Sunday, June 27, 2010

1st Maryland Regiment

The 1st Maryland Regiment was one of the most distinguished American regiments serving during the American War of Independence. Originally organized as the Maryland Battalion, the regiment won acclaim in desperate actions against numerically superior British forces at the battles of Long Island (August 27, 1776) and White Plains (October 28, 1776). During the following winter, the regiment, though much reduced in size, was at the forefront of the fighting at the battles of Trenton (December 26, 1776) and Princeton (January 3, 1777). The following year, the redesignated 1st Maryland helped defend Pennsylvania and fought at Brandywine (September 11, 1777) and Germantown (October 4, 1777).

In 1780, the Maryland line was sent to the Carolinas, where they suffered horrendous losses at the battle of Camden (August 16). The remnants of the Maryland regiments were organized into two regiments. The reorganized 1st Maryland fought with great distinction at Cowpens (January 17, 1781), Guilford Courthouse (March 15, 1781), and Eutaw Springs (September 8, 1781). On each of these occasions the regiment launched a critical bayonet charge that broke well-trained British regulars. The regiment was also heavily engaged at Hobkirk's Hill (April 25, 1781) and the siege of Ninety-Six (May 22-June 19, 1781).

The Maryland Regiment of 1776 wore hunting shirts (in battle). Beginning in 1777, and continuing until the end of the war, the regiment wore blue coats with red facings. Below: An assortment of blue-coated Continentals by several manufacturers that can be used to represent the 1st Maryland or its sister regiments.

Uniforms of the Maryland Battalion of 1776. Left panel: Lefferts' representation of the battalion's field uniform (at left), and the dress uniform of the Baltimore Independent Cadets (one component of the battalion; at right). Right panel: 15mm Minifigs.

15mm Minifigs painted to represent the 1st Maryland Regiment as it appeared beginning in 1777.

15mm Marylanders by other manufacturers. From left to right: Musket Miniatures, Stone Mountain Miniatures, Essex Miniatures, Valent Miniatures.

For the 1st Maryland reenactors, see here.

For 28mm-high versions of the 1st Maryland by fellow bloggers, see here and here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

North Carolina: June, 1780

In June, 1780, the British completed their conquest of South Carolina and were making preparations for an eventual invasion of North Carolina. In anticipation of this invasion, large bands of Loyalist militia began to organize in North Carolina. For the moment, at least, North Carolina remained firmly in American control. Large bodies of North Carolina militia had been embodied, supported by a division of Continentals, a brigade of Virginia militia, and South Carolina refugees. The map shows the approximate distribution of these forces shortly before the battle of Ramsour's Mill (June 20). Please note that some small concentrations of troops have been omitted from this map.

British and American Forces in North Carolina in June, 1780 (click to enlarge). Red letters refer to British forces, blue letters to American forces. Placement of letters is approximate with respect to troop location.

Loyalist Militia:

A: A body of Loyalist militia at Ramsour's Mill, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel John Moore. This force was estimated to have 1,000 to 1,300 men.

B: A body of Loyalist militia at the forks of the Yadkin River, under the command of Colonel Samuel Bryan. This force was estimated to be as many as 800 men.

American Forces:

A: Continental forces at Hillsborough under the command of Major-General Johann de Kalb. This force included the Maryland division with 1,278 effectives, the 1st Continental artillery with 140 effectives, the Virginia state regiment of artillery with 175 effectives, 36 North Carolina Continentals, and 20 officers from South Carolina and Georgia.

B: American forces at Cross Creek under the command of Major-General Richard Caswell. This forced included approximately 1,500 North Carolina militia and the 200 infantry and cavalry of Armand's Legion.

C: North Carolina militia in the vicinity of Charlotte under the command of Brigadier-General Griffith Rutherford. Rutherford commanded approximately 1,100 men, including detachments sent to counter Moore. Nearby, South Carolina refugees were organizing under Thomas Sumter.

D: Virginia militia in Roanoke. This force included the vanguard of Brigadier-General Edward Stevens' approximately 2,500-man militia brigade.

E: American forces in Guilford County. This force included an unknown number of Guilford County militia, 80 Virginia State infantry under Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Porterfield, and 55 Virginia State cavalry under Major John Nelson.

F: American cavalry in Halifax. This force included the remnants of the 1st and 3rd Continental Light Dragoons, which had suffered serious losses during the Charleston campaign. According to one estimate, they now numbered about 200 men.

Note: The above is based on a variety of different sources, the most important of which is a letter from Johann de Kalb to George Washington dated June 29, 1780.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cowpens Historiography

Last year when I wrote about the battle of Cowpens, the approach I took was to track down and read (virtually) every primary source on the battle, identify how the accounts appear best to fit together, and then write a revisionitic account of the battle based on that analysis of the source material. Repeatedly, during this process, I was struck by the disconnect I found between participants' reminiscences and what is stated in published histories. Indeed, I developed the nagging feeling that Cowpens must be one of the most misdescribed battles in American history.

Recently I took a comparative look at what authors have had to say about Cowpens over the past 200 years. One might expect that within that time, accounts of Cowpens, while problematic in some respects, would at least have improved. Errors appearing in early accounts would be detected and omitted from later histories.

To examine this question, I compared 20 relatively detailed accounts of the battle of Cowpens on certain fine points of the battle. (The 20 accounts are far fewer than the total number that has been published, but the selection, listed at the bottom of this post, is representative). Below I summarize my findings in respect to one aspect of the battle: the deployment of the American militia line and skirmishers.

The most trustworthy description of the battle is the detailed report of the American commander, Daniel Morgan, written just 2 days after the event. In regards to the American deployement, he wrote:

“An hour before daylight one of my scouts returned and informed me that Lieut. Col. Tarleton [the British commander] had advanced within five miles of our camp. On this information, I hastened to form as good a disposition as circumstances would admit, and from the alacrity of the troops, we were soon prepared to receive them... The volunteers from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, under the command of the brave and valuable Col. Pickens, were situated to guard the flanks. Maj. McDowall, of the North Carolina volunteers, was posted on the right flank in front of the line [i.e., the Continentals], one hundred and fifty yards; and Maj. Cunningham, of the Georgia volunteers, on the left, at the same distance in front, Colonels Brannon and Thomas, of the South Carolinans, were posted on the right of Maj. McDowall, and Cols. Hay and McCall, of the same corps, on the left of Maj. Cunningham. Capts. Tate and Buchanan, with the Augusta [Virginia] riflemen, to support the right of the line.

