dollars toward pro- 
viding clothing, arms and blankets. The company was to 
be raised immediately. None were to be enlisted but 
such men as were accustomed to travelling and hunting, 
and in whose courage and fidelity the most implicit confi- 
dence could be placed. They were moreover to be sub- 
ject to military discipline and the articles of war. The 
rendezvous was appointed at Albany, whence to proceed 
to Lake George, and *' from time to time to use their best 
endeavors to distress the French and their allies by sack- 
ing, burning and destroying their houses, barns, bar- 
racks, canoes, batteaux, &c., and by killing their cattle of 
every kind ; and at all times to endeavor to waylay, attack 
and destroy their convoys of provisions by land and water, 
in any part of the country where they could be found.*' 
With these instructions, he received letters to the com- 
manding oflicers of Forts William Henry and Edward, 
directing them to forward the service with which he was 

♦ William Alexander was afterward known as Lord Stirling, and a 
major general in the United States revolutionary army. 


When the company was completed, a part of it marched, 
under the orders of Lieutenant Richard Rogers, to Albany. 
With the remainder Captain Rogers passed through the 
woods to Number Four, a frontier town greatly exposed. 
There he received orders to proceed to Crown Point, for 
which, on the 28th of April, his course was directed, 
through vast forests and over lofty mountains. On the 
second day of the march Mr. John Stark, his second 
lieutenant, became ill, and was obliged to return with a 
guard of six men. 

3Iay 5. Captain Rogers reached Lake Champlain, four 
miles from Crown Point, with nine men. They concealed 
their packs, and entered a village on the east side, two 
miles from the. fort, but found no inhabitants. They 
waited the whole day following, opposite the Point, for 
some party to cross the lake. Nothing however appeared, 
excepting five bunded men, in batteaux, coming up the 
lake from St. Johns. They kept their stations until ten 
o'clock next day ; but finding no opportunity to trepan 
the enemy, they killed twenty-three head of cattle, whose 
tongues were of great service on the march. They now 
discovered eleven canoes, manned by French and Indians, 
crossing the lake directly toward them. It was then 
judged most prudent to disperse, each man taking a dif- 
ferent route, and looking out for himself. This course put 
their pursuers at fault ; and the party, assembling at the 
place where their packs had been left, made a raft, and 
crossed to the western shore. They obtained a view of 
the old Indian carrying-place, near Ticonderoga, and 
reached Fort William Henry on the 14th of May. Mr. 
Stark and his party reached Fort Edward three days 
before, having, on their way, discovered and eluded a scout 
of four hundred Indians. Lieutenant Rogers had arrived 
some days before, and was then on a scout. 

May 20. Rogers was ordered, with eleven men, to recon- 
noitre the French advanced guard. When viewed next 
day from the summit of a mountain, their numbers 
appeared about three hundred, who were busy in fortify- 


ing their position with palisades. From the other side of 
the mountain the party obtained a fine prospect of Ticon- 
deroga and the French camp, which, from the ground 
occupied, was judged to contain one thousand men. This 
night was passed upon the mountain, and early next morn- 
ing the party proceeded to the Indian carrying-path, where 
an ambuscade was formed between the advanced guard 
and the fort. About 6 o'clock one hundred and eighteen 
Frenchmen passed along the path without observing them ; 
in a few minutes twenty-two others came along the same 
way. Upon this party they fired, killed six, and took one 
prisoner. The first party returning at the report of the 
guns, obliged them to retire in great haste. 

On the twenty-third they reached Fort William Henry in 
safety with the prisoner, who reported that two hundred 
and twenty French and Indians were preparing to sur- 
prise the out parties at Fort Edward. This information 
occasioned Rogers a march, with seventy-eight men, to 
join a detachment of Colonel Bayley's regiment, and scour 
the woods as far as South bay, to intercept the enemy ; but 
they could not be found. 

June 12. According to orders, in the evening Rogers 
embarked, with twenty-six men, to visit the French 
advanced guard. A severe thunder storm compelled the 
party to land ten miles from their own fort, and spend the 
night. At sunrise they heard the discharge of about 
twenty small arms, on the opposite shore, which was sup- 
posed to proceed from the enemy cleaning their guns after 
the rain. The party embarked in the evening, and early 
on the morning of the 16th drew up their batteaux four 
miles from the advanced guard, and lay in ambush, by a 
path leading to the mountain, to surprise the enemy who 
went there ^daily in parties to view the lake. They soon 
afterward discovered that the advanced parties had evacu- 
ated their position, and demolished their works. They 
then approached very near Ticonderoga, and viewed their 
works from an eminence, judging the garrison to consist 
of three thousand men. The party returned to their fort 


on the 18th, excepting one man who strayed away and did 
not return until the 23d, then almost famished for want of 
food. About this time the general increased the force of 
the ranger company to seventy men, and iont them six 
whale-boats from Albany, with orders to proceed to Lake 
Champlain, to cut off the supplies and flying parties of 
the enemy. 

June 28. Rogers, with fifty men, embarked in five 
whale-boats, and proceeded to an island in Lake George. 
The next day they passed over to the main land, and 
carried their boats six miles over a mountain to South 
bay, where they arrived on the 3d of July. The evening 
following they embarked, and proceeded down the bay 
till they came within six miles of the French fort. There 
the boats were concealed. The next evening they em- 
barked again, and passed the fort undiscovered, although 
so near as to hear the sentineFs watchword. They judged, 
from the number of fires, that the enemy had two thou- 
sand men in his camp. Five miles farther down they lay 
by all day, concealing their boats. Here several batteaux 
were seen passing by up and down the lake. At night 
they put off with the design of passing Crown Point, but 
afterward, considering it imprudent, on account of the 
clearness of the night, they lay concealed through the 
next day, during which a hundred boats passed by them. 
Seven boats came near their place of concealment, and 
would have landed there, but the oflicer insisted, in their 
hearing, that he would go a hundred and fifky yards 
farther, where they landed, and dined in the rangers' sight, 
without discovering them. At nine o'clock at night the 
latter reembarked, passed the fort, and concealed their 
boats ten miles north of it. 

July 7. Thirty boats and a schooner of forty tons burthen 
passed by toward Canada. In the evening they proceeded 
fifteen miles farther down, and dispatched a scout, who 
soon brought intelligence that a schooner lay at anchor 
one mile distant. The rangers lightened their packs, and 
prepared to board her ; but were prevented by two lighters 


coming up the lake, whose crews intended to land where 
they were posted. These were fired upon, hailed, and 
offered quarter, if they would come on shore ; but they 
pushed for the other side, whither they were pursued and 
intercepted. Their crews consisted of twelve men, three 
of whom were killed by the fire, and two wounded ; one 
in such a manner that he soon died. Both vessels were 
sunk, and the cargoes, consisting of wheat and flour, wine 
and brandy, were destroyed, except a few casks of the 
latter, which were carefully concealed.* The prisoners 
stated that they were a portion of five hundred men, the 
remainder of whom were not far behind on their passage. 
This report hastened the return of the scout ; which, on 
the 16th of July, returned to the garrison with their pris- 
oners. The latter reported '" that a large force of regulars 
and militia were assembling at Chambl^e, destined for 
Carillon,t and that large quantities of provisions were on 
the way ; that a new general, with two veteran regiments, 
had arrived. from France ; that there was no design against 
the English forts on this side, but that a party of three 
hundred French and twenty Indians had already set out, 
to intercept the provision convoys between Albany and 
Lake George ; that sixty livres was the reward for an 
English scalp, and prisoners were sold in Canada at fifty 
crowns each ; that the prospect of a harvest was very 
encouraging, but that the ^mall-pox had made dreadful 
havoc among the inhabitants." 

Upon his return from this expedition. Captain Rogers 
learned that General Shirley had been superseded in com- 
mand by Major General Abercrombie, who arrived at 
Albany, June 25th, with two regiments of regular troops 
from England. He forwarded to him the report of the 
last scout, and recommended the augmentation of the 
corps of rangers. Soon afterward he waited upon him 

* A good thought for a soldier. 

f Of this fortress, Ticonderoga was the Indian name, and Carillon the 
French name; each signifying "the meeting of waters." 


at bead quarters, and received orders to raise a new com- 
pany, the commajid of which was given to his brother, 
Richard Rogers. Of this company Noah Johnson was 
appointed first lieutenant, Nathaniel Abbot second, and 
Caleb Pago ensign. Of his own company John Stark was 
appointed first lieutenant, John McCurdy second, and 
Jonathan Burbank ensign. 

August 2. Captain Robert Rogers, by order of Greneral 
Abercrombie, enabarked, with twenty-five men in a lighter, 
from Fort William Henry, to reconnoitre Ticonderoga 
and Crown Point. Captain Learned, with sixty provin- 
cials, was ordered by General Winslow to proceed as far 
as the French advanced guard, but not being acquainted 
with the country, he placed himself under Rogers' com- 
mand. The latter landed about fifteen miles down Lake 
George, and on the 4th encamped one mile from the 
advanced guard. On the morning of the 5th the whole 
party mustered, and gained the summit of a hill west of 
the enemy, from which they discovered two advanced 
posts ; one on the west side, half a mile south of Lake 
Champlain ; and the other on the east side, opposite the 
former, at the old Indian carrying-place. They supposed 
four hundred men were on the east, and two hundred on 
the west side. 

After deliberating upon the situation of the enemy, it 
was deemed imprudent to remain there any longer. Cap- 
tain Learned returned to camp, while the rangers went 
down toward Ticonderoga. They passed that post, and 
proceeded toward Crown Point, on the west side of the 
lake, where they discovered several batteaux, with troops 
bound for Carillon. They then proceeded to the place 
where they had burned the village, as before stated, 
where they observed a party of the enemy sally out, dri- 
ving horses and cattle to feed. 

August 7. They ambushed the road to intercept those 
who should come to drive in the cattle; but no one 
appearing, they approached within half a mile of the fort, 
and were discovered by two Frenchmen before they were 


in their power. This caused a retreat, during which they 
killed forty head of cattle. August 10th they reached 
head quarters. 

A company of Stockbridge Indians was this year em- 
ployed in his majesty's service, officered by Indians com- 
missioned by General Shirley. General Abercrombie was 
at a loss how to dispose of th^m ; but Sir William John- 
son advised him to employ thirty privates* and a lieu- 
tenant as scouts, to scour the woods, under the direction 
of ranger officers. This party Lieutenant Stark had 
strengthened with some of his own men, and sent on a 
Bcout, with particular direction8,t the day before the party 
above named returned. 

About this time the Earl of Loudoun had arrived at 
Albany, and assumed the command in chief. Rogers sent 
him an account of the Indian scout before mentioned, 
requesting permission to penetrate into Canada with these 
Indians, and distress the inhabitants, by burning their 
harvest (now nearly ripe), and destroying their cattle. 

Accordingly, August 16, a party embarked, in whale- 
boats, in two detachments — one commanded by Lieutenant 
Stark, and the other by Captain Robert Rogers. The 
next morning the detachments fell in with eight Mohawks, 
who had left Fort William Henry the day previous. The 
whole party then proceeded to the place where the boats 
had been left, July 7, twenty miles north of Crown Point, 
on the west shore of the lake, arriving there on the 24th. 
. Embarking again at night, they steered down the lake 
toward St John's, and the next day proceeded twenty 
miles. At midnight a schooner was seen standing up the 
lake, with a fair wind, toward Crown Point. She passed 
so swiftly that they could not board her, as was intended. 
On the 26th they landed, and the Mohawks departed to 

* The remainder of the Stockbridge Indians were sent to Saratoga, to 
serye onder Colonel Burton. 

f Captain Jacobs, with his Indians, returned a few days after, with four 
French scalps, taken on the east shore of the lake, nearly opposite Ticon- 


join a party of their brethren, then on a scout. On the 
27th the rangers ambushed a point of land to intercept 
the enemy's batteaux, which might pass up and down ; 
but not finding any, they returned up the lake, and 
landed on the east shore, eight miles north of Crown 
Point. On the morning of th^29th they entered a French 
village, east of the fort, and made prisoners of a man, his 
wife, and daughter, a girl of fourteen, and returned to the 
garrison September 22. 

The Frenchman stated that he was a native of Vaisac, 
in the province of Guienne, France. He had been in 
Canada fifteen years ; in the colony's service six years ; 
and two years at Crown Point ; which fort was garrisoned 
by only three hundred men, and those mostly inhabitants 
of the adjacent villages ; that four thousand men occupied 
Ticondcroga, fittecn hundred of them being regular troops, 
who had plenty of stores and provisions ; that he was 
never at Carillon or the advanced guard, but had heard 
there were only fifteen men at the latter place ; that six 
hundred Indians were at Carillon, and six hundred more 
expected ; that twelve hundred men had reached Quebec, 
on their way to Carillon ; that the last eighteen hundred 
were commanded by Monsieur Scipio de la Masure ; that 
Ticonderoga was well supplied with cannon, mortars, 
shells, shot, &c. ; that the garrison expected a reinforce- 
ment in tvvo or three days, having sent boats to Montreal 
to bring the troops ; that he had heard, by letter, that 
Oswego had fallen into the hands of the French, but it 
was not yet confirmed ; that it was understood the English 
intended to invest Carillon, but did not know what course 
the French intended to take, should they neglect that 
step *; that they kept a hundred and fifty batteaux on the 
lake, thirty-five of which plied between Montreal and 
Carillon ; that Monsieur Montcalm commanded at Fron- 
tenac, with five thousand men, but he did not know 
whether they were regulars or militia ; that a great many 
vessels had arrived at Quebec, with provisions and military 
stores ; that he had heard the English had several ships in 


the St Lawrence ; that Monsieur le Compte Levi com- 
manded Carillon, and came last year from France ; that, 
since the capture of the two last lighters (before men- 
tioned), the number of men on board the large schooner 
had been increased from twelve to thirty men. 

On his return Rogers was ordered by Lord Loudoun to 
wait upon Colonel Burton, at Saratoga, by whose direc- 
tion he marched, with his company, from Fort William 
Henry to South bay ; thence east to Wood creek, cross- 
ing the creek southerly, opposite Saratoga, and made 
report to Colonel Burton. During this tour he appre- 
hended four deserters from Otway's regiment, going over 
to the enemy, who were sent back to Fort Edward in 
charge of Lieutenant Stark. 

At Saratoga the party met Captain Richard Rogers from 
the Moliawk, with the Stockbridge Indians in company, 
and all returned to Fort Edward, where an encampment 
was formed. Part of the Indians were sent out on the 
east side of Lake Champlain, to alarm the enemy at 
Ticonderoga ; while Captain Robert Rogers, with a detach- 
ment of his own company, and that of Richard Rogers, 
proceeded down Lake George in whale-boats, leaving the 
remainder of the corps to serve as flankers to the parties 
conveying provisions to Fort William Henry. 

September 7. Captain Robert Rogers embarked on Lake 
George, with fourteen men, in a whale-boat, which they 
concealed the evening following on the east side, four 
miles south of the French advanced guard. There he 
left seven men in charge of Mr. Chalmer, a volunteer 
(sent by Sir John St. Clair), with directions, upon discover- 
ing the enemy's boats proceeding up the lake, to convey 
the news, with all possible speed, to Fort William Henry. 
With the other seven, he arrived, on the 9th, within half 
a mile of Ticonderoga. The enemy were engaged in 
raising 'the walls of the fort, and had erected a large 
block-house near the south-east corner of the fortress, 
with ports for cannon. East of the fort was a battery 
commanding the lake. Five houses were discovered close 

406 MEMOIR OP . 

to the water side, south of the works, one hundred and 
sixty tents on the south-west side, and twenty-seven bat- 
teaux hauled up on the beach. Next morning, with one 
private, he took a view of tlie falls between the two lakes, 
where several discharges of muskets had been heard the 
evening before. Mr. Henrj- had been sent to learn the 
cause, and soon joined Rogers, reporting that the French 
were building a small fort at the head of the falls, on the 
east shore ; also, that he had discovered their advanced 
guard on the west side ; and estimated both parties at five 
hundred men. The French were also found engaged in 
building a saw-mill, at the lower part of the falls. The 
party returned to their boats and provisions, which Mr. 
Chalmers had left. lie, having executed his orders, had 
returned to camp, whither the party followed hia track, 
and arrived on the 11th instant. 

September 24. General Abercrombie ordered three com- 
missioned officers of the rangers, with twenty privates 
each, to reconnoitre Wood creek. South bay, and Ticon- 
deroga, who alternately kept up a continual scout for 
some time. 

October 22. The greater portion of the army now lay 
at Fort Edward, under General Abercrombie ; and Lord 
Loudoun arriving at this time, it was supposed that, not- 
withstanding the season was so far advanced, an attempt 
would be made upon the French forts. But his lordship, 
supposing the lakes would freeze, as they generally do in 
December, and that no communication could be kept up 
with Fort William Henry, contented himself with keeping 
the field until Monsieur Montcalm retired to winter 

October 22. Bogers embarked, with twenty men, being 
ordered to bring a prisoner from Ticonderoga, He had 
passed the narrows, twenty miles from the place of em- 
barkation, when his boat was hailed by Captain Shephard, 
who had been taken prisoner in August last. He knew 
his voice, and took him on board, with three men, one of 
whom was taken with him. He left Canada fifteen days 


before. Continuing his course, Rogers landed, on the 
night of the 17th, on the west ahore, concealed his boats, 
and travelled by land until within a mile of the fort. The 
next day two videttes of the French picket guard were 
discovered, one of whom was posted on the road leading 
to the woods. Rogers, with five men, marched directly 
down the road in the middle of the day, until challenged 
by the sentry. He answered in French, "Friends." The 
sentinel was thereby deceived, until the party came close 
to him, when, perceiving his mistake, in great surprise 
he cried out, "Qui Stes-vous?" The captain answered, 
"Rogers," led him from his post in great haste, and, with 
his party, reached Fort William Henry on the Slst of 
October. The prisoner reported that he belonged to the 
regiment of Languedoc, and left Brest last April, twelve 
month ; had since served at Lake Champlain, Crown 
Point, and Carillon ; was with General Dieskau last year 
at Lake George ; that the French lost in that engagement 
ft great number of troops ; that Ticonderoga at this time 
mounted thirty-six pieces of cannon, namely, twelve eight- 
eens, fifteen twelves, and nine eight-pounders; that Crown 
Point was defended by eighteen pieces of cannon, the 
largest of which were eighteens ; that Monsieur Mont- 
calm's forces this year at Carillon were three thousand 
regulars, and two thousand Canadians and Indians ; that 
General Montcalm was away with one battalion ; that the 
force at Carillon consisted of five battalions and eight 
hundred Canadians ; that the Indians had all gone home, 
but two hundred of them talked of returning to spend 
the winter at Carillon ; that the advanced guard on the 
west side, above ihe falls, were all drawn in, and that 
on the east consisted of six hundred men, who were to 
decamp on the 1st of November ; that five battalions of 
infantry of the line and sixty Canadian militia lay en- 
camped half a league from Carillon ; that the remainder 
of the army were in the fort; that the barracks were 
sufficient for five hundred men, whom he understood were 
to quarter there ; that the French had one schooner and 


two hundred batteaux on Lake Chanoplain, and but five 
or six on Lake George ; that the Chevalier Levi com- 
manded in General Montcalm's absence, and that the 
Canadians were under the orders of Messieurs Corn6 and 
Columbie ; that, when the general went away, he said 
" he had done enough this year, and would take Fort 
William Henry in the spring ;'* that the French had taken 
four of Rogers* whale-boats on Lake Champlain ; that, 
when taken, he was within a gunshot and a half of the 
fort ; and that their camp was healthy. From this time 
the rangers were constantly employed in patrolling the 
woods about Fort Edward, until November 19, 1756, 
when they made an excursion down the lake. Captain 
Abercrombie, nephew of the general, had the curiosity to 
accompany the expedition ; and, although nothing was 
effected, save obtaining a view of the French garrison, he 
was delighted with the novelties of a scout, and the noble 
scenery through which he was conducted. The party 
returned, on the 25th, at evening. 'About this time his 
lordship drew off the main body of his troops, to be quar- 
tered at Albany and New- York. Both armies now retired 
to winter quarters. The rangers were stationed at Forts 
"William Henry and Edward, and were augmented by two 
new companies from Halifax (N. S.), under Captains 
Hobbs and Spikeman. These two companies were posted 
at Fort William Henry, and the other two at Fort Edward. 
Captain Richard Rogers was sent to New-England for 
recruits. He waited upon the Boston government to 
obtain pay for the rangers' services in the winter of 1755 ; 
but could obtain none, although Lord Loudoun generously 
supported the claim. 

January 15, 1757. Capt. Robert Rogers marched with 
Lieutenant Stark, Ensign Page, of Richard Rogers' com- 
pany, and fifty privates, to Fort William Henry, where 
they were employed in providing provisions, snow-shoes, 
&c., until the 17th, when being joined by Captain Spike- 
man, with Lieutenant Kennedy, Ensign Brewer, and four- 
teen men of his corps, together with Ensign James Rogers, 


with twenty men of Hobb's company, and AJr. Baker, a 
volunteer of the 44th regiment of the line, the whole 
party proceeded down Lake George on the ice, and at 
night encamped on the east side of the first narrows. Next 
morning a portion of the party, who had become lame in 
consequence of yesterday's exertions, were sent back, 
which reduced the force remaining to seventy-four, officers 
included. On the 18th they encamped twelve miles down 
the lake, on the west side. On the 19th they marched 
three miles down the lake, and then took to the land with 
their snow-shoes ; and having travelled eight miles north- 
west, encamped three miles from the lake. On the 20th 
they marched east all day, and encamped on the west 
side, three miles from Lake Champlain. 

Jarmary 21. The party marched eastward until they 
came to the lake half way between Crown Point and 
Ticonderoga, where they discovered a sled passing from 
the latter to the former. Lieutenant Stark, with twenty 
men, was directed to head the sled, while Rogers, with 
five of the party, cut off its retreat, leaving Captain Spike- 
man with the centre. Ten other sleds were discovered 
following down the lake. Rogers endeavored to give Mr. 
Stark notice before he shew himself on the lake, but could 
not. He sallied out, and they hastily turned back toward 
Ticonderoga. The rangers pursued and captured seven 
prisoners, three sleds and six horses; the remainder 
escaped. The captives were separately examined, and 
reported that two hundred Canadians and forty-five Indi- 
ans had just arrived at Ticonderoga, and were to be rein- 
forced that evening by fifty Indians from Crown Point ; 
that six hundred regular troops were in that fortress, and 
three hundred and fifty at Ticonderoga, where they 
expected a large army which, in the spring, was to besiege 
the English forts ; that they had large magazines of pro- 
visions ; that the troops were well equipped, and in condi- 
tion to march at a moment's warning, and intended to 
waylay and distress the convoys between the English forts. 

In consequence of this information, and knowing that 



those whcg escaped would give immediate notice of the 
party, orders were given them to march with all expedi- 
tion to the fires which had been -kindled the night before, 
and prepare for battle, if offered, by drying their guns, as 
the day was rainy. This was effected, and the party 
marched in single tile — Captain Rogers and Lieutenant 
Kennedy in front, Lieutenant Stark in the rear, and 
Captain Spikemgn in the centre ; Ensign Page and Rogers 
between the front and centre, and Mr. Brewer between 
the centre and rear — Sergeant Walker having command of 
a rear guard. 

