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Not long after her arrival in camp, Mrs. Washington claimed to keep twelfth-night in due style, as the anniversary of her wedding. "The general," says the same informant, "was somewhat thoughtful, and said he was afraid he must refuse it." His objections were overcome, and twelfth-night and the wedding anniversary were duly celebrated.
There seems to have been more conviviality at the quarters of some of the other generals; their time and minds were less intensely engrossed by anxious cares, having only their individual departments to attend to. Adjutant-General Mifflin's house appears to have been a gay one. "He was a man of education, ready apprehension and brilliancy," says Graydon ; had spent some time in Europe, particularly in France, and was very easy of access, with the manners of genteel life; though occasionally evolving those of the Quaker."1
Mrs. Adams gives an account of an evening party at his house. "I was very politely entertained and noticed by the generals," writes she, " more especially General Lee, who was very urgent for me to tarry in town, and dine with him and the ladies present at Hobgoblin Hall; but I excused myself. The general was determined that I should not only be acquainted with him, but with his companions too; and therefore placed a chair before me, into which he ordered Mr. Spada (his dog) to mount, and present his paw to me for a better acquaintance. I could not do otherwise than accept it."
John Adams, likewise, gives us a picture of festivities at head-quarters, where he was a visitant on the recess of Congress.
"I dined at Colonel Mifflin's with the general (Washington) and lady and a vast collection of other company, among whom were six or seven sachems and warriors of the French Caughnawaga Indians, with their wives and children. A savage feast they made of it; yet were very polite in the Indian style. I was introduced to them by the general as one of the grand council at Philadelphia, which made them prick up their ears. They came and shook hands with me.'
While giving these familiar scenes and occurrences at the camp, we are tempted to subjoin one furnished from the manuscript memoir of an eye witness. A large party of Virginia riflemen, who had recently arrived in camp, were strolling about Cambridge, and viewing the collegiate buildings, now
1 Graydon's Memoirs, p. 154.
2 Letters of Mr. Adams, vol. i., p. 85. 3 Adams's Letters, vol. ii., p. 80. Adams adds, that they made him "low bows and scrapea "-a kind of homage never paid by an Indian warrior.
turned into barracks. Their half-Indian equipments, and fringed and ruffled hunting garbs, provoked the merriment of some troops from Marblehead, chiefly fishermen and sailors, who thought nothing equal to the round jacket and trousers. A bantering ensued between them. There was snow upon the ground, and snowballs began to fly when jokes were wanting. The parties waxed warm with the contest. They closed, and came to blows; both sides were re-enforced, and in a little while at least a thousand were at fisticuffs, and there was a tumult in the camp worthy of the days of Homer. "At this juncture," writes our informant, Washington made his appearance, whether by accident or design, I never knew. I saw none of his aides with him; his black servant just behind him mounted. He threw the bridle of his own horse into his servant's hands, sprang from his seat, rushed into the thickest of the mêlée, seized two tall brawny riflemen by the throat, keeping them at arm's-length, talking to and shaking them."
As they were from his own province, he may have felt peculiarly responsibie for their good conduct; they were engaged, too, in one of those sectional brawls which were his especial abhorrence; his reprimand must, therefore, have been a vehement one. He was commanding in his serenest moments, but irresistible in his bursts of indignation. On the present occasion, we are told, his appearance and strong-handed rebuke put an instant end to the tumult. The combatants dispersed in all directions, and in less than three minutes none remained on the ground but the two he had collared.
The veteran who records this exercise of military authority, seems at a loss which most to admire, the simplicity of the process or the vigor with which it was administered. "Here," writes he, "bloodshed, imprisonments, trials by court-martial, revengeful feelings between the different corps of the army, were happily prevented by the physical and mental energies of a single person, and the only damage resulting from the fierce encounter was a few torn hunting frocks and round jackets."
1 From memoranda written at an advanced age, by the late Hon. Israel Trask, who, when but ten years old, was in the camp at Cambridge with his father, who was a lieu
AFFAIRS IN CANADA
ARNOLD AT POINT LEVI
ENFORCED CROSSING OF THE ST. LAWRENCE
WE again turn from the siege of Boston, to the invasion of Canada, which at that time shared the anxious thoughts of Washington. His last accounts of the movements of Arnold, left him at Point Levi, opposite to Quebec. Something brilliant from that daring officer was anticipated. It was his intention to cross the river immediately. Had he done so, he might have carried the town by a coup de main; for terror as well as disaffection prevailed among the inhabitants. At Point Levi, however, he was brought to a stand; not a boat was to be found there. Letters which he had despatched some days previously, by two Indians, to Generals Schuyler and Montgomery, had been carried by his faithless messengers to Caramhe, the lieutenant-governor, who, thus apprised of the impending danger, had caused all the boats of Point Levi to be either removed or destroyed.
