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W. H. Tanmous d.
HAR V ARDIAN A.
Vol. II.-N.. II.
1-13,697 "National Novels." Anony
“ Juvenis tentat Ulyssei flectere arcum.”
CAMBRIDGE AND BOSTON:
CAMBRIDGE PRESS:- Metcalf, Torry, and Ballou.
LEAVES FROM A TRAVELLER'S NOTE BOOK. —No. II.
I LIKE to visit our old battle fields. The associations connected with them are fraught with such generous emotions, that I always leave them with an exalted idea of my race and country. I love to refresh my memory of history, with an actual view of the spot in which some of its momentous events have occurred. There is a holy influence about the place, which inspires me with something more than my usual ardor. I feel a glow of admiration at the zeal with which inen will devote themselves to their country; my patriotism is invigorated, and I return with firmer resolutions to stand by my country, for which so much blood has been shed.
The early wars between the Colonies and the French for the possession of the border posts, seemed a necessary preparatory step to the Revolution. By these conflicts the Indians were taught a salutary lesson of the power of the colonists, and the Americans were trained in the severe trials of Indian warfare, to a skilful handling of their weapons in the struggle for Independence. In these wars the Commander-in-chief received the rudiments of his
VOL. II. NO, II.
military education, with many of his subalterns; and it was on Braddock's Field that he first gave proof of that consummate wisdom and prudence which so distinguished him above other men.
In the wanderings of an idle summer, chance brought me to Pittsburgh, and from that city I took occasion to visit Braddock's Field. It might have been expected that the long lapse of time since the battle would have left but little remembrance of it in the country around; but no, it was still fresh in the memory of the old settlers, and the rising generation had received ample accounts of it by tradition. On the crown of the hill, in an old log hut, there lives an old revolutionary soldier, who acts as guide to the curious stranger. His memory is stored with facts gathered from participators in the battle, or extorted by dint of inquiry from the Indian survivors. We found him laboring with his children, in making a clearing in the woods, and wielding the axe, as if his arms were nerved with the strength of manhood, instead of being oppressed with the weight of fourscore. On invitation he came limping down into the road, and taking his walking crutch from the hands of one of his descendants, he set out to guide us around the field. Here, in the bosom of the West, in close vicinity to the Indian battle grounds, the scenes of his glory in the wars of Anthony Wayne, raised to an humble independence by the bounty of his government, he has set himself down to spend in tranquillity the remaining years of his life. As I gazed upon his weather beaten countenance, and marked the furrows which time and care had worn upon it, the dark scenes of the Revolution came athwart my memory, and my heart yearned at finding myself in the presence of one of the survivors of the days which gave birth to my country. I felt as if I stood before a venerable parent; I could give utterance to my feelings only by a gush of tears - the warm effusion of gratitude.
The country around is of a wild and romantic character, and seems a fitting spot for deeds of violence. The Alleghany mountains are seen far in the distance looming up with their black summits into the sky, and the whole surface of the country is broken up into mountainous ridges and hills. Braddock's Field lies on the slope of a hill, rising with a gentle ascent from the Monongahela. Two deep ravines enclose it on either side, and at the time of the battle it was a wild tract of woodland. Relics of the battle still lie scattered over its surface. its very soi) seems thick with human bones, and at every step you strike upon some fragment of the human frame, or some piece of military weapons. Mementos of the battle are in the hands of the inhabitants for miles around ; and if the same spot should ever again be a contested ground, the surrounding population might rush to the conflict, armed with the very weapons which were wielded here an age before. The Indian tomahawk might again be grasped — the heavy musket of the British grenadier, and the unerring rifle of the Colonist, might again pour forth their destructive contents.
But let us withdraw now, as our veteran guide begins to feel the twitchings of pain from the bullet which some Indian foe planted in his side, when he fought under “Mad Cap Wayne,” as he calls General Anthony Wayne. Standing on the doorstead of his hut, let us survey the scene as it existed at the time of the battle. Sweep your eye around the horizon. See ye nought in motion in those deep woods, which fringe the border of yonder stream ? Aye-at yonder ford, there issues forth a little band of armed colonists, with a tall Indian in the advance as their guide; and now above, at the other ford, is seen a gay troop, with a mounted general at their head, forcing their way across the stream! This is Braddock's regiment, and the other is commanded by Colonel Washing