« ZurückWeiter »
officiated, tho frequently covered with dust from the shof which the American artillery threw around us ; the mute, but expressive mixture of sensibility and indignation upon every countenance; these objects will remain to the last of life on the minds of every man who was present.
5. The growing duskiness of the evening added to the Scenery, and the whole marked a character of that juncture, that would make one of the finest subjects for the pencil of a master that the field ever exhibited.
6. To the canvass and to the faithful page of a more itha portant historian, gallant friend, I consign thy memory.
STORY OF LADY HARRIET ACKLAND, BY GEN. BURGOYNE.
ADY Harriet Ackland had accompanied her hus1.
band to Canada in the beginning of the year 1776, In the course of that campaign, she traversed a vast space of country, in different extremities of season, and with difficulties that an European traveller will not easily conceive, to attend in a poor hut at Chamblee, upon his sick bed.
2. In the opening of the campaign of 1777, she was restrained, by the positive injunctions of her husband, from offering herself to share of the fatigue and hazard expected before Ticonderoga. The day after the conquest of that place, he was badly wounded, and she crossed the Lake Champlain to join him.
3. As soon as he recovered, Lady Harriet proceeded to follow his fortunes thro' the campaign, and at Fort Edward or the next camp, obtained a two-wheel tumbril, which had been constructed by the artificers of the artillery, something similar to the carraige used for the mail upon the great roads in England.
4. Major Ackland commanded the British grenadiers, who were attached to general Fraser's body of the army, and consequently were always the most advanced post. Their situations were often so alert, that no person slept out of his clothes.
5. In one of these situations, a tent in which the Major and his lady were asleep, suddenly took fire. An orderly sergeant of the grenadiers, with great hazard of suffocation, dragged out the first person he caught hold of. It proved to be the Major.
more deplorable situation. The balls flew incessantly from either side, many struck the tree, whilst some passed through the sleeves and skirts of his coat. In this state of jeopardy, unable to move his body, to stir his limbs, or even to incline his head, ne remained more than an hour, So equally balanced and so obstinate was the fight!
11. At one moment, while the battle swerved in favor of the enemy, a young savage chose an oud way of discovering his humor. He found Putnam bound. He might have despatched him at a blow. But he loved better to excite the terrors of the prisoner, by hurling a tomahawk at his head or rather it should seem his object was to see how near he could throw it without touching him the weapon struck in the tree a number of times at a hair's bredth distance from the mark.
12. When the Indian had finished his amusement, a French bas-officer (a much more inveterate savage by nature, though descended from so humane and polished a nation) perceiving Purnam, came up to him, and levelling a fuzee within a foot of his breast, attempted to discharge it; it missed fire ineffectually did the intended victim solicit the treatment due to his situation, by repeating that he was a prisoner of war.
13. The degenerate Frenchman did not understand the language of honor or of nature ; deaf to their voice and dead to sensibility, he violently and repeatedly pushed the muzzle of his gun against Putnam's ribs, and finally gave him a cruel blow on the jaw with the but of his piece. After this dastardiy deed he left him.
14. At jength the active intrepidity of D’Ell and Harman, seconded by the persevering valor of their followers, prevailed. They drove from the field the enemy, who left about ninety dead behind them. As they were reuring, Putnam was untied by the Indian who had made him prisoner, and whom he afterwards called master.
15. Having been conducted for some distance from the place of action, he was stripped of his coat, vest, stockings and shoes ; loaded with as many of the packs of the wounded as could be piled upon him ; strongly pinioned, and his wrists tied as closely together as they could be pulled with a cord.
16. After he had marched through no pleasant paths, in this painful manner, for many a tedious mile, the para
ty who were excessively fatigued, halted to breathe. His hands were now immoderately swelled from the tightness of the ligature ; and the pain had become intolerable.' His feet were so much scratched that the blood dropped fast from them.
17. Exhausted with bearing a burden above his strength, and frantic with torments exquisite beyond endurance, he entreated the Irish Interpreter to implore, as the last and only grace he desired of the savages, that they would knock him on the head and take his scalp at once, or loose his hands.
18. A French officer, instantly interposing, ordered his hands to be unbound, and some of the packs to be taken off. By this time the Indian who captured him, and had been absent with the wounded, coming up, gave him a pair of moccasons, and expressed great indignation at the unworthy treatment his prisoner had suffered.
19. That savage chief again returned to the care of the wounded, and the Indians, about two hundred in number, went before the rest of the party to the place were the whole were, that night, to encamp. They took with them Major Putnam, on whom (besides iunumerable other outrages) they had the barbarity to inflict a deep wound with a tomahawk in his left cheek.
