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rushed into the Queen's apartments shouting, “I have beat them! I have beaten all the Americans !” and he talked of the red ribbon of Bath for his general. But they were all mistaken. The rebels had men of science. Colonel John Trumbull had proved on the spot the year before that this very thing could happen. Schuyler and St. Clair were no traitors. They only blundered. It was a grave error in Schuyler to accumulate such precious stores and priceless arms for capture and destruction in an ill-planned and halfdefended fortress. It was a most lame and impotent conclusion for St. Clair to boast, “If the enemy comes hither, he will go back faster than he came," and within one week to steal away by night.
The news of the loss of Ticonderoga fell on this whole region like the bursting of a waterspout. For miles along the lake and up the Otter Creek the settlers claimed British protection or fled from their homes. The inhabitants of Albany ran about the streets in terror. Williamstown and Stockbridge were crowded with fugitives. The New Hampshire towns along the Connecticut, from Walpole to Haverhill, were sending off messages of alarm. Beza Woodward wrote from Hanover at midnight: “For God's sake, come without delay."
But George had not beaten all the Americans and Burgoyne did not earn the red ribbon. There were then, on these New Hampshire Grants, in the cautious words of Congress, “those called the Green Mountain Boys," and they were not ready to resign their home
steads after the struggle of a dozen years.
And that song, though unwritten then, was singing through their hearts :
“Here halt we our march and pitch our tent
On the rugged forest ground,
Down in Berkshire there was a company that often had been disappointed of “a fight.” Over in New Hampshire there was a gallant body of men who had held their own at Bunker Hill till the very last, had led the van at Trenton, fought at Princeton, were bound for Stillwater and Saratoga and Monmouth and Yorktown. There was a man whose name was Seth Warner, calm, clear-headed, resolute, unflinching, every inch a soldier, and acquainted with every foot of this ground. There was also a man whose name was John Stark, a born and bred warrior, a man of genuine military instinct and genius, who could find his place and hold it too, ready when he knew he was right to take all risks, whether it were the anger of Schuyler, the censure of Congress, or the widowhood of “Molly Stark.” There was a noted tavern in this town, and when there were gathered there Ira Allen, Thomas Chittenden, Jonas Fay, and their stanch comrades, there was one catamount on the signpost and twelve catamounts
within. There was another Committee of Safety at Exeter, and while it contained such men as Meshech Weare, Nicholas Gilman, and Josiah Bartlett the republic was not lost. “We can repulse them,” wrote Ira Allen, “if we have assistance.” In three days New Hampshire voted that assistance - twenty-five companies of Stark's brigade. It was then, when there was no money in the treasury and no light ahead, that up rose John Langdon in his place, tendering his money, his merchandise, his plate: “If we gain our independence, I shall be repaid ; if not, what matters my property?”
The legislature adjourned on Saturday. All that night and the next day a horseman was riding from Exeter to Concord. Sunday afternoon he dismounted at the church door and walked up the aisle. The minister stopped and said: “Captain Hutchins, are you the bearer of a message?” “Yes; Burgoyne is on his march to Albany. Stark will command the New Hampshire men, and if we all turn out we can cut him off.” “My hearers,” said the Rev. Timothy Walker, "you who are ready to go better leave at once.” All the men left the house. But Phinehas Virgin had no shoes. “You shall have a pair,” said Samuel Thompson, the shoemaker, “before to-morrow morning.” Next day those shoes were marching.
While Warner was sending off his messengers on “fresh horses" to call in the militia and alarm the inhabitants of Vermont, and Herrick was raising his Rangers, all New Hampshire was in a whirl; officers
hastening to Charlestown to halt the retreating troops ;soldiers just home retracing their steps ; new enlistments; minute men, even of the alarm list, summoned to be ready. I hold in my hand a venerable paper dated “East Kingston, August 4, 1777," and reading thus, “We, the subscribers, do severally enlist ourselves or ingage to stand in readiness at a minute's warning, equipt according to law, with six days' provision, ready to march wherever called for in the New England States, to which we promise obedience to our officers. We ingage to stand ready till the 24th day of September next. Enoch Chase,” and thirteen others.
Stark's name a tower of strength in New Hampshire, and his officers and men were in great measure select citizens, owners of the soil, good men and true. The brigade chaplain, Hibbard, was a graduate in the second class of Dartmouth College. A future governor and chief justice of the state, Jeremiah Smith, had his gunstock broken and his face grazed by a musket ball at Bennington. The members of the several companies were neighbors, friends, and relatives.
From the little town of Salisbury, New Hampshire, with only one hundred and nine ratable polls, forty-two were in the conflict. Their captain was the father of Daniel Webster. Among them were Edward Evans, the schoolmaster, deacon Benjamin Huntoon, representative Matthew Pettengill, selectman Andrew Pettengill, and others of the same quality. This one family of Pettengill sent to the battle three brothers and their sister's husband; they were the
brothers and brother-in-law of my great-grandfather. One of them died of his wounds. So in Vermont five sons of Jonas Fay were there -- one of them slain. . Massachusetts sent lawyers, physicians, a judge, and a fighting parson. It was the best blood of these states that flowed here.
While this commotion was fermenting in the states Burgoyne was happy and easy. He was crdering a feu de joie in honor of his victory on the very day on which Schuyler was declining to furnish a soldier or a musket to defend Vermont. Instead of pushing on by Lake George and the old road he halted at Whitehall while his troops cut their way through a dense forest, made forty bridges in sixteen miles and two miles of log work over one morass.
It may have been, as he claimed, his best course. But his need of supplies became early apparent, and about the first of August troops were all designated for Baum's expedition. They did not march until the twelfth. Those ten or twelve days' delay lost his only chance of success.
For the other John never loitered. Five days after he was notified of his appointment he appeared in Charlestown. In advance of his instructions he was forwarding troops to Vermont, watching the enemy, and looking up his supplies. It would be amusing were it not distressing, to read of his difficulties, “detained for want of bullet moulds, as there is but one pair in town”; vainly endeavoring to get four cannon mounted; finding a third of the powder in store worthless ; in want of kettles and “spirits,” and