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Title: Decisive Battles of America
Author: Hitchcock, Ripley
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  From a drawing by Howard Pyle      [See p. 105










  Copyright, 1909, by HARPER & BROTHERS.

  _All rights reserved._

  Published October, 1909.



  INTRODUCTION                                                        xi



      EXPANSION                                                        1

        By _Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D._, Professor of History in
        Harvard University. Author of “National Ideals Historically
        Traced” and Editor of “The American Nation.”

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, in the
      history of Colonial America, between the Landing of Columbus,
      1492, and Champlain’s Battle with the Iroquois, 1609.




        By _Thomas Wentworth Higginson_. Author of “A History of the
        United States.”

    CHAMPLAIN’S BATTLE WITH THE IROQUOIS, 1609                        27

        By _Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D._

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between
      Champlain’s Battle with the Iroquois, 1609, and the Conquest
      of the Pequots, 1637.


  THE CONQUEST OF THE PEQUOTS, 1637                                   32

      By _Richard Hildreth_. Author of “The History of the United
      States of America.”

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between
      the Conquest of the Pequots, 1637, and the Defeat of King
      Philip, 1676.


  THE DEFEAT OF KING PHILIP, 1676                                     44

      By _Richard Hildreth_.

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between the
      Defeat of King Philip, 1676, and the Capture of Quebec, 1759.


  THE FALL OF QUEBEC, 1759                                            63

      By _Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D._, Librarian of the Wisconsin
      State Historical Society. Author of “France in America.”

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between the
      Capture of Quebec, 1759, and the Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775.


  I. CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, 1775–1783                     79


      By _Claude Halstead Van Tyne, Ph.D._, Assistant Professor of
      American History in the University of Michigan. Author of
      “The American Revolution.”


  THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL, 1775                                    102

      By _Benson J. Lossing_. Author of “The Pictorial Field-book of
      the Revolution.”

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between the
      Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775, and the Battle of Saratoga, 1777.


  THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA, 1777                                       120

      By _Richard Hildreth_.

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between the
      Battle of Saratoga, 1777, and the Battle of Yorktown, 1781.


  I. YORKTOWN AND THE SURRENDER OF CORNWALLIS, 1781                  145


      By _Claude Halstead Van Tyne, Ph.D._

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between the
      Battle of Yorktown, 1781, and the Battles on the Lakes,
      1813, 1814.


  THE BATTLE OF LAKE ERIE, 1813                                      157

      By _James Barnes_. Author of “Naval Actions of the War of


  THE BATTLE OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN, 1814                                 173

      By _James Barnes_.

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, in the
      history of the United States, between the Battle of Lake
      Champlain, 1814, and the War with Mexico, 1846–1847.


  THE RUPTURE WITH MEXICO, 1843–1846                                 183



      By _George Pierce Garrison, Ph.D._, Professor of History in
      the University of Texas. Author of “Westward Extension.”


  THE BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA, 1847                                    198

      By _John Bonner_.


  SCOTT’S CONQUEST OF MEXICO, 1847                                   208


      By _John Bonner_.

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between
      the Conquest of Mexico, 1847, and the Bombardment of Fort
      Sumter, 1861.


  FORT SUMTER, 1861                                                  232





      By _French Ensor Chadwick_, Rear-Admiral U. S. N. (Retired).
      Author of “Causes of the Civil War.”

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between the
      Bombardment of Fort Sumter, 1861, and the Battle of the
      _Monitor_ and _Merrimac_, 1862.


  THE BATTLE OF THE “MONITOR” AND THE “MERRIMAC”                     274


      By _James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D._ Author of “The Appeal to
      Arms” and “The Outcome of the Civil War.”

      THE “MONITOR”                                                  279

      By _Lucius E. Chittenden_. Author of “Recollections of


  FARRAGUT’S CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS, 1862                            288


      By _James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D._

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between
      Farragut’s Capture of New Orleans, 1862, and the Battles of
      Gettysburg and Vicksburg, 1863.


  VICKSBURG, JANUARY–JULY, 1863                                      295

      By _James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D._


  GETTYSBURG, JULY 1–3, 1863                                         306

      By _James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D._

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between
      the Battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, 1863, and
      Appomattox, 1865.


  THE LAST SCENE--APPOMATTOX, 1865                                   329


      By _Gen. G. A. Forsyth, U. S. A._ (Retired). Author of
      “Thrilling Days in Army Life.”

    Synopsis of the principal events, chiefly military, between
      Appomattox, 1865, and the Battles of Manila Bay and Santiago
      de Cuba, 1898.


  THE BATTLE OF MANILA BAY, 1898                                     347


  THE BATTLES OF SANTIAGO, 1898                                      357






      By _John Halladay Latané, Ph.D._, Professor of History,
      Washington and Lee University. Author of “America as a World

  INDEX                                                              379


  WATCHING THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL                      _Frontispiece_
                                                             _Facing p._
      INDIANS ON THE WARPATH                                          20

  CHAMPLAIN’S ATTACK ON AN IROQUOIS FORT                              28


  BATTLE OF LAKE ERIE                                                166


  BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA                                              202

  CHARGE OF THE “PALMETTOS” AT CHURUBUSCO                            218

  BATTLE OF MOLINO DEL REY                                           222


  FIRST CORPS, SEMINARY RIDGE, 3.30 P.M., JULY 1, 1863               316

  ATTACK OF PICKETT’S AND ANDERSON’S DIVISION                        324


  BATTLE OF MANILA BAY                                               354

  THE CAPTURE OF THE BLOCK-HOUSE AT SAN JUAN                         366

  THE LAST OF CERVERA’S FLEET                                        372


America was discovered in a search for trade routes, but our country
has been in larger part maintained and transmitted to us directly or
indirectly as the result of war. Almost from the outset there were
conflicting claims on the part of Spain, France, and England, and
also Holland. The struggles against hostile native tribes along the
Atlantic seaboard were followed by war against the aggressions of the
French, who would have kept the English-speaking colonies east of the
Alleghanies. That long period of strife was followed by two conflicts
with England, the first gaining America for Americans as an independent
nation, the second confirming it as an independent nationality. While
the great Louisiana Purchase was a peaceful acquisition, Napoleon’s
willingness to cede this territory was intermingled with his military
plans. California and the extreme Southwest came out of conflict with
Mexico. The Civil War preserved the integrity of the country which
Americans had gained. Hawaii was added through a revolution fortunately
bloodless. As a result of the war with Spain, Porto Rico and the
Philippines were included within the limits of our authority.

Since war is a last resort, a brutal expression of failure to arrive
at an agreement, the series of political events which have preceded
war and the manifold aspects of civil life have seemed very justly
to modern historians more important than the descriptions of war
itself. The older writers were fond of dwelling upon all the pomp and
circumstances and all the dramatic accompaniments of battle. Modern
history is written differently, so differently, in fact, that we are
apt to find battles summarized in paragraphs by scientific historians.
Thus the pendulum has swung from one extreme to another, until it has
become a difficult matter to find in the newest shorter histories
accounts of significant military events which approach completeness.
Take, for example, the battle of Bunker Hill. No name in our own
military history is more familiar, and yet in many of the books most
readily available for older as well as younger readers this battle
appears as a brief summary of facts. As to the Mexican War, such
remarkable military events as Taylor’s victory at Buena Vista over a
force five times as large, or the series of desperate battles which won
the City of Mexico for Scott, are practically little more than obscure
names for readers of to-day. It is not strange that Mr. Charles Francis
Adams once inaugurated his presidency of the American Historical
Association with an earnest plea for military history.

In the present volume, which is a companion to Harper & Brothers’
new edition of Sir Edward Creasy’s _Decisive Battles of the World_,
the editor has kept in mind the importance of preserving historical
relations and continuity. The concise chronology of leading events
in American history which runs through from beginning to end is not
entirely limited to the military side of history. The introductory
chapter sketches world relations from the fifteenth century. The
second chapter affords a broad view of the relations of the early
colonists to the Indians, and there is also specific reference to
Champlain’s alliance with the Algonquins and the consequent hostility
of the Iroquois. For the rest, the conditions and causes leading up
to conflict are set forth wherever necessary in order to furnish a
perspective, and to afford a narrative in some degree consecutive. As
to the question of selection, there is obvious justice in Creasy’s
dictum that the importance of battles is to be measured by their
significance, and not by the number of men engaged or by carnage.
To New Englanders in the seventeenth century the struggles with the
Pequots and with King Philip were for the time being a fight for
existence as well as for possession of the country. They were but small
affairs, measured by modern standards; but much history would have been
written differently had the early New England settlers encountered the
fate of the lost colony of Roanoke.

The battle on the Plains of Abraham, which ended French rule on this
continent, was fought by Englishmen with only slight American aid, but
its consequences to Americans were assuredly momentous. As compared
with Gettysburg, or Sedan, or Mukden, Bunker Hill was a mere skirmish,
yet its fame is well founded, for it was the first formal stand against
the British by an organized American soldiery, and in this and in the
fact of American initiative in seizing and fortifying Breed’s Hill, it
differed from the hasty gathering of patriots at Lexington and from the
brief conflict at Concord Bridge. In the light of modern experience,
again, the naval battles of Lake Erie and Lake Champlain seem small
engagements, but the one safe-guarded our northern frontier and the
other repelled an invasion aimed at the very vitals of our country. On
the other hand, the dramatic battle of New Orleans, fought after peace
was made, would have had but slight political consequences had the
outcome been different.

As to the war with Mexico, a certain chastening of the American
conscience has perhaps led us to forget the extraordinary gallantry
of a volunteer as well as a regular soldiery in a foreign country,
repeatedly pitted against great odds. The story of the more significant
battles in those campaigns is entitled to better acquaintance, and
Taylor’s final victory on the north and the series of desperate attacks
by which Scott reached the heart of Mexico are therefore set forth in
some detail.

Mention of our Civil War calls up a long roll of hard-fought battles,
but Sir Edward Creasy’s point may be reiterated that it is not numbers
or bloodshed that constitute the significance of a battle. Fort Sumter
was a small affair; Antietam, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville,
Chickamauga, and other hard-fought battles were great conflicts.
Yet influential as they were, they were not decisive; while Sumter
represented the first open attack on the Flag and the instant call to

The fight of the _Monitor_ brought a revolution in naval warfare.
The blockade of the South, which can be only touched upon here,
represented that decisive influence of sea power which has been so
eloquently expounded by Captain Mahan. This influence was illustrated
more concretely in Farragut’s capture of New Orleans, which was as
necessary as Grant’s conquest of Vicksburg to clear the Mississippi
and cut the Confederacy in two. In spite of the military importance
of Sherman’s march to the sea, the fact that, like Grant’s ceaseless
battering in Virginia, it was a campaign rather than an event, renders
any adequate description impossible in the limits of a book dealing,
for the most part, with crises or facts of immediately significant
consequence. On the other hand, Gettysburg, which destroyed once and
for all the possibility of a successful invasion of the North, is a
historical landmark in concrete form. It is described in this volume by
a historian who is also a veteran of the Civil War.

Insignificant as was the war with Spain in comparison with the great
struggle of 1861–65, it is assuredly of historical consequence that
the battles of Santiago de Cuba destroyed the last vestiges of a
Spanish rule in the Western Hemisphere which had lasted nearly four
hundred years. Out of this came freedom at last for Cuba, and its
grave responsibilities. Earlier in the same year Dewey’s guns drove
the Spanish flag from the Pacific, and gave us a not wholly welcome
partnership in the vexed questions of the Orient.

Fortunately, our Temple of Janus is closed--let us trust, never to
be reopened. But there are momentous lessons of patriotism and
self-sacrifice to be read in these accounts of deeds which have
preserved our country and helped to make it great. The eminent
historians whose works have furnished these chapters have been moved by
no desire to glorify war in itself--rather the reverse; but they have
dealt with phases of history so vital and of such supreme interest that
this story of these events will help general readers, old and young, to
an ampler knowledge of our history.




_European Contests Affecting America, and a Summary of American

The settlers’ task of conquering the wilderness might have been simpler
had they not spent so much energy in conquering one another; for side
by side with the advance of the frontier goes a process of territorial
rivalry of which the end is not yet. Along with a contest with the
aborigines for the face of the country went a nominal subdivision of
the continent among the occupying European powers, a process made more
difficult by the slow development of knowledge about the interior: as
late as 1660 people thought that the upper Mississippi emptied into the
Gulf of California.

At the very beginning came an effort to settle the prime problem of
European title by religious authority. Three papal bulls of 1493
attempted to draw a meridian through the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,
west of which Spain should have the whole occupancy of newly discovered
lands, and, east of it, Portugal.[1]

Spain was first to see the New World, first to coast the continents,
first to explore the interior, first to conquer tribes of the natives,
and first to set up organized colonies. Except in Brazil, which was
east of the demarcation line, for a century after discovery Spain was
the only American power. A war for the mastery of North America between
the Anglo-Saxon and the Spaniard continued for more than two centuries.
After the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English, in 1588, it
became possible to break in upon the monopoly of American territory;
as soon as the war with Spain was over, England gave the first
charter, which resulted in the founding of a lasting English colony in
America--the Virginia grant of 1606.

The claim of Spain would have been more effective had it not included
the whole continent of North America, hardly an eighth of which was
occupied by Spanish colonies. International law as to the occupation
of new countries was in a formative state: everybody admitted that you
might seize the territory of pagans, but how did you know when you had
seized it? Was the state of which an accredited vessel first followed
a coast thereby possessed of all the back country draining into that
coast? Did actual exploration of the interior create presumptive title
to the surrounding region? Was a trading-post proof that occupation was
meant to be permanent? Did actual colonies of settlers, who expected to
spend their lives there, make a complete evidence of rightful title?


These various sorts of claims were singularly tangled and contorted
in America. Who had the best title to the Chesapeake--the English,
who believed Sebastian Cabot had followed that part of the coast in
1498, or the French, whose commander Verrazzano undoubtedly was there
in 1524, or the Spaniards, for whom De Ayllon made a voyage in 1526?
Spanish explorers had crossed and followed the Mississippi River,
but it is doubtful whether in 1600 they could easily have found its
mouth. The French, in like manner, had explored the St. Lawrence,
but without permanent results. Therefore, the territorial history of
the United States may be said to begin with the almost simultaneous
planting of settlements in the New World by France, England, and
Holland, between 1600 and 1615. The French happened first on the St.
Lawrence, which was the gateway into the interior, with its valuable
fur-trade; and they set up their first permanent establishment at
Quebec in 1608. The English, after thirty years of attempts on the
Virginia coast, finally planted the colony of Jamestown in 1607. The
Dutch rediscovered the Hudson River in 1609, and founded New Amsterdam
in 1614. The next great river south, the Delaware, was occupied by
the Swedes in 1638. It is one of the misfortunes of civilization that
Germany, then the richest and most intellectual nation in Europe, and
well suited for taking a share in the development of the New World, was
in this critical epoch absorbed in the fearful Thirty Years’ War, which
in 1648 left the country ruined and helpless, so that no attempt could
be made to link the destinies of Germany with those of America.

Soon began seizures of undoubted Spanish territory: the English first
picked up various small islands in the West Indies, in 1655 wrested
away the Spanish island of Jamaica, and thereupon made a little
settlement on the coast of Honduras. The next step was a determined
onset against the nearer neighbors in North America. Quebec was taken
and held from 1629 to 1632; the Dutch, who had absorbed the Swedish
colonies, were dispossessed in 1664;[2] and the English proceeded to
contest Hudson Bay with the French. These conflicts marked a deliberate
intention to seize points of vantage like Belize and Jamaica, and to
uproot the colonies of other European powers in North America; it was
part of a process of English expansion which was going on also on the
opposite side of the globe.

As the eighteenth century began, France, England, and Spain were still
in antagonism for the possession of North America; and the French,
in 1699, succeeded in planting a colony on the Gulf in the side of
the Spanish colonial empire. These international rivalries were soon
altered by the struggle of England against the attempt of Louis XIV.
to bring about the practical consolidation of Spain and France, which
would have made an immense Latin colonial empire. To some degree on
religious grounds, partly to protect their commerce, and partly from
inscrutable international jealousies, the nations of Europe were
plunged into a series of five land and naval wars between 1689 and
1783, in each of which North American territory was attacked, and in
several of which great changes were made in the map.

In these wars the colonies formed an ideal as to the duty of a
mother-country to protect daughter colonies, and aided in developing
a policy which has been described by one of the most brilliant of
modern writers as that of “sea power.”[3] The illustration of that
theory was a succession of fleet engagements in the West Indies, always
followed by a picking up of enemy’s islands; and also the repeated
efforts of the colonists in separate or joint expeditions to conquer
the neighboring French or Spanish territory. The final result was the
destruction of the French-American power and the serious weakening of
the Spanish.

In 1732 the charter of Georgia was a denial of the Spanish claims to
Florida. By the treaty of 1763 France was pressed altogether out of the
continent, yielding up to England that splendid region of the eastern
part of the Mississippi Valley which the English coveted, and with
it the St. Lawrence Valley. For the first time since the capture of
Jamaica, a considerable area of Spanish territory was transferred to
England by the cession of the Floridas. Louisiana to the west of the
Mississippi, together with New Orleans, on the east bank, were allowed
to pass to Spain. From that time to the Revolution the only two North
American powers were England and Spain, who substantially divided the
continent between them by the line of the Mississippi River.[4]

During this period the English were not only acquiring but were
parcelling out their new territory. It was always a serious question
how far west the coast colonies extended; some of them--Massachusetts,
Connecticut, Virginia, the Carolinas--had bounds nominally reaching
to the Pacific Ocean. To silence this controversy, in 1763 a royal
proclamation directed that the colonial governors should not exercise
jurisdiction west of the heads of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic,
leaving in a kind of territorial limbo the region between the summit
of the Appalachians and the Mississippi.[5] These numerous territorial
grants gave rise to many internal controversies; but by the time of
the Revolution most of the lines starting at the sea-coast and leading
inward had been adjusted.

The idea of territorial solidarity among the English colonies was
disturbed by the addition of Nova Scotia and Quebec on the north,
and East and West Florida on the south. Intercolonial jealousy was
heightened in 1774 by the Quebec act, under which the almost unpeopled
region north of the Ohio River was added to the French-speaking
province. When the Revolution broke out in 1775, that jealousy was
reflected in the refusal of Quebec and Nova Scotia and the distant
Floridas to join in it. Almost the first campaign of the war, however,
showed the purpose of territorial enlargement, for in 1775 the
Arnold-Montgomery expedition to Canada vainly attempted to persuade the
Frenchmen by force to enter the union. Two years later George Rogers
Clark lopped off the southern half of the British western country. The
Southwest, into which settlers had begun to penetrate in 1769, was,
during the Revolution, laid hold of by the adventurous frontiersman;
and in 1782 the negotiators of Paris thought best to leave that, as
well as the whole Northwest, in the hands of the new United States.[6]

The result of the Revolutionary War was the entrance into the American
continent of a third territorial power, the United States, which
was divided into two nearly equal portions: between the sea and the
mountains lay the original thirteen states; between the mountains and
the Mississippi was an area destined to be organized into separate
states and immediately opened for settlement.[7] This destiny was
solemnly announced by votes of Congress in 1780, and by the territorial
ordinance of 1784, the land ordinance of 1785, and the Northwest
Ordinance of 1787, which, taken together, were virtually a charter
for the western country, very similar in import to the old colonial

In this sketch of territorial development up to 1787 may be seen the
elements of a national policy and a national system: the territories
were practically colonies and inchoate states, soon to be admitted into
the Union; while the expansion of the national boundary during the war
was a presage of future conquest and enlargement; and, considering the
military and naval strength of Great Britain, the only direction in
which annexation was likely was the southwest. Although the Federal
Constitution of 1787 acknowledged the difference between states and
territories only in general terms, and made no provision for the
annexation of territory, the spirit and the reasonable implication of
that instrument was that the Union might be and probably would be
enlarged; some writers at the time felt sure that republican government
was applicable to large areas.[9]

Hence it was neither unnatural nor unsuitable that the new nation
should at once show a spirit of expansion: in 1795 and 1796 its
boundaries were finally acknowledged by its southern and northern
neighbors. Various wild schemes of invading Spanish territory were
broached, but not till 1803 was the question of the Mississippi fairly
faced. Repeating the bold policy of Louis XIV., Napoleon attempted to
combine the military and colonial forces of Spain with those of France,
in order to make head against Great Britain. As a preliminary, in 1800
he practically compelled the cession of the former French province of
Louisiana, and thereby revealed to the American people that it would be
a menace to national prosperity to permit a powerful military nation
to block the commercial outlet of the interior. Hence, when Napoleon
changed his mind and offered the province to the United States in 1803,
there was nothing for the envoys, the President, the Senate, the House,
and the people to do but to accept it as a piece of manifest destiny.
The boundaries of the Union were thus extended to the Gulf and to the
distant Rocky Mountains.[10]

With a refinement of assurance the United States also claimed, and
in 1814 forcibly occupied West Florida. In the same period began a
purposeful movement for extending the territory of the United States
to the Pacific. Taking advantage of the discovery of the mouth of the
Columbia River by an American ship in 1792, President Jefferson sent
out a transcontinental expedition, under Lewis and Clark, which reached
the Pacific in 1805, and thereby forged a second link in the American
claims to Oregon. By this time the Spanish empire was in the throes
of colonial revolution, and in 1819 the Spanish government ceded East
Florida and withdrew any claims to Oregon, Texas being left to Spain.

This is a stirring decade, and it completely changed the territorial
status of the United States. By 1819 the Atlantic coast all belonged
to the United States, from the St. Croix River around Florida to the
Sabine; the country was reaching out toward Mexico, and was building
a bridge of solid territory across the continent, where, as all the
world knew, far to the south of Oregon lay the harbor of San Francisco,
the best haven on the Pacific coast. The bold conceptions of Jefferson
and John Quincy Adams and their compeers included the commercial and
political advantages of a Pacific front; and they were consciously
preparing the way for the homes of unborn generations under the
American flag.

One result of the new position of the United States was to bring out
sharply a territorial rivalry with Great Britain. The War of 1812 had
been an attempt to annex Canada, and after it was over a controversy as
to the boundary between Maine and Nova Scotia kept the two countries
harassed until its settlement in 1842.[11] After that the rivalry
for Oregon, which had been held in joint occupation since 1818, was
intensified. About 1832 immigration began in which the Americans
outran the English; and it was fortunate for both countries that in
1846 the disputed territory was divided by a fair compromise line, the
forty-ninth parallel.[12] A third territorial controversy was fought
out within the limits of the Union itself, between the friends and
opponents of the annexation of Texas, in 1845.[13] This was the first
instance of an American colony planting itself within the acknowledged
limits of another power, until it was strong enough to set up for
itself as an independent state and to ask for admission to the Union.

The annexation of Texas inevitably led to a movement on California,
which could be obtained only by aggressive war upon Mexico, and for
connection with which the possession of New Mexico was also thought
necessary. Ever since 1820 explorers had been opening up the region
between the Mississippi and the Pacific,[14] and it was known that
there were several practicable roads to that distant coast.[15] The
annexation of California almost led the United States into a serious
territorial adventure; for apparently nothing but the hasty treaty
negotiated by Trist in 1848 stopped a movement for the annexation of
the whole of Mexico.[16] The Gadsden Purchase of 1853 conveniently
rounded out the cession of New Mexico and closed this second era of
territorial expansion.

The annexation of Texas was logical, and delayed only by the accidental
connection with slavery; but the annexation of Oregon and California
added to the Union very distant possessions, the settlement of which
must have been slow but for the discovery of gold in California in
1848. At once a new set of territorial questions arose: the necessity
of reaching California across the plains led to the organization of
Nebraska and Kansas territories in 1854, which convulsed the parties
of the time; the movement across the Isthmus to California brought up
the question of an interoceanic canal in a new light; the commercial
footing on the Pacific led to a pressure which broke the shell of
Japanese exclusion in 1854. Above all, these annexations brought before
the nation two questions of constitutional law, which proved both
difficult and disturbing: the issue of slavery in the territories,
which precipitated, if it did not cause, the Civil War, and the
eventual status of territories which, from their situation or their
population, were not likely to become states.

The third era of national expansion began in 1867 with the purchase
of Alaska,[17] which was wholly a personal plan of Secretary Seward,
in which the nation took very little interest; nor was the public
aroused by Seward’s more important scheme for annexing the Danish West
India Islands and a part of Santo Domingo; when the latter project was
taken up in 1870 and pushed with unaccountable energy by President
Grant,[18] popular sentiment showed itself plainly averse to annexing
a country with a population wholly negro and little in accord with
the American spirit. For twenty-five years thereafter there was the
same indisposition to annex territory that brought problems with it;
and then the movement for the annexation of Hawaii was headed off by
President Cleveland in 1893.[19] The Spanish War of 1898 swept all
these barriers away, and left the United States in possession of the
Philippine Islands, a distant archipelago containing seven and a half
millions of Catholic Malays; of the island of Porto Rico, in the West
Indies; of the Hawaiian group; of a responsible protectorate over Cuba;
and, four years later, of the Panama strip, which may include the
future Constantinople of the western world.

In the whole territorial history of the country, never has there been
such a transition. The Philippines, which “Mr. Dooley” in 1898 thought
might be canned goods, are now, according to the Supreme Court, in
one sense “a part of the United States,” yet not an organic part in
financial or governmental or legal relations. The country, which from
1850 to 1902 divided with Great Britain the responsibility for a future
Isthmian canal, is now “making the dirt fly” in a canal strip which
is virtually Federal territory. China, which a few years ago was one
of the remotest parts of the earth, now lies but a few hundred miles
from American possessions. The romantic era of annexations has gone by:
the automobile trundles across the Great American Desert and stops for
lunch at a railroad restaurant, and the South Sea Islands have lost
their mystery since the trade-winds straighten out the American flag
above some of those tiny land-spots.


1492. Columbus discovers the western world.

1497. John Cabot reaches the mainland of North America.

1498. Columbus discovers the mainland of South America.

1512. Ponce de Leon lands in Florida.

1513. Balboa discovers the Pacific Ocean.

1519. Entry of Cortez into the City of Mexico.

1521. Conquest of Mexico by Cortez.

1531–33. Conquest of Peru by Pizarro.

1534. Cartier’s first voyage to the St. Lawrence.

1535–36. Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca crosses the continent from near the
mouth of the Mississippi to Sinaloa in Mexico.

1541. The expedition of De Soto reaches the Mississippi River.
Coronado, coming from Mexico, reaches the interior, probably
northeastern Kansas.

1562. The Huguenots attempt a settlement on the coast of South Carolina.

1564. Huguenot settlement on the St. John’s River in Florida.

1565. Founding of St. Augustine by the Spanish.

1583. Sir Humphrey Gilbert takes possession of Newfoundland in the name
of Queen Elizabeth.

1584. Raleigh’s expedition to North Carolina. The region is named
Virginia in honor of Queen Elizabeth.

1585. Unsuccessful settlement by the English on Roanoke Island.

1602. Bartholomew Gosnold attempts a settlement on the coast of

1606. James I. grants a patent to the London and Plymouth Companies.

1607. Foundation of Jamestown.

1608. Foundation of Quebec by the French.

1609. Champlain, with Algonquin Indians, defeats Mohawks, of the
Iroquois Confederacy, near Ticonderoga.



_The Hundred Years’ War Between Early Colonists and the Indians_

European history makes much of the “Seven Years’ War” and the “Thirty
Years’ War”; and when we think of a continuous national contest for
even the least of those periods, there is something terrible in the
picture. But the feeble English colonies in America, besides all the
difficulties of pioneer life, had to sustain a warfare that lasted,
with few intermissions, for about a hundred years. It was, moreover, a
warfare against the most savage and stealthy enemies, gradually trained
and reinforced by the most formidable military skill of Europe. Without
counting the early feuds, such as the Pequot War, there elapsed almost
precisely a century from the accession of King Philip, in 1662, to the
Peace of Paris, which nominally ended the last French and Indian War in
1763. During this whole period, with pacific intervals that sometimes
lasted for years, the same essential contest went on; the real question
being, for the greater part of the time, whether France or England
should control the continent. The description of this prolonged war
may, therefore, well precede any general account of the colonial or
provincial life in America.

The early explorers of the Atlantic coast usually testify that they
found the Indians a gentle, not a ferocious, people. They were as
ready as could be expected to accept the friendship of the white race.
In almost every case of quarrel the white men were the immediate
aggressors, and where they were attacked without seeming cause--as
when Smith’s Virginian colony was assailed by the Indians in the first
fortnight of its existence--there is good reason to think that the act
of the Indians was in revenge for wrongs elsewhere. One of the first
impulses of the early explorers was to kidnap natives for exhibition
in Europe, in order to excite the curiosity of kings or the zeal of
priests; and even where these captives were restored unharmed, the
distrust could not be removed. Add to this the acts of plunder, lust,
or violence, and there was plenty of provocation given from the very


The disposition to cheat and defraud the Indians has been much
exaggerated, at least as regards the English settlers. The early
Spanish invaders made no pretence of buying one foot of land from the
Indians, whereas the English often went through the form of purchase,
and very commonly put in practice the reality. The Pilgrims, at the
very beginning, took baskets of corn from an Indian grave to be used
as seed, and paid for it afterward. The year after the Massachusetts
colony was founded the court decreed: “It is ordered that Josias
Plastowe shall (for stealing four baskets of corne from the Indians)
returne them eight baskets againe, be fined five pounds, and hereafter
called by the name of Josias, and not Mr., as formerly he used to
be.” As a mere matter of policy, it was the general disposition of
the English settlers to obtain lands by honest purchase; indeed,
Governor Josiah Winslow, of Plymouth, declared, in reference to King
Philip’s War, that “before these present troubles broke out the English
did not possess one foot of land in this colony but what was fairly
obtained by honest purchase of the Indian proprietors.” This policy was
quite general. Captain West, in 1610, bought the site of what is now
Richmond, Virginia, for some copper. The Dutch Governor Minuit bought
the island of Manhattan, in 1626, for sixty gilders. Lord Baltimore’s
company purchased land for cloth, tools, and trinkets; the Swedes
obtained the site of Christiania for a kettle; Roger Williams bought
the island of Rhode Island for forty fathoms of white beads; and New
Haven was sold to the whites, in 1638, for “twelve coats of English
cloth, twelve alchemy spoons, twelve hoes, twelve hatchets, twelve
porringers, twenty-four knives, and twenty-four cases of French knives
and spoons.” Many other such purchases will be found recorded by Doctor
Ellis. And though the price paid might often seem ludicrously small,
yet we must remember that a knife or a hatchet was really worth more
to an Indian than many square miles of wild land; while even the beads
were a substitute for wampum, or wompom, which was their circulating
medium in dealing with each other and with the whites, and was worth,
in 1660, five shillings a fathom.

So far as the mere bargaining went, the Indians were not individually
the sufferers in the early days; but we must remember that behind all
these transactions there often lay a theory which was as merciless as
that of the Spanish “Requisition,”[20] and which would, if logically
carried out, have made all these bargainings quite superfluous.
Increase Mather begins his history of King Philip’s War with this
phrase, “That the Heathen People amongst whom we live, and whose
Land the Lord God of our Fathers hath given to us for a rightful
Possession”; and it was this attitude of hostile superiority that gave
the sting to all the relations of the two races. If a quarrel rose, it
was apt to be the white man’s fault; and after it had arisen, even the
humaner Englishmen usually sided with their race, as when the peaceful
Plymouth men went to war in defence of the Weymouth reprobates.
This fact, and the vague feeling that an irresistible pressure was
displacing them, caused most of the early Indian outbreaks. And when
hostilities had once arisen, it was very rare for a white man of
English birth to be found fighting against his own people, although it
grew more and more common to find Indians on both sides.

As time went on each party learned from the other. In the early
explorations, as of Champlain and Smith, we see the Indians terrified
by their first sight of firearms, but soon becoming skilled in the
use of them. “The King, with fortie Bowmen to guard me,” says Capt.
John Smith, in 1608, “entreated me to discharge my Pistoll, which they
there presented to me, with a mark at six-score to strike therewith;
but to spoil the practise I broke the cocke, whereat they were much
discontented.” But writing more than twenty years later, in 1631, he
says of the Virginia settlers, “The loving Salvages their kinde friends
they trained up so well to shoot in a Peace [fowling-piece] to hunt
and kill them fowle, they became more expert than our own countrymen.”
La Hontan, writing in 1703, says of the successors of those against
whom Champlain had first used firearms, “The Strength of the Iroquese
lies in engaging with Fire Arms in a Forrest, for they shoot very
dexterously.” They learned also to make more skilful fortifications,
and to keep a regular watch at night, which in the time of the early
explorers they had omitted. The same La Hontan says of the Iroquois,
“They are as negligent in the night-time as they are vigilant in the

But it is equally true that the English colonists learned much in
the way of forest warfare from the Indians. The French carried their
imitation so far that they often disguised themselves to resemble their
allies, with paint, feathers, and all; it was sometimes impossible to
tell in an attacking party which warriors were French and which were
Indians. Without often going so far as this, the English colonists
still modified their tactics. At first they seemed almost irresistible
because of their armor and weapons. In the very first year of the
Plymouth settlement, when report was brought that their friend
Massasoit had been attacked by the Narrangansets, and a friendly
Indian had been killed, the colony sent ten armed men, including Miles
Standish, to the Indian town of Namasket (now Middleborough) to rescue
or revenge their friend; and they succeeded in their enterprise,
surrounding the chief’s house and frightening every one in a large
Indian village by two discharges of their muskets.

But the heavy armor gradually proved a doubtful advantage against
a stealthy and light-footed foe. In spite of the superior physical
strength of the Englishman, he could not travel long distances through
the woods or along the sands without lightening his weight. He learned
also to fight from behind a tree, to follow a trail, to cover his body
with hemlock boughs for disguise when scouting. Captain Church states
in his own narrative that he learned from his Indian soldiers to march
his men “thin and scattering” through the woods; that the English had
previously, according to the Indians, “kept in a heap together, so that
it was as easy to hit them as to hit a house.” Even the advantage of
firearms involved the risk of being without ammunition, so that the
Rhode Island colony, by the code of laws adopted in 1647, required that
every man between seventeen and seventy should have a bow with four
arrows, and exercise with them; and that each father should furnish
every son from seven to seventeen years old with a bow, two arrows,
and shafts, and should bring them up to shooting. If this statute was
violated a fine was imposed, which the father must pay for the son, the
master for the servant, deducting it in the latter case from his wages.

Less satisfactory was the change by which the taking of scalps came to
be a recognized part of colonial warfare. Hannah Dustin, who escaped
from Indian captivity in 1698, took ten scalps with her own hand, and
was paid for them. Captain Church, undertaking his expedition against
the eastern Indians, in 1705, after the Deerfield massacre, announced
that he had not hitherto permitted the scalping of “Canada men,” but
should thenceforth allow it. In 1722, when the Massachusetts colony
sent an expedition against the village of “praying Indians,” founded by
Father Rasle, they offered for each scalp a bounty of £15, afterward
increased to £100; and this inhumanity was so far carried out that
the French priest himself was one of the victims. Jeremiah Bumstead,
of Boston, made this entry in his almanac in the same year: “Aug. 22,
28 Indian scalps brought to Boston, one of which was Bombazen’s [an
Indian chief] and one fryer Raile’s.” Two years after, the celebrated
but inappropriately named Captain Lovewell, the foremost Indian fighter
of his region, came upon ten Indians asleep round a pond. He and his
men killed and scalped them all, and entered Dover, New Hampshire,
bearing the ten scalps stretched on hoops and elevated on poles. After
receiving an ovation in Dover they went by water to Boston, and were
paid a thousand pounds for their scalps. Yet Lovewell’s party was
always accompanied by a chaplain, and had prayers every morning and

[Illustration: From a drawing by Howard Pyle


The most painful aspect of the whole practice lies in the fact that
it was not confined to those actually engaged in fighting, but that
the colonial authorities actually established a tariff of prices for
scalps, including even non-combatants--so much for a man’s, so much for
a woman’s, so much for a child’s. Doctor Ellis has lately pointed out
the striking circumstance that whereas William Penn had declared the
person of an Indian to be “sacred,” his grandson, in 1764, offered $134
for the scalp of an Indian man, $130 for that of a boy under ten, and
$50 for that of a woman or girl. The habit doubtless began in the fury
of retaliation, and was continued in order to conciliate Indian allies;
and when bounties were offered to them, the white volunteers naturally
claimed a share. But there is no doubt that Puritan theology helped the
adoption of the practice. It was partly because the Indian was held to
be something worse than a beast that he was treated with very little
mercy. The truth is that he was viewed as a fiend, and there could
not be much scruple about using inhumanities against a demon. Cotton
Mather calls Satan “the old landlord” of the American wilderness,
and says in his _Magnalia_: “These Parts were then covered with
Nations of Barbarous Indians and Infidels, in whom the Prince of the
Power of the Air did work as a Spirit; nor could it be expected that
Nations of Wretches whose whole religion was the most Explicit sort of
Devil-Worship should not be acted by the devil to engage in some early
and bloody Action for the Extinction of a Plantation so contrary to his
Interests as that of New England was.”

Before the French influence began to be felt there was very little
union on the part of the Indians, and each colony adjusted its own
relations with them. At the time of the frightful Indian massacre
in the Virginia colony (March 22, 1622), when three hundred and
forty-seven men, women, and children were murdered, the Plymouth colony
was living in entire peace with its savage neighbors. “We have found
the Indians,” wrote Governor Winslow, “very faithful to their covenants
of peace with us, very loving and willing to pleasure us. We go with
them in some cases fifty miles into the country, and walk as safely and
peacefully in the woods as in the highways of England.” The treaty with
Massasoit lasted for more than fifty years, and the first bloodshed
between the Plymouth men and the Indians was incurred in the protection
of the colony of Weymouth, which had brought trouble on itself in 1623.
The Connecticut settlements had far more difficulty with the Indians
than those in Massachusetts, but the severe punishment inflicted on the
Pequots in 1637 quieted the savages for a long time. In that fight a
village of seventy wigwams was destroyed by a force of ninety white men
and several hundred friendly Indians; and Captain Underhill, the second
in command, has left a quaint delineation of the attack.

There was a period resembling peace in the eastern colonies for nearly
forty years after the Pequot War, while in Virginia there were renewed
massacres in 1644 and 1656. But the first organized Indian outbreak
began with the conspiracy of King Philip in 1675, although the seeds
had been sown before that chief succeeded to power in 1662. In that
year Wamsutta, or Alexander, Philip’s brother--both being sons of
Massasoit--having fallen under some suspicion, was either compelled or
persuaded by Major Josiah Winslow, afterwards the first native-born
Governor of Plymouth, to visit that settlement. The Indian came with
his whole train of warriors and women, including his queen, the
celebrated “squaw sachem” Weetamo, and they stayed at Winslow’s house.
Here the chief fell ill. The day was very hot, and though Winslow
offered his horse to the chief, it was refused, because there was none
for his squaw or the other women. He was sent home because of illness,
and died before he got half-way there. This is the story as told by
Hubbard, but not altogether confirmed by other authorities. If true,
it is interesting as confirming the theory of that careful student,
Lucien Carr, that the early position of women among the Indians was
higher than has been generally believed. It is pretty certain, at any
rate, that Alexander’s widow, Weetamo, believed her husband to have
been poisoned by the English, and she ultimately sided with Philip when
the war broke out, and apparently led him and other Indians to the same
view as to the poisoning. It is evident that from the time of Philip’s
accession to authority, whatever he may have claimed, his mind was
turned more and more against the English.

It is now doubted whether the war known as King Philip’s War was
the result of such deliberate and organized action as was formerly
supposed, but about the formidable strength of the outbreak there can
be no question. It began in June, 1675; Philip was killed August 12,
1676, and the war was prolonged at the eastward for nearly two years
after his death. Ten or twelve Puritan towns were utterly destroyed,
many more damaged, and five or six hundred men were killed or missing.
The war cost the colonists £100,000, and the Plymouth colony was left
under a debt exceeding the whole valuation of its property--a debt
ultimately paid, both principal and interest. On the other hand,
the war tested and cemented the league founded in 1643 between four
colonies--Massachusetts, Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut--against
the Indians and Dutch, while this prepared the way more and more for
the extensive combinations that came after. In this early war, as the
Indians had no French allies, so the English had few Indian allies,
and it was less complex than the later contests, and so far less
formidable. But it was the first real experience on the part of the
eastern colonists of all the peculiar horrors of Indian warfare--the
stealthy approach, the abused hospitality, the early morning assault,
the maimed cattle, tortured prisoners, slain infants. All the terrors
that lately attached to a frontier attack of Apaches or Comanches
belonged to the daily life of settlers in New England and Virginia for
many years, with one vast difference, arising from the total absence in
those early days of any personal violence or insult to women. By the
general agreement of witnesses from all nations, including the women
captives themselves, this crowning crime was then wholly absent. The
once famous “white woman,” Mary Jemison, who was taken prisoner by the
Senecas at ten years old, in 1743--who lived in that tribe all her
life, survived two Indian husbands, and at last died at ninety--always
testified that she had never received an insult from an Indian, and had
never known of a captive’s receiving any. She added that she had known
few instances in the tribe of conjugal immorality, although she lived
to see it demoralized and ruined by strong drink.

The English colonists seem never to have inflicted on the Indians any
cruelty resulting from sensual vices, but of barbarity of another kind
there was plenty, for it was a cruel age. When the Narraganset fort was
taken by the English, December 19, 1675, the wigwams within the fort
were all set on fire, against the earnest entreaty of Captain Church;
and it was thought that more than one-half the English loss--which
amounted to several hundred--might have been saved had there been any
shelter for their own wounded on that cold night. This, however, was
a question of military necessity; but the true spirit of the age was
seen in the punishments inflicted after the war was over. The heads
of Philip’s chief followers were cut off, though Captain Church,
their captor, had promised to spare their lives; and Philip himself
was beheaded and quartered by Church’s order, since he was regarded,
curiously enough, as a rebel against Charles the Second, and this was
the state punishment for treason. Another avowed reason was, that “as
he had caused many an Englishman’s body to lye unburied,” not one
of his bones should be placed under ground. The head was set upon a
pole in Plymouth, where it remained for more than twenty-four years.
Yet when we remember that the heads of alleged traitors were exposed
in London at Temple Bar for nearly a century longer--till 1772 at
least--it is unjust to infer from this course any such fiendish cruelty
as it would now imply. It is necessary to extend the same charity,
however hard it may be, to the selling of Philip’s wife and little son
into slavery at the Bermudas; and here, as has been seen, the clergy
were consulted and the Old Testament called into requisition.

While these events were passing in the eastern settlements there were
Indian outbreaks in Virginia, resulting in war among the white settlers
themselves. The colony was, for various reasons, discontented; it was
greatly oppressed, and a series of Indian murders brought the troubles
to a climax. The policy pursued against the Indians was severe, and
yet there was no proper protection afforded by the government; war
was declared against them in 1676, and then the forces sent out were
suddenly disbanded by the governor, Berkeley. At last there was a
popular rebellion, which included almost all the civil and military
officers of the colony, and the rebellious party put Nathaniel Bacon,
Jr., a recently arrived but very popular planter, at their head. He
marched with five hundred men against the Indians, but was proclaimed
a traitor by the governor, whom Bacon proclaimed a traitor in return.
The war with the savages became by degrees quite secondary to the
internal contests among the English, in the course of which Bacon took
and burned Jamestown, beginning, it is said, with his own house; but he
died soon after. The insurrection was suppressed, and the Indians were
finally quieted by a treaty.

Into all the Indian wars after King Philip’s death two nationalities
besides the Indian and English entered in an important way. These were
the Dutch and the French. It was the Dutch who, soon after 1614, first
sold firearms to the Indians in defiance of their own laws, and by this
means greatly increased the horrors of the Indian warfare. On the other
hand, the Dutch, because of the close friendship they established with
the Five Nations, commonly called the Iroquois, did to the English
colonists, though unintentionally, a service so great that the whole
issue of the prolonged war may have turned upon it. These tribes, the
Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, and Senecas--afterward joined by
the Tuscaroras--held the key to the continent. Occupying the greater
part of what is now the State of New York, they virtually ruled the
country from the Atlantic to the Mississippi and from the Great Lakes
to the Savannah River. They were from the first treated with great
consideration by the Dutch, and they remained, with brief intervals
of war, their firm friends. One war, indeed, there was under the
injudicious management of Governor Kieft, lasting from 1640 to 1643;
and this came near involving the English colonies, while it caused the
death of sixteen hundred Indians, first or last, seven hundred of these
being massacred under the borrowed Puritan leader Captain Underhill.
But this made no permanent interruption to the alliance between the
Iroquois and the Dutch.

When New Netherlands yielded to the English, the same alliance was
retained, and to this we probably owe the preservation of the colonies,
their union against England, and the very existence of the present
American nation. Yet the first English governor, Colden, has left on
record the complaint of an Indian chief, who said that they very soon
felt the difference between the two alliances. “When the Dutch held
this country,” he said, “we lay in our houses, but the English have
always made us lie out-of-doors.”

But if the Dutch were thus an important factor in the Indian wars,
the French became almost the controlling influence on the other side.
Except for the strip of English colonies along the sea-shore, the
North American continent north of Mexico was French. This was not the
result of accident or of the greater energy of that nation, but of a
systematic policy, beginning with Champlain and never abandoned by
his successors. This plan was, as admirably stated by Parkman, “to
influence Indian counsels, to hold the balance of power between adverse
tribes, to envelop in the net-work of French power and diplomacy the
remotest hordes of the wilderness.” With this was combined a love of
exploration so great that it was hard to say which assisted the most in
spreading their dominion--religion, the love of adventure, diplomatic
skill, or military talent. These between them gave the interior of the
continent to the French. One of the New York governors wrote home that
if the French were to hold all that they had discovered, England would
not have a hundred miles from the sea anywhere.


_By Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D._

From the time of the restoration of New France (1632) till the final
catastrophe of 1759, Canada remained uninterruptedly French; and from
the tide-water of the St. Lawrence as a base, French traders, soldiers,
and settlers (_habitants_) spread westward, northward, and eventually
southward. In the year of the restoration probably not over a hundred
and eighty of its inhabitants might properly be called settlers, with
perhaps a few score military men, seafarers, and visiting commercial
adventurers. The majority of residents, of course, centred at Quebec,
with a few at the outlying trading-posts of Tadoussac on the east,
Three Rivers on the west, and the intervening hamlets of Beaupré,
Beauport, and Isle d’Orleans. At the same time the English and Dutch
settlements in Virginia, the Middle Colonies, and Massachusetts had
probably amassed an aggregate population of twenty-five thousand--for
between the years 1627 and 1637 upward of twenty thousand settlers
emigrated thither from Europe. While the English government was engaged
in efforts to repress the migration toward its own colonies, the utmost
endeavors of the powerful French companies, their arguments reinforced
by bounties, could not induce more than a few home-loving Frenchmen to
try their fortunes amid the rigors of the New World.

With all his tact, Champlain had committed one act of indiscretion, the
effects of which were left as an ill-fated legacy to the little colony
which he otherwise nursed so well. Seeking to please his Algonquian
neighbors upon the St. Lawrence, and at the time eager to explore the
country, the commandant, with two of his men-at-arms, accompanied
(1609) one of their frequent war-parties against the confederated
Iroquois, who lived, for the most part, in New York state and
northeastern Pennsylvania. Meeting a hostile band of two hundred and
fifty warriors near where Fort Ticonderoga was afterward constructed,
Champlain and his white attendants easily routed the enemy by means of
firearms, with which the interior savages were as yet unacquainted.[21]
His success in this direction was, through the unfortunate importunity
of his allies, repeated in 1610; but five years later, when he invaded
the Iroquois cantonments in the company of a large body of Huron, whose
country to the east of Lake Huron he had been visiting that summer, the
tribesmen to the southeast of Lake Ontario were found to have lost much
of their fear for white men’s weapons, and the invaders retreated in
some disorder.


(From an old print)]

The results were highly disastrous both to the Huron and the French.
The former were year by year mercilessly harried by the bloodthirsty
Iroquois, until in 1649 they were driven from their homes, and in
the frenzy of fear fled first to the islands of Lake Huron, then to
Mackinac and Sault Ste. Marie, finally to the southern shores of Lake
Superior, and deep within the dark pine forests of northern Wisconsin.
In the destruction of Huronia, several Jesuit missionaries suffered
torture and death.

As for the squalid little French settlements at Three Rivers, Quebec,
and Tadoussac, they soon felt the wrath of the Iroquois, who were the
fiercest and best-trained fighters among the savages of North America.
Almost annually the war-parties of this dread foe raided the lands of
the king, not infrequently appearing in force before the sharp-pointed
palisades of New France, over which were waged bloody battles for
supremacy. Fortunately logs could turn back a primitive enemy unarmed
with cannon; but not infrequently outlying parties of Frenchmen had
sorry experiences with the stealthy foe, of whose approach through the
tangled forest they had no warning. Champlain’s closing years were much
saddened by these merciless assaults which he had unwittingly invited;
in the decade after his death the operations of his successors were
largely hampered thereby. Montreal, founded by religious enthusiasts
in 1642, during its earliest years served as a buffer colony, in the
direction of the avenging tribesmen, and supped to the dregs the cup of
border turmoil.

Not only were Frenchmen obliged to huddle within their defences,
but far and near their Indian allies were swept from the earth. The
Iroquois practically destroyed the Algonquin tribes between Quebec
and the Saguenay, as well as the Algonquins of the Ottawa, the Huron,
and the Petun and Neutrals of the Niagara district. The fur-trade of
New France was for a long period almost wholly destroyed; English and
Dutch rivals to the south were friendly to the Iroquois, furnished them
cheap goods and abundant firearms and ammunition, and egged them on in
their northern forays; while toward the Mississippi, and south of the
Great Lakes, Iroquois raiders terrorized those tribes which dared to
entertain trade relations with the French.

In 1646, however, the blood-stained confederates, after nearly
a half-century of opposition, consented to a peace which lasted
spasmodically for almost twenty years; until in 1665 the French
government found itself strong enough to threaten the chastisement of
the New York tribesmen, and thereafter the Iroquois opposition, while
not altogether quelled, was of a far less threatening character.


1609. Henry Hudson ascends the Hudson River.

1610. Henry Hudson explores Hudson Bay.

1614. The Dutch erect a Fort on Manhattan Island.

1619. A colonial assembly is convened at Jamestown. Negro slavery is
introduced into Virginia.

1620. Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth.

1622. The Dutch West India Company take possession of New Netherlands.
Indian massacre in Virginia.

1623. Settlement of New Hampshire.

1624. Dissolution of the London Company. Virginia becomes a Crown

1626. The Dutch purchase Manhattan Island from the Indians.

1628. Settlement of Salem by the Massachusetts Bay Company.

1629. The English take Quebec.

1630. Foundation of Boston.

1631. Settlement of Maryland by Clayborne.

1632. Canada is restored to France by England. Lord Baltimore receives
a charter for a colony in Maryland.

1634. Settlement of St. Mary’s, Maryland, by Calvert.

1634–36. Settlement of Connecticut by the English. Settlement of Rhode
Island by Roger Williams.

1636. Foundation of Harvard College.

1637. Conquest of the Pequots by the New England colonists.



In 1636 the Massachusetts colony, under Vane’s administration,
became involved in new troubles--a violent internal controversy
and a dangerous Indian war. The most powerful native tribes of New
England were concentrated in the neighborhood of Narragansett Bay. The
Wampanoags, or Pocanokets, were on the east side of that bay within the
limits of the Plymouth patent, and the Narragansets, a more powerful
confederacy, on the west side. Still more numerous and more powerful
were the Pequots, whose chief seats were on or near Pequot River, now
the Thames, but whose authority extended over twenty-six petty tribes,
along both shores of the Sound to the Connecticut River, and even
beyond it, almost or quite to the Hudson. In what is now the northeast
corner of the State of Connecticut dwelt a smaller tribe, the enemies,
perhaps the revolted subjects, of the Pequots, known to the colonists
as Mohegans--an appropriation of a general name properly including
all the Indians along the shores of Long Island Sound as far west as
the Hudson, and even the tribes beyond that river, known afterward
to the English as the Delawares. The Indians about Massachusetts
Bay, supposed to have been formerly quite numerous, had almost died
out before the arrival of the colonists, and the smallpox had since
proved very fatal among the few that remained. Some tribes of no great
consideration--the Nipmucks, the Wachusetts, the Nashaways--dwelt among
the interior hills, and others, known collectively to the colonists
as the River Indians, fished at the falls of the Connecticut, and
cultivated little patches of its rich alluvial meadows. The lower
Merrimac, the Piscataqua, and their branches were occupied by the
tribes of a considerable confederacy, that of Penacook, or Pawtucket,
whose chief sachem, Passaconaway, was reported to be a great magician.
The interior of New Hampshire and of what is now Vermont seems to have
been an uninhabited wilderness. The tribes eastward of the Piscataqua,
known to the English by the general name of Tarenteens, and reputed to
be numerous and powerful, were distinguished by the rivers on which
they dwelt. They seem to have constituted two principal confederacies,
those east of the Kennebec being known to the French of Acadie as the
Abenakis. All the New England Indians spoke substantially the same
language, the Algonquin, in various dialects. From the nature of the
country, they were more stationary than some other tribes, being fixed
principally at the falls of the rivers. They seem to have entertained
very decided ideas of the hereditary descent of authority, and of
personal devotion to their chiefs. What might have been at this time
the total Indian population of New England it is not very easy to
conjecture; but it was certainly much less than is commonly stated.
Fifteen or twenty thousand would seem to be a sufficient allowance for
the region south of the Piscataqua, and as many more, perhaps, for the
more easterly district. The Pequots, esteemed the most powerful tribe
in New England, were totally ruined, as we shall presently see, by the
destruction or capture of hardly more than a thousand persons.

The provocation for this exterminating war was extremely small.
Previous to the Massachusetts migration to the Connecticut, one Captain
Stone, the drunken and dissolute master of a small trading vessel from
Virginia, whom the Plymouth people charged with having been engaged at
Manhattan in a piratical plot to seize one of their vessels, having
been sent away from Boston with orders not to return without leave,
under pain of death, on his way homeward to Virginia, in 1634, had
entered the Connecticut River, where he was cut off, with his whole
company, seven in number, by a band of Pequots. There were various
stories, none of them authentic, as to the precise manner of his death,
but the Pequots insisted that he had been the aggressor--a thing in
itself sufficiently probable. As Stone belonged to Virginia, the
magistrates of Massachusetts wrote to Governor Harvey to move him to
stir in the matter. Van Cuyler, the Dutch commissary at Fort Good Hope,
in fact revenged Stone’s death by the execution of a sachem and several
others. This offended the Pequots, who renounced any further traffic
with the Dutch, and sent messengers to Boston desiring an intercourse
of trade, and assistance to settle their pending difficulties with the
Narragansets, who intervened between them and the English settlements.
They even promised to give up--at least so the magistrates understood
them--the only two survivors, as they alleged, of those concerned in
the death of Stone. These offers were accepted; for the convenience
of this traffic a peace was negotiated between the Pequots and the
Narragansets, and a vessel was presently sent to open a trade. But this
traffic disappointed the adventurers; nor were the promised culprits
given up. The Pequots, according to the Indian custom, tendered,
instead, a present of furs and wampum. But this was refused, the
colonists seeming to think themselves under a religious obligation to
avenge blood with blood.

Thus matters remained for a year or two, when, in July, 1636, the crew
of a small bark, returning from Connecticut, saw close to Block Island
a pinnace at anchor, and full of Indians. This pinnace was recognized
as belonging to Oldham, the Indian trader, the old settler at
Nantasket, and explorer of the Connecticut. Conjecturing that something
must be wrong, the bark approached the pinnace and hailed, whereupon
the Indians on board slipped the cable and made sail. The bark gave
chase, and soon overtook the pinnace; some of the Indians jumped
overboard in their fright, and were drowned; several were killed, and
one was made prisoner. The dead body of Oldham was found on board,
covered with an old seine. This murder, as appeared from the testimony
of the prisoner, who was presently sentenced by the Massachusetts
magistrates to be a slave for life, was committed at the instigation
of some Narraganset chiefs, upon whom Block Island was dependent, in
revenge for the trade which Oldham had commenced under the late treaty
with the Pequots, their enemies. Indeed, all the Narraganset chiefs,
except the head sachem, Canonicus, and his nephew and colleague,
Miantonimoh, were believed to have had a hand in this matter,
especially the chieftain of the Niantics, a branch of the Narragansets,
inhabiting the continent opposite Block Island.

Canonicus, in great alarm, sent to his friend and neighbor, Roger
Williams, by whose aid he wrote a letter to the Massachusetts
magistrates, expressing his grief at what had happened, and stating
that Miantonimoh had sailed already with seventeen canoes and two
hundred warriors to punish the Block Islanders. With this letter were
sent two Indians, late sailors on board Oldham’s pinnace, and presently
after two English boys, the remainder of his crew. In the recapture
of Oldham’s pinnace eleven Indians had been killed, several of them
chiefs; and that, with the restoration of the crew, seems to have been
esteemed by Canonicus a sufficient atonement for Oldham’s death. But
the magistrates and ministers of Massachusetts, assembled to take this
matter into consideration, thought otherwise. Volunteers were called
for in August, 1636; and four companies, ninety men in all, commanded
by Endicott, whose submissiveness in Williams’ affair had restored
him to favor, were embarked in three pinnaces, with orders to put to
death all the men of Block Island, and to make the women and children
prisoners. The old affair of the death of Stone was now also called to
mind, though the murder of Oldham had no connection with it, except
in some distant similarity of circumstances. Endicott was instructed,
on his return from Block Island, to go to the Pequots, and to demand
of them the murderers of Stone, and a thousand fathoms of wampum for
damages--equivalent to from three to five thousand dollars--also, some
of their children as hostages; and, if they refused, to employ force.

The Block Islanders fled inland, hid themselves, and escaped; but
Endicott burned their wigwams, staved their canoes, and destroyed their
standing corn. He then sailed to Fort Saybrook, at the mouth of the
Connecticut, and marched thence to Pequot River. After some parley,
the Indians refused his demands, when he burned their village and
killed one of their warriors. Marching back to the Connecticut River,
he inflicted like vengeance on the Pequot village there, whence he
returned to Boston, after a three weeks’ absence and without the loss
of a man.

The Pequots, enraged at what they esteemed a treacherous and unprovoked
attack, lurked about Fort Saybrook, killed or took several persons,
and did considerable mischief. They sent, also, to the Narragansets
to engage their alliance against the colonists, whom they represented
as the common enemy of all the Indians. Williams, informed of this
negotiation, sent word of it to the Massachusetts magistrates, and,
at their request, he visited Canonicus, to dissuade him from joining
the Pequots. This mission was not without danger. In the wigwam of
Canonicus, Williams encountered the Pequot messengers, full of rage
and fury. He succeeded, however, in his object, and, in October,
Miantonimoh was induced to visit Boston, where, being received with
much ceremony by the governor and magistrates, he agreed to act with
them as a faithful ally. Canonicus thought it would be necessary to
attack the Pequots with a very large force; but he recommended, as a
thing likely to be agreeable to all the Indians--so Williams informs
us--that the women and children should be spared, a humane piece of
advice which received in the end but little attention.

The policy of this war, or, at least, the wisdom of Endicott’s conduct,
was not universally conceded. A letter from Plymouth reproached the
Massachusetts magistrates with the dangers likely to arise from so
inefficient an attack upon the Pequots. Gardiner, the commandant at
Fort Saybrook, who lost several men during the winter, was equally
dissatisfied. The new settlers up the Connecticut complained bitterly
of the dangers to which they were exposed. Sequeen, the same Indian
chief at whose invitation the Plymouth people had first established
a trading-house on the Connecticut River, had granted land to the
planters at Wethersfield on condition that he might settle near them,
and be protected; but when he came and built his wigwam, they had
driven him away. He took this opportunity for revenge by calling in the
Pequots, who attacked the town, and killed nine of the inhabitants. The
whole number killed by the Pequots during the winter was about thirty.

In December a special session of the General Court of Massachusetts
organized the militia into three regiments, the magistrates to appoint
the field officers--called sergeant-majors--and to select the captains
and lieutenants out of a nomination to be made by the companies
respectively. Watches were ordered to be kept, and travellers were to
go armed....

The new towns on the Connecticut had continued to suffer during the
winter. The attack on Wethersfield has been mentioned already. Fort
Saybrook was beleaguered; several colonists were killed, and two young
girls were taken prisoners, but were presently redeemed and sent
home by some Dutch traders. It had been resolved in Massachusetts to
raise a hundred and sixty men for the war, and already Underhill had
been sent, with twenty men, to reinforce Fort Saybrook; but, during
Vane’s administration, these preparations had been retarded--not from
any misgivings as to the justice of the war, but because the army
“was too much under a covenant of works.” The expedition was now got
ready, and, by a “solemn public invocation of the word of God,” a
leader was designated by lot from among three of the magistrates set
apart for that purpose. The lot fell on Stoughton, whose adherence to
the orthodox party during the late dissensions had restored him to
favor, and obtained for him, at the late election, one of the vacant
magistrates’ seats. Wilson was also designated by lot as chaplain to
the expedition. The people of Plymouth agreed to furnish forty-five men.

The decisive battle, however, had been already fought. The Connecticut
towns, impatient of delay, having obtained the alliance of Uncas,
sachem of the Mohegans, had marched, to the number of ninety men,
almost their entire effective force, under the command of John Mason,
bred a soldier in the Netherlands, whom Hooker, on May 10, with prayers
and religious ceremonies, solemnly invested with the staff of command.
After a night spent in prayer, this little army, joined by Uncas
with sixty Indians, and accompanied by Stone, Hooker’s colleague, as
chaplain, embarked at Hartford. They were not without great doubts as
to their Indian allies, but were reassured at Fort Saybrook. While
Stone was praying “for one pledge of love, that may confirm us of the
fidelity of the Indians,” these allies came in with five Pequot scalps
and a prisoner. Underhill joined with his twenty men, and the united
forces proceeded by water to Narragansett Bay, where they spent Sunday,
May 21, in religious exercises. They were further strengthened by
Miantonimoh and two hundred Narraganset warriors; but the English force
seemed so inadequate that many of the Narragansets became discouraged
and returned home.

The Pequots were principally collected a few miles east of Pequot
River, now the Thames, in two forts, or villages, fortified with trees
and brushwood. After a fatiguing march of two days, Mason reached one
of these strongholds, situated on a high hill, at no great distance
from the sea-shore. He encamped a few hours to rest his men, but
marched again before daybreak, and at early dawn approached the fort.
The Pequots had seen the vessels pass along the sea-shore toward the
bay of Narragansett, and, supposing the hostile forces afraid to attack
them, they had spent the night in feasting and dancing, and Mason could
hear their shoutings in his camp. Toward morning they sunk into a deep
sleep, from which they were roused by the barking of their dogs, as the
colonists, in two parties, approached the fort, one led by Mason, the
other by Underhill, both of whom have left us narratives of the battle.
The assailants poured in a fire of musketry, and, after a moment’s
hesitation, forced their way into the fort. Within were thickly
clustered wigwams containing the families of the Indians, and what
remained of their winter stores. The astonished Pequots seized their
weapons and fought with desperation; but what could their clubs and
arrows avail against the muskets and plate-armor of the colonists? Yet
there was danger in the great superiority of their numbers, and Mason,
crying out “we must burn them,” thrust a firebrand among the mats with
which the wigwams were covered. Almost in a moment the fort was in a
blaze. The colonists, “bereaved of pity and without compassion,” so
Underhill himself declares, kept up the fight within the fort, while
their Indian allies, forming a circle around, struck down every Pequot
who attempted to escape. No quarter was given, no mercy was shown; some
hundreds, not warriors only, but old men, women, and children, perished
by the weapons of the colonists, or in the flames of the burning fort.
“Great and doleful,” says Underhill, “was the bloody sight to the view
of young soldiers, to see so many souls lie gasping on the ground, so
thick you could hardly pass along.” The fact that only seven prisoners
were taken, while Mason boasts that only seven others escaped, evinces
the unrelenting character of this massacre, which was accomplished with
but trifling loss, only two of the colonists being killed, and sixteen
or twenty wounded. Yet the victors were not without embarrassments. The
morning was hot, there was no water to be had, and the men, exhausted
by their long march the two days before, the weight of their armor,
want of sleep, and the sharpness of the late action, must now encounter
a new body of Pequots from the other village, who had taken the alarm,
and were fast approaching. Mason, with a select party, kept this new
enemy at bay, and thus gave time to the main body to push on for Pequot
River, into which some vessels had just been seen to enter. When the
Indians approached the hill where their fort had stood, at sight of
their ruined habitations and slaughtered companions they burst out
into a transport of rage, stamped on the ground, tore their hair, and,
regardless of everything save revenge, rushed furious in pursuit. But
the dreaded firearms soon checked them, and Mason easily made good his
retreat to Pequot harbor, now New London, where he found not only his
own vessels, but Captain Patrick also, just arrived in a bark from
Boston, with forty men. Mason sent the wounded and most of his forces
by water, but, in consequence of Patrick’s refusal to lend his ship,
was obliged to march himself, with twenty men, followed by Patrick, to
Fort Saybrook, where his victory was greeted by a salvo of cannon.

In about a fortnight Stoughton arrived at Saybrook with the main body
of the Massachusetts forces. Mason, with forty Connecticut soldiers
and a large body of Narragansets, joined also in pursuing the remnants
of the enemy. The Pequots had abandoned their country, or concealed
themselves in the swamps. In July one of these fortresses was attacked
by night, and about a hundred Indians captured. The men, twenty-two
in number, were put to death; thirty women and children were given to
the Narraganset allies; some fifty others were sent to Boston, and
distributed as slaves among the principal colonists. The flying Pequots
were pursued as far as Quinapiack, now New Haven. A swamp in that
neighborhood, where a large party had taken refuge, being surrounded
and attacked, a parley was had, and life was offered to “all whose
hands were not in English blood.” About two hundred, old men, women,
and children, reluctantly came out and gave themselves up. Daylight
was exhausted in this surrender; and as night set in, the warriors who
remained renewed their defiances. Toward morning, favored by a thick
fog, they broke through and escaped. Many of the surviving Pequots put
themselves under the protection of Canonicus and other Narraganset
chiefs. Sassacus, the head sachem, fled to the Mohawks; but they were
instigated by their allies, the Narragansets, to put him to death.
His scalp was sent to Boston, and many heads and hands of Pequot
warriors were also brought in by the neighboring tribes. The adult male
prisoners who remained in the hands of the colonists were sent to the
West Indies to be sold into slavery; the women and children experienced
a similar fate at home. It was reckoned that between eight and nine
hundred of the Pequots had been killed or taken. Such of the survivors
as had escaped, forbidden any longer to call themselves Pequots, were
distributed between the Narragansets and Mohegans, and subjected to an
annual tribute. A like tribute was imposed, also, on the inhabitants of
Block Island. The colonists regarded their success as ample proof of
Divine approbation, and justified all they had done to these “bloody
heathen” by abundant quotations from the Old Testament. Having referred
to “the wars of David,” Underhill adds, “We had sufficient light from
the word of God for our proceedings”; and Mason, after some exulting
quotations from the Psalms, concludes: “Thus the Lord was pleased to
smite our enemies in the hinder parts, and to give us their land for an
inheritance!” The Indian allies admired the courage of the colonists,
but they thought their method of war “too furious, and to slay too


1638. Settlement of Rhode Island. Establishment of the Colony of New
Haven. Swedes and Finns settle in Delaware.

1639. Adoption of the Connecticut Constitution.

1642. War between Charles I. and Parliament. Indecisive Battle of

1643. The Colonies of New England form a confederacy.

1644. Battle of Marston Moor, in which the English Royalists are
defeated. Roger Williams obtains a patent from Parliament for the
United Government of the Rhode Island Settlements.

1645. Defeat of the English Royalists at the Battle of Naseby.

1649. Execution of Charles I.

1653. Cromwell is made Lord Protector of England.

1655. Peter Stuyvesant, Director-General of New Netherlands,
dispossesses the Swedish settlers at the mouth of the Delaware.

1660. Restoration of the Stuarts in England.

1662. The Connecticut and New Haven Colonies receive a charter from
Charles II.

1664. Charles II. grants the region between the Connecticut and
Delaware rivers to his brother James, Duke of York. The English occupy
New Amsterdam and take possession of the province of New Netherland.
The Colony of New Jersey is established.

1665. The union of the Connecticut and New Haven Colonies is completed.

1668. Father Marquette founds the Mission of Sault Ste. Marie.

1670. Incorporation of the Hudson Bay Company.

1673. The Dutch occupy New York and New Jersey.

1674. New York and New Jersey are restored to the English.

1675. King Philip’s War.



Except in the destruction of the Pequots, the native tribes of New
England had, in 1673, undergone no very material diminution. The
Pocanokets, or Wampanoags, though somewhat curtailed in their limits,
still occupied the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay. The Narragansets
still possessed the western shore. There were several scattered tribes
in various parts of Connecticut; though, with the exception of some
small reservations, they had already ceded all their lands. Uncas,
the Mohegan chief, was now an old man. The Pawtucket, or Penacook,
confederacy continued to occupy the falls of the Merrimac and the
heads of the Piscataqua. Their old sachem, Passaconaway, regarded the
colonists with awe and veneration. In the interior of Massachusetts
and along the Connecticut were several other less noted tribes. The
Indians of Maine and the region eastward possessed their ancient haunts
undisturbed; but their intercourse was principally with the French, to
whom, since the late peace with France, Acadie had been again yielded
up. The New England Indians were occasionally annoyed by war parties
of Mohawks; but, by the intervention of Massachusetts, a peace had
recently been concluded.

Efforts for the conversion and civilization of the Indians were still
continued by Eliot and his coadjutors, supported by the funds of the
English society. In Massachusetts there were fourteen feeble villages
of these praying Indians, and a few more in Plymouth colony. The whole
number in New England was about thirty-six hundred, but of these near
one-half inhabited the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Massachusetts held a strict hand over the Narragansets and other
subject tribes, and their limits had been contracted by repeated
cessions, not always entirely voluntary. The Wampanoags, within the
jurisdiction of Plymouth, experienced similar treatment. By successive
sales of parts of their territory, they were now shut up, as it
were, in the necks or peninsulas formed by the northern and eastern
branches of Narragansett Bay, the same territory now constituting the
continental eastern portion of Rhode Island. Though always at peace
with the colonists, the Wampanoags had not always escaped suspicion.
The increase of the settlements around them, and the progressive
curtailment of their limits, aroused their jealousy. They were galled,
also, by the feudal superiority, similar to that of Massachusetts over
her dependent tribes, claimed by Plymouth on the strength of certain
alleged former submissions. None felt this assumption more keenly
than Pometacom, head chief of the Wampanoags, better known among the
colonists as King Philip of Mount Hope, nephew and successor of that
Massasoit who had welcomed the Pilgrims to Plymouth. Suspected of
hostile designs, he had been compelled to deliver up his firearms,
and to enter into certain stipulations. These stipulations he was
accused of not fulfilling; and nothing but the interposition of the
Massachusetts magistrates, to whom Philip appealed, prevented Plymouth
from making war upon him. He was sentenced instead to pay a heavy fine,
and to acknowledge the unconditional supremacy of that colony.

A praying Indian, who had been educated at Cambridge and employed as a
teacher, upon some misdemeanor had fled to Philip, who took him into
service as a sort of secretary. Being persuaded to return again to his
former employment, this Indian accused Philip anew of being engaged in
a secret hostile plot. In accordance with Indian ideas, the treacherous
informer was waylaid and killed. Three of Philip’s men, suspected of
having killed him, were arrested by the Plymouth authorities, and,
in accordance with English ideas, were tried for murder by a jury
half English, half Indians, convicted upon very slender evidence, and
hanged. Philip retaliated by plundering the houses nearest Mount Hope.
Presently he attacked Swanzey, and killed several of the inhabitants.
Plymouth took measures for raising a military force. The neighboring
colonies were sent to for assistance. Thus, by the impulse of suspicion
on the one side and passion on the other, New England became suddenly
engaged in a war very disastrous to the colonists, and utterly ruinous
to the native tribes. The lust of gain, in spite of all laws to prevent
it, had partially furnished the Indians with firearms, and they were
now far more formidable enemies than they had been in the days of the
Pequots. Of this the colonists hardly seem to have thought. Now, as
then, confident of their superiority, and comparing themselves to the
Lord’s chosen people driving the heathen out of the land, they rushed
eagerly into the contest, without a single effort at the preservation
of peace. Indeed, their pretensions hardly admitted of it. Philip was
denounced as a rebel in arms against his lawful superiors, with whom
it would be folly and weakness to treat on any terms short of absolute

A body of volunteers, horse and foot, raised in Massachusetts,
marched under Major Savage, in June, 1675, four days after the attack
on Swanzey, to join the Plymouth forces. After one or two slight
skirmishes, they penetrated to the Wampanoag villages at Mount Hope,
but found them empty and deserted. Philip and his warriors, conscious
of their inferiority, had abandoned their homes. If the Narragansets,
on the opposite side of the bay, did not openly join the Wampanoags,
they would, at least, be likely to afford shelter to their women
and children. The troops were therefore ordered into the Narraganset
country, accompanied by commissioners to demand assurances of peaceful
intentions, and a promise to deliver up all fugitive enemies of the
colonists--pledges which the Narragansets felt themselves constrained
to give.

Arrived at Taunton on their return from the Narraganset country, news
came that Philip and his warriors had been discovered by Church, of
Plymouth colony, collected in a great swamp at Pocasset, now Tiverton,
the southern district of the Wampanoag country, whence small parties
sallied forth to burn and plunder the neighboring settlements. After
a march of eighteen miles, having reached the designated spot, the
soldiers found there a hundred wigwams lately built, but empty and
deserted, the Indians having retired deep into the swamp. The colonists
followed; but the ground was soft; the thicket was difficult to
penetrate; the companies were soon thrown into disorder. Each man fired
at every bush he saw shake, thinking an Indian might lay concealed
behind it, and several were thus wounded by their own friends. When
night came on, the assailants retired with the loss of sixteen men. The
swamp continued to be watched and guarded, but Philip broke through,
not without some loss, and escaped into the country of the Nipmucks,
in the interior of Massachusetts. That tribe had already commenced
hostilities by attacking Mendon. They waylaid and killed Captain
Hutchinson, a son of the famous Mrs. Hutchinson, and sixteen out of a
party of twenty sent from Boston to Brookfield to parley with them.
Attacking Brookfield itself, they burned it, except one fortified
house. The inhabitants were saved by Major Willard, who, on information
of their danger, came with a troop of horse from Lancaster, thirty
miles through the woods, to their rescue. A body of troops presently
arrived from the eastward, and were stationed for some time at

The colonists now found that by driving Philip to extremity they had
roused a host of unexpected enemies. The River Indians, anticipating
an intended attack upon them, joined the assailants. Deerfield and
Northfield, the northernmost towns on the Connecticut River, settled
within a few years past, were attacked, and several of the inhabitants
killed and wounded. Captain Beers, sent from Hadley to their relief
with a convoy of provisions, was surprised near Northfield in
September, and slain, with twenty of his men. Northfield was abandoned,
and burned by the Indians.

“The English at first,” says Gookin, “thought easily to chastise the
insolent doings and murderous practice of the heathen; but it was found
another manner of thing than was expected; for our men could see no
enemy to shoot at, but yet felt their bullets out of the thick bushes
where they lay in ambush. The English wanted not courage or resolution,
but could not discover nor find an enemy to fight with, yet were galled
by the enemy.” In the arts of ambush and surprise, with which the
Indians were so familiar, the colonists were without practice. It is
to the want of this experience, purchased at a very dear rate in the
course of the war, that we must ascribe the numerous surprises and
defeats from which the colonists suffered at its commencement.

Driven to the necessity of defensive warfare, those in command on
the river determined to establish a magazine and garrison at Hadley.
Captain Lathrop, who had been dispatched from the eastward to the
assistance of the river towns, was sent with eighty men, the flower
of the youth of Essex County, to guard the wagons intended to convey
to Hadley three thousand bushels of unthreshed wheat, the produce of
the fertile Deerfield meadows. Just before arriving at Deerfield, near
a small stream still known as Bloody Brook, under the shadow of the
abrupt conical Sugar Loaf, the southern termination of the Deerfield
mountain, Lathrop, on September 18, fell into an ambush, and, after a
brave resistance, perished there with all his company. Captain Moseley,
stationed at Deerfield, marched to his assistance, but arrived too
late to help him. Deerfield was abandoned, and burned by the Indians.
Springfield, about the same time, was set on fire, but was partially
saved by the arrival, with troops from Connecticut, of Major Treat,
successor to the lately deceased Mason in the chief command of the
Connecticut forces. An attack on Hatfield was vigorously repelled by
the garrison.

