Benson John Lossing.

Harper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) online

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sealed envelope, directed to " My children portion of his corps. Ranking Warren,
and future generations," from which Sheridan became commander of the whole
Thompson Westcott, of Philadelphia, pre- force. Leaving Warren half-way between
pared a biography of Fitch, published in Dinwiddie Court-house and Five Forks,
1867. See STEAM NAVIGATION. Sheridan pressed boldly on towards the

Fitch, THOMAS, colonial governor; latter place, with cavalry alone, and
born in Norwalk, Conn., in June, 1699; drove the Confederates into their works
graduated at Yale in 1721; elected gov- and enveloped them with his overwhelm-
ernor of Connecticut in 1754; and was ing number of horsemen. He then or-
in office twelve years. In 1765 he took dered Warren forward to a position on
the oath as prescribed in the Stamp Act, IMS right, so as to be fully on the Con-
although his action was opposed to the federate left. He drove some Confed-
sentiment of almost the entire community, erates towards Petersburg, and returned
In 1766 he retired to private life in conse- before Warren was prepared to charge,
quence of the election of William Pitkin In the afternoon of March 31 War-





ren moved to the attack. Ayres charged
upon the Confederate right, carried a
portion of the line, and captured more
than 1,000 men and several battle-flags.
Merritt charged the front, and Griffin fell
upon the left with such force that he car
ried the intrenchments and seized 1,500
men. Crawford, meanwhile, had come for
ward, cut off their retreat in the direc

tion of Lee s lines, struck them in the
rear, and captured four guns. Hard
pressed, the Confederates fought gallantly
and with great fortitude. At length the
cavalry charged over the works simul
taneously with the turning of their flanks
by Ayres and Griffin, and, bearing down
upon the Confederates with great fury,
caused a large portion of them to throw




down their arms, while the remainder the opposite side is the motto Appeal
made a disorderly flight westward, pur- to Heaven. " The Culpeper men, who
sued many miles by Merritt and McKen- marched with Patrick Henry towards
zie. The Confederates lost a large number
of men, killed and wounded, and over
5,000 were made prisoners. The Nation
als lost about 1,000, of whom 634 were
killed and wounded.

Five Nations, THE, the five Algonquian
Indian nations Mohawks, Oneidas, Onon-
dagas, Cayugas, and Senecas who orig
(g. v.). The Five Nations were joined
by the Tuscaroras, from North Carolina,
in 1713, and then the confederacy was
called the Six NATIONS (g. v.) .

Flag, NATIONAL. Every colony had
its peculiar ensign, and the army and navy
of the united colonies, at first, displayed
various flags, some colonial, others regi
mental, and others, like the flag at Fort
Sullivan, Charleston Harbor, a blue field
with a silver crescent, for special oc
casions. The American flag used at the
battle on Bunker (Breed s) Hill, was
called the " New England flag." It was
a blue ground, with the red cross of St.
George in a corner, quartering a white
field, and in the upper dexter quartering
was the figure of a pine-tree. The New
Englanders had also a "pine-tree flag" as
well as a "pine-tree shilling." The en
graving below is a reduced copy of

a vignette on a map of Boston, pub- Williamsburg to demand instant restora-
lished in Paris in 1776. The London tion of powder to the old magazine, or
Chronicle, an anti-ministerial paper, in its payment for it by Governor Dunmore,
issue for January, 1776, gives the follow- bore a flag with a rattlesnake upon it,
ing description of the flag of an American coiled ready to strike, with Patrick
cruiser that had been captured : " In the Henry s words and the words " Don t

tread on me." It is believed that the
first American flag bearing thirteen red
and white stripes was a Union flag pre
sented to the Philadelphia Light Horse by
Capt. Abraham Markoe, a Dane, probably
early in 1775. A "Union flag" is men-

1 ; jf II tioned as having been displayed at a gath

ering of Whigs at Savannah in June, 1775,
^^MJl probably thirteen stripes. The earliest

^$ naval flags exhibited thirteen alternate

^Qjttlj j red and white stripes, some with a pine-

tree upon them, and others with a rattle-
THK NEW KXGLAND FLAG. snake stretched across the field of stripes,

and beneath it the words, either implor-

Admiralty Office is the flag of a provincial ingly or as a warning, " Don t tread on
privateer. The field is white bunting; on me." The new Union flag raised at Cam-
the middle is a green pine-tree, and upon bridge, Jan. 1, 1776, was composed of thir-




teen alternate red and white stripes, with claimed to be the first to display the stars
the English union in one corner. and stripes in Great Britain. On the day

