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Burgoyne returns in command
Despite the fact that he had made a prudent and cautious decision in withdrawing his forces due to the lateness of the season, Carleton incurs the disfavor of his British superiors. General John Burgoyne is sent to assume command of His Majesty's Canadian forces for the new expedition south, up the lakes. An excellent and ambitious leader, Burgoyne throws himself into his new responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. An enormous and well-supplied army is put at his disposal. Consisting of experienced British troops and a large contingent of Brunswick (or German) mercenary soldiers, this army is to pick up where Carleton left off. Their mission is to evict the American rebels from Lakes Champlain and George, advance south up the lakes to Albany, where they would meet the advancing army of General Howe, effectively cutting the colonies in two. Another force, under Barry St. Leger, would attack the American posts on the Mohawk River by way of the St. Lawrence. Burgoyne set out with his mighty army the first week of June, 1777.
"went round among the workmen in the morning & to crown point with Genl. Paterson, Col. Kosiusko, Dr. Crague & Docr. Majr. Armstrong 144 & 80 men measured the width acrosst to Chimney point 400 yards & the Chaniel in the deepest place 56 feet water for about 100 yards wide & then grows shallower gradually on both sides." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"Genl. St. Clair came in. 2 prisoners brot in from Canada, they say the enemy will in fact be here in about a fortnight 10,000 Strong." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"went round the works with Genl. St. Clair. it raind hard the most of ye Day." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"ordered to Skeensboro to order the works repaird at that place. went up in Company with Capt Fisher & Mrs. Tucker. Lodgd with Capt. Lonson." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"Layd out the lines for a new Fort, the old one all to be taken down. Lodgd at Govenor Skeens Seat." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"Burgoyne's army encamped on Cumberland Head and his fleet was anchored in the bay."
German troops, Brunswickers attached to Burgoyne's army, bring up the rear of the column. The journalist for the Specht Regiment writes of the impressive fortifications at Isle aux Noix, still occupied by the 20th Regiment of Foot. As they enter Lake Champlain, the journalist finds himself astounded by the numbers of wild pigeons so numerous that "people beat them to death with poles". The German writer (we do not know his name) is also impressed with "little turtles" and "long and proportionately large" frogs. He notes the troops suffered terribly from mosquitoes.1
"began the work of the new fort. Dind with Mrs. Tucker, Capt. Lonson, Capt. Fisher and the Chaplain of Col. Warners Regt. Mr Allen. went into ye Publick fields." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"Left Skeensboro at 8 o'clock morning. Dind at way spring. wind ahead. Stopt at 6 miles point, met the Schooner & Gundola going up to Skeensboro. heard that the Indians had taken 2 of our people & killd four others & wounded three more. the 2 first taken & 2 killd were betwen the French lines & the bridge. yesterday, two more killd & 8 wounded about half way to Crown point, a party of Raingers." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
The rear guard of German troops arrive at Cumberland Head where they find the majority of Burgoyne's army waiting. The General's headquarters were "on the firm land at the point." The journalist writes of the "inaccessible and rocky shore" and the "denseness of the forest." He also notes that the mosquito situation was much improved.3
"Genl. Schuyler came in. this morning breakfasted with ye Genl. Capt. Whitcom cam in & brot an Indian scalp, saw where 2 others had been halld away after they were killd." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"Gen'l Burgoyne came up in the Maria. This day I visited a detached post of the light infantry, two Miles up the River at Galinels [Gilliland's] Farm, this is situate at the foot of a small Water Fall, where a great number of small Salmon were caught. The River is not above 150 yards wide, the Troops at this and the main post of this Corps on the edge of the Lake, were encamped on separate sides of the Bouquet River. I did not learn from what cause this upper post was taken, but the mouth of this River is sometimes called Bouquet Ferry, possibly the above Farm may have communication with the Country & a Ferry across the Lake has been formerly kept here. The soil tho. sandy seems fertile. It may not be improper to remark that there are but few settlements on the Lake (not 20) and those only single Houses.''--Lt. James Hadden ‡
"a scout returned from Crown point they discovired near 5 mile point the tracks of about 80 of the enemy & saw 2 indians which they fired at but they being at two great a distance they made there escape. began the works at 8 places on Mt. Independance. I dind with a large Company at ye Hospital." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"Burgoyne had summoned the Indians tribes to meet him at the falls of the Bouquet. They obeyed his call in numbers that startled his humanity and appalled his judgment.--he assembled the chiefs in a redoubt, which he caused to be constructed about half a mile below the mansion of Gilliland. There Burgoyne addressed them, and claimed their services to the British king.--Watson's Champlain Valley."**
"went over the Mount & round the works with Genl. Schuyler & St. Clair & movd som cannon from Ty to the mount south wharf the Genl. Officers & a number of others dind with us." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"dind with Genl. Poor, went onto the mount with Genl. St. Clair proposed to make a Laboratory of the old Hospital. a scout came in from Onion River & says that the enemy are incamped at Gillilands in a great No. of Tents the Indians very thick they took one of his party & the rest but Just made there escape & that the Enemy would soon be at Ty with there army & 9 Vessels besides Gunboats battoes &c. &c." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"the regulars came to Crown Point." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"the Artificers passed muster. alaremed with indians." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"one man killd & another scalped by the indians between the Mills & the landing. paid 108.14.8 for wine, Shugr, Cheese, Coffey & Chocolat. worked at the bridge & Breastworks." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"leying platforms on the batteries on the S. E. side the Mount & driving piles acrosst the E creek carrying stores over to the mount." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"a large Quantity of provision brot from the landing Lake George left only about 25 barrels of pees & flower there. moving our Magazines to the Mount." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"early in the morning the Enemy appeared at 3 mile point with 18 Gunboats & a flew other boats landing about 800 men that marched up to the mills to the bridge & in front of the Breastwork but were soon drove back. this afternoon two large Ships appeared, one 20 guns & the other a 16 gun Ship & 2 tenders they warped up in a line with the Boats across the lake from 8 mile point & made a formidable appearance." -- Col. Jeduthan Baldwin†
"The Advanced Corps made their appearance before Ticonderoga. We encamped at Three Mile Point. The line, with the general, were at Putnam's Creek, about six miles in our rear, but expected shortly up. We had a full view from our post of their works lines &c and their flag of Liberty displayed on the summit of the Fort. Our Gun boats were anchored across the river out of the range of their cannon, and our two frigates the largest called the Royal George carrying 32 Guns, and built at St Johns during the winter, with the Inflexible at a small distance from the Gun boats, with a large boom ahead to prevent fire ships coming down from the Fort. Our Indians had many small skirmishes with parties of theirs, and always came off victorious, and what prisoners were taken, all seemed to agree that they intended to make a vigorous defence. With our glasses we could distinguish every thing they were about in the Fort, appearing very busy about their works, and viewing with their glasses our situation force &c. It was entertaining enough, being a scene of life I had not been accustomed to before, and its novelty made it amusing."--Lt. William Digby ¨
All British forces in the rear join at Crown Point.
** THREE CENTURIES IN THE CHAMPLAIN VALLEY: A COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL FACTS AND INCIDENTS- TERCENTENARY EDITION. 1909: Compiled and Edited by Mrs. George Fuller Tuttle. Saranac Chapter, D.A.R. Plattsburgh, NY.
This is the conclusion of TIMELINE IV (b) War in the Northern Department:
The British Campaign of 1777 (Burgoyne)
The TIMELINE continues HERE
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