Meanwhile, hostilities were spreading; the Indians on the Merrimac
began to attack the towns in their vicinity, and the whole of
Massachusetts was soon in the utmost alarm. Except in the immediate
neighborhood of Boston, the country still remained an immense forest
dotted by a few openings. The frontier settlements could not be
defended against a foe familiar with localities, scattered in small
parties, skilful in concealment, and watching with patience for some
unguarded or favorable moment. Those settlements were mostly broken
up, and the inhabitants, retiring toward Boston, spread everywhere
dread and intense hatred of “the bloody heathen.” Even the praying
Indians, and the small dependent and tributary tribes, became objects
of suspicion and terror. They had been employed at first as scouts and
auxiliaries, and to good advantage; but some few, less confirmed in
the faith, having deserted to the enemy, the whole body of them were
denounced as traitors. Eliot the apostle, and Gookin, superintendent
of the subject Indians, exposed themselves to insults, and even to
danger, by their efforts to stem this headlong fury, to which several
of the magistrates opposed but a feeble resistance. Troops were sent to
break up the praying villages at Mendon, Grafton, and others in that
quarter. The Natick Indians, “those poor despised sheep of Christ,” as
Gookin affectionately calls them, were hurried off to Deer Island, in
Boston harbor, where they suffered excessively from a severe winter. A
part of the praying Indians of Plymouth colony were confined, in like
manner, on the islands in Plymouth harbor.

Not content with realities sufficiently frightful, superstition,
as usual, added bugbears of her own. Indian bows were seen in the
sky, and scalps in the moon. The northern lights became an object of
terror. Phantom horsemen careered among the clouds or were heard to
gallop invisible through the air. The howling of wolves was turned
into a terrible omen. The war was regarded as a special judgment in
punishment of prevailing sins. Among these sins, the General Court
of Massachusetts, after consultation with the elders, enumerated
neglect in the training of the children of church-members; pride,
in men’s wearing long and curled hair; excess in apparel; naked
breasts and arms, and superfluous ribbons; the toleration of Quakers;
hurry to leave meeting before blessing asked; profane cursing and
swearing; tippling-houses; want of respect for parents; idleness;
extortion in shopkeepers and mechanics; and the riding from town
to town of unmarried men and women, under pretence of attending
lectures--“a sinful custom, tending to lewdness.” Penalties were
denounced against all these offences; and the persecution of the
Quakers was again renewed. A Quaker woman had recently frightened
the Old South congregation in Boston by entering that meeting-house
clothed in sackcloth, with ashes on her head, her feet bare, and her
face blackened, intending to personify the smallpox, with which she
threatened the colony, in punishment for its sins.

About the time of the first collision with Philip, the Tarenteens,
or Eastern Indians, had attacked the settlements in Maine and New
Hampshire, plundering and burning the houses, and massacring such
of the inhabitants as fell into their hands. This sudden diffusion
of hostilities and vigor of attack from opposite quarters made the
colonists believe that Philip had long been plotting and had gradually
matured an extensive conspiracy, into which most of the tribes had
deliberately entered, for the extermination of the whites. This
belief infuriated the colonists, and suggested some very questionable
proceedings. It seems, however, to have originated, like the war
itself, from mere suspicions. The same griefs pressed upon all the
tribes; and the struggle once commenced, the awe which the colonists
inspired thrown off, the greater part were ready to join in the
contest. But there is no evidence of any deliberate concert; nor, in
fact, were the Indians united. Had they been so, the war would have
been far more serious. The Connecticut tribes proved faithful, and that
colony remained untouched. Uncas and Ninigret continued friendly; even
the Narragansets, in spite of so many former provocations, had not yet
taken up arms. But they were strongly suspected of intention to do
so, and were accused by Uncas of giving, notwithstanding their recent
assurances, aid and shelter to the hostile tribes.

An attempt had lately been made to revive the union of the New England
colonies. At a meeting of commissioners, on September 9, 1675, those
from Plymouth presented a narrative of the origin and progress of the
present hostilities. Upon the strength of this narrative the war was
pronounced “just and necessary,” and a resolution was passed to carry
it on at the joint expense, and to raise for that purpose a thousand
men, one-half to be mounted dragoons. If the Narragansets were not
crushed during the winter, it was feared they might break out openly
hostile in the spring; and at a subsequent meeting a thousand men were
ordered to be levied to co-operate in an expedition specially against

The winter was unfavorable to the Indians; the leafless woods no longer
concealed their lurking attacks. The frozen surface of the swamps made
the Indian fastnesses accessible to the colonists. The forces destined
to act against the Narragansets--six companies from Massachusetts,
under Major Appleton; two from Plymouth, under Major Bradford; and five
from Connecticut, under Major Treat--were placed under the command
of Josiah Winslow, Governor of Plymouth since Prince’s death--son
of that Edward Winslow so conspicuous in the earlier history of the
colony. In December the Massachusetts and Plymouth forces marched to
Petasquamscot, on the west shore of Narragansett Bay, where they made
some forty prisoners. Being joined by the troops from Connecticut, and
guided by an Indian deserter, after a march of fifteen miles through
a deep snow, they approached a swamp in what is now the town of South
Kingston, one of the ancient strongholds of the Narragansets. Driving
the Indian scouts before them, and penetrating the swamp, the colonial
soldiers soon came in sight of the Indian fort, built on a rising
ground in the morass, a sort of island of two or three acres, fortified
by a palisade, and surrounded by a close hedge a rod thick. There was
but one entrance, quite narrow, defended by a tree thrown across it,
with a block-house of logs in front and another on the flank. It was
the “Lord’s day,” but that did not hinder the attack. As the captains
advanced at the heads of their companies, the Indians opened a galling
fire, under which many fell. But the assailants pressed on, and forced
the entrance. A desperate struggle ensued. The colonists were once
driven back, but they rallied and returned to the charge, and, after
a two hours’ fight, became masters of the fort. Fire was put to the
wigwams, near six hundred in number, and all the horrors of the Pequot
massacre were renewed. The corn and other winter stores of the Indians
were consumed, and not a few of the old men, women, and children
perished in the flames. In this bloody contest, long remembered as the
“Swamp Fight,” the colonial loss was terribly severe. Six captains,
with two hundred and thirty men, were killed or wounded; and at night,
in the midst of a snow-storm; with a fifteen miles’ march before them,
the colonial soldiers abandoned the fort, of which the Indians resumed
possession. But their wigwams were burned; their provisions destroyed;
they had no supplies for the winter; their loss was irreparable. Of
those who survived the fight, many perished of hunger.

Even as a question of policy, this attack on the Narragansets was
more than doubtful. The starving and infuriated warriors, scattered
through the woods, revenged themselves by attacks on the frontier
settlements. On February 10, 1676, Lancaster was burned, and forty of
the inhabitants killed or taken; among the rest, Mrs. Rolandson, wife
of the minister, the narrative of whose captivity is still preserved.
Groton, Chelmsford, and other towns in that vicinity were repeatedly
attacked. Medfield, twenty miles from Boston, was furiously assaulted,
and, though defended by three hundred men, half the houses were burned.
Weymouth, within eighteen miles of Boston, was attacked a few days
after. These were the nearest approaches which the Indians made to
that capital. For a time the neighborhood of the Narraganset country
was abandoned. The Rhode Island towns, though they had no part in
undertaking the war, yet suffered the consequences of it. In March,
Warwick was burned, and Providence was partially destroyed. Most of the
inhabitants sought refuge in the islands, but the aged Roger Williams
accepted a commission as captain for the defence of the town he had
founded. Walter Clarke was presently chosen governor in Coddington’s
place, the times not suiting a Quaker chief magistrate.

The whole colony of Plymouth was overrun. Houses were burned in almost
every town, but the inhabitants, for the most part, saved themselves
in their garrisons, a shelter with which all the towns now found it
necessary to be provided. On March 26 Captain Pierce, with fifty men
and some friendly Indians, while endeavoring to cover the Plymouth
towns, fell into an ambush and was cut off. That same day, Marlborough
was set on fire; two days after Rehoboth was burned. The Indians seemed
to be everywhere. On April 18 Captain Wadsworth, marching to the relief
of Sudbury, fell into an ambush, and perished with fifty men. The alarm
and terror of the colonists reached again a great height. But affairs
were about to take a turn. The resources of the Indians were exhausted;
they were now making their last efforts.

A body of Connecticut volunteers, under Captain Denison, and of Mohegan
and other friendly Indians, Pequots and Niantics, swept the entire
country of the Narragansets, who suffered, as spring advanced, the last
extremities of famine. Canonchet, the chief sachem, said to have been
a son of Miantonimoh, but probably his nephew, had ventured to his old
haunts to procure seed-corn with which to plant the rich intervals
on the Connecticut, abandoned by the colonists. Taken prisoner, he
conducted himself with all that haughty firmness esteemed by the
Indians the height of magnanimity. Being offered his life on condition
of bringing about a peace, he scorned the proposal. His tribe would
perish to the last man rather than become servants to the English. When
ordered to prepare for death, he replied, “I like it well; I shall die
before my heart is soft, or I shall have spoken anything unworthy of
myself.” Two Indians were appointed to shoot him, and his head was cut
off and sent to Hartford.

The colonists had suffered severely. Men, women, and children had
perished by the bullets of the Indians, or fled naked through the
wintry woods by the light of their blazing houses, leaving their
goods and cattle a spoil to the assailants. Several settlements had
been destroyed, and many more had been abandoned; but the oldest and
wealthiest remained untouched. The Indians, on the other hand, had
neither provisions nor ammunition. On May 12, while attempting to plant
corn and catch fish at Montague Falls, on the Connecticut River,
they were attacked with great slaughter by the garrison of the lower
towns, led by Captain Turner, a Boston Baptist, and at first refused
a commission on that account, but as danger increased, pressed to
accept it. Yet this enterprise was not without its drawbacks. As the
troops returned, Captain Turner fell into an ambush and was slain,
with thirty-eight men. Hadley was attacked on a lecture day, June 12,
while the people were at meeting; but the Indians were repulsed by the
bravery of Goffe, one of the fugitive regicides, long concealed in that
town. Seeing this venerable unknown man come to their rescue, and then
suddenly disappear, the inhabitants took him for an angel.

Major Church, at the head of a body of two hundred volunteers, English
and Indians, energetically hunted down the hostile bands in Plymouth
colony. The interior tribes about Mount Wachusett were invaded and
subdued by a force of six hundred men, raised for that purpose. Many
fled to the north to find refuge in Canada--guides and leaders, in
after years, of those French and Indian war parties by which the
frontiers of New England were so terribly harassed. Just a year after
the fast at the commencement of the war, a thanksgiving was observed
for success in it.

No longer sheltered by the River Indians, who now began to make their
peace, and even attacked by bands of the Mohawks, Philip returned
to his own country, about Mount Hope, where he was still faithfully
supported by his female confederate and relative, Witamo, squaw sachem
of Pocasset. Punham, also, the Shawomet vassal of Massachusetts, still
zealously carried on the war, but was presently killed. Philip was
watched and followed by Church, who surprised his camp on August 1st,
killed upward of a hundred of his people, and took prisoners his wife
and boy. The disposal of this child was a subject of much deliberation.
Several of the elders were urgent for putting him to death. It was
finally resolved to send him to Bermuda, to be sold into slavery--a
fate to which many other of the Indian captives were subjected. Witamo
shared the disasters of Philip. Most of her people were killed or
taken. She herself was drowned while crossing a river in her flight;
but her body was recovered, and the head, cut off, was stuck upon a
pole at Taunton, amid the jeers and scoffs of the colonial soldiers,
and the tears and lamentations of the Indian prisoners.

Philip still lurked in the swamps, but was now reduced to extremity.
Again attacked by Church, he was killed by one of his own people, a
deserter to the colonists. His dead body was beheaded and quartered,
the sentence of the English law upon traitors. One of his hands was
given to the Indian who had shot him, and on August 17, the day
appointed for a public thanksgiving, his head was carried in triumph to

The popular rage against the Indians was excessive. Death or slavery
was the penalty for all known or suspected to have been concerned
in shedding English blood. Merely having been present at the “Swamp
Fight” was adjudged by the authorities of Rhode Island sufficient
foundation for sentence of death, and that, too, notwithstanding
they had intimated an opinion that the origin of the war would not
bear examination. The other captives who fell into the hands of the
colonists were distributed among them as ten-year servants. Roger
Williams received a boy for his share. Many chiefs were executed at
Boston and Plymouth on the charge of rebellion; among others, Captain
Tom, chief of the Christian Indians at Natick, and Tispiquin, a noted
warrior, reputed to be invulnerable, who had surrendered to Church on
an implied promise of safety. A large body of Indians, assembled at
Dover to treat of peace, were treacherously made prisoners by Major
Waldron, who commanded there. Some two hundred of these Indians,
claimed as fugitives from Massachusetts, were sent by water to Boston,
where some were hanged, and the rest shipped off to be sold as slaves.
Some fishermen of Marblehead having been killed by the Indians at the
eastward, the women of that town, as they came out of meeting on a
Sunday, fell upon two Indian prisoners who had just been brought in,
and murdered them on the spot. The same ferocious spirit of revenge
which governed the contemporaneous conduct of Berkeley in Virginia
toward those concerned in Bacon’s rebellion, swayed the authorities of
New England in their treatment of the conquered Indians. By the end
of the year the contest was over in the South, upward of two thousand
Indians having been killed or taken. But some time elapsed before a
peace could be arranged with the Eastern tribes, whose haunts it was
not so easy to reach.

In this short war of hardly a year’s duration the Wampanoags and
Narragansets had suffered the fate of the Pequots. The Niantics
alone, under the guidance of their aged sachem, Ninigret, had escaped
destruction. Philip’s country was annexed to Plymouth, though sixty
years afterward, under a royal order in council, it was transferred
to Rhode Island. The Narraganset territory remained as before, under
the name of King’s Province, a bone of contention between Connecticut,
Rhode Island, the Marquis of Hamilton, and the Atherton claimants. The
Niantics still retained their ancient seats along the southern shores
of Narragansett Bay. Most of the surviving Narragansets, the Nipmucks,
and the River Indians, abandoned their country, and migrated to the
North and West. Such as remained, along with the Mohegans and other
subject tribes, became more than ever abject and subservient.

The work of conversion was now again renewed, and, after such
overwhelming proofs of Christian superiority, with somewhat greater
success. A second edition of the Indian Old Testament, which seems to
have been more in demand than the New, was published in 1683, revised
by Eliot, with the assistance of John Cotton, son of the “great
Cotton,” and minister of Plymouth. But not an individual exists in our
day by whom it can be understood. The fragments of the subject tribes,
broken in spirit, lost the savage freedom and rude virtues of their
fathers, without acquiring the laborious industry of the whites. Lands
were assigned them in various places, which they were prohibited by law
from alienating. But this very provision, though humanely intended,
operated to perpetuate their indolence and incapacity. Some sought a
more congenial occupation in the whale fishery, which presently began
to be carried on from the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
Many perished by enlisting in the military expeditions undertaken
in future years against Acadie and the West Indies. The Indians
intermarried with the blacks, and thus confirmed their degradation by
associating themselves with another oppressed and unfortunate race.
Gradually they dwindled away. A few sailors and petty farmers, of
mixed blood, as much African as Indian, are now the sole surviving
representatives of the aboriginal possessors of southern New England.

On the side of the colonists the contest had also been very disastrous.
Twelve or thirteen towns had been entirely ruined, and many others
partially destroyed. Six hundred houses had been burned, near a tenth
part of all in New England. Twelve captains and more than six hundred
men in the prime of life had fallen in battle. There was hardly a
family not in mourning. The pecuniary losses and expenses of the war
were estimated at near a million of dollars. Massachusetts was burdened
with a heavy debt. No aid nor relief seems to have come from abroad,
except a contribution from Ireland of £500 for the benefit of the
sufferers by the war, chiefly collected by the efforts of Nathaniel
Mather, lately successor to his brother Samuel as minister of the
non-conformist congregation at Dublin.


1676. Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia against the government of Sir
William Berkeley.

1679. The Scottish Covenanters are defeated by the Duke of Monmouth at
Bothwell Bridge.

1681. William Penn obtains his patent from the English Crown.

1682. Purchase of East Jersey by William Penn. He takes possession of
New Castle (Delaware) and founds the Colony of Pennsylvania. La Salle
descends the Mississippi to its mouth.

1684. The charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company is declared
forfeited to the English Crown.

1685. James II. succeeds his brother, Charles II., as King of England.
Insurrection of the Earl of Argyll and the Duke of Monmouth. Defeat of
Monmouth at Sedgemoor; his execution.

1686. Sir Edmund Andros is made Governor of New England.

1688. William of Orange lands in England; flight of James II.

1689. William and Mary are proclaimed King and Queen of England.
England declares war against France. Victory of the Scottish Jacobites
at Killiecrankie. Overthrow of Andros in New England. Beginning of King
William’s War in America.

1690. The Orangemen in Ireland win the battle of the Boyne. Destruction
of Schenectady by the French and Indians. Sir William Phips, commanding
a New England expedition, captures Port Royal, and later makes a
fruitless demonstration against Quebec.

1691. The Jacobites are overcome in Scotland. Surrender of Limerick,
the last stronghold of James II. in Ireland.

1692. Union of the Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies. Witchcraft
delusion at Salem.

1693. The French Admiral Tourville defeats the English fleet off Cape
St. Vincent.

1697. France makes peace at Ryswick with Holland, Spain, and England.
Close of King William’s War in America.

1699. The French begin the settlement of Louisiana.

1701. Beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession.

1702. Death of William III. and accession of Queen Anne. Successful
campaign of Churchill (Marlborough) in the Netherlands. Naval triumph
of the English and Dutch over the Spanish and French at Vigo. Queen
Anne’s War in America. French settlement in Alabama.

1704. The English are victorious over the French at the battle of
Blenheim. Capture of Gibraltar by the English. Massacre of white
settlers by the Indians at Deerfield, Massachusetts.

1706. Marlborough defeats the French and Bavarians at the battle of

1708. Victory of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, at Oudenarde, over the
Dukes of Burgundy and Vendôme.

1711. Unsuccessful expedition of the English and New England forces
under Walker against Canada.

1713. Treaty of Utrecht. Close of Queen Anne’s War in America. Acadia
(Nova Scotia, etc.) ceded to England by France, which also restores the
Hudson Bay region. The power of the Tuscarora Indians broken by the

1714. George I., Elector of Hanover, succeeds to the English Crown.

1715. Rebellion in Scotland and in the North of England in favor of
James Edward Stuart, the Jacobite pretender.

1718. French settlement of New Orleans.

1720. Failure of Law’s Mississippi scheme in France.

1722. Establishment of the Moravian settlement in Pennsylvania under
Count Zinzendorf.

1727. Accession of George II.

1728. Discovery of Behring’s Strait.

1729. Carolina, purchased by the English Crown, is divided into the
royal provinces of North and South Carolina.

1730. Baltimore is laid out.

1732. Oglethorpe embarks from England to establish a settlement in

1733. Founding of Savannah.

1741. New Hampshire is finally separated from Massachusetts.

1744. Beginning of King George’s War in America. The French capture
Canseau (afterward Canso), and are repulsed at Annapolis.

1745. Jacobite rising in Scotland. Charles Edward, the young Pretender,
is victorious at Prestonpans. The New England troops, under Sir William
Pepperell, reduce the French fortress of Louisburg.

1746. Jacobite defeat at Culloden.

1748. The Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle terminates the War of the Austrian
Succession and King George’s War in America. Louisburg restored to

1749. The Ohio Company receives its grant from George II.

1753. Friction between French and Americans on tributaries of the
Alleghany, along American western frontier. Washington’s vain protest
against the French seizure of Venango.

1754. Beginning of the French and Indian War in America. Washington’s
attack upon Jumonville, near Great Meadows, the first action. The
French compel Washington to capitulate at Fort Necessity.

1755. Braddock’s expedition against Fort Duquesne and his disastrous
defeat. Abortive expeditions by the English against Niagara and Crown

1756. Formal declaration of hostilities between France and England, and
beginning of the Seven Years’ War. Capture of Oswego by the French.

1757. Montcalm takes Fort William Henry on Lake George.

1758. Victory of Montcalm at Ticonderoga. Reduction of Louisburg, and
capture of Forts Frontenac and Duquesne by the English.



  [The visits of Breton fishermen to Newfoundland in the early
  sixteenth century, the voyages of Cartier to the St. Lawrence in
  1534 and 1541–43, the foundation of Port Royal in Acadia in 1605,
  and of Quebec by Champlain in 1608, were the beginnings of a French
  occupancy of the northern and central portions of North America
  which led inevitably to conflict with England and the American
  colonists. The title based upon Marquette’s discovery of the
  Mississippi in 1673, and La Salle’s exploration and claim to the
  whole vast valley in 1682, would have confined the English to the
  Atlantic seaboard. The contact between the wholly different types
  represented in English and French colonization caused friction
  which became acute when King William’s War broke out in 1689. The
  eight years of that war, with its profitless capture of Port Royal,
  Nova Scotia, were followed by Queen Anne’s War, 1702–13, and King
  George’s War, 1744–48, and the interval after the Treaty of Utrecht
  was a truce rather than peace. The French were strengthening their
  hold along the western frontier of the English colonists, at Fort
  Duquesne, and elsewhere. Braddock’s defeat in 1755, and attacks
  upon Crown Point and Niagara, preceded the formal declaration of
  hostilities between France and England in 1756, the beginning of
  the Seven Years’ War, involving nearly all Europe, with England
  and Prussia facing Russia, France, Austria, Sweden, and Saxony. In
  America, in 1756–57, the incompetency of Loudon and Abercrombie,
  the dilatory preparations to attack Louisburg, and Montcalm’s
  capture of Fort William Henry, made the first stage of the war
  a gloomy one. But Pitt’s entrance into the British cabinet as
  Secretary of State brought an intelligent and active prosecution
  of the war. The next year, 1758, witnessed the capture of Fort
  Frontenac on Ontario, Fort Duquesne, and Louisburg by the English
  and American forces.--EDITOR.]

The British Parliament met late in November, 1758, at a time when
the nation was aglow with enthusiasm over the successes of the
year--Louisburg and Frontenac in North America, and the driving of the
French from the Guinea coast as the result of battles at Sénégal (May)
and Gorée (November).[22] The war was proving far more costly than
had been anticipated, yet Pitt rigidly held the country to the task;
but not against its will, and the necessary funds were freely voted.
Walpole wrote to a friend: “Our unanimity is prodigious. You would as
soon hear ‘No’ from an old maid as from the House of Commons.” The
preparations for the new year were on a much larger scale than before;
both by land and sea France was to be pushed to the uttermost, and the
warlike spirit of Great Britain seemed wrought to the highest pitch.

The new French premier, Choiseul, was himself not lacking in activity.
He renewed with vigor the project of invading Great Britain,
preparations therefor being evident quite early in the year 1759. Fifty
thousand men were to land in England, and twelve thousand in Scotland,
where the Stuart cause still lingered. But as usual the effort came
to naught. The Toulon squadron was to co-operate with one from Brest;
Boscawen, who now commanded the Mediterranean fleet, apprehended the
former while trying to escape through the Straits of Gibraltar in a
thick haze (August 17), and after destroying several of the ships
dispersed the others; while Sir Edward Hawke annihilated the Brest
fleet in a brilliant sea-fight off Quiberon Bay (November 20).[23]
Relieved of the possibility of insular invasion, the Channel and
Mediterranean squadrons were now free to raid French commerce, patrol
French ports, and thus intercept communication with New France, and to
harry French--and, later, Spanish--colonies overseas.



In 1757 Clive had regained Calcutta and won Bengal at the famous battle
of Plassey. Two years thereafter the East Indian seas were abandoned by
the French after three decisive actions won by Pitt’s valiant seamen,
and India thus became a permanent possession of the British empire.[24]
In January, 1759, also, the British captured Guadeloupe, in the West
Indies.[25] Lacking sea power, it was impossible for France much longer
to hold her colonies; it was but a question of time when the remainder
should fall into the clutches of the mistress of the ocean.

Notwithstanding all this naval activity, Pitt’s principal operations
were really centred against Canada. The movement thither was to be
along two lines, which eventually were to meet in co-operation.
First, a direct attack was to be made upon Quebec, headed by Wolfe,
who was to be convoyed and assisted by a fleet under the command of
Admiral Saunders; second, Amherst--now commander-in-chief in America,
Abercrombie having been recalled--was to penetrate Canada by way of
Lakes George and Champlain. He was to join Wolfe at Quebec, but was
authorized to make such diversions as he found practicable--principally
to re-establish Oswego and to relieve Pittsburg (Fort Duquesne) with
reinforcements and supplies.

Wolfe’s selection as leader of the Quebec expedition occasioned general
surprise in England. Yet it was in the natural course of events. He
had been the life of the Louisburg campaign of the year before, and
when Amherst was expressing the desire of attacking Quebec after the
reduction of Cape Breton he wrote to the latter: “An offensive, daring
kind of war will awe the Indians and ruin the French. Block-houses and
a trembling defensive encourage the meanest scoundrels to attack us. If
you will attempt to cut up New France by the roots, I will come with
pleasure to assist.”[26]

Wolfe, whose family enjoyed some influence, had attained a captaincy
at the age of seventeen and became a major at twenty. He was now
thirty-two, a major-general, and with an excellent fighting record
both in Flanders and America. Quiet and modest in demeanor, although
occasionally using excitable and ill-guarded language, he was a refined
and educated gentleman; careful of and beloved by his troops, yet a
stern disciplinarian; and although frail in body, and often overcome
by rheumatism and other ailments, capable of great strain when buoyed
by the zeal which was one of his characteristics. The majority of his
portraits represent a tall, lank, ungainly form, with a singularly
weak facial profile; but it is likely that these belie him, for he had
an indubitable spirit, a profound mind, quick intuition, a charming
manner, and was much thought of by women. Indeed, just before sailing,
he had become engaged to the beautiful and charming Katharine Lowther,
sister of Lord Lonsdale, and afterward the Duchess of Bolton.[27]

On February 17 Wolfe departed with Saunders’ fleet of twenty-one sail,
bearing the king’s secret instructions to “carry into execution the
said important operation with the utmost application and vigor.”[28]
The voyage was protracted, and after arrival at Louisburg he was
obliged to wait long before the promised troops appeared. He had
expected regiments from Guadeloupe, but these could not yet be spared,
owing to their wretched condition; and the Nova Scotia garrisons had
also been weakened by disease, so that of the twelve thousand agreed
upon he finally could muster somewhat under nine thousand.[29] These
were of the best quality of their kind; although the general still
entertained a low opinion of the value of the provincials, who, it must
be admitted, were, however serviceable in bush-ranging, far below the
efficiency of the regulars in a campaign of this character. The force
was divided into three brigades, under Monckton, Townsend, and Murray,
young men of ability; although Townsend’s supercilious manner--the
fruit of a superior social connection--did not endear him either to his
men or his colleagues.

On June 1 the fleet began to leave Louisburg. There were thirty-nine
men-of-war, ten auxiliaries, seventy-six transports, and a hundred and
sixty-two miscellaneous craft, which were manned by thirteen thousand
naval seamen and five thousand of the mercantile marine--an aggregate
of eighteen thousand, or twice as many as the landsmen under Wolfe.[30]
While to the latter is commonly given credit for the result, it must
not be forgotten that the victory was quite as much due to the skilful
management of the navy as to that of the army, the expedition being in
all respects a joint enterprise, into which the men of both branches of
the service entered with intense enthusiasm.

The French had placed much reliance on the supposed impossibility of
great battle-ships being successfully navigated up the St. Lawrence
above the mouth of the Saguenay without the most careful piloting. This
portion of the river, a hundred and twenty miles in length, certainly
is intricate water, being streaked with perplexing currents created by
the mingling of the river’s strong flow with the flood and ebb of the
tide; the great stream is diverted into two parallel channels by reefs
and islands, and there are numerous shoals--moreover, the French had
removed all lights and other aids to navigation. But British sailors
laughed at difficulties such as these, and, while they managed to
capture a pilot, had small use for him, preferring their own cautious
methods. Preceded by a crescent of sounding-boats, officered by Captain
James Cook, afterward of glorious memory as a pathfinder, the fleet
advanced slowly but safely, its approach heralded by beacons gleaming
nightly to the fore, upon the rounded hill-tops overlooking the long
thin line of riverside settlement which extended eastward from Quebec
to the Saguenay.[31]

The French had at first expected attacks only from Lake Ontario and
from the south. But receiving early tidings of Wolfe’s expedition,
through convoys with supplies from France that had escaped Saunders’
patrol of the gulf, general alarm prevailed, and Montcalm decided to
make his stand at Quebec. To the last he appears to have shared in
the popular delusion that British men-of-war could not ascend the
river; nevertheless, he promptly summoned to the capital the greater
part of the militia from all sections of Canada, save that a thousand
whites and savages were left with Pouchot to defend Niagara, twelve
hundred men under De la Corne to guard Lake Ontario, and Bourlamaque,
with upward of three thousand, was ordered to delay Amherst’s advance
and thus prevent him from joining Wolfe. The population of Canada at
the time was about eighty-five thousand souls, and of these perhaps
twenty-two thousand were capable of bearing arms.[32] The force now
gathered in and about Quebec aggregated about seventeen thousand, of
whom some ten thousand were militia, four thousand regulars of the
line, and a thousand each of colonial regulars, seamen, and Indians; of
these two thousand were reserved for the garrison of Quebec, under De
Ramezay, while the remainder were at the disposal of Montcalm for the
general defence.[33]

The “rock of Quebec” is the northeast end of a long, narrow triangular
promontory, to the north of which lies the valley of the St. Charles
and to the south that of the St. Lawrence. The acclivity on the St.
Charles side is lower and less steep than the cliffs fringing the St.
Lawrence, which rise almost precipitously from two to three hundred
feet above the river--the citadel cliff being three hundred and
forty-five feet, almost sheer. Either side of the promontory was easily
defensible from assault, the table-land being only reached by steep and
narrow paths. Surmounting the cliffs, at the apex of the triangle, was
Upper Town, the capital of New France. Batteries, largely manned by
sailors, lined the cliff-tops within the town, and the western base,
fronting the Plains of Abraham, was protected by fifteen hundred yards
of insecure wall--for, after all, Quebec had, despite the money spent
upon it, never been scientifically fortified, its commanders having
from the first relied chiefly upon its natural position as a stronghold.

At the base of the promontory, on the St. Lawrence side, is a wide
beach occupied by Lower Town, where were the market, the commercial
warehouses, a large share of the business establishments, and the homes
of the trading and laboring classes. A narrow strand, little more than
the width of a roadway, extended along the base of the cliffs westward,
communicating with the up-river country; another road led westward
along the table-land above. Thus the city obtained its supplies from
the interior both by highway and by river.


Entrance to the St. Charles side of the promontory had been blocked by
booms at the mouth of that river, protected by strong redoubts; and off
Lower Town was a line of floating batteries. Beyond the St. Charles,
for a distance of seven miles eastward to the gorge of the Montmorenci,
Montcalm disposed the greater part of his forces, his position being
a plain naturally protected by a steep slope descending to the meadow
and tidal flats which here margin the St. Lawrence. This plain rises
gradually from the St. Charles, until at the Montmorenci cataract
it attains a height of three hundred feet, and along the summit of
the slope were well-devised trenches. The gorge furnished a strong
natural defence to the left wing, for it could be forded only in the
dense forest at a considerable distance above the falls, and to force
this approach would have been to invite an ambuscade. Wolfe contented
himself, therefore, with intrenching a considerable force along the
eastern bank of the gorge, and thence issuing for frontal attacks on
the Beauport Flats--so called from the name of the village midway.
Montcalm had chosen this as the chief line of defence, on the theory
that the approach by the St. Charles would be the one selected by the
invaders; as, indeed, it long seemed to Wolfe the only possible path to
the works of Upper Town.

Westward of the city, upon the table-land, Bougainville headed a
corps of observation, supposed continually to patrol the St. Lawrence
cliff-tops and keep communications open with the interior; but this
precaution failed in the hour of need. The height of Point Lévis,
across the river from the town, on the south bank, was unoccupied.
Montcalm had wished to fortify this vantage-point, and thus block the
river from both sides, but Vaudreuil had overruled him, and the result
was fatal. Other weak points in the defence were divided command and
the scarcity of food and ammunition, occasioned largely by Bigot’s
rapacious knavery.

On June 26 the British fleet anchored off the Isle of Orleans, thus
dissipating the fond hopes of the French that some disaster might
prevent its approach. Three days later Wolfe’s men, now encamped on the
island at a safe distance from Montcalm’s guns, made an easy capture
of Point Lévis, and there erected batteries which commanded the town.
British ships were, in consequence, soon able to pass Quebec, under
cover of the Point Lévis guns, and destroy some of the French shipping
anchored in the upper basin; while landing parties harried the country
to the west, forcing _habitants_ to neutrality and intercepting
supplies. Frequently the British forces were, upon these various
enterprises, divided into three or four isolated divisions, which might
have been roughly handled by a venturesome foe. But Montcalm rigidly
maintained the policy of defence, his only offensive operations being
the unsuccessful dispatch of fire-ships against the invading fleet.

On his part, Wolfe made several futile attacks upon the Beauport
redoubts. The position was, however, too strong for him to master, and
in one assault (July 31) he lost half of his landing party--nearly five
hundred killed, wounded, and missing.[34] This continued ill-success
fretted Wolfe and at last quite disheartened him, for the season was
rapidly wearing on, and winter sets in early at Quebec; moreover,
nothing had yet been heard of Amherst. There was, indeed, some talk
of waiting until another season. However, more and more British
ships worked their way past the fort, and, by making frequent feints
of landing at widely separated points, caused Bougainville great
annoyance. Montcalm was accordingly obliged to weaken his lower forces
by sending reinforcements to the plains west of the city. Thus, while
Wolfe was pining, French uneasiness was growing, for the British were
now intercepting supplies and reinforcements from both above and below,
and Bougainville’s men were growing weary of constantly patrolling
fifteen or twenty miles of cliffs.[35]

Meanwhile, let us see how Amherst was faring. At the end of June the
general assembled five thousand provincials and sixty-five hundred
regulars at the head of Lake George. He had previously dispatched
Brigadier Prideaux with five thousand regulars and provincials to
reduce Niagara, and Brigadier Stanwix, who had been of Bradstreet’s
party the year before, to succor Pittsburg, now in imminent danger from
French bush-rangers and Indians who were swarming at Presque Isle, Le
Bœuf, and Venango.

Amherst himself moved slowly, it being July 21 before the army started
northward upon the lake. Bourlamaque, whose sole purpose was to delay
the British advance, lay at Ticonderoga with thirty-five hundred
men, but on the twenty-sixth he blew up the fort and retreated in
good order to Crown Point. On the British approaching that post he
again fell back, this time to a strong position at Isle aux Noix, at
the outlet of Lake Champlain, where, wrote Bourlamaque to a friend,
“we are entrenched to the teeth, and armed with a hundred pieces
of cannon.”[36] Amherst now deeming vessels essential, yet lacking
ship-carpenters, it was the middle of September before his little navy
was ready, and then he thought the season too far advanced for further
operations.[37] Amherst’s advance had, however, induced Montcalm to
defend Montreal, Lévis having been dispatched thither for this purpose.

Prideaux, advancing up the Mohawk, proceeded to Oswego, where he left
half of his men to cover his retreat, and then sailed to Niagara.
Slain by accident during the siege, his place was taken by Sir William
Johnson, the Indian commander, who pushed the work with vigor. Suddenly
confronted by a French force of thirteen hundred rangers and savages
from the West, who had been deflected thither from a proposed attack on
Pittsburg, with the view of recovering that fort, Johnson completely
vanquished them (July 24). The discomfited crew burned their posts in
that region and retreated precipitately to Detroit. The following day
Niagara surrendered, and thus, with Pittsburg also saved, the West was
entirely cut off from Canada, and the upper Ohio Valley was placed in
British hands. The work of Stanwix having been accomplished by Johnson,
the former, who had been greatly delayed by transport difficulties,
advanced as promptly as possible to the Forks of the Ohio, and in the
place of the old French works built the modernized stronghold of Fort

On August 20, Wolfe fell seriously ill. Both he and the army were
discouraged. The casualties had thus far been over eight hundred men,
and disease had cut a wide swath through the ranks. Desperate, he at
last accepted the counsel of his officers, that a landing be attempted
above the town, supplies definitively cut off from Montreal, and
Montcalm forced to fight or surrender. From September 3 to 12, Wolfe,
arisen from his bed but still weak, quietly withdrew his troops from
the Montmorenci camp and transported them in vessels which successfully
passed through a heavy cannonading from the fort to safe anchorage in
the upper basin. Reinforcements marching along the southern bank, from
Point Lévis, soon joined their comrades aboard the ships. For several
days this portion of the fleet regularly floated up and down the river
above Quebec, with the changing tide, thus wearing out Bougainville’s
men, who in great perplexity followed the enemy along the cliff-tops,
through a beat of several leagues, until from sheer exhaustion they at
last became careless.

On the evening of September 12, Saunders--whose admirable handling
of the fleet deserves equal recognition with the services of
Wolfe--commenced a heavy bombardment of the Beauport lines, and feigned
a general landing at that place. Montcalm, not knowing that the
majority of the British were by this time above the town, and deceived
as to his enemy’s real intent, hurried to Beauport the bulk of his
troops, save those necessary for Bougainville’s rear guard. Meanwhile,
however, Wolfe was preparing for his desperate attempt several miles up
the river.

Before daylight the following morning (September 13), thirty boats
containing seventeen hundred picked men, with Wolfe at their head,
floated down the stream under the dark shadow of the apparently
insurmountable cliffs. They were challenged by sentinels along the
shore; but, by pretending to be a provision convoy which had been
expected from up-country, suspicion was disarmed. About two miles above
Quebec they landed at an indentation then known as Anse du Foulon,
but now called Wolfe’s Cove. From the narrow beach a small, winding
path, sighted by Wolfe two days before, led up through the trees and
underbrush to the Plains of Abraham. The climbing party of twenty-four
infantrymen found the path obstructed by an abatis and trenches; but,
nothing daunted, they clambered up the height of two hundred feet by
the aid of stunted shrubs, reached the top, overcame the weak and
cowardly guard of a hundred men, made way for their comrades, and by
sunrise forty-five hundred men of the British army were drawn up across
the plateau before the walls of Quebec.[39]

[Illustration: SIEGE OF QUEBEC]

Montcalm, ten miles away on the other side of the St. Charles, was
amazed at the daring feat, but by nine o’clock had massed his troops
and confronted his enemy. The battle was brief but desperate. The
intrepid Wolfe fell on the field--“the only British general,” declared
Horace Walpole, “belonging to the reign of George the Second who can
be said to have earned a lasting reputation.”[40] Montcalm, mortally
wounded, was carried by his fleeing comrades within the city, where he
died before morning. During the seven hours’ battle the British had
lost forty-eight killed and five hundred and ninety-seven wounded,
about twenty per cent. of the firing-line; the French lost about twelve
hundred killed, wounded, and prisoners, of whom perhaps a fourth were

Tom by disorder, the militia mutinous, the walls in ruins from the
cannonading of the British fleet, and Vaudreuil and his fellows fleeing
to the interior, the helpless garrison of Quebec surrendered, September
17, the British troops entering the following day. The English flag now
floated over the citadel, and soon there was great rejoicing throughout
Great Britain and her American colonies; and well there might be, for
the affair on the Plains of Abraham was one of the most heroic and
far-reaching achievements ever wrought by Englishmen in any land or


1760. Accession of George III. to throne of England. The English
capture Montreal.

1761. American commerce and industry closely restricted by enforcement
of navigation laws, acts of trade, and writs of assistance. Protests of
James Otis and Patrick Henry.

1762. England declares war against Spain and captures Havana.

1763. Treaty of Paris, and cession of Canada to England.

1765. Passage of the Stamp Act by the British Parliament, followed by
American protests.

1766. Repeal of the Stamp Act.

1767. The British Parliament, by the Townshend Acts, imposes duties on
paper, glass, tea, etc., imported into America.

1769. Massachusetts House of Representatives refuses to pay for
quartering British troops. Defeat of Paoli and subjection of Corsica by
the French.

1770. “Boston Massacre”--British soldiers, provoked by citizens, kill
three and wound several.

1772. First partition of Poland between Russia, Austria, and Prussia.
Samuel Adams actively advocates independence in Boston. British ship,
the _Gaspee_, burned by Rhode Islanders. Virginia Assembly appoints
Committee of Correspondence to keep in touch with other colonies.

1773. “Boston Tea-party”--taxed tea from England thrown overboard in
Boston harbor by disguised Americans.

1774. Five oppressive Acts, including Boston Port Bill, passed by
British Parliament. General Gage, commissioned as Governor, comes
to Boston with additional British troops. A Congress meets in
Philadelphia, with delegates from all colonies except Georgia, and
issues a “Declaration of Rights,” frames Articles of Association,
and indorses opposition of Massachusetts to the Oppressive Acts of

1775. General Gage sends troops to destroy supplies gathered at
Concord. Battles of Lexington and Concord. North Carolina the first to
instruct delegates to Congress for independence. Battle of Bunker Hill.
Seizure of Ticonderoga and occupation of Crown Point by Americans.
Washington takes command of the army at Cambridge. The Americans
capture Montreal. Arnold repulsed at Quebec and Montgomery killed.




Not a clause in the Declaration of Independence sets forth the real
and underlying cause of the American Revolution. The attention of
its writer was bent upon recent events, and he dwelt only upon
the immediate reasons for throwing off allegiance to the British
government. In the dark of the storm already upon them, the men of
the time could hardly look with clear vision back to ultimate causes.
They could not see that the English kings had planted the seeds of
the Revolution when, in their zeal to get America colonized, they
had granted such political and religious privileges as tempted the
radicals and dissenters of the time to migrate to America. Only
historical research could reveal the fact that from the year 1620 the
English government had been systematically stocking the colonies with
dissenters and retaining in England the conformers. The tendency of
colonization was to leave the conservatives in England, thus relatively
increasing the conservative force at home, while the radicals went to
America to fortify the radical political philosophy there. Thus England
lost part of her potentiality for political development.

Not only were radicals constantly settling in the colonies, because
of the privileges granted them there, but the Crown neglected to
enforce in the colonies the same regulations that it enforced at
home. The Act of Uniformity was not extended to the colonies, though
rigidly enforced in England; the viceregal officers, the governors,
permitted themselves again and again to be browbeaten and disobeyed by
the colonial legislatures;[42] and even the king himself had allowed
Massachusetts (1635) to overreach him by not giving up her charter.[43]

After a century of great laxity toward the colonies--a century in
which the colonists were favored by political privileges shared by no
other people of that age; after the environment had established new
social conditions, and remoteness and isolation had created a local
and individual hatred of restraint; after the absence of traditions
had made possible the institution of representation by population,
and self-government had taken on a new meaning in the world; after a
great gulf had been fixed between the social, political, and economic
institutions of the two parts of the British empire--only then did the
British government enter upon a policy intended to make the empire a

Independence had long existed in spirit in most of the essential
matters of colonial life, and the British government had only to seek
to establish its power over the colonies in order to arouse a desire
for formal independence. The transition in England, therefore, to an
imperial ideal, about the middle of the eighteenth century, doubtless
caused the rending of the empire. Walpole and Newcastle, whose
administrations had just preceded the reign of George III., had let
the colonies alone, and thus aided the colonial at the expense of the
imperial idea; while their successors, Grenville and Townshend, ruling
not wisely but too well, forced the colonists to realize that they
cared more for America than for England.

The time had come, though these ministers failed to see it, when the
union of Great Britain with her colonies depended on the offspring’s
disposition toward the mother-country. Good feeling would preserve the
union, but dissatisfaction would make even forcible control impossible.
Social and political and economic ties still bound the colonists to the
home land, but these were weak ties as compared with an irrepressible
desire for self-growth. The expression of their political ideals
unrestrained by the conservatism of the parent was a desired end to
which they strove, almost unconscious of their object.

To understand the American Revolution, therefore, several facts must
be clearly in mind--first, that Great Britain had for one hundred and
fifty years been growing to the dignity of an empire, and that the
thirteen colonies were a considerable part of that empire; second,
the colonies had interests of their own which were not favored by
the growing size and strength of the empire. They were advancing to
new political ideals faster than the mother-country. Their economic
interests were becoming differentiated from those of England. They
were coming to have wants and ambitions and hopes of their own quite
distinct from those of Great Britain.

At the fatal time when the independent spirit of America had grown
assertive, the politically active part of the British people began
unconsciously to favor an imperial policy, which their ministers
suggested, and which to them seemed the very essence of sound reasoning
and good government. They approved of the proposed creation of
executives who should be independent of the dictation of the colonial
assemblies. There were also to be new administrative organs having
power to enforce the colonial trade regulations; and the defensive
system of the colonies was to be improved by a force of regular troops,
which was in part to be supported by colonial taxes.

In order to accomplish these objects, the king’s new minister, the
assiduous Grenville, who knew the law better than the maxims of
statesmanship, induced Parliament, in March, 1764, to resolve upon
“certain stamp duties” for the colonies. A year later the “Gentle
Shepherd,” as Pitt had dubbed him, proved his watchfulness by getting
a stamp act passed,[45] which, though nearly a duplicate of one in
force in England, and like one of Massachusetts’ own laws, nevertheless
aroused every colony to violent wrath.

This sudden flame of colonial passion rose from the embers of
discontent with Grenville’s policy of enforcing the trade or navigation
laws--those restrictions upon colonial industries and commerce which
were the outgrowth of a protective commercial policy which England had
begun even before the discovery of America.[46] As the colonies grew
they began to be regarded as a source of wealth to the mother-country;
and, at the same time that bounties were given them for raising
commodities desired by England, restrictions were placed upon American
trade.[47] When the settlers of the northern and middle colonies began
manufacturing for themselves, their industry no sooner interfered with
English manufactures than a law was passed to prevent the exportation
of the production and to limit the industry itself. This system of
restrictions, though it necessarily established a real opposition
of interest between America and England, does not seem on the whole
to have been to the disadvantage of the colonies;[48] nor was the
English colonial system a whit more severe than that of other European

In 1733, however, the Molasses Act went into effect,[49] and, had
it been enforced, would have been a serious detriment to American
interests. It not only aimed to stop the thriving colonial trade with
the Dutch, French, and Spanish West Indies, but was intended to aid
English planters in the British West Indies by laying a prohibitive
duty on imported foreign sugar and molasses. It was not enforced,
however, for the customs officials, by giving fraudulent clearances,
acted in collusion with the colonial importers in evading the law; but,
in 1761, during the war with France, the thrifty colonists carried on
an illegal trade with the enemy, and Pitt demanded that the restrictive
laws be enforced.

The difficulty of enforcing was great, for it was hard to seize the
smuggled goods, and harder still to convict the smuggler in the
colonial courts. Search-warrants were impracticable, because the legal
manner of using them made the informer’s name public, and the law was
unable to protect him from the anger of a community fully in sympathy
with the smugglers. The only feasible way to put down this unpatriotic
trade with the enemy was to resort to “writs of assistance,” which
would give the customs officers a right to search for smuggled goods
in any house they pleased.[50] Such warrants were legal, had been used
in America, and were frequently used in England;[51] yet so highly
developed was the American love of personal liberty that when James
Otis, a Boston lawyer, resisted by an impassioned speech the issue of
such writs his arguments met universal approval.[52] In perfect good
faith he argued, after the manner of the ancient law-writers, that
Parliament could not legalize tyranny, ignoring the historical fact
that since the revolution of 1688 an act of Parliament was the highest
guarantee of right, and Parliament the sovereign and supreme power.
Nevertheless, the popularity of Otis’ argument showed what America
believed, and pointed very plainly the path of wise statesmanship.

When, in 1763, the Pontiac Indian rebellion endangered the whole West
and made necessary a force of soldiers in Canada, Grenville, in spite
of the recent warning, determined that the colonies should share the
burden which was rapidly increasing in England. He lowered the sugar
and molasses duties,[53] and set out to enforce their collection by
every lawful means. The trouble which resulted developed more quickly
in Massachusetts, because its harsh climate and sterile soil drove it
to a carrying-trade, and the enforced navigation laws were thought
to threaten its ruin. It was while American economic affairs were in
this condition that Grenville rashly aggravated the discontent by the
passage of his Stamp Act.

As the resistance of the colonies to this taxation led straight to
open war and final independence, it will be worth while to look rather
closely at the stamp tax, and at the subject of representation, which
was at once linked with it. The terms of the Stamp Act are not of great
importance, because, though it did have at least one bad feature as a
law, the whole opposition was on the ground that there should be no
taxation whatever without representation. It made no difference to its
enemies that the money obtained by the sale of stamps was to stay in
America to support the soldiers needed for colonial protection. Nothing
would appease them while the taxing body contained no representatives
of their own choosing.

To attain this right, they made their fight upon legal and historical
grounds--the least favorable they could have chosen. They declared
that, under the British constitution, there could be no taxation
except by persons known and voted for by the persons taxed. The wisest
men seemed not to see the kernel of the dispute. A very real danger
threatened the colonies--subject as they were to a body unsympathetic
with the political and economic conditions in which they were
living--but they had no legal safeguard.[54] They must either sever
the existing constitutional bond or get Parliament of its own will to
limit its power over the colonies. All unwittingly the opponents of the
Stamp Act were struggling with a problem that could be solved only by

Two great fundamental questions were at issue: Should there be a
British empire ruled by Parliament in all its parts, either in England
or oversea? or should Parliament govern at home, and the colonial
assemblies in America, with only a federal bond to unite them? Should
the English understanding of representation be imposed upon the
colonies? or should America’s institution triumph in its own home? If
there was to be a successful imperial system, Parliament must have the
power to tax all parts of the empire. It was of no use to plead that
Parliament had never taxed the colonies before, for, as Doctor Johnson
wrote, “We do not put a calf into the plough: we wait till it is an
ox.”[55] The colonies were strong enough to stand taxation now, and the
reasonable dispute must be as to the manner of it. To understand the
widely different points of view of Englishmen and Americans, we must
examine their systems of representative government.

In electing members to the House of Commons in England certain ancient
counties and boroughs were entitled to representation, each sending two
members, regardless of the number of people within its territory. For a
century and a half before the American Revolution only four new members
were added to the fixed number in Parliament. Meanwhile, great cities
had grown up which had no representation, though certain boroughs, once
very properly represented, had become uninhabited, and the lord who
owned the ground elected the members to Parliament, taking them, not
from the district represented, but from any part of the kingdom. The
franchise was usually possessed either by the owners of the favored
pieces of land or in the boroughs chiefly by persons who inherited
certain rights which marked them as freemen. A man had as many votes as
there were constituencies in which he possessed the qualifications.

In the colonial assemblies there was a more distinct territorial basis
for representation, and changes of population brought changes of
representation. New towns sent new members to the provincial assembly,
and held the right to be of great value. All adult men--even negroes
in New England--owning a certain small amount of property could vote
for these members. In the South only the landholders voted, but the
supply of land was not limited, as in England, and it was easily
acquired. Finally, the voter and the representative voted for must, as
a rule, be residents of the same district. From the first the colonial
political ideals were affected by new conditions. When they established
representative government they had no historic places sanctified by
tradition to be the sole breeding-places of members of Parliament.

Backed by such divergent traditions as these, the two parts of the
British empire, or, more accurately, the dominant party in each section
of the empire, faced each other upon a question of principle. Neither
could believe in the honesty of the other, for each argued out of a
different past. The opponents of the Stamp Act could not understand the
political thinking which held them to be represented in the British
Parliament. “No taxation without representation” meant for the colonist
that taxes ought to be levied by a legislative body in which was seated
a person known and voted for by the person taxed. An Englishman only
asked that there be “no taxation except that voted by the House of
Commons.” He was not concerned with the mode of election to that house
or the interests of the persons composing it. The colonists called the
Stamp Act tyranny, but the British government certainly intended none,
for it acted upon the theory of virtual representation, the only kind
of representation enjoyed by the great mass of Englishmen either at
home or in the colonies. On that theory nothing was taxed except by the
consent of the virtual representatives of those taxed. But, replied an
American, in England the interests of electors and non-electors are
the same. Security against any oppression of non-electors lies in the
fact that it would be oppressive to electors also; but Americans have
no such safeguard, for acts oppressive to them might be popular with
English electors.[56]

When the news of the Stamp Act first came oversea there was apparent
apathy. The day of enforcement was six months away, and there was
nothing to oppose but a law. It was the fitting time for an agitator.
Patrick Henry, a gay, unprosperous, and unknown country lawyer, had
been carried into the Virginia House of Burgesses on the public
approval of his impassioned denial, in the “Parson’s Cause” (1763),
of the king’s right to veto a needed law passed by the colonial
legislature. He now offered some resolutions against the stamp tax,
denying the right of Parliament to legislate in the internal affairs of
the colony.[57] This “alarum bell to the disaffected,” and the fiery
speech which secured its adoption by an irresolute assembly, were
applauded everywhere. Jefferson said of Henry, that he “spoke as Homer

As soon as the names of the appointed stamp-distributers were made
known (August 1, 1765) the masses expressed their displeasure in a way
unfortunately too common in America. Throughout the land there was
rifling of stamp-collectors’ houses, threatening their lives, burning
their records and documents, and even their houses. Their offices
were demolished and their resignations compelled--in one case under a
hanging effigy, suggestive of the result of refusal. The more moderate
patriots cancelled their orders with British merchants, agreed not to
remit their English debts, and dressed in homespun to avoid wearing
imported clothes.

On the morning that the act went into effect (November 1, 1765)
bells tolled the death of the nation. Shops were shut, flags hung at
half-mast, and newspapers appeared with a death’s-head where the stamp
should have been. Mobs burned the stamps, and none were to be had to
legalize even the most solemn and important papers. The courts ignored
them and the governors sanctioned their omission. None could be used,
because none could be obtained. All America endorsed the declaration
of rights of the Stamp-Act Congress, which met in New York, October,
1765. It asserted that the colonists had the same liberties as British
subjects. Circumstances, they declared, prevented the colonists from
being represented in the House of Commons, therefore no taxes could be
levied except by their respective legislatures.[58]

This great ado was a complete surprise to the British government. On
the passage of the Stamp Act, Walpole had written,[59] “There has
been nothing of note in Parliament but one slight day on the American
taxes.” That expressed the common conception of its importance; and
when the Grenville ministry fell (July, 1765), and was succeeded by
that of Rockingham, the American situation had absolutely nothing
to do with the change. The new ministry was some months in deciding
its policy. The king was one of the first to realize the situation,
which he declared “the most serious that ever came before Parliament”
(December 5, 1765). Weak and unwilling to act as the new ministry was,
the situation compelled attention. The king at first favored coercion
of the rebellious colonies, but the English merchants, suffering
from the suspended trade, urged Parliament to repeal the act. Their
demand decided the ministry to favor retraction, just as formerly
their influence had forced the navigation laws and the restrictions on
colonial manufactures. If the king and landed gentry were responsible
for the immediate causes of the Revolution, the influence of the
English commercial classes on legislation was the more ultimate cause.

After one of the longest and most heated debates in the history of
Parliament, under the advice of Benjamin Franklin, given at the bar
of the House of Commons,[60] and with the powerful aid of Pitt and
Camden, the Stamp Act was repealed. Another act passed at the same
time asserted Parliament’s power to legislate for the colonies in all
cases whatsoever.[61] Thus the firebrand was left smouldering amid the
inflammable colonial affairs; and Burke was quick to point out that
the right to tax, or any other right insisted upon after it ceased to
harmonize with prudence and expediency, would lead to disaster.[62]

It is plain to-day that the only way to keep up the nominal union
between Great Britain and her colonies was to let them alone. The
colonies felt strongly the ties of blood, interest, and affection
which bound them to England.[63] They would all have vowed, after the
repeal of the Stamp Act, that they loved their parent much more than
they loved one another. They felt only the normal adult instinct to act
independently. Could the British government have given up the imperial
idea to which it so tenaciously clung, a federal union might have been

The genius of dissolution, however, gained control of the ministry
which next came into power. When illness withdrew Pitt from the “Mosaic
Ministry,” which he and Grafton had formed, Townshend’s brilliant
talents gave him the unquestioned lead. This man, who is said to have
surpassed Burke in wit and Chatham in solid sense, determined to try
again to tax the colonies for imperial purposes.[64] He ridiculed the
distinction between external and internal tax; but since the colonists
had put stress on the illegality of the latter he laid the new tax
on imported articles, and prepared to collect at the customhouses.
The income was to pay the salaries of colonial governors and judges,
and thus render them independent of the tyrannical and contentious
assemblies. Writs of assistance, so effective in enforcing the revenue
laws but so hated by the colonists, were legalized. The collection of
the revenue was further aided by admiralty courts, which should try the
cases without juries, thus preventing local sympathy from shielding the
violators of the law.[65]

All the indifference into which America had relapsed, and which the
agitators so much deplored, at once disappeared. The right of trial
by jury was held to be inalienable. The control of the judiciary and
executive by the people was necessary to free government, asserted the
pamphleteers. Parliament could not legalize “writs of assistance,” they
rashly cried. The former stickling at an internal tax was forgotten,
and they objected to any tax whatever--a more logical position, which
John Dickinson, of Pennsylvania, supported by the assertion “that any
law, in so far as it creates expense, is in reality a tax.” Samuel
Adams drew up a circular letter, which the Massachusetts assembly
dispatched to the other colonial assemblies, urging concerted action
against this new attack on colonial liberties.[66] The British
government, through the colonial governors, attempted to squelch this
letter, but the Massachusetts assembly refused to rescind, and the
other colonies were quick to embrace its cause.

Signs were not wanting that the people as well as the political
leaders were aroused. When the customs officials, in 1768, seized John
Hancock’s sloop _Liberty_ for alleged evasion of the customs duties,
there was a riot which so frightened the officers that they fled to the
fort and wrote to England for soldiers.

This and other acts of resistance to the government led Parliament
to urge the king to exercise a right given him by an ancient act to
cause persons charged with treason to be brought to England for trial.
The Virginia assembly protested against this, and sent their protest
to the other colonies for approval.[67] The governor dissolved the
assembly, but it met and voted a non-importation agreement, which also
met favor in the other colonies. This economic argument again proved
effective, and the Townshend measures were repealed, except the tax on
tea; Parliament thus doing everything but remove the offence--“fixing
a badge of slavery upon the Americans without service to their
masters.”[68] The old trade regulations also remained to vex the

In order that no disproportionate blame may be attached to the king
or his ministry for the bringing on of the Revolution, it must be
noted that the English nation, the Parliament, and the king were all
agreed when the sugar and stamp acts were passed; and though Parliament
mustered a good-sized minority against the Townshend acts, nevertheless
no unaccustomed influence in its favor was used by the king. Thus the
elements of the cloud were all gathered before the king’s personality
began to intensify the oncoming storm. The later acts of Parliament and
the conduct of the king had the sole purpose of overcoming resistance
to established government. Most of these coercive acts, though no
part of the original policy, were perfectly constitutional even in
times of peace. They must be considered in their historical setting,
however, just as President Lincoln’s extraordinary acts in a time of
like national peril. Henceforth we are dealing with the natural, though
perhaps ill-judged, efforts of a government to repress a rebellion.

After the riot which followed the seizure of the _Liberty_ (June,
1768), two regiments of British soldiers were stationed in Boston.
The very inadequacy of the force made its relations with the citizens
strained, for they resented without fearing it. After enduring months
of jeering and vilification, the soldiers at last (March 5, 1770) fired
upon a threatening mob, and four men were killed. Much was made of the
“massacre,” as it was called, because it symbolized for the people the
substitution of military for civil government. A Boston jury acquitted
the soldiers, and, after a town-meeting, the removal of the two
regiments was secured.

A period of quiet followed until the assembly and the governor got
into a debate over the theoretical rights of the colonists. To spread
the results of this debate, Samuel Adams devised the “committees of
correspondence,”[69] which kept the towns of Massachusetts informed
of the controversy in Boston. This furnished a model for the colonial
committees of correspondence, which became the most efficient means for
revolutionary organization. They created public opinion, set war itself
in motion, and were the embryos of new governments when the old were

The first provincial committee that met with general response from the
other colonies was appointed by Virginia, March 12, 1773, to keep its
assembly informed of the “_Gaspee_ Commission.”[70] The _Gaspee_ was
a sort of revenue-cutter which, while too zealously enforcing the
Navigation Acts, ran aground (June 9, 1772) in Narragansett Bay. Some
Providence men seized and burned the vessel, and the British government
appointed a commission to inquire into the affair.[71] The commission
met with universal opposition and had to report failure.

From this time on the chain of events that led to open rebellion
consists of a series of links so plainly joined and so well known
that they need only the barest mention in this brief introduction
to the actual war. The British government tried to give temporary
aid to the East India Company by permitting the heavy revenue on
tea entering English ports, through which it must pass before being
shipped to America, and by licensing the company itself to sell tea in
America.[72] To avoid yielding the principle for which they had been
contending, they retained at colonial ports the threepenny duty, which
was all that remained of the Townshend revenue scheme. Ships loaded
with this cheap tea came into the several American ports and were
received with different marks of odium at different places. In Boston,
after peaceful attempts to prevent the landing proved of no avail, an
impromptu band of Indians threw the tea overboard, so that the next
morning saw it lying like seaweed on Dorchester beach.

This outrage, as it was viewed in England, caused a general demand
for repressive measures, and the five “intolerable acts” were passed
and sent oversea to do the last irremediable mischief.[73] Boston’s
port was closed until the town should pay for the tea. Massachusetts’
charter was annulled, its town-meetings irksomely restrained, and its
government so changed that its executive officers would all be under
the king’s control. Two other acts provided for the care and judicial
privileges of the soldiers who soon came to enforce the acts. Finally,
great offence was given the Protestant colonies by granting religious
freedom to the Catholics of Quebec, and the bounds of that colony were
extended to the Ohio River,[74] thus arousing all the colonies claiming
Western lands. Except in the case of Virginia, there was no real attack
on their territorial integrity, but in the excitement there seemed to

Some strong incentive for the colonies to act together had long been
the only thing needed to send the flame of rebellion along the whole
sea-coast. When the British soldiers began the enforcement of the
punishment meted to Boston, sympathy and fear furnished the common
bond. After several proposals of an intercolonial congress, the step
was actually taken on a call from oppressed Massachusetts (June
17, 1774).[75] Delegates from every colony except Georgia met in
Philadelphia in September, 1774. Seven of the twelve delegations were
chosen not by the regular assemblies, but by revolutionary conventions
called by local committees; while in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and
Connecticut, three of the remaining five states, the assemblies that
sent the delegates were wholly dominated by the revolutionary element.
Local committees may therefore be said to have created the congress,
and they would now stand ready to enforce its will.

The assembled congress adopted a declaration of rights, but their
great work was the forming an American association to enforce a
non-importation and non-consumption agreement.[76] Local committees
were to see that all who traded with England or refused to associate
were held up as enemies of their country. The delegates provided for a
new congress in the following May, and adjourned.

Meanwhile, General Gage and his “pretorian guard” in Boston were
administering the government of Massachusetts with noteworthy results.
A general court of the colony was summoned by Gage, who, repenting,
tried to put it off; but it met, formed a provincial congress, and,
settling down at Cambridge, governed the whole colony outside of
Boston. It held the new royal government to be illegal, ordered the
taxes paid to its own receiver instead of Gage’s, and organized a
militia. Gage at last determined to disarm the provincials. His raid
to destroy the stores at Concord (April 19, 1775) resulted in an
ignominious retreat and the loss of two hundred and seventy-three men,
to say nothing of bringing sixteen thousand patriots swarming about



Though mainly social and economic forces brought the revolution to the
stage of open warfare, a Massachusetts politician had so used these
forces that both his friends and enemies thought the blame or the
honor to be his. Samuel Adams began to desire independence as early
as 1768. From that time it was his unwearying effort to keep alive
the opposition to the British ministry. For years he sought to instil
in the minds of rising youths the notion of independence. His adroit
mind, always awake and tireless, toiled for but one end; and he was
narrow-minded enough to be a perfect politician. Two opposing views
could never occupy his mind at the same time. For sharp practices
he had no aversion, but he used them for public good, as he saw it,
and not for private gain. He was a public servant, great or small,
from his earliest manhood--as inspector of chimneys, tax-collector,
or moderator of town-meetings. He was ever a failure in business;
in politics, shrewd and able. The New England town-meeting was the
theatre of his action;[77] he directed the Boston meetings, and the
other towns followed. His tools were men. He was intimate with all
classes, from the ship-yard roustabouts to the ministers of the gospel.
In the canvass and caucus he was supreme. Others were always in the
foreground, thinking that theirs was the glory. An enemy said that he
had an unrivalled “talent for artfully and fallaciously insinuating”
malice into the public mind. A friend dubbed him the “Colossus of
debate.” He was ready in tact and cool in moments of excitement; his
reasoning and eloquence had a nervous simplicity, though there was
little of fire, and he was sincere rather than rhetorical.

Adams was of medium stature, but in his most intense moments he
attained to a dignity of figure and gesture. His views were clear and
his good sense abundant, so that he always received profound attention.
Prematurely gray, palsied in hand, and trembling in voice, yet he had
a mental audacity unparalleled. He was dauntless himself, and thus
roused and fortified the people. Nor were his efforts confined to the
town-meeting, for he was also a voluminous newspaper writer. He showed
no tolerance for an opponent, and his attacks were keenly felt. “Damn
that Adams. Every dip of his pen stings like a horned snake,” cried an
enemy. Thus he went on canvassing, caucusing, haranguing, and writing
until the maddened Gage attempted to seize him and the munitions of war
which he and his fellow-politicians had induced the colony to collect.
Concord and Lexington and the pursuit into Boston were the results.

At the close of that long day of fighting (April 19, 1775) it was plain
that war had begun, and the Massachusetts politicians who had pushed
matters to that stage may well have had misgivings. A single colony
could have no hope of success, and there was little in the past to
make one believe that the thirteen colonies would unite even to defend
their political liberties. Franklin gave a vivid picture of their
different forms of government, different laws, different interests,
and, in some instances, different religious persuasions and different
manners.[78] Their jealousy of one another was, he declared, “so
great that, however necessary a union of the colonies has long been
for their common defence, ... yet they have never been able to effect
such a union among themselves.” They were more jealous of each other
than of England, and though plans for union had been proposed by their
ablest statesmen, they had refused to consider them.[79] There were
long-standing disputes between neighboring colonies over boundaries,
over relations with the Indians, and over matters of trade.

The greatest danger, however, that confronted the American cause was
political division on the subject of the relations with England. As the
quarrel with the mother-country grew more bitter, it was seen that the
British government had many friends in America who, if they did not
defend the action of the ministry, at least frowned upon the violent
opposition to it. They believed that America’s best interests lay in
the union with Great Britain. The aristocracy of culture, of dignified
professions and callings, of official rank and hereditary wealth tended
to side with the central government.[80] The more prosperous and
contented men had no grievances, and conservatism was the character one
would expect in them. They denounced the agitators as demagogues and
their followers as “the mob.”

Through the long ten years of unrest preceding the Revolution, these
Tories, as they were called, had suffered at the hands of mobs, and
now, when Gage was powerless outside of Boston, an active persecution
of them began.[81] Millers refused to grind their corn, labor would
not serve them, and they could neither buy nor sell. Men refused to
worship in the same church with them. They were denounced as “infamous
betrayers of their country.” Committees published their names, “sending
them down to posterity with the infamy they deserve.” After the siege
of Boston had begun, those who were even suspected of Toryism, as their
support of the king was called, were regarded as enemies in the camp.
The Massachusetts committees compelled them to sign recantations or
confined them in jails for refusal. If they escaped they were pursued
with hue and cry.

Some fled to other colonies, but found that, “like Cain, they had some
discouraging mark upon them.” In exile they learned that the patriot
wrath visited their property: their private coaches were burned or
pulled in pieces. A rich importer’s goods were destroyed or stolen, and
his effigy was hung up in sight of his house during the day and burned
at night. Beautiful estates, where was “every beauty of art or nature,
every elegance, which it cost years of care and toil in bringing
to perfection,” were laid waste. Looking upon this work of ruin, a
despairing loyalist cried that the Americans were “as blind and mad as
Samson, bent upon pulling the edifice down upon their heads to perish
in the ruins.”

The violence of the patriots’ attack upon the loyalists seemed for a
time to eliminate the latter from the struggle. The friends of royal
power in America expected too much, and while the king’s enemies were
organizing they waited for him to crush the rising rebellion. They
looked on with wonder as the signal flew from one local committee to
another over thirteen colonies, who now needed only a glowing fact
like Lexington to fuse them into one defensive whole. The news reached
Putnam’s Connecticut farm in a day; Arnold, at New Haven, had it
the next day, and in four days it had reached New York.[82] Unknown
messengers carried it through Philadelphia, past the Chesapeake, on to
Charleston, and within twenty days the news in many garbled forms was
evoking a common spirit of patriotism from Maine to Georgia. It was
commonly believed that America must be saved from “abject slavery” by
the bands of patriots encompassing Boston.

The farmers and mechanics who had hurried from their work to drive the
British from Concord into Boston were not an army. They settled down in
a great half-circle around the port with a common purpose of compelling
Gage to take to his ships, but with no definite plan. Confusion was
everywhere. Men were coming and going, and there were no regular
enlistments.[83] A few natural leaders were doing wonders in holding
them together.[84] Among them the brave and courteous Joseph Warren,
the warm friend of Samuel Adams and zealous comrade in the recent work
of agitation, was conquering insubordination by the manly modesty and
gentleness of his character. Others who were old campaigners of the
French and Indian wars worked ceaselessly to bring order out of chaos.

Yet not even the fanatic zeal of the siege could banish provincial
jealousies. There were as many leaders as there were colonies
represented. New Hampshire men were led by John Stark, a hero of
the French war; Connecticut men were under Israel Putnam, more
picturesque as a wolf-slayer than able as a leader. Nathanael Greene,
the philosophic and literary blacksmith, commanded the Rhode Island
militia.[85] It was with difficulty that “the grand American army,”
as the Massachusetts congress called it, finally intrusted the chief
command to General Artemas Ward, who, in turn, was controlled by the
Massachusetts committee of safety.

Even with some organization and a leader there was little outward
semblance of an army. In the irregular dress, brown and green hues
were the rule. Uniforms like those of the British regulars, the
hunting-shirt of the backwoodsman, and even the blankets of savages
were seen side by side in the ranks of the first patriot armies. There
was little distinction between officer and private.[86] Each company
chose its own officers out of the ranks,[87] and the private could
not understand why he should salute his erstwhile friend and neighbor
or ask his permission to go home. The principle of social democracy
was carried into military life to the great detriment of the service.
Difference in rank was ignored by the officers themselves, who in some
cases did menial work about camp to curry favor with their men.

Fortunately, there was in this raw militia a good leaven of soldiers
seasoned and trained in the war with France. These men led expeditions
to the islands of Boston Harbor in the effort to get the stock before
it should be seized by the British.[88] Numerous slight engagements
resulted, turning favorably, as a rule, for the patriots, and the new
recruits gained courage with experience. Thus nearly two months passed
away, and an elated patriot wrote that “danger and war are become
pleasing, and injured virtue is now aroused to avenge herself.”

The only way to drive Gage out of Boston was to seize one of the
commanding hill-tops either in Dorchester or Charlestown, whence they
might open a cannonade on the city. Gage saw this danger, and with the
arrival of reinforcements under Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne a plan
was made to get control of the dangerous hill-tops. With ten thousand
well-equipped soldiers to pit against an ill-trained and poorly
commanded multitude of farmers the task seemed easy. After trying to
terrify the rebels by threatening with the gallows all who should be
taken with arms, and offering to pardon those who would lay them down,
Gage prepared to execute this plan. The patriots forestalled him by
sending twelve hundred men under the veteran Colonel Prescott to seize
Bunker Hill, in Charlestown.



In May, 1775, the British force in Boston had increased by fresh
arrivals from England and Ireland to ten thousand men. The man-of-war
_Cerberus_ arrived on the 25th with Generals Howe, Clinton, and
Burgoyne--three officers experienced in the military tactics of Europe,
but little prepared for service here. They were surprised at the aspect
of affairs, and Gage was reproached for his apparent supineness.
However, unity of action was necessary, and the new-comers heartily
co-operated with Gage in his plans, such as they were, for dispersing
the rebel host that hemmed him in. He issued a proclamation on June
12 insulting in words and menacing in tone. It declared martial law;
pronounced those in arms and their abettors “rebels, parricides of the
Constitution,” and offered a free pardon to all who would forthwith
return to their allegiance, except John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who
were outlawed, and for whose apprehension as traitors a reward was
offered. This proclamation, so arrogant and insulting, served only
to exasperate the people. In the mean while several skirmishes had
occurred between parties of the British regulars and the provincials,
upon some of the cultivated islands that dot the harbor of Boston.

At this time (May, 1775) but little progress had been made by the
Americans in erecting fortifications. Some breastworks had been thrown
up at Cambridge, near the foot of Prospect Hill, and a small redoubt
had been formed at Roxbury. The right wing of the besieging army,
under General Thomas, was at Roxbury, consisting of four thousand
Massachusetts troops, including four artillery companies, with
field-pieces and a few heavy cannon. The Rhode Island forces, under
Greene, were at Jamaica Plains, and near there was a greater part of
General Spencer’s Connecticut regiment. General Ward commanded the left
wing at Cambridge, which consisted of fifteen Massachusetts regiments,
the battalion of artillery under Gridley, and Putnam’s regiment, with
other Connecticut troops. Most of the Connecticut forces were at
Inman’s farm. Paterson’s regiment was at the breastwork on Prospect
Hill, and a large guard was stationed at Lechmere’s Point. Three
companies of Gerrish’s regiment were at Chelsea; Stark’s regiment was
at Medford, and Reid’s at Charlestown Neck, with sentinels reaching to
Penny Ferry and Bunker Hill.

It was made known to the Committee of Safety that General Gage had
fixed upon the night of June 18 to take possession of and fortify
Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights. This brought matters to a crisis,
and measures were taken to perfect the blockade of Boston. The
Committee of Safety ordered Colonel Prescott, with a detachment of one
thousand men, including a company of artillery, with two field-pieces,
to march at night and throw up intrenchments upon Bunker Hill, an
eminence just within the peninsula of Charlestown, and commanding the
great northern road from Boston, as well as a considerable portion
of the town. Bunker Hill begins at the isthmus, and rises gradually
for about three hundred yards, forming a round, smooth hill, sloping
on two sides toward the water, and connected by a ridge of ground
on the south with the heights now known as Breed’s Hill. This was a
well-known public place, the name, “Bunker Hill,” being found in the
town records and in deeds from an early period. Not so with “Breed’s
Hill,” for it was not named in any description of streets previous to
1775, and appears to have been called after the owners of the pastures
into which it was divided, rather than by the common name of Breed’s
Hill. Thus, Monument Square was called Russell’s Pasture; Breed’s
Pasture lay farther south, and Green’s Pasture was at the head of Green
Street. The easterly and westerly sides of this height were steep. On
the east, at its base, were brick-kilns, clay-pits, and much sloughy
land. On the west side, at the base, was the most settled part of
the town. Moulton’s Point, a name coeval with the settlement of the
town, constituted the southeastern corner of the peninsula. A part of
this tract formed what is called Morton’s Hill. Bunker Hill was one
hundred and ten feet high, Breed’s Hill sixty-two feet, and Moulton’s
Hill thirty-five feet. The principal street of the peninsula was Main
Street, which extended from the Neck to the ferry. A road ran over
Bunker Hill, around Breed’s Hill, to Moulton’s Point. The westerly
portions of these eminences contained fine orchards.

A portion of the regiments of Prescott, Frye, and Bridge, and a fatigue
party of two hundred Connecticut troops with intrenching tools,
paraded in the Cambridge camp at six o’clock in the evening. They were
furnished with packs and blankets, and ordered to take provisions for
twenty-four hours. Samuel Gridley’s company of artillery joined them,
and the Connecticut troops were placed under the command of Thomas
Knowlton, a captain in Putnam’s regiment, who was afterward killed in
the battle on Harlem Heights. After an impressive prayer from the lips
of President Langdon, of Harvard College, Colonel Prescott and Richard
Gridley, preceded by two servants with dark lanterns, commenced their
march, at the head of the troops, for Charlestown. It was about nine
o’clock at night, the sky clear and starry, and the weather very warm.
Strict silence was enjoined, and the object of the expedition was not
known to the troops until they arrived at Charlestown Neck, where they
were joined by Major Brooks, of Bridge’s regiment, and General Putnam.
A guard of ten men was placed in Charlestown, and the main body marched
over Bunker Hill. A council was held, to select the best place for
the proposed fortification. The order was explicit, to fortify Bunker
Hill; but Breed’s Hill being nearer Boston, and appearing to be a more
eligible place, it was concluded to proceed to fortify it, and to throw
up works, also, on Bunker Hill, to cover a retreat, if necessary,
across Charlestown Neck. Colonel Gridley marked out the lines of the
proposed fortifications, and, at about midnight, the men, having
thrown off their packs and stacked their arms, began their perilous
work--perilous, because British sentinels and British ships-of-war were
almost within sound of their picks.

Officers and men labored together with all their might, with pickaxes
and spades, and were cheered on in their work by the distant signals of
safety--“All’s well!”--that came from the shipping and the sentinels
at the foot of Copp’s Hill. It proclaimed that they were still
undiscovered; and at every cry of “All’s well!” they plied their tools
with increased vigor. When the day dawned, at about four o’clock, they
had thrown up intrenchments six feet high; and a strong redoubt, which
was afterward the admiration of the enemy, loomed up on the green
height before the wondering eyes of the astonished Britons like a work
of magic. The British officers could hardly be convinced that it was
the result of a few hours’ labor only, but deemed it the work of days.
Gage saw at once how foolish he had been in not taking possession of
this strong point, as advised, while it was in his power to do so.

