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rear, while Colonels Hubbard and Stickney, with two hundred men, diverted his attention in front.

Colonel Skene and the royalists, when they saw the Americans issuing out of the woods on different sides, persuaded themselves, and endeavored to persuade Baum, that these were the loyal people of the country flocking to his standard. The Indians were the first to discover the truth. "The woods are full of Yankees," cried they, and retreated in single file between the troops of Nichols and Herrick, yelling like demons and jingling cow bells. Several of them, however, were killed or wounded as they thus ran the gauntlet.

At the first sound of fire-arms, Stark, who had remained with the main body in camp, mounted his horse and gave the word, forward! He had promised his men the plunder of the British camp. The homely speech made by him when in sight of the enemy, has often been cited. "Now, my men! There are the red coats! Before night they must be ours, or Molly Stark will be a widow!"

Baum soon found himself assailed on every side, but he defended his works bravely. His two pieces of artillery, advantageously planted, were very effective, and his troops, if slow in march, were steady in action. For two hours the discharge of fire-arms was said to have been like the constant rattling of the drum. Stark in his despatches compared it to a "continued clap of thunder.” It was the hottest fight he had ever seen. He inspired his men with his own impetuosity. They drove the royalist troops upon the Hessians, and pressing after them stormed the works with irresistible fury. A Hessian eye-witness declares that this time the rebels fought with desperation, pressing within eight paces of the loaded cannon to take surer aim at the artillerists. The latter were slain; the cannon captured. The royalists and Canadians took to flight, and escaped to the woods. The Germans still kept their ground, and fought bravely until there was not a cartridge left. Baum and his dragoons then took to their broadswords and the infantry to their bayonets, and endeavored to cut their way to a road in the woods, but in vain; many were killed, more wounded, Baum among the number, and all who survived were taken prisoners.1

The victors now dispersed, some to collect booty, some to attend to the wounded, some to guard the prisoners, and some to seek refreshment, being exhausted by hunger and fatigue. At this critical juncture, Breyman's tardy re-enforcement came,

1 Briefe aus Amerika. Schlözer's Briefwechsel, Th. iii. Heft xiii.

making its way heavily and slowly to the scene of action, joined by many of the enemy who had fled. Attempts were made to raily the militia; but they were in complete confusion. Nothing would have saved them from defeat, had not Colonel Seth Warner's corps fortunately arrived from Bennington, fresh from repose, and advanced to meet the enemy, while the others regained their ranks. It was four o'clock in the afternoon when this second action commenced. It was fought from wood to wood and hill to hill, for several miles, until sunset. The last stand of the enemy was at Van Schaick's mill, where, having expended all their ammunition, of which each man had forty rounds, they gave way, and retreated, under favor of the night, leaving two field-pieces and all their baggage in the hands of the Americans. Stark ceased to pursue them, lest in the darkness his men should fire upon each other. "Another hour of daylight," said he in his report, and I should have captured the whole body." The veteran had had a horse shot under him, but escaped without wound or bruise.

Four brass field-pieces, nine hundred dragoon swords, a thousand stand of arms, and four ammunition wagons were the spoils of this victory. Thirty-two officers, five hundred and sixty-four privates, including Canadians and loyalists, were taken prisoners. The number of slain was very considerable, but could not be ascertained, many having fallen in the woods. The brave but unfortunate Baum did not long survive. The Americans had one hundred killed and wounded.

Burgoyne was awakened in his camp toward daylight of the 17th, by tidings that Colonel Baum had surrendered. Next came word that Colonel Breyman was engaged in severe and doubtful conflict. The whole army was aroused, and were preparing to hasten to his assistance, when one report after another gave assurance that he was on his way back in safety. The main body, therefore, remained in camp at the Batten kiln; but Burgoyne forded that stream with the 47th regiment and pushed forward until 4 o'clock, when he met Breyman and his troops, weary and haggard with hard fighting and hard marching, in hot weather. In the evening all returned to their old encampments.'

General Schuyler was encamped on Van Schaick's Island at the mouth of the Mohawk River, when a letter from General Lincoln, dated Bennington, August 18, informed him of the capital blow given the enemy by General Stark." "I trust,"

1 Schlözer's Briefwechsel, Th. iii. Heft zili.

replies he, August 19, "that the severity with which they have been handled will retard General Burgoyne's progress. Part of his force was yesterday afternoon about three miles and a half above Stillwater. If the enemy have entirely left that part of the country you are in, I think it would be advisable for you to move toward Hudson River tending toward Stillwater."

"Governor Clinton," writes he to Stark on the same day, "is coming up with a body of militia, and I trust that after what the enemy have experienced from you, their progress will be retarded, and that we shall see them driven out of this part of the country."

