The Pictorial Field-Book
of The Revolution
by Benson J. Lossing
"I'm not romantic, but, upon my word,
There are some moments when one can't help feeling
As if his heart's chords were so strongly stirred
By things around him, that 'tis vain concealing
A little music in his soul still lingers,
Whene'er the keys are touched by Nature's fingers."
C. F. HOFFMAN.
NATURE always finds a chord of sympathy in the human heart harmoniously respondent to her own sweet music; and when her mute but eloquent language weaves in with its teachings associations of the past, or when, in the midst of her beauties, some crumbling monument of history stands hoary and oracular, stoicism loses its potency, and the bosom of the veriest churl is opened to the genial warmth of the sun of sentiment. Broken arches and ruined ramparts are always eloquent and suggestive of valiant deeds, even where their special teachings are not comprehended; but manifold greater are the impressions which they make when the patriotism we adore has hallowed them. To impressions like these the American heart is plastic while tarrying among the ruins of Ticonderoga, for there the first trophy of our war for independence was won, and there a soldier of the British realm first stooped a prisoner to the aroused colonists, driven to rebellion by unnatural oppression.
A glimpse from the coach, of the gray old ruins of the fortress of "Ty," as we neared the Pavilion, made us impatient as children to be among them. Our own curiosity was shared by a few others, and a small party of us left early and ascended the breast-works, over scattered fragments of the walls, and eagerly sought out the most interesting localities, by the aid of a small plan of the fort which I had copied for the occasion. Without a competent guide, our identifications were not very reliable, and our opinions were as numerous and diverse as the members of our party. We were about to send to the Pavilion for a guide and umpire. when a venerable, white-haired man, supported by a rude staff, and bearing the insignia of the "Order of Poverty," came out from the ruins of the northern line of barracks, and offered his services in elucidating the confused subject before us. He was kind and intelligent, and I lingered with him among the ruins long after the rest of the party had left, and listened with pleasure and profit to the relation of his personal experience, and of his familiar knowledge of the scene around us.
Isaac Rice was the name of our octogenarian guide, whose form and features, presented upon the next page, I sketched for preservation.(1) Like scores of those who fought our battles for freedom, and lived the allotted term of human life, he is left in his evening twilight to depend upon the cold friendship of the world for sustenance, and to feel the practical ingratitude of a people reveling in the enjoyment which his privations in early manhood contributed to secure He performed garrison duty at Ticonderoga under St. Clair, was in the field at Saratoga in 1777, and served a regular term in the army; but, in consequence of some lack of documents
1 Mr. Rice sat down in the cool shadow of thc gable of the western line of barracks while I sketched his person and the scenery in the distance. He is leaning against the wall, within a few feet of the entrance, of the covert-way to the parade-ground, through which Allen and his men penetrated. In the middle ground is seen the wall of the ramparts, and beyond is the lake sweeping around the western extremity of Mount Independence, on the left beyond the steam-boat. For a correct apprehension of the relative position of Mount Independence to Ticonderoga, the reader is referred to the map, ante page 115.
or some technical error, he lost his leg-al title to a pension, and at eighty-five years of age that feeble old soldier was obtaining a precarious support for himself from the freewill offerings of visitors to the ruins of the fortress where he was garrisoned when it stood in the pride of its strength, before Burgoyne scaled the heights of Mount Defiance. He is now alone, his family and kindred having all gone down into the grave. His elder brother, and the last of his race, who died in 1838, was one of the little band who, under Colonel Ethan Allen, surprised and captured Fort Ticonderoga in the spring of 1775. We will consider that event and its consequences before further examining the old ruins around us.