Finally, the necessity of a national when George III. acknowledged the inde-
flag was felt, especially for the marine pendence of the United States, Dec. 5,
service, and the Continental Congress 7782, he painted the flag of the United
adopted the following resolution, June 14, States in the background of a portrait of
1777: "Resolved, that the flag of the Elkanah Watson. To Captain Mooers, of
United States be thirteen stripes, alter- the whaling-ship Bedford, of Nantucket,
nate red and white; that the union be is doubtless due the honor of first dis-
thirteen stars, white, on a blue field, repre
senting a new constellation." There was
a dilatoriness in displaying this flag. The
resolution was not officially promulgated
over the signature of the secretary of the
Congress until Sept. 3, though it was
previously printed in the newspapers. This
was more than a year after the colonies
had been declared free and independent.
Probably the first display of the national
flag at a military post was at Fort Schuy-
ler, on the site of the present city of Rome,
N. Y. The fort was besieged early in Au
gust, 1777. The gar
rison were without a




flag, so they made
one according to the
prescription of Con
gress by cutting up
sheets to form the
white stripes, bits of
scarlet cloth for the
red stripes, and the blue ground for the
stars was composed of portions of a cloth
cloak belonging to Capt. Abraham Swart-
wout, of Dutchess county, N. Y. This flag
was unfurled over the fort on Aug. 3,
1777. Paul Jones was appointed to the
ftanger on June 14, 1777, and he claimed
that he was the first to display the stars
find stripes on a naval vessel. The Ranger
mailed from Portsmouth, N. H., on Nov.
1, 1777. It is probable that the na-


playing the national flag in a port of
Great Britain. He arrived in the Downs,
tional flag was first unfurled in battle with it flying at the fore, Feb. 3, 1783.
on the banks of the Brandywine, Sept. That flag was first carried to the East
11, 1777, the first battle after its adop- Indian seas in the Enterprise (an Albany-
tion. built vessel), Capt. Stewart Dean, in 1785.

It first appeared over a foreign strong- When Vermont and Kentucky were added
hold, June 28, 1778, when Captain Rath- to the union of States the flag was altered,
bone, of the American sloop-of-war Prom- By an act of Congress (Jan. 13, 1794) the
donee,, with his crew and some escaped number of the stripes and stars in the
prisoners, captured Fort Nassau, New flag was increased from thirteen to fifteen.
Providence, Bahama Islands. The captors The act went into effect May 1, 1795.
were menaced by the people, when the From that time until 1818, when there
stars and stripes were nailed to the flag- were twenty States, the number of the
staff in defiance. John Singleton Copley, stars and stripes remained the same. A
the America.n-born painter, in London, committee appointed to revise the stand-



ard invited Capt. Samuel C. Reid, the
brave defender of the privateer Armstrong,
to devise a new flag. He retained the
original thirteen stripes, but added a star
for every State. That has been the device
of the flag of the United States ever since.
In 1901 the field of the flag contained
forty-five stars.

Flagg, WILSON, naturalist; born in
Beverly, Mass., Nov. 5, 1805; was edu
cated at Phillips Andover Academy; en
tered Harvard in 1823 and three months
later left that college to study medicine,
which he never practised. When a young
man he lectured on natural science, and
made a pedestrian tour from Tennessee
to Virginia and then home. Later he be
came interested in political discussions
and contributed articles to the Boston
Weekly Magazine and the Boston Post.
He was employed in the Boston custom
house from 1844 to 1848, and removed to
Cambridge, Mass., in 1856. Among his
publications are Studies in the Field and
Forest; Woods and By-Ways in New Eng
land, etc. He died in Cambridge, Mass.,
May 6, 1884.

Flanagan, WEBSTER, politician; born
in Claverport, Ky., Jan. 9, 1832; removed
to Texas in 1844; held many State offices.
He was in the Confederate army as
brigadier-general. Mr. Flanagan was one
of the historic 304 " Grant Guard " at the
Chicago convention in 1880, who voted for
Grant s renomination from the first to the
last ballot. He denounced civil-service re
form, and became famous by his question,
" What are we here for?"

Flanders, HENRY, lawyer; born in
Plainfield, N. 11., Feb. 13, 1826; prac
tised law in Philadelphia since 1850. He
is the author of Lives of the Chief-Jus
tices of the United States; Memoirs of
Cumberland; Exposition of the United
States Constitution, etc.

Flathead Indians, a division of the
CHOCTAW (q. v.) tribe; named because of
their habit of compressing the heads of
their male infants; also the name of a
branch of the Salishan stock. The former
division were engaged on both sides in the
French and Indian contests ending in 1763.
The second branch lived in British Colum
bia, Montana, Washington, and Oregon.
In 1900 five branches of the Choctaw di
vision were located at the Flathead agency

in Montana, on a reservation comprising
nearly 1,500,000 acres, and numbered

Fleet, THOMAS, printer; born in Eng
land, Sept. 8, 1685; became a printer in
Bristol, England, but emigrated to Boston,
Mass., in 1712, where he established a
printing-office. He married Elizabeth
Goose, June 8, 1715. In 1719 he conceived
the idea of publishing the songs which
his mother-in-law had been singing to his
infant son. The book was issued under
the title of Songs for the Nursery; or,
Mother Goose s Melodies for Children.
Printed by T. Fleet, at his Printing -House,
Pudding Lane, 1719. Price, two coppers.
In connection with his printing-office he
established the Weekly Rehearsal, which
was afterwards changed in title to Boston
Evening Post. He continued as pro
prietor and editor of this paper until his
death, July 21, 1758.

Fleetwood, BATTLE AT. See BRANDY

Fleming, THOMAS, military officer;
born in Botetourt county, Va., in 1727;
took part in the great battle of Point
Pleasant in 1774 between 1,000 Indians,
under Cornstalk, and 400 whites, under
Gen. Andrew Lewis. During the fight
Colonel Fleming was severely wounded, one
ball passing through his breast and anoth
er through his arm. At the outbreak of
the Revolutionary War he was made colo
nel of the 9th Virginia Regiment, but in
consequence of disease and wounds, died
in camp in August, 1776.

Fletcher, BENJAMIN, colonial governor ;
was a soldier of fortune; received the ap
pointment of governor of New York from
William and Mary in 1692, and arrived
at New York City on Aug. 29 of that
year; later in the year was also commis
sioned to assume the government of Penn
sylvania and the annexed territories; and
made his first visit to Philadelphia in
April, 1693. Fletcher was a colonel in
the British army. Possessed of violent
passions, he was weak in judgment,
greedy, dishonest, and cowardly. He fell
naturally into the hands of the aristo
cratic party, and his council was com
posed of the enemies of Leisler. The reck
lessness of his administration, his avarice,
his evident prostitution of his office to
personal gain, disgusted all parties. He



continually quarrelled with the popular
Assembly, and his whole administration
was unsatisfactory. The Quaker-governed
Assembly of Pennsylvania thwarted his
schemes for obtaining money for making
war on the French; and he was fort
unately led by Col. Peter Schuyler in all
his military undertakings. The Assembly
of Connecticut denied his right to control
their militia; and late in the autumn of
1093 he went to Hartford with Colonel
Bayard and others from New York, and
in the presence of the train-bands of that
city, commanded by Captain Wadsworth,
he directed (so says tradition) his com
mission to be read. Bayard began to read,
when Wadsworth ordered the drums to be
beaten. " Silence!" said Fletcher, angrily.
When the reading was again begun,
"Drum! drum!" cried Wadsworth. "Si
lence!" again shouted Fletcher, and
threatened the captain with punishment.
Wadsworth stepped in front of the gov
ernor, and, with his hand on the hilt of
his sword, he said: "If my drummers are
again interrupted, I ll make sunlight shine
through you. We deny and defy your
authority." The cowed governor sullenly
folded the paper, and with his retinue re
turned to New York.

With a pretended zeal for the cause of
religion, Fletcher procured the passage of
an act by the Assembly for building
churches in various places, and under it
the English Church and preaching in Eng-

was erected. During Fletcher s adminis
tration, pirates infested American waters;
and he was accused not only of winking
at violations of the navigation laws, but
of favoring the pirates, for private gain.
They sometimes found welcome in the
harbor of New York, instead of being
seized and punished. When Bellomont,
after the treaty of Ryswick, came over
as governor of Massachusetts, he was
commissioned to investigate the conduct
of Fletcher and to succeed him as gov
ernor, and he sent him to England under
arrest. The colony felt a relief when he
was gone, for his career had been marked
by misrule and profligacy.

Fletcher, WILLIAM ISAAC, librarian;
born in Burlington, Vt., April 28, 1844;
became librarian of Amherst College; is
the author of Public Libraries in Amer
ica, and joint editor of Poole s Index to
Periodical Literature, and editor of the
A. L. A. Index to General Literature.

COUNT DE, military officer; born in
Limoges, France, about 1740; was edu
cated for an engineer, and, coming to
America, received a captain s commission
from Washington. For his good conduct
in the campaign of 1777, Congress gave
him a horse and commission of lieutenant-
colonel, Nov. 26, 1777; and in the winter
of 1778 he was inspector under Steuben.
He was adjutant-general of Lee s division
in June, 1779, and was so distinguished


lish were introduced into New York, at the assault on Stony Point, July, 1779,
Trinity Church was organized under the that Congress gave him thanks and a
act, and its present church edifice stands silver medal. De Fleury returned to
upon the ground where the first structure France soon after the affair at Stony
in. 2 B 385


Point, before the medal was struck; and sign was the pine-tree Hag. Colonel Reed,

it was probably never in his possession, writing to Colonel Moylan, on Oct. 20,

for it seems to have been lost, probably 1775, said: "Please to fix some particu-

while Congress was in session at Prince- lar color for a flag and a signal, by which

ton. In April, 1851), a boy found it while our vessels may know each other. What

digging in a garden, at Princeton. De do you think of a flag with a white ground,

Fleury, on his return to France, joined a tree in the middle, and the motto An

the French troops under Rochambeau Appeal to Heaven? This is the flag of

sent to America in 1780. Subsequently our floating batteries." When the War of

he became a field marshal of France, and 1812-15 broke out, the subject of harbor

was executed in Paris, in 1794. defences occupied much of the attention

Flint, HENRY MARTYN, author; born in of citizens of the American coast towns,

Philadelphia, Pa., March 24, 1829; studied especially in the city of New York,

law and settled in Chicago, where he edited Among the scientific men of the day, John

the Times in 1855-61. He was the author Stevens and Robert Fulton appear con-

of a Life of Stephen A. Douglas; The spicuous in proposing plans for that pur-

History and Statistics of the Railroads of pose. Earlier than this (in 1807), Abra-

the United States; and Mexico under Max- ham Bloodgood, of Albany, suggested the,

imilian. He died in Camden, N. J., Dec. construction of a floating revolving bat-

12, 1868. tery not unlike, in its essential character,

Flint, TIMOTHY, clergyman; born in the revolving turret built by Captain

Reading, Mass., July 11, 1780; grad- Ericsson in the winter of 1861-62. In

uated at Harvard in 1880; became minis- March, 1814, Thomas Gregg, of Pennsylva-

ter of the Congregational Church at Lu- nia, obtained a patent for a proposed iron-

nenburg, Mass., in 1802, but resigned in clad steam vessel-of-war, resembling in

1814. He went West as a missionary, but figure the gunboats and rams used during

was obliged to give up in consequence of the Civil W T ar.

ill health. He then devoted himself to lit- At about the same time a plan of a
erature, and edited the West
ern Review in Cincinnati,
and, for a short time, the
Knickerbocker Magazine in
New York. Among his publi
cations are Recollections of
Ten Years Passed in the Val
ley of the Mississippi; Biog
raphy and History of the
Western States in the Missis-
sippi Valley (2 volumes);
Indian Wars of the West;

Memoir of Daniel Boone, etc. He died in floating battery submitted by Robert Ful-

Salem, Mass., Aug. 16, 1840. ton was approved by naval officers. It

Floating Batteries. The first Ameri- was in the form of a steamship of pecul-

can floating battery was seen in the iar construction, that might move at the

Charles River, at Boston, in October, 1775. rate of 4 miles an hour, and furnished, in

Washington had ordered the construction addition to its regular armament, with

of two, to assist in the siege of the New submarine guns. Her construction was

England capital. They were armed and ordered by Congress, and she was built at

manned, and on Oct. 26 opened fire on the the ship-yard of Adam and Noah Brown,

town, producing much consternation, at Corlear s Hook, New York, under the

They appear to have been made of strong supervision of Fulton. She was launched

planks, pierced near the water-line for Oct. 29, 1814. Her machir.ery was tested

oars, and further up were port-holes for in May following, and on July 4, 1815,

musketry and the admission of light. A she made a trial-trip of 53 miles to the

heavy gun was placed in each end, and ocean and back, going at the rate of 6

upon the top were four swivels. The en- miles an hour. This vessel was called



Fulton the First. She measured 145 feet is 300 feet; breadth, 200 feet; thickness of

