"I cannot however omit this
opportunity of recommending General McDougall to their notice. This
gentleman, from the time of his appointment as brigadier, from his
abilities, military knowledge, and approved bravery, has every claim to
On the 20th of the same month he was
commissioned major-general. On March 16, 1778, he was directed to assume
the command of the different posts on the Hudson, and, with activity,
pursued the construction of the fortifications in the Highlands, and,
after the flight of General Arnold, was put in command of West Point,
October 5, 1780. Near the close of that year he was called upon by New
York to repair to Congress as one of their representatives. It was a
critical moment, and Washington urged his acceptance of the post;
accordingly he took his seat in the Congress the next January. Congress
having organized an executive department, in 1781, General McDougall was
appointed Minister of Marine. He did not remain long in Philadelphia, for
his habits, friendships, associations and convictions of duty recalled him
to the camp. The confidence felt in his integrity and good judgment by all
classes in the service, was such, that when the army went into winter
quarters at Newburgh, in 1783, he was chosen at the head of the delegation
to Congress to represent their grievances. The same year, after the close
of the war, he was elected to represent the Southern District in the
senate of New York and continued a member of that body until his death,
which occurred in the city of New York June 8, 1786. At the time of his
decease, General McDougall was president of the Bank of New York. In
politics he adhered to the Hamilton party.
GENERAL LACHLAN M’INTOSH.
history of the emigration of John Mohr McIntosh to Georgia, and the
settlement upon the Alatamaha, where now stands the city of Darien, has
already been recorded. The second son of John Mohr was Lachlan, born near
Raits in Badenoch, Scotland, March 17, 1725, and consequently was eleven
years old at the time he emigrated to America. As has been already noted
John Mohr McIntosh was captured by the Spaniards at Fort Moosa, carried to
Spain, and after several years. returned in broken health.
Both Lachlan and his elder brother
William were placed as cadets in the regiment by General Oglethorpe. When
General Oglethorpe made his final preparations for his return to England,
the two young brothers were found hid away in the hold of an— other
vessel, for they had heard of the attempts then being made by Prince
Charles to regain the throne of his ancestors, and they hoped to regain
something that the family of Borlam had lost, of which they were members.
General Oglethorpe had the two boys brought to his cabin; he spoke to them
of the friendship he had entertained for their father, of the kindness he
had shown to themselves, of the hopelessness of every attempt of the house
of Stuart, of their own folly in engaging in this wild and desperate
struggle, of his own duty as an officer of the house of Brunswick; but if
they would go ashore, their secret should be his. He received their pledge
and they never saw him again.
At that time the means of education
in Georgia were limited, yet under his mother's care Lachlan McIntosh was
well instructed in English, mathematics and other branches necessary for
future military use. Lachlan sought the promising field of enterprise in
Charleston, South Carolina, where the fame of his father’s gallantry and
misfortunes secured to him a kind reception from Henry Laurens, afterwards
president of Congress, and the first minister of the United States to
Holland. In the house of that patriot he remained several years, and
contracted friendships that lasted while he lived, with some of the
leading citizens of the southern colonies. having adopted the profession
and married, he returned to Georgia,
where he acquired a wide and honorable reputation. On account of his views
concerning certain lands between the Alatamaha and St. Mary’s rivers which
did not coincide with those of Governor Wright of Georgia, it afforded the
latter a pretence, for a long and deliberate opposition to the interests
of Lachlan Mclntosh, which gradually schooled him for the approaching
conflict between England and her American colonies. When that event began
to dawn upon the people every eye in Georgia was turned to General
McIntosh as the leader of whatever force that province might bring into
the struggle. When, therefore, the revolutionary government was organized
and an order was made for raising a regiment was adopted, Lachlan McIntosh
was made colonel commandant; and when the order was issued for raising
three other regiments, in September, 1776, he was immediately appointed
brigadier-general commandant. About this time Button Gwinnett was elected
governor, who had been an unsuccessful competitor for the command of the
troops. He was a man unrestrained by any honorable principles, and used
his official authority in petty persecutions of General McIntosh and his
family. The general bore all this patiently until his opponent ceased to
be governor, when he communicated to him the opinion he entertained of his
conduct. He received a challenge, and in a duel wounded him mortally.