The contempt with which the loyal and respectful addresses of the first Continental Congress of 1774 were treated by British Ministry and a majority in Parliament; the harsh measures adopted by the government early in 1775, to coerce the colonists into submission, and the methodical tyranny of General Gage at Boston and of the other colonial governors, convinced the Americans that an appeal to arms was inevitable. They were convinced, also, that the province of Quebec, or Canada would remain loyal, (1) and that there would be a place of rendezvous for British troops when the colonies should unite in open and avowed rebellion. The strong fortresses of Ticonderoga and Crown Point formed the key of all communication between New York and Canada, and the vigilant patriots of Massachusetts, then the very hot-bed of rebellion, early perceived the necessity of securing these posts the moment hostilities should commence. Early in March, Samuel Adams and Joseph Warren, members of the Committee of Correspondence of Boston, sent a secret agent into Canada to ascertain the opinions and temper of the people of that province concerning the great questions at issue and the momentous
1 On the 26th of October, 1774, the Congress adopted an address to the people of Canada, recounting the grievances the American colonies suffered at the hands of the parent country, and including that province in the category of the oppressed, urging them to affiliate in a common resistance. But its Legislative Assembly made no response, and Congress construed their silence into a negative.-Journals of Congress, i. 55
events then pending. After a diligent but cautious performance of his delicate task, the agent sent word to them from Montreal that the people were, at best, lukewarm, and advised that, the moment hostilities commenced, Ticonderoga and its garrison should be seized. This advice was coupled with the positive assertion that the people of the New Hampshire Grants were ready to undertake the bold enterprise.(1 )
Within three weeks after this information was received by Adams and Warren, the battle of Lexington occurred. The event aroused the whole country, and the patriots (April 19, 1775.) flocked to the neighborhood of Boston from all quarters. The provincial Assembly of Connecticut was then in session, and several of its members(2) concerted and agreed upon a plan to seize the munitions of war at Ticonderoga, for the use of the army gathering at Cambridge and Roxbury. They appointed Edward Mott and Noah Phelps a committee to proceed to the frontier towns, ascertain the condition of the fort and the strength of the garrison, and, if they thought it expedient, to raise men and attempt the surprise and capture of the post. One thousand dollars were advanced from the provincial treasury to pay the expenses of the expedition.
The whole plan and proceedings were of a private character, without the public sanction of the Assembly, but with its full knowledge and tacit approbation. Mott and Phelps collected sixteen men as they passed through Connecticut; and at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, they laid their plans before Colonel Easton and John Brown (the latter was afterward the Colonel Brown whose exploits on Lake George have been noticed), who agreed to join them. Colonel Easton enlisted volunteers from his regiment of militia as he passed through the country, and about forty had been engaged when he reached Bennington. There Colonel Ethan Allen, a man of strong mind, vigorous frame, upright in all his ways, fearless in the discharge of his duty, and a zealous patriot, joined the expedition with his Green Mountain Boys, and the whole party, two hundred and seventy men, reached Castleton, fourteen miles east of Skenesborough, or Whitehall, at dusk on the 7th of May. A council of war was immediately held, and Allen was appointed commander of the expedition, Colonel James Easton, second in command, and Seth Warner, third. It was arranged that Allen and the principal officers, with the main body, should march to Shoreham, opposite Ticonderoga; that Captain Herrick, with thirty men, should push on to Skenesborough, and capture the young Major Skene (son of the governor, who was then in England), confine his people, and, seizing all the boats they might find there, hasten to join Allen at Shoreham;
1 By the grant of Charles II. to his brother James, duke
of York, the tract in America called New York was hounded on the east by
the Connecticut River, while the charters of Massachusetts and Connecticut
gave those provinces a westward extent to the "South Sea" or the
Pacific Ocean. When, toward the middle of the last century, settlements
began to be made westward of the Connecticut River, disputes arose, and
the line between Connecticut and New York was finally drawn, by mutual agreement,
twenty miles east of the Hudson. Massachusetts claimed a continuation of
the Connecticut line as its western boundary, but New York contested the
claim as interfering with prior grants to that colony. New Hampshire, lying
north of Massachusetts, was not as yet disturbed by these disputes, for
the country west of the Green Mountains was a wilderness, and had never
been surveyed. When Benning Wentworth was made Governor of New Hampshire,
he was authorized to issue patents for unimproved lands within his province,
and in 1749 applications were made to him for grants beyond the mountains.
He gave a patent that year for a township six miles square, having its western
line twenty miles east of the Hudson, and in his honor it was named Bennington.
The Governor and Council of New York remonstrated against this grant, yet
Wentworth continued to issue patents; and in 1754 fourteen townships of
this kind were laid out and settlements commenced. During the French and
Indian war settlements increased tardily, hut after the victory of Wolfe
at Quebec numerous applications for grants were made; and at the time of
the peace, in 1763, one hundred and thirty-eight townships were surveyed
west of the Connecticut River, and these were termed the New Hampshire Grants.
