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age (for those times) of nineteen. It was the year of the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle; and James Wolfe, having served during the past war at Dettingen, Culloden, and Lauffeld, was already sure of his promotion to the rank of major. Our next sight of Grey is as a lieutenant of the Sixth Foot, actually doing duty with his regiment at Gibraltar-a fact which is far more creditable to him than at first sight appears. For, let the Horse Guards and War Office threaten as they might, it was almost impossible in those days to make officers remain with their regiments in the Mediterranean garrisons; and indeed lack of officers was one principal cause of the loss of Minorca in 1756. Fortunately, however, Grey was already clear of the Mediterranean before that time, having earned his captaincy in 1755 by raising an independent company of foot. This was a time-honoured method of increasing the army when the prospect of war demanded a sudden augmentation, and it was an exceedingly wasteful one. Many an impecunious gentleman re-established his affairs by scraping together one hundred raw boys and tottering old men, handing them over to the authorities as good recruits, and putting most of the levy-money, paid for them by a liberal country, into his own pocket. Not thus, however, we may be sure, did Captain Grey earn his promotion, for within three months after his company was complete he obtained a transfer to the Twentieth Foot, then commanded by the smartest regimental officer of his dayLieutenant-Colonel James Wolfe.
The Twentieth at this time were quartered at Canterbury, where Wolfe was busily training his men to meet a French invasion, and urging his officers to turn their thoughts to 'what may be most serviceable to the Kiug's affairs and to 'the good of the country as far as we can contribute to them.' There were great field-days against imaginary enemies marked out by stakes 5 feet 7 inches above the ground, to
regulate the movements of the troops and guide their levelling well’; in all of which mancuvres Captain Grey bore his part in command of the left flank-company. It is pretty evident that under Wolfe's direction this company was already something of a light company; and it is certain that Grey was an enthusiast for light infantry to the very last.
At length, in 1757, the time came for the Twentieth to go on active service, and for Grey to go with them. The occasion was the expedition despatched against Rochefort at the outset of Pitt's first administration--a foolish enterprise which resulted in absolutely nothing, and is interesting only as a proof that Pitt's capacity as a Minister of War is absurdly overrated. However, in July, 1758, the regiment was sent to more profitable work as part of the army under command of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, though it joined him too late to take part in the campaign of that year. Wolfe had sailed to America some months earlier, to command a brigade at the siege of Louisburg; but the next campaign was to show that his officers still kept the Twentieth in faultless order, and that Wolfe's fire-discipline was not forgotten.
During May and June, 1759, Marshal Contades, with greatly superior numbers, had succeeded in outmanoeuvring Ferdinand, and had finally thrown himself into an impregnable position at Minden, hoping to keep Ferdinand's army impotently watching him, while his own detachments worked mischief in other quarters. The dispositions by which Ferdinand enticed him from his stronghold are well known; but so hazardous were they that only the strictest vigilance over every movement of the French could save them from being disastrous. As a matter of fact, though Contades's motions were carefully observed, they were not until after long delay reported to Ferdinand, so that they came upon him almost as a surprise. No sooner did he learn what was going forward than he sent his aides-decamp flying in all directions to summon the various divisions of his army; and among those aides-de-camp, for that day at least, was Charles Grey. It must have been a curious experience. The light was still dim, for the hour was not later than three o'clock on the first morning of August. A heavy gale was blowing from the west, which drowned all sound of cannon to leeward, where the danger was greatest, and redoubled that of the French batteries to windward, in which quarter the enemy was making a feint attack. Eight different columns, horse, foot, and artillery, were struggling forward over rough ground and heavy tracks to their appointed place in the line of battle, and nobody knew quite what was going to happen. Indeed, Ferdinand himself, having dispersed the whole of his Staff with messages, was fain to gallop, with a single groom for his companion, almost from end to end of his line before he could ascertain whether the day was already lost or the fight but just begun. The sequel of the battle is familiar to all. The eight columns, with the exception of the British cavalry under Lord George Sackville, took up their allotted positions
correctly; but eight battalions, six of them British and two of them Hanoverian, by some mistake advanced through a cross-fire of artillery straight against a mass of French cavalry, repulsed the said cavalry in three separate attacks, and, continuing their forward movement in spite of frightful losses, fairly blasted the centre of the French line off the field. What part Grey took in these affairs we do not know. The Twentieth were in the most exposed situation on the right of the first line of the victorious battalions, and came out of action triumphant, though with a loss of three hundred and twenty officers and men killed and wounded. Among the wounded officers was Grey himself, though whether he was hit when galloping forward to arrest this mad attack of the British (as is highly probable) must remain uncertain. Certainly he was not one of the Staff officers despatched to hurry Sackville into action-perhaps it would have been better if he had been, for a peremptory message, delivered with the quick and imperious temper of the Greys, might possibly have brought that miserable officer forward in spite of himself. But the chief lesson of the day, as we may guess, to the young captain lay in the experience gained of the effect of an unexpected attack even on the most highly trained army.