General McIntosh now applied, through his friend Colonel Henry Laurens,
for a place in the Continental army, which was granted, and with his staff
was invited to join the commander-in-chief. He soon won the confidence of
Washington, and for a long time was placed in his front, while watching
the superior forces of Sir William Howe in Philadelphia.
While the army was in winter
quarters at Valley Forge, the attention of the government was called to
the exposed condition of the western frontier, upon which the British was
constantly exciting the Indians to the most terrible atrocities. It was
determined that General McIntosh should command an expedition against the
Indians on the Ohio. In a letter to the President of Congress, dated May
12, 1778, Washington says:
"After much consideration upon the
subject, I have appointed General McIntosh to command at Fort Pitt, and in
the western country, for which he will set out as soon as he can
accommodate his affairs. I part with this gentleman with much reluctance,
as I esteem him an officer of great worth and merit, and as I know his
services here are and will be materially wanted. His firm disposition and
equal justice, his assiduity and good understanding, added to his being a
stranger to all parties in that quarter, pointed him out as a proper
With a reinforcement of five hundred
men General McIntosh marched to Fort Pitt, of which he assumed the
command, and in a short time he gave repose to all western Pennsylvania
and Virginia. In the spring of 1779, he completed arrangements for an
expedition against Detroit, but in April was recalled by Washington to
take part in the operations proposed for the south, where his knowledge of
the country, added to his stirling qualities, promised him a useful field.
He joined General Lincoln in Charleston, and every preparation in their
power was made for the invasion of Georgia, then in possession of the
British, as soon as the French fleet under count D’Estaing should arrive
on the coast. General McIntosh marched to Augusta, took command of the
advance of the troops, and proceeding down to Savannah, drove in all the
British outposts. Expecting to be joined by the French, he marched to
Beauly, where count D’Estaing effected a landing on September 12th, 13th,
and 14th, and on the 15th was joined by General Lincoln. General McIntosh
pressed for an immediate at tack, but the French admiral refused. In the
very midst of the siege the French fleet put to sea, leaving Generals
Lincoln and Mcintosh to retreat to Charleston, where they were besieged by
an overwhelming force under Sir Henry Clinton, to whom the city was
surrendered on May 12, 1780. With this event the military life of General
McIntosh closed. He was long detained a prisoner of war, and when finally
released, retired with his family to Virginia, where he remained until the
British troops were driven from Savannah. Upon his return to Georgia, he
found his personal property wasted and his real estate much diminished in
value. From that time to the close of his life, in a great measurer he
lived in retirement and comparative poverty until his death, which took
place at Savannah, February 20, 1806.
GENERAL ARTHUR ST. CLAIR.
life of Major General Arthur St. Clair was a stormy one, full of
disappointments, shattered hopes, and yet honored and revered for the
distinguished and disinterested services he performed. He was a near
relative of the then earl of Roslin, and was born in 1734, in the town of
Thurso, Caithness in Scotland. He inherited the fine personal appearance
and manly traits of the St. Clairs. After graduating at the University of
Edinburgh, he entered upon the study of medicine under the celebrated
Doctor William Hunter of London; but receiving a large sum of money from
his mother’s estate in 1757, he changed
his purpose and sought adventures in a military life, and the same year
entered the service of the king of Great Britain, as ensign in the 60th or
Royal American Regiment of Foot. In May of the succeeding year he was with
General Amherst before Louisburg. Gathered there were men soon to become
famous among whom were Wolfe, Montcalm, Murray and Lawrence. For gallant
conduct Arthur St. Clair received a lieutenant’s commission, April
17, 1759, and was with General Wolfe in that brilliant
struggle before Quebec, in September of the same year, and soon after was
made a captain. In 1760 he married at Boston, Miss Phoebe Bayard, with a
fortune of £40,000, which added to his own made him a man of wealth. On
April 16, 1762, he resigned his commission in the army, and soon after led
a colony of Scotch settlers to the Ligonier Valley, in Pennsylvania, where
he purchased for himself one thousand acres of land. Improvements
everywhere sprang up under his guiding genius. He held various offices,
among which was member of the Proprietory Council of Pennsylvania, and
colonel of militia. The mutterings which preceded the American Revolution
were early heard in the beautiful valley of the Ligonier. Colonel St.
