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Congress having made new regulations in the department of the,.commissary-general of purchases, Mr. Joseph Trumbull resigned his commission, and signified his intention of discontics nuing his service on the 20th of the month. [August 6.] They upon that “resolved, That Mr. Trumbull, with the officers uns der him, be desired to continue in the business of supplying the army, under the former establishment, until the commissaries general of purchases and issues shall signify their readiness to proceed therein under the new regulations.”
To what iufluence Mr. Trumbull imputed the regulations that occasioned his resignation, and what was his opinion as to thei: manner of conducting business in congress, may be gathered from a letter of his wherein he wrote, on the first of Septem ber, “I have quitted the commissary department. The regui: lations which are the ground on which I have quitted, were formed by the junto. Is it known in your state (the Massachu."; setts) that the president is with the Yorkers and souther: Bashaws; that if he wants any thing moved, his brother dele gates are not applied to, but the motion comes from Duane, onu sume other person of no better character; 'and that there is no harmony between him and his brethren?”
[August 23.] “Resolved, that the president inform general: Washington, that congress never intended by any commission: 2 hitherto granted by them, or by the establishment of any det partment whatever, to supersede or circumscribe the power: of general Washington, as the commander in chief of all these continental land forces within the United States.”, i93511
The British troops stationed on Staten Island were often making! incursions into the Jerseys, and carrying off inhabitants, cattle,&es This induced gen. Sullivan to settle a plau with col. Ogden, før attacking the island. The latter had, properly speaking, a sepasi rate command, but agreed to join the general in the expedition The general was to go from Elizabeth-Town point; and the col with his own and col. Dayton's regiment, joined by a hundred. militia, were to cross from another spot, to pass up Fresh-kill*: creek, and to come to the rear of col. Lawrence, who was ensi camped near the ferry with about 150 men, whom he was to at tack by day-break. The general selected from the brigades of ges; nerals Smallwood and De Borre, such men as were best able to. endure the march, amounting to near 1000. These he ordered to march at two o'clock in the afternoon from Hanover to Eliza:beth-Town, about 16 miles, where they arrived in the eveninga On the 22d of August they crossed over before day-light. Thé! colonel proceeded to execute the part of the plan alotted him. It had been settled that the general should send two regini
ments-to the neck of land separating the quarter where the col.
was to begin his attack from the rest of the island, by their pose sessing of which the retreat of the enemy would be cut off, and
a surrender necessarily follow. When the col. had succeeded in ! the commencement of his operations, and saw nun:bers flying to
the neck, he expected they would have been stopt there; but
was surprised at observing the contrary, and that the occupancy # of the ground had not taken place. Unhappily the general, up
on landing, instead of keeping to the plan proposed, marched 1 seyen miles toward the forts, which occasioned a loss of time,
and increased the fatigue of the troops, many of whom had marched near upon twenty miles to the place where they crossed. Their fatigue occasioned several dropping behind, and being picked up by the enemy. The colonel having captured
130 privates and some officers, and having taken a king's shallopy e put them on board and sent them off to Elizabeth-Town. The 1 person who had the care of them, being but an indifferent hand, è though the best that could be spared, was not sufficiently attenį tive to circumstances, so that the boats which were to have attend. jed general Sullivan's motions, and which had transported his dis
vision, rowed off, the boatmen concluding froin the regimentals of the prisoners upon deck and other appearances, that the
king's shallop was in pursuit of them. The troops of that divi*sion destroyed some stores, burnt a magazine of hay and seven
vessels, and did other damage ; but the grand design of the exi pedition failed by the general's varying from the plan concerted
between him and the colonel. When the general was advancing * toward the ground occupied by the latter, no horsemen were sent forward to reconnoitre or to inform the colonel of the ge- . neral's approach, so that Ogden was at a loss for some time whether it was a friend or an enemy that was marching up to him.. When the general joined him, though the boats which were to “ have attended Sullivan were wanting, and the deficiency in number of those present, made dispatch in transporting the troops absolutely necessary, the general used no expedition in getting then over, but loitered away the precious time that should have been improved to the utmost, so that the misfortune of the day was: increased. The rear-guard, consisting of a hundred men,' could not get off before the enemy appeared in force to attack them. They were commanded by majors Steward and Tillard, and took post on an eminence, where they defended themselves bravely for a while, and then retreated to another eminence, and so to a third. They maintained their ground with great. valor, till their ammunition was all spent, when a number of them who could not possibly get off, surrendered prisoners of". war. The Americans lost in the course of the day, in killed, wounded and prisoners, about 200. The killed, wounded and prisoncrs on the other side, miglit be nearly the same. General Sullivan captured cight and twenty tories, and col. or capt. Bara ton, who was too unwieldy to run off with his comrades. He joined to thein the other prisoners, and sent the whole to Phila delphia in triumph, While upon the expedition, the gen-gain ed possession of some records and papers belonging to the Quas kers, which, with a letter, were forwarded to congress, and res ferred to a committee. On the 28th of August, the committee reported, “That the several testimonies which have been pub lished since the commencement of the present contest betwixt Great-Britain and America, and the uniform tenor of the conduct and conversation of a number of persons of considerable wealth, who profess themselves to belong to the society of people commonly called Quakers, render it certain and notorious, that those persons are with much rancor and bitterness disaffected to the American cause ; that as these persons will have it in their power, so there is no doubt it will be their inclination, to cómmunicate intelligence to the enemy, and in various other ways to injure the counsels and arms of America; that when the enes my, in the month