The controversy between New York and the Grants became so violent that military
organizations took place in the latter section to resist the civil power
of New York, and about 1772 the military thus enrol1ed were first called
the Green Mountain Boys; among the most active and daring of whom
were Ethan and Ira Al1en and Remember Baker, men of whom I shall have occasion
to speak hereafter.-See Sparks's Life of Ethan Allen, and Thompson's
Vermont, part ii.
2 Among these were Silas Deane, David Wooster, Samuel H. Parsons, and Edward Stevens, all distinguished men during the Revolution.
and that Captain Douglas should proceed to Panton, beyond Crown Point, and secure every boat or bateau that should fall in his way.
Benedict Arnold, who joined the army about this time, doubtless received a hint of this expedition before he left New Haven, for the moment he arrived at Cambridge with the company of which he was captain, he presented himself before the Committee of Safety, and proposed a similar expedition in the same direction. He made the thing appear so feasible, (May 3,1775.) that the committee eagerly accepted his proposal, granted him a colonel's commission, and gave him the chief command of troops, not exceeding four hundred in number, which he might raise to accompany him on an expedition against the lake fortresses. Not doubting his success, Arnold was instructed to leave a sufficient garrison at Ticonderoga, and with the rest of the troops return to Cambridge with the arms and military stores that should fall into his possession. He was also supplied with one hundred pounds in cash, two hundred pounds weight each of gunpowder and leaden balls, one thousand flints, and ten horses, by the provincial Congress of Massachusetts. His instructions were to raise men in Western Massachusetts, but, on reaching Stockbridge, he was disappointed in finding that another expedition had anticipated him, and was on its way to the lake. He remained only long enough to engage a few officers and men to follow him, and then hastened onward and (May 9,1775.) joined the other expedition at Castleton. He introduced himself to the officers, pulled a bit of parchment from his pocket, and, by virtue of what he averred was a superior commission, as it was from the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, claimed the supreme command. This was objected to, for he came single-handed, without officers or troops; and the soldiers, a large proportion of whom were Green Mountain Boys, and who were much attached to Allen, declared that they would shoulder their muskets and march home rather than serve under any other leader. Arnold made a virtue of necessity, and united himself to the expedition as a volunteer, maintaining his rank, but having no command.
The momentary interruption of Arnold produced no change in the plans, and Allen marched to the shore of the lake, opposite Ticonderoga, during the night. He applied to a farmer in Shoreham, named Beman, for a guide, who offered his son Nathan, a lad who passed a good deal of time within the fort, with the boys of the garrison, and was well acquainted with every secret way that led to or within the fortress.(1) But a serious difficulty now occurred. They had but a few boats, and none had been sent from Skenesborough or Panton. The day began to dawn, and only the officers and eighty-three men had crossed the lake. Delay was hazardous, for the garrison, if aroused, would make stout resistance. Allen, therefore, resolved not to wait for the rear division to cross, but to attack the fort at once. He drew up his men in three ranks upon the shore, directly in front of where the Pavilion now stands, and in a low but distinct tone briefly harangued them; and then, placing himself at their head, with Arnold by his side, they marched quickly but stealthily up the height to the sally port. The sentinel snapped his fusee at the commander, but it missed fire, and he retreated within the fort under a covered way. The Americans followed close upon his heels, and were thus guided by the alarmed fugitive directly to the parade within the barracks. There another sentinel made a thrust at Easton, but a blow upon the head from Allen's sword made him beg for quarter, and the patriots met with no further resistance.
As the troops rushed into the parade under the covered way, they gave a tremendous shout, and, filing off into two divisions, formed a line of forty men each along the south. western and northeastern range of barracks. The aroused garrison leaped from their pallets, seized their arms, and rushed for the parade, but only to be made prisoners by the intrepid New Englanders. At the same moment Allen, with young Beman at his elbow as guide, ascended the steps to the door of the quarters of Captain Delaplace, the commandant
1 He died in December, 1846, in Franklin county, New York, when nearly ninety years old. He had lived to see our confederacy increased from thirteen to thirty states, and from three millions of people to twenty million.
