« 이전계속 »
strong body of the British forces encamped at were further scattered in a pursuit conducted with
contest. The disputed town was therefore evac-
It has already been stated that two of the Ame- Bank, on the opposite Jersey shorę. Strong parrican columns were respectively subdivided at ties of militia scoured the whole country in the Chew's house, in consequence of the unlooked for neighbourhood of the city, for the purpose of enresistance of its British garrison. The troops forcing the resolution of Congress, which subjected
to martial law all persons supplying provisions to strong-holds, and to avoid an action until joined by the enemy:
the new troops. Sir William Howe soon fel: the increasing diffi On the tenth of November, the attack was reculties of his situation, and began to prepare his newed on Fort Mifflin, from a heavy battery on plans for their forcible removal. Works were Province Island, within the distance of five hundred erected against fort MiMin, which produced severe yards. The cannonade was continued almost conflicts with Colonel Samuel Smith, who como incessantly for several days, and produced conmanded the station. Lord Howe came up the siderable impression. The American guns were river with his ships of war and transports, and nearly all dismounted, the block-houses and pali. anchored from Newcastle to Reedy Island; some sades beaten down, and the small garrison wearied frigates being detached in advance to remove the out by the necessity for anremitting exertion. chevaux de frise that encumbered the channel. Washington sent relief to the officers of the fort; Considerable difficulties were encountered in effect. but his instructions were positive that the place ing this object, so that the obstructions below should be maintained to the last extremity, and Mud Island were not cleared until the middle of they were strictly and literally obeyed. The beOctober, while those covered by the American siegers, finding that all their means would be reguns were yet untouched. The capture of the quired to attain success, called in the assistance of forts was therefore the next object, and it was ac- their fleet. It was ascertained that in consequence cordingly attempted by a combined attack on land of the obstructions thrown into other parts of the and water.
river, the current had deepened the inner channel On the twenty-second of October 1777, Count belween Mud and Province Islands, so as to admit Donop, a German officer, with twelve hundred men, of safe navigation for vessels of considerable burassailed the works at Red Bank, which were de- then. The frigate Vigilant and a sloop of war fended with the usual vigour of American troops were brought up this channel and anchored within even the freshest militia—when covered by a slight a hundred yards of the rear of the fort, from which intrenchment. At the same time, five British position they were enabled to pour a destructive vessels sailed up the river, and in concert with fire of cannon, musketry and grenades. It was now their land batteries, opened a heavy fire on Fort evident that the post was no longer tenable; and on MiMin. The Hessians fought with great gallantry, the sixteenth, after some unsuccessful attempts to but were repulsed by Colonel Greene, with the loss dislodge the vessels, the garrison was withdrawn of Count Donop and one third of their number. under cover of the night, leaving Sir William
The cannonade from the shipping continued with. Howe in possession of the whole line from the out intermission until night interrupted the conflict Schuylkill to the Delaware. and concealed from the Americans the dangerous si The next effort of the British general was directed tuation of theline of battle ship Augusta and sloop of against the post at Red Bank, called Fort Mercer. war Merlin, which had grounded within the range The arrival of a strong reinforcement from New of the guns of the fort. The next morning the York, enabled him to detach a sufficient force upon action re-commenced; but at length the British that enterprise, without any hazard to his own withdrew, after setting fire to the Merlin, and position from a coup-de-main. The fort was abardoning the Augusta, which shortly afterwards evacuated on the approach of Lord Cornwallis, blew up:
whose strength was such as to render resistance Notwithstanding this brilliant success, the posi- hopeless. General Greene had been ordered by tion of Fort Mimin was extremely critical. It was Washington to follow this movement, for the double known to be a rude fortification, strongly intrenched purpose of assisting in the defence of fort Mercer, in front, but defended in the rear by only a ditch and of giving battle to the British commander at and palisade. Sir William Howe was, therefore, the first favourable opportunity; but as none such by no means discouraged by these disasters, from presented itself, this judicious officer came to no the prosecution of his purpose, which, as it involved cugagement, and returned with his forces to the the secure possession of Philadelphia, was too in commander-in-chief. The results of these operaportant to be abandoned except at the last extremity. tions fully secured Sir William Howe in his conHe now proceeded with great circumspection, quest of Philadelphia, and in the possession of an withdrawing all his outposts, uniting his whole uninterrupted communication between his army and force in the city, and prosecuting his measures so the fleet. as to insure a slow but ultimate success. Matters While these operations were fully employing the were in this situation, when news came of the Bri- armies of Washington and Sir William Howe, events tish disasters in the north, and of the sudden tere had transpired in the north of greai and varied mination of the war in that quarter. The im- importance. After a series of battles and sieges, portant change thus effected in the posture of the plan which had been formed by the British to American affairs, altered also the relations of the penetrate from Canada to the Hudson was comtwo armies. It was now of extreme consequence to pletely frustrated; and General Burgoyne found Sir William Howe, to anticipate the arrival of the himself obliged, at Saratoga, to surrender his whole re-inforcements to his adversary, which might be army as prisoners of war to the American forces expected from the victorious army of the North: under General Gates. Sir Henry Clinton attempted while, on the other hand, it was the policy of a diversion on the Hudson for the purpose of extriWashington 10 preserve if possible, his present cating his colleague; but the movement was under
Vol. XVIII. - Part II.
taken too late, and produced no result beyond the Irvine severely wounded; but the attention of all capture of several posts which guarded the passes was fixed upon the expected general engagement, and prevented the navigation of the river.
for which the commander-in-chief had made the Public opinion, elated by the brilliant success of most active preparations. On the eighth, instead Gates, and rising into confidence with the apparent of the anticipated attack, Sir William Howe suddiscouragement of the British ministry and nation, denly broke up his camp, and fell back with great now loudly required that some effort should be rapidity upon Philadelphia. made to surprise and storm the city. Invidious The great severity of the season now rendered it comparisons were openly drawn between the two necessary that the army should be disposed in commanders, by a strong party hostile to the winter quarters. Accordingly, on the eleventh of general-in-chief. The triumph of the one and the December, the main body of the Americans comcomparative inactivity of the other, were traced to menced their march to Valley Forge, a good a difference in their respective characters and position about twenty-five miles from Philadelphia, abilities. It was urged also that the rapid depre- on the western side of the Schuylkill, and equally ciation of paper money would extinguish the distant from the Delaware above and below the national resources, unless confidence were revived city. Here, after a slight skirmish with a detach. by the striking of a decisive blow. The greatness of ment under Lord Cornwallis, a permanent camp Washington's mind and his peculiar fitness for the was formed of log huts, with the interstices closed times in which he was placed, were again wonder with mortar. In order to prevent all intercourse fully exhibited. Had he possessed in his tempera- between the British army and the country, General ment, the least mixture of personal vanity or envy, Smallwood with his division took post at Wilor had the firm resolution of his mind been capable mington. General Armstrong and the Pennsylvania of impression from the force of public clamour or militia were stationed at Whitemarsh; Colonel private importunity, the independence of his Morgan was in the lines on the west side of the country would, in all human probability, have been Schuylkill, and the whole country was scoured by arrested or annihilated at this crisis.
