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112

CLINTON SUCCEEDS HOWE.

nies submitted, the troops comprising was appointed to succeed him. Upon this expedition murdered some 50 or his departure from Philadelphia, 60 of the militia and returned to Howe was given a magnificent farePhiladelphia with little loss.* Two well entertainment.* Soon aftermonths later, on May 4, a detachment ward, being quite certain that the of British encountered a small body British were preparing to evacuate of militia at Crooked Billet, seven- Philadelphia, Washington ordered teen miles from Philadelphia, but the Lafayette to cross the Schuylkill with Americans succeeded in escaping 2,200 troops and take post at Barren with only the loss of their baggage. Hill, about twelve miles in front of On May 7 the British sent an expedi- the army at Valley Forge.f Lafaytion against the galleys and other ette picketed all the roads by which it ships which had escaped up the Dela- was probable that the enemy would ware at the time of the capture of approach. About two miles to the Mud Island, and a large number of left of his headquarters was Whitevessels were destroyed, and some marsh, where a number of roads stores and provisions captured.f Be- formed a junction, and to guard these cause of their superiority in numbers roads the Marquis had dispatched and equipment, the British were able some militia, who, however, never to undertake these expeditions and to went. Having placed his guards, send out numerous detachments to Lafayette directed a Quaker in the various points without fear of cap- vicinity to provide him lodgings for ture, while on the other hand, the the night. Inferring that Lafayette movements of the militia were often intended to stay there, the Quaker tardy and inefficient. Because of their sent information of Lafayette's situsmall numbers, the American army

ation to the British. The latter therecould not properly guard the roads, upon determined to surprise Lafayand the British were able to conduct ette, and on May 19 General Grant, their foraging expeditions and return with about 5,000 men and a number to Philadelphia before an adequate of cannon, set out from Philadelphia. force of Americans could be assembled to attack them.

Fisher, Struggle for American Independence,

vol. ii., pp. 122, 139–143; Trevelyan, American In October, 1777, Howe had sent his Revolution, vol. iv., p. 282 et seq.; Jones, New resignation to the British ministry,

York in the Revolution, vol. i., pp. 242–252, 716.

See also André's description of the Mischianza, in but not until the spring of 1778 was it Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. ii., p. accepted, when Sir Henry Clinton

97 et seq. On the subsequent investigation of his conduct of the war, see Fisher, pp. 149–157.

+ See his instructions to Lafayette in Sparks' Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. ii., ed. of Washington's Writings, vol. v., p. 368, and pp. 138–140.

in Tower, Marquis de La Fayette, vol. i., † Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. ii., 328.

Tower, Marquis de Lafayette, vol. i., p. 329.

pp. 326

p. 13.

LAFAYETTE AT BARREN HILL.

113

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Taking the Frankford road and cross- body of troops were about to be ating the country through the old York tacked by the whole American army. road and Whitemarsh, Grant, the Had he marched to Matson's Ford, next morning, entered the road on and secured it, not only would he which the Marquis had stationed his have entirely cut off Lafayette, but camp, about two miles in his rear, at would have compelled him either to Plymouth meeting-house. The only surrender or to have lost his entire ford by which Lafayette could retreat was Matson's Ford on the Schuylkill, about a mile and a quarter distant, and about two miles from Barren Hill church. Detaching some troops to take the Marquis in front, Grant, instead of securing this ford and then cutting off Lafayette's retreat, marched down the main road. Lafayette thereupon retreated by the road leading from Barren Hill church to Matson's Ford, and had nearly effected his retreat before the enemy were aware of the error they had committed. Doubling their pace, the British attempted to overtake Lafayette's troops, but before they came up with his rear, all the Americans had crossed and formed in battle order on the other side. Lafayette's loss was not more than nine men. Of

force in battle, which would have enLafayette's danger the American

dangered the whole army.*

The probability that France would army had received early information

send a fleet to aid the Americans and adopted several expedients to

caused the British ministry great distract the attacking forces. Some of the heaviest artillery was fired in

concern. Consequently, Sir Henry the hope that the sound of it would be

* Tower, Marquis de La Fayette, vol. i., pp. 330– carried to the British, who might 338 ; Bancroft, vol. v., p. 270; Carrington, Battles think that the whole American army of the Revolution, pp. 405–407; Fisher, Struggle

for American Independence, vol. ii., pp. 144-148; was approaching. Evidently this was

Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. ii., pp. the case, for Grant hastily beat his 121-123. See also Wayne's account of this in way back to Philadelphia, seemingly

Stillé, Wayne and the Pennsylvania Line, pp.

