Friday, July 16, 2021

The Battle of Lake George

General Johnson Saving a Wounded French Officer from the Tomahawk of a North American Indian
Benjamin West

"We must pursue les anglais into their camp, then our victory will be complete!" exclaimed Jean Erdman, Baron Dieskau.

The young captain of the Compagnies franches de la marine with him shook his head, "The Mohawk are distressed at the death of their leader, my men have lost too many friends, and the Abenaki won't advance if the Mohawk do not."

Dieskau swore under his breath then turned to the commander of his grenadiers, "Form the men into column, six abreast. We shall show these cowardly curs how to fight!"

Dieskau himself led the column as they set out down the lake road to attack the English camp.


Sergeant Major Jacobs saw Mr. Rutland coming towards him, cartridge box slung over one shoulder, the man even had a bayonet for his firelock. "Come to join the fun Mr. Rutland?"

"Don't know about that, but... Do you hear those drums, Sarn't Major?"

Jacobs listened, there indeed, towards the French position, the sound of drums. Moments later a column of French grenadiers wheeled into view. "Better keep yer head down Sir, looks like we're about the begin."


As the French column moved into view, Sir William was with his artillery. The commander of the guns turned to him, "Canister Sir?"

"Indeed Captain, canister, pour it into them. I don't see many of their provincials or Indians about. Fire when you are ready Captain." Sir William stayed on horseback, the better to keep an eye on things. It also made him a conspicuous target.


Lifting his sword Dieskau bellowed out, "En avant! Pour le roi!¹"

With a growl the grenadiers of France advanced at the double, into a hailstorm of canister shot. Many men pitched to the ground, among them Baron Dieskau. A few men managed to fire a volley towards the English line which did little damage, other than sweeping Sir William Johnson from his horse. Wounded, he left the field and retired to his tent, the command going to an officer from Connecticut, General Phineas Lyman.

The French began to withdraw, leaving their dead and wounded behind, including Baron Dieskau who nearly died under a Mohawk tomahawk. He managed to survive, though shot through the bladder. He would be succeeded as commander of the forces of New France by General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Grozon, marquis de Montcalm de Saint-Veran, better known to history as simply, Montcalm.


Some distance away, a party of New Hampshire and New York Provincials had been sent out from Fort Edward when the commander of that post had heard the fight between Dieskau and Johnson. They fell in with the French baggage train...
Hearing the report of guns in the direction of the Lake, they pressed forward, and when within about two miles of it, fell in with the baggage of the French army protected by a guard, which they immediately attacked and dispersed. About four o'clock in the afternoon, some 300 of the French army appeared in sight. They had rallied, and retreating in tolerable order. Capt. Folsom posted his men among the trees, and as the enemy approached, they poured in upon them a well directed and galling fire. He continued the attack in this manner till prevented by darkness, killing many of the enemy, taking some of them prisoners, and finally driving them from the field. He then collected his own wounded, and securing them with many of the enemy's packs, he brought his prisoners and booty safe into camp. The next day the rest of the baggage was brought in, thus securing the entire baggage and ammunition of the French army. In this brilliant affair, Folsom lost only six men, but McGennis was mortally wounded, and died soon after. The loss of the French was very considerable. (Source)
The three part Battle of Lake George was over.

The campaign was also over as Sir William received word of Braddock's bloody defeat on the Monongahela, there was no point in continuing.


And with that I shall be taking a rather long pause in the telling of this tale. I am heading out for to labor aboard one of the Navy's warships (tied up to the pier) for three weeks.

I have been promised ten hour days and six day weeks. Apparently we will be getting Sundays off. (I feel as if I've been swept up by the press gangs of old!)

Not a problem but it gives me little time to write and I do wish to finish editing my WWII tale so I can get that published before the year is out. I know any number of you are awaiting that event with something approaching impatience.

So for the next three weeks or so (a trip to Maryland will occur nearly immediately after my return from Occupied California) this tale of the wilderness must be placed on hold. I will try and entertain you with pithy tales of travel and my adventures out West.

We shall see...



¹ Forward! For the King!

Link to all of the Chant's fiction.

32 comments:

  1. A good post Sarge. That print by Mr. West...... a tomahawk really...looks more like a mini-hawk. Now remember when you're out West to keep an eye out for what's happening out in the Pacific, recall when the Prince of Wales sailed with those civilian workers aboard when the Bismark sortied? And what's up with the Navy actually giving you a day off each week...........:)

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    1. The artist probably had never seen a real one!