of the garrison, and, giving three loud raps with the hilt of his sword, with a voice of peculiar power, ordered him to appear, or the whole garrison should be sacrificed. It was about four o'clock in the morning. The loud shout of the invaders had awakened the captain and his wife, both of whom sprang to the door just as Allen made his strange demand. Delaplace appeared in shirt and drawers, with the frightened face of his pretty wife peering over his shoulder. He and Allen had been old friends, and, upon recognition, the captain assumed boldness, and authoritatively demanded his disturber's errand. Allen pointed to his men and sternly exclaimed, "I order you instantly to surrender." "By what authority do you demand it?" said Delaplace. "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"(1) thundered Allen, and, raising his sword over the head of the captain, who was about to speak, ordered him to be silent and surrender immediately. There was no alternative. Delaplace had about as much respect for the" Continental Congress" as Allen had for "Jehovah," and they respectively relied upon and feared powder and ball more than either. In fact, the Continental Congress was but a shadow, for it did not meet for organization until six hours afterward,(2) and its" authority" was yet scarcely acknowledged even by the patriots in the field. But Delaplace ordered his troops to parade without arms, the garrison of forty-eight men were surrendered prisoners of war, and, with the women and children, were sent to Hartford, in Connecticut. The spoils were one hundred and twenty pieces of iron cannon, fifty swivels, two ten-inch mortars, one howitzer, one cohorn, ten tons of musket-balls, three cart-loads of flints, thirty new carriages, a considerable quantity of shells, a ware-house full of material for boat building, one hundred stand of small arms, ten casks of poor powder, two brass cannon, thirty barrels of flour, eighteen barrels of pork, and some beans and peas.
Warner crossed the lake with the rear division, and marched up to the fort just after the surrender was made. As soon as the prisoners were secured, and all had breakfasted, he was sent off with a detachment of men in boats to take Crown Point; but a strong head wind drove them back, and they slept that night at Ticonderoga. Another and successful attempt was made on the 12th, and both fortresses fell into the hands of the patriots without bloodshed.
Arnold, who yielded his claims to supreme command at Castleton, assumed control the moment the fort was surrendered. But his orders were not heeded, and the Connecticut Committee,(3) of semi-official origin, which accompanied the expedition, interposed, formally installed Colonel Allen in the command of Ticonderoga and its dependencies, and authorized him to remain as such until the Connecticut Assembly or the Continental Congress should send him instructions. They affirmed that the government of Massachusetts had no part in the transaction; that the men from Pittsfield were paid by Connecticut; and that Arnold could be considered only as a volunteer. Finding his commands unheeded, and unwilling to allow personal considerations to affect, inimically, the public good, Arnold again yielded. He sent a written protest, with a statement of his grievances, to the Massachusetts Legislature. The Connecticut Committee also sent a statement to the same body. The appointment of Allen was confirmed, and the Assembly of Massachusetts directed Arnold not to interfere. He soon afterward went down the lake to seize a British sloop of war at St. John's, and to seek other occasions where glory might be won in the service of his country.
The capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point was an event wholly unlooked for by the
1 According to Mr. Rice, history has omitted the suffix
to this demand, when in those days was considered a necessary clincher to
all solemn averments. It is characteristic of the man and the times. Rice's
brother was within a few feet of Allen, and said he exclaimed, "In
the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress, by God."
2 The second Continental Congress assembled at Philadelphia at ten o'clock that day (May 10th), and chose Peyton Randolph President, and Charles Thompson Secretary.
3 One of the committee, Mr. Phelps, visited the fort, in disguise, the day before Allen and his men arrived. He pretended to be a countryman wishing to be shaved, and, while looking about for the garrison barber, observed every thing carefully, and saw the dilapidation of the walls and the laxity of duty and discipline, particularly as to sentinels.
