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tion. They were however forced to fly with some lòss, and left three pieces of brass cannon in the hands of the British guards and the Heffian grenadi. ers. Our men pursued the fugitives as far as Welt. field, but the woods and the intense heat of the wea. ther prevented the pursuit producing any effect. In this attack those who boasted of victory suffered more than the vanquished, and the fatigue of their march rendered them unfit for any action in a short time.
General Washington by this time perceived his er. ror, and speedily remedied it by withdrawing his army from the plains, and again recovered his strong camp upon the hills. At the same time perceiving the further design of Lord Cornwallis, he secured those passes upon the mountains, the possession of which by the British troops would have laid him under the necesfiry of a critical change of situation, which could not be executed without much danger. Thus was General Howe's well concerted scheme of bringing the enemy to action, or at least of withdrawing them from their strong holds, rendered abortive by the caution and prudence of General Washington. In this attempt General Howe shewed a great deal of military address and forecast, and did all that any of ficer could have done to fulfil the design which he had in view. But he was so well matched in point of Generalfhip by General Washington, that the ut. moit bounds of his military plans and operations were investigated by that officer, either before they were execu:ed, or as soon as they began to be put in practice, and generally prevented from producing any effect.
Sir William Howe was now convinced that Wash'ington was too firmly attached to his defensive plan
of operation in conducting the war, to be induced by any other means than by some very clear and decided advantage, to hazard a general engagement. Nothing now remained to be done in the Jerseys.-To advance to the Delaware through an enemy's country, and with such a force in his rear, appeared to the British commanders a project pregnant with folly, and approaching near to madness. They had found by experience that the provincials could fight when they perceived that it was for their advantage, and that in case of marching through the Jerseys to the Delaware, they would have many difficulties, and what aggravated the circumstances, was, that the King's troops knew of no friends before them in case of any misfortune. All delay and waste of time now in the Jerseys was fruitless, and could answer no valuable purpose ; it was better to employ the troops in some other quarter, where some advantages night be gained. This was the opinion of the British officers in general, as well as of the commanders in chief, General Howe accordingly returned with his troops to Amboy, and pafled them over to Staten Iand, from whence the embarkation was to take place.
The preparation for this grand expedition excited a general alarm over all America. Boston, the North River, the Delaware, Chesapeak Bay, were alternate. ly considered as its objects. General Washington endeavoured to inform himself in the best manner he could concerning the object of this expedition ; he made use of all the spies he had about New York and other parts, to try if he could fift out the place of its destination, that he might put the people upon their guard, and proyide against the impending danger.
-It was one of the manifest advantages of these fea adventures, that it was next to impossible for General Washington directly to know where the storm would fall. He was therefore under the neceflity to continue in his present situation, and the King's troops were proceeding to the place of destination before he could be in readiness to resist them. By this means he could not have that choice of posts, by which hitherto he had had it in his power to avoid an action,
While this grand expedition was preparing, and the Americans were in anxious apprehension concern. ing its destination, a spirited adventure was undertaken by a few of the provincials. This adventure not only retaliated the surprise of General Lee, but seemed to procure an indemnification for his person. Upon the roth of June, Colonel Barton, a provincial officer, with some other officers and volunteers, passed over by night from Providence to Rhode Idand, and though, they had a long passage by water, they eluded the watchfulness of the ships of war which surrounded the island, and conducted their enterprize with such filence, secrecy, boldness, and dexterity, that they surprised General Prescot, who commanded in chief, in his quarters, and brought him and his aid-de-camp, through all those perils, safe to the continent. The method they pursued was, as soon as they came near the King's ships they muffled their oars, and rowed to the place of their defination, where the rowers lay upon their oars, and the Colonel and his party went a-lhore. They proceeded to the General's quarters through a field of growing corn, unperceived by any of the guards' upon the island, and came straight to the house where the Ge. neral was; and having secured a centinel at the door,
Colonel Barton boldly rushed in, and found the General, with most of his clothes off, going to bed.-There was not much ceremony used in conversa . tion ; he was ordered immediately to come off just as he was, and to keep silence, otherwise he should die that moment he made the smallest noise, both he and Tuis aid-de-capm.; but provided they did not make noise or resistance, they should be used as gentlemen, and receive no harm. They were carried off in this manner, and led by the Colonel and his party thro' ' the field of corn, and brought to the boat that was waiting for their arrival, in which they were immediately put and carried to the continent. This was a most terrible mortification to General Prescot, who not long before this had carried matters to such a length as to set a price upon the head of General Arnold, and offered a reward of 1000l. for taking his person, as if he had been a common outlaw, or a roba 'ber; an insult which Arnold returned by offering 500l. to fuch as should apprehend General Prescot, fignifying that he did not think him worth a thousand pounds, nor of so much value as himself. Amidst all the hurry and threatening of war, the continenal congress did not forget those fecondary means, that as well as immediate interest, render men brave and intrepid in the cause of his country. As a testimony of public gratitude and an excitement to virtue and true patriotism, they ordered, that a monument should be erected at Boston in honour of Major-General Warren, who commanded and fell at the battle of Bunker's-hill; and another in Virginia in honour of Brigadier-General Mercer, who was slain in the action near Princetown in the Jerseys. The resolution conveyed in a very few words the highest eulogium
on the characters and merits of the deceased. They alfu decreed that the former of these gentlemen, and the youngeft son of the latter, should be educated at the expence of the United States. As General Mercer had a good landed estate, the propriety of adopting his youngest son, as the child of the public is abundantly evident It was easy to perceive, that men who were so zealous in pursuing wise and pru. dent measures in the most inferior parts of policy, were not to be over-reached by a people drowned in corruption, and sunk in vice.
Though the preparations for the grand expedition had been pursued for some time with great zeal and alacrity, and the crews of 300 vessels had given their assistance, yer such were the unavoidable delays inci, dent to such extreme operations, that it was not till the 234 of July that the fleet and army could depart from Sandy Hook. With a design to deceive and perplex the provincials, the General ordered some transports with a fhip cut down to act as a floating battery, up the North River, a little before the em, barkation was compleated ; a feint which succeeded so far as to induce General Washington to detacha considerable body of his troops a.cross that river. The force that embarked upon this expedition conlisted of thirty-fix British and Heflian battalions, including the light infantry and grenadiers, a powerful artillery, a body of New Yorkers, called the Queen's rangers, and a regiment of light horse. Seventeen battalions, with a regiment of light horse, and the remainder of the new provincial troops, were left for the protection of New York and the adjoining islands. Seven battalions remained in Rhode Island. So much was the army weakened by keeping poffefion of