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In the course of these movements, beside articles 1781.. similar to those already specified, the Britih destroyed above 2000 hogsheads of tobacco, with some brass and a number of iron ordnance. But they were joined by no great number of inhabitants, and scarcely by any of the native Virginians. Lord Cornwallis, in his marches from Charlestown to Camden, from Camden to the Dan river, from the Dan through North Carolina to Wilmington, from Wilmington to Richmond, and from Richmond to Williamsburgh, made a route of more than eleven hundred miles, without computing devia-, tions,
The marquis de la Fayette kept with his body about 18 or 20 miles distant from lord Cornwallis, while his advanced corps was within 10 or 12, with an intention of insulting the British rear guard, when they should pass James river. His lordship evacuated Williams-July burgh on the 4th of July. On the 6th at noon he re- 6. ceived intelligence that the Americans were approaching. Persuaded they would not venture an attack, except under the impression, that only a rear guard was left on that side of the river, he used all proper means to encourage that opinion of his weakness. Gen. Wayne yelying upon the assurances of a countryman, that the main body had crossed, pushed forward with 800 men, chiefly Pennsylvanians and some light infantry, and to his surprise discovered the British army drawn up ready to receive him about sun set. He instantly conceived that the only mode of extricating himself from his perilous situation, was by boldly attacking and engaging them for a while, and then retreating with the utmost expedition. He pressed on with the greatest intrepidity. I 3
1781. His whole force, with which he began to engage the
British, at no greater distance than twenty-five yards, did not exceed five hundred men, all Pennsylvanians *. After behaving with heroic bravery for a time, they faced about, and leaving their cannon behind, hurried off the field in haste toward some light infantry battalions, that by a most rapid move had arrived within about half a mile of them. Lord Cornwallis would admit of no pursuit, for he conjectured, from the strangeness of circumstances, that the whole was a scheme of Fayette to draw him into an ambuscade. The British passed the river at night, and retired to Portsmouth; and the marquis chose that moment for resting the American troops.
However we shall not quit Virginia without mentioning that early in the spring, a British frigate went up the Patomak, and landed a party of men, who set fire to and destroyed some gentlemen's houses on the Maryland side of the river, in sight of Mount Vernon, gen. Washington's seat. The captain sent to Mr. Lund Washington, (who supplied the place of a steward) and demanded a quantity of provisions, with which he was
furnished, to prevent worse confequences. This comApril pliance did not meet with the general's approbation; 30. and in a letter of April the 30th, he expressed to Mr.
Lund Washington his uneasiness at his having gone on board the frigate, and furnished provisions; and said, " that he would rather it had been left to the enemy to take what they pleased by force, though at the risk of burning his house and property.”
* General Wayne's letter to general Greene,
We now proceed to the department under gen. ington's immediate command.
A publication in the New York paper about the month of April, excited the general to write to a particular friend —“Rivington, or the inspector of his Gazette, published a letter from me to gov, Hancock and his answer, which never had an existence but in the Gazette. The enemy fabricated a number of letters for me formerly as is well known.” The following extracts from his genuine letters will give you the best account of the particulars to May which the same relate. May the ist. I had strained impress by military force to that length, I trembled for the consequences of the execution of every warrant which I had granted for the purpose ; so much are the people irritated by the frequent calls which have been made upon them in that way.”—“The 8th. Distressed beyond expresfion at the present situation and future prospect of the
army with regard to provision, unless an immediate and regular supply can be obtained, I have determined to make one great effort more, by representations and Tequisitions to the New England states.”_" The ioth. From the posts of Saratoga to that of Dobbs's ferry inclusive, I believe there is not (by the reports and returns I have received) at this moment on hand, one day's fupply of meat for the army.".
"L" The 11th. I am sending gen. Heath purposely to the eastern states to represent our distresses, and fix a plan for our regular fupply for the future.” Three days before, the general wrote to gov. Livingston-" Intelligence has been sent me by a gentleman, who has an opportunity of knowing what passes among the enemy, that four parties had been sent out with orders to take er affaffinate your exó
1781. cellency, gov. Clinton, me, and a fourth person name
unknown.” The general at the same time, did not be-
of the army distresses, put them upon those exertions May that were beneficial though insufficient. On the 14th
Washington was pained with an account, that col. Greene,
Monsieur de Barras, appointed to the command of
from Hartford, where they met the count de Rocham21. beau and the chevalier Chastellux on the 21st. At this
interview, after combining all present circumstances and