Page images
PDF
EPUB

PERPLEXING MOVEMENTS OF BRITISH; LEE'S INTRIGUE.

53

remaining in this position for six ceeding in full force against Washingdays, Howe made a retrograde move- ton in New Jersey.* Thinking that ment toward Amboy, which drew this latter plan was the most likely, Washington down from the high Washington was very slow in his ground as far as Quibbletown, where- movements, but in July, when the upon Howe suddenly reversed and en- British fleet went to sea, he took the deavored to cut him off from the hills; main body of his force across Jersey but Washington beat a hasty retreat to the Delaware, so as to be prepared to Middlebrook and thus again foiled should the British make an atteinpt the British commander. Howe there

upon Philadelphia.t upon crossed over to Staten Island While awaiting definite news as to and evacuated the Jerseys.

the designs of the British, WashingAgain Washington was in a per- ton went to Philadelphia to confer plexed state of mind as to the mean- with the members of Congress, and ing of the several movements of the while there he met the Marquis de British. It was well known that Bur- Lafayette for the first time.This goyne was advancing toward the young French noble had been greatly South with a large force. In New aroused by the story of the gallant York the British were making prepa- fight made by the Americans against rations for some expedition by sea, British oppression, and though he which might be for the purpose of at- had only recently been married, signitacking either Philadelphia or New fied his desire to aid the Americans England, in order to create a diver- in their contest. The French minission in favor of Burgoyne.t It might also be that these preparations were * Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. iv., p. being made for the purpose of ascend

211. ing the Hudson and placing the

† Shortly before this time Charles Lee, then

a prisoner in New York, began an intrigue with American army near Saratoga be- the Howes for the purpose of ingratiating himself tween two fires, and after its defeat,

and obtaining his liberty. He drew up a plan of

operations (dated March 29, 1777) for a summer of joining Burgoyne and then pro

campaign against the American army and in every

way endeavored to give the British generals such * Trevelyan, American Revolution, vol. iv., pp. information as they could use to their profit. See 60–64; Hildreth, vol. iii., pp. 190–191; Carrington, Fiske, American Revolution, vol. i., pp. 299-308. Battles of the Revolution, pp. 298–301; Fisher, Carrington (Battles of the Revolution, pp. 410Struggle for American Independence, vol. ii., pp. 411) gives extracts from Lee's letter to the Howes. 11-13; F. V. Greene, Life of Greene, pp. 77–78; See also George H. Moore, Treason of Charles Brooks, Life of Knox, pp. 97-101; Sparks, Life of Lee, New York Historical Society Collections, vol. Washington, pp. 227–228.

iv. (1874); Fisher, Struggle for American Inde† See the various notes regarding this in Ford's pendence, vol. i., p. 544, vol. ii., p. 75; Johnson, ed. of Washington's Writings, vol. v., pp. 435–455; General Washington, pp. 148–149, and App. A., pp. Gordon, American Revolution, vol. ii., pp. 469–

325-330. 474 (ed. 1788); Drake, Life of Knox, p. 44; Sted- | His full name was Marie Jean Paul Yves Roch man, American War, vol. i., p. 238; Graham, Gilbert Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (often Life of Morgan, p. 124.

spelled La Fayette).

54

LAFAYETTE AND OTHER FOREIGN OFFICERS.

try, however, fearing international At this time he was not yet 20 years complications if the expedition should of age, but Lafayette's personality leave the shores of France, absolutely and the romantic manner in which he forbade him to fit out a vessel for this came to America immediately predispurpose in France.

But Lafayette posed Washington in his favor, and was not to be turned from his pur

the attachment which sprang up bepose, and having secretly fitted out a tween the two continued throughout vessel and persuaded a number of his their lifetime. Washington requested friends to accompany him to America, Lafayette to consider headquarters he embarked, reaching the shores of as his home, a privilege of which LaAmerica in safety, and subsequently fayette immediately availed himself.* presenting his credentials to the Com- At the same time there were a nummittee of Foreign Affairs.* At this ber of other foreign officers in time, however, there were a large America who had come to aid the number of applications from foreign patriotic cause, among them being officers for employment in the Ameri- Thaddeus Kosciusko, Casimir Pucan army, and as Congress could not laski, Johann De Kalb, Steuben. All give them the positions they desired rendered valuable services in the without creating jealousy and dissat- American cause. isfaction among the American officers, Meanwhile, Washington had been Lafayette in company with the others receiving all manner of contradictory found it almost impossible to secure reports as to the course taken by the coveted positions. The failure to Howe's fleet, one report stating that receive high rank, however, did not he had returned to the Hudson, andiscourage Lafayette, and he immedi- other stating that he was now enterately offered his service as a volun- ing the Delaware, while still another teer without pay, whereupon his re- imparted the information that he had quest for service was granted and he taken a southerly course toward received the rank of major-general. † Charleston. Finally, late in August,

