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Chapter IX

Table of Contents

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CHAPTER IX

BURGOYNE'S CAMPAIGN, 1777


Map of Burgoyne's Campaign

The American offensive in Canada during 1775-76, although failing to achieve its greater end,—the making of that region a part of the United States,—had yet succeeded in its secondary aim of keeping the fighting outside the colonies. The bold efforts of Montgomery and Arnold had exhausted the British strength in Canada in 1775 and during the greater part of the following year. But in 1777 plans were formed in England which involved carrying the war from the north into the middle colonies, and, in conjunction with the forces about New York, cutting off New England, the head and front of the rebellion, from the remainder of the “continent.”

For the northern enterprise there was assembled in Canada an army of eight thousand men, of whom 4135 were British Regulars, 3116 Hessians and Brunswickers, 148 Canadians, and 503 Indians.1 The force included all arms of the service, and a particularly fine train of artillery. The command was entrusted to Sir John Burgoyne, a gentleman of birth, education and social standing, but lacking in the energy and decision necessary to such an enterprise. He had written plays and made his mark in society, but the dilletante of London, who in the most critical hours placed pleasure before duty, was not the man to lead an expedition through an American wilderness and beat the clouds of colonists who swarmed to meet him. His task was difficult but not impossible, and, in the face of the indolent Gates, he could easily have saved his army; though failure in the main enterprise, because of Howe’s action, was the outcome to be expected.

Burgoyne’s army, which he had sworn should never retreat, was at St. Johns on June 13, reaching the foot of Lake Champlain on the 20th. From this point Col. St. Leger  was sent to the right with a thousand British, Canadians and Indians, to capture


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Fort Stanwix (now Rome, N. Y.), the principal strongpoint in the Mohawk Valley. The main army proceeded rapidly up the Lake, reached Crown Point on June 27, and on July 1 advanced against Ticonderoga.

We have seen how during the previous winter the garrison at Ticonderoga was reduced to a handful of men. The making over of the army and the slowness in organizing new regiments left this main fortress of the north still weakly held. General Schuyler was again in command of the Northern Department. General St. Clair held Ticonderoga with 2546 Continentals and some 900 militia. In contrast to the previous year, there was little sickness; only 113 cases reported at this time. Unfortunately, St. Clair had neglected to fortify and strongly garrison Fort Independence, on a hill near by, and when the British captured this dominating height St. Clair was obliged to abandon Ticonderoga, with all its heavy guns and many supplies. He retreated on July 5 and joined Schuyler at Fort Edward on July 7. He had sent his stores by boat toward Whitehall, but they were all captured. His rear guard of 1200 men, under Col. Warner, was struck by the energetic Fraser near Hubbardton on July 7 and cut to pieces, with a loss of 300 men. A part of Warner's force escaped through the woods and joined Schuyler at Fort Edward on the 12th, by way of Rutland. Schuyler had received some reinforcements from New England, and on July 20 could muster 4467 men. For abandoning Ticonderoga, Schuyler and St. Clair were both tried by court martial but were both acquitted.

The troops marching from New England to the Northern Army passed through Albany, where they excited much comment; particularly the numerous militia regiments. A writer said, “The appearance of the Massachusetts and Connecticut troops (militia) marching through Albany on their way to Saratoga in 1777 was long a source of merriment among the Dutch burghers. Not only were many of them mere boys, but their dress and accoutrements were of the most heterogenous description. On being asked where they were going, the universal response was, ‘Going to take Burgoyne.’ ” They resembled the New England army which twenty-two years before had marched to join Gen. Abercrombie for the campaign against Ticonderoga.


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It was said then that their musicians played tunes two hundred years old, and Dr. Schackburgh of the British Army composed in derision a tune called “Yankee Doodle.” Contrary to his design, the New Englanders had hailed it with acclaim, fitted words to the lively air, and now marching against the redcoats, their musicians made this tune a national air. It played the men on to one of the most courageous and successful campaigns made by the colonists during the entire war. The heterogenous clothing and mixed equipment of these regiments of continentals—yes, and militia too—did not outweigh a high patriotism and steadfast courage which were sufficient to annihilate a British army in the field and to bring France to the aid of the struggling colonists.

Schuyler’s forces were still too weak for him to make a stand, and, obstructing all roads and creeks, he retired to Fort Miller and then to Stillwater. He continued to receive reinforcements, among which was one Benedict Arnold. He finally took post in an intrenched camp on Van Schade’s Island, near the mouth of the Mohawk River. Burgoyne, marching slowly and with great difficulty through the wilderness, did not reach Fort Edward and the Hudson until July 29. He waited there for supplies until August 13, a halt which was fatal to his success.

During the later part of August General Gates was in ignorance of Burgoyne’s whereabouts. At this time Dr. Wood, of Burgoyne's hospital, entered the lines and visited the General, presenting a letter from his Chief in which the latter complained of the treatment of prisoners taken at Bennington. In reply Gates pointedly cited the outrages of the savage allies of the British Army, particularly the case of the murdered Jenny McCrea. Burgoyne was then at the Duer house, old Fort Miller, with his army near Battenkill, and soon afterward crossed the Hudson. His army was already experiencing considerable sickness, mainly diarrhoea and dysentery.

The American army was quite free from serious disease, a pleasing state of affairs in view of the fact that it was operating in the same territory where only a year before the Northern Army had suffered such cruel losses. It was on the shores of Lake Champlain that in 1776 every tent contained a sick or


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dying man. Of July 1776 Major Wilkinson wrote in his ‘Memoirs’:2

“I was suddenly struck down by a typhus fever which prevailed with great violence and swept off more than 1000 of our troops. * * * . It was considered necessary to send me to the south end of Lake George [Fort George] under the personal attendance of Dr. Jonathan Potts, the Surgeon General.”

On August 22 Schuyler was relieved by Gen. Horatio Gates, a former British officer, and the American army was considerably reinforced. Three brigades came up from the Highlands. Next day the redoubtable Morgan joined, with 500 riflemen, and Major Henry Dearborn—he of the Canada Expedition—brought in 250 of Alexander Scammell’s New Hampshire regiment. General Lincoln also reached the country east of the Hudson with a swarm of Massachusetts militia. Meanwhile two expeditions, sent out to operate on Burgoyne’s flanks, were coming to grief. St. Leger reached Fort Stanwix, besieged the place and ambushed a militia force sent under Gen. Herkimer to its relief. Success was so near that Gen. Gates sent Arnold with three regiments against St. Leger. Arnold succeeded in relieving the fort, and St. Leger gave up the campaign. Burgoyne was to have no support on

On the left Col. Baum was sent by Burgoyne with his dismounted dragoons on an expedition through Vermont to gather supplies and to clear that flank of the militia gathering near Bennington. Gen. John Stark, one of the men overslaughed by the Congress, collected a number of regiments of militia, some 1700 men in all, attacked Baum near Bennington on August 14, beat him decisively, and also Col. Breyman who was sent to Baum's assistance. Of some 1200 Hessians and Brunswickers, two hundred were killed and six hundred wounded or made prisoners. More than twenty-five officers were among those listed by Stark, including one baron and three Hessian surgeons. Col. Baum himself was mortally wounded and died the next day.

There were eight small militia regiments engaged in this short campaign. One of them was commanded by Lt. Col. Nichols, a doctor. As this was an impromptu affair, no regular


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medical service was established. Dr. Solomon Chase of Hobart’s Regiment was ordered by Stark to receive and care for all sick at “Charles Town.” Only fourteen of Stark’s men were killed, and forty-two wounded. The surgeons of the principal regiments were :-

    Col. David Hobart’s Regt.—Dr. Solomon Chase.
    Col. Thomas Stickney’s Regt.—Dr. Josiah Chase.
                                                     David Peterson, Mate.
    Col. Moses Nichols’ Regt.—John Young, Surgeon.
                                                David Morris, Mate.

Gates’ regular force now numbered 6000 men, besides Lincoln’s militia and other forces from New England.[3] [Editor's Note: There is no numbered footnote 3 in Duncan's Chapter 9 but there is a footnote 3 in the notes--it must have been meant for approximately this position before footnote 4]

The Saratoga Battles, Map

On September 6 Gates advanced and occupied a position at Bemis Heights, which had been selected by Arnold and was now fortified under the direction of Kosciusko. His force was increasing on Burgoyne’s front, while the militia was occupying the country east of the river and even threatening his rear.

On September 8 Burgoyne left Battenkill4 and, undismayed by disaster on his flanks, crossed the Hudson on a bridge of boats, reaching the present site of Saratoga on the 14th. On September 16 he marched to Dovegat’s House, on the 17th to Lund’s Farm, and in the 18th to Wilbur’s Basin, where he was face to face with American forces, but two miles distant. A little stream, Mill Creek, separated the two armies. Both were on the right bank of the Hudson, which served as a line of communications to Gates. Burgoyne’s route to the rear was by way of Lake Champlain and the River Sorel (Richelieu). Ticonderoga, his advance base, was already in danger, and this line was soon to be cut. Howe, at New York, who was to have moved north to meet him, had gone south instead, landed at the head of Chesapeake Bay and, on the 11th, defeated Washington at the Brandywine. This move resulted in the capture of Philadelphia by the British but proved fatal to the far more important campaign of Burgoyne. Blundering spoiled this campaign, as it did almost every other of the British campaigns in America. Howe saved the day for the Colonists at Saratoga; just as Clinton saved the day for them later at Yorktown. A monument has recently been erected (in America) to Cornwallis; Burgoyne,


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Howe and Clinton should not be overlooked. All were effective aids to the cause of Independence.

