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acquire a thorough feeling of nationality; yet what an enduring lesson does it furnish for every stage of our Union!

We subjoin another of the general orders issued in this time of gloom and anxiety:

"That the troops may have an opportunity of attending public worship, as well as to take some rest after the great fatigue they have gone through, the general, in future, excuses them from fatigue duty on Sundays, except at the ship-yards, or on special occasions, until further orders. The general is sorry to be informed, that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing, a vice heretofore little known in an American army, is growing into fashion. He hopes the officers will, by example as well as influence, endeavor to check it, and that both they and the men will reflect, that we can have little hope of the blessing of Heaven on our arms, if we insult it by our impiety and folly. Added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense and character detests and despises it."*

While Washington thus endeavored to elevate the minds of his soldiery to the sanctity of the cause in which they were engaged, he kept the most watchful eye upon the movements of the enemy. Beside their great superiority in point of numbers as well as discipline, to his own crude and scanty legions, they possessed a vast advantage in their fleet. "They would not be

half the enemy they are," observed Colonel Reed, "if they were once separated from their ships." Every arrival and departure of these, therefore, was a subject of speculation and conjecture. Aaron Burr, at that time in

*Orderly Book, Aug. 3, as cited by Sparks. Writings of Washington. vol. iv. p. 28.

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New York, aide-de-camp to General Putnam, speaks in a letter to an uncle, of thirty transports, which, under convoy of three frigates, had put to sea on the 7th of August, with the intention of sailing round Long Island and coming through the Sound, and thus investing the city by the North and 'East Rivers. "They are then to land on both sides of the island," writes he, "join their forces, and draw a line across, which will hem us in, and totally cut off all communication; after which, they will have their own fun." He adds: "They hold us in the utmost contempt. Talk of forcing all our lines without firing a gun. The bayonet is their pride. They have forgot Bunker's Hill."*

In this emergency, Washington wrote to General Mercer for 2,000 men from the flying camp. Colonel Smallwood's battalion was immediately furnished, as a part of them. The Convention of the State ordered out hasty levies of country militia, to form temporary camps on the shore of the Sound, and on that of the Hudson above King's Bridge, to annoy the enemy, should they attempt to land from their ships on either of these waters. Others were sent to reinforce the posts on Long Island. As Kings County on Long Island, was noted for being a stronghold of the disaffected, the Convention ordered that, should any of the militia of that county refuse to serve, they should be disarmed and secured, and their possessions laid waste.

Many of the yeomen of the country, thus hastily summoned from the plough, were destitute of arms, in lieu of which they were ordered to bring with them a shovel, spade, or pickaxe, or a scythe straightened and fastened to a pole. This rustic array may have provoked the thoughtless sneers of city scoffers, such as those cited

* Am. Archives, 5th Series, i. 887.

by Graydon; but it was in truth one of the glorious features of the Revolution, to be thus aided in its emergencies by "hasty levies of husbandmen."*

By the authority of the New York Convention, Washington had appointed General George Clinton to the command of the levies on both sides of the Hudson. He now ordered him to hasten down with them to the fort just erected on the north side of King's Bridge; leaving two hundred men under the command of a brave and alert officer to throw up works at the pass of Anthony's Nose, where the main road to Albany crosses that mountain. Troops of horse also were to be posted by him along the river, to watch the motions of the enemy.

Washington now made the last solemn preparations for the impending conflict. All suspected persons, whose presence might promote the plans of the enemy, were removed to a distance. All papers respecting affairs of State were put up in a large case, to be delivered to Congress. As to his domestic arrangements, Mrs. Washington had some time previously gone to Philadelphia, with the intention of returning to Virginia, as there was no prospect of her being with him any part of the summer, which threatened to be one of turmoil and danger. The

* General orders, Aug. 8th, show the feverish state of affairs in the city. "As the movements of the enemy, and intelligence by deserters, give the utmost reason to believe that the great struggle in which we are contending for every thing dear to us and our posterity is near at hand, the general most earnestly recommends the closest attention to the state of the men's arms, ammunition, and flints; that if we should be suddenly called to action, nothing of this kind may be to provide. And he does most anxiously exhort both officers and soldiers not to be out of their quarters or encampments, especially in the morning, or upon the tide of flood.

"A flag in the daytime, or a light at night, in the fort on Bayard's Hill, with three guns from the same place fired quick but distinct, is to be considered as a signal for the troops to repair to their alarm posts, and prepare for action. And that the alarm may be more effectually given, the drums are immediately to beat to arms upon the signal being given from Bayard's Hill. This order is not to be considered as countermanding the firing two guns at Fort George, as formerly ordered. That is also to be done on an alarm, but the flag will not be hoisted at the old head-quarters in Broadway.". -Am. Archives, 5th Series, i. 912.




other ladies, wives of general officers, who used to grace and enliven head-quarters, had all been sent out of the way of the storm which was lowering over this devoted city.

Accounts of deserters, and other intelligence, informed Washington, on the 17th, that a great many of the enemy's troops had gone on board of the transports; that three days' provisions had been cooked, and other steps taken, indicating an intention of leaving Staten Island. Putnam, also, came up from below, with word that at least one fourth of the fleet had sailed. There were many conjectures at head-quarters as to whither they were bound, or whether they had not merely shifted their station. Every thing indicated, however, that affairs were tending to a crisis.

The "hysterical alarms" of the peaceful inhabitants of New York, which had provoked the soldierlike impatience and satirical sneers of Lee, inspired different sentiments in the benevolent heart of Washington, and produced the following letter to the New York Convention:

"When I consider that the city of New York will, in all human probability, very soon be the scene of a bloody conflict, I cannot but view the great numbers of women, children, and infirm persons remaining in it, with the most melancholy concern. When the men-of-war (the Phoenix and Rose) passed up the river, the shrieks and cries of these poor creatures running every way with their children, were truly distressing, and I fear they will have an unhappy effect upon the ears and minds of our young and inexperienced soldiery. Can no method. be devised for their removal?"

How vividly does this call to mind the compassionate sensibility of his younger days, when commanding at


Winchester, in Virginia, in time of public peril; and melted to "deadly sorrow" by the "supplicating tears of the women, and moving petitions of the men.” then, he listened to the prompt suggestions of his own heart; and, without awaiting the action of the Convention, issued a proclamation, advising the inhabitants to remove, and requiring the officers and soldiery to aid the helpless and the indigent. The Convention soon responded to his appeal, and appointed a committee to effect these purposes in the most humane and expeditious manner.

A gallant little exploit at this juncture, gave a fillip to the spirits of the community. Two of the fire-ships, recently constructed, went up the Hudson to attempt the destruction of the ships which had so long been domineering over its waters. One succeeded in grappling the Phoenix, and would soon have set her in flames, but in the darkness got to leeward, and was cast loose without effecting any damage. The other, in making for the Rose, fell foul of one of the tenders, grappled and burnt her. The enterprise was conducted with spirit, and though it failed of its main object, had an important effect. The commanders of the ships determined to abandon those waters, where their boats were fired upon by the very yeomanry whenever they attempted to land; and where their ships were in danger from midnight incendiaries, while riding at anchor. Taking advantage of a brisk wind, and favoring tide, they made all sail early on the morning of the 18th of August, and stood down the river, keeping close under the eastern shore, where they supposed the guns from Mount Washington could not be brought to bear upon them. Notwithstanding this precaution, the Phoenix was thrice hulled by shots from the fort, and one of the

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