20. His sufferings were in this place to be consummated. A scene of horror, infinitely greater than had ever met his eyes before, was now preparing. It was determined to roast him alive.--For this purpose they led him into a dark forest, stripped him naked, bound him to a tree, and piled dry brush with other fuel, at a small distance, in a circle round him.
21. They accompanied their labors, as if for his funeral dirge, with screams and sounds inimitable but by savage voices. They then set the piles on fire. A sudden shower damped the rising flame. Still they strove to kindle it, ur. til at last the blaze ran fiercely round the circie. Major Putnam soon began to feel the scorching heat. His hands were so tied that he could move his body. He often shifted sides as the fire approached.
22. This sight, at the very idea of which all but savages must shudder, afforded the highest diversion to his inhuman tormentors, who demonstrated the delirium of their joy by correspondent yells, dances and gesticulations.
He saw clearly that his final hour was inevitably come. He summoned all his resolution and composed his mind, as far as the circumstances could admit, to bid an eternal farewell to all he held most dear.
23. To quit the world would scarcely have cost a single pang, but for the idea of home, but for the remembrance of domestic endearments, of the affectionate partner of his soul, and their beloved offspring. His thought was ultimately fixed on a happier state of existerice, beyond the tortures he was beginning to endure.
24. The bitterness of death, even of that death which is accompanied with the keenest agonies, was, in a manner, past-nature, with a feelle struggle, was quitting its last hold on sublunary things when a French officer rushed trough the croud, opened a way by scattering the burning brands, and unbound the victim. It was Molang himseitto whom á savage, unwilling to see another buman sacrifice immolated, had run and communicated the ticings.
25. That commanchant spurned and severely reprimanded the barbarians, whose nocturnal powwas he suddenly ended. Putnam did not want for feeling or gratitude. The French commander fearing to trust him alone with them, remained until he couid deliver him in safety into the hands of his master.
26. The savage approached his prisoner kindly, and seemed to treat him with particular affection. He offered him some bard biscuit, but finding that he could not chew them, on account of the blow he had received from the Frenchman, this more human savage soaked some of the buiscuit in water nd made him suck the pulp-like part.
27. Determined, however, not to lose his captive, (the refreshment being finished) he took the moccasions from his feet and tied them to one of his wrists ; then directing him to lie down on his back on the bare ground, he stretched one arm to its fuil length, and bound it fast to a young troe; the other arm was extended and bound in the same manner_his legs were stretched apart and fastened to two sptings.
28. Then a number of tall but slender poles were cut dawn ; wiich, with some long bushes, were laid across his body from head to foot: on each side lay ds inany Indians es could conveniently find lodging, in order to prevent the possibility of ois escape. in this cisagreeable and painful posture he remained until morning.
29. During the night, the longest and most dreary cona ceivable, our hero us&d to relate that he felt a ray of cheerfulness come casually across his mind, and could not even refrain from smiling when he reflected on this lucicrous group for a painter, of which he himself was the principal figure.
30. The next day he was allowed his blanketand moccasons and permitted to march without carrying any packs or receiving any insult To allay his exireme hunger, a little bear's meat was given liim, which he sucked through his teeth. At night the party rrived at Ticonderoga, and the prisoner was placed under the care of a French guard.
31. The savages who had been prevented from glutting their ciabolical tiirst for blood, took every opportunity of m.in. ifesting their malevolence for the disappointment, by horrid grimaces and angry gestures; but they were suffered no more to offer him violence or personal indignity.
32. After having been examined by the Marquis de Montcalm, Mujor Putnam was conducted to Montreal by a French officer, wino treated him with the greatest indulgence and humanity.
THE FAITHFUL AMERICAN Dog.
N officer in the late American army, on his station 1.
at the westard, went out in the morning with his dog und yun, in quest of game. Venturing too far from the garrison, he was fired upon by an Indian who was lurking in the bushes, and instsntiy tell to the ground.
2. The Indian running to him, struck him on the head with his tomahawk, in order to despatch him ; but the button of his hat fortunately warding off the edge, he was only stunred by the blow. With savage bruta:ity he applied the scalping knife, and hastened away with this trophy of his hurrici crucity, leaving the officer for dead, and none to relieve anci console niin but his faithful dog.
3. The afflicted creature gave every expression of his attachment, fidelity and affection. He iicked the wounds with inexpressibie tenderness, and mourned the fate of bis beioved master. Having perfornied every office wiich sympathy dictated or sagacity could invent, without being abie remove bis master from thie fatal spot, procure froin him any signs of life, or l'is wonted espressions of affection to him, he ran off in quest of help.