      We'll be at the pier the entire time. 😒

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    2. I've gotta throw my 2 cents in with Nylon12 on this one. You expect to be tied at the pier for the duration...but there can always be a change of plan, usually with little or no advanced notice, and often with very serious implications. (Yeah, been there, done that, got the Expeditionary Medal....I mean the T-shirt!)

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    3. As a contractor, if anything requires her to move, it's back to the hotel for me.

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  2. Will you at least fire a few rounds of 16" whilst aboard? Surely there are some worthy targets within range...

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    1. San Diego... Hmmm... I can think of lots of targets within steaming range of gunfire, and from the pier almost everything on the Left Coast is in range of any cruise missiles...

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    2. Guns? Not mounted. Missiles? Not certified. Part of the reason for us going out there.

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    3. Just because the missiles aren't certified doesn't mean they don' work. But this is the new Diversity Navy, so... yeah, they won't work.

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    4. Gotta load 'em first. That won't happen with us aboard, for various reasons.

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  3. "I know! In spite of the fact our allies are falling back, let us make a frontal assault charge. That will do the trick..."

    Sigh. And thus, always, good men die under the command of fools...

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    1. I suppose his idea was to inspire them to join in.

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  4. Us retirees will be here when you return to the tale. Stay safe, it's bloody hot.

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    1. Hot, yes, even in Sandy Eggo.

      I'll know soon enough as to "how hot?"

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  5. Enjoy your Navy "Tour". I enjoy your writing!!! Chip some paint for me :-)

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    1. Hahaha!

      Sweepers, sweepers, man your brooms!

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    2. I think you can get a note from your doctor excusing you from holy stoning.

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    3. And we're long removed from those days!

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  6. Well, what a way to snatch a little victory out of a bloody failure. At least the lower campaign is over and the French kinda took it in the shorts after the English took it majorly in the shorts.

    All that artillery, abandoned and buried. I wonder how much was recovered by Colonials and used in a couple years (referring to the artillery dropped during the Monongahela campaign.

    I'll watch the leader board and if you don't drop a post by 11pm, I'll toss something in just in case. I've been meaning to bloviate for all y'all for a while.

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    Replies
    1. I don't plan on posting for a few days. Gotta get ready to travel dontcha know.

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  7. The view of San Diego from the nearby hills, especially near first and last light of the day, always made me think of Jimmy Hendrix epic "Purple Haze". Don't know if it's better or wore these days...been a number of decades since I was there.

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    1. Last time I was there was January of 2016. It was cool, had some rain, but otherwise gorgeous. I have seen a few of those hazy days out there.

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  8. I wouldn’t mind visiting SD if I didn’t have to go through LA to get there. It may be the only city in California that has improved since I was there in the Navy. (YMMV)

    If you’re gonna man the brooms and sweep, then all the topside brightwork has to be polished.

    Question: are you being provided with accommodations aboard the ship?

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    1. On the ship? Oh Hell no, we're staying in a hotel near the USS Midway. I mean we're contractors, experts from "out of town" and all that. I would've liked to get underway for a few days, but it's all pierside work.

      AFAIK, there is no topside brightwork on a stealth ship. (Hint, hint.)

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    2. Aaaaahha!
      I kinda figured.
      The contractors who visited us, back in the day, had to get underway because we could operate the equipment in port.
      It interfered with tv signals a d interrupted the afternoon soap operas.
      Port and starboard, chow to chow was pretty routine for Ops folks when underway.

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    3. We're looking at systems that won't knockout someone's Netflix account.

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  9. Only 10 hour days?
    Many surface warfare types work half days (either 12 on and 12 off, or port and starboard 6 hour watches.

    If you drop a hint about your former status in the Chair Force, you may at least get an invite into the Goat Locker for a cuppa coffee and some conversation. I think we still have some good chiefs, not all woke "Yes persons."

    Hope you can find time to pay your (and for all your readers, "our") respects to hizzoner, and drain his mug at Shakespeare's. Perhaps with a few of the locals to share.
    John Blackshoe

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    1. Ten hour days, contractors dontcha know? I am familiar with the glorious life of the Shoe, er, Professional Surface Warfare Officer, I've got two in the family, one a Nuke SWO, 12-hour days for a Nuke SWO is like vacation!

      I will be wearing a hat that indicates my service affiliation and former lofty station in that service.

      I will be going to Ft. Rosecrans and I'll remember you all to "Our Lex." Shakespeare's is, of course, a given. Probably more than once.

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  10. What are you working on?

    Curious navy mind wants to know.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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