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a mile. The British, after that unsuccessful attack, applied them. selves to the strengthening of their batteries on shore, and nightly sent up their boats with provision to the city, by the passage between Mudand Province Islands, while the commodore absolutely refused attempting to prevent them, upon the plea that a single bomb from the enemy would destroy any of his gallies. There came three or four days of uncomthon high tides, which drowned some of the British, and hindered their working any of their guns except one howitzer. This opportunity of annoying them considerably, was not duly improved by the gallies. On the decrease of the tides, the British renewed their fire with doubig vigor, and soon destroyed the American two gun battery, blew up the north-westblock-house and laboratory, and compeii
£d the garrison to seek cover in the forts -Colonel Smith, after
having defended it from the latter end-of September, till the 4 fth 9f Nov. a few days excepted, was wounded by a spent cannonshot, and greatly bruised by the bricks it threw or him, which
occasioned his removak to the main. His fatigues and dangers .
had been extreme ; and he supported them with uncommon pa
$ience and fortitude. Upon his removal the command devolved.
on lieut. col. Russel, of the Connecticut line, but he being ex
hausted with fatigue, and totally destitute of health, requested to
be recalled. Upon the 12th, the commander in chief signified his orders to the commanding general on the Jersey side, who directed all the military operations below Philadelphia, “to defend Muld-Island as long as possible, without sacrificing the garrison.” The commanding general, for insuperable reasons, could not detach an officer in rotation. Major Thayer, of the RhodeIsland line, presented himself a volunteer, and was appointed. : The British having everything in readiness, the Isis and Somerset men of war pass up the east channel to attack the works on Mud-Island in front; several frigates draw up againstan Arnerican fort, newly erected on the Jersey side, situated so as to flank the men of war in their station; and two armed vessels, the Wigilant, an East-Indiaman cut down to a battery of 20 twentyfour pounders on one side, and a bulk with 3 twenty-four poun§ers, successfully make their way through a narrow channel on $he:western side, a matter of the greatest importance, as these two vessels, in concert with the batteries on Province-Island, en£ilade the principal works on Mud-Island. On the morning of the 45th of Nov. the whole British fire is displayed from their Jasid batteries and their shipping in the river. The small gar#ison of 392 men, sustain and repel the shock with astonishing in: airepidity for several hours, assisted by the American gallies and *ist batteries on the Jersey shore. By the middle of the day their . . it - defences
defences are levelled with the common mud, and the officers and men expect each other's fate in the midst of carnage. During the day more than 1030 discharges of cannon, from thirty-two. to twelve-pounders, are made in twenty minutes, from the batteries and shipping of both sides. Early in the evening, major Thayer sends all his garrison ashore, excepting forty, with whom he remains, braving all danger. At twelve at night, many of the military stores having been previously sent away, the barracks are fired, when the major and his few brave companions quit, and cross to Red-Bank.” In this affair there were near two hundred and fifty of the garrison killed and wounded. Three councils of war had been called." upon the subject of relieving fort Mifflin; and in the last, it was concluded to attempt it, though it was believed that a general engagement would be the consequence; this, however, the Americans did not regard, the ground being such as they wished, if called to fight the enemy. The night before the attempt could be made, the fort was of necessity evacuated. The congress, before this event, had voted lieut. col. Smith an elegant sword for the defence he had made on the 22d of October; but as they had voted at the same time, the like to commodore Hazlewood, com-" mander of the naval force in the Delaware, he did not think himself much honored by it, and declined the present. Men of courage and judgment pronounce the commodore a poltron, and . say that if all the officers in the marine department had behaved with equal bravery to what the land officers did, the fort would not have been taken. Several of them are reckoned to have acted. a dastardly part. It was observed of Hazlewood, that he was fond of long shot, and was shy of coming to close quarters. The reduction of the fort secured to the British the safe opportunity of sending up their small craft, at the back of the island, to the Schuylkill with provisions and stores, by day as well as by night. On the 18th, at night, lord Cornwallis marched with a considerable force, and the next day crossed the Delaware, in his way to Red-Bank, which the Americans abandoned, leaving behind them their artillery, and a considerable quantity of cannon-ball. Some continental generals were appointed to give their opinion upon the spot to col. Greene. They favored an evacuation, and wished that he would join them. He answered, “I shall follow : your direction, either to evacuate or dcfend the fort. I know what we have done when the works were not half completed. : Now they are finished, and I am not afraid.” But the direction . * - “...a * See James M. Varnum’s letter of Aug. 2, 1786, in the Providence Gi-H *ette, who was the commanding general on the Jerseyside. . . . . . . ~ **** WaS
z was to evacuate, which was complied with, though with manifess: reluctance. The marquis de la Fayette accompanied gen. Greene into Jersey, though his wound was not yet healed; and on the 25th of Nov. with only a handful of riflemen and militia, attacked a party of Hessians and British grenadiers, which he obliged to retreat. After this congress resolved that he should take the command of a division in the army. * - *
The American shipping having now lost all protection, several of the gallies and other armed vessels, took the advantage of a favorable night, kept close in with the Jersey shore, passed the batteries of Philadelphia, and escaped to places of security higherup. The remaining seventeen finding an escape in practicable, were abandoned by the crews and fired. The British however confessed, that the long and unexpected opposition which they received from Red-bank and Mud-island, broke in upon their plans for the remainder of the campaign.