In this manner the party advanced half a mile over bro- 
ken ground, and passed a valley fifteen rods in breadth, 
when the front, having gained the summit of the opposite 
hill, on the west side, fell in with the enemy drawn up in 
the form of a crescent to surround the party, and were 
immediately saluted with a volley of two hundred shot, at 
a distance of five yards from the nearest, and thirty from 
the rear of the party. This fire took place about 2 o'clock 
P. M., and proved fatal to Lieutenant Kennedy and 
Mr. Gardner, a volunteer, beside wounding several, and 
Captain Rogers in the head. Rogers ordered his men to 
retire to the opposite hill, where Lieutenant Stark and Mr. 
Brewer had made a stand, with forty men, to cover the 
retreat. They were closely pursued. Captain Spikeman 
and others killed, and several made prisoners. Lieutenant 
Stark repulsed them by a brisk fire from the hill, killing 
a number, and affording those retreating an opportunity 
to post themselves to advantage. Mr. Stark then took a 
position, in the centre, with Ensign Rogers, Sergeants 
Walker and Phillips acting as reserves to protect the flanks 
and watch the enemy's motions. Soon after the party had 
thus formed for battle, the enemy attempted to outflank 
them, but were bravely attacked by the reserve, who gave 
the first fire, which stopped several from returning to the 
main body. The rangers were then pushed closely in 
front, but having the advantage of the ground, and being 
sheltered by large trees, they maintained a constant fire, 


which killed a number, and compelled the others to retire 
upon their main force. The enemy attempted to outflank 
them once more, but were again gallantly repulsed by the 
reserve. In this affair, Mr. Baker was killed. 

A constant fire was kept up till sunset, when a shot 
through his wrist disabled Captain Rogers from loading 
his gun. The action continued until darkness prevented 
the parties from seeing each other. The rangers gallantly 
maintained their position till the fire of the enemy ceased, 
and he retired. 

During this action, the Indians practiced several strata- 
gems to induce the rangers to submit : sometimes assur- 
ing them that reinforcements were at hand, who would 
cut them to pieces without mercy ; that it was a pity so 
many brave men should be lost ; that, in case of surrender, 
they should be treated with compassion. Calling Rogers 
by name, they assured him of their friendship and esteem ; 
but he, and the brave men who fought by his side, were 
neither to be dismayed by their threats, nor flattered by 
thpir professions. They were resolved to conquer, or die 
with arms in their hands. 

After the action, a considerable number were so severely 
wounded that they could not travel without assistance; 
but as the French garrison was so near, it was thought 
best to take advantage of the night and retreat. The 
spirits of the wounded were kept up as well as possible, 
and the party reached Lake George, six miles south of the 
French advanced guard, next morning. The wounded 
men were now exhausted, and could march no farther. 
Lieutenant Stark volunteered, with Thomas Burnside and 
another, to proceed to Fort William Henry and procure 
sleighs for the wounded. They reached the fort at 8 
o'clock that night, and next morning sleighs arrived, 
though the distaine was forty miles. Lieutenant Bulkley, 
of Hobbs' company, came out with fifteen men as far as 
the first narrows of Lake George ; and the survivors of 
the expedition, consisting of forty-eight effective and six 


wounded men, arrived with their prisoners on the same 
evening (Jan., 28, 1757), at Fort William Henry. 

Before the sleighs came to their relief, the men, looking 
back upon the lake, observed a dark object following at a 
distance on the ice. Supposing it might be one of their 
wounded stragglers, a sleigh was sent back for him. He 
proved to be Joshua Martin. His hip had been shattered 
by a ball which passed through his body, and he had been 
left for dead on the field of battle ; but recovering himself, 
had followed his comrades* tracks to the lake, and there 
came in sight of them. He was so exhausted that he 
sank down the moment the sleigh reached him. He 
recovered of his wound, became a lieutenant, served 
through the war, and died at Gofistown at an advanced 

The number of the enemy in this action was two hun- 
dred and fifty French and Indians. Accounts received 
afterward reported their loss on the spot, and those who 
died of their wounds, to be one hundred and sixteen — ^the 
whole force of the rangers being but seventy-four, officers 
included. The officers and men who survived the first 
onset, behaved with the most undaunted bravery, and vied 
with each other in their respective stations.* 

* In regard to this fight, the late Mr. John Shute oheerved that Rogers 
did not on this occasion obey his own rules, written out for the guidance of 
the corps. After takins the sleds, a council of war advised to return by 
another route than that by which they came, which was their usual prac- 
tice, and would have saved them the loss incurred by this conflict. The 
first notice the party had of the enemy was the noise made in cocking 
their guns, which Shute supposed was occasioned by some rangers prepar- 
ing to fire at game. He was struck senseless by a ball which ploughed the 
top of his head. On coming to himself, he observed a mjin cutting off the 
ribbon of Rogers* queue, to bind up his wrist, through whicb a ball had 
passed. On the night retreat the rangers made a circuit to avoid a large 
fire in the woods, supposing the enemy were there. This caused them to 
lose time, so that Joshua Martin, who had kindle^ the fire by a larg^ dry 
pine tree to warm himself, was enabled to follo^and come in sight of 
them on the lake ; otherwise he must have perished. Stilson Eastman, 
and the late Colonel Webster, of Plymouth, corroborated the statement of 
Mr. Shute that the conduct and courage of John Stark saved the party, 
and that to his activity, enterprise, and example, the corps of rangers were 
indebted for much of their celebrity during the "seven years war." 





Mr. Gardner, volunteer, Captain Rogers, William Morris, 

Mr. Baker, volunteer, Joshua Martin, Sergeant Henry, 

Thomas Henson. Thomas Burnside. John Morrison. 

Total — 3 killed, 3 wounded, 3 missing. 



John Stevens, David Page. Benjamin Goodall, 

Ensign Caleb Page. 'David Kimball. 

Total — ^Killed 2, wounded 1, missing 2. 



Sergeant Jonathan Howard, 
Phinehas Kemp, 
John Edmunds, 
Thomas Parmer, 
Edmund Lapartaquer. 

Total— Killed 5. 



Captain Spikeman, Sergeant Moore, Thomas Brown. 

Lieutenant Kennedy, John Kahall. 

Robert Avery, 
Samuel Fisk. 

Total — ^Killed 4, wounded 2, missing 1. 

Total of the four companies — ^Killed 14, wounded 6, 
missing 6.* 

Captain Rogers forwarded this report to Major Sparks, 
at Fort Edward, and wrote to Capt. Abercrombie, recom- 
mending such officers as were deserving to fill the vacan- 
cies occasioned by the late action, as follows : 

*The missing men were prisoners. 


Lieutenant Stark to be captain of Spikeman's corps, 
Sergeant Joshua Martin to be ensign of Richard Rogers* 
company, to which he received the following answer : 

Albany^ February 6, 1767. 

Dear Sir — The general received your report by Major 
Sparks. He returns you and your men thanks for your 
good behaviour, and has recommended to my Lord Lou- 
doun that they have pay for their prisoners. 

On receiving an account of your skirmish, we sent an 
express to Boston recommending your brother James for 
lieutenant of Spikeman*s company. 

Please send the names of the officers you recommend 
for your own company, and your recommendation shall 
be duly regarded. 

You can not imagine how all ranks of people are pleased 
with your men's behaviour. I was so pleased with their 
appearance when I was out with them, that I took it for 
granted they would behave well whenever they met the 
enemy. I am happy to learn that my expectations are 
answered. I am sorry for Spikeman and Kennedy, as 
well as for the men you have lost, but it is impossible to 
play at bowls without meeting rubs. We must try to 
revenge them. Few persons will believe it, but upon 
honor I should have been glad to have been with you, 
that I might have learned the manner of fighting in this 
country. The chance of being shot is all stuft^ and Eling 
William's principle is the best for the soldier, " that every 
bullet has its billet,'* and that it is allotted how every man 
shall die ; so that I am certain every one will agree that 
it is better to die with the reputation of a brave man, 
fighting for his country in a good cause, than by shame- 
fully running away to preserve one's life, or by lingering 
out an old age to die in one's bed without having done 
his country or king any service. 

The histories of this country, particularly, are full of 
the unheard of cruelties committed by the Frenchi and 
the Indians, at their instigation ; wherefore I think every 


brave man ought to do his utmost to humble that haughty 
nation, and reduce her bounds of conquest in this country 
to narrower limits. 

^iVTien General Abercrombie receives his lordship's 
instructions respecting the rangers, I shall send you notice 
of it. In the mean time, I hope you'll get the better of 
your wound. As long as you and your men continue to 
behave so well, you may command 

Your most humble servant, 
To Captain Robert Rogers. 


The wound of Captain Rogers becoming worse, he 
repaired to Albany for medical aid, and there received 
from General Abercrombie the following instructions : 


His Excellency, the Earl of Loudoun, having given 
authority to me to augment the companies of rangers 
under your command to one hundred men each : viz., one 
captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, upon English pay ; 
four sergeants at 4:8. each, New- York currency ; and one 
hundred privates at 25., 6rf. each, do. per day. 

And whereas, certain privates are serving at present in 
your companies on higher pay than the above, you are at 
liberty to discharge them, in case they refuse to serve 
under the new establishment, as soon as you have men to 
replace them. If they remain and serve, you may assure 
them tha^ they will be noticed, and be the first provided 
for. Each man is to be allowed ten dollars bounty money, 
to find his own clothing, arms, and blankets, and sign a 
paper subjecting himself to the articles of war, and to 
serve during the war. You are to enlist no vagrants, but 
such men as you and your oflicers are acquainted with, 
and who are every way qualified for the duty of rangers. 
Complete the companies as soon as possible, and proceed 
to Fort Edward. 



At this time Rogere wrote to Lord Loudoun, asking his 
aid in obtaining the amount duQ to himself and men for 
services in the winter of 1755. He replied that, as these 
services were antecedent to his command, it was not in 
his power to reward them. General Amherst afterward 
gave a similar answer. His men afterward sued and 
recovered judgments against him for X828, S*., 3d., beside 
costs. For this, and for his own services during that 
severe season, he never received any consideration. 

Captain Hobbs dying about this time. Lieutenant Bulk- 
ley succeeded him as captain. Prom March 5th to April 
15th Rogers was confined with the small-pox at Fort Ed- 
ward, during which time his officers were employed in 
recruiting, according to the foregoing instructions. Soon 
after his recovery, he received the following letter : 

New- York, April 23, 1757. 

Sir — As another company of rangers has been sent to 
Albany, with orders to proceed to our forts, you will 
inform Colonel Gage that it is Lord Loudoun's order 
that the two companies at Fort William Henry, and your 
own at Fort Edward, proceed immediately to Albany, and 
embark for this place. Show this letter to Colonel Gage, 
that he may inform Colonel Munro of his lordship's 
orders, and that quarters may be provided for your com- 
panies at Albany. See that your companies are well 
equipped, and are good men ; if they are found insufiS- 
cient, the blame will rest on you. If the oflieers of the 
new company are ignorant of the woods aBout Fort 
William Henry, your brother must send some o&cers and 
men to inform them of the difierent scouting grounds. 

I am, sir, your humble servant, 



To Captain Robert Rogers, Albany. 


Richard Rogers, with his own and Bergen's new com- 
pany of rangers from New-Jersey, being left at Fort 
William Henry, Stark's* and Bulkley's from the same 
fort, and Robert Rogers' company from Fort Edward, pro- 
ceeded to Albany, and thence to New- York, where Shep- 
hard's new company, from New-Hampshire, joined them. 
There they embarked on board a transport, and left Sandy 
Hook June 10th,- with a fleet of one hundred sail, for 
Halifax ; where they soon arrived, and encamped on the 
Dartmouth side of the harbor, while the main army lay 
on the Halifax side. 

July 3. Rogers went to Lawrencetown, where a portion 
of his men were employed in making hay for the horses 
to be employed on the Louisburg expedition. Part of 
them covered the hay-makers, while others went on scouta, 
one of which brought in two deserters from the 45th 
regiment. Toward the end of July, forty rangers were 
sent across the isthmus of Nova Scotia to the settlements 
on the Bay of Fundy, and a party down the north-west 
arm, to scour the woods for deserters, who brought in 
several, both of the army and navy. At this time Admiral 
Holboum arrived with a fleet from England, having on 
board several regiments of troops, which were landed and 
encamped at Halifax. All the scouts were now called in, 
but certain intelligence having been received that a French 
fleet of superior force had arrived at Louisburg, the 
intended expedition was abandoned, and the rangers 
remanded to the western frontiers. During the summer 
numbers of the rangers were carried off by the small-pox, 
and several oflicers were sent on the recruiting service. 

The rangers embarked for New-Yorkj and proceeded in 
small vessels up the Hudson to Albany, where the recruits 
soon after arrived. They then proceeded to Fort Edward, 
which was now the only cover to the northern frontiers 
of New- York, and the more eastern provinces. Fort 

* At New-Tork Captain Stark was taken with the smaU-pox, and did 
not accompany the expedition. 


William Henry * having been taken in Augost previous 
by the French. 

General Webb, now commanding Port Edward, kept 
the rangers constantly employed patroling the woods 
between that post and Ticonderoga. Lord Howe accom- 
panied one of these scouts, being desirous of learning 
their method of marching, ambushing, and retreating ; 
and, on their return, expressed his good opinion of them 
very generously. 

Lord Loudoun now added to the corps a number of vol- 
unteer's from the regulars, to be trained to wood service 
under Captain Rogers* inspection, to be hereafter employed 
as light infantry. Several of them belonged to the 42d 
regiment of highlanders.f 

♦ Captain Kichard Rogers died of small-pox a few days before the siege 
of this fort ; but the enemy, after its surrender, dug him up and scalped 
bim. In consequence of the articles of capitulation, the two companies of 
rangers were disbanded and dismissed. After the surrender, Samuel 
Blodget, the ranger sutler, was found concealed under a batteau. He was 
allowed to go free, after being plundered of every thing but his scalp. He 
was afterward a sutler in the revolutionary army ; bwiame a considerable 
merchant, a judge, and was the projector of the first canal at Amoskeag 
falls, on Merrimack river. He lived to a great age. and died at Man- 
chester, respected as an enterprising and public individual. 

During Lord Loudoun's absence at Halifax, Fort William Henry was 
taken, afler a siege of nine days, by the Marquis de Montcalm, while 
General Webb lay at Port Edward, fifteen miles distant, with more than 
four thousand regular troops, and made no effort for its relief. The garri- 
son capitulated on condition of quarter, which was shamefully broken by 
the enemy, and many of the prisoners massacred or carried away captive 
by the skvages. Previous to the expedition against this fortress, ten 
sachems were sent by the French general as messengers to the north- 
western ttibes, to invite them to become the allies of Prance. In conse- 
quence of this summons, among others, a party of a tribe called ** Cold 
Country Indians," ap(>eared at tne siege. They were cannibals, and many 
prisoners were by them roasted and eaten. The journal of a French officer, 
who was in Montcalm's army, and afterward ^ken in the West-Indies, 
states 'Hhat the Indians roasted several of th*eir English captives, and 
compelled the survivors to partake of the hof rid banquet.*' — Hutch, Hisf. 

Two savages seized a lad named Copp, and were leading him away by 
his shirt sleeves, when a ranger, named Benjamin Richards, a bold, ath- 
letic man, hearing his cries, broke from the ranks and rushed after them. 
He snatched away the boy, leaving the shirt sleeves in their hands, and 
regained his place in the ranks. 

f Thiq celebrated regiment in after times repulsed the French on the 
shores of Aboukir, and covered the landing of Sir Ralph Abercrombie's 
army in Egypt. 


These volunteers formed a separate company under 
Rogers' immediate orders. For their instruction, he 
reduced to writing several rules, and a course of disci- 
pline, of which experience' had taught him the necessity. 

December 1, 1757. Lord Loudoun visited Fort Edward, 
and after giving directions for quartering the army, and 
leaving a strong garrison under the command of Colonel 
Haviland, he returned to Albany. The rangers and their 
volunteers were quartered in huts on an island in the 
Hudson, near Fort Edward, and were employed in various 
scouts, which the health of Rogers did not permit him to 
accompany, until December 17th ; when, by order of Col- 
onel Haviland, he marched with one hundred and fifty 
men to reconnoitre Ticonderoga, and if possible take a 
prisoner. He advanced six miles in a snow storm, and 
encamped, the snow being then three inches d^ep, and 
before morning it fell to the depth of fifl^een. He how- 
ever pursued his route. 

December 18# Eight of the party being fatigued and 
unwell, returned to camp. The remainder proceeded nine 
miles to the east side of Lake George, near the place 
where Mons. Montcalm landed his troops when ho besieged 
Port William Henry. There they discovered a large 
quantity of cannon balls and shells, which had on that 
occasion been concealed by the French, and made such 
marks at the place, as would enable them to find the arti- 
cles agaiii. This was their first visit to the ruins since 
their return from Halifax. 

December 19. The march continued on the north-west 
Bide of the lake, nine miles, to the head of North-west bay. 

December 21. So many of the men became tired, and 
returned, as to reduce the force to one hundred and twenty 
three, officers included, who marched ten miles farther, 
and encamped for the night. Here each man was ordered 
to leave one day's provisions. 

December 22. They marched ten miles, and encamped 
near the great brook running into Lake George, eight 
miles from the French advanced guard. 


Deccmbei^ 23. They proceeded eight miles — ^the next 
day six more, and halted six hundred yards from Ticon- 
deroga. Near the mills five Indians' tracks were discov- 
ered, supposed to have been made the day before by a 
hunting party. On the march this day, between the 
advanced guard and the fort, three places of rendezvous 
were appointed in case they should be broken in action. 
Rogers infornied the officers and men that he should rally 
the party at the post nearest the fort ; and if broken there, 
retreat to the second ; and at the third make a stand, until 
night should aflford an opportunity of retiring in safety. 
The road from the fort to the woods was then ambushed 
by an advanced guard of twenty men, and a rear guard 
of fifteen. At 11 o'clock a sergeant of marines came 
from the fort up the road toward the advanced party, who 
suffered him to pass to the main body, which secured him. 
He reported the garrison at three hundred and fiAy regu- 
lars, fifty artificers, and five Indians ; that they had plenty 
of provisions, and that twelve masons \jfere employed 
blowing rocks in the intrenchment, assisted by a number 
of soldiers ; that Crown Point was garrisoned by one hun- 
dred and fifty regulars and fourteen Indians; that the 
Marquis de Montcalm was at Montreal ; that five hundred 
Attawawa Indians wintered in Canada ; that five hundred 
rangers had been raised in Canada, and were commanded 
by an experienced officer, well acquainted with the coun- 
try ; he did not know that the French intended an attack 
on the English fort this winter, but expected a large force 
of Indians, as soon as the ice would bear, to go down to 
that post ; and all the bakers in Carillon were employed 
in making biscuit for these scouts. 

About noon a Frenchman came near the ratigers on his 
return from hunting. A party was ordered to pursue to 
the edge of the clearing, take him prisoner, fire a gun or 
two, and retreat to the main body, and thus by stratagem 
entice the enemy from their fort. The orders were 
promptly obeyed, but no one ventured out. The last pris- 
oner gave the same information as the first, and also, that 


he had heard the English intended to attack Ticonderoga 
as soon as the lake was frozen hard enough to bear them. 
Finding that the enemy would not come out, the party 
killed seventeen head of cattle, and set fire to the wood 
collected for the garrison. Five large piles were con- 
sumed. The French discharged cannon at those who 
kindled the fires, but did them no injury. At 8 o'clock 
in the evening the party commenced their march, and on 
the 27th, with their prisoners, reached Fort Edward. On 
their return, they found at the north end of lake George 
the boats the French had taken at Fort William Henry, 
and a great number of cannon balls concealed. As the 
boats were under water, they could not destroy them. 

On his return from this scout. Captain Rogers was 
ordered to New- York to confer w\th Lord Loudoun in 
respect to the augmentation of the corps ^f rangers. His 
lordship gave him a friendly reception, and the following 
instructions : 

By His Excellency, John, Earl of Loudoun, Lord Mackline, and Tair- 
eenscn, &c., &c. ; one of the sixteen Peers of Scotland, Captain Gen- 
eral of Virginia, and Vice Admiral of the same ; Colonel of the 18th 
regiment of foot. Colonel-in-chief of the Royal American regiment, 
Major General and Commander-in-chief of all His Majesty's forces 
raised or to be raised in North America.* 

Whereas, I have thought proper to augment the rangers 
with five additional companies : viz., four from New-Eng- 
land, and one Indian company, to be forthwith raised and 
employed in his majesty's service ; and having entire 
confidence in your knowledge of the men fit for that ser- 
vice, I therefore, by these presents, empower you to raise 
such a number of non-commissioned officers and privates 
as will complete the companies upon the following estab- 
lishment : viz., each company to consist of one captain, 
two lieutenants, one ensign, four sergeants and one hun- 
dred privates. 

The officers are to receive British pay, that is, the same 
as officers of the same rank in the line ; the sergeants 45., 

*Hi8 lordship's list of titles remind one of the Spanish traveller, for 
whose catalogue of names the landlord could not find room in his house. 


New- York currency, and the privates 25., 6d. per day. One 
month^s pay for each of said companies shall be advanced, 
on condition that if is to be deducted from the first warrants 
which shall be issued thereafter for the subsistence of said 
companies. The men are to provide themselves with good 
blankets and warm clothing ; the same to be uniform in 
each company. They will supply their own arms, which 
must bear inspection. 

The Indians are to be dressed in their own costume, and 
all are to be subject to the articles of war. 

You will dispatch the officers, appointed to these com- 
panies, immediately upon the recruiting service, with direc- 
tions to enlist none for a less term than one year, nor any 
other than able bodied men, accustomed to the woods, 
good hunters, and every way qualified for rangers. They 
are all required to be at Fort Edward on or before the 15th 
of March next, and are to be mustered by the officer com- 
manding that garrison. 

Given under my hand, at New- York, the 11th day of 
January, 1758. 


By Ilis Excellency's command — 

J. Appy, Sec'y. 
To Captain Robert Rogers. 

In pursuance of these instructions, officers were dis- 
patched to the New-England colonies, and the levies were 
completed on the 4th of March. Four of them were sent 
to join General Amherst, at Louisburg, and the others 
remained under the order of Captain Rogers. He was at 
the whole expense of raising these companies, for which 
he received no allowance ; and by the death of one cap- 
tain, to whom he had delivered one thousand dollars as 
advanced pay, as by his instructions he had a right to do, 
he was obliged to account to government for the same, 
for which he never received a farthing. 

February 28. Colonel Ilaviland ordered a scout from 
Fort Edward, under Captain Putnam, who commanded a 


company of Connecticut provincials, together with a party 
of the rangers, giving out publicly that upon Putnam's 
return Rogers would be sent to the French forts with four 
hundred rangers. This was known to officers and soldiers 
at the time of Putnam's departure. While this party was 
out, a servant of Mr. Best, the sutler, was taken by a 
flying party from Ticonderoga, and one of Putnam's nien 
deserted to the enemy. Captain Putnam returned, report- 
ing that six hundred Indians lay not far from the enemy's 

March 10. Colonel Haviland ordered Rogers to the 
vicinity of Ticonderoga, not with four hundred men as 
had been given out, but with one hundred and eighty, 
officers included. He had with him one captain, one 
lieutenant, and one ensign of the line, as volunteers : viz., 
Messrs. Creed, Kent and Wrightson; also, one sergeant 
and a private, all of the 27th regiment; a detachment 
from the four companies of rangers, quartered on the 
island near JFort Edward : viz.. Captain Bulkley, Lieuten- 
ants Phillips, Moore, Campbell, Grafton and Pottinger; 
Ensigns Ross, Waite, McDonald and White, with one 
hundred and sixty-two privates. 