Clair was not slow to take action, and espoused the cause of the patriots
with all the intensity of his character, and never, even for a moment,
swerved in the cause. He was destined to receive the enduring friendship
of Washington, La Fayette, Hamilton, Schuyler, Wilson, Reed, and others of
the most distinguished patriots of the Revolution. Early in the year 1776,
he resigned his civil offices, and led the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment in
the invasion of Canada, and on account of the remarkable skill there
displayed in saving from capture the army of General Sullivan, he received
the rank of brigadier-general, August 6, 1776. He claimed to have pointed
out the Quaker road to Washington on the night before the battle of
Princeton. On account of his meritorious services in that battle, he was
made a major-general, February 19, 1777. On the advance of General
Burgoyne, who now threatened the great avenue from the north, General St.
Clair was placed in command of Ticonderoga. Discovering that he could not
hold the position, with great reluctance he ordered the fort evacuated. A
great clamor was raised against him, especially in the New England States,
and on account of this he was suspended, and a court-martial ordered.
Retaining the confidence of Washington he was a volunteer aid to that
commander at the battle of Brandywine. In September 1778, the
court-martial acquited him of all the charges. He was on the court-martial
that condemned Major John Andre, adjutant-general of the British army, as
a spy, who had been actively implicated in the treason of Benedict Arnold,
and soon after was placed in command of West Point. He assisted in
quelling the mutiny of the Pennsylvania line, and shared in the crowning
glory of the Revolution, the capture of the British army under lord
Cornwallis at Yorktown. Soon afterwards General St. Clair retired to
private life, but his fellow-citizens soon determined otherwise. In 1783
he was on the board of censors for Pennsylvania, and afterwards chosen
vendue—master of Philadelphia; in 1786 was elected a member of Congress,
and in 1787 was president of that body, which at that time, was the
highest office in America. In 1788 he was elected governor of the North
West Territory, which imposed upon him the duty of governing, organizing,
and bringing order out of chaos, over that region of country. In 1791,
Washington made him commander—in—chief of the army, and in the autumn,
with an ill—appointed force, set out, under the direct orders from Henry
Knox, then Secretary of War, on an expedition against the Indians, but met
with an overwhelming defeat on November 4th. The disaster was investigated
by Congress, and the general was justly exonerated from all blame. He
resigned his commission as general in 1792, but continued in office as
governor until 1802, when he was summarily dismissed by Thomas Jefferson,
then president. In poverty he retired to a log-house which overlooked the
valley he had once owned. In vain he pressed his claims against the
government for the expenditures he had made during the Revolution, in aid
of the cause. In 1812 he published his "Narrative." In 1813 the
legislature of Pennsylvania granted him an annuity of $400, and finally
the general government gave him a pension of $60 per month. He died at
Laural Hill, Pennsylvania, August 31, 1818, from injuries received by
being thrown from a wagon.
Years afterwards Judge Burnet wrote,
declaring him to have been "unquestionably a man of superior talents, of
extensive information, and of great uprightness of purpose, as well as
suavity of manners. * * * He had been accustomed from infancy to mingle in
the circles of taste and refinement, and had acquired a polish of manners,
and a habitual respect for the feelings of others, which might be cited as
a specimen of genuine politeness." [Notes on the North-Western Territory,
In 1870 the State of Ohio purchased
the papers of General St. Clair, and in 1882 these were published in two
volumes, containing twelve hundred and seventy pages.
SERGEANT DONALD M ‘DONALD.
The lives of men who have won a
great name on the field of battle throw a glamor over themselves which is
both interesting and fascinating: and those treading the same path but cut
off in their career are forgotten. However, the American Revolution
affords many acts of heroism performed by those who did not command
armies, some of whom performed many acts worthy of record. Perhaps, among
the minor officers none had such a successful run of brilliant exploits as
Sergeant Macdonald, many of which are sufficiently well authenticated.
Unfortunately the essential particulars relating to him have not been
preserved. The warlike deeds which he exhibited are recorded in the "Life
of General Francis Marion" by General Horry, of Marion’s brigade, and
Weems. Just how far Weems romanced may never be known, but in all
probability what is related concerning Sergeant Macdonald is practically
true, save the shaping up of the story.
Sergeant Macdonald is represented to
have been a son of General Donald Macdonald, who headed the Highlanders in
North Carolina, and met with an overwhelming defeat at Moore’s Creek
Bridge. The son was a remarkably stout, red-haired young Scotsman, cool
under the most trying difficulties, and brave without a fault. Soon after
the defeat and capture of his father he joined the American troops and
served under General Horry. One day General Horrv asked him why he had
entered the service of the patriots. In substance he made the following
"Immediately on the misfortune of my
father and his friends at the Great Bridge, I fell to thinking what could
be the cause; and then it struck me that it must have been owing to their
own monstrous ingratitude. ‘Here now,’ said I to myself, ‘is a parcel of
people, meaning my poor father and his friends, who tied from the
murderous swords of the English after the massacre at Culloden. Well, they
came to America, with hardly anything but their poverty and mournful
looks. But among this friendly people that was enough. Every eve that saw
us, had pity: and every hand was reached out to assist. They received us
in their houses as though we had been their own unfortunate brothers. They
kindled high their hospitable fires for us, and spread their feasts, and
bid us eat and drink and banish our sorrows, for that we were in a land of
friends. And so indeed, we found it; for whenever we told of the woeful
battle of Culloden, and how the English gave no quarter to our unfortunate
countrymen, but butchered all they could overtake, these generous people
often gave us their tears, and said, ‘O! that we had been there to aid
with our rifles, then should many of these monsters have bit the ground.’
They received us into the bosoms of their peaceful forests, and gave us
their lands and their beauteous daughters in marriage, and we became rich.
And yet, after all, soon as the English came to America, to murder this
innocent people, merely for refusing to be their slaves, then my father
and friends, forgetting all that the Americans had done for them, went and
joined the British, to assist them to cut the throats of their best
friends! Now,’ said I to myself, ‘if ever there was a time for God to
stand up to punish ingratitude, this was the time.’ And God did stand up;
for he enabled the Americans to defeat my father and his friends most
completely. But, instead of murdering the prisoners as the English had
done at Culloden, they treated us with their usual generosity. And now
these are the people I love and will fight for as long as I live."
The first notice given of the
sergeant was the trick which he played on a royalist. As soon as he heard
that Colonel Tarleton was encamped at Monk’s Corner, he went the next
morning to a wealthy old royalist of that neighborhood, and passing
himself for a sergeant in the British corps, presented Colonel Tarleton’s
compliments with the request that he would send him one of his best horses
for a charger, and that he should not lose by the gift.
"Send him one of my finest horses !"
cried the old traitor with eyes sparkling with joy. "Yes, Mr. Sergeant,
that I will, by gad! and would send him one of my finest daughters too,
had he but said the word. A good friend of the king, did he call me, Mr.
Sergeant? yes, God save his sacred majesty, a good friend I am indeed, and
a true. And, faith, I am glad too, Mr. Sergeant, that colonel knows it.
Send him a charger to drive the rebels, hey? Yes, egad will I send him
one, and as proper a one too as ever a soldier straddled. Dick! Dick! I
say you Dick !"
"Here, massa, here! here Dick !"
"Oh, you plaguey dog! so I must
always split my throat with bawling, before I can get you to answer hey ?"
"High, massa, sure Dick always
answer when he hear massa hallo !"
"You do, you villian, do you? Well
then run! jump, fly, you rascal, fly to the stable, and bring me out Selim,
my young Selim! do you hear? you villiam, do you hear?"
"Yes, massa, be sure !"
Then turning to the sergeant he went
Well, Mr. Sergeant, you have made me
confounded glad this morning, you may depend. And now suppose you take a
glass of peach; of good old peach, Mr. Sergeant? do you think it would do
you any harm ?"
"Why, they say it is good of a rainy
morning, sir," replied the sergeant.
"O yes, famous of a rainy morning,
Mr. Sergeant! a mighty antifogmatic. It prevents you the ague, Mr.
Sergeant; and clears a man’s throat of the cobwebs, sir."
God bless your honor !" said the
sergeant as he turned off a bumper.
Scarcely had this conversation
passed when Dick paraded Selim; a proud, full-blooded, stately steed, that
stepped as though he were too lofty to walk upon the earth. Here the old
man brightening up, broke out again:
"Aye! there, Mr. Sergeant, there is
a horse for you! isn’t he, my boy?"
"Faith, a noble animal, sir,"
replied the sergeant.
"Yes, egad! a noble animal indeed; a
charger for a king, Mr. Sergeant! Well, my compliments to Colonel
Tarleton; tell him I’ve sent him a horse, my young Selim, my grand Turk,
do you hear, my son of thunder? And say to the colonel that I don’t grudge
him either, for egad! he’s too noble for me, Mr. Sergeant. I’ve no work
that’s fit for him, sir; no sir, if there’s any work in all this country
that’s good enough for him but just that which he is now going on; the
driving the rebels out of the land."
He had Selim caparisoned with his
elegant new saddle and holsters, with his silver-mounted pistols. Then
giving Sergeant Macdonald a warm breakfast, and loaning him his great
coat, he sent him off, with the promise that he would, the next morning,
come and see how Colonel Tarleton was pleased with Selim. Accordingly he
waited on the English colonel, told him his name with a smiling
countenance; but, to his mortification received no special notice. After
partially recovering from his embarrassment he asked Colonel Tarleton how
he liked his charger.
"Charger, sir ?" said the colonel.
"Yes, sir, the elegant horse I sent
"The elegant horse you sent me,
"Yes, sir, and by your sergeant,
sir, as he called himself."
"An elegant horse! and by my
sergeant? Why really, sir, I—I—I don't understand all this."
"Why, my dear, good sir, did you not
send a sergeant yester— day with your compliments to me, and a request
that I would send you my very best horse for a charger, which I did ?"
"No, sir, never! replied the
colonel; "I never sent a sergeant on any such errand. Nor till this moment
did I ever know that there existed on earth such a being as you."
The old man turned black in the
face; he shook throughout; and as soon as he could recover breath and
power of speech, he broke out into a torrent of curses, enough to make one
shudder at his blasphemy. Nor was Colonel Tarleton much behind him when he
learned what a valuable animal had slipped through his hands.
When Sergeant Macdonald was asked
how he could reconcile the taking of the horse he replied:
"Why, sir, as to that matter, people
will think differently; but for my part I hold that all is fair in war;
and besides, sir, if I had not taken him Colonel Tarleton, no doubt, would
have got him. And then, with such a swift strong charger as this he might
do us as much harm as I hope to do them."
Harm he did with a vengeance; for he
had no sense of fear; and for strength he could easily drive his sword
through cap and skull of an enemy with irresistible force. He was fond of
Selim, and kept him to the top of his metal; Selim was not much his
debtor; for, at the first glimpse of a red-coat, he would paw, and champ
his iron bit with rage; and the moment of command, he was off among them
like a thunderbolt. The gallant Highlander never stopped to count the
number, but would dash into the thickest of the fight, and fall to hewing
and cutting down like an uncontrollable giant.
General Horry, when lamenting the
death of his favorite sergeant said that the first time he saw him fight
was when the British held Georgetown; and with the sergeant the two set
out alone to reconnoitre. The two concealed themselves in a clump of pines
near the road, with the enemy’s lines in full view. About sunrise five
dragoons left the town and dashed up the road towards the place where the
heroes were concealed. The face of Sergeant Macdonald kindled up with the
joy of battle. "Zounds, Macdonald," said General Horry, "here’s an odds
against us, five to two." "By my soul now captain," he replied, "and let
‘em come on. Three are welcome to the sword of Macdonald." When the
dragoons were fairly opposite, the two, with drawn sabres broke in upon
them like a tornado. The panic was complete; two were immediately
overthrown, and the remaining three wheeled about and dashed for the town,
applying the whip and spur to their steeds. The sergeant mounted upon the
swift-footed Selim out-distanced his companion, and single-handed cut down
two of the foe. The remaining one would have met a like fate had not the
guns of the fort protected him. Although quickly pursued by the relief,
the sergeant had the address to bring off an elegant horse of one of the
dragoons whom he had killed.
