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the Bridge and other paffages which were well covered and defended by artillery. After a few skirmishes, a canonade enfued, which continued until night; the British torces on this occafion were obliged to proceed with considerable caution, and the remembrance of the fate of the Hestians made our of ficers more cautious than on some former occafions. A brigade of the British troops lay that night at : Maidenhead, six miles from Trenton, and another upon its march from Brunswick, consisting of the 17th, the 40th, and 55th regiments under the command of Lieutenant-colonel Mawhood, were at Princetown about the fame distance fron Maidenhead. This be. ing the fituation of both sides, General Wafhington, who was far from intending to hazard a battle, haying used the necessary precautions of keeping up the patroles and every other appearance of remaining in his camp, and leaving small parties to go the rounds and guard the bridge and the fords, he withdrew the reit of his forces in the dead of the night, with the most profound filence. They marched with fuch expedition to Princetown, that fuppose they took a large compass by Allenstown partly to avoid Trenton, or Afsumpink Creek, and partly to avoid the brigade which lay at Maidenhead, their van fell in åt surprise • next morning, with Colonel Mawhood, who had just
begun his marcho. Mawhood, not having the smallI eft idea of their force, being prevented by the fog
giness of the morning and other circumstances from feeing its extent, considered it only as an attempt of fome flying party to interrupt bis march, and having dispersed thofe by whom he was first attacked, pushed forwards without further apprehenlons. But in a short time he found that not only the 17th
regiment which he led was attacked on all sides by a fuperior force, but that it was also separated and cut: off from the rest of the brigade, while he disco. vered by the continual distant firing, that the '55th, which followed, was not in better circumstances.
In this dangerous situation Colonel Mawhood Thewed much bravery, and his regiment behaved with great firmness. After a violent engagement, and the greatest exertions of courage and discipline, they at length forced their way through the enemy with their bayonets, and pursued their march to Maidenhead. The 55th was severely preffed, and finding it impoflible to pursue their march, retreated, and returned by Hillsborough to Brunswick. The 40th regiment, which was still at Princetown when the action began, suffered less than the others, and recreated by ano. ther road to the same place. The colonists confessed the bravery of Colonel Mawhood, and the 15th regi. ment, and declared that nothing could exceed their valour and intrepidity, The accounts of the killed and wounded on this occasion are fo differently represented, that it is not easy to extract the truth with certainty from so many various representations. Our accounts say that the number of killed, confidering the warmth of the engagement, was not so considera-. ble as might have been expected; it is however al. lowed that 200 of these three regiments were taken prisoners, and the killed were somewhat fewer. The loss of the Americans was said to be much greater, especially in killed, though from their accounts we we are informed that even in flain the number of their men was inferior to ours. They lost Major-General Mercer, belonging to Virginia, who was much esteeinod and lamented. Some have endeavoured to accouht
for a phenomenon in this last war, which has always at home been represented as a fact, that there were always more of the colonists killed in every action than there were of the King's troops. The manner of accounting for this disparity in the pain is, that the arms of the colonists were not so good, nor did they know how to use them so well, as the King's forces; that in loading their pieces in the hạrry of action they did not take time to charge properly This is a defect common to both sides, and if a piece is not properly charged, the goodạess of it will pro: duce little effect; all the effects proceeding from a good firelock depends upon the charging of it. The soldiers in our regiments were not all veterans more than the Americans; and a young recruit new come to a regiment, though he knows something of the exercise, will be just as raw in the day of battle as a militiaman or a colonist, and be in as great a hurry in loading his piece.
This phenomenon is resolved by the Americans by denying the fact, and asserting on the other hand that in all engagements upon equal ground and equal advantages, the difference of killed and wounded on each side was very nearly equal. Whatever there may be in this dispute, one thing is certain, that the colonists had the better in this engagement,
This fpirited and unexpected movement of Washington, with its animated consequences, recalled Lord Cornwallis from the Delaware, who was not without apprehension for the safety of the troops and the magazines at Brunswick, The Americans still avording a general action, and satisfied with the present advantages, croffed the Milestone river, without any further attempt. In a few weeks, however, they
overrun East Jersey as well as the West, spreading themselves over the Rariton, even unto Effex county, whereby seizing Newark, Elizabeth-town and Wood bridge, they became masters of the coast opposite to Staten INand. They took their principal posts with so much judgment, that it was not practicable to diflodge them. The King's army retained only the two posts of Brunswick and Amboy, the one situated a few miles
up the Rariton, the other on a point of land at its mouth, and both holding an open communication with New York by fea. Thus by a few well-concerted and spirited actions was Philadelphia saved, Pennsylvania freed from danger, the Jerseys clearly recover. ed, and a victorious and far superior army reduced to act upon the defensive, and for several months restrain, cd within very narrow and inconvenient limits. Thefe actions, and the raising himself from the seemingly ļowest state of distress in which he appeared to be in, exalted the character of General Washington, as a commander, very high, both in Europe and America; and with his proceedings and subsequent conduct served all together to give fanétion to that appellation which is now generally applied to him, of the Ameri, ean Fabius. Thefe events cannot be attributed to any misconduct in the British officers and the men whom they commanded, but depended entirely upon the happy application of a number of powerful and con, €urring circumstances, which were far beyond their reach to controul. . Many of these things which now happened had been foreseen and foretold from the beginning, both by those who opposed publicly or regretted in private this war, and as others are obvious to all men, it may not be improper to mention some of those causes that clogged it with particular difficulties,
The principal of these were, the vast extent of that continent, with its unusual distribution into great tracts of cultivated and wild territory, the long extent of sea coast in its front, and the boundlefs waltes at the back of the inhabited countries, afforded resource or thelter in all circumstances; the numberlefs inacceffable posts and strong natural barriers formed by the various combinations of woods, mountains, rivers, lakes, and marles. All these properties and circumftances, with others appertaining to the climate and feasons, may be said to fight the battles of the inhabitants in a defenlive war. To these
may be added, others less local ;--The unexpected union and un. known strength of the colonies, the judicious appli. cation of that strength by suiting the defence to the Dacure, genius, and abilities of the inhabitants, as well as to the natural advantages of the country, thereby rendering it a war of posts, surprizes, and skirmishes, instead of a war of battles. To all these may be added, the people were not bridled by strong cities, nor fettered by luxury in those that were otherwise, so that the reduction of a capital had no effects upon the rest of the provinces, and the army could retain no more, territory than what it occupied, which was again lost as soon as it departed to another quar.
The army under Lord Cornwallis was now fadly ftraitened ; during the remaining part of the winter, and the whole spring, while they continued at Bruņí.
wick and Amboy, they underwent a fevere and unsemitted, duty, whilst their ranks were continually thinned by a continued series of skirmishes, which were productive. of no rival advantages on either fide, except that they inured the colonists to military