Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

SKETCH OF STANDING STONE.

SKETCH OF ENCAMPMENT AT WESCUKING.

Monday, August 9th.-The boats not being able to reach Wescuking, the ground on which light corps encamped preceding evening. The main body in consequence thereof took post and encamped at Standing Stone, about three miles below light corps encampment, for protection of the boat.

The light corps, on account of their detached situation from main body the preceding evening, and apprehending some danger, being considerably advanced in the enemy's country, for their greater security, stood under arms from 3 o'clock, A. M., until daylight, where they dismissed, with orders to hold themselves in readiness at a moment's warning. Previous to their dismissal my light infantry was sent out to reconnoitre the vicinity of encampment; returned about 7 o'clock, A. M.-made no discovery.

This morning, 9 o'clock, boats hove in sight, in consequence thereof received orders to strike tents, and be in readiness for a march; main army in the meantime arrived about 10 o'clock; the whole was in motion, marched through a difficult swamp; at north of same crossed a small stream, and ascended a hill; lands poor, and wood but indifferent. About 12 o'clock, P. M., descended the same, and entered a small valley; continued about half mile, when we ascended a very remarkable high mountain, generally known by the name of Break Neck Hill.

This mountain derives its name from the great height, of the difficult and narrow passage, not more than one foot wide, and remarkable precipice which is immediately perpendicular, and not less than 180 feet deep. One mis-step must inevitably carry you from top to bottom without the least hope or chance of recovery. At north end of same entered a mountainous and beautiful valley called Sheshecununk. General Sullivan, with a number of officers, made a halt here at a most beautiful run of water, took a bite of dinner, and proceeded on along the valley, which very particularly struck my attention. Any quantity of meadow may be made here; abounds with all kinds of wood, particularly white oak, hickory, and black walnut; the ground covered with grass and pea wines; the soil in general very rich. About 4 o'clock, P. M., arrived on the bank of the river; the whole encamped in a line on a most beautiful plain; consists chiefly in meadows, the grass remarkably thick and high. On our arrival here made discoveries of some new Indian tracks, places on which fire had just been, and fresh boughs cut, and appeared as if the place had just been occupied a few hours before our arrival. Distance of march this day, 9 miles.

SKETCH OF ENCAMPMENT AT SHESHECUNUNK.

Tuesday, August 10th.-Set in with rain, and boats not reaching this place before 9 o'clock this morning; army received orders to continue on the ground until further orders. Men drew and cooked two days provisions.

One regiment from each of the brigades attended General Sullivan. The general and field officers of the army whilst they were reconnoitering the river and ground near Tioga branch, about three miles above this place, returned without any discoveries worthy of remark about 4 o'clock, P. M.

Wednesday, August 11th.-Agreeable to orders the army moved this morning at & o'clock, A. M., in the usual order. Light corps moved half an hour before the main army, and took post on the banks of the river near the fording place. On the arrival of the main army and boats, Col. Forest drew up his boat at the fording place, and fixed several six pounders on the opposite shore in order to scour the woods and thickets, and prevent any ambuscade from taking place. In the meantime the light corps marched by platoons, linked together, on account of the rapidity of the water, and forded the same, and effected a landing about 9 o'clock; they immediately advanced about one hundred yards from the river, and formed in line of battle, in order to cover the landing of the main army, which was safely effected about 10 o'clock, A. M., after which came on pack horses, cattle, &c., covered by a regiment which composed the rear guard. About half past ten o'clock the whole moved in following order.

ORDER OF MARCH UP TIOGA FLATS.

Previous to our arrival on the flats we had to pass about one and a half mile through a dark, difficult swamp, which was covered with weeds and considerable underwood, interspersed with large timber, chiefly buttonwood. We then entered the flats near the place on which Queen Esther's palace stood, and was destroyed by Col. Hartley's detachment last fall. The grass is remarkably thick and high We continued along the same for about one mile, and arrived at the entrance of Tioga branch into Susquehanna about 1 o'clock; we crossed the same, and landed on a peninsula of land which extends towards Chemung, and is bounded on the east by Susquehanna, and on the west by Tioga branch, and continued up the same for about two miles and a half and encamped. This peninsula is composed of excellent meadow and upland; grass is plenty, and timber of all kinds, and soil in general good; distance of march this day, three miles. Since our arrival a scout of eight men was ordered up to reconnoitre Chemung, and endeavour to make discoveries of the number of savages, and their situation, if possible.