“The enemy drew up in single line of battle, four hundred yards in front of our advanced corps… [a detailed description of the British deployment then follows].

“The [British] disposition of battle being thus formed, small parties of riflemen were detached to skirmish with the enemy…” [for the full account, see here].

Note the following assertions in this excerpt:

1. The militia was deployed so as “to guard the flanks” of the Continentals posted behind them.

2. The left flank was guarded by Cunningham, Hay, and McCall. The right flank was guarded by McDowell, Brannon, and Thomas.

3. “Small parties of riflemen,” or skirmishers, were detached from the militia line after the British had deployed (or at least after they had begun to deploy).

There is little reason to doubt these assertions. Surely Morgan, a man whose military genius has been widely praised, was able to accurately describe how the battle had been fought 2 days afterwards. Moreover, comparison with descriptions of the battle by other participants shows a high degree of agreement with Morgan's account (see The Militia Line at Cowpens, "Bring on the Battle", Fighting on the Skirmish Line).

Below I describe how well these three facts are represented in the 20 accounts.

1. The militia was deployed so as “to guard the flanks” of the Continentals posted behind them.

  • States this: Bearss (see references below).
  • Doesn’t state this: Everyone else.
  • Trend: Published histories of the battle have almost always neglected this important point. Babits is the one author in this review to give a reason for contradicting Morgan. He claimed that Morgan was describing a temporarily formation adopted at 8pm on the evening before the battle. However, Morgan's report very plainly states that this formation was adopted on the morning of the battle and offers no suggestion that a change in formation occurred before the first shot was fired.

2. The left flank was guarded by Cunningham, Hay, and McCall. The right flank was guarded by McDowell, Brannon, and Thomas.

  • States this: Bearss. Graham, Scharf, Davis, and Babits had these units on the sides of the battlefield indicated by Morgan, although they didn't state that the units were being used to provide flank protection.
  • States something different: Johnson reversed the relative position of Cunningham and McDowell. McCrady evidently copied Johnson's mistake.
  • Trend: Johnson's error seemingly was caught and corrected. Most accounts do not name these units or identify their relative position.

3. “Small parties of riflemen,” or skirmishers, were detached from the militia line after the British had deployed (or at least begun to deploy).

  • States this: Davis.
  • Doesn’t state this: Everyone else.
  • Trend: Published histories of the battle have almost always failed to describe this facet of the battle. Early accounts were at least somewhat ambiguous as to when the skirmishers were deployed. Recent accounts tend to baldly state that Morgan deployed his militia in two distinct lines in front of his Continentals and that they were in this position before the British arrived.

Summary: Most accounts of the battle either get the same details right or they get the same details wrong. The errors that appeared in earlier accounts are eventually corrected (I'm thinking in particular of the histories by Bearss and Davis), but fascinatingly, later authors either do not notice or choose to ignore these corrections.

Based on this finding, it would appear that authors writing about Cowpens rely more on secondary accounts than primary sources. In some individual cases, this is quite obvious:

Christopher Ward (1952): "About one hundred and fifty yards in front, 300 North and South Carolina militia under Pickens were posted in open order in a thin line three hundred yards long. In front of them, at a similar interval, 150 picked riflemen, Georgians and North Carolinians under Major John Cunningham of Georgia and Major Charles McDowell of North Carolina were thrown out in line as sharpshooters."

Lee Patrick Anderson (2002): "About one hundred and fifty yards in front of the main line, 300 North and South Carolina militia under Pickens were posted in open order in a thin line three hundred yards long. In front of them, at a similar interval, 150 hand picked riflemen; Georgians and North Carolinians under Major John Cunningham of Georgia and Major Charles McDowell of North Carolina were literally thrown out in a line as sharpshooters."

Christopher Ward (1952): "After two volleys they were to retire slowly, firing at will, and fall into the spaces in the second line of militia."

Lee Patrick Anderson (2002): "After three volleys they were to retire, slowly, firing at will as they retreated, and fall into spaces in the second line of militia."

(How pathetic).

However, it would be misleading to suggest that most new authors are simply borrowing the ideas of others because there is a host of contradictory statements to be found across secondary accounts. These histories differ, for example, as to how many volleys the militia was to fire before retreating, whether the militia was primarily made up of good soldiers or bad, whether the skirmishers were given detailed instructions or none at all, and whether the skirmishers fought alongside the main body of militia or whether they kept apart. Leaving aside the question of which statements are accurate, the lack of agreement in these cases further shows that inaccuracies are commonplace (only one side can be accurate).

All-in-all, this strikes me as a very bad state of affairs.

So here is a thought question, and if you've made it this far through a very long post, I encourage you to leave a response in comments. Which of the following positions seems to you to be more true?

History writing is getting worse:

  • History is of broad interest but most of the consumers of historical writing are, in some respects, poor judges of the quality of a written work (they lack the expertise to detect errors in fact or reasoning). This is problematic because history writing is increasingly done not by scholars but by pop-historians. The contingencies that govern this type of writing are unfavorable to spending a significant amount of time in research. Authors make the most money when they churn out books relatively quickly. This combination of factors leads authors to borrow heavily from other authors rather than consult the source material at every turn. Over time, historical works grow further and further removed from the source material, and the public is given an increasingly distorted view of the past.

History writing is getter better:

  • One does not have to look very hard to find errors in history books written for a mass audience, but this is irrelevant so long as the essential facts are correct. People read these books primarily for entertainment purposes, and if they are sufficiently entertained, they may be encouraged to delve into the field more deeply to learn about "what really happened." Meanwhile, a community of people exists that makes a serious study of history and that is working towards a more accurate understanding of the past. Progress may not be smooth or linear, but in time it does occur.

The 20 accounts I compared are:

William Gordon. (1801). The History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of...

David Ramsay. (1811). The History of the American Revolution. Vol 2.

Henry Lee. (1812). Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department...

William Johnson. (1822). Sketches of the Life and Correspondence of Nathanael Greene...

William Gilmore Simms. (1840). The History of South Carolina…

James Graham. (1856). The Life of General Daniel Morgan…

Henry B. Dawson. (1858). Battles of the United States… Vol. 1.

Henry Beebee Carrington. (1876). Battles of the American Revolution: 1775-1781.

John Thomas Scharf. (1879). History of Maryland...

Edward McCrady. (1902). The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1780-1783.

Christopher Ward. (1952). The War of the Revolution. Vol. 2.

Burke Davis. (1962). The Cowpens-Guilford Courthouse Campaign.