Captain Rogers engaged in this enterprise, with so 
small a detachment of brave men, with much uneasiness. 
He had every reason to believe that the prisoner and 
deserter had informed the enemy of the movement 
intended, and the fo1*ce to be employed. Yet Colonel 
Haviland, knowing all this, sent him out with but one 
hundred and eighty men. He probably had his reasons, 
and could perhaps justify his conduct ; but that affi)rds no 
consolation to the friends of the brave men who were 
thus rashly thrown in the way of an enemy of three times 
their force, and of whom one hundred and eight never 

The detachment first marched to Half-way brook, in 
the road leading to Lake George, and there encamped for 
the night. On the 11th they proceeded as far as the first 
narrows on Lake George, and encamped that evening on 


the east shore. After dark a scout was sent three miles 
down, to ascertain iif the enemy were coming toward our 
fort, who returned without discovering them. The troops 
were, however, on their guard, and parties were kept 
out walking upon the lake all night, while sentries were 
posted at all necessary places on shore. 

March 12. The rangers left their camp at sunrise, and, 
having advanced about three miles, perceived a dog run- 
ning across the lake. A party was therefore sent to 
reconnoitre an island where it was supposed the Indians 
were in ambush ; but^ as none were found there, it was 
thought expedient to take to the shore, and thus prevent 
being discovered from the surrounding hills. They halted 
at a place called Sabbath-day Point, on the west shore, 
and sent out scouts to look down the lake with perspective 
glasses. At dark the party proceeded down the lake. 
Lieutenant Phillips, with fifteen men, several of whom 
preceded him on skates, acted as an advanced guard, 
while Ensign Ross flanked them on the left under the 
west shore, near which the main body was kept marching 
as closely as possible to prevent separation, the night 
being extremely dark. In this manner they came within 
eight miles of the French advanced guard, when Mr. 
Phillips sent back a man on skates to desire the detach- 
ment to halt. Upon this the men were ordered to sit 
down upon the ice. Mr. Phillips soon after appeared, 
reporting that he had discovered what he supposed to be 
a fire* on the east shore, but was uncertain. He and Mr. 
White were sent to ascertain the fact. They returned in 
an hour, fully persuaded that a party of the enemy were 
encamped at the place. The advanced guard was called 
in, and the whole force marched to the west shore, where 
in a thicket they concealed their sleighsf and packs. 

* It was afterward learned that a scout of French had a Are there at 
the time, but, on discovering the advanced party, put it out, and carried 
the news to the fort. 

f These Indian sleighs were pieces of split wood shaved thin, about 
sixteen inches wide and six feet long, turned up in front, so as to slide 
easily over the snow, with two arms and a cross-piece, by which they were 
drawn. Thus an old ranger described them. 


Leaving a small guard with the baggage, the party marched 
to attack the enemy's encampment, if it could be found. 
On reaching the place where the supposed fire had been 
seen, and finding no enemy, they concluded Mr. Phillips 
had mistaken patches of snow or rotten wood for fire, 
(which in the night and at a distance resemble it.) They 
then returned to their packs, and passed the night without 
fire. On the morning of the 13th a council of ofiicers 
determined that the best course was to proceed by land 
upon snow-shoes, lest the enemy should discover the party 
* on the lake. Accordingly the march was continued on 
the west shore, along the back of the mountains, which 
overlooked the French advanced guard, and the party 
halted two miles west of them, where they refreshed 
themselves until three o'clock. This halt and rest was to 
afford the day scout from the fort time to return home, 
before they advanced to ambush some of the roads leading 
to the fortress that night, in order to trepan the enemy in 
the morning. 

The detachment now advanced in two divisions, one 
headed by Captain Bulkley, and the other by Captain 
Rogers. Ensigns White and Waite led the rear guard, 
while the other officers were properly posted with their 
respective divisions. On their left they were flanked by 
a rivulet, and by a steep mountain on their right. The 
main body kept close ifnder the mountain, that the ad- 
vanced guard might better observe the brook, on the ice 
of which they might travel, as the snow was now four feet 
deep, which made travelling difficult even with snow- 
shoes. In this manner they proceeded a mile and 2^half, 
when the advance reported the enemy in sight, and soon 
afterward, that his force was about ninety-six, chiefly 
Indians. The party immediately threw down their knap- 
sacks, and prepared for action, supposing the enemy's 
whole force were approaching our left; upon the ice of the 
rivulet. Ensign McDonald was ordered to take command 
of the advanced guard, which, as the rangers faced to the 
\e% became a flanking party to their right. They marched 



within a few yards of the bank, which was higher than 
the ground they occupied, and, as the ground gradually 
descended from the rivulet to the foot of the mountain, 
the line was extended along the bank so far as to cover 
the enemy's whole front at once. WTien their fit>ut was 
nearly opposite his left w;ing, Captain Rogers fired his 
gun as the signal for a general discharge. The first fire 
was given by the rangers, which killed more than forty, 
and put the remainder to flight, in which one-half of the 
rangers pursued and cut down several more with their 

Imagining the enemy totally defeated, Ensign McDonald 
was ordered to head their flying remains, so that none 
should escape. He soon ascertained that the party already 
routed was only the advanced guard of six hundred Cansr 
dians and Indians, who were now coming up to attack 
the rangers. The latter now retreated to their own ground, 
which was gained at the expense of fifty men killed. 
There they were drawn up in good order, and fought with 
such intrepidity, keeping up such a constant and well- 
directed fire, as caused the enemy, tliough seven to one 
in number, to retreat a second time. The rangers being 
in no condition to pursue, the enemy rallied, and made a 
desperate attack upon their front and wings. They were 
80 warmly received that their flanking parties soon re- 
treated to their main body with great loss. This threw 
the whole into confusion, and caused a third retreat. The 
rangers' numbers were now too far reduced to take ad- 
vantage of their disorder, and, having .rallied, the enemy 
attacked them a fourth time. 

Two hundred Indians were now discovered ascending 
the mountain on the right, in order to fall upon our rear. 
Captain Rogers ordered Lieutenant Phillips, with eighteen 
men, to gain the heights before them, ai>d drive the In- 
dians back. He succeeded in gaining the summit, and 
repulsed them by a well-directed fire. Captain Rogers 
now became alarmed lest the enemy should go round on 
the left, and take post on the other part of the hill| and 


directed Lieutenant Crafton, with fifteen men, to antici- 
pate them. Soon afterward he sent two gentlemen, who 
were volunteers, with a few men to support him, which 
they did with great bravery.* 

The enemy now -pressed so closely upon the English 
front, that the parties were often intermixed, and in gen- 
eral not more than twenty yards asunder. A constant 
fire continued from the commencement of the attack, one 
hour and a half, during which time the rangers lost eight 
officers and one hundred privates killed on the spot. After, 
doing all that brave men could do, they were compelled 
to break, and each man to look out for himself. . Rogers 
ran up the hill, followed by twenty men, toward Phillips 
and Crafton, where they stopped, and gave the Indians 
who were pursuing in great numbers another fire, which 
killed several and wounded others. Lieutenant Phillips 
was at this time about capitulating for himself and party, 
being surrounded by three hundred Indians. Rogers came 
BO near- that Phillips spoke to him, and said if the enemy 
would give good quarter, he thought it best to surrender ; 
otherwise, he would fight while a man was left to fire a gun. 

Captain Rogers now retreated, with the remainder of 
hiff party, in the best manner possible. 'Several men, who 
were wounded and fatigued, were taken by the savages 
who pursued his retreat. He reached Lake George in the 
evening, where he was joined by several wounded men, 
who were assisted to the place where the sleighs had been 
left. From this place an express was dispatched to Col- 
onel Haviland, for assistance to bring in the wounded. 
The party passed the night without fire or blankets, which 

* These gentlemen were, both officers of the line, and went out as volun- 
teers, desirous of witnessing the novelty of an Indian fight. Rogers 
5reTiouflly requested them to retire, and ofllered a sergeant to conduct them. 
*hey at first accepted the offer ; but, being unused to snow-shoes, unac- 
3uainted with the woods, and secine the rangers hardly pressed by the 
ndians, painted most hideously, and causin? the mountains to echo with 
their horrid yells, like gallant men, came back to their aid. After the 
fight they escaped, and wandered in the forest and mountains for seven 
days, enduring great hardships, until the morning of the 20th, when they 
reached Ticonderoga, and surrendered to a party of French officers, who, 
observing them, ran out and prevented their capture by a party of Indians. 
The French treated them in a kind and hospitable manner, and in due 
time ihej were exchanged. 


were lost with their knapsacks. The night was extremelj 
cold, and the wounded suflFered much pain, but behaved 
in a manner consistent with their conduct in the action. 

In the morning the party proceeded up the lake, and at 
Hoop island met Captain John Stark bringing to their 
relief provisions, blankets and sleighs. They encamped 
on the island, and passed the night with good fires. On 
the evening of March 15, they arrived at Fort Edward. 

Regarding this unfortunate enterprise, Rogers says : 
" The number of the enemy who attacked us was seven 
hundred, of which six hundred were Indians. From the 
best accounts, we afterward learned that we killed one 
hundred and fifty of them, and wounded as many more, 
most of whom died. I will not pretend to say what would 
have been the result of this unfortunate expedition, had 
our number been four hundred strong, as was contem- 
plated ; but it is due to those brave officers who accom- 
panied me, most of whom are now no more, to declare that 
every man in his respective station behaved with uncom- 
mon resolution and coolness. Nor do I recollect an 
instance, during the action, in which the prudence or 
good conduct of one of them could be questioned." 

The only person whose conduct appears censurable was 
Colonel Haviland, for sending out so small a force, when 
he had every reason to believe that the enemy was 
apprised of his intentions, and would without doubt have 
a superior force in readiness, to compel the rangers to an 
engagement under every disadvantage. 


The captain and lieutenant of the regular troops, acting as volunteers, 
were made prisoners. The ensign, a sergeant and one private, all vol- 
unteers from the same regiment, were kiUed. 

Captain Robert Rogers' Company — 

Lieutenant Moore, Sergeant Parnell, and thirty-six privates, killed. 

Captain Shephard's Company — 

Two sergeantfi and Bixt.een privates killed. 


Captain James Rooeks' Company — 
Ensign McDonald killed^ 

Captain John Stark's Company — 

Two sergeants and fourteen privates killed. 

Captain Bulkley's Company — 

Captain Bulkley, Lieutenant Pottenger, and Ensign Waite killed ; 
17 privates killed and missing. 

Captain William Stark's Company — 
Ensign Ross killed. 

Captain Brewer's Coxipany — 
Lieutenant Campbell killed. 

After the return of Captain Rogers from this scout, he 
was ordered to Albany to recruit his company, where he 
met with a friendly reception from Lord Howe, who 
advanced money to recruit men, and gave him leave to 
wait upon General Abercrombie, at New- York. That 
general had now succeeded to the command-in-chief, in 
place of Lord Loudoun, who was about to embark for 
England. At this time, he received the following com- 
mission : 

By His Excellency, James Abercrombie, Esquire, Colonel of His Majesty's 
44th regiment of foot, Colonel-in-chief of the 60th royal Americans, 
Major General and Commander-in-chief of all His Majesty's forces 
raised or to be raised in North America. 

Whereas, it may be of great use to his majesty's service 
in Aorierica to have a number of men employed in obtain- 
ing intelligence of the strength, situation and motions of 
the enemy, and other services, for which rangers are qual- 
ified : Having, therefore, the greatest confidence in your 
loyalty, courage and skill, I do hereby constitute you 
major of the rangers in his majesty's service, and captain 
of a company of the same. You are therefore to take the 
said rangers as major, and the said company as captain, 
into your care, and duly exercise and instruct as well the 
oflicers as the soldiers; who are hereby commanded to 
obey you as their major and captain, respectively. And 
you are to observe such orders as from time to time you 
shall receive from his majesty, myself, or any other supe- 
rior officer, according to the rules and discipline of war. 


Given at New- York, this 6th day of April, 1758, in the 
Slst year of our sovereign lord, the king of Oreat Britain, 
France and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. 


By His Excellency's command — 

J. Appy, Sec'y. 
To Major Robert Rogers. 

On the 12th of April Major Rogers reported himself to 
Lord Howe, at Albany, with whom he conversed respect- 
ing the different modes of distressing the enemy, and 
prosecuting the war with vigor the ensuing campaign. 
He then proceeded to Fort Edward to take orders from 
Colonel Grant, then commanding that post. Captain 
Stark was dispatched to Ticonderoga, on the west side of 
Lake George ; Captain Jacobs (Indian), on the east side ; 
Captain Shephard between the lakes, with orders to take 
prisoners from Ticonderoga. At the same time. Major 
Rogers marched, with eighteen men, to Crown Point. 
Captain Burbank was also detached in quest of prisoners. 
These scouts were kept constantly out to reconnoitre the 
enemy from time to time. 

April 29. Major Rogers marched, with eighteen men, 
towards Fort William Henry, four miles, and encamped 
at Schoon creek, the weather being rainy. 

April 30. He proceeded north-east, and encamped by 
South bay. 

May 1. He encamped near the narrows north of South 

May 2. He made a raft, crossed the lake, and encamped 
four miles from it, on the east side. 

May 3. He steered north, and encamped three miles 
from Ticonderoga. 

May 4. He marched north-east all day, and encamped 
' three miles from Crown Point. 

May 5. He killed a Frenchman, and took three pria- 
oners. With them he reached camp on the 9th instant. 


One of the prisoners reported that " he was a native of 
Lorraine; that he had been eight years in Canada — of 
which time he had pa9sed two years at Quebec, one at 
Montreal, and five at Crown Point; that at the latter 
place were two hundred soldiers, under Mons. Jonang ; 
that Ticonderoga contained four hundred of the queen's 
regiment, one hundred and fifty marines, two hundred 
Canadians and seven hundred Indians, three hundred 
more being expected ; that the French did not intend to 
attack the English fort, but were preparing to receive 
them at Ticonderoga; they had heard that Rogers was 
killed in the conflict of last March, but from prisoners 
taken by the Indians, at Dutch Hoosac, they learned that 
he was alive, and had sworn to revenge the barbarities with 
which his men had been treated, particularly Lieutenant 
Phillips * and his party, who had been butchered in cold 
blood, after they had been promised quarter. This was 
talked of among the Indians, who blamed the French for 
encouraging them to do so." 

*A note in the History of Manchester, page 321, refers to this circum- 
stance as follows : 

** It is stated in a note, in Rogers' journal, that Lieut. Phillips was 
klled in this battle ; he afld hil party being tied to trees, and hewn to 
pieces in the most barbarous manner. This is a mistake. Lieut. Phillips 
escaped, lived to a good old age, and died in Northfield, N. H., somewhere 
about the year 1819. The writer of this has often heard Lieut. Phillips 
relate this and other of his escapes in the * seven years war.^" 

In regard to Phillips, Judge Potter states that " his christian name was 
William. He was known as ' Bill Phillips.* He was a noted hunter, and 
lived in the vicinity of Concord, supporting himself principally by hunt- 
ing. His father was a Frenchman, and his mother an Indian. He partly 
learned the trade of a blacksmith, but preferred to swing a hatcnet or 
knife to making either; and had rather by far steal a hatchet, axe, or 
knife, than labor in their manufacture, or to purchase them, provided he 
had money. In a word, he was an excellent hunter and warrior ; but, 
with these characteristics, he had some of the bad habits of both the 
French and the Indian. He was appointed a lieutenant by Lord Loudoun. 
He was not killed, as reported by Rogers, in the action of March 13th, 
1768, but lived in the Merrimack valley until his death, in 1819. He 
married Eleanor Eastman, of Rumford (now Concord), daughter of Ebe- 
nezer Eastman. He supported himself by hunting and occasional black- 
smith work. He became a drunkard, neglected his business, and would 
steal. His wife, in consequence, left him, and joined the Shakers at 
Canterbury. He lived to a great age, and was supported for a time by the 
town of Concord. At length, he joined the settlement at Northfield. 
That town supported him till his death.*' 


Captains Stark and Jacobs returned on the 8th instant. 
The former brought in six prisoners, four of whom he 
recaptured near Ticondcroga ; they, having escaped from 
* New- York and Albany, were on their flight to the French 
forts. The latter, who had with him but one Vhite man 
and eighteen Indians, took ten prisoners and, seven scalps 
from a party of French. About the' middle of May a flag 
of truce was sent to Ticonderoga on Colonel Schuyler's 
account, which put a stop to all ottensive scouts till its 

May 28. Orders were issued by Rogers to all officers 
and men of the rangers, and the two Indian companies on 
furlough, to join their respective corps before the 10th of 
June. ThesQ orders were obeyed, and parties kept on 
ficouts until June 8th, when Lord Howe arrived at Fort 
Edward with one half of the army. 

His lordship ordered Rogers, with fifty men, and his 
whale-boats, which were conveyed in wagons to Lake 
George, to proceed to Ticonderoga, to obtain at all events 
an accurate plan of the north end; also, of the ground 
from the landing-place to the fort; also, of Lake Cham- 
plain for three miles beyond it^and discover the eneniy's 
force in that quarter. 

With these orders, he marched on the morning t>f the 
12th, and at night encamped on the site of Fort William 

Junt 30. He proceeded down the lake in five whale- 
boats to the first narrows, and to the west end of the lake, 
where he took tlje plans required. Part of his men pro- 
ceeding to reconnoitre the fort, discovered an extensive 
Indian encampment and a large number of Indians. . 
While Rogers was at a distance from his men, engaged 
with two or three others taking plans of the fort and 
camp, the rangers were attacked by a superior number of 
the enemy who had come between them. Captain Jacobs, 
with his Mohegans, ran off" at the first onset, calling to the 
rangers to do the same ; but they stood their ground, dis- 
charged their pieces several times, and at last broke 


through the enemy, who surrounded them on all sides 
except their rear, which was covered by a river. They 
killed three of the enemy, but lost eight rangers in the 
skirmish. The party rallied at the boats, whete Rogers 
joined them, and, having collected all but the slain, 
returned homeward. 

On the 20th, at Halfway brook, they met Lord Howe 
with three thousand men, to whom Rogers gave an account 
of his scout, and the plans he had requested. From him 
he obtained leave to wait upon General Abercrombie at 
Fort Edward. He ordered him to join Lord Howe next 
day with all the rangers, amounting to six hundred, and 
proceed with him to the lake. 

On the 22d his lordship encamped near the site of Fort 
William Henry. The rangers advanced four hundred 
yards farther, and encamped on the west side. From this 
position three small parties were detached, one to the nar- 
rows of South bay, one along the west shore of Lake 
George, and a third to Ticonderoga, all proceeding by 
land. Another party of two lieutenants and seventeen 
men were sent down the lake in five whale-boats, on the 
look out, and were all taken prisoners by two hundred 
French and Indians. 

On the 28th of June General Abercrombie arrived at 
the lake with the remainder of his troops ; and on the 
morning of July 5th the whole army, of nearly sixteen 
thousand men, embarked in batteaux for Ticonderoga. 

The order of march aftbrded a brilliant spectacle. The 
regular troops occupied the centre, *and the provincials 
formed the wings. For the advanced guard, the light 
infantry flanked the right, and the rangers the left of Col- 
onel Bradstreet's batteau men. 

In this order the army advanced, until dark, down the 
lake to Sabbath-day Point, when it halted to refresh. At 
ten o'clock at night the force moved onward. Lord Howe 
proceeding in front with his whale-boat, attended by 
Colonel Bradstreet, Major Rogers, and Lieutenant Holmes 
in other boats. Holmes was detached in advance to view 


the landing-place, and ascertain if the enemy were posted 
there. He returned at daybreak, and met the army four 
miles from the landing-place, near the Blue mountains. 
He reported that he had discovered, by their fires, that 
a party of the enemy were posted at the landing-place. 
At daylight his lordship, Colonel Bradstreet, and Major 
Rogers proceeded within a quarter of a mile of the landing- 
place, and perceived a small party in possession of it. His 
lordship thereupon returned to assist in landing the army, 
intending to march by land to Ticonderoga. At twelve 
o'clock the landing was effected, and the rangers posted 
on the left wing. Major Rogers was ordered to gain the 
summit of a mountain, which bore north one mile from 
the landing-place ; thence to proceed to the river which 
enters the falls between the landing-place and the saw- 
mills, and take possession of a rising ground on^ the side 
of the enemy ; there to await farther orders. After a 
toilsome march of one hour, he gained the position, and 
posted his men, to the best advantage, within a quarter of 
a mile of the post occupied by the Marquis de Montcalm, 
with fifteen hundred men, as the scouts ascertained. At 
twelve o'clock Colonels Lyman and Fitch, of the provin- 
cials, took post in their rear. While Rogers was informing 
them of the enemy's position, a sharp fire commenced in 
the rear of Lyman's regiment, who immediately formed 
his front, and desired Rogers to fall upon the left flank, 
which he did. Rogers ordered Captain Burbank, with 
one hundred and fifty men, to retain their present position, 
and watch the motions of the French at the saw-mills. 
With his remaining force he fell upon the ehemy!s left, 
the river covering their right, and killed many of them. 
By this time Lord Howe, with a detachment from his 
front, had broken the enemy, and hemmed them in on 
each side ; but, while advancing himself with too great 
intrepidity and zeal, he was unfortunately struck by a 
shot, and died instantly.* 

* This intrepid and accomplished nobleman was beloved bj both offioen 
and Boldiers, and bis fall produced a general consternation. 



At six o'clock, July 7th, Rogers was ordered to the 
river, where he had been stationed the day before, there 
to halt on the west side, with four hundred and fifty men, 
while Captain Stark, with the remainder of the rangers, 
advanced with Captain Abercrombie, and Mr. Clerk, the 
engineer, to reconnoitre the place. They returned the 
same evening, and the whole army passed thenight under 
arms. At sunrise, July 8th, Sir William Johnson arrived 
with four hundred and forty .Indians. At seven o'clock 
the rangers were ordered to march. A lieutenant of 
Captain Stark led the advanced guard, which, when within 
three hundred yards of the intrenchments, was ambushed 
and fired upon by two hundred French. Rogers formed a 
front to support them, and they maintained their ground 
until the enemy retreated. Soon after this the batteau 
men formed on Rogers' left, and the light infantry on his 
right. The enemy's fire did not kill a man of the rangers. 
Two provincial regiments now formed in Rogers' rear, at 
two hundred yards* distance. While the army was thus 
forming, a scattering fire was kept up between the English 
flying parties and those of the enemy, without the breast- 
work. At half past ten, the army being drawn up, a 
sharp fire commenced on the left wing, where Colonel De 
Lancy's New York men and the batteau men were posted. 
Upon this Rogers, with tlie rangers, was ordered to drive . 
the enemy within their works, and then to fall down, that 
the pickets and grenadiers might march through. The 
enemy soon retired within their works, and Major Proby, 
with his pickets, marched within a few yards of the works, 
where he unfortunately fell. The enemy keeping up a 
steady fire, the soldiers were drawing back, when Colonel 
Haldiman came up with the- grenadiers to support them, 
followed by the battalions of the line. The colonel ad- 
vanced very near the breastwork, which was eight feet 
high. Some provincials and Mohawks also came up. The 
troops toiled, with repeated attacks, for four hours, being 
much embarrassed by trees felled by the enemy without 
their breastwork, when the general ordered a retreat, 


directing the rangers to bring up the rear, which they did 
in the dusk of the evening. On the 9th, at dark, the army 
reached the south end of Lake George, where the general 
bestowed upon them his thanks for their good behavior, 
and ordered^them to intrench. The wounded were sent 
to Fort Edward and Albany. The loss of the English 
was sixteen hundred and eight regulars, and three hun- 
dred and thirty-four provincials killed and wounded, 
while that of the French was five hundred killed and 
wounded, and many prisoners. 