Arnold was not a man to be disheartened by difficulties. With great exertions he procured about forty birch canoes from the Canadians and Indians, with forty of the latter to navigate them; but stormy winds arose, and for some days the river was too boisterous for such frail craft. In the mean time the garrison at Quebec was gaining strength. Recruits arrived from Nova Scotia. The veteran Maclean, too, who had been driven from the mouth of the Sorel by the detachment under Brown and Livingston, arrived down the river with his corps of Royal Highland Emigrants, and threw himself into the place. The Lizard frigate, the Hornet sloop-of-war, and two armed schooners were stationed in the river, and guard-boats patrolled at night. The prospect of a successful attack upon the place was growing desperate.
On the 13th of November, Arnold received intelligence that Montgomery had captured St. Johns. He was instantly roused to emulation. His men, too, were inspirited by the news. The
wind had abated: he determined to cross the river that very night. At a late hour in the evening he embarked with the first division, principally riflemen. The river was wide; the current rapid; the birch canoes, easy to be upset, required skilful management. By four o'clock in the morning, a large part of his force had crossed without being perceived, and landed about a mile and a half above Cape Diamond, at Wolfe's Cove, so called from being the landing-place of that gallant commander.
Just then a guard-boat, belonging to the Lizard, came slowly along shore and discovered them. They hailed it, and ordered it to land. Not complying, it was fired into, and three men were killed. The boat instantly pulled for the frigate, giving vociferous alarm.
Without waiting the arrival of the residue of his men, for whom the canoes had been despatched, Arnold led those who had landed to the foot of the cragged defile, once scaled by the intrepid Wolfe, and scrambled up it in all haste. By daylight he had planted his daring flag on the far-famed Heights of Abraham.
Here the main difficulty stared him in the face. A strong line of walls and bastions traversed the promontory from one of its precipitous sides to the other; enclosing the upper and lower towns. On the right, the great bastion of Cape Diamond crowned the rocky height of that name. On the left was the bastion of La Potasse, close by the gate of St. Johns opening upon the barracks; the gate where Wolfe's antagonist, the gallant Montcalm, received his death wound.
A council of war was now held. Arnold, who had some knowledge of the place, was for dashing forward at once and storming the gate of St. Johns. Had they done so, they might have been successful. The gate was open and unguarded. Through some blunder and delay, a message from the com nander of the Lizard to the lieutenant-governor had not yet been delivered, and no alarm had reached the fortress.
The formidable aspect of the place, however, awed Arnold ́s associates in council. They considered that their whole force was but between seven and eight hundred men; that nearly onethird of their fire-arms had been rendered useless, and much of their ammunition damaged in their march through the wilderness; they had no artillery, and the fortress looked too strong to be carried by a coup de main. Cautious counsel is often fatal to a daring enterprise. While the council of war deliberated, the favorable moment passed away. The lieutenant
governor received the tardy message. He hastily assembled the merchants, officers of militia, and captains of merchant vessels. All promised to stand by him; he had strong distrust, however, of the French part of the population and the Canadian militia; his main reliance was on Colonel Maclean and his Royal Highland Emigrants.
The din of arms now resounded through the streets. The cry was up"The enemy are on the Heights of Abraham! The gate of St. Johns is open!" There was an attempt to shut it. The keys were not to be found. It was hastily secured by ropes and handspikes, and the walls looking upon the heights were soon manned by the military, and thronged by the populace.
Arnold paraded his men within a hundred yards of the walls, and caused them to give three hearty cheers; hoping to excite a revolt in the place, or to provoke the scanty garrison to a sally. There were a few scattered cheerings in return; but the taunting bravado failed to produce a sortie; the governor dared not venture beyond the walls with part of his garrison, having too little confidence in the loyalty of those who would remain behind. There was some firing on the part of the Americans, but merely as an additional taunt, they were too far off for their musketry to have effect. A large cannon on the ramparts was brought to bear on them, and matches were procured from the Lizard, with which to fire it off. A few shots obliged the Americans to retire and encamp.
In the evening Arnold sent a flag, demanding in the name of the United Colonies the surrender of the place. Some of the disaffected and the faint-hearted were inclined to open the gates, but were held in check by the mastiff loyalty of Maclean. The veteran guarded the gate with his Highlanders; forbade all communication with the besiegers, and fired upon their flag as an ensign of rebellion.
Several days elapsed. Arnold's flags of truce were repeatedly insulted, but he saw the futility of resenting it, and attacking the place with his present means. The inhabitants gradually recovered from their alarm, and armed themselves to defend their property. The sailors and marines proved a valuable addition to the garrison, which now really meditated a sortie. Arnold received information of all this from friends within the walls; he heard about the same time of the capture of Montreal, and that General Carleton, having escaped from that place, was on his way down to Quebec. He thought at present, therefore, to draw off on the 19th to Point aux Trembles (Aspentree Point), twenty miles above Quebec, there to await the