Edwin Bearss. (1967). Battle of Cowpens: A Documented Narrative and Troop Movement Maps.

Craig L. Symonds. (1986). A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution.

Lawrence Babits. (1998). A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens.

Ian Barnes & Charles Royster. (2000). The Historical Atlas of the American Revolution.

David Lee Russell. (2000). The American Revolution in the Southern Colonies.

Lee Patrick Anderson. (2002). Forgotten Patriot: The Life & Times of Major-General Nathanael Greene.

John W. Gordon. (2003). South Carolina and the American Revolution: A Battlefield History.

Terry Golway. (2005). Washington’s General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Allen and Arnold 10

30 Days to Glory: May 18-19
Previous: May 15 - May 17

Thursday, May 18:

Major Charles Preston of the 26th Foot has his men up at an early hour and on the road to Saint-Jean. Ethan Allen had set up an ambush along this road with his Green Mountain Boys, but the British do not walk into a trap. The Green Mountain Boys are mostly asleep. The British open fire upon seeing men in the woods, and amid the rattle of musketry and grape shot, Allen’s men flee to their boats and head upstream. In their haste, however, three men are left behind. As all the British boats have been taken or destroyed, there is no pursuit.

John Brown is in Philadelphia where he meets with the delegates to the Continental Congress and tells them about the capture of Fort Ticonderoga. He is rewarded for bringing this valuable information. George Washington, a delegate from Virginia, contributes 1 guinea.

Brown alarms the delegates by alleging that the Governor of the Province of Quebec, Guy Carleton, is preparing for war. He warns that the British government “means to form an army in Canada, composed of British Regulars, French, and Indians, to attack the colonies...” Afterwards, the Continental Congress passes a resolution that portrays the Green Mountain Boys as would-be victims of British aggression:

“Whereas, there is indubitable evidence that a design is formed by the British Ministry of making a cruel invasion from the Province of Quebec upon these colonies, for the purpose of destroying our lives and liberties, and some steps have actually been taken to carry the said design into execution: and whereas several inhabitants of the northern colonies, residing in the vicinity of Ticonderoga, immediately exposed to incursions, impelled by a just regard for the defense and preservation of themselves and their countrymen from such imminent danger and calamities, have taken possession of that post in which was lodged a quantity of cannon and military stores that would certainly have been used in the intended invasion of these colonies...”

There is some question as to who should take responsibility for the captured lake forts. Neither Connecticut nor Massachusetts wishes to have on this role [cf. May 16 and 17], and New York has been little more than a well wisher to the efforts of its sister colonies [cf. May 2, May 5, and May 12]. The Continental Congress nudges New York along the path toward war by requesting that it take the lead in removing the cannon from Ticonderoga and in establishing “a strong post” to defend them. Like other military measures taken by the colonies to date, these steps are justified by “the overruling law of self-preservation.”

Sunday, May 19:

It is one month since the battle of Lexington and Concord. In Quebec, Governor Guy Carleton receives a letter from Lieutenant-General Thomas Gage describing that battle and requesting him to send the 7th Foot and some companies of Canadians and Indians to Crown Point. Tomorrow Carleton will be shocked when he learns from Moses Hazen of the loss of Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point and Benedict Arnold’s successful raid on Saint-Jean.

Arnold's flotilla on Lake Champlain ensures that the British cannot quickly recapture the lake forts. However, Arnold is concerned that in time the British will transport bateaus to Saint-Jean and challenge him for mastery of the lake. Captain Eleazer Oswald records that “It is Colonel Arnold's present design that the sloop Enterprise, as she is called, and the schooner Liberty, shall cruise on the lake, and defend our frontiers.”

Arnold ships return to Fort Ticonderoga, where more men of his still-forming regiment await him. Feeling triumphant, he dispatches word to Connecticut and Massachusetts of his success and his intention to begin sending cannon to New England. Arnold does not know yet that his efforts have received little notice nor that the decision has already been made to replace him [cf. May 17]. In the weeks ahead, Arnold will struggle hard, but without success, to retain his command. By his count, 86 guns were taken at Ticonderoga, and 111 at Crown Point. A large proportion are deemed “useless,” but the serviceable guns include big 24-pounder cannon and 13-inch howitzers. Because of command difficulties and various setbacks, it will not be until March of 1776 that the guns from the lake forts will have a decisive impact around Boston.

In the short-term, the capture of the lake forts is seen as another example of British weakness and growing American strength. Such incidents have made the public increasingly bellicose. Only a short time ago, the Ticonderoga expedition was seen as potentially undermining the Americans' claim to moral superiority, and its organizers distanced themselves from the potential fallout [cf. April 27 and April 28]. Now the capture is embraced by the Continental Congress. The changing mood is well expressed in a letter Congressional delegate Benjamin Franklin will write on the 23rd: “…as Britain has begun to use force, it seems absolutely necessary that we should be prepared to repel force by force, which I think, united, we are well able to do. It is a true old saying, that make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you; to which I may add another, God helps them that help themselves.”

Monday, June 14, 2010

Allen and Arnold 9

30 Days to Glory: May 15-17
Previous: May 11 - May 14
Next: May 18 - May 19

Monday, May 15:

Benedict Arnold’s expedition departs Crown Point for Saint-Jean. The winds continue to be unfavorable, so Arnold packs himself and 30 men into the bateau and they row hard down the lake. They spend the night at Split Rock, some 15 miles to the north, but far short of their destination. The Liberty is slow to follow, but at least it has the good fortune to intercept a mail boat traveling from Canada. On board is Ensign Joseph Moland of the 26th Foot, who is carrying a document listing all of the British troops in Canada. There are 717 to be exact: far more than the Americans can quickly muster.

James Easton is travelling through Massachusetts to bring word of the taking of Fort Ticonderoga to the Provincial Congress. While en route, he “met several hundred men… on their way to Ticonderoga.” These are very likely men that have responded to Arnold’s call to arms. Whether by design or not, Easton discourages many of these men from continuing onward when he tells them that the fort has already fallen.

Tuesday, May 16:

Benedict Arnold’s command enjoys a favorable wind for a good part of the day. The Liberty makes especially good time and overtakes Arnold in the bateau. The two vessels reach Point Au Fer before becoming becalmed. Arnold is still nearly 30 miles from Saint-Jean, but he is determined to press on as quickly as possible. According to one of his captains, “We immediately armed our two boats, manned them with thirty-five men, and determined, by dint of rowing, to fetch St. John' s, and take the place and the King' s sloop by surprise at break of day.”