it was ascertained that the fleet had On his early life and his adventures before he succeeded in reaching America see Charle- that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious magne Tower, Jr., The Marquis de La Fayette in family and connections, he have the rank and com. the American Revolution, vol. i., chap. i.

mission of major-general in the army of the † Sparks, Life of Washington, p. 231. The United States.”— Journals of Congress, vol. iii., p. language of Congress, July 31st 1777, was:

See also Lafayette's letter of thanks to "Whereas, the Marquis de Lafayette, out of his Hancock, in Tower, Marquis de La Fayette, vol. i., great zeal to the cause of liberty, in which the

pp. 184-185. United States are engaged, has left his family and * Tower, Marquis de La Fayette, vol. i., pp. connections, and, at his own expense, come over 214–215; Sparks' ed. of Washington's Writings, to offer his services to the United States without vol. v., p. 454; Irving, Life of Washington, vol. pension, or particular allowance, and is anxious iii., pp. 152–153. to risk his life in our cause:

† Whose full

Friedrich Wilhelm " Resolved, That his service be accepted, and August Heinrich Ferdinand, Baron von Steuben.

303,

name

was

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

1. LAFAYETTE.
3, STEUBEN.
5. PULASKI.

2. ROCHAMBEAU.
4. DEKALB.
6. KOSCIUSKO.

HOWE BEGINS MARCH TOWARD PHILADELPHIA.

55

·

entered the Chesapeake (Howe's offi- better to avoid a general engagement cers having persuaded him not to dis- with the veterans under Howe, but embark in the Delaware*) and that fearing the adverse effect upon the the troops were being landed at the minds of the great body of the people head of the Elk River, from which if Philadelphia should fall, he deterpoint it was Howe's intention to make mined to obstruct Howe's progress as a direct descent upon Philadelphia.f much as possible and defeat his plan The place of debarkation was but a for the capture of that city. Accordfew days’ march from Philadelphia, ingly, he marched to meet the British and the country was fairly good for a commander and disposed his troops rapid advance; there were no large so as to be better able to defeat the rivers to cross, and no strong position army under Howe. Howe had sufwhich the opposing American army fered from a lack of horses, because a could take to dispute Howe's prog- large number of those he carried had ress. Shortly after he had landed, perished on the voyage, and conseHowe issued a proclamation promis- quently his progress from the head of ing to pardon and protect all those the Elk was delayed until September who would submit to British author- 3. Two years," said he,“ have we ity; # but even those who were most maintained the war and struggled disposed to heed this warning, as with difficulties innumerable, but the well as those who were lukewarm in

prospect has brightened. Now is the their attachment to the American time to reap the fruits of all our toils cause, preferred to await the outcome and dangers; if we behave like men, of the campaign before deciding to this third campaign will be our which cause they would ultimately last.”* As the royal army advanced, adhere.

Washington retreated across the Washington was too well versed in Brandywine, a small stream which military strategy and science not to flows into the Delaware at Wilmingunderstand that much depended upon ton. Washington supposed that the the manner in which this campaign

British would attempt a passage at was conducted. As his troops con- Chad's (or Chadd's) Ford, and with sisted chiefly of raw and undisciplined his main army he took post opposite men, he realized that it would be this ford.t Ordering General Sulli

van with a detachment to watch the * Fortescue, The British Army, vol. iii., p. 212; Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, pp. 363–363.

fords above, in order to harass the † On the maneuvres of the fleet, see Fisher, British and retard their progress as Struggle for American Independence, vol. ii., pp. 17-19. See also Trevelyan, American Revolution, Ibid, p. 212. vol. iv., pp. 213—214; Brooks, Life of Knox, p. 103; † Carrington, Battles of the Revolution, p. 367; Lodge, George Washington, vol. i.,

pp. 189–191.

Tower, Marquis de La Fayette, vol. i., pp. 222– 1 Irving, Life of Washington, vol. iii., pp. 206– 223; Sparks' ed. of Washington's Writings, vol. 207.

V., pp. 55–56.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »