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When it became known in England that commissions of high grade, regardless of purchase or family influence, were given to those of humble position, and that more were to be sent to America to be dis-' posed of, according to the true spirit of republicanism, to the most deserving, even the king was remonstrated with. It was on this occasion that Wolfe was represented to him as being a madman. “If this be so,' replied the old king, “I hope he will bite all my generals not so afflicted.' Within eighteen months from that time, the 'brave Wolfe,' then but little more than thirty-two, showed with what ‘madness' he was possessed, as well as the method of it. He is seen ascending the Heights of Quebec to the Plains of Abraham, and there, while battling for a stronghold, dying with the words of triumphant bravery on his tongue, amid the scenes of carnage and the shouts of victory.
The attention of the British ministry having been diverted from the conquest of the East, three expeditions were decided on for America; and, on the recall of Lord Loudoun, Major-General Sir James Abercrombie found himself in command of more than fifty thousand men : the largest army ever known under one chief within the boundaries of the North American States.
The war had already devastated the military establishments and frontier settlements of the English along the great lakes of the West and of northern New-York. The smothered vengeance of almost four years was in the breast of the colonist; and Massachusetts sent forth its every third able-bodied man' (more than seven thousand), and Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New-York and NewJersey furnished their quotas for the grand campaign. The legislatures of the different colonies convened expressly to hear the address of the minister and to vote supplies and men. In it they were informed explicitly of his purposes ; that Louisbourg was to be reduced, to prevent farther communication of the French with Canada; that Fort Du Quesne, Crown Point, Frontenac, Ticonderoga, and the command of the great lakes must be gained; and that the war must be carried quite within the acknowledged confines of the French and their savage allies : that by this course the captured women and children of the colonists should be restored to them, trade on the frontier revived, and ample revenge
their combined enemies. Massachusetts replied in the most patriotic and spirited manner, declaring “the blood of old New-England to be heated for the contest.' An account dated April third, 1758, says: “So agreeable were the contents of Mr. Secretary Pitt's letter, that the House unanimously voted compliance with what was recommended. And notwithstanding such great numbers have lately entered in the king's service as soldiers, rangers, batteau-men, and ship and house carpenters, yet such was the zeal of our government, that they voted to raise seven thousand men for the present expedition, and, on Wednesday, to raise a subscription, notwithstanding the unhappy circumstances of this metropolis - taxes already on the income of estates being thirteen shillings and sixpence on the pound - yet in twenty-four hours twenty thousand pounds sterling was raised by subscription to pay bounty!'
The object of the crown and the name and fame of Pitt were proclaimed in the same breath every where ; by Sir William Johnson among the Six Nations ; by the clergy from their pulpits, who declared that true religion must be maintained at every cost ; and especially by the governors
of the different colonies in their speeches to the respective Houses of Assembly. Governor James Delancey made his eloquent and soul-stirring address to the Assembly of New York on the tenth of March. It was circulated far and wide over the province, and excited the same enthusiasm which was manifested in the other provinces.
So universal was the interest which was felt in this campaign, and in the prospects
conquest and glory to the British arms, that the enrolment of the men under the act of the legislatures in the different colonies was nearly completed by volunteers. Still, in some instances, there was a deficiency, and the following--distinguished as well for its facetious and patriotic tone as for its poetic character- was circulated among the young men, and finally found its way into print. I will not reflect on the early gallantry of any portion of our country by naming the neighborhood where this effusion first appeared ; it is enough that we can boast of the zealous spirit which fired the spinsters of those times :
*THE SPINSTERS PETITION TO HIS MAJESTY GEORGE TEE SECOND
'TOR LEAVE TO FIGHT HIS BATTLES, AS THE MEN IN SOME CASES REFU8..
• Most humbly, Sir, we this petition
Some men won't fight, and so disgrace us;
* And fight the battles they've refused,
When once we've got them in close quarter,
• But one small recompense we ask -
That this request you grant us may,
Most ardently we ever pray.' March 15, 1758. This address was numerously signed, and so unpopular was the refusal of young men to enlist voluntarily, that in many instances their names were rejected by The Spinsters' Society,' and made the ridicule of the neighborhood by a resolution that Sister be prefixed instead of Mr.' to the name of John Doe,' Richard Roe,' and so on.
There were Spartan daughters as well as mothers in those times. In fact the gallantry of the betrothed John or George was judged suspicious unless he readily entered for the great campaign.
And now in the colonies of New England, New-York and NewJersey every thing was in readiness for orders to march for the points designated by the commander-in-chief, General Abercrombie, then in New-York. The commissions for the five brigadier-generals, for North America only, were given to John Stanwix, John Forbes, Edward Whetmore, and Charles Lawrence, and Lord Augustus, third viscount Howe. Among those raised to the rank of colonel was Thomas Gage, already distinguished by his services at Lake George and in northern New-York : the same who subsequently, as Governor of Massachusetts and general-in-chief, fought at Boston and Bunker-Hill against those who were now his companions-in-arms.
Robert Rogers, the daring scout, and prince of rangers, arrived in New-York, by orders, nineteen days after his most remarkable battle at Lake George, on the thirteenth of March, at the place now known to all travellers as · Rogers's Slide.' Still suffering from his wounds, he was at once appointed major. Aware of the great importance of the American rangers, the major-general issued his commission in the following words; the original document, now in the hands of a kinsman, I have myself seen; it is so explanatory of the peculiar service of the scout that I venture to give it a place here verbatim :
By His Excellency JAMES ABERCROMBIE, Esquire, Colonel of His Majesty's Forty-Fourth Regiment of Foot, Colonel-in-Chief of the Sixtieth Royal Americans, Major-General and Commanderin-Chief of all His MAJESTY's forces raised or to be raised in North-America:
• WHEREAS it may be of great use to His MAJESTY's service in America to have a number of men employed in obtaining intelligence of the strength, situation and motions of the enemy, and other services, for which rangers only are qualified: Having therefore the greatest confidence in your loyalty, courage and skill, I do constitute you Major of the rangers in His MAJESTY's service, and Captain of a company of the same. You are therefore to take the said rangers as Major, and said company as Captain, in your care, and duly exercise and instruct as well the officers as the soldiers, who are hereby commanded to obey you as Major and Captain
respectively. And you are to observe such orders as from time to time you shall receive from His Majesty, myself, or other superior officers, according to the rules and discipline of war.
Given at New-York this sixth day of April, 1758, in the thirty-first year of our Sovereign Lord George the Second, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc., etc.,
JAMES ABERCROMBIE. • By His Excellency's command.
J. APPY. To CAPTAIN ROBERT ROGERS.'
Already a considerable time in America, the young nobleman, Lord Howe, had conceived the greatest partiality for Rogers, and he entertained the highest admiration for his daring achievements, his “surprises,' battles, and extraordinary marches. Subjecting himself to the discipline of the scout, he had been one of Rogers's party in several romantic and hazardous expeditions along the mountains and lakes of the north, nearly twelve months before. He was as well prepared to admire the unequalled beauty of the scenery of the country as to be a leading spirit in the war for its defence. By direction of Abercrombie, Rogers immediately reported himself to Lord Howe, now second in command, who was quartered at Albany. Here they conferred on the best means of distressing the French and acquiring information in regard to their situation. Meanwhile, preparation was going on for the main attack.
Rogers, always active, joined his favorite warriors, now fast increasing in numbers, at Fort Edward, at that time in command of the brave Colonel Grant; and from the twenty-ninth of April to nearly the very day when the grand embarkation was made on Lake George, was, with Stark, Putnam, and the far-famed Indian chief Nawnawapatconks, of the Mohegan tribe, constantly engaged in surprising the outposts of the French and in making prisoners almost under the very walls of the forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. So considerable was his force, that by despatching different companies under their various captains, the scouts of the French and their Indians were actually driven within their strongholds. Rogers and his men continued to range and scour the woods' from Fort Ēdward, on the north of Wood Creek, to Lake Champlain, and along the waters and borders of South Bay, and the mountain passes on both sides of Lake George, and the many beautiful islands which dot its pure waters.