The Richelieu River Valley

The Connecticut Committee of Correspondence writes to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress after learning that expeditions from the two colonies, while successful in taking Ticonderoga, came into conflict “about the right to command and hold this important pass.” The Committee feigns ignorance about the origins of the Connecticut expedition, writing that it was “set on foot by some individuals of this colony, in a secret manner.” At least two of the conspirators (Samuel Parsons and Samuel Bishop) are on the committee. Wishing to mend relations, they add, “We consider all the Colonies, and the New-England Colonies especially, as brethren united together in one joint interest, and pursuing the same general design… This is not a time for the Colonies to contend about precedency, but we hope all will wish to put out a helping hand, and mutually afford each other all necessary assistance against our common enemy.”

The Committee is happy to pass off responsibility for the fort to Massachusetts, noting “Some parts of your Province are more conveniently situated to furnish men, etc., for maintaining our possession. We doubt not you will exert yourselves to secure every advantage which may arise from this successful attempt, in which we hope the city and county of Albany, and the colony of Connecticut will co-operate with you, but of this we cannot assure you, as our calls are very many.”

Wednesday, May 17:

Benedict Arnold’s party spend the night “rowing hard” down Canada’s Richelieu River and at sunrise pull into “a small creek” on the western shore [see Note 1]. From there, one man is dispatched to reconnoiter the fort while his comrades wait impatiently amid “numberless swarms of gnats and mosquitoes.” When the man returns he reports that the guards “were unapprised of our coming, though they had heard of the taking of Ticonderoga and Crown Point.” After the canoe arrived with word of the American presence on the lakes, the British commander at Saint-Jean rode to Montreal to obtain reinforcements. The commander is expected back at any time, but for the moment, the outpost is without an officer. Arnold would write, “it seemed to be a mere interposition of Providence that we arrived at so fortunate an hour.”

Arnold’s men then row down to the fort and land a short distance from the barracks. According to Captain Eleazer Oswald, “the men [British soldiers] had their arms, but upon our briskly marching up in their faces, they retired within the barracks, left their arms, and resigned themselves into our hands.” Arnold’s men then proceed to take the sloop, nine other boats, and the military stores on site. In all, Arnold’s men take 1 sergeant and 12 men of the 26th regiment and 7 other men that are with the sloop [see Note 2]. While this is taking place, Arnold meets Moses Hazen, a retired British infantry who has extensive land holdings in the area. Arnold tells him of the capture of the lake forts and brags that he has “command of five hundred men, that volunteers to the amount of fifteen hundred followed him, but he did not wait for them all.”

Arnold has too few men to carry off all of the boats, and so five of the bateaus are destroyed. His expedition sets sail under a favorable wind just 2 hours after their arrival. Arnold sails aboard the sloop, which he renames Enterprise [see Note 3].

About six miles from Saint-Jean, Arnold’s men encounters Ethan Allen’s party. According to Allen, “When I met him [Arnold] with my party… he saluted me with a discharge of cannon, which I returned with a volley of small arms. This being repeated three times, I went on board the [captured] sloop with my party, where several loyal Congress healths were drank.” Allen announces that his men will continue to Saint-Jean, despite the successful conclusion of Arnold’s raid, and that they would “maintain the ground.” Arnold regards this is as “a wild, impracticable scheme,” but Allen remains determined. Arnold then supplies Allen’s men with provisions, “his men being in a starving condition.”

Allen’s men arrive at Saint-Jean that evening. At about 8pm, Joseph Bindon rides into his camp. Bindon is a Montreal merchant that is sympathetic to the American cause. He tells Allen that Major Charles Preston of the 26th Foot is leading a force of 140 men from Montreal to secure Saint-Jean. Allen requests through Bindon that the Montreal merchants supply his men with food, ammunition, and liquor. Allen also sets an ambush in the woods along the road leading to the fort. However, there is no confrontation: Preston camps for the night in the woods some distance away.

In Massachusetts, James Easton “brings the glorious news of the taking of [Ticonderoga] by the American forces without the loss of a man” to the Provincial Congress. He gives the Congress letters by Edward Mott and Ethan Allen written shortly afterwards and he is invited also to state his version of events. Easton elevates himself to a starring role. He claims that after entering the fort, “The commanding officer soon came forth; Colonel Easton clapped him upon the shoulder, told him he was his prisoner, and demanded, in the name of America, an instant surrender of the fort, with all its contents, to the American forces.”

The several accounts that the Provincial Congress receives either do not mention Benedict Arnold or refer to him in only the most scathing terms. Edward Mott's letter complains “Arnold refuses to give up his command, which causes much difficulty; said Arnold not having enlisted one man, neither do we know that he has or could do it… we think that said Arnold' s farther procedure in this matter highly inexpedient…”

Arnold wrote the Massachusetts Committee of Safety on May 10th and 11th. The first letter has disappeared. The second letter will not arrive for another 5 days. With this one-sided version of events, the Provincial Congress decides to divest itself of Arnold. The Congress writes the Connecticut Assembly and extends to them “congratulations… on the reduction of that important fortress, Ticonderoga.” The Congress is “of opinion, that the advantageous situation of that fortress makes it highly expedient that it should be repaired, and properly garrisoned.” They also “should be extremely glad if all the battery cannon, especially brass cannon, which can be spared from that place, or procured from Crown Point… may be forwarded this way, with all possible expedition…” The Congress suggests that Arnold should be responsible for bringing the cannon to Massachusetts, which will end the command controversy while allowing all parties to save face. Like Connecticut, Massachusetts believes that “our common danger ought to unite us in the strongest bonds of unity and affection.”

Note 1: Possibly what was then known as the Petite-Rivière-du-Nord and today is called Rivière Bernier. This small river is about a mile from the fort.

Note 2: According to Arnold's May 19th letter to the Massachusetts Committee of Safety. Guy Carleton (through Moses Hazen) claimed that 1 sergeant and 10 men were taken, and Eleazer Oswald claimed that Arnold took 14 prisoners.

Note 3: The first of a number of famous vessels by that name in American history [wikipedia].

Friday, June 11, 2010

Painting Native Americans

The last time I wrote about painting, I was finishing up the Green Mountain Boys. Since then I've completed a batch of Native Americans. These will also be featured in my upcoming invasion of Canada project. There were three engagements in this campaign in which Native Americans were prominent: a reconnaissance-in-force made against Fort Saint-Jean, the battle of Longue-Pointe, and the battle of Longueuil.

