South-west view of Bernardston, (central part.)
ving this distance is contracted, and some buildings are left out, in order to show Mr. Cushman's house, long known as an excellent tavern stand, and, with the elms standing south, is a very striking feature in the appearance of this village. Within the distance of half a mile from this place there are upwards of fifty dwellinghouses, which, though mostly small, are neat in their general appearance. Distance, 7 miles from Greenfield, 13 from Brattleboro' Vt., and 96 from Boston. Agriculture is the principal business of the inhabitants. Population, 878.
The following is a letter of Maj. John Burk, (one of the principal men of Bernardston,) to his wife, giving an account of the battle of Lake George. For this, and the journal of Maj. Burk, together with the materials for the preceding historical sketch, the author is indebted to the politeness of Henry W. Cushman, Esq., of Bernardston.
Lake Sacrament, now called Lake George, Sept. 11, 1755.
DEAR WIFE: I wrote to you yesterday, but was not allowed to say any more than that I was well, and that we have had a battle, &c. The particulars of the engagement I now send you by Capt. Wyman. On the 7th inst., our Indians discovered the track of a large body of enemy east of us. On the 8th, Col. Williams, with a detachment 1000 strong, marched in pursuit, or to make discovery. They marched in the road 3 miles south, and being discovered by the enemy, (as we are told by the French general who is taken by us,) were waylaid by 1800 French and Indians. The French lay on one side the road on rising ground; the Indians on the other side, in a swamp. Part of the French were regular troops; these lay south. Their scheme was to let our men march quite to the south end of the ambush, the regular troops to give the first fire, then all to fire and rush on; which if they had done, they would have cut our men all to pieces. But the general says that a heady Indian, who was very eager, fired as soon as they entered the ambush. Then the enemy pursued and fired briskly, and, having the advantage of the ground, obliged our men to retreat, which, the French general says, they did very regularly. We at the camp heard the guns; were not suffered to go out, but to make ready to receive the enemy, lest they should rout us and take our baggage, for we knew they retreated by the guns, (viz. our men.) The enemy drove on the very furiously, but while they were coming we placed our cannon, felled trees and rolled logs to make a breast-work all round the camp, but it was a poor defence. The regulars marched along the road, 6 deep, till they got near our camps; then all fired upon us,