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to divide equally with them. Amongst such officers, the most disgraceful and unmilitary practices frequently prevailed; and the privates could not sufficiently respect them, to acquire habits of obedience and subordination.

In fourteen days after the serious remonstrance of General Washington, congress resolved to raise eighty-eight battalions, to serve during the war. Under these circumstances, to protract the campaign with as little loss as possible, so as to gain time to raise a permanent army for the service of the next year, was to the Americans an object of the greatest importance.

General Washington, after much deliberation, determined on a war of posts. Recent events confirmed him in the policy of defending his country by retreating, when he could no longer stand his ground without risking his army. He well knew, that, by adopting it, he would subject himself to the imputation of wanting energy and decision ; but with him the love of country was paramount to all other considerations.

In conformity with these principles, the evacuation of New York was about this time resolved upon, whensoever it could no longer be maintained without risking the army. Arrangements were accordingly made, for a temporary defence, and an ultimate retreat when necessity required. The British, now in possession of Long Island, could at pleasure pass over to York Island, or to the main land. Washington was apprehensive that they would land above him, cut off his retreat, and force him to a general action on York Island. He therefore moved his public stores to Dobbs's Ferry, and stationed twelve thousand men at the northern end of York Island. With the remainder, he kept up the semblance of defending New York, though he had determined to abandon it, rather than risk his army for its preservation.

While Washington was making arrangements to save his troops and stores by evacuating and retreating, the British commander was prosecuting his favourite scheme of forcing the Americans to a general action, or breaking the communication between their posts. With this view, he landed about four thousand men at Kipp's Bay, three miles above New York, under cover of five men of war. Works had been thrown up

at this place, which were capable of being defended for some time, and troops were stationed in them for that


purpose ; but they fled with precipitation, without waiting for the approach of the enemy.-Two brigades were put into motion to support them. General Washington rode to the scene of action, and, to his great mortification, met the whole party retreating. While he was exerting himself to rally them, on the appearance of a small corps of the enemy, they again broke, and ran off in disorder. Conduct so dastardly, raised a tempest in the unusually tranquil mind of General Washington. Having embarked in the American cause from the purest principles, he viewed, with infinite concern, this shameful behaviour, as threatening ruin to his country. He recollected the many declarations of congress, of the army, and of the inhabitants, preferring liberty to life, and death to dishonour, and contrasted them with their present scandalous flight. His soul was harrowed up with apprehensions that his country would be conquered, her army disgraced, and her liberties destroyed. He anticipated, in imagination, that the Americans would appear to posterity in the light of high sounding boasters, who blustered when danger was at a distance, but shrunk at the shadow of opposition.—Extensive confiscations, and numerous attainders, presented themselves in full view to his agitated mind. He saw, in imagination, newly formed states, with the means of defence in their hands, and the glorious prospects of liberty before them, levelled to the dust, and such constitutions imposed upon them, as were likely to crush the vigour of the human mind; while the unsuccessful issue of the present struggle, would, for ages to come, deter posterity from the bold design of asserting their rights.-Impressed with these ideas, he hazarded his person for some considerable time in rear of his own men, and in front of the enemy, with his horse's head towards the latter, as if in expectation that, by an honourable death, he might escape the infamy which he dreaded from the dastardly conduet of troops on whom he could place no dependence. His aids-de-camp, and the confidential friends around his person, by indirect violence, compelled him to retire. In consequence of their address and importunity, a life was saved for public service, which otherwise, from a sense of honour and a gust of passion, seemed to be devoted to almost certain destruction.

The shameful events of this day hastened the evacuation of New York. This was effected with very little loss of

men, but all the heavy artillery, and a large portion of the baggage, provisions, military stores, and particularly. the tents, were unavoidably left behind. The loss of the last mentioned article was severely felt in that season, when cold weather was rapidly approaching.

The British, having got possession of the city of New York, advanced in front of it, and stretched their encampments across York Island; while their shipping defended their flanks.

Soon after their entrance into the city, a fire broke out, in the night, about eleven o'clock, and continued to rage until the next morning, when it was extinguished by great exertions on the part of the military stationed in the town, after having consumed about one third of the buildings. It is said to have been purposely set on fire, and several individuals, believed to have perpetrated the act, were precipitated into the flames. It was alleged, by the enemy, that the American General had designed to reduce the town to ashes, had he not been compelled to abandon it so hastily as to render the execution of this intention impracticable, and that the fire was in consequence of this design. But this allegation is founded entirely on mistake. Neither the congress, nor General Washington, had formed so destructive a plan; and the fire must have been kindled either by individuals, whose misguided zeal induced them to adopt šo terrible a measure, or by flagitious incendiaries, who hoped to plunder in security during the confusion of extinguishing the flames.