The first engagement I will write about is the reconnaissance-in-force (September 6, 1775). On the side of British was a party of Native Americans led in part by two Canadians and one Loyalist from New York. According to one of the Canadians (Claude-Nicolas-Guillaume de Lorimier), there were present 25 men from the Six Nations (Mohawk specifically) and 72 men from the nations of "Bas-Canada" (i.e., Algonquins).

One of the miniatures I've painted so far is by Essex. This figure is superbly sculpted and it was a joy to paint. However, I'm not sure that I will use it: the mohawk hairstyle is not accurate for the nations that participated in his campaign (including, ironically, the Mohawk).

Essex: Woods Indian

Several other miniatures I've painted are Minifigs' Indians with scalplocks. These miniatures feature a more historically accurate hairstyle for the Mohawk. I especially like how these Minifigs are so well-proportioned. My chief complaint is that the figures in this pack include such cartoonish poses as running madly with a knife, and running madly with a tomahawk.

Minifigs: Indians with Scalplocks

Most of the Native Americans I've painted so far are from Freikorps' Miniatures pack of Abenaki Indians (Algonquins). The figures comport well with the description of Abenaki dress in Josephine Paterek's Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume. Some of the figures have their long hair tied up into a knot atop their head: an indication that they are older, married men. In one variant, the figure is wearing a sleeveless robe made of two panels of moosehide, fastened at the shoulders (sleeves were added for cool weather). This variant, I believe, is more appropriate to an earlier conflict than the American Revolution.

Freikorps: (Married) Abenaki

Other figures in the set are young men wearing articles of European-style clothing. These are probably most appropriate for my project.

Freikorps: Abenaki

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Allen and Arnold 8

30 Days to Glory: May 11-14
Previous: May 9 - May 10
Next: May 15 - May 17

Thursday, May 11:

Benedict Arnold, a social climber who aspires for the respect of polite society finds himself powerless amid wild, lawless men. He complains in a second letter to the Massachusetts Committee of Safety that "The power is now taken out of my hands, and I am not consulted, nor have I a voice in any matters. There is here at present near one hundred men, who are in the greatest confusion and anarchy, destroying and plundering private property, committing every enormity, and paying no attention to public service." This last point is no small matter: the Green Mountain Boys have no interest in transporting the cannon from Ticonderoga to the American army outside Boston, and it's only a matter of time before the British forces in Canada learn that the fort has fallen and attempt to retake it.

Ethan Allen also has no illusions about what more his Green Mountain Boys can accomplish at Ticonderoga. He writes to the Albany Committee of Correspondence: "You know Governor [Guy] Carleton of Canada will exert himself to retake [Ticonderoga]; and as your county is nearer than any other part of the colonies, and as your inhabitants have thoroughly manifested their zeal in the cause of their country, I expect immediate assistance from you both in men and provisions. You cannot exert yourselves too much, in so glorious a cause. The number of men need be more at first, till the other colonies can have time to muster. I am apprehensive of a sudden and quick attack. Pray be quick to our relief, and send us five hundred men immediately — fail not.”

The Connecticut expedition has begun to disperse. John Brown is en route to Albany, and on about this date, Edward Mott heads for Connecticut while James Easton sets off for Massachusetts. Brown seeks provisions, Mott seeks men, and Easton seeks personal recognition.

The schooner at Skenesborough is rechristened the Liberty and sets sail for Fort Ticonderoga. Although Major Skene was captured by a party of Green Mountain Boys, the vessel is manned by men that Benedict Arnold recruited in western Massachusetts. They are trying to catch up with their commander.

Seth Warner sets off a second time for Crown Point. En route, his men sweep up suspected Loyalists lest they alert the fort's garrison. One Loyalist would complain about “a party of thirty armed American stragglers under command of a nominal captain or leader [see Note 1], who rushed impetuously into my grounds, where I was at work with my servant men labouring the fields, and calling us villains, robbers, and interloping Tories, ordered us to surrender; and having struck me with some severity, instantly made me prisoner, without giving any reason for this assault. Dragging us along in this violent manner, we were tossed promiscuously into one open boat upon the lake hard by, and there confined under a guard until that party had assaulted and taken Crownpoint… at four miles' distance from my settlement.”

Crown Point, a once mighty fort, burned down 2 years earlier, and the ruins (in which there are numerous cannon) is guarded by 1 sergeant and 12 men of the 26th. They surrender without a fight.

Friday, May 12:

Seth Warner writes Ethan Allen with alarming news. A “bark canoe” was seen traveling down the lake towards Canada, “by which means we suppose Governor [Guy] Carleton will hear what we have done.” Warner notes that Carleton “is a man of war; you can guess what measures he will take.” He then states “We determine to fight them three to one, but he can bring ten to one, and more. We should be glad of assistance of men, provisions and powder, and beg your advice whether we shall abandon this place and retire to Ticonderoga, or proceed to St. Johns [i.e., Fort Saint-Jean] etc., etc. The latter we should be fondest of.”

Bernard Romans captures Captain John Nordberg at Fort George. This was the last remaining British post between New York City and the Canadian border. [cf. New York: May, 1775].

John Brown meets with the Albany Committee of Correspondence, which has already twice rebuffed officers from the Connecticut expedition. Brown complains that “unless they are immediately assisted, they are afraid they will be obliged to abandon the fort, and leave the artillery behind, of which there are about two hundred pieces, great and small.” Again, Albany defers to New York, who has not yet responded to their urgent appeals. Albany writes pleadingly, “We hope you will no longer keep us in suspense.” The Committee records that Brown “is dissatisfied with our answer, and went away abruptly.”

Saturday, May 13:

The Albany Committee of Correspondence at last hears from New York. However, rather than provide encouragement, the New York Committee writes that “the powers invested in... us, are too limited... to take an active step in the matters proposed, before we have the opinion of the Provincial or Continental Congress.” The Albany Committee shares this news with John Brown, who then determines to go to Philadelphia and speak directly with the Continental Congress.

Ethan Allen’s position at Fort Ticonderoga is weakening as his men return to their farms and families. Meanwhile, Benedict Arnold’s position is growing stronger. Late in the day, the Liberty arrives at Ticonderoga, carrying about 50 of his men. The past few days have been hellish for Arnold and he is glad to be a commander again. He complains in his regimental memorandum book, about how he has spent the past several days “in the garrison as a private person, often insulted by [Allen] and his officers, often threatened with my life and twice shot at by his men with their fusees.”

Sunday, May 14:

By this time, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold have learned that the British sloop is at old Fort Saint-Jean and that Canada will soon know of the capture of the lake forts. Tensions ease as Allen's men depart and Arnold's arrive; indeed, they settle into a kind of friendly rivalry. The two commanders agree on taking the sloop, but their efforts will be independent of each other.

Arnold has his men prepare two vessels for a raid on Saint-Jean. The Liberty is armed with four cannon and six swivel guns; a bateau is equipped with two swivel guns. Although winds are unfavorable, the two boats with 50 men set out for Crown Point, where they arrive late in the day. Allen’s expedition is larger in size but slower to get under way. By combining the resources he has at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, he will take into Canada 90 men in four bateaus. [see Note 2]

Before departing Arnold pens a letter to the Massachusetts Committee of Safety in which he is uncharacteristically contrite, writing “I am extremely sorry matters have not been transacted with more prudence and judgment.” He adds, “I hope soon to be properly released from this troublesome business, that some more proper person may be appointed…” In the meantime, Arnold has at least one indispensable ally: Bernard Romans, whom Edward Mott was glad to cast off [cf. May 4]. Arnold entrusts Romans with purchasing supplies in Albany and transporting cannon from Ticonderoga to greater safety at Fort George.

Note 1: possibly Levi Allen or Peleg Sutherland, who are known to have accompanied this expedition. The account makes clear that it was not Warner.

Note 2: This version of events is based on Arnold’s correspondence and memorandum book and the journal of Eleazer Oswald. No mention is made of the presence of Allen’s boats at this time, implying that Allen and Arnold did not quite set out together. Ethan Allen’s later (and less trustworthy) memoir claimed that the two forces did leave Ticonderoga together, but in his version of events, Arnold had only the schooner, and the schooner sailed faster than his bateaus.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Allen and Arnold 7

30 Days to Glory: May 9-10
Previous: May 4 - May 8
Next: May 11 - May 14

Tuesday, May 9:

The town of Falmouth, Massachusetts (in what is today Maine), has had a tense relationship with a British vessel, the Canso (or Canceaux) stationed in its harbor. The town has been organizing on behalf of the American cause while the vessel has been suppressing rebellious activity. Neither side, however, wants to be initiate open warfare. Matters come to a head when one Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Thompson and a band of some 50 men arrive in town with the purpose of capturing the vessel – especially its valuable supply of gunpowder and cannon. Thompson’s men unexpectedly chance upon the vessel’s captain while he is walking on the beach, and capture him and two of his companions.

British forces in Newport and New York chose prudence over action in the face of colonial belligerence [cf. events of April 20, April 23, April 25, May 6]. This incident, however, is too serious to ignore. The lieutenant left in charge of the Canso threatens to “fire on the town” if the men are not released. To emphasize his point, he fires two cannon loaded with blank charges. A townsman would write, “You can hardly conceive the consternation, confusion, and uproar that immediately ensued. Our women, were, I believe, every one of them in tears, or praying, or screaming; precipitately leaving their houses… and carrying their children… Some persons bed-rid, or in childbed, were hastily removed, with no small danger of their lives.”

A few townsmen suggest trying to rescue the prisoners, but the consensus is “to observe a strict neutrality.” Instead, they rely on persuasion. At first, Thompson “appeared inflexible, and even furious” in response to their appeals, but by the end of the day he is “much cooled” and he paroles the prisoners.

There is no sign of a cooling off among the American forces gathering in the New Hampshire Grants. In Castleton, Benedict Arnold has tried to take command of the planned attack on Fort Ticonderoga. Connecticut did not officially sanction its own expedition, whereas Arnold has orders from the Massachusetts Committee of Safety. Thus, Arnold claims, he alone is acting under a legal authority. When Arnold learns that Ethan Allen is in Shoreham, making final preparations for the attack, he sets off in search of him, hoping that he will cede his command.

According to Edward Mott, “When Col. Arnold went after Col. Allen, the whole party followed him for fear he should prevail on Col. Allen to resign the command.” Much to Mott's consternation, the men “left all the provisions, so that I with Capt. Phelps and Babcock was obliged leave the party that I was with, and go with the pack horses with the provisions...”

Epaphras Bull was one of the Connecticut men that went after Arnold. He records in his journal what happens next: “7 o’clock arrived at Shoreham within ½ mile of the lake [Champlain] where we had more intelligence of the security of the fort. Some disputes have arisen on account of Captain Arnold’s taking any command. [We] have however agreed that he take the left hand of Colonel Allen.”

In other words, Allen and Arnold, probably after a heated discussion, agree to hold a kind of joint command.

After this tenuous agreement is reached, Bull jots into his journal “½ after 11 [i.e., 11:30 PM] we are now marching on to the lake being ½ mile.”

To the south, Samuel Herrick’s men succeed in capturing Major Skene but they are unable to bring his schooner up to Shoreham for the planned rendezvous. Likewise, the boats from Crown Point fail to appear.

Wednesday, May 10:

Ethan Allen and his men have obtained a local boat and use it to begin crossing Lake Champlain to Fort Ticonderoga. According to Epaphras Bull:

“About 40 of us got into the first boat and went over within 80 rods of the fort where we waited for the bateau to return and fetch more. They returned in about 1 ½ hours with 2 boats when we proceeded to attack the fort which we reached in a few minutes.”

According to Ethan Allen, “the day began to dawn, and I found myself under a necessity to attack the fort.” Allen now has about 85 men on the western shore, including Benedict Arnold and James Easton. Seth Warner is on the eastern shore with the remainder of the force. Edward Mott is further to the east, in charge of the pack horses. It is now about 4 AM.

Silently, the men march in the dark towards the fort's main gate. They are disappointed to find it shut. However, a small wicker gate to one side has been left open and a part of the men rush through this opening, while others commence scaling the wall of the fort on either side of the main gate. As they enter the fort, the men shout “no quarter, no quarter,” and make an “Indian war-whoop.”

Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold are the first two men through the wicker gate. On the other side, an alarmed British sentry levels his musket at Allen and pulls the trigger. The musket "snaps," but there is no discharge. Moments later, a second sentry also attempts to fire, but his musket likewise fails to ignite. Later the Americans would later discover that the fort's supply of gunpowder has been damaged. One of the sentries manages to prick a Green Mountain Boy with his bayonet, but he is promptly felled by a glancing blow from Allen's sword.

