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sion, the serenity would have been varied ; for Gates instead of admitting the cannonade, would rather have ordered minue guns to have been fired in honor to the deceased ; and could he have; gained in time the knowledge of what was going forward, would undoubtedly have silenced the former.
General Gates previous to the action, posted 1400 Ameris; cans on the heights opposite the ford of Saratoga, and 2000 in the rear to prevent a retreat to Fort Edward ; afterward on the 8th, he posted 1500 at the ford higher up. Gen. Burgoyne, having received intelligence of it, and apprehending that Gates meant to turn his right, which when effected would have enclosed him completely resolved on an immediate retreat to Saratoga. : The army began to move at nine o'clock at night and the movement was made without loss; but the hospital with the sick and wound ed, was necessarily abandoned. In this instance, as well as in: every other which occured in the course of these transactions, Gates behaved with such attention and humanity, to all whom the fortune of war threw into his hands, as does honor to his character. The badness of the roads, and the starving condition of the cattle for want of forage, together with one incessent rain, like a continued thunder shower from about eight in the morns ing of the 9th till long after the day closed, and other difficulties, prevented the ariny's reaching Saratoga though no inore than about six miles distant, before night, and then worn down with excessive fatigue. During the rain a body of militia continued their inarch, and got in above Gates' army, but suine way be. low Fort Edward. Gates being informed of their arrival ordered them immediately to the fort. They arrived there the next morning early, about two or three hours before a detachment sent off by Burgoyne to possess that post could get up to it. The detachment finding it occupied by the Americans, returned much dispirited.
When the royal artillery and army had passed the fords of the Fish-kill creek, a little to the northward of Saratoga on the morn ing of the 10th, they found a body of Americans already arrived, who retired at their approach over a ford of Hudson's-River, and there joined a greater force stationed to prevent the passage of the British. No hope remained, but that of effecting a retreat at last to Fort George. Artificers were sent forward to repair the brida ges: butthey were not long departed from the camp with a strong escort, when the sudden appearance of the Americans, on the opposite heights, with an apparent preparation to pass the Fishe kill, and bring on an engagement, rendered it necessary to re, call the 47th regiment, and Frazers's marksmen-these with M'koy's provincials formed the escort. The workmen had only
commenced the repair of the first bridge, when they were abatHly doned by their provincial guard, who ran away and left them
to shift for themselves, upon a slight attack of an inconsiderable - party of Americans. : i
On the morning of the IIth of October, gen. Gates called the general officers together, and informed them of his having received certain intelligence, which might be depended upon, that the main body of Burgoyne's arniy was marched off for Fort Edward with what they could take, and that a rear guard only was left in the camp, who after a while were to push off as fast as possible,
leaving the heavy baggage behind. On this it was concluded to - advance and attack the camp in half an hour. The officers reE paired immediately to their respective commands. Gen. Nixon's,
being the eldest brigade, crossed the Saratoga creck first. UnEi known to the Americans, Burguyne had a line forned behind a * parcel of brush wood, to support the post of artillery, where the
others meant to make their attack. Gen. Glover was upon the
point of following Nixon. Just as he entered the water, he saw. - a British soldier making across, whom he called and examined. i The soldier said he had deserted, that he belonged to the bullock i guard (the guard placed over the cattle) and that he was going
to the Americans. Glover asked him about Burgoyne's army. The soldier answered, it is encamped the same as days past. Glover told him-" If you are found attempting to deceive me, you shall be hung in half an hour ; but if you speak nothing but the truth, you shall be protected, and meet with good usage." He then asked hiin. Have not numbers been sent off to Fort Edward ? 'The deserter replied—“A small detachment was sent off a day or two agor, but are returned on finding the passes occupied by the Americans, and the whole army is now in camp." Glover, though the junior officer to Nixon, sent off immediately to him, to desist and recross the creck; and at the same time dispatched his aid-de-camp, with the deserter behind him on horse-back to Gates; who having examined the soldier, hurried. away the aid-de-camp, the adjutant general and others, to countermand the former orders and prevent the attack. Gen. Nixon úpoa Glover's message retreated; but before he had recrossed, the fog cleared off, and the rear of the brigade was galled by the enemy's cannon, which killed several of his men. Before the orders from gen. Gates arrived, the British deserter's information was confirmed by like intelligence from aGerman deserter.* Glover's message was received by Nixon in the critical moment; a quarter ofan hour later would probably liave proved fatal to his
* General Glover'o information given me a: Bonon, March 18, 1785..
