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ance, and expect they will be with you in eight days from this date. This corps I have great dependence on, and have no doubt that they will be exceedingly useful to you; as a check given to the savages, and keeping them within proper bounds, will prevent General Burgoyne from getting intelligence as formerly, and animate your other troops, from a sense of their being more on an equality with the enemy. Colonels Courtland's and Livingston's regiments are also on their way to join you, and must of course be with you in a very few days. With these reinforcements,
a besides the militia under General Lincoln, (which by this time must be pretty considerable) I am in hopes you will find yourself at least able to stop the progress of Mr. Burgoyne, and by cutting off his supplies of provision, &c. to render his situation ineligible.” *** “General Schuyler's sending a reinforcement to Fort Schuyler, I think was absolutely necessary; and am of opinion, that particular attention should be paid to the inroads leading to this quarter, as a successful stroke of the enemy there, might be a means of encouraging the whole of the Six Nations to unite against us."
On the same day he wrote thus to Governour Clinton : “I am forwarding as fast as possible to join the Northern army, Colonel Morgan's riflemen, amounting to about five hundred men. These are well chosen men, selected from the army at large, well acquainted with the use of rifles, and with that mode of fighting which is necessary to make them a good countorpoise to the Indians, and have distinguished themselves on a variety of occasions since the formation of the corps, in skirmishes with the enemy. I expect the most eminent services from them, and am mistakee
if their presence does not go far towards producing a general desertion among the savages."
General Gates seemed to be fully sensible of the great advantages under which he took command of the army, and not at all inclined to take to bimself any part of the credit which belonged to lis predecessor. He had now under his orders some of the best and bravest officers of the American army-The militia of New York Under the active exertions of Goverpour Clinton, were marching from all quarters to join him--the check which Burgoyne had received, gave bim time to make the best disposition of his force: and the Indians, whose mode of fighting had before struck a panick in the army, had been so severely handled by the unfortunate Herkimer and his brave followers, that it seemed doubtful whether they would again appear in much force, On the 230 August, Colonel Morgan arrived at head quarters with his corps, whieh consisted of 508 officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates; Lieutenant Colonel Richard Butler, of Pennsylvania, Major Morris, of Jersey, and Major Henry Dearborn, of Massachusetts, were his field officers the latter had command of a select portion of this excellent corps, of 250 men arm. ed with bayonets.
So little intelligence had been received of the enemy at head quarters since the affair at Bennington, that General Gates remained in ignorance of their situation or movements until the 30th August, when a messenger arrived from Burgoyne, with a letter, complaining of the treatment of the prisoners taken by General Stark. This gave occasion to the hot temder and patriotick feelings of General Gates to break out in a severe retort. He replied to Burgoyne's let.
ter, and called to his recollection the many barbarities which had been practised by the savages under his orders, towards the Americans-He mentioned among others the murder of a young lady (a Miss M-Crea) who had fallen into their hands at Fort Edward, the circumstances of wbich he detailed in all the extravagance of high wrought feeling. He represented her as the most lovely and amiable of her sex, and to add to the horrour of her fate, stated that she was dress ed in her bridal robe to receive her promised husband, who was a refugee officer in Burgoyne's army, when the murderers employed and paid by him, laid their ruthless hands upon her. There is but little doubt that General Gates purposely exaggerated the circumstances which attended the melancholy fate of this young lady-sufficiently melancholy, indeed, without the aid of fancy. She had remained behind when the American arny retreated from Fort Edward, for what purpose is a mere matter of conjecture, and unfortunately fell into the hands of two Indians, who happened to be the first to enter the town; and a quar: rel arising between them concerning her, it was decided by one of the savages burying his tomahawk in her head. But whatever may have been the peculiar circumstances of this case, or whatever the enormities committed by the inhuman monsters who found her, there was no reason to supppose, that they were either encouraged or sanctioned by General Burgoyne. He had on several occasions, endeavoured to repress the ferocious tempers of the savages, and particularly in a speech which he made to them on his crossing the American line, in June; and it would be unjust to regard him as an abettor of their cruelties any further than by the mere act of employing them in his
service, and for this he had the orders of his govern. ment, and the example of his predecessor.–A reply from General Burgoyne to the accusations of General Gates, in which he entered into a minute vindication of his conduct and character, closed the correspondence between the two commanders, and on the 8th September General Gates turned to meet his enemy.
The army arrived at Stillwater on the 9th of September, fully determined to face the foe, and if necessary pursue him into his own confines. at first supposed to be an eligible position for throwing up a line of entrenchments, and a large party under the engineer Kosciusko, were accordingly set to work for that purpose. But upon a more narrow inspection of the grounds, the General determined to change his position, and occupy Behmus's Heights, which were taken possession of and fortified on the 13th. Burgoyne at this time lay opposite to Saratoga, occupying old Fort Miller and Battenkiln; but what were his further intentions, General Gates had no means of judging. In this situation the Deputy Adjutant General, Colonel James Wilkinson, volunteered to head a select reconnoitering party, and ob"tain if possible the desired information. He left the camp with 170 men under cover of a dark night and arrived by day-light at Davocote, about two miles from Saratoga. Here he posted the greater part of his men in a wood near the road, and proceeded himself to the Heights of Fishkill Creek; from which position he discovered a column of the enemy drawn up under arms, on the opposite bank of the creek, within three hundred yards of him, and another column under march, descending the Heights below Battenkill. Being satisfied from these circumstances
that General Burgoyne was advancing, Colonel Wilkinson returned to camp with his party, bringing with him three prisoners, who confirmed the intelli. gence.
On the 15th General Burgoyne, having crossed the river some days before, had advanced as far as Davocote, where he halted twenty-four hours for the purpose of repairing the bridges and roads in his advance, for the more convenient march of his army. On the 18th General Arnold was sent out with fifteen hundred men, to harrass and impede him, but returned without accomplishing any thing; Burgoyne continuing his march until he had arrived within two miles of General Gates's camp. Here he encamped in a line extending from the river to a range of hills six hundred yards distant, and upon which were posted the elite of his army. The position occupied by General Gates, as described by an eye-witness, and one who knew it well, was as follows:-" His right occupied the brow of the hill near the river, with which it was connected by a deep intrenchment; his camp in the form of a segment of a great circle, the convex towards the enemy, extended rather obliquely to his rear, about three-fourths of a mile to a knoll occupied by his left; his front was covered from the right to the left of his centre, by a sharp ravine running parallel with his line, and closely wooded : from thence to the knoll at his extreme left, the ground was level and had been partially cleared, some of the trees being felled, and others girdled, beyond which in front of his left flank, and extending to the enemy's right, there were several small fields in very imperfect cultivation, the surface broken and obstructed with stumps and fallen timber, and the whole bound