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thing after landing the troops was to invest the city. Vaughan, the adventurer from New Hampshire, had the rank and pay of a LieutenantColonel, but refused to have a regular command. He was appointed one of the Council of War, and was ready for any service which the General might think suited to his genius. He conducted the first column through the woods, within sight of the city, and saluted it with three cheers. He headed a detachment, consisting chiefly of the New Hampshire troops, and marched to the north-east part of the harbor, in the night; where they burned the warehouses, containing the naval stores, and staved a large quantity of wine and brandy. The smoke of this fire being driven by the wind into the grand battery, so terrified the French, that they abandoned it and retired to the city, after having spiked the guns and cut the halliards of the flag-staff. The next morning as Vaughan was returning, with thirteen men only, he crept up the hill which overlooked the battery, and observed that the chimnies of the barrack were without smoke, and the staff without a flag. With a bottle of brandy, which he had in his pocket (though he never drank spirituous liquors), he hired one of his party, a Cape Cod Indian, to crawl in at an embrasure and open the gate. He then wrote to the General these words, “ May it please your honor, to be informed, that by the grace of God, and the courage of thirteen men, I entered the royal battery, about nine o'clock, and am waiting for a reinforcement, and a flag.” Before either could arrive, one of the men climbed up the staff, with a red coat in his teeth, which he fastened by a nail to the top. This piece of triumphant vanity alarmed the city, and immediately a hundred men were despatched in boats to retake the battery. But Vaughan, with his small party, on the naked beach, and in the face of a smart fire from the city and the boats, kept them from landing, till the reinforcement arrived. In every duty of fatigue or sanguine adventure, he was always ready; and the New Hampshire troops, animated by the same enthusiastic ardor, partook of all the labors and dangers of the siege. They were employed for fourteen nights successively, in drawing cannon from the landing place to the camp, through a morass; and their LieutenantColonel Messervè, being a ship carpenter, constructed sledges, on which the cannon were drawn, when it was found that their wheels were buried in the mire. The men, with straps over their shoulders, and sinking to their knees in mud, performed labor beyond the power of oxen; which labor could be done only in the night or in a foggy day; the place being within plain view and random shot of the enemy's walls.
It has been said that “this siege was carried on in a tumultuary, random manner, resembling a Cambridge commencement." The remark is in a great measure true. Though the business of the Council of War was conducted with all the formality of a legislative assembly; though
orders were issued by the General, and returns made by the officers at the several posts, yet the want of discipline was too visible in the camp. Those who were on the spot, have frequently in my hearing, laughed at the recital of their own irregularities, and expressed their admiration when they reflected on the almost miraculous preservation of the army from destruction. They indeed presented a formidable front to the enemy; but the rear was a scene of confusion and frolic. While some were on duty at the trenches, others were racing, wrestling, pitching quoits, firing at marks or at birds, or running after shot from the enemy's guns, for which they received a bounty, and the shot were sent back to the city. The ground was so uneven and the people so scattered, that the French could form no estimate of their numbers; nor could they learn it from the prisoners, taken at the island battery, who on their examination, as if by previous agreement, represented the number to be vastly greater than it was. The garrison of Louisbourg had been so mutinous before the siege, that the officers could not trust the men to make a sortie, lest they should desert; had they been united and acted with vigor, the camp might have been surprised and many of the people destroyed.
Much has been ascribed, and much is justly due to the activity and vigilance of Commodore Warren, and the ships under his command; much is also due to the vigor and perseverance of the land forces, and the success was doubtless owing, under God, to the joint efforts of both. Something of policy, as well as bravery, is generally necessary in such undertakings; and there was one piece of management, which, though not mentioned by any historian, yet greatly contributed to the surrender of the city.
The capture of the Vigilant, a French sixty-four gun ship, commanded by the Marquis de la Maison forte, and richly laden with military stores for the relief of the garrison, was one of the most capital exploits performed by the navy.
This event, with the erection of a battery on the high cliff at the lighthouse, under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Gridley, by which the island battery was much annoyed, and the preparations which were evidently making for a general assault, determined Duchambon to surrender; and accordingly, in a few days he capitulated.
Upon entering the fortress and viewing its strength, and the plenty and variety of its means of defence, the stoutest hearts were appalled, and the impracticability of carrying it by assault was fully demonstrated.
No sooner was the city taken, and the army under shelter, than the weather, which during the siege, excepting eight or nine days after the first landing, had been remarkably dry for that climate, changed for the worse; and an incessant rain of ten days succeeded. Had this happened
before the surrender, the troops who had then begun to be sickly, and had none but very thin tents, must have perished in great numbers. Reinforcements of men, stores and provisions arrived, and it was determined in a Council of War to maintain the place and repair the breaches. A total demolition might have been more advantageous to the nation; but in that case, individuals would not have enjoyed the profit of drawing bills on the navy and ordnance establishments. The French flag was kept flying on the ramparts, and several rich prizes were decoyed into the harbor. The army supposed that they had a right to a share of these prizes; but means were found to suppress or evade their claim; nor did any of the Colony cruisers (except one), though they were retained in the service, under the direction of the Commodore, reap any benefit from the captures.
