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REWARDS TO FOREIGN OFFICERS.
entire families abandoned every thing in terror and despair, and took refuge in the mountains. Congress, that same evening, determined to quit the city and repair to Lancaster, whence they subsequently removed to Yorktown. Before leaving Philadelphia, however, they summoned the militia of Pennsylvania, and the adjoining States, to join the main army without delay; and ordered down fifteen hundred Continental troops from Putnam's command on the Hudson. They also clothed Washington with power to suspend officers for misbehavior; to fill up all vacancies under the rank of brigadiers; to take all provisions, and other articles necessary for the use of the army, paying, or giving certificates for the same; and to remove, or secure for the benefit of the owners, all goods and effects which might otherwise fall into the hands of the enemy and be serviceable to them. These extraordinary powers were limited to the circumference of seventy miles round head-quarters, and were to continue in force sixty days, unless sooner revoked by Congress.
It may be as well here to notice in advance, the conduct of Congress toward some of the foreigners who had mingled in this battle. Count Pulaski, the Polish nobleman, heretofore mentioned, who acted with great spirit as a volunteer in the lighthorse, riding up within pistol shot of the enemy to reconnoitre, was given a command of cavalry with the rank of brigadiergeneral. Captain Louis Fleury, also, who had acquitted himself with gallantry, and rendered essential aid in rallying the troops, having had a horse killed under him, was presented by Congress with another, as a testimonial of their sense of his merit.
Lafayette speaks, in his memoirs, of the brilliant manner in which General Conway, the chevalier of St. Louis, acquitted himself at the head of eight hundred men, in the encounter with
the troops of Cornwallis near Birmingham meeting-house. The veteran Deborre was not equally fortunate in gaining distinction on this occasion. In the awkward change of position in the line when in front of the enemy, he had been the first to move, and without waiting for orders. The consequence was, his brigade fell into confusion, and was put to flight. He endeavored to rally it, and was wounded in the attempt; but his efforts were in vain. Congress ordered a court of inquiry on his conduct, whereupon he resigned his commission, and returned to France, complaining bitterly of his hard treatment. "It was not his fault," he said, "if American troops would run away."
GENERAL HOWE NEGLECTS TO PURSUE
TREATS ΤΟ GERMANTOWN-RECROSSES THE SCHUYLKILL AND PREPARES FOR ANOTHER ACTION-PREVENTED BY STORMS OF RAIN-RETREATS TO FRENCH CREEK-WAYNE DETACHED TO FALL ON THE ENEMY'S REAR-HIS PICKETS SURPRISED--MASSACRE OF WAYNE'S MEN-MANOEUVRES OF HOWE ON THE SCHUYLKILL-WASHINGTON SENDS FOR REINFORCEMENTS→→→ HOWE MARCHES INTO PHILADELPHIA.
NOTWITHSTANDING the rout and precipitate retreat of the American army, Sir William Howe did not press the pursuit, but passed the night on the field of battle, and remained the two following days at Dilworth, sending out detachments to take post at Concord and Chester, and seize on Wilmington, whither the sick and wounded were conveyed. "Had the enemy marched directly to Derby," observes Lafayette, "the American army would have been cut up and destroyed; they lost a precious night, and it is perhaps the greatest fault in a war in which they have committed many."
Washington, as usual, profited by the inactivity of Howe; quietly retreating through Derby (on the 12th) across the Schuylkill to Germantown, within a short distance of Philadelphia, where he gave his troops a day's repose. Finding them in good *Memoires. Tom 1. p. 26.
spirits, and in nowise disheartened by the recent affair, which they seemed to consider a check rather than a defeat, he resolved to seek the enemy again and give him battle. As preliminary measures, he left some of the Pennsylvania militia in Philadelphia to guard the city; others, under General Armstrong, were posted at the various passes of the Schuylkill, with orders to throw up works; the floating bridge on the lower road was to be unmoored, and the boats collected and taken across the river.
Having taken these precautions against any hostile movement by the lower road, Washington recrossed the Schuykill on the 14th, and advanced along the Lancaster road, with the intention of turning the left flank of the enemy. Howe, apprised of his intention, made a similar disposition to outflank him. The two armies came in sight of each other, near the Warren Tavern, twenty-three miles from Philadelphia, and were on the point of engaging, but were prevented by a violent storm of rain, which lasted for four and twenty hours.
This inclement weather was particularly distressing to the Americans; who were scantily clothed, most of them destitute of blankets, and separated from their tents and baggage. The rain penetrated their cartridge-boxes and the ill-fitted locks of their muskets, rendering the latter useless, being deficient in bayonets. In this plight, Washington gave up for the present all thought of attacking the enemy, as their discipline in the use of the bayonet, with which they were universally furnished, would give them a great superiority in action. "The hot-headed politicians," writes one of his officers, "will no doubt censure this part of his conduct, while the more judicious will approve it, as not only expedient, but, in such a case, highly commendable. It was, without doubt, chagrining to a person of his fine feelings, to
retreat before an enemy not more in number than himself; yet, with a true greatness of spirit, he sacrificed them to the good of his country." There was evidently a growing disposition again to criticise Washington's movements, yet how well did this officer judge of him.
MANOEUVRES OF THE ARMIES.
The only aim, at present, was to get to some dry and secure place, where the army might repose and refit. All day, and for a great part of the night, they marched under a cold and pelting rain, and through deep and miry roads, to the Yellow Springs, thence to Warwick, on French Creek; a weary march in stormy weather for troops destitute of every comfort, and nearly a thousand of them actually barefooted. At Warwick furnace, ammunition and a few muskets were obtained, to aid in disputing the passage of the Schuylkill, and the advance of the enemy on Philadelphia.
From French Creek, Wayne was detached with his division, to get in the rear of the enemy, form a junction with General Smallwood and the Maryland militia, and, keeping themselves concealed, watch for an opportunity to cut off Howe's baggage and hospital train; in the mean time, Washington crossed the Schuylkill at Parker's Ford, and took a position to defend that pass of the river.
Wayne set off in the night, and, by a circuitous march, got within three miles of the left wing of the British encamped at Tredyffrin, and concealing himself in a wood, waited the arrival of Smallwood and his militia. At daybreak he reconnoitred the camp, where Howe, checked by the severity of the weather, had contented himself with uniting his columns, and remained under shelter. All day Wayne hovered about the camp; there were no
*Memoir of Major Samuel Shaw, by Hon. Josiah Quincy.