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having just reached that place before them with upwards of his supplies and reinforcements. Greene continued to two thousand men, they re-embarked, and, after destroying retreat till he had also placed the Dan betwixt himself and much other property, especially shipping and stores, at Cornwallis ; but his militia had deserted so rapidly on his Warwick and other places, they fell down to Hog Island, flight, that, on reaching the Dan, he had not more than where they awaited further orders.
eighty of that body with him. Greene now had the way. An active warfare had been going on at the same time in open to him for retreat into Virginia, and, Cornwallis North Carolina. Lord Cornwallis had received a reinforce- giving up the chase, marched leisurely to Hillsborough, in ment of between two and three thousand men under general | North Carolina, where he invited the royalists to join his Leslie, and, owing to the climate, was enabled to prosecute standard. the campaign in the middle of winter. He had, however, Such was his success—numbers of royalists flocking in to no longer to compete with the inefficient Gates, but with serve with Tarleton's legion—that Greene, alarmed at the general Greene, a much more vigorous man. Gates had consequences of this movement, turned back for the purpose been called before a court-martial for his defeat at Camden, of cutting off all possible reinforcements of this kind, yet and Greene sent in his place. Greene, singularly enough, avoiding a general engagement. Lieutenant-colonel Lee, had been born a quaker-his father being a minister in that with the advanced division of the Americans, crossed the society-and brought up as a blacksmith. He had enlisted as Dan on the 21st of February, Greene following at a short a private in the brigade of his little native state of Rhode interval. Lee suddenly encountered a body of two hundred Island, and soon rose to the command of its small force, with North Carolina royalists marching to join lord Cornwallis, the rank of major-general. He had served near the com- and already near the quarters of Tarleton. They were cooped mander-in-chief in many of the principal transactions of the up in a hollow lane, and, mistaking the Americans for British, war, but this was his first separate command. He found raised cries of recognition; but the Americans perceived the army, as left by Gates, a mere skeleton, destitute of in a moment what they were by a badge of red cloth in their everything, not excepting discipline, and “as ragged," he hats, and, sending a detachment to their rear, completely wrote to Washington, “and naked as Virginian slaves." surrounded them in the lane, and commenced a massacre of
On the 17th of January, colonel Tarleton, who had been them. The unhappy men cried out that they were “ the dispatched with a thousand men, horse and foot, to attack a very best friends of the king !” but soon after discovering body of Americans under general Morgan, came up with their mistake, they began to cry for quarter. None was them at a place called Cowpens. The forces on both sides granted them, and they were all deliberately cut to pieces in were nearly equal. Morgan had the greater number, but cold blood! This rancorous butchery had the effect of many of his men were South Carolina militia, under general terrifying the tories from joining the English standard. Pickens, and these Morgan drew up in a line in front. His Once more Cornwallis advanced to chastise Greene, and continentals, on whom he chiefly depended, were stationed once more Greene beat a retreat. This manæuvring conin an open wood, and the cavalry, as a reserve, on the slope tinued till the 15th of March, when Greene having been in the rear. Tarleton's troops were worn out by their long joined by fresh troops, thought himself strong enough to march, but that impetuous officer gave them no time to rest encounter the English general. He drew up his army on themselves, but fell on the enemy with loud shouts. The very strong ground near Guildford Court House, where militia fled at once, and the advance of the English en- Cornwallis boldly attacked him, and, after a stout battle, dangered the flanks of the continentals, and it became completely routed him. One of the American historians, necessary to make a retrograde movement. This Tarleton Marshall, in his “Life of Washington," says :—"No battle mistook for a retreat, so accustomed was he to carry all in the course of the war reflects more honour on the courage before him, and his men were rushing on without regard to of the British troops than this of Guildford. On no other order, when the Americans suddenly faced about, poured a occasion had they fought with such inferiority of numbers, deadly fire into the British at thirty yards' distance, and or disadvantages of ground." And well may that be said, then, briskly charging, broke their already disorderly line. for lord Cornwallis, in his dispatch to Sir Henry Clinton, The English cavalry, instead of being at hand to support stated his own troops at one thousand six hundred, and the them, were chasing the militia, and the American horse now Americans at seven thousand. The Americans, who omit to dashed in upon the English infantry, and they were entirely reckon the first line, which fled without a blow, stated their routed. Being closely pursued, they lost, in killed and troops actually engaged at three thousand two bundred; wounded, upwards of five hundred men. The Americans but Gordon, from examination of American documents, boasted to have lost only eighty.
