Slike strani

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bility." To their credit be it spoken also, they brought with them the ancient French politeness, for it was remarkable how soon they accommodated themselves to circumstances, made light of all the privations and inconveniences of a new country, and conformed to the familiar simplicity of republican manners. Gen

scribing to you our reception at this place, we | chivalrous courage of the ancient French noshall show you the feeling of all the inhabitants of the continent. This town is of considerable size, and contains, like the rest, both whigs and tories. I landed with my staff, without troops; nobody appeared in the streets; those at the windows looked sad and depressed. I spoke to the principal persons of that place, and told them, as I wrote to General Heath, who, by Washington's orders, was eral Washington, that this was merely the advanced guard of a greater force, and that the king was determined to support them with his whole power. In twenty-four hours their spirits rose, and last night all the streets, houses, and steeples were illuminated, in the midst of fireworks, and the greatest rejoicings. I am now here with a single company of grenadiers, until wood and straw shall have been collected; my camp is marked out, and I hope to have the troops landed to-morrow."

Still, however, there appears to have been a lingering feeling of disappointment in the public bosom. "The whigs are pleased," writes de Rochambeau, "but they say that the king ought to have sent twenty thousand men, and twenty ships, to drive the enemy from New York; that the country was infallibly ruined; that it is impossible to find a recruit to send to General Washington's army, without giving him one hundred hard dollars to engage for six months' service, and they beseech his majesty to assist them with all his strength. The war will be an expensive one; we pay even for our quarters, and for the land covered with the camp."

The troops were landed to the east of the town; their encampment was on a fine situation, and extended nearly across the island. Much was said of their gallant and martial ap- | pearance. There was the noted regiment of Auvergne, in command of which the Count de Rochambeau had first gained his laurels, but which was now commanded by his son the viscount, thirty years of age. A legion of six hundred men also was especially admired; it was commanded by the Duke de Lauzun (Lauzun-Biron), who had gained reputation in the preceding year by the capture of Senegal. A feeling of adventure and romance, associated with the American struggle, had caused many of the young nobility to seek this new field of achievement, who, to use de Rochambeau's words, "brought out with them the heroic and

*Sparks. Writings of Washington, vil. 504.

there to offer his services, was, by his own account, "charmed with the officers," who, on their part, he said, expressed the highest satisfaction with the treatment they received.

The instructions of the French ministry to the Count de Rochambeau placed him entirely under the command of General Washington. The French troops were to be considered as auxiliaries, and as such were to take the left of the American troops, and, in all cases of ceremony, to yield them the preference. This considerate arrangement had been adopted at the suggestion of the Marquis de Lafayette, and was intended to prevent the recurrence of those questions of rank and etiquette which had heretofore disturbed the combined service.

Washington, in general orders, congratulated the army on the arrival of this timely and generous succor, which he hailed as a new tie between France and America; auticipating that the only contention between the two armies would be to excel each other in good offices, and in the display of every military virtue. The American cockade had hitherto been black, that of the French was white; he recommended to his officers a cockade of black and white intermingled in compliment to their allies, and as a symbol of friendship and union.

His joy at this important reinforcement was dashed by the mortifying reflection, that he was still unprovided with the troops and military means requisite for the combined operations meditated. Still he took upon himself the responsibility of immediate action, and forthwith despatched Lafayette to have an interview with the French commanders, explain the circumstances of the case, and concert plans for the proposed attack upon New York.

"Pressed on all sides by a choice of difficulties," writes he to the President, "I have adopted that line of conduct which suited the dignity and faith of Congress, the reputation of these States, and the honor of our arms. Neither the season nor a regard to decency would permit delay. The die is cast, and it remains with the States to fulfil either their



wing, and Washington added, that they would have further conversation on the subject when he returned to head-quarters. The silence and evident chagrin with which the reply was received surprised Washington, and he was still more surprised when he subsequently learned that Arnold was more desirous of a garrison post than of a command in the field, although a post of honor had been assigned him, and active service was anticipated. Arnold's excuse was that his wounded leg still unfitted him for action either on foot or horseback; but that at West Point he might render himself useful.

ARRIVAL OF A BRITISH FLEET-ARNOLD IN COMMAND AT WEST POINT. [1780. engagements, preserve their credit, and support | He was told that he was to command the left their independence, or to involve us in disgrace and defeat. * * * * * * I shall proceed on the supposition that they will ultimately consult their own interest and honor, and not suffer us to fail for want of means, which it is evidently in their power to afford. What has been done, and is doing, by some of the States, confirms the opinion I have entertained of the sufficient resources of the country. As to the disposition of the people to submit to any arrangements for bringing them forth, I see no reasonable grounds to doubt. If we fail for want of proper exertions, in any of the governments, I trust the responsibility will fall where it ought, and that I shall stand justified to Congress, to my country, and to the world." The arrival, however, of the British Admi-ington, and learned, moreover, that the posi ral Graves, at New York, on the 13th of July, with six ships-of-the-line, gave the enemy such a superiority of naval force, that the design on New York was postponed until the second French division should make its appearance, or a squadron under the Count de Guichen, which was expected from the West Indies.