The news of this important victory filled America with joy, and Europe with astonishment. The enterprising spirit of New England gave a serious alarm to those jealous fears, which had long predicted the independence of the Colonies. Great pains were taken in England to ascribe all the glory to the navy, and lessen the merit of the army. However, Pepperell received the title of a Baronet, as well as Warren. The latter was promoted to be an Admiral; the former had a commission as Colonel in the British establishment, and was empowered to raise a regiment in America, to be in the pay of the Crown. The same emolument was given to Shirley, and both he and Wentworth acquired so much reputation as to be confirmed in their places. Vaughan went to England to seek a reward for his services, and there died of the smallpox. Solicitations were set on foot for a parliamentary reimbursement, which, after much difficulty and delay, was obtained ; and the Colonies who had expended their substance were in credit at the British treasury. The justice and policy of this measure must appear to every one, who considers, that excepting the suppression of a rebellion within the bowels of the kingdom, this conquest was the only action which could be called a victory, on the part of the British nation, during the whole French war, and afforded them the means of purchasing a peace.
EPISODES OF WARFARE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.
[From the Same.]
the river Cochecho, were five garrisoned houses; three on the north side, viz., Waldron's, Otis' and Heard's; and two on the south side, viz.,
Peter Coffin's and his son's. These houses were surrounded with timber. walls, the gates of which, as well as the house doors, were secured with bolts and bars. The neighboring families retired to these houses by night; but by an unaccountable negligence, no watch was kept. The Indians who were daily passing through the town visiting and trading with the inhabitants, as usual in time of peace, viewed their situation with an attentive eye. Some hints of a mischievous design had been given out by their squaws; but in such dark and ambiguous terms that no one could comprehend their meaning. Some of the people were uneasy; but Waldron, who from a long course of experience was intimately acquainted with the Indians, and on other occasions had been ready enough to suspect them, was now so thoroughly secure, that when some of the people hinted their fears to him, he merrily bade them go and plant their pumpkins, saying he would tell them when the Indians would break out. The very evening before the mischief was done, being told by a young man that the town was full of Indians and the people were much concerned, he answered that he knew the Indians very well and there was no danger.
The plan which the Indians had preconcerted was, that two squaws should go to each of the garrisoned houses in the evening, and ask leave to lodge by the fire; that in the night when the people were asleep they should open the doors and gates, and give the signal by a whistle; upon which the strange Indians, who were to be within hearing, should rush in, and take their long meditated revenge. This plan being ripe for execution, on the evening of Thursday, the twenty-seventh of June, two squaws applied to each of the garrisons for lodging, as they frequently did in time of peace. They were admitted into all but the younger Coffin's, and the people, at their request, showed them how to open the doors, in case they should have occasion to go out in the night. Mesandowit, one of their chiefs, went to Waldron's garrison, and was kindly entertained, as he had often been before. The squaws told the major, that a number of Indians were coming to trade with him the next day, and Mesandowit while at supper, with his usual familiarity, said, "Brother Waldron, what would you do if the strange Indians should come?” The major carelessly answered, that he could assemble a hundred men, by lifting up his finger. In this unsuspecting confidence the family retired to rest.
When all was quiet, the gates were opened and the signal given. The Indians entered, set a guard at the door, and rushed into the major's apartment, which was an inner room. Awakened by the noise, he jumped out of bed, and though now advanced in life to the age of eighty years, he retained so much vigor as to drive them with his sword through two or three doors; but as he was returning for his other arms,
they came behind him, stunned him with a hatchet, drew him into his hall, and seating him in an elbow chair on a long table insultingly asked him, “Who shall judge Indians now?” They then obliged the people in the house to get them some victuals; and when they had done eating, they cut the major across the breast and belly with knives, each one with a stroke, saying, "I cross out my account. They then cut off his nose and ears, forcing them into his mouth ; and when spent with the loss of blood, he was falling down from the table, one of them held his own sword under him, which put an end to his misery. They also killed his son-in-law, Abraham Lee; but took his daughter Lee with several others, and having pillaged the house, left it on fire.
Elizabeth Heard, with her three sons and a daughter, and some others, were returning in the night from Portsmouth. They passed up the river in their boat unperceived by the Indians, who were then in possession of the houses; but suspecting danger by the noise which they heard, after they had landed they betook themselves to Waldron's garrison, where they saw lights, which they imagined were set up for direction to those who might be seeking a refuge. They knocked and begged earnestly for admission ; but no answer being given, a young man of the company climbed up the wall, and saw, to his inexpressible surprise, an Indian standing in the door of the house, with his gun. The woman was so overcome with the fright that she was unable to fly; but begged her children to shift for themselves; and they, with heavy hearts, left her. When she had a little recovered she crawled into some bushes, and lay there till daylight. She then perceived an Indian coming toward her with a pistol in his hand; he looked at her and went away: returning, he looked at her again; and she asked him what he would have; he made no answer, but ran yelling to the house, and she saw him no more. She kept her place till the house was burned, and the Indians were gone; and then returning home, found her own house safe. Her preservation in these dangerous circumstances was more remarkable, if (as it is supposed) it was an instance of justice and gratitude in the Indians. For at the time when the four or five hundred were seized in 1676, a young Indian escaped and took refuge in her house, where she concealed him; in return for which kindness he promised her that he would never kill her, nor any of her family in any future war, and that he would use his influence with the other Indians to the same purpose. This Indian was one of the party who surprised the place, and she was well known to most of them.