The fortification was first discovered at dawn, by the watchmen on
board the British man-of-war _Lively_. Without waiting for orders, the
captain put springs upon his cables, and opened a fire on the American
works. The noise of the cannon aroused the sleepers in Boston, and when
the sun arose on that bright morning, every eminence and roof in the
city swarmed with people, astonished at the strange apparition upon
Breed’s Hill. The shots from the _Lively_ did no harm, and, defended by
their intrenchments, the Americans plied their tools in strengthening
their works within, until called to lay aside the pick and shovel for
gun and knapsack.


On June 17 Admiral Graves, the naval commander at Boston, ordered the
firing to cease; but it was soon renewed, not only by the shipping, but
from a battery of six guns upon Copp’s Hill in the city. Gage summoned
a council of war early in the morning. As it was evident that the
Americans were rapidly gaining strength, and that the safety of the
town was endangered, it was unanimously resolved to send out a force to
drive them from the peninsula of Charlestown and destroy their works
on the heights. It was decided, also, to make the attack in front, and
preparations were made accordingly. The drums beat to arms, and Boston
was soon in a tumult. Dragoons galloping, artillery trains rumbling,
and the marching and countermarching of the regulars and loyalists,
together with the clangor of the church bells, struck dismay into many
a heart before stout in the presence of British protectors. It is said
that the danger which surrounded the city converted many Tories into
patriots; and the selectmen, in the midst of that fearful commotion,
received large accessions to their list of professed friends from the
ranks of the timid loyalists.

Toward noon between two and three thousand picked men from the British
army, under the command of General Sir William Howe and General Pigot,
embarked in twenty-eight barges, part from the Long Wharf and some
from the North Battery, in Boston, and landed at Morton’s, or Moulton’s
Point, beyond the eastern foot of Breed’s Hill, covered by the guns of
the _Falcon_ and other vessels.

The Americans had worked faithfully on their intrenchments all the
morning, and were greatly encouraged by the voice and example of
Prescott, who exposed himself, without care, to the random shots of the
battery on Copp’s Hill. He supposed, at first, that the enemy would not
attack him, but, seeing the movements in the city, he was convinced
to the contrary, and comforted his toiling troops with assurances of
certain victory. Confident of such a result himself, he would not at
first send to General Ward for a reinforcement; but between nine and
ten o’clock, by advice of his officers, Major Brooks was dispatched
to headquarters for that purpose. General Putnam had urged Ward early
in the morning to send fresh troops to relieve those on duty; but
only a portion of Stark’s regiment was allowed to go, as the general
apprehended that Cambridge would be the principal point of attack.
Convinced otherwise, by certain intelligence, the remainder of Stark’s
regiment, and the whole of Reed’s corps, on the Neck, were ordered to
reinforce Prescott. At twelve o’clock the men in the redoubt ceased
work, sent off their intrenching tools, took some refreshments, hoisted
the New England flag, and prepared to fight. The intrenching tools were
sent to Bunker Hill, where, under the directions of General Putnam, the
men began to throw up a breastwork. Some of the more timid soldiers
made the removal of the tools a pretext for leaving the redoubt, and
never returned.

It was between twelve and one o’clock when the British troops,
consisting of the fifth, thirty-eighth, forty-third, and fifty-second
battalions of infantry, two companies of grenadiers, and two of light
infantry, landed, their rich uniforms and arms flashing and glittering
in the noonday sun, making an imposing and formidable display.
General Howe reconnoitred the American works, and, while waiting for
reinforcements, which he had solicited from Gage, allowed his troops
to dine. When the intelligence of the landing of the enemy reached
Cambridge, two miles distant, there was great excitement in the camp
and throughout the town. The drums beat to arms, the bells were rung,
and the people and military were speedily hurrying in every direction.
General Ward used his own regiment, and those of Paterson and Gardner
and a part of Bridge’s, for the defence of Cambridge. The remainder
of the Massachusetts troops were ordered to Charlestown, and thither
General Putnam conducted those of Connecticut.

At about two o’clock the reinforcement for Howe arrived, and landed
at the present navy-yard. It consisted of the Forty-seventh battalion
of infantry, a battalion of marines, and some grenadiers and light
infantry. The whole force (about four thousand men) was commanded and
directed by the most skilful British officers then in Boston; and every
man preparing to attack the undisciplined provincials was a drilled
soldier, and quite perfect in the art of war. It was an hour of the
deepest anxiety among the patriots on Breed’s Hill. They had observed
the whole martial display, from the time of the embarkation until the
forming of the enemy’s line for battle. For the Americans, as yet,
very little succor had arrived. Hunger and thirst annoyed them, while
the labors of the night and morning weighed them down with excessive
fatigue. Added to this was the dreadful suspicion that took possession
of their minds, when only feeble reinforcements arrived, that treachery
had placed them there for the purpose of sacrifice. Yet they could not
doubt the patriotism of their principal officers, and before the action
commenced their suspicions were scattered to the winds by the arrival
of their beloved Doctor Warren and General Pomeroy. Warren, who was
president of the Provincial Congress, then sitting at Watertown, seven
miles distant, informed of the landing of the enemy, hastened toward
Charlestown, though suffering from sickness and exhaustion. He had
been commissioned a major-general four days before. Putnam, who was
at Cambridge, forwarding provisions and reinforcements to Charlestown,
tried to dissuade him from going into the battle. Warren was not to be
diverted from his purpose, and, mounting a horse, he sped across the
Neck and entered the redoubt, amid the loud cheers of the provincials,
just as Howe gave orders to advance. Colonel Prescott offered the
command to Warren, as his superior, when the latter replied, “I am come
to fight as a volunteer, and feel honored in being allowed to serve
under so brave an officer.”

While the British troops were forming, and preparing to march along
the Mystic River for the purpose of flanking the Americans and gaining
their rear, the artillery, with two field-pieces, and Captain Knowlton,
with the Connecticut troops, left the redoubt, took a position near
Bunker Hill, and formed a breastwork seven hundred feet in length,
which served an excellent purpose. A little in front of a strong stone
and rail fence, Knowlton built another, and between the two was placed
a quantity of new-mown grass. This apparently slight breastwork formed
a valuable defence to the provincials.

It was now three in the afternoon. The provincial troops were placed
in an attitude of defence as the British column moved slowly forward
to the attack. Colonel Prescott and the original constructors of the
redoubt, except the Connecticut troops, were within the works. General
Warren also took post in the redoubt. Gridley and Callender’s artillery
companies were between the breastworks and rail fence on the eastern
side. A few troops, recalled from Charlestown after the British landed,
and a part of Warner’s company, lined the cart-way on the right of the
redoubt. The Connecticut and New Hampshire forces were at the rail
fence on the west of the redoubt, and three companies were stationed in
the main street at the foot of Breed’s Hill.


Before General Howe moved from his first position he sent out strong
flank guards, and directed his heavy artillery to play upon the
American line. At the same time a blue flag was displayed as a signal,
and the guns upon Copp’s Hill and the ships and floating batteries in
the river poured a storm of round-shot upon the redoubt. A furious
cannonade was opened at the same moment upon the right wing of the
provincial army at Roxbury, to prevent reinforcements being sent by
General Thomas to Charlestown. Gridley and Callender, with their
field-pieces, returned a feeble response to the heavy guns of the
enemy. Gridley’s guns were soon disabled; while Callender, who alleged
that his cartridges were too large, withdrew to Bunker Hill. Putnam
was there, and ordered him back to his first position. He disobeyed,
and nearly all his men, more courageous than he, deserted him. In the
meanwhile, Captain Walker, of Chelmsford, with fifty resolute men,
marched down the hill near Charlestown and greatly annoyed the enemy’s
left flank. Finding their position very perilous, they marched over
to the Mystic, and did great execution upon the right flank. Walker
was there wounded and made prisoner, but the greater part of his men
succeeded in gaining the redoubt.

Under cover of the discharges of artillery the British army moved up
the slope of Breed’s Hill toward the American works in two divisions,
General Howe with the right wing, and General Pigot with the left.
The former was to penetrate the American lines at the rail fence; the
latter to storm the redoubt. They had not proceeded far before the
firing of their artillery ceased, in consequence of discovering that
balls too large for the field-pieces had been sent over from Boston.
Howe ordered the pieces to be loaded with grape; but they soon became
useless, on account of the miry ground at the base of the hill. Small
arms and bayonets now became their reliance.

Silently the British troops, burdened with heavy knapsacks, toiled
up the ascent toward the redoubt in the heat of a bright summer’s
sun. All was silent within the American intrenchments, and very few
provincials were to be seen by the approaching battalions; but within
those breastworks, and in reserve behind the hills, crouched fifteen
hundred determined men, ready, at a prescribed signal, to fall upon
the foe. The provincials had but a scanty supply of ammunition, and,
to avoid wasting it by ineffectual shots, Prescott gave orders not
to fire until the enemy were so near that the whites of their eyes
could be seen. “Then,” he said, “aim at their waistbands; and be sure
to pick off the commanders, known by their handsome coats!” The enemy
were not so sparing of their powder and ball, but when within gunshot
of the apparently deserted works commenced a random firing. Prescott
could hardly restrain his men from responding, and a few did disobey
his orders and returned the fire. Putnam hastened to the spot, and
threatened to cut down the first man who should again disobey orders,
and quiet was restored. At length the enemy reached the prescribed
distance, when, waving his sword over his head, Prescott shouted,
“Fire!” Terrible was the effect of the volley that ensued. Whole
platoons of the British regulars were laid upon the earth like grass
by the mower’s scythe. Other deadly volleys succeeded, and the enemy,
disconcerted, broke and fled toward the water. The provincials, joyed
at seeing the regulars fly, wished to pursue them, and many leaped the
rail fence for the purpose; but the prudence of the American officers
kept them in check, and in a few minutes they were again within their
works, prepared to receive a second attack from the British troops,
that were quickly rallied by Howe. Colonel Prescott praised and
encouraged his men, while General Putnam rode to Bunker Hill to urge on
reinforcements. Many had arrived at Charlestown Neck, but were deterred
from crossing by the enfilading fire of the _Glasgow_ and two armed
gondolas near the causeway. Portions of regiments were scattered upon
Bunker Hill and its vicinity, and these General Putnam, by entreaties
and commands, endeavored to rally. Colonel Gerrish, who was very
corpulent, became completely exhausted by fatigue; and other officers,
wholly unused to warfare, coward-like kept at a respectful distance
from danger. Few additional troops could be brought to Breed’s Hill
before the second attack was made.

The British troops, reinforced by four hundred marines from Boston,
under Major Small, accompanied by Doctor Jeffries, the army surgeon,
advanced toward the redoubt in the same order as at first, General
Howe boldly leading the van, as he had promised. It was a mournful
march over the dead bodies of scores of their fellow soldiers; but
with true English courage they pressed onward, their artillery doing
more damage to the Americans than at the first assault. It had moved
along the narrow road between the tongue of land and Breed’s Hill, and
when within a hundred yards of the rail fence, and on a line with the
breastworks, opened a galling fire, to cover the advance of the other
assailants. In the meanwhile, a carcass and some hot shot were thrown
from Copp’s Hill into Charlestown, which set the village on fire. The
houses were chiefly of wood, and in a short time nearly two hundred
buildings were in flames, shrouding in dense smoke the heights in the
rear whereon the provincials were posted. Beneath this veil the British
hoped to rush unobserved up to the breastworks, scale them, and drive
the Americans out at the point of the bayonet. At that moment a gentle
breeze, which appeared to the provincials like the breath of a guardian
angel--the first zephyr that had been felt on that sultry day--came
from the west and swept the smoke away seaward, exposing to the full
view of the Americans the advancing columns of the enemy, who fired as
they approached, but with little execution. Colonels Brener, Nixon,
and Buckminster were wounded, and Major Moore was killed. As before,
the Americans reserved their fire until the British were within the
prescribed distance, when they poured forth their leaden hail with such
sure aim and terrible effect that whole ranks of officers and men were
slain. General Howe was at the head, and once he was left entirely
alone, his aids and all about him having perished. The British line
recoiled, and gave way in several parts, and it required the utmost
exertion in all the remaining officers, from the generals down to the
subalterns, to repair the disorder which this hot and unexpected fire
had produced. All their efforts were at first fruitless, and the troops
retreated in great disorder to the shore.

General Clinton, who had beheld the progress of the battle with
mortified pride, seeing the regulars repulsed a second time, crossed
over in a boat, followed by a small reinforcement, and joined the
broken army as a volunteer. Some of the British officers remonstrated
against leading the men a third time to certain destruction; but
others, who had ridiculed American valor, and boasted loudly of British
invincibility, resolved on victory or death. The incautious loudness
of speech of a provincial, during the second attack, declaring that
the ammunition was nearly exhausted, gave the enemy encouraging and
important information. Howe immediately rallied his troops and formed
them for a third attack, but in a different way. The weakness of the
point between the breastwork and the rail fence had been discovered
by Howe, and thitherward he determined to lead the left wing with the
artillery, while a show of attack should be made at the rail fence
on the other side. His men were ordered to stand the fire of the
provincials, and then make a furious charge with bayonets.

So long were the enemy making preparations for a third attack that the
provincials began to imagine that the second repulse was to be final.
They had time to refresh themselves a little and recover from that
complete exhaustion which the labor of the day had produced. It was too
true that their ammunition was almost exhausted, and, being obliged
to rely upon that for defence, as comparatively few of the muskets
were furnished with bayonets, they began to despair. The few remaining
cartridges within the redoubt were distributed by Prescott, and those
soldiers who were destitute of bayonets resolved to club their arms
and use the breeches of their guns when their powder should be gone.
The loose stones in the redoubt were collected for use as missiles if
necessary, and all resolved to fight as long as a ray of hope appeared.

During this preparation on Breed’s Hill, all was confusion elsewhere.
General Ward was at Cambridge, without sufficient staff-officers
to convey his orders. Henry (afterward General) Knox was in the
reconnoitring service, as a volunteer, during the day, and upon his
reports Ward issued his orders. Late in the afternoon, the commanding
general despatched his own, with Paterson and Gardner’s regiments,
to the field of action; but to the raw recruits the aspect of the
narrow Neck was terrible, swept as it was by the British cannon.
Colonel Gardner succeeded in leading three hundred men to Bunker
Hill, where Putnam set them intrenching, but soon ordered them to the
lines. Gardner was advancing boldly at their head, when a musket-ball
entered his groin and wounded him mortally. His men were thrown into
confusion, and very few of them engaged in the combat that followed,
until the retreat commenced. Other regiments failed to reach the lines.
A part of Gerrish’s regiment, led by Adjutant Christian Febiger, a
Danish officer, who afterward accompanied Arnold to Quebec and was
distinguished at Stony Point, reached the lines just as the action
commenced, and effectually galled the British left wing. Putnam, in the
mean time, was using his utmost exertions to form the confused troops
on Bunker Hill and get fresh corps with bayonets across the Neck.

All was order and firmness at the redoubt on Breed’s Hill as the enemy
advanced. The artillery of the British swept the interior of the
breastwork from end to end, destroying many of the provincials, among
whom was Lieutenant Prescott, a nephew of the colonel commanding.
The remainder were driven within the redoubt, and the breastwork was
abandoned. Each shot of the provincials was true to its aim, and
Colonel Abercrombie and Majors Williams and Speedlove fell. Howe was
wounded in the foot, but continued fighting at the head of his men.
His boats were at Boston, and retreat he could not. His troops pressed
forward to the redoubt, now nearly silent, for the provincials’ last
grains of powder were in their guns. Only a ridge of earth separated
the combatants, and the assailants scaled it. The first that reached
the parapet were repulsed by a shower of stones. Major Pitcairn, who
led the troops at Lexington, ascending the parapet, cried out, “Now for
the glory of the marines!” and was immediately shot by a negro soldier.
Again numbers of the enemy leaped upon the parapet, while others
assailed the redoubt on three sides. Hand to hand the belligerents
struggled, and the gun-stocks of many of the provincials were shivered
to pieces by the heavy blows they were made to give. The enemy poured
into the redoubt in such numbers that Prescott, perceiving the folly
of longer resistance, ordered a retreat. Through the enemy’s ranks the
Americans hewed their way, many of them walking backward and dealing
deadly blows with their musket-stocks. Prescott and Warren were the
last to leave the redoubt. Colonel Gridley, the engineer, was wounded,
and borne off safely. Prescott received several thrusts from bayonets
and rapiers in his clothing, but escaped unhurt. Warren was the last
man that left the works. He was a short distance from the redoubt, on
his way toward Bunker Hill, when a musket-ball passed through his head,
killing him instantly. He was left on the field, for all were flying
in the greatest confusion, pursued by the victors, who remorselessly
bayoneted those who fell in their way.

Major Jackson had rallied Gardner’s men upon Bunker Hill, and,
pressing forward with three companies of Ward’s, and Febiger’s party
from Gerrish’s regiment, poured a destructive fire upon the enemy
between Breed’s and Bunker Hill, and bravely covered the retreat from
the redoubt. The Americans at the rail fence, under Stark, Reed,
and Knowlton, reinforced by Clark, Coit, and Chester’s Connecticut
companies and a few other troops, maintained their ground, in the
meanwhile, with great firmness, and successfully resisted every attempt
of the enemy to turn their flank. This service was very valuable,
for it saved the main body, retreating from the redoubt, from being
cut off. But when these saw their brethren, with the chief commander,
flying before the enemy, they too fled. Putnam used every exertion to
keep them firm. He commanded, pleaded, cursed and swore like a madman,
and was seen at every point in the van trying to rally the scattered
corps, swearing that victory should crown the Americans. “Make a stand
here!” he exclaimed; “we can stop them yet! In God s name, fire and
give them one shot more!” The gallant old Pomeroy, also, with his
shattered musket in his hand, implored them to rally, but in vain.
The whole body retreated across the Neck, where the fire from the
_Glasgow_ and gondolas slew many of them. They left five of their six
field-pieces and all their intrenching tools upon Bunker Hill, and they
retreated to Winter Hill, Prospect Hill, and to Cambridge. The British,
greatly exhausted, and properly cautious, did not follow, but contented
themselves with taking possession of the peninsula. Clinton advised an
immediate attack upon Cambridge, but Howe was too cautious or too timid
to make the attempt. His troops lay upon their arms all night on Bunker
Hill, and the Americans did the same on Prospect Hill, a mile distant.
Two British field-pieces played upon them, but without effect, and,
both sides feeling unwilling to renew the action, hostilities ceased.
The loss of the Americans in this engagement was one hundred and
fifteen killed and missing, three hundred and five wounded, and thirty
who were taken prisoners; in all, four hundred and fifty. The British
loss is not positively known. Gage reported two hundred and twenty-six
killed, and eight hundred and twenty-eight wounded; in all, ten hundred
and fifty-four. In this number are included eighty-nine officers. The
Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, from the best information they
could obtain, reported the British loss at about fifteen hundred. The
number of buildings consumed in Charlestown, before midnight, was
about four hundred; and the estimated loss of property (most of the
families, with their effects, having moved out) was nearly six hundred
thousand dollars.

The number engaged in this battle was small, yet contemporary writers
and eye-witnesses represent it as one of the most determined and
severe on record. There was absolutely no victory in the case. The
most indomitable courage was displayed on both sides; and when the
provincials had retired but a short distance, so wearied and exhausted
were all that neither party desired more fighting, if we except Colonel
Prescott, who earnestly petitioned to be allowed to lead a fresh corps
that evening and retake Breed’s Hill. It was a terrible day for Boston
and its vicinity, for almost every family had a representative in one
of the two armies. Fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers were in the
affray, and deep was the mental anguish of the women of the city, who,
from roofs and steeples and every elevation, gazed with streaming eyes
upon the carnage, for the battle raged in full view of thousands of
interested spectators in the town and upon the adjoining hills. In
contrast with the terrible scene were the cloudless sky and brilliant


1775. Washington conducts the siege of Boston. The Americans take
Montreal. Unsuccessful assaults on Quebec. Settlement of Kentucky by
Daniel Boone.

1776. The British evacuate Boston. The British repulsed at Charleston,
S. C. The Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence.
The British, under Howe and Clinton, defeat the Americans, under Putnam
and Sullivan, in the battle of Long Island. The British occupy New
York. The Americans defeated at White Plains. Washington surprises the
Hessians at Trenton.

1777. Washington is victorious at Princeton. Burgoyne takes
Ticonderoga. The Americans are victorious at Bennington. Washington
defeated by Howe in the battle of the Brandywine. Battle of Stillwater.
The British enter Philadelphia. Repulse of Washington at Germantown.
Battle of Saratoga.



In 1777 the British ministry had planned, in addition to the
operations of the main army against Philadelphia, an invasion from
Canada, apprehensions of which had led the Americans into their late
unsuccessful attempt to conquer that province. Such supplies of men or
money as they asked for were readily voted; but in England, as well
as in America, enlistments were a matter of difficulty. Lord George
Germaine was possessed with an idea, of which Sir William Howe found it
very difficult to disabuse him, that recruits might be largely obtained
among the American loyalists. In spite, however, of all the efforts of
Tryon, Delancey, and Skinner, the troops of that description hardly
amounted as yet to twelve hundred men; and Howe complained, not without
reason, of the tardiness of the ministers in filling up his army.

       *       *       *       *       *

The American Northern Department, again placed under the sole command
of Schuyler, had been so bare of troops during the winter that serious
apprehensions had been felt lest Ticonderoga might be taken by a
sudden movement from Canada over the ice. The Northern army was still
very feeble; and the regiments designed to reinforce it filled up so
slowly, notwithstanding the offer of large additional bounties, that
Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire were obliged to resort
to a kind of conscription, a draft of militia men to serve for twelve
months as substitutes till the regiments could be filled. In forming
the first New England army, the enlistment of negro slaves had been
specially prohibited; but recruits of any color were now gladly
accepted, and many negroes obtained their freedom by enlistment.

The Middle and Southern colonies, whence Washington’s recruits were
principally to come, were still more behind-hand. Of the men enlisted
in those states, many were foreign-born, redemptioners, or indented
servants, whose attachment to the cause could not fully be relied
upon. Congress had offered bounties in land to such Germans as might
desert from the British, and Howe now retorted by promising rewards
in money to foreigners deserting the American service. Congress, as a
countervailing measure, at Washington’s earnest request relinquished a
plan they had adopted of stopping a portion of the pay of the indented
servants in the army as a compensation to their masters for loss of
service. That compensation was left to be provided for at the public
expense, and the enlisted servants were all declared freemen.

Washington was still at Morristown, waiting with no little anxiety the
movements of the British. The expected reinforcements and supplies,
especially tents, the want of which had kept Howe from moving, had at
last arrived. Burgoyne had assumed the command in Canada; but what
his intentions were Washington did not know--whether he would advance
by way of Lake Champlain, or, what seemed more probable, would take
shipping in the St. Lawrence and join Howe in New York. Nor could he
tell whether Howe would move up the Hudson to co-operate with Burgoyne,
or whether he would attempt Philadelphia; and if so, whether by land or

Philadelphia, however, seemed the most probable object of attack;
and the more effectually to cover that city, leaving Putnam in the
Highlands with a division of Eastern troops, Washington, on May 28th,
moved to a piece of strong ground at Middlebrook, about twelve miles
from Princeton. He had with him forty-three battalions, arranged in
ten brigades and five divisions; but these battalions were so far from
being full that the whole amounted to only eight thousand men.

On June 13th Howe marched out of New Brunswick with a powerful army,
designing apparently to force his way to Philadelphia. Washington
called to his aid a large part of the troops in the Highlands; the
New Jersey militia turned out in force; Arnold, to whom had been
assigned the command at Philadelphia, was busy with Mifflin in
preparing defences for the Delaware. It was Howe’s real object, not
so much to penetrate to Philadelphia as to draw Washington out of
his intrenchments and to bring on a general engagement, in which,
upon anything like equal ground, the British general felt certain of
victory. With that intent he made a sudden and rapid retreat, evacuated
New Brunswick even, and fell back to Amboy. The bait seemed to take;
the American van, under Stirling, descended to the low grounds, and
Washington moved with the main body to Quibbletown. But when Howe
turned suddenly about and attempted to gain the passes and heights
on the American left, Washington, ever on the alert, fell rapidly
back to the strong ground at Middlebrook. In this retrograde movement
Stirling’s division lost a few men and three pieces of artillery; but
the American army was soon in a position in which Howe did not choose
to attack it.

Defeated in this attempt to bring on a general action, and having made
up his mind to approach Philadelphia by water, the British commander,
on June 30th, withdrew into Staten Island, where he embarked the main
body of his army, not less than sixteen thousand strong, leaving
Clinton, who had been lately honored with the Order of the Bath, to
hold New York with five thousand men, and, by expeditions up the Hudson
and into New Jersey, to co-operate as well with Burgoyne as with the
attack upon Philadelphia.

Washington knew from spies, of whom he always had a number in New
York, that a fleet of transports was fitting out there, but its
destination was kept secret. Perhaps Howe meant to proceed up the
Hudson to co-operate with Burgoyne; and the probability of such a
movement seemed to be increased by the arrival of news that Burgoyne
was advancing up Lake Champlain. Perhaps, with the same object of
aiding Burgoyne, Howe might make an attempt upon Boston, thus finding
employment at home for the New England militia and preventing any
reinforcements to Schuyler’s army. Under these impressions, Washington
moved slowly toward the Hudson; but when the British fleet went to sea,
he retraced his steps toward the Delaware; and news arriving that the
ships had been seen off Cape May, he advanced to Germantown. Instead of
entering the Delaware, the British fleet was presently seen steering
to the eastward, and all calculations were thus again baffled. It was
thought that Howe was returning to New York or had sailed for New
England, and the army was kept ready to march at a moment’s notice.
Washington, in the interval, proceeded to Philadelphia and there had an
interview with Congress.

       *       *       *       *       *

The force in Canada at Burgoyne’s disposal had been a good deal
underrated by Washington and by Congress; nor could they be induced
to believe that anything was intended in that quarter beyond a
feigned attack upon Ticonderoga, in order to distract attention from
Philadelphia. Hence the less pains had been taken to fill up the ranks
of the Northern army, which, indeed, was much weaker than Congress had
supposed. At least ten thousand men were necessary for the defence of
Ticonderoga alone; but St. Clair, who commanded there, had only three
thousand, very insufficiently armed and equipped. The posts in the rear
were equally weak.

It was a part of Burgoyne’s plan not merely to take Ticonderoga, but to
advance thence upon Albany, and, with the co-operation of the troops at
New York, to get possession also of the posts in the Highlands. The
British would then command the Hudson through its whole extent, and New
England, the head of the rebellion, would be completely cut off from
the Middle and Southern colonies.

Burgoyne started on this expedition with a brilliant army of eight
thousand men, partly British and partly Germans, besides a large
number of Canadian boatmen, laborers, and skirmishers. On the western
shore of Lake Champlain, near Crown Point, he met the Six Nations in
council, and, after a feast and a speech, some four hundred of their
warriors joined his army. His next step, on June 29th, was to issue a
proclamation, in a very grandiloquent style, setting forth his own and
the British power, painting in vivid colors the rage and fury of the
Indians, so difficult to be restrained, and threatening with all the
extremities of war all who should presume to resist his arms.

Two days after the issue of this proclamation, Burgoyne appeared
before Ticonderoga. He occupied a steep hill which overlooked the
fort, and which the Americans had neglected because they thought it
inaccessible to artillery. Preparations for attack were rapidly making,
and St. Clair saw there was no chance for his troops except in instant
retreat. The baggage and stores, placed in bateaux, under convoy of
five armed galleys, the last remains of the American flotilla, were
despatched, on July 6th, up the narrow southern extremity of the lake
to Skenesborough, now Whitehall, toward which point the troops retired
by land, in a southeasterly direction, through the New Hampshire Grants.

While General Fraser pursued the retreating troops, followed by General
Riedesel with a corps of Germans, Burgoyne forced the obstructions
opposite Ticonderoga, and, embarking several regiments, he speedily
overtook the American stores and baggage, all of which fell into his

[Illustration: BURGOYNE’S ROUTE]

The garrison of Skenesborough, informed of Burgoyne’s approach, set
fire to the works and retreated up Wood Creek to Fort Anne, a post
about half-way to the Hudson. They had a sharp skirmish with a British
regiment which followed them; but, other troops coming up, they set
fire to the buildings at Fort Anne and retired to Fort Edward.

The van of St. Clair’s troops, at the end of their first day’s march,
had reached Castleton, a distance of thirty miles from Ticonderoga;
but the rear, which included many stragglers, and amounted to twelve
hundred men, contrary to St. Clair’s express orders, stopped short
at Hubberton, six miles behind, where they were overtaken on the
morning of July 7th and attacked by Fraser. One of the regiments fled
disgracefully, leaving most of their officers to be taken prisoners.
The two other regiments, under Francis and Warner, made a stout
resistance, but when Riedesel came up with his Germans they too gave
way. Francis was killed, and many with him; some two hundred were
taken prisoners. Those who escaped, though dispersed for the moment,
reached St. Clair in detached parties. Warner, with some ninety men,
came up two days after the battle. This was at Rutland, to which place
St. Clair, having heard of the fall of Skenesborough had continued his
retreat. For some time his whereabouts was unknown, but, after a seven
days’ march, he joined Schuyler at Fort Edward, on the Hudson. Here was
assembled the whole force of the Northern army, amounting to about five
thousand men; but a considerable part were militia hastily called in,
many were without arms, there was a great deficiency of ammunition and
provisions, and the whole force was quite disorganized.

The region between Skenesborough and the Hudson was an almost unbroken
wilderness. Wood Creek was navigable as far as Fort Anne; from Fort
Anne to the Hudson, over an exceedingly rough country, covered
with thick woods and intersected by numerous streams and morasses,
extended a single military road. While Burgoyne halted a few days at
Skenesborough to put his forces in order and to bring up the necessary
supplies, Schuyler hastened to destroy the navigation of Wood Creek
by sinking impediments in its channel, and to break up the bridges
and causeways, of which there were fifty or more on the road from
Fort Anne to Fort Edward. At all those points where the construction
of a side passage would be difficult he ordered trees to be felled
across the road with their branches interlocking. All the stock in
the neighborhood was driven off, and the militia of New England was
summoned to the rescue.

The loss of Ticonderoga, with its numerous artillery, and the
subsequent rapid disasters came like a thunderbolt on Congress and the
Northern States. “We shall never be able to defend a post,” wrote John
Adams, President of the Board of War, in a private letter, “till we
shoot a general.” Disasters, the unavoidable result of weakness, were
ascribed to the incapacity or cowardice of the officers. Suggestions of
treachery even were whispered, and the prejudices of the New-Englanders
against Schuyler broke out with new violence. In the anger and vexation
of the moment, all the Northern generals were recalled, and an inquiry
was ordered into their conduct; but the execution of this order was
suspended on the representation of Washington that the Northern army
could not be left without officers. Washington shared the general
surprise and vexation, but he had confidence in Schuyler, and he did
all in his power to reinforce the Northern army. Two brigades from
the Highlands, Morgan with his rifle corps, the impetuous Arnold, and
Lincoln, a great favorite with the Massachusetts militia, were ordered
to the Northern Department. Washington declined the selection of a new
commander tendered to him by Congress, and that selection, guided by
the New England members, fell upon Gates.

Burgoyne meanwhile issued a new proclamation for a convention of ten
deputies from each township, to assemble at Castleton, to confer with
Governor Skene, and to take measures for the re-establishment of
the royal authority. Schuyler, in a counter-proclamation, threatened
the utmost rigor of the law of treason against all who complied
with Burgoyne’s propositions. Subsequently to the Declaration of
Independence, the inhabitants of Vermont had organized themselves into
an independent state, had applied to Congress for admission into the
Union, and had adopted a constitution. A Continental regiment had been
raised and officered in Vermont, of which Warner had been commissioned
as colonel. But Congress, through the influence of New York,
disclaimed any intention to countenance the pretensions of Vermont to
independence; and the Vermont petition for admission into the Union had
been lately dismissed with some asperity. If Burgoyne, however, founded
any hopes of defection upon this circumstance, he found himself quite

The advance from Skenesborough cost the British infinite labor and
fatigue; but, beyond breaking up the roads and placing obstacles
in their way, Schuyler was not strong enough to annoy them. These
impediments were at length overcome; and Burgoyne, with his troops,
artillery, and baggage, presently appeared on the banks of the Hudson.
The British army hailed with enthusiasm the sight of that river, object
of their toil, which they had reached on July 29th with great efforts
indeed, but with an uninterrupted career of success and a loss of not
above two hundred men.

It now only remained for the British to force their way to Albany; nor
did it seem likely that Schuyler could offer any serious resistance.
His army, not yet materially increased, was principally composed of
militia without discipline, the troops from the eastward being very
little inclined to serve under his orders and constantly deserting.
Fort Edward was untenable. As the British approached, the Americans
crossed the river, and retired, first to Saratoga, and then to
Stillwater, a short distance above the mouth of the Mohawk.

Hardly had Schuyler taken up this position when news arrived of another
disaster and a new danger. While moving up Lake Champlain, Burgoyne
had detached Colonel St. Leger, with two hundred regulars, Sir John
Johnson’s Royal Greens, some Canadian Rangers, and a body of Indians
under Brant, to harass the New York frontier from the west. On August
3d St. Leger laid siege to Fort Schuyler, late Fort Stanwix, near the
head of the Mohawk, then the extreme western post of the State of New
York. General Herkimer raised the militia of Tryon County, and advanced
to the relief of this important post, which was held by Gansevoort and
Willett, with two New York regiments. About six miles from the fort,
owing to want of proper precaution, Herkimer, on August 6th, fell into
an ambush. Mortally wounded, he supported himself against a stump and
encouraged his men to the fight. By the aid of a successful sally by
Willett, they succeeded at last in repulsing the assailants, but not
without a loss of four hundred, including many of the leading patriots
of that region, who met with no mercy at the hands of the Indians and

Tryon County, which included the whole district west of Albany,
abounded with Tories. It was absolutely necessary to relieve Fort
Schuyler, lest its surrender should be the signal for a general
insurrection. Arnold volunteered for that service, and was despatched
by Schuyler with three regiments; with the rest of his army he withdrew
into the islands at the confluence of the Mohawk and the Hudson, a more
defensible station than the camp at Stillwater.

The command of Lake George, as well as of Lake Champlain, had passed
into the hands of the British. That lake furnished a convenient means
of transportation; a large quantity of provisions and stores for the
British army had arrived at Fort George, and Burgoyne was exerting
every effort for their transportation to his camp on the Hudson. The
land carriage was only eighteen miles, but the roads were so bad and
the supply of draught cattle so small that, after a fortnight’s hard
labor, the British army had only four days’ provisions in advance.

“To try the affections of the country, to mount Riedesel’s Dragoons,
to complete Peter’s Corps of Loyalists, and to obtain a large supply
of cattle, horses, and carriages,” so Burgoyne expressed himself in
his instructions, it was resolved to send a strong detachment into the
settlements on the left. Colonel Baum was sent on this errand, with two
pieces of artillery and eight hundred men, dismounted German dragoons
and British marksmen, with a body of Canadians and Indians, and Skene
and a party of Loyalists for guides.

Langdon, the principal merchant at Portsmouth, and a member of the
New Hampshire council, having patriotically volunteered the means to
put them in motion, a corps of New Hampshire militia, called out upon
news of the loss of Ticonderoga, had lately arrived at Bennington
under the command of Stark. Disgusted at not having been made a
brigadier, Stark had resigned his Continental commission as colonel,
and, in agreeing to take the leadership of the militia, had expressly
stipulated for an independent command. On that ground he had just
declined to obey an order from Lincoln to join the main army--a piece
of insubordination which might have proved fatal, but which, in the
present case, turned out otherwise. Informed of Baum’s approach, Stark
sent off expresses for militia and for Warner’s regiment, encamped at
Manchester, and joined by many fugitives since the battle of Hubberton.
Six miles from Bennington, on the appearance of Stark’s forces (August
14th), Baum began to intrench himself, and sent back to Burgoyne for
reinforcements. The next day was rainy, and Stark, also expecting
reinforcements, delayed the attack. Baum improved the interval in
throwing up intrenchments. Breyman marched to his assistance, but was
delayed by the rain and the badness of the roads, which also kept back
Warner’s regiment. Having been joined on August 16th by some Berkshire
militia under Colonel Simmons, Stark drew out his forces, and about
noon approached the enemy. “There they are!” exclaimed the rustic
general--“we beat to-day, or Molly Stark’s a widow!” The assault was
made in four columns, in front and rear at the same time, and after a
hot action of two hours the intrenchments were carried. The Indians
and provincials escaped to the woods; the Germans were mostly taken
or slain. The battle was hardly over, and Stark’s men were in a good
deal of confusion, when, about four in the afternoon, Breyman was seen
coming up. Warner’s regiment luckily arrived at the same time. The
battle was renewed and kept up till dark, when Breyman abandoned his
baggage and artillery, and made the best retreat he could. Besides
the killed, about two hundred in number, the Americans took near six
hundred prisoners, a thousand stand of arms, as many swords, and four
pieces of artillery--a seasonable supply for the militia now flocking
in from all quarters. The American loss was only fourteen killed and
forty-two wounded.

Just at the moment when a turn in the affairs of the Northern
Department became fully apparent, the two brigades from the Highlands
having arrived, and the militia fast pouring in, Schuyler, much to
his mortification, was superseded by Gates on August 22d. He still
remained, however, at Albany, and gave his assistance toward carrying
on the campaign. The day after Gates assumed the command, Morgan
arrived with his rifle corps, five hundred strong, to which were
presently added two hundred and fifty picked men under Major Dearborn,
of Scammell’s New Hampshire regiment.

The victory of Stark had a magical effect in reviving the spirits
of the people and the courage of the soldiers. Indignation was also
aroused by the cruelties reported of Burgoyne’s Indian allies. A most
pathetic story was told of one Jenny McRea, murdered by Indians near
Fort Edward. Her family were Loyalists; she herself was engaged to be
married to a Loyalist officer. She was dressed to receive her lover,
when a party of Indians burst into the house, carried off the whole
family to the woods, and there murdered, scalped, and mangled them in
the most horrible manner. Such, at least, was the story as told in a
letter of remonstrance from Gates to Burgoyne. Burgoyne, in his reply,
gave, however, a different account. According to his version, the
murder was committed by two Indians sent by the young lady’s lover to
conduct her for safety to the British camp. They quarrelled on the way
respecting the division of the promised reward, and settled the dispute
by killing the girl. Even this correction hardly lessened the effect
of the story or diminished the detestation so naturally felt at the
employment of such barbarous allies.

The artful Arnold, while on his march for the relief of Fort Schuyler,
had sent into St. Leger’s camp a very exaggerated account of his
numbers. The Indians, who had suffered severely in the battle with
Herkimer, and who had glutted their vengeance by the murder of
prisoners, seized with a sudden panic, deserted in large numbers.
On August 22d, two days before Arnold’s arrival, St. Leger himself
precipitately retired, leaving his tents standing and the greater part
of his stores and baggage to fall into Arnold’s hands. On returning to
Gates’ camp, Arnold received the command of the left wing.

These checks were not without their effect on the Six Nations.
Burgoyne’s Indians began to desert him--an example which the Canadians
soon followed. The Onondagas and some of the Mohawks joined the
Americans. Through the influence of the missionary Kirkland, the
Oneidas had all along been favorably disposed. It was only the more
western clans, the Cayugas, Tuscaroras, and Senecas, which adhered
firmly during the war to the British side.

The American army being now about six thousand strong, besides
detached parties of militia under General Lincoln, which hung upon
the British rear, Gates left his island camp, and presently occupied
Behmus’ Heights, a spur from the hills on the west side of the Hudson,
jutting close upon the river. By untiring efforts, Burgoyne had brought
forward thirty days’ provisions, and, having thrown a bridge of boats
over the Hudson, he crossed to Saratoga. With advanced parties in
front to repair the roads and bridges, his army slowly descended the
Hudson--the Germans on the left, by a road close along the river; the
British, covered by light infantry, provincials, and Indians, by the
high ground on the right.

Gates’ camp on the brow of Behmus’[90] Heights formed a segment of a
circle, convex toward the enemy. A deep intrenchment extended to the
river on the right, covered not only by strong batteries, but by an
abrupt and thickly wooded ravine descending to the river. From the head
of this ravine, toward the left, the ground was level and partially
cleared, some trees being felled and others girdled. The defences here
consisted of a breastwork of logs. On the extreme left, a distance
of three-quarters of a mile from the river, was a knoll, a little in
the rear, crowned by strong batteries, and there was another battery
to the left of the centre. Between the two armies were two more deep
ravines, both wooded. An alarm being given about noon of September 19th
that the enemy was approaching the left of the encampment, Morgan was
sent forward with his riflemen. Having forced a picket, his men, in
the ardor of pursuit, fell unexpectedly upon a strong British column,
and were thrown into temporary confusion. Cilley’s and Scammell’s New
Hampshire regiments were ordered out to reinforce him. Hale’s regiment
of New Hampshire, Van Courtlandt’s and Henry Livingston’s of New York,
and two regiments of Connecticut militia were successively led to
the field, with orders to extend to the left and support the points
where they perceived the greatest pressure. About three o’clock the
action became general, and till nightfall the fire of musketry was
incessant. The British had four field-pieces; the ground occupied by
the Americans, a thick wood on the borders of an open field, did not
admit the use of artillery. On the opposite side of this field, on a
rising ground, in a thin pine wood, the British troops were drawn up.
Whenever they advanced into the open field, the fire of the American
marksmen drove them back in disorder; but when the Americans followed
into the open ground the British would rally, charge, and force them to
fall back. The field was thus lost and won a dozen times in the course
of the day. At every charge the British artillery fell into possession
of the Americans, but the ground would not allow them to carry off the
pieces, nor could they be kept long enough to be turned on the enemy.
Late in the afternoon, the British left being reinforced from the
German column, General Learned was ordered out with four regiments of
Massachusetts and another of New York. Something decisive might now
have occurred, but the approach of night broke off the contest, and
the Americans withdrew to their camp, leaving the field in possession
of the British. They encamped upon it, and claimed the victory; but,
if not a drawn battle, it was one of those victories equivalent to a
defeat. The British loss was upward of five hundred, the American less
than three hundred. To have held their ground in the circumstances in
which the armies stood was justly esteemed by the Americans a decided

In anticipation of an action, Gates had ordered the detached corps to
join him. Stark, with the victors of Bennington, had arrived in camp
the day before. Their term of service, however, expired that day; and
satisfied with laurels already won, in spite of all attempts to detain
them, they marched off the very morning of the battle. In consideration
of his courage and good conduct at Bennington, Congress overlooked the
insubordination of Stark, which, in a resolution just before, they had
pointedly condemned, and he was presently elected a brigadier. Howe and
McDougall about the same time were chosen major-generals.

Before receiving Gates’ orders to join the main body, a party of
Lincoln’s militia, led by Colonel Brown, had surprised the posts at the
outlet of Lake George on September 17th, and had taken three hundred
prisoners, also several armed vessels and a fleet of bateaux employed
in transporting provisions up the lake. Uniting with another party
under Colonel Johnson, they approached Ticonderoga and beleaguered
it for four days. Burgoyne’s communications thus entirely cut off,
his situation became very alarming, and he began to intrench. His
difficulties increased every moment. Provisions were diminishing,
forage was exhausted, the horses were perishing. To retreat with the
enemy in his rear was as difficult as to advance.

A change of circumstances not less remarkable had taken place in the
American camp. Gates’ army was increasing every day. The battle of
Behmus’ Heights was sounded through the country as a great victory,
and, the harvest being now over, the militia marched in from all
sides to complete the overthrow of the invaders. Lincoln, with the
greater part of his militia, having joined the army on September 22d,
he received the command of the right wing. Arnold, on some quarrel
or jealousy on the part of Gates, had been deprived, since the late
battle, of his command of the left wing, which Gates assumed in person.
Gates was neither more able nor more trustworthy than Schuyler; but
the soldiers believed him so, and zeal, alacrity, and obedience had
succeeded to doubts, distrust, and insubordination. Yet Gates was not
without his difficulties. The supply of ammunition was very short, and
the late change in the commissariat department, taking place in the
midst of the campaign, made the feeding of the troops a matter of no
little anxiety.


Disposition of troops, October 7th]

There was still one hope for Burgoyne. A letter in cipher, brought
by a trusty messenger from Clinton, at New York, informed him of an
intended diversion up the Hudson; and, could he maintain his present
position, he might yet be relieved. But his troops, on short allowance
of provisions, were already suffering severely, and it was necessary
either to retreat or to find relief in another battle. To make a
reconnaissance of the American lines, he drew out fifteen hundred
picked men on October 7th and formed them less than a mile from the
American camp. The two camps, indeed, were hardly cannon-shot apart.
As soon as Burgoyne’s position was discovered his left was furiously
assailed by Poor’s New Hampshire brigade. The attack extended rapidly
to the right, where Morgan’s riflemen manœuvred to cut off the British
from their camp. Gates did not appear on the field any more than in
the former battle; but Arnold, though without any regular command,
took, as usual, a leading part. He seemed under the impulse of some
extraordinary excitement, riding at full speed, issuing orders, and
cheering on the men. To avoid being cut off from the camp, the British
right was already retreating, when the left, pressed and overwhelmed by
superior numbers, began to give way. The gallant Fraser was mortally
wounded, picked off by the American marksmen; six pieces of artillery
were abandoned; and only by the greatest efforts did the British troops
regain their camp. The Americans followed close upon them, and, through
a shower of grape and musketry, assaulted the right of the British
works. Arnold forced an entrance; but he was wounded, his horse was
shot under him as he rode into one of the sally-ports, and his column
was driven back. Colonel Brooks, at the head of Jackson’s regiment
of Massachusetts, was more successful. He turned the intrenchments
of a German brigade, forced them from the ground at the point of the
bayonet, captured their camp equipage and artillery, and, what was
of still more importance, and a great relief to the American army,
an ample supply of ammunition. The repeated attempts of the British
to dislodge him all failed, and he remained at night in possession
of the works. Darkness at length put an end to the fighting; but the
Americans slept on their arms, prepared to renew it the next morning.
The advantages they had gained were decisive. The British had lost four
hundred men in killed, wounded, and prisoners; artillery, ammunition,
and tents had been captured; and the possession of a part of the works
by the Americans would enable them to renew the attack the next day
with every chance of success. For the safety of the British army a
change of position was indispensable; and, while the Americans slept,
the British general, with skill and intrepidity, order and silence,
drew back his discomfited troops to some high grounds in the rear,
where the British army appeared the next morning (October 8th) drawn up
in order of battle. That day was spent in skirmishes. While attempting
to reconnoitre, General Lincoln was severely wounded and disabled from
further service. Fraser was buried on a hill he had designated, amid
showers of balls from the American lines. The Baroness de Riedesel,
who followed the camp with her young children, and whose quarters were
turned into a sort of hospital for the wounded officers, has left a
pathetic account of the horrors of that day and of the retreat that

To avoid being surrounded, Burgoyne was obliged to abandon his new
position, and, with the loss of his hospitals and numerous sick and
wounded, to fall back to Saratoga on October 9th. The distance was
only six miles; but the rain fell in torrents, the roads were almost
impassable, the bridge over the Fishkill had been broken down by the
Americans, and this retrograde movement consumed an entire day. The
same obstacles prevented, however, any serious annoyance from the
American troops. During this retreat, the better to cover the movements
of the army, General Schuyler’s house at Saratoga and extensive
saw-mills were set on fire and destroyed. A body of artificers, sent
forward under a strong escort to repair the bridge toward Fort Edward,
found that road and the ford across the Hudson already occupied by the
Americans. The fleet of bateaux, loaded with the British supplies and
provisions, was assailed from the left bank of the river, and many of
the boats were taken. The lading of the others was only saved by a most
laborious and difficult transportation, under a sharp American fire, up
the steep river-bank to the heights occupied by the British army. Even
the camp itself was not safe; grape and rifle balls fell in the midst
of it.

Burgoyne’s situation was truly deplorable. He had heard nothing further
from New York, and his effective force was now reduced to four thousand
men, surrounded by an enemy three times as numerous, flushed with
success, and rapidly increasing. All the fords and passes toward Lake
George were occupied and covered by intrenchments, and, even should
the baggage and artillery be abandoned, there was no hope of forcing
a passage. An account of the provisions on hand (October 13th) showed
only three days’ supply. The troops, exhausted with hunger and fatigue,
and conscious of their hopeless situation, could not be depended on,
especially should the camp be attacked. A council of war, to which not
field officers only, but all the captains commandant were summoned,
advised to open a treaty of capitulation.

Gates demanded, at first, an unconditional surrender; but to that
Burgoyne would not submit. The American commander was the less precise
about terms, and very eager to hasten matters, lest he too might be
attacked in the rear. He knew, though Burgoyne did not, that the
intended diversion from New York, delayed for some time to await the
arrival of forces from Europe, had at length been successfully made,
and that all the American posts in the Highlands had fallen into the
hands of the British. Should Burgoyne continue to hold out, this new
enemy might even make a push on Albany.

The main defences of the Highlands, Forts Clinton and Montgomery, on
the west bank of the Hudson, separated from each other by a small
stream, and too high to be battered from the water, were surrounded
by steep and rugged hills which made the approach to them on the land
side very difficult. To stop the ascent of the enemy’s ships, frames
of timber, with projecting beams shod with iron, had been sunk in the
channel. A boom, formed of great trees fastened together, extended
from bank to bank, and in front of this boom was stretched a huge iron
chain. Above these impediments several armed vessels were moored. On an
island a few miles higher up, and near the eastern bank of the river,
was Fort Constitution, with another boom and chain. Near the entrance
of the Highlands, and below the other posts, Fort Independence
occupied a high point of land on the east bank of the river. It was at
Peekskill, just below Fort Independence, that the commanding officer in
the Highlands usually had his headquarters. The two brigades sent to
the Northern army, and other detachments which Washington had himself
been obliged to draw from the Highlands, had so weakened the regular
garrison that Washington became much alarmed for the safety of that
important post. The remainder of the New York militia, not under arms
in the Northern Department, had been called out by Governor Clinton to
supply the place of the detached regulars; other militia had been sent
from Connecticut; but, as no signs of immediate attack appeared, and
as the harvest demanded their services at home, Putnam allowed most of
them to return. Half the New York militia were ordered back again by
Clinton, but before they had mustered the posts were lost. Putnam was
at Peekskill with the main body of the garrison, which amounted in the
whole to not more than two thousand men. While a party of the enemy
amused him with the idea that Fort Independence was their object, a
stronger party landed lower down, on the other side of the river, and,
pushing inland through the defiles of the Highlands, approached Forts
Clinton and Montgomery, of which the entire garrison did not exceed six
hundred men. Before assistance could be sent by Putnam--indeed, before
he knew of the attack--the forts, much too extensive to be defended by
so small a force, were both taken on October 5th. Governor Clinton,
who commanded, his brother, General James Clinton, and a part of the
garrison availed themselves of the knowledge of the ground and escaped
across the river, but the Americans suffered a loss of two hundred
and fifty in killed and prisoners. Fort Constitution was immediately
evacuated by the few troops that held it, and two new Continental
frigates, with some other vessels, were set on fire to prevent
their falling into the hands of the enemy. Even Peekskill and Fort
Independence were abandoned, the stores being conveyed to Fishkill,
whither Putnam retired with his forces. The booms and chains were
removed, so that ships could pass up; and a British detachment under
Tryon burned Continental Village, a new settlement on the east side of
the river, where many public stores were deposited.


Informed of these movements, and very anxious to have Burgoyne’s
army out of the way, Gates agreed, on October 16th, that the British
troops should march out of their camp with the honors of war, should
lay down their arms, and be conducted to Boston, there to embark for
England, under an engagement not to serve against the United States
till exchanged. Having heard from a deserter of the advance of Clinton,
Burgoyne hesitated to ratify the treaty; but, on consideration and
consultation with his officers, he did not choose to run the risk of
breaking it. The prisoners included in this capitulation were five
thousand six hundred and forty-two; the previous losses of the army
amounted to near four thousand more. The arms, artillery, baggage, and
camp equipage became the property of the captors. The German regiments
contrived to save their colors by cutting them from the staves, rolling
them up, and packing them away with Madame de Riedesel’s baggage.

As soon as the garrison of Ticonderoga heard of the surrender, they
hastily destroyed what they could and retired to Canada. Putnam no
sooner heard of it than he sent pressing despatches for assistance. The
British had proceeded as high up as Esopus, which they burned about
the very time that Burgoyne was capitulating. Putnam had been already
joined by some three thousand militia, to which a large detachment from
Gates’ army was soon added. As it was now too late to succor Burgoyne,
having dismantled the forts in the Highlands, the British returned to
New York, carrying with them sixty-seven pieces of heavy artillery and
a large quantity of provisions and ammunition. Before their departure
they burned every house within their reach--a piece of malice ascribed
to Tryon and his Tories.

The capture of a whole British army,[91] lately the object of so
much terror, produced, especially in New England, an exultation
proportionate to the recent alarm. The military reputation of Gates,
elevated to a very high pitch, rivalled even the fame of Washington,
dimmed as it was by the loss of Philadelphia, which, meanwhile, had
fallen into the enemy’s hands. The youthful Wilkinson, who had acted
during the campaign as deputy adjutant-general of the American army,
and whose _Memoirs_ contain the best account of its movements, being
sent to Congress with news of the surrender, was henceforth honored
with a brevet commission as brigadier-general; which, however, he
speedily resigned when he found a remonstrance against this irregular
advancement sent to Congress by forty-seven colonels of the line. The
investigation into Schuyler’s conduct resulted, a year afterward,
in his acquittal with the highest honor. He insisted, however, on
resigning his commission, though strongly urged by Congress to retain
it. But he did not relinquish the service of his country, in which
he continued as active as ever, being presently chosen a member of


1777. Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation. Stars and Stripes
adopted. British evacuate New York. British occupy Philadelphia.
American winter-quarters at Valley Forge, in December.

1778. France recognizes the independence of the United States. The
British evacuate Philadelphia. The battle of Monmouth. France
declares war against England. The Wyoming Valley Massacre. Battle of
Rhode Island. The British enter Savannah. General George Rogers Clark
conquers the “Old Northwest.”

1779. Storming of Stony Point by the Americans. Paul Jones, in the _Bon
Homme Richard_, is victorious over the British frigate _Serapis_. The
British win the engagement of Brier Creek. Spain declares war against
Great Britain. Congress guaranties the Floridas to Spain if she takes
them from Great Britain, provided the United States should have free
navigation on the Mississippi.

1780. Lincoln surrenders to Clinton at Charleston. Defeat of Gates by
Cornwallis in the first battle of Camden. Treason of Benedict Arnold.
Capture and execution of André. The British are defeated at King’s

1781. American victory at Cowpens. The ratification of the Articles
of Confederation by the several states completed. Greene is defeated
by Cornwallis at Guilford Court-House. The British are victorious at
Hobkirk’s Hill (second battle of Camden). New London burned by Arnold.
Battle of Eutaw Springs. Washington and Rochambeau, aided by the French
fleet under Count de Grasse, besiege Cornwallis in Yorktown. Surrender
of Cornwallis.



  The year 1781 opened with small promise of a speedy ending of the
  American struggle for independence. New York remained in the hands
  of the English. Cornwallis was confident of success in the South.
  But Greene’s brilliant campaigning and Lafayette’s strategy left
  Cornwallis with a wearied army devoid of any fruits of victory,
  and, finally returning to the seaboard, he settled himself at
  Yorktown. Washington, before New York, had watched the Southern
  campaigns closely. Word came from the Count de Grasse that the
  French fleet under his command was ready to leave the West Indies
  and join in operations in Virginia. Washington at once planned a
  new campaign, destined to prove of peculiar brilliancy. He was
  joined by Rochambeau’s French army from Newport. Clinton, the
  British commander in New York, was tricked into believing that
  the city was to be closely besieged. But the American and French
  armies, six thousand strong, passed by New York in a race through
  Princeton and Philadelphia to Chesapeake Bay, which they reached
  on September 5th, the day that De Grasse entered with his fleet to
  join the other French fleet which had been set free from Newport.
  De Grasse maintained his command of Chesapeake Bay in spite of the
  futile attack of Admiral Graves and the British fleet. If Rodney,
  who had sailed for England, had been in Graves’ place the outcome
  might have been different. A defeat of De Grasse would have meant
  British control of the water and a support for Cornwallis, which
  would have saved his army and ruined Washington’s plans. Yorktown
  affords one of the striking illustrations in Captain Mahan’s
  _Influence of Sea Power upon History_.--EDITOR.


The allied American and French armies joined Lafayette at Williamsburg,
Virginia, September 25, 1781, and on the 27th there was a besieging
army there of sixteen thousand men, under the chief command of
Washington, assisted by Rochambeau. The British force, about half
as numerous, were mostly behind intrenchments at Yorktown. On the
arrival of Washington and Rochambeau at Williamsburg, they proceeded
to the _Ville de Paris_, De Grasse’s flag-ship, to congratulate the
admiral on his victory over the British admiral Graves on the 5th,
which had prevented British relief of Yorktown by sea, and to make
specific arrangements for the future. Preparations for the siege
were immediately begun. The allied armies marched from Williamsburg
(September 28th), driving in the British outposts as they approached
Yorktown, and taking possession of abandoned works. The allies formed
a semicircular line about two miles from the British intrenchments,
each wing resting on the York River, and on the 30th the place was
completely invested. The British at Gloucester, opposite, were
imprisoned by French dragoons under the Duke de Lauzun, Virginia
militia, led by General Weedon, and eight hundred French marines. Only
once did the imprisoned troops attempt to escape from that point.
Tarleton’s legion sallied out, but were soon driven back by De Lauzun’s
cavalry, who made Tarleton’s horse a prisoner and came near capturing
his owner.

[Illustration: SIEGE OF YORKTOWN]

In the besieging lines before Yorktown the French troops occupied the
left, the West India troops of St. Simon being on the extreme flank.
The Americans were on the right; and the French artillery, with the
quarters of the two commanders, occupied the centre. The American
artillery, commanded by General Knox, was with the right. The fleet
of De Grasse was in Lynn Haven Bay to beat off any vessels that might
attempt to relieve Cornwallis. On the night of October 6th heavy
ordnance was brought up from the French ships, and trenches were begun
at six hundred yards from the British works. The first parallel was
completed before the morning of the 7th, under the direction of General
Lincoln; and on the afternoon of the 9th several batteries and redoubts
were finished, and a general discharge of heavy guns was opened by the
Americans on the right. Early on the morning of the 10th the French
opened several batteries on the left. That evening the same troops
hurled red-hot balls upon British vessels in the river, which caused
the destruction by fire of several of them--one a forty-four-gun ship.

The allies began the second parallel on the night of the 11th, which
the British did not discover until daylight came, when they brought
several heavy guns to bear upon the diggers. On the 14th it was
determined to storm two of the redoubts which were most annoying, as
they commanded the trenches. One on the right, near the York River,
was garrisoned by forty-five men; the other, on the left, was manned
by about one hundred and twenty men. The capture of the former was
intrusted to Americans led by Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Hamilton,
and that of the latter to French grenadiers led by Count Deuxponts.
At a given signal Hamilton advanced in two columns--one led by Major
Fish, the other by Lieutenant-Colonel Gimat, Lafayette’s aide, while
Lieutenant-Colonel John Laurens, with eighty men, proceeded to turn the
redoubt to intercept a retreat of the garrison. So agile and furious
was the assault that the redoubt was carried in a few minutes, with
little loss on either side. Laurens was among the first to enter the
redoubt and make the commander, Major Campbell, a prisoner. The life of
every man who ceased to resist was spared.

Meanwhile the French, after a severe struggle, in which they lost about
one hundred men in killed and wounded, captured the other redoubt.
Washington, with Knox and some others, had watched the movements with
intense anxiety, and when the commander-in-chief saw both redoubts
in possession of his troops he turned and said to Knox, “The work is
done, and well done.” That night both redoubts were included in the
second parallel. The situation of Cornwallis was now critical. He was
surrounded by a superior force, his works were crumbling, and he saw
that when the second parallel of the besiegers should be completed and
the cannon on their batteries mounted his post at Yorktown would become
untenable, and he resolved to attempt an escape by abandoning the
place, his baggage, and his sick, cross the York River, disperse the
allies who environed Gloucester, and by rapid marches gain the forks
of the Rappahannock and Potomac, and, forcing his way by weight of
numbers through Maryland and Pennsylvania, join Clinton at New York.

Boats for the passage of the river were prepared and a part of the
troops passed over, when a furious storm suddenly arose and made
any further attempts to cross too hazardous to be undertaken. The
troops were brought back, and Cornwallis lost hope. After that the
bombardment of his lines was continuous, severe, and destructive,
and on the 17th he offered to make terms for surrender. On the
following day Lieutenant-Colonel de Laurens and Viscount de Noailles
(a kinsman of Madame Lafayette), as commissioners of the allies, met
Lieutenant-Colonel Dundas and Major Ross, of the British army, at the
house of the Widow Moore to arrange terms for capitulation. They were
made similar to those demanded of Lincoln at Charleston eighteen months
before. The capitulation was duly signed, October 19, 1781, and late on
the afternoon of the same day Cornwallis, his army, and public property
were surrendered to the allies.[92]

For the siege of Yorktown the French provided thirty-seven ships of the
line, and the Americans nine. The Americans furnished nine thousand
land troops (of whom fifty-five hundred were regulars), and the French
seven thousand. Among the prisoners were two battalions of Anspachers,
amounting to ten hundred and twenty-seven men, and two regiments of
Hessians, numbering eight hundred and seventy-five. The flag of the
Anspachers was given to Washington by the Congress.

The news of the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown spread great joy
throughout the colonies, especially at Philadelphia, the seat of the
national government. Washington sent Lieutenant-Colonel Tilghman to
Congress with the news. He rode express to Philadelphia to carry the
despatches of the chief announcing the joyful event. He entered the
city at midnight, October 23d, and knocked so violently at the door
of Thomas McKean, the president of Congress, that a watchman was
disposed to arrest him. Soon the glad tidings spread over the city. The
watchman, proclaiming the hour and giving the usual cry, “All’s well,”
added, “and Cornwallis is taken!” Thousands of citizens rushed from
their beds, half dressed, and filled the streets. The old State-house
bell, that had clearly proclaimed independence, now rang out tones of
gladness. Lights were seen moving in every house. The first blush of
morning was greeted with the booming of cannon, and at an early hour
the Congress assembled and with quick-beating hearts heard Charles
Thomson read the despatch from Washington. At its conclusion it was
resolved to go in a body to the Lutheran church, at 2 P.M., and “return
thanks to the Almighty God for crowning the allied armies of the United
States and France with success.”[93]



_By Claude Halstead Van Tyne, Ph.D._

The surrender of Cornwallis came at the right time to produce a great
political effect in England. The war had assumed such tremendous
proportions that accumulated disaster seemed to threaten the ruin of
Great Britain. From India came news of Hyder Ali’s temporary successes,
and of the presence of a strong French armament which demanded that
England yield every claim except to Bengal. That Warren Hastings and
Sir Eyre Coote would yet save the British Empire there, the politicians
could not foresee. Spain had already driven the British forces from
Florida, and in the spring of 1782 Minorca fell before her repeated
assaults and Gibraltar was fearfully beset. De Grasse’s successes
during the winter in the West Indies left only Jamaica, Barbadoes,
and Antigua in British hands. St. Eustatius, too, was recaptured, and
it was not until the middle of April that Rodney regained England’s
naval supremacy by a famous victory near Marie-Galante.[94] England
had not a friend in Europe, and was beset at home by violent agitation
in Ireland, to which she was obliged to yield an independent Irish
Parliament.[95] Rodney’s victory and the successful repulsion of the
Spaniards from Gibraltar, in the summer of 1782, came too late to save
the North ministry.

The negotiations between the English and American peace envoys dragged
on. Congress had instructed the commissioners not to make terms
without the approval of the French court, but the commissioners became
suspicious of Vergennes, broke their instructions, and dealt directly
and solely with the British envoys. Boundaries, fishery questions,
treatment of the American loyalists, and settlement of American debts
to British subjects were settled one after another, and, November
30, 1782, a provisional treaty was signed. The definitive treaty was
delayed until September 3, 1783, after France and England had agreed
upon terms of peace.[96]

America awaited the outcome almost with lethargy. After Yorktown the
country relapsed into indifference, and Washington was left helpless
to do anything to assure victory. He could only wait and hope that
the enemy was as exhausted as America. Disorganization was seen
everywhere--in politics, in finance, and in the army. Peace came like
a stroke of good-fortune rather than a prize that was won. Congress
(January 14, 1784) could barely assemble a quorum to ratify the

During the war many had feared that British victory would mean the
overthrow in England of constitutional liberty. The defeat, therefore,
of the king’s purpose in America seemed a victory for liberalism in
England as well as in America. Personal government was overthrown, and
no British king has gained such power since. The dangers to freedom of
speech and of the press were ended. Corruption and daring disregard
of public law received a great blow. The ancient course of English
constitutional development was resumed. England never, it is true,
yielded to her colonies what America had demanded in 1775, but she did
learn to handle the affairs of her colonies with greater diplomacy, and
she does not allow them now to get into such an unsympathetic state.

Great Britain herself was not so near ruin as she seemed; she was still
to be the mother of nations, and the English race was not weakened,
though the empire was broken. In political, social, and intellectual
spirit England and America continued to be much the same. English
notions of private and public law still persisted in independent
America. The large influence which the Anglo-Saxon race had long
had upon the world’s destiny was not left with either America or
England alone, but with them both. America only continued England’s
“manifest destiny” in America, pushing her language, modes of political
and intellectual activity, and her social customs westward and
southward--driving back Latin civilization in the same resistless way
as before the Revolution.

For America much good came out of the Revolution. Americans had acted
together in a great crisis, and Washington’s efforts in the army to
banish provincial distinctions did much to create fellow-feeling
which would make real union possible. With laws and governments alike,
and the same predominant language, together with common political and
economic interests, future unity seemed assured.

The republican form of government was now given a strong foothold in
America. Frederick the Great asserted that the new republic could
not endure, because “a republican government had never been known to
exist for any length of time where the territory was not limited and
concentrated”; yet America, within a century, was to make it a success
over a region three times as great as the territory for which Frederick
foretold failure.[98]


1782. Holland recognizes the independence of the United States. The
British evacuate Savannah and Charleston. Signing of the preliminary
treaty of peace with Great Britain.

1783. Peace of Versailles between Great Britain, the United States,
France, and Spain. Great Britain acknowledges the independence of the
United States, restores Florida and Minorca to Spain, and cedes Tobago
to France. Evacuation of New York by the British.

1785. Disputes between the United States and Spain over the navigation
of the Mississippi and the boundaries of the Floridas.

1786. Outbreak of Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts.

1787. Suppression of Shays’ Rebellion. Framing of the Constitution of
the United States at Philadelphia. Congress undertakes the government
of the Northwest Territory.

1788. The Constitution ratified by a majority of the States.

1789. George Washington elected first President of the United States.
The Continental Congress is superseded by the first Congress under the
Constitution. Beginning of the French Revolution.

1790. Rhode Island (the last of the original thirteen States) ratifies
the Constitution. Harmar’s unsuccessful expedition against the Indians
of the Northwest Territory.

1791. Admission of Vermont into the Union. Defeat of St. Clair by the
Miami Indians. Insurrection of the blacks in Hayti against the French.
Canada is divided into Upper and Lower Canada.

1792. Admission of Kentucky into the Union.

1793. Beginning of Washington’s second administration. Execution of
Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette. Napoleon Bonaparte commands the French
artillery at the recapture of Toulon from the English.

1794. Whiskey Insurrection in Pennsylvania. The Miami Indians defeated
by Gen. Anthony Wayne near Maumee Rapids, Ohio.

1796. Admission of Tennessee into the Union. John Adams elected
President. Bonaparte becomes the conspicuous figure in European warfare.

1797. Trouble between France and the United States. The _Constellation_
captures _L’Insurgente_.

1798. Passage of the Alien and Sedition laws in the United States.

1799. Death of Washington.

1800. The seat of government of the United States is removed from
Philadelphia to Washington. Thomas Jefferson elected President.
Retrocession of Louisiana to France by Spain.

1801. War between Tripoli and the United States.

1802. Admission of Ohio into the Union.

1803. The Louisiana Purchase is negotiated with France.

1804. Thomas Jefferson re-elected President. Decatur captures and burns
the frigate _Philadelphia_ at Tripoli. Lewis and Clark Expedition,
1804–1806. Napoleon proclaimed Emperor of France.

1805. Peace between the United States and Tripoli.

1806. The _Leander_, a British naval vessel, fires into an American
coaster off Sandy Hook. Great Britain issues an “Order in Council”
declaring the coast of Europe from the Elbe to Brest under blockade.
Napoleon issues Berlin Decree. Culmination of Aaron Burr’s conspiracy
and his arrest.

1807. Congress prohibits the importation of slaves. The British
man-of-war _Leopard_ fires upon the American frigate _Chesapeake_
and takes four seamen claimed as British subjects. Aaron Burr tried
for conspiracy and treason, and acquitted. Another British “Order in
Council” forbids neutral nations to deal with France. Napoleon’s Milan
decree forbidding trade with England. American Embargo Act, prohibiting
foreign commerce.

1808. James Madison elected President. Embargo Act repealed.
Non-intercourse Act passed, forbidding commerce with Great Britain and

1809. Recall of British minister asked by American government.

1810. Napoleon orders sale of captured American vessels, worth with
their cargoes $8,000,000.

1811. General Harrison defeats Tecumseh at Tippecanoe. Fight between
the United States frigate _President_ and the British sloop-of-war
_Little Belt_.

1812. Admission of Louisiana into the Union. The United States
declares war against Great Britain. The Americans, under Hull, invade
Canada. Surrender of Hull at Detroit. The _Constitution_ captures the
_Guerrière_; the _Wasp_ takes the _Frolic_; the _United States_, the
_Macedonian_; and the _Constitution_, the _Java_. James Madison
re-elected President. General Smyth makes a futile attempt to invade

1813. The British are victorious at Frenchtown. The _Hornet_ captures
the _Peacock_. The Americans take York (Toronto), and the British
are repulsed at Sackett’s Harbor. Capture of the _Chesapeake_ by the
_Shannon_. The _Boxer_ taken by the _Enterprise_. Commodore Perry wins
the battle of Lake Erie.

1814. General Jackson defeats the Creek Indians. The _Essex_ surrenders
to the _Phœbe_ and the _Cherub_. The Americans are victorious at
Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane. Battle of Lake Champlain. In Europe the
year was chiefly notable for the entry of the Allies into Paris, the
abdication of Napoleon, and his withdrawal to Elba.



  The opening of the nineteenth century brought years of humiliation,
  in which American ideals of a neutral commerce, to be unrestricted
  except by incidents of actual war, collided with the passions of
  two nations engaged in a death-grapple between “the elephant and
  the whale”--the French army and the English navy. The established
  principles of international law were set aside, and fifteen hundred
  American merchantmen were made prize under a series of iniquitous
  Orders in Council and Decrees. American sailors were seized by
  British cruisers on the high seas, even on a duly commissioned
  American man-of-war. President Jefferson discovered that great
  nations at war are not moved by ideals of permanent self-interest,
  and that the rights and the friendship of little powers are not

  Then the country entered into the War of 1812 at the inopportune
  moment when the snows of Russia were about to overwhelm Napoleon.
  In the war the Americans held a talisman which could sway even
  proud Albion: the victories of American cruisers, combined with the
  heroism of the privateers, convinced the English that, after all,
  David was a likely youth, whose sling might disturb the peace of
  the nations; and they agreed, in the Peace of Ghent, in 1814, to
  terms highly favorable to the United States. From that time down
  to the Civil War the United States had the respect of all European

  The War of 1812 seemed designed by Providence to teach the
  Americans that free institutions do not of themselves create
  trained soldiers or efficient officers. The field of land war was
  strewn with the dead reputations of commanding officers, and the
  nation underwent the deep humiliation of the destruction of the
  national capital, but the magnificent conduct of the American
  navy on the lakes and on the ocean showed what Americans could do
  in a disciplined service with men properly armed and supplied.
  Upon England especially the lesson that, ship against ship, the
  Americans were their equals as navigators and fighting-men was
  never lost. The naval victories, combined with the defeat of
  the British by Jackson in the closing days of the war, left on
  the minds of the Americans the impression of a second national
  success.--Prof. Albert Bushnell Hart, in _National Ideals_.

Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of Lake Erie, inherited from his father
a fearless, high-strung disposition, and early in life showed his
longing for adventure. The elder Perry was a seaman from the time he
could lift a handspike, and fought in the Revolutionary days, first
as a privateersman on a Boston letter-of-marque, and afterward as
a volunteer on board the frigate _Trumbull_ and the sloop-of-war
_Mifflin_. He was captured and imprisoned for eight long months in the
famous Jersey prison-ship, where he succeeded in braving the dangers of
disease, starvation, and hardship, and at last regained his liberty.
Once more he became a privateersman, but ill-fortune followed him. He
was captured in the English Channel, and confined for eighteen months
in a British prison, whence he again escaped and made his way to the
island of St. Thomas. From thence he sailed to Charleston, South
Carolina, where he arrived about the time that peace was concluded.
After that Perry found employment in the East Indian trade until 1798,
when he was appointed to the command of the U.S.S. _General Greene_. He
was the head of a large family, having married in 1783, the oldest of
his children being Oliver Hazard. Of the four other sons, three of them
also entered the navy and served with distinction.

Oliver Hazard as a boy was not physically strong; he grew tall at
an early age, and his strength was not in keeping with his inches.
Nevertheless, he declared himself positively in favor of taking up the
sea as a profession, and in April of 1799, after his father had been
in command of the _General Greene_ for one year, to his delight young
Perry received his midshipman’s warrant and joined the same ship.

The young midshipman made several cruises with his father to the West
Indies; his health and strength increased with the life in the open
air; he showed capacity and courage, and participated in the action
that resulted in the reduction of Jacmel in connection with the land
attack of the celebrated General Toussaint’s army. This was the last
active service of the _General Greene_; she was sold and broken up,
and upon the reduction of the navy in 1801 the elder Perry left the
service. In 1803 his son returned from a cruise in the Mediterranean
and was promoted to an acting lieutenancy.

In our naval history of this time the recurrence of various names,
and the references made over and over again to the same actions and
occurrences, are easily accountable when we think of the small number
of vessels the United States possessed and the surprisingly few
officers on the pay-rolls. The high feeling of _esprit de corps_ that
existed among them came from the fact that they each had a chance to
prove their courage and fidelity. There was a high standard set for
them to reach.

Oliver Hazard Perry went through the same school that, luckily
for us, graduated so many fine officers and sailors--that of the
Tripolitan war. After he returned to America, at the conclusion of
peace with Tripoli, he served in various capacities along the coast,
proving himself an efficient leader upon more than one occasion. The
first service upon which the young officer was employed after the
commencement of the war with England was taking charge of a flotilla of
gunboats stationed at Newport.

As this service was neither arduous nor calculated to bring chances
for active employment in the way of fighting, time hung on his hands,
and Perry chafed greatly under his enforced retirement. At last he
petitioned the government to place him in active service, stating
plainly his desire to be attached to the naval forces that were then
gathering under the command of Commodore Chauncey on the lakes.
His request was granted, to his great joy, and he set out with all

It was at an early period of the war that the government had seen
the immense importance of gaining the command of the western lakes,
and in October of 1812 Commodore Chauncey had been ordered to take
seven hundred seamen and one hundred and fifty marines and proceed
by forced marches to Lake Ontario. There had been sent ahead of him
a large number of ship-builders and carpenters, and great activity
was displayed in building and outfitting a fleet which might give to
the United States the possession of Lake Ontario. There was no great
opposition made to the American arms by the British on this lake, but
the unfortunate surrender of General Hull had placed the English in
undisputed possession of Lake Erie.

In March, 1813, Captain Perry having been despatched to the port of
Erie, arrived there to find a fleet of ten sail being prepared to take
the waters against the British fleet under Commodore Barclay--an old
and experienced leader, a hero of the days of Nelson and the _Victory_.

Before Perry’s arrival a brilliant little action had taken place in
October of the previous year. Two British vessels, the _Detroit_ and
the _Caledonia_, came down the lake and anchored under the guns of the
British Fort Erie on the Canadian side. At that time Lieutenant Elliott
was superintending the naval affairs on Lake Erie, and, the news having
been brought to him of the arrival of the English vessels on the
opposite side, he immediately determined to make a night attack and
cut them out. For a long time a body of seamen had been tramping their
toilsome march from the Hudson River to the lakes, and Elliott, hearing
that they were but some thirty miles away, despatched a messenger to
hasten them forward; at the same time he began to prepare two small
boats for the expedition. About twelve o’clock the wearied seamen,
footsore and hungry, arrived, and then it was discovered that in the
whole draft there were but twenty pistols, and no cutlasses, pikes, or
battle-axes. But Elliott was not dismayed. Applying to General Smyth,
who was in command of the regulars, for arms and assistance, he was
supplied with a few muskets and pistols, and about fifty soldiers were
detached to aid him.