Washington had made his strongest post at Kingsbridge, as that preserved his communications with the country. In front of this, and near to the British, he had a strong detach. ment posted in an entrenched camp. This position of the two armies was particularly agreeable to him; for he wished to accustom his raw troops to face their enemies, hoping that by frequent skirmishes they would grow so familiar with the dangers incident to war, as to fear them less.- Opportunities of making the experiment, soon occurred. On the day after the retreat from New York, a skirmish occurred, between an advanced detachment of the British army and some American troops, commanded by colonel Knowlton, of Connecticut, and major Leitch, of Virginia. Both these officers fell, bravely fighting at the head of their troops. The captains with their men kept the ground, and fairly beat their adver,



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saries from the field. This was the first advantage which the
army under the command of Washington had gained in the cam-
paign. Its influence on the army was great. To increase its ef-
fects, the parole the next day was Leitch ;” and the general
gave public thanks to the troops engaged in that gallant ac-
tion. He contrasted their conduct with the late shameful
flight of the troops from the works on Kipp's Bay, and ob-
served, “ That the result proved what might be done, where
officers and men exerted themselves;" and again called on all
“so to act, as not to disgrace the noble cause in which they
were engaged.”

General Howe continued to prosecute his scheme for cut-
ting off Washington's communication with the eastern states,
and enclosing him so as to compel a general engagement.
With this view, the royal army landed on Frog's Neck, in
West Chester county, and soon afterwards advanced to New
Rochelle, and made sundry successive movements, all calcu-
lated to effect this purpose. A few skirmishes occurred; !
but a general action was carefully avoided by Washington,
except in one case, in which he had so manifest an advan-
tage from his position on hills near the White Plains, that
general Howe declined it. The project of getting into the
rear of the American army, was, in like manner, frustrated,
by frequent and judicious changes of its position. General
Howe, failing in his first design, adopted a new plan of ope-
rations. His efforts were henceforward directed to an inva-
sion of New Jersey. Washington, penetrating his designs,
crossed the North River. He wrote to William Livingston,
governor of New Jersey, urging him to put the militia of
that state into the best condition to defend their country,
and also recommending the removal of cattle and provisions
from the sea-coast.--About this time, Fort Washington was
taken by storm, and the garrison, consisting of more than two
thousand men, with their commander, colonel Magaw, sur-
rendered prisoners of war, This was the only post held by
the Americans on York Island ; and was an exception to the
general plan of evacuating and retreating. Hopes had been
indulged that it might be defended, and, in conjunction with
Fort Lee, on the opposite Jersey shore, made useful in em-
barrassing the passage of British vessels on the North River
This post having fallen, orders for the evacuation of Fon
Lee were immediately given ; but before the stores could be

removed, lord Cornwallis crossed the North River with siz thousand men.- Washington, retreating before him, took post along the Hackensack. His situation there was nearly similar to that which he had abandoned; for he was liable to be enclosed between the Hackensack and the Passaic rivers He therefore, on the approach of the enemy, passed over to Newar. He stood his ground there for some days, as if determined on resistance; but, being incapable of any effectual opposition, he retreated to Brunswick, on the day that lord Cornwallis entered Newark. At Brunswick, Washington kept his troops in motion, and even advanced a small detachment, as if intending to engage the enemy. Nor did he quit this position until their advanced guards were in sight.Lord Sterling was left at Princeton with twelve hundred men, to watch the British; and Washington proceeded with the residue to Trenton. There, he meant to make a stand. Or ders were previously given, to collect and guard all the boats for seventy miles on the Delaware. The baggage and stores were also passed over. These being secured, Washington detached twelve hundred men to Princeton, to keep up the appearance of opposition, and soon followed with about two thousand militia, who had recently joined him.-Before he reached Princeton, intelligence was received, that lord Corn wallis, strongly reinforced, was advancing from Brunswick in different directions, with the apparent design of getting into his rear. An immediate retreat over the Delaware be came necessary. This was effected on the 8th of Decem ber. Washington secured all his boats on the Pennsylvania side ; broke down the bridges on roads leading to the oppon site shores, and posted his troops at the different fords. So keen was the pursuit, that, as the rear-guard of the retreating army embarked, the van of the enemy came in sight.

The British, having driven the American army out of New Jersey, posted themselves along the Delaware, and small parties passed and repassed from one to the other, without any interruption. They made some attempts to procure boats, but failed. They also repaired some of the bridges that had been recently destroyed, and pushed forward a strong detachment for Bordenton. This was intended to increase their chances for crossing, and to embarrass Wash ington, who could not foresee from which of their several positions they would make the attempt.

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