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Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1868, 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, 
for the Northern District of New York. 


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STI^ese Volumes 





The life of General Riedesel,^ during his residence 
in America, is a more complete and accurate history 
of the Campaign of General Burgoyne than any 
that has yet appeared. The statements of our ablest 
historians concerning the movements of the British in 
that campaign are, necessarily perhaps, extremely 
vague ; vs^hile those of our pictorial and school histo- 
ries, respecting both the British and the Americans, 
are full of gross errors. The present work, however, 
is based on the private and official journals of Riedesel 
and his officers, and presents the campaign with a 
minuteness of detail, which must, hereafter, make it 
a standard authority upon the subject of which it treats. 

After I had translated the work, and before placing 
it in the hands of the printer, I spent several days in 
going over the battlegrounds. With Riedesel's jour- 
nals in one hand, and the maps — drawn on the spot 
by Burgoyne's chief engineer — in the other, I began 

^ This name has been universally mispronounced in this country. It 
is composed of two German words, Hed and esely and is pronounced 
Re-day-zd, witli the accent on the second syllable. 



my investigations at the place where the British army 
crossed the Hudson, and traced every step of its move- 
ments down the river to the scene of the last battle of 
October 7th, 1777, and back again to the site of the 
surrender. In the course of this tour two important 
facts were elicited : 

1st. That the face of the country has undergone 
scarcely any change. The same trees, the same brooks, 
and even the same stones remain in the precise locali- 
ties where they were sketched by the British. 

2d. That the term Battle of Bemis's Heights, which 
has hitherto obtained when designating the scene 
of the action, is entirely erroneous, and only calcu- 
lated seriously to mislead. The first action, on the 
19th of September, was, as is well known, fought on 
Freeman's farm. But, with a few exceptions, it has 
always been supposed by the best informed writers 
upon the subject, that the second battle on the 7th of 
October, was fought on Bemis's heights. The maps, 
however, show, that the action began on ground about 
two hundred rods southwest of the site of the first 
Battle of Freeman's Farm, and ended on the same 
ground on which the first action was fought. Thus 
Bemis's heights are fully one mile and a half south of 
the battle ground. In fact all the interest which at- 
taches to these heights, is, that they were the head- 
quarters of General Gates during and a short time 


previous to the battle. The origin of this mistake, as 
the maps clearly demonstrate, was in the belief that 
the army of Burgoyne began the advance in . two 
columns frona Taylor's house, the ruins of which are 
yet standing a few rods north of Wilbur's basin. It 
is now, however, ascertained that the advance began 
in three columns from Sword's house, the site of 
which is about one mile and a half north of the 
Taylor house. 

As the historical student will readily believe, I 
found local tradition, as a general thing, entirely un- 
reliable. By the aid, however, of the journals and the 
maps I think I succeeded in all I set out to accomplish, 
viz : to verify tradition when possible — to overthrow 
it when necessary ; but in every case to put the matter 
beyond the peradventure of a doubt. The results of 
my investigations in detail will be found in the notes 
to the present translation. 

This work also contains valuable information in 
regard to the movements of the Brunswick troops, 
while residents of America, and affords a clear view 
of the condition and internal relations of Canada dur- 
ing the latter part of the revolutionary war — points 
which have, hitherto, been involved in obscurity. 

My thanks are due to Henry A. Fisher, Esq., of New 
York city, for valuable aid in the translation of these 
volumes; to George Washington Greene of East 

viii PREFACE. 

Greenwich, R. I., for copies of General Riedesel's 
letters to General Nathaniel Greene ; and to the late 
Theodore Dwight of Brooklyn, for interesting docu- 
ments relating to the engagement near Bennington.^ 

If this translation shall assist in correcting the errors 
that have hitherto obtained in relation to an event 
which, in its results, was the most important of any in 
our revolutionary annals, the object of it will have 
been accomplished. 

William L. Stone. 

Saratoga Springs, January Ist, 1868. 

* These documents will be found in the appendices. 

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The baronial family of Riedesel is one of the richest and 
oldest in the interior of Germany. The first mention of it is 
in the year 1226, although previous to this period a Conrad 
Von Riedesel is referred to as having lived in the second half 
of the 12th century. Of three lines into which the family were 
originally divided, two soon became extinct, leaving only the 
third one, the Melsunger, the direct ancestor of the subject of the 
present sketch. By a fortunate marriage, the family rapidly 
advanced in wealth and position. A Herman Riedesel, marry- 
ing the only surviving heiress of the Hessian Marshal Eckart 
Van Rohrenfurth, obtained by this union the rich possessions and 
the hereditary office of land marshal — that prince generously 
resigning his right of confiscating the fief, which had become 
vacant by the extinction of the male line. Eisenbach was the 
most important of the Rohrenfurth possessions ; and from this 
time the lords of Riedesel retained the title of hereditary mar- 
shals, and signed themselves Reidesel-Eisenbach. By marriages, 
purchase and other fortunate circumstances, the Riedesel family 
have accumulated such a large landed estate, that it comprises 
at the present time an area of seven and a half square miles, 
inhabited by upward of twenty thousand people. These pos- 
sessions lie principally in both the Hessias and on the Vogels- 
berg, and are entitled to all the privileges of a sovereignty 
without the lords of Riedesel being sovereigns. In the year 
1680 the Riedesel estate was constituted an independent pro- 
vince, and the Riedesels, themselves, made barons of the empire'. 


• • ••• 



*•••>• I' 

Friederich A^lplms IHedesel, the subject of this sketch, 
was born on,*flj^:Sli*6f June, 1738, in the ancestral castle at 
Laut^rbach, m ' Rhinehesse. His father, John William, was 
attljiit tiflae government assessor and page to the prince of 
l^ "•'Eisfefiach. His mother, Sophie Hedwig, was the daughter of 
"-"""Baron Van Borke, a Prussian lieutenant general and governor 
of Stettin. 

Of the early youth of Riedesel, very little is known with 
certainty, except that his father sent him, with his younger 
brother, to a clergyman in Frischborn (a village near Lauter- 
bach) to be educated. This was done with a view of giving 
him such literary knowledge as should prepare him for the 
profession of the law, to which he was destined by his father. 
Accordingly, at the age of fifteen, he left the quiet parsonage 
to attend a law school at Marburg. There happened to be 
at this time a Hessian battalion of infantry in garrison at 
Marburg, which, like all the troops of the landgrave, was 
particularly distinguished for its splendid martial appearance 
and drill. The sight of these troops was an entirely new 
experience to the youth, who, with his natural activity and 
lively disposition, soon conceived a strong passion for a military 
life ; and, as a natural consequence, he was oftener seen on the 
parade ground as a spectator, than at the law school as a listener 
to the lectures. Nor, indeed, was it a great while before he 
entirely threw aside the gown and wig for the sword and 
musket and joined the regiment. He was led into this step both 
by his own inclination and the persuasions of the wily major in 
command of- the battalion, who represented that he had written 
to his father and obtained his consent. The deceit, however, was 
soon discovered, and his father, in his first ebullition of anger, 
wrote him' a letter concluding as follows : " Since you, as a 
nobleman, have taken the oath, you must stand by it, but you 
must get along the best you can, for you need not look for further 
aid from me." But the father could not long remain estranged 
from the son, and he accordingly soon became reconciled, allow- 


ing him a certain sum with which he was enabled to meet his 
necessary expenses. 

The regiment of which Riedesel was now a vice ensign was 
soon after received into the English establishment and billeted 
on a town in the vicinity of London. 

Ensign Riedesel had brought with him letters of introduction 
to several English families of wealth and position ; but as he 
knew neither English nor French, they were at first of little 
use. He therefore studied the English and French grammars 
in his leisure hours, and applied himself so diligently that in 
a comparatively short time he could express himself tolerably 
well in either tongue^ although he never became as proficient 
in the English as the French. He soon gained the friendship 
of several of the English officers who were irresistibly attracted 
to him by his winning manners and the natural frankness of 
his disposition. Many of the friendships thus formed were 
renewed again during the American revolution and continued 
through life. 

Upon the breaking out of the seven years' war in 1756, his 
regiment was recalled to Germany, where he was attached in 
the capacity of general aid to the personal staff of, Duke 
Ferdinand of Brunswick. The tact, judgment and bravery of 
the young ensign — at this time only nineteen — in a short 
time procured for him the entire confidence of the duke, who 
often honored him with important commissions, one of which 
was on the occasion of the battle of Minden in 1759. That 
action was severe and bloody. Ferdinand fought it with forty 
thousand men against eighty-five thousand Frenthmen, and 
gained the victory. During the progress of the battle, the 
aids and orderlies were continually flying from one part of the 
field to another, bearing the oral orders of the duke, who in the 
tumult of battle had no time to put them on paper. This was 
a service of great personal danger, requiring much cunning and 
courage. Riedesel, however, acquitted himself so well that the 
duke honored him in a particular manner by sending him as 


special messenger with the news of the victory to his sovereign, 
the landgrave of Hessia. Inasmuch as only officers of age and 
long experience were generally sent on such missions, Reidesel 
had reason to be very much gratified at this preference. But 
the duke, as the result proved, had another object in selecting 
him for this errand. The latter, after formally announcing the 
result of the battle, had added a few lines in which he informed 
the landgrave of the excellent conduct of his aid, and requested 
him to give him a recognition of his services. This the land- 
grave promptly did, by promoting the young ensign to a 
captaincy of cavalry, and giving him, at the same time, a 
^squadron in one of his new regiments of hussars, at that time 
in the allied army.i Riedesel, however, never led his squadron ; 
for the duke, who was evidently attached to him, soon after 
placed him again upon his personal staflF, giving him unlimited 
confidence, asking his advice on the most important affairs, 
and not unfrequently admitting him to councils of war. 

In fact, the duties of Riedesel at this time were rather of a 
peculiar nature. The duke having under him troops from 
different nationalities found it difficult at first to judge of the 
abilities of their officers, who, although old veterans, were not 
accustomed to the military tactics of the commander in chief, 
and frequently blundered terribly in their manoeuvres. In 
order, however, that he might not give offense, he hit upon 
the expedient of sending, during or just before a battle, one of 
his adjutants with written or oral instructions to those officers, 
in whom he had not the greatest confidence. In these orders 
it was generally stated that the bearer would direct the colonel 
or general, as the case might be, in accordance with the wishes 

^ The Hessian Regiment of Bine Hnssars, to which Biedesel was assigned, was 
one of the best and most finely accoutred of any of that day. Their jackets and 
dolimans were sky-blue and white, and the trousers red. The uniforms of the 
oflOicers were richly decorated with silver — the hats being blue with a bunch of 
heron feathers. Hussars were at this period something quite new ; and the land- 
grave, who took an especial pride in his troops, spared neither money nor pains 
upon their equipment. 


of the duke. Kiedesel was the one usually selected for this 
duty as he seemed to possess the faculty of carrying out his 
instructions so as to satisfy the duke on the one hand, and not 
offend the different commanders on the other. On these 
occasions he at first carried with him a letter from the duke in 
which, with consummate tact, it was stated that the adjutant, 
being, perhaps, more familiar with the country than themselves, 
would suggest the details of the movement. In course of time, 
however, the officers became so accustomed to this plan and 
learned to place such reliance upon the young adjutant, that 
they no longer required this letter of authority. The well 
known fact, also, that Riedesel never abused his power, gained 
him the confidence of the officers ; and he was soon universally 
beloved by the whole army, notwithstanding he never allowed 
anything contrary to the rules of the service, but invariably 
reported any dereliction of duty to head quarters. Being, also, 
often sent on reconnoissances into the surrounding country and 
having an excellent memory, no one in the army was so well 
acquainted with the roads, rivers, forests and passes as himself. 
His services in this line were invaluable to his commanding 
officer ; for by his personal reconnoissances and his well ordered 
system of spies, he became thoroughly acquainted with the 
character and habits of the enemy ^s leaders and the strength of 
their divisions.^ He made it a point to have good spies, paying 
them for their services extraordinary prices ] but such was the 
confidence reposed in him by his duke, that the latter gave him 
in this particular full power, and honored all his bills without 
hesitation. In fine, to sum up, he possessed the peculiar 
faculty or gift, as the German expresses it, of finding hvmself 
right ; or as we would term it, of being a successful officer. 

In 1761, the landgrave of Hessia having overlooked Riedesel 
in his promotions, the latter resigned his commission. In 

1 Had Bnrgoyne availed himself of Riedesers experience in this particular and 
listened to his advice, the disaster at Bennington would never have occurred. 


reparation for this slight, Ferdinand appointed him, in May of 
the same year, lieutenant colonel of his Black Hussars; and 
two months after gave him in addition the command of Bauer's 
regiment — the two being equal to a brigade of cavalry. On 
the 22d of May, at the head of his hussars, he attacked 
General Conflans with great impetuosity. While leading on his 
men, he was struck by a bullet in his breast and carried off the 
field in an insensible condition. Happily, no artery was severed, 
though he was much weakened by loss of blood ; and, nursed 
by loving friends, he soon recovered. He afterward said that 
he scarcely felt the bullet in the heat of the battle, having fought 
quite a while after being wounded. He also stated that he 
remembered distinctly seeing the French chasseur taking aim at 
him from behind a hedge. 

Nor was this the only occasion, during this period of his life, 
that RiedeseFs intrepidity was shown. On the night of the 
16th of August, 1761, Marshal Broglio ordered the Prince 
Xavier of Saxony, with a corps of the army, to cross the Weser 
and attack General Luckner, under whom was Riedesel. When 
the prince arrived on the banks of the river, Luckner was 
observed on the opposite shore bringing up a battery to destroy 
the bridge. A heavy cannonade at once commenced, which, 
however, accomplished nothing for either side as the distance 
was too great. But the prince, believing that the fault was in 
his men, sent one of his aids to a battery to tell the gunners to 
take better aim. Arriving there, a controversy arose between 
the messenger and the officers in charge of the battery in re- 
gard to the firing, which resulted in the former dismounting from 
his horse and directing one of the pieces himself. In front of 
the hussars who defended the bridge at the other extremity, 
sat an officer on a white horse. Taking aim at this conspicuous 
mark the aid discharged the gun. As soon as the smoke 
cleared away a shout arose from the successful artillerists as 
they beheld horse and rider fall to the ground. Prince Xavier 
noticed through his field glass the success of his adjutant; but 


he also observed the officer whose horse had been killed, work 
himself out from under it, directly mount another one, and take 
his place again as if nothing had occurred. This incident was 
made by the prince, who was a brave man himself and honored 
bravery in another though an adversary, the occasion for a 
chivalric act. Toward evening of the same day a cavalry man 
approached the lines of General Luckner leading two horses, one 
of which was richly caparisoned and a most beautiful animal. 
At first, every one supposed him to be a deserter bringing a 
peace offering. This belief, however, was soon dispelled, when 
the man, having been brought before General Luckner, tendered 
the friendly salutations of the prince of Saxony, at the same 
time requesting the general to give the beautiful horse to that 
officer who, during the day, had had the misfortune to lose his. 
It was soon discovered that the individual designated was none 
other than Riedesel, who was not a little surprised at the 
friendly gift. He did not hesitate to accept the proffered 
kindness, but expressed his thanks in a note to the donor, and 
gave the bearer of the present a considerable sum of money. 
But that which caused even more sensation in the camp than 
the gift itself was, that one brother had aimed the gun at 
another brother ; for the adjutant who had taken such good 
aim, was no other than Riedesers own brother ! Neither of the 
brothers had dreamed of being so near each other. 

On the 10th of August of the next year, Riedesel received 
orders to attack a detachment of two thousand men under St. 
Victor. In this engagement, in which two hundred of the 
enemy were killed and three hundred taken prisoners, Riedesel 
distinguished himself with so much personal bravery as to call 
forth from the duke a renewed proof of his confidence : "I 
rejoiced very much," writes the duke to him the day after the 
action, " when I heard of your successful attack, and wait 
impatiently for a detailed report from you." And again, on 
another occasion, upon his favorite aid surprising and capturing 
the village of Menneringhausen, the duke writes to him in the 


same strain : "I am much pleased with your diligence and 
activity. On all possible occasions I will give you proofs of my 
friendship and obligations/' 

Indeed, although he was at this time but twenty-two years 
of age, these and subsequent events prove that he had already 
accomplished more than could have been reasonably expected 
of a person of his age and rank, since he occupied a position 
such as is generally alone held by older and higher officers. It 
is not known with certainty whether he was at this time adju- 
tant to the duke or not, his duties being in reality higher 
than those of that rank. Still, as there are letters yet extant, 
directed to the "adjutant of his excellency, the duke of Bruns- 
wick Liineburg," nothing in relation to this point can be said 
with certainty. He was engaged in active service throughout 
the whole of the war; and, upon peace being declared, he 
retired into winter quarters, and, at Wulfenbiittel in the Duchy 
of Brunswick, and in the month of December, 1762, was married 
to Frederica Von Massow, second daughter of Commissary 
General Von Massow, whose acquaintance he had formed in the 
course of his military career.^ 

His personal appearance at this period of his life is described 
by Eelking as follows : 

" There is an excellent portrait in the possession of the family, 
which represents the entire person of the captain of hussars 

^ For a detailed account of Riedesers romantic courtship and marriage the 
reader is referred to TJie Letters and Journals of Mrs. General Eiedesel which forms 
the sixth volume of Munsell's Series of Local American History. 

The fruit of this marriage was nine children, viz : 1st, Christian Charles Louis 
Ferdinand Henry William Herman Valentine, horn in Berlin, January 6th, 1766 ; 
died Fehruary 2d, 1767. 2d, Philippina, March 29th, 1770 ; died February 2d, 1771. 
3d, Augusta, August 8th, 1771. 4th, Frederika, May 12th, 1774 ; married to Count 
Redeu, who died in 1864. 5th, Caroline, horn at Wulfenhtlttel in March, 1776 ; un- 
married. 6th, America, bom in New York city on the 7th March, 1780 ; married to 
Count Bemsdorf. 7th, Canada, horn at Sorel, Canada, on the Ist November, 1782 ; 
lived but a few weeks. 8th, Charlotte, wife of Major Van SchOning in the service 
of the king of Saxony. 9th, George; died 4th of August, 1854, at Bachwald in 


[Riedesel] at about one-fifth of his size. We see him there in 
the elegant and tasty uniform of his regiment, in the freshness 
of youth and the vigor of health. He is of medium height, of 
noble and easy carriage, and at the same time daring as becomes 
an officer of cavalry. His face is full and round, his cheeks 
rosy with health, while his fine and regular features indicate 
benevolence, goodness, manly resolution and a fixed purpose. 
In his especially beautiful, large blue eyes, full of vivacity and 
kindness, we see that nothing impure is hidden behind that 
mirror of the soul. His interior is in harmony with his ex- 
terior. His heart beats warmly for everything noble and good ; 
and sentiments of friendship and love occupy a large space in 
that bosom — so full of courage and daring. Such a form, with 
such qualities of heart and soul, easily won the affections of 
those who came in contact with him." 

" On account of his great industry," continues his biographer, 
" Riedesel, at this time, had little time which he could call his 
own. His pen, as well as his sword, was constantly in demand. 
But the former, after its regular duties, he could devote, in a 
measure, to his friends and loved ones. His heart, so sus- 
ceptible to friendship, did not grow cold under the absorbing 
excitements of business ; and it needed the refreshing influence 
of intimate correspondence when, by distance, it could not give 
utterance to the friend in words. Thus we always find, in 
addition to his official correspondence, another one which never 
mentions passing events. His letters to Westphal, Wingin- 
gerode, Desenthal, Biilow, Giinther and others are the out- 
pourings of the warmest and noblest feelings of his innermost 
soul, standing revealed in the sunlight pure as gold." 

On the disbanding of his regiment in 1767, Riedesel was 
appointed adjutant general of the Brunswick army. Henceforth 
his advancement was rapid. In 1772, he was named colonel of 
carbineers, which was subsequently formed into a regiment of 
dragoons. Shortly after, the American revolution broke out ; and 
to crush her revolted colonies, England entered, early in 1776, 



into treaties with the petty sovereigns of Germany to take into 
her service upward of twenty thousand German troops, of which 
nearly four thousand were from Brunswick. Colonel Riedesel 
was at once advanced to the rank of major general and given 
the command of the Brunswickers. He sailed from the Elbe 
on the 21st of March, 1776, arrived at Spithead on the 28th, 
and sailed on the 4th of April for Quebec, where he arrived on 
the 1st of June. After spending a year in Canada, he accom- 
panied General Burgoyne on the expedition which resulted so 
disastrously for British arms. After the surrender of that 
general to Gates, he accompanied his commander in chief to 
Albany, where, as related at length by his noble wife who 
shared his captivity, he was entertained with the most lavish 
hospitality by General Schuyler and his wife. Leaving that 
city on the 22d of October, 1777, he set out for Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, and arrived there, with the other German pri- 
soners, on the 7th of the following November. In November, 
1778, the German troops having been transferred by order of 
congress to Virginia, Riedesel and his wife and family went 
with them. After remaining in that province for several months, 
he was permitted, in November, 1779, to remove to New York 
city, where he was exchanged in the autumn of 1780. His 
active temperament, however, would not allow him to remain 
idle. Accordingly, General Clinton, at his solicitation, con- 
ferred on him a command on Long island. He remained on 
the island (having his head quarters on the present Brooklyn 
Heights), until the 11th of July, 1781, when he embarked with 
his family on board a miserable tub of a transport — The Little 
Deal — for Canada. After touching at Halifax and being hospi- 
tably entertained by the commandant of that town, he arrived a 
second time at Quebec on the 10th of September, 1781, and at 
once took possession of his old quarters at Sorel, having been 
placed in charge of that district which lies south of the St. 
Lawrence between the Sorel and Lake Champlain. In 1783, 
an order having been received to send home the German troops, 


he sailed from Quebec in August of that year and arrived, after 
a remarkably quick passage, in England. Thence he proceeded 
to his home in Wulfenbiittel, which he entered at the head of 
his troops to receive from the authorities of that town an august 
and formal reception. ^ On the fifth of March, 1787, he was 
promoted to the rank of lieutenant general ; and in the follow- 
ing year, was appointed to the command of the Brunswick con- 
tingent, which composed a portion of the Grerman army that 
was sent to Holland to support the cause of the stadtholder. 
He served with brief intervals in that country until the close 
of 1793, when he retired to his ancestral castle in Lauterbach 
(his birth-place). 2 In 1794, he returned to Brunswick, having 
been appointed commandant of that city. He did not, however, 
long enjoy the honors and emoluments of that office, as he died 
in that town on the 6th of January, 1800, in the sixty-second 
year of his age. Max Von Eelking has described his last illness 
and death in the following touchingly beautiful and graphic 
manner : 

" The health of General Riedesel was so much improved after 
his return from Holland, that on the last day of the year 1799, 
he was well enough to ride his favorite horse in the avenue. A 
number of friends had assembled at his house on New Year's 
eve, at his request, as he wished, in accordance with the good 
old Grerman custom, to enjoy the last hours of the departing 
year, and welcome in the new. All the company were in such 
good spirits that they danced after supper ; and Kiedesel, always 
a friend to innocent, social amusements, danced a few rounds 
himself. Thus he entered upon the New Year, and went to bed 
apparently in perfect health ; but it was destined that he should 
never again be well. 

" During the night, he was taken suddenly ill, having un- 
doubtedly taken cold while riding on horseback the previous 

1 Of the four thoueand Bnmswickers who left Germany with General Kiedesel for 
America in 1776, only twenty-eight hundred returned. 
3 This castle was burned by the mob in the troublous times of 184S. 


afternoon. The following morning he was no better, but it 
being the day for general calling at the court, he would not give 
up, and accordingly rode there to oflfer his congratulations to 
the beloved, noble family, on this the first day of the New Year. 
He, however, rapidly grew worse, and on retiring from the 
palace was obliged to lie down. The physician, who was imme- 
diately called in, pronounced the disease inflammation of the 
scrotum, and, in answer to the inquiries of the family, could not 
conceal his alarm. 

" On the evening of the 6th of January, however, he again 
felt so well, that he left his bed and played a game of whist. 
He appeared remarkably cheerful and talkative, and seemed to 
have considerable appetite. At ten o'clock he retired. His 
eldest daughter was then on a visit to her parents with her 
husband, Count Eeuss. Thus, all the members of the family 
were present, and wished him a joyful good night, in the confi- 
dent hope, that his complete recovery was near. But the death 
angel was nearer ! 

" The next morning, before day-break, when Count Eeuss 
approached the bedside of the patient, he supposed that he still 
slept, but on looking closer, and taking hold of his hand, he 
found it stiff and cold. The dear one indeed slept, but it was 
the sleep of death ! Apoplexy had terminated the life of the 
nobleman, inflammation at the same time taking place in the 
diseased part. Count Reuss at once called the son into the 
room ; and, presently, the bereaved survivors stood around the 

" The sad news soon spread throughout the city and country ; 
and the loss of a man, who was universally beloved and esteemed, 
was mourned in all circles. The earthly remains were taken to 
Lauterbach and solemnly placed within the family vault." 


Riedesel possessed all the qualities of a good and brave soldier. 
To coolness and discretion in danger, he united that quickness 
in action which he always knew how to exercise at the right 
moment. His clear understanding comprehended everything 
readily, and his presence of mind and good memory seldom 
forsook him. Some of these traits are especially illustrated in 
the following adventure which happened during the seven 
years' war : In one of his campaigns, Riedesel was in the habit 
of calling on a noble family whose country seat was but a short 
distance from head quarters. On such occasions he was accom- 
panied by only one servant, there being, as he thought, no 
danger of a surprise. But one dismal, foggy afternoon in 
December, as he was cosily chatting with this family, one of 
the ladies noticed through the window a number of horsemen 
approaching the house. She immediately called her guest's 
attention to the party, who were at once recognised by him as 
French hussars. The family were greatly alarmed for his safety, 
as none of them could see how escape was possible, since the 
castle was surrounded by a moat filled with water, and had but 
one entrance over a bridge. Nor was there time, even had he 
been so disposed, to escape on horseback, since, before he could 
mount, the enemy would be at the other end of the bridge ready 
to cut off his retreat. His entertainers implored him to conceal 
himself in the castle, but to this he would not consent. Hastily 
gathering up his things which lay about the room, he girded 
on his sword and bid them adieu. Then snatching from his 
servant an old cavalry cloak, which the latter had taken a few 
days before from a Frenchman, he threw it over his shoulders, 
told his servant to hide, mounted his own horse, which stood 
already saddled, and rode slowly toward the bridge. The hussars 
having by this time arrived in front of the gate, Riedesel au- 
thoritatively requested them in their own language to make 
room. Thinking that he was a French officer, the hussars rode 


closer together, at the same time saluting him, while he, wish- 
ing them a good evening, rode slowly past, and escaped. The 
fair group in the drawing-room breathed freer upon seeing the 
daring captain of cavalry in safety, though their joy was 
somewhat alloyed by their terror, incident upon the entrSe of 
the unwelcome guests. The latter, however, after helping them- 
selves to some feed for their horses, departed quietly, giving 
RiedeseFs servant, who had been hidden under a haystack, an 
opportunity to rejoin his master in safety. 

In temperament, Kiedesel was impulsive and sensitive, vehe- 
ment and passionate, and easily inclined to anger when his 
indignation was aroused. But he soon controlled himself, and 
frankly hastened to do justice to those whose feelings he had 
unwittingly injured while under excitement. He was, however, 
equally given to noble and generous promptings. This is shown 
in another incident, that also occurred during the seven years' 
war, which strikingly illustrates the chivalric element of his 

On the 20th of May, 1762, Kiedesel, with a small detachment 
of his hussars, had a skirmish with a foraging party of the French, 
in which, after capturing a number of men and horses, he was 
victorious. During the combat. Brigadier General De Larre, 
the leader of the French, fell wounded from his horse, which 
became a prize in the hands of the Grerman hussars. The 
general, however, was rescued by his men and carried to Grot- 
tingen. The horse of the defeated general was a beautiful 
animal which he valued highly as a gift to him from a dear 
friend ; and its loss occasioned him even more pain than his 
wounds. The French cavalry officers, however, knowing Rie- 
desel's noble nature, persuaded their general to address a note 
to him, soliciting the return of the horse, at the same time 
offering to pay the hussars who had captured it, any sum of 
money which he might name. Upon the reception of this letter, 
Kiedesel at once sent the animal back to his master, declining 
all remuneration, but paying out of his private purse, a sum of 


money to its captor. The wounded officer was deeply touched 
at this conduct, and in another letter expressed his gratitude to 
Riedesel for his gallantry and generosity in thus fulfilling his 
wishes. He did not live, however, to again mount his favorite 
horse, for on the 28th he died. Shortly before his death, he 
requested to be carried to the window that he might look once 
more upon his horse, which was being led about the yard by its 
groom. Upon the decease of their general, his fellow officers 
held a consultation in relation to the disposition of the horse, 
and determined to present it to the donor who so genercrusly 
had returned it to its owner. Major Spitzenburg of the Flan- 
ders Volunteers accordingly wrote the same day to Riedesel, 
that their general, being dead, the horse belonged to him, and, 
in behalf of his fellow officers, he begged his acceptance of the 
animal as a mark of their gratitude. " We the friends of Gene- 
ral De Larre," adds the letter, " feel under many obligations to 
you for your courtesy, and wish in this manner, to repay some- 
what, our obligations to you. By accepting this gift, therefore, 
give us an opportunity of so doing." Riedesel, in accepting 
the horse, expressed his appreciation of this delicate attention, 
and assured the givers that he would always keep the animal in 
memory of the departed general. It was for a long time his 
favorite horse. Such touching episodes as this, greatly relieve 
the dark background of grim and bloody war. 

Riedesel's love of justice and strict impartiality were well 
known ; and these traits, accompanied by a friendly demeanor 
and an indefatigable care for the welfare of his subordinates, 
soon won the hearts of the troops of his own and other nation- 
alities, i He punished severely but justly, and thus was enabled 
to preserve the respect of those who had merited chastisement. 

Mingling in all classes of society, he acquired a rich and 
valuable experience in the knowledge of mankind. In his 

1 See Burgoyne's testimony upon this point in The Letters and Journals of Mrs, 
€feneral Riedesel. 


intercourse with the higher classes, he always showed culture 
and quickness of perception ; and if his opinions were sometimes 
given too frankly and decidedly, his manner seldom gave offense. 
" Toward the fair sex," says his biographer, " he ever displayed 
that knightly gallantry which is yet found among elderly gentle- 
men of good families, and which, in spite of all changes in 
manners and usages, still appeal to the heart and soul." And 
while he never cringed or flattered any one against his" convic- 
tions he was always courteous. With a common man — and herein 
unquestionably lay the secret of his popularity — he had the pecu- 
liar knack, while retaining his dignity, of using language which 
was the most suitable and intelligible. He would often converse 
with him in his own dialect, and loved to " crack a joke " with- 
out descending to those uncouth and coarse expressions which 
were then in vogue with many, even of his own station, and of 
whom, to this day, many anecdotes are told.^ His men knew, 
that however severe might be his discipline, his heart beat ever 
in sympathy with all that was noble or beautiful in their na- 
tures ; and hence his example upon them was always for good. 

Notwithstanding, however, his manifold merits and the favor 
in which he was held by many sovereigns — to some of whom he 
had rendered valuable services — it is somewhat singular that his 
breast was decorated with only one order ; a fact, moreover, 
which is rendered additionally striking, when it is remembered 
with what reckless prodigality, and upon what slight occasions, 
decorations are lavished in Germany. The decoration alluded 
to, was the grand cross of the Order of the GtOLden Lion, 2 

» This " peculiar knack," as I have called it in the text, of making an inferior 
feel at ease without descending to his own coarse and vulgar level, is possessed by 
few men. Sir William Johnson, in his intercourse with the Indians, had it ; hence 
one great source of his influence and popularity with them. 

« Tliis order was founded on the 14th of August, 1770, by Frederick n, the first 
landgrave of Hesse-Cassel. The sovereign is the head, and the princes of his family 
are members by right of birth. It is given to Hessians and foreigners, whether 
civilians or military men, either as a reward for services, or as a proof of friendship. 
The recipients must always be of high birth, and occupy a prominent position. 


with which he was invested by the elector of Hesse, William I. 
But the reputation of General Riedesel does not rest upon 
ribbons and golden tinsel. His name honors not only his own 
state, but also his common father-land. 



The important period in Riedesel's busy life, has now been 
reached. Duty compels him once more to draw his sword in 
the interest of a foreign power, far from his native soil, and for 
a cause to whose merits he is an entire stranger. Before, how- 
ever, entering upon the narration of events which happened on 
the other side of the ocean, we must of necessity review the 
political situation at that time. 

Ever since the year 1760, manifold troubles had arisen be- 
tween England and her North American colonies, which very 
gOon reached a pass that precluded their amicable adjustment. 
In the year 1774, hostilities assumed such a shape as to oblige 
General Gage to endeavor to suppress them by force of arms. 
This led to an engagement between the British and the 
American militia, near the village of Lexington, in which the 
former were beaten and forced to retreat into Boston. 

Encouraged by the auspicious result of their first trial of arms, 
the Americans took up the sword in earnest; and in a very 
short time about twenty thousand militia had assembled in the 
vicinity of Boston, and laid siege to the British troops in that 

The number of chevaliers is nominally fixed at forty-one, but this role is constantly 
ignored. Up to the close of 1816, the order was limited to one class, but on the 1st 
of Jane, 1816, the elector, William I, changed the rales so as to include a second 
class, composed of a lesser rank. 

The decoration consists of a grand cross attached to a wide, red ribbon (bordered 
with blue and white), carried like a scarf from right to left. The commanders wear 
it snspended firom the neck. 



The news of this event caused no little indignation and fear 
in England ; and the ministry, vigorously supported by parlia- 
ment, at opce determined to send a reenforcement of troops to 
the revolted colonies, and for this purpose took the most ener- 
getic measures. The question, however, which now arose, was 
not whether troops should be sent — for on this point the govern- 
ment was unanimous — but what number could be raised ) and 
here was the difficulty, since England, having at no time a 
superabundance of soldiers, found herself at this juncture, when 
she needed them most, especially deficient in that article. Ac- 
cordingly, the old means of relief, of hiring foreign troops, was 
resorted too ; and the ministry straightway began to cast longing 
glances upon those Continental nations, who had helped them 
previously in similar emergencies. 

We now come to a subject, which, up to the present day, has 
been the occasion of many adverse criticisms, and which, also, 
has been used by the ill disposed and the ignorant, to attach, 
in the coarsest and most odious manner, a stain and a disgrace 
upon the German nation and her rulers, that can never be 
washed off. Indeed, they have not hesitated to call it " man- 
selling " and " soul-selling," and even worse names. Allusion is 
here made to the renting or letting of Grerman troops to foreign 
powers for an adequate remuneration in money. It becomes, 
therefore, the duty of every German to wipe such stains out of 
his history as far as possible, even if they cannot be wholly 
removed. Consequently, whenever a favorable opportunity 
offers itself in the following pages, for doing this, the writer 
will not allow it to pass. It is far from his intention to hide or 
deny the bad consequences that have followed in the wake of 
subsidiary stipulations which every fair man could wish had 
never occurred. At the same time, however, he will endeavor, 
by proofs and authentic documents, to refute that which has 
been exaggerated, or added to by falsehood and malice. 

A retrospective glance is necessary to a correct understanding 
of the circumstances which led to auxiliary troops being let for 


money to foreign countries. And first, we cannot compare the 
present state of things with that which existed in the last cen- 
tury. Since then there has been a great change, not only in 
the realm of principles and ideas, but in that of actions. Every 
thing pertaining to society has undergone considerable reform, 
and the military profession is no exception to this rule. Endea- 
vors are making, it is true, to show that the profession of arms 
is stationary, but facts prove that it has advanced equally with 
others. The system of recruiting was in vogue among European 
governments until near the close of the last century ; that is, 
their armies consisted of men who either had sold themselves 
for the press money (enlisting for a certain number of years), or 
had been forced into the ranks. To the latter, especially, those 
belonged who led an unsteady life, having no legitimate means 
of livelihood, and who were consequently a burden both to their 
families and to community. Scarcely one-half of an army was 
composed of real subjects of the crown, almost every regiment 
containing men from different countries who were gathered 
either by fate or the recruiting officer. That period, was, 
accordingly, in every particular rougher and harder — a cir- 
cumstance that must not be overlooked by those who would 
judge the system impartially. Recruiting at that time was 
privileged^ universal. Every one, therefore, was accustomed to 
it, and viewed it from a different stand-point than they do now. 
That many abuses were connected with it cannot be denied ; but 
where can perfection be found in this world ? The recruiting 
system was an unavoidable necessity, both because armies were 
necessary, and for the reason that no other method was known 
for creating them. 

The recruited soldier belonged body and soul to him to whom 
he had sold himself; he had no country ) no one belonged to 
him ; he was severed from every tie ; in short, he was, in every 
sense of the word, the property of his military lord, who could 
do with him as he saw fit. This sounds harsh to us, and, with 
our ideas, scarcely credible ; yet, in those days, it was a common 


thing. Even at the present day, sailors are sometimes impressed 
in maritime states, whose lot is worse than that of one who, one 
hundred years ago, was seized and forced into the ranks. In- 
deed, we find even now the system of impressing carried on 
in a European state which is with many the ideal of popular 
liberty — yea, even in our free cities, and yet we do not fall into 
a passion over it ! 

What was the position of a German soldier at that period in 
time of peace ? He moved in an extremely narrow sphere, and 
led a very poor, and, at times, miserable existence. For years 
he did not leave the garrison ; the same dull routine was repeated 
daily ; and it was seldom that he could think of indulging in 
recreation and pleasure. Is it a wonder, then, that he gladly 
followed the flag when the war-drum was beaten, and that he 
joyfully exchanged the ennui of the camp for a life of compara- 
tive freedom and full of adventure and danger, especially when 
there was booty to be obtained, and also advancement when 
death and disease had thinned the ranks ? Whither, or how 
far, no one asked : it was going to war : this was enough ! 
Strict subordination, moreover, did not allow the soldier to ask 
why or wherefore he was to fight, and it, therefore, mattered 
little to him against whom he was led. He knew but one will — 
that of his military lord and superior. 

Strenuous endeavors have been made to characterize as a great 
outrage, the impressment of the well known and beloved poet 
Seume by Hessian recruiting officers during the American war, 
chiefly because he was a noted personage. Might, of course, 
prevailed over right at that time. Still, a similar experience 
happened to many others, who, like that poet, could not show 
the necessary passport in their travels, and whose appearance, 
likewise, indicated that they led a vagabond life. Seume, 
while a student at Leipsig, left that city secretly. Caring very 
little for his personal appearance, he appeared so strange that 
some honest folk, who kept a tavern in a village near Erfurt, 
where he stopped, pointing to his broad sword, whispered that 


likely as not he had with that weapon dispatched people out of 
the world ! Was it, then, a wonder that the attention of the 
recruiting officers was attracted to him? Besides, any one 
could pretend to be a traveling student. The poet, himself, in 
his autobiography, describes his forced service in a humorous 
manner. Among other things, he says that his military life 
had its attractions, for it gave him the opportunity of crossing 
the ocean. Neither was he specially rejoiced when the news of 
peace came, thus enabling him to return to Europe. Speaking 
in reference to this, he says : " The news of peace was not very 
welcome, because young people, desirous of signalizing them- 
selves in battle, did not like to see their career thus brought to 
an end. They had flattered me with the prospect of becoming 
an officer, in which event a new career might have opened for me ; 
but with peace all this vanished." Does this sound like disgust 
or dissatisfaction with his situation ? If the sending of soldiers 
to the American war by German princes was as dishonorable 
as many represent it at the present day, the service, certainly, 
would not have contained so many thorough and honorable 
men who went with the troops as officers — men, too, who had 
distinguished themselves and gained a high reputation during 
the seven years' war. The best soldiers under the best of 
leaders were sent to America, all of whom distinguished them- 
selves in that country by bravery and discipline, thus heaping 
no disgrace upon the Grerman name. The Americans, even 
to this day, must remember the substantial lessons taught them 
by German troops. 

The landgrave of Hessia was especially an object of indigna- 
tion. We are not able to say to what extent this censure is just ] 
but it must not be overlooked that this prince was forced to parti- 
cipate in the war. The j ust, well meaning, and thoroughly posted 
heir to the throne of Brunswick says confidentially in a letter 
before the breaking out of the American war: " The landgrave 
will very likely, in spite of Eichfeld, furnish all or part of his 
troops. Otherwise he might get into difficulty with both sides ; 


for he is not strong enough to remain neutral, as his funds would 
soon be seized, and a lack of everything would soon be felt. It 
was believed at that time, that the difficulties between England 
and America would be fought out, not only in the colonies, but in 
Europe, and particularly in Grermany. The landgrave of Hessia 
was thus forced to take sides with one of the parties. lie accord- 
ingly entered into an agreement with England, or rather an offen- 
sive and defensive alliance, whereby Hessia agreed to support 
England with troops, the latter power also stipulating, in case of a 
German war, to protect Hessia. It appears further from the above 
letter of the heir to the Brunswick throne, that the landgrave of 
Hessia had money on hand before he sent his troops to America. 
We do not deny that this fund was augmented by the English 
subsidiary money ; but it should not be forgotten that with this 
surplus, structures were erected, which to this day are an orna- 
ment to the land, and also that the state received its share of 
that sum.i 

The motives which governed Brunswick in letting her troops 
for pay, and the manner in which she expended the money thus 
received, will appear in the following authentic documents. The 
possession of many soldiers was at that time an expensive luxury 
for Grerman princes, using up, as it did, a large portion of their 
income, at a time, also, when their treasuries were very low in 
consequence of the seven years' war. England needed troops ; 
the German states needed money ; it was therefore natural that 
they should mutually aid each other. England had already been 
an ally of Hessia and Brunswick during the seven years* war ; 
and in case of another war breaking out — an event which was 
thought extremely probable — that union would have to be 
renewed. Providence, therefore, dictated that there should be 
an immediate understanding with England, looking toward the 
formation of a league between the two countries. In forming 

1 It might, also, perhaps, pertinently be asked, which was the most heinous, 
foreign troops fighting the Americans for pay, or Englislimen fighting their own 
blood for pay ? 


ttis union, also, sides must be taken, as it was easily foreseen 
that it would be impossible to remain neutral. Thus originated 
the notorious subsidiary treaties. 

The impartial reader will readily see that such transactions 
were owing more to the spirit of the time, than to any evil 
intention on the part of the rulers. Men do not govern the 
spirit of the age, but the latter controls the former. 

In the beginning of the year 1776, England collected in this 
way, an army of 50,000 men, of which 16,900 were Grerman 
troops. The latter were known in foreign countries, and bore a 
good name, having always fought well and with great endurance. 
They were, in addition, well trained and disciplined. They 
consisted of soldiers from Hesse-Cassel, Hesse-Hanau, Bruns- 
wick, Anhalt, Ansbach and Waldeck. The first three mentioned 
states concluded, in 1776, a common subsidiary treaty with the 
crown of England. This treaty was published in English and 
German, and was, consequently, no secret. Its title was as 
follows : " The three entire subsidiary treaties which have 
been made between his majesty of Great Britain of the first 
part, and his highness, the landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, his high- 
ness, the duke of Brunswick-Liineburg, and his highness, the 
prince of Hesse-Cassel, as reigning count of Hanau, of the second 
part. English and German. Frankfort and Leipsig, 1776." 
This corps was to be made up of four battalions of grenadiers, 
each of four companies ; fifteen battalions of infantry of five 
companies each; and two companies of yagers; and was to 
be equipped with all the implements of war. Of these, three 
battalions of grenadiers, six battalions of infantry, and one 
company of yagers, were to be ready on the 13th of February, 
to begin the march to Stade, where the troops were to embark. 
The remainder were to follow four weeks later. Each battalion '>^ 
was to receive two pieces of artillery. 

This treaty, which was signed on the 13th of January, 1776, 
at Cassel by the English colonel, William Faucit and the Hes- 
sian minister Von Schlieflfen, was, at the same time, an oflfensive 


and defensive alliance ; the king of England, as it has already 
been remarked, promising, in case of an attack on the Hessian 
countries, to protect them. The treaty with Brunswick had 
already been signed on the 9th of January, at the latter place, 
by the above named English commissary and the minister, 
Baron Von Feronce. According to this instrument, the Duke 
Charles agreed to furnish an infantry corps of 3,964 men, and 
336 of light cavalry. The Brunswick dragoons not being 
mounted, it was specially agreed in Article II, that " His 
majesty of Great Britain, not deeming it advisable that this 
corps should be mounted, the same shall serve as a corps of in- 
fantry. But should the service demand that they should be 
mounted, then his majesty agrees to do it at his own expense." 

The first division, consisting of 2,280 men, were also required 
to be in readiness for the march on the 15th of February — the 
other division of 2,018 men to begin their march during the 
last week of March. The entire corps was to be composed of 
five regiments and two battalions. This one, also, was to be 
supplied with all the necessaries of war. In Article XII, it 
reads, among other things, as follows : " This corps shall take 
the oath of allegiance to his Britannic majesty without its inter- 
fering with the oath which it has sworn its sovereign." Thirty 
thalers ^ were to be paid as a bounty for each man. One-third 
of this sum was to be paid one month after the signing of the 
treaty, and the remainder two months subsequently. This 
bounty was to be also paid for those who might be killed. 
England further agreed to make restitution for the loss of all 
men in engagements, during sieges, by contagious diseases, and 
while being transported on ships. Reenforcements were to be 
sent from Brunswick; and those offices which might become 
vacant were to be filled by the duke, who, also, retained the 
right of administrating justice. 

In order, also, to refund the extra expenses occasioned by 

» A Prassian thaler is equal to about seventy-five cents of United States money. 


the shortness of the time in which the troops were to he placed 
in readiness, England agreed to furnish two months' pay before 
the marching of the men, and defray, moreover, all expenses of 
transportation from the day on which they began their march. 
The annual subsidy for Brunswick was regulated in the follow- 
ing manner : "It shall begin with the day of the signing of 
the present treaty, and shall be simple, that is — it shall amount 
to 64,500 Grerman thalers, as long as these troops receive pay. 
From the time that these troops cease to receive pay, the sub- 
sidy shall be doubled, that is, it shall consist of 129,000 German 
thalers. The double subsidy shall continue for two years after 
the return of said troops into the domains of his excellency.'' 

The treaty with the hereditary prince of Hessia, the reigning 
count of Hanau, was signed at Hanau, on the 5th of February, 
1776, by the above named English minister, and Baron Frederich 
Von Malsburg, Count Von Hanau furnishing 608 infantry. No- 
thing is said in this treaty regarding the furnishing of artillery. 

On the 10th of January, Colonel Riedesel, who had been 
appointed commander of the auxiliary troops of Brunswick, 
received his commission and instructions. These instructions 
were made up of nineteen articles. Article XIV reads thus : 
" We expect that you will, as far as lies in your power, see that 
our corps has its due, not only in the administration of justice, 
but in everything which may tend to preserve to us the priority 
of rank over the Hessian troops, which is but right. At the 
same time, you are to act in concert with the commanding 
general of those troops in cases of need, and to make causam 
communem, without, however, giving the appearance of depend- 
ence. This is specially enjoined upon you." 

In reference, also, to the support of the troops, Article XVIII 
says : " Our colonel will also see to it, that whatever belongs 
to our troops according to agreement, shall be furnished them 
by the English commissary department during the campaign. 
Accidental vacancies, however, may be bought at a reasonable 



rate, and the money paid over to the designated treasurers 
according to directions." 

In reference to Riedesel himself, and the commanders, Arti- 
cle VIII adds : " If anything should happen to our colonel, 
preventing him from commanding, he must transfer his of&ce 
ad interim to Colonel Specht, until otherwise ordered by us ; 
and in case of his death, to Lieutenant Colonel Breymann. 
In case, also, of accident to Lieutenant Colonel Praetorius, 
Major Stelle is to take command of the regiment of Prince 
Frederick until otherwise ordered. In case of accident to Colo- 
nel Specht, Lieutenant Colonel Breymann will command the 
regiment. Major Monge taking his place as commander of the 
battalion of Grenadiers; and should Major Berne meet with 
an accident, then Major Von Lucke will take charge of the 
battalion of light infantry. In reference, however, to further 
vacancies that may occur, you are to refer to us for further 

To these instructions was added a printed copy of the sub- 
sidiary treaty. The Duke Charles writes : 

" My Dear Colonel Riedesel : 

" I send you herewith a commission, which, however, you are 
not to produce until you have finished the first march with the 
first division. I also send you instructions in German and 
French, together with the directions which each regimental 
commander will likewise receive. You will make yourself 
thoroughly acquainted with all of them, and see that they are 
strictly and accurately enforced. I depend solely upon you for 
this, always remaining 

" Your affectionate 
" Charles, Duke of Brunswick. 
" Brunswick, January 20, 1776. 

" To Colonel Von Riedesel at Wulfenbiittel." 

Before the march there was granted to the of&cers two months' 
extra pay for their equipment. 


The form of the oath as prescribed in the treaty was as fol- 

" You hereby promise and make oath to God upon his holy 
word, that, in consequence of a subsidiary treaty made between 
the most excellent, high and mighty prince and lord, George 
III, by the grace of God, king of Great Britain, of the first part, 
and his excellency, the prince and lord, Charles, by the grace of 
Gt)d, duke of Brunswick Liineburg, of the second part, you will 
give this [the amount of money here inserted] to his high- 
ness, the royal majesty, in service from this day. You farther 
promise, on all occasions, to obey orders as it becomes and be- 
hooves brave and honest soldiers, with the exception of those 
obligations, whereby you are already bound to the service of 
his highness the duke, our most gracious Lord — in everything 
faithful and without deceit. So help you God." 

These treaties were made with the utmost haste ; for England 
had no time to lose if she would quell the rapidly growing rebel- 
lion in her colonies. And, indeed, with all the expedition that 
could be made, and under the most favorable circumstances, six 
months must elapse before she could land her troops on the 
American coast. In the garrison cities of Brunswick unusual 
activity now prevailed — so many preparations had to be made 
for the long journey. 

Amid, however, the thousand and one details of business 
demanded by the service, Riedesel was mindful both of his own 
future and that of those who belonged to him by the ties of 
kindred. In a will which he made, he gave directions in rela- 
tion to the disposition of his property and the welfare of his 
family in case of his death. Previous to this, he asked the con- 
sent of Frederick II to dispose of his property in Camin ; a 
permission which was granted by the king on the condition 
that with the sum realized by the sale of that estate, land 
should be purchased within the boundary of the Prussian do- 

The soldier, in any war exposed to numerous dangers, ran a 


much greater risk in a campaign like this, where so much de- 
pended on a long and tedious voyage ; for should the voyage be 
successfully made, other and hitherto unknown hardships and 
dangers awaited the warrior who, set down in a distant part of 
the globe, was obliged to participate in a war which was con- 
ducted on very different principles from those of Europe. 
America, much less known in those days than at present, was 
called, throughout a large portion of Germany, the " land of 
adventures and wonders." Stories, bordering on the fabulous, 
were told about it. There,* the war could be carried into vast 
deserts. There, the wild men often invaded the lands of the 
colonists ) and horrible stories were told about the love of the 
Indians for scalps. Malignant fevers, from time to time, 
thinned the European population who were themselves in a 
semi-civilized state. Notwithstanding these reports, however, 
the Brunswick soldiers were in high spirits and cried, "Now for 
America ! " There were many Germans, they knew, in America, 
fighting on the side of the colonies against the English ; and 
if they could endure hardships, why should they not also ? 

The Brunswick corps that was destined for America, consisted 
of the following troops : 1st. A regiment of (dismounted) dra- 
goons, under Lieut. Col. Baum. 2d. Prince Frederick's regiment 
of infantry, under Lieut. Col. Praetorius. 3d. Rhet's regiment 
of infantry, under Lieut. Col. Van Ehrenkrook. 4th. Kiedesers 
former regiment of infantry under Lieut. Col. Von Specht. 5th. 
Battalion of grenadiers, under Lieut. Col. Breymann. 6th. Kifle 
battalion (yagers), under Lieut. Col. Barner. 

Although the troops were ready for the march on the 15th of 
February, as agreed upon in the treaty, they did not move until 
the 22d. This was owing to the fact that the vessels, upon which 
they were to embark, were not yet in readiness. 

There were biLsy times in Brunswick on that day, every one 
being desirous of seeing the troops leave for the far off land. 
The crowd was still further increased by people who had flocked 
in from the neighboring villages and hamlets to witness the 


istrange sight and bid their friends farewell. The duke and the 
prince appeared on horseback on the plaza where the soldiers 
were collected. The former made the men a parting address; 
after which, to the sound of music and drums they marched by 
their beloved ruler — each battalion, saluting him with a tremend- 
ous hurrah ! They had seen their sovereign and commander for 
the last time ! 

Colonel Riedesel bade his family adieu with a heavy heart. 
It seemed impossible for him to be separated from them for any 
length of time. He would gladly have taken them with him, 
but his wife waa expecting to be confined within two weeks. He 
accordingly made an agreement with her that as soon as she was 
convalescent she should follow him. This, the loving and reso- 
lute woman promised him with a joyful heart. We cannot omit 
giving in this connection a letter of the Duke Charles which 
bears witness both to the excellent heart of that prince and to 
the confidence that he placed in RiedeseFs devotion and capacity. 
It is as follows : 

" My dear Colonel Riedesel : I have received your report of 
this day in which you announce that everything is in readiness 
for to-morrow's march. Gratefully acknowledging your faithful 
services, and your well meaning sentiments towards me, I do not 
in the least doubt that you will acquit yourself with your com- 
mand to my entire satisfaction. You may rest assured that if — 
in an unhoped for case -r- it is the will of Heaven that you 
should fall, your wife and children shall be cared for as far as 
possible. I hope and pray that you may return well and sound, 
even should you not meet me again. In the meantime I expect 
to see you on the morrow in order to wish you in person all 
possible good fortune. " I remain ever, 

" Your affectionate 

" Charles, 
" Duke of Brunswick and Liineburg. 
" Brunswick, February 14, 1776. 
" To Colonel Riedesel." 


The first halt over night that was made on that day was at 
Leifert and vicinity. Riedesel's heart was deeply affected by 
the last powerful impressions made on it by the parting from 
his own and the beloved family of the duke, and his many 
friends and acquaintances. How much passionate feeling was 
carried in his heart the last few days, the following letter to his 
wife will bear witness : 

" Leifert, Feb. 22, 1776. 

" Dearest Wife : Never have I suffered more than upon my 
departure this morning. My heart was broken ; and could I 
have gone back who knows what I might have done. But, my 
darling, Grod has placed me in my present calling, and I must 
follow it. Duty and honor force me to this decision, and we 
must be comforted by this reflection and not murmur. Indeed, 
my chief solicitude arises from the state of your own health, in 
view of your approaching confinement. The care of our dear 
daughters, also, gives me anxiety. Guard most preciously the 
dear ones. I love them most fondly. 

" I am thus far on my journey without accident and in good 
health, although very tired in consequence of my anxiety of 
mind the past few days. I am hoping, however, for a refresh- 
ing sleep, and trust that you may be blessed in a similar manner. 

" I have this evening been raised to the rank of major-general. 
Therefore, my own Mrs. General, take good care of your health, 
in order that you may follow me as quickly as possible after 
your happy delivery. " 

The document, written by the duke on the 20th of January, 
and given to Riedesel with the injunction not to open it until 
the first halt over night, contained his appointment as major 

On the night of the 23d the army camped at Giffhorn ; and 
on the 24th at Haukenbuttel, whence Riedesel wrote to Duke 
Ferdinand as follows : 


" Monseignenr : I am not able to express the joy which I felt 
when, the day previous to our march, I defiled with the regiments 
in the presence of your excellency, and had the honor of bidding 
you, in the presence of the troops, a last farewell. Yet this last 
homage cost me great self-control, having all I could do to con- 
ceal my sorrow and trouble. Will your excellency allow me to 
express my humblest thanks for the great honor and distinction 
you have had the kindness to extend to us. Our march has pro- 
gressed better than I expected. We have not had a single deser- 
tion ; every one is content ; and I have not thus far had a single 
difficulty to adjust. Malordie is satisfied with us, and I have every 
reason to be equally so with him, and also, with the arrangements 
which have been made for the support of the troops. 

" We shall camp on the 5th in the vicinity of Stade, where I 
hope we will pass muster before Colonel Faucit, and be taken on 
board the ships as soon as they arrive. 

" May your excellency in the future grant me your high favor. 


" Haukenbiittel, Feb. 25, 1776." 

Riedesel, accompanied by his personal staff" and a portion of 
the troops, arrived at Haukenbiittel on the 24th, the rest of 
the troops being cantoned in the neighboring villages. This 
was kept by the whole army as a day of rest. On the 25th the 
march was resumed, the general head quarters being that day at 
Briefstadt. Here Riedesel inspected his regiment of dragoons, 
which was encamped on an estate in the vicinity, belonging to 
a Lord Von Grrote. On the 27th, head quarters were at 
Ebsdorf, and on the 28th at Amelingshausen, where General 
Riedesel inspected his regiment of infantry, returning to his 
quarters at eleven o'clock at night. The 1st of March was 
also a day of rest. On the 2d, the troops marched to Tamelslohn 
and its surrounding villages, and on the 3d, to Harburg. On 
the 4th, head quarters were at Vortchade, and on the 5th, the 
army rested during the whole day at that village. On the 6th 


the Brunswick troops arrived at Stade, and were quartered in 
that town and vicinity. The marches were short, lasting each 
day from four to six hours. An exception to this, however, 
was on the 23d of February (the day previous to the day 
of rest), when the march from Giflfhorn to Haukenbiittel lasted 
seven hours'. Colonel Von Estorf, at that time, acted as quarter 
master general. The rest we learn from the following letter 
written by Riedesel, on the 19th of March, to Duke Ferdinand : 

" On the Elbe, on Board the Pallas, 

" March 19, 1776. 

" Monseigneur : I take the liberty of sending you a short report 
of that which has occurred during the march of the four batta- 
lions of troops that left Wulfenbiittel on the 21st of February. 

" The following list will show your excellency at what places 
we encamped before arriving at Stade. We have finished our 
march without desertion, and without the least complaint either 
from the inhabitants or the men ) and, what is the most remark- 
able feature in the whole of it is, that a large number of those 
who were very much fatigued held out to the end. 

" Colonel Faucit, on the 7th of March, reviewed the dragoons 
and the battalion of grenadiers. With the former he was very 
much pleased, but found some fault with the latter in regard to 
their height. Some of these, also, he thought too old ; but in 
the main he was satisfied. On the 8th he reviewed a regiment 
of infantry at Horneburg, and also Prince Frederick's regiment 
at Vortstade. He seemed more pleased with these regiments 
than with the grenadiers, especially the former. We dined at 
Vortstade, and in the evening returned to Stade. On the 9th 
he began drilling the recruits, and continued it until the 12th. 
On that day, which was Tuesday, the ships, to the number of 
seven, arrived; and, on the 13th the regiment of dragoons 
embarked in the greatest order and tranquillity. In two hours 
all was over. Colonel Faucit said that he had never witnessed 
an embarkation of troops which was so quiet and orderly. Not 


a single man was intoxicated. Colonel Faucit counted all the 
men once more ; and, although this was contrary to the agree- 
ment, I consented, having a clear conscience. 

" On the 14th the two regiments of Riedesel and Prince Frede- 
rick were quartered at Stade ; and on the 15th four companies 
of my regiment were put on board of three vessels. The 16th 
I spent in visiting all the ships to see that nothing was wanting. 
Six more ships are to arrive to-day. The five remaining com- 
panies of my regiment embarked on the 17th, as also did the 
entire regiment of Prince Frederick. The same order and 
quiet was maintained which was observed during the two previous 
embarkations. The 18th saw all our horses safely on board. I 
gave all the necessary lists to Colonel Faucit. We dined to- 
gether ; and after dinner I went on board my ship the Pallas, 
whence I have the honor of writing this to your excellency. 
This evening we start for Freyburg, and thence to Gliickstadt, 
where we shall wait for favoring winds in order to leave the 

" I am unable sufficiently to describe the contentment of our 
soldiers. Every one is joyful and in good spirits. I leave it 
to my brother to give your excellency in person a more detailed 

" Monseigneur : Yes, I dare to say my most, most gracious 
and dear protector, this is the last letter I shall write you from 
Germany, and soon even from Europe. I therefore venture to 
beg of your excellency a favor, which to me is of great moment. 
It is this — that you will not forget me, but preserve to me 
your kindness and love. As far as in me lies I will do all to 

deserve them. 

^^ I remain, etc., 


Up to the time of embarking, Riedesel had sent reports daily 
to the reigning duke. He had, also, each day written to his 
wife. On the 21st he sent her a journal which he had kept 



up to this time. In it he describes his present mode of living 
on board of the ship as follows : 

" On Board the Pallas, March 21, 1776. 

" Here we are still quietly lying before Stade, in consequence 
of contrary winds ; we must therefore have patience. Never- 
theless we shall to-day noon proceed to Friburg, which is not 
far from Gliickstadt, where we shall wait for more favorable 
winds to carry us out to sea, and across to England. Mean- 
while we are quite content. Your presence only is necessary to 
complete my happiness, for I confess that I have the greatest 
longing to see you once more. 

" For your amusement, and that you may see how we pass 
away our time, I, herewith, send my journal. 

" First then, we have a state-room almost as large as your 
sitting-room. Upon both sides are two small cabins, in one of 
which is my bed, and in the other that of Captain Foy. In the 
state-room itself, on both sides are fixed four beds,, in which 
sleep Captains Hensch, Gerlach, and Cleve, and the captain of 
the horse, Fricke. The cashier, the keeper of the military- 
chest, and the secretary, are in that part of the ship reserved 
for the soldiers, a private state-room having been put up espe- 
cially for them. 

" I rise about seven o'clock in the morning, after having said 
my prayers in bed. We dress ourselves quickly, and breakfast 
after the English fashion upon tea and bread and butter. Then 
I go upon deck to smoke my pipe. After that I write or read, 
drink my coffee, walk up and down with both the Englishmen, 
and with one or two pipes more pass away my time until two 
o'clock when we have dinner. We have nine persons at table, 
have three dishes, and eat nearly an hour. Then the table 
cloth is taken off, and we spend nearly half or three-quarters of 
an hour drinking different healths ^ follows : First, the king ; 
second, the duke ; third, yours and the children ; fourth, Cap- 
tain Foy's wife ; fifth, a good sea voyage ; and sixth, a successful 


expedition in America. At four o'clock, all is finished. Four 
bottles of wine are consumed daily, together with half a bottle 
of arrack ^ for punch. Afterwards I drink coffee with the 
Englishmen. The remaining gentlemen provide for themselves. 
After coffee I visit the other vessels ; and in the evening play 
a rubber of whist. At half-past eight cold meat is brought 
on — also wine for whoever will drink, and beer — and at ten 
o'clock all of us go to bed, and in this manner one day after 
another passes by. 

" Captain Foy goes from Dover to London to report himself 
to the king, and will rejoin me at Portsmouth. Upon his 
arrival there, I shall be transferred to a man-of-war, where 
everything will be more agreeably arranged for my comfort. 

" General Gage returned from America in this ship, at which 
time it had eight small state-rooms, an apartment for the gene- 
ral, and a dining-room; all of which will be again fitted up. 
But of all this you shall hear in detail from me at Portsmouth, 
as also of the condition of things in America, and of the safest 
and quickest way for us again to see each other." 

On the 22d the reigning duke writes, himself, to General 
Biedesel, as follows : 

" I have with joy seen in the report of the major general that 
the march has progressed well. May God also in the future 
give it his blessing. The answer to your question is here inclosed. 
I refer to the letter of G. R. de Ferronce to the major general. 
I herewith send you, also, a list of the staff officers of the corps 
now on the march ; thoseof the first division left on the 29th 
of February. To-day, the 21st of March, the two divisions take 
their departure. 

" I have received nothing as yet from Mrs. Major General ; and 
I have accordingly sent an express to Wulfenbiittel, who has not, 
however, returned. I hope the news may be good. I shall soon 

^ L e., a BpiiitnooB liquor distilled from rice. 


send it to you. But I did not wish to delay longer sending oflF 
this letter. I have received the report of your brother. Wish- 
ing you and all the other officers success, 

" I remain, etc., 

" Charles, 
" Duke of Brunswick Liineburg." 

Lieutenant Colonel Riedesel, who remained in Brunswick, 
had accompanied his brother as far as Stade, where he remained 
until after the embarkation. This explains the reference to him 
in the two letters just quoted. 

On leaving Stade, the English Captain Foy took the command. 
Additional details are given in the following letter written by 
the general to his wife, the 26th of March, from on board the 
Pallas : 

" On Board the Pallas, opposite 
Dover, March 26, 1776. 

" I write you the instant we come in sight of the English 
coast. Captain Foy, who goes to London, will post this letter 
from that city. I mention to you with satisfaction that I have 
not been unwell a moment ; still less have I been sea-sick ; but, 
on the contrary, have had a good appetite and good sleep the 
whole time. The soldiers, however, and also my servants, have 
mostly all been sick and yet remain so. The poor cook is so 
bad that he cannot do the least work, indeed, he cannot even 
raise his head. This is very inconvenient, since Captain Foy 
and myself are obliged to attend to the cooking, which would 
amuse you could you see us. 

" I will now give you a brief account of our voyage. Thurs- 
day, we sailed from Stade to Fryburg. It was a magnificent 
spectacle to see the beautiful villages upon both banks of the 
stream. Grliiokstadt, a fine Danish fortress, we left upon our 
right. We were in fine spirits, ate and drank heartily, and 
played whist in the evening. 


" Friday, we made sail for Ritzebiittel or Cashaven, where we 
hove to at evening in order to land and see the city, and play a 
rubber of whist. 

" Saturday we went to sea with a very gentle wind. We, 
however, hardly believed that we were at sea. We were all well 
and eat with great appetite. From the Red Ton, where the 
Hanoverian pilots left us, I wrote you my last letter. In the 
afternoon, fishermen from Helgoland came on board, and I 
bought, for two thalers,' a large codfish, twenty haddocks, and 
four flounders, which I could not have obtained in Brunswick 
for ten thalers. Rainy weather now came on. 

" Sunday morning we had a heavy fog, and the sea became 
boisterous. Two guns were fired from our ship to indicate to 
the other vessels the route for them to take. The fog now 
lifted, the wind and the waves rose, but still there was no storm. 
Now all were sick. The cook could not cook. Miiller could 
not dress me. Valentine could find nothing. To sum up, 
great lamentation and great blundering arose on all sides. 
Hungry, I had nothing to eat. Finally, Captain Foy and my- 
self cooked a pea soup in the sailor's kitchen, and eat cold roast 
beef, which made up our whole dinner. The soldiers eat 

" Monday the weather was somewhat milder, and some of the 
people became better, though most of them remained sick. 
Captain Foy and I once more cooked a portable bouillon soup, 
a cod with anchovy sauce, a ragout from roast beef, and a piece 
of roast veal with potatoes. 

" Tuesday we had the most beautiful weather in the world, 
and a few of the people became again well. The soldiers cooked 
for themselves, but the cook still could do nothing. Foy and 
myself, therefore, again did the cooking. We had rice soup, 
yellow turnips with beef, codfish with anchovy sauce, and a 
ragout of veal. From a distance one could see land. 

^ A thaler is seYenty-flye cents in American money. 


" To-day, Wednesday, we are opposite Dover. Captain Foy 
goes from us and takes this letter with him. Dearest angel, 
remember that every one may be sick upon the water ; conse- 
quently, you will have very little help from your servants. 
You must, therefore, choose the shortest route to England. I 
think the best one will be by way of Calais. 

" Ci^tain Foy says that if Quebec is still ours, and there is no 
American army this side of Montreal, not only he, but Greneral 
Carleton, also, will have his wife join him. You must posi- 
tively not set out on your journey before they do — then you 
can accompany them and travel with more safety, as you will 
have company and attendance, and want for nothing.'' 

On the 28th the flotilla arrived at Spithead. Riedesel went 
into the city to pay his respects to Admiral Douglas and some 
generals, by whom he was received with great courtesy. A 
guard was stationed in front of his quarters, and the captains 
of the men-of-war waited upon him. The king, also, hearing 
that the German general and his staff had very little room on 
their ship gave orders to have their quarters arranged more 
comfortably. In consequence of this order, Riedesel was obliged 
to go on shore the following day and take lodgings while the 
alterations in the interior of the ship, which was to convey him 
to America, were making. Thirty ship carpenters were at once 
set to work in the ship ; and with such good effect, that in a 
very short time its cabins wore an entirely different look and 
were furnished as comfortably as possible. 

On the 29th the general dined with Admiral Douglas ; and 
on the 30th the latter took him all over the harbor and showed 
him the entire fleet of men-of-war. The commander of the ad- 
miral's ship of ninety guns gave him a magnificent dejeuner. 
In return, Riedesel invited all the captains of the men-of-war 
who had called upon him to dinner at his hotel. On the Slst 
he dined with the commissary general of the docks. Lord de 
Gambier. He also visited all the ships which had his troops 
on board. The same day the regiment of Hanau, under Colonel 


Von Gall, arrived in tlie harbor. Riedesel calls them " a beau- 
tiful troop." 

On the 1st of April, Admiral Douglas gave a dinner to the 
Grerman general on board of the admiral's ship. When he made 
his appearance the men-of-war saluted him in the following 
manner : the men were ordered on deck and presented arms, 
and the drummers beat a march. On the 2d, Riedesel visited 
his transport ships. On the same day, Admiral Douglas gave a 
dinner to Grenerals Burgoyne and Phillips who intended to 
accompany him to America. Riedesel was also invited to it. 
On the 3d, the captains of the different men-of-war gave a dinner 
to Riedesel. On the 4th, at eleven o'clock in the morning, the 
signal of departure was given. Admiral Douglas ordered Rie- 
desel to be carried to his ship, the Pallas, in a sloop-of-war. 
General Burgoyne went on board the frigate Blonde, commanded 
by Captain Brunei ; and the fleet, consisting of thirty sailing 
vessels, hoisted anchor. 

Thus all the honors belonging to his rank were shown to the 
German general on English soil ; and more than this, as we have 
seen by the many dinners and dejeuners which were given in 
his honor within so short a time. 