troops of cavalry.' The two armies were about equal in point of On the twenty-second of December, when Washnumbers; but the British were strongly intrenched ington was about to advance his troops upon behind a line of redoubts, extending from the Derby, for the purpose of disturbing the British in Delaware, which covered the right of their posi- the removal of forage, it was ascertained that the tion, to the Schuylkill on the left, while their rear last rations in the commissary department had was protected by the junction of the rivers and the been distributed to the forces. The calamities city of Philadelphia. A failure of the attack upon frequently arising from like deficiencies, had been these intrenchments was fraught with consequences the repeated subject of strong representations to too dangerous to be hazarded, except in the last ex- Congress; but the system adopted iended rather to tremity: it was besides evident that Sir William increase than to alleviate the difficulties of the Howe must either invite battle upon more equal army. The commander-in-chief was empowered terms, or confess timidity, in the face of the whole to seize all provisions within seventy miles of head country. The diminished value of the continental quarters, giving in return a certificate to be repaper was due to a bad system of finance, which deemed by the United States. No funds were, had provided no adequate taxation to secure the however, provided to meet these demands, and as immense emission, and was not to be remedied by Sir William Howe paid liberally in gold and silver the hazardous exposure of the main strength of the for all that was conveyed into the city, invidious American cause. The prudent judgment of Wash- comparisons were naturally drawn, which tended ington prevailed over all personal considerations: much to diminish the popularity of the American he resisted the difficulties with which he was cause. Washington immediately exercised his encompassed, and the award of history will shed authority so as to collect such supplies as were an eternal lustre over his wisdom, while the absolutely necessary; but his conduct was loudly clamours of the day have already sunk into obscu- complained of by the people for its rigour, and by rity.
Congress for its lenity. "In reply to new orders The correctness of Washington's foresight was from the board of war, directing an increase of soon proved. On the fourth of December 1777, severity, he observed that such coercive measures Sir William Howe marched from Philadelphia were only to be resorted to, when the alternative with fourteen thousand men, with the declared presented was the dissolution of the forces—that a intention of giving battle to the Americans. Kis present relief was thus provided at the certain exfirst encampment was upon Chesnut Hill; the pense of growing disaffection--and that the resul: Americans occupied another range of hills opposite, would be ruinous, not only to the people, but to but converging to the north towards that possessed the army itself, in which a spirit of licentiousness by the British. On the seventh, Howe changed and plunder must necessarily be generated. his position by moving along the hills and ap During this winter, an organized conspiracy proaching within a mile of Washington's left. plainly exhibited itself against the general in chief; During these operations, sharp skirmishes took the parties to which were several military officers place, in which the British loss was about one and members of Congress. The triumph of Gehundred men, and that of the continentals scarcely neral Gates at Saratoga, was urged as an evidence less, including Major Morris killed, and General of what might be expected from a change in the
command of the main army; and the conduct of o less than two thousand eight hundred and ninetythat officer himself, lest no doubt of his giving en- eight men were then in camp unfit for duty, becouragement to the disaffected. A new board of
cause they were barefoot and otherwise naked.” war was established, of which Gates was made Putrid fevers added the malignity of pestilence to president; General Mifflin, another officer belong. the other distresses of the soldiers, and while these ing to the party, was nominated a member, and calamities were rapidly impairing the strength of Brigadier-General Conway, who had written con the army, a spirit scarcely less dangerous was betemptuous letters about the commander-in-chief, ginning to prevail among the officers. The dewas elevated a grade above all his seniors, and preciation of the continental money had now beappointed inspector general. The legislature of come so great, that the pay of an officer had ceased Pennsylvania, irritated by the continuance of the to be valuable, and was inadequate to the mainenemy in Philadelphia, expressed their dissatisfac. tenance of a decent appearance; there arose on this tion with the management of the army, in a account a general carelessness about the holding of strenuous remonstrance to Congress. The conduct commissions, which led officers into a habitual of Washington under these trying circumstances, contempt of the obligations of duty, and afterwards was such as might have been expected from his produced resignations in order to avoid censure. patriotism and dignity of character. General There can be but little doubt, that a bold effort, Gates was