In the campaign of 1760 Grey appears to have gone back to bis regiment, so that he probably arrived too late in the field of Warburg to see the British cavalry retrieve under Granby the reputation which it had lost under Sackville. But in October the Twentieth formed part of a force which was detached to make a diversion on the Rhine under command of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, better known as the ill-fated Duke of Brunswick, who was checked at Valmy and killed at Auerstadt. It so fell out that the Prince found himself with no alternative but to retreat or to hazard a surprise attack upon greatly superior numbers. He chose the bolder course, and opened the action with consummate skill; but the heroism of the Chevalier D’Assas saved the French from complete surprise, and, after six hours of furious fighting, the Prince was repulsed with very heavy loss. The Twentieth lost close upon two hundred officers and men wounded; but it never budged a foot until its ammunition was exhausted, while its fire, with that of the Twenty-fifth Foot, was said by the French to have annihilated three of their brigades. Grey, who was again wounded, learned from this action of Kloster-Kampen another lesson, this time from another side, in the art of conducting a surprise attack.
At the close of the campaign he returned to England, and in January, 1761, received the command of a newly raised regiment, with promotion to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Within three months of its formation this corps took part in the expedition to Belleisle--Pitt's one successful raid upon the French coast-and thence was ordered to the West Indies, Grey presumably accompanying it. There, in December, 1761, it formed part of General Monckton's force at the reduction of Martinique, though so slightly engaged as to suffer no casualties; and it was then left as part of the garrison of the island. Grey, however, seems to have accompanied Lord Albemarle to Cuba, and to have taken a share in the siege of Havana. Little appears to be really known of his part in these West Indian expeditions ; and, if he was present at all, it is evident that he made no long stay in that quarter. There was a potent attraction to draw him to England in 1762; for in that year he married Elizabeth, daughter of George Grey of Southwick.
Peace came in 1763. Grey's regiment was disbanded, and himself placed on half-pay. In 1764 an heir, the reformer Charles, was born to him, but it was many years before his quiver was filled with its full complement of five sons and two daughters. In 1772 his services received some recognition by his appointment as aide-de-camp to the King, with its attendant rank of colonel in the army, from which it is reasonable to infer that he held no extreme views in opposition to the Government on the question of the dispute with the American colonies. It was precisely in that year 1772 that this quarrel was revived with a bitterness that led inevitably to war; but England's real opportunity had been thrown away four years before. Five thousand men despatched to Boston in 1768 would perhaps have heartened the loyalist majority in the colonies and overawed the party of violence, for there was little real vitality, at first, in the American Revolution. But instead of five thousand the Government sent little more than five hundred; and the result was that in 1775 ten thousand men found themselves not only powerless to act, but unable to hold the town.
Among those ten thousand men was Grey, who had arrived at Boston with the Commander-in-Chief in May, 1775, holding the local rank of major-general. He seems to have filled some appointment on the Staff, for though he took part in the operations about New York in 1776, his name does not appear in the list of brigadiers until 1777. In the campaign of that year when Howe sailed from New York to the Chesapeake for the capture of Philadelphia, Grey commanded a brigade; and he has left on record his appreciation of the masterly maneuvres by which Howe won the victory of Brandywine. His own part in the action was, however, unimportant, his brigade forming only the reserve of Cornwallis's division, which turned Washington's right flank and rolled his line back in disorderly retreat. A week later, however, there came to Grey the chance which comes to every man at least once in his life. After the victory of Brandywine Howe pursued his march upon Philadelphia ; and Washington, outmancurred at every point and unable to arrest his advance, in the last resort detached General Wayne with fifteen hundred men to a forest on the skirt of Howe's left flank, with orders to harass his rear. To make an end of this troublesome intruder, Howe detached Grey with the Forty-second Highlanders, a composite battalion of light companies, and the Forty-fourth Foot, and gave him a free hand to deal with Wayne as he thought best. It was evident that Grey's only chance of success lay in an attack by surprise, for his force, owing to the weakness of battalions in those days, could not have exceeded a thousand men; but he had made a study of surprises, and he now laid his plans for falling suddenly upon Wayne by night with the bayonet alone. To this end he not only gave strict orders that not a shot should be fired, but removed the flints from the men's muskets to ensure that he should be obeyed. This system,' he explained to his men, conceals you and your numbers from 'the enemy; the enemy direct their fire wherever they see or
hear fire; consequently they fire upon each other, while 'you are concealed, and they fall an easy prey.'* At one o'clock in the morning of September 21 Wayne's outposts were overpowered, and the British, rushing into his camp, plied the bayonet with frightful effect. Darkness alone saved the Americans from absolute destruction. From two to three hundred were killed and wounded, not a few by each other's shot, one hundred more, together with the whole of the baggage, were taken, and the remainder were dispersed in every direction—all with no greater loss to Grey's force than a single officer killed and seven privates killed and wounded. From that day forward Grey was
* Grey's 'General Orders,' January 24, 1794; an echo of his orders in 1777.