Thursday, August 12th.-Tioga Plain. This being a plain calculated to cover the western army during the expedition to the northern part of it, a garrison for that purpose is to remain until our return. Sundry works for the security of the same are now erecting about two and a half miles distant from where Tioga branch empties into the Susquehanna, and where the two rivers are about 190 yards distance from each other; those works to extend from river to river.

Captain Cummings with his scout (sent out last evening) returned this day 11 o'clock, A. M.; made several discoveries at Chemung; an Indian village twelve miles distance from this place; in consequence of which a council of war sat, and determined an expedition should immediately take place for the reduction of the same. The army (two regiments excepted) received orders to be in readiness for an immediate march. Eight o'clock, P. M., the whole were in motion, and proceeded for Chemung.

SKETCH OF ENCAMPMENT AND WORKS ON TIOGA PLAINS.

August 13th, 1779.-Eight o'clock, P. M., the army having marched last evening in the following order, viz.: Light corps, under command of Gen. Hand, led the van, then followed Gens. Poor and Maxwell's brigades, which formed main body, and corps de reserve, the whole under the immediate command of Maj. Gen. Sullivan. The night being excessively dark, and the want of proper guides, impeded our march, besides which we had several considerable defiles to march through, that we could not possibly reach Chemung till after daylight. The morning being foggy favoured our enterprise. Our pilot, on our arrival, from some disagreeable emotions he felt, could not find the town. We discovered a few huts, which we surrounded, but found them vacated; after about one hour's march we came upon the main town. The following disposition for surprising the same was ordered to take place, viz.: Two regiments, one from the light corps, and one from main body, were ordered to cross the river and prevent the enemy from making their escape that way, should they still hold the town. The remainder of the light corps, viz., two independent companies, and my regiment, under command of Hand, were to make the attack on the town. Gen. Poor was immediately to move up and support the light corps. We moved in this order accordingly, but the savages having probably discovered our scouting party the preceding day, defeated our enterprise by evacuating the village previous to our coming, carrying off with them nearly all their furniture and stock, and leaving an empty village only, which fell an easy conquest about 5 o'clock, A. M. The situation of this village was beautiful; it contained fifty or sixty houses, built of logs and frames, and situate on the banks of Tioga branch, and on a most fertile, beautiful, and extensive plain, the lands chiefly calculated for meadows, and the soil rich.

The army continued for some small space in the town. Gen. Hand, in the meantime, advanced my light infantry company, under Capt. Bush, about one mile beyond the village, on a path which leads to a small Indian habitation, called Newtown. On Capt. Bush's arrival there he discovered fires burning, an Indian dog, which lay asleep, a number of deer skins, some blankets, &c.; he immedi

ately gave information of his discoveries, in consequence of which the remainder part of the light corps, viz.: the two independent companies, and my regiment, under Gen. Hand's command, were ordered to move some miles up the path, and endeavour, if possible, to make some discoveries. We accordingly proceeded on in the following order, viz.: Captain Walker, with twenty-four men, composed the van, the eleventh regiment, under my command, after which the two independent companies, the whole covered on the left by Tioga branch, and on the right by Capt. Bush's infantry company of forty men. In this order we moved somewhat better than a mile beyond this place. The first fires were discovered, when our van was fired upon by a party of savages, who lay concealed on a high hill immediately upon our right, and which Capt. Bush had not yet made. We immediately formed a front with my regiment, pushed up the hill with a degree of intrepidity seldom to be met with, and, under a very severe fire from the savages. Capt. Bush, in the meantime, endeavoured to gain the enemy's rear. They, seeing the determined resolution of our troops, retreated; and, according to custom, previous to our dislodging them, carried off their wounded and dead, by which means they deprived us from coming to the knowledge of their wounded and dead. The ground on the opposite side of the mountain or ridge, on which the action commenced, being composed of swamp or low ground, covered with underwood, &c., favoured their retreat, and prevented our pursuing them, by which means they got off.

Our loss on this occasion, which totally (excepting two) fell on my regiment, was as follows, viz.: two captains, one adjutant, one guide, and eight privates wounded, and one serjeant, one drummer, and four privates killed. Officers' names: Captain Walker, (slight wound,) Captain Carberry, and Adj. Huston, (I fear mortal.)

