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propriate what the Americans had abandoned in their hasty flight, and he says of the episode: "As there were many to plunder, it was with very great difficulty I could prevent horrid irregularities." Everything was "tolerably well secured" about five o'clock, the delay caused by the desire for plunder having given St. Clair's fleeing troops an opportunity to gain a lead that their pursuers could not overcome. Fraser then formed a detachment of the grenadiers and light infantry battalions with two companies of the Twenty-fourth regiment, and he started in pursuit of the Americans, leaving an officer to notify Burgoyne that he desired the support of the remainder of his corps, and other troops. He did not stop to take any provisions, and pressed on for nine miles before any water was found. Pausing here to allow the soldiers to rest and refresh themselves, he ordered Colonel Campbell of the Twenty-ninth regiment to return to headquarters and notify General Burgoyne that he believed he was near the rear guard of the rebels, and that he desired to be supported by troops, "British if possible." This is only one of several occasions on which General Fraser exhibited his belief in the superiority of British over German troops.
After marching four miles farther, Fraser halted to permit the killing of two bullocks, thus providing food which greatly refreshed the hungry men. An Ameri
can prisoner informed Fraser that Colonel Francis, commanding the rear guard of the retreating army, would be glad to surrender to the King's troops, rather than to fall into the hands of the savages. As the British soldiers were much fatigued, no fleet-footed carrier was available to bear a message, and the prisoner was
sent ahead to overtake Colonel Francis, and give him an opportunity to avail himself of British protection; but the only notice Francis took of the offer was to double his diligence in putting a greater distance between Fraser and himself.
It was an unusually trying occasion, both for pursuers and pursued. This midsummer Sabbath was a sultry day, like several that had preceded it. The road was rough, and the hills were many and steep. If any breeze were blowing it could hardly penetrate into this forest-clad region and the July sun poured down fiercely. making this wilderness trail a veritable furnace.
Before leaving for Skenesborough, in pursuit of Colonel Long, Burgoyne ordered General Reidesel to support Fraser. The Sixty-second British regiment and the Brunswick regiment of Prince Frederick were stationed, respectively, at Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, to take the place of the guards posted by General Fraser. Taking a company of light infantry and an advance guard of eighty men from Breymann's corps, and leaving orders for the remainder of the corps and his own regiment to follow immediately, Reidesel hastened on and overtook Fraser's detachment, while its numbers were feasting on the bullocks which they had slaughtered. The British General, who was only a Brigadier, was embarrassed by the presence of a senior officer, who was a Major General. After agreeing to renew the pursuit at three o'clock the following morning, Fraser moved on three miles farther, where his troops lay on their arms, leaving Reidesel in the camp evacuated by the British troops. Naturally the German
troops were much fatigued. It has been said that the sword of one of Reidesel's dragoons weighed as much as the entire equipment of a British soldier. Stone's "Burgoyne's Campaign" describes the equipment of a Brunswick dragoon as follows: "He wore high and heavy jackboots, with large, long spurs, stout and stiff leather breeches, gauntlets reaching high up on his arms, and a hat with a high tuft of ornamental feathers. On his side he trailed a tremendous broadsword; a short but clumsy carbine was slung over his shoulder, and down his back, like a Chinese mandarin, dangled a long queue." If Reidesel's troops were thus equipped on this July Sunday, it may be imagined that a march thirteen or fourteen miles over such a road was a test sufficient to satisfy their ambitions for one day's march.
General St. Clair, having arrived at Hubbardton, after passing through Orwell and Sudbury, waited from one until five o'clock Sunday afternoon for the stragglers and the rear guard to come up. At that time Major Dearborn of the rear guard (afterward a Major General and Secretary of War) brought the news that the remainder of the army was approaching, and St. Clair proceeded six miles farther, to Castleton, arriving there about dusk. The regiments of Colonels Warner, Francis and Hale, about thirteen hundred men in all, were left as a rear guard, under command of Col. Seth Warner. Owing to the extreme fatigue of the men it was decided to remain at Hubbardton. It was claimed afterward by General St. Clair and Colonel Wilkinson that Warner disobeyed orders in remaining there, having been directed to advance to a point within one and
one-half miles of the main body. On the other hand, Daniel Chipman, a lad of twelve years at the time of this episode, who in later years enjoyed the personal acquaintance of many veterans of the Revolutionary War, in his "Memoirs of Warner," stoutly maintained that the Vermont Colonel was ordered to remain at Hubbardton, and that St. Clair erred in going six instead of one and one-half miles beyond the camp of his rear guard.
Warner's encampment was on the farm of John Selleck, in the southeastern part of the town of Hubbardton, near the Pittsford line. This is an upland region, affording a beautiful outlook, a rolling table-land, surrounded on the south and east by hills. A road, following a little stream, led to Ticonderoga, over which route the American troops had retreated, and another led toward Castleton.
Earlier on the eventful Sunday, before St. Clair's army had reached Hubbardton, while religious worship was being conducted in the house of George Foote, about half a mile east of the present site of Castleton village, on the road to Hubbardton, an alarm was given that the enemy was approaching, and the women and children took refuge in the cellar. Some American recruits who had assembled about two miles beyond the place, hastened back and sought shelter in the Foote house and in a school house across the road.
The attacking party consisted of a scouting expedition, made up of British, Tories and Indians, and it is asserted that they largely outnumbered the Americans. The best information available indicates that Capt. Jus
tus Sherwood, a prominent Tory leader, commanded the party. In the skirmish that followed Capt. John Hall of Castleton was shot in the leg. He called for water and as his wife was bringing it to him the receptacle which she carried was kicked from her hands by a Tory. Captain Hall died as a result of his wounds. A British infantry soldier was shot through the body, but recovered, after being cared for by Mrs. Hall, who returned good for evil. Captain Williams was killed and one of his sons was wounded, but succeeded in reaching Rutland, nearly exhausted for want of food.
The body of Captain Williams was wrapped in a blanket and buried at the foot of a tree. Forty-four years later it was exhumed and buried in the cemetery with appropriate exercises. Several prisoners were captured by Sherwood and taken to Ticonderoga.
General Fraser, in accordance with his plans, resumed his march at three o'clock Monday morning, July 7. After marching a mile he left an officer at some cleared ground with directions for General Reidesel, and moved forward two miles farther, where the advance guard of the British troops encountered the American sentries, who fired and retreated to the main body. The advance guard was led by Major Grant of the Twentyfourth regiment, a close friend of General Fraser. As the guard approached the American pickets, Grant mounted a stump to reconnoiter, and he had hardly given the order to fire when he was struck and instantly killed by the bullet of an American rifleman.
Colonel Wilkinson, St. Clair's adjutant, afterward an army officer of high rank, and connected with Aaron