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keeping them at bay with his field-pieces, which | Common, where General Heath brought the opened a vigorous fire from an eminence.

Hitherto the provincials, being hasty levies, without a leader, had acted from individual impulse, without much concert; but now General Heath was upon the ground. He was one of those authorized to take the command when the minute men should be called out. That class of combatants promptly obeyed his orders, and he was efficacious in rallying them, and bringing them into military order, when checked and scattered by the fire of the field-pieces.

Dr. Warren, also, arrived on horseback, having spurred from Boston on receiving news of the skirmishing. In the subsequent part of the day, he was one of the most active and efficient men in the field. His presence, like that of General Heath, regulated the infuriated ardor of the militia, and brought it into system.

Lord Percy, having allowed the troops a short interval for repose and refreshment, continued the retreat toward Boston. As soon as he got under march, the galling assault by the pursuing yeomanry was recommenced in flank and rear. The British soldiery, irritated in turn, acted as if in an enemy's country. Houses and shops were burnt down in Lexington; private dwellings along the road were plundered, and their inhabitants maltreated. In one instance, an unoffending invalid was wantonly slain in his own house. All this increased the exasperation of the yeomanry. There was occasional sharp skirmishing, with bloodshed on both sides, but in general a dogged pursuit, where the retreating troops were galled at every step. Their inarch became more and more impeded by the number of their wounded. Lord Percy narrowly escaped death from a musket-ball, which struck off a button of his waistcoat. One of his officers remained behind wounded in West Cambridge. His ammunition was failing as he approached Charlestown. The provincials pressed upon him in the rear, others were advancing from Roxbury, Dorchester, and Milton; Colonel Pickering, with the Essex militia, seven hundred strong, was at hand; there was danger of being intercepted in the retreat to Charlestown. The field-pieces were again brought into play, to check the ardor of the pursuit; but they were no longer objects of terror. The sharpest firing of the provincials was near Prospect Hill, as the harassed enemy hurried along the Charlestown road, eager to reach the Neck, and get under cover of their ships. The pursuit terminated a little after sunset, at Charlestown

minute men to a halt. Within half an hour more, a powerful body of men, from Marblehead and Salem, came up to join in the chase. "If the retreat," writes Washington, "had not been as precipitate as it was, and God knows it could not well have been more so,—the ministerial troops must have surrendered, or been totally cut off."

The distant firing from the mainland had reached the British at Boston. The troops which, in the morning, had marched through Roxbury to the tune of Yankee Doodle, might have been seen at sunset, hounding along the old Cambridge road to Charlestown Neck, pursued by mere armed yeomanry. Gage was astounded at the catastrophe. It was but a short time previous that one of his officers, in writing to friends in England, scoffed at the idea of the Americans taking up arms. "Whenever it comes to blows," said he, "he that can run the fastest, will think himself well off, believe me. Any two regiments here ought to be decimated, if they did not beat in the field the whole force of the Massachusetts province." How frequently, throughout this Revolution, had the English to pay the penalty of thus undervaluing the spirit they were provoking!

In this memorable affair, the British loss was seventy-three killed, one hundred and seventyfour wounded, and twenty-six missing. Among the slain were eighteen officers. The loss of the Americans was forty-nine killed, thirty-nine wounded, and five missing. This was the first blood shed in the revolutionary struggle; & mere drop in amount, but a deluge in its effects,-rending the colonies forever from the mother country.

The cry of blood from the field of Lexington went through the land. None felt the appeal more than the old soldiers of the French war. It roused John Stark, of New Hampshire—a trapper and hunter in his youth, a veteran in Indian warfare, a campaigner under Abercrombie and Amherst, now the military oracle of a rustic neighborhood. Within ten minutes after receiving the alarm, he was spurring towards the sea-coast, and on the way stirring up the volunteers of the Massachusetts borders, to assemble forthwith at Bedford, in the vicinity of Boston.

Equally alert was his old comrade in frontier exploits, Colonel Israel Putnam. A man on horseback, with a drum, passed through his neighborhood in Connecticut, proclaiming Brit

ÆT. 43.]



promised to open a new avenue to importance and command, and he determined to enter upon it.

ish violence at Lexington. Putnam was in the field ploughing, assisted by his son. In an instant the team was unyoked; the plough left in the furrow; the lad sent home to give word of his father's departure; and Putnam, on horseback, in his working garb, urging with all speed to the camp. Such was the spirit aroused throughout the country. The sturdy yeomanry, from all parts, were hastening toward Boston with such weapons as were at hand; and happy was he who could command a rusty fowl-patriot give affecting solemnity to the implied ing-piece and a powder-horn.

The news reached Virginia at a critical moment. Lord Dunmore, obeying a general order issued by the ministry to all the provincial governors, had seized upon the military munitions of the province. Here was a similar measure to that of Gage. The cry went forth that the subjugation of the colonies was to be attempted. All Virginia was in combustion. The standard of liberty was reared in every county; there was a general cry to arms. Washington was looked to, from various quarters, to take the command. His old comrade in arms, Hugh Mercer, was about marching lown to Williamsburg, at the head of a body of resolute men, seven hundred strong, entitled "The friends of constitutional liberty and America," whom he had organized and drilled in Fredericksburg, and nothing but a timely concession of Lord Dunmore, with respect to some powder which he had seized, prevented his being beset in his palace.

Before Hugh Mercer and the Friends of Liberty disbanded themselves, they exchanged a mutual pledge to reassemble at a moment's warning, whenever called on to defend the liberty and rights of this or any other sister colony. Washington was at Mount Vernon, preparing to set out for Philadelphia as a delegate to the second Congress, when he received tidings of the affair at Lexington. Bryan Fairfax and Major Horatio Gates were his guests at the time. They all regarded the event as decisive in its consequences; but they regarded it with different feelings. The worthy and gentlespirited Fairfax deplored it deeply. He foresaw that it must break up all his pleasant relations in life; arraying his dearest friends against the government to which, notwithstanding the errors of its policy, he was loyally attached, and resolved to adhere.

Gates, on the contrary, viewed it with the eye of a soldier and a place-hunter-hitherto disappointed in both capacities. This event

Washington's feelings were of a mingled nature. They may be gathered from a letter to his friend and neighbor, George William Fairfax, then in England, in which he lays the blame of this "deplorable affair" on the ministry and their military agents; and concludes with the following words, in which the yearnings of the

resolve of the soldier: "Unhappy it is to reflect that a brother's sword has been sheathed in a brother's breast; and that the once happy and peaceful plains of America, are to be either drenched with blood or inhabited by slaves. Sad alternative! But can a virtuous man hesitate in his choice?"


AT the eastward, the march of the Revolution went on with accelerated speed. Thirty thousand men had been deemed necessary for the defence of the country. The provincial Congress of Massachusetts resolved to raise thirteen thousand six hundred, as its quota. Circular letters, also, were issued by the committee of safety, urging the towns to enlist troops with all speed, and calling for military aid from the other New England provinces.

Their appeals were promptly answered. Bodies of militia, and parties of volunteers from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, hastened to join the minute men of Massachusetts in forming a camp in the neighborhood of Boston. With the troops of Connecticut, came Israel Putnam; having recently raised a regiment in that province, and received from its Assembly the commission of brigadiergeneral. Some of his old comrades in French and Indian warfare, had hastened to join his standard. Such were two of his captains, Durkee and Knowlton. The latter, who was his especial favorite, had fought by his side when a mere boy.

The command of the camp was given to General Artemas Ward, already mentioned. He was a native of Shrewsbury, in Massachusetts, and a veteran of the seven years' war— having served as lieutenant-colonel under Abercrombie. He had, likewise, been a member of the legislative bodies. and had recently been



made, by the provincial Congress of Massachu- | present crisis changed the relative position of setts, commander-in-chief of its forces.

As affairs were now drawing to a crisis, and war was considered inevitable, some bold spirits in Connecticut conceived a project for the outset. This was the surprisal of the old forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, already famous in the French war. Their situation on Lake Champlain gave them the command of the main route to Canada; so that the possession of them would be all-important in case of hostilities. They were feebly garrisoned and negligently guarded, and abundantly furnished with artillery and military stores, so much needed by the patriot army.

This scheme was set on foot in the purlieus, as it were, of the provincial Legislature of Connecticut, then in session. It was not openly sanctioned by that body, but secretly favored, and money lent from the treasury to those engaged in it. A committee was appointed, also, to accompany them to the frontier, aid them in raising troops, and exercise over them a degree of superintendence and control.

