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reinforcement of some hundreds, designing to join gen, Cadwallader, as soon as possible. Pennsylvania was now roused, and coming in great numbers to the aid of the commander in chief. On the last mentioned day, gen. Greene crossed afresh into the terseys with 300 militia. The time for which many of the militia were to serve, was just expiring. In order to prevail with them to continue, they were harangued. Their pride was addressed. They were told that if they withdrew, it would be charged upon them that they were afraid. Application was artfully made to every passion; and not altogether in vain. • [Dec. 29.) General Wasõington reached Trenton with about 1800 continentals. Twelve hundred of them were released from their enlistinent the first of January. Attempts were made tv engage them to continue a month or six weeks longer. Ten dollars extra pay was offered; they took the bounty, and near "one half went off in a few days after, before the critical moment 'arrived. It was soon debated whether to order up the Pennsylvania militia from Bordentown, Mount Holly, and elsewhere, to join general Washington. Gen. Knox had prepared Dr. Rusli, a member of congress, to assist in effecting the scheme. He was asked in to give his opinion, and declared in favor of ordering them up, which was then done. Dan. 1, 1777.] The junction of the militia with the continentals (making in the whole about 5000 men) emboldened the latter to remain in their position after hearing that the enemy was advancing toward them. The alarm whicli had been given, induced the British and auxiliary troops to asscmble; and general Grant, with the forces at Brunswick and in that quarter, marched spee dily for Princeton. Lord Cornwallis was gone to New-York in his way to Great-Britain ; but upon this unexpected turn of affairs, concluded upon deferring his voyage, and returning to the defence of the Jerseys. He pressed on with the greatest expe* dition ; left the fourth brigade, consisting of the 70th, 40th, and 55th regiinents, under the command of lieut. col. Mawhood, at Princeton, and the second brigade, under general Leslie, at Maidenhead, and joined the main body by the time they got near Trentonr. 1 Gen. Greene is sent out with a considerable detachment to support a party stationed about a mile off, and to check the march of the eneiny; but finds them advancing in such force and so expeditiously, that he is at some difficuity in making a good retreat with the whole of the Americans. Mean while general Washington makes a disposition for an action ;-which, as the enemy do not come on directly, is afterward varied to prevent their getring in on the American rear. The bridge over Sanpink Creek, is
well secured; but can be of little advantage, as the stream is fordable in many places. The Anerican arnıy las between thirty and forty pieces of artillery in front, facing the creek The fate of the continent seenis suspended by a single thread; and the independence of America to hang on the issue of a battle which appears inevitable; and in which the most sanguine son of liberty can scarce flatter himself with the hope of a victory, the enemy being so superior in numbers and discipline.. A defeat must be totally ruinous, from the nature of the ground which the Americans occupy.
Sir William Erskine, according to report, advises lord Corn. wallis to an immediate attack, saying, “Otherwise Washington, if any general, will make a move to the left of your army: if: your lordship does not attack, throw a large body of troops on the road to your left.” The attack is put off till the morning; his Jordship might act upon what is said to be a military principle, that the strongest army ought not to attack toward night. Mean i while gen. Washington calls a council of war. It is known that? they are to be attacked the next day, by the whole collected force 1 of the enemy. The matter of debate is, “ Shall we march dowo. on the Jersey side, and cross the Delaware over against Philadelphia, or shall we fight?” Both are thought to be too hazarda. ous. 'On this gen. Washington says, “What think you of a cir. cuitous march to Princeton?” It is approved, and concluded up-i on. Providence favors the manœuvre. The weather having been for two days warın, moist and foggy, the ground is become quite : soft, and the roads to be passed so deep that it will.be extreme ly difficult, if practicable, to get on with the cattle, carriages : and artillery. But while the council is sitting, the wind sudo . denly changes to the north-west, and it freezes so hard that by the time the troops are ready to move, they pass on as though upon a solid pavement. Such freezings frequently happen in ahe depth of winter, upon the wind's coming suddenly about to the north-west. This sudden change of weather gives a plausible pretext for that line of fires which gen. Washington causes. to be kindled soon after dark, in the front of his army; and by which he conceals himself from the notice of the enemy, and in . duces them to believe he is still upon the ground, waiting for i them till morning. The stratagem is rendered the more complete by an order given to the men who are entrusted with the business, to keep up the fires in full blaze, till break of day. While the fires are burning, the baggage and three pieces of ordnance i are sent off to Burlington for security, and with the design, s that if the enemy follow it, the Americans may take advan-, tage of their so doing. The troops march about one o'clock, a with great silence and order, and crossing Sanpink Creek, proceed toward and arrive near Princeton a little before day-break. The three British regiments are marching down to Trenton on ani. ther road, about a quarter of a mile distant. The centre of the Americans, consisting of the Philadelphia militia, under gen. Mercer, advances to attack them. Col. Mawhood considers it pnly as a flying party attempting to interrupt his march, and approaches with his 17th regiment so near before he fires, that the colour of their buttons is discerned. He repulses the assailants with great spirit, and they give way in confusion ; officers and men seem siezed with a panic, which spreads fast, and indicates an approaching defeat. Gen. Washington perceives the disorder, and penetrates the fatal consequence of being vanquished. The present moment requires an exertion to ward off the danger, however hazardous to his own person. He advances instantly; encourages his troops to make a stand ; places himself between them and the British, distant from each other about thirty yards; reins his horse's head toward the front of the enemy; and boldly faces them while they discharge their pieces; their fire is immea diately returned by the Americans, without their adverting to the position of the general, who is providentially preserved from be. ing injured either by foe or friend. The scale is turned, and col. Mawhood soon finds that he is attacked on all sides by a superior force; and that he is cut off from the rest of the brigade. He discovers also, by the continued distant firing, that the fifty-fifth is not in better circumstances. His regiment having used their bayonets with too much severity on the party put to fight by them in the beginning, now pay for it in proportion; near sixty are killed upon the spot, beside the wounded. But the colonel and a number force their way through, and pursue the march to Maidenhead. The fifty-fifth regiinent being hard pressed, and finding it impossible to continue its march, makes good its retreat, and returns, by the way of Hillsborough, to Brunswick The fortieth is but little engaged; those of the men who ese cape, retire by another road to the same place.