given to know that his machinations made with the well-equipped army of Sir William were understood: but it was without querulousness Howe, would have forced the American lines, and or deprecation. Whenever defiuite charges were perhaps concluded the whole warfare. The usual produced, investigation was earnestly courteil. prudence of the British general's tactics again preGo There is no officer," said Washington, “ in the vailed, and the circle of the war was confined service of the United States, that would return to to a few skirmishes of partisans and foraging dethe sweets of domestic life with more heartfelt joy tachments. than I should. But I would have this declaration The impression produced in England by the conaccompanied by these sentiments, that while the vention at Saratoga, changed the tone of the minispublic are satisfied with my endeavours, I mean try, and induced ihe passage of such laws as were not to shrink from the cause: but the moment her supposed likely to satisfy the people of America. voice, not that of faction, calls upon me to resign, Governor Tryon immediately enclosed the bills to I shall do it with as much pleasure as ever the Washington, with the extraordinary request that wearied traveller retired to rest." The conspira- they should be communicated to the army.. This tors found it impossible to shake the confidence of communication was immediately transmitted to the people and the army in their tried commander, Congress, where resolutions were passed reviewing and all efforts only recoiled upon themselves. the fallacies of the British enactments with great Even the northern army which had won its laurels skill and severity. General Washington acknowunder Gates, expressed a preference for Washing- ledged the receipt of Tryon's letter, and transton. General Conway resigned his commission in mitted in return the answer of Congress; at the order to escape the voice of universal condemna same time, he begged him to be instrumental in tion; shortly afterwards, while suffering under a spreading the resolutions among those who were wound believed to be mortal, received in duel with likely to be influenced by their re
reasoning General Cadwalader, he addressed a letter of re During these transactions, the whole country pentance to Washington, acknowledging his char. was suddenly filled with joy and exultation, by the acter as a “great and good man,” and hoping that receipt of official intelligence that a treaty of alhe might, "long enjoy the love, veneration and liance, commerce and friendship, had been signed esteem of these states, whose liberties he had between the king of France and the United States. asserted by his virtues.'
The British government treated this act as a deThe war of the American revolution was truly claration of war, and in a manifesto announced its
a history of false hopes and temporary devices,” reasons for an immediate commencement of hosand it presents us with a constant narration of suf- tilities. fering and danger; but it may well be questioned The position at Valley Forge had been selected whether any period was more pregnant with both, by Washington, as offering the best advantages for than the winter of the encampment at Valley Forge. covering the country, and depriving the enemy of At one time “ there was not a single hoof of any his necessary supplies. The wisdom of the choice kind to slaughter, and not more than twenty-five was exhibited by the sufferings of the British barrels of flour;" while the commissary was unable army, which in spite of abundant wealth, was to“ tell when to expect any." In the beginning of obliged to detach numerous parties in order to February, the commissaries gave notice that the procure forage and provisions. In the course of country was exhausted to a great distance around these expeditions, the soldiery committed much the camp, and that no supplies could be procured useless devastation, thus distressing and exciting beyond the month. In the way of covering, “ few the people without the least prospect of any milimen had more than one shirt, many only the tary results. The last and most important entermoiety of one, and some none at all.” By the field prise undertaken by Sir William Howe, was an atreturn, it appeared that “besides a number of tempt to surprise General Lafayette at Barren men confined to hospitals for want of shoes, and Hill, under cover of the night; but the continental others in farm-houses on the same account, no force, by some skilful manæuvres, effected, in the
language of the commander-in-chief, “ a timely execution of these orders, was to check the retreat and handsome retreat;" which added to the high of the British rear by a vigorous attack from esteem already entertained for the merit of the Wayne's corps, while he gained their front by marquis and his devotion to the American cause. a shorter road, and intercepted their communiSir William Howe then resigned his command to cation with the line. Before this scheme could Sir Henry Clinton; and as the probable approach be carried into operation, suspicion arose that of a French fleet rendered Philadelphia a danger. some mistake existed as to the actual force of the ous position, it was resolved to evacuate the city, division about to be assailed. Lee advanced to and to withdraw the whole British force from the reconnoitre, and at the same time Sir Henry ClinDelaware.