Barracks at Fort Ticonderoga

Lieutenant Jocelyn Feltham of the 26th Foot is awakened by the commotion. He would later write, "I ran undressed to knock at Captain [William] Delaplace’s door and to receive his orders or wake him.” When Feltham found the door locked, he put on his waistcoat and coat and then made his way through a backdoor into the captain’s room. He then “asked Captain Delaplace, who was now just up, what I should do, and offered to force my way if possible to our men. On opening this door, the bottom of the stairs was filled with the rioters… From the top of the stairs I endeavored to make them hear me, but it was impossible.”

Feltham, awkwardly, is only partially dressed, holding his breeches in one hand. However, he makes the most of the situation. Upon “making a signal not to come up the stairs, they stopped and proclaimed silence among themselves.” Feltham then peppered them with questions, hoping to detain them “till our people fired, which I must certainly own I thought would have been the case.” He asked them, “by what authority they entered his Majesty’s fort, who were the leaders, what [was] their intent, etc., etc., I was informed by one Ethan Allen and one Benedict Arnold that they had a joint command, Arnold informing me he came from instructions received from the Congress at Cambridge, which he afterwards showed me. Mr. Allen told me his orders were from the province of Connecticut and that he must have immediate possession of the fort and all the effects of George the Third (those were his words).”

Feltham was assumed to be the fort’s commander and Ethan Allen held “a drawn sword over my head and numbers of his followers’ firelocks [were] presented at me.” Allen said if the fort was not surrendered, or “a single gun fired… neither man, woman, or child should be left alive in the fort.” Benedict Arnold then interjected “in a genteel manner.”

When the Americans discovered that Feltham was not the commander, Arnold dissuaded the Green Mountain Boys from storming Captain Delaplace’s room. Then, “Captain Delaplace now being dressed came out,” and surrendered.

By this time, most, if not all, of the rank and file have already been captured. Most were sleeping when the Americans stormed the fort. The Americans place these men in one room, with one guard allotted to each captured soldier.

Boats continue to make the long passage back-and-forth across the lake, and by 10 AM, there are around 240 Americans in the fort [see Note 1]. Curiously, one of the boats arriving that morning is British, rather than American. Lieutenant Arthur Wadman arrives from Canada; he was supposed to have relieved Lieutenant Feltham. Now both men are captives.

Benedict Arnold carefully studies the captured fort and finds it to be "in a most ruinous condition and not worth repairing." Edward Mott, recently arrived with provisions, agrees. He calls it “a fort of broken walls and gates, and but few cannon in order, and very much out of repair.” Meanwhile, Allen dispatches a party of about 50 men, led by Seth Warner, to capture Crown Point.

The volunteers take little interest in these military matters, and instead begin to plunder the fort, especially its stores of liquor. Soon they pass around “the flowing bowl.” Arnold is appalled and orders the men to stop. When they refuse to listen to him, he insists to the other officers that he should be placed in sole command. According to Mott, the volunteers “declared they would go right home, for they would not be commanded by Arnold.”

Mott then writes out orders giving sole command of the fort to Ethan Allen. He does this, he claims, “from the power and authority to us given by the Colony of Connecticut.” Arnold is sidelined and some of the volunteers threaten to kill him.

Arnold writes to the Massachusetts Committee of Safety about the capture of the fort and his current predicament. It's not known to whom Arnold entrusts this letter, but it is not to be delivered [see Note 2]. Meanwhile, Easton composes a scathing letter about Arnold to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, which will be received.

By the close of the day, Warner's expedition to Crown Point is called off, either because of insufficient men or headwinds. Allen orders Epaphras Bull to lead the British rank and file into captivity in Connecticut. The British officers and their families will be sent away later.

Far to the south, a party of delegates arrives in Philadelphia for the start of the second Continental Congress. The delegates hail from New England, New York, and New Jersey, but they are traveling together. Among them is Silas Deane, who writes to his wife that the entourage was met “about six miles on this side [of] the city by about two hundred of the principal gentlemen, on horseback, with their swords drawn… Thence began a most lengthy procession; half the gentlemen on horseback, in the van; next to them, ten men on horseback, with bayonets fixed; then [John] Hancock and [Samuel] Adams, then Payne [Robert Treat Paine], next Mr. [John] De Hart, next Col. [William] Floyd and Mr. [Simon] Boerum, in a phaeton, with two most elegant white English horses ; then your humble servant and Col. [Eliphalet] Dyer; then Father [Thomas] Cushing and John Adams; Mr. [Roger] Sherman next ; then Mr. [Philip] Livingston… Our rear closed with the remainder of the gentlemen on horseback, with swords drawn, and then the carriages from the city. At about two miles distance, we were met by a company on foot, and then by a company of riflemen… Thus rolling and gathering like a snow-ball, we approached the city, which was full of people, and the crowd as great as at New York; the bells all ringing, and the air rent with shouts and huzzas. My little bay horses were put in such a fright that I was in fear of killing several of the spectators; however, no harm was done, and after much fatigue we were landed at the New City Tavern.”

Once in town Deane learns that the other colonies have also taken up arms, and he optimistically projects “that on the whole, America has now more than one hundred thousand ready to take the field.” Unfortunately, for Deane this means that “The drum and fife are hourly sounding in every street, and my brainpan is this moment echoing to the beat, parading under my window.”

Note 1: There is considerable variance on this count among the sources. Allen claimed 230, James Easton 240, and Feltham 300.

Note 2: Or so it would seem. I could find no evidence of its receipt in Peter Force's American Archives or the records of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Battlefield Building

As noted previously, I will be bouncing back and forth between the northern and southern theaters of the war for the time being. At the moment, the northern theater side of things is concerned with the campaign to take Fort Ticonderoga. I haven't written about the southern theater lately, but work is occurring behind the scenes on the next battle. The battle will be one of those that was of a decent size, is frequently ignored by military histories of the Revolution, and has yet to be written about at great length. In other words, it's perfect for this blog.

To make the battlefield, I have so far 1) made an image of the area using ACME Mapper, 2) modified the image to include 18th-Century terrain features and to exclude modern ones, 3) divided a piece of poster board into 1000 (scale) foot squares, and 4) sketched the terrain features onto the poster board. The image below shows this work in progress, with trees and a building added to help give a sense of what the final product will look like. There is a large pond at left and a ridge at center. The various curving lines show either roads or streams. The whole thing will of course look a lot better once the poster board has been painted and flocked.

Do you think you know which battlefield this is? Impress me by leaving your answer in comments.

Allen and Arnold 6

30 Days to Glory: May 4-8
Previous: May 1 - May 3
Next: May 9 - May 10

Thursday, May 4:

The John Brown affair in Rhode Island ends in an unexpected manner. According to Ezra Stiles, “Brown was dismissed and came home to Providence last night..." The British could not prove that he had acted against the government, “upon which General Gage dismissed him, paid him for his flour, order[ed] the packets to be returned to Providence and to be paid Demorage, and has sent off a Reprimand to Captain Wallace of the Rose Man o’War here. A humbling stroke to the Tories!”

Gage’s conciliatory stance is taken for weakness: “An army of 30 thousand [Stiles’ estimate of the American force encamped around Boston] speaks terror. Divine Providence can easily disappoint the malice of men in a bad cause.”

Edward Mott spends a second day in Bennington in the New Hampshire Grants. Upon arriving, Mott met the man claiming that Ticonderoga, and “examined him strictly, and [found] that he was a lying fellow and had not been at the fort.” Whether he had been to the fort or not, there is at least some truth to his statement: Captain William Delaplace is concerned about an attack and he has been reinforced [see April 29]. Mott, however, is not overly concerned about this possibility. He is determined to go on, reasoning that even if the fort had been strengthened, the garrison “would not follow us out into the woods.”

The two men Mott sent to Albany on May 1st return empty-handed. Mott determines to try again because provisions are scarce in the New Hampshire Grants. This time he sends Bernard Romans, a Dutch-born but English-educated engineer. Mott notes, “we were all glad” to see him go, “as he had been a trouble to us, all the time he was with us.”

Mott’s party then turned to recruiting Green Mountain Boys and “proceeded to raise the men as fast as possible, and sent forward men on whom we could depend, to waylay the roads that lead… to Fort Edward, Lake George, Skenesborough, Ticonderoga or Crown Point, with orders to take up all those who were passing… so that no intelligence should go from us to the garrisons.”

Friday, May 5:

The Albany Committee of Correspondence meets with Bernard Romans, but they “decline taking any steps whatever until we have the opinion of the committee of the city of New York, to whom we have wrote and whose answer we expect in a few days.”

Fort Ticonderoga Area (click to enlarge).

Saturday, May 6:

A number of the delegates for the Continental Congress reach New York City. Silas Deane is incredulous at the reception waiting for them: “By the time we had got two miles from the bridge we found the road lined with carriages, and all ages and sexes, and the atmosphere one cloud of dust. Great order was however, though with difficulty, observed… a battalion of about eight hundred men in uniform and bayonets fixed, with a band of music, received us with the military salute, from the right, as we passed them in front, and when passed, we halted and they filed off before us, our guard falling into the rear. You can easier fancy than I describe the amazing concourse of people: I believe well nigh every open carriage in the city, and thousands on foot trudging and sweating through the dirt. At the Fresh Water, the battalion halted, and we again passed their front and received a second salute from the left, and were received by our friends, the delegates of the city. Then we halted, and the battalion again passed us in the same manner as before, and led us down the Main Street, to the corner of Wall Street; up that, and down the Broadway by the fort; then up to Fraunces’s Tavern, where the battalion halted, and we passed them again to the right and receiving the parting salute, with the huzzahs of the assembly, which by this time was much the largest I ever saw. The doors, the windows, the stoops, the roofs of the piazzas, were loaded with all ranks, ages and sexes; in short, I feared every moment lest someone would be crushed to death; but no accident. A little dispute arose as we came near the town,--the populace insisting on taking out our horses and drawing the carriages by hand. This would have relieved Mr. [John] Hancock’s horses, for they were tired, but mine were with difficulty managed amid the crowd, smoke and noise. Instantly a guard of grenadiers was set at each door where we lodged, and relieved regularly, in the usual way. They are in a blue and scarlet uniform, and make a genteel appearance…”

In the city there is a small number of the 18th Foot that dares not leave its barracks. According to Deane, one of the regiment recently deserted and joined a militia company from Connecticut. The deserter then decided he preferred the British army, and returned to the barracks. After this a Connecticut militia captain named Deming went after him, saying to the garrison, “’I care not who he deserted from; he put himself under my protection, and by God I’ll have him, or level the barracks over your heads.’” Deane gloats, “What reply, think ye, these heroes of five companies of the invincible Royal Irish [i.e., the 18th], gave to this pesky Yankey? Why they delivered him up, in the face of the whole city, and Deming carried him off in triumph.”

Sunday, May 7:

By the end of this day the Connecticut volunteers, the Massachusetts militia, and the Green Mountain Boys are to assemble at Castleton in the New Hampshire Grants. Castleton is about a day’s march from Fort Ticonderoga and a half day’s march from Skenesborough.

Monday, May 8:

At Castleton, Colonel Ethan Allen of the Green Mountain Boys is given command of the expedition and James Easton is made second-in-command. Seth Warner (another Green Mountain Boy) is made third-in-command. The leaders agree to send one Captain Samuel Herrick with a detachment of 30 men against Skenesborough. There, he will capture Major Skene and the schooner Katherine. Herrick's men will then bring the boat down the lake to Shoreham, on the eastern shore. From there, the Katherine will transport Allen’s men to Lake Ticonderoga. A volunteer is also dispatched to hire boats at Crown Point and take them to Shoreham.

Word of this expedition is spreading. Gurdon Saltonstall writes to Silas Deane from New London, Connecticut, boasting “You’ll soon have, I dare say, a good account of the northern cannon; the party were joined above in the most hearty manner.”

Benedict Arnold, who is now in the New Hampshire Grants, has also learned of the Connecticut expedition. Writing to local town leaders, he asks them “to exert yourselves, and send forward as many men to join the army here as you can possibly spare. There is plenty of provisions engaged, and on the road, for five hundred men six or eight weeks. Let every man bring as much powder and ball as he can, also a blanket.”

After sending this letter, Arnold rides north to Castleton. He arrives in the evening and meets most of the officers with the Connecticut expedition. According to Mott, “We were extremely rejoiced” when Arnold arrived, for his orders from the Massachusetts Committee of Safety showed that an important body supported their efforts. However, Mott and his companions “were shockingly surprised when Colonel Arnold presumed to contend for the command of those forces that we had raised, who we had assured should go under the command of their own officers, and be paid and maintained by the colony of Connecticut. But Mr. Arnold, after we had generously told him our whole plan, strenuously contended and insisted that he had a right to command them and all their officers.”