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time above and below; and either proceeding, Chap. vm. in two columns, directly to Philadelphia, or im. completely enveloping the American army. To counteract this plan, and avoid being enclosed in the angle of the river at Trenton, the galleys were stationed so as to give the earliest notice of any movements below, and at the same time afford their aid in repelling any effort to cross the river; while he made such a disposition of his little army, as to guard against the execution of what he believed to be their real design which was to ford the Delaware above. Four brigades under the generals lord Stirling, Mercer, Stephens, and De Furnoy, were posted from Yardly's up to Coryell's ferry, in such manner, as to guard every suspicious part of the river, and to assist each other in case of an attack. General Irving with the remnant of the flying camp of Pennsylvania, engaged to serve until the first of January, and some Jersey militia under general Dickenson, were posted from Yardly's down to the ferry opposite Bordentown. Colonel Cadwallader, the brother of the gentleman taken in fort Washington, with the Pennsylvania militia, occupied the ground above and below the mouth of Nishaminy river, as far down as Dunks' ferry, at which place colonel Nixon was posted with the third Philadelphia battalion. The artillery was apportioned among the brigades, and small redoubts were thrown up at every place where
Chap. via it was possible to ford the river. Precise orders 1776. were given to the commanding officer of each detachment, marking out as nearly as possible the conduct he should observe in the events which might happen, directing his route in case of being driven from his post, and the passes he should endeavour to defend on his way to the high grounds of Germantown, where the army was to rendezvous, if driven by the enemy from the river.
Having made this arrangement of his troops, he waited in the anxious hope of receiving reenforcements; and, in the mean time, watched every motion of the enemy with the utmost vigilance, used all the means he could devise to obtain intelligence, and sent out daily parties over the river to harass the enemy, to make prisoners, and to observe their situation.
The irtmost exertions were made by the civil authority to raise the militia. Expresses were sent through the different counties of Pennsylvania, and to the governments of Delaware and Maryland, urging them to march, without delay, to join the army. General Mifflin was directed " to repair immediately to the neighbouring counties, and endeavour, by all the means in his power, to rouse and bring in the militia to the defence of Philadelphia." Congress also declared "that they deemed it of great importance to the general safety, that general Mifflin should make a progress through the several counties of the state of Pennsylvania, Chap, vm. to rouse the freemen thereof to the immediate 1776. defence of the city and country;" and they resolved, "that the assembly be requested to appoint a committee of their body to make the tour with him, and assist in this good and necessary work."*
In the hope that the militia might be prevailed on to furnish more effectual aid, so as to enable him even to act offensively, if they saw a large regular army to which they might attach themselves, the commander in chief had directed general Gates to march with the regulars from the northern army, and, in the confidence that, if any movements should be made by the enemy against the highlands, the New England militia might be depended on to supply the places of the troops now stationed at those posts. General Heath was also, ordered from Peck's-Kill.
Although general Lcc had been repeatedly urged, in the most pressing manner, to join the commander in chief, he proceeded slowly in the execution of these orders, manifesting a strong disposition to retain his separate command, and rather to hang on, and threaten the
* General Armstrong of Pennsylvania, was at the same time sent by general Washington into that part of the state where he possessed most influence, to encourage the recruiting service, and favour the attempt of raising the militia.
Chap, vm. rear of the enemy, than strengthen the army 1776. in their front. With this view he proposed establishing himself at Morristown; but on receiving a letter from general Washington stating his disapprobation of this plan, which though proper in itself, and under other circumstances, was now totally inadmissible, as the army, without this re-enforcement, was not strong enough to stop the march of the enemy to Philadelphia; and pressing him to come on; he still declared an opinion in favour of his own proposition, and proceeded reluctantly towards the Delaware. While on this march through Morris county, and at the distance of about twenty miles frota the enemy, he, very indiscreetly, quartered under a slight guard, in a house about three miles from his army. Information of this circumstance was given by a countryman to colonel Harcourt, at that time detached with a body of cavalry for the purpose of gaining intelligence concerning his movements, who immediately formed and executed the design of seizing him. By a rapid march this corps of cavalry very early in the morning, reached the house where the general had lodged, who received no intimation
capture or of its approach until the house was surrounded,
and he found himself a prisoner to colonel
December 13. x
Harcourt; who bore him off in triumph to the
British army, where he was for some time, treated, not as a prisoner of war, but as a Chap, vm. deserter from the British service. 1776.
This misfortune made a very serious impression on all America. The confidence originally placed in general Lee, created by his experience and real talents, had been very greatly increased by the success which. had attended him while commanding in the southern department. In addition to this, it was generally believed that his opinions, during the military operations in New York, had contributed to the adoption of those judicious movements which had, in a great measure, defeated the plans of the enemy in that quarter. It was also believed, but without any certain knowledge of the fact, that he had opposed the majority in the council of war, which determined to maintain the forts Washington and Lee. No officer, except the commander in chief, possessed, at that time, so large a portion of the confiden.ee either of the army, or of the country; and his loss was almost universally bewailed as the greatest calamity which had befallen the American arms. It was regretted by no person more than by general Washington himself, who esteemed highly his merit as a soldier, and lamented sincerely his captivity, both on account of his personal feelings, and of the public interest.
General Sullivan, on whom the command of that division of the army devolved after the