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ET. 25.]



"I cannot conceive," writes Dinwiddie in re

as the plan concerted will, in course, be communicated to you and the other officers. However, as you seem so earnest to go, now give you leave."

rived from France, had acted. He was a different kind of soldier from Abercrombie or Lou-ply, "what service you can be of in going there, doun. A capacious mind and enterprising spirit animated a small, but active and untiring frame. Quick in thought, quick in speech, quicker still in action, he comprehended every thing at a glance, and moved from point to point of the This ungracious reply seemed to warrant the province with a celerity and secrecy that com- suspicions entertained by some of Washington's pletely baffled his slow and pondering antago- friends, that it was the busy pen of Governor nists. Crown Point and Ticonderoga were vis- Dinwiddie which had given the "false represenited, and steps taken to strengthen their works, tation of facts" to Lord Loudoun. About a and provide for their security; then hastening month, therefore, before the time of meeting, to Montreal, he put himself at the head of a Washington addressed a long letter to his lordforce of regulars, Canadians, and Indians; as-ship, explanatory of military affairs in the quarcended the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario; ter where he had commanded. In this he set blocked up the mouth of the Oswego by his forth the various defects in the militia laws of vessels, landed his guns, and besieged the two Virginia; the errors in its system of defence, forts; drove the garrison out of one into the and the inevitable confusion which had thence other; killed the commander, Colonel Mercer, resulted. and compelled the garrisons to surrender prisoners of war. With the forts was taken an immense amount of military stores, ammunition, and provisions; one hundred and twentyone cannon, fourteen mortars, six vessels of war, a vast number of bateaux, and three chests of money. His blow achieved, Montcalm returned in triumph to Montreal, and sent the colors of the captured forts to be hung up as trophies in the Canadian churches.

The season was now too far advanced for Lord Loudoun to enter upon any great military enterprise; he postponed, therefore, the great northern campaign, so much talked of and debated, until the following year; and having taken measures for the protection of his frontiers, and for more active operations in the spring, returned to New York, hung up his sword, and went into comfortable winter-quarters.


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Adverting to his own conduct: The orders I receive," said he, are full of ambiguity. I am left like a wanderer in the wilderness, to proceed at hazard. I am answerable for consequences, and blamed, without the privilege of defence. ***** It is not to be wondered at, if, under such peculiar circumstances, I should be sick of a service which promises so little of a soldier's reward.

"I have long been satisfied of the impossibility of continuing in this service, without loss of honor. Indeed, I was fully convinced of it before I accepted the command the second time, seeing the cloudy prospect before me; and I did, for this reason, reject the offer, until I was ashamed any longer to refuse, not caring to expose my character to public censure. The solicitations of the country overcame my objections, and induced me to accept it. Another reason has of late operated to continue me in the service until now, and that is, the dawn of hope that arose, when I heard your lordship was destined, by his majesty, for the important command of his armies in America, and appointed to the government of his dominion of Virginia. Hence it was, that I drew my hopes, and fondly pronounced your lordship our patron. Although I have not the honor to be known to your lordship, yet your name was familiar to my ear on account of the important services rendered to his majesty in other parts of the world."

CIRCUMSTANCES had led Washington to think that Lord Loudoun "had received impressions to his prejudice by false representations of facts," and that a wrong idea prevailed at head-quarters respecting the state of military affairs in Virginia. He was anxious, therefore, for an opportunity of placing all these matters in a proper light; and, understanding that there was to be a meeting in Philadelphia in the month of March, between Lord Loudoun and the southern governors, to consult about measures of defence for their respective provinces, he wrote to Gov-delphia, showed him at once that his long, exernor Dinwiddie for permission to attend it.

The manner in which Washington was received by Lord Loudoun on arriving at Phila

planatory letter had produced the desired effect,



Lord Loudoun, however, was not to be convinced, or at least persuaded. According to his plan, the middle and southern provinces were to maintain a merely defensive warfare; and as Virginia would be required to send four bundred of her troops to the aid of South Carolina, she would, in fact, be left weaker than before.

Washington was also disappointed a second time, in the hope of having his regiment placed on the same footing as the regular army, and of obtaining a king's commission; the latter he was destined never to hold.


Scarce had the tidings of his lordship's de

and that his character and conduct were justly | for Halifax with all the troops he could collect, appreciated. During his sojourn in Philadelphia amounting to about six thousand men, to join he was frequently consulted on points of fron- with Admiral Holbourne, who had just arrived tier service, and his advice was generally adopt-at that port with eleven ships of the line, a ed. On one point it failed. He advised that fire-ship, bomb-ketch, and fleet of transports, an attack should be made on Fort Duquesne, having on board six thousand men. With this simultaneous with the attempts on Canada. united force Lord Loudoun anticipated the cerAt such time a great part of the garrison would tain capture of Louisburg. be drawn away to aid in the defence of that province, and a blow might be struck more like-parture reached Canada, when the active Montly to insure the peace and safety of the southern calm again took the field, to follow up the sucfrontier than all its forts and defences. cesses of the preceding year. Fort William Henry, which Sir Wm. Johnson had erected on the southern shore of Lake George, was now his object; it commanded the lake, and was an important protection to the British frontier. A brave old officer, Colonel Monro, with about five hundred men, formed the garrison; more than three times that number of militia were intrenched near by. Montcalm had, early in the season, made three ineffectual attempts upon the fort; he now trusted to be more successful. Collecting his forces from Crown Point, Ticonderoga, and the adjacent posts, with a considerable number of Canadians and Indians, altogether nearly eight thousand men, he advanced up the lake, on the 1st of August, in a fleet of boats, with swarms of Indian canoes in the advance. The fort came near being surprised; but the troops encamped without it, abandoned their tents, and hurried within the works. A summons to surrender was answered by a brave defiance. Montcalm invested the fort, made his approaches, and battered it with his artillery. For five days its veteran commander kept up a vigorous defence, trusting to receive assistance from General Webb, who had failed to relieve Fort Oswego in the preceding year, and who was now at Fort Edward, about fifteen miles distant, with upwards of five thousand men. Instead of this, Webb, who overrated the French forces, sent him a letter, advising him to capitulate. The letter was intercepted by Montcalm, but still forwarded to Monro. The obstinate old soldier, however, persisted in his defence, until most of his cannon were burst, and his ammunition expended. At length, in the month of August, he hung out a flag of truce, and obtained honorable terms from an enemy who knew how to appreciate his valor. Montcalm demolished the fort, carried off all the artillery and munitions of war, with vessels employed in the navigation of the lake; and having thus completed his deIn the course of July, Lord Loudoun set sail struction of the British defences on this frontier,

His representations with respect to Fort Cumberland, had the desired effect in counteracting the mischievous intermeddling of Dinwiddie. The Virginia troops and stores were ordered to be again removed to Fort Loudoun, at Winchester, which once more became headquarters, while Fort Cumberland was left to be occupied by a Maryland garrison. Washington was instructed, likewise, to correspond and cooperate, in military affairs, with Colonel Stanwix, who was stationed on the Pennsylvania frontier, with five hundred men from the Royal American regiment, and to whom he would be, in some measure, subordinate. This proved a correspondence of friendship, as well as duty; Colonel Stanwix being a gentleman of high moral worth, as well as great ability in military affairs.

The great plan of operations at the north was again doomed to failure. The reduction of Crown Point, on Lake Champlain, which had long been meditated, was laid aside, and the capture of Louisburg substituted, as an acquisition of far greater importance. This was a place of great consequence, situated on the isle of Cape Breton, and strongly fortified. It commanded the fisheries of Newfoundland, overawed New England, and was a main bulwark to Acadia.

ET. 25.]



returned once more in triumph with the spoils | assing service of defending a wide frontier with

of victory, to hang up fresh trophies in the churches of Canada.

an insufficient and badly organized force, and the vexations he experienced were heightened by continual misunderstandings with Governor Dinwiddie. From the ungracious tenor of several of that gentleman's letters, and from private

Lord Loudoun, in the mean time, formed his junction with Admiral Holbourne at Halifax, and the troops were embarked with all diligence on board of the transports. Unfortu- | information, he was led to believe that some nately, the French were again too quick for them. Admiral de Bois de la Mothe had arrived at Louisburg, with a large naval and land force; it was ascertained that he had seventeen ships of the line, and three frigates, quietly moored in the harbor; that the place was well fortified and supplied with provisions and ammunition, and garrisoned with six thousand regular troops, three thousand natives, and thir-know, and it is the highest consolation I am cateen hundred Indians.

secret enemy had been making false representations of his motives and conduct, and prejudicing the governor against him. He vindicated himself warmly from the alleged aspersions, proudly appealing to the whole course of his public career in proof of their falsity. "It is uncertain," said he, "in what light my services may have appeared to your honor; but this I

minious punishment that an injured people ought to inflict. On the other hand, it is hard to have my character arraigned, and my actions condemned, without a hearing."

pable of feeling, that no man that ever was Some hot-heads would have urged an attempt employed in a public capacity has endeavored against all such array of force, but Lord Lou- to discharge the trust reposed in him with doun was aware of the probability of defeat, greater honesty and more zeal for the country's and the disgrace and ruin it would bring upon interest than I have done; and if there is any British arms in America. He wisely, though person living who can say, with justice, that I ingloriously, returned to New York. Admiral have offered any intentional wrong to the pubHolbourne made a silly demonstration of his | lic, I will cheerfully submit to the most ignofleet off the harbor of Louisburg, approaching within two miles of the batteries, but retired on seeing the French Admiral preparing to unmoor. He afterwards returned with a reinforcement of four ships of the line; cruised before Louisburg, endeavoring to draw the enemy to an engagement, which De la Mothe had the wisdom to decline; was overtaken by a hurricane, in which one of his ships was lost, eleven were dismasted, others had to throw their guns overboard, and all returned in a shattered condition to England. Thus ended the northern campaign by land and sea, a subject of great mortification to the nation, and ridicule and triumph to the enemy.

His magnanimous appeal had but little effect. Dinwiddie was evidently actuated by the petty pique of a narrow and illiberal mind, impatient of contradiction, even when in error. He took advantage of his official station to vent his spleen and gratify his petulance in a variety of ways incompatible with the courtesy of a gentleman. It may excite a grave smile at the present day, to find Washington charged by this very small-minded man with looseness in his way of writing to him; with remissness in his duty towards him; and even with impertinence in the able and eloquent representations which he felt compelled to make of disastrous mismanagement in military affairs; and still more, to find his reasonable request, after a long course of severe duty, for a temporary leave of absence, to attend to his private concerns, peremptorily refused, and that with as little courtesy as though he were a mere subaltern

During these unfortunate operations to the north, Washington was stationed at Winchester, shorn of part of his force by the detachment to South Carolina, and left with seven hundred men to defend a frontier of more than three hundred and fifty miles in extent. The capture and demolition of Oswego by Montcalm had produced a disastrous effect. The whole country of the five nations was abandoned to the French. The frontiers of Pennsylvania, Mary-seeking to absent himself on a party of pleasure. land, and Virginia were harassed by repeated inroads of French and Indians, and Washington had the mortification to see the noble valley of the Shenandoah almost deserted by its inhabitants, and fast relapsing into a wilderness.

The year wore away on his part in the har

The multiplied vexations which Washington had latterly experienced from this man, had preyed upon his spirits, and contributed, with his incessant toils and anxieties, to undermine his health. For some time he struggled with repeated attacks of dysentery and fever, and




continued in the exercise of his duties; but the The general aspect of affairs, also, was more increased violence of his malady, and the urgent animating. Under the able and intrepid adadvice of his friend, Dr. Craik, the army sur-ministration of William Pitt, who had control geon, induced him to relinquish his post tow- of the British cabinet, an effort was made to ards the end of the year and retire to Mount retrieve the disgraces of the late American Vernon. campaign, and to carry on the war with greater vigor. The instructions for a common fund were discontinued; there was no more talk of taxation by Parliament. Lord Loudoun, from whom so much had been anticipated, had disappointed by his inactivity, and been relieved from a command in which he had attempted much and done so little. His friends alleged that his inactivity was owing to a want of unanimity and co-operation in the colonial governments, which paralyzed all his well-meant efforts. Franklin, it is probable, probed the matter with his usual sagacity when he characterized him as a man "entirely made up of indecision."-"Like St. George on the signs, he was always on horseback, but never rode on."

The administration of Dinwiddie, however, was now at an end. He set sail for England in January, 1758, very little regretted, excepting by his immediate hangers-on, and leaving a character overshadowed by the imputation of avarice and extortion in the exaction of illegal fees, and of downright delinquency in regard to large sums transmitted to him by government, to be paid over to the province in indemnification of its extra expenses; for the disposition of which sums he failed to render an account. He was evidently a sordid, narrow-minded, and somewhat arrogant man; bustling rather than active; prone to meddle with matters of which he was profoundly ignorant, and absurdly unwilling to have his ignorance enlightened.


For several months Washington was afflicted by returns of his malady, accompanied by symptoms indicative, as he thought, of a decline. "My constitution," writes he to his friend, Colonel Stanwix, "is much impaired, and nothing can retrieve it but the greatest care and the most circumspect course of life. This being the case, as I have now no prospect left of preferment in the military way, and despair of rendering that immediate service which my country may require from the person commanding its troops, I have thoughts of quitting my command and retiring from all public business, leaving my post to be filled by some other person more capable of the task, and who may, perhaps, have his endeavors crowned with better success than mine have been."

A gradual improvement in his health, and a change in his prospects, encouraged him to continue in what really was his favorite career, and at the beginning of April he was again in command at Fort Loudoun. Mr. Francis Fauquier had been appointed successor to Dinwiddie, and until he should arrive, Mr. John Blair, president of the council, had, from his office, charge of the government. In the latter Washington had a friend who appreciated his character and services, and was disposed to carry out his plans.

