The Pictorial Field-Book
of The Revolution
by Benson J. Lossing
Chapter Five, part two
Dead bodies, mangled with scalping-knives and tomahawks in all the wantonness of Indian fierceness and barbarity, were every where to be seen. More than one hundred women, butchered and shockingly mangled, lay upon the ground, still weltering in their gore. Devastation, barbarity, and horror every where appeared, and the spectacle presented was too diabolical and awful either to be endured or described."
Fort William Henry was never rebuilt. Upon an eminence about a mile southeast of it, and half a mile from the lake, Fort George was erected, but it was never a scene of very stirring events. A little south of Fort George was a small fortification called Fort Gage, so named in honor of General Gage, who served under Lord Amherst, and succeeded him in the command of the forces in America in 1760, and was Governor of Massachusetts when the Revolution broke out. Hardly a vestige of this fort can now be seen.
The English, under General Abercrombie and the young Lord Howe, quartered at Fort George in 1758, preparatory to an attack upon the French posts upon Lake Champlain. Seven thousand regulars and nine thousand provincial troops were there assembled, with a one train of artillery and all necessary military stores, the largest and best-appointed army yet seen in America. On the 5th of July they embarked on Lake George, on board nine hundred bateaux and one hundred and thirty-five whale-boats, and the next day landed at the foot of the lake and pushed on toward Ticonderoga. Of the events which befell them there I shall hereafter write. Let us glance a moment at the present.
Toward evening the rain abated, and, accompanied by an old resident shoemaker as guide, I made a visit to the remains of the two English forts. The elder one (Fort William Henry) stood directly upon the lake shore, on the west side of a clear mountain stream called West Creek, the main inlet of Lake George. Nothing of it now remains but a few mounds and shallow ditches, so leveled and filled that the form of the works can not be distinctly traced. The road along the lake shore passes across the northeast and northwest angles, but the features of the past are hardly tangible enough to attract the attention of a passer-by. A little southwest of the fort, at the base of Rattlesnake or Prospect Hill, is a level clearing called the French Field. It is the place where Dieskau halted and disposed his troops for action. Many of the slain were buried there; and I saw a rough-hewn stone at the head of a grave, upon which was inscribed, in rude characters, "Jacques Cortois, 1755."
Fort George, the remains of which are scattered over several acres, was situated about a mile southeast from William Henry, upon an eminence gently sloping back from the lake. The dark limestone or black marble, such as is found at Glenn's Falls, here every where approaching near the surface or protruding above, formed a solid foundation, and supplied ample materials for a fortress. A quadrangular citadel, or sort of castle, was built within the lines of breast-works, and the ruins of this constitute all that is left of the old fort. I observed vestiges of the foundations of the barracks and other buildings; and the quarries whence materials were taken for the buildings and ramparts seem almost as fresh as if just opened. The wall of the citadel, on the eastern side (the left of the picture), is now about twenty feet high. Within the ancient area of the fort there is just sufficient earth to nourish a thick growth of dark juniper bushes, which, with the black rocks and crumbling masonry, presented a somber aspect. Both forts commanded a fine view of the lake for ten miles north.
The indications affair weather which lured me out suddenly disappeared, and before I reached the Lake House the heavy clouds that came rolling up from the south poured down their contents copiously. Dark masses of vapor hovered upon the mountains that begirt the lake, and about sunset the tops of all
were buried in the driving mists. We seemed to be completely shut up within mighty prison walls, and early in the evening vivid lightning and heavy thunder-peals contributed to produce a scene of singular grandeur and a we. In the midst of the elemental strife the steam-boat arrived with passengers from Ticonderoga, and those pleasure seekers who came ill her, bedraggled and weary, were capital studies for an artistic Jeremiah in search of lamentations personified. But an excellent supper, in dry quarters, soon brought the sunshine of gladness to every face, and before ten o'clock more than half the newcomers were among the liveliest in quadrille, cotillion, waltz, or gallopade.
I arose the next morning at four. The scene from my chamber window was
one of quiet beauty. The sky was cloudless, and the lake, without a ripple,
was spread out before me,
"A glorious mirror of the Almighty's form."