139–141; Sparks' ed. of Washington's Writings, under the apprehension that his small

vol. v., p. 377.

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114

PHILADELPHIA EVACUATED; OBSTRUCTIVE TACTICS.

Clinton was

ordered to evacuate the object of bringing on a general Philadelphia as soon as possible and engagement. Lee even declared it to to send a portion of his forces to aid be “ criminal ” to risk a battle with in making a descent upon the French an enemy so superior in discipline possessions in the West Indies. The and strength.* Most of the foreign remainder of his troops were to be officers concurred in this opinion, and stationed at New York.* Shipping Washington felt obliged to yield to part of his troops, Clinton began the the opinion of the majority of his march through New Jersey with the council in a matter of so great immain body of the army, starting from portance.f Philadelphia on June 18,

June 18, 1778.7 Some time previously, with the Hardly had he evacuated the city object of impeding the march of the when Arnold with a small detachment British as much as possible, Washentered to take possession. A few ington had detached General Maxdays afterward Congress also re- well, with the Jersey brigade, across turned to the city. I

| the Delaware to coöperate with GenAt this time the British army in eral Philemon Dickinson with the Philadelphia, New York, and Rhode Jersey militia in destroying bridges, Island numbered approximately felling trees across the roads, etc., as 33,000 men,ll while the American had been done at Saratoga, but Dickforce did not exceed 15,000, nor was it inson was ordered to guard against a probable that it could have been sudden attack. There were two raised to more than 20,000 effective roads leading from Philadelphia to men. The Council of War supposed New York; one running along the that Howe's force numbered but western bank of the Delaware to the 10,000 men; nevertheless they were ferry at Trenton, while the other folreluctant to enter upon offensive lowed the eastern bank to the same operations, and with the exception of

point. Unmolested by the American Washington and possibly two or

army, the British crossed the Delathree others, all the generals were

ware at Gloucester Point, and had opposed to attacking the British with taken the road leading along the eastBancroft, vol. v., p. 272.

ern bank. Clinton carried with him a † Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. iv., pp.

large quantity of baggage and pro368-371.

| Arnold, Life of Arnold, p. 222.

|| Carrington gives the figures at 33,756 — 19,- Bancroft, vol. v., p. 274; Tower, Marquis de 530 at Philadelphia, 10,456 at New York, and Lafayette, vol. i., pp. 347–348. 3,770 at Rhode Island — Battles of the Revolu- † Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. iv., pp. tion, p. 411. Bancroft says Howe's force at Phil- 373–374; F. V. Greene, Life of Greene, p. 100; adelphia amounted to about 17,000; Lafayette Kapp, Life of Kalb, p. 159. says 14,000, while Washington says between 9,000 | Tower, Marquis de Lafayette, vol. i., p. 348; and 10,000. See note in Fisher, Struggle for Amer. Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. ii., ican Independence, vol. ii., p. 176.

p. 147; Irving, Life of Washington, vol. ii., p. 445. BRITISH RETREAT TOWARD NEW YORK.

115

visions, so that the progress of the opposed by the enemy, Clinton deterarmy, thus heavily encumbered, was mined to take the longer road.* exceedingly slow, and it did not reach At Hopewell, Wasington once Crosswicks and Allentown until June more asked the advice of the Council 24, having marched less than 40 miles of War. Lee again expressed the in seven days.* It seemed to the same opinion regarding the attack on Americans that Clinton's slow prog- the British and his opinion carried ress was intentional, with the pur- great weight in the Council. But pose of drawing the Americans into a Washington decided not to follow the general engagement. On Clinton's advice of the Council and to act on approach, General Maxwell, who was his own initiative, deeming the repuposted at Mount Holly, retired, and tation of the army in a measure inneither he nor Dickinson was able to volved, and knowing that the country give the British much trouble. Thus expected that he would make an atfar the British army had marched up

tack of some kind upon the British. † the Delaware at only a short distance Washington could not be persuaded from the river, and Washington, who

that the chances were so much against had left Valley Forge on the day

him as had been suggested by Lee and that Clinton evacuated Philadelphia,

others. On receiving word that Sir

Henry Clinton was proceeding by the found it necessary to take a circuitous

riglit road

road to Monmouth Courtroute, and pass the river higher up

House, Washington sent forward at Coryell's Ferry. Crossing this on

1,000 men under General Wayne, and June 22, Washington stationed him

directed General Lafayette to take self at Hopewell, where he remained

command of the left flank, ordering throughout the 23d. From Allentown

him to attack the enemy's rear upon to New York were two roads; the left the first favorable opportunity. Lee of which passed through South

had been offered command of this Amboy to the Hudson, while the right corps, but had declined it. The whole led to Monmouth and Sandy Hook. The first of these two roads was the * Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. ii., shorter, but it was crossed by the

pp. 147-148.