Soon after this Rogers went on a scout to South bay, 
and returned July 16th, having discovered one thousand 
of the enemy on the east side. This party fell upon 
Colonel Nichols* regiment, at Half-way brook,* and killed 
three captains and twenty men. 

Jubj 27. Another party of the enemy attacked a convoy 
of wagons between Fort Edward and Half-way brook, and 
killed one hundred and sixteen men, sixteen of whom 
were rangers. Major Rogers attempted to intercept this 
party with seven hundred men, but they escaped. On his 
return an express met him with orders to march to South 
and East bays, and return. On this march nothing mate- 
rial occurred until August 8th. Early in the morning the 
march commenced from the site of Fort Ann ; Major 
Putnam, with a party of provincials, marching in front, 
the rangers in the rear, and Captain Dalyell, with the reg- 
ulars in the centre, the whole force amounting to five 
hundred and thirty, exclusive of officers. After marching 
one-third of a mile, five hundred of the enemy attacked 
the front. The men were immediately brought into line, 
Captain Dalyellf commanding the centre, with the rangers 

* From these and other slaughters this brook is sometimes called " Bloody 

f Captain James DalyoU was appointed a lieutenant in the 60th, or 
Royal Americans, January 15, 1706, and obtained a company in the 2d 
battalion of Royals, or 1st .regiment of foot, on the 13th of September, 
1760. On the 31st of July, 1763, he led a detachment against Pontiac, 
then encamped beyond the bridge on the creek called *' Bloody run," 
near Detroit, The British party was obliged to retreat; but Dalyell, 
seeing a wounded sergeant of the 5oth lying on the ground, gazing in 
despair after his retiring comrades, ran back to rescue the wounded man, 
when he was struck by a shot, and fell dead. 


and light infantry on the right, and Captain Giddings, 
with his Boston troops, on the left. Major Putnam being 
in front of his men when the fire began, the enemy rushed 
in and took him, one lieutenant, and two privates pris- 
oners, and threw his. whole party into confusion. They 
afterward rallied, and performed good service, particularly 
Lieutenant Durkee,* who, notwithstanding a wound in 
the thigh and one in his wrist, bravely maintained his 
ground, and encouraged his men throughout the action. 

Captain Dalyell, with Gage's light infantry, and Lieu- 
tenant Eyers of the 44th regiment, behaved with great 
gallantry. They occupied the centre, where at first the 
fire was most severe. It afterward fell upon the right, 
where the enemy made four diflFerent attacks upon the 
rangers. The oflicers and men behaved with so much 
courage, that in an hour the enemy broke and retreated ; 
but with so much caution, and in such small squads, as to* 
aflEbrd no opportunities to haiTass thereby pursuit. The 
English kept the field, and buried the dead. They missed 
fifty-four men, twenty-one of whom came in afterward, 
they having been separated from the rangers during the 
action. The enemy lost one hundred and ninety-nine 
killed, several of whom were Indians. The party was 
met, at some distance from Fort Edward, by three hundred 
men with refreshments, sent by Colonel Provost, and with 
them they arrived, on the 9th of August, at Fort Edward. 

J'\Ad 11. Colonel Provost, who ijpw ranked as brigadier, 
ordered Rogers to pursue the track of a large body of 
Indians, which he heard had passed down the Hudson. 
The report proving groundless, he returned on the 14th, 
and proceeded to the camp at Lake George. August 29th, 
he reconnoitred Ticonderoga, and from that time until 
th^ army retired to winter quarters, was employed in 
various excursions to the French forts, and in pursuit of 
their flying parties. 

* LiKUTXNAirr Robebt Dubkee. This brave and skillful partisan 
aerved with distinction in the French war, and afterward removea to the 
settlement in the valley of Wyoming, Penn., and rendered valuable 
aervices in the revolutionary contest. He was slain at the battle of 
Wyoming, July S, 1778.— IFOwn** Orderly Book, 


Although little was effected by the expedition to Ticon- 
deroga, the Britiah arms were not every where unsnccess- 
ful. Colonel iJradstreet, with two thousand men, reduced 
Fort Frontenac* at Cataraqua ; and General Amherst, who 
had captured Louisburg, now assumed the chief command 
of his majesty's forces, and established his head quarters at 
New- York. 

Major Rogers proceeded to Albany to settle his accounts 
with the paymaster, and while there addressed the follow- 
ing letter to Colonel Townshend, deputy a4]utant gen- 
eral to his excellency, General Amherst : 

Albany^ January 28, 1769. 

Sir — ^I herewith send you a return of the present condi- 
tion of his majesty's rangers at Fort Edward, with a list 
of officers now recruiting in different parts of New- 
England, who report nearly four hundred men enlisted, 
who are now wmted to protect our convoys between 
Albany and Fort Edward. 

In order to urge the recruiting service, I would propose 
a visit to New-England, and wait upon the general at 
New- York on my way, to represent the necessity of aug- 
menting the rangers, and the desire of *the Stockbridge 
Indians to reenter the service. The rangers' arms are in 
the hands of Mr. Cunningham at New- York, and are very 
much needed at Fort Edward. Will you be good enough 
to have them forwarded ? 

Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

To Colonel Townshend. 

P. S. General Stanwix informs me that a subaltern 
and twenty rangers are to be stationed at Number Four. 
I would recommend Lieutenant Stevens, who is well ac- 
quainted with the country in that quarter. 

*Thi8 fort was square-faced, with four stone bastions, and nearly three 
quarters of a mile in circumference. Its situation was pleasant, the 
banks of the river presenting an agreeable landscape, with a fair view of 
Lake Ontario, distant one league, interspersed with many beautiful woody 
islands. It was erected to prevent the Indians from trading with the 
English, and became a plaoe of great trade. 



February 5, 1759. 

Sir — I received your letter with the iaelosed return. 
The general commands me to inform you that he can by 
no means approve of your leaving Fort Edward. Your 
recruiting officers are ordered to send their recruits to 
Fort Edward, by an advertisement in the newspapers 
containing the general's orders, as you did not furnish 
their names and places of duty. The proposals for the 
Indians must be sent immediately to the general. The 
arms shall be sent forthwith. Lieutenant Stevens has 
been notified of the general's intention of leaving him at 
Number Four. It is a season of the year when you may 
expect the enemy's scouting parties, and you must see the 
necessity of remaining at Fort Edward. Tour officers 
will join you as soon as possible. At another time the 
general would grantyour request. ^ 

Your humble servant, 

To Major Rogers. 

Rogers proposed to the colonel an addition of two new 
corps of rangers, on the same footing as those already in 
service, and that three Indian companies should be raised 
for the next campaign. To secure them before they went 
out on hunting parties, he wrote to three of their chiefs : 
one, to King Uncas of the Mohegans, was as follows : 

Brother Uncas — As it is for the advantage of King 
Gteorge to have a large body of rangers raised for the next 
campaign, and being well convinced of your attachment, 
I wish, in pursuai^e of General Amherst's orders, to 
engage your assistance early in the spring. Should you 
choose to come out as captain, you shall have a commis- 
'sion ; if not, I shall expect Doquipe and Nunipad. You 
•hall choose the ensign and sergeants. The company 
shall consist of fifty men or more. If the deserters from 


Brewer 8 corps will join you, the general will pardon 
them. You may employ a clerk, who shall .be allowed 
the usual pay.. I wish you success in raising the men, 
and shall be glad to be joined by you as soon as possible. 

Your humble servant, 


With letters to Indians, a belt of wampum is sent The 
bearer reads the letter, and delivers that and the belt to 
the sachem, to whom they are directed. 

Toward the last of February Sir William Johnson sent 
Captain Lotridge, with fifty Mohawks, to join Rogers in 
a scout to Ticonderoga. 

On the 3d of March Colonel Haldiman ordered Rogers 
to reconnoitre the enemy's forts. He marched, with three 
hundred and fifty-eight men, to Half-way brook, and 
there encamped. One Indian, being hurt, returned. On 
the 4th he marched within a mile and a half of Lake 
George, and halted till evening, that he might pass the 
enemy undiscovered, should any of them be on the hill. 
He then marched on until two o'clock in the morning, 
and halted at the first narrows, whence several frost-bitten 
men wore sent back in charge of a careful sergeant. At 
eleven, on the night of the 5th, the party reached Sabbath- 
day Point, almost overcome with cold. At two o'clock 
the niiirch was resumed, and the landing-place reached at 
eight o'clock in the forenoon. Here a scout was sent out, 
who reported two working parties on the east side, but 
• none on the west. This being a suitable opportunity for 
the engineer to make his observations, Rogers left Captain 
William.s in command of the regulars and thirty rangers, 
and proceeded with the engineer and forty-nine rangers, 
Captain Lotridge and forty-five Indians, to the isthmus 
which overlooks the fort, where the engineer made his 
obser\'ations. They then returned, leaving five Indians 
and one ranger to observe what numbers crossed the lake 
from the east side in the evening, that the party might 
know how to attack them in the morning. At dark the 


engineer went again to the intrenchments with Lieutenant 
Tute and a guard of ten men. He returned without 
molestation at midnight, having completed his survey. 
Upon his return Captain Williams and the regulars were 
ordered back to Sabbath-day Point ; they, being distressed 
with cold, and having no snow-shoes, it appeared impru- 
dent to march them farther. Lieutenant Tute and .thirty 
rangers were sent with them to kindle fires at the point. 

At three o'clock Rogers marched with forty rangers, 
one regular, and Lotridge's Indians to attack the working 
parties when they crossed the lake early in the morning. 
He crossed South bay eight miles south of the fort, and 
at six o'clock bore down opposite to it, within half a mile 
of the French parties who were cutting wood. A scout 
of two Indians and two rangers reported that they were 
forty in number, and at work close upon the lake shore, 
nearly opposite the fort. Throwing off their blankets, 
the rangers ran down upon the choppers, took several 
prisoners, and destroyed most of the party in their retreat. 
Being discovered by the garrison, the party was pursued 
by eighty Canadians and Indians, supported by one hun- 
dred and fifty regulars, who, in a mile's march, commenced 
a fire upon their rear. The rangers, halting upon a rising 
ground, repulsed the enemy before their whole party 
came up, and resumed their line of march abreast. After 
proceeding half a mile, their rear was again assailed ; but, 
^having gained an advantageous position upon a long 
ridge, they made a stand on the side opposite to the 
enemy. The Canadians and Indians came very near, but, 
receiving a warm fire from the rangers and Mohawks, 
they broke immediately, were pursued, and entirely routed 
before their regulars could come up. The party now 
marched without interruption. In these skirmishes one 
regular and two rangers were killed, and one Indian 
wounded. Thirty of the enemy were left dead. At twelve 
o'clock at night the party reached Sabbath-day Point,* 

* Considering that three Bkirmishes took place in the course of it, this 
must he considered an extraordinary march on snow-shoes. 



fifty miles from the place they left in the morning. Cap- 
tain Williams was up, and received them with good fires, 
than which nothing could have been more acceptable, as 
many of the men had their feet frozen, the wealher being 
intensely cold, and the snow four feet deep. Next morn- 
ing the whole party marched to Long island, on Lake 
George, and encamped for the night. During the march 
several rangers and Indians had leave to hunt on the lake 
shore, and brought in plenty of venison. Fearing that a 
party of Indians, who had gone up South bay, might do 
some mischief before his return. Major Rogers dispatched 
Lieutenant Tute^with the following letter to Colonel Hal- 
diman : 

Camp at Sabbath-day Pointy 8 o'clock A. M. 

Sir — I would inform you that sixty Indians, in two 
parties, have gone toward Port Edward and Saratoga, 
and I fear they will strike a blow before this reaches you. 
Mr. Brheme, the engineer, has completed his business 
agreeably to his orders ; since which I have taken and 
destroyed several of the enemy near Ticonderoga, as the 
bearer will inform. The Mohawks behaved well, and 
ventured within pistol shot of the fort. The weather is 
extremely severe, and we are compelled to carry some of 
our men whose feet are frozen. 

Yours, &c., 


N. B. Two-thirds of my detachment have frozen their 


Fort Edward, March 20, 1759. 

Dear Sir — I congratulate you on your success, and send 
twenty-two sleighs to transport your sick. You will also 
bring as many boards * as you can conveniently. My 
compliments to Captain Williams and the gentlemen. 

Your most obed't serv't, 


* Boards left at south end of Lake George, and wanted at Fort Edward. 


P. S. The signal guns * have been fired to give notice 
to the different posts to be on their guard.. Nothing has 
yet appeared. 

At Lake George the party met the sleighs and a detach- 
ment of one hundred men, and all returned in safety to 
Fort Edward, where Rogers received the following letter : 

New- York, February 26, 1759. 

Sir — ^Your letter by Mr. Stark was yesterday received. 
The general approves of raising the Indians, but does not 
agree to raise any more companies of rangers until the 
present ones are completed. Your arms have been proved 
by the artillery, and answer well. They will be scnl you 
as fast as possible. We have chosen ane hundred men 
from each regiment, and selected officers, to -act this year 
as light infantry. They are equipped as lightly as possible, 
and are much wanted in our service. Brigadier Gage 
recommends you highly to the geueral. With him merit 
will not pass unrewarded, nor will he favor recommenda- 
tions unless the person deserves promotion. Please return 
your companies when complete. 

Your humble servant, 


New- York, February 13, 1759. 

Sir — This will be delivered by Captain Jacob Nanna- 
wapateonks, who during the last campaign commanded 
the Stockbridge Indians, who, upon hearing that you had 
written concerning him, came to offer his services for 
the ensuing campaign. As you have not mentioned any 
terms, I refer him to you to receive his proposals. Report 
them to me, and inform me whether his service is ade- 
quate to then^ After which I will give an answer. ^ 

Your most obed't serv't, 

To Major Rogers. 

* A party of Indians near Fort MiUer, eight miles below, heard .these 
gODBy and, supposing they were disoovered, retreated. 


Before receiving this letter, Rogers had waited on the 
general at Albany, by whom he was well received, and 
assured of the rank of major in the line of the army from 
the date of his commission under General Abercrombie. 
Returning to Fort Edward, May 15th, he received the 
melancholy news of the death of Captain Burbank,* who, 
during his absence, had been cut oft* with thirty men 
while on a scout. He was a good officer, and the scout 
upon which he was sent was needless and ill-advised. 

Preparations for the campaign were now hastened in 
every quarter. Levies from the provinces arrived, the 
ranger companies were completed, and in June a portion 
of the army under General Gage advanced to the lake. 
Rogers was orde^d to send Captain Stark, with three 
companies, to join him. With the other three, Rogers 
remained under the orders of the general-in-chief, who 
directed several scouts to be made to the enemy's forts. 

June 20. The second division of the army proceeded 
to the lake, the rangers forming the advanced guard. 
Here the general fulfilled his promise to Rogers, by 
declaring publicly, in general orders, his rank as major in 
the army from the date of his commission as major of 
rangers. The army lay here collecting its strength, and 
procuring information of the enemy, until July 21st, when 
it was again embarked for Ticonderoga, in little more 
than a year from the time of the memorable repulse 
before the lines of that fortress. 

June 22. The rangers were in front, on the right wing, 
and were the first troops landed at the north end of Lake 
George. They were followed by the grenadiers and light 
infantry, ^under Colonel Haviland. The rangers .marched 
across the mountains in the isthmus, thence, through a 
by-path in the woods, to the bridge at the saw-mills ; 
where, finding the bridge uninjured, they a*ossed to the 

* An Indian scalped Captain Burbank, and held up the trophy with 
ereat exultation, thinking it to be that of Major Bogers. The prisoners 
informed him of the mistake, and the Indians appeared to be sorry, 
saying he was a good man. He had some time previously shown some of 
them kindness, which Indians never forget. 


other side, and took poeeeesion of a risiDg ground. From 
this they drove a party of the enemy, killed several, took 
a number of prisoners, and routed the whole party before 
Colonel Haviland's corps had crossed the bridge. The 
army took possession of the heights near the saw-mills, 
where it remained during the night. The enemy kept 
out a scout of Canadians and Indians, who killed several 
men, and galled the army severely. 

July 28. At an early hour the general put the troops 
in motion. The rangers were ordered *to the front, with ' 
directions to proceed across Chestnut plain, the nearest 
route to Lake Champlain, and endeavor to strike the lake 
near the edge of the cleared ground, between that and 
the breastwork ; there to await farther orders. The 
general had by this time prepared a detachment to attack 
the main breastwork on the hill, which they carried ; 
while two hundred rangers carried a small intrenchment 
near Lake Champlain, without much loss. From the 
time whett the army came in sight, the enemy kept up 
a constant fire of cannon from their walls and batteries. 
The general employed several provincial regiments in 
transporting cannon and stores across the carrying-place, 
which service'they performed with great expedition. 

July 24. This day engineers were employed in raising 
batteries, with the assistance of a large portion of the 
troops, the remainder being employed in preparing fas- 
cines, until the 26th,* at night. Scouts of rangers were 
during this interval kept out in the vicinity of Crown 
Point, by whose means the general received hourly infor- 
mation from that post. Orders were now given to cut 

*The brave Colonel Townshend was killed this day by a cannon ball. 
He was deeply lamented by the general, to whom he acted as deputy 
adjutant general. 

Roger Townshend, fourth son of Charles, Viscount Townshend, was 
commissioned lieutenant colonel February 1, 1758, and served as adjutant 
general in the expedition against Louisburg, and deputy adjutant general 
in the campaign of 1759, with the rank of colonel. He was killed in the 
trenches at Ticonderoga, by a cannon ball, July 26, 1759. His remains 
were conveyed to Albany for interment. His spirit and military knowledee 
entitled him* to the esteem of every soldier, and his loss was universally 
lamented. — Wilson' b Orderly Book, 


away a boom, which the French had thrown across the 
lake opposite the fort, whicli' prevented the English from 
passing in boats to cut off the French retreat. To effect 
this object, two whale-boats and one English flat-boat 
were conveyed across the land from Lake George to Lake 
Chaniplain. In these, after dark, Rogers embarked with 
sixty rangers, and passed over to the other shore, opposite 
the enemy's camp ; from thence intending to steer along 
the east shore, and silently saw off the boom, which was 
composed of large timber logs, fastened together with 
strong chains. At nine o'clock the party had nearly 
reached their destination, when the French, who had 
previously undermined the fortress, sprung their mines, 
which blew up the fort with a tremendous explosion, and 
the garrison commenced a retreat in their boats. Rogers 
and his party availed themselves of this favorable oppor- 
tunity of attacking them, and drove several boats on 
shore ; so that in the morning ten boats were taken on 
the east shore, containing a large quantity of baggage, 
fifty casks of powder, and a quantity of shot and shells ; 
which Rogers reported to the general at ten o'clock next 

On the 27th Rogers was ordered with a party to the 
saw-mills, to waylay flying parties of the enemy who 
were expected to return that way. There he remained 
until August 11th, when he received the following order : 

You are this night to send a captain, with a suitable 
proportion of subalterns, and two hundred men, to Crown 
Point, where they will post themselves in such a manner 
as not to be surprised ; and, if attacked, they are not to 
retreat, but to maintain their ground until reinforced. 


Captain Brewer was detached with this party, and the 
general, following next morning with the whole army, 
took possession of Crown Point the same day. Captain 
Brewer had executed his orders in a most satisfactory 


August 12. This evening the encampment was arranged, 
the rangers' station being in front of the army. The next 
day the general directed the ground to be cleared, and 
employed a large portion of the troops in erecting a 
new fort. Captain Stark, with two hundred rangers, 
was employed in cutting a road from Crown Point through 
the wilderness to ^Number Four.* While the army lay at 
Crown Point, several scouts were sent out, who brought 
prisoners from St. John's, and penetrated far into the 
enemy's back country. 

On the 12th of September, the general, being exas- 
perated at the treatment of Captain Kennedy by the St. 
Francis Indians, to whom he had been sent with a flag of 
truce and proposals of peace, but who, with his party, had 
been made prisoners by the Indians, resolved to inflict upon 
them a signal chastisement, and gave ordei*s as follows : 

You are this night to join the detachment of two hun- 
dred men which was yesterday ordered out, and proceed 
to Missisqui bay. From thence you will proceed to attack 
the enemy's settlements on the south side of the St. Law- 
rence, in such a manner as shall most eflectually disgrace 
and injure the enemy, and re(^ound to the honor and 
success of his majesty's arms. Remember the barbarities 
committed by the enemy's f Indian scoundrels on every 
occasion where they have had opportunities of showing 
their infamous cruelties toward his majesty's subjects. 
Take your revenge, but remember that, although the 
villains have promiscuously murdered women and children 
of all ages, it is my order that no women or children 
should be killed or hurt. When you have performed this 
service, you will again join the army wherever it may be. 

Yours, &c., JEFF. AMIIERST. 

Camp at Crown Point, September 13, 1759. 
To Major Rogers. 

* Charlestown, N. H. 

t The plan for this expedition was formed on the day previous ; but, 
that all due caution might bo observed, it was announced, in public orders, 
that Kogers would proceed another way, while he had secret orders to 
proceed to St. Francis. 



The acconnt of this expedition is contained in Rogers' 
official dispatch, and is in substance as follows : 

On the evening of the twenty-second day after our 
departure from Crown Point, we came in sight of the 
Indian town of St. Francis, which we discovered by 
climbing a tree at three miles* distance. Hero my party, 
consisting of one hundred and forty-two,* officers included, 
were ordered to refresh themselves. At eight o'clock 
Lieutenant Turner, Ensign Avery, and myself reconnoi- 
tred the town. We found the Indians engaged in a high 
frolic,t and saw them execute several dances with great 
spirit and activity. We returned to our camp at two 
o'clock A. M., and at three advanced with the whole 
party within three hundred yards of the village, where 
the men were lightened of their packs, and formed for 

Half an hour before sunrise we surprised the village, 
approaching it in three divisions, on the right, left, and 
centre ; which was effected with so much caution and 
promptitude on the part of the officers and men that the 
enemy had no time to recover themselves, or to take arms 
in their own defence, uptil they were mostly destroyed. 
Some few fled to the water ; but my people pursued, sunk 
their canoes, and shot those who attempted to escape by 
swimming. We then set fire to all the houses except 
three, reserved for the use of our party. 

