Capture of Ticonderoga
After this battle of Lexington, a Continental Congress met in
Philadelphia to talk over this battle and to decide
what was to be done. War must follow—of this
they all felt sure. And so troops must be raised, a
leader appointed, and some plan of action be agreed
upon. It was at this time that George Washington was
appointed "Commander-in-chief of all the forces raised
or to be raised in defence of American liberties."
The news of the battle had been carried throughout the
colonies, and in every town the women were knitting and
spinning clothes for their husbands and brothers and
sons, and making all preparation for war; the men were
drilling and forming themselves into companies, ready
to march to Boston at the first word of command.
In Vermont, called in your geographies, you remember,
the "Green Mountain State," the men had formed
themselves into a company under their colonel, Ethan
Allen, and called themselves the "Green Mountain Boys."
On the morning of the very day of the meeting of this
Congress which had made Washington Commander-in-chief,
Ethan Allen, with a detachment of these volunteers, set
out to surprise Fort Ticonderoga. Arriving there in
the early gray of the morning, he found all but the
sentries sound asleep. Suddenly, that no time might be
given for an alarm, Allen's band rushed into the fort,
and, making their way directly to the sleeping
apartments of the commander, Allen, in a voice like
thunder,—so his followers say,—demanded the
instant surrender of the fort.
The commander, frightened, and only half dressed, threw
open his door, saying, "By whose authority do
you—" But Allen broke in upon him with, "In the
name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress
do I command you to surrender." No resistance was
attempted; and so a large quantity of cannon and
ammunition which the English had stored there, and
which just then was so much needed by the troops at
Boston, fell into the hands of the Americans, without
the loss of a single man.
Ruins of Ticonderoga