What of the medical department, which had so signally failed, and with such terrible results, in the previous campaign in the north? We have seen how Dr. Jonathan Potts was directed by Congress on January 14, 1777, to “repair to Ticonderoga without delay,” the Medical Committee to send stores in the same expeditious manner. We have seen him passing through Bethlehem followed by four great wagons heaped high with the sorely needed stores. His letter shows how he reached that place and the conditions that he found. He had lost no time in asking for money, which was freely granted by the Congress: 20,000 dollars on January 3rd, 100,000 on February 23rd, a similar amount on April 11th, and again on May 15th; 200,000 on June 10th, 70,000 on August 4th, and 180,000 in November 1777.

On the reorganization of the Medical Department on April 11, 1778, Dr. Jonathan Potts was made Deputy Director General of the Northern Department, Dr. Malachi Treat, Physician General; Dr. Francis Forgues, Surgeon General (these of the department) and Dr. John Bartlett Physician and Surgeon General of the army in the field. Dr. Bartlett appears to have been old and somewhat infirm. Dr. Potts was the nominal and real head of the medical department of the army, acting with energy, skill and good judgment, and securing success where before there had been dismal failure. No serious amount of sickness was seen in the armies now gathered; no smallpox of any importance and no putrid fever at all. There was not even as much sickness as in the British Army. The fact that the troops were all from New England and New York may have had a bearing on this happy condition.5

Fortunately for our knowledge of medical affairs in what was then a remote region, the regiment of which Dr. James Thatcher6 was Mate marched from Boston to Ticonderoga in the spring of 1776, and Thatcher remained in the region until after the close of the campaign of 1777. On April 1, 1777, the term of enlistment of Whitcomb’s regiment having expired, he became a mate in the general hospital at Ticonderoga. There were at that time about eighty sick and ten wounded men in the hospital.


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This was, of course, abandoned with the fort on July 5. As the army was now retreating, and Fort George had also been abandoned, the sick were sent—by water—to Albany, which became the principal hospital of the Northern Army during this campaign.

On July 25 Thatcher was ordered to accompany some sick men to Albany, and we are given a view of the hospital there. He embarked with forty sick and invalids and went fifty-five miles down the Hudson, reaching Albany on August 3. Of the hospital at Albany he wrote

“A hospital was opened at Albany in July 1776, in a building erected for a hospital during the French War. It was capable of accommodating five hundred patients, and had quarters for officers, offices, storerooms, &c.”

The main hospital at Fort George had been transferred to Albany late in 1776.

On August 30, 1777, he wrote:-

“The city of Albany * * * consists of about 300 houses, chiefly in the Gothic style, the gable ends to the street. There is an ancient Dutch church of stone, a Congregational church, and an edifice called City Hall, which accommodates occasionally their General Assembly and Courts of Justice. The Hospital was erected during the last French War and is situated on an eminence overlooking the city. It is two stories high, having a wing at each end, and a piazza in front, above and below. It contains forty wards, capable of accommodating 500 patients, besides the room appropriated to the use of surgeons and other officers, stores, &c.”

In those days hospitals had small wards. The forty wards of the Albany hospital could not have had an average of more than twelve beds each, but this was a decided advantage at a time when it was impossible to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The hospital at Albany appears to have been a wooden structure which disappeared shortly after the Revolutionary War. No engraving or other representation of it has been found. Old town plats of those years show an H-shaped structure marked “hospital.”

With the two armies face to face a battle could not long be delayed. Burgoyne moved forward on September 19, and though Gates hesitated, Arnold, Morgan and Wilkinson were ready to


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“indulge them.” The result was not decisive but was slightly favorable to the British, who held the field. The American army lost sixty-five killed, two hundred and eighteen wounded, and thirty-eight missing or prisoners. The British were reported to have lost six hundred killed and wounded.

The armies remained within cannon shot of each other after the battle, Burgoyne intertrenching his camp on Freeman’s Farm, where he sat down to await Howe. His bolt had exhausted its momentum. He could go no farther. Gates, who fought defensively if at all, also seemed willing to wait.

After the battle Burgoyne collected his stores and established his hospital in a small depression known as Wilbur's Basin, on the banks of the Hudson. There was a considerable amount of the “camp sickness” or dysentery in his army at this time. Supplies were becoming scarce, even rations and forage.