† Fisher, Struggle for American Independence, Raritan, and as it would be difficult

vol. ii., pp. 179–181; Tower, Marquis de LaFay. and dangerous to pass this river if

ette, vol. i., p. 350; Stillé, Wayne and the Pennsylvania Line, p. 141 et seq.; F. V. Greene, Life

of Greene, p. 101; Lossing, Field-Book of the Revo. Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, p. 413. lution, vol. ii., p. 148; Sparks, Life of WashingLowell says that on the 25th of June nearly a ton, pp. 271–273. third of the Hessians were overcome by the heat I Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, p. 414; and that there were many desertions — Hessians Stillé, Wayne and the Pennsylvania Line, p. 144 ; in the Revolution, p. 213. See also Knox's letters Tower, Marquis de Lafayette, vol. i., pp. 352-353. of June 25 and 29 in Brooks, Life of Knox, pp. His instructions to Lafayette are in Sparks' ed. 119, 121.

of Washington's Writings, vol. V., p. 417,

116

THE BATTLE OF MONMOUTH.

army followed at a short distance be- ington was astounded at the sudden hind the advance corps and reached change and asked Lee to explain. Lee Cranberry the next morning. Upon replied with warmth and in very unlearning of the approach of the suitable language, and in turn was Americans, Clinton sent his baggage reproved in much stronger language to the front and placed his gren- than it was generally supposed Washadiers, light infantry, and chasseurs ington could use.* The regiments of in the rear. Washington then sent Colonel Walter Stewart, William Irforward two more brigades to the vine and Thomas Craig, together advance corps and dispatched Gen- with the Virginia and Maryland regieral Lee, who for some reason now ments, were ordered to form on a piece desired to have the command, to take of ground deemed suitable for checkcharge of the whole advance corps.* ing the advance of the enemy.t On the morning of June 28 Lee was Washington then asked Lee if he ordered to move on and attack, un- would take command on that ground, less there should be very powerful and he promptly consented. He was reasons to the contrary.”+ Washing- ordered to use the utmost diligence in ton followed with the main army to checking the advance of the enemy, to support the advance corps. When he

which he replied, “ Your orders shall had marched about five miles, he

be obeyed, and I will not be the first found the whole of the advance corps

to leave the field.” Washington in full retreat, by Lee's orders, with

next rode to the main army, which was out having made any appreciable attempt to defeat the British.I Wash

ii., pp. 150–152; Trevelyan, American Revolution,

vol. iv., pp. 376–378. * Tower, Marquis de Lafayette, vol. i., p. 356 * See Irving's Life of Washington, vol. iii., pp. et seq.; Fiske, American Revolution, vol. ii., pp. 454-455; Fiske, vol. ii., pp. 62–64; New York His. 59-61; Ford's ed. of Washington's Writings, vol. torical Society Collections, 1873, vol. iii., pp. 81, vii., pp. 73–75. For an exposition of the reasons 112, 147, 156, 191; Lodge, George Washington, vol. for Lee's change of heart, see Johnson, General i., p. 230; Pennsylvania Magazine of History, Washington, pp. 198–199.

vol. ii., p. 141; Tower, Marquis de Lafayette, vol. † See the extracts from testimony regarding i., pp. 382–384. Tower, however (p. 389) says orders given prior to the battle citetd in Carring- there is no evidence that Washington expressed ton, pp. 422–432. See also New York Historical violent feeling toward Lee or that he reproached Society Collections, 1873, vol. ii., p. 443, vol. iii., him with angry words. However, had Washingpp. 7–8; Tower, Marquis de Lafayette, vol. i., ton known that the British commander was at pp. 366-369; Sparks, Life of Washington, p. 274 this very moment acting on the plan that Lee

himself had drawn up to destroy Washington, he $ On the various skirmishes see Tower, Marquis probably would have expressed his feelings in de Lafayette, vol. i., pp. 369-381; Carrington, pp. much harsher language than he is reported to 433–438; Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, have used. vol. ii., pp. 148–152. Fisher seems to think that † Stillé, Wayne and the Pennsylvania Line, pp. Lee was not at fault in the measures he took.- 146–147. Struggle for American Independence, vol. ii., pp. # Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, p. 441; 183–185. See also the report of Wayne and Scott, Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. ii., p. in Sparks, Correspondence of the Revolution, vol. 154; Johnson, General Washington, pp. 201-202.

et seq.

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