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ry Lee, being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, was ordered to join the southern army with his legionary corps; and the Baron Steuben was directed to proceed to Virginia, with a view to the proper organization of its means of defence. The departure of General Leslie from Portsmouth, about the time of the Baron's arrival at Richmond, prevented the necessity of those measures which had been planned for his expulsion, and Virginia continued to enjoy repose.
This year was remarkable for the enactment of four laws, by four separate and distinct powers, for the promotion of human happiness,and the diffusion of the bles. sings of peace and liberty, amidst the turmoils and distresses of war.-1. The general court of Massachusetts, in May, passed an act to incorporate and establish a society for the cultivation and promotion of the Arts and Sciences, by the name of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 2d. Pennsylvania pas. sed a law for ever abolishing slavery in that state, 3d. The King of France, by solemn edict declared the trial by torture to be for ever at an end. He likewise, of his own will, made retrenchment of no less than four hundred of his household, thus lessening by the annual amount of so many salaries, the taxes of the French people. And 4th. The Duke of Modena, after the death of the grand Inquisitor, abolished the Inquisition throughout his dominions, and ordered its revenues to be applied to purposes of charity, and publick accommodation.
Events of 1781.-Movements of the army in the South.- Lieutenant
Colonel Lee joins the army with his legion.-Lee and Marion surprise the British post of Georgetown.-Cornwallis adrances from Cambden.-Battle of the Cowpens, and defeat of Tarleton.
Morgan retreats to the Catawba.-- Is there joined by General Greene.-Cornwallis is prevented from crossing by the sudden rise of the river.-General Davidson opposing his passage is killed.- Tarleton disperses the militia at Terrants.Greene retreats towards Guilford Court House, crosses the l'adkin, and is again saved by the swelling of the river.-Greene and Huger form a junction at Guilford Court House. They retreat to Virginia across the Dan.---Skirmish between Lee's and Tarleton's horse.—Cornwallis moves to Hillsborough Greene recrosses the Dan and advances towards the British, Lee disperses a large party of royalists under Colonel Pyle. His attempts to bring Tarleton to action fail.---The latter retreats to Hillsborough.-Cornwallis again moves in pursuit of Greene, forces Colonel Williams to retreat.-Manæuvres of Lee and his Legion.-General Greene retires across the Haw', and Cornwallis relinquishes the pursuit.-Greene receives a reinforcement,- Moves to Guilford Court House.-- Battle of Guil. ford.- Defeat of General Greene.-Cornwallis retires to Wilmington.-Greene pursues him as far as Ramsay's Mill, where he encamps his army,
A few days after the last movement of General Greene which we have mentioned, Lieutenant Colonel Lee joined the army with his legion, amounting to about 100 horse, and 180 foot. This corps was immediately ordered to cross the Pedee and advance to the support of Brigadier General Marion. The movements of Marion, as we have before observed, were so rapid and various, and sometimes so secret that it was difficult even for his friends to find him; and it was
not until after considerable search, that Lee was enabled to learn his position and communicate his orders. He found him at length in the swamps between the Pedee and Santee rivers, engaged in his usual enterprises against the enemy's posts. Soon after the junction, a scheme was projected for surprising the British Colonel Campbell, who was stationed with a garrison of 200 men in Georgetown. The fort or inclosed work which constituted the principal defence, was situated a little out of the town, but being too small to afford quarters for the men, they were stationed for the most part in the town, where also the commanding officer had his quarters. The intention was to embark the infantry of the legion in two divisions, in boats, who were to drop down the Pedee and arrive at Georgetown in the night, while the cavalry under Marion and Lee were to gain the vicinity of the town by land and wait for the signal of cooperation. The boat party met with so little difficulty in decending the river, that they entered the town at the appointed time unperceived, and gained possession of the commandants quarters, so that when Marion and Lee rushed in upon hearing the first fire, the town was quiet and Colonel Campbell a prisoner. The troops of the enemy, however, instead of attempting as was conjectured would be the case, either to gain the fort, or rush to the quarters of the commandant, remained snug in their own quarters, and secured themselves by barricading the doors and windows. Thus only a part of the object was accomplished. Colonel Campbell and several other officers were parolled; and the American troops, having no means of battering the barricaded doors, or the fort, retired from the town on the approach of day-light. The infantry who de
cended the river, on this occasion, and to whom great praise is due for their active movements, were commanded by Captains Carnes and Rudolph.
Lord Cornwallis, in the mean time having despatched Tarleton in pursuit of Morgan, and being reinforced by the arrival of Leslie with 1500 men, advanced with the main army towards North Carolina, with a view of intercepting Morgan, should he escape the vigilance of Tarleton's legion. He directed his march between the Catawba and the Broad rivers, while Leslie was ordered to move in a parallel direction on the eastern side of the Wateree and Catawba.
General Morgan, having received intelligence of those movements of the enemy, quitted his position on the 16th of January, only a few hours before Tarleton reached it with his legion of 1100 men. He would have waited to give Tarleton battle, but the approach of Cornwallis with the whole army, would have rendered such a step extremely hazardous and imprudent. Tarleton, with his usual velocity of movement, pressed the pursuit through the night and gained sight of Morgan early next morning, at the Cowpens, where the General had halted to rest and repose his troops. He was greatly inferior to Tarleton in numbers, and being considerably harassed, he would have preferred a quiet retreat; but being eagerly pressed by his enemy, he determined to prepare for action. The ground was unfavourable to him, being such as to admit with facility the operation of cavalry, of which Tarleton had three times his number; but having once taken his resolution no longer to avoid battle, his arrangements were made with his usual promptitude and skill. His front line was composed of the North and South Carolina and
Georgia militia under General Pickens, two light parties of which, under Majors MÓDowell and Cunningham, were somewbat advanced, with orders to meet the enemy's advance with a desultory fire and then fall back into line. The second line consisted of the regular infantry, and Captains Triplett's and Tait's companies of Virginia militia, under Lieutenant Colonel Howard. The cavalry and a small body of mounted militia under Colonel Washington were drawn up at a convenient distance in the rear.
Tarleton had no sooner come up with Morgan than he made a hasty arrangement of his fatigued troops, and even before his line of battle was complete led them to the attack. The advancing line was composed of his light and legion infantry and the 7th regiment, under Major Newmarsh, with a troop of dragoons on each flank. Major M-Arthur with a battalion of the 71st, and the remainder of the cavalry, formed his reserve.
The line advanced with a ferocious shout, and a hot fire of muskotry, which compelled our light advanced parties to fall back into line. General Pickens had given orders to his militia not to fire until the enemy had approached within the distance of forty or fifty yards, which they obeyed with great firmness; but the assault with the bayonet which Tarleton now ordered was too much for them, the whole line retired precipitately, a part of them fled to their horses, and a part was led by General Pickens to the right of Howard's line. Tarleton, supposing by the flight of the militia of the first line, that his victory was secured, pushed forward with impetuosity until he came upon Howard. The resistance which he met with here was somewhat unexpected, and he soon found himself compelled to bring up his reserve.