Page images
PDF
EPUB

AIN.

me the honor of being on board the Maria, I called off the Carleton and gun-boats, and brought the whole feet to anchor in a line as near as possible to she rebels, that their retreat might be cut off; which purpose was, however, frustrated by the extreme obscurity of the night ; and in the morning the rebels had got a considerable distance from us up the Lake.

Upon the 13th I again latv eleven fail of their fleet making off to Crown-Point, who, after a chace of seven hours, I came up with in the Maria, having the Carleton and Inficxible a small distance a-ftern; the rest of the fleet almost out of sight. The action began at twelve o'clock, and lasted two hours; at which time Arnold, in the Congress galley, and five gondolas, ran on hore, and were directly abandoned and blown up by the enemy; a circumstance they were greatly favoured in, by the wind being off More, and the narrowness of the Lake. The Washington galley struck during the action, and the rest made their escape to Ticonderoga.

The killed and wounded in his Majesty's Acet, including the artillery in the gun-boats, do not amount to forty; but, from every information I have yet got, the loss of the enemy must indeed be very considerable.

Many particulars which their Lordships may wish to know, I must, at present, take the liberty of referring you to Mr. Dacres for ; but as I am well convinced his modesty will not permit him to say how great a thare he had in this victory, give me leave to assure you, that during both actions nothing could be more pointedly good than his conduct. I must also do the justice the officers and feamen of this feet merit, by saying that every person under my command exerted themselves to act up to the character of Britilh seamen.

12 10

[ocr errors]

A circumsantial and authentic Account of the Roads and DISTANCES from New-YORK to Crown-Point.

Miles.
From New-York to King's-Bridge 15

King's Bridge to Conklin's 22
Conklin's to Croton's River
Croton's River to Peek skill
Peekskill to Rogers in Highlands 9
Rogers in Highlands to Filhkills
Fish skills to Poughkeepsie

14
Poughkeepsie to Staatsborough II
Staatsborough to Rhynbeck

6
Rhynbeck to Ryer Shermerhorns
Ryer Shermerhorns to Rininston's
Manor

14
Riniston's Manor to Claverack

7
Claverack to Kenderhook

14
Kender hook to Halfway-house IO
Halfway-house to Albany -
Albany to Saratoga

36
Saratoga to Fort Edward

20
Fort Edward to Lake George 14
Lake George to Ticonderoga 30
Ticonderoga to Crown Point IS

[ocr errors]

10

La all. 290

to the last gasp.

It was well-nigh exterminated, but it had not suffered in vain. It taught the British that the Americans were not only willing, but they were able fighters. In spite of the tremendous odds against them, at the last they had proved themselves as unyielding as the rocks that echoed back the roar of the conflict. Their stubborn wills bade the ambitious Carleton pause and consider. If, with a shattered hulk, they had kept the three best British vessels on the lake at bay until the gondolas were aground and on fire, and if they were then still able to make such a murderous fight as enabled them to fire and burn the last ship with its flag flying till burned away, what would they not do in resisting the British were an attack made on Ticonderoga?

The thought was cooling to the ardor of even Carleton. Worse yet, should he succeed in taking Ticonderoga, these unyielding Yankees would contest every rod of the long wilderness route with a skill that excelled that of Carleton's best men. And that settled the question that had arisen in Carleton's mindthe question of the advisability of continuing on his course. As a most excellent account of this fight, which appeared in Dodsley's (London) “ Annual Register” says, “the strength of the works, the difficulty of approach, the countenance of the enemy, and the ignorance of

their number, with other cogent reason, prevented this design from taking place.”

Having looked upon “the countenance of the enemy,” Sir Guy Carleton changed his mind. He decided to return to Canada. The most glorious defeat in the annals of the American navy had saved the nation from an invasion that would have severed it in twain, and probably whelmed its forces in utter defeat.

CHAPTER V

UNDER THE CRAGS OF THE “TIGHT LITTLE ISLE”

[blocks in formation]

PLUCKY ENGLISH LIEUTENANT-HARSH FATE OF THE AMERICANS IN THE BRITISH PRISON-STARVED BY ACT OF PARLIAMENT

-DEEDS OF THE GALLANT CONNYNGHAM-WELL-NAMED CRUIS

[blocks in formation]

DAILY-WHY FORTY FRENCH SHIPS LOADED IN THE THAMES

INSURANCE RATES NEVER BEFORE KNOWN.

SIGNAL as has been the value of the services of the little vessels of the infant navy of the United States in their operations along the American coast and upon the woodsy waters of the highway from the north during the year of the nation's birth, the American sailors had really only just begun to fight, and it was not until they carried the fight into the very harbors of Great Britain that they taught the British merchants, who had been supporting the British ministry in its oppression of the colonies, a lesson they were slow to learn. For the British merchants had looked upon the war in America as a blessing upon their

business interests. It would be somewhat expensive in the way of taxation, but it would ruin their competitors, the enterprising colonists. It is in the spirit of trade and tradesmen of all classes to view with complacency the little expenses that ruin competitors. But some of the British merchants who rubbed their hands and smiled with satisfaction as they heard of the retreat of Washington across New Jersey in 1776, were to wring them in distress because of wounds in their pockets before the end of 1777–because of ships that were snatched away from under the very crags of what they were pleased to term their "tight little isle.”

“In the meantime the irruption of the Phoenix and the Rose into the waters of the Hudson had roused a belligerent spirit along its borders.” These were the first British warships to sail up the Hudson in the Revolutionary war, and their advent was in July, 1776. The Americans had no ships to send against them, and they commonly remained at anchor out of reach of shore batteries. because of their presence that it was proposed to stretch an iron chain across the river at Anthony's Nose. Other obstructions were prepared, but the only thing done in the way of going afloat to attack them was when some rafts were brought down the river chained

It was

« PreviousContinue »