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Thrilling Incidents In American History

• Title
• Preface

Revolutionary War
• Opening Of The Revolution
• The Boston Massacre
• Affair of the Sloop Liberty
• Affair of the Gaspee
• The Tea Riot
• The Boston Port Bill
• The First Continental Congress-Consequent Parliamentary proceedings
• Organization of the Minute-Men
• Patrick Henry-Second Provincial Congress-First Military Enterprise
• Battles of Lexington and Concord
• Battle of Bunker's Hill
• Capture of Ticonderoga
• Second Continental Congress-Washington's Appointment
• Siege of Boston
• Incidents at the Evacuation of Boston
• Burning of Falmouth
• Arnold's Expedition to Quebec
• Siege of Quebec, and Death of Montgomery
• Scenes at Quebec during the Siege
• Expedition against Charleston
• The Declaration of Independence
• The Battle of Long Island
• Washington's Retreat through New Jersey-Capture of General Lee
• Battle of Trenton
• Battle of Princeton
• Capture of General Prescott
• Battle of Brandywine
• Battle of Germantown
• Battle of Red-Bank
• Attack on Fort Mifflin-Retirement of the Army to Valley Forge
• Battle of Bennington
• Murder of Miss M'Crea
• Battle of Stillwater
• Battle of Bemis' Heights, and Retreat of Burgoyne
• Capture of Forts Clinton and Montgomery
• Surrender of Burgoyne
• The Treaty with France
• Attack on Savannah, and Death of Pulaski
• Storming of Stony Point
• General Sullivan's Campaign against the Mohawks
• Tarleton's Quarters
• Battle of Camden, and Death of De Kalb
• Arnold's Treason
• The Loss of the Randolph
• The British Prison-Ships
• Capture of the Serapis
• Putnam's Feat at Horseneck
• Battle of Eutaw Springs
• Wayne's Charge at Green Spring
• Capture of the General Monk
• The Mutinies
• Battle of the Cowpens
• Capture of New London
• Massacre of Wyoming
• Surrender of Cornwallis

War With France
• Capture of L'Insurgente
• The Constellation and Vengeance

War With Tripoli
• Burning of the Philadelphia
• Bombardment of Tripoli
• Loss of the Intrepid
• Expedition of General Eaton

Second War With England
• Battle of Tippecanoe
• Capture of the Guerriere
• Tragical Affair of an Indian Chief
• Battle and Massacre at the River Raisin
• Captain Holmes's Expedition
• Capture of the Caledonia and Detroit
• The Wasp and Frolic
• Gallant Conduct of Lieutenant Allen at the Capture of the Macedonian
• Capture and Destruction of the Java
• Siege of Fort Meigs
• Capture of York, and Death of General Pike
• Defence of Sackett's Harbour
• Defence of Fort Stephenson
• Battle of Lake Erie
• Battle of the Thames
• Gallant Action of Commodore Chauncey under the guns of Kingston Citadel
• The Sacking of Hampton
• Capture of the Peacock
• Massacre at Fort Mimms
• Surrender of Weatherford
• Battle of Niagara
• BattIe of New Orleans

War With Mexico
• Battle of Palo Alto
• Battle of Resaca de la Palma
• Capture of Monterey
• Battle in the Streets of Monterey
• Thrilling Scenes in the Battle of Buena Vista
• Bombardment of Vera Cruz
• Battle of Cerro Gordo
• Battles of Contreras and Churubusco
• Storming of Chapultepec


THE attack on Forts Clinton and Montgomery, which had been delayed till the arrival of reinforcements from Europe, had been successfully made. The voyage of those reinforcements was tedious; but they arrived at New York in the end of September, and Sir Henry Clinton without delay embarked three thousand men in vessels of different descriptions, and, convoyed by some ships-of-war under Commodore Hotham, sailed up the Hudson.

Forts Clinton and Montgomery, against which the expedition was directed, were situated on high ground of difficult access, on the western bank of the river, about fifty miles above New York. They were separated by a rivulet, which, flowing from the hills, empties itself into the Hudson. Under cover of the guns, a boom was stretched across the river from bank to bank and strengthened by an immense iron chain in front, as well as supported by chevaux-de-frise sunk behind it. Above this strong barrier, a frigate and galleys were moored, so as to be able to direct a heavy fire against any vessels that might attempt to force a passage. This seemed to present an insuperable obstacle in the way of the British shipping towards Albany. Fort Independence stood four or five miles below, on a high point of land, on the opposite side of the river. Fort Constitution was six miles above the boom, on an island near the eastern bank: Peekskill, the headquarters of the officer who commanded on the Hudson, from Kingsbridge to Albany, was just below Fort Independence, on the same side. General Putnam then held that command, and had about two thousand men under him.

On the 5th of October Sir Henry Clinton landed at Verplanck's Point, a little below Peekskill, on the same side of the river. General Putnam, apprehending that the enemy intended to attack Fort Independence, and to march through the highlands on the east of the river towards Albany, retired to the heights in his rear; and, entertaining no suspicion of the real point of attack, neglected to strengthen the garrisons of the fort on the western bank.

The British fleet moved higher up the river, in order to conceal what was passing at the place where the troops had landed; and, on the evening of the day on which he had arrived at Verplanck's Point, Sir Henry Clinton embarked upwards of two thousand of his men, leaving the rest to guard that post. Early next morning he landed at Stony Point, on the west side of the river, and immediately began his march over the mountains towards the forts. The roads were difficult, and the enterprise perilous; for a small body of men, properly posted, might not only have arrested his progress, but repulsed him with much loss. He, however, reached the vicinity of the forts before he was discovered; there he fell in with a patrole, who immediately retreated, and gave warning of the approaching danger.

Between four and five on the afternoon of the 6th of October, the British appeared before the forts, which they summoned to surrender; and, on receiving a refusal, instantly advanced under a heavy fire to the assault. Both forts, garrisoned by about six hundred men, were attacked at the same time; Fort Montgomery, by Colonel Campbell at the head of nine hundred men; and Fort Clinton, the stronger of the two posts, by Sir Henry Clinton with twelve hundred men. Fort Montgomery was soon taken; but Colonel CampbeH fe]] in the attack. Most of the garrison, favoured by the darkness and by their knowledge of the passes, made their escape. At Fort Clinton the resistance was more obstinate; but that fort also was stormed, and a considerable number of the garrison killed or made prisoners.

General Putnam had no suspicion of the real point of attack till he heard the firing, when he despatched five hundred men to the assistance of the garrisons; but the forts were taken before they arrived, and consequently they returned to camp. In storming the forts, the British had about one hundred and fifty men killed or wounded. Besides Colonel Campbell, Captain Stewart, Major Still, and Count Grabousky, a Polish nobleman who served as a volunteer in the royal army, were among the slain. The Americans lost three hundred men in killed, wounded, and prisoners.

The American vessels-of-war in dIe river, being unable to escape, were burnt by their crews, in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of the British, who removed the boom and chain, and opened the navigation of the river. Fort Independence was evacuated; and Fort Constitution, where the navigation was obstructed by a boom and chain, was also abandoned, without any attempt to defend it. The British proceeded up the river, destroying everything in their power. They advanced to Esopus, which they laid in ashes; but proceeded no further. In this expedition they took or destroyed a large quantity of American stores.

General Putnam retreated up the river, informed General Gates that he was unable to arrest the progress of the enemy, and advised him to prepare for the worst. But although his rear was threatened, General Gates was eager in improving the advantages he had gained over the British army, which was now reduced to the most distressing circumstances.