« PreviousContinue »
with such care and regularity, that the scouts | hearing from you often, I, who am your most of the enemy are able to get no advantage of affectionate wife, subscribe my name, the wagons or the army. Upon the whole
Mary POMEROY." that I hear, I think there is the greatest probability that Braddock is master of the Ohio before SETH POMEROY TO COL. ISRAEL WILLIAMS. this time. We hear of Indians daily up and
“ Lake George, Sept. 9th, 1755. down the river, seeking opportunity to pick off “ HONORED AND DEAR SIR :-Yesterday was our men, but, blessed be God, there hath none a memorable day. I, being the only field offifallen into their hands yet, though I daily fear cer in Col. Ephraim Williams' regiment supthere will. The people in this place are kind, posed to be living, think it my duty to let you and seem to be hearty to put forward the expe- know what happened the 8th of this instant, dition. Gov. Shirley hath made no public at- which was yesterday. This forenoon until tempt yet to get any of our army with him; / this two of the clock having been spent in counwhat he designs this day, I cannot tell, as he cil, and many letters to be written, I must be sent a serjeant this morning desiring me to dine excused for my shortness and imperfections. with him, and I suppose the rest of the field “On the Sabbath, just at night, we had news officers are invited also.
that a large body of men marched up Wood “My love to my children; service to Mr. creek southwardly. Supposing that they inEly; and sincere love to my dear wife from tended to cut off our wagons, or attack the her loving husband, SETH POMEROY. fort at the carrying place, we sent Monday “To Mrs. Mary Pomeroy, at Northampton." | morning about 1200 men, near 200 of them
being Indians, commanded by Col. Williams,
Col. Whiting, and Col. Cole of Rhode Island, " Northampton, August 9th, 1755. to attack them. Whiting was in the middle, “ HONORED AND Dear Sir : -The most ten- Cole bringing up the rear, and Old Hendrick, der regard which I bear to you, constrains me King of the Six Nations, before with Col. Wilto let you know how I and your family do in liams. When they had advanced about three your absence, by every opportunity which pre- miles, the guns began to fire. It was then besents itself; knowing that hereby I may re-tween ten and eleven o'clock. We put ourjoice you in vour difficulties, which, if I should selves into as good a position of defence as we refuse to do, I should be unworthy to be called could, not knowing but what our men would the wife of so tender a husband as yourself. | retreat and bring the enemy upon us. To our The reading of your departing from Albany, great surprise, it was not long before they reraised, at first, a commotion in my anxious treated. Those who came first were bringing breast for you, but knowing it must be so, I wounded men with them, and others soon endeavored to calm myself, and commit you to flocked in by hundreds, a perpetual fire being Him who has heretofore protected you, trusting kept up and drawing nearer and nearer, till that He will still care for you and for us. You nearly 12 o'clock, when the enemy came in may know by these that I, your anxious wife, sight. The regulars marched, as near as I am, through Divine goodness, in the enjoyment could tell, about six deep, and nearly twenty rods of health, and I earnestly pray that they may in length, in close order, the Indians and regufind you so. Your children also are well, and lars at the last wing helter-skelter, the woods by these present their duty to their tender and being full of them. They came within about beloved father. The business goes on well. twenty rods, and fired in regular platoons, but Captain Witt's guns are done, though he has we soon broke their order by firing our field not yet come for them. I received yours, dated pieces among them. The Indians and Canadi21st past, and was exceeding glad to hear of ans directly took trees, within handy gun shot. your health. Be kind enough to let me know They fought with undaunted courage, till about something particular concerning the general | 5 of the clock in the afternoon, when we got scheme and affair, for I trust to what I have the ground. I cannot tell our loss nor the loss from you. Indeed, I am truly concerned for of the enemy yet with any certainty. As soon you and those with you. You have doubtless as they retreated, I ran out upon the ground heard of Gen. Braddock's defeat, and how the before where I stood to fight, and found ten salvation of the whole army from destruction dead and three wounded. Among these last was made, under God, by a young American | was the General of the French army and his officer named George Washington. I pray this aid, whom I ordered carried to my tent. I news may not dishearten you. Remember | came with full assurance to lodge in our tents that after the defeat of the Lord's people at Ai, that night, and to his great surprise be did, but, the kings of the land combined together, and blessed be God, as a wounded captive. Col. thought they would cnt them off, but the Lord Williams was shot dead in a moment, and behad other thoughts about them. Such things fore he had time to fire his gun. Capt. Ilawley he has done for his people and will do again. was also shot mortally before he fired. My brothI commend you all to Him who knoweth the er, Lieut. Pomeroy, I have an account of his end from the beginning. In the expectation of being well till the army retreated. He asked,