makes them really four thousand five hundred. The ground On hearing of the defeat of Tarleton, Cornwallis advanced was all against the English, and they had to drive the rapidly, in order, if possible, to intercept Morgan and his Americans out of two or three woods, where they, as usual, English prisoners at the fords of Catawba. A rise of the made deadly haroc from behind the trees with their rifles. water from the rains prevented his crossing that river so The English lost ninety-three killed, had four hundred and soon as he expected, and Morgan joined Greene, both thirteen wounded, and twenty-six missing. The number of generals, however, retreating behind the Yadkin. The British officers picked off by the American rifles was conswollen state of the river and the want of boats also siderable. The hon. lieutenant-colonel Stuart, of the guards, detained lord Cornwallis at the Yadkin, but he finally suc- and four other officers were killed; generals O'Hara and ceeded in crossing, and throwing himself between Greene Howard, colonels Tarleton and Webster, were wounded ; and the frontiers of Virginia, from which Greene looked for 'besides nine captains, four lieutenants, five ensigns, and two
adjutants Greene left behind him all his artillery. He had a miserable war in our own colonies, where the revenues of upwards of thirty officers killed, wounded, and missing, and these colonies were so utterly exhausted, and where the his large body of militia and backwoodsmen fled so com commander-in-chief, Sir Henry Clinton, had learned by an pletely-going off as fast as they could towards their homes intercepted mail that the Americans were informed that - that, on drawing up behind Troublesome Creek, Greene “ this was the last campaign in which the States were to found he had hardly a man, except his regular troops, with expect assistance of either ships or troops from France,” the him.
slightest effort on the part of the English government would The condition of lord Cornwallis's army - though left have been decisive. When we call to mind, too, what victorious on the field of battle-was deplorable in the stupendous power such a minister as Pitt could, a few years extreme. One-third of his little force was disabled in the afterwards, put forth, and continue through a thirty years' fight, and was destitute not only of provisions but of shelter. war for the restoration of a foreign dynasty, we cannot have They were without tents, and there were not houses enough any plainer proof of the thoroughly incompetent ministry near to receive them. The night set in dark and stormy, which thus persisted in flinging away a continent, and the the rain fell in torrents, and the sufferings of the soldiers, incurable and dense obstinacy of the monarch who, in spite especially of the wounded, were terrible. It was not until of their long and calamitous possession of power, still insisted the afternoon of the next day that they could procure a little on their retaining it. Nothing but ruin could result from flour and some lean beef for the exhausted men. Lord such unparalleled imbecility, such sheer paralysis of mind Cornwallis was therefore prevented from following Greene, and action in the national rulers, and it was on the point and began his march back towards the coast. He left of being consummated. seventy of his wounded, who could not be removed, under a Had lord Cornwallis been in possession of an adequate flag of truce in a quakers' meeting house, and, on the third army, he would very speedily have cleared all the southern day, proceeded towards Cross Creek.
states. Wherever he came, even with his handful of men, If the condition of the English was wretched, Stedman, he beat and drove the Americans before him. He now took the historian of the war, who was present, learned from one up his head-quarters at Cross Creek, where he sought to of the quakers that the condition of the country at large was rest his troops and recover his sick and wounded. He hoped still worse. Stedman remarked that “the royalists rode into there to establish a communication with major Craig, who the camp, shook the commander and the officers by the hand, had been successfully dispatched to take possession of said they were glad to see them, and that they had beaten Wilmington, at the mouth of Cape Fear River, but this was Greene, and then rode back again without offering to join not very practicable, and as the country about Cross Creek them. The quakers replied that the general desire of the was destitute of the necessary supplies, Cornwallis himself people was to be at peace and reunited