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o'clock, when they set fire to what was combus
The loss of this fort was deeply regretted by Washington, though he gave high praise to the officers and men of the garrison. Colonel Smith was voted a sword by Congress, and Fleury received the commission of lieutenant-colonel. Washington still hoped to keep possession of Red Bank, and thereby prevent the enemy weighing the chevaux-de-frise before the frost obliged their ships to quit the river. "I am anx iously waiting the arrival of the troops from the northward," writes he, "who ought, from the time they have had my orders, to have been here be fore this. Colonel Hamilton, one of my aides, is
up the North River, doing all he can to push them forward, but he writes me word, that he finds many unaccountable delays thrown in his way. The want of these troops has embarrassed ali my measures exceedingly."
The delays in question will best be explained by a few particulars concerning the mission of Colonel Hamilton. On his way to the head-quar ters of Gates, at Albany, he found Governor Clin ton and General Putnam encamped on the oppo site sides of the Hudson, just above the Highlands the governor at New Windsor, Putnam at Fish kill. About a mile from New Windsor, Hamilton met Morgan and his riflemen, early in the morning of the 24 of November, on the march for Wash ington's camp, having been thus tardily detached by Gates. Hamilton urged him to hasten on with
erest and mos renemies.
How much are
A letter from Col iting of the last p alle intelligence
e Delaware. You t -loss of the river,
eral retreat, or ill to save a gone c Conway, Spots w So resigned, and m
Mally lost, unless tous band who
and with their ere. Prepare -Congress Under such bal are observed, he its full exter
By on a losing ts seemed to In the mean ring up the re tion against navigation
possible dispatch, which he promised to do. he colonel had expected to find matters in such rain, that he would have little to do but y ample reinforcements already on the mars: ereas, he found that a large part of the Northarmy was to remain in and about Atary, nt four thousand men to be spared to the cutder-in-chief; the rest were to be stationed on east side of the Hudson with Putnam, who held a council of war how to dispose of em old general, in fact, had for some time past haunted by a project of an attack upon New in which he had twice been thwarted, and which the time seemed propitious, now that of the British troops were reported to have from New York to reinforce General Howe ilton rather disconcerted his project by di ng him, in Washington's name, to hurry ard two continental brigades to the latter, her with Warner's militia brigade; also to to Red Bank a body of Jersey militia about Oss to Peekskill.
aving given these directions, Hamilton has don to Albany. He found still less disposion the part of Gates to furnish the troops reed. There was no certainty, he said, that Sir ary Clinton had gone to join General Howe ere was a possibility of his returning up the er, which would expose the arsenal at Albany destruction, should that city be left bare of ops. The New England States, too, would be t open to the ravages and depredations of the emy; beside, it would put it out of his power
will be lect the
h, as we
impeded 17th of
N.remier, Lord Cornwallis was detached with rv: tesand men to cross from Chester into the ners, where he would be joined by a force adTuning Sea New York.
Apprised of this movement, Washington detacted Geceral Huntington, with a brigade, to Ja Vertemat Red Bank. General Greene was sc cetered to repair thither with his division,
# express was sent off to General Glover, wit was on his way through the Jerseys with as brigade, directing him to file off to the left a viris the same point. These troops, with such has culd be collected, Washington hoped Sent to save the fort. Before they nai irm a junction, however, and reach their tes nation. Cornwallis appeared before it. A deVis is such superior force was hopeless. The works were abandoned; they were taken possession of by the enemy, who proceeded to deང་ཚོ་བློས་་ After the destruction had been accompleted the reinforcements from the North, si jog ind se axi -usly expected, and so shame"¿... E jured made their appearance. der armred but ten days sooner," writes Wash2 his brother, it would, I think, have 214 L ▲ my power to save Fort Mifflin, which æened. De cõevaux-de-frise, and consequently lay and Phladelphia a very ineligible sitman ve De ceny this winter.”
The mags arrived in ragged plight, owing 37 he largement of the commissariat. A part #kros de corps was absolutely unable to bus de fed for want of shoes, and such was
BRITISH IN CONTROL OF THE RIVER. 339
the prevalent want in this particular, that ten dollars reward was offered in general orders for a model of the best subsitute for shoes that could be made out of raw hides.
The evil which Washington had so anxiously striven to prevent had now been effected. The American vessels stationed in the river had lost all protection. Some of the galleys escaped past the batteries of Philadelphia in a fog, and took refuge in the upper part of the Delaware; the rest were set on fire by their crews and abandoned.
The enemy were now in possession of the river, but it was too late in the season to clear away the obstructions, and open a passage for the large ships. All that could be effected at present, was to open a sufficient channel for transports and vessels of easy burden, to bring provisions and supplies for the army.
Washington advised the navy board, now that the enemy had command of the river, to have all the American frigates scuttled and sunk immediately. The board objected to sinking them, but said they should be ballasted and plugged, ready to be sunk in case of attack. Washington warned them that an attack would be sudden, so as to get possession of them before they could be sunk or destroyed; his advice and warning were unheeded; the consequence will hereafter be shown.
Question of an Attack on Philadelphia. - General Reed at Head-quarters. Enemy's Works reconnoitered. — Opinions in a Council of War. - Exploit of Lafayette. Receives Command of a Division. Modification of the Board of War.- Gates to Preside. - Letter of Lovell. Sally Forth of General Howe. Evolutions and Skirmishes.- Conway Inspector-general. — Consultation about Winter-quarters. - Dreary March to Valley Forge Hutting. - Washington's Vindicatory Letters. — Retrospect of the Year.
N the evening of the 24th of November Washington reconnoitered, carefully and thoughtfully, the lines and defenses about Philadelphia, from the opposite side of the Schuylkill. His army was now considerably reinforced; the garrison was weakened by the absence of a large body of troops under Lord Cornwallis in the Jerseys. Some of the general officers thought this an advantageous moment for an attack upon the city. Such was the opinion of Lord Stirling, and especially General Wayne, Mad Anthony, as he was familiarly called, always eager for some daring enterprise. The recent victory at Saratoga had dazzled the public mind, and produced a general impatience for something equally striking and effective in this qu Reed, Wash