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of the enemy, and unperceived gained their rear.
proceed to Brunswick, where the British had large
magazines, and where was their military chest, which
at this time, as it afterwards appeared, contained seventy thousand pounds sterling. But many of his soldiers had not slept for forty-eight hours, none of them for the last twenty-four, and they were exhausted by excessive duty. They were closely pursued by a superiour force, which must be up with them before the stores at Brunswick could be destroyed, should they meet with serious opposition at that place. Ge neral WAshington therefore relinquished this part of his plan, and prudently led his army to a place of security, to give them the rest which they greatly needed.
The successes of the American arms at Trenton, and at Princeton, were followed by important conse quences. The affairs of the United States, before these events, appeared to be desperate. Two thousand of the regular troops had a right, on the first of January, to demand their discharge. The recruiting service was at an end, and general despondency prevailed. The triumphs of the British through the previous parts of the campaign produced a common apprehension, in the citizens of the middle states, that any further struggle would be useless; and that America must eventually return to her allegiance to Great Britain. Many individuals made their peace with the Commissioners, and took protection from the officers of the crown; and more discovered the inclination to do it, when opportunity should present. General Howe supposed New-Jersey restored to the British government, and thought the war drawing to a close. But these successes were considered as great victories, and produced consequent effects upon the publickmind. The character of the Commander in Chief proportionably rose in the estimation of the great mass of American people, who now respected themselves, and confided in their persevering efforts to secure the great object of contention, the independence of their country.
Other causes had a powerful operation upon the minds of the yeomanry of New-Jersey. The British commanders tolerated, or at least neglected to restrain, gross licentiousness in their army. The inhabitants of the state, which they boasted was restored to the bosom of the parent country, were treated not as re claimed friends, but as conquered enemies. The soldiery were guilty of every species of rapine, snd with little discrimination between those who had opposed or supported the measures of Britain. The abuse was not limited to the plundering of property. Every in dignity was offered to the persons of the inhabitants, not excepting those outrages to the female sex, which are felt by ingenuous minds with the keenest anguish, and excite noble spirits to desperate resistance. These aggravated abuses roused the people of New-Jersey to repel that army, to which they had voluntarily submitted, in the expectation of protection and security. At the dawn of success upon the American arms, they rose in small bands to oppose their invaders. They scoured the country, cut off every soldier who straggled from his corps; and in many instances repelled the foraging parties of the enemy. The enterprising manoeuvres of the American General, and the returning spirit of the Jersey yeomanry, rendered General Howe, now Sir William, very cautious and circumspect. He contracted his cantonments for winter quarters, and concentrated his force in New-Jersey, at Brunswick, and Amboy. By this time, the period of service of the Continental battalions had expired, and the recruits for the new army were not yet in camp. Offensive operations, therefore, were of necessity suspended by the American General; but, with the small force at his disposal, he straitencd the enemy's quarters, and circumscribed their foraging excursions. At Christmas the power of the British was extend. ed over the whole of New-Jersey, and their command
ers boasted, that a corporal's guard might in safety pa rade in every part of the province. Before the expiration of January, they possessed but two posts in the state, and these were in the neighbourhood of their shipping. The power of their arms extended not beyond the reach of the guns of their fortifications. Every load of forage, and every pound of provision, obtained from the inhabitants, was procured by the bayo nets of large detachments, and at the price of blood
General Washington disposes his small force for the protection ot New JerseyTArmy Inoculated—Abuse of American prisoners— The Exchange of General Lee refused—Stores at Peck's Kill and Danbury destroyed–American Army takes post at Middlebrook —Sir William Howe moves towards the Delaware—Returns to Staten Island and embarks his troops—He lands at the Head of Elk—General Washington marches to meet him—Battle of Brandywine–Effects of a Storm—British take possession of Philadelphia–Mud Island and Red Bank fortified–Obstructions in tho River—Attack on Mud Island—Count Donop defeated—British surmount the Fortifications of the River–Plan to attack Philadelphia—Sir William Howe reconnoitres the American camp at White Marsh—The Army posted at Valley Forge—The priva tions of the Soldiers during the winter.
1777. GENERAL WASHINGTON indulged the hope that the brilliant success, at the close of the last campaign, would stimulate his country to bring a force into the field, which would enable him in the course of the winter, to drive the enemy into New-York, to straiten their quarters and prevent their obtaining any supplies from the neighbouring counties. Being disappointed in this hope, he disposed his small force in the best manner to protect New-Jersey, and exerted himself to prepare for the approaching season of action.
The most popular officers were sent into the states in which they had the greatest influence, to aid the recruiting service, and to push the recruits forward to samp, in small bodios, as they could be made ready
The army having suffered extremely front the small pox, the General resolved that they should be relieved from the scourge and terrour of this disease. Orders were accordingly given secretly to inoculate the con. tinental soldiers in their winter quarters; and places were assigned at which the recruits were to go through the operation, as they successively approached the camp. The measure was attended with success, and Sir William did not avail himself of the temporary debility of the American army. Congress had also admitted the expectation of splendid events during the winter. In answer to a lettel, expressing this expectation, the Commander in Chief gave the following account of the state of his army. “Could I accomplish the important ob MARCH 4 ject, so eagerly wished by Congress, con fining the enemy in their present quarters, preventing their gathering supplies from the country, and totally subduing them before they are reinforced, I should be happy indeed. But what prospect, or hope, can there be, of my effecting so desirable a work at this time 2 The enclosed return, to which I solicit the most serious attention of Congress, comprehends the whole force I have in the Jersey. It is but a handful, and bears no proportion, in the scale of numbers to that of the enemy. Added to this, the major part is made up of militia. The most sanguine in speculation, cannot deem it more than adequate to the least valuable purposes of war.” The whole number, capable of duty was short of three thousand. Two thirds of these were militia, whose time of service would expire with the month. During the winter General Spencer planned an expedition against the British troops on Rhode-Island. The Commander in Chief advised that the attempt should not be made, without the strongest probability of success. The scheme was relinquished, and the General fully expressed his approbation of it. “It is