Monthly Archives: September 2015

Chronology of Events for September 1755

September, 1755: The premiums offered by the government of New-England for taking and scalping the Indians that have revolted to the French interest, are as follow, viz.

For every male Indian prisoner above the age of 12 years, that shall be taken and brought to Boston, 50l.

For every male Indian scalp, brought in as evidence of their being killed, 40l.

For every female Indian prisoner, and for every male Indian prisoner under the age of 12 years, taken and brought in as aforesaid, 25l.

For every scalp of such female Indian, or male Indian, under 11 years, brought as evidence of their being killed, as aforesaid, 20l.

Sept. 8, 1755: Colonel Johnson, who commanded the Provincial regiments designed for the attack of Fort Frederick or Crown-Point, obtained a victory over the French Regulars, Canadians, and Indians, under the command of the Baron de Dieskau. The French march’s up to Colonel Johnson’s entrenchments in good order, and behaved with courage and spirit; but the steadiness of the Provincials, and the fire of a superior artillery directed by Captain Eyre, obliged them to fly with precipitation. The Baron de Dieskau was wounded and taken prisoner; the loss of the French amounted to seven hundred men; that of the Provincials (in this action, and in the defeat of their detachment under Col. Williams, which immediately preceded it) fell short of 300 men killed and wounded: among the former, were the Colonels Williams and Titcomb, one Major, six Captains, and old Hendrick the famous Indian Sachem. Col. Johnson himself was wounded. Sometime afterwards the King created him a Baronet, and the Parliament made him a handsome present in money, for this acceptable service. The battle was fought on the banks of Lake George.