On the return of his lordship to England, the general command in America devolved on Major-General Abercrombie, and the forces were divided into three detached bodies; one, under Major-General Amherst, was to operate in the north with the fleet under Boscawen, for the reduction of Louisburg and the island of Cape Breton; another, under Abercrombie himself, was to proceed against Ticonderoga and Crown Point on Lake Champlain; and the third, under Brigadier-General Forbes, who had the charge of the middle and southern colonies, was to undertake the reduction of Fort Duquesne. The colonial troops were to be supplied, like the regulars, with arms, ammunition, tents, and provisions, at the expense of government, but clothed and paid by the colonies; for which the king would recommend to Parliament a proper compensation. The provincial officers appointed by the governors, and of no higher rank than colonel, were to be equal in command, when united in service with those who held direct from the king, according to the date of their commissions. By these wise provisions of Mr. Pitt, a fertile cause of heart-burnings and dissensions was removed.

It was with the greatest satisfaction Washington saw his favorite measure at last adopted, the reduction of Fort Duquesne; and he resolved to continue in the service until that object was accomplished. In a letter to Stanwix, who was now a brigadier-general, he modestly requested to be mentioned in favorable terms to General Forbes, "not," said he, “as a person


ET. 26.] who would depend upon him for further recommendation to military preferment (for I have long conquered all such inclinations, and shall serve this campaign merely for the purpose of affording my best endeavors to bring matters to a conclusion), but as a person who would gladly be distinguished in some measure from the common run of provincial officers, as I understand there will be a motley herd of us." He had the satisfaction subsequently of enjoying the fullest confidence of General Forbes, who knew too well the sound judgment and practical ability evinced by him in the unfortunate campaign of Braddock not to be desirous of availing himself of his counsels.

Washington still was commander-in-chief of the Virginia troops, now augmented, by an act of the Assembly, to two regiments of one thousand men each; one led by himself, the other by Colonel Byrd; the whole destined to make a part of the army of General Forbes in the expedition against Fort Duquesne.

Of the animation which he felt at the prospect of serving in this long-desired campaign, and revisiting with an effective force the scene of past disasters, we have a proof in short letter, written during the excitement of the moment, to Major Francis Halket, his former companion in arms.


mantic celebrity. He may almost be said to have been born in the camp, for he was the son of Major-General Wolfe, a veteran officer of merit, and when a lad had witnessed the battles of Dettingen and Fontenoy. While a mere youth he had distinguished himself at the battle of Laffeldt, in the Netherlands; and now, after having been eighteen years in the service, he was but thirty-one years of age. In America, however, he was to win his lasting laurels.

On the 2d of June, the fleet arrived at the Bay of Gabarus, about seven miles to the west of Louisburg. The latter place was garrisoned by two thousand five hundred regulars, and. three hundred militia, and subsequently reinforced by upwards of four hundred Canadians and Indians. In the harbor were six ships of the line and five frigates, three of which were sunk across the mouth. For several days the troops were prevented from landing by boisterous weather, and a heavy surf. The French improved that time to strengthen a chain of forts along the shore, deepening trenches, and constructing batteries.

On the 8th of June, preparations for landing were made before daybreak. The troops were embarked in boats in three divisions, under Brigadiers Wolfe, Whetmore, and Laurens. The

"My dear Halket:-Are we to have you landing was to be attempted west of the haronce more among us? And shall we revisit| together a hapless spot, that proved so fatal to many of our former brave companions? Yes; and I rejoice at it, hoping it will now be in our power to testify a just abhorrence of the cruel butcheries exercised on our friends in the unfortunate day of General Braddock's defeat; and, moreover, to show our enemies, that we can practise all that lenity of which they only boast, without affording any adequate proof."

Before we proceed to narrate the expedition against Fort Duquesne, however, we will briefly notice the conduct of the two other expeditions, which formed important parts in the plan of military operations for the year. And first, of that against Louisburg and the Island of Cape Breton.

bor, at a place feebly secured. Several frigates and sloops previously scoured the beach with their shot, after which Wolfe pulled for shore with his division; the other two divisions distracting the attention of the enemy, by making a show of landing in other parts. The surf still ran high, the enemy opened a fire of cannon and musketry from their batteries, many boats were upset, many men slain, but Wolfe pushed forward, sprang into the water when the boats grounded, dashed though the surf with his men, stormed the enemy's breast works and batteries, and drove them from the shore. Among the subalterns who stood by Wolfe on this occasion, was an Irish youth, twenty-one years of age, named Richard Montgomery, whom, for his gallantry, Wolfe promoted to a lieutenancy, and who was destined, in after years, to gain an imperishable renown. The other divisions effected a landing after a severe conflict; artillery and stores were brought on shore, and Louisburg was formally invested.

Major-General Amherst, who conducted this expedition, embarked with between ten and twelve thousand men, in the fleet of Admiral Boscawen, and set sail about the end of May, from Halifax, in Nova Scotia. Along with him went Brigadier-General James Wolfe, an The weather continued boisterous; the heavy officer young in years, but a veteran in military cannon, and the various munitions necessary experience, and destined to gain an almost ro- | for a siege, were landed with difficulty. Am

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