During the voyage, the frigate Juno, under Captain Dalrimple, 
took the lead and formed the advance. Then came the sixteen 
ships having the Brunswickers, followed by four with the troops 
from Hanau, six with the English artillery, and two transports. 
The frigate Blonde, with thirty-six cannon, formed the rear. 
On the evening of the same day the fleet reached Plymouth, 
but only remained there long enough to take the six ships which 
had the 21st English regiment on board. It will thus be seen, 
that the fleet, upon leaving the coast of England, numbered 
thirty-six sailing vessels. 

On board of General Riedesel's ship, beside himself, were the 
following persons : 1st. Captain Foy of the English artillery as 
commissary of the troops in Canada. 2d. Captain Heusch, com- 
mander of the transport ships. 3d. Captain Edmonston of the 


guard, who was given to Riedesel as adjutant. 4tli. Captain 
Gerlach of Brunswick in the capacity of quarter master general. 
5th. The Brunswick Lieutenant Cleve, as adjutant. 6th. The 
field treasurer Grodecke. 7th. Captain of cavalry, Fricke, com- 
mander of Riedesel's squadron of the regiment of dragoons. 8th. 
Secretary Langmeier. 9th. Captain Bell, commander of the ship. 

A comfortable cabin and bed-room had been provided for the 
general. Opposite, were similar accommodations for Captain 
Foy. Besides the state-room for the officers there were four 
smaller cabins for Edmonston, Heusch, Bell and Gbdicke. The 
cabin for Riedesel's attendants was so large that twenty persons 
could easily dine in it. On the sides were five small rooms for 
the rest of the officers. It was not known at the time of leav- 
ing England whether or not Quebec would hold out until the 
arrival of these troops. In the former case, the Brunswick and 
Hessian troops were to be disembarked there ) in the latter, 
another place for disembarking was designated on the Isle of 

The voyage continued prosperous; the wind was generally 
favorable, the men were nicely provided for and not too closely 
packed ; and the health of all was, on the whole, very good. 
The soldiers were, therefore, always joyful and in fine spirits. 

On the morning of the 16th of May, the continent of America 
was for the first time visible. Bona Ventura and Cape Gasp^ 
were before them. A general rejoicing arose on all the ships, 
the decks of which were alive with soldiers, gazing with strange 
feelings upon the new world. The weather, however, was 
unfortunately cold and rainy, and prevented those on board 
from seeing clearly at a distance. The sea, also, was high and 
the wind changeable. On the morning of the 17th, the coast of 
Anticosti came in sight, with its mountains still covered with 
snow. This is an island belonging to Newfoundland. At the 
present day it contains over five thousand inhabitants ; but at 
that time there was only a small colony on the western side. 
On the 20th, Grand point was visible. It had snowed the 


night previous, and the ground was now frozen hard. On the 
21st, the fleet fell in with a merchant vessel, and learned from 
it that Quebec was still in possession of the English, under the 
command of General Carleton. The English frigate Niger 
was met a few hours after, sailing from Quebec to Halifax, and 
having on board thirty-two cannons. Through her, additional 
news was obtained in relation to events in and around Quebec 
during the winter. The English General Carleton had already 
dispatched a frigate to* England with news, which, however, 
had not fallen in with the fleet. In the afternoon the flotilla 
entered the bay of St. Lawrence. On the 22d, the vessels, 
owing to an unfavorable wind, were obliged to tack the entire 
day. On the 23d, an accident happened. Two English soldiers 
fell into the water and were drowned in sight of their companions, 
who were unable to save them. At six o'clock, on the evening of 
the 25th, the Isle Pic came in sight, and the ships cast anchor 
a short distance from it. Here they remained the whole of the 
following day, the weather being very stgrmy. The general 
employed the time in going on the uninhabited island of which 
' he gives a short description.^ Afterward he visited General 
Burgoyne on board the Blonde, just as the latter was about 
going on the Surprise in advance to Quebec. At midnight 
of the 27th the ships weighed anchor. They passed Green 
island early in the morning, and shortly after passed the 
first settlement on the stream. On the 28th, the fleet was 
obliged again to cast anchor near the Isle aux Coudres in order 
to take a pilot on board, as the navigation of the river was very 
dangerous on account of rocks. Owing to an unfavorable wind, 
the ships lay there all day. Here they learned that owing to 
reenforcements having arrived on the 6th of May, the Ameri- 
cans had retreated from the vicinity of Quebec, and fallen back 
upon Montreal, closely pursued by General Carleton. 

> For this description see appendix. 



At six o'clock in the evening of the 1st of June, the fleet 
arrived safely, after a tedious voyage, at Quebec. General 
Carleton, who had only two days previously returned from his 
pursuit of the rebels, was again in that city. Kiedesel immedi- 
ately landed in order to report to him. Carleton received him 
in a very friendly manner, and asked him to dinner on the 
following day. Of this general, Kiedesel, in a letter to his wife, 
dated June 8, gives a peculiar picture. " In order, '' he writes, 
" to get an idea of his personal appearance, imagine the Abbot 
Jerusalem. The figure, face, walk and sound of his voice are 
just like the abbot's, and had he the black suit and wig, one could 
not discover the least difierence.'' ^ While yet on board the 
Pallas, General Kiedesel wrote out orders which were to regu- 
late the conduct and discipline of his corps, and gave a copy to 
the commander of each battalion as soon as the troops were 

On the 2d, the general viewed the six hundred American 
prisoners whom Carleton had captured in his last chase. He 
then visited the commander of the fleet at that place, Commo- 
dore Douglas, by whom he was saluted on his departure with 
thirteen guns. The 3d, which was his birth-day, Kiedesel 
passed on board of his own ship. On the 4th, the birth-day of 
the king of England was celebrated ; on the morning of which 
day, the general, accompanied by all the officers of his corps, 
waited on the commanding general. 

On the same day he received from General Carleton the 
command of a separate corps, a distinction which was entirely 
unexpected. This corps, which consisted of an English bat- 
talion, the Brunswick battalion of grenadiers, the regiment of 
Kiedesel, one hundred and fifty Canadians and three hundred 
Indians, was to be stationed further up the river, between Que- 
bec and Montreal. Accordingly it began its march on the 5th ; 

1 The abbot here mentioned, was the tutor of the hereditary prince, Charles 
William Ferdinand. 


but on this side of Lake Champlain not an enemy was to be seen. 
The regiment of dragoons were to remain at Quebec. 

Riedesel had, during the whole of this time, kept up a con- 
stant correspondence with his home. ^ He received letters from 
the duke,'^ the Duke Ferdinand, and the hereditary prince. 
The latter, shortly after the departure of the Brunswick troops, 
had returned to his Prussian regiment at Hallerstadt. He was 
in the habit of attending the summer drill and the " fall ma- 
noeuvres,'' at Potsdam, after which he would return to Bruns- 
wick and take part in the affairs of the administration. He 
took special interest in the troops in America, and therefore, 
wrote frequent and long letters to Kiedesel. 

It is not intended to give in this work a detailed and con- 
nected account of the distant war in North America — the 
space in these leaves is too small. Yet we cannot omit casting 
a glance over the scene as it appeared at the time when the 
above mentioned reenforcements arrived at Quebec. 

The congress at Philadelphia had, on the 15th of June, 1775, 
appointed General Washington commander in chief of all the 
North American forces. A better choice could not have been 
made ; for it was only through the talent for organizing and 
the other capabilities of this great man, that order and concert 
of action was finally infused into the hastily picked up mass. 

It was determined by the British ministry that Boston should 
at once be attacked on the land side. In the fall of 1775 Grene- 
ral Gage had surrendered the command of that city to General 
Howe, who, being unable to defend it, surrendered it, in March 
of the following year, to the Americans and retreated to Halifax. 

Another American corps, under Montgomery, had invaded 
Canada the latter part of 1775, and captured several forts and 

1 For this correspondence, see The Journals and Letters qf Mrs. General Riedesel. 
3 Charles, duke of Brunswick LUnebarg. 


hamlets. After the American General Arnold had united his 
corps to the invading army, Montgomery made preparations for 
the capture of Quebec. This important place, however, was 
bravely and successfully defended by General Carleton ; and in 
an abortive assault upon the citadel the general, commanding 
the Americans, met his death. The Americans immediately 
vacated Canada to a great extent ; and this was the position of 
affairs when, in the summer, the reenforcements arrived. 

The following plan of operations was now drawn up by the 
British. The Americans were to be attacked at three points, 
via : Clinton was to invade the southern colonies : Burgoyne 
was to clear Canada of the rebels ; and Howe, with the main 
army of thirty thousand men (including twelve thousand Hes- 
sians) was to occupy New York city, and thence form a junction 
with General Burgoyne at Albany. Clinton had started, in 
the beginning of June, for Charleston, where he was to be sup- 
Jwrted by English ships; but the American General Lee, 
manoeuvred so adroitly that the British were repulsed and 
obliged to retreat to New York. General Burgoyne performed 
his part with more success ; for he drove the Americans as far 
back as Lake Champlain where the enemy had an armed flotilla. 
Before, however, Burgoyne could unite with 'General Howe, as 
agreed upon, he would have to destroy this flotilla, and capture 
some forts. This necessitated the building of vessels. Howe, 
in the meantime, left Halifax and occupied Staten island. 

The chief base of operations for those troops which were des- 
tined for Canada under Burgoyne (under whose command was 
also Riedesel) was the river St. Lawrence. This large river has 
its origin in Lake Ontario, and is, in fact, the outlet of that lake 
into the sea. It has a great depth of water, and runs in a north- 
easterly direction, until, when near Quebec, it forms a bay which, 
widening more and more as it approaches the ocean, is at its 
mouth twenty miles wide. Much, therefore, depended on the 
possession of the fortified places and forts on this stream and 
on its numerous islands, of which Montreal was the most import- 



unt ) and, accordingly, the English had built more or less strong 
forts along its entire length. Lake Champlain, with its outlet, 
was the base of operations between Montreal and New York. 
This lake, which is one hundred and seven miles long and three 
wide, extends from south to north, between Lake George and 
Lake St. Pierre, through the river Kichelieu,^ and flows into 
the latter, which, in fact, is nothing but an extension of the St. 
Lawrence. On the left shore of this river and this lake are 
various forts and fortified places. Fort Chambly, Fort St. John, 
Point aux Fer, Fort Ticonderoga, and on the right shore, near 
where the Chambly flows into the St. Lawrence, the city of Sorel. 
Towards the ocean are several islands, the largest of which are 
La Motte, Long island, and Grand isle. Let us now return to 
the operations of General Kiedesel. 

Sailing from Three Rivers with his troops, he landed at Ber- 
g^re, and arrived on the 22d of June, at La Prairie. Thence 
he writes to Duke Ferdinand, as follows : 

" La Prairie, June 22, 1776. 

" Monseigneur : We are at this place masters of the whole 
province of Canada ] and I feel confident that the good fortune, 
which has attended our troops thus far, will cause you to rejoice. 
If we had enough ships and sloops of war in which to cross Lake 
Champlain we would soon be in rear of the colonies. But as we 
are in need of the most necessary thing for crossing, and as all 
our vessels are yet to be built, this delay will lose us three weeks 
and materially impede our progress. At the same time, how- 
ever, it will do much towards restoring the health of the troops, 
who, in consequence of hardships and poor fare, are much 

" We have left the ships without taking any of our luggage, 
as the teams required for transporting it were needed for other 

1 This river had varioas names. It was also called, the Sorel, Chambly, and St. 
John river. 


purposes. We have marched about fourteen miles in three 
days; during the whole of which journey myself and the other 
officers were obliged to go on foot. This is the seventh day that 
I have worn the same shirt and stockings. At first it was disa- 
greeable, but we stood it. All the officers manifest the very best 
spirit, and our troops are the strongest and have the fewest sick. 
" I am very happy to be under the command of General Carle- 
ton. He manifests such a contempt for the rebels, that I feel 
sure that we shall soon attack and get the best of them. 

" I commend myself, etc., 

" RiEDESEL.'' 

When Riedesel arrived at La Prairie, the Americans were 
still in possession of Sorel ; but hearing of his approach with a 
corps of four thousand men, they evacuated their important 
position. From this day forth. General Riedesel caused a careful 
journal of events to be kept by his Adjutant Cleve — a journal 
that was continued until the year 1779. Up to the time of 
landing at Quebec, he had kept it himself. 

On the 22d of June, General Carleton gave orders that the 
baggage, which was still upon the transport ships, should be 
sent to the troops, and that the ships should return to England. 
The adjutant general of General Carleton, Major Maestre, being 
about to return to England, Riedesel sent those of his dispatches 
and letters that were destined for Europe, to Montreal. 

The English troops, according to the orders of General Carle- 
ton, were to encamp in the following manner : 

The brigade of General Fraser was to take the place of the 
garrison of St. John, and be so stationed, that the grenadiers 
would be nearest the ford ; the 22d Regiment on the road to 
Chambly ; and the light infantry on the road to La Prairie. 

Gordon's brigade, with the exception of the 29th Regiment 
which remained in Montreal, was to encamp behind Eraser's 
light infantry on the same road as far as La Prairie. Back of 
the 29th, Risboth's brigade was placed; and behind them 


again, the brigade of Gowell at Belleville. The artillery was to 
remain at St. Charles, a parsonage between Boucherville and 
Fort Chambly. 

RiedeseFs brigade was to encamp at La Prairie and the par- 
sonage belonging to it. By this arrangement, it was thought 
that one corps would be able to support the other. 

On the 24th, Riedesel and his staff witnessed at the head 
quarters in Montreal, a sight of peculiar interest. We will 
give it here verbatim as it is written down in his journal : 

" Greneral Riedesel, accompanied by all of his staff, went to-day 
to head quarters in Montreal, to be present at a meeting between 
General Carleton and all the nations of wild men, since, in order 
to make it as impressive as possible, all the chief officers of the 
army were expressly invited to attend. The chiefs of the so 
called Iroquois nation, namely : many of the Onantais, Anajutais, 
Nonlaguahuques, and Kanastoladi, met at six o^clock in the eve- 
ning, in the old church of the Jesuits which had been expressly 
prepared for the occasion. The high choir was covered with car- 
pets, upon which were placed a row of stools. In the centre was 
a large arm-chair for Governor General Carleton, who during the 
whole of the meeting kept his hat upon his head. Behind him 
was a table, near which sat the adjutant generals. Captains Foy 
and Carleton, who served as secretaries. There were also benches, 
upon which sat three hundred wild men, with their pipes lighted. 
Every nation had its chief and interpreter, the latter acting as 
spokesman and translating into French all that was said to Gene- 
ral Carleton. In order, however, that there might be no mistakes 
or misunderstandings. General Carleton had, also, his interpre- 
ter. Thus each nation spoke for itself. The substance of what 
they said was, that they had heard the rebels had risen against 
the English nation; that they praised the valor of General 
Carleton as shown in frustrating the designs of the enemy ; that 
they, therefore, loved and esteemed him, and that they had 
come to offer their services against the rebels. Those Indians 
of St. Louis, who lived nearest to the English settlements, 



abont four leagues &om Ln Prairie, were blamed for hitberto 
remaiaiiig neutral, and not embracing tbe side of the English 
at tbe outbreak of the rebellion. They, however, bid the blame 
upon an old man, aged eighty, but who bad very wisely stayed 
at home, and thus could not answer for himself All these 
nations were, therefore, engaged tor one year, and had their 
posts assigned them. Before leaving they all passed by General 
CarletoD, shaking hands with him and the rest of tbe officers. 
The evening and night were spent by them in feasting and danc- 
ing, which had already lasted several days. They had brought 
with them a few scalps of rebels whom they had killed, and with 
which they honored Generals Carleton, Burgoyne and Phillips." 
The troops were taken care of in the best manner not only 
in their quarters, but wherever it could be done. This waa 
the ease with the German, as well as the English soldiers. 
Each man received, besides bread and vegetables, one pound 
&ad a half of meat. The German troops received exactly the 
same monthly addition to their pay as the English. The follow- 
ing list will show the particulars : 










































Officer's Servant, 



The leisure time while in camp was employed in drilling the 
recruits and those who had been sick a long time. These exer- 
cises lasted daily three hours, generally from five to eight in the 
morning. On the 26th, General Carleton transferred his head 
quarters to Chambly, on the river of the same name opposite 
Montreal. Generals Burgoyne and Phillips, also, accompanied 
him thither. For common vessels on the rivers they used 
canoes made of the bark of trees exactly similar to those of the 
wild men. They were very light, and, in the event of a march, 
could be taken out of the water and carried. This was often the 
case when there were rapids in the stream. On the 27th, 
Captain Gerlach, as quarter master general, was sent to St. John 
to inspect that fort and make a sketch of the surrounding 
country. A few days later he was appointed assistant commis- 
sary of the German troops, in which capacity he was obliged to 
see to their maintenance. The Americans had made dreadful 
havoc at St. John, and, before their departure, had entirely 
demolished two houses belonging to the English Lieutenant 
Colonel Christie. Major Carleton, a cousin of the commanding 
general, acted as quarter master general for the English troops. ^ 
On the 29th, Captain Gerlach was sent to Chambly for the 
purpose of inspecting that fort likewise. He found it not only 
in a better condition than those he had previously inspected, 
but its situation of much more importance. This fort lies in a 
northerly direction from Lake Champlain, on that part of the 
Chambly river where rapids greatly impede navigation. The 
water, running over rocks, is here but one foot and a half deep. 
Flat bottomed boats, built expressly for the purpose, are used for 
crossing this spot. This fort was, therefore, very appropriately 
called the key to Lake Champlain from the north. As no teams 
could be procured to transport the baggage to the troops from 

1 This was probably the Captain Carleton referred to a few pages back, as offici- 
ating as secretary at the Indian meeting. 



Quebec, the ships were obliged to go as far up as Montreal, at 
which poiut magazines were built. 

General Kiedesel visited a tribe of Indians at their village on 
the 2d of July. We will here give an account of it as it is 
written down in the above named journal : 

" We went to-day to the Indian village on the Saut St. Louis, 
called in their language Kagnohangue, situated four leagues from 
here. On our arrival we were met by the oldest of the tribe. 
They had turned out with flags and formed two lines between 
which we were obliged to pass. They saluted us with a dis- 
charge of a small cannon and fire arms. We inspected their 
church, which is presided over by a Jesuit, and in which every- 
thing is of silver. Their cabins are in a bad condition and full 
of filth. They raise nothing but corn, which they prepare in 
different ways for food. Their chief labor consists in raising 
cattle, in hunting and fishing. We met here an Indian, ' who 
was born at Frankfort and still spoke Grerman fluently. He came 
here with his father when a child of ten years. The father 
dying in battle, the boy grew up among the wild men, learned 
their language, adopted their dress, and, apparently, had no 
desire to return to Europe. Likewise, a Hollander, who had 
served in the French army, was made a prisoner in the previous 
war,'- but having the good luck to be adopted by one of their 
families, saved his life ) wherefore on account of gratitude he 
will not leave them.'^ We dined poorly at the house of an 

^ By adoption of course. 

* The seven years' war. 

8 " The Iroquois were always reluctant to receive other tribes, or parts of tribes 
collectively, into the precincts of the Long House. Yet they constantly practiced a 
system of adoptions, from which, though cruel and savage, they drew great advan- 
tages. Their prisoners of war, when they had burned and butcheren as many of them 
as would serve to sate their own ire and that of their women, were divided, man by 
man, woman by woman, and child by child ; adopted into different families and 
clans, and thus incorporated into the nation. It was by this means, and this 
alone, that they could offset the losses of their incessant wars. Early in the 18th 
century, and even long before, a vast proportion of their population consisted of 
adopted prisoners." — ParAwkin'* JeauUsin North America^ page Ixvi of intro- 


English merchant who resides here ] , bought a few horses of 
them, which are very good, and returned in the evening. 
They gave us two guards of honor, who accompanied us every- 
where, placing themselves in front of those houses into which 
our curiosity induced us to enter. The nations of wild men 
which, besides those already mentioned, make common cause 
with us against the rebels, are some nations of Iroquois, to 
whom also belong the one on the Saut St. Louis, the Abenakis 
of Becancourt, Hurons, Onawutais and Nepissings." 

On the 5th of July, all those soldiers who were carpenters by 
trade, or knew how to work in wood, were sent to Chambly, 
Sorel, and St. John, to work on the vessels that were being con- 
structed for the passage of Lake Champlain. These men re- 
ceived an extra shilling per day. 

On the 6th of July, Riedesel went to Montreal to see the city. 
The Montreal of those days was of course very different from 
what it is now. The writer gives the following description of it : 

" This city is somewhat handsomer than Quebec, and may 
contain, perhaps, sixteen hundred houses. Its wall is nothing 
more than an apology for a wall with loop-holes for cannon and 
fire arms ; and what is called the citadel is only a log house in 
poor condition. These works were first begun in 1736. The 
whole island, including the city, belongs to the Seminary. This 
has eleven ordained priests beside a few other priests who are 
distributed among the nine parishes which are on the island. 
These were the first priests that got a foothold in this part of 
Canada. They came from the. Seminary of St. Sulpice at Paris, 
and are to this day dependent upon it, having induced the king 
of France to grant them in 1646 this island. They have founded 
a very respectable college for the youth who were formerly taught 
by the Jesuits. Near this seminary is the best garden in all 
Canada. Most European plants are found here. The revenues 
of the seminary amount yearly to twenty thousand thalers.^ 

I Aboat fifteen thousand dollars. 


The few Jesuits who arq in Montreal^ and, indeed, throughout 
Canada, still own their possessions. The entire parish of La 
Prairie in this city, for instance, belongs to them. 

" The Hospital or Hotel Dieu, in which are some members of 
the order of St. Augustine, is in a splendid condition. There 
is, also, a hospital for the army. There is, likewise, in the city 
a convent — La Communaut^ de Secours de la Congregation de 
Notre Dame — a general Hospital of the Sisters of Charity, and a 
Cloister of Recolets. Of the four churches, that of the Jesuits 
has ceased to exist.'' 

Montreal was also the market place for the important fur 
trade with the Indians ; whence the traders yisited the Indian 
hunters in the interior, in order to exchange clothing, ammuni- 
tion, ornaments, liquors, etc., for peltry. 

On the 7th, the English frigate Tartar arrived at Quebec. 
She had brought, among other things, ten light vessels of the 
kind suitable for the transportation of the troops across Lake 
Champlain. General Carleton at this time sent his first adj utant, 
McLean, to England with dispatches. Availing himself of this 
opportunity. General Riedesel also sent his dispatches and letters 
to head quarters for transmission to Europe. 

The vessels which were sent from Europe were so constructed 
that they could readily be taken to pieces and put together again. 
A vessel of this kind was capable of carrying three cannons. 
They were built in this manner so that if necessary they could 
be more easily transported on land. 

The troops heard very little in. their quarters in regard to the 
operations of the other armies; for the rumors, which were 
occasionally heard, were so extravagant that great caution was 
necessary in imparting them. 

The rebellious Americans were generally called by the British 
rebels; for those of them, however, who were still found in 
Canada a different name was invented, viz : Bostoniansj after 
the city of Boston. These Bostonians had still possession of 
the fort at Crown point, while the British and Germans were 


encamped on the Chambly. A few Indians, who scouted as far 
as the American camp, reported that the Americans were about 
to retreat. 

Respecting the official relations sustained by Riedesel to the 
other generals, he shall be allowed to speak for himself. In a 
letter written to Duke Ferdinand in the beginning of July, he 
says, among other things, " We have to overlook many things 
and cross many a little bridge that we may meet the expectations 
of our generals and not be embarrassed in this kind of warfare. 
My principle is, never to aggravate anything, and to obey the 
orders of the general. This is probably the reason that he still 
continues satisfied with me. * * * * 

" The country and landscapes of Canada are beautiful. Its 
resources at present, however, cannot be depended on to sustain 
our entire army. A lack of vessels hinders us from crossing 
Lake Champlain, and therefore we cannot advance. Yet I 
believe that this war will soon be finished. We have not a word 
from the second division nor from General Howe." 

One might very reasonably have believed that the war would 
soon be brought to a close. Indeed, had the reenforcements 
arrived in America but two months sooner, no one would have 
thought for a moment of the North American rebellion being a 
success. Washington was scarcely able to collect seven thou- 
sand men in the spring of 1776 ; and what could this mob have 
done against a well organized army ? But that general knew 
well how to improve the opportunity, occasioned by this loss of 
time. The little discouraged band increased in a short time, to 
thirty thousand men — all animated with an ardent desire for a 
fight. 1 The English, at that time, had no idea of the strength 
of the hostile army. 

By the middle of July, the number of the sick among the 
Brunswick troops had very much increased. On the 12th, 

1 The original, perhaps, would be beet expressed by the slang expression *' spoil- 
ing for a flght.^^ 


there were sixty-four in the hospital and one hundred and sixty 
in their quarters. The men suffered chiefly from a severe 
diarrhoea, consequent upon the sudden changes in tempera- 
ture — the days being oppressively hot and the nights very 

Notwithstanding the activity displayed in buildihg the boats, 
they progressed slowly. The troops, in the meanwhile, were 
idle, and saw the enemy's forces constantly increase. By the 
15th of July, one hundred of these canoes were finished, but 
there still remained five hundred and forty-six to be built ; nor, 
even if everything prospered, could these be completed in less 
than three weeks. There were at this time at Chambly four 
armed vessels, carrying eighteen to twenty cannon each ] but 
what did they amount to when the Americans had seven such 
vessels on Lake Champlain? Neither could they pass the 
rapids. This difficulty, however, was got over by a resolution 
to transport them on land. This was considered a great idea ! 
Accordingly, roads were especially made and leveled for this pur- 
pose ; and tremendous rollers were laid across them, upon which 
were placed the ships. In this manner they were gradually 
rolled along. 

In order to procure a larger and cheaper supply of provisions 
for the troops. General Riedesel ordered a market to be held 
at La Prairie ) but, notwithstanding it was attended by sellers 
and the prices for each article set, everything was outrageously 

On the 18th, General Carleton gave another audience to 
various deputations of Indians. Biedesel, who witnessed this 
one, also, describes it as follows : 

" The meeting was similar to the one already described. This 
time, however, the deputations were from the Outanais, Cou- 
der^s and Saules — tribes living between and near Lakes Ontario 
and Erie. They numbered about one hundred and eighty, and 
were good looking and well built men. They offered their 
grandfather, the king of England, and their father, General 


Carleton, their services against the Bostonians.^ General Garle- 
ton received them in a particularly friendly manner, since they 
had come hither from a long distance, and had in times past 
aided the French. He did not, however, accept their services 
at this time, but requested them to keep in readiness until 
needed, and, in the meanwhile, protect the country from their 
side, since no other nation — no matter what their name — could 
stay the progress of their arms. He, also, particularly enjoined 
them not to acknowledge any other ruler but their grandfather, 
the king of Great Britain. He thanked them for the discipline 
they had observed on their march to Montreal, and promised to 
give each nation a few silver dollars, which, although not yet 
finished, they should surely have. He, therefore, advised them 
to leave a few of their chiefs to receive the money when it was 
ready. They answered General Carleton that they would accept 
the dollars, not as a present, but as a consideration which 
should make their promise to the English the more binding. 
In reply, General Carleton granted them still more liberty in 
trade, giving them the whole of Canada and Europe. He also 
promised to have some more roads built for their especial ac- 
commodation in trading. The present, which General Carleton 
received from them, consisted of several strings of corals. The 
Coudres requested at the same time that their former governor, 
Machina, should be reappointed. One of the leaders of this 
nation wore on this occasion the coat of General Braddock whom 
he had killed in the previous war ; and his little son of nine 
years the vest belonging to it. They then asked for the second, 
or farewell meeting, which was granted for the following day." 

The next day, accordingly, they held their second meeting. 
The general had wine distributed among them, in consequence 
of which they were very jovial and noisy. The calumet of 
peace went from mouth to mouth. 

On the 20th, General Carleton went to Quebec in a canoe, 

1 See page 59, 8d line from foot. 


expecting to remain there some time. Masons were sent to the 
Isle aux Noix to build a fort at that point. This little island 
is in the Chambly river a little to the north of St. John. 

General Burgoyne took command of the army after the 
departure of Carleton. The first thing he did was to send a 
detachment, consisting of twelve English volunteers, and a 
party of Indians and Canadians, toward the enemy with orders 
not to stop till they had reached him.^ The general wished 
to ascertain definitely, whether or not Crown point had been 
vacated by the Americans. Quarter master General Carleton — 
a nephew, and also a brother-in-law of the general — was called 
upon to lead the reconnoitring party. ^ But neither were the 
Americans inactive in reconnoitring. On the 25th, one of the 
American patrols was captured near La Prairie ; and, according 
to his statement, the patrol to which he belonged consisted of 
one oflGlcer and five men. They had reached that place under 
the most aggravating circumstances, and by terrible round 
about roads. That their march was a long one, is evident from 
the fact that each man was provided with provisions for four- 
teen days. 

On the same day, the 25th, the English Brigadier General 
Gordon, whose brigade was encamped near the German troops 
in the vicinity of La Prairie, was shot. He rode, on the 23d, 
alone to St. John, to visit General Eraser. The road was con- 
sidered safe, for English troops were encamped along its entire 
length. While returning on the 25th, through some woods, 
and when but two and a half leagues distant from La Prairie, 
he was severely wounded in the right arm and shoulder by two 
balls from a concealed foe. He fell from his horse, and was 
afterward found by a soldier of the 21st Regiment. He was at 
once carried to Colonel Hamilton's at St. Jacob, and remained 
there until his death, which occurred soon after. This hap- 

1 A round about way of describiiig a Bcouting party. 

> The writer epeaks of him a few papges back as a coasia of General Carleton. 


pened in the rear of the English troops. It was never known 
who killed him. 

The detachment sent out by General Burgoyne encountered 
a party of the enemy somewhere near the Isle aux Noix ; and, 
notwithstanding the latter*s superiority in point of numbers, 
attacked them. The Americans lost in prisoners, one captain, 
two officers and thirty-three men. On the side of the British, 
one Indian was shot dead, and one Canadian severely wounded. 
The detachment returned on the 27th, and reported that the 
fort at Crown point was garrisoned by only five hundred men : 
a little while previous it had contained eighteen hundred. 

On the 29th of July General Carleton made some altera- 
tions in the positions of the encamped troops. The 21st and 
62d Regiments were sent to St. Therese, a place lying between 
Fort Chambly and Fort St. John. Two companies of the 
former were detached to the other side of the river opposite St. 
Therese ; and three companies of the 34th Regiment were sent 
to St. Ours, St. Denis and St. Charles in order to put a stop to 
the robberies of the sailors. Two companies of the second bri- 
gade, under Powell, were detached to the west side of the river 
opposite Belleville to extend the chain of patrols to Chambly. 
The communication between these detached companies was kept 
up by boats. 

On the 30th, another meeting was to have taken place with 
some Indian tribes, but it was postponed until the following 
day, as the delegates were so intoxicated that they could not 
stand. Riedesel was again present. On the 31st of July, 
General Burgoyne received a document from congress, the 
contents of which were decidedly cool. Among other things, 
it said that it was impossible for the English, who had an army 
of only sixty thousand men, to subjugate the colonies which 
contained three millions ; and further, that the Americans were 
prepared eflFectually to oppose the British, and were only await- 
ing their arrival. 

On the Ist of August, General Riedesel celebrated the birth- 



day of his sovereign in a becoming manner. General Bnrgoyne, 
with some of his staff officers, was also present. On the 3d of 
August, General Gordon, who had died of his wounds, was 
buried at Montreal with full military honors — all the Bruns- 
wick officers attending the funeral. 

Riedesel, in the meantime, had drilled his troops diligently, 
and had instructed them somewhat in the English method of 
fighting. He made the first attempt with his infantry regiment 
on the 6th of August. The manoeuvre consisted in an attack in 
the woods with skirmishers in advance. This was done in order 
to surprise General Carleton upon his return from Quebec, when 
it was expected he would inspect the German troops. 

The somewhat excitable General Burgoyne, enraged at the 
threatening document from congress, issued the following order : 

" All commanders of regiments are requested to inform their 
officers, sub-officers and privates that no more letters will be 
accepted from rebels who have taken up arms against their 
king ; and if any more delegates from this mob dare to approach 
our pickets, excepting as supplicants for mercy, they shall be at 
once arrested and imprisoned in order to be punished for their 
crime. All letters, even if directed to the commander in chief, 
shall be delivered unopened to the provost and burned by the 

Notwithstanding, however, this rough and passionate order 
General Burgoyne afterward enjoined the troops — speaking in 
reference to the faithless conduct of the Americans as shown 
more particularly in the case of General Gordon and the 
exchange of prisoners — not to repay evil with evil. Among 
other things, he says, " The Englishman, always brave, will 
not forget that he is accustomed to act magnanimously and 
philanthropically. It behooves the troops of the king to spare 
the blood of his subjects; it behooves the king himself; and it 
is the duty of all his faithful subjects to obtain for the inhabit- 
ants of this country that noble liberty with which they were 
once blessed." General Burgoyne also ordered that all Ame- 


rican prisoners should be furnished with clothing and provisions 
until it should please the governor to give them their liberty. 

On the 9th, the Brunswick troops were transferred to Isle 
aux Noix, the defenses of which were still incomplete. In the 
meantime, an artillery train was sent to Lake Champlain. This 
consisted of eight twenty-four-pounders, six long, and six 
medium eighteen-pounders, and six long, and twelve medium 
twelve-pounders, besides other guns. 

From Canada the British could operate against the southern 
colonies to greater advantage, as the people in that section were 
entirely loyal, and the neighboring tribes of Indians had not yet 
taken sides against the king. Before, however, giving a further 
account of the war, we may be allowed to give a description of 
the country and its inhabitants, which have remained under 
England until the present day. 

Canada, now the most southern of the English possessions, 
was formerly one of the most northern. At the present day, 
it is bounded on the south and west by the United States, its 
boundaries being made by nature by the Canadian lakes, the 
St. Lawrence, and the Alleghany mountains. The Ottawa river, 
which runs from north to south-west, and, in the vicinity of 
Montreal, empties into the St. Lawrence, divides the country into 
Upper and Lower Canada. It is somewhat larger than Ger- 
many — containing twelve thousand square miles — and is, as 
a general thing, very thinly settled. 

Lower Canada is chiefly inhabited by the descendants of the 
French ; for, although first visited by the Spaniards, it was, in 
the sixteenth century taken possession of by the French. 
Captain Champlain founded Quebec in 1628, at which time a 
vice king ruled in Canada in place of his master. The French 
element is, to this day, in the majority, whence, the French 
names of districts, settlements, and rivers. In the year 1759, 
the English captured Quebec ; and, at the peace of Versailles, 



the whole of Canada was given up to England. The reason 
why the French population have always been so much in favor 
of the English is, because during the French reign, the officials 
who were sent over governed them as they pleased, enriched 
themselves, and oppressed the colonists. The English, on the 
contrary, treated the inhabitants in an opposite manner. They 
favored justice and commerce, and did not interfere with the cus- 
toms and usages of the colonists. Thus it happened, that after the 
outbreak of the American revolution, when Generals Mont- 
gomery and Arnold endeavored to induce the Canadians to revolt, 
they remained loyal to the cause of the king. 

The colonists of Canada, at the beginning of the war, were, 
one may say, in their infancy. The population was very sparse, 
and the settlements and towns were far apart from each other. 
There was, it is true, an abundance of meat, poultry and milk, 
but notwithstanding the splendid country, fruit and vegetables 
were scarce, for the reason that very little attention was paid 
to horticulture. Other necessaries, also, which a European was 
accustomed to — such as spirituous liquors — were very dear. 
Thus a bottle of common wine, for instance, cost one thaler in 

Eiedesel describes life in Canada as very pleasant, and the 
inhabitants as extremely polite and agreeable. In a letter to 
his wife, he writes, that the farmers of northern Germany, under 
similar circumstances, would not be so obliging. While sojourn- 
ing at La Prairie, he traveled over all the country in various 
directions and soon obtained a pretty accurate knowledge of the 
land and its inhabitants. 

On the 13th of July the 24th English regiment was ordered 
from St. John to Isle aux Noix. At the same time a German 
detachment of two hundred men under Colonel Specht marched 
to the former place. General Riedesel accompanied it in order 
to see that it was properly quartered. From St. John he crossed 
over to Isle aux Noix to view that island. He describes it as 
being about four hundred paces in circumference and fully capable 


of defending the passage of the river. The entire island was 
fortified. He thinks it healthier than St. John. 

Before the arrival of the 24th Regiment and the German light 
troops, General Fraser had, in his brigade, five companies of 
grenadiers and five companies of light infantry. 

During the summer the English had cut a road from Fort 
St. John to Chambly which greatly facilitated the communica- 
tion between those two points. Riedesel took this road when 
he went to confer upon various matters with General Burgoyne. 
Thence he journeyed on to Quebec both to make General Carle- 
ton a visit, and to inspect those of the German regiments that 
were quartered in that place. Riedesel made this journey of 
forty-three German miles in twenty-seven hours. He failed, 
however, to see General Carleton ; for the latter had already gone 
to Chambly, by way of Sorel, to £x the quarters of the late 
General Gordon's brigade. Riedesel, accordingly, returned to 
La Prairie on the 27th of August. He was considerably out of 
humor, having heard nothing of the second division, and not hav- 
ing found the regiments, generally, in as good trim as he expected. 
He was also especially dissatisfied with Prince Frederick's regi- 
ment commanded by Lieut. Col. Praetorius. Those of the 
German troops whom the general had drilled were now obliged 
to learn how to row boats, preparatory to the passage of Lake 
Champlain. Accordingly, each brigade had a number of boats 
assigned them which they were obliged to row at certain times 
each day. 

On the 29th of July, there was a rumor that the second division 
had arrived at Quebec after an auspicious voyage. The rumor, 
however, was only partially confirmed, as only one ship arrived 
having on board the Hessia Hanau artillery. Respecting it, 
Riedesel writes to Duke Ferdinand as follows : 

" Our second division, together with a battalion of Waldeck 
have at last arrived at Lundy, after passing Quebec. I shall go 
there next Wednesday in order to i;inite them with the main army. 
General Carleton has placed all the German troops under my 

. \ 


command ) thus upon our second expedition I shall command 
nine battalions divided into three brigades, viz : the first, under 
Colonel Specht; the second, under Colonel Gall of Hanau; 
and the third under the colonel who commanded the battalion 
of Waldeck. If, however, this latter regiment has only a lieu- 
tenant colonel then the third division will be under Colonel 

These brigades, in fact, formed the left wing of the army. 
Respecting it, Riedesel writes to General Carleton as follows : 

" La Prairie, Sept. 31, 1776. 

" My Lord : The honor which your excellency has bestowed 
upon me, in giving me the command and supervision of the left 
wing of the army, induces me to express to you my humble 
opinion in regard to the distribution of the German troops into 
brigades as soon as they have all been brought together. By 
pursuing the course which I propose, each brigade will see not 
only that it is to be well led, but that a good officer has been 
given them. Ever since the year 1767 that officer has never 
been of a less rank than a lieutenant colonel — a rule which 
has always secured them one of the oldest staff officers of the 

" I wish your excellency would kindly allow Prince Frederick's 
regiment to rejoin the army. Its place in the garrison at 
Quebec could be quickly replaced by drawing detachments from 
the different regiments composed of those recruits and invalids 
that are too young or feeble to stand the hardships of a cam- 
paign. In case these should be used for garrison duty, it only 
depends on your excellency to have formed at once three bri- 
gades of the German troops — who are sufficient in number for 
the purpose — in accordance with the plan which I have here 
the honor to inclose. The third brigade might also be used on 
the left wing, either as the advance, or in any manner which 
your excellency thinks best — perhaps, in the same way as the 
brigade of General Fraser is employed on the right wing. This 



would greatly encourage Lieutenant Colonel Breymann, who now 
feels slighted at having been passed over in favor of younger 
lieutenant colonels. I will be responsible for his courage and 
military knowledge ; with his deportment I feel assured that 
your excellency will be satisfied. 

" For my own part, I have no other motive in making this 
request, but to maintain the good feeling between the troops of 
his majesty and ours who are in his pay; to satisfy all just 
demands 3 and to reap the approbation of your excellency, 
which iSj and will be my only aim. 

" I remain, 

" Your Excellency's Obedient Servant, 


The following plan accompanied this letter : 

First Line. 

Regiment of Rhetz, four Regiment of Specht, Regiment of Riedesel, 
companieSfCommanded by four companies^ com- four companies, corn- 
Lieut. Col. Ehrenkrook. manded by Major Lack, manded by Lieut. Col. 


First Line. 

Prince Frederick's regi- All the four companies Four companies of Hes- 

ment, four companies, of the four regiments of siaHanau, commanded by 

commanded by Lieut. Col. Brunswick, commanded Lieut. Col. Leutz. 

Praetorius. by Major Hille. 


Second Line. 

The company of Brunswick light 
Brunswick yfigers. infontry, com- 
manded by Lieut. 
Col. Bamer. 

Three companies 1st Co., Hessia 
of Brunswick gre- Hanau, ist Co., 
nadiers, command- Brunswick grena- 

ed by Major Men- 

diers, 6th Co. of 
the regiment Hes- 
sia ^nau, com- 
manded by Mf^or 


That which is here called a regiment was often only a 
battalion, for a regiment that had but three companies was not 
divided into battalions. Eiedesel, in his letters, sometimes 
calls such bodies of men, a battalion. 

On the 30th, the Hessia Hanau Colonel Von Gall was made 
a brigadier general by General Carleton, and Major Carleton, 
lieutenant colonel of the 24th Regiment. On the 3d of Sep- 
tember, Generals Carleton, Burgoyne and Phillips, with their 
respective suits, met at La Prairie for the purpose of inspecting 
the proficiency of the German troops in the drill. The battalion 
of grenadiers, under Breymann, began at half-past ten o'clock. 
It drilled with closed ranks, and received the approbation of the 
English generals. At three o'clock in the afternoon the generals 
reviewed three hundred men of the regiment Riedesel. We have 
already mentioned that Riedesel had drilled this detachment in 
an extended line for the purpose of surprising the generals. This 
manoeuvre, representing an attack in the woods, was, accordingly, 
perfectly carried out. In order to give our readers an idea of what 
was, in those days, called the practice of sharp shooting, we will 
here copy verbatim an extract from Riedesel's journal : 

" As soon as the first line has jumped into the supposed ditch, 
the command ^fire' is given, when the first line fires, reloads its 
guns, gets up out of the ditch, and hides behind a tree, rock, 
shrub or whatever is at hand, at the same time firing oiF four 
cartridges in such a manner that the line is kept as straight as 
possible. As soon as the first line has fired off the four cartridges, 
the second line advances and fires off the same number in the 
same manner. While this is taking place, the woods have been 
thoroughly ransacked by the sharp shooters who have thus 
become familiar with every part of it." 

With all this manoeuvring the English generals were per- 
fectly satisfied; and in the afternoon they rode back to La 
Prairie and dined with the German general. ^ 

1 In regard to this entertainment, Biedeeel writes to hie wife as follows : " On the 


Riedesel had just left La Prairie on his way to inspect his 
second division, when a messenger from General Burgoyne 
brought him news that the Americans had made their appear- 
ance, with forty vessels, on the other side of the Isle aux Noix. 
At the same time he received a letter from General Phillips 
informing him that the rebels had occupied Point au Fer. Rie- 
desel returned at once. The Americans had endeavored to 
cross the river above St. John and attack the troops composing 
the right wing; but vigorous measures being immediately adopted 
they relinquished their design. In consequence of this, the 
German troops were forced to change their position and encamp, 
on the 5th, near Savanna ] a movement which brought them 
one-half the distance nearer Fort St. John. In accordance, 
therefore, with this arrangement the battalion of grenadiers 
encamped below St. John. 

At last, on the 9th, preparations were made for crossing Lake 
Champlain. The necessary vessels had finally been completed, 
and the four men of war, which had been transported on rollers 
by land, had arrived. Although these latter had to be taken 
apart after being moved a few hundred yards in order to make 
them lighter, yet the undertaking was successful, and reflects 
credit upon the perseverance of the English. 

On the 10th, Captain Carleton moved up the stream with 
four hundred Indians. The latter had their own canoes and 
constituted the advance. On the 11th the German brigade 
received orders to embark seventy-six men of each company. 
The remainder were to remain, for the present, in camp. The 
sick were to be taken back to Montreal together with the heavy 
baggage. The defense of this place was entrusted to the 
Scottish mountaineers and the emigrant regiment of McLean. 

3d, after the inspection of our troops, I gave General Carleton and the German offi- 
cers, a grand dinner, consisting of thirty-six covers and twenty-six dishes in two 
courses. I did it in honor of my sovereign and for the sake of his troops. It was 
a complete success ; and I am on good terms with all.^' 



The German regiments were distributed among the different 
yeaselfi in the following manner : 

Officers, officers. Privates. Ships. 

Battalion of Grenadiers, 10 89 828 23 

Regiment Riedeeel, 14 40 380 27 

Regiment Heeeia Hanau, 18 38 432 32 

42 117 1,140 82 

On the 17th of September, the second division at last arrived 
at Quebec. Their transports had left England simultaneously 
with the vessel having on board the Hessia Hanau artillery ; 
but the latter, soon becoming separated from the rest of the 
convoy, got the lead. It is somewhat singular that General 
Biedesel was for so long in the dark respecting the landing of 
his troops. 

In reply to his request, that the two regiments stationed in 
Quebec might join him, General Carleton in part consented, 
by sending him the regiment of dragoons, but keeping Prince 
Frederick's for the present in Quebec. 

On the 21st, the Brunswick Captain O'Donnell, who had 
oome with the second division, and was to serve on RiedeseFs 
BtaflF as third adjutant, arrived at head quarters. He brought 
intelligence from Quebec that the second division had arrived 
on the 17th, in five transports, under the command of Colonel 
Specht, but that one of the ships, having on board three hun- 
dred and fifty men, had become separated from the rest of the 
fleet seven weeks since. During the passage nineteen men had 

On the 27th, General Fraser received orders to advance with 
his brigade to the river Colle ; it being intended that the first 
brigade should occupy the Isle aux Noix, while the German 
regiments should encamp near St. John. Accordingly, on the 
morning of the 27th, General Riedesel left his camp near La 
Savanna and occupied the one to which he had been ordered. 
On the same day, General Burgoyne changed his head quarters 


from Chambly to St. John. On the 2d of October, the German 
brigade again broke up their camp and crossed to the Isle anx 
Noix. On the same day, one hundred and thirty boats wera 
distributed among the different regiments. Each general re- 
ceived two covered for himself and suit. Each boat, moreover, 
was built to contain twenty men. On the 29th of September, 
General Burgoyne again changed his head quarters to the Isle 
aux Noix. 

Notwithstanding this was the first time that the German 
troops had been on board such boats — which they had to row 
themselves — General Riedesel was much pleased with this first 
trial. He praises, especially, the quietness and order with which 
everything was done. 

Captain Lanodiere, adjutant general to General Carleton, 
who had been sent out to reconnoitre, returned on the 3d of 
October, and announced that Point au Fer, together with the 
Isle la Motte, had been evacuated by the Americans. He also 
reported that, with the exception of a small gondola, he had 
seen nothing whatever of their ships. In fact, all that was 
known regarding the enemy's fleet on Lake Champlain was, 
that it consisted of four men-of-war. Respecting the number 
of smaller vessels, nothing definite was known. Captain Lano- 
diere pretended that he had seen smoke behind Grand island, 
but he was unable to say anything further, except that he sup- 
posed the rebels were hidden behind that island. General 
Carleton, upon this report, determined to reconnoitre himself. 
He, therefore, took two of the neatest war boats, the Lady Mary 
and the Carleton, besides gondolas and twenty-four armed 
vessels, and posted himself between the Isle la Motte and 
Point au Fer, at the mouth of the lake. The troops, meanwhile, 
remained in their positions. In regard to the second division, 
General Riedesel, with the consent of the commander in chief, 
gave on the 4th of October the following order : 

" The regiment of dragoons and the light troops of Earner, will 
advance as far as St Therese, two hours' march below St. John ] 


they will send in their reports from there, and wait for further 
orders. Colonel Specht, with one regiment and a half, will 
advance to Chambly, and, after reporting, will also await fur- 
ther orders. The half of Colonel Specht's regiment which 
remains on board the ship Friesland, is to do garrison duty at 
Trois Rivieres until further orders. The two English regiments, 
which are at Chambly and St. Therese, are, as soon as the 
second Brunswick division has reached the neighborhood of 
Chambly, to march to St. John and join the two English regi- 
ments already there. As soon, also, as Lieutenant General 
Burgoyne leaves the Isle aux Noix with the first English brigade 
and advances with the German troops, the second English 
brigade will occupy the Isle aux Noix. The dragoons and the 
Brunswick light infantry will encamp near St. John; but 
Colonel Specht is to remain in the vicinity of Chambly. In 
case the rebels should ofier resistance, requiring more troops, 
then the dragoons and light infantry will advance to the lake, 
and Colonel Specht will occupy the camp near St. John." 

The position of the army on that day was as follows : Captain 
Carleton, with four hundred Indians, and some Canadians, 
formed the first line at Point au Fer, being shortly after 
reenforced by one hundred volunteers under Captain Eraser. 
Eraser's brigade ^ with the English grenadiers, the light infantry 
and the 24th Regiment, were to the right, on the left bank of 
the River la Colle. Lieutenant General Burgoyne, with the 
first English brigade consisting of four regiments — the 9th, 
2l8t, 31st, and 47th — the German brigade, consisting of the 
battalion of grenadiers, the regiment Riedesel and the regiment 
Hesse Hanau, was stationed on the Isle aux Noix. General 
Powell, with the 20th, 62d and a part of the 29th Regiment, 
was placed near St. John. General Phillips was also in that 
vicinity. The 59th Regiment was in the neighborhood of St. 
Therese, and the 34th near Chambly. The 29th Regiment was 

^ General Fraser, not Captain Fiaeer. 


divided as follows : one company on board the ship, Lady Mary ; 
one company on the Carletbn ; one company on the Inflexible ; 
one company on the Radeau (floating battery) ; and one-half of 
a company on the gondolas. On the same day the Inflexible, 
carrying twenty twelve-pounders and ten smaller guns, sailed 
by the Isle aux Noix. 

On the day following General Riedesel, in person, reconnoitred 
in the vicinity of Point au Fer, the Isle la Motte, and the mouth 
of Lake Champlain. Here he found General Carleton riding 
at anchor, and accordingly reported to him. The latter had 
ordered Captain Fraser, with a party of Indians, to advance to 
the furthest extremity of Point au Fer; and Captain Carleton, 
with another party of Indians, to march to the left on the right 
bank opposite Point au Fer. At the same time he dispatched 
four trustworthy officers in advance to discover the whereabouts 
of the enemy, and particularly to find out whether the canal 
between Long and Grand islands was in their possession. 

On the 7th, another party was ordered out by General Carle- 
ton in a diiFerent direction. Captain Fraser, with his Indians 
and Canadians advanced as far as the Cumberland bay ; Captain 
Carleton occupied Isle la Motte; General Fraser, with his 
brigade, encamped near Point au Fer ; and General Burgoyne, 
with the first brigade, encamped near the River la Colle. Gene- 
ral Riedesel, was ordered to remain at Isle aux Noix, until the 
second brigade, under Powell, arrived from St. John, when he, 
also, was to advance. 

The Brunswick troops had plenty to do while on the island. 
Besides performing military duty in the fortifications as sentinels, 
etc., they were obliged, when ofi" duty, to work on the fortifica- 
tions, and' to bring up provisions from St. John in small boats 
in order to replenish the magazines. Magazines and depots 
were established on the island that everything might be close 
at hand when the army crossed the lake. This, indeed, was the 
chief reason for so strongly fortifying the island. Besides the 
fortifications, block-houses and barracks were also erected. 


On the 9tli of October the 62d Regiment arrived on the island. 
The same day, one of the four officers, who had been sent out to 
reconnoitre. Captain Lanodiere, reported to General Carleton 
that he had sailed around Long and Grand islands, without 
discovering any traces of the enemy. 

In consequence of this report. General Carleton advanced 
with all his war vessels with the object of finding and attacking 
any of the enemy that could be found. The names of the 
English war vessels at the disposal of General Carleton were : 
1st, the Inflexible of twenty twelve-pounders and ten smaller 
guns. (This was the nicest vessel of the little fleet and was only 
finished on the 1st of October). 2d, the Lady Mary of fourteen 
guns ; 3d, the Carleton of twelve guns ; 4th, a gondola of twelve 
guns captured from the Americans ; 5th, another vessel of twelve 
guns, also taken from the Americans ; 6th, a floating battery of 
eix twenty-four-pounders, and ten twelve-pounders called the 
Kadeau ; and 7th, ten gun boats, carrying three cannons each, 
which had just arrived from England. On the 10th, it was 
reported to General Carleton that the American fleet had been 
seen near Grand island. He, therefore, sailed the same after- 
noon as far as the two islands, and, in the evening, cast anchor 
between Long and Grand islands. Thence, the next morning, 
he sailed in the direction in which the enemy's ships were last 
seen. While passing to the left of the small island. La Valeur, 
the advance reported that a frigate of the enemy was sailing 
behind this island. 

The Carleton, which was sent after the American frigate, 
was not able to overtake her, owing to contrary winds. Ten 
gun boats were, therefore, dispatched in pursuit of the frigate. 
They pursued her so closely that she was driven into the 
island La Valeur, where she stranded. In this chase, one of 
the English sloops, having on board the Hesse Hanau artillery, 
was sunk. Fortunately, however, all her crew were saved. 
After the stranding of this vessel, the Carleton, under Cap- 
tain Dacres, sailed for the bay at the end of Grand island. 


Here the entire fleet of the enemy was discovered; notwith- 
standing which, however, he steered directly for it, and cast 
anchor. Immediately a tremendous cannonade was opened on 
both sides. It was the design of the brave Dacres to prevent 
the enemy's fleet from escaping from the bay until the other 
ships should arrive; and in this he was successful. The 
Carleton, although very much damaged, stood it bravely till 
eight o'clock in the evening, when the English fleet came to 
the rescue. The latter immediately formed in line of battle 
in front of the bay, their left wing resting on the shore, and 
their right on the Isle la Valeur. At the same time, several 
vessels were sent to the right to cut off the escape of the ene- 
my's ships through the passage formed by La Valeur and 
Grand islands. It being too late for a general attack, the ships 
cast anchor, every one feeling certain that the enemy could not 
give them the slip. But General Arnold quietly hoisted anchor 
during the night ; and sailing round the left wing, aided by a 
favorable wind, the American fleet escaped safely under cover 
of the darkness. His escape, however, was greatly facilitated 
by the fact that every one was so confident of capturing 
him in the morning, scarcely any watch was kept during the 
night. The next morning, therefore, when the English were 
about to make the haul which they had considered so certain, 
they opened their eyes wide upon discovering that their prey 
had escaped. General Carleton was in a rage. He at once 
had the anchors weighed, and sailed off in pursuit. But in his 
haste and excitement he forgot to leave instructions for the 
army on the land, from whom, as a consequence, he became 
more and more separated. The wind, however, being adverse, 
and nothing having been seen of the enemy, he returned and 
cast anchor in the bay in which he had passed the previous 
night. Desiring, however, reliable news of the enemy's fleet, 
he sent out a scouting party who soon returned and reported 
that the Americans had anchored behind Idehay-Liers island. 
Carleton, therefore, remained stationary during the day; but 


as soon as it was dark, he hoisted anchor, and, in spite of a 
contrary wind, sailed in the direction of the enemy. 

On the morning of the 13th, he came up with the retreating 
fleet of the enemy near the island of Quatre Vents. At half- 
past eleven he was so near that cannonading was begun ; and 
by twelve o'clock the Americans were cut off, half of their fleet 
escaping through a wide bend in the lake. Carleton pursued, 
and forced the crews of five of the ships to set fire to them and 
escape to the shore. He then renewed the chase after the 
other ten ships, and with such success that, having driven them 
down the rapids of Roche Fendii, he attacked them, captured 
one of the vessels, and burned another. The Americans, having 
saved only five of their ships, finally reached Ticonderoga. 
After this victorious engagement, Carleton cast anchor between 
Roche Fendii and Crown point in order to rest his tired troops. 
This engagement lasted from half-past eleven in the morning 
until eight in the evening ) and it is remarkable that during 
the whole of the engagement not a single man on the side of 
the English was either wounded or killed ; General Carleton, 
only, received a slight wound in the head from a splinter torn 
up by a ball. The number of Americans captured amounted 
to one hundred and ten men. 

The Carleton, which stood her ground so bravely against the 
whole fleet of the enemy, had one officer killed, and twelve dead 
and wounded. The frigate, which stranded on the 11th, was 
the Royal Sauvage of sixteen guns. On board of her was 
General Arnold who had come that day from Crown point with 
money and provisions for the fleet. The English at lirst thought 
that all the men on board of her would be captured ; but Gene- 
ral Arnold managed to escape to the island Yaleur. On the 
opposite side of this island there was another vessel, in which 
he and his men, with the greater part of the freight of the lost 
frigate, escaped. 

In General RiedeseFs journal we find the following list of the 
fleet : 




Name op 3hip8. 



Royal Sauvage, 

( 8 six-poiinders, 
) 4 four-pounders. 

Stranded and burned by 

the English. 

1 4 six-pounders, 
1 6 four-pounders. 



A Bateau, 

10 four-pounders. 




r2 eighteen-pounders. 


2 twelve-pounders, 
6 six-pounders, 
[2 eighteen-pounders. 

Blown up. 


2 twelve-pounders, 
6 six-pounders, 
[2 eighteen-pounders. 



2 twelve-pounders, 
6 six-pounders. 


ri twelve-pounder. 

Was found a few days 

Lee (Sloop). 

1 nine-pounder. 

later in a bay,''aba,n- 

4 six-pounders. 

doned by the crew. 



Name unknown. 

Five other smaller 

A captured ship. 

Jl eighteen-pounder, 
2 twelve-pounders, 
j 1 eighteen-pounder, 
( 2 twelve-pounders, 
j 1 eighteen-poimder, 
( 2 twelve-pounders, 
5 eighteen-pounders, 





10 twelve-pounders, 
8 guns. 

Burned by the rebels. 
Fate unknown. 

Total, 16 vessels carrying 100 guns. 

Of the Germans, Lieutenant Fay of the Hesse Hanau artillery 
distinguished himself on this occasion. He was in command 
of an armed sloop carrying a twelve-pounder; and although 
he was hard pressed by the enemy, and his vessel finally sunk, 
he yet fought so desperately as to succeed in saving his gun 



and bringing it to the vessel of Captain Pensh. Two of his 
men, however, were drowned, and he barely escaped a similar 

The courageous Captain Dacres, who had contributed so 
much toward the success of this engagement, had the honor of 
being sent to England to carry the tidings of this victory to the 

Immediately after this engagement, Riedesel left his quarters 
on Isle au Noix, and encamped near the river La Colle. A com- 
pany of Brunswickers was sent at the same time still farther 
forward to a point northerly about half way between the river 
La Colle and Point au Fer. General Riedesel, soon after 
moving to his new location, went to Point au Fer to report to 
General Burgoyne and receive his further orders. Upon his 
arrival, he found the whole of the first brigade engaged in 
embarking. General Burgoyne had already left; his adjutant, 
Frank Clark, remained behind for the purpose of communi- 
cating Burgoyne's orders to Riedesel. These instructions were 
to the effect that the latter was to advance with his troops, to 
Point au Fer, leaving only those of his men who had not yet 
reached him. Meanwhile three hundred men, under a staff 
officer, were to continue in the neighborhood of La Colle. 
General Burgoyne, it seems, had received orders from Carleton, 
who had taken possession of Point au Fer, to advance at once 
with the first brigade and the brigade of General Fraser. 
General Carleton, desirous of hastening the transportation of 
the supplies for the magazines on Isle au Noix, gave orders 
that the regiment of Hesse Hanau should march back to La 
Colle, and the 20th and 62d English regiments to Isle au 
Noix. Lieutenant Colonel Breymann, who had been encamped 
at La Colle, rejoined the Brunswick troops upon the arrival of 
the Hessians. 

1 General Fhillips related the above aocoimt of this engagement to Kiedesel per- 


On the 18th, General Burgoyne returned from Crown point, 
bringing orders from General Carleton to have all the troops go 
into winter quarters. The general plan was as follows : 
At Crown point — the corps of General Fraser. 

" St. John — an English battalion. 

" Montreal — The king's artillery and an English battalion. 

" Quebec — Two English battalions. 

" Isle au Noix — An English battalion. 
The German troops were to winter on the Chambly river from 
Chambly to Sorel in the Trois Rivieres district, sending, however, 
detachments to Bicolet and Batiscau, and to the banks of the 
Masca and St. Francis rivers. The shores of the St. Lawrence, 
from Chateau Gage to Contrecoeur, together with the upper part 
of the island of Montreal and the parish of L' Assumption, were to 
be occupied by an English brigade, the Indian allies and the 
corps of Colonel McLean. The 34th English Regiment was sent 
to Quebec to take the place of the Brunswick regiment of Prince 
Frederick, which was sent to the other Brunswick troops. In 
regard to the winter quarters of the latter, General Riedesel 
issued the following order : 

" Order of march into winter quarters for the German troops, 
as commanded by his excellency General Carleton. 

" On the morning of the 21st, at 7 o'clock, the company of 
yagers, the battalion of grenadiers, and the regiment Riedesel 
are to leave Point au Fer and proceed to St. John in their 
bateaux, after depositing their provisions, which they had for 
six days, in the magazine at the former place. They are then 
to encamp on the same spot which was formerly occupied by 
the battalion of grenadiers. The regiment of Hesse Hanau, 
which is at present stationed at La CoUe, are also to leave there 
on the morrow, and to select the best place for a camp at St. 
John. This regiment are also to deliver the provisions they 
have on hand, into the magazine at St. John. The company of 
yagers is to unite again with the battalion of tight infantry 


at St. John. Colonel Specht, with the half of his regiment 
and the regiment Von Ehetz, is to march on the 22d, from 
Chambly to St. Charles, taking as much provisions from the 
magazine at Chambly as he considers necessary for the march. 
Colonel Specht will continue his march, until he crosses the St. 
Lawrence near Sorel, as far as Three Rivers, at which point 
the other half of his regiment are to again unite with him. His 
regiment will then be sent into winter quarters, and occupy the 
parishes of Champlain and one-half of Batisca and St. Anne — 
the other half of these latter two parishes to be occupied by the 
regiment Von Rhetz. Proportionate detachments of these 
regiments are to be sent to the parishes on the other side of the 
river — that is, if there be any opposite to them in which the 
troops are quartered. These two regiments are to remain under 
the command of Colonel Specht during the winter. In order 
to give the commissary-general time to make the necessary 
arrangements for the provisioning of the troops, the regiments 
shall carry with them supplies for ten days. They shall, more- 
over, transport them together with their baggage, from Sorel 
to their respective quarters by water. This is done in order to 
save as far as possible transportation by land. On the 22d, the 
dragoon regiments of Riedesel, and the Hesse Hanau will march 
from St. John to Chambly and occupy the encampment just 
vacated by Colonel Specht. Before leaving Chambly they are 
to take sufficient provisions to last until they reach Sorel. On 
the 23d, the dragoon and Riedesel regiments are to march to 
St. Charles and thence to Three Rivers where they will go into 
winter quarters. Two squadrons of the regiment of dragoons 
and three companies of the regiment Riedesel will remain 
quartered in the city ; the other two companies of the latter 
regiment being quartered at Point du Lac ; and the two remain- 
ing squadrons of dragoons at La Madelaine. These latter troops, 
as soon as circumstances shall allow, are to follow the same orders 
in regard to their provisions and the transportation of them as 
have been given to the brigade of Colonel Specht. Major 


General Riedesel will command these regiments himself. These, 
also, are to send detachments to the shore of the river opposite 
their encampment. On the 24th, the Hesse Hanan regiment 
will leave Chambly and make the same arrangements in regard 
to the transportation of provisions, etc. It is to cross the St. 
Lawrence near Sorel, and go into winter quarters in the parishes 
of St. Berthier and Musquinonquet. The detachments which 
this regiment shall send across the river, are to go to St. Francis 
and Sorel. The parishes of Riviere du Loup and Machiche 
are to be apportioned to Prince Frederick's regiment which is 
to march there from Quebec and be under the command of 
Brigadier Greneral Von Gall. The Brunswick battalion of 
grenadiers is to remain at St. John until the regiment of Hesse 
Hanau has left Chambly ; it shall then march to Chambly, and 
the day following to St. Charles, St. Denis and St. Tour, which 
latter place has been designated as their quarters for the winter. 
They are to take provisions at Sorel for ten days. The regi- 
ment of light infantry Von Barner will remain at St. John until 
further orders ; their winter quarters being at Belleville and 
Chambly. This battalion is to draw its rations from the maga- 
zine at the latter place. An order has also been sent this day 
to Prince Frederick's regiment at Quebec to be in readiness to 
leave that city, in case they are relieved by an English regiment. 
In this latter case they are to go into winter quarters at Riviere 
du Loup and Machiche; and Lieutenant Colonel Praetorius 
shall endeavor to consult with Lieutenant Governor Oramach 
regarding the feasibility of transporting his regiment on ships 
as far as Three Rivers. All the regiments are to try and gather 
in those who, for the time being, were in the detachment under 
St. Leger, likewise those who are convalescent. Their heavy 
baggage must also be collected from those places where it was 
temporarily left. Every regiment is hereby notified that some 
English regiments, on their march to their various winter 
quarters, will have to pass through their districts. As many 
houses, therefore, as are necessary for their accommodation 


must be given up to them, and all the assistance they require 
given them. This distribution into quarters being only tempo- 
rary, I shall reserve to myself the ordering of any further 
details that may be necessary for the distribution of the regi- 
ments according to their numbers. Thus every one will have, 
proportionately, the same number of houses. My head quarters 
during the winter will be at Three Rivers ; and in order to insure 
dispatch, the reports from each regiment are to be sent from 
one parish to another to head quarters. 


" Point au Fer, October 20, 1776." 

After the departure of the German troops for their quarters. 
General Eiedesel,. on the 21st, embarked on board the ship 
Washington — on which Burgoynehad just arrived from Crown 
point to Point au Fer, and which was now about returning to 
the former place — in order to have an interview with General 
Carleton. His object in this was not only to confer with that 
general in regard to several matters, but to view the country in 
the vicinity of Crown point. The Washington was the same 
vessel which had been taken on the 13th from the Americans. 
At the present time it was loaded with provisions for the garri- 
son at Crown point. The voyage up Lake Champlain was very 
stormy. The main mast broke, and the ship ran aground upon 
a sand bank, in which situation she was forced to remain the 
entire night. Away from all human help, and lashed by the 
angry waves, she was in constant danger of becoming a total 
wreck. Nor was it until morning, that some boats, coming to 
her assistance, succeeded in getting her afloat. She then con- 
tinued her voyage up the lake with a favorable wind. 

Upon his arrival at Crown point, General Riedesel at once 
went on board the Lady Mary to call on General Carleton. 
The latter received him very kindly. He was not, however, in 
the best of spirits, for the position which he was to occupy, 
henceforth, was not equal to his expectations. The Americans 


had accomplished nothing toward fortifying Crown point ) and it 
was his opinion that if the English intended to keep that place, 
at least eleven hundred men would have to work for six weeks 
on its fortifications. In such a case these men would not, of 
course, be able to go into winter quarters. Boards would also 
be needed for the barracks of these troops ; and in view of all 
these circumstances, he had determined to return to the Cana- 
dian side of Lake Champlain, and postpone further operations 
until spring. The passage down the lake was now free as the 
American fleet was destroyed ; and it being impossible for the 
rebels to procure other ships, the English could pass unmo- 
lested. The Americans had a strongly fortified camp at 
Ticonderoga. General Carleton, therefore, pushed his outposts 
so far in this direction that they were within two leagues and a 
half from their camp. He expected that the enemy, discou- 
raged by their loss, would retreat. In this, however, he was 
greatly disappointed, as we shall soon see. General Eiedesel 
went as near their camp, as possible, and viewed it from an emi- 
nence in the vicinity. Speaking of his observations on this 
occasion, he says : 

" The army of the enemy, considering its strength, is much 
too extended. It is estimated here, as being ten thousand 
strong; but in consequence of disease and dissatisfaction, it 
has melted down to seven thousand. Were our whole army 
here, it would be an easy matter to drive it from its entrench- 
ments. Its commander is Major General Gates (Getsch). 

" While we were at Crown point, five prisoners were brought 
in by the Indians. They looked miserably. Captain Eraser 
captured, two days since, one hundred and fifty oxen directly in 
front of their entrenchments, without the rebels coming out or 
even firing a shot." 

On the 24th, Eiedesel inspected the works at Crown point, 
and having Captain Gerlech with him, had a sketch made of 
them. On the 25th, General Carleton left the Lady Mary and 
made Crown point his head quarters. The Hesse Hanau artil- 


lery, wliicli up to this time had been stationed at this place, 
received orders on this day to go into winter quarters at Mont- 

Part of the garrison were at this time engaged at Button- 
mole bay (where Arnold had burned five of his ships), in raising 
some of the sunken war material, especially cannon. When 
Riedesel passed this spot, twenty guns had already been raised, 
and were distributed among the ships for ballast. About this 
time a dreadful report was current, viz : that Greneral Arnold, 
while burning his five ships had also burned about thirty sick 
and wounded men who were on board. 

On the 28th, General Riedesel left Crown point on the 
Washington. On the passage he again encountered a storm, 
and the vessel was once more in danger of being wrecked. The 
captain was obliged to caat anchor off the Isle aux Quatres 
Vents. The misfortunes of the ship, however, were not yet at 
an end. The day after resuming her voyage she ran aground 
near the River la Colle. Not wishing to lose time, the general 
at this place left the vessel in a small boat, and went to Cham- 
bly. Thence, on the 2d of November, he went to Machiche, 
and on the 3d, to Three Rivers. A few days later. General 
Carle ton, with his men and fleet, returned down the lake and 
cast anchor in the vicinity of St. John. As the fleet was to 
remain here during the winter it was dismantled and put in 
suitable condition to withstand the ice and snow. Troops were 
sent to garrison the Isle aux Noix ) Fraser, with a part of his 
corps, went to St. John, the rest being sent into winter quarters 
in the parishes on the Richelieu river ; four English battalions 
were sent to the south side of the St. Lawrence from Sorel to 
Chateaugay ; and three English battalions occupied the country 
between Cape Rouge and Quebec. 

