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such a blow to the Americans, and such a turn to their affairs, that they would not have been able to have regain: ed that confidence in their own strength, which they had hitherto maintained.

of the British and Hessians about four hundred and fifa ty were lost in this engagement. As none of the American commanders thought it proper to risk another' attack, it was resolved to abandon their camp as soon as possible. Accordingly, on the twenty-ninth of August, the whole of the continental troops were ferried over from Brooklyn to New York, with the utmost secrecy and silence : so that, in the morning, the British had nothing to do but to take possession of the camp and artillery which they had abandoned.

This victory, though compleat, was far from being so decisive as the conquerors imagined. Lord Howe, supa posing it would be sufficient to intimidate congress into some terms, sent general Sullivan, who had been taken prisoner in the late action, to congress with a message, importing, that though he could not consistently treat with them as a legal assembly, yet he would be very glad to confer with any of the members in a private capacity ; setting forth, at the same time, the nature and extent of his power as commissioner. But the congress were not at all inclined to derogate from the dignity of chal'acter they had assumed. They replied, that the congress of the free and independent states of America could notą consistently, send any of its members in another capacity than that which they had publicly assumed, but as they were extremely desirous of restoring peace to their country upon equitable conditions, they would appoint a committee of their body to wait upon him, and learn what preposals he had to make.

The committee appointed by congress was composed of Dr. Franklin, Adams, and Rutledge. They were very politely received by his lordship; but the conference proved fruitless. The final answer of the deputies was, that they were extremely willing to enter into any treaty with Great Britain that might conduce to the good of both nations; but that they would not treat in any other character than that of Independent States. This positive deelaration put an end to all hopes of reconciliation, and it was resolved to prosecute the war with the utmost vigour.

Lord Howe, after publishing a manifesto, in which he declared the refusal of congress, and that he himself was willing to confer with all well-disposed persons about the means of restoring public tranquillity, set about the most proper methods for reducing the city of New York. Here the provincial troops were posted, and, from a great number of batteries kept continually annoying the British shipping. The East river, about twelve hundred yards in breadth, lay between them, which the British troops were extremely desirous of passing. At last the ships, after an incessant cannonade of several days, silenced the batteries ; a body of troops was sent up the river to a bay, about three miles distant, where the fortifications were less strong than in other places. Here, having driven off the provincials by the cannon of the fleet, they marched directly towards the city ; but the provincials, finding that they should now be attacked on all sides, abandoned the city, and retreated to the north of the island, where their principal force was collected. In their passage thither they skirmished with the British, but carefully avoided a general engagement ; and it was observed that they did not behave with that ardour and impetuous valour which had hitherto marked their character.

The British and American armies were now not above {wo miles, from each other. The former lay encamped from shore to shore, for an extent of two miles, being the breadth of the island, which, though fifteen miles long, exceeds not two in any part of the breadth. The provincials, who lay directly opposite, had strengthened their camp with many fortifications; and, at the same time, were masters of all the passes and defiles betwixt the two camps : thus were they enabled to maintain their station against an army much more numerous than their own: they had also strongly fortified a pass called King'sBridge, on the northern extremity of the island, whence they could secure a passage to the continent in case of any misfortunes. Here general Washington, in order to anure the provincials to actual service, and at the same time, to annoy the enemy as much as possible, employed

his troops in continual skirmishes; by which it was observed they recovered their spirits, and behaved with their usual boldness.

As the situation of the two armies was now highly inconvenient to the British generals, it was resolved to make such movements as might oblige general Washington to relinquish his strong situation. A few days after New York was evacuated by the Americans, a dreadful fire broke out, said to be occasioned by the licentious conduct of some of its new masters, and had it not been for the active exertions of the sailors and soldiery, the whole town probably would have been consumed ; the wind being high, and the weather remarkably dry, about a thousand bouses were destroyed.

General Howe, having left lord Percy with a sufficient force to garrison New York, embarked his army in flat bottomed boats, by which they were conveyed through the dangerous passage called Hell Gate, and landed at Frog's Point, near the town of West Chester, lying on the continent towards Connecticut. Here having received a supply of men and provisions, they moved on the twenty-first of October, to New Rochelle, situated on the Sound wnicii separates Long Island from the continent.

After this, still receiving fresh reinforcements, they made suich movements as threatened to distress the pro. vincials very much, by cutting off their convoys of pro. visions from Connecticut, and thus force them to an engagement. This, general Washington determined at all events to avoid. He therefore extended his forces into a long line opposite to the way in which the enemy marched, keeping the Brunx, a river of considerable magnitude, be: tween the two armies, with the Norta-River in his rear. Here the provincials continued for some time to skirmish with the royal arniy, until, at last, by some mancuvres, the British general found means to attack them on the twenty. eighth of October, 1776, advantageously, at a place called the White Plains, and drove them from some of their posts.

The success on this occasion was not so compleat as on the former ; however it obliged the provincials to change their ground, and retreat farther up into the country General Howe pursued thein for some time; but at last

· finding all his endeavours to bring on a general action, fruit

less, he determined to give over the pursuit, and employ himself in reducing the forts which the provincials still retained in the neighbourhood of New York.

Fort Washington was the only post the Americans then held on New York island, and was under the command of colonel Magaw. The royal army made four attacks upon it. The first on the north side, was led on by general Knyphauzen: the second, on the east, by general Matthews, supported by lord Cornwallis : the third was under the dia rection of lieutenant-colonel Sterling: and the fourth by lord Percy. The troops under Knyphauzen, when advancing to the fort, had to pass through a thick wood, which was occupied by Rawling's regiment of riflemen, and suf. fered very much from their well-directed fire. During this attack a body of British light infantry, advanced against a party of the Americans, who were annoying them from be. hind rocks and trees, and obliged them to disperse. Lord Percy carried an advance work on his side ; and lieutenant colonel Sterling forced his way up a steep ascent, and took one hundred and seventy prisoners. Their outworks being carried, the Americans left their lines, and crowded into the fort. Colonel Rahl, who led the right column of Knyphauzen's attack, pushed forwards, and lodged his column within an hundred yards of the fort, and was there soon joined by the left coluinn. The garri. son surrendered on terms of capitulation, by which the men were to be considered as prisoners of war, and the officers to keep their baggage and side arins. The number of prisoners amounted to two thousand seven hundred.

The loss of the British was considerable. · Shortly after the surrender of fort Washington, fort Lee, situate on the opposite shore of the North River, was evacuated by the Americans at the approach of lord Cornwallis ; and at the expense of their artillery and stores.

Fort Lee being evacuated by the Americans, the Jerseys lay wholly open to the incursions of the British troops, and was so entirely taken possession of by the royal army, that their winter quarters extended from New Brunswick, to the river Delaware. Had any number of boais been at band, it was thought Philadelphia would now have fallen VOL. II.


into thcir bands. All these had been carefully removed by the Americans. Instead of this enterprize, Sir Henry Clinton undertook an expedition to Rhode Island, and bea came master of it without losing a man. His expedition was attended with this further advantage, that the American feet under commodore Hopkins was obliged to sail so far up Providence river, that it was entirely useless. The same ill success attended the Americans in other parts. After their espulsion from Canada, they had crossed lake Champlain, and taken up their quarters at Crown Point, as we have already mentioned. Here they remained for some time in safety, as the British had no vessels on the lake ; and consequently general Burgoyne could not pursue them.

To remedy this deficiency, there was no other method, but to construct vessels on the spot, or take to pieces some vessels already constructed, and drag them up the river into the lake. This, however, was effected in the space of three months ; and the British general, after incredible toi and difficulty, saw himself in possession of a great number of vessels; by which means, he was enabled to pursue his enemies, and invadle them in his turn. The labour undergone at this time, by the sea and land forces, must indeed have been prodigious ; since there were conveyed over land, and dragged up the rapids of St. Lawrence, no fewer than thirty large long-boats, four hundred batteaux, be sides a vast number of flat-bottomed boats, and a gondola of thirty tons. The intent of the expedition, was to push forward, before winter, to Albany, where the army would take up its winter quarters; and the next spring effect a junction with that under general Howe; when it was not doubted, that the united force and skill of the two commanders, would speedily put an end to the war.

It was the beginning of October, before the expedition could be undertaken ; it was then allowed to be compleatly able to answer the purpose for which it was intended.

The fleet consisted of one large vessel of three masts, carrying 13 twelve pounders ; two schooners, the one carrying 14, the other 12 six pounders; a large Hut-bottomed radeau, with 6 twenty-four, and 6 twelve pounders ; and a gondola with 8 nine pounders ; besides these, there were twenty vessels of a smaller size; also gun-boats, carrying

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