A detachment from the northern army, of some of the NewEngland brigades, was ordered down to join the American commander in chief. When arrived at Fish-kill, a number of the New-Hampshire troops, to the amount of near 200, mutinied at the barracks on the evening of November the 4th, paraded with their arms, and began to march off in order. The exertions of the officers suppressed them, but capt. Beal was shot and mortally wounded ; he killed however the soldier that shot him. The cry was, “We have no money, nor breeches, and will not cross the river till we have received these articles.” It was feared that some officers were at the bottom of the mutiny. As it was soon quelled without infecting the other troops, the whole marched on, till they joined gen.Washington ; who being thus reinforced, advanced to White Marsh, within 14 miles of Philadelphia, and encamped in a strong position. Sir W. Howe, hoping that he meant to hazard a battle for the recovery of Philadelphia, or that some part of his camp was vulnerable, and would admit of a successful impression, marched the army from the city on the night of the 4th of December. The day before, gen. Greene gave this distressing picture of the American army to the commander in chief—“One half of our troops are without breeches, shoes and stockings; and some thousands without blankets. Last winter's campaign will confirm this truth, that unless men are well clothed, they must fail a sacrifice to the severity of the weather, when exposed to the hardships of a winter's campaign.” . Howe's further proceedings take in Washington's words, written on the 10th–" I had reason to expect Howe was preparing to give us a general action. On Friday, morning his troops appeared on Chesnut-hill ; at night they changed their ground. On Sunday from every appearance there was reason to apprehend an action. About sun-set, after various marches and counter-marches, they halted, and still supposed they would attack us in the night, or early the next morning, but in this.[ was mistaken. On Monday afternoon they filed off, and matched toward Philadelphia. Their loss in skirmishing was notinconsiderable. I sincerely wish they had made an attack, the is. sue would in all probability have been happy for us... Policy forbad our quitting our posts to attack them.” - * * * * * [Dec. 11.] The American army marched from White Marsh to Sweed's-ford. The want of clothing was so extreme thatgen. Washington was under the absolute necessity of granting warrants to different officers to impress what the holders would not willingly part with, agreeable to the powers with which congress had invested him. He removed with the troops, on the 19th, to Valley-forge where they hutted about sixteen miles from Philadelphia. When the node of hutting was first proposed, some treated the idea as ridiculous, few thought it practicable, and all were surprised at the facility with which it was executed, It was certainly a considerable exertion for the remnant of an army, exhausted and worn down, by the severity of a long and rather unsuccessful campaign, to sit down in a wood, and in the latter end of December to begin to build them huts. Through the want of shoes and stockings, and the hard frozen ground, yog might have tracked the army from White Marsh to Valley-forge by the blood of their feet.* The taking of this position was highly requisite. Had the army retired to the towns in the interior parts of the state, a large tract of fertile country would have been exposed to ravage and ruin; and they must have distressed in a peculiar manner the virtuous citizens from Philadelphia, who had fled thither for refuge. - - Sir W. Howe has plainly the advantage of the American general, but nothing to boast of ; for all the fruits derived from his various manoeuvrings and engagements, from the beginning to the close of the campaign, amount to little beside good winter quarters for his army in Philadelphia, while the troops possess no more of the adjacent country than what their arms immediately command. Certain persons indeed are permitted to carry provisions into the city; that so upon their return they may supply the Americans with intelligence. These must submit to sparea little for such purposes, though in the utmost want themselves At one time the army remained quiet for four days together without bread; on the fifth two regiments refused to do duty upon
** * ground.
"Sfe account; but the prudence and pursuasion of the commander Sit chief restored order. To a simiiar event there was probably Sh allusion, in the following extract from his letter of the 23d—** This brought fourth the only eommissaryin'thepurchasing line in thiscamp, and with him this melancholy alarming truth, that he had not a single hoof of any kind to slaughter, and not more than twenty-five barrels of flour, and could not tell when to expect aiay. The present commissaries are by no means equal to the ex-, ecution of the office, or the disaffection of the people is past alt belief. The change in that department took place contrary to my judgment, and the consequences thereof were predicted. No mar* ever had his measures more impeded than I have, by every department of the army. Since the month of July we have had ny assistance from the quarter-master-general,, and to want of assist^ ance from this department the commissary-general charges gcai: part of his deficiency. We have by a field return thisday, no kss* thart 2898 men in tamp unfit for duty, because they are. barefoot and otherwise naked. Our whole strength in continental troops (including the eastern brigades, which have joined 'u» since the surrender of Burgoyne) exclusive of the Maryland troops sent to Wilmington, is no more than 8200 in camp lit fofdufy. Since the fourth our number fit through hardship.;, particularly on account of blankets (numbers have been, and" still are obliged to sit up all night by fires, instead of taking comfortable rest in a common way) have decreased near twoj thousand men.—Upon the ground of safety and policy, I am o-^ bliged to conceal the true state of the army from public view, and thereby expose myself to detraction and calumny.—Therein is much to be done in preparing for a campaign, as in the active?" part of it." Gen. Mifflin in a letter of October the eighth, had represented to congress, that his health was so "much impaired.,, and the probability of a recovery so distant, that he thought it his duty to return to them their commissions to him of major general and quarter-master-general. While the army was suf-' fering as abov e related for want of shoes,' &c. hogshead's of shoes, stockings and clothing, were at different places, upon the' joad and in the woods, lying and perishing, for want of teams, 3nd proper management, and money to pay the teamsters.
Nothing great has happened in the neighbourhood of NewYork, since the return of the troops under general Yaughan from their expedition up the North-River; but k may not displease you to read the following particulars. On the 18th oF November, gen. Tryon sent about one hundred men undercapt. Emmeiick to burn, some houses, on Philip's manor, within