Baum’s Fourth Letter to Burgoyne

Sir,

I HAD the honour of writing to your excellency, and to General Fraser, this morning at four o’clock acquainting you to the disposition I had made, as well as the situation of the enemy, to which I take the liberty of referring; since when I received intelligence from two men who lived on the spot the enemy occupy, it is a strong post which commands a long defile on the road to Bennington: those men declare to have seen yesterday 300 men, who were retreating as my corps advanced, when they were reinforced by 800 men from Bennington. They likewise report we were not a mile distance from the 300 men, when they met with this reinforcement; they mention that all the militia they could get together were at Bennington, and that they expected more to come in, having sent about an hundred miles round for that purpose; many refuse to take arms, wishing to reap their corn and secure their harvest; the inhabitants come in very fast, but want arms. Those accounts have been confirmed by faithful inhabitants sent by Colonel Skene, who he sent to Bennington, and who fortunately returned.
Your excellency desires to know whether the road is practicable for a large corps with cannon? In consequence I have the satisfaction to inform your excellency that it is good, excepting two or three places which might be rendered equally so by felling a few trees and filling up some holes, which from the constant rain probably have been made worse.

I should be happy to fulfill your excellency’s wish as it is a desirable circumstance to be in possession of Bennington;  but as the enemy have collected their force, and from their countenance must have had intelligence of ours, would not think it advisable to risk a repulse,  but have secured my post as advantageously as possible; the enemy think Bennington their only resource, as the country around depends on its fate, I therefore will wait your excellency’s instructions.

I have read your excellency’s orders, relative to the cattle, carts, waggons, flour, wheat, &c. to Colonel Skene; he is so good as to take this department to himself; and to his honour, has been very active and zealous on this head and in every other respect equally so.

I have communicated to the gentleman commanding the the Canadians and Savages, your desire relative to the horses, which they will take particular care to compy with. I have the hounour to be most respectfully, your excellency’s most obedient and humble servant,

F. Baum

This instant I received a note from Sir Francis, acquainting me that your excellency has been so good to order Lieutenant Colonel Brieman’s corps to join.

Mr. Forster [Pfister], with about ninety volunteers have come in armed, except about thirty; this gentleman is from Hosak.

I beg to repeat your excellency that the Canadians and Savages want ammunition; and the other volunteers equally want arms.

The enemy have attempted to force our advanced post, but were repulsed on the firing the cannon; and at times are throwing up some works about half of a mile.

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