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340. The defeat of St. Leger and Baum was a severe blow to Burgoyne's prospects. It deterred the loyalists from joining his ranks, discouraged him from sending out other expeditions, and showed him that the “rebels” were not so contemptible as he had supposed. The courage of the Americans was raised in proportion. The outrages of the Indians excited universal abhorrence, and fears for their own safety led many to oppose the invading force.
341. Three days after the battle of Bennington, Horatio Gates superseded General Schuyler in the command of the northern army. Born in England in 1728, Gates had served in the French and Indian War, and was wounded at Braddock's defeat. Having taken up his abode in Virginia, he early embraced the republican cause, and aided Washington in the siege of Boston. The noble-minded Schuyler keenly felt the injustice of Congress in depriving him, almost at the moment of victory, of the glory due to his labors; yet, with the devotion of a true patriot, he gave Gen. Gates all the information he possessed, and assisted him to the best of his ability.
342. The American army having been increased by the arrival of both regulars and militia, it was resolved to move sixteen miles up the river, in the direction of the enemy, and arrest Burgoyne's progress at Bem'-is's Heights, on the west bank of the Hudson. Fortifications were erected there, under the superintendence of Kosciusko [kos-sb-us'-ko), a Polish officer, now twenty-one years of age, who, on Dr. Franklin's recommendation, had been commissioned as an engineer in the American army.
The British commander, whose difficulties increased as he advanced, moved slowly along the bank of the Hudson, and at length halted within two miles of the American camp.
The first battle of Stillwater, or Bemis's Heights, took place on the 19th of September. The British advanced to the
had five sons at Bennington ? 340. What was the effect of St. Leger's and Baum's defeat? 341. What change was made in the command of the northern American army? What is said of Gates's previous history? What was Schuyler's course on being superseded : 342. What was Gates's first movement? Who aided in fortifying Bemis's Heights? What is said of Kosciusko's previous history?
1777] FIRST BATTLE OF STILLWATER.
OCTOBER 7TH, 1777.
343. Burgoyne did not immediately renew the conflict,
SCENE OF THE TWO BATTLES OF STILLWATER,
OR BEMIS'S HEIGHTS, SEPTEMBER 19TH, AND
Give an account of Burgoyne's movements meanwhile. When did the first battle of Stillwater take place ? [See Map.-What stream ran between the British and the American encampment ? On which side of this stream did the two battles occur ?] What at first seemed to be Gates's determination ? What was he at length persuaded to do? Give an account of the battle. On the approach of night, what did the contending parties do? State the loss on each side.
What was done by American marksmen? What report was spread! To whom did the honor of the day belong? What acts of injustice were committed by Gates ? 343.
but encamped on the west bank of the Hudson, at Wilbur's Basin. Gates was soon reënforced by 2,000 New England troops, under Gen. Lincoln, who, hanging on Burgoyne's rear, had surprised several of his garrisons, and cut off his line of communication. The armies thus remained in sight of each other for more than two weeks, the Americans being constantly strengthened by accessions from the neighborhood, and the British as constantly weakened by the defection of loyalists and Indians. Frequent skirmishes took place, and Burgoyne's army was kept in constant alarm. Among the incidents worthy of relation was a daring attempt on the part of twenty young farmers to take an advanced British picket. Moving noiselessly to within a few yards of the post, the leader suddenly sounded an old trumpet, and with a tremendous yell his men rushed on the enemy, who supposed that Gates and his whole army were
“Ground your arms, or you are dead men !” cried the captain, and the frightened guard were not slow in obeying. When it was too late to resist, they found, to their mortification, that they were prisoners to a party inferior in number to themselves.
344. Burgoyne's position was now critical in the extreme. His men were put on short allowance, and even then his stock of provisions threatened to give out in a few days. The vigilance of the Americans prevented supplies from reaching him. Urgent messages for aid had been sent to Gen. Clinton, at New York; but nothing had been heard from him in reply. It was clear that the only hope for the British army was in fighting its way through the American ranks.
