Page images



uous bravery. With regard to Gen- selves for resistance. Wayne turned eral Wayne Washington said “ that the artillery of Stony Point upon the his conduct throughout the whole of British ships which lay in the river this arduous enterprise, merits the and compelled them to drop down a warmest approbation of Congress; he considerable distance.* He fired also improved on the plan recommended on Verplanck's Point, but owing to by me, and executed it in a manner the great distance his shot had little that does signal honor to his judg- effect upon the works. As McDougall ment and to his bravery. In a critical had lost the critical moment of asmoment of the assault he received a saulting Fort Lafayette, the plan of flesh wound in the head, with a musket operation against it was considerably ball, but continued leading on his men changed. General Robert Howe was with unshaken firmness.'* As a re- placed in command of McDougall's ward for their bravery, Congress pre- forces and was provided with cannon sented a gold medal to General to make a breach in the fortifications; Wayne, and silver medals to Colonel but before he was able to act, it was Fleury and Major Stuart. Lieuten- found expedient to retreat.t ants Gibbon and Knox were brevetted When Clinton received word of the captains, and in accordance with capture of Stony Point, he abandoned Washington's desires, Congress di- his design against New London and rected that the value of the military the other Connecticut towns, recalled stores captured be distributed among his transports and troops, and sent a the soldiers.t

large body to the assistance of the Washington had planned to make garrison at Fort Lafayette. He himan attack on Fort Lafayette at the self soon followed with a larger force, same time, and directed that two in the hope that he might be able to brigades under General McDougall be draw Washington into a general held in readiness to make the assault battle for the possession of Stony as soon as information was received Point. However, the failure of the that General Wayne had been suc

expedition against Fort Lafayette cessful in his attack upon Stony made the possession of Stony Point Point. McDougall, however, did not of little importance, and after the advance in time, and the British gar

Americans had destroyed the fortifirison at Fort Lafayette had received cations, the place was evacuated. The sufficient warning to prepare them

British thereupon took possession, re

* Stillé, Wayne and the Pennsylvania Line, p. 198.

Journals of Congress, vol. v., pp. 226–227; Thacher, Military Journal, pp. 172–174; Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., pp. 748– 759; Stille, pp. 198 et seq., 416-418.

* Lamb, City of New York, vol. ii., p. 225.

† Fisher, Struggle for American Independence, vol. ii., pp. 240-241; the letters in Sparks, Correspondence of the Revolution, vol. ii., pp. 319-322, 325–328; Heath's Memoirs, pp. 194–196 (Abbatt's ed.).



built the fortifications and placed a the Warren, a 32 gun frigate, and 14 strong garrison there.*

there.* After he other smaller vessels were either found that Washington could not be blown up or taken. Confusion predrawn from his encampment, Clinton

vailed among the Americans and returned to New York.

finally the troops were landed in an Meanwhile, the British had con

uncultivated part of the country and ducted an expedition into Maine sim

the transports burned. The troops ilar to that in Connecticut. In June,

were then compelled to find their way 1779, Colonel Francis Maclean, in through miles of unbroken forests to command of a detachment from Hali

a settled country and on the march

large numbers perished. After this fax, determined to establish a post on the Penobscot, in the easternmost part

expedition, Collyer returned to New of what was then Massachusetts. The York, where he resigned command of

the fleet, and was succeeded by Boston people immediately planned to repel the invaders and equipped a

Admiral Arbuthnot, who in the mean

time had arrived from England with considerable fleet. General Lovell was placed in command of about 1,000

ships of war, reinforcements, supmilitia and sent to the scene of action,

plies, etc.*

As an offset to this exploit, Major the American fleet arriving at Penobscot Bay July 25. Because of the op

Henry Lee performed a most daring position of some British war vessels

feat when he surprised the British and the rugged nature of the coast, post at Paulus Hook, in full view of three days were spent in effecting a

the British garrison at New York. landing. Thus Maclean had oppor

Washington favored the project, and tunity to perfect his fortifications.

Lee energetically entered upon the Lovell established a battery within

enterprise. With 300 men, he set out

on August 18 and during the night 750 yards of the works and for several days maintained a brisk cannon

made the attack. He was completely ade. Lovell only awaited the arrival

successful and captured 160 prisonof reinforcements to make an assault;

ers, including several officers. Fearbut before these reinforcements ar

ing an attack from the garrison at rived, he was informed, August 13,

New York, Lee decided not to spend that General George Collyer with a

the time necessary to destroy the barlarge naval force had entered the bay. racks and artillery, but retreated Lovell was therefore compelled to em

Thacher, Military Journal, p. 166 et seq.; Colbark his troops and cannon and de

lections of the Maine Historical Society, vol. vii., part from the vicinity. The British pp. 121-126; Gordon, American Revolution, vol. at once pursued, and during the flight fli, P. 305 (ed. 1788) ; Stedman, American War,

vol. ii., pp. 147-151; Jones, New York in the Rev.

olution, vol. i., pp. 296–299. * Lamb, City of New York, vol. ii., p. 226.

† Irving, Life of Washington, vol. iii., p. 345.



while there was opportunity.* For situation, which was well calculated this exploit, Congress awarded Lee a to protect the country south of New gold medal.