The expedition of Sir Henry was delayed by the tardy arrival of transports. In the mean time he heard of the sudden move of Wash

tion of the French at Newport had been strengthened by the militia from the neighboring country. These tidings disconcerted his plans. He left Admiral Arbuthnot to proceed with his squadron to Newport, blockade the French fleet, and endeavor to intercept the second division supposed to be on its way, while he with his troops hastened back to New York.

In consequence of their return Washington again withdrew his forces to the west side of the Hudson; first establishing a post and throwing up small works at Dobbs' Ferry, about ten miles from King's Bridge, to secure a communication across the river for the transportation of troops and ordnance, should the design upon New York be prosecuted.

In the mean time Sir Henry Clinton, who had information of all the plans and movements of the allies, determined to forestall the meditated attack upon New York, by beating up the French quarters on Rhode Island. This he was to do in person at the head of six thousand men, aided by Admiral Arbuthnot with his fleet. Sir Henry accordingly proceeded with his troops to Throg's Neck on the Sound; there to embark on board of transports which Arbuthnot was to provide. No sooner did Arnold now received the important comWashington learn that so large a force had left mand which he had so earnestly coveted. It New York, than he crossed the Hudson to included the fortress at West Point and the Peekskill, and prepared to move towards King's posts from Fishkill to King's Ferry, together Bridge, with the main body of his troops, with the corps of infantry and cavalry adwhich had recently been reinforced. His in-vanced towards the enemy's line on the east tention was, either to oblige Sir Henry to aban- side of the river. He was ordered to have don his project against Rhode Island, or to the works at the Point completed as expestrike a blow at New York during his absence. ditiously as possible, and to keep all his posts As Washington was on horseback, observing on their guard against surprise; there being the crossing of the last division of his troops, constant apprehensions that the enemy might General Arnold approached, having just arrived make a sudden effort to gain possession of the in the camp. Arnold had been manoeuvring river. of late to get the command of West Point, and, among other means, had induced Mr. Robert R. Livingston, then a New York member of Congress, to suggest it in a letter to Washington as a measure of great expediency. Arnold now accosted the latter to know whether any place had been assigned to him.

Having made these arrangements, Washington recrossed to the west side of the Hudson, and took post at Orangetown or Tappan, on the borders of the Jerseys, and opposite to Dobbs' Ferry, to be at hand for any attempt upon New York.

The execution of this cherished design, how

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ever, was again postponed by intelligence that | most despotic government would be attended the second division of the French reinforce- at least with loud complaints."

ments was blockaded in the harbor of Brest by the British: Washington still had hopes that it might be carried into effect by the aid of the squadron of the Count de Guichen from the West Indies; or of a fleet from Cadiz.

At this critical juncture, an embarrassing derangement took place in the quartermastergeneral's department, of which General Greene was the head. The reorganization of this department had long been in agitation. A system had been digested by Washington, Schuyler, and Greene, adapted, as they thought, to the actual situation of the country. Greene had offered, should it be adopted, to continue in the discharge of the duties of the department without any extra emolument other than would cover the expenses of his family. Congress devised a different scheme. He considered it incapable of execution, and likely to be attended with calamitous and disgraceful results; he therefore tendered his resignation. Washington endeavored to prevent its being accepted. "Unless effectual measures are taken," said he, "to induce General Greene and the other principal officers of that department to continue their services, there must of necessity be a total stagnation of military business. We not only must cease from the preparations for the campaign, but in all probability, shall be obliged to disperse, if not disband the army, for want of subsistence."

The tone and manner, however, assumed by General Greene in offering his resignation, and the time chosen when the campaign was opened, the enemy in the field, and the French commanders waiting for co-operation, were deeply offensive to Congress. His resignation was promptly accepted: there was a talk even of suspending him from his command in the line.

Washington interposed his sagacious and considerate counsels to allay this irritation, and prevent the infliction of such an indignity upon an officer, for whom he entertained the highest esteem and friendship. "A procedure of this kind, without a proper trial," said he, “must touch the feelings of every officer. It will show in a conspicuous point of view the uncertain tenure by which they hold their commissions. In a word, it will exhibit such a specimen of power, that I question much if there is an officer in the whole line that will hold a commission beyond the end of the campaign, if he does till then. Such an act in the

The counsels of Washington prevailed; the indignity was not inflicted, and Congress was saved from the error, if not disgrace, of discarding from her service one of the ablest and most meritorious of her generals.

