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Thrilling Incidents In American History

• Title
• Preface

Revolutionary War
• Opening Of The Revolution
• The Boston Massacre
• Affair of the Sloop Liberty
• Affair of the Gaspee
• The Tea Riot
• The Boston Port Bill
• The First Continental Congress-Consequent Parliamentary proceedings
• Organization of the Minute-Men
• Patrick Henry-Second Provincial Congress-First Military Enterprise
• Battles of Lexington and Concord
• Battle of Bunker's Hill
• Capture of Ticonderoga
• Second Continental Congress-Washington's Appointment
• Siege of Boston
• Incidents at the Evacuation of Boston
• Burning of Falmouth
• Arnold's Expedition to Quebec
• Siege of Quebec, and Death of Montgomery
• Scenes at Quebec during the Siege
• Expedition against Charleston
• The Declaration of Independence
• The Battle of Long Island
• Washington's Retreat through New Jersey-Capture of General Lee
• Battle of Trenton
• Battle of Princeton
• Capture of General Prescott
• Battle of Brandywine
• Battle of Germantown
• Battle of Red-Bank
• Attack on Fort Mifflin-Retirement of the Army to Valley Forge
• Battle of Bennington
• Murder of Miss M'Crea
• Battle of Stillwater
• Battle of Bemis' Heights, and Retreat of Burgoyne
• Capture of Forts Clinton and Montgomery
• Surrender of Burgoyne
• The Treaty with France
• Attack on Savannah, and Death of Pulaski
• Storming of Stony Point
• General Sullivan's Campaign against the Mohawks
• Tarleton's Quarters
• Battle of Camden, and Death of De Kalb
• Arnold's Treason
• The Loss of the Randolph
• The British Prison-Ships
• Capture of the Serapis
• Putnam's Feat at Horseneck
• Battle of Eutaw Springs
• Wayne's Charge at Green Spring
• Capture of the General Monk
• The Mutinies
• Battle of the Cowpens
• Capture of New London
• Massacre of Wyoming
• Surrender of Cornwallis

War With France
• Capture of L'Insurgente
• The Constellation and Vengeance

War With Tripoli
• Burning of the Philadelphia
• Bombardment of Tripoli
• Loss of the Intrepid
• Expedition of General Eaton

Second War With England
• Battle of Tippecanoe
• Capture of the Guerriere
• Tragical Affair of an Indian Chief
• Battle and Massacre at the River Raisin
• Captain Holmes's Expedition
• Capture of the Caledonia and Detroit
• The Wasp and Frolic
• Gallant Conduct of Lieutenant Allen at the Capture of the Macedonian
• Capture and Destruction of the Java
• Siege of Fort Meigs
• Capture of York, and Death of General Pike
• Defence of Sackett's Harbour
• Defence of Fort Stephenson
• Battle of Lake Erie
• Battle of the Thames
• Gallant Action of Commodore Chauncey under the guns of Kingston Citadel
• The Sacking of Hampton
• Capture of the Peacock
• Massacre at Fort Mimms
• Surrender of Weatherford
• Battle of Niagara
• BattIe of New Orleans

War With Mexico
• Battle of Palo Alto
• Battle of Resaca de la Palma
• Capture of Monterey
• Battle in the Streets of Monterey
• Thrilling Scenes in the Battle of Buena Vista
• Bombardment of Vera Cruz
• Battle of Cerro Gordo
• Battles of Contreras and Churubusco
• Storming of Chapultepec


PERHAPS the most brilliant event of our revolutionary struggle was the storming of Stony Point; and indeed it has few equals in the whole history of offensive warfare. It was a source of as great astonishment to the British as of exultation to the Americans, and raised the character of our troops in the estimation of all Europe.

As the position of the enemy at Stony Point enabled them to do much mischief General Wayne requested of Washington permission to form a corps of light infantry, with which he should march against it. To this the commander agreed, and drew up for the intrepid general a plan of attack.

Early on the evening of the 15th of July, Wayne arrived within a mile and a half of the fortress, and commenced a final reconnoissance. The steep hill that supported the fort, was washed on two sides by the Hudson, while on a third was a deep marsh. The only ascent was rugged and precipitous; while high over all, as though defying the utmost efforts of the assailant, the fort commanded every advance, and was glittering with cannon and musketry. The evening was beautiful; and as the cloudless heavens looked on that frowning height, and on the little band below, they formed strange contrast with the warring, jarring passions of man.

The orders issued to the soldiers that night were in keeping with the stern and terrible nature of their duties. They were to march with empty muskets, utter no word, make no attempt at retreat under pain of death. And they were strictly obeyed-the assault was a triumph of military discipline. At halfpast eleven, when all around was wrapped in slumber, the troops moved up in perfect silence. The army was divided into two columns, each preceded by twenty men acting as a forlorn hope. All command was given in a whisper; the tread of heavy columns was soft as falling snow; and a stiHness, more thrilling than the grave, brooded over their march. On arriving at the marsh, it was found flooded with water; but the officers waded through, followed by their troops. Then a sentry-gun broke amid the gloom, followed by another and another. Our troops had been discovered. In a moment there was a rushing of confused preparation, of alarm-guns, and shouts of command; the next instant the rock was blazing and heaving with artillery. But each soldier remembered his orders; there was no more whispering orders; Wayne's dreadful voice came pealing through the lines, and each soldier sprang forward through the withering sleet with renewed energy. Still those raging batteries poured down their blasts, and a sheet of livid fire leaped along the ramparts from six hundred muskets; but over rocks and precipices, and dead and dying, the wildly shouting hero leads his men. The advance reach the parapet, and employ their picks and axes to open a passage; man after man falls, yet silently they continue their work. Now the troops have gained the last ascent-but a little before them is the object of their dreadful labour. But the struggle to win it is terrible. The balls bore through and through their column, piling the dead and dying on every rock and every eminence. Wayne falls; but supporting himself on one knee, he exclaims, "March on! carry me into the fort, for I will die at the head of my column." Snatching him in their arms, they bore him to the rampart, and leaped among the enemy. The artillery ceased, and British valour recoiled before the iron shower that swept the breastwork. On, on through the fort the stern Americans charged, until the columns from either side met in the centre. Then the work of death was over; the fort was gained; Wayne had triumphed: and one wild, uproarious shout told this and much more, as it was repeated again and again among those towering cliffs.

In this assault the Americans lost sixty-three killed, and about forty wounded. General Wayne's wound in the head, believed at first to be mortal, proved but slight. The garrison had twenty killed and seventy-four wounded, including six officers. Our troops captured five hundred and forty-three soldiers and officers, besides a considerable quantity of ordnance and military stores.