The return of General Carleton with his troops necessitated 
a change in the winter quarters. This change affected the 
German troops less than the others. The position of the army 
in winter quarters, was now as follows : 


The Isle aux Noix, which constifcuted* the extreme front, was 
occupied by the 20th Kegiment. St. John and Chambly were 
occupied by English troops only — an arrangement which 
obliged Breymann's grenadier battalion, that had hitherto been 
at St. Charles and St. Denis, to be transferred to the north 
side of the river into the parishes of Arpentigni, Assumption 
and St. Sulpice. Earner's battalion was sent to the south side 
of the St. Lawrence, below Sorel, into the parishes of St. Fran- 
cois, Jamasca, La Bayede, St. Antoine and Ricolet, as far as 
Bezancourt. In this disposition of the troops, General Carleton 
acted more with an eye to the comfort of the inhabitants than 
of the troops. He stated this, in fact, to some of his com- 
manders. Only two, or at the most three men were to be 
quartered in one house. General Riedesel, in order to meet the 
wishes of the commander in chief as far as possible, had some 
of the government buildings converted into barracks that would 
accommodate two hundred men at a time. The English troops 
were distributed in the following manner : 

The grenadiers in Bergeres, Contrecoeur and Point au Trem- 
bles, on the island of Montreal. 

The 21st Regiment, at Barenne, Bouqueville and St. Jean. 

The 31st Regiment, at Sorel, St. Tour, St. Denis, St. Charles 
and St. Antoine. 

The 53d Regiment, at Chambly, St. Denis and Beloeil. 

The 29th Regiment, in the three suburbs of Montreal. 

The 47th Regiment, at La Chine and the other parishes of 

The Scotch regiment, composed of the emigrants of McLean 
in the parishes beyond Montreal. 

The corps of Chevalier Johnson, 2 was also stationed on this 
island. It was composed of a regiment which had just been 
formed of Englishmen and Canadians. 

1 The Hesse-Hanan artillery was also stationed at this place. 
> Sir John Johnson. 



The 9ih Regiment occupied the isktid of Jesus. 

The 62d Regiment, at Point Levi and vicinity — two compa- 
nies of this regiment, however, were at Kamaraska. 

The 34th Regiment, at head quarters — Quebec. 

The volunteers of Mr. Monin and of Captain Fraser were 

The troops received their provisions raw ; whatever else they 
had from their hosts they were obliged to pay for ; fuel they 
gathered in the woods. Commanders were especially enjoined 
to make diligent inquiry in regard to the manner in which the 
English government had been treated by those of the inhabit- 
ants in whose houses their men were quartered. Those who 
had taken sides with the rebels were to have more soldiers 
quartered upon them than the loyal. For the preservation of 
order a non-commissioned officer was ordered to inspect his 
men daily, an officer every forty-eight hours, and the colonel 
of a regiment every four weeks. On every pay day the 
troops were to be inspected, and, if the weather was favorable, 
drilled. The hospital for the G-erman troops was the old 
Ursuline convent at Three Rivers. The magazines for the 
army were at Quebec, Sorel, Montreal, La Prairie, Isle aux 
Noix and Three Rivers. 

On the 7th of November, Colonel Specht, who had been 
appointed a brigadier general a few days previously, made Gene- 
ral Riedesel a visit. Accompanying him were Colonel Ehren- 
krook and Captain Willoe. Henceforth the latter remained 
with the general ] and, being a competent and faithful officer, 
was of great service to the latter. Willoe had hitherto be- 
longed to the 8th Regiment. He was well acquainted with 
the country and its inhabitants, having been in Canada several 
years. 1 

On the 15th, General Carleton passed Three Rivers in a 

1 General Carleton sent Willoe to Biedesel upon the latter's request that he might 
haye for a secretary, an officer who knew the country and could apeak Qerman. 


small vessel on his way from Montreal to head quarters at 
Quebec. He was accompanied by his wife, Lady Mary, and 
their three children, and also by his brother-in-law and nephew, 
Captain Carleton and his wife. Before leaving Montreal, Lady 
Mary gave her husband the Order of the Bath which had been 
sent to him by the king. 

On the 20th, Captain Gerlach left for the quarters of the 
Brunswick troops to see to the ships belonging to those regi- 
ments, and look after things generally. At this time the 
troops received their winter clothing, which consisted of long 
pantaloons of stout cloth reaching up to the breast^ and made 
so thit they could be buttoned round the feet. For a head 
covering they were provided with a warm cap. 

Toward the middle of November, the English Captain Prin- 
gle sailed for Europe as the bearer of dispatches. Eiedesel 
availed himself of this opportunity to send his also, together 
with several letters. The following is one to Duke Ferdinand : 

" Trois Kivieres, November 10, 1776. 

"Monseigneur : I hope your excellency has by this time received 
my last letter of the 19th of October, which I sent to England by 
Captain Decker of the navy. I have now the honor of transmit- 
ting to your excellency the continuation of my journal, and also 
of announcing the termination of this year's campaign, which has 
been a successful one for us, and has cost little blood. 

" If we could have begun our last expedition four weeks earlier, 
I am satisfied that everything would have been ended this year ; 
but not having shelter nor other necessary things, we were 
unable to refnain at the other end of Lake Champlain. But I 
believe, and on pretty good grounds, that the whole affair 
will be terminated with another campaign. The rebels are 
losing courage. They know that they are being led astray by 
some ambitious men, but do not yet see how to get out of the 
fix. There are many, both in Albany and New York, who 
impatiently wait for the arrival of the northern army, to unite 


with it ; but at present, they dare not give expression to their 
feelings, for fear of losing their property and life. 

" As this, probably, is the last ship that will sail for England 
this year, I avail myself of this opportunity to express to your 
excellency my last sentiments of devotion for this year, hoping 
that your excellency may end it, as previous ones, in the best 
of health, welfare and contentment. 


On the 31st, the evacuation of Quebec was celebrated. Rie- 
desel was present on the occasion, notwithstanding he had pre- 
viously sprained a limb, and was quite lame. At 9 o'clock, the 
archbishop performed high mass in the Cathedral. Several of 
the inhabitants, who had taken sides with the Americans, were 
obliged to do penance on this occasion. At 10 o'clock, all 
the generals, military and civil officers, and gentlemen of the 
militia met for the purpose of waiting upon General Carleton. 
The latter, in company with them, went into the lower part of 
the city to attend divine service in English ; after the services, 
the militia fired three rounds. General Carleton then gave a 
grand dinner, to which sixty persons were invited. At 7 o'clock 
in the evening, they proceeded to a large English restaurant, 
where they ended up with a grand ball, in which ninety-six 
ladies and one hundred and fifty gentlemen participated. Gai- 
lard was struck with apoplexy during a dance. The dead body 
was immediately removed, and the dancing continued until 

Thus the campaign of the year was most favorably ended for 
the army in Canada, General Carleton again proving his splendid 
capabilities as a commander. General Amherst had previously 
occupied thirteen months in preparations for crossing Lake 
Champlain. Carleton accomplished it in three months, besides 
keeping the army in better discipline and bringing the province, 
which had already shown signs of rebellion, into obedience. In 
three months he built three new ships of twelve to twenty guns, 


a floating battery, two large gondolas of twelve guns, twenty-five 
long ships carrying each a twelve-pounder and about six hundred 
smaller vessels for the troops. The timber for all of these had to 
be hewn in the forest and brought from a long distance in the 
face of many difficulties. Indeed, his preparations were scarcely 
completed when he attacked and destroyed the hostile fleet on 
Lake Champlain. 

Before closing this chapter, we will briefly review the active 
operations of the other two armies. 

The Hesse Oassel troops were a part of General Howe's 
army, and numbered twelve thousand men. That general had, 
upon leaving Halifax, gone to Staten island ) and, after vainly 
attempting to open negotiations with the commander in chief, 
Washington, he landed on Long island on the 22d of August, 
and beat an American corps under Greneral Sullivan near 
Brokland [Brooklyn ?] He then occupied New York. It was 
not until the 14th of October that the army in Canada heard of 
this occurrence, and then only through the chance circumstance 
of finding on the ship, taken from the Americans, a letter from 
Washington to Arnold, in which the former writes that he had 
lost a battle on Long island, and that New York was consequently 
in the possession of the English. This is a proof of the defective 
communication kept up between the British armies. ^ 

After the occupation of New York by the British, the posi- 
tion of Washington at White Plains could no longer be main- 
tained. He accordingly retreated into the northern highlands, 
and afterward crossed the Delaware. On the 22d of December, 
the British captured Newport. There was now nothing to pre- 
vent General Howe advancing on Philadelphia, whence the 
congress had already departed for Baltimore. He, however, 

1 It was not until the 26th of October that reliable news regarding Howe's victory 
reached General Carleton. The Americans lost 1,000 in dead and wounded ; the 
English, 7 officers and 63 men ; and the Hessians, 3 dead and 38 wounded. Only 
one battalion of the latter was engaged. — Note in the original, Bancroft states the 
loss of the Hessians at % killed and 26 wounded. 


failed to do it. In the meantime, Washington gathered fresh 
reenforcements and collected his scattered army. He again 
advanced; broke through the British lines on the 25th of 
December, and captured one thousand Hessians. Trenton and 
Bprdentown were at this time occupied by the latter troops 
under the command of Colonel Yon Rail and Colonel Donop. 
The latter officer was deceived by a false attack and pursued, 
with his entire corps of two thousand men, those who purposely 
fled. Simultaneously with this feigned retreat, Washington 
attacked Colonel Kail at Trenton, who was of course deprived 
of any assistance from Donop. After their late successes, and 
in view of the weakness of the enemy, the British were not 
expecting an attack at this point, and allowed themselves to 
repose in fancied security. For this false confidence, the Hes- 
sians paid dearly ; and the old adage — not to undervalue one's 
enemy — was in this case proved true. Colonel Rail quickly 
gathered his men ; but everything being done in a great hurry, 
and Rail himself wounded in the beginning of the action, the 
Hessians endeavored to retreat to Princeton. In this attempt, 
however, they were unsuccessful, being all cut off and captured. 
An English historian of the American war says : 

" The Americans had hitherto regarded the Hessians with 
fear and terror. They knew them to be veterMis and accus- 
tomed to military discipline. As a natural consequence, there- 
fore, this victory over the foreign troops reanimated them in an 
astonishing manner, and rekindled their courage which of late 
had burned low." 

As the Americans would not believe that the Hessians had 
been beaten, Washington had those troops marched through the 
different streets of Philadelphia whither, after their capture, 
they had been first brought. 

Washington, fully believing that the British would advance 
on his little army, recrossed the Delaware ; but General Howe 
remained irresolute and inactive ; and in this manner the few 
remaining days of the year passed away. 


Generals CKnton and Cornwallis met with no success in the 
southern provinces. They marched, in June, against Charleston, 
where they expected the support of a fleet from the sea. But 
they were beaten everywhere by the Americans, under General 
Lee, and forced to retreat to New York. Had General Howe 
acted with more energy and care at the close of the year, it 
may be safely conjectured that the rebellion in the colonies 
would have been suppressed ; but it was otherwise written in 
the book of fate. 


— ■♦»■ 

General Riedesel, who had gone to head quarters at Quebec, 
to be present at the celebration of the evacuation of that city, 
remained there longer than he had at first intended. General 
Carleton honored him with his friendship ; and by every dis- 
tinguished personage he was treated with great courtesy; so 
much so, indeed, that in a letter to his wife, he says, " Honors 
and courtesies are heaped upon me." 

The birthday of the queen of England was celebrated on the 
20th, in every city and village where troops were stationed. 
Riedesel, especially, did all in his power to render the affair as 
august as possible. Many officers from different places came to 
Three Rivers ; and the city was so full of life and animation that 
the citizens declared they had never witnessed such a splendid 
occasion. The general gave a dinner at noon, which was at- 
tended by forty guests ; ai;id in the evening, a ball and a supper. 
Henceforth, there were balls and dinners every week. In the 
letter to his wife, just quoted, he writes concerning it as follows : 
" I do this partly to gain the affection of the inhabitants, and 
partly to give the officers an opportunity of indulging in inno- 
cent amusements, and thus prevent them from visiting the 
taverns and getting into bad company." Indeed, in regard to 
the latter he was very strict ; and would not allow his officers 
to lead a dissipated life, and contract debts. He, however, did 
not desire the affections of the inhabitants so much for himself 
personally, as he did for the welfare of his troops. The conduct 
of commanders always either benefits or damages, to a greater 
or less extent, the troops under them. 


The winters in Canada are usually very severe. The present 
one, however, was an exception, for up to this time it had been 
so mild that the inhabitants did not remember of ever having 
seen its like before. It was, therefore, jocosely called "the 
winter of the Germans." The St. Lawrence, which generally 
freezes over, remained open ; but Lake St. Pierre was frozen 
over by December, so that it could be crossed on sleighs. 

But new difficulties between the English and some of the 
Indian tribes sprung up, the latter insisting upon being led 
in the approaching campaign by their leaders only. This the 
governor could not allow, since they desired this solely for the 
sake of plunder and other outrages. These Indians cared little 
for the cause of the English king; and yearned for war, only 
that they might take revenge on the neighboring colonists 
whom they hated for taking and occupying their lands. In 
fact, much trouble was continually experienced with these wild 
savages j for although they were pretty good as out guards and 
patrols, they amounted to precious little in battle. If the first 
onset was not successful they immediately ran away; but if 
victorious, they committed the most cruel outrages on those 
who had the misfortune to fall into their hands. The one who 
caused this change in the conduct of the Indians, was an Iro- 
quois, named Joseph, who had been in England for some time, 
and, therefore, possessed considerable influence over several 
tribes. He succeeded in putting up distant tribes to all kinds 
of deviltries ; and thus, the English generals had all they could 
do, for the sake of humanity, to instill better principles into 
these barbarians. 

General Kiedesel was a great stickler for thorough discipline. 
He, therefore, sought to employ his troops as much as possible 
during the winter in various kinds of drill, and especially in 
that of rapidity of firing, in which many of them were still 
deficient. The Americans used their rifles better and at a 
greater distance than the German troops — a fact that he had 
already learned from the Hessians. On the 8th of March, 



General Carleton arrived at Three Rivers, after having in- 
spected those of the German troops that were quartered else- 
where. Aftar witnessing their drill, he left for Montreal 
accompanied by General Riedesel. On the 10th, Riedesel 
wrote from that place to the commanders of the different regi- 
ments that his excellency. General Carleton, had commissioned 
him to assure them of the satisfaction which he had received 
upon witnessing the order, propriety and good bearing which 
obtained among their men, but, especially, the splendid disci- 
pline which was observed at their quarters. He further says, 
" It affords me much pleasure to hear this praise ; and I 
warmly thank the commanders of the regiments, and their 
respective officers for maintaining such good order." 

On the 15th, General Riedesel with General Carleton and 
suit, returned to Montreal. The Englishmen dined with him, 
and left the following morning. 

Toward the latter part of March two ships, which had lain 
dismantled through the winter near St. John, were again put 
in condition for service. They at once sailed into the lake, and 
anchored between Isle aux Noix and Point au Fer. It now 
suddenly became so cold that the lake was frozen in several 
places, and a gondola, which had been sent out to reconnoitre, 
could not return. This last cold snap was as unexpected to the 
Canadians as the mild winter ; but the sun was now too high 
for the cold weather to continue for any length of time. 
Northern lights were frequently seen during this cold spell. 

As soon as the season permitted, one hundred new vessels 
were built, and some of the old ones repaired for the use, more 
particularly of the second division. Several new forts were 
also built at St. John, and a few alterations made to the floating 
battery. This battery had eighteen twenty-four-pounders on 
deck, which were capable of being elevated to use against forti- 
fications upon land. The ship Washington, which, it will be 
remembered, had been captured from the Americans, underwent 
some repairs and alterations. In addition to all of which, two 


new three-masters of twenty guns each were constructed. Cap- 
tain Schenk, who, the previous year, built the beautiful Inflexible 
in such a remarkably short a time, superintended the work, and 
was, in fact, director of the whole of the shipbuilding. General 
Riedesel was asked the loan of a Brunswick flag to serve as a 
pattern for a new one. By this, a compliment was intended, 
both to the duke of Brunswick and his troops. 

The policy of General Carleton was to retain Canada by the 
sword for his king, at the same time that he conciliated the 
inhabitants by mild measures. It was, therefore, his constant 
endeavor to lighten the burdens of war as much as possible, for 
which reason, he especially enjoined it upon his troops to abstain 
from all ungentlemanly conduct. Justice had particularly suffered 
since the outbreak of the war ; and Carleton, as governor, endea- 
vored to restore it. He, accordingly, divided the country into 
districts, in each of which the courts were obliged to hold ses- 
sions twice a week — an arrangement by which he hoped to 
facilitate the inhabitants in the trial of their causes. At 
Quebec a court of final appeal was instituted. Nor were these 
praiseworthy efforts confined to the courts alone. He, also, 
issued practical orders for the regulation of trade and the organi- 
zation of the militia. 

As General Carleton was unable to obtain any authentic 
information in regard to the movements of General Howe, he 
sent, as early as the middle of February, two detachments of 
Indians toward the south, for the purpose of receiving some 
information respecting that general. As these detachments 
were obliged to steal their way through states occupied by the 
enemy, they were forced to take the most unfrequented roads. 
One of these detachments, therefore, under Mr. Lanieres, took 
a course through the woody lowlands of the Kennebeck. The 
first detachment soon returned, bringing with them four pri- 
soners from New England, but without any definite information 
of General Howe and his army. The second detachment, con- 
sisting of twenty-five Indians, under the skillful English captain, 


McKay, made their way through the large forests on the western 
shore of Lake Champlain, and surprised and captured between 
Fort Carillon and Fort William Henry, a party of the enemy, 
numbering one officer and twenty-three men. Taking with them 
these prisoners, the detachment returned to Montreal in the 
beginning of April. From one of these prisoners General 
Carleton first learned the fate of the Hessians at Trenton. 

At this time, Greneral Eiedesel wrote to Duke Ferdinand the 
following letter : 

" Three Kivers, April 10, 1777. 

" Monseigneur : I am very much flattered by the fact that 
your excellency still remembers his old servant, who will never 
forget that, for his present position, as well as for the little 
knowledge he possesses, he is indebted to yourself. His grate- 
fulness will, therefore, never cease. I have taken the liberty of 
writing your excellency very often during the past year, and 
have sent you from time to time, a continuation of the journal 
so far as regards all that has occurred in our army the past year. 
But having received no answer, I am unable to tell whether all 
my reports have reached you or not. It is unfortunate that 
letters from Europe are so long in coming, i 

Our army have remained very quietly in their winter quar- 
ters; in fact, there has not been a solitary rifle discharged 
against the enemy the last ten months. The lakes, large rivers, 
indeed, everything has been covered with ice. In addition to 
which, the monstrous deserts and forests have aided in putting 
an end, for the time being, to this insignificant war. Care for 
the health of the men, and drilling, have thus far been our only 
occupation. The entire army, which, by the bye, is in excellent 
condition, is always ready to march at a moment's notice, and 

» We can scarcely realize, in these days, the slow process of transmitting letters 
at that time. Although the official correspondence was sent on the royal ships, 
they were sometimes eight and ten months on the way. Doke Ferdinand answered 
all the letters he received from Biedesel immediately.— Note in the original. 


will move as soon as the melting of the ice will permit a passage 
down Lake Champlain. We are, at present, opposite Mahahu- 
gets' bay, in the vicinity of which are those rebels that General 
Howe left in his rear when he marched south into Pennsylva- 
nia. It is my belief that this campaign will finish the war, 
provided we are successful in driving the enemy away from 
there. ^ We have hardly any news of the movements of Gene- 
ral Howe's army ; and the little which we do hear is so con- 
tradictory, that I will not mention it, for fear of giving false 
reports. I hope that as soon as the fleet is ready, our operations 
will progress faster than they did last year, and that I shall be 
able to report events to your excellency of more interest than 
those of the last campaign. 

" I remain, etc., 

" KlEDESEL.'' 

" Three Rivers, May 8, 1777. 

" P. S. — No ship having sailed when I wrote the above, I 
have now the honor of communicating to your excellency, that 
General Burgoyne returned from London, on the Apollo, day 
before yesterday. He brings me five letters from your excel- 
lency ; the first, dated at Gardersheim, October 11th ; the second, 
October 21st, from the same place; and the last three from 
Brunswick, under dates respectively, of November 22d, 23d, and 
28th. These five letters have given me exceeding great joy. 
I return my humblest thanks to your excellency for the kind 
expressions of regard which you manifest in all your letters. 
Your excellency is perfectly right in saying that it would have 
been of great advantage, could we have wintered at the southern 
extremity of the lake. The facts, however, which I have 
written down in my journal to you of last year, will show the im- 
possibility, and the reasons for not doing it. The only benefit 

» General Riedesel seems to have had very little idea of the extent of the country. 
For a ftirther confirmation of this, see The Letters and Journals qf Mrs. General 
Biedeself p. 8, note. 


wbich has resulted from the expedition up the lake last fall is, 
that the fleet of the rebels has been destroyed — a loss which, 
to them, is irreparable, and which, also, will greatly facilitate 
our passage up the lake this year. The instructions which 
have been brought to General Carleton, by General Burgoyne, 
will, I believe, inaugurate the campaign immediately, in which 
case I shall soon be able to transmit more interesting news to 
your excellency. I am, etc., 

" RlEDESEL.'* 

On the 20th of April, General Riedesel went to Quebec on 
the ship Ceres, for the purpose of consulting with General 
Carleton. He returned on the 30th, and at once dispatched 
Captain Gerlach to the different regiments, with orders to 
inspect the vessels, and put them in thorough repair. The 
same day a singular accident occurred. A drummer of the 
regiment Riedesel, while taking a stroll through the woods, came 
across a root exactly resembling a carrot. He ate of it, and a 
few hours after was taken violently ill, and died in convulsions. 
As there was every indication of poison, a post mortem examina- 
tion was held, by which it appeared that the root eaten by the 
soldier was none other than the carrotte d movant one of the 
most poisonous vegetables in that region. Riedesel immedi- 
ately issued a precautionary order regarding it, mentioning also, 
the antidote, in case of any other soldier making a similar mistake. 

Meanwhile those Indian tribes, who had been prejudiced 
against the English by the Iroquois Joseph, thought better of 
their conduct, and sent deputies to General Carleton expressing 
their willingness to serve under him. The meeting took place 
on the 30th of April at Quebec, on which occasion. General 
Carleton distributed presents among them. This change was 
mainly due to the exertions of Captain Twiss of the Indian 
department. This Captain Twiss had been, the year previous, 
with the army of General Howe, but upon the latter going into 
winter quarters, he returned to his regular duties, which were 



to look after those tribes in the upper country, who might be 
on the side of the king. Being an energetic and eloquent man, 
he at last succeeded in effecting the favorable change just men- 
tioned. At this time he had brought with him two deputies 
from each tribe. Meanwhile, during the holding of this meet- 
ing, eight hundred Indians gathered in the vicinity of Niagara, 
and there awaited the return of their delegates and instructions 
from the governor. 

It so happened that General Riedesel was at Quebec, when 
Captain Twiss returned from the upper country, and was present 
when the latter reported to General Carleton the results of his 
last mission, and the condition of General Howe's army. This 
was the first time that reliable news had been received from the 
latter. As this authentic report of a man, who had been up to 
this time with General Howe, will throw a clearer light upon ques- 
tions which have hitherto been either disputed or unknown, we 
will here literally quote what we find of it in Riedesers journal. 

" Captain Twiss confirms the report of General Howe's engage- 
ment on Staten island ; also that on Long island, in which Gene- 
rals Putnam and Sullivan were killed ; i and likewise the capture 
of, and a great conflagration at New York. It seems that General 
Clinton led the main attack on this occasion. He also confirms 
the capture of the fortified camp of the rebels at King's bridge, 
wkh this difference — that here no engagement had taken place 
the enemy giving up this position without firing a shot, and 
leaving behind all their heavy artillery and baggage. Finally, 
he confirms the capture of the entrenchments Washington, at a 
place called White Plains, where thirty-five hundred rebels were 
taken prisoners. In the beginning of this engagement, the rebels 
fought well. The English were led by General Clinton and the 
Hessian General Knipphausen. Captain Twiss further reports 
that General Howe, about the beginning of November, had taken 

1 Captain TwIbb's report does not seem to haye been more reliable than preyioas 


from eleven to twelve thousand prisoners. Toward tlie middle of 
November, General Howe went into winter quarters, but the action 
differs materially from that which was named in the previous 
account. General Howe had his head quarters at New York, 
while a large portion of his army was distributed through 
Staten island. Long island, the counties of New York and 
Westchester, and in that part of the province of Jersey which 
is situated between the Hudson and Raritan rivers. General 
Clinton was stationed at New Brunswick in Jersey with a de- 
tached corps. This place is on the Raritan river. A corps of 
Hessians, nine hundred strong, was placed as an outpost at 
Trenton on the Delaware. This corps was commanded by a 
general whose name Captain Twiss does not remember. ^ This was 
the arrangement for winter quarters at the time when Captain 
Twiss left the army of General Howe for Niagara to be present 
at a meeting of the Indians. Captain Twiss, also, confirms the 
rumor of the capture of the rebel General Lee near Trenton." 

So much for the report of Captain Twiss. Let us now proceed 
with the events that were occurring in Canada. General 
Carleton at this time brought to Riedesel a package of orders 
and documents that had been sent to him from Brunswick. 

General Burgoyne had also brought from his government 
the most important orders respecting his army and the coming 
campaign ; for the chivalric Carleton, who had hitherto proved 
himself so competent, was not to be permitted to follow up the 
advantages which he had won : this was to be left to General 
Burgoyne ! As soon as this news was received, suspicions were 
at once entertained that the visit of the latter to England had 
not been solely to arrange his family affairs ; especially since 
such grave changes had been made in his favor. It was known 
that Burgoyne had friends in London who filled high positions, 
and over whom he had great influence, owing to his peculiar 

1 The general here epoken of was Colonel Yon Ball, of whom mention has 
been made preyiously. 


talent for insinuating himself into their good graces. It was 
also pretty generally known that the minister in charge of the 
American portfolio was no friend of General Carleton. Be 
this, however, as it may, henceforth, General Bnrgoyne was to 
be the commander in chief of the army in Canada. 

The English government did not dare to set aside General 
Carleton at once ; but the whole affair was so arranged that it 
amounted to the same thing. How it was managed will be 
seen from the following extract which is literally copied from 
RiedeseFs journal : 

" Notwithstanding the king and the ministry are extremely 
well satisfied with the generalship in the last campaign, and 
have returned him their warmest thanks, his majesty has 
thought it advisable to announce that when the army leaves 
the province, which it has hitherto occupied, the governor 
general of that province shall no longer command that army, 
but shall remain in his province, and the second general shall 
assume command of the departing troops. As the necessity of 
the case of course demanded that the greater part of the army 
should move across Lake Champlain into New England, this was 
a virtual command to General Carleton to remain in Canada, keep- 
ing as many troops as he considered necessary for the defense of 
this province. General Burgoyne was to take command of the 
rest of the army ; lead them across Lake Champlain into New 
England; drive the rebels from Ticonderoga and Lake St. 
Sacrement, and open a communication with General Howe, 
from whom he was to receive his further instructions." 

A great mistake was undoubtedly here made by the British 
ministry, as further events have shown. The first question to 
have been determined was, whether the possession of the interior 
of the country, or the successful prosecution of the war was 
of the most consequence. Any one almost, in the absence of 
General Carleton, could have attended to the administration of 
Canada, whose inhabitants were mostly loyal, and whose internal 
affairs had just been rearranged. Carleton had, hitherto, 




worked with energy and success ; he knew the army thoroughly, 
and enjoyed the confidence of the officers and men. It was a 
great risk to remove a man, who was so peculiarly fitted for so 
important a position, without a better cause. Although greatly 
grieved, he bowed to the will of his sovereign, and carried out 
his orders to the letter. On the 10th of May, he surrendered 
the command of the troops, destined for the expedition into 
New England, to General Burgoyne. The 29th, 31st and 
34th English regiments, the battalion of McLean and six hun- 
dred and fifty Germans remained in Canada. The reenforce- 
ments which were expected from England, consisting of new 
companies for the 11th Regiment, were also to remain. The 
army under Burgoyne was composed of the English regiment 
of grenadiers, the English light infantry, the 9th, 20th, 21st, 
24th, 27th, 53d and 62d German infantry regiments, with the 
exception of the above mentioned six hundred and fifty men, 
and the whole of the artillery and necessary train for the army. 
These troops were to hold themselves in readiness for marching 
at a moment's notice. 

General Burgoyne arrived on the 15th of May at Three 
Rivers, where he dined with General Riedesel. At this time, 
he informed the latter that he designed commencing operations 
as soon as the provisions arrived from Chambly and St. John, 
for the maintenance of the army for six weeks ; and as soon 
also as a sufficient number of vessels for transporting the troops 
could be collected. Captain Ludridge received the command 
of the fleet on Lake Champlain, with orders to sail ahead 
toward Crown point, and keep the enemy's vessels — if there 
were any in that vicinity — from interfering with the passage of 
the main body of the fleet. The army was to march in brigades 
to the right; be embarked in the same order, and unite again 
near Crown point. Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger of the 34th 
Regiment, in consequence of express orders of the king, was to 
lead an independent corps in the approaching campaign. 

This corps consisted of a detachment of one hundred and 


forty men from the 34th Eegiment, the same number from the 
5th, three companies of Canadian volunteers and all the Indians 
which had rendezvoused at Niagara. Frorii this latter point 
this corps marched along the Mohawk intending to make their 
way to Albany and New York and thus form the advance guard 
for the army which was to follow. On his arrival near Albany, 
St. Leger was to get in the rear of those Americans who were 
at Ticonderoga and thus cut off their supplies. General Bur- 
goyne expected great things from this corps, as it was known 
that the colonists stood in great dread of the Indians. 

On the 28th of May, Greneral Riedesel received orders from 
Burgoyne to concentrate the German troops with a view to their 
embarkation at any moment. General Carleton and suit arrived 
at Three Rivers on the 30th, and breakfasted with Riedesel. 
Both generals remained alone over an hour, and then bid one 
another farewell ; for each had learned to esteem and love the 
other. General Carleton then went to Montreal to give orders 
in regard to the departure of the troops. He manifested not 
the least ill feeling toward Burgoyne ; but remained as friendly 
with him as before, lending him in everything a helping hand. 
He retained his old staff and adjutants. General Burgoyne, 
therefore, was obliged to form another staff for himself. But, 
notwithstanding this apparent resignation, and the care with 
which he arranged every detail, all who were acquainted with 
Carleton, knew that he would soon leave the theatre of war. 

General Riedesel received his instructions for the march 
from General Burgoyne on the 31st of May, and thereupon 
issued the following order : 

" The battalion of light infantry is to be between St. Denis 
and Sorel on the 2d of June ; thence it will continue its march, 
reaching Chambly on the 6th. Teams and baggage are to be 
transported by land as far as St. Therese, where the battalion 
will embark and sail, by way of St. John, Isle aux Noix and 


Point au Fer, to Cumberland head, on the northern shore of 
Lake Champlain, the place for the rendezvous. Breymann's 
battalion of grenadiers will, on the 3d, cross the St. Lawrence, 
between Berthier and Sorel, keeping a day's march behind the 
battalion of light infantry and taking the same route. The 
regiments of Hesse Hanau and of Prince Frederick of Bruns- 
wick, under Brigadier Von Gall, will follow the grenadiers ; 
the regiment Riedesel, on the 5th of June ; the regiment of 
dragoons on the 6th, and the regiment Von llhetz and Specht, 
under Brigadier Specht, will cross the St. Lawrence on the 7th, 
and follow the same route. All the heavy baggage, together 
with the sick, is to remain at Three Rivers. All the regiments 
will take rations from their respective magazines, sufficient to 
last till their arrival at Cumberland head, where fresh supplies 
will be distributed. 

" As there are not a sufficient number of vessels for all the 
regiments, the baggage must be transported by water, and those 
of the troops who cannot be accommodated on board must 
march on the land, parallel with the ships, as far as St. John 
or any other point where the rest of the vessels are to be 

" All the regiments and companies before leaving their winter 
quarters are to obtain certificates from their respective parishes 
in which they have been quartered during the winter, that they 
owe nobody, and that no one has any complaints against them. 
This is done that our good reputation for discipline may not be 

The detachment, composed of the six hundred and fifty men 
that were to remain in Canada, was made up on the 1st of June. 
Lieutenant Colonel Ehrenkrook, who had been placed in com- 
mand of it, was ordered to be at Three Rivers on that day to 
receive further instructions. All the reports were to be sent 
to Governor Carleton, as it was under his immediate command. 
Neither the regiment of dragoons nor the corps of chasseurs 
furnished men for this detachment. 



The dragoon regiment aa." jet had received no horaea; and to 
a great extent it remained wlthiu^them during the entire war. 
And although this regiment was 'accgd'fred like cavalry — wear- 
ing leather pantaloons, high boots and."g^iptlets, and carrying 
heavy aworda and short carbines — it waaflSIige^ to march and 
drill the same as infantry. To make ita'-cfothiBg lighter, 
Biedesel ordered for this regiment, and the regiment ^edesel, 
long linen trouBers, striped with white and blue, anJsiililM'.to 
thoae worn by the inhabitants during summer. In course.*? , 
time all the troops were furnished with aueh pantaloons. •'/; 

Another vessel being about to sail at this time to Europe, 
Biedesel availed himself of the opportunity thua presented, to 
forward his dispatches and letters. 

The German troops began their march on the 2d. The baf^ 
talion of chasseurs, under Barner, went to Sorel ; the regiment 
of Prince Frederick to the parish of Masquinonge and Berthier ; 
the staff and three companies of the regiment Specht to Cape 
Madelaine; and one company of the regiment Von Rhetz, 
that had wintered on the south side of the St. Lawrence, to 
Beaucoort and St. Pierre, thus advancing toward Sorel, where 
they all united with their regiments. 

Lieutenant Colonel Ehrenkrook took charge of his detach- 
ment on the 4th of June. It was made up as follows : 






Of thp. Regiment Prince Frederick, 











Of the Regimeat of RJedeBd, 




Altogether 067 men. 


On the lat of June, 1777, 4jie '^ranswick troops, according 
a a report of Adjutant Cle^, BttAbered 3,958 men, aa follows : 






Staff;,- >.■-... ■" 











.Reeiilwint Pnnce Frederick 











Hcffiment of Riedfstl 






- ReKimeut of Slwclit 





Battaiion Orpnadiere 





Battalion Bacner 






Total, . 






mlsaioned officers 95 muaiciauB 3 053 pnrateB 353 eervaute 

iRsnng. — 1 officer, 7 non-commisHioned officers, T mugiclaue, 330 
privatffl, 8 servants. 

Pay-roll. — 4,301 men; actual number, 3,938; misaing therefrom, 343. 
Sick, 76 ; nuBsing, 303 ; under arrest, 5 ; togfether, 343 men. 

(reneral Riedesel and staflf left Three Rivers on the 5th, 
making the journey hy water, and apent the firat night at Maa- 
quinonge, whither Brigadier General Specht had preceded them 
with his regiment. The head quarters of the German troops 
on the 6th was at Sorel, where the 67th Regiment, under the 
brave Colonel Anstruther, had already arrived. This regiment 
was one of the best in the English army, Jiaving distinguished 
itaelf on every occasion. It belonged to the brigade of General 
Hamilton, but for the present it was to remain at this place for 
the protection of the transports and magazines. 

On the ?th, Riedesel took up his quarters in the parish of 
Chambly this side of the fort. The battalion of Barner and 
the grenadier battalion of Breymann had arrived on the pre- 
vious day, and thus had several hours for rest. The rapids, 
which begin near Fort Chambly and extend two leagues up the 
stream to St. Therese, considerably impeded the progress of the 
troops ; for the vessels could not sail up them, and consequently 
all the baggage had to be carried around on teams. The regi- 


ments received their vessels and baggage at St. Therese. On 
the 8th, E-iedesel made his head quarters above Fort Chambly, 
and remained there for the present. 

On the 10th, General Phillips arrived and dined with him. 
General Burgoyne also arrived in the evening, and fixed his 
quarters in an adjoining village below the fort. On the morn- 
ing of the 11th, General Phillips left for St. John, and there- 
upon Burgoyne took possession of his quarters. At noon 
Burgoyne went to St. John, and Riedesel to St. Therese, where 
he dined with Colonel McKenzie of the 31st Regiment. This 
regiment was one of those that were destined to remain in 
Canada. Thence Riedesel went to St. John. Here he found 
everything entirely changed. During the whole of the winter 
the troops had been kept at work on the fortifications which 
were now greatly enlarged and improved. New houses had 
been built for the commander and the officers ; also comfortable 
barracks for five hundred men. Besides the great magazines, 
new bakeries, breweries, workhouses, blacksmiths' and other 
shops necessary, for ship building had also been erected. In a 
word, the place had now all the appearance of a fortified city. 
A very pretty house was prepared for General Riedesel. On 
the morning of the 12th, General Carleton arrived at the fort 
for the purpose of again inspecting the division of the army 
quartered here, and of consulting with General Burgoyne and 
other officers on several topics of moment. All the officers 
present paid their respects to their commander whom they 
were about to leave, and to whom they were all most tenderly 
attached. The parting was deeply affecting. All the chief 
officers dined with General Phillips ; and while they were still 
at table a messenger arrived from Quebec with the news that 
fifteen transports had arrived there from Europe. This fleet 
consisted in all of thirty-nine vessels laden with troops and war 
material. It brought eleven companies from England, together 
with four hundred chasseurs from Hanau destined for the 
German corps. Captain Thomas and Lieutenant Ruth from 


Brunswick were also on board with recruits, money, clothing 
and dispatches. One ship, the Isabella Dorothea, with one 
hundred more Brunswick recruits, had not yet arrived, having 
become separated from the rest of the fleet during the passage. 
Captain Thomas received orders to take his recruits to Three 
Rivers, leave them there, and then follow General Riedesel. 
RiedeseFs wife and three children had also arrived in the fleet. 
He rejoiced greatly at this intelligence, and being still at table, 
all present drank to the health of the newly arrived family, i 

On the morning of the 13th, General Carleton and suit left 
for the Isle au Noix. He received a parting salute from the 
ships Carleton, Lee, and Radeau, which were still lying at 
anchor in the river. The national flags floated from the masts 
of the first two vessels ; while, from the two masts of the Radeau 
or floating battery — which had lately been refitted — the Eng- 
lish and Brunswick flags were displayed. 

In the meanwhile, fifteen hundred horses kad been purchased in 
Canada for the army. They were to be sent to Crown point by land. 

On the morning of the 14th, General Carleton received the 
dragoon regiment. He also witnessed the landing of the regi- 
ments of Rhetz and Specht, the troops of which defiled before 
him. He expressed his entire satisfaction with the good 
behavior and discipline of the Brunswick troops; and, after 
bidding farewell to Burgoyne and Riedesel, he left for Montreal. 

On the 15th, Burgoyne went to Isle au Noix. On his depart- 
ure he also received a salute of fifteen guns from the ship Carleton. 

By the 18th, the whole of the German corps had arrived at 
Cumberland head. This place is seven and a half leagues 
distant from Point au Fer. The entire army was now together, 
with the exception of Hamilton's brigade, which, as has been 
already mentioned, was to remain for the present, to protect 
the magazines, but was to follow on afterward. The position 
of the army was now as follows : 

1 For a more particular account of this episode, see TJie Letters and Journals of 
Mrs. General Siedesel. 























. • • • • • 











General Disposition of the Army. 

" To the detachment of the corps of Brigadier General Fraser, 
which forms the advance and consists of the English light 
infantry, the English grenadiers and the 24th Regiment, are 
to be added the Canadian corps of Captain Monen and Boucher- 
ville, also Captain Fraser's detachment and a corps of savages. 
The Brunswick chasseurs, ^ the grenadiers and the light infantry 
Von Barner, under Lieutenant Colonel Breymann, will form 
the reserve corps. The Brunswick regiment of dragoons is, for 
the present, to do duty at head quarters. The corps of Peter 
and Jessop shall also be outside of the line of march. The 
recruits of the 33d Regiment, under Lieutenant Nutt, shall 
for the present, serve on board the fleet. The army will en- 
camp, until otherwise ordered, in the following manner : (See 
opposite page). 

" If the army should encamp in two lines, then the second 
brigade is to occupy a position in the rear of their respective 
nationalities. The brigadier generals will always encamp with 
their respective brigades." 

On the morning of the nineteenth, General Burgoyne had the 
whole army under arms ; and riding down the entire front, he 
appointed the following day for the march. The whole army 
was to be provided with sufficient rations to last until the 30th 
of June. Accordingly, on the following morning (the 20th), 
instead of the reveille, the general march was beaten, and soon the 
army was in readiness for the embarkation. General Burgoyne 
with great pomp, went on board the Lady Mary ; and imme- 
diately the booming of cannon from this ship announced that 
the army were about to start. 

The company of chasseurs, the battalion of light infantry, 
and the battalion of light grenadiers formed the advance guard. 
At a distance of two hundred yards followed the dragoon regi- 

1 Also called y&gers. 







Begim''nt Hessia HanaiL. 

Eeg't Prince Frederick. 

I • • • • 

BegimentVon RiedeseL 

Begiment Von Specht 

Regiment Von Bhetz. 


3 S» 




* 8 

n pq 




9th English BegH. 


47th English Beg't. 

• • • • 

20th English Beg't. 

62d EngUsh Beg't. 

2lBt English Beg't. 


ment; then, at the same distance, came the brigade of General 
Powell ; then the brigade of Gall ; and last of all, that of 
Specht. Four of the bateaux formed a line. By mid-day the 
army arrived at their camp in Ligonier bay, having advanced 
four and a half leagues. General Fraser had left the day before 
with his brigade for River Bouquet. At this latter point the 
last of the three Indian tribes came up, with the intention of 
remaining henceforth with the army. These savages numbered 
about one hundred. The other Indians were already at Crown 
point, where they had surprised a detachment of the enemy, 
killed ten, and captured an equal number whom they scalped. 
In the evening the Washington was added to the fleet. 
General Burgoyne sailed in advance, in order to catch up 
with General Fraser, and reach Crown point as quickly as 
possible. Before leaving he gave General Riedesel the com- 
mand of the army, with orders to follow with it as soon as he 
was able. 

It was understood that at four o'clock on the morning of 
the 23d, the army was to make a fresh start, General Fraser 
having received orders to move up close to Crown point on that 
day. E-iedesel had the army ready to move at the appointed 
hour, but just as it was on the point of embarking, a violent wind 
arose, and the waves on the lake beat up so furiously, that those 
troops, who had been sent in advance and could be seen from 
the shore, were in constant danger of being drowned. The chief 
danger consisted in sailing around Point de Ligonier which took 
them four hours. General Riedesel made several attempts to 
weather this dangerous point, but failing in all of them, and 
being reluctant to expose the army to such danger, he gave 
orders to return to its old camp. The next morning the weather 
was more favorable and the troops were at once embarked ; but 
scarcely were they again upon the water, when a terrible thunder 
and hail storm arose. Fortunately, however, the lake remained 
. quiet. The thunder storm was soon succeeded by a fog so dense 
that the drummers in the advance were obliged to beat their 


drums continually to keep the fleet together and indicate the 
course to he pursued. During the voyage Hamilton's brigade 
caught up, and at once received orders from E-iedesel to follow 
the army. After being about three hours on the water a strong 
wind came up, causing the waves to roll very high ; but now 
there was no alternative but to continue the voyage. While 
passing through this danger, the troops not only behaved with 
the most exemplary order, but, in their small vessels, calmly 
and courageously battled with the waves, showing considerable 
dexterity in the use of the rudder. Five vessels were driven 
out of their course, and forced to land on the Isle aux Quatres 
Vents. They, however, reached the army the following day. 
The same day (the 25th), Riedesel encamped with his army on 
the left shore of the lake, beyond the river Bouquet, at the 
same time detaching the corps of Breymann and the dragoon 
regiment to the opposite side of the river ; the former for the 
protection of the right wing, and the latter for the left. Here 
bread was baked for four days. 

In the afternoon of the next day the army again began its 
march. The weather was delightful, and it reached Bottom 
bay the same night. On the day following (the 26th) the army 
arrived at nine o'clock in the morning, at Crown point. Here 
General E-iedesel surrendered the command to General Bur- 
goyne. General Fraser immediately started again, and ad- 
vanced to Putnam river, between Crown point and Carillon. ^ 
At this point the army was distributed in the following manner : 
The two English brigades, under General Phillips, occupied the 
plain around the fort at Crown point; the corps of Breymann 
the right shore of the lake near the wind mill ; while General 
Eiedesel, with the German brigade, was more to the left on the 
promontory called Chimney point. Orders were issued that 
each wing was to act independently of the other. The artillery 
was distributed among the two wings ; and entrenchments for all 



the regiments were made. Each wing received six six-pounders, 
and three three-pounders. 

From prisoners and deserters it was ascertained that the 
enemy near Carillon numbered between three and four thousand 
men; that they were occupying at that place a fortified camp 
which they intended to hold; that everything around their 
camp had been cleared away ; and that they were still working 
on the entrenchments. The deserters also stated that the Ame- 
ricans acted very cruelly toward those who did not embrace their 
cause, having only the day before hanged six loyalists. 

Magazines were erected at Crown point, and the transport 
ships were unloaded ; after which they returned to St. John to 
reload. The day previous, the fleet advanced as far as Put- 
nam's river; but the army continued in its old position, while 
Burgoyne, who intended to attack the fortified camp of the 
Americans, sent the Indians in advance te get in their rear. 
But before he could successfully carry out his plan, he was 
forced to wait for his heavy artiUery and the necessary ammu- 

On the 30th, General Fraser advanced toward Carillon, and 
encamped on Five Mile point, a distance of five English leagues 
from the fort. He lost no time in reconnoitring the enemy's 
camp, approaching so near it as to be fired at with cannon from 
the fort. The English quarter master general, Lieutenant Co- 
lonel Carleton, improved this opportunity to select the ground 
for the next encampment of the army. 

Leaving a detachment of one staff" ofl&cer and two hundred 
men near Crown point for the defense of the magazines, the 
army in their bateaux started again at five o'clock in the 
morning of July 1, in two divisions. The corps of General 
Phillips was on the right or west, and that of General Riedesel 
on the left or east side of the lake. The dragoons formed the 
advance guard of the whole army. Captain Fraser advanced 
with his Indians and Canadians, two miles beyond Brigadier 
Fraser's last camp near Five Mile point, and awaited the army 


near Three Mile point. Brigadier Fraser advanced this day 
with his brigade to the latter place, while Captain Fraser took 
up a position to the right on the road to the saw mills. The 
fleet advanced as far as Three Mile point, almost within cannon 
shot of the rebel camp. The right wing of the army encamped 
on the spot where the brigade of Fraser had been, but the left 
wing, under Riedesel, encamped on the eastern shore opposite 
the right wing. The corps of • C.Gnofa l Breymann advanced on 
the same shore as far as the left wing of the fleet. From the 
flag ship, the Royal George, one could easily survey the enemy's 
position. The Americans were estimated at from four to five 
thousand men, consisting of twelve regiments divided into four 
brigades commanded by General St. Clair. The enemy's posi- 
tion was covered on the right flank by Fort Independence built 
on a considerable eminence, and fortified by three successive lines 
of fortifications. It was separated by water from Fort Carillon 
which lay on the opposite side and consisted of nothing but the 
old French works. Between the forts were four armed vessels, 
in front of which was a bridge connecting the two forts. In 
front of this bridge there was a very strong iron chain hanging 
across the water, which was intended to break the first assault 
of the British. To the left of Fort Carillon there was another 
fortification upon a hill covering the enemy's left, toward the 
saw mills. Fort Carillon was manned by one-half of the Ame- 
rican force, which consisted of six regiments or two brigades ; 
the third brigade was at Fort Independence ; and the fourth 
was distributed outside of the fort. This was the position of 
the Americans when General Burgoyne arrived in front of Fort 

Up to noon of the 2d of July, all was quiet on the side, of 
the Americans, but toward twelve o'clock they opened fire on 
Captain Fraser's corps which was nearest. At the same 
time a great commotion was observed in the enemy's camp, 
which seemed to indicate that they were about to evacuate a 
part of their entrenchments. General Fraser now received 



orders to advance with his corps (which stood in the woods), on 
the entrenchments of the enemy. General Phillips also, moved 
more to the right and occupied the saw-mills. The Indians at 
first advanced with great courage against the fortifications of 
the enemy, but were received with spirit. Meanwhile, General 
Biedesel likewise moved forward with Breymann's corps and 
occupied a position in front of Fort Independence behind the 
river Petite Marie. The whole of the left wing was now pushed 
ahead to the position formerly occupied by Lieutenant Colonel 
Breymann. That officer was under fire, toward evening, from 
one of the water batteries of Fort Independence. This fire of 
the enemy, however, had no other effect than to wound one of 
his corps, and kill two of Fraser's artillerists. During the 
attack on the fortifications, the English lost in killed and 
wounded, only one officer and a few men. The Americans lost 
one officer, and about twenty men. 

On the 3d, the enemy continued their cannonading ; other- 
wise it was quiet on both sides. The floating battery arrived 
in the afternoon. A great deal was expected from this ram. 
Meanwhile, the Americans reenforced the entrenchments on 
their left wing with one battalion from Fort Independence. 
Captain Fraser, with his Indian and Canadian volunteers was 
sent to the left wing to strengthen the position of General 
E-iedesel. The English, learning that a detachment, consisting 
of eight hundred men with ammunition and provisions, were on 
their way from New Hampshire to the fort. Captain Fraser 
was ordered to intercept them. The order, however, came too 
late ; for the detachment had already arrived at the fort. At 
this point General E-iedesel sent Captain Gerlach, with one 
hundred men, to reconnoitre, and find a road by means of 
which, the enemy's fort might be attacked in the rear. 

On the 4th, Riedesel ordered his infantry to advance to a 
position between the two wings of his division and the corps of 
Breymann, that they might support the latter in case of need. 
In pursuance of an order from the commanding general. Gall's 


brigade crossed to the western side of the lake, and occupied 
the former position of the English, brigades, under General 
Phillips. The heavy guns on the radeau or floating battery 
were removed, the latter not being able to approach the fort on 
account of its great draught and its general unwieldiness. Cap- 
tain Twiss of the engineers, selected a place where he posted two 
batteries to command the fort. 

On the evening of the 5th, the enemy, after setting fire to the 
underbrush in their camp, were greatly alarmed lest the wind, 
which had begun to blow furiously, should drive the flames on 
to their magazines. General Riedesel no sooner noticed their 
alarm, than he had his troops at once embarked as if to make 
an attack ; and General Burgoyne, at the same time, changed 
the position of his guns to support the assault. This caused 
the Americans to come out of the fort. Darkness, however, 
now came on, and Riedesel disembarked his troops and sent 
them back into camp. It had not been his intention to attack, 
but only to force the enemy to come out of their fortifications, 
and in this he succeeded. During the night, fire was noticed 
issuing from one of the enemy's magazines ; and in the morn- 
ing the English discovered to their surprise that the Americans 
had vacated their important position. Riedesel immediately 
embarked his men and took possession of Fort Independence, 
at the same time that General Eraser occupied Fort Carillon. 
Eighty large cannon, five thousand tons of flour, a great quantity 
of meat and provisions, fifteen thousand stand of arms, a large 
amount of ammunition, two hundred oxen, besides baggage 
and tents, were found in the two camps of the enemy. 

It seems the more singular that the enemy should have left 
everything behind them when it is recollected that their camp 
was not surrounded, but that, on the contrary, the communica- 
tion with New Hampshire was still open. Great fright and 
consternation must have prevailed in the enemy's camp, other- 
wise they would have taken timie to destroy the stores and save 



General Burgoyne, upon the fall of Carillon, issued the follow- 
ing order : 

" Brigadier Fraser, with twenty companies of English grena- 
diers and light infantry shall march to Castletown ' and Skcens- 
borough - and attack the enemy who have retreated by land. 
General Riedesel with his corps of reserves, under Breymann, 
and the infantry regiment of Kiedesel, shall follow the corps of 
Fraser and support it in case of attack. The fleet and the 
rest of the army, shall pursue their way to Skeonsborough by 
water, and attack the fleet of the rebels and that part of their 
army which have taken their way thence by water." 

General E-iedesel, that he might lose no time, took a company 
of yilgers and an advanced guard of eighty men from Brey- 
mann's corps and hastened on, leaving orders for the rest of 
this corps and his own regiment to follow on immediately. 
After marching fourteen English miles he overtook Brigadier 
Fraser with one-half his corps and agreed with him that he 
(Fraser) should, that same day, march three English miles 
further and there bivouac for" the night; while he, himself, 
would also encamp for the night on the spot where he had 
caught up with him. It was further agreed that at three 
o'clock the next morning both ct)rps should start together and 
continue their march to Skeonsborough. In case General Fraser 
found the enemy too strong for him he was to wait for General 
Riedesel and thus offer a united front to the enemy. 

In accordance with this arrangement. General Riedesel 
started on the 7th of July, at three o'clock in the morning, 
and, after marching four miles, met Captain McKay who had 
been sent by Fraser to inform him that he was on his march 
and would wait for him at Hubbardton. The general, surmis- 
ing at once what the halt signified, hastened on as quickly as 
possible with his advance guard to overtake Fraser — the regi- 
ments that followed, in the meanwhile, continuing their march 

» Castleton, Vt. 
a WhitehaU, N. Y. 


at the usual speed. Riedesel, after marching about a quarter 
of an hour, heard a brisk firing of musketry. He, therefore, 
pushed forward with his advance guard with still greater 
rapidity, Captain Poellnitz being sent back to tell Lieutenant 
Colonel Breymann to follow on as quickly as possible. 

In the meantime a second officer arrived from Eraser and 
reported to the Brunswick general that the former had met the 
enemy in such force that he would not be able to withstand him 
unless he was speedily reenforced. It was impossible, however, 
for E-iedesel to hasten any faster. He, accordingly, sent word 
to Eraser that he was already on the way to his aid and would 
soon be with him. At last the Brunswick troops, after a rapid 
march of a quarter of an hour, arrived, terribly heated, upon an 
eminence from which could be seen the contending forces. 

General E-iedesel saw at a glance that the Americans were 
moving more and more toward the right with the evident 
intention of surrounding Eraser's left wing. He, therefore, 
resolved to out manoeuvre them and get into their rear. 
Accordingly he ordered the company of yagers to advance 
to the attack, while the rest of the troops were to endeavor to 
fall upon the enemy's rear. In order to puzzle the enemy, and 
make him believe that his assailants were stronger than they 
really were, he ordered a band of music to precede the ya- 
gers. At this moment an aid arrived with a message from 
Eraser, to the effect that he feared his left wing would be sur- 
rounded. Riedesel sent word back to him that he was at that 
very instant about to attack the enemy's right wing. 

The company of yagers advanced courageously upon the 
enemy, and were met by a brisk fire from four hundred men. 
Ear, however, from shrinking, the Brunswickers did not flinch, 
but paid them back with interest. Under their brave leader. 
Captain Van Geyso, they advanced upon the enemy with fixed 
bayonets and to the sound of music. In twelve minutes they 
had beaten them completely, and captured twelve pieces. Cap- 
tain Schottelius, at the head of the grenadiers, also attacked 


the enemy at the same time, when seeing that they were partly 
surrounded, the Americans stopped fighting and retreated. 
General Fraser acknowledged that he would have been in great 
danger, had it not been for Ricdesel's timely aid ] for if reen- 
forcements had not arrived just when they did, the whole corps 
would have been surrounded and cut off. Those of the Bruns- 
wickers who had followed, also hastened their march and arrived 
upon the same eminence just as the firing ceased. 

The American forces on this occasion, consisted of four regi- 
ments commanded by Brigadier Francis. He fell, pierced by 
a German bullet, while leading the third attack on the left 
wing, and was buried by the Brunswick troops. This corps of 
Francis formed the rear guard of the American army in its 
retreat from Fort Carillon. 

A few days after this event, Riedesel wrote to Duke Ferdi- 
nand in relation to this engagement, as follows : 

" Skinsbury,! July 11, 1777. 

" Monseigneur : So tired that I can scarcely move, I send your 
excellency these few lines. In order to inform you of the great 
success which has attended our arms since July the 1st, I send 
your excellency, inclosed, the continuation of my journal. 

" The great courage manifested by a handful of German troops 
in the engagement near Hubberton, and the good services they 
have rendered toward the successful termination of that action, 
will certainly please your excellency ) and I can assure you, in 
all sincerity, that this occasion has given a good name to the 
Brunswick troops among the whole of the army. We shall 
continue our march from here to Fort Ann and Fort Edward. 
It is said that the enemy will raise another army of five thou- 
sand men. This army, however, will have no artillery, as all 
of their guns are in our hands. It is, therefore, to be supposed 
that the second engagement will take place at, or in the vicinity 
of Fort Edward. I recommend myself, etc. 
" Riedesel." 

1 Probably Skeensborongb. 


After this engagement, General Riedesel posted his troops in 
the following manner : Earner's light infantry were placed upon 
the left wing of the English for the support of the yagers 
and grenadiers. The battalion of grenadiers and his own regi- 
ment were sent to the right of the English wing in order to 
guard the road leading to Skeensborough, as the army were 
now to march for that place. 

While these events were taking place „pon land, General 
Burgoyne was pursuing the enemy upon the water. In a few 
hours he destroyed the moorings near Carillon, on which the 
Americans had worked several months; and, by a few well 
directed cannon shots, he broke in two the collossal chain upon 
which so many hopes had been hung. 

On the evening of the 6th of July, he encountered the ships 
of the enemy near Skeensborough, and destroyed them after a 
short engagement. Three of these the enemy burned, and two 
were captured. The fort at that place was then evacuated by 
the rebels, who retreated to Fort Anne. Lieutenant Colonel 
Hill with a detachment was thereupon sent by Burgoyne, to take 
this fort, but finding it too strongly fortified, and occupied by 
an American corps, he did not succeed. On the morning of 
the 8th, he was attacked by a superior force of Americans, and, 
after a long fight, was forced to retreat. In this engagement, 
both sides suffered considerable loss. 

A great quantity of provisions, ammunition and other war 
material were found at Skeensborough. The army encamped 
there on the following day. 

The corps both of Fraser and of Riedesel having had no provi- 
sions for four days, and being unable to obtain any from their 
ships it was agreed that Biedesel should march to Skeensborough, 
and Fraser should remain where he was until further orders 
had been received from Burgoyne in relation to the disposition 
of the wounded. At noon of the 8th of July, the Brunswickers 
accordingly marched to Skeensborough. Hitherto the first 
German brigade had been with General Burgoyne. The left 


wing encamped on the left bank of Wood creek, and the right, 
on the right bank. 

On the 9th, General Fraser arrived in the camp and took 
his position on the right wing. On the 10th, General Kiedesel 
received orders to march with his corps. The first brigade was 
to encamp on the Castletown river. From here patrols were to 
be sent into the enemy's country to encourage the loyal Ameri- 
cans to take up arms on the side of the king. 

On the 10th, General Burgoyne issued the following order : 

Order from Head quarters, July IOth, 1777. 

" The rebels evacuated Fort Ticonderoga on the 6th, having 
been forced into this measure by the presence of our army. On 
one side of the lake they ran as far as Skeensborough : on the 
other side as far as Hubberton. They left behind all their 
artillery, provisions and baggage. 

" Brigadier Fraser, with one-half of his brigade and without 
artillery, met two thousand rebels strongly fortified ; attacked 
and drove them from their position. The latter lost many of their 
officers. Two hundred were killed, more wounded, and three 
hundred captured. Major General Von Riedesel, with his 
advanced guard, consisting of the company of yagers (eighty 
men), light infantry and grenadiers, came up in time to support 
Brigadier Fraser ; and by his judicious orders, and the bravery 
with which they were executed, he, as well as his troops, shared 
in the honor of the victory. 

" On the 8th, Lieutenant Colonel Hill was attacked by the 
rebels at Fort Anne, and notwithstanding he was outnumbered 
six to one, he drove them off with great loss after a contest of 
three hours. In consequence of this affair, the rebels evacuated 
Fort Anne after setting it on fire. A detachment of our army 
now occupies it.^ 

" The rapid progress of our arms — for which we cannot suffi- 
ciently thank God — gives great honor to our troops. The 

1 The garrison consisted of one captain, one hundred men and two cannons. 


GREATEST PRAISE is due General Von Riedesel and Brigadier 
Fraser, who by their bravery, supported by ofl&cers and soldiers, 
have rendered the greatest service to the king. 

" The highest honor is due to the troops from the fact that in 
spite of the many fatigues they have undergone — through 
inclement weather, and without bread — they have never shown 
the least insubordination. Therefore, on next Sunday there 
shall be divine service in front of the army and the advance 
guard, and in the evening at sunset there shall be firing of 
cannon and small arms. This shall also be done at Ticonderoga, 
Crown point, the camp at Skeensborough, at Castletown and in 
the camp of Colonel Breymann. The commander of each 
regiment shall, himself, read this order to his regiment ; and 
Major General Von Riedesel will see to it that this order shall 
be sent to the detached corps of the left wing. Brigadier 
Hamilton will send it to Crown point. 

" BuRaoYNE." 

All the news, respecting the position of the enemy, indicated 
that they were in the vicinity of Fort Edward, under General 

On the morning of the 12th, General Riedesel started with 
the corps of Breymann and the infantry regiment Riedesel. The 
troops were embarked and sailed through South bay and East 
creek as far as the latter was navigable. They then went on 
shore at the landing place, where the Hesse Hanau regiment, 
which had preceded them, was already encamped. The corps 
of Breymann continued its march on land as far as the sawmill 
near Castletown, where it bivouacked for the night. The next 
day it marched to Castletown, the regiment Riedesel remaining 
until the day after, when it marched to the camp of Brigadier 
Specht. This march was attended with extraordinary diffi- 
culties. It was impossible to procure horses ; consequently all 
the tents and baggage had to be carried by the soldiers on 
their backs over a shockingly bad road. This tramp lasted for 


five hours, and was partly the occasion of the brigade of Specht 
having to pass four, and the other regiments three, days in the 
woods, without tents. On his arrival at 11 a. m. in the camp of 
Brigadier Specht, General Riedesel sent out a party of troops 
to collect wagons and horses, which were to be employed in 
transporting the baggage and other army supplies. In addition, 
also, to the above grievances a great many of the troops in 
camp, especially of the regiments of Specht and Rhetz, were 
suffering from dysentery. 

On the 14th, Riedesel inspected the camp of Specht and 
Breymann, and made a few alterations here and there in the 
distribution of the out posts. Foreseeing, also, that during the 
long and tiresome marches, which the army would have to 
undergo, the lack of facilities for transportation would be often 
felt, Riedesel ordered, that all officers should provide themselves 
with horses on which to carry their own personal equipage — 
the latter to consist of as few articles as possible. 

On the 15th, General Riedesel was ordered to Ticonderoga 
to superintend the removal of the ships to Lake George. Of 
the two regiments yet remaining at Ticonderoga — the 62d 
English and Prince Frederick's — one-half of each, under the 
command of Colonel Amstruther, and Major Von Hiller, was to 
cover the removal. The same day Riedesel received intelli- 
gence that a corps of the enemy numbering between four and 
five thousand men, under Colonel Warner, was near Manches- 
ter. It was also reported that the latter was using his utmost 
exertions to rally the militia in the vicinity, and thus strengthen 
his own corps. Owing, however, to the fact that Colonel 
Skene, the governor of the province,^ was desirous of having 
him accompany him to Castletown to aid in making a list of all 
the loyal inhabitants, he could do nothing for the present against 

1 This Colonel Skene was royal governor of Crown point, Ticonderoga and those 
townships and forts in New York and New Hampshire which bordered on Lakes 
Champlain and George and the Hadson riyer.— Note to the German edition. 


About four hundred inliabitants from different townships 
came into Castletown and took the oath of allegiance in due 
form, each one receiving a certificate to that effect. A large 
number of these people were not in earnest in taking this oath. 
They had only come that they might find out the names of those 
who were truly loyal and afterwards betray them. They went, 
therefore, immediately back to their comrades and told them 
all they had seen and heard. No sooner had Colonel Warner 
heard the report of these spies, than he at once advanced, 
plundered the loyalists, took away their cattle, and even carried 
off the men themselves. Riedesel, who had promised to protect 
them, immediately dispatched Captain Willoe to head quarters 
as the bearer of a plan to Burgoyne, in which he proposed to 
attack the traitors at once, and take from them what cattle and 
vehicles might be necessary for the use of his troops. 

The English general had no objections to the plan; still he 
would not consent to its execution, pretending that he intended 
soon to make a move with his whole army. But although the 
German general's hands were thus tied, he determined at least to 
make any future operations of the enemy difficult. He, therefore, 
sent a detachment of seventy men to Tinmouth, and another to 
Wells — riding himself toward Rutland and Wells for the purpose 
of reconnoitering. The detachment sent to Wells returned on 
the evening of the 19th, and reported that Colonel Warner had 
returned to Manchester, and that those of the inhabitants who 
had fallen under suspicion of disloyalty, had left their houses, 
taking their furniture and most of their stock with them. 
Nevertheless the detachment brought in a few heads of cattle, 
and carts with the teams belonging to them. 

The day previous, the two partisans, St. Luke and Lancelot, 
arrived at head quarters with one thousand Indians and some 
Canadian volunteers. On the same day, Riedesel learned that 
the long expected ship, having on board recruits from Europe, 
had arrived at Three Rivers. General Phillips, also, returned 
the same day from Ticonderoga. 



On the 20tli, the other detachment returned, havilig been 
within a mile and a half of Colonel Warner's camp. They 
brought with them four prisoners, and about sixty head of 
cattle. Colonel Warner was so alarmed at the sudden appear- 
ance of this detachment, that he inmiediat^ly evacuated Man- 
chester, and retreated to Arlington. 

On the 21st, General Burgoyne went on a reconnoitering 
expedition by way of Forts Anne and Edward in order to 
ascertain the position of the enemy in that vicinity. He wrote 
to General Riedesel to move in a few days with his army in the 
direction of those forts ; telling him, also, that he might expect 
more particular directions from him on his (Burgoyne's) arrival 
at Fort Anne. Riedesel was at this time suffering severely from 
an ulcerated tooth and a raging fever. But, although confined 
to his room, he was not idle. He apportioned the new recruits 
among the different regiments, in order that there might be no 
confusion when they should arrive ; for at present they were to 
remain in Canada until they had learned the drill. The recruits 

were apportioned as follows : 

To the regiment of Dragoons, .... 25 

" Prince Frederick, . . .39 


" Rhetz, 32 

" Riedesel, . . . . .35 

" Specht, 26 

" Barner, . . . * . .65 

Total 222 


The grenadier battalion of Breymann received men from the 

other regiments as follows : 

From the regiment Prince Frederick, ... 6 

xvnei;Z, . . . • . .0 
Riedesel, ..... 9 
Specht, . . . . .5 











In pursuance of an order from the duke, those men, only, 
who had already served one year and a half and had a certain 
height, were to be taken for this battalion. 

The order on this subject, under date of July 19th, says that 
" men must be selected who are thoroughly reliable, and of such 
strength and appearance as will answer for grenadiers." Ried- 
esel issued strict orders in regard to the conduct of the troops 
toward the inhabitants and their property. Inasmuch, also, as 
there were a large number of loyal inhabitants scattered through 
the country, who were often taken for rebels, the strictest orders 
had to be issued lest the soldiers should treat them as such. In 
one of the^e orders, under date of July 22, the following passage 
occurs : " Breaking into houses, plundering and similar excesses 
will be punished; if the first offense, by whipping, and, if the 
second, by running the gauntlet." And at the end of this order, 
of which the colonel of each regiment received a copy, it further 
says: "In order to avoid all misunderstanding respecting the 
treatment of the inhabitants by those detachments that are sent 
out from time to time, and to avoid all marauding, this order is 
given to you. You will be able to judge best what is legitimate 
booty, and whether or not it can be allowed to the soldier." 

At noon of the 24th, Riedesel received orders to march with 
the left wing to Skeensborough ; but the soldiers, being at that 
moment in the act of cooking their dinner, he allowed them 
first to finish it. Upon the reception of the orders, however, 
he sent a message to the battalion of grenadiers and the bri- 
gade of Specht, telling them to start for the landing place, and 
be ready for embarkation the following day. The regiment 
Hanau, which had remained up to this time at the latter place 
for the protection of the ships and baggage, also received orders 
to embark, and arrived at the appointed time at Skeensborough. 
When the German troops reached there on the 25th, the right 
wing of the army, under General Phillips, had already started 
and was encamped near Gordon's house. General Fraser started 
as early as the 22d for this place, his departure being hastened 


by intelligence that the Americans had evacuated Fort Edward 
on the 21st. He, therefore, hastened on in advance to occupy 
it. At Skeensborough, Riedesel met Burgoync and held a 
consultation with him in regard to the advance of the army. 

Great discouragement must have prevailed at this time in the 
army of General Schuyler; for many deserters now came into 
the English army, while others ran away to their homes. Many 
had been forced into the American ranks, and these naturally 
took the first opportunity to escape. 

On the 26th, Riedesel sent back the vessels to Ticonderoga 
with the sick and superfluous baggage. The sick were to re- 
main in the hospital at that place, and the ships and baggage 
were to be transported by Canadians to Lake George, and thence 
to Fort Edward on the Hudson river. Those Brunswick officers, 
who were deputed to bring back from Canada the new recruits, 
also returned on these vessels. 

As it was impossible for teams to make any progress on the 
road from Skeensborough to Fort Anne, two English vessels 
were laden with the baggage and sent up Wood creek to that 
fort. The troops marched on that day as far as Gordon's house, 
and thence to Fort Anne. An English detachment, under Major 
Irving, and fifty Germans, remained at Skeensborough for the 
purpose of facilitating the transportation on Wood creek. 

General Eraser, upon arriving in the vicinity of Fort Edward, 
found that the report of the Americans having evacuated that 
place was unfounded. They were still in possession, but retreated 
on the appearance of the English. The Indians who were in 
advance, went within cannon shot of the fort, when a severe, but 
ineffectual firing took place. They returned, bringing with them 
eight prisoners unscalped. General Burgoyne established his 
head quarters at Fort Edward on the 31st of July. General 
Riedesel, who also went there on the same day,^ describes the 

* General Riedesel was in great danger of being captured this day, but fortunately 
escaped. A patrol of the enemy endeavored to way-lay him in the woods, but just 


position of the Americans as a very advantageous one. Mean- 
while, General Phillips — having accomplished the removal of 
the stores and artillery from Ticonderoga — had arrived at Fort 
George, and was busily engaged in building a road from that 
fort to Fort Edward. 