What! are we going to run?' 'Yes, it scout from Hancock went out, it is high time was said. "Well, he replied, I will give it was returned, but it is not yet heard from. them one more shot before I run. Farther of I have been upon the point of sending one of him I do not hear. Our people are out burying our sons with these men, but one only being their dead now; when they return I can give a returned from New Haven, with other reasons, I more particular account. We design to make have thought at this present that it was not best. a stand here until we have a sufficient rein “ Thus far I wrote and went to bed, deterforcement. What number that must be I can- mining to finish in the morning, but at midnight not now tell, but it is sure the enemy still in- a cry came at our door with the joyful news of tend to stop us before we can get to Crown victory, though stained with blood. Blessed ba Point. The French General saith, that if we God for that He hath returned to our arins, and give them one more such a dressing, Crown hath spared you, when He hath caused others Point and all their country will be ours. They to fall at your right hand, and at your left. however design to put a stop to that. But I The assistance by which I was going to send hope in God they will be disappointed, for I this was a company of about sixty inen, from judge, humanly speaking, that all depends on North and South Hampton, who were to set this expedition. Therefore, I pray God would out on Sabbath morning by about suprise, but fire the breasts of this people with a true zeal who stopped upon hearing of the victory, and and noble, generous spirit to the help of the went immediately to follow the direction of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Court in raising two thousand men, who, i And I trust that all those who value our holy hope, will be with you ere long. As you are now religion and our liberties will spare nothing, involved by the death of others into a greater even to the one half of their estate. General business, so I hope and pray that you may have Johnson was shot in the thigh, but the bone a double portion of the Spirit of God to assist, was not broken. Major Gen. Lyman not in direct, and quicken you in your undertakings, jured. Both behaved with steadiness and reso-1 and that you may be made a blessing to the lution.
kingdom of Christ and his church in this part “I desire the prayers of God's people for us, of the world, and in due time be restored to me that we may not turn our backs upon our ene- and your family victorious. mies, but stand and make a victorious defence - These from your most affectionate and lovfor ourselves and our country.
MARY POMEROY. “ From your most obedient, humble servant, « P.S. Your children are all well, and by “ Setu POMEROY.” | these present their duty to their protected
father. “ Northampton, S.pt. 13th, 1755. “ HONORED AND DEAR SIR :These, if you The foregoing letters are but a small behold them, may inform you, that it is with
er portion of the correspondence of Col. the utmost fear that I now set pen to paper, lest I write to one in the eternal world, but'vet Pomeroy. These have been selected as trusting and hoping in Him who has defended specimens of the character and tone of the you heretofore.' On Thursday we had the sor- writings, rather than as any addition to rowful news of Col. William Titcomb's death, documentary history. In relation to Diesand that Col. Goothridge was wounded, and by kau. the leader of the French expedition, reason of not hearing of your death, I trusted
however, they settle one point which has that you were still alive. This we had more certainly yesterday, for at first it was such an
always been misstated. Even as late as account that we could hardly believe it. We the present year, a very respectable hisare informed that it was a very bloody battle on tory of the United States, in many reboth sides, hundreds having been killed, and spects, copying from other works, asserts when those who brought the news left you, you that Baron Dieskau, being taken prisoner, were still engaged. By reason of the superi was shot dead by a soldier upon the spot, ority of your enemies in number, we are all in
directly after the battle. The facts in the the utmost concern to hear the event, and dread it too. You are, though, I conclude, ere this
case, as settled by other of these papers time conquerors, or (I dread to say it) conquered.
