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About two o'clock P. M. the attack began by a cante nonade, which lasted about twenty minutes, when the action became general. The Anerican forces under colonels Washington, and Lee, were warmly engaged, and did great execution. Colonel Tarleton's, orders, were to keep the cavalry compact, and not to charge without positive orders, except it was to protect any of the divisions from the most im niinent danger of being defeated. The woods were so thick, that the British could not make a free use of the bayonet. The second battalion of guards, were the first that gained the clear ground, near Guilford court-house, where was a corps of continental infantry, superior in number; these were formed in the open field, on the left of the road. Desirous of signalizing themselves, they iinmediately attacked, and soon defeated them, taking two six pounders ; but, as they pursued the Americans with too much ardour to a wood, they were thrown into confusion by a heavy fire, and were instantly driven into the field, by colonel Washington's dragoons, who recovered the two six-pounders. The American cavalry were alterwards repulsed, and the two six-pounders again fell into? the hands of the British.
The British having broken the second Maryland regi. ment, and turned the left flank of the Americans, goi into the rear of the Virginia brigade, and were endeavouring to gain their right, which would have enclosed the whole of the continental troops ; a retreat was immediately ordered by general Greene, which was conducted with good order to Reedy-Fork River, and they crossed the ford about three miles from the field of action, where they halted. After the stragglers were collected, they retreated to the Iron works about ten miles from Guilford, and encamped. The Americans lost their artillery and ammunition. Waggons.
The action lasted one hour and a half, in which short space, according to the account of lord Cornwallis, there were of the British five hundred and thirty-two killed, wounded, and taken prisoners, General Greene, in his account to Congress, gives an account of no more than three hundred and twenty-nine killed, wounded, and missing: but he gave no account of the militia, which was more than one hundred. Lieutenant-colonel Stewart was liked
in the action, and lieutenant-colonel Webster ; the captains Schutz, Maynard, and Goodriche, died of the wounds they received, and the brigadier-generals O'Hara, and Howard, and colonel Tarleton were wounded. The principal officer among the Americans killed, was major Anderson, of the Maryland line, and the generals Stephens and Huger, were wounded.
Notwithstanding general Greene's defeat, he endeavour. ed'to make some further attempts against the king's forces in South Carolina. Lord Rawdon, an experienced and very gallant officer, was posted at Camden, with about eight hundred British troops and provincials. Greene appeared before that place, on the 19th of April, with a large body of continental troops, and militia. Despairing of success, should he attempt to storm the town, he therefore took such a position, as he imagined, would be likely to induce the enemy to make a sally from their works ; wien he thought he might attack them with advantage. Greene therefore posted the Americans on an eminence, which was covered with wood, Aanked on the left by an impassible swamp.
On the morning of the twenty-fifth, Lord Rawdon marched out of Camden, and attacked Greene in his camp, who was compelled to give way, after making a vigorous resistance : he had been in hopes of defeating the British, as he had chosen so advantageous a situation, and had a commanding superiority in point of number. The bravery of colonel Washington, was very conspicuous in this acti. on ; he made two hundred of the English prisoners, besides ten or twelve officers, before he perceived the Americans were retreating. The British had about one hundred killed and wounded, upwards of one hundred of the Americans were taken prisoners; and according to gentral Greene's account, there were one hundred and twenty-six Americans killed and wounded. The British, it was said, continued the pursuit three miles.
After this action, the Americans retreated to Rugelv mills, twelve miles from Camden. Lord Rawcion soon ai. ter left that place, having first burned the jail, mills, and some private houses..
Greene's next expedition was an attack upon Ninety "Six, which he attempted to storm, but was repulsed rii!
great bravery ; he then retired with his army behind the Saluda river, a strong situation, about sixteen miles from Ninety Six. About this time, major-general Phillips, and brigadier-general Arnold, made some predatory excursions into Virginia, and did considerable damage, by destroying the American stores and magazines ; but the royal cause was not much benefited by such a waste of property.
Lord Cornwallis after his victory over general Greene, at Guilford, proceeded as aforesaid, to Wilmington ; and on the twentieth of May, arrived at Petersburgh, in Virgi. pia. On the sixteenth of June, 1781, about six miles from Williamsburg, lieutenant-colonel Simcoe, with about three hundred and fifty of the queen's rangers, and eighty yagers mounted, were attacked by a much superior body of Americans whom they repulsed with great gallantry, and success, making four officers, and twenty private men prisoners. The loss of the Americans in this action, is said to have been more than one hundred and twenty. Of the British only forty,
On the sixth of July, an action took place near the Green Springs, in Virginia, between a reconnoitering Party of Americans, under general Wayne, and a large party of the British army, under lord Cornwallis, in which the Americans had one hundred and twenty-seven killed and wounded ; and the loss of the royal troops is said to have been much greater.
In a variety of skirmishes about this time, the marquis de la Fayette distinguished himself. On the ninth of September, general Greene defeated colonel Stuart, near the Euraw Springs, in South Carolina : it was an obstinate chgazement, and lasted two hours.
Lord Cornwallis now began to be sensible that his situation in Virginia, was very critical ; the reinforcements and supplies being expected froin Sir Henry Clinton (and without which he could not ensure himself success in his operations) had not arrived. General Washington's military movements were such as impressed on the mind of the British general, a fear that his designs were upon New York ; he, tlierefore, thought it too bazardous to send any large body of troops to the assistance of his lordslijp.
General Washington having tlius, for a considerable time, kept Sir Henry Clinton in continual alarm, sud
denly quitted his camp at the White plains, crossed the Delaware, and marched towards Virginia, with the design of attacking lord Cornwallis. Sir Henry Clinton, about the same time, was informed that the count de Grasse, with a larze French fleet, was expected every moment in the Chesapeake, in order that he might co-operate with general Washington. He immediately sent both by land and water, intelligence to lord Cornwallis ; and also sent him assurances, that he would eitlier reinforce him, or make the most effectual diversion in his power.
Oo the twenty-eighth of August, Sir Samuel Hood, with a squadron from the West Indies, joined the squadron under admiral Greaves, before New York. They immedi. ately proceeded to the Chesapeake, where they arrivec 01 the fifth of September, with nineteen ships of the line, when they found the count de Grasse anchored in the bay, with twenty-four ships of the line. The French admiral had previously landed a large body of troops, who imme. diately marched to join the American army under general Washington. On the same day the two fleets came to an engagement : on board the British fleet ninety were killed, and two hundred and forty-six wounded. Some of the ships were much damaged, and the Terrible, a 74 gunship, was so much shattered, that it was found most expedient to set her on fire. The two fieets continued in sight of each other for five days.
At length the French fleet anchored within the Capes, so as to block up the passage. Admiral Greaves then held a council of war, in which it was resolved, that the fleet should proceed to New York, and the ships be put in the best state for service. Before the news of this action had reached New York, a council of war was held there, in which it was resolved that five thousand men should be embarked in the king's ships, and proceed to the assistance of lord Cornwallis : but this resolution was rescinded, when it was known that the French were absolute masters of the Chesapeake. In another council it was resolved, that, as lord Cornwallis had provisions to last him to the end of October, it was most adviseable to wait for the arrival of admiral Digby, who was expected with three ships of the line.
In the mean time the most effectual measures were adopted by general Washington for surrounding the British army under lord Cornwallis. A large body of French troops were under the command of lieutenant-general the count de Rochambeau, with a large train of artillery. The Ame. rican forces were in number one thousand three hundred : eight hundred of whom were continal troops ; the whole under the command of general Washington.
On the twenty-ninth of September, 1781, York Town, in Virginia, was compleatly invested, and the British army quite blocked up. The day following, Sir Henry Clinton wrote a letter to lord Cornwallis, containing assurances that he would do every thing that was in his power to relieve liim, and some further information respecting the amanner in which he intended to accomplish that relief. A duplicate of this letter was sent to lord Cornwallis by major Cochran : that gentleman went in a vessel to the Capes, and made his way through the whole French fleet, in an open boat. He got to York Town on the tenth of October, and the next day had his head taken off by a cannon ball, as he was walking by the side of lord Cornwallis. The fate of this gallant officer drew tears from the eyes of his lordship. .
After the return of admiral Greaves to, New York, a council of war was held, in which it was resolved, that a large body of troops should be embarked, and that exertions of both fleet and army should be made, in order to form a junction with lord Cornwallis.
Sir Henry Clinton, himself, with seven thousand troops, went on board the fleet, on the eighteenth. They came abreast of Cape Charles, at the entrance of the Chesapeake, on the twenty-fourth, where they received intelligence that lord Cornwallis had been obliged to capitulate five days before. It was on the nineteenth that his lordship surrendered himself and his whole army, by capitulation, prisoners to the combined armies of America and France. He made a defence worthy of his former fame for military achievements, but was compelled to submit by imperious necessity, and superior numbers. The British prisoners amounted to upwards of six thousand, but many of them, at the time of surrender, were incapable of duty,