The Americans, who had in the meantime retreated as far as 
Schuyler's island, left there on this day (the 31st) and retreated 
to Half Moon,^ twelve miles this side of Albany. They were 
led by General Arnold, the one who had lost the engagement 
on Lake Champlain. He superseded General Schuyler, who 
had been summoned to appear before congress. It was believed 
that General Arnold would unite with General Washington, who 
was then at the highlands, and that this movement would be the 
last effort of the rebels, who were already looked upon as lost. 
It was, therefore, determined that as soon as the vessels should 
arrive, and the detachment ^ return, the march of annihilation 
should be continued southward. 

On the 1st day of August, General Riedesel celebrated the 
birthday of his sovereign at Fort Anne, with as much ceremony 
as circumstances would permit. 

By the 3d of August, a sufficient number of teams had been 
collected to enable a few regiments to begin the march. The 
battalion of grenadiers started first, and encamped near Fort 
Edward to the left of the corps of Eraser. The regiments 
Specht and Riedesel left Fort Anne on the 4th ; and the same 
day, the regiment Rhetz was ordered to march to the Ritsch- 
field plains between Fort Edward and Fort Anne, and relieve 
the 21st English regiment. On the same day, an official dis- 
patch was received from General Howe, in which he communi- 
cated several things of importance to General Burgoyne. The 
latter, however, kept the news so secret that nothing could be 

as they were on the point of accomplishing their object, a party of Indians — also 
ont on a scout — suddenly made their appearance, forcing the rebels to retreat. 

1 The present town of Crescent in Saratoga county. 

3 1, e., the one that had been left at Skeensborough, Whitehall. 


learned except that Howe was close to General "Washington who 
occupied a fortified position in the highlands. It was therefore 
supposed that a general engagement between the two armies 
would soon take place. The news of the retreat of the Ameri- 
cans from Saratoga to Stillwater was also received at this time 
Nor were the Indians idle. They attacked a detachment of the 
enemy, killed twenty, and captured ten men. 

Several desertions having occurred in the English army, 
Borgoyne ordered the Indians to pursue and scalp all that 
they should capture. 

On the 9th, Brigadier Powell was ordered to take with him 
the 53d Regiment and relieve Brigadier Hamilton at Ticonde- 
roga : at the same time the 62d was ordered to rejoin the army. 
The company of Canadian militia, under Boucher ville, was to 
remain for the present at Fort George. The regiment Prince 
Frederick was still stationed at Ticonderoga. 

On the same day, Fraser, with his advance corps, started 
again and encamped near Fort Miller, seven miles from Fort 
Edward. Lieutenant Colonel Baum followed with the dragoon 
regiment, with which soon afterward were incorporated the 
Brunswick regiment of light infantry, a detachment of Canadian 
volunteers and two cannons. Altogether they numbered five 
hundred men. With this force he was to go on an expedition 
in the direction of the Connecticut river. The object of this 
expedition was peculiar, namely, to procure good horses from 
the inhabitants, on which to mount the dragoons. Besides this, 
it was hoped that thirteen hundred additional horses could be 
obtained from the same source, to be used in transporting the 
baggage. Connecticut, new at that time, was one of the most 
flourishing states in North America, and made a special busi- 
ness of breeding excellent cattle and horses. 

On the 10th, Riedesel received authentic news from General 
Howe^s army. According to the intelligence received, that 
general had rallied his troops in June near Fort Knyphausen, 
evacuated the province of Jersey, and sent Clinton with a strong 


advance guard toward the highlands, where Washington was 
encamped. He had also sent a few frigates up the Hudson for 
the purpose of making the enemy believe that he was meditating 
an attack at that point. General Washington, believing this, 
went into a fortified camp. As soon as Howe heard of the 
success of his ruse, he threw off all disguise, embarked his army 
under a favorable wind, and entered the Delaware river. Washr 
ington did not learn of this movement until a week after, when 
he at once evacuated his fortified position, and leaving Putnam 
in the highlands to watch Clinton, retreated into Pennsylvania 
with the intention of preventing the further advance of Howe. 
Meanwhile, four English frigates attempted to sail up the narrow 
passage of the Hudson through the highlands and reach Albany. 
At the same time, Howe detached another body of troops up 
the Connecticut river with orders to advance as far as Spring- 
field, and then march parallel vrith the Canadian army, provided 
the latter had reached Albany. 

In the meantime. General Burgoyne resolved to capture the 
magazine at Bennington. The conduct of this expedition was 
intrusted to Colonel Baum, who was ordered not to march by 
way of Manchester, as had been at first considered advisable, 
but direct to Bennington. General Riedesel took the liberty 
of calling attention to the dangers connected with this under- 
taking, Bennington being at too great a distance, and the 
enemy too near it. But the English commander was not a man 
to be dissuaded by any one from any project he had determined 
upon. General Riedesel, therefore, seeing that Burgoyne's 
purpose could not be changed, did his best to prepare the de- 
tachment for the march as quickly as possible. They were 
rendezvoused at Fort Miller; and Brigadier Eraser being 
unable to furnish his quota of men. General Riedesel completed 
it by detaching one hundred men from the corps of Breymann. 


As the motives of this unsuccessful expedition have been 
described by the historians of the North American war in such 
a contradictory manner, we take the liberty of giving them 
verbatim as we find them in General Riedesel's journal. He 
says : 

"Lieutenant Colonel Baum marched to-day (11th), from 
Fori Miller to the Battenkill. General Burgoyne rode up to 
him to give him further instructions. As the said general had 
received intelligence that there was a magazine of considerable 
importance at Bennington defended only by a small body of 
militia, he countermanded the instructions he had previously 
given Baum, and ordered him, instead of marching to Manches- 
ter and thence to Bennington, to take the direct road, attack 
the enemy and capture the magazine. General Burgoyne 
informed General Riedesel, upon the latter's return from Fort 
George, of the alteration in his plan respecting the expedition 
under Lieutenant Colonel Baum. General Biedesel expressed 
his fear and astonishment in regard to the danger attending 
it. General Burgoyne, however, considered the change in the 
plan necessary for the following reasons : Ist. It would be of 
great advantage to the army to gather their subsistence from 
the captured magazine of the enemy, until supplies could be 
transported to the army sufficient to last for four weeks. 2d. 
In case he should move with his whole army against the enemy 
near Stillwater, General Arnold would not be able to send a 
strong force against Colonel Baum. 3d. That he had received 
intelligence that Colonel St. Leger was besieging Fort Stanwix, 
and that Arnold intended to send a considerable force to the 
relief of this place ; therefore, it was of the greatest importance 
that a detachment of the left wing should make a move and 
thus intimidate the enemy, and prevent him from sending this 
force against St. Leger. These three reasons overruled the 
representations of General Riedesel.'' 

Bennington is situated between the two arms of the Hoosick 
river, about twenty-four miles east of the Hudson. The road 


thither was very bad, and led through dense woods. A royalist, 
who knew the road, and offered to guide Lieutenant Colonel 
Baum, also called the attention of Burgoyne to the dangers 
connected with this expedition, and stated that at least three 
thousand men were necessary, as the Americans would exert 
themselves to the utmost to hold their position. But in spite of 
all this, it was destined that the expedition should start. 

On the 12th of August, Lieutenant Colonel Baum marched 
from the Battenkill to Cambridge,^ at which place he met a 
detachment of the enemy, which he attacked and defeated, 
capturing a few supplies and eight prisoners. ^ 


On the 13th, Baum reported to Burgoyne that he had heard 
the magazine at Bennington was defended by between fifteen 
and eighteen hundred militia men ; but, on account of their 
disaffection, he believed they would evacuate the fort upon 
his appearance. He would, therefore, at once march upon the 
enemy. General Burgoyne, very much pleased with his report, 
immediately consented, with the understanding, however, that he 
was not to make the attack until he had thoroughly acquainted 
himself with the position of the enemy. In order to make the 
attack successfully, Baum determined to halt four miles this 
side of Bennington, and carry out the advice of his commanding 
general. Lieutenant Colonel Breymann marched on this day 
from Fort Edward to Douart's house ; while Fraser, who was to 
advance as far as Saratoga, started in advance. On the 14th, 
the army began to advance from Douart's house. 

At six o'clock on the morning of the 15th, General Burgoyne 
received a report from Lieutenant Colonel Baum, dated the 

1 The present town of Cambridge in Washington county, N. Y. 

3 Stedman, in his History of the American War^ part 1, p. 417, states that Banm 
captured on the first day an American corps, which was released the following day 
by Colonel Skene, under the impression that this act of magnanimity would influ- 
ence the released Americans to take no further part against their king. He adds 
that these very ones fought the hardest against the English at Bennington. No 
mention, however, of this circumstance is made either in Riedesers journals or in 
the report of Baxim..— Note in original. 



14tli, in whicli he stated that his advance guard, on its march 
to Bennington, had been attacked by a corps of the enemy num- 
bering about seven hundred men, but after a few cannon shot 
had been fired they had retreated. He also said that, from 
prisoners and loyalists he had learned that a body of eighteen 
hundred men were in camp near Bennington, favorably situated 
and fortified, and who were only waiting for additional reen- 
forcements to meet and attack him. He, therefore, asked for 
reenforcements. Burgoyne immediately instructed Biedesel to 
send Lieutenant Colonel Breymann to his support. Riedesel, 
who was much troubled in regard to the entire movement, asked 
and obtained permission of Burgoyne, to give Breymann a few 
suggestions. The latter set out at once, leaving the tents, bag- 
gage and superfluous ammunition. A rain that had fallen for 
several days, made the roads, which were already miserable, 
even worse ; and this circumstance, added to the lack of horses 
for the transportation of artillery, forced Breymann, after a 
short march, to bivouac seven miles this side of Cambridge. 
He, therefore, dispatched a few men to Baum to notify him of 
his advance. The latter had been again attacked on this same 
day, but was able to repulse the enemy with his artillery ; and 
having confidence in his position, and expecting speedy reen- 
forcements, he resolved to stand his ground. Toward nine 
o'clock, on the morning of the 16th, small bodies of armed men 
made their appearance from different directions. These men 
were mostly in their shirt sleeves. They did not act as if they 
intended to make an attack ; and Baum, being told by the pro- 
vincial, who had joined his army on the line of march, that 
they were all loyalists and would make common cause with him, 
suffered them to encamp on his side and rear.i Shortly after 
another force of the rebels arrived and attacked his rear ) but, 
with the aid of artillery, they were again repulsed. After a little 

1 This confidence, perhaps, was the first, and chief false step which caused the 
defeat at Bennington, and consequently the defeat of Burgoyne. This is an entirely 
new revelation. 


while a stronger body made their appearance and attacked more 
vigorously. This was the signal for the seeming royalists, who 
had encamped on the side and rear of the army, to attack the 
Germans ; and the result was, that Baum suddenly found him- 
self cut off from all his detached posts. For over two hours 
he withstood the sallies and fire of the enemy — his dragoons, 
to a man, fighting like heroes — but at last, his ammunition 
being used up, and no reenforcements arriving, he was obliged 
to succumb to superior numbers and retreat. The enemy 
seemed to spring out of the ground ; indeed, they were esti- 
mated at between four and five thousand men. Twice the 
brave dragoons succeeded in breaking a road through the 
enemy's ranks ; for, upon their ammunition giving out, Baum 
ordered that they should hang their carbines over their shoulders, 
and trust to their swords ; but bravery was now in vain, and 
the heroic leader, himself severely wounded, was forced to sur- 
render with his dragoons. Meanwhile, the Indians and pro- 
vincials had taken flight, and sought safety in the forest. 

Lieutenant Colonel Breymann, who had again started early 
on the morning of the 16th, reached the bridge of St. Luke at 
three o'clock in the afternoon. Here he met Governor Skene, 
who assured him that he was only two miles distant from Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Baum. Skene, however, not informing him of 
the events that had occurred he continued his march as quickly 
as possible, notwithstanding his troops were greatly fatigued. 
Scarcely, however, had he advanced fifteen hundred paces on 
the bridge, when he saw a strongly armed force occupying an 
eminence toward the west. Governor Skene assured him that 
this force were not rebels; but Breymann, not satisfied with 
this assurance, sent ahead a patrol toward the eminence, who 
were immediately received with a volley of musketry. Upon 
perceiving how the case stood, he at once ordered Major Barner 
to advance upon the eminence, sent his grenadiers to the right, 
put the guns of both regiments into position, and directed the 
fire upon a log-house occupied by the enemy. The Germans 


drove the Americans across three hills ; but their ammunition 
soon giving out, they were obliged to cease from the pursuit. 
The enemy, guessing the cause of the halt, in their turn once 
more advanced; upon which Breymann, relying solely upon 
the darkness, which was fast coming on, to save himself, halted 
his men opposite the enemy, and remained there till it was per- 
fectly dark. He then, under cover of the darkness, retreated 
across the bridge, but was obliged to leave his cannon. At 
twelve o'clock at night he arrived with his fatigued corps, at 
Cambridge, and reached the army on the Battenkill on the 17th.i 

General Burgoyne received the news of the unfortunate 
termination of both engagements at three o'clock on the morn- 
ing of the 17th. He inmiediately consulted with General 
Biedesel, and resolved to start with the entire army and save, 
if possible, one or the other corps. Captain Gerlach was, there- 
upon, sent to find Breymann and tell him to rejoin the army, 
which was on ita way for his relief, under the command of 
Riedesel. While on his way, however, to the relief of these 
corps, he received orders from Burgoyne to take up a position 
on the Battenkill. Here he received news from Breymann 
that he had escaped with his corps, and was within six miles of 
the Battenkill. Riedesel inmiediately reported this intelli- 
gence to Burgoyne, who ordered him to return again to his 
former camp. 

General Burgoyne, after these events, saw plainly that he 
could not advance without supplies ; and, accordingly, he deter- 

1 The missing officers were Lientenant Colonel Banm, Major Von Maibom : 
captains of cavalry, Von Fricke, Von Reineking, Von Schlagenteoffel, Jun. ; 
Lieutenants Von Reckrodt, Von Bottimer ; Comets Schoenewald, Graesse, Stutzer ; 
Adjutant Boera, Quartermaster Gerfecke, Chaplain Mulzagine, Auditor Thomas, 
and Lieutenant Von Eeichenfeld. The dragoon regiment which suffered so 
severely in this engagement consisted of four squadrons. According to a report 
by Adjutant Cleve, dated August 26, 17T7, the regiment should have numbered 20 
officers, 83 non-commissioned officers, 8 musicians, 246 privates and 20 servants. 
The number now was 5 officers, 5 non-commissioned officers, 2 musicians, 77 pri- 
vates and 14 servants. Missing, therefore, 15 officers, 28 non-commissioned officers, 
6 muBicians, 169 privates and 6 servants. 


mined to remain for the present at Douart's house. At the 
same time, however, he entrusted to Riedesel the duty of main- 
taining communication with Fort Anne and Fort George. The 
latter, therefore, having with him the German regiments of 
Rhetz and Hesse Hanau, and the 47th English regiment with 
six guns of heavy calibre, broke up camp on the 18th, marched 
to Fort Edward, where he rallied his troops, and, on the 19th, 
arrived at John's farm and took up a position in a fortified 

The English, as usual, endeavored to lay the entire blame of 
the ill success of this expedition upon the Germans. Burgoyne 
had merely made a mistake in selecting only Germans for the 
attack on Bennington, since, in their opinion, they not only 
marched too slow but carried too much baggage. The English 
said that the hats and swords of the dragoons were as heavy 
as the whole equipment of a British soldier. It is true that 
justice was done to the bravery of Colonel Baum, but they also 
said that he did not possess the least knowledge of the country, 
its people, or its language. But who selected him for this 
expedition ? 

After the unsuccessful affair near Bennington, Riedesel re- 
turned on the 18th of August, and took his family — which had 
now arrived from Germany — to John's farm. The general 
occupied a building called the Red House, in which, notwith- 
standing the smallness of its size, he made himself comfortable 
with his wife and children. From the time of marching he 
was obliged to provide for his suite. His staff adjutants and 
officers ate with him at the same table. As the Red House 
contained only one room and a bed-chamber they dined out of 
doors in a barn, where tables and chairs were improvised for 
the occasion by boards laid across barrels. Provisions being 
scarce they often had bear meat. Madam Riedesel never had 


cooked any such meat before, but she describes it as being very 
palatable, especially the paws.^ 

Gceneral Riedesel, having been ordered to hold this place, had 
it fortified aa &r as he was able, and caused the magazines at 
Fort Anne to be removed thither as he thought that place could 
not be held. At that same time a few magazines were erected at 
Saratoga, and supplied with rations sufficient to last the troops 
three weeks. 

There were still eighty Brunswick dragoons with the army ; 
this number being all that was left of the regiment. Eiedesel, 
desirous of having them mounted as soon as possible, began by 
mounting thirty men ; for no more horses than that number 
oonld be had for the present. Meanwhile, almost all of the 
Indians had left for their homes, while the army was standing 
still. Very likely they did not find things as they expected, 
especially European discipline, which did not at all suit them. 
The excuse they gave was, that they must gather their harvest. 
They were chiefly of use to the army because the Americans 
wished to avail themselves of their services and their propen- 
sity for scalping. Indeed, as the Indians were mainly used as 
guards at the outposts, the rebels hardly ever dared to come 
near them, well knowing that the wild men were very cunning, 
and their eyes and ears very acute. This is proved by the fact 
that as soon as they had left, the enemy began to molest the 
outposts, and became very troublesome. 

The army being now provided with the most necessary 
articles, an advance was ordered. All the heavy baggage of 
the diflFerent regiments was sent back to Ticonderoga on the 1st 
of September. Those articles, however, which might be more 
needed, were only sent back as far as Diamond island in Lake 
Greorge — seven miles from Fort George — that they might be 
close at hand in case of need. At the same time two companies 

> For a more detailed acconnt of the sojonm of the general and his family at the 
Bed House, as well as for a history of the latter— an historical land-mark — see 
The JAUeri ana Jwmait qfMri. Qeneral Biedesel, 


of the 47th Regiment were sent with them as a garrison ; only 
thirty men and one officer being left at Fort George, as the 
communication with that lake was to be given up for the 
present. In pursuance with this plan the two companies of the 
53d Regiment, which had been hitherto stationed at Fort 
Greorge, were sent to Ticonderoga to reenforce that post. 

Meanwhile, the Americans troubled the outposts more and 
more. A few men, who had strayed beyond them, were captured ; 
and, on the 1st of September, an outpost of twenty Canadians 
and provincials was taken directly on Fraser^s front. To put a 
stop to these proceedings and replace the Indians in some 
measure. General Fraser, on the 2d of September, issued an 
order that one non-commissioned officer and sixteen men should 
be furnished by each regiment to form a corps of yagers — this 
body to be led by Captain Fraser. 

On the 3d, Riedesel left Fort George ^ for the purpose of 
expediting the transports for the army. On his arrival, he 
found a document from the American General Gates, and also a 
few letters and lists written by Captain O'Connell, who had been 
taken prisoner near Bennington. These papers were brought 
by Cornet Graef. Through them, the general learned the 
particulars of that engagement. Lieutenant Colonel Baum had 
died of his wounds two days after his capture, and been buried 
at Bennington with all military honors. Captain Reineking of 
the dragoons and Lieutenant Amiers of the grenadier battalion, 
had also died of their wounds at Bennington ; Lieutenant Boera 
and Cornet Stutzer were severely, and Chaplain Melzheimer, 
Lieutenant Gebhard and Ensign Specht slightly wounded ; and 
Ensigns Muchlenfield and Hagemann were shot. More than 

1 Fort George is Btill in a tolerable state of preservation, being, indeed, the best 
preserved of the revolutionary fortifications (excepting, perhaps, Fort Putnam) in 
existence. It lies almost sixty rods southeast of the present Fort William Hotel at 
Caldwell, Lake George. It was built to take the place of old Fort William Henry 
wliich was erected by Sir William Johnson and afterwards destroyed by Montcalm, 
in 1757. It was never the scene of an engagement, and was only used as a depot 
for military stores and as a connecting link between Ticonderoga and Fort Edward. 



one hundred of the Brunswickers, who had been severely 
wounded, were in the hospital at Bennington, and were well 
taken care of. Those who were at Albany had been taken 
northeast in the vicinity of Boston. The general also learned 
that of the eleven companies sent from England, seven had 
reached the army the same day (the 3d), and had been dis- 
tributed among the diflFerent regiments. 

Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger, who had been sent some time 
since to the Mohawk river, was at first successful ; but the 
Americans, after their victory at Bennington taking fresh 
courage, and a strong American detachment advancing from 
Half Moon to Fort Stanwix, he was forced to relinquish all 
hopes of its capture ; and, after burying his cannon, he left the 
Mohawk and retreated to Oswego. The Hesse Hanau yagers 
together with a corps of Indians were with him. But upon his 
raising the siege, many of the latter left him and returned to 
their homes. About two hundred of them, however, reached 
the army on the 3d of September and offered their services, 
which were very welcome to the commanding general. As the 
captured Brunswick officers were in need of money, clothing 
and linen, Riedesel sent them one hundred guineas, besides 
other necessaries. The English surgeon. Wood, was selected to 
carry these articles to the prisoners, and Burgoyne ordered him, 
at the same time, to take along with him his instruments, 
medicines, etc., and pay special attention to the wounded. 

On the 7th, Burgoyne learned from an American deserter 
that the army, under General Gates, numbered between four- 
teen and fifteen thousand men; also, that that general was 
preparing to meet the royal Canadian army and attack it. The 
inhabitants of Albany had already received orders to drive their 
cattle into the back country, that the army of the enemy might 
be deprived of the means of subsistence should it reach that 

Three of the best generals served under Gates, viz : Schuy- 
ler, Arnold and Lincoln; of the brigadiers were mentioned 


Glover, Stark and Whipple. The main army of the Americans 
was near Stillwater in a very advantageous position ; while 
another corps of six thousand men was at Half Moon, at the 
junction of the Mohawk and Hudson ^ rivers — a very favorable 
situation for the support of the main body. 

On the 9th of September the artillery of the left wing, with 
the 47th Regiment, marched from John's farm - to Fort Ed- 
ward. The same day, Burgoyne issued orders that the army 
should march the next day ; but hearing that the advance 
corps of the enemy was on the other side of the Hudson this 
side of the Fishkill,'^ he countermanded it. 

At seven o'clock on the morning of the 10th, Riedesel started 
for Fort Edward with the rest of the left wing consisting of the 
regiments of Ehetz and Hesse Hanau. He had previously 
sent ahead a sufficient number of men with the light infantry to 
construct a pontoon bridge across the Hudson.^ These troops 
took up a position this side the Fishkill on the 10th. They 
were under Captains Eraser, Monin, Boucherville, and Colonels 
Petersen and Yessop ^ of the provincials. Upon the approach 
of this body the enemy retreated, and immediately the advance 
corps of Brigadier Eraser and the reserved corps, under Brey- 

» The Cohoes. 

^The present half way house between Olens Falls and Lake George, known as 
» The present Fish creek, the outlet of Lake Saratoga. 

* The Brunswick Journal states, that as early as the 19th of August, a bridge was 
first made ab(yoe the present Saratoga Falls or rapids ; but upon a better place being 
found lower down it was broken up and a new one built below the rapids. 

The exact place where the British crossed the Hudson was Just below the Sara- 
toga Falls, two miles above Schuylerville, about eighty rods northwest of the 
present residence of Abraham Yates Rogers. The entrenchments which were at 
that time thrown up to cover the passage of the river, are still to be seen very 
plainly. They are three hundred feet in length and from four to six feet in height, 
but are (1867) overgrown with scrub pines. Mr. Rogers, whose grandfather lived 
on the form at the time, states that within thirty years the wooden platforms for 
the cannon were in existence behind the entrenchment. The survey for the rail 
road from Union village to Saratoga Springs, was through the entrenchments. 

* Probably Colonel Jessop, after whom Jessop Falls on the Hudson river above 
Glens Falls, are named. 



mann, advanced to a point thb side of the bridge. On the 
opposite bank of the river a small fort was erected for the 
defense of the bridge, and the protection of a few supplies 
deposited there. On the same day the artillery of the left 
wing, and Lieutenant Colonel Amstruther, with the 62d Begi- 
ment, reached the army. 

On the 11th, the entire army started from Douart's ^ house 
and took up a position close in the rear of the reserved corps of 
Breymann in the immediate vicinity of the bridge — all the 
artillery being sent to the left wing of the English regiments. 
Upon this, the rebel army retreated behind its advance guard, 
leaving Saratoga altogether. They sent, however, some detach- 
ments close to the English camp, and thus obliged the corps of 
Fraser and Breymann to remain the whole night under arms, 
and Burgoyne to throw up some entrenchments with the utmost 
haste. This day, Eiedesel was very much occupied in trans- 
porting stores from Fort George to Fort Edward, whence they 
were carried down the Hudson. 

Biedesel at first designed sending his family back into Canada; 
but was dissuaded by the prayers of his wife, who begged to be 
permitted to follow his fortunes the same as the other officers' 
wives. The ladies followed in carriages a day's march behind 
the army, and got along as well as they could. General Bur- 
goyne was so certain of victory that the ladies were in high 
spirits. When leaving, the vain man, with the utmost confi- 
dence, exclaimed, "Britons never retreat!" The prudent 
Madame Eiedesel, however, was very much disgusted at Bur- 
goyne's never keeping his plans to himself; for all the ladies 
knew in advance what was to be done, and thus the enemy was 
always kept well informed by his spies. 

On the morning of the 12th, Biedesel, with the regiments of 
Bhetz and Hesse Hanau, left Fort Edward, to take up a position 

1 By some called Dner^ honse. This balldinj? Btood In the present ▼illag:e of Fort 
Miller on the east side of the Hudson, about two miles and a half above where the 
troops crossed the river. 


near Douart'd house. The two English regiments, the 47th 
and 62d, departed at the same time and united with the army. 

At ten o'clock on the morning of the 13th, Riedesel with hi» 
regiments again started and reached the left wing of the army 
the same day. The corps of Eraser also started the same day 
at seven in the morning and crossed the bridge, ^ taking a posi- 
tion on an eminence this side of the Fishkill.^ The reserves of 
Breymann followed at nine o'clock, covering the left wing of 
Fraser's corps. After crossing the bridge the artillery remained 
on the Hudson; the 9th, 20th, 21st and 62d Eegiments en- 
camped on the plain near the river between the barracks ^ and 
th« Fishkill ; and the six companies of the 47th, covered the 
bateaux on the right bank of the river. All the German troops 
of the left wing remained on this side of the river. The hos- 

1 The Bnmswick JounuU^ in speaking of the paesage of this bridge, saye ; " The 
ammt-guarde^ under Fraser was the first to march over. At nine o^clock the resenre 
under Lieutenant Colonel Breymann followed after them, in order to cover, in the 
first place, Fraser's left fiank. The Germans who formed the left wing of the 
army went over last of all. As soon as the last man had crossed the bridge it was 
broken up. They had passed tiie BuMcon^ and all fhrther communication with 
Canada was now cut off. The army which, on first setting off from there, was 
10,000 strong, had already diminished to 6,000, and even these were provided with 
provisions not only scant in quantity, but bad in quality. 

When the army had crossed the river, those of the Brunswick dragoons, that 
were left, were mounted. These amounted to only some twenty men, and now 
formed the entire cavalry qf tfu army^ and even these few were very poorly 

2 The high ridge directly west of the Schuyler mansion now owned by Mr. Stro- 
▼er, whose Mher was in the battle of Saratoga, and assisted in the execution of 
Lovelace the tory. The translator is under much obligation to both Mr. Strover and 
his son-in-law. Dr. C. H. Payne, for their assistance in pointing out to him the 

Schuyler^s house (so says the manuscript journals of the German officers) was 
between the old village of Saratoga and the Fishkill. This fiEtct is of greoA im- 
portance in locating the old village, which, by the way, at best consisted of only a 
few scattered houses. 

' These barracks were located on the north side of the road to Saratoga Springs, 
directly upon the present site of the red bams of the Hon. Alonzo VSTelsh of Schuy- 
lerville, who (1867) resides a few rods east of the bams on l^e main village street;. 
The barracks were standing and occupied by a former up to witMn twenty years. 
Li March, 1867, Mr. VSTelsh, while ploughing back of his bams came across the 
burying place of the hospital. The bones thus exhumed he carefhlly reboried. 


pital was at the barrack, and General Burgoyne took up his head 
quarters in a house on the other side of the Fishkill belonging 
to General Schuyler. The head quarters were guarded by two 
hundred men. 

The hills around Saratoga were so covered with woods and 
underbrush that it was impossible to place the army in a posi- 
tion to withstand an attack from the enemy. All of the gene- 
rals carefully inspected the hills nearest to the camp, and agreed 
upon a position in case of the enemy making their appearance. 
All the colonels were notified of this. The situation of the 
army, moreover, was rendered additionally precarious by the 
fact that it was separated by the river, and was thus obliged to 
be constantly on its guard. New embankments were therefore 
thrown up, and strong outposts placed in every direction, espe- 
cially on the side toward Bennington. Meanwhile, the Americans 
had retreated into their fortified camp near Stillwater, distant 
about six miles from the English army. They had not disturbed 
the latter on the passage up the river. General Burgoyne burned 
with impatience to advance on the enemy. Accordingly, the very 
moment that all the baggage had crossed the bridge, and the 
fact was told him, he gave orders at eleven o'clock on tha 
morning of the 13th, that, at one o'clock, the army should 
advance. The corps of Brigadier Fraser formed the advance 
guard ) then followed the army in three columns. The four 
English regiments, under Brigadier Hamilton, and constituting 
the first column, were to march toward the right. The second 
column was made up of all the artillery. The German troops, 
as the third column, were to march to Stillwater and remain on 
the west side of the Hudson. The baggage was to remain in 
the rear, and the hospital and supplies to follow after the heavy 
artillery, under the escort of six companies of the 47th Regi- 
ment. The corps of Breymann was ordered to remain on the 
bridge and to destroy it as soon as the left wing had crossed 
over. Henceforth, this corps was to form the rear guard of the 
whole army. The regiments began the advance at the sound 


of music, in the best of spirits. The entire army defiled in 
front of General Burgoyne who was on the other side of the 
river with his suite. In consequence of the road being in bad 
condition, the order for marching was altered, so that the whole 
of the infantry formed only one column, while marching on the 
shore of the river. But shortly before reaching the new camp 
the army marched in two columns. The centre of the army 
soon came to Dovogat's house which the commander in chief at 
once selected as his head quarters. The left wing rested on the 
Hudson ; the right on marshy ground ; the front was covered 
by the Cummings kill which here empties into the river. Fraser, 
with his corps, was with the right wing; and the regiment of 
Rhetz and the 47th English were so placed in the left wing, 
that the chain of the pickets was on the rear of the left wing in 
connection with the reserved corps of Breymann. For the 
defense of the baggage, which, it will be remembered, was under 
the protection of the 47th, two more twelve pounders were 
detached. The spot, occupied this day by the army, had been 
used only the day previous, as the camp of four hundred Ameri- 
cans. The camps of both armies were about five English miles 
distant from each other, so that at eight o'clock on the morning 
of the 16th, the roll call of the Americans could be distinctly 
heard in the English camp. It was believed in the British 
army, that the Americans had approached nearer ; and in order 
to be certain in regard to this, as well as the position of their 
army, Burgoyne himself sallied out to reconnoitre. Two roads 
for the two columns were also to be made at the same time, and 
a bridge, that had been destroyed by the Americans, was to be 
repaired in order to facilitate the advance of the army. A part 
of the light troops, consisting of one-half of Eraser's corps, and 
the second brigade of the two wings with six guns, were de- 
tached for this purpose. The 9th and the 62d, of the right wing, 
under Lieutenant Colonel Amstruther, and the regiments of 
Specht and Hesse Hanau of the left wing under Brigadier Gall, 
were also detached for the same purpose. 


At eleven o'cloek on the morning of the 16th, the corps left 
the camp accompanied by Burgoyne, Phillips, Riedesel and 
Fraser. Two divisions of working men, each one hundred strong, 
with the necessary tools, followed the corps. The column of 
the right wing consisted of one-half of Fraser's corps, under 
Major Ackland, and the regiment Specht ; the column of the 
left, of the 9th, 62d and Hesse Hanau. The former crossed a 
rained bridge, which had now been repaired, and came to a 
road leading to Dovogat's house, ^ just below the Cummings kill. 
The latter, after crossing the bridge, took the road leading to 
Sword's house.*^ Both houses were about two and a half Eng- 
lish miles distant from the British camp. The generals were 
obliged, on account of the detention caused by the repairing of 
the bridge, to discontinue reconnoitering for this day. Toward 
evening they reached the two houses above mentioned, which 
were about eight hundred paces distant from each other and 
separated by dense woods. ' At eight o'clock in the evening 
the corps returned to their camp, without seeing anything of 
the enemy. On the following day (the 17th), at ten o'clock in 
l^e morning, the army again started in two columns, taking the 
two roads that had been made the day previous. The right 
column was composed of Fraser's brigade and the English 
regiments of the right wing ; the left, of all the German troops 
of the left wing. Behind these followed the heavy artillery. 

> This house, which is still (1867) standing in good preservation, on the margin 
of the Lake Champlain canal about fifty rods from the Hudson, is situated forty 
rods east of the road from Schuylerville to Stillwater, in what is called Van 
Vechten^s cove at Coyeville. It is owned by Mr. Wilcox, the president of the 
Schuyleryille bank, and is at present tenanted by an Irishman of the name of 
Patrick Mohan. 

3 The site of this house, is on the south bank of a spring brook, about fifty yards 
west of the Hudson river, and a few rods north of the south line of the town of 
Saratoga. It may be readily found from being about thirty rods north of a high- 
way leading from the Hudson river road westerly, which highway is the first one 
north of Wilbu^^s basin. This highway, was nearly the same at the time of Gene- 
ral Burgoyne's visit in 1777, as it is now. It was on land, now (1867) owned by a 
Mr. Chase, about three miles south of Schuylerville. All traces of it are now 
obliterated, save a slight deprecwion in the soil, where was the cellar. 


the hospitals, stores, and all the baggage of the army. The 
corps of Breymann again formed the rear guard. At six in 
the evening the army encamped near Sword's house, extending 
back to DoYOgat's house. The camp was on an eminence. In 
advance, among the hills, stood Fraser's corps ; and in the rear, 
toward the plain, bivouacked Specht's brigade in line. Brey- 
mann's division reached the main army at one o'clock in the 
night, and encamped fifteen hundred paces in the rear of 
Specht's brigade. In the space between Breymann's corps and 
Specht's brigade were artillery, trains, supplies, etc. ; the latter 
brigade exteading as far as the Hudson. The bateaux, with 
their freight, were also here. A deserter reported that the 
Americans had left their camp near Stillwater three miles 
distant, in order to attack the English army. Burgoyne 
accordingly reenforced the outposts, and gave orders that the 
next morning before daybreak the army should be under arms. 
The night, however, passed quietly ; — still no particulars of the 
enemy's position among the hills were as yet known. Brey- 
mann's corps, for the sake of safety, advanced to the right wing 
close to the division of Fraser. Eiedesel, in turn, then ad- 
vanced to the position just left by Breymann. The regiment 
Khetz occupied the bridge between Sword's house and the 
English regiments of the right wing. At this point, a footpath 
led from Stillwater across the mountains. 

The Americans had destroyed all the bridges, and the roads 
were consequently impassable for an army. Burgoyne, there- 
fore, could advance no farther. On the 18th, he caused some 
roads to be cut through the woods, and, at the same time, had 
a few earth works thrown up to cover the army in the rear. 
The road along the bank of the Hudson was entirely destroyed 
by the Americans ; and as the left wing, artillery and baggage 
were to advance in this direction, the road and the buried 
bridges had also to be repaired. Riedesel superintended this 
work himself, and this, too, in the presence of the enemy who 
were on the opposite bank. By two o'clock in the afternoon, 


two bridges were repaired, and a new one, designated No. 1,^ 
built. Here was left a picket of two hundred men. The enemy 
made several movements toward the left wing, which occupied 
more ground and had progressed more rapidly with its work 
than the right. All unnecessary firing was forbidden in the 
English army. Everything remained quiet. 

Toward four in the afternoon, four regiments of the enemy, 
with banners, could plainly be seen. Three were hidden be- 
hind the hills, and two behind some woods on the plain. 

The night passed quietly, although the English army were 
ready at any moment for battle, and were under arms an hour 
before daybreak. Riedesel, who was the more cautious, as he 
expected that the left wing would be first attacked, ordered two 
companies of his regiment, two hours before day, to advance 
and occupy a position between the left wing and the picket on 
the bridge. All the patrols, who returned in the morning, 
reported that they had seen nothing of the enemy. Burgoyne, 
therefore, determined upon an advance ; and, as a preparatory 
step, once more divided his army into three columns. The first 
or centre column, consisting of the 9th, 20th, 21st and 62d 
Regiments with six six-pounders, was led by Brigadier Hamil- 
ton ; the second or right column, consisting of the English 
grenadiers and light infantry, the 24th Brunswick grenadiers, 
and the light battalion with eight six-pounders under Lieutenant 
Colonel Breymann, was led by General Eraser ) and the third 
or left column, which was to advance on the main road and 
consisted of the rest of the German troops and the artillery of 
the left wing, was led by General Riedesel. General Burgoyne 
remained with the column of Brigadier Hamilton. The heavy 
artillery, baggage, etc., followed the column commanded by 
Riedesel. The 47th Regiment remained on the right bank of 
the Hudson for the protection of the bateaux. 

1 Bridge No. 1, was over the brook that nme into the Hudson at a locality now 
known as Van Barents ferry, directly opposite the viUage of Easton. It is still 
quite a stream. 


On the 19th of September, the army began its preparations 
for the march by forming into three columns. The Hesse 
Hanau regiment was directed by Riedesel to occupy the hills 
on either side of Sword's house and defend the roads leading 
into the woods behind this house. It was further ordered to 
remain in this position until the troops of the left wing had 
passed, when it was to form the rear guard. At eleven o'clock, 
upon the discharge of a signal gun in the centre, the advance 
guards of the three columns started. ^ The advance guard of the 
left wing was formed by part of the dragoons, and a detachment 
of one hundred men of the light infantry. Then followed the 
regiment Riedesel, a detachment of working men and the 
artillery of the left wing, the regiment Rhetz, and, last of all, 
the regiment Specht. The column crossed new bridge No. 1, 
and, after passing Taylor's house,- halted at a distance of about 
eight hundred paces from the latter. At this point it was 

* The reverberations of this signal gun among the hills is described in several 
manuscript journals as particularly grand. 

* Taylor's house — the one in which General Fraser is supposed to have died — 
was situated three miles and a half south of Fish creek, and about one hundred 
rods north of Wilbur's basin. At the time of the battle it stood by the side of the 
old road on the west margin of the intervales at the foot of the hill on which Gene- 
ral Fraser was buried. When, some years afterwards, the present turnpike was 
constructed, running twenty rods east of the old road, the latter was discontinued, 
and a Mr. Smith (who had purchased the old house), drew it to the west side of 
the turnpike and turned it into a tavern. Hence it was long known as the Smith 
house. It stood until within five years, when it was torn down. The foundations 
yet (1867) remain on ground now owned by Cotton & Sons. In 1820, the late 
Theodore Dwight visited the spot, and made a drawing of it, which has been en- 
graved and given in The Letters and Journals of Mrs. General Riedesel. 

It is generally believed that the Taylor house was the one in which General Fra- 
ser died. This, however, I believe to be a mistake, and for the following reason : 
Whenever any incident occurs at or near Taylor's house it is always spoken of in 
the manuscript journals of the German officers as having occurred at or near Tay- 
lor''s hovse. But when speaking of the prominent event of Fraser' s death, he is said 
to have been carried into the log house occupied by Mrs. Riedesel. This opinion, 
moreover, seems to receive confirmation in the fiact that on the original maps of 
this action, three houses are put down on the locality where Taylor's house stood. 

Neither was the Taylor house at any time the head quarters of Burgoyne, as has 
also been heretofore believed. General Burgoyne's head quarters, after leaving 
Sword's house, was in the centre of the army on Freeman's fiarm. 



necessary to build a new bridge across a marshy ditch, which, 
when completed, was known as bridge No. 2.^ The men at 
once fell to work, under the protection of the regiment Ried- 
esel ; the other regiments meanwhile sending out patrols as far 
forward as possible. Toward one o'clock in the afternoon a 
brisk fire of musketry was heard at a considerable distance oflF. 
It continued to be heard for half an hour, and was supposed to 
proceed from the second column. In the meantime the work- 
men continued their operations on the left wing. Finally 
Riedesel ordered the regiment Rhetz close up to his own 
regiment, that it might be near at hand in case of need. At 
the same time he ordered two companies, under Captain Fred- 
ersdorf, to push forward to the other side of the ditch, when it 
would be in more easy communication with the centre column. 
General Phillips, who commanded the heavy artillery, and had 
hitherto followed the left column, offered to go back to the 
second column and investigate into the cause of the late firing. 
Not deeming it prudent to take the nearest way through the 
woods he rode back, and followed in the track of the right or 
second column. As soon as the bridge was finished, Riedesel 
informed the different colonels of it by a signal. He then ad- 
vanced across the bridge ; but scarcely had he gone six hundred 
paces when he was obliged to build another one (called No. 
3 '-), in consequence of which the army were again brought to 

1 This bridge was over the creek that ran into the Hudson at a place now called 
Wilbur's basin, about one hundred rods south of the Taylor or Smith house. 
At this time it was quite a large stream, but having been directed into the Cham- 
plain canal, it is now only a muddy ditch. The land on which this is, is now 
owned by Mr. Hoag. 

2 This bridge, according to the Brunswick Journal * before quoted, was about 
1,500 feet south of bridge No. 2 (Wilbur's Basin), fifteen feet north of the first 
canal bridge south of Wilbur's basin. Its site is now occupied by the Champlain 
canal. The Journal says, " The left column resumed its march (from bridge No. 
2), but had scarcely advanced 600 paces t when they were compelled to halt again 
and repair a bridge which had been demolished, etc." This point is an important 
one, from the fiict that it was the extreme southern limit on the river bank, reached 
by Burgoyne's army in his expedition. 

[* This Brunswick Journal "was a semi-oflScial one kept by the Brunswick oflicers 


a halt. The advance guard, the workmen and the party de- 
tailed for the protection of the left wing were, however, relieved — 
thus advancing the regiment Rhetz to the position lately held 
by the regiment Riedesel, the latter occupying the heights 
around Taylor^s house on the other side of the ditch, and those 
in the woods on the cross road where Captain Fredersdorf stood 
with his two companies. For the defense of bridge No. 2, two 
twelve-pounders were brought into position, the six-pounders 
having been taken by the regiment Rhetz for the protection of 
the working party. 

Toward two o^clock in the afternoon Major Bloomfiell of the 
artillery returned. He had accompanied Phillips on his recon- 
noitering expedition, and had now been sent back by him to 
Riedesel with the report that the Brunswick light troops be- 
longing to the advance guard of the right wing were already 
hotly engaged with the enemy, that the latter were drawn up 
in order of battle, and that a general engagement would take 
place that very afternoon. Major Bloomfield was accordingly 
directed to bring back with him a few heavy guns from the 
artillery train, for the support of the right wing ] but scarcely 
had he left, when the fire of musketry began anew. Riedesel, 
having as yet heard nothing from Burgoyne,^ immediately dis- 
patched Captain Willoe to the latter, at the same time posting 
his men so that he could not be taken by surprise. It was of 
the utmost importance that the ground between bridges Nos. 
1 and 2 should be held, as upon that depended the salvation of 
the entire army. Here were the artillery and the supply train ; 

during the war and brought back with them to Gtermany. It affords invaluable 
information for Biking's work, T?ie Auxiliaries in America. This latter work Mr. 
T. W. Field has had translated preparatory to its publication in English. Through 
his great kindness I have been allowed to make quotations from it both for The 
Journals of Mrs. General Biedesel, and also for this work.] 

[t An army on moderately plain ground, takes two feet and a half to a step. This 
would make the distance from bridge No. 3, to bridge No. 3, about 1,600 feet as 
stated above.] 

1 The reader will bear in mind that Burgoyne had advanced toward Freeman's 
form with the first or centre column, under Brigadier Hamilton. 


in fact, here, near Taylor's house, was the main position. This 
point was occupied by the regiment Riedesel, which had for its 
support two six-pounders, under Captain Pausch, posted in an 
advantageous position, a little in advance. Some Indians, run- 
ning across the woods and mountains from the right wing, 
reported that a few regiments of the enemy had marched to 
within a short distance of the left wing. This story, moreover, 
was the more credible, as some rebel patrols, who had been 
seen on the plain, had shot the horse of a dragoon while acting 
as sentry. In the meantime the firing lasted until live o'clock 
in the afternoon, when Captain Willoe returned with a message 
from Burgoyne to the effect that Riedesel, after reenforcing his 
position near the river as much as possible, should take the 
rest of his troops and attack the flank of the enemy near Free- 
man's farm.' Riedesel, accordingly, immediately selected for 
this purpose two companies from the regiment Rhetz, and the 
whole of his own regiment, together with two cannons — their 
places being filled by the remaining three companies of the 
regiment Rhetz. Leaving Brigadier Specht with the 47th and 
the heavy artillery in command on the river, Riedesel took 
the road behind bridge No. 2, and crossed the new one No. 3, 
leading to the plaio. Here he stationed a guard. After cross- 
ing the bridge, he hastened, with two companies of the regiment 
Rhetz as an advanced guard, as quickly as possible on a road, 
one and a half English miles long, through the woods till he 
arrived on an eminence, from the tpp of which he could see the 
engagement of the right wing. The enemy were posted on a 
corner of the woods, having on his right flank for a defense a 
deep muddy ditch, the bank of which had been rendered inac- 
cessible by stones, underbrush and barricades. In front of this 
corner of the forest, and entirely surrounded by dense woods, 
was a vacant space, on which the English regiments were 

^ The locality thus deeignated yet retaine the name of Freeman^s farm, and is 
owned and occupied (1867) by a former of the name of Ehenezer Leggett. 


drawn up in line. The struggle was for the possession of this 
vacant space, on which, by the way. Freeman's farm was situ- 
ated. It had already been in possession of both parties, and 
now served as a support for the left flank of the English right 
wing, the right flank being covered by the corps of Eraser and 
Breymann. The 9th served as a reserve. 

When General Riedesel arrived on the eminence, the battle 
was raging the fiercest. The Americans, far superior in num- 
bers, had, for the sixth time, hurled fresh troops against the 
three English regiments — the 20th, 21st and 62d. The guns 
on this wing were already silenced, there being no more ammu- 
nition and all the artillerymen -having been either killed or 
wounded. The three brave English regiments had been, by 
the steady fire of fresh relays of the enemy, thinned down to 
one-half, and now formed a small band surrounded by heaps of 
dead and wounded. This was the scene presented to the view 
of Riedesel on his arrival on the height. Every moment he 
expected to see the little band either captured or annihilated 
by the Americans. Quickly, and without waiting for the rest 
of his troops — with drums beating and his men shouting 
"hurrah!" — he attacked the enemy on the double quick. 
Posting his troops at the edge of the above mentioned ditch, he 
sent such a well directed volley among the Americans, that 
those troops who were coming out of the woods, and about to 
fall upon the English, were startled and turned back. The 
British, animated with fresh courage, pressed forward at the 
point of the bayonet. Meanwhile, Captain Pausch arrived with 
his guns at the right moment, and forming into line with the 
English, opened fire with grape shot. The regiment Riedesel 
also arrived at the nick of time, and, joining the two companies 
on the ditch, considerably extended the line of fire. 

The English had thrown a bridge across the ditch for the 
purpose of keeping up the necessary connection with the left 
wing. General Riedesel, therefore, after posting his two com- 
panies on the edge of the ditch, galloped toward the bridge, in 


order to confer with Generals Burgoyne and Phillips. Thence 
he sent orders to his troops to do their best to cross the ditch 
and unite with the English. The Brunswickers, having suc- 
ceeded in spite of its apparent impossibility in accomplishing 
this feat, immediately poured another volley of musketry into 
the enemy's flank, accompanying it with a " hurrah ! " This 
was the turning point ) for the English and Germans, throwing 
themselves upon the enemy in the woods, repulsed them. 
Scarcely, however, was the engagement over in this quarter, 
when firing began again on the right. A few American bri- 
gades had endeavored to surround the right wing, but Lieutenant 
Colonel Breymann, being on his guard, received them with a 
vigorous fire, and compelled them to retreat after a few dis- 
charges. General Fraser, who was a witness of this, gives the 
most splendid acknowledgments to the German troops in a 
general circular to all the English generals. 

Only one hundred of the enemy's dead were on the battle 
field at the close of the engagement ; for he had had time and 
opportunity to remove most of his killed and wounded. Deserters 
reported that the Americans had had their whole force engaged, 
having left only eight hundred men to garrison their camp. 
They were commanded on this occasion by General Arnold. 
The English and Germans remained during the night on the 
battle field. Riedesel, however, returned at nine in the evening 
to the left wing which he found encamped. The Hesse Hanau 
regiment was ordered to quit its position on the cross road, and 
take up another one near bridge No 2, hitherto occupied by 
the regiment Specht — the latter, with two cannon, moving on to 
the height where the three companies of the regiment Rhetz had 
until now been stationed. 

Thus had General Riedesel, with his German troops, once more 
saved the English from a great misfortune, having unquestionably 
decided the engagement in their favor. Notwithstanding, how- 
ever, the praise which the German troops received for their 
bravery on this occasion, General Burgoyne, and a few other 


English commanders, regarded the German general with secret 
envy. Indeed, they would gladly have passed over his merits, 
had such a thing been possible. British pride did not desire 
the acknowledgment of bravery other than their own, as we 
shall see more plainly in the future, i 

General Burgoyne resolved, after this engagement, to advance 
no farther for the present, but to await the movements of 
General Howe for the union of both armies. He concluded, 
therefore, to post his army in such a position, that while it 
would be secure from an attack, it might be free to undertake 
other operations. Accordingly, on the 20th, he inspected, with 
his other generals, the entire region of country which had been 
hitherto occupied by his three columns. The result of this 
inspection was the posting of the army from Freeman's farm 
across the woods and hills as far as Taylor's house, in front of 
bridge No. 2, and thence to the Hudson. At' the same time 
for the defense of the right wing, a redoubt was thrown up on 
the late battle field near the corner of the woods, that had been 
occupied by the enemy, this side of the ditch. The defense of 
this ditch was entrusted to the corps of Fraser, who were to 
occupy the same position that the Germans had done on the day 
of the battle. The reserve corps of Breymann was posted the 
other side of the ditch, both for the protection of the right flank 

* In Stedman^g History of the American War we find the best evidences of the 
statement in the text. In describing this engagement, for instance, he makes not 
the least mention of General Riedescl and his flank attack. " The surrounding of 
the right wing," he says, " was frastrated by General Fraser." He flirther adds, 
" The German troops, in consequence of their position, the leaving of which was 
not considered advisable, dUi not take a great part in this engagement After the 
commencement of this action, General Phillips ipade his way through the dense 
woods, a proceeding that was of great advantage." We will not make any ftirther 
explanations, but leave it to the decision of the reader. — Note in the original. 

Mrs. General Riedesel, with a few of the ofllccrs' wives, who had followed the 
army, was near the field of action, and knew that their husbands were in the contest. 
It was the first time she had stood this test ; and, notwithstanding her courage, she 
suffered the most intense anguish during these trying hours. She has described 
her situation very graphically and in detail in her letters and Journals^ to which 
the reader is referred. 


of Fraser's division and for the defense of a road leading from 
this point to the rear of the army. The right wing of the Eng- 
lish brigade was placed in close proximity to the left wing of 
Fraser, thus extending the line to the left as far as bridge No. 
2. The road, on which Riedesel had hastened to the succor of 
the British, the previous day, was therefore now in the rear of 
the army. The left wing was also extended to a considerable 
eminence. The Hesse Hanau regiment kept its position on the 
cross road behind bridge No. 2. The 47th and the corps of pro- 
vincials remained in its old position for the defense of the 
ground between bridges No. 2, and No. 3,^ where the artillery 
and supply trains were placed. General Burgoyne took up his 
head quarters in the centre of the army. The entire front was 
covered by a deep, muddy ditch running nine hundred paces in 
front of the outposts of the left wing, but, at the same time, 
being so near the centre, that the outposts were on the farther 
side. This ditch ran in a curve around the right wing of the 
English brigade, thereby separating Fraser*s corps from the 
main body. The space between them was filled up with 
artillery and a few detachments. Near the water, about four 
hundred paces from bridge No. 3, was a corner of the forest 
extending down the hills, behind which the enemy had his 
outposts. There was also a detachment of the Hesse Hanau 
regiment stationed behind some embankments, for the de- 
fense of bridge No. 3. This was the new camp of Freeman's 

The beating of the reveilU in the enemy's camp could be 

1 See note a few pages back, in reference to the site of bridges Nos. 1, 2, and 8. 

2 The following, also, is the description of the forces as given in the AvxUiaries 
taken from the Brunswick Journal, Although it does not differ essentially from 
the one in the text (taken from General RiedesePs Journal) it ftimishes additional 
details, besides proving most conclusively the falsity of the statement generally 
made, that Burgoyne's head quarters were at TayUrr^s house. Vide note on the 
Taylor or Smith house a few pages back. 

" The encampment, after the action, extended from Freeman's farm through the 
forest, over the ridge of a hill up to the height behind Taylor's house ; and from 
the bridge No. 2, down to the Hudson. On the right wing, near the ravine, where 


heard by the left wing, whence it was conjectured that their 
right wing could not be far distant from the ditch near the 
camp of the Germans. The Americans were, therefore, nearer 
to the latter than to the English. In order, however, to ascer- 
tain the position of the enemy with more certainty as well as to 
force them, by a movement of the left wing, to vacate this side, 
the English general, at daybreak of the 21st, ordered one thou- 
sand working men, under the supervision of two engineers, to 
cut a road through the woods in the direction where the Ame- 
ricans were supposed to be encamped. The same number of 

the engagement of the preceding day had taken place, a redoubt was thrown up. 
Fraser^B corps was also stationed there, that is to say, on the spot, where, daring 
the action, RiedesePs seven companies had been placed. On the other side of the 
ravine stood the reserve under Breymann, to cover the right flank.* Behind Fra- 
ser^s left flank the right wing of the British brigades began, and thence the entire 
line of the army stretched across the hills up to Taylor's house before bridge No. 2. 
On the left wing there was a height from which the entire breadth of the vaUey 
from the river up to bridge No. 3 could be swept by shot. The regiment of Hesse 
Hanau was to keep its position in the valley on the cross road behind bridge No. 2, 
having its outermost posts near the bridge No. 8. The 47th Regiment and the corps 
of provincials, together with the few Indians that still remained with the army 
were also directed to defend the valley, and were stationed between the bridges 1 
and 2, where the train and hospitals were also placed. 

" Burgoyne camped between the English and German troops of Biedesel on the 
heights at the left wing. The entire front was protected by a deep, marshy ditch, 
with an undergrowth of wood along its side ; said ditch running close to the line 
in the centre and winding off around the right flank, so that it cut its way between 
said flank and Fraser's division. The empty space left in this manner, was 
covered by guards and batteries. To the left the ditch lost itself in the valley near 
the declivity of the hills, at the distance of 300 paces on the other side of the chain 
of sentries. Behind the ditch, palisades and barricades of immense trees, cut down, 
rose up — for trees were close at hand. In the valley, about 400 paces beyond the 
outer bridge No. 3, the angle of a forest extended along the Hudson, and ran 
through the hollow as far up as the declivity of the hill, and behind said angle or 
edge of the forest, the Americans had stationed their most advanced outposts in 
the valley. To protect the bridge No. 8, one officer and forty men of the Hesse 
Hanau regiment stood entrenched on the road, with a subaltern guard of ten men 
posted at some distance before them in a house with loop holes. Each regiment 
had to detach one picket, which was stationed 1,000 paces in advance of its front ; 
and between said picket and the camp were the outposts. For the protection of 
these outposts triangular redoubts were thrown up. Such, pretty nearly, was the 
disposition of the camp at Freeman's fabm." 

[* This spot is now called by the farmers Bubgoykb's hill. See note some 
pages in advance.] 



troops from the centre, and as many more from the left wing 
accompanied this party as a guard. The working party, after 
making a road on the left wing as far as the ditch, were at- 
tacked by a force of one hundred rebels, who, however, were 
driven back. But the tumult, thus occasioned, caused Bur- 
goyne to call the army to arms, in which position it remained 
two hours. As soon as all was again quiet, the army returned 
into its camp. 

It was a very difficult task for the English commander to fill up 
the thinned ranks of those three English regiments that had borne 
the brunt of the last engagement. He finally determined, for 
the present at least, until reenforcements arrived, to fill up their 
ranks with provincials, having first gained the consent of their 
commanders. Captains Petersen, Yessop, Makelzy, and McKay, 
to the step, upon giving them a written promise that their men 
should be dismissed by the 25th of the December following. 

During the interval between the 21st and the 22d, a pontoon 
bridge was constructed alongside of bridge No. 2, under the 
direction of Captain Schenck. This was done to facilitate the 
communication of the army with the opposite bank. During 
the night, considerable noise and hallooing was heard in the 
American camp. This, in connection with the fact that at six 
o'clock of the previous evening firing had been heard, led the 
army to suppose that some holiday was being celebrated. On 
the morning of the 22d, some loyal Albanians reached the army. 
The next morning the army received orders to be under arms 
every morning one hour before dawn as long as it remained in its 
present camp. A courier from General Howe arrived the same 
day with dispatches to Burgoyne, which the latter kept secret. 
Riedesel, however, learned among other things, that Howe had 
sent a corps up the Hudson in ships, under the command of 
General Clinton, for the purpose of getting in the rear of the 
Americans ; also, that Howe promised to send some more news 
in about eight days. 

The work of fortifying the camp was continued daily. On 


the 23d, a pUice d^armes was laid out in front of the regi* 
ments, which was also fortified as much as possible and 
strengthened with batteries, the army having abundance of 
artillery. In front of the line in the woods, trees were felled 
to within a distance of one hundred paces; while between 
bridges Nos. 1 and 2, large embankments and redoubts were 
thrown up. More than one thousand men were employed for 
fourteen days on this work. In the night of the 23d, a great 
deal of noise was again heard in the American camp. This 
time, however, it may have proceeded from working parties, as 
the most common noise was the rattling of teams. From the 
fact, also, that human voices were heard, it is evident that the 
enemy must have been very near the other side of the ditch. 
Indeed, detachments of the enemy came close to the outposts, 
but were driven back by the patrols. 

On the 23d, Burgoyne sent the Brunswick Captain, Gerlach, 
with a strong detachment of provincials, on a reconnoitering 
expedition, to the opposite bank of the Hudson, for the purpose 
of ascertaining more exactly the real position of the enemy. 
He was to ascertain especially, if something could not be done 
against the enemy's right wing, provided the roads were in a 
suitable condition. He returned in the evening, and reported 
that he had been beyond the right wing of the Americans, but 
could not find out their position, otherwise than that he sup< 
posed they were encamped in two lines. According, also, to 
his report, they had no bridge across the river, but a ferry four 
miles in their rear. 

On the morning of this day (the 23d) the outposts of the 
left wing and of the corps of Fraser and Breymann were 
attacked by a larger force than on the previous occasion. In a 
skirmish near the water, the enemy were repulsed, though with a 
loss of three men. Several of the Americans were also wounded ; 
and a patrol of the regiment Khetz brought in four prisoners. 
The same morning the wagons in which Riedesel had sent cloth- 
ing to those Brunswick officers who had been captured, returned 


at ten o'clock. General Gates gave the servant of the late Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Baum his liberty ; a circumstance which caused 
the man to break forth in such laudations in the camp, that it 
was feared the fellow might induce some of the soldiers to desert. 
He said that the sick and wounded prisoners were still in Ben- 
nington, but the well ones had been taken to Springfield. A few 
loyal Albanians, who arrived at this time in the camp, reported 
that General Howe had lately gained some advantage over Wash- 
nington, whose army was near its dissolution. A deserter, who 
soon after came into camp, confirmed this report. 

The noises in the American camp continued the following 
night, and the outposts were again troubled. On the morning 
of the 26th, Burgoyne sent an officer, with a detachment of 
Indians and light troops, in the direction of the enemy by a 
circuitous way. This officer succeeded in gaining the rear of 
the Americans, but failed to learn anything of their position. 
He came across a party of the enemy which he repulsed ; and 
the Indians, as usual, brought in a few scalps. The description 
given by the servant of the late Lieutenant Colonel Baum, in 
regard to the amiable and pleasant deportment of General Gates, 
was in no wise extravagant. The latter soon gave another proof 
of this. The captured cornet, Graef, of the dragoons, soon after 
arrived, on the morning of the 28th, on the outskirts of the 
camp, in the company of Colonel Wilkinson, the adjutant 
general of General Gates. The former only was admitted. 
The object of Wilkinson's visit was to see about the exchange 
of a captured American colonel. In this, however, he was 
unsuccessful, as the colonel was then in England. General 
Gates wrote an extremely polite and agreeable letter to Bur- 
goyne and Riedesel, and allowed Cornet Graef to remain five 
days in the English camp. Horatio Gates was a native of 
England, had formerly been in the British service, and had 
distinguished himself at the capture of Martinique. ^ He after- 

1 Tide Stone's Ufe and Times qfSir WUUam Johnson. 


ward left the army, went to America, and bought land in 
Virginia. Upon the breaking out of the rebellion in 1775, he 
entered the American service, and found another opportunity 
of using his military talents. He was a man of high culture, 
and very amiable. We shall soon speak further of this general. 

Many things, hitherto unknown, were gathered from Graef. 
Among other items, he stated that a short time since the Ame- 
ricans, under General Lincoln, had attempted to surprise the 
two forts at Ticonderoga. In their main object they had been 
unsuccessful, though they had captured four companies of the 
53d, besides driving an officer and his men out of a log house, 
and getting possession of a ship and one bateau. This was 
the occasion of the firing and noise heard in the enemy's camp 
during the night of the 21st.i 

At nine in the evening of the same day (the 28th) an out- 
post of the Hesse Hanau regiment near the river was surprised 
and driven back by a party of fifty men who had come suddenly 
upon them through a field of corn ; but being at once reenforced, 
they forced the Americans to retreat, and reoccupied their former 

The situation of General Burgoyne already began to grow 
dangerous. The outposts were more and more molested; the 
army was weakened by sick, wounded, and the sending off of 
detachments ; the enemy swarmed in its rear, threatening the 
strongest positions ; the army was as good as cut off from its 
outposts ; while in addition to all this, in consequence of the 
close proximity of the enemy's camp, the soldiers had but little 
rest. To prevent unnecessary alarms as far as possible, Bur- 
goyne ordered the two generals, ^ commanding the two wings, 
to station an adjutant at each outpost, under whom should be 
the patrols. An alarm was then only to be given when one of 

^ The reader cannot fail to notice the extraordinary fitct that Burgoyne was 
indebted to an enemy in his front for information respecting his own posts in his 
rear. Did his Indian scouts play him false, or was it bad generalship f 

3 Brigadier Hamilton of the right, and General Biedesel of the left wing. 


these adjutants thought it necessary. Accordingly a staff officer 
was dispatched during the day for the purpose. But that which 
weakened the army still more, was the growing desertions. The 
Americans had sent agents into the English camp who endea- 
vored to induce the soldiers, by all kinds of representations, to 
desert ; and it being already known that the Americans treated 
their prisoners very kindly, and that they were not as strict in 
their discipline as the Europeans, the agents here and there 
found a willing ear. The want, moreover, of everything to 
which the English soldier especially, was accustomed, and the 
hard service, made matters worse yet. There were already, 
besides the sick who were with the regiment, eight hundred 
men in the hospital, the most of whom were wounded. On the 
other hand, Genei*al Gates was enabled to strengthen his army 
constantly by fresh reenforcements. It was also ascertained at 
this time, that General Lincoln, after his last expedition, had 
brought in thirteen hundred new men. The lack of forage was 
first felt in the English army ; and its general soon found him- 
self obliged, on the 30th, to send out a foraging party of two 
hundred and fifty men with a six-pounder, under Major Von 
Lucke. They foraged on the other side of the Hudson, behind 
the left wing, and were not troubled in the least by the enemy. 
On the same day, a courier, sent by Colonel St. Leger, ar- 
rived from Ticonderoga. He had been obliged to make his 
way through the woods in order to elude the vigilance of the 
many war parties of the enemy. The colonel wrote that he 
would start on his march to the army in a few days ; that the 
Brunswick recruits had arrived at Ticonderoga; and that 
Brigadier Powell was thinking of retaining them as a reenforce- 
ment of that garrison. His report in regard to the expedition 
of the enemy under General Lincoln, agreed perfectly with the 
story of Cornet Graef. The four companies, which had been 
captured, were the same who had defended the new road. 
Powell had learned the fact of their capture only two days 
afterwards, when Lincoln, with the cannon which he had cap- 


tured, fired upon the log house and displayed the daring 
courage of marching in front of forts Carillon and Independence 
and summoning the commanders to surrender. This demand 
being refused, he made four different assaults on as many 
different days; but all proving abortive he marched off. On 
his retreat, he attempted to capture Diamond island ^ in Lake 
George, but being bravely received by the commander, Captain 
Obry of the 47th, he was compelled to make a precipitate 
retreat having lost about sixty men in killed and wounded. 
Captain Obry pursued, and recaptured the ship and bateau. 

As we have before mentioned, Burgoyne sent patrols from 
the left wing to the rear of the Americans for the purpose of 
ascertaining their position. The Americans did the same thing. 
They sent patrols around the right wing of the English, and 
even had the audacity to come up close behind the head quarters 
in the centre. On the 1st of October, a few English soldiers, 
who were digging potatoes in a field five hundred paces in the 
rear of head quarters, were suddenly surprised by the enemy, 
who suddenly issued from the woods and carried off the men in 
the very faces of their comrades. For these sallies the Ameri- 
cans also generally employed Indians who were called Stock- 
bridges. Many soldiers disappeared in this manner whenever 
they dared go beyond the line of guards to procure food or 
other necessaries from the inhabitants of the neighborhood. 
In order to guard against this, Riedesel issued the strictest 
orders to the Germans never to go beyond the line of outposts 
without special permission. Patrols of dragoons were also 
detached to ride over the roads in the rear of the army and 
arrest every man whom they should find. For the safety of the 
head quarters, moreover, some fortifications were thrown up 
and several of the outposts pushed farther into the woods. 

Nothing as yet being known respecting the position of the 

1 It will be remembered that this island had been made a magazine for the stores, 
etc., of the British army. See a few pages back. 


enemy, the occasion of the retnrn of Cornet Graef into the 
American camp was made use of for this purpose. According 
to custom he was accompanied by an officer as far as the out- 
posts of the enemy. Captain Gerlach was the one selected for 
this mission, and he did his best to find out something about 
the Americans. He arrived unmolested in front of their out- 
posts, but gained nothing whatever, as a dense wood prevented 
him from seeing anything. He, therefore, returned without 
accomplishing his object, although he had been two thousand 
paces beyond the outposts of the English. The same day 
General Riedesel went out on a reconnoitering expedition with 
the yagers. His intention was to explore the course of the 
ditch, and he did succeed in gaining the other side ; but the 
bank was so steep and covered with such dense thickets that 
nobody could get through, and he also was forced to return 
without having accomplished his purpose. 
• Meanwhile Burgoyne still kept the men at work on the 
fortifications. On the morning of the 4th of October, the 47th 
was ordered to throw up a new line of embankments toward 
bridge No. 1. The pontoons were defended by the sailors who 
were daily drilled for the purpose. There were now only suffi- 
cient rations for sixteen days ) and foraging parties, necessarily 
composed of a large number of men, were sent out every day. At 
length General Burgoyne found himself obliged to cut down the 
daily rations from a pound and a half of bread, and the same 
quantity of meat, to a pound of bread and a pound of meat ; 
and, as he had heard nothing either of Howe or Clinton, not- 
withstanding the former's promise to send word in the course 
of eight days, he began to be seriously alarmed. In the eve- 
ning of the 4th he had a conference with the generals, Phillips, 
Riedesel and Fraser, in respect to future operations. The 
subjects of consultation were the strength of the enemy, who 
outnumbered him four to one, his ignorance of their position, 
the lateness of the season, the scarcity of provisions, and the 
nonreception of intelligence from General Clinton. Several 


plans were proposed by him by which he hoped to extricate 
himself from these difficulties. His idea was as follows : To 
surround the left flank of the enemy ; and, after leaving eight 
hundred men for the defense of the ground between bridges 
Nos. 1 and 2, endeavor to get in its rear. This proposition 
caused considerable controversy ; for the question arose whether 
eight hundred men would be sufficient for the purpose assigned 
them. The safety of the whole army depended upon this ; for 
if this force should be beaten and the bridges in its rear 
taken, then the entire army would be completely cut off; and 
even if this detachment held its ground the position might still 
be lost — since, as three or four days were necessary to get 
round through the woods and pathless thickets, the enemy 
would have abundance of time to mass his force on this spot, 
when he would, in all probability, capture the men and destroy 
the two bridges — the only means of retreat. Such a hazard- 
ous undertaking must be thoroughly considered ; and it was, 
therefore, agreed to inspect carefully on the next day the forti- 
fications in that place, and the surrounding country. 

