Journal of Lieutenant James Hadden of the Royal Artillery.

About the 5th of October [1776] everything being ready, a fleet, consisting of one ship, two schooners, one radeau, one gondolas and 22 gun boats, proceeded from St. Johns up the Sorel River to the entrance of Lake Champlain at the Isle aux Noix, 15 miles from St. Johns....

The10th October the fleet proceeded to the southern end of Isle au Mot on the eastern side of Lake Champlain, which afterwards widens very considerably, to about l z or 1 5 miles in many places. The 11th October the army arrived at Point au Fer under Gen. Burgoyne, and early in the morning the fleet proceeded under Gen. Carleton and Captain Pringle of the Navy.

A large deeachment of savages under Major Carlton also moved with the fleet in their canoes, which were very regularly ranged. These canoes are made of the birch bark, and some of them brought 1500 miles down the country, several of which would contain 3o people. The savages paddle them across the lakes and down the rivers with great dexterity, and being very light they are carried across any breaks in the water communication; they land every night, most of which they dance and sing. In wet weather they prop up one side and lay under the canoe.

About I l o'clock this morning one of the enemies vessels was discovered and immediately pursued into a bay on the eastern shore of the lake, where the rest of their fleet was found at an anchor in the form of a crescent between Valcour Island and the continent. Their fleet consisted of 3 row "allies, 2 schooners, 2 sloops and 8 gondolas, carrying in all go guns. That of the British carried only 87 pieces of ordnance, including 8 howitzers. The pursuit of this vessel was without order or regularity; the wind being fair to go down the lake enables us to overtake the vessel before she could (by tacks) get in to the rest of their fleet, but lost to us the opportunity of going in at the upper end of the island and attacking the whole at once. The vessel, which proved to be the Royal Savage taken by them from St. John's last year, carrying 14 guns, was run on shore and most of the men escaped on to Valcour Island, in effecting which they were fired upon by the gun boats. This firing at one object drew us all in a cluster, and four of the enemies vessels getting under weigh to support the Royal Savage fired upon the boats with success. An order was therefore given by the commanding officer for the boats to form across the bay: this was soon effected, tho' under the enemies whole fire and unsupported, all the King's vessels having dropped too far to leeward. This unequal combat was maintained for two hours without any aid, when the Carlton schooner of 14 guns 6 pairs got into the bay and immediately received the enemies whole fire which was continued without intermission for about an hour, when the boats of the fleet towed her off, and left the gun boats to maintain the conflict. This was done till the boats had expended their ammunition, when they were withdrawn. . .

The boats were now formed between the vessels of the British fleet, just without the enemies shot, being withdrawn a little before sunset and the Royal Savage blown up: this last was an unnecessary measure as she might at a more leisure moment have been got off, or at all events her stores saved, and in her present position no use could be made of her by the ene ny, night coming on and a determination to make a general attack early next morning.

The Rebels having no land force, the savages took post on the main and Valcour Island; thus being upon both flanks they were able to annoy them in the working of their guns; this had the effect of now and then obliging the I Rebels to turn a gun that way, which danger the savages avoided by getting behind trees.

The boats having received a small supply of ammunition were unaccountably ordered to anchor under cover of a small island without the opening of the bay.

The enemy, finding their force diminished and the rest so severely handled by little more than i/3 the British fleet, determined to withdraw towards Crown Point, and passing through our fleet about lo o'clock at night effected it undiscovered; this the former position of the gun boats would probably have prevented. All the enemies vessels used oars and on this occasion they were muffled. This retreat did great honor to Gen. Arnold, who acted as admiral to the Rebel fleet on this occasion. The wind changing prevented the success of his attempt and, making but little way in the night, they were scarcely out of sight when their retreat was discovered at day break. The British fleet stood after them, and gained ground considerably till the violence of the wind and a great swell obliged both fleets to anchor. Towards evening the weather was more moderate and the fleet proceeded, the boats using their oars to make head against the wind. The Rebel vessels, gaining little way when under sail from the violence of a contrary wind and thinking we were at an anchor, remained so all night, and though the British fleet gained but little by a contrary conduct, that little enabled them to overtake the enemy next day when the wind proved fair. Our ship and schooners being better sailers first came up with the Rebel fleet and retarding their movements till the whole were in sight. Three of the stern-most vessels struck their coulours, in one of which was Brig. Gen. Waterbury, their second in command. Arnold ran his own vessel and 5 others on shore and set fire to them. The three foremost only escaped to Tyconderoga; as did Gen. Arnold with most of the crew's of the burnt vessels.