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nis detachments constantly on their arms and ever in a situation to attack.
Sir Henry Clinton perceiving the approach of a powerful force, changed the position of his army, and placed his brist troops in the rear. On the 27th, he encamped in a secure inanner on the heignts about Monmouth Court House. He could not be attacked in this position with the probability of success, and he was within twelve niles of strong ground, wliere he could not be assailed. General Washington there. fore resolved to attack him as soon as he should niove from his present encampment.
About five in thu morning, the ConimandJUNE 28. er in Chief was informed that the front of
the British army was in motion : he immediately despatched an Aid de Camp to General Lee with orders to move on and attack the rear of the enemy, “ unless there should be powerful reasons to the contrary,” assuring him that the main body should seasonably move to support him.
From the movements of the American army, Sir Honry expected an attack. Early on the morning of the 28th, General Knyphausen marched with all the baggage of the British army. The grenadiers, light infantry, and chasseurs, unencumbered, remained on the ground under the command of Lord Cornwallis, and with this division was Sir Henry.
having allowed time for General Knyphausen to move out of his way, Lord Cornwallis about eight vclock took up his line of march, ar.d descended from the heights of Freehold into a plain of about three miles extent. General Lee made his disposition to execute the orders of the Commander in Chief. Passing the heignts of Freehold, he en'ered the plain, and ordered Gereral Wayne to attack the rear of the covering party of the enemy in such a manner as to halt thern; while he himself by a shorter road should gain their
front, with the design to cnt them off from the inain body of their army.
In the mean time General Clinton perceiving that strong columns of Americans were hanging upou both his flanks, and supposing that their cbject was to at. tack his baggage now passing through defiles, resolved to halt Lord Cornwallis's division and attack the Ame. ricans in his rear, with the expectation, that General WASHINGTON by this maneuvre would be induced to recall his detachments in advance. This movement was made at tho moment Lee was reconnoitring their covering party. He found this corps much stronger than he had supposed it to be, and the ground he thought unfavourable for an aʻtack. In his rear was a morass which could be passed only by a neck of hard land, which rendered it difficult for reinforcements to reach him, and would impede his retreat should he be repulsed. He was finally induced by a movement of General Scott, to cross the ravine and regain the heights of Freehold.
During these manœuvres, some skirmishing took place. As soon as General Washington heard the firing, he directed the troops under his immediate command, to throw off their packs and march rapidly to the support of the division in front. General Lee gave no information of his retrograde maneuvre to the Commander in Chief. As General WASHINGTON was approaching the scene of action in advanco of his troops, he met, to his surprise and mortification, the corps of General Lee retreating before the enemy, without having made anv serious efforts to maintain their ground. He found General Lee in the rear of his division, whom he addressed with warmth, and in language disapproving his retreat. He immediately ordered two regiments to form on ground favourable to check the advancing enemy. He asked General Lee, will you command on this ground ? Consenting, he was ordered to arrange the remainder of his division
and to take measures to stop the advance of the Bri. tish. “ Your orders,” Lee replied, “ shall be obeyed, and I will not be the first to leave the field.” The Commander in Chief returned to the main body and formed it for action. The division of Lee now bravely sustained a severe conflict with the van of the British, and when forced from the ground, Lee brought his troops off in order, and formed them in rear of Eng. lish Town.
The check the enemy received, enabled General Washington to form the left wing and second line of the army on an eminence. 'Lord Sterling, who cummanded this wing, planted a battery of cannon and played with effect upon the British column, which had passed the morass and was pressing on to charge the Americans. At the saine timi a body of infantry was brought into action. The advance of the enemy was by these measures stopped.
General Green, who on this day commanded the right wing of the American army, had left the direct road near English Town and moved upon the riglt, as a security to this flank of the army, and had rather passed the ground on which the action began. Learning the situation of General Washington, he brought up his division, and took an advantageous position on the right.
The enemy now attempted to turn the left flank of the Americans, but were repulsed by parties of infantry. They then assailed the right wing, and here *o0 they failed. General Green had posted a body of troops with artillery on cominanding ground in his front, which severely galled the enemy. At this per riod General Wayne advanced with a strong corps of infartry, and in a close and well directed fire attacked them in front. They gave way and fell behind the ravine to the ground, on which the Commander in Chief met General Lee in the morning. On this ground the British formed in a strong position. Both
Aanks were covered by woods and morasses, and their front could be attacked caly through a narrow pass.
General Washington, even under these circum. stances, determined to renew the engagement. In pursuance of this resolution, he ordered Brigadier Poor to gain the right flank of the British, and Brigadier Woodford their left. The artillery was directed to play upon them in front. Before these orders could be effectually carried into execution, the day was fully spent. The General therefore determined to defer the attack until the next morning. He ordered the troops to retain their respective positions, and to lay on their arms. The General in the course of the day had shunned no danger, and he slept in his cloak amidst his soldiers on the field of battle.
At midnight, the British moved off their ground with such silence, that General Poor although very near did not perceive it. General Washington knew that the British army would reach !igh and unassailable ground before he could come up with them, and therefore discontinued the pursuit. He despatched small parties of light troops to protect the country from depredation and to encourage dosertion. The main body of his army he marched to cover the important passes in the high lands on the Hudson.
General WASHINGTON was satisfied with the behaviour of his army on this day. In his official communication to Congress he mentioned that after the troops had recovered from the surprise of the unex pected retreat of the morning, their conduct could not have been surpassed. General Wayne was noticed with great commendation, and the artillery corps was said to have highly distinguished itself.
In the battle of Monmouth, eight officers and sixty-one privates of the Americans were killed; and about one hundred and sixty wounded. Among tho killed were Lieutenant Colonel Bonner of Pencsylvania and Major Dickinson of Virginia, officers of merit,
whose fall was much lamented. The Arericans bu. ried about three hundred of the British, who had been found on the field ; although Sir Henry Clinton, in his official letter, stated his loss in killed and missing at four officers and one hundred and eighty-four privates, and his wounded at sixteen officers and one hundred and fifty-four privates. Among the slain was the Jlonourable Colonel Monckton, an officer of celet rity. The day had been excessively hot, and numbers, both British and Americans, were found among the dead without wounds, who had fallen victims to the heat.
The Americans made about a hundred prisoners, and nearly a thousand privates, musiły Germans, deserted the British standard, on the march through New Jersey.
Congress highly approved of the conduct of the Commander in Chief in bringing on the action of the 28th, and was gratified with its issue. In a resolution which passed that budy unanimously, their thanks were given to General WASHINGTON “ for the activity with which he moved from the ca.np at Valley Forge, in pursuit of the enemy ; for inis distinguished excrtions in forming the line of battle ; and for his great, good conduct in the action.” He was requested “ to sig. nify the thanks of Congress to the officers and men under his command, who distinguished themselves by their conduct and valour in the battle."
Although the Commander in Chief disapproved of the retreat, yet could the proud spirit of General Les bave patiently borne what he considered as a reprimand cn the field of battle, it is probable that an explanation mutually satisfactory might have taken place. Go. ne, al Washington continued him in coinmand on the day of action, after his retreat, and discovered no disposition to take publick notice of it. But the irri. table and lofty spirit of Lee urged him to write the next day two offensive letters to General WASHINGTON, in which, assuming the language of a superiour, he