During the night of the 5th, the pickets were again attacked, 
and one-half of the troops of the left wing remained under 

On the morning of the following day, the generals, in conse- 
quence of yesterday's consultation, rode to the designated spot. 
Here they found considerable fault, both in regard to the 
manner in which the fortifications had been located, and the 
place chosen for the artillery and supply trains. Three of the 
fortifications not only were built too large, but were not pro- 
portionately adapted for defense, since, it being impossible for 
their guns to reach the valleys between the hills, the enemy 
could debouch from the woods on to the ground without being 
obliged to take the batteries on the heights. The generals met 
again in the evening of the same day to continue their consulta- 
tions. General Riedesel suggested that if it were impossible to 
get in the enemy's rear in one day, it would be more advisable 



to recross the Hudson, and again occupy their old position 
behind the Battenkill. Thus, not only would the communica- 
tion with Lake George be regained, but the arrival of Clinton's 
army from the south could be safely awaited. The other 
generals were also in favor of this suggestion ; but Burgoyne, 
regarding a retrograde movement as disgraceful, at first would 
not hear to it. Subsequently, however, he said that on the 7th, 
he would undertake another great reconnoitering expedition 
against the enemy's left wing, to ascertain definitely his position, 
and whether it would be advisable to attack him. Should the 
latter be the case, he intended to advance on the enemy on the 
8th with his entire army ) but if he should not think an attack 
advisable, then he would, on the 11th, march back to the Bat- 

On the 6th, a force of Americans, numbering five to six 
hundred men, again attacked the entire line of outposts, driving 
back those of them that were farthest advanced. At first only 
small detachments were sent to their support as their assailants 
soon retreated. The latter were pursued by a party of Indians 
and provincials up to the very pickets of the enemy, the first of 
which were driven in. The Indians advanced as far as a few 
sheds, which they fired. A little distance beyond these sheds 
was a house, in which, at this time, there happened to be a few 
American generals, who, hearing the approaching commotion, 
hastily mounted their horses and quickly galloped off. A few 
of the Indians, who had approached nearest the house, sent a 
few bullets after them, one of which wounded one of the officers. 
The house was then set on fire. In this skirmish, several were 
wounded on both sides, and four prisoners were taken by the 

At ten o'clock in the morning of the 7th, rations and liquor 
for four days having been previously issued to the army, General 
Burgoyne, with fifteen hundred men and eight cannon, started 
on his reconnoitering expedition, accompanied by Generals llied- 
esel, Phillips and Fraser. The troopp, on this occasion, were 


taken from all the regiments except the 47th. All the Indians 
(one hundred and eighty) and the corps of provincials crossed 
the right flank in a large circuit through the woods. The 
detachment itself, divided into three columns, advanced toward 
the right to within a quarter of an hour's march of the enemy's 
camp. The first picket, which was met near Waisser's house, 
was driven in, and the eminence, on which it had stood, occupied. 
The British were then placed in such a position, that the smallness 
of their numher was concealed as much as possible. In this situa- 
tion they remained for an hour and a half, during which interval 
the generals consulted together as to the manner in which the 
reconnoissance should be continued. Toward three in the after- 
noon, the yagers discovered near a house, that lay a little way 
in advance and was separated from them by a ditch, a small body 
of the Americans. The latter, however, grew stronger and 
stronger ; and Burgoyne, supposing they meant to oppose his 
further advance, fired his two twelve-pounders at them several 
times, but without producing the least effect. On the contrary, 
they continued to increase in numbers. Finally, at four in the 
afternoon, they attacked his left wing with great spirit, soon 
forcing the English grenadiers, who were stationed in the woods 
at this point, to retreat. They next threw their entire force 
upon the centre, which was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel 
Specht, and consisted of three hundred men. But even then, 
Specht, who had already withstood the attack for a long time, 
would have maintained his ground, had not Lord Balcarras been 
called back through a misunderstanding. His flanks, however, 
were now exposed — the enemy were on his sides and front — 
and to avoid being cut off", he was obliged to retreat, i This he 

1 The account of this portion of the action is mnch ftiller and clearer in the AuxUi- 
aries ; and, as each account is the complement of the other, and should be read 
together for a ftill understanding of the battle, the one in the Aitxiliaries is here 

'^ At four o^ clock in the afkemoon the Americans attacked the left wing, com- 
posed of the grenadiers under command of Mi^or Ackland, who were posted 
in the wood, with such resolution, that they were obliged to give ground. lien- 


accomplished in good order. The Americans now advanced with 
more vehemence and in greater numbers ; and the detachment 
was nearly surrounded when Burgoyne determined to retreat 
to the great redoubt ^ on the right wing. Scarcely was this 
point reached, when the enemy attacked it with the same vigor 
they had hitherto shown, but without success. Another body 
at the same time attacked the embankments of Breymann's 

tenant Colonel Specht, who stood in the centre of the line with three hnndred Ger- 
mans, and whose left flank was exposed by the retreating of the grenadiers, ordered 
the two regiments of Rhetz and Hesse Hanaa to form a carve ; and, supported by 
the artillery, he thus covered his flank which was in imminent danger. He main- 
tained himself long and bravely in this precarious position, and would have stood 
his ground still longer, had he not been separated from the right wing, under Lord 
Balcarras, in consequence of the latter being unexpectedly commanded to take up 
another position with his light infantry. Thus Specht's right flank was as much 
exposed as his left. The brunt of the action now fell entirely on the Germans, who 
had to sustain alone the impetuous onset. The balls struck within their lines from 
three different sides. The three captains, Fredersdorf, Gleisenberg, Dahlstiena, 
and Ensign Geyling of Hesse Hanan fell dangerously wounded. The two cannons 
of Hesse Hanau were taken by the enemy. 

*' Brigadier General Fraser, who, until then, had been stationed more to the right, 
with one-half of the English grenadiers, the light infantry and the 24th Regiment, 
perceived in what danger the centre was, and hurried on to its succor with the 24th 
Begiment. But scarcely had he appeared on the scene of action, when he was 
mortally wounded by a rifle ball. He sank down from his horse, and was borne 
away from the field. Thereupon Major Forster took the command of Fraser' s 
troops, but as he was as yet separated from the centre, he, too, was charged in front 
and on his two flanks. He also was exposed to the most galling fire, till at last Bur- 
goyne gave the order to retreat to the great redoubt." 

The grenadiers, under Ackland, were stationed a few yards to the left, and at the 
foot of an eminence now (186T) covered by an orchard, about two rods east of the 
road leading from Quaker springs to Stillwater, and twenty rods southeast of the 
house now (1867) occupied by Joseph Rogers. The Germans — who were the centre — 
under Specht, and the cannons of Hesse Hanau, were posted on top of this eminence — 
where is now the orchard. Thus the grenadiers, under Ackland, were to the left 
of the Germans. It was here, therefore, on the top of the eminence, that the hottest 
part of the first of this battle was fought, and where Ackland was wounded. Fraser 
was shot midway between the orchard and Rogers's house. A bass-wood tree now 
marks the spot. This tree is a shoot out of the stump of the tree that stood at the 
time where Fraser fell. 

1 This redoubt was three rods south of the present bam yard of Mr. Ebenezer 
Leggett, whose house — as mentioned in a preceding note — stands on the old clear- 
ing of Freeman, the site of the first action of the 19th of September. Balls and 
skeletons are still picked up on this spot. I myself, this summer (1867) picked up 
four grape shot on the site of the redoubt. 


division in front ^ and on the left flank. The grenadiers com- 
posing this corps, fought bravely, but being only two hundred 
strong, and their commander — the chivalric Breymann — being 
shot dead, they were compelled to retreat. . This latter misfor- 
tune was owing to the fact that the Canadian companies, belong- 
ing to the reconnoitering expedition, were absent from their place, 
by the side of this corps, part of them being in the great redoubt, 
and the others not having returned to their position. Had they 
been in their places, it would have been impossible to surround 
the left flank of Breymann. Specht, coming up at this moment, 
endeavored to retake the entrenchments captured by the Ame- 
ricans ; but, night intervening, he not only failed to accomplish 
this, but in the general confusion, was taken prisoner along 
with a few other officers. As soon as it grew dark, the enemy 
desisted from their attack upon the fortifications and retreated. 
In this action, both General Arnold and General Fraser were 
severely wounded. There were also heavy losses upon both 
sides. The cannon, with the exception of two howitzers, fell 
into the hands of the Americans ; also the six-pounders which 
were in the entrenchments of Breymann. 

General Burgoyne, having now resolved to retreat to the 

* The traces of Breymann' s intrenchments are yet to be seen very plainly. They 
lie about twenty rods northwest of Mr. Leggett's house. The place is elevated 
considerably by nature, and is known among the fiirmers in the vicinity as Bur- 
goyne's hill. This, however, is a misnomer. Properly, it is Breymann's hill. It 
was at the northwest comer of this eminence that Arnold was wounded. 

It will be seen from this account of the action of October 7th — which is made up 
entirely of Riedesel's own journal —that the name " battle of Semis's heights " — 
which has hitherto obtained when designating the scene of action, is entirely errone- 
ous, and calculated to seriously mislead. The first action, on the 19th of September, 
was — as is well known — fought on Freeman's farm. But, with a few exceptions, 
it has always been supposed, even by the best informed writers on the subject, 
that the second battle of the 7th of October, was fought on, or at the base of BemWs 
flights. The original maps of this action, however, as well as Riedesel's journal 
show, that the action began on ground about two hundred rods southwest of the 
site of the first battle at Freeman's farm, and ended on the same ground on which 
the first action was fought. Thus Bemis's heights is fully one mile and a half south 
of the battle ground. In &ct, all the interest that attaches to these heights is, that 
they were the head quarters of General Gtotes during, and a short time previous to 
the action. 



Battenkill, had the tents taken down daring the night as quietly 
aa possible, the whole army meanwhile remaining under arms. 
On the following morning (the 8th) the army left its fortified 
camp before daybreak, and marched toward the ground between 
bridges Nos. 1 and 2, in order to cover the train and hospital. 
The pickets behind their respective brigades formed the rear 
guard until the approach of day when they rejoined their 
several regiments. Scarcely had the outposts left their stations 
when the .Americans, occupying them, threatened to attack the 
army in its new position. The latter was, of course, obliged to 
remain until the departure of the teams, and especially the 
hospital, which, otherwise, would have been exposed to the 
enemy's fire. The whole of the day was occupied by these 
preparations for the march, all of which were accomplished 
under the fire of the Americans. The outposts were conse- 
quently kept engaged with the enemy, and the cannons con- 
tinually fired to prevent the latter's advance. 

To prevent the army being molested in the rear, Burgoyne, at 
twelve M., sent Lieutenant Colonel Southerland with the 9th 
and 47th, toward Swords's house; the light troops, hitherto 
stationed there, preceding the main body to reconnoitre the 
roads. As soon as it had grown dark, the pontoons were 
quietly taken up ) and at ten o'clock, the advance guard, led 
by Riedesel, began its march. Its rendezvous was near Swords's 
house, whence it marched in the following order : The Indians 
and provincials, under Captains Fraser and McKay, the extreme 
van ; then came the Brunswickers and the light battalion ; 
then the two English regiments under Lieutenant Colonel 
Southerland ; then the heavy artillery and all the teams of the 
army ; last of all General Burgoyne with the rest of the army 
in two columns. The Germans were consequently ahead, and 
Lord Balcarras, with the English regiments, in the rear. The 
bateaux, with the remaining stores, followed the main body on 
the right bank of the Hudson. As it was impossible, with the 
lack of transportation, to take along the hospital, numbering 


over eight hundred sick and wounded, and it being equally 
difficult to defend so long a line of march, these unfortunates 
had to be left to the magnanimity of the enemy. Doctor Hess 
remained with them, and a letter of recommendation was given 
him to General Gates. 

During the time that the army was lying in the camp at 
Freeman's farm, Mrs. General Eiedesel occupied a little house 
about an hour's march behind the army. She was accustomed 
to visit her husband every morning at the camp to inquire 
after his health. Sometimes he came over, accompanied by a 
few officers, and took dinner with her. As the season had 
become more inclement, a house twenty feet square, made of 
logs, filled in with clay, was built for Mrs. Riedesel. It was 
called the Block house, and was situated very near her 
husband's camp.i She was to have moved into it the very day 
that the army began the retreat. 

It was three o'clock in the afternoon when General Fraser, 
mortally wounded, was brought up from the field on a clumsy 
litter into the house, where Mrs. Riedesel, in great anguish, 
awaited the termination of events. The pine table was quickly 
cleared off and carried out of the room, its place being supplied 
by a bed on which the wounded man was laid. Amazing 
change ! On the very spot where the unfortunate general was 
to have sat and partaken of the joyous meal, was now his death 

1 This block houee was Btandlng until within the laet twenty years abont halfway 
between Wilbur's basin and Bemis's heights. It was built after the regular model 
of a block house with the upper story projecting. Hence, the name given it at the 
time. Mr. Losslng in presenting a picture of it in his beautiftil Book qf the Hudson, 
states that Fraser was brought to this house, where he died. But this is mani> 
festly incorrect, and for two reasons: 1st, Mrs. Riedesel says in so many 
words in her journal, that the retreat prevented her occupsong this house ; and, 2d, 
she states that when the corpse was brought out, many of the cannon balls aimed 
at the funeral cortege flew not fiar from her, and that she ^^ distinctly saw her hus- 
band ^' assisting at the burial. It is also stated In the text a few pages on, that 
Mrs. Riedesel saw from her house the obsequies. But this new block house was 
not less than two miles from the place of burial, with dense woods between. The 
block house was also at this time in flames (vide her Journal^ page ISl), although 
the flre was afterwards extinguished. 


bed.i Other wounded men and officers were shortly brought 
in and laid in the hall and other corners of the small house. 
Finally, in the evening, General Riedesel, accompanied by his 
adjutants, called in for a little while to convince his wife that 
he was still safe. As this room was the only one which could 
be occupied by Mrs. Riedesel, her children were obliged to 
sleep in it. She, herself, spent the night with another lady — 
Lady Harriet Ackland, whose husband had been severely 
wounded and captured this same day. 

The dying general was never unconscious. When General 
Riedesel came to him in the evening, he requested that he 
might be buried at four o'clock the next afternoon in the 
embankment No. 1. This had always been with him a favorite 
spot, on account of the beauty of the view. With perfect 
resignation he awaited his end, which he felt confident was 
near at hand. His chief sources of grief were for his wife, and 
for General Burgoyne and his army. At eight o'clock on the 
following morning he expired. After washing the corpse and 
wrapping it in a winding sheet, he was placed on the bed and 
covered up with a sheet. Madame Riedesel, with her children, 
came back into the room after this had been done, and remained 
with the body, as there was no other place for her to stay, 
Burgoyne had the deceased general interred, according to his 
last wish, in the spot selected, with all military honors.'- Not- 
withstanding, the engagement was again renewed on this day, 
Burgoyne and suit were present at the burial, and remained 

1 Thi8 allusion is to the fact that the day of the hattle Fraser was to have dined 
with Mrs. General Riedesel in the company of her husband and General Phillips. 
All of these details, including an extremely graphic and affecting account of Fra- 
eer^s death, are given in full by Mrs. Riedesel in her entertaining Letters and 
Jofumals. Without again referring to this work, we may say here that this book 
ought to be read by every one who peruses these volumes. 

^ This spot is now (1867) marked by two tall pines that stand like two grim 
sentinels over the remains of the gallant general. The hill, on the top of which the 
latter was buried, stands some forty rods west of the river road from Schuylerville 
to Stillwater, and about two hundred rods north of Wilbur's basin (bridge No. 2). 
The Champlain canal passes close to its base. 


while Chaplain Brudenel delivered a lengthy sermon. The 
Americans perceiving the generals gathered upon the height, 
pointed a gun at them ; and during the delivery of the dis- 
course, the cannon balls whizzed over the heads of the mourners. 
Certainly it was a real military funeral — one that was unique 
of its kind.i 

Mrs. General Riedesel from her house could look out upon 
the obsequies. 2 She knew that her husband was there, and 
was in danger from every cannon shot ; that, indeed, he also 
might find his grave on that very spot. Fortunately the Ame- 
ricans fired too high, so that their shots did no execution. 

In order that the retreat of the army might be kept secret 
from the enemy, the troops were ordered to move as quietly as 
possible, and keep the watch fires burning brightly. Riedesel 
arrived at two in the morning with the advance at Dovogat's 
house. Here he received orders from Burgoyne to halt. He 
met at this point his family ] and being completely worn out by 
the exertions of the last few days, and the halt lasting longer 
than he supposed, he entered the carriage of his wife designing 
to rest for a few moments. But resting his head upon his wife's 
shoulder, he slept soundly for three hours. 

Riedesel, like every one else, supposed that this halt of the 
advance guard was only for the purpose of awaiting the main 
body ; but the latter coming up in the course of an hour, and 
Burgoyne ordering them to form into two lines and encamp, 
every one, who had any idea of the position of the army, were 
astonished. The army could easily have marched during the 
entire night, which was not very dark, and have reached Sara- 
toga at daybreak. A bridge across the Hudson could then 
have at once been begun without molestation. It was believed, 

^ Madame Riedesel says in ber book tbat tbe army was prevented from starting 
sooner in consequence of tbis funeral, and tbat General Burgoyne tbereby lost pre- 
cious time. But we have seen, not only tbat the army was occupied in prepara- 
tions for its departure, but tbat Burgoyne did not intend to start before night in 
order to avail himself of the darkness.— Note in the original. 

' Compare note on page 167. 



however, that the army would certainly continue its march hy 
dayhreak ; but Burgoyne ordered it to a position where it was 
forced to remain until four in the afternoon. Thus, the advan- 
tage, which the army had gained, was completely lost by this 
hesitation; for the enemy at once availed themselves of this 
delay to send as many troops as possible behind the English 
across the river ; and thus they not only prevented them from 
building a bridge, but rallied the nearest townships on the 
opposite side, and efFectually opposed the crossing of the army. 
The gathering of the Americans on the eastern shore could 
easily be seen ; while, at the same time, firing on the patrols 
and the bateaux became constantly more frequent. 

At four in the afternoon, the march was resumed ; and it 
was specially ordered that every assistance should be extended 
to the teams which carried the baggage. This last order, how- 
ever, was in vain. It rained all day : the roads, already in a 
terrible condition, rapidly grew worse; and the teams, soon 
sticking fast in the mud, were unable to proceed. Thus, all 
the regiments lost both their teams and baggage. 

In the evening the weary army arrived at Saratoga and 
crossed the Fishkill. The night was dark and cold. The rain 
poured down in torrents; and, wet to the skin, the soldiers were 
forced to encamp. General Burgoyne had his head quarters in 
a house near Saratoga, belonging to the American General 
Schuyler. Hamilton's brigade (the 20th, 21st and 62d), re- 
mained on this side of the Fishkill and were stationed on an 
eminence, south of that creek, for the protection of head quar- 
ters. The bateaux, at the junction of the Fishkill and the 
Hudson, were subjected to the fire of the Americans the entire 

On the 10th of October, the patrols reported to Burgoyne 
that the enemy had taken possession of the Battenkill on the 
opposite bank of the Hudson. That general, therefore, con- 
sidering it too hazardous to attempt the passage of the river, 
ordered the army to take a position for the present on the 


heights of Saratoga until a place could be found for crossing 
the stream. Lieutenant Colonel Southerland, with the 9th 
and 47th, and a few Canadian volunteers under Captain Mc- 
Kay, were detached for this purpose and ordered to repair a 
bridge opposite Fort Edward — Captain Twiss of the engineers 
being sent with the party to superintend the work. 

At two in the afternoon, the Americans occupied Saratoga, 
and Brigadier Hamilton, being no longer able to maintain his 
position, was obliged to wade across the Fishkill and unite with 
the main body. As soon as Burgoyne was forced to leave his 
head quarters. General Schuyler's mansion, together with several 
other houses, were burned to the ground, set on fire by wicked 
hands. 1 Upon reaching Saratoga, the enemy at once took 
possession of the heights just vacated by Hamilton. A few 
brigades of the Americans now attempted to cross the river, 
but were prevented by the English cannon. 

Upon leaving Schuyler's mansion, Burgoyne made his head 
quarters in the centre of the army, but was forced, by a battery 
of the enemy on the opposite bank, to leave the place the same 
evening. The heavily laden bateaux were now emptied of all 
their provisions, as it was found impossible otherwise to row 
them up the stream. During the ensuing night, the army 
fortified itself as well as it was able; for it was ascertained 
that the enemy had come around the left wing, for the purpose 
of attacking the centre. As the Americans were already on 
the other bank of the river, the position of the royal army was, 
perhaps, the best under the circumstances ; nevertheless, it was 

1 Mrs. Biodesel states, that these buildings were fired by the orders of Burgoyne 
Many of Schuyler's mills were burned at the same time.— Note in the original. 

The present Schuyler mansion which was rebuilt soon after by Schuyler, stands a 
few yards northeast of the site of the one burnt by Burgoyne. It will hardly be 
credited, but such is the fiEu:t, that the timber was cut down in its native state and 
drawn from the forest, and the house rebuilt and put in complete readiness for the 
reception of the fiunily, in the space of fifteen days I It should be stated, how- 
ever, that Schuyler had the assistance of the entire army of Gates for this purpose. 
This fact was related to the translator by Mr. Stover, whose father was in Qates'8 


Yerj precarious. A few Eoglisli regiments occupied a kind of 
redoubt on the left wing in order to prevent the enemy cross- 
ing the Fishkill. The English and Germans in the centre of 
the right wing were, however, differently situated; for from 
the side of the Fishkill the whole line was within reach of the 
enemy's batteries. The heights on the opposite bank of the 
river were so near, that the Americans could easily establish 
batteries, and threaten the rear of the entire line, besides sub- 
jecting the extreme wing to the fire of musketry. A battery 
of a few twelve and six-pounders was placed on the right flank 
to prevent the enemy from crossing the Battenkill — where the 
water was very shallow — and capturing the artillery and stores. 
The yagers, the grenadier battalion of Brunswickers, and the 
regiment of Bhetz, were stationed in the centre. In front of 
these troops was an eminence, from the top of which the ene- 
my's fortifications could easily have been reached with guns, 
but it could not be occupied, as the line of the army was too 
weak to allow of its further extension. The works on the 
fortifications progressed very slowly. The soil being very 
rocky they could not be finished in a night, but had to be 
worked at in the day time under a constant fire. Before day- 
break of the 11th, the two American brigades had crossed the 
Fishkill, and surprised a post consisting of one officer and sixty 
men of the 62d. Shortly after they attacked the bateaux 3 and, 
capturing the boatman, sailed in them down the river. All 
this was the work of a few minutes, for when the royal troops 
fired at them with cartridges, they had already made good their 
retreat. The army was under constant fire the whole day, 
both in front and rear. The outposts were continually engaged 
with those of the enemy ; and of the detached patrols, many 
were captured in that woody region. This happened especially 
to the light Brunswick troops, who, being in front of the centre, 
were the farthest out, and were obliged to keep up communi- 
cation with the English troops of the left wing by patrols. 
That he might receive timely warning of any attempt to sur- 


round this wing, Burgoyne put inquiries on foot by which he 
learned that a strong detachment had been sent into the vicinity 
of Fort Edward, for the purpose of cutting off his retreat in 
that direction. Lieutenant Colonel South erland, who had been 
within a mile of Fort Edward, had reported only the day pre- 
vious, that as yet, he had met with none of the enemy, and 
that the bridge was more than half finished. It was, therefore, 
with no little surprise that he received orders on this day to 
suspend work and return with his troops to the army. He at 
once obeyed, leaving Captain McKay with his company at the 
bridge. The latter subsequently succeeded in making good 
their escape to Ticonderoga. i 

In the evening, Burgoyne sent for Generals Riedesel and 
Phillips, and represented to them the difficult position of the 
army, with which, however, those generals were as well, if not 
better acquainted than himself. He explained the impossibility 
of attacking and cutting his way through the enemy under these 
circumstances. General Riedesel then proposed to leave the bag- 
gage behind and retreat on this side of the Hudson ; and, as 
Fort Edward had probably been reenforced by the above men- 
tioned detachment of the enemy, he further proposed to cross 

1 " The sitnation of the army at this time," says the Auxiliaries^ " became more 
and more desperate. The troops of the Americans seemed to be constantly increas- 
ing at all those points through which our troops, who were already surrounded, 
wished to pass. Gates, himself, was behind them with his army. He thought the 
moment had now arrived when he could carry his point with the least possible sacri- 
fice of blood. This was the reason hitherto why he would not listen to his generals 
when they urged him to attack the enemy's camp. His design was, either to allow 
himself to be attacked, or cut off the British army, of whose precarious condition he 
had been informed. ' I know Burgoyne ' — so he said among other things — * he 
is an old gambler, and will set everything upon one throw.' " 

A passage also, from the same source, brings out Burgoyne's generalship in still 
worse colors. "Lieutenant Colonel Southerland had advanced to \vithin three 
miles of Fort Edward, when he sent back a report of its condition, on the 10th, to 
the effect that there were only 100 Americans in the fort. But instead of sending 
word to seize and occupy the same without loss of time, Burgoyne sent Souther- 
land the surprising order to fall back instantly upon the army 1 When marching 
back in obedience to this order, he left McKay with a section of Indians and pro- 
vincials at a bridge opposite the fort, who, afterward, safely made their way to 


the river four miles above that fort, and coDtinue the march to 
Fort George. This plan, moreover, was the most feasible, as the 
road this side of the Hudson had not as yet been occupied by the 
enemy. Burgoyne, however, could not make up his mind that 
evening, but allowed the precious moments to pass by unimproved. 
The captured bateaux were of great use to the Americans, 
who had hitherto been in great want of just such things. They 
were now able to transport troops across the river at their plea- 
sure, and thus reenforce all the posts on the road to Fort Edward, 
and expand more and more in front of the royal troops. They also 
erected three batteries on the opposite shore, from which they 
directed a fire on the rear of the army. The outposts, as before 
stated, were constantly fighting, and could only be protected by 
strong patrols led by officers. Every hour the position of the 
army grew more critical, and the prospect of salvation grew less 
and less. There was no place of safety for the baggage ; and 
the ground was covered with dead horses that had either been 
killed by the enemy's bullets, or by exhaustion, as there had 
been no forage for several days. Who would care for the poor 
animals when every one had enough to do in caring for his own 
preservation ! Even for the wounded, no spot could be found 
which could afibrd them a safe shelter — not even, indeed, for 
as long a time as might suffice for a surgeon to bind up their 
ghastly wounds. The whole camp was now a scene of constant 
fighting. The soldier could not lay aside his arms day or night, 
except to exchange his gun for the spade when new entrench- 
ments were to be thrown up. The sick and wounded would drag 
themselves along into a quiet corner in the woods, and lie down to 
die upon the cold, damp ground. Nor even here were they longer 
safe, since every little while a ball would come crashing down 
among the trees. The -few houses that were at the foot of the 
mountain, were nearest to the enemy's fire; notwithstanding 
which, the sick and wounded officers dragged themselves hither, 
seeking protection in their vaulted cellars. Order grew more 
and more lax. 


At three in the afternoon, Burgoyne had another council of 
war with Riedesel and Phillips. The two brigadiers, Gall and 
Hamilton, were also summoned. Riedesel insisted upon the 
plan recommended by him the day before, being convinced that 
in that only was there a possibility of safety. Burgoyne, not 
being able to oppose this plan,, consented to it after the other 
members of the council had expressed the same opinion. The ^ 
army had still sufficient rations for six days, which, it was 
understood, were to be distributed among the men the same 
evening. Toward ten o'clock the army was to start. General 
Riedesel was to lead the advance, and General Phillips the 
rear guard. Accordingly, precisely at ten, the former had his 
men rallied, and sent word to Burgoyne, by Captain Gerlach, 
that everything was ready for the march. But instead of 
orders for marching, the adjutant brought back the discou- 
raging answer, that it was too late in the evening to start, and 
that the army must, therefore, remain in its present quarters. 
When General Riedesel received this answer, he felt as if he 
was struck by a thunderbolt; but being well trained to obe- 
dience, he made the best of it. 

General Riedesel had among his papers the document relating 
to the proceedings of this council of war written in the German 
language ] and, as it relates, in the best and most explicit 
manner, all the different points of the consultation, we will give 
it a place here. It reads as follows : 

" Record of the Council of War, held on the Heights 
OF Saratoga, October 12th, 1777. 

" Members of the Council of War, 

Lieutenant General Burgoyne. 
Major General Phillips. 
Major General Von Riedesel. 
Brigadier General Hamilton. 
Brigadier General Gall. 


" Lieutenant General Burgoyne placed before the council of 
war for their consideration the following situation of the army : 
According to the most reliable intelligence, the enemy have 
over 14,000 men this side of the Fishkill, together with con- 
siderable artillery. An attack is threatened from this quarter. 
On the other side of the Hudson river, between our army and 
Fort Edward, is another force of the enemy, the strength of 
which could not be ascertained ] but one corps, that has been 
seen, is, according to a report, estimated at 1,500 men. The 
enemy also have cannon on the heights, on the other side of 
the river. They also have built a bridge across the Hudson 
below the church at Saratoga, ' for the better communication of 
these two armies. 

" Our bateaux are ruined and captured, so that it would be 
impossible to construct a bridge, even if the enemy did not 
molest us. 

^' The only way open to us for a retreat is, either to cross a 
ferry near Fort Edward, or march on the heights and cross 
another one farther up the river, or, finally, to march on the 
heights clear up- to the end of the Hudson river; thence, 
leaving Lake George to the right, in a westerly direction 
through the woods to Ticonderoga. 

" It must be remembered that this route was never used by 
any one except small parties of Indians. 

" In order to transport cannon and teams, bridges will have to 
be rebuilt and repaired, and this, too, under the enemy's fire 
from the other shore. It will take from fourteen to fifteen 
hours to finish the main bridge. No good position can be had 
for the defense of the wood ; and the time expended will give 
the enemy an opportunity to occupy the height near Fort Ed- 

1 The site of this church is a few rods south of the present Schuyler mansion, on 
the turnpike from Schuylerville to Stillwater, and near the spot where the tory 
Lovelace was huug. Mr. Stover, who, as mentioned in a preceding note, owns 
and resides in the Schuyler mansion, has the skull of this tory spy. 

3 Not an elegant expression, but one that expresses accurately the sense of the 


ward, while General Gates could attack us in the rear. News, 
received from deserters and the friends of the king, assure us 
that General Clinton has captured Fort Montgomery. This is 
reported to us in detail by a reliable man. 

" We have provisions sufficient to last for twenty days, but we 
have no rum or beer. This is the condition of things, which 
the lieutenant general laid before the council of war in order 
to hear its opinion regarding the following propositions : 

" First. To wait, in this position, for coming, fortunate events. 

" Secondly. To attack the enemy. 

" Thirdly. To retreat, repair the bridges on the march, and 
thus, with the artillery and baggage, force the ferry near Fort 

" Fourthly. To retreat by night, leaving the artillery and bag- 
gage behind ] cross above Fort Edward or march round Lake 
George; or, 

" Fifthly. In case the enemy should move more to the left, to 
force our passage to Albany. 

" The first article was objected to; first, for the reason that 
the situation of the army would only grow worse by remaining 
any longer — on account of the scarcity of provisions — there 
scarcely being a sufficient quantity to last until the army reached 
Lake George ; to say nothing of the army being forced to march 
around Lake George. Secondly, as it was not to be supposed 
that the enemy would attack our army in its entrenched camp, 
as he had not done it when the army was not entrenched. 

" The second proposition is not available, because there is no 
opportunity for reconnoitering, and as it is known that the 
Americans are very strong. 

" The third proposition is impracticable. 

" The fifth proposition was considered worthy of consideration 
by Lieutenant General Burgoyne, Major General Phillips and 
Brigadier General Hamilton, but the position of the enemy did 
not offer an opportunity for it. 



" The fourth proposition was, therefore, accepted as practicable, 
and it was to be executed with the greatest secrecy and quiet- 
ness. The army was to march toward the right, in the same 
order as it stood. N. B. No provisions having been distributed 
among the men, they were to get their rations at the outset for 
six days. In the meantime, patrols were to be sent out for the 
purpose of ascertaining whether the army could march for four 
miles without being seen ; and it was to be determined, after 
the distribution of the rations, whether the army was to retreat 
at night, or on the following morning. 

" The patrols returned, and reported that there were so many 
of the enemy's detachments on our right wing, that it would be 
impossible to start without being detected." 

General Biedesel, who translated this from the English 
language, adds on the margin the following remarks : 

"General Riedesel's Remarks in regard to the 

Council of War. 

" General Riedesel insisted on the adoption of the fourth arti- 
cle, until it was finally approved by the rest of the members of 
the council ] but after it was ascertained that there were no 
rations distributed, a distribution of them for six days was at 
once ordered ) and if this distribution should be finished by ten 
o'clock the same evening, then the retreat was to be commenced 
that very night. At ten o'clock, Riedesel sent a report by 
Quarter Master General Captain Gerlach, that the rations had 
been distributed ; at the same time, asking for marching orders. 
The answer was, ' The retreat is postponed : the reason why is 
not known.' That evening the retreat was possible A A move- 
ment of the enemy made it impossible the following day. 

" Article fifth has been discussed ] but all the members of the 
council believing that it was impossible to carry it out, and 

» The ito/ictf are my own.— TT. L. Stone, 


Riedesel, believing that a retreat was still possible, th )ugbt the 
time too precious to enter upon other unnecessary debates which 
would not lead to the accomplishment of the purpose. 

" On the following day, the retreat of the army had become 
utterly impossible ) for, during the night, the army was entirely 
surrounded by the Americans ; the latter placing a strong 
guard of observation on an eminence upon the right flank of 
the royal army.^ They had crossed the river on rafts, near 
the Battenkill, for this very purpose/' 

General Burgoyne, in all due form, again called together a 
council of war, to which, besides the generals, all of the 
brigadiers and commanders of regiments were invited. 

We will give the proceedings of this council, also verbatim^ 
as they are written by General Riedesel himself. 

" Minutes of the Second Council of War, held on the 


" The lieutenant general laid before this council the same 
propositions as before the last one, with this addition — that 
the enemy was now entrenched on the heights of Fort Edward, 
holding, also, a strong position before Forts Edward and George. 
He stated that he was willing to hazard everything that ap- 
peared in the least possible according to the strength and spirit 
of the army. He also added that he had reason to believe that 

1 1, e., on the left bank of the Hudson. Morgan and his sharp shooters also 
occupied an eminence some forty rods west of Mr. William B. Marshall's house 
on the road from Schuylerville to Fort Miller. Mr. Marshall resides (1867) in the 
house occupied during the cannonade by Mrs. Riedesel. 

Although it is not mentioned here, nor in the AuoMiariea that the enemy had 
erected a battery on the right bank of the Hudson (i. e., the Schuylerville side), 
a little to the north of Burgoyne' s army as well as on its rear and flanks, yet such 
was the fact as is evident from the tradition of the inhabitants, and also from the 
remnants of the fortifications still to be seen. This battery was on the top of a 
knoll about forty rods northwest of the ferm house now (1867) standing on the 
bank of the river and owned and tenanted by Mr. William Allen. This &ct shows 
more fhlly the completeness of the investment of the royal army. 


a few — perhaps all those who were acquaiDted with the situa- 
tion — were in favor of capitulation; and in consideration of 
these circumstances he had considered it his duty to his country 
to extend the custom of war beyond its usual limits in order 
that all the members of the council, then present, might be 
looked upon as the representatives of the whole army. 

" He also told them, that he would consider it inexcusable, 
should he enter upon such negotiations without their opinions. 
For this reason, he would now lay before the council the follow- 
ing questions : 

" First. Whether an army, consisting of 3,500 combatants, 
could enter into an agreement with the enemy, that should be 
honorable and not detrimental to the national honor? The 
response to this was unanimously in the affirmative. 

" Secondly. Whether this was the case in relation to the 
situation of this army ? To this question, also, the response was 
unanimously in the affirmative. 

" Thirdly. Whether the situation of this army was such as 
to make an honorable capitulation really detrimental ? Upon 
this Riedesel laid before the council the propositions which he 
was to send to General Gates. As can be seen in the public 
journals, they were unanimously adopted, and the negotiations 
entered upon.'' 

" Remarks of General Riedesel to the above. 

" In the second council of war, in which all the commanders 
of battalions and corps participated, an honorable capitulation 
was agreed upon, after every opportunity for retreat had been 
neglected. It is to be supposed that General Burgoyne was 
resolved upon this, because the conditions of the capitulation 
had already been perused by him before the council of war had 
been called together." 

The details of this treaty as they were proposed by Burgoyne 
are not published in full by the papers, nor the alterations and 


additions made by General Gates. They are only published as 
they were finally agreed upon by the two generals.^ 

General Burgoyne, after this council of war, wrote to General 
Gates, requesting permission to send him a staff officer, " in 
order to negotiate affairs of importance to both armies." A 
drummer was sent with this letter into the American camp. 
He returned with a polite answer from the American general 
to the effect that at ten o'clock the next morning, a staff officer 
would be expected by the outposts of the army of the United 

We will here quote the negotiations verbatim^ as we find 
them in Riedesel's journal. 

" The 14:th October. The deputed adjutant general of Gene- 
ral Burgoyne reached the outposts of the enemy's army, and 
offered to General Gates the propositions for negotiations, and 
an armistice while the preliminary articles were being con- 
sidered by the latter general ; provided, of course, that Gates 
deemed it worth while to consider them. As an answer to this, 
Gates gave Major Kingston a copy of six articles as a prelimi- 
nary for the capitulation. An armistice until sunset was agreed 
upon; and both armies were accordingly apprised of it. It 
was also understood that upon the expiration of the truce, 
General Gates was to receive an answer from Burgoyne. 
Toward noon the latter called another council of war, and laid 
before it the articles of General Gates. The first of these 
articles stipulated that * the army should surrender as prisoners 
of war^ the last, that ' the troops should ground their arms in 
the entrenchments where they now stood, and then march off to 
their destination.' All the members of the council declared 
that they would sooner spill their last drop of blood, or die of 
starvation, before they would submit to such humiliating con- 
ditions. Accordingly, at sunset, Major Kingston was sent by 

1 The details of this treaty are to be found in Stedman's History qf the North 
American War^ part Ist, page 437. 


General Burgoyne to Gates with the answer that all negotiations 
must cease unless he relinquished his proposed articles — the 
entire army being resolved * to throw themselves ta'th the greatest 
desperation upon the enemy ^ rather than accept such conditions* 
At the same time that Major Kingston returned the articles to 
Gates, he gave him those of Burgoyne, which were to the effect 
* that a capitulation could never he thought of under any con- 
ditions excepting those that were in the document J " The armi- 
stice ceased, and Major Kingston returned. 

" The 15th. It seemed now as if negotiations were at an end. 
But at ten o'clock in the morning, an adjutant from General 
Gates very unexpectedly arrived at our outposts bearing the 
propositions of General Burgoyne with the signature of Gates. 
All the propositions were agreed to, and only one article was 
added, namely : ' That this capitulation was to take place at 
two o^ clock on the afternoon of the same day and to he signed 
hy Burgoyne ; also, that at five d clock in the afternoon, the 
army should leave their lines that they might he prepared on the 
following day to hegin their march to Boston.* 

" This sudden change in General Gates, and the annexed 
pressing article that the whole affair should be closed as quickly 
as possible, appeared singular to Burgoyne, and caused him to 
call another council of war. It was then resolved to inform 
General Gates that General Burgoyne would accept the last 
proposition; but as these were only the preliminaries, and as 
several things had to be arranged before Burgoyne could sign 
the capitulation, the time was too limited, and Burgoyne would, 
therefore, propose that staff officers should be sent to arrange 
the details of the treaty for their mutual signatures. 

"Lieutenant Colonel Southerland and Captain Gregg were 
appointed on our side. The commissioners met near the ruins 
of Schuyler's house, and remained together until eleven o'clock 
at night. All that we asked was granted; and our commis- 
sioners, who were empowered to effect a settlement, promised 
for Burgoyne and themselves that the treaty should be returned 


the following morning. The armistice was therefore prolonged ; 
and in the afternoon all of the troops were paid off. 

" The 16th. The unexpected arrival of a provincial in the 
night at once put a stop to the completion of the treaty. Indeed, 
it came very near being entirely overthrown. This man stated 
that he had heard, through a third party, that General Clinton 
had captured the fortifications on the highlands, and had arrived 
with the troops and fleet at jEsopus eight days previous; and 
further, that by this time, he was very likely at Albany. Bur- 
goyne and a few other officers were so encouraged by this news, 
that they were greatly in favor of breaking the treaty. The 
council of war was accordingly once more called together, and 
the following questions laid before it : 

" 1st. Whether a treaty, which was about being completed 
by his deputies, and which he himself had promised to sign, 
could be broken ? Fourteen voices against eight decided this 
question in the negative. 

" 2d. Whether the report of a man, whom nobody knew, was 
sufficient in our present situation to justify our refusal of so 
advantageous a treaty? The same number of votes decided 
this also in the negative. Nor could the decision have been 
different. Everything rested on mere hearsay. Had this man 
been sent by Clinton, or had he seen the army himself, the 
matter would have been very different. 

" 3d. Whether the common soldiers possessed sufficient spirit 
to defend the present position of the army to the last man ? All 
the officers of the left wing answered this in the affirmative. 
Those of the centre and left wings gave a similar answer, pro- 
vided the enemy were attacked; but the men were too well 
acquainted with their defective position to display the same 
bravery in case they were themselves attacked. 

" Finally, in order to gain time, it was resolved that Burgoyne 
should inform Gates by letter that he had been told by deserters 
and other reliable persons that he had sent a considerable corps 
of his army toward Albany, and that this being contrary to all 


faith, lie (Burgoyne) could not give his signature without being 
convinced that the American army outnumbered his own by at 
least three or four to one ; Gates should therefore name an offi- 
cer of our army who might see for himself the number of the 
enemy ; and should Burgoyne, after hearing this officer's report, 
be convinced of the superior numbers of the Americans, he 
would at once sign the treaty. General Gates received this 
letter with considerable nonchalance^ but replied that he would 
give his word of honor that his army was just as strong now as 
it was previous to the treaty, and that having since then been 
reenforced by a few brigades, it certainly did outnumber ours 
four to one, and this, too, without counting those troops that 
were on the other side of the Hudson and at Half Moon. He 
also gave Burgoyne to understand what it meant to break his 
word of honor, and offered to show his whole army to Burgoyne 
after the latter had signed the treaty, when he would find that 
everything he had stated was true. He then closed by giving 
Burgoyne no longer than one hour in which to answer, stating 
that at the expiration of that time he would adopt the most 
stringent measures. 

" The council of war, which was thereupon convened for the 
last time, had as little to say in answer to this reply of Gates, 
as Burgoyne himself; and the latter finally signed the following 
treaty, which was at once sent to General Gates : 

" Treaty. 

" I. The troops under the command of Lieutenant General 
Burgoyne, will leave, their entrenchments with their artillery, 
with all military honors, and will march to the shore of the 
Hudson river, to the place formerly occupied by the old fort, 
where they will leave their guns and artillery. 

"II. A free passage to England will be granted to the troops 
of General Burgoyne on the condition that they shall serve no 
more during the war in North America. The harbor of Bos- 



ton is designated as tlie place for the embarkation of tlie troops, 
unless General Howe otherwise directs. 

" III. In case a cartel should take place by which all of these 
troops or a part thereof are exchanged, then Article //shall be 
declared void as far as the exchange is concerned. 

" IV. The troops, under Lieutenant General Burgoyne, will 
march upon the shortest and most commodious road to Massa- 
chusetts bay, and, as circumstances dictate, are to be quartered 
in or around Boston. The march of said troops shall not be 
delayed in case of transports arriving on which they can embark. 

" V. The troops, during the march, and in their quarters, are 
to be furnished (according to the promise of General Gates) 
with the same rations as the troops of his own corps — if pos- 
sible. Horses and draught cattle, and also forage shall be fur- 
nished at the usual price for the use of officers. 

" VI. All officers shall retain their wagons, horses and other 
animals; and no baggage shall be inspected nor neglected; 
General Burgoyne giving his word of honor that nothing be- 
longing to the king shall be hidden among them. General 
Gates will take the necessary precautions for the carrying out 
of this article. He will also see to it that, if necessary, teams 
are wanted, they shall be furnished to the troops and officers at 
the usual price. 

" VII. During the march, and as long as the troops remain in 
the province of Massachusetts bay, the officers, as far as circum- 
stances will permit, shall not be separated^ from their men ; and 
it is to be left to their own judgment to assemble their men as 
often as they consider it necessary for the preservation of 
discipline and order. The officers shall also receive quarters 
according to their rank. 

" VIII. All sailors, working men, drivers, volunteer companies 
and other persons, being in, and belonging to the army of 
General Burgoyne, shall be considered as British subjects, and 
shall, in every way, be considered as included in this article — 
no matter of what country they may be. 



" EX. All Canadians, in whatever service they were in the 
army of General Burgoyne, are to be permitted to return to 
their homes, and to march at once, under an escort, to the 
nearest British post. They shall also be furnished, during 
the march, with the same rations as the English troops, but 
they are to promise not to serve during the present war in 

" X. Passes shall immediately be given to such officers (not 
above the rank of captain, and who shall be appointed by 
General Burgoyne) to bear dispatches to General Sir William 
Howe, Sir Guy Carleton and to England by the way of New 
York. General Gates promises by public trust and faith, 
that these dispatches shall not be opened, and that said 
officers, after receiving them, shall be carried by the shortest 
route and in the quickest manner to the place of their 

" XI. During the stay of the troops in the province of Massa- 
chusetts bay, the officers shall give their paroles, and retain 
their side arms. 

" XII. If the troops of General Burgoyne find it necessary to 
send for their baggage and clothing to Canada, they shall be 
permitted to do so in the most convenient manner. 

" XIII. These articles shall be signed by the respective gene- 
rals to-morrow morning at nine o'clock, and the troops shall leave 
their camp at three in the afternoon. 

"In the camp near Saratoga, October 16th, 1777. 
" Signed " Signed 

"John Burgoyne.'' "Horatio Gates." 

" Thus the final destiny of our army was sealed : an army 
which, according to the official list of losses, during the whole 
campaign against a quadruple force of the enemy, and in spite 
of the many fatigues, labors and troubles of a character never 
experienced on European ground, had never lost its courage 
in critical periods ; an army which certainly would have done 


everything that courage could accomplish — notwithstanding 
its numbering only 4,000 combatants — to escape the destiny 
that cannot be otherwise than painful to brave troops, had not 
the certainty of famishing in the woods caused its leaders to 
sooner surrender by mutual consent. Thus were saved the 
lives of the brave troops, who, with their blood and their best 
will had fought as long as possible for the rights of the British 
nation, and for a more glorious destiny for the crown of Eng- 

" There is not, perhaps, a single instance in history, or cer- 
tainly very few, where troops could be reconciled to a capitula- 
tion with so much honor." ^ 

Thus much for the sketches in RiedesePs journal. This 
treaty is mentioned in other historical works ; still, we have 
thought it best to give it in this connection, partly not to omit 
anything material to RiedeseFs history, but more chiefly for 
the reason that we shall have to recur to several points of it, 
which have become the cause of many arguments and severe 
debates on both sides. Scarcely ever has there been so much 
said in regard to any treaty as this. 

General Riedesel was deeply affected by these sad events. 
At eight o'clock in the morning of the 17th, he collected all 
the German troops, and informed them of their fate. In 
solemnity and in silence, and with drooping heads, the brave 
and tried warriors heard the words from the mouth of their 
beloved leader, whose voice, manly at all times, trembled on 
this occasion, and who was obliged to summon all of his self- 
control to hide his emotions. " It was no lack of courage on 
your part,'' said he, among other things, to his men, " by which 
this awful fate has come upon you. You will always be justified 
in the eyes of the world.'' He concluded his address, with the 
exhortation, that as good soldiers they should bear their mis- 

1 The idea of the writer is not quite clear. Riedesel probably meant to 8ay that 
instances are rare in history where troops have been forced into so hononMe a 


fortune with courage, and do their duty at all times, displaying 
order and discipline; for in so doing, they would retain the 
love of their sovereign, and the respect of their enemies. ^ 

General Riedesers next care was to save the colors. He, 
therefore, had them taken down from the flag staff, and gave 
them to his wife, who had them sewed up by a faithful soldier 
who was a tailor. Henceforth he slept upon them and fortu- 
nately saved them. What a dreary future was now in store for 
the weary soldier in this distant land ! Certain of victory a 
few days ago after so many glorious battles, all prospect 
for honor and glory was lost in this campaign. In a few hours 
they were to lay down their arms, those arms with which 
they had so bravely fought against their enemies, those arms, 
too, that were now to be surrendered to the enemy, on whose 
will they were now dependent. Verily, a sadder fate than this 
cannot be imagined for a soldier ! 

At eleven o'clock, the army left their old fortified camp, and 
formed in line on the ground near the so called old fort,- this 
side of the Fishkill. Here they left their cannon and muskets. 
With a moist eye the artilleryman looked for the last time upon 
his faithful gun — parting with it as he would from a bride — 

1 Inwardly, however, Riedesel chafed exceedingly at the result and at the bad 
management which had brought it about. In the first moments of vexation he 
wrote to the reigning prince at Brunswick as follows : 

"Your serene highness will understand by the accompanying report, now sub- 
mitted to you, into what a desolate position our fine manoeuvres have placed me 
and the troops of your highness. The reputation I have gained in Germany has 
been sacrificed t.o certain individuals, and I consider myself the most unfortunate 
man on earth." 

But neither the court nor the public of Brunswick laid anything to the charge of 
Riedesel, or the troops. On the contrary, they felt the greatest sjTnpathy with 
them in their unfortunate fate. This is shown, not only by the letters of Duke 
Charles, and Duke Ferdinand, the hereditary prince of Brunswick, but by the 
newspapers of that day, in which neither the troops nor their generals are in the 
slightest degree reproached. On the contrary, they acknowledge their good be- 

' Fort Hardy, erected during the old French war and named after Gk)vemor Charles 
Hardy, the successor of Governor Clinton, lies in the northeast angle, made by the 
Fishkill and the Hudson. Its site can now with difficulty be traced. 


and that, forever ! With repressed tears the bearded grenadier 
placed his musket on the pyramid to take it up no more ! ^ 

The army of General Gates, which was on this side of the 
Hudson, was formed in three lines. Three officers of the royal 
army (among them Captain Twiss of the engineers), having 
received orders from Burgoyne to count the troops of the enemy, 
found them to number between 13,000 and 14,000 men.*- Sub- 
sequently, Gates handed Burgoyne the official list of the men in 
his army. The American troops on the other side of the Hud- 
son were not counted. These consisted chiefly of militia from 
the surrounding townships of New Hampshire and Connecticut. 
General Gates received the captured generals on the other side 
of the Fishkill with great politeness. Taking them to his tent 
in the camp, he gave them a splendid dinner, ^ to which, also, 

* " General Gates showed himself on this occasion exceedingly noble and generous 
toward the captives. That he might share in some manner their feelings, he com- 
manded his troops to wheel round the instant they laid down their arms. He, him- 
self, drew down the curtains of his carriage in which he had driven to the ground, 
and in which he was then seated. 

" Before the soldiers parted with their muskets, they knocked off in their sup- 
pressed rage the butt ends ; and the drummers stamped their drums to pieces, 
while tears trickled down the bronzed cheeks of the warriors." — Brunswick 

The laying down of the arms took place at some distance from the American 
troops. According to one of the journals of one of the Brunswick officers, the 
muskets were not laid down but only piled together. This authority also states, 
that no American officer was present — others, that only Adjutant General Wilkin- 
son. After the surrender, the British marched back without escort to the place 
where stood the hospitals (the present site of Alonzo Welsh's bams in Schuyler- 
ville), where they bivouacked that night. 

3 This estimate includes only the number contained in the immediate camp and 
lines of Gates as seen by the three officers in passing through them. The exact 
number of Gates's army — not counting the troops on the other side of the Hud- 
son — was 22,350 men. This appears by the official list sent by Gates himself to 
Burgoyne. Counting those on the other or east side of the river, the American 
army must have been at least 25,000. 

* This statement in regard to the elegance of the dinner is entirely different from 
the one given of the dinner in the Brunswick Journal. The latter says : 

" General Burgoyne did not lose for a moment his sound sleep and good appetite. 
When he met General Gkites, shortly after the signing of the treaty, in the American 
camp, he not only manifested his usual remarkable serenity and politeness, bat 
had attired himself in full court dress, as if going to assist in some gala occasioxif 


the highest of the American generals were invited. The 
Americans acted with a great deal of decorum. No sign of 
scorn or pleasure at the misfortune of their enemies was visible 
upon their countenances. On the contrary, they manifested, 
on this occasion, their sympathy in a very becoming manner. 

It was then that the English learned for the first time, the 
real condition of the enemy, which had hitherto been a secret 
to them. Certainly, a rare example in the history of war. The 
American army occupied the heights near the house of Bemis. 
This position was naturally a strong one, and had been still 
further strengthened by art. The right wing rested on the 
Hudson ; while the front was covered by a muddy ditch behind 

He wore costly regimentals bordered with gold, and a hat with streaming plumes. 
He had bestowed the greatest care on his whole toilet, so that he looked like a 
dandy rather than a warrior. The American general was dressed, on the contrary, 
merely in a plain blue overcoat which had upon it scarcely anything indicative of 
his rank. 

"Upon the two generals first catching a glimpse of each other, they stepped 
forward simultaneously and advanced toward one another until they were only a 
few steps apart, when they stopped.* The English general took off his richly 
decorated hat in an elegant manner, and making a very polite bow, said, ' Greneral, 
the caprice of war has made me your prisoner.' The American general, in reply, 
simply returned his greeting and said, ' You will always find me ready to testify 
that it was not brought about through any fault of your excellency.' Both generals 
were attended, on this occasion, by their staff officers. The American officers vied 
with their general in their civilities to the captured prisoners, and in efforts to 
make them forget their misfortunes. 

" They then dined in Gates's tent, on boards laid across barrels, which served 
for a table. The dinner was served up in four dishes, which consisted of only 
ordinary viands, the American being accustomed to plain and frugal meals. The 
drink, on this occasion consisted of cider and rum, mixed with water. Burgoyne 
appeared at this time in excellent humor. He talked a good deal, and said many 
things flattering to the Americans. He, also, proposed a toast to General Wash- 
ington, an attention that Gates returned by drinking the health of the king of 
England. Burgoyne ate and drank all the time with the greatest appetite, so that 
the German officers present were more than astonished at his demeanor under 
such circumstances. The American army was kept under arms as long as the 
dinner lasted."— ifawt«c;"ip^ Brunswick Joumai. 

[* The site of this formal meeting of the two generals, is generally believed to 
have been where an old elm stands, on the main street in the village of Schuyler- 
ville. This, however, is a mistake. It was a few rods south by east of the present 
Schuyler mansion. The Champlain canal now passes over the exact spot where 
the two generals stood.] 


which were the lines, having also a strong abatis in their front 
The left wing rested upon a height on the top of which was 
the so called school house. This also was covered by an abatis 
extending to the bottom of the hill. The heights were as steep 
in the rear, as in the front of the lines ; and upon these heights 
stood the army behind still other fortifications. 

This same day, the troops marched to the ground, where, on 
the 8th, the army had left its position, the same spot, in 
fact, where their pontoons had been thrown across the river. 
The following day they encamped at this spot, the generals 
going on as far as Stillwater, six miles beyond. On the next 
day (the 18th) the other troops under the protection of a bri- 
gade, commanded by the American general. Glover, also arrived 
there. They were to have continued their march across the 
Hudson the same day, but there being a scarcity of rafts, only 
the English were sent across. The latter accordingly bivouacked 
on the other side, the Germans remaining on this. General 
Riedesel continued his march twenty-five miles further to 
Albany in the company of General Glover. Here he met 
Generals Burgoyne and Phillips. An adjutant of the former, 
Lieutenant Willford, had been sent in advance to Albany, in 
order to ask General Gates whether a few of the German offi- 
cers could not be exchanged according to the treaty, and return 
to Canada. The American general answered that he could not 
exchange any more until he had received the necessary orders 
regarding it from General Washington, since it had only been 
a matter of courtesy on his part toward General Burgoyne and 
his army, that he had permitted three English officers to leave 
the army. This, however, did not include the German officers 
as he had already stated. 

General Burgoyne, thereupon, at the solicitation of Riedesel, 
who considered the German troops slighted on this occasion, 
again appealed to General Gates. General Riedesel justly 
perceived in this negligence toward the German officers a par- 


On the journey to Albany, they passed by Half Moon on 
the Mohawk. This post was manned by nearly 4,000 men, 
under the direction of Gates, for the purpose of covering his 
rear, and also for the sake of having a position to fall back upon 
in case of a retreat. It was well selected and fortified. 

Generals Burgoyne and Riedesel took up their abode at 
Albany, in General Schuyler's house, the same general whose 
house and mills at Saratoga had been destroyed by the former. 
Burgoyne, embarrassed by the friendly manner in which he was 
received, expressed his regret to the American general in regard 
to this circumstance, and endeavored to excuse himself. Where- 
upon, Schuyler smilingly answered that it did not much matter, 
for in war, it could not be otherwise ; an answer which, cer- 
tainly, betrayed a noble trait of character. 

General Schuyler was a descendant of a Holland family. 
He was married to a rich American lady, and was in prosperous 
and happy circumstances. After the surrender of Ticonderoga 
he rallied the fragments of St. Clair's brigade, and with these 
and a few militia men, whom he had also gathered, went to Half 
Moon. Out of this grew the army, which was afterward under 
the command of Gates, Schuyler having, in the meantime, 

The inhabitants of Albany — a city, at that time, containing 
eight hundred houses — were ritjh, and mostly loyal to the 
cause of the king ; and it was for this reason that a strong 
garrison of American troops were stationed here, and a fort 

On the 20th, the two nationalities of the royal army sepa- 
rated; the English regiments going to the left, across the 
Green mountains toward Stockbridge, and the German troops 
across the green woods. The latter crossed the Hudson this 
day, and marched, under the escort of a militia regiment, com- 
manded by Colonel Ried, to Schaticoke. At Albany, they 
learned that General Clinton had actually taken .^sopus a few 
days since and burned it, but, hearing of the fate of the army 


of Canada, had not dared to go further. On the same day (the 
20th), the Germans encamped near New City. 

On the 21st, Burgoyne dispatched his adjutant. Lord Peter- 
sen, Captain Gray and Captain Valency to New York. To the 
former, he entrusted his dispatches to the secretary of war in 
London, in which he announced these sad events. 

The contents of this document are familiar. We cannot, 
however, omit to quote it for the reason that General Riedesel 
has made notes to his translation, which are of great interest so 
far as they contradict several points in Burgoyne's dispatch, 
and place them in another light. It reads as follows : 

" My Lord : There was no possibility, since the 9th of Sep- 
tember, when I sent my last report, to send letters to your 
excellency. I have now, my lord, to announce to you the 
events which have taken place in the army under my command 
since my last report; a series of hard work, bloody engage- 
ments and unceasing troubles. 

" My only hope, after the savages had entirely deserted me, 
consisted in a final cooperation with the other army. The 
regular troops having melted down by many engagements to 
3,500 men, of whom scarcely 2,000 were English, with short' 
rations for only three days, and surrounded by over sixteen 
thousand enemies, without a possibility of retreat. I was 
forced to call a council of war, by whose unanimous voice I 
entered into negotiations with General Gates. The inclosed 
documents will show what an unexpected answer I received 
from the American general ; and the noble resolution of the 
council of war, upon its reception, will certainly evoke the 
esteem of my lord toward that council. 

" Before entering upon the details of these events, I consider 

it my duty to remark that I took the responsibility upon myself 

alone, of endeavoring to cross the Hudson and force a passage 

to Albany. I did not consider myself justified at that time in 

calling a council of war, because express orders and the season 

forbade such a course. 



" After collecting provisions for thirty days, besides other 
necessaries for the expedition, and after building bridges and 
getting together the requisite number of bateaux, I crossed the 
Hudson on the 13th and 14th of September, and encamped the 
army on the heights and plains of Saratoga. The enemy was at 
this time near Stillwater. 

" On the 15th, the army advanced to a good position at a place 
called Dovogat. 

" On the 16th, several of the bridges had to be rebuilt and 
repaired. This was accordingly done by a party under a strong 
guard. At the same time a reconnoitering expedition was 

'' On the 17th, the army advanced further to a point three or 
four miles distant from the enemy, building bridges on its march. 

"X)n the 18th, the enemy was seen in considerable force, 
having come out with the intention of preventing us from 
building bridges, and perhaps of giving battle. As they could 
use on us no artillery, the bridge was finished under a scattering 
fire, which, however, was attended with inconsiderable loss. 

" On the 19th, the passage across the ravine and the roads 
having been sufiiciently reconnoitered, the army advanced in 
the following order : Brigadier General Eraser, supported by 
the corps of Breymann, the better to cross the ravine and not 
lose the advantage of the heights, took a circuitous route to the 
right, and afterward covered the march of the army in that 
direction. This corps, accordingly, marched in three columns, 
having the provincials, Canadians and savages on their front 
and flanks. The English regiments of infantry, led by myself, 
crossed the ravine in a direct southerly line ; and, after reaching 
the height, formed in order of battle, in order to give Eraser's 
corps time to make the longer route, and also to equalize the 
left wing, which, under Generals Phillips and Biedesel, with 
the artillery and baggage, had taken the valley road in two 
columns. Several bridges had to be repaired on their way. 
Meanwhile, the 47th Kegiment covered the bateaux. 


" After the signal guns had been discharged at two o'clock, 
as had been agreed upon for the purpose of notifying the other 
column when one was ready, the march was continued. Soon 
after, a few patrols of the enemy fired upon the advance of the 
English regiments, but without effect. After an hour's march, 
however, the English regiments, forming the advance guard, 
were attacked and forced to retreat. They soon rallied, how- 
ever, and were properly supported. 

" As soon as the English columns came out of the woods, they 
dislodged the enemy by a few cannon shots from the houses, from 
the windows of which he had fired upon the pickets ; and Briga- 
dier Eraser, with the greatest precision, occupied an advantageous 
height to the right of the English line. 

" At the same time, the enemy, who, from the nature of the 
ground, were well acquainted with our march, came out of his 
entrenchments intending to turn our right wing; but, being foiled 
by Eraser, he made a counter march, and with his entire force, 
attacked the English left wing. This movement the enemy could 
the easier carry out without our knowledge, as the country was 
entirely strange to us. 

" Toward three o'clock, the three English regiments were seve- 
rally attacked. This charge lasted until dark ; and the enemy 
being constantly reenforced by fresh troops, the 20th, 21st and 
62d English regiments were forced to remain under fire without 
intermission for four hours. The 9th Regiment was kept as a 
reserve. The English grenadiers, the 24th Regiment and the 
light infantry, were also under fire a considerable length of 
time. All these corps fought with their usual bravery. 

" The Brunswick yagers and the corps of Breymann were also 
of great use ; but it was found necessary for them to occupy 
the heights just left by Eraser. Thus, they were used only 
singly and occasionally. 

" Major General Phillips, upon first hearing the firing, made 
his way through dense woods, taking with him Major Williams. 
I owe him many thanks for his counsels and his timely and per- 


tinent assistance, especially in renewing the attack in a very 
critical moment, and in the way in which, nnmindfol of his 
own safety, he led the 20th Regiment. 

" General Biedesel worked hard in bringing np a part of tlie 
left wing, and arrived just in time to attack the enemy with 
determination and bravery, at the moment that the left wing 
was sorely pressed by the enemy. The latter retreated in all 
directions, leaving us the battle field with five hundred dead, 
and three times that number wounded on his side. Owing to 
the darkness, we took but few prisoners. 

" The conduct of ofiicers and privates has been excellent 
throughout. Brigadier General Fraser took his position with 
much judgment. General Hamilton was engaged constantly, and 
acquitted himself with much honor. The artillery distinguished 
itself; and the brigade artillery, under Captain Jones who was 
shot dead, did extremely well. 

" The army laid on their arms during the night and the follow- 
ing day, and subsequently took up an entrenched position within 
cannon shot of the enemy. The right wing was covered by a 
strong redoubt; and the left wing marched on to the plain to 
cover the stream which runs through it. Here also was our 
hospital, the 47th Regiment, the regiment Hesse Hanau and a 
corps of provincials encamped for greater safety on the plains. 

" We found that the victory of the 19th had brought us no 
other advantage than honor ; for the enemy, using all energy in 
fortifying his left and right wings, had rendered the latter already 

" On our side, also, it was necessary to throw up redoubts both 
on the heights and on the plain, where were our hospitals and 
depots. Their latter defenses were needed not only to secure the 
hospital against attack, but to make sure of a defensive position 
in case our army should make a move against the enemy's flank. 

" On the 21st, a messenger arrived with a letter in cipher 
from General Clinton, wherein he notified me that he intended 
to attack Fort Montgomery in ten days. The letter was dated 


the lOth of September. This is the only letter that I have 
received of the many which, perhaps, may have been sent by 
Sir William Howe and General Clinton. The messenger was 
sent back the same night to inform General Clinton of the 
critical position in which I was, and of the necessity of a diver- 
sion on his part in order to force General Gates to detach some 
troops from his army. The letter also stated that I was deter- 
mined, if possible, to wait till the 12th of October for happy 

" On the two following days, two disguised officers were sent 
by different roads with the verbal message that I still continued 
to fortify my camp, and keep watch of the enemy who were 
daily increasing in strength. On the 3d October, I found it 
necessary to cut down the rations of the soldiers in order to 
make our provisions last longer. This was accepted by the 
army without the least murmuring. 

" The difficulties connected with a retreat into Canada was 
easily to be seen ; and even if it had been possible, I did not 
wish to place General Gates in a position to operate against 
Sir William Howe. These circumstances caused me to retain 
this position against all risks as long as possible. I reasoned 
with myself thus. The expedition, which I command, is, ac- 
cording to the judgment of everybody an hazardous one. 
Circumstances may take place, which will enable General Gates 
to form a junction with General Washington, the consequence 
of which may make the whole war a failure on our part. The 
unsuccessful union with General Clinton and the impossibility 
of a retreat into Canada is only an accidental misfortune. 

" I remained in this position up to the 7th of October. I 
received no intelligence in regard to the expected junction, and 
the term of my stay in that place would expire in five days. It 
was considered advisable to make a movement against the left 
wing of the enemy for the purpose of ascertaining whether or 
no it was possible to find a road by which this junction could 
be effected, or the enemy dislodged on his left wing. 


" A detachment of 1,500 men with two twelve-pounders, six 
six-pounders and two howitzers, under my command, was ordered 
to march. I was accompanied by Generals Phillips, Kiedesel 
and Brigadier General Fraser. The command of the right wing 
in camp was given to Brigadier General Hamilton ; the left to 
Brigadier General Specht ; and the centre to Brigadier Gall. 
The forces of the enemy, including their camp opposite to ours, 
amounted to double our number. Thus the strength of the 
detached command could not be made stronger than the above 
given number. I formed the marching corps when within 
three-quarters of a mile of the enemy's left wing. Captain 
Fraser's corps, with the savages, Canadians and provincials, 
had orders to march through the woods toward the left wing of 
the enemy, that by this movement they might keep the enemy 
in check. 

" We were prevented from advancing any further by an at- 
tack of the enemy on our left wing, where the English grena- 
diers stood to cover our left flank. Major Ackland of the 
grenadiers withstood the attack firmly ; but it was impossible 
for him to prevent the enemy extending his attack to the " 
Germans who were stationed close to the grenadiers. Want of 
troops made it impossible to form a second line to support the 
attack on the left wiug. Hitherto our right wing had not been 
attacked; but we soon found that the enemy, with a strong 
column, was marching around our right wing in order to turn 
it and cut off our retreat. The light infantry and the 24th 
Regiment were, therefore, ordered to form a second line, and 
cover the retreat to our camp. 

*' While this movement was in progress, the enemy, who had 
been reenforced, made a second attack upon our left wing, which, 
by a superiority of numbers, was forced to retreat. Whereupon, 
the light infantry and the 24th Regiment were obliged to move 
quickly forward to cover that portion of the troops which, other- 
wise, would have been cut off. It was here, that Brigadier Fraser 
was mortally wounded. 


" The danger, which now threatened our whole camp, was of 
such a nature, that I sent orders to Generals Phillips and Ried- 
esel to cover the retreat. This order was executed with the 
greatest precision. The cannon, under the command of Major 
Williams, had to be left behind, all the horses and most of the 
artillerymen being either dead or wounded. 

" Scarcely had the troops reached their camp, when it was 
stormed by the enemy. The latter advanced, under the fire of 
musketry, grape and canister, against our lines, but they being 
defended with much valor by my Lord Balcarras commanding 
the light infantry and a part of a detachment of this expedi- 
tion, the enemy, led by General Arnold, was repulsed and their 
leader himself wounded. Unfortunately, the enemy captured 
the entrenchments of the German reserve under Lieutenant 
Colonel Breymann, who was shot dead. In spite of my order 
to retake these redoubts, it was in no wise executed. By this 
misfortune, a road was left open for the enemy to fall upon our 
right flank and rear. Night coming on ended this affair. 

" In this sad plight, the army was ordered, during the night, 
io leave its present position, and occupy the heights around our 
hospital, a movement which compelled the enemy to take up an 
entirely new position. This movement, with all the teams and 
artillery, was carried out without any loss ; and, on the 8th, we 
offered battle to the enemy in our new position. Perceiving, 
however, that they intended to turn our right flank, and as 
nothing but a retreat to Saratoga could hinder this movement, 
the army started at nine o'clock in the evening. General Ried- 
esel led the advance, and General Phillips the rear guard. 

"This retreat, with the artillery and baggage, was accom- 
plished under a fire of musketry from the enemy, without, 
however, the slightest loss. But we experienced the greatest 
difficulty in transporting the bateaux. A severe rain storm 
prevented the army from reaching Saratoga on this night; 
neither could the artillery and baggage cross the Fishkill the 
following day. 


" When we came near Saratoga, a corps of the enemy, con- 
sisting of five or six hundred men, was noticed upon the heights 
in the vicinity of the barracks ; but they at once retreated across 
the Hudson and formed a junction with a detachment of another 
corps on the opposite side of the river. 

" On the 10th, it was considered advisable to send working 
men, under a strong escort, in advance to repair the bridges 
and roads leading to Fort Edward. The corps of Captain 
Fraser and McKay, and the 47th Regiment were dispatched for 
this purpose. But the enemy's army advancing and occupying 
the heights on the other side of the Fishkill with the object of 
crossing the river and making an attack, this detachment was 
ordered back. The provincials were left behind at the first 
bridge, which needed repairs, but being attacked, they ran 
away, and thus the working party could not complete the 
bridge. During this retreat, several bateaux were captured by 
the enemy, and a number of the men who guarded them killed 
or wounded. 

" On the 11th, the attack on the bateaux was renewed. 
Several of them were taken and retaken ; but the proximity of 
the enemy made it impossible for us to defend them any longer, 
and it was therefore ordered that the provisions should be 
brought on land, a command, which, under the musketry fire 
of the enemy, was executed only with the greatest difficulty. 

