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1777.]

fine, every thing was as we could wish, when the above flight

took place."

""*

BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN.

267

No one was more annoyed than Wayne. "Fortune smiled on us for full three hours," writes he; "the enemy were broke, dispersed, and flying in all quarters we were in possession of their whole encampment, together with their artillery, park, &c. &c. A wind-mill attack was made upon a house into which six light companies had thrown themselves, to avoid our bayonets. Our troops were deceived by this attack, thinking it something formidable. They fell back to assist,-the enemy believing it to be a retreat, followed,-confusion ensued, and we ran away from the arms of victory open to receive us."

In fact, as has justly been observed by an experienced officer, the plan of attack was too widely extended for strict concert, and too complicated for precise co-operation, as it had to be conducted in the night, and with a large proportion of undisciplined militia; and yet, a bewildering fog alone appears to have prevented its complete success.

But although the Americans were balked of the victory, which seemed within their grasp, the impression made by the audacity of this attempt upon Germantown, was greater, we are told, than that caused by any single incident of the war after Lexington and Bunker's Hill.†

A British military historian, a contemporary, observes: "In this action the Americans acted upon the offensive; and though repulsed with loss, showed themselves a formidable adversary, capable of charging with resolution and retreating with good

* Letter to Col. Lamb in the Lamb Papers, N. Y. Hist. Soc., and quoted in the Life of Lamb, p. 183.

* Reed's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 319.

order. The hope, therefore, entertained from the effect of any action with them as decisive, and likely to put a speedy termination to the war, was exceedingly abated." *

The battle had its effect also in France. The Count De Vergennes observed to the American commissioners in Paris on their first interview, that nothing struck him so much as General Washington's attacking and giving battle to General Howe's army; that to bring an army raised within a year to this pass promised every thing.

The effect on the army itself may be judged from letters written at the time by officers to their friends. 'Though we gave away a complete victory," writes one, "we have learnt this valuable truth, that we are able to beat them by vigorous exertion, and that we are far superior in point of swiftness. We are in high spirits; every action gives our troops fresh vigor, and a greater opinion of their own strength. Another bout or two must make the situation of the enemy very disagreeable." t

Another writes to his father: "For my own part, I am so fully convinced of the justice of the cause in which we are contending, and that Providence, in its own good time, will succeed and bless it, that, were I to see twelve of the Uni

by our cruel invaders, I should still believe t not only save itself, but also work out the others."

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WASHINGTON AT WHITE MARSH-MEASURES TO CUT OFF THE ENEMY'S SUP

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FORT-DEATH OF COUNT DONOP.

CHAPTER XXIV.

WASHINGTON remained a few days at Perkiomen Creek, to give his army time to rest, and recover from the disorder incident to a retreat. Having been reinforced by the arrival of twelve hundred Rhode Island troops from Peekskill, under General Varnum, and nearly a thousand Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania troops, he gradually drew nearer to Philadelphia, and took a strong position at White Marsh, within fourteen miles of that ty. By a resolution of Congress, all persons taken within ty miles of any place occupied by British troops, in the act nveying s to them, were subjected to martial law. jon, Washington detached large bodies of above the city, and between the Schuyl ot all supplies going to the enemy. tions in the river, Washington mainarassment of Philadelphia. These mpaired. The works at Billings

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writes she," and they behaved in the same manner towards General Burgoyne, though he had ordered their splendid establishment to be burnt, and without any necessity, it was said. But all their actions proved, that in the sight of the misfortunes of others they quickly forgot their own." It was, in fact, the lot of Burgoyne to have coals of fire heaped on his head by those with whom he had been at enmity. One of the first persons whom he had encountered in the American camp was General Schuyler. He attempted to make some explanation or excuse about the recent destruction of his property. Schuyler begged him not to think of it, as the occasion justified it, according to the principles and rules of war.

"He did more," said Burgoyne, in a speech before the House of Commons: "he sent an aide-de-camp to conduct me to Albany; in order, as he expressed it, to procure better quarters than a stranger might be able to find. That gentleman conducted me to a very elegant house, and, to my great surprise, presented me to Mrs. Schuyler and her family. In that house I remained during my whole stay in Albany, with a table of more than twenty covers for me and my friends, and every other demonstration of hospitality."

This was indeed realizing the vaunted courtesy and maguanimity of the age of chivalry.

The surrender of Burgoyne was soon followed by the evacuation of Ticonderoga and Fort Independence, the garrisons retiring to the Isle aux Noix and St. Johns. As to the arm on Hudson, the commanders whom Sir Henry Clin charge of it, received, in the midst of their des astounding intelligence of the captur of the

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257

cause.

they had come to co-operate. Nothing remained for them, therefore, but to drop down the river and return to New York. The whole expedition, though it had effected much damage to the Americans, failed to be of essential service to the royal The fortresses in the Highlands could not be maintained, and had been evacuated and destroyed, and the plundering and burning of defenceless towns and villages, and especially the conflagration of Esopus, had given to the whole enterprise the character of a maraud, disgraceful in civilized warfare, and calculated only to inflame more deadly enmity and determined opposition.

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SEQUEL OF LADY HARRIET'S STORY.

NOTE.

The reader may desire to know the sequel of Lady Harriet Ackland's romantic story. Her husband recovered from his wounds, and they returned together to England. Major Ackland retained a grateful sense of the kind treatment they had experienced from the Americans. At a dinner party he had warm words with another British officer, who questioned the American character for courage. A duel ensued, in which the major was killed. The shock to Lady Harriet produced mental derangement. She recovered in the course of a couple of years, and ultimately was married to Mr. Brudenell, the worthy chaplain who had been her companion and protector in the time of her distress.

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