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In the Revolutionary War

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IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.

St. Clair's work in the Revolution can be accurately traced from the histories of that period. His. correspondence with the leading men of Boston, Philadelphia and New York, shows conclusively, that though he had been an English army officer, there was not the least danger of his becoming a Tory, but on the contrary that he had most radical views on the im pending difficulty between Great Britain and the Colonies. The impartial reader cannot but regard his espousal of the American cause as one of the most independent and signifi cant acts in his eventful life. The centuries of royal blood in his veins, his every tie of kindred and youthful affiliation, his services in the royal army and his long and intimate as sociation with the Penns and other Tories of Philadelphia, apparently bound him indissolubly to the English cause. But these were as gossamer threads to him when they conflicted with the rights of the oppressed colonies. It has been said of him that, "When he drew his sword he threw away its scabbard." In 1775 the Indians in the west were very troublesome and had repeatedly adopted Pontiac's tactics in making long raids on the east. Congress therefore appointed commission ers, Judge of Pennsylvania, Morris, of New York, and Walker, of Virginia, to treat with them. St. Clair, who had gained high standing with the tribes was made secretary of the commission, The conference was barren of immediate results, and St. Clair was appointed to raise an army to chastise the Indians in the region of Detroit. They gave him no financial aid, but that never mattered with St. Clair. He enlisted about four hundred and fifty men who were to furnish their own' arms, horses, forage and provisions to march at once.

At that time General Benedict Arnold was storming Quebec and all interests centered there. When Arnold's ex pedition failed St. Clair went to Philadelphia to urge his pro ject before the Continental Congress. But instead of send ing him and his army to Detroit, he was called into the Revo lution where it was thought he would be of greater use. In

this way he entered the Great War, entering under the com mission of a colonel in the Continental Army. His first assigned duty was to make arrangements and preparations for war rather than to actively engage in it. His duties were in and around Philadelphia where he recruited, drilled and provisioned volunteers. He was forced to advance money which was not paid hack to him until after the war was closed.

His first duty in the actual field of war was to take six full companies to Quebec where Arnold was in dire straits. General Montgomery, , first in command was killed, and was succeeded by Arnold, who being severely wounded, was suc ceeded by Thompson after whose early death came General Sullivan. It will be remembered that St. Clair had spent over a year in the Quebec region under General Wolfe and was quite familiar with all points on the St. Lawrence river. He suggested a fortification on a point at Three Rivers to prevent the British transports from reaching Quebec. His plan was adopted and he was appointed to guard the point. Sullivan afterwards reinforced St. Clair's army with Thomp son's troops but they were all beaten back to their original positions. Though unlooked for misfortunes alone prevented their victory, they retired from Canada with colors flying.

The battle at Three Rivers and the retreat, managed by St. Clair, has been the admiration of military writers ever since and one of them has considered Three Rivers as one of the best contested fields, from a scientific military standpoint, among all the battles of the Revolution. No campaign in the Great War shows more military genius nor more personal heroism. Mr. James M. Swank in his sketch of St. Clair says, "In this campaign St. Clair acquitted himself with credit in aiding to save Sullivan's whole army from capture. For this service he was appointed a brigadier general." St. Clair's army was next at Ticonderoga where on July 28, 1776, he read to his soldiers the Declaration of Independ ence. In his report he says, "They threw their hats in the air and cheered for the United Colonies."