" The possibility of a further retreat was now discussed by a 
council of war consisting of the generals. The minutes of this 
council are herewith inclosed. 

" It was thought that the only chance of a retreat was in this 
plan, viz : That the soldiers should carry their rations ; that 
the artillery and baggage should be left behind ; and that the 
passage of the river should be effected above Fort Edward. 

" Before, however, such a movement could be carried out, 
some patrols, who had been sent out, returned and announced 
that the enemy was strongly fortified upon the heights of Fort 
Edward, and that he was also encamped in considerable force 


between Fort Edward and Lake George J The opposite bank 
was likewise occupied by detachments of the enemy ) while on 
this side of the river, their army was so near us, that it was im- 
possible for our troops to march a mile without being detected. 

" Meanwhile, the army of the enemy daily grew stronger by 
new arrivals of militia and volunteers, until it was estimated 
altogether at 16,000 men. His position was formed in the 
shape of a crescent, and was surrounded on all sides by such 
natural strong holds, that it could not be attacked with any 
possibility of success. In this situation our army took up the 
best position which it could find; and entrenched itself in the 
hope of succor ; or, failing in this, in the next best hope of 
being attacked by the enemy. During the whole of this time 
the army rested on its arms, being cannonaded from all sides. 
Yes, the enemy's rifles reached even the line itself; happily, 
however, without great effect. 

" Accurate measurements of the provisions still on hand were 
made ; and after the condition of the army had been written 
down, a council of war was called, in which were included the 
battalion and corps commanders. The inclosed document con- 
tains the result of this council, a result which was inevitable 
in our situation and ought to be considered honorable. After 
the convention with General Gates had been concluded, the 
latter showed me his army, and I had the consolation to have 
as many witnesses, as my army numbered men, to the fact that 
its numbers were even greater than I have just now reported.'-^ 

" I take the liberty of referring you for further particulars 
to the verbal report of my adjutant, my Lord Peterson,*^ and 
avail myself of this occasion to recommend him to the favorable 
consideration of his majesty. This noble man, with his great 
talents, is capable of rendering great services to his country. 
His conduct, during the last campaign, was such as to earn for 

1 This was the force under Stark, alluded to in Kiedesers diary, a few pages back, 
a I. e., 16,000. 
* Paterson. 



him the applause of everybody j and I am convinced that his 
merits are sufficient to procure for him the same advantage and 
honor which officers usually receive who announce auspicious 

" I also append a statement of the dead and wounded, which, 
however, I cannot claim as perfectly accurate, since the sepa- 
ration of the troops has made it entirely impossible to give it 
correctly. The English officers have spilled their blood in 
profusion and with honor; and all who have fallen are worthy 
men, among whom the patriotic character of Major Greneral 
Fraser will long be cherished by this army. Nor are those of 
the army who are still alive to be less honored. 

" The life of a general is more exposed by reason of the kind 
of warfare carried on here, than elsewhere. Notwithstanding 
which, I have had the good fortune to remain alive. Whether 
I shall consider the salvation of my life as a fortune or a mis- 
fortune, depends on the decision of his majesty, in regard to 
my conduct, and upon the judgment of those who understand 
the military profession; also upon that of the impartial and 
respectable portion of my countrymen. 

" I am, etc., 


"P. S. The inclosed is an accurate copy of that which I 
have sent by my Lord Petersen. Captain Gray, the bearer of 
this, is an officer of great merit, and is especially worthy of 
recommendation, since he has served with great diligence and 
integrity in this laborious campaign in spite of a wound which 
he received at Hubert town, and which is not yet entirely 
cured.'' ^ 

1 This was a copy sent to Lord St. Germain. Captain Gray was dispatched with 
it, in case Lord Petersen shonld meet with any misfortune in carrying the other 
dispatches.— Note to original. 

in the american revolution. 203 

" Notes op Gteneral Eiedesel to this Document. 

" First. The expression in Greneral Burgoyne's dispatch, ^ of 
which scarcely 2,000 were Englishmen^^ is painful. As if 1,500 
Grermans made the army less respectable than it would have 
been if it had consisted of Englishmen only. The successful 
aid which the German troops rendered the English at Hubert 
town, and again on the 19th of September, should rather 
augment the attachment and love between the two nations ) 
and the English in this army owe it to their German comrades 
in arms, to hold them in high esteem, especially after Brigadier 
Eraser expressed his heartfelt thanks to them upon the termi- 
nation of the action at Hubert town, and after the public decla- 
ration of Brigadier Hamilton, that the German troops had 
saved him. Indeed, the praises of General Burgoyne, in the 
order which he issued, ought to kill the poison in this ex- 

" Secondly. When the attack on the column of General 
Burgoyne had commenced, and when General Phillips came 
from the left wing, no one knew where General Eraser was. 
This makes a slight diflference as regards the praise which is 
given to the latter, that, * he had taken his position to the right 
of the English regiments with precision.' 

" It is to be presumed that the enemy knew nothing of Gene- 
ral Eraser, and that it was never the intention of the enemy to 
attack this corps, but rather to turn the left wing of Burgoyne. 
If, therefore, the reported vigorous attack of the English grena- 
diers and the 24th Regiment had been more vigorous, and had 
taken place at the right time, the 20th, 21st and 62d Regiments, 
under the brave Brigadier General Hamilton, would not have 
been forced to withstand a ^severe fire lasting four hours/ 
which ruined them, but did not make them retreat. 

" Thirdly. It is not to be denied that the presence of General 
Phillips did much to withstand the attack ; nor, further, is it to 
be gainsaid that his counsel was of much use. Nor, again, is 


it to be denied that IMajor Williams's conduct was praiseworthy. 
Still, it is difficult to say whether it was advisable for the latter 
to leave his post, where his presence would have been of great 
service in case of an attack from the enemy. But as regards 
the four cannon which Major Williams is said to have brought 
with him, let me say that this must be a mistake, for these four 
cannon were still found at nine o'clock in the evening on the 
road. Perhaps the two six-pounders were meant that Captain 
Beusch brought up, and with which he renewed the cannonading 
that had almost ceased, in consequence of most of the English 
artillerymen being either dead or wounded. 

" Fourthly, General Riedesel, who could have arrived an hour 
sooner had he received the long wished for order, brought up a 
part of the left wing just at the critical moment, when the enemy 
having made an attack on the left wing of Brigadier General 
Hamilton, the latter was withstanding it with great courage, 
but in momentary expectation of being driven back. 

" The advantage gained by falling on the right flank of the 
enemy, and his astonishment at being attacked by fresh troops, 
who, with closed ranks, delivered a regular fire, caused their 
right wing to retreat \ and a fresh attack by Hamilton at the 
same time, gave us ^ complete victory, which could have been 
attended with the capture of many prisoners, had not night 
come on. 

" Fifthly. The attempt to keep Gates occupied up to the 12th, 
in order to prevent his making another move, together with the 
desire to learn more of the condition of the enemy, induced 
General Burgoyne to undertake heavy reconnoitering expedi- 
tions in spite of representations to him of the critical position 
in which both he and the army were placed. The constant 
presence of detachments of the enemy in our rear, the successful 
expedition whereby the bridge at Saratoga was burned, and the 
corps which was seen on the other side of the river near the 
Battenkill, were plain indications of the intention of the enemy 
to surround us and cut off our retreat to the Battenkill and 


Fort Edward. Notwithstanding, however, all these critical 
events, Burgoyne, by false or pleasant news, was prevented 
from retreating to the Battenkill at the only time in which it 
was possible to do so. This, it was his duty to have done under 
those circumstances, especially as the season was far advanced, 
and the distance to New York was so great, that a junction with 
an army coming from the city was more chimerical than pro- 
bable. > 

"Incited by zeal, General Burgoyne refused to retreat; and 
the reconnoissance (not the foraging expedition which had taken 
place the day previous) was carried out on the 7th of October. 
General Burgoyne formed a detachment, three-quarters of a 
mile from the enemy's left wing, in a miserable position. Not- 
withstanding we were close to the enemy, we could see nothing 
of his position ; nor could Captain Fraser, who had approached 
the enemy still closer by a circuitous route through the woods, 
discover anything of him either. It was, therefore, resolved to 
await the enemy in this position. Meanwhile, General Fraser, 
finding two houses filled with forage, seized this opportunity to 
send to the camp after a corps of properly accoutred men to 
capture it. 

" The enemy was seen in small bodies while we were waiting 
for the approach of evening. We were amusing ourselves by 
firing at him with artillery, when suddenly we heard the fire of 
musketry on our left wing where Major Ackland was posted 
with all the English grenadiers. Shortly after this, we saw the 
grenadiers coming back in confusion, very likely discouraged 
by the loss of their brave commander, Major Ackland, who had 
been wounded and captured. By this retreat, the left wing of 
the German command, led by Lieutenant Colonel Specht, was 
exposed ; but detachments from the light infantry regiments of 

1 The reader will bear in mind that these opinions of Riedesel are not given after 
the event when it is so easy to say what mighi have been. Precisely these views, it 
will be remembered, he had urged upon Burgoyne before the self-confidence of the 
latter had made their adoption too late. 


Hanau and Ehetz were at once sent forward, and by the assist- 
ance of the brave Major Wolham and the English artillery, the 
position was maintained. Captains Fredersdorf, Gleisenberg, 
Dahlstern and Gailitz of Hanau, were severely wounded on 
this occasion, and the Hanau artillery was lost by the retreat 
of the English grenadiers. The brave Major Forster, with two 
hundred and sixty English grenadiers, withstood an equally 
severe lire on the right wing. 

" In this critical situation of aflfairs. Brigadier Greneral Eraser 
received orders to succor the centre. He arrived with the 24tli 
Regiment, and was mortally wounded. My Lord Balcarras was 
sent to another position whereby our right wing was exposed in 
the same manner that the left had been during the whole time. 
Notwithstanding all these untoward circumstances, however, 
Major Forster and Lieutenant Colonel Specht kept their posts 
until Burgoyne sent orders for a retreat, which, in spite of 
being hard pressed by the enemy, they executed in good order. 
The cannon had to be left behind, as the horses had been shot, 
and most of the men either killed or wounded. Major Williams 
was captured. According to the order of Burgoyne, we were 
obliged to retreat in the direction of the great redoubt on the 
right wing of Eraser's camp. But scarcely had the troops 
reached this redoubt, when it was attacked by the enemy with 
great vigor and stormed. On our side, also, it was defended 
with great valor. 

" Every one knows that after the aflfair at Bennington, Brey- 
mann^s corps, on the 19th of September numbered scarcely five 
hundred men. Of this number he was obliged to give up three 
hundred men to the detachment which was sent out on a recon- 
noitering expedition. Thus barely two hundred men remained 
with him. With this small band he defended his line for a 
long while, and Lieutenant Cleve reported very favorably con- 
cerning this post, before Greneral Riedesel had been sent from 
this position to the left wing. 

" It must be noticed here, that the left wing of Breymann's 


entrenchment was covered by two houses occupied by Cana- 
dians. These Canadians were ordered to join the reconnoi- 
tering detachment; thus the houses were empty and without 
defense, a fact of which Lieutenant Colonel Breymann knew 

" Profiting by this, the enemy marched through this opening, 
and attacked the left wing of Breymann on the left flank and 
rear. Lieutenant Colonel Breymann was shot dead ] and a 
handful of men was driven back with the loss of its artillery, 
camp and baggage. This news reached the general during the 
absence of Riedesel. Lieutenant Colonel Specht, urged on by 
harsh and cutting words, resolved, in order to save the honor 
of the Germans, to retake the entrenchment, but his detachment 
being indiscriminately mixed up with the English in the great 
redoubt, and night preventing him from collecting them together, 
he rallied four officers and about Mij men with whom, sorely 
chafed and offended, he started, half in despair, to attack the 
enemy. Unacquainted with the road, and in the darkness of the 
night, he met a man in the woods who pretended to belong to 
the company of McKay, and who promised to lead him to Brey- 
mann's corps. But this man, instead of keeping his promise, 
delivered him as a traitor into the hands of the enemy, by 
whom he and the four officers were captured. The men, how- 
ever, discovering the treachery of their guide in time, made 
their escape. 

" This is the answer to the severe expression of Greneral Bur- 
goyne : Unfortunately the entrenchment of the reserve^ under 
Lieutenant Colonel Breymann^ was taken after the latter was 
shot. Orders were given that it should he retaken^ hut they were 
never executed, 

" Sixthly, During the retreat on the evening of the 8th, 
General Biedesel commanded the advanced guard consisting of 
the 47th and 62d Regiments of light infantry of the Brunswick 
grenadiers and the corps of Captain Eraser. The advanced 
guard arrived at Dovogat at three o'clock on the morning of the 


9th. Here Riedesel learned that the enemy were entrenched on 
the heights of Saratoga at a short distance from the barracks. 
He thereupon ordered the column to halt, sent Captain Fraser 
in advance to reconnoitre, and reported to Greneral Burgoyne, 
who had arrived before daybreak, that the enemy were on the 
other side of the Hudson. But, to the astonishment of every 
one, we remained the whole day at Dovogat near the Battenkill. 
At this time the enemy near the Battenkill, according to all 
reports, were not strong enough to have prevented our crossing 
the river ; ' but even if we had not been able to get across, we 
might have continued our march on this side, crossed the ferry 
near Fort Edward, and occupied the favorable heights at that 
place. Thus, in one way or the other, the army could have 
been saved, although the baggage might have been lost. 

" The army, however, passed the night at Fishkill, the enemy 
holding the whole of the opposite bank. General Burgoyne 
very prudently dispatched the 47th and 62d Regiments, under 
Lieutenant Colonel Southerland toward Fort Edward, Captain 
Twiss at the same time being ordered to repair the bridges. 
According to the report of Lieutenant Colonel Southerland, it 
is evident that had the army continued marching, it could have 
reached the heights of Fort Edward before the enemy ; and in 
case of this being impossible, we could have crossed the river 
higher up, and thus have reached the heights of Fort George 
without material loss. Nobody knows why the retreat was not 
continued. Lieutenant Colonel Southerland was ordered back 
again to the army. The sad situation in which the army was 
near Saratoga, after all the chances for a retreat had been 
neglected, is familiar to every one. 

"General Riedesel, as late as the 12th, proposed a retreat, 
and this proposition was approved ; but it was discovered that 
the distribution of rations had been forgotten. The distribu- 
tion was thereupon ordered at once ; and it was resolved that 
the retreat should be commenced immediately, if this distribu- 
tion be accomplished by ten o'clock. But when everything was 


ready for the march, the retreat was postponed until the follow- 
ing day when it was impossible to carry it out.i 

" These are the remarks which General Riedesel found 
necessary to make in regard to the letter of Greneral Burgoyne 
to Lord Germain, and in regard, also, to the minutes of the 
council, upon communicating them to his excellency, the duke, 
and his own countrymen. 

" It seems that General Burgoyne has been kind enough to 
save the honor of General Riedesel, yea, even to speak with 
distinction and praise in regard to his conduct. Yet it is pain- 
ful to the latter to know that he has not spoken of the troops 
with the same distinction, especially in regard to the affair of 
the 7th of October, and this, too, notwithstanding General 
Riedesel declared that he could have done nothing praiseworthy 
without the good will and the active cooperation of the troops 
which he commanded. 

" For this reason General Riedesel had rather be deprived of 
all praise than see his troops robbed of the same glory in a 
public and unjust manner. 

" For this reason, and with this intention, he desires, to pub- 
lish his ideas and relate circumstances truthfully for the honor 
of his nation. 

" KiEDESEL, Major General. 

" Cambridge, May 8th, 1778." 

In order to secure himself against all reproach, General 
Riedesel compiled a memorandum containing the course of 
events from the beginning of the campaign of 1777, up to the 
unfortunate affair near Saratoga, which was signed by all the 
German commanders. We find an extract from this memo- 
randa in « Madame Riedesers book, and also in a patriotic 
journal, entitled The Brunswick Magazine^ No. XI. One 

1 Riedesel, it will be remembered, himself saw to the distribation of the rations, 
which was all accomplished by ten o^clock, the time specified. 



reads like the other ; but both are, as the postscript sajs, only 
extracts. Although the correspondent of that magazine states, 
that he had taken it from the original papers of the Brunswick 
general, the original in Riedesers own handwriting is among 
his papers which are no longer in Brunswick: As this memo- 
randum contains, in general, nothing that has not been already 
mentioned, we will not copy it here. It is signed by Brigadier 
Generals Von Specht and GaU,i Lieutenant Colonel Leuz, 
Major Von Mengen, Von Ehrenkrook and Lucke, also by 
Captains Lohreisen and Schottelius. 

From the foregoing, we see Biedesers opinion concerning 
many things undertaken by Burgoyne. We find in it, however, 
none of that indignation which would certainly have been excusa- 
ble, under the circumstances, considering the conduct of the 
general toward the German troops, and the misfortune which he 
brought upon them by his thoughtless conduct. But Biedesel's 
character was too noble, and he had too much tact to give vent to 
passionate expressions. It is the language of a man who is tran- 
quil, and knows how to govern himself, and who is also conscious 
of his own rectitude. No allusion is made by him to the failing 
which caused General Burgoyne to commit many a rash act. 

The feeling wife, however, looks at these misfortunes in a 
different light. Her husband, her children, her friends, the 
brave soldiers and herself suffered too much from the conduct 
of the commanding general to permit of her silence. She was 
a witness of scenes at which her sense of right, duty and mo- 
rality revolted. She therefore speaks of the conduct of the 
British general with not so much consideration as her husband. 
Accordingly, in her interesting book of events, she speaks of 
events which throw a clearer light upon this and that circum- 
stance, and enable us better to see through the otherwise 
inexplicable character of General Burgoyne. 

Mrs. General Riedesel arrived in the evening with the army 

1 Von Gall adds, " All, so flu: as I know, Is entirely true."— Note to the original. 


at Saratoga wet and hungry. There was great confusion and 
excitement, and she was unable to find a place to sleep. She 
sat down with her children by a fire in order to dry her clothes, 
and then laid down on some straw. An English officer brought 
her a bowl of soup. 

It appeared singular to her that the English general should 
intend remaining there, and upon her expressing her fears con- 
cerning the delay to Greneral Phillips, he answered : " Poor 
woman ! I wonder at you, although completely drenched, you 
yet have courage to think of going farther in this weather. I 
would that you were our commanding general. He considers 
himself too fatigued to go farther, and intends staying here all 
night and give us a supper." Burgoyne actually caroused here 
half the night. He was hilarious with champagne, caressing 
the wife of a commissary who was his mistress.^ This was 
probably the cause of his remaining so long at this place, thus 
losing the precious time necessary for his retreat. While Bur- 
goyne was enjoying his champagne and choice food, the army 
suffiered the keenest want. 

The days which Madame Riedesel spent here, were, for her, 
the most terrible ones of the whole war. We will not enter any 
more into details, but refer the reader to her book in which she 
describes everything with her natural simplicity and humility. 
The wife of the wounded Major Harnach, Madame Reynolds, 
who had lost her husband, the wife of the lieutenant, who had 
given some of his soup to Mrs. Riedesel, and the wife of a com- 
missary, Burgoyne's mistress, were the only ladies who were 
now with the army. 

All the captured generals were obliged to repair to the enemy's 
camp after the capitulation. As soon as Riedesel arrived in the 
American camp, he sent for his wife. While riding with fear 
and anxiety through the camp, she took new courage from the 

1 This fkct which Mrs. Riedesel mentions in her Journal is confirmed by the 
Journals of several of the German officers who served in this campaign.— Vide 
the AtixUiaries in America by Eelking. 


fact that the soldiers looked at her in a friendly manner and 
saluted her. Upon her arrival at the tents of the superior offi- 
cers, a tall, good looking man approached her and took the 
children from the carriage, hugging and kissing them. She 
was then led hy him into the tent of General Gates, by whom 
she was received in a friendly manner. To her great astonish- 
ment, she met here Generals Burgoyne ' and Phillips. The 
former was of good cheer, and seemed to be very familiar with 
General Gates. The American officer who had first met Mrs. 
Riedesel in the enemy's camp, was General Schuyler. 

We will not here speculate whether a brave army was led to 
ruin by the incapacity or the wantonness of its leader, or in 
consequence of a badly arranged plan. In consequence of the 
affiiir near Saratoga, the mother country lost her best colonies, 
for from this time the power and the confidence of the Ameri- 
cans grew daily; the independence of the provinces being 
already as good as decided. 

As has been already seen, English generals and historians 
either were not impartial enough, or not sufficiently informed 

1 General Burgoyne was the natural eon of Lord Lingley, and possessed, with a 
prepossessing exterior, the fine and sagacious manners of a courtier. He was 
witty and brave, and was, therefore, never in want of Mends. In the year 1762, he 
led an English corps in Portugal with some success, in consequence of which his 
friends thought not a little of his military abilities. But personal courage does not 
constitute a commander ; for of a commander we expect other qualities, especially 
experience and presence of mind. General Burgoyne lacked both. In all his 
undertakings he was hasty and self-willed, desiring to do everything alone, he 
hardly ever consulted with others ; and yet he never knew how to keep a plan 
secret. Being a great sybarite, he often neglected the duties of a commander as 
well toward his king as toward his subordinates. He could easily make light of 
everything provided he was eating a good meal, or was with his mistress. Thus, 
immediately after the capitulation, he could eat and drink with the enemy's gene- 
rals, and could talk with the greatest ease of the most important events. But 
what a responsibility had he not taken upon himself ? What could he expect in the 
future? What a difference did not General Riedesel find when comparing him 
with Duke Ferdinand, the thorough commander, the moral and kind philanthro- 
pist ! General Burgoyne, soon after the surrender, returned to England. He was 
received very coolly at first by the court and the people, and was forced to give up 
his salary. But he had the good fortune never to have his crim«?s investigated by 
a court martial. Afterwards he became the favorite of the queen and wrote plays. 
He died in 1792.— iVofe to the original. 


to acknowledge the merits of the Germans. The brave General 
Riedesel felt this keenly. With a noble self-denial he sets aside 
his own glory to preserve that of his troops, but as he has never 
published anything regarding it, and never intrusted any one 
with his documents a great deal is lost in obscurity and doubt. 
The historical works relating to this war were mostly written by 
English, French or Americans, and were only afterwards trans- 
lated into German, and we have consequently related many 
things in the same maimer as they were told us. Many of 
these things consist of documents and additions ; and we, there- 
fore, ask the reader to pardon what is often necessary repetitions. 

If General Riedesel complains of the partiality of the Eng- 
lish general, he does not do it without good reasons. Look, for 
instance, at the letter of Burgoyne to Lord Germain. In it we 
find more of a justification than a report. He pays all regard 
to the English, but none to the German troops. Conspicuous 
in this report are the following points : 

First, General Burgoyne does not admit that on the 19th of 
September, the German troops saved the English near Free- 
man's farm, the latter being already beaten. 

Secondly, The German troops on the 7th of October, bear 
all the blame for the Americans having been allowed to pene- 
trate into the English camp. He has no excuse for them, and 
yet by his own doings, the left flank of Breymann's corps was 
exposed to the enemy without the knowledge of the Germans. 

Thirdly, He makes no mention of the fact that the bateaux 
were captured through the negligence of an English detach- 
ment, and that four English companies, by a like mistake, were 
taken prisoners at Ticonderoga a short time afterward. 

Fourthly, He does not admit that on the 7th of October, 
during the great reconnoitering expedition, the German troops 
held the dangerous position near the enemy's camp, after the 
defeat of the English Grenadiers on the left wing. 

The public in England, as well as the loyalists in America, 
were very much prejudiced against the German troops by these 


false reports, as is plainly expressed by General Riedesel in bia 

On tbe 20tb of October, the captured General Riedesel bid 
adieu to tbe family of General Scbuyler by whom he bad been 
so hospitably entertained ; and, with his family, continued his 
journey from Albany, riding in the same coach with his wife 
and children. His health had already suffered considerably, 
not only by continual bivouacking and other exposures, but by 
mental emotions caused by the misfortune to his brave troops. 
He was now constantly depressed in spirits, and suffered from 
headache and general physical debility. He overtook his troops 
at Kinder's hook, where they encamped in the woods. They were 
now fifty-two English miles from Stillwater. 

On the 23d, the men had a day of rest. Kinder's hook was a 
small, pleasant village, formerly settled by the Dutch, most of 
whom were loyal. 

On the 24th, bivouacked near Nobletown. 

On the 25th, they arrived at Great Barrington, where, for 
the first time during the march, they obtained shelter in barns. 
Hitherto the roads leading through valleys had been good, but 
now the road led over mountains in the green woods, which are 
connected with the Green mountains. They grew constantly 
worse; and the commander of the escort, not being a good 
soldier, directed the march toward the best taverns. All the 
expostulations of General Riedesel were in vain, the com- 
mander, only intent upon having everything as comfortable as 
possible for his men. After reaching the mountains, a terrible 
rain storm made the roads worse yet. The teams, also, for the 
transportation of the provisions and the sick, were to have been 
changed at Great Barrington ; but as they had not been ordered 
previously it was impossible to collect them. An unnecessary 
halt, therefore, had to be made. Finally, a sufl&cient number of 
teams were gathered to carry the provisions, but the sick were 


obliged to remain there in charge of commissioned and noncom- 
missioned officers. A commissary, by the name of Thillemann, 
a German by birth, remained behind to send them forward 
afterwards. This person took a great deal of pains to induce 
Grerman soldiers to desert and enlist in the American army. 

On this day, the troops marched fifteen miles and were forced 
to encamp near Spring's house in terrible weather. Several of 
the men had already remained behind, in consequence of fatigue 
and want of shoes. On the day following the number of the lag- 
garts increased, the march being fourteen miles. The troops 
encamped again in the woods near Grey's house. On the 28th, 
they were to have arrived at West Springfield, but the weather 
being bad and cold — it snowing and hailing considerably — 
they only reached Westfield. The march was so disorderly that 
prisoners and men belonging to the escort remained behind, and, 
in consequence, lost their way. General Eiedesel finally suc- 
ceeded, by making friends with the inhabitants, in finding quarters 
for his men. Two German soldiers were frozen to death on this 
day in the woods. 

On the 29th, the prisoners arrived at West Springfield. By 
entreaties and various representations. General Riedesel suc- 
ceeded in obtaining quarters for his weary and half frozen 
soldiers. On this day, they advanced only four miles. A day 
of rest was here given to the soldiers. 

On the 31st, the general went across the Connecticut river to 
East Springfield to make arrangements with the authorities at 
that place for a supply of provisions. In the meantime the 
troops remained at West Springfield, a rest that was very accept- 
able to them, as it give them a chance to repair their torn cloth- 
ing, shoes, etc. 

General Eiedesel, however, did not find the people of East 
Springfield as obliging as those at West Springfield. Notwith- 
standing all his entreaties, he failed to induce them to quarter 
his troops. They were, accordingly, obliged to continue their 
march as far as Palmer, a distance of thirteen miles. 


On the 2d df November, they were obliged again to encamp 
near Brookfield, after a march of sixteen miles. Here the 
English regiments were again met with ; and it was resolved 
that hereafter they should keep a day's ma/ch in advance of the 

After a great deal of discussion with a stubborn colonel, 
Riedesel finally succeeded, after a march of eleven miles, in 
procuring quarters for his men at Leicester. 

On the next day, the 4th, the troops arrived at Worcester, 
after a march of eleven miles, and obtained decent quarters. 
Generals Burgoyne and Phillips, with Brigadier Glover, also 
arrived there at the same time. General Riedesel, who, in 
several letters, had already complained to the latter general of 
the conduct of Colonel Beid, took this opportunity to have an 
interview with him, the good result of which was that hence- 
forth, the prisoners were- properly quartered. 

On the 5th, after a march of seventeen miles, the prisoners 
arrived at Marlborough. 

On the 6th, they arrived at West-town ; and finally, on the 
7th, after a march of sixteen miles, they reached the barracks 
at Cambridge near Boston. 

The barracks for the English troops were on Prospect hill ; 
those of the Germans on Winter hill.i They were in the most 
miserable condition. So far as regarded their provisions, the 
soldiers, it is true, were more contented, they being good and 
wholesome. Several of the ofl&cers were permitted to reside at 
Cambridge and Mystic, but no one was allowed to go to Boston. 
The American General Heath at first consented to the officers 
and soldiers going a mile beyond their barracks. This privi- 
lege was afterward extended to three miles. 

During the journey. General Riedesel noted down several 
observations regarding the American army, especially its ofl&- 

1 The number of the English amounted to 2,800 ; that of the Germans to about 
1,900 men.— Note to original. 


cers. That army had been gathered in the greatest haste ; and 
such thorough training and organization as is found in Europe, 
as a matter of course, could not be expected. Every citizen, 
who, out of patriotism or by the necessity of circumstances took 
up arms, joined the army without reference to position or 
wealth. Most of them were excellent marksmen ) and, knowing 
well the locality upon which they fought, knew how to make 
use of it in every way. Being hunters and farmers they were 
accustomed to exposure and endurance, and minded not fatigue 
and hardship. He who had the best capacity and the most 
influence was appointed leader. Thus generals were very often 
found among the Americans, who, when not otherwise engaged, 
despised no hard work, provided only they could make money. 
Thus, some of these generals carried on the noble profession of 
shoemaking, a profession which, during the march, was very 
lucrative. In illustration of this, Mrs. Riedesel, in her journal, 
relates the following anecdote. An English officer, whose boots 
were entirely worn out, walked for some time alongside of one 
of the above mentioned generals who wore a pair of new ones. 
Says the Englishman, more in fun than earnest, " Greneral, I 
would gladly give you a guinea for your boots. Immediately, 
the American general dismounted, took off his boots, and 
handed them to the Englishman, at the same time taking the 
money and the torn boots of the Englishman in exchange. He 
then mounted his horse and again rode on. 

Greneral Riedesel, with his family, found shelter for the pre- 
sent, in a farmhouse,^ where he was forced to content himself 
with a room and a garret. Nothing but some straw could be 
found for a couch. Upon this some beds were thrown, the 
servants, meanwhile, sleeping in the hall. The landlord was 

1 This house is still (1867) in existence in Cambridge, and is yet known as the 
Riedesel house. On one of the window panes, scratched with a diamond, is 
the general's autograph. It is generally thought to be the handwriting of Mrs. 
Riedesel. A comparison, however, between her signature and her husband's shows 
conclusively that it is his own. 

• 28 


very kind, but his other half was a veritable dragon, doing 
everything to offend and annoy her obnoxious guests. But as 
it was impossible to find another place, they were obliged to 
put up with everything rather than be driven from the house. 

Their stay here lasted for three weeks ; after which Kiedesel 
came to Cambridge where he obtained nice quarters. A colony 
of aristocratic and rich people had settled in this part of the 
country ; but being mostly royalists they were forced, by the 
course of political events, to leave their handsome houses, several 
of which were at this time vacant. The inhabitants were also 
divided into two opposing parties, viz : royalists and republicans. 
A middle party was unknown. The former, however, being in 
the minority, were often exposed to gross insults, as is often 
the case in such exciting times. As a natural sequence, brothers 
opposed brothers ; sons left their parents ; man and wife sepa- 

The life in these barracks, moreover, was miserable. They 
were poorly built ) the cold winds of November whistled through 
the cracks, and the rain and snow made inroads in many places. 
The poor soldiers suffered severely, being unable to protect 
their weary and half frozen limbs against the inclement weather. 
They had left behind them all the baggage which they could 
possibly spare when first starting on this unhappy retreat ; and 
the little which they had retained by them had either been 
gradually used up, or taken from them by the Americans by force 
and cunning. The misery of their situation also was increased 
by the fact that the governor of Boston, General Heath, con- 
ducted himself in a manner anything but friendly toward the 
prisoners. He treated them with severity and harshness, thus 
making the fate of these miserable prisoners still more deplor- 
able. As a natural consequence difficulties arose between this 
general and the commanders of the captured troops, a state of 
things that continued as long as the latter remained at Boston. 

According to the solemn promises given by General Gates, it 
was expected that the stay at Boston would be but of short 


duration. The poor soldiers, however, were very much deceived. 
Their real misery had only just begun. The beginning of their 
troubles is seen in the following letter from Riedesel to Bur- 

" A Most Humble Representation. 

" Humanity as well as duty requires that we should attend to 
those soldiers who are entrusted to our care. In the sad situa- 
tion in which we, as well as other of&cers are placed, we find 
ourselves obliged to call upon your excellency to take care of 
us, and better our situation by your representations. It is 
expressly stated in the treaty, which your excellency has ne- 
gotiated with General Grates, that the officers should have 
decent lodging places in proportion to their rank. Instead, 
however, of this article being carried out, we have been sent to 
the most miserable barracks, erected of common boards, in 
which four, five and six officers are promiscuously lodged with- 
out respect to rank. 

" Indeed, the greater number of the soldiers is so miserably 
lodged that they are unable to shelter themselves from cold and 
rain in this severe season of the year ; and in spite of the hand- 
some promises and the fact that they are here fourteen days, 
and notwithstanding, also, my offer, that the men would make 
the repairs themselves if the necessary materials were furnished, 
nothing has been provided for them yet. The soldiers, of whom 
twenty to twenty-four occupy the same barrack, are without 
light at night. Three of them sleep in the same bed. They 
receive, also, so little fuel that they can scarcely cook our 
rations, to say nothing of warming the cold rooms. In fact, 
they have not even considered it worth while to establish a rule 
by which the officers and privates, according to their rank, may 
receive fuel. 

" All these proper complaints cause general dissatisfaction 
among the troops ; and it is to be feared that the result will be 
desertion and disobedience for which we cannot be responsible. 


" Although we officers, belonging to the staff, think less of our 
own comfort than of that of the soldiers whom we command, yet we 
cannot deny that we are astonished at observing the care that has 
been taken of the lodgings of the English general officers, while 
we have not even been thought of. We know the justice and 
honor of your excellency too well to allow us to doubt for a 
moment that these just representations will be considered by 
you, and that you will see to it that the troops receive that 
which belongs to them by right of treaty. We believe that it 
is no more than justice to furnish the troops with the same 
rations, etc., as they have received during the winter of 1775, 
while in garrison in Boston. 

" We lay our fate in your hands and under your protection, 
and remain, with deep respect 

" Your excellency's, etc." 

Subsequently, General Burgoyne sent a dispatch to Sir Wil- 
liam Howe, who was at Philadelphia at the time, in which he 
reported the miserable condition in which the troops were, 
requesting him at the same time to do all he could for them. 
Captain Valency carried the dispatch to General Howe. 

Congress, even as early as this, did not intend to keep the 
treaty which General Gates had made in his own name with 
the English general. The famous Marquis De Lafayette had 
arrived a short time previous to this in America, offering his 
assistance to the patriots, and joining their army as major 
general. France, intending at this time to declare war against 
England, was obliged to make common cause with the Ameri- 
cans; and Lafayette, in the interest of his nation, advised con- 
gress not to send the prisoners to Europe, since they could be 
again used against France. General Heath, also, allowed the 
Bostonians to induce the soldiers to desert, even going so far 
as to aid them by making the situation of the prisoners as 
unpleasant as possible. 

We will here quote verbatim that which Biedesel says in his 


journal in regard to this. It reads as follows : " One would 
have believed that the people of America were better acquainted 
with the principles of the laws of nations, of military honor and 
public trust and faith ; but alas! we learned differently ! These 
pages will show the subterfuges which they used in making this 
treaty null and void; also, how they induced by hard, unjust, 
yea, we might say, treacherous methods, our men to join them. 
Again, how they would persuade them by false promises to 
embrace their side and thus cause our army to melt away gradu- 
ally, by making part of it slaves to a detestable nation. And 
here, in fact, really lies the reason of all the troubles and diffi- 
culties which afterward arose between our commander and 
General Heath, to whose safe keeping our army had been com- 

The camp of the prisoners was encircled by a chain of 
outposts. The officers, who were permitted to go somewhat 
beyond the camp, were obliged to promise in writing on their 
word of honor, to go no farther beyond it than a mile and a half. 
Within this space are the villages, Cambridge, Mystic or Med- 
ford, and a part of Charlestown. In these places the generals 
and brigadiers could select lodgings, for which, of course, they 
had to pay dearly. After a while this permission was extended 
to other staff and subaltern officers. Only a few of the Bruns- 
wickers availed themselves of this permission, preferring to 
remain in their miserable barracks, and thus share all incon- 
veniences with their nien. 

The camp was located on a height, which, to a distance of 
eight miles, was surrounded with woods, thus presenting a 
splendid view of Boston, the harbor and the vast ocean. The 
barracks had been built in 1775, at the time that the Americans 
first took up arms, and upon these very heights took their first 
position against Greneral Grage. These heights were fortified. 

When the fatigued and worn out troops arrived here on the 
7th of November, they found not the least thing for their sup- 
port. A little straw and some wood was everything that was 


furnislied to the soldier. The officers and privates were obliged 
to repair the barracks as well as they could, although they had 
neither tools nor materials with which to do it. Necessity, 
however, which is the mother of invention, accomplished incredi- 
ble things. 

The conduct of the German officers toward their soldiers, was, 
indeed, most exemplary. Both on the march and in the camp 
they sought to alleviate as much as possible the miseries of the 
troops, forgetting their own troubles. Thus many, who had 
still a little money left, bought boots and shoes for those of their 
men who were barefoot. A pair of second hand boots cost about 
four silver thalers.^ During their journey, the Americans, in 
some instances, stole the knapsacks from these miserable beings 
who had carried them with great trouble thus far. They also 
stole about thirty horses. At Albany, all the baggage belong- 
ing to General Riedesel was stolen, and this too, although an 
American guard had been given him for its protection. Con- 
sequently he and his family had nothing left but what they had 
carried on their backs. The English were treated in the same 
manner. During the march, prisoners — most of whom had 
been captured near Bennington — were met in almost every 
place. Some asked to be taken with the rest to Boston, while 
others, satisfied with their fate, wished to remain. Those Ger- 
man officers who had been captured previously, were at West- 
minster and Rutland. It was a short and painful meeting 
between old comrades. The prisoners were furnished with 
board and lodging for a remuneration by the people of Massa- 
chusetts bay, but were obliged to assist at work. Some fared 
well, others ill, just as the fancy struck their host. 

On .the 8th, General Heath came into the camp of the pri- 
soners. He called upon all the generals, and, taking them to 
the city, gave them a dinner. Orders were also issued this day 
regarding the future treatment of the prisoners. Special regu- 

1 A thaler is equal to seventy cents in American money. 


lations were made for the officers which they had to sign on 
parole. They were obliged to promise to give neither direct nor 
indirect intelligence to the enemies of the United States, nor to 
say anything that could be in the least detrimental to the actions 
and provisions of congress. Finally, they were to obey the rules 
and regulations which had already been given them, and also 
those that should be given in future to the royal troops. This 
last point caused great indignation among all the officers, many 
refusing their signatures. Eight days passed before these latter 
could make up their minds to append their names ; but all repre- 
sentations being in vain, and it being perceived that if they stood 
out they would have to share with the common soldiers their 
restricted space and be exposed to other extortions, they finally 
signed the obnoxious paper. 

The same day the following order appeared : " Major General 
Heath, commander of the eastern department, desirous of treat- 
ing General Burgoyne and all officers of the army with polite- 
ness and generosity, and the soldiers with philanthropy and 
care, and for the preservation of order and harmony among the 
different troops, issues the following orders : 

" First. If an officer goes beyond the limits, he shall, for a 
punishment, be restricted to the narrower limits of the private 
soldier, or, according to circumstances, be placed on board a 
guard ship. 

" Secondly. All officers below the rank of staff officer shall 
be at their quarters by nine o'clock in the evening. 

" Thirdly. Commissaries shall be appointed from whom the 
troops shall buy all their provisions at their original cost. Nor 
shall any of the troops buy anything from any person except 
these commissaries. 

" Fourthly. The officers shall carefully avoid all difficulties 
with the inhabitants, and in case they are insulted, shall carry 
their complaints to the proper place. 

" Fifthly. The servants of the officers, for whom their masters 
have signed the parole, are not allowed to go further from the 


quarters of their masters than to the sutlers, unless accom- 
panied by their masters. 

" Heath, Major Greneral. 
" Boston, November 8, 1777/' 

The Grerman troops owed all the practical orders regarding 
the transportation of provisions to their general who, after 
many discussions finally carried his point with General Heath. 
They thereby obtained the necessaries of life easier and cheaper. 
This was also of advantage to the commanders as they were 
thus better able to keep their men together and prevent ex- 
cesses and desertion. A great many of the English troops, 
who were not included in this order, had trouble daily, and 
numbers were arrested and transported to the guard ships. 

The prisoners* camp had many visitors daily, who came not 
only from Boston and vicinity, but from far and near. Some- 
times the curiously inquisitive would come a distance of one 
hundred miles to see the foreigners. Thus it occasionally 
happened that the Americans secretly took the opportunity to 
bring into camp renegade prisoners in civilian's clothing, that 
the latter might picture the pleasant life they enjoyed and 
induce desertion. The Americans did this from economical 
motives ; for there being a great want of working men, they 
used the prisoners like slaves. 

On the 11th, General Riedesel issued a general order in 
regard to the interior of the camp. The companies were made 
to form in line twice a day for muster ; and all communication 
between the prisoners and the Americans who guarded them 
was forbidden. The officers and subalterns were to enforce dis- 
cipline and order, and especially prevent difficulties and quarrels. 
This regulation in the German camp was also beneficial in another 
respect, viz : that the Americans soon recognizing it, always sent 
those soldiers who were arrested to their respective regiments 
for punishment, while they themselves punished the English 
soldiers by sending them to the guard house. For the purpose 


moreover, of bettering the miserable condition of the clothing, 
Eiedesel ordered the tails to be cut off the coats that the waists 
might be mended with them. Thus coats became jackets. 

Greneral Heath allowed passes to be issued to the servants of 
officers permitting them to go alone as far as the boundaries 
prescribed for their masters. The adjutant general of Heath, 
by the name of Keith, soon made this a paying business, asking 
a paper thaler for every pass. In order to increase his profits, 
he soon extended the permission to subalterns and privates, who 
were thus also allowed to go beyond the American outposts into 
.the neighboring villages. 

Every day a staff officer was sent upon each of the hills, 
charged with the special superintendence of it. All difficulties 
were brought to him for settlement. On Thursdays and Sun- 
days the regiments gathered for a sort of parade, when they 
were inspected by the generals. This was done with the usual 
precision, the generals walking between the open lines and 
inspecting the mended clothing with the same particularity as 
they would, had it been the handsomest uniform. Thus order 
and cleanliness was maintained among the soldiers. 

Not even the sick came under shelter, but were sent to the 
special barracks where they died more of cold than disease. 

The American colonel, Lee, a very sociable man, was made 
commander of Cambridge. It was his duty to inspect two of 
the hills. Over him was a so called town major, by name 
Browne, who, as late as 1775, had served as a subaltern officer 
in the 47th English regiment, but who afterward deserted. 
This man was easily bribed ; and hating the English more than 
the Germans, he was much more obliging to the latter. 

On the 20th of November, Boston was in a joyous commotion. 
From the towers pealed forth the bells ; and from the batteries 
thundered the guns, which in turn were answered by those in 
the harbor. Houses and ships were decked with flags and 
banners. All these demonstrations were in consequence of the 
arrival of the president of the province, by the name of Han- 



COCK, who had honored the city with a visit. Notwithstanding 
the so called patriots did not wish to have anything to do with 
the king, yet in presence of the prisoners, they called the 
president King Hancock in order to tantalize them. Im- 
partial men, who knew the president, said that his riches and 
his partiality rather than his talents had helped him in reaching 
this high position. The delegates of the townships met in 
Boston in their gala dresses on this occasion. Of these original 
people, as well as of the inhabitants of New England, the 
general gives the following description : 

" One can see in these men, here assembled, exactly the 
national character of the inhabitants of New England. They 
are distinguished from the rest by their manner of dress. Thus 
they all, under a thick, round, yellow wig, bare the honorable 
physiognomy of a magistrate. Their dress is after the old 
English fashion. Over this they wear, winter and summer, a 
blue blouse, with sleeves, which is fastened round the body by 
a strap. One hardly ever sees any of them without a whip. 
They are generally thickset, and middling tall y and it is diffi- 
cult to distinguish one from another. Not one-tenth of them 
can read writing, and still fewer can write. This art belongs, 
aside from the literary men, exclusively to the female sex. The 
women are well educated; and, therefore, know better than 
any other matrons in the world how to govern the men. The 
New Englanders all want to be politicians, and love, therefore, 
the taverns and the grog bowl ; behind the latter of which 
they transact business, drinking from morning till night. They 
are extremely inquisitive, credulous and zealous to madness for 
liberty ; but they are, at the same time, so blind that they can- 
not see the heavy yoke imposed upon them by their congress, 
under which they are already sinking." 

Greneral Burgoyne seems to have cared more for the welfare 
of his troops after the misfortune near Saratoga had overtaken 
him than before. He ordered from Rhode island winter 
clothing for the soldiers, which cost a great deal of money. 


The supply sent over scarcely sufficed to clothe one-eighth of 
the army ; nevertheless, he had this divided equally among the 
two nationalities, and ordered more from New York. 

On the 13th of December, Captain Valency, who had been 
sent by Burgoyne the beginning of November to General Howe, 
returned with an answer from the latter to the effect that he 
had given orders to have the necessary transports got in readi- 
ness as quickly as possible to take the troops back to Europe. 
This news circulated quickly, not only in the camp but in the 
province of Massachusetts bay where the rest of the prisoners 
were quartered. Many of the latter left their quarters, and came 
into camp to go with their companions to Europe. As soon, 
however, as General Heath received intelligence of this fact, he 
issued orders for all such prisoners to return at once to their 
quarters; As a matter of course, this order had to be obeyed. 

Desertion among the English had now increased to such an 
extent, that toward the end of December about four hundred 
men were missing. Among the Germans, however, there were 
only ten desertions. 

Toward the latter part of this month, the transports, sent by 
General Howe under the command of Commodore Dalrymple, 
arrived at Cape Cod. Congress had already broken the treaty, 
under the flimsy pretense that the troops could not depart until 
the king of England had signed the treaty. Accordingly when 
Commodore Dalrymple reported to General Heath his arrival 
and the reason for it, he received the answer that the resolution 
of CQngress was final. General Burgoyne, also, received the 
same answer to his demand respecting the embarkation of the 
troops ; and the English flotilla was obliged to return to Bhode 
island without having accomplished anything. General Bur- 
goyne, thereupon, sent one of his adjutants. Captain Welford, 
with a letter to congress, in which he insisted upon the fulfill- 
ment of the treaty, at the same time pointing out the bad 
consequences which might arise if congress should act contrary 
to its stipulations. Captain Welford was, also, to support the 


demand of the English general by verbal representations. 
Another letter was given him by Burgoyne in which congress 
was petitioned, in case of its not permitting the departure of 
the troops, to allow the bearer. Captain Welford, to return to 
England on account of sickness and family affairs. He promised 
that if congress should at any future time recall him he would 
at once return to America. Burgoyne, also, gave him a second 
urgent letter to General Washington supporting his request. 

In the meantime the prisoners received other intelligence 
through the newspapers and the inhabitants, which caused the 
prospects of their speedy release to grow even fainter ; for it 
was said that the troops would not be allowed to depart until 
the king of England, in due form, acknowledged the independ- 
ence of the United States. 

On the 31st, Major Von Mengen received the command of 
the grenadier battalion. Captain Von Polnitz succeeding him 
in the command of his old regiment. 

Paymaster General Godecke being still in Canada with the 
military chest, a great want of money was experienced. Desir- 
ous of mitigating this evil, Riedesel thought of the common 
man's interest first. He, therefore, issued a circular, on the 
31st of December, to all the German commanders, requesting 
them to see to it that the subalterns and privates received their 
pay first. They were further requested to borrow the necessary 
funds in some way, either from officers or from soldiers who 
had any to spare. Certificates, signed by Burgoyne and the 
English paymaster, were given to those persons who advanced 
money. Riedesel, himself advanced all the money he could 
spare. In this way enough was collected to enable the poor 
man to meet his expenses. 

Let us now cast a slight retrospect over the events that had 
thus far occurred during this war. Immediately after the be- 
ginning of the campaign, General Washington, breaking through 


the English lines at Trenton, beat General Cornwallis on the 3d 
of January, near Princeton. A short time after this General 
Prescott was beaten by the American Lieutenant Colonel Barlow. 
The English were consequently forced to evacuate New Jersey. 
Howe did not succeed in his intended assault upon Philadel- 
phia by water. He met Washington on land by the Brandywine 
river, and defeated him on the 13th of September. Afterward 
he occupied Philadelphia. General Howe, however, not knowing 
how to take advantage of his victories, soon relapsed into his usual 
inactivity. The Americans acted better, and, accordingly, endea- 
vored to augment their forces as much as possible. In addition 
to this, Marquis Lafayette (as already mentioned), Duplessia, 
Kosciusko, Pulaski and other thorough officers, came from Eu- 
rope and offered their services to the Americans, which were 
gladly accepted. Thus the year 1777 passed, a year, which, for 
the army of Canada, began splendidly, but ended shamefully. 

For the purpose of giving a better idea of the strength of 
both armies that were in the northern section of the country, 
we here append the following lists. This appears the more 
necessary, for the reason that those historical works, generally, 
which treat on the North American war, either give the num- 
bers differently and incorrectly, or do not give them at all. 

The American army near Saratoga under General Gates, 
consisted, on the 17th of October, of 3 major generals, 12 
brigadier generals, 44 colonels, 49 majors, 344 captains, 332 
first lieutenants, 326 second lieutenants, 345 ensigns, 5 chap- 
lains, 42 adjutants, 44 quarter masters, 30 paymasters, 37 doc- 
tors, 43 assistant doctors, 1,392 sergeants, 636 drummers, 
13,216 subaltern officers and privates, 662 sick in their rooms, 
and 131 sick at the hospital, 3,875. belonging to the rear guard, 
and 180 on furlough: total, 22,350 men. In actual service, 

The royal British army, under General Burgoyne, consisted, 
on the 17th of October, inclusive of the Brunswick and Hessian 
troops, of 1 major general, 2 brigadier generals, 5 lieutenant 


colonels, 10 majors, 63 captains, 80 first lieutenants, 60 second 
lieutenants, 11 under lieutenants and ensigns, 8 adjutants, 7 
quarter masters, 8 armorers, 4 auditors, 13 doctors, 4 scribes, 
59 drummer majors, hautboys and players, 6 provosts, 359 non- 
commissioned officers, 26 assistant physicians, 210 drummers, 
4,538 soldiers, 327 servants: total, 5,801 men. Note: Generals 
Burgoyne, Phillips and Hamilton are not included in this list.*' 
The grenadiers and light infantry formed eight companies of 
the 29th, 31st, 34th and 53d Eegiments which were in Canada. 
The number of the other companies of grenadiers and light 
infantry, which were with the army, were distributed among 
their respective regiments.- 

Losses of the Brunswick troops from the beginning of the 
campaign of 1777, until December the 1st of the same year, not 
including those captured at Saratoga : 


Of the General staff, 3 

" Regiment of Dragoons, . . . . * . . 226 

" Brigadier Battalion, 218 

" Regiment of Prince Frederick, ...... 2 

Regiment Von Rhetz, 48 

" Riedesel, 69 

" Specht, 52 

Battalion Bamer, 273 

Total, 879 

Of these were shot and died of their wounds, .... 144 

wounded but not captured, 110 

and captured, 129 

captured, but released on parole," .... 496 

Total, 879 

* The first major general mentioned in the list must therefore refer to Riedesel. 

^ As has been already mentioned, a grenadier and a light infantry battalion was 
formed of these regiments before leaving Canada. This remained in Canada nnder 
the command of General Carleton. The troops that were dispatched to Ticonderoga 
and other places are included here. — Note to original. 

5 At least so I take the original to mean ; though the expression literally rendered 
is " captured on discretion." 



List of the Captured German Officers compiled at Cambridge 

January lltJi^ 1778. 


General Staff,.. 

Regiment of 
rJagoons,.. . 

Brigadier Bat- 

Regiment Von [ 
Riedesel, J 

Battalion Von 

Reg't Hesse Hanau 

Name and Grade. 

Captain 0*Ck)nnell, adjutant of Gene- 
ral Riedesel,* 

Major Von Maibom,* 

Frieke, captain of cavalry,* 

Von Schlagenteuffel, captain of ca- 

Lieutenant Von Reckrodt,* 

" Bothmer,* 

" Breva,* 

Ck)met Graef,* 

" Stutzer,* 

" Schonewald,* 

Auditor Thomas,* 

Chaplain Melzheimer,* 

Doctor Borbrodt,* 

Captain Von Bartling,* 

Lieutenant Meyer,* 



Lieutenant Colonel Specht,f 

Ensign Hg,berlein,f 

" Denicke,f 

" Andree,* 

Captain Von Geisan,f 

" Dommers,* 

" Gleisenberg, J 

Ensign Specht,* 

" Gr. Ranzan,f 

Lieutenant Bach,* 

* Captured near Bennington, Aug. 16. 
f Captured near Freeman's Farm, Oct. 7. 
X Captured near Freeman's Farm, Oct. 8. 

» Probably Woburn. 
* Hartford. 

























La Prairie, July 31, 1776. 

To His Serene Highness, the Hereditary Prince : 

I hope that your serene highness has received favorably my last 
frank letter ; but to no other do I give my confidence. Your high- 
ness knows best under what circumstances this corps was intrusted 
to me, and, therefore, I can communicate my thoughts to yourself 

Thank God, I have so far succeeded with the drill of the two 
battalions, which are with me, that I can show them to General 
Carleton on his return from Quebec ; and I hope that he will do 
them justice in spite of his national love for the English troops of 
whose praises he is full. All the English officers who have seen us, 
praise us highly. 

Everything goes well as long as the ranks are closed for a charge ; 
but when we open the ranks and the middle line is visible, then I am 
ashamed. We must, however, make as much of it as we can ; and 
if you were here, you would admit that as much as was possible has 
been accomplished with the men. 

Our army, at present, is completely inactive. This was very 
welcome to me four weeks ago, in order to give time to set the regi- 
ments to rights ; but now I wish that we would soon start. We are 
mostly in need of armed sloops and bateaux. There is much tMk, 
but whether the work is pushed through with the same zeal is quite 
another question. 

The foot notefi to these docnments, unless otherwise noted, are as given in the 
original.— Translator. 




Evcrytliing depends upon tbc pspedition of Gcacral Howe. If be 
lands safely, cnpturca New York, and gains a footing, we caD cross 
the lake with a few brigades, one after I!ie other. Wc hare a Buffl' 
cient number of bateaux for this purpose ; but if Howe meets with 
reaistance, and if his operations are prolonged, then the whole plan 
will require a aecond campaign for its complete execuUon. In the 
former case we will certainly liave peace this coming winter ; but in 
the latter evont, another campaign, which cannot possibly be unsuc- 
cesslbi, as the rebels are unable to oppose both armies, and theAi 
Boldiera are not wliat they were lliought to be in Qenuany. They 
are a niiserahlc race of men, witli poor offlcera. They have no 
money, only paper; and tliere is such an excitement and tremble in 
the provinces themselves, that it is impoa^ble for llic confederation 
to last long. 

Nothing can be learned here in regard to poMtlon ; for I believe 
that there is no place in the whole of America, where six battalions 
could be placed in good position. Aside from the few cultivated 
regions on the rivers, all the hills are covered with woods. All we 
can do, therefore, is to poet ourselves near rivers, lake forls, aad build 
new ones, and go with the Indiana aa mucli ae possible through the 
primeval forests in order to destroy communications. It may, how- 
ever, be practicable, when everytliing is in readiness, to attack the 
enemy wherever he is to be found, without regard to his positiott. 
Wc can also study outgreal.manffiuvres. And even after the enemy 
ia beaten, it will be impossible to pursue liim, wliile tlie ships will 
have to 1>e tmnsiwrted across the land to another river, or new ones 
built. In eilhcr case, however, it will coat money ; and if a mistake 
is made In regani to the amount of provisions, we will have to return 
for tbem even if the enemy doea not compel us to do so. 

But little attention is paid to the men, it being thought that they 
arc lakeu cure of If tlicy liave plenty of bread and meat. Beer, brandy, 
vegetables, and strawfor bedding are all unknown. Thus the soldier 
gels tired of his constant diet of meat; and during a march from one 
river to another, tlie officer lias lo live tlie same as a private. Such 
marches, liowevcr, cannot laat long, as Ihey are only over what ia 
called portages, from five to six, or at moat, ten leagues. 
Hoping that your highness will receive this favorably, 

I remain, etc., 




Brunswick, September 14, 1776.* 

Right Honorable Sir and Highly Respected Major General : 

I had the pleasure of receiving two of your letters, the last of which 
is dated July the 5th. In this, I observe, with special satisfaction, 
the well being of yourself and corps, after so tedious a journey. 
Your honor knows as well as any one, that not only the haste but the 
stubbornness which Mr. Faucit has manifested, and still manifests, are 
the cause of so much being needed for the comfort of the corps. 
But I feel confident that your attention, zeal and activity in the 
service, will go far toward placing matters on a tolerable footing. 
Discipline among the officers is certainly the safest means to bring 
this about. The uniforms for the first division have already been 
sent, and those for the second will be shipped before the end of this 
month, so that there will be no lack for these most necessary articles. 
As regards the recruits, we will see to it, as soon as enlistments begin 
•again, that you have sent to you strong and robust fellows — if possi- 
ble, not below five feet two inches. It will be, as you know, im- 
possible to warrant their zeal in the service, but strict discipline, 
which I know you make a point to have, will be the best means of 
making them attend to their duty. The sacrifice, which this country 
has been obliged to make in consequence of the bad condition in 
which it has been, has been so great, that unless we exterminate whole 
generations we cannot extend enlistments over our own subj ects. The 
misery of the wives and children left behind by the soldiers is so 
lamentable that they would starve did they not receive food from the 
barracks here, and this, notwithstanding the allowance mothers 
receive from the government. The landgrave of Hessia and the 
hereditary prince of Hanau have certainly considered from every 
point of view the best manner in which to treat their subjects which 
are committed to their care ; and it is certainly for the interest of the 
funds to furnish recruits for whom money is received, and none 
expended. They also believe that they have thoroughly considered 
the duties of a sovereign toward his subjects : and I believe that a 
free-born man cannot be forced, unless it be for the defense of the 
fatherland by taking arms against the inhabitants of Canada. 

I am not surprised that the colonists have evacuated Mont-Real, 
Chambly and St. John, for first, they were weak in that region if 

» On the back of this letter is the indorsement, " answered June 1, 17T7. 



they rallied strongly in Virginia and Carolina, and secondly, the 
countty was not with them. 

The descendants of the French and the Christianized Indians, \irho 
are Roman Catholics, are used to submission and blind obedience ; 
and their intelh<;ence is satisfied, if he who governs them lets them 
alone. But it is different with the colonies, which are English ; and 
if the leaders understand their business but half, the thing will not be 
so easily settled.* Even if Carleton captures Crown point, which I 
hardly doubt, the colonists have only to prolong the matter as long 
as possible, in order to cause a great scarcity of provisions and men 
in the English army. 

The second division, in my opinion, will arrive at Quebec the fore- 
part of August, and I long for news concerning it. 

I had the honor of making the personal acquaintance of Field 
Marshal Romanzow at Berlin. He w^as there with the grand duke 
who, as you know, married again after the death of his first wife, the 
princess of WOrtemberg, the daughter of Prince Eugene, who resides 
at Montbeillard. 

I desire you to give my thanks to Captain Gerlach for his two 
letters, and for drawing the plans. I will write him at the first 
opportunity. I am now just setting out for Potsdam. You are, I 
believe, informed of the ill health of the duke. The least mental 
excitement may bring us a great misfortune. 

I am, sir, most respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 




Three Rivers, «7mw^1, 1777.' 

Monsoigneur : 

I had the honor of receiving five gracious letters from your serene 
highness before the departure of my lust letter of the 10th of last 
month ; and I am thus enabled to again make mention of their safe 
arrival. Since then I have been so fortunate as to receive two more 

1 It will be noticed that the hereditary prince, though so far from the theatre of 
operations, had a much better appreciation of the magnitude of the war, than 
Riedesel or the English commanders. — Translator. 

2 The originals of these letters arc still preserved. The duke always marked the 
date of their reception on the margin. It is not, however, known how these letters 
got back again among the papers of Riedesel. 

3 Received August 2 ; answered August 10, 1777. 


letters from your highness, one dated the 20th, and one the 27th of 
September, for which, and for the assurance of your kind feelings 
toward me, I express my humblest thanks. 

The English minister has suddenly changed the theatre of war to 
this vicinity. General Carleton has been deprived of the command 
of the army. He seems very indignant at this, and intends to enter 
a complaint with parliament against the injustice of the minister. 

General Burgoyne will assume the command after crossing into 
New York and after communications are restored between himself 
and General Howe. God knows what he will do with the Canadian 
army which has already been a whip to his ambition. 

A great deal is said concerning the army of General Howe, espe- 
cially in regard to its discipline. But I know not how much we can 
believe of these reports, for it always seems to me that all is not gold 
that glitters, and Colonel McLean had to wait there ' for five days to 
receive orders for the Canadian army. 

To-morrow I shall leave Three Rivers ; and the army will march 
in two columns for Crown point — the Germans on the left, and the 
English on the right — and I hope we will arrive there about the 13th 
of this month. I hope, also, that my reports will soon become more 
interesting, and that I shall be able to announce the capture of Carillon." 

Your serene highness will, in the continuation of this journal, find 
everything in regard to the position of the army ; also, the latest 
news which we have received from the army of General Howe, and 
the present arrangements for the movements of our army during the 
coming campaign. I will, therefore, not trouble your highness 
further with repetition. 

Lord Percy, indignant at General Howe, has returned to England, 
and I suppose that General Carleton will do the same thing before 
the close of this year. 

The arrangements for the march forbid me writing any further ; 
but my first report will certainly be very explicit. 

I remain, etc., 


Crown Point, June 28, 1777. 

I am not able to express to you my gratitude for the care with 
which your highness answers my reports, and, perhaps, no one else 
can show so many answers from yourself as 1. 

» New .York (?).— Tt-anslator. 
^ Ticonderoga. 


By the Bpp()intnicnt of another commander in chief of the army, 
the theatre of war ix so changed that it does not now look like the 
same one. Tlie new one judges aoniewhat hastily, and carries out 
the plan of the ministers. Hia predeeeasor went to work more care- 
t\illy but Bafely,and made no more until he was convinced It could 
he carried out. The rcsnlt will show who was right in the present 

The rebels atill liold Carillon with an army of ftom 8,000 to 4,000 
men ; and I believe we shall have to undertake a siege. We Btill 
lack, however, ammunition, and the most necessary things for this 
purpose. 1'he season of the year kcei^s us bcra It is lamentable 
that the requisite things for this campaign have not been sent liere 
from England until so late. Consequently, a large porUon of the 
time that sliould have been devoted to tbe campaign, passes by, and 
thns this expensive war is prolonged. 

My wife, with her three children, has finally arrived in perfect 
health. They reached Canada on the 11th of June, and none of 
them sulTered the least on the voyage. She speaks of this long voyage 
as a mere trifle. I was so fortunate as to see her at Three lUvers, 
where she will occupy my old quarters until circumstances provide 
ber a safer place in New York. The children speak nothing but 
English, and no one takes them for Giermans. She requests me, to 
request your highness graciously to remember them. 

That you may see more plainly the movements of the army, I add 
here the continuation of the journal. 

I remain, etc.. 

FOMT Bdwahd, Augxiti 6, 1777. 
I have tlie honor of sending your highness the continuation of the 
journal in which you will see that we are masters of the Hudson ; 
also, that the enemy has evacuated all the advantageous positions 
which he might still have held. Besides this, all the three rapids ' 
are in our possession ; and we can now place ail our ships on the 
river, and have a clear passage to Albany. Tlie rest of our position, 
you will see in tlie jourual which I have the honor of inclosing in 
this letter. Matters are at present, at such a point, tliat everything, 
perliapB,can he decided in two different ways. Mr. Washington is 
tailing hack before General Howe; and Mr. Arnold is retreating 
upon Albany. 

1 Baker'a blls at Sandy hill. Fort Edwanl and Fori Miller.— Tramlalor. 


Should our army adopt measures to prevent its defeat — a con- 
tingency which would weaken us — then we may expect either that, 
with our army in high spirits, the rebels will shortly be surrounded, 
or that a decisive victory will put an end to the entire campaign. 

I hope to be able to communicate to your highness, in my next 
letter, several interesting items of news, and, among them, that the 
troops of my gracious master have given fresh proofs of their good 
will, and their desire to fight for the glory of their nation. 

I have the honor, etc., 


John's Farm, August 28, 1777.^ 

Fortune not being on one side every day, the expedition of Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Baum, supported by Lieutenant Colonel Breymann, 
has not, therefore, met witli the same good result as the afiair near 
Hubbardstown. But it was not because the troops did not fight just 
as bravely. The distance between these two corps of our army 
enabled the enemy to attack Baum with eight times greater numbers ; 
and, in spite of all the exertions of Breymann, he was unable to re- 
enforce Baum at the right time. I do not doubt but that this was 
the second part of the afiair at Hubertstown. You will see the 
account of this sad affair better in the journal, which I have the 
honor of inclosing. It may be that my gracious master, the duke, 
will communicate to your serene highness, the detailed reports which 
I have sent to him, in order that he might take under his protection 
the commanders of both corps, and might see that our troops did 
their duty on that occasion. The transportation of provisions over 
the three rapids, still detains our army at this place. The rebels are 
fortified at Half-moon, ten English miles this side of Albany ; but I 
believe that we shall soon advance against them whenever the largest 
portion of our provisions have crossed the rapids. Although our 
army is considerably weakened by the sending out of detachments, 
and the bad result of the affair of the 16th, I believe that we shall 
attack the enemy, providing he remains at Half-moon. Thus four- 
teen days will decide the result ; and I hope that we shall at least 
make up for the losses we have lately sustained. 

I remain, etc , 


1 After the unsaccessftil a£DEtir at Bennington. 


On the voyage to Frcyburg road, 
Ship Pallas, Sfarck 21, 1778. 
Most i11u9triou3 Duke ; most gracious Prince andLord : 

I report to your aerene highness tliat, in consequence of contrary 
winds, we are stiil riding at anclior in Ihe road at the confluence of 
the EllH! and Schwinge. Ycsteriiay, ten ships sailed Tor Freyburg 
with a favorable wind. We may, perhaps, follow this afternoon if 
the change of tide brings an ansplcioiiB wind. The ships at Frey- 
burg are to wait for ua, as the direction of the voyage depends on 
our vessel. 

The wind now begins to blow ; the anchors are lioisicd ; and we 
will start for Freyburg, whence we shall sail for England with the 
firet favorable wind. 

I am now able lo give your serene highness a general idea of the 
proposed plan of operations. All tlie troops that are destined for 
Canada, and of which the first Brunswick division will be the first, 
start for the River St. Lawrence. It remains to be seen whether 
Quebec is still in possession of tlio English, and whether the rebels 
have occupied it with an army. If Quebec is yet our8,then the troops 
■will be disembarked there, and await the arrival of the second divi- 
sion and Uie other troops, which, together, will make an army of 
14,000 men. Upon reaching America ihey will encamp upon the 
island of Orleans, where a camp will very probably have been pre- 
pared for their reception. Thence, having recnibarked, they will 
sail up Ihe river, toward Lac St. Herro, to Montreal. Tiiis latter city 
is in the worst possible condition ; and every one claiming to be in 
command of it, it is said that it would be an easy matter to compel 
iis siirrendcr. Near Montreal is a trn)et^ at eight German miles, 
which has to he crossed on land. The empty shij>s will proceed on 
Ihe river Sorel, and we will embark again <m Lake Champluin, when 
wc will sail up the lake to Fort Crown Point, which place the rebels, 
also, have in their possession. This fortification, however, is said to 
be a most miserable one, and will easily he demolished by the numer- 
ous cannon of Colonel Phillips in a tew days. With the capture of 
this foi't our exi>cdilion for this year will very probably lerminale. 


of those reports c 


in (hcBG nrst co 


portsgo.- Tran, 


In case the Americans have an army at Montreal or Crown Point, 
a battle will take place at one of those points. This, however, is 
doubtful, since Canada cannot furnish a sufficient quantity of pro- 
visions for an army, and inasmuch, also, as the Canadians cannot be 
trusted by the Americans. Should Quebec have surrendered and 
Carleton been captured, then it is to be ascertained whether the city 
is occupied by only a few thousand men, or whether congress has 
sent a large army to occupy not only Quebec but the surrounding 
country, especially the island of Orleans. The latter supposition is 
said to be almost impossible, and is doubted. In the first case, I, with 
the first Brunswick division which will be the first to arrive, will 
disembark on the island Orleans and ascertain if a descent can be 
made on the coast of Quebec itself, and if the heights, on which 
General Wolfe fought his battle, can be gained. 

Should Quebec be but weakly garrisoned by the rebels, it is 
thought to be an easy matter to retake the place from the side ; but 
this is only possible, provided we are accompanied by a transport of 
artillery. If, however, the garrison at Quebec is too strong, then we 
must stay on the island of Orleans and await there the arrival of the 
other English troops and the second division. And should it prove 
that a large rebel army is at Quebec, then we shall not be able to go 
even to this island, but will have to remain on the vessels, at the 
mouth of the St. Lawrence, until our entire army arrives. The ex- 
pedition will then begin with the siege of Quebec ; and should this 
be begun, the season will probably pass without the capture by our 
troops of Montreal. 

The army of General Howe, with whom will be all the Hessian 
troops, will, after leaving 2,000 men at Boston, rendezvous on Long 
island, and make that place the basis of future operations. This army 
will go up the Hudson mostly by water, and thus also operate against 
Crown Point. Should this army succeed in placing itself be- 
tween Northampton and LOneburg and remain master of the Hudson 
and Connecticut rivers, then the rebels not only will be cut in two, 
and the connection severed between Philadelphia and Cambridge, 
but the armies of Generals Carleton and Howe will be able to form a 

The third expedition is to be undertaken by General Clinton and 
Lord Duumore in Virginia. They are to ascertain if that province 
can be gained over to the royal cause by kind measures. In case 
they are successful in this, they will endeavor to form there a national 
army, make a junction with the royal troops, and then march against 
Maryland and New York. But should they not succeed in their 



efforts at conciliation, then Clinton is to reunite with Howe. For 
this reason English regiments only are to be employed on this ex- 

Tliis is the general plan. I will be able to send more particular 

news to yonr serene highness from England or rather from Spithead. 