He now hoped to hear that Arnold had raised the siege of Fort Stanwix. "If that takes place," said he, it will be possible to engage two or three hundred Indians to join this army, and Congress may rest assured that my best endeavors shall not be wanting to accomplish it." Tidings of the affair of Bennington reached Washington, just before he moved his camp from the neighborhood of Philadelphia to Wilmington, and it relieved his mind from a world of anxious perplexity. In a letter to Putnam he writes, "As there is not now the least danger of General Howe's going to New England, I hope the whole force of that country will turn out, and by following the great stroke struck by General Stark near Bennington, entirely crush General Burgoyne, who, by his letter to Colonel Baum, seems to be in want of almost every thing."

We will now give the fate of Burgoyne's detachment, under St. Leger, sent to capture Fort Stanwix, and ravage the valley

of the Mohawk.





ARNOLD'S march to the relief of Fort Stanwix was slower than Buited his ardent and impatient spirit. He was detained in the valley of the Mohawk by bad roads, by the necessity of waiting

for baggage and ammunition wagons, and for militia recruits who turned out reluctantly. He sent missives to Colonel Gansevoort, assuring him that he would relieve him in the course of a few days. "Be under no kind of apprehension," writes he. "I know the strength of the enemy, and how to deal with them."

In fact, conscious of the smallness of his force, he had resorted to stratagem, sending emissaries ahead to spread exaggerated reports of the number of his troops, so as to work on the fears of the enemy's Indian allies and induce them to desert. The most important of these emissaries was one Yan Yost Cuy ler, an eccentric half-witted fellow, known throughout the country as a rank tory. He had been convicted as a spy, and only spared from the halter on the condition that he would go into St. Leger's camp, and spread alarming reports among the Indians, by whom he was well known. To insure a faithful discharge of his mission, Arnold detained his brother as a hostage.

On his way up the Mohawk Valley, Arnold was joined by a New York regiment, under Colonel James Livingston, sent by Gates to re-enforce him. On arriving at the German Flats he received an express from Colonel Gansevoort, informing him that he was still besieged, but in high spirits and under no apprehensions. In a letter to Gates, written from the German Flats (August 21), Arnold says, "I leave this place this morning with twelve hundred Continental troops and a handful of militia for Fort Schuyler, still besieged by a number equal to ours. You will hear of my being victorious - or no more. soon as the safety of this part of the country will permit, I will fly to your assistance."



All this while St. Leger was advancing his parallels and pressing the siege; while provisions and ammunition were rapidly decreasing within the fort. St. Leger's Indian allies, however, were growing sullen and intractable. This slow kind of warfare, this war with the spade, they were unaccustomed to, and they by no means relished it. Besides, they had been led to expect easy times, little fighting, many scalps. and much plunder; whereas they had fought hard, lost many of their best chiefs, been checked in their cruelty, and gained no booty.

At this juncture, scouts brought word that a force one thousand strong was marching to the relief of the fort. Eager to

1 Gates's Papers.

put his savages in action, St. Leger in a council of war offered to their chiefs to place himself at their head, with three hundred of his best troops, and meet the enemy as they advanced. It was agreed, and they sallied forth together to choose a fighting ground. By this time rumors stole into the camp doubling the number of the approaching enemy. Burgoyne's whole army were said to have been defeated. Lastly came Yan Yost Cuyler, with his coat full of bullet holes, giving out that he had escaped from the hands of the Americans, and had been fired upon by them. His story was believed, for his wounded coat corroborated it, and he was known to be a royalist. Mingling among his old acquaintances, the Indians, he assured them that the Americans were close at hand and " numerous as the leaves on the trees."

Arnold's stratagem succeeded. The Indians, fickle as the winds, began to desert. Sir John Johnson and Colonels Claus and Butler endeavored in vain to reassure and retain them. In a little while two hundred had decamped, and the rest threatened to do so likewise, unless St. Leger retreated.

The unfortunate colonel found too late what little reliance was to be placed upon Indian allies. He determined on the 22d to send off his sick, his wounded, and his artillery by Wood Creek that very night, and to protect them by the line of march. The Indians, however, goaded on by Arnold's emissaries, insisted on instant retreat. St. Leger still refused to depart before nightfall. The savages now became ungovernable. They seized upon liquor of the officers about to be embarked, and getting intoxicated, behaved like very fiends.

In a word, St. Leger was obliged to decamp about noon, in such hurry and confusion that he left his tents standing, and his artillery, with most of his baggage, ammunition and stores, fell into the hands of the Americans.

A detachment from the garrison pursued and harassed him for a time; but his greatest annoyance was from his Indian allies, who plundered the boats which conveyed such baggage as had been brought off; murdered all stragglers who lagged in the rear, and amused themselves by giving false alarms to keep up the panic of the soldiery; who would throw away muskets, knapsacks, and every thing that impeded their flight.

It was not until he reached Onondaga Falls that St. Leger discovered, by a letter from Burgoyne, and floating reports brought by the bearer, that he had been the dupe of a ruse de guerre, and that at the time the advancing foe were reported to be close upon his haunches, they were not within forty miles of him.

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