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(Illustrations: Benson J. Lossing)


A woman of courage:
Part VI

Lady Acland and the power of love

by Emily L. Marcason

One of these wounded soldiers was Major Acland. Lady Acland had a tent not too far away from the Baroness’s house. Lady Acland had gotten word that her husband had been mortally wounded and had been taken prisoner. The Baroness did her best to comfort Lady Acland, who was very distraught.1 The Baroness wrote in her journal that she tried to comfort Major Acland’s wife the best she could and urged her to go across American lines so she could nurse him back to health.

“The Assistance I was enabled to offer her was small indeed; I had not even a cup of wine to offer her; but I was told she had found, from some kind and fortunate hand, a little rum and dirty water. All I could furnish to her was an open boat and a few lines, written upon dirty and wet paper, to General Gates, recommending her to his protection. Mr. Brudenell…readily undertook to accompany her, and with one female servant, and the major’s valet-de-chambre, she rowed down the river to meet the enemy." 2


Click on the image to see the monument that stands in the place of where Major Acland was wounded.
(Jim Millard photo)




 

 Burgoyne confirmed that General Gates admitted Lady Acland “with humanity and respect that her rank, her merits and her fortunes deserved.  Let such as are affected by these circumstances of alarm, hardship and danger, recollect that the subject of them was a woman; of the most tender and delicate frame; of the gentlest manners; habituated to all the soft elegancies, and refined enjoyments, that attend high birth and fortune; far advanced in a state in which the tender cares, always due to the sex, become indispensably necessary. Her mind alone was formed for such trials.” 3

Lady Acland was quite a presence within the American force. She was very well regarded by the soldiers for her kindness and cheery disposition. Even General Gates, who wasn’t fond of members of the upper class, enjoyed her company. “She is the most amiable, delicate piece of Quality you ever beheld!” Gates later told his wife.4


Lady Acland had also made an impression on Lieut. Digby. He wrote in his journal that Lady Acland was very devoted to her husband. He pondered why a woman of her fortune would attach herself to travel with the army. However, her attachment to her husband, Major Acland, “her ladyship bore everything; with a degree of steadiness and resolution, that could alone be expected from an experienced veteran.” 5


-Part VII-
A Tired Retreat


Sources/Notes:

1 Richard Ketchum, “Saratoga: Turning point of America’s Revolutionary War” (Owl Book: Published by Henry Holt and Company, New York 1997) 405.

2 Gerald Howson, “Burgoyne of Saratoga” (Times Books, New York 1979) 225.

3 lbid., 225.

4 lbid., 225.

5 James Phinney Baxter, “The British Invasion From the North: The Campaigns of General Carleton and Burgoyne with the Journal of Lieut. William Digby” (Joel Munsell’s Sons, Albany, NY 1887) 269.

Illustrations by Benson J. Lossing and Felix Darley: Benson J. Lossing. "THE PICTORIAL FIELD-BOOK OF THE WAR OF 1812; OR, ILLUSTRATIONS, BY PEN AND PENCIL, OF THE HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, SCENERY, RELICS, AND TRADITIONS OF THE LAST WAR FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE." 1869. Courtesy of the Floyd Harwood Collection.

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