The fire consumed many Indians who had concealed 
themselves in their cellars and house-lofts, and would not 
come out. At seven o'clock in the morning the affi^ir 
>vas completely over. We had by that time killed two 
hundred Indians, and taken twenty women and children . 
prisoners. Fifteen of the latter I suffered to go their own 
way, and brought home with me two Indian boys and 

* Captain Williams of the royal troops, on the fifth day ont, accident- 
ally burnt himself with powder, and was obliged to return, taking with 
him forty men sick or hurt. 

f The prisoners afterward informed me that the Indians celebrated a 
wedding the night before the destruction of their town. 


three girls.* Five English captives were also found, and 
taken into our care. 

When the detachment paraded, Captain Ogden was 
found to be badly wounded, being shot through the body, 
but still able to perform his duty. Six privates were 
wounded, and one Stockbridge Indian killed. I ordered 
the party to take corn out of the reserved houses, for their 
subsistence home, which was the only provision to be 
found.t While they were loading themselves, I examined 
the captives, who reported that a party of three hundred 
French and Indians were down the river, four miles below 
us, and that our boats were waylaid. I believed this to 
be true, as they told the exact number of the boats, and 
the place where they had been left. They also stated 
that two hundred French had three days before gone up 
the river to Wigwam Martinique, supposing that I 
intended to attack that place. A council of war qow con- 
cluded that no other course remained for us than to return 
by Connecticut river to Number Four. The detachment 
accordingly marched in a body eight days upon that course, 
and, when provisions became scarce, near Memphremagog 
lake, it was divided into companies, with proper guides to 
each, and directed to assemble at the mouthof Ammonoosuc 
river, as I expected to find provisions there for our relief. 
Two days after our separation. Ensign Avery, of Fitch's 
regiment, with his party, fell upon my track, and followed 
in my rear. The enemy fell upon them, and took seven 
prisoners, two of whom escaped, and joined me the next 
morning. Avery and his men soon afterward came up 
with us, and we proceeded to the Coos intervajes, where I 
left them under the orders of Lieutenant Grant I then 

* These prisoners, when hrought to Number Four, claimed Mrs. Johnson 
as an old acquaintance, she having been with their tribe as a prisoner 
some time before. One of them was called Sebattis. The bell of the 
Catholic chapel was also brought away, and a quantity of silver brooches 
taken from tne savages who were nlain. 

f One ranger, instead of more important plunder, placed in his knapsack 
a large lump of tallow, which supported him on his way home, while 
many, who had secured more valnaole plunder, perished with hunger. 


proceeded with Captain Ogden, and one private, upon a 
raft, and arrived at this place yesterday. Provisions were 
in half an hour after dispatched up the river to Mr. 
Grant, which will reach him this night Two other 
canoes, with provisions, have been sent to the mouth of 
Ammouoosuc river. I shall go up the river to-morrow, 
to look after my men, and return as soon as possible to 
Crown Point. Captain Ogden can inform you of other 
particulars respecting this scout, as he was with me through 
the whole of the expedition, and behaved nobly. 

Your most obedient servant, 


Number Four, November 5, 1759. 

To General Amherst. ' 

The following additional particulars, stated by Major 
Rogers, exhibit the daring and hazardous character of 
this enterprise, and the hardships endured, dangers en- 
countered, and difficulties surmounted, by the brave men 
by whom it was accomplished. He says : 

" I cannot forbear making some remarks upon the diffi- 
culties and distresses which attended the expedition, under 
my command, against St. Francis, situated within three 
miles of the river St. Lawrence, in the heart of Canada, 
half way between Montreal and Quebec. While we kept 
the water, it was found extremely difficult to pass undiscov- 
ered by the enemy, who were cruising, in great numbers 
upon the lake, and had prepared certain vessels to decoy 
English parties on board, to destroy them ; but we escaped 
their designs, and landed at Missisqui bay in ten days. 
Here I left my boats, and provisions sufficient to carry us 
back to Crown Point, under the charge of two trusty 
Indians, who were to remain there until we returned, 
unless the enemy should discover the boats ; in which case 
they were to follow my track, and bring the intelligence. 
Qn the second day after this, they joined me at night, 
informing me that four hundred French had found my 


boats, and two hundred were following my track. This 
report caused us much uneasiness. Should the enemy 
overtake us, and we obtain an advantage in the encounter, 
they would be immediately reinforced, while we could 
expect no assistance, being so far advanced beyond our 
military posts. Our boats and provisions also being taken, 
cut off all hope of retreat by the route we came ; but, 
after due deliberation, it was resolved to accomplish our 
object, and return by Connecticut river. 

Lieutenant McMuUen was dispatched by land to Crown 
Point, to desire General Amherst to relieve us with provi- 
sions at Aramonoosuc river, at the extremity of the Coos 
intervales, that being the route by which we should return, 
if ever. We now determined to outmarch our pursuers, 
and destroy St. Francis before we were overtaken. We 
marched nine days through a spruce bog, where the grouud 
was wet and low, a great portion of it being covered with 
water a foot deep. When we encamped at night, boughs 
were cut from the trees, and with them a rude kind of 
hammock constructed to secure us from the water. We 
uniformly began our march at a little before day-break, 
and continued it until after dark at night. The tenth day 
after leaving the bay, brought us to a river, fifteen miles 
north of St. Francis, which we were compelled to ford 
against a swift current. The tallest men were put up 
stream, and holding by each other, the party passed over, 
with a loss of several guns, which were recovered by 
diving to the bottom. 

We had now good marching ground, and proceeded to 
destroy the town, as before related, which would probably 
have been effected, with no other loss than that of the 
Indian killed in the action, had not our boats been discov- 
ered and our retreat that way cut off. This tribe of 
Indians was notoriously attached to the French, and had 
for a century past harassed the frontiers of New-England, 
murdering people of all ages and sexes, and in times of 
peace, when they had no^ reason to suspect hostile inten- 
tions. They had, within my own knowledge, during six 


years past, killed and carried away more than six hundred 
persons. We found six hundred scalps hanging upon 
poles over the doors of their wigwams. 

It is impossible to describe the dejected and iniserable 
condition of the party on arriving at the Coos intervales. 
After so long a march, over rocky, barren mountains, and 
through deep swamps,* worn down with hunger and 
fatigue, we expected to be relieved at the intervales, and 
assisted in our return. 

The officer dispatched to the general reached Crown 
Point in nine days, -and faithfully discharged his commis- 
sion ; upon which the general ordered an officer to Num- 
ber Four, to proceed from thence, with provisions, up the 
river to the place I had designated, and there to wait as 
long as there were any hopes of my return. The officer f 
remained but two days, and returned, carrying with him 
all the provisions, about two hours before our arrival. 
We found a fresh fire burning in his camp, and fired guns 
to bring him back, which he heard, but would not return, 
supposing we were an enemy. 

In this emergency, I resolved to make the best of my 
way to Number Four, leaving the reinainder of the party, 
now unable to proceed farther, to obtain such wretched 
subsistence as the wilderness aflTordedJ until I could 
relieve them, which I promised to do in ten days. 

Captain Ogden, myself, and a captive Indian boy, em- 
barked on a raft of dry pine trees. The current carried 
us down the stream, in the middle of which we kept our 
miserable vessel with such paddles as could be split and 
hewn with small hatchets. On the second day we reached 
White River falls, and narrowly escaped running over 
them. The raft went over and was lost ; but our remaiu- 

* In one of these swamps a party was led about for three days by a 
squaw, and finally brought back to their tracks. This she did to afford the 
Indians an opportunity to overtake them. * 

f This gentleman was censured for his conduct; but that reproach 
afforded no consolation to the brave men to whom his negligence caused 
such distress and anguish ; and of whom' many actually died of hunger. 

X Ground-nuts and lily-roots, boiled, will support life. 


ing strength enabled us to land, and pass by the falls, at 
the foot of which Captain Ogden and the ranger killed 
several red squirrels and a partridge, while I attempted to 
construct a new raft. Not being able to cut the trees, I 
burned them down, and burned them off at proper lengths. 
This was our third day*s work after leaving our compan- 
ions. The next day we floated to Wattoquichie falls, which 
are about fifty yards in length. Here we landed, and 
Captain Ogden held the raft by a withe of hazle-bushes, 
while I went below to swim in, board the raft, and paddle 
it ashore. This was our only hope of life ; for we had not 
strength to make another raft, should this be lost. 1 
succeeded in securing it, and next morning we floated 
down to within a short distance of Number Four. Here 
we found several men cutting timber, who relieved and 
assisted us to the fort A canoe was immediately sent up 
the river with provisions, which reached the men at Coos 
in fpur days, being the tenth day after ray departure. 
Two days afterward I went up the river with two canoes, 
to relieve others of my party who might be coming that way. 
I met several parties : viz., Lieutenants Cargill, Camp- 
bell and Farrington ; also Sergeant Evans, with their 
respective parties ; and proceeding farther, fell in with sev- 
eral who had escaped of Turner's and Dunbar's parties, 
which, twenty in number, had been overtaken and mostly 
taken or killed by the enemy. Expresses were sent to 
Suncook * and Pennacook, f upon Merrimack river, direct- 
ing that any who should stray that way should be assisted. 
At Number Four, the following letter was received from 
the general. 


Crown Point Nov. 8, 1759. 

Sir — Captain Ogden has delivered your letter of the 5th, 
which I have read with great satisfaction. Every step 
you have taken was well judged, and deserves my appro- 
bation. I am sorry Lieutenant * * * ♦ conducted 
so ill in coming away with the provisions, from the place 
where I ordered him to wait for you. 

* Pembroke, N. H. t Concord, N. H. 


An Indian came in last night, who left some of your 
men at Otter river. I sent for them, and they have come in. 
This afternoon came in four Indians, two rangers, a Ger- 
man woman, and three other prisoners. They left four 
of your party some days since, and supposed they had 
arrived. I hope the residue may get in safe. The only 
risk will be in meeting the enemy's hunting parties. 

I am, sir, your obed't serv't, 


After the party had recruited their strength, such as 
were able to march started for Crown Point, where they 
arrived December 1, 1769. 

Since leaving the ruins of St. Francis the party had lost 
three officers : Lieutenant Dunbar of Gage's light infantry, 
Lieutenant Turner of the rangers, and Lieutenant Jenkins 
of the provincials, with forty-six sergeants and privates. 

The rangers at Crown Point were all dismissed before 
Roger's return, excepting two companies, commanded by 
Captains Johnson and Tute. The general had left him 
orders to continue in that garrison during the \vinter, with 
leave to proceed down the country, and wait upon him at 
New-Tork. After reporting to the general at that city 
what intelligence he had obtained respecting the enemy, 
he WHS desired, at his leisure, to draw a plan of the march 
to St. Francis. He returned by way of Albany, which 
place he left February 6, 1760, with thirteen recruits. On 
the 13th, while on the way between Ticonderoga and 
Crown Point, he was attacked by sixty Indians, who killed 
five of his men, and took four prisoners. With the remain- 
ing four he escaped to Crown point, and would have pur- 
sued the party; but Colonel Haviland* thought the step 

"* This officer was the same who sent him out in March, 1768, with a small, 
force, when he knew a superior one lay in wait for him. He was one of 
those sort of men who manage to escape public censure, let them do what 
they will. Ho ought to have been casniered for his conduct on that occa- 
sion. He was one of the many British officers who were meanly jealous of 
the daring achievements of their brave American comrades, but for whose 
intrepidity and arduous services, all the British armies, sent. to America 
during the seven years' war, would have effected little toward the conquest 
of Canada. 



would be impradent, as the garrison was very sickly. His 
sleigh was taken, containing <£1,196, York currency, beside 
stores and necessaries. Of the money, £800 belonged to 
the crown, which was allowed him. The remainder, £396, 
being his own, was lost. 

March 81. Captain Tute, with two regular officers and 
six men, went on a scout, and were all taken prisoners. 
The sickness of the garrison prevented pursuit. The fol- 
lowing letter was received from the general. 

New- York, March 1, 1760. 

Sir — The command of his majesty, to pursue the war 
in this country, has determined me to complete the com- 
panies of rangers which were on foot last campaign. 
Captain Waite yesterday informed me that his company 
could easily be filled up in Massachusetts and Connecticut, 
and I have given him a warrant for $800, and beating 

I have also written to Captain John Stark, in New- 
Hampshire, and Captain' David Brewer, in Massachu^ 
setts, inclosing to each beating orders for their respective 
provinces. I send you a copy of their instructions, which 
are to send their men to Albany as fast as recruited. 

Your humble servant, 

To Major Rogers. 


Crown Point, March 15, 1760. 

Sir — Since the receipt of yours, I have dispatched 
Lieutenant McCormick, of Captain William Stark's corps, 
and Lieutenants Fletcher and Holmes to recruit for my 
own and Captain Johnson's companies. I have no doubt 
they will bring in good men to replace those who have 
been frost bitten, who may be discharged or sent to the 
hospital. The smallness of our force has prevented any 
incursions to the French settlements in quest of a prisoner, 
which may be obtained at any time. 

Yours respectfully, R. ROGERS. 


March 9. The general wrote to Major Rogers that he 
had given a company of rangers to Captain Ogden, and 
to desire some one to he sent to Stockbridge to engage 
Lieutenant Solomon (Indian) to raise a company of Indians 
for the ensuing campaign. Mr. Stuart, adjutant of the 
rangers, was accordingly sent to explain to Solomon the 
conditions of the service. The Indians agreed to enter 
the service, but, as many of them were out hunting, they 
could not be collected at Albany until the 10th of May. 
In the mean time, the ranger companies at Crown Point 
were completed. 

May 4. Sergeant Beverly, having escaped from Mon- 
treal, arrived at Crown Point after seven days* journey. 
He had lived in the house of Governor Vaudreuil, and 
reported that, on the tenth of April, the enemy withdrew 
their troops from Isle aux Noix, excepting a garrison of 
three hundred, under Monsieur Bonville ; that they had 
already brought away half the cannon and ammunition ; 
that two French frigates, of thirty-six and twenty guns, and 
several smaller vessels, lay all winter in the St. Lawrence ; 
that all the French troops in Canada had concentrated at 
Jecortfe on the 20th of April, excepting slender garrisons 
in their forts ; all the militia who could be spared from the 
country, leaving one male to every two females to sow the 
grain, were also collected at the same plact, under General 
Levi, who intended to retake Quebec ; * that ninety-nine 
men were drowned in their passage to Jecortfe ; that he 
saw a private, belonging to our troops, at Quebec, who 
was taken prisoner April 15th. He stated that the garri- 
son was healthy ; that Brigadier General Murray had four 
thousand troops fit for duty in the city, and an advanced 
guard of three hundred men at Point Levi, which place 
the enemy attempted to occupy in February last with a 
considerable force, and began to fortify a stone church 
near the point ; but that General Murray sent over a 
detachment of one thousand men, which drove the enemy 
from their position, with the loss of a captain and thirty 

* Quebec had been taken by General Wolfe, in 1769. 


Freueh soldiers ; that General Murray had another mili- 
tary post, of three hundred men, on the north side of the 
river, at Laurette, a short distance from the town ; that 
all along the land-ward side of the town was a line of 
block-houses, under cover of the cannon ; that a breast- 
work of fraziers extended from one to the other of the 
block-houses; that General Murray had heard that the 
enemy intended to beat up his quarters, but was not 
alarmed ; ttaftt a party from Quebec surprised two of the 
enemy's guards at Point Trimble, who were all killed 
or taken, one guard being composed entirely of French 
grenadiers ; that two more English frigates had passed up 
the river, and two other men-of-war lay near the Isle of 
Orleans ; that the French told him that a fleet of ten sail 
of men-of-war had been seen at Gaspee bay, and had 
again put to sea on account of the ice, but did not know 
whether they were French or English ; that the French 
intended, on the 1st of May, to draw off two thousand 
men to Isle aux Noix, and as many more to Oswegatchie, 
and did not intend to attack Quebec unless the French 
fleet entered the river before the English ; that, on the 
6th of May, one hundred Indians departed for our forts — 
the remainder had gone to Jecortfe ; that the Attawawa 
and Cold Country Indians would join General Levi in 
June, ten sachems having been dispatched last fall to 
solicit aid of those natives from the far north-west ; that 
many deserters from the corps of Royal Americans are 
at Quebec, in the French service ; that they were to be 
sent, under the charge of Monsieur Boarbier, up the Atta- 
wawa river to the colonj" between the lakes and the 
Mississippi ; that most of the enemy's Indians intend 
going there ; that many of the French who have money 
intend to secure it by going to New-Orleans ; that he saw 
at Montreal Reynolds and Hill, who were last fall reported 
to Colonel Haviland as deserters — they were taken near 
River-head block-house while in quest of cattle ; two 
more rangers will be here in two days with fresh tidings 
from Montreal, if they can escape; that Lougee, the 



famous partisan, was drowned in the St. Lawrence a 
few days after his return with the party which surprised 
Captain Tute ; that the Indians keep a sharp look-out 
upon the Numhcr Four roads, where they intercept plenty 
of sheep and cattle on their way to Crown Point. General 
Murray had hanged several Canadians, who were detected 
conveying ammunition from Quebec to the enemy ; that 
the two Indian captains, Jacob, are still in Canada ; one is 
with Captain Kennedy on board a vessel, i« irons; the 
other ran away last fall, but returned, having frozen his 
feet ; he is at Montreal.*' 

Boon after this Major Rogers went down Lake Cham- 
plain to reconnoitre the Isle aux Noix, the landing-pkces, 
&c. He then proceeded to Albany, and gave the general 
all the information he possessed in regard to the passage 
into Canada by the Isle aux Noix; as, also, by Oswego 
and la Gallette. 

The general, having learned by express that Quebec 
waB besieged by the French, formed the design of sending 
Major Rogers, with a force, into Canada, with directions, 
if the siege continued, to lay waste the country, and, by 
marching from place to place, to endeavor to draw off the 
enemy's troops, and protract the siege, until the English 
vessels should ascend the river. He was to be governed 
entirely by the motions of the French army. If the siege 
was raised, he was to retreat ; if not, to harass the country, 
even at the expense of his party. The orders were as 
follows : 

You are to proceed with a detachment of three hundred 
men : viz., two hundred and seventy-five fangers, with 
their officers, a subaltern, two sergeants, and twenty-five 
men from the light infantry regiments, down the lake, 
under convoy of the brig, and lay up your boats in a safe 
place upon one of the islands while executing the follow- 
ing orders : 

You will send two hundred and fifty men on the west 
side, in such a manner as to reach St John's without 
being discovered by the enemy at Isle aux Koix. You 


will endeavor to surprise the fort at St. John's, and 
destroy the vessels, boats, provisions, or whatever else 
may be there for the use of the troops at Isle aux Noix. 
You will then proceed to Chambl^e, and destroy every 
magazine you can find in that quarter. 

These proceedings will soon be known at Isle aux Noix, 
and the enemy will endeavor to cut off your retreat ; 
therefore, your safest course will be to cross the river, and 
return on the east side of the Isle aux Noix. Upon land- 
ing on the west side, you will send an officer, with fifty 
rangers, to Wigwam Martinique, to destroy what he may 
there find on both sides of the river, and then retreat. 
You will take such provisions as are necessary, and direct 
Captain Grant, with his vessels, to wait for your return 
at such places as you may direct. 

Your men should be as lightly equipped as possible. 
They should be strictly cautioned respecting their conduct, 
and obedience to their officers. There should be no firing, 
no unnecessary alarms, and no retreating without order. 
The men are to stand by each other, and nothing can 
injure them. Let every man who has a proper musket be 
furnished with a bayonet. You are not to suffer the 
Indians'*" to destroy women or children, nor your men to 
load themselves with plunder. They shall be rewarded 
on their return as they deserve. 


With these instructions the general delivered him a 
letter, directed to General Murray at Quebec, with orders 
to have it conveyed to him as soon as possible. He then 
returned to Crown Point, and about the 1st of June 
embarked from thence in four vessels, taking on board 
their boats and provisions, that the enemy might have no 
opportunity of discovering their design. 

June 3. Lieutenant Holmes, with fifty men, landed at 
Missisqui bay, with orders to proceed to Wigwam Marti- 
nique. A sloop was directed to cruise for him, and on 

*The Stockbridge Indians had not arrived, but orders were left for 
them to foUow the track of Bogen. 


his return to take him and his party on board, upon his 
making certain signals. From this place Rogers dis- 
patched Sergeant Beverly, with the general's letter to 
General Murray, with these instructions : 

You will take under your command John Shute, Lux- 
ford Goodwin, and Joseph Eastman, and proceed, under 
the convoy of Lieutenant Holmes, to Missisqui bay, and 
land in the night ; otherwise, you may be discovered by a 
party from Isle aux Noix. You will then steer a north- 
easterly course, and proceed with all possible dispatch to 
Quebec, or to the English army at or near that city, and 
deliver the letter intrusted to your care to Brigadier 
Murray, or the officer commanding his majesty's forces in 
and upon the river St. Lawrence. 

You have herewith a plan of the country, that you may 
know the considerable rivers between Missisqui bay and 
Quebec. The distances are marked in the plan, as is the 
road I travelled last fall to St. Francis, which road you 
will cross several times. The rivers you will know by 
their descriptions, when you come to them. 

The river St Francis, about midway of your journey, 
is very still water, and may be easily rafted where you 
will cross it ; lower down it is so rapid that its passage 
must not be attempted. 

The Chaudifere river is rapid for some miles above its 
mouth, and should be well examined before you cross it 
After passing this river, lay your course east, leaving 
Point Levi on the left:, and strike the St. Lawrence near 
the lower end of the Isle of Orleans, as General Murray 
may possibly be encamped on that or the Isle of Quadoa. 

You are directed to look out for the English fleet, and 
may venture on board the first line-of-battle ship you see, 
whose commander will convey you to the general, who 
will pay you fifty pounds, and give farther orders as soon 
as you have rested from your march. 

Major Rogers, with his party, now crossed Lake Cham- 
plain to the west shore, and, embarking in boats, on the 


4th landed two hundred men twelve miles south of Isle 
aux Noix. Captain Grant, with his sloops, was directed to 
cruise down the lake near the fort, to attract the notice of 
the enemy until Rogers could get into* the country. In 
consequence of the rain, and the risk of spoiling their 
provisions, he lay with his party, during the whole day of 
the 5th, concealed in bushes. 

In the afternoon of that day several French boats 
appeared on the lake, continuing as near to our vessels 
as they could with safety, until after dark. Concluding 
these boats would watch the vessels all night, Rogers went 
on board after dark, in a small boat, and ordered them to 
retire to the Isle of Motte. The enemy, who were out all 
night, discovered his landing, and sent a force from the 
island to cut oft* the party. The scouts counted their 
number as they crossed from the fort in boats, making it 
three hundred and fifty men. At eleven o'clock the left 
of the rangers was briskly attacked. Their right was 
protected by a bog, which the enemy did not venture 
over ; through which, however, by the edge of the lake, 
seventy rangers, under Lieutenant Farrington, passed, 
and fell upon their rear. At the same time they were 
attacked in front, and immediately broke. They were 
pursued a mile, where they separated into small parties, 
and took refuge in a thick cedar swamp. The rain now 
came on again, and the party was recalled to the boats, 
where they found that Ensign Wood, of the 17th regiment, 
had been killed, and Captain Johnson shot through the 
body, the left arm, and wounded in the head. ' Of the 
rangers sixteen were killed and eight wounded ; two light 
infantry men were wounded. Forty of the French fell ; 
their commander. Monsieur la Force was wounded (mor- 
tally), with several of his men. Fifty muskets were taken. 
After the action the party embarked with their killed 
and wounded, and returned to the Isle of Motte, near 
which the brig lay. One of the vessels, having on board 
the corpse of Mr. Wood, and that of Captain Johnson 
(who died on the passage thither), was dispatched to Crown 


Point, with orders to return with provisions. The dead 
were baried upon a small island, and the party prepared 
for a second landing. 

