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that they do not suffer their cattle to be removed, nor their corn or forage to be secreted or destroyed; that they do not break up their bridges or roads, nor by any other act, directly or indirectly, endeavor to obstruct the operations of the King's troops, or supply or assist those of the enemy. Every species of provision brought to my camp will be paid for at an equitable rate, and in solid coin."
After holding out the promise of protection, and the temptation of hard money for provisions, the threat of Indian horrors is paraded, in order to frighten the inhabitants into submission, in these words: "In consciousness of Christianity, my royal master's clemency, and the honor of soldiership, I have dwelt upon this invitation, and wished for more persuasive terms to give it impression: And let not people be led to disregard it, by considering their distance from the immediate situation of my camp. I have but to give stretch to the Indian forces under my direction and they amount to thousands, to overtake the hardened enemies of Great Britain and America:
ever they may lurk.
I consider them the same wher
"If, notwithstanding, these endeavors and sincere inclinations to effect them, the phrenzy of hostility should remain, I trust I shall stand acquitted in the eyes of God and men, in denouncing and executing the vengeance of the state against the wilful outcasts. The messengers of justice and of wrath await them in the field; and devastation, famine and every concomitant horror that a reluctant but indespensible prosecution of military duty must occasion, will bar the way to their
This proclamation called forth many replies in both prose and verse. As a sample of the ridicule which it called forth, the following extract is taken from a parody widely circulated at the time:
"I will let loose the dogs of hell,
"If, after all these loving warnings,
To that these presents, John Burgoyne."
The British commander was not in haste to follow Abercrombie's example, and make a general assault upon the works. He preferred, therefore, to invest the fortress, bringing up his artillery, stores, and provisions on July 4, and drawing his lines closer to Mount Independence.
St. Clair tried his best to cheer his troops, although he realized the perilous situation of his army. He still cherished the hope that Burgoyne might assault the works, and thus afford him the opportunity of making an effort to resist the enemy, having planned to concentrate his troops on Mount Independence.
Near the point where the waters of Lake George flow into Lake Champlain, there rises a high and rugged eminence, which was known in the early history of this region as Sugar Hill, or Sugar Loaf Hill, generally supposed to be inaccessible for artillery, but entirely dominating the surrounding region.
Soon after the return of the American army from Canada, on an occasion when the principal officers of his staff were seated at General Gates' table, Col. John Trumbull advanced what he termed "the new and heretical opinion," that the position of the Northern army was "bad and untenable" because it was overlooked in all parts by Sugar Hill, hitherto neglected by French, English and American engineers. Trumbull was ridiculed for advancing such an idea, as the hill was considered too far from the American works to be available for artillery, if it were possible to draw cannon to its summit. The Connecticut Colonel not willing that his opinion should be laughed out of court, obtained the permission of General Gates to make some experiments, and proceeding to the north point of Mount Independence, where Major Stevens was examining and proving cannon, he selected a twelve-pounder, a long, doublefortified, brass gun of French manufacture, loaded it with the best powder and a double charge of shot, and requested Major Stevens to point it at the summit of Sugar Hill. Stevens predicted that the gun would not carry across the lake, but to his surprise the charge struck more than half way up the hill. Colonel Trumbull reported at headquarters the result of the test, and after dinner he invited General Gates and his officers to walk out upon the glacis of the old French fort, where
a field gun, a six-pounder, was loaded and aimed at Sugar Hill, the shot striking near the summit.
It was still maintained, however, that the summit was inaccessible. To meet this objection Colonel Trumbull, accompanied by General Arnold, Colonel Wayne and other officers, crossed in General Gates' barge to the foot of the eminence, "where it was most precipitous and rocky," and soon climbed to the summit. Trumbull said: "The ascent was difficult and laborious, but not impracticable, and when we looked down upon the outlet of Lake George, it was obvious to all that there could be no difficulty in driving up a loaded carriage."
Following this demonstration, Trumbull drew up two plans, the first showing that the existing system of defence required at least ten thousand men and one hundred pieces of artillery for its defence; the second estimated the expense of erecting a permanent fortification on the summit of Sugar Hill, which would command completely the narrow parts of both Lake Champlain and Lake George, large enough to accommodate a garrison of five hundred men and mounting twentyfive heavy guns, the cost being in a ratio of twenty to one in favor. He sent copies of these plans, together with a description of the present position, to General Gates, General Schuyler and to Congress, and there the matter ended.
As Burgoyne's army drew the lines closer around historic Ticonderoga, the offensive possibilities of Sugar Hill impressed General Fraser, and on the afternoon of July 4, he sent Captain Craig with forty men of the light infantry and a few Indians to reconnoiter the height. At 12 o'clock that night the captain reported
that he had surmounted the hill and found it “very commanding ground," a conclusion which even General Gates' staff would not dispute. Evidently Captain Craig's report lacked the definite information needed as a basis for military operations, and although the weather on the afternoon of July 5 was "abominably hot," to quote General Fraser's words, that officer, taking Lieutenant Twiss, the ranking engineer, ascended the hill, which he named Mount Defiance.
It was found that this eminence commanded the entire works at Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. No material movement could be made by the Americans without being discovered, and even the number of their soldiers could be counted. It was found that the summit could be levelled so that a battery could be located, and although a difficult task, a road could be. constructed in twenty-four hours suitable for transporting cannon to the top of the mountain. Fraser ordered an abatis to be constructed, left a guard on the height, and returned to camp. Burgoyne had imagined that afternoon that the Americans were retiring from Mount Independence, and sent the gunboats forward to investigate, but a brisk fire from St. Clair's batteries convinced the British commander of his error, and he was in a mood to listen to the favorable reports of Fraser and Twiss and to urge that every effort be made to occupy Mount Defiance. It was determined that a battery should be established on that favorable height consisting of light twenty-four pounders, medium twelvepounders, and eight-inch howitzers. A road was cut up the mountain side by working night and day, and eight cannon were dragged up by aid of oxen, the op