Late in the afternoon Elliott had picked out his crews and manned the
two boats, putting about fifty men in each; but he did not stir until
one o’clock on the following morning, when in the pitch darkness he
set out from the mouth of Buffalo Creek, with a long pull ahead. The
wind was not strong enough to make good use of the sails, and the poor
sailors were so weary that those who were not rowing lay sleeping,
huddled together on their arms, and displaying great listlessness and
little desire for fighting. At three o’clock Elliott was alongside the
British vessels. It was a complete surprise; in ten minutes he had
full possession of them and had secured the crews as prisoners. But
after making every exertion to get under sail, he found to his bitter
disappointment that the wind was unfortunately so light that the rapid
current made them gather an increasing sternway every instant. Another
unfortunate circumstance was that he would have to pass the British
fort below and quite close to hand, for he was on the Canadian shore.
As the vessels came in sight of the British battery, the latter opened
a heavy fire of round and grape, and several pieces of flying artillery
stationed in the woods took up the chorus.

The _Caledonia_, being a smaller vessel, succeeded in getting out of
the current, and was beached in as safe a position as possible under
one of the American batteries at Black Rock, across the river; but
Elliott was compelled to drop his anchor at the distance of about four
hundred yards from two of the British batteries. He was almost at their
mercy, and in the extremity he tried the effect of a ruse, or, better,
made a threat that we must believe he never intended carrying into

Observing an officer standing on the top of an earthwork, he hailed him
at the top of his voice:

“Heigh, there, Mr. John Bull! if you fire another gun at me I’ll bring
up all my prisoners, and you can use them for targets!” he shouted.

The answer was the simultaneous discharge of all of the Englishman’s
guns. But not a single prisoner was brought on deck to share the fate
of the Americans, who felt the effect of the fire, and who now began
to make strenuous efforts to return it. Elliott brought all of the
guns on one side of his ship, and replied briskly, until he suddenly
discovered that all of his ammunition was expended. Now there was but
one chance left: to cut the cable, drift down the river out of the
reach of the heavy batteries, and make a stand against the flying
artillery with small arms. This was accordingly done, but as the sails
were raised the fact was ascertained that the pilot had taken French
leave. No one else knew the channel, and, swinging about, the vessel
drifted astern for some ten minutes; then, fortunately striking a
cross-current, she brought up on the shore of Squaw Island, near the
American side. Elliott sent a boat to the mainland with the prisoners
first. It experienced great difficulty in making the passage, being
almost swamped once or twice, and it did not return. Affairs had
reached a crisis, but with the aid of a smaller boat, and by the
exercise of great care, the remainder of the prisoners and the crew
succeeded in getting on shore at about eight o’clock in the morning.
At about eleven o’clock a company of British regulars rowed over from
the Canadian shore to Squaw Island and boarded the _Detroit_, their
intention being to destroy her and burn up the munitions with which she
was laden. Seeing their purpose, Major Cyrenus Chapin, a good Yankee
from Massachusetts, called for volunteers to return to the island,
and, despite the difficulties ahead, almost every man signified his
willingness to go. Quickly making his selection, Major Chapin succeeded
in landing with about thirty men at his back, and drove off the English
before they had managed to start the flames. About three o’clock a
second attempt was made, but it was easily repulsed.

The _Detroit_ mounted six long six-pounders, and her crew numbered
some sixty men. She was worth saving, but so badly was she grounded on
the island that it was impossible to get her off, and, after taking
her stores out, Elliott set her on fire to get rid of her. The little
_Caledonia_ was quite a valuable capture, aside from her armament, as
she had on board a cargo of furs whose value has been estimated at one
hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

But to return to the condition of affairs upon the arrival of Captain
Perry. The fleet that in a few weeks he had under his command consisted
of the brig _Lawrence_, of twenty guns, to which he attached his flag;
the _Niagara_, of twenty guns, in command of Elliott; and the schooners
_Caledonia_ and _Ariel_, of three and four guns respectively. There
were, besides, six smaller vessels, carrying from one to two guns each;
in all, Perry’s fleet mounted fifty-five guns. The British fleet, under
command of Barclay, consisted of the _Detroit_ (named after the one
that was wrecked), the _Queen Charlotte_, and the _Lady Prevost_. They
mounted nineteen, seventeen, and thirteen guns, in the order named. The
brig _Hunter_ carried ten guns; the sloop _Little Belt_, three; and the
schooner _Chippeway_, one gun; in all, Barclay had sixty-three guns,
not counting several swivels--that is, more than eight guns to the good.

The morning of September 10th dawned fine and clear. Perry, with his
fleet anchored about him, lay in the quiet waters of Put-in Bay. A
light breeze was blowing from the south. Very early a number of sail
were seen out on the lake beyond the point, and soon the strangers
were discovered to be the British fleet. Everything depended now
upon the speed with which the Americans could prepare for action.
In twelve minutes every vessel was under way and sailing out to
meet the on-comers; the _Lawrence_ led the line. As the two fleets
approached, the British concentrated the fire of their long and heavy
guns upon her. She came on in silence; at her peak was flying a huge
motto-flag--plain to view were the words of the brave commander of the
_Chesapeake_, “Don’t give up the ship.”

The responsibility that rested upon the young commander’s shoulders
was great; his position was most precarious. This was the first action
between the fleets of the two hostile countries; it was a battle for
the dominion of the lakes; defeat meant that the English could land
at any time an expeditionary force at any point they chose along the
shores of our natural northern barrier. The _Lawrence_ had slipped
quite a way ahead of the others, and Perry found that he would have to
close, in order to return the English fire, as at the long distance he
was surely being ripped to pieces.

Signalling the rest of the fleet to follow him, he made all sail
and bore down upon the English; but, to quote from the account in
the _Naval Temple_, printed in the year 1816, “Every brace and
bowline of the _Lawrence_ being shot away, she became unmanageable,
notwithstanding the great exertion of the sailing-master. In this
situation she sustained the action within canister distance upward of
two hours, until every gun was rendered useless and the greater part of
her crew either killed or wounded.”

It is easy to imagine the feelings of Perry at this moment. The smaller
vessels of his fleet had not come within firing distance; there was
absolutely nothing for him to do on board the flag-ship except to lower
his flag. Yet there was one forlorn-hope that occurred to the young
commander, and without hesitation he called away the only boat capable
of floating; taking his flag, he quitted the _Lawrence_ and rowed off
for the _Niagara_. The most wonderful accounts of hair-breadth escapes
could not equal that of Perry upon this occasion. Why his boat was not
swamped, or its crew and commander killed, cannot be explained. Three
of the British ships fired broadsides at him at pistol-shot distance as
he passed by them in succession; and, although the water boiled about
him, and the balls whistled but a few inches overhead, he reached the
_Niagara_ in safety.


In this diagram and the following, A is the British squadron, and
its vessels are designated by Roman numerals: I, _Chippeway_; II,
_Detroit_; III, _Hunter_; IV, _Queen Charlotte_; V, _Lady Prevost_;
VI, _Little Belt_. B is the American squadron, and the vessels
are designated by Arabic numerals: 1, _Scorpion_; 2, _Ariel_; 3,
_Lawrence_; 4, _Caledonia_; 5, _Niagara_; 6, _Somers_; 7, _Porcupine_;
8, _Tigress_; 9, _Trippe_.

The diagrams were furnished to Benson J. Lossing by Commodore Stephen
Champlin, of the United States Navy, the commander of the _Scorpion_ in
the battle.]

There are but a few parallel cases to this, of a commander leaving one
ship and transferring his flag to another in the heat of action.

The Duke of York upon one occasion shifted his flag, in the battle of
Solebay; and in the battle of Texel, fought on August 11, 1673, the
English Admiral Sprague shifted his flag from the _Royal Prince_ to the
_St. George_; and the Dutch Admiral Van Tromp shifted his flag from
the _Golden Lion_ to the _Comet_, owing to the former vessel being
practically destroyed by a concentrated fire. This does not detract
from the gallantry of Perry’s achievement. The danger he faced was
great, and he was probably closer to the enemy’s vessels than any of
the commanders above mentioned.


Perry’s younger brother, who was but a midshipman, was one of the seven
other men in the boat. They left on board the _Lawrence_ not above a
half-score of able-bodied men to look after the numerous wounded. Owing
to the opinions of many of the contemporary writers, who gave way to
an intense feeling of partisanship, some bitterness was occasioned and
sides were taken in regard to the actions of Master Commandant Elliott
and his superior officer; but, looking back at it from this day, we
can see little reason for any feeling of jealousy. It is hard to point
the finger at any one on the American side in this action and say that
he did not do his duty. As Perry reached the side of the _Niagara_
the wind died away until it was almost calm; the smaller vessels, the
sloops and schooners--the _Somers_, the _Scorpion_, the _Tigress_, the
_Ohio_, and the _Porcupine_--were seen to be well astern. Upon Perry
setting foot on deck, Elliott congratulated him upon the way he had
left his ship, and volunteered to bring up the boats to windward, if
he could be spared. Upon receiving permission, he jumped into the boat
in which Perry had rowed from the _Lawrence_ and set out to bring up
all the forces. Every effort was made to form a front of battle, and
the little gunboats, urged on by sweeps and oars, were soon engaged in
a race for glory. In the mean time, however, the English had slackened
their fire as they saw the big flag lowered from the _Lawrence’s_
mast-head; they supposed that the latter had struck, and set up a
tremendous cheering. This was hushed as they caught sight of the flash
of oars and realized what was going forward. In a few minutes, out
of the thick smoke came the _Niagara_, breaking their line and firing
her broadsides with such good execution that great confusion followed
throughout the fleet. Two of their larger brigs, the _Queen Charlotte_
and _Detroit_, ran afoul of each other, and the _Niagara_, giving
signal for close action, ran across the bow of one ship and the stern
of the other, raking them both with fearful effect; then, squaring away
and running astern of the _Lady Prevost_, she got in another raking
fire, and, sheering off, made for the _Hunter_. Now the little one-gun
and two-gun vessels of the American fleet were giving good accounts of

[Illustration: From a painting by Carlton T. Chapman


Although their crews were exposed to full view and stood waist-high
above the bulwarks, they did no dodging; their shots were well
directed, and they raked the Englishmen fore and aft, carrying away all
the masts of the _Detroit_ and the mizzen-mast of the _Queen Charlotte_.

A few minutes after 3 P.M. a white flag at the end of a boarding-pike
was lifted above the bulwarks of the _Hunter_. At sight of this the
_Chippeway_ and _Little Belt_ crowded all sail and tried to escape,
but in less than a quarter of an hour they were captured and brought
back by the _Trippe_ and _Scorpion_, under the commands of Lieutenant
Thomas Holdup and Sailing-Master Stephen Champlin. With a ringing cheer
the word went through the line that the British had surrendered. The
sovereignty of Lake Erie belonged to America. The question of supremacy
was settled.

The events of the day had been most dramatic. This fight amid the
wooded shores and extending arms of the bay was viewed from shore by
hundreds of anxious Americans. The bright sunlight and calm surface
of the lake, the enshrouding fog of smoke that from shore hid all but
the spurts of flame and the topmasts and occasionally the flags of the
vessels engaged, all had combined to make a drama of the most exciting
and awe-inspiring interest. Nor was the last act to be a letting-down.
Perry determined to receive the surrender of the defeated enemy
nowhere else but on the deck of his old flag-ship that was slowly
drifting up into the now intermingled fleets.


Once more he lowered his broad pennant and rowed out for the crippled
_Lawrence_. He was received on board with three feeble cheers,
the wounded joining in, and a number of men crawling up from the
slaughter-pen of a cockpit, begrimed and bloody.

On board the _Lawrence_ there had been left but one surgeon, Usher
Parsons. He came on deck red to the elbows from his work below, and the
terrible execution done by the concentrated English fire was evident
to the English officers as they stepped on board the flag-ship. Dead
men lay everywhere. A whole gun’s crew were littered about alongside of
their wrecked piece. From below came the mournful howling of a dog. The
cockpit had been above the water’s surface, owing to the _Lawrence’s_
shallow draught, and here was a frightful sight. The wounded had been
killed outright or wounded again as they lay on the surgeon’s table.
Twice had Perry called away the surgeon’s aids to help work ship, and
once his hail of “Can any wounded men below there pull a rope?” was
answered by three or four brave, mangled fellows crawling up on deck to
try to do their duty. All this was apparent to the English officers as
they stepped over the bodies of the dead and went aft to where Perry
stood with his arms folded, no vainglorious expression on his face,
but one of sadness for the deeds that had been done that day. Each of
the English officers in turn presented his sword, and in reply Perry
bowed and requested that the side-arms should be retained. As soon as
the formalities had been gone through with, Perry tore off the back of
an old letter he took from his pocket, and, using his stiff hat for
a writing-desk, scribbled the historic message which a detractor has
charged he cribbed from Julius Caesar: “We have met the enemy and they
are ours:--two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.”

Calling away a small boat, he sent Midshipman Forrest with the report
to Gen. William Henry Harrison.

A computation has been made by one historian of the number of guns
directed against the _Lawrence_ in the early part of the action. The
English had heavier armaments and more long guns; they could fight at
a distance where the chubby carronade was useless. The _Lawrence_ had
but seven guns whose shots could reach her opponents, while the British
poured into her the concentrated fire of thirty-two. This accounts for
the frightful carnage.


When the _Lawrence_ was being shot through and through, and there
were but three guns that could reply to the enemy’s fire, Lieutenant
Yarnell, disfigured by a bad wound across his face from a splinter,
came up to where Perry was standing. “The officers of my division
have all been cut down,” he said. “Can I have others?” Perry looked
about him and sent three of his aid to help Yarnell, but in less than
a quarter of an hour the lieutenant returned again. His words were
almost the same as before, but he had a fresh wound in his shoulder.
“Those officers,” he said, “have been cut down also.”

“There are no more,” Perry replied. “Do your best without them.”

Three times was Yarnell wounded, and three times after his wounds had
been hurriedly dressed he returned to his post.

Dulany Forrest, the midshipman whom Perry sent with the despatch to
General Harrison, had a most remarkable escape. He was a brave lad who
had faced death before; he had seen the splinters fly in the action
between the _Constitution_ and the _Java_. Forrest was standing close
to Captain Perry when a grape-shot that had glanced from the side of a
port struck the mast, and, again deflected, caught the midshipman in
the chest. He fell, gasping, at Perry’s feet.

“Are you badly hurt, lad?” asked the latter, anxiously, as he raised
the midshipman on his knee.

“No, sir; not much,” the latter answered, as he caught his breath. “But
this is my shot, I think.” And with that he extracted the half-spent
ball from his clothing and slipped it into his pocket.

Midshipman Henry Laub was killed in the cockpit just after having had a
dressing applied to his shattered right arm. A Narragansett Indian who
served as a gunner in the forward division of the _Lawrence_ was killed
in the same manner.

A summary of the losses on both sides shows that, despite the
death-list of the _Lawrence_, the English loss was more severe. On
board the American flag-ship, twenty-two were killed and sixty-one were
wounded; on board the _Niagara_, two killed and twenty-five wounded;
the _Ariel_ had one killed and three wounded; the _Scorpion_, two
killed; the _Caledonia_, three wounded; and the _Somers_ and _Trippe_
each showed but two wounded men apiece. In all, twenty-seven were
killed and ninety-six wounded on the American side. The comparison of
the loss of the rest of the fleet and that suffered by the _Lawrence_
makes a remarkable showing. The English lost forty-one killed and
ninety-four wounded altogether. A number of Canadian Indians were found
on board the English vessels. They had been engaged as marksmen, but
the first shot had taken all the fight out of them, and they had hidden
and skulked for safety.

Perry’s treatment of the prisoners was magnanimous. Everything that
would tend to relieve the sufferings of the wounded was done, and
relief was distributed impartially among the sufferers on both sides.
The result of this action was a restoration of practical peace along
the frontier of the lake. The British evacuated Detroit and Michigan,
and the dreaded invasion of the Indians that the settlers had feared so
long was headed off.

Perry, who held but a commission of master commandant, despite his
high-acting rank, was promoted at once to a captaincy, the date of his
commission bearing the date of his victory. He was given the command
of the frigate _Java_, a new forty-four-gun ship then fitting out at
Baltimore. Gold medals were awarded to him and to Elliott by Congress,
and silver medals to each of the commissioned officers. A silver medal
also was given to the nearest male relative of Lieutenant Brooks, of
the marines, and swords to the nearest male relatives of Midshipmen
Laub, Claxton, and Clark. Three months’ extra pay was voted to all the
officers, seamen, and marines, and, in addition, Congress gave $225,000
in prize-money, to be divided among the American forces engaged in
the action. This sum was distributed in the following proportions:
Commodore Chauncey, who was in command on the lakes, $12,750; Perry and
Elliott, $7140 each--besides which Congress voted Perry an additional
$5000; the commanders of gunboats, lieutenants, sailing-masters, and
lieutenants of marines received $2295 each; midshipmen, $811; petty
officers, $447 per capita; and marines and sailors, $209 apiece.

No money, however, could repay the brave men for the service they had
rendered the country. To-day the dwellers along the shores of Lake Erie
preserve the anniversary of the battle as an occasion for rejoicing.
While the naval actions at sea reflected honor and glory to their
commanders and credit to the service, the winning of Lake Erie averted
a national catastrophe.[99]



The first Thomas Macdonough was a major in the Continental Army,
and his three sons also possessed desires for entering the service
of their country. The oldest had been a midshipman under Commodore
Truxton, but, being wounded in the action between the _Constellation_
and the _L’Insurgente_, he had to retire from the navy owing to the
amputation of his leg. But his younger brother, Thomas Macdonough, Jr.,
succeeded him, and he has rendered his name and that of Lake Champlain
inseparable; but his fearlessness and bravery were shown on many
occasions long before he was ordered to the lakes.

In 1806 he was first-lieutenant of the _Siren_, a little sloop-of-war
in the Mediterranean service. On one occasion when Captain Smith,
the commander of the _Siren_, had gone on shore, young Lieutenant
Macdonough saw a boat from a British frigate lying in the harbor row
up to an American brig a short distance off, and afterward put out
again with one more man in her than she had originally. This looked
suspicious, and Macdonough sent to the brig to ascertain the reason,
with the result that he found that an American had been impressed by
the English captain’s orders. Macdonough quietly lowered his own boat
and put after the heavy cutter, which he soon overhauled. Although
he had but four men with him, he took the man out of the cutter and
brought him on board the _Siren_. When the English captain heard, or
rather saw, what had occurred--it was right under the bow of his
frigate that the affair took place--he waxed wroth, and, calling away
his gig, he rowed to the _Siren_ to demand an explanation.

The following account of the incident is quoted from the life of
Macdonough in Frost’s _Naval Biography_:

“The Englishman desired to know how Macdonough dared to take a man from
one of his Majesty’s boats. The lieutenant, with great politeness,
asked him down into the cabin; this he refused, at the same time
repeating the same demand, with abundance of threats. The Englishman
threw out some threats that he would take the man by force, and said he
would haul the frigate alongside the _Siren_ for that purpose. To this
Macdonough replied that he supposed his ship could sink the _Siren_,
but as long as she could swim he should keep the man. The English
captain said to Macdonough:

“‘You are a very young man, and a very indiscreet young man. Suppose I
had been in the boat--what would you have done?’

“‘I would have taken the man or lost my life.’

“‘What, sir! would you attempt to stop me, if I were now to attempt to
impress men from that brig?’

“‘I would; and to convince yourself I would, you have only to make the

“On this the Englishman went on board his ship, and shortly afterward
was seen bearing down in the direction of the American vessel.
Macdonough ordered his boat manned and armed, got into her himself, and
was in readiness for pursuit. The Englishman took a circuit around the
American brig, and returned again to the frigate. When Captain Smith
came on board he justified the conduct of Macdonough, and declared his
intention to protect the American seaman.”

Although Macdonough was very young, and his rank but that of a
lieutenant, people who knew him were not surprised to hear that he
had been appointed to take command of the little squadron on Lake
Champlain. These vessels were built of green pine, and almost without
exception constructed in a hurried fashion. They had to be of light
draught, and yet, odd to relate, their general model was the same as
that of ships that were expected to meet storms and high seas.

Macdonough was just the man for the place; as in the case of Perry, he
had a superb self-reliance and was eager to meet the enemy.

Lake Champlain and the country that surrounds it were considered
of great importance by the English, and, descending from Canada,
large bodies of troops poured into New York State. But the American
government had, long before the war was fairly started, recognized the
advantage of keeping the water communications on the northern frontier.
The English began to build vessels on the upper part of the lake, and
the small force of ships belonging to the Americans was increased as
fast as possible. It was a race to see which could prepare the better
fleet in the shorter space of time.

In the fall of the year 1814 the English had one fairly sized frigate,
the _Confiance_, mounting thirty-nine guns; a brig, the _Linnet_; a
sloop, _Chubb_, and the sloop _Finch_; besides which they possessed
thirteen large galleys, aggregating eighteen guns. In all, therefore,
the English fleet mounted ninety-five guns. The Americans had the
_Saratoga_, sloop of war, twenty-six guns; the _Eagle_, twenty; the
_Ticonderoga_, seventeen; the _Preble_, seven; and ten galleys carrying
sixteen; their total armament was nine guns less than the British.

By the first week in September Sir George Prevost had organized
his forces and started at the head of fourteen thousand men to the
southward. It was his intention to dislodge General Macomb, who was
stationed at Plattsburg, where considerable fortifications had been
erected. A great deal of the militia force had been drawn down the
State to the city of New York, owing to the fears then entertained
that the British intended making an attack upon the city from their
fleet. It was Sir George’s plan to destroy forever the power of the
Americans upon the lake, and for that reason it was necessary to
capture the naval force which had been for some time under the command
of Macdonough. The English leader arranged a plan with Captain Downie,
who was at the head of the squadron, that simultaneous attacks should
be made by water and land. At eight o’clock on the morning of September
11th news was brought to Lieutenant Macdonough that the enemy was
approaching. As his own vessels were in a good position to repel an
attack, he decided to remain at anchor and await the onslaught in a
line formation. In about an hour the enemy had come within gunshot
distance, and formed a line of his own parallel with that of the
Americans. There was little or no breeze, and consequently small
chance for manœuvring. The _Confiance_ evidently claimed the honor
of exchanging broadsides with the _Saratoga_. The _Linnet_ stopped
opposite the _Eagle_, and the galleys rowed in and began to fire at the
_Ticonderoga_ and the _Preble_.


Macdonough wrote such a clear and concise account of the action that it
is best to quote from it:

“... The whole force on both sides became engaged, the _Saratoga_
suffering much from the heavy fire of the _Confiance_. I could perceive
at the same time, however, that our fire was very destructive to her.
The _Ticonderoga_, Lieutenant-Commandant Cassin, gallantly sustained
her full share of the action. At half-past ten the _Eagle_, not being
able to bring her guns to bear, cut her cable, and anchored in a more
eligible position, between my ship and the _Ticonderoga_, where she
very much annoyed the enemy, but unfortunately leaving me exposed to a
galling fire from the enemy’s brig.

“Our guns on the starboard side being nearly all dismounted or
unmanageable, a stern-anchor was let go, the bower-cable cut, and
the ship winded with a fresh broadside on the enemy’s ship, which
soon after surrendered. Our broadside was then sprung to bear on the
brig, which struck about fifteen minutes afterward. The sloop which
was opposed to the _Eagle_ had struck some time before, and drifted
down the line. The sloop which was with their galleys had also struck.
Three of their galleys are said to be sunk; the others pulled off. Our
galleys were about obeying with alacrity the signal to follow them,
when all the vessels were reported to me to be in a sinking state. It
then became necessary to annul the signal to the galleys and order
their men to the pumps. I could only look at the enemy’s galleys going
off in a shattered condition, for there was not a mast in either
squadron that could stand to make sail on. The lower rigging, being
nearly all shot away, hung down as though it had just been placed over
the mast-heads.

“The _Saratoga_ had fifty-nine round shot in her hull; the _Confiance_
one hundred and five. The enemy’s shot passed principally just over our
heads, as there were not twenty whole hammocks in the nettings at the
close of the action, which lasted, without intermission, two hours and
twenty minutes.

“The absence and sickness of Lieutenant Raymond Perry left me without
the assistance of that able officer. Much ought fairly to be attributed
to him for his great care and attention in disciplining the ship’s
crew as her first-lieutenant. His place was filled by a gallant young
officer, Lieutenant Peter Gamble, who, I regret to inform you, was
killed early in the action.”

The English had begun the action as if they never doubted the result
being to their advantage, and, before taking up their positions in
the line parallel to Macdonough’s, Downie had sailed upon the waiting
fleet bows on; thus most of his vessels had been severely raked before
they were able to return the fire. As soon as Sir George Prevost saw
the results of the action out on the water, he gave up all idea of
conquest, and began the retreat that left New York free to breathe
again. The frontier was saved. The hills and the shores of the lake had
been crowded with multitudes of farmers, and the two armies encamped on
shore had stopped their own preparations and fighting to watch.

Sir George Prevost had bombarded the American forts from the opposite
side of the River Saranac, and a brigade endeavored to ford the river
with the intention of attacking the rear of General Macomb’s position.
However, they got lost in the woods, and were recalled by a mounted
messenger just in time to hear the cheers and shouts of victory arise
from all about them.

In the battle the _Saratoga_ had twenty-eight men killed and
twenty-nine wounded, more than a quarter of her entire crew; the
_Eagle_ lost thirteen killed and twenty wounded; the _Ticonderoga_,
six killed and six wounded; the _Preble_, two killed; and the galleys,
three killed and three wounded. The _Saratoga_ was hulled fifty-five
times, and had caught on fire twice from the hot shot fired by the
_Confiance_. The latter vessel was reported to have lost forty-one
killed outright and eighty-three wounded. In all, the British loss was
eighty-four killed and one hundred and ten wounded.

Macdonough received substantial testimonials of gratitude from the
country at large, the Legislature of New York giving him one thousand
acres of land, and the State of Vermont two hundred. Besides this, the
corporations of Albany and New York City made him the present of a
valuable lot, and from his old command in the Mediterranean he received
a handsome presentation sword.[100]

WAR WITH MEXICO, 1846–1847

1814. General Jackson seizes Pensacola. The Hartford Convention. Treaty
of Ghent between Great Britain and the United States terminates the war.

1815. Before the news of peace reached this country General Jackson
repulses the British attack on New Orleans, defeating in a bloody
battle veterans who had fought against Napoleon. Escape of Napoleon
from Elba. The “Hundred Days.” Battle of Waterloo. Second abdication of
Napoleon, who is sent to St. Helena. Commodore Decatur imposes terms
upon the Dey of Algiers, and exacts reparation from Tunis and Tripoli.

1816. James Monroe elected President. Indiana admitted into the Union.

1817. Admission of Mississippi into the Union.

1818. Beginning of the Seminole War. Illinois admitted into the Union.
Act passed establishing the flag of the United States. General Jackson
captures Spanish fort, St. Mark’s, Florida.

1819. Treaty between the United States and Spain for the cession of
Florida (formal possession given in 1821). Admission of Alabama into
the Union.

1820. Admission of Maine into the Union. Adoption of the Missouri
Compromise, 1820, 1821. James Monroe re-elected President.

1822. Establishment of the colony of Liberia. The President recommends
recognition of the independence of the South American States and Mexico.

1823. The President announces the “Monroe Doctrine.”

1824. John Quincy Adams elected President.

1825. Corner-stone of Bunker Hill monument laid in presence of

1827. Parry’s expedition to the Arctic circle, latitude 82° 45´.

1828. Andrew Jackson elected President.

1829. First locomotive tried in the United States, at Honesdale, Pa.

1830. The Webster-Hayne debate in Congress. Establishment of the Mormon

1831. William Lloyd Garrison begins the publication of the _Liberator_
in Boston.

1832. Black Hawk War. Defeat of the Sacs and the Foxes. Nullification
movement in South Carolina. Andrew Jackson re-elected President.

1833. Henry Clay’s tariff compromise. President Jackson removes the
public funds from the Bank of the United States. Formation of the
American Anti-Slavery Society.

1834. Act of Congress for the formation of Indian Territory.

1835. Outbreak of the Second Seminole War. Revolution in Texas against
Mexican authority. Great fire in New York.

1836. Admission of Arkansas into the Union. Martin Van Buren elected
President. Storming of the Alamo by Santa Anna. Houston defeats the
Mexicans on the San Jacinto. The republic of Texas proclaimed.

1837. Admission of Michigan into the Union. Financial panic throughout
the United States.

1838. Inauguration of transatlantic steam navigation.

1839. Dissolution of the Confederacy of Central America.

1840. William Henry Harrison elected President.

1841. John Tyler succeeds to the Presidency after the death of
President Harrison.

1842. Final termination of the Seminole War. The Ashburton Treaty
between Great Britain and the United States for the settlement of the
Northeastern boundary line concluded. Dorr’s Rebellion in Rhode Island.

1844. James K. Polk elected President. Invention of the electric

1845. Admission of Florida and Texas into the Union.

1846. Admission of Iowa into the Union. War begins between the United
States and Mexico. The Mexicans defeated at Palo Alto and Resaca de la
Palma. Surrender of Monterey. Occupation of California and New Mexico
by the American forces. Treaty between Great Britain and the United
States for the settlement of the Northwestern boundary-line dispute.
Discovery of anæsthetics by Doctor Norton.

1847. General Taylor defeats Santa Anna at Buena Vista. Occupation of
Vera Cruz. American victories at Pueblo, Contreras, and Churubusco.
Storming of Molino del Rey. Storming of Chapultepec and occupation of
the City of Mexico.





Upon the annexation of Texas (in 1845) Mexico at once severed her
diplomatic relations with the United States. This result had been
foreshadowed by the utterances of Mexican officials dating from the
revival of the question in 1843. The relations, however, of the two
countries had been difficult to adjust from the time when Mexico became
independent in 1821. The most serious friction between them arose
concerning four subjects: claims of the United States citizens on the
government of Mexico; assistance given the Texans by the people of the
United States; violation of Mexican territory by United States troops;
and the annexation of Texas.

       *       *       *       *       *

The immediate occasion, however, of the breach of diplomatic relations
in 1845 was the annexation of Texas. When rumors of the renewal of the
annexation movement came to the city of Mexico in the summer of 1843,
President Santa Anna gave notice to the United States government, in a
letter dated August 23d, from Secretary of State Bocanegra to Minister
Waddy Thompson, that “the Mexican government will consider equivalent
to a declaration of war against the Mexican Republic the passage of an
act for the incorporation of Texas with the territory of the United
States; the certainty of the fact being sufficient for the immediate
proclamation of war, leaving to the civilized world to determine with
regard to the justice of the cause of the Mexican Nation, in a struggle
which it has been so far from provoking.”[101]

Thompson replied immediately with a sharply resentful letter,
questioning the sources of information of the Mexican authorities as
to the prospect of annexation, but refusing any explanation whatever.
Another letter from Bocanegra to Thompson asserted that the advices of
the Mexican government on the subject were official and reliable, and
sought to justify the attitude of Mexico as follows: “but as it may
happen that ambition and delusion may prevail over public propriety,
that personal views may triumph over sane and just ideas, and that the
vigorous reasoning of Mr. John Quincy Adams and his co-laborers may
be ineffectual, how can it be considered strange and out of the way
that Mexico, under such a supposition, should announce that she will
regard the annexation of Texas as an act of declaration of war?”[102]
Secretary of State Upshur approved the course of Thompson, and
instructed him that, in case he were again addressed in such offensive
language, he should demand either a withdrawal of the letter or a
suitable apology.

On November 3, 1843, Almonte, the Mexican minister at Washington, in
accordance with the instructions of his government, notified Upshur,
in a communication whose terms were hardly less offensive than those
used by Bocanegra to Thompson, that if “the United States should, in
defiance of good faith and of the principles of justice which they
have constantly proclaimed, commit the unheard-of act of violence
(_inaudito atentado_--the expression [says the official translator] is
much stronger than the translation) of appropriating to themselves an
integrant part of the Mexican territory, the undersigned, in the name
of his Nation, and now for them, protests, in the most solemn manner,
against such an aggression; and he moreover declares, by express order
of his Government, that, on sanction being given by the Executive of
the Union to the incorporation of Texas into the United States, he will
consider his mission ended, seeing that, as the Secretary of State will
have learned, the Mexican Government is resolved to declare war so soon
as it receives information of such an act.” On November 8th Upshur
replied, in a restrained and dignified way, repelling both the threats
and insinuations of Almonte’s letter and intimating that the policy of
the United States would not be affected by them.[103] To this Almonte
rejoined, on the 11th, suggesting that Upshur had been misled by an
incorrect translation of the letter of November 3d, and disclaiming any
intention to impute to the authorities of the American Union unworthy
views or designs as to Texas. December 1, 1843, Upshur replied, denying
that he had misunderstood Almonte, and declaring that the United States
regarded Texas as an independent nation and did not feel called on to
consult any other nation in dealing with it.[104]

On the accomplishment of annexation, the threat of Almonte was carried
out. The joint resolution making the offer was approved March 1, 1845,
and on March 6th he demanded his passports. March 28th the United
States minister in Mexico was officially notified that the diplomatic
intercourse between the two countries was at an end.[105] The
expressions of the Mexican papers indicated the most intense popular
excitement in that country, and those of the government treated the
war as already existing.[106] Two decrees were passed by the Mexican
congress and approved by President Herrera, one on June 4th and the
other on June 7th, providing for an increase of the available force in
order to resist annexation.[107] July 20th the “supreme government,”
or executive, recommended to the congress a declaration of war against
the United States from the moment when the government should know that
annexation had been effected or Texas had been invaded.

There can be little question, indeed, that impatience on both sides had
gone beyond the point of safety and was threatening appeal to arms. No
theory of a conspiracy is needed to explain the war with Mexico. While
it was strongly opposed and condemned by a bold and outspoken minority,
the votes in Congress and the utterances of the contemporaneous
journals show that it was essentially a popular movement, both in
Mexico and in the United States. The disagreement reached the verge
of an outbreak in 1837, and the only thing that prevented a conflict
then was that Congress was a bit more conservative than the President;
but neither the aggressiveness of Jackson nor even that of Polk would
have been so likely to end in actual fighting had it not been well
understood that they were backed by sympathetic majorities. On the
Mexican side, at the critical moment, the pacific tendencies of the
executive were overpowered by the angry impulse of the people.

May 28, 1845, General Taylor, who was in command of the troops in the
Southwest, was ordered, in view of the prospect of annexation, to hold
himself in readiness to advance into Texas with the approval of the
Texan authorities, and to defend that republic from any invasion of
which he should be officially informed after Texas had consented to
annexation on the terms offered. June 15th he was ordered to advance,
with the western frontier of Texas for his ultimate destination. There
he was to occupy a convenient point “on or near the Rio Grande,” but
to limit himself to the defence of the territory of Texas unless Mexico
should declare war against the United States. He was subsequently
directed to protect the territory up to the Rio Grande, avoiding,
however, except in case of an outbreak of hostilities, any attack
on posts actually held by Mexicans, but placing at least a part of
his forces west of the Nueces.[108] In July, General Taylor advanced
into Texas, and in August he established his camp on the west bank
of the Nueces, near Corpus Christi.[109] The spot which he selected
could hardly be considered as “near” the Rio Grande, being, in fact,
about one hundred and fifty miles therefrom. The location was chosen
because of its convenience as a temporary base either for defensive or
offensive operations.

The army remained in camp near Corpus Christi several months. The
information Taylor obtained here and reported to Washington indicated
no threatening movement on the part of the Mexicans; but on October 4th
he suggested that, if the United States government meant to insist on
the Rio Grande as the boundary, it would gain an advantage by occupying
points on that river. He therefore suggested an advance to Point Isabel
and Laredo.[110] Meanwhile had come the attempt to renew diplomatic
relations between the United States and Mexico, which ended in failure.
January 13, 1846, when it was known in Washington that Slidell would
probably not be received by the Mexican government, Taylor was ordered
to advance to the Rio Grande.[111]

Up to the time of this movement the Mexican government had neglected
the distinction in the validity of its claims to the territory east
of the Rio Grande. It strenuously asserted the right of Mexico to
the whole of Texas, whatever its limits might be, and declared that
annexation would be tantamount to a declaration of war. From the
Mexican point of view, Taylor invaded Mexico the moment he entered
Texas. But when he advanced to the Rio Grande the distinction was
finally made. April 12, 1846, he was warned by Ampudia, general in
command of the Mexican forces at Matamoras, to retire in twenty-four
hours--not beyond the Sabine, as one might have expected from the
previous attitude of the Mexican government, but beyond the Nueces.[112]

A few days later occurred the first conflict. April 24th a party of
dragoons sent out by Taylor was ambushed on the east side of the
river by a large force of Mexicans, and after a skirmish, in which a
number of men were killed and wounded, was captured.[113] The official
report of this affair reached Washington the evening of Saturday, May
9th.[114] President Polk had already decided, in conformity with the
judgment of all his cabinet except Bancroft, to send to Congress a
message recommending a declaration of war. Now, in formulating the
reasons for the declaration, he asserted that “Mexico has passed the
boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory, and shed
American blood upon the American soil,”[115] and with the unanimous
concurrence of his cabinet he sent the message to Congress, Monday, May

On the same day a bill providing for the enlistment of fifty thousand
soldiers and the appropriation of ten million dollars, the preamble to
which re-echoed the President’s assertion that war existed by the act
of Mexico itself, passed the House by a vote of 174 to 14.[116]



It was only after Polk felt assured of the refusal to receive
Slidell[117] that he assumed an attitude so aggressive as clearly
to challenge war; and from that time forward it seems to have been
his desire to carry the struggle just far enough to bring Mexico to
the point of conceding a territorial indemnity on the terms which
he had intended to offer through Slidell. In accordance with this
policy he suggested, while the question of Slidell’s reception by
the Paredes government was yet in suspense, that Slidell should be
directed to go on board a United States vessel and wait for further
instructions.[118] The object of this plan was evidently to be able
to resume negotiations, as soon as Mexico had felt the pressure
sufficiently, without the delays incident to a correspondence between
the two capitals. The same considerations influenced, at a later stage
of the war, the appointment of Trist.[119] To this method of pushing on
the conflict, with the sword in one hand and the olive-branch in the
other, Polk applied the peculiar designation of “conquering a peace.”

After the declaration of war by Congress, May 12, 1846, General Scott,
the commander-in-chief of the United States Army, was appointed to
command directly the forces that were to operate against Mexico.
According to a plan of operations which appears to have originated
with President Polk himself, but which was concurred in by Secretary
of War Marcy and by General Scott, New Mexico and California, which
Polk intended to claim by way of indemnity, and Chihuahua, were to be
occupied and held; the United States forces were to be pushed toward
the heart of Mexico in order to force the Mexicans to terms; and the
naval forces in the Gulf and the Pacific were assigned specific duties
in connection with the general scheme.[120]

The plan was in keeping with the main purpose of the war, and was,
on the whole, well adapted to insure success. The northern provinces
were far distant from the city of Mexico; the hold of the central
government upon them was but slight; and, even if its available forces
had been sufficiently strong and effective to send the troops needed
to resist invasion, the difficulties of transportation would have been
hard to overcome. Of course, similar difficulties were experienced
in throwing the United States troops into the interior of northern
Mexico; but such operations were far easier for a strong government
with abundant resources than for one so ill established and so lacking
in means as that of Herrera or Paredes. The population of the north
Mexican provinces was sparse and unenergetic, and could not be relied
on for its defence; the local governments were weak and inefficient;
and in 1846 that of California was disastrously affected by dissensions
between two rival leaders, José Castro and Pio Pico, representing
respectively the northern district and the southern.[121] It was in the
northern district, in the lower valley of the Sacramento River and near
the bay of San Francisco, that the foreign population, including the
Americans, was most numerous.

The plan for a campaign directed at the city of Mexico was gradually
developed as the war went on. The impression of Polk and his advisers
at first was that a vigorous invasion of Mexico would end the war,
without the necessity of pushing it far into the interior; and, since
operations on the coast in the summer were so dangerous, the attack was
made first in the north. The resistance of the Mexicans was, however,
more desperate and prolonged than was expected, and ultimately the
change was made to the shorter and more direct line of advance by way
of Vera Cruz.

[Illustration: MAP ILLUSTRATING THE MEXICAN WAR 1846–1848]

The occupation of New Mexico and California was accomplished speedily
and with little resistance. General Kearny occupied New Mexico in the
summer of 1846, and the occupation of California under Commodore R. F.
Stockton was completed by January, 1847. The first expeditions against
Mexico from the north under Wool and Doniphan were inconclusive.

The army which was most depended on to force Mexico to terms was that
operating in the east. The campaign in this quarter began with an
advance from Matamoras through Tamaulipas and Nuevo León into Coahuila.
But as it progressed the plan was gradually assimilated, so far as
these states were concerned, to that which had been followed in dealing
with California and New Mexico, and became one of simple occupation;
while the attack was shifted to the south, and the final advance was
made from Vera Cruz direct on the city of Mexico.

In the prosecution of the war, in this part especially, the
administration was much hampered by the character and conduct of the
generals on whom the detailed development and execution of the plan
devolved. The friction thus arising was increased by mutual suspicions
of political motives between President Polk, certain members of his
cabinet, and the generals themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this war the United States troops, though always outnumbered--in
some cases heavily--and usually with the advantage of position against
them, enjoyed such superiority both in _morale_ and in _matériel_ that
they were almost uniformly victorious. Their victories, however, were
by no means easy; on the contrary, they were obtained only at the
cost of no little bloody fighting and of great loss of men. And, as
is not unusual in like emergencies, there was much complaint of the
extravagance and inefficiency of the quartermaster’s department.[122]

The attack on Mexico began with the advance of Taylor’s army. Two
battles, Palo Alto, on May 8, 1846, and Resaca de la Palma, on the
following day, were required to drive the Mexicans across the Rio
Grande. Taylor then advanced from Matamoras through Tamaulipas into
Nuevo León, and, after defeating the Mexicans in a three days’ battle,
September 21–23, at Monterey, the capital of Nuevo León, he captured
that city. Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila, was occupied by the
United States troops on November 16th, and Victoria, the capital of
Tamaulipas, December 29th.

[Illustration: TAYLOR’S MARCH 1846–1847]

It had long before this become a most important question whether
the campaign should be confined to the occupation and cutting-off
of northern Mexico, or whether the army should be pushed on toward
the city of Mexico. Taylor recommended the first of these two plans;
but when asked his advice as to what should be done further, and
especially whether an expedition should be aimed at the city of Mexico
from near Vera Cruz, he had been hesitating and non-committal in his
answer.[123] Orders issued direct from Washington, September 22,
1846, in connection with the scheme before it was fully developed,
to General Patterson, one of Taylor’s subordinates, drew from Taylor
himself a resentful protest.[124] Finally the plan of capturing Vera
Cruz and marching thence upon the city of Mexico was adopted by Polk
and his cabinet, with a little objection from Buchanan as to advancing
beyond Vera Cruz,[125] and Scott was elected to lead the expedition.
Soon after his appointment, he left Washington, and about the end of
December he reached Matamoras and began to make preparations for the
attack on Vera Cruz. Part of Taylor’s men were drawn away for the
southern campaign, and renewed complaints from him were added to the
general chorus of discord and dissatisfaction.[126]

Information of the shifting of the attack to the south reached Santa
Anna through intercepted despatches, and he at once conceived the
project of a counter-stroke. Advancing northward with an army of more
than twenty thousand men, he came upon Taylor February 23, 1847, with
only about one-fourth that number at Buena Vista, a few miles south of
Saltillo. The American troops gained a brilliant victory,[127] and with
this the serious work of the “army of occupation” was at an end.


(From a print of the time)]

Attention was now centred on the southern campaign. During the month
of February, 1847, Scott’s troops were conveyed by sea from Brazos
Santiago and concentrated on the island of Lobos, about sixty miles
south of Tampico. On March 9th a landing was made without opposition
near Vera Cruz. With the co-operation of the naval forces under
Commodore Conner the city was invested, and, after a brief siege
culminating in a sharp bombardment, was captured, March 29, 1847.[128]

[Illustration: SCOTT’S MARCH to the City of MEXICO]

Next in order was the advance upon the city of Mexico, which began
April 8th. The first resistance was met at Cerro Gordo, where, on
April 17th and 18th, Scott’s army of not more than nine thousand drove
thirteen thousand Mexicans, in disastrous defeat, from a naturally
strong and well-fortified position. Finally there was a series of
battles near the city of Mexico, which culminated in its capture, and
which will be referred to further on.

Meanwhile another effort was made by Polk to negotiate, an idea which
even after the failure of the Slidell mission had been kept steadily in

       *       *       *       *       *

In answer to the proposition to negotiate which came through Trist, the
American commissioner, Santa Anna contrived to intimate that, if he
were paid ten thousand dollars down and one million on the conclusion
of peace, negotiations should begin at once. After consulting with
several of his officers, in a conference held late in July or early in
August, Scott paid the ten thousand dollars.[129] Still no step was
taken by the Mexicans toward negotiation until they were beaten in the
engagements at Contreras, August 19th and 20th, and Churubusco, August
20, 1847. Then Scott himself proposed an armistice, which was accepted
August 24th. Commissioners were appointed to meet Trist, and the effort
to conclude a treaty began. Whether it could have been accomplished
at that stage of the “conquering” on the basis of his instructions is
uncertain; but Trist’s wavering attitude undoubtedly served to make the
possibility much less. The Mexican commissioners still refused to come
to terms, and submitted counter-propositions which were in conflict
with those instructions, but which Trist referred to the authorities
at Washington.[130] As soon as unofficial news of what Trist had done
was received there, President Polk, without waiting to hear from him
directly, ordered his recall.[131]

In the mean time the armistice had been terminated and the advance of
the United States troops renewed. The victories of Molino del Rey,
September 8th, and Chapultepec, September 13th, opened the way to
the city of Mexico, which was occupied on September 14th.[132] Santa
Anna abdicated, and on November 22d the new government announced to
Trist that it had appointed commissioners to negotiate. Trist had
already received the letter recalling him; but, in spite of this fact,
he listened to the suggestion of the Mexicans that they were not
officially notified of his recall, and were anxious to negotiate on the
terms of his original instructions.

The negotiations terminated with the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo,
signed February 2, 1848. The boundary agreed upon was to follow the Rio
Grande from its mouth to the line of New Mexico; that line westward and
northward to the first branch of the Gila it should cross; that branch
and the Gila to the Colorado; and the line between Upper and Lower
California thence to the Pacific.[133] For the territory thus ceded by
Mexico the United States was to satisfy the claims of its citizens on
the Mexican government, and to pay in addition thereto fifteen million
dollars. In spite of the fact that Trist’s authority had been withdrawn
before the final negotiations, President Polk submitted the treaty to
the Senate, and after some opposition and suspense it was ratified,
March 10, 1848, by a vote of 38 to 14.



After Taylor’s capture of Monterey, the stronghold of northern Mexico,
an armistice terminated hostilities till November 13th, 1846. By that
time Santa Anna--who had returned to Mexico--had mustered a powerful
army at San Luis Potosi, and was expected to march against Monterey.
Taylor, intending to act on the defensive only, proposed to occupy a
line stretching from Saltillo to Tampico, which fort had been evacuated
by the Mexicans; and, in pursuance of this plan, marched on Saltillo
and Victoria, and occupied them without resistance. His plans were
frustrated by a requisition from General Scott depriving him of Worth
and Twiggs’ divisions of regulars. Thus reduced to a force of some
five thousand men--all of whom, except a few dragoons and artillery,
were volunteers--Taylor was compelled to abandon his projected line,
and to content himself with one stretching from Saltillo to the mouth
of the Rio Grande. December, January, and part of February were spent
by the army in awaiting the Mexican attack. It was known that Santa
Anna would advance from San Luis to expel the invaders; his force was
fairly estimated, and the wide disparity, in point of numbers, between
the two armies was not concealed from the troops. Yet there was no
thought of retreating; on the contrary, when Taylor determined to
advance southward from Saltillo, and to occupy Agua Nueva, eighteen
miles nearer the foe, the whole army marched in high spirits. It was
subsequently found that the force under Taylor--including Wool’s
division, which had joined the main army--was too small to hold
Agua Nueva, and a retrograde movement was ordered to the pass of La
Angostura, a narrow defile near the hacienda of Buena Vista. There the
army awaited Santa Anna’s approach.

It was on February 22d--Washington’s birthday--that the Mexican advance
made its appearance, rolling before it clouds of dust. It had suffered
dreadfully on the road from San Luis from cold and want of supplies;
but, allowing for these sources of loss, the army led by Santa Anna
cannot have numbered less than twenty thousand men, including four
thousand cavalry and twenty pieces of artillery; and the sufferings
of the march made the soldiers all the more eager for the battle.
Disappointed in not finding Taylor at Agua Nueva, as he had expected,
Santa Anna proclaimed that he had fled, and ordered the cavalry in
pursuit. The Mexicans had already had one experience of Taylor’s
flights--a second was at hand. When the lancers reached the Angostura,
they found the pass guarded by Washington’s battery of eight pieces,
and very properly halted. The correspondence, since so famous, between
the two generals then took place; and on receipt of Taylor’s laconic
letter Santa Anna commenced the attack.

The advantage of position was all on the side of the United States
army. The pass itself was so narrow that Washington’s battery could
guard it against almost any force; impassable gullies and ravines
flanked it on the west, and on the east the mountains gradually rose to
a height of some two thousand feet. The only spot on which a regular
battle could be fought was a plateau on the east of the pass, which
stretched from the precipitous mountain-slope nearly to the road,
terminating on that side in several ridges and ravines. This plateau
gained, the pass might have been turned; and accordingly Santa Anna’s
first thought was to master it. A strong body of light infantry was
despatched, in the afternoon of the 22d, to climb the mountain-side
which commanded the plateau; but the moment the manœuvre was perceived
a party of Taylor’s riflemen ascended the opposite ridge to keep
them in check. The Mexicans opened fire, and the Kentuckians replied;
and thus, as each body strove to overtop the other, both ridges were
soon covered with smoke. Foiled in his object, Santa Anna awaited the
morning to commence operations in earnest; and Taylor, fearing an
attack on Saltillo, set out to complete the defences of that point
during the night.

At two o’clock in the morning the American pickets were driven in,
and at break of day the Mexican light infantry, on the ridge above
the plateau, led by General Ampudia, commenced charging down into the
ravine which separated them from the Kentuckians. They had received
reinforcements during the night, and were at least eight to one.
Fortunately, General Wool had anticipated the movement, and Lieutenant
O’Brien was ready at the foot of the hill with a piece of cannon. A
very few discharges, well-aimed, sent the Mexicans back to cover. Then
the main army advanced; two columns, under Pacheco and Lombardini,
supported by lancers and a twelve-pounder battery in the rear, marching
directly toward the plateau, and a third moving against the pass. Wool
had disposed the army almost in a line across the plateau from the pass
to the mountain: Washington’s battery being on the right, and O’Brien’s
on the left wing, the infantry and a squadron of dragoons in the
centre, and the volunteer cavalry inclined slightly to the rear on the
right and left. About nine in the morning Pacheco’s column debouched
from a ravine and began to form coolly on a ridge of the plateau.
General Lane hastened forward, skirting the mountains with the Second
Indiana volunteers and O’Brien’s battery, to meet them. At two hundred
yards O’Brien opened with terrific effect; the close columns of the
Mexicans were ploughed by his shot. But the reply was steady and almost
equally effective. Raked on the left by the twelve-pounder battery,
and assailed by a storm of bullets from the masses rising out of the
ravine, the volunteers fell thickly round their colors, and, after
some minutes, the Indiana volunteers could stand it no longer, and
fled in spite of Lane’s efforts to rally them.[134] O’Brien was left
almost alone with his guns. He fired one last discharge, then, hastily
limbering up, followed the flying infantry over the plateau.

It was an almost fatal movement; for, Lombardini gaining the southern
edge of the plateau at that moment, the two Mexican columns united,
and the lancers, who swarmed on the flanks, galloped down on the
volunteers. To add to the danger, the Indiana regiment in its flight
became entangled with the Arkansas volunteers, who caught the panic and
fled likewise. Their loss in a fight where the enemy was over four to
one was severely felt. However, nothing daunted, the Second Illinois,
under Colonel Bissell, received the Mexican fire, and returned it as
fast as the men could load. The dragoons, who could do no service in
such a conflict, were sent to the rear; but a couple of guns, under
Trench and Thomas, were brought to bear, and every shot cut like a
knife through the Mexican columns. Still, it was impossible for such
a handful of men to check an army of thousands: the enemy poured down
the plateau, and, passing between the mountain and the Illinoisans,
turned our left and poured in a flank as well as a front fire. Eighty
men having fallen in twenty minutes, Colonel Bissell gave the word
of command to face to the rear, and the gallant regiment, as cool as
if on drill, faced about, marched deliberately a few yards toward
the ravine--Churchill walking his horse before them--then turned and
resumed firing.

Meanwhile the lancers were driving the Indiana and Arkansas volunteers
off the plateau, and cutting off the riflemen in the mountain from
the main army. These, perceiving the danger, and trusting that the
lancers would be checked by the Arkansas and Kentucky cavalry, toward
which they were approaching, abandoned their position and came running
down the mountain-side, with a view of cutting their way back to the
batteries. But the mounted volunteers made but a brief stand against
the impetuous charge of the lancers, and Ampudia’s light infantry no
sooner saw the riflemen move than they followed close on their heels,
firing as they went. The slaughter of our poor fellows was dreadful;
the Texans were annihilated. In one confused mass, riflemen and
volunteer cavalry, Arkansans and Kentuckians were driven back by the
advancing columns of the enemy, and little was wanted to complete the
rout. Vainly did the officers try to rally the fugitives. No sooner had
a handful of men been persuaded to halt and turn than a volley from
the Mexicans scattered them. Thus fell Captain Lincoln--a chivalrous
spirit, who was struck to the earth by two balls in the act of cheering
on a small party of Kentuckians to hold their ground.


(From a print of the time)]

At this perilous moment the rattle of musketry was drowned by a
tremendous roar pf cannon in the direction of the pass. The Mexicans
under Villamil had approached within range, and Captain Washington,
who had sworn to hold the pass against any odds, was keeping his word.
The gunners had been wild with ardor and suspense all morning; they
were now gratified, and, though three guns had been taken from the
battery, they poured such a murderous fire upon Villamil’s column as
it approached through the narrow pass that, after wavering a moment,
it scattered, and most of the men sought refuge in the ravines. The
moment they broke the Second Illinoisans, who had been stationed at the
pass, eagerly followed their colonel, Hardin, to the plateau, to share
the dangers of their comrades. Almost as soon McKee’s Kentuckians and
Bragg’s battery came plunging through the gullies on the west of the
pass and joined them; while Sherman’s guns were speedily brought up
from the rear. Thus the First Illinoisans were saved, and grape and
canister mowed down the Mexican masses at the foot of the mountain.

Still, the light infantry under Ampudia were pressing on by the left
to the rear of Wool’s position. In half an hour the pass might have
been turned. Most providentially at that moment Taylor arrived with
Davis’ Mississippi riflemen and May’s dragoons. The former barely
stopped an instant for the men to fill their canteens, then hastened to
the field. Boiling with rage, Davis called on the Indiana volunteers
to form “behind that wall,” pointing to his men, and advance against
their enemy. Their colonel, Bowles, the tears streaming down his face,
finding all his appeals fruitless, seized a musket and joined the
Mississippians as a private. Time could not be lost; Ampudia was close
upon them; Davis formed and advanced with steady tread against a body
more than five times his strength. A rain of balls poured upon the
Mississippians, but no man pulled a trigger till sure of his mark. Then
those deadly rifles blazed and stunned the Mexican advance. A ravine
separated them from the enemy; Davis gave the word, and, with a cheer,
down they rushed and up the other side; then forming hastily, with one
awful volley they shattered the Mexican head and drove them back to

But the cavalry had crept round the mountain and were descending on
the hacienda. They were Torrejon’s brigade, splendid fellows, mostly
lancers, and brimful of fight. Opposed to them were Yell’s Arkansas and
Marshall’s Kentucky mounted volunteers--less than half their number.
Hopelessly these brave fellows stood, firing their carbines as the foe
approached; but the last man was still taking aim when the lancers
were upon them like a whirlwind. The brave Yell was dashed to the
earth a corpse, and Lieutenant Vaughan fell from his horse, pierced
by twenty-four wounds. Huddled together in a confused mass, Mexicans
and Americans dashed side by side toward the hacienda, engaged in a
death-struggle as they galloped onward, and enveloped in a cloud
of dust. One tall Mexican was seen, mounted upon a powerful horse,
spearing every one that came within reach, in the drunkenness of
battle; while here and there a Kentuckian, with native coolness, loaded
as he rode, and brought down man after man. In less time than it takes
to read these lines the horses’ hoofs were rattling over the streets,
shrieks and shouts heralding their approach. Amid the din, the crack of
rifles from the roofs of the houses told that the little garrison were
holding their own. Through and through the hacienda the Mexicans swept,
disengaging themselves from the volunteers just in time to escape a
charge from May’s dragoons, which came clattering down the ravine to
the rescue. Reynolds followed with two pieces of flying artillery, and
Torrejon himself, badly wounded and minus several of his best men, was
glad to escape to the mountains.

Meanwhile Major Dix had snatched the colors of the Second Indiana
volunteers from the hands of their bearer, and bitterly swore that,
with God’s help, that standard should not be disgraced that day. “He
would bear it alone,” he said, “into the thick of the fight.” Roused
by his words, a few men rallied around him and joined the Mississippi
rifles on the plateau. The gallant Third Indiana were there, and
Sherman had brought up a howitzer. Enraged at the failure of the
attack on the hacienda, a fresh body of lancers now charged these
troops, advancing in close column, knee to knee, and lance in rest. In
breathless haste the volunteers were thrown across the narrow ridge,
in two lines, meeting at an angle near the centre. Not a whisper broke
the silence as the Mexicans approached, and the intrepid bearing of men
whom nothing could have saved from destruction if the charge had been
vigorous appalled the lancers. Within eighty yards of the lines they
actually halted. At that instant the rifles were raised: a second--an
awful second--elapsed. Then “Fire!” and a blaze ran round the angle.
The Mexican column was destroyed. Horses and men writhed on the plain.
The rear rank stood for a moment, but a single discharge from the
howitzer scattered them too, and they fell back. For the first time
during the day fortune seemed to favor the Americans. Hemmed in on two
sides, and driven to the base of the mountain, five thousand Mexicans,
horse and foot, with Ampudia’s division, were being slaughtered by nine
guns, which never slackened fire. Their fate was certain; when a flag
of truce from Santa Anna induced Taylor to silence his batteries. It
was only a ruse. Santa Anna asked, “What does General Taylor want?”
Before the answer reached him, the Mexicans had made good their escape
to the rear.

Notwithstanding the parley, one Mexican battery continued its fire
upon our troops. This was the eighteen and twenty-four pounder battery
of the battalion of San Patricio, composed of Irishmen, deserters
from our ranks, and commanded by an Irishman named Riley. Harassed
by this fire, and perceiving the enemy’s treachery, Taylor sent the
Illinoisans and Kentuckians, with three pieces of artillery, in pursuit
of Ampudia. They hurried forward along the heads of the ravines; but
to their horror, as they neared the southern edge of the plateau, an
overwhelming force of over ten thousand men, comprising the whole of
Santa Anna’s reserve, emerged from below and deployed before their
firing. To resist was madness. The volunteers discharged their pieces
and rushed precipitately into the nearest gorge. Its sides were steep,
and many rolled headlong to the bottom. Others were massacred by a
shower of bullets poured from Mexicans who clustered on both ridges
above. In the midst of the carnage, Hardin, McKee, and many other brave
officers fell, vainly trying to seek an exit for their troops. At the
mouth of the ravine a squadron of lancers were ready to cut off their
escape. Down the sides poured the Mexican infantry, slaughtering the
wounded with the bayonet and driving the helpless mass before them.
Above, pale as death, with compressed lips, O’Brien and Thomas stood
to their deserted pieces. Once before that morning the Mexican shot
had left the former alone at his gun; for the second time the fortune
of the day seemed to depend on his single exertions. If he could hold
the enemy at bay for a few minutes, there would be time for other
batteries to come up. Ball after ball tore ragged gaps through the
advancing host. After each discharge O’Brien fell back just far enough
to load and fire again, praying in an agony that help might come. He
was wounded himself; all his men were killed or wounded; but he never
flinched before the surging wave of Mexicans until the clack of whips
and the rattle of wheels were heard behind him. Then--for he knew it
was Bragg urging onward his jaded horses--the brave fellow aimed one
deadly volley of canister and abandoned his piece. The next moment
Bragg unlimbered and opened a telling fire. Sherman followed, and,
Davis and Lane coming up at a run, the crack of rifles was heard away
to the extreme left. On the right, the well-known roar of Washington’s
guns startled the foe. It was the death-warrant of the lancers, who
were penning our volunteers in the ravine. Out came the remnant,
leaving crowds of dead, and not one man wounded, in the horrid trap,
and hastily scaled the side of the plateau. Taylor was there, coolly
picking the balls out of his dress, and Wool rode wildly backward and
forward, urging on the rear ranks. But it was needless. At Bragg’s
third discharge the whole body of the Mexicans broke and dashed
pell-mell into the ravine whence they had come.

This was the last of the battle. Davis and Bragg followed the enemy
a short distance; but the San Patricio battery still commanded the
southern edge of the plateau, and the troops were so fagged that they
could hardly walk. Night was coming on, and the firing ceased. The men
lay down where they stood; and a few, overcome by fatigue, slept side
by side with the dead and the wounded. It was a dark, gloomy night,
and a bitter wind swept from the mountain. Not far in the distance the
wolf’s howl broke dismally on the ear, and the vultures flapped their
wings overhead. Nothing was known of the Mexican army; no one could say
what the morrow might bring forth. With anxious eye the officers looked
for the dawn.

It came at last; and to their inexpressible delight the first streaks
of light in the eastern sky revealed a deserted camp. The Mexicans had
fled. An army of over twenty thousand men, comprising the flower of the
Mexican troops, had been beaten by forty-six hundred Americans, over
four thousand of whom were raw volunteers. Such a cheer as rose from
the pass of Angostura on that February morning never before or since
re-echoed through the dark gorges of the Sierra Madre.



Northern Mexico lay helpless at Taylor’s feet. The stars and stripes
floated over the citadel of Monterey, and the flower of the Mexican
army, commanded by their greatest general, had been repulsed at Buena
Vista. Nothing now remained but to strike a blow at the vitals of the
southern republic. That task had been imposed on General Scott, whose
skill and experience designated him as the proper man to conduct a
campaign in which the fate of the war was to be decided.

On March 6, 1847, the fleet of transports and men-of-war was
concentrated near Vera Cruz. It bore a small but well-disciplined force
of some twelve thousand men, comprising the whole standing army of the
United States--four regiments of artillery, eight of infantry, one of
mounted riflemen, and detachments of dragoons--besides eight volunteer
regiments of foot and one of horse. Major-General Scott commanded
the whole, with Worth, fresh from the brilliant capture of Monterey,
Twiggs, and the volunteer Patterson as his brigadiers. Under the latter
served Generals Quitman, Pillow, and Shields.

Vera Cruz was the strongest place on this continent, after Quebec.
Situated on the border of the Gulf, it was surrounded by a line of
bastions and redans, terminating at either extremity in a fort of large
capacity. A sandy plain encircled it on the land side, affording no
protection to an assailant within seven hundred yards of the walls;
and toward the sea, on a reef at a distance of rather more than half
a mile, the famous fort of San Juan d’Ulloa commanded the harbor.
In March, 1847, the city mounted nearly ninety, the castle one
hundred and twenty-eight guns of various calibers, including several
thirteen-inch mortars and ten-inch Paixhans. So implicit was the faith
of the Mexicans in the strength of the place that, having rendered it,
as they believed, impregnable, they left its defence to a garrison
of five thousand men, and bade them remember that the city was named
Vera Cruz the Invincible. This was the first mistake of the enemy; a
second was omitting to provision the place for a siege; a third was
allowing women, children, and non-combatants to remain in the town. In
this instance, as in so many others, the overweening assurance of the
Mexicans was the cause of their ruin. Monterey and Buena Vista should
have taught them to know better.

       *       *       *       *       *

The American troops began to land on March 9, 1847, and by the 12th
a line of troops five miles long surrounded Vera Cruz. On the 22d
the bombardment was begun, and on the 26th, without an assault, the
Mexicans began negotiations for a surrender, which took place three
days afterward.


On April 8th the army, headed by Twiggs’ division, moved forward on
the national road toward the city of Mexico. At the mountain-pass of
Cerro Gordo the Mexicans, under Santa Anna, had made a stand. They had
planted batteries to command all the level ground, and behind them were
some twelve thousand infantry and cavalry. The fighting began on the
17th with an attack by Twiggs on the Mexican left, which resulted in
driving back the Mexicans, and in the capture of a strong position on
a hill called Atalaya, where some cannon were mounted in the night.
The next day the desperate assaults of Harney and Riley stormed the
redoubts on the crest of Cerro Gordo, and Riley and Shields charged
and captured the Mexican batteries on the road. On the left Pillow was
less successful, but the guns of Cerro Gordo were turned against the
Mexicans, who, seeing the defeat of Santa Anna, hoisted a white flag.
Three thousand men, including five generals, surrendered to General
Scott, and over a thousand were killed or wounded. Of the American
force of eighty-five hundred, sixty-three were killed and three hundred
and sixty-eight wounded.

The unopposed seizure of the castle of La Hoya, and the occupation of
the towns of Perote and Puebla were followed by a delay due to the
necessity of waiting for reinforcements to replace the three thousand
volunteers whose time had expired.

Reinforcements arrived but slowly, and each detachment, as it moved
from Vera Cruz to the mountains, had to sustain a running fight with
the guerrillas whom Santa Anna had let loose on the road. All arrived,
however, in safety, and by the beginning of August General Scott was
ready to move on the valley of Mexico with ten thousand seven hundred
and thirty-eight men, leaving Colonel Childs with fourteen hundred
to garrison Puebla. On the third day they stood upon the summit of
the ridge which looks down upon the valley of Mexico, with the city
itself glittering in the centre, and bright lakes, grim forts, and busy
causeways dotting the dark expanse of marsh and lava. That night the
troops encamped at the foot of the mountains and within the valley on
the border of Lake Chalco.

With the energy which characterized Santa Anna throughout the war, he
had prepared for a desperate defence. Civil strife had been silenced,
funds raised, an army of twenty-five thousand men mustered, and every
precaution taken which genius could suggest or science indicate. Nature
had done much for him. Directly in front of the invading army lay the
large lakes of Xochimilco and Chalco. These turned, vast marshes,
intersected by ditches and for the most part impassable, surrounded
the city on the east and south--on which side Scott was advancing--for
several miles. The only approaches were by causeways, and these Santa
Anna had taken prodigious pains to guard. The national road to Vera
Cruz--which Scott must have taken had he marched on the north side
of the lakes--was commanded by a fort mounting fifty-one guns on an
impregnable hill called El Peñon. Did he turn the southern side of the
lakes, a field of lava, deemed almost impassable for troops, interposed
a primary obstacle, and fortified positions at San Antonio, San Angel,
and Churubusco, with an intrenched camp at Contreras, were likewise to
be surmounted before the southern causeways could be reached. Beyond
these there yet remained the formidable castle of Chapultepec and the
strong enclosure of Molino del Rey to be stormed before the city gates
could be reached. Powerful batteries had been mounted at all these
points, and ample garrisons detailed to serve them. The bone and muscle
of Mexico were there. Goaded by defeat, Santa Anna never showed so much
vigor; ambition fired Valencia; patriotism stirred the soul of Alvarez;
Canalejo, maddened by the odium into which he had fallen, was boiling
to regain his sobriquet of “The Lion of Mexico.” With a constancy equal
to anything recorded of the Roman Senate, the Mexican Congress, on
learning the defeat at Cerro Gordo, had voted unanimously that any one
opening negotiations with the enemy should be deemed a traitor, and
the citizens with one accord had ratified the vote. Within six months
Mexico had lost two splendid armies in two pitched battles against the
troops now advancing against the capital; but she never lost heart.


When the engineers reported that the fortress on El Peñon could not be
carried without a loss of one-third the army, Scott decided to move
by the south of the lakes; and Worth accordingly advanced, leading
the van, as far as San Augustin, nine miles from the city of Mexico.
There a large field of lava--known as the Pedregal--barred the way.
On the one side, a couple of miles from San Augustin, the fortified
works at San Antonio commanded the passage between the field and the
lake; on the other the ground was so much broken that infantry alone
could advance, and General Valencia occupied an intrenched camp, with
a heavy battery, near the village of Contreras, three miles distant.
Scott determined to attack on both sides, and sent forward Worth on the
east and Pillow and Twiggs on the west. The latter advanced as fast as
possible over the masses of lava on the morning of the 19th, and by 2
P.M. a couple of light batteries were placed in position and opened
fire on the Mexican camp.

At the same time, General Persifer Smith conceived the plan of turning
Valencia’s left, and hastened along the path through the Pedregal in
the direction of a village called San Jeronimo. Colonel Riley followed.
Pillow sent Cadwalader’s brigade on the same line, and later in the
day Morgan’s regiment was likewise despatched toward that point. They
drove in the Mexican pickets and skirmishers, dispersed a few parties
of lancers, and occupied the village without loss. Seeing the movement,
Santa Anna hastened to Valencia’s support with twelve thousand men.
He was discovered by Cadwalader just as the latter gained the village
road; and, appreciating the vast importance of preventing a junction
between the two Mexican generals, that gallant officer did not hesitate
to draw up his brigade in order of battle. So broken was the ground
that Santa Anna could not see the amount of force opposed to him, and
declined the combat. This was all Cadwalader wanted. Shields’ brigade
was advancing through the Pedregal, and the troops which had already
crossed were rapidly moving to the rear of Valencia’s camp. Night, too,
was close at hand. When it fell, Smith’s, Riley’s, and Cadwalader’s
commands had gained the point they sought. Shields joined them at
ten o’clock; and at midnight Captain Lee crossed the Pedregal, with
a message from General Smith to General Scott, to say that he would
commence the attack at daybreak next morning.

It rained all night, and the men lay in the mud without fires. At
three in the morning (August 20th) the word was passed to march. Such
pitchy darkness covered the face of the plain that Smith ordered every
man to touch his front file as he marched. Now and then a flash of
lightning lit up the narrow ravine; occasionally a straggling moonbeam
pierced the clouds and shed an uncertain glimmer on the heights; but
these flitting guides only served to make the darkness seem darker.
The soldiers groped their way, stumbling over stones and brushwood,
and did not gain the rear of the camp till day broke. Then Riley bade
his men look to the priming of their guns and reload those which the
rain had wet. With the first ray of daylight the firing had recommenced
between the Mexican camp and Ransom’s corps stationed in front and
Shields’ brigade at San Jeronimo. Almost at the same moment Riley
began to ascend the height in the rear. Before he reached the crest,
his engineers, who had gone forward to reconnoitre, came running back
to say that his advance had been detected, that two guns were being
pointed against him, and a body of infantry were sallying from the
camp. The news braced the men’s nerves. They gained the ridge, and
stood a tremendous volley from the Mexicans without flinching. Poor
Hanson of the Seventh--a gallant officer and an excellent man--was
shot down with many others; but the Mexicans had done their worst.
With steady aim, the volley was returned; and ere the smoke rose a
cheer rang through the ravine and Riley fell with a swoop on the
intrenchments. With bayonet and butt of musket, the Second and Seventh
drove the enemy from his guns, leaping into his camp and slaughtering
all before them. Up rushed Smith’s own brigade on the left, driving a
party of Mexicans before them, and charging with the bayonet straight
at Torrejon’s cavalry, which was drawn up in order of battle. Defeat
was marked on their faces. Valencia was nowhere to be found. Salas
strove vainly to rouse his men to defend themselves with energy;
Torrejon’s horse, smitten with panic, broke and fled at the advance
of our infantry. Riley hurled the Mexicans from their camp after a
struggle of a quarter of an hour; and as they rushed down the ravine
their own cavalry rode over them, trampling down more men than the
bayonet and ball had laid low. On the right, as they fled, Cadwalader’s
brigade poured in a destructive volley; and Shields, throwing his party
across the road, obstructed their retreat and compelled the fugitives
to yield themselves prisoners of war; The only fight of any moment had
taken place within the camp. There, for a few minutes, the Mexicans
had fought desperately; two of our regimental colors had been shot
down; but finally Anglo-Saxon bone and sinew had triumphed. To the
delight of the assailants, the first prize of victory was the guns
O’Brien had abandoned at Buena Vista, which were regained by his own
regiment. Twenty other guns and over one thousand prisoners, including
eighty-eight officers and four generals, were likewise captured, and
some fifteen hundred Mexicans killed and wounded. The American loss in
killed, wounded, and missing was about one hundred men.

Barely taking time to breathe his troops, Smith followed in pursuit
toward the city. By ten o’clock in the morning he reached San Angel,
which Santa Anna evacuated as he approached. The general-in-chief
and the generals of division had by this time relieved Smith of his
command; Scott rode to the front, and in a few brief words told the men
there was more work to be done that day. A loud cheer from the ranks
was the reply. The whole force then advanced to Coyacan, within a mile
of Churubusco, and prepared to assault the place.


Santa Anna considered it the key to the city, and awaited the attack
in perfect confidence with thirty thousand men. The defences were of
a very simple description. On the west, in the direction of Coyacan,
stood the large stone convent of San Pablo, in which seven heavy guns
were mounted, and which, as well as the wall and breastworks in front,
was filled with infantry. A breastwork connected San Pablo with the
_tête de pont_ over the Churubusco River, four hundred yards distant.
This was the easternmost point of defence, and formed part of the San
Antonio causeway leading to the city. It was a work constructed with
the greatest skill--bastions, curtain, and wet ditch, everything was
complete and perfect--four guns were mounted in embrasure and barbette,
and as many men as the place would hold were stationed there. The
reserves occupied the causeway behind Churubusco. Independently of
his defences, Santa Anna’s numbers--nearly five to one--ought to have
insured the repulse of the assailants.

By eleven--hardly seven hours having elapsed since the Contreras camp
had been stormed, five miles away--Twiggs and Pillow were in motion
toward the San Antonio causeway. Nothing had been heard of Worth,
who had been directed to move along the east side of the Pedregal on
San Antonio; but it was taken for granted he had carried the point,
and Scott wished to cut off the retreat of the garrison. Twiggs was
advancing cautiously toward the convent, when a heavy firing was heard
in advance. Supposing that a reconnoitring party had been attacked,
he hastily sent forward the First Artillery, under Dimmick, through
a field of tall corn, to support them. No sooner had they separated
from the main body than a terrific discharge of grape, canister, and
musketry assailed them from the convent. In the teeth of the storm they
advanced to within one hundred yards of that building, and a light
battery under Taylor was brought up on their right and opened on the
convent. Over an hour the gunners stood firm to their pieces under
a fire as terrible as troops ever endured; one-third of the command
had fallen before they were withdrawn. Colonel Riley meanwhile, with
the stormers of Contreras, had been despatched to assail San Pablo
on the west, and, like Dimmick, was met by a murderous rain of shot.
Whole heads of companies were mowed down at once. Thus Captain Smith
fell, twice wounded, with every man beside him; and a single discharge
from the Mexican guns swept down Lieutenant Easley and the section he
led. It was the second time that day the gallant Second had served
as targets for the Mexicans, but not a man fell back. General Smith
ordered up the Third in support, and these, protecting themselves
as best they could behind a few huts, kept up a steady fire on the
convent. Sallies from the works were constantly made and as constantly
repulsed, but not a step could the assailants make in advance.

By this time the battle was raging on three different points. Worth
had marched on San Antonio that morning, found it evacuated, and given
chase to the Mexicans with the Fifth and Sixth Infantry. The causeway
leading from San Antonio to the _tête de pont_ of Churubusco was
thronged with flying horse and foot; our troops dashed headlong after
them, never halting till the advance corps--the Sixth--were within
short range of the Mexican batteries. A tremendous volley from the
_tête de pont_ in front and the convent on the flank then forced them
to await the arrival of the rest of the division. This was the fire
which Twiggs heard when he sent Dimmick against the convent.

Worth came up almost immediately; and, directing the Sixth to advance
as best they could along the causeway in the teeth of the _tête de
pont_, despatched Garland and Clarke’s brigades through the fields
on the right to attack it in flank. Every gun was instantly directed
against the assailants; and, though the day was bright and clear, the
clouds of smoke actually darkened the air. Hoffman, waving his sword,
cheered on the Sixth; but the shot tore and ripped up their ranks
to such a degree that in a few minutes they had lost ninety-seven
men. The brigades on the right suffered as severely. One hundred men
fell within the space of an acre. Still they pressed on, till the
Eighth (of Clarke’s brigade) reached the ditch. In they plunged,
Lieutenant Longstreet bearing the colors in advance--scrambled out
on the other side--dashed at the walls, without ladders or scaling
implements--bayoneted the defenders as they took aim. At last officers
and men, mixed pell-mell, some through the embrasures, some over the
walls, rushed or leaped in and drove the garrison helter-skelter upon
their reserves.

The _tête de pont_ gained, its guns were turned on the convent, whence
the Mexicans were still slaughtering our gallant Second and Third.
Duncan’s battery, too, hitherto in reserve, was brought up, and opened
with such rapidity that a bystander estimated the intervals between the
reports at three seconds. Stunned by this novel attack, the garrison
of San Pablo slackened fire. In an instant the Third, followed by
Dimmick’s artillery, dashed forward with the bayonet to storm the
nearest bastion. With a run they carried it, the artillery bursting
over the curtain; but at that moment a dozen white flags waved in their
faces. The whole fortified position of Churubusco was taken.

Meantime, however, a conflict as deadly as either of these was raging
behind the Mexican fortifications. Soon after the battle commenced,
Scott sent Pierce and Shields’ brigades by the left, through the
fields, to attack the enemy in the rear. On the causeway, opposed to
them, were planted Santa Anna’s reserves--four thousand foot and three
thousand horse--in a measure protected by a dense growth of maguey.
Shields advanced intrepidly with his force of sixteen hundred. The
ground was marshy, and for a long distance--having vainly endeavored
to outflank the enemy--his advance was exposed to their whole fire.
Morgan, of the Fifteenth, fell wounded. The New York regiment suffered
fearfully, and their leader, Colonel Burnett, was disabled. The
Palmettos, of South Carolina, and the Ninth, under Ransom, were as
severely cut up; and after a while all sought shelter in and about
a large barn near the causeway. Shields, in an agony at the failure
of his movement, cried imploringly for volunteers to follow him. The
appeal was instantly answered by Colonel Butler, of the Palmettos:
“Every South-Carolinian will follow you to the death!” The cry was
contagious, and most of the New-Yorkers took it up. Forming at angles
to the causeway, Shields led these brave men, under an incessant hail
of shot, against the village of Portales, where the Mexican reserves
were posted. Not a trigger was pulled till they stood at a hundred
and fifty yards from the enemy. Then the little band poured in their
volley, fatally answered by the Mexican host. Butler, already wounded,
was shot through the head, and died instantly. Calling to the Palmettos
to avenge his death, Shields gives the word to charge. They charge--not
four hundred in all--over the plain, down upon four thousand Mexicans,
securely posted under cover. At every step their ranks thinned.
Dickenson, who succeeded Butler in command of the Palmettos, seizes the
colors as the bearer falls dead; the next moment he is down himself,
mortally wounded, and Major Gladden snatches them from his hand. Adams,
Moragne, and nearly half the gallant band are prostrate. A very few
minutes more, and there will be no one left to bear the glorious flag.


(From a print of the time)]

But at this very moment a deafening roar was heard in the direction
of the _tête de pont_. Round-shot and grape, rifle-balls and canister
came crashing down the causeway into the Mexican ranks from their own
battery. Worth was there just in time. Down the road and over the
ditch, through the field and hedge and swamp, in tumult and panic, the
Mexicans fled from the bayonets of the Sixth and Garland’s brigade. A
shout, louder than the cannon’s peal--Worth was on their heels, with
his best men. Before Shields reached the causeway he was by his side,
driving the Mexican horse into their infantry, and Ayres was galloping
up with a captured Mexican gun. Captain Kearny, with a few dragoons,
rode straight into the flying host, scattered them right and left,
sabred all he could reach, and halted before the gate of Mexico. Not
till then did he perceive that he was alone with his little party,
nearly all of whom were wounded; but, in spite of the hundreds of
escopetas that were levelled at him, he galloped back in safety to

The sun, which rose that morning on a proud army and a defiant
metropolis, set at even on a shattered, haggard band and a city full
of woe-stricken wretches who did nothing all night but quake with
terror and cry at every noise, “Aqui viene los Yanquies!” All along
the causeway, and in the fields and swamp on either side, heaps of
dead men and cattle, intermingled with broken ammunition-carts, marked
where the American shot had told. A gory track leading to the _tête
de pont_, groups of dead in the fields on the west of Churubusco,
over whose pale faces some stalks of tattered corn still waved, red
blotches in the marsh next the causeway, where the rich blood of
Carolina and New York soaked the earth, showed where the fire of the
heavy Mexican guns and the countless escopetas of the infantry had been
most murderous. Scott had lost, in that day’s work, over one thousand
men in killed and wounded, seventy-nine of whom were officers. The
Mexican loss, according to Santa Anna, was one-third of his army, equal
probably to ten thousand men, one-fourth of whom were prisoners, the
rest killed and wounded. As the sun went down the troops were recalled
to headquarters; but all night long the battle-field swarmed with
straggling parties, seeking some lost comrade in the cold and rain,
and surgeons hurrying from place to place and offering succor to the

It would have been easy for Scott to have marched on the city that
night, or next morning, and seized it before the Mexicans recovered
the shock of their defeat. Anxious, however, to shorten the war, and
assured that Santa Anna was desirous of negotiating; warned, moreover,
by neutrals and others that the hostile occupation of the capital
would destroy the last chance of peaceable accommodation and rouse
the Mexican spirit to resistance all over the country, the American
general consented, too generously perhaps, to offer an armistice to
his vanquished foe. It was eagerly accepted, and negotiations were
commenced which lasted over a fortnight. Early in September the
treachery of the Mexicans became apparent. No progress had been made in
the negotiations; and, in defiance of the armistice, an American wagon,
proceeding to the city for provisions, had been attacked by the mob and
one man killed and others wounded. Scott wrote to Santa Anna, demanding
an apology, and threatening to terminate the armistice on the 7th if it
were not tendered. The reply was insulting in the extreme; Santa Anna
had repaired his losses and was ready for another fight.


On the evening of the 7th of September Worth and his officers were
gathered in his quarters at Tacubaya. On a table lay a hastily sketched
map showing the position of the fortified works at Molino del Rey, with
the Casa Mata on one side and the castle of Chapultepec on the other.
The Molino was occupied by the enemy; there was reason to believe it
contained a foundry in full operation, and Worth had been directed to
storm it next morning. Over that table bent Garland and Clarke, eager
to repeat the glorious deeds of August 20th at the _tête de pont_ of
Churubusco; Duncan and Smith, already veterans; Wright, the leader of
the forlorn-hope, joyfully thinking of the morrow; famous Martin Scott
and dauntless Graham, little dreaming that a few hours would see their
livid corpses stretched upon the plain; fierce old McIntosh, covered
with scars; Worth himself, his manly brow clouded and his cheek paled
by sickness and anxiety. Each officer had his place assigned to him in
the conflict; and they parted to seek a few hours’ rest. At half-past
two in the morning of the 8th the division was astir. ’Twas a bright,
starlight night, whose silence was unbroken as the troops moved
thoughtfully toward the battle-field. In front, on the right, about
a mile from the encampment, the hewn-stone walls of the Molino del
Rey--a range of buildings five hundred yards long and well adapted for
defence--were distinctly visible, with drowsy lights twinkling through
the windows. A little farther off, on the left, stood the black pile
of the Casa Mata, the arsenal, crenelled for musketry and surrounded
by a quadrangular field-work. Beyond the Casa Mata lay a ravine, and
from this a ditch and hedge ran, passing in front of both works to the
Tacubaya road. Far on the right the grim old castle of Chapultepec
loomed up darkly against the sky. Sleep wrapped the whole Mexican line,
and but few words were spoken in the American ranks as the troops took
up their respective positions--Garland, with Dunn’s battery and Huger’s
twenty-four-pounders, on the right, against the Molino; Wright, at the
head of the stormers, and followed by the light division, under Captain
Kirby Smith, in the centre; McIntosh, with Duncan’s battery, on the
left, near the ravine, looking toward the Casa Mata; and Cadwallader,
with his brigade, in reserve.

Night still overhung the east when the Mexicans were roused from their
slumbers by the roar of Huger’s twenty-four-pounders and the crashing
of the balls through the roof and walls of the Molino. A shout arose
within their lines, spreading from the ravine to the castle; lights
flashed in every direction, bugles sounded, the clank of arms rang from
right to left, and every man girded himself for the fray. With the
first ray of daylight Major Wright advanced with the forlorn-hope down
the slope. A few seconds elapsed; then a sheet of flame burst from the
batteries, and round-shot, canister, and grape hurtled through the air.
“Charge!” shouted the leader, and down they went, with double-quick
step, over the ditch and hedge and into the line, sweeping everything
before them. The Mexicans fell from their guns, but soon, seeing the
smallness of the force opposed to them, and reassured by the galling
fire poured from the azoteas and Molino on the stormers, they rallied,
charged furiously, and drove our men back into the plain. Here eleven
out of the fourteen officers of Wright’s party and the bulk of his
men fell killed or wounded. All of the latter who could not fly were
bayoneted where they lay by the Mexicans. Captain Walker, of the Sixth,
badly shot, was left for dead; he saw the enemy murdering every man
who showed signs of life, but the agony of thirst was so insupportable
that he could not resist raising his canteen to his lips. A dozen balls
instantly tore up the ground around him; several Mexicans rushed at him
with the bayonet, but at that moment the light division under Kirby
Smith came charging over the ditch into the Mexican line and diverted
their attention.


(From a print of the time)]

Garland, meanwhile, moved down rapidly on the right with Dunn’s
guns, which were drawn by hand, all the horses having been wounded
and become unmanageable. These soon opened an enfilading fire on the
Mexican battery; and, some of the gunners flying, the light division
charged, under a hot fire, and carried the guns for a second time.
Their gallant leader was shot dead in the charge. But the enemy could
afford to lose the battery. From the tops of the azoteas, from the Casa
Mata, and the Molino, a deadly shower of balls was rained crosswise
upon the assailants. Part of the reserve was brought up, and Dunn’s
guns and the Mexican battery were served upon the buildings without
much effect at first. Lieutenant-Colonel Graham led a party of the
Eleventh against the latter; when within pistol-shot a terrific volley
assailed him, wounding him in ten places. The gallant soldier quietly
dismounted, pointed with his sword to the building, cried “Charge!” and
sank dead on the field.

There was an equally fierce fight at the other wing, where Duncan and
McIntosh had driven in the enemy’s right toward the Casa Mata. McIntosh
started to storm that fort; and, in the teeth of a tremendous hail of
musketry, advanced to the ditch, only twenty-five yards from the work.
There a ball knocked him down; it was his luck to be shot or bayoneted
in every battle. Martin Scott took the command, but as he ordered the
men forward he rolled lifeless into the ditch. Major Waite, the next
in rank, had hardly seen him fall before he too was disabled. By whole
companies the men were mowed down by the Mexican shot; but they stood
their ground. At length some one gave the word to fall back, and the
remnants of the brigade obeyed. Many wounded were left on the ground;
among others Lieutenant Burnell shot in the leg, whom the Mexicans
murdered when his comrades abandoned him. After the battle his body was
found, and beside it his dog, moaning piteously and licking his dead
master’s face.

At the head of four thousand cavalry, Alvarez now menaced our left.
Duncan watched them come, driving a cloud of dust before them, till
they were within close range; then, opening with his wonderful
rapidity, he shattered whole platoons at a discharge. Worth sent him
word to be sure to keep the lancers in check. “Tell General Worth,” was
his reply, “to make himself perfectly easy; I can whip twenty thousand
of them.” So far as Alvarez was concerned, he kept his word.

On the American right the fight had reached a crisis. Mixed confusedly
together, men of all arms furiously attacked the Molino, firing into
every aperture, climbing to the roof, and striving to batter in the
doors and gates with their muskets. The garrison never slackened
their terrible fire for an instant. At length, Major Buchanan, of the
Fourth, succeeded in bursting open the southern gate, and almost at
the same moment Anderson and Ayres, of the artillery, forced their
way into the buildings at the northwestern angle. Ayres leaped down
alone into a crowd of Mexicans--he had done the same at Monterey--and
fell covered with wounds. In our men rushed on both sides, stabbing,
firing, and felling the Mexicans with their muskets. From room to
room and house to house a hand-to-hand encounter was kept up. Here a
stalwart Mexican hurled down man after man as they advanced; there
Buchanan and the Fourth levelled all before them. But the Mexicans
never withstood the cold steel. One by one the defenders escaped by
the rear toward Chapultepec, and those who remained hung out a white
flag. Under Duncan’s fire the Casa Mata had been evacuated, and the
enemy was everywhere in full retreat. Twice he rallied and charged the
Molino; but each time the artillery drove him back toward Chapultepec,
and parties of the light infantry pursued him down the road. Before ten
in the morning the whole field was won; and, having blown up the Casa
Mata, Worth, by Scott’s order, fell back to Tacubaya.

With gloomy face and averted eye the gallant soldier received the
thanks of his chief for the exploits of the morning. His heart was
with the brave men he had lost: near eight hundred out of less than
thirty-five hundred, and among them fifty-eight officers, many of whom
were his dearest friends. All had fallen in advance of their men, with
sword in hand and noble words on their lips. They had helped to storm
Molino del Rey, and to cut down near a fifth of Santa Anna’s fourteen
thousand men. Sadly the general returned to his quarters.

The end was now close at hand. Reconnaissances were carefully made,
and, the enemy’s strength being gathered on the southern front of the
city. General Scott determined to assault Chapultepec on the west.
By the morning of the 12th the batteries were completed, and opened
a brisk fire on the castle, without, however, doing any more serious
damage than annoying the garrison and killing a few men. The fire was
kept up all day; and at night preparations were made for the assault,
which was ordered to be made next morning.


At daybreak on the 13th the cannonade recommenced, as well from the
batteries planted against Chapultepec as from Steptoe’s guns, which
were served against the southern defences of the city in order to
divert the attention of the enemy. At 8 A.M. the firing from the former
ceased and the attack commenced. Quitman advanced along the Tacubaya
road, Pillow from the Molino del Rey, which he had occupied on the
evening before. Between the Molino and the castle lay first an open
space, then a grove thickly planted with trees; in the latter Mexican
sharpshooters had been posted, protected by an intrenchment on the
border of the grove. Pillow sent Lieutenant-Colonel Johnstone with
a party of voltigeurs to turn this work by a flank movement; it was
handsomely accomplished, and, just as the voltigeurs broke through
the redan, Pillow, with the main body, charged it in front and drove
back the Mexicans. The grove gained, Pillow pressed forward to the
foot of the rock; for the Mexican shot from the castle batteries,
crashing through the trees, seemed even more terrible than it really
was, and the troops were becoming restless. The Mexicans had retreated
to a redoubt half-way up the hill; the voltigeurs sprang up from rock
to rock, firing as they advanced, and followed by Hooker, Chase, and
others, with parties of infantry. In a very few minutes the redoubt was
gained, the garrison driven up the hill, and the voltigeurs, Ninth, and
Fifteenth in hot pursuit after them. Here the firing from the castle
was very severe. Colonel Ransom, of the Ninth, was killed, and Pillow
himself was wounded.

Still the troops pressed on till the crest of the hill was gained.
There some moments were lost, owing to the delay in the arrival of
scaling-ladders, during which two of Quitman’s regiments and Clarke’s
brigade reinforced the storming party. When the ladders came, numbers
of men rushed forward with them, leaped into the ditch, and planted
them for the assault. Lieutenant Selden was the first man to mount.
But the Mexicans collected all their energies for this last moment.
A tremendous fire dashed the foremost of the stormers in the ditch,
killing Lieutenants Rogers and Smith, and clearing the ladders. Fresh
men instantly manned them, and, after a brief struggle, Captain Howard,
of the voltigeurs, gained a foothold on the parapet. McKenzie, of
the forlorn-hope, followed; and a crowd of voltigeurs and infantry,
shouting and cheering, pressed after him and swept down upon the
garrison with the bayonet. Almost at the same moment Johnstone, of the
voltigeurs, who had led a small party round to the gate of the castle,
broke it open and effected an entrance in spite of a fierce fire from
the southern walls. The two parties uniting, a deadly conflict ensued
within the building. Maddened by the recollection of the murder of
their wounded comrades at Molino del Rey, the stormers at first showed
no quarter. On every side the Mexicans were stabbed or shot down
without mercy. Many flung themselves over the parapet and down the
hillside, and were dashed in pieces against the rocks. More fought like
fiends, expending their last breath in a malediction and expiring in
the act of aiming a treacherous blow as they lay on the ground. Streams
of blood flowed through the doors of the college, and every room and
passage was the theatre of some deadly struggle. At length the officers
succeeded in putting an end to the carnage, and, the remaining Mexicans
having surrendered, the stars and stripes were hoisted over the castle
of Chapultepec by Major Seymour.

Meanwhile Quitman had stormed the batteries on the causeway to the
east of the castle, after a desperate struggle, in which Major Twiggs,
who commanded the stormers, was shot dead at the head of his men. The
Mexicans fell back toward the city. General Scott, coming up at this
moment, ordered a simultaneous advance to be made on the city along the
two roads leading from Chapultepec to the gates of San Cosme and Belen
respectively. Worth was to command that on San Cosme, Quitman that on
Belen. Both were prepared for defence by barricades, behind which the
enemy were posted in great numbers. Fortunately for the assailants, an
aqueduct, supported on arches of solid masonry, ran along the centre
of each causeway. By keeping under cover of these arches and springing
rapidly from one to another, Smith’s rifles and the South Carolina
regiment were enabled to advance close to the first barricade on the
Belen road and pour in a destructive fire on the gunners. A flank
discharge from Duncan’s guns completed the work; the barricade was
carried; and, without a moment’s rest, Quitman advanced in the same
manner on the garita of San Belen, which was held by General Torres
with a strong garrison. It, too, was stormed, though under a fearful
hail of grape and canister; and the rifles moved forward toward the
citadel. But at this moment Santa Anna rode furiously down to the
point of attack. Boiling with rage at the success of the invaders, he
smote General Torres in the face, threw a host of infantry into the
houses commanding the garita and the road, ordered the batteries in the
citadel to open fire, planted fresh guns on the Paseo, and infused such
spirit into the Mexicans that Quitman’s advance was stopped at once. A
terrific storm of shot, shells, and grape assailed the garita, where
Captain Dunn had planted an eight-pounder. Twice the gunners were shot
down, and fresh men sent to take their places. Then Dunn himself fell,
and immediately afterward Lieutenant Benjamin and his first sergeant
met the same fate. The riflemen in the arches repelled sallies, but
Quitman’s position was precarious till night terminated the conflict.

Worth, meanwhile, had advanced in like manner along the San Cosme
causeway, driving the Mexicans from barricade to barricade till within
two hundred and fifty yards of the garita of San Cosme. There he
encountered as severe a fire as that which stopped Quitman. But Scott
had ordered him to take the garita, and take it he would. Throwing
Garland’s brigade out to the right and Clarke’s to the left, he ordered
them to break into the houses, burst through the walls, and bore their
way to the flanks of the garita. The plan had succeeded perfectly at
Monterey; nor did it fail here. Slowly but surely the sappers passed
from house to house, until at sunset they reached the point desired.
Then Worth ordered the attack. Lieutenant Hunt brought up a light gun
at a gallop and fired it through the embrasure of the enemy’s battery,
almost muzzle to muzzle; the infantry at the same moment opened a most
deadly and unexpected fire from the roofs of the houses, and McKenzie,
at the head of the stormers, dashed at the battery and carried it
almost without loss. The Mexicans fled precipitately into the city.

At one that night two parties left the citadel and issued forth
from the city. One was the remnant of the Mexican army, which slunk
silently and noiselessly through the northern gate, and fled to
Guadalupe-Hidalgo; the other was a body of officers who came under a
white flag to propose terms of capitulation.


The sun shone brightly on the morning of September 14th. Scores of
neutral flags floated from the windows on the Calle de Plateros, and in
their shade beautiful women gazed curiously on the scene beneath. Gayly
dressed groups thronged the balconies, and at the street-corners were
scowling, dark-faced men. The street resounded with the heavy tramp
of infantry, the rattle of gun-carriages, and the clatter of horses’
hoofs. “Los Yanquies!” was the cry, and every neck was stretched to
obtain a glimpse of the six thousand bemired and begrimed soldiers
who were marching proudly to the Gran Plaza. But six months before,
Winfield Scott had landed on the Mexican coast; since then he had
stormed the two strongest places in the country, won four battles in
the field against armies double, treble, and quadruple his own, and
marched without reverse from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico; losing
fewer men, making fewer mistakes, and creating less devastation, in
proportion to his victories, than any invading general of former times.


1848. Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo between the United States and Mexico.
Admission of Wisconsin into the Union. Congress passes an act for
the organization of Oregon Territory. Migration of the Mormons to
Great Salt Lake. Zachary Taylor elected President. Formation of the
Free-Soil party. Discovery of gold in California.

1850. The United States and Great Britain conclude the Clayton-Bulwer
Treaty regarding a water route across Central America. On the death of
Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore succeeds to the Presidency. New Mexico
and Utah are organized as territories, and the “Clay Compromise,”
providing for the admission of California as a free state, is adopted.
Slavery in the District of Columbia is abolished.

1851. Unsuccessful filibustering expedition, under Lopez, against Cuba.
Arrival of Louis Kossuth in the United States.

1852. Franklin Pierce elected President.

1853. Organization of Washington Territory. The Kane Arctic expedition
in search of Sir John Franklin.

1854. Repeal of the Missouri Compromise, limiting slave territory in
the United States, and passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, making
slavery optional in the new territories. The “Ostend Manifesto”
recommends the purchase of Cuba by the United States. Passage of the
commercial reciprocity treaty between the United States and Canada
(abrogated in 1866). Commodore Perry concludes a treaty with Japan.

1855. A Pro-Slavery legislature organizes in Kansas. A Free-State
convention draws up the Topeka Constitution. William Walker, with a
force of filibusters, invades Nicaragua. Opening of the railway across
the Isthmus of Panama.

1856. Civil war in Kansas. James Buchanan elected President.

1857. Victory of the Free-State party at the polls in Kansas. A
Pro-Slavery convention draws up the Lecompton Constitution. Dred Scott
decision. Mormon rebellion in Utah. Financial panic in the United
States and Europe.

1858. Admission of Minnesota into the Union. Kansas rejects the
Lecompton Constitution. Senator Douglas debates. Partial establishment
of transatlantic telegraphic communication.

1859. Admission of Oregon into the Union. John Brown’s raid into West
Virginia. His capture, trial, and execution. Petroleum discovered in
the United States. San Juan islands occupied by General Harney.

1860. Abraham Lincoln elected President. Secession of South Carolina.
Kansas prohibits slavery within its boundaries. Lewis Cass, Secretary
of State, resigns because President Buchanan refused to reinforce Major
Anderson at Fort Moultrie, S. C.

1861. Secession of Mississippi, January 9th, followed by Florida,
Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana. Admission of Kansas into the
Union. Jefferson Davis elected president of the Confederate States of
America on February 7th. Bombardment of Fort Sumter.





Seventy-two years after the adoption of the Constitution, called into
being to form “a more perfect union,” and eighty-five years after the
declaration of independence (a space completely covered by the lives
of men still living), a new confederacy of seven Southern states was
formed, and the great political fabric, the exemplar and hope of every
lover of freedom throughout the world, was apparently hopelessly rent.
Of these seven states but two were of the original thirteen--Louisiana
and Florida had been purchased by the government of the Union; a
war had been fought in behalf of Texas; two states, Alabama and
Mississippi, lay within original claims of Georgia, but had been ceded
to the Union and organized as Federal territories.

April 11, 1861, found a fully organized separate government established
for these seven states, with a determination to form a separate nation,
most forcibly expressed by the presence of an army at Charleston,
South Carolina, which next day was to open fire upon a feebly manned
fort, and thus to begin a terrible civil war. The eight other slave
states were in a turmoil of anxiety, leaning toward their sisters of
the farther South through the common sympathy which came of slavery,
but drawn also to the Union through tradition and appreciation of
benefits, and through a realization by a great number of persons that
their interests in slavery were much less than those of the states
which had already seceded.

The North, in the middle of April, was only emerging from a condition
of stupefied amazement at a condition which scarcely any of its
statesmen, and practically none of the men of every-day life, had
thought possible. It was to this crisis that the country had been
brought by the conflicting views of the two great and strongly
divided sections of the Union respecting slavery, and by the national
aspirations which, however little recognized, were working surely in
each section, but upon divergent lines.

       *       *       *       *       *

The outward manifestations in the history of the separation of the
North and the South stand out in strong relief: the Missouri question;
the protective tariff and South Carolina nullification; the abolition
attacks which wrought the South into a frenzy suicidal in character
through its impossible demands upon the North for protection; the
action of the Southern statesmen in the question of petitions; the
passage of a fugitive-slave law which drove the North itself to
nullification; the Kansas-Nebraska act and its outcome of civil
war in the former territory; the recognition, in the dicta of the
supreme court in the Dred Scott case, of the South’s contention of
its constitutional right to carry slavery into the territories, and
the stand taken by the North against any further slavery extension.
To these visible conflicts were added the unconscious workings of
the disruptive forces of a totally distinct social organization. The
outward strifes were but the symptoms of a malady in the body politic
of the Union which could have but one end, unless the deep, abiding
cause, slavery, should be removed.[135]

The president and vice-president of the Southern Confederacy, in
their elaborate defences written after the war, have endeavored to
rest the cause of the struggle wholly on constitutional questions.
Stephens, whose book, not even excepting Calhoun’s utterances, is the
ablest exposition of the Southern reading of the Constitution, says:
“The struggle or conflict, ... from its rise to its culmination, was
between those who, in whatever state they lived, were for maintaining
our Federal system as it was established, and those who were for a
consolidation of power in the central head.”[136] Jefferson Davis
is even more explicit. “The truth remains,” he says, “intact and
incontrovertible, that the existence of African servitude was in
no wise the cause of the conflict, but only an incident. In the
later controversies ... its effect in operating as a lever upon the
passions, prejudices, or sympathies of mankind was so potent that it
has been spread like a thick cloud over the whole horizon of historic

This is but begging the question. The constitutional view had its
weight for the South in 1860 as it had for New England in the
Jefferson-Madison period. Jefferson’s iron domination of the national
government during his presidency, a policy hateful to New England,
combined with the fear of being overweighted in sectional influence by
the western extension through the Louisiana purchase, led to pronounced
threats of secession by men of New England, ardently desirous of
escaping from what Pickering, one of its most prominent men, termed
the Virginian supremacy.[138] Exactly the same arguments were used,
_mutatis mutandis_, later by the South.

As we all know, the movement, which never had any real popular support
and which had its last spasm of life in the Hartford Convention at
the close of the War of 1812, came to naught. Freed by the fall of
Napoleon and the peace with England from the pressure of the upper
and nether mill-stones which had so ground to pieces our commerce, a
prosperity set in which drowned the sporadic discontent of the previous
twenty years. The fears of the Eastern states no longer loomed so high
and were as imaginary in fact, and had as slight a basis, as were, in
the beginning of the era of discord, those of the South. Could slavery
have been otherwise preserved, the extreme decentralizing ideas of the
South would have disappeared with equal ease, and Stephens’ _causa
causans_--“the different and directly opposite views as to the nature
of the government of the United States, and where, under our system,
ultimate sovereign power or paramount authority properly resides,”
would have had no more intensity of meaning in 1860 than to-day.

Divergence of constitutional views, like most questions of government,
follow the lines of self-interest; Jefferson’s qualms gave way before
the great prize of Louisiana; one part of the South was ready in 1832
to go to war on account of a protective tariff; another, Louisiana,
was at the same time demanding protection for her special industry.
The South thus simply shared in our general human nature, and fought,
not for a pure abstraction, as Davis and Stephens, led by Calhoun,
would have it, but for the supposed self-interest which its view of the
Constitution protected. Its section, its society, could not continue to
develop in the Union under the Northern reading of the document, and
the irrepressible and certain nationalization, so different from its
own tendencies, to which the North as a whole was steadily moving.

Slavery drove the South into opposition to the broad, liberal movement
of the age. The French Revolution; the destruction of feudalism by
Napoleon; the later popular movements throughout Europe and South
America; the liberalizing of Great Britain; the nationalistic ideas
of which we have the results in the German empire and the kingdom of
Italy, and the strong nationalistic feeling developing in the northern
part of the Union itself had but little reflex action in the South
because of slavery and the South’s consequent segregation and tendency
to a feudalistic nationalization.


STATUS OF THE FORTS (OCT. 29, 1860–DEC. 20, 1860)

General Scott, with his memories of 1832, was one of those who
appreciated the danger hanging over the country, and, October 29,
1860, he wrote from New York, where he had his headquarters, a letter
of great length to the President, which in pompous phrases, conceding
the right of secession, and embodying some absurd ideas, such as
allowing “the fragments of the great republic to form themselves into
new confederacies, probably four,” as a smaller evil than war, gave
it as his “solemn conviction” that there was, from his knowledge of
the Southern population, “some danger of an early act of rashness
preliminary to secession, viz.: the seizure of some or all of the
following posts: Forts Jackson and St. Philip on the Mississippi;
Morgan below Mobile, all without garrisons; Pickens, McKee at
Pensacola, with an insufficient garrison for one; Pulaski, below
Savannah, without a garrison; Moultrie and Sumter, Charleston harbor,
the former with an insufficient garrison, the latter without any; and
Fort Monroe, Hampton Roads, with an insufficient garrison.”

He gave it as his opinion that “all these works should be immediately
so garrisoned as to make any attempt to take any one of them by
surprise or _coup de main_ ridiculous.” He did not state the number of
men needed, but in a supplementary paper the next day (October 30th)
said, “There is one (regular) company in Boston, one here (at the
Narrows), one at Pittsburg, one at Baton Rouge--in all, five companies
only within reach.”[139] These five companies, about two hundred and
fifty men, were of course absurdly inadequate to garrison nine such
posts, but, had there been a determination in the President’s mind to
prevent seizures, enough men could have been brought together to hold
the more important points.

For Scott’s statement as to the number available was grossly
inaccurate, and but serves to show the parlous state of a war
department in which the general-in-chief can either be so misinformed
or allow himself to remain in ignorance of vital facts. There were but
five points in the farther South of primal importance: the Mississippi,
Mobile, Pensacola, Savannah, and Charleston; two hundred men at each
would have been ample to hold the positions for the time being, and,
being held, reinforcement in any degree would later have been easy.
There was a total of 1048 officers and men at the Northern posts,[140]
including Leavenworth, Mackinac, Plattsburg, Boston, New York, and
Fort Monroe, who could have been drawn upon. There were already 250
men at Charleston, Key West, Pensacola, and Baton Rouge. It is safe
to say that a thousand men were available. There were also some eight
hundred marines at the navy-yards and barracks[141] who could have
been used in such an emergency. The aggregate of the army, June 30,
1860, was 16,006, of which 14,926 were enlisted men; and it was in the
power of the President to increase this total aggregate to 18,626.[142]
Recruiting was, in fact, actively going on; almost every man at the
posts mentioned could, even much after the date of Scott’s paper, have
been safely withdrawn for the object mentioned and quickly replaced.

Scott’s inaccurate report gave Buchanan additional reason for the
inaction which was his basic thought. He says, in his _apologia_,
that “to have attempted to distribute these five companies in the
eight forts of the cotton states and Fortress Monroe in Virginia,
would have been a confession of weakness.... It could have had no
effect in preventing secession, but must have done much to provoke
it.”[143] The first part of this statement would have been true had
these five companies been the only force available; the second, on the
supposition that the President meant that any attempt with a force
reasonably large would have provoked secession, was a short-sighted
view. To garrison the forts could not have been more obnoxious than
to put them in a state of defence. At any time before the secession
of a state they could have been garrisoned without bringing on actual
conflict. The statesmen of the South were well aware that an attack
upon an armed force of the United States, before secession, must place
them irretrievably in the wrong. South Carolina did not secede until
December 20th. To resist the sending of troops before this date to any
of these forts would have been unqualified treason, and for this no one
in the South was prepared. The safety of the secession movement, the
extension of sympathy throughout the South, rested very greatly upon
strict compliance with the forms of law and with the theories of the
Constitution held by that section. At least one ardent secessionist,
Judge Longstreet, recognized this when he appealed to South-Carolinians
to refrain from any act of war; “let the first shot,” he said, “come
from the enemy. _Burn that precept into your hearts._”[144] It was
impossible that the Southern leaders should place themselves, or allow
their people to place them, in the attitude of waging war against the
Union while even in their own view their states still remained within
it. There was, too, still a very large Union sentiment in the South,
though finally swept into the vortex by the principle of going with
the state, which would not have been averse to a determined action on
the part of the President and might have upheld it, as in 1833. Such
vigor would have given this sentiment a working basis, through the
evidence that the Federal authority was to be upheld; and it would have
caused a pause even in the least thoughtful of the secessionists had
they felt that their coast strongholds were to be held and all their
ports to be in the hands of the enemy. In the dearth of manufactures
in the South, the holding of their ports was an essential to Southern
military success. Their closure by blockade was equally an essential
to the success of the North. The strategy of the situation was of
the clearest and most palpable, and with their coast forts in Union
hands warlike action on the part of the South is not conceivable.
One can thus understand the importance of spreading the reiterated
statements of “intense excitement” and “danger of attack” in the event
of reinforcement; statements which, in the circumstances, must be
regarded, if the phrase may be used, in the nature of a gigantic and
successful “bluff.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The military property of the United States at Charleston consisted
of the armory, covering a few acres, where were stored twenty-two
thousand muskets and a considerable number of old, heavy guns, and
of three forts named for South-Carolinians of Union-wide fame. The
smallest of these, Castle Pinckney, was a round, brick structure, in
excellent condition, on a small island directly east of the town and
distant from the wharves but half a mile. It completely commanded
the town, and had a formidable armament of four forty-two-pounders,
fourteen twenty-four-pounders, and four eight-inch sea-coast howitzers.
The powder of the arsenal was here stored. The only garrison was an
ordnance sergeant, who, with his family, looked after the harbor light
which was in the fort.

Almost due east again, and three miles distant, was Fort Moultrie, on
the south end of Sullivan’s Island, a low sand-spit forming the north
side of the harbor entrance. The work had an area of one and a half
acres, and mounted fifty-five guns in barbette. The drifting sands
had piled themselves even with the parapet, and the work was in such
condition as to be indefensible against a land attack. The whole was
but of a piece with the long-continued neglect arising from many years
of peace and the optimistic temperament of a people who never believe
that war can occur until it is upon them; it was the natural outcome of
the almost entire absence of governmental system and forethought of the
time. The fort was garrisoned by two companies, comprising sixty-four
enlisted men and eight officers, of the First regiment of artillery;
the surgeon, band, a hospital steward, and an ordnance sergeant brought
the total up to eighty-four.

Almost south of Moultrie was Cummings Point, on Morris Island, forming
the southern side of the harbor entrance. Nearly midway between this
point and Moultrie, but a half-mile within the line joining them, and
distant three and a half miles from the nearest part of the city,
was Fort Sumter, begun in 1829, and after thirty-one years not yet
finished. Built on a shoal covered at most stages of the tide, it rose
directly out of the water, with two tiers of casemates, and surmounted
by a third tier of guns in barbette. In plan it was very like the
transverse section of the ordinary American house, the apex of the two
sides representing the lines of the roof, looking toward Moultrie.
It was intended for a garrison of six hundred and fifty men and an
armament of one hundred and forty-six guns, of which seventy-eight were
on hand.

On a report made in July by Captain J. G. Foster, repairs on Moultrie
were begun September 14th, and next day upon Sumter, some two hundred
and fifty men being employed. The sand about the walls of Moultrie was
removed, a wet ditch dug, a glacis formed, the guardhouse pierced with
loop-holes, and the four field-guns placed in position for flank attack.

At the end of October, Captain Foster, foreseeing events, requested the
issue of arms to the workmen to protect property, and the Secretary
of War approved the issue of forty muskets, if it should meet the
concurrence of the commanding officer. Colonel Gardner, in reply,
November 5th, doubted the expediency, as most of the laborers were
foreigners, indifferent to which side they took, and wisely advised,
instead, filling up “at once” the two companies at Moultrie with
recruits and sending two companies from Fort Monroe to the two other
forts.[145] The requisition was thus held in abeyance, and the muskets
remained at the arsenal. When, only two days later, Gardner, urged
by the repeated solicitations of his officers, directed the transfer
of musket ammunition to Moultrie, the loading of the schooner was
objected to by the owner of the wharf, and the military store-keeper,
under apparently very inadequate pressure, returned the stores to the
arsenal. A permit, given by the mayor of Charleston next day, for the
removal was very properly declined by Gardner, on the ground that the
city authorities could not control his actions.[146]

The affair, however, cost Gardner his command, by a process described
by the Assistant Secretary of State, Trescot: “I received a telegram
from Charleston, saying that intense excitement prevailed, ... and
that, if the removal was by orders of the Department of War, it
ought to be revoked, otherwise collision was inevitable. Knowing the
Cabinet were then in session, I went over to the White House.... I
took Governor Floyd aside, and he was joined, I think, by Messrs.
Cobb and Toucey, and showed them the telegram. Governor Floyd
replied, ‘Telegraph back at once; say that you have seen me, that no
such orders have been issued, and none such will be issued, under
any circumstances.’” Floyd, a day or so later, gave Trescot “his
impressions of the folly of Colonel Gardner’s conduct, and his final
determination to remove him and supply his place with Major Robert
Anderson, in whose discretion, coolness, and judgment he put great
confidence. He also determined to send Colonel Ben. Huger to take
charge of the arsenal, believing that his high reputation, his close
association with many of the most influential people in Charleston,
and the fact of his being a Carolinian, would satisfy the state of the
intention of the government.”[147]

That Floyd himself was in an uncertain state of mind is shown by his
willingness to begin and continue the work upon the forts; that his
mental state did not permit logical action is clear from his temper
and attitude regarding the transfer of musket ammunition November
7th, though but the week before (October 31st) he had authorized the
transfer of the muskets themselves.

Major Fitz-John Porter, of the adjutant-general’s office, later the
able and ill-treated general, was sent to Charleston to inspect the
conditions. His report, made November 11th, revealed the military
inefficiency almost inseparable from a post so neglected and
ill-manned, and subject to the lazy peace conditions of the period. He
said: “The unguarded state of the fort invites attack, if such design
exists, and much discretion and prudence are required on the part
of the commander to restore the proper security without exciting a
community prompt to misconstrue actions of authority. I think this can
be effected by a proper commander without checking in the slightest the
progress of the engineer in completing the works of defence.” Major
Porter continues with a most significant phrase, “All could have been
easily arranged a few weeks since, when the danger was foreseen by the
present commander.”[148]

November 15th, Anderson was ordered to the command. A Kentuckian by
birth, his wife a Georgian, his views in sympathy with those of General
Scott, he appeared to be and, as results proved, was in many respects
particularly fitted for the post; by November 23d he was able to report
that in two weeks the outer defences of Moultrie would be finished
and the guns mounted, and that Sumter was ready for the comfortable
accommodation of one company, and, indeed, for the temporary reception
of its proper garrison. “This,” he said, “is the key to the entrance
to this harbor; its guns command this work [Moultrie] and could drive
out its occupants. It should be garrisoned at once.... So important
do I consider the holding of Castle Pinckney by the government that
I recommend, if the troops asked for cannot be sent at once, that
I be authorized to place an engineer detachment [of an officer and
thirty workmen] ... to make the repairs needed there.... If my force
was not so very small, I would not hesitate to send a detachment at
once to garrison that work. Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney _must_ be
garrisoned immediately if the government determines to keep command of
this harbor.”

Anderson proceeded to give advice which sane judgment and every
sentiment of national honor demanded. After mentioning his anxiety to
avoid collision with the citizens of South Carolina, he said: “Nothing,
however, will be better calculated to prevent bloodshed than our being
found in such an attitude that it would be madness and folly to attack
us. There is not so much feverish excitement as there was last week,
but that there is a settled determination to leave the Union, and
obtain possession of this work, is apparent to all.... The clouds are
threatening, and the storm may break upon us at any moment. I do, then,
most earnestly entreat that a reinforcement be immediately sent to this
garrison, and that at least two companies be sent at the same time to
Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney.” Anderson also stated his belief that
as soon as the people of South Carolina learned that he had demanded
reinforcements they would occupy Pinckney and attack Moultrie; and
therefore it was vitally important to embark the troops in war steamers
and designate them for other duty as a blind.[149] Captain Foster,
November 24th, reported the whole of the barbette tier of Sumter
ready for its armament and as presenting an excellent appearance of
preparation and strength equal to seventy per cent. of its efficiency
when finished.[150] He said, November 30th, “I think more troops
should have been sent here to guard the forts, and I believe that no
serious demonstration on the part of the populace would have met such a

The work on the forts was, of course, well known to the people of
Charleston, and that at Moultrie, at least, subject to daily inspection
by many visitors. There was still no restriction “upon any intercourse
with Charleston, many of whose citizens were temporary residents of
Sullivan’s Island. The activity about the fort drew to it a large
number of visitors daily, and the position of the garrison and the
probable action of the state in regard to the forts were constant
subjects of discussion. There was as yet no unfriendly feeling
manifested, and the social intercourse between the garrison and their
friends in Charleston was uninterrupted. But as the days went on the
feeling assumed a more definite shape, and found expression in many
ways.... It was openly announced, both to the commanding officer and
to his officers, that as soon as the state seceded a demand for the
delivery of the forts would be made, and, if resisted, they would be
taken.... Meantime, all of the able-bodied men in Charleston were
enrolled, military companies were formed everywhere, and drilling went
on by night and day, and with the impression among them that they were
to attack Fort Moultrie.”[152] November 28th and December 1st, Anderson
again pressed for troops or for ships of war in the harbor;[153] but
his last request was anticipated in a letter of the same date, when
he was informed by the War Department, “from information thought to
be reliable, that an attack will not be made on your command, and the
Secretary has only to refer to his conversation with you and to caution
you that, should his convictions unhappily prove untrue, your actions
must be such as to be free from the charge of initiating a collision.
If attacked, you are of course expected to defend the trust committed
to you to the best of your ability.”[154]

A demand being made by the adjutant of a South Carolina regiment on
the engineer officer at Moultrie for a list of his workmen, “as it was
desired to enroll the men upon them for military duty,”[155] Anderson
asked for instructions. The War Department replied, December 14th,
“If the state authorities demand any of Captain Foster’s workmen on
the ground of their being enrolled into the service of the state, ...
you will, after fully satisfying yourself that the men are subject
to enrolment, and have been properly enrolled, ... cause them to be
delivered up or suffer them to depart.” Banality could go no further,
and Anderson, December 18th, informed the department that, as he
understood it, “the South Carolina authorities sought to enroll as a
part of their army intended to act against the forces of the United
States men who are employed by and in the pay of that government, and
could not, as I conceived, be enrolled by South Carolina ‘under the
laws of the United States and of the state of South Carolina.’” No
answer was vouchsafed to this, and the request was not complied with.

Anderson’s repeated statements of the necessity of the occupancy of
Sumter, without which his own position was untenable, led to the
despatch of Major Buell, a Kentuckian, and later a major-general of
United States volunteers, with verbal instructions, which, however,
on Buell’s own motion, and with the thought that Anderson should
have written evidence, were reduced, December 11th, to writing. This
memorandum is of such importance that it must be given in full.

“You are aware of the great anxiety of the Secretary of War that a
collision of the troops with the people of this state shall be avoided,
and of his studied determination to pursue a course with reference to
the military force and forts in this harbor which shall guard against
such a collision. He has therefore carefully abstained from increasing
the force at this point, or taking any measures which might add to the
present excited state of the public mind, or which would throw any
doubt on the confidence he feels that South Carolina will not attempt,
by violence, to obtain possession of the public works or interfere with
their occupancy. But as the counsels and acts of rash and impulsive
persons may possibly disappoint those expectations of the government,
he deems it proper that you should be prepared with instructions to
meet so unhappy a contingency. He has therefore directed me verbally to
give you such instructions. You are carefully to avoid every act which
would needlessly tend to provoke aggression; and for that reason you
are not without evident and imminent necessity to take up any position
which could be construed in the assumption of a hostile attitude. But
you are to hold possession of the forts in the harbor, and if attacked
you are to defend yourself to the last extremity. The smallness of
your force will not permit you, perhaps, to occupy more than one of
the three forts, but an attack on, or attempt to take possession of,
any one of them will be regarded as an act of hostility, and you may
then put your command into either of them which you may deem most
proper to increase its power of resistance. You are also authorized to
take similar steps whenever you have tangible evidence of a design to
proceed to a hostile act.”[156]

These instructions did not come to the President’s knowledge until
December 21st, though a despatch from Washington, December 13th,
published in the _Charleston Courier_, announced Major Buell’s visit;
when made known to the President, he directed them to be modified,
ordering that if “attacked by a force so superior that resistance
would, in your judgment, be a useless waste of life, it will be your
duty to yield to necessity and make the best terms in your power.”[157]

December 3d, Anderson placed Lieutenant Jefferson C. Davis with thirty
men in Castle Pinckney, and began work there. Action upon a request for
arms for the workmen at Sumter and Pinckney was deferred by the War
Department “for the present,” but Captain Foster going to the arsenal,
December 17th, for two gins for hoisting, “to the transmission of which
there was no objection,” arranged with the store-keeper that the old
order of the Ordnance Department of November 1st, for forty muskets,
should be complied with, which was done. “Intense excitement” as usual
was reported the next day to have occurred; there was the reiteration
of great danger of “violent demonstration” from a military official of
the state who called upon Foster, and who stated that Colonel Huger
had informed the governor that no arms should be removed. Foster
declined to return the arms, stating that he knew nothing of Huger’s
pledge, but was willing to refer the matter to Washington. Trescot
was informed by telegraph that “not a moment’s time should be lost.”
The Secretary of War was aroused in the depths of the night, and the
result was a telegraphic order from Floyd himself to “return [the
arms] instantly.”[158] The go-between Assistant Secretary of State, so
busily engaged with affairs not his own, received from the aide-de-camp
of Governor Pickens the telegram: “The Governor says he is glad of
your despatch, for otherwise there would have been imminent danger.
Earnestly urge that there be no transfer of troops from Fort Moultrie
to Fort Sumter and inform Secretary of War.”[159] Captain Foster,
explaining to the War Department, December 20, 1860, says, “when in
town to see General Schnierle and allay any excitement relative to the
muskets, I found to my surprise that there was no excitement except
with a very few who had been active in the matter, and the majority of
the gentlemen whom I met had not even heard of it.”[160]

Pickens, the new governor of South Carolina, December 17th, the day
after his inauguration, and before the state had passed the ordinance
of secession, made a demand on the President for the delivery of Fort
Sumter. The letter, drawn in the most offensive terms, and marked
“strictly confidential,” urged that all work be stopped and that no
more troops be ordered. It continued: “It is not improbable that, under
orders from the commandant, or, perhaps, from the commander-in-chief
of the army, the alteration and defences of the posts are progressing
without the knowledge of yourself or the Secretary of War. The arsenal
in the city of Charleston, with the public arms, I am informed, was
turned over very properly to the keeping and defence of the state
force at the urgent request of the Governor of South Carolina. I
would most respectfully, and from a sincere devotion to the public
peace, request that you would allow me to send a small force, not
exceeding twenty-five men and an officer, to take possession of Fort
Sumter immediately, in order to give a feeling of safety to the

The ever-ready Trescot arranged an interview December 20th with the
President for the delivery of the letter. The President stated that he
would give an answer the next day. In the mean time Trescot, seeing
the difficulties to which it led, consulted both Senators Davis and
Slidell, who thought the demand “could do nothing but mischief”;
and on consultation with two of the South Carolina delegation in
Washington, Governor Pickens was advised by telegraph to withdraw
the letter, which was done. Trescot’s letter to Governor Pickens,
returning that of the latter, after mentioning all that had been done
by the executive to refrain from injuring the sensibilities of South
Carolina, said: The President’s “course had been violently denounced
by the Northern press, and an effort was being made to institute a
Congressional investigation. At that moment he could not have gone to
the extent of action you desired, and I felt confident that, if forced
to answer your letter then, he would have taken such ground as would
have prevented his even approaching it hereafter; ... you had all the
advantage of knowing the truth, without the disadvantage of having it
put on record.... I was also perfectly satisfied that the status of
the garrison would not be disturbed.... I have had this morning an
interview with Governor Floyd, the Secretary of War; ... while I cannot
even here venture into details, which are too confidential to be risked
in any way, I am prepared to say ... that nothing will be done which
will either do you injury or properly create alarm.”[162]

The President’s painful weakness is but too clear in the fact that
he had not only given his confidence so largely to such a man, whose
position and attitude he knew, but saw nothing derogatory in such a
letter as that of Governor Pickens, and could draft a reply (December
20th) in which, while stating that no authority had been given to
Governor Gist to guard the Charleston arsenal, he said: “I deeply
regret to observe that you seem entirely to have misapprehended my
position, which I supposed had been clearly stated in my message. I
have incurred, and shall incur, any reasonable risk ... to prevent
a collision.... Hence I have declined for the present to reinforce
these forts, relying upon the honor of the South-Carolinians that they
will not be assaulted whilst they remain in their present condition;
but that commissioners will be sent by the convention _to treat with
Congress_ on the subject.”[163]

December 18th the President sent Caleb Cushing with a letter to
Governor Pickens, with the idea of inducing the authorities and people
of South Carolina to await the action of Congress and the development
of opinion in the North as to the recommendation of his message.
Governor Pickens told Cushing, December 20th, the day of the passage of
the ordinance of secession, that he would make no reply to the letter,
and stated “very candidly that there was no hope for the Union, and
that, as far as he was concerned, he intended to maintain the separate
independence of South Carolina.”[164]


THE FORT SUMTER CRISIS (DEC. 2, 1860–JAN. 8, 1861)

The question of the United States forts was now uppermost, and upon the
action regarding them hung war or peace. Three commissioners--Robert
W. Barnwell, James H. Adams, and James L. Orr--were appointed by South
Carolina to lay the ordinance of secession before the President and
Congress, and were empowered as agents of the state to treat for the
delivery of the forts and other real estate, for the apportionment of
the public debt, and for a division of all the property of the United

In apprehension of the occupation of Sumter by Anderson, a patrol by
two small steamers, the _Nina_ and _General Clinch_, was established,
with orders to prevent such action at all hazards and seize Fort Sumter
if it should be attempted. A Lieutenant-Colonel Green was sent to
Fort Monroe to observe any movements; and one Norris, at Norfolk, was
employed to give information of any action at the Norfolk navy-yard.
A committee of prominent men was sent to Fort Sumter, who thoroughly
inspected the works and reported upon them.

Meantime, Major Anderson had been preparing, with great caution and
foresight, to move his command. For some ten days the officers had
been apprised that it was advisable to send the families of the men
to the unoccupied barracks on James’ Island, known as Fort Johnson, a
mile and a quarter west of Sumter. The work of mounting guns at Sumter
had been discontinued for three days, and the elevating-screws and
pintle-bolts sent to Moultrie so that the guns should not be used if
the South-Carolinians should anticipate his action, and also to give
the impression that occupancy of the fort was not designed. All stores
and provisions at Fort Moultrie which could be carried, and personal
belongings, except what the men could carry in their knapsacks, were
loaded as for Fort Johnson in the two small sailing-vessels which were
to carry the women and children.

Christmas Day had been fixed for the transfer, but heavy rains
prevented. The delay might have had other consequences, for, curiously
enough, on the morning of December 26th, Colonel R. B. Rhett, Jr.,
waited upon the governor, with a private warning letter from Washington
to the effect that Anderson was about to seize Sumter, and urged the
governor to secure it.[166]

All was made ready on December 26th, and the quartermaster who was
to have charge of the little flotilla, loaded with “everything in
the household line from boxes and barrels of provisions to cages of
canary-birds,” was directed to go to Fort Johnson, but not to land
anything. Upon a signal of two guns from Moultrie he was to go to
Sumter on the plea that he had to report to Anderson that he could not
find accommodations. Five pulling-boats in customary use were available
for the transportation of the men. Only one officer had been thus far
informed, and the men had no suspicion where they were to go when
they fell in at retreat roll-call with packed knapsacks and filled
cartridge-boxes, carried at parade under a general standing order. So
little was the movement suspected that Captain Doubleday, second in
command, came at sunset to Anderson in the midst of the officers to
invite the major to tea. He was then informed of Anderson’s intentions,
and was directed to have his company in readiness in twenty minutes,
an order met by an “eager obedience.” Part of this time was taken in
arranging for the safety of Mrs. Doubleday in the village outside of
the fort, whither the families of the other officers were also sent.
The men were ready promptly, and the first detachment of twenty, led
by Anderson himself, marched over the quarter of a mile of sand to the
landing-place with the good-fortune of encountering, no one.

Anderson went in the leading boat. Lieutenant Meade, the engineer in
charge of the works at Castle Pinckney, had charge of the second, and
Captain Doubleday of the third. When half-way across, Doubleday’s boat
came unexpectedly in the path of one of the patrol boats, the _General
Clinch_, which was towing a schooner to sea. The men were ordered to
take off their coats and cover their muskets. The steamer stopped, but
in the twilight, and with the resemblance of the boat and its load of
men to the usual parties of workmen, suspicion was not aroused, and the
steamer resumed her way without questioning. She had been anxiously
watched from Moultrie, and had she interfered would have been fired
upon by a thirty-two-pounder, two of which had been loaded with that
intent. Captain Foster, with Assistant Surgeon Crawford, a Mr. Moall,
four non-commissioned officers, and seven privates, had been left at
Moultrie to spike the guns, burn the gun-carriages, and hew down the

On reaching Sumter, the workmen, some hundred and fifty, swarmed to
the wharf, some feebly cheering, many angrily demanding the reason for
the presence of the soldiers; many of the workmen wore the secession
cockade; the malecontents (a number of whom shortly returned to
Charleston) quickly gave way before the bayonets of Doubleday’s men,
who at once occupied the main entrance and guard-room; sentries were
posted and the fort was under military control. Boats were now sent
back for Captain Seymour’s company, which arrived without interference,
and the whole force, except the few detailed to remain at Moultrie,
was in Sumter before eight o’clock, at which hour Anderson wrote
the Adjutant-General, reporting that he had “just completed, by the
blessing of God, the removal to this fort of all my garrison.... The
step which I have taken was, in my opinion, necessary to prevent the
effusion of blood.”[168] On the firing of the signal-guns at Moultrie,
Lieutenant Hall left the west side of the bay with the two lighters
carrying the men’s families and stores, and reached Sumter under sail.

With the help of the engineer’s workmen at Moultrie, the boats were
loaded during the night with part of the impedimenta of every sort
which had to be left in the first crossing, and reached Sumter in
the early dawn. The following day, December 27th, was passed like
the preceding night, in transferring ammunition and other stores to
Sumter; but a month and a half’s supply of provisions, some fuel, and
personal effects had to be left. All the guns at Moultrie were spiked,
and the carriages of those bearing on Sumter burned, the smoke from
these bearing to Charleston the first indication of what had happened.
At fifteen minutes before noon the command and one hundred and fifty
workmen were formed in a square near the flag-staff of Sumter; the
chaplain offered a prayer expressing gratitude for their safe arrival,
and prayed that the flag might never be dishonored, but soon float
again over the whole country, a peaceful and prosperous nation. “When
the prayer was finished, Major Anderson, who had been kneeling, arose,
the battalion presented arms, the band played the national air, and
the flag went to the head of the flag-staff, amid the loud and earnest
huzzas of the command.”[169]


Intense excitement in Charleston was the natural outcome of Anderson’s
action, and the morning of the 27th the governor sent his aide-de-camp,
Colonel Pettigrew, accompanied by Major Capers, with a peremptory
demand that Anderson should return with his garrison to Moultrie, to
which Anderson replied, “Make my compliments to the governor and say to
him that I decline to accede to his request; I cannot and will not go
back.” The governor’s messenger mentioned that when Governor Pickens
came into office he found an understanding between his predecessor
(Gist) and the President, by which the status in the harbor was to
remain unchanged. Anderson stated “that he knew nothing of it; that
he could get no information or positive orders from Washington; ...
that he had reason to believe that [the state troops] meant to land
and attack him from the north; that the desire of the governor to have
the matter settled peaceably and without bloodshed was precisely his
own object in transferring his command; ... that he did it upon his
own responsibility alone,” as safety required it, “and as he had the
right to do.” He added that, “In this controversy between the North
and the South, my sympathies are entirely with the South,” but that a
sense of duty to his trust was first.[170] The immediate result was the
occupancy by the state forces, December 27th, of Pinckney and Moultrie;
the seizure, December 30th, of the unoccupied barracks known as Fort
Johnson, and of the arsenal, with its ordnance and ordnance stores,
valued at four hundred thousand dollars.

The news of Anderson’s dramatic, bold, and self-reliant act, one
for which the country owes a debt to the memory of this upright and
excellent commander, brought consternation to the President and
Secretary of War, who learned it through the indefatigable Trescot,
who had, on the 26th, arranged for the three commissioners of
South Carolina an interview with the President for December 27th,
at one o’clock. The news of the morning brought a complete change
of circumstances. A telegram to Wigfall was brought by him to the
commissioners and to the Secretary of War, who at once went to the
commissioners. Trescot was present, and could not believe in an “act
not only without orders but in the face of orders.” Floyd at once
telegraphed, asking an explanation of the report. “It is not believed,
because there is no order for any such movement.” A telegram in reply
from Anderson assured him of the truth, and a written report gave as
reasons that “many things convinced me that the authorities of the
state designed to proceed to a hostile act. Under this impression I
could not hesitate that it was my solemn duty to move my command from a
fort which we could not have held probably longer than forty-eight or
sixty hours to this one where my power of resistance is increased to a
very great degree.”[171]

[In January a futile attempt to relieve Fort Sumter was made by sending
from New York two hundred troops in an unarmed steamer, _The Star of
the West_, which was fired upon by the secessionists in Fort Moultrie,
and, receiving no support from Fort Sumter, returned to New York.]



Lamon’s[172] officiousness resulted in giving both to Anderson and to
the Confederate authorities an impression that Sumter would surely be
evacuated; hence Beauregard, March 26th, wrote to Anderson offering
facilities for removal, but asking his word of honor that the fort
would be left without any preparation for its destruction or injury.
This demand deeply wounded Anderson, and he resented it in a letter
of the same date, saying, “If I can only be permitted to leave on the
pledge you mention, I shall never, so help me God, leave this fort
alive.”[173] Beauregard hastened to state that he had only alluded to
the “pledge” on account of the “high source” from which the rumors
appeared to come, and made a full amend, which re-established their
usual relations.

Anderson had informed Fox that, by placing the command on a short
allowance, he could make the provisions last until after April 10th;
but not receiving instructions from the War Department that it was
desirable to do so, it had not been done.[174] He had already reported,
March 31st, that his last barrel of flour had been issued two days

Anderson’s little command, as he explained to Washington April 1st,
would now face starvation should the daily supply of fresh meat and
vegetables, still allowed from Charleston, be cut off. Being in daily
expectation, since the return of Colonel Lamon to Washington, of
receiving orders to vacate the post, he had, to the great disadvantage
of the food supply, kept the engineer laborers as long as he could.
He now asked permission to send them from Sumter; but the request,
referred to Montgomery April 2d by Beauregard, was refused, unless all
the garrison should go.[176]

April 1st an ice-laden schooner bound for Savannah entered Charleston
harbor by mistake, and was fired upon by a Morris Island battery. Again
the Sumter batteries were manned and a consultation held, at which
five of the eight officers declared in favor of opening fire, but no
action was taken by Anderson beyond sending an officer to the offending
battery, from which word was returned by its commanding officer that he
was simply carrying out his orders to fire upon any vessel carrying the
United States colors which attempted to enter.

On April 4th Anderson assembled his officers, and for the first time
made known to them the orders of January 10th and February 23d,
directing him to act strictly on the defensive. As Lieutenant Talbot
had just been promoted captain and ordered to Washington, Anderson
determined to send by him his despatches. In order to arrange for his
departure, Talbot, April 4th, accompanied Lieutenant Snyder, under a
white flag, to call the attention of the governor to the fact that the
schooner fired upon had not been warned by one of their own vessels,
as had been arranged. It developed that the guard-vessel on duty
had come in on account of heavy weather, and the commanding officer
was consequently dismissed. The request to allow Talbot to proceed
brought out the fact that orders had been received from Montgomery
not to allow any portion of the garrison to leave the fort unless
all should go[177]--which, however, Beauregard construed, for the
benefit of Talbot, to apply more particularly to laborers and enlisted
men[178]--and also that the following telegram from Commissioner
Crawford had reached Charleston April 1st: “I am authorized to say that
this government will not undertake to supply Sumter without notice to
you. My opinion is that the President has not the courage to execute
the order agreed upon in Cabinet for the evacuation of the fort, but
that he intends to shift the responsibility upon Major Anderson by
suffering him to be starved out. Would it not be well to aid in this
by cutting off all supplies?”[179] Beauregard had, the same day, sent
the message to the Confederate Secretary of War, with the remark,
“Batteries here ready to open Wednesday or Thursday. What instructions?”


April, 1861]

The knowledge of these telegrams called from Anderson, April 5th,
a pathetic despatch to the War Department: “I cannot but think Mr.
Crawford has misunderstood what he has heard in Washington, as I cannot
think the government could abandon, without instructions and without
advice, a command which has tried to do all its duty to our country.”
He ended a fervent appeal for this act of justice with, “Unless we
receive supplies I shall be compelled to stay here without food or
to abandon this post very early next week.”[180] “At this time,” says
Doubleday, “the seeming indifference of the politicians to our fate
made us feel like orphan children of the Republic, deserted by both the
State and Federal administration.”[181]

Two days later Anderson received a letter of April 4th from the
Secretary of War, informing him of the government’s purpose to send
the Fox expedition, and hoping that he would be able to sustain
himself until the 11th or 12th.[182] The same day he was informed by
the Confederate authorities that the supply of provisions had been
stopped, and late that evening that no mails coming or going would be
allowed to pass. The fort was to be “completely isolated.” This action
was undoubtedly taken at this moment in consequence of a telegram from
Washington sent Magrath April 6th, as follows: “Positively determined
not to withdraw Anderson. Supplies go immediately, supported by naval
force under Stringham if their landing be resisted.” This telegram,
signed “A Friend,” was, as later became known, from James E. Harvey,
who was about to go as United States minister to Portugal. It was sent
to Montgomery, and had its full effect.[183]

Just before the reception of the information regarding the stoppage of
mails, Anderson had posted his acknowledgment of the War Department’s
letter of the 4th and a report by Foster to the chief-engineer of
the army; both letters were opened by the Confederate authorities,
and gave full confirmation of the accuracy of the telegram from “A
Friend.” Anderson said that “the resumption of work yesterday (Sunday)
at various points on Morris Island, and the vigorous prosecution of
it this morning, ... shows that they have either received some news
from Washington which has put them on the _qui vive_, or that they have
received orders from Montgomery to commence operations here. I fear”
that Fox’s attempt “cannot fail to be disastrous to all concerned....
We have not oil enough to keep a light in lanterns for one night. The
boats will have therefore to rely at night entirely upon other marks. I
ought to have been informed that this expedition was to come. Colonel
Lamon’s remark convinced me that the idea merely hinted at to me by
Captain Fox would not be carried out. We shall strive to do our duty,
though I frankly say that my heart is not in the war which I see is to
be thus commenced.”[184]

As shown by despatches which Anderson had no means of sending, and
carried north, eight guard-boats and signal-vessels were on duty out
far beyond the bar; a fourth gun had been added to the new battery
on Sullivan’s Island, which had until the 8th been masked by a house
now torn down, and which bore directly upon any boat attempting to
land stores on the left bank. There was bread enough to last, using
half-rations, until dinner-time Friday (12th). Anderson reported the
command in fine spirits. It was evident that a hostile force was
expected. The iron-clad floating battery appeared the morning of the
11th at the west end of Sullivan’s Island. Anderson, in ignorance
that his own intercepted letter and Harvey’s telegram had given them
all they needed to know, said: “Had they been in possession of the
information contained in your letter of the 4th instant they could not
have made better arrangements than these they have made and are making
to thwart the contemplated scheme.”[185]

Chew, who, as mentioned, had been selected as the messenger to carry
to Charleston the notice of the President’s intention to attempt to
provision Sumter, left Washington Saturday, April 6th, at 6 P.M., in
company with Captain Talbot, and reached Charleston forty-eight hours
later; finding no action taken against Sumter, he delivered a copy of
his memorandum to the governor, who called General Beauregard into
the consultation. Captain Talbot’s request to join the garrison at
Sumter was referred to Beauregard, and peremptorily refused, Beauregard
remarking that the instructions from Montgomery required that no
communication whatever should be permitted with Anderson except to
convey an order for the evacuation of the fort.[186] The return of
the envoys to Washington was much delayed by disarrangement of trains
by order of Beauregard, who also held all telegrams from Chew to

Sumter now mounted fifty-nine guns, twenty-seven of the heaviest of
which were in barbette (the upper and open tier). In the lowest tier
there were also twenty-seven, four of which were forty-two-pounders
and the remainder thirty-two’s. The ports of the second (or middle
tier), eight feet square, were closed by a three-foot brick wall,
laid in cement and backed in twenty-seven of the more exposed by two
feet of sand kept in place by planks or barrels. On the parade were
one 10-inch and four 8-inch guns, mounted as howitzers, the former to
throw shells into Charleston, the latter into the batteries on Cummings
Point. The guns bearing upon the three batteries on the west end of
Sullivan’s Island were ten thirty-two-pounders; on Fort Moultrie, two
forty-three-pounders. Five guns bore upon the mortar battery at Fort
Johnson. Seven hundred cartridges had been made up, material of every
kind, even the woollen shirts of the men, being used.[188]

Bearing upon Fort Sumter there were on Sullivan’s Island three
8-inch, two thirty-two-pounders, and six twenty-four-pounders in
Fort Moultrie; two thirty-two-pounders and two twenty-four-pounders
in the new enfilade battery; one 9-inch, two forty-two-pounders, and
two thirty-two-pounders at the Point and aboard the floating battery,
and six 10-inch mortars; on Morris Island, two forty-two-pounders, one
twelve-pounder Blakely rifle, three 8-inch guns, and seven 10-inch
mortars; at Fort Johnson, one twenty-four-pounder and four 10-inch
mortars; at Mount Pleasant, one 10-inch mortar: a total of twenty-seven
guns and eighteen mortars.[189] The latter were particularly to be
feared, as mortar fire under the conditions of a fixed target and
perfectly established distances is extremely accurate. The interior of
the fort was thus as vulnerable as the exterior.

Governor Pickens at once sent to Montgomery a telegram reporting the
visit of the President’s messenger. A lengthy discussion ensued in the
Confederate Cabinet. Toombs, the Secretary of State, said: “The firing
upon that fort will inaugurate a civil war greater than any the world
has yet seen; and I do not feel competent to advise you.”[190] In the
state of Southern feeling, however, the only thing possible was for
Secretary Walker to order Beauregard, April 10th, “If you have no doubt
of the authorized character of the agent who communicated to you the
intention of the Washington government to supply Sumter by force, you
will at once demand its evacuation, and if this is refused proceed,
in such manner as you may determine, to reduce it.”[191] Beauregard
answered the same day, “The demand will be made to-morrow at twelve
o’clock.” To this came reply from Montgomery, “Unless there are special
reasons connected with your own condition, it is considered proper that
you should make the demand at an earlier date.” Beauregard replied (all
these of the same date, the 10th), “The reasons are special for twelve
o’clock.”[192] These imperative “reasons” proved to be shortness of
powder, then on its way, and which arrived from Augusta, Georgia, that
evening,[193] and the placing of a new rifled twelve-pounder.

Shortly after noon, April 11th, a boat bearing a white flag and three
officers, the senior being Colonel James Chesnut, recently a United
States senator, pushed off from a Charleston wharf and arrived at
Sumter at half-past three. The officers being conducted to Anderson,
a demand for the evacuation of the work was delivered. The officers
of the fort were summoned, and after an hour’s discussion it was
determined, without dissent, to refuse the demand, and a written
refusal was sent, in which Anderson regretted that his sense of honor
and his obligations to his government prevented his compliance.[194]
Anderson accompanied the messengers as far as the main gate, where he
asked, “Will General Beauregard open his batteries without further
notice to me?” Colonel Chesnut replied, “I think not,” adding, “No, I
can say to you that he will not, without giving you further notice.” On
this Anderson unwisely remarked that he would be starved out anyway in
a few days if Beauregard did not batter him to pieces with his guns.
Chesnut asked if he might report this to Beauregard. Anderson declined
to give it such character, but said it was the fact.[195]

This information, telegraphed to Montgomery, elicited the reply: “Do
not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumter. If Major Anderson will
state the time at which, as indicated by him, he will evacuate, and
agree that in the mean time he will not use his guns against us unless
ours should be employed against Sumter, you are authorized thus to
avoid the effusion of blood. If this or its equivalent be refused,
reduce the fort as your judgment decides to be most practicable.”[196]

A second note from Beauregard was presented that night, and after a
conference with his officers of three hours, in which the question of
food was the main consideration, Anderson replied, “I will, if provided
with proper and necessary means of transportation, evacuate Fort Sumter
by noon on the 15th instant ... should I not receive prior to that time
controlling instructions from my government or additional supplies.”
The terms of the reply were considered by the messengers “manifestly
futile,” and at 3.20 A.M. of the 12th the following note was handed
by Beauregard’s aides, Chesnut and Lee, to Anderson: “By authority of
Brigadier-General Beauregard, commanding the provisional forces of
the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that he will
open the fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this

Meantime Fox, intrusted with the general charge of the relief
expedition, was sent by the President, March 30th, to New York, with
verbal instructions to prepare for the voyage but to make no binding
engagements. Not having received the written authority expected, he
returned to Washington April 2d, and on the 4th the final decision was
reached, and Fox was informed that a messenger would be sent to the
authorities at Charleston to notify them of the President’s action. Fox
mentioned to the President that he would have but nine days to charter
vessels and reach Charleston, six hundred and thirty-two miles distant.
He arrived at New York April 5th, bearing an order from General Scott
to Lieutenant-Colonel H. L. Scott (son-in-law and aide-de-camp to the
general-in-chief), embracing all his wants and directing Colonel Scott
to give in his name all necessary instructions. Colonel Scott ridiculed
the idea of relief, and his indifference caused the loss of half a day
of precious time, besides furnishing recruits who, Fox complained, were
“totally unfit” for the service they were sent on.[198]

Fox at once engaged the large steamer _Baltic_ for troops and stores,
and, after great difficulty, obtained three tugs, the _Uncle Ben_,
_Freeborn_, and _Yankee_, the last fitted to throw hot water. The
_Pocahontas_, _Pawnee_, and the revenue-cutter _Harriet Lane_, as
already mentioned, were to be a part of the force, which thus, with the
_Powhatan_, included four armed vessels, the last being of considerable
power. The _Pawnee_, Commander Rowan, sailed from Washington the 9th;
the _Pocahontas_, Captain Gillis, from Norfolk the 10th; the _Harriet
Lane_, Captain Faunce, from New York the 8th; the _Baltic_, Captain
Fletcher, the 9th. The _Powhatan_ was already far on her way to

The _Baltic_ arrived at the rendezvous, ten miles east of Charleston
bar, at 3 A.M. of the 12th, and found there the _Harriet Lane_; at six
the _Pawnee_ arrived; the _Powhatan_ was not visible. The _Baltic_,
followed by the _Harriet Lane_, stood in toward the land, where heavy
guns were heard and the smoke and shells from the batteries which had
opened that morning on Sumter were distinctly visible. Fox stood out to
inform Rowan, of the _Pawnee_. Rowan asked for a pilot, declaring his
intention of going in and sharing the fate of his brethren of the army.
Fox went aboard the _Pawnee_ and informed him that he would answer for
it that the government did not expect such a sacrifice, having settled
maturely upon the policy in instructions to Captain Mercer and himself.
The _Nashville_, from New York, and a number of merchant vessels off
the bar, gave the appearance of the presence of a large naval fleet.

The weather continued very bad, with a heavy sea. No tugboats had
arrived; the tug _Freeborn_ did not leave New York; the _Uncle Ben_ was
driven into Wilmington by the gale; the _Yankee_ did not arrive off
Charleston bar until April 15th, too late for any service; neither the
_Pawnee_ nor the _Harriet Lane_ had boats or men to carry supplies;
the _Baltic_ stood out to the rendezvous and signalled all night for
the expected _Powhatan_. The next morning, the 13th, was thick and
foggy, with a heavy ground-swell, and the _Baltic_, feeling her way in,
touched on Rattlesnake Shoal, but without damage; a great volume of
black smoke was seen from Sumter. No tugboats had yet arrived, and a
schooner near by, loaded with ice, was seized and preparations made to
load her for entering the following night. Going aboard the _Pawnee_,
Fox now learned that a note from Captain Mercer of the _Powhatan_
mentioned that he had been detached by superior authority and that the
ship had gone elsewhere; though Fox had left New York two days later
than the _Powhatan_, he had no intimation of the change. At 2 P.M.,
April 13th, the _Pocahontas_ arrived, and the squadron, powerless for
relief, through the absence of the _Powhatan_ and the tugs, was obliged
to witness the progress of the bombardment.[199]

“About 4 A.M. on the twelfth,” says Doubleday, “I was awakened by some
one groping about my room in the dark and calling out my name.” This
was Anderson, who had come to inform his second in command of the
information just received of the intention of the Confederates to open
fire an hour later.[200] At 4.30, the Confederates being able to make
out the outline of the fort, a gun at Fort Johnson was fired as the
signal to open; the first shotted gun was then fired from Morris Island
by Edmund Ruffin, an aged secessionist from Virginia, who had long, in
pamphlet and speech, advocated separation from the Union. The fire
from the batteries at once became general.

The fort began its return at seven o’clock. All the officers and men,
including the engineers, had been divided into three reliefs of two
hours each, and the forty-three workmen yet remaining all volunteered
for duty. It was, however, an absurdly meagre force to work such a
number of guns and to be pitted against the surrounding batteries,
manned by more than six thousand men. The number of cartridges was so
reduced by the middle of the day, though the six needles available
were kept steadily at work in making cartridge-bags, that the firing
had to slacken and be confined to the six guns bearing toward Moultrie
and the batteries on the west end of Sullivan’s Island. The mortar
fire had become very accurate, so that, when the 13-inch shells
“came down in a vertical direction and buried themselves in the
parade-ground, their explosion shook the fort like an earthquake.”[201]
The horizontal fire also grew in accuracy, and Anderson, to save his
men, withdrew them from the barbette guns and used those of the lower
tiers only. Unfortunately, these were of too light a caliber to be
effective against the Morris Island batteries, the shot rebounding
without effect from the face of the iron-clad battery there, as well
as from the floating iron-clad battery moored behind the sea-wall
at Sullivan’s Island. The withdrawal of the men from the heavier
battery could only be justified by the already foregone result, and no
doubt this was in Anderson’s mind. The garrison was reduced to pork
and water, and, however willing, it could not with such meagre food
withstand the strain of the heavy labor of working the guns; to add
to the difficulties, the guns, strange to say, were not provided with
breech-sights, and these had to be improvised with notched sticks.[202]

The shells from the batteries set fire to the barracks three times
during the day, and the precision of the vertical fire was such that
the four 8-inch and one 10-inch columbiad, planted in the parade, could
not be used. Half the shells fired from the seventeen mortars engaged
came within, or exploded above, the parapet of the fort, and only
about ten buried themselves in the soft earth of the parade without
exploding. Two of the barbette guns were struck by the fire from
Moultrie, which also damaged greatly the roof of the barracks and the
stair towers. None of the shot came through. The day closed stormy and
with a high tide, without any material damage to the strength of the
fort. Throughout the night the Confederate batteries threw shell every
ten or fifteen minutes. The garrison was occupied until midnight in
making cartridge-bags, for which all the extra clothing was cut up and
all the coarse paper and extra hospital sheets used.[203]

At daylight, April 13th, all the batteries again opened, and the new
twelve-pounder Blakely rifle, which had arrived but four days before
from abroad,[204] caused the wounding of a sergeant and three men by
the fragments thrown off from the interior of the wall by its deep
penetration. An engineer employed was severely wounded by a fragment of
shell. Hot shot now became frequent, and at nine o’clock the officers’
quarters were set afire. As it was evident the fire would soon surround
the magazine, every one not at the guns was employed to get out powder;
but only fifty barrels could be removed to the casements, when it
became necessary from the spread of the flames to close the magazine.
The whole range of the officers’ quarters was soon in flames, and the
clouds of smoke and cinders sent into the casements set on fire many
of the men’s beds and boxes, making the retention of the powder so
dangerous that all but five barrels were thrown into the sea.[205]

By eleven o’clock the fire and smoke were driven by the wind in such
masses into the point where the men had taken refuge that suffocation
appeared imminent. “The roaring and crackling of the flames, the dense
masses of whirling smoke, the bursting of the enemy’s shells, and our
own, which were exploding in the burning rooms, the crashing of the
shot and the sound of masonry falling in every direction made the fort
a pandemonium.... There was a tower at each angle of the fort. One of
these, containing great quantities of shells, ... was almost completely
shattered by successive explosions. The massive wooden gates, studded
with iron nails, were burned, and the wall built behind them was now
a heap of débris, so that the main entrance was wide open for an
assaulting party.”[206]

But however great the apparent damage and the discomfort and danger
while the fire lasted, the firing could have been resumed “as soon as
the walls cooled sufficiently to open the magazines, and then, having
blown down the wall projecting above the parapet, so as to get rid of
the flying bricks, and built up the main gates with stones and rubbish,
the fort would actually have been in a more defensible condition than
when the action commenced.”[207]

But want of men, want of food, and want of powder together made a
_force majeure_ against which further strife was useless; and when,
about 1 P.M., the flag-staff was shot away, though the flag was at once
flown from an improvised staff, a boat was sent from the commanding
officer at Morris Island, bringing Colonel (Ex-Senator) Wigfall and a
companion bearing a white flag, to inquire if the fort had surrendered.