September 9,1755: “Extract of a Letter from Governor Wentworth to the Right Hon. Sir Thomas Robinson, one of his Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State, dated at Portsmouth in New Hampshire, Sept. 19, 1755. Have just received by the post, the inclosed printed copy of major general Johnson’s letter, from his camp at Lake George, after a sharp engagement with baron de Dieskau, the French general. Camp at Lake George, Sept. 9, 1755. To the governors of the several colonies who raised the troops on the present expedition. Gentlemen. Sunday evening the 7th instant, I received intelligence from some Indian scouts I had sent out, that they had discovered three large roads about the South Bay, and were confident a very considerable number of the enemy were marched or on their march towards our encampment, at the Carrying place, where were, posted about 250 of the New Hampshire troops, and five companies of the New York regiment. I got one Adams, a wagoner, who voluntarily and bravely consented to ride express with my orders to colonel Blanchard, of the New Hampshire regiment, commanding officer there.  I acquainted him with my intelligence, and directed him to withdraw all the troops there within the works thrown up. About half an hour, or near an hour after this, I got two Indians and two soldiers, to go on foot with another letter to the fame purpose. About twelve o’clock that night the Indians and soldiers returned with a wagoner who had stolen from the camp, with about eight others their wagoner’s and forces without orders. This wagoner fays they heard and saw (he enemy about four miles from this side the Carrying place. They heard a gun fire, and a man call upon heaven for mercy, which he judged to be Adams, The next morning I called a council of war, who gave it as their opinion, and in which the Indians were extremely urgent, that 1000 men would be detached, and a number of their people would go with them, in order to catch the enemy in their retreat from the other camp, either as victors, or defeated in their design. The 1000 men were detached under the command of colonel Williams, of one of the Boston regiments, with upwards 2000 Indians. They marched between eight and nine o’clock. In about an hour and half afterwards we heard a heavy firing, and all the marks of a warm engagement, which we judged was about three or four miles from us; we beat to arms, and got our men all in readiness. The fire approached nearer, upon which I judged our people were retreating, and detached lieutenant colonel Cole, with about 300 men, to cover their retreat. About ten o’clock some of our men in the rear, and some) Indians of the said party, came running into camp, and acquainted us, that our men were retreating, that the enemy were too strong for them. The whole party that escaped returned to us in large bodies. As we had thrown up a breast-work of trees round our encampment, and planted some field-pieces to defend the fame, we immediately hauled some heavy cannon up there to strengthen our front, took possession of some eminencies on our left flank, and got one field-piece there in a very advantageous situation: The breastwork was manned throughout by our people, and the best disposition made through our whole encampment, which time and circumstances would permit. About half an hour after eleven, the enemy appeared in sight, and marched along the road in very regular order, directly upon our center: They made a small halt about 150 yards from our breast-work, when the regular troops, (whom we judged to be such by their bright and fixed bayonets) made the grand and center attack. The Canadians and Indians squatted and dispersed on oar flanks. The enemy’s fire we received first from their regulars in platoons, but it did no great execution, being at too great a distance, and our men defended by the breast-work. Our artillery then began to play on them, and was served, under the direction of captain Eyre, during the whole engagement, in a manner very advantageous to his character, and those concerned in the management of it. The engagement now became general on both sides. The French regulars kept their ground and order for some time with great resolution and good conduct, but the warm and constant fire from our artillery and troops, put them into disorder: Their fire became more scattered and unequal, and the enemy s fire on our left grew very faint. They moved then to the right of our encampment, and attacked colonel Ruggles, colonel Williams, and colonel Titcomb’s regiments, where they maintained a very warm fire for near an hour, still keeping up their fire in the other parts of our line, tho’ not very strong. The three regiments on the right supported the attack very resolutely, and kept a constant and strong fire upon the enemy. This attack failing, and the artillery still playing along the line, we found their fire very weak, with considerable intervals: This was about four o’clock, when our men and the Indians jumped ever the breastwork, pursued the enemy, slaughtered numbers, and took several prisoners, amongst whom was the baron de Dieskau, the French general of all the regular forces lately arrived from Europe, who was brought to my tent about six o’clock, just as a wound I had received was dressed. The whole engagement and pursuit ended about seven o’clock. I do not know whether I can get the returns of the slain and wounded on our side to transmit herewith but more of that by and by.  The greatest loss we have sustained was in the party commanded by colonel Williams in the morning, who was attacked, and the men gave way, before colonel Whiting, who brought up the rear, could come to his assistance. The enemy, who were more numerous, endeavoured to surround them; upon which the officers found they had no way to save the troops but by retreating; which they did as fast as they could. In this engagement we suffered our greatest loss; colonel Williams, major Ashley, captain Ingersoll, and captain Puter, of the same regiment; captain Farrell, brother-in law to the general, who commanded a party of Indians, captain Stoddart, captain M’Ginnes, captain Stevens, all Indian officers, and the Indians say, near forty of their people, who sought like lions, were all slain: Old Hendrick, the great Mohawk Sachem, we fear is killed. We have abundant reason to think we killed a great number of the enemy; amongst whom is Mons. St. Pierre, who commanded all the Indians. The exact number on either side I cannot obtainfor though I sent a party to bury our dead this afternoon, it being a running scattered engagement, we can neither find all our dead, nor give an exact account. As f.st as these troops joined us, they formed with the rest in the main battle of the day so that the killed and wounded in both engagements, officers excepted, must stand upon one return. About eight o’clock last night, a party of 120 of the New Hampshire regiment, and 90 of the New York regiment, who were detached to our assistance, under the command of captain M’Ginnes, from the camp at the Carrying-place, to reinforce us, were attacked by a party of Indians and Canadians, at the place where colonel Williams was attacked in the morning: Their engagement began between four and five o’clock. This party, who our people say were between 3 and 400, had fled from the engagement here, and gone to scalp our people killed in the morning. Our brave men fought them for near two hours, and made a considerable slaughter amongst them. Of this brave party two were killed, and eleven wounded, and five misting. Captain M’Ginnes, who behaved with the utmost calmness and resolution, was brought on a horse here, and, I fear, his wounds will prove mortal. Ensign Falsam, of the New Hampshire regiment, wounded through the shoulder. Monsieur le baron de Dieskau, the French general, is badly wounded in the leg, and through both his hips, and the surgeon very much fears his life. He is an elderly gentleman, an experienced officer, and a man of high consideration in France. From his papers, I find he brought under his command to Canada, in the men of war lately arrived at Quebec, 3171 regular troops, who were partly in garrison at Crown-Point, and encamped at Ticonderoga and other advantageous passes, between this and Crown-Point. He tells me he bad with him yesterday morning 200 grenadiers, 800 Canadians, and 700 Indians of different nations. His aid-de camp says, (they being separately asked) their whole force was about 2000. Several of the prisoners say about 2300. The baron says his major-general was killed, and his aid de camp says, the greater part of their chief officers also. He thinks by the morning and afternoon actions, they have loft near 1000 men, but I can get no regular accounts. Most of our people think from 5 to 600. We have about 30 prisoners, most of them badly wounded. The Indians scalped of their dead already near 70, and were employed after the battle last night, and all this afternoon, in bringing in scalps; and great numbers of French and Indians yet left unscalped. They carried off numbers of their dead, and secreted them. Our men have suffered so much fatigue for three days past, and are constantly standing upon their arms by day, half the whole upon guard every night, and the rest lie down armed and accoutered, that both officers and men are almost wore out. The enemy may rally, and we judge they have considerable reinforcements near at hand so that I think it necessary we be upon our guard, and be watchful to maintain the advantages we have gained. For these reasons I do not think it either prudent or safe to be sending out parties in search of the dead.  I do not hear of any officers killed at our camp, but colonel Titcomb, and none wounded but myself, and major Nichols, of colonel Titcomb’s. I cannot yet get certain returns of our dead and wounded but from the best accounts I can obtain, we have lost about 130, who are killed, about 60 wounded, and several missing, from the morning and afternoon’s engagement. I think we may expect very shortly, another, and more formidable attack, and that the enemy will then come with artillery. The late colonel Williams had the ground cleared for building a stockaded fort. Our men are so harassed, and obliged to be so constantly upon watchful duty, that I think it would be both unreasonable, and I fear in vain, to set them to work upon the designed fort. I design to order the New Hampshire regiment up here, to reinforce us, and I hope some of the designed reinforcements will be with us in a few days. When these fresh troops arrive, I shall immediately set about building a fort.  My wound is in my thigh, is very painful. The ball is lodged, and cannot be got out; by which means I am, to my mortification, confined to my tent.”

September 29, 1755: “Sir Edward Hawke arrived at St. Helen’s with part of his squadron, from the Bay of Biscay.  Admiral West also arrived with more ships of the same squadron, at Plymouth.”

September 30, 1755: A convention between Great Britain and Russia signed at Petersburg. “By the late treaty with Russia, the empress is to receive for 10 years, an annual subsidy of 60,000l. during which term she is to keep ready for the service of Great Britain 73,450 men.  If they should be actually employed, the subsidy is to be augmented to 500,000l. per ann. but the troops to be paid by Russia.”