Lord Howe was still at Albany, most actively engaged in disciplining his troops and receiving the reinforcements arriving there. From every appearance the commander-in-chief was possessed of all the elements of a great general; yet Lord Howe was considered, up
to the moment when he fell, the soul and spirit of the expedition. And here it is proper to say a few words about one of the most remarkable characters of that time. He was the grandson of George the First, and had been educated with the care and attention which became his birth, and which happily harmonized with his extraordinary powers of application and his ambition. He left England with the reputation of being the most accomplished young man of the court of his uncle, the reigning sovereign. With all those romantic ideas of conquest and consequent glory which still pervaded the civilized world, and which were shared to a great extent by Pitt and all the court, young Howe came to America, where he entered heart and soul into the most active and hazardous duties of the campaign. In person he was frank and insinuating, and he made himself universally beloved by the manifestation of the most amiable qualities known to the human heart. He appeared always to enjoy himself, particularly in the primitive social circles of our new country. He frequently remarked that this was no affectation for the sake of pleasing, but that he really loved the frank and genial intercourse to which he was here admitted. Again, accomodating himself to the conventional rules of metropolitan society, with manners the most courtly and not less agreeable, there he was the admired of all; while he himself delighted in the characteristics which prevailed in New-England and in New York. In some way, when scarcely two years in the country, he was more extensively known personally than
other officer of rank; and one town in Massachusetts was named after the place of his birth in England, and retains its name to this day.
The very personification of boldness, enterprise and daring, the service of the scout had its charms for him; and although rigidly disciplined to other rules of warfare, and accustomed to the glitter of military trappings, he made it his business to learn the art of bush-fighting,' and of surprising the enemy in the forest, in the mountain fastness, or in the chase with the swift canoe. Nursing the romantic spirit of his youth, and with an artistic eye and great admiration for the grand and beautiful in nature, he luxuriated in the striking and peculiar scenery of the new country, while he was acquiring a constitution adequate to the greatest fatigues of the military athlete. The tributaries high up the Hudson, the adjacent wild and variously-shaped mountains, the silver waters of Lake George, and those heights which define its limits ; Lake Champlain, with the great green hills on the east, snow-crowned, and glistening in the bright sun of every month ; all these led him onward, gliding in the slight canoe, or in pedestrian adventure: his spirit, free as air, contemplating more mighty conquests and loftier fame. • We breathe more freely, said he, on the mountain-top.' His imagination, aided by the full glow of health and physical energy, ranged a thousand times beyond the summits on which his eye rested,
amid scenes beyond the two lakes, then the theatre of manœuvring scouts, and soon to be of contending armies.
Rogers, Stark, Stevens and Putnam were all bold leaders. They were the native pioneers of the new world, and so our young lord was their fit companion in errantry. Fearing nothing, and skilled already in the practical use of every weapon known in such warfare, he was prepared for any surprise from the wily foe which did not thrice outnumber him. Philosophical-gay with every opportunity consistent with immediate safety —Howe was the especial favorite of Stark, who was of about the same age, and his nearest match for physical power, At this time perhaps John Stark was as widely-famed as a runner, and in the athletic game of wrestling at arm's-length, and the bear-hug,' through all New-England, or even among the Indians (to whom his quality became known during his captivity), as any man living. In fact, this fame was only eclipsed by his more recent daring and fights with the enemy's scouts, or the captures he had made of their sentinels within sound of their forts.
• The balance of power,' as between Lord Howe and Stark, was a matter of doubt, and was not unfrequently a point of merry
discussion with the scouts who were not personally interested; but no public exhibition was ever made of their relative strength and skill, though it was understood that they did practice, for the especial benefit, and almost broken bones, of others. Indeed, there was no exercise, from the most simple, in all the varieties of gymnastics, to the earnest use of the tomahawk and scalping-knife (let history pass lightly over it), in which our rangers were not well skilled ; and, though ever dignified, they not unfrequently indulged sportively in boyish New-England pranks: Stark, or even ‘Old Put.,' who was much their senior, being the master of ceremonies. One illustrative instance, and I return with the reader to view Lord Howe in immediate command of his regiment at Albany.
A favorite resting-place was on the brow of a beautiful hill, which, being entirely cleared for one mile from the water's edge, commanded a fascinating view of Lake George and its fairy-like islands for twelve miles. It was situated almost directly at the head of the lake, and arose in the rear, amphitheatre-like, quite above the sites of Fort George and Fort William Henry, and commanded the most important passage where any military works were practicable. The spot is that