ton counter-marched with his whole force to the The arrangements for this important movement rear, in order by a menacing movement to deter soon attracted the attention of the commander-in- . the Americans from any attempt upon his bagchief. Every preparation was made to impede the gage. These manæuvres brought the two armies march of the enemy through the state of New into collision on a ground disadvantageous to the Jersey; the militia were collected, and a force of continentals. After great hesitation in his move. regulars marched to their assistance. On the 17th ments, Lee finally ordered a general retreat of of June, Sir Henry Clinton commenced the pass- his detachment, for the purpose of regaining the age of the Delaware; on the 18th, the whole heights. Some slight skirmishing took place, army of ten thousand effective men were on the without any other effect than to give notice that Jersey shore, from which they marched slowly, a conflict had commenced. with a heavy incumbrance of baggage. Wach The rear of the Americans now moved rapidly ington crossed the river at Coryell's Ferry, with a forward to support the front. General Washington force about equal to that of the British, and by oc rode out full of hope and confidence, when to his cupying the higher grounds, preserved the power utter astonishment he perceived the latter division of delivering or avoiding battle. The former in full retreat, without fighting or even understandcourse had been declared unadvisable by a council ing the reasons of this unexpected movement. Some of war, according to the opinion expressed by warm expressions to General Lee exhibited the General Lee; it was contended by this officer, with strong displeasure of the American commander, all the weight due to his reputation and experience, and instant measures were adopted for arresting that as nothing in the present prosperous condition the advance of the English, and for re-forming the of American affairs could prevent the certainty of troops involved in the disorder. The left wing independence, except the loss in battle of the main and second line were drawn up on an eminence army, such a risk could not be voluntarily ha- covered in front by a morass; Lord Stirling, who zarded without crime. Of seventeen general offi- commanded the former, with the aid of Carringcers, Wayne and Cadwalader alone were decidedly ton's artillery, repulsed the attack of a British in favour of attacking the enemy; Lafayette ap- column, and effectualiy checked their forward peared to incline that way; and Greene considered movement. that an engagement should be hazarded, if ren The next effort of the enemy was to turn the dered necessary, by the bounden duty of the army left flank of the Americans, but in this they were to protect the country. Washingion reluctantly roughly repulsed. Another attempt on the left assented to the decision of the council; powerful was defeated with loss, by the judicious advance reinforcements, however, were sent to strengthen of the artillery and infantry under Greene. At the corps on the left flank of the enemy, with this moment of confusion, the coming up of Wayne orders to give him every annoyance, and even to compelled the British to retire to the same ground attack, should a proper opportunity present itself. occupied before the arrival of Washington, where The command of this important division was given their flanks were covered by morasses and thick to Lafayette, who filed off towards Englishtown, woods, and their front was accessible only by a while the main body moved on Cranberry, in order narrow passage.
Undeterred by these difficulties, to give support if required. General Lee, at his which were increased by the heat of the day and earnest request, was detached to reinforce and com- fatigue of the troops, Washington resolved immemand the van, which now amounted to five thou diately to renew the battle. The artillery was adsand men.
vanced and opened its fire on the British flank. On the morning of the 28th of June, Sir Henry General Poor, with his own brigade and that of broke up from a strong encampment on the high North Carolina, was ordered to turn the right grounds about Monmouth Court House, and con- flank of the enemy, while Woodford's brigade was tinued his retreat. The baggage was in front, directed on their left. Unfortunately the impediunder the charge of General Knyphausen, while ments of the ground were of such a nature as to the strength of the army formed the rear division, protract the completion of these dispositions until under the special command of Lord Cornwallis. ihe approach of night, for which reason the action As the British were then within twelve miles of was discontinued with the intention of recomthe heights of Middletown, which would place mencing the struggle on the ensuing morning. them in perfect security, Washington sent orders The flanking brigades remained in their respective to Lee to attack their rear the moment it was in position; and Washington passed the night in his motion.
cloak, in the midst of his soldiers, who bivouacked The first plan formed by General Lee for the on the field of battle.