to Britain ; but that descended to Wilmington, which he reached on the 7th of they had been so often deceived in promises of support, and April. Colonel Webster and others of his wounded officers the British had been so frequently obliged to relinquish died on the march. Green, with his fragment of an army, posts, that the people were now afraid to join the army, lest as badly provisioned as that of Cornwallis, followed them at they should leave the province altogether ; in which case a safe distance. the resentment of the revolutionists would be exercised with At Wilmington lord Cornwallis remained about three more cruelty than ever, for, though the men might escape weeks, uncertain as to his plan of operations. His forces or go with the army, their families would be made to suffer; amounted to only about one thousand five hundred men ; that the English did not know the cruelty of the republicans he therefore determined, at length, to march into Virginia, towards those who inclined towards the royal cause, or the and join Phillips and Arnold. He commenced his march on sufferings of such ; that some of these men had lived for two the 25th of April, having ordered Phillips and Arnold to and even three years in the woods, without daring to go to ascend the Chesapeake, and join him at Presburg. He made their homes ; that others, having walked out of their houses, his march without encountering any opposition, and reached under a promise of being safe, had been instantly shot, and Presburg on the 20th of May, and had the sorrow to find others had been tied to trees and cruelly whipped ; that, in that his friend, general Phillips, had died on arriving at that fact, the people had experienced such distress, that they rendezvous a few days before. Arnold had, of course, been would submit to any government in the world for peace.” left again head of that force; but, on lord Cornwallis's
But the British were in no condition to take advantage arrival, he set sail for New York, to carry out a plan of his of this state of American exhaustion. At a time when the which Sir Henry Clinton approved-for seizing on the port ministry at home had obtained the most magnificent grants of West Point, which he had failed to betray when he from parliament-grants for pinety thousand seamen, thirty came over to the English. The scheme ultimately came to thousand soldiers, and twenty-five millions of pounds to pay nothing. Meantime, lord Cornwallis found himself at for them—there was scarcely a fleet on these coasts, and the head of a united force of seven thousand men. Sir nothing which could be called an army. True, England Henry Clinton's effective troops at New York amounted only had now France, Spain, and Holland upon her hands, she to ten thousand nine hundred and thirty-one men, and the had her West India Islands, and Gibraltar, and Minorca to little detachment under lord Rawdon only to nine hundred; defend; but those places required ships rather than soldiers, the sum total of the British army, therefore, in America, and even in ships, France, with finances in a most disastrous was just eighteen thousand eight hundred and thirty-one and hopeless condition, could furnish more effective fleets than men! we could. Where the question was, the putting an end to ! The very day that lord Cornwallis, had marched from
Wilmington, lord Rawdon was bravely fighting with Greene joined by the 43rd regiment; mounting his little body of at Hobkirk's Hill, in South Carolina. Greene, with only cavalry, Tarleton, though with a flying troop amounting to about fifteen hundred regulars and some corps of new militia, two hundred and fifty horse, was enabled to pursue his making altogether about two thousand men, had not ven- favourite raids. He now made a dash for Charlotteville, tured to attack lord Cornwallis; but he thought he might, where Jefferson and the assembly were voting taxes, and by diverting his course into South Carolina, induce him to making paper-money. On his way, he destroyed twelve follow, and thus leave exposed all North Carolina to Wayne wagons, loaded with arms and provisions, and, spurring into and La Fayette, as well as all his important posts in the Charlotteville, very nearly captured Jefferson and his legisupper part of North Carolina. Greene failed to draw after lators. The governor had not escaped ten minutes from his him Cornwallis, but he sate down at Hobkirk's Hill, about house before Tarleton's troopers entered it, and, as it was two miles from the outposts of lord Rawdon's camp at the 4th of June, drank the king's health in his wine. Seven Camden.