The east was all glowing with the soft radiance of approaching sunlight, giving a deeper gray to the lofty hills that intervened, and every tree was musical with the morning song of the birds.
"The south wind was like a gentle friend,
Parting the hair so softly on my brow.
It had come o'er the gardens, and the flowers
That kissed it were betrayed; for as it parted
With its invisible fingers my loose hair,
I knew it had been trifling with the rose
And stooping to the violet. There is joy
For all God's creatures in it."
From the piazza of the Lake House, fronting the water, a comprehensive view of the historic ground in the vicinage may be seen, as delineated in the picture. In the extreme distance on the left is the range of the French Mountain, and on the right is Rattlesnake Hill (one thousand five hundred feet high), with other lofty elevations, heavily wooded to their very summits. By the trees on the shore, in the center of the picture, is the site, of Fort William Henry; and further on the left, and directly over the flag-staff, is the site of Fort George.
We left this fine summer resort in the steam-boat William Caldwell, at eight in the morning. The air was clear and cool, the company agreeable, and the voyage down the lake delightful. The mountain shores, the deep bays, and the numerous islands (said to be three hundred and sixty-five, the number of days in the year) present a constant variety, and all that the eye takes in on every side is one vision of beauty. I procured a seat in the pilot's room aloft, whence I had a broad view of the whole ever-changing panorama of the lake in the course of the voyage.
The first island which we passed, of any considerable size, was Diamond Island,(1) lying
1 This name was given it on account of the number and beauty of the quartz crystals which are found upon it. In shape and brilliancy they resemble pure diamonds.
directly in front of Dunham's Bay. Here was a depot of military stores for Burgoyne's army in 1777, and the scene of a sharp conflict between the small garrison that defended it and a detachment of Americans under Colonel Brown. Between the actions of the 19th of September and 7th of October at Bemis's Heights, General Lincoln, with a body of New England militia, got in the rear of Burgoyne near Lake Champlain. He sent Colonel Brown with a strong division to attempt the recapture of Ticonderoga and the posts in the vicinity, and thus to cut off the retreat of the British as well as their supplies. It was a service (September 25, 1777.) exactly suited to Brown's active and energetic character, and, by a rapid and stealthy movement on a stormy night, he surprised and captured all the British outposts between the landing-place at the north end of Lake George and the main fortress at Ticonderoga. Mount Hope, Mount Defiance, the French lines, and a block-house, with an armed sloop, two hundred bateaux, and several gun-boats, fell into his hands. He also captured two hundred and ninety-three prisoners, and released one hundred Americans; and, among other things, he retook the old Continental standard which St. Clair left at Ticonderoga when he evacuated that post. He then attacked the fortress, but its walls were impregnable, and he withdrew.
Flushed with success, Colonel Brown determined to sweep Lake George, and in the vessels they had captured the Americans proceeded to Diamond Island. The little garrison there made a vigorous resistance, and the republicans were repulsed with some loss. They then pushed for the shore on the south side of Dunham's Bay, where they burned all the vessels they had captured, and returned to Lincoln's camp.
A little north of Diamond Island is Long Island, which lies directly in front of Long Point, a narrow, fertile strip of land that projects far into the lake from the eastern shore. The estuary between the north side of the point and the mountains is Harris's Bay, the place where Montcalm moored his bateaux and landed on the 16th of March, 1757.
About twelve miles from Caldwell, in the center of the lake, is Dome Island, which, at the distance of two or three miles, has the appearance of the upper portion of a large dome, with an arch as regular as if made by art. This island was the shelter for Putnam's men whom he left in the two boats while he informed General Webb of the presence of the French and Indians upon the two islands near the entrance of Northwest Bay, and nearly in front of the landing-place at Bolton, on the western shore.
Shelving Rock, a lofty cliff on the eastern shore, and Tongue Mountain, a bold, rocky promontory on the west, flank the entrance to the Narrows, where the islands are so numerous, varying in size from a few rods to an acre, that there is only a very narrow channel for a steam-boat to pass through. A little north of Shelving Rock is the Black Mountain, its summit twenty-two hundred feet high, thickly covered with the dark spruce, and its sides robed with the cedar, fir, pine, and tamarac. There the wild deer, the bear, and the catamount have free range, for the hunter seldom toils up its weary ascent.
1 This little sketch was taken from the steam-boat, near the south end of Long Island, which appears in the foreground. Long Point is seen in the center, and on the right arc Dunham's Bay and the northern extremity of the French Mountain. The highest peak on the left is Deer Pasture, or Buck Mountain.
A few miles beyond the entrance to the Narrows, on the western shore, is another fertile strip of land projecting into the lake, called Sabbath Day Point. It is between three and four miles from the little village of Hague, in the midst of the most picturesque scenery imaginable. Here, in 1756, a small provincial force, pressed by a party of French and Indians, and unable to escape across the lake, made a desperate resistance, and defeated the enemy with considerable slaughter. Here, in the summer of 1758, General Abercrombie, with his fine army, already noticed as having embarked in bateaux and whaleboats at the head of the lake, landed for refreshments. It was just at dark, on a sultry Saturday (July 5, 1758.) evening, when the troops debarked and spread over the beautiful cape for a few hours repose. The young Lord Howe, the well-beloved of both officers and soldiers, was there, and called around him, in serious consultation, some of the bra vest of the youthful partisans who accompanied the expedition. Captain Stark (the Revolutionary general) was invited to sup with him; and long and anxious were the inquiries the young nobleman made respecting the fortress of Ticonderoga and its outposts, which they were about to assail, as if a presentiment of personal disaster possessed his mind.
It was after midnight when the whole armament moved slowly down the lake, and it was late on the Sabbath morning before they reached the landing place at the foot of it.(2) The scene exhibited by this strong and well-armed force of sixteen thousand men was very imposing. " The order of march," says Major Rogers, "exhibited a splendid military show." Howe, in a large boat, led the van of the flotilla. He was accompanied by a guard of Rangers and boatmen. The regular troops occupied the center and the provincials the wings. The sky was clear and starry, and not a breeze ruffled the dark waters as they slept quietly ill the shadows of the mountains. Their oars were muf-
1 Explanation of the references: 1. Fort Ticonderoga. 2.
Fort Howe. 3. Mount Defiance. 4. Mount Independence. 5. Village or Alexandria.
7. Black Point. 8. Juniper Island. 9. Anthony's Nose. 10. M'Donald's Bay.
11. Rogers's retreat on the ice to Fort William Henry. 12. Cook's Islands.
13. Scotch Bonnet. 14. Odell Island. 15. Buck Mountain and Rattlesnake Dens.
16. Shelving Rock. 17. Phelps's Point. 18. Long Point. 19. Long Island.
20. Dome Island. 21. Diamond Island. 22. Dunham's Bay. 23. Harris's Bay.
24. The route of Dieskau from Skenesborough to Fort William Henry.
2 It being early on Sunday morning when the army left the point, General Abercrombie named the place Sabbath Day Point. The little sketch here given was taken from the steam-boat, half a mile above, looking northeast.
fled; and so silently did they move on in the darkness, that not a scout upon the hills observed them. Day dawned just as they were abreast of the Blue Mountain, four mile, from the landing-place; and the first intimation which the outposts of the enemy, stationed there, had of the approach of the English was the full blaze of red uniforms which burst upon their sight as the British army swept around a point and prepared to land.
At Sabbath Day Point a party of American militia of Saratoga county had a severe bat. tIe with Tories and Indians in 1776. Both were scouting parties, and came upon each other unexpectedly. The Americans repulsed the enemy, and killed and wounded about forty. There are now a few buildings upon the point, and the more peaceful heroism of the culturist, in conflict with the unkindness of nature, is beautifying and enriching it.
