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lines near Haerlem, to cover New York. Had Ge. neral Washington commanded old troops, which he could have depended upon, General Howe might have paid dear for this adventure. Had Washington attacked Percy in the mean time of the embarkation, all the forces under the Earl might have been cut off, without the rest being able to afford them the smallest aid or assistance. There was only one thing which could have preserved them, namely the fleet, which surrounded the island, which could have afforda, ed them protection almost in any situation into which they could have been reduced. This fleet was of vast service in all the operations of the army, and indeed it does not appear that our troops could have done any thing unless they had been protected by the fleeta In this the provincials were chiefly inferior, being totally destitute of any force of this nature. my was obliged to halt for some days at Frog's Neck, to wait for the arrival of provisions and stores, and for a reinforcement that was drawn froin Staten Hand. When these arrived they marched through Pelham manor to New Rochester, which lies on the. coast of the Sound, which isthe name of that channel which separates Long Illand from the continent. • Here they were joined by the greatest part of a regiment of light horse from Ireland, the rest of the troops had been takenin their paffage by the American crui.' zers upon the coast.
. They were also joined by the second, division of Hessians, under General Knyphau. fen, with a regiment of Waldeckers, both of which had arrived at New York fince the army had departe ed from it. The chief object of this expedition was to cut off the communication between Washington and the eastern colonies; and if this measure did not
bring him to an engagement, to enclose him on all fides in his fastaefles on the North end of York Haad. The King's troops were now masters of the lower road to Connecticut and Boston, but to gain the upper it was necessary to advance to the higher grounds called the White Plains.
This is a rugged, stoney, and mountainous tract of ground, and is only part of an afcent to a country that is still higher, rougher, and of more difficult access.
When the army advanced to the higher grounds it was judged necessary to leave the second division of Hessians with the regiment of Waldeck, at New Rochelle, to keep a communication between the supplies of provifions and neceffaries that were to arrive at that
port. The army was now so truly powerful, that it was enabled to fupport every lervice.
General Howe foon began to find that he had now another game to play than what he had upon Long Island.-..-Washington forefaw the intention of this scheme, and provided against its effects. He perceived the danger he would be in if the British General fucceeded in his scheme ; that he would be compelled to commit the whole fortune of the war, and the safety of all the colonies, to the hazard of a generalengagement. In his present state this would have been highly imprudent ; his troops were not well recovered from the terror of their late misfotunes, and in cafe he should have been defeated, there could scarcely be a poflibility of a retreat. His army is faid at this time to have been much reduced by sickness, which the severity of the service, indifferent quarters, bad cloathing, the want of salt and other necessaries, join. ed to a flovenliness that naturally prevailed in New England and the northern colonies, rendered ge
ñeral, and very fatal to their aršy: A grand moveinent was accordingly made by the whole, in a line of Imall detachments, and entrenched camps, which occupied every height and strong guard from Valentine's Hill, near Kingsbridge ph the right, to White Plains, and the upper road to Connecticut on the left. In this situation, they found the whole line of the King's troops as they marched at à moderate distance. The deep river Brunx covered their rear, whilst the open ground to the last afforded a secure passage to their ftores and baggage for the apper country. A garrison was left to defend Fort Washington, the lines of Haerlem, and Kingsbridge:
General Howe, in this situation of the enemy, thought it necessary to proceed with caution and great circumspection. The progress of the army was flow, the march close, the encampments compact, and well guarded with artillery, and the whole was conducted in the most regular and warlike manner. In spite of all the caution of the General, the provincials conveyéd parties over the Brunx, to interrupt their march, which occafioned many skirmishes, in which the king's forces were conquerors. Bat it had this effect upon the colonists, that it gradually inured them to hardfhips, and rendered war familiar co them. When the King's troops approached White Plains, their 'ene: mies quitted their detached camps along the Brunx, and joining their left, took a strong ground of encampmnent before the British on the former. When all things were prepared and ready for action, the army marched early in the morning in two columns towards White Plains, with their left wing, commanded by General Heister. · Before mid-day, all the enemy's advanced parties' retired back within their works, be
fore the light infantry and the Hessian chasseurs. The army formed with the right upon the road, from Mamaroneck, about a mile distant from their centre, and the left to the Brunx, near about the fame distance from the right flank of their entrenchments. The Americans had a party lodged in an advantageous post that was feparated from their right flank by the Brunx, and which also by its windings covered that corps in front from the left of the Britifh
AS this post would have been of great consequence, in attacking that flank of the entrenchment, BrigadierGeneral Leslie, with the feveral brigades of British troops, the Hessian grenadiers, under Colonel Do. nop, and a battalion of that corps were ordered to diflodge the enemy.
Previous to the attack, Colonel Rall, who commanded a brigade of Heflians on the left, had paffed the Brunx, and gained a post, which enabled him to annoy the enemy's flank, while they were engaged with the other forces in the front.
The passage of the river was very difficult, but the troops performed it with readiness and alacrity, and the 28th and 35th regiments having paffed first, formed with great steadinefs on the opposite fide under the fire of their enemies. On this occasion the public accounts say nothing of the loss of our troops, but such as were upon the fpot have declared that our meur fuffered feverely, and that the troops were greatly thinned by the fire of the enemy.' They, however, afcended a steep hill, in defiance of all oppofition, and rushing upon the enemy, drove them from their works. The rest of the troops fhewed no lefs fortitude and fteadinefs in fupporting these two regiments. The gaining of this important poft took up a confiderable time, which was prolonged by the enemy's still fup
porting a scattered engagement, under defence of the adjoining walls and hedges. In the evening the Hessian grenadiers were ordered forward within cannon lot of the entrenchments, the ad brigade of the British formed in the rear, and the two Hessian bri. gades on the left of the second. The right and centre of the arıny did nor remove from the ground upon which they were formed. In that position the whole armiy lay upon their arms during the night with a full intention and in the fullest expectation to engage in the morning, and to attack the provincial camp.----General Washington, with great address, before the morning had measured out more work for the British forces. He had drawn back this encampment in the night, and greatly strengthened his lines by additional works. For this reason the attack was deferred, and it was thought necessary to wait for the arrival of the fourth brigade, and of two battalions of the sixth, which had been left with Earl Percy at New York. Upon the arrival of these troops, the necessary dispositions were made in the evening for attacking the enemy on the last day of O&tober, but a very wer night and morning prevented the defign from beine executed as was intended.
General Washington, who knew the intention of our General, had not the fmallest intention of ventur: ing an engagement, while it was possible to avoid it.He knew that delay was in some respects à victory to him, and that fmall skirmishes, that could not in the least affect the public safery, would train his men to war and ipure them to danger, better than a general engagement, which in one day might decide their own and the fate of their country. The enemies of Walbidgton confessed, that in the