History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Campaign of Lieut. Gen. John Burgoyne
and The Expedition of Lieut. Col. Barry St. Leger.
by William L. Stone.
Albany, NY, Joel Munsell. 1877.
DESCRIPTION OF TICONDEROGA AND THE FORTS
SOUTH OF IT IN I777.1
-- FORT CARILLON.
In this are eight eighteen-pounder guns in double fortified works. It is surrounded on the north side by palisades in front of, and surrounding which is an abatis. Between this fort and the old French redoubt a new log-house (block house) has been built.
OLD FRENCH REDOUBT.
This is about two hundred rods east of the fort, and is mounted with six cannons, four of which are nine-pounders and two twelve-pounders. This redoubt has been repaired (its old shape being preserved), and is also, surrounded by an abatis.
OLD FRENCH LINES.
These have lately been somewhat repaired, but are not mounted. The palisades have also not been repaired.
FIVE REDOUBTS NEAR THE SHORE.
These are situated in a northeasterly direction from the fort at the foot of a hill. They have not been repaired.
N.B.-On the 13th of May, the news reached us, that the rebels were about repairing, and placing cannons
1 From the Military Journal of Major Gen. Riedesel.
upon them, but as yet, it is unknown of what calibre they are to be. It has been said, however, that they may be two eighteen-pounders and a few twelve pounders that are expected about October.
All these redoubts, as well as the lines, are poorly manned.
(a.) North of the mountain is a strong abatis where twelve cannons are posted ; one of which is a thirty-two pounder, and the rest are eighteen and twelve pounders. All of the works are surrounded by a strong abatis.
(b.) One hundred yards from the works are smaller fortifications, in which three eighteen-pounders and three twenty-four-pounders are placed.
(c.) South of these works are barracks and palisades; and in front of them is another abatis. In the rear of the former are eight nine-pounders. Besides these, there are twelve more nine and twelve-pounders, designed for the defense of the barracks. These, however, are not yet mounted.
N.B.-According to late news, twenty cannons have been taken to a battery, in a northerly direction, at the foot of the fort, with a view of commanding the lake. These are twelve and eighteen-pounders.
(d.) There are a few cannons on the half-moon battery, which defend en barbette.
(e.) There are about one hundred iron cannons on the ships near Carillon , but there are no mortars whatever. These iron cannons are mostly old ones.
The number of troops, at present in Carillon and near Mount Independence, does not exceed 1,300 men, but reinforcements amounting to fifteen regiments, are hourly expected. There is an abundance of provisions. No preparations, have been made to build new ships. The vessels of the enemy consist of a rowing vessel, an old sloop, and two two-masters. The troops from New England arrive daily in front of No. 4.
N.B.-Intelligence, as late as May 13th, states, that there are at Ticonderoga (including the laborers) 2,800 men. Their chief business at that time consisted in cantoning and in constructing a bridge, the foundation of which was laid in the winter by the rebels. This foundation consists of between forty and fifty sunken boxes, filled with stones, and laid at a distance of fifty feet from each other. It is thought, that this bridge cannot be finished even in two months, from the 14th of May. It is to serve as a connection between Mount Independence and Fort Carillon, and is to cover the retreat in case one of those posts should be captured. The turnpikes are north of the bridge, but the ships south, in order to defend it. Close behind this bridge is another and smaller one, which is only five feet in width. It is designed for pedestrians, and is between the store houses and Mount Independence.
The rebels have lately received 150 tons of powder. This has been the whole supply the entire winter. They have also received four four-pounders, which were made at Cambridge, near Boston. A great supply of muskets has, likewise, arrived from the West India islands. A French engineer officer has lately reached the rebel army, and was appointed engineer-in-chief.1
The garrison here consists of about eighty men. No preparations, whatever, have been made at this post for ship-building. There are barracks here, surrounded by palisades, in which provisions, and a large quantity of war material are stored.
Is garrisoned by about thirty men, and has a barrack with palisades.
FORT GEORGE. 2
1st. The citadel has only recently been repaired and provided with two nine-pounders. It contains, also, twelve cannons, which are not yet mounted. Barracks for 1,000 men lie twenty yards east of it.
2d. Close to the shore is a large magazine in which there is an abundance of provisions.
3d. To the west of this magazine, where Fort William Henry formerly stood, is the large hospital, a building of great dimensions, and used for the sick from Fort Carrillon. This is said to be surrounded by palisades,
1 Kosciusko, the Pole ?- Translator.
2 Fort Edward in the original; but, as the well informed reader will see, this is probably a typographical error, as Fort George, at the head of Lake George, is of course the fort here described.- Translator.
and to have a small redoubt on the hill south of it.1 A strong guard is posted here every night. The rebels at Fort George are very busy in cutting down trees and carrying them to the shore to be used in the construction of six strong vessels on the lake. A so-called Commodore Wynkoop, is said to be still in command at this post; only one regiment, it is further said, remains here during summer ; but as yet there are only 400 men there. There is also considerable scarcity in ammunition.
The remains of this redoubt, which are still to be seen, bears the name of
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