On the western shore of the lake, three miles northward of the little village of Hague, is Rogers's Rock, or Rogers's Slide. The lake is here quite narrow, and huge masses of rocks, some a hundred feet high, are piled in wild confusion on every side. The whole height of Rogers's Rock is about four hundred feet, and the" slide," almost a smooth surface, with a descent on an angle of about twenty-five degrees from meridian, is two hundred feet. This hill derives its name from the fact, that from its summit Major Rogers, commander of a corps of Rangers, escaped from Indian pursuers. With a small party who were reconnoitering at the outlet of the lake, in the winter of 1758, he was surprised and put to flight by a band of Indians. He was equipped with snow-shoes, and eluded pursuit until he carne to the summit of the mountain. Aware that they would follow his track, he descended to the top of the smooth rock, and, casting his knapsack and his haversack of provisions down upon the ice, slipped off his snow-shoes, and, without moving them, turned himself about and put them on his feet again. He then retreated along the southern brow of the rock several rods, and down a ravine he made his way safely to the lake below, snatched up his pack, and fled on the ice to Fort George. The Indians, in the mean while, corning to the spot, saw the two tracks, both apparently approaching the precipice, and concluded that two persons had cast themselves down the rock rather than fall into their hands. Just then they saw the bold leader of the Rangers making his way across the ice, and believing that he had slid down the steep face of the rock, considered him (as did the Indians Major Putnam at Fort Miller) under the special protection of the Great Spirit, and made no attempt at pursuit.(2)
In consequence of a detention at Bolton, we did not reach the landing-place at the outlet of the lake until noon. Within a mile of the landing IS a small island covered with shrubbery, called Prisoners' Island, where the French, in the Seven Years' War, kept their English captives who were taken in that vicinity. The first party confined there easily es-
1 This sketch is from the lake, a little south of Cook's
Point, seen just over the boat in the left. Immediately beyond is seen the
smooth rock. Nearly opposite the "slide" is Anthony's Nose, a
high, rocky promontory, having the appearance of a human nose in shape when
viewed from a particular point.
2 Major Rogers was the son of an Irishman, who was an early settler of Dumbarton, in New Hampshire. He was appointed to the command of a party of Rangers in 1755, and with them did signal service to the British cause. In 1759 he was sent by General Amherst from Crown Point to destroy the Indian village of St. Francis. He afterward served in the Cherokee war. In 1766 he was appointed governor of Michillimackinac. He was accused of constructive treason, and was sent in irons to Montreal for trial. In 1769 he went to England, was presented to the king, but soon afterward was imprisoned for debt. He returned to America, and in the Revolution took up arms for the king. In 1777 he returned to England, where he died. His name was on the proscription list of Tories included in the act of New Hampshire against them, in 1778. His journal of the French War, first published at London in 1765, was republished at Concord in 1831.
caped, in consequence of the carelessness of the victors in not ascertaining the, depth of the water, which on one side is fordable. A small guard was left in charge of them, and, as soon as the main body of the French had retreated, the English prisoners waded from the island and escaped.
Directly west of this island is Howe's Landing, the place where Lord Howe with the van-guard of Abercrombie's army first landed, the outlet, a mile below, being in possession of the enemy. The whole British force debarked here on the morning after leaving Sabbath Day Point, and before noon the Rangers under Rogers and Stark were pushing (July 6, 1758) forward toward Ticonderoga, as a flank or advance-guard to clear the woods, while the main army pressed onward.
The distance from the steam-boat landing to Fort Ticonderoga is four miles. We found vehicles in abundance awaiting our arrival, and prepared to carry passengers with all their baggage, from a clean dickey only to a four-feet trunk, for twenty-five cents each. I succeeded in securing my favorite seat on a pleasant day, the coachman's perch. At the Lake. House we became acquainted with a young lady from the vicinity of the lofty Catskills. whose love of travel and appreciation of nature made her an enthusiast, and one of the most agreeable companions imaginable. She fairly reveled in the beauties of Lake George, not exhibited in the simpering lip-sentimentality, borrowed from the novelist, which so often annoys the sensible man when in the midst of mere fashionable tourists, but in hearty, intelligent, and soul-stirring emotions of pleasure, which lie far deeper in the heart than mortal influence can fathom, and which gleam out in every lineament of the face. While others were afraid of spoiling their complexions in the sun, or of crumpling their smooth dresses or fine bonnets, she bade defiance to dust and crowds, for her brown linen" sack," with its capacious pockets for a guide-book and other accessories, and her plain sun-bonnet gave her no uneasiness; and her merry laughter, which awoke ringing echoes along the hills as she. too, mounted the coachman's seat to enjoy the fresh air and pleasant landscape, was the very soul of pleasure. We rambled with herself and brother that afternoon over the ruins of Ticonderoga, and at evening parted company. We hope her voyage of life may be as pleasant and joyous as those few hours which she spent that day, where,
"In the deepest core
Of the free wilderness, a crystal sheet
Expands its mirror to the trees that crowd
Its mountain borders."
