Page images


besides light infantry and Chasseurs, of three battaJions of grenadiers, and the regiments of Mirbach, The American force at Red Bank was estimated about 800 men.

The difpofitions for this attack have been represent. ed as the most masterly in their kind; and the valour and courage of the troops highly extolled ; but notwithstanding of all the vigour shewn by our forces both by fea and land, this enterprize failed of success, and the 800 cowards in Red. Bank killed a thousand of the bravest troops in the world. Colo. ņel Donop attacked the enemy's trenches with the utmost gallantry, and after a very sharp action carried an extensive out-work; but be found the enemy better covered in the body of the redoubt, and the defence more vigorous than he expected. Some have thought that the Americans suffered him 10 enter the outwork on purpose, that they might prevent him from ever getting out again ; and if this was their design, they gained the point they had in view. For this brave colonel was there mortally wounded, and taken prisoner ; several of his best officers were kiiled, or disabled ; and the Hessians after a desperate engagement were repulsed with great loss. Colonel Mingerede, the next in command, was also danger. ously wounded, and the detachment was brought off by lieutenant colonel Linsing ; having suffered much in the approach 10, and retreat from the attack, by the fire of the provincial gallies and floating batteries. The loss of the Heflians on this occasion, was on this side the Atlantic, reduced to 500 men, but from the best imformation on the other side, it was determined to be a 1000, and not below goo men. These German hirelings received the reward


of their service on this occasion, and though they behaved with great bravery, no perion who confiders their principles of action can lament their fall. Formen to have hired themselves to fight against the rights of human nature, degrades them beneath the very bearts of the field ; courage and bravery engaged againit virtue and liberty, is like the dragon aad his angels fighting against Michael and his angels.

The attack by water was not more successful than that which was made by land; the men of war and frigates, appointed for this attack, having passed with difficulty through the low barrier, took every possible disposition, that the nature and fituation of the work could admit, for the destruction of the upper works, and defences. But when all this was done, the ships could not bring their fire to bear, so as to do much injury to the works. Tlie Americans had, by designed obstructions, fo altered the course and channel of the river, that the bed thereof was greatly changed from its nafural course. By this means the Augusta man of war and the Merlin floop, were grounded so falt, at a little distance from the chevaux de frize, that there remained not the smallest possibility of getting them off. While they were in this situation they were in danger of being destroyed by four fire-ships, that were sent down by the enemy, upon the Augusta, The effect of these fire-vefsels was, however, prevent ed by the activity of the sailors; yet this w.s of little service to the Augusta, which took fire in the engagement, and obliged the others to make all the haile they cculd to get out of the reach of the explosion. In these pressing and difficult circumstances, the Merlin was speedily deserted, and laid in a train of destruction; and the greater part of the officers and crew


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of the Augusta were saved. The second lieutenant, chaplain and gunner, and a very considerable part of the common man unhappily perished. This is the first time we have had occasion to meet with a chapBain in the history of this war; and it is not easy to conceive of what service any of that character can be, in carrying on such cruel and bloody transactions. Men who carry on an offensive war, either upon absurd or doubtful principles, must be very ignorant, to imagine that any creature like this that was unfor. tunately lost on this occasion, can, by any formal or occasional devotion, fanctify an action in itself imino. ral. If there was no other thing to blast the success of a war, the improper and irreverent devotion that is paid to the Almighty, both by the chaplains and their audiences, is sufficient to do it. There is no money worse spent, than that which is laid out upon those military officers called chaplains : They are in general more the patterns of vice than of virtue, and with re. gard to sea chaplains, when the author of their in. stallment is considered, there is not much good to be expected from them at present.

The bad success of this enterprize, though it staggered the confidence of the leaders of the war, yeric did not totally damp their resolution; and necessity, as well as a fense of military honour, spurred them on to make a new attempt to open the: Delaware. Til this was done, all their former proceedings were as fo much vain labour, and fruitless toil; they therefore adopted new schemes, pursued new measures, and took other ground. Nor were the colonists idle on their part, in preparing every obftru&lion they could devise to render all the efforts of the fleet and army uníuc'cessful. They knew of what consequence it was 10


them, to keep the naval force separated from the army, and to render the communication between themi tedious and difficult. They accordingly did all that they could to strengthen their defences. Though they did not expect that they would be able to withftand the united force of the fleet and army, yet they knew that they could weaken them both with little da. mage to themselves; which, upon the whole, would be so much gain to them. After much preparation, and severe labour, as well as imminent danger, the cfficers and seamen conveyed some heavy artillery, provisions, and stores up the river, by a different channel, on the West fide, to a small marshy island, where they erected batteries, which, greatly incommoded the works of the Americans. On the 13th of November every thing being prepared for the attack, the lsis and Somerset men of war, passed up the East channel, in order to attack the provincial works in the front : les veral frigates drew up against a new fort which was erected on the Jersey fidc vear Manto creck, which was fo fuated as to flank the men of war in their ftations; and two armed vessels, mounted with 24 pounders, made their way through the narrow chan: nel on the west fide, at the back of Hogg-Island. This was a matter of the greatest consequence with regard to the success of the attack, as whese two vef. fels in concert with the batteries newly érected in Province Island, enfiladed the principal works which the provincials had erected upon Mud-Island. Aú heavy fire was begun and maintained on both sides, till the fhips of war and the armed vessels about night filenced the batteries on Mud Island. The garrison who understood that the utmost force of both army and navy would next morning be applied


« PreviousContinue »