whole brigade, and given a tórn to affairs in favor of the roya! army. On incidents of this kind may depend the rise and fall of enighty kingdoms, and the far distant future transfer of powers glory, and riches, of arts and sciences, from Europe to America Are they blind unmeaning casualties? Or are they the director: derings of a Divine Being, for the establishment of his own purtha pose, by a superintending Providence, and the jarring devices of mortals ; Gates after a victory acknowledged in general orders a Prok vidence, but did not presume upon it, so as to neglect the dietates of human prudence. That he might secure all the advantages of the successful action on the 7th, he applied to the New-Hamp. shire assembly for more troops. The speaker, John Langdong esq. upon receiving the application, immediately proposed that the assembly should adjourn, and that as many of the members as could, should set off directly as volunteers for the camp, taking with them all the men they could collect : which was agreed ta and done by himself and others. · In the course of the above transactions, large quantities of baggage, provision, boats, &c. were taken by both the contie pentals and milita. The latter were extremely eager after plun: der; and even robbed the former, as opportunity offered, of what they had secured, and made sale of it for their own advan tage. The irregularities in this business were so gross, that the American commander, on the 12th, gave out in general orders
" The generalsees so many scandalous and mean transactions committed by persons who seek more after plunder than the hos nor of doing their duty in a becoming and soldier-like manner that he is obliged to declare his unalterable resolution, to have the first person who shall hereafter be detected pillaging the bagi gage and stores taken from the enemy, tried and punished with the utmost severity of the military law. Officers, who know their duty and have virtue to practise it, will not be seeking plunder, when they ought to be doing their best service in the field; it is only the worthless and the pilfering that are so truly infamous. For the future, all plunder taken from the enemy 15 to be delivered to lieut. col. Hay, deputy-quarter-master genera who is to give a receipt for the same, and after three days pablo notice in general orders, it shall be sold by auction in the most central place in the rear of the army and the money for which the plunder is sold, shall be properly and fairly divi ded; to such persons as in the impartial judgment of the general, have a sign to receive a share : when there is a sum sufficient to divide along the non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the whole armyy ja they may be assured of such having their just quota."
It is believed, that gen. Burgoyne when upon the point of retreating, said to major Skeen to this purport" you have been the occasion of getting me into this difficulty, now advise me how to get out of it,”-referring to the advice the major gave
m relation to the - Bennington expedition ; and that the major i answered scatter your baggage, stores and every thing else Ethat can be spared, at proper distances; and the militia will be se
engaged in collecting and securing the same, that the troops will
have an opportunity of getting clear off.” The major certainly I knew the cast of the militia, and if military honor and other
circumstances, had admitted of trying the proposed expedient, it
might have succeded ; for though gen. Gates had the conti2 nentals under good discipline, it would have been next to im. * possible for him to have prevented the militia’s being taken in
by the hopes of immediate gain. . .
carriages, was too evident to admit of a question. It was pro. u posed to force the fords at or near the fort. But all hope of efir
feeting this manæuvre soon failed. The Americans who had j been ordered there, were too strongly posted. Beside, they "! made a discovery, which they greatly improved. Below the
fort, close in with the river, they found the appearance of a grave, with an inscription on a board- Flere lies the body of Lieutenant- They were at a loss what it should meanOn searching, they discovered three boats, instead of a body.-These the enemy had concealed. Having none of their own,
they by the help of them sent scouting parties across the river, ) which by falling into a track a mile and a half beyond, discous
aged the enemy's parties from attempting an escape that way- A continental captain, on furlough for his health being at hand
and thoroughly acquainted with the woods, collected a number of men together, and went off six miles further, where he tell in with another track, just in time to prevent a large corps of Canadians and others getting off by the some. Perceiving them as they advanced, he concealed his men till they were near
enough, and then gave them a volley, attended, with yells, Á shouts, and other sounds, which put them into such confusion,
that they fled back to Burgoyne's camp, with the report that the woods are filled with thousands of Americans. The certain intelligence that was received, the flying reports that wereo
spread, and the various circumstances that existed, renderes the state and situation of the royal army deplorably calanritous! They had been ubyiged for some days to lie continually upon ! their arms. . On the 13th, gen. Burgoyne finding that the troops had only three days provision in store, on shori allowance, and no appa rent mcans of retreat remaining, called into council all the gene rals, field-officers, and captains commanding corps. There was not a spot of ground in the whole camp for holding the council of war, but what was exposed to cannon or rifle shot. While the council was deliberating, an eighteen pound ball crossed the table. By the unanimous advice and conéurrence of the coun cil, the general was induced to open a treaty with gen. Gates. The first proposals of the latter were rejected, and the sixth article with disdain, wherein it was required that the British arany should lay down their arms in the entrenchments. Burgoyne's counter-proposals were unanimously approved ; and being sent to Cates, were agreed to on the sth, without any material alteration. The proposals not being signed by either party, and captain Campbell returning in the night of 16th to Burgoyne, with the news of the reduction of Fort Montgomery and other intelligence, the general submitted it to consideration, whether it was consistent with public faith, and if so, expedient to sus pend the execution of the treaty, and trust to events. The opi. nion of different officers was asked, in regard to the condition of their respective corps, and what might be expected from them severally in desperate cases. Some entertained doubts of part of the troops, it'the negociation ceased; and others of a greater part for want of bodily strength, if desperate enterprises were to be afterward undertaken. The majority of the council determined, that the public faith was bona fide plighted. * Burgoyne, from the intelligence brought in the night by Campbell, entertained a slight hope of remote relief, and accordingly gave his voice against the majority; but the majority having determined differently, the concurrence for signing the treaty was unanimous. t Gates, jealous lest the signing would be unnecessarily delayed, and fearful of the consequences which might follow, should gen. Vaughan, with his troops, come up in time to Purgoyne's assistance, determined upon bringing the matter to an immediate issue. On the morning of the 17th, he got every thing in readiness for attacking the royal army. This done, he took out his watch, the time agreed upon for signing being come; sent col. Greaton, on horseback, to Burgoyne, with a * Earl of Balcarras in the house of commons . Idem. .