After gaining the summit of the hill, and dislodging the enemy, we marched by the right of companies in eight columns, and continued along the same until the arrival of General Sullivan. We then halted for some little time, and then returned * to the village, which was instantly laid in ashes, and a party detached to cross the river to destroy the corn, beans, &c., of which there were several very extensive fields, and those articles in the greatest perfection. Whilst the troops were engaged in this business, Gens. Poor and Maxwell's brigades were fired upon, lost one man, killed, and several wounded. The whole business being completed, we returned to the ruins of the village, halted some little time, and received orders to return to Tioga Plain, at which place we arrived at 8 o'clock, considerably fatigued. Lest the savages should discover our loss, after leaving the place, I had the dead bodies of my regiment carried along, fixed on horses, and brought to this place for interment. The expedition from the first to last continued twenty-four hours, of which time my regiment was employed, without the least intermission, twenty-three hours; the whole of our march not less than forty miles.

Saturday, August 14th.-This morning 10 o'clock, A. M., had the bodies of those brave veterans, who so nobly distinguished themselves, and bravely fell in the action of yesterday, interred with military honours, (firing excepted.) Parson Rogers delivered a small discourse on the occasion.

Was employed greater part of the day in writing to my friends at Lancaster and Philadelphia, which were forwarded the same evening.

Sunday, 15th.-Agreeable to orders of yesterday, seven hundred men were ordered to march on the grand parade for inspection, and to be furnished with ammunition and eight days provision, for the purpose of marching up the Susque hanna and meeting General Clinton, who is now on his march to form a junction with this army.

Two o'clock, P. M., a firing was heard on the west side of Tioga branch, immediately opposite our encampment. A number of Indians, under cover of a high mountain, advanced on a large meadow or flat of ground, on which our cattle and horses were grazing. Unfortunately, two men were there to fetch some horses, one of which was killed and scalped, the other slightly wounded, but got clear. One bullock was likewise killed, and several public horses taken off. My regiment was ordered in pursuit of them: we accordingly crossed the branch and

ascended the mountain, marched along the summit of the same for upwards of two miles in order to gain their rear; but the enemy having too much start, got clear. After scouring the mountains and valleys near the same, we returned, much fatigued, about 5 o'clock, P. M.

Monday, 16th-The detachment under General Poor's command, agreeable to orders, moved this day, 1 o'clock, P. M., up the Susquehanna for the purpose of forming a junction with Gen. Clinton.

Several of our out continentals alarmed the camp by firing off several guns about 1 o'clock in the morning, in consequence of which light corps stood under arms. Several patrols were sent out to reconnoitre the front of encampment, returned near day-break, but made no discoveries alarm proved premature. Gen. Hand, being ordered with the detachment under Gen. Poor, the command of light corps devolved on me during his absence.

Thursday, 17th.-Seven o'clock, P. M., a firing was heard about five hundred yards immediately in front of light corps' encampment. A party of fifty men was immediately detached to endeavour to find out the cause of it; returned at 8 o'clock, P. M.; reported that a party of Indians, eleven in number, had waylaid a few pack horsemen, who were just returning with their horses from pasture; that they had killed and scalped one man, and wounded another; the wounded man got safe to camp, and the corpse of the other was likewise brought in.

An alarm was fired by a continental about 11 o'clock, P. M., but proved false.

Wednesday, 18th.-In order to entrap some of those savages who keep sneaking about the encampment, the following parties ordered out for that purpose, and to be relieved daily by an equal number until we leave this ground, viz.: one subaltern and twenty men on the mountain opposite the encampment; one subaltern and twenty men on the island, about a mile and half above the encampment, on Tioga branch, and one subaltern and twenty men in the woods, about a mile and a half immediately in front of light corps' encampment, with orders to waylay and take every other means to take them.

This day, by particular request of several gentlemen, a discourse was delivered in the Masonic form, by Dr. Rogers, on the death of Captain Davis of the 11th Penn., and Lieutenant Jones of the Delaware regiments, who were, on the 23d of April last, most cruelly and inhumanly massacred and scalped by the savages, emissaries employed by the British king, as they were marching with a detachment for the relief of the garrison at Wyoming.

Those gentlemen were both members of that honourable and ancient Society of Freemen. A number of brethren attended on this occasion in proper form, and the whole was conducted with propriety and harmony. Text preached on this solemn occasion was the first clause in the 7th verse of the 7th chapter of Job, “Remember my life is but wind."

Thursday, 19th.-Nothing remarkable this day.

