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ineffectual. The Americans were defeated in every encounter; and retreating continually, allowed the British army to come within cannon Tot of Charlestown on the 12th of May.

The town was now summoned to surrender, and the inhabitants would gladly have agreed to observe a neutrality during the rest of the war, and would have engaged also for the rest of the province. But these terms not being accepted, they made preparations for a vigorous defence. It was not, however, in the power of the Britih commander at this time to make an attack with any prospect of success. His artillery was not of sufficient weight; there were no ships to support his attack by land; and General Lincoln advancing rapidly with a superior army, threatened to inclose him between his own force and the town; so that should he fail in his first attempt, certain defruction would be the consequence. For these reasons he withdrew his forces from before the town, and took poffeffion of two islands called St. James's and St. John's, lying the southward ; where having waited some time, his force was augmented by the arrival of two frigates. With these he determined to make himself master of Port Royal, another island possessed of an excellent harbour and many other natural advantages, from its situation also commanding all the fea-coast from Charlestown to Savannah River. The American general, however, did not allow this to be accomplished without oppofition. Perceiving that his opponent had occupied an advantageous post on St. John's island preparatory to his enterprise against Port Royal, he attempted, on the 20th of June to dislodge him from it; but after an obstinate attack, the provincials were obliged to retire with confiderable lofs. On this occafion the success of the British arms was in a great measure owing to an armed float; which galled the right flank of the enemy so effe&tually, that they could direct their efforts only againft the strongest part of the lines, which proved impreg. nable to their attacks. This disappointment was inftantly followed by the lofs of Port Royal, which General Prevost took possession of, and put his troops into proper stations, waiting for the arrival of such reinforcements as were necessary for the intended attack on Charles, town.

In the mean time, Count d'Estaing, who, as we have already observed, had put into Boston harbour to refit, had used his utmost ef. forts to ingratiate himself with the inhabitants of that city. Zealous also in the cause of his master, he had published a proclamation to be dispersed through Canada, inviting the people to return to their ori. ginal friendship with France, and delaring that all who renounced their allegiance to Great Britain should certainly tind a protector in the

king of France. All his endeavours, however, proved insufficient at this time to produce any revolution, or even to form a party of any consequence among the Canadians.

As soon as the French admiral had refitted his fleet, he took the opportunity, while that of admiral Byron had been shattered by a storm, of sailing to the West Indies. During his operations there, the Amcricans having represented his conduct as totally unserviceable to them, he received orders from Europe to aflift the colonies with all possible {peed.

In compliance with these orders, he directed his course towards Georgia, with a design to recover that province out of the hands of the enemy, and to put it, as well as South Carolina, in such a posture of defence as would effectually secure them from any future attacke This seemed to be an easy matter, from the little force with which he knew he should be opposed; and the next object in contemplation was no less than the destruction of the British fleet and army at New York, and their total expulsion from the continent of America. Full of these hopes, the French commander arrived off the coast of Georgia with a fleet of twenty-two fail of the line and ten large frigates. His arrival was so little expected, that several vessels laden with provisions and military stores fell into his hands: the Experiment also, a vessel of fifty guns, commanded by Sir James Wallace, was taken after a stout refiftance. On the continent, the British troops were divided. General Prevot, with an inconsiderable part, remained at Savannah; but the main force was under Colonel Maitland at Port Royal. On the first

appearance of the French fleet, an express was dispatched to Colonel Maitland : but it was intercepted by the enemy; so that before he could set out in order to join the commander in chief, the Americans had secured moft of the passes by land, while the French fleet effectually blocked up the pallage by fea. But by taking advantage of creeks and inlets, and marching over land, he arrived just in time to relieve Savannah.

D'Estaing, after making a gasconade of what had happened at St. Vincent's and Grenada, had allowed General Prevost twenty-four hours to deliberate whether he fhould capitulate or not. This time the general employed in making the best preparations he could for a defence; and during this time it was that Colonel Maitland arrived. D'Eftaing's summons was now rejected ; and as on this occasion the superiority of the enemy was by no means so much out of proportion as it had been at Grenada, there was every probability of success on the part of the British. The garrison now confifted of three thousand men, all of approved valour and experience, while the united force of the French and

Ameri,

Americans did not amount to ten thousand. The event was answerable to the expectations of the British general. Having the advantage of a ftrong fortification and excellent engineers, the fire of the allies made fo little impression, that D'Estaing resolved to bombard the town, and a battery of nine mortars was erected for the purpose. This produced a request from General Prevost, that the women and children might be allowed to retire to a place of safety. But the allied commanders refused to comply; and they resolved to give a general assault. This was accordingly attempted on the oth of O&tober: but the assailants were every where repulsed with such flaughter, that twelve hundred were killed and wounded ; among the former were Count Polaiki, and among the latter was D'Eftaing himself.

This disaster entirely overthrew the fanguine hopes of the Americans and French; mutual reproaches and animosities took place in the most violent degree; and after waiting eight days longer, both parties prepared for a retreat; the French to their shipping, and the Americans into Carolina.

While the allies were thus unsuccessfully employed in the southern colonies, their antagonists were no less assiduous in diftrefling them in the northern parts. Sir George Collier was sent with a fleet, carrying on board General Matthews, with a body of land forces, into the province of Virginia. Their first attempt was on the town of Portsmouth; where, though the enemy had destroyed some ships of great value, the British troops arrived in time to save a great number of others. On this occasion about one hundred and twenty vessels of different sizes were burnt, and twenty carried off; and an immense quantity of provisions designed for the use of General Washington's army was either destroyed or carried off, together with a great variety of naval and military stores. The fleet and army returned with little or no lofs to New York.

The success with which this expedition was attended, foon gave couragement to attempt another. The Americans had for some time been employed in the erection of two strong forts on the river; the one at Verplanks Neck on the east, and the other at Stoney Point on the west side. These when completed would have been of the utmost fer. vice to the Americans, as commanding the principal pass, called the King's Ferry, between the northern and southern colonies. At present however, they were not in a condition to make any effectual defence ; and it was therefore determined to attack them before the work should be completed. The force employed on this occafion was divided into two bodies; one of which directed its course against Verplanks, and the other against Stoney Point. The former was commanded by General

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Vaughan, the latter by General Pattison, while the shipping was under the direction of Sir George Collier. General Vaughan met with no resistance, the enemy abandoning their works, and setting fire to every thing combustible that they could not carry off. At Stoney Point, however, a vigorous defence was made, though the garrifon was at laft obliged to capitulate upon honourable conditions. To iecure the pofsession of this last, which was the more important of the two, General Clinton removed from his former situation, and encamped in such a manner that General Washington could not give any assistance. The Americans, however, revenged themselves by diftrefsing, with their numerous privateers, the trade to New York,

This occasioned a third expedition to Connecticut, where these privateers were chiefly built and harboured. The command was given to Governor Tryon and to General Garth, an officer of known valour and experience. Under convoy of a considerable number of armed vessels they landed at Newhaven, where they demolished the batteries that had been erected to oppose them, and destroyed the shipping and naval ftores; but they spared the town itself, as the inhabitants had abstained from firing out of their houses upon

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troops.

From New. haven they marched to Fairfield, where they proceeded as before, reducing the town also to ashes. Norwalk was next attacked, which in like manner was reduced to ashes; as was also Greenfield, a small seaport in the neighbourhood.

These successes proved very alarming as well as detrimental to the Americans ; so that General Washington determined at all events to drive the enemy from Stoney Point. For this purpose he sent General Wayne with a detatchment of chosen men, directing them to attempt the

recovery of it by surprise, On this occasion the Americans shewed a spirit and resolution exceeding any thing they had performed during the course of the war. Though after the capture of it by the British the fortifications of this place had been completed, and were very strong, they attacked the enemy with bayonets, after paffing through a heavy fire of musquetry and grape-shot; and in spite of all oppofition, obliged the surviving part of the garrison, amounting to five hundred men, to surrender themselves prisoners of war,

Though the Americans did not at present attempt to retain possession of Stoney Point, the success they had met with in the enterprise emboldened them to make a similar attempt on Paulus Hook, a fortified poft on the Jersey fide opposite to New York; but in this they were not attended with equal success, being obliged to retire with precipitation after they had made themselves masters of one or two posts,

Another

Another expedition of greater importance was now projected on the part of the Americans. This was against a poft on the river Penobscot, on the borders of Nova Scotia, of which the British had lately taken poffeffion, and where they had begun to erect a fort which threatened to be a very great inconvenience to the colonists. The armament destined against it was so soon got in readiness, that Colonel Maclane, the commanding officer at Penobscot, found himself obliged to drop the execu. tion of part of his scheme; and instead of a regular fort, to content himself with putting the works already constructed in as good a posture of defence as posible. The Americans could not effect a landing without a great deal of difficulty, and bringing the guns of their largeft vefsels to bear

upon

the shore. As soon as this was done, however, they erected several batteries, and kept up a brisk fire for the space of a fortnight; after which they proposed to give a general assault : but before this could be effected, they perceived Sir George Collier with a British fleet sailing up the river to attack them. On this they instantly embarked their artillery and military stores, failing up the river as far as possible in order to avoid bim. They were so closely pursued, however, that not a fingle vessel could escape ; so that the whole fleet, confifting of nineteen armed vessels and twenty-four transports, was destroyed; most of them indeed being blown up by themselves. The soldiers and failors were obliged to wander through immense deserts, where they suffered much for want of provisions; and to add to their calamities, à quarrel broke out between the soldiers and seamen concerning the cause of their disaster, which ended in a violent fray, wherein a great num. ber were killed.

Thus the arms of America and France being almost every where un. successful, the independency of the former seemed yet to be in dan. ger notwithstanding the assistance of so powerful an ally, when further encouragement was given by the accession of Spain to the confederacy against Britain in the month of June 1779. The first effect of this appeared in an invasion of West Florida by the Spaniards in September 1779. As the country was in no state of defence, the enemy easily made themselves maflers of the whole almost without opposition. Their next enterprise was against the Bay of Hunduras, where the British logwood-cutters were settled. These finding themselves too weak to resist, applied to the governor of Jamaica for relief; who fent them a fupply of men, ammunition, and military stores, under Captain Dalrymple. Before the arrival of this detachment, the principal settlement in those parts, called St. George's Key, had been taken by the Spaniards and retaken by the British. In his way Captain Dalrymple

fell

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