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de distinguished, leaning his telescope over the rampart, or through the opening of an embrasure, prying with deep attention into new arrangements.
Nor were our officers, particularly those of the engineers, idle. With the greatest coolness they exposed themselves to a dropping fire of musketry which the enemy at intervals kept up, whilst they examined and re-examined the state of the breaches—a procedure wbich cost the life of as brave and experienced a soldier as that distinguished corps had produced. I allude to Sir Richard Fletcher, chief engineer to the army, who was shot through the head only a few minutes before the column advanced to the assault.
It would be difficult to convey to the mind of an ordinary reader any thing like a correct notion of the state of feeling which takes possession of a man waiting for the commencement of a battle. In the first place, time appears to move upon leaden wings; every minute seems an hour, and every hour a day. Then there is a strange commingling of levity and seriousness within him--a levity which prompts him to laugh, he scarce knows why; and a serious. ness which urges him ever and anon to lift up a mental prayer to the Throne of Grace. On such occasions, little or no conversation passes. The priyates generally lean upon their firelocks-be of ficers upon their swords; and few words except in monosyllables, at least in answer to questions put, are wasted. On these occasions, too, the faces of the bravest often change color, and the limbs of the most resolute tremble, not with fear, but with anxiety; whilst watches are consulted, till the individuals who consult them grow absolutely weary of this employment. On the whole, it is a situation of higher excitement, and darker and deeper agitation, than any other in human life; nor can be be said to have felt all which man is capable of feeling, who has not filled it.
Noon had barely passed, when the low state of the tide giving evidence that the river might be forded, the word was given to adyance. Silent as the grave the column moved forward. In one instant the leading file had cleared the trenches, and the others poured on in quick succession after them, when the work of death began. The enemy had reserved their fire till the head of the column had gained the middle of the stream, then opened with the most deadly effect. Grape, canister, musketry, shells, grenades and every species of missile, were hurled from the ramparts, beneath which our gallant fellows dropped like corn before the reaper; insomuch that in the space of two minutes, the river was liter
ally choked up with the bodies of the killed and wounded, over whom, without distinction, the advanced divisions pressed on.
The opposite bank was soon gained, and the short space be. tween the landing-place and the foot of the breach rapidly cleared, without a single shot having been returned by the assailants. But here the most alarming prospect awaited them. Instead of a wide and tolerably level chasm, the breach presented the appearance only of an ill-built wall, thrown considerably from its perpendicular; to ascend which, even though unopposed, would be no easy task. It was however, too late to pause ; besides, men's blood was hot, and their courage on fire; so they pressed on, clambering up as they best could, and effectually hindered one another from falling back, by the eagerness of the rear ranks to follow those in front. Shouts and groans were now mingled with the roar of cannons and the rattle of musketry; our front-ranks likewise had an opportuni. ty of occasionally firing with effect; and the slaughter on both sides was dreadful..
At length the head of the column forced its way to tbe summit of the breach ; where it was met in the most gallant style by the bayonets of the garrison. When I say the summit of the breach, I mean not to assert that our soldiers stood on a level with their enemies, for this was not the case. There was a high step, which the assailants must surmount before they could gain the same ground with the defenders, and a considerable period elapsed ere that step was surmounted. Here bayonet met bayonet, sabre met sabre, in close and desperate strife, without the one party being able to advance, or the other succeeding in driving them back.
Things had continued in this state for nearly a quarter of au hour, when Major Snodgrass, at the head of the 13th Portuguese regiment, dashed across the river by his own ford, and assaulted the lower breach. This attack was made in the most cool and determined manner; but here, too, the obstacles were almost insurmountable ; nor is it probable that the place would have been car. ried at all, but for a measure adopted by General Graham, such as never perhaps had been adopted before. Perceiving that matters were almost desperate, he had recourse to a desperate remedy, and ordered our own artillery to fire upon the breach.
Nothing could be more exact or beautiful than this practice. Though our men stood only about two feet below the breach, scarcely a single ball from the guns of our batteries struck amongst them, whilst all told with fearful exactness among the enemy,
This fire had been kept up only a few minutes, when all at once an explosion took place, such as drowned every poise, and apparently confounded, for an instant, the combatants on both sides. A shell from one of our nortars had exploded near the train, which communicated with a quantity of gun powder, placed under the breach. This mine the French had intended to spring as soon as our troops should have made good their footing, or established themselves on the summit; but the fortunate accident just mentioned anticipated them. It exploded whilst three hundred grenadiers, the elite of the garrison, stood over it, and instead of sweeping the storming party into eternity, it only cleared a way for their ad
It was a spectacle as appalling and as grand as the imagipation can conceive the sight of that explosion. The noise was more awful than any which I have evey heard before or since ; whilst a bright flash, instantly succeeded by a smoke so dense, as to obscure all vision, produced an effect upon those who witnessed it, such as no powers of language are adequate to describe. Such, indeed, was the effect of the whole occurrence, that for perhaps half a minute after, not a shot was fired on either side. Both parties stood still to gaze upon the havoc which had been produced ; insomuch, that a whisper might have caught your ear for a distance of several yards.
The state of stupefaction into which they were thrown, did not, however, last long with the British troops. As the smoke and dust of the ruins cleared away, they beheld before them a space empty of defenders, and they instantly rushed forward to occupy it. Uttering an appalling shout, the troops sprung over the dilapidated parapet, and the rampart was their own. Now then began all those maddening scenes, which are witnessed only in a successful storm, of flight, and slaughter, and parties rallying only to be broken and dispersed ; till, finally, baving cleared the works to the right and left, the soldiers poured down into the town.
To reach the streets, they were obliged to leap about fifteen feet, or to make their way through the burning houses which joined the wall. Both courses were adopted, according as different parties were guided in their pursuit of the flying enemy, and here again the battle was renewed. The French fought with desperate courage; nor was it till a late hour in the evening that all opposi tion on their part ceased.
AMERICAN HISTORY. More than two hundred years have passed away, sioce the Pil. grim Fathers of New England landed upon the inhospitable coast of the land then so rude. It has changed since that time in a manner most strange and wondrous. Do we pot see that even a few short months, alters the features of those best known to us, so that brother cap scarcely recognize brother ? Much more have two centuries varied the countenance of a whole country. Little do those think, who now look out on the green plains, blooming under the band of cultivation, of the unremitted toils and suffering working so much beauty. The first adventurers came to our shore in the sunny season of spring, and moored their ships by some still island, where the gentle voice of the evening wind came from the glossy evergreens, and the flowers looked lovely in their solitary bowers. On their return, they told to those who had watched for them with earnest expectation, of the fair clime they had found away in the West; and in their narratives, it seemed like those. fabled gardens of the ocean, where the winds sighed over opening buds, or roved through the groves of the Olive and the Orange, and awoke the pleasant melody of their branches. All who explored our infant territory were not influenced by the stern resolution of religious devotion. Those who were restless or unhappy in their own land, those on whom disappointment or sorrow had been heavy, believed that they could enjoy an earthly paradise beyond the sea. The adventurers came, expecting to gather treasures of gold and silver from the mountains, which, they be. lieved, glittered with gems in the golden region they had painted to themselves. The narrative that should exhibit the crushing of their hopes and the blasting of their expectations, would be more curious and interesting than any other record History has preserv. ed. When they arrived, instead of fields waving with grain, there were regions covered with ancient forests, stretching on and on, as far as the eye could reach, and mixing with the blue horizon.--The streams sparkled with the lustre of clear waters, but they did not roll over yellow sands. The giant hills, circled with mists, stood like crowned kings, but they wore no jewels on their diademe. The aged woods must be given to the fames and their ash.
es to the soil, before the harvests would spring up.. Stout sinews and strong arms were required to carry on the warfare of industry with the pines. Instead of the soft and luxurious clime of pure air and balmy breezes, there was the wild revelry of the tempest, the out spread snow-wreath, and the sweeping of the winter blasts. Instead of the undisturbed calm of peace, there was a deadly contest to be waged; the war cry rose on the still watches of night, and the hatchet was made red with blood. Uoder such circumstances, it is not wonderful that the spirits of some sunk within them, and they died of broken hearts; and that those who remained became stern, unsparing, and merciless.
There are many sublime recollections connected with the fate of those unfortunate nations who once spread over this continent from the shores of one ocean to the margin of the other. It is our intention, from time to time, to gather from the narratives of historians some of the most perilous and interesting scenes of the conflicts between the aboriginal and emigrant inhabitants of our country, and to revive the remembrance of the actions of that people, who will soon exist only in the perishing legends of tradition or the frail memorials of history.
Before the Europeans came, the condition of the natives was peaceful and happy; they possessed the vast territories now occupied by the encroaching white men; theirs were the deer upon a thousand hills; no grass grew in their war path, for their numbers were as the leaves of the forest. They wandered free among their native woods, or rested beneath the shade in the indolence they loved so well. The ships approached their shores, and from that hour the star of the red men grew dim, until it has almost gone out in darkness. They had, at first, hailed the strangers as beings of a superior nature, and reverenced them as gods come to dwell with mortals ; but they soon discovered, that if they were of higher power, they possessed all the unholy passions of infernal deities. The intercourse was at first friendly. The white men asked for a little land to plant their corn; it was given to them; then they asked for more ; at length the generosity of the owners was exhausted; and next a system of purchase was adopted, by which the sagacious foreigners took from the simple children of the forest, whole townships for the consideration of a string of beads, counties for a knife, and states for a blanket; finally, when they were strong enough to substitute might for right, the invaders seized on whatever they wanted and drove far away the original proa