Being now joined by the Btockbridge Indians, Rogers 
determined to execute his orders, and, to conceal his 
motions, left the following orders for Captain Grant : 

You will immediately fall down the lake, with your 
vessels, to Wind-mill Point, and there cruise two or three 
days, to attract the attention of the enemy from my 
motions. Wlien I suppose you are near the point, my 
party will land on the west side, opposite the north end of 
the Isle of Motte, near the river which enters the bay at 
that place. 

If we are not attacked, we shall return on the east side, 
and endeavor to join you near Wind-mill Point, or some- 
where between that and the Isle of Motte. Our signal 
will be a smoke, and three guns discharged in succession, 
at a minute's interval, the signal to be repeated in half 
an hour. 

But, should we be attacked before reaching our destina- 
tion, in case we have the worst of it, you may expect us 
to make the above signals on the west side, between the 
Isle of Motte and the place of our action, on the 6th 
instant. As the time of our return is uncertain, I advise 
your not coming south of the Isle of Motte, as a contrary 
wind may prevent your getting in to my relief. Sergeant 
Hacket and ten rangers will remain with you during my 
absence. I advise you not to send parties to the island to 
take prisoners until the fifth day after my landing, as the 
loss of a man may be a serious misfortune at this time, 
and discover our intentions to the enemy. Mr. Holmes 
will probably return between the 11th and 16th days from 
his departure from the Missisqui bay ; one of the sloops 
may cruise for him off the bay. 

On the 9th of June, at midnight, Rogers landed, with 
two hundred men, on the west shore, opposite la Motte, 
and marched with all dispatch for St. John's. On the 


evening of the 15th they came to the road leading from 
that place to Montreal. At eleven at night they advanced 
within four hundred yards of the fort. The enemy was 
stronger than was expected, with seventeen sentinels so 
well posted as to render a surprise impossible. 

The scout was discovered, and alarm guns fired ; upon 
which the party retired at two o'clock, and proceeded 
down river to St. d'^trees. This place was reconnoitred 
at daybreak. The fort was a stockade, proof against 
small arms, and containing two large store-houses. The 
enemy were carting hay into the fort, and the rangers, 
watching their opportunity, when a cart was entering 
the gateway, rushed forward from their concealment, and 
captured the place before the gate could be closed. In 
the meantime other parties proceeded to the houses near 
the garrison (fifteen), which were all surprised without 
firing a gun. In the fort were twenty-four soldiers, and 
in the houses seventy-eight prisoners — men, women, and 
children. Several young men escaped to Chamblfee. 

Ascertaining, from an examination of the prisoners, 
that Chamblee could not be attacked with success, they 
burned the fort and village, with a large magazine of hay 
and provision. They killed all the cattle and horses ; and 
every batteau, canoe, wagon, and every thing which could 
be of service to the enemy, was destroyed. To the women 
and children Kogers gave a pass to Montreal, directed to 
all officers of the several detachments under his command. 
After this the* party continued their march to the east 
side of Lake Champlain. While passing Missisqui bay, 
opposite the Isle aux Noix, their advanced guard engaged 
with that of a detachment of eight hundred French, who 
were in quest of them ; but, as the enemy's main body 
was a mile behind, their advanced party retreated. The 
party continued their march to the lake, where a party 
had been sent forward to repeat the signals, and found the 
boats waiting, in which they all embarked, thus escaping 
the enemy, who appeared in full force a few minutes after. 
Mr. Grant had performed his duty like an able and faithful 


officer, patiently waiting with his vessels, and secaring 
the retreat of the party. 

Several of the prisoners had been at the siege of Quebec, 
and reported that the French lost five hundred men, and, 
after bombarding the place twelve days, had retired to 
"Jack's quarters,'* where General Levi had left five 
hundred regulars and four hundred Canadians ; that the 
remainder of his troops were quartered by threes and twos 
upon the inhabitants from that place to St. John's ; that 
in Montreal one hundred troops were stationed, the inhab- 
itants themselves performing duty ; that Chamblee fort 
contained one hundred and fifty men, workmen included ; 
that the remnant of the Queen's regiment were in the 
village ; that St. John's fort had twelve cannon and three 
hundred men, including workmen, who were obliged to 
take up arms at a moment's notice ; that three hundred 
men and one hundred pieces of cannon were stationed at 
the Isle aux Noix. 

On the 21st the twenty-six prisoners, under a guard of 
fifty men, were dispatched in a vessel to Crown Point, the 
others of the party remaining to cover Mr. Holmes' retreat 
He joined them the same evening, having failed in his 
enterprise by mistaking a river which falls into the Sorelle 
for that called Wigwam Martinique, which falls into the 
St. Lawrence near St. Francis. On the 23d the party 
reached Crown Point, and encamped on Chimney Point, 
directly opposite. 

The general wrote to Rogers, from C^najoharie, soon 
after his return, expressing his satisfaction of his conduct 
in this enterprise. Preparations were made for the army 
to advance into Canada, and, on the 16th of August, the 
embarkation was effected in the order following : Six 
hundred rangers and seventy Indians, in whale-boats, 
formed the advanced guard, at the distance of half a mile 
from the main body. Next followed the light infantry 
and grenadiers in two columns, under Colonel Darby. 
The right wing was composed of provincials, commanded 
by Brigadier Ruggles (of Boston), who was second in 


command. The left was made up of New-Hampshire and 
Boston troops, under Colonel Thomas. The 17th and 
27th- regiments formed the centre column under Major 
Campbell. Colonel Ilaviland was posted in front of these, 
between the light infantry and grenadiers. The royal 
artillery, under Colonel Orde, followed in four rideaux. 
In this order the troops moved down the lake forty miles 
the first day, and encamped on the west side. On the 
18th, embarking with a fresh south wind, they proceeded 
within ten miles of the Isle of Motte. The roughness of 
the water split one of the rangers' boats, by which acci- 
dent ten were downed. 

On the 9tb the army encamped on the Isle of Motte. 
On the 20th they proceeded twenty-two miles farther, and 
came in sight of the French fort. At ten o'clock A. M. 
Colonel Darby lauded his infantry and grenadiers, the 
rangers following without opposition, and occupied the 
ground over against the fort. Batteries were raised the 
next day, and shells thrown into the place. 

On the 25th Colonel Darby proposed to capture the 
enemy's rideaux and vessels lying at anchor. Two com- 
panies of regulars, four of rangers, and the Indians, were 
selected for the service, under Colonel Darby. Two light 
howitzers and a six-pounder were silently conveyed through 
the trees, and brought to bear upon the vessels before the 
enemy were aware of the design. The first shot from the 
six-pounder cut the cable of the great rideau, and the 
wind blew her to the east shore, where the English party 
were stationed. The other vessels weighed anchor, and 
steered for St. John's, but grounded in turning a point 
two miles from the fort. Rogers then led a party down 
the east shore, and, crossing a river thirty yards wide, 
arrived opposite the vessels. From thence a portion of 
his men kept up a fire, while others, armed with toma- 
hawks, swam oflT and boarded one of them. In the mean- 
time Colonel Darby captured the rideau, had her manned, 
and secured the other two. Colonel Haviland sent down 


men to work the ressels, and ordered the party to join the 
army that night- 

At midnight the French evacuated the island, and 
reached the main land, leaving their sick behind. Next 
morning Colonel Haviland took possession of the fort. 

On the second day after Monsieur Bonville's retreat, 
Colonel Haviland ordered the rangers to pursue him as 
far as St. John's, about twenty miles down the lake, and 
await the arrival of the army, but by no means to approach 
nearer to Montreal. 

At daylight they reached St. John's in boats. The place 
was on fire, and the enemy had retreated. Two prisoners 
informed that Monsieur Bonville was that night to encamp 
half way on the road to Montreal ; that he left St John's 
at nine o'clock the night before ; that many of his troops 
were sick, and they thought some of them would not 
reach the place of encampment until late in the aft;emoon. 
It was now seven o'clock in the morning, and a portion 
of the men were directed to fortify the houses standing 
near the lake shore, while the remainder should pursue 
Monsieur Bonville. At eight o'clock Bx^gers left the boats, 
under the protection of two hundred rangers, while, with 
four hundred others and the two Indian companies, he 
pursued the track of the French army, now consisting of 
fifteen hundred French and one hundred Indians. Rogers 
followed with such diligence as to overtake their rear 
guard of two hundred men two miles before they reached 
their ground of encampment. They were immediately 
attacked, broken, and pursued to the main body.* The 
rangers pursued in good order, expecting General Bon- 
ville would make a stand. But, instead of this, he pushed 
forward to the river, where he intended to encamp ; which 
he crossed, and broke down the bridge, thus putting a 
stop to the pursuit. The enemy encamped within a good 
breast-work, which had been prepared for their reception. 
In the pursuit the rangers lessened their numbers, and 

*In this attack the rangers fired the last hostile guns for the conquest of 
Canada. This was the finishing skirmish. 


returned in safety. In the evening Colonel Haviland'fe 
detachment arrived at St. John's, and next day proceeded 
down the Sorelle as far as St. d'Estrees, and fortified their 

From this place Rogers proceeded, with his rangers, 
down the Sorelle, to bring the inhabitants under subjec- 
tion to his Britannic majesty. They entered the settled 
parts of the country by night, collected all the priests and 
militia officers, and directed them to assemble all the 
inhabitants who were willing to surrender their arms, 
take the oath of allegiance, and keep their possessions. 
After this he joined. Colonel Darby, at Chamblee, where 
he had brought several pieces of light artillery to reduce 
the fort ; but, as the garrison consisted of but fifty men, 
they soon fefter surrendered at discretion. 

September 2. The army having nothing farther to per- 
form, and favorable intelligence having been received 
from Generals Amherst and Murray, Major Rogers, with 
the rangers, was detached to join the latter, and on the 
6th reached Longueville, four miles below Montreal, and 
next morning reported himself to General Murray, whose 
camp was directly opposite. General Amherst had at this 
time arrived, and landed his army within about two miles 
of the city. Early in the morning General Vaudreuil, the 
commander-in-chief of all the Canadas, proposed to Gen- 
eral Amherst a capitulation. The articles of surrender 
were signed on the 8th, and on the same evening the 
English troops took possession of the gates of Montreal. 
Next morning the light infantry and grenadiers of the 
whole army, under Colonel Haldiman, with two pieces of 
cannon and several howitzers, entered the city. Among 
the trophies here recovered were the colors of Peppereirs 
and Shirley's regiments, which had been captured at 
Oswego. Thus, at the end of five campaigns, the whole 
Canadian territory became subject to tiie king of Great 

On the 12th of September General Amherst issued the 
following orders : 


By His Excellency, Jeffrey Amherst, Esquire, Major General and Com- 
mtindor-in-chief of His Majesty's Forces in North-America, &c. 

To Major Rogers^ of His Majesty's Independent Companies 
of Hangers : 

You will, upon receipt of this, proceed with Waite's 
and Hazen's companies of rangers to Fort William Augus- 
tus, taking with you one Joseph Poupao, alias la Fleur, 
an inhabitant of Detroit, and Lieutenant Brheme, assist- 
ant engineer. 

From that fort you will continue your voyage by the 
north shore to Niagara, thence transporting your boats 
over the carrj-ing-place to Lake Erie. Major Walters, 
commanding at Niagara, will render you any assistance 
you may require, and deliver up Monsieur Qaraelin, who 
was made prisoner at the taking of that fortress, to be 
conducted, with said la Fleur, , to their habitations at 
Detroit ; where, upon taking the oath of allegiance to his 
majesty, whose subjects they have become by the capitula- 
tion of the 8th, they are to be protected in the peaceable 
enjoyment of their property. 

You will next proceed to Presque Isle,* and make 
known your orders to the commander of that post. You 
will there leave your whale-boats and most of your detach- 
ment, proceeding with the remainder to join General 
Monckton, wherever he may be. Deliver him your dis- 
patches, and obey such orders as he may give you for 
relieving the garrisons of Detroit, Michilimackinac, and 
their dependencies ; for collecting the arms of the inhabit- 
ants, and administering the oath of allegiance. This you 
will see administered to the said Poupao. 

You are to bring away the French troops and arms to 
such place as General Monckton shall direct. After com- 
pleting this service, you will march your detachment back 
to Presque Isle or Niagara, according to the orders you 
receive from General Monckton, and, leaving your boats 
in charge of the officer at one of those posts, march your 

* Erie, Pennsylvania. 


detachment by land to Albany, or wherever I may be, to 
receive farther orders. 

Given under my hand, at head quarters, in the camp at 
Montreal, 12th September, 1760. 


By His Excellency's command — 

J. Appy, Sec'y. 

An additional order was given him, to be shown only 
to commanders of the different posts he might touch at. 
The objects of the expedition were to be kept secret, lest 
the Indians, through whose country he must pass, should 
impede his march. The order was as follows : 

Major Walters, or the commander at Niagara, will 
judge whether there is sufficient proAnision at Presque Isle, 
and Major Rogers will accordingly take provisions from 
Niagara or not, as the case may be. The route from 
Montreal to Fort William Augustus will require eight 
days' provisions ; from that post he will take a sufficient 
quantity to proceed to Niagara. Major Rogers knows 
whither he is going, and what provisions he will want. 
A quantity should also be in store at Presque Isle, for the 
party General Monckton will send. 


Montreal, 12th September, 1760.. 

September 13, 1760. In pursuance of these orders. Major 
Rogers and his party embarked at Montreal, in fifteen 
whale-boats. The detachments consisted of Captains 
Brewer and Waite, Lieutenant Brheme, of the engineers, 
Lieutenant Davis, of the royal artillery, and two hundred 
rangers. At night they encamped at La Chien. Next 
morning they reached Isle de Prairies, and surveyed the 
Indian settlements at Cayawaga and Canasedaga. 

16th. They reached an island in lake St. Francis, and 
the next night encamped on the western shore, at the foot 
of the upper rifts. Next day they ascended the rifts, and 


passed the night on the north shore, opposite a number of 

19th. At evening they reached the Isle de Galettes, 
and spent the next day in repairing the boats which had 
been damaged in passing the rapids. Ten sick rangers 
were sent to Colonel Fitch, at Oswego, to proceed thence 
to Albany. 

21st. At twelve o'clock they left the island, but the 
wind being unfavorable, they passed Oswegatchie, and 
encamped three miles above, on the north shore. 

22d. The course was continued up the river, and the 
party halted in the evening, at the narrow passes near the 
islands. The wind abating, at midnight they embarked, 
rowed the remainder of the night and the next day, until 
they reached the ruins of old Fort Frontenac, where a 
party of Indian hunters from Oswegatchie were encamped. 
The next day proving stormy, with snow and rain squalls, 
the engineer took a plan of the old fort, situated at the 
bottom of a fine safe harbor. Five hundred acres had 
been cleared around the fort ; a few pine trees were still 
standing, and the situation was pleasant. The soil, though 
covered with clover, appeared rocky and barren. The 
Indians were highly pleased with the news of the surren- 
der of Canada, and supplied plenty of venison and wild 

25th. They steered ^. two miles, then W. six miles, to 
the mouth of a river thirty feet wide ; thence S. four 
miles, where the party halted to refresh. In the afternoon 
they steered for a mountain, bearing S. W., which was 
reached in the night, and proved to be a steep rock, one 
hundred feet high. They rowed all night, and break- 
fasted on shore at eight next morning. They then pro- 
ceeded, and at eight in the evening were one hundred 
miles from Frontenac. 

27th. This day being windy, the party hunted and 
killed many deer. The land was poor and rocky, as is 
generally the case on the north shore of Lake Ontario. 
The timber is chiefly hemlock and pine. 


28th. They steered S. W., leaving on the right a large 
bay, twenty miles wide, the western side of which termi- 
nates in a point, and a small island. Proceeding fifteen 
miles W. by 8., they entered the mouth of a river, called 
by the Indians the " Grace of Man ; " there they encamped, 
and found fifty Mississaqua Indians fishing for salmon. 
Upon the first appearance of the boats, the whole party 
ran down to the shore to testify their joy at the sight of 
English colors, and fired their muskets until the party 
landed. They presented the major with a deer, just killed, 
and split in halves, with the skin on, which is a significant 
token of their great respect. They pretended to be well 
pleased with the success of the English. 

In the evening they invited the men to fish with them. 
They went out, and in half an hour filled a bark canoe 
with salmon. They returned, much pleased with the 
sport, and the attentions of their tawny companions. Their 
mode of taking the fish was a curious one : one person 
held a pine torch, while another struck the fish with a spear. 
The soil near the river was good, and the country level. 
The timber was chiefiy oak and maple, or the sugar tree. 

29th. The party proceeded fifteen miles farther on a 
W. 8. W. course, and came to a river called " the Life of 
Man." Here twenty Mississaquas were hunting, and paid 
them compliments similar to those of their brethren. 
They presented Major Rogers with a young bear, split in 
halves. The rangers here caught plenty of salmon. The 
land was level, the soil rich, and of a dark color. The 
shore of the lake was quite low. 

30th. The wind was fair, and, by the aid of sails, they 
reached Toronto in the evening, having run seventy miles. 
Many long points, extending into the lake, caused fre- 
quent alterations of their course. They passed a bank 
twenty miles long, behind which was a heavy growth of 
oak, hickory, maple, poplar, and white wood. The soil 
was principally clay. A tract of three hundred acres, 
cleared, surrounded the remains of the old. fort of 
Toronto. Deer were plenty. 

472 MEMOIR or 

A party of Indians, at the mouth of the river, fled to 
the woods, but returned next morning, expressing great 
joy at the news of the success over the French. They 
said that the party could reach Detroit in eight days; 
that, when the French resided h^re, the Indians brought 
furs from Michilimackinac down the river Toronto ; that 
the portage was only twenty miles from that to a river 
falling into Lake Huron, which was broken by several 
falls, but none of any consequence ; and that there was a 
carrying-place of fifteen miles, from some westerly part of 
Lake Erie to a river running through several Indian towns, 
without any falls, into Lake St. Clair. Toronto appeared 
an eligible place for a factory, from which the British 
government might easily settle the north side of Lake Erie. 

October 1. They steered south, across the west end of 
Lake Ontario, and reached the shore four miles from Fort 
Niagara, where they passed the night, and repaired the 

October 2. The party embarked with orders for the 
boats to be in line ; and, if the wand should rise, a red 
flag was to be hoisted, upon which signal the boats were 
to close, so as to be enabled to assist each other in case of 
leaks. By this measure Lieutenant McCormick's boat's 
crew was saved, with no other loss than the men's knap- 
sacks. They halted next day at Niagara, and were supplied 
with blankets, coats, shoes, shirts, moccasins, &c. They 
also received eighty barrels of beef, and exchanged two 
whale-boats for as many batteaux, which proved leaky. 

October 8. In the evening a party proceeded up the 
Niagara river seven miles, to the falls, with provisions. 
Next morning they were followed by the whole detach- 
ment, who immediately commenced the portage of the 
baggage and provisions. While they were thus occupied, 
Messrs. Brheme and Davis took a survey of the great 
cataract of Niagara, the roaring of which had been heard 
at several miles distance. 

Modern travellers who yearly visit this, one of the 
grandest creations of nature, can imagine the arduous 


labors of these hardy rangers in transporting their boats 
and baggage up the bank of this river, from the foot of 
the cataract, which is one hundred and fifty feet in height, 
to ascend which, even at the present time, without a load, 
by aid of steps and stairs, is a laborious undertaking. 
The rangers were more than one day engaged in convey- 
ing their boats and baggage round the falls. On the fifth 
of October Rogers, with Lieutenants Brheme, Holmes and 
eight rangers embarked, in a birch-bark canoe, for Presque 
Isle, leaving Captain Brewer in command, with orders to 
follow to the same post. Rogers encamped that night 
eight miles up the Niagara river, and at noon next day 
entered the waters of Lake Erie. Leaving a small bay* 
or creek upon his left, he reached the south shore at 
sunset, and, thence proceeding west until eight o'clock, 
drew up his canoe on a sandy beach, forty miles from the 
last night's encampment. 

October 7. The wind being fresh, he made but twenty- 
eight miles in a south-west course. 

October 8. Pursuing a southerly course, he reached 
Presque Isle in the afternoon. Here the party remained 
until three o'clock, when the eight rangers were sent 
back to meet and assist Captain Brewer ; while, with three 
men, in a bark canoe furnished by Colonel Bouquet, 
commander of the post, Rogers, with Messrs. Bhreme 
and Holmes, proceeded to French creek, and that night 
encamped half way on the road to Fort du Bceuf, which 
they reached at ten o'clock next day. After three hours' 
rest they passed on. to the lower crossings. The land on 
both sides appeared rich, and covered with large and 
valuable timber. They passed the night of the 11th at 
the Mingo Cabins, and on the 12th lodged at Venango. 
Thence they proceeded down the Alleghany river, and, on 
the 17th delivered their dispatches to General Monckton, 
at Pittsburg. The general promised to forward his instruc- 
tions by Mr. Croghan, and to dispatch Captain Campbell, 
with a company of Royal Americans, to his support. On 

* Now Buffalo harbor. 


the 20th Rogers started on his return to Presque Isle, 
which he-reached October 30th. Mr. Brewer had arrived 
there three days before, having lost several boats and part 
of the provisions. Captain Campbell arrived next day. 
The boats were now repaired, and Rogers, having learned 
that a vessel expected from Niagara, with provisions, had 
been lost in a gale on the lake, dispatched Captain Brewer, 
with a drove of forty cattle supplied by Colonel Bouquet, to 
proceed by land to Detroit. Mr. Waite was sent back to 
Niagara for more provisions, and directed to cruise along 
the north shore of Lake Erie, and wait for farther orders 
about twenty miles east of the strait, between Lake St. 
Clair and Lake Erie. Captain Brewer was furnished with 
a bateau to ferry his party over the creeks, two horses, 
and Captain Monter, with twenty Indians of the Six 
Nations, Delawares, and Shawanese, to protect him from 
the hostile tribes of the west. The following order of 
march was adopted on the reembarkment of the party 
from Presque Isle : " The boats are to row two deep — 
Major Rogers' and Captain Croghan's boats in front ; 
next Captain Campbell's corps, followed by the rangers — 
Lieutenant Holmes commanding the rear guard with his 
own boat ; and that of Mr. Waite will hold himself in 
readiness to assist any boat in distress. Should the wind 
blow so hard that the boats can not preserve their order, a 
red flag will be hoisted in the major's boat. The other 
boats will then steer for the flag, and make their landing 
as well as may be. Officers and men were advised to pay 
no attention to the waves of the lake, but, when- the surf 
was high, to ply their oars, and the men at the helms to 
keep the boats quartering, in which case no injury can 
happen. Ten of the best* steersmen of the rangers will 
attend Captain Campbell's party. The officers of the 
boats will hearken to the steersmen in all cases in a storm. 
K thought best to proceed in the night, a blue flag will 
be hoisted in the major's boat, which is the signal for the 
boats to dress. Mr. Brheme is to pay no regard to this 
order of march, but to steer as is most convenient for 


making his observations. On landing, the regulars are 
to encamp in the centre; Lieutenant Holmes and Mr. 
Croghan, with their men, on the left wing; and Mr, Joquipe 
with his Mohegans, will constitute a picket, and encamp 
in front. The generale.Bhal\ be beat, when ordered by the 
major, as the signal for embarking. No guns are to be 
fired unless by permission, or in case of distress. No man 
must leave the lines unless by order. Captain Campbell 
will parade and review his men as often as he thinks 
proper. Mr. Croghan will regularly report to the major 
the intelligence received from the Indians during the day. 
November 4. The detachment left Presque Isle, and, 
proceeding slowly, with bad weather, reached Chogagee 
river on* the 7th, where they met a party of Attawawas 
returning from Detroit. They were informed of the 
reduction of the Canadas, and that this party were on their 
way to Detroit to bring away the French garrison. Rogers 
offered them a belt, and proposed to them to go with him 
and witness the result. They retired to hold a council, 
promising an answer next day. In the evening the 
calumet or pipe of peace was smoked, all the officers 
and Indians smoking in turn from the same pipe. The 
peace being thus concluded, the party went to rest ; but, 
as the sincerity of the Indians was doubted, a strict guard 
was kept. In the morning the Indians said their young 
warriors would go, while the old ones would stay and 
hunt for their families. Rogers gave them a string of 
wampum, and charged them to send some of their chiefs 
with the party wjho drove the cattle on shore, to spread 
the news of his arrival, and prevent any annoyance from 
their hunters. Bad weather detained the English party 
here until the 12th, during which time the Indians held a 
plentiful market of venison and wild turkeys in their 
camp. After passing the mouths of several small streams, 
the party reached a small river a few miles beyond San- 
dusky, and encamped. From this place a letter was 
dispatched to the commandant of Detroit, as follows : 


Sir — That you may not be alarmed at the approach of 
English troops, I send this in advance, by Lieutenant 
Bhremc, to inform you that I have General Amherst's 
orders to take possession of Detroit and its dependencies, 
which, according to a capitulation, signed on the 8th of 
September last by the Marquis de Vaudreuil and General 
Amherst, now belong to his Britannic majesty. I have 
with me letters from the Marquis de Vaudreuil to you 
directed, which I will deliver on arriving at or near your 
fort. I have also a copy of the capitulation. 

