“This timely and well-conducted sally was attended with complete success. A shower of rain had already caused the enemy to slacken their fire, when finding by reports that their camp was attacked and taken, they withdrew and left the militia in possession of the field.
“The Americans lost in killed nearly 200, and about as many wounded and prisoners; they carried off between 40 and 50 of their wounded. They encamped the first night upon the ground where old Fort Schuyler was built.
“Among the wounded was Gen. Herkimer. Early in the action his leg was fractured by a musket-ball. The leg was amputated a few days after, but in consequence of the unfavourable state of the weather, and want of skill in his surgeons, mortification ensued, and occasioned his death. On receiving his wound, his horse having been killed, he directed his saddle to be placed upon a little hillock of earth and rested himself upon it. Being advised to choose a place where he would be less exposed, he replied, ‘I will face the enemy.’ Surrounded by a few men he continued to issue his orders with firmness. In this situation, and in the heat of the battle, he very deliberately took from his pocket his tinder-box and lit his pipe, which he smoked with great composure. He was certainly to blame for not using greater caution on his march, but the coolness and intrepidity which he exhibited when he found himself ambuscaded, aided materially in restoring order and in inspiring his men with courage. His loss was deeply lamented by his friends and by the inhabitants of Tryon County. The Continental Congress, in October following, directed that a monument should be erected to his memory, of the value of five hundred dollars. But no monument was ever erected.”
“I will face the enemy,” said Kinnison, repeating the words of the brave Herkimer.
“Heroic words. But the General should have possessed more prudence. He had lived long enough in the neighbourhood of the Indians to know their mode of warfare, and he should have sent out rangers to reconnoitre his route,” remarked Colson.
“However,” observed Kinnison, “the enemy didn’t get off whole-skinned. I have heard that they had more than 200 killed. It was a hard-fought battle, and considering all circumstances, no men could have behaved better than our militia did. You see, young men, after they recovered from the confusion of the first attack, they found they had no ammunition save what they had in their cartouch-boxes. Their baggage-wagons were in possession of the enemy, and they could get no water, which was in great demand in such warm weather. To fight five or six hours under such circumstances was certainly noble conduct.”
“Another point is to be taken into consideration. The enemy were much superior in numbers,” said Colson.
“Of course; that’s very important,” replied Ranson.
“I suppose there was little mercy shown by either party. There was too much hateful fury,” said Hand.