« AnteriorContinuar »
eloquence in sounding his praise and lamenting his fate. Those in particular who had been his fellow soldiers in the late war, expatiated on his many virtues. The minister himself acknowledged his worth, while he reprobated the cause for which he fell. He concluded an involuntary panegyric, by saying, “Curse on his virtues, they have undone his country.”
To express the high sense entertained by his country, of his services, congress directed a monument of white marble, with the following insciption on it, and which was placed in front of St. Paul's church, New York.
To transmit to posterity
OF MAJOR GENERAL
Who, after a series of success,
Fell in the attack
Aged 39 years. The remains of general Montgomery, after resting 42 years at Quebec, by a resolve of the state of New-York, were brought to the city of New York, on the 8th of July, 1818, and deposited, with ample form and grateful ceremonies, near the aforesaid monument in St. Paul's chureh.
The remains were deposited in a most splendid mahogany coffin, with the following inscription, elegantly engraved upon a silver plate, placed on its lid:
THE STATE OF NEW YORK,
IN HONOUR OF GENERAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY,
Who fell gloriously fighting for the INDEPENDENCE AND LIBERTY OF THE UNITED
Of this distinguished Hero to
Be conveyed from Quebec,
In St. Paul's Church, in the city of
Erected to his memory
BY THE UNITED STATES. This patriotic act of the State of New York, redounds much to its honour.
PUTNAM, ISRAEL, a major general in the army of the United States, was born at Salem, Massachusetts, January 7, 1718. His mind was vigorous, but it was never cultivated by education.When he for the first time went to Boston, he was insulted for his rusticity by a boy of twice his size. After bearing his sarcasms until his good nature was entirely exhausted, he attacked and vanquished the unmannerly fellow to the great diversion of a crowd of spectators. In running, leaping and wrestling, he almost always bore away the prize. In 1739, he removed to Pomfret, in Connecticut, where he cultivated a considerable tract of land. He had however to encounter many difficulties, and among his troubles the depredations of wolves upon his sheepfold was not the least.
In one night seventy fine sheep and goats were killed. A she wolf, who, with her annual whelps had for several years infested the vicinity, being considered as the principal cause of the havoc, Mr. Putnam entered into a combination with a number of his neighbours to hunt alternately, till they should destroy her.
At length the hounds drove her into her den, and a number of persons soon collected with guns, straw, fire and sulphur, to attack the common 'enemy.But the dogs were afraid to approach her, and the fumes of brimstone could not force her from the
It was now ten o'clock at night. Mr. Putnam proposed to his black servant to descend into the cave and shoot the wolf; but, as the negro declined, he resolved to do it himself. Having divested himself of his coat and waistcoat, and having a long rope fastened round his legs, by which le might be pulled back at a concerted signal, he entered the cavern, head foremost, with a blazing torch, made of strips of birch bark, in his hand. He descended fifteen feet, passed along horizontally ten feet, and then began the gradual ascent, which is sixteen feet in length. He slowly proceeded on his hands and knees in an abode, which was silent as the house of death. Cautiously glancing forwards, he discovered the glaring eyeballs of the wolf, who started at the sight of his torch, grashed her teeth, and gave a sullen growl. He immediately kicked the rope, and was drawn out with a friendly celerity and violence, which not a little bruised him. Loading his gun with nine buckshot, and carrying it in one hand, while he held the torch with the other, he descended a second time. As he approached the wolf, she howled, rolled her eyes, snapped her teeth, dropped her head between her legs, and was evidently on the point of springing at him. At this moment he fired at her head, and soon found himself drawn out of the cave. Having refreshed himself, he again descended, and seizing the wolf by her ears kicked the rope, and his companions above, with no small exultation, dragged them both out together.
During the French war, he was appointed to command a company of the first troops which were l'aised in Connecticut, in 1755. He rendered much
service to the army in the neighbourhood of Crowu point.
When general Amherst was marching across the country to Canada, the army coming to one of the lakes, which they were obliged to pass, found the French had an armed vessel of twelve guns upon it. He was in great distress, his boats were no match for her; and she alone was capable of sinking his whole army in that situation. While he was pondering what should be done, Putnam comes to hiin, and says, “General, that ship must be taken.” “Aye,” says Amherst, “I would give the world she was taken.” I'll take her," says Putnam. Amherst smiled, and asked how? Give me some wedges, a beetle, (a large wooden hammer, or maul, used for driving wedges, and a few men of my own choice." Amherst could not conceive how an armed vessel was to be taken by four or five men, a beetle and wedges. However, he granted Putnam's request. When night came, Putnam, with his materials and men, went in a boat under the vessel's stern, and in an instant, drove in the wedges behind the rudder, in a little cavity between the rudder and ship, and left her. In the morning, the sails were seen fluttering about: she was adrift in the middle of the lake; and being presently blown ashore, was easily taken.
He was ploughing in his field, in 1775, when he heard the news of the battle of Lexington. He immediately unyeked his team, left his plough on the spot, and, without changing his cioathes set off for Cambridge. He soon went back to Connecticut, levied a regiment, and repaired again to the camp.
Among other examples that might be related, the following is from a living witness.
The day that the report of this affair reached Barnstable, a company of militia immediately assembled and marched off to Cambridge. In the front rank.
dhere was a young man, the son of a respectable farmer', and his only child. In marching from the village, as they passed his house, he came out to meet them. There was a momentary halt. The drum and fife paused for an instant. The father, suppressing a strong and evident emotion, said, “God be with you all, my friends! and John, if you, my son, are called into battle, take care that you behave like a man, or else let me never see your face again!" A tear started into every eye, and the march was resumed.
In a little time he was promoted to the rank of major-general. In the battle of Bunker's lill, le exhibited his usual intrepidity. He directed the men to reserve their fire till the enemy was very near, reminded them of their skill, and told them. to take good aim. They did so, and the execution was terrible. After the retreat, lie made a stand at Winter bill, and drove back the enemy under cover of their ships. When the army was organized by general Washington at Cambridge, Putnam was appointed to command the reserve. In August, 1776, he was stationed at Brooklyn, on Long Island. After the defeat of our army on the 27 th of that month, he went to New York, and was very serviceable in the city and neighbourhood. In October, or November, he was sent to Philadelphia to fortify that city. In January, 1777, he was directed to take post at Princeton, where he continued until spring. At this place, a sick prisoner, a captain, requested that a friend in the British army at Brunswick, might be sent for, to assist him in making bis will. Putnam was perplexed. He had but fifty men under his command, and he did not wish to have his weakness known; yet he was unwilling to deny the request. He, however, sent a flag of truce, and directed the officer to be brought in the night. In the evening, lights were placed in all the college windows, and in every