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“ in that tower, of which lord Cornwallis was crår. XXI. "the constable.”
. Mr. Burke, in a very pathetic style, detailed the variety of sufferings, hardships, and injustice, which had been inflicted on Mr. Laurens during his long imprisonment. This, with other instances of severe and injudicious treatment of prisoners, he made the ground-work of a proposed bill, to obviate the difficulties arising from the present mode of exchanging the American prisoners; a mode which, he remarked, was at once disgraceful and inconvenient to the government of the kingdom. He urged, that “motives of humanity, of sound “ policy, and of common sense, called loudly for sa new law, establishing a regulation totally “ different from the present, which was funda“ mentally erroneous.” However, Mr. Laurens obtained his release from the circumstances above mentioned, before any new regulation of the British code of laws, relative to prisoners or any other object, took place.
General Wayne sent to the Southward.—Embarrassments
of General Greene in that Quarter.-Recovery of Georgia, and Evacuation of Savannah by the British.-- Death and Character of Colonel Laurens. ---Character of General Greene.-Consequent Observations.
GUAP. IIII. IMMEDIATELY after the successful operations
in Virginia, the count de Grafse took leave of 1781.
his American friends, and conformably to orders received from his court before he left France, failed for the West Indies. He left the continent in the beginning of November, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-one. He was accompanied with the gratitude and good wishes of almost every individual in the United States; nor was this more than justice required.
A most extraordinary reverse of fortune and prospects had taken place in America, after the arrival of this brave commander and the auxiliaries of his nation, who had come forward and lent their aid to the Americans. This assistance was received by the United States, at a period when her armies, and America herself, stood in the most serious and solemn point of her diftress.
Decorated with the laurels of military fame, CUAP. XXII. several of the principal officers withdrew from
1781. Virginia, and repaired to other quarters. General Washington, laden with the splendid trophies of victory, went on to Philadelphia, where, by particular request of congress, he continued some time. There he received a personal and complimentary address from that body, and the applauses of all conditions of men, in a degree sufficient to stimulate the least ambitious mind to pursue the path of victory, until time should bring a period of rest to the pursuits of war.
The marquis la Fayette, desirous to revisit his native country, which had been several years involved in a war with Great Britain, embraced the present opportunity and returned to France. He was complimented by congress with an advance of rank in the army, and the highest expressions of esteem for his bravery and good conduct in their service. With a strong attachment to the inhabitants, and the most friendly disposition toward the United States, he promised to return again to America with further aids, if it should be found necef. fary to try the fortune of another campaign before the contested object should be completely obtained.
After the capture of the British army, the surrender of their shipping in the Chesapeake,
and the restoration of tranquillity in the state of Virginia, general Wayne was ordered on with the Pennsylvania line, to march with the utmost dispatch to South Carolina, to the aid of general Greene, who had yet many difficulties to encounter in that quarter. The distance from the central states, and the long service at the southward, had exposed the American commander, and the army there, to sufferings indescribable.
After the action at the Eutaw Springs, we left general Greene on the High-Hills of Santee, where he thought it necessary to repair, to fe. cure and recruit the remainder of his army, and to wait the exigencies that might again call him forward to the more active scenes of the field. He did not continue there long, before he thought proper to move forwards toward Jacksonborough. There the light troops from Virginia, that had been commanded by the colonels Laurens and Lee, joined him : but the whole army was so destitute of ammunition, and every other necessary for an advance to any action, that they had scarcely the means of fup. porting themselyes in a defensive condition : of consequence, only forne imali skirmithes ensued, without much advantage to either party. It was happy for the Americans, that their enemies were now almost as much reduced in numbers as themselves. Yet the variegated causes of
distress among this small remnant of continental cilAP. XXII. foldiers, were almost innumerable.
They were in an unhealthy climate, always unfriendly to northern constitutions. They were destitute of many of the necessaries for carrying on war with advantage, and almost withuut the means of supporting human life. In addition to this, the general had to combat disaffection, discontent, and mutiny, in his own army. The Maryland line particularly, had indulged a mutinous spirit to an alarming ex. treme, which required all the address of the commander in chief to suppress. At the same time, he had to encounter dangers of every kind from a valiant enemy, stimulated to cruelty by many circumstances that led them almost to despair of their own cause.
On the other hand, the disaffection of moft of the inhabitants of Charleston, and the fickleness of the country on which he had depended, had been indeed discouraging circumstances to lord Rawdon. Not willing to risk his consti. tution longer in that insalubrious latitude, he had embarked for England in the summer, was captured on his paffage by the count de Grasse, but was soon after restored to his native country. The troops he left behind were not in want of food, clothing, or warlike stores ; while the little American army under general Greene, was naked to that extreme, that they