Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/147

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109
HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES.

Burlington, Vt., also commanded a splendid company, in perfect uniform and equipment. His men had asked to be given the front hi the advance on the enemy, and their request was granted. They were in line farther on the road, going through their manual and platoon drills, and showing by their motions that they were well disciplined soldiers. Another company, under command of Capt. J. J. Monahan, was still nearer the Canadian front. Col. Humphrey Sullivan, of Boston; Col. Brown, of Lawrence, Mass.; Major Chas. Carlton of Burlington, Vt.; Capt. John Fitzpatrick, of Bridgeport, Conn.; Capt. Carey of Fort Edward, and many others were also present. Of the above-named officers the name of Capt. John Fitzpatrick should be especially mentioned for personal bravery, shown in the course of the day.

General O'Neill told your reporter that he knew that the Canadians had taken up a position, and were prepared for him in force. He said he meant to draw their fire, and find their strength and position; and then he would know whether a project he entertained was feasible or not.

At eleven o'clock. Gen. George P. Foster, United States Marshal for Vermont, arrived at the encampment. The guard which the Fenians had posted had orders to stop all carriages and traffic on the road; and according to orders the Fenian sentinel told the marshal to "halt." Gen. Foster immediately told Gen. Donnelly that this must not continue, as they were breaking the laws of the United States. The guard was accordingly withdrawn, and the teams were allowed to pass. General Foster then formally ordered O'Neill to desist from his "unlawful proceeding." The order was coolly received by Gen. O'Nelll, who then, in a low tone, spoke a few words to Gen. Donnelly. Donnelly went forward and ordered the men to "fall in." In a few minutes the entire Fenian force was in column of fours, with fixed bayonets and shouldered rifles, ready for their general to give the word "Advance!"

General O'Neill, putting himself at the head of his troops, addressed them.

The line of road which the column had to march was narrow and hilly. The distance to the line was about a mile, but the Canadian front would not be visible until they had ascended the last hill, at the base of which ran a small brook. About eighteen rods on the American side of the brook was a post marking the boundary line. The troops marched steadily and well, but they certainly did not think that they would be engaged as soon as they were. Gen. Foster, the United States Marshal, who had driven over the line and visited the Canadian forces, now returned, meeting the Fenians on their advance. He told them as soon as they cleared the hill the Canadians would Are on them. Many teams were on the road, but at this news they disappeared very quickly. The Fenians were in good spirits, and when they heard the