Continental Congress, then in session at Philadelphia, and many members were alarmed at the serious aspect of affairs at the east and north, for as yet the Americans had harbored no distinct thought or wish derogatory to the truest loyalty. They were aggrieved by the rulers and legislators of the parent country, and were earnestly seeking redress. Ten years they had been petitioning the king and Parliament to exercise righteousness and equity toward them, but their prayers were unheeded and their warnings were scoffed at and answered by new oppressions. Yet the colonists remained loyal, and never breathed an aspiration for political independence. The colonial Assemblies, as well as the mass of the people, looked forward with anxiety for a reconciliation, for they felt proud of their connection with the British realm, whose government was then among the most powerful upon earth.(1)
When the news of the capture of the forts on Champlain reached Congress, they recommended to the committees of New York and Albany to remove the cannon and stores to the south end of Lake George, and to erect a strong post at that place. They also directed an exact inventory of the cannon and military stores to be taken, "in order," as the dispatch said, "that they may be safely returned when the restoration of harmony between Great Britain and the colonies, so ardently desired by the latter, shall render it prudent and consistent with the over-ruling law of self-preservation."(2)
The delegates to the first Continental Congress, who met in September of the (1774.) previous year, while they exhibited rare firmness of purpose in tone and manner, again and again avowed their loyalty, and made most humble petitions to the king and the Legislature for a redress of grievances. And those of the Congress in session when the first hostile movements on Lake Champlain occurred, while they saw clearly that nothing but a general resort to arms was now left for the colonists, resolved to make fresh appeals to the king and Parliament before taking decidedly offensive steps in acts of open hostility. They felt quite certain, however, that the haughtiness of power would not bend so long as its pride was wounded, and that it would never yield to an agreement for a reconciliation upon terms other than the absolute submission of the insurgents. Congress, therefore, correctly representing the public sentiment, resolved to be, at the same time, free men and loyal subjects as long as a link of consistency should bind those conditions in unity. They adopted an address to the inhabitants of Canada;(a) (a- May 29, 1775.) a declaration, setting forth the causes and the necessity for the colonies to take up arms; (b) (b-July 6.) an humble petition to the king;(c)(c-July 8.) an address to the Assembly of Jamaica ;(d-) (July 25.) and an address to the people of Ireland. (e-)(e-July 28.) To the king they expressed their continued devotion to his person, and their deep regret that circumstances had in the least weakened their attachment to the crown To the people of Great Britain they truthfully declared that their acts were wholly defensive; that the charge which had been made against them, of seeking absolute independence, was a malicious slander; and that they had never, directly or indirectly, applied to a foreign power for countenance or aid in prosecuting a rebellion. They truly set forth that the rejection of their petitions and the accumulation of oppressive acts of Parliament were the causes that placed them in the attitude of resistance which they then assumed-an attitude
1 The affections of the people of the colonies were very
much alienated by the grievances of the Stamp Act in 1765, and kindred measures,
yet they still had a strong attachment to the mother country, even when
the Revolution finally broke out. Dr. Franklin's testimony in 1766 may be
quoted as illustrative of the temper of the people nearly ten years later.
In answer to the question concerning the feelings of the people of America
toward Great Britain before the passage of the Stamp Act,- he said, "They
had not only a respect hut an affection for Great Britain, for its laws,
its customs, and its manners, and even a fondness for its fashions, that
greatly increased the commerce. Natives of Britain were always treated with
particular regard; and to be an Old Englandman was of itself a character
of some respect, and gave a kind of rank among us."--Examination
of Dr. Franklin before the British House of Commons relative to the Repeal
of the American Stamp Act.
2 Pitkin, i., 355.
3 Jamaica, one of the West India Islands, was then a British colony, with a provincial Legislature like those on the American Continent.
4 See Journals of Congress, i., p. 100-168.
at once necessary and justifiable, and worthy of the free character of subjects of the British realm. "While we revere," they said, "the memory of our gallant and virtuous ancestors, we never can surrender these glorious privileges for which they fought, bled, and conquered: your fleets and armies can destroy our towns and ravage our coasts; these are inconsiderable objects-things of no moment to men whose bosoms glow with the ardor of liberty. We can retire beyond the reach of your navy, and, without any sensible diminution of the necessaries of life, enjoy a luxury which, from that period, you will want-the luxury of being free."
While petitions and addresses were in course of preparation and adoption, Congress proceeded to make extensive military arrangements. The militia of the various colonies, and such volunteers as could be obtained, were mustered into service under the title of the CONTINENTAL ARMY; and the troops which had flocked to the vicinity of Boston from all parts of New England after the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord(a)(a-April 19, 1775.) and were then investing that city, were adopted and enrolled under the same title.(b)(b-June, 1775.) Congress voted to issue the bills of credit, or paper money, to the mount of three millions of dollars, for the pay of the army, and also took measures for the establishment of provisional Assemblies in the several colonies instead of the royal governments; for acts of Parliament, declaring the colonies in a state of rebellion, and providing for the destruction of the commerce of several sea-port towns, and for the sending of fleets and armies to enforce submission, were regarded by the Americans as virtual acknowledgments of the abdication of all power here.(1) Thus, while the colonists kept the door of reconciliation wide open, they prepared to maintain the righteous position which they had assumed at all hazards.
Let us for a moment close the chronicles of the past, and consider one of the most interesting relics of the Revolution yet remaining-the ruins of Ticonderoga. I lingered with the old soldier among the fragments of the fortress until sunset; and just as the luminary
1 See Parliamentary Register (1775) P 6-69.
went down behind Mount Defiance I made the preceding sketch, which may be relied upon as a faithful portraiture of the present features of Fort Ticonderoga. The view is from the remains of the counterscarp, near the southern range of barracks, looking northward. The barracks or quarters for the officers and soldiers were very substantially built of limestone, two stories high, and formed a quadrangle. The space within was the parade. Upon the good authority of his brother, our venerable guide pointed out the various localities of interest, and, having no doubt as to the correctness of his information, I shall accord it as truth. The most distinct and best-preserved building seen in the sketch is the one in which the commandant of the garrison was asleep when Allen and his men entered the fort. On the left of the group of figures in the fore-ground is the passage leading from the covered way into the parade, through which the provincials passed. The two lines of forty men each were drawn up along the range of buildings, the remains of which are seen on the right and left of the picture. The most distant building was the officers' quarters. A wooden piazza, or sort of balcony, extended along the second story, and was reached from the ground by a flight of stairs at the left end. The first door in the second story, on the left, was the entrance to Delaplace's apartment. It was up those rickety steps, with young Beman at his side, that Colonel Allen .ascended; and at that door he thundered with his sword-hilt, confronted the astonished captain, and demanded his surrender. Between the ruined walls on the extreme left is seen Mount Defiance, and on the right is Mount Hope. The distant wall in the direction of Mount Hope is a part of the ramparts or out-works, and the woods beyond it mark the location of the remains of the" French lines," the mounds and ditches of which are still very conspicuous.
Near the southeastern angle of the range of barracks is the bakery; it is an under-ground arched room, and was beneath the glacis, perfectly bomb-proof, and protected from all danger from without. This room is very well preserved, as the annexed sketch of it testifies; but the entrance steps are much broken, and the passage is so filled with rubbish that a descent into it is difficult. It is about twelve feet wide and thirty long. On the right is a window, and at the end were a fire-place and chimney, now in ruins. On either side of the fire-place are the ovens, ten feet deep. We had no light to explore them, but they seemed to be in good condition This bakery and the ovens are the best-preserved portions of the fortress. For more than half a century the walls of the fort have been common spoil for all who chose to avail themselves of such a convenient quarry; and the proximity of the lake affords rare facility for builders to carry off the plunder. The guide informed me that sixty-four years ago be assisted in the labor of loading a vessel with bricks and stones taken from the fort, to build an earthen-ware factory on Missisqui Bay, the eastern fork of the lower end of Lake Champlain. Year after year the ruins thus dwindle, and, unless government shall prohibit the robbery, this venerable landmark of history will soon have no abiding-place among us. The foundation is almost a bare rock, earthed sufficient to give sustenance to mullens, rag-weed, and stinted grass only, so that the plowshare can have no effect; but desecrating avarice, with its wicked broom, may sweep the bare rock still barer, for the site is a glorious one for a summer hotel for invalids. I shall, doubtless, receive posthumous laudation for this suggestion from the money-getter who here shall erect the colonnade, sell cooked fish and flavored ices, and coin wealth by the magic of the fiddle-string.
On the point of the promontory, just above the steam-boat landing, are the remains of the "Grenadiers' Battery," a strong redoubt built of earth and stone. It was constructed by the French, and enlarged by the English. It commanded the narrow part of the lake, between that point and Mount Independence, and covered the bridge, which was made by the Americans, extending across to the latter eminence. The bridge was supported by
twenty-two sunken piers of large timber, at nearly equal distances; the space between was made of separate floats, each about fifty feet long and twelve feet wide, strongly fastened together by chains and rivets, and also fastened to the sunken piers. Before this bridge was a boom, made of very large pieces of timber, fastened together by riveted bolts and chains of iron, an inch and a half square.(1)There was a battery at the foot of Mount Independence, which covered that end of the bridge; another half way up the hill; and upon thc table-land summit was a star fort well picketed. Here, strongly stationed, the Americans held undisputed possession from the 10th of May, 1775, until the 5th of July, 1777, when they were dislodged by Burgoyne, who began to plant a battery upon Sugar Hill, or Mount Defiance. This event we shall consider presently.
