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known abilities, without a particular regard to their having before been in service. In addition to the pay of the privates, a suit of regimentals was allowed them annually; and the states, as far as Virginia, were urged to use their utmost endeavours to complete their quotas.
The armies did not long retain their position on York Island. General Howe was sensible of the strength of the American camp, and had no inclination to force it. His plan was to compel General Washington either to abandon it, or to fight him in a situation in which a defeat must be attended with the total destruction of his army, With this view, he determined, after throwing up intrenchments on M'Gowan's Hill, for the protection of New York, to gain the rear of the American camp, by the New England Road, along which their principal supplies of provisions were received, and also to possess himself of the North River, above Kingsbridge. To assure himself of the
to judge by, when past services do not enter into the competi, tion, is, to consider whether the candidate for office has a just pretension to the character of a gentleman, a proper sense of honour, and some reputation to lose.
" Perhaps, Sir, you may be surprised at my pressing this ad. vice so strongly as I have done in this letter; þut I have felt the inconveniences resulting from a contrary principle in so sen. sible a manner, and this army has been so greatly enfeebled by a different line of conduct, that I hope you will readily excuse me."
practicability of this plan, so far as respected the river, three frigates passed up it, under the fire from Fort Washington, and the post opposite to it on the Jersey shore, afterwards denominated Fort Lee, without sustaining any injury from the batteries, or being at all impeded by the chevauxde-frize which had been sunk in the channel be., tween those forts* · This point being attained, he, in pursuance of his plan, either to force Washington out of his present lines, or to enclose him in them, embarked a great part of his army on board flat-bottomed boats, and, passing through Hellgate into the Sound, landed at Frogs Neck, not far from West Chester, on the east or Connecticut side of the Sound, and about nine miles from the camp on the Heights of Haerlam. "
Frogs Neck is completely surrounded by the water, which, at flood-tide, is unfordable; so that it is, in fact, an island, communicating with the main land by bridges thrown over the intervening water. These bridges were broken down by the
* The command of the upper part of the river, at all times important to the military operations in that quarter, was ren. dered peculiarly interesting, by the certain information that a very great proportion of the inhabitants were in the royal inte. fest, and were actually meditating an insurrection, for the pure pose of seizing the posts in the high lands; to prevent which, the militia of New Hampshire were ordered to Fishkill.
Americans, and works were immediately thrown up to obstruct the march of the enemy, from their present encampment, into the country. General Washington, who was well aware of the intention with which General Howe had taken this new position, moved a part of his troops from York Island, to join those at Kingsbridge; and detached some regiments to West Chester; for the purpose of opposing and skirmishing with the enemy, so · soon as they should march from their present station. The road from Frogs Point to Kingsbridge leads through a strong country, intersected in every direction by numerous stone fences, so that it would have been very difficult to move artillery, or even infantry in compact columns, except along the main road, which liad been broken up in several places. The General, therefore, entertained sanguine hopes of the event, should a direct attack be made on his present camp.
General Howe continued some days quietly waiting for his artillery, military-stores, and reinforcements, from Staten Island, which were de tained by an unfavourable wind, during which it was impracticable to pass front the East River into the Sound.
In the mean time, as the habits of thinking, in America, absolutely required that every important nieasure should be the result of consultation, and sliould receive the approbation of a majoritv, a
council of general officers was called, and the propriety of removing the American army from its present position laid before them. The obstructions in the North River having proved insufficient to stop the ships, and the British having landed in full force at Frogs Neck, on the east of the Sound, it was, after much investigation, declared to be impracticable, without a change of position, to prevent the enemy from cutting off their communication with the country, and compelling them either to fight under great disadvantages, or to surrender themselves prisoners of war. General Lee, who had but two days before joined the grand army, and whose experience, as well as his late success, gave him great weight, maintained this opinion with peculiar earnestness; and General Clinton was the only officer who dissented from it. At the same time, it was determined still to hold Fort Washington, and to defend that post as long as possible. The hope was still che-sished, that, by increasing the obstructions in the river, ships might be prevented from passing them; and the object was deemed so all-important, as to justify considerable hazard in the attempt to secure it. The resolution of Congress, of the eleventh of October, desiring General Washington, by every art and expense, to obstruct, if possible, the navigation of the river, contributed not inconsiderably to the determination for maintaining this post,
The The necessary measures were now taken for moving the army, so as to extend its front, or left, up the North River towards the White Plains, beyond the right of the enemy, and thus keep perfectly open its communication with the country. The right or rear division remained a few days about Kingsbridge, under the command of General Lee, in order to cover and secure the heavy baggage and military stores, which, in consequence of the extreme difficulty of obtaining waggons, could be but slowly removed to a place of safety.
Having received the expected reinforcements, which landed at Pell's Point, to which place he also transported the troops from Frogs Neck, and brought up his military stores, General Howe moved forward his whole army, except four brigades, destined for the defence of New York, through Pelham's Manor, towards New Rochelle. Some skirmishes took place on the march, near East Chester, with a part of Glover's brigade, in which the conduct of the Americans was mentioned with satisfaction by the Commander in Chief; and, as General Howe took post at New Rochelle, a village on the Sound, General Washington occupied the heights between that place and the North River.
At New Rochelle the British army was joined by the second division of Germans, under the command of General Knyphausen, and by an in