of December, 1776, were bencing their proz gress toward the city of Philadelphia, a certain seditious publis eation, addressed “To our friends and brethren in religious pros fession, in these and the adjacent provinces, signed John Perda bertop, in and on behalf of the meeting of sufferings, held at Phia ladelphia, for Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the twenty-sixth of the twelfth month, 1776," was published, and as your com mittee is credibly informed, circulated amongst many members of the society called Quakers, throughout the different states that as the seditious paper aforesaid, originated in the city of Phi ladelphia, and as the persons whose names are undermentioned, have uniformly manifested a disposition highly inimical to the cause of America, therefore--Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to the supreme executive council of the state of Pennsylvania, forthwith to apprehend and secure the persons of Joshua Fisher, Abel James, James Pemberton, Henry Drinker, Israel Pemberton, John Pemberton, John James, Samuel Pleau sants, Thomas Wharton, sen. Thomas Fisher, son of Joshua and Samuel Fisher, son of Joshua, together with all such papers in their possession, as may be of a political nature." *
“And whereas there is strong reason to apprehend that these persons maintain a correspondence and connection highly prejudicial to the public safety, not only in this state, but in the several states of America--Resolved, That it be recommended
to the executive powers of the respective states, forthwith to 1 apprehend and secure all persons, as well among the people I called Quakers as others, who have in their general conduct and Iconversation evidenced a disposition inimical to the cause of
Amnerica; and that the persons so seized, be confined in such
places and treated in such manner, as shall be consistent with o their respective characters and security of their persons; that
the records and papers of the meetings of sufferings in the re- spective states, be forthwith secured and carefully examined,
and that such parts of them as may be of a political nature, be ** forth with transmitted to congress. The said report being read,
and the several paragraphs considered and debated, and the question put severally thercon, the same was agreed to." "Ordered, That the board of war remove under guard, to a place of security out of the state of Pennsylvania, the hon, John Pend, esq. and Benjamin Chew, esq. and that they give orders for having them safely secured, and entertained agreeable to their rank and station in life.”. . - A number of Quakers beside those mentioned, together with several persons of a different denomination, were taken up by the supreme executive council of Pennsylvania, concerming whom congress resolved on the 8th of September, “ That it be recommended to the said council, to order the immediate departure of such of the said prisoners as refuse to swear or affirma allegiance to the state of Pennsylvania, to Stanton, in (Augusta county) Virginia.”
Eight days before, on the last of August, a member of cons gress, writing upon public affairs, thus expressed himself, “The frauds, the peculations, the profusion, which have done us more injury than the whole force of our foreign enemies, have been chiefly owing to the want of government and the want of discipline. Howe has planned his operations in such a manner as to give us a vast advantage both of him and Burgoyne." es · Reports prejudicial to gen. Sullivan were circulated, upon which congress resolved, on the first of the month, ** That gen. Washington be directed to appoint a court of enquiry on the. latę expedition by gen. Sullivan, against the British forces on Staten-Island.” The statement of the particulars enquired into, was so fornied that he obtained an honorable.acquittal, such as was highly pleasing to congress; but had major Joseph Bloomfield been enough recovered of his wound to have attended the court, he would scarce have escaped so well.. .
. Let us resume the transactions of Sir W. Howe and gea. Washington. Sir William was so distressed for want of horses (numbers having died on their passage) and of other necessaries
to aid his marcb, that it was not till the third of September that the royal army moved forward. On its advancing near to the Americans, these abandoned their ground, perceiving that it would not answer their first expectation; crossed the Brandy. wine at Chad's Ford, and took possession of the heiglits on the east side of it, with an evident intention of disputing the passage of the river. Upon an apprehension that the royal forces would attempt crossing at Chad's Ford, gen. Washington posted his main strength at that point; and gen. Maxwell with about 1000 light troops, was sent over to possess himself of the opposite height; and in the night of the joth, they formed a slight breast-work with limbs of trees.
(Sept. 11.] By day-break the next morning, the British army advances in two columns; the right under the command of gen, Knyphausen, which marches directly for Chad's Ford. A party is moved on to dislodge Maxwell, which he repulses ; they are reinforced, and come on a second time without succeeding. On this a strong detachment is sent round a piece of woods to come upon his flank, while the other attack him anew in front. Perceiving this movement, he retreats across the river with a trifling loss. Gen. Knyphausen keeps up a cannonade, and an appearance of forcing the ford, till he shall hear that the left column has attacked the Americans, and then he means to attempt it.
This second column, under the command of lord Cornwallis, generals Grey, Matthews and Agnew, marches for the forks of the Brandywine. The movement is early observed. Gen. Sullivan writes to the commander in chief, that it is clearly his opinion, that the enemy will come round on their right flank. He sends him two messengers in the forenoon confirming the same. Lient. col. James Ross forwards, at eleven o'clock, from Greata Valley road, this intelligence" A large body of the enemy, from every account five thousand, with sixteen or eighteen field. pieces, marched along this road just now. Their front must be now at the ford; we are close in their rear, with about seventy men. I believe general Howe is with this party, as Joseph Galloway was here known by the inhabitants, with many of whom he spoke, and told them that general Howe was with him.” Other accounts corroborating the movement of the second column toward the forks, gen. Washington settles it with gen. Greene, that he shall cross with his division, at the lower ford, and attack gen. Knyphausen. He at the same time sends word to Sullivan to cross the Brandywine with his, and fall upon the enemy's left, while the army crosses below tu attack their right. The commander in chief hopes, by defeating Knyphausen, to secure those advantages which will outweigh any that