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still lying at German Town, a very long and populous village, about six miles from Philadelphia, and which Stretching on both Gides of the great road to the porthward forms a continued street of two miles of length. -The line of encampment crossed German Town at right angles about the centre, the left wing extended on the west to the Schuylkill. That wing was covered in front by the German Chaffeurs, both mounted and unmounted; a battalion of light infantry, and the Queen's Rangers, were in the front of the right; and the fortierb regiment, with another battalion of light infantry were posted at the head of the village. Lord Cornwallis lay at Philadelphia with four battalions of grenadiers, and as we have observed, three regiments had been detached on the side of Chefter. The Ame. ricans were encamped at Shippach Creek about fixteen miles from German Town. They had received some reinforcements, and were well acquainted with the situation of the royal forces: they knew that the army was weakened by the detachments made to Philadelphia and Chester. These circumstances indúced an enterprize which was very little expected by General Howe, and which the former caution of Ge. neral Washington had by no means promised. Instead of keeping as usual upon the defensive, the colopilts now became the assailants. They quitted their strong post at Shippach Creek, at six in the evening, * and marched all night to surprise the royal army in its camp at German Town. Upon the 4th of Octo: ber their approach was discovered by the patroles, and the army was immediately called to arm. They began their attack upon the 40th regiment, and the light infanıry by which it was accompanied. These troops, after making all the resistance they were able,
Musgrave, who commanded in that quarter, to stop the impétuolity of the enemy, threw himself and sis companies of the 40th regiment into a large strong stone house, which lay full in the front of the provincials, which put a stop to their career, and their hope of immediately taking full possession of the town ; which had they effected would have enabled them effeétually to have separated the right and left wings of the King's army. Musgrave kept his situation, and fired out at the windows, till General Grey came to his relief with three battalions of the third brigade, who attacked the enemy with vigour, supported by Brigadier General Agnew at the head of the fourth brigade. The engagement was now for some time very warm, and it was for a season doubtful how matters would turn. The King's troops had now full use for all the kill and vigour they were masters of, and with difficulty stood their ground against the fierce attack of the Americans. The latter were howe. ver attacked from the opposite side of the village by two regiments of the right wing, which put them into disorder, and they retired out of the town with considerable lofs. These were not the only part of the king's forces that were engaged on this occasion; the Pickets on the right fupported by the 4th and 45th regiments were warınly engaged with the left wing of the provincials. But General Grey, who had driven the right of the enemy out of the village, had now time to bring assistance io the right, who at this time were in considerable need of it: Upon his approach the Americans retreated, and were very gently pursued by our forces. The reasons given by our officers why they pursued with so little vigour, was,
that the country was woody, strong, and enclosed, that the pursuit they made was aitended with no effect; and one thing which proves the provincials were not hard pursued, they carried their cannon clear off. It is manifest in this engagement that the British forces were pretty closely engaged, and were made to feel that the cowards in Washington's army, were on some occasions not so easily driven off. The morning being misty, prevented some part of the American fuc, cess in this battle ; for ihey could not improve the advantages they gained at first, on account that they did not see the true fituation of the enemy; and before they could advance fo as to pursue their ad. vantage with fuccess, the king's troops were recovered from their furprize, and in a better condition to receive them. They also affirmed that they often could not see their own different bodies, and were on that account unable to a& in concert. It was also faid, ihat fome of their parties in the thickness of the fog, poured their fire upon each other through a blind mistake on both sides, of being engaged with the enemy. General Washington was present at this engagement, and paid great compliments to his troops on the right wing, for their good behaviour, but as he was not witness to the behaviour of the left wing, he did not pay them so high compliments, because he had not fufficient ground to found his opinion.This was a more desperate action than that of Brandywine, and the loss of the king's troops was much more considerable. Our accounts make our loss only 553 killed, wounded and prisoners, and the American lofs about a thousand, killed wounded and taken. The Americans rate our loss confiderably more, and
their own less than our accounts do. Some of our bravest officers fell in this engagement; among the number of the killed were Brigadier General Agnew, and Colonel Bird, but the number of wounded of. ficers was considerable. The Americans lost Gene. ral Nah, and several other officers. In this battle the colonists made the attack, and though they were repulled with some loss, shewed themselves fora unidable adversaries, capable of charging with reso. Jution, and retreating with good order. This action damped the hopes of our generals concerning gain. ing any compleat victory, even in an open and fair engagement; they found that the British forces could do little more than stand their ground against the charge of the best troops of the coloniits, and were even put into disorder by them, though fully upon their guard. This fully convinced General Howe, that provided the Americans should hare been confiderably reinforced, and inclined to make such ano. ther attack, that his whole force would not be able to withstand them, unless he could gain some remarkable post of defence, which he was not likely. foon to obtain. The American troops began now to understand their own consequence, and perceived that the impression they made on their enemies was severely felt ; they therefore became more daring, and considered our forces far from being invincible. General Washington, although he was cautious in engaging, yet in all those actions where he was present and led on the troops, he either gained some ad. vantage, or made such an impression upon his enemięs, that they severely felt the influence of his prefence.
The taking of Philadelphia was not attended with all the advantages expected from that conquest. The American army still kept the field, and till the Delaware could be cleared, it was manifest that the army could not support itself in Philadelphia during the winter. The whole effect of the campaign depends ed upon cleaning the river, and receiving supplies from the fleet. About two weeks after the last battle the king's troops removed from Germantown to Philadelphia, as being a more convenient situation for the reduction of Mud-Irland, and for joining operations with the naval force in opening the naviga: țion of che river. The Americans upon the removing of the king's troops, returned to their old camp at Shepach Creek, where they continued.
General Howe, and his brother the Admiral, were employed in concerting measures for opening the river, and removing all obstructions. This was an operation in which they found great difficulty, and which employed the utmost efforts of their military skill and ability. The General ordered batteries to be raised on the western shore, on the Pensylvanian side, in hopes of alisting in dislodging the enemy from Mud-Island ; the difficulty of access to which, was found to render the reduction of it much more tedi. ous and difficult than had been expected. He also detached a strong body of Hessians across the river al Cooper's Ferry, opposite to the town, who were to march down and force the redoubt of Red Bank, whilst the ships and the batteries on the other side, were to carry on their attacks of Mud-Ifand, and the enemies marine force. “The Hessian detachment was led on by Colonel Donop, who had gained some reputation in several actions in this war; it consisted,