I went up in the evening to view the solitary ruins by moonlight, and sat upon thc green sward of the old esplanade near the magazine. All was hushed, and association, with its busy pencil, wrought many a startling picture. The broken ruins around me, the lofty hills adjacent, the quiet lake at my feet, all fading into chaos as the evening shadows came on, were in consonance with the gravity of thought induced by the place and its traditions.
"The darkening woods, the fading trees,
The grasshopper's last feeble sound,
The flowers just waken'd by the breeze,
All leave the stillness more profound.
The twilight takes a deeper shade,
The dusky pathways blacker grow,
And silence reigns in glen and glade
All, all is mute below."
MILLER'S EVENING HYMN.
So smoothly ran the current of thought, that I was almost dreaming, when a footstep startled me. It was that of the old patriot, who carne and sat beside me. He always spends the pleasant moonlight. evenings here, for he has no companions of the present, and the sight of the old walls kept sluggish memory awake to the recollections of the light and love of other days. "I am alone in the world," he said, "poor and friendless; none for me to care for, and none to care for me. Father, mother, brothers, sisters, wife, and children have all passed away, and the busy world has forgotten me. I have been for almost eighty years a toiler for bread for myself and loved ones, yet I have never lacked for comforts. I can say with David, 'Once I was young, but now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread.' I began to feel my strength giving way last spring, and looked fearfully toward the poor-house, when I heard that the old man who lived here, to show visitors about, was dead, and so I came down to take his place and die also." He brushed away a tear with his hard and shriveled hand, and, with a more cheerful tone, talked of his future prospects. How true it is that blessed
"Hope springs immortal in the human breast,"
for this poor, friendless, aged man had bright visions of a better earthly condition even in the midst of his poverty and loneliness. He took me to an opening in the broken wall, which fronted a small room near the spot where the provincials entered, and with a low voice, as if afraid some rival might hear his business plans, explained how he intended, another year, to clear away the rubbish, cover the room over with boards and brush, arrange a sleeping-place in the rear, erect a rude counter in front, and there, during the summer, sell cakes, beer, and fruit to visitors. Here I saw my fancied hotel in embryo. He estimated the cash capital necessary for the enterprise at eight dollars, which sum he hoped to save from his season's earnings, for the French woman who gave him food and shelter charged him but a trifling weekly sum for his comforts. He calculated upon large profits and extensive sales, and hoped, if no opposition marred his plans, to make enough to keep him comfortable through
1 Burgoyne's Narrative, Appendix, p. xxx.
life. He entertained me more than an hour with a relation of his own and his father's ad. ventures,(1) and it was late in the evening when I bade him a final adieu. "God bless you, my son," he said, as he grasped my hand at parting. "We may never meet here again, but I hope we may in heaven!"
(August 2, 1848) Early the next morning I started for Mount Defiance in company with an English gentleman, a resident of Boston. We rode to the" lower village," or Ticonderoga, where we left our ladies to return by the same stage, while we climbed the rugged heights. We hired a horse and vehicle, and a lad to drive, who professed to know all about the route to the foot of the mountain. We soon found that he was bewildered; and, unwilling to waste time by losing the way, we employed an aged resident near the western slope to pilot us to the top of the eminence. He was exceedingly garrulous, and boasted, with much self-gratulation, of having assisted in dragging a heavy six pounder up to the top of the mountain, five years ago, for the purpose of celebrating the" glorious Fourth" on the very spot where Burgoyne planted his cannon sixty-six years before. We followed him along a devious cattle-path that skirted a deep ravine, until we came to a spring that bubbled up from beneath a huge shelving rock whose face was smooth and mossy. Thc trickling of the water through the crevices within, by which the fountain below was supplied, could be distinctly heard. From a cup of maple-leaves we took a cool draught, rested a moment, and then pursued our toilsome journey.
