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THE TWO HOWES-THE COLONIES DIVIDED INTO DEPARTMENTS. He conjectured their destination to be New | Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, was to, York, and made his arrangements accordingly; be under the command of a major-general, and but he was mistaken. General Howe had steer- two brigadier-generals; the other, comprising ed for Halifax, there to await the arrival of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, to be under strong reinforcements from England, and the the command of a major-general, and four brigfleet of his brother, Admiral Lord Howe; who adiers. was to be commander-in-chief of the naval forces on the North American station.

It was thought these brothers would co-operate admirably in the exercise of their relative functions on land and water. Yet they were widely different in their habits and dispositions. Sir William, easy, indolent, and self-indulgent, "hated business," we are told, "and never did any. Lord Howe loved it, dwelt upon it, never could leave it." Beside his nautical commands, he had been treasurer of the navy, member of the board of admiralty, and had held a seat in Parliament; where, according to Walpole, he was "silent as a rock," excepting when naval affairs were under discussion; when he spoke briefly and to the point. "My Lord Howe," said George II., "your life has been a continued series of services to your country." He was now about fifty-one years of age, tall, and well proportioned like his brother; but wanting his ease of deportment. His complexion was dark, his countenance grave and strongly marked, and he had a shy reserve, occasionally mistaken for haughtiness. As a naval officer, he was esteemed resolute and enterprising, yet cool and firm. In his younger days he had contracted a friendship for Wolfe; "it was like the union of cannon and gunpowder," said Walpole. Howe, strong in mind, solid in judgment, firm of purpose, was said to be the cannon; Wolfe, quick in conception, prompt in execution, impetuous in action-the gunpowder.* The bravest man, we are told, could not wish for a more able, or more gallant commander than Howe, and the sailors used to say of him, "Give us Black Dick, and we fear nothing."

In this new arrangement, the orders destining General Lee to Canada, were superseded, and he was appointed to the command of the Southern department, where he was to keep watch upon the movements of Sir Henry Clinton. He was somewhat dissatisfied with the change in his destination. "As I am the only general. officer on the continent," writes he to Washington, "who can speak or think in French, I confess I think it would have been more prudent to have sent me to Canada; but I shall obey with alacrity, and I hope with success."

In reply, Washington observes, "I was just about to congratulate you on your appointment to the command in Canada, when I received the account that your destination was altered. As a Virginian, I must rejoice at the change, but as an American, I think you would have done more essential service to the common cause in Canada. For, besides the advantage of speaking and thinking in French, an officer who is acquainted with their manners and customs, and has travelled in their country, must certainly take the strongest hold of their affection and confidence."

The command in Canada was given to General Thomas, who had distinguished himself at Roxbury, and was promoted to the rank of majorgeneral. It would have been given to Schuyler, but for the infirm state of his health; still Congress expressed a reliance on his efforts to complete the work "so conspicuously begun and well conducted " under his orders, in the last campaign; and, as not merely the success, but the very existence of the army in Canada would depend on supplies sent from these colonies across the lakes, he was required, until further orders, to fix his head-quarters 3 at Albany,


Such is his lordship's portrait as sketched by English pencils; we shall see hereafter how far his conduct conforms to it. At present we must where, without being exposed to the fatigue consider the state of the American army, in the appointment and commands of which various changes had recently taken place.

It was presumed the enemy, in the ensuing campaign, would direct their operations against the Middle and Southern colonies. Congress divided those colonies into two departments; one, comprehending New York, New Jersey,

*Barrow's Life of Earl Howe, p. 400.

of the' camp until his health was perfectly restored, he would be in a situation to forward supplies; to superintend the operations necessary for the defence of New York and the Hudson River, and the affairs of the whole middle department.

Lee set out for the South on the 7th of March, carrying with him his bold spirit, his shrewd sagacity, and his whimsical and splenetic humors. The following admirably impartial sketch

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ET. 44.]
is given of him by Washington, in a letter to
his brother Augustine: "He is the first in mili-
tary knowledge and experience we have in the
whole army. He is zealously attached to the
cause; honest and well meaning, but rather
fickle and violent, I fear, in his temper. How-
ever, as he possesses an uncommon share of
good sense and spirit, I congratulate my coun-
trymen on his appointment to that depart-



Lee's letters from Virginia, written at a later date, were in a better humor. "There is a noble spirit in this province pervading all orders of men; if the same becomes universal, we shall be saved. I am, fortunately for my own happiness, and, I think, for the well-being of the community, on the best terms with the senatorial part, as well as the people at large. I shall endeavor to preserve their confidence and good opinion."*

And in a letter to Washington:

We give by anticipation a few passages from Lee's letters, illustrative of his character and "I have formed two companies of grenadiers The news of the evacuation of Boston to each regiment, and with spears thirteen feet reached him in Virginia. In a letter to Wash-long. Their rifles (for they are all riflemen) ington, dated Williamsburg, April 5, he express- sling over their shoulders, their appearance is es himself on the subject with generous warmth. formidable, and the men are conciliated to the "My dear general," writes he, "I most sincerely weapon. * * * I am likewise furnishing congratulate you; I congratulate the public, on myself with four-ounced rifled amusettes, which the great and glorious event, your possession will carry an infernal distance; the two-ounced of Boston. It will be a most bright page in hit a half sheet of paper, at five hundred yards' the annals of America, and a most abominable distance." black one in those of the beldam Britain. Go on, my dear general; crown yourself with glory, and establish the liberties and lustre of your country on a foundation more permanent than the Capitol rock."

On Lee's departure for the South, BrigadierGeneral Lord Stirling had remained in temporary command at New York. Washington, however, presuming that the British fleet had steered for that port, with the force which had evacuated Boston, hastened detachments thither under Generals Heath and Sullivan, and wrote for three thousand additional men to be furnish

he gave to General Putnam, who was ordered to fortify the city and the passes of the Hudson, according to the plans of General Lee. In the mean time, Washington delayed to come on himself, until he should have pushed forward the main body of his army by divisions.

Then reverting to himself, his subacid humors work up, and he shows that he had been as much annoyed in Williamsburg, by the interference of committees, as he had been in Newed by Connecticut. The command of the whole York. "My situation," writes he, "is just as I expected. I am afraid I shall make a shabby figure, without any real demerits of my own. I am like a dog in a dancing-school; I know not where to turn myself, where to fix myself. The circumstances of the country, intersected with navigable rivers; the uncertainty of the enemy's designs and motions, who can fly in an instant to any spot they choose, with their canvas wings, throw me, or would throw Julius Cæsar into this inevitable dilemma; I may possibly be in the North, when, as Richard says, I should serve my sovereign in the West. I can only act from surmise, and have a very good chance of surmising wrong. I am sorry to grate your ears with a truth, but must, at all events, assure you, that the Provincial Congress of New York are angels of decision, when compared with your countrymen, the committee of safety assembled at Williamsburg. Page, Lee, Mercer, and Payne, are, indeed, exceptions; but from Pendleton, Bland, the Treasurer, and Co.-Libera nos domine!"

*Force's Am. Archives, 4th Series, v. 562.


Lee's anticipations that laxity and confusion would prevail after his departure, were not realized. The veteran Putnam, on taking command, put the city under rigorous military rule. The soldiers were to retire to their barracks and quarters at the beating of the tattoo, and remain there until the reveille in the morning. inhabitants were subjected to the same rule. None were permitted to pass a sentry, without the countersign, which would be furnished to them on applying to any of the brigade majors. All communication between the "ministerial fleet" and the shore was stopped; the ships were no longer to be furnished with provisions. Any person taken in the act of holding communication with them would be considered an enemy, and treated accordingly.

* Force's Am. Archives, 4th Series, vol. v. 792.




The aggregate force distributed at several extensive posts in New York and its environs, and on Long Island, Staten Island, and elsewhere, amounted to little more than ten thousand men; some of those were on the sick list, others absent on command, or on furlough; there were but about eight thousand available and fit for duty. These, too, were without pay; those recently enlisted, without arms, and no one could say where arms were to be procured.

[1776. We have a lively picture of the state of the were by this time finished; others were in city, in letters written at the time, and already progress. It was apprehended the principal cited. "When you are informed that New operations of the enemy would be on Long York is deserted by its old inhabitants, and Island, the high grounds of which in the neighfilled with soldiers from New England, Phila-borhood of Brooklyn, commanded the city. delphia, Jersey, &c., you will naturally conclude Washington saw that an able and efficient officer the environs of it are not very safe from so un- was needed at that place. Greene was accorddisciplined a multitude as our Provincials are ingly stationed there, with a division of the represented to be; but I do believe there are army. He immediately proceeded to complete very few instances of so great a number of men the fortifications of that important post, and to together, with so little mischief done by them. make himself acquainted with the topography, They have all the simplicity of ploughmen in and the defensive points of the surrounding their manners, and seem quite strangers to the country. vices of older soldiers: they have been employed in creating fortifications in every part of the town. * * Governor Tryon loses his credit with the people here prodigiously; he has lately issued a proclamation, desiring the deluded people of this colony to return to their obedience, promising a speedy support to the friends of government, declaring a door of mercy open to the penitent, and a rod for the disobedient, &c. The friends of government were provoked at being so distinguished, and the friends to liberty hung him in effigy, and printed a dying speech Washington saw the inadequacy of the force for him. A letter, too, was intercepted from to the purpose required, and was full of solicihim, hastening Lord Howe to New York, as tude about the security of a place, the central the rebels were fortifying. These have entirely point of the Confederacy, and the grand deposit lost him the good will of the people. *of ordnance and military stores. He was aware, You cannot think how sorry I am the governor too, of the disaffection to the cause among many has so lost himself, a man once so much beloved. of the inhabitants; and apprehensive of treachO Lucifer, once the son of morn, how fallen! ery. The process of fortifying the place had General Washington is expected hourly; Gene-induced the ships of war to fall down into the ral Putnam is here, with several other generals, and some of their ladies. * * * The variety of reports keeps one's mind always in agitation. Clinton and Howe have set the continent a racing from Boston to Carolina. Clinton came into our harbor: away flew the women, children, goods, and chattels, and in came the soldiers flocking from every part. No sooner was it known that he was not going to land here, than expresses were sent to Virginia and Carolina, to put them on their guard; his next expedition was to Virginia; there they were ready to receive him; from thence, without attempting to land, he sailed to Carolina. Now General Howe is leading us another dance."*



