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1778]

DESCENT UPON WYOMING.

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cans, had begun the siege. The tempest which had •separated the fleets, swept the shore in all its fury. It is still remembered in Rhode Island as “the great storm”. Tents were blown down, stores destroyed, and the works damaged. On the return of the French fleet, Sullivan recommenced operations; but his hopes were soon blasted by an announcement from D’Estaing that he was going to Boston to refit his vessels. The remonstrances of La Fayette and Greene were ineffectual; and Sullivan, thus deserted, was compelled to raise the siege. On the 29th of August, he repelled with intrepidity an attack of the British; but, finding himself in danger of being cut off, he effected a masterly retreat by night, without the knowledge of the enemy. The close of the eastern campaign thus left both parties in the same condition in which they were at its beginning.

360. The frontier of New York and Pennsylvania, since the dispersion of the Indians at Fort Schuyler, had been comparatively secure from their depredations; but in 1778. it was again ravaged. At the solicitation of British agents, a body of Iroquois joined a band of tories under Col. John Butler, and advanced towards Wy-o'-ming. This settlement lay in the beautiful valley of the Susquehanna. It contained a population of several thousand, but had contributed so largely to the patriot army that few able-bodied men were left for its defence. As the ruthless invaders approached, fearful accounts of their barbarity were received. The women and children flocked from the surrounding region to a fort near the present site of Wilkesbarre [wilks'-bar-re), and 300 men with a few boys, under Zebulon Butler (no relation of the British colonel's), advanced to meet the enemy.

The Americans fought bravely, and even gained ground, till one of their officers, wishing to take a more favorable position in the rear, bade his men “ fall back”. The order batants ? Where did the fleets go? Describe “the great storm". How were Gen. Sullivan's hopes blasted? Who remonstrated with D’Estaing, but in vain ? What was Sullivan compelled to do?. Give an account of his subsequent movements. What was the position of both parties at the close of the eastern campaign! 360. By whom was the frontier ravaged in the summer of 17787 Towards what settlement did they advance? Where was Wyoming situated ? How had it been left defenceless? On the approach of the invaders, what did the in

was

was misunderstood, and the unfortunate word retreat passed along the lines. Panic seized the soldiers, and a general flight ensued. Many were shot and tomahawked as they ran; some threw themselves into the river; a few escaped to the fort, where the helpless women were screaming with terror. That night the Indians held possession of the battle-field, and tortured their prisoners with all the cruelties that savage cunning could invent. Captain Bidlack was thrown alive on burning-coals, and kept there with pitchforks till he expired. Six prisoners were ranged near a stone on the river-bank, and held by savages, while Queen Esther, an old Seneca half-breed, walked round them in a circle, singing the death-song like an infuriated demon, and striking them with her club and hatchet till every man was killed. The stone is still called Queen Esther's rock.

The next day the fort was invested. It was surrendered to the British leader, on his promise to protect its defenceless occupants; but no sooner were the savages admitted than they glutted their thirst for blood by tomahawking and scalping all whom they met. The unfortunate people of Wyoming were compelled to flee from their once happy valley to distant and securer settlements. Few survived the horrors of the flight. Some escaped the Red Man's knife, only to find a slower death from exposure and fatigue. Others, dragging their weary limbs they knew not whither, lost their way on the mountains or hid in caverns till starvation ended their sufferings. Distracted mothers hurried their children through the wilderness, and, when their little ones fainted on the way and died, folded the lifeless bodies to their hearts, and bore them many a toilsome mile to save them from the hungry wolves. Lovely Wyoming was desolate.

These frightful scenes were reënacted in November, in Cherry Valley, N. Y. Brant, a noted Mohawk, in conjunc

habitants do? Who advanced to meet the enemy? Give an account of the battle. How did the Indians spend the ensuing night ? Give some instances of their barbarity. What was done the next day? On what promise, did the fort surrender? How was this promise kept? Give an account of the massacre of Wyoming and

_1778]

THE BRITISH CAPTURE SAVANNAH.

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tion with a band of tories, suddenly fell upon the settlement, and killed or carried off most of its inhabitants. The country around was ravaged for miles, and the tories vied with their savage allies in cold-blooded ferocity towards their unfortunate victims.

361. In November, 1778, Clinton determined to change the scene of his operations to the south, and despatched 2,000 men under Lieutenant-colonel Campbell, and a fleet under Admiral Hyde Parker, against Savannah. The city was held by General Robert Howe, with 900 men, who, though ill prepared for battle, made a brave resistance. The appearance on their rear of a body of New York tories, guided by a negro, obliged them to retreat; and during this movement 100 men fell and 453 were taken. Admiral Parker crowded the latter, with others who refused to join the royal army, on board of prison-ships; many of them perished, and became the food of crows and buzzards. The whole of eastern Georgia was speedily subdued.