Friday, 20th.-This day arrived Lieut. Boyd, of Col. Butler's regiment, with accounts of Gen. Clinton's movements on the Susquehanna, and that a junction was formed by him with Gen. Poor's detachment, Chokoanut, about thirty-five miles from this place. Rain very heavy chief part of the day.

Saturday, 21st.-The detachments under Gens. Clinton and Poor, on account of the very heavy rain yesterday, did not reach this encampment as was expected.

Sunday, 22d.-This day, 10 o'clock, A. M., Gens. Clinton and Poor's detachments, with about two hundred and twenty boats, passed light corps' encampment for the main army, about one and a half miles in their rear. On their passing, they were saluted with thirteen rounds from the park; the light corps being likewise drawn up, and received them in proper form, with Col. Proctor's music, and drums and fifes beating and playing.

Monday, 23d.-This day a most shocking affair happened, by an accident of a gun, which went off, the ball of which entered a tent in which was Capt. Kimball,

of Gen. Poor's brigade, and a lieutenant; the captain was unfortunately killed, and the lieutenant wounded.

Gen. Clinton having formed a junction with the army at this place yesterday, the following alterations in the several brigades were ordered to take place, viz.: Col. Courtland's regiment to be annexed to General Clinton's, Colonel Older to General Poor's, and Colonel Butler's regiment, with Major Parr's corps, to General Hand's brigade.

Tuesday, 24th.-This day employed hands to make bags for the purpose of carrying flour; hands employed all day and night in this business.

Agreeable to orders a signal gun was fired for the whole army to strike tents, 5 o'clock, P. M., and marched some small distance in order to form the line of march. Seven o'clock, P. M., another signal gun was fired for the army to encamp in proper order, and to be in readiness for an immediate march. Col. Butler's regiment, with Major Parr's riflemen, joined light corps, and encamped with them this day, 7 o'clock, P. M.

Colonel Shrieve took command of Fort Sullivan this day agreeable to orders. Flying hospital and stores were moved this day to the garrison.

Wednesday, 25th-This morning was entirely devoted to packing up and getting every thing in readiness for an immediate march. A heavy rain fell in at 11 o'clock, continued greater part of the day, which prevented our movements.

Thursday, 26th.-The army not being perfectly ready to march at 8 o'clock, A. M., agreeable to yesterday's orders, the signal gun for a march was not fired until 11 o'clock, when the whole took up the line of march in the following order, namely: Light corps, commanded by General Hand, marched in six columns, the right commanded by Colonel Butler, and the left by myself. Major Parr, with the riflemen, dispersed considerably in front of the whole, with orders to reconnoitre all mountains, defiles, and other suspicious places, previous to the arrival of the army, to prevent any surprise or ambuscade from taking place. The pioneers, under command of a captain, subaltern, then followed after, which preceded the park of artillery; then came on the main army, in two columns, in the centre of which moved the pack horses and cattle, the whole flanked on right and left by the flanking divisions, commanded by Colonel Dubois and Colonel Ogden, and rear brought up by General Clinton's brigade; in this position the whole moved to the upper end of Tioga flats, about three miles above Fort Sullivan, where we encamped for this night.

This day disposed of one my horses to Mr. Bond, captain, on account of his indisposition, obtained leave to continue either at Fort Sullivan, or go to Wyoming, until the return of the regiment from the expedition.

Friday, August 27th.-On account of some delays this morning army did not move until half past eight o'clock, A. M. Previous to the march the pioneers, under cover of the rifle corps, were advanced to the first and second defile, or narrows, some miles in front of our encampment, where they were employed in mending and cutting a road for the pack to pass. The army marched in same order of yesterday, the country through which they had to pass being exceedingly mountainous and rough, and the slow movements of the pack considerably impeded the march. About 7 o'clock, P. M., we arrived near the last narrows, at the lower end of Chemung, where we encamped in the following order: Light corps near the entrance of the defile or narrows, and in front of some very exten. sive corn-fields, some refugee Tories, now acting with the favour of the main army, about one mile in our rear, and immediately fronting the corn-fields. After encamping had an agreeable repast of corn, potatoes, beans, cucumbers, watermelons, squashes, and other vegetables, which were in great plenty, (produced) from the corn-fields already mentioned, and in the greatest perfection: distance of march this day, six miles.

Saturday, August 28th-Fore part of this day being employed by the general and principal officers of the army in reconnoitering the river and finding out some fording place for the artillery, pack horses, and cattle to cross, to gain Chemung,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »