Page images
PDF
EPUB

we have been obliged to decline, that in so doing, we
have endeavoured to exercise the most rigid impat-
tiality. We are not afraid to challenge any of our coma
petitors, to produce an Index pointing out a greater pora
tion of the dulci, blended with the utile. At the same
time, we may be allowed to remark, that while we have
not been parsimonious, in rendering our Miscellany,
what those whose taste and judgment ve respect, would
wish it to be; we have been frugal for our subscribers,
by sparing them the expense of a Supplement.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE.

[N:

No. XIV..... VOL. III.

For JANUARY 1805.

New Series.

GOONS,

A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF SIR ROBERT derstood by the history of General Moncy;

THOMAS WILSON, K.M.T. AND LIEUTE- and though there is much to be objected NANT-COLONEL OF THE 19TH LIGHT DRA- tu in the want of discernment and just

reasoning in this author, his work cannot [With his Portrait.]

be said to be without its use. Time, the A ,

that we seldom see the fame man a riddles, correćts the errors in the way of good fighter and an able writer. This thinking of the self opiniated, and conobservation, however, will never grow in- tradicts the hazardous affertions of the to an axiom. There are too many excep- ralh or over confident. Military men, in tions to it in antient as well as in modern general, affert with too much boldness, days, from Xenophon down to the person and thereby lead their hearers into mifof our present subject. Among the Ro- taken notions of men and things. As mans, besides Cæsar, there were many they Nay an enemy by the stroke of a able generals who distinguished them- fabre, fo, with equal impetuosity, they selves not merely for their accuracy, but often, by a dalh of the pen, wound the for the elegance of their narrations. The reputation of a cotemporary or a friend. fact is, that by far the greater number of Colonel (now General) Tarletov, by thote persons intended for the military his “ History of the Campaigns of 1780 profession enter very young into the arıny, and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of in order to obtain early rank, in which North America,” in this way greatcase it is obvious that they must be de- ly bifurcated the military characters of ficient in that academical groundsvork Lord Cornwallis and Lord Rawdon (as which should qualify them to write with the latter then was); and in this fame way considence, and a prospect of commenda- Marshal de Camp Money did a violent and tion. The great "Turenne entered into undeserved injury to the honest fame of the profession of arms before he had learnt the Marquis La Fayette. In this narrato write a billet-doux. Frequently he has tor's dathing or rather flashing manner of been heard to say, that he would gladly writing, after surprising the friends of cede a portion of his military fame for the General Dillon (who lo carly and to advantages arising from a due cultivation shockingly fell in the conflict) by repreof letters. It is, indeed, to be lamented senting him either as a poltroon or a traithat the capacity to write is not oftener tor, he speaks of the young and noble joined with the readiness to fight; we French general who so much attracted ihould then be likely to have more exact the esteem of his fellow soldier, Washingannals of military affairs, more accurate ton, as follows: " I must not here omit a narratives of a campaign or a fiege, than circumstance which deferves attention. when undertaken by penmen who have La Fayette had drawn back bis army thought proper to keep at a respectable from Longwy to Sedan, on the approach distance froin the contending arinies. of the Duke of Brunswick's forces. Who

In the German and French army lifts ever observes this mana uvre with the eye we lhall find many officers of rank, even of a soldier, will be inclined to suspect as bigh up as commanders of large forces, either that La Fayette mcant to betray who have signalized themselves for their the cause in which he was engaged, or historical as well as warlike talent. The that his professional knowledge may be Ruflian arms have not been without a called in question.” The phrase Ithopen to celebrate their achievements; and ever beholds this with the eye of a fola but for a Count de Lacy, the Emperor dier, impofes a kind of roli proféqui at the head of his army against the Poles upon the mind of every reader, elpecially in Ingria, and his Marchal Schremetot's of every one but a military reader, and exploits, as well as thofe of Prince Rep- he is at once trepanned into a belief that nin, might have scarcely beep known a the writer cannot be far from the truth, few leagues from the scene of action. he is so far from hesitation, UnfortuThe campaign of 1792, fo full of events, nately for these intrepid writers, their And so influential in the affairs of the books now and then tall under the eye of French revolution, have been better une logicians, of men who (contrary to the VOL. III,

A

leffons usually imbibed by the foldier gree, to impugn the conduct of Lord
from his superior) will think for them- Cornwallis. "The celerity of the move-
felves; and such persons will naturally ments of our commander of the flying
fay, If La Fayette had entered into a legion must often raise a great duit : it
good understanding with the enemy as a might for a moment envelope his superiors.
traitor to France, would that enemy have and rival commanders in a cloud, but it
treated him with the long continued and could not blind the clear-fighted at home,
cruel rigor he received at their hands? who were able to discover an absolute
Reason and common sense forbid such a contradiction in the writer's own account.
belief, and circumstances, which never -He says, “no letter, order, or intelli-
utter falsehoods, are more to be relied on gence, from head quarters reached Tarle-
at all times than facts, though uttered in ton after this reply, previous to the de-
the most positive mauner. These are the feat on the 17th; and after that lie found
writers who contribute to lefsen the credit Earl Cornwallis on Turkey Creek," &c.
which Mould be due to the historian, and &c. Then how can he speak of a concerted
this is the kind of writing which sometimes point for his lordfhip to arrive at? Did our
brings history into disgrace; and well might active colonel contider his defire, that
it be faid, by the person who criticised the Lord Cornwallis might acquire as high a
work of the commander of the British station as poslible on the river, an absolute
legion serving in America, that “ the command! Did bis zeal in the caule, his
Lieutenant-Colonel's conclusions are not thirtt for renown, betray him into a no-
always logically deduced;” and it might tion that a fuperior officer would move
well be added, not warranted by mili with his larger army at the will of an in-
tary science. Having fubftantiated our ferior commander, to fill the measure of
objections to the reafoning of the French such a tyro's fame, at the hazard of en-
military historian, it is pollible as much dangering his own? These are the over-
may be expected from us with regard to fights, the blemishes, which let down the
our own general and historian, and the value and dim the lustre of military his-
instance we shall produce is that wherein tory.
he comments on his own disastrous defeat Money laid himself under an unfa-
at the battle of Cowpens.

vourable prepoffeffion with his reader by • On the 14th, Earl Cornwallis inform- an ex gratia flourish, which took away ed Tarleton that Lelie had surmounted from the respect we bear the soldier who his difficulties, and that he imagined the fights from principle. In his preface, he enemy would not pass the Broad-river, ailigns no other reason for serving in the though it had fallen very much. Tarle armies of France, than that he loved the ton then anfivered, that he would try to profession, and went there merely to imcross the Pacolet, to force them, and de- prove himself in it. Giving no reason at fired' Earl Cornwallis to acquire as high a all would have been better. War can ftation as possible, in order to stop their only be contemplated without horror on retreat. No letter, order, or intelligence, the ground of its necessity, or on the plea from head-quarters reached Tarleton af- of self-defence. Upon the principles of ter this reply, previous to the defeat on humanity and the Christian religion, it is the 17th ; and after that event he found a deteftable trade; and we profefs ourEarl Cornwallis on Turkey Creek, near felves ignorant of the anatomical contwenty-five miles below the place where itruction of that man's mind who can the action had happened. The distance love such a cailing, and follow it upon between Wynnelborough and King's- that score. Our historian, Tarleton, has mountain, or Wynnesborough and Little had no such prejudice to operate against Broad-river, which would have answered the work of his hand. When he fought the fame purpose, dues pot exceed fixty- againfi liberty, he might well enough think five miles. Earl Cornwallis commenced he was fighting againft rebellion also; his march on the 7th or 8th of January. and, therefore, he loft nothing in the opiIt would be mortifying to describe the 'nion of his countrymen and readers on advantages that might have resulted from the ground of conlistency and principle. his lordihip's arrival at the concerted The part he bas taken to perpetuate the point, or to es patiate upon the calamities practice and horrors of llavery are fins which were produced by this event.' which he has fallen into as a member of

Now it is easy to see that this paffage parliament, as the representative of a in his history is intended to stille any pre- town which has flourished and grown judice which might arise against him from wealthy by the obnoxious traffic which ihat difastrous äffair, and, in a great de- philolophers as well as philanthropists

3

« PreviousContinue »