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species of rapine, and with little discrimination of those who had opposed, or supported the measures of Britain. The abuse was not limited to the plundering of property. Every indignity was offered to the persons of the inhabitants, not excepting those outrages to the female sex, which are felt by ingenuous minds with the keenest anguish, and excite noble spirits to desperate resistance. These aggravated abuses roused the people of New Jersey to repel that army, to which they had voluntarily submitted in the expectation of protection and security. At the dawn of success upon the American arms, they rose in small bands to oppose their invaders. They scoured the country, cut off every soldier who straggled from his corps; and in many instances repelled the foraging parties of the enemy. The enterprising manoeuvres of the American General, and the returning spirit of the Jersey yeomanry, rendered General Howe, now Sir William, very cautious and circumspect. He contracted his cantonments for winter quarters, and concentrated his whole force in the Jersey, at Brunswick and Amboy, By this time, the period of service of the continental battalions had expired, and the recruits for the new army were not yet in camp. Offensive operations, therefore, were of necessity suspended by the American General; but, with the small force at his disposal, he straitened the enemy's quarters, and circumscribed their foraging excursions. At Christmas the power of the British was ex
tended over the whole of New Jersey,"and their commanders boasted, that a corporal's guard might in safety parade in every part of the province. Before the expiration of January, they possessed but two posts in the state, and these were in the neighbourhood of their shipping. The power of their arms extended not beyond the reach of the guns of their fortifications. Every load of forage, and every pound of provision, obtained from the inhabitants, were procured by the bayonets of large detachments, and at the price of blood,
general Washington disposes his small forces for the protection of New Jersey—Army Inoculated—Abuse of American prisoners-The exchange of General Lee refused—Stores at Peck's Kill and Danbury destroyed–American army takes post at
Middlebrook—Sir William Howe moves towards the Delaware -Returns to Staten Island and embarks his troops—He lands at the Head of Elk-General Washington marches to meet him -Battle of Brandywine–Effects of a Storm—British take possession of Philadelphia—Mud Island and Red Bank forti
fied–Obstructions in the River-Attack on Mud Island– Count Donop defeated—British surmount the Fortifications of the River–Plan to attack Philadelphia–Sir William Howe
reconnoitres the American camp at White Marsh—The army posted at Valley Forge—The Privations of the Soldiers during the Winter. -
1777..] General Washington indulged the hope, that the brilliant success, at the close of the last campaign, would stimulate his country to bring a force into the field, which would enable him in the course of the winter, to drive the enemy into New York, to straiten their quarters, and prevent their obtaining any supplies from the neighbouring counties. Being disappointed in this hope, he disposed his small force in the best manner to protect New Jersey, and exerted himself to prepare for the approaching season of action.
The most popular officers were sent into the states in which they had the greatest influence,
to aid the recruiting service, and to push the recruits forward to camp, in small bodies, as they could be made ready, The army having suffered extremely from the small pox, the General resolved that they should be relieved from the scourge and terror of this disease. Orders were accordingly given to inoculate the continental soldiers in their winter quarters; and places were assigned at which the recruits were to go through the operation, as they successively approached the camp. The business successfully issued, and Sir William did not avail himself of the temporary debility of the American army. Congress had also admitted the expectation of splendid events, during the winter. In answer to a letter, expressing this expectation, the Commander in Chief gave the following account of the state of his army. MARCH 4.] “Could I accomplish the important abject so eagerly wished by Congress, confining the enemy in their present quarters, preventing their gathering supplies from the country, and totally subduing them before they are reinforced, I should be happy indeed. But what prospect or hope can there be, of my electing so desirable a work at this time : ; he enclosed return, to which I solicit the most serious attention of Congress, compreheads the whole force I have in the Jersey. It is but an handful, and bears no proportion, in the scale of numbers, to that of the enemy. Added to this, the major part is made up of militia. The most sanguine in speculation,
cannot deem it more than adequate to the least valuable purposes of war.” The whole number capable of duty was short of three thousand. Two-thirds of these were militia, whose time of service would expire with the month. * During the winter General Spencer planned an expedition against the British troops on Rhode Island. The Commander in Chief advised, that the attempt should not be made without the strongest probability of success. The scheme was relinquished, and the General fully expressed his approbation of it. “It is right not to risk a miscarriage. Until we get our new army properly established, it is our business to play a certain game, and not to depend on the militia for any thing capital.” The weakness of General Washington was concealed from his friends and from his foes, and he was not molested at head quarters by Sir William Howe. The remonstrances of the Commander in Chief upon the state of the army, had in some degree produced their effect upon Congress. The corps of artillerists was increased to three regiments, and the command of it given to Colonel Knox, who at this time was promoted to be a Brigadiergeneral. A resolution also passed Congress, to raise three thousand cavalry: and General Washington was empowered to establish a corps of engineers. Few, if any, native Americans having been systematically educated to this branch of war, the corps was principally formed of foreigners, and General Du Portail, an officer of distinguished merit, was placed at its head.