tives of France and of foreigners, in common, was unbounded; and the singular instances of rank which had been conferred upon them, in too many instances, occasioned general dissatisfaction and complaint. Fewer promotions in the foreign line would have been productive of more harmony among the continental officers. It is certain, that the army has a full proportion of soreign officers in their councils. ... [Nov. 11.] Some hundreds of Indians, a large number of toties, and about 50 regulars, all under colonei Butler, entered Cherry-Valley within New-York state, by an old Indian path; which col. Alden, who command the American troops there stationed had neglected. The colonel was shot in attempting to reach the fort, called after him, Alden ; on which the enemy commenced a heavy fire that lasted more than three hours, when they withdrew, having no further hope of carrying it. The next day they left the place after having killed, scalped and barbarously murdered 32 inhabitants, chieiy women and chil. dren, beside col. Alden and ten soldiers. They took prisoners the lieut. col. two or three other officers, 13 privates, and a number of inhabitants. The greatestinhumanities were practised on most of the dead. [November 22.] John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle, of the quaker persuasion, were executed at Philadelphia, being convicted of high treason against the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The unaccountable operations of the war have been the occasion of a woeful mistake in the general politics of that denomination. Encouraged by the reasonable prospect, that coercive measures properly planned and conducted would prove successful, the body of the American quakers have sided with the ministry, in hope of establishing their civil power in the state. They have disowned several worthy members for being active in the cause of their country; but not others for opposing it. Instead of maintaining a strict neutrality in the present contest, their partiality has becil such, that the British officers have extolled their alacrity as spies, guides and informers. They have suppressed letters of Dr. Forthergili upon the impropriety of their conduct, and because they were written decidedly in favor of liberty.— Let it be remembered however, that there are many deserving individuals among them, beside generals Greene and Miñán, who by a uniform steady perseverance in measures friendly to the American cause, have justly conciliated the esteem of their countrymen. - - * . ..[Nov. 27.] General Washington gave orders that no small rties should by any means be permitted to go upon Long-isJand. Under pretence of procuring intelligence, they became • */ in loro

mere plundering parties, and carried ofFclothes, linens, ribbons, eases of knives and forks, wine glasses, and whatever they could lay their hands upon, which they brought back and sold publicly, making at the same time a distinction in the sale between hard money and paper. They pretended that the articles were the property of tories, new-levy officers, &c. which, if true, their conduct was unpardonable, as it was not the business of their incursions. Their capacity made no discrimination between the inhabitants, many of whom, although obliged to remain on die island were well affected to the American cause.

• Tiicplan for reducing Canada was transmitted by congress to gen. Washington, with a request that he would make observations upon it. He communicated the same to them in a letter «f November the 11th; whick#eeing referred to a committee, they reported on the 5th of December, that the reasons assigned,by the general against the expedition toCanada appeared to be weil founded, and to merit the approbation of congress. After that, a committee, was appointed to confer with the commander in chief on the opperations of the next campaign : he therefore ret paired to Philadelphia on the 22d. After the conference the committee reported, "That the plan, proposed by congress for the emancipation of Canada, in co-operation with an armament from .France, was the principal subject of the conference; that impressed with the strong sense of the injury and disgrace which must attend an infraction of the proposed stipulation on the part pi these state^, your committee have taken a general review of pur finances, of the circumstances of the army, of the magazines, Sec. &c.—That upon the most mature deliberation, your committee cannot find room for a well grounded presumption, that these states will be able to perform their part of the proposed stipulation :—-That nothing less than the highest probability of success could justify congress in making the proposition—Your committee are therefore of opinion, that the ncgociation in question should be deferred till circumstances shall render the co-ope.ration of these states rooie certain, practicable and effectual :— That the minister .of these states at the court of Versailles, the mi•nister of Yranee in Philadelphia, and the marquis de la Fayette, be respectively informed, that the opperations of the next campaign must depend upon such a variety of contingencies, that time alone can mature and point out the plan which ought to be -.pursued ;—That congress therefore cannot decide on the practicability of their co-operating the next campaign in an enterprise ,ior the emancipation of Canada." The report was accepted, *J»d the Canada expedition laid aside after a full consideration ro£ all circumstances, beside what appear in the report, which Vol. II. E 3 wrought

wrought strongly in the minds of some shrewd members of cons gress. Such night dread the introduction of a large body of

French troops into Canada, and the putting of them into the pos

session of the capital of that province, attached to them by the ties. of blood, habits, manners, language, religion, and former connection of government. They might argue—“ France under the idea of 5000 troops, may introduce twice the number, and having entered Quebec, may declare an intention of holding Canada as a pledge and surety for the debts due from the Unite States. Canada would be a solid acquisition to France on aff accounts; and no nation is to be trusted further than it is bound by its interest. Canada would be too great a temptation to be resisted by any power actuated by the common maxims of national policy. France with that in Žer possession, may have it in her power to give laws to the United States: these will have less to fear from its remaining in the hands of the British.” The committee subjoined to their report a draught of a letter to the marquis de la Fayette, which was also accepted. Gen. Washington forwarded it to Boston, [Dec. 29.] where the marquis. day waiting for the determination of congress. It was accompanied with one from the general, expressing a concern for his hav. ing been so delayed. Upon the receipt of them, the marquiseño. basked on board the Alliance stigate, Jan. 7, 1779. - The campaign in the norhern states having yielded no advantage to the British, and the winter being the proper season for southern expeditions, Sir Henry Clinton concluded upon turning his arms against Georgia. He might propose to himself the reduction of all the southern states, and be strongly inclined to it by reason that these states produced the most valuable commodities in the European market, and carried on a considerable export trade, which seemed little otherwise affected by the war, than. as it suffered by the British cruisers: beside, their rice was devoted to the service of his enemies, while it was wanted for the Support of his sovereign's fleet and army in America. A plan. of opperation was concerted with general Provost, who com'Inanded in East-Florida ; and it was intended, that Georgia. 'should be invaded both on the north and South sides at the same time. . . - - While the preparations for this conjunct expedition were cartying on, two armed bodies, consisting of regulars and refugees, made a sudden and rapid incursion into Georgia from East-Fiorida. One of them came in boats through the inland navigation, and the other marched over land by the way of the river Alata

'maha. The first demanded the surrender of Sunbury; but on

receiving from lieut. col. Mackintosh the laconic refusal—comte

and take it—they left the place. The latter pursued their march toward Sayannah. Gen. Screven, with about a hundred militia repeatedly skirmished with the party in their advance through the country. In one of these engagements he received a wound from a Inusketball, and fell from his horse, when several of the British came up and discharged their pieces at him. He died of his wounds much regretted for his private virtues, and public exertions in behalf of his country. The invaders pursued their Inarch till within three miles of Ogeechee ferry, where Mr. Sa. vage with his own slaves, had erected a breast work to prevent their passing. Col, Elbert, with about 200 continentals, took £ost in the works, and prepared to dispute the pessage of the riwer. These obstacles, together with information that the other Party had failed in their design upon Sunbury, determined them to retreat without attempting to cross. On their return, they laid waste the country for miles, burnt St. John’s church, a number of houses, and all the rice and other grain within their reach, and also carried off all the negroes, horses, cattle, and plate they could remove either by and or water. When this desolating mode of carrying on war was complained of by the American officer to the British, the latter positively disclaimed any order .91 even approbation of such proceedings, but mentioned that the people under the immediate command of the former had given a precedent. The party rage which wrought on each side, led iloth into those cruelties, at which humanity shudders. . The expedition against Georgia was committed to col. Campbei!, who had been taken in Boston-bay after gen. Howe had

cvacuated the town. The force appointed to act under him,

consisted of the 71st regiment of foot, two battalions of Hessians, four of provincials, and a detachment of the royal artillery. she transports with the troops, amounting to full 2500, sailed from Sandy-Hook, [Nov. 27.] being escorted by a small squadron under commodore Hyde Parker. The fleet arrived at the isle of Tybee near the mouth of the Savannah : [Dec. 29.] and six days after, the troops effected a landing. From the landing4, ace a narrow causeway of six hundred yards in length, with a -ditch on each side, led through a rice swamp. This causeway, had it beca in a proper state of defence, might have effectually ocsisted a vast superiority of force; but the small party under capt. Smith, which was posted at it to impede the passage of the Briii-in, was too inconsiderable to check their progress. They push.*d on with such vigor that the Americans were almost instantly dispersed. The continental army, on which the defence of Geor-gia chiefly rested, had lately returned from a fruitless summer's ~expedition against East-Florida, in which they had suffered * * = JSQ.

so great a diminuation, that joined with those present of the state militia, the whole made but about 820 men. - General Robert Howe, who commanded the Amaricans, had taken his station on: the main road between the landing-place and Savannah, with the river on his left, and a swamp in front, extended beyond his right flank. The British advanced till within a few hundreds yards of the American army, when Campbell manoeuvred so as: to cherish an opinion that he meant to attack their left. “For that purpose he ordered the first battalion of the 71st to form on the right of the road, thereby to impress a full idea of his designing to extend his front in that quarter. At the same time; a considerable part of the royal army was detached to cross the swamp so high up as to get into the rear of the Americans: Chance had thrown into the hands of Campbell, a negro, who knew a private path through the swamp, by which he promised: to lead the troops without observation or difficulty. At length. the British commander, presuming that the detachment had got effectually round upon the rear of the American, suddenly advanced, and Howe ordered an immediate retreat. - A few mi-z nutes delay would have made it impossible, and it was then only. practicable in the face and under the fire of that part of the British army which had cffected its passage through the swamp. An small body of about a hundred Georgia militia had been previously posted in the rear of the barracks near Savannah, which made some opposition to the British as they were issuing from: the swamp, but was soon compelled to retreat, and its commander col. Walton, was wounded and taken prisoner. The Americans retreated with precipitation and in disorder. The British. pursued with spirit and rapidity. No victory was ever more complete. Thirty-eight officers, and 415 non-commissioned and, privates, 48 pieces of cannon, 23 morters, the fort with its ammunition and stores, the shipping in the river, a large quantity of provisions, with the capital of Georgia were all in the space of a. few hours in the possession of the conquerors. The British pur. sued the Americans through the town of Savannah. In the im–. p. of the pursuit, some of the inhabitants who had not een in the action, were bayonetted in the streets several were: killed or wounded in their flight, and a large number, finding their secape impracticable without swimming a deep watery, swamp were obliged to sue for quarters. The Americans saved three field-pieces out of four : but many lost their arms. Thai, part of the army which escaped retreated up the river Savannah, to Zubly’s ferry, and crossed over into South-Carolina.” is

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »