A Minor Victory . . .The following is a fictional letter written by Jim Swick, a Green Mountain Boy, to his sister Beth, located in Vermont.
July 1, 1775
I am now stationed at Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain in Canada. Have you heard what happened at the capture of this fort?
In the early morning of May 10, a small force of men, known as the Green Mountain Boys and led by Colonels Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, attacked the fort. Fort Ticonderoga was guarded by only 48 sleeping, British men, many of which were invalids or disabled soldiers.
We approached the fort, whose doors were standing wide open, and guarded only by a sleeping sentry (guard). He raised his gun and challenged us, but I could sense fear in his voice. Ethan Allen then approached him and brushed his gun aside permitting our entry.
Then Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold went to the officer’s quarters and yelled, "Come out, you old rat!" When Captain De la Place came out, Ethan Allen demanded his surrender. The captain then asked in whose name he should surrender. Allen replied, "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress."
Captain De la Place agreed to surrender without any shots being fired, and we captured 40 British soldiers and about 100 cannon.
Ethan Allen played a major role in this minor victory. Have you heard of him? He was born on January 10, 1773 in Litchfield, Connecticut. He formed the Green Mountain Boys (of which I am a member) with Seth Warner in 1770. The Green Mountain Boys, a 500-man battalion, were formed in New Hampshire and Vermont towns as a result of violent disagreements between groups of settlers and officials of New York. Our uniforms often include an Indian wampum pouch and belt in addition to a tomahawk. We have been an integral part in this fight for independence.
The Continental Congress had hoped to use the cannon we captured to blow the British away in Boston. Unfortunately, the cannon had never reached Boston in time for the Battle of Bunker Hill as they were still sitting in New York.
I fear dear sister, that many future battles will not be resolved so peacefully.
Your loving brother,
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