Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 672
Click on the image to view a larger, bitmap (.bmp) image suitable for printing.


Click on the image above for a larger, bitmap image suitable for printing.


from 12 m. to 4 and resulted in the total defeat of the French.1 Col. Blanchard, who commanded
at Fort Lyman, learning the result of the first engagement in the morning, sent a party of about 300
N. II. and N. Y. militia to the scene of the conflict. This party surprised the French camp, and,
after dispersing the troops left to guard it, they hastened on to the English camp and arrived in
season to assist materially in gaining the victory. This engagement was the only one fought
during the campaign of 1755 that reflected the slightest credit upon the British army.


The remainder of the season was spent in erecting Fort Wm. Henry,2 on the site of the English
camp. A projected attack upon Ticonderoga during the winter was prevented by the uncommon
severity of the season. In the summer of 1756 a provincial force of 6,000 men assembled here,
but too late to effect their purpose
.3 On the 17th of March, (St. Patrick’s day,) 1757, the French,
under Longee, a famous partisan officer, attempted to surprise the fort, but were successful only
in burning a few buildings and several vessels on the lake
.4 Soon after, a party of 400 English,
under Col. Parker, marched to attack Ticonderoga; but, falling into an ambuscade, only 72
escaped. Early in the summer of 1757, Montcalm, the French commander, made extensive
preparations to capture Fort Wm. Henry. On the last day of July, Maj. Putnam discovered a
large body of the enemy encamped on an island about 18 mi. down the lake. Gen. Webb, who
had immediate command, upon being apprized of the matter, enjoined Putnam to keep the intelli¬
gence secret and to prepare to escort him (Webb) back to Fort Edward, leaving Col. Munro in
command at Fort Wm. Henry. The enemy soon landed in force and proceeded to invest the fort,
The garrison consisted of 2,500 men, and the attacking force amounted to nearly 9,000. Gen.
Webb had a force of 4,000 regulars at Fort Edward, only 9 mi. distant, and the militia were
rapidly collecting to afford further aid. Col. Munro sent pressing and repeated messages for
relief; but Gen. Webb paid no attention to the request, and appeared totally indifferent to every
thing but his own personal safety. At length, upon the ninth day of the siege, he allowed Gen.
Johnson to march with a body of volunteers to the relief of the garrison; but before the party
had proceeded 3 mi. they were recalled, and Gen. Webb sent a letter to Col. Munro advising him
to surrender on the best terms he could obtain. This letter was intercepted and given to CoL
Munro by Montcalm in person. Thus cut off from hope, and assured by Montcalm that the
garrison should march out with the honors of war, with their arms, and one of the four cannon
of the fort, with their baggage and baggage wagons, and an escort of 500 men to. Fort Edward,
he surrendered. The Indians soon began to pillage the baggage, and, not being checked, fell
upon the sick and wounded, whom they killed and scalped. Excited by carnage, they next
surrounded and attacked the disarmed and defenseless troops; and, although Montcalm, was
implored to furnish a guard, as promised, the massacre was allowed to proceed until a large
number were killed or hurried away prisoners for more deliberate torture

In the summer of 1758 itn army of 7,000 regulars and 10,000 provincials, under Gen. Aber-

pushed on to Eort Wm. Henry, arriving in the evening. He pro¬
cured sleds and returned to his suffering comrades, whom he
reached the next morning. The party finally reached the fort,
after extreme suffering.—
Rogers’s Jour., p. 36.

* A part of the garrison were Irish, and could not be restrained
from celebrating the day by getting drunk. The fort was de¬
fended by the vigilance of the rangers, who repulsed the Erench
while the other troops were coming to their senses.—
pp. 43,109.

3 Humanity sickens at the revolting scenes of this day, which
have stained the memory of Montcalm with the blackest infamy.
A few survivors of the massacre fled for their lives, and suc¬
ceeded in reaching Fort Edward in safety. The next day Maj.
Putnam was sent with his rangers to watch the motions of the
enemy; but he arrived just after they embarked and were beyond
reach of pursuit. As he came to the shore, the demolished fort,
the burning buildings, and the ghastly and mangled corpses of
the dead and the feeble groans of the dying, quickly told the
dismal story of treachery and barbarity, scarcely less chargeable
to the cowardice of Webb than to the perfidy of Montcalm,
Writers differ as to the number murdered on this occasion, the
estimates varying from 300 to 1,500. It is probably nearer the
latter number. There was a tendency among the provincials to
exaggerate, and among the regulars to palliate, the occurrences
above related. The massacre occurred Aug. 9, 1757. Among
the accounts given by eyewitnesses of the scene, that of Jonathan
Carver, the well-known traveler, has perhaps been most fre¬
quently quoted. The feeble attempts that have been made to
defend the reputation of Montcalm, under the plea that he ex¬
erted himself to restrain the Indian barbarities, find ample refu¬
tation in the fact that with five or six times more whites than
savages the latter were allowed to proceed unmolested. If this
relatively small number could not be restrained, there must
have existed a degree of insubordination incompatible with mili¬
tary success and strangely at variance with the condition of
other armies under Montcalm.


Gen. Johnson was wounded early in the action, and the com¬
mand devolved upon Gen. Lyman. The former in his official
report, probably from jealousy, avoided mentioning the name or
services of the latter, although they were efficient and valuable.
Popular report stated the Erench loss at 700 to 800; but Johnson
reported it from 300 to 400. Official accounts place the English
loss at 120 killed, 80 wounded, and 62 missing. Dieskau died
in England several years after, from wounds received in the en¬


Named in honor of the Duke of Cumberland, brother of the
heir apparent, afterward George III.


Several incidents worthy of note occurred during this expe¬
dition. At Halfway Brook a party of teamsters were surprised
and captured by 600 of the enemy, who immediately retreated
down South Bay. A hundred men, under Capts. Israel Put¬
nam and Robert Rogers, set out from Eort Wm. Henry, crossed
over to Lake Champlain, and from an ambuscade poured a de¬
structive fire upon the enemy as they passed. A number were
killed, and the English immediately retreated across to Lake
George. The next morning they embarked on the lake, and at
Eabbath-Day Point t hey were met by a force of French and Indians
three times their own number. The English dashed forward
to the attack; and, by reserving their fire until they came into
close quarters, they threw the enemy into confusion, and suc¬
ceeded in escaping, with the loss of one killed and two wounded.
In the winter of 1756-57, Maj. Rogers, with 74 men, went down
Lake George,*and crossed over to Lake Champlain, where he cap¬


tured a small party of Erench. On his return he was met on the


This page was written in HTML using a program written in Python 3.2