than those which we have selected above, The assistance by which this comes I expect | are as follows: will be too late to give you any relief, unless it Baron Dieskau, being wounded in the be to assist in carrying off and taking care of battle, was first found by a private of one the wounded. We are at the utmost loss and of Col. Pomeroy's companies, by whom he wonder that we have not heard from you later,
was robbed of his watch. Upon being for Wednesday morning was the last news which we had. We fear that the posts are cut
taken to Col. Pomeroy's tent, and his off, (as was the post that rode from New Haven wounds being dressed, he informed the Det veen Fort Lyman and you,) for since the latter of what had happened, who imme
Tom. I. NO. V. NEW SERIES. 31
diately took measures to detect the offend- to the strokes of the hardy woodsman. er. After some time the watch was dis- The mechanic plied his trade undisturbed. covered, and returned to its rightful owner. Each weekday the schoolboy conned his Before he left the camp, in return for the weary task, and the Sabbath witnessed the kindness he had received, Baron Dieskau gathering of a quiet congregation to hear presented the watch as a token of his re- the Word of God. It was, however, the card to Col. Pomeroy, who ever after- calm upon the surface only. The second wards carried it until his death. It is still day of April converted that apparent quiet in the possession of the family, having now of the elements in the New England popu. descended in direct line to the fourth gene lation, into a tornado of revenge. The ration, and yet docs true service, though battle of Lexington, like the touch of the at the expiration of ninety-two years. magician's wand upon the face of the enAfter remaining in this country some time, chanted sleeper, infused new life into the Baron Dieskau sailed for England, where people. The seeds of oppression, sown he died of his wounds.
through many years, in a single day For eighteen years following the expedi sprang up a harvest of armed men. From tion to Crown Point, Col. Pomeroy held the plains of the Piscataqua, from the dismany offices of trust in his native State. tant hills of Hoosac, from the villages and Those eighteen years constituted the se hamlets of Worcester and Essex, the unvere minority of New England. Discreet disciplined yeomanry rushed to the scene and cautious about uniting with the new of contest. In eight-and-forty hours after measures which an oppressed and indig- Major Pitcairn's call to the militia assemnant people were ever concerting, he was bled before the meeting-house in Lexing. still ever earnest and bold in advocating ton, “ Lay down your arms, you rebels, their rights, and firm in resisting encroach- and disperse,” Boston was invested by an ments upon their liberties. No flatteries | army of fifteen thousand men. could blind him to the true perception of Although then entering his seventieth the right, no offers of emolument seduce year, Col. Pomeroy was immediately upon him from his faithfulness to his country. the ground, and was elected General-inTo the Earl of Loudon, who had de- chief by the officers assembled, with the manded to know of him in 1756, “whether concurrence of the Congress at Watertown. the troops, raised by the several colonies, Aided first by Ward and then by Putnam, would act in conjunction with his Majesty's he succeeded in infusing order into the unforces, according to his Majesty's com- disciplined ranks of the rude soldiery, and mand," he replied, “ Yes ; bul only upon in converting the tumultuous camp into the condition, that the terms agreed upon the regularity of a besieging army. For by the sereral governments should not be nearly two months, bis labors, in conjuneallered.” As a commander of the militia tion with his brother officers, were directed of western Massachusetts, as Justice of the / to enlisting, enrolling, arming and disciPeace under the King's seal; as the senior plining a regular and efficient army, labormilitary officer in the State, and as a mem- | ing all day upon the field, and correspondber of the provincial Congress, he exhib- ing with the colonial legislatures, the comited at all times an energy of action, an mittees, and men of standing in the counearnestness and sincerity of purpose, a try, throughout the night. Worn down purity of motive, and an independence of at length with the unceasing toils of his unlawful restraint, which gave him great office, he sought relaxation in the absence influence over the better portion of all par- of a few days upon his farm on the Connecties in the country.
ticut. Arriving there on the evening of The early spring of 1775 was marked by the 15th of June, he had barely passed a no unusual disturbance in New England. single night at home, when a messenger To the eye of a stranger, everything would from the camp summoned him again to have appeared indicative of quiet and con- | Boston. “We have determined,” says tentment. The winter snows had gradually Putnam in his letter, “ to draw our forces melted away, and the husbandman drove his nearer the city, and to take possession of team afield, or ploughed the soil without the heights of Charlestown." Foreseeing molestation. The forest resounded as wont | that such a step would bring about imme
diate hostilities, and doubting its eventual | breech of your muskels, as I do! It shan'ı advantage, the old man unharnessed one be said of Seth Pomeroy, that he was shot of the horses from the team, and ordering in the back !” him to be immediately saddled, started at At the time of the appointment of noon of the 16th of June for the camp. i Washington as General-in-chief of the By riding all the night, and twice obtaining colonial troops, Pomeroy received the a fresh horse upon the road, he reached appointment of Brigadier General. His the scene of action at two o'clock in the health, however, had suffered too much afternoon. The troops of the enemy were from his recent exertions, and he could then landing from Boston. The heights in not with consistency take charge of the every direction were covered with specta arduous duties its acceptance would intors. The balls of the ships of war were volve. Declining entering longer into the sweeping the neck of land over which | labors of active service, he retired to his he must pass to reach Bunker's hill. farm, from whence he viewed with unabaAlighting from his horse, and remarking to ted interest the progress of the war of our his attendant that he was “ too valuable Independence. Notwithstanding his adan animal to be shot,” he went over the vanced years, the military ardor of his narrow pass on foot, and safely reached youth had not diminished, and in 1777, at the intrenchment. As he appeared in the request of Gen. Washington, though sight, a shout of welcome went up from against the earnest remonstrances of his the troops. Putnam, seizing him by the physician and family, he again accepted
ind, exclaimed, “You here, Pomeroy ? command. A few weeks, however, had God! I believe a cannon would wake you elapsed only after his arrival at his post up, if you slept in the grave !" Refusing at Peekskill, before he was again attacked the repeated proffers of the general com- with serious illness. After lingering a mand, though urgently solicited, the old few days, his disease overcame his system. warrior advanced into the trench and took He died at Peekskill on the 15th of Febcharge of the Connecticut troops. With ruary, 1777, and was buried there with a gun of his own manufacture, which he military honors. had carried thirty years before at the In personal appearance, during the siege of Louisburg, he directed the fire of early part of his military life, Pomeroy his men during those two hours of terrible had few superiors. He was full six feet struggle for the birth of American liber- tall, spare in person, but erect, well built, ties. Towards Pitcairn there existed in and of great agility and muscular strength. the hearts of the colonial troops a deadly Without unusual quickness of apprehenhatred. Observing him at the head of sion, he possessed, what was far better, a column, which, once repulsed, were now a sound judgment, which, always coming again returning to the attack, he pointed to its conclusions carefully, was rarely in him out to the men who stood at his side, error. To this he added a firmness of and in a moment Pitcairn fell mortally decision, which could not be shaken, and wounded.
which was undoubtedly the great element The details of the battle of Bunker Hill of his success in life. He was remarkable are too well known to be repeated here. for a strict regard to principle, which During the last attack, Gen. Pomeroy's he oftentimes carried to sternness. Ilis gun was indented by a musket ball, so courage, fearless in so many instances that he could no longer discharge it. The that it became proverbial, sprang rather old man then passed up and down the from this absolute adherence to princitrench, encouraging bis men, loading their ple, than from indifference to danger. muskets, removing the wounded, and Indeed, it would appear from bis journal, directing the last scattering fire, until he that he possessed a sensibility actively perceived that the intrenchments above alive to every approach of danger, which him had been gained by the British. His often led him to exaggerate its impormen beginning to retreat too hastily, he tance. He said to his son Lemuel, at a is said to have cried out, “Don't run, time when he showed some reluctance boys! Don't run! Fight them with the to go alone through the woods, which
were supposed to be infested with hostile duty. But if you are ever tempted to do Indians, after the strayed cattle : “Lem, a mean thing, or a wrong thing, be the never fear to do your duty. No matter greatest coward in the world." where it calls you, no matter how great
N. S. D. the danger, never be afraid to do your
Honor, fairest bloom of worth,
Truth the stem, and Love the root,
Perfects her immortal fruit.
Love, the sober root, below,
Unseen, holds its humble place ;
Stem, and leaf, and buds of grace.
Slow the growth of precious flowers,
Slow unfolds bright honor's gem;
Wet the root and shake the stem.
Would you, truth's immortal flower
Make the gaze of evil eyes ?
And the root forever dies.
Be such idle wish forbid !
Since so precious seed doth lie
Seed of immortality.