Sixteen men were thus enlisted in Connecticut, a greater number in Massachusetts, but the greatest accession of force, was from what was called the "New Hampshire Grants." This was a region having the Connecticut River on one side, and Lake Champlain and the Hudson River on the other-being, in fact, the country forming the present State of Vermont. It had long been a disputed territory, claimed by New York and New Hampshire. George II. had decided in favor of New York; but the Governor of New Hampshire had made grants of between one and two hundred townships in it, whence it had acquired the name of the New Hampshire Grants. The settlers on those grants resisted the attempts of New York to eject them, and formed themselves into an association called "The Green Mountain Boys." Resolute, strong-handed fellows they were, with Ethan Allen at their head, a native of Connecticut, but brought up among the Green Mountains. He and his lieutenants, Seth Warner and Remember Baker, were outlawed by the Legislature of New York, and rewards offered for their apprehension. They and their associates armed themselves, set New York at defiance, and swore they would be the death of any one who should attempt their


Thus Ethan Allen was becoming a kind of Robin Hood among the mountains, when the

things as if by magic.. Boundary feuds were forgotten amid the great questions of colonial rights. Ethan Allen at once stepped forward, a patriot, and volunteered with his Green Mountain Boys to serve in the popular cause. He was well fitted for the enterprise in question, by his experience as a frontier champion, his robustness of mind and body, and his fearless spirit. He had a kind of rough eloquence, also, that was very effective with his followers. "His style," says one, who knew him personally, "was a singular compound of local barbarisms, scriptural phrases, and oriental wildness; and though unclassic, and sometimes ungrammatical, was highly animated and forcible." Washington, in one of his letters, says there was "an original something in him which commanded admiration."

Thus reinforced, the party, now two hundred and seventy strong, pushed forward to Castleton, a place within a few miles of the head of Lake Champlain. Here a council of war was held on the 2d of May. Ethan Allen was placed at the head of the expedition, with James Easton and Seth Warner as second and third in command. Detachments were sent off to Skenesborough (now Whitehall), and another place on the lake, with orders to seize all the boats they could find and bring them to Shoreham, opposite Ticonderoga, whither Allen prepared to proceed with the main body.

At this juncture, another adventurous spirit arrived at Castleton. This was BENEDICT ARNOLD, since so sadly renowned. He, too, had conceived the project of surprising Ticonderoga and Crown Point; or, perhaps, had caught the idea from its first agitators in Connecticut,— in the militia of which province he held a captain's commission. He had proposed the scheme to the Massachusetts committee of safety. It had met with their approbation. They had given him a colonel's commission, authorized him to raise a force in Western Massachusetts, not exceeding four hundred men, and furnished him with money and means. Arnold had enlisted but a few officers and men when he heard of the expedition from Connecticut being on the march. He instantly hurried on with one attendant to overtake it, leaving his few recruits to follow, as best they could: in this way he reached Castleton just after the council of war.

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Thus reinforced, the party, now two hone el, also,dred and seventy strong, pushed forward od then. Castleton, a place within a few miles of the Head of Lake Champlain. Here a conncil of var was held on the 24 of May. Ethan Aller was placed at the head of the expedition, with Bri James Easton and Seth Warner as second a ird in command. Detachments were sent od to Skenesborough (now Whitehall, and Chaseout other place on the lake, with orders to seize ad auf the boats they, could find and bring them to shonchum, opposite Ticonderoga, whither Alle Ver-prepared to proceed with the main body.

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At this juncture, another adventurous spiri Cage hire, furtive at Castleton. This was BENEDICT AR thea Tera; you, since so sadly renowned. Ife, too, ha! conceived the project of surprising Ticonderog and Crown Point; or, perhaps, had caught the lea from its first agitators in Connecticut, rs in the militia of which province he held a tim alte pts of Ne&cplain's commission. He had proposed the Renewed Shears les scheme to the Massachusetts committee of For Fixed Mon-safety. It had met with their approbation. ded foliow They had given him a colonel's commission, authorized him to raise a force in Western MassaFry among pehusetts, not exceeding four hundred men, and tenants, furnished him with money and theses Arnold were out-lad enlisted but a few officers and men when es Fork, and re- he heard of the expedition from Connecticut They being on the march. He inlay vied on ates armed themselves. New with one attendant to overtake it, having lis ce, and swore they would be the few recruits to follow, as best they could: in one who should attemp their this way he reached Castleton Fast after the council of war.

Thus Ethan Allca was becoming a kind of Ited Hood among the othtains, when the

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