362. About the time of the massacre'at Wyoming, an expedition was undertaken against the western tribes by Gen. Clarke, of Virginia. Having seized Kaskaskia, he induced the Indians to take an oath of allegiance to Virginia, and the county of Illinois was organized as part of that state. The British governor of Detroit, hearing of this, invaded the country in December, 1778. Appearing before the American post at Vincennes, he demanded its surrender. Captain Helm, who commanded the station, holding a smoking match over his single cannon, demanded that the garrison should have the most favorable terms. The British commander assented, but was somewhat mortified to find, on entering the fort, that he had granted the honors of war to two men, who were its only occupants.

In February, 1779, Gen. Clarke set out from Kaskaskia

the flight of the inhabitants. Give an account of the massacre of Cherry Valley. 361. What expedition was sent out by Clinton in November, 1778! By whom was the city held! Give an account of the battle. How many men were lost on the retreat? How did Admiral Parker treat the prisoners? What part of Georgia was speedily subdued ? 362. Give an account of Gen. Clarke's expedition. (See Map, P. 158.-Where is Kaskaskia? Where is Vincennes ?] Give an account of

with 170 men for the recapture of Vincennes. The rivers were high. The Wabash [waw'-bash] had overflowed the country, so that Clarke and his men were obliged to wade for miles waist-deep in water. Nearly starving, they fortunately captured an Indian party from which they obtained a small supply of buffalo-meat. After great hardships, they reached Vincennes, and the British governor, who had gained the name of the “hair-buying general” from the number of scalps he had purchased, deemed it prudent to capitulate.

CHAPTER XV.

CAMPAIGN OF 1779.—MOVEMENTS IN SOUTH CAROLINA.

CAPTURE OF STONY POINT.-SULLIVAN'S INDIAN EXPE-
DITION.-SIEGE OF SAVANNAH.-PAUL JONES.

363. Ar the commencement of the year 1779, the British army in the south consisted of 3,000 effective men,

under the command of Gen. Pre-vost'. They were opposed by Lincoln, with a force smaller than the enemy's and far inferior to them in discipline and equipments. Prevost began the campaign by attempting the conquest of South Carolina. A body of regulars was sent to take possession of Port Royal Island, but was driven back by Gen. Moultrie. Soon after, a party of 700 tories on their march to the British army were defeated by Col. Pickens; and some of their leaders, who fell into the hands of the Americans, were tried and executed as traitors.

Encouraged by this success, Lincoln sent Gen. Ashe to take a favorable position at the confluence of Brier Creek and the Savannah. Shortly after his arrival, a party of British crossed the creek some miles above and surprised the

the capture of Vincennes by the governor of Detroit. What was done by Gen. Clarke, in February, 1779 ? Describe the march to Vincennes. What was the result?

363. With how many men did the British general, Prevost, commence the southern campaign in 17797 With how many, the Americans ? What was the first enterprise undertaken by Prevost? What was its success? What victory was achieved by Col. Pickens ? What was Lincoln's first movement ? Give an ac

1779]

PREVOST'S ATTACK ON CHARLESTON.

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American camp. Most of the militia threw down their arms and fled. Some escaped by swimming, but over 300 were killed and taken. The British commander now regarded Georgia as completely subdued, and filled the various state offices with partisans of the king. Gen. Lincoln was trying to recover the ground thus unfortunately lost, when a movement of the enemy towards Charleston obliged him to march hastily in that direction. Pulaski's “ American legion", and Governor Rutledge with a strong body of militia, threw themselves into the city, and held it till Lincoln's approach forced the besieging army to retire. The heat soon became so intense that both parties gave up active operations till October.

364. During Prevost's incursion, the whig families in the neighborhood of Charleston suffered much from the brutality and rapacity of his soldiers. Plantations were devastated. Money, jewels, and plate, were carried off; slaves were stolen, to be sold in the West Indies; and what could not be taken away was destroyed. On St. John's Island, the family of a Mr. Gibbs were driven from their house. In the midst of rain and flying bullets, they made their way to some negrocabins, when it was discovered that a little boy had been forgotten. A girl of thirteen years offered to return for the child. Obtaining entrance with difficulty, she found the object of her search in the third story, bore him off through a shower of balls, and reached her friends uninjured. The boy thus saved was known in the war of 1812 as Gen. Fenwick.

Mrs. Wilkinson has left us an account of a visit made to her house on Young's Island, 30 miles from Charleston, by a band of the enemy. They plundered the estate, drove away the horses, tore the buckles worn by the ladies of the house from their shoes, and rudely plucked the rings from their fingers. Mrs. Wilkinson begged them to leave her a few indispensable articles of clothing, but received only curses in

count of Ashe's defeat. What was now done by the British commander ? Where was Lincoln next obliged to go? How was Charleston saved till his arrival ? What prevented further operations ? 364. How did Prevost's men conduct themselves? What story is told of Mr. Gibbs's family? Who was the boy thus saved ?

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