The road from the foot of Lake George to Fort "Ty" is hilly, but the varied scenery makes the ride a pleasant one. "We crossed the outlet of the lake twice; first at the Upper Falls, where stands the dilapidated village of Alexandria, its industrial energies weighed down, I was told, by the narrow policy of a "lord of the manor" residing in London, who owns the fee of all the land and of the water privileges, and will not sell, or give long leases. The good people of the place pray for his life to be a short and a happy one-a very generous supplication. From the high ground near the village a fine prospect opened on the eastward; and suddenly, as if a curtain had been removed, the cultivated farms and pleasant villages of Vermont along the lake shore, and the blue line of the Green Mountains in the far distance, were spread out before us.
The second or Lower Falls is half way between the two lakes, and here the thriving village of Ticonderoga is situated. A bridge and a saw-mill were there many years before the Revolution; and this is the spot where Lord Howe, at the head of his column, crossed the stream and pushed forward through the woods toward the French lines, a mile and a quarter beyond. We arrived at the Pavilion near the fort at one o'clock, dined, and with a small party set off immediately to view the interesting ruins of one of the most noted fortresses ill America. Before noticing its present condition and appearance, let us glance at its past history.
Ticonderoga is a corruption of Cheonderoga, an Iroquois word, signifying Sounding waters,
and was applied by the Indians to the rushing waters of the outlet of Lake George at the falls. The French, who first built a fort at Crown Point (Fort St. Frederic), established themselves upon this peninsula in 1755, and the next year they began the erection of a strong fortress, which they called Fort Carillon.(1) The Indian name was generally applied to it, and by that only was it known from the close of the French and Indian war in 1763.(2)
The peninsula is elevated more than one hundred feet above the lake, and contains about five hundred acres. Nature and art made it a strong place. Water was upon three sides, and a deep swamp extended nearly across the fourth. Within a mile north of the fortress intrenchments were thrown up, the remains of which may still be seen at each side of the road, and are known as the French lines. The whole defenses were completed by the erection of a breast-work nine feet high, upon the narrowest part of the neck between the swamp and the outlet of Lake George; and before the breast-work was a strong abatis.
Here, as I have already mentioned, was the general rendezvous of the French under Montcalm, (August 3, 1757.), preparatory to the attack on Fort William Henry. It continued to be the head-quarters of that general until Quebec was threatened by an expedition under Wolfe, up the St. Lawrence, when he abandoned the posts on Lake Champlain, (1759.)and mustered all his forces at the capital of Lower Canada.
Montcalm commanded a force of four thousand men at Ticonderoga when Abercrombie (July 6, 1758.) approached, and was in daily expectation of receiving a re-enforcement of three thousand troops under M. de Levi. The English commander was advised of this expected re-enforcement of the garrison, and felt the necessity of making an immediate attack upon the works. His army moved forward in three columns; but so dense was the forest that covered the whole country, that their progress was slow. They were also deficient in suitable guides, and in a short time were thrown into a great deal of confusion. They pressed steadily forward, and the advanced post of the French (a breast-work of logs) was set fire to by the enemy themselves and abandoned. Lord Howe, who was Abercrombie's lieutenant, or second in command, led the advanced column; and as they pressed onward after crossing the bridge, Major Putnam, with about one hundred men, advanced as a scouting party to reconnoiter. Lord Howe, eager to make the first attack, proposed to accompany Putnam, but the major tried to dissuade him, by saying, "My lord, if I am killed the loss of my life will be of little consequence, but the preservation of yours is of infinite importance to this army." The answer was, "Putnam, your life is as dear to you as mine is to me. I am determined to go.'" They dashed on through the woods, and in a few minutes fell in with the advanced guard of the French, who had retreated from the first breast-works, and, without a guide and bewildered, were endeavoring to find their way back to the lines. A sharp skirmish ensued, and at the first fire Lord Howe, another officer, and several privates were
1 This is a French word, signifying chime, jingling, noise,
bawling, scolding, racket, Clatter, riot---Boyer. Its application
to this spot had the same reference to the rush of waters as the Indian
2 This fortress was strongly built. Its walls and barracks were of limestone, and every thing about it was done in the most substantial manner.
Explanation of the ground plan: a, entrance and wicket gate; b, counterscarp twenty feet wide; e c, bastions; d, underground room and ovens; e e e e, barracks and officers' quarters; f, court or parade-ground; g g, trench or covert-way, sixteen feet wide and ten feet deep; h, the place where Ethan Allen and his men entered by a covert-way from the outside.
3 Humphrey's Life of Putnam.
killed.(1) The French were repulsed with a loss of three hundred killed and one hundred and forty-eight taken prisoners. The English columns were so much broken, confused, and fatigued, that Abercrombie marched them back to the landing-place on Lake George, to bivouac for the night. Early the next morning Colonel Bradstreet advanced and took possession of the saw-mills, near the present village of Ticonderoga, which the enemy had abandoned.
Abercrombie sent an engineer to reconnoiter, and on his reporting that the works were unfinished and might easily be taken, the British troops were again put in motion toward the fortress. As they approached the lines, the French, who were completely (July 9, 1758.) sheltered behind their breast-works, opened a heavy discharge of artillery upon them, but they pressed steadily forward in the face of the storm, determined to assault the works, and endeavor to carry them by sword and bayonet. They found them so well defended by a deep abatis, that it was almost impossible to reach them; yet, amid the galling fire of the enemy, the English continued for four hours striving to cut their way through the limbs and bushes to the breast-works with their swords. Some did, indeed, mount the parapet, but in a moment they were slain. Scores of Britons were mowed down at every discharge of cannon. Perceiving the rapid reduction of his army, Abercrombie at last sounded a retreat, and, without being pursued by the French, the English fell back to their encampment at the foot of Lake George, from which the wounded were sent to Fort Edward and to Albany The English loss was nearly two thousand men and. twenty-five hundred stand of arms. Never did troops show bolder courage or more obstinate persistence against fearful obstacles. The whole army seemed emulous to excel, but the Scotch Highland regiment of Lord John Murray was foremost in the conflict, and suffered the severest loss. One half of the privates and twenty-five officers were slain on the spot or badly wounded. Failing in this attempt, Abercrombie changed his plans. He dispatched General Stanwix to build a fort near the head-waters of the Mohawk, at the site of the present village of Rome, Oneida county. Colonel Bradstreet, at his own urgent solicitation, was ordered, with three thousand troops, mostly provincials, to proceed by the way of Oswego and Lake Ontario, to attack Fort Frontenac, where Kingston, in Upper Canada, now stands; and himself, with the rest of the army, returned to Albany.(2)
While misfortunes were attending the English under the immediate command of Abercrombie, and the power and influence of the French were gaining strength on the lake, a British force was closely beleaguering Louisburg, on the Island of Cape Breton, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, then the strongest fortification in America, and the rallying point of French power on this Continent. Early in 1758 Admiral Boscawen sailed from May 28.
1 George, Lord-viscount Howe, was the eldest son of Sir
E. Scrope, second Viscount Howe in Ireland. He commanded five thousand British
troops which landed at Halifax in 1757, and, as we have seen, the next year
accompanied General Abercrombie against Ticonderoga. Alluding to his death,
Mante observes, "With him the soul of the army seemed to expire."
He was the idol of his soldiers, and, in order to accommodate himself and
his regiment to the nature of the service, he cut his hair short, and fashioned
his clothes for activity. His troops followed his example, and they were,
indeed, the soul of Abercrombie's army. He was in the thirty-fourth year
of his age when he fell. The General Court of Massachusetts Bay, as a testimony
of respect for his character, appropriated two hundred and fifty pounds
sterling for the erection of a monument in Westminster Abbey.
Captain (afterward general) Philip Schuyler, who was highly esteemed by Lord Howe, and who at that time was employed in the commissary department, was commissioned to carry the young nobleman's remains to Albany and bury them with appropriate honors. They were placed in a vault, and I was informed by a daughter of General Schuyler (Mrs. Cochran, of Oswego) that when, many years afterward, the coffin was opened, his hair had grown to long, flowing locks, and was very beautiful.
2 General James Abercrombie was descended from a wealthy Scotch family, and, in consequence of signal services on the Continent, was promoted to the rank of major general. In 1758 fifty thousand troops were placed under his command by Mr. Pitt, and sent with him to America to attempt a recovery of all that the French had taken from the English. He was the successor of Lord Loudon, but was not much superior to the earl in activity or military skill. He was superseded by Amherst after his defeat at Ticonderoga, and in the spring of 1759 he returned to England.
Halifax, Acadia, 1 with forty armed vessels, bearing a land force of twelve thousand men under General Amherst. General Wolfe was second in command; and in appointing that young soldier to a post so important, Pitt showed that sagacity in correctly appreciating character for which he was so remarkable.
On the 2d of June the fleet anchored in Gabarus Bay, and the whole armament reached the shore on the 8th. The French, alarmed at such a formidable force, called in their outposts, dismantled the royal battery, and prepared for a retreat. But the vigilance and activity of Wolfe prevented their escape. He passed around the Northeast Harbor, (June 12.) and erected a battery at the North Cape, from which well-directed shots soon silenced the guns of the smaller batteries upon the island. Hot shots were also poured (June 25.). into the small fleet of French vessels lying in the harbor of Louisburg, and three of them were burned. The town was greatly shattered by the active artillery; the vessels which were not consumed were dismantled or sunken; and several breaches were (July 21.) made in the massive walls. Certain destruction awaited the garrison and citizens, and at last the fortress, together with the town and St. John's (July 26.) (now Prince Edward's) Island, was surrendered into the hands of the English by capitulation.
The skill, bravery, and activity of General Amherst, exhibited in the capture of Louisburg, gained him a vote of thanks from Parliament, and commended him to Pitt, who, the next year, appointed him to the chief command in America, in place of the less active Abercrombie. So much did Pitt rely upon his judgment and ability, that he clothed him with discretionary powers to take measures to make the complete conquest of all Canada in a single campaign. His plans were arranged upon a magnificent scale. Appreciating the services of Wolfe, one expedition was placed under his command, to ascend the St. Lawrence and attack Quebec. General Prideaux was sent with another expedition to capture the strong-hold of Niagara, while Amherst himself took personal comma.nd of a third expedition against the fortress on Lake Champlain. It was arranged for the three armies to form a junction as conquerors at Quebec. Prideaux, after capturing the fort at Niagara, was to proceed down the lake and St. Lawrence to attack Montreal and the posts below, and Amherst was to push forward after the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, down the Richelieu or Sorel River to the St. Lawrence, and join with Wolfe at Quebec.
Amherst collected about eleven thousand men at Fort Edward and its vicinity, and, moving cautiously along Lake Champlain, crossed the outlet of Lake George, and appeared before Ticonderoga on the 26th of July. He met with no impediments by the way, (1759.) and at once made preparations for reducing the fortress by a regular siege. The garrison were strong, and evinced a disposition to make a vigorous resistance. They soon discovered, however, that they had not Abercrombie to deal with, and, despairing of being able to hold out against the advancing English, they dismantled and abandoned the fort and fled to Crown Point. Not a gun was fired or a sword crossed; and the next day Amherst marched in and took possession of the fort. He at once set about repairing and enlarging it, and also arranging an expedition against the enemy at Crown Point, when, to his astonishment, he learned from his scouts that they had abandoned that post also, and lied down the lake to Isle Aux Noix in the Richelieu or Sorel. Of his operations in that direction I shall hereafter write.
1 Acadia was the ancient name of the whole country now comprehended within the boundaries of Nova Scotia, or New Scotland.
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