Being allowed entrance, Major Anderson was sought for, and Wigfall,
using Beauregard’s name, offered Anderson his own terms. Wigfall
exhibited a white handkerchief from the parapet, and this being
noticed brought from Beauregard himself Colonel Chesnut, Colonel Roger
A. Pryor, Colonel William Porcher Miles, and Captain Lee, followed
soon by Beauregard’s adjutant-general, Jones, Ex-Governor Manning, and
Colonel Alston. It transpired that Wigfall had not seen Beauregard
for two days, and that his visit was wholly unauthorized. The proper
authorities, however, being now at hand, arrangements were concluded
at 7 P.M., Anderson surrendering (after some correspondence), with
permission to salute the flag as it was hauled down, to march out with
colors flying and drums beating and with arms and private baggage.[208]

Noticing the disappearance of the colors, a flag of truce was sent
in from the squadron outside, and arrangements made for carrying the
garrison north. Next morning, Sunday, April 14th, with a salute of
fifty guns, the flag was finally hauled down. It had been Anderson’s
intention to fire a hundred guns, but a lamentable accident occurred in
the premature discharge of one, by which one man was killed, another
mortally wounded, and four others seriously injured. This accident
delayed the departure until 4 P.M., when the little company of some
eighty men, accompanied by the forty laborers,[209] marched out of the
gate with their flags flying and drums beating. The steamer _Isabel_
carried Anderson and his men to the _Baltic_, and at nightfall they
were on their way north.

April 15th, the day after the surrender, the President issued his
proclamation calling “forth the militia of the several states of the
Union” to the number of seventy-five thousand men, in order to suppress
“combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of
judicial proceedings or by the powers vested in the marshals by law,”
and “to cause the laws to be duly executed.” Congress was called to
convene July 4th. An immediate effect of the proclamation was the
secession of Virginia, April 17th, the conservative elements of the
state convention, although in the majority, being overwhelmed by the
enthusiasm and impetus of the secession attack. Another prompt result
was the formation of the northwestern counties into what is now West

Fox’s expedition, however abortive in a physical sense, did much more
than attempt to succor Sumter; it was the instrument through which
the fort was held to the accomplishment of the fateful mistake of the
Confederacy in striking the first blow. It prevented the voluntary
yielding of the fort, and was an exhibition of the intention of the
government to hold its own. It was thus elemental in its effects. Had
Anderson withdrawn and hauled down his flag without a shot from the
South, it would have been for the Federal government to strike the
first blow of war; and its call for men would have met with a different
response to that which came from the electric impulse which the firing
upon the flag caused to vibrate through the North. This expectation
was the basis of Lincoln’s determination. Almost alone, unmovable by
Cabinet or War Department, he saw with the certainty of the seer what
holding Sumter meant, and continued on the unchangeable way which from
the first he had taken. In his letter of sympathy to Fox, May 1st, he
said: “You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would
be advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort Sumter, even if
it should fail, and it is no small consolation now to feel that our
anticipation is justified by the result.”[210]

The enthusiastic response of the North to the proclamation was witness
to the truth of Lincoln’s view, as well as to the North’s determination
that the offended dignity of the Union should be avenged, its
strongholds regained, its boundaries made intact, and that the United
States be proved to be a nation. It was for this the Union fought;
the freeing of the blacks was but a natural and necessary incident.
The assault upon Sumter was the knife driven by the hand of the South
itself into the vitals of slavery.


1861. President Lincoln calls for seventy-five thousand militia
to suppress the rebellion of the Southern States. Secession of
Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina. Formal division of
Western Virginia from Virginia. The Massachusetts militia attacked
in Baltimore. The Congress of the Confederate States assembles at
Montgomery and is later transferred to Richmond. The first battle
of Bull Run results in a Federal repulse. Battle of Wilson’s Creek.
Repulse of the Federals at Ball’s Bluff. McClellan succeeds Scott as
commander-in-chief of the Federal armies. The Federals gain possession
of Port Royal. The Confederate commissioners, Mason and Slidell, are
intercepted on the British steamer _Trent_.

1862. Surrender of the Confederate commissioners, Mason and Slidell, to
the British government. The Federals capture Roanoke Island. Fort Henry
and Fort Donelson surrender to General Grant. Federal victory at Pea
Ridge. Engagement between the _Monitor_ and the _Merrimac_. The French
declare war against Mexico.





_By James Kendall Hosmer_

Obviously the capture of Richmond was the proper objective in the
offensive campaign in the East for which McClellan had been so long
preparing. The selection of that city by the Confederacy for the seat
of government caused all its interests to centre there; the maintenance
of its capital, moreover, was essential to the good standing of the
Confederacy before Europe, recognition from which was so earnestly
desired. If the North could capture Richmond, quite possibly nothing
more would be necessary to crush the South. The protection of
Washington, too, could not be left at all in doubt. Should that city be
lost to the Union, England and France might justly feel that the cause
of the North was hopeless, and no longer refrain from intervention.

Before Washington, McClellan and Johnston faced each other throughout
the fall of 1861, the latter having, in October, a force of 41,000,
which later grew to 57,337.[211] Under Johnston at the end of the
year were three subordinates--Jackson, in the Valley of Virginia;
Beauregard, about Leesburg, near the Potomac; and Holmes, below
Washington, about Acquia Creek, where Confederate batteries closed
the Potomac. McClellan had fully twice as many men, an army well
disciplined and equipped, devoted to their leader, and of fine
_morale_. Why could the army not be used? Because the general always
imagined before him a host of enemies that greatly outnumbered his own,
and insisted on more men and a more perfect training before setting
out. Meantime he grew cavalier in his treatment of his superiors. The
venerable Scott, who now retired at seventy-five, had his last days
embittered by the scant courtesy of the new commander, and even the
President was slighted. “I will hold McClellan’s horse for him if he
will only win us victories,” said Lincoln, with good-natured patience.
In December, McClellan fell ill, and all was in doubt. With the new
year, 1862, prospects brightened for the Union. The great successes in
the West and South, ending with the capture of New Orleans, brought
cheer; at last the army of the Potomac was in motion.

In March, Johnston withdrew southward; and McClellan, his command
now restricted to the “Army of the Potomac,” as he had baptized his
splendid creation, was ready for the long-delayed advance. Lincoln,
whose good sense when applied to warfare often, though not always,
struck true, earnestly desired that Richmond should be approached by
a direct southward movement, Washington being covered, while at the
same time Richmond was threatened. But McClellan judged it better to
proceed by the Chesapeake, landing at the end of the peninsula running
up between the York and James rivers, and marching against Richmond
from the east. Much could be said in favor of this route: troops and
supplies could be carried by water to the neighborhood of Richmond
without fatigue or danger. Yet the President yielded reluctantly,
fearing danger to Washington, laying it down as fundamental that the
capital must be protected by forty thousand men.

The Peninsular campaign had a dramatic prelude. A necessary condition
was a command of the waters, which was secured in early March by an
event that startled the world. Among the many disadvantages under
which the South labored in her struggle with the North was a painful
lack, as compared with her opponent, of factories, machine-shops,
ship-yards, and skilled labor; yet determination and ingenuity brought
about several wonderful fighting contrivances, of which the most
remarkable was the _Virginia_. The hull of the _Merrimac_, a frigate
of thirty-five hundred tons and forty guns, one of the most formidable
vessels of the old navy, partly burned and afterward sunk at the
evacuation of Norfolk by the Federals in April, 1861, was raised,
and found to be sound enough for further use. Good heads, among whom
John M. Brooke, manager of the Tredegar Iron Works at Richmond, was
prominent, fitted to the hull a casemate, or box, pierced for cannon,
and heavily plated with iron--the first effective armored ship. There
was a frank farewell to masts, sails, and other former appliances for
motion and management. The winds were superseded by steam, applied
for the first time in naval warfare, not as auxiliary, but as the
sole motive-power. One appliance of the _Virginia_ was, however, not
a new invention, but a revival of a fighting arm common in the days
of Salamis and Actium--a ram, projecting from the prow like that of
an ancient galley.[212] The craft was cumbrous, hard to steer, and
provided with engines far too weak for her immense weight, but she had
marvellous defensive power and was fast enough to approach and destroy
any resisting sailing-ship.

[Illustration: HAMPTON ROADS]

On March 8th, from the direction of Norfolk, the _Virginia_, a mass
low-lying upon the water, suddenly appeared before the astonished eyes
of the Federal onlookers in Hampton Roads.[213] Five stately wooden
frigates lay at anchor off Hampton, and they gallantly discharged their
broadsides at this strange assailant, but the balls glanced harmless
from her impenetrable back. She turned and pierced the _Cumberland_
with her ram, sending the frigate to the bottom; then she assailed
the _Congress_, which presently went up in flames; the brave crews as
helpless as if their means of defence were bows and arrows. Mistress of
the situation, with three more frigates--_Minnesota_, _Roanoke_, and
_St. Lawrence_--aground on the shoals or offering a futile defiance,
the _Virginia_ then withdrew for the day; she was certain of her prey
and could afford to wait for a few hours, meanwhile making some changes
which would render her more effective. Vivid terror overspread the
North as the news was despatched in the evening; and it was nowhere
greater than in the cabinet-room at the White House, where Lincoln
anxiously studied upon means to meet the exigency; and Stanton, pacing
the room “like a caged lion,” predicted she would come up the Potomac
and shell Washington.[214]

On the forenoon of March 9th, doing all things deliberately, as one
that has no reason to hasten, the _Virginia_ again appeared and moved
toward the _Minnesota_, aground and apparently certain to become a
helpless victim. Suddenly in the path appeared a little craft scarcely
one-fourth the size of the _Virginia_, “a cheese-box on a raft,” as
it will go down in history, the _Monitor_, an iron-clad of another
pattern. This vessel, undertaken as an experiment, and completed in
one hundred days, was due to the genius and indomitable zeal of John
Ericsson, its designer. That it should have arrived from New York at
this moment is one of the fateful accidents of history. A multitude
beheld the encounter, from the ships close at hand, from the shores
near and far. The superior size and armament of the _Virginia_ were
neutralized by her unwieldiness and depth of draught. The _Monitor_,
more active, and passing everywhere over shoal or through channel,
could elude or strike as she chose. Neither had much power to harm the
other; each crew behind its shield manœuvred and fired for the most
part uninjured. Worden, commander of the _Monitor_, in his pilot-house
at the bow, built of iron bars log-cabin fashion, received in the face,
as he peered through the interstice, the blinding fire and smoke from
a shell that struck within a few inches, but he escaped death. The
casualties on the _Virginia_ were few. On the morning of that day both
North and South believed that the Confederacy was about to control the
sea. The anticipation, whether hope or fear, vanished in the smoke of
that day’s battle. With it, too, passed away the traditional beauty and
romance of the old sea-service--the oakribbed and white-winged navies,
whose dominion had been so long and picturesque, at last and forever
gave way to steel and steam.[215]



_By Lucius E. Chittenden_

Some weeks after the historic battle between the _Monitor_ and the
_Merrimac_ in Hampton Roads, on March 9, 1862, the former vessel came
to the Washington navy-yard unchanged, in the same condition as when
she discharged her parting shot at the _Merrimac_. There she lay until
her heroic commander had so far recovered from his injuries as to be
able to rejoin his vessel. All leaves of absence had been revoked,
the absentees had returned and were ready to welcome their captain.
President Lincoln, Captain Fox, and a limited number of Captain
Worden’s personal friends had been invited to his informal reception.
Lieutenant Greene received the President and the guests. He was a boy
in years--not too young to volunteer, however, when volunteers were
scarce, and to fight the _Merrimac_ during the last half of the battle,
after the captain was disabled.

The President and the other guests stood on the deck, near the turret.
The men were formed in lines, with their officers a little in advance,
when Captain Worden ascended the gangway. The heavy guns in the
navy-yard began firing the customary salute when he stepped upon the
deck. One side of his face was permanently blackened by the powder shot
into it from the muzzle of a cannon carrying a shell of one hundred
pounds weight, discharged less than twenty yards away. The President
advanced to welcome him, and introduced him to the few strangers
present. The officers and men passed in review and were dismissed. Then
there was a scene worth witnessing. The old tars swarmed around their
loved captain, they grasped his hand, crowded to touch him, thanked God
for his recovery and return, and invoked blessings upon his head in the
name of all the saints in the calendar. He called them by their names,
had a pleasant word for each of them, and for a few moments we looked
upon an exhibition of a species of affection that could only have been
the product of a common danger.

When order was restored the President gave a brief sketch of Captain
Worden’s career. Commodore Paulding had been the first, Captain Worden
the second officer of the navy, he said, to give an unqualified opinion
in favor of armored vessels. Their opinions had been influential with
him and with the Board of Construction. Captain Worden had volunteered
to take command of the _Monitor_, at the risk of his life and
reputation, before her keel was laid. He had watched her construction,
and his energy had made it possible to send her to sea in time to
arrest the destructive operations of the _Merrimac_. What he had done
with a new crew, and a vessel of novel construction, we all know. He,
the President, cordially acknowledged his indebtedness to Captain
Worden, and he hoped the whole country would unite in the feeling of
obligation. The debt was a heavy one, and would not be repudiated when
its nature was understood. The details of the first battle between
iron-clads would interest every one. At the request of Captain Fox,
Captain Worden had consented to give an account of his voyage from New
York to Hampton Roads, and of what had afterward happened there on
board the _Monitor_.

In an easy, conversational manner, without any effort at display,
Captain Worden told the story, of which the following is the substance:

“I suppose,” he began, “that every one knows that we left New York
Harbor in some haste. We had information that the _Merrimac_ was nearly
completed, and if we were to fight her on her first appearance we must
be on the ground. The _Monitor_ had been hurried from the laying of her
keel. Her engines were new, and her machinery did not move smoothly.
Never was a vessel launched that so much needed trial-trips to test her
machinery and get her crew accustomed to their novel duties. We went
to sea practically without them. No part of the vessel was finished;
there was one omission that was serious, and came very near causing her
failure and the loss of many lives. In heavy weather it was intended
that her hatches and all her openings should be closed and battened
down. In that case all the men would be below, and would have to depend
upon artificial ventilation. Our machinery for that purpose proved
wholly inadequate.

“We were in a heavy gale of wind as soon as we passed Sandy Hook. The
vessel behaved splendidly. The seas rolled over her, and we found
her the most comfortable vessel we had ever seen, except for the
ventilation, which gave us more trouble than I have time to tell you
about. We had to run into port and anchor on account of the weather,
and, as you know, it was two o’clock in the morning of Sunday before we
were alongside the _Minnesota_. Captain Van Brunt gave us an account
of Saturday’s experience. He was very glad to make our acquaintance,
and notified us that we must be prepared to receive the _Merrimac_ at
daylight. We had had a very hard trip down the coast, and officers
and men were weary and sleepy. But when informed that our fight would
probably open at daylight, and that the _Monitor_ must be put in order,
every man went to his post with a cheer. That night there was no sleep
on board the _Monitor_.

“In the gray of the early morning we saw a vessel approaching which our
friends on the _Minnesota_ said was the _Merrimac_. Our fastenings
were cast off, our machinery started, and we moved out to meet her
half-way. We had come a long way to fight her, and did not intend to
lose our opportunity.

“Before showing you over the vessel, let me say that there were three
possible points of weakness in the _Monitor_, two of which might have
been guarded against in her construction if there had been more time to
perfect her plans. One of them was in the turret, which, as you see,
is constructed of eight plates of inch iron--on the side of the ports,
nine--set on end so as to break joints, and firmly bolted together,
making a hollow cylinder eight inches thick. It rests on a metal ring
on a vertical shaft, which is revolved by power from the boilers. If
a projectile struck the turret at an acute angle, it was expected
to glance off without doing damage. But what would happen if it was
fired in a straight line to the centre of the turret, which in that
case would receive the whole force of the blow? It might break off the
bolt-heads on the interior, which, flying across, would kill the men
at the guns; it might disarrange the revolving mechanism, and then we
would be wholly disabled.

“I laid the _Monitor_ close alongside the _Merrimac_, and gave her a
shot. She returned our compliment by a shell, weighing one hundred
and fifty pounds, fired when we were close together, which struck the
turret so squarely that it received the whole force. Here you see the
scar, two and a half inches deep in the wrought iron, a perfect mould
of the shell. If anything could test the turret, it was that shot.
It did not start a rivet-head or a nut! It stunned the two men who
were nearest where the ball struck, and that was all. I touched the
lever--the turret revolved as smoothly as before. The turret had stood
the test; I could mark that point of weakness off my list forever.

“You notice that the deck is joined to the side of the hull by a right
angle, at what sailors call the ‘plank-shear.’ If a projectile struck
that angle, what would happen? It would not be deflected; its whole
force would be expended there. It might open a seam in the hull below
the water-line, or pierce the wooden hull, and sink us. Here was our
second point of weakness.

“I had decided how I would fight her in advance. I would keep the
_Monitor_ moving in a circle, just large enough to give time for
loading the guns. At the point where the circle impinged upon the
_Merrimac_ our guns should be fired, and loaded while we were moving
around the circuit. Evidently the _Merrimac_ would return the
compliment every time. At our second exchange of shots, she returning
six or eight to our two, another of her large shells struck our
‘plank-shear’ at its angle, and tore up one of the deck-plates, as you
see. The shell had struck what I believed to be the weakest point in
the _Monitor_. We had already learned that the _Merrimac_ swarmed with
sharpshooters, for their bullets were constantly spattering against
our turret and our deck. If a man showed himself on deck he would draw
their fire. But I did not much consider the sharpshooters. It was my
duty to investigate the effects of that shot. I ordered one of the
pendulums to be hauled aside, and, crawling out of the port, walked
to the side, laid down upon my chest, and examined it thoroughly. The
hull was uninjured, except for a few splinters in the wood. I walked
back and crawled into the turret--the bullets were falling on the iron
deck all about me as thick as hailstones in a storm. None struck me, I
suppose because the vessel was moving--and at the angle, and when I was
lying on the deck, my body made a small mark difficult to hit. We gave
them two more guns, and then I told the men, what was true, that the
_Merrimac_ could not sink us if we let her pound us for a month. The
men cheered; the knowledge put new life into all.

“We had more exchanges, and then the _Merrimac_ tried new tactics.
She endeavored to ram us, to run us down. Once she struck us about
amidships with her iron ram. Here you see its mark. It gave us a shock,
pushed us around, and that was all the harm. But the movement placed
our sides together. I gave her two guns, which I think lodged in her
side, for, from my lookout crack, I could not see that either shot
rebounded. Ours being the smaller vessel, and more easily handled, I
had no difficulty in avoiding her ram. I ran around her several times,
planting our shot in what seemed to be the most vulnerable places.
In this way, reserving my fire until I got the range and the mark, I
planted two more shots almost in the very spot I had hit when she tried
to ram us. Those shots must have been effective, for they were followed
by a shower of bars of iron.

“The third weak spot was our pilot-house. You see that it is built a
little more than three feet above the deck, of bars of iron, ten by
twelve inches square, built up like a log-house, bolted with very large
bolts at the corners where the bars interlock. The pilot stands upon a
platform below, his head and shoulders in the pilot-house. The upper
tier of bars is separated from the second by an open space of an inch,
through which the pilot may look out at every point of the compass.
The pilot-house, as you see, is a four-square mass of iron, provided
with no means of deflecting a ball. I expected trouble from it, and
I was not disappointed. Until my accident happened, as we approached
the enemy I stood in the pilot-house and gave the signals. Lieutenant
Greene fired the guns, and Engineer Stimers, here, revolved the turret.

“I was below the deck when the corner of the pilot-house was first
struck by a shot or a shell. It either burst or was broken, and no
harm was done. A short time after I had given the signal, and, with my
eye close against the lookout crack, was watching the effect of our
shot, when something happened to me--my part in the fight was ended.
Lieutenant Greene, who fought the _Merrimac_ until she had no longer
stomach for fighting, will tell you the rest of the story.”

Can it be possible that this beardless boy fought one of the historic
battles of the world? This was the thought of every one as the modest,
diffident young Greene was half pushed forward into the circle.

“I cannot add much to the Captain’s story,” he began. “He had cut out
the work for us, and we had only to follow his pattern. I kept the
_Monitor_ either moving around the circle or around the enemy, and
endeavored to place our shots as near her amidships as possible where
Captain Worden believed he had already broken through her armor. We
knew that she could not sink us, and I thought I would keep right on
pounding her as long as she would stand it. There is really nothing
new to be added to Captain Worden’s account. We could strike her
wherever we chose; weary as they must have been, our men were full of
enthusiasm, and I do not think we wasted a shot. Once we ran out of the
circle for a moment to adjust a piece of machinery, and I learn that
some of our friends feared that we were drawing out of the fight. The
_Merrimac_ took the opportunity to start for Norfolk. As soon as our
machinery was adjusted we followed her, and got near enough to give
her a parting shot. But I was not familiar with the locality; there
might be torpedoes planted in the channel, and I did not wish to take
any risk of losing our vessel, so I came back to the company of our
friends. But except that we were, all of us, tired and hungry when
we came back to the _Minnesota_ at half-past 12 P.M., the _Monitor_
was just as well prepared to fight as she was at eight o’clock in the
morning when she fired the first gun.”

We were then shown the injury to the pilot-house. The mark of the ball
was plain upon the two upper bars, the principal impact being upon the
lower of the two. This huge bar was broken in the middle, but held
firmly at either end. The farther it was pressed in, the stronger
was the resistance on the exterior. On the inside the fracture in the
bar was half an inch wide. Captain Worden’s eye was very near to the
lookout crack, so that when the gun was discharged the shock of the
ball knocked him senseless, while the mass of flame filled one side of
his face with coarse grains of powder. He remained insensible for some

“Have you heard what Captain Worden’s first inquiry was when he
recovered his senses after the general shock to his system?” asked
Captain Fox of the President.

“I think I have,” replied Mr. Lincoln, “but it is worth relating to
these gentlemen.”

“His question was,” said Captain Fox, “‘Have I saved the _Minnesota_?’

“‘Yes, and whipped the _Merrimac_!’ some one answered.

“‘Then,’ said Captain Worden, ‘I don’t care what becomes of me.’”

“Mr. President,” said Captain Fox, “not much of the history to which we
have listened is new to me. I saw this battle from eight o’clock until
mid-day. There was one marvel in it which has not been mentioned--the
splendid handling of the _Monitor_ throughout the battle. The first
bold advance of this diminutive vessel against a giant like the
_Merrimac_ was superlatively grand. She seemed inspired by Nelson’s
order at Trafalgar: ‘He will make no mistake who lays his vessel
alongside the enemy.’ One would have thought the _Monitor_ a living
thing. No man was visible. You saw her moving around that circle,
delivering her fire invariably at the point of contact, and heard the
crash of the missile against her enemy’s armor above the thunder of her
guns, on the bank where we stood. It was indescribably grand!

“Now,” he continued, “standing here on the deck of this battle-scarred
vessel, the first genuine iron-clad--the victor in the first fight
of iron-clads--let me make a confession and perform an act of simple
justice. I never fully believed in armored vessels until I saw this
battle. I know all the facts which united to give us the _Monitor_. I
withhold no credit from Captain Ericsson, her inventor, but I know that
the country is principally indebted for the construction of this vessel
to President Lincoln, and for the success of her trial to Captain
Worden, her commander.”




While the West in 1861–62 was alive with marching armies and the sound
of strife, the East had been experiencing its share of activity by
land and sea, and the navy must first engage us. The blockade became
steadily more effective as new ships, purchased, chartered, or built
for the purpose, gathered at the various rendezvous. Hatteras Inlet and
Port Royal, seized in the fall of 1861,[216] became bases for coast
and inland expeditions which narrowed the Confederate hold on the
shore of the Atlantic. In January, 1862, a fleet and army, braving the
mid-winter storms which were more formidable than human opposition,
entered by Hatteras Inlet, in order to dominate more completely the
North Carolina sounds. The fortifications on Roanoke Island, lying
between Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, were easily captured, February
8th. New-Berne and other towns were soon after occupied, and the inlets
and river-mouths so occupied and threatened that the outlets to the
sea became for the Confederates few and perilous. This successful
course was interrupted during the Virginia campaign of the summer; the
troops were to a large extent withdrawn to places where reinforcements
were demanded. The Roanoke Island expedition is noteworthy, among
other reasons, for bringing to the front Ambrose E. Burnside, its
commander,[217] a brave and well-intentioned patriot, quite inadequate,
however, for large responsibilities, which later came upon him.

During these same weeks forces farther south were equally busy in
expeditions from Port Royal. Fort Pulaski, the strong work which
commanded the approaches to Savannah, a post environed by swamps and
watercourses, and therefore difficult of access, succumbed rather to
the engineering skill than to the bravery of its assailants, April
11, 1862; therefore, most of the littoral of Georgia, in addition to
that of North and South Carolina, was in Federal hands.[218] These
conquests were presently supplemented by the occupation of the Atlantic
ports of Florida. On the Gulf side, the retention of Fort Pickens by
Union forces from the beginning had put Pensacola Harbor under Federal
control. The blockade, at first deemed impracticable, within a year of
its establishment was throttling the foreign commerce which was vital
to the Confederacy. On the Atlantic scarcely any important ports were
left except Charleston and Wilmington; and before the thresholds of
these places lay, night and day, the fierce and watchful war-dogs of
the Union.[219] Nevertheless, up to April, 1862, the Gulf ports of
Mobile, New Orleans, Galveston, and Matagorda still remained to the
Confederacy. How long could these maintain themselves?

This swift and easy repossession of the southern coastline by the
Union, however important, lacked the wholesale excitement of great and
bloody battles, and was a game little appreciated. But in the midst of
it came an incident dramatic and startling in the highest degree, its
hero being a naval officer, David Glasgow Farragut, son of a Spaniard
from the island of Minorca, who had married a girl of Scotch strain
and settled in the Tennessee mountains. After the birth of David the
family removed to Louisiana, the father receiving a naval command.
David as a boy of thirteen was on the _Essex_ at Valparaiso, in 1814,
in her famous fight against the _Phœbe_ and _Cherub_. He had done
good service on the seas and in port for almost fifty years, but his
opportunity did not come until he was sixty years old.[220]


The need of seizing New Orleans, if practicable, was obvious: the
place commanded the lower Mississippi, and was the most populous and
important city of the Confederacy. The government, therefore, early
gave thought to its capture, assigning for that end a land force
of eighteen thousand men, under General Benjamin F. Butler, and a
powerful fleet. It was recognized that the navy must play the larger
part in the operations: eighty-two ships, therefore, were assigned
to the West Gulf Squadron, ranging from tugs, mortar-schooners, and
chartered ferry-boats to the most powerful man-of-war which the nation
owned.[221] To command this great fleet was chosen Farragut, whose
force and capacity had been recognized, especially by Welles, Secretary
of the Navy.[222] He hoisted his flag on the _Hartford_, a wooden ship
of nineteen hundred tons and twenty-four guns, and February 2, 1862,
sailed southward from Hampton Roads to Ship Island, midway between the
mouth of the Mississippi and Mobile, the rendezvous for the army and

Farragut’s ships were all of wood; and, although steam in great part
was the motive-power, sails were not superseded. Even as Farragut was
concentrating in the Gulf, an event, to be described presently, took
place in Hampton Roads which revolutionized naval warfare. But the
enterprises in the Gulf were well started, and some triumphs still
remained for the old-fashioned sailor and the old-fashioned ship.[223]
In March the fleet managed to cross the bar and enter the Mississippi,
a feat of no small difficulty in the case of the heavier vessels.
The _Colorado_ was left outside, the _Pensacola_ was dragged by her
consorts through a foot of mud, and the _Mississippi_ was scarcely
less embarrassed. At last the squadron of attack was for the most
part within the branches of the river; at the head of the passes they
stripped like gladiators for a final struggle, and proceeded to attack
the main obstructions twenty miles above. Farragut had seventeen ships
for the attack, mounting one hundred and fifty guns, besides twenty
mortar-schooners, with six attendant gunboats, under Commodore David D.

Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip, well manned and equipped, guarded
the river on the west and east. An enormous chain, supported on
anchored hulks, stretched across the half-mile of current to hold
any approaching hostile vessels at a point where the fire of the
forts could converge. Above the forts, a formidable flotilla of craft
variously armed with rams and guns, some heaped with pitch-pine knots
to serve as fire-ships, stood ready to take part.[224]


Unless this boom could be broken the ships could not ascend. Farragut
ordered two gunboats to this dangerous task. Stealing up at night,
they accomplished it. On the night of April 23d, the ships advanced,
a column led by the _Cayuga_ following the eastern bank; Farragut
himself, in the _Hartford_, led the column which was to pass close
to Fort Jackson. Now came a rare blending of the splendid and the
terrible. The night was calm, with starlight and a waning moon; but
in the fiercer flashings of the combat the world seemed on fire. In
arcs rising far toward the zenith the shells of the mortars mounted
and fell; broadsides thundered; from barbette and casemate rolled an
incessant reply. Suddenly above the flashes of guns came a steady
glare: fire-ships, their pitch-pine cargoes all ablaze, swept into the
midst of the struggling fleet. The attacking lines became confused in
the volumes of smoke settling down upon the stream. In the blinding
vapor friend could scarcely be told from foe. The captain of the
Confederate _Governor Moore_, finding that the bow of his own ship
interfered with the aim of his gun, coolly blew the bow to pieces
with a discharge, then through the shattered opening renewed the
battle. A Confederate tug pluckily pushed a fire-raft directly upon
the _Hartford_. The tug and its crew disappeared and the _Hartford_
ran aground; the sailors, undaunted, stuck to their work; the ship was
pulled off by her own engines, while a deluge from the pumps put out
the fire. For an hour and a half the roar and the flashings continued;
as the dawn came, the battle was hushed. Three Federal gunboats had
been driven back and one sunk, but the main fleet was above the
forts. The ships in general were scarred and battered in the night’s
encounter, but little harmed, and Farragut made ready at once to go on
his way.[225]

The passing of the forts made certain the fall of New Orleans. The
small Confederate army under General Mansfield Lovell was at once
withdrawn and the city left to its fate. Farragut appeared before it,
after passing rapidly up the intervening seventy miles, at noon, April
25th. The population of one hundred and fifty thousand souls, seething
with natural mortification and passion, lay under the broadsides of the
fleet, and, after one outburst, in which a mob trampled on the United
States flag, they sullenly submitted. With all possible expedition,
the forts having given up, the land forces ascended the river and, on
May 1st, took possession.[226] Farragut soon ascended the river to
Vicksburg with a large part of his fleet.


1862. Battle of Shiloh. Capture of Island No. 10. Battle of Seven
Pines and Fair Oaks. “Seven Days’ Battle” between the armies of
McClellan and Lee before Richmond. Repulse of the Confederates at
Malvern Hill, and a constant succession of battles. Halleck appointed
Federal commander-in-chief. Confederate victory at Cedar Mountain.
Second battle of Bull Run and defeat of the Federals. Battle of South
Mountain. Battle of Antietam Creek. Proclamation of Emancipation. The
Confederate cavalry under General Stuart makes a successful raid into
Pennsylvania. Burnside succeeds McClellan as commander of the Army of
the Potomac. Battle of Fredericksburg and repulse of the Federals.

1863. Definite abolition of slavery in the rebellious states. Hooker
commands Army of the Potomac. West Virginia admitted (by proclamation)
into the Union. Confederate victory at Chancellorsville. General Grant
invests Vicksburg. Lee occupies Winchester, crosses the Potomac, and
enters Pennsylvania. Meade appointed commander of the Army of the
Potomac. Battle of Gettysburg, July 1–3. Fall of Vicksburg, July 4th.



  In the American Civil War, 1861–65, the capture of Vicksburg, on
  the Mississippi, cut the Confederacy in two, and the battle of
  Gettysburg proved a Confederate invasion of the North impossible.
  Out of the many great battles of that war it is historically
  essential that these two should be emphasized.

  After Fort Sumter was fired upon, April 12, 1861, the relative
  efficiency of the South and the unpreparedness of the North were
  soon illustrated in the battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861. In
  the East, where the main objective point of the Northern attack
  was Richmond, there followed McClellan’s organization of the
  Army of the Potomac. In the West were Halleck and Buell, with
  headquarters at St. Louis and Louisville, and the main end in
  view in the Western campaign was the control of the Mississippi.
  February, 1862, brought Northern successes in the Western campaign
  in Grant’s capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, followed by
  Shiloh, Corinth, and Memphis, which opened the Mississippi to
  Vicksburg. At the same time Farragut’s fleet in the South captured
  New Orleans, a victory which, like the effect of the blockade
  throughout the war, was a weighty demonstration of the influence
  of sea power upon history. After Farragut had cleared the lower
  river, it was practically Vicksburg alone which remained to unite
  the eastern and western territory of the Confederacy. But in the
  East there had been a series of Northern disasters, culminating in

When the defeated Federals recrossed the Rappahannock, May 5, 1863,
after Chancellorsville, the fortunes of the North were at the lowest
ebb. Then came the turning of the tide, and in an unexpected quarter.
General Grant had shot up into fame through his capture of Fort
Donelson, early in 1862, but had done little thereafter to confirm his
reputation. Though in responsible command in northern Mississippi and
southwestern Tennessee, the few successes there which the country
could appreciate went to the credit of his subordinate, Rosecrans. The
world remembered his shiftlessness before the war, and began to believe
that his success had been accidental. All things considered, it is
strange that Grant had been kept in place. The pressure for his removal
had been great everywhere, but his superiors stood by him faithfully,
though Lincoln’s persistence was maintained in the midst of misgivings.

In the fall of 1862, Grant, in command of fifty thousand men, purposed
to continue the advance southward through Mississippi, flanking
Vicksburg, which then must certainly fall. His supplies must come over
the Memphis & Charleston road and the two weak and disabled lines of
railroad, the Mississippi Central and the Mobile & Ohio. To guard one
hundred and fifty miles of railroad in a hostile country the army must
necessarily be scattered, as every bridge, culvert, and station needed
a detail. From Washington came unwise interference; but he moved on
with vigor. As winter approached, he pushed into Mississippi toward
Jackson. If that place could be seized, Vicksburg, fifty miles west,
must become untenable, and to this end Grant desired to unite his whole
force. He was overruled, and the troops divided: while he marched on
Jackson, Sherman, with thirty-two thousand, was to proceed down the
river from Memphis. Grant’s hope was that he and Sherman, both near
Vicksburg, and supporting each other, might act in concert.

Complete failure attended this beginning. Forrest, operating in a
friendly country, tore up the railroads in Grant’s rear for scores of
miles, capturing his detachments and working destruction. On December
20th, also, Van Dorn, now a cavalry leader, surprised Holly Springs,
Grant’s main depot in northern Mississippi, carrying off and burning
stores to the amount of $1,500,000.[227] Grant’s movement southward
became impossible: the army stood stripped and helpless, saving
itself only by living off the country, an experience rough at the
time, but out of which, later, came benefit.[228] Co-operation with
Sherman could no longer be thought of. Nor could news of the disaster
be sent to Sherman, who, following his orders, punctually embarked
and steamed down to the mouth of the Yazoo; this he entered, and on
December 29th, believing that the garrison of Vicksburg had been drawn
off to meet Grant, he flung his divisions against the Confederate
lines at Chickasaw Bayou, with a loss of eighteen hundred men and no
compensating advantage.[229]

The difficulty and disaster in the Mississippi campaign were increased
by a measure which strikingly reveals the effect in war of political
pressure at the capital. At the outbreak of the war, John A. McClernand
was a member of Congress from Illinois, and later commanded a division
at Donelson and Shiloh. Returning to Washington, he stood out as a
War Democrat, a representative of a class whose adherence to the
administration was greatly strained by the Emancipation Proclamation,
and whose loyalty Lincoln felt it was almost vital to preserve. When,
therefore, he laid before Lincoln a scheme[230] to raise by his own
influence a large force in the West, over which he was to have military
command, with the intention of taking Vicksburg, Lincoln and Stanton
yielded, the sequel showing that McClernand was a soldier of little

McClernand went West, and kept his promise by mustering into the
service, chiefly through his personal influence, some thirty regiments,
a welcome recruitment in those dark days. With this new army McClernand
appeared at the mouth of the Yazoo just at the moment when Sherman
emerged from the swamps with his crestfallen divisions. McClernand
assumed command, Sherman subsiding into a subordinate place; but he had
influence enough with his new superior to persuade him to proceed at
once to an attack upon Arkansas Post, not far away.[231] This measure
proved successful, the place capitulating January 11, 1863, with five
thousand men and seventeen guns. Though the victory was due in great
part to the navy, Sherman alone in the army having rendered conspicuous
service, yet before the country the credit went to McClernand,
nominally the commander, giving him an undeserved prestige which made
the situation worse.

Grant often found Halleck very trying; but in the present exigency the
superior stood stoutly by him, and probably saved to him his position.
The military sense of the general-in-chief saw clearly the folly of
a divided command, and he enlightened the President, who made Grant
major-general in command of operations on the Mississippi, McClernand
being put at the head of a corps. January 30th, therefore, Grant,
suppressing a scheme entertained by McClernand for a campaign in
Arkansas, set to work to solve the problem of opening the great river.

Probably few generals have ever encountered a situation more difficult,
or one in which military precedents helped so little. The fortress
occupied a height commanding on the north and west, along the river,
swampy bottom-lands, at the moment largely submerged or threaded with
channels. These lowlands were much overgrown with canebrake and forest;
roads there were almost none, the plantations established within the
area being approached most conveniently by boats. But it was from
the north and west, apparently, that Vicksburg must be assailed, for
the region south of the city appeared quite beyond reach, since the
batteries closed the river, which seemed the sole means of approach for
Northern forces. The surest approach to the stronghold was from the
east; but there Grant had tried and failed; public sentiment would not
sustain another movement from that side. There was nothing for it but
to try by the north and west, and Grant grappled with the problem.

Besides the natural obstacles, he had to take account of his own
forces, and the strength and character of his adversary. In November,
1862, Johnston, not yet recovered from the wounds received at Fair
Oaks in May, was ordered to assume command in the West, taking the
troops of Kirby Smith, Bragg, and the army defending the Mississippi.
The latter force, up to that time under Van Dorn, was transferred to
John C. Pemberton, of an old Pennsylvania family, before and after
the war a citizen of Philadelphia. Though a Northerner, he had the
entire confidence of both Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. His
record in the old army was good; he was made lieutenant-general by the
Confederacy, and received most weighty responsibilities. He served
bravely and faithfully the cause he had espoused; though outclassed in
his campaign, he did not lack ability. Pemberton commanded some fifty
thousand men, comprising not only the garrison of Vicksburg, but also
that of Port Hudson and detachments posted in northern Mississippi. On
the watch at such a point as Jackson, the state capital, he could, on
short notice, concentrate his scattered command to meet whatever danger
might threaten.

Against this alert adversary Grant could now oppose about an equal
number of men, comprised in four corps--the Thirteenth (McClernand),
Fifteenth (Sherman), Sixteenth (Hurlbut), Seventeenth (McPherson).
Hurlbut was of necessity retained at and near Memphis, to preserve
communications and hold western Tennessee; the three other corps
could take the field with about forty-three thousand. Among Grant’s
lieutenants, two were soldiers of the best quality--Sherman and James
B. McPherson, the latter a young officer of engineers, who during the
preceding months had been coming rapidly to the front.[232] Besides the
army, Grant had a powerful auxiliary in the fleet, which now numbered
seventy craft, large and small, manned by fifty-five hundred sailors
and commanded by David D. Porter, an indefatigable chief.

Grant at the outset could, of course, have no fixed plan. Throughout
February and March his operations were tentative; and though the
country murmured at his “inactivity,” never did general or army do
harder work. Might not Vicksburg perhaps be isolated on the west, and
a way be found beyond the reach of its cannon to that vantage-ground
south of it which seemed so inaccessible? Straightway the army tried,
with spade, pick, and axe, to complete the cut-off which Williams had
begun the previous summer; also to open a tortuous and embarrassed
passage far round through Lake Providence and the Tensas and Washita
rivers. Might not some insufficiently guarded approach be found through
the Yazoo bottom[233] to Haines’ Bluff, the height dominating Vicksburg
from the northeast, which Sherman had sought to seize at Chickasaw
Bayou? Straightway there were enterprises seldom attempted in war.[234]
The levee at Yazoo Pass was cut, far up the river, so that the swollen
Mississippi flooded the wide region below. Through the crevasse plunged
gunboat and transport, to engage in amphibious warfare; soldiers
wading in the mire or swimming the bayous; divisions struggling to
_terra firma_, only to find that Pemberton was there before them
behind unassailable parapets; gunboats wedged in ditches, unable to
turn, with hostile axemen blocking both advance and retreat by felling
trees across the channel; Porter sheltering himself from sharpshooters
within a section of broken smokestack and meditating the blowing-up of
his boats; Sherman now paddling in a canoe, now riding bareback, now
joining the men of a rescue-party in a double-quick--all in cypress
forests draped with funereal moss, as if Death had made ready for a
calamity that seemed certain.

April came, and nothing had been accomplished on the north or west. To
try again from the east meant summary removal for the commander. Was
an attack from the south, after all, out of the question, as all his
lieutenants urged? Grant resolved to try; the river-bank to the west
was so far dried that the passage of a column through the swamp-roads
became possible. Porter was willing to attempt to run the batteries,
though sure that, if once below, he could never return. The night of
April 16th was one of wild excitements. The fleet was discovered as
soon as it got under way, and conflagrations, blazing right and left,
clearly revealed it as it swept down the stream. The Confederate fire
could not be concentrated,[235] and hence the injury was small to the
armored craft; and even the transports in their company, protected
only by baled hay or cotton, escaped with one exception. A few days
later transports and barges again passed down.[236] The column, toiling
along the swampy road, was met, when at last it reached a point well
below the town, by an abundance of supplies and ample means for placing
it on the other bank. April 29th, Grand Gulf, the southern outpost
of Vicksburg, was cannonaded, with ten thousand men on transports at
hand for an assault, if the chance came. High on its bluff, it defied
the bombardment, as the main citadel had done. Then it was that Grant
turned to his last resource.

It requires attention to comprehend how a plan so audacious as that now
adopted could succeed. First, the watchful Pemberton was bewildered
and misled as to the point of attack. About the time the batteries
were run, Grierson, an Illinois officer, starting with seventeen
hundred cavalry from La Grange, Tennessee, raided completely through
Mississippi, from north to south, so skilfully creating an impression
of large numbers, so effectively wrecking railroads and threatening
incursion now here and now there, that the back-country was thrown into
a panic, and Pemberton thought an attack in force from that direction
possible. Following close upon Grierson’s raid, Sherman demonstrated
with such noise and parade north of the city that Pemberton sent
troops to meet a possible assault there. Meantime, the Thirteenth and
Seventeenth corps were ferried rapidly across the river below Grand
Gulf, and, a footing on the upland having been obtained unopposed,
Grant stood fairly on the left bank. He now sent word to Halleck that
he felt this battle was more than half won.[237]

[Illustration: SIEGE OF VICKSBURG]

The event proved that Grant was not oversanguine. An easy victory
at Port Gibson, over a brave but inferior force, gave him Grand
Gulf. Joined now by Sherman, he plunged with his three corps into
the interior, cutting loose from his river base, and also from his
hampering connection with Washington. The previous fall he had
learned to live off the country. Two more easy victories, at Raymond
and Jackson, gave him the state capital, and placed him, fully
concentrated, between the armies of Pemberton and Johnston. The number
of his foes was swelling fast--from Port Hudson, from South Carolina,
from Tennessee; but Grant did not let slip his advantage. Johnston,
not yet recovered from his Fair Oaks wound, was not at his best.
Pemberton, confused by an adversary who could do so unmilitary a thing
as to throw away his base, vacillated and blundered. A heavy battle at
Champion’s Hill, May 16th, in which the completeness of Grant’s victory
was prevented by the bad conduct of McClernand, nevertheless resulted
in Pemberton’s precipitate flight. Next day the Federals seized the
crossing of the Big Black River, after which all the outposts of
Vicksburg, from Haines’ Bluff southward, fell without further fighting,
and Pemberton, with the army that remained to him, was shut up within
the works. The Federals held all outside, looking down from those
heights, which for so long had seemed to them impregnable, upon the
great river open to the north. Supplies and reinforcements could now
come unhindered and were already pouring in. The fall of Vicksburg was

The siege once begun, the fortress was doomed without recourse.
Pemberton, to be sure, did not lose heart, and drove back the repeated
Federal assaults with skill and courage. Johnston, from the rear,
mustered men as he could, tried to concert with the besieged army a
project of escape, and at last advanced to attack. But within the
city supplies soon failed, and outside no resources were at hand for
the city’s succor. Johnston’s request for twenty thousand men, lying
idle in Arkansas had been slighted;[238] there was no other source of
supply. Kirby Smith and Dick Taylor attempted a diversion on the west
bank of the river; and still later, at Helena, Arkansas, a desperate
push was made to afford relief. It was all in vain. The North, made
cheerful by long-delayed success, poured forth to Grant out of its
abundance both men and means. His army was in size nearly doubled;
food and munitions abounded. The starving defenders were inexorably
encircled by nearly three times their number of well-supplied and
triumphant foes. Grant’s assaults, bold and bloody though they were,
had little effect in bringing about the result; the close investment
would have sufficed.[239] On July 4th came the unconditional surrender.
The Confederate losses before the surrender were fully 10,000; now
29,491, became prisoners, while in the fortress were 170 cannon
and 50,000 small arms. Grant’s loss during the whole campaign was

To this triumph, a week later, was added the fall of Port Hudson,[241]
which, with a depleted garrison, held out stubbornly for six weeks
against the Federals. N. P. Banks, who after his tragical Virginia
experiences succeeded, in December, 1862, Butler in Louisiana, was set,
as in the valley, to meet a difficult situation with inadequate means.
With an army of little more than thirty thousand, in part nine-months
men, he was expected to hold New Orleans and such of Louisiana as
had been conquered, and also to co-operate with Grant in opening the
Mississippi. When his garrisons had been placed he had scarcely fifteen
thousand men left for service in the field, a number exceeded at first
by the Port Hudson defenders, strongly placed and well commanded. West
of the river, moreover, was still another force under an old adversary
in the Shenandoah country--Dick Taylor, a general well-endowed and
trained in the best school. That Banks, though active, had no brilliant
success was not at all strange; yet Halleck found fault. He could not
extend a hand to Grant; but, risking his communications--risking,
indeed, the possession of New Orleans--he concentrated at Port Hudson,
which fortress, after a six weeks’ siege, marked by two spirited
assaults, he brought to great distress. Its fate was sealed by the fall
of Vicksburg--Gardner, the commander, on July 9th, surrendering the
post with more than six thousand men and fifty-one guns.

The capture of Vicksburg and Port Hudson was a success such as had
not been achieved before during our Civil War, and was not paralleled
afterward until Appomattox. In military history there are few
achievements which equal it; and the magnitude of the captures of men
and resources is no more remarkable than are the unfailing courage of
the soldiers and the genius and vigor of the general.[242]



  In the Eastern field of operations in the American Civil War,
  McClellan’s organization of the Army of the Potomac had given him
  a well-disciplined force, with which he was facing General Joseph
  Johnston at the opening of 1862. But the Peninsular Campaign which
  McClellan entered upon early in the year, with the bloody fighting
  at Fair Oaks in May, and the Seven Days’ Battles in May and June,
  resulted in the withdrawal of the Northern forces. There followed
  Pope’s defeat near Bull Run. The forward movement was a failure.
  The Northern forces, only four miles from Richmond in June, were
  practically defending Washington in September. The desperate battle
  of Antietam checked Lee’s movement into Maryland, but was not
  decisive. Burnside’s costly defeat at Fredericksburg in December
  closed a gloomy year in the East, which to many seemed to show
  that the South could more than hold its own. The new year brought
  a renewal of disaster to the Northern arms in Hooker’s defeat in
  the hard-fought battle of Chancellorsville. But the tide was to be
  turned by one of the crucial events of military history, which was
  close at hand.--EDITOR.

The fall of Vicksburg, though a terrible blow to the South, was not
a sudden one: to all intelligent eyes it had for some weeks been
impending; but that Lee could be defeated seemed a thing impossible.
Because so long unconquered, it had come to be accepted that he was

Hooker soon recovered from the daze into which he had been thrown at
Chancellorsville. His confidence in himself was not broken by his
misfortune. Instead of, like Burnside, manfully shouldering most of
the responsibility of his failure, Hooker vehemently accused his
lieutenants of misconduct, and faced the new situation with as much
resolution as if he had the prestige of a victor. The Army of the
Potomac, never down in heart except for a moment, plucked up courage
forthwith and girded itself for new encounters.

The South, meanwhile, was still rejoicing over Chancellorsville, for
the cloud on the southwestern horizon was at first no bigger than a
man’s hand. Longstreet joined Lee from Suffolk with two divisions,
swelling the Army of Northern Virginia to eighty thousand or more.
Never before had it been so numerous, so well appointed, or in such
good heart. The numerical advantage which the Federals had heretofore
enjoyed was at this time nearly gone, because thousands of enlistments
expired which could not immediately be made good; volunteering had
nearly ceased, and the new schemes for recruiting were not yet

Lee took the initiative early in June,[243] full of the sense of the
advantage to be gained from a campaign on Northern soil. War-worn
Virginia was to receive a respite; Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York,
as well as Washington, might be terrorized, and perhaps captured.
If only the good-fortune so far enjoyed would continue, the Union’s
military strength might be completely wrecked, hesitating Europe won
over to recognition, and the cause of the South made secure.

With these fine and not at all extravagant anticipations, Lee put
in motion his three great corps under the lieutenant-generals Ewell
(Jackson’s successor), Longstreet, and A. P. Hill. Longstreet was ill
at ease. Vicksburg, now in great danger, he thought could only be saved
by reinforcing Bragg and advancing rapidly on Cincinnati, in which
case Grant might be drawn north. Notwithstanding Longstreet’s urgency,
Lee persisted.[244] Ewell, pouring suddenly down the Shenandoah
Valley, “gobbled up,” as Lincoln put it, Milroy and his whole command
of some four thousand, June 13th, and presently from Maryland invaded
Pennsylvania. Longstreet was close behind: while the head of Ewell’s
column had been nearing the Potomac, A. P. Hill, who had remained at
Fredericksburg to watch Hooker, as yet inactive on Stafford Heights,
broke camp and followed northwestward. Ewell seized Chambersburg a few
days later, then appeared at Carlisle, and even shook Harrisburg with
his cannon. The North had, indeed, cause for alarm; the farmers of the
invaded region were in a panic. “Emergency men,” enlisted for three
months, gathered from New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania
to the threatened points. The great coast cities were face to face with
a menace hitherto unexperienced. Were they really about to be sacked?
What was to be done?

There was no indecision either at Washington or in the Army of the
Potomac. Lincoln’s horse-sense, sometimes tripping, but oftener
adequate to deal with unparalleled burdens, homely, terse, and unerring
in its expression, was at its best in these days. To Hooker, meditating
movements along and across the Rappahannock, he wrote: “I would not
take any risk of being entangled upon the river like an ox jumped half
over a fence, and liable to be torn by dogs in front and rear without a
fair chance to gore one way or kick the other.”[245] And again: “If the
head of Lee’s army is at Martinsburg (near the Potomac), and the tail
of it on the plank-road between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville,
the animal must be very slim somewhere. Could you not break him?” “Fret
him and fret him,” was the President’s injunction to Hooker, regarding
the advance of Lee. Well-poised, good-humored, constant, Lincoln gave
no counsel to Hooker in these days that was not sound.

Indeed, at this time, Hooker needed little admonition. Alert and
resourceful, he no sooner detected the movement of Lee than he
suggested an advance upon Richmond, which was thus left unguarded.
Lee, of course, had contemplated the possibility of such a move, and,
with a nod toward Washington, had joked about “swapping queens.” The
idea, which Hooker did not press, being disapproved, Hooker, turning
toward Lee, proceeded to “fret him and fret him,” his conduct comparing
well with his brilliant management at the opening of the campaign
of Chancellorsville. The cavalry, greatly improved by him, under
Pleasonton, with divisions commanded by Buford, Duffie, and Gregg,
was serviceable as never before, matching well the troopers of Stuart
at Brandy Station, Aldie, and Middleburg. Screened on his left flank
by his cavalry, as, on the other hand, Lee was screened by a similar
body on his right, Hooker marched in columns parallel to those of his
foe and farther east, yet always interposing between the enemy and
Washington. As June drew to its end the Confederate advance was near
Harrisburg, but the Federals were not caught napping. Hooker stood at
Frederick, in Maryland, his corps stretched on either hand to cover
Washington and Baltimore, touching hands one with the other, and all
confronting the foe.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lee’s previous campaign had shown with what disregard of military rules
he could act, a recklessness up to this time justified by good luck and
the ineptitude of his adversaries. Still contemptuous of risks, he made
just here an audacious move which was to result unfortunately.[246]
He ordered, or perhaps suffered, Stuart, whom as he drew toward the
Potomac he had held close on his right flank, to undertake with the
cavalry a raid around the Federal army, after the precedents of the
Peninsular and Second Bull Run campaigns. Casting loose from his chief,
June 25th, Stuart sallied out eastward and penetrated close to the
neighborhood of Washington. He did no harm beyond making a few small
captures and causing a useless scare; on the other hand, he suffered
terrible fatigue, his exhausted men falling asleep almost by squadrons
in their saddles. He could get no news from his friends, nor could he
find Ewell’s corps, which he had hoped to meet. Quite worn out with
hardship, he did not become available to Lee until the late afternoon
of July 2d. A critical battle might have had a different issue[247]
had the Confederate cavalry been in its proper place. It was almost a
chance, through a scout of Longstreet’s, that Lee, at Chambersburg, all
uncertain of the Federal movement, heard at last that his enemy was
close at hand and threatening his communications. At once he withdrew
Ewell southward, so that he might face the danger with his three
divisions together.

Meantime a most critical change came about in the camp of his foes.
Hooker, on ill terms with Halleck, and engaged in controversy with him
over Halleck’s refusal to authorize the withdrawal of the garrison of
Harper’s Ferry, rather petulantly asked to be relieved of command, and
the President complied at once. Such promptness was to be expected.
Hooker had been doing well; but he had done just as well before
Chancellorsville; he was generally distrusted; his best subordinates
were outspoken as to his lamentable record. The unsparing critic of
Burnside had now to take his own medicine. A battle with Lee could not
be ventured upon under a commander who could not keep on good terms
with the administration, had there been nothing else. It was perilous
swapping of horses in the midst of the stream, but Lincoln was forced
to do it. Some cried out for the restoration of McClellan, and others
for that of Frémont. The appointment fell to George Gordon Meade,
commander of the Fifth Corps, who, with soldierly dignity, obeyed
orders, assuming the burden June 28th, with a pledge to do his best.

Meade, a West-Pointer of 1835,[248] was a man of ripe experience,
thoroughly trained in war. He had first risen leading a brigade of
the Pennsylvania reserves at Mechanicsville, just a year earlier.
The good name then won he confirmed at Antietam, and still more at
Fredericksburg. He was tall and spare, with an eagle face which no one
that saw it can forget, a perfect horseman, and, though irascible,
possessed of strong and manly character. In that momentous hour the
best men were doubtful on what footing they stood. When Lincoln’s
messenger, with a solemn countenance, handed to Meade the appointment,
he took it to be an order for his arrest. Placed in command, he
hesitated not a moment, building his strategy upon the foundation laid
by his predecessor.

Meade had with him in the field seven corps of infantry: the First,
commanded temporarily by Doubleday; the Second, by Hancock, recently
promoted; the Third, by Sickles; the Fifth, his own corps, now turned
over to Sykes; the Sixth, Sedgwick, fortunately not displaced, though
so unjustly censured for his noble work on May 3d; the Eleventh,
Howard; and the Twelfth, Slocum. The excellent cavalry divisions were
under Buford, Kilpatrick, and Gregg; and in the lower places capable
young officers--Custer, Merritt, Farnsworth, Devin, Gamble--were
pushing into notice. Of field-guns there were three hundred and forty.
It was a fault of the Union organization that corps, divisions, and
brigades were too small, bringing about, among other evils, too large
a number of general and staff officers.[249] The Confederates here
were wiser. Lee faced Meade’s seven corps with but three, and two
hundred and ninety-three guns; but each Confederate corps was nearly or
quite twice as large as a Union corps; divisions and brigades were in
the same relative proportion. The Army of the Potomac numbered 88,289
effectives; the Army of Northern Virginia, 75,000.[250]


(Federal: hollow bars, Confederate: solid bars)]

Meade at once chose and caused to be surveyed a position on Pipe
Creek, just south of the Maryland line, as a field suitable to be held
should the enemy come that way. He marched, however, northwestward
cautiously, his corps in touch but spread wide apart, ready for battle
and protecting as ever the capital and cities of the coast.[251] His
especial reliance in this hour of need was John F. Reynolds, hand in
hand with whom he had proceeded in his career from the day when, as
fellow-brigadiers, they repulsed A. P. Hill at Beaver Dam Creek. This
man he trusted completely and loved much. He warmly approved Hooker’s
action in committing to Reynolds the left wing nearest the enemy, made
up of the First, Third, and Eleventh corps. This made Reynolds second
in command. Meade, commander-in-chief, retained the centre and right.
So the armies hovered, each uncertain of the other’s exact whereabouts,
during the last days of June.


On July 1st, though Stuart for the moment was out of the campaign, the
Federal cavalry was on hand. Buford’s division, thrown out from the
Federal left, moved well forward north of the town of Gettysburg, and
were met by Heth’s division of Hill’s corps, marching forward, it is
said, with no more hostile purpose at the time than that of getting
shoes.[252] Buford held his line valiantly, being presently joined by
Reynolds. The two, from the cupola of the seminary near by, studied the
prospect hurriedly. A stand must be made then and there, and the First
Corps, close at hand, was presently in support of the bold horsemen,
who, dismounted, were with their carbines blocking the advance of the
hostile infantry.

The most irreparable and lamentable loss of the entire battle now
occurred at the very outset. Reynolds fell dead at the front, leaving
the left divisions without a leader in the most critical hour. Heth’s
advance was roughly handled; one brigade was mostly captured, Doubleday
nodding, with a pleasant “Good-morning, I am glad to see you,” to its
commander, his old West Point chum Archer, as the latter was passed to
the rear among the prisoners.[253] There were still other captures and
much fighting; but Ewell was fast arriving by the roads from the north;
and although Howard, with the Eleventh Corps, came up from the south at
the same time, the heavier Confederate battalions could not be held.
Barlow, thrown out far forward into Ewell’s path, was at once badly
wounded, whereupon his division was repulsed. The Eleventh Corps in
general gave way before Ewell’s rush, rolling back disordered through
the town, where large numbers were captured. Fortunately, on the high
crest of Cemetery Hill, Howard had stationed in reserve the division
of Steinwehr. What broken brigades and regiments, fleeing through the
town, could reach this point were forthwith rallied and reorganized.
Thus, at mid-day of July 1st, things were hopeful for Lee. The First
Corps, its flank exposed by the retirement of the Eleventh Corps, fell
back fighting through Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill during the afternoon.
Lee swept the Federals from the town and the fields and ridges beyond.
Had Ewell stormed Cemetery Hill at once, Lee might have won a great

One of the first marks of a capacity for leadership is the power to
choose men, and Meade now showed this conspicuously. He had lost
Reynolds, his main dependence, a loss that no doubt affected greatly
the fortunes of the first day’s battle; he replaced Reynolds with a
young officer whom it was necessary to push over the heads of several
seniors; but a better selection could not have been made. Of the
splendid captains whom the long agony of the Army of the Potomac was
slowly evolving, probably the best as an all-round soldier was Winfield
Scott Hancock. Since his West Point training, finished in 1844,[254] he
had had wide and thorough military experience, climbing laboriously
from colonel to corps commander, winning out from each grade to the
next higher through faithful and able service. He could deal with
figures; was diligent over papers and office drudgery; he was a patient
drill-master--all these, and at the same time so dashing and magnetic
in the field that he early earned the title “The Superb.”[255] His
vigor, moreover, was tempered by judgment.


Hancock it was whom Meade now sent forward from Taneytown, thirteen
miles away, when he was anxiously gathering in his host, to lead the
hard-pressed left wing; he was to judge whether the position should be
held, as Reynolds had thought, or a retirement attempted toward the
surveyed lines of Pipe Creek. The apparition on Cemetery Hill, just
before four o’clock, July 1st, of Hancock upon his sweating charger,
was equal to a reinforcement by an army corps. Fugitives halted;
fragments of formations were welded into proper battle-lines. In the
respite given by Ewell, so ill-timed for Lee, the shattered First and
Eleventh corps found breathing-space and plucked up heart. At six
o’clock they were joined by the Twelfth Corps, that of the steadfast
Slocum. Hancock, now feeling that there were troops enough for the
present, and resolute leaders, galloped back to report to his chief.
Upon his report Meade concentrated everything toward Cemetery Hill,
the troops plodding through the moonlit night. Meade himself reached
the field an hour past midnight, gaunt and hollow-eyed through want
of sleep,[256] but clear in mind and stout of heart. At dawn of July
2d the Second Corps, at the head of which Gibbon had taken Hancock’s
place, and the Third Corps, Sickles, were at hand. At noon arrived
the Fifth, and soon after the Sixth, Sedgwick having marched his men
thirty-four miles in eighteen hours.

Two parallel ridges, their crests separated by an interval of not quite
a mile, extend at Gettysburg north and south. The more westerly of
these, called, from the Lutheran College there, Seminary Ridge, was the
scene of the first attack on July 1st, but on the second day became
the main Confederate position. The eastern ridge, terminated at its
northern end by the town cemetery, close to which Howard so fortunately
stationed Steinwehr on the first day, became the Federal stronghold.
Cemetery Ridge was really shaped like a fishhook, its line curving
eastward to the abrupt and wooded Culp’s Hill, the barb of the hook. At
the curve the ridge was steep and rough with ledges and bowlders; as it
ran southward its height diminished until, after a mile or so, it rose
again into two marked elevations--Round Top, six hundred feet high,
with a spur, Little Round Top, just north.

[Illustration: POSITION, JULY 1, 3 P.M.]

On the morning of July 2d the Federals lay along this ridge in
order as follows: at the extreme right, on Culp’s Hill (the fishhook’s
barb), the Twelfth Corps, Slocum; at the bend, near the cemetery, the
Eleventh Corps, Howard, reinforced from other bodies; on their left
the First, now under Newton, and the Second, Gibbon. The First and
Second corps formed, as it were, the shank of the hook, which the
Third, Sickles, was expected to prolong. The Fifth, on arriving, took
place behind the Third; and the Sixth, when it appeared from the east,
helped to make secure the trains and sent aid elsewhere. The convex
formation presently proved to be of incalculable value, enabling Meade
to strengthen rapidly any threatened point. Fronting their foe, the
Confederates lay in a parallel concave line, Ewell close at the curve
and in the town, and A. P. Hill on Seminary Ridge; this line Longstreet
prolonged southward, his right flank opposed to Round Top. The concave
formation was an embarrassment to Lee--no reinforcements could reach
threatened points without making a wide circuit.

[Illustration: FIRST CORPS, SEMINARY RIDGE, 3.30 P.M., JULY 1, 1863

(From a print of the time)]

When Meade, supposing that Sickles had prolonged with the Third Corps
the southward-stretching line, reviewed the field, he found the Third
Corps thrown out far in advance, to the Emmittsburg road, which here
passed along a dominating ridge; the break in the continuity of his
line filled the general with alarm, but it was too late to change.
Whether or not Sickles blundered will not be argued here. Meade
condemned; other good authorities have approved, among them Sheridan,
who regarded as just Sickles’ claim that the line marked out by Meade
was untenable.[257]

What happened here will presently be told.

Lee, too, was out of harmony with Longstreet, his well-tried second;
and the first matter in dispute was the expediency of fighting at all
at Gettysburg. When Longstreet, coming from Chambersburg, took in the
situation, he urged upon Lee, bent upon his battle, a turning of
the Federal left as better strategy, by which the Confederates might
interpose between Meade and Washington and compel Meade to make the
attack. Longstreet held Lee to be perfect in defensive warfare; on
the offensive, however, he thought him “over-combative” and liable to
rashness.[258] Lee rejected the advice with a touch of irritation; and
when Longstreet, acquiescing, made a second suggestion--namely, for a
tactical turning of the Federal left instead of a direct assault--Lee
pronounced for the assault in a manner so peremptory that Longstreet
could say no more. From first to last at Gettysburg, Longstreet was ill
at ease, in spite of which his blows fell like those from the hammer of
a war-god. The friends of Lee have denounced him for a sluggishness and
insubordination that, as they claim, lost for them the battle.[259] His
defence of himself is earnest and pathetic, of great weight as coming
from one of the most able and manful figures on either side in the
Civil War.

Of Longstreet’s three divisions, only one, that of McLaws, was on hand
with all its brigades on the forenoon of July 2d. At noon arrived Law,
completing Hood’s division. Pickett’s division was still behind; but
in mid-afternoon, without waiting for him, Longstreet attacked--Hood,
with all possible energy, striking Sickles in his far-advanced position
and working dangerously around his flank toward the Round Tops.
Longstreet’s generals, Hood and afterward Law (Hood falling wounded in
the first attack), though men of courage and dash, assaulted only after
having filed written protests, feeling sure that the position could
be easily turned and gained with little fighting. But Lee had been
peremptory, and no choice was left.[260]

[Illustration: POSITION, JULY 2, 2.30 P.M.]

Gouverneur K. Warren, then chief-engineer of the Army of the Potomac,
despatched by Meade to the left during the afternoon, found the Round
Tops undefended. They were plainly the key to the Federal position,
offering points which, if seized by the enemy, would make possible an
enfilading of the Federal line. Troops of the Twelfth Corps, at first
stationed there, had been withdrawn and their places not supplied.
There was not a moment to lose. Even as he stood, Warren beheld in
the opposite woods the gleam of arms from Longstreet’s swift advance.
Leaping down from ledge to ledge, he met a brigade of the Fifth Corps,
just arrived and marching to the aid of Sickles. These he diverted to
the eyrie he had so lately left; a battery, too, was dragged up over
the rocks, and none too soon. At that very moment the men of Hood
charged out of the valley, and the height was held only by the most
obstinate combat.

From the valley, meantime, came up a tumult of arms which, as the sun
threw its rays aslant, spread wider and louder. Longstreet and A. P.
Hill threw in upon the Third Corps every man available; while, on the
other hand, Meade poured in to its support division after division from
the Fifth, and at last from the Second and Twelfth.[261] About six
o’clock Sickles fell wounded; by sunset his line was everywhere forced
back, though not in rout. By dusk the Confederates had mastered all
resistance in the valley. But the line once reached which Meade had
originally designed, running north from Little Round Top to Cemetery
Ridge, retreat went no farther. That line was not crossed by foot of
foe. When night fell the Round Tops were held firmly, while troops from
the Sixth Corps guarded the Union left. Nearer the centre stood the
Third and Fifth, much shattered but still defiant. In a way, what had
happened was but a rectification of Meade’s line: the Confederates,
indeed, had won ground, but the losses they had inflicted were no more
appalling than those they had received.

Meantime, fighting no less determined and sanguinary had taken place at
the cemetery and Culp’s Hill. Lee’s plan contemplated a simultaneous
attack at the north and south; but Ewell, at the north, was late in
his advance, and the intended effect of distracting the Federals was
wellnigh lost. The Louisiana brigade dashed itself in vain against
the height just above the town. The Stonewall division fared better;
for, the Federal defenders being for the most part withdrawn, they
seized intrenchments on Culp’s Hill, penetrating far--for Meade a most
critical advance, since they came within thirty rods of the Baltimore
turnpike, where lay his trains and reserve ammunition. The South has
always believed that, had Stonewall Jackson been there, the Federal
rear would have been reached, and rout and capture made certain.

For both sides it had been a day of terrible experiences, and for the
Federals the outlook was perhaps more gloomy than for their foes. On
each flank the Confederates had gained an advantage, and Lee probably
felt a hopefulness which the circumstances did not really justify.
Meade gathered his generals at midnight in council. It was in a
little room, but ten or twelve feet square, a group dust-covered and
sweat-stained, the strong faces sternly earnest. Some sat on the bed;
some stood; Warren, wounded, stretched out on the floor, was overcome
by sleep. There was no vote but to fight it out on the morrow. In this
Meade acquiesced, carefully planning for a retreat, however, should the
need arise. To Gibbon, commanding the Second Corps, placed between the
wings, he said: “Your turn will come to-morrow. To-day he has struck
the flanks; next, it will be the centre.”[262]

Lee was drawn on by the success of the first day to fight again on the
second; his success on the second induced him to try for the third
time; but he had exhausted his good-fortune. At earliest dawn of July
3, 1863, began a wrestle for the possession of Culp’s Hill, Ewell
heavily reinforcing the Stonewall division which had won footing there
the night before, and the Twelfth Corps as stubbornly struggling for
the ground it had lost. It was a fight of six hours, in which the
extreme northern wings of the two armies only were concerned. The
Federals won, at a heavy sacrifice of life.


Elsewhere the armies rested, an ominous silence at last reigning on the
trampled and bloody field under the mid-day sun. Meade and his soldiers
knew that it portended danger, and with a sure intuition the army chief
was watching with especial care the centre, as yet unassailed. On the
Confederate side, the unhappy Longstreet, at odds with his chief as
to the wisdom of the campaign from the start, and disapproving both
its strategy and tactics, was now in deeper gloom than ever. Lee had
determined to assault the Federal centre, and by a cruel turn of fate
the blow must be struck by the reluctant Longstreet. Of the three great
Confederate corps, it was only in Longstreet’s that a force remained
as yet unwrung by the fearful agonies of the last two days. Pickett’s
division, solidly Virginian, and in the eyes of Lee a Tenth Legion in
its valor, as yet had done nothing, and was to bear the brunt of the
attack. “What troops do you design for the assault?” Longstreet had
asked. Lee, having indicated Pickett’s division of five thousand, with
auxiliary divisions, making an entire number in the charging column of
fifteen thousand, the Georgian burst out: “I have been a soldier from
the ground up. I have been with soldiers engaged in fights by couples,
by squads, companies, regiments, armies, and should know as well as any
one what soldiers can do. It is my opinion that no fifteen thousand men
ever arrayed for battle can take that position.”[263]

But Lee was unmoved. Confident of success, he despatched Stuart,
arrived at last after his raid, so long and futile, around beyond
the Federal right. When the Union centre should be broken and Meade
thrown into retreat, Stuart was to seize its only practicable route for
retreat, the Baltimore pike, and make the defeat decisive.

Meade, meantime, had managed warily and well. At his centre stood
Hancock, his best lieutenant. There were massed the First and Second
corps, with reserve troops at hand ready to pour in at the word, with
batteries bearing upon front and flank, every approach guarded, every
man and horse on the alert. The provost guards, and in the rear of all
a regiment of cavalry, formed in line behind, had orders to shoot any
faint-hearts who, in the crisis, should turn from the foe to flee.[264]
At one o’clock two signal-guns were heard on Seminary Ridge, upon which
followed a terrible cannonade, appalling but only slightly harmful, for
the waiting ranks found cover from the missiles. Feeling sure that
this was a prelude to something more serious, the Federal chief relaxed
his fire to spare his ammunition. It was understood on the other side
that the Federal guns were silenced; and that moment having been
appointed as the time for the onset, Pickett inquired of Longstreet if
he should go forward. Longstreet, convinced that the charge must fail,
made no reply, though the question was repeated. “I shall go forward,”
said Pickett, to which his general bowed his head. Instantly was heard
the footbeat of the fifteen thousand, and the heavy-hearted Longstreet,
mounting his horse, rode out to behold the sacrifice. He has recorded
that the column passed him down the slope high-hearted, buoyant,
hopeful, Pickett riding gracefully, like a holiday soldier, with cap
set jauntily on his long, auburn locks.[265]

The silence of the Federal guns had been for a purpose. As Pickett’s
men appeared there was a sudden reopening of their tumult; a deadly
sequence from round-shot to canister, and thence to the Minié-balls of
the infantry. The defenders now saw before them, as they peered through
the battle smoke from their shelter, a solid wedge of men, the division
of Pickett, flanked by masses on the right and left commanded by
Pettigrew and Wilcox. The column approached, and visibly melted away.
Of Pickett’s commanders of brigades every one went down, and their men
lay literally in heaps beside them.

   “A thousand fell where Kemper led;
    A thousand died where Garnett bled;
    In blinding flame and strangling smoke
    The remnant through the batteries broke,
    And crossed the line with Armistead.”

A hundred or so, led by Armistead, his cap held aloft on his
sword-point, actually penetrated the Federal line and reached the
“clump of trees” just beyond, holding for a few moments a battery.
Pettigrew and Trimble, just north, struggled also for a footing. But
the foothold was only for a moment; on front and flank the Federals
converged, and the tide rolled slowly and heavily rearward. For the
South all hope of victory was gone.


(From a print of the time)]

As the broken and diminished multitude fell back to Seminary Ridge,
Lee rode out to meet them. He was alone, his staff being all absent,
in that supreme moment, on desperate errands. His face was calm and
resolute, his voice confident but sympathetic as he exclaimed, “It
was all my fault; now help me to do what I can to save what is left.”
It casts a light on his character that even in that hour he chided a
young officer near for chastising his horse: “Don’t whip him, captain.
I’ve got just such another foolish horse myself, and whipping does no
good.”[266] Longstreet declares Lee said again that night, about the
bivouac-fire: “It was all my fault. You ought not to have made that
last attack”; and that still again Lee wrote to him at a later time,
“If I had only taken your advice, even on the 3d, and moved around the
Federal left, how different all might have been!”[267]

Longstreet also records that he fully expected a counter-stroke
at once, and looked to his batteries, only to find the ammunition
exhausted; but they were his only reliance for defence. The Federal
cavalry, at that moment attacking his right, occupied troops who might
otherwise have been brought to the centre.

Should there have been a counter-stroke? Hancock, lying wounded almost
to death in an ambulance, reasoned that, because he had been struck by
a tenpenny nail, the Confederate ammunition must be exhausted; he had
strength to dictate an approval if the charge should be ordered.[268]
Lincoln always felt that it should have been made, and lamented that
he did not go to Gettysburg himself and push matters on the field, as
the crisis required.[269] We can surmise what Grant would have done had
he instead of Meade, as the sun lowered, looked across the valley from
Cemetery Ridge. But the case may be put strongly for Meade: with his
best lieutenants dead or wounded, worn out himself, whom else could he
trust? And, in the disorder of his line, how could he tell how far his
own army had been shattered in the desperate fights, or what was Lee’s
condition? It was only prudent to let well enough alone. Nevertheless,
a little of such imprudence as his adversary was constantly showing
might perhaps have led to Lee’s complete destruction.[270] During the
three fearful days the Federals had lost 3155 killed, 14,529 wounded,
5365 missing--a total of about 23,000; the Confederates, 3903 killed,
18,735 wounded, 5425 missing--a total of about 28,000.[271]

As it was, Lee stood defiantly on Seminary Ridge full twenty-four hours
longer. Then, gathering his army about him, and calling in the cavalry
which, during Pickett’s charge, was receiving severe punishment on its
own account at the hands of Gregg and his division, he slowly withdrew.
Practically undisturbed, he crossed the Potomac, followed with great
deliberation by the army that had conquered but failed to crush.

Lincoln’s disappointment was never greater than over the lame outcome
of Gettysburg. “We had them within our grasp,” he cried. “We had only
to stretch forth our hands and they were ours, and nothing I could say
or do could make the army move. Our army held the War in the hollow of
their hand and they would not close it.” The honor that fell to Meade
for his splendid service was deserved. While the criticism was violent
he asked to be relieved. But the better nature of the North made itself
evident at last, and he was retained. It was felt that he had served
his country most nobly, and, though possibly falling short of the
highest, deserved to be forever cherished among the immortals.


1863. Surrender of Port Hudson. Conscription riots in New York. The
Confederate cavalry leader, General Morgan, makes a raid into Indiana.
Confederate victory at Chickamauga. Federal victories of Chattanooga,
Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge. Admission of Nevada into the
Union. The Archduke Maximilian, of Austria, lands at Vera Cruz and
assumes the crown of Mexico, with the support of French troops.

