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fact, that we cannot transport the provisions from the States in which they are assessed, to the army, because we cannot pay the teamsters, who will no longer work for certificates. * In a word we are at the end of our tether, and now or never our deliverance must come. * * * How easy would it be to retort the enemy's own game upon them; if it could be made to comport with the general plan of the war, to keep a superior fleet always in these seas, and France would put us in condition to be active, by advancing us money. The ruin of the enemy's schemes would then be certain; the bold game they are now playing would be the means of effecting it; for they would be reduced to the necessity of concentrating their force at capital points; thereby giving up all the advantages they have gained in the Southern States, or be vulnerable every where."

Washington's anxiety was now awakened for the safety of General Greene. Two thousand troops had sailed from New York under General Phillips, probably to join with the force under Arnold, and proceed to reinforce Cornwallis. Should they form a junction, Greene would be unable to withstand them. With these considerations Washington wrote to Lafayette, urging him, since he was already three hundred miles, which was half the distance, on the way, to push on with all possible speed to join the southern army, sending expresses ahead to inform Greene of his approach.

The letter found Lafayette on the 8th of April at the Head of Elk, preparing to march back with his troops to the banks of the Hudson. On his return through Virginia, he had gone out of his way, and trav


elled all night for the purpose of seeing Washington's mother at Fredericksburg, and paying a visit to Mount Vernon. He now stood ready to obey Washington's orders, and march to reinforce General Greene; but his troops, who were chiefly from the Eastern States, murmured at the prospect of a campaign in a southern climate, and desertions began to occur. Upon this he announced in general orders, that he was about to enter on an enterprise of great difficulty and danger, in which he trusted his soldiers would not abandon him. Any however, who were unwilling, should receive permits to return home.

As he had anticipated, their pride was roused by this appeal. All engaged to continue forward. So great was the fear of appearing a laggard, or a craven, that a sergeant, too lame to march, hired a place in a cart to keep up with the army. In the zeal of the moment, Lafayette borrowed money on his own credit from the Baltimore merchants, to purchase summer clothing for his troops, in which he was aided, too, by the ladies of the city, with whom he was deservedly popular.

The detachment from New York, under General Phillips, arrived at Portsmouth on the 26th of March. That officer immediately took command, greatly to the satisfaction of the British officers, who had been acting under Arnold. The force now collected there amounted to three thousand five hundred men. The garrison of New York had been greatly weakened in furnishing this detachment, but Cornwallis had urged the policy of transferring the seat of war to Virginia, even at the expense of abandoning New York; declaring that until

VOL. IV.-19

that State was subdued, the British hold upon the Carolinas must be difficult, if not precarious.

The disparity in force was now so great, that the Baron Steuben had to withdraw his troops, and remove the military stores into the interior. Many of the militia, too, their term of three months being expired, stacked their arms, and set off for their homes, and most of the residue had to be discharged.

General Phillips had hitherto remained quiet in Portsmouth, completing the fortifications, but evidently making preparations for an expedition. On the 16th of April, he left one thousand men in garrison, and, embarking the rest in small vessels of light draught, proceeded up James River, destroying armed vessels, public magazines, and a ship-yard belonging to the State.

Landing at City Point, he advanced against Petersburg, a place of deposit of military stores and tobacco. He was met about a mile below the town by about one thousand militia, under General Muhlenberg, who, after disputing the ground inch by inch for nearly two hours, with considerable loss on both sides, retreated across the Appomattox, breaking down the bridge behind them.

Phillips entered the town, set fire to the tobacco warehouses, and destroyed all the vessels lying in the river. Repairing and crossing the bridge over the Appomattox, he proceeded to Chesterfield Court-house, where he destroyed barracks and public stores; while Arnold, with a detachment, laid waste the magazines of tobacco in the direction of Warwick. A fire was opened by the latter from a few field-pieces on the river bank, upon a squadron of small, armed vessels,




which had been intended to co-operate with the French fleet against Portsmouth. The crews scuttled or set fire to them, and escaped to the north side of the river.

This destructive course was pursued until they arrived at Manchester, a small place opposite Richmond, where the tobacco warehouses were immediately in a blaze. Richmond was a leading object of this desolating enterprise, for there a great part of the military stores of the State had been collected. Fortunately, Lafayette with his detachment of two thousand men, had arrived there by forced marches, the evening before, and being joined by about two thousand militia and sixty dragoons, (the latter, principally young Virginians of family,) had posted himself strongly on the high banks on the north side of the river.

There being no bridge across the river at that time, General Phillips did not think it prudent to attempt a passage in face of such a force so posted; but was extremely irritated at being thus foiled by the celerity of his youthful opponent, who now assumed the chief command of the American forces in Virginia.

Returning down the south bank of the river, to the place where his vessels awaited him, General Phillips re-embarked on the 2d of May, and dropped slowly down the river below the confluence of the Chickahomony. He was followed cautiously, and his movements watched by Lafayette, who posted himself behind the last-named river.

Despatches from Cornwallis now informed Phillips that his lordship was advancing with all speed from the South to effect a junction with him. The general immediately made a rapid move to regain possession of

Petersburg, where the junction was to take place. Lafayette attempted by forced marches to get there before him, but was too late. Falling back, therefore, he recrossed James River and stationed himself some miles below Richmond, to be at hand for the protection of the public stores collected there.

During this main expedition of Phillips, some of his smaller vessels had carried on the plan of plunder and devastation in other of the rivers emptying into the Chesapeake Bay; setting fire to the houses where they met with resistance. One had ascended the Potomac and menaced Mount Vernon. Lund Washington, who had charge of the estate, met the flag which the enemy sent on shore, and saved the property from ravage, by furnishing the vessel with provisions. Lafayette, who heard of the circumstance, and was sensitive for the honor of Washington, immediately "This conduct of the peryour estate," writes he,

wrote to him on the subject. son who represents you on "must certainly produce a bad effect, and contrast with the courageous replies of some of your neighbors, whose houses in consequence have been burnt. You will do what you think proper, my dear general, but friendship makes it my duty to give you confidentially the facts."

Washington, however, had previously received a letter from Lund himself, stating all the circumstances of the case, and had immediately written him a reply. He had no doubt that Lund had acted from his best judgment, and with a view to preserve the property and buildings from impending danger, but he was stung to the quick by the idea that his agent should

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