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PANIC AT WINCHESTER-INDIAN RAVAGES.
force to assist. "No orders," writes he, "are | The whole cause of the alarm proved to be obeyed, but such as a party of soldiers or my three drunken troopers, carousing, hallooing, own drawn sword enforces. Without this, not uttering the most unheard of imprecations, a single horse, for the most earnest occasion, and ever and anon firing off their pistols. can be had, to such a pitch has the insolence Washington interrupted them in the midst of of these people arrived, by having every point their revel and blasphemy, and conducted them hitherto submitted to them. However, I have prisoners to town. given up none, where his majesty's service requires the contrary, and where my proceedings are justified by my instructions; nor will I, unless they execute what they threaten-that is, blow out our brains."
One is tempted to smile at this tirade about the "insolence of the people," and this zeal for "his majesty's service," on the part of Washington; but he was as yet a young man and a young officer; loyal to his sovereign, and with high notions of military authority, which he had acquired in the camp of Braddock.
The reported attack on the house of Isaac Julian proved equally an absurd exaggeration. The ferocious party of Indians turned out to be a mulatto and a negro in quest of cattle. They had been seen by a child of Julian, who alarmed his father, who alarmed the neighborhood.
"These circumstances," says Washington, "show what a panic prevails among the people; how much they are all alarmed at the most usual and customary cries; and yet how impossible it is to get them to act in any respect for their common safety."
They certainly present a lively picture of the feverish state of a frontier community, hourly in danger of Indian ravage and butchery; than which no kind of warfare is more fraught with real and imaginary horrors.
What he thus terms insolence was the dawning spirit of independence, which he was afterwards the foremost to cherish and promote; and which, in the present instance, had been provoked by the rough treatment from the military, which the waggoners and others of the yeomanry had experienced when employed in Braddock's campaign, and by the neglect to pay them for their services. Much of Wash-rived with recruits from Alexandria, reported ington's difficulties also arose, doubtlessly, from the inefficiency of the military laws, for an amendment of which he had in vain made repeated applications to Governor Dinwiddic.
The alarm thus originating had spread throughout the country. A captain, who ar
that he had found the road across the Blue Ridge obstructed by crowds of people flying for their lives, whom he endeavored in vain to stop. They declared that Winchester was in flames!
In the mean time the panic and confusion increased. On Sunday an express hurried into At length the band of Indians, whose ravtown, breathless with haste and terror. The ages had produced this consternation throughIndians, he said, were but twelve miles off; out the land, and whose numbers did not exthey had attacked the house of Isaac Julian; ceed one hundred and fifty, being satiated with the inhabitants were flying for their lives. carnage, conflagration, and plunder, retreated, Washington immediately ordered the town bearing off spoils and captives. Intelligent guards to be strengthened; armed some re-scouts sent out by Washington followed their cruits who had just arrived, and sent out two scouts to reconnoitre the enemy. It was a sleepless night in Winchester. Horror increased with the dawn; before the men could be paraded a second express arrived, ten times more terrified than the former. The Indians were within four miles of the town, killing and destroying all before them. He had heard the constant firing of the savages and the shrieks of their victims.
The terror of Winchester now passed all bounds. Washington put himself at the head of about forty men, militia and recruits, and pushed for the scene of carnage.
traces, and brought back certain intelligence that they had recrossed the Allegany Mountains and returned to their homes on the Ohio. This report allayed the public panic, and restored temporary quiet to the harassed frontier.
Most of the Indians engaged in these ravages were Delawares and Shawnees, who, since Braddock's defeat, had been gained over by the French. A principal instigator was said to be Washington's old acquaintance, Shengis, and a reward was offered for his head.
