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the war; for the principal events which occurred there. after, laid the foundation of the change in the enemy's conduct, and turned the tide and fury of the conflict from the north to the south.
When I engaged in this undertaking, many of my military comrades, capable and willing to contribute their aid to the fulfilment of my design, were living; whose minute knowledge of various scenes, all of which they saw, in some of which they led, would have rendered it peculiarly interesting and valuable. After postponing, as is common to man, what for various reasons ought not to have been delayed, I have experienced in my progress abundant cause for self-reproach; since in many instances, I have been deprived of this important assistance, which no effort or application has been able fully to supply. Discouraged by this privation, I should, though reluctantly, have receded from my purpose, had not the injurious conse
my dilatoriness been repaired in a measure by the animated and friendly exertions of the few survivors among my martial companions. To these individuals I owe a heavy debt of personal gratitude; and should the following sheets be deemed worthy of general approbation, to their ready and unwearied assistance, more than to the author's care and diligence, may be justly ascribed the pleasing result. I have, nevertheless, been compelled to abridge considerably my first design; not having been able to obtain the documents necessary to its full accomplishment.
It was my intention to present the public, not with
a narrative of the southern operations only, but with the life of major general Greene, our distinguished leader. The two subjects appeared to be closely connected; and the latter is strongly claimed by my intimate knowledge of the military plans and measures of that illustrious man, by the homage due to his superior virtue, and the grateful remembrance, which I hold in common with all who served under him, of his benignity and justice,
Apprehending that longer delay might eventuate in leaving altogether unexecuted my design, I resolved for the present to confine myself to these memoirs, deferring to some future day, or to more adequate abilities, the completion of my original plan.
1777. THE campaign projected by the British for seventy-seven, announced, in its commencement, a system portentous of much evil to the United States. It contemplated the annihilation of resistance in all the country between the lakes and Albany, undisturbed possession of the Hudson river, (thus severing the union) and the conquest of Pennsylvania, whose capital (Philadelphia) was the metropolis of the American states. This extensive plan of operations was supported by coextensive means.
*British force under sir
American force under William Howe in 1776.
general Washington. August 24,000
16,000 November 26,900
4,500 December 27,700
In 1777. March 27,000
4,500 June 30,000
8,000 Force under sir William Howe, when he landed at Elkton, horse, foot, and artillery, amounted, in toto, to 18,000.
Force under general Washington at the battle of Brandywine, including militia, 15,000.
At which time the British force in Rhode Island and New York, under sir Henry Clinton, was 12,000.
And the American force under general Putnam at West Point, &c., exclusive of militia, which he was authorized to call to him Lieutenant general Burgoyne, a leader of renown, conducting the British army in the north, undertook his part with zeal and gallantry. Entering from Canada he pressed forward with impetuosity. Ticonderoga, with its various dependencies, fell without a blow; and the victorious army, pursuing its success with ardor, gained repeated advantages over our broken and dispirited troops, commanded by major general St. Clair. This promising beginning did not long continue. Major general Gates, bred to arms in the British school, and much respected by congress, was appointed to the chief command in the northern department. His reputation produced confidence; our vanquished army was reanimated; the east poured forth her hardy sons; and chosen troops were detached by the commander in chief from the main body. Gates soon found himself at the head of a sufficient force to face his enemy, whose advance had been fortunately retarded by the usual incumbrances of European armies, increased by the uncommon difficulties, which the face of the country presented, improved as they had been by the skill, diligence, and zeal of major general Schuyler, then commanding in that quarter. This delay reduced the provisions of the enemy; and the first attempt to replenish them terminated in the destruction of a considerable body of Germans, detached on that service, under lieutenant colonel Baum.* Brigadier Starke, at the head of a force, mostly militia, attacked this corps
as he chose, from the states of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, 2,000.
Force under lieutenant general Burgoyne, excluding Canadi. ans and Indians, 7,000. Force under major general Gates (continentals) 9,000.
total See Appendix, A and B.
on the heights of Walloomsack, and destroyed it: a 'dreadful blow to the assailing army, and the mirror of
its future fall. Burgoyne, however, persuaded that victory alone could retrieve him, sought for battle with pertinacity and keenness. The American leader was not disinclined to the appeal, apprehending a serious movementf from New York to dislodge him from his
* Brigadier general Starke had fortunately reached Bennington with a body of militia from New Hampshire, where was established a depot of provisions for the use of the northern army, at the time lieutenant colonel Baum made his appearance with 500 Germans. Starke, uniting his militia to the remains (200) of a continental regiment under colonel Warner, judiciously decided to strike Baum before he could complete intrenchments, begun for the purpose of strengthening his position. The assault was immediate and vigorous; and the enemy was completely routed, most of the detachment being killed, wounded and taken. Starke's conduct was not only verified by his success, but by the disclosure that a reinforcement under lieutenant colonel Brecknam was hastening to join Baum. The united force under Starke amounted to 2,000..
+ This important operation was conducted by sir Henry Clinton, second in command of the British army. He left New York early in October at the head of 3,000 men; and by masterly maneuvres entirely deceived general Putnam, the American com, mander. On the 6th he carried the forts Clinton and Montgomery