I am, sir, your obed*t serv't, 


To Captain Beleter. 

The land on the south shore of Lake Erie has a fine 
appearance. The country is mostly level, and heavily 
timbered with oak, hickory, maple, beach, and locust; 
and for plenty and variety of game was at this time not 
surpassed by any country in the world. 

On the 20th of November Rogers followed Mr. Bhreme, 
proceeding nine miles to a river three hundred feet wide. 
Here several Huron sachems gave information that four 
hundred Indian warriors were assembled at the mouth 
of the strait to oppose his passage, and that Monsieur 
Beleter had incited them to defend their country ; and 
that themselves were messengers to demand his business, 
and whether the person sent forward told the truth 
that all Canada was surrendered to the English. Rogers 
confirmed the account. He told them that Detroit was 
to be given up to him, gave them a large belt, and spoke 
as follows : " Brothers, with this belt I take you by the 
hand. Go to your people at the strait, and tell them to 
go home to their towns until I arrive at the fort. There 
I will send for you, after Monsieur Beleter is sent away, 
which will be in two days after my arrival. You. shall 
live happily in your own country. Tell your warriors to 
mind their French fathers no more, for they are all 
prisoners to the English, who have left them their houses 


and goods upon their swearing by the Great One, who 

made the world, to become as Englishmen. They are your 

brothers, and you must not abuse them. When we meet 

at Detroit I will convince you that what I say is true." 

November 22. The party encamped upon a river twenty 

yards wide, where fuel was procured with difficulty, the 

western shore of Lake Eric abounding in swamps. Next 

day they rowed ten miles to Cedar point. Here several 

Indians they had seen the day before came to them. 

They said their'warriors had gone up to Monsieur Beleter, 

who was a strong man, and intended to fight. On the 

24th the party proceeded twenty-four miles, and encamped 

upon a long point. That night sixty Indians came with 

<ft)ngratulations, and offered to escort them to Detroit. 

They reported that Mr. Bhreme and his party were 

confined, and that Monsieur Beleter had set up a high 

flag-staff, with a v^oden effigy of a man*s head at the 

top of it, and upon that a crow ; that the crow meant 

himself, and the head meant Rogers, whose brains he 

should pick out This, they said, had no effect on them, 

for they told him the reverse would be the true sign. At 

the mouth of the strait the sachems desired Rogers to 

call together his officers. He did so, and the 26th was 

spent in conciliating their savage dispositions to peace 

and friendship. On the 27tli Monsieur Babec brought the 

following letter : 

• * 

Sir — I have read your letter, but, having no interpreter, 

can not fully understand it. Your officer informs me 

that he was sent to give notice of your arrival to take 

possession of this post, according to the capitulation of 

Canada. I beg you will halt at the mouth of the river, 

and send me Monsieur Vaudreuirs letter, that I may 

conform to his instructions. I am surprised that no 

French officer accompanies you, as is usual in such cases. 

I have the honor, &c., 

de beleter. 

To Major Rogers. 


Soon after this Captain Barrenger, with a French party, 
beat a parley on the western shore. Mr. McCormick went 
over to him, and returned with an officer, bearing the 
following letter : 

Sir — ^I have already, by Mr. Barrenger, informed you 
the reasons why I could not answer particularly your 
letter delivered by your officer on the 22d. I am unac- 
quainted with his reasons for not returning to you. I 
have sent my Huron interpreter to that^ nation to stop 
them, should they be on the road, not knowing whether 
they are disposed in your favor or my own ; and to direct 
them to behave peaceably ; to inform them that I knew 
my duty to my general, and should conform to his orderj. 

Be not surprised, sir, if you find the inhabitants of this 
coast upon their guard. They were told you had several 
Indian nations with you, and had promised them the 
plunder of the place. I have, therefore, directed the 
inhabitants to take up arms, which may be for your safety 
as well as ours ; for, should these Indians become insolent, 
you may not be able to subdue them alone. 

I flatter myself, sir, that when this comes to hand, 
you will send some of your gentlemen with Monsieur 
Vaudreuil's letter and the capitulation. 

I have the honor to be, &c., 

To Major Rogers. 

November 28. The detachment encamped five miles up 
the river, having rowed against the wind. On the 29th 
Captain Campbell, with Messieurs Barrenger and Babec, 
were dispatched with this letter : 

Sir — I acknowledge the receipt of your two letters yes- 
terday. Mr. Bhreme has not yet returned. The inclosed 
letter from Monsieur Vaudreuil will inform you of the 
surrender of Canada; of the indulgence granted the 
inhabitants, and the terms allowed to the troops of his 
most christian majesty. Captain Campbell will show 


you the capitulation. I beg you will not detain him, as 
I have General Amherst's orders immediately to relieve 
the place. My troops will halt without the town till 
four o'clock, when I shall expect your answer. Your 
inhabitants being under arms \Cill not surprise me, bs I 
have as yet seen no others in that condition, excepting 
savages awaiting my orders. The inhabitants of Detroit 
shall not be molested, they and you complying with the 
capitulation. They shall be protected in tlieir estates, 
and shall not be pillaged by my Indians, nor yours who 
have joined me. 

Yours, &c., 

To Captain De Beleter, Commander of Detroit. 

The detachment landed half a mile below the fort, and 
drew up in front of it iti a field of grass. Here Captain 
Campbell joined them, with a French officer, who, with 
Captain Beleter's compliments, informed Major Rogers that 
the garrison was at his command. Lieutenants McCormick 
and Leslie, with thirty-six Royal Americans, immediately 
took possession of the fort. The troops of the garrison 
piled their arms ; the French flag was hauled down, and 
that of the English run up in its place. Upon this about 
seven hundred Indians, who were looking on at a little dis- 
tance, gave a shout, exulting in the verification of their 
prophecy that the crow represented the English instead of 
the French. They appeared astonished at the submissive 
salutations of the inhabitants, and expressed great satis- 
faction at the generosity of the English in not putting 
them all to death. They declared that in future they 
would tight for a nation thus favored by the Great Spirit. 
The commander delivered Major Rogers a plan of the 
fort, with an inventory of the stores and armament, and 
before noon of December 1st the militia had been collected, 
disarmed, and taken the oath of allegiance. Monsieur 
Beleter and his troops were ordered to Philadelphia, 


under the charge of Lieutenant Holmes and thirty rangers. 
Captain Campbell, with the Royal Americans, was ordered 
to garrison the fort. Captain AVaite and Liewtenant Butler 
were detached, with twenty men, to bring the French 
garrisons from Forts Miami and Gatanois. A party was 
directed to remain there, if possible, through the winter, 
to watch the enemy*8 motions in Illinois. Mr. McKee, 
with a French officer, was sent to Shawauese Town, on 
the Ohio, to bring off the French troops. As provisions 
grew scarce at Detroit, Captain Brewer, with most of 
the rangers, was ordered to- Niagara, leaving Lieutenant 
McCormick, wntli thirty-seven privates, to accompany 
Major Rogers to Michilimackinac. Rogers concluded a 
treaty with the several tribes living in the vicinity of 
Detroit, and departed for Lake Huron. 

December 10. He encamped at the north end of Lake St. 
Clair, and the next evening at the entrance of a considerable 
river, where a large body of Indians were hunting. 

December 12. He came to the entrance of Lake Huron, 
and met many Indians hunting on both sides of the outlet 
He coasted along the west shore for three days, making 
one hundred miles, when the ice cakes obstructed his 
farther passage. He consulted the Indians as to the 
practicability of a journey to Michilimackinac by land. 
They declared it an impossibility at this season without 
snow-shoes. Rogers was therefore obliged to return. 
He was so impeded by the ice, that he did not reach 
Detroit until the 21st of December. 

December 23. Rogers left the command of Detroit to 
Captnin Campbell, and departed for Pittsburg. He marched 
along the lake shore, and reached Sandusky January 2, 
176L The soil from Detroit is excellent, being well 
timbered with black and white oak, hickory, locust, 
maple, sassafras, and white wood. Several immense black 
walnuts* are also found on the south shore of Lake Erie. 

♦ One of these trees stood, in 1824, near Cataraugus creek, N. Y., which 
was thirty feet in circumference. The trunk was hollow, and used for a 
refreshment shop for travellers passing along the road. A section of it 
was afterward carried down the New-York canal to place in a bar-room 
at New- York. 


Along the west end of Lake Erie Rogers reports that 
plenty of wild apples were found. He passed through 
many rich savannahs (or prairies), of many miles* extent, 
without a tree, and clothed with long jointed grass, nearly 
six feet high, which, decaying every year, adds fertility to 
the soil. Sandusky bay is fifteen miles long, and about 
six miles wide. Here Rogers halted to refresh at a village 
of Wyandots. The next day he passed through a meadow, 
saw several wigwams, and halted at a small village of ten 
wigwams. Here he saw a spring issuing from the side of 
a small hill, with such force as to rise three feet. He 
judged that it discharged ten hogsheads in a minute. He 
continued his march through the prairies, killing plenty^ 
of deer and wild turkeys, and encamped in the woods. 

Janvxiry 4. He crossed a river twenty-five yards wide, 
where were two wigwams. A few yards onward, in a 
south-east course, he came to another wigwam of Wyan- 
dots who were hunting there. From this he proceeded 
south, and crossed the same river he passed in the morn- 
ing. Several deer were killed during the day*s march. 

January 5. He encamped on Muskingum creek, there 
eight yards wide. 

January 6. He travelled fourteen miles farther, and 
encamped by a fine spring. 

January 7. After travelling six miles he came to Mus- 
kingum creek, there twenty yards wide ; and an Indian 
town, called the Mingo Cabins, lies about twenty yards 
from the creek on the east side. Only three Indians were 
at home, the remainder being out on a hunting party. 
They had plenty of cows, horses, hogs^ &c. 

January 8. This day was passed with the Indians, 
repairing moccasins and preparing provisions. 

January 9. The party travelled twelve miles south-east, 
and encamped on a long meadow, where the Indians were 

January 10. They made eleven miles, and on their 
march killed three bears and two elks. 


January 11. They fell in with a party of Wyandot and 
Six Nations Indians hunting together. 

January 12. They travelled six miles, and in the even- 
ing killed several beavers. 

January 13. The party travelled six miles north-east, 
and came to Beaver Town, a village of the Delawares. 
The town covers a good tract of land, on the west side of 
the Muskingum, Which is joined by a river opposite the 
town. The latter is thirty yards wide, and the former 
forty. Their junction forms a fine stream, which flows 
with a swift current toward the south-west. The Indians 
have here three thousand acres of land cleared. The 
• warriors number one hundred and eighty. The country 
from Sandusky to this place is low and rich. No pine 
timber was noticed, but plenty of white, black, and yellow 
oak, black and white walnut, cypress, chestnut, and locust 
The party rested here until the 16th, and obtained a supply 
of corn from the Indians. 

January 16. They marched nine miles to a small river. 

January 19. After passing several creeks, they came to 
a small river where the Delawares were hunting. 

Januxiry 20. They reached Beaver creek in sight of the 
Ohio. Three Indian wigwams were seen on the west side. 

January 21. They travelled south-east twenty miles, and 
encamped with the Indians. 

January 26. They reached the Ohio, opposite Fort Pitt. 
From this post Lieutenant McCormick was -ordered to 
cross^ the country to Albany, with the rangers, while 
Major Rogers proceeded by the common road over the 
mountains to Philadelphia, and thence to New- York, 
where he reported his proceedings to General Amherst 
February 14, 1761. 



June 12, 1759. •' It is the general's orders that no scout- 
ing parties or others in the army under his command shall, 
whatsoever opportunity they have, scalp any women or 
children belonging to the enemy. They may bring them 
away if they can ; but, if not, they are to leave them 
unhurted ; and he is determined that, if they should 
murther or scalp any women or children who are subjectJS 
of the king of England, he will revenge it by the death 
of two men of the enemy, whenever he has occasion, for 
every man, woman, or child murthered by the enemy." 

June 22, 1759. " Commanding officers may send their 
men for greens ; but they must go only a short distance 
from the fort, and never without a covering party. No 
soldier, except with a party, is to go beyond the outposts 
of the camp." 

June 24. "Effects of late Lieutenant Watts, of late 
Forbes' regiment, to be sold at auction at the head of the 
colors of said regiment." 

The following extract from general orders regards a 
field of green peas, in the vicinity of Crown Point, August 
5, 1759 : 

''As there is a field of pease found, they shall be divided 
amongst the army ; and the corps are to send to-morrow 
two men per company with arms, •o, sergeant per regiment, 
and an officer per brigade ; each corps and the artillery 
taking two batteaux, and assembling in the front of the 
fort at five in the morning. Gage's light infantry sends 
a captain, two subalterns, and a partie of men in the 
English boat, with the three-pounder, to cover the batteaux; 
Lieutenant Willampze to shew where the pease are ; and 
major of brigade, Skeene, will proportion out the quantity 
each regiment is to take, taking care that they pluck 
them properly, and to take none but what is fit to be 
gathered, and that they do not spoil them in gathering • 
them. They are then to return altogether to camp ; and 
the pease muste be equallie divided amongst the messes." 


Similar parties were frequently sent out to obtain spruce 
for brewing beer for the army. Extract from general 
orders, August 6, 1759 : 

"An officer and fifty rangers to assemble at Gage's 
light infantry at five o'clock to-morrow morning. .They 
will take six batteaux, and proceed two miles down the 
lake, where they will cut spruce. The officer will take 
the French prisoner who is on the general's guard, who 
will shew him where the spruce is ; and a man who can 
talk German to the intci-preter. A party of Gage's light 
infantry will go in the English boat to guard the batteaux. 
The officer will deliver the spruce under the care of the 
sergeant's guard at the fort."* 


June 9. " Major Rogers will furnish forty mien for a 
covering party." 

June 17. " Major Rogers will take care the ground in 
front is clear;" meaning the ground where the provincials 
who were not marksmen were to fire five rounds each for 
practice, officers of their several regiments attending to 
see that the men leveled well. 

June 20. " Major Rogers, with the rangers, and Major 
Gladwin, with Gage's light infantry, will form the advanced • 
guard, and are to take great precautions in keeping out 
flanking parties to the left, as well as to the right," 

June 22. "Major Rogers is on all detachments to take 
rank as major, according to the date of his commission as 
such, next after majors who have the king's commission, 
or one from his majesty's commander-in-chief." 

June 25. " The three eldest companies of light infantry 
under Major Holmes, two hundred rangers and Indians 
under Major Rogers, the whole under the command of 
Colonel Haviland, to be ready to march when dark." 

♦Opposition writers for the British press, commenting upon the slow 
progress of General Amherst, insinuatea *' that if, instead of wasting &o 
much time in gathering peas and brewing spruce beer, at Crown Point, 
he had advanced into Canada to cooperate with the expedition of the dar- 
ing and heroic Wolfe, the campaign of 1759 would have terminated with 
the capitulation of Canada the same season which witnessed the surrender 
of Quebec. 


July 16, 1759. " Eight of the provincial regiments are 
to give thirteen men each, and two of the provincial regi- 
ments fourteen men, for the ranging service ; the men to 
be told they will be paid for it the diflerence bet\yeen the 
provincial pay and that of the rangers. Commanding 
officers of those battalions to tnm out all volunteers will- 
ing to serve in the rangers to-morrow morning at ten 
o*clock. Major Rogers will attend, and choose the number 
each regiment is to turn out of such volunteers." 

Jidy 18. " The men that have chose to serve with the 
rangers to join them this afternoon at five o'clock, and follow 
such orders as they shall receive from Major Rogers.'* 

Ticonderoga, 25 July, 1759. " Sixty of Major Rogers' 
rangers will march with the commanding officer to the 
trenches this night, and will be employed at a proper time 
to alarm the enemy, by firing into their covered way, and 
keeping their attention from the workmen. 

July 27. Major Rogers will send a company of rangers 
to-morrow morning, with all the boats, to the fort. The 
companies posted on the lake side from Colonel Haviland's 
corps will join their corps at reveille beating ; after which 
Major Rogers will put trees across the foot path that has 
been made by the lake side. Major Rogers will receive 
his orders from the general. * * * Major Ord will 
send this night for the two twelve-pounders that are at 
Major Rogers' camp." 

July 28. " The rangers will be posted beyond the saw- 
mills, on the right, as ordered by Major Rogers." 

August 4. " Major Rogers is to send a sufficient party 
of men, with an officer, to take three batteaux to-morrow 
morning, very early, to Ticonderoga to apply to Ser- 
jeant Airy, who will load them with spruce beer, which 
they are immediately to bring to camp here." 

July 5. " The camp not be alarmed by Major Rogers 
firing on the other side of the lake." 

August 6. " Major Rogers to send a party of men, with 
an officer, to take two batteaux immediately to Ticon- 
deroga, to apply to Serjeant Airy for spruce beer, which 


they are to load and bring to camp here without the loss 
of time." * * * 

" Major Rogers will send one captain, two subalterns, 
and sixty men as a covering party, with some Indians, and 
an officer with them, to shew the commanding officer of 
the working party the best wood on the other side of the 
lake. The covering party must not fire any dropping 
shots at game.** 

"A captain and sixty rangers to set out to-morrow 
morning, at 5 o'clock, with six batteaux; Gage's light 
infantry will send at the same time the English boat to 
cover the batteaux, and the English boat to stay out till 
towards evening. The captain of the rangers will take out 
the French deserter from the gen'eral's guard, and must go 
to the place that the deserter will shew him ; at which place 
the French have supplied themselves with spruce, and they 
must bring as much spruce to camp as they can." 

August 10. • •* A detachment of two hundred rangers, 
and one hundred of Gage's light infantry, and one company 
of light infantry, and one of grenadiers, to assemble to-mor- 
row, in their whale-boats, as soon as reveille is beat in the 
front of the fort. Gage's light infantry will be commanded 
by a captain and three subalterns, and are to take the two 
boats, with the three-pounders, and* one boat, with a two- 
pounder. The whole must take one day's provision with 
them. Major Rogers will command the rangers; and the 
whole detachment is to be commanded by Lieut. Col. 
Darby, who will receive his orders from the general." 


Shot or hanged. Whipped. 

May 29 8 :..0 

June 14 1 5 

" 28 1 

July 18 1 

" 19 7 

August 2 2 8 

" 8 1 

" 14 2 

October 4 1 1 

8 20 

Commissary WiUon*a Orderly Book, 



Thomas Burnside was one of the celebrated corps of 
rangers whose exploits contributed a very important por- 
tion of materials for the history of the "seven years 
war'* in America. If his majesty, Frederic of Prussia, 
acted during that war, in Europe, the part of general, as 
he may be considered, for his cousin and ally, George of 
England, humbler individuals in America were striving to 
attain the same object — that of humbling the power of 

Among those individuals was Mr. Burnside. Although 
reported as wounded in the bloody skirmish near Ticon- 
deroga, January 21, 1767, he volunteered, as an attendant 
of Lieutenant Stark, to convey the account of it to Fort 
William Henry, a distance of forty miles, and request 
sleighs to bring in the wounded. 

After the peace of 1763, he settled at Stratford, in Coiis 
county, N. H., and soon afterward that township contained 

two inhabitants — Mr. Burnside and his neighbor . 

The former, desirous of becoming one of his majesty's jus- 
tices of the peace, inquired of the facetious Colonel Barr, 
of Londonderry, how he should proceed to obtain his 
commission. He advised him to procure a firkin of butter, 
and a piece of Londonderry linen, both of Scotch Irish 
manufacture, as presents to Governor Wentworth, and pro- 
ceed to Portsmouth and make his application in person. 

Accordingly, with his presents, he called upon Governor 
Wentworth, at his seat (Little Harbor), and preferred his 
request. The latter inquired how many inhabitants the 
township contained. Burnside replied, " Oh, only me and 


ray neighbor, and we can not live any longer without a 
justice of the peace." 

Amused by this most singular application, the governor 
inquired who was the most suitable person to be appointed. 
" Myself,'* was the reply; " for my neighbor is no more 
lit for it than the devil is.** The commission was granted, 
and the new justice immediately qualified. 

Observing, upon the side-board, several well filled 
decanters and glasses, Burnside said : " Suppose, when I 
get home, my neighbor should ask me what your excel- 
lency offered me to drink, what shall I tell him? " " Help 
yourself, Mr. Justice,'* replied the latter. 

After refreshing himself with a glass of brandy and 
water, Burnside returned to his "White mountain" 
region, much gratified with his easily acquired ofiicial dig- 
nity, and with his first visit to the provincial capitol. 