of the members of the assembly were captured, besides one Lord Rawdon, hearing that Greene was waiting to be thousand new firelocks, four hundred barrels of gunpowder, reinforced by troops under lieutenant-colonel Lee, and the with a quantity of tobacco and clothing. active partisans, Sumpter and Marion, did not give him After some similar adventures by Tarleton, and by time for that. He marched out of Camden, at nine o'clock lieutenant-colonel Simcoe, who routed baron Steuben, and in the morning, on the 25th of April, and quietly making a destroyed his stores at the Point of Fork, about fifty miles circuit through some woods, he came upon Greene's flank, above Richmond, Cornwallis, who had received orders from and drove in his pickets before he was perceived. Startled Sir Henry Clinton to send part of his forces to New York, a from his repose, Greene sought to return the surprise by combined attack by Washington and Rochambeau being sending colonel Washington, a nephew of the American expected there, retired to Richmond, and afterwards to commander-in-chief, with a body of cavalry, to fall on Williamsburg. La Fayette, who was now joined by Wayne, Rawdon's rear, as he was passing up the hill. But followed, and on lord Cornwallis marching from WilliamsRawdon was aware of this mancuvre, and prevented it, still burg to Portsmouth to embark the required detachment of pressing up Hobkirk's Hill, in the face of the artillery, troops, these generals, believing they were only in presence charged with grape-shot. Greene's militia fled with all of his rear-guard, fell upon it, but soon found themselves speed, and Rawdon stood triumphant on the summit of engaged with the main army, and were completely routed, the hill, in the centre of Greene's camp. Rawdon had with the loss of several cannon, of ten officers, and nearly not cavalry enough to warrant a pursuit, or the execu- three hundred men. The English had seventy men killed tion would have been infinitely greater. As it was, Greene or wounded, and five officers wounded. La Fayette and lost, in killed and wounded, nearly three hundred men, and Wayne retreated up the James River, and Cornwallis purone hundred were made prisoners. Lord Rawdon's loss was sued his march to Portsmouth. equally severe for so small an engagement; his killed, There he received an order from Sir Henry Clinton, wounded, and missing, amounted to two hundred and fifty- countermanding the embarkation of the troops, and desiring eight, a serious diminution of his little knot of men. Greene him to look out for a position where he could fortify himself, retreated behind a creek, about twelve miles off, and sent and at the same time protect such shipping as might be sent out messengers on all sides to scour the country ; but, in a to the Chesapeake to prevent the entrance of the French. private letter to Washington, he gave a very desponding Cornwallis fixed on York Town, on York River, and there, view of the condition of things. “We fight, get beaten, and at Gloucester, in its vicinity, he was settled with his and fight again. We have so much to do, and so little to troops by the 22nd of August. Sir Henry Clinton wrote, do it with, that I am much afraid that these states must intimating that he should probably send more troops to the fall never to rise again ; and, what is worse, I am persuaded Chesapeake, as there was a probability that Washington they will lay a train to sap the foundation of all the rest." and Rochambeau, giving up the attack of New York, would
And had there been but the most moderate amount of make a united descent on York Town. Wayne and La energy in the British ministry, this was inevitable. Lord Fayette were already continually increasing their forces Cornwallis only allowed himself three days' rest at above York Town ; but any such reinforcements by Sir Presburg; he marched thence, on the 24th of May, in quest Henry were prevented by the entrance of the comte de of La Fayette, who was encamped on James's River. Grasse, with twenty-eight sail of the line and several Cornwallis crossed that river at Westover, about thirty frigates, into the Chesapeake, having on board three thoumiles below La Fayette's camp, and that nimble officer sand two hundred troops, which he had brought from the retreated in all haste, hoping to join general Wayne, who West Indies. These troops he landed, and sent, under the was marching through Maryland, with a small force of eight marquis de St. Simon, to join La Fayette, much to his hundred Pennsylvanians. Lord Cornwallis was, however, delight. so near upon La Fayette, that he wrote, in one of his letters, Rodney, who was still commanding in the West Indies, “He cannot long escape me!" But La Fayette, though, had been on the look-out for De Grasse, but, missing him, through the whole American war, he never fought one he had dispatched Sir Samuel Hood after him, supposing good fight, or gained one victory, had a most marvellous that he had made for New York. Hood had with him genius for flying, and Cornwallis calculated too hastily on fourteen ships of the line, and, arriving at Sandy Hook on catching him.
the 28th of August, he found that De Grasse had then On the banks of the James River lord Cornwallis was I sailed for the Chesapeake. Admiral Arbuthnot had been
replaced by admiral Graves, but Graves had only seven London, in Connecticut, Arnold's native district. Arnold ships of the line, and of these only five fit for action. showed his wonted bravery: the forts Trumbull and GrisTaking the chief command, with these twenty-one ships, wold were carried at the point of the bayonet; the town of Graves set sail for the Chesapeake, with Hood as second in New London was occupied; colonel Ledyard, the comcommand. A new French admiral, the comte de Barras, mander of Fort Griswold, was killed, and, on the part of now commanded the Rhode Island squadron, and this the British, colonel Eyre and major Montgomery. A vast squadron had ventured out to sea. Graves went first in number of cannon, muskets, pikes, and ammunition, were quest of De Barras, and, not finding him, proceeded to the taken or destroyed, and a great many warehouses, full of Chesapeake, where, on the 5th of September, he discerned European and West Indian goods, together with ten or a the fleet of De Grasse at anchor, just within the Capes of dozen ships, were burnt, and the flames spreading, reVirginia, and blocking up York River with his frigates. duced the town to ashes. All this devastation the people of Graves had his nineteen ships, De Grasse twenty-eight, and Connecticut naturally charged to the vindictive rancour Nelson could have desired nothing better than such a sight of their countryman, Arnold; but he attributed it to the in the parrow waters of the Chesapeake : not a ship would explosion of gunpowder concealed in some of the warehouses bave escaped him; but Graves was no Nelson, and allowed unknown to the English, and that the change of wind De Grasse to cut his cables and run out to sea. There, carried the flames to the town. indeed, Graves attacked him, but under infinitely greater Whatever was the cause, the danger of New London had disadvantages, at four o'clock in the afternoon. The night not for a moment influenced the movements of Washington, parted them, and De Grasse returned to his old anchorage and its terrible destruction only now more embittered the in the Chesapeake, and Graves sailed away again for New spirit of vengeance. Sir Henry Clinton contemplated York! Never was there a more disgraceful exhibition made further expeditions—first against the Rhode Island fleet, by a British admiral.
and next against Philadelphia ; but these never came off, Meantime, Washington and Rochambeau were mustering and matters were now every day assuming such an aspect for the march to the Chesapeake. The command of the as should have stimulated him to some direct assistance to forces left to defend the Hudson was intrusted to general Cornwallis. There can be no question but that, had Heath. The whole of the French army under Rochambeau, Clinton ordered the fleet to hasten to the Chesapeake and and two thousand men from the American army, took the confront De Grasse, whilst he himself marched by land, or route for Philadelphia, and from thence for the head of the had sent the fiery Arnold with a strong force, the whole Elk. Washington in this march paid a passing visit to his danger to Cornwallis and his little army would have been home at Mount Vernon, the first which he had been able to dissipated. As it was, De Grasse was so apprehensive of the make during the six years and a half since he took the arrival of Graves with the fleet recruited by the addition of command. On the 14th of September he reached the head- six ships under admiral Digby, and determined to fight quarters of La Fayette, and took the supreme command, him, that he assured Washington that he would not run Rochambeau being second, and the especial head of the the risk of being shut up in the Chesapeake, but would leave French. The next day Washington and Rochambeau held a few frigates to block up York River, and himself sail out a conference with the counte de Grasse, on board his ship, and seek Graves at sea or at New York. It was only by the Ville de Paris, the finest ship in the French navy, the most earnest entreaties that Washington could prevail and larger than any in the English navy, carrying its one on him to remain, and by promises of a speedy reduction of hundred and six guns. De Grasse told them that what York Town. Had the English fleet appeared, De Grasse they did they must do quickly, for that he could not re-would instantly have sailed out, and Cornwallis would have main on that station longer than the 1st of November; been saved. and it was resolved to act accordingly.
Lord Cornwallis left Sir Henry in no uncertainty as to Sir Henry Clinton had for some time been aware of the his critical situation. He had sent him word as early as the real destination of the united forces of Washington and 16th of September, that the place could not be defended, Rochambeau. He must have seen that there was a and that, if he did not send relief very soon, he must expect determined resolve to crush, by the most powerful combina- | to hear the worst. tion of American and French forces, the army in the south, This should have roused every energy in the commanderand every exertion should have been made by him, with in-chief. He was aware that the Americans—Washington fieet and army, to release Cornwallis from his impending himself at their head—the French from New York and the peril. But, unhappily, as he and Arbuthnot had been on West Indies, with fleet and army, were gathering round bad terms, so he and Cornwallis were so now; and he may Cornwallis for a determined effort to entirely trample out the have, therefore, been too little concerned for the evident British power in the south. The last and mightiest effort danger that threatened the earl. But, instead of sending should have been made to prevent the catastrophe which Corndirect reinforcements to Cornwallis, and ordering the fleet wallis himself plainly announced must take place, without such to engage the attention, and, if possible, defeat, De Grasse prompt and strenuous aid. On the 28th of September, the in the Chesapeake, he concocted a diversion with Arnold, combined army of French and Americans came in sight of which he fondly hoped would recall Washington.
York Town, and encamped about two miles from the outOn the 6th of September, Arnold, with two British works. The next morning they extended themselves towards regiments, a battalion of New Jersey volunteers, and two the left of Cornwallis, but cautiously; and the English pickets thousand four hundred Gerinan Jägers, landed near New I slowly retired within the outer lines at their approach