York, Washington, with the principal Washington had hoped that division of the army, took his station d'Estaing would render great assist- for the winter.* ance in a combined attack upon New During the winter Washington was York, but when the operations at the unable to undertake any important South proved abortive, all expecta- enterprise, but a number of small extions of aid in the northern campaign peditions were sent out to harass and were abandoned and toward the close

annoy the British. On January 14, of December Washington placed the 1780, Lord Stirling was placed in army in winter quarters. These command of an expedition to attack quarters were chosen for convenience

ham, sometimes shoulder of bacon, to grace the of wood, water, and provisions and

head of the table, a piece of roast beef adorns the also to best protect the country. The foot, and a dish of beans, or greens, almost im. army was divided into two divisions, perceptible, decorates the centre. When the cook

has a mind to cut a figure, which I presume will the northern being placed under com

be the case tomorrow, we have two beef-steak mand of General Heath and stationed pies, or dishes of crabs, in addition, one on each with a view to the security of West

side of the centre dish, dividing the space, and

reducing the distance between dish and dish to Point and the surrounding territory. about six feet, which, without them, would be The other division was encamped at nearly twelve feet apart. Of late he has had the

surprising sagacity to discover, that apples will Morristown, New Jersey.t In this

make pies, and it is a question, if, in the violence

of his efforts, we do not get one of apples, instead Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, p. 475; of having both of beef-steaks. If the ladies can Ford's ed. of Washington's Writings, vol. viii., put up with such entertainment, and will submit pp. 27, 33–34; Lowell, Hessians in the Revolution, to partake of it on plates once tin, but now iron, Pp. 227-229.

(not become so by labor of scouring,) I shall be † That the reader may get a glimpse of the happy to see them."- Sparks, Life of Washington, every day routine of life at camp and an idea pp. 302–305; Irving, Life of Washington, vol. iii., of the manner in which Washington lived, we quote a letter from Washington to Dr. John Coch- *“The operations of the enemy, this campaign,” ran, surgeon-general and physician to the army, said Washington, writing to Lafayette, in France, in which the grave and dignified commander-in- “have been confined to this establishment of chief evinces that he could be playful even while works of defence, taking a post at King's Ferry, the affairs of the whole country were pressing and burning the defenceless towns of New Haven, heavily upon his attention. The letter is dated, Fairfield, and Norwalk, on the Sound, within West Point, August 16, 1779. “Dear Doctor :- reach of their shipping, where little else was, I have asked Mrs. Cochran and Mrs. Livingston or could be opposed to them, than the cries of to dine with me tomorrow, but am I not in honor distressed women and children; but these were of. bound to apprize them of their fare? As I hate fered in vain. Since these notable exploits, they deception, even where the imagination only is have never stepped out of their works, or beyond concerned, I will. It is needless to premise, that their lines. How a conduct of this kind is to effect my table is large enough to hold the ladies. Of

the conquest of America, the wisdom of a North, this they had ocular proof yesterday. To say how a Germaine, or a Sandwich, can best decide. It it is usually covered, is rather more essential, and is too deep and refined for the comprehension of this shall be the purport of my letter. Since common understandings, and the general run of our arrival at this happy spot, we have had a politicians.”

p. 549.



the British post on Staten Island. thinking it likely that large numbers The British received warning of the could be led to desert, General Knypapproach of the Americans, however, hausen, early in June, 1780, went from and a message was sent to the main Staten Island to Elizabethtown, New British army at New York requesting Jersey with a body of 5,000 men. aid. After a few minor skirmishes, After committing several outrages in the Americans, seeing no prospect of various parts of the country, Knypsuccess, and fearing that the arrival hausen stopped at Connecticut of reinforcements from New York Farms, where, besides destroying the would prove their undoing, soon be- village, he barbarously murdered gan to retreat. This was effected Mrs. James Caldwell, the wife of the without any serious loss, but because Presbyterian minister of that place. of the severity of the weather and the This thoroughly aroused the infact that the soldiers were poorly habitants of the section, and the clad, large numbers suffered severely British soon found it expedient to refrom the cold and frost.*

treat.* Greene was in command in Much discontent prevailed among the vicinity with Maxwell's and the troops because the paper money Stark's brigades, Lee's corps of light was daily depreciating and because of horse and the militia.† Several sharp continued privations. The officers of

skirmishes between Greene's force the Jersey line complained in strong and the troops under Knyphausen enterms to the Legislature of their sued, particularly one at Springfield, State of the deplorable conditions to and fearing that Greene might rewhich they were reduced, saying that

ceive reinforcements from the main “ unless a speedy and ample remedy army, Knyphausen retreated to was provided, the total dissolution of Staten Island. The object of this extheir line was inevitable.” Only the pedition is not quite clear. It is not influence of Washington prevented material whether it was intended to the officers from resigning in numbers

Bancroft, vol. V., p. 424; Thacher, Military and the troops from breaking out into Journal, p. 194; Lamb, City of New York, vol. mutinous and seditious conduct. The

ii., pp. 238–240.

† F. V. Greene, Life of Greene, pp. 139–140; British had been apprized of the Irving, Life of Washington, vol. iv., p. 64 et seq. temperament of the soldiers, and

| Lowell, Hessians in the Revolution, pp. 257– 260; Thacher, pp. 196–197; Carrington, Battles of

the Revolution, pp. 499–502; Fisher, Struggle for Jones, New York in the Revolution, vol. i., American Independence, vol. ii., pp. 279-280; Stedpp. 318, 320-323; Lamb, City of New York, vol. ii., man, American War, vol. ii., p. 240; Lossing, p. 232 ; Stedman, American War, vol. ii., pp. 233, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., p. 322 et 239; Ford's ed. of Washington's Writings, vol. seq.; Gordon, American Revolution, vol. iii., pp. viii., pp. 155–166, 180-181, 183, 187, 213, 219; 368–374 (ed. 1788). See also the letters in Sparks, Irving, Life of Washington, vol. iv., p. 67; Gor- Correspondence of the Revolution, vol. iii., pp. 5don, American Revolution, vol, iii., p. 361 (ed. 7; and in Sparks' ed. of Washington's Writings, 1788).

vol. vii., p. 506 et seq.


« PreviousContinue »