Washington came on by the way of Providence, Norwich, and New London, expediting the embarkation of troops from these posts, and arrived at New York on the 13th of April. Many of the works which Lee had commenced

* Remembrancer, vol. iil., p. 85.

outer bay, within the Hook, upwards of twenty miles from the city; but Governor Tryon was still on board of one of them, keeping up an active correspondence with the tories on Staten and Long Islands, and in other parts of the neighborhood.

Washington took an early occasion to address an urgent letter to the committee of safety, pointing out the dangerous, and even treasonable nature of this correspondence. He had more weight and influence with that body than had been possessed by General Lee, and procured the passage of a resolution prohibiting, under severe penalties, all intercourse with the king's ships.

Head-quarters, at this time, was a scene of incessant toil on the part of the commander-inchief, his secretaries and aides-de-camp. "I give in to no kind of amusements myself," writes he, "and consequently those about me can have none, but are confined from morning until evening, hearing and answering applica

ET. 44.]



the sending any more troops from hence; on the contrary, the general officers now here, whom I thought it my duty to consult, think it absolutely necessary to increase the army at this place with at least ten thousand men; especially when it is considered, that from this place only the army in Canada must draw its supplies of ammunition, provisions, and most probably of men."

tions and letters." The presence of Mrs. Wash- | importance, that I cannot, at present, advise ington was a solace in the midst of these stern military cares, and diffused a feminine grace and decorum, and a cheerful spirit over the domestic arrangements of head-quarters, where every thing was conducted with simplicity and dignity. The wives of some of the other generals and officers rallied around Mrs. Washington, but social intercourse was generally at an end. "We all live here," writes a lady of New York, "like nuns shut up in a nunnery. No society with the town, for there are none there to visit; neither can we go in or out after a certain hour without the countersign."

In addition to his cares about the security of New York, Washington had to provide for the perilous exigencies of the army in Canada. Since his arrival in the city, four regiments of troops, a company of riflemen, and another of artificers had been detached under the command of Brigadier-General Thompson, and a further corps of six regiments under BrigadierGeneral Sullivan, with orders to join General Thomas as soon as possible.

Washington at that time was not aware of the extraordinary expedients England had recently resorted to, against the next campaign. The Duke of Brunswick, the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, and the Hereditary Prince of Cassel, Count of Hanau, had been subsidized to furnish troops to assist in the subjugation of her colonies. Four thousand three hundred Brunswick troops, and nearly thirteen thousand Hessians, had entered the British service. Beside the subsidy exacted by the German princes, they were to be paid seven pounds four shillings and four pence sterling for every soldier furnished by them, and as much more for every one slain.

Of this notable arrangement, Washington, as we observed, was not yet aware. "The designs of the enemy," writes he, "are too much behind the curtain for me to form any accurate opinion of their plan of operations for the sum

fore, in the field of conjecture."*

Within a few days afterwards, he had vague accounts of "Hessians and Hanoverian troops coming over; " but it was not until the 17th of May, when he received letters from General Schuyler, inclosing others from the commanders in Canada, that he knew in what direction some of these bolts of war were launched; and this calls for some further particulars of the campaign on the banks of the St. Lawrence; which we shall give to the reader in the ensuing chapter.