on deck and 5f> feet breadth of beam; drew her sides, 13 feet, of alternate oak plank

only 8 feet of water; mounted thirty 32- and cork-wood; carries forty-four guns,

pounder carronades, and two columbiads of four of which are 100-pounders; can dis-
100 Ibs. each. She was to
be commanded by Captain
Porter. It was a struct
ure resting upon two
boats on keels, separated
from end to end by a
channel 15 feet wide and
GO feet long. One boat
contained the boiler for
generating steam, which
was made of copper. The
machinery occupied the
other boat, The water-
wheel (A) revolved in the
space between them. The
main or gun deck sup- tiKr-ui/s IKON-CLAD VESSEL IN 1814.
ported the armament, and

was protected by a parapet 4 feet 10 inches charge 100 gallons of boiling water in a

thick, of solid timber, pierced by embras- few 7 minutes, and by mechanism bran-

ures. dishes 300 cutlasses with the utmost regu-

Th rough twenty-five port-holes were as larity over her gunwales; works, also, an

many 32-pounders, intended to fire red- equal number of pikes of great length,

hot shot, which could be heated with great darting them from her sides with prodi-

safety and convenience. Her upper or gious force, and withdrawing them every

spar deck, upon which many hundred men quarter of a minute."

might parade, was encompassed with a The Confederates of South Carolina con-

buhvark for safety. She was rigged with structed a floating battery in Charleston

two stout masts, each of which supported harbor in the winter of 1801. It was a

a large lateen-yard and sails. She had curious monster, made of heavy pine

two bowsprits and jibs, and four rud- timber, filled in with palmetto-logs, and

ders, one at each extremity of each boat, covered with a double layer of railroad

so that she might be iron. It appeared like an immense shed,

steered with either 25 feet in width, and, with its appendage,

end foremost. Her about 100 feet in length. It mounted in

machinery was cal- its front (which sloped inwards from its

culated for an addi- iron-clad roof) four enormous siege-guns,

tional engine, which The powder magazine was in the rear, be-

might discharge an low the water-line, and at its extremity

immense volume of was a platform covered w r ith sand-bags,

water which it was to protect its men and balance the heavy

intended to throw guns. Attached to it was a floating hos-

upon the decks and pital. It was intended to tow this

through the port- monster to a position so as to bring its

holes of an enemy, guns to bear on Fort Sumter.

and thereby deluge Stevens s floating battery was a more

her armament and formidable structure. This battery had

ammunition. The most extravagant been in process of construction by

stories concerning this monster of the Messrs. Stevens, of Hoboken, N. J., for

deep went forth at about the time of her several years before the Civil War. It

being launched. In a treatise on steam was intended solely for harbor defence.

vessels, published in Scotland soon after- Already there had been about $1,000,000

wards, the author said: "Her length spent upon it, chiefly by the United States






War ended. The
following is a
portion of the
specific a tion :
" The boat is
framed on an
angle of about
eighteen degrees
all round the ves
sel, where the top
timbers elevate
the balls, and
the lower ones
direct them un
der her. The
top deck, which
glances the ball,
may be hung on
a mass of hinges
near the ports.
Said deck is sup
ported by knees
and cross-timbers
on the lower
sides, so that it
may be sprung
with powder, if
required (when

government, and yet it was not com- boarded by the enemy), to a perpendicular,
pleted. Until just before the war it had when the said deck will be checked by
been shut in from the public eye. It was stays, while the power of powder will be
to be 700 feet in length, covered with exhausted in the open air, and then fall or
iron plates, so as to be proof against shot spring to the centre of the deck again,
and shell of every kind. It was to be The aforesaid deck will run up and down
moved by steam-engines of sufficient with the angle, which may be coppered or
strength to give it a momentum that laid with iron. The gun - deck may be

would cause it, as a " ram," to cut in
two any ship-of-war then known when it
should strike her at the waist. It was

bored at pleasure, to give room, if re
quired, as the men and guns are under
said deck. The power is applied between

intended for a battery of sixteen heavy her keels, where there is a concave formed
rifled cannon in bomb-proof casemates, to receive them from the bow to the stern,
and two heavy columbiads for throwing except a small distance in each end, form-
shells. The latter were
to be on deck, fore and
aft. The smoke-stack
was to be constructed
in sliding sections, like
a telescope, for obvi
ous purposes; and the
vessel was so con
structed that it might
be sunk to the level of
the water. Its burden
was rated at 6,000

Online LibraryBenson John LossingHarper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) → online text (page 60 of 76)