The Yankee Tea-party eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about The Yankee Tea-party.

“The latter course would have been attended with great loss, but might probably have been effected.  The forward division had no alternative but to fight.  Facing out in every direction, they sought shelter behind the trees and returned the fire of the enemy with spirit.  In the beginning of the battle, the Indians, whenever they saw that a gun was fired from behind a tree, rushed up and tomahawked the person thus firing before he had time to reload his gun.  To counteract this, two men were ordered to station themselves behind one tree, the one reserving his fire until the Indian ran up.  In this way the Indians were made to suffer severely in return.  The fighting had continued for some time, and the Indians had begun to give way, when Major Watson, a brother-in-law of Sir John Johnson, brought up a reinforcement, consisting of a detachment of Johnson’s Greens.  The blood of the Germans boiled with indignation at the sight of these men.  Many of the Greens were personally known to them.  They had fled their country, and were now returned in arms to subdue it.  Their presence under any circumstances would have kindled up the resentment of these militia; but coming up as they now did, in aid of a retreating foe, called into exercise the most bitter feelings of hostility.  They fired upon them as they advanced, and then rushing from behind their covers, attacked them with their bayonets, and those who had none, with the butt end of their muskets.  This contest was maintained, hand to hand, for nearly half an hour.  The Greens made a manful resistance, but were finally obliged to give way before the dreadful fury of their assailants, with the loss of thirty killed upon the spot where they first entered.  Major Watson was wounded and taken prisoner, though afterwards left upon the field.

“In this assault Col.  Cox is said to have been killed; possessing an athletic frame, with a daring spirit, he mingled in the thickest of the fight.  His voice could be distinctly heard, as he cheered on his men or issued his orders, amid the clashing of arms and the yells of the contending savages.

“About one o’clock, Adam Helmer, who had been sent by Gen. Herkimer with a letter to Col.  Gansevoort, announcing his approach, arrived at the fort.  At two o’clock, Lieut.  Col.  Willet, with 207 men, sallied from the fort for the purpose of making a diversion in favour Gen. Herkimer, and attacked the camp of the enemy.  This engagement lasted about an hour, when the enemy were driven off with considerable loss.  Col.  Willet having thrown out flanking parties, and ascertained that the retreat was not feigned, ordered his men to take as much of the spoil as they could remove, and to destroy the remainder.  On their return to the fort, above the landing, and near where the old French fort stood, a party of 200 regular troops appeared, and prepared to give battle.  A smart fire of musketry, aided by the cannon from the fort, soon obliged them to retreat, when Willet returned into the fort with his spoil, and without the loss of a single man.  A part of that spoil was placed upon the walls of the fortress, where it waved in triumph in sight of the vanquished enemy.

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The Yankee Tea-party from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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