Hoping that your serene highness will graciously remember me, 

I remain with deep devotion, 

Your highuess's humble servant, 


Hoping that your highness has received my last report, I proceed 
to state the condition we are in at present : 

The rebels still hold the city and island of Montreal where the 
river Richelieu empties into the St. Lawrence. The corps, which is 
to operate against Canada, numbers about 4,000 men, and is en- 
camped near St. Johns. It is represented as being in the greatest 
consternation, and preparing to pack up and retreat. In that case 
our army, if the wind is favorable, can get there. 

All the English regiments, with the exception of one, either have 
gone or are going to Three Rivers, where is the rendezvous of the 
main army. They go partly by land and partly by water. These 
regiments opentte on our right or on the left bank of the St. Lawrence. 
General ('arleton was so kind as to intrust me with a separate corps 
consisting of 300 Indians, 150 Canadians, the English battalion Make- 
line, the grenadier btittalion Breyniann and the regiments Riedesel 
and Ilesse Hauau. I am to remain on the other side or to the right 
of the River St. Lawrence, advance as far as Sorel in order to attack 
it in case the rebels attempt to hold it, and then wait for further 
orders from General Carleton. lie appears to have confidence in me, 
for he gives me at all times, either the command of the advance 
:|J guard, or of a separate corps. I cannot deny that I am exceedingly 

flattered that this general desires to use me in preference to all ; and 

I am convinced that the Brunswick troops will have an opportunity 

§1 to distinguish themselves, and that they will not sufler from want of 

:jj provisions as there are not too many of them together. The pro- 

* visions, including the biscuits, we draw from the large transports, 

which follow us constantly. 

The dragoons and the regiment Prince Frederick have furnished 
to-day the first guard in the city. It numbers 120 men. The parade 
was good, and Carleton appeared highly pleased. These two regi- 
ments furnish also a guard of 300 men for the height opposite Quebec, 
in order to keep a lot of disloyal Canadians straight. The garrison 



lies ill barracks in a pretty comfortable condition, and are furnished 
rations by the king. 

I have gone over all of the fortifications at Quebec. Were they 
in Germany, four to eight cannon would make such an opening in 
them in a few hours that half a battalion could march through it. It 
cannot be denied that Carleton has displayed great bravery. He had 
a great amount of work done in the middle of the winter, that the 
fortifications might be placed in a tolerably defensive condition, and 
he has rallied a garrison, consisting of citizens, Canadians and sailors, 
not having had a single regular soldier. But it must also be confessed, 
on the other hand, that the rebels must be a miserable lot of soldiers, 
since so few men, in such a condition, are able to oppose them. 

I witnessed to-day a great ceremony. Four deputations of Indians, 
in the name of their people, offered their services to the king of Eng- 
land. The lower part of their bodies was naked, and was painted 
all over with red and green. They spoke in their own language, 
which was explained by an interpreter. General Carleton told them 
that two armies would march up the river on either bank. They 
could, therefore, decide for themselves whether they would go with 
him or with me. 

For the purpose of giving your highness an idea of the march we 
are about to enter upon, I take the liberty of stating the following : 

The men will march by land. Each regiment will receive four 
bateaux, on which the tents, oflBcer's baggage, and rations for fifteen 
days are to be transported. They are to encamp close by the river 
on suitable hills, which, in case of necessity, will be entrenched by 
redoubts and ditches. All the baggage is to be carried on board the 
bateaux (which will be close at hand), before breaking up camp and 
marching further. The savages, Canadians and the light troops will 
form a chain around the camp. The large transports, on which the 
heavy baggage is to be left, will follow at a distance. 

At present, the horses will be of no use, on account of the army 
having to cross little rivers over which there are no bridges. I was 
obliged to leave all our horses behind at Quebec, where they will 
have a chance to rest ; nor shall I have them brought to me until I 
reach Lake Champlain. Thither I shall go, like the rest of the army, 
on foot ; and I hope I shall set a good example to my men. 

I can report nothing further in regard to our march. One dragoon has 
died at Quebec. Those who are dangerously ill are there in a hospital. 

I pray your gracious remembrance, etc., 


» This letter was probably written from La Prairie, under date of June 23, IT^e. 


Since mj last rrporl, nutliin); new on the part of the enemy liaa 
taken place. All tlie rcgiinentH yet nniaiu in ilie same quarters aa 
when I Inst wrot<\ 

Lust weeit, on tlic 2fltli of July, tlic English Brigadier Gordon wna 
shut in llie right shoulder while in the wootle near Si. John, Hiid now 
lies in a dnngerona condition. I, myself, have passed over (his same 
rond more than thirty times. Tlirough our palrols (consisting of 
Canndians, Indiana and regulars), it was asceitained thai the rebels 
had sent one ciijitain and flily men ilirough the woods from Crown 
Point {which U forty leagues from here), to reconnoitre the canton- 
ment of our troops. One of tlieir officers wltli five men actually _ 
stole into the vi'iy centre of our entanipnient. It was IhcBc latter who 
shot Brigadier General Gordon. 

With an army in Germany it would be scarcely possible for an 
enemy to steal into a cantonment, hut liere, and with the way in 
which armies are posted, it ie easier. The only wonder is how the 
rebels could make this long march of forty leagues through deserts 
and dense woods, and carry, at the same time, rations forfifteen days 
on Iheir backs. Tlie effect, however, of their audacity will be to 
cause Brigadier Frazer, with the light infantry, to advance to Isle 
aux Noix. Meanwhile, 100 Indians and 200 Canadians have gone to 
Crown Point to strike a hi 

I ascribe the large n b f k 1 ly t th at n eceived on 
board tlic ships. Th se n a ill lu n 1 d at Quebec, but 

Cnrleton, in consequen ol my ft peal d q t I as granted 
fresh meat; and I, tl f I p that th s k i lly among 
the dragoons who pr ik> t natel; ha tl larg t n mh r ill, will 
now decrease in numb Those h h di d at Q hec, were 
generally Uiosc who w t q 1 kly u d f f hi I f 11 ; and it 
may be for a similar taao Hut I m, p n wlo were at 
Wolfcubnttcl, have th u t k nd I O b t Brunswick 

the fewest. 

All the deserters, with the exception of three, have been caught. 
Six were punislied to-day and six arc yet to be tried. A grenadier, 
who, on the march, wounded a noncommissioned officer, who urged 
him on while straggling, evidently with tlie intention of deserting, 
will very likely be sentenced to deatli by a court martial. Two 
Canadians, who aided two of our men to desert, I had whipped before 
the il-ont this morning. This I did witli the consent vX General Caric- 
ton. It caused, however, quite an excitement among tlie inhabitants, 
who will be careful hi future. All those who caught deserters re- 
ceived from me one guinea fwr capita, A few noncommissioned 


officers were punished by me, for negligence, by being chained and 
whipped ; and three young officers were placed under arrest for the 
same offense. 

1 cannot but praise the zeal and activity of the commanders of 

The two regiments quartered here now drill and fire in whole 
battalions. They are, without praising ourselves, so well drilled that 
I wish I could show them to your highness, so confident, am I, that 
you would be satisfied with them. They are better than they were 
last fall. The grenadier battalion level their muskets, and get 
down on their knees better * than my own regiment, but the latter 
loads and marches better, and takes surer aim. I have suceeded in 
creating a certain jealousy between the two battalions. Breymann 
does not like to see my regiment get ahead of his, and I, on my part, 
tell mine, which I drill myself, that the grenadiers drill better than 

We still know nothing different regarding the army of General 
Howe. The time for crossing Lake Champlain seems as yet quite in 
the future, and I can, therefore, report nothing reliable in relation to 
the time of our commencing our march. 


There is nothing new to report to your highness. The army is 
still in its old quarters, with this difference, that General Frazer, 
with his three battalions, the English grenadiers, the English light 
infantry and the 24th Regiment, is encamped on the Isle aux Noix, 
and further, that the post at St. John has again been garrisoned by 
the 62d Regiment, and 200 men of my brigade under Lieutenant 
Colonel Von Specht. I was at St. John myself in order to place and 
instruct this command properly. I also visited Isle aux Noix at the 
same time. This is a good post, and may be considered the key to 
Canada from the New England side. There is still, on this island, a 
large entrenchment, built by the French during the last war, which 
is yet in good condition and of good service to Brigadier Frazer. 

Our ship building at St. John progresses slowly ; and, although 
General Burgoyne has assured me that everything will be ready in 
ten days, and that the army will be able to cross the lake by the 1st 
of September, I must confess that I doubt it, and believe, alas, with 
good reasons, that the commencement of the exi>edition will have to 
be postponed fourteen days longer. 

1 1, e., in order to Arc— Translator. 
a Written the latter part of Jnly, 1776. 



Oi'ncml Carloton Iibr not jei rotiirncd from Quebec, the rceetHblisli- 
ment of all civil offlceH keeping him loni^T tlian he at flret expected. 
Neither liave we reliable intelligence from the fleet of my lord, nor 
from the army of General Howe. Tbereiitarumorafloat at Montreal 
that my lord Howe bad cnlercd the Hudson in sight of New York, 
and that the anny wum diHcuibarking bcliindtliat city and tbe fortified 
camp of the relieb. In such a cage, It waa iiaid, that tlic latter would 
be surrounili'd. Should tbia news, which, however, needs confirma- 
tion, be true, then the rebels would be in a sad fix, and nothing 
would be left for them but lo attack Howe with a disadvantagfc, or 
to BUFTcnder liiutlly for want of providons. Neither Carleton nor 
Burgoyne have any news whatever from Howe. He has not mxn 
oommunieati-d to llitta hit plan of operatioiw. 

The condition of tholroopa as regards desertions, arrests, sick, etc, 
etc., your higlincss will see by the accompanying report. The eick 
are in about the same proiwrlion, but it seems as if their number 
would now Anally diminish, since tlie (enible heat has gone by. 
Some have died, but they were mostly those who had weak lunga. 
I am about done witli drilling (he Dicn ; and, 1 must confess, without 
boasting, that the two battalions, which are here, are in a very good 
condition. I wait for Carlcton's return to show them to him. 

Nothing of interest has occurred since my last report of July 29th, 
from Skeensborough, except that I was dclached to Castletown with 
five battiilinns of the letl wing f^om the 10th to the 35th, for the purpose 
of making tlie rebels believe thai the army ijilended marching In that 
direction, and of f^ving the loyal inhubitants a chance to join the 
army. I have sent out a number of detachments, given orders for 
taking down and erecting magazines, and recounoitered as fer as my 
corjra wa« to lie the advance giiunl of the army. Opposite me, at a 
disttiiice of about ten hours, stood a coi'ps of 1500 men, under Colonel 
Von Werner; and, although I have twice asked permission to scatter 
this corpfi. Burgoyne will not allow me lo d<) it, pretending that he 
does not wImIi nic lo gn so fur away from the anny. 

The passage of the artillery and its ainmnniti<m across Lake George 
havinj; been arranged, Burgoyne, with tlKi right wing, advanced 
fh>m Skeenshorough to Port Annct witli llie intention of there await- 
ing my r<-luru from Cusilctowii, aud then attacking the rebel army 
near Fort Kthvunl. Bnt the latter did not wait for our arrival ; for 


MoDsieur Arnold, as soon as our advance guard sliowed itself, fell 
back five English miles. On the second day he went back as far as 
Saratoga. During this retreat, his rear guard lost upward of 30 
prisoners, and quite as many dead. The want of teams, in which to 
transport the baggage and ammunition, was the cause of our army 
being able only to advance in battalions. As I was the furthest 
behind, on account of my expedition to Castletown, I did not reach 
the army with the right wing until yesterday. 

Unless a total change is made in the system of the army, it will be 
impossible to execute with it rapid movements. So much ditficulty 
is experienced by our having no teams, and being so far away from 
our bateaux, that the army is unable to advance three German miles 
without waiting again eight and ten days for o'lr necessary supplies 
to be brought up. 

I have taken the liberty of proposing a plan to Burgoyne, viz : to 
send a detachment to the flatlands of the Connecticut river, and con- 
fiscate all the horses in that vicinity. There lire a great many in 
that region, and, in this way, our 1,500 Canadian horses can be de- 
voted entirely to drawing the artillery and trains, leaving the horses, 
thus procured, solely for the convej'ance of the baggage. The army 
could then march whenever it pleased. He seemed to like the plan 
very much, and told me he intended to carry it out. He also said 
that he would then mount the regiment of dragoons. 

Yesterday wc received the first reliable news from General Howe*8 
army. It seems he advanced from New York up the Hudson ; and, 
it is supposed that a general engagement will take place between his 
forces and the main army under Washington, who is fortified on the 
highlands. A portion of Howe*s army has been detached to the 
right toward the Connecticut river, and it is said to have advanced 
as far as Hartford. Another detachment, it is also stated, has been 
sent to Philadelphia, but it is not known as yet how far it has pro- 

It appears to be the intention of General Washington to concen- 
trate the entire strength of the rebels at one point, and there await its 
final fate. If, therefore, our armies move carefully, and neither one 
nor the other are defeated, it is fair to presume that the whole rebel 
army will be surrounded before the end of September, and our army 
united to that of General Howe. 

As regards the condition of the regiments, their health is much 
better this year than the last. Still, those of Rhetz and Spccht have 
quite a number sick. I have ordered all the heavy baggage, and 
whatever else the regiments have left behind in Canada, to be sent to 
Carillon (Ticonderoga). 


Inasmuch ast the company of cliasseurs have done euch extraordi- 
nary good aorvice at IIubardBtown, and it U necessary that its prestige 
Willi till' enemy slioii Id be mainluiiied, I intend, withtlie approbation 
ol' your tiighncss, lo talce fhim the other regimenls tbose cbasaeurs, 
tbal arc well drilletl, and add llicm to it. TLus it will always l>e 
ke|it in line condition for service. 


Fortune is often llckle, but csiiecially bo in war, a fiicl of wliicti tlie 
following unpleasant event is a pn)of. Misfortune has fallen in an 
especial manner upon a portion of your troops, and that, too, alter the 
glorious aOkir at lluharilatuwn. 

Your liiglinuKii will ri.-mcmlier seeing in my last report bow difficult 
and laborious our marches liave been on account of the want of 
homes and vehicles for tlie transporlation of the provisions, artillery 
and regimental baggage. When in cam)) at Skeensborougli, I took 
tlic lil>erty of conimunlcaling my ideas on the subject to Gteneral 
Burgoyne. lie accepted my memoir — a copy of which I liere in- 
close as prwrf, and answered me that my suggestions accorded with 
his views, and he would, therefore, endeavor to carry tbent out as 
soon aa possible. 

This memoir was written by me on the S2d of July, and was 
answered by him on the 3Ttb. The troops were marching; every- 
thing was quiet; and I heard nothing more of this project until the 
4tli of August, when the whole army were together near Fort Ed- 
ward. All at once, Burgoyne citine in the anemoon into my tent, 
and handed me fur my perusal, the instructions which bad been 
made for Tiieutenant Colonel Baum lo Join him in an expedition. 
He further staled that the latter was to carry out tlie instructions 
immediately, and that they had been given liini in consequence of a 
plan which I had sent to himself (General Burgoyne). But bow^ 
great was my astonishment ikt finding iiiy plan so changed I My 
idea was lo have Bauni marcli behind the army, by way of Ciislle- 
towii and Clarendon, to tlie Conneclicut river. Tims, llie enemy's 
army would not have discovered the movement soon enough to send 
a hostile force against Baum. It would also have been wilhin our 
power lo get in the rear of his army with a corps of our own men. 
But instead of this, it was ordered in Ihe instructions tliat Bauni 
should cross the Uuitcnkill opposite Sui'atoga, and march straiglit to 
Bennington, where a hostile force was defending a alrong magazine. 

' Probably written llic forepart of August, ITJi. 


It was hoped that Baum would be able to beat the enemy at Ben- 
nington and capture this magazine, after which he was to march to 
Manchester and so carry out his instructions. 

This corps, also, was, contrary to my advice, formed much weaker 
than was advisable, and was likewise composed of so many different 
troops that it was not nearly as effective as I designed. Accordingly 
I did not fail to represent the danger to whicli Lieutenant Colonel 
Banm would be exposed, showing at the same time very plainly 
that he would be unable to attain his object. Nevertheless, General 
Burgoyne maintained liis purpose, giving for it the following 
reasons : 

1st. By the capture of the magazine at Bennington our army would 
be provided with rations for at least from ten to fourteen days ; and 
thus we would be enabled to transfer a large magazine from Fort 
George to Saratoga, and continue the expedition. 

2d. As he was about to advance himself with the entire army to 
Saratoga, and General Fraser being already as near as could be to 
Stillwater, where General Arnold was, the enemy most certainly 
would not dare to send troops in large numbers to Bennington. But 
even if he should do so he (General Burgoyne) would be ready at 
any moment to attack a corps thus sent, in the rear. 

3d. Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger was then besieging Fort Stanwix 
on the Mohawk river. General Arnold desired to retain that fort, 
and would, therefore, detach a considerable force thither. In order 
to prevent him from doing this, we must engage the enemy's at- 

All my representations were, therefore, in vain. General Fraser 
and Lieutenant Colonel Baum started on the 9th of August. Tlie 
latter was to receive his several detachments from the former. He 
was instructed in everything according to the wishes of Burgoyne ; 
and Captain O'Connell, also an engineer officer, was sent with him 
as an interpreter. Colonel and Governor Skeene also accompanied 
him to assist in the dispatches and the different supplies. 

When Lieutenant Colonel Baum arrived at Fort Miller, where he 
was to receive, on the following day, the necessary troops from 
Fraser, everything was wanted. Neither the savages, nor the Cana- 
dians could be rallied — most of them having advanced against the 
rebels near Stillwater. Baum was thus forced to remain at Fort 
Miller on the 10th, and I received orders, against my judgment, to 
furnish another 100 men of Breymann's corps as a reenforcement to 

On the 11th, the latter advanced to the Battenkill opposite Saratoga, 
and arrived on the 12th at Cambridge. His advance guard en- 



coiinlprcd a clelarlini<'nt of rdH'ls whioli was repiilseJ. Eight men 
Wfru liiki'n iiriKoiicrs, iiiid it inngiiziiic, conrnining 100 bushels of 
com, II lurj^ quiiniity of flour, 1,500 oxi-D, and a great many other 
tiling)) were captun.'*!. It was licrc thnt Baum was informed that the 
enemy nt Bennington numbered from 15,000 to 18,000 men, but that 
they were mostly miliUu men who had little idea of fightiog, and 
who, at )iis advance, would certainly fall back. He also learned that 
the- stores at Bennington were considerable, containing upward of 
2,000 oxen and 300 liorws. 

Animated by the result of his first encounter, and being a man of 
determined wlli, Baum muile up liU mind to march on Beaningtoa 
on tlie I3tb, and dislodge ibc enemy at that place. He sent a report 
of all that had happened up to that time to Burgoyne, who not only 
was well pleased wilh liis whole conduct, but consented to the attack 
on Bennington, with, however, this remark, tliat he (Baum) should 
not advance until be was well infoimed of the enemy's position and 
was sure of attacking it advantageously. 

Lieutenant Colonel Baum baited on tnc 13tb, four miles this side 
of Bennington. On the morning of the 14th, Just as be waa in the 
act of starting, he was attacked by about 700 men, who, however, 
fell back upon the firing of a few cannon. Baum, at Ibia point, 
received intelligence from some royalists and a prisoner, that the 
enemy was well fortitled at Bennington, and that he expected reen- 
forcumenla when be would there make an attack. Accordingly, 
Baum very Judiciously changed his plan; remained where be was, 
and asked for reenforcumenls. But the tone of bis request was such 
as made Biirgoyne believe tliat be did not wish to risk anything, and 
only asked for reenforcements that he might attack Bennington. 

This was the time when Baum sliotdd have fallen back; because 
the distance between bitn and Breymatm (some thirty miles) was too 
great for the latter to come to bis at^istance in season, in case 
of ntlBck. But this was not thought of, and Breymann received 
orders on the morning of the 15th, to go to the assistance of Baum, 
who was iufonned of bis coming. 

The reason why Baum was not recalled was, that iie was bent 
u[>on taking Bennington. I will not recapitulate the details of this 
expedition, but inclose herewith his report. By this, as well as by 
other circiimstattccs, it is plain that the distance iKtween bim and 
Breymann was too great for the latter to arrive in time. All, who 
were present, testi^ tliiit Baum and the troops did well. He had 
thoroughly beaten the enemy when be was foreed, through want 
of ammunition, to retreat. Tins the enemy observing, again 


In regard to the commencement of this affair, its progress and its 
termination no one yet can state anything definite. The statements 
of those who have escaped are so at variance that no certain conclu- 
sion can be at present reached. But this much is certain ; that Baum, 
after being informed that Breymann was coming to his assistance, 
would not leave his post. Several small bands of armed men were 
near his camp in the morning, but he was told that they were royal- 
ists. Between nine and ten o'clock, these bands growing stronger 
and stronger, he began to investigate, and found that he was entirely 
surrounded by the enemy. These were the 1,800 men from Benning- 
ton, who, the previous day, had been reenforced by 2,000 men from 
Arnold's army — a fact of which no one knew anything. 

Upon a prearranged signal, he was attacked at about half-past ten 
o'clock from all sides. He held out for two hours, repulsing the 
enemy twice, until having expended all his ammunition he was on 
the point of retreating with his dragoon regiment, being entirely cut 
off from the savages and Canadians. Twice he cut his way through 
the enemy. None of the dragoons having another shot, he ordei'ed 
them to sling their guns over their shoulders and draw their swords. 
In this way he endeavored to cut his way through the third time. 
What has been the fate of the poor men God only knows. Of the 
dragoons, who left here one hundred and fifty men strong, only 
seven have returned. I have now about eighty men of this regiment 
with me, consisting of a camp guard, a few sick and some who re- 
mained behind. 

General Burgoyne has publicly praised the men, but notwithstand- 
ing this, I cannot divest myself of the sorrow which I feel at this 
event, especially since the expedition was planned contrary to my 
wishes. I, myself, ofiered to go with Breymann's corps, but Bur- 
goyne refused me on the ground that there was no other general 
with the army but he and I. Aside from the great loss of so many 
brave men of your highness, and the boast of the rebels, this affair 
will not be of much consequence, for Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger 
has captured Fort Stanwix with many cannon and a strong garrison. 
It is also said that General CUnton has won a battle near the high- 

The army of Arnold has evacuated Stillwater, and, it is rumored, 
is in Albany. As soon as our provisions and the necessary bateaux, 
which are transported by land, shall have reached us, the army will 
advance, and will soon be in Albany in spite of our losses. 

I would recommend to your favor Lieutenant Colonel Breymann 
and Major Von Barner. They have acted bravely. This corps, 
with the exception of its losses, is in the best condition. I must not 


many more wiicli Ioksos, iiIIkth 
Hip service ol" ynur hlKhQi!Bs, t 
A' uni) nilKfonime. 

e J would rallier sacrifice mj 
in to spend it in nothiDg but 


SKi'iK:Ni«BORouaH, Julff 28, 1777. 
Sir: Your pxcelicnt-y will rctiipmbt'r tlist in the spring, on your 
arrivnl at Three Kivem, yo» gnve me iK-rmis^on always to espress 
my opinion to you freely, whenever an opportunity for Aoiog good 
to tliii Tcginients offered itselC Tlie portion Id whicli the army ia 
at present indnccH me to tnk'c tliie freedom, witti tlie firm confidence 
that tlie kindness of Iicart, and liic tVienilsliip of your excellency will 

Great and rapid snecesses have at once placed the army in such a 
position ihat we will often lie forced to be, citlier wirh Hie whole or 
paitof llic army, far away tW>m the rivers and our bateaux. Tlie 
equipment of the army is of such a nature lliai our hateaus are very 
necessary, if we would not liud ourselves abort of everything. This 
makes trouble. One-half of a regiment runs around to procure the 
neptasaries for tlie soldiei'. The men are weary from toil, and the 
bnttiilion grows so weak that they look more like slim companies 
than heavy ntafwes of men. The movements of ilie army can only 
be earricd out slowly and by piece-meal, lacking, as it does, the 
nieanH to Irannport that whicli Is most necessary. 

I, tlK'rofore, give it as my opinion Ibat there are only two ways for 
us to do. We must willi the aniiy always n'niain near a river, and 
not leave it until mcan^ olfer themselves for transporting tiic bateaux 
to another river — the time for their tmnsporlatton not being more 
than eight days. This proceeding, however, in my opinion, is at- 
tended with the fi>lk>wing diHadvantages : 

1st The army are able to move but very slowly ; and the ad- 
vantages which offer themselves upon the sudden retreat of the 
enemy cannot be availed of in tinie. ('ons<'(|Ui'iilly the consternation 
whicli might i}erhai>s be produced among liie n'l>els by tlic presence 
of the n)yal anny would not be increased. 

3d. Tlie inhubitants of Uie country, who are at present extremely 
Mghtencd, will voluntarily submit, iitiil the army in a short time he 

iWritUmUu: latter part urAugnttl, 1777. 


provided with everything, provided we now and then appear with 
detachments. The latter, however, must not be allowed to go too 
great a distance from the main body. The enemy has small parties 
everywhere, and these keep the people in subjection. Therefore, 
confiscate all the teams, and make a desert of the whole country. 
Thus your excellency will be able to gain a much wider field for the 
operations of your army than at present. 

3d. The country, which our army has just left, has taken fresh 
courage ; a new militia has-been organized ; small detachments once 
more roam through these districts ; and each partisan can operate 
against our communications. This latter circumstance may in future 
be even more detrimental to us than at present. 

To avoid all these evils, our army must be brought into a condition 
in which it can move with much more celerity than it has been 
accustomed to. That is, the requisite number of hoi-ses must be 
procured to carry the necessary baggage of the officers, the tents, 
ammunition, artillery and provisions. It is, in my opinion, very- 
disadvantageous to transport the baggage and tents on Canadian 
carts. They spoil the good roads, and can get along only with the 
utmost diflBculty on good roads. The column is, therefore, lengthened 
too much, and the men are very often without tents, the carts not 
being able to keep up. But a pack horse goes everywhere. It can 
walk on the flanks of the regiment, and thus always provide the 
anny with necessaries. Pack horses, therefore, would in my humble 
opinion, do away entirely with the carts. I would, also, keep no 
more teams than were absolutely necessary for the transportation of 
the provisions and artillery. 

When the regiments have a sufficient number of pack horses col- 
lected, and when the transportation of the artillery is safely provided 
for, then your excellency can send out detachments at pleasure; 
keep a check upon the main body of the enemy ; and thus keep the 
inhabitants in subjection — yea, even break up their militia, and pro- 
cure the necessary support for the anny You can, also, extend or 
contract the army as you see fit, and thus freely operate indepen- 
dently of the bateaux and a thousand other contingencies. 

I believe that the army may easily be placed in this independent 
position in three or four weeks at the furthest. 

The countiy between here and the Connecticut and even fifteen 
miles beyond that river is destitute of troops and full of the best 
horses. In fact, there is not an inhabitant who does not possess 
three or four horses. 

If your excellency will detach to the Connecticut, the regiment of 
dragoons, the cori)s of Peters and of Yessop, and an officer and thirty 


of encli rcginipnl, under tlie command of a good staff officer, I am 
convinci'd tliat lliis corps would procure tlie necessary uuinber of 
bontes for tlie army. The regiment of dragoons would thus be 
mounted, and do all tbnl your excellency would expect from it. 

Your excellency miglit determine upon a proporlionatc tax of 
about five to six guineas for each horse. A commissary might go 
with tills cor|>s and give a receipt for each horse to the owner, who, 
upon producing it, could be paid by the general cashier. Tlie officers 
who received horses might then liave the money for tliem, gradually 
deducted from Ihelr jiay, while the horsea for llie dragoons would be 
paid for by the king. This detachment, also, could, at the same 
time, gather up all the ox learns to be used in transporting the pro- 
visions. Tills plan, if carried out, would place the army in Uie most 
flourishing condition, and your excellency would no longer have 
any difllt^ully in carrying out each movement, either in detail or 
otlierwise acctirduig to your own plan. 

Your txtfllency might, perliaiis, think it mean to take all the 
horses fnmi the inhabitants, but it must be considered : 1st. Tliat the 
chief work here is done by oxen, and that horses are only made use 
of cither forcarryinggrain to the mill, or for riding. 2d. The horses 
could bo bought at a price much above their value. 3d. If there was 
a want of horses, tliey would not be able to convey the news to the 
enemy so rapidly or so often. 4th. Tills little blood letting would, 
at least, be a Just punishment for their treason and had conduct 
toward their king. I am convinced that this course can he justified 
bclbre God, the king and parliament, it being to the malcrial advan- 
tage of the army and his majesty.' 

Having thus communicated my idraH candidly and confidentially 
to the IHendship of your excellency, I rely on your forbearance and 
pardon for my freedom. 

I have the honor, etc., 


> Aj:i»nllug to n duciiment. iiicliiscd nilh this cummunicalion. Uiere wcro elavcn 
hundniilBiulfurtr-wvctihiirscBnecfiwiryfnTlhf arnij. This Hlaltiment ofEelklnj; 
Ib nirt iiallc accunilc. In Iho docnmenl here referwil lo (wlilcli I have, and ia now 
biiBiro mul, Ibe above nnmbur. l.HT. nfrn nnly (n the nnmber of horiee aecesBary 
to nitiiiiit Uiu incii and uRIccre nr the <lfnDaii unci Kii;;]i«li rsglmcnlH. According 

Uio tunti', ummnuilion, nrtilk'ry and |lruvi^■lant<. thus maklnt; ttic entire number 
rcquldto 3,147.— Tramlator. 


Lift of the Ijotaeiofthe BrujuiMck andHeitkm Corpt under Lieutenant 
Colonel Bauta, near Bennington, Avguil 16, 1777. 


Compuailion of tho corps. 






























3-r ,1(1 





Names of those ofjUxrs %Blw»efate i» unkn^non. 
Of Ihe dragooD regimeDt: 

1. Captain O'Coniicll, of the General's Btalf; 3. Lieutenant Colonel 
Baum; 3. Major Von Mailiorn ; 4, Captain Fricke; 5, Captain 
Reincking; 6. Captain Schlagenteufel, Jr.; 7. Lieutenant Brown, 
adjutant; 8. Lieutenant Von Reckroth; 0. Lieutenant Von Buth- 
nifr; 10. Comet SchBnewald : II. Comet Grfif; 13. Comet Stutzer; 
13. Qimrtcrinastcr Gerickc; 14, Cliaplain Mclzheimcr; 13. Auditor 
Tliomaa; 16. Cliief Surgeon Vorbrodt. 

Of Ibe other regiments: 

IT. Lieutenant Burgboff, of the grenadier battalion ; 18. Ensign 
Andrea, of the regiment Ricdeact ; 19. Captain Thomas, of the regi- 
ment Bamer; 20. Ensign Specht, of the regiment Barner; 21. Lieu- 
tenant Bach, of Ihe Hessian artilleiy. 

Tlie English lieutenant of engineers, Dumford, who was detailed 
to Lieutenant Colonel Baum, shared, also, the fate of the above 


LMofhttenofthf Of rmnn delae/imfnt, under LievUnant ColoJtel Baum 
during the affair near 8t. Cvnk, on the 16(ft Avgva, 1777. 

Compoelt]onoraMi»rpi.^^J|^ I KUIed. Worad'd.l MlBsing. | Total. 

Ojfieer» kaUd. 
Captain V. Scliick, of the grenadier bultalion ; Lieutenant Uucb- 
lenfleld, oftlie batlalion Bamer. 

Wounded offieeri. 

LieiHenant Colonel Breymann, M(^]or Von Bamer, Capti^D Von 

Geisan, Cuptiiin Von Gluisenberg, Lieutenant Hanemann, all of 

Baraer'B liattulion ; Lieutenant Spangenberg, of the Hessian artillery. 

Mming officers. 

Captain Von Bartlin, Lieutenant Gebliardt, lieutenant Meyer, 
LicutcnuiU Von Anniercs, all of ilie grenadier battalion; EnaigB 
Hageniann, of tliu battalion Burner. 

Tlina the corps nnnil>crcd, after tlie engagement, only, 9 officers, 
83 noneomniiBsioiidl officers, 30 niiisiciana and 350 priyBtes. 

At eight o'eloitk on tlie morning of the 15t]i of August, I received 
orders Irom IiIh excellency. General Biirgoyne, by his adjutant Cap- 
tain Clark, to start at once with the corps, consisting of the company 
of yiigcrs, n l>at(alion of chasseutH and grenadiers and two cannon, 
and rcenforce the corps of Lieutenant Colonel Baum. I started, 
therefore, at o'clock; and there not IhiIiij; any teams, I had two 
ammunition b[>!iu) placed npoii the artilleiy wagons. Each soldier 
carried with him forty cartridges. Tlic croaaing of the Battenkill 
cnnsuttiuil considerable time, lor the men liad all to wade through 


the water. The great number of hills, the bottomless roads, and a 
severe and continuous rain, made the march so tedious that I could 
scarcely make one-half of an English mile an hour. The cannons 
and the ammunition wagons had to be drawn up hill one after the 
other. All this, of course, impeded our march very much ; and I 
was unable to hasten it notwithstanding all of my endeavors. The 
carts loaded with ammunition upset, and it caused considerable 
trouble to right them. 

To this, also, was added another difficulty. The guide, whom we 
had, lost the way and could not find it again. At last, Major Earner 
found a man who put us back on the right path. 

All these unexpected mishaps prevented me from marching on the 
enemy on the 15th, as far as 'Cambridge, and, I, therefore, found myself 
obliged to encamp seven miles this side of that place. 

Before reaching that place, however, I wrote to Lieutenant Colonel 
Baum notifying him of my arrival, and sent Lieutenant Hagemann 
with the dispatch. Lieutenant Colonel Baum received this note at 
eleven o'clock at night ; and I received his answer on the following 

Early on the morning of the 16th, I set out, but the artillery horses 
being very weak, in consequence of their not having been fed, the 
march progressed veiy slowly. 

Major Barner was obliged to go ahead with the advance guard in 
order to procure horses and carts. These reached us before noon, 
and wc at once made use of them. The march was then continued 
with as much haste as possible beyond Cambridge, where I was 
forced to halt half an hour to collect the columns. 

Toward two in the afternoon. Colonel Skeene sent two men to me 
with the request that I would detach one officer and twenty men to 
occupy the mill at St. Coyk, as the rebels showed signs of advancing 
on it. Instead of sending these men as he desired, I dispatched 
Captain Gleisenberg ahead with the advance guard, consisting of 
sixty grenadiers and chasseurs and twenty yagers. I followed as 
quickly as possible with the rest. Some of the ammunition carts 
again broke down on the road. 

I reached the mill at St. Coyk at half-past four o'clock in the after- 
noon, and found the advance guard, which had been sent on ahead, 
in that place undisturbed. I candidly confess, that I did not hear a 
cannon or a musket shot either while on the march or m the mill. 

Colonel Skeene was also at the mill. He informed me that the 
corps of Colonel Baum A\as only two miles distant. I supposed, 
therefore, that I could not do better than to hasten to meet it. Colo- 
nel Skeene was of the same opinion, and we both marched over the 


2")K OFFirlM. DorlMkWTS ItELA Tl.Vff 

bri<I)!e in onlfr to rtucli Ilie ramp <if Ilaniii, being as yet uDuware 
tbat Ills fiiK- WHS ulrc-iiily ^caltti. If Culoiitl Sktcnc- wns ncquuintcd 
nilli lliiil riict III tliis lime, Ilieii I cuiiiiot iiiin^iiic nlial could hare 
iniltint) liiiu to keep it from iiic; for, in sueli a case, I certainly 
would iioi bavc risked an cngii(,'en!eiii. 

I was scnTCcly WO pim-« fmni llie briilgc nlien I noticed tliroiigb 
Ibc winmIr a con^klerabte niimlicr uC armed men (some ol' wlion) wore 
blouses and t>oiiic jackets), bUHleiiing toward an eminence on bit left 
fliiuk. I culled Colonel Skt'ene'!) atlenliun to it, and received from 
bttn Die reply, tliat tbcMC uien were royalists. But upon his riding 
up toward tiiem and calling to tlicm, the niatter was soon explained, 
for insrend of returning an answer, lliey fired upon ue. I, thereupon 
ordered llie ImttaUoii Banter to move toward Ibe height, while the 
yagers anil grenadierii advanced on tlif right. The engagement now 
commenced, and Inhti'd until nearly eight o'clock. 

The cannon were posled on a road where there was a log house. 
Thin we fired upon as it was occupied Ijy the rebels. This drove 
llM!m iiul, and we then icpulsed tbcm on oil sides, and this too, not- 
withstanding they received reenfjreemenis. 

The trooiiH did their duty, and I know of no one who doubts this 
&ct. After our ainmimltion was all e.vpcnded, and llie artillery in 
consetinence c<:UHed firing, mithiiig was more natural than to suppose 
tbat the enemy would be encouraged lo renew his attack. L'nder 
Ibis siiiiiKH'ttlon I hastened, with a number of men, to the cannon in 
order lo lake Ihem away. By this movement most of my men were 
severely wounded. Tlie horses eitlier were dead or in a condition 
which pii'vented them movliii: from llii' spot. In order, therefore, 

amiuniiilion being exhausted), I retreateil on the approach of dark- 
ness, destroyed the bridge, had as many of llie W'ounded as (lossible 
brought tiiithc-r that I bey might not Im' captured, and, afler a lapse 
of half an hour in comi>any with t'olonel Skeene, pursued my niitreh 
and n'aehed Cambridge toward twelve o'cloi-k at nifrhl. Here, atler 
taking jirecaiitlonary measures, I remained during lliat night, uod 
mnrebed thence at daybreak of the ITth of Augual lo llie cauip. 

This is all tlial I ani able lo rciiort concerning the aRair of the IGlli 
of August. The k>ss of the two cannon pains me most. I did my 
tx'st to save Ihem, but the above niuucd circumstnuees aud the want 
of ammuniilon rendered! it impoHHible to retake them from undei- the 
lire of the enemy's muskets, although I would willingly have doue it 
even ill the loss of my life. 

Your most obedient, 

In camp at Saratoga, August 30, 1777. IinKVM.\KS. 




Ris^ht Honorable Sir, highly respected Lieutenant Colonel : Gene- 
ral Burgoyne has himself written a letter to you this forenoon, and 
he has directed me just now to address you a few lines to say that in 
consequence of the good news, he has this moment received, from 
Lieutenant Colonel Baum, he would be very glad — providing there 
be not too much risk — if his design in regard to the expedition could 
be carried out. He, however, leaves it to yourself and your talents 
to do that which you consider best. 

The general requests that as soon as circumstances will safely 
permit it, you will send to the army the horses, cattle, etc., which 
you can spare, and which have been captured from the enemy. 

I have the honor to be with high esteem. 

Sir, your obedient servant, 

Fkancis Carr Clarke. 

Aid de camp. 
In the service of tlie king. 

To Mr. Breymann, Lieutenant Colonel and coramnnder 

of the reserve of the left wing of the army. 


New York Island, September 3, 1780. 
Captain Cleve, upon his return from Germany to New York, 
informed me that there is still a doubt in the public mind as to 
whether I was not the author of the affair near Bennington. This, 
also, seems the more reasonable, since General Burgoyne, in his last 
letter of justification, published under the title of The State of the 
Ej:})edition^ seeks to persuade the world that I not only proposed the 
plan of the expedition but even drew up the order for its execution 
for Lieutenant Colonel Baum. I consider myself, therefore, in duty 
bound to throw still more liglit upon this subject, and endeavor to 
explain it a second time. This step on my part, moreover, seems to 
me the more necessary, since many persons try to make out that this 
unsuccessful expedition was the source of all the misfortunes which 
have befallen the northern army, and consider all the mishaps near 
Saratoga as the njUural consequence of it. If this is true, then am I 
more guilty than he who commanded the northern army up to the 
time of the convention, or he who first planned the campaign of 


The inclosed document marked A, was my plan. I was induced 
to make it on account of the sad situation in which I found myself 
placed while in my camp at Castletown, where tents, provisions and 
other necessaries had to he carried on the backs of the soldiers from 
a distance of nine miles, and where the entire region round about 
abounded with horses, which were used by the inhabitants, for no 
other purpose than to come in the morning to take the oath of 
allegiance to the king, and return again in the evening to the com- 
manding officers of the enemy and relate everything they had seen 
in my camp. 

No person, in reading this document, can discover the idea ad- 
vanced, that this corps were to engage the enemy. On the contrary, 
it is asserted that the direction of the march was at such a distance 
from Albany, that the whole thing could have been carried out and 
the blow struck before the enemy could have even begun to suspect 
anything in regard to this excursion. 

There is an interval between the date of this document and the 
time of the giving of the order to Lieutenant Colonel Baum, during 
which the condition of the army had materially changed. The 
question, therefore, arises, was the time when the order was given 
as favorable as it was when the plan was made ? 

General Burgoyne, himself, in his State of the Expedition, proves 
exactly the contrary. He states that the American troops, who at- 
tacked Lieutenant Colonel Baum near Bennington, were those who 
came from Massachusetts bay to reenforce the hostile army at Albany. 
But the country was, by that time, already in anus, and the plan 
rendered more difficult to be carried out than when I proposed the 

Since General Burgoyne passes over in silence those transactions 
which took place between him and me in regard to the expedition 
during this interval, I am forced to relate them in this place. As 
they were only oral I can but give my word of honor for their truth- 

On the 31st of July, I went from Fort Anne to Fort Edward for 
the purpose of seeing General Burgoyne. As soon as he perceived 
me, he took me one side, thanked me for the memoir, which I had 
sent him from Skcensborough, and excused himself for not having 
answered it, giving as an excuse that the time for its execution had 
not yet arrived. 

I modestly answered, that matters had somewhat changed, but 
that I thought if Lieutenant Colonel Baum would go in the same 
direction as was laid down in the plan, and if another corps would 
endeavor to drive Colonel Warner from Manchester, and thus cause a 


diversion in that direction, it would still not be impossible to have 
the undertaking carried out with success. 

His answer to this was as follow^ : " I do not think it necessary to 
send Lieutenant Colonel Baum so far back. Warner, according to news 
I have received, has fallen back from Manchester to Bennington ; and, 
if Baum takes such a circuitous rout, he cannot return in season, and 
I cannot postpone uiy intended advance until his arrival." 

I, thereupon, took the liberty to remark tliat it ought to be decided 
whether Baum should take horses, oxen, etc., or should fight the 
enemy; that the enemy would certainly send a detachment against 
him from Albany, and thus the plan might be frustrated ; but that if 
Baum should offer battle to the enemy, or assume the offensive 
against Warner, I would have nothing to say against it.* 

Upon this. General Burgoyne, with a flattering mien tapped me 
upon my epaulette, and said : " My friend, I intend to kill two flies 
with one blow. I am informed that Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger is 
before Fort Stanwix and is besieging it. Since it is impossible for 
me to advance, on account of want of provisions, I design Lieutenant 
Colonel Baum's march to attract the attention of the enemy to his 
right wing, and thus prevent him from sending succor to Fort 

This answer from my commanding general, as a matter of course, 
prevented me from replying, and thus the conversation ended. 

On the 2d of August, I went into camp at Fort Edward with the 
left wing. Upon reporting myself to General Burgoyne, he laid 
before me orally his ideas of the manner in which Baum should carry 
out his expedition, at the same time requesting me to draw up an 
order and lav it before him for revision. This document is here 
inclosed, marked B.'* In speaking of this order in the lower house, 
Major Kingston said it contains the sentiments of General Riedesel. 
General Burgoyne also quotes it in his treatise on half of a page, with 
his remarks opposite, under the title of /iw amendments. 

* This is the reading of thin sentence in the German text. In another draft, how- 
ever, of this same letter written by Uiedesel in French and signed by him, which I 
procured in (iermany and which is now before me, the reading which is slightly 
different, is as follows : " Thereupon, I took the liberty to reply as follows : that 
it ought to be determined whether Baum should make an excursion in the \icinity 
for the purpose of taking from the inhabitants their horses, oxen and teams, or 
whether he should give battle to the enemy ; that, in the first case (which was 
always my idea), I believe the march to Manchester would be too far ; that the 
enemy would, without doubt, detach from Albany a corps against him, and thus 
defeat his design ; but that if Baum assumed the offensive against Warner, that I 
would wiy nothing against it." — Translator. 

2 Max Van Eelking in a note in the original, states that " this document cannot 
be found." 1 am, however, the guilty cause of his not finding it, as I myself found 


I cannot deny that I was the one who wrote this order, in the same 
way, for instance, as an adjutant writes the order of liis general ; but 

it when in (iiTinany, and, with the perniit*sion of itH owner, carried it with me to 
America. It is now before me, and reads an follows : 


" Statenient of fnafrucfiom* gUuu to Lhuttnant Colonel Baum for hi« Guidance in the 

F.i'jM-ififio/i f/iuf he is to <v//nnnn(l. 

" The desiyfn of thin expedition is to sound the sentiments of the inhabitauts, to 
m«)unt the rej;iment of dra;;oons, and to furnish the anny with horses, oxen and 
teams. Colonel IJaum is to take the route to Arliuj^ou, Manchester and Rocking- 
ham, making a halt at each of those placi's. and fn)m Manchester he is to send 
detachments of sava<(es and provincials to the head of the Connecticut river, even 
as far as No. Four. 

" From Manchester, he will continue his route as far as Kockingham, where he 
will post himself. 

'• The lieutenant colonel, with his regular troops, is not to pass beyond Rocking- 
ham. He is to take up in that place the most advantageous position. All the 
oxen, horses and teams are to be sent to the army by the provincials well escorted. 
After the design of the expedition has been accomplished, he will take the most 
direct road, by way of Brattlebury, to Albany, to join the main body of the army at 
that place. 

" At every place through which he i)asses, he is to make the inhabitauts believe 
that the corps, which he commands, is the advance guard of the army which is on 
its way to Boston, and which is to be joined at Springfield by a body of troops 
from Khode island. 

" In case that the main anny has not arrived in Albany by the time that the lieu- 
tenant colonel has accomplished his object. General Burgoyne will give him advice, 
and recall him to the army when he will give him and his corps another route. 

" The lieutenant colonel will give from time to time intelligence of his position, 
and what he has accomplished. 

"In case of the enemy combining acjainst Licutanant Colonel Baum in too great 
force, General Burgoyne will not fail to send him the most prompt succor, and will 
make such a movement that the enemy wiH lind himself between two fires. 

"VoiLA, in general the nature of the instructions given to Lieutenant Colonel 
Baum. The change afterward made in his route, was caused by the report of 
Colonel Skeene who gave Burgoyne information to the eftect that the enemy had a 
very large magazine of supplies at Bennington, and that it would be a very easy 
matter to surprise and capture it. 

"Lieutenant Colonel Baum was sent from his camp at the Battenkill on the right 
toward Bennington. 

" The rebels having sent largi^ reenforcemiuits to that place, the lieutenant 
colonel was not able (with his small number), to resist the eft'orts of an enemy who 
had, at least, ten times his force. The misfortunes which resulted are only too 
well known. 

" yimiber of Troopft ivho were employed upon (his Expedition. 


Kegiment of dragoons 200 

Indians, 100 

The c()r|)s of Peters 150 

Provincial and ('anadian volunti?ers, 50 

Company of Frazer, 50 


Total, 550 


that they were not my own sentiments is proved by the memoir 
wJiich I have already alluded to.* 

I handed the order, drawn up in this manner, to General Burgoyne. 
He put it in his pocket and said he would read it and then talk to me 
more about it. On the next day, he came to my tent and brought 
me tlie sketch again with the added alterations, which are the same 
that he calls hU amendment in his Treaties.^ This order was corrected 
in accordance with his amendments, and General Burgoyne received 
an English translation thereof, while Lieutenant Colonel Baum re- 
ceived the original ; and this is all I had to do with the whole matter. 

Tliere were a great many difficulties connected with the carrying 
out of the expedition ; it was not easy to procure the requisite quota 
from the corps of Brigadier Frazer; the Indians could not be induced 
to march; and horses were needed for the transportation of tlie 
necessary articles. Thus a few more days passed away. 

Meanwhile, General Burgoyne heard of the magazine at Benning- 
ton. Thereupon he rode himself into the camp of Lieutenant Colonel 
Baum, and gave him the oral order not to march to IManchester, but 
direct to Bennington. With this order Baum marched at once with- 
out my seeing him again. Then came the misfortune which is 
known to the world. 

Upon Lieutenant Colonel Baum making his report to the effect 
that lie was opposite the Battenkill and waited for further orders, 
General Burgoyne sent his adjutant, Clarke, to me in the night, and 
requested me to order Lieutenant Colonel Breymann to march at 
once to the rehef of Colonel Baum. I replied, that I considered the 
situation of the latter as very dangerous, and that I thought it much 
more advisable to order him back again half way to meet Breymann, 
when he could act as circumstances mii^ht dictate. In truth, I did 
not like to have anything to do with the matter, and, therefore, sent 
Captain Gerlach to General Burgoyne in order that the necessary 
orders might be carried directly from that general to Breymann. 

•• These different corpt* not behip tiufficiently Ptroug, General Riedesel added to it 
25 chaHseurs and 75 other German noldierp. 


The above in the document or letter B referred to by Riedesel. as being in- 
closed in hi^» letter to Duke Charles. Writing from memory, Riedesel was only 
abl(! to give an abstract of it. The one in the State of the Expedition is fuller, and 
on account of its importance is copied into this volume.— Translator. 

• In the original draft in French, to which I have alluded in a note or two back, 
the expression is even stronger. It reads, " but I protest that they were never my 
own ideas ; indeed, the objections I had made before, proves the contrary."— 

- 1, c. The State of the Expedition.— Translator. 


Tills is all tliiit I )ia(] to do with tliiH Beimington expedition ; and 
I lion- Icuvt it to niiy iiiliitary inuii if I cuii witli Irulli be culled the 

niitliorofUiirt e\i*(litioii.' 

:li dnriMxi'lhiiuilbyRiciltKcl hinm'lf. ubereax Iht'Onc In Ihe te 
tun, lfci;luiiliig at tbv luragnpli uhk'h commuDcen nlib tbe 
iiiH'liilu. UiMiural Buii^ijiu: hiiril uf Ibu magulnc ai BeuDlngtoD, 
:h Ana riaiU sk hilluv 


ui;r»l BunpiTiie «»>■ lultl by h ci:rtaln provincial i 
Slii,-rwoud, llial tbv vmmy bud uptBbll-'bvcL u cutn-ldenbte maeazin« 
which WBH WTy pouriy (llKlitly. UijrniiuiU\ uusnled, Svducvd by ib 
CapUin HbLTWuud Hiid liad beuu ialiiuaUd ti> him by CoLuii»1 SIedodc. Gcoer 
Bur^ijnn nidviiii burncback liitu ihv camp urLkucenanl Coliiael Baum. and gai 
urbally tliu order nut to )^ lu >lsncbcHtur, but lo march directly for BcDoiDi 

111. Willi t1 
ivr niAas b 
i my i:sai: 

tinliir, Llunlviu 

L'i Baum 

:h hsiipcDcd tu hlin audbin corps are ouly loo well known 
III Eallhrnl rcporlB from Juliir* farm. 

Culoncl Banni aiitlcipalliiti very Muon a eerioas rcaii^tancu from the 
ciii>iny did not All tu makv a n^f^nlar rL'port or tble Lo Uuoeral Bnrgoyne. He told 
him Ihal 2,<U) ot the uuutuy irvrv aiwiMiibli»l si Bcnolnstoii, aii^ be pmycd blm to 
reiniruccv bim, lliat he mtjjht bo abhi elllicr lo Fut-taiu bit pouilioii. or attack the 
oni'iny al BcimliiKton acconliiig to circniimtanceH, On receiving this report, 
Ocnural Burgoyuu sent bis aid du camp, Hlr Fmnds Clarke, to me In the nigbt snd 
roijiiBiitod me to order Lluulcuaut Cokmol Breymanu imniedlstely lo reenforoo 
Lieutuiiaut ColiHiel Baum, and lisvlug united with blm, be preparod cither to 
BUHiain an snack IVani, ur atlack the cuomy. Hv reply lo Sli l^'rsucis Clarke wag, 
that 1 coiiKldennl Ibo situation of Lluuteuaut Colonel Baiun very procariouD, and 
that my advice would be to order Ueuteuaut Culouul Baum tu i^IiiX' bait way back 
and join llii' curpH of LleutEUaal Coloiiul Un'yinuiiii, and. attemardB, to act to- 
i;e1hcr accordlii>: lo clrcumi'iancei', Ihul, fiir tbls reaieou. 1 would iirefer that 
tieuerul Bar^iyin: sliiiuld dlspensu nitb me cutlrvly In 1bi» affklr; and Ibat 1 
ivouid H'liil L^jiUln lieitaiJi In Uenenil Runcoyne Hull be nii];ht «eud by tilm nuch 
ordvm to Lluuteuaut Colouel Breymauii aw Iiu lal^t deem Ihe moMt attlnff. 

"Thill, my lord, iKlbetme statvuieut of all lliea^^ncylhad |u this expedltlou 
tu Hcnnllij^'toii ; and I leave mytwir entirely lo IIiu judgment of military coinnuls- 
KCiiTB. to detennine vlietber they Iwlk-ve me lo l>e Ihe author of Ihe e:ipudilluii to 



Brunswick, January 5, 1781. 
Highly Honored Major General : 

The explanations which your honor has given me respecting Ben- 
nington and Saratoga, although very valuable to me, were not 
necessary for your justification. The people have done you ample 
justice; and I, for my part, have not expected anything else as I am 
pretty well acquainted with the actors in those events. 

Since the loss of my father, all my efforts have been bent upon the 
reconstruction of this country : and I flatter myself not entirely 
without success. I hope to be able in a short time to resign the com- 
mand of the Prussian regiment which was intrusted to me, that I 
may devote myself solely to my new duties, which, of course, removes 
me entirely from military matters. Your honor will find me to be a 
real country gentleman, living only for his farm and the education 
of his children, and shunning everything that does not come within 
this province. It is really no small good fortune to be able to escape 
from this stormy world. I feel this, and know, therefore, how to 
appreciate my good luck. Maj'^ Heaven give you perfect health, and 
bring you back to us when peace is finally made. Friendship and 
esteem will meet you here. 

Filled with such sentiments, I have the honor of being always, 
Your honor's 

Most faithful friend and servant. 

Charles William Ferdinand, 

Duke of Brunswick and LOneburg. 


Cambridge, September 12, 1778. 
Most niustrious Hereditary Prince : 

The war between the emperor and his majesty the king, having 
begun (according to the newspapers which are our only sources of 
news from Europe), and as your highness commands one of the 
strongest corps in the Prussian army, I congratulate you, thereupon 

1 The former hereditary prince, but now full duke by his father^ s death.— Trans- 



most humbly, knowing that the wishes of your highness are now 

Your highness has now an opportunity of once more showing your 
great talents, and of rendering many services to a monarch, who, by 
his publicly expressed regards for you, has reechoed the sentiments of 
the public' 

IIow delighted would I be if I could engage in this war under your 
highness. I would gladly be your very last adjutant. What a 
difference between a w\ar there, and here, where unfavorable territory, 
want of everj'thing, and ignorance on the part of the leaders frustrate 
all expeditions, and will not consider the character of the people 
against whom we are fighting. All that you have predicted in regard 
to it is true, and has, alas, taken place ; and I now see clearly that 
the conquering of this nation by force of arms is and will be a 
problem which cannot be solved, unless divisions among the colonies, 
quarrels with the French (against whom they cherish a great hatred), 
want of resources, and the policy of the English commissioners, 
solves it. 

I will not trouble you, who are now engaged in such important 
business, with complaints in regard to our still being unexchanged, 
with a narration of the hostile operations here, nor with an account of 
the bad situation in which tlie troops of your highness find them- 
selves at jiresent, I am convinced that his serene highness, the duke, 
will connnunicate to you my reports to him, in which I give every- 
thing in detail. I only desire to commend myself and the whole 
corps — thr» conduct of whom both in good and bad fortune has been 
extremely good — to the gracious consideration of your highness, 
and to pray for your gracious protection in case we should need it. 

The public testiuKmial which General Burgoyne has given in his 
speech before parliament, and his public declaration that no blame 
attaches to the troops for the failure of his expedition, is, I hope, an 
honor to the troops. If the period which is to decide our fate was 
only at hand now, and if these troops only had an opportunity for 
avenging the caltimity they have endured, 1 should rest content. 

I am, etc., 


1 This is the Bavarian war, produced by the BuccoHtjion to the throne, and 
lasted one year. It is joeosely ealled the Potato war. It amonnted to very little. 

- Frederick the (ireat had written an ode upon the hereditary prince ol Bruns- 



On the Bouquet River, June 24, 1777. 

My Dear General : 

It is my intention to liave the army march from here to Crown 
point in making a movement, which will allow a rest of two or three 
hours on the march. 

You will, therefore, have the goodness to see that the troops take 
down the tents (if the weather will permit it), and endeavor to reach 
Crown point before two o'clock to-morrow. But in case there 
should be too much wind for the enemy to cross at the proper 
moment, you will remain until a more favorable opportunity, taking 
care, however, not to arrive in the night. 

I have the honor with respect, and esteem, to sign myself. 

Your most faithful and obedient servant, 


lo Major Oeneral Von Biedesel. 

In Camp near Ticonderoga, July 1, 1777. 

I beg you to order the reserve corps of the left wing to remain in 
the woods during the day ; but on the approach of night, to occupy 
the house in front of them on the clearing near the river with a cap- 
tain and a proportionate detachment. The yagers will advance, and 
the post of the captain will serve as a support, while the troops of 
Lieutenant Colonel Breymann will be on the left wing of its position. 

The reserve corps will be supported by the fire from the ships in 
case of an attack. You will, also, please embark the left wing, in 
order to support it in case the engagement proves a severe one. 

I have the honor, etc., 


July 4, 1777. 
My Dear Sir : 

I have this moment received the letter, with which you have 
honored me, and also the report of Lieutenant Colonel Breymann. 

The strong picket, at the foot of the mountain, is evidence that 
the post of Breymann causes some uneasiness to the enemy. I do- 
not believe that the latter will think of continuing his cannon fire, 
either from one side or the other, after seeing the result. 



Our men work diligently on llie roads designed ae a comniiinlca- 
tiim for ihe right wing, I am very sure tbat the same work pro- 
grcsBcs under your coDinituid, on tlie left wing, with the greatest 
possible expedition. 

Tlip BBvngCB, who should have passed before daybreak, did not 
march by till nbout seven u'cloek. Captain Fraier very likely marched 
by wittiout hailing, in order to raich the rendezvous which was 
designated for ciglit o'clock at a distance of two miles beyond. This 
appears prohiible. He ought, however, to liave united himself to us, 

I do not know whether I shall be able to visit the left wing to-day 

Skebkebbokocoh, July 7, 1777. 

I arrived here yesterday in season to attack the manned ships of 
the enemy which cover Ids retreat. He had only five, two of which 
were taken, and the rest burned and blown up. A great part of their 
^s.ggage and nnituuniiion is in our possesion. His army is cut in 
two. The Kew England provincials have left for home in the 
greatest disorder. The others have turned toward Fort George, 
where they intend to await General Putnam witli an army of 5,000 
men. It is my oijinion tliat the army of Ticonderogn is entirely 
annihilated, as it is in wantof all the materials for support and defense. 

You will liavc the kindness to go into a " camp of rest" with the 
troops of Ihe left wing, cither on Mount Independence or in its 
vicinity, and there remain until I have completed my arrangements 
for the continuation of our itdvance. If you find means for forward- 
ing our provisions, I wish Breymann's corps to be stationed witliin 
a few miles of barrack Independence, on the main road to Ticon- 
deroga near No, 4, to support operations in that direction, and facili- 
tate communication f^ bien effectires. 

You will have the goodness to distribute manifestoes and issue 
strict onlcrs for tlie prevention of plundering or otherwise injuring 
the inhnbitants. 

You will hear again fVom me in a sliort tiuic. Till then 
I have, etc, 

J. BtlRfiOYNE. 

P. S, The corps of General Frazer has orders to remain in Ticonde- 
roga until gunboats and other vessels can be placed on Lake George, 


Camp at Skenesbobotjgh, July 8, 1777. 

I had the honor of writing you this morning. Since then I have 
received a letter from General Frazer, which informs me of , your 
intention of marching to-morrow. Your ships and tents are at 
present here ; and I suppose that you intend marching, in spite of the 
diiferent opinions I have had upon the weather, with a view of join- 
ing me at this place. It is now my wish (since, by the retreat of the 
enemy to No. 4, communication is open) to unite as far as possible, 
the whole strength on this side. I beg that you will leave a suflScient 
guard for the wounded until they can be carried to Ticonderoga. 
You will, if possible, supply the guard with enough provisions to 
last one or two days ; and means will have to be found to supply 
them afterwards. The guard will soon be released by another corps. 

I have, etc., 


Instructions for Major General Von Biedesel, 

Head Quarters, Skeenesborough House, July 10, 1777. 
Dear Sir : 

The reason for the movement of the left wing is to prevent any 
communication between No. 4 and Albany by way of Castletown, to 
aflford protection to the loyal inhabitants, to frighten the disloyal, 
and to protect the hospital at Huberton. 

You will, therefore, have the goodness to take your position on 
the Castletown river, and send the corps of Lieutenant Colonel Brey- 
mann to the opposite side, where is the junction of the roads to 
Poultney and Rupert. 

The Hesse Hanau regiment will occupy the height of East Creek 
post, near the landing place, in order to secure this communication. 

After taking up this position, I desire you to use all means to en- 
courage the inhabitants. You will offer them the protection of the 
king by placing sentinels in front of the houses and possessions of 
those who are known to be loyal, and by saving those houses which 
are empty until you receive further instructions, as I intend to 
appoint a certain time for the guilty ones to return, before resorting 
to military executions. 

I would also request you to punish soldiers or others under your 
command, who may be found guilty of plundering or otherwise 
abusing the inhabitants. 

I have the honor, etc., 

J. Burgoyne. 


Hkad Qi aktbrw at Skeenehdokoloh, Jalg 18, 1777. 
I Im'/j j-iiu wiH c.vcusf my not having replied lo your last two 
IcIIiTH ; liiil I liuvf Ikcii vtry niiitli burrii'd in finishing iiiy didiMitclies 
t<i thL- tuiirL 

Your projiiisilion lo make a movcnicnt with your corps is entirely 
in BCcordunct- with my wislios, iind siiOHO. in all its parts, the talents 
which you ixwsess. The state of the weather, however, prevents me 
fl-oni making use of tlH'ni, as there is dungcr of too greatly fatiguing 
your troDiw. 

It will be nec(»-<ary lo advance soon with the whole army. I am 
only wailing for the roads to be in a proper condition. 

I hope you will observe strict order in sending the baggage back 
to Tirondeniga. The ba^age of llic Uritisli officers has already 

been scnl back, and Hinue have only a small lent and a knapsack left. 

' lift I" the end, it is really tlie best thing for the offlecrs to be particular 

t'J^, u]>on Ibis |)oini, 

■ FSj I have ordered the distribution of horses among the artillery. The 

I'^'W remainder will Ibcn be portioned out lo the troops. But thdr num- 

. f| MJ ber is iiH yet insnfflcient to carry the tents of i]ie soldiers. 

^ •^1 The inhabitants of your neigltborhood give as an excuse for not 

\i —% bringing in cattle, Hiat lliey were engaged in the service of ynur 

^ In camp. I would be rery much obligetl to you if you would report to 

I .SB nie the numlR'r of oxen, horses and wagons actually employed (In- 

! ^ cliiillng llie llanau regiment), that I may punish those who tell me 

I I ,, falM'lioixls. 

I We are at pieseni engaged in Iraiw forming the new corps of 

provincials into regidur troops. It is necessiiry for Mr. Sherwood to 
return with all ins jieople as soon as [Mis.siblc, tluit tlieir names may 
Ih- placed upon llie register and lltal other matters in regard to Iheir 
cnlislmeiit may be settled. 

I have ordered four dozen bottles of port wine and the same 
<|iianlily of madeira to be sent you. I am sorry that tlie present cou- 
(litii>n of my cellar does not allow ine to send yon a larger quantity 
and a iH'tti'r kind. 

I have, etc., 


I returned yesterday frotii my c.\riirsiriii of Iwo days — wbicli I 
spent m reconnoilering F(nt Anji and the country of the enemy — 
loo lute lorejilylo the two letters of Hie 3l»Hvilh which you honoretl 


The blocking up of the roads which the enemy have endeavored 
every where to destroy, forced me to postpone for one day the united 
movement and make a few alterations in the arrangement. The 
corps of Frazer marched to-day. The right wing will follow the day 
after to-morrow (the 25th) ; and you will have the goodness to have 
the left wing occupy the same territory on which it encamped near 
Skeensborough. It is left to you, sir, either, for the accommodation 
of your troops, to march to-morrow to Castletown, or to make the 
whole distance in one day, or further — if you find it advisable — to 
embark your troops or part of them on East creek, according to the 
number and accommodation of your ships. It will be necessaiy to 
continue the march of the left wing on the 25th ; and it is left to 
your own judgment whether it would not be less fatiguing for the 
troops to bivouack during the night of the 25th than for them to 
transport their tents from the ships to the camp-ground only to re- 
embark them again on the next morning. 

By having the army thus march in divisions as far as Fort Auu, I 
shall prevent the confusion which the large number of ships would 
cause in the narrow passage of the creek. 

The enemy are in considerable force at Fort Edward, and appear 
to await us there. I very much doubt it : still, it will be necessary to 
take measures to advance against this position with sufficient force, 
and in such marching order that a line of battle can quickly be 

Please bring with you all the wagons and teams you have and can 
muster, for which you will give the owners certificates. 

I will leave the other matters until I have the honor of seeing you. 
In the meantime, I remain with the greatest esteem, 


P. S. The enemy had the audacity to push forward a patrol of 
thirty-four men a quarter of a mile beyond Fort Ann. A deserter 
brought this news. A portion of our Indians, who had lately arrived, 
were quickly dispatched after them, and succeeded in capturing a 
capiain and eighteen men; the rest were either killed or scattered. 
I believe this will be a good lesson to them. This letter will serve in 
the place of orders for your march to Skeensborough without my 
sending you a general order. 

Camp near Saratoga, Avgtisi 13, 1777, 
t KH o'clock in the morning. 

Being desirous of not retarding your march this morning, I kept 
the details of this plan, intending to have it follow you. 


Mr. Baum reports to me that the enemy number 1,800 men, and 
that lie, therefore, could not carry out the projected plan. He also 
states that he is at present attacked, and expects reenforcements. 

Confiding in the talents of this officer, I am convinced that you 
will find him at his post; and it depends on you — according to 
what you may learn from the enemy — either to make a new attack 
or to call back the detachment. 

The main thing is to arrange the retreat (if it be unavoidable), in 
such a manner as to give the enemy no chance to triumph over us, 
and no cause for discouragement to the Indians. To prevent this, 
all the animals and wagons, captured by the troops, must be kept. 
It would also, be veiy desirable to have the flour and com taken 
away ; but since we have no means for doing this, they will have to 
be burned. 

Please report to me all that takes place. 

I have, etc., 


August 25. 

I have had the honor of receiving your three letters, and have 
thoroughly considered the report of Colonel Breymann, Nothing 
can be said against the troops in regard to bravery. It is certain that 
the march of Mr. Breymann was very slow. It would have been 
better if he had left his artillery behind to follow after him under an 
escort, than to have delayed reenforcing the troops. 

Mr. Skene insists that it was impossible for Lieutenant Colonel 
Breymann not to have known of the encounter of Baum, since two 
or three oflicers, who had witnessed it, were with him in the mill. 
Skene, however, says, that he himself knew nothing of the affair. 

It is also certain that the gunners fired at too great a distance. 
Finally,. I consider it necessary to inclose the following order in the 
general instructions, which I communicate to you before it is pub- 
lished, on account of the attention I owe you. I will wait until you 
honor me with your answer. 

You will find that there are to-day more wagons for the ti'ans- 
portation of articles to Fort Ann. I am very impatient and anxious 
to have the provisions with us for the march against the enemy. 
The moment is a decisive one ; and with your keen perception you 
will readily see that our communication with Fort Ann is too ex- 
tended and too much exposed for us to depend on being supplied 
much longer, when our army shall have advanced a little further. 
Consider, also, that it will be necessary to leave all the wagons at 


Stillwater, and that all transportation from Fort Ann will then cease. 
I say all this to you in confidence ; and you will keep it secret. It 
has been reported to me that wagons are to come from Fort George. 
Orders will be given that the wagons, you mention, shall be furnished 
to Breymann's corps. 

Will you have the kindness to send hither to-morrow a troop of 
six or eight dragoons. I expect to have about ten horses which you 
may have to enable you to begin the mounting of your escadron ; 
and I will try in every way to complete it. 

Your letter to Baum I will send into the enemy's lines by a 


I have, etc., 


Augmt 20, 1777. 

I had the honor of writing you last night, and informing you that 
I had received the intelligence that a strong patrol of the enemy — 
about 200 men — have marched against Fort Ann, and requesting 
you to send a sufficient escort from your post with carts in case 
enough of them should arrive. 

I sent the letter by a courier, who, I fear, has lost his way in the 
dark. I therefore, send Lieutenant Wilford with this one, though I 
confess that I shall not be at ease until I receive an answer to this letter. 
A failure would not only be a mortification, but detrimental for the 
future transportation of supplies. I feel assured that all the carts we 
possess, are engaged for this purpose. 

If I am right in this latter conjecture, then the measures of those 
who sent them from Fort Edward were well meant, but this was not 
my order. 

If a sufficient escort, under an officer, who carefully covers his 
flanks and front to guard against surprise (for the chief talents of an 
army should be directed to this end), has marched, then send Mr. 
Wilford back at once with the intelligence. 

But in either case, I request you to send an officer in advance to 
prevent any delay of the teams on so dangerous a road. The severe 
rain has very likely made the travel extremely difficult; and it 
would, therefore, be better to put on the carts only half of a load 
(leaving the rest in the woods), than to have them stick fast in the 
mud and the horses driven away. 

I wish when you arrive, you would retain sufficient provisions to 
last your corps six days, and send the balance to Fort Edward. If 
the condition of the roads renders it practicable, and nothing is seen 



of the enemy, then the few teams that have started can keep on. 
But the carts 1 would not hke to venture on another route. It is 
iK'tter to h»av(^ the rest hehind. 

Sliould it iKi necessiir}' to partly unload the carts, then by all means 
do not take off the flour, but carry it as far as possible. 

I have, etc., 


P. S. Just as I am closhig this letter, my courier arrives. Never- 
theless, I send Mr. Wilford, as I still think that it will be better, as 
the roads are so bad, not to have the carts return for a second load. 

Attgust 31, 1777. 

I beg yon to accept my apology for not sooner answering the letter 
with which you honored me on the 29th. 

Regarding Fort George, it is my intention to leave there four 
companies of the 47th Regiment, two of which will occupy the fort, 
and the remainder the island three miles distant from the land.* I 
take it for granted that the fort is safe against any surprise, no matter 
how strong the attacking party may be. In case of an assault, tbe 
garrison can still retreat through the open ditch, to the island," 
whither the enemy can never go, being destitute of ships, while we, 
on the contrary, have gunboats. 

The island will, also, be a place in which to keep valuables; and 
the ofllcer, who remains there to command the four companies, will I 

be instructed to curry out tliis order. 

I beg that you will have the guard for your baggage as small as 
possible. I will order the English regiments to do the same. In 
this way, we shall approach the enemy as strong as is in our power. 

It will not be advisable to have guards (posts) between Fort George 
and the army. Communication will, therefore, be very hazardous. 
In order to neutralize this, however, I am now engaged in having a 
transportable magazine built, which will be ready in a very few days. 
As soon as this is completed, your corps will at once join the army.'* 

I am also endeavoring to procure horses, both for mounting the 
dragoons, and for the transportation service. 

1 Meaninjj doubtless the landing, or the south shore of the lake. The lake in no 
place is three miles in width, — Translator. 

'•^ The idea of course is, that the garrison can retreat to tJie lake, and thence to the 
island.— Translator. 

3 Riedesel was stationed at this time at John's farm, four miles from the lake. 



I have just this moment heard a rumor which gives me much 
uneasiness. It is said that several ships (some fifty), are still between 
Fort Ann and Skenesborough. If this rumor is true, then Major 
(?) made a great mistake in leaving his post without first allow- 
ing them to pass. I beg you, my dear sir, to send an escort with 
Captain Harrington, who has the honor of carrying this letter to 
you, and who is to investigate this matter. It seems to me, that this 
may be productive of disagreeable consequences, nothing short of 
furnishing the means to the enemy of reaching Super-Hill near Ti- 
conderoga by the South river,* and of alarming our guard at the 
portage. Therefore, in case the ships are of any number, and in suffi- 
ciently good condition to be transported, and the country is clear of 
the enemy, let them be brought through Skeensborough to Ticon- 
deroga by a skillful manoeuvre of the two companies of the 47th, 
whose province it will be to garrison the island. You will please 
give them their orders in conformity with the report of Captain Har- 
rington. In case, however, the number of the ships are too small, I 
desire to have them burned or destroyed. I have, etc , 


P. 8. Please present my compliments to the baroness, and my 
readiness to serve her in any way when you march. I foresee great 
fatigues for a lady. B. 

[Secret and confLdential.] 

Sepleniber 10, 1777. 

The hist orders have been given to have nothing remain in Fort 
George. The last of the wagons will accordingly pass Fort Edward 
cither to-morrow evening or Friday morning ; and you will then be 
able to march with all the troops that are now with you. 

General Gates, having considered it best to reoccupy the position at 
Stillwater, I desire to contract my front somewhat before crossing the 
river. I have, therefore, postponed the advance of Frazer's and Brey- 
mann's corps until to-morrow. As everything is on the retrograde, 
and the ships are loading with provisions, this postponement involves 
no loss of time. 

I have, my dear general, to intrust a little matter to your care, 
during your stay at Fort Edward.* I desire to have two ships, with 
their oars, buried as quietly as possible. It would, also, be well to 

* South creek. 

^ Riedeeel had now moved down to Fort Edward. 


shovel earth upon them ; and to give them still more the appearance 
of graves, a cross miglit be placed upon each liillock. All this must be 
done in the niglit, and only by trustworthy soldiers. The teamsters 
cannot be relied on. 

The use for which these sliips are intended, is to help Lieutenant 
Colonel St. Leger in crossing the river, in case of circumstances 
forcing him to march without Ids shii)s.* This officer has been forced 
by tl>e bad (conduct of the Indians, to retreat on the road to Oswego. 
He has, however, accomplished this without loss, and is now on his 
march to the army. I have sent him ordei-s as to the necessary mea- 
sures of prec:iuti(m he is to take upon arriving on the island at tlie 
lower end * of Lake George. If lie finds that the enemy are not in the 
vicinity of the road leading to the army, and he can keep the march 
of twenty- four men a secret, he is to cross the river near Fort Ed- 
ward, at the same time notifying me, in advance, of his movement, 
that I may be able to facilitate it from my side. I have told liim 
where he will find the ships, viz : inside of l^brt Edward. 

I have given orders to Brigadier General Powell to have your 
reserves cross at the same time with Colonel St. Leger, and to leave 
those only behind that belong to the regiment of Prince Frederick. 
If you liaveany special orders to give your officer, you may send your 
letter by the officer who has the honor of taking this to you. 

Respectfully, etc., 



Arrival of the First Brunswick Division in America. 

On the morning of the 55tli of May, 1776, on waking, we found 
ourselves fourteen or fifteen leagues from Cape Catt near the Cammel 
mountains. By ten o'clock we had a most favorable east wind, which 
would, as Captahi Bell (our captain) assured us, bring us the same 
evening to the Isle Pic. Although the weather was stormy, the wind 
continued favorable. Finally, at three in the afternoon we came in 
sight of the longed for Isle Pic. Tlic frigate Juno gave the signal to 
cast anchors at seven and a half o'clock. All the captains of the dif- 
ferent transports were then ordered to go aboard the Juno, and every 
one expected, as a matter of course, that they would there procure 
their pilots; especially, since we had met the frigate Surprise (under 

i Ships {schiffe) in the ori*,nnal. They were, of course, boats.— Translator. 
" The expression in the original is •' auf der ini hititeren eude." The island, how- 
ever, liere meant, must be the fortified one at the head of the lake.— Translator. 


Captain Lincee) near the island. The latter had lain there several 
days waiting for us. But on the return of our captain to the Pallas 
we were informed that the fleet, with the Irish regiments, had arrived 
the day before, and had taken all the pilots. 

Captain Dalrimple, in the meantime, resolved to venture it without 
a pilot, and continue on to Quebec as so<m as a favorable wind would 
allow. In the middle of the night there arose a sudden blast, which 
forced us to cast out a second anchor ; and, as it was, several of the 
ships were torn loose from their moorings. This was, also, the more 
dangerous as the water at this place was full of rocks. 

On the 16th we had the finest weather, but owing to the wind being 
contrary, were obliged to continue at anchor. In the afternoon. Gene- 
ral Riedesel availed himself of this delay to pay a visit to General Bur- 
goyne, on board the Blonde. On this occasion he went ashore on the 
Isle Pic distant about 1,300 paces from the ship. 

This island is surrounded by rocks, and the approach of the vessels 
was thereby very much endangered. All kinds of shells and the 
skeletons of whales were found on the shore. Among the various 
kinds of trees were the pine and the birch. The smell of the former 
is a gi-eat deal stronger here than in the north of Geimany. The soil 
was covered by all kinds of herbs and plants, some of which we were 
familiar with. The atmosphere here was altogether warmer and of a 
better quality than that on board the ship. But few families have 
settled here, and those belong to pilots. Pilots are also sent here 
from Quebec when necessary. General Riedesel met General Bur- 
goyne on board of the Blonde. The latter was in the act of leaving 
the ship to go on board the Surprise preparatory to sailing in advance 
to Quebec, whither he desired to proceed to arrange matters there for 
the troops as Carleton had left that city in pursuit of the enemy. At 
eight in the evening, thirteen guns thundered from the Blonde, as 
Burgoyne left that ship and embarked on the Surprise. 

At twelve at night, the anchors were hoisted, and the voyage was 
continued on the 27th under a favorable wind. We kept very near 
the right or southern bank of the river, passing close to Cap k I'Ori- 
ginal, afterward Road island, which is at the mouth of the Sageyney 
river. On the shore we saw here and there a settlement of colonists. 
About ten we passed Green island, and saw at a distance a most 
magnificent waterfall. After passing this island, we could overlook 
a great portion of the southern shore of the river, with its houses and 
farms, very pleasing to the e^'^e, and especially to our eyes, as we had 
not seen the like in a long time. The left or northern shore was at 
this pouit not cultivated, for the high mountains come down to the 
water's edge. Our Englishmen assured us that the side beyond the 


mountains was better cultivated than even the south side, and that 
there was iictually a ^ood road leading to Quebec. 

Toward noon we approached more toward the northern shore and 
passed Hare island, so named from the large numbers of that ani- 
mal found in it. The hares of Canada are white in winter and their 
natural color in summer. The water here is yet saline and is fifty 
fathoms deep. At five o'clock we saw a nice little village on the 
southern shore, which numbered about fifty houses, including a 
church. This village was thought to be La Bouteillerie. On this 
day we reached Kamaraska islands, and cast anchor between them 
and the Mal-Bai at eight o'clock. Thus Cape Gose was in front of 
us. On this day we made twenty-six leagues. 

Anchors were weighed at eight on the morning of the 28th. The 
weather was clear, and the wind favorable. We saw a great many 
porpoises playing in the water. Judging from their color, they are a 
diff(;rent species from the ones we saw at sea, for those were white 
while these are grey. The white porpoises are said to exist only in 
the St Lawrence and the Bay of Finnland. During this day's voy- 
age we saw both shores strewn with settlements, some of which were 
surrounded by large tracts of cleared land. 

At twelve m. we came in sight of the Island Aux Coudres. This 
island was designated as the general rendezvous for all the ships that 
were driven out of their course. The shores, as well the channel of 
the river, are here full of rocks and cliffs ; and it is, therefore, impos- 
sible to get along without a pilot. We accordingly cast anchor. 

At the expiration of an hour pilots came on board from the island, 
and conducted some of our ships (among them the Pallas) to another 
anchorage. This was between the north side of the Isle aux Coudres 
and the left shore of the river. It was just at low tide, and the cur- 
rent of the water was so strong, that the ships had to be pulled along 
by row boats. From the pilots we ascertained that the fleet with the 
English regiments had passed the island the Sunday previous, and 
that it- had taken with it all the other pilots. They are, however, 
expected back this day. 

It was two o'clock when we cast anchor for the second time, having 
made sixteen leagues from the Isle of Kamaraska. A curious acci- 
dent occurred on our first casting anchor, which came very near 
resulting in the destruction of the Pallas and the Apollo. The cap- 
tains of these two vessels accidentally cast anchor at one and the 
same time. The consequence w'as that the anchors and ropes became 
so entangled that the two ships were in the very act of coming into 
collision. We did not notice the danger until the crews of the other 
shij)s by great outcries drew our attention to the danger, at the same 


time sending, in all haste, their boats, with a view of saving as many 
lives as possible. At first our sailors seemed to be at a loss what to 
do. The steersman left his rudder, not knowing what the matter 
was, and fearing to make things worse by turning the ships. But this 
confusion happened only during the first moments. Captain Haynes 
veiy soon got to work himself. He ordered Captain Bell to be 
ready to cut the cable ; and at the very moment when a collision 
appeared likely. Captain Foy ran to the wheel, and gave the Pallas so 
skillful a turn that both ships passed each other safely ; their cables 
disentangled themselves ; and no other damage was done, except the 
tearing of some of the sails and the breaking of a few of the spars. 

In the afternoon Captain Haynes sent to the Isle aux Coudres for 
all the rest of the pilots to bring up the ships left behind. Five were 
found, and these were distributed among the vessels. At four in the 
afternoon the pilots who had taken the English regiments to Quebec, 
returned in two vessels ; and there was now no scarcity in the article 
of pilots. It was just then low tide ; the wind was unfavorable ; and 
it was therefore determined that the ships should lie at anchor. 
Meanwhile, as the weather was beautiful. General Riedesel went on 
shore to see the island. 

The base of it consists of nothing but useless slate-stone rocks 
which reach out of the water on all sides. The island is three leagues 
long, with a circumference of from six to seven leagues. It contains 
about three hundred inhabitants who live in sixty-five dwellings. It 
belongs to the bishop at Quebec, to whom the inhabitants pay a 
yearly sum at the rate of one shilling for each acre of land. Those 
who settled here eighty years ago are all French and Catholics, like 
all the rest of the Canadians. The island, otherwise, is under the 
protection of the governor of the province Quebec, who appoints for 
the inhabitants three oflScers taken from among them. A new one is 
elected each year, the oldest one in office giving platfe to the person 
newly elected. Thus each hold office for three years. 

On the east and north side where we disembarked, we found the 
newest settlements, which are scattered here and there. On the south 
and west side are the oldest settlements. These latter form a village 
with a church, called La Balaine. The atmosphere here must be 
very healthy, since we had mentioned and shown to us many old 
people who had emigrated to the island with their parents eighty 
years ago. The number of aged people far exceeds the proportion of 
old people in Europe. 

Here we saw for the first time the Canadian costume. This is, 
among the men, somewhat in the same style as the dress of the 
Indians. Without being artificial, it is in correspondence with the 



climitto. Orer their shirts, wbirli are frequently insdc of colored 
linen or of printed calico, lliey wear small wuislcoals of different 

atiiflfs iicconling to the season uf the year. Over this, again, they 
wear n long Jncltct of wliile woolen cloth reaching down to their 
knK-8. This is ornamcnteil willi all kin<ls of colored ribbons, which 
serve the place of huttons. Around the waist they wear scarfs, wbictt 
keeps the waistcoitt or ciipotc (as they style it), close together. Thin 
scarf ts made of dilTereut colored yam, and makes quite a display. 
In the winter they wear longer caiwlcs of cloth, or the skins of the 
porpoise, which they understand perfectly how to pre|>arc for this 
purpose, having learned it fiom the Indians. Pantaloons are worn 
by all the men summer and winter, wilh the exception of those who 
go aboat n great deal with the sava;;es. But even these use tics or 
aprons. In order not lo otTend delicacy. They clotlic their legs wilh 
a sort of leggias, called in the Indian language initas. They are 
worn Inside tlielr shoes, reach half way up to the thigh, and are put 
on witli the stockings. On the outside, where our splatter-dashes 
have buttons, is a piece of cloth or fringe, about as broad as a hand, 
which runs down to the foot and keeps flying round their legs as 
they walk. This aupcrtluouB piece is partly for ornament and partly 
for use against snakes, who, if not noticed, will generally bite this 
piece of cloth, leaving their poison in it. For the same reason we 
shall have the long, wide sailor pants introduced in our army. 

The shoes of the Canadian arc the real mocss of the Indians, and' 
are, therefore, called aoalieri tauzagm. Most every one makes these 
shoes himself, but the Indians make Ihcin the nicest. The ordinary 
ones are made of the hide of the porjioise and shaped very like 
a leather lohaccojioiich. Tliey are attached to the foot by leatliem 
tliongs Ih'Iow the ankle. 

The scarcity of bats causes most every one to wear red woolen 
caps. Nor, if the Catiadian wishes to be dTe»»ed up will he wear 
any other color. The aristocracy dress in European style, hut in the 
country they wear Ihelr mitas and ioulierg taurages like every one 
else. This class, in winter, wear long ca]>otes, canodiens,' of white 
cloth with ribtions, or castor lurs over their clothing, and casqucis of 
tlie most beautiful fur instead of hats. The Canadian ladies dress ia 
French fasliion. 

We found the houses of the farmers on the Isle aux Coudres, and 
indeed tliroiigliout all Canada, without any pretensions to architec- 
tural beauty. They ai* generally built of long beams, cut square, 
and laid on top of one anotlier and joined at the corners. The intier 


walls are covered with boards of cedar or pine. There is little cora- 
modiousness in them. The houses throughout Canada are covered 
with shingles. 

Agriculture is carried on in the same manner as with us ; but no 
winter grain can be raised in Canada. They raise wheat, barley, 
oats, a little Indian corn or maize. Everything is sown in the begin- 
ning of May, and harvested after four months. Peas, beans, lentiles, 
vetches, all kinds of cabbage and onions, and potatoes are also raised. 
The soil, which seems to be marly on the island, bears abundantly 
for five consecutive years with a little manure. After that time it is 
not cultivated for two years. 

We found all kinds of European cattle and fowls in abundance. 

Of the wild animals, there are many black, grey and red foxes. 
The black, however, are very scarce owing to their being so much 
hunted. A high price is paid for these skins at Quebec. Hares, of 
which there were formerly a great number on the island, have mostly 
been exterminated by the foxes. There are few deer, except in winter 
when they cross the ice. In the woods and near the water there are 
many snipes, etc. ; and at times white partridges, many kinds of wild 
ducks, and wild geese. A species of singing bird attracted our atten- 
tion, the singing of which is somewhat similar to that of our nightin- 
gale, and which are, therefore, called, by the inhabitants, rossignoU 
du pays. Their shape and size arc very similar to canary birds. In 
color they are black and yellow. 

A small streamlet, which winds its way through the island, fur- 
nishes beautiful trout, and other kinds of fish, a few of which we knew. 

Of trees we particularly noticed the Canadian cedar. Of this, there 
are several varieties, all of which have a strong odor. The maple 
grows here exceedingly high, and is of great use to the inhabitants 
who make sugar of its sap, which they called sucre cVerable or du pays. 
In appearance, it is a brackish yellow. In taste, it is, with the excep- 
tion of a resinous flavor, like ordinary sugar. A maple tree around 
which a man can reach his arms, furnishes three pounds of sugar. 
Some of the people here make from 400 to 500 pounds of sugar on 
the district of woods assigned to them. This they sell at Quebec for 
one-half of an English shilling per pound. 

There are many white and red epinettes ^ in this place. Of the latter 
kind the Canadian makes a sort of beer, called by the English, sprouts- 
beer. It is healthy, very refreshing, and, when one has become 
accustomed to it, good tasting. The twigs and leaves are cooked in 

1 Pines ? VTas not this beverage the genuine spruce beer, of which, in cities 
dense, we have the counterfeit ? — Typ. 



water, toasted bread, molasses or syrup being added to sweeten it. 
Some improve it by boiling it with a quantity of wheat. 

The St. Lawrence, which is here still salty, furnishes the inhabit- 
ants with flounders, salmon and codfish. There are also, many 
seals ; but their capture is no longer made a business, except so far as 
their oil is needed on the island. The white porpoises arc taken 
more on account of their skin. 

Of wild plants we saw many strawberries, huckleberries, succory, 
scurvy -grass and wild salad of all kinds. All the trade of this island 
is carried on with Quebec. To this latter place there were carried 
last year 1,100 minots of corn at three and one-half shillings, and 
more than 5,000 pounds of sugar at six-pence. Besides these two 
chief articles of commerce, the inhabitants sell their superfluous pro- 
visions and other articles. 

At eight o'clock in the evening of the 28th, we returned again to 
the Pallas. The tide changed at nine o'clock, and the pilots availed 
themselves of this opportunity to place the ships on the west side of 
the island, and there await a favorable wind. This was accomplished 
by twelve at night, when we cast anchor 2,000 paces from our old 

Here we remained all of the 29th, on account of contrary winds. 
On the morning of that day an ofiicer arrived in a pilot boat from 
Quebec. He brought the news that we were not to stop at all at 
Quebec, but would proceed at once to Montreal to support General 
Carleton. He further stated that after the arrival of the 29th English 
regiment (the first reenforcement), the rebels had at once retreated 
to Montreal Icavhig behind four cannon and a great quantity of 
ammunition. Carleton thereupon went in pursuit, and captured 
500 men. 

On the 8th, the 47th (Carleton's own regiment), arrived and im- 
mediately started on its march from Quebec to Montreal. On the 
24th, the fleet, witli the Irish regiments, arrived, and also followed 
the corps of Carleton without delay. An unpleasant piece of Intel- 
ligence, however, was, also, imparted to us by this oflicer, viz : that 
Howe had been forced to evacuate Boston, and had retreated to 
Halifax. This last report, however, regarding the retreat to Halifax, 
had not been confirmed. 

Between ten and eleven o'clock on the 30th of May the anchors 
were weighed by order of the pilots ; and we continued our voyage 
among rocks and sand banks without accident, until five and a half in 
the afternoon, when we reached Cape Tormento, where the so-called 
traverses begin. The passage at this point is very narrow, diflicult 
and dangerous, unless one pays strict attention to the course of the 


vessel. There are two of these traverses, the old and the new one. 
The wind went down before we reached them, and we cast anchor 
at eight in the evening after a voyage of three leagues. 1 he Isle of 
Orleans was now directly before us. 

On the morning of the 31st, as soon as the tide changed, we again 
weighed anchor. Some of the pilots selected the new, and some the 
old traverse, and some went below both of them, near the Isle de 
Patience. The wind remained unfavorable ; and it being low tide at 
six in the morning, we cast anchor near St. John's point. Here we 
remained until two in the afternoon ; and while we were waiting, we 
inspected a large portion of the Island of Orleans with its beautiful 

The whole island is under most excellent cultivation, and is strewn 
with houses and villages. It is this island from which Quebec 
draws most of her supplies for housekeeping. Beautiful land and 
tine cattle are the sources whence the islandere draw their wealth. 
It is thirteen English miles long, and contains six parishes. It is south- 
western and lies very close to Quebec. 

At two in the afternoon, we continued our voyage until six o'clock 
with great difficulty ; and, indeed, on account of contrary winds, 
made very little headway. Finally, after making that day in all but 
six leagues, we cast anchor between St. John's point and Dauphin's 

At one o'clock in the morning of June 1st, again we started, and 
continued our voyage until six o'clock. On account, however, of the 
change in the tide, we were obliged to cast anchor at Laurent point. 
This latter place is on the Island of Orleans. 

At three o'clock p. m., the anchors were hoisted for the last time; 
and, under a favorable wind, we passed the beautiful waterfall of 
Montmorency, which filled us all with admiration. Finally, at six 
in the evening we reached the harbor of Quebec, having made this 
day, eight leagues. 

General Rjedesel at once went into the city to pay his respects to 
General Carleton, and report to him the arrival of the German troops. 
The latter, since the 30th, had been back at Quebec, having left his 
corps for the present in charge of General Burgoyne, who was with 
it near Three Rivers. 

Late in the evening Carleton sent one of his adjutants on board 
our ship, to inquire into the effective strength of the dragoon and 
Prince Frederick's regiments, the governor having chosen them as 
part of the garrison at Quebec. 

All our ships had now arrived, except the Harmony, on board of 
which was Lieutenant Colonel Specht and part of the regiment Ried- 


esel. Investigation, however, soon revealed the fact that this yessel 
had arrived at Quel>ec as early as May 27th, and had hcen ordered to 
sail to Three Rivers with the rest of the ships that had arrived. The 
troops on board of the Harmony were, therefore, the only ones of all 
the Brunswick trooi>s who afterward took part in the small engage- 
ments of the 8th and 9th of June near Three Rivei-s. 

During the night of the 1st of June, all the ships came up that had 
lagged behind the evening previous. The fleet which we met at 
Quebec, was, including ours, very numerous. Besides the transports 
with troops and provisions there were a large number of merchant 
vessels detained in the harbor on account of tne enlisting troubles. 

The city of Quebec, which lies for tlic most part on a high moun- 
tain, is not what it once was. The entire west side is fortified, but 
the fortifications are in a dilapidated slute, although an attempt was 
made last winter and isslill making, to put them somewliat in repair 
as quickly as possible. We found on the walls about 81 iron cannons 
and a few mortars. These latter had been brought up in all haste 
from the; old frigates, in case they should be needed for the defense 
of the city. The city numbers at the present time about 1,500 houses, 
having lately lost 500, which were leveled to the ground by the orders 
of General Carlcton.^ 

Being obliged to go every noon to the ht»ad quarters at Quebec to 
receive our orders, I found an opportunity of inspecting the memo- 
rable mountain which the English general, Wolf, ascended in Decem- 
ber, 1759, after his capture of the city, and when he, as well as the 
French general, Montciilm,lost his life. We also saw the spot where 
the rebel leader, Montgomery, fell, when he vainly attempted to gain 
a footing at the close of last year with the intention of driving General 
Carleton out of Quebec. 

On the 3d, the frigate Blonde left Quebec as the advance guard to 
Three Rivers and Montreal. 

General Carleton's plan for the capture of Montreal was now 
arranged. In accordance with it the troops were to be distiibuted 
and disembarked on both banks of the St. Lawrence in the following 
manner : The regiment of Prince Frederick and the dragoons, as 
already stated, were to i*emain as a garrison for Quebec under Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Baum who was made commander of the city. This 
garrison was to furnish, besides the post in the city, one outpost on 
the opposite bank of the river at point Levi, to consist of 300 men 
under a staff officer. 

1 This was done by Carletou, because, before the arrival of reeiiforccments he 
had not sutticient troops to defend so large a number of houses. 


Major General Von Riedesel was to disembark with his corps on 
the southern bank of the St. Lawrence, and march parallel with the 
English column of the northern shore of that river. The corps of 
Riedesel consisted of a body of savages and Canadians ; the regiment 
of Colonel McLean (with which General Carleton had defended the 
city all winter, and which was recently formed of Scotchmen, exiles 
and Canadians) the grenadier battalion, and the regiments Riedesel 
and Hesse Hanau. The corps of Carleton, under command of Lieu- 
tenant General Burgoyne, and consisting of the 9th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 
29th, 31st, 34th, 47th and 62d regiments, and the whole artillery 
under Major General Phillips, were to disembark on the northern 
bank of the river, and march directlv to Three Rivers and Montreal. 

The disembarking of all the troojis near Quebec was to take 
place on the 8th and 9th of June ; but the dragoon regiment disem- 
barked as early as the 6th, and went into quarters in the city. The 
same course would have been pursued with the regiment Prince 
Frederick, had the barracks, which were designated for it, been 

On the morning of the 7th, the horses were taken out of the ship 
Martha^ and sent to pasture at Beauport to pick up. Our sick, also, 
to the number of 20 men, were taken from the vessels, and placed in 
the hospital at Quebec. 

At noon, the chiefs of the wild nations — such as the Abenakis, 
Iroquois, Outawais and Hurons — were admitted to an interview 
with General Carleton. He had them all clothed in their costume, 
and arms given them. They had on their war paint, their eyes 
being painted red. They had, also, daubed their newly received 
blankets with red paint to show that they were ready to fight. Some 
of them had traveled a distance of 450 English miles. 

On the 7th, the order suddenly came that, if the wind were favora- 
ble, the anchors should be weighed at four in the afternoon, in order 
to gain as much ground as possible during the two succeeding days. 
Accordingly, all the ships started at the given time, and cast anchor 
once more at Cape Rouge, a distance of three leagues from Quebec. 

At eight o'clock on the morning of June 8th, the entire fleet again 
got under way. On both banks there was tlie most pleasing diversity 
of bcjuitiful landscape interspersed with many neat settlements. We 
sailed with a northeast wind about nine leagues, and cast anchor at 
two o'clock in the afternoon near Cape L'Oisseau. Here we met, 
besides the frigate Triton and our Blonde^ many transports with 
English infantry. 

Major General Von Riedesel went on board the Triton in the hope 
of obtaining some pilots, as he was anxious to proceed with his corps. 




There were not, however, a sufficient number for all the ships ; and 
we were, therefore, obliged to remain here for the present. All the 
vessels hoisted the blue flag, because that was the color of Captain 
Lodwidge's flag, and he was an older captain than the one in com- 
mand of the Blonde. 

At ten o'clock on the morning of the 9th, the entire fleet again 
started with a favorable wind. We passed the heights of Decham- 
beault, where we found the wreck of a rebel ship which had stranded 
there the year previous. 

At ten in the evening, we had the Cape de la Madelaine, on. the 
northern shore, on our right, and Beijancourt, on the southern shore, 
on our left. Here we received orders to cast anchor, having made 
seventeen leagues. 

At noon of the same day, we received news of the engagements of 
the 8th and 9th near Three Rivers. 

On the morning of the 10th, General Riedesel went to the head- 
quarters at Three Rivers, General Carleton having arrived there 
the evening of the 8th by the land route. It was then ordered that 
those of the troops who had been disembarked to take part in the 
engagement, should at once be reembarked and proceed with the 
rest. At the parole, it was announced that his majesty had appointed 
his excellency. Lieutenant General Carleton, captain general and 
governor of the province of Quebec. 

It was also announced that Generals Burgoyne, Riedesel and Phillips, 
and Lieutenant Colonels Beckwith, Prazer, Powell and Gordon (these 
last four as brigadier generals) were to serve under him in Canada, 
as long as his majesty saw fit. 

To Brigadier General Frazer, first of all, was given the command 
of all those troops that could not as yet be disembarked, viz : the 
savages, Canadians, English grenadiers, the companies of light in- 
fantry of all the English regiments in Canada, and the newly formed 
English regiment McLean. 

The left wing was to consist of all the Brunswick regiments, and 
the regiment Hesse Hanau, under the command of Major General 
Von Riedesel ; but General Burgoyne was to command both wings. 

On the morning of the 11th, we advanced with our ships three 
leagues to Three Rivers. In pursuance of orders, the prisoners, 
which had been taken on the 8tli and 9th, were examined. Most of 
them were Germans from the province of Pennsylvania. Judging 
by their uniforms, also, they were soldiers. They belonged to seven 
different regiments. The wounded of both side? had been carried to 
the convent of the Ursulines, where these benevolent nuns constantly 
keep a hospital, and take very good care of the sick. 


On the 12th, we had contrary winds all day, obliging us to remain 
at anchor. General Carleton, however, wished the army — in ac- 
cordance with the general plan laid down — to commence operations 
as soon as possible. Accordinglj'^, Riedesel, under an escort of an 
officer and thirty men, went on shore, and inspected the southern 
bank of the St. Lawrence, in the vicinity of Riviere de Godefroy, 
with a view of finding a suitable spot for his troops to encamp on. 

He returned on board the Pallas at three o*clock on the morning of 
the 13th, and went thence immediately to General Carleton at Three 
Rivers to report upon the condition of the southern shore. Scarcely 
had he entered the boat for the purpose of crossing over, when a 
splendid breeze sprang up ; whereupon the signal to weigh anchors 
was given. General Riedesel, therefore, returned on board the Pallas 
after we were one league from our anchorage. The ship Elisabeth, 
from which the escort had been taken, was obliged to send for it, as 
well as for Captain Gerlach. 

We entered Lake St. Pierre with our fleet at eight o'clock, but the 
wind died away so toward noon that we were again forced to cast 
anchor. The ships received orders, how to act in case the rebels 
should attempt any hostile movement. The guns were loaded, strong 
guards were placed on the decks, and the men were ordered to hail 
each other every fifteen minutes. In addition, also, to this, the boats 
of the frigates were obliged to patrol around the ships constantly, 
and thus keep every one on the alert. The savages and also the 
Canadians patroled continually in their canoes day and night along 
both banks of the river. General Carleton was on board the small 
sloop of war Martin^ of fourteen guns, under Captain Harway, as 
large frigates, on account of the depth of water, were now of no 
further use. 

On the 14th, we cautiously continued our voyage (prepared to dis- 
embark at a moment's notice) in the following order: First, the 
sloop of war Martin forming the Ute. Then came 1st, the ships 
having on board the English light infantry ; 2d, a few with the Eng- 
lish light artillery; 3d, the English brigades; 4th, the Brunswick 
and Hessian troops; 5th, the ships with the 2d and 3d English 
brigades ; 6, those whh the English artillery ; and lastly, the transports 
containing the provisions. Many canoes filled with savages and 
Canadians went close to the shores, and reported from time to time 
concerning the patrols that had been sent ahead in the woods. On 
this day, Carleton was on board the small frigate Rousseau. 

The same morning it was ascertained, through the Canadian 
patrols, that the corps of the rebels — which numbered 1,600 men, 
and had fortified itself at Sorel — had, upon seeing our ships, evacu- 


atccl that positiou the day previous, and fallen back to Fort Chambly. 
Toward evening we arrived at Sorel, and at once disembarked a 
portion of the English troops (consisting of Frazer's brigade), to 
take possession of this post. 

On the mornmg of the 15th, the first English brigade, with a part 
of the artillery, were also landed at Sorel. It was at first thought 
that the German corps would likewise be disembarked at this place, 
as Captain Gerlach was obliged to land on the southern shore early 
in the morning in order to look at tlie place designated for us. Carle- 
ton, however, changed his mind on this point, and our disembarkation 
was again postponed. We sailed on this day a few thousand paces 
beyond Sorel, and cast anchor. According to Carleton*8 orders the 
German troops were again to be the cue-stick.^ 

On the 16th it was ascertained that the enemy acted as if he also 
intended to evacuate Fort Chambly. At three o'clock, in the After- 
noon, Captain Von Tunderfeld,^ was sent on board the Pallas^ with 
orders that all the troops should be disembarked and furnished with 
four days' rations. The church in the parish of Bergeres was desig- 
nated as the rendezvous for all the troops that should land on the 
southern shore. They were to march there by companies. In fact, 
all were landed on the south bank, with the exception of the 29th 
Regiment, which — upon Carleton learning that Montreal had been 
evacuated by the enemy — was ordered to do garrison duty, for the 
present, in that city and vicinity. 

The disembarking of the troops progressed very slowiy, owing to 
the fact that only the sliips' boats could be used for that purpose, the 
other boats and bateaux, although promised us, not having ar- 
rived, and it being impossible to procure others at so short notice. 
It was, therefore, six o'clock r. m. before all the troops were on 

At tirst, the march — for troops who had been on board the vessel 
so long — was very fatiguing. Nor was it rendered easier by the 
heavy rain which fell during the whole of the night's march. The 
men had to cany their blankets, the weight of which grew heavier 
every moment by the rain. They marched through the parishes of 
La Tour and Centre Coeur, and thence to Bergeres, a distance of 
seven good leagues. General Riedesel reached the latter parish 
during the night, where he found that Carleton had arrived in the 
evening. Here the German troops were quartered ; and spent their 
first night on American soil. 

1 Not clear. — Translator. 

2 Carleton had requested to have Tiindcrleld for his adjutant. 



RIVERS, JUNE 9TH, 1776. 

[Extract from RiedeseVs JoumcU.'] 

The rebels, who still numbered at that time 5,000 men, had at first 
resolved to make a stand at Three Rivers ; but the arrival of the first 
small reenforcements of the English, leading them to expect that 
more were to follow, so frightened them, that they dared not retain 
their position, but fell back to Montreal and the south side of the 

Neither Generals Carleton nor Burgoyne were able to pursue the 
enemy any further with the small number of men with which they 
had hitherto opposed the enemy. They determined, therefore, to 
wait until their reenforcements should come up ; and, accordingly, 
Burgoyne ordered those of our troops w^ho had arrived in the vicinity 
of Three Rivers to remain there under the command of Brigadier 
General Frazer. 

Frazer himself was in the city, and had no other troops on shore, 
except a small body of Indians, a few Canadian volunteers, a part of 
McLean's regiment, and a small detachment of English troops that 
had been taken from the ships at Three Rivers for the purpose of 
strengthening his post. 

Meanwhile, the rebels having learned from some disloyal Cana- 
dians in that region, that Frazer was on land with only 800 men, 
resolved to surprise him. Accordingly, a corps of 1,500 rebels was 
sent across the river from Sorel, with the design of going around 
Frazer, and getting in the rear of Three Rivers from Les Forges. It 
is believed that this attempt of the rebels would have been successful, 
had not the guide, who conducted them through the woods, been a 
good royalist. He was cute enough to lead the rebel corps over a 
circuitous road, thus enabling Frazer not only to be on his guard, 
but to rally all the troops from the ships and give the enemy a hearty 
welcome. He went out to meet him on the road to Montreal, and 
soon came in sight of his column. Frazer, thereupon, ordered a halt, 
and had one of the English regiments lie down on a gentle rise of 
ground, and pour upon the enemy, who suspected nothing, a well 
directed and spirited fire. The Americans, astonished at such an 
unexpected welcome, turned in dismay and fled toward their bateaux. 
The brigadier, however, pursued and scattered them so effectually, 
that his men had work enough for a day and a half in ferreting the 
rascals out of their hiding places into which they had crept. Two 
hundred of them were captured, and among them their leader, a 
certain Thomson, who represents a so-called general. Besides him, 



a lieutenant colonel, four officers and a surgeon were taken. On our 
ftkle, eight were killed, two dangerously, and nine sligbtly wounded. 
The troops of the regiment Riedesel, who were on board the ship 
Ilarmony, formed the reserve. The spot where this affair took place; 
is Ixjtween Three Rivers and La BauUeu, or the field on the heights of 
Three Rivers. 



1st. All private persons from the sixteenth to the axtieth year shall 
be obliged to serve in their parishes ; and in case of noncompliance, 
every one shall be fined five pounds sterling, the loss of his gun, or 
may be punished by arrest according to circumstances. 

2d. Each militia man, who, by bad conduct, renders himself un- 
worthy of the honor of serving in this corps, shall never be allowed 
to carry fire-arms. Those, also, who refuse to be mustered in shall 
be punished in the same manner as the last named class, and shall, 
moreover, be compelled to perform double duty in teaming and other 
work for one year, or until tliey shall have submitted to their militia 
captain in tlie presence of the oldest and most respectable citizens 
of the parish. This shall always be done on Sunday after public 

3d. Tlie captains of militia shall send every year to their supeiior 
ofllcers and the inspectors a report of the number of their subaltern 
officers nnd militia men able to serve. 

4tli. Each militia man, who changes his residence, shall report it 
to his captain. 

.5th. The captains or other militia officers shall rally their com- 
panies on the last two Sundays in June, or the first two in July. 
They shall also examine their arms, and have them fire at a target, 
not forgetting to instruct them on such occasions in regard to the 
service. The colonels of the militia and the inspectors shall hold a 
review once a year. 

0th. The governor shall select a certain number of militia men in 
timc^ of war, who, in pursuance of his orders, shall be obliged to 

^ Thin order went into force at the bej,Mnning of the year 1777, Bimnltaneously 
with another one in regard to the administration of jiiPtice. Carleton divided the 
province of Quebec into two districts. One extended from the city to the Gode- 
froy river on the south side, and the Maurice river on the north side of the St. 
Lawrence, between Cape Madelaine and Throe Rivers. The other, or second 
district, included the territory lying between Montreal and the above mentioned 
small rivers. This order was, for the present, to be in force for only two years. 


march when he thinks it advisable, and who shall serve in connection 
with the royal troops, but only as militia men under royal officers 
appointed by the governor. At the expiration of a year, these militia 
men shall be relieved by others. 

7th. Every inhabitant, who is above sixty years old and keeps a 
man servant, or owns real estate and a team, shall be obliged to serve 
when necessary in the transportation of supplies for the army. 

8th. The captains of militia shall constantly keep an eye on all 
deserters, whether soldiers, sailors, vagabonds, spies, and other suspi- 
cious persons, and arrest all such. 

9th. Those persons who are exempted from performing military 
duty are : 1st, councilmen, judges, and other public civil officers. 2d, 
gentlemen who are called primitis, and also the lower nobility, who 
w^ere acknowledged as such before the country was conquered. 3d, 
officers who are on half pay or disbanded. 4th, all persons belonging 
to the clergy ; and 5th, the students of the two seminaries at Quebec 
and Montreal, and likewise, all persons who are employed in useful 
public business. 


Lieutenant General of the armies of his Majesty in America; Colonel of 
the Queen^s regiment of Light Dragoons ; Governor of Fort William 
in North Britain; Member of the Lower House of Great Britain; 
Commander of an army and a fleet on the BkcpedUion from Canada, 
eve,. €vC, 

The troops intrusted to my command are designed to act in union 
and complete accord with the numerous armies and fleets which have 
already disseminated, in every part of America, the power, the jus- 
tice and — when properly solicited — the mercy of the king. 

The cause for which British arms are now so actively engaged, 
is of the deepest interest to the human heart ; and the troops of the 
crown, at first called together for the sole purpose of preserving 
intact the rights of the constitution, now unite to the love of their 
country and their duty to their ruler, those broad principles which 
spring from a proper appreciation of the rights of man. The sad 
question appeals directly to the eyes and ears of the moderate portion 
of the people, and the hearts of the thousands who suffer in the 
provinces, viz : Has not the present unnatural revolt been made the 
foundation of a complete system of tyranny, which God, in his dis- 
pleasure, has always allowed to be exercised for a time, on a self-willed 
and stubborn generation ? 


Sell'-choBen incarceration, confiscationof property, persecution and 
martyrdom, such as lias not been experienced in tlie inquisition of the 
Romish churcli, are a part of tlie open outrages which confirm the 
truth of tliis statement. All these are practiced on the subjects by con- 
ventions and committees (who dare to call themselves the " friends 
of liberty," ) without regard to age or sex, not on account of crime, but 
because they are susjiected of loyaltj' to the government under which 
they were born, and to which they owe allegiance by every tie of God 
and man. And to crown this outrageous conduct, the desecration of 
religion is added to the most wicked abuse of a sound human intellect. 
The conscience of man is considered of no account ; and the masses 
are forced not only to take up arms, but to swear allegiance. 

In consideration of this, at the head of troops who are in full 
health, discipline and braver}^ resolved to punish when necessary, 
and to spare when it is possible, I call upon and exhort all Y)ersons, 
wherever my army goes — and with God's blessing, it will go a great 
ways — to manifest such conduct as shall justify me in sparing their 
lands, their houses, and their families. The object of this address is 
not to bring rapine upon this land, but to offer it protection. 

To those who, by courage and bravery, feel themselves called upon 
to participate in the glorious work of liberating their country from 
bondage, and of recovering the blessings of a moderate government, 
I offer encouragement and employment, and will find the means of 
supporting their actions as soon as intelligence of their having united 
themselves to us has reached me. The diligent, the sturdy, the 
weak, and even the timid, I desire to aid, providing they remain 
quietly in their homes, do not drive away their cattle, hide or destroy 
their grain or feed, do not destroy the bridges nor the roads, nor, by 
other actions, directly or indirectly, impede the movements of the 
royal troops, or seek to supi)ort or help those of the enemy. 

All kinds of provisions, that may be brought into my camp, shall 
be paid for in cash at a reasonable rate, and in good coin. 

Considerations of (-liristianity, (he mercy of my royal master, and 
the honor of the military calling, have caused me to lengthen this 
address, and 1 only wish that I possessed more forcible language to 
give it greater weight. May the i)eople to whom it is addressed 
not reject it on account of the distance of my camp. I have but 
to let loose the Indians under my command (who number thousands) 
to reach the foes of Great Britain and America, wherever they may 
be concealed, for 1 consider them one and the same. 

If, in spite of these exertions, and honest endeavors to carry them 
out, the madness of hostility should still continue, then 1 hope to 
stand justified in the sight of God and man in pronouncing and exe- 


cuting the vengeance of the state on the stubborn reprobates. The 
messengers of justice and anger expect them on the battle-field ; while 
desolation, famine, and all the terrors connected with it, must be their 
portion, which, although it may come slowly, in the unavoidable 
execution of military duty, must inevitably cut off the way for their 


In camp at , 1777, 

By order of his Excellency the Lieutenant General. 

Robert Kingston, Secretary. 

YEAR irn.a 

[From the Journal.^ 

The following items, which could not be added to the diary, 
when it was sent to Germany, will show the condition of Ticonde- 
roga, and the other forts previous to the commencement of this 
year's campaign. They are taken from the memorials of Major 
Kingston, adjutant general of General Burgoync, and extends to 
May I3th, 1776. 

I. — Fort Carilbn, 

In this are eight eighteen-pounder guns in double fortified works. 
It is surrounded on the north side by palisades in front of, and sur- 
rounding which is an abatis. Between this fort and the old French 
redoubt a new log-house (block house) has been built. 

11.— The old French Redoubt. 

This is about two hundred rods east of the fort, and is mounted 
with six cannons, four of which are nine-pounders and two twelve- 
pounders. This redoubt has been repaired (its old shape being pre- 
served), and is also surrounded by an abatis. 

1 ThiH inanifet^to, which was printed and distributed among the inhabitants of 
the rebellious provinces as widely as possible, was composed by Burgoyue himself. 
He was. as has been already remarked, a bd esprit^ and it is therefore full of super- 
fluous and high flown phrases, M'hich very likely excited more of a smile than 
terror on the part of the inhabitants. The name of the place, as well as the date of 
this proclamation, was omitted for the reason that it was issued at different places, 
and on separate days. 

'-' This portion of the appendix is an invaluable c(mtribution to our Revolutionary 
history, and will doubtless be read with intense interest.— Translator, 


III. — The old French lines. 

These have lately been somewhat repaired, but are not mounted. 
The palisades have also not been repaired, 

IV. — The Five Redoubts near tlie shore. 

These are situated in a northeasterly direction from the fort at the 
foot of a hill. They have not been repaired. 

N.B. — On the 13th of May, the news reached us, that the rebels 
were about repairing, and placing cannons upon them, but as yet, it 
is unknown of what calibre they are to be. It has been said, however, 
that they may be two eigh teen-pounders and a few twelve-pounders 
that are expected about October. 

All these redoubts, as well as the lines, are poorly manned. 

V. — Fort {Mount) Independence. 

(«.) North of the mouutain is a strong abatis where twelve 
cannons are posted ; one of which is a thirty-two-pounder, and the 
rest are eighteen and twelve-pounders. All of the works are 
surrounded by a strong abatis. 

(6.) One hundred yards from the works are smaller fortifications, in 
which three eighteen-pounders and three twenty-four-pounders are 

(c.) South of these works are barracks and palisades ; and in front 
of them is another abatis. In the rear of the former are eight nine- 
pounders. Besides these, there are twelve more nine and twelve- 
pounders, designed for the defense of the barracks. These, however, 
are not yet mounted. 

N.B. — According to late news, twenty cannons have been taken to 
a battery, in a northerly direction, at the foot of the fort, with a view 
of cominandiiig the lake. These are twelve-and eighteen-pounders. 

{(l.) There are a few cannons on the half-moon battery, which defend 
en barbette. 

{e.) There are about one hundred iron cannons on the ships near 
Carillon ; but there are no mortars whatever. These iron cannons 
are mostly old ones. 


The number of troops, at present in Carillon and near Mount 
Independence, does not exceed 1,300 men ; but reenforcements 
amounting to fifteen regiments, are hourly expected. There is 
an abundance of provisions. No preparations have been made 
to build new ships. The vessels of the enemy consist of a rowing 


vessel, an old sloop, and two two-masters. The troops from New 
England arrive daily in front of No. 4. 

N.B. — Intelligence, as late as May 13th, states, that there are at 
Ticonderoga (including the laborers), 2,800 men. Their chief busi- 
ness at that time consisted in cantooning and in constructing a 
bridge, the foundation of which was laid in the winter by the rebels. 
This foundation consists of between forty and fifty sunken boxes, 
filled with stones, and laid at a distance of fifty feet from each other. 
It is thought, that this bridge cannot be finished even in two 
months, from the 14th of May. It is to serve as a connection 
between Mount Independence and Fort Carrillon, and is to cover the 
retreat in case one of those posts should be captured. The turnpikes 
are north of the bridge, but the ships south, in order to defend it. 
Close behind this bridge is another and smaller one, which is only 
five feet in width. It is designed for pedestrians, and is between the 
store houses and Mount Independence. 

The rebels have lately received 150 tons of powder. This has 
been the whole supply the entire winter. They have also received 
four four-pounders, which were made at Cambridge, near Boston. A 
great supply of muskets has, likewise, arrived from the West India 
islands. A French engineer officer has lately reached the rebel 
army, and was appointed engineer-in chief.* 

Fort Skeneshorough. 

The garrison here consists of about 80 men. No preparations, 
whatever, have been made at this post for ship-building. There are 
barracks here, surrounded by palisades, in which provisions and a 
large quantity of war material are stored. 

Fort Anne. 

Is garrisoned by about thirty men, and has a barrack with pa- 

Fort George.^ 

1st. The citadel lias only recently been repaired and provided with 
two nine-pounders. It contains, also, twelve cannons, which are not 
yet mounted. Barracks for 1,000 men lie twenty yards east of it. 

2d. Close to the shore is a large magazine in which there is an 
abundance of provisions. 

^ Kosciusko, the Pole ?— Translator. 

2 Fort Edward in the original ; but, as the well informed reader will see, this is 
probably a typographical error, as Fort George, at the head of Lake George, is of 
course the fort here described.— 7Vaw*/ator. 


IW. To the west of this magazine, wliere Fort William Henry 
formerly stood, is the large hospital, a building of great dimensions, 
and used for the sick from Fort Carrillon. This is said to be sur- 
rounded by palisades, and to have a small redoubt on the hill south 
of it.* A strong guard is posted here every night. The rebels at 
Fort George are very busy in <nitting down trees and carrying them 
to the shore to be used in the construction of six strong vessels on the 
lake. A so-called Commodore Wynkoop, is said to be still in com- 
mand at this post ; only one regiment, it is further said, remains here 
during summer; but as yet there are only 400 men there. There is 
also considerable scarcity in ammunition. 


The Grenadier Battalion. 

1. Lieutenant Colonel Von Linsing, ... 1 Battalion. 

2. " " Block, .... 2 

3. " " Miningerode, . . 3 " 

4. " " Kdhler, ... 4 


Tlie Infantry Regiment. 

1 Colonel Von Lossberg, Regiment. 

2. " Wurmb, " 

3. Lieutenant Colonel Von Linsing in command of a grenadier 

battalion, Body Infantry Regiment. 

4. Major Von Wurmb, . • • " " " 

1. Major General Stein, Erbprince. 

2. Colonel Von Ilachenberg, . . . . • " 

3. Lieutenant Colonel Von Kochenhausen, who also 

acted as quarter master general, .... 

4. Major Von Fuclis, 

1. Major General Schmidt, . . • • . Prince Carl. 

2. C'oloncl Sclireiber, 

3. Lieutenant Colonel V^on Lengorke, . 

4. Major Von Lowenstein, . . . • • 

1. Colonel Von Kospoth, Wutgenau. 

2. Lieutenant Colonel Von Romrod, 

3. Major Von Ilaustein, 

The remaiiiH of this redoubt, which are still to he ecen, bears the uaine of Fort 

Gage.— Translator. 



1. Colonel Von Bose, Ditfurth. 

2. Lieutenant Colonel Von Schuler, 

3. Major Von Borke, 

4. Major du Pay, acted as Brigade Major, . 

1. Colonel Von Gosen, Donop. 

2. Lieutenant Colonel Ileimel, 

3. Major Hinthe, ** 

1. Colonel Von Heeringen, Lossberg. 

2. Lieutenant Colonel Schaefifer, 

3. Major Von Haustein, 

1. Lieutenant General Von Kniphausen, . . Kniphausen. 

2. Colonel Von Borke, 

3. Lieutenant Colonel Von Minningerode, 

4. Major Von Dechlow, 

1. Maj. Gen. Von Trimbach (remained in the country)/ Trimbach. 

2. Colonel Von Bischhausen, .... 

3. Lieutenant Colonel Block commanded a grena- 

dier battalion, 

4. 3Iajor Von Manchhausen, .... 

1. Major Von Mirbach, Mirbach. 

2. Colonel Von Lose, 

3. Lieutenant Colonel Von Scliieck, 

4. Major Biescnroth, 

1. Colonel Rail, Rail. 

2. Lieutenant Colonel K6hler commanded the battalion 

of grenadiers, 

3. Lieutenant Colonel Brethauer, 

4. Major Machiius, 

1. Colonel Von Seitz, Stirn. 

2. Lieutenant Colonel Schlemmer, " 

3. " " Von Schreyrogel, . . . . " 

4. Major Greiif, 

1. Colonel Von Horn, . . . . . . Wiessenbach. 

2. LieuU^ant Colonel Lange, .... 

3. Major Schaeffer, 

1. Colonel Von Iluyne, Huyne. 

2. Lieutenant Colonel Kurtz, .... 

3. Major llildebrandt, 

1. Colonel Von Bunau, Bunau. 

2. Jjieutenant Colonel Von Borbeck, 

3. ^ Mor Mathias, 





I. e u America.— 7>on«/ator. 




Quebec, October 27, 1776. 

This will probably be the last letter that I will be able to send you 
during this year. Lieut. Haynes, formerly the agent of our squadron, 
is kind enough to carry it with him to London, to which place he 
will sail to-morrow in the Pallas — all of the ships leaving here at that 
time to avoid being blocked up the ice. I hope that all of my letters 
have safely reached you, though I have not received a single answer 
to any of them. We are all, however, in the same fix, and no one can 
explain the reason, when so many ships are constantly arriving. 

The army is going into winter quarters. We will be quartered 
between Trois Rivieres and Chambly. Major General Riedesel takes 
quarters in Trois Rivieres, and Colonel Specht in Chambly. We are 
furnished for winter with long pants, gloves and overcoats, and I 
guess, perhaps, that we are to have a winter campaign. I know the 
cost of such expeditions. 

You probably have learned from the newspapers of the great 
advantages gained by our armies. The lake ^ is free : Fort Frederick 
is in our possession ; and the flotilla of the rebels is ruined, with very 
little loss on our side. The Brunswick troops have not been engaged ; 
consequently there is no loss and no advancement to be hoped for. 
We receive no newspapers from Europe ; and as our letters also fail 
to arrive, we are all in the dark respecting the political situation. 
Please give us some light upon it, if possible. Humors are current 
here of a war between Spain and Portugal, but they are only rumors. 
Tiuis we march further up into the "eountry. But you may ask, 
wiiat say the belles of Quebec to itV My dear friend, this goes to 
my heart, and I must say I dread the departure ! How many parties 
have been arranged, but are now to be given up ! Nevertheless, the 
order for a march at once, transforms the heart of a soldier into stone, 
and hardens it like steel. Instead of the fair sex, we must now 
hunt the bear, the moose and the caribou ! The one is in direct 
opposition to the other, but what can a poor fellow do ! Fiat voluntas 
Domini is the motto of a soldier. 

We have to make the march on land, which will not be very 
pleasing. The weather begins to be rough ; the roads are shocking, 
and our winter equipment is not wholly completed. 

Cham plain. 


I have not heard lately from Auton, but trust he is well. His 
regiment is still encamped near Chambly. 

Our fare, during the winter, will probably consist of salt pork, and 
beef, and crackers. At least, this is the supposition, as fresh meat 
and vegetables are really very scarce. Vegetables are not much 
cultivated here, at least not in such quantities as to supply the 
number of men, at present in this province. The many wars have 
pulled heavily upon Canada, though it has never been more pro- 
sperous than when under the English rule. During the last fifteen 
years, more than half of the country has been placed in a partial 
state of cultivation, and the number of the inhabitants has increased 
one-third. Compared with the age of men, Canada is now a boy of 
eleven or twelve years. 

I must close, as a messenger has just called for this letter. The 
ship is weighing anchor, and is about to sail. 

Good bye, be happy and merry. My best compliments to all. 

Ever Yours, 



Brooklyn, September 27, 1866. 
Wm. L. Stone, Esq. 

My Dear Sir : The following narrative was communicated to me 
in 1828, by Mr. Stafford of Albany, the son of an American captain, 
who was in the battle of Bennington. T send you herewith my 
original notes of the conversation, taken down at the time from the 
lips of the narrator, which you may cheerfully make use of (if you so 
desire), in your forthcoming translation. 

Respectfully yours, 

Theodore Dwight. 

My father lived in the western part of Massachusetts, and when 
Colonel Warner called upon the militia to come out and defend the 
public stores at Bennington, he set off at once with many of his 
neighbors, and hurried his march. He was well known to his towns- 
men ; and so much esteemed, that the best men were ready to go with 
him ; many of them pious people, long members of the church, and 
among them young and old, and of different conditions. 

When they reached the ground, they found the Hessians posted 
in a line ; and on a spot of high ground, a small redoubt was seen 


formed of earth just thrown np, where they understood a body of 
loyalists or provincial troops, that is, tories, was stationed. Colonel 
Warner had command under General Stark ; and it is generally thought 
tliat he had more to do than his superior in the business of the day. 
He was held in high regard by the Massachusetts people ; and my 
father soon reported himself to him, and told him he awaited his 
orders. He was soon assigned a place in the line, and the tory fort 
was pointed out as his particular object of attack. 

When making arrangements to march out his men, my father 
turned to a tall, athletic man, one of the most vigorous of the band, 
and rather remarkable for size and strength among his neighbors. 
'* I am glad," said he, " to see you among us. You did not march 
with the company ; but, I suppose, you are anxious for the business of 
the day to begin." This was said in the hearing of the rest, and 
attracted their attention. My father was surprised and mortijQed, on 
observing tlie man's face turn pale, and his limbs tremble. With a 
faltering voice, he replied : "Oh no, sir, I didn't come to fight, I 
only came to drive ba(rk the horses ! " "I am glad," said my father, 
" to find out we have a coward among us, before we go into battle. 
Stand back, and do not show yourself here any longer." 

This occurrence gave my father great regret, and he repented having 
spoken to the man in the presence of his company. The country 
you know, was at that time in a very critical state. General 
Burgoyne had come down from Canada with an army, which had 
driven all the American troops before it ; Crown point and Ticonde- 
roga, the fortresses of Lake Chaniplain, in which the northern people 
placed such contidenee, hud been deserted at his approach ; and the 
army had disgraced itself by a panic retreat, without fighting a 
battle, while Burgoyne was publishing boastful and threatening 
proclamations, which frightened many, and induced some to declare 
for the king. Just at such a time, when so many bad examples 
were set, and there were so many dangers to drive others to follow, 
it was a sad thing to see a hale, hearty, tall man shake and tremble 
in the presence of the enemy, as we were just going to fight tlienn. 
However, an occurrence happened, fortunately, to take place imme- 
diately after, which made amends. There was an aged and excellent 
old man present, of a slender frame, stooping a little witli advanced 
age and hard work, with a wrinkled face, and well known as one of 
the oldest persons in our town, and the oldest on the ground. My 
tather was struck with regard for his aged frame, and, much as he felt 
numbers to be desirable in the impending struggle, he felt a great 
reluctance at the thought of leading him into it. He therefore turned 


to him, and said : " The labors of the day threaten to be severe, it is 
therefore my particular request, that you will take your post as 
sentinel yonder, and keep charge of the baggage." The old man 
stepped forward with an unexpected spring, his face was lighted up 
with a smile, and pulling off his hat, in the excitement of his spirit, 
half affecting the gayety of a youth, while his loose hair shone as 
white as silver, he briskly replied: **Not till I've had a shot at 
them first, captain, if you please." All thoughts were now directed 
towards the enemy's line ; and the company, partaking in the enthu- 
siasm of the old man, gave three cheers. My father was set at ease 
again in a moment ; and orders being soon brought to advance, he 
placed himself at their head, and gave the word: "Forward, 
march ! " 

He had observed some irregularity in the ground before them, 
which he had thought might favor his approach ; and he soon dis- 
covered that a small ravine, which they soon entered, would cover 
his determined little band from the shot of the enemy, and even from 
their observation, at least for some distance. He pursued its course ; 
but was so far disappointed in his expectations, that, instead of termi- 
nating at a distance from the enemy's line, on emerging from it, and 
looking about to see where he was, he found the fresh embankment 
of the tory fort just above him, and the heads of the tories peeping 
over, with their guns leveled at him. Turning to call on his men, he 
was surprised to find himself flat on the ground without knowing why ; 
for the enemy had fired, and a ball had gone through his foot into 
the ground, cutting some of the sinews just as he was stepping on it, 
so as to bring him down. At the same time, the shock had deafened 
him to the report of the muskets. 

The foremost of his soldiers ran up and stooped to take him in their 
arms, believing him to be dead or mortally wounded ; but he was 
too quick for them, and sprang on his feet, glad to find he was not seri- 
ously hurt, and was able to stand. He feared that his fall might check 
his followers ; and, as he caught a glimpse of a man in a red coat run- 
ning across a distant field, he cried out, " Come on, my boys ! They 
run ! They run ! " So saying, he sprang up, and clambering to the top 
of the fort, while the enemy were hurrying their powder into the pans 
and the muzzles of their pieces, his men rushed on shouting and firing, 
and jumping over the breastwork, and pushing upon the defenders 
so closely, that they threw themselves over the opposite wall, and ran 
down the hill as fast as their legs would caiTy them. 

Those raw soldiers, as most of them were, were ready to laugh at 
themselves, when they turned round and saw themselves, their new 


position, masters of a little fort which their enemies had been hard at 
work to construct, they knew not how long; but out of which they 
luvd so easily been set a scampering, merely because they had shown 
some resolution and haste in assaulting it. 

The result of the day's battle is well known. The Hessians and 
other troops with them, suffered a total defeat ; and not only were 
the stores at Bennington protected and saved, and the army of Bur- 
goyne weakened by tlie loss of a considerable body of troops, but the 
spirits of the iK}ople greatly encouraged, and the hope of final success 
revived. From that time there was less difficulty found in collecting 
troops; and the recruiting of our army at Bemis's Heights, or Sara- 
toga, jis it is often called, was more easily effected. 

It so happened that many years after the close of the war, and 
when I had heard my father tell this story many times over, I 
became acquainted with an old townsman of his, who was a loyalist, 
and took an active part as a soldier in the service of King George ; 
and he told me a story of the battle of Bennington which I think you 
would like to hear. 

Story told by one loJto was in tlie Tory Fort, 

I lived not far from the western borders of Massachusetts when the 
war began, and knew your father very well. Believing that I owed 
duty to my king, I became known as a loyaUst, or, as they called me, 
a tory ; and soon found my situation rather unpleasant. I therefore 
left home, and soon got among the British troops who were coming 
down with Burgoyne, to restore the country to peace, as I thought. 
When the Hessians were sent to take the military stores at Benning- 
ton, I went with them ; and took my station with some of the other 
loyalists in a redoubt or small fort in the line. We were all ready 
when we saw the rebels coming to attack us ; and were on such a 
hill and behind such a high bank, that we felt perfectly safe, and 
thought we could kill any body of troops they would send against 
us, before they could reach the place we stood upon. We had not 
expected, however, that they would approach us under cover ; but 
supposed we should see them on the way. We did not know that 
a little gully which lay below us, was long and deep enough to con- 
ceal thorn ; but they knew the ground, and the first we saw of the 
party coming to attack us, they made their appearance right under our 
guns. Your father was at the head of them. I was standing at the 
wall at the time, with my gun loaded in my hand ; and several of us 
leveled our pieces at once. I took as fair aim at them as I ever did 
at a bird in my Hfe, and thought T was sure of them; though we had 


to point so much downwards, that it made a man but a small mark. 
We fired together, and he fell. I thought he was dead to a certainty ; 
but to our surprise he was on his feet again in an instant, and they all 
sprang right up the bank so that they did not give us time to load, and 
came jumping into the midst of us, with such a noise, that we thought of 
nothing but getting out of the way of their muskets as fast as possible. 
I saw all my companions were going over the wall on the other side, and 
I went too. We had open fields before us, and scattered in all direc- 
tions, some followed by our enemies. I ran some distance with 
another man, and looking around saw several of your father's soldiers 
who were coming after us, level their muskets to fire. We had 
just reached a rail fence, and both of us gave a jump at the same 
instant to go over it. While I was in the air I heard the guns go off. 
We reached the ground together, but my companion fell and lay 
dead by the fence, while I ran on with all my might, finding I was 
not hurt. 

I looked back, hoping to see no one following me; but I was 
frightened on discovering a tall, rawboned fellow, running like a deer, 
only a short distance behind, and gaining on me every step he took. 
I immediately reflected that my gun was only a useless burthen, for 
it was discharged, and had no bayonet ; and, although a valuable 
one, I thought my only chance of saving my life, lay in lightening 
myself as much as possible. I therefore gave my gun a throw off to 
one side, so that if my pursuer should choose to pick it up he should 
lose some distance by it; and then without slackening my speed, 
I turned my head to see how he took the manoeuvre ; and found 
he had not only taken advantage of my hint, and thrown away his 
ovfn gun, but was also just kicking off his shoes. I tried to throw 
off my own in the same way, but they were fastened on with a pair 
of old fashioned silver buckles. 1 strained myself to the utmost to 
reach a wood which lay a little way before me, with the desperate hope 
of finding some way of losing myself in it. I ventured one look 
more ; and was frightened almost out of my senses at finding the 
bare-legged fellow almost upon me, and ready to gripe, and perhaps 
strangle me by main force. I did not like to stop and give myself up 
as a prisoner ; for I supposed he must be in a terrible passion, or he 
would not have taken such extraordinary pains to overtake me ; and 
even if he should spare my life and do me no injury, in that solitary 
spot, I did not know what to expect from the rebels, as we called 
them. So I ran on, though but an instant more ; for I had hardly 
turned my head again before I found the appearance of a wood 
which I had seen was only the tops of some trees growing on the 


borders of Wallamsack creek, which ran at the foot of a frightful 
precipice, the edge of which I had reached. I felt as if it were almost 
certain death to go farther ; but I had such a dread of my pursuer, 
that I set but lightly by my danger, and instead of stopping on the 
brink, I ran right otF, without waiting even to see where I was 

I fell like a stone, and the next instant struck on my feet in 
soft mud, with a loud, spatting noise, which I heard repeated 
close by me : Spat ! spat ! for down came the fierce fellow after 
me, and struck close by me in the wet clay, by the edge of the 
water. I looked at him with perl'ect dismay ; for what could I 
do then? I had sunk into the mud up to my knees, and was 
entirely unarmed. It was some relief to see, that he had no pistol 
to shoot me, and was not quite near enough to reach me. He, 
however, was beginning to struggle to get his legs out, and I expected 
to see him free and springing upon me in a moment more. I 
struggled too, but found it was no easy work to extricate myself, and 
began to think, that it would probably be as bad for him. This 
encouraged me to try with all my might ; and I thought I found my 
neighbor was much slower in getting out than I had feared. Indeed 
I could not perceive, for some time, that either of us made any 
advances, although we had wasted almost all our remaining strength. 
I now remarked, that my enemy was standing much deeper in the 
mud than myself Oh, thought I, the fellow was barefooted ; that is 
the reason : the soles of my shoes had prevented me from sinking quite 
so deep ; there is a good chance of my getting out before him. 
Still neither of us spoke a word. So I struggled again most violently; 
but the straps of my shoes were bound tight across my ancles, and 
held them to my feet, while I felt that I had not strength enough to 
draw them out. This made me desperate; and I made another effort, 
when the straps gave way, and I etisily drew out one bare foot, and 
placed it on the top of the ground. With the greatest satisfaction 
I found the other slipping smoothly up through the clay ; and, 
without waiting to regret my shoe buckles (which were of solid 
silver), or to exchange a blow or a word with my enemy, whom I was 
still dreadfully afraid of, I ran down the shore of the brook, as fast as 
my legs could carry me. 

A man, who has never been frightened as I was, with the expecta- 
tion of instant death, cannot easily imagine how far he will run, or 
how much he can do, to get out of danger. I thought for some time, 
that my long-legged enemy was coming, and ran on, afraid almost 
to look behind me. But he did not come; and I never saw or heard 


of him again. How he could have got out, I cannot imagine ; and 
there seemed to be no chance of his finding help very soon, so that 
I think he must have spent the night in that uncomfortable condi- 
tion, and may have stayed, for aught I know, till he starved to death. 

However, my fears were not dispelled; for I knew our whole 
detachment had been entirely routed : Germans, Englishmen, tories, 
and all ; and, as I thought there would be a pursuit by our conquerors, 
I expected ev6ry moment to meet some of them, with arms in their 
hands. Indeed, at any moment I might be discovered by some of 
them, and fired upon before I could see them ; so I chose the most 
secret paths and courses I could find, keeping among the thickest 
trees and bushes, and avoiding every house and sign of inhabitants, 
under a constant fear of being dead or a prisoner the next moment. 
Who can tell what I suffered in that one day ? I had been delivered 
from the imminent danger of musket balls, bayonets, the close pursuit 
of a rancorous enemy, a leap from a precipice and a long and most 
fatiguing run through a wild and unknown region, traversed, as 
I presumed, by many men thirsting for my blood. Night was now 
approaching, and I felt almost faint with the want of food as well 
as weariness. But I soon reached a region which I began to 
recognize as one I had before seen ; and, knowing that the house 
of my brother-in-law was not far distant, I determined to visit it, 
and get such food and clothes as I now greatly needed. On second 
thoughts I concluded that I might be in danger even there. There 
might be a party of my enemies in the neighborhood, if not in 
possession of the house ; for in such times, in a region overrun by 
war, one party often occupies a position one day or one hour which 
they give up to their enemies the next. I therefore determined to 
proceed with great caution ; and, although I soon came in pight of 
the house, and was suffering greatly from the want of rest and 
refreshment, I concealed myself, and watched the neighborhood as 
long as I could see, and then, after remaining quiet till late in the 
night, stole out softly, and walked round the house, listening care- 
fully, and scrutinizing everything, to discover traces of any change 
unfavorable to my wishes. 

Finding no sign of danger, I at length mustered up courage and 
entered the house, where I found the family had not all retired to 
rest ; and was very glad to see my sister coming towards me with an air 
of unconcern, which showed the household had not been disturbed. 
When she approached me, however, she addressed me as a stranger ; 
and then, for the first time, I began to think of my appearance. 
There had been powder enough burnt in the fort to blacken my 


face as dark as an Indian^s, and the perspiration which had started out 
during my races liad waslicd it partly off in streaks, bo that the 
expression of my countenance was strangely altered. At the same 
time I was without a coat, and my few remaining garments were 
torn by thorns and spattered with mud. 

I was treated with the utmost kindness by my sister as soon as she 
recognized me; and, after eating a good meid, and taking a long 
nights rest, I felt quite well and strong. She kept me as long as I 
was willing to stay ; but I did not feel safe out of the army, which 
then seemed sure of soon reaching Albany and finishing the war. 
I soon set off on foot, reached Burgoyne*8 lines, and was placed in 
the tory fort on the eastern brow of Bemis*s heights. There I 
thought myself safe once more. The abatis, formed of rough trees, 
with their branches on, which had been laid on the sides of the fort, 
appeared absolutely impassable by any body of the enemy. But in 
this I was disappointed ; for, when the battle came on, the Yankees 
rushed upon our fortification with impetuosity, and in such numbers 
that they soon covered the ground and trees, that they were as thick 
as the hair on a dog. Again I was glad to save myself by a rapid 






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