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goyne's proposals, and the 2d, 3d, and 4th of those of Major General Gates of yesterday, being agreed to, the formation of the proposed treaty is out of dispute, but the several subordinate articles and regulations necessarily springing from these preliminaries, and requiring explanation and precision, between the parties, before a definitive treaty can be safely executed, a longer time than that mentioned by General Gates in his answer to the 9th article, becomes indispensably necessary. Lieutenant General Burgoyne is willing to appoint two officers immediately to meet two others from Major General Gates to propound, discuss, and settle those subordinate articles, in order that the treaty in due form may be executed as soon as possible.
"N. B. Major Kingston has authority to settle the place for the meeting of the officers proposed.”
To the request contained in this note General Gates consented; and Brigadier General Whipple, of the militia, and Deputy Adjutant General, Colonel Wilkinson, were appointed on his part, to meet Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Southerland, and Captain James H. Craig, both of the 47th, on the part of General Burgoyne. The meeting took place on the afternoon of the 15th, and the parties mutually agreed upon, signed, and exchanged articles of capitulation. But this term, it seems, did not suit the delicacy of General Burgoyne: capitulation meant rather more than he was willing to think his situation required; and on the night of the 15th, a few hours after the meeting had broken up, Colonel Wilkinson received the following note from one of the party, which as it afterwards appeared, had been written without the knowledge or consent of the other." Sir, Upon reporting
the proceedings of this evening to Lieutenant General Burgoyne, I was happy to receive his approbation of and ready concurrence in every article that has been agreed on between us; it however appears upon a retrospect of the treaty, that our zeal to complete it expeditiously has led us into the admission of a term in the title very different from his meaning, and that of the principal officers of the army who have been consulted on this important occasion. We have, Sir, unguardedly called that a treaty of capitulation which the army means only as a treaty of convention. With the single alteration of this word, Lieutenant Colonel Southerland and myself will meet you at the stipulated time to-morrow morning, with the fair copy signed by General Burgoyne.
"I hope, Sir, you will excuse my troubling you so late, but I thought it better than by my delay to prevent the conclusion of a treaty which seems to be the object of both parties, and which may prevent the further effusion of blood between us. I beg your immediate answer, and am, &c. &c." signed, James Henry Craig.
General Gates made no objection to this substitution of the term convention for capitulation, and the treaty was supposed to be at an end. The whole army had been apprised of the negotiation, and it was universally believed that Burgoyne must submit to surrender upon any terms. The consequence was, that several regiments of militia, whose terms of service had expired, left the camp without permission, and returned home; the whole army had given themselves up to indolence and carelessness, and it is doubtful whether an attack at this moment might not have changed the circumstances of the two armies very much
in favour of Burgoyne. At this critical moment, to the astonishment of the whole army, General Burgoyne sent the following message to Major General Gates.
"In the course of the night Lieutenant General Burgoyne has received intelligence that a considerable force has been detached from the army under the command of Major General Gates, during the course of the negotiation of the treaty depending between them. Lieutenant General Burgoyne conceives that, if true, to be not only a violation of the cessation of arms, but subversive of the principles on which the treaty originated, viz. a great superiority of numbers in General Gates's army. Lieutenant General Burgoyne therefore requires that two officers on his part be permitted to see that the strength of the force now opposed to him is such as will convince him that no such detachments have been made, and that the same principles of superiority on which the treaty first began, still exists."
Upon the receipt of this message, General Gates despatched Colonel Wilkinson, with authority to answer it as he thought proper. The account of his reception, the message which he planned and delivered, and the circumstances attending his meeting with General Burgoyne, as given in his " Memoirs," are so interesting that the reader will be pleased to see it in the language of the messenger himself.
"A youth, in a plain blue frock, without other military insignia than a cockade and a sword, I stood in the presence of three experienced European Generals, soldiers before my birth; Phillips had distinguished himself, and received the thanks of Prince Ferdinand at Minden in 1759; Burgoyne had served with credit under Count la Lippe on the Tagus, in 1762, and Rei
desel was an eleve of the Duke of Brunswick; yet the consciousness of my inexperience did not shake my purpose, and I had conceived in my mind the following message, which I delivered verbatim to Lieutenant General Burgoyne from Major General Gates, and afterwards furnished a copy of it.
Major General Gates in justice to his own reputation, condescends to assure your excellency, that no violation of the treaty has taken place on his part since the commencement of it, the requisition, therefore, contained in your message of this day, is inadmissible: and as it now remains with your excellency to ratify or dissolve the treaty, Major General Gates expects your immediate and decisive reply.'
"This message was respectfully received, and some conversation ensued, which gave me an opening to observe, that his excellency must entertain an humble opinion of Major General Gates's professional knowledge, or he would not have demanded permission for two of his officers critically to examine his numbers and of consequence his position, whilst the British army had their arms in their hands, and that General Gates could not but conceive it was trifling with him.' This drew out General Burgoyne into a most eloquent vindication of his proceedings-Not only his own individual reputation, but the service of the King his master, and the honour of the British arms, enjoined on him the most cautious circumspection :' he analysed the various species of intelligence, from the vague camp rumour, and the reports of deserters, up to authentick information, which last he averred was the nature of that he had received the preceding night; he spoke in high terms of the resolution of his
army, and ended by saying, "General Gates has no idea of the principle and spirit which animates the army I command; there is not a man in it, I assure you Colonel Wilkinson, who does not pant for action.""But," I replied to him, "what can the courage of a handful of men avail against the numbers you see on the hills beyond the river, and those which surround you? who, I can assure your excellency, are with difficulty restrained from falling on you at all quarters, in the hope of dividing the spoils of your camp,' and after a moment's pause, I added, "Be pleased, Sir, to favour me with your determination ?" He answered, "I do not recede from my purpose: the truce must end."" At what time, Sir ?" "In one hour." We set watches, and on taking leave I observed, "After what has passed, General Burgoyne, there can be no treaty; your fate must be decided by arms, and General Gates washes his hands of the blood which may be spilled." "Be it so," said he, and I walked off with most uncomfortabte sensations; for our troops were much scattered, having encompassed the British army three parts out of four; the men had got the treaty into their heads, and had lost their passion for combat, and what was worse, we had been advised of the loss of Fort Montgomery, and a rumour had just arrived that Esopus was burnt, and the enemy proceeding up the river; but I had not proceeded fifty rods, when Major Kingston ran after me and hailed; I halted, and he informed me that General Burgoyne was desirous to say a few words to me; I returned, when he addressed me by observing, that "General Gates had, in the business depending between them, been very indulgent, and therefore he would hope for time to take the opinion of his general officers in a case of 14