Our guide, professing to know every rock and tree in the mountain, now left the cattle-path for a shorter cut," but we soon wished ourselves back again in the beaten track. The old man was evidently "out of his reckoning," but had too much" grit" to acknowledge it. For nearly an hour we followed him through thickets tangled with vines; over the trunks of huge trees leveled by the wind, and across a dry morass covered with brakes and wire-grass shoulder high, where every trill of the grasshopper sounded to our suspicious and vigilant ears like the warning of a rattle-snake, until at length We were confronted by a wall of huge broken rocks, almost perpendicular, and at least fifty feet high. It seemed to extend north and south indefinitely, and we almost despaired of scaling it. The guide insisted upon the profundity of his knowledge of the route, and we, being unable to contradict his positive assertions that he was in the right way, followed him up the precipice. It was a toilsome and dangerous ascent, but fortunately the sun was yet eastward of meridian, and we were in shadow. We at last reached a broad ledge near the summit, where, exhausted, we sat down and regaled ourselves with some mulberries which we had gathered by the way. A large wolf-dog, belonging to our guide, had managed to follow his master, and seemed quite as weary as ourselves when he reached us. Another scramble of about twenty minutes, over broken rocks and ledges like a giant's stair-case, brought us upon the bold, rocky summit of the mountain. The view from this lofty hill is one of great interest and beauty, including almost every variety of natural scenery, and a region abounding with historical
1 His father was a lieutenant in the English service, and belonged to the Connecticut troops that were with Amherst when he took Ticonderoga. While the English had possession of that post, before seizing Crown Point, he was much annoyed by a swaggering English major, who boasted that no American in the country could lay him upon his back. Lieutenant Rice accepted the general challenge. For twenty minutes it was doubtful who the successful wrestler would be. Rice was the more agile of the two, and, by a dexterous movement, tripped his adversary and brought him upon his back. The burly major was greatly nettled, and declared the act unfair and unmanly. Rice made a rejoinder, and hard words passed, which ended in a challenge from the major for a duel. It was accepted, and the place and time of meeting were appointed. But the fact having reached the ears of Amherst, he interposed his persuasion. The English-man was resolved on fighting, and would listen to no remonstrance until Amherst touched his national and military pride. "Consider," he said, "how glorious is our conquest. We have taken this strong fortress without shedding one drop of blood. Shall Britons be such savages, that, when they can not spill the blood of enemies, they will shed that of each other?" The appeal had the desired effect, and the parties sealed their reconciliation and pledged new friendship over a glass of grog. They then tried their strength again. The major Was prostrated in an instant by a fair exertion of superior strength, and from that hour he was Rice's warmest friend. The major's name was Church. He was a lieutenant colonel under Prevost, and was killed at Savannah on the 16th of September, 1779.
associations. The fore-ground of the picture represents the spot whereon Burgoyne began the erection of a battery; and a shallow hole, drilled for the purpose of making fastening for the cannon, may still be seen. The sheet of water toward the left is the outlet of Lake George, where it joins Lake Champlain, which sweeps around the promontory in the middle ground, whereon Fort Ticonderoga is situated. Gray, like the almost bald rock on which they stand, the ruins were scarcely discernible from that height, and the Pavilion appeared like a small white spot among the green foliage that embowers it. On the point which the steam.boat is approaching is the Grenadiers' Battery already mentioned, and on the extreme right is seen a portion of Mount Independence at the mouth of East Creek. This eminence is in Vermont-Mount Defiance and Fort Ticonderoga are in New York. The point beyond the small vessel with a white sail is the spot whence the Americans under Allen and Arnold crossed the lake to attack the fort; and between Mount Independence and the Grenadiers' Battery is the place where the bridge was erected. The lake here is quite narrow, and, sweeping in serpentine curves around the two points, it flows northward on the left, and expands gradually into a sheet of water several miles wide. The hills seen in the far distance are the Green Mountains of Vermont, between which lofty range and the lake is a beautifully diversified and fertile agricultural country twelve miles wide, a portion of the famous New Hampshire Grants. From this height the eye takes in a range along the lake of more than thirty miles, and a more beautiful rural panorama can not often be found. Let us retreat to the cool shadow of the shrubbery on the left, for the summer sun is at meridian; and, while gathering new strength to make our toilsome descent, let us open again the volume of history, and read the page on which are recorded the stirring events that were enacted within the range of our vision.
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