Colonel Pickering was appointed to succeed Greene as quartermaster-general, but the latter continued for some time, at the request of Washington, to aid in conducting the business of the department. Colonel Pickering acquitted himself in his new office with zeal, talents, and integrity, but there were radical defects in the system which defied all ability and exertion.

* *

The commissariat was equally in a state of derangement. "At this very juncture," writes Washington (Aug. 20th), “I am reduced to the painful alternative, either of dismissing a part of the militia now assembling, or of letting them come forward to starve; which it will be extremely difficult for the troops already in the field to avoid. * * Every day's experience proves more and more that the present mode of supplies is the most uncertain, expensive, and injurious, that could be devised. It is impossible for us to form any calculations of what we are to expect, and consequently, to concert any plans for future execution. No adequate provision of forage having been made, we are now obliged to subsist the horses of the army by force, which, among other evils, often gives rise to civil disputes, and prosecutions, as vexatious as they are burdensome to the public." In his emergencies he was forced to empty the magazines at West Point; yet these afforded but temporary relief; scarcity continued to prevail to a distressing degree, and on the 6th of September, he complains that the army has for two or three days been entirely destitute of meat. "Such injury to the discipline of the army," adds he, "and such distress to the inhabitants, result from these frequent events, that my feelings are hurt beyond description at the cries of the one and at seeing the other."

The anxiety of Washington at this moment of embarrassment was heightened by the receipt of disastrous intelligence from the South; the purport of which we shall succinctly relate in another chapter.






LORD CORNWALLIS, when left in military command at the South by Sir Henry Clinton, was charged, it will be recollected, with the invasion of North Carolina. It was an enterprise in which much difficulty was to be apprehended, both from the character of the people and the country. The original settlers were from various parts, most of them men who had experienced political or religious oppression, and had brought with them a quick sensibility to wrong, a stern appreciation of their rights, and an indomitable spirit of freedom and independence. In the heart of the State was a hardy Presbyterian stock, the Scotch Irish, as they were called, having emigrated from Scotland to Ireland, and thence to America; and who were said to possess the impulsiveness of the Irishman, with the dogged resolution of the Covenanter.

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The early history of the colony abounds with instances of this spirit among its people. "They always behaved insolently to their governors," complains Governor Barrington in 1731; some they have driven out of the country-at other times they set up a government of their own choice, supported by men under arms. It was in fact the spirit of popular liberty and self-government which stirred within them, and gave birth to the glorious axiom: "the rights of the many against the exactions of the few." So ripe was this spirit at an early day, that when the boundary line was run, in 1727, between North Carolina and Virginia, the borderers were eager to be included within the former province, "as there they payed no tribute to God or Cæsar."

It was this spirit which gave rise to the confederacy, called the Regulation, formed to withstand the abuses of power; and the first blood shed in our country, in resistance to arbitrary taxation, was at Almance in this province, in a conflict between the regulators and Governor Tryon. Above all, it should never be forgotten, that at Mecklenburg, in the heart of North Carolina, was fulminated the first declaration of independence of the British crown, upwards of a year before a like declaration by Congress.

nesses in the north-western part, its vast forests, its sterile tracts, its long rivers, destitute of bridges, and which, though fordable in fair weather, were liable to be swollen by sudden storms and freshets, and rendered deep, turbulent, and impassable. These rivers, in fact, which rushed down from the mountain, but wound sluggishly through the plains, were the military strength of the country, as we shall have frequent occasion to show in the course of our narrative.

Lord Cornwallis forbore to attempt the invasion of North Carolina until the summer heats should be over and the harvests gathered in. In the mean time he disposed of his troops in cantonments, to cover the frontiers of South Carolina and Georgia, and maintain their internal quiet. The command of the frontiers was given by him to Lord Rawdon, who made Camden his principal post. This town, the capital of Kershaw District, a fertile, fruitful country, was situated on the east bank of the Wateree River, on the road leading to North Carolina. It was to be the grand military depot for the projected campaign.

Having made these dispositions, Lord Cornwallis set up his head-quarters at Charleston, where he occupied himself in regulating the civil and commercial affairs of the province, in organizing the militia of the lower districts, and in forwarding provisions and munitions of war to Camden.

The proclamation of Sir Henry Clinton, putting an end to all neutrality, and the rigorous penalties and persecutions with which all infractions of its terms were punished, had for a time quelled the spirit of the country. By degrees, however, the dread of British power gave way to impatience of British exactions. Symptoms of revolt manifested themselves in various parts. They were encouraged by intelligence that De Kalb, sent by Washington, was advancing through North Carolina, at the head of two thousand men, and that the militia of that State and of Virginia were joining his standard. This was soon followed by tidings that Gates, the conqueror of Burgoyne, was on his way to take command of the Southern forces.

The prospect of such aid from the North reanimated the Southern patriots. One of the A population so characterized presented most eminent of these was Thomas Sumter, formidable difficulties to the invader. The whom the Carolinians had surnamed the Game physical difficulties arising from the nature of Cock. He was between forty and fifty years the country consisted in its mountain fast-of age, brave, hardy, vigorous, resolute. He

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had served against the Indians in his boyhood, I also, recently embodied under the compelling during the old French war, and had been pres- measures of Cornwallis, deserted to the patriot ent at the defeat of Braddock. In the present standard. Thus reinforced to the amount of war he had held the rank of lieutenant-colonel six hundred men, he made, on the 30th of July, of riflemen in the Continental line. After the a spirited attack on the British post at Rocky fall of Charleston, when patriots took refuge in Mount, near the Catawba, but was repulsed. contiguous States, or in the natural fastnesses A more successful attack was made by him, of the country, he had retired with his family eight days afterwards, on another post at Hanginto one of the latter. ing Rock. The Prince of Wales regiment which defended it was nearly annihilated, and a large body of North Carolina loyalists, under Colonel Brian, was routed and dispersed. The gallant exploits of Sumter were emulated in other parts of the country, and the partisan war thus commenced was carried on with an audacity that soon obliged the enemy to call in their outposts, and collect their troops in large masses.

The advance of De Kalb with reinforcements from the North, had been retarded by various difficulties, the most important of which was want of provisions. This had been especially the case, he said, since his arrival in North Carolina. The legislative or executive power, he complained, gave him no assistance, nor could he obtain supplies from the people but by military force. There was no flour in the camp, nor were dispositions made to furnish any. His troops were reduced for a time to short allowance, and at length, on the 6th of July, brought to a positive halt at Deep River.* The North Carolina militia, under General Caswell, were already in the field, on the road to Camden, beyond the Pedee River. He was anxious to form a junction with them, and with some Virginia troops, under Colonel Porterfield, reliques of the defenders of Charles

The lower part of South Carolina for upwards of a hundred miles back from the sea is a level country, abounding with swamps, locked up in the windings of the rivers which flow down from the Appalachian Mountains. Some of these swamps are mere canebrakes, of little use until subdued by cultivation, when they yield abundant crops of rice. Others are covered with forests of cypress, cedar, and laurel, green all the year and odoriferous, but tangled with vines and almost impenetrable. In their bosoms, however, are fine savannahs; natural lawns, open to cultivation, and yielding abundant pasturage. It requires local knowledge, however, to penetrate these wildernesses, and hence they form strongholds to the people of the country. In one of these natural fastnesses on the borders of the Santee, Sumter had taken up his residence, and hence he would sally forth in various directions. During a temporary absence his retreat had been invaded, his house burnt to the ground, his wife and children driven forth without shelter. Private injury had thus been added to the incentives of patriotism. Emerging from his hiding-place, he had thrown himself among a handful of fellowsufferers who had taken refuge in North Carolina. They chose him at once as a leader, and resolved on a desperate struggle for the deliver-ton; but a wide and sterile region lay between ance of their native State. Destitute of regular weapons, they forged rude substitutes out of the implements of husbandry. Old millsaws were converted into broad-swords; knives at the ends of poles served for lances; while the country housewives gladly gave up their pewter dishes and other utensils, to be melted down and cast into bullets for such as had fire


When Sumter led this gallant band of exiles over the border, they did not amount in number to two hundred; yet, with these, he attacked and routed a well-armed body of British troops and tories, the terror of the frontier. His followers supplied themselves with weapons from the slain. In a little while his band was augmented by recruits. Parties of militia,

him and them, difficult to be traversed, unless magazines were established in advance, or he were supplied with provisions to take with him. Thus circumstanced, he wrote to Congress and to the State Legislature, representing his situation, and entreating relief. For three weeks he remained in this encampment, foraging an exhausted country for a meagre subsistence, and was thinking of deviating to the right, and seeking the fertile counties of Mecklenburg and Rowan, when, on the 25th of July, General Gates arrived at the camp.

The baron greeted him with a Continental salute from his little park of artillery, and received him with the ceremony and deference

A branch of Cape Fear River. The aboriginal name Sapporah.

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