The Hudson River, Map

Although the maps show a field hospital of some sort in the rear of the American entrenchments, the seriously wounded were sent down the river to the hospital at Albany, but twenty-five miles away. On September 21st, two days after the battle, Thatcher wrote in his journal:

“A considerable number of officers and soldiers, wounded in the late battle, have been brought here to be accommodated in our hospital. Several of these unfortunate but brave men received wounds of a very formidable and dangerous nature, and many of them must be subjected to capital operations.” (About the only capital operations then done were amputations and trephining).

“Here is a fine field for professional improvement: amputating limbs, trepanning fractured skulls, and dressing the most formidable wounds, have familiarized my mind to scenes of woe. A military hospital is peculiarly calculated to afford examples of affliction and to interest our sympathies and commiserations. If I turn from beholding mutilated bodies, mangled limbs, and bleeding incurable wounds, a spectacle no less revolting is presented, of miserable objects languishing under afflicting diseases.” * * * .

On September 24 General Lincoln captured Fort George and other important posts in the rear of Burgoyne, rendering the latter’s communications extremely hazardous. His situation daily grew more dangerous. His Canadian and Indian allies deserted


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in numbers, while the American forces increased each day. On October 6, however, affairs assumed a different complexion, for the Americans learned that Clinton was advancing up the Hudson with four thousand men; had captured the barrier forts, and was moving to threaten their rear and take them between two fires. Fortunately, Clinton’s messenger to Burgoyne was taken, and by means of a huge dose of tartar emetic made to disgorge the message which he had swallowed when captured.

On October 7 Burgoyne, whose position was becoming desperate, moved out with fifteen hundred of his best troops on what he called a “reconnoissance in force.” His fumbling resulted in the second battle of Stillwater. The Americans not only met the attack, but checked it, and then in turn pushed forward and broke the British lines. Redoubts and prisoners were captured; the result this time was not in doubt. Burgoyne could no longer go forward; he could not even hold out where he was. His loss in killed was one hundred and seventy-six; in wounded, two hundred and fifty, and two hundred taken prisoners; he also lost nine guns. His best general, Fraser, was mortally wounded. Major Ackland and other officers were taken prisoners. The British army had lost morale, and Burgoyne himself had lost confidence and the grasp of events. The American loss was about fifty men killed and one hundred and fifty wounded. Among the latter was Arnold, who though deprived of command had rushed into the fight, acted with his usual courage and even more than his usual rashness.

Next morning Burgoyne retired to Wilbur’s Basin, leaving his dead upon the field. He would probably have retired further but could not remove his hospital until evening. The one house in the Basin, the Taylor farmhouse, was occupied by the Baroness Riedesel, who, with a number of other wives of officers, had accompanied their husbands on this unfortunate campaign. In her memoirs she relates what she saw of this sad occasion:-

“About four o'clock [Oct. 7] in the afternoon, instead of the generals who were to have dined with us, they brought to me upon a litter poor General Fraser, mortally wounded. * * * . The ball had gone through his bowels, precisely as in the case of Major Harnage. I knew no longer which way to turn. The whole entry was filled with the sick, who were suffering with the camp sickness—a kind of dysentery. I spent the whole night in this<


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manner, at one time comforting Lady Ackland, whose husband was wounded and a prisoner, at another time looking after my children. * * * Early in the morning, at eight o'clock, he died. After they had washed the corpse they wrapped it in a sheet and laid it on a bedstead, where we had this sad spectacle right before us the whole day. At every instant also wounded officers of my acquaintance arrived, and the cannonade began again.”

Major Harnage appears to have recovered. He was an officer of the 62nd Regiment. General Fraser was the soul of the expedition. It was he who had beaten Sullivan at Three Rivers the year before, and more recently had dispersed St. Clair’s rear guard at Hubbardton. In the last battle he was in the forefront, urging on his men until Morgan pointed him out to a group of his riflemen and said, “That gallant officer yonder is General Fraser; it is necessary for our good that he should die.”

At six o’clock on the evening of the 8th General Fraser was buried with the military honors which so appealed to Burgoyne, and at nine o’clock the army retreated to the north. Burgoyne’s hospital was left behind, with some three hundred sick and wounded. A note to General Gates recommended them to his kindness:-

“Sir, the state of my hospitals makes it more advisable to leave the wounded and sick officers, whom you will find in my last camp, than to transport them with the army. 1 recommend them to the protection which I feel I should show to an enemy in the same case.

                        I am Sir
                            Your most humble Servant
                                        J. Burgoyne.”

Major General Gates.

Major Wilkinson says that riding out the morning after the second battle he met an officer with a white flag. This officer proved to be Dr. John Hayes, an eminent practitioner of London, whom Burgoyne had left behind with the hospital. Dr. Hayes carried the letter just quoted.