1864. The Red River expedition. Grant supersedes Halleck as
commander-in-chief of the Federal armies. Storming of Fort Pillow
by the Confederates. General Sherman begins his march on Atlanta.
Battle of the Wilderness. Battle of Spottsylvania Court-house. Second
battle of Cold Harbor. Siege of Petersburg. Sinking of the Confederate
cruiser _Alabama_ by the _Kearsarge_. Confederate raid into Maryland
and Pennsylvania. Federal naval victory of Mobile Bay. The Federals
occupy Atlanta. Battle of Winchester and Cedar Creek. Abraham Lincoln
re-elected President. Federal occupation of Savannah.

1865. The Federals capture Fort Fisher. General Sherman occupies
Charleston. Organization of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Battle of Five
Forks. Occupation of Petersburg and Richmond by the Federals, April
3rd. Surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court-House, April 9th.
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, April 14th. Andrew Johnson succeeds
to the Presidency. Capture of Jefferson Davis in Georgia. End of
the Civil War. Proclamation of amnesty. The Thirteenth Amendment,
abolishing slavery in the United States, becomes a part of the



When, on the night of the 8th of April, 1865, the cavalry corps of the
Army of the Potomac reached the two or three little houses that made
up the settlement at Appomattox Depot--the station on the South-side
Railroad that connects Appomattox Court-house with the travelling
world--it must have been nearly or quite dark. At about nine o’clock
or half-past, while standing near the door of one of the houses, it
occurred to me that it might be well to try and get a clearer idea of
our immediate surroundings, as it was not impossible that we might have
hot work here or near here before the next day fairly dawned upon us.

My “striker” had just left me with instructions to have my horse fed,
groomed, and saddled before daylight. As he turned to go he paused and
put this question, “Do you think, Colonel, that we’ll get General Lee’s
army to-morrow?”

“I don’t know,” was my reply; “but we will have some savage fighting if
we don’t.”

As the sturdy young soldier said “Good-night, sir,” and walked away, I
knew that if the enlisted men of our army could forecast the coming of
the end so plainly, there was little hope of the escape of the Army of
Northern Virginia.

I walked up the road a short distance, and looked carefully about me
to take my bearings. It was a mild spring night, with a cloudy sky,
and the soft, mellow smell of earthiness in the atmosphere that not
infrequently portends rain. If rain came, then it might retard the
arrival of our infantry, which I knew General Sheridan was most anxious
should reach us at the earliest possible moment. A short distance from
where I stood was the encampment of our headquarters escort, with
its orderlies, grooms, officers’ servants, and horses. Just beyond
it could be seen the dying camp-fires of a cavalry regiment, lying
close in to cavalry corps headquarters. This regiment was in charge
of between six and eight hundred prisoners, who had fallen into our
hands just at dark, as Generals Custer and Devin, at the head of their
respective cavalry commands, had charged into the station and captured
four railway trains of commissariat supplies, which had been sent here
to await the arrival of the Confederate army, together with twenty-six
pieces of artillery. For a few moments the artillery had greatly
surprised and astonished us, for its presence was entirely unexpected,
and as it suddenly opened on the charging columns of cavalry it looked
for a short time as though we might have all unwittingly fallen upon a
division of infantry. However, it turned out otherwise. Our cavalry,
after the first recoil, boldly charged in among the batteries, and the
gunners, being without adequate support, sensibly surrendered. The
whole affair was for us a most gratifying termination of a long day’s
ride, as it must have proved later on a bitter disappointment to the
weary and hungry Confederates pressing forward from Petersburg and
Richmond in the vain hope of escape from the Federal troops, who were
straining every nerve to overtake them and compel a surrender. To-night
the cavalry corps was in their front and squarely across the road to
Lynchburg, and it was reasonably certain, should our infantry get up
in time on the morrow, that the almost ceaseless marching and fighting
of the last ten days were to attain their legitimate result in the
capitulation of General Lee’s army.

As I stood there in the dark thinking over the work of the twelve
preceding days, it was borne in upon me with startling emphasis
that to-morrow’s sun would rise big with the fate of the Southern


Just before daylight on the morning of the 9th of April, I sat down
to a cup of coffee, but had hardly begun to drink it when I heard
the ominous sound of a scattering skirmish fire, apparently in the
direction of Appomattox Court-house. Hastily swallowing what remained
of the coffee, I reported to General Sheridan, who directed me to go
to the front at once. Springing into the saddle, I galloped up the
road, my heart being greatly lightened by a glimpse of two or three
infantrymen standing near a camp-fire close by the depot--convincing
proof that our hoped-for reinforcements were within supporting distance.

It was barely daylight as I sped along, but before I reached the
cavalry brigade of Colonel C. H. Smith, that held the main road
between Appomattox Court-house and Lynchburg, a distance of about two
miles northeast from Appomattox Depot, the enemy had advanced to the
attack, and the battle had opened. When ordered into position late the
preceding night, Colonel Smith had felt his way in the dark as closely
as possible to Appomattox Court-house, and at or near midnight had
halted on a ridge, on which he had thrown up a breastwork of rails.
This he occupied by dismounting his brigade, and also with a section
of horse-artillery, at the same time protecting both his flanks by a
small mounted force. As the enemy advanced to the attack in the dim
light of early dawn he could not see the led horses of our cavalry,
which had been sent well to the rear, and was evidently at a loss to
determine what was in his front. The result was that after the first
attack he fell back to get his artillery in position, and to form a
strong assaulting column against what must have seemed to him a line
of infantry. This was most fortunate for us, for by the time he again
advanced in full force, and compelled the dismounted cavalry to slowly
fall back by weight of numbers, our infantry was hurrying forward from
Appomattox Depot (which place it had reached at four o’clock in the
morning), and we had gained many precious minutes. At this time most
of our cavalry was fighting dismounted, stubbornly retiring. But the
Confederates at last realized that there was nothing but a brigade
of dismounted cavalry and a few batteries of horse-artillery in their
immediate front, and pushed forward grimly and determinedly, driving
the dismounted troopers slowly ahead of them.

I had gone to the left of the road, and was in a piece of woods with
some of our cavalrymen (who by this time had been ordered to fall back
to their horses and give place to our infantry, which was then coming
up), when a couple of rounds of canister tore through the branches just
over my head. Riding back to the edge of the woods in the direction
from which the shots came, I found myself within long pistol range of
a section of a battery of light artillery. It was in position near a
country road that came out of another piece of woods about two hundred
yards in its rear, and was pouring a rapid fire into the woods from
which I had just emerged. As I sat on my horse quietly watching it from
behind a rail fence, the lieutenant commanding the pieces saw me, and,
riding out for a hundred yards or more toward where I was, proceeded to
cover me with his revolver. We fired together--a miss on both sides.
The second shot was uncomfortably close, so far as I was concerned,
but as I took deliberate aim for the third shot I became aware that
in some way his pistol was disabled; for using both hands and all his
strength I saw that he could not cock it. I had him covered, and had
he turned I think I should have fired. He did nothing of the sort.
Apparently accepting his fate, he laid his revolver across the pommel
of his saddle, fronted me quietly and coolly, and looked me steadily in
the face. The whole thing had been something in the nature of a duel,
and I felt that to fire under the circumstances savored too much of
murder. Besides, I knew that at a word from him the guns would have
been trained on me where I sat. He, too, seemed to appreciate the fact
that it was an individual fight, and manfully and gallantly forbore
to call for aid; so, lowering and uncocking my pistol, I replaced it
in my holster, and shook my fist at him, which action he cordially
reciprocated, and then, turning away, I rode back into the woods.

About this time the enemy’s artillery ceased firing, and I again
rode rapidly to the edge of the woods, just in time to see the guns
limber up and retire down the wood road from which they had come. The
lieutenant in command saw me and stopped. We simultaneously uncovered,
waved our hats to each other, and bowed. I have always thought he was
one of the bravest men I ever faced.

I rode back again, passing through our infantry line, intending to go
to the left and find the cavalry, which I knew would be on the flank
somewhere. Suddenly I became conscious that firing had ceased along the
whole line.

I had not ridden more than a hundred yards when I heard some one
calling my name. Turning, I saw one of the headquarters aides, who came
galloping up, stating that he had been hunting for me for the last
fifteen minutes, and that General Sheridan wished me to report to him
at once. I followed him rapidly to the right on the wood path in the
direction from which he had come.

As soon as I could get abreast of him I asked if he knew what the
general wanted me for.

Turning in his saddle, with his eyes fairly ablaze, he said: “Why,
don’t you know? A white flag.”

All I could say was, “Really?”

He answered by a nod; and then we leaned toward each other and shook
hands; but nothing else was said.

A few moments more and we were out of the woods in the open fields. I
saw the long line of battle of the Fifth Army Corps halted, the men
standing at rest, the standards being held butt on earth, and the
flags floating out languidly on the spring breeze. As we passed them
I noticed that the officers had generally grouped themselves in front
of the centre of their regiments, sword in hand, and were conversing
in low tones. The men were leaning wearily on their rifles, in the
position of parade rest. All were anxiously looking to the front, in
the direction toward which the enemy’s line had withdrawn, for the
Confederates had fallen back into a little swale or valley beyond
Appomattox Court-house, and were not then visible from this part of our

We soon came up to General Sheridan and his staff. They were
dismounted, sitting on the grass by the side of a broad country road
that led to the Court-house. This was about one or two hundred yards
distant, and, as we afterward found, consisted of the court-house, a
small tavern, and eight or ten houses, all situated on this same road
or street.

Conversation was carried on in a low tone, and I was told of the
blunder of one of the Confederate regiments in firing on the general
and staff after the flag of truce had been accepted. I also heard that
General Lee was then up at the little village awaiting the arrival of
General Grant, to whom he had sent a note, through General Sheridan,
requesting a meeting to arrange terms of surrender. Colonel Newhall, of
our headquarters staff, had been despatched in search of General Grant,
and might be expected up at almost any moment.

It was, perhaps, something more than an hour and a half later, to the
best of my recollection, that General Grant, accompanied by Colonel
Newhall, and followed by his staff, came rapidly riding up to where
we were standing by the side of the road, for we had all risen at
his approach. When within a few yards of us he drew rein, and halted
in front of General Sheridan, acknowledged our salute, and then,
leaning slightly forward in his saddle, said, in his usual quiet tone,
“Good-morning, Sheridan; how are you?”

“First-rate, thank you, General,” was the reply. “How are you?”

General Grant nodded in return, and said, “Is General Lee up there?”
indicating the court-house by a glance.

“Yes,” was the response, “he’s there.” And then followed something
about the Confederate Army, but I did not clearly catch the import of
the sentence.

“Very well, then,” said General Grant. “Let’s go up.”

General Sheridan, together with a few selected officers of his staff,
mounted and joined General Grant and staff. Together they rode to Mr.
McLean’s house, a plain two-story brick residence in the village, to
which General Lee had already repaired, and where he was known to be
awaiting General Grant’s arrival. Dismounting at the gate, the whole
party crossed the yard, and the senior officers present went up onto
the porch which protected the front of the house. It extended nearly
across the entire house and was railed in, except where five or six
steps led up the centre opposite the front door, which was flanked by
two small wooden benches, placed close against the house on either side
of the entrance. The door opened into a hall that ran the entire length
of the house, and on either side of it was a single room with a window
in each end of it, and two doors, one at the front and one at the rear
of each of the rooms, opening on the hall. The room to the left, as you
entered, was the parlor, and it was in this room that General Lee was
awaiting General Grant’s arrival.

As General Grant stepped onto the porch he was met by Colonel Babcock,
of his staff, who had in the morning been sent forward with a message
to General Lee. He had found him resting at the side of the road, and
had accompanied him to Mr. McLean’s house.

General Grant went into the house, accompanied by General Rawlins,
his chief of staff; General Seth Williams, his adjutant-general;
General Rufus Ingalls, his quarter-master-general; and his two
aides, General Horace Porter and Lieutenant-Colonel Babcock. After a
little time General Sheridan; General M. R. Morgan, General Grant’s
chief commissary; Lieutenant-Colonel Ely Parker, his military
secretary; Lieutenant-Colonel T. S. Bowers, one of his assistant
adjutant-generals; and Captain Robert T. Lincoln and Adam Badeau,
aides-de-camp, went into the house at General Grant’s express
invitation, sent out, I believe, through Colonel Babcock, who came
to the hall-door for the purpose, and they were, I was afterward
told, formally presented to General Lee. After a lapse of a few more
minutes quite a number of these officers, including General Sheridan,
came out into the hall and onto the porch, leaving General Grant and
General Lee, Generals Rawlins, Ingalls, Seth Williams, and Porter, and
Lieutenant-Colonels Babcock, Ely Parker, and Bowers, together with
Colonel Marshall, of General Lee’s staff, in the room, while the terms
of the surrender were finally agreed upon and formally signed. These
were the only officers, therefore, who were actually present at the
official surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

After quite a length of time Colonel Babcock came to the door again,
opened it, and glanced out. As he did so he placed his forage-cap
on one finger, twirled it around, and nodded to us all, as much as
to say, “It’s all settled,” and said something in a low tone to
General Sheridan. Then they, accompanied by General E. O. C. Ord, the
commanding-general of the Army of the James, who had just ridden up
to the house, entered the house together, the hall-door partly closed
again after them, leaving quite a number of us staff-officers upon the

While the conference between Generals Grant and Lee was still in
progress, Generals Merritt and Custer, of the Cavalry Corps, and
several of the infantry generals, together with the rest of General
Sheridan’s staff-officers, came into the yard, and some of them came up
on the porch. Colonel Babcock came out once more, and General Merritt
went back to the room with him at his request; but most, if not all,
of the infantry generals left us and went back to their respective
commands while the conference was still in progress and before it ended.

Just to the right of the house, as we faced it on entering, stood a
soldierly looking orderly in a tattered gray uniform, holding three
horses--one a fairly well-bred-looking gray, in good heart, though
thin in flesh, which, from the accoutrements, I concluded belonged to
General Lee; the others, a thoroughbred bay and a fairly good brown,
were undoubtedly those of the staff-officer who had accompanied General
Lee and of the orderly himself. He was evidently a sensible soldier,
too, for as he held the bridles he baited the animals on the young
grass, and they ate as though they needed all they had a chance to pick

I cannot say exactly how long the conference between Generals Grant
and Lee lasted, but after quite a while, certainly more than two
hours, I became aware from the movement of chairs within that it was
about to break up. I had been sitting on the top step of the porch,
writing in my field note-book, but I closed it at once, and, stepping
back on the porch, leaned against the railing nearly opposite and
to the left of the door, and expectantly waited. As I did so the
inner door slowly opened, and General Lee stood before me. As he
paused for a few seconds, framed in by the doorway, ere he slowly
and deliberately stepped out upon the porch, I took my first and
last look at the great Confederate chieftain. This is what I saw: A
finely formed man, apparently about sixty years of age, well above the
average height, with a clear, ruddy complexion--just then suffused
by a deep-crimson flush that, rising from his neck, overspread his
face and even slightly tinged his broad forehead, which, bronzed
where it had been exposed to the weather, was clear and beautifully
white where it had been shielded by his hat--deep-brown eyes, a firm
but well-shaped Roman nose, abundant gray hair, silky and fine in
texture, with a full gray beard and mustache, neatly trimmed and
not over-long, but which, nevertheless, almost completely concealed
his mouth. A splendid uniform of Confederate gray cloth, that had
evidently seen but little service, was closely buttoned about him and
fitted him to perfection. An exquisitely mounted sword, attached to a
gold-embroidered Russia-leather belt, trailed loosely on the floor at
his side, and in his right hand he carried a broad-brimmed, soft, gray
felt hat, encircled by a golden cord, while in his left he held a pair
of buckskin gauntlets. Booted and spurred, still vigorous and erect,
he stood bareheaded, looking out of the open doorway, sad-faced and
weary--a soldier and a gentleman, bearing himself in defeat with an
all-unconscious dignity that sat well upon him.

The moment the open door revealed the Confederate commander, each
officer present sprang to his feet, and as General Lee stepped out
onto the porch every hand was raised in military salute. Placing his
hat on his head, he mechanically but courteously returned it, and
slowly crossed the porch to the head of the steps leading down to the
yard, meanwhile keeping his eyes intently fixed in the direction of
the little valley over beyond the Court-house in which his army lay.
Here he paused and slowly drew on his gauntlets, smiting his gloved
hands into each other several times after doing so, evidently utterly
oblivious of his surroundings. Then, apparently recalling his thoughts,
he glanced deliberately right and left, and, not seeing his horse, he
called, in a hoarse, half-choked voice, “Orderly! Orderly!”

“Here, General, here!” was the quick response. The alert young soldier
was holding the general’s horse near the side of the house. He had
taken out the bit, slipped the bridle over the horse’s neck, and the
wiry gray was eagerly grazing on the fresh young grass about him.

Descending the steps, the general passed to the left of the house and
stood in front of his horse’s head while he was being bridled. As the
orderly was buckling the throat-latch, the general reached up and drew
the fore-lock out from under the brow-band, parted and smoothed it,
and then gently patted the gray charger’s forehead in an absent-minded
way, as one who loves horses but whose thoughts are far away might all
unwittingly do. Then, as the orderly stepped aside, he caught up the
bridle-reins in his left hand, and, seizing the pommel of the saddle
with the same hand, he caught up the slack of the reins in his right
hand, and placing it on the cantle he put his foot in the stirrup and
swung himself slowly and wearily, but nevertheless firmly, into the
saddle (the old dragoon mount), letting his right hand rest for an
instant or two on the pommel as he settled into his seat, and as he did
so there broke unguardedly from his lips a long, low, deep sigh, almost
a groan in its intensity, while the flush on his neck and face seemed,
if possible, to take on a little deeper hue.

Shortly after General Lee passed down the steps he was followed by
an erect, slightly built, soldierly looking officer, in a neat but
somewhat worn gray uniform, a man with an anxious and thoughtful
face, wearing spectacles, who glanced neither to the right nor left,
keeping his eyes straight before him. Notwithstanding this, I doubt
if he missed anything within the range of his vision. This officer,
I was afterward told, was Colonel Marshall, one of the Confederate
adjutants-general, the member of General Lee’s staff whom he had
selected to accompany him.

As soon as the colonel had mounted, General Lee drew up his reins, and,
with the colonel riding on his left and followed by the orderly, moved
at a slow walk across the yard toward the gate.


Just as they started, General Grant came out of the house, crossed the
porch, and passed down the steps into the yard. At this time he was
nearly forty-two years of age, of middle height, not over-weighted
with flesh, but, nevertheless, stockily and sturdily built, with light
complexion, mild, gray-blue eyes, finely formed Grecian nose, an
iron-willed mouth, brown hair, full brown beard with a tendency toward
red rather than black, and in his manner and all his movements there
was a strength of purpose, a personal poise, and a cool, quiet air of
dignity, decision, and soldierly confidence that were very good to see.
On this occasion he wore a plain blue army blouse, with shoulder-straps
set with three silver stars equidistant, designating his rank as
lieutenant-general commanding the armies of the United States; it was
unbuttoned, showing a blue military vest, over which and under his
blouse was buckled a belt, but he was without a sword. His trousers
were dark blue and tucked into top-boots, which were without spurs,
but heavily splashed with mud, for, once he knew that General Lee
was waiting for him at Appomattox Court-house, he had ridden rapidly
across the country, over road and field and through woods, to meet him.
He wore a peculiar, stiff-brimmed, sugar-loaf-crowned, campaign hat
of black felt, and his uniform was partly covered by a light-weight,
dark-blue, waterproof, semi-military cloak, with a full cape,
unbuttoned and thrown back, showing the front of his uniform, for while
the day had developed into warm, bright, and beautifully sunny weather,
the early morning had been damp, slightly foggy, and presaged rain.

As he reached the foot of the steps and started across the yard to the
fence where, inside the gate, the orderlies were holding his horse and
those of several of his staff-officers, General Lee, on his way to the
gate, rode across his path. Stopping suddenly, General Grant looked up,
and both generals simultaneously raised their hands in military salute.
After General Lee had passed, General Grant crossed the yard and sprang
lightly and quickly into his saddle. He was riding his splendid bay
horse Cincinnati, and it would have been difficult to find a firmer
seat, a lighter hand, or a better rider in either army.

As he was about to go out of the gate he halted, turned his horse,
and rode at a walk toward the porch of the house, where, among others,
stood General Sheridan and myself. Stopping in front of the general, he
said, “Sheridan, where will you make your headquarters to-night?”

“Here, or near here; right here in this yard, probably,” was the reply.

“Very well, then; I’ll know where to find you in case I wish to
communicate. Good-day.”

“Good-day, General,” was the response, and with a military salute
General Grant turned and rode away.

As he rode forward and halted at the porch to make this inquiry, I
had my wished-for opportunity, but my eyes sought his face in vain
for any indication of what was passing in his mind. Whatever may have
been there, as Colonel Newhall has well written, “not a muscle of his
face told tales on his thoughts”; and if he felt any elation, neither
his voice, features, nor his eyes betrayed it. Once out of the gate,
General Grant, followed by his staff, turned to the left and moved off
at a rapid trot.

General Lee continued on his way toward his army at a walk, to be
received by his devoted troops with cheers and tears, and to sit down
and pen a farewell order that, to this day, no old soldier of the Army
of Northern Virginia can read without moistening eyes and swelling

General Grant, on his way to his field headquarters on this eventful
Sunday evening, dismounted, sat quietly down by the roadside, and wrote
a short and simple despatch, which a galloping aide bore at full speed
to the nearest telegraph station. On its reception in the nation’s
capital this despatch was flashed over the wires to every hamlet in the
country, causing every steeple in the North to rock to its foundation,
and sending one tall, gaunt, sad-eyed, weary-hearted man in Washington
to his knees, thanking God that he had lived to see the beginning of
the end, and that he had at last been vouchsafed the assurance that he
had led his people aright.


1866. The Civil Rights Bill is passed over President Johnson’s veto.
Adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment granting political rights to the
negro. (This amendment was proclaimed part of the Constitution in
1868.) Successful establishment of ocean telegraphy between Europe and
America. Fenian raid into Canada.

1867. Admission of Nebraska into the Union. Passage of the
Reconstruction Act. Purchase of Alaska from Russia. Dominion of Canada
constituted. Maximilian, abandoned by the French in Mexico, is captured
and shot.

1868. Impeachment and trial of President Johnson. The impeachment
fails. Ulysses S. Grant elected President. Outbreak of Cuban

1869. Adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment prohibiting the States from
denying the right to vote to any citizen of the United States on
account of race or color. (This amendment was proclaimed a part of the
Constitution in 1870.) Completion of the Pacific Railway.

1870. Completion of reconstruction in the Southern States. Death of Lee
and Farragut.

1871. Treaty of Washington for the settlement of the “Alabama” Claims.
Great Fire in Chicago. Hall’s Arctic Expedition reaches lat. 82° 16´.

1872. The Geneva Tribunal makes an award to the United States on
account of the “Alabama” Claims. The Emperor of Germany decides San
Juan boundary question. Ulysses S. Grant re-elected President. Outbreak
of the Modoc War.

1873. Surrender of the Modocs. Capture of the American steamer
_Virginius_ by a Spanish gunboat. Surrender of the _Virginius_.
Financial Panic.

1874. President Grant vetoes Inflation Bill. Race riots in the Southern

1875. Supplementary Civil Rights Bill passed.

1876. The Custer Massacre by the Sioux Indians. Admission of Colorado
into the Union. Disputed Presidential Election (Hayes, Republican, and
Tilden, Democrat). The Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Invention
of the Telephone.

1877. The Electoral Commission awards the Presidency to Rutherford
B. Hayes. Great Labor Strike throughout the United States. Campaign
against the Nez Percé Indians.

1878. End of the Ten Years’ War in Cuba. China sends a minister to
Washington for the first time.

1879. Resumption of Specie Payment in the United States.

1880. James A. Garfield elected President. Treaty with China relative
to the restriction of Chinese Immigration.

1881. Assassination of James A. Garfield. Chester A. Arthur succeeds to
the Presidency. Construction of the Panama Canal begun by the French.

1882. Verdict in the Star Route case.

1883. Passage of the Civil Service Bill. Northern Pacific Railroad

1884. Grover Cleveland elected President.

1885. United States government guarantees transit across Isthmus of
Panama threatened by insurgents, and enforces this with troops.

1886. Extensive Labor Strikes in the United States. The “Haymarket”
Anarchists’ riot at Chicago. Earthquake at Charleston. Anti-Chinese
riots in Seattle. Railroad riots in the West. United States troops
ordered to St. Louis. Act passed to increase navy.

1887. Interstate Commerce Bill passed. Centennial Celebration of the
Constitution. Execution of the Chicago “Haymarket” Anarchists. Blizzard
throughout the northwestern section of the United States.

1888. Blizzard in the East. Benjamin Harrison elected President. Dakota
divided into North and South Dakota.

1889. Wreck of the U. S. steamers _Trenton_, _Vandalia_, and
_Nipsic_ at the Samoan Islands. The territory of Oklahoma opened for
settlement. Flood at Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Centennial celebration
of Washington’s inauguration. Admission of North and South Dakota into
the Union; also of Montana and Washington. Department of Agriculture

1890. The McKinley Tariff Bill passed. Admission of Wyoming into the
Union. The Mormon Church formally abandons Polygamy.

1891. The Pine Ridge Indian outbreak. Seizure of the Chilian insurgent
steamer _Itata_. Assault upon sailors of the U. S. Cruiser _Baltimore_
at Valparaiso.

1892. An Ultimatum submitted to Chili; the latter country makes
an apology and pays an indemnity. The Homestead Labor Riots in
Pennsylvania. Railroad riots at Buffalo. National Guard ordered out.
Grover Cleveland elected President.

1893. Opening of the World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago. Admission
of Utah and Arizona into the Union.

1894. Great Railway Strike at Chicago. President Cleveland recognizes
the new Republic of Hawaii. _Kearsarge_ lost on Roncador Reef.

1895. Steamship _Alliance_ fired upon by a Spanish Cruiser. Spain
apologizes. Spain declares martial law in Cuba. Cuban revolutionists
proclaim independence, adopt a constitution, establish a republican
government, and unfurl the flag of the revolution of 1868–78. Message
of President Cleveland regarding the boundary dispute between Great
Britain and Venezuela.

1896. William McKinley elected President. President Cleveland issues a
proclamation against the Cuban Filibusters. International Arbitration
Congress meets at Washington.

1897. The United States recognizes the belligerency of the Cuban
insurgents. Venezuela boundary treaty ratified. Hawaii annexed to the
United States.

1898. The U. S. battle-ship _Maine_ is blown up in Havana Harbor,
with great loss of life, on the night of February 15th. On April 20th
Congress directs the President to intervene between Spain and Cuba. On
April 23d the President issues a call for one hundred and twenty-five
thousand volunteers, and on April 26th Congress authorizes an increase
of the regular army to 61,919 officers and men. On April 25th Congress
declares war between Spain and the United States as existing since
April 21st.



For more than a century the island of Cuba had been an object of
peculiar interest and concern to the United States.[272] During the
first part of the nineteenth century the fear was that Cuba might
be acquired by Great Britain or France, and thus a strong European
power would be established at the very gate of the American republic.
Manifestly, it was then the policy of the United States to guarantee
the possession of the island to Spain. But after the Mexican War the
idea of exterritorial expansion entered more and more largely into
American statesmanship. The South looked upon Cuba as a desirable
addition to slave-holding territory, and it was apparent to every
eye that the island occupied an all-important strategic position in
relation to the proposed canal routes across the Isthmus of Panama.

In 1822 propositions for annexation came from Cuba to the United
States, and Monroe sent an agent to investigate. Later, annexation
was a recurrent subject favored by the South, which saw a field for
the extension of slavery. In 1848 the American minister at Madrid was
instructed by President Polk to sound the Spanish government upon the
question of sale or cession. But Spain declined even to consider such
a proposition. In 1854 the so-called “Ostend Manifesto,” drawn up by
James Buchanan, John Y. Mason, and Pierre Soulé (respectively United
States ministers to England, France, and Spain), declared in plain
language that the “Union can never enjoy repose nor possess reliable
security as long as Cuba is not embraced within its boundaries.” It
went on to advise the seizing of the coveted territory in case Spain
refused to sell. The administration of President Pierce never directly
sanctioned the proposition advanced in such extraordinary terms,
and Marcy, the Secretary of State, repudiated it unqualifiedly. So
the matter fell again into abeyance until in 1873 the _Virginius_,
an American schooner suspected of conveying arms and ammunition to
the Cuban insurgents, was captured by a Spanish gunboat and taken to
Havana. As a result of the trial, many insurgents, together with six
British subjects and thirty American citizens, were executed. For a
time international complications seemed certain, but finally Spain made
proper apologies and surrendered the _Virginius_ and the survivors of
her crew.

The Cuban “Ten Years’ War,” from 1868 to 1878, was characterized by
great cruelty and destructive losses of life and property in which
American interests were now deeply involved. President Grant seriously
considered and even threatened intervention, which would have meant
annexation; but Spain promised definite reforms, and the old conditions
were continued.

When the insurrection of 1895 began, American citizens owned at least
fifty millions of property in the island, and American commerce
amounted to a hundred millions annually. Both on the Spanish and Cuban
side outrages were of daily occurrence, and the situation quickly
became intolerable. The McKinley administration ventured upon a mild
remonstrance against the inhumanities of Captain-General Weyler, and
the Spanish authorities replied evasively. Finally the United States
formally offered its good offices for the adjustment of Cuban affairs,
presumably on a basis of independence. Spain declared that it was her
intention to grant autonomy to the island, and the decree was actually
published on November 27, 1897. But it was now too late, and the
unhappy conditions grew worse day by day.

There had been riots at Havana itself, and it was thought advisable
to send the United States cruiser _Maine_ on a friendly visit to that
port. The _Maine_ arrived at Havana on January 25, 1898. On the night
of February 15th the _Maine_ was blown up while lying at her harbor
moorings, with a ghastly loss of life. The American Court of Inquiry
found that the ship was destroyed from the outside; the Spanish inquiry
resulted in a verdict that the ship was destroyed from causes within
herself. At the time there was an outburst of passion throughout the
United States, and Spain was held guilty of an atrocious crime. While
the exact cause of the disaster has never been finally determined, it
is the verdict of calmer and more distant consideration that official
Spain must be acquitted, although the belief remains on the part of
the American naval authorities that the _Maine_ was blown up from
outside. At the time, however, this tragedy powerfully reinforced the
efforts of Cubans and the pressure of financial interests to secure
American support. When Senator Redfield Proctor, of Vermont, a man
of peculiarly dispassionate temperament, made public his account
of the suffering which he had witnessed among the _reconcentrados_
(collections of native Cubans, particularly women and children, herded
together by Spanish troops), the sympathies of Americans were stirred
even more deeply. Ministers preached intervention from their pulpits.
Many newspapers demanded intervention. Yellow journals clamored for
an ultimatum backed by arms. Congress was carried away by the wave of
intense feeling, although President McKinley thought that a solution
could be reached without an appeal to arms--a belief in which the final
verdict of history will probably agree, although it was inevitable that
Spain should resign control of Cuba. But the President was powerless
against the popular sentiment.

On April 25th war with Spain was formally declared, and for the first
time in over three-quarters of a century the republic of the West found
itself arrayed in arms against a European nation.

The situation had its peculiar features. It had been assumed that
the principal theatre of conflict would be the island of Cuba, and
consequently the American campaign must be one of invasion. But the
Spaniards, owing to the civil war in the colony, were in virtually the
same position--fighting at a distance from their base of supplies.

In material resources the United States ranked immeasurably superior.
True, the numerical strength of the regular army was small, but behind
it stood thousands of State militia and millions of available reserves.
Moreover, the United States was classed among the richest of nations
and Spain among the poorest. So far as the land operations were
concerned, the final issue could not be doubtful.

In naval strength, however, there was less disparity. On paper the
United States ranked sixth among the world powers, while Spain
occupied eighth place. But the United States, with its thousands of
miles of coast on both the Atlantic and the Pacific seaboards, was
unquestionably vulnerable. Coast defences were admittedly inadequate,
and it was conceivable that one swift dash by a Spanish squadron might
endanger millions of property at Boston, New York, and Baltimore; at
San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.

The situation on the Pacific coast seemed even more delicate than that
on the Eastern seaboard. There was a formidable Spanish squadron at
Manila in the Philippine Islands, and all depended upon the fighting
ability of the American Pacific fleet; if Dewey failed, the Western
States of America were absolutely at the mercy of the enemy.

For more than a month Commodore Dewey had lain with his fleet in the
harbor of Hong-Kong, waiting for events to shape themselves. In
anticipation of the coming strife, and the consequent declaration of
neutrality on the part of Great Britain, the American commander had
purchased two transport steamers, together with ten thousand tons of
coal. He was thus prepared for prompt and decisive action.

War had been declared on April 25th, and the American squadron
immediately left Hong-Kong for Mirs Bay, some thirty miles away. On
April 26th Commodore Dewey received the following despatch:

                    “WASHINGTON, _April 26_.

  “DEWEY, ASIATIC SQUADRON,--Commence operations at once,
  particularly against the Spanish fleet. You must capture or destroy


On April 27th the American fleet sailed for Manila, six hundred and
twenty-eight miles away, and on the morning of Saturday, April 30th,
Luzon was sighted, and the ships were ordered to clear for action.

Under Commodore George Dewey were the _Olympia_, the _Boston_, the
_Petrel_, the _Concord_, the _Raleigh_, and the _Baltimore_. The only
armored vessel in the squadron was the _Olympia_, the protecting
belting, four inches thick, being around the turret guns. The auxiliary
force was made up of the revenue-cutter _McCulloch_ and two transports,
the _Vaughan_ and the _Zafiro_. Altogether, the American fighting force
included four cruisers, two gunboats, fifty-seven classified big guns,
seventy-four rapid-fire and machine guns, and 1808 men. On the other
side, Rear-Admiral Montojo commanded seven cruisers, five gunboats, two
torpedo-boats, fifty-two classified big guns, eighty-three rapid-fire
and machine guns, and 1948 men. It will thus be seen that the Americans
mounted a few more heavy guns, but the Spanish had several more ships
and over a hundred more men. Moreover, the Spanish ships were assisted
by the fort and land batteries at Manila, and they also possessed
the great advantage of range-marks. Finally, the ship-channels were
supposed to be amply protected by mines and submarine batteries. After
satisfying himself that the ships of the enemy were not in Subig Bay,
Commodore Dewey resolved to enter Manila Bay the same night. It was
known that the channel had been mined, but that risk must be taken.
With all lights except the stern ones extinguished, the American
vessels steamed steadily onward; finally, Corregidor Island, with its
lofty light-house, came into view, and the fleet swept into the main
ship-channel known as the Boca Grande.

Up to this point no sign had been made by the enemy that the approach
of the American ships had been discovered, although the night was
moonlit and it was only a little after eleven o’clock. Then a fireman
on the _McCulloch_ threw some soft coal in the furnace and a shower of
sparks flew from the cutter’s funnel. A solitary rocket ascended from
Corregidor, and there was an answering light from the mainland. At a
quarter-past eleven a bugle sounded, and from the shore batteries came
a blinding glare, followed by the boom of a heavy gun--the first shot
of the Spanish-American War.

The _Raleigh_ had the honor of replying for the American side, and
the _Boston_ followed quickly. A well-aimed six-inch shell from the
_Concord_ plumped into the Spanish fort; there was a crash and a cry,
and all was still. The forts had been silenced.

At slow speed the squadron moved onward, for Commodore Dewey did not
wish to arrive at Manila before dawn. Some of the men managed to get
a little sleep, but the ever-present danger of torpedoes and the
excitement of the approaching battle were not conducive to peaceful

The morning of Sunday, May 1st, dawned clear and beautiful, although
the day promised to be hot. The squadron found itself directly across
the bay from the city of Manila; and there, under the guns of Cavité,
lay the Spanish fleet.

[Illustration: BATTLE OF MANILA BAY]

According to Commodore Dewey’s report, the shore batteries began
firing at a quarter-past five. The _Olympia_, flying the signal
“Remember the Maine,” led the American column, followed closely by
the _Baltimore_, _Raleigh_, _Petrel_, _Concord_, and _Boston_ in the
order named. The ships came on in a line approximately parallel to
that of the enemy, reserving their fire until within effective range.
As the fleet advanced two submarine mines were exploded, but neither
did any damage. At twenty minutes to six Commodore Dewey shouted to
Captain Gridley in the conning-tower of the flag-ship: “Fire as soon
as you get ready, Gridley.” Instantly the _Olympia_ discharged her
broadside, the _Baltimore_ followed the lead, and each successive ship
in turn discharged every gun that could be brought to bear. The Spanish
returned the fire with great energy, but with inconclusive results.
Several of the American ships were struck, but no casualties followed.
Lieutenant Brumby, of the flag-ship, had the signal halliards shot out
of his hands; a shot passed clean through the _Baltimore_, and another
smashed into the foremast of the _Boston_. Incessantly firing, the
battle-line steamed past the whole length of the stationary Spanish
fleet, then swung slowly around and began the countermarch. Once
Montojo’s flag-ship, the _Reina Cristina_, made a desperate attempt to
leave the line and engage at close quarters, but she was quickly driven

A little after half-past seven the American commander ordered the
firing to be stopped, and the fleet headed for the eastern side of the
bay for breakfast and a redistribution of ammunition for the big guns.
The Spaniards, seeing the withdrawal of the American vessels, rashly
concluded that the enemy had been repulsed and raised a feeble cheer.
In reality they were hopelessly beaten: several of their ships were
on fire, the decks of all were covered with dead and dying men, and
ammunition was running low.

At a quarter-past eleven the battle was renewed. Several of the Spanish
ships were now disabled and on fire, and Admiral Montojo had been
forced to transfer his flag to the _Isla de Cuba_.

A few minutes later the _Reina Cristina_, his former flag-ship, was
blazing from end to end, and the explosion of her magazine completed
the destruction of the vessel. One after another the Spanish ships
succumbed under the storm of shot and shell, and either surrendered
or were cut to pieces. The _Don Antonio de Ulloa_, riddled like a
sieve and on fire in a dozen places, refused to acknowledge defeat,
and went down with colors flying. Finally, Admiral Montojo hauled down
his flag, and, leaving the _Isla de Cuba_, escaped to the shore. The
arsenal building at Cavité ran up the white flag, and at half-past
one Commodore Dewey signalled to his ships that they might anchor at

[Illustration: BATTLE OF MANILA BAY]

Never was victory more decisive. Not a man had been killed on
the American side, and but four men were wounded--this through the
explosion of a Spanish shell on the _Baltimore_. None of the American
ships received any material damage. On the other hand, the following
Spanish ships were completely destroyed: _Reina Cristina_ (flag-ship),
_Castilla_, _Don Antonio de Ulloa_, _Don Juan de Austria_, _Isla de
Luzon_, _Isla de Cuba_, _Marquiz del Duero_, _General Lezo_, _Correo_,
_Velasco_, and _Isla de Mandanao_. The casualties on the Spanish side
amounted to about four hundred men. Moreover, the water-batteries of
Cavité had been demolished, the arsenal had been captured, and the city
of Manila lay defenceless under the guns of the American fleet.

But Commodore Dewey’s difficulties were by no means at an end. He had
immediately proclaimed a blockade of the port. The German Pacific
squadron, under Vice-Admiral von Diederich, had arrived at Manila
shortly after the battle, and were, of course, in the position
of neutrals, having access to the harbor merely on the ground of
international courtesy. This privilege the Germans quickly began
to abuse, disregarding Commodore Dewey’s regulations at will, and
committing various acts inconsistent with the neutrality laws. Their
attitude was both annoying and insolent, and it was evident that it
must be promptly and effectually checked if the American supremacy were
to be maintained.

At last the opportunity came. Commodore Dewey learned, on
unquestionable authority, that one of the German vessels had been
landing provisions at Manila, thereby violating neutrality. He
immediately sent a vigorous protest to Admiral von Diederich--a message
that ended with these significant words: “And, Brumby, tell Admiral von
Diederich that if he wants a fight he can have it right now.”

That was enough. The German admiral was not quite ready to involve his
country in a war with the United States; he made an apology, and the
incident was closed.

On June 30th the first army expedition from the United States arrived
at Manila, and Commodore Dewey’s long vigil was at an end, the
succeeding operations in the Philippines being almost exclusively
military, and consisting of the capture of the city of Manila by the
Americans and subsequent warfare with Aguinaldo and insurgent Filipinos.

Such, in large outline, was the battle of Manila Bay. Foreign critics
have derided American enthusiasm on the ground that the American fleet
was far superior, that the Spanish vessels, many of them mere gunboats,
lacked armor and adequate guns, and that they were imperfectly manned.
Yet the same critics ranked the naval forces of Spain as quite equal
to the American at the outset of the war. Furthermore, the action of
Dewey, without a single battle-ship or torpedo-boat under his command,
in entering a mined harbor without waiting to countermine, and in
attacking a fleet whose strength was not accurately known, under
the guns of land batteries, must be classed among the distinctive
achievements of naval history. The battle was decisive in its immediate
outcome, far-reaching in its ultimate consequences. Dewey’s victory but
presaged the final triumph of American arms. The Battle of Manila Bay
meant the expulsion of Spain from the Pacific and the succession of
the United States to Spain’s heritage of Asiatic power. Politically,
therefore, in its establishment of the United States as a power in
the Orient, Manila Bay is to be placed among the decisive battles of





Ex-President Roosevelt once said that the most striking thing about the
war with Spain was the preparedness of the navy and the unpreparedness
of the army. For fifteen years the United States had been building up a
navy, and for months preceding the war every effort was made, with the
resources at the command of the Navy Department, to put it in a state
of first-class efficiency. As early as January 11, 1898, instructions
were sent to the commanders of the several squadrons to retain in the
service men whose terms of enlistment were about to expire. As the
Cuban situation grew more threatening, the North Atlantic Squadron
and a torpedo-boat flotilla were rapidly assembled in Florida waters;
and immediately after the destruction of the _Maine_ the ships on the
European and South Atlantic stations were ordered to Key West....

Both from a political and a military point of view the blockade of
Cuba was the first step for the American government to take, and the
surest and quickest means of bringing things to an issue. Cuba was the
point in dispute between the United States and Spain, and a blockade
would result in one of two things--the surrender of the island or the
despatch of a Spanish naval force to its relief. The Navy Department
had very little apprehension of an attack on our coast, as no squadron
could hope to be in condition after crossing the Atlantic for offensive
operations without coaling, and the only places where Spain could coal
were in the West Indies. The public, however, took a different view
of the situation, and no little alarm was felt in the Eastern cities.
A few coast-defence guns of modern pattern would have relieved the
department of the necessity of protecting the coast, and enabled it
to concentrate the whole fighting force around Cuba. To meet popular
demands, however, a Northern Patrol Squadron was organized April 20th,
under command of Commodore Howell, to cover the New England coast;
and a more formidable Flying Squadron, under Commodore Schley, was
assembled at Hampton Roads, and kept there until the appearance of
the Spanish fleet in the West Indies. The main squadron was stationed
at Key West under Rear-Admiral William T. Sampson, who had just been
promoted to that grade, and given command of the entire naval force in
North Atlantic waters. His appointment over the heads of Schley and
other officers of superior rank and longer service created a great deal
of criticism, although he was everywhere conceded to be one of the most
efficient and progressive officers of the new navy.[274]

One hundred and twenty-eight ships [steam merchantmen, revenue-cutters,
light-house tenders, yachts, and ocean liners] were added to the navy,
and the government yards were kept busy transforming them. To man these
ships the number of enlisted men was raised from 12,500 to 24,123,
and a number of new officers appointed.[275] The heavy fighting force
consisted of four first-class battle-ships, the _Indiana_, _Iowa_,
_Massachusetts_, and _Oregon_; one second-class battle-ship, the
_Texas_; and two armored cruisers, the _Brooklyn_ and the _New York_.
As against these seven armored ships Spain had five armored cruisers
of modern construction and of greater reputed speed than any of ours
except the _Brooklyn_ and the _New York_, and one battle-ship of the
_Indiana_ type. Spain had further a type of vessel unknown to our navy
and greatly feared by us--namely, torpedo-boat destroyers, such as the
_Furor_, _Pluton_, and _Terror_. It was popularly supposed that the
Spanish navy was somewhat superior to the American.

As soon as the Spanish minister withdrew from Washington, a despatch
was sent to Sampson at Key West directing him to blockade the coast
of Cuba immediately from Cardenas to Bahia Honda, and to blockade
Cienfuegos if it was considered advisable. On April 29th, Admiral
Cervera’s division of the Spanish fleet left the Cape de Verde Islands
for an unknown destination, and disappeared for two weeks from the
knowledge of the American authorities. This fleet was composed of
four armored cruisers, the _Infanta Maria Teresa_, _Cristobal Colon_,
_Oquendo_, and _Vizcaya_, and three torpedo-boat destroyers. Its
appearance in American waters was eagerly looked for, and interest in
the war became intense....

[In the next two weeks Sampson’s patrol of the Windward Islands and
adjacent waters, and his visit to San Juan, Porto Rico, produced no
discoveries, and he started to return to the blockade of Havana. At
midnight, May 12th–13th, thirty-six hours after the event, the Navy
Department learned that Cervera had appeared off Martinique. Sampson,
with his fleet, and Schley, with the Flying Squadron, were ordered to
Key West, which they reached on May 18th.]

The department had heard that Cervera had munitions of war essential
to the defence of Havana, and that his orders were to reach Havana,
Cienfuegos, or a port connected with Havana by rail. As Cienfuegos
seemed the only place he would be likely to choose, Schley was ordered
there with the _Brooklyn_, _Massachusetts_, and _Texas_, May 19th. He
was joined later by the _Iowa_, under Captain Evans, and by several
cruisers. The Spanish squadron slipped into Santiago, unobserved by the
cruisers on scouting duty, May 19th, two days before Schley arrived at
Cienfuegos, so that had Cervera known the conditions he could easily
have made the latter port. On the same day the department received from
spies in Havana probable information, conveyed by the cable which had
been allowed to remain in operation, that Cervera had entered Santiago.
As we now know, he had entered early that morning. Several auxiliary
cruisers were immediately ordered to assemble before Santiago in order
to watch Cervera and follow him in case he should leave.

At the same time the department “strongly advised” Sampson to send
Schley to Santiago at once with his whole command. Sampson replied that
he had decided to hold Schley at Cienfuegos until it was certain that
the Spanish fleet was in Santiago. Later he sent a despatch to Schley,
received May 23d, ordering him to proceed to Santiago if satisfied
that the enemy were not at Cienfuegos.[276] The next day[277] Schley
started, encountering on the run much rain and rough weather, which
seriously delayed the squadron. At 5.30 P.M., May 26th, he reached
a point twenty-two miles south of Santiago, where he was joined by
several of the auxiliary cruisers on scouting duty. Captain Sigsbee, of
the _St. Paul_, informed him that the scouts knew nothing positively
about the Spanish fleet. The collier _Merrimac_ had been disabled,
which increased the difficulty of coaling. At 7.45 P.M., a little over
two hours after his arrival, Schley without explanation signalled to
the squadron: “Destination, Key West, _via_ south side of Cuba and
Yucatan Channel, as soon as collier is ready; speed, nine knots.”
Thus began the much-discussed retrograde movement which occupied two
days. Admiral Schley states in his book that. Sigsbee’s report and
other evidence led him to conclude that the Spanish squadron was not
in Santiago; hence the retrograde movement to protect the passage west
of Cuba.[278] But he has never yet given any satisfactory explanation
why he did not definitely ascertain the facts before turning back.
Fortunately the squadron did not proceed very far; the lines towing
the collier parted and other delays occurred. The next morning
Schley received a despatch from the department stating that all the
information at hand indicated that Cervera was in Santiago, but he
continued on his westward course slowly and at times drifting while
some of the ships coaled. The next day, May 28th, Schley returned to
Santiago, arriving before that port about dusk, and established a

Admiral Sampson arrived off Santiago June 1st, and assumed direct
command of the squadron. The blockade, which lasted for over a month,
was eagerly watched by the whole American people. The most thrilling
incident was the daring but unsuccessful attempt made by Lieutenant
Richmond Pearson Hobson to sink the collier Merrimac across the
entrance to Santiago harbor, undertaken by direction of Admiral
Sampson. Electric torpedoes were attached to the hull of the ship,
sea-valves were cut, and anchor chains arranged on deck so that she
could be brought to a sudden stop. Early on the morning of June 3d,
Hobson, assisted by a crew of seven seamen, took the collier into the
entrance of the harbor under heavy fire and sunk her. The unfortunate
shooting away of her steering-gear and the failure of some of the
torpedoes to explode kept the ship from sinking at the place selected,
so that the plan miscarried. Hobson and his men escaped death as by a
miracle, but fell into the hands of the Spaniards.[280]



As soon as Cervera was blockaded in Santiago and the government was
satisfied that all his ships were with him, it was decided to send an
army to co-operate with the navy. Hitherto the war had been a naval war
exclusively, and the two hundred thousand volunteers who had responded
to the calls of the President in May had been kept in camp in different
parts of the country. Most of the regular infantry and cavalry,
together with several volunteer regiments, had been assembled at Tampa
and organized as the Fifth Army Corps, in readiness to land in Cuba as
soon as the navy had cleared the way. Conspicuous among these troops
was the First Volunteer Cavalry, popularly known as Roosevelt’s Rough
Riders, a regiment which through the energetic efforts of Dr. Leonard
Wood, an army surgeon, who became its colonel, and Theodore Roosevelt,
who resigned the position of assistant secretary of the navy to become
its lieutenant-colonel, had been enlisted, officered, and equipped in
fifty days. It was recruited largely from Arizona, New Mexico, and
Oklahoma, and had in its ranks cowboys, hunters, ranchmen, and more
than one hundred and sixty full-blooded Indians, together with a few
graduates of Harvard, Yale, and other Eastern colleges.

Tampa was ill-suited for an instruction camp, and the preparations made
by the department for the accommodation and provisioning of such large
bodies of men were wholly inadequate. One of the main difficulties was
the inability of the Commissary and Quartermaster departments, hampered
by red tape, senseless regulations, and political appointees, to
distribute the train-loads of supplies which blocked the tracks leading
to Tampa; so great was the congestion that the soldiers could not even
get their mail. This condition continued for weeks. The great majority
of the troops were finally sent to Santiago to fight under a tropical
sun in heavy woollen clothes; lighter clothing was not supplied to them
until they were ready to return to Montauk Point, where they needed
the woollen. The sanitation of the camp was poor and the water-supply
bad; dysentery, malaria, and typhoid soon made their appearance.
Similar conditions prevailed at the other camps. The administrative
inefficiency of the War Department was everywhere revealed in striking
contrast with the fine record of the Navy Department. Secretary Alger
had been too much occupied with questions of patronage to look after
the real needs of the service. Although war had been regarded for
months as inevitable, when it finally came the department was found
to be utterly unprepared to equip troops for service in Cuba. As the
result of this neglect, for which it should be said Congress was partly
responsible, it was necessary to improvise an army--a rather serious

It had been the original intention to land the Fifth Army Corps at
Mariel, near Havana, and begin operations against the capital city
under the direct supervision of General Miles; but the bottling-up of
Cervera at Santiago caused a change of plan, and General Miles, who
still expected the heavy fighting to take place at Havana, selected
Major-General William R. Shafter for the movement against Santiago. By
June 1st the battle-ship _Indiana_, under Captain Henry C. Taylor, with
a dozen smaller vessels, was ready to convoy the expedition. The army
was very slow in embarking, and it was not until June 8th that the
force was ready to depart. Further delay was caused by the unfounded
rumor that a Spanish cruiser and two torpedo-boat destroyers had been
sighted off the north coast of Cuba.[281] In order to ascertain whether
all the Spanish ships were at Santiago, Lieutenant Victor Blue, of the
navy, landed, and by personal observation from the hills back of the
city located Cervera’s entire division in the harbor. On June 14th
the transports, about thirty in number, sailed from Tampa with their
convoy. They were crowded and ill-provided with supplies, the whole
movement showing lack of experience in handling large bodies of men.
The expedition consisted of 815 officers and 16,072 enlisted men,
regulars except the Seventy-first New York, Second Massachusetts, and
the First Volunteer Cavalry.[282]

The expedition under Shafter began disembarking at Daiquiri on the
morning of June 22d, and by night six thousand men had with great
difficulty been put ashore. No lighters or launches had been provided,
and the only wharf, a small wooden one, had been stripped of its
flooring: the War Department expected the navy to look after these
matters. In addition, the troops had been crowded into the transports
without any reference to order, officers separated from their commands,
artillery-pieces on one transport, horses on another, harness on a
third, and no means of finding out where any of them were. By the aid
of a few launches borrowed from the battle-ships, the men were put
ashore, or near enough to wade through the surf, but the animals had
to be thrown into the sea, where many of them perished, some in their
bewilderment swimming out to sea instead of to shore.

General Lawton advanced and seized Siboney next day, and Kent’s
division landed here, eight miles nearer Santiago. General Wheeler
pushed on with part of Young’s brigade, and on the morning of the 24th
defeated the Spanish force at Las Guasimas, with a loss of one officer
and fifteen men killed, six officers and forty-six men wounded.[283]
During the next week the army, including Garcia’s Cuban command, was
concentrated at Sevilla. These were trying days. The troops suffered
from the heavy rains, poor rations, and bad camp accommodations.
No adequate provision had been made for landing supplies or for
transporting them to the camps, so that with an abundance, such as they
were, aboard the transports, the soldiers were in actual want.

On June 30th it was decided to advance. San Juan Hill, a strategic
point on the direct road to Santiago, could not be taken or held while
the Spaniards occupied El Caney, on the right of the American advance.
The country was a jungle, and the roads from the coast little more than
bridle-paths. Lawton moved out to a position south of El Caney that
afternoon, so as to begin the attack early next morning. Wheeler’s
division of dismounted cavalry and Kent’s division of infantry advanced
toward El Poso, accompanied by Grimes’ battery, which was to take
position early in the morning and open the way for the advance toward
San Juan. The attack at this point was to be delayed until Lawton’s
infantry fire was heard at El Caney. After forcing the enemy from this
position, Lawton was to move toward Santiago and take position on
Wheeler’s right. Little was known of the ground over which the troops
were to move or the position and strength of the forces they were to
meet, consequently they went into battle without knowing what they
were about and fought without any generalship being displayed. General
Shafter was too ill to leave his headquarters in the rear.

At El Caney, which was surrounded by trenches and block-houses, the
Spaniards developed unexpected strength, and held Lawton in check
until late in the afternoon, when he finally carried the position. In
this fight about thirty-five hundred Americans were engaged, and not
more than six hundred or one thousand Spaniards. The American loss was
four officers and seventy-seven men killed, and twenty-five officers
and three hundred and thirty-five men wounded. About one hundred and
fifty Spaniards were captured, and between three hundred and four
hundred killed and wounded.[284]


Meanwhile there had been a desperate fight at San Juan Hill. As soon as
Lawton’s musket-fire was heard at El Caney, Grimes’ battery opened fire
from El Poso on the San Juan block-house. This fire was immediately
returned by the enemy’s artillery, who had the range, and a number
of men were killed. The Spaniards used smokeless powder, which made
it difficult to locate them, while some of the Americans had black
powder, which quickly indicated their position. The road along which
the troops had to advance was so narrow and rough that at times they
had to proceed in column of twos. The progress made was very slow, and
the long-range guns of the enemy killed numbers of men before they
could get into position to return the fire. By the middle of the day
the advance had crossed the river, the cavalry division under Sumner
deploying to the right in front of Kettle Hill, and Kent’s division
of infantry deploying to the left directly in front of San Juan Hill.
During this movement the troops were exposed to a galling artillery
and rifle fire and suffered greatly, especially the third brigade
of Kent’s division, which lost three commanders in fifteen minutes,
General Wikoff being killed and Colonels Worth and Liscum disabled. The
suffering of the wounded, many of whom lay in the brush for hours
without succor, was the most terrible feature of the situation.

Finally the long-expected order to advance was given. The First Regular
Cavalry, the Rough Riders, and the Negro troopers of the Ninth and
a part of the Tenth advanced up Kettle Hill and drove the Spaniards
from the ranch-house, while the infantry division with the Sixth and
Sixteenth regiments under Hawkins in the lead charged up San Juan Hill
in the face of a destructive fire and captured the block-house. Then
the cavalry under Sumner and Roosevelt advanced from Kettle Hill and
occupied the trenches on San Juan Hill north of the block-house. The
Spaniards fled to their second line of trenches, six or eight hundred
yards in the rear.


After occupying San Juan Hill, the cavalry were still exposed to a
constant fire, and many were discouraged and wanted to retire, but
General Wheeler, who, though ill, had come to the front early in the
afternoon, put a stop to this and set the men to work fortifying
themselves. The next day Lawton came up and advanced to a strong
position on Wheeler’s right. The fighting was resumed on the two
following days, but about noon, July 3d, the Spaniards ceased firing.
The losses in the three days’ fight were eighteen officers and one
hundred and twenty-seven men killed, sixty-five officers and eight
hundred and forty-nine men wounded, and seventy-two men missing.[285]
The condition of the troops after the battle was very bad; many of them
were down with fever, and all were suffering from lack of suitable
equipment and supplies. General Shafter cabled to the secretary of
war, July 3d, that it would be impossible to take Santiago by storm
with the forces he then had, and that he was “seriously considering
withdrawing about five miles and taking up a new position on the high
ground between the San Juan River and Siboney.”[286] The destruction
of Cervera’s fleet the same day materially changed the situation.



The advance made by the American troops around Santiago on July 1st
and 2d forced the Spanish authorities to come to a decision in regard
to Cervera’s fleet. Captain-General Blanco insisted that the fleet
should not be captured or destroyed without a fight. Cervera refused
to assume the responsibility of leaving the harbor, and when ordered
to do so went out with consummate bravery, knowing that he was leading
a forlorn-hope. Sampson seems to have been under the impression all
along that the Spanish squadron would attempt to escape at night,
but the American ships kept in so close to the shore, with dazzling
search-lights directed against the entrance of the harbor, as to render
it almost impossible to steer a ship out. On the morning of July 3d,
at 8.55, Sampson started east to meet General Shafter in conference
at Siboney, signalling to the fleet as he left: “Disregard movements
commander-in-chief.” The _Massachusetts_ had also left her place in
the blockade to go to Guantanamo for coal. The remaining ships formed
a semicircle around the entrance of the harbor, the _Brooklyn_ to the
west, holding the left of the line, then the _Texas_, next the _Iowa_
in the centre and at the south of the curve, then, as the line curved
in to the coast on the right, the _Oregon_ and the _Indiana_. The
_Brooklyn_ and the _Indiana_, holding the left and the right of the
line, were about two miles and one and a half miles respectively from
the shore, and near them, closer in, lay the converted gunboats _Vixen_
and _Gloucester_.

At 9.35 A.M., while most of the men were at Sunday inspection, the
enemy’s ships were discovered slowly steaming down the narrow channel
of the harbor. In the lead was the _Maria Teresa_, followed by the
_Vizcaya_, the _Colon_, the _Oquendo_, and the two torpedo-boat
destroyers. The _Iowa_ was the first to signal that the enemy were
escaping, though the fact was noted on several ships at almost the same
moment, and no orders were necessary. The American ships at once closed
in and directed their fire against the _Teresa_. For a moment there was
doubt as to whether the Spanish ships would separate and try to scatter
the fire of our fleet or whether they would stick together. This was
quickly settled when Cervera turned west, followed by the remainder
of his command. At this point Commodore Schley’s flag-ship, the
_Brooklyn_, which was farthest west, turned to the eastward, away from
the hostile fleet, making a loop, at the end of which she again steamed
westward farther out to sea but still ahead of any of the American
vessels. The sudden and unexpected turn of the _Brooklyn_ caused the
_Texas_, which was behind her, to reverse her engines in order to avoid
a collision and to come to a standstill, thus losing position, the
_Oregon_ and the _Iowa_ both passing her. The two destroyers, which
came out last, were attacked by the _Indiana_ and the _Gloucester_,
the commander of the latter, Wainwright, dashing toward them in utter
disregard of the fragile character of his vessel. The _Furor_ was
sunk and the _Pluton_ was run ashore. The _Teresa_, struck by several
shells which exploded and set her on fire, turned to the shore at 10.15
and was beached about six miles west of the Morro. The _Oquendo_ was
riddled by shell and likewise soon on fire. She was beached about half
a mile west of the _Teresa_ at 10.20. The _Vizcaya_ and _Colon_ were
now left to bear the fire of the pursuing American ships, which were
practically uninjured. In this running fight the _Indiana_ dropped
behind, owing to the defective condition of her machinery, but kept up
her fire. At 11.05 the _Vizcaya_ turned to run ashore about fifteen
miles west of the Morro. The _Brooklyn_ and the _Oregon_, followed at
some distance by the _Texas_, continued the chase of the _Colon_. The
_Indiana_ and the _Iowa_, at the order of Sampson, who had come up,
went back to guard the transports. At 1.15 P.M. the _Colon_ turned to
shore thirty miles west of the _Vizcaya_ and surrendered.[287]


ABBREVIATIONS:--N. Y., _New York_; B., _Brooklyn_; Tx., _Texas_; A.,
_Iowa_; I., _Indiana_; O., _Oregon_; G., _Gloucester_; Vx., _Vixen_;
H., _Hist._; E., _Ericsson_; T., _Teresa_; V., _Vizcaya_; C., _Colon_;
Oq., _Oquendo_; P., _Pluton_; F., _Furor_.]

The fight was over, one of the most remarkable naval battles on record.
On the American side, though the ships were struck many times, only
one man was killed and one wounded. These casualties both occurred on
Commodore Schley’s flag-ship, the _Brooklyn_. The Spaniards lost about
six hundred in killed and wounded. The American sailors took an active
part in the rescue of the officers and crews of the burning Spanish

Only one hundred and twenty-three out of about eight thousand American
projectiles hit the Spanish ships.



On July 3d, General Shafter demanded the surrender of the Spanish
forces in Santiago. This being refused, he notified General Toral that
the bombardment of Santiago would begin at noon of the 5th, thus giving
two days for the women and children to leave the city. Nearly twenty
thousand people came out and filled the villages and roads around. They
were in an utterly destitute condition, and had to be taken care of
largely by the American army--a great drain on their supplies. On the
10th and 11th the city was bombarded by the squadron. At this point
General Miles arrived off Santiago with additional troops intended for
Porto Rico. He and Shafter met General Toral under a flag of truce
and arranged terms for the surrender, which took place on the 17th.
Shafter’s command was by this time in a serious state of health and
anxious to return home. Malarial fevers had so weakened the men that an
epidemic of yellow-fever, which had appeared sporadically throughout
the command, was greatly feared. The situation was desperate, and the
War Department apparently deaf to all representations of the case.
Under these circumstances the division and brigade commanders and the
surgeons met at General Shafter’s headquarters early in August and
signed a round-robin addressed to the secretary of war urging the
immediate removal of the corps to the United States. This action was
much criticised at the time, but it had the desired effect, and on
August 4th orders were given to remove the command to Montauk Point,
Long Island. The movement was begun at once and completed before the
end of the month.


(The _Colon’s_ final effort)]

The surrender of Santiago left General Miles free to carry out plans
already matured for the invasion of Porto Rico. He left Guantanamo,
July 21st, with 3415 men, mostly volunteers, convoyed by a fleet
under the command of Captain Higginson, and landed at Guanica on the
25th. Early next morning General Garretson pushed forward with part
of his brigade and drove the Spanish forces from Yauco, thus getting
possession of the railroad to Ponce. General Miles was reinforced in
a few days by the commands of Generals Wilson, Brooke, and Schwan,
raising his entire force to 16,973 officers and men. In about two weeks
they had gained control of all the southern and western portions of the
island, but hostilities were suspended by the peace protocol before
the conquest of Porto Rico was completed. The American losses in this
campaign were three killed and forty wounded.[288]

The last engagement of the war was the assault on Manila, which was
captured August 13, 1898, by the forces under General Merritt, assisted
by Admiral Dewey’s squadron. This occurred the day after the signing
of the peace protocol, the news of which did not reach the Philippines
until several days later.



Two controversies growing out of the war with Spain assumed such
importance that they cannot be passed by. The first related to the
conduct of the War Department, which was charged with inefficiency
resulting from political appointments and corruption in the purchase
of supplies. The most serious charge was that made by Major-General
Miles, commanding the army, who declared that much of the refrigerated
beef furnished the troops was “embalmed beef,” preserved with secret
chemicals of an injurious character. In September, 1898, President
McKinley appointed a commission to investigate these charges, and the
hearings held were sensational in the extreme. Commissary-General
Eagan read a statement before the commission which was so violent in
its abuse of the commanding general that he was later court-martialled
and sentenced to dismissal for conduct unbecoming an officer and a
gentleman, though this sentence was commuted by the President to
suspension from rank and duty, but without loss of pay. The report of
the commission[289] failed to substantiate General Miles’ charges,
but it was not satisfactory or convincing. In spite of its efforts
to whitewash things, the commission had to report that the secretary
of war had failed to “grasp the situation.” Many leading newspapers
demanded Alger’s resignation, but President McKinley feared to
discredit the administration by dismissing him. Nevertheless, a
coolness sprang up between them; and several months later, when Alger
became a candidate for the Michigan senatorship, with the open support
of elements distinctly hostile to the administration, the President
asked for his resignation, which was tendered July 19, 1899.[290]

The other controversy, which waged in the papers for months, was as to
whether Sampson or Schley was in command at the battle of Santiago. As
a reward for their work on that day, the President advanced Sampson
eight numbers, Schley six, Captain Clark of the Oregon six, and the
other captains five. These promotions were all confirmed by the Senate
save those of Sampson and Schley, a number of senators holding that
Schley should have received at least equal recognition with Sampson.
The controversy was waged inside and outside of Congress for three
years. The officials of the Navy Department were for the most part
stanch supporters of Sampson, while a large part of the public, under
the impression that the department was trying to discredit Schley,
eagerly championed his cause. Finally, at the request of Admiral
Schley, who was charged in certain publications with inefficiency
and even cowardice, a court of inquiry was appointed July 26, 1901,
with Admiral Dewey as president, for the purpose of inquiring into
the conduct of Schley during the war with Spain. The opinion of the
court was that his service prior to June 1st was “characterized by
vacillation, dilatoriness, and lack of enterprise.” Admiral Dewey
differed from the opinions of his colleagues on certain points, and
delivered a separate opinion, in the course of which he took up the
question as to who was in command at Santiago, a point which had not
been considered by the court. His conclusion was that Schley “was in
absolute command and is entitled to the credit due to such commanding
officer for the glorious victory which resulted in the total
destruction of the Spanish ships.” This made matters worse than ever.
Secretary Long approved the findings of the majority of the court,
and disapproved Dewey’s separate opinion. Schley appealed from the
findings of the court to the President. February 18, 1902, President
Roosevelt’s memorandum, in which he reviewed the whole controversy, was
made public. He declared that the court had done substantial justice
to Schley. As regards the question of command at Santiago, he said
that technically Sampson commanded the fleet, and Schley the western
division, but that after the battle began not a ship took orders from
either Sampson or Schley, except their own two vessels. “It was a
captains’ fight.”[291]

The Spanish war revealed many serious defects in the American military
system, some of which have been remedied by the reorganization of the
army and the creation of a general staff.[292] It demonstrated the
necessity of military evolutions on a large scale in time of peace,
so as to give the general officers experience in handling and the
Quartermaster and Commissary departments experience in equipping and
supplying large bodies of troops; it showed the folly and danger of
appointing men from civil life through political influence to positions
of responsibility in any branch of the military or naval service;
it showed the value of field-artillery, of smokeless powder, and of
high-power rifles of the latest model; it also showed the necessity of
having on hand a large supply of the best war material ready for use.
While every American is proud of the magnificent record of the navy,
it must not be imagined that the war with Spain was a conclusive test
of its invincibility, for, however formidable the Spanish cruisers
appeared at the time, later information revealed the fact that through
the neglect of the Spanish government they were very far from being in
a state of first-class efficiency.


   [1] Bourne, _Spain in America_ (_Am. Nation_, III), 31; Hart,
       _Contemporaries_, I, 40.

   [2] Andrews, _Colonial Self-Government_ (_Am. Nation_, V), chap. v.

   [3] Mahan, _Influence of Sea Power upon History_, chaps. iv–viii.

   [4] Cf. Howard, _Preliminaries of the Revolution_ (_Am. Nation_,
       VIII), chap. i.

   [5] _Ibid._, 229.

   [6] _Cf._ Hart, _Foundations of Am. Foreign Policy_, 18.

   [7] McLaughlin, _Confederation and Constitution_ (_Am. Nation_, X).
       chaps. vii, viii.

   [8] Texts in _Am. Hist. Leaflets_, No. 32.

   [9] _Federalist_ (Lodge ed.), No. 14.

  [10] Cf. Channing, _Jeffersonian System_ (_Am. Nation_, XII), chap. v.

  [11] Garrison, _Westward Extension_ (_Am. Nation_, XVII), chap. v.

  [12] _Ibid._, chap. xi.

  [13] _Ibid._, chap. vii.

  [14] Turner, _New West_ (_Am. Nation_, XIV), 114–122.

  [15] _See_ chap. iii, below.

  [16] Bourne, _Essays in Historical Criticism_, No. 9.

  [17] Dunning, _Reconstruction_ (_Am. Nation_, XXII), chap. x.

  [18] _Ibid._

  [19] Dewey, _National Problems_ (_Am. Nation_, XXIV), chap. xviii.

  [20] Official order addressed to Spanish commanders authorizing the
       conversion, enslavement, or slaughter of the natives.

  [21] “The shot from Champlain’s arquebus had determined the part
       that was to be played in the approaching conflict by the most
       powerful military force among the Indians of North America. It
       had made the confederacy of the Iroquois and all its nations
       and dependencies the implacable enemies of the French and the
       fast friends of the English for all the long struggle that was
       to come.” [This quotation is from Senator Elihu Root’s eloquent
       address at the Champlain tercentenary celebration in 1909.
       Influential as Champlain’s act proved to be, it is well to
       remember that it was the Dutch treatment of the Iroquois that
       gained the latter’s friendship for the English, the successors
       of the Dutch, and also that the Iroquois, as Doctor Thwaites
       points out in his _France in America_, did in subsequent
       years negotiate with the French. But the historic consequence
       of Champlain’s act is of course obvious, although it is not
       necessary to accept unreservedly one tercentenary dictum to the
       effect that “Few decisive battles from Marathon to Waterloo had
       larger consequences.” Cartier’s first voyage to the St. Lawrence
       decided the immediate association of the French with their
       Algonquian neighbors. It would have been impossible for them to
       be friends of both Algonquians and Iroquois. The consequences of
       immediate and prolonged hostility on the part of the Algonquians
       invite curious speculation.--EDITOR.]

  [22] Clowes, _Royal Navy_, III, 186–189.

  [23] _Ibid_., 210–214, on Boscawen’s victory; 216–222, on Hawke’s.

  [24] Clowes, _Royal Navy_, III, 196–201.

  [25] _Ibid._, 201–203.

  [26] Parkman, _Montcalm and Wolfe_, II, 80.

  [27] For biographical details of Wolfe’s early career, see Wright,
       _Life_, and Doughty and Parmelee, _Siege of Quebec_, I, 1–128;
       in _ibid._, II, 16, is a portrait of Wolfe’s fiancée.

  [28] Text in Doughty and Parmelee, _Siege of Quebec_, VI, 87–90.

  [29] Lists in Doughty and Parmelee, _Siege of Quebec_, II, 22, 23.

  [30] Wood, _Fight for Canada_, 166, 167, 173.

  [31] “Journal of the Expedition up the River St. Lawrence,” by a
       sergeant-major of grenadiers, in Doughty and Parmelee, _Siege of
       Quebec_, V, 1–11.

  [32] Doughty and Parmelee, _Siege of Quebec_, II, 51–53.

  [33] Wood, _Fight for Canada_, 152.

  [34] Authorities cited in Parkman, _Montcalm and Wolfe_, II, 233,
       234. For details, consult Doughty and Parmelee, _Siege of
       Quebec_, II, chap. vi.

  [35] See Bougainville’s correspondence, in Doughty and Parmelee
       _Siege of Quebec_, IV, 1–141.

  [36] September 22, 1759, quoted in Parkman, _Montcalm and Wolfe_, II,

  [37] Official journal of Amherst, in London _Magazine_, XXVII,

  [38] Stanwix to Pitt, November 20, 1759, MS. in Public Record Office.

  [39] [There was one regular regiment of American origin with Wolfe,
       the “Royal Americans,” represented by their second and third
       battalions. One battalion was left to guard the landing. The
       superior officers of this regiment were English. There seem to
       have been also some provincial rangers, although the famous
       Robert Rogers was not present.--EDITOR.]

  [40] Doughty and Parmelee, _Siege of Quebec_, II, 237.

  [41] _Ibid._, II, 332, with detailed British returns; Wood, _Fight
       for Canada_, 262.

  [42] Greene, _The Provincial Governor_, passim.

  [43] Barry, _Hist. of Mass._, I, 288–295.

  [44] For a detailed study of this subject, see Howard, _Preliminaries
       of the Revolution_ (_American Nation_, VIII).

  [45] 5 George III., chap. xii, given in Macdonald, _Select Charters_,

  [46] Beer, _Commercial Policy of England_, 10–13.

  [47] For details and exact references to laws, see Channing, _The
       Navigation Laws_, in Amer. Antiq. Soc., _Proceedings_,
       new series, VI. For discussion, see Andrews, _Colonial
       Self-Government_, chap. i; Greene, _Colonial Commonwealths_
       (_American Nation_, V, VI).

  [48] Beer, _Commercial Policy of England_, chap. vii.

  [49] 6 George II., chap. xiii.

  [50] Macdonald, _Select Charters_, 259.

  [51] Lecky, _American Revolution_ (Woodburn’s ed.), 48.

  [52] J. Adams, _Works_, II, 523–525.

  [53] 4 George III., chap. xv.

  [54] Osgood, in _Political Science Quarterly_, XIII, 45.

  [55] Lecky, _American Revolution_ (Woodburn’s ed.), 64.

  [56] Dulany, in Tyler, _Lit. Hist. of Amer. Rev._, I, 104–105.

  [57] _Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Patrick Henry_, I, 84–89.

  [58] Hart, _Contemporaries_, II, 402.

  [59] _Walpole’s Letters_, February 12, 1765.

  [60] Franklin, _Works_ (Sparks’ ed.), IV, 161–198.

  [61] 6 George III, chap. xii.

  [62] Morley, _Burke_, 146.

  [63] Franklin, _Works_ (Sparks’ ed.), IV, 169.

  [64] Walpole, _Memoirs of George III._, II, 275, III, 23–27.

  [65] 7 George III., chaps. xli, xlvi, lvi. See Macdonald, _Select
       Charters_, 320–330.

  [66] Samuel Adams, _Writings_ (Cushing’s ed.), I, 184.

  [67] Hutchinson, _Hist. of Massachusetts Bay_, III, 494.

  [68] Junius (ed. of 1799), II, 31.

  [69] Collins, _Committees of Correspondence_ (Amer. Hist. Assoc.,
       _Report_, 1901), I, 247.

  [70] _Va. Cal. of State Pap._, VIII, 1–2.

  [71] _R. I. Col. Records_, VII, 81, 108.

  [72] Farrand, “Taxation of Tea,” in _Amer. Hist. Review_, III, 269.

  [73] Macdonald, _Select Charters_, 337–356; Force, _Am. Archives_,
       4th series, I, 216.

  [74] “Quebec Act and the American Revolution,” in _Yale Review_,
       August, 1895.

  [75] Force, _Am. Archives_, 4th series, I, 421.

  [76] Macdonald, _Select Charters_, 356, 362.

  [77] Wells, _Samuel Adams_, I.

  [78] Franklin, _Works_ (Sparks’ ed.), IV, 41.

  [79] Franklin’s Plan, in _Works_ (Sparks’ ed.), III, 26, 36–55.

  [80] Van Tyne, _Loyalists_, 5.

  [81] Van Tyne, _Loyalists_, chap. i.

  [82] Force, _Am. Archives_, 4th series, II, 365–368.

  [83] Hatch, _Administration of the Revolutionary Army_, 1.

  [84] Frothingham, _Siege of Boston_, 100–102.

  [85] _Ibid._, 99–101.

  [86] Bolton, _The Private Soldier Under Washington_, 90; Force, _Am.
       Archives_, 4th series, III, 2.

  [87] Hatch, _Administration of the Revolutionary Army_, 13, 14.

  [88] Frothingham, _Siege of Boston_, 105, 106.

  [89] “Bunker Hill Monument celebrates a fact more important than most
       victories--namely, that the raw provincials faced the British
       army for two hours, they themselves being under so little
       organization that it is impossible to tell even at this day who
       was their commander; that they did this with only the protection
       of an unfinished earthwork and a rail fence, retreating only
       when their powder was out.... The newspapers of England, instead
       of being exultant, were indignant or apologetic.”--THOMAS

  [90] Later Bemis.

  [91] “The surrender of Burgoyne turned the scale in favor of the
       Americans so far as the judgment of Europe was concerned.... The
       first treaty with France--which was also the first treaty of the
       United States with any foreign government--was signed February
       6, 1778, two months after the news of Burgoyne’s surrender had
       reached Paris.”--Higginson’s _History of the United States_.

