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morning and return in the evening, and I never know when I have them, or what my strength is." *
On the 9th, two persons coming from Fort Montgomery were arrested by his guards, and brought before him for examination. One was much agitated, and was observed to put something hastily into his mouth and swallow it. An emetic was administered, and brought up a small silver bullet. Before he could be prevented he swallowed it again. On his refusing a second emetic, the governor threatened to have him hanged and his body opened. The threat produced the bullet in the preceding manner. It was oval in form and hollow, with a screw in the centre, and contained a note from Sir Henry Clinton to Burgoyne, written on a slip of thin paper, and dated (Oct. 8th) from Fort Montgomery. "Nous y voici (here we are), and nothing between us and Gates. I sincerely hope this little success of ours will facilitate your operations." †
The bearer of the letter was tried and convicted as a spy, and sentenced to be hanged.
The enemy's light-armed vessels were now making their way up the river; landing marauding parties occasionally to make depredations.
As soon as the governor could collect a little force, he pressed forward to protect Kingston (Esopus), the seat of the State legislature. The enemy in the mean time landed from their ships, routed about one hundred and fifty militia collected to oppose them, marched to the village, set fire to it in every part, consuming great quantities of stores collected there, and then retreated to their ships.
* Letter to the Council of Safety. Jour. of Provincial Congress, vol. i. 1061. † Gov. Clinton to the N. Y. Council of Safety. Journal of Prov. Cong.
BURNING OF KINGSTON.
Governor Clinton was two hours too late. He beheld the flames from a distance; and having brought with him the spy, the bearer of the silver bullet, he hanged him on an apple-tree in sight of the burning village.
Having laid Kingston, the seat of the State government, in ashes, the enemy proceeded in their ravages, destroying the resi dences of conspicuous patriots at Rhinebeck, Livingston Manor, and elsewhere, and among others the mansion of the widow of the brave General Montgomery: trusting to close their desolating career by a triumphant junction with Burgoyne at Albany.
SCARCITY IN THE BRITISH CAMP-GATES BIDES HIS TIME FORAGING MOVEMENT OF BURGOYNE-BATTLE OF THE 7TH OCTOBER-ROUT OF THE BRITISH AND HESSIANS-SITUATION OF THE BARONESS RIEDESEL AND LADY HARRIET ACKLAND DURING THE BATTLE-DEATH OF GEN. FRAZER-HIS FUNERAL-NIGHT RETREAT OF THE BRITISH-EXPEDITION OF LADY HARRIET ACKLAND-DESPERATE SITUATION OF BURGOYNE AT SARATOGA--CAPITULATION-SURRENDER-CONDUCT OF THE AMERICAN TROOPS-SCENES IN THE CAMP-GALLANT COURTESY OF SCHUYLER TO THE BARONESS RIEDESEL-HIS MAGNANIMOUS CONDUCT TOWARD BURGOYNE-RETURN OF THE BRITISH DOWN THE HUDSON.
WHILE Sir Henry Clinton had been thundering in the Highlands, Burgoyne and his army had been wearing out hope within their intrenchments, vigilantly watched, but unassailed by the Americans. They became impatient even of this impunity. "The enemy, though he can bring four times more soldiers against us, shows no desire to make an attack," writes a Hessian officer.*
Arnold, too, was chafing in the camp, and longing for a chance, as usual, "to right himself" by his sword. In a letter to Gates he tries to goad him on. "I think it my duty (which nothing shall deter me from doing) to acquaint you, the army
are clamorous for action. The militia (who compose great part of the army) are already threatening to go home. One fortnight's inaction will, I make no doubt, lessen your army by sickness and desertion, at least four thousand men: In which time the enemy may be reinforced, and make good their retreat.
"I have reason to think, from intelligence since received, that, had we improved the 20th of September, it might have ruined the enemy. That is past; let me entreat you to improve the present time."
GATES BIDES HIS TIME.
Gates was not to be goaded into action; he saw the desperate situation of Burgoyne, and bided his time. "Perhaps," writes he, "despair may dictate to him to risk all upon one throw; he is an old gamester, and in his time has seen all chances. I will endeavor to be ready to prevent his good fortune, and, if possible,
secure my own.
On the 7th of October, but four or five days remained of the time Burgoyne had pledged himself to await the co-operation of Sir Henry Clinton. He now determined to make a grand movement on the left of the American camp, to discover whether he could force a passage, should it be necessary to advance, or dislodge it from its position, should he have to retreat. Another object was to cover a forage of the army, which was suffering from the great scarcity.
For this purpose fifteen hundred of his best troops, with two twelve-pounders, two howitzers and six six-pounders, were to be led by himself, seconded by Major-generals Phillips and Riedesel, and Brigadier-general Fraser. "No equal number of men," say the British accounts, "were ever better commanded; and it
* Letter to Gov. Clinton. Gates's Papers.
would have been difficult, indeed, to have matched the men with an equal number.” *
On leaving his camp, Burgoyne committed the guard of it on the high grounds to Brigadier-generals Hamilton and Specht, and of the redoubts on the low grounds near the river, to Brigadier-general Gall.
Forming his troops within three quarters of a mile of the left of the Americans, though covered from their sight by the forest, he sent out a corps of rangers, provincials and Indians, to skulk through the woods, get in their rear, and give them an alarm at the time the attack took place in front.
The movement, though carried on behind the screen of forests, was discovered. In the afternoon the advanced guard of the American centre beat to arms: the alarm was repeated throughout the line. Gates ordered his officers to their alarm posts, and sent forth Wilkinson, the adjutant-general, to inquire the cause. From a rising ground in an open place he descried the enemy in force, their foragers busy in a field of wheat, the officers reconnoitring the left wing of the camp with telescopes from the top of a cabin.
Returning to the camp, Wilkinson reported the position and movements of the enemy; that their front was open, their flanks rested on woods, under cover of which they might be attacked and their right was skirted by a height: that they were recon noitring the left, and he thought offered battle.
"Well, then," replied Gates, "order out Morgan to begin the game."
A plan of attack was soon arranged. Morgan with his rifle
* Civil War in America i. 302.