Still Congress inquired of him, whether further reinforcements to the army in Canada would not be necessary, and whether they could be spared from the army in New York. His reply shows the peculiar perplexities of his situation, and the tormenting uncertainty in which he was kept, as to where the next storm of warmer's campaign. We are left to wander, therewould break. "With respect to sending more troops to that country, I am really at a loss what to advise, as it is impossible at present to know the designs of the enemy. Should they send the whole force under General Howe up the river St. Lawrence, to relieve Quebec and recover Canada, the troops gone and now going, will be insufficient to stop their progress; and, should they think proper to send that, or an equal force, this way from Great Britain, for the purpose of possessing this city and securing the navigation of Hudson's River, the troops left here will not be sufficient to oppose them; and yet, for any thing we know, I think it is not improbable they may attempt both; both being of the greatest importance to them, if they have men. I could wish, indeed, that the army in Canada should be more powerfully reinforced; at the same time, I am conscious that the trusting of this important post, which is now become the grand magazine of Arnerica, to the handful of men remaining here, is running too great a risk. The securing of this post and Hudson's River is to us also of so great


IN a former chapter, we left Arnold before the walls of Quebec, wounded, crippled, almost disabled, yet not disheartened; blockading that "proud town" with a force inferior, by half, in number to that of the garrison. For his

* Letter to the President of Congress, 5th May.



gallant services, Congress promoted him in ] January to the rank of brigadier-general.

Throughout the winter he kept up the blockade with his shattered army; though had Carleton ventured upon a sortie he might have been forced to decamp. That cautious general, however, remained within his walls. He was sure of reinforcements from England in the spring, and, in the mean time, trusted to the elements of dissolution at work in the besieging army.

Arnold, in truth, had difficulties of all kinds to contend with. His military chest was exhausted; his troops were in want of necessaries; to procure supplies, he was compelled to resort to the paper money issued by Congress, which was uncurrent among the Canadians; he issued a proclamation making the refusal to take it in payment a penal offence. This only produced irritation and disgust. As the terms of their enlistment expired, his men claimed their discharge and returned home. Sickness also thinned his ranks; so that, at one time, his force was reduced to five hundred men, and for two months, with all his recruitments of raw militia, did not exceed seven hundred.

The failure of the attack on Quebec had weakened the cause among the Canadians; the peasantry had been displeased by the conduct of the American troops; they had once welcomed them as deliverers; they now began to regard them as intruders. The seigneurs, or noblesse, also, feared to give further countenance to an invasion, which, if defeated, might involve them in ruin.

Notwithstanding all these discouragements, Arnold still kept up a bold face; cut off supplies occasionally, and harassed the place with alarms. Having repaired his batteries, he opened a fire upon the town, but with little effect; the best part of the artillerists, with Lamb, their capable commander, were prisoners within the walls.

On the 1st day of April, General Wooster arrived from Montreal, with reinforcements, and took the command. The day after his arrival, Arnold, by the falling of his horse, again received an injury on the leg recently wounded, and was disabled for upwards of a week. Considering himself slighted by General Wooster, who did not consult him in military affairs, he obtained leave of absence until he should be recovered from his lameness, and repaired to Montreal, where he took command.


General Thomas arrived at the camp in the course of April, and found the army in a forlorn condition, scattered at different posts, and on the island of Orleans. It was numerically increased to upwards of two thousand men, but several hundred were unfit for service. The smallpox had made great ravages. They had inoculated each other. In their sick and debilitated state, they were without barracks, and almost without medicine. A portion, whose term of enlistment had expired, refused to do duty, and clamored for their discharge.

The winter was over, the river was breaking up, reinforcements to the garrison might immediately be expected, and then the case would be desperate. Observing that the river about Quebec was clear of ice, General Thomas determined on a bold effort. It was, to send up a fire-ship with the flood, and, while the ships in the harbor were in flames, and the town in confusion, to scale the walls.

Accordingly, on the third of May, the troops turned out with scaling ladders; the fire-ship came up the river under easy sail, and arrived near the shipping before it was discovered. It was fired into. The crew applied a slow-match to the train and pulled off. The ship was soon in a blaze, but the flames caught and consumed the sails; her way was checked, and she drifted harmlessly with the ebbing tide. The rest of the plan was of course abandoned.

Nothing now remained but to retreat before the enemy should be reinforced. Preparations were made in all haste, to embark the sick and the military stores. While this was taking place, five ships made their way into the harbor on the 6th of May, and began to land troops. Thus reinforced, General Carleton sallied forth, with eight hundred or a thousand men. We quote his own letter for an account of his sortie. "As soon as part of the 29th regiment, with the marines, in all about two hundred, were landed, they, with the greatest part of the garrison, by this time much improved, and in high spirits, marched out of the ports of St. Louis and St. Johns, to see what these mighty boasters were about. They were found very busy in their preparations for a retreat. A few shots being exchanged, the line marched forward, and the place was soon cleared of these plunderers."

By his own account, however, these "mighty boasters" had held him and his garrison closely invested for five months; had burnt the suburbs; battered the walls; thrown red-hot shot among the shipping; made repeated and daring

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