It was proposed to make a forced march to Brunswick, where was the baggage of the whole British army, and gen. Lee; but" the men having been without either rest, rum or provisions, for! two days and two nights, were unequal to the task. It was then debated whether to file off to Cranberry, in order to cross the Delaware and secure Philadelphia, Gen. Knox urged their marching to Morristown, and informed the commander in chief, that when he passed through that part of the country, he observa ed that it was a good position. He also remarked, that they should be upon the flank of the enemy, and might easily changes their situation, if requisite. By his earnest importunity he pres vailed, and the measure was adopted. Gen. Greene was with the main body, which was advanced ; and had put it into the Morristown road, without having been first acquainted with the determination. Just as that was concluded upon, the enemy were firing upon the rear of the Americans. Lord Cornwallis had been waked by the sound of the American cannon at Priaceton; and finding himself out-generaled, and apprehensive for his stores and baggage, had posted back with the utmost expedition: The army under general Washington marchied on to Pluekemin in their way to Morristown, pulling up the bridges as they prod ceeded, thereby to incommode the enemy and secure them selves. By the time they got there, the men were so excessively fatigued, that a fresh and resolute body of five hundred might have demolished the whole. Numbers lay down in the woods and fell asleep, without regarding the coldness of the weather, The royal army were still under such alarining impressions, that it continued its march from Trenton to Brunswick, thirty miles, without liałting, longer at least than was necessary to make the bridges over Stony-Brook and Millstone passable.
Gen. Howe admits that the loss in this affair, was 17 killed, and nearly 200 wounded and missing. But the Americans say, they have taken near 300 prisoners, of whom 14 are officers, all British. Capt. Leslie, the son of the cart of Leven, who was killed in the engagement, was buried by the Americans with the honors of war, not only as a British officer, but in testimony of respect to his lordship's worth. The American officers commended the bravery of the troops under colonel Mawhood; one of the generals, observing how they fought, exclaimed, “ When will our men fight like those fellows !” Gencral Mercer met with hard usage, being bayoneted in three places, of which wounds he is since dead. He was a deserving character, and merited different treatinent. Some may pronounce the treat ment that captain Philips, of the thirty-fifth grenadiers, has met with, much baser; but not when they have the case properly re: presented.-The captain, as he was returning from New York, to join his company, was surprised between Brunswick and Princeton, by a party of militia, who threatened him in case he attempted to escape; regardless of the threat, he clapped spurs to his horse and pushed forward, on which they fired and killed him. General Gates, who is married to the captain's sister, blames the captain more than the men.
The eagerness of the royal army to reach and secure Bruns. wick, occasioned their marching through Princeton with such expedition as to divert' their attention from either carrying off
cor destroying the curious orrery belonging to Nassau college. It was contrived and made by an original genius and self-taughtastronomer, Mr. Rittenhouse of Philadelphia. There is not the like in Europe. An elegant and neatly ornamented frame raises perpendicular ncár upon eight feet. In the front of which you are presented, in three several apartments, with a view of the celestial system, the motions of the planets round the sun, and the satellites about the planets. The wheels, &c. that produce the movements, are behind the wooden perpendicular plane, on which the orrery is fixed. By suitable contrivances, you in a short time teil the eclipses of the sun and moon for ages past and ages to come; the like in other cases of astronomy. It is said that lord Cornwallis intended to have carried it over to Great-Britain ; no man of conscience can blame his taste, which may have preserved it from ruin, by securing to it that protection while in the hands of the enemy, that might otherwise have been denied. But the children of the alma mater, whose it is, triumph in its preservation, though somewhat damaged. The college library did not escape so well as the orrery but suffered considerable.
Let us attend for a while upon the congress at Baltimore, where they met according to adjournment the 20th of December, and soon after passed the following act-[Dec. 27.] “The congress, having maturely considered the present crisis, and having perfect reliance on the wisdom, vigor and uprightness of geni, Washington, do hereby resolve, That gen. Washington shall be, and he is hereby vested with full, ample and complete powers, to raise and collect together, in the most speedy and effectual manner, from any or all of these United States, 16 battalions of infantry, in ad, dition to those already voted by congress; to appoint officers for the said battalions of infantry; to raise, officer and equip three thousand light-horse, three regiments of artillery, and a corps of engineers, and to establish their pay; to apply to any of the states for such aid of the militia as he shall judge necessary; to form such magazines of provisions, and in such places as he shallthink proper ; to displace and appoint all officers under the rank of brigadier general, and to fill up all vacancies in every other department in the American arınics; to take, wherever he may be, whatever he may want for the use of thie army, if the inhabit-ants will not sell it, allowing a reasonable price for the same; to arrest and confine persons who refuse to take the continental currency, or are otherwise disaffected to the American cause ; and return to the states of which they are citizens, their names, and the nature of their offences, together with the witnesses to prove them; and, that the foregoing powers be vested in gen. Washington, for and during the term of six months from the date hercof, unless sooner determined by congress:"