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fell in with a squadron from Admiral Parker in search of some register Ihips richly laden ; but which retreating into the harbour of Omoa, were too strongly protected by the fort to be attacked with safety. A project was then formed, in conjunction with the people of Honduras, to reduce this fort. The design was to surprise it ; but the Spaniards having discovered them, they were obliged to fight. Victory quickly declared for the British ; but the fortifications were so strong, that the artillery they had brought along with them were found too light to make any impression. It was then determined to try the fuccess of an escalade; and this was executed with so much fpirit, that the Spaniards stood astonished without making any resistance, and, in spite of all the efforts of the officers, threw down their arms and surrendered. The spoil was immense, being valued at three millions of dollars. The Spaniards chiefly lamented the loss of two hundred and fifty quintals of quicksilver; a commodity indispensably necessary in the working of their gold and silver mines, so that they offered' to ransom it at any price; but this was refused, as well as the ransom of the fort, though the governor offered three hundred thousand dollars for it. A small garrison was left for the defence of the 'place; but it was quickly attacked by a fuperior force, and obliged to evacuate it, though not without destroying every thing that could be of use to the enemy; spiking the gnns, and even locking the gates of the fort and carrying off the keys. : All this was done in the fight of the befiegers; after which the gårrison embarked without the loss of a man.
As no operations of any consequence took place this year in the prorince of New York, the congress made use of the opportunity to difpatch General Sullivar with a considerable force, in order to take vengeance on the Indians for their ravages and depredations : and the object of the expedition was, not merely the reduction of them, but if possible their utter extirpation. Of this the Indians were apprised; and collecting all their itrength, resolved to come to a decisive engagement. Accordingly they took a strong post in the most woody and mountainous part of the country; erecting a breast-work in their front of large logs of wood extending half a mile in length, while their right flank was covered by a river, and the left by a hill of difficult access. This ada vantageous position they had taken by the advice of the refugees who were among them, and of whom two or three hundred were present in the battle.
Thus pofted, the Indians waited the approach of the American army: but the latter having brought some artillery, along with them, played it against the breast work of the enemy with such success, that in two hours it
was almost destroyed; and at the same time a party having reached the top of the hill, they became apprehenfive of being surrounded, on which they inftantly Aed with precipitation, leaving a great number of killed and wounded behind them. The Americans after this battle met with no further resistance of any consequence. They were suffered to proceed without interruption, and to execute in the most ample manner the vengeance they had projected. On entering the country of the Indians, it appeared that they had been acquainted with agriculture and the arts of peace far beyond what had been supposed. From General Sullivan's account it was learned, that the Indian houses were large, convenient, and even elegant; their grounds were excellently cultivated, and their gardens abounded in fruit-trees and vegetables of all kinds fit for food. The whole of this fine country was now by the American general converted into a desart. Forty towns and settlements, besides fcattered habitations, were demolished; the fields of corn, the orchards, the plantations, were utterly laid waste; all the fruit-trees were cut down; and so great had been the industry of the Indians, that in one archard one thousand five hundred of these were destroyed. The quantity of corn wasted on this occafion was fupposed to amount to one hundred and fixty thousand bushels. In short, such was the desolation, that on the American army's leaving the country, not a bouse, not a field of corn, nor a fruit-tree, was left upon the ground, nor was an Indian to be seen throughout the whole track.
We must now take a view of the transactions in the southern colonies; to which the war was, in the year 1980, fo effectually transferred, that the operations there became at last decisive. The success of General Prevost in advancing to the very capital of South Carolina has been already related, together with the obstacles which prevented him from becoming master of it at that time.
Towards the end of the year 1779, however, Sir Henry Clinton set sail from New York with a confiderable body of troops, intended for the attack of Charlestown, South Carolina, in a fleet of ships of war and transports under the command of Vice-admiral · Arbuthnot. They had a very tedious
the weather was uncommonly bad ; several of the transports were loft, as were also the greatest part of the horses which they carried with theme intended for cavalry or other public uses; and an ordnance-Tip likewise foundered at sea. Having arrived at Savannah, where they endedvoured to repair the damages futained on their voyage, they proceeded from thence on the 10th of February 1780 to North Edifto, the place of debarkation which had been previously appointed. They had a favourable and speedy passage thither: and though it required time ta
have the bar explored and the channel marked, the transports all entered the harbour the next day; and the army took poffeffion of John's island without opposition. Preparations were then made for pasing the squadron over Charlestown bar, where the high-water spring-tides were only nineteen feet deep: but no opportunity offered of going into the har. bour till the 20th of March, when it was effected without any acci. dent, though the American galleys continually attempted to prevent the English boats from founding the channel. The British troops had previously removed from John's to James's island; and on the 29th of the same month they effected their landing on Charlestown Neck. On the ift of April they broke ground within eight hundred yards of the American works; and by the 8th the beliegers guns were mounted in battery.
As soon as the army began to erect their batteries against the town, Admiral Arbuthnot embraced the first favourable opportunity of passing Sullivan's Island, upon which there was a strong fort of batteries, the chief defence of the harbour. He weighed on the oth, with the Roebuck, Richmond, and Romulus, Blonde, Virginia, Raleigh, and Sandwich armed fhip, the Renown bringing up the rear; and, passing through a severe fire, anchored in about two hours under Jaines's Island, with the loss of twenty-seven seamen killed and wounded. The Richmond's fore-top-maft was shot away, and the ships in general sustained damage in their masts and rigging, though not materially in their hulls. But the Acetus transport, having on board some naval stores, grounded within gun-shot of Sullivan's Island, and received so much damage that she was cbliged to be abandoned and burnt.
On thc 10th, Sir Henry Clinton and Admiral Arbuthnot summoned the town to surrender to his Majesty's arms: but Major-General Lincoln, who commanded in Charlestown, returned them an answer, declaring it to be his intention to defend the place. The batteries were now opened against the town; and from their effect the fire of the American advanced works considerably abated. It appears that the number of troops under ghe command of Lincoln were by far too few for defending works of such extent as those of Charlestown; and that many of these were men little accustomed to military service, and very ill provided with cloaths and other necessaries, General Lincoln had been for some time expecting reinforcements and fupplies from Virginia and other places : but they came in very lowly, Earl Cornwallis and Lieutenant-colonel Tarleton under him, were also extremely active in intercepting such reinforcements and supplies as were sent to the American general. They totally defiated a considerable body of cavalry and militia which was proceed
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ing to the relief of the town; and also made themselves masters of soma posts, which gave them in a great degree the command of the country, by which means great supplies of provisions fell into their hands.
Such was the state of things, and Fort Sullivan had also been taken by the king's troops, when on the 18th of May General Clinton again summoned the town to surrender; an offer being made, as had been done before, that if they surrendered, the lives and property of the inhabitants should be preserved to them. Articles of capitulation were then proposed by General Lincoln; but the terms were not agreed to by General Clinton. At length, however, the town being closely invested on all sides, and the preparations to storm it in every part being in great forwardness, and the ships ready to move to the affault, General Lincoln, who had been applied to for that purpose by the inhabitants, surrendered it on such articles of capitulation as General Clinton had before agreed to. This was on the 4th of May, which was one month and two days after the town had been first summoned to surrender.
A large quantity of ordnance, arms, and ammunition, were found in Charlestown; and, according to Sir Henry Clinton's account, the number of prisoners taken in Charlestown amounted to five thousand six hundred and eighteen men, exclusive of near a thousand sailors in arms ; but according to General Lincoln's account transmitted to the congress, the whole number of continental troops taken prisoners amounted to no more than two thousand four hundred and eighty feven. The remainder, therefore, included in General Clinton's account, must have consisted of militia and inhabitants of the town. Several American frigates were also taken or destroyed in the harbour of Charlestown.
The loss of Charlestown evidently excited a considerable alarm in America : and their popular writers, particularly the author of the cele. brated performance intitled Common Sense, in fome other pieces made use of it as a powerful argument to lead them to more vigorous exertions against Great Britain, that they might the more effectually and certainly secure their independence.
While Sir Henry Clinton was employed in his voyage to Charlestown, and in the fiege of that place, the garrison at New York seem not to have been wholly free from apprehensions for their own safety. An intenfe frost, accompanied with great falls of snow, began about the middle of December 1779, and shut up the navigation of the port of New York from the sea, within a few days after the departure of Admiral Arbuthnot and General Clinton. The severity of the weather increased to sa great a degree, that towards the middle of January all communications with New York by water were entirely cut off, and as many new ones
opened by the ice. The inhabitants could scarcely be said to be in an insular state, Horses with heavy carriages could go over the ice into the Jerseys from one island to another. The passage in the North River, even in the widest part from New York to Paulus Hook, which was two thousand yards, was about the 19th of January practicable for the heaviest cannon: an event vhi had been unknown in the memory of
Provisions were foon after transported upon fledges, and a detachment of cavalry marched upon the ice from New York to Staten Inand, which was a distance of eleven miles.
The city of New York being thus circumstanced, was confidered as much exposed to the attacks from the continental troops : and it was strongly reported that General Washington was meditating a great ftroke upon New York with his whole force, by different attacksa Some time before this, Major-general Pattison, commandant at New York, having received an address from many of the inhabitants, offering to put themselves in military array, he thought the present a favourable opportunity of trying the sincerity of their professions. Accordingly he issued a proclamation, calling upon all the male inhabitants from fixteen to fixty to take up arms. The requisition was fo readily complied with, that in a few days, forty companies from the fix wards of the city were inrolled, officered, and under arms, to the number of two thousand lix hundred, many fubftantial citizens serving in the ranks of each company. Other volụnteer companies were formed ; and the city was put into a very strong posture of defence.
No attack, however, was made upon New York, whatever design might originally have been meditated : but an attempt was made upon Staten Island, where there were about eighteen hundred men, under the command of Brigadier-general Sterling, who were well intrenched. General Washington, whose army was hutted at Morris-Town, fent a detachment of two thousand seven hundred men, with fix pieces of cannon, two mortars, and some horses, commanded by Lord Sterling, who arrived at Staten Inand early in the morning of the 15th of January, The advanced posts of the British troops retired upon the approach of the Americans, who formed the line, and made some movements in the. course of the day; but they withdrew in the night, after having burnt one house, pillaged some others, and carried off with them about two ; hundred head of cattle. Immediately on the arrival of the Americans on Staten Island, Lieutenant-general Knyphausen had embarked fix hundred men to attempt a passage, and to support General Sterling: but the floating ice compelled them to return. It is, however, imagined, that the appearance of these transports, with the British troops on