Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

dent refuses to the House of Representatives the Papers respecting Diplomatick transactions—His interpositions in favour of the Marquis La Fayette —Takes the Son of the Marquis under his Protection and Patronage - - - - - - - - 1:5

CHAPTER XIII.

The President calumniated—His Letter to Mr. Jefferson—Statement of the Secretary of the Treasury— The French Directory's attempt to control the American Government—Review of the transactions with France—The President declares his resolution to retire from Publick Life—Meets Congress for the last time—Describes the Letters that had been forged—Attends the Inauguration of Mr. Adams— Retires to Mount Vernon—Threatening attitude of France—General WASHINGToN appointed Commander in Chief of the American Forces—His opinion of Publick measures—His indisposition and J)eath—Conclusion - - - - - - $66

LIFE

or

GEORGE WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER VIII.

Arnold is appointed a Brigadier in the British Service and invades Virginia-Pion to capture him—Mutiny in the American Can – Violence of the Pennsylvania Line–Order restored—Wea State of the army—The French Court grants a Loan to the United States—Exertion of the States to enable the General to open the Campaign—The French Troops march to the American Camp— Plan to surprise the British Post at King's Bridge—Expedition to Virginia—Count de Grasse arrives in the Chesapeak—Yorktown besieged—British Redoubts stormed—The British make a Sortie– Lord Cornwallis attempts to escape—He capitulates and surrenders his Posts—Indecisive Action between the French and English Fleets—Sir Henry, too late, embarks his Troops for Yorktown— Thanks of Congress to the American and French Con manders, and to the Army—General St. Clair despatched to Caroli:, *-The other corps of the Army return to the Neighbourhood o. NewYork, and go into Winter Quarters.

1781. ARNOLD, having been appointed a Brigadie General in the British army, was with about sixteen hundred men detached to invade Virginia. With his armed ships he sailed up James' river, and at Ric'lmond and other places destroyed publick and private property to a great amount. He at length indicated a design to establish a permanent post at Portsmouth.

The French fleet since its arrival on the American coast had been blocked up in the harbour of Newport, and the land forces had remained inactive in that town But about this time the British blockading squadron suffered by a violent storm, and a temporary superiority was given to the French.

General WASHINGton thought that a fair opportu

[graphic]

nity presented to strike a decisive blow at the British detachment in Virginia, and to obtain the person of Arnold. In pursuance of this scheme, the General detached the Marquis La Fayette to Virginia with twelve hundred of the American infantry: at the same time he requested the co-operation of the French from Rhode Island. The commanding officers gladly embraced the opportunity to engage in active services, that might prove advantageous to their American allies. On the death of Admiral Ternay, at Newport, the command of the fleet devolved on Destonches. In compliance with the request of General WASHINGToN, MARCH 8 he sailed with his whole squadron for the Chesapeak, having eleven hundred land troops on board. The British Admiral Arbuthnot having repaired the damages sustained by the storm, immediately followed the French, and on the 25th an action took place between the two hostile fleets. The battle ended without loss to either fleet, but the fruits of victory were on the side of the English. The joint expedition was frustrated, the French returned to Newport, and Arnold was rescued from the fate which he merited. The winter of 1781 in a degree renewed the privations and sufferings of the American army. The men were badly clothed and scantily fed; and they had served almost a year without pay. Without murmuring they long endured their accumulated distresses. But the fortitude of the firmest men may be worn down. Dis heartened by their sufferings, despairing of relief, and dissatisfied, that their country did not make more ef. fectual exertions for their support, the spirit of mutiny broke out with alarming appearances. The Pennsylvania line stationed at Morristown, with the exception of three regiments, revolted. On a concerted signal, the non-commissioned officers and privates turned out with their arms, and announced the

« AnteriorContinuar »