Wilkinson says:-

“I accompanied him to the hospital and after examining his hospital tents, where I found about 300 men comfortably accom-


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modated, I was introduced to the [wounded] officers, who occupied Sword’s house; and persuade myself, those of them who live, will bear in memory the hearty, cheering consolation I gave them by the assurance of protection in their person and property.”

Promiscuous firing, marauders and the near-by Indians made these sick and wounded men feel decidedly unsafe. It is unfortunate that Wilkinson—a most interesting writer and at the same time a graduate in medicine—recorded so little of a professional nature. We shall meet Dr. Hayes again.

Sir Francis Clarke, another of the unfortunates shot in the abdomen, was placed under the care of Dr. Jonathan Potts, but died in a few days. Gates wrote to Burgoyne offering to exchange Sir Francis and Major Wilkinson (British) for Col. Ethan Allen, a prisoner with them since the previous year.

The sick and wounded were cared for as no doubt Americans would have been in the hands of Burgoyne, a humane man, better suited to the court than to the camp. They were sent back to Albany along with the American wounded and sick. Medical stores had been left in Burgoyne’s hospital, and two hundred barrels of flour, if we may believe Thatcher, who depended on reports.

On October 12 Thatcher wrote:

“The wounded and sick of our army and those of the enemy who are fallen into our hands are crowding into our hospitals— and require our constant attention. The last night I watched with the celebrated General Arnold, whose leg was badly fractured by a musket ball while engaged with the enemy on the 7th inst. He is very peevish under his misfortunes, and required all my attention during the night.”

Meantime General Clinton’s force had pushed on up the Hudson, outwitted Putnam, captured Forts Montgomery and Clinton, broken the great Hudson River chain, and appeared above the Highlands. The country round about was laid waste, and on October 6 Kingston was burned. Thatcher says it was estimated that from that point the British fleet could reach Albany in six hours, and the Americans were in a tremble of excitement. The situation was indeed perilous. But Clinton was not enterprising. The victory of the 7th over Burgoyne drove the latter farther away, where he had no news of Clinton’s approach.


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Burgoyne retreated still further, and appeared to design a retreat by the right bank of the river. His generals urged that this be done with haste, but he put pleasure before duty and delayed until Lincoln’s militia had crossed the river in his rear and closed the last avenue of escape. Learning this, he made overtures to General Gates, and on October 16 surrendered his army at Stillwater. The prize included 6350 prisoners; all that was left of his army (except the 53rd Regiment at Ticonderoga), forty-two guns, and considerable military stores.7  An entire army had been annihilated. Included in the list of officers taken prisoners were six members of the British Parliament. The Canadian prisoners were returned to Canada, the British and Hessians sent to Boston. In April of the following year Burgoyne was allowed to return to England, but the troops, although return had been agreed on, were held on one pretext or another until the end of the war. Many of them remained in America permanently. Of regiments which came over one thousand strong, not more than one or two hundred returned to England.

Dr. Johann David Schoepf

A Hessian officer wrote of the American army at Saratoga—perhaps with some exaggeration:

“Not a man of them was regularly equipped. Each one had on the clothing he was accustomed to wear in the field, the tavern, the church and every day life. No fault could be found, however, with their military appearance, for they stood in an erect and soldierly attitude. All their muskets had bayonets attached, and their riflemen had rifles. They remained so perfectly quiet that we were utterly astonished. Not one of them made any attempt to speak to the man at his side, and all of the men who stood in the army before us were so slender, fine looking and sinewy that it was pleasant to look at them. As to their height, dear brother, the men averaged from (5 feet) 6 to 7 inches, according to Prussian measurements, and I am sure I am not telling an untruth when I state that men (5 ft.) 8 to 10 inches high were oftener seen than those of only 5, and men of larger height were to be found in all the companies.”

General Gates’ return of October 16th showed 13,216 present for duty. The sick and wounded of the two armies (there were 598 British) filled the Albany hospital to overflowing. On October 24th Dr. Thatcher wrote:-


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“The hospital is now overcrowded with officers and soldiers from the field of battle; those belonging to the British and Hessian troops are accommodated in the same hospital with our men, and receive equal care and attention. The foreigners are under the care and attention of their own surgeons. I have been present at some of their capital operations, and remarked that the English Surgeons performed with skill and dexterity; but the Germans, with a few exceptions, do no credit to their profession. Some of them are the most uncouth and clumsy operators I ever witnessed, and appear to be destitute of all sympathy and tenderness toward the suffering patient.”

Thatcher continues:-

“No less than one thousand wounded and sick are now in the city. The Dutch church and several private houses are occupied as hospitals. We have above thirty surgeons and mates and all are constantly employed. I am obliged to devote the whole of my time, from eight o'clock in the morning to a late hour in the evening, to the care of the patients. Some of our soldiers wounds, which had been neglected while on their way here from the field of battle, being covered with putrified blood for several days, were found on the first dressing to be filled with maggots. It was not difficult, however, to destroy these vermin by the application of tincture of myrrh.

“It is my lot to have twenty of the wounded men committed to my care by Dr. Potts, our Surgeon General [Deputy Director General Jonathan Potts] ; one of whom, a young man, received a musket ball through the cheeks, cutting its way through the teeth each side, and the substance of the tongue; his sufferings have ben great, but he now begins to articulate tolerably well.

Another had the whole side of his face torn off by a cannon ball, laying the mouth and throat open to view.

A brave soldier received a musket ball in the forehead, between his eyebrows; observing that it did not penetrate the bone, it was imagined that the force of the ball being partly spent, it rebounded and fell out; but on close examination by the probe, the ball was detected, spread entirely flat on the bone, under the skin, which I extracted with the forceps.”

A barbarous feature of the warfare in this campaign was the use of Indian allies. The wounded who fell into their hands were cruelly killed and scalped, frequently tortured as a preliminary. Thatcher relates a remarkable instance of recovery after scalping, which is also noticed by General Heath.


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“Among the most remarkable occurrences which came under my observation, the following is deserving of particular notice. Captain Gregg, of one of the New York regiments, while stationed at Fort Stanwix on the Mohawk River, went with two soldiers into the woods to shoot pigeons; a party of Indians started suddenly from concealment in the bushes, shot them all down, tomahawked and scalped them, and left them for dead. The Captain after some time revived * * * A faithful dog * * * licked his wounds, which afforded him great relief. The dog ran to some men a mile away and by its actions induced them to follow it to where the captain lay.

Captain Gregg was carried to the fort, where his wounds were dressed; he was afterwards removed to our hospital and came under my care. He was a most frightful spectacle; the whole of his scalp was removed; in two places in the forepart of his head the tomahawk had penetrated through the skull, there was a wound in his back, with the same instrument, besides a wound in his side; and another through his arm, by a musket-ball. This unfortunate man * * * finally recovered.”

Among the wounded in one of the militia encounters was General Lincoln, who was shot through the leg and seriously, though not dangerously, wounded. He was taken to Albany and remained there several months. General Heath records his return to Boston on February 23, 1778

“Just before noon General Lincoln arrived in Boston from Albany; his leg recovering fast, but he was still very lame, and was conveyed from place to place on a movable bed, with handles, which was fixed on the runners of his sleigh, with a canopy and curtains, and was convenient also to remove into a house, &. In this was blended ingenuity and convenience.”

The hospital at Albany continued in operation until June 5th, 1778. By that time the Northern Army had been concentrated in the Highlands. On June 5th the remaining patients were embarked on boats and sent down the river to the vicinity of West Point. The principal hospital was established at the Beverly Robinson House, on the eastern shore of the Hudson, opposite that place.

On October 23rd, 1777, Dr. Jonathan Bartlett, Physician and Surgeon General of the Northern Army, was permitted by General Gates to return to his home, on account of his age and infirmities. The next officer in rank, Dr. Thomas Tillotson of


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New York, succeeded him in the position. In 1778 Dr. Bartlett returned to the army but was not recognized by General Gates. In July 1779 Dr. Shippen directed Bartlett to take charge of the hospitals at Fishkill, but the medical officers there refused to serve under him, and on September 28th he returned home again. Dr. Tillotson served as a medical officer until 1783, and appears either to have been or to have acted as Physician and Surgeon General of the Northern Department during that time.

The results of this campaign from a sanitary standpoint were among the most remarkable of the war. In spite of the fact that almost the entire army was made up of recruits and militia, undisciplined and ill provided, and campaigning in the most unhealthful portion of the year, there was little sickness. Rush would have said that this was due to the fact that the army was composed entirely of troops from New England; and that was a factor. Jonathan Potts thought it was because the hospitals were well supplied and the sick well cared for. He says that the sick were never allowed to want for anything; which seems probable from the large bills which were still being paid during the following year. He reported that from the 1st of March to the 10th of December there were but two hundred and five deaths in all the hospitals,—including the deaths from wounds. He states further that the dreaded putrid fever was never seen, and he makes no mention of smallpox. As the army totalled some twenty thousand men and the wounded numbered at least five hundred (of whom about seventy-five would ordinarily die) the loss from sickness is seen to have been less proportionately than in any other campaign of the war. The success of Jonathan Potts was recognized; the General gave credit to him and his subordinates, in a letter to Congress, and they were publicly thanked in a resolution by that body.8 It is a satisfaction to record that in this, the crucial year of the war, the medical department of the victorious army was conducted with harmony, efficiency and success.


