Page images

chaffeurs engaged on the West road, I dispatched Col. Fanning's corps of provincials to join Gen. Lol. berg, who obliged the rebels to quit two redoubts made to cover their retreat, drove them before him, and took possession of Turkey-Hill. Towards even-, ing, an attempt being made by the rebels to surround and cut off the chasseurs, who were advanced on the left, the regiments of Fanning and Huin were order: ed up to their support, and, after a smart engagement with the enemy, obliged them to retreat to their main body on Windmill Hill.

« After these actions the enemy took post in great numbers on Windmill-Hill, and employed themselves in strengthening that advantageous fituation.

“ This night the troops lay on their arms on the ground they had gained, and directions were giveni for bringing up the camp equipáge. Artillery was likewise fent for, and preparations made to remove the rebels from the redoubts; but by means of the great number of boats, they retreated in the night of the 30th over Bristol and Howland's Ferry; thus relinquishing every hold on the island, and refigning to us its entire poffeffion."

The expedition of General Grey against Martha's Vineyard, to wage war with sheep and oxen, lhews that our generals were at a great loss how to proceed, and that they could now carry on no enterprize which had the least prospect of being decisive, or was worthy of the expence that was now bestowed in carrying it on. Notwithstanding the bravery of Gen. Grey, and the conduct with which lie managed his expedition, yet it is plain from his own account, that it was only a temporary excursion, which could not


[ocr errors]

be supported much longer than the moment of the execution. The General's account of his expedition is dared on board the Carysført, Whitestone, Sept. 18, 1778, and is as follows:

“ IN the evening of the 4th instant. the fleet; with the detachment under my command, failed from New London, and stood to the Eastward with a favourable wind. We were only retarded in the run from thence to Buzzard's Bay, by the altering our course for some liours in the night, in consequence of the discovery of a strange fleet, which was not known to be Lord Howe's until morning. By five o'clock in the afternoon of the 5th, the ships were at anchor in Clark's Cove, and the boats having been previously hoisted out, the debarkation of the troops took place immediately. I proceeded without loss of time to destroy the vessels and stores, in the whole extent of Acculhnet River, (about fix miles) particularly at Bedford and Fair-Haven, and having dismantled and burnt a fort on the East-side of the river, mounting ir pieces of heavy cannon, with a magazine and bar. racks, completed the re-embarkation before noon the next day. I refer your Excellency to the next return for the enemy's losses, as far as we are able to ascertain them, and for our own casualties.

6. The wind did not admit of any further movement of the fleet the 6th and 7th, than hauling a little distance from the shore. Advantage was taken of this circumstance to burn a large privateer ship on the Stocks, and to send a finall armament of boats, with two gallies, tu destroy two or three vessels, which being in the stream, the troops had not been able to set Gre to.

" From

: "From the difficulties in passing out of Buzzard's Bay into the Vineyard Sound, through Quickset's Hole, and from Headwinds, the fleet did not reach Holmes's. Hole harbour, in the island of Martha's Vineyard, until the ioth. The transports, with the light infantry, grenadiers, and 33d regiment, were anchored without the harbour, as I had at that time a service in view for those corps, whilst the business for collecting cattle should be carried on upon the ifland. I was obliged by contrary winds to relinquish my de. ligos.

On our arrival of the harbour, the inhabitants Tent persons on board to ask my intentions with respect to them, to whom a requisition was made of the arms of the militia, the public money, 300 oxen, and 10,000 sheep... They promised each of these articles "Thould be delivered without delay. I afterwards found it necessary to send small. detachments into the island, and detain the deputed inhabitants for a time, in order to accelerate their compliance with the demand.

" The 12th I was able to embark on board the yessels, which arrived that day from Rhode-Illand, 6000 sheep, and 130 oxen.::

“ The 13th and 14th were employed in embarking cattle and sheep on board our own fleet; in dei roying some falt-works; in burning of taking in the inlets what vessels and boats could be found, and in receiving the arms of the militia. I here again refer your Excellency to returns.,

« On the 15th the fleet left Martha's Vineyard; and after sustaining the next day a severe gale of wind, arrived the 17th at Whitestone, without any material damage. 4 B

" I

[ocr errors]

“ I hold myself much obliged to the commanding officers of corps, and to the troops in general, for the alacrity with which every fervice was performed.”

The whole progress of our army in America began to be exceedingly low, and the feveral exertions in the various excursions and expeditions, were carried on with a degree of timidity, which plainly indicated an apprehension that they had to deal with an enemy whofe importance was rather to be dreaded than despised. In all motions for fupplies of forage, the principal care was first to obferve the motions of the enemy, and to guard against an attack of the militia or provincial forces, who generally made fuch furious attacks upon the foraging parties, as made them purchase dearly the finall supplies they obtained. The Toffes on thefe occasions were generally as much concealed as poffible, to keep up the fpirits of the troops, and to deceive the public at home; but in spite of all fecrefy, as much transpired, as fully declared that our power, influence, and hopes were very much upon the decline,

It has been one of the misfortunes of this war, that it began in injustice, and has been carried on with lies and dissimulation. The expedition to Eggharbour, the attack of the village of Taapan, are represented as successful expeditions, where only one or two are faid to be killed; whereas, some who were engaged in these excursions, and have come home fince, give a very different account of them.

Gen. Cornwallis's expedition referred to in Sir Henry Clinton's letter of O&tober 8, is set forth as a most successful one, though it was attended with both loss and danger. The only successful part of it was that which was conducted by General Grey,



who, indeed, was the soul of every action where he
was present, yet that general is far from giving such
windy accounts of the success of our army, as our
Gazetres have done after manufacturing the letters,
which the ministry received from the British com-
manders. The ministry have indeed been sometimes
deceived by ignorant self-interested persons, who,
destitute of all knowledge of wbat was transacted,
have affirmed the groffeft falsehoods, through the in-
fluence of corrupt prejudices. Even some who never
were ten miles from New York, and who were un-
acquainted with the whole transactions on either side,
have had the vain effrontery to affirm that the Ame-
ricans never fought, never could fight, and never
would fight. The testimony of General Grey, a
character of the first rank in every view, whether as
a gentleman, a citizen, or officer, is contradicted,
with regard to the very objects of his own senfes, by
persons that were never acquainted in the finalleit
degree, with

transactions of the American war. *


* A pedantic school-master, who, He ought, however, out of good like the good Mr Galloway, was manners to his English reader, before obliged to leave America for con- he had fat down to write a pamscience-fake, has lately published a phlet, first considered whether he pamphlet, wherein he positively could write Englith, and not have affirins, That the Americans never exposed himself and wearied his fought, nor could fight; and that reader with illiterate and ungranı, all those that have been killed on matical falsehoods. If he intended our side, have killed themselves or to write a romance, le ought to one another: for it is certain in istodone it genteelly, and not dismany thousands have been mair, and I his order, by murdering his if the Americans never fought, it wilanguage, of which he is said to manifest they could never kill our be a teacher. It is somewhat fura men. This Mir Robinson confefies prising that men should pay so little that he was never twelve miles ont reçard to truth and consistency, as to of New York, fo of con qu'w as afirın what thousands can, from the he had nothing to do but rice in jullet certainty, contradict. With telligence, he must b' LAKI cay a design of throwing the miscarthe best authority ip die pad wiki ziages of the ministry, upon the of


« PreviousContinue »