  [92] For the text of the articles of capitulation, and the general
       return of the officers and privates surrendered, see _Harper’s
       Encyclopædia of United States History_, X.

  [93] A detailed description of the topography and events of the
       Yorktown campaign is afforded in Lossing’s _Pictorial
       Field-Book of the Revolution_, II, chap. xii. An elaborate and
       authoritative study from a military point of view is provided in
       _The Yorktown Campaign_, by Henry P. Johnston. Both histories
       are published by Harper & Brothers.

  [94] _Annual Register_, XXV, 252–257.

  [95] _Two Centuries of Irish History_, 91.

  [96] _Treaties and Conventions_, 370, 375.

  [97] _Journals of Congress_, January 13, 14, 1784.

  [98] For the complete history of the American struggle for
       independence, see Professor Van Tyne’s _The American
       Revolution_, IX, in _The American Nation_. Harper & Brothers.

  [99] “The destruction of the British fleet gave the United States
       supremacy on Lake Erie and compelled the abandonment of Malden
       and Detroit; it recovered Michigan, and made a real invasion of
       Canada once more a possibility, for by means of the control of
       the lakes thus given Harrison was enabled to enter at once upon
       an aggressive campaign on the Canadian side of Lake Erie. His
       men were easily transported to the north side, and his line of
       communication was no longer threatened by a British fleet. Its
       effect, too, upon the American people was decidedly important;
       for the first time an American fleet had met a British fleet
       and defeated it. Nor was it fair to discount the significance
       of the victory by saying that the vessels were small and of
       hasty construction. The charm of British invincibility had been
       broken in the great ship duels which made the names of Decatur,
       Bainbridge, and Hull household words. To this list was now
       added the name of Perry, who was looked upon by the Americans
       as a hero of the same class as Nelson.”--Prof. Kendric Charles
       Babcock in _The Rise of American Nationality_.

 [100] “The decisiveness of this battle was evident at once to the
       British. Hardly was the result known, when measures were
       taken for the retreat of Prevost’s army into Canada. At best,
       Prevost’s assault upon the land forces had been so poor as to
       give little aid to the fleet; and for this failure and his
       prompt retreat Prevost was ordered to trial by court-martial,
       but died before the trial could take place. The war was
       practically ended by this retreat of the British army from
       Plattsburg into Canada. It would seem as though the persistent
       mismanagement of the American forces in northern New York, the
       incompetency of Dearborn and Wilkinson, the strange interference
       of Secretary Armstrong, the diversion of the forces of Izard
       from the front of Prevost’s army, were all atoned for by the
       brilliancy of the accomplishment of Commodore Macdonough and
       his handful of sailors and soldiers on Lake Champlain.”--Prof.
       Kendric Charles Babcock in _The Rise of American Nationality_.

 [101] For the whole correspondence beginning with this letter, see
       _Senate Docs._, 28 Cong., 1 Sess., I, No. 1, pp. 25–48.

 [102] _Senate Docs._, 28 Cong., 1 Sess., I, No. 1, p. 28.

 [103] _Senate Docs._, 28 Cong., 1 Sess., I, No. 1, pp. 38, 41.

 [104] _Ibid._, pp. 42–48.

 [105] _Niles’ Register_, LXVIII, 84.

 [106] _Ibid._, 135; Von Holst, _United States_, III, 80, _nn._ 3, 4.

 [107] Dublán y Lozano, _Legislatión Mexicana_, V, 19–22.

 [108] Taylor’s successive orders, in _House Exec. Docs._, 30 Cong., 1
       Sess., VII, No. 60, pp. 7, 79–82.

 [109] _House Exec. Docs._, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., VII, No. 60, p. 99.

 [110] _Ibid._, pp. 102–109.

 [111] _House Exec. Docs._, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., VII, No. 60, p. 90.

 [112] _House Exec. Docs._, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., VII, No. 60, p. 140.

 [113] _Ibid._, p. 141.

 [114] See Polk, _MS. Diary_, entry for May 9, 1846.

 [115] Richardson, _Messages and Papers_, IV, 442.

 [116] _Cong. Globe_, 29 Cong., 1 Sess., 795.

 [117] [John Slidell, of New Orleans, appointed a commissioner
       to Mexico in 1845 to endeavor to adjust the boundary and
       re-establish relations.]

 [118] Polk, _MS. Diary_, February 17, 1846.

 [119] _Senate Docs._, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., I, No. 1, p. 39.

 [120] Ripley, _War with Mexico_, I, 149; Polk, _MS. Diary_, May 14,
       16, 1846.

 [121] Hittell, _California_, II, bk. vi., chaps. ii–v, passim.

 [122] _Niles’ Register_, LXX, 310; _Cong. Globe_, 29 Cong., 2 Sess.,
       298; Polk, _MS. Diary_, August 18, 19, 1847.

 [123] _House Exec. Docs._, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., VII, No. 60, pp. 324,
       353, especially Taylor to Adjutant-General, July 2, 1846,
       _ibid._, pp. 329–332; cf. Polk, _MS. Diary_, September 15, 1846.

 [124] Taylor to Adjutant-General, October 15, 1846, in _House Exec.
       Docs._, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., VII, No. 60, pp. 351–354.

 [125] Polk, _MS. Diary_, November 14, 1846.

 [126] Taylor to Adjutant-General, January 27, 1847, in _House Exec.
       Docs._, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., VII, No. 60, pp. 1100–1102.

 [127] Taylor to Adjutant-General, March 6, 1847, in _Senate Docs._, 30
       Cong., 1 Sess., I, No. 1, pp. 132–141.

 [128] Scott to Marcy, March 29, 1847, _ibid._, 229.

 [129] Ripley, _War with Mexico_, II, 153–155; Polk, _MS. Diary_,
       December 28, 1847.

 [130] _Senate Docs._, 30 Cong., 1 Sess., VII, No. 52, p. 345.

 [131] Buchanan to Trist, October 6, 1847, _ibid._, pp. 91–93; Polk,
       _MS. Diary_, October 5, 1847.

 [132] See official reports of these operations, in _Senate Docs._, 30
       Cong., 1 Sess., I, No. 1, pp. 354–471.

 [133] _U. S. Treaties and Conventions_, 683.

 [134] Gen. Lew Wallace, who reached Buena Vista two days after the
       battle, furnishes a vigorous defence of the Indiana volunteers
       in his _Autobiography_, vol. I, chaps. xviii and xix.--[EDITOR.]

 [135] Cf. _Am. Nation_, XIV; XVI-XVIII, passim.

 [136] Stephens, _War between the States_, II, 32.

 [137] Davis, _Confederate Government_, I, 80.

 [138] Adams, _New England Federalism_, 144–146.

 [139] Buchanan, _Administration on Eve of Rebellion_, chap. v;
       _National Intelligencer_, January 18, 1861.

 [140] Secretary of War, _Report_, 1860, _Senate Exec. Docs._, 36
       Cong., 2 Sess., No. 1, pp. 214, 216.

 [141] Secretary of Navy, _Report_, 1860, _ibid._, 383.

 [142] Secretary of War, _Report_, 1860, _ibid._, 209, 213.

 [143] Buchanan, _Administration on Eve of Rebellion_, 104.

 [144] _National Intelligencer_, January 11, 1861.

 [145] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 68.

 [146] _Ibid._, p. 69; Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 57, 58.

 [147] Trescot MS., quoted by Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 58, 59.

 [148] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 70.

 [149] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, pp. 74, 75.

 [150] _Ibid._, 76.

 [151] _Ibid._, 80.

 [152] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 64.

 [153] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, pp. 79–82.

 [154] _Ibid._, p. 82.

 [155] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 67.

 [156] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 89.

 [157] _Ibid._, 103.

 [158] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, pp. 96–100; Crawford, _Fort
       Sumter_, 77.

 [159] _Trescot MS._, quoted by Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 78.

 [160] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 101.

 [161] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 81–83.

 [162] _Ibid._, 85, 86.

 [163] Curtis, _Buchanan_, II, 385. The emphasis is Buchanan’s.

 [164] Governor’s message to legislature, quoted by Crawford, _Fort
       Sumter_, 87.

 [165] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 111.

 [166] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 91.

 [167] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, chap. x.

 [168] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 2.

 [169] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 112.

 [170] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 110, 111.

 [171] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 3.

 [172] Ward H. Lamon, a former law partner of President Lincoln,
       who visited Charleston at this time and assumed to be a
       representative of the President.--[EDITOR.]

 [173] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 222.

 [174] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 230.

 [175] _Ibid._, 228.

 [176] _Ibid._, 284, 285.

 [177] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 285.

 [178] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 377.

 [179] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 283.

 [180] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 241.

 [181] Doubleday, _Sumter and Moultrie_, 98.

 [182] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 235.

 [183] Nicolay and Hay, _Abraham Lincoln_, IV, 31, 32.

 [184] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 294.

 [185] _Ibid._, 249–251.

 [186] Talbot’s report, in _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 251.

 [187] Roman, _Beauregard_, I, 33.

 [188] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, pp. 12–25, 213–216.

 [189] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, pp. 25–58.

 [190] Statement of Ex-Confederate Secretary of War to writer;
       Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 421.

 [191] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 297.

 [192] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 297.

 [193] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 422.

 [194] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 13.

 [195] _Ibid._, 59; Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 424.

 [196] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 301.

 [197] Crawford, _Fort Sumter_, 425, 426.

 [198] _Naval War Records_, IV, 248.

 [199] Fox’s report, in _Naval War Records_, IV, 245–251.

 [200] Doubleday, _Sumter and Moultrie_, 142.

 [201] Doubleday, _Sumter and Moultrie_, 147.

 [202] _Ibid._

 [203] Foster’s report, in _War Records_, Serial No. 1, pp. 20, 21.

 [204] _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 293.

 [205] _Ibid._, 22.

 [206] Doubleday, _Sumter and Moultrie_, 158.

 [207] Foster’s report, in _War Records_, Serial No. 1, p. 24.

 [208] Foster’s report, in _War Records_, Serial No. 1, pp. 23, 24.

 [209] Doubleday, _Sumter and Moultrie_, App., where the names appear.

 [210] _Naval War Records_, IV, 251.

 [211] J. E. Johnston, _Narrative_, 84.

 [212] Commander J. M. Brooke, in _Battles and Leaders_, I, 715;
       Scharf, _Navy of the Confederate States_, 145 et seq.

 [213] _Battles and Leaders_, I, 692 et seq.

 [214] Nicolay and Hay, _Abraham Lincoln_, V, 226.

 [215] Soley, _Blockade and Cruisers_, 54.

 [216] See _The Appeal to Arms_, by Dr. J. K. Hosmer, p. 74.

 [217] Poore, _Burnside_, 132.

 [218] _War Records_, Serial No. 6, pp. 133–167.

 [219] Soley, _Blockade and Cruisers_, 82 et seq.

 [220] Farragut, _Farragut_, chaps. i, ii.

 [221] _Naval War Records_, XVIII, pp. xv, xvi.

 [222] Farragut, _Farragut_, 207.

 [223] _Naval War Records_, XVIII (West Gulf Blockading Squadron);
       Mahan, _Gulf and Inland Waters_, 52.

 [224] Beverly Kennon, a Southern officer, in _Battles and Leaders_,
       II, 76, criticises severely the management of the Confederate

 [225] _Naval War Records_, XVIII, 134 et seq.; Mahan, _Gulf and Inland
       Waters_, 52 et seq.

 [226] Parton, _Butler in New Orleans_, chap. xii.

 [227] _War Records_, Serial No. 24, p. 511.

 [228] Grant, _Personal Memoirs_, I, 411.

 [229] Sherman, _Memoirs_, I, 319.

 [230] Nicolay and Hay, _Abraham Lincoln_, VII, 135.

 [231] Sherman, _Memoirs_, I, 324.

 [232] Cullum, _Register of Mil. Acad._, art., “McPherson.”

 [233] _War Records_, Serial No. 36, pp. 371–467.

 [234] Mahan, _Gulf and Inland Waters_, 110 et seq.

 [235] Johnston, _Narrative_, 152.

 [236] _War Records_, Serial No. 36, pp. 565 et seq.

 [237] _War Records_, Serial No. 36, p. 32.

 [238] Johnston, _Narrative_, 153.

 [239] Admiral Porter’s fleet kept up a continuous bombardment for
       forty days. Seven thousand mortar shells and forty-five hundred
       shells from the gunboats were discharged at the city. As Grant
       drew his lines closer, his cannonade was kept up day and night.
       The people of Vicksburg had taken shelter in caves dug in the
       clay hills on which the city stands. In these caves families
       lived day and night, and children were born. Famine attacked the
       city, and mule-meat made a savory dish. Grant mined under some
       of the Confederate works, and one of them, Fort Hill Bastion,
       was blown up on June 25th with terrible effect.--_Harper’s
       Encyclopædia of United States History_.

 [240] _War Records_, Serial No. 37, pp. 146–424.

 [241] _War Records_, Serial No. 41, pp. 41–181 (Port Hudson).

 [242] Greene, _The Mississippi_.

 [243] _War Records_, Serial Nos. 43 and 44, pp. 1–775 (all on
       Gettysburg campaign).

 [244] Longstreet, _Manassas to Appomattox_, 331.

 [245] _War Records_, Serial No. 45, p. 31.

 [246] F. H. Lee, _Robert E. Lee_, 265. For R. E. Lee’s report of
       Gettysburg, see _War Records_, Serial No. 44, pp. 293 et seq.;
       Long, _Lee_, 280.

 [247] But see controversy between Mosby and Robertson as to management
       of the Confederate cavalry, _Battles and Leaders_, III, 251.

 [248] Cullum, _Register of Mil. Acad._, art. “Meade.”

 [249] Hunt, in _Battles and Leaders_, III, 258.

 [250] Livermore, _Numbers and Losses_, 102.

 [251] _War Records_, Serial No. 43, pp. 104–119 (Report of Meade).

 [252] F. H. Lee, _Robert E. Lee_, 270.

 [253] Doubleday, _Chancellorsville and Gettysburg_, 132.

 [254] Cullum, _Register of Mil. Acad._, art. “Hancock.”

 [255] Walker, _Hancock_, in _Mass. Mil. Hist. Soc. Papers_, “Some
       Federal and Confederate Commanders,” 49.

 [256] Doubleday, _Chancellorsville and Gettysburg_, 156.

 [257] A tradition at Gettysburg.

 [258] Mrs. Longstreet, _Lee and Longstreet at High Tide_, 83, 84.

 [259] For criticisms by the friends of Lee, see Davis, _Rise and Fall
       of the Confederate Government_, II, 447; F. H. Lee, _Robert E.
       Lee_, 299; William Allan, in _Battles and Leaders_, III, 355.
       Able and impartial is G. F. R. Henderson, _Science of War_, 280
       et seq.

 [260] Hood, _Advance and Retreat_, 57 et seq.

 [261] For Meade’s good judgment and activity, see Walker, in _Battles
       and Leaders_, III, 406.

 [262] Gibbon, in _Battles and Leaders_, III, 313.

 [263] Mrs. Longstreet, _Lee and Longstreet at High Tide_, 48.

 [264] Pennypacker, _Meade_, 194.

 [265] Longstreet, _Manassas to Appomattox_, 385 et seq.

 [266] Fremantle, _Three Months in the Southern States_, 274 et seq.
       Confirmed to the writer by General E. P. Alexander, who heard
       the rebuke.

 [267] _Battles and Leaders_, III, 349.

 [268] Committee on Conduct of the War, _Report_, pt. i (1864–1865),
       408 et seq.

 [269] Nicolay and Hay, _Abraham Lincoln_, VII, 278.

 [270] For a minute discussion of Meade’s management, and much
       testimony, see Committee on Conduct of the War, _Report_, pt. i
       (1864–1865), 295–524.

 [271] Livermore, _Numbers and Losses_, 102.

 [272] See the chapter on the Monroe Doctrine in _The Rise of the
       New West_, by Prof. F. J. Turner, and also chaps. i and xi
       of _America as a World Power_, by Prof. G. H. Latané. (_The
       American Nation_, Harper & Brothers.)--[EDITOR.]

 [273] _The War with Spain_, by Henry Cabot Lodge, and _The Spanish
       War_, by General Russell A. Alger, may be consulted with
       advantage. Both are published by Harper & Brothers. Harper’s
       _Encyclopædia of United States History_, VI, affords a
       picturesque account of the battle of Manila Bay, by Ramon
       Reyes Lala, a Filipino author and lecturer. Professor Latané’s
       account of the war, in his _America as a World Power_ (Harper &
       Brothers), offers an excellent example of judicial historical

 [274] Long, _New American Navy_, I, 209.

 [275] _Messages and Docs._, Abridgment, 1898–1899, II, 921.

 [276] Sec. of the Navy, _Annual Report_, 1898, App., pp. 465, 466.

 [277] It was on this date, May 24th, that the _Oregon_, Captain Clark,
       appeared off Jupiter Inlet, Florida, ready for action, after a
       voyage of fourteen thousand miles from San Francisco.--[EDITOR.]

 [278] Schley, _Forty-five Years Under the Flag_, 276.

 [279] Sec. of the Navy, _Annual Report_, 1898, App., p. 402; Long,
       _New Am. Navy_, I, 258–287.

 [280] Sec. of the Navy, _Annual Report_, 1898, App., p. 437.

 [281] Sec. of the Navy, _Annual Report_, 1898, App., p. 667.

 [282] Major-General commanding the army, _Report_, 1898, p. 149.

 [283] Major-General commanding the army, _Report_, 1898, p. 162.

 [284] Major-General commanding the army, _Report_, 1898, pp. 152, 169,
       171, 319, 366, 381. [General Vara el Rey, one of the bravest
       of the Spanish officers, was the leader in this desperate
       resistance, and was killed while rallying his men in the

 [285] Major-General commanding the army, _Report_, pp. 167, 173.

 [286] _Messages and Docs._, Abridgment, 1898–1899, I, 270.

 [287] Sec. of the Navy, _Annual Report_, 1898, App., pp. 505–602;
       Long, _New Am. Navy_, II, 28–42.

 [288] Major-General commanding the army, _Report_, 1898, pp. 138–147,
       226–243, 246–266.

 [289] _Senate Docs._, 56 Cong., I Sess., No. 221, 8 vols.

 [290] _Nation_, LXIX, 61.

 [291] Proceedings of the Schley Court of Inquiry, _House Docs._, 57
       Cong., I Sess., No. 485.

 [292] Act of February 14, 1903, _U. S. Statutes at Large_, XXXII, pt.
       i, p. 830.


  Abercrombie, James, killed at Bunker Hill, 115.

  Adams, John, elected President, 154.

  Adams, John Quincy, interested in western exploration, 9;
    elected President, 180;
    Texas, 184.

  Adams, Samuel, circular letter, 90;
    “committees of correspondence,” 92;
    on independence, 96;
    outlawed, 102.

  Aguinaldo, Emilio, insurrection, 356.

  Alabama, admitted into the Union, 180;
    secession, 231.

  _Alabama_ and the _Kearsarge_, 327;
    Claims, 343.

  Alaska, purchase, 11, 343.

  Alger, R. A., Spanish War, 363;
    resignation, 374, 375.

  Alien acts, passage, 154.

  _Alliance_ fired upon, 345.

  Almonte, J. N., annexation of Texas, 184, 185;
    demands his passports, 185.

  Alston, Charles, at surrender of Sumter, 271.

  Amendment, Thirteenth, 328;
    Fourteenth, 343;
    Fifteenth, 343.

  America, territorial history, 1–12.

  American, flag adopted, 143;
    victory at Cowpens, 144;
    Embargo Act, 155;
    Anti-Slavery Society, 181.

  Americans, at Bunker Hill, 102–108;
    at battle of Long Island, 119;
    at White Plains, 119;
    at Bennington, 119;
    at Saratoga, 120;
    at Valley Forge, 143;
    storm Stony Point, 144;
    at Yorktown, 145;
    invade Canada, 155;
    at Chippewa, 156;
    occupy California, 182;
    New Mexico, 182.

  Amherst, Jeffrey, commander-in-chief in America, 66;
    advance down Lake Champlain, 73.

  Ampudia, Pedro de, at Buena Vista, 200, 203, 205.

  Anderson, Robert, commands Charleston forts, 243;
    fitness, 243;
    urges reinforcements and occupation of Pinckney and Sumter,
          243, 244;
    state enrollment of fort laborers, 245;
    instructions, 246–247;
    removal to Sumter, 251–253;
    refuses to return, 254, 255;
    Lamon’s statements, 256;
    Beauregard, 256;
    defensive instructions repeated, 253;
    scarcity of provisions, 258;
    fears he has been abandoned, 260;
    informed of Fox expedition, 260;
    isolated, 260;
    refuses to evacuate, 264;
    offer on evacuation refused, 265;
    bombardment, 267;
    surrenders, 271.

  André, John, capture and execution, 144.

  Andros, Sir Edward, Governor of New England, 59.

  Anne, Fort, 126, 127.

  Anti-Slavery Society, formation, 181.

  _Ariel_ at Lake Erie, 163, 170.

  Arizona, admission into the Union, 345.

  Arkansas, admission into the Union, 181;
   secession, 273.

  Arnold, Benedict, to the relief of Fort Schuyler, 129, 132;
    at Behmus’ Heights, 132;
    deprived of command, 135;
    wounded, 137;
    treason, 144.

  Arthur, C. A., succeeds to the Presidency, 344.

  Appleton, Major, in King Philip’s War, 52.

  Appomattox campaign, 329–342;
    map, 331;
    meeting between Grant and Lee, 336;
    Lee’s surrender, 337;
    Lincoln, 342.

  Appomattox Court-House, Lee’s surrender, 328.

  Ashburton treaty, on northeastern boundary, 181.

  Babcock, Colonel, at Appomattox, 336, 337.

  Babcock, Prof. Kendric Charles quoted, 172, 180.

  Badeau, Adam, at Appomattox, 337.

  _Baltimore_ in Spanish War, 351.

  Balboa, Vasco Nunez de, discovers Pacific Ocean, 12.

  Banks, N. P., expedition against Port Hudson, 305.

  Barclay, Commodore, at Lake Erie, 160.

  Baum, Colonel, at Bennington, 130.

  Beauregard, P. G. T., pledge from Anderson, 256;
    reports readiness to attack Fort Sumter, 258;
    order to attack, 263;
    demands evacuation, 264;
    Anderson’s offer, 265;
    bombardment, 267;
    terms of surrender, 271.

  Behmus’ Heights, battle, 133;
    map, 136.

  Behring’s Strait, discovery, 61.

  Bennington, battle, 130.

  Bissell, Colonel, at Buena Vista, 201.

  Blue, Victor, at Santiago, 364.

  Black Hawk War, 181.

  Blanco, Ramon, and Cervera’s fleet, 369.

  Bocanegra, J. M. de, on United States and Texas, 183, 184.

  Bonaparte, Napoleon, recaptures Toulon, 154;
    Emperor of France, 155.

  Boone, Daniel, settlement of Kentucky, 119.

  _Boston_ in Spanish War, 351.

  Boston, founded, 30;
    _Liberty_ riots, 91;
    arrival of troops, 92;
    massacre, 92;
    tea-party, 93;
    port closed, 93;
    aid for, 94;
    military possession, 95;
    siege, 99;
    British forces in, 102.

  Bougainville, at Quebec, 71, 72.

  Bowers, T. S., at Appomattox, 337.

  _Boxer_ taken by the _Enterprise_, 156.

  Bradford, Major, in King Philip’s War, 52.

  Breed’s Hill, height, 104;
    fortified, 105;
    redoubt on, 106;
    anxious moments, 108;
    battle, 112–116.

  Brener, Colonel, at Bunker Hill, 113.

  Breyman, Colonel, at Bennington, 130, 131.

  Bridge, Colonel, at Bunker Hill, 104, 108.

  British, at Bunker Hill, 102–118;
    evacuate Boston, 119;
    repulsed at Charleston, 119;
    at the battle of Long Island, 119;
    occupy New York, 119;
    enter Philadelphia, 119;
    at Behmus’ Heights, 133–137;
    burn Esopus, 142;
    evacuate New York, 143;
    occupy Philadelphia, 143;
    enter Savannah, 144;
    defeated at King’s Mountain, 144;
    evacuate Savannah and Charleston, 153;
    evacuate New York, 153;
    “Order in Council,” 155;
    at Frenchtown, 156;
    at Sackett’s Harbor, 156;
    fleet at Lake Erie, 163;
    surrender, 167;
    losses, 171.

  Bragg, Braxton, at Buena Vista, 202, 206.

  Brooke, J. R., in Porto Rico, 373.

  Brooke, John M., and the _Virginia_, 276.

  _Brooklyn_ in Spanish War, 358, 369–372.

  Brooks, John, at Bunker Hill, 104;
    at Behmus’ Heights, 137.

  Brown, Colonel, at Ticonderoga, 135.

  Brown, John, execution, 231.

  Buchanan, James, elected President, 230;
    reinforcement of Charleston forts, 237, 238;
    instructions to Anderson, 246;
    Picken’s demand for Sumter, 248;
    policy of delay, 250.

  Buckminster, Colonel, at Bunker Hill, 113.

  Buell, D. C., instructions to Anderson, 246, 247.

  Buena Vista, battle, 198–207.

  Buford, John, cavalry in Gettysburg campaign, 311, 313.

  Bunker Hill, battle, 78, 102–118;
    topography, 103, 104;
    intrenchments, 106, 107;
    deserters, 107;
    losses, 117;
    forces engaged, 118;
    no victory, 118;
    monument, 118, 180.

  Burgoyne, John, arrival at Boston, 102;
    in Canada, 121, 123;
    takes Ticonderoga, 124;
    proclamation, 124, 127;
    route (map), 125;
    at Skenesborough, 127;
    Bennington, 130;
    Indian allies, 131, 132;
    St. Leder’s failure, 132;
    crosses the Hudson, 133;
    difficulties, 135;
    news from Clinton, 136;
    perplexity at Fort Edward, 138;
    surrender, 139, 142;
    Clinton’s advance, 142;
    effects, 143.

  Burnside, Ambrose E., Roanoke Island, 288;
    commands Army of the Potomac, 294.

  Burr, Aaron, arrest, 155.

  Butler, Benjamin F., New Orleans expedition, 291.

  Cabot, John, reaches North America, 12.

  Cadwalader, George, at Contreras, 212, 214.

  _Caledonian_ at Lake Erie, 160, 161, 163, 170.

  California, coast explored, 9, 10;
    annexation, 10;
    discovery of gold, 10, 230;
    occupation (1847), 192.

  Callender, Captain, at Bunker Hill, 111;
    cowardice, 111.

  Campbell, Major, at the siege of Yorktown, 148.

  Canada restored to France, 31.

  Canonchet, death, 54.

  Carolina, purchased, 61.

  Cartier, Jacques, voyage to the St. Lawrence, 12.

  Cass, Lewis, resigns, 231.

  Cassin, Lieutenant-Commandant, at the battle of Lake Champlain, 176.

  _Castilla_ in Spanish War, 355.

  Castro, José, faction in California, 190.

  Cervera, Pasquale, squadron, 359;
    at Santiago, 360;
    battle, 369–372.

  Champlain, Samuel, defeats Mohawks, 13;
    attacks Iroquois, 27, 28;
    founds Quebec, 63.

  Chapin, Cyrenus, at Lake Erie, 162.

  Chapultepec, storming of, 182.

  Charles I. executed, 42.

  Charleston Harbor forts, Scott advises reinforcement, 236;
    available force, 237;
    Buchanan’s passive attitude, 238;
    condition, 239;
    Moultrie repaired, 240;
    Gardner asks for reinforcements, 241;
    attempted removal of ammunition, 241;
    Porter’s report, 242;
    Anderson advises reinforcement and occupation of Pinckney and
          Sumter, 244;
    state enrollment of fort laborers, 245;
    Buell’s instructions to Anderson, 246;
    Pinckney occupied, 247;
    state demands Sumter, 248;
    demand withdrawn, 249;
    state patrol, 251;
    removal to Sumter, 252;
    consequent excitement, 254;
    Anderson refuses to return, 255;
    state occupies other forts, 255;
    _Star of the West_, 256;
    Anderson promised support, 257;
    food problem at Sumter, 258;
    map of, 259;
    demand for surrender of Sumter, 264;
    Fox’s expedition to relieve, 265;
    Scott ridiculed plan of relief, 265;
    bombardment of Sumter, 267;
    surrender, 271;
    effect of relief expedition, 272.

  Chauncey, Isaac, command, 159;
    at Lake Ontario, 160.

  _Chesapeake_ captured by the _Shannon_, 156.

  Chestnut, James, at Fort Sumter, 264, 265, 271.

  Chicago fire, 343.

  Childs, Colonel, at Puebla, 210.

  _Chippeway_ at Lake Erie, 163.

  Choiseul, French premier, 64.

  _Chubb_ at Lake George, 175.

  Churubusco, battle, 215–220.

  Civil Rights Bill passed, 343, 344.

  Clark, Charles Edgar, in Spanish War, 360.

  Clark, George Rogers, conquest of Northwest, 7, 144.

  Clay Compromise adopted, 230.

  Clayton-Bulwer Treaty concluded, 230.

  Cleveland, Grover, annexation of Hawaii, 11;
    elected President, 344, 345;
    Venezuela boundary dispute, 345, 346;
    Cuban Filibusters, 346.

  Clinton, Fort, 139, 140.

  Clinton, James, at New York, 122;
    attacks Forts Clinton and Montgomery, 140.

  Clinton, Sir Henry, arrival at Boston, 102;
    at Bunker Hill, 114, 117;
    Putnam, 140;
    attacks Forts Clinton and Montgomery, 140;
    captures Charleston, 144.

  Colorado, admission into the Union, 344.

  Columbia River, mouth discovered, 8;
    Lewis and Clark expedition, 8.

  Columbus discovers Western World, 12.

  Committee of Correspondence in Boston, 92.

  Committee of Safety in Massachusetts, 103.

  _Concord_ in Spanish War, 351.

  Confederate States, congress assembles, 273.

  _Confiance_ at Lake George, 175, 176, 178, 179.

  Connecticut, settlement, 31;
    constitution adopted, 42;
    conscription, 120.

  Conner, David, before Vera Cruz, 194.

  Conscription riots, 327.

  _Constellation_ captures _L’Insurgente_, 154.

  Constitution, Fort, 139, 140.

  _Constitution_ captures the _Guerrière_, 155;
    _Java_, 156.

  Contreras, battle, 211–214.

  Continental Congress, adopts Declaration of Independence, 119.

  Continental Village, burned, 141.

  Cook, James, pathfinder, 68, 69.

  Cornwallis, Lord Charles, defeats Gates at Camden, 144;
    defeats Greene at Guilford Court-house, 144;
    at Yorktown, 147;
    situation, 148;
    surrender, 149.

  _Correo_, in Spanish War, 355.

  Cortez enters city of Mexico, 12.

  _Cristobal Colon_ in Spanish War, 359, 370–372.

  Cuba, insurrection, 343, 348;
    desires annexation, 347;
    southern desire for, 347;
    Polk’s attempted purchase, 347;
    “Ostend Manifesto,” 347;
    Marcy’s attitude, 348;
    _Virginius_ affair, 348;
    Grant and, 348;
    McKinley’s protest, 348;
    Spain’s reply, 349;
    blowing up of the _Maine_, 349;
    Proctor’s speech, 349;
    war with Spain declared, 350;
    blockade, 359;
    Santiago campaign, 362–368;
    naval battle off Santiago, 369–372;
    Spanish surrender, 372.

  Cubans proclaim independence, 345.

  Culp’s Hill, battle, 320–322.

  Cushing, Caleb, visit to Pickens, 250.

  Custer, G. A., in Gettysburg campaign, 311;
    at Appomattox, 330, 337.

  Custer massacre by Sioux, 344.

  Davis, Jefferson, elected President of the Confederate States, 231;
    capture, 328.

  Davis, Jefferson C., occupies Castle Pinckney, 247.

  Decatur, Stephen, destroys the _Philadelphia_, 155;
    imposes terms upon the Dey of Algiers, 180.

  Declaration of Independence adopted by Continental Congress, 119.

  Deerfield Massacre, 48, 49, 60.

  Delaware River occupied by Swedes, 4.

  De Ramezay at Quebec, 69.

  De Riedesel, Baroness, at Behmus’ Heights, 138, 142.

  De Soto, Fernando, reaches the Mississippi River, 12.

  _Detroit_ at Lake Erie, 160, 163.

  Deuxponts, William, Count de, at the siege of Yorktown, 148.

  Devin, T. C, in Gettysburg campaign, 311;
    at Appomattox, 330.

  Dewey, George, preparations for Spanish War, 350;
    forces, 351;
    battle in Manila Bay, 352–354;
    German fleet, 355;
    capture of Manila, 356;
    Sampson-Schley controversy, 375, 376.

  Dickinson, John, on taxation, 90.

  Diederich, Admiral von, in Manila Bay, 355.

  Dix, Major, at Buena Vista, 204.

  _Don Antonio de Ulloa_ in Spanish War, 354, 355.

  _Don Juan de Austria_ in Spanish War, 355.

  Donelson, Fort, surrender, 273, 295.

  Doniphan, A. W., expedition against Mexico, 192.

  Doubleday, Abner, and removal to Sumter, 252;
    in Gettysburg campaign, 311, 313.

  Dred Scott decision, 230.

  Dundas, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commissioner at the surrender of
        Cornwallis, 149.

  Duquesne, Fort, captured, 63.

  Dutch, founded New Amsterdam, 4;
    relations with Indians, 25, 26;
    West India Company, 30.

  Eagan, C. P., court-martial, 374.

  _Eagle_ at Lake George, 175, 176, 177, 179.

  East Florida, Spain cedes claim, 9.

  Edward, Fort, 126, 127, 128.

  El Caney, battle, 365.

  Elliott, Lieutenant, at Lake Erie, 160, 161, 166;
    prize-money, 171.

  Endicott, John, avenges Oldham, 35, 36.

  England, expansion in America, 4, 5;
    and France in America, 5;
    and Spain in America, 6;
    declares war against Spain, 77.

  _Enterprise_ captures the _Boxer_, 156.

  Erie, Fort, 160.

  Ericsson, John, designs _Monitor_, 278.

  _Essex_ surrenders to the _Phoebe_ and _Cherub_, 156.

  Ewell, R. S., at Gettysburg, 307, 308.

  Farragut, David Glasgow, on the _Essex_ at Valparaiso, 290;
    commands New Orleans expedition, 291;
    passing of the forts, 293;
    on to Vicksburg, 294;
    death, 343.

  Farnsworth, E. J., in Gettysburg campaign, 311.

  Faunce, John, Sumter relief expedition, 266.

  Febiger, Christian, at Bunker Hill, 115, 116.

  Fillmore, Millard, succeeds to Presidency, 230.

  _Finch_ at Lake George, 175.

  Fisher, Fort, captured, 327.

  Fish, Major, at the siege of Yorktown, 148.

  Flag, American, adopted, 143.

  Fletcher, Captain, Sumter relief expedition, 266.

  Florida, admission into the Union, 181.

  Florida ceded to England, 5;
    secession, 231.

  Floyd, J. B., and transfer of ammunition, 241, 242;
    removes Gardner, 243;
    on removal to Sumter, 255.

  Forrest, Dulaney, at the battle of Lake Erie, 170, 171.

  Forrest, N. B., raids on federal communications, 296.

  Foster, J. G., reports progress on Sumter, 240;
    forty-muskets episode, 241;
    exposes “excitement” fake, 248.

  Fox, G. V., expedition to relieve Fort Sumter, 265, 266, 272.

  France, settlements in America, 4, 5;
    and England in America, 5;
    driven from Guinea coast, 64;
    progress of discoveries (map), 65;
    lack of sea power, 66;
    Quebec campaign, 68–76;
    independence of United States, 143;
    declares war against England, 144.

  Francis, Colonel, at Ticonderoga, 126.

  Franklin, Benjamin, Stamp Act, 89;
    on colonial jealousy, 97.

  Fraser, General, at Ticonderoga, 124;
    attacks St. Clair, 126;
    at Behmus’s Heights, 137, 138.

  Freedmen’s Bureau, organization, 328.

  French, begin settlement of Louisiana, 60;
    at Yorktown, 145–150;
    at Quebec, 68–70;
    declare war against Mexico, 273.

  _Frolic_ captured by the _Wasp_, 155.

  Frontenac, Fort, captured, 63.

  Frye, Colonel, at Bunker Hill, 104.

  Gage, Thomas, governor of Massachusetts, 95;
    seizes munitions of war, 96;
    reinforced, 100;
    council of war, 106.

  Gamble, Peter, at the battle of Lake Champlain, 178.

  Gamble, William, in Gettysburg campaign, 311.

  Gardner, Colonel, at Bunker Hill, 108;
    mortally wounded, 115.

  Gardner, J. L., commands Charleston forts, 241;
    attempts to secure ammunition, 241;
    removed, 242.

  Garfield, J. A., elected President, 344;
    assassinated, 344.

  Garretson, G. A., in Porto Rico, 373.

  Garrison, William Lloyd, and the _Liberator_, 181.

  _Gaspee_ commission, 92, 93.

  Gates, Horatio, supersedes Schuyler, 131;
    at Behmus’s Heights, 133;
    increase of army, 134;
    deprives Arnold of command, 134;
    terms proposed to Burgoyne, 139, 142;
    reputation, 143;
    defeated at Camden, 144.

  _General Lezo_ in Spanish War, 355.

  George I., King of England, 60.

  George II., accession, 61.

  George III., accession, 77.

  Georgia, charter, 5;
    secession, 231.

  Germaine, Lord George, and loyalists, 120.

  Germany, result of Thirty Years’ War, 4.

  Gerrish, Colonel, at Bunker Hill, 112, 115.

  Gettysburg campaign, Lee’s northward march, 307;
    Federal movements, 309;
    Federal cavalry, 309;
    misuse of Confederate cavalry, 309, 310;
    Meade displaces Hooker, 310, 311;
    forces, 311;
    map, 312;
    battle first day, 313;
    topography of field, 316;
    second day, position of forces, 317;
    Longstreet and Lee, 317, 318, 322;
    Round Top and Valley, 319, 320;
    Culp’s Hill, 321;
    Federal council, 321;
    third day, 321;
    Pickett’s attack, 324;
    Lee confesses error, 325;
    question of counter-charge, 325;
    losses, 326;
    Lincoln’s disappointment, 326.

  Gibbon, John, in Gettysburg campaign, 316.

  Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, takes possession of Newfoundland, 13.

  Gillis, J. P., Sumter relief expedition, 266.

  Gimat, Colonel, at the siege of Yorktown, 148.

  _Gloucester_ in Spanish War, 369.

  Gosnold, Bartholomew, attempts settlement on Massachusetts coast, 13.

  Grant, U. S., proposed annexation of Santo Domingo, 11;
    Fort Donelson, Lincoln’s faith in, 296;
    destruction of Holly Springs depot, 296;
    in command before Vicksburg, 298;
    opposing force, 299;
    naval auxiliary, 300;
    futile operations, 300–301;
    crosses river below Vicksburg, 302;
    Port Gibson, 302;
    abandons his base, 302;
    victories in rear of Vicksburg, 302;
    siege of Vicksburg, 304;
    receives surrender of Vicksburg, 304;
    commander-in-chief, 327;
    at Appomattox, 335–342;
    meeting with Lee, 336;
    appearance, 340, 341;
    elected President, 343;
    Cuba, 348.

  Grasse, François Joseph Paul, Count de, visited by Washington, 146;
    blockades mouth of York River, 147.

  Graves, Admiral, in command of British fleet at the Battle of Bunker
        Hill, 106.

  Greene, Christopher, at the battle of Guilford, 144.

  Greene, Lieutenant, account of fight with the _Virginia_, 284–287.

  Greene, Lieutenant-Colonel, at Fort Monroe, 251.

  Greene, Nathaniel, joins army, 99;
    at Jamaica Plains, 103.

  Gregg, D. M., cavalry in Gettysburg campaign, 311.

  Grenville, George, premier, 81;
    colonial policy, 82;
    Stamp Act, 84;
    fall, 88.

  Gridley, Charles Vernon, Manila Bay battle, 353.

  Gridley, Richard, at Bunker Hill, 103, 104, 105, 111, 116.

  Gridley, Samuel, at Bunker Hill, 104.

  Grierson, B. H., raid, 302.

  Guadalupe-Hidalgo, treaty of ratified, 196, 197.

  Guadeloupe captured, 66.

  _Guerrière_ captured by the _Constitution_, 155.

  Halleck, H. W., commander-in-chief, 294;
    Grant, 298, 302;
    Hooker, 310.

  Hamilton, Alexander, at the siege of Yorktown, 148.

  Hancock, John, sloop _Liberty_ seized, 91;
    riots, 92;
    outlawed, 102.

  Hancock, W. S., in Gettysburg campaign, 311, 314, 315, 325.

  Hardin, Colonel, at Buena Vista, 205.

  Harmar, Josiah, expedition, 154.

  Harrison, Benjamin, elected President, 345.

  Harrison, W. H., and Tecumseh, 155;
    elected President, 181.

  Harvard College, foundation, 31.

  Harvey, John, governor of Virginia, 34.

  Hawaii, annexation, 11;
    republic, 345;
    annexed to the United States, 346.

  Hawke, Sir Edward, sea-fight off Quiberon Bay, 64.

  Hayes, Rutherford B., awarded Presidency, 344.

  Henry, Fort, surrender, 273.

  Henry, Patrick, Stamp Act, 87.

  Herkimer, General, at the siege of Fort Schuyler, 129.

  Herrera, J. J. de, against annexation of Texas, 185.

  Higginson, Captain, Porto Rico campaign, 373.

  Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, quoted, 118.

  Highlands of the Hudson, defences, 139, 140.

  Hill, A. P., in northern invasion, 307, 308;
    at Beaver Dam Creek, 313;
    at Gettysburg, 317, 320.

  Hill, Fort, bastion blown up, 304.

  Hobson, R. P., sinking of _Merrimac_, 361.

  Holdup, Thomas, at Lake Erie, 167.

  Holly Springs, destruction of federal depot, 296.

  Honduras, English settlement, 4.

  Hooker, Joseph, commands Army of the Potomac, 294;
    after Chancellorsville, 306;
    Lee’s invasion, 308;
    pursuit of Lee, 309;
    use of cavalry, 309;
    relieved of command, 310, 311.

  _Hornet_ captures the _Peacock_, 156.

  House of Commons, membership, 85, 86.

  Howard, O. O., in Gettysburg campaign, 311, 314, 317.

  Howell, J. A., in Spanish War, 358.

  Howe, Sir William, arrival at Boston, 102;
    in command at Bunker Hill, 106;
    at Moulton’s Point, 107;
    moves on Breed’s Hill, 111, 113, 115, 116;
    repulsed, 112, 113;
    bravery, 113;
    wounded, 115;
    Philadelphia campaign, 122.

  Hubberton, battle at, 126, 130.

  Hudson Bay Company, incorporated, 43.

  Hudson, Henry, ascends the Hudson River, 30.

  _Hunter_ at Lake Erie, 163.

  Illinois, admitted to the Union, 180.

  Independence, Fort, 140, 141.

  India, British possession, 66.

  Indiana, admitted into the Union, 180.

  _Indiana_ in Spanish War, 358, 369–372.

  Indians, American, treatment of, 14, 15, 17, 18;
    distribution of (map), 16;
    land purchases from, 15, 17;
    early warfare with, 17, 21;
    price on heads, 20;
    massacre in Virginia, 21, 22, 24, 30;
    period of peace, 21, 22;
    King Philip’s War, 22, 23;
    treatment of prisoners, 23;
    relations with the Dutch, 25;
    with the English, 26;
    with the French, 27, 28, 29;
    praying, 45, 49, 50.

  _Infanta Maria Teresa_ in Spanish War, 359.

  Inflation Bill vetoed, 344.

  Ingalls, Rufus, at Appomattox, 336.

  Iowa, admission into the Union, 181.

  _Iowa_ in Spanish War, 358, 369–372.

  Iroquois (Five Nations), tribes, 25;
    friendship for Dutch, 25;
    origin of hostilities to French, 27;
    French expedition against, 28;
    raids in Canada, 29;
    weakened, 30.

  _Isla de Cuba_ in Spanish War, 354, 355.

  _Isla de Luzon_ in Spanish War, 355.

  _Isla de Mandanao_ in Spanish War, 355.

  Jackson, Andrew, and Creek Indians, 156;
    seizes Pensacola, 179;
    captures Spanish fort, St. Mark’s, 180;
    elected President, 180, 181.

  Jackson, Fort, Farragut passes, 293;
    surrenders, 294.

  Jackson, Major, at Bunker Hill, 116.

  James I. grants patent to London and Plymouth companies, 13.

  James II., King of England, 59.

  Jamestown, settlement, 4, 13.

  Jefferson, Thomas, and Louisiana purchase, 8;
    Lewis and Clark Expedition, 8;
    interest in western exploration, 9;
    elected President, 154, 155.

  Jeffries, Doctor, at Bunker Hill, 113.

  Johnson, Andrew, succeeds to the Presidency, 328.

  Johnson, Colonel, at Ticonderoga, 135.

  Johnson, President, impeachment, 343.

  Johnson, Sir William, captures Fort Niagara, 73, 74.

  Johnston, western command, 299;
    Vicksburg campaign, 302, 304.

  Johnstown flood, 345.

  Jones, D. R., and surrender of Sumter, 271.

  Kansas, civil war, 230;
    admission into the Union, 231.

  Kearny, S. W., occupies New Mexico, 192.

  _Kearsarge_ and the _Alabama_, 327;
    lost, 345.

  Kentucky, admission into the Union, 154.

  Kilpatrick, H. J., cavalry in Gettysburg campaign, 311.

  King George’s War, beginning, 61, 63.

  King Philip (Pometacom), chief of the Wampanoags, 45;
    attack on Swanzey, 46;
    at Pocasset, 47;
    returned to Mount Hope, 55;
    death, 56.

  King Philip’s War, 22, 23, 44–58.

  King William’s War, 59, 60, 63.

  Kossuth, Louis, arrival in United States, 230.

  Knowlton, Thomas, at Bunker Hill, 104, 109, 116;
    killed at Battle of Harlem Heights, 104.

  Knox, Henry, at Bunker Hill, 115;
    at Yorktown, 147, 148.

  _Lady Prevost_ at Lake Erie, 163.

  La Fayette, Marquis de, at Yorktown, 145.

  Lake Champlain, battle, 173–179;
    losses, 179.

  Lake Erie, battle, 158–172;
    Perry victorious, 169;
    losses, 170;
    prize money, 171.

  Lamon, W. H., visit to Charleston, 256_n_;
    unauthorized statements, 256.

  Lane, Henry S., at Buena Vista, 200.

  Langdon, Samuel, President of Harvard College, at Cambridge, 104.

  Las Guasimas, battle, 365.

  La Salle, explorations, 59, 63.

  Lathrop, Captain, in King Philip’s War, 48, 49.

  Laub, Henry, at the battle of Lake Erie, 170.

  Laurens, John, at the siege of Yorktown, 148;
    Commissioner at the surrender of Cornwallis, 149.

  Lauzun, Duke de, at the siege of Yorktown, 147.

  _Lawrence_, at Lake Erie, 163, 164, 168, 169, 170.

  Lawton, H. W., in Spanish War, 364, 365.

  Learned, General, at Behmus’ Heights, 134.

  Lee, Captain, and surrender of Sumter, 271.

  Lee, R. E., occupies Winchester, 294;
    enters Pennsylvania, 294;
    considered unconquerable, 306;
    army at its best, 307;
    northern invasion, 307;
    misuse of cavalry, 309;
    force in Gettysburg campaign, 312;
    battle, first day, 313;
    second day, position, 317;
    rejects Longstreet’s advice, 317, 318;
    third day, 321;
    Pickett’s charge, 324;
    confesses error, 325;
    retreat, 326;
    at Appomattox, surrender, 328, 335–341;
    death, 343.

  Lewis and Clark expedition, 8, 155.

  Lincoln, Abraham, elected President, 231;
    Sumter, 272;
    call for militia, 273;
    protection of Washington, 275;
    _Virginia_, 279;
    faith in Grant, 296;
    Lee’s invasion, 308;
    Hooker, 308, 310;
    failure to crush Lee, 326, 327;
    Lee’s surrender, 342;
    re-elected President, 327;
    assassinated, 328.

  Lincoln, Benjamin, and Stark, 130;
    at Behmus’ Heights, 135;
    wounded, 138;
    surrenders Charleston to Clinton, 144;
    at Yorktown, 147.

  Lincoln, Captain, at Buena Vista, 202.

  Lincoln, Robert T., at Appomattox, 337.

  _Linnet_ at Lake George, 175, 176.

  _L’Insurgente_ captured by the _Constellation_, 154.

  _Little Belt_ at Lake Erie, 163.

  Locomotive, first, 181.

  Lombardini, Manuel, at Buena Vista, 201.

  Long Island, battle, 119.

  Longstreet, James, rejoins Lee, 307;
    disapproves of northern invasion, 307;
    dispute with Lee, 317, 318, 322;
    at Gettysburg, 318, 320;
    expected counter-stroke, 325.

  Louis XIV. attempted consolidation of Spain and France, 5, 8.

  Louis XVI. execution, 154.

  Louisiana, purchase, 8, 155;
    settlement, 60;
    retrocession of, to France, 154;
    admission into the Union, 155;
    secession, 231.

  Loyalists, views, 97;
    persecuted, 98;
    at Boston, 106;
    in British army, 120;
    in Tryon County, 129.

  McClellan, G. B., commander-in-chief, Federal armies, 273;
    force, 274;
    his superiors, 275.

  McClernand, John A. B., in command before Vicksburg, 298;
    placed under Grant, 298;
    in Vicksburg campaign, 302.

  _McCulloch_ in Spanish War, 354.

  Macdonough, Thomas, Jr., at Lake Champlain, 173;
    account of battle, 176–178;
    testimonials, 179.

  _Macedonian_ captured by the _United States_, 155.

  McKee, Colonel, at Buena Vista, 205.

  McKinley Tariff Bill, passed, 345.

  McKinley, William, elected President, 345;
    Spain, 346;
    Cuba, 348;
    declares war, 350.

  McLaws, Lafayette, in Gettysburg campaign, 318.

  McPherson, James B., Vicksburg campaign, 299.

  McRea, Jenny, murdered, 131, 132.

  Madison, James, elected President, 155, 156.

  Maine admitted into the Union, 180.

  _Maine_ blown up, 346, 349.

  Manhattan Island purchased, 15, 30.

  Manila, naval battle, 351–355;
    Dewey’s command, 351;
    Montojo’s, 351;
    first shot, 352;
    map, 353;
    Spanish surrender, 354;
    capture of city, 356, 373.

  Manning, J. L., and surrender of Sumter, 271.

  Marcy, W. L., plan of operations against Mexico, 189.

  Marie Antoinette, execution, 154.

  Marquette, Jacques, on Mississippi, 43, 63.

  _Marquis de Duero_ in Spanish War, 355.

  Maryland, settlement, 31.

  Mason, John, in Pequot War, 38, 39, 40, 42.

  Mason, J. M., confederate commissioner, captured, 273.

  _Massachusetts_ in Spanish War, 358, 369.

  Massachusetts, war with Pequots, 32–42;
    King Philip’s War, 45–58;
    charter annulled, 93;
    military government, 95;
    conscription, 120.

  Maximilian, Archduke, assumes crown of Mexico, 327;
    captured and shot, 343.

  Meade, George Gordon, commands Army of Potomac, 294, 311;
    character and appearance, 311;
    forces under, 311;
    reliance in Reynolds, 312;
    at Gettysburg, first day, 313;
    second day, position of forces, 316, 317;
    midnight council, 321;
    third day, Culp’s Hill, 322;
    Pickett’s attack, 324;
    question of counter-charge, 325;
    Lee’s retreat, 326;
    losses, 326;
    Lincoln’s disappointment, 326.

  Meade, R. K., and removal to Sumter, 252.

  Mercer, Samuel, on Sumter relief expedition, 267.

  _Merrimac_, construction, 276;
    attack on Federal vessels, 277;
    fight with _Monitor_, 278.

  _Merrimac_, sinking of, 360, 361.

  Merritt, Wesley, in Gettysburg campaign, 311;
    at Appomattox, 337;
    at Manila, 373.

  Mexican War, causes, 183;
    popular movement, 185, 186;
    Taylor in Texas, 186;
    advances to Rio Grande, 187;
    first skirmish, 188;
    Polk’s war message, 188;
    war legislation, 188;
    Polk’s sincerity, 189;
    Slidell’s mission, 189;
    purchase of California, 189;
    map (1846–1848), 191;
    occupation of New Mexico and California, 192;
    Wool’s expedition, 192;
    Doniphan’s expedition, 192;
    friction, 192;
    Taylor’s campaign, 193;
    plan against city of Mexico, 194;
    Vera Cruz, 194;
    advance on City of Mexico, 195;
    first mission, 195;
    bribe to Santa Anna, 195;
    armistice, 195;
    futile negotiations, 196;
    recall of Trist, 196;
    City of Mexico occupied, 196;
    treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, 196;
    ratified, 197;
    Buena Vista, 198–207;
    Vera Cruz, 208, 209;
    Cerro Gordo, 209–211;
    Contreras, 211–214;
    Churubusco, 215–220;
    Molino Del Rey, 220–225;
    Chapultepec, 225–229;
    City of Mexico occupied, 229.

  Mexico, City of, occupied, 182, 229;
    campaign against, 190, 193;
    captured, 196.

  Miami Indians, defeat St. Clair, 154;
    defeated by General Anthony Wayne, 154.

  Michigan, admission into the Union, 181.

  Miles, N. A., in Spanish War, 363, 372;
    Porto Rico campaign, 373;
    charges of maladministration of army, 374.

  Miles, N. P., and surrender of Sumter, 271.

  Minnesota, admission into the Union, 230.

  Minuit, Governor, purchased the island of Manhattan, 15.

  Mississippi, admitted into the Union, 180;
    secession, 231.

  Missouri Compromise, 180;
    repealed, 230.

  Molasses Act, in effect, 82;
    aim, 83.

  Molino Del Rey, battle, 220–225.

  _Monitor_ fight with the _Virginia_, 278, 281–287.

  Monmouth, battle, 144.

  “Monroe Doctrine” announced, 180.

  Monroe, James, elected President, 180.

  Montana, admission into the Union, 345.

  Montcalm, Marquis de, capture of Fort William Henry, 63;
    stand at Quebec, 69;
    forces, 69, 70;
    policy of defence, 72, 73;
    meets Wolfe, 76;
    defeat and death, 76.

  Monterey, capture, 193, 198.

  Montgomery, Fort, 139, 140.

  Montojo, Admiral, Manila Bay battle, 351, 354.

  Montreal, captured, 77.

  Moore, Major, killed at the battle of Bunker Hill, 113.

  Morgan, Daniel, at Behmus’ Heights, 133, 137.

  Morgan, M. R., at Appomattox, 336.

  Moseley, Captain, in King Philip’s War, 49.

  Moultrie, Fort, condition, 240;
    guns spiked, 254;
    occupied by state forces, 255.

  Napoleon I. sells Louisiana, 8.

  Narraganset Indians, and Pequot war, 32–35;
    King Philip’s War, 45, 51–54, 57.

  Nebraska, admission into the Union, 343.

  Nevada, admission into the Union, 327.

  New Amsterdam founded, 4.

  Newhall, Colonel, at Appomattox, 335, 342.

  New Hampshire, settlement, 30;
    conscription, 120.

  New Haven purchased, 17.

  New Jersey established, 43.

  New Orleans, settlement, 60;
    Farragut’s expedition against, 290–294.

  _New York_ in Spanish War, 358.

  Niagara, Fort, captured, 73, 74.

  _Niagara_ at Lake Erie, 163, 170.

  Nixon, John, at the battle of Bunker Hill, 113.

  Noailles, Viscount de, at the siege of Yorktown, 149.

  North Carolina, secession, 273.

  North Dakota, admission into the Union, 345.

  Norton, Doctor, discovery of anæsthetics, 182.

  O’Brien, Lieutenant, at Buena Vista, 200.

  Ohio, admission into the Union, 155.

  Oklahoma opened, 345.

  Oldham, John, killed, 34, 36.

  _Olympia_ in Spanish War, 351.

  _Oquendo_ in Spanish War, 359, 370–371.

  Ord, E. O. C, at Appomattox, 337.

  Oregon, admission into the Union, 231.

  _Oregon_, in Spanish War, 358;
    voyage around the Horn, 360;
    in battle off Santiago, 369–370.

  Oregon, Spain cedes claim, 9;
    joint occupation, 9;
    annexation, 10.

  Ostend manifesto, draw up, 347.

  Otis, James, and “writs of assistance,” 83.

  Palo Alto, battle of, 193.

  Panama Canal, construction, 344.

  Parker, Ely, at Appomattox, 337.

  Parsons, Usher, at the battle of Lake Erie, 168.

  Paterson, General, at Prospect Hill (1775), 103;
    at Bunker Hill, 108.

  _Peacock_ captured by the _Hornet_, 156.

  Pemberton, J. C., Vicksburg campaign, 299;
    besieged, 304;
    surrenders, 304.

  Penn, William, purchases East Jersey, 59.

  Pequots, war with Massachusetts colony, 32;
    killing of Stone, 33, 34, 36;
    murder of Oldham, 34, 36;
    Narraganset alliance, 35, 36;
    settlements attacked, 37;
    capture of forts, 39, 41;
    exterminated, 41.

  Perry, Oliver Hazard, battle of Lake Erie, 156;
    boyhood, 158;
    at Lake Erie, 160;
    command, 163;
    shifts flag, 164;
    victory, 167;
    message, 169;
    losses, 170;
    treatment of prisoners, 171;
    promotion, 171;
    prize money, 171.

  Petersburg, siege of, 327.

  _Petrel_ in Spanish War, 351.

  Pettigrew, J. J., and Anderson, 254;
    Pickett’s charge, 324.

  Philadelphia, meeting of colonial delegates (1774), 94.

  Philippine Islands, United States’ possession, 11.

  Pickens, F. W., request for Sumter, 248;
    removal to Sumter, 254.

  Pickett, G. E., charge at Gettysburg, 318, 323, 324.

  Pico, Pio, faction in California, 190.

  Pierce, Franklin, elected President, 230.

  Pigot, Sir Robert, at Bunker Hill, 106.

  Pillow, Fort, storming, 327.

  Pillow, Gideon J., at Vera Cruz, 208;
    at Contreras, 211;
    at Churubusco, 215.

  Pinckney, Castle, condition, 239;
    occupied by Anderson, 247;
    occupied by state forces, 255.

  Pitcairn, Major, shot at Breed’s Hill, 116.

  Pitt, Fort, built, 74.

  Pitt, William, in British cabinet, 63;
    naval activity, 64, 66;
    demands enforcement of restrictive laws in the colonies, 83.

  Pizarro, conquest of Peru, 12.

  Plains of Abraham, battle, 75.

  Plassey, battle of, 64.

  Pleasonton, Alfred, in Gettysburg campaign, 309.

  Pocanokets. _See_ Wampanoags.

  Polk, James K., elected President, 181;
    war message, 188;
    Texas boundary, 188;
    Slidell’s mission, 189;
    aggressiveness, 189;
    policy of conquering a peace, 189;
    plan of operations, 189, 190, 194;
    friction, 192;
    Trist, 196;
    accepts treaty, 197;
    Cuba, 347.

  Ponce de Leon, Juan, voyage to Florida, 12.

  Pomeroy, Seth, at Bunker Hill, 108, 117.

  Pometacom. _See_ King Philip.

  Poor, Enoch, at Behmus’ Heights, 136.

  Porter, David D., at the battle of New Orleans, 292;
    Vicksburg campaign, 300, 304_n_

  Porter, Fitz-John, report on Charleston harbor forts, 242.

  Porter, Horace, at Appomattox, 336, 337.

  Port Gibson, battle, 302.

  Port Hudson, Banks’ expedition against, 305.

  Port Royal, in Acadia, foundation, 63.

  Port Royal, Nova Scotia, captured, 63.

  _Preble_ at Lake George, 176, 179.

  Prescott, Lieutenant, nephew of Colonel Prescott, killed at battle
        of Bunker Hill, 115.

  Prescott, William, at Bunker Hill, 103;
    fortifies Breed’s Hill, 105;
    bravery, 107;
    reinforced, 107;
    offers command to Warren, 109;
    repulses Howe, 112, 113;
    retreat, 116.

  _President_, fight with _Little Belt_, 155.

  Prevost, Sir George, at Lake Champlain, 175, 178.

  Prideaux, Brigadier, expedition to Niagara, 72, 73.

  Proctor, Redfield, speech on Cuba, 349.

  Pryor, R. A., and surrender of Sumter, 271.

  Putnam, Israel, joins army, 99;
    at Cambridge, 103;
    at Bunker Hill, 104, 107, 108, 112, 115, 117;
    at the Highlands, 121;
    at Peekskill, 140.

  Quebec, settled, 4, 13, 63;
    act, 6;
    taken by English, 30;
    Wolfe’s expedition against, 66;
    Montcalm at, 69;
    stronghold, 70;
    river protection, 70, 71;
    defensive force, 71;
    progress of siege, 72;
    plains of Abraham, 75;
    losses, 76;
    surrender, 76.

  Queen Anne, accession, 60.

  Queen Anne’s War, 60, 63.

  _Queen Charlotte_ at Lake Erie, 163.

  Quitman, John A., at Vera Cruz, 208.

  _Raleigh_ in Spanish War, 351.

  Raleigh, Sir Walter, expedition to North Carolina, 13.

  Rawlins, General, at Appomattox, 336, 337.

  Reconstruction Act, passage, 343.

  Reed, James, at Bunker Hill, 107, 116.

  _Reina Cristina_ in Spanish War, 354, 355.

  Resaca de la Palma, battle, 193.

  Revolution, American, primary causes, 79;
    Samuel Adams as factor, 95;
    outbreak, 99;
    military preparations, 100.

  Reynolds, John E., in Gettysburg campaign, 312;
    death, 313.

  Rey, Vara el, at El Caney, 366_n_.

  Rhett, R. B., Jr., and Anderson’s removal to Sumter, 252.

  Rhode Island, purchased, 17;
    settlement, 31;
    battle of, 144.

  Riedesel, General, at Ticonderoga, 124, 126.

  Roanoke Island, English settlement, 13;
    captured, 288.

  Rochambeau, Count de, at Williamsburg (1781), 146.

  Roosevelt, Theodore, and the navy, 357;
    Rough Riders, 362;
    Sampson-Schley controversy, 376.

  Ross, Major, commissioner at the surrender of Cornwallis, 149.

  Rowan, S. C., and Sumter relief expedition, 266.

  Ruffin, Edmund, opens fire on Sumter, 267.

  St. Augustine, founded, 13.

  St. Clair, Arthur, at Ticonderoga, 123;
    defeat, 124;
    pursued by British, 126;
    defeat by Miami Indians, 154.

  St. Leger, Colonel, siege of Fort Schuyler, 129;
    retreat, 132.

  St. Marks captured, 180.

  _St. Paul_ in Spanish War, 360.

  St. Simon, Marquis de, at the siege of Yorktown, 147.

  Salem, settlement, 30.

  Sampson, W. T., command, 358;
    search for Cervera’s squadron, 359;
    blockade of coast of Cuba, 359;
    battle off Santiago, 369–371;
    Schley controversy, 375.

  San Juan d’Ulloa, Fort, 208.

  San Juan Hill, battle, 365.

  Santa Anna, at Buena Vista, 194, 198–207;
    bribe, 195;
    abdicates, 196;
    at Cerro Gordo, 209;
    at Contreras, 211–214;
    at Churubusco, 215–220;
    at Molino Del Rey, 220–225;
    Chapultepec, 225–229.

  Santiago de Cuba, Cervera’s squadron at, 360;
    blockade, 361;
    sinking of _Merrimac_, 361;
    preparations of army against, 362;
    voyage and landing of army, 363–364;
    Las Guasimas, 365;
    El Caney, 365;
    San Juan Hill, 366–368;
    map, 367;
    naval battle, 369–372;
    surrender, 372;
    condition of army 373;
    return of troops, 373.

  Santo Domingo, proposed annexation with United States, 11.

  Saratoga battle (1777), 120–143.

  _Saratoga_ at Lake George, 175, 176, 178, 179.

  Saunders, Admiral, at siege of Quebec, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71, 74.

  Savannah, founded, 61.

  Saybrook, Fort, beleaguered, 37, 38, 40.

  Schley, W. S., flying squadron, 358;
    search for Cervera’s squadron, 359–361;
    battle off Santiago, 370;
    Sampson controversy, 375.

  Schuyler, Fort, relief, 129.

  Schuyler, Philip, command, 120;
    at Fort Edward, 126;
    prejudices against, 127;
    proclamation, 128;
    superseded by Gates, 131;
    at Stillwater, 128;
    and Arnold, 129;
    exonerated, 143.

  Schwan, Theodore, in Porto Rico, 373.

  Scott, Winfield, plan of operations against Mexico, 189;
    commands Mexican expedition, 194;
    bribe to Santa Anna, 195;
    proposed armistice, 195, 196;
    captures Vera Cruz, 195, 208, 209;
    Cerro Gordo, 209;
    Contreras, 211–214;
    Churubusco, 215–220;
    Molino del Rey, 220–225;
    Chapultepec, 225–229;
    occupies the City of Mexico, 229;
    advises reinforcement of Charleston Harbor forts, 236;
    inaccurate statement of forces 237;
    Fox’s plan of relief, 265;
    succeeded by McClellan, 273.

  Sedgwick, John, in Gettysburg campaign, 311, 316.

  Sedition Act, passage, 154.

  Seminole War, beginning, 180;
    termination, 181.

  Seven Years’ War, beginning, 63.

  Seward, W. H., purchase of Alaska, 11;
    Danish West India Islands, 11.

  Shafter, W. R., Santiago campaign, 363, 364, 365, 369, 372.

  _Shannon_ captures the _Chesapeake_, 156.

  Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts, 153;
    suppression, 154.

  Sheridan, P. H., at Appomattox, 330, 332, 334, 335, 336, 342.

  Sherman, William T., at Buena Vista, 202, 204, 206;
    and McClernand, 298;
    in Vicksburg campaign, 299, 302;
    march on Atlanta, 327;
    occupies Charleston, 327.

  Shields, James, at Vera Cruz, 208;
    at Contreras, 212;
    at Churubusco, 217.

  Sickles, D. E., in Gettysburg campaign, 311, 317.

  Sigsbee, C. D., in Spanish War, 360.

  Simmons, Colonel, at Bennington, 131.

  Six Nations (Indians), in council, 124, 132.

  Skene, Philip K., Council at Castleton, 127.

  Slavery, introduced into Virginia, 30;
    enlistment, 121;
    importation prohibited, 155.

  Slidell, John, mission to Mexico, 189;
    captured, 273.

  Slocum, H. W., in Gettysburg campaign, 311, 317.

  Small, Major, at Bunker Hill, 113.

  Smith, C. H., at Appomattox, 332.

  Smith, General, at Contreras, 213, 214.

  Smith, Persifer, at Contreras, 212.

  Smith, John, on American Indians, 17.

  Smith, Kirby, at Molino del Rey, 221;
    at Vicksburg, 299, 304.

  South Carolina, secession, 231.

  South Dakota, admission into the Union, 345.

  Spain, territorial growth in America, 2, 3, 4;
    loss of territory, 5;
    and England in America, 6;
    colonial revolution, 9;
    cedes claim to Oregon, 9;
    in Cuba, 345.

  Spanish War, causes, 347–349;
    war declared, 350;
    Dewey at Manila, 351–356;
    naval preparation, 357;
    comparative naval forces, 358, 359;
    blockade of Cuba, 359;
    Santiago campaign, 360–369;
    maps, 367, 371;
    naval battle, 369–372;
    surrender, 372;
    Porto Rico campaign, 373;
    capture of Manila, 373, 374;
    army investigation, 374;
    Sampson-Schley controversy, 375, 376.

  Specie Payment, resumption, 344.

  Speedlove, Major, killed at Bunker Hill, 115.

  Spottsylvania Court-house, battle, 327.

  Stamp Act, proposed, 84;
    first reception of proposal, 85;
    resistance, 88;
    repeal urged, 89;
    repealed, 89.

  Stanwix, Fort, siege, 129.

  Stanwix, John, sent to succor Pittsburg, 73;
    built Fort Pitt, 74.

  Stark, John, joins army, 99;
    at Medford, 103;
    at Bunker Hill, 107, 116;
    insubordination, 130;
    at Bennington, 130, 131;
    censured by Congress, 134;
    promoted, 135.

  _Star of the West_ expedition, 256.

  Stillwater, battle of, 119.

  Stockton, R. F., in California, 192.

  Stuart, J. E. B., and Lee’s northward march, 309;
    raid during Gettysburg campaign, 309, 310;
    Gettysburg, 323.

  Stuyvesant, Peter, and Swedish settlers, 42.

  Sumter, Fort, condition, 240, 244;
    state demands, 248;
    Anderson removes to, 251–253;
    flag-raising, 254;
    _Star of the West_ expedition, 256;
    armament, 262;
    bombardment, 267;
    surrenders, 271.

  “Swamp Fight,” King Philip’s War, 52, 56.

  Swedes occupy the Delaware River, 4.

  Sykes, George, in Gettysburg campaign, 311.

  Tarenteens (Eastern Indians), and King Philip’s War, 50.

  Tarleton, Banastre, at the siege of Yorktown, 147.

  Taylor, Dick, at Vicksburg, 304.

  Taylor, H. C., in Spanish War, 363.

  Taylor, Zachary, at Buena Vista, 182;
    in Texas, 186;
    advances to Rio Grande, 187;
    first skirmish, 188;
    captures Monterey, 193;
    plans against City of Mexico, 194;
    at Buena Vista, 194, 198–207;
    elected President, 229;
    death, 230.

  Telephone, invention, 344.

  Tennessee, admission into the Union, 154;
    secession, 273.

  Territory, European claims in America, 2, 4, 5, 6;
    map of growth, 3;
    of the United States, 7–12.

  _Texas_ in Spanish War, 358, 370, 371.

  Texas, rival claims, 9;
    annexation, 10;
    republic proclaimed, 181;
    revolution, 181;
    admission into the Union, 181;
    annexation, 183;
    cause of Mexican War, 184;
    secession, 231.

  Thirty Years’ War, result, 4.

  Thomas, John, at Bunker Hill, 102, 111.

  Thompson, Waddy, and annexation of Texas, 183, 184.

  Thomson, Charles, and Washington’s letter on the capitulation of
        Cornwallis, 150.

  Ticonderoga, battle of, 124.

  Ticonderoga, Fort, defence, 123.

  _Ticonderoga_ at Lake George, 175, 176, 179.

  Tilghman, Lieutenant-Colonel, bearer of despatches to Congress on
        surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, 149.

  Toral, José, surrenders Santiago, 372.

  Tories. _See_ Loyalists.

  Townshend, Charles, revenue scheme, 90, 93;
    tax measures repealed, 91.

  Treat, Major, and King Philip’s War, 49, 52.

  Treaty of Ghent, 179.

  Treaty of Paris, 77.

  Treaty of Utrecht, 60, 63.

  Treaty of Washington, 343.

  Trescot, W. H., on Floyd and reinforcement of forts, 241, 242;
    demand for Sumter, 249;
    removal to Sumter, 255.

  Trist, N. P., mission, 195;
    Scott, 195;
    first negotiations, 196;
    recalled, but negotiates a treaty, 196, 197.

  Tryon, William, burns Continental Village, 141.

  Twiggs, David Emanuel, at Cerro Gordo, 209;
    at Churubusco, 215.

  Tyler, John, succeeds to the Presidency, 181.

  United States, territorial power, 7–9;
    buys Louisiana, 8;
    occupies West Florida, 8;
    territorial rivalry with Great Britain, 9;
    acquires Spanish possession, 11;
    independence recognized, 143, 153;
    dispute with Spain (1785), 153;
    declares war with Great Britain, 155;
    with Tripoli, 155;
    supremacy on Lake Erie, 172;
    treaty with Spain, 180;
    war with Mexico, 181;
    treaty with Great Britain, 182;
    war with Spain (1898), 350.

  _United States_ captures the _Macedonian_, 155.

  Upham, A. P., and Mexico, 184, 185.

  Utah, admission into the Union, 345.

  Van Buren, Martin, elected President, 181.

  Van Dorn, Earl, destruction of Holly Springs depot, 296.

  Vane, Sir Henry, Governor of Massachusetts, 32.

  _Velasco_ in Spanish War, 355.

  Venezuela boundary dispute, 345, 346.

  Vera Cruz captured, 195.

  Versailles, Peace of, 153.

  Vicksburg, and destruction of Holly Springs depot, 296;
    Sherman’s failure, 297;
    McClernand’s command, 297;
    Grant’s command, 298;
    topography, 298, 299;
    Confederate force, 299;
    Federal force, 299;
    tentative operations, 300;
    running the batteries, 301;
    Grant crosses river below, 302;
    Federal victories in rear, 302;
    siege, 303, 304;
    surrender, 304;
    losses, 304;
    bombardment, 304_n_.

  Villamil, Ignacio de Mora y, at Buena Vista, 202.

  _Ville de Paris_, De Grasse’s flag-ship, 146.

  Virginia admitted (by proclamation) into the Union, 294.

  _Virginia_ affair, 348.

  _Virginia._ See _Merrimac_.

  Virginia, slavery introduced, 30;
    crown colony, 30;
    secession, 273.

  _Virginius_ captured, 343.

  _Vixen_ in Spanish War, 369.

  _Vizcaya_ in Spanish War, 359, 371, 372.

  Wadsworth, Captain, ambushed, 54.

  Walker, Captain, at the battle of Bunker Hill, 111.

  Wampanoags (Pocanokets) and King Philip’s War, 44–58.

  Ward, Artemas, in command, 99;
    at Bunker Hill, 103, 107, 108, 115.

  Warner, Colonel, at Ticonderoga, 126, 128.

  Warren, Gouverneur K., at Gettysburg, 319, 321.

  Warren, James, joins army, 99;
    President of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, 108;
    a volunteer at the battle of Bunker Hill, 109;
    killed, 116.

  Washington, admission into the Union, 345.

  Washington, George, siege of Boston, 119;
    at Trenton, 119;
    at Princeton, 119, 121;
    at battle of the Brandywine, 119;
    at Germantown, 119;
    at Morristown, 121;
    Philadelphia campaign, 121, 122;
    confers with Congress, 123;
    confidence in Schuyler, 127;
    loss of Philadelphia, 143;
    at Williamsburg, 145;
    at Yorktown, 147–149;
    elected President, 154;
    death, 154.

  Washington, D. C., seat of government, 154.

  _Wasp_ captures the _Frolic_, 155.

  Wayne, Anthony, defeats Miami Indians, 154.

  Weedon, George, at the siege of Yorktown, 147.

  Welles, Gideon, Secretary of the Navy, 291.

  West, Captain, bought the site of Richmond, Va., 15.

  West Indies, France, Spain, and England, in, 5.

  Weyler y Nicolau, Valeriano, in Cuba, 348.

  Wheeler, Joseph, in Spanish War, 364.

  Whiskey Insurrection in Philadelphia, 154.

  Wigfall, L. T., at the surrender of Sumter, 270, 271.

  Wilcox, C. M., and Pickett’s charge, 324.

  Wilderness, battle of the, 327.

  Wilkinson, James, commissioner 143.

  Willett, Marinus, at the siege of Fort Schuyler, 129.

  William Henry, Fort, captured, 63.

  William III., death, 60.

  Williams, Major, killed at Bunker Hill, 115.

  Williams, Gen. Seth, at Appomattox, 336, 337.

  Williams, Roger, purchase of Rhode Island, obtains patent from
        Parliament, 42.

  Winslow, Josiah, Governor of Plymouth, 52.

  Wisconsin, admitted into the Union, 229.

  Wolfe, James, expedition against Quebec, 66;
    career and character, 66, 67;
    forces, 67, 68;
    advance, 68, 69;
    progress of siege, 72;
    illness, 74;
    on Plains of Abraham, 75;
    death, 76.

  Wood, Leonard, and Rough Riders, 362.

  Wool, J. E., expedition against Mexico, 192;
    at Buena Vista, 200.

  Worden, J. L., _Monitor-Virginia_ fight, 278;
    story of the fight, 281–284.

  “Writs of assistance,” right of search, 83;
    legalized, 90.

  Wyoming, admission into the Union, 345.

  Wyoming Valley massacre, 144.

  Yarnell, Lieutenant, courage of, at the battle of Lake Erie, 169, 170.

  Yorktown, siege of, 145–150;
    British forces, 146;
    allied forces, 147;
    Cornwallis’s surrender, 149;
    results, 150–153.


Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant
preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.

Simple typographical errors were corrected.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained; occurrences of
inconsistent hyphenation have not been changed.

Index not checked for proper alphabetization or correct page references.

Footnotes, originally at the bottoms of pages, have been collected,
renumbered into a single sequence, and placed just before the Index.

Page 347: “exterritorial” was printed that way.

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