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NOTES.

1 BURGOYNE'S ARMY

British Contingent . . . . 4135.
    10 companies of Grenadiers.
    10 companies of Light Infantry.
    Flank companies of 29th, 31st and 34th Regiments.
    9th Foot, Surgeon Henry Shelley.
    20th Foot, Surgeon Matthew Cahill.
    21st Foot, Surgeon William Pemberton. (Royal Scots Fusiliers)
    24th Foot, Surgeon Samuel Sone.
    47th Foot, Surgeon Leonard Dobbin.
    62nd Foot, Surgeon —   Moodie.
    53rd Foot, Surgeon George Currie.
        (The 53rd was left at Ticonderoga and returned to Canada.).
    30 Artillerymen.
    150 Recruits.
    50 Marksmen.

Hessian Contingent . . . . 3116.
    Breyman’s Grenadiers.
    Baum’s Dragoons.
    Regt. Retz.
    Regt. Riedesel.
    Regt. Hesse Hanau.
    Regt. Prince Frederick.

Canadians . .148.    Indians . .503.    Total . . . . 7902.

Principal Officers:
    Lieut. General Burgoyne.
    Major General Philipps.
    Major General Riedesel.
    Brigadier General Fraser.
    Brigadier Hamilton.
    Brigadier Powell.

Lord Balcarras commanded the Light Infantry. Major Ackland commanded the Grenadiers. Of this force no more than 6000 fought at the battles near Saratoga.

2 James Wilkinson was born near St. Benedict, Maryland, in 1757. He studied medicine at the Philadelphia Medical School in 1773, but quit it to join the army at Boston in 1775. in 1776 Washington made him a lieutenant in Reed's New Hampshire Regiment, in which he served with the Northern Army during the Burgoyne campaign. In July 1776 he was promoted to the rank of major, and on May 24, 1777, General Gates made him adjutant general of the Northern Army. lie carried to Congress the news of Burgoyne’s surrender, and was made brevet brigadier and appointed secretary to the Board of War. This implicated him in the Conway Cabal and brought about his resignation.


261

After the war, Wilkinson settled at Lexington, Kentucky, and engaged in mercantile business. On November 7, 1791, he was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 2nd U. S. Infantry. In 1791-2 he commanded an Indian expedition. In 1792 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and commanded the right wing of the army in Wayne’s battle on the Maumee In 1805-7 he was governor of Louisiana. He was commander in chief of the army in 1796, 1798 and from 1800 to 1812. In 1811 he was tried by court martial on charges growing out of the Burr conspiracy, but was honorably acquitted. His operations at the beginning of the War of 1812 were unsuccessful, and he was again tried, but was acquitted. After the war he was discharged. He then removed to Mexico, where he died in 1825. His services during the Revolution were entirely forgotten in later years. His “memoirs” furnish a valuable fund of information, not always reliable.

3 AMERICAN ARMY AT SARATOGA, OCTOBER 17th.

Nixon’s Brigade (Mass.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1430
Poor’s Brigade (N. H.). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1466
Glover’s Brigade (Mass.). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1479
Patterson’s Brigade (Mass.). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1300
Learned's Brigade (N. Y. and Mass.). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   1257
Morgan’s Rifle Corps, Va., and Wilkinson’s Bat’n. . . . . . . . . . .    712
Engineers, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   72

Connecticut Militia. Stark’s Brigade, N. H.                                  7716

Militia. Lincoln’s Division, Mass. Militia.
    Ten Broeck’s N. Y. Militia .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          5500

                                                                                                13216

4 EXTRACTS FROM BURGOYNE'S ORDER BOOK, 1777.

Sep. 6, G. O. at Batten Kill.

“Ten men from the Provincials to be employed as storekeepers and orderly men to the General Hospital; the Surgeons of regiments to send to the General Hospital a return of the number of sick they will be obliged to leave on the Army's moving. * * *

Sep. 9. G. O. The whole to march from here tomorrow morning. * * * One sergeant and twelve men to be furnished as a guard for the Hospital.”


262

5 RETURNS OF JULY 20.

Officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .759
Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77 (15 surgeons, 7 mates’).
Non coms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .723
Rank and file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4467
Sick present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .459
Sick absent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .415
On command, etc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

RETURNS OF OCTOBER 4.

Continental Army.
    Officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .450
    Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 (16 surgeons, 14 mates).
    Rank and file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4998
    Sick present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680
    Sick absent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1441
    On command, etc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . .957

Militia.
    Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .315
    Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 (9 surgeons, 1 mate).
    Rank and file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2086
    Sick present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205
    Sick absent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
    On command, &c.. . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Daniel Morgan's Riflemen, September 3.
    For duty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .331
    Sick present. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
    Sick absent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
    Miscellaneous. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

            Total. . . . . . . . . .508

6 Dr. James Thatcher was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, in 1754. He studied medicine under Dr. Abner Hersey and entered the army as a surgeon's mate in Whitcomb’s Regiment, early in 1775. He served at the Siege of Boston and in 1776 accompanied his regiment to Ticonderoga. The term of service of this regiment expiring in 1777, he became a mate in the general hospital, serving first at Ticonderoga, and, during the Burgoyne Campaign, at Albany. In 1778 the general hospital was removed to the Beverly Robinson house, where he was on duty until September 1778. He then became surgeon of Gibson’s Virginia State Regiment, but next year was transferred to Jackson's Massachusetts Regiment, and in 1781 to Col. Alexander Scammell’s Regiment, with which he was present at the crowning mercy—Yorktown.

During all this time he kept a rather full journal, which is one of the most complete diaries of the war. Unfortunately it deals more with military and general events than with the special medical subjects.


263

After the war he settled at Plymouth and engaged largely in antiquarian research and historical writing. His principal productions are: the American Dispensatory, 1810; Modern Practice of Physic, 1817; American Medical Biography, 1828; and a History of Plymouth, 1822. He died in 1844 at the age of ninety-one years.

7 BURGOYNE'S LOSSES.

Suffered at Saratoga.

British. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2442
Hessians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2198
Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Canadians . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1100
Sick and wounded . . . . . . . . 598

                                          6350

Previously. . . . . .  400 taken prisoners.
                            300 deserted.
                            1220    at Bennington.
                            600 otherwise lost.
                            413 taken at Ticonderoga.

Grand Total. . . . . . . . . .9583


8 1777 November 6

“Resolved, That the unremittent attention shown by Dr. Potts, and the officers of the general hospital in the northern Department [as represented in General Gate's letter to Congress, of the 20 October] to the sick and wounded under thir car, is a proof not only of their humanity hut of their zeal for the service of the United States, so deeply interested in the health and lives of the gallant asserters of their country's cause, and that Congress, therefore, cannot but ascertain a high sense of their services which they have rendered, during the campaign, by a diligent discharge of their respective functions.”


264

9 BRITISH REGIMENTAL MEDICAL OFFICERS, 1777.

[Editor's Note: A review of Duncan's list reveals that it contains in the left-hand column 45 possible units with medical officers but in the right-hand column there are 46 names. The discrepancy likely resulted from a typesetting error in which the columns were not aligned in the original published version and one name was dropped. The problem occurs with the 43rd for which 2 medical officers aligned.]

Troops in America.

1st Troop Horse Guards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Sinclair, Surgeon.
2nd Troop Horse Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Heaviside, Surgeon.
Royal Regt. Horse Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  William Keen, Surgeon.
17th Light Dragoons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Christopher Johnson.
5th Regt. Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Proctor.
6th Regt. Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Patrick Grant.
8th Regt. Foot (King’s Regt.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rob't McCausland.
9th Regt. Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Shelley.
10th Regt. Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arthur Edwards.
14th Regt. Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charles Hall.
15th Regt. Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Peter Elige
16th Regt. Foot                                                    Edwin Thomas.
17th Regt. Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Andrew Wardrop.
20th Regt. Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Matthew Cahill.
21st (N. B. Fusileers) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Wm. Pemberton.
22nd Regt. Foot          . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Benjamin Mace.
23rd (Royal Welsh Fusileers)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Wm. Robertson.
24th                                         . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Samuel Sone.
27th (Inniskillings) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Thomas Harris.
28th                          . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Thomas Morrison.
29th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — Offral.
31st. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richard Deane.
33rd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Wm. Hill.
34th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chas. Blake.
35th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alexander Ore.
37th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .John Johnston.
38th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .James Auchinlech.
40th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alex. McKenzie.
42nd (Black Watch). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexander Potts.
43rd                         . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Donald Mclntire.
43rd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .William Stark.
44th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .John Maflett, (Monckton Regt.)
45th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .John Stuart.
46th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Leonard Dobbin.
47th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Meredith Jenkyn.
49th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Patrick Dardon.
52nd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .John Sutcliffe.
54th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hamilton Acheson.
55th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Thomas Davy.
57th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — Moody.
62nd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Smith.
63rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Bishop.
64th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Wm. Fletcher.
71st Fraser's Highlanders
    1 Bn. (Scots). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Wm. Fraser.
    2 Bn. (Scots). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Colin Chisholme.
A corps of infantry serving in A                        Richard Allen.