Scarooyadi, successor to the half-king, remained true to the English, and vindicated his The result is almost too ludicrous for record. people to the Governor and Council of Penn
OPERATIONS ELSEWHERE JOHNSON ON LAKE GEORGE.
sylvania from the charge of having had any | men to garrison the fortifications he had comshare in the late massacres. As to the defeat menced at Oswego. at the Monongahela, "it was owing," he said, "to the pride and ignorance of that great general (Braddock) that came from England. He is now dead; but he was a bad man when he was alive. He looked upon us as dogs, and would never hear any thing that was said to him. We often endeavored to advise him, and tell him of the danger he was in with his soldiers; but he never appeared pleased with us, and that was the reason that a great many of our warriors left him."*
Scarooyadi was ready with his warriors to take up the hatchet again with their English brothers against the French. "Let us unite our strength," said he; "you are numerous, and all the English governors along your sea-shore can raise men enough; but don't let those that come from over the great seas be concerned any more. They are unfit to fight in the woods. Let us go ourselves—we that came out of this ground."
No one felt more strongly than Washington the importance, at this trying juncture, of securing the assistance of these forest warriors. It is in their power," said he, "to be of infinite use to us; and without Indians, we shall never be able to cope with these cruel foes to our country."+
Washington had now time to inform himself of the fate of the other enterprises included in this year's plan of military operations. We shall briefly dispose of them for the sake of carrying on the general course of events. The history of Washington is linked with the history of the colonies. The defeat of Braddock paralyzed the expedition against Niagara. Many of General Shirley's troop, which were assembled at Albany, struck with the consternation which it caused throughout the country, deserted. Most of the bateau men, who were to transport stores by various streams, returned home. It was near the end of August before Shirley was in force at Oswego. Time was lost in building boats for the lake. Storms and head winds ensued; then sickness: military incapacity in the general completed the list of impediments. Deferring the completion of the enterprise until the following year, Shirley returned to Albany with the main part of his forces in October, leaving about seven hundred
Hazard's Register of Penn., v., pp. 252, 286. † Letter to Dinwiddie.
To General William Johnson, it will be recollected, had been confided the expedition against Crown Point, on Lake Champlain. Preparations were made for it in Albany, whence the troops were to march, and the artillery, ammunition, and stores to be conveyed up the Hudson to the carrying-place between that river and Lake St. Sacrament, as it was termed by the French, but Lake George, as Johnson named it, in honor of his sovereign. At the carrying-place a fort was commenced, subsequently called Fort Edward. Part of the troops remained under General Lyman, to complete and garrison it; the main force proceeded under General Johnson to Lake George, the plan being to descend that lake to its outlet at Ticonderoga, in Lake Champlain. Having to attend the arrival of bateaux forwarded for the purpose from Albany by the carrying-place, Johnson encamped at the south end of the lake. He had with him between five and six thousand troops of New York and New England, and a host of Mohawk warriors, loyally devoted to him.
It so happened that a French force of upwards of three thousand men, under the Baron de Dieskau, an old general of high reputation, had recently arrived at Quebec, destined against Oswego. The baron had proceeded to Montreal, and sent forward thence seven hundred of his troops, when news arrived of the army gathering on Lake George for the attack on Crown Point, perhaps for an inroad into Canada. The public were in consternation; yielding to their importunities, the baron took post at Crown Point for its defence. Beside his regular troops, he had with him eight hundred Canadians, and seven hundred Indians of different tribes. The latter were under the general command of the Chevalier Legardeur de St. Pierre, the veteran officer to whom Washington had delivered the despatches of Governor Dinwiddie on his diplomatic mission to the frontier. The chevalier was a man of great influence among the Indians.
In the mean time Johnson remained encamped at the south end of Lake George, awaiting the arrival of the bateaux. The camp was protected in the rear by the lake, in front by a bulwark of felled trees; and was flanked by thickly wooded swamps.
On the 7th of September, the Indian scouts brought word that they had discovered three
AFFAIR AT LAKE GEORGE DEATH OF DIESKAU.
large roads made through the forest toward The Baron de Dieskau had been disabled by Fort Edward. An attack on that post was ap- a wound in the leg. One of his men, who enprehended. Adams, a hardy waggoner, rode deavored to assist him, was shot down by his express with orders to the commander to draw side. The baron, left alone in the retreat, was all the troops within the works. About mid- found by the pursuers leaning against the night came other scouts. They had seen the stump of a tree. As they approached, he felt French within four miles of the carrying-place. for his watch to insure kind treatment by They had heard the report of a musket, and delivering it up. A soldier, thinking he was the voice of a man crying for mercy, supposed drawing forth a pistol to defend himself, shot to be the unfortunate Adams. In the morning him through the hips. He was conveyed a Colonel Williams was detached with one thou- | prisoner to the camp, but ultimately died of his sand men, and two hundred Indians, to intercept the enemy in their retreat.
Within two hours after their departure a heavy fire of musketry, in the midst of the forest, about three or four miles off, told of a warm encounter. The drums beat to arms; all were at their posts. The firing grew sharper and sharper, and nearer and nearer. The detachment under Williams was evidently retreating. Colonel Cole was sent with three hundred men to cover their retreat. The breastwork of trees was manned. Some heavy cannon were dragged up to strengthen the front. A number of men were stationed with a field-piece on an eminence on the left flank.
In a short time fugitives made their appearance; first singly, then in masses, flying in confusion, with a rattling fire behind them, and the horrible Indian war-whoop. Consternation seized upon the camp, especially when the French emerged from the forest in battle array, led by the Baron de Dieskau, the gallant commander of Crown Point. Had all his troops been as daring as himself, the camp might have been carried by assault; but the Canadians and Indians held back, posted themselves behind trees, and took to bush-fighting.
The baron was left with his regulars (two hundred grenadiers) in front of the camp. He kept up a fire by platoons, but at too great a distance to do much mischief; the Canadians and Indians fired from their coverts. The artillery played on them in return. The camp, having recovered from its panic, opened a fire of musketry. The engagement became general. The French grenadiers stood their ground bravely for a long time, but were dreadfully cut up by the artillery and small arms. The action slackened on the part of the French, until, after a long contest, they gave way. Johnson's men and the Indians then leaped over the breastwork, and a chance medley fight ensued, that ended in the slaughter, rout, or capture of the enemy.
The baron had really set off from Crown Point to surprise Fort Edward, and, if successful, to push on to Albany and Schenectady; lay them in ashes, and cut off all communication with Oswego. The Canadians and Indians, however, refused to attack the fort, fearful of its cannon; he had changed his plan, therefore, and determined to surprise the camp. In the encounter with the detachment under Williams, the brave Chevalier Legardeur de St. Pierre lost his life. On the part of the Americans, Hendrick, a famous old Mohawk sachem, grand ally of General Johnson, was slain.
Johnson himself received a slight wound early in the action, and retired to his tent. Ho did not follow up the victory as he should have done, alleging that it was first necessary to build a strong fort at his encampment, by way of keeping up a communication with Albany, and by the time this was completed, it would be too late to advance against Crown Point. He accordingly erected a stockaded fort, which received the name of William Henry; and having garrisoned it, returned to Albany. His services, although they gained him no laurelwreath, were rewarded by government with five thousand pounds, and a baronetcy; and he was made Superintendent of Indian Affairs.*
MORTIFYING experience had convinced Washington of the inefficiency of the militia laws, and he now set about effecting a reformation. Through his great and persevering efforts, an act was passed in the Virginia Legislature giving prompt operation to courts-martial; punishing insubordination, mutiny, and desertion
* Johnson's Letter to the Colonial Governors, Sept. 9th, 1753. London Mag., 1755, p. 544. Holmes' Am. Annals, vol. ii. p. 63. 4th edit., 1829.
QUESTION OF PRECEDENCE-WASHINGTON'S JOURNEY TO BOSTON.
with adequate severity; strengthening the au- | king's fort, and could not be subject to the authority of a coinmander, so as to enable him to thority of Maryland. enforce order and discipline among officers as well as privates; and to avail himself, in time of emergency, and for the common safety, of the means and services of individuals.
This being effected, he proceeded to fill up his companies and to enforce this newly defined authority within his camp. All gaming, drinking, quarrelling, swearing, and similar excesses, were prohibited under severe penalties.
In disciplining his men, they were instructed not merely in ordinary and regular tactics, but in all the strategy of Indian warfare, and what is called "bush-fighting,"—a knowledge indispensable in the wild wars of the wilderness. Stockaded forts, too, were constructed at various points, as places of refuge and defence, in exposed neighborhoods. Under shelter of these, the inhabitants began to return to their | deserted homes. A shorter and better road, also, was opened by him between Winchester and Cumberland, for the transmission of reinforcements and supplies.
His exertions, however, were impeded by one of those questions of precedence, which had so often annoyed him, arising from the difference between crown and provincial commissions. Maryland having by a scanty appropriation raised a small militia force, stationed Captain Dagworthy, with a company of thirty men, at Fort Cumberland, which stood within the boundaries of that province. Dagworthy had served in Canada in the preceding war, and had received a king's commission. This he had since commuted for half-pay, and, of course, had virtually parted with its privileges. He was nothing more, therefore, than a Maryland provincial captain, at the head of thirty men. Ho now, however, assumed to act under his royal commission, and refused to obey the orders of any officer, however high his rank, who merely held his commission from a governor. Nay, when Governor, or rather Colonel Innes, who commanded at the fort, was called away to North Carolina, by his private affairs, the captain took upon himself the command, and insisted upon it as his right.
Washington refrained from mingling in this dispute; but intimated that if the commanderin-chief of the forces of Virginia must yield precedence to a Maryland captain of thirty men, he should have to resign his commission, as he had been compelled to do before, by a question of military rank.
So difficult was it, however, to settle these disputes of precedence, especially where the claims of two governors came in collision, that it was determined to refer the matter to MajorGeneral Shirley, who had succeeded Braddock in the general command of the colonies. For this purpose Washington was to go to Boston, obtain a decision from Shirley of the point in dispute, and a general regulation, by which these difficulties could be prevented in future. It was thought, also, that in a conference with the commander-in-chief he might inform himself of the military measures in contemplation.
Accordingly, on the 4th of February (1756), leaving Colonel Adam Stephens in command of the troops, Washington set out on his mission, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, Captain George Mercer of Virginia, and Captain Stewart of the Virginia light horse; the officer who had taken care of General Braddock in his last moments.
In those days the conveniences of travelling, even between our main cities, were few, and the roads execrable. The party, therefore, travelled in Virginia style, on horseback, attended by their black servants in livery.* In this way they accomplished a journey of five
We have hitherto treated of Washington in his campaigns in the wilderness, frugal and scanty in his equip ments, often, very probably, in little better than hunter's garb. His present excursion through some of the Atlantic cities presents him in a different aspect. His recent intercourse with young British officers, had probably elevated his notions as to style in dress and appearance; at least wo are inclined to suspect so from the following aristo
cratical order for clothes, sent shortly before the time in
question, to his correspondent in London:
"2 completo livery suits for servants; with a spare cloak, and all other necessary trimmings for two suits more. I would have you choose the livery by our arms, only as the field of the arms is white, I think the clothes had better not be quite so, but nearly like the inclosed. The trimmings and facings of scarlet, and a scarlet waistcoat. If livery lace is not quite disused, I should be glad to have the cloaks laced. I like that fashion best, and
Parties instantly arose, and quarrels ensued among the inferior officers; grave questions were agitated between the Governors of Mary-two silver-laced hats for the above servants. land and Virginia, as to the fort itself; the former claiming it as within his province, the latter insisting that, as it had been built according to orders sent by the king, it was the
"1 set of horse furniture, with livery lace, with the Washington crest on the housings, &c. The cloak to bo of the same piece and color of the clothes.
"3 gold and scarlet sword-knots. 8 silver and blue da 1 fashionable gold-laced hat."
THE EARL OF LOUDOUN-MILITARY RULE FOR THE COLONIES. hundred miles in the depth of winter; stopping | England, and was to be superseded by General for some days at Philadelphia and New York. Abercrombie, who was coming out with two Those cities were then comparatively small, regiments. and the arrival of a party of young Southern officers attracted attention. The late disastrous battle was still the theme of every tongue, and the honorable way in which these young officers had acquitted themselves in it, made them objects of universal interest. Washington's fame, especially, had gone before him; having been spread by the officers who had served with him, and by the public honors decreed him by the Virginia Legislature. "Your name," wrote his former fellow-campaigner, Gist, in a letter dated in the preceding autumn, "is more talked of in Philadelphia than that of any other person in the army, and everybody seems will-people, to furnish quarters and provide a gening to venture under your command." eral fund subject to the control of this military dictator.
With these prepossessions in his favor, when we consider Washington's noble person and demeanor, his consummate horsemanship, the admirable horses he was accustomed to ride, and the aristocratical style of his equipments, we may imagine the effect produced by himself and his little cavalcade, as they clattered through the streets of Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. It is needless to say, their sojourn in each city was a continual fête.
The mission to General Shirley was entirely successful as to the question of rank. A written order from the commander-in-chief determined that Dagworthy was entitled to the rank of a provincial captain only, and, of course, must on all occasions give precedence to Colonel Washington, as a provincial field officer. The latter was disappointed, however, in the hope of getting himself and his officers put upon the regular establishment, with commissions from the king, and had to remain subjected to mortifying questions of rank and etiquette, when serving in company with regular troops.
From General Shirley he learnt that the main objects of the ensuing campaign would be the reduction of Fort Niagara, so as to cut off the communication between Canada and Louisiana, the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point as a measure of safety for New York, the besieging of Fort Duquesne, and the menacing of Quebec by a body of troops which were to advance by the Kennebec River.
The official career of General Shirley was drawing to a close. Though a man of good parts, he had always, until recently, acted in a civil capacity, and proved incompetent to conduct military operations. He was recalled to
The general command in America, however, was to be held by the Earl of Loudoun, who was invested with powers almost equal to those of a viceroy, being placed above all the colonial governors. These might claim to be civil and military representatives of their sovereign within their respective colonies; but, even there, were bound to defer and yield precedence to this their official superior. This was part of a plan devised long ago, but now first brought into operation, by which the ministry hoped to unite the colonies under military rule, and oblige the Assemblies, magistrates, and
Beside his general command, the Earl of Loudoun was to be governor of Virginia and colonel of a royal American regiment of four battalions, to be raised in the colonies, but furnished with officers who, like himself, had seen foreign service. The campaign would open on his arrival, which, it was expected, would be early in the spring; and brilliant results were anticipated.
Washington remained ten days in Boston, attending, with great interest, the meetings of the Massachusetts Legislature, in which the plan of military operations was ably discussed; and receiving the most hospitable attentions from the polite and intelligent society of the place, after which he returned to New York.
Tradition gives very different motives from those of business for his two sojourns in the latter city. He found there an early friend and school-mate, Beverly Robinson, son of John Robinson, speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was living happily and prosperously with a young and wealthy bride, having married one of the nieces and heiresses of Mr. Adolphus Philipse, a rich landholder, whose manor-house is still to be seen on the banks of the Hudson. At the house of Mr. Beverly Robinson, where Washington was an honored guest, he met Miss Mary Philipse, sister of and co-heiress with Mrs. Robinson, a young lady whose personal attractions are said to have rivalled her reputed wealth.
We have already given an instance of Washington's early sensibility to female charms. A life, however, of constant activity and care, passed for the most part in the wilderness and