A day or two after the victory of
General Marion over Colonel Tynes, near the Black river, General Horry
took Captain Baxter, Lieutenant Postell and Sergeant Macdonald, with
thirty privates, to see if some advantage could not be gained over the
enemy near the lines of Georgetown. While partaking of a meal at the house
of a planter, a British troop attempted to surprise them. The party leaped
to their saddles and were soon in hot pursuit of the foe. While all were
excellently mounted, yet no horse could keep pace with Selim. He was the
hindmost when the race began, but with widespread nostrils, long extended
neck, and glaring eyeballs, he seemed to fly over the course. Coming up
with the enemy Sergeant Macdonald drew his claymore, and rising on his
stirrups, with high-uplifted arm, he waved it three times in circles over
his head, and then with terrific force brought it down upon the fleeing
dragoon. One of the British officers snapped his pistol at him, but before
he could try another the sergeant cut him down. Immediately after, at a
blow apiece, three more dragoons were brought to the earth by the
resistless clay-more. Of the twenty-five, not a man escaped, save one
officer, who struck off at right angles, for a swamp, which he gained and
so cleared himself. So frightened was Captain Meriot, the British officer,
that his hair, from a bright auburn, before night, had turned gray.
On the following day General Horry
encountered one third of Colonel Gainey’s men, and in the encounter the
latter lost one half his men who were in the action. In the conflict, as
usual the sergeant performed prodigies of valor. Later in the day Colonel
Gainey’s regiment again commenced the attack, when Sergeant Macdonald made
a dash for the leader, in full confidence of getting a gallant charger.
Colonel Gainey proved to have been well mounted; but the sergeant,
regarding but the one enemy passed all others. He afterwards said he could
have slain several in the charge, but wished for no meaner object than
their leader. Only one, who threw himself in the way, became his victim,
whom he shot down as they went at full speed along the Black river road.
When they reached the corner of Richmond fence, the sergeant had gained so
far upon his enemy, as to be able to plunge his bayonet into his back. The
steel parted from the gun, and, with no time to extricate it, Colonel
Gainey rushed into Georgetown, with the weapon still conspicuously showing
how close and eager had been the charge, and how narrow the escape. The
wound was not fatal.
On another occasion General Marion
ordered Captain Withers to take Sergeant Macdonald, with four volunteers,
and search out the intentions of the enemy in Georgetown. On the way they
stopped at a wayside house and drank too much brandy. Sergeant Macdonald,
feeling the effects of the potion, with a red face, reined up Selim, and
drawing his claymore, began to pitch and prance about, cutting and
slashing the empty air, and cried out, "Huzza, boys! let’s charge !" Then
clapping spurs to their steeds these six men, huzzaing and flourishing
their swords, charged at full tilt into a town garrisoned by three hundred
British. The enemy supposing this was the advance guard of General Marion,
fled to their redoubts; but all were not fortunate enough to reach that
haven, for several were overtaken and cut down in the streets, among whom
was a sergeant-major, who fell from a back-handed stroke of a claymore
dealt by Sergeant Macdonald. Out of the town the young men galloped
without receiving any injury.
Not long after the above incident,
the sergeant, as usual employing himself in watching the movements of the
British, climbed up into a bushy tree, and thence, with a musket loaded
with pistol bullets, fired at the guard as they passed by; of whom he
killed one man and badly wounded Lieutenant Torquano; then sliding down
the tree, mounted Selim, and was soon out of harm’s way. Repassing the
Black river he left his clothes behind him, which were seized by the
enemy. He sent word to Colonel Watson if he did not immediately send back
his clothes, he would kill eight of his men to compensate for them. He
felt it was a point of honor that he should recover his clothes. Colonel
Watson greatly irritated by a late defeat, was furious at the audacious
message. He contemptuously ordered the messenger to return; but some of
his officers, aware of the character of the sergeant, urged that the
clothes might be returned to the partisan, as he would positively keep his
word. Colonel Watson yielded, and when the messenger returned to the
sergeant, he said, "You may now tell Colonel Watson that I will kill but
four of his men."
The last relation of Sergeant
Macdonald, as given by General Peter Horry, is in reference to Captains
Snipes and McCauley, with the sergeant and forty men, having surprised and
cut to pieces a large party of the enemy near Charleston.