The foregoing is one instance of the system of bribery 
countenanced by and made a source of profit to the royal 
governors in their appointments and charters. In the 
grants of townships, the grantees invariably set otf a liberal 
allowance of farm lots, for the governor, his secretary and 
treasurer, "to them and their heirs forever.** The Amer- 
ican revolution, however, a convulsion unanticipated and 
unprecedented in the history of the world, " indefinitely 
postponed*' all these admirable schemes for future family 
wealth and power. Confiscation settled the account of 
most of these so easily obtained grants of land. 



General Burooyne could not have selected froni his whole army an 
individual 80 capable of advising Colonels Baum and Breyman in their 
** Secret Expedition, " as this brave and intelligent Scottish oflBccr. The 
following notice of him is copied from a note in Commissary Wilson's 
orderly book : • 

Philip Skene was the grandson of John Skene, of Halvards, in Fife- 
shire, Scotland, and a descendant of the famous Sir AVilliam Wallace 
He entered the army in 1739, in which year he served at Porto Bello,* 
and in 1740, at the reduction of Carthagena, on the Spanish Main. 

He fought at the celebrated battle of Fontenoy, m 1746; in that of 
Culloden, in the year following, and was present at the battle of Laffeldt, 
under the Duke of Cumberland. 

He came to America in 175G, and on the second of February, 1767, was 
promoted to a company in the 27th, or Inniskillen regiment of foot, which 
formed part of the force under Lord Loudoun's command that year. He 
was next engaged, under the command of Lord Howe, in the unfortunate 
attack on Ticonderoga, in 1758, on which occasion he was wounded ; and on 
the 81st of July, 1760, appointed Major of Brigade by General Amherst. 

In October allowing he was loft in charge of Crown Point, the works 
of which he had orders to strengthen. His position at that fortress made 
hipi familiar with the surrounding country, and, encouraged by General 
Amherst, he prbjected a settlement at "Wood Creek and South Bay, at the 
head of Lake Champlain, and in the prosecution of that design settled 
about thirty families there. , 

In 1702 he was ordered on the expedition against Martin ico and Havana, 
and was one of the first to enter the breach at the stormine of the Moro 
Castle. On his return to New- York, in 1703, he renewed his efibrts to 
complete his settlement at Wood Creek. He went to England, and 
obtained a royal order for a considerable tract of land at that place, for 
which a patent was granted, in March, 1765, which was formed into a 
township under the name of Skenesborough. His regiment having been 
ordered to Ireland, Major Skene exchanged into the lOtl^Foot, in May, 
1768, so as to remain in America. He did not continue long in the army, 
for he sold out in December of the following year, and in 1770 established 
his residence at Skenesborough, now White Hall, Washington county, 
New- York. 

There he established forges for smelting iron, mills for sawing lumber, 
and opened a road to Salem and Bennington, which was afterward known 
us ♦* Skene's road." 

* Porto Rello wm captured by the English fleet, commanded by Admiral Vernon. 
Lawrence Washington, elder brother of General Washington, served on this occasion, 
M a midshipman or the British Navf. The fkmilf estate naTing descended to him, he 
called it " Mont-Yemon," in honor of his former commander. 



His plans wore interrupted by the Revolution. In June, 1776, he wa» 
nrrestca nt Philadelphia, and brought to New- York. Thence he wai 
taken to Hartford. He was allowed to roHido on parole at Middletown, 
Conn., but in May, of the following year, on refusing to renew his parole, 
was committed to pri.>M>n. Ho wai« finally exchanged in October, 1776, 
when he was conroyed to the city of New-Vork, whence he sailed, in the 
beginning of 1777, for England. HcTolunteered to accompany Burgoyne 
the same veur, and in August was ordered to attend Lieutenant Colonel 
Baum in bis ^sSecret Expedition," which met with a disastrous defeat at 
the hands of General Stark, on the 10th of that month. 

In this campaign Colonel Skene had his horse twice shot under him,* 
and was aftc^rwurd made prisoner with Burgoyne's army. In 1779 be was 
attainted by the legislature of Now- York. 

After the war it was said Colonel Skene came over to this country dur- 
ing Governor Clintons administration, and tried to recover his property; 
but, not succeeding, wont back* to England, where' he lived in retirement, 
and died on the Uth of October, 1810, at an advan(*ed age, at Addorsey 
Lodge, near Stoke, Berks. In the obituary notice he is styled, ** formerly 
Lieut. Governor of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and Surveyor of His 
Majesty's woods and forests bordering on Lake Cuamplain." 



"I am most agreeably interrupted in my serious reflections, by* visit 
from our friend S., who is just arrived from New- York. He was taken 
prisoner last summer by a notorious fellow of the name of 'Whitcomb, the 
same who shot Brigadier General Gordon, the particulars of which I will 
inform you in my next. 

Montreal, June 12, 1777. 

My Dear Friend— In my last I mentioned to you the name of one 
Whitcomb, a native of Connecticut, and a great partisan of the Ameri- 
can?, who, after the defeat upon the lakes, offered his services to venture 
through the woods and bring in prisoner an English oflScer, for which 

Eurpose he stationed himself among the thickest copses that are between 
la Prairie and St. Johns. The first officer who happened to pass him 
was Brigadier <Jeneral Gordon. He was mounted on a spirited horse, and 
Whitcomb, thinking there was little probability of seizing him, flred at 
and wounded him in the shoulder. The General rode as fast as he could 
to camp, which he had but just reached, when, with loss of blood and 
fatigue, he fell fVom his horse. Some soldiers took him up and carried 
him to the hospital, where, after his wound was dressed, he related the 
circumstonces, which were immediately made known to General Carldton. 

.kT ^«"*!I°r!r*tr*?P^^*?«^ ctptured at Beoniogton. A soldier of the New-Uamp- 
shire line stated that, obssrving a monnted ofBcer aotiTely engaged in cheering on the 
troops of Colonel Breyman, he fired at him twiee, but only fillfed his hone ^ that he 
then ent the trace* of an artillery hone, monnted, and rode off at tanmid: Si 
learned afterward that the oflicor wm Colonel Skene ^^ 


A party of Indians were sent out to eoour the woods and search for Whit- 
oomb, but in vain, as he hastened back to Ticonderoga. General Carleton, 
however, imagining he might be lurking in the woods, or secreted in the 
house of some disaffected Canadian, issued a proclamation amons the 
inhabitants, offering a reward of fifty guineas to any one that would brine 
in Whitcomb, dead or alive, to the camp. A few days afi^r this General 
Gordon died of his wound, in whose death we sincerely lamented the loss 
of a brave and experienced officer. 

When Whitcomb returned to Ticonderoga and informed the General 
who commanded there, that, although he could not take an officer, he 
believed he had mortally wounded one, the General expressed his disap- 
probation in the highest terms, and was so displeased at the transaction 
that Whitcomb, in order to effect a reconciliation, offered his service to go 
again, professing that he would forfeit his life if he did not return with a 

He accordingly, with two other men, proceeded down Lake Champlain 
in a canoe to a small creek, where they secreted it, and repaired to the 
woods, to the same spot where Whitcomb had stationed himself before. 
The two men lay concealed in the wood, while he skulked about the 
borders of it. 

The regiment of which our friend S is Quarter Master, having occa- 
sion for some stores from Montreal, he was going from the camp at ISt. 
Johns to procure them. He was advised not to go this road, but by way 
of Chamblee, orf account of the late accident ; but you know him to be a 
man of great bravery and personal courage, joined with uncommon 
strength, and he resolved not to go so many miles out of his way for any 
Whitcomb whatever. He jocosely remarked that he should be very glaa 
to meet him, as he was sure he should get the reward. 

In this, however, he was greatly mistaken, his reward being no other 
than that of being taken prisoner himself. 

Previous to his setting out he took every precaution, having not only 
loaded his fusee, but charged a brace of pistols. When he came near to 
the woods I have already described, he was very cautious ; but in an 
instant Whitcomb and the two men he had with him sprang from behind 
a thick bush, and seized him before he could make tne least resistance. 
They then took from him his fusee and pistols, tied his hands behind him 
with ropes, and blifid-foldcd him. 

It was three days before they reached the canoe that had been concealed, 
durine which time they had out very scanty fare. A few hard biscuits 
serv( Jto allay hunger, while the fruits of the woods were a luxury. When 
Whitcomb had marched him to such a distance as he thought he could not 
make his escape, were he at liberty, through fear of losing himself, for the 
greater ease on his own part, and to facilitate their march, they untied his 
bands and took the cloth from his eyes. Only picture to yourself what 
must have been his feelings, at Seeing himself in the midst of a thick 
wood, surrounded by three desperate fellows, and uncertain as to their 
intentions ! 

At night, when they had partaken of their scanty pittance, two of them 
used to sleep, while the other kept watch. The first night he slept, through 
fatigue. On the second, as you may naturally suppose, from his great 
anxiety of mind, he could not close his eyes ; in the middle of which an 
opportunity occurred whereby he could have effected his escape, for the 
man whose watch it was fell fast asleep. 

He has since told me that his mind wavered for a length of time, what 
measures to pursue. He could not bear the idea of putting them to death, 
though justified by the rules of war. If he escaped from them, they 
might, in all probability, retake and ill treat him. 

The greatest hazard of all, which determined him to abide by his fate, 
was, tint being so many miles in a tract of wood where he could not tell 



what direction to take, having been blind-folded when he entered it He might 
possiblj wander np and down nntil he perished with hanger. In this restless 
state he remained till day-break, when thej resumed their mardi; and in the 
evening came to the creek where the canoe was concealed. Thejr then secured 
him again, put him into the canoe, and proceeded up the lake to Ticonderoga, 
where they arrived early the next morning. 

When they landed he was again blind-folded, that he might not see their 
works, and thus conducted to the General, whose only motive for endeavoring to 
get an otilcer wds. either >jy throats or entreaties, to gain infbrmation relative to 
our army. In this, however, he was greatly disappointed, as he could not obtain 
the least intelligence from our friend. 

In regard to the case of General (k>rdon, Wilkinson states, pp. 67, 08, GQ, 70: 

" In this place the reader may not be dissatisfied with a particular narrative 
of an adventure. ««««««! ghall now give the de- 
tails fkt)m my own knowledge, and the information of the partisan. 

Lieut. Whitcomb. of Warner's regiment, an unlettered child of the woods fh>m 
the frontier of the Hampshire Grants, with all the little strategy of an Indian, 
and a dauntless heart, had been selected for the service, and sent into Canada 
l)efore Gen. Gates' arrival, to take a prisoner tor the purpose of intelligenoe. 
Being well acquainted with his business, he chose one man only for the compan- 
ion of his enterprise, who, he informed me, either deserted him, or g6t lost before 
he reached the ultimate point of his march. 

Proceeding; down the west side of Luke Champlain, Whitcomb turned St. 
Johns on his right, and, approaching Chamblee late in the night, unintentionailjr 
crept within the chain of sentinels of a newly formed encampment. He was 
hailed, and found himself surrounded before he discovered his situation. The 
ground had not been cleared, and the surface was thickly covered with the 
sprouts of the scrubby oak, or black jack, little more than knee high. Encircled 
and closely pressed by the soldiery in quest of him, who, in the dark, were scat- 
tered in every direction, his immediate escape became impracticable. In this ex- 
tremity he prostrated himself among the hushes, and distinctly heard the ob- 
servations and inquiries of his pursuers respecting him. Turning on his back. 
with his knife, he cut detached twigs, which he fbund within his reach, and 
sticking them carelessly in the ground aronnd him, before day, his person was 
eoncealed ; and in this pontion he continued motionkss witil (&e following nigkt, 
when ho made his escape by crawling on the earth. 

He informed me that in the coarse of the day the soldiery passed and repassed 
within six feet of him, and an officer very nearly rode over him; but the great- 
est danger of his being discovered arose from the clearing of the ground, wliich 
was pushed within twenty feet of him, the next day, when the retreat called off 
the fatigue. 

Having regained the forest, Whitcomb concealed himself a few days until the 
alarm he had occasioned subsided. Ho then ambuscaded the road leading from 
Chamblee to St. Johns, at a point from whence his eye commanded an extensive 
view up and down. Here he expected to intercept some unsaspicioua passenger. 

The hanl fortune of Brigadicr-Generat Gordon, of the British army, led him 
the same morning to tike a solitary ride, and his approach was discovered by 
Whitcomb soon after he had taken his stand. The General was in fall uniform; 
his epaulets rich ; he might have a gold watch and money about him, and he ap- 
peared to be a great* chief. 

The time for our partisan's return was at hand, and it was uncertain whether 
he could make a prisoner; and if he did, it woald t>e difBcult to conduct him in. 
This reasoning was too powerful for Wliitcomh's sense of morals and humanity. 
He determined to disobey his orders and marked his victim. 

The road brought Gordon within thirty feet of Whitcomb's ambuscade. He 
presented, tcok aim, and covered his object, and kept his sight on him until he 
got a side view of his back. He then fired, and the ball took effect under the 
right shoulder blade; but the wound, though mortal, did not^ produce sudden 
death, and the General's horse carried him into St. Johns, where he soon after 
expired . Thus the assassin missed his spoil U! 

That Whitcomb believed he wais perlbnning a meritorious act, is clearly 
evinced by fii-* reporting it with cxultaiion; for it would otherwise have been 
impossible ever to have convicted him of it. In speaking of the adventure, he 
gave me the preceding detail, and added that \w. ** lost his ol^ect by shooting a lit- 
tie too high, owing to the accidental intervention of a fluttering leaf in the instant he 
pulled trigger." 

This abominable outrage on the customs of war and the laws of humanity, 
produced a sensation of strong disgust in the army, and men of sensibility and 


honor did not conceal their abhorrence of its perpetrator. Tet it was impossible, 
in the temper of the times, to bring him to panishment, without disaffecting the 
fighting men on that whole fh)ntier.* Bat if he conld not be ponished consist- 
ently with sound poUcj, his promotion to a Minority the ensuing winter not only 
sanctioned the murder but rewarded the murderer. Such are toe demoralizing 
effects of war, and more particularly of a drii war.— TTiZfc., yoI. 1, p. G7. 

'Wilkinson himself, afterward, thus speaks of this partisan; "Whitcomb re- 
turned fh>m Split Rock last night, and confutes the intelligence transmitted you 

by General . He says there is only a schooner in that quarter of the Lake, 

and she lies off Otter Creek.— TTiBb., vol. 1, p. 171. 

In regard to this matter, MfUor Caleb Stark, fh>m whom General Wilkinson 
receired much information for his memoirs, stated that he was present at Head- 
quarters, being then adjutant of a regiment at Mount Independence, when Whit- 
comb returned and gave an account d his scout. He said that Whitcomb 
reported the circumstances partly as they are published by Wilkinson; and said 
that he knew it was a field officer he had fired at, because he had two epaulets; 
and that two officers rode in his rear, who dismounted and gave.him chase. 

The American General inquired if he kitted the man at whom he fired. He said 
" his gun nerer had deceiTed him when aimed at a deer; but as a leaf came in 
the way of his sight as he fired, he could not be posittve; but was sure he struck 
him, as he saw him quiver about the shoulders." 

A fiag of truce soon afterward came from the enemy, demanding the delivery 
up of Whitcomb. But the American General answered, in sabstance, that if the 
British employed Indians to waylav, murder, and scalp Americans, they might 
reasonably expect retaliation. Major Whitcomb was one of the most active and 
efficient partisans who served under the orders of General Stark, where, in 1778, 
he commanded the Northern Department, and is mentioned in several of his let- 

General Wilkinson terms him an " unlettered child of the woods." The copy 
of a letter f^m Whitcomb, which follows this notice, (the original written in'a 
very plain, legible hand,) indicates that his acquirements Were far above those 
we might#xpect to find in ** an unlettered child of the woods." 

We know nothing of his birth or place of residence, or any particulars respect- 
ing Major Whitcomb, other than those contained in the above statements. 


Bbknikotok, Sept. 14, 1778. 

Dear General:— I forwarded the ammunition fh)m Albanv, agreeably to 
your orders. It has arrived thus far, but by what means I shall be able to trans- 
port it to Rutland, 1 know not, as the Quarter-Master at this place utterly 
refhses to receipt for said ammunition to him who has charge of the same. I 
am, therefore, under the disagreeable necessity of delaying my time here, until 
I can see it forirarded in person. 

If such conduct is allowed to pass unnoticed, I see but a poor prospect of pros- 
ecuting your orders, on the du^ of my office. The tools which I am in imme- 
diate want of, for the service of^ the fort, are stni at the shore in this place, and 
th^ they must lie, until I receive farther assistance fh>m the Quarter-Master% 
Department than I now have. 

The General's orders for my conduct in this situation will greatly oblige him 
who is 

Your veiy obedient and very humble servant, 

Bbnjamin Whitcomb. 

* General W. hero io^in nates that the object of tlie American partisan was plunder. 
We have no reason to believe that such was the case, except fyom (ieneral W.'s 


Thomas Allen was bom at Northampton, Mass., Jan. 7, 1743, and graduated 
at Uanrard College In 1702, being ranked among the first classical scholars of 
that time. He studied theology under the direction of Mr. Hooker, of North- 
ampton, and was ordained, April IS, 1761, the first minister of Pittsfield, Berk- 
shire County, Massachusetts, which was named in honor of William Pitt, and 
was then a frontier town, in which a garrison had been kept during the French 
War. The Indian name was Pontoosul. At the time of Mr. AUeirs settlement, 
Pittsfield contained but six houses not built of loss. He llred to see it become 
a wealthy and beautifbl town, containing nearly three thousand Inhabitants. 

He espoused the cause of his country In the Revolution with ardent zeal, and 
twice went out as a rolunteer chi\plaio. From October 3 until January 23, 
1776, be was with the army at White Plains, and in June and July, 1777, at 
Tlconderoga. After the retreat of the northern army fVom that post he returned 

Upon the approach of the enemy under Col. Baum to the yicinity of Benning- 
ton, who threatened to desolate the country, he marched with the Pittsfield rol- 
anteers to repel the inyasion. Prior to the assault of the intrenchments occu- 
pied by the refugees, he adranoed, and in a roice which they distinctly heard, 
called upon them to surrender, promising good treatment: but, being fired upon, 
he rejoined the militia, and was among the foremost who entered the breast- 
work. His exertions and example contributed to the triumph of August 16, 
which checked the enemy's progress, and led the way to the capture of Bnr- 

AAer the action he f ecured the horse of a Hessian surgeon, which carried a 
pair of panniers filled with bottles of wine. The wine he administmd to the 
wounded and weary; but two large, square, glass case bottles he carried home, as 
trophies of his campaign of four days. 

During Shay's Rebellion, Mr. Allen supported the State authorities, and the 
insurgents, at one period, threatened to setae and convey him as a hostage into 
the State of New-York. His intrepidity was, however, not to be shaken, nor 
was he deterred from the performance of his duty to his country. He slept with 
arms in bis bed room, ready to defend himself against the violence of lawless 

In the political controversy which followed the adoption of the federal oonsti- 
tntion, Mr. Allen's principles attached him to the Democratic, or Republican 
party. Among his parishioners were several who had been tories in the Revolu- 
aonary War, who remembered, with no good will, the active leal of their whig 
minister. Others were fhrious politicians, deeply imbued with the malevolent 
spirit of the times, and intent upon the accomplishment of their object, even by 
using the weapons of obloquy and outrage. 

" During the Presidency of Mr. Jefferson," says the History of Berkshiie, 
" that spirit of political rancor that affected every class of citisens in this Gen- 
try, arraying fathers, brothers, sons and neighbors against each other, entered 
even the sanctuary <k the church. A number of Mr. Allen's church and congre- 
gation withdrew, and were incorporated, by the legislature. Into a separate parish, 
in 1808, thus presenting to the world the ridiculons spectacle of a church alvided 
onpfurty politics, and known by the party names of the day." 

Tkis division was, however, healed in a few years, though not until after the 
death of him whose last days were thufl embittered, as well as by domestic afflie> 
tions, in the loss of his eldest son and daughter. 

After the death of his brother Moses, in 1779, he performed a journey to Savan- 
nah, on horse back, to remove bis widow and infant son fh>m the South, where the 
war then raged, to the happy security, for the time, of his own home. To bring 
home to his family an infant child of his daughter, who died in London, in 1799, 
he encountered the dangers of a voyage across the Atlantic. 

He sailed in the ship Argo, Captain Rich. On the voyage, fears were awakened 
by a vessel of force, which pursued the Argo, and was supposed to be a French 
ship of war. The idea of a French prison was by no means welcome. In 
expectation of a fight, Mr. Allen obtained the captain's consent to offer a prayer 



with the men, and to make an enconraginf? speech to them before the action. 
The stranger proved to be a British Mgate, and the delirerance was acknowl- 
ed^red in a thanksgiring prajer. 

On his arriral in London he was receired with great kindness bj his ftiends. 
Mr. Robert Ck)wie and Mr. Robert Steele, and was made acqaainted with sererai 
of the distinguished evangelical ministers of England : with Newton and 
Hawies, Rowland Hill, Bogne and others, from whom he caught a pious zeal 
for the promotion of foreign missions, which, on his return, he diffused around 
him. It appears, ftom hisjonmal, that he was absent fh>m Pittsfield ftom July 
3d to December 30. 1799. 

Among other objects of cariosity which attracted his attention in London, he 
saw the king, as be passed from St. James to the Parliament house, in a coach 
drawn by six cream-colored horses, and on this sight recorded the following 
reflections: " This is he who desolated my country; who ravaged the American 
coasts; annihilated our trade; bnrAed our towns; plundered our cities; sent 
forth his Indian allies to scalp our wives and children; starved our youth in bis 
prison ships, and caused the expenditure of a hundred millions of money, and 
abundred thousand of precious Ihres. Instead of being the father of his people, 
he has been their destroyer. May God forgive him so great guilt. And yet, he 
Is the idol of the people, who think they cannot live without him." 

The late gallant Mi^or General £. w. Ripley married a daughter of Mr. Allen, 
who died, September 11, 1820, at the Bay of St Louis. Mr. Allen died Sabbath 
morning, February 11, 18K), in the 68th year of his a^e and the 47th of his min- 

This notice has been obtained principally from President Allen's Biographical 
Dictionary, which contains many interesdng particulars respecting this exem- 
plary clergyman, and ever to be honored pamot of the Revolution. 


[Copied from Farmer's History of Amherst.] 

"* May 23, 1790. General Moses Nichols died at Amherst. He was a native of 
Reading, Mass. He had served his townsmen in the capadQr of delegate to the 
Convention, which assembled in 1778, for forming a permanent plan or system of 
government, on certain established principles, and a representative to the Gen- 
eral Court three years. Ardently attadied to the cause of Liberty, he took a 
conspicuoos part In the Revolution which established our independence. 

He was appointed Colonel of the Sixth Regiment of Militia, December 6, 1776, 
and commanded a regiment under General Stark, in the engagement at Benning- 
ton. Beside his military services, he was useful as a physician in this place 
(Amherst), where he practiced several years. 

He was Register of Deeds for the county fh)m 1766 until his death. His duties 
in this office, as well as in many others of trust and responsibility, it is believed 
he discharsed with fidelity. 

General Nichols left idne children : Hannah, Moses, Elizabeth, Eaton, Pe^ns,* 
Mary, Pearson, and Charity. Moses is a physician, and resides lb Sherbrooke, 
Lower Canada/' 

•Some forty-five years igo Perkins Nichols was a well known, enterprisiDg citizen of 
Boston ; also in New- York, in 1825< 







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