On the 7th of October, the British drew up in line of battle. After some skirmishing, the Americans commenced the action by charging the enemy's front. The British at first could not withstand their impetuous attack, but soon rallied, and in turn drove back their assailants. So close
Where did Burgoyne encamp ? By whom was Gates reënforced ? What had Lincoln's men been doing? What is said of each army? Relate the exploit of twenty young farmers. 344. What is said of Burgoyne's position ? To whom had he sent for aid ? What was the only hope for the British army? When did
SECOND BATTLE OF STILLWATER.
was the struggle that a single cannon was five times taken and retaken by the contending parties. At length the patriots succeeded in retaining it; and Colonel Cilley (sil'-le), after having leaped upon it and dedicated it to the American cause, wheeled
round upon the enemy and fired on them with their own ammunition. Not till their best officers had fallen, were the British finally driven back.
Meanwhile Gen. Frazer's division had fallen on the American flank. They were repelled by Morgan's corps, which then furiously charged the British right. At this point, Arnold, who had been unjustly deprived of his command, and was impatiently watching the progress of the battle, could restrain himself no longer. Hastily mounting his large brown horse, he spurred towards the hottest of the fight. Gates, fearing that he would gain fresh laurels, sent Major Armstrong after him with orders to return. But Arnold was already out of reach. He was received with shouts of exultation by the men whom he had before led to victory. With a desperation akin to madness, he charged Frazer's brigade, now rallying under its intrepid commander. Perceiving that Frazer was the soul of the British army, Morgan directed several of his riflemen to make him the special object of their aim. A ball soon struck the general's saddle; another wounded his horse in the neck. Despite these warnings, he refused to retire, and in a few moments fell, mortally wounded.
Frazer's fall decided the battle. Burgoyne in vain tried to rally his men. Driven from their intrenchments by Arnold's impetuous attack, they left the Germans at their side unsupported. The latter gave one volley and fled. Arnold received a ball in the same leg which had been mangled at Quebec, and was here at last overtaken by Major Armstrong, with Gates's order to return. He did return, but not till he had achieved a glorious victory, with little aid from Gates, the second battle of Stillwater take place ? Give an account of the engagement in front. Describe Frazer's movemeuts. What was done by Arnold ? account of Frazer's fall. What effect had Frazer's fall on the fate of the battle ? Describe Arnold's attack on the British intrenchments. What was the result ? What befell Arnold? What did each party do on the approach of night? What
who had kept himself all day in the camp. Night set in, and the contest ceased. The Americans kept possession of the field, and Burgoyne fell back, with the intention of retreating by way of Fort Edward. In this second battle of Stillwater, he lost 700 men; the Americans, about 150.
345. Burgoyne soon found that retreat was impossible. He was hemmed in on all sides; provisions were failing him; and there was no prospect of assistance from New York. A council of war held October 13th decided to capitulate. While the officers were deliberating, grape-shot swept across the table at which they were seated. On the 16th, the terms were settled. The whole British army, consisting of 5,791 men, surrendered, with their arms and baggage, 42 cannon, and a large quantity of ammunition. The news of this brilliant victory awakened fresh hope and courage in every patriot breast.
MOVEMENTS OF HOWE AND WASHINGTON IN 1777.
346. WHILE the advantages just described were being gained in the north, Washington was endeavoring to preserve his army from the superior force of Howe. Having received some reënforcements, the American commander, in the latter part of May, moved from Morristown to Middlebrook, N. J. Howe, after vainly trying to bring him to an engagement, proceeded to Staten Island and thence put to sea with about 18,000 men, leaving a strong force under Clinton to defend New York. After remaining at sea over a month, he entered Chesapeake Bay, and landed at a point on the Elk River about 50 miles from Philadelphia, on which city he intended to make a descent.
was the loss on each side ? 345. What was now Burgoyne's condition ! On the 13th of October, what was decided on? When were the terms settled? What were surrendered to the Americans ? What was the effect of this victory on